Project News Headlines
Strategic Connections Chooses Community IV6 for Multi-Purpose Rocky Mount Event Center
USA – Technology systems integrator, Strategic Connections, has completed the design and installation of a new sound system in the main sports and event hall of the 165,000 square-foot Rocky Mount Event Center. Located in Rocky Mount, midway between Miami and New York, Rocky Mount Event Center is the premier sports, events and entertainment destination for North Carolina, hosting a wide variety of events from rock concerts and sports tournaments to graduation ceremonies, conferences, trade shows and weddings.
Strategic Connections’ sales and design manager for the project, Jim Bang, explained: “The large hall is used for both sports and events, with removable seating for up to 4,000 people. The sound system had to provide both high intelligibility speech and premium music quality, with even coverage in the reflective space for all forms of event. This is a major challenge for any system and we chose Community’s IV6 modular vertical array as the optimum solution for a reasonable price.”
The main system is a single IV6 modular vertical array, comprising nine IV6-1122 wide-dispersion 12-inch two-way array elements. Two additional IV6-1122 loudspeakers are flown separately to cover the seating immediately to the side of the vertical array and six R.35COAX 10-inch ultra-compact coaxial two-way loudspeakers cover the rear bleacher seating behind the vertical array. Strategic Connections consulted with Community’s TAG Team (Technical Applications Group) on the configuration and Bang reports: “The consistency and audio quality throughout the hall is excellent.”
A BSS Soundweb London BLU-100 provides DSP and the loudspeakers are driven by Linea Research 44M06 4-channel amplifiers. The system is operated from a PreSonus StudioLive RML32AI 32-channel digital mixer, with Soundweb Ethernet wall controllers providing additional simple volume control.
Bang concluded: “IV6 has exceeded expectations and its physical- and acoustic-shaping tools allowed the system to be perfectly tailored to deliver uniform coverage of the hall. The client is very happy that they now have a system that provides great sound, whatever the event.”
22nd January 2019
Sound Space Vision Unveils Five New and Completed Projects for 2019
Worldwide – From an opera house to a university creative centre, an audiophile’s nirvana to an 18th-century theatre, and even a cathedral, renowned theatre planners and acousticians Sound Space Vision (SSV) unveils its finished projects and reveals future plans for a variety of spaces in around the world.
SSV’s newly completed projects include one of several high-profile buildings for Hong Kong’s extensive West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD), the Xiqu Centre.
As the first finished building in the new West Kowloon Cultural District, the Xiqu Centre serves as the gateway to the district and is, fittingly, dedicated to the performance of Chinese Opera (Xiqu) and the centre for preservation and development of the variety of Chinese Opera art forms. SSV was responsible for the acoustics and audio systems in all of the Centre’s spaces, including both natural and amplified performances in the 1073-seat Grand Theatre, and the 150-200-seat Tea House space for smaller-scale Xiqu performances; a well-equipped Seminar Hall, large and small rehearsal facilities; a recording/broadcast suite; and all of the retail/food and beverage areas inside the Centre’s public ground-level Atrium.
In planning the acoustics/audio design for the Xiqu Centre, SSV has taken into account the heritage and expectations of Hong Kong audiences and practitioners, along with those of visiting artists from mainland China, and international patrons and artists. SSV was well-prepared for this particular form of opera house having spent many years visiting Hong Kong arts groups, and building on its enthusiasm of Asian arts while working on the acoustics for Singapore’s famed Esplanade. The Xiqu Centre’s grand opening was on 20 January.
From the 21st century to the 18th century, SSV is also known for the care and attention given to heritage design and buildings. Its extensive experience with EU-wide tendering processes for theatre refurbishments was instrumental in it acquiring the theatre planning position for Teatru Manoel, Valetta’s crown jewel. As Europe’s oldest working theatre, the Manoel has been renovated and refurbished many times over its almost 300-year history, with SSV providing expert theatre planning consultation for its most recent adjustments to coincide with Valetta’s European City of Culture events and its famed International Baroque Festival.
SSV was asked to improve and enhance the stalls-level sightlines, and collaborate with the architects to create a new stalls form and configuration. SSV designed very bespoke seats, capturing the 18th century appearance of the curved-back chairs whilst having contemporary ergonomic comfort and legroom. Great attention was paid to the material and colours of the seating to integrate with the theatre’s classical interior. The floor was re-raked for better visibility to the historic stage, and new specialised seats were designed to allow for both maximum flexibility as well as design co-ordination. Teatru Manoel now has renewed life, comfort and accessibility, with a harmonious seating plan which offers clean sightlines and a more intimate theatrical experience for both audience and performer, and a design to match the style and décor of this 18th century gem. In referring to the refurbishments, artistic director, Kenneth Zammit Tabona extolled: “Prosit prosit prosit to all involved who were involved in making this dream a reality!”
SSV believes that all gathering spaces benefit from a holistic approach to planning and acoustics. Spiritland took advantage of SSV’s methodology to enhance their patrons’ experiences.
SSV was brought on board by Spiritland to assist with the refurbishment and fit-out of its elegant new restaurant located within the Royal Festival Hall in London’s Southbank Centre. Described as a “dining room of sonic architecture,” Spiritland Royal Festival Hall tasked SSV with specifying and recommending finishes, materials, enhancements and corrections sympathetic with the company’s ethos and design. These included sound absorbing curtains and an array of ceiling-hung baffles, sound absorbing spray applied across the restaurant’s ceiling, perforated timber panelling, and ceiling tiles and wall panels incorporated in the kitchen. “We've endeavoured to create a space that combines a sense of intimacy with its own unique acoustic signature,” says Spiritland creative director Patrick Clayton-Malone. “We worked extensively with acoustic consultants Sound Space Vision to 'tune' the room to allow both deep listening and conversation.”
Looking forward, one of SSV’s latest projects is a new Creative Centre, including a three-storey teaching block and 250-seat auditorium, linked by an atrium at York St John University. The development’s aim is to help the university’s ambitious growth in art and design, computer science, performance and media production. SSV will consult on the planning for the auditorium and teaching spaces and serve as the acoustics consultant for the entire block to ensure maximum functionality, sustainability, and effectiveness of learning and performing. Rob Hickey, executive director of growth and infrastructure for YSJ says: “This will be more than just a university facility, it will house events, exhibitions, film, musical and theatrical performances and also be a hub for small business growth in the culture and creative industries.” The new 4,000 square-metre centre is due to be completed in spring 2021, subject to planning approval.
Also in 2019, SSV is proud to assist Adjaye Associates as theatre planning and acoustics consultant for Sir David’s monumental National Cathedral of Ghana in Accra. Situated within 14 acres of landscaped gardens the cathedral will serve all the Christian denominations and major public functions. SSV is pleased to be working with Sir David on this prestigious project after its 2007 collaboration on London’s Bernie Grant Centre, and will provide guidance and consultation on the planning, design and acoustics for the Cathedral’s interior spaces, including the immense 5,000-seat, two-level auditorium. More details on SSV’s participation on The National Cathedral of Ghana will be forthcoming in 2019.
In 2018, SSV completed four major new UK venues: Storey’s Field Centre, the Stirling Award-shortlisted community centre in Cambridge, the Benjamin West Lecture Theatre as part of the Royal Academy of Arts 250th anniversary transformation, the revitalised Garden Quad Auditorium for St. John’s College at Oxford University and the UK’s newest opera house for Nevill Holt Opera in Leicestershire.
Following its 2018 successes, Sound Space Vision is proud to have these new projects that further enhance the practice’s already sterling reputation.
22nd January 2019
Adlib gets down to EartH
UK – Adlib’s installation division is part of a dynamic team which has helped to deliver Europe’s first installed L-Acoustics L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound system at EartH (Evolutionary Arts Hackney), a vibrant new arts centre for live music, mixed arts, and performance located in the former Savoy cinema in Dalston, east London.
Adlib worked closely with client Auro Foxcroft and his team, with support from L-Acoustics sales manager, Paul McMullan and applications engineers, Jeff Woodford (installation) and Sergey Becker (touring) to specify and install the 360° L-ISA system with the aim of delivering an all-round incredible audio experience for audiences and artists alike.
EartH is the brainchild of Auro, champion of Hackney nightlife and founder of Shoreditch venue Village Underground, a commercially successful, sustainable and community driven initiative that also provides affordable workspaces for artists and creatives. Lovers of the independent spirit, the experimental, and free thinking, Auro and his team drove this project to painstakingly restore the abandoned space to its former Art Déco splendour.
Adlib director John Hughes explains: “Initially, when we first made contact with Auro, we were looking at a standard left-right configuration for both upstairs and downstairs spaces.” However, when Auro met Paul and Jeff from L-Acoustics on site, they highlighted how perfect the venue was for an L-ISA configuration.
Having an exceptional sound system was always central to Auro’s plan to reinvent the building as he understands the importance of sonic excellence and in making a performance something truly memorable rather than just a show, a gig or a night out.
“After a visit to hear L-ISA in action in Highgate, the EartH team were amazed by the technology and convinced that it was the solution for their venue. L-Acoustics were incredibly helpful and the resulting audio system was very much born from a collaborative approach.”
This, and the fact that Auro is extremely hands-on with the venue’s programming meant: “We could not have wished for a better partner for our first L-ISA install,” John confirmed.
The old cinema’s balcony, which had been closed off, forgotten and left derelict for 30 years after a final screening of Scarface in 1984, is now a fabulous, new 750-capacity theatre and concert hall space.
The downstairs area has been reinvented as a lively, multi-purpose club and social area, and a new restaurant will be opened. Together these three spaces will be the heartbeat of an animated and inclusive performance-orientated environment, open for all to enjoy.
Adlib already has a very strong relationship with L-Acoustics and were asked on board for this project to share their extensive knowledge and experience in providing high quality, dynamic sound systems which meet touring and professional specifications and can cater for a variety of artists.
The ground-floor club-style venue demanded high SPL, and excellent low-end response for the DJ-led music programme. In the new theatre space upstairs, however, the brief was a lot more ambitious and complex; this is where Auro wanted the immersive system to support a wide-ranging programme from spoken-word, dance and performance art to jazz, rock, electronic, and all genres of music.
