Project News

Project News Headlines

PayPal Team Enjoys the Great Outdoors with Renkus-Heinz

25/03/2019

DiverZe Helps JumpSky Trampoline Park Stand Out with Colours from Chauvet DJ SlimPAR Fixtures

25/03/2019

Powersoft X Series Reconnects South Korea’s Largest Pentecostal Church to its Audience

25/03/2019

The Chapel Grows with Allen & Heath

22/03/2019

Duke Ellington School for the Arts Elevates Performances with Meyer Sound Constellation

20/03/2019

All Pro Integrated Systems and Chauvet Professional Update East Lake United Methodist

19/03/2019

EM Acoustics helps breathe new life into Linbury Theatre

19/03/2019

Broaman/Optocore Fibre Stageboxes Help Streamline ATM System’s New UHD OB Van

19/03/2019

Prosound ensures BlacklineX makes its mark in Tirana

19/03/2019

New Elation lighting system for prestigious folk music venue The Ark

18/03/2019

Renkus-Heinz a Clear Solution for URI's Higgins Welcome Center

18/03/2019

Upgrading to Clair Brothers a Big Win for Netherland’s Victorie Music Club

18/03/2019

Liberty University Chooses Ayrton Mistral and Ghibli Spot Luminaires for Lighting Flexibility on Campus

18/03/2019

Epic Studios Go Big with Allen & Heath in Quarter-Million Pound Audio Investment

15/03/2019

White Light Illuminates the Science Museum with Yamaha

15/03/2019

Alcons Audio Helps To PAC In Canadian Movie Audiences

15/03/2019

The BRIT School gets students industry ready with DiGiCo SD12 consoles

15/03/2019

Opéra Garnier upgrades to ETC Eos

13/03/2019

Martin Audio WPL for Schmallenberg’s City Hall

13/03/2019

Cultural Clubbing in Kunming

12/03/2019

Renkus-Heinz Helps Living Museum Tell Atturaif's Ancient History

11/03/2019

Audient Heritage Edition Makes its Debut in Argentina

11/03/2019

Robe for House of Dancing Water Show Spectacular

08/03/2019

Rope Assemblies works with Doughty Engineering on Royal Albert Hall project

08/03/2019

Clair Solutions Designs and Installs New AVL and Acoustics at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship

08/03/2019

PayPal Team Enjoys the Great Outdoors with Renkus-Heinz

PayPal Team Enjoys the Great Outdoors with Renkus-Heinz

USA – PayPal, the hugely popular digital payment platform, recently added an outdoor meeting space with full AV capabilities to its company headquarters in San Jose, California. Conference Technologies, Inc., is the contractor and installer for the new system. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, with multiple offices throughout the US, CTI has a long relationship with PayPal, designing and installing systems in more than 600 PayPal conference rooms throughout North America.

PayPal's San Jose campus comprises eight buildings, with a large outdoor green space in the middle equipped with an outdoor kitchen and seating area. The company wanted to upgrade the space with a first-class AV system and turn it into a community gathering place for all-hands meetings and corporate events. "As with most installations, this one had unique challenges, especially with regard to audio," reports CTI design consultant Josh Keller, who oversaw system design and installation. "We needed versatility, including high intelligibility with relatively low volume, and at other times we need to push it. Renkus-Heinz digitally steerable arrays enabled us to direct the sound precisely, minimizing reflections off the surrounding buildings and preventing sound from interfering with people's work, especially during the day."

Keller specified a Dante network employing a pair of weatherproof Renkus-Heinz IC Live Gen5-series ICL-F-DUAL-RD digitally steerable line arrays. The arrays were paired with two Renkus-Heinz PN212-SUB dual 12-inch powered subwoofers and were installed on either side of a 16 by 10-foot Planar CLO Series outdoor-rated LED video wall to create a high-end AV system for movie nights, corporate messages, and meetings.

Each ICL-F-DUAL-RD array employs five 6.5-inch cone transducers and three 1-inch compression drivers per module. Vertical opening angles can be defined for up to eight steerable beams, which can be individually aimed in software. Vertical pattern control can be steered up or down from -30˚ to +30˚, with beam control effective down to 400Hz. Horizontal dispersion is 150° up to 3kHz and 120° above 3kHz.

The ability to precisely steer custom-shaped beams enables the PayPal system to provide even coverage across the entire community space while minimizing reflections and interference with nearby work areas. "That's where the Renkus-Heinz IC Live arrays really excelled," offers Keller. "Beam steering gave us the focus that we needed in critical areas and still achieved the coverage and punch. We especially used it to keep the reflections off the surrounding buildings and allow intelligibility to be as high as it could be with the volume as low as it could be. In addition, with multiple beams, we could get a long throw to reach the people in back without blasting the people in front."

Keller considered his options and decided that larger, "big box" line arrays weren't a good fit for this project. "We wanted to find something smaller and less obtrusive that had an outdoor rating and could be run over the network," he specifies. "That narrowed the field considerably. Based on our relationship with our rep and with Renkus-Heinz, and the good support we've had in the past, we chose Renkus-Heinz. I've been using Renkus-Heinz for about 15 years, and I'm a really big fan of the IC Lives."

The new AV system is a central hub for PayPal; since it is implemented over an IP network, everything can be transmitted anywhere in the campus. A Biamp Tesira SERVER-IO AVB configurable audio DSP with a SIC-4 four channel input card, SOC-4 four channel output card, and DAN-1 Dante card manages the system, while Crestron touch screens provide user control. Digital traffic is handled by a Cisco 48-port gigabit PoE managed switch. For larger productions, a Midas M32-R digital mixer with Dante expansion module can be rolled out and easily patched into the network.

The new system at PayPal headquarters is now up and running. "Our representative came in and commissioned the system quickly," Keller reports. "Everyone is pleased with the sound and capabilities of the new meeting area at PayPal."

25th March 2019

DiverZe Helps JumpSky Trampoline Park Stand Out with Colours from Chauvet DJ SlimPAR Fixtures

DiverZe Helps JumpSky Trampoline Park Stand Out with Colours from Chauvet DJ SlimPAR Fixtures
DiverZe Helps JumpSky Trampoline Park Stand Out with Colours from Chauvet DJ SlimPAR Fixtures

Belgium – George Nissen isn’t a household name, but a wildly growing number of people are jumping for joy over his invention. Back in 1930, Nissen, then a 16-year-old high school student in Iowa, watched in awe as trapeze artists bounced on a safety net after completing their routines. It looked like fun, so four years later he and a partner turned his inspiration into the first modern trampoline.

For a while, Nissen’s invention remained a relatively obscure practice tool used primarily by gymnasts. Then in the 21st century, trampolining took flight. By some accounts, the number of trampoline parks in Europe and North America has increased by over 600% since the middle of this decade. This has led trampoline park proprietors to seek new ways to stand out in an ever-more crowded market.

For the owners of JumpSky, creating this point of distinction involved adding bright colour-mixing Chauvet DJ SlimPAR fixtures, installed by Wim Zwarts of DiverZe.

“Our client wanted to create a better atmosphere in the trampoline park by enhancing the sound and light,” said Zwarts. “Being a former indoor tennis court, there were only general discharge lamps in the park, which limited the kind of looks they could create. I met with the client to present a total sound-and-light solution. From the lighting standpoint, the ability to create colourful, vibrant looks was a top priority.”

To achieve this goal, Zwarts installed 76 SlimPAR Pro H USB and 26 SlimPAR T12 USB fixtures throughout the trampoline park. Flown on truss above the trampolines, as well as over the trapeze and the Ninja warrior cage course, the SlimPAR Pro H USB fixtures are used to elevate the excitement level at the park with their mix of vivid colours.

“We chose the SlimPAR Pro H USB because of its colourising capabilities,” said Zwarts. “Its UV capabilities are especially useful in allowing us to create bold colours that really contribute to the atmosphere inside, particularly in areas where we want more intensity.”

The SlimPAR T12 USB fixtures are flown over the tumbling track, small breakout rooms and the downstairs waiting area. From these positions, the RGB fixtures are used to create mellower atmospheric moods.

Extremely flexible and easy to control, the new lighting system seamlessly moves from colourful good time looks, to more serious white lighting for sessions when experienced trampolinists are performing. The system is also programmed to create a compelling sound-and-light show every hour to mark the end of each session.

Installing fixtures high above the trampolines and working outside of JumpSky’s normal business hours presented some challenges, but Zwarts was able to meet them, thanks to the compact size of the SlimPAR units and the work of his colleagues. “People like Nic, Carl and the rest of my crew helped make this project a success, allowing me to focus on creating a system that is simple enough for anyone to control, regardless of their technical skills,” he said. “The client believed in our vision for this project, so it felt good to see how positively they reacted to the finished product.”

As for JumpSky’s customers, they are enjoying the atmosphere created by the facility’s new lighting and sound system. In the red hot trampoline park market, providing this level of engagement is just what’s needed to jump ahead of the competition.

25th March 2019

Powersoft X Series Reconnects South Korea’s Largest Pentecostal Church to its Audience

Powersoft X Series Reconnects South Korea’s Largest Pentecostal Church to its Audience
Powersoft X Series Reconnects South Korea’s Largest Pentecostal Church to its Audience

South Korea – When old and outdated amplifiers began to cause frequent errors at South Korea’s Yeouido Full Gospel Church, an upgrade was imperative. Audio specialists and Powersoft distributors, Dasan SR, presented the winning specification, proposing Powersoft’s X Series amplifier platforms to manage the high channel count and the complexity of the church’s sound system. The church claims the country’s largest Pentecostal Christian congregation of over 800,000 members.

Dasan SR’s technical manager, Changyu Choi, specified seven of Powersoft’s eight-channel X Series tour-grade amplification systems to drive the powerful PA comprised of EAW KF750 full system three-way cabinets and associated KF755 down fill array modules. The extensive PA is comprised of main front of house speakers including downfill, front fill and under balcony speakers, as well as the delay system, the choir and side speakers.

Flexibility and stability were cited as contributing factors, but performance and price sealed the deal on Powersoft’s X Series, over two other leading amplifier manufacturers. An industry standard for touring, but a powerful and stable solution for installation, Powersoft’s X Series is set apart by its new and innovative level of signal processing, providing routing and mixing matrix, as well as multi-stage equalization with raised-cosine, and TruePower limiters.

