Project News Headlines
FloppyFlex Accents Granite Boardwalk in Texas
USA – The newest development in a recently opened, 90-acre complex in Granite Park, Plano, Texas, “The Boardwalk” features 29,000 square feet of restaurant space, patios and offices, with dramatic decorative lighting featuring nearly 1,000 feet of FloppyFlex LED neon.
“FloppyFlex is a winner in our book; it’s extremely bright, versatile, and reliable,” says Jeff Mabray of Hossley Lighting. “We’re using the large dome, 4000 Kelvin white, with four distinct programmes on an automated time clock. The looks include centre-out sweeps and streams, black-on-white effects, and more, all auto-selected randomly. The FloppyFlex was easy to install and is performing well.”
Mabray continues: “This project was new construction with the lighting designed from the outset, making installation a little easier than with most retrofits. The terrific design is by Erin Moody of Studio e Lighting Design. We provided the electrical contractor with five reels of FloppyFlex, which was easily cut and mounted. They terminated the segments and then we programmed. We chose FloppyFlex not only for its performance and ease of use, but also because of TMB’s service and their understanding of DMX and the vagaries which often accompany a major installation. In short, they made our job easier.”
Hossley Lighting Associates is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, specialising in lighting and control solutions for 40 years. Studio e Lighting Design is also located in Dallas.
Firefly FloppyFlex LED neon is the perfect, high-quality replacement for glass neon: Easy to use, long lasting, durable, and, at 24VDC, safe. Perfect for use indoors and outdoors, FloppyFlex is available in large dome (270° view angle), small dome (160° view angle), and flat versions. Standard single-colour versions include red, green, blue, yellow, orange, plus RGB and Digital RGB (pixel controlled) versions, as well as a wide selection of single-colour white options ranging from 2100 to 5700 Kelvin. Also available in the Firefly range of decorative, outdoor-rated lighting systems are Festoon with shatterproof, outdoor-rated LED lamps and fairy lights, long-life, heavy-duty LED Strings and Icicles.
21st April 2017
SJP Productions Creates High Flying Experience at Drone Race with ChamSys
USA – S. Jeremy Peters loves piloting small FPV drones. There is, he says, “no rush quite like it.” He and his wife Alison Peters wanted to share their passion for drone flying with a wider audience. As owners of SJP Productions, a lighting and projection company experienced working festivals, they were in an excellent position to do so. Hooking up with a local brewery, they created one of the first spectator-oriented drone racing events, complete with festival-like lighting, atmospherics and live video feeds all controlled with a three universe set up built around ChamSys Software.
“Typically drone races are geared toward the racers themselves without a lot of spectators,” said Peters. “Generally, they don’t have much production. Alison and I wanted to draw on our production experience at festivals like Lockn, Peach, Bisco, Mountain Jam, Taste of Country and Gathering of the Vibes to create an event that engaged spectators, so we could draw newcomers to drone racing. When we approached Brewmasters Brewing Services, they were all over the idea. So four weeks later, we held our drone race/festival at a working brewery. It was a blast!”
Brewmasters Drone Night kicked off at 6:00pm on 25th March. It was quickly apparent that this would be no ordinary drone race. Peters got things going in high gear with 150 lights and cryo jets at the start gate. Live video feeds from the racers’ goggles and eight camera live switchers trackside put spectators in the middle of the action. ChamSys MagicQ PC software controlled lighting and video using a PC Wing and multiple Playback Wings. Video was triggered via ArtNet using MagicQ.
A collection of moving fixtures, including Chauvet Professional Rogue R2 Beams and R2 Spots along with live music enhanced the festival atmosphere. Pixel mapped LED bars were used to line the building’s stairwell, creating a magical aura. Human “LED hula hoopers” served as obstacles during the race. IP65 rated par-style fixtures were located throughout the course to add colour.
The IP65 rating was critical, according to Peters, given the amount of liquid floating around the brewery. “There is a great deal of liquid at the venue due to the brewing and cleaning process,” he said. “Its floor slopes to a long drain, and the tanks are constantly letting off small amounts of liquid and gas. Ingredients are also being mixed which end up on the floor, and the floor has to be very regularly hosed off, especially before having visitors for the event. During the set-up, the brewery also pressure washed all their tanks so they were looking spiffy for our guests, which dumped a lot of water on the ground, and on the par fixtures.”