L-ISA is a multichannel ‘what you hear is what you see’ platform, ideally suited to bringing immersive sound into experiential venues. Fundamental to the philosophy is ‘connecting’ the audience to the sonic experience, bringing total clarity so both audience and performers feel like they are part of a smaller, deeper and altogether more intimate experience.
The theatre’s L-ISA loudspeaker configuration comprises a frontal system, supplemented by surrounds and overheads providing a 360-degree mixing environment.
The L-ISA Scene configuration features five hangs of seven Kara loudspeakers, spaced evenly across the stage in line with the proscenium arch. Low-end response is augmented by four KS28 subwoofers flown in an end-fire configuration. The surround system features 12 Syva colinear loudspeakers, four each mounted on the side and rear walls, plus eight X8 overheads which are flown from the ceiling to provide elevation to the mixing environment. Lastly, there are ten X8s installed as lip fills which are fed from the aux send of each object within the L-ISA controller.
Audio from the FOH consoles runs via MADI to the L-ISA processor which outputs on MADI. The signals are then converted to AVB and distributed to the 18 LA4X and one LA12X amplified controllers driving the system.
Adlib project manager Rob Crossland commented: “This is a very straightforward and immersive L-ISA system with side, rear, and overhead extensions. As more venues move to L-ISA, this approach will allow touring productions to move between similar systems without re-working their entire show every night.”
He observed that they were fortunate with the room’s straightforward shape – once a balcony when the cinema was first constructed in 1936 – and that there were no other levels or nooks and crannies to deal with as is sometimes the case with vintage buildings! This made it very straightforward to model in Soundvision, which handles L-ISA configurations seamlessly.
Talking L-ISA, Crossland comments that when he saw – and heard – the system demonstrated at the Prolight+Sound show in Frankfurt, he knew it would be a game-changer. “We’re only really scratching the surface of the system while we learn more about its scope and depth. As mix engineers start exploring the possibilities, I think we’ll hear some spectacular results that just couldn’t have been achieved with a conventional approach.”
Paul McMullan adds that the team at L-ISA are working on new features as we speak, including acoustic enhancement through the all new room engine so “this is just the beginning”.
Adlib’s KSE Sam Proctor attended the tuning and calibration session with the L-Acoustics applications engineers to learn more about the finer details of working with L-ISA technology.
Adlib also supplied two DiGiCo SD12 consoles to be shared between venues, which were selected for their on-board integration with the L-ISA technology via the L-ISA Desk Link, plus their power, flexibility and popularity. In addition, an Adlib line system and an L-Acoustics stage monitor package comprising twelve X15 HiQ monitor wedges and two SB18 subs powered by LA4X amplified controllers were supplied.
A stereo Kara system, one SB18 and four Kara per side, is installed in the club on the ground floor, supplemented by four SB28 subwoofers and four ARCS WiFo delays.
A comprehensive microphone stands and cables package from Adlib completed the specification.
Day-to-day, EartH’s house audio team of Luca Romani and Alessandro Melchior will be running the systems and providing support for visiting engineers utilising the L-ISA platform, they were also heavily involved in the equipment specification and installation.
They’ve been trained on optimising the system and the finer points of Immersive Hyperreal audio, as well as receiving supplementary on-site training from Sam Proctor on the esoteric nature of Kara, and the overall system management software, L-Acoustics Network Manager.
photos: Maria Zhytnikova
21st January 2019
Morris Integration Revitalises Shiloh Church’s Lighting with Chauvet Professional
USA – The legendary coach Vince Lombardi once quipped that “football is two things: blocking and tackling.” Although quarterbacks and running backs receive most of the glory, it’s the fundamentals, believed Lombardi, that actually win football games. The team at Morris Integration followed a similar philosophy when they stepped into Shiloh Church for the first time in early 2018.
A dynamic house of worship in the heart of Oakland, Shiloh was looking to improve the technical production of its services for worshippers at the church, as well as for those streaming services online. Ultimately, Morris Integration was able to provide the church with more dynamic stage lighting by installing Chauvet Professional fixtures. However, as their team pointed out to the church, before they did that, they should also address something more fundamental: the quality of its house lighting.
“When we first visited the church, it became apparent very quickly that we needed to address the house lighting of the room,” said Paul Holst, Morris Integration’s lighting designer. “We took an FC reading of the room with the houselights at full, and they were only getting four FC.”
Fortunately, Morris Integration had a Chauvet Professional solution for that issue too: the Ovation H-605FC house light. A total of 16 of the RGBA-Lime LED fixtures was installed throughout the sanctuary, providing an even field of light in the room. The new fixtures give the church the flexibility to use white light, or any colour for times when it wants to create a more immersive environment.
“The H-605FC did a great job of bringing the house light levels to a much higher point, all while being more efficient than the old fixtures,” said Holst. “Now, the congregation can finally read their bibles at church. We had to bring the house lighting up to this level before we turned our attention to the stage lighting. It may not be as exciting as stage lighting, but the fundamental house lighting was essential to creating consistent quality throughout the church. With the H-605FC, the church has unlimited colour control of the entire room.”
Once it addressed the basic need of upgrading the church’s house lighting, Morris Integration turned its attention to designing a stage lighting system that could create a wide variety of dynamic looks that engaged live audiences, while also coming across well on camera. The rig the company put together features ten Rogue R2 Wash, six Rogue R1 Wash and six Rogue R1 FX-B fixtures, as well as six Maverick MK1 Spot units and eight Ovation F-265WW Fresnels, four Ovation FD-105WW Fresnels and 14 Ovation E-260WW ellipsoidals.
“We used the R2 washes over the stage to create a nice colour wash for the worship team,” said Holst. “The Mavericks were also used over the stage to create breakup and beam patterns. We placed the R1 Washes and FX-Bs on uprights that we spread out between the worship team for more beam effects and added dimension. The Ovation E-260WW ellipsoidals were used for front lighting the worship team, while the Ovation F-265 Fresnels were used to create a nice even front wash of the lower stage for speaking, with the FD-105 providing backlighting.”
The new system gives the church the flexibility to go from soft subdued lighting to bold fast-moving designs to support music and special moments in services. This has earned rave reviews from the worship pastor, who told Morris Integration: “Thanks for making our church look amazing.”
Vince Lombardi’s approach of building up from the basics won him the first two Super Bowls and resulted in the game’s trophy being named after him. That’s impressive, but for the team at Morris Integration, praise like this from a worship pastor is reward enough in itself.
21st January 2019
Stage Electrics win contract for Riverside Studios
UK – Stage Electrics has announced it has won a £2 million contract for the supply and installation of specialist production lighting and audio-visual infrastructure for Riverside Studios, Hammersmith.
The broadcast, arts and entertainment venue closed in 2014 for demolition and redevelopment and is scheduled to fully reopen its doors again in 2019. The new 90,000 sq. ft. Riverside Studios will comprise three studios, small, medium and large, as well as public and community spaces including a two-screen cinema, rehearsal space and a number of restaurants and bars.
The design of the medium studio is particularly flexible allowing for the easy alternation between theatre, music, events and television. During the consultancy phase of the project, Stage Electrics advised on the supporting infrastructure to allow it to function as a multi-purpose space. The smaller studio is intended to be mainly used as a theatrical space, with broadcast facilities being integrated into the audio-visual facility panels.
The package also includes a high-quality PA system for the public areas of the building, rigging systems for the smaller studio and the cinema.
Starting on site in early 2019, working for main contractor, Mount Anvil, Stage Electrics’ work will facilitate the installations of the broadcast systems integrator, ATG Danmon and TV lighting hoist integrator, DeSisti.
18th January 2019
Yamaha Adds to its National Theatre Presence
UK – As one of the UK’s premiere performance venues, the National Theatre (NT) presents a wide-ranging programme. In 2018 a new permanent structure for corporate and other events was added to the roof space known as The Deck. A flexible audio system based on the Yamaha MRX7-D matrix processor has been installed, thanks partly to the unit’s success in providing show relay throughout the NT’s three theatres and other spaces.
Previously occupied by a pavilion-like, tented structure, The Deck’s views across the River Thames to the City of London make it a popular rental space for corporate gatherings, product launches, parties and weddings. Last year, the NT redeveloped the space by installing a bespoke permanent structure with state-of-the-art sound and lighting. The audio solution is based on the Yamaha MRX7-D, with control via an iPad running a custom-designed ProVisionaire Touch interface.
The NT has relied on Yamaha equipment for audio processing and routing for many years. Ten years after they were first installed, several DME series digital mixing engines are still reliably working at various locations, while MRX7-Ds on a Dante network play a key role in show relay and audio routing throughout the NT’s complex of three theatres, studios, foyer, bookshop, restaurants and bars.
“There is an MRX7-D in the central control room and one each in the Olivier, Lyttelton and Dorfman theatres, all installed to provide a flexible and reliable system for show relay,” says Dom Bilkey, the NT’s head of sound and video.
Controlled by both iPads and virtual machines in the central control room, which each theatre’s team can remote desktop into via MTX-MRX Editor software, the system feeds show relay from the three theatres to induction loop / infra-red assisted listening systems and to narrators for audio described performances. In addition, it links via MADI into a Riedel MediorNet system for video and audio distribution to the artist dressing rooms, TV broadcast, latecomer screens in the foyer and networked drives for show archiving. The MRX7-D system also routes background music to the NT’s bookshop, restaurants and bars, each controlled by its own, wall-mounted Yamaha DCP series control panel.
“We chose MRX7-D for The Deck because of the success of the main system,” says Ben Steinitz, the NT’s senior building systems and communications engineer. “The Dante networking and the GPIO connections were a major plus, allowing full integration with the system amplifiers and contract installations like the fire alarms. The fully-customisable iPad control was another major benefit, as was the price point. You get a lot in the box for the outlay.”
The flexibility of Yamaha’s ProVisionaire Touch iPad app allowed a bespoke control interface to be designed. This allows everything from manual or Dan Dugan auto mixing of up to eight radio microphones, up to full system presets where a member of staff presses an on-screen button and the entire audio system reconfigures itself for different types and layouts of event.
“As the space is used for many different things, the various room and system set-ups programmed on ProVisionaire Touch make configuring the system very straightforward,” says Dom. “Staff just touch a button and it changes all the delay points and the rest of the settings for that room configuration, all done instantly within the MRX7-D. It makes a huge difference.”
