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Project News Headlines

Dallas Cowboys expand Electro-Voice line array installation at AT&T Stadium


Seoul Church Chooses Alcons Audio Pro-Ribbon Audio Solution


Leading regional entertainment complex steps up to DiGiCo with Autograph


Stage Electrics bring the ICCW to life with a direct approach


TurboRay Dazzles and Shines at McCallum Theatre


Vienna State Opera Extends Existing Optocore Network with Broaman System


Carlos Rodgarman Adds Prestige to His Studio by Installing a Genesys Black


Tarrantulas in the House!


Leeds City College Students Get Creative with dLive


Harry’s New York Bar Expands Entertainment Options in Cologne with Chauvet DJ


Genelec Smart IP opens up ‘world of possibilities’ for new G Livelab live venue


LIPA chooses Neumann for next-generation audio


Painting “Het Kunstuur” with Light for an Hour


MILOS truss takes on a strong supporting role


White Light Provides Royal Albert Hall with LED Upgrade


Kinetic Lighting chooses Artiste DaVinci for Southern California’s historic Warner Grand Theatre


Carousel Digital Signage Strengthens Walford’s Campus-Wide Communications Strategy


Sound Adventures goes beyond entertainment at the University of Campania


CSD Group and Chauvet Professional Create Contemporary Worship Environment at Summit Church


Schauspielhaus Bochum Upgrades to Digital with dLive


NK SOUND TOKYO Installs World’s Largest Rupert Neve Designs 5088 Console


The Clarity of PMC Monitors Helps Felix Klostermann Speed Up His Workflow


Verlinde fits out the world's first underwater cinema set at the Lites cinema studios in Belgium


Electro-Voice and Dynacord deliver flexible audio solution for the Royal Institute of British Architects


White Light Starts New School Year at Bryanston


Dallas Cowboys expand Electro-Voice line array installation at AT&T Stadium

Dallas Cowboys expand Electro-Voice line array installation at AT&T Stadium
Dallas Cowboys expand Electro-Voice line array installation at AT&T Stadium

USA – When the Dallas Cowboys opened AT&T Stadium in 2009, it boasted the world’s largest Electro-Voice sound system in a permanent installation, including over 240 line-array loudspeakers from the X-Line family. The design team, spearheaded by Kevin Day of WJHW, selected EV systems for their audio quality, reliability and depth of control provided by the IRIS-Net processing and monitoring platform. After enthusiastic approval from team owner Jerry Jones, Pro Media Audio Video was enlisted to help coordinate the challenging installation.

Fast-forward to 2019. Noting that the many touring concert acts coming through the world’s largest domed stadium simply do not carry enough PA to provide adequate coverage for the upper seating areas, the audio team decided to take advantage of EV’s scalability to address the challenge.

“We're always working to improve the fan experience for all events, not just on game days,” says Gary French, audio engineer in charge for the Dallas Cowboys. “Most concert tours augment their travelling systems with our EV arrays as the delay system for the upper levels. We decided a little extra coverage would be a big upgrade for those events.”

The Cowboys’ audio team worked with system programmer Richard Bratcher, along with original design and installation partners including Kevin Day of WJHW, head engineer Demetrius Palavos and COO Ted Leamy of Pro Media Audio Video, and the Electro-Voice engineering team. Together, they determined that the 14 XLCi127DVX (compact three-way) delay systems covering the upper level could be scaled up to produce smoother coverage with improved intelligibility.

Ted Leamy of ProMedia Audio Video reports that the upgrade went very smoothly. “This project is a great example of using real-world experience hand-in-hand with predictive computer models to improve a system,” he says. “By listening to the customer, we find ways to improve a system that already sounds great. We’re all extraordinarily pleased at the increased intelligibility we achieved.”

The upgrade includes two added XLC arrays on each side of the stadium, plus the addition of one more loudspeaker element to the 14 existing arrays serving the 400 level, for a total of 54 added boxes. The system is also bolstered with 20 additional Electro-Voice TG series amplifiers, each equipped with RCM-26 remote control DSP modules. One additional NetMax N8000 digital matrix controller was also added. The IRIS-Net platform’s proven stability and scalability was a key factor in the expansion.

“Having used this system for every type of event, it’s amazing how flexible it is,” adds Gary French. “We’ve had no real issues with it this whole time, and Electro-Voice is there for us whenever we decide to tweak something. After ten years, everything still looks and sounds new and I’ve been really happy with it. You can’t ask for more than that.”

24th January 2020

Seoul Church Chooses Alcons Audio Pro-Ribbon Audio Solution

Seoul Church Chooses Alcons Audio Pro-Ribbon Audio Solution
Seoul Church Chooses Alcons Audio Pro-Ribbon Audio Solution

South Korea – In common with many older houses of worship, modern expectations have meant that the audio quality of sermons in the 1936-built Changsin Church in the Gangnam district of Seoul, South Korea was no longer good enough. A replacement sound reinforcement system was needed and, after a direct comparison with systems from other major manufacturers, an Alcons Audio LR14 pro-ribbon system was chosen by the church.

The church formed a committee which appointed Jang Young-wook, a church sound engineer and executive director of the Korean Church Acoustics Association, as the project consultant. He contacted the representatives of eight leading audio system manufacturers and asked them to participate in a briefing to be held at the church.

The companies included audio contractor Sky Sound, based in the city of Daegu, which had previously worked with Alcons Audio’s South Korean distributor Corelab on the project to install an Alcons pro-ribbon LR14 ultra-compact line-array system in The Gyeongsan Central Church, in Gyeongsan City. Sky Sound also owns an Alcons LR18 compact mid-size line array system in its rental inventory for live events.

The representatives of all eight brands attended the site briefing, which included details of the acoustics and the church’s requirements, and all were asked to suggest a solution based on an identical budget. Sky Sound CEO Park Sang-hyun and Corelab’s Baek Seung-hoon had worked together on the Gyeongsan Central Church installation, so it was obvious for them to work together on this project.

As well as considering which Alcons pro-ribbon system would deliver the best sound for church sermons, Baek Seung-hoon also considered what would be the easiest system for the church officials to use and how it could be used to improve the visual appearance of the space where worship takes place.

“There was a certain amount of reflection and a balcony at the back, with chairs underneath, so I had to be very careful with the sound. The existing system also had cables visible in many places, which detracted from the interior appearance,” he says.

During the two weeks allowed to produce the system proposal, Baek Seung-hoon visited the church when there was no worship taking place to discuss the acoustics with its part-time sound engineer. He also visited during Sunday worship to hear and make a recording of the pastor’s sermon with the existing system.

From this research, he decided that the best Alcons pro-ribbon solution would be a system comprising six LR14/90 ultra-compact line-array modules, six LR14/120 wide dispersion ultra-compact line-array modules, two LR14B ultra-compact line-array bass modules, four VR8 compact versatile monitors and one CCS8 medium-format surround unit, powered and controlled by two Sentinel10 amplified loudspeaker controllers. The system would provide high quality, even coverage throughout, including both above and below the balcony, meaning no secondary speakers would be needed.

The four companies which passed the initial proposal evaluation provided system demonstrations in front of the church committee and other staff. After each company had demonstrated its system, the Church committee and pastor spoke to the vendors individually. Here Baek Seung-hoon spoke of his earlier visits to the church, explaining and showing why hearing the pastor’s sermons was difficult with the existing system. This ensured that all committee members understood the issues.

Impressed with both the demonstration and Baek Seung-hoon’s explanation, the committee chose the Alcons LR14 system.

Sky Sound faced some difficulties with removing the old audio system and flying the Alcons LR14 pro-ribbon arrays, so the company manufactured and installed specially-made wall brackets to hang the arrays from.

“Before installing the Alcons system, not everyone present could properly hear or understand the pastor's sermons,” says Baek Seung-hoon. “Now everyone in the Church can hear every word and the pastor no longer needs to preach loudly, which was making him tired when using the old system.

“The walls of the chapel also no longer look ugly with a lot of speakers and cables. All church staff and worshippers are now enjoying a very comfortable faith life with the Alcons LR14 system.”

24th January 2020

Leading regional entertainment complex steps up to DiGiCo with Autograph

Leading regional entertainment complex steps up to DiGiCo with Autograph

UK – Nottingham’s Theatre Royal has completed the purchase of a DiGiCo SD10T with two SD-Racks, supplied by Autograph Sales & Installations. Autograph also provided an installed fibre network plus training sessions for the console and its theatre-specific T software.

Located in the heart of historic Nottingham, the Theatre Royal and the adjacent Royal Concert Hall comprise a contemporary, multi-disciplinary entertainment complex that serves a wide area of the East Midlands. Beyond their programme of rock and pop, orchestral music, contemporary dance, opera, touring drama, pantomime, family-focused shows, comedy and West End musicals, they also operate a range of community-focused workshops and education projects.

The classic façade and Corinthian columns of the Theatre Royal are a striking city-centre landmark behind which lies one of Britain’s most handsome Victorian theatres, originally constructed in 1865. Extensively re-worked by legendary theatrical architect Frank Matcham in 1897 and subsequently subject of a £5m refurbishment in the late 70s, the 1,107-capacity auditorium offers seating over four levels while its public spaces include numerous bars and a cafe.

Their new DiGiCo replaces a long-serving analogue console and was installed just in time for the theatre’s 2019-20 panto season, this year featuring Qdos Entertainment’s production of Cinderella. Michael Donoghue is head of lighting and sound for the Theatre Royal and commented: “The purchase of a new digital sound desk has been something we have wanted and needed for some time now. Our old 48-channel analogue desk has served us well but with the need for ever more inputs, outputs and processing, things have been more than a little strained over the past few years.”

“The choice to go for a DiGiCo desk, especially the SD10, was fairly academic for us. It is pretty much the industry standard for theatre sound, especially for us in a mostly touring house seeing them come in and out pretty much every week (apart from those lucky enough to have an SD7) and having the Theatre software added was also done without question.”

“As well as the installed fibre, we have purchased extra loose fibre so we can take the SD10T with our SD-Racks into the Concert Hall and integrate them with their existing DiGiCo SD9 desk to create a FoH and monitor desk set-up. This also opens up the possibility of being able to take it out of the building in future to use elsewhere as a sub hire and extra income stream.