Programming the various visuals of this multi-faceted event was relatively simple, thanks to MagicQ’s user-friendly features. “In general, programming on MagicQ is a breeze,” said Peters. “Once you know how to program, you can do anything. Pixel mapping on MagicQ is very straightforward, and we use this feature a lot. On this particular show, the LED bars are 36 channels each. We were able to create the pixel mapping effects for them in under a minute.”
“Also, ChamSys pairs very easily with video, which was obviously very important in this project,” continued Peters. “ChamSys works with our video software by treating MagicQ as an intelligent DMX MIDI-style controller, patching faders to opacity control on video layers for camera feeds, so they could easily be controlled from a single interface.”
MagicQ allowed Peters to achieve tight control over his lighting rig. This was especially important given the nature of this event. “Balancing the crazy lighting we had with the racers’ ability to see in FPV, which is very sensitive to light changes, was a big challenge,” said Peters. “The cameras for FPV flying don’t white balance very well, so it’s difficult for them to respond quickly to bright to dark transitions. This can make it hard at least momentarily for the racers to navigate. We minimized this as much as possible in programming scenes to help the racers overcome this challenge.”
In addition to the experienced racers who navigated this course with its varied lighting, Brewmasters Drone Night offered novices the chance to experience drone piloting for the first time. “Newcomers loved the experience,” said Peters. “I’m sure we introduced a lot of people to the hobby. We plan to put on more events like this, and are currently working out the details for us to do smaller drone events with the Boys and Girls Club as well as a local school, focusing on technology and skill training. Who knows, maybe one day drone racing will be the next NASCAR!”
photos: Jacqueline M. Sidor
19th April 2017
Electro-Voice and Bosch provide “heard, but not seen” sound solution for Houston gallery
USA – For their Art of the World Gallery in Houston’s River Oaks area, co-owners Liliana Molina and Mauricio Vallejo wanted to augment their guests’ appreciation of the outstanding contemporary artists they display. Southwest Building Systems of nearby Silsbee was engaged to realise this vision, and an audio visual system was installed to support artist presentations and provide background music. There is also a sound system in the VIP room, where patrons can privately view art they are considering for purchase.
“The idea was to create a warm, comfortable ambience throughout the gallery, while keeping the visual focus on the art itself,” says Brent Thornhill of Southwest Building Systems. “We knew that a combination of Bosch signal processing and the new EVID Compact Sound loudspeakers by Electro-Voice could produce the audio impact they wanted while being, essentially, invisible.”
To meet the gallery’s requirement of consistent, high-fidelity sound throughout their two-storey space, Southwest Building Systems used a zoned distribution system, the Bosch PLENA matrix mixer (model PLM-8M8). Easily implemented, the mixer allows independent control of source material and volume, either directly through wall-mounted Bosch control panels and volume controls, or wirelessly through the Bosch PLENA app for iOS devices.
Because the gallery hosts presentations by the artists it exhibits, a separate sound system was needed for the front foyer and reception area. For this open space, Thornhill installed an Electro-Voice R300 wireless microphone system with both handheld and bodypack transmitters. A single Electro-Voice EVU-1082 loudspeaker, mounted above the reception desk, provides full-range, highly intelligible audio at modest volume levels from both spoken and musical sources.
The primary background audio for the main gallery spaces is provided by the EVID S44W Compact Sound system from Electro-Voice, which consists of four small satellite speakers and a single subwoofer, finished in white. Four such systems are spread throughout the gallery, with the tiny yet robust satellite speakers mounted to the ceiling beams and the compact subwoofers installed atop floating ceiling structures, making them completely invisible to the patrons. In addition, 16 Bosch LB2 speakers at ceiling level along the periphery ensure that every corner of the gallery is covered uniformly.
The final touch is the Art of the World Gallery VIP room, where clients can arrange private viewings of a piece they are considering for purchase. This private room is set up as a separate audio zone, with music provided by a single Electro-Voice EVID FM 4.2, a two-way, flush-mounted speaker set into the wall along with a Bosch rotary volume control. Co-owner Mauricio Vallejo liked the sound quality so much, he had one installed in his own office as well.
Vallejo is extremely pleased with both the sound quality and control that the system delivers for Art of the World Gallery. “Southwest Building Systems gave us everything we asked for, with clear, beautiful sound everywhere,” he says. “To have total control of the sound system, anywhere in the building, from my iPad or iPhone, is something we all love. It makes everything easy and professional, enhancing the viewing experience without interfering with it. We are very pleased.”