“Thanks to the Dan Dugan auto mixing, the events team can just grab a few handheld mics and turn them on, with no need for an audio engineer. It works really well and also has real benefits for clients, because it makes the room look very clean,” adds Ben.
“The new structure and systems have made it a much more flexible, client-friendly space. It’s great to have such an attractive audio setup that matches the way the events team work and like the space to look. It has worked really well,” concludes Dom.
photos: Philip Vile & James Bellorini
17th January 2019
Alicante Shopping Mall Lit by PR Lighting Arc LED 1054 Twin-Head
Spain – The ultra-modern Centro Comercial Gran Via in Alicante is one of the foremost shopping malls in the city. Set on two floors it celebrated its busy Christmas season by installing a number of spectacular architectural colour-change effects from PR Lighting. These were supplied and installed by Sound Light Spain (SLS), the Chinese manufacturer’s long-term territory distributor.
SLS were introduced to the project by one of their customers, Pdb Studio, and after conducting various comparative tests the latter voted in favour of PR Lighting.
SLS co-owner Fernando Abad, who is in charge of the company’s lighting department, assisted Pdb Studio in the specification and selection of the devices. They opted for 18 of the twin head ARC LED 1054 IP65-rated outdoor fixtures (each containing 27 x 10W four-in-one RGBW LEDs and advanced colour mixing).These were chosen for their power and coverage after considering several different alternatives.
Explaining the deployment, SLS system engineer, Òscar Casassas said: “The owners wanted to light the glass dome in a uniform and unique way. The customer requested two different lighting scenes: a fixed colour scene (without colour change) and another with changing colour. All scenes have been programmed to work in these different modes and they are on a timer for automatic switching on and off.”
He added that the company had faced pressure in getting the installation completed in time for the Christmas season. “However, this is a permanent installation, and now the lights are in, they are set to remain.”
In conclusion, he confirmed that the customer was delighted with the installation. “As far as this project is concerned, we achieved all the goals we were set.”
16th January 2019
A Rupert Neve Designs 5088 for Nashville’s Historic RCA Studio B
USA – Historic RCA Studio B first opened in 1957 on what would become Nashville’s world-famous Music Row. Today, Studio B is operated by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in partnership with the Mike Curb Family Foundation, with a mission to preserve it as a legacy landmark in the rich history of popular music in Nashville and the United States. The studio is now home to a new 24-input Rupert Neve Designs 5088 console loaded with Shelford 5052 mic preamp / inductor EQ modules.
Studio B’s history is a large part of what cemented Nashville’s place in the international music recording scene. For its first 20 years, the studio operated commercially under RCA, though artists from many other labels recorded there as well. During that period, the studio recorded more than 35,000 songs from artists including Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Roy Orbison, Charley Pride, The Everly Brothers and many more.
“At Historic RCA Studio B, we believe in preservation through production. The studio remains accessible to the public through tours and educational programs, and we expect approximately 250 student ensembles to come through the studio this spring,” said studio manager Justin Croft. “Through these educational programs and future projects at the studio, the historic sound of Studio B continues to come to life, and the new console allows this to happen with an amazing, updated piece of equipment.”
When the time came to choose a new console for Studio B, Croft and his team paid a visit to Vintage King Nashville. Vintage King’s Jeff Leibovich explains: “It was clear they knew what they wanted sonically and visually. We arranged for them to audition some channels from the various consoles they were considering. Not only was the 5052 their mic pre/EQ of choice, but it was also clear that the rich history of Rupert Neve would tie in so well with the rich history of the studio and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Musuem. The team at Rupert Neve Designs was so helpful in working with us to get the right configuration for the studio's needs while staying within their budget and time frame.”
Following the console’s delivery, Croft and Vintage King worked with Mike Rhodes of SkinnyFish Audio to wire the room and complete the installation.
“The console’s sound quality is bar none,” Croft continues. “It has the sonic quality of ‘classic Neve’, but updated: it has depth, a super low noise floor, flexible routing and musical EQs. It really brings out the best in all of our other equipment. Everything we put through it sounds like a record right from the beginning, this console has further sparked our creativity and reinvigorated our commitment to capturing great audio.It is truly an inspiration to use.”
From Josh Thomas, general manager / co-founder of Rupert Neve Designs: “All of us at Rupert Neve Designs are honoured that such a historic studio has chosen the 5088, and we look forward to hearing the amazing music that is sure to come from the studio.”
photo: Cynthia Hicks
16th January 2019
Yamaha and Nexo Bring State-of-the-Art Sound to Arena Pays d’Aix
France – Arena Pays d'Aix is a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose venue which can house audiences of up to 8500. Designed to host a wide range of events, a Yamaha and Nexo audio system delivers high quality, flexible audio throughout the arena complex.
Located close to the southern French city of Aix-en-Provence, the outside of Arena Pays d'Aix presents a futuristic vision, its clean, sweeping lines contrasting with the surrounding countryside of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. It has quickly become a popular destination for sport and entertainment from throughout the region, including nearby Marseille, France’s third largest city.
Designed by architect Christophe Gulizzi, the vision of the future continues inside, where a modular format allows the 4000m2 interior space to offer 17 different configurations, depending on the type of event being hosted.
The main space (Grande Salle, unofficially nicknamed The Cauldron) is the home of the Pays d'Aix University handball club, which competes in Division 1 of the Ligue Nationale de Handball. Featuring an audience capacity of up to 7000, it can be configured to host a wide range of other events, including tennis, wrestling, indoor motocross, live concerts, ballet and much more.
Arena Pays d'Aix also features a secondary arena (Salle Annex) with room for up to 1,500 spectators, as well as three exhibition / event spaces which can hold up to 450 people each, bars / concessions and a press room. The main concourse (La Coursive) can also be used to host events, with a capacity of 1,800 people.
The venue’s interior designer Kanju commissioned consultants Solus3 to design the AV systems. Solus3 approached Aix-en-Provence based systems integrator Société Texen to deliver a solution where flexibility and quality were the most important features.
Texen’s Thomas Goeuriot recommended a Dante-networked Yamaha and Nexo system, which is centred on four ‘nodes’ installed throughout the venue, each comprising a system rack with a MTX5-D matrix processor, XMV series amplifiers, 24 port switches and, where required, Tio1608-D i/o racks.
All areas apart from The Cauldron feature Yamaha loudspeakers, including VXC5F-VA (voice evacuation model) and NS-IC400 ceiling speakers, VXS1ML and VXS3FT compact surface mount models.
In The Cauldron, 30 Nexo GEO S12 loudspeakers delivers high quality sound to sport and event audiences. Arrayed as ten flown clusters of three around the edge of the arena floor, they are powered and controlled by NXAMP 4x4 and NXAMP 4x1 amplifiers.
“Many manufacturers approached us to provide the Cauldron system,” says Thomas Goeuriot. "Coverage and intelligibility were really important and Nexo provided the best technical solution. The GEO S12 speakers cover low enough frequencies without needing subs and they provide seamless coverage to every seat.”
Meanwhile, in addition to the installed VXC5F-VA and NS-IC400 ceiling models, the Salle Annex features four CBR15 loudspeakers, driven by P7000 amplifiers, for added audio power and depth for sports training sessions, plenary sessions and other events.
A TF5 digital mixing console was also supplied, which can be plugged into the system for local mixing in any area. The press room features a pair of VXS8 loudspeakers for event monitoring, with the system also providing broadcast I/O.
“Arena Pays d'Aix has the most modern, high quality facilities installed throughout and the audio system is fundamental to delivering the best experience to all users,” says Yamaha’s Pascal Bessenet. “The entire audio system was single-sourced from the Yamaha and Nexo family, delivering not only high quality sound, but exceptional flexibility and reliability. We know these qualities will serve the Arena well for many years to come.”
photos: Aldo Amoretti
14th January 2019
Renkus-Heinz ICONYX Brings Clarity at Houston's First Presbyterian
USA – First Presbyterian Church was born when now-mighty Houston was a dusty, two-year-old town in the Texas Republic, so it is fair to say the city and the church grew up together. Today's First Presbyterian resides on a sizeable campus of a dozen buildings in Houston's Museum District. Unfortunately, the acoustics of the church's main sanctuary turned the spoken word into an unintelligible mess, so First Presbyterian turned to acoustician Wade Worley of Worley Acoustics, who turned to Renkus-Heinz ICONYX digitally steerable arrays.
Worley describes the acoustics of the main sanctuary in classic terms: "Here we have a shoebox room, widely acclaimed as a great organ room. They have a very nice pipe organ, and a lot of Houston-based organists love to come and play in this room because it's got such a long reverberation time, especially in the low frequencies."
Sadly, what is good for the organist is not so good for intelligibility, especially in the back of the room. "They were using pew-back speakers that had fallen into poor maintenance," Worley recounts. Rory James, First Presbyterian's media co-ordinator, saw the problem up close. "Some of the pew-back speakers worked, some didn't," he details. "Some sounded different than others."
Without reliable local coverage for worshippers, the church was playing to its weakest suit, acoustically. "They were just using a pair of point-source speakers up front to cover the entire room," recalls Worley, shaking his head slowly. "With the reverberation, that just wasn't working well at all." "It always felt like we were trying to force this room that was designed for one application to do something completely different," describes James, "and the room was just kicking back against us constantly."
Clearly, intelligibility had to be improved, but not at the cost of destroying the beauty of the building's construction. "In wonderful traditional rooms like this, with long reverberation times, you really don't want to ruin the acoustics for traditional worship," Worley counsels. "You need a product like the Renkus-Heinz ICONYX that's going to give you a very tight beam of sound down to the listeners and keep the sound off the walls and the ceiling. That's the way that we improve speech intelligibility."
In fact, this is precisely the kind of challenge the ICONYX series loudspeakers were designed to meet. In ICONYX speakers, multichannel audiophile amplifiers power arrays of purpose-designed coaxial transducers, each with its own triple-tweeter high-frequency array. This triple-tweeter 'array within an array' design reduces the distance between high frequency sources for greatly improved performance, with consistent, broad horizontal dispersion. Multiple beams can be independently aimed and contoured using software-controlled DSP.