“We’re also very grateful to Autograph and DiGiCo themselves for all their support so far and their kind hospitality at our training days, both here at the theatre and at their offices in London where we went for our ‘T’ training.”

Michael concludes: “It was great to see just how excited the sound designer for this year’s Panto, Justin Teasdale, was to have the use of our new desk, especially after sound check when he’d got to hear just how good the 32bit mic cards are!”

photo: David Wiggins

24th January 2020


Stage Electrics bring the ICCW to life with a direct approach

Stage Electrics bring the ICCW to life with a direct approach
Stage Electrics bring the ICCW to life with a direct approach

UK – The spectacular International Convention Centre Wales (ICC Wales) is a joint venture partnership between the Welsh Government and Celtic Manor Resort. In total the centre provides 26,000 sqm of floor space for up to 5,000 delegates, which includes an auditorium with tiered seating for 1,500, a 4,000sqm pillar-free space that can be divided into six sections creating up to 25 different configurations, and an additional 15 flexible meeting rooms. Architecturally, it is a refreshing departure from standard conference centre fare, with a triple height atrium at its entrance and a light and airy feel throughout. It has been designed to engender a feeling of well-being, and many of its spaces have impressive views out across the adjoining woodland.

This open, progressive approach has also been applied to the centre’s AV design integration, and installation processes, which gave technical contractor Stage Electrics a level of freedom and collaborative input that has paid dividends for the resulting infrastructure and has made best use of an exacting budget.

Stage Electrics was responsible for installing integrated lighting control throughout the venue, plus PA, voice alarm, production lighting and associated infrastructure including a Dante AoIP network for all meeting rooms and public spaces. The company also worked with the client to manage stage engineering and equipment suppliers, technical budgets, and eventually helping to hire technical staff for the venue. The Stage Electrics team included chief engineer Simon Cooper, who held principal responsibility for the technical solution architecture and significant input into the equipment selection, commercial director Dan Aldridge, who worked alongside business development manager Saul Eagles, Cooper the client to create the cost management structure, project manager Chris Brant, site supervisor Aaron Godsmark, who was on site throughout the construction period. The major suppliers were RCF, ETC, Panasonic, Prolyte, Symetrix and Yamaha.

Stage Electrics came onto the project three and a half years ago at the initial planning and pricing stage and, rather than working under a middle project-management layer, it was decided early on that they should work directly with project consultants, Right Solutions, and the client, ICC Wales.

Eagles explains that this unusual client-direct arrangement helped both with budget, and the final outcome: "Normally we would be employed by the main contractor, but it was agreed early on that certain aspects would be managed directly with ICC Wales, including the stage engineering, lighting, and sound. This meant we were connected to the client at a personal level and could put its needs and its budget first. That worked really well, and I think the client got a far better result."

"The whole process became really collaborative," adds Cooper. "We ran round table sessions where we could talk candidly and openly about pricing and options; design features and equipment that were ring-fenced, as well as areas that could be adapted, and where innovation could bring more value. We were able to offer advice on purchasing items that would be widely and regularly used, versus items that could be hired in, or that production companies frequently carry. We also assisted in the appointment of electrical contractors. The client has got far more than they would have any other way."

One example of the collaborative process was Stage Electrics’ work with loudspeaker manufacturer RCF to develop a combined sound reinforcement and voice evacuation system. This meant that the audio quality would complement the main FOH system, while the client made a saving compared to installing and running two separate systems.

The company also worked directly with the in-house IT team to integrate lighting and sound control with the facility's corporate network, rather than installing a separate closed system.

Dan Aldridge said: "Importantly, we've also been able to help the client manage inflationary pressures over the long development time for this project. We've come up with clever technical solutions and innovative commercial options to insulate the client from cost increases."

The Stage Electrics team is clear that the wide collaborative and trusting nature of the whole project has been instrumental to its ultimate success. However, Chris Brant also makes the point that the long-term continuity of the Stage Electrics team itself and the way it was deployed had a massive impact: “The Stage Electrics team has been instrumental in ensuring that we have been able to monitor, plan, re-sequence and control our works in a professional and clearly communicated manner,” he explains. “On site the engineers, installers and commissioning teams were fantastic at identifying potential issues, co-ordinating around other trades, sometimes in challenging circumstances, and maintaining the high standards of work we are committed to.”

Since opening in September, the conference centre has already successfully hosted many major events including the UK Space Conference and is looking forward to a busy schedule next year. Eagles: "The client is thrilled that they’ve got a far better result by engaging a specialist early in the design process, we haven’t had to work with someone else’s spec, and no one has got between us and what's best for the project. Commercial awareness is key. You work out what the client needs to get out of the building and budget and then make the best use of your expert resources to make that happen."

Eric Rymer from project consultants Right Solutions has worked with Stage Electrics Group and its subsidiary company Northern Light before, on the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, and is very complimentary about their approach: "First they have a good can-do attitude," he comments. "So, if a problem arises, they fix it. They're also nice people to deal with, often suggesting ways of getting a better deal and bringing value for money to the project. It’s a very client-centred approach."

Brant: “It has been an incredible project to have been the delivery project manager for, to have worked with such a strong team of people in transforming what was an empty plot of land in March 2017 into the completed ICC Wales. It’s had the ups and downs that you come to expect in delivering projects of this size and scale, but the end result is brilliant. It delivers technically, it has given our clients what they were seeking and more, and it makes me immensely proud.”

ICC Wales head of technical services Simon Denman-Ellis concludes: “We believe that ICCW is an outstanding venue in every way and it was designed to integrate cutting-edge technology throughout the centre to complement the exceptional meeting and event spaces. Stage Electrics have certainly delivered on this brief in the lighting and AV installation throughout the venue and the excellent service they have provided. This has given us the best end result, within budget.”

Stage Electrics bring the ICCW to life with a direct approachStage Electrics bring the ICCW to life with a direct approach

24th January 2020

Stage Electrics

TurboRay Dazzles and Shines at McCallum Theatre

TurboRay Dazzles and Shines at McCallum Theatre
TurboRay Dazzles and Shines at McCallum Theatre

USA - Struck by the TurboRay’s face and features in the promotional industry media, production/lighting director Keith Smith called High End Systems’ Terry Heisler for a demo. “I had to have some,” Smith declared.

The McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts has been entertaining and educating residents and students in Palm Desert, Calif., since 1988. The staff thrives on providing state-of-the-art equipment for the seasons’ programmes and for technical training.

Smith purchased eight of the special effect LED units through 4Wall Entertainment in Las Vegas, and immediately debuted them to dazzle their December Gala fundraiser.

“I kept wishing I had more as the show was going on,” Smith notes. “I placed them downstage on the apron edge and used them for their effects and as eye candy.”

TurboRay was designed not only for wash and aerial effects, but to serve as audience entertainment with special pixel-mapping effects. Smith likes the four different quads of the LED fixture, which allow segmenting the face or using it as a full wash unit.

“I love this fixture,” Smith says. “The four different quads of LED are great and the frost flags are effective and fun.”

The McCallum Theatre Gala is an exclusive evening honouring well-known Coachella Valley philanthropist, Jan Salta. For this year’s event, attendees enjoyed fine dining at a local participating restaurant and then a performance by Grammy Award-winning artist, Seal, with a 29-piece orchestra performing standards by George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington and more.

Gala proceeds help fund theatre operations as well as arts education programs that bring training in theatre, dance, music and visual arts to 40,000 schoolchildren and educators at no cost to them. These funds also make it possible to continue to bring world-class performances to Coachella Valley residents.

While Smith wasn’t looking for a particular lighting fixture to fulfil a need, he says: “I was just intrigued by the TurboRays and thought they would be a great addition to my lighting tool box.”

He wasn’t the only one intrigued. It caught the eye of many band members, who inquired about the TurboRay, and he reports receiving a dozen calls after the event from “retired show biz people who were in the audience asking about ‘that cool fixture’.”

He’s happy with his purchase and plans to add more TurboRay to the rig this summer. “The TurboRay is a true work horse. I am an old school lighting guy but love all the amazing options. It looks beautiful and performed beautifully.”

While the TurboRay plays a role in upcoming training for technical theatre students, it may also sparkle and shine on 2020 shows including Itzhak Perlman, An Intimate Evening with David Foster, Beautiful - The Carole King Musical, The Ten Tenors, Judy Collins, Chicago - The Musical, The Illusionists, Chris Botti and more.

photos : Marc Glassman

22nd January 2020

Vienna State Opera Extends Existing Optocore Network with Broaman System

Vienna State Opera Extends Existing Optocore Network with Broaman System
Vienna State Opera Extends Existing Optocore Network with Broaman System

Austria – Back in 2016 Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera) with its chief sound engineer, Athanasios Rovakis, started investigating the possibility of moving its audio and video distribution to fiber. At first, the Opera House modernised its audio system, purchasing a network fiber solution based around Optocore X6R-FX analogue devices and M8 MADI switch to bring together additional signal sources from distant places in the house, and to share signals for broadcasting.

Looking to expand their communications outreach, by the following year they were considering further options provided by Optocore’s partner company BroaMan. This resulted in them purchasing a point-to-point set of Mux22 multi-signal transmission devices, with the new FrameSync8 board. Offering a superior upgrade to traditional frame sync technologies it allowed sync distribution together with eight video channels, IP and serial data.

But the upgrade path was far from complete, and this year the State Opera invested in a complete BroaMan architecture, with a system based on ten Repeat48WDM, which provide five point-to-point transport systems with 12 video channels, each transported on a single duplex fibre, a Repeat48 electrical-optical media converter with six SDI-In and six SDI-Out and six compact Repeat8-NANO to convert SDI to and from fibre. In a fairly unique deployment, all video is transported on multi-mode fibre.

When designing the system Mr. Rovakis had quickly realised that BroaMan devices were essential, as in view of the extreme transmission distances in the vast building copper was not an option, and fiber the only viable solution.

“The audio control room has been steadily upgraded over the past 70 years, with devices from many generations and manufacturers, all with their own unique formats, connections and protocols,” he said. “It is a major challenge for any new device that gets installed as it has to work with the old ones. But BroaMan’s Repeat48's brings a complete tunnelling to the entire Opera.”