“The key, however, was the greybox support,” insists Choi. Powersoft’s DSP+D amplifiers – like the X Series – natively read and load EAW greybox presets, aligning the loudspeakers with the powerful technology contained within Powersoft amplification. Powersoft’s ArmoníaPlus facilitates the simple process of system management, uniting the loudspeakers with universal switch mode power supplies with Power Factor Correction (PFC) and patented Class D technology.

The system installation was carried out with no disruption to worship, as work continued either side of the service day. Once the space-saving, 2U X4’s were in place a Dante network was created to alleviate the use of the pre-existing DSP. Powersoft’s ArmoníaPlus then took over the reins and tuned the entire speaker system. Armonía handles complete monitoring of the amplifier and speaker status from anywhere, which is useful when the distance between the amp room and the FOH is too great, as it is in Yeouido Church.

The system set up and tuning was all handled by Choi and ‘very intuitive’ thanks to Armonía. He also found the matrix nature of the Powersoft X4: “assisted greatly with installation and adjustment.” He adds: “The matrix function, allowing you to send one or more inputs freely to all outputs, is very attractive.” Choi worked with Yeouido’s sound engineer, Joung Kim to organise the input and output channels and to stabilise the system.

Kim states: “The Powersoft products are very stable and reliable. The control of the system now is very simple, with no need to manipulate the system at all now the set-up is complete. Power on / off is available remotely which is very convenient and all we need to do is monitor the system status.

That the amplifiers support their own Dante network is invaluable as it now bypasses the original network. I’m very happy with how the installation went. The Powersoft X Series is designed with excellence and the hardware is very stable. The next important install we do here will definitely by with Dasan SR and the specification of Powersoft was the right choice for us.”

25th March 2019

The Chapel Grows with Allen & Heath

The Chapel Grows with Allen & Heath

USA – With seven locations across Chicagoland, The Chapel has given new direction to its worship services with dLive digital mixing systems from Allen & Heath. Now fitted-out with a dLive S7000 control surface at front of house and a C3500 for monitors, one of the church’s largest properties in Grayslake, Illinois forges connections with the aid of Allen & Heath’s proprietary gigaACE networking cards. With a 128 x 128 channel, 48/96kHz Waves networking card offering access to Waves plug-in processing, audio distribution, and digital mic splitting, the system additionally relies upon Allen & Heath’s DX168 expanders, which are used for audio patching and video control of simulcasts between locations.

“Simulcasts regularly originate from one of our two biggest campuses each week,” said Caleb Loeppky (pictured), The Chapel’s production director. “While our streaming platform allows us to send multiple audio channels, it wasn’t until we made the DX168 expander part of the equation that we realised its full potential. Now, with just a single network line we're able to easily manage additional I/O. This fact alone is amazing, and well worth the price of admission.”

Allen & Heath’s DX168 is a portable expander ideally suited for adding remote I/O to any SQ, dLive S Class or dLive C Class system. Offering 16 mic preamps with independent phantom power indicators plus eight XLR line-outs, the DX168 connects via a single Cat5e cable directly to a dLive control surface, MixRack XCVI Core, or another upstream DX168 via a secure EtherCon port. A second locking EtherCon port is also provided for redundant connections made to compatible hardware, or daisy-chaining downstream to another DX168 to add even more I/O.

Beyond the gains in sonic quality, networking capacity, and expanded channel counts The Chapel now takes advantage of, dLive has proven itself to be popular with the volunteer audio staff as well.

“Operating a dLive system is so straightforward and intuitive,” Loeppky added. “I can sit down with someone who has never mixed before and have them up-and-running in no time. Everyone can utilise layers, scenes, and soft keys to setup the desk however they want. No one is ever forced to do anything outside of their comfort zone. As time and budget allow, this technology is going to continue to migrate to all of our locations.”

22nd March 2019

Duke Ellington School for the Arts Elevates Performances with Meyer Sound Constellation

Duke Ellington School for the Arts Elevates Performances with Meyer Sound Constellation
Duke Ellington School for the Arts Elevates Performances with Meyer Sound Constellation

USA – Following a major renovation that involved gutting the main building and constructing an entirely new auditorium inside the old structure, Washington D.C.’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts reopened with a stunning performance space that offers the flexibility of Meyer Sound’s Constellation acoustic system. Dubbed 'The Egg' because of its novel curved shape, the new venue hosts the school’s own acclaimed music, dance and theatre ensembles as well as performances by renowned guests including the National Symphony and US Navy Band. Whenever direct amplification is required, the new auditorium also provides a house reinforcement system based on Meyer Sound line array loudspeakers.

With the acoustical flexibility afforded by Constellation, the auditorium’s acoustic signature can be precisely tailored to the performance at hand while the active stage shell component of Constellation allows student performers the opportunity to hear themselves and others in the ensemble in an optimum environment. Audience members are often not aware that the Constellation system is even active during many acoustic performances, yet the rich acoustical ambience has generated more enthusiastic responses while raising the engagement level of student performers.

The Constellation system was specified as a core component of a complete audio, video, acoustics, IT and security package designed by Warrenton, Virginia-based Polysonics, an acoustics and technology consulting firm.

“Constellation is the most thought-out approach of all the options available,” says Polysonics’ president and CEO Gordon Jacobs, the lead consultant on the project. “It’s an all-inclusive solution from one supplier, with all self-powered loudspeakers. When you also factor in the research behind it and the culture of the company, it was a 'no-brainer'.”

The Constellation system incorporates a total of 181 compact full-range loudspeakers along with 12 subwoofers to extend the reverberation envelope to the lowest registers. Twenty-eight sensitive condenser microphones provide ambient acoustic sensing, while the 13-frame D-Mitri digital audio platform includes three dedicated processors, one for each distinct acoustical zone, for hosting the patented VRAS acoustical algorithm.

The Constellation system was designed and calibrated by Meyer Sound’s Constellation team, with installation by Washington Professional Systems of Wheaton, Maryland under the direction of Don Pacetti, Eric Chocrun and Todd Neil.

Day-to-day operation of the system falls under the responsibility of Thom J. Woodward, the school’s audio instructor and AV supervisor. In the first months of operation he has learned when to unleash the system’s full capabilities, and when to hold back and let the room’s physical acoustics take over.

“There is definitely a huge difference when you turn on Constellation,” he notes. “Probably the biggest improvement I noticed was with the wind ensemble. The sound was good on stage in rehearsals, but when you turned the system on it really filled the room, and you got a much better sense of intimate musical presence rather than the instruments being swallowed up in space.”

But there are other times when a more subtle enhancement is called for, or even none at all. “When the event is reliant on the room itself as an acoustical instrument, that’s when Constellation really shines,” he continues.

For events that require direct amplification, The Egg relies on an LCR system with left and right arrays of ten per side MINA line array loudspeakers and a centre array of 12 MINA loudspeakers. Deep bass is reproduced by four 1100-LFC low frequency control elements, with a Galileo Callisto 616 processor for drive and optimisation.

Established in 1974 and part of the District of Columbia Public Schools system, Duke Ellington School of the Arts serves about 600 students in grades 9-12. Dedicated to arts education, DESA offers programmes in dance, literary media and communications, museum studies, instrumental music, vocal music, theatre, technical design and production, and visual arts. The school has a 99% on-time graduation rate.

20th March 2019

All Pro Integrated Systems and Chauvet Professional Update East Lake United Methodist

All Pro Integrated Systems and Chauvet Professional Update East Lake United Methodist

USA – Energy efficiency was top of mind for East Lake United Methodist when the church contacted All Pro Integrated Systems about adding LED lighting to its sanctuary. So too was the ability of stage lighting to contribute to a dynamic worship environment. All Pro delivered both when it installed 12 Chauvet Professional Ovation E-260WW fixtures as part of a lighting/video upgrade. But the warm white ellipsoidals also offered a third benefit that the church hadn’t thought of: flexibility.

“The Ovations were an easy choice for this project,” said Jacob Warren, lighting technician at All Pro. “Aside from all the advantages that come from being LED, they also produce a bright even field of light. This was very important to the church, but once we began the installation process, it was also the flexibility of the fixtures that made a really big difference.”

Warren points out that limited access to the area above the ceiling grid created challenges when positioning the lighting fixtures. “The 12 Ovation E-260WW units were hung on three existing battens,” he said. “Six of these fixtures were placed on the centre batten, which was 20’ long, and were used for keylighting. Then we put three Ovations on the house right batten and three on the house left batten for fill lighting. We were able to use the existing batten positions, and thereby get around the limited ceiling access, because we could use different lens tubes with the Ovations and also adjust their focus, intensity, and shutters to keep an even stage wash.”

The improved stage washing from the Ovation E-260WW fixtures, along with the richly coloured backlighting resulting from the COLORado 1 Solo units that All Pro installed, have greatly enhanced the worship atmosphere at East Lake United Methodist. “Stage lighting makes it easier for worshippers to see and follow the pastor and others on the stage,” said Warren. “The looks that are being created with the new fixtures, as well as the video system we installed, are also helping to engage younger worshippers by creating a more contemporary environment, which was one of the church’s goals.”

Balancing stage lighting with background lighting has also create a more camera-friendly stage for videoing services without detracting from the live experience, according to Warren. “There were a lot of talented people involved in this project, helping us a achieve the balance between lighting for the camera and the live audience,” he said. “All Pro would not have not been able to complete the project without the strong leadership of Jacob Robinson, our project manager. Mark Salamone, our project salesmen; Sarah Giles, the project designer; and the church’s main point of contact, Jonathan Hinton, were all instrumental. You always want to enhance the broadcast element of a church’s lighting, while at the same time preserving all of the dynamic looks for the people who are there worshipping,” he said.

Helping to achieve this balance is the intense output of the Ovation E-260WW. “I never fail to be impressed by the brightness of this light,” said Warren. “The church doesn’t even have to use the fixtures at full intensity. Everyone at East Lake United Methodist has been surprised by that. This project opened a lot of eyes to what kind of impact good LED lighting can have on a church.”

19th March 2019

EM Acoustics helps breathe new life into Linbury Theatre

UK – The Linbury Theatre has recently reopened following an ambitious three-year renovation project which saw the original studio theatre completely gutted and refurbished. A key part of the renovation was the installation of a brand new sound system from EM Acoustics, supplied and installed by Stage Electrics.