After a successful on-site demonstration, a pair of low-profile Renkus-Heinz IC32/16-R-II digitally steerable line array loudspeaker systems were selected as the front main speakers. Several Renkus-Heinz TRX81-DF two-way Complex Conic downfill speakers were installed in the balcony. The TRX81-DF combines an eight-inch heavy-duty woofer and a one-inch, extended-range, titanium HF driver.
"The room really took to the product, and the product was perfect for the room," observes manufacturer representative Native Media Sales president/CEO Michael Austin. "The Renkus-Heinz ICONYX really solved the issues they were having with intelligibility in this space, While taking a minimal footprint." James agrees, adding "The ICONYX has made listening and mixing in this room a whole lot easier."
Jay Bole of Hi Fi Doc, AV integrator on the project, appreciated the manufacturer's direct involvement in making everything work. "Renkus-Heinz, as a company, is very good to work with, from the president all the way to the shipping clerk. One of the things that we, as an integrator, are very keen on is support from the manufacturer. Renkus-Heinz ranks right up at the top."
Worley has the last and most important word: "The Renkus-Heinz product has been well accepted, after being seen and heard in the room. The church is very happy with the results."
14th January 2019
Twenty-one metre long 4K resolution animated display dropping jaws in new museum
Russia – A new museum in Sviyazhsk, Russia, wanted to generate a jaw-dropping effect on visitors as they enter the hall by creating a 21 metre long animated panorama.
The Archaeological Wood Museum in Sviyazhsk wanted to achieve the 'wow-effect' from a monumental widescreen panorama which would show the castle of Sviyazhsk in the 17th century in 4K UHD resolution.
The overall dimensions of the panorama would be 21m long by 2.4m high and would include 450 animated characters involved in 120 household scenes so had to show the finest detail with accurate and rich colour reproduction.
The projectors for the display needed to be flexible for ease of installation and require minimal maintenance. The museum needed reliable quality equipment to operate uninterrupted 24/7. In addition, they needed to be small, light and quiet to be inconspicuous in the museum space.
The team chose Optoma UHZ65 laser projectors for the display due to its laser technology, 4K UHD resolution, good luminous flux, installation flexibility and light weight.
Samruh Creative Association installed 20 Optoma UHZ65 projectors for the panorama. The compact body and light weight of the projectors made it possible to place the projectors to provide optimal illumination of the projection plane, without becoming intrusive, and harmoniously fit into the overall design of the museum complex.
Two media servers with Resolume Arena 6 blended the high-resolution content and provided a total projection resolution of 30,000 x 3,879 pixels. All projectors and servers were integrated into the museum’s control system allowing staff to switch the display on and off via its web-based user interface. This means time and resources needed for the maintenance and operation of the display is minimised.
The animation accompanying of the exhibition was also managed by Samruh. Ildar Muhtov, technical specialist of the Samruh Creative Association, said: “On previous implemented projects Optoma projectors showed themselves to be the best. The flexible adjustment of the projection distance of the UHZ65 together with its high brightness and contrast, UHD resolution and laser technology proved to be the best solution for this installation.”
Samruh also created the interactive zone: 'Become a Sviyazhsk inhabitant' which allows visitors to leave a small digital twin of themselves to live in the museum. After choosing the gender, place and layer of society in which they would like to live, visitors take a picture. All data is entered into the system and, as they exit, visitors can see a projected avatar of how they would look as a medieval Sviyazhsk inhabitant. Again, the museum chose the Optoma UHZ65 laser projector for this due to the resolution and image quality, reliability of the laser light source and flexibility of installation.
Equipped with high-quality laser illumination, the UHZ65 provides consistent brightness, superior colour performance, instant on/off and an extraordinary life span of up to 20,000 hours.
Capitalising on the fast switching speed of the DLP chip with XPR technology and advanced image processing, 8.3 million pixels are delivered to the screen without alignment issues, with four times as many pixels as 1080p. This brings stunningly detailed, bright and colourful imagery to the screen.
With its sleek black casing and 3000 lumens, the UHZ65 also boasts sophisticated PureMotion frame-interpolation technology. Installation is simple with vertical lens shift, 1.6x zoom and a host of connection options.
With the animated panorama as its stunning centrepiece, the Archaeological Wood Museum opened in September 2018. It showcases medieval wooden architecture, the restoration and the conservation of archaeological artefacts and life of the population of Sviyazhsk in the middle ages.
The huge 4K panorama makes a visit to the museum both memorable and amazing. Visitors entering the hall are taken by surprise by the display and linger to explore the panorama as long as 20-30 minutes.
Andrey Morozevich, ProScene Optoma manager in Russia and CIS, said: “The use of modern video technologies has become a special highlight and surprise for visitors, where prehistoric archaeological artefacts are harmoniously complemented by informative and fascinating animated visual solutions.
“Thanks to the high resolution of these 4K UHD projectors and the laser light source, the projection was detailed and clear with rich, accurate colours.”
Director of the Institute of Archaeology, Airat Sitdikov, said: “One of the unique moments in the museum is the 21 metre long animated panel, reconstructing Sviyazhsk town according to the Scribe book of 1565-1568. A lot of scientific work was carried out to create the model of Sviyazhsk town, and on this basis the artists created an image which was then animated. A total of 40 different storylines show the main crafts, the originality of economic and daily life.”
14th January 2019
ETC lights leading news channel Al Arabiya, 24/7
Dubai – For over ten years, an ETC Eos Classic has been used to light the broadcast studio of leading TV news channel Al Arabiya, 24 hours a day, seven days a week live on air without any technical faults.
Al Arabiya is the chief news station in the Middle East, based in Dubai. ETC dealer, Oasis Enterprises, has been in partnership with Al Arabiya since 2008, supplying and installing technical equipment to the TV channel. The news studio commented positively on the relationship with Oasis Enterprises, remarking that their ‘reliability and support’ influenced the decision to choose ETC for their broadcast studio: “They offer us a great service and are always available whenever we need them,” comments the head of news resources, Mahmoud Issa.
This year, Al Arabiya was upgraded to ETC’s flagship lighting control desk Eos Ti, bringing the latest technology and most powerful hardware to the broadcast studios. “As our channel runs 24/7, it is crucial that there are no errors with lighting, vision mixers or consoles. We need to be equipped with the best and ETC’s Eos console is one of the best so far,” remarks Mahmoud Issa.
The TV company is also equipped with ETC dimmer racks, Eos Remote Processor Units and lighting fixtures: Source Four LED Series 2 Lustr Daylight HD and Source Four jr luminaires. “The Eos family software platform and the Lustr Series 2 output perform extremely well. We are very happy to have them in our studios and look forward to investing in more in the future,” commented Safwan Harcouss, lighting manager at Al Arabiya.
ETC’s signature Eos lighting console was the ultimate choice for Al Arabiya for several reasons. The product’s features were key: the Eos operating system’s powerful magic sheets conveniently allows the TV company to coordinate multiple studios at a time and the built-in blind mode makes it easy and practical to work with. The training offered by Oasis Enterprises to staff at Al Arabiya was also extremely valuable and beneficial for the new employees that the firm regularly hires.
Going forwards, the TV company plans to network the entire building that they are currently in, using the Eos Ti control desk. The team will set up the desk in ‘The Gallery’, a central space in the broadcasting area, ensuring ultimate lighting control across all studios.
“As the console is in constant use for the 24-hour news channel, the reliability of the system is crucial,” commented Karim Abdel Massih, lighting systems manager at Oasis Enterprises. “Al Arabiya is live on air around-the-clock so it can be challenging from a maintenance perspective, however, ETC’s equipment continues to deliver at a high standard.”
14th January 2019
Lindenwood University’s J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts Chooses L-Acoustics
USA – Named for local businessman and philanthropist Jerry Scheidegger, the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts on the campus of St. Charles, Missouri’s Lindenwood University is a $32 million, state-of-the-art educational and performing arts complex. The 138,000-square-foot facility’s main theatre, the 1,200-seat Lindenwood Theater, can be a challenging acoustical space, with its high interior and ceiling weight load restrictions. The school’s ambitious theatre programme also adds its own specialised requirements. Thankfully, an L-Acoustics Kara sound system recently installed there by St. Louis-based Logic Systems addresses both the acoustic and artistic requirements with ease.
According to Logic Systems president Chip Self, the Kara system was both the venue’s choice as well as his recommendation. “We have a long-time relationship with the school as their rental systems vendor, so we’ve been able to show them a number of different systems in the theatre over the years,” he explains. “When they heard the Kara, they knew that was the one they wanted to go with.”
The new system consists of a LCR front array, with nine Kara enclosures topped by three SB18 subs for the left and right hangs, and six Kara topped by a pair of SB18 in the centre, all powered by five LA8 amplified controllers. The PA, which is designed to be a 5.1 system, also has two pairs of self-powered, coaxial 112P speakers as left and right surrounds for the balcony and the main floor areas, while ultra-compact 5XT speakers are used as front fills and are powered by an LA4 amplified controller.
Brian Bird, who is also the adjunct professor of audio technology and sound design for Lindenwood University’s theatre programme, designed the J. Scheidegger Center’s new system and underscores that Kara addressed a number of highly specific needs. First and foremost, he says, the venue has to serve as both a teaching facility and as a roadhouse for touring artists. “I’ve toured with L-Acoustics in the past, so I knew we wanted that brand here, because it’s rider-ready for touring artists, and because it exposes the students to the kind of world-class, state-of-the-art sound system they’ll encounter when they graduate,” Bird explains.
In addition, the theatrical sound-design agenda at the school is ambitious, and encourages reconfiguration of the PA system. That, says Bird, can range from repositioning the front array of hangs to placing the subs on the floor. “I let the students design the rig as they see fit, and Kara is the most flexible system available for that,” he says. “Our scenic designer also loves that the system is so easily reconfigurable, because they are able to use set pieces that are very tall. In that way, the Kara system actually helps creatively, because it can adjust to their changing aesthetic needs.”
Finally, the J. Scheidegger Center has limited steel in its ceiling, restricting the weight that can be hung from it. “The Kara enclosures have enormous power for their size and weight, so we get all the power we need without overloading the infrastructure,” he notes.