He added that since the Opera is under a preservation order, new cables are difficult and expensive, therefore they have to work with a limited amount of space, channels and bandwidth. “This made multiplexing basically the only viable option.”

Athanasios Rovakis said he had full confidence in specifying the BroaMan solution since the Optocore-BroaMan platform had been rock solid since first being installed in 2016.

He also saw its many advantages over similar systems. “In contrast to others, the Repeat48 has no boot-up time, which is vital for events with little prep time, and there is zero latency which is equally important.”

Concluded BroaMan’s technical sales manager, Maciek Janiszewski: “We have recently noticed huge interest in our solutions for the installation market, specifically in concert halls and theatres. These venues require ultra-fast fiber transport with high flexibility, and lower channel count than in broadcast.

“The BroaMan portfolio fits very well in that regard, offering simple and cost-efficient, yet extremely reliable solutions. The Vienna State Opera video system is based on point-to-point multichannel fiber transport between different locations in the building, and the Repeat48 family is a perfect match for that.”

Vienna State Opera Extends Existing Optocore Network with Broaman SystemVienna State Opera Extends Existing Optocore Network with Broaman System

21st January 2020

Carlos Rodgarman Adds Prestige to His Studio by Installing a Genesys Black

Carlos Rodgarman Adds Prestige to His Studio by Installing a Genesys Black
Carlos Rodgarman Adds Prestige to His Studio by Installing a Genesys Black

USA – One can never have too much of a good thing; this was the conclusion producer and composer Carlos Rodgarman reached after adding an eight channel AMS Neve Genesys Black G16 to his private studio in Los Angeles.

Within months of installing the desk, Rodgarman was so impressed by its power, flexibility and the way it streamlined his workflow that he upgraded the console to a G48 by adding a 16 channel expansion module. He also took the opportunity install the Neve GenesysControl plug-in and Neve 88R EQ hardware.

“To say I am blown away by this console is an understatement,” Rodgarman says. “The combination of Genesys Black and GenesysControl has completely revolutionised the way I work. I get all the benefits of Neve’s fabulous analogue EQ and dynamics without having to sacrifice any of the convenience of working ‘in the box’. It is transformative, just saying I have a Neve console is impressive because my clients understand the brand’s audio quality and pedigree.”

Originally from Spain, Rodgarman moved to America 18 years ago to pursue a career as a musician. As a talented pianist, he worked with many artists including Celine Dion, All-4-One, Prince Royce, Jonathan Butler, Sheila E, La India and many more. He is also in demand as a producer, arranger, musical director and programmer and now spends most of his time in the studio, where he has worked with artists such as Juan Gabriel, Beto Cuevas, Jenni Rivera, producer Humberto Gatica, Laura Bretan, Cristian Castro, Isabel Pantoja, Antonio Carmona and Oskar Cartaya, whose latest project was nominated for a Latin Grammy. Composing music for advertising agencies with partner David Weisberg and film and television projects is also slotted in around his music clients and his own projects, which he releases under the name of The RodgarBand.

Rodgarman’s studio, which is located in his Los Angeles home, is equipped with Barefoot stereo monitoring, Pro Tools and a host of vintage microphones, outboard equipment and instruments including a Yamaha C7 Grand Piano. The studio was recently extended to accommodate the Genesys Black G48 console and is now an acoustically accurate space with plenty of natural daylight.

“Sound quality really matters to me and this was the main reason why I chose a Neve Genesys Black console,” he explains. “The Neve sound is unmistakeable and brings a new dimension to my work. The desk is also built to last and that was important as I was looking for reliability.”

Rodgarman adds that the modular nature of Genesys Black was also attractive because it allowed him scope to expand in the future.

“What I didn’t realise was just how quickly I would want to do that.,” he says “As soon as I started using it, I got so much pleasure from tracking through the desk that I wanted to do more and more on it, which meant I needed extra channels. The addition of GenesysControl has also changed the way I work. I can now move seamlessly between Pro Tools or Logic and the console, and it is also much quicker to switch from project to project because sessions can be set up so easily by simply pushing a few buttons.”

A speedier workflow proved especially beneficial in the run up to Christmas 2019 as Carlos Rodgarman was busy finishing a new album with Beto Cuevas, as well working on two major Christmas concerts that involved large orchestras.

“I’m hoping to have more time for my own projects next year,” he says. “I’m keen to develop a music library and there are also a couple of interesting film projects in the pipeline, which will keep my Neve Genesys Black console busy.”

21st January 2020

Tarrantulas in the House!

Tarrantulas in the House!

Poland – Mateusz Karon, deputy of technical manager the Teatr Dramatyczny m. st. Warszawy (Dramatic Theater of the capital city of Warsaw), is very happy with the new Robe Tarrantulas – the most powerful of the current LED wash beam range – that are part of the house lighting rig for this important venue, which has been at the forefront of producing Polish drama since 1949 and ensconced in the Palace of Culture and Science venue since 1955.

There are two performance spaces: ‘Big’ and ‘Little’ stages at the Palace of Culture, and the company also runs programmes in two other buildings around the city.

These four stages offer a busy and vibrant schedule of modern, classical and new works with a reputation for excellent acting and tackling relevant contemporary issues. Each space stages between ten and 12 shows a year, primarily their own productions, which equals a lot of annual performance activity.

Mateusz oversees all things technical in the main Dramatic Theatre building and creates new lighting specifications as and when they are needed to ensure they keep pace with developing technology. These then go out to open tender.

When initially looking for new fixtures for keylighting – with Tarrantula as one of the contenders – Mateusz and his team were all impressed with the controllability of the fixture, and beyond that, the sheer power, which they thought would be perfect for the 460-capacity Big stage, in addition to key lighting duties. They also wanted a source with a high CRI … and Tarrantula fitted all the criteria.

The decision to choose the Tarrantulas (delivered directly by Robe’s Polish distributor, Prolight) was a collective one made by Mateusz and the Dramatic Theatre’s lighting crew in consultation with some key individuals including deputy technical director Mariusz Guglas and influential lighting designer Ewa Garniec.

“As well as meeting all the tender requirements, Tarrantula offered the best value for the money because it was multifunctional,” observed Mateusz, adding that ‘cost-efficiency’ is also factored into any purchases.

The Tarrantulas are the first Robe fixtures to be permanently installed in the building.

Before this, LED wash lights were regularly sub-hired, so having their own is a much better option, and the lighting department of six people and Matteusz are all delighted!

They all love the intensity and strength of the Tarrantulas. In addition to the many drama productions throughout the year, the Dramatic Theatre also produces musicals, and this is an ideal light source with its serious brightness, excellent colour mixing and quality output.

The team appreciates the lights being properly ‘made in Europe’ and the fact that the Czech Republic is a neighbouring country is another plus. Their overall impression is that it’s good to see their neighbours doing well and that Robe is one of the top professional moving light brands worldwide, and therefore a great investment.

One of the first productions to use the new Tarrantulas was the hit “Kinky Boots”, music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper, which was lit by Lukasz Rozewicz (former head of lighting at the Dramatic Theatre, who is now technical director and LD at Mazowsze, the traditional Polish folk dance company).

However, the very first production to be entirely based around the new Tarrantulas was “Princess Turandot”, which premiered in September and was lit by lighting designer Ewa Garniec.

photos: Krzysztof Bieliński, Teatr Dramatyczny m. st. Warszawy

Tarrantulas in the House!Tarrantulas in the House!

20th January 2020

Robe Lighting

Leeds City College Students Get Creative with dLive

Leeds City College Students Get Creative with dLive
Leeds City College Students Get Creative with dLive

UK – Leeds City College is the city’s largest educational establishment, offering a wide variety of courses to more than 25,000 students. The college recently expanded its facilities with the new £60m state-of-the-art Quarry Hill Campus, home to the School of Creative Arts, featuring an Allen & Heath dLive digital mixing system.

Following a recommendation and demonstration by the audio sales division of A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ltd (AC-ET), the college opted for a dLive C3500 control surface and CDM48 MixRack, fitted with a Dante 64x64 networking card, for the campus’ soon to open theatre.

For use by both theatre design and production, and music production students, the dLive system will also be employed for public performances by theatre companies and community groups during holiday periods and outside of college hours. As such, the new system needed to meet a variety of criteria as the College’s chief theatre technician and teacher, Paul Graham-Bell explains.

“We looked at several models from different manufacturers when trying to find a mixing solution to meet the demands of the theatre,” he says. “The theatre design and production students are taught sound design for dance and musical theatre, while music production courses cover both live sound and recording, so flexibility was very important. The control surface also needed to be simple enough to learn the basics of mixing, but also sufficiently powerful for students to explore advanced features and techniques. We also wanted to invest in something that was popular within the industry, to allow for meaningful hands-on experience that students can take with them when they qualify.

Graham-Bell adds: “We’ve been delighted with the dLive system. Everything from the ease of integration into our Dante network, to the simplicity of the user interface has confirmed it was the right choice for us. We’re really looking forward to using it in our first season of production in 2020.”

17th January 2020

Harry’s New York Bar Expands Entertainment Options in Cologne with Chauvet DJ

Harry’s New York Bar Expands Entertainment Options in Cologne with Chauvet DJ

Germany – In the first half of the 20th century Harry’s New York Bar became famous the world over, counting the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Humphrey Bogart and even Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, among its regulars. It was here that the Bloody Mary cocktail was first concocted. This famous establishment wasn’t located in Manhattan, though, but 5,800km away on the Rue Daunou in Paris.

The fabled characters of an early era are long gone, but the allure of this legendary establishment lives on, not just in Paris, but even further to the east on the ground floor of Cologne’s Dorint Hotel, where the local Harry’s New York Bar has become one of the hottest spots in the city’s bustling nightlife.

Long known as one of Cologne’s hippest meeting spots, and famous for serving a distinct collection of special drinks at its 100 metre long bar, Harry’s expanded its reach last year by offering notable live music acts.

Looking to install a dynamic lighting rig that could provide visual support for its musical offerings, Harry’s reached out to Sound Bros. GmbH, which supplied the popular club with a powerful, colour-rendering LED system featuring Chauvet DJ Intimidator fixtures.

“Harry’s goal was to create a supportive visuals for the live music acts, while still being discrete and not taking anything away from the overall atmosphere,” said Michael Löhnert of Sound Bros. “After looking at the Intimidators we knew that would allow us to accomplish this, while still staying within budget.”