The decision to use EM Acoustics for the full PA system turned out to be quite straightforward as both Tom Thompson, technical manager of the Linbury Theatre, and Martin Adams, the technical manager in charge of the redevelopment project, both have a long-standing relationship with EM and already knew the HALO-C compact line array system well. It was also important to them that EM Acoustics is a British brand. “A flagship British institution should use flagship British products, so EM is also ideal from that point of view,” says Thompson.

Thompson describes the new setup with pride. “It’s a very flexible system that can be used in a number of ways, but the standard setup is two hangs of eight HALO-C boxes left and right with a separate set of ground-stackable HALO-Cs at stage level with two pairs of EMS-118 subs, one at stage level and one up high.”

“We’ve then got lots more boxes of different types around the space to fill in the little gaps underneath the circle overhangs and also to provide rear surround. They vary in size from EMS-41s and upwards depending on the use of the space. We also have a row of EMS-41s built into the front of the stage as front fills as well as a number of free-standing EMS-81s for foldback or anything else we might need.”

“The best aspect of the system is simply how smooth it is,” declares Thompson. “The way the PA responds to the space is fantastic.” He also had a special mention for the newest – and tiniest – addition to the EMS range, the award-winning EMS-41. “The control they give us over the sound in the auditorium is excellent. We have them on just enough to pull the image into the right place, but you don’t notice any difference between the EMS-41s and the main PA. It’s seamless.”

Nick Manning, head of sound and video for the Linbury Theatre, who is also an inveterate fan of EM Acoustics, is equally impressed with the new system. “What’s so impressive is the fact that although you have a L/R stereo pair of hangs, there is no sense of separation; it’s a completely smooth sound that just fills entire space that speakers are firing at. You can walk from one side of auditorium to the other and there are no lumps or bumps, or areas where you’re getting more of some frequencies than others, it’s just completely flawless. Then when you combine those with the subs and all the other speakers around the space, it’s as though the whole system has come from the same DNA – it’s amazing.”

A total of fifteen EM Acoustics DQ Series amplifiers are used to power the system which is fully networked via Dante.

Manning says that reactions to the new system have been overwhelmingly positive, including from Alex Beard, the chief executive of the Royal Opera House, who came to see and hear the system once it had been commissioned. “His reaction was pretty direct: ‘It’s great, it sounds great, and that’s all I’ve got to say.’ You can’t ask for more than that really!”

19th March 2019

Broaman/Optocore Fibre Stageboxes Help Streamline ATM System’s New UHD OB Van

Broaman/Optocore Fibre Stageboxes Help Streamline ATM System’s New UHD OB Van

Poland – A member of Poland’s large ATM Group, ATM System is one of the country’s leading TV production companies, with a large fleet of OB vans and broadcast equipment.

The company recently commissioned a new top of the range UHD 4K OB van and 4vision, who have enjoyed a long-term relationship with the broadcaster, successfully responded to a competitive tender.

Having built an OB van for ATM some years ago, they acted as consultants, on issues ranging from coach-building, through equipment proposal, interior and technical design, to cabling and setup.

The OB has been built around 16 Sony HDC-4300 4K/HD cameras, and two LMP Cerberus 4000 miniature cameras, and is equipped to take an additional four wireless cameras.

A BroaMan system, powered by Optocore, has been specified to send video and audio signals to and from the field, for use by journalists and technicians backstage.

Local units include two BroaMan Repeat48 optical converters for video I/O, Route66 as fibre router, with TX and RX, and Optocore M8-OPT optical MADI switch for audio connectivity to the LAWO M56 mixing console via a GVG Sirius router.

In each of two video stageboxes there is a BroaMan Mux22-IVT/IVT (8 SDI IN/8 SDI OUT) multi-signal transport device and Optocore X6R-TP-8MI/8LO converter. This feeds programme audio to backstage for use with loudspeakers and/or commentary systems. It can also be used as backup for the audio stageboxes, if more I/Os are required, or needed for other locations. In the future, mic inputs will be controllable directly from the Lawo console via the Optocore / Lawo special mode).

However, the Route66 not only transports the signal between local SDI I/O from the Repeat48 and stageboxes, as 4vision project manager, Pawel Fila points out. “We also use LAN, two in each stagebox patch panel, for example with the Lawo VSM control panels. Each stagebox is also ready to connect their EVS control unit via RS422, and ‘dark fibre’ networks using the AUX connection. And so it handles nearly everything.”

BroaMan provided full installation support to 4Vision from system design to training. The new van will now be assigned to general duties, not only in Poland but beyond.

Pawel Fila confirms that the installation meets the client’s remit in full and the BroaMan and Optocore devices have functioned flawlessly.

Broaman/Optocore Fibre Stageboxes Help Streamline ATM System’s New UHD OB VanBroaman/Optocore Fibre Stageboxes Help Streamline ATM System’s New UHD OB Van

19th March 2019

Prosound ensures BlacklineX makes its mark in Tirana

Prosound ensures BlacklineX makes its mark in Tirana

Albania – With their systems featured in many countries around the globe Martin Audio is now making inroads in the Albanian capital of Tirana, thanks to its distributor Prosound and the BlacklineX series loudspeakers.

The most recent installation of this potent system has been at the L’Uva Bistro Lounge, situated in the heart of Tirana’s nightlife area.

Based in the same city, Prosound was brought in by the venue owner, who was looking to undertake a total renovation. The venue itself is a one-room, 250-capacity establishment, with a veranda by the entrance, which trades through the day and late into the night. Background music during the day makes way for a DJ and occasionally live bands during the weekends.

With this in mind, L’Uva required a sound system with the capability of handling electronic DJ music and live bands, with high SPL levels during the busy weekend nights. At the same time it had to be sufficiently compact to be discreet during working hours in the daytime. ”Other brands were considered but Martin Audio was chosen because of its sound quality and value for money,” stated Prosound technical director / sales manager, Endrit Veleshnja.

Prosound managing director, Kliton Gjika, who designed the system and managed the project, takes up the story.

The BlacklineX series is an excellent choice, offering a combination of high quality and value for money. All models in the range have surprisingly compact enclosures, making them ideal to install in multifunctional venues where a discreet look is also important for the architecture and the design. At the same time they deliver extremely good sound quality with excellent SPL levels.”

Eight of the Blackline X12 have been deployed around the venue. Featuring a 12” (300mm) LF driver unit and a 1” (25mm) exit compression driver on a user-rotatable horn, its 80° x 50° dispersion pattern is ideal for this type of application. Providing LF extension are four X115 (1 x 15in) subwoofers.

Prosound’s installer Armand Dosti said he was amazed by the flexibility of the X12, particularly when rotating the horn and orientation of the speaker horizontally. “Then the flexibility of the mounting points and use of brackets ensured perfect placement.”

This is not the first time Prosound have recommended this solution, having installed a similar package in another Tirana nightclub, located nearby.

Summarising the project, Kliton Gjika said: “This set-up was one of many that our company has undertaken over the years and once again we managed it with confidence. The new system has met all expectations and the owner is delighted with the purchase.

As for the support from the Martin Audio staff, they are extremely dynamic, and always keen to help in any situation.”

Prosound ensures BlacklineX makes its mark in Tirana Prosound ensures BlacklineX makes its mark in Tirana

19th March 2019

New Elation lighting system for prestigious folk music venue The Ark

New Elation lighting system for prestigious folk music venue The Ark

USA – When nationally renowned folk music venue The Ark in Ann Arbor, Michigan, recently upgraded its audio system to create a state-of-the-art listening space, the company also decided to provide the best possible lighting for artists by replacing some older incandescent fixtures with an Elation Professional LED lighting package of Fuze PAR Z60 IP luminaires and SixBar 1000 IP battens.

Designer and programmer of the new lighting system is Kent Cubbage, who specified the lighting console and Elation fixtures in cooperation with lighting vendor and installer Fantasee Lighting of Belleville, Michigan. “When you’re dealing with The Ark, you’re dealing with a piece of history,” Cubbage said of the intimate 400-seat venue steeped in decades of American music narrative. “My goal was to create a rig that visually emulated the classic PAR rig it was replacing.”

To mimic that vintage PAR look, Cubbage used 30 Fuze PAR Z60 IP single source PAR luminaires, which have a lens face that appears as one colour instead of individual LED diodes for a non-pixel look reminiscent of traditional LED wash fixtures. “With the COB single source, they emulated the PARs they were replacing,” he states. “I knew if I put up a bunch of LEDs, the extremely loyal audience at The Ark would be offended by the ‘skittles’ look.” Cubbage also needed a fixture with a wide angle to deal with the room’s low trim and because the designer had used Fuze PARs for a previous outdoor install, he knew they were IP rated and therefore fanless and quiet. “The Fuze checked all my boxes: LED, quiet, old-school source look and wide angle.”

Because space on the floor is at a premium, all of the Fuze fixtures hang overhead with some outfitted with barndoors, which Fantasee project manager Nate Mulvihill says are wonderfully effective. “Having the barndoors was huge for us,” he said. “It’s a sleek fixture so you don’t need the barndoor, but having the option was important as all the audio is in the air and we use them to peek around the speakers and keep light just on the stage.”

Providing a beautiful backline wall wash are 12 SixBar 1000 IP battens with six-colour LED multi-chip. “The room is backed with a big black curtain and I pushed hard to get some lights on that,” Cubbage says. “I was pretty insistent that having the ability to colour the backdrop was going to be a game-changer for them, especially in terms of the photos and video coming out of there.” The SixBar measures 34" long but is exceptionally thin and its narrow profile was key. “We put these fixtures into a four-inch slot between the curtain track and the backlight pipe, and while we had to make our own hanging hardware, the fixtures themselves fit right in there.”

Cubbage had used the non-IP version of the SixBar batten in the past and says he knew it was bright and responsive but wasn’t sure how it would work as a cyc fixture. “The pixel mapping was a huge bonus for me,” he says. “I love the look of a great big colour fan as a static backdrop, and the versatility of the intensity and colour effects you can run for different genres and tempos of music has been great.”