Self adds that the Kara’s weight-to-output ratio also made installation and integration considerably easier. “Installation took all of one day for the entire system,” he recalls. “We were able to get the coverage the design required – which was between 80 and 90 degrees vertically between the main seating and the balcony – from the main hangs alone, without interfering with the degree of flexibility they wanted the system installation to have.”
But the Kara sound system also delivers the sonic quality the school demanded. “I used the Soundvision modelling software in the design of the system and it was incredibly accurate,” says Bird. “The rooms can be pretty lively, with wood walls that can create a lot of reflections,” he explains. “But the modelling was precise, putting the sound where we need it to go, and it sounds great. The administration is very happy with what we’ve done here with sound for the theater. L-Acoustics made that happen.”
11th January 2019
Alcons Gains a New Legion of Fans at Hollywood’s Post 43
USA – Founded in 1919 by First World War veterans working in the motion picture industry, the American Legion’s Post 43 became a Hollywood icon, with members including Clark Gable, Charlton Heston, Mickey Rooney, Ronald Reagan and more. A major project to update the post’s auditorium has put it back at the centre of the Los Angeles community, with Alcons Audio playing the starring role.
Movies have always played a key role in the life of Post 43. As veteran Bill Steele, Post 43 member and the upgrade’s project manager, says, it has always been “that much more showbiz” than any other American Legion post. Several years ago, post commander Fernando Rivero saw the opportunity to re-establish Post 43’s role as an important part of the local community by transforming it into a state-of-the-art, 500-seat movie theatre and live venue.
“It had great potential to be a rental facility, a cultural venue and to let the public see this amazing space we have,” says Bill. “The plan was to modernise it as a technically-advanced cinema, but to retain the ability to host dances, meetings and live music, with everything done in the context of its history and honouring its architecture.” Ambitiously, on the cinema side the desire was also to make it suitable for digital, 70mm, 35mm and even 16mm film showings.
“Hollywood is a very demanding audience, because they've heard it all,” says Bill. “We really wanted the best possible sound, a high end system that would go above and beyond all others.
A major challenge was how to deliver high quality sound for every perceived use in a large, reverberant space, where the art deco architecture was going to be highlighted by taking it back to its original concrete. Fortunately Bill is an audiophile and a fan of the open, transparent sound of ribbon drivers. His introduction to Alcons Audio was at the annual International Cinema Technology Association (ICTA) seminar in LA.
“I was really intrigued by how Alcons had overcome the limitations of past pro-ribbon designs,” says Bill. “David brought over some Alcons nearfield monitors and, without any acoustic treatment, they sounded amazing straight out of the box. David’s demo showed that the Alcons pro-ribbon system would help to minimize unwanted reflections, because the speakers are so directional. Along with the dynamics, transparency and power handling, frankly it blew everyone away.”
The chosen system needed to deliver high end PA functionality as well as exceptional movie sound and David proved that Alcons checked that box as well. “I set the bar pretty high for what we wanted and Alcons fulfilled all our criteria, with a fair bit in reserve,” says Bill. “We listened to a lot of systems, but Alcons was the only one that gave me no reason at all not to choose it.”
In the meantime, Peter Grueneisen of LA-based nonzero architecture, a company renowned for its high-end acoustic spaces, was brought in to help the architectural restoration and with taming the acoustics.
“We worked with Arup at the start to model the space, which helped us to choose the acoustic treatment. An entire year was spent building the infrastructure, to make sure we had the best playing field for the speaker system,” says Peter. “The fact that Alcons pro-ribbon systems are so focused was a huge help. It meant that it all fell into place very well. For a space that is so acoustically challenging, there were no major problems.”
The chosen Alcons system comprises five CR4 tri-amped large-format screen systems, 16 CRS12 large-format reference surround, 12 LR7 micro line-array modules and four CB362 high-output full-size subwoofers, powered and controlled by six Sentinel10 amplified loudspeaker controllers. Installed by LA-based Stay On Screen, it delivers the best solution for both movie screenings and live events.
“The Alcons pro-ribbon solution overcomes so many limitations of other cinema systems. There is something very special about being in a movie theatre and being hit with high levels of undistorted sound. Very few systems can do that and I’m really excited about it,” says Bill.
“It means no ear fatigue for the listener, gives us tremendous headroom and the CR4s give us five channels behind the screen for showing older formats.
“Alcons pro-ribbon systems are also extremely well made, with tremendous attention to detail and their customer service is top notch. It was much more than just a sale to them, they went way above and beyond what was expected, doing a lot of work to make sure everything was exactly right. With all of these positive qualities, Alcons offers exceptional value for money.”
“I’m really happy that we have one of the best-sounding rooms in town. It’s clean, intelligible and it has a lot of headroom,” adds Stay on Screen proprietor Levi Joos, “I’m proud of the fact that for the next 20 years people will come to Post 43 to enjoy movies with the very best sound.”
“We wanted to reinvent the space as a really high end movie theater and performance space. Without question Alcons delivered that. Frankly the system was impossible to say no to,” concludes Bill.
10th January 2019
GDS Takes Saxon Church out of Dark Age
UK – St Mary’s Church in Standon, Hertfordshire is a Grade 1 listed building whose original structure dates back to Saxon times. Bequeathed to the Knights of St John in the 12th century, this beautiful processional church has experienced many architectural embellishments over the years, all of which have served to add to its character as a significant link to a rich historical past. In continuous use for hundreds of years, St Mary’s remains a hub of the local community, where alongside vibrant congregational worship, it is used for concerts, recitals and events, attracting local audiences as well as visitors from further afield. The church is supported by an independent charity which works to preserve and restore the ancient building, as well as by a host of local volunteers who keep its extensive churchyard in good order.
In recent times, the church authorities had concluded that significant improvements were required to its internal facilities. The growing use of the space for a wide variety of functions meant that the existing lighting provision was inadequate and the church turned to Essex-based AV specialist, Clarity in Sound, Light and Vision Ltd, to determine the best way forward. Clarity is a leading installer of tailored, flexible and easy to use systems, with great experience of the house of worship sector. As well as the practical aspects of re-lighting the church, there were many important aesthetic considerations to be taken into account. There was a strong wish to highlight the beauty of a number of the church’s historical internal features, as enhancements to creating a warm, welcoming and beautiful space.
Clarity was already familiar with GDS products, having worked with the Bristol-based, specialist LED lighting manufacturer on a previous stage-lighting project at Kimbolton School in Cambridgeshire. Following an initial visit to St Mary’s, Stuart Graham, managing director at Clarity consulted with the GDS team over the best way forward. After visiting the church to demonstrate examples of its lighting, GDS specified products and produced a DIALux design for the space in order to plan, calculate and provide a visualisation of the scheme to the client. As a creator and manufacturer of cutting-edge technology used in countless applications across the globe, the GDS team is exceptionally well-placed to offer such design consultancy, particularly in challenging heritage spaces such as this. At St Mary’s, the project team drew on great experience to deliver a beautiful visual outcome as well as all the energy and cost savings associated with LED.
The sensitivity of the interior fabric of the church demanded that Clarity was painstaking in its approach to the installation. The delicate ancient floor could not support heavy machinery, so ceiling access was obtained by the careful use of scaffolding. Every part of the job demanded careful attention to detail. GDS’s team was on hand throughout the install to advise and oversee the works and the system was commissioned by applications engineer John Blamey in less than half a day.
Different feature areas of the church were lit with appropriate fittings from across the GDS ArcSystem range. In the chancel, two important tombs were lit with GDS MR16 lamps, with the same units being chosen as uplighters for the ceiling. A combination of Pro One-Cell and Pro Four-Cell units was used in the nave, with ArcLamp fixtures employed in the entrance portico. Pro Two-Cell fixtures completed the picture in the aisle. The resulting installation looks stunning, highlighting the rich architecture of the building whilst offering a warm, bright, practical lighting solution for the staging of worship and events.
Stuart Graham, managing director of Clarity enjoyed working with GDS: “The support from GDS has been fantastic. We were supplied with demo kits to showcase the best products for St Mary’s and were able to use their DIALux designs to better visualise the end result with the client. It has been great to work together and find the best possible lighting solution for this historic building. We look forward to working with GDS again, very soon.”
Richard Cuthbert, managing director at GDS, summed up the project: “GDS has a proud history of working within the heritage sector, having supplied and consulted over many projects of this type. Addressing the lighting design of sites that are, in some cases, many hundreds of years old, requires a thorough understanding of principle, technology and application. Our team is well-versed in guiding installers and their clients towards achieving their aims. St Mary’s is another fine example where our close cooperation with a trusted partner has delivered exceptional results.”
9th January 2019
PixelFLEX takes the court at the Carolina Basketball Museum
USA – Located on the campus of the University of North Carolina, the Carolina Basketball Museum originally opened in 2008 and chronicles the history of the UNC basketball programme. Highlighting Carolina’s numerous NCAA and ACC Championships, along with the players, coaches and staff members that made it all possible, the interactive museum recently underwent a renovation on the heels of its 7th National Championship. Working with the experiential brand specialists at Advent, the museum wanted to update its main video display as part of the branding refresh, and they did so using a 2.8mm FLEXTour LED video solution from PixelFLEX.
“We had previously worked with the University of North Carolina on an update for the Smith Center locker room that went really well, so they asked us to come back and take a look at the Carolina Basketball Museum,” began Davy Fisher, Advent Design principal. “It was a great project because they were fresh off the excitement of their latest National Championship and they wanted us to update the storytelling, freshen up the branding, and reframe the experience through the use of more current technology.”
A robust, high-definition and curve-able LED video display, FLEXTour is designed specifically for the high demands of live entertainment productions. With its unique rigging capabilities that allow for traditional and off-set configurations, each 500mm x 1000mm tile is fully front-serviceable and its integrated climbing ladder allows for quick access to displays flown high overhead. Built with the highest standard in components including the new NovaStar A8s receiving card, FLEXTour is completely flicker-free making it one of the premier LED video design solutions available today.
Fisher continued: “The old space was a little bit off-brand with different blues and varying signage headers over elements that were needing to be related to each other. Our main goal was to make it a cleaner branding experience and simplify the story, so a good portion of the project was replacing and upgrading all of the digital surfaces and get it on-brand, through colour and language consistency.”