A total of six Intimidator Wash Zoom 450 IRC and eight Intimidator Spot 260 fixtures at Harrys were installed as part of the club’s overall sound and lighting upgrade, all of which were handled by Sound Bros. The fixtures are hung on two steel pipes that run across the ceiling on opposite sides of the dance floor.

Powered by 12 x 15W RGBW LEDs the Intimidator Wash Zoom 450 IRC bathes the floor in vivid colours. Drawing on the fixture’s Totem Mode feature, the club is able to keep its powerful light focused on the dance floor, so as not to distract attention in other areas of the club.

The 75W Intimidator Spot fixtures add to the excitement with their crisp gobos and rapid movements. As in the case of the wash units, the spot fixtures have an in built Totem Mode to keep light focused on the dance floor.

“Our client is also able to use the fixtures to focus soft colours and warm white light on performers for more intimate acts,” said Löhnert. “The lights have added elegance and style to the club and created a more impactful environment.”

So, while the Harry’s New York Bar of today’s Cologne might not have quite the same legendary crowd as the original establishment of the same name, it benefits from a powerful and versatile lighting system that could never have been imagined back in the day.

Harry’s New York Bar Expands Entertainment Options in Cologne with Chauvet DJHarry’s New York Bar Expands Entertainment Options in Cologne with Chauvet DJ

16th January 2020

Genelec Smart IP opens up ‘world of possibilities’ for new G Livelab live venue

Genelec Smart IP opens up ‘world of possibilities’ for new G Livelab live venue

Finland – In the wake of the unmitigated success that is G Livelab Helsinki, the Finnish Musicians’ Union has opened a brand new – and bigger – venue in the vibrant city of Tampere, some 200km north of the Finnish capital. The same team was deployed to realise the Tampere project, which is built according to the same ‘music first’ philosophy as Helsinki. The result is an extraordinary live music experience based on quality programming, modern design, and state-of-the-art Genelec audio systems including the ground-breaking new 4430 Smart IP loudspeaker.

Housed in a striking red brick building which was formerly the boiler house of the Frenckell paper mill in the heart of the city, the venue hosts up to 250 people and offers a hugely varied programme including jazz, folk, world music, pop/rock, chamber music, electronic music and more. Akukon Oy designed the acoustics, electroacoustics, lighting, sound, video, communication systems and basic IT structure as well as the rigging systems, as they did for Helsinki, and leading Nordic AV integrator, Bright, another key member of the Helsinki team,– brought Akukon’s vision to life.

“Genelec was already a tried and tested solution with the first G Livelab project in Helsinki which has had great reviews,” explains Bright’s Head of Installation, Santtu Sipilä. “People really liked what we achieved in Helsinki, so it was an obvious decision to equip the Tampere club with Genelecs as well.”

“We definitely wanted the new 4430s for easier cabling and added control, it’s opened up a world of possibilities for us,” admits Sipilä. “We have a fully networked system running on Dante – this includes the big loudspeakers used for the main PA – and any of the 4430s can take any signal from anywhere. This means that we can use the same loudspeakers for virtual acoustics, surround sound, background music, delays, the possibilities are endless, and it’s enabled us to considerably reduce the total amount of loudspeakers required in order to achieve what we wanted. We are able to make art with loudspeakers and we are not limited in any way in terms of how we can use the system.”

Tapio Ilomäki, the project manager for Akukon, agrees: “The versatility of systems and spaces was a key element of the design; modern venues need to be multi-purpose and they have to be able to facilitate these changes as quickly and easily as possible, for optimum functionality and quick return on investment. The use of the 4430s plays an important role at this level as well as offering extremely musical sound with very low distortion.”

Sipilä is also extremely impressed with the PoE (Power over Ethernet) capabilities of the 4430s. “We were astonished by the SPLs and sound quality from this size of loudspeaker over PoE. The ability to have everything delivered over just a single cable is every installer’s dream, so I think that Genelec’s Smart IP range will be figuring in a great many of our future designs!”

In addition to the 4430s, the main PA system comprises a pair of 1236 SAM studio monitors, the flagship of the Genelec range, seventeen S360s for surround and delay, a pair of 1238s as the first delay line, and finally a flown sub array of nine 7380 subwoofers. “We didn’t have either the height or the space to include subs in Helsinki, so this is a welcome addition in Tampere which gives us some extra headroom in the system and helps add body and fullness to the sound,” adds Sipalä.

Renowned Finnish singer/songwriter, Markus Nordenstreng of Tuomo & Markus and the Latebirds considers G Livelab as his favourite venue for intimate performances. “For me, G Livelab is the ultimate live sound experience. When you come here to listen to live music, it will most likely sound even better than it did on the record – you can hear things you never heard before. It would be a great service to mankind if there was a G Livelab in every city around the world!”

16th January 2020

LIPA chooses Neumann for next-generation audio

LIPA chooses Neumann for next-generation audio

UK – The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) has enjoyed success across its array of course offerings since it was founded in 1996. With constantly high rankings in most government and independent measures, it boasts numerous high-profile and successful alumni in disciplines from acting, dance, and music, through to management, theatre technology, and sound technology.

In sound technology the institute is pushing forward into the future by developing new facilities and new courses that address emerging media formats and delivery platforms. Part of that plan includes building new TV production facilities and a 7.1.4 Atmos home entertainment studio. Neumann monitors have been confirmed as the monitor of choice across all the new spaces, continuing a long-standing and successful partnership between LIPA and Neumann parent company Sennheiser.

Jon Thornton is the head of sound technology at LIPA and has been involved in specifying the new studios. He explains that one of the main motivators for choosing Neumann across the facility was consistency: "At least one set of monitors in each of our six main studios are Neumanns, either the KH 310, 120, or 410 models. Even though they are very different products and have different capabilities, there’s a shared response across the range, so as students move from studio to studio what they’re hearing remains consistent. That consistency and variety is important for learning about and understanding monitoring."

The new 7.1.4 Atmos studio was the first of the new facilities to be completed in January, with a structural refit of an existing room by UBE Service and integration by Studio Care, Liverpool. The left, right and centre monitors are Neumann KH 310 tri-amplified near-field units, while the surround, rear, and height speakers are Neumann KH 120s. The subwoofer is a Neumann KH 810.

Choosing Neumann for this room in particular draws on Thornton’s previous experience with 5.1 rooms at LIPA. "We found that the monitors had a very even response across the HF axis. For a lot of things we were doing in 5.1, that meant the monitoring sweet spot was really nice and easy to achieve. That’s just as important when stepping up to the immersive formats."

Another consideration was room tuning and the developments Neumann has made in DSP, delay, and EQ options for the monitors: "With Dolby Atmos, all those things are even more important. Being able to manage delay, time of flight, and equalisation across the speakers is key."

The very practical issue of speaker placement was also a consideration, taken care of by Neumann's extensive mounting hardware selection. "When you’re designing a facility like this, where and how you position those speakers is crucial." says Thornton. "In a 7.1.4 space, it's not always straight forward. There was a lot head scratching by our contractors when it came to creating geometric recesses in the ceiling for the height of the speakers, but there’s such an incredible array of mounting options for the speakers themselves in the end it was very easy to get them in the right place and pointing in the right direction."

The new TV facilities at LIPA have been designed by Whitemark Limited, with Aztec as contractors and systems integration by Wire Broadcast. The rooms include a new television production studio, gallery, and sound control room, plus another 5.1 post production studio.

What was previously the Sennheiser Studio Theatre is being renamed the Sennheiser Studio. Thornton: "Its purpose has been changed from one that was primarily a performance space for theatre to what we hope is a very forward-looking TV production studio, but one that embraces new ideas as well as tradition workflows. At the forefront of our thinking is that it’s not just for traditional TV production, but also for working with 360 video, VR, AR workflows, and with Sennheiser’s AMBEO systems. We’re currently developing courses specifically dealing with these new mediums."

Thornton sees the combination of Sennheiser and Neumann as a potent mix for the future of next-generation audio. "You get an enormous amount of reliability and quality in the products, and there’s a wealth of knowledge and support," he concludes. "We’re looking forward to what will be really exciting developments in immersive sound particularly, and it’s great to have partners that are not just producing products, but are working to find out how best to employ them and how best they can be used in the future. It’s about having that over-arching concept or idea, and then working with customers and the industry to get it right. That’s been great."

16th January 2020

Painting “Het Kunstuur” with Light for an Hour

Painting “Het Kunstuur” with Light for an Hour
Painting “Het Kunstuur” with Light for an Hour

Belgium – Het Kunstuur (the Art Hour) is a new ground-breaking interactive gallery concept developed by art collectors and entrepreneurs Hans & Joost Bourlon, presented in the charismatic former Holy Ghost Chapel in the historical heart of Mechelen.

Thirty-two priceless Belgian paintings from the 19th century are displayed in three gallery spaces, where their stories are told by a series of well-known Belgian personalities.

Creative lighting design and media specialist Painting with Light (PWL) was asked to manage and co-ordinate and design the technical systems and control for lighting, video, audio and humidity control for this intricate and unique project.

Visitors wear headsets and listen to an audio track as they move around the spaces, prompted to stop and move on cue to designated areas by the audio track, where they watch and listen as the AV effects play out. The walk-through lasts exactly an hour, which inspired the name.

This lively and innovative presentation concept is intended to appeal to both established art lovers and also attract new audiences and young people who are interested in learning, but who might not visit a conventional gallery set-up.

In the first two rooms, each painting is introduced, and its story told by the designated personality, who appears as a life-size projected video on the gallery wall right beside the painting.

Rooms 1 and 2 are divided by an electric curtain which tracks aside at the appropriate moment.

The third room, situated in the old chapel itself, is a darker, more intimate club-like space, where visitors hear but don’t see the narrator while experiencing an immersive light show produced to compliment the art. This altered setting allows a complete change of perspective.

PWL was asked onboard by concept designer Wouter Verhulst of King Concept who created the original idea and storyline with the Bourlon Brothers and designed the gallery layout.

Wouter specifically wanted to work with a company known for technical and creative ingenuity, lateral thinking and with the resources, skills and flair to make an art gallery come alive in a stimulating theatrical way.

