Project News Headlines
The Clair Brothers C8-Truefit System Lands American Music Theatre on the Cutting Edge of Audio Technology
Host Makes Most of Ecler Arquis
UK – Host restaurant and bar is a popular venue located within Bishop’s Stortford’s striking Corn Exchange building. As well as serving a wide range of excellent food and drinks, Host also presents regular DJ and live music nights and stages private functions of every kind. Opened in 2000, the venue has consistently maintained very high standards across all its facilities, always striving to deliver the best possible customer experience. A recent decision to refurbish and relaunch the venue was the ideal opportunity to evaluate the audio provision at Host and its management team concluded that significant improvements could be made by replacing its existing system with a more flexible, zoned solution. Creating the appropriate ambience for contrasting areas within the venue was of the utmost importance to the brief, as was straightforward control and operation.
In the first instance, Host consulted directly with Audiologic’s technical specialists over the best way forward. Having listened to the requirements and taken careful account of the site, Audiologic prepared two designs using different brands at different price points and conducted demonstrations of both. Satisfied that they had found exactly what they wanted, the Host team settled on an Ecler solution and Audiologic recommended trusted partner AV Installations to install and commission the new system.
Host wished to be able to deliver high quality background music in two areas of the venue and authentic, powerful, club quality sound to its nightclub dance floor, whilst also maintaining overall control of volume levels in each area. A further requirement was that the system should be as visually unobtrusive as possible in order not to detract from the venue’s attractive interior. The selected Ecler system comfortably met each aspect of the brief. Ecler’s Arqis Series of speakers is designed to fulfill the requirements of permanent installations, where matching exceptional sound quality to the demands of interior designers is key. Reliable, compact and stylish, the range delivers superb audio, something that the installation at Host was to confirm.
In the nightclub area, AV Installations installed four Ecler ARQIS208 8” speakers and two ArquisSB15 subs, all flown, whilst in the areas for background music, four ARQIS106 6” speakers and two ARQISSB10 subs were wall-mounted. Powered by Ecler Essentials LPA2-950 (950W) and LPA2-350 (350W) stereo amplifiers, the system uses a fully programmable Ecler DAM614 digital audio mixer. Two WPmVOL-SR wall panel controls allow local control of volume and input selection and two WPmMIX-T wall panel micro-mixers allow remote audio sources such as talk-over microphones to be added. All cabling and racks were Quartex by Audiologic.
Matt Dobney, director at AV Installations was pleased with the outcome: “The Ecler equipment delivers really outstanding power and clarity. The speakers are positioned as discreetly as possible but they have great lines anyway and suit the look and feel of the venue. I know that Simon and the Host team are very happy with the solution and we always enjoy working closely with Audiologic to ensure that our clients get the best-fit solution for the project. Following the success of the project at Host, we presented this template to London’s iconic Tower Bridge who accepted our proposal and are equally impressed with their Ecler system.”
Simon Cottam of Host Restaurant and Bar, commented: “The refurbishment prompted us to seriously consider how best to deliver audio within the venue. You can’t underestimate the importance of great sound quality to customers. They won’t stay if their ears hurt! Whilst excellent quality was essential, we were also keen to reduce the visual impact of any hardware on our carefully designed interior. We wanted something unobtrusive and I think we chose well. The Ecler system delivers everything we required, was installed quickly and is easy to operate.”
Andy Lewis, sales and marketing director at Audiologic added: “For Audiologic, having good relationships with end-users has become an important part of our customer service delivery. We consulted closely with the Host team to determine exactly what they were looking for and then demonstrated some options. AV Installations took care of the install quickly and efficiently and the Ecler Arquis range proved, once again, to be an excellent choice.”
14th September 2018
Wooridle Church Upgrades with Allen & Heath
South Korea – Wooridle Church, located in the Pangyo district of Seongnam City near Seoul has recently upgraded its newly built, multi-purpose chapel with Allen and Heath dLive and SQ digital mixing systems.
In 2015, the Church decided to extend its six-level property with a further two floors, in order to accommodate its 5,000 worshippers. The multi-functional, 550-seat venue was unveiled in April (2018) and was built specifically for wedding ceremonies, events and church retreats.
Designed and supplied by Sama Sound, the set-up includes a dLive S5000 surface on FOH, accompanied by a DM48 MixRack and Dante card. Additionally, a ME-U Hub is connected to the dLive, which distributes audio to six ME-1 personal mixing systems that are used by the band. The system also utilises dLive’s Shure wireless integration across eight input channels.
Dooyoung Lee, a sound engineer at the Church, comments: “I love mixing with dLive! The custom fader strips, super intuitive user interface and various options for dynamics and FX are perfect for any type of engineer, as it allows you to create your own unique mix.”
The control room features an SQ-5, which is connected to dLive and used for the audio broadcast mix that’s sent to other rooms in the building. Chief sound engineer at Wooridle, Doeksoo Lim explains: “We chose the SQ because of its ability to be connected to the dLive system via a single Cat5 cable. It’s very simple and convenient to set up and is the newest compact digital mixer on the market with the best specs.”
Lim adds: “With the size of our new venue and number of inputs and outputs needed, this set-up suits our needs perfectly. dLive has a great sound and the compression and EQ features are of a very high quality. Also, by using the Dante card, we can now record any events or services straight from the console.”
13th September 2018
EM Acoustics HALO-C Perfect Fit For Reigate Baptist Church
UK – Reigate Baptist Church had been struggling with audio clarity in the sanctuary since the new building opened in 2005. The church recently resolved this issue by upgrading to a new EM Acoustics sound reinforcement system.
Matt Kefford, the gathering pastor at Reigate Baptist Church, who is also an electrician by trade and performs as a musician/sound engineer explains: “It was like the mix was always muddy no matter what we did, and we couldn’t have it very loud because the sound wasn’t pleasant. I found it so frustrating.”
The church had moved into its new purpose-built community centre in 2005. The interior of the church featured a lot of brickwork and glass which, along with its peculiar shape (the back wall of the auditorium is curved), caused acoustic issues. It was less than ideal.
“Even now we are still paying the mortgage on the new property,” Kefford continues. “I decided to try to write a grant application and see if we could fund a new sound system without adding to our debt.”
While working on that, Kefford began to explore his options, obtaining quotes for new systems from a range of systems integrators, including Bristol-based Stage Electrics. “I got a call from Stage Electrics who told me they had the ideal person to help,” remembers Kelford. “They said their system designer Jamie Gosney had done a lot of work in churches, and he would be happy to share his experience with us.”
Gosney met with Kefford and continued to stay in touch with him throughout the funding process. Stage Electrics demonstrated several systems at the church and by the time the money was available, the final EM Acoustics system had been designed – left/right hangs of HALO-C compact line arrays, each made up of four HALO-C enclosures along with two EMS118 subwoofers.
“EM Acoustics HALO-C has a wide horizontal dispersion which is ideal for the auditorium, which is wider than it is deep,” explains Gosney. “The previous system was difficult to control in terms of coverage. Using HALO-C meant we could direct the sound into the congregation and keep it off the reflective surfaces, which improved the sound dramatically.”
The Stage Electrics team also worked to ensure that the system wasn’t too visually intrusive. The compact HALO-C, measuring only 19.4-inches (492mm) wide and weighing in at 37.4lbs (17kg), was very discreet.
“The church is very modern with clean lines that would benefit from a compact system, making the HALO-C a perfect fit,” adds Gosney. “It took time from initial enquiry to installation, but the result was worth it. The vocals and music of each service is stellar. Everyone at the church is incredibly pleased with the sound of the new system.”
12th September 2018
Powersoft Powers Public Address at Birmingham’s Anjuman El-Saifee Community Centre
UK – The recently-built Anjuman El-Saifee Community Centre in Birmingham is benefiting from Powersoft’s Ottocanali 4K4 amp which was specified as part of the AV installation. With good speech intelligibility at the forefront of requirements for a house of worship, Powersoft’s Ottocanali product was a clear choice for the project – which went on to become a finalist in the InAVation Awards 2018.
The Dawoodi Bohra community spent years fundraising, planning and preparing to build the Community Centre comprising a mosque, evening school and sports hall and as with any house of worship, it would require a robust AV system so that the imams and speakers could clearly project their message to the audience.