Turning their attention to the digital surfaces on the museum, one of the main displays was an LCD projection system which hung at the entrance. Needing a feature to capture the attention of guests from the moment they arrive, the previous projection system proved difficult to format and never seemed to measure up to the task.
“The initial installation that we replaced was a strange, concave screen that had an image projection-mapped onto it, but it never really worked the way they wanted it to,” explained John Downie, VP of digital experience, Advent. “It’s a rather large space and the display is the first element you see when you walk in. With the original system, they found it hard to update and it required a lot of post-production to format correctly. Knowing this was an issue, we decided to give them an LED video solution that was easy-to-update in a 16:9 ratio, so they could easily drop in high-resolution, wide-screen footage without any post-production needed.”
Ready to begin the installation of the FLEXTour LED video display, the video panels where easily connected to a header bar which hangs from the ceiling using aircraft cable. Measuring 16-feet wide by 9-feet tall, the system was quickly ready for content which would be driven by the proprietary Advent content management system.
“For the control, we are using our Advent web-based CMS that allows the client to quickly update content through the simple upload of a media file, while also giving them options for various modes of operation,” continued Downie. “During the build-out process, the first reaction upon turning it on was absolute amazement. With the previous projection image, the colours were never quite right, and it just didn’t look like a quality display. For that to be replaced with a beautiful, high-resolution, tight pixel-pitch FLEXTour LED screen, it really blew their minds.”
Now complete, the Carolina Basketball Museum reopened its doors for the start of the 2017-18 season ready to showcase a completely new fan experience. Greeted by the FLEXTour LED display from the moment they enter, the museum has become a better reflection of a successful programme.
“When fans now walk through the doors of the Carolina Basketball Museum there is an immediate feeling that you are about to have a great experience.,” concluded Fisher. “The old projection system had a lot of light-loss which translated into a diminished experience. With a feature that needs to be so bright and so vibrant, the FLEXTour LED video is a significant upgrade. Being the first thing you see when you walk into the space, it presents as a wonderful showcase for the UNC athletes and the quality of their programme.”
8th January 2019
DiGiCo theatre software essential for historic Japanese theatre
Japan – Japan’s Imperial Theatre, located in central Tokyo along with a host of important facilities such as the Imperial Palace and the Congress, is the country’s most historic theatre. Built in 1911 in a Renaissance architectural style, it gained popularity as the first European style theatre in Japan. During the summer, as part of a refurbishment project, the theatre’s audio system was upgraded and now includes DiGiCo SD7T and SD10T consoles.
The theatre sees famous Japanese actors and actresses performing in original shows, West End productions such as Le Miserable and Miss Saigon and Broadway musicals. Known locally as ‘Teigeki’, the theatre is now owned by Toho Co., ltd., a Japanese film, theatre, production and distribution company.
Last July, Teigeki finished its refurbishment, which included the installation of the DiGiCo SD10T, SD-Rack, SD-MINI Rack and SD-Nano Rack with new 32Bit ADC/ DAC cards, which were supplied by DiGiCo’s Japanese distributor Hibino Intersound Corporation and added to the existing SD7T and SD8 system.
Mr. Akiyama, an engineer from flicpro co., ltd. to which Teigeki entrusts its audio operation, comments: “DiGiCo consoles and the theatre version software are essential for our work in musical theatre.
“In musicals, it is common for more than two actors to play the same role. Before we had the DiGiCo theatre specific software, we used to look at the cast lists to check which role was performed by whom, and then recall a library to set up EQ and so on and so on. Now, we don’t have to go through this process because the Players function allows us to set up EQ, compression and attenuators for each actor and actress and each set-up can be reflected in each scene really easily. It helps us a lot!”
Mr. Akiyama has already operated many shows at Teigeki theatre, including Miss Saigon in 2012 using the original SD7, SD8 and SD10 and is familiar with DiGiCo’s usability and functionality.
“Having a common way of working across all DiGiCo consoles is amazing,” he says. “Once we learnt the SD7, we could easily use other DiGiCo consoles. Also, being able to set everything up using the offline software allows us to imagine actual operation of the console which means there is no stress when we actually load session files to console.
“Not only is the functionality great, but so is the physical size of console since musicals in Japan are often done by two operators: one for the wireless microphone and another for mixing the orchestra, which means two consoles occupy more space. Taking all this into consideration, we chose the SD10T as the ideal solution.”
Mr. Akiyama is also impressed with DiGiCo’s new 32-Bit mic preamp cards.
“When I saw the news about the 32-Bit cards, I couldn’t imagine how they would sound at all, but as soon as I heard them, I knew this was quality on another level. With the same system and the same tuning as I do for the main loudspeakers and wireless microphones, I used the 32-Bit cards, did a ‘Check One Two’ and felt the dynamic range widen and become more intelligible. When I listened to the chorus, which was made up of 30 members in the actual show, I felt each singers’ voice got clearer.”
With the expanded DiGiCo system and the experience of Mr. Akiyama, Teigeki continues to provide its audiences with outstanding sound quality.
8th January 2019
Stage Electrics Appointed in the Development of Leeds Beckett’s Creative Arts Building
UK – Stage Electrics has been appointed to supply film & TV studio lighting hoists, production lighting, sound, video and comms infrastructure and motorised grid systems at Leeds Beckett’s new state of the art building that will become home to its School of Film and Music & Performing Arts department. The scope of the contract covers five film & TV studios, three performing arts studios, music studios and mixing and screening rooms, a 180-seat theatre, an 80-seat studio theatre and a 230-seat cinema for film screenings.
Engaged by SES Engineering Services, on behalf of the main contractor, George Downing Construction Ltd, Stage Electrics are set to begin on site in June 2019.
“The term ‘state-of-the-art’ gets thrown around a lot, but this project is a true reflection of a state-of-the-art development,” commented Matthew Addison, senior technical project manager at Stage Electrics.
“The Leeds Beckett Creative Arts Building is a professional standard of specification that students will benefit from for years to come.
“We are excited to begin this project knowing that, along with drawing on Leeds Beckett’s strong heritage for diverse learning skills and opportunities, we’re playing our part in providing a new city landmark.”
Scheduled to open in 2020, this outstanding new facility will provide a creative focus for the school’s undergraduate, postgraduate, doctoral and research programmes whilst acting as a hub for the cultural partnerships across the city.
Matthew Addison, who joined the Stage Electrics team two years ago, has been assigned as project manager for this development. Ian Dunne, Stage Electrics regional commercial manager commented: “Matthew’s extensive experience of managing the technical fit-out of both television studios and large-scale theatrical venues makes him the perfect member of our team to manage this complex project.”
Previously having worked as a broadcast project manager at Siemens IT solutions and services and having undertaken formal broadcast engineering training at BBC Wood Norton, Matthew now holds the position of senior technical project manager within Stage Electrics’ projects department managing a range of projects both nationally and internationally.
4th January 2019
Chroma-Q Inspire Mini Delivers Versatile Performance for Liverpool Philharmonic's Music Room
UK – Liverpool Philharmonic has invested in Chroma-Q Inspire Mini LED fixtures for its Music Room to provide high quality, flexible house lighting.
Liverpool Philharmonic has been at the heart of Liverpool’s cultural life since 1840. Complementing its main 1,700+ seater main concert hall, home of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the multi-purpose Music Room is an intimate studio-style venue built as part of the recent £14.5m refurbishment to the Grade II listed art deco style venue on Liverpool’s iconic Hope Street. Music Room provides a contemporary and memorable setting for a wide range of concerts and events, and activities associated with Liverpool Philharmonic’s extensive learning programme.
Music Room’s flexible layout and fantastic acoustics, suiting events ranging from seated and standing concert performances, conferences and workshops to weddings, corporate and private events, means that lighting is integral to creating the perfect atmosphere for each occasion.
Following an extensive tendering process, Liverpool Philharmonic’s production technicians team opted to install the Chroma-Q Inspire Mini RGBW colour-mixing fixtures for Music Room.
Will Sutcliffe, Liverpool Philharmonic production technician commented: "They create a smooth wash which feels like very natural light. We can wash the floor very evenly and keep the light off the walls and performance area.
"In addition, we can be more flexible, creating a coloured wash anywhere in Music Room which is especially good for our young children’s performances and workshops, and new this season, our dementia-friendly and relaxed family concerts.
Events have also benefited from the units' smooth dimming and convection cooling for ultra-quiet operation.
Will added: "They're great for our wide range of concerts and events in Music Room, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere with no shadows, flickering or noise as we fade the lights down and, being so quiet, they don't interfere with Music Room’s beautiful acoustics during performances."
Aside from reducing Liverpool Philharmonic’s energy consumption and environmental impact, the fixtures' energy-efficient LED design has also given the venue more control over the room temperature, as compared to the traditional parcans they replaced.
The Inspire Mini fixtures were recommended by Ben Taylor in the lighting sales team of Chroma-Q UK dealer, A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ltd. (AC-ET).
Will concluded: "Working with AC-ET is a pleasure, as we discover the latest technological advances in equipment. Ben and his colleagues are very knowledgeable, enabling us to find the best solutions for our venue requirements."
photos: Mark McNulty
4th January 2019
John Farr Lighting Design Takes Flight at National air And Space Museum with Chauvet Professional
USA – Even the most jaded visitors can’t help but feel a child-like sense of awe and amazement when walking through the Boeing Milestone of Flight Hall at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum. Look one way, and they’ll see the Apollo 11 command module that landed the first astronauts on the moon. Beyond that there is the Spirit of St. Louis, the tiny propeller-driven plane that took Charles Lindbergh on his historic flight across the Atlantic. A little further on is the Wright Brothers’ original flying machine.
Lighting these historic artefacts and the hall houses them never gets old for John Farr and his team at John Farr Lighting Design. It’s something they’ve done often, and are quite adept at, too. This was readily apparent in mid-December, when they used a collection of Chauvet Professional Ovation and COLORdash fixtures to create an engaging design for a government contractor’s holiday event in the hall.
Farr’s lighting design, with its emphasis on red and gold holiday colours, seemed to flow naturally through the 700+-capacity event space, but like the iconic objects it illuminated, it was actually the result of meticulous planning and hard work.