Because The Ark is a space where some of the biggest names in folk music often perform solo and frequently with only an acoustic guitar, silent fixtures were a must. “We went with IP rated fixtures, not because they needed the IP rating but because it’s a folk music venue and fan noise is a real issue,” said Fantasee’s Nate Mulvihill, who installed the lighting. In fact, trim heights are so low that the FOH lights are right over the audience’s head. LD Cubbage adds that a further consideration was creating a lighting rig that didn’t require maintenance or having volunteers climbing ladders to focus every night.

The project came to fruition in late 2018 with the install taking place over a quick three-day period in late January. “Fantasee did a fantastic job as both vendor and installer,” Cubbage said. “We finished out the purchase process in a flurry of activity before the end of the year, and their rep and I were both back-and-forth on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to make it happen on time. In the prep process, they worked with me to solve some issues with shooting under the PA, and they pretty much nailed knowing how many people to have on site for how long. They also solved issues like fabricating new feet for the SixBars and adding new hanging positions.”

The designer acknowledges Fantasee’s Barb Silber, who took time out on Christmas to ensure the install was on track, as well as Fantasee’s Nate Mulvihill, the lead on the install and someone Cubbage calls “just incredibly smart and experienced.” He also commends Joe Giese, technical manager at The Ark, who worked with Cubbage through the entire process and has been using the lighting on a daily basis. Giese commented: "After almost 20 years, the Ark has finally gotten a production face lift! I'm very proud to have been a part of bringing the latest LED lighting technology to one of the country's finest music venues. Elation makes up the bulk of the fixtures in the room now, and we couldn't be happier with the look, the customer support, and the flexibility of these lights. We've only been using them for a few weeks and not a show goes by without at least a few comments about how great our space looks."

One of the most respected music venues in the country, The Ark has been in existence in various locations since 1965. Renowned for top quality folk and roots music, with live music over 300 nights a year, the new lighting and audio systems are sure to help maintain The Ark’s elite status.

New Elation lighting system for prestigious folk music venue The Ark New Elation lighting system for prestigious folk music venue The Ark

18th March 2019

Renkus-Heinz a Clear Solution for URI's Higgins Welcome Center

Renkus-Heinz a Clear Solution for URI\'s Higgins Welcome Center
Renkus-Heinz a Clear Solution for URI\'s Higgins Welcome Center

USA – Like many great universities, the University of Rhode Island began as an agricultural school. Now a major research university with a beautiful campus near the Atlantic Ocean, the university celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2017. In September 2018, URI opened its new 11,000 square foot Robert J. Higgins Welcome Center, a stylish interactive facility that will serve 50,000 annual visitors, including prospective students and their families, visiting scholars, guest lecturers, and community and business leaders.

The Higgins Welcome Center hosts many presentations and other events in its Hope Room, an approximately 50-foot-deep by 44-foot-wide space. The room's AV system features a 3x3 video wall flanked by a pair of Renkus-Heinz IC16-RN digitally steerable line arrays, part of the ICONYX Gen 5 series.

"The Hope Room has an interesting architectural layout," offers senior consultant Brian Masiello of Acentech who designed the space's AV system. "The main space is rectangular and has a cathedral-style, peaked ceiling about 28 or 29 feet high. A wall on the house left, if you're facing the video wall and loudspeakers, separates the main room from the kitchen. At house right, by the windows, the room extends out and has a low, flat ceiling."

Acentech was involved in the project from the beginning, working with architectural firm DBVW Architects. "One of our acoustical consultants had discussions with the architect on acoustics recommendations," Masiello notes. "The space is not overly reverberant but we could not hang a distributed system with pendants; in a space like this, no architect would like that. Fortunately, we have a lot of experience with Renkus-Heinz, and I was confident from prior experience that ICONYX would be a good solution."

The Renkus-Heinz' ICONYX Gen5 IC16-RN loudspeakers that Masiello specified feature 16 4-inch coaxial transducers, each with three high-frequency tweeters, along with 16 amplifier and DSP channels. Each column can deliver up to eight steerable beams, which can be individually shaped and aimed using powerful, software-controlled DSP. Beam control is effective down to 400Hz.

Systems integrator Adtech Systems installed the two IC16-RN columns approximately 6.5 feet above the floor. "Niches were designed to house the loudspeakers and the video wall so the speakers would be flush with the surface of the wall," describes Masiello. "We wanted to make sure that the loudspeakers were as close to the front wall surface as possible and not set back so far in the niches that there would be obstructions. We could then aim beams to cover all of the low-ceiling side section on house right." The loudspeaker niches were then covered with black loudspeaker grille cloth.The Hope Room has no permanent seating; the staff brings in chairs as needed. All presentations are focused on the video wall area, with a lectern located underneath and in front of the IC16-RN column on house left. A floor box at the lectern location and some wall box inputs enable connection of wired microphones, and the system also includes wireless mics.

"ICONYX loudspeakers have a wide pattern, so I was not concerned about hitting the side areas," Masiello assures. "The two columns did a great job of covering the entire space. But we did set limits on system level and mic levels to ensure we wouldn't have feedback because the lectern mic is in directly front of the left speaker, and we couldn't steer the beams completely around it. We also had to cover the area on the far left by the kitchen wall. So we had to shoot audio over the presenter as much as we could. Even then, because of where the client locates the first row of seats when they bring in chairs, we had to tuck the pattern in fairly tightly. But with that done, it works well."

Although speech intelligibility was a primary concern for presentations and guest speakers, events can include video with a soundtrack and perhaps program music. To ensure rich, full low-frequency sound reinforcement for these applications, Masiello specified one Renkus-Heinz PN212-SUB dual 12-inch subwoofer, mounted in a niche at floor level, below the center of the video wall. As with the IC16-RN columns, the niche is also covered with a black grille cloth. Although the subwoofer is on the floor, Masiello explains, "coupling with the floor wasn't a concern. The floor is on grade, with no basement."

A Biamp TesiraFORTÉ audio DSP manages the system. All connections are analog. Microphones connect directly to the DSP from floor and wall boxes or wireless receivers, and the DSP provides mic preamps, level control, and routing. Program audio associated with video-say, from a laptop-goes to a Crestron digital media system that uses its video transmitters to send to a video switch, and from there audio is sent to the processor. A Crestron touch screen provides user control of microphone and programme audio levels.

"We're very pleased with this project," declares Masiello. "Adtech Systems did a great job with the install, and we enjoyed a good working relationship with them, as well as with DBVW Architects. Renkus-Heinz ICONYX loudspeakers gave us the ability to steer the beams where we wanted them, and the sound quality is excellent. The Renkus-Heinz ICONYX did exactly what we wanted."

18th March 2019

Upgrading to Clair Brothers a Big Win for Netherland’s Victorie Music Club

Upgrading to Clair Brothers a Big Win for Netherland’s Victorie Music Club
Upgrading to Clair Brothers a Big Win for Netherland’s Victorie Music Club

The Netherlands – Podium Victorie, located in the Alkmaar region of the Netherlands, has been a well-known venue for many years hosting a wide range of classic and contemporary bands from all over the world. Though very successful at its original location, Victorie recently moved, its operators opting for an exciting relocation into the city of Alkmaar. With an upgrade in venue, owners of the club decided this was a logical opportunity to upgrade their entire sound system. After reviewing numerous competitive demos, it was the Clair Brothers system demonstrated by The Audio Specialists that rose to the top and they were awarded with the installation of a collection of its stellar products.

The key in the new venue was to find the right balance to deliver a level of acoustic quality concert-goers and performers alike would appreciate as something truly special. The Clair Brothers demo made the decision easy because of the way it achieved acoustic balance in the new room from the start. The main system install includes a Clair Brothers i212 line array supported with infill kiT series and in the smaller venue by several kiTCurve+ loudspeakers and subwoofers, along with their 1AM and 1.5AM floor monitors. “We managed to get so much more than the proposal stated,” explains Robin van Lingen, the chief engineer at Podium Victorie. “We’re so proud of the result after installing Clair Brothers in our new venue. The acoustics are great, and the sound is surprisingly better than expected. What I mean by that is, other loudspeaker brands told us that our venue required a 15-inch line array, but Clair Brothers suggested a 12-inch line array. The surprising part is that the 12-inch line array from Clair Brothers fills our entire room with better sound that the 15-inch. And because the 12-inch is smaller, the sight lines are clearer than if we had gone with a different brand.”

To complete the install, The Audio Specialists selected Lake D Series amplifiers and a Lake LM44 for additional processing and Midas Pro X Series consoles for FOH and monitor positions. All together, the result is a winning sound system not only worthy of its new city location, it makes the name “Victorie” as appropriate and as meaningful as ever.

Technicians of Victorie reflect: “Ever since opening, we consistently receive compliments about the quality of the system from bands and fans alike. Our multiple engineers love to work with it, too. In retrospect, choosing Clair Brothers was the wisest decision we could’ve made. We’re so glad we did!”

18th March 2019

Liberty University Chooses Ayrton Mistral and Ghibli Spot Luminaires for Lighting Flexibility on Campus

Liberty University Chooses Ayrton Mistral and Ghibli Spot Luminaires for Lighting Flexibility on Campus
Liberty University Chooses Ayrton Mistral and Ghibli Spot Luminaires for Lighting Flexibility on Campus

USA – Liberty University of Lynchburg, Virginia has invested in a complement of Ayrton Mistral and Ghibli LED spot luminaires for a variety of uses on its campus.

The Mistrals were delivered last autumn to Event Production, the department which provides audio, video and lighting support for any event on campus, including concerts, conferences and speaking events. The Mistrals are mounted in truss in a multi-use event space, which hosts a wide array of entertainment programmes and gatherings.

“We were looking to replace the venue’s spots with an LED option,” recalls Amy Caun, lighting director/production technician with Event Production. “We didn’t want to worry about lamp life, power and heat, and we needed a fixture that was flexible enough for all of the events held in the event space.

“One of our technicians had seen Mistral at a trade show. Doug Mekanik, our rep at ACT Lighting, also recommended them to us and provided a demo unit for us to try out,” she says. “Mistral was the right size, and it was bright and flexible. We were impressed by its zoom, colour mixing, the saturated colour you can get without losing brightness, and the effects capabilities.”

Event Production purchased the fixtures from Barbizon and has been pleased with how “they really enhance the concerts and events we support,” including concerts by Red, Tedashii, Jenny & Tyler, and Peabod, she says. “They’re a great addition to the event space, and for smaller events they add texture on the walls and floor and colour around the room. We like the cool sparkle effects and the morphing capabilities between effects wheels.”