Pete Rutherford owns and runs Direct Audio Visual, which was engaged as AV integrator for the project. With a background in retail, corporate and warehouses, this house of worship project was a departure for Rutherford and his team. “With the layout and events that were to be run in the centre, it required installed equipment run as a live event, like trying to equip a nightclub venue with the what you would put in a retail environment, two different worlds meeting,” he said.
With the building and network already part constructed, there were a number of challenges and constraints for Rutherford and his team to address. “We had to work with cabling laid by a previous installer and make several adjustments. We also had to consider the lines of symmetry and aesthetic of the building when planning the positioning of the speakers. Time was against us and we faced some delays as we could only work in the buildings at specific times,” recalls Rutherford.
Sourcing the right equipment quickly was key to the success of the installation, and Rutherford turned to Powersoft’s Ottocanali 4K4 amp to power the Pan Acoustics steerable array and Audac loudspeakers fitted into the ceiling. Mipro microphones were installed where the imams sit and an Attero Tech Dante-networked audio interface.
“We’ve been working with Powersoft amplifiers for the last two and a half years on various different projects and I put them in whenever I get the chance. I’d also previously worked with the Powersoft Ottocanali before in distribution centres which have requirements that are similar to this environment, and found it very effective and been impressed by its efficiency. I’ve never had any problems with it reliability-wise,” Rutherford expands. “In my books, Powersoft are just really good at what they do.”
A flexible and reliable eight-channel power amplifier with up to a total of 4,000W at 4Ω, the Ottocanali 4K4 is ideal for multi-zone applications in small to mid-scale installs such as this. Ottocanali 4K4 supports any combination of lo-Z loudspeakers, mono-bridgeable channel pairs and 70V/100V Hi-Z distributed lines with no need for output step-up transformers.
Featuring switchable main/aux signal inputs and offering a wide range of system control, alarms, GPI/O and monitoring functions as well as sound shaping options, the Ottocanali 4K4 implements redundant universal switch mode power supplies with PFC and patented SRM (Smart Rails Management) technology maximising reliability, efficiency and reducing power consumption.
Powersoft’s legendary efficiency saves valuable energy, keeping both operational cost and carbon footprint at a minimum. The Ottocanali 4K4 has outstandingly low power consumption and heat dissipation, dramatically reducing costs from the AC mains supply and air conditioning/cooling systems – not to mention the benefits to the environment for a greener planet.
Marc Kocks, business development manager for the EMEA fixed install market at Powersoft, comments: “We’ve steadily built our credentials in the house of worship sector, where intelligibility is understandably high on the list of priorities when it comes to the audio set up. The Ottocanali 4K4 addresses the challenges of amplifying in a House of Worship environment, where sound distribution must be uniform, easy to control and reliable. It provides clarity throughout the dynamic range, whether it be speech or music reproduction, in a sonically-unforgiving venue with high ceilings and highly reflective surfaces.
“Our install-dedicated amplifier platforms can be specified with optional DSP, allowing for total control over the sound signal. Inbuilt protections ensure reliability even in the most demanding conditions, whilst an easy to use, fully customisable interface ensures straightforward system management for untrained professionals,” he asserts.
The Anjuman El-Saifee Community Centre and Mosque commented that they were very happy with the specified equipment and quality of sound throughout the centre, and in fact, have received many compliments from visitors about the excellent clarity. They now plan to engage Direct Audio Visual across a number of other centres in Leicester, Manchester and London.
photo: @InAVate Magazine
11th September 2018
Serapid Group announces latest QSX Seating System Installation at Zaryadye Park
Russia – Serapid Group, the leading supplier of lifts, quick die change and horizontal transfer systems, has announced its latest QSX Seating System installation to be unveiled at the grand opening of the Philharmonic Concert Hall at Zaryadye Park, Moscow, Russia.
The innovative Serapid QSX system, the first system to combine curved row raked seating with a reconfigurable, automated, multi-purpose venue system, consists of 20 curved rows ranging from 23 to 30 metres, with a total of 677 seats. The smooth-operating system is fully automated and can change from a flat floor to a raked seating setup in less than 30 minutes. The system works for straight, curved or faceted tiers regardless of the number of rows, seats or configurations.
The redevelopment of the previously vacant space near the Red Square in Moscow into the stunning
Zaraydye Park is the vision of a design consortium led by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS + R), that includes Hargreaves & Associates and Citymakers. The park includes three performance venues, with a concert hall considered to be one of the most complex elements of the park. The integrator for the concert hall, Doka, selected SERAPID to deliver the most advanced venue technology available.
The Concert Hall will officially open September 8, 2018, the Anniversary of Moscow, with performances by Anna Netrebko, Yusif Eyvazov, Ildar Abdrazakov, Albina Shagimuratova, and Juan Diego Florez accompanied by the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra. The concert will also be broadcast online.
11th September 2018
Sound Space Vision Breathes New Life into St John’s College Garden Quad Auditorium
UK – Sound Space Vision joined forces with architect Alan Berman and Berman Guedes Stretton architects to deliver a revitalised Garden Quad Auditorium to better serve the needs of St John’s College’s busy calendar of events. The newly modernised Garden Quad Auditorium begins its season of events this autumn.
As the penultimate quadrangle of Oxford University’s St John’s College, The Garden Quad was designed by revered architect Richard MacCormac (MacCormac Jamieson Pritchard). Within the 1994 quadrangle is the Garden Quad Auditorium, providing the college with a lecture, performance and event space.
The College’s aim was to make the room more comfortable, with improved sightlines and acoustics, wheelchair access to both the seats and the stage, and reduced services noise whilst maintaining a seat count of at least 180. There was also a desire to bring the lecturer/performer closer to the audience, and a need for the Auditorium’s technical, production and acoustics capabilities to match a busy calendar of lectures and musical events of all kinds.
Sound Space Vision (SSV) joined architect Alan Berman to develop a new interior form which met these requirements, with Marion Brereton of Berman Guedes Stretton architects (BGS) taking it through to detail and completion.
The result is an auditorium that has been shortlisted for the AJ Retrofit Awards 2018 (Higher and Further Education).
After a thorough assessment by SSV of the acoustics, technical systems and the spatial aspects of communication and intimacy, Berman and SSV took a holistic approach, developing a new interior form while remaining respectful of the original architecture. SSV and BGS worked together to integrate the new acoustics, audio, lighting, and seating into the revered original as well as the modernised, revitalised architecture.
The newly re-raked floor and more intimate seating design has enhanced the sightlines and acoustics, and a mechanical forestage can extend the stage area, improving the connection between the stage and audience and offering wider presentational possibilities. The forestage can also be lowered so the area can be used as an orchestra pit for musical theatre.
Wheelchair accessibility to the entire space is satisfied by eight wheelchair positions, six with direct access from the foyer and two positions available by mechanical stair lift and, crucially, wheelchair access directly from the hall to the stage.
The raked and curved seating shape in the auditorium, along with light green seat material, pale oak flooring and accents, and a new lighting scheme, has refreshed the hall’s overall aspect and tone. Improvements to the ventilation system add to the hall’s comfort while an underseat air displacement system recommended by SSV and engineered by Maleon distributes a constant supply of air evenly and quietly, replacing the previously noisy, inefficient system.
Theatrical and performance goals have been met by creating production lighting positions and introducing new dimming systems, LED lighting, and an integrated all-digital sound system for lectures, drama and musical events. At the specific request of the client, the SSV team developed an integrated open-control position for the production desk at the rear of the audience to maintain the view of the art-glass screen designed by renowned artist Alexander Belschenko at the back of the auditorium.
Improved backstage facilities include new show and video relay to dressing and green rooms along with improving the working lights and performance blues, and new digital lighting and sound control consoles.
“The success of this beautiful hall reflects our very measured approach to balancing alterations and integrating them with the existing heritage architecture to create a space that has elegance, comfort and exceptional function and sound,” said Anne Minors, design principal, Sound Space Vision.
Central to the College’s brief was a desire for the auditorium to be used for performance activities unachievable in the original hall, particularly chamber music and musical theatre.
SSV evolved the room shape to counteract the acoustically dead space caused by the existing low ceiling height and central dome, removed the carpeting, and chose materials specifically to match both the physical needs of the client and the acoustic requirements.
A number of other passive solutions were also introduced to significantly upgrade the room acoustics, including a moveable orchestra shell, a proscenium sound reflector and an inverted dome reflector to promote a more even distribution of sound, strengthening intelligibility for unamplified speech, increasing acoustical performance for unamplified music, and improving on-stage communications for ensembles.