Time constraints made detailed preparation essential in this project. Attracting over seven million visitors a year, the National Air and Space Museum is the most popular museum in the United States. As a result, load-in and setup time are severely limited at this venue.
“You can’t interfere with visitor traffic,” said Farr. “This puts a premium on time. This event started at 7pm. Our load-in was at 7am, but we couldn’t fully start setup until 5pm. This didn’t leave much room for error. Everything had to be preplanned with as much pre-wiring and pre-programming as possible. Our fixtures helped us get things done in a timely fashion, because they’re compact, user-friendly, and in some cases, battery powered.”
The low power consumption of his LED fixtures also helped in this project, according to Farr. “This particular building is over 40 years old, and it is on the National Mall,” he said. “So, power is always a factor. Fortunately, LED fixtures have minimized or eliminated this issue.”
There are also issues created by the iconic artefacts themselves. Vendors are strictly prohibited from touching the objects. This made it essential to have compact fixtures with good throw distances.
Farr found these features in the 26 Ovation E-910FC ellipsoidal-style units and 36 COLORdash Par-Quad 7 fixtures in his rig. Positioning 15 of the RGBA- lime ellipsoidal fixtures on 7’ pipe-and-base trees and outfitting them with 36° and 50° lenses, he used them to colourise truss bays and accent exhibits. The remaining 11 units were used to enliven the room with multi-coloured floor lighting.
The nearly 40 COLORdash Par-Quad 7 fixtures in the rig were called upon to accentuate the rockets, which are star attractions at the hall. Taking advantage of these fixtures’ compact size (9.9 x 9 x 3.9 inches, or 252 x 228 x 100mm), Farr was able to position them in hard-to-reach places, often close to rockets. This allowed him to get ample lighting coverage without violating the museum’s no-touch policy.
Also used to light artifacts were over 60 Chauvet DJ Wash FX and Wash FX2 fixtures, as well as four COLORband H9 USB strip lights. In addition to these units, Farr used 96 Freedom Par Quad-4 fixtures to fill a variety of roles.
“We had over 230 fixtures out on this project,” said Farr. “Each of them had a specific purpose or several purposes going in, so we were able to put together a complete and multi-faceted event in a relatively short time.”
It was the kind of planning that would have done any aeronautical or space pioneer proud.
2nd January 2019
Tirso Lighting Goes All Elation LED for Upper Manhattan’s Bar 151
USA – Tirso Lighting has installed an all-LED Elation lighting package for another Wahi Group club opening in northern Manhattan, this time Bar 151, an upscale lounge and performance space in the neighbourhood of Inwood, a quieter and more affordable enclave of New York City that has become increasingly popular of late.
Tirso Lighting has been around since 2009 and has been using Elation lighting since its inception. Nevertheless, Bar 151 was the design and integration company’s first all LED lighting project. “I was really looking forward to doing an all LED project and this was a good chance to realise that,” said Tirso Lighting owner Tirso Pelaez, who served as lighting designer on the project and suggested the green approach to the client. “Elation’s choice of products allowed us to put together an all LED lighting package for Bar 151 that can stand on its own.”
Bar 151 is an intimate venue with a capacity of about 300. Because it is tucked in a narrow space, Pelaez says it was important to keep patrons moving away from the entrance once they enter the club. His design therefore sought to draw people to the back of the club where the stage is, which doubles as a VIP area.
“We wanted to attract guests to the back, near the stage, and then fill the club in backwards from there,” the designer said. “We covered the stage and the area in front of the stage, which is the dance floor, with lighting to entice people to move deeper into the club and avoid congestion near the door.” As the ceiling height in the back of the club is higher than at the entrance, it also provided more room to mount lighting fixtures and made for a better space to compose a more effective lighting design.
Pelaez took a symmetrical approach to the design, pairing Elation’s narrow-beam DARTZ 360 LED moving head with compact ZCL 360i single beam moving effects over the stage/VIP area. More DARTZ fixtures alternate with E Spot III LED moving heads over the dance floor. Also over the dance floor area and directed toward the stage are SixPar 200 LED Par lights along with Protron 3K strobes. The system works double duty as both performance and dance floor lighting.
“The DARTZ has a nice beam look. I like that we can also use it as a spot fixture with its prisms that give off a gobo look. Its output is more than enough for the space,” says the designer. “The venue’s small size fit well for a compact moving light effect like the E Spot III. It's a fixture we use often because of its versatility.” On nights when there are no on-stage performances, the stage doubles as a VIP section that overlooks the dance floor. “We can then use part of the lighting system to put focus on the VIPs on stage and really make them feel like stars.”
Tirso Lighting’s first all LED lighting project has been beneficial for both company and client with Pelaez saying it made for an easier system that bypasses a lot of headaches. “For one, it eliminates steps like striking on and off the lamps. I know stories of discharge fixtures being kept on accidentally all night or sometimes for days. The cost associated with that is tremendous! It uses up the bulb but also the components end up failing from overheating. Fixtures go down and the club suffers because of it. Once you dim the LED down to zero, it’s off. You get longer lasting fixtures and a more reliable system.”
Coupled with the opening of Arka Room last year, also a Tirso Lighting project featuring Elation lighting, the Wahi Group is investing in the Washington Heights and Inwood areas of northern Manhattan as an emerging nightlife entertainment hub.
2nd January 2019
Clair Brothers Helps Sheldon College Solve Deep Reverb Issue in Multi-Purpose Hall/Gymnasium
Australia – Sheldon College is an independent, co-educational, non-denominational college located in Brisbane's Bayside, in Australia. Committed to its philosophy of love, laughter and learning, Sheldon College educates children from ages 15-months to 12-years. Established in 1997 with a campus covering 56 acres of semi-rural land, the College is committed to providing quality student exit outcomes characterised by maintaining high standards that enable students to succeed in an ever-changing world. Sheldon students become self-directed learners, effective communicators and collaborators, creative problem solvers and innovators skilled in core literacies. Clair Brothers believes in these very same principles, so when called on to upgrade the College’s multi-purpose hall with a reverb trouncing loudspeaker system, the award-winning manufacturer jumped at the chance.
This wide open, multi-purpose space is approximately 30 metres wide by 35 metres long and hosts indoor hard court sports, assemblies, music, drama and dance performances for more than 1,500 students and their teachers and parents. The space is also hired out to the community and is the largest event centre in the region. David Freeman, sound and music technology specialist at Sheldon College said that: “As happens in venues like this, with hardwood floors under an open steel beam ceiling structure connected by hard flat walls, acoustical challenges and long reverb times are the norm. The old system seemed to accent the problems.” It turns out what the school needed to do was replace the existing mono system comprised of seven separate cabinets, a three-speaker centre cluster and two lines of delay speakers. That system had poor speech intelligibility for presenters because of low gain-before-feedback from roaming wireless mics. The sound wasn’t focused to the stage and the system had no effective dynamic range, distorting every time it was pushed harder for music and dance productions. In fact, the College had to pay to rent an additional PA system for their larger events and concerts while using a portable system on stands to help fill in the coverage holes and add some bottom end.
Freeman went on to say: “The system badly needed an upgrade. Sheldon College prides itself on the quality of the Australian School of the Arts Programme in Queensland, but the old system did nothing to capitalize on the premium quality of bands and music ensembles or to reward the hours of practice put in by individual musicians and performers.”
The College recently invested in a substantial digital upgrade to its in-house video systems using high-quality projection equipment and media equipment. The sound system quickly became the weakest link. A high-quality solution, to bring the audio system up to the level of the new video system became critical. The new system needed versatility, from single lectern mic presentations and solo music performances to high-impact dance performances and large concert events; performances involving a 40-piece student orchestra, a 100-voice choir or shows with 20-plus stage performers using handheld and headset wireless mics are common.
Julian Stirling, sales and design manager at Integration Partners, the installation company hired by Sheldon College, explains the process: “The College had their eye on purchasing a plastic box line array from a large international audio brand, but we were asked to provide an alternative. That’s when we gladly approached Wayne Grosser, Clair Brothers’ expert audio consultant in Australia, who arranged to loan a loudspeaker system for Sheldon College’s most important event – the Annual Arts Academies Awards Ceremony. This loaner system from Clair Brothers was a more than 20-year-old touring rig that performed exceptionally well; so well, that it drew unsolicited comments from staff and parents, that they had never heard better sound in this hall. This impromptu demonstration opened the eyes and ears of the College’s decision makers to what was possible from compact cabinets and proved they didn’t need a line array of six or eight cabinets per side as the solution for bouncy reverb and feedback.”
It was decided that an intelligent replacement for the old design would be a multi-purpose stereo system that could dispense wide horizontal dispersion across the entire front of the room while delivering tight vertically-directional coverage aimed to limit reflections from the hard floor and back wall. The result was the hanging of two active Clair Brothers kiTCurve cabinets, five meters in the air on either side of the stage, supplemented by four active kiTSubs on the floor. Freeman happily points out, “It’s a perfect solution. This combination of speakers easily outperforms anything the College has ever used in this venue before.”
“The Clair Brothers kiTCurve and kiTSub system meets all requirement,” concludes Stirling. “Very clean and detailed at low volume for speech and individual performances with untapped headroom and huge dynamic range for high-impact music. Frankly, I’ve been installing sound systems for more than thirty years, and the kiTCurve system is by far the best sounding, most effective 12-inch-plus horn cabinet I have ever used!”
21st December 2018
PepsiCo Theatre Pops for Refreshing New L-Acoustics PA
USA – In its first major renovation since 1987, the PepsiCo Theatre at Purchase College, part of the State University of New York (SUNY), now has a precision L-Acoustics ARCS WiFo loudspeaker system integrated by Southington, Connecticut-based integrator North American Theatrix.
Designed by set designer Ming Cho Lee, the mid-sized PepsiCo Theatre has a large stage allowing for exceptional adaptability. It also makes an ideal venue for film screenings, with comfortable seating, a rear screen projection bay, and fully digital projection capabilities. A $730,000 grant from locally-based beverage giant PepsiCo in 2016, combined with additional donations, allowed for the complete renovation of the theatre, from the seats and the carpeting to the sound, projection, and lighting systems to critical backstage infrastructure.