19th April 2017
Two New dLive C Class Systems in Austria
Austria – Allen & Heath’s new dLive C Class systems have been purchased in Austria by PA company, Event-Corp OG, and Christian movement, KISI.
Event-Corp OG invested in a C3500 surface with CDM32 MixRack, adding to its dLive hire stock. The new surface debuted at the Crossover Concert, which was recently held at the MUTH in Vienna, featuring the renowned choral group, Spritbaum.
In total, there were 66 channels to manage from the band, orchestra, choir, grand piano and eight vocalists. Event-Corp’s dLive S5000 surface with DM48 MixRack and DX32 expander rack managed FoH systems were connected via GigaACE, with Dante network cards fitted for multi-track recording.
“As one of the very first S Class dLive users, I am happy now to add the smaller, compact C Class solution without compromising on sound, power and all the other advantages of a dLive system,” says Richie Redl, owner of Event-Corp OG.
Meanwhile, the children and teens movement, KISI ‘God's signing kids’, has taken its musical show, Ruth, to venues across Austria. The organisation decided to invest in a new C Class system, comprising a C3500 surface with CDM32 MixRack. There are 54 radio mics in use, with 40 channels of playback from an Ableton Live set up, connected via Dante.
“I love the system! It is small for load in/out and smaller venues, sounds amazing, has all the traditional tools for professional mixing, and can also handle our trigger MIDI setup with more than 200 cues,” comments engineer, Johannes Minichmayr. “We are making use of the new 5.1 surround sound mode, and new FX.”
18th April 2017
Chanhassen Dinner Theatres Create New Lighting Options with Rogues
USA – The Chanhassen Dinner Theatres complex has been a beehive of activity since it opened in 1968. In a typical year, its kitchen will serve 14 tons of steaks, four tons of prime rib, 120,000 chicken breasts, 18 tons of fresh green beans and half a million dinner rolls. Things are equally busy on the theatrical side. Over ten million people have seen shows at the Chanhassen, which is the largest professional dinner theatre in the US. Most productions run eight shows a week for six months, separated by breaks of only a few days.
The production schedule at the theatre complex, which is located 20 miles from Minneapolis, is not only full, it’s also varied, with musicals, concerts, dramas, comedies, one-person shows and ensembles all being performed on its stages. Not surprisingly, Sue Berger, the theatre’s lighting director has three main criteria in mind when selecting fixtures for her often-used rig: reliability, performance and flexibility. Following these guidelines, she recently replaced her ageing 250 Watt moving discharge fixtures in the main theatre with seven Chauvet Professional Rogue R2 Washes, supplied by Monkey Wrench Productions.
“Our ownership team is dedicated to doing things the right way and carefully investing in solid equipment, especially because we do maintain such an active schedule,” she said. “Any fixtures we add to our rig must be capable of holding up to extensive use. Versatility is also a key factor, because we produce a wide variety of shows. With space at a premium, each instrument needs to be able to fill a multitude of roles. So researching fixtures prior to committing is critically important. ”
With this in mind, Berger looked into a variety of moving LED washes, before narrowing down her options to three choices. “I went to Monkey Wrench to compare the three final fixtures,” she recalled. “The Rogues were clearly superior to one and matched up closely with the other, but they were considerably more affordable, which is why the decision to add Rogues was an easy one.”
Having added the Rogue R2 Wash to her rig, Berger now moves the fixtures to different positions depending on the show. She has them perform a variety of functions, including top lighting, side lighting, back washing, special effects and more. The RGBW fixture’s wide zoom range of 12°-49° gives her the option of using it to cover areas of widely different sizes, while avoiding spillage onto the audience.
Modern moving fixtures can do much more than special effects lighting in a theatre,” she said. “With colour mixing, zoom and other features, you can create an array of looks, while keeping the number of units in your rig relatively low. I’ve used the Rogues for Beauty and The Beast and Sister Act, and am now using them for Camelot. Next, I’ll be using them for Grease. Each show creates a different set of demands, but the Rogues adapt very easily.”
For Camelot, Berger is hanging the Rogue R2 Washes in three different positions. A pair of the Rogues are splitting centre about 8ft upstage of the proscenium. Covering an area about 30ft across the stage are three other Rogues flown about 4ft downstage of the proscenium. The two remaining Rogues are flown downstage left and downstage right above the outside acting areas.