Caun adds that Event Production hopes to order more Mistrals for their inventory in the future to 'further increase our creative options."

When Caun and her team tried out Mistral they also looked at Ayrton’s Ghibli LED spot luminaire with factory-equipped framing shutters. The response was positive and they have just taken delivery of Ghibli units for the auditorium in Liberty’s new School of Business, which is an installed venue still under construction but will function as both a lecture hall for classes and a venue for televised debates. “We need a front light option for the new auditorium, a space where the lights are not easily accessible,” Caun explains.

“We wanted an LED spot, with framing shutters, good CRI and light output if we want to broadcast from that venue. We also needed a fixture that we could aim remotely. Ghibli checked all those boxes. We thought it would give us maximum flexibility in the new room.” The Ghibli fixtures were purchased from 4Wall.

Liberty University Chooses Ayrton Mistral and Ghibli Spot Luminaires for Lighting Flexibility on CampusLiberty University Chooses Ayrton Mistral and Ghibli Spot Luminaires for Lighting Flexibility on Campus

18th March 2019

Epic Studios Go Big with Allen & Heath in Quarter-Million Pound Audio Investment

Epic Studios Go Big with Allen & Heath in Quarter-Million Pound Audio Investment
Epic Studios Go Big with Allen & Heath in Quarter-Million Pound Audio Investment

UK – Top-tier TV production company and music venue, Epic Studios – whose clientele has included shows such as ‘Top Gear’ and ‘WWE Wrestling’ – has embarked on a major audio upgrade of its Norwich premises with Allen & Heath dLive and SQ mixing systems.

“I’d been hearing many positive comments about the dLive and SQ series on social media and after seeing them in use on major world tours and appearing on technical riders, I was very keen to try one out,” comments Matt Rabong (technical manager at Epic Studios). “I used to work exclusively on another desk, however after getting my hands on a dLive S7000 at InfoComm, I knew this was the perfect desk for us. dLive has integrated seamlessly with our workflow and my engineers love it! It was extremely easy to train everybody on its features.”

As well as Epic’s TV productions, the facility is fully customisable and caters for a variety of productions and events; from television programmes and game shows to sporting events, corporate events, arena gigs (with artists such as Chase & Status and Newton Faulkner) and even private functions and intimate shows.

The installation also features a large investment in Martin Audio’s flagship MLA PA system, which integrates seamlessly with dLive. David Wallace (sound engineer at Epic Studios) comments: “The MLA integration with dLive is great and the MADI and Dante connectivity are perfect for our demanding broadcast requirements."

Rabong continues: “The sound quality in dLive is superb and it gives us incredible fidelity through our new MLA compact rig. We invested in a full suite of gigaACE, MADI and Dante cards for the DM48 MixRack to enable us to have digital splits to broadcast in our full HD production gallery, as well as 48-way multitrack recording directly to a laptop at FOH and audio distribution to other parts of the building using Dante. The quality of the onboard FX is amazing and having up to 64 multi-band compressors across any channel type is very useful.”

Wallace adds: “Whilst researching desk options, dLive seemed to be the best in terms of high-quality audio, functionality and ease of use. The live experience is a dream to work with - it's powerful and flexible but also robust and reliable.”

With dLive being used as Epic Studios’ FOH desk, the team further invested in an SQ-7, used primarily as their main monitor desk. Rabong adds, “The SQ-7 broadens our flexibility in the studio and allows us to run a dedicated monitor desk – with a digital split from the gigaACE card in our DM48 MixRack or an analogue split available in house – or even as a stand-alone broadcast desk, multitrack recording direct from its built-in USB out. If we have a smaller event or need to fit into a tighter space, we can also use the SQ-7 as a FOH mixer. The software is also really intuitive and it’s been very easy for my technical staff to get to grips with.”

Rabong concludes: “Investing in Allen & Heath has given us a great deal more flexibility as a venue overnight and has increased our audio quality for our audiences in a big way.”

15th March 2019

White Light Illuminates the Science Museum with Yamaha

White Light Illuminates the Science Museum with Yamaha
White Light Illuminates the Science Museum with Yamaha

UK – Illuminate is a progressive new venue at London’s Science Museum, designed to both anticipate and surpass the needs of the ever-evolving events industry. Technical solutions specialist White Light (WL) has been appointed as the venue’s production partner and chose a Yamaha QL1 digital mixing console for the space’s flexible audio system.

Situated on Levels 4 and 5 of the Science Museum, Illuminate couples state-of-the-art technology with flexible spaces and stunning views of the City, offering a unique and productive experience for all clients. Thanks to its long-standing relationship with the Science Museum and reputation for managing similar venues across London, WL was trusted with designing and installing the technical infrastructure. The installation was overseen by WL’s project manager Jason Larcombe.

“The Science Museum came to us with their vision for the space and what they wanted to achieve,” he says. “They wanted an intuitive and user-friendly system that would satisfy the demands of any client; covering everything from the biggest conferences to much more intimate events. It was our task to select a range of products to create a bespoke installation for Illuminate to fulfil that vision.”

Jason chose a Yamaha QL1 digital console for portable control of Illuminate’s audio system, which is based on a Dante network. This is similar to the system which WL devised and installed at Central Hall Westminster, where it serves as the venue’s production service partner.

“Yamaha is a brand name that people expect to see in a corporate environment and one which users know is completely reliable,” he says. “We use the QL1 in our other managed venues, because it delivers exceptional sound quality and has the internal processing to allow users a multitude of options. It’s completely reliable and can be used by the majority of technicians and operators without any formal training. So we knew from both experience and reputation that the QL1 would be the most suitable for Illuminate.”

He continues: “We wanted to create a technical set-up that had ultimate flexibility and the Dante network makes it much easier to bring in additional resources and for these to immediately be connectable. For example, instead of having to run multiple cables across the stage, Dante means one Cat 6 cable can go into a very simple interface unit and microphones can be plugged in accordingly. By having all of the audio elements designed to sit on this one digital network, you can move additional fixtures around before immediately plugging them back into the network.”

Reece Stead, Yamaha’s Commercial Audio sales representative for the south-east UK, says: “We are very pleased that WL chose a Yamaha digital mixer for Illuminate. It seems particularly fitting that both companies are represented at the Science Museum’s groundbreaking new events space, showcasing the possibilities of what is possible with the latest audio technology.”

White Light Illuminates the Science Museum with YamahaWhite Light Illuminates the Science Museum with Yamaha

15th March 2019

Alcons Audio Helps To PAC In Canadian Movie Audiences

Alcons Audio Helps To PAC In Canadian Movie Audiences

Canada – Opened in 2015, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (PAC) is a 95,000ft2, state-of-the-art cultural and education facility, located in the Canadian city of St Catharines. It includes the Film House Screen & Stage, a 199-seat digital movie screening room which features an Alcons Audio pro-ribbon CRMS Cinema Reference Monitor System.

As well as the Film House Screen & Stage, PAC features two large theatres and a studio theatre. Situated next to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, part of the city’s Brock University, PAC attracts 125,000 visitors every year and 500 university students daily, many of whom attend lectures in the Film House Screen & Stage.

As it is used for both public screenings and education, high audio quality in the Film House was a key requirement. The audio system was designed by Connecticut-based acoustic consultants Jaffe Holden and installed by Ontario-based Westbury National Show Systems.

The initial design was for a different system, but this was changed to an Alcons pro-ribbon solution for a number of reasons, a key one being that the sound quality of the CRMS is fantastic,” says Ben Bausher, Associate Principal, Audio/Video at Jaffe Holden. “Our aim is to deliver systems where every component is as good and as well-suited to the environment as it can possibly be. We felt that this is a space which really played to the strengths of the CRMS technology.”

The system comprises three Alcons CRMS mkII Cinema Reference Monitor Systems and a pair of CB362 high-output full-size subwoofer systems mounted behind the screen. A pair of CB181sl shallow subwoofer systems and eight CRMS-SR reference surrounds are mounted on the ceiling, firing down. The system is powered and controlled by three Alcons Sentinel3 and one Sentinel10 amplified loudspeaker controllers.

Thanks to the renowned, superior ‘out of the box’ performance of Alcons pro-ribbon technology, the system proved very straightforward to tune and has helped to make the space one of the city’s favourite movie theatres.

The client has been extremely happy with the system from day one,” says Ben. “There have been no requests for any changes since it was set up and it has immediately become one of St Catharines most popular movie houses.”

15th March 2019

The BRIT School gets students industry ready with DiGiCo SD12 consoles

The BRIT School gets students industry ready with DiGiCo SD12 consoles

UK - For over a quarter of a century, The BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology has been giving its pupils an incredible grounding in the performing arts and the technology surrounding them. To this end, one of its latest investments is the DiGiCo SD12 consoles chosen, says Andrew Smith (technical manager at the school), because they offer a platform that not only makes sense for the range and requirements of the school’s performances, but also because they offer the most relevant experience for students that will soon be looking for a job in the industry.

Situated in Croydon, South London, The Brit School is a state-funded school for ages 14 to 18 and is dedicated to ‘Education and vocational training for the performing arts, media, art and design, and the technologies that make performance possible’, as well as providing a core GCSE study programme. It boasts a list of highly successful alumni and lays claim to 99 per cent of graduating students going on to find work in the creative industries or enrolling in higher education. These impressive results are down to dedication, a carefully curated curriculum and equipment that allows its students to go out in the real world.

"A really high proportion of students go directly into the industry as riggers, sound engineers and lighting programmers and controllers, all the way through to people taking their study further, maybe at one of the well-known universities operating in our field,” confirms Andrew. “We’re proud of that. We are energised by making sure that people have an awareness of the industry and that they can make a career."

A major emphasis for the course is real-world production practice, with students from the Production Arts course providing lighting and sound requirements for its own productions. The intensity of the School’s performance programme was one of the driving factors that lead to a search for new consoles.

"We have performances going on simultaneously in multiple venues, including our two fully-equipped theatres: the Obie Theatre (named after the late music exec Maurice Oberstein) and the BRIT Theatre,” explains Andrew. “Making a further investment DiGiCo SD consoles made absolute sense. We purchased two SD12s, which means we can train students on a tool that will allow them to work in a broad range of genres.