A new electro-acoustic enhancement system increases the clarity and/or reverberation of the hall acoustic depending on the programming, with or without the stage extension in place. The system transforms the dry natural acoustic to a more reverberant environment for the full spectrum of unamplified recitals, and also provides voice-lift for hands-free speech reinforcement. A dedicated cinema surround-sound system with the digital video was also included.
The refurbished Garden Quad Auditorium can now play a new, more dynamic role as St John’s College’s cultural and entertainment hub for its students, faculty and the surrounding community.
“A lot of the credit for the auditorium’s success goes to Sound Space Vision, we could never have visualised how great this space could be without your help,” stated Ian Stokes, m aster of works, St. John’s College.
photos: David Fisher
11th September 2018
Crossroads Church Mixes with Allen & Heath dLive Trio
USA – As “Phase 2” of a major audio upgrade, Crossroads Community Church of Vancouver, Washington, has added three Allen & Heath dLive systems to mix FOH, stage monitors, and broadcast. Remington Smith, Crossroads’ FOH sound engineer, says, “We found we couldn’t beat the sonic quality or the amount of I/O we were able to achieve with the dLive.”
Crossroads’ contemporary worship services feature a live band with three to six vocalists, recorded tracks, and an occasional string section. The church holds three services each Sunday in its 1,800-seat sanctuary, in addition to hosting Christian music concerts and holiday events. Worship services are broadcast live on the church’s website using a dLive C Class C3500 Surface, DX32 Expander and DM0 MixRack.
At FOH, Crossroads uses a dLive S Class S7000 Surface with DM64 MixRack. Smith commented: “One of the beauties of the dLive is that it is so flexible. I’m able to create a work flow that makes sense.” He uses dLive layers to manage the church’s microphones, recorded tracks and other sources, and dLive scenes to set up a “starting place” for different songs. The S7000 includes a Waves card but Smith says, “For the most part, we are using the dLive’s internal effects which always maintain the same latency thanks to the XCVI Core.”
The church’s loudspeaker system is configured as an LCR-sub setup, but Smith runs the dLive in 5.1 mode. “That gives me control over divergence to my center speakers and the ability to really shape the stereo image within the house,” he said. He uses the 5.1’s LFE output for subs.
A C3500 Surface with DM64 MixRack mixes monitors. “We do from nine to 14 in-ear mixes for any given service and up to five wedge mixes for special events,” Smith said. The monitor MixRack also serves as a matrix router for the entire system receiving local sources from the stage and audio sources from a second DX32 in the church’s video suite. Smith explained, “All of our signals come into the monitor DM64, and they’re routed to FOH and broadcast using Allen & Heath gigaACE cards, which are rock solid and redundant.”
Crossroads purchased their dLive system from Narrow Road Pro of Vancouver, WA. “We evaluated a lot of different mixers,” Smith said. “But I can’t say enough positive about the dLive. It is really a phenomenal desk. It has far surpassed my expectations.”
11th September 2018
‘Futuristic’ Elation Lighting for O&L Group Roadshow in Namibia
Namibia - For the past 14 years, the O&L Group has been connecting with their almost 6000 employees across Namibia through a special outreach called the Mwenyopaleka Employee Engagement Roadshow. Rental company dB Audio Namibia, a leader in the technical events industry in Namibia, has been associated with the roadshow for years and this year turned to Elation Professional’s dynamic ACL 360 Bar™ effect to give the show a more modern, futuristic look.
“The Mwenyopaleka roadshow aims to remind all employees that regardless of the operating company they work for, they all belong to the greater O&L family,” explains Ernst Steynberg, Corporate Communication Manager at dB Audio Namibia. “It’s all about personal realization and development and how that translates into professional growth.” O&L is Namibia’s largest private employer and operates companies that span industries from food production to retail trade to leisure and more.
The name of the O&L employee road show, Mwenyopaleka, means “revitalization” in the local Oshiwambo language so it was only fitting that the event is renewed with more up-to-date lighting. The roadshow, with employees from across the company’s 12 operating companies taking part, combined content facilitation and industrial theatre with competitions and music as a perfect blend of infotainment.
This year, dB Audio Namibia was responsible for the technical translation and realization of the roadshow concept and event content. The addition of the ACL 360 Bars provided the setup with the futurist look required as briefed by the event producer, who, Benade says, specifically requested a linear beam effect.
“The aim was to create a futuristic and modern look and feel for the event,” said Steynberg, who notes that lighting design for the roadshow was by Geraldo Papo supported by Gillroy Barmann. “The designers turned to the high-output narrow-beam LED effect light to achieve the look. The ACL 360 Bars were spaced close together and being a bar Geraldo could create different shapes and create cutting-edge beam effects on stage. The positioning of the fixtures in different configurations kept the stage dynamic for the different scenes.” On the market for three years now, the colour-changing RGBW batten with continuous rotation has proven a diverse fixture that looks great as a blade effect, eye candy effect or even as a single LED pinspot and can add an element of dynamism to any show.
The first Mwenyopaleka Employee Engagement Roadshow of 2018 took place on April 10th in Walvis Bay with the final event held on June 23rd in Mariental. The roadshow ran a total of 17 times in 7 different towns with a combined team of 24 personnel travelling more than 4000 kilometres. After 14 years, this was the final year that O+L has used the innovative edutainment format to keep their employees connected to the O&L purpose. “dB Audio Namibia has been privileged to share most of this journey with O&L and we excitedly look forward to what the future holds in store,” Ernst Steynberg concludes.
10th September 2018
Stage Electrics Aid in the Transformation of the Bristol Old Vic
UK - Bristol Old Vic have enlisted Stage Electrics to supply lighting, AV and sound equipment for a redevelopment that will transform the Theatre Royal’s front of house, studio theatre and other public spaces. This is the biggest refurbishment the Bristol Old Vic, a theatre company established in 1946, has undergone since the renovation of their historic Georgian auditorium in 2012.
Initially Stage Electrics tendered for all the lighting equipment for the studio theatre’s redevelopment. On successfully wining the tender Stage Electrics’ Steve Woolley met with Tim Streader, chief electrician at the Bristol Old Vic, to finalise the details of the order. “The Bristol Old Vic clearly required LED profile fixtures that could accommodate extensive colour-mixing.” explained Steve “After demonstrating different fixtures, we helped the client settle on ETC’s ColorSource Spot. This fixture offers a combination of extensive colour-mixing, incomparable projection, and a bright, even field of light.” As the lantern met the variable requirements of the busy studio theatre, the Bristol Old Vic invested in 36 ColorSource Spots.
As for lighting control, Tim decided on ETC’s Gio @5 console. “This console is perfect for a venue like ours,” commented Tim, “we need a console that can be easily moved between venue spaces whilst still offering high-end control. The Gio @5 does just that.”
Stage Electrics were also contracted to supply lighting and lighting control for the new front of house space. Similar to the studio theatre, the front of house space had to be adaptable for a range of uses. For this reason, Tim Streader wanted to install a further 14 ColorSource Spots in this space too.
Scheduled to reopen at the end of September 2018, the Bristol Old Vic have nearly finished the works that will transform their front of house, studio theatre and other public spaces.
7th September 2018
Estonia Public Broadcasting Invests in Robe
Estonia – Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR) has recently invested in new Robe Spiider and DL7S Profile LED luminaries for their main studios in downtown Tallinn, where they are “making a big impact” in both of the principal studios, and across several genres of television explained Mihkel Robam, head of the organisation’s busy AV department which includes lighting.
Mihkel and his team have been using Robe moving lights since the original workhorse ColorSpot 1200E AT range. More recently they went over to LED, initially with a purchase of LEDWash 300s and now with the latest: 16 Spiiders and 16 DL7S Profiles.
Being a state run organisation, investments go in line with the cap ex spending cycles, and they are also keen to reduce their carbon footprint as much as possible.
The latest Robes were used in “Ajujaht” (Brain Hunt) a reality show / competition that looks for the best new start up ideas. This was recorded in two studios, the main one where the teams of finalists pitched their proposals live to the judges, and Studio 4 which acted as a green room, Eurovision style!
The lighting for this was specified by the series’ lighting cameraman Raul Priks and director Krista Luts, and the show was produced by Hannela Lippus, with Mihkel assisting Krista as the vision mixer.