“While all of the fixtures are hung above acting areas, they are not used only as top lights,” said Berger. “More often they are used as back light or to create a strong high angle side light. The upstage two fixtures also swing around to aim at a far upstage scrim that masks the orchestra and add extra depth to the background scenery.”
Berger relies on the Rogue R2 Wash’s zooming to accent key visual elements during the play. For example, the Rogues add drama to Camelot’s jousting and knighting scenes by pinpointing Lancelot's miracle with a white beam that cuts through all the colour from above. In another scene, the fixtures are used as an isolated spot on Excalibur during the narrative’s final moments.
The colour rendering capabilities of the Rogue R2 Wash are also playing a key role in lighting Camelot for Berger. “There are so many gorgeous colours in Camelot, as well as a lot of whites that can be a challenge,” she said. “Some of the teals used, for example, can be tricky to light. The Rogues not only allow me to create the exact hue to bring the costumes and scenery to life, they also are powerful enough to punch through, creating strong focal points.”
Looking ahead to Grease, Berger knows that there will be a new set of lighting challenges. With her well-chosen rig, she’ll be able to meet them night after night at this very busy dinner theatre.
18th April 2017
Wireless Solution Sweden supports students from USW
UK – The Swedish manufacturer of W-DMX has recently supported the students of University of South Wales, completing BSc. degrees in Live Event and Lighting Design. Wireless Solution provided Wireless technology to the final year students that wanted to integrate W-DMX into their final-year projects.
The USW degrees encourage students to create a lighting fixture that could be commercialised – this includes specifying, designing and creating a product prototype, before presenting it in a trade-show environment, along with other engineering students.
Flare, the featured product with W-DMX, was created by Charlie LaPage Norris, Oliver Jenni, Pedro Socias and Matt Didon, all final students from USW. The fixture includes a variable white LED source with an RGB backlight system, able to be pixel-mapped and with a Wireless Solution receiver as standard.
Last year, Wireless Solution sponsored two students to be alongside the company at Light and Building and Prolight and Sound trade-shows, both in Frankfurt. This year, Wireless Solution provided the same sponsorship to student David Howard, currently doing a placement year at Enlightened Lighting in Bristol.
Stuart Green, course leader at University of South Wales, commented: “In the world we now live in an understanding of science and technology more important than ever. The support from Wireless Solution has enabled students to develop product and knowledge that will be invaluable as they enter the industry.”
Wireless Solution is a strong supporter of the new Wireless generation: “I remember picking up one of our ‘Cable Sucks’ pins at a trade-show, when I was studying”, said David Ferraz, international business development manager for Wireless Solution. “I still have it today. The strong impact our products have among younger technicians and designers is incredible – it makes them come up with brilliant ideas for outstanding lighting and product designs. Finding these projects makes my job even more enjoyable!”, David added.
18th April 2017
AIDAprima: Best entertainment with Sennheiser MobileConnect and on-board WiFi network integration
Germany – On board the AIDA-fleet’s newest flagship, AIDAprima, sound solutions from Sennheiser prove their capabilities every single day, the audio specialist’s premium products help deliver high level entertainment on one of the world’s most modern cruise ships. Alongside Sennheiser’s reliable wireless technology, AIDAprima uses the innovative MobileConnect streaming solution, which has been recently updated to allow for seamless integration into existing networks. AIDAprima opens a new chapter for cruise history and Sennheiser’s vision to “Shape the Future of Audio” is a perfect match.
One of the most technologically advanced ships on the planet, AIDAprima has its own excellently equipped TV-production environment, the broadcast centre, which channels all picture signals and distributes them to the numerous clients on board. To monitor sound, this facility uses four Neumann KH 120 A active speakers. The newest addition to the broadcast centre is a Sennheiser ConnectStation CS1-M, which lies at the heart of the MobileConnect solution and which Martin Zniva, entertainment technical manager on board AIDAprima describes as providing: “A great benefit for people with hearing impediments.”
In the past, entertainment areas on cruise ships had been equipped with special seating areas for guests with hearing impediments; audio signals were transmitted via induction loops installed underneath the floor. On modern cruise ships such as AIDAprima, guests can ask for a pocket receiver which picks up the signals and enables the guest to choose their own seating space.