The consoles were supplied and installed by HD Pro Audio, which has worked with the school since its inception in 1991. Sales Director Andy Huffer notes that the SD12 is particularly suited to its wide-ranging production and learning requirements.

"The School already had a number of SD consoles, so it was familiar with the technology,” says Andy. “The SD12 is a fantastic 'all-rounder', suitable for both bands and theatre work and will mean that graduating students are already familiar with the popular DiGiCo platform when go out into the industry."

“In the music industry, the SD Range is very much at the top of the tree,” adds Andrew. “It's the same in musical theatre where we see large-scale consoles coming into play. Teaching on them is great, because students know they’re a piece of kit they have to get their heads around if they are going to work in the industry, and that means they progress rapidly.”

The integrated USB recording interface on the SD12 is also a key learning tool for the school.

“If you’ve never engineered before, you can do prior training, but actually doing it for real is where you learn the skill of the quick decision making that's needed,” says Andrew. “Then, in a calmer environment, you can analyse what you’ve done and improve on it. Outside the live performances we can use those recordings to give students a safe environment for learning to engineer.

"We’re passionate about the creative and performing arts. We have industry professionals involved at every level and we want to make opportunities for young people in an industry we love. Being able to have relevant equipment, such as the SD12, is a key part of that."

www.digico.org

15th March 2019

DiGiCo

Opéra Garnier upgrades to ETC Eos

Opéra Garnier upgrades to ETC Eos
Opéra Garnier upgrades to ETC Eos

France – In 2017, one of the most prestigious venues in France, the Opéra Garnier in Paris, updated its lighting consoles to a selection of ETC Eos desks. The Eos consoles were unanimously chosen by Jacques Giovanangeli, the head of the lighting department, and his team of 42 lighting professionals.

The previous console lacked the technological capabilities required for modern moving lights, and needed replacing to keep up with the venue’s demands. Fully aware of this, Jacques and his team began research to identify the best option and narrowed the search down to three potential consoles and conducted demos of each. They compared the different interfaces by paying attention to the ergonomics of programming a show, the ease of use of moving lights, and the precision of colour control.

The switch to an ETC Eos system was strongly encouraged by the whole technical team. The design quality, adaptability to the opera, and colour tools made the Eos family stand out. ''The reason for this choice was based on more than just the quality of the product,'' notes Giovanangeli. ''I frequently travel to operas and theatres in France and abroad. I found Eos consoles in many places, such as the Bolshoi in Moscow, the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Staatsoper in Vienna and many other prestigious places like The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden in London and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The combination of the technical endorsement from my team and the observations I made on each journey led to us choosing Eos.”

''Co-productions continue to increase between the major opera houses and many lighting engineers work mainly on Eos consoles. With Eos, we can anticipate what’s coming by sharing files,” comments Giovanangeli.

In total, four Eos family consoles joined the Palais Garnier with three Eos Ti desks, two in the control room and one in the workshop. A Gio @5 is also on stage if an engineer would like to operate lighting from the stage. The whole system communicates in ETCNet3 (ACN) and the main console controls all the fixtures over sACN. To complete the installation, two RVIs (Remote Video Interface) are also available from the stage.

This RVI system enables remote viewing of the console screens and local programming of the Eos system. This allows the opera house to offer the production manager a tool to view the desk’s displays from the stage making interactions with the lighting technicians easier.

Approved in early 2017, the integration of the consoles in the Opéra had to wait for the summer break. With the renovation of the control room also taking place in late August and early September, the technicians had to work quickly to transition the consoles. Giovanangeli says: “The installation of the consoles was completed in record time and the team managed to release the first show, which was a large production, without any pitfalls.”

Jérôme Denime, one of the two opera lighting team leaders, adds: “We had to learn this new work environment and develop new habits. For example, previously we had to set all the spotlight parameters in each cue. Now, as Eos works with 'tracking' logic, the parameters follow from one cue to another. There is no need to edit them entirely since they track from the previous position. It is much easier, but we had to get used to checking the states so that there aren’t any mistakes. The interface is very useful for tracking the state of the fixtures. In the end, the switch has saved us time overall. We are already completely comfortable with the system and we are still discovering new functions, especially as updates come out.”

A training program made the transition smooth for the entire lighting staff. The teams were able to get gradually accustomed to the new interface before putting on the first show and tackle the 860 dimmers with more than 100 moving lights.

In an effort to continuously improve training efforts, ETC France is currently revamping its training programme to serve its end users better. The new ETC subsidiary will improve the provision of trainings through its network of partners.

Over the past few months, many French venues have also chosen Eos consoles, such as the Opéra de Bordeaux (Dushow installation) and the Opéra de Versailles. ETC offers consoles appropriate for the theatre market with the Eos system and the touring market with the High End Systems Hog 4 range. With ETC France, these internationally renowned consoles will have even better support throughout France.

photos: Jonathan Grimaux

www.etcconnect.com

13th March 2019

ETC

Martin Audio WPL for Schmallenberg’s City Hall

Martin Audio WPL for Schmallenberg’s City Hall

Germany – Since the laying of the foundation stone in 1953, Stadthalle Schmallenberg in Germany has been able to accommodate various events, such as concerts, readings, shooting festivals (popular in that party of the country) and more, with up to 1,500 participants per event.

An extensive refurbishment of the Stadthalle was completed in early March 2019, and this included the renewal of sound and lighting technology. The complete planning and implementation were realised by Event Active, a company from Schmallenberg.

Noel Büchte and Event Active's Sascha Deussen created the concept and implemented the PA system with loudspeakers from Martin Audio.

"We have already owned an MLA Mini System for several years, which has often been used in the Stadthalle. The result was always convincing, both for the customer and for us, no matter if it was for theatre, a big party or with trendy DJs," said Büchte.

But the choice for permanent installation fell to Martin Audio’s the new Wavefront Precision Mini. The Wavefront Precision series includes three models, from the Mini (2 x 6.5 ") to the Compact (2 x 10") to the Longbow (2 x 12 "), making it perfect for a wide variety of applications.

"The advantage of the Wavefront Precision Minis over the MLA Mini for installations is in the structure of the system. With the MLA Mini the power amp is installed in the bass, but here we have the appropriate power amp available as a separate 19” device. Furthermore, the native bass of the MLA Mini is a 15” subwoofer. But we needed more low-end for the size of the hall, so we opted for two double-18 "subwoofers. Thanks to the software interface, the system parameters could easily be loaded into the power amplifier so that the subs can be perfectly integrated,” Deussen explains.

With the help of the display software from Martin Audio, the emission characteristics and level distribution can be simulated very precisely on the computer, so that the resulting preset file only has to be loaded into the final stage via the control and VU-Net remote software.

In the Wavefront series, the system can be driven in the maximum resolution, when each box receives its own amp channel. Event Active decided on this optimum system setup for the one-box solution.

“Budget-oriented applications may adopt the four-box solution, so that four speakers are powered by a single amp channel. The advantage of the one-box solution is a maximum coherent coverage of the audience area and a very precise demarcation to the non-sonic areas,” Noel Büchte explains of the Wavefront Precision technology.

The complete cabling adopts the Dante protocol, which can directly process the system amplifiers from Martin Audio without additional plug-in cards. In the 40-meter-long hall, eight Wavefront Precision Minis are used per side, supported by two SX218 subwoofers. As a frontfill DD6 can be used where necessary and if monitors are needed, two XE300 wedges are available. In the foyer, six Martin Audio CDD5 speakers provide the perfect sound, running on a 100V line. One or more channels can be designed as 100 V outlets via the software interface and do not require a separate 100 V power amplifier.

Following the refurbishment, Stadhalle Schmallenberg reopened on 3rd March with a concert by Tom Astor.

13th March 2019

Cultural Clubbing in Kunming

Cultural Clubbing in Kunming
Cultural Clubbing in Kunming

China – Creative director Daan Oomen and his team from Netherlands-based visual specialists Live Legends have delivered another outstanding club project in China – OT Kun in Kunming – following up their stunning work at One Third in Beijing.

At the core of the lighting rig are 56 Robe MegaPointes and 110 Spikies chosen by Daan and Live Legends’ lighting designer/production manager, Serge Patist.

They were again working for NOA’s Arc Group as the design partner for this newest flagship venue, a 1,500 capacity property that includes 50 VIP tables positioned right in the centre of the main room action around the dance floor.

Prominent guests can therefore be in the vortex of an immersive lighting, video, automation and visual experience, all designed and specified by Live Legends. The long-term objective is to create a series of ground-breaking clubs that unite imagination and cutting-edge technologies, offering a totally new eye-popping clubbing phenom.

The scope of Live Legends’ work included everything from the front façade, coat check and reception areas to the main room and dance floor, co-ordinating all the visual disciplines with the goal of repeating the success of One Third Beijing but with a completely different look and feel, offering an unprecedented journey for guests and adventurers.

The MegaPointes are deployed around the main room’s central feature which is a ring of square objects clad in video panels presenting a prominent circle shape. This was inspired by Yunnan tribal necklaces and headpieces, known for their beauty, interesting shapes and vibrant colours.

The 100 Spikies are also dotted around the central feature as well as the DJ booth.

Daan and Serge have used Robe products on several previous designs including One Third Beijing that has over 400 Robe moving lights in the rig.

Spikies were again chosen for their small size, versatility, 360-degree rotation and for being able to be squeezed into the tightest gaps.

MegaPointes were selected for their incredible power and intensity, together with the richness of the colours, excellent gobo choice and numerous other creative features.

Both these popular Robe luminaires were also picked for their proven reliability, general dynamics and the flexibility they bring to an installation of this type.

OT Kun also has many other lights including LED strips and strobes plus a substantial automation system and lasers.

Daan explained that the biggest challenge was maintaining an overall intimacy in the space, emphasising the spectacular and dramatic beam-work around the room and creating a good balance between the aura of international clubbing and the friendly vibes of the city.

As implied in the VIP table layout, Chinese clubs traditionally don’t have massive dance floors. There is more emphasis on being seen to be there at the tables with the right influencers and fine champagnes, which is totally different to European style EDM where venues are geared more towards music and dancing.

At OT Kun, being able to enjoy the visual outlook and soak up the ambience from your VIP table is key.