“They are the best,” declares Mihkel talking about the DL7S Profiles. “The fixture has everything you need for television: lots of power, nice shutters and an excellent zoom.”
The Spiiders are used in many multi-purpose scenarios. “They are really great to look at aesthetically and also generally excellent all-round lights for live television,” he comments, plusthe inbuilt Lumen Radio wireless DMX transmitter offers another whole range of control and access possibilities.
The DL7S Profile is “perfect” for key lighting and they are finding all sorts of uses for the Spiiders including talk shows, where they can bring an extra edge to the visual picture.
Being government funded, ERRhas to justify clearly why it’s necessary to spend funding money and purchase specific items.
For these luminaires, they felt it was time to replace the old ColorSpots after a great run and still going strong. “We still used them but just not as primary light sources” explained Mihkel.
They will also cross rent their Robes when not needed in the studios, mainly to the country’s three top companies Eventech, E&T and CuuClub which gives a faster ROI and an additional income stream for the lights during down times.
They chose Robe because of the history with the brand and they felt it offered the best quality, reliability and the most flexible options. The great service and support from distributor E&T was another factor.
The transition to LED means they are now saving on lamp replacement and other peripherals, making the option a lot more cost-efficient and future-proof as well as greener and more environmentally conscious.
The Robes are used across all five active TVstudios. Studio 5 is dedicated to news, and the other two for a succession of morning and evening magazine programmes. The two main studios are also rented out on occasions for external events.
“Robe has a great brand image right now, especially when I look at all the new products coming on stream, I always look at Robe first, they are leading the trends,” confirms Mihkel.
ERR TV studios were originally built in the 1950s and what is the currently biggest studio was added in the 1980s as part of the media facilities to accommodate coverage of the 1980 Moscow Olympics, when Tallinn hosted the sailing competitions.
They still have a large working compliment of original Soviet era 2kW Fresnels – built to last a lifetime and withstand nuclear fall-out – although those original Robe ColorSpots are going to give them a good run for their money in the longevity stakes!
7th September 2018
Ayrton fixtures make dreams come true at Live Roxy in Japan
Japan – Japanese live music club, Live Roxy Shizuoka, is proud to have added a permanent installation of Ayrton Ghibli, MagicDot-R and CosmPix-R fixtures to enhance the experience of the bands that play there and the audience who come to dance the night away in one of Shizuoka’s latest music venues.
Live Roxy Shizuoka, which has a standing capacity of 882 people, opened with a grand celebration in February 2018 after Live Roxy’s owner, Mr. Mitsuhiro Matsuura, invested in two Ghibli fixtures, five MagicDot-R, and a central CosmoPix-R for the stage lighting.
“Since I was a teenager it has been one of my long-term dreams to open live music clubs,” says Mr. Matsuura, once a band member himself. “When I first discovered Ghibli, Magicdot-R and Cosmopix-R, I felt that they would make my 20year-long dream perfect because not only the artists, but also the Live Roxy audiences, would experience excitement from the effect of those fixtures. I had heard of Ayrton’s good reputation, and I found it to be true. Once I saw the fixtures for myself, there was no hesitation at all in my decision to purchase them for Live Roxy.”
Ghibli is Ayrton’s first LED spot lighting fixture, and has a light output of 23,000 lumens which makes it a very powerful tool to illuminate artists on stage. The optics produce an extremely uniform fat beam with no hot spot, and its gobos and colours exactly meet the needs of live entertainment.
MagicDot-R, one of Ayrton’s most popular products, weighs only 5.3kg and is a highly compact, light, ultra-fast and powerful fixture, which occupies very little space in an installation whilst still delivering a high quality performance. MagicDot-R offers an overall luminous flux of 1,800 lumens and a luminous intensity of 180,000 candela for an overall consumption of only 130W.
CosmoPix-R, another of Ayrton’s steady sellers, is a unique lighting fixture based on the concept of the famous double-rotation spheres with PAR36 lamps, dating back to the early '80s. Fitted with 12 separately-controlled 60W LED light emitters in a 12-face arrangement and having continuous double rotation on the pan and tilt axes, CosmoPix-R has a light output of 18,000 lumens.
Hibino Lighting Inc., Ayrton’s exclusive distributor in Japan, was responsible for arranging the demo of the Ayrton fixtures for Live Roxy, and supplied and installed them, along with a full lighting and rigging package and lighting console, before its grand opening in February.
“Permanent installation of Ayrton’s fixtures is one of our growing business sectors,” says Mr. Yukitoshi Watanabe of Hibino Lighting Inc. “We listen to what our customers want, and recommend the proper lighting fixtures to meet the conditions of each venue. Ayrton’s lighting fixtures have great reputation in Japan for beautiful light and colours, and for their robustness, all of which meant we had no difficulty in getting Live Roxy’s investment.”
Mr. Matsuura commented: “I have a big plan to expand our live music club business. Live Roxy Shizuoka is a baby step for the plan. My first encounter with Ayrton’s fixtures has made me realize that Ayrton’s reputation is real, and this experience has led me to consider purchasing more Ayrton fixtures in the future.”
Many artists have performed at Live Roxy since its opening and the club is a great success.
photos: Hibino Lighting Inc. and Live Roxy Shizuoka
7th September 2018
Much Ado About nothing?
UK – Standing only a stone’s throw from its original site on the south bank of London’s river Thames, the new incarnation of Shakespeare’s Globe opened in 1997. In the two decades since, it has seen visitors from around the world pass through its doors, taking part in workshops, lectures, staged readings and, of course, watching the bard’s legendary plays. Recently, Northern Light was contracted to replace its houselight system with LED fixtures.
“This is a very unusual project,” says the Globe’s project manager, Paul Russell. “Because this is a reproduction of the original Elizabethan building, modern technology needs to be inconspicuous. This means that sometimes, we need to do things in a way that may not seem logical or be the simplest solution to ensure we maintain the authenticity of an ancient structure.”
Northern Light’s relationship with the Globe dates back to the design and build of its Sam Wannamaker Playhouse in 2012/2013, when the company assisted with its technical design and infrastructure installation, then handling an additional upgrade in the main auditorium three years later. Their knowledge and understanding the philosophy of the organisation has stood them in good stead for this latest project.
“The way everything looks is as important as the technology being used,” continues Paul. “In fact, we’re so dedicated to this that we have a committee of professors making sure that everything is in keeping with the ethos of the building. Northern Light had to be totally on board with this, so the long-standing relationship I have with them was really important. They understood they would have to go with me on everything: if they had to route a cable an extra 30 metres to keep it hidden, then it had to be done.”
The initial brief was to replace all the existing houselights with LED fixtures, adding extra fixtures to improve coverage and reduce energy consumption, as the lighting runs up to 12 hours a day. Additional infrastructure and fixtures were also installed to complement the existing emergency lighting.
The main auditorium at the Globe is open to the elements, so fixtures had to have a suitable IP Rating and, with a both the supporting infrastructure and fixtures needing to be as discreet as possible, the Northern Light team needed to source a small, non-industrial looking product with a wide-angle lens that could withstand the elements.
“The fixture also had to be dimmable via DMX, with a smooth theatre dimming curve and ideally be around the 2700-3000k colour temp,” says Northern Light’s Michael Percy. “This didn’t give us a lot of options, but after contacting a handful of suppliers and having extensive demos, both onsite and in our workshops, we decided to go with dLED Illumination Technologies Ginger XL with Constant Current Push Drivers.”
As well as sourcing the ideal fixture, Northern Light supplied and built four control racks and power distribution, with the system controlled via an ETC Paradigm or ETC Eos console. DMX distribution is via a Swisson DMX Node. Each circuit has its own dLED Driver located in one of the equipment racks, corresponding to its location in the venue.
“There are 172 fittings in total and they’re on show,” says Paul. “They all had to be installed very carefully and the placing of them was very important. Our season runs from April to October, there are two shows every day and the auditorium and other areas of the site are open to the public for daily tours, so scheduling works is always a challenge.”
To allow for this, the work was scheduled in phases on each level, with sections blocked off to allow everything to be done safely. The Globe’s in-house electrical and fabrication team installed the containment systems and all custom metalwork, including some custom brackets to allow fixtures exactly where they were wanted. Installation was handled by Northern Light’s London team, with most work being done in the early morning, which made it possible to work around the Globe’s rehearsal schedule.