With the innovative Sennheiser MobileConnect system, inclusion on board is set to go full speed ahead: After the test stage, passengers will be able to pick up the sounds of four different areas with their own smartphones by using the free Sennheiser MobileConnect app (Android and iOS). The signal is broadcast via the ships own WiFi. Following the completion of an on-going testing phase on AIDAprima, the new service will help to make the prospect of a voyage on board the newest ship of the AIDA fleet even more universally appealing by also fully including those customers with individual hearing needs.
A number of German theatres are already participating in the offer to test Sennheiser MobileConnect for their guests with hearing impediments. The common feedback from these testing environments is praise for the ease of use of the solution: the user interface can be controlled with just a few touches to achieve the desired hearing result. Guests also liked the fact that they can use their own smartphones and don’t need to borrow any additional devices.
AIDAprima is solely equipped with wireless technology from Sennheiser, from the wireless microphone technology to wireless monitoring and in-ear systems. For shows with a high production value, Sennheiser components such from the 3000- and 5000-Series as well as Sennheiser IEM-solutions are being used, guaranteeing perfect sound with the highest audio quality. One advantage of these professional Sennheiser solutions is their wide bandwidth up to 184 MHz, which is important for their use in international waters and harbours in a number of different countries. A suitable intermodulation free frequency can be found and set easily with the Sennheiser WSM-software.
The media technology used on AIDAprima was installed on her wharf in Nagasaki, Japan, before the ship was transferred to Europe. The general contractor for the extensive light- and sound technology was ASC Amptoun System Company GmbH. The broadcast-, video- and LED-technology was provided by Wärtsilä FUNA International GmbH. The stage was designed by Waagner-Biro AG.
“We have been working with Sennheiser for many years, and the high quality of Sennheiser’s products has consistently proven to be highly reliable in the field,” says Martin Zniva. “In light of this great past experience, there really wasn’t any question for us when we were looking for wireless systems for AIDAprima – we are incredibly happy to have Sennheiser!”
13th April 2017
Engaging d&b audiotechnik technology delivers next level entertainment experience
The Netherlands – Home to AFC Ajax, Amsterdam ArenA is a world class stadium and the preferred venue for the Dutch national football team’s international fixtures. As part of its ongoing upgrade its recently installed a new audio solution based on the d&b Y-Series system.
Production manager at Amsterdam ArenA, Tim Oosterop says: “Like our LED screens, or escalators, audio investment is not something you can charge for, it doesn’t translate directly into revenue, but it does see the audience come earlier and stay longer. If they’re here that’s good for revenue, and makes best use of the facilities.
“Ajax already has its own video production department and puts a lot of work into the pre-show environment. Entertainment is the key component and quality audio is a big part of delivering that experience.”
Looking toward a new audio installation, Oosterop, and head of technology Martin Wielaart, defined three main objectives: 1. Compliance, specifically to UEFA/ FIFA regulations for performance and intelligibility, and adherence to national and international safety standards for evacuation systems; 2. Address the venue’s atypical acoustics, difficulties that could not be solved – in realistic financial terms – through current construction techniques; 3. Enhance the stadium’s reputation as a host of other entertainment events – especially concerts – with an acknowledged leading audio brand.
To address the requirements of safety and conformity the arena engaged the services of RH Consulting, a specialist practice that advised LOCOG for the London Olympics in 2012.
“Initially we created a specification document to cover both performance of the system, and compliance with the regulations, including Dutch national regulations,” explains Roland Hemming of RH Consulting. “The document was written in a manner suitable to a project as large and complex as this venue. We created three versions, one for the local safety authority, a second for the bidders so they knew how to comply, and a third for FIFA and UEFA.”
“As far as the challenging acoustics of stadium venues are concerned,” adds Oosterop, “we wanted a system in place that allowed us to clearly show concert organisers, band managers and event promoters, that we had invested in, and made serious inroads into making it possible to achieve the highest quality sound.
“For us that meant it was important to have an installed audio system from a brand name that is recognised as superior by the touring industry. Through our research we observed that for a significant number of years d&b audiotechnik has been identified as number one in the industry, with three other close contenders, all of whom were invited to tender.”
Oosterop says the fact the d&b ArrayProcessing software interfaces invisibly with the arena’s existing MediaMatrix management system facilitated a simple and easily executed route to accommodating a variety of event formats, without compromising safety standards. “With what we have now, we can present acoustic models and predictive scenarios to provide those planning to bring their shows here. We have an audio infrastructure that allows them to plan for best sound. By having all the modelling software and associated data, we enable them the time and space to plan accordingly.