PWL’s team drew from its vast knowledge of creating entertaining visual experiences across multiple disciplines: theatre, live shows, attractions and themed environments, visitor centres, etc. All of these influenced the delivery of a dynamic technical solution for Het Kunstuur in Mechelen.

The first phase of the design process saw the whole museum virtually created in WYSIWYG and presented as a VR experience to the project’s initiators.

The PWL team, under the creative direction of Luc Peumans, was led on site by Céline Cuypers who project managed delivery of the full technical design including the projection system, creative lighting, audio track and control, plus specification, procurement and commissioning of all equipment and its implementation.

The lighting layout was produced in collaboration with PWL’s lighting experts Peter Van Den Bosch and Ashwin Coelho. All equipment was installed by Sam van Maele and his team from EVM Electrical Solutions.

The first and second rooms contain 18 paintings, and each has a personal story told by its associated personality.

The Bourlons themselves produced the video content which is stored on Brightsign players and triggered remotely during the show.

The projections are fed by four Panasonic Space Player 2000 Lumen devices attached to the cable management ducting. These were picked for their small size, light weight and discreet appearance, plus the intensity – a combination of illumination and image projection – as well as their networking capabilities.

The content was keystone corrected and adjusted using a disguise d3 media server and Adobe After Effect tools by PWL video specialists Katleen Selleslagh and Sina Sohn.

The paintings are mounted on black walls and lit from behind with RGB LED strips which change colours to generate an ambient light adjusted to each work’s specific colour palette.

The profile lights in this area are 19 Showtec Performer Profile Minis, a very small 30W COB LED luminaire, installed with 25 – 50° zoom lenses and the shutter module option for fine-tuned focusing on the paintings.

PWL Lighting expert Martijn Smolders was responsible for focusing the lights and ensuring that the framing and highlighting were adjusted precisely to visitor’s viewing angles and that reflections were minimised.

The decor in the first two rooms includes custom black textile wall cladding provided by Showtex. To improve the overall atmosphere and give viewers a sense of orientation, linear lighting was implemented at the bottom of these walls.

Electric curtains between the rooms guide visitors to the right location at the right time, their movements controlled via Brainboxes IP relays triggered by the master Christie Pandora’s Box Widget designer control system, which also fires and syncs all the audio, video and lighting cues.

This was selected as the most flexible and adaptable option for integration of all these control elements.

Entering the third room, visitors pass into the original chapel building itself, with its distinctive high-vaulted ceiling and eye-catching wooden roof frame and beams. The decor in this room is built by Roux Meubelprojecten, and the large paintings are positioned on easels around the room on a wooden platform with integral linear lighting that heightens the theatrical ambience.

The paintings in the chapel are highlighted with 14 Chauvet Ovation lighting fixtures installed with beam-clamps in the roof. This variable white ellipsoidal style light has a six-colour LED engine and was ideal for the application as the colour can be adjusted to the colour temperature of the paintings.

One extra Ovation is used to simulate a big stained-glass window utilising the combination of a printed sticker and a gobo to highlight the appropriate parts.

The roof itself is feature-lit with GVA Lighting STR9s LEDs, with more of these used for grazing up the walls.

The mood shifts from a cool, contemporary art space to a darker, more colourful, funky vibe creating a totally different context for imbibing the art. It’s a nice playful surprise element that pops out at the end of an already interesting journey.

PWL’s lighting scheme for the reception area lighting utilises AEG TLR05 LED pendant lights and Iguzzini wall washers.

The lighting intensity is adjusted to the time of the day following an external light sensor. Visitors arrive in the reception zone, are issued with their headsets and audio players provided by guideID and wait for their allotted timeslot to start the one-hour tour.

At the start of the tour, the audio is synced via a timecode signal that chooses the right start to the audio track. During the gallery’s opening hours, tours commence every 20 minutes. A countdown in the entrance hall indicates when the next show is going to start and when the time arrives, the entrance door opens automatically, and the experience can start.

Everything is controlled from a central control room. Lighting was programmed by Céline together with intern Dorian Stevens using grandMA onPC software in combination with a grandMA 2-port node.

The main show control was programmed by Céline using Widget Designer which sends triggers to the lighting cues on the grandMA, the Brightsign media players and the Ethernet-to-GPIO modules. These modules read the control buttons of the reception desk and accordingly switch on and off the humidifier / dehumidifier outlets.

Shows start at fixed times throughout the day, triggered by computer’s clock. The right timecode tracks are sent to the syncing modules of the audio system to ensure that video, audio and lighting are always working together, ensuring that a stable temperature and humidity levels are maintained for the paintings.

This application has been developed with BMK Solutions and integrated into the main Widget Designer application.

PWL’s CEO and creative director Luc Peumans commented: “Delivering this project to the clients hands is another milestone in the 20 year history of Painting with Light.

“In that time we have developed our know-how about how to combine creative and technical services for the ‘entertainment experience’, and for this specific project, our client had some extra challenges; the concept of visitors spending maximum one hour in the museum and focussing their attention on one painting at a time together with timing, lighting, audio and guest flow were all key.

“Thanks to the talents of our multidisciplinary team and our spirit of pushing the boundaries Painting with Light could deliver total show control for this unique experience. Our project manager Céline challenged herself to provide Het Kunstuur with full AV show control including automatic light settings, video projections and visitor guidance plus the correct humidity factors to protect the paintings.

“I’m very proud of all these achievements.”

photos: Painting with Light

15th January 2020

MILOS truss takes on a strong supporting role

MILOS truss takes on a strong supporting role

France – The extensive range of MILOS truss supports just about anything: lights, sound equipment, LED screens, glass, wood, textile, etc. It reliably handles light to heavy loadings and can be used as a temporary or permanent solution in an extensive range of locations.

For a big project in France, several hundred metres of MILOS M290 Quatro truss took on a strong supporting role. In fact, it took on a total of seven supporting roles, for seven TV studios, in four buildings, on the Altice Media Group campus in the French district of Porte de Versailles, Paris. The Altice Media Group campus hosts a total of up to 6,000 students per day and supports the activities of the news organizations Libération, L'Express, and 01 Net.

In 2016, the Altice Media Group needed to expand the amount of studios on their campus and held a national tender for the construction of seven new studios in four buildings. The company who won the tender for this massive TV project was Red Bee Media, a sister company of Ericsson. Red Bee is the system integrator of NextRadio TV, a sister company of Altice Media Group, and manages the activities of seven TV channels in France: BFMTV, BFM Business, BFM Paris, I24 News, RMC, RMC Découverte and RMC Sport.

Working together with Red Bee Media for this project was Eric Brancherie (TV lighting designer for NextRadio TV), who was responsible for selecting and sourcing all materials in the construction of the seven studios.

One can imagine that the equipment needed to furnish seven TV studios came at a premium cost. In fact, a total of € 2.5m was budgeted just for the lighting (light, trussing, wiring, installation). The cost for the studio, control board, video equipment, control room and audio components were in addition to this amount.

For a project of this size and importance, Eric needed to source his studio materials from a supplier he could trust and that had a proven track record. The company he chose was ESL. ESL is a French company that has one of the largest selections in France of professional lighting equipment and related services under one roof. They’re a leading provider of products and services to professionals in the live performance, stage, theatre, touring, film and TV, events and exhibitions, corporate, educational and architectural markets. Their comprehensive product portfolio includes lighting fixtures, lighting control, cables, trussing, rigging, textiles, lamps, flight cases, audio and consumables. Based in Lattes, France (near Montpellier), ESL has been successfully serving the French market since 1992.

After discussing all details with Eric, and receiving the final order for material, ESL delivered the lighting, truss and chain hoists for all seven studios. The long list of equipment included a few hundred metres of black MILOS M290 Quatro truss, 700 LED spots and Fresnels, 900 moving head projectors, 60 chain hoists, a few kilometres of ESL cabling and a few dozen square metres of ESL green screens.

The sheer scale of this seven-studio project is extremely impressive and is one of the largest ever seen in the media world. The combined talents of Red Bee Media, Eric Brancherie and ESL, with a strong supporting role by MILOS, delivered state-of-the-art broadcasting facilities that will bring high quality content to the French population for many years to come.

photos: Jerome Bernos

MILOS truss takes on a strong supporting roleMILOS truss takes on a strong supporting role

15th January 2020


White Light Provides Royal Albert Hall with LED Upgrade

White Light Provides Royal Albert Hall with LED Upgrade
White Light Provides Royal Albert Hall with LED Upgrade

UK – White Light recently supplied the Royal Albert Hall with a range of Martin MAC Encore fixtures, continuing the phased upgrade of the in-house lighting rig.

Located in South Kensington, the Royal Albert Hall is one of the world’s most iconic concert halls. Founded in 1871, it has played host to some of the biggest artists of all time and seats over 5,000 audience members.

As it hosts concerts on an almost nightly basis, the venue houses its own in-house kit which is used by incoming shows. The rig has to be extremely flexible in order to adapt to such a varied programme, as well as needing to be energy efficient and sympathetic to the needs and requirements of a wide range of different lighting designers and productions. The existing ETC Source Four Revolutions, whilst having served their time very well, were due for replacement in line with the Hall’s ongoing replacement programme. As a result, the venue approached WL in order to invest in some LED alternatives for these new fixtures.

WL’s business development manager Jonathan Haynes explains: “I met up with lighting design manager Richard Thomas who told me about their existing set up and what he was looking for to replace the ageing Source Four Revolutions. The main priority was that the new fixtures were LED and provided a tungsten colour match that was at least as bright as the fixtures they were replacing. They also needed to be quiet, as well as have the ability to provide a high output in cool white to cut through the rest of the rig for aerial work.”

WL put forward a range of options and held an on-site demonstration at the Royal Albert Hall for the lighting team to see each one in situ. Jonathan explains: “It is so important to shoot out fixtures in the venue for which they are intended, to see how they react to the conditions, throw distance, etc. After discussing suggestions with Richard and his team, it became obvious that the Martin MAC Encore Performance CLD was the best option.”

The Martin Mac Performance CLD integrates cutting-edge LED technology with a proprietary and innovative light engine carefully engineered to generate pristine, full spectrum light with ultra-high colour rendition. The feature-packed moving head offers unparalleled 6000K crisp, neutral daylight. Its advanced colour mixing system delivers the full palette from smooth and subtle pastels to rich and vibrant saturated colours.