“We now have a much cleaner environment,” says Paul. “This a 20-sided building and everything is mirrored from one side to the other. Making things symmetrical allows us to hide things in plain sight. It’s a bit of an optical illusion, but people don’t see symmetrical stuff so much.”
Paul declares that the Globe is happy with the installation and, just as importantly, the design and installation process was made as easy as possible.
“The relationship I have with the Northern Light team, and in particular Michael, is really important because of the peculiarities of the building,” Paul concludes. “And it will be on-going; we’re very happy with what’s been done so far and there is still more to be done.”
7th September 2018
DiGiCo’s S21 delivers powerful, compact solution for rocking live music venue in Phuket
Thailand – New York Bar is one of the most successful entertainment venues on the famous Bangla Road on the stunning island of Phuket. Packed every night, this small venue packs a big punch and needed a compact mixing console that could match the club’s high energy output. The solution was a DiGiCo S21, supplied by Fuzion Far East, the British manufacturer’s Thailand distributor.
Success was not always synonymous with this particular venue, as Fuzion’s Joshua Oates explains: “The bar seemed to be in one of those spots that just didn’t work. It had been taken over and over again but failed each time. That is until its current owners came along and transformed it into one of the area’s best loved night spots. To make absolutely sure success was guaranteed, they got in contact with us to supply them with the hottest audio gear in town that would suit their predominantly rock-based live show needs.”
New York Bar’s owner opted for the S21 as he knew it would give him all the DiGiCo power and audio quality in a cost-effective, compact format that would fit in the club’s extremely small control room.
Installed and commissioned along with a Nexo PA by Mr Team, one of Thailand’s largest audio production and installation companies, the S21 has been set up for ultimate ease of use for visiting sound engineers, who are enjoying both its simplicity and the ability to control it remotely from the iPad app.
“After a quick install and easy setup the S21 was hard at work running our live music venue,” says the bar’s owner. “It’s been an easy transition to DiGiCo and the S21 has helped New York Bar to be another great venue on the beautiful Pukhet Island, delivering great bands and great service. I’m looking forward to many more great sounding nights here. It really is a venue you must hear to believe.”
5th September 2018
Nuage and Nuendo are the Clearcut Choice for Leading London Studio
UK – Currently celebrating its 25th anniversary, Clearcut Sound Studios is one of London’s premier post-production facilities. Its clients include leading advertising agencies and broadcasters, the company working with television, radio, cinema and online media. A fast, dependable workflow is essential, which is why the business relies on Yamaha Nuage and Steinberg Nuendo.
With a staff of eight, Clearcut Sound Studios is owned by its employees, headed by managing director Chris Wrigglesworth and senior sound designer James Clark. “We have built a team of creative and driven individuals that share the responsibility of running the business. We believe this makes us a different breed of facility, where there is a universal passion and care for the people we work with and the work that we do,” says Chris.
Chris joined the company in 2006 and was involved in the switch to Steinberg Nuendo three years later. “We were impressed with how easy to use and quick Nuendo was, especially when using it for creative tasks,” he says. “It offered a complete solution that didn’t rely on expensive outboard kit, software add-ons and plug-ins.
“Since 2009 the updates and software improvements have been impressive and really geared towards changing audio post requirements. The recent changes, which have brought Cubase features to Nuendo 8.2, have been very significant.”
For a long time the company has used Yamaha DM2000 digital mixers for I/O, with expansion cards for Dante connectivity. While the reliability of the DM2000s was unquestioned, as Nuendo has developed, the control side became dated. With Clearcut Sound Studios recently developing its music composition service – meaning it can offer a complete package of audio post-production – it became a necessity to have a fast and intuitive hardware solution to seamlessly harness Nuendo’s advanced features.
Enter Yamaha Nuage, the company investing in a system comprising an Ncs-500CT Nuage Master unit, two Ncs-500FD Nuage Fader units and five I/O units.
“As technology has improved and engineers have got quicker and more efficient at doing certain tasks, the expectation is often that sound sessions can be completed incredibly quickly,” says Chris. “We looked at various control options and decided on Nuage, because it is built for Nuendo and every button, knob, fader and of course the jog wheel has a clear and simple purpose.
“For us as creative engineers, it is important to consider audio as an equal part of the whole production process, to strive for quality and give the sound mix the effort that it deserves and make sure that we all create an outstanding piece of work. Nuage has provided exactly what we needed to achieve that, making it fast and straightforward to harness all aspects of Nuendo. The feedback from both engineers and clients has been universally positive.”
4th September 2018
The Warfield enters a new era of lighting with the Philips Vari-Lite VLZ
USA – Signify has announced that the famed Warfield Theatre in downtown San Francisco has upgraded its stage lighting with its latest LED technology. Now using the new Philips Vari-Lite VLZ Spot fixture, plus wash lights from Signify’s Showline range, the venue is enjoying the many benefits of the company’s latest innovations.
The Warfield, operated by Goldenvoice, has a rich history. Since opening in the 1930s it has hosted a Who’s Who of stars, from Al Jolson and Charlie Chaplin to Bob Dylan and Nirvana. With an eye on the future, the lighting upgrade had two aims. Firstly, to continue to deliver the highest standards of performance lighting, and secondly, to exploit the latest advances in LED technology to reduce both environmental impact and operating costs.
The choice of the VLZ Spots, along with the SL BEAM 500fx and 300fx wash fixtures, meets all these criteria and is paying multiple dividends for the Warfield. “The LED sources mean a drastic decrease in power consumption, heat generation and, perhaps most importantly to management, the possible zeroing out of our lamp-restocking budget,” said the Warfield’s lighting director Rob Robertson.
At the same time, the Warfield needed quality optical systems for smooth fields of light, powerful output, high-level colour rendering and all the features and effects capability expected of market-leading stage lighting tools. The fixtures from the Signify Entertainment portfolio are meeting these requirements too. Of the VLZ Spot, Robertson said: “The dimming is fantastic. In particular I’ve been impressed by the unsurpassed brightness for an LED source, the best-in-class optical range and the quality and clarity of the light output.”
He added: “We were drawn to this as the only LED spot in this class of light output. Others in the market have a robust feature set, but lack the output, which we felt was important in a venue of our size. Having high-output spot fixtures over our stage gives us greater flexibility and variety in lighting positions and looks. They also cut down on time taken to focus, giving the LD more programming time.”
He adds: “We strongly recommend checking out these fixtures in person when looking for a high output spot fixture.”
photos: Niko Rodriguez
3rd September 2018
Allen & Heath’s dLive Joins the Opera in Bydgoszcz
Poland – Located on a picturesque bend of the Brda river in Bydgoszcz, Opera Nova, one of Poland’s leading Opera houses, has recently upgraded the audio installations for its two main performance halls with Allen & Heath dLive digital mixing systems.
With a world-class repertoire including ‘The Nutcracker’, ‘Orpheus in the Underworld’, ‘Swan Lake’ and ‘Madame Butterfly’, Opera Nova opened in 2006 and completed its latest audio installation last year.
Supplied by Konsbud Audio, the new dLive systems were installed in two locations. The Main Hall features a dLive S5000 surface, alongside a DM32 MixRack, a DX32 expander and a Dante card. While the Chamber Hall has a dLive S3000 surface and a DM48 MixRack combined with another Dante card.
Adrian Michalski (head of the acoustics department and main sound engineer for Opera Nova), comments: "I’ve had the opportunity to work on many consoles but with dLive, I appreciate the intuitive operation, the ability to drag and place many parameters on the touch screens and of course the sound! With an additional screen is placed in the control room, it’s great that we have the ability to monitor all in/out signals at a glance.” Adrian continues: “And of course, the ease in which the system can be expanded (using DX expanders) is fantastic!”
3rd September 2018
L-Acoustics serves all at Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham
India – With its massive glass doors and smooth tile interior, the Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham ashram in Muddenahalli is an awe-inspiring place of devotion. These very same features also make the edifice a highly reflective – and therefore acoustically challenging – space. Coupled with the sheer size of the hall, which can seat close to 10,000 faithful, it was clear that a sound system was required inside the venue to maximise intelligibility during talks, concerts, and devotional activities. For this landmark project an L-Acoustics Kara system, provided by the French manufacturer’s certified distributor provider for India, New Delhi-based HiTech Audio Systems, offered such a solution.