Stefan Goertz, head of education and application support at d&b explains how flexible formatting was realised in the system design. “To make the switch to concert configuration easy, three of the line array clusters pivot. These turntable arrays are an easy principal: simple mechanical pins are pulled by a rope from the catwalk, and a second rope allows you to manually turn the array; the pin is sprung loaded and will click into a preset second slot to lock the array in concert orientation. It’s a very reliable manual process, no need for complex electric motors linked to positional controls. At the end of the football season the arrays can be quickly and easily repositioned in readiness.”
“The quality of the d&b system was not just a few steps up in terms of sonic delivery, there are other benefits, not least massive savings in power consumption,” adds Oosterop. “The old system, in order to comply with evacuation regulations, had to be on 24/7 so that if you hit the evacuation button the response of the system was immediate.
“With the new d&b solution it can be off when not in use. At any time, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, if you hit the evacuation button the system responds in half a second. Not only that, for smaller events where perhaps just part of the stadium is in use, the system is zoned, so we have default programmes within the evacuation control customised for us by Ampco/Flashlight (the arena’s audio service provider), that trigger the evacuation system to move people out zone by zone.
“Obviously, the big saving for us is in not having the system on all the time, but we also find that not only is sound improved throughout the venue, but power consumed during non-events is lessened. Audio power consumption has been reduced by 85%. Not only is that a huge financial impact, it’s also a great ecological result. One of the arena‘s aims is to be carbon neutral; we already have solar panels and wind turbines in place. Now we are one step closer.”
13th April 2017
Small is beautiful: Alcons LR7 reinforces Theaterstübchen Kassel
Germany – In the more than ten years of its existence, the "Theaterstübchen Kassel" has developed into one of the country's finest addresses for jazz music. In order to successfully develop the purely privately run house, renovations took place from 2012 onwards, during which a new public address system was installed. Operator Markus Knierim trusted the clear recommendation of sound engineer Rolf Dressler and chose a pro-ribbon sound solution from Alcons Audio.
Auditiv GmbH from Kassel installed two Alcons pro-ribbon LR7 (left/right) micro line-array in the 120 seats (about 300 without seats) large Theaterstübchen (“little theatre room”), supplemented by one Alcons BF151 single 15” per side as bass support. The system is operated by the Alcons ALC2 (two 1kW) amplified loudspeaker controller. This small system "is absolutely sufficient for 95% of the events in the room," as Rolf Dressler emphasises.
The Alcons LR7 is a passive two-way loudspeaker system, equipped with a four-inch pro-ribbon transducer. Although very small and only eight kilograms / 17.6lb in weight, the system captivates by the Alcons-typical intelligibility and outstanding impulse response. The natural clarity of the system makes it the first choice for jazz sound reinforcement.
As a freelance sound technician since 1986 on the road, Alcons has always been the system of choice for Dressler: "I've known Alcons since the first hour and to this day there is nothing better for me in the mid and high frequency range. Anyone who is looking for a system that reinforces 1:1 what comes in, inevitably lands at Alcons."
Dressler's preference is always Alcons, no matter what size. "There is nothing you cannot do with it. The really amazing thing about the LR7 is that it offers – despite the small size – plenty of headroom.” In addition to the LR7, Dressler also often uses the larger Alcons QR24 or QR36 line-source columns at other events. "Once a pro-ribbon, always a pro-ribbon," that's all there is to it for Rolf.
There is also nothing to complain about when it comes to reliability: "The system in the Theaterstübchen runs well over 200 days a year. In addition to the full live program, there is a disco every Friday and Saturday. In the three years that we are working with the LR7, there has been no single failure or any other problems."
Also convinced are the audience, the critics and not least the guest artists. "The opinion has always been that "one does not have to worry about the sound at Theaterstübchen", says the sound engineer of the house. "Bass legend Ron Carter, who has already enjoyed several gigs in the theatre, had so much joy in the sonic experience that, according to his manager, for the first time he played a much larger set than planned. Also the sound technicians of the artists always ask me, with which we produce this incredible sound. That’s the pro-ribbons of Alcons Audio, " laughs Dressler.
At the moment, the theatre is about to open up for pop concerts and has already welcomed bands like Molly Hatchet or the Berlin band MIA. Here, according to Dressler, one moves in the area of those 5% of the events, for which the current sound concept is not quite enough.