The design direction for the club also embraces local Yunnan culture. Kunming is the capital of the south-eastern China province and an important financial centre. It’s known as ‘The Spring City’ for its excellent climate. “Everything is super green and there’s a multitude of parks alive with the scent and vibrancy of flowers, foliage and trees,” explained Daan. “We wanted to reflect some of this impressive natural beauty in the design and combine it with a thrilling EDM experience.”

Lighting control is via a grandMA2 full size, with a disguise 4x4 media server and Resolume running the video and pixel elements and a Pangolin for the lasers.

All the lighting equipment was supplied via MRT in Shanghai and installer Topfair, both co-owned by the NOA’s Arc Group, which kept everything efficient and in-house.

Daan and his colleagues have trained up local operators who will run all the systems day-to-day. Integral to this largely technical process was ensuring they also understood the design concepts and the way the pre-programmed visual shows need to run and bring various stories to life.

Considerable time was spent on all the many custom aspects and OT Kun is right at the bleeding edge of entertainment technology in China’s burgeoning club sector with its multiple premium global brands and systems.

Working alongside Daan under the Live Legend umbrella were several other highly talented individuals including Stefan Peters who created the concept design and interior aesthetics; Bas Knappers who was associate LD and laser programmer and Thomas de Vries, co-associate LD and programmer.

Rody van Gessel was the chief video engineer and media programmer and he worked closely with content creators Desiree van Giesen and Jim de Brouwer. Joshua Dutrieux produced the soundtracks for the pre-programmed time-coded shows that Daan and the team delivered as part of the visual package.

An “awesome” crew of freelancers were also involved, working directly for Live Legends.

As the second high-profile Chinese club installation for Live Legends, Daan has appreciated the learning curve and now feels increasingly familiar with the specific nuances and demands of Chinese clubbing culture. He keeps this knowledge in the forefront when ‘telling the story’ through smart experiential design.

“Ultimately the bottom line for any successful nightclub is uniting people and bringing them together through music, visuality and great vibes and you can apply this general rule in multiple different and imaginative formats wherever you are in the world.”

photos: Nico Alsengeest

www.robe.cz

Cultural Clubbing in KunmingCultural Clubbing in Kunming

12th March 2019

Robe Lighting

Renkus-Heinz Helps Living Museum Tell Atturaif's Ancient History

Renkus-Heinz Helps Living Museum Tell Atturaif\'s Ancient History
Renkus-Heinz Helps Living Museum Tell Atturaif\'s Ancient History

Saudi Arabia – The ancient mud citadel of Atturaif perched on a high hill overlooking the Wadi Hanifah valley for about 300 years before becoming the capital of the first Saudi dynasty in the 18th century. The capital moved to nearby Riyadh when the Ottomans invaded, and over the years, Atturaif's distinctively Arabian architecture fell into the ruins of the city of Ad Diriyah. In 2010, an ambitious effort was mounted to restore Atturaif, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and turn it into a major tourist attraction showcasing the region's history and culture. The result is the Atturaif Living Museum.

One important feature of the Living Museum is an outdoor amphitheatre situated to allow projections onto the old walls. Animations about the site's key role in the country's long story are currently being shown. Delivering clear sound to accompany the projections to an audience situated across the large open space was a difficult challenge, which was handled with highly controlled sound beams from a high-impact Renkus-Heinz loudspeaker system, installed by Robert Cole of Automation Control Energy. "The biggest challenge was the huge area and the distances between the sound system and the public," points out Norbert Bau, Renkus-Heinz Middle East sales representative, "but as you would expect at a World Heritage site, there also is a particular need for impressively loud and clear sound."

Naturally, cosmetics are important in a restored historic site, too. "There are architectural restrictions on what we can do here," Bau admits, "and the system needs to be as invisible as possible and not interfere with the projection."

The Living Museum installed left and right arrays of five Renkus-Heinz STLA/9R line array loudspeaker systems per side, which play to the wide margins of the space. The STLA/9R maximises its output with dual CDT1.5 CoEntrant mid/high drivers and maintains constant directivity down to 200Hz using Renkus-Heinz's exclusive Isophasic Plane Wave Generator technology. STLA/9R loudspeakers are RHAON-empowered for flexible analogue and digital signal distribution, as well as loudspeaker management and control over an Ethernet network.

Sub-lows are handled by three Renkus-Heinz DR18-2R self-powered, direct radiating subwoofers per side. The DR18-2R has dual 18-inch drivers and ranges from 32 to 120Hz, and each enclosure can deliver up to 133dB SPL programme power (135dB SPL peak).

The centre section of the amphitheatre is covered by three ST9-44 three-way mid/high loudspeaker systems. The ST9-44 is an unpowered loudspeaker that features Renkus-Heinz's Complex Conic horns, which produce low-distortion reproduction for natural-sounding music and intelligible speech, and has the muscle to produce peak output levels up to 142dB SPL.

"It's a large area to cover, both broad and deep. We have to project sound a long way, yet retain intelligibility over the full distance and try to keep reflections down," Bau details. "Renkus-Heinz offered us an elegant solution, with line arrays for pattern control over the broad shoulders of the venue and ST9-44AS three-way speakers, which have a tight 40 x 40 coverage area and a lot of power, to fill the centre all the way back."

On each side of the venue, a single, low-profile Renkus-Heinz ICL-F-RN digitally steerable line array loudspeaker is installed in a surround position to provide additional rear fill or surround channels. Part of the IC Live Gen5 series, the ICL-F-RN lets you define up to four steerable beams, each with a different opening angle. The Living Museum also appreciated how unobtrusive the ICL-F-RN's slim cabinet is.

The amphitheatre is the primary presentation area in the Living Museum but not the only one. Six Renkus-Heinz ICL-F-DUAL-RN digitally steerable loudspeakers are deployed in other zones to support outdoor video projections. The ICL-F-DUAL-RN's extended height (95 inches/241.5 cm) enables it to throw a controlled beam of sound up to 160 feet (50 metres), enabling one or two loudspeakers to cover one of the smaller areas.

"Fidelity and intelligibility are tricky to attain in an ancient ruin, even one that has been restored," muses Bau. "I really have to thank Renkus-Heinz's support staff, who were instrumental in our getting the system right."

With the restoration of Atturaif and plantings of more than 14,000 indigenous trees and shrubs and 350 palm trees, Ad Diriyah is rising from its ruins to reclaim an important legacy in Saudi culture. "There are amazing stories in this place," marvels Bau, "and with this Renkus-Heinz system, I feel confident visitors will hear and understand every word of every story when it is told."

11th March 2019

Audient Heritage Edition Makes its Debut in Argentina

Audient Heritage Edition Makes its Debut in Argentina
Audient Heritage Edition Makes its Debut in Argentina

Argentina – Guitar and bass player, José Luis Fernández recently took delivery of an Audient ASP8024 Heritage Edition console – the first to arrive in Argentina – and it’s settling into his old-school studio well.

Best known for playing alongside Charlie Garcia in the 70s Argentinian rock band, ‘La Maquina de Hacer Pájaros’, Jose Luis has been getting to know his new desk. So far so good, they certainly speak the same language. “I could not imagine a studio without a console, I am an analogue guy,” he says. “All the benefits of analogue are very important when tracking, with respect to the cue and communication with the musicians. The Heritage does it very well,” he says.

“The first time I heard Audient was some years ago in a studio in Spain, a band I played in at the time was recording there with a classic ASP8024. I was quite impressed by all the features, even though It was the old model,” he explains. “Recently I had been looking at a small API console. I had liked the sound enough, but I missed all the benefits that a great console offers. When the guys from Planeta Analogico [the official Audient distributor in Argentina] told me they could get me the new Heritage edition, I had no doubt.

“One of the things that impressed me the most about the console is how silent it is. You can have all the faders up and you do not hear any hiss on the monitors. Also having inserts on the tape and in the mic and line separately with its respective switch is a great feature,” he adds.

Also a composer and producer, Jose Luis’s outboard gear consists of big brands including Neve, Manley and API. “I always used these devices in my DAW but I was never happy with mixing in the box,” he admits. Despite that, it was never his plan to have his own studio. It was more a question of needing a place to put all the gear he’d ‘accidentally’ accumulated over the years. “When I moved into the new house I realised I had a lot of stuff that just wasn’t going to fit into my living room. So I had to build a special room for it all!”

It sounds like the arrival of the console has sparked a general overhaul at his home studio: “For now we are finishing the wiring after which I will have to rethink the headset monitoring system so everything works great!”

A perfectionist, perhaps? Having known him for many years, Daniel Paracha from Planeta Analogico confirms Jose Luis will “only settle for the best!”

So he should. Audient wishes him all the very best with his new desk.

11th March 2019

Robe for House of Dancing Water Show Spectacular

Robe for House of Dancing Water Show Spectacular
Robe for House of Dancing Water Show Spectacular

China – The world’s largest and most spectacular water-based show, The House of Dancing Water, directed by the legendary Franco Dragone and staged in the purpose-built House of Dancing Water Theatre in Macau has just added 63 new Robe moving lights to the theatre’s rig.

The 41 BMFL Wash XFs and 21 Tarrantula LED wash beam lighting fixtures have now been installed in the theatre as part of a drive to upgrade the technical equipment to include more sustainable and advanced options than were available when the show launched in 2010.

The integrity, drama and dynamics of Luc Lafortune’s original lighting design are all preserved as the concept works beautifully and timelessly to support the show narrative.

The House of Dancing Water (THODW) show is one of the most successful entertainment phenomena in the world; having clocked up over 3,500 performances, it has been enjoyed by over three-million spectators who have been enthralled by this incredible work of aquatic art, the first original water-based theatre show ever launched in Asia.

Head of lighting, projections and special effects for the theatre and show is Karl Jenkins. He’s been in the post for two and a half years where he runs a team of 26 technicians and has previously worked on several ambitious Cirque du Soleil projects. Karl was instrumental in the Robe fixtures being added to the show.

They needed a strong and robust wash moving light to replace the previous ones, and the BMFL Wash XF was selected after Karl and his team spent considerable time looking at all the currently available possibilities.

“Ultimately it was the output, the colour mixing and the beautiful Fresnel lens that put the BMFL on top” he confirms.

They didn’t need a multi-purpose unit, but they wanted that rich and deep Fresnel look coupled with a high output to deal with the long throw distance, with refined and elegant colour mixing.