“For the management of Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham, the project is a milestone and the audio install was a prime consideration,” adds Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham’s, Bharat Kumar. “We didn’t want anyone to blame the acoustics of the hall for bad sound; rather, we wanted a company that could fix the acoustic environment with their system. We found out about L- Acoustics and thought they could provide the solution we needed, then we discovered there was only one authorised distributor for India – Hi Tech Audio.”
“As the India distributor of L-Acoustics, we wanted to provide the best system to our client; one that would deliver the consistent audio quality they required,” explains Rajan Gupta, managing director of HiTech Audio Systems. “The auditorium has a high reverberation time and we wanted to achieve a very precise sound, particularly for music, to create a soothing spiritual ambience. A Kara system would allow us to do this.”
The installation comprises a main left and right PA with six Kara and three SB18 subs per side flown in a cardioid pattern next to the Kara, with a centre fill of three Kara. To accommodate the enormous size of the venue, delays of four Kara and two SB18 subs per side were added.
J Davis Prosound & Lighting, which has provided AV and lighting installations across India for over two decades, assisted HiTech Audio with the installation.
“L-Acoustics systems are based on a total solutions approach including all enclosures, rigging, amplification, and DSP,” says Santana Davis, owner of J Davis Prosound & Lighting. “This results in a highly predictive, standard system with control and monitoring that satisfies the performance requirements of the venue.”
HiTech’s senior application engineer, Kallol Nath adds: “The venue is a highly reflective zone with a reverb time of 4.5 seconds. This was the biggest challenge as we have to provide direct sound to the congregants who visit the auditorium. To ensure a clean, natural sound throughout the prayer hall we have also installed eight 5XT as front-fills and two X12 as side-fills, positioned directly under the main PA and at a close vicinity to the stage.”
The expansive interior of the auditorium, which measures 60 x 40 metres features a high ceiling that houses hundreds of LED lights. This presented an additional challenge as there was a lack of rigging points, which needed to be created during the two-week installation period.
L-Acoustics application engineer, Germain Simon, who provided the system design using L-Acoustics Soundvision modelling software, also travelled to Muddenahalli to assist with final testing and tuning of the system.
“From the pre-installation stage, experts from L-Acoustics were involved in this project,” adds Nath. “They designed the entire system installation in Soundvision. This was helpful to me when I was performing the installation as I had a clear picture of the sound flow across the auditorium.”
While the project was not without its challenges, Davis says the experience, and the outcome, have been “very positive”. A previously-installed LED video wall provides seated audience members a clear view of what is happening on stage and the new L-Acoustics Kara system now enables everyone to hear just as clearly. “Everything sounds clearer, fuller, and the auditorium engineer is getting a better picture of the sound in the venue,” remarks Davis.
“I know that nothing comes easy in our profession, but with L-Acoustics the end result is always marvellous,” concludes Nath. “Now devotees can experience a truly tranquil sound in this sanctuary.”
31st August 2018
The Royal Welsh College Upgrade its House Lighting System
UK – Stage Electrics has returned to the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama to install its house lighting systems to significantly improve energy reduction.
Having previously integrated technical infrastructure and production lighting for its venues, back in 2013, Stage Electrics has returned to fit over 90 new house lights within the Richard Burton Theatre and the spacious foyer area.
The Royal Welsh College wished to upgrade its pre-existing light fittings; the new house lighting system consists of GDS’s range of modular LED lighting, the ArcSystem. Whilst offering highly efficient LEDs, low glare optics and energy reduction, the ArcSystem also comes with very low maintenance requirements.
“GDS’s ArcSystem is the fitting choice for the Royal Welsh College for several reasons,” explained Martin Woodage, of Stage Electrics “The huge potential in energy reduction was of course a strong selling point, however due to some of the venues 13m high ceilings, it was important that whatever fixtures were chosen required minimal maintenance.
“These new houselights are highly efficient and won’t need to be changed for years. We were also able to integrate both the theatre and the foyer’s new house lights into their existing ETC Unison Paradigm system; this was advantageous for the client as one system would control all the lighting.”
Between supplying the quotation and the project completion, only nine weeks had passed. “This project had a tight turnaround time due to bookings within the spaces” added Martin “We had six days to install all the GDS fittings, drivers and DMX control cabling with on site commissioning taking place a day ahead of schedule.”
In picture: Martin Woodage, Steve Chappell, Adam Rudd, Tyler Shock, Luke Powell, Jim Christopher and Martin Farmer
31st August 2018
Over 340 Chauvet Professional Fixtures Help Moment Factory Colourise Rainforest Lumina
Singapore – Every evening visitors flock to the Singapore Zoo. They aren’t coming to see the facility’s animals, who by then have been safely tucked away in their sleeping quarters. The attraction that draws them is a winding one-kilometre magical path that immerses the senses with the sights and sounds of simulated rainforest landscapes, complete with a shimmering island, cavernous hills and virtual animals, including an orangutan, a flying fox and hornbills.
Created by Moment Factory, a multimedia studio based in Montreal, Canada, Rainforest Lumina is a triumph of technology and imagination. Lighting plays a key role in crafting Rainforest Lumina’s mesmerising spell. Not only does it add greater depth to the exhibit’s scenery and video projection effects, it also evokes powerful emotions along pathways and creates a surreal impression, standing out against the night sky.
Chauvet Professional COLORado fixtures helped enliven this stunning design with rich colours. Moment Factory deployed 175 COLORado 1 Solo and 147 COLORado 2 Solo fixtures at Rainforest Lumina. “We used the COLORado 2 mostly on the high poles because of the power, and the COLORado 1 on the floor for up light,” said the project’s lighting designer Bruno Rafie. “The COLORado 1 was also great for nice, sharp shadow effect with its single cob. The wide zoom range of these fixtures was also a valuable asset.”
Setting an alluring tone for visitors as soon as they approach Rainforest Lumina is the vividly coloured UV lighting at its entrance. This is one of two zones on the Night Walk colourised with UV light. The other is an area covered with woody tropical climbing plants. A collection of 20 COLORdash Par H7IP and six COLORdash Par H12IP fixtures is used to light both locations.
Scheduled to run from July 2018 through December 2018 in conjunction with Singapore Zoo’s 45th anniversary, Rainforest Lumina is the seventh Lumina experience out of eight that Moment Factory has done throughout the world. Like all Lumina Night Walk experiences in North America and Asia, the unique creation for Singapore Zoo is the result of careful planning and long hours of diligent work. Approximately 100 team members from Moment Factory, along with 200 people from local partners, including Singapore Zoo and Wildlife Reserve Singapore, worked over nine months to bring the project to fruition.
“Lumina Night Walks are multimedia experiences where sound, video, interactivity and lights come together to create an immersive environment,” said Moment Factory creative director Gabriel Pontbriand. “Each of these elements contributes to the overall experience. It’s an honour to collaborate with our diverse and multi-talented team and partners.”
Rainforest Lumina at Singapore Zoo also required that care be taken not to disturb the animals. “We had to consider the comfort of the animals during every step of the creative process,” said Pontbriand. “We worked closely with zoo specialists to ensure that there was no negative impact on the animals and the environment. The trails in the zoo are wider than our other Lumina experiences, which for the most part are located in forests. We used our imagination and technical resources to make this work.”
In the end, the Moment Factory team and their local partners did indeed make this ambitious undertaking work. As a result, they provided Singapore Zoo visitors with a multi-sensory experience they are never likely to forget.
photos: Moment Factory
30th August 2018
Meyer Sound LINA Steps into the Arena at University of Maryland, Baltimore County
USA – The new $85 million UMBC Event Center is the long-anticipated new home for indoor sporting events at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and in addition it serves as a flexible venue for hosting concerts, convocations and graduations, trade shows and other events. About 4,700 fans are accommodated for UMBC Retrievers basketball and volleyball games, with uniform audio coverage and 'pump ‘em up' power supplied by a distributed system based on Meyer Sound’s new LINA very compact line arrays.
The new Meyer Sound LINA system is the centrepiece of a complete AV package designed and installed by Baltimore-based Design & Integration. According to project engineer Kevin Barrett, his company worked with university technical and managerial staff to come up with the optimum, long-term solution for a house reinforcement system.
“The audiovisual consultant based a performance specification on an alternative, externally powered system but listed Meyer Sound as an approved option,” he says. “We decided to pursue the Meyer Sound solution and discovered it offered a number of advantages. We came up with a design that not only would meet or exceed all the performance numbers, but also would fit into a smaller footprint, reduce installation costs, and provide more configuration flexibility along with detailed system confidence monitoring.”