Whenever it is required, the existing Alcons system is therefore supplemented by Auditiv, with a double 18" subwoofer type BF362 mkII per side as well as two Alcons RR12 pro-ribbon point-source array per side. An Alcons Sentinel S10 (four 2.5kW) provides for the drive and control of the extended system.
Already in 2015, the Theaterstübchen received the Kassel Kulturpreis (Culture Award) for its "JazzFrühling" series of events, which will attract also this year enthusiastic jazz fans from all over the country with an exquisite programme. And again, no one will have to worry about the sound.
12th April 2017
Yamaha CIS Brings Joy To Italian Nuovi Orizzonti Citadel
Italy – Nuovi Orizzonti (New Horizons) is a Christian, non-profit organisation which has ‘citadels’ in Italy, Brazil and Bosnia-Herzegovina where the socially disadvantaged and marginalised can receive support, care and training. The organisation’s newest facility is at Frosinone in Italy, where a Yamaha Commercial Installation Solutions (CIS) audio system is helping to bring people together.
Named Cittadella Cielo (Citadel of Heaven), the new facility expands the Nuovi Orizzonti mission to ‘bring joy to those who have lost hope’. Its recent gala opening saw performances by Italian stars including Andrea Bocelli, Nek, Raf and Cristina Scuccia (aka Sister Cristina, or ‘The Singing Nun’, winner of the second series of The Voice of Italy).
The Yamaha CIS system is installed in Cittadella Cielo’s 600-capacity main hall and features eight VXS5W and eight VXS8W loudspeakers, powered by XMV8280 and XMV4280 amplifiers. An MTX3 matrix mixer manages the system, with straightforward control via wall-mounted DCP4V4S and DCP1V4S panels, plus remote Wireless DCP. Input sources include two Line 6 XD-V75 wireless microphones and three Shure MX418C goosenecks.
“The system had to deliver high sound quality with very even coverage, despite the hall featuring a number of columns and many flat, reflective surfaces,” says Fabio Morosi of systems integrator On Display. “The venue was originally planned with a different audio system, but I insisted Yamaha CIS products were considered because I previously did a very successful installation with them in Rome.”
Wouter ‘Tony’ Verkuijl of Yamaha Music Europe’s Italy branch performed the required electro-acoustic calculations in the hall, as well as providing Fabio with material to present to Cittadella Cielo’s financial backers. This convinced them that investing in the Yamaha system was the best decision, thanks to its superior sound quality, coverage, control and being more visually appealing.
“For us, customer satisfaction is the most important thing and the Yamaha CIS solution was the best and most flexible for the client,” says Fabio. “Being able to use CAT5 cabling between the processor, amplifiers and control panels also made building the system rack a lot easier.”
Despite the compact size of the white VXS series loudspeakers, they provide plenty of power to cover a full audience, peaking at over 110dB at every seat.
“Fabio is very pleased at having both a happy client and another high quality CIS installation in On Display’s portfolio,” says Tony. “The non-invasive aesthetics seamlessly integrate within the hall’s decor, while the system’s versatility and ease of operation using the DCP wall panels make it suitable for any gathering or event.”
12th April 2017
Large Elation refit at Fox Sports LA Studio includes ‘irreplaceable’ Fuze Wash Z120
USA - Fox Sports recently refitted Stage B at its Pico Studio in Los Angeles with nearly 100% Elation Professional products, an energy-efficient LED-based lighting system designed by award-winning Victor Fable with lighting supply by Kinetic Lighting. The new lighting system includes a host of Elation broadcast-optimised lights including one of Elation’s latest LED wash solutions, the Fuze Wash Z120, a PAR moving head with 120W RGBW COB LED engine.
The Fuze light plays an important role in the install and is a fixture that LD Victor Fable is especially happy with. “I had given up on finding a light that had the same characteristics as a VL5, which has been a cornerstone of countless shows,” he says. “That changed when I was introduced to the Fuze Wash Z120.”
On his search for a new colour-changing wash light with unique on-camera aesthetics yet one that was LED-based, Fable paid a visit to Elation’s demo room in LA to see what was on offer. “There were ten or so other products in the demo room and my eye went right for the Z120 and pretty much stayed there,” he said. “The Z120 fills all the roles for me that the VL5 would play even though it’s an LED fixture whereas the VL5 is an incandescent. After a couple of dozen music shows, a few talk shows and six months of daily work at Fox Sports Stage B, the Z120 has proven to be one irreplaceable tool.”