Richard comments: “Integrating the Encores into the rig has revolutionised the way we are able to light certain areas of the hall, as well as offering a whole new palette of gobos, colour potential and framing options that previously did not exist. Added to that the increase in reliability in the rig means less maintenance time required over a typically busy week. We have received many positive comments from a whole host of lighting designers in just a few week after their install.”

Jonathan adds: “The Encore is an extremely popular fixture, used right across the industry. It’s one we’ve invested in heavily for our rental stock to meet the demands of some of the UK’s biggest touring and West End shows that we continue to supply. The small form factor, combined with high output and whisper quiet performance meant it was a 'no-brainer' for this application. Ultimately, it was the right product for the right location.”

The Royal Albert Hall invested a total of 18 fixtures which have all been successfully delivered and are now in pretty much constant use. The investment reinforces the continued relationship between WL and the concert hall, and adds to a large stock of Martin MAC Viper Wash DX fixtures that were purchased last year, along with ETC Lustr Series 2 LED profiles and Robe Mega Pointes. The venue also recently replaced its stock of Robert Juliat Cyrano followspots, again all purchased through White Light.

Jonathan concludes: “We have a very close relationship with the Royal Albert Hall and it is great to be involved in yet another project for this iconic venue. As a company, we relish being able to work closely with the team and be able to offer them technical solutions that are bespoke to their exact needs; something we were able to do one again on this occasion.”

photos: Richard Thomas

15th January 2020

Kinetic Lighting chooses Artiste DaVinci for Southern California’s historic Warner Grand Theatre

Kinetic Lighting chooses Artiste DaVinci for Southern California’s historic Warner Grand Theatre

USA – The historic Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro, California, near Long Beach, is an opulent art deco venue that is moving into a new era of performance excellence with the help of Kinetic Lighting and Elation Professional’s theatrical-grade Artiste DaVinci LED moving head.

Originally opened in 1931 and listed on the National Historic Register, the 1,500 seat gem features a vaudeville-size proscenium stage with T-guided fly system that makes it an ideal venue for concerts, dance performances, multimedia presentations, film screenings or any cultural event.

Great strides have been made in recent years to restore the theatre, with a lighting upgrade the latest in a series of on-going improvements. Kinetic Lighting worked with the Warner Grand and the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs to convert the theatre from conventional lighting to an entirely LED-based system, assisted by Victor Prudeaux, master electrician at the theatre.

Seeking to achieve the technical sophistication of a contemporary performing arts venue while maintaining its historic integrity, a highlight of the new lighting package are Artiste DaVinci LED moving heads, full-featured spot luminaires and the first moving lights the theatre has ever owned.

Kinetic Lighting has been working with the Warner Grand Theatre on the project since October of 2018, assisting with site visits, demos, quoting, and specifying of equipment. “The theatre wanted an all LED upgrade to get current with technology and be able to provide renters top-of-the-line, industry standard equipment,” stated Kinetic Lighting’s Laura Green. “They were looking for an LED source moving light with colour-mixing and great gobo options, something that was lightweight and compact and the Artiste DaVinci met all the requirements. It provides stunningly bright and saturated colours and can be used for specials, gobo washes, effect lights, etc. They are versatile enough to be used for everything from theatre and dance to concerts and film shoots.”

Spread across box booms, the deck and overhead electrics, the award-winning DaVinci is an energy efficient CMY and graphics luminaire with a 300W LED engine and 7° to 48° motorised zoom that powers out over 12,000 lumens. “They will be able to make more artistic choices now that they have not only the functionality of moving lights, but colour-changing and gobo options that they didn't have before. They don't have to dedicate static fixtures to specials for certain colours/gobos any more,” says Green, adding, “They are thrilled with the results and so happy to have these new fixtures.”

Kinetic Lighting project-managed the install, designed a plot, installed, prepped, addressed and programmed the new lights, and provided training on the new fixtures. Other new fixtures in the upgrade include ellipsoidals, battens, par lights and followspots – all LED based – along with a new lighting console. The LED upgrade has allowed the theatre to cut its power costs dramatically while realising savings on both labour and lamp costs. The upgrade to colour-changing fixtures has eliminated the need to cut and use gels and the new moving lights allow fewer lights to be hung for specials.

The overhaul also means that clients booking events at the venue no longer need to bring in their own rental gear to insure the use of top-end technology. And for shoots, the new fixtures are all camera ready. “The lighting has brought a new life to our venue and we're extremely grateful,” sums up the Warner Grand Theatre’s technical director Mark King Sr.

The lighting upgrade was completed in late November with a San Pedro City Ballet performance of “The Nutcracker” this past holiday season the first performance using the new gear.

production photo: George Simian, San Pedro City Ballet production of "The Nutcracker"

Kinetic Lighting chooses Artiste DaVinci for Southern California’s historic Warner Grand TheatreKinetic Lighting chooses Artiste DaVinci for Southern California’s historic Warner Grand Theatre

15th January 2020


Carousel Digital Signage Strengthens Walford’s Campus-Wide Communications Strategy

Carousel Digital Signage Strengthens Walford’s Campus-Wide Communications Strategy

Australia – A prestigious Australian private school has deployed Carousel Cloud digital signage software to greatly improve the user experience and streamline costs for campus-wide communications. The deployment includes integration with an existing network of Apple TV devices, taking advantage of Carousel Digital Signage’s industry-first innovation of converting Apple TVs into digital signage players.

Walford Anglican School for Girls, located in Adelaide, South Australia, welcomes boarding, international and day students from Early Learning (age 4) to Year 12. The school relies on a campus-wide digital signage network to communicate engaging news and events for students and faculty. The network comprises 20 displays found in entrances for all four of its academic programs. Carousel content includes calendar items, local weather, and a newsfeed with updates and photos from recent events.

Walford operates on an all-Mac computing ecosystem, and had been using a Windows-based digital signage system that they found difficult to configure, manage, and update. “We had many Apple TVs around the school, and wanted to leverage those over purchasing separate digital signage players for each display. That was how we came across Carousel.”

Carousel Digital Signage software simplifies content delivery and device control on Apple TV devices, and is made possible via an integration partnership with Jamf, a comprehensive enterprise management that helps IT departments bring the Apple experience to business, education and government organisations. Walford IT operations manager Kyle Heading had previously integrated Jamf to manage the school’s iPads, Macs and Apple TVs better.

Walford has since deployed Carousel to some of its Apple TV devices via Jamf, leveraging Apple’s Device Enrolment Programme (DEP). “We configure them as digital signage players, and once complete they are instantly functional as part of the Carousel Cloud network,” said Kyle. “We can very easily add new players to the network with a Carousel app. It is very user-friendly.”

Walford faculty members are encouraged to provide photos and news articles to the marketing department for distribution, but the Carousel software automatically pulls content from the school’s calendar, including upcoming events, photos, and data from Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology. Most content is targeted, with each educational program receiving content specific to their activities. General-purpose content is distributed to main reception desks.

The Carousel user interface includes several panels for content selection. For example, a general panel at the top includes Walford thematic content, the school logo and basic information. Elsewhere, the right-side panel pulls information from the main school calendar.

“The Carousel user interface is very easy to use,” said Kyle. “We can quickly get clarity on upcoming events, which we find particularly useful. As parents come in and ask ‘What's on today?’ or, ‘What's on this week?’ the Carousel network provides them with a quick reminder. Since the system automatically updates, that information is already there for them. We hardly have to do any work.”

Walford can also easily import video content that wasn’t created specifically for the digital signage network. “It's really easy just to pick them up and drag and drop them into the Carousel system to display in various different points throughout the school.”

Carousel Cloud suits Walford’s needs in various ways beyond the user experience. The biggest impact has been the cost-savings achieved by not requiring stand-alone digital signage players. Kyle estimates that they saved about $5,000 (AU) by using their 20 existing Apple TV devices. Additionally, they save on licensing fees and the cost of dedicated servers for an on-premise system, which would also add to management overhead costs.

Walford anticipates an expansion of the Carousel network as new screens locations are added, and older projection systems are upgraded to flat-panel displays. He emphasises that the success of the network to date confirms the value of digital signage as a highly effective tool for internal communications and promotion in education.

“People nowadays just want information at their fingertips,” he said. “Digital signage offers a very effective and dynamic way to present that information, and Carousel Cloud has proven to be the right choice for our environment.”

Carousel Digital Signage Strengthens Walford’s Campus-Wide Communications StrategyCarousel Digital Signage Strengthens Walford’s Campus-Wide Communications Strategy

15th January 2020

Sound Adventures goes beyond entertainment at the University of Campania

Sound Adventures goes beyond entertainment at the University of Campania
Sound Adventures goes beyond entertainment at the University of Campania

Italy – The University of Campania ‘Luigi Vanvitelli’ in Naples is turning to a unique use of immersive audio technology with one of its new physics research labs. The lab at the university’s Aversa campus is exploring the relationship between temperature, audio and visuals, and to do this in a scientific way the researchers required a space where each element could be precisely controlled. To achieve this control from an audio standpoint, the researchers turned to Martin Audio’s Sound Adventures.

The new lab has been purpose-built as a small, dedicated space within a historic building. Radiant heating panels on the walls and the floor and air conditioning system allow for the room’s temperature to be raised or lowered, while the intelligent lighting system allows for the management of this element. The Sound Adventures solution controlling the sonic environment resulted in the installation of 26 Martin Audio ADORN A55 two-way passive speakers and a pair of SX110 slimline subwoofers, all controlled via the Astro Spatial Audio SARA II Premium Rendering Engine.

“The university was specifically looking for a high-end wave field synthesis-based solution which could offer natural features such as depth experience, making SARA II the obvious choice,” explained Astro Spatial Audio managing director, Bjorn Van Munster. “The wide, even dispersion of the A55 over the frequency range was a major reason for selecting these cabinets.”

With the components selected, designing the solution became the next part of the project. “One of the major initial challenges was to create the proper layout for the loudspeakers in such a small space,” recalled Van Munster. “We also had to provide a level of flexibility with the system that would allow the researchers to test different elements in the future that have not been thought of yet.”