The thorough system selection process also factored in the university’s prior experience with Meyer Sound Leo Family line array systems.
“We have a portable system based around 24 Leopard line array loudspeakers and it has served us very well in the old Retrievers Activities Center and for many outdoor events,” says Sam Zuckerman, head audio technician and sound engineer for university events. “We were very happy with the Leopards and wanted to continue working with Meyer. And the new LINA system has delivered as promised. The coverage is very even, and the clarity is outstanding for spoken word events such as commencements. And at the games I’ve attended it really gets the crowd pumped up. It definitely has plenty of punch.”
The new system is anchored by five arrays of eight each LINA loudspeakers for coverage of the U-shaped main bowl. Three 1100-LFC low frequency control elements supply convincing impact for deep bass effects, while two UPQ-1P loudspeakers are flown as court fills. Two Galaxy 816 networked processors handle overall system drive and optimisation.
Although owned by the university, the UMBC Event Center contracts with the Oak View Group to handle venue operations and outside concert and event bookings. Frantzer LeBlanc, Oak View Group’s director of events and operations at UMBC, is pleased with the power, clarity and versatility of the house audio system at his disposal.
“The major touring acts that play concerts here will carry their own production, but we’re delighted with the way our house system is taking care of everything else,” says LeBlanc. “In addition to UMBC Retrievers games we’ve hosted community church services, well-known speakers, martial arts competitions and trade show events. The performance has been really, really good for all of them. The sound conforms to the bowl in a way that gives a sense of intimacy despite the size. We also really appreciate how easily and effectively we can zone the system to cover only designated seating areas when we’re using part of the arena.”
Although specifying a highly compact line array system for a mid-sized auditorium may seem somewhat audacious, Design & Integration’s Kevin Barrett was confident of the outcome.
“Although LINA was not even shipping when we did our initial design, we were confident based on Meyer Sound’s reputation and on what we had heard from its predecessor, MINA, at another installation we’d done recently,” he remarks. “I knew that with the power inside the box, and with the precise tuning options available in Galaxy to deal with the reverberant space, we could make LINA work. I knew it would sound great, and it does.”
The full AV installation provided by Design & Integration also includes an Allen & Heath digital mixer with D-Live control surface and MixRack engine. A QSC Q-Sys network backbone ties together the arena bowl system with all back-of-house systems. Design & Integration also supplied a comprehensive broadcast cabling system, distributed CATV video systems, and both wired and wireless production intercom systems.
Located on a hilltop campus in Catonsville, about eight miles from downtown Baltimore, UMBC has a total enrolment of over 13,000 students. The university’s Retrievers athletic teams compete in the NCAA Division 1 America East Conference.
photo: Matthew Tennison
30th August 2018
The Clair Brothers C8-Truefit System Lands American Music Theatre on the Cutting Edge of Audio Technology
USA – Since its debut in 1997, American Music Theatre is the only theatre of its kind in the country that features both touring concerts and original shows. Housing a 1,600-seat room that welcomes over 250,000 attendees a year, this popular venue hosts more than 300 live performances annually; performances that include Broadway tours, noteworthy rock acts, famous comedians, as well as many of yesterday and today’s award-winning performers. And when you combine all of that star power with original shows highlighting some of the most talented musicians, vocalists and dancers in the nation, no other theatre in the region offers a wider variety. It’s no wonder Clair Brothers has been there from the beginning, having been selected by American Music Theatre to provide the first (and to this day only) loudspeaker system in the venue. Now, 22 years later, Clair Brothers was called on again, this time for the upgrade to its groundbreaking C8-TrueFit loudspeaker system.
Part of the Theatre’s mission is to create diverse, extraordinary, immersive, live entertainment experiences and compelling musical productions. Says Jim Martin, executive director at American Music Theatre, “Twenty-two years ago, we installed a top-of-the-line audio system from Clair Brothers that has served us well. When we were first told about C8-TrueFit technology, we were hopeful about what it could mean for our room. We already trust Clair Brothers, so it wasn’t a huge leap of faith to know they would deliver on the promise that the custom-tailored nature of TrueFit was the right way to go. Of course, it’s exceeded our expectations. We now recognise this system as the best technology on the market today. It is truly an acoustically true fit.”
Clair Brothers TrueFit Technology is the first modular, bespoke waveguide providing the utmost customization in audio design. As a general rule, C8-TrueFit arrays feature singularly-configured, continuously-variable and asymmetric waveguides that are “designed-to-order” based on a room's distinctive shape. Clair Brothers TrueFit approach to venue-specific design customisation is made feasible through innovative 3D CAD software – a proprietary Clair Brothers engineering technology. While a totally custom system is a theoretically worthy ideal to strive towards, these technological advances now overcome prior constraints in required design time and real-world manufacturing. In today’s world, it’s easy to imagine a novel process like this that might involve 3D printing using plastic substrates, but at Clair Brothers wood reigns supreme as the superior horn and waveguide material. This is also the case for TrueFit technology. The ingenuity of Clair Brothers’ new installation system design is delivered via the medium of wood. What you end up with is always a perfectly unique, venue-specific, loudspeaker array that provides naturally even coverage for an entire audience.
“Any room presents challenges in that walls create reflective surfaces, which can deliver unwanted sounds. The TrueFit series, with its ability to guide audio, all but eliminates bounce-back from the sidewalls and was chosen for that exact reason.” Brandon Martin, AMT’s director of production continues. “As far as aesthetics, our room boasts unobstructed views from all seating options and a more contemporary design. The TrueFit system, with its compact size and impressive results, fits naturally into our room and does not detract from any audience or performer sightlines. It has the added benefit of looking sharp, too!”
For the install Clair Brothers joined forces with Lab.gruppen and Lake Processing Software, making for a powerful, yet highly efficient, system. In fact, as Jim explains, “We now have a system that has twice the output potential but uses forty-percent less electricity than was used before. This upgrade, with its significant electricity savings, is part of a $1.8 million facility improvement, including a new energy-efficient HVAC system, a new eco-friendly roof, updates to our lobby lights with more energy-efficient bulbs, and more. These improvements will significantly lessen our theatre’s carbon footprint while improving our patrons’ experience. It’s a win on all sides.”
Jim makes this important point: “There are many high-end audio providers throughout the country. Fortunately for us, the best is right in our backyard. We’re privileged to have been working with Clair Brothers for the past 22 years and look forward to new and exciting ways we can continue to work together!”
photo: Brandon Martin
29th August 2018
Loughborough Town Hall Increases Diversity with Chauvet Professional
UK – An Elvis tribute one week, an appearance by the Russian National Ballet the next, followed by a comedy show after that. Although Loughborough is a small town, its 58,000 residents never want for entertainment options, thanks to their thriving entertainment centre. Built in 1855 as a corn exchange, the stately structure has morphed into one of the UK’s most diverse performance venues with a 522-seat theatre and space for meetings and receptions.
Keeping pace with the eclectic procession of shows and events is a versatile lighting system that was recently made more robust by the addition of Chauvet Professional Maverick and Ovation fixtures, supplied by Stage Electrics. Funding for the new LED fixtures was obtained through a government program that incentivised energy savings.
“The new fixtures are far more efficient than the incandescent units they replaced,” said James Cladingboel, technical director of Loughborough Town Hall. “However, their benefits extend way beyond energy savings. They’ve greatly expanded the things we can do with our lighting system.”
A total of seven Maverick MK2 Spots, eight Ovation E-260WW warm white elipsoidals and four Ovation E-910FC RGBA+ Lime ellipsoidals were added to the Loughborough Town Hall lighting rig. “Primarily, we use four or five of the Maverick units over the (7m x 7m) stage for gobo washes, effects and lighting the set during theatrical work, as well as for effect lighting during music gigs,” said Cladingboel. “The gobo morphing ability has become extremely useful in recent productions, allowing us to create depth for the looks on stage.”
There are also two of the 440W LED Maverick fixtures positioned on FOH booms midway back for cloth cover during theatrical shows. “This just helps to light the cloths without ‘flattening’ them,” explained Cladingboel. “Dropping in a gobo really helps to create a more interesting look.”