Just one fixture in Elation’s Fuze series of dynamic wash lights, the Fuze Wash Z120’s single source lens system emits an extremely homogenised beam and features a lens face that appears as one colour on camera, unique on the market. The non-pixel look face is something that LDs have been wanting for years. Other Elation lights employed at the broadcast centre include white light DW Fresnel and DW Profile luminaires, Colour 5 Profile LED ellipsoidal spots, TVL CYC RGBW cyclorama wall wash lights, TVL4000 LED array panels, Arena Par Zoom RGBW PAR wash lights, Colour Chorus series LED battens, and Satura Profile LED-based CMY moving heads with framing.
10th April 2017
It’s All Danley (Even Amps) for Legendary Carver-Hawkeye Arena at the University of Iowa
USA – Constructed in 1983, the 15,400-seat Carver-Hawkeye Arena is home to the University of Iowa Hawkeye basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, and volleyball teams. It also hosts big-ticket concerts (Whitney Houston, Metallica, and Guns N’ Roses, to name a few), graduation ceremonies, and speeches (including Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Desmond Tutu, and Jane Goodall). Its unique architecture makes good use of the earth. Most of the seating is subgrade, which makes entering the arena a thrill in itself. And the arena pioneered the use of geothermal heating and cooling to keep fans comfortable. Recently, the Carver-Hawkeye Arena joined the University’s 70,000-seat Kinnick Stadium by deploying a full Danley Sound Labs sound reinforcement system with huge benefits to fidelity, coverage, and visceral impact.
Larry Lucas of Anthony James Partners, of Richmond, Virginia, designed and commissioned the new Danley system, with assistance from legendary acoustician Doug Jones, who is now a member of the Danley team. The same duo was responsible for the recent Danley upgrade at Kinnick Stadium, which now employs a massive Danley Caleb Horn to cover most of the seating. Parsons Electric, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, capably handled the install at Kinnick and thus secured the bid at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“Amazingly, Carver-Hawkeye Arena managed to get by with the original installed sound system for over 30 years!” explained Dave Potts, veteran field systems engineer at Parsons Electric. “But that was obviously dated technology. They were hoping for much better intelligibility, greater musical impact, and better user control. The new system gives them all of that, and we managed to pull the old system out and put the new system in in just six weeks! That included pulling new cable and negotiating a bunch of other contractors (they were replacing the scoreboards and making other renovations at the same time!) For a while, we had to work around 14 boom lifts, cranes, and crane trucks on the floor – only five of which were ours!”
Eight loudspeaker clusters ring the floor to cover the main bowl of Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Two of the clusters use a pair of Danley SH-96HOs each, and the remaining clusters use a pair of Danley SH-96s each. In addition, two clusters of three Danley TH-118 subwoofers each provide tight low-end support. Two additional Danley SH-96s fire straight down at either end of the basketball court to cover the floor. Ten Danley SM-80s create a far ring to deliver delayed coverage to the upper bowl. Finally, Parsons Electric reconditioned existing speakers and their wiring in the concourse, separating them into eight unique zones and applying delay to time align them with the rest of the system.
Fourteen new four-channel Danley DNA 20K4 Pro amplifiers provide 280,000W of clean, efficient power to the system, along with comprehensive signal processing facilities for loudspeaker conditioning. A QSC Q-Sys DSP system gives Carver-Hawkeye Arena complete control of presets for different types of functions – including the ability to turn individual clusters on or off to scale to the size of an event – via an intuitive GUI that contains other vital system controls.
“AJP and Danley really nailed the design at Carver-Hawkeye Arena,” said Potts. “I’ve done a ton of these type of arenas, and at first I was sceptical about whether we’d hit all the close seats with these angles. But Danley’s pattern control is really well defined, and Larry [Lucas] and Doug [Jones] were able to dial everything in so that the system covered precisely to the points they required. The boxes themselves sound great; even before we dialled anything in, the intelligibility and impact were there. Of course, we listened critically and notched out a few problem frequencies that were interacting poorly with the room, and it became all the better. Once we had the delays and concourse system time-aligned, the whole system worked together as one unit, regardless of overall volume. I challenge anyone to walk into Carver-Hawkeye Arena and not come away impressed by the intelligibility and impact of its new Danley system.”
10th April 2017
dLive Installed In Norway’s Nidaros Cathedral
Norway – Norway’s renowned Nidaros Cathedral recently