The new PA setup for the Performing Arts Center of Purchase College’s second largest venue features three matching arrays of four L-Acoustics ARCS WiFo enclosures, two ARCS Focus over two ARCS Wide, flown in an LCR configuration through cutouts in the theatre’s acoustical cloud and powered by a total of three LA4X amplified controllers housed in an LA-RAK in the third-floor catwalk. In addition, four SB28 subs are hung in pairs on either side of the 55-foot-wide proscenium and driven by a single LA12X, while eight compact 5XT coaxial speakers powered by a fourth LA4X are used to address the rear of the 713-seat space’s under-balcony areas.
“The combination of the acoustical cloud and side platforms made finding a suitable system fairly challenging; we could not make too much of a visual impact, or have the system shadowed by the side platforms,” describes Performing Arts Center of Purchase College’s production technology manager Justin Herminghouse, who spearheaded the new system’s design. “Many of the variable curvature systems that we looked at were just going to be too long and we could not find a point source that would give us the even coverage that was one of our prime requirements. The ARCS WiFo system was able to ideally combine even coverage with an unobtrusive presence.”
A major constraint of the design process was that Herminghouse was not able to actually bring any systems into the room and listen to them in the space, or experiment with source placement. This meant that the entire design process had to be done as a modeling exercise. “Soundvision was an extremely valuable tool in developing and validating the design,” he shares. “We were able to use the modelling software to produce renderings that our executive director could use to present the performance and visual presence of the new system to donors and other non-technical stakeholders. And we were all very impressed with how accurately the predictions in Soundvision matched the actual installed performance of the system.”
“One of the primary goals of the room’s new system was to keep the energy off of reflective surfaces like the ceiling and on the audience, and ARCS WiFo does that exceptionally well,” says Gary Peck, president and CEO of North American Theatrix. “The sharp pattern control of the cabinets is also very effective at keeping unwanted high-end frequency spill off of the stage. The mixture of Wide and Focus enclosures in the arrays is providing highly consistent coverage throughout the entire audience area in terms of both SPL and tonality. The sound now is excellent in every single seat, and the speech intelligibility is very high.”
The addition of the L-Acoustics system was integral to the entire renovation in another surprising way: the four SB28 subwoofers in the system are also integrated into a new QSC cinema system, through the Q-SYS network now part of the building’s systems, adding thunderous low end to enhance films and videos.
“Integrating the L-Acoustics subs into the Q-SYS network and QSC cinema system was very easy, which is another reason we like using L-Acoustics components,” says Peck. “They always sound great and are easy to work with.”
Herminghouse adds that the PepsiCo Theatre presents a wide variety of programming in the room, and the new ARCS WiFo system has accommodated it beautifully. “In the past month or so we have hosted, among other things, a mariachi ensemble, the Purchase Jazz Orchestra with Joe Levano, a local ballet academy’s Nutcracker production, and we are currently loading in the Rob Mathes Holiday Concert, with guest appearances by Sting, Vanessa Williams, and David Sanborn,” he says. “The new system has allowed us to meets the needs of a much wider variety of programming than we were able to previously, and the reaction from audiences, engineers, and artists has been enthusiastically positive. Overall, the ARCS WiFo system has proven to be a perfect match for the hall and everyone is very happy with it.”
photo: Lou Vaccaro
20th December 2018
Ayrton Lights the Way for Studio Tanta in Japan
Japan – Studio Tanta, the newest and largest recording studio in Tokyo which opened in the Shibuya district in May 2018, chose Ayrton lighting products for its rehearsal studios. The successful installation includes ten Ayrton NandoBeam-S3 units, six WildBeam-R fixtures and four Arcaline-2 100 battens which were permanently installed in Rehearsal Studio-C.
Studio Tanta is an impressive seven storey building which took five years to build from planning to completion. It has two recording studios, a rehearsal studio, two artists’ rooms, and a restaurant. Hibino Lighting Inc., Ayrton’s exclusive distributor for Japan, was responsible for the supply and installation of the Ayrton fixtures and a lighting console.
Mr. Takahisa Hasegawa, the owner and CEO of Studio Tanta, explains how he came to choose Ayrton products: “It has always been my long-term goal to build a large-scale studio in Tokyo so, before designing Tanta, we went on a study trip to visit famous studios in the USA. Because I invested a lot of time and effort in Tanta, I wanted to be sure to choose great equipment for my studios. When Hibino Lighting introduced Ayrton products to me, I felt that they would be the perfect match.”
As Studio Tanta is used for a wide variety of purposes, including live concerts, rehearsals, parties, events and as a recording studio, a lighting system was required that could handle all these types of entertainment. Hibino Lighting therefore suggested installing Ayrton’s Wildbeam-R for special effects, and the Nandobeam-S3 for easy spotlighting of the masters of ceremonies, and for musicians who like to move around a lot!
NandoBeam-S3 is a powerful and ultra-fast moving-head in a compact housing. Its advanced and highly efficient proprietary optical system, coupled with state-of-the-art, 15W RGBW LED emitters, delivers an 8° narrow beam as well as 40° wide coverage with a 4,000-lumen output across its full beam range.
WildBeam-R is a highly compact, lightweight, super-fast and powerful fixture, fitted with seven 15W Osram Ostar RGBW LED sources, each paired with high yield 67mm 4.5° collimated optics. Together these provide a 2,500 lumen shaft of light with a centre beam intensity of 262,500 Candela. With a power consumption of only 130W and a record-breaking 90% efficiency, WildBeam-R is an especially efficient compact LED luminaire.
Both NandoBeam-S3 and WildBeam-R are equipped with three-phase stepper motors that allow quick and precise movement. These extremely compact motors fit perfectly into the minimalist design of the luminaires.
As Studio Tanta is also used for recording, it was imperative that any moving light fixtures must be extremely quiet. “Because Ayrton’s moving light fixtures are quieter and have smoother movement than other similar fixtures, they are perfect for this environment,” says Hibino Lighting’s Mr. Yukitoshi Watanabe.
Also within the rehearsal studio, Hibino Lighting installed four Arcaline 2 100 fixtures to enhance and highlight the intricate patterns of the textured wood of the back wall with beautiful colour washes.
“From the first demonstration of the Ayrton fixtures, I was very impressed at the brilliance and sophistication of the colours,” comments Mr. Hasagewa. “And because of their compactness and high performance, I was able to save both space and budget. When I open another studio in the future, I will definitely choose Ayrton products again.”
“It was such a great honour to be part of Studio Tanta’s opening,” confirms Mr. Watanabe. “Hibino Lighting imports, sells and installs various foreign products in Japan, but Ayrton is one of the most important brands for Hibino Lighting, so I was pleased when Mr. Hasegawa chose us for Tanta.
“Permanent installations for venues, halls, theatres, live music clubs, as well as music studios are an important business sector for Hibino Lighting. Japan has a large population with limited space to build new facilities, so saving space as well as budget are high requirements.
“Ayrton products are very compact with high performance, so more and more facilities adopt them nowadays. Because of that, I think we have huge potential to expand the permanent installation business sector with Ayrton products.”
photos: Hibino Lighting
19th December 2018
Community IV6 Arrays Deliver Quality Sound for Belarus National Parades
Belarus – Art Ramos Studio a.l.c. has provided the sound system for the 2018 Independence Day Parade in Belarus. The system, based around Community’s new IV6 modular vertical array, was supplied to Beltelecom, the national telecommunications company of Belarus, with system design by Art Ramos Studio to Beltelecom’s specification. The system will be used for successive annual Independence Day Parades and other national events in Belarus.
The system designed by Art Ramos Studio had to provide audio for a large number of zones, including the presidential grandstand’s performance area, nine seated spectator stands, standing areas between the seated stands and spectator areas along the route approaching the performance area.
Anton Streltsov, deputy director of Art Ramos Studio, explained: “The redundancy was excessive, but that was required by the customer due to the high level of the event. The system is based on Q-SYS Core 510i’s using two redundant cores. There are two redundant IP networks, with two-way redundant O-ring optical connections for each of them.”
Streltsov continued: “Each pair of the QSC CXD-Q amps has one additional redundant amp, with our own engineered and manufactured custom boxes for automatic switching of amp output from one amp to a redundant amp in the event of a failure. The loudspeakers automatically receive the signal from the redundant amp without the need to change any cabling. The system is controlled from a pair of DiGiCo S21 consoles, one main and one backup and, even if the whole Q-SYS network were to fail, the mixing consoles can switch from feeding the signal through the Q-SYS Dante to analog audio directly to the CXD-Q amps, so the audio doesn’t stop.”
The Community IV6 modular vertical arrays, used for the performance area in front of the presidential grandstand, are one of the first of the all-weather version to be deployed. The system has two arrays, each comprising eight IV6-1122 wide-dispersion 12-inch two-way array elements, flown at either side of the presidential stage. Ground-stacked below each array are two IV6-118S 18-inch subwoofers. IV6 incorporates physical- and acoustic-shaping tools that allowed Art Ramos Studio to tailor the arrays to the performance area. This included use of each cabinet’s passive acoustic optimisation module and EASE Focus 3 to calculate the ideal passive array parameters for each loudspeaker. “The sound quality, SPL and frequency response consistency throughout the listening area is exceptional,” observed Streltsov.
The long term all-weather capability of the loudspeakers was an important factor in the design of the system as, to allow for extensive rehearsals, it is installed for around a month each year. The seated areas are a mix of covered and open stands with raked seats. For the covered stands, Art Ramos Studio chose Community IC6-2082WR weather-resistant high output dual 8-inch two-way loudspeakers, flown under the canopy. For the open stands, where the loudspeakers would be fully exposed to the elements, they used all-weather R.5-MAX 12-inch high performance coaxial two-way loudspeakers. The standing areas, between the stands and along the route, are covered by R.5HP compact three-way loudspeakers, which are optimized for high output voice-range. These are mounted on the roadside’s existing lighting posts.
Streltsov concludes: “Beltelecom’s previous system was also Community. It had served them well for over 20 years, but the company’s latest products have allowed us to bring new standards of performance and coverage. We have not only designed a system that will provide the ultimate in reliability, but a system that delivers outstanding audio quality across all areas. We are very pleased with the results and have received great feedback from both our customer and visitors to the event.”