Pantomime performances are a crucial part of Loughborough Town Hall’s calendar, with 72 shows over six weeks. During this period, the theatre swaps some of the gobos in its Mavericks to create looks that are closer to the needs of the production. “This is just one example of how the Mavericks enhance our versatility, so we can better support the diverse mix of shows at our venue,” said Cladingboel.
Loughborough Town Hall’s eight Ovation E-260WW fixtures with 19˚ lenses are positioned on one of the theatre’s FOH bridges, while the four Ovation E-910FC ellipsoidal units with 26˚ lenses are on the FOH hurl positions to provide a rainbow of colours.
“We chose to use the WW fixtures in the FOH bridge, as opposed to the FC ones, because it was important for us that technicians touring with their own desk would be able to patch in without any difficulties or disruptions to their show files,” said Cladingboel. “Some touring technicians have been surprised to learn that these were LED fixtures after using them, and were very impressed. Due to our high specification, some touring music shows have opted to use our rig as opposed to bringing their own in, which saves time.”
Given Loughborough Town Hall’s busy production schedule “saving time” is something that will never go out of style at this vibrant 163-year-old venue.
29th August 2018
Martin Audio CDDs Add Immersive Realism to Expedition Space
UK – The Eden Project in Cornwall has been wowing families during their summer holidays by hosting what they describe as “the ultimate space adventure holiday”, starring a mission to Mars, mini-golf on Mercury and a daring slide down the surface of a moon.
Running for six weeks, Expedition Space is an all-new programme of intergalactic activities that has been taking place across Eden, giving visitors “an extra-terrestrial holiday of a lifetime” including planet-hopping, meeting alien friends and enjoying out-of-this-world fun such as moon buggy driving and virtual reality experiences. Space explorers have even been able to climb aboard a rocket and blast into orbit while enjoying spectacular views of the Moon.
Enhancing the sonic realism of this trip around the Solar System has been a series of Martin Audio’s hugely popular CDD-WR (Coaxial Differential Dispersion) weatherproof loudspeakers, including 15 pairs of CDD6-WR and a pair of CDD5-WR, all driven by just a pair of Martin Audio’s multi-channel iKON iK81 8-channel Class D amplifiers.
Said Eden Project facilities technician Jonathan Stamp, who was also technical designer on the Expedition Space project: “The CDD series was selected as it covered everything we needed from the system. The key point was to have a high quality, compact, full-range box that produced even dispersion to our audience and the CDD series does that extremely well.
“Our 30 CDD6-WR and pair of CDD5-WR all-weatherised versions have been split over seven different spaces to handle a mixture of immersive BGM tracks and live voice-overs.”
The spaces include Departure Lounge (four CDD6-WR), Spaceship Take-off Pod (four CCD6-WR), Moon Deck (eight CDD6-WR), Universe Tour (six CDD6-WR) Spaceship Landing (four CDD6-WR) Mars Tunnel (two CDD5-WR) and Mars Viewing Pod (four CDD6-WR).
Each zone has its own sound track, triggered in real time by actors through BrightSign players and QLab software. These are used to reproduce sound effects (such as space ship engines, warp speed), voice-overs (live actors and pre-recorded messages) and audio tracks to contribute to an immersive theatre piece.
Jonathan Stamp says that the immersive experience has been greatly enhanced by the sound effects, and adds that once Expedition Space terminates at the beginning of September, the CDD-WRs will be redeployed on future Eden Project productions.
28th August 2018
Renkus-Heinz the Clear Choice for Historic Ris Church
Norway – Built in 1932 in the Romanesque Revival style that became popular in the mid-19th century, Ris Church seats 500 and features a high wooden ceiling, stone walls, and a rear balcony. Unlike most such churches, Ris Church is oriented north-south because of the shape of its plot. Services are traditional in this landmark historic building, featuring a large French Romantic-style organ and a choir that performs from the steps in front of the apse.
Recently, Ris Church added a new sound system featuring Renkus-Heinz ICONYX digitally steerable loudspeakers. Designed by Per Amundsen and installed by ABC Teknikk, the new system is primarily used for speech reinforcement. A BSS Soundweb London BLU-series signal processor manages the system.
"The acoustics were challenging at Ris Church because of its volume and hard surfaces," explains Sverre Jøssund of Benum, Renkus-Heinz' Norwegian distributor. "The main sanctuary is about 40 metres [131 feet] deep. We also encountered issues with standing waves in the lower frequencies."
For the main front-of-house speakers, designer Amundsen chose a left-right pair of Renkus-Heinz IC16-RN digitally steered line arrays, part of the ICONYX Gen5 series. The IC16-RN features 16 4-inch coaxial transducers, each with three high-frequency tweeters, along with 16 amplifier and DSP channels. Each column can deliver up to eight steerable beams, which can be individually shaped and aimed using powerful, software-controlled DSP. Beam control is effective down to 400Hz. At Ris Church, this enables sound to be precisely aimed at the congregation and away from the church's reflective surfaces. The result is clear, intelligible sound throughout the space.
"Renkus-Heinz' ICONYX series is very well known as an acoustic problem-solver in Norwegian churches and city halls," Jøssund relates. "Together with subs or full-range loudspeakers like the CF151-5R, it makes great sound for almost any application. In a church where you need higher sound pressure levels for loud gospel music, we would suggest the IC Live series. But for Ris Church, with its more traditional services, the ICONYX Gen5 was the right choice."
28th August 2018
A Danley Jericho Horn Conveys Heavenly Music in the New Knoxville Sacred Heart Cathedral
USA – Founded in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1956, Sacred Heart Cathedral served as the cathedral for the Diocese of Knoxville from 1988 until very recently. It was superseded by the new 1,300-plus seat Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was built on the same property for $30.8 million. With assistance from McCrery Architects (Washington, DC), the celebrated Knoxville architectural firm BarberMcMurry designed the space to be both sublime and functional. TSAV is a Georgia-based AV integration firm with international reach, and its engineers worked closely with all of the parties involved to purposefully design the facility’s acoustics and to design and install a sophisticated, high-impact sound reinforcement system. Musical content is capably conveyed by a Danley Sound Labs J3-64 Jericho Horn and four Danley SM80 loudspeakers for fill.
“We’ve completed several successful projects with the Catholic Church including two recent sound reinforcement systems at churches in Georgia,” explained Keith Reardigan, TSAV VP of technology and standards and senior systems architect. “That, together with several successful projects with the lead architectural firm, put us in the paint. We were brought in early and contributed our expertise to programmatic design and acoustical design. For example, we were able to suggest acoustical treatments that would nicely balance the often-conflicting needs for intelligible spoken work and lively music. Whereas an untreated room of comparable size might normally have a six to eight second reverb, we brought the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus down to around two seconds when empty – enough to really help with intelligibility but not so much as to spoil the music.”
In that same spirit, Reardigan knew that it would be best to keep the direct path of sound reinforcement confined to listeners’ ears and not splashed up on the walls. Being mindful of the cathedral’s resplendent, low-tech aesthetic, TSAV installed a music reinforcement system at the back of the room, hidden below the choir loft. “We knew we didn’t want to excite a lot of air and surfaces unnecessarily,” Reardigan said. “We’ve completed several projects that had that same imperative with Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers, and we’ve been impressed with the Danley design’s ability to deliver a coherent waveform over long distances and its related pattern control. Danley was a great choice here as well.”
A single Danley J3-64 Jericho Horn – the same massive loudspeaker used to throw sound around in some of the world’s largest stadiums – covers almost all of the seating from its location under the choir loft. Four additional SM80s – two for near fill and one each for the two transepts – complete the music production system. QSC amplifiers and BiAmp DSP drive the system. A Bose column array system at the front of the church coupled with K-Array micro-format speakers integrated into overhead hung lighting fixtures provide primarily speech reinforcement, and a Yamaha QL console together with custom Crestron controls allow an engineer to control both set-ups. The Crestron interface allows the church to use the system for simple events without requiring an audio tech to run the console.
Ivan Beaver, Danley’s chief engineer, travelled to Knoxville to help commission the system. “Like everyone on Danley’s team, Ivan was an excellent collaborator,” Reardigan said. “We’re really happy with how this system came together.” Glen Kahler, director of music and liturgy at the church, said, “The space is fantastic. The team at TSAV was able to find the happy medium between high speech intelligibility and lively acoustics for music – neither is a sacrifice. The loudspeakers are wonderful and fill the space beautifully.”