The resulting system design sees two layers of ADORNs wall mounted around the room as well as four installed on the roof to provide the ceiling channels. Low frequencies are catered to via the two floor-mounted SX110s on either side of the room.

Reflecting on this innovative use of the technology Van Munster is pleased to have found a new vertical for Sound Adventures. “The work we have done with researchers in the past has been focused purely on musical studies, so having Sound Adventures used in a different setting like this is very interesting. I am happy with the result and the system sounds great. However, in this case we have just provided the toolkit, it will be up to how the researchers use the system and the breakthroughs that they make which will determine if the project has been a success.”

“Research plays a vital role in everything we do at Martin Audio, so it is nice to see someone else using our products as the tools that will help develop their research,” added Martin Audio managing director, Dom Harter. “The A55s were the perfect choice for this project as their compact footprint and premium sound quality met the physical and research needs of the lab. Being part of a unique scientific project like this is real praise for the capabilities of Sound Adventures, I’m sure the system will help the researchers expand what we understand about the relationships between temperature, audio and visuals.”

14th January 2020

CSD Group and Chauvet Professional Create Contemporary Worship Environment at Summit Church

CSD Group and Chauvet Professional Create Contemporary Worship Environment at Summit Church
CSD Group and Chauvet Professional Create Contemporary Worship Environment at Summit Church

USA – With its crisp, glimmering lines broken up by the occasional geometric pattern, the new Capital Hills main campus of Summit Church looks right at home in North Carolina’s famed “Research Triangle,” which is routinely ranked as one of the most tech-savvy areas in the United States.

The high-tech impression conveyed by the building’s sleek exterior is only the beginning. Once inside the 90,064 square foot house of worship, the visitor is greeted by a welcoming and engaging environment created with help from an advanced AVL system engineered and installed by the CSD Group that features an immersive 360° sound system, massive video walls, and a state-of-the art LED lighting system anchored by close to 100 Chauvet Professional fixtures and two Net X II nodes.

Opened in 2019, the new building serves as Summit Church’s broadcast centre. Services from its 1,800-seat worship area are live streamed to the church’s nine other campus in the Research Triangle. Accurate, precisely controlled key lighting and colour temperatures are critical to maintaining high quality broadcast standards for the church’s sophisticated audience, which is why the CSD Group paid careful attention to stage lighting.

“Quality of lighting for video was essential,” said David McCauley of CSD Group. “The church attracts 10,000 worshippers weekly mostly in its satellite campuses. No one wanted to distract from services with lighting that didn’t look absolutely correct on the live steam videos.”

The CSD team positioned 29 Ovation E-160WW ellipsoidal fixtures with 26° lens tubes, 18- Ovation P-56FC par units and 26 Ovation F-915FC full colour Fresnels around the stage. “We have most of the ellipsoidals arranged in groups of three across the stage as front lights, then have some stage left and right,” said McCauley. “There are pars across the entire stage for fill ins. We also have Ovation units as top and back lights. They’re used to colourise the stage. The realistic, deeply saturated colours that they produce come off very well on video.”

Playing a critical role in the Summit Church lighting system are 12 Maverik MK1 Spot and ten Maverik MK2 Wash fixtures. These moving fixtures perform a variety of functions at the church, from contributing to stage lighting, to creating aerial effects and specials for concerts and events.

“The Maverick Spots serve a dual purpose,” said McCauley. “We have some on the front bars for spots and specials, particularly with their gobos. Then we have some on the floor for uplight effects. Our Maverick Wash fixtures work great as general top and back lighting, as well as for specials.”

Not long ago, it was unusual to have 22 moving fixtures in a house of worship, but McCauley notes that movers have assumed a more important role in contemporary church lighting systems. “More and more we are seeing the value of movers in opening new possibilities by giving us the ability to change positions on the fly, and to catch specials without having to get the lift out and refocus a section of lights,” he said. “This balance of moving and static lighting gives us many more options. They make the lighting process less confining.”

Expanding options and removing design restrictions are critical to helping church lighting reach its full potential, according to McCauley. For proof, one needn’t look any further than the versatile contemporary system that CSD Group has created in the heart of the Research Triangle.

CSD Group and Chauvet Professional Create Contemporary Worship Environment at Summit Church CSD Group and Chauvet Professional Create Contemporary Worship Environment at Summit Church

13th January 2020

Schauspielhaus Bochum Upgrades to Digital with dLive

Schauspielhaus Bochum Upgrades to Digital with dLive

Germany – German theatre Schauspielhaus Bochum has recently completed a major installation featuring multiple Allen & Heath dLive systems, alongside new digital network technology across all of its venues and finished a successful first season with the new systems.

Schauspielhaus Bochum is one of the biggest and most acclaimed theatres in Germany. Founded in 1907, it was completely destroyed in World War II and rebuilt in the 1950s with a capacity of 811 seats. A second theatre – the 400-capacity Kammerspiele – opened its doors in 1966. Former directors of the theatre include big names like Peter Zadek, Claus Peymann and Leander Haußmann.

Christoph Bonk has worked in the sound department for 28 years and has seen many technical changes during that time. His final goal as technical director was to guide the theatre into the future of digital technology and networking.

“In Bochum we offer many different genres: classical theatre and musicals but also concerts, so we have to be very flexible in the sound department,” explains Bonk. “We realised that our workflow wasn’t up-to-date any more and we’ve been looking for the perfect solution for this theatre to address that. We needed flexibility, redundancy, good sound and wanted to be future-proof; dLive ticked all these boxes for us.”

The two main venues deploy three dLive surfaces each, an S7000, S3000 and C1500 in the main theatre and an S7000, C3500 and a C1500 in the Kammerspiele, plus various MixRacks and stage boxes, which are connected via CAT and fibre networks. The theatre also uses Qu series mixers in its smaller spaces and for receptions or speeches.

“For larger or more complicated plays we sometimes work with two sound engineers and surfaces,” says Bonk. “One engineer mixes the actors’ microphones, the other looks after the playback system. The most important features for us are fast access to the sound parameters and effects and a customisable surface. The integration of stage boxes into the network is very easy and we can reach each position on stage easily by just pulling a CAT cable, there’s no need for heavy, complicated multicore cables anymore. Our 16 wireless microphones are connected digitally using AES/EBU.”

By using a very similar set-up at the different venues, the theatre can react easily to changes in audience reception and can move a play quickly from one venue to the other. “Each engineer can save a show including all channel processing and effects on a USB stick, go to another venue, load it there and continue working on the play,” says Bonk. “We don’t have to reprogram everything when moving between venues which saves a lot of time.”

The new digital technology also helped in other areas of workflow, “Another big advantage of dLive is that we can work with scenes,” Bonk continues. “Scenes can be saved as part of a show and can be edited at any time. Working with dLive and our Ableton Live playback system is very easy as well. We can start and control Ableton from the surface or the other way around if we wish.”

A crucial part for a theatre mixing system is the number of auxes for managing loudspeakers and this is where dLive delivers for Bonk as well: “It’s very important for us to assign our speakers in a flexible way,” says Bonk. “At the moment we use 47 auxes in the Main Theatre, 28 at Kammerspiele plus monitor speakers and sound boxes for special effects. With dLive we can address each speaker individually. With dLive we also laid the foundation for surround sound which will most likely become more important in the near future.”

“Our experience with dLive so far has been very good and the desks are absolutely reliable,” Bonk summarises the first season with dLive. “I can wholeheartedly recommend dLive for theatre use, it’s the most flexible desk out there.”

10th January 2020

NK SOUND TOKYO Installs World’s Largest Rupert Neve Designs 5088 Console

Japan – Originally opened in 2015 by engineer Neeraj Khajanchi, NK SOUND TOKYO has recently made a large update to its main studio with the addition of an 80-input Rupert Neve Designs 5088 console, which is the largest 5088 sold to date. The console was provided by Rupert Neve’s longtime Japanese distributor Hook-Up Inc. and is loaded with 48 channels of Shelford 5052 mic preamp / inductor EQ modules.

NK SOUND TOKYO is divided into four rooms: AQQA, a mastering room, RUBY and SILVER, two dubbing / mixing rooms and GOLD, the tracking room that houses the new 5088 – one of the largest of its kind in the world. “Originally, we had a 48 channel SSL E Series,” comments Khajanchi. “When we revamped the studio in 2019, I had been trying Rupert Neve Designs’ Portico 5024 4-channel preamps, then purchased two Shelford channels. Overall the stability, sound quality, ease-of-use, and customisability of the 5088 is amazing.” The studio also has a massive XLR patch bay for its impressive collection of outboard gear, so Khajanchi said that keeping all of the studio’s connections XLR to XLR was important to him.

Khajanchi works on a large variety of musical projects at NK SOUND including J-Pop, video game music, commercial music for television, rock, and high fidelity jazz recordings. “The 5088 is just super clean,” says Khajanchi. “I get out of it what I put into it, which is great! Having all that headroom really helps give me the beautiful reverb tails and super clean sustain on all my instruments. But when I do need some character, I go straight for the SILK switch and add colour to my tracks that way.”

Since re-opening the studio in September 2019, Khajanchi says they have been extremely busy. “Just within the past two months we have tracked albums for over 15 artists, and are now in the process of mixing all the albums, recording and mixing on the 5088 has sparked my love for analogue gear once again!”

9th January 2020

The Clarity of PMC Monitors Helps Felix Klostermann Speed Up His Workflow

The Clarity of PMC Monitors Helps Felix Klostermann Speed Up His Workflow
The Clarity of PMC Monitors Helps Felix Klostermann Speed Up His Workflow

Germany – German producer Felix Klostermann is delighted with his switch to PMC studio monitoring, stating that it has made his workflow much faster by reducing the number of changes he needs to make to projects.

Based in Berlin where he has a 16-track studio specifically set up for mixing projects, Klostermann says: “I have installed a pair of PMC MB2 passive monitors and I am very happy with them. The reduced processing due to the passive crossovers just feels right and I can now mix projects very quickly with fewer revision, which is astounding.”

As well as tackling assisted mixing projects for other artists, Klostermann is also the editor and author of online magazine and uses his studio to review a wide range of recording and MI products.