The final decision was taken by Karl and his head console operator/programmer Justin F Sinclair, who has been with the show since the beginning. The lights were delivered by Robe’s Hong Kong distributor, ArcSource Ltd.

The BMFLs are all positioned in the overhead grid on levels 5 and 6, at between 18 and 25 metres above the stage.

The Tarrantulas are enclosed in a series of Plexiglas ‘lighting bubbles’ below the water’s surface, and are used to highlight the underwater environment, working in unison with the special FX including ‘boiling’ and other effects created by micro-bubbles in the water.

Karl and the team specifically wanted an LED wash luminaire for this task.

They conducted a shoot-out with other products, and “the Tarrantula blew us away with its power and versatility”.

While LED was a major consideration for Karl in deciding on these fixtures for its reduced environmental impact, low heat emission was also a practical factor due to their location in the very confined ‘bubble’ enclosures.

With over 1,000 fixtures in total in the show including several submersible IP 67 and 68 ones, Robe is now also an integral and important part of this landmark production.

The whole lighting system is run via a grandMA2 network with a Luminex backbone which is another recent upgrade.

In addition to choosing the right fixtures for the job, Karl states that the after-sales service and support from a manufacturer is paramount in the equation for a long running and high-profile show like this. “Robe has brought an impressive amount of dedication to the table before, during and after the purchase. The training and follow-up from both Robe directly and their local distributor, ArcSource Ltd has been fantastic!”

He thinks Robe has made some “huge statements” and moved forward rapidly as a technology brand in recent years. “The staff, products and service have taken leaps and bounds, and they are now competing at the very top of the market. I am incredibly happy with the Robe ‘Family’ and, now very definitely feeling a part of it.”

photos: DickWai Lai

www.robe.cz

8th March 2019

Robe Lighting

Rope Assemblies works with Doughty Engineering on Royal Albert Hall project

Rope Assemblies works with Doughty Engineering on Royal Albert Hall project
Rope Assemblies works with Doughty Engineering on Royal Albert Hall project

UK – Rope Assemblies has supplied a range of Doughty kit to the Royal Albert Hall to help improve safety in the performance space. As a duty of care to performers on stage and to ensure that any falls from height are prevented, Doughty designed and fabricated some bespoke handrail braces to make the space as safe as possible.

Ian Redding, technical supervisor at the Royal Albert Hall explained: "While there were no incidents that triggered the need for these rails, our technical team are always striving to ensure that no stone is left unturned when it comes to the safety of our performers, crew and audiences. The challenge was to design and create something that could work for our stage, but at the same time, not to look too intrusive. It also had to be strong enough to withstand the weight of an average person. We had a round, scaffold size connection on the off stage edge but we were using square handrails, produced by Steeldeck on the stage extension pieces. These handrails don't always fit back in perfectly every time so it was clear that we needed the length of these braces to be adjustable. We discussed this in one of our team weekly meetings and someone mentioned that we should look into getting some Doughty kit. We already have a supply of Doughty arms that will get used to rig lighting and this was something a bit similar."

Ian got in touch with Rope Assemblies, one of Doughty's UK distributors who suggested browsing the catalogue of items online, where Ian found something similar to what he needed (an adjustable pipe coupler). Ann McCorkell, technical manager at Rope Assemblies said: "Ian identified a product that could potentially work for him, that, with a few alterations would work perfectly for the venue. Dan Phillips at Doughty then worked with Ian to develop the idea further."

Dan explained: "We exchanged several detailed emails where I presented Ian with some of the possible options. He then supplied us with photos and measurements and we got to work on getting something down on paper that he was happy with."

The bespoke piece of kit ticked all of Ian's boxes. "It is certainly a major improvement over the rope option and we believe that the sightlines to stage are definitely improved. The customer service from both Doughty and Rope Assemblies was top notch. As a venue we strive for that level of service with our mission statement #unforgettableexperiences. It was a no-brainer to work with both Doughty as a manufacturer and Rope Assemblies as a distributor in order to obtain a high quality product. My team have plenty of experience using Doughty arms to rig lights around the hall and have also utlilised Rope Assemblies' services for various rigging and lifting items that we sometimes need. We're really happy with the product and feel very fortunate to have worked with a great team who can respond with excellent expert advice and developmental skills."

Ian concluded: "The real critics will be the BBC Proms as they will broadcast intricate and intimate images of the stage, but we anticipate that the new rails will be very well received."

8th March 2019

Clair Solutions Designs and Installs New AVL and Acoustics at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship

Clair Solutions Designs and Installs New AVL and Acoustics at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship
Clair Solutions Designs and Installs New AVL and Acoustics at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship

USA – Founded in 1976 by renowned pastor and author Dr. Tony Evans with just ten members in his living room, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas has grown into a mission-driven mega-church of nearly 10,000 members. Its sanctuary seats approximately 3,284 people in a semi-circle with generous balconies and great sightlines. However, OCBF’s existing audio, video, lighting, and acoustics were outdated and failing. The church called on AVL integration firm Clair Solutions, which met with church officials to determine the best path forward to meet their current and future needs. After designing a well-integrated, state-of-the-art system, the installation team at Clair Solutions turned plans into reality between Christmas and Easter. The crew worked through the week and then turned the sanctuary back over to the church on Friday so they could hold their regular weekend services without interruption.

“The existing system had been installed in 1995, and it had many things going against it. Parts were failing and, even when it worked properly, it was no longer meeting the needs of OCBF’s more contemporary services,” explained Mike Mason, regional vice president for Clair Solutions’ Dallas office. “When it originally went in, the major requirement was speech reinforcement; most of the music was delivered via organ and choir. What they needed was a brand-new system that would take them to the technological cutting-edge, so they made the decision to gut everything and essentially start over.”

Mason continued: “At Clair Solutions, our unique strengths are working with the client to realise their vision and working with the other trades – in this case the architect and general contractor – to make the installation happen efficiently. At first, Oak Cliff just wanted a tech upgrade. But we realised that to even do a proper tech upgrade, we would need to bring in an architect to do some reconstruction. And if we were already committed to doing that, we may as well go all the way and build the system that will carry them through the next phase of their mission. Importantly, we worked with the church to articulate their vision, we didn’t impose any preconceived ideas about what they should want to do. They know how they want to convey their message. It’s up to us to support that strategy, not reinvent it.”

Part of OCBF’s vision involved bigger musical impact, and the engineers at Clair Solutions called on sister-company Clair Brothers for a beefy line array comprised of C15 loudspeakers for mains and kiTCurves for sides to energiase the sanctuary, with powerful low-end support from eight Clair Brothers CS218 subwoofers. The subwoofers form a cardioid array that pushes more low-end energy to the seats and less to the stage. Lab.gruppen D-Series multi-channel amplifiers with integrated Lake DSP power the system, with additional processing from stand-alone Lake LM44 DSPs. Studer digital consoles at FOH, monitors, and broadcast (with full Pro Tools recording and playback capabilities) provide user control for OCBF’s technically-savvy staff. Antelope digital clocks keep the entire system in reliable synch. Roland personal mixers and Shure wireless microphone systems deliver big improvements on stage.

Clair Solutions’ acoustical engineer, Justin Graybill, flew to Dallas to take measurements on the sanctuary’s sheetrock acoustics and then modeled it back at the company’s Pennsylvania headquarters. As per his design, the installation team put in full acoustic treatments for the side walls and the back wall to help with reverberation and to minimise low-end build-up under the balcony. “The goal was not to completely deaden the space,” Mason said. “The 150-person choir is (and will continue to be) a big part of the service.” Instead, Graybill specified two-foot square diffusion panels for the side walls and broadband absorption for the back wall. Thus, the acoustics are controlled and strike a lovely balance between too energised (bad for intelligibility and amplified music) and dead (bad for the chorus).

The new video systems include two 1920 x 1080 PixelFLEX LED walls to either side of the stage and a thirty-foot centre screen that comes down in front of the choir loft for virtual pastor situations or, more commonly, thematic backdrops. Sony PTZ cameras, Ikegami cameras Ross video switchers, and Black Magic video processors handle all of the in-house video production as well as the church’s weekly live taping for later editing and broadcast. A Ross 64 x 64 Ultrix router allows video content and digital graphics to be routed from any input to any output. A new lighting system complements the video with over 120 new ETC ellipsoidal fixtures along with a complete moving lights package. Clair engineers built a new truss over the stage to give the church more flexibility for its larger Christmas and Easter productions.

On top of addressing issues in the main sanctuary, Clair Solutions also designed and installed a complete AVL system for OCBF’s on-campus conference centre. The conference centre can function as one large 70’ by 120’ ballroom or can subdivide via air walls into three separate spaces. Crestron digital media inputs and outputs allow any source to connect with any destination. Clair designed the conference centre system so that it could receive or send audio and video signals to the main sanctuary, allowing for overflow or sophisticated parallel events. A smaller Clair Brothers kiTCurve line array with Lab.gruppen amplification and processing make the conference centre concert-ready.

“Throughout the installation process, we were very accommodating of the church’s needs and they were very accommodating of our realities,” Mason said. “It was understood that we took control of the sanctuary at 7am Monday morning, but we turned it back over to the church at 3pm Friday. They used a rental PA system, but the old projector screens were in a different location than the new LED screens, so we were able to keep their old video system in place throughout the process. That said, there were also times where we had to leave things in a less-than-perfect state. For example, we had to leave 100’ x 20’ of scaffolding on stage. The church just draped some cloth over it and went with it! We began the work shortly after Christmas and finished in time to debut at Easter. Across all those weeks, they never missed a Sunday service in the sanctuary!”

“It’s really great to partner with a company like Clair Solutions,” said Walter Silverberg, media director at OCBF. “Every single person we ever interacted with from Clair Solutions was professional, experienced, and very knowledgeable. I love working with Mike [Mason]; he’s deep inside our issues and really understands what we’re about. He’s taught me a lot! For example, our audio and video systems make extensive use of the in-house Ethernet network, and we recently had some inexplicable issues pop up. Mike correctly diagnosed the problem to a change that our IT department had recently made, and he helped out at a meeting between the media department and the IT department to resolve the issue. With Clair Solutions, we get deep support. They don’t just throw in some products and leave. They expect their systems to work well and to adapt, and they go to great lengths to make sure we are completely comfortable with our technology.”

8th March 2019