“My studio is built around an SSL Matric and Maselec MTC, with a large collection of high end outboard equipment,” he says. “I also own a lot of drum machines and some vintage synths. Having the PMC MB2 system has really helped with my reviewing work as I can now do quick demo mixes for YouTube that are just on point. With these reviews, there is no possibility of revisions but thanks to the clarity of my PMC monitors I feel very confident with my one-take-mixes and have no need to check them on another pair of speakers or system.”

Klostermann, who bought his PMC monitors through the company’s German distributor CMA, says he is now very happy with his studio set up and is busy working on a variety of projects, including mixing his own music that he hopes to release in 2020.

“I’ve got everything I need,” he says, “but if had one wish for the future it would be for a bigger room and even bigger PMC monitors!”

9th January 2020

Verlinde fits out the world's first underwater cinema set at the Lites cinema studios in Belgium

Verlinde fits out the world\'s first underwater cinema set at the Lites cinema studios in Belgium
Verlinde fits out the world\'s first underwater cinema set at the Lites cinema studios in Belgium

Belgium – Lites cinema studios in Belgium offer five rooms from 250m2 to 1700m2, one of which is underwater (the water stage), it is unique of its type for high quality underwater and surface camera shots. For the lifting equipment it called upon Belgium's leader in this entertainment field, Verlinde and its Stagemaker range.

The Lites studios required lifting equipment for its five cinema sets including the water stage set, the only one in the world. The 24m x 21m set with a 9m deep tank, can be entirely submerged to simulate underwater environments. It contains a maximum quantity of five million litres in the tank and an additional one million litres when the floor is flooded. Indeed, the floor of the set is mobile, bears loads of up to 20 tonnes and can be submerged to different depths. The maximum water surface when the set is flooded is 1250m². A unique and outsized water filtering and treatment system provides different aspects and effects (crystal-clear, sea, mists, rain, etc.). Waves of up to 1m high in the tank or on the flooded floor can be generated.

This facility required special equipment for lifting decor items, e.g. boats and for the lighting, sound system, cameras and screens (blue depths and black backdrop).

Verlinde first of all achieved a technical study for the underwater set. Equipment had to be reliable and practical for users, able to resist high temperatures (the water is heated to 30°C) and humidity. Joris Van de Wiele, Verlinde's project manager in Belgium, with the close support of a manufacturer member of the Europont network proposed two overhead cranes, each weighing three tonnes with a special black coating enabling integration in the decor, four ceiling suspension points for the mobile floor, four EUROBLOC VT3 wire rope hoists with a total lifting capacity of 25T and a bearing surface of 25m2 complete the system. They are fitted with VVF drive for travel and cross-travel lifting. Speed is variable, from slow to very fast, in order to be in phase with the camera. These items have been conceived for their integration in dynamic decors.

Eighty Stagemaker SR5 and S R10 hoists have been put in place in the whole studio set complex. These industrial electric winches are especially suitable for their application in the show. They bear loads of from 250kg to 1,000kg. Boasting an entirely ergonomic design, Stagemaker SR is the only model available on the market fitted as standard with double brakes, retractable handgrips and protective rubber pads. These hoists blend harmoniously with all technical installations and offer the highest levels of safety and productivity.

Verlinde supplied all the lifting equipment. The supervision, routine maintenance and fault clearance is assured by the Europont network manufacturer. The order was placed in 2018, delivery achieved in the same year and the studio was operational early in 2019.

Since its installation there have been no operational hitches and Verlinde is again working on submersible floor lifting times.

Verlinde fits out the world\'s first underwater cinema set at the Lites cinema studios in BelgiumVerlinde fits out the world\'s first underwater cinema set at the Lites cinema studios in Belgium

9th January 2020


Electro-Voice and Dynacord deliver flexible audio solution for the Royal Institute of British Architects

Electro-Voice and Dynacord deliver flexible audio solution for the Royal Institute of British Architects
Electro-Voice and Dynacord deliver flexible audio solution for the Royal Institute of British Architects

UK – The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) drew on the combined strengths of Electro-Voice and Dynacord for an audio solution update in the Jarvis Hall at its London headquarters. T S Professional Sound+Light took on the installation project in the protected historic building to create a system that would be as flexible as the room itself.

Created as a lecture and examination space when the building was opened in the 1930s, Jarvis Hall has a 284-seat main hall, which can be expanded to a 400-person capacity with the inclusion of a breakout room, hidden behind a moving tapestry at the back of the space. This split design means that any solution being added to the technical setup needs to flexible enough to cope with multiple configurations.

“We originally had quite a limited system in here,” recalls Steve Barrett-White, AV manager at RIBA. “We had a two-channel, four-speaker system but because things have grown for RIBA on the events side, we required full 7.1 surround sound to cater to film screenings. In addition to this, the orientation in the breakout room can either face the main stage when it is being used as one large hall or can be rotated 90 degrees. This led to a design with 13 speakers across both rooms.”

Over three days, the T S Professional Sound+Light team installed Electro-Voice EVC-1122s as the main system, with EVC-1082s as side fills and EVU-2082Bs as centre fills in the main hall. Low frequency support is via a pair of EVC-1181 subwoofers installed under the stage. The breakout space features three more EVC-1082s to allow for the different configurations.

“We took a look at what was already here, and we just tried to improve on that,” states Keith Upton, managing director at T S Professional Sound+Light. “The speakers had to be larger for a bigger sound. Thankfully, one of the things about Electro-Voice is that there is a speaker for every application, so you are never frustrated when you do a job. It had to be surround, but we were restricted with where we could install the speakers by the Grade II listed building status. So, we plotted where the speakers could be installed on custom brackets and agreed on a design in consultation with Electro-Voice.”

Power and control is via a pair of IPX10:8 amplifiers from Dynacord. These eight-channel installation-dedicated models eliminated the need for a separate audio matrix. These amplifiers feature fully integrated high-resolution 96 kHz DSP with Dante and OCA functionality.

“The amps all have preconfigured settings which we can select for the different uses of the hall,” adds Gabriel Thorp, Senior AV technician at RIBA. “This has opened up the possibilities for how the space is used, and we can give our clients the assurance that the sound system can be optimized for their needs.”

Completing the solution is Dynacord’s new SONICUE sound system software, which provides comprehensive system monitoring and intuitive control via a “speaker view” GUI. This gives RIBA’s engineers a real-time visual reference to what is happening with the sound system, with the ability to monitor impedance, control levels and mute speakers, when needed.

Reflecting on the upgrade, Barrett-White concludes: “Electro-Voice and Dynacord came out as the number one choice for Jarvis Hall because of their flexibility with working with us and the architects to create the best possible system. The sound was so much better than anybody else’s; it just fit this space perfectly.”

Electro-Voice and Dynacord deliver flexible audio solution for the Royal Institute of British Architects Electro-Voice and Dynacord deliver flexible audio solution for the Royal Institute of British Architects

9th January 2020

White Light Starts New School Year at Bryanston

White Light Starts New School Year at Bryanston
White Light Starts New School Year at Bryanston

UK - WL has an unparalleled reputation in theatre lighting having supplied venues of all shapes and sizes for over 48 years. Alongside traditional theatres, WL also works closely with schools and educational institutions. One of these is Bryanston School, which is located next to the town of Blandford Forum in Dorset and which recently upgraded its existing lighting system. The School’s technical and production manager James Henshaw explains: “At Bryanston, there are a wide range of performance spaces, with the main one being Coade Hall which is a purpose-built 600 seater theatre. With 15-20 productions a year, pupils have plenty of opportunities to perform, design and direct. Pupils interested in the technical side are able to join the stage crew to learn how to handle the equipment and design, light and costume a production. As a drama department, we have a fantastic reputation and need to ensure we live up to this, hence the upgrade to our existing lighting equipment.”

Alongside maintaining Bryanston’s reputation for excellence, there were several other reasons behind James’ desire to invest in new lighting fixtures. He explains: “We wanted to improve pupil engagement and learning opportunities, through using the very latest fixtures. By having industry-standard equipment, this allows pupils to become familiar with the technology they would use should they pursue a career in the sector. There were also several practical reasons why we needed to upgrade. Not only would new fixtures mean a reduction to working at height in the auditorium and roof space but also the LED units would result in significant energy savings which would then result in a reduction of lighting hire costs for the school.”

In order to decide on which fixtures to invest in, James and his team organised a range of demonstrations from several manufacturers. He explains: “We wanted to ensure that we saw everything that was available to us before making any sort of decision. Whilst we wanted the most flexible, robust units possible, we were also aware of our budgetary requirements and ensuring we received the most from our purchase. After reviewing several manufacturers, it became clear that the Chauvet fixtures were the ones which fulfilled all of our requirements.”

With this in mind, James contacted WL’s key account manager Ally DeCourcy who helped source the fixtures he required. These included: 12 Chauvet Maverick MK2 Washes, 18 MK2 Profiles, 20 Colorado 72 Battens, eight Ovation E910-FC, 15 Colorado2 Quad Zooms and ten Chauvet Synapse4.

James explains: “All of these fixtures fulfil every one of our requirements. We decided on the Maverick MK2 Wash for three main reasons: the zoom range from tight beam at 7° degree to full wash at 49° degree, the ability to use the individual pixels to create eye candy looks as well as the beam and wash looks alongside their superior light output , colour-mixing and size and weight. As for the MK2 Profile, shuttering was a high priority for us and we couldn’t find anything else in this price range that was LED with the same light output and shuttering. These fixtures have allowed our rig to become extremely versatile, meaning it now caters for a full range of genres from music gigs to plays, dance to opera, and conferencing to musicals. We know we can rely on the Chauvet units, having previously invested in some Washes and Amhaze Whispers, and have since actually purchased two Chauvet Cumulus. Not only that but the after sales care has been brilliant, with the team from Chauvet actually coming down and training my staff on how to maintain the units.”

The equipment has now been delivered to Bryanston and already used on a range of school productions, including Les Misérables. Not only that but it was also utilised to light the recent Dorset Opera Festival, which takes place at the school during the summer holidays.

James concludes: “We are extremely happy with the fixtures we’ve purchased and the immediate impact they’ve made; both in terms of our environmental and budgetary requirements along with the experience for our pupils. I’d also like to say a big thank you to Ally and the rest of the WL team for their constant support and guidance throughout.”

photos: Alan Wicks

White Light Starts New School Year at Bryanston White Light Starts New School Year at Bryanston

8th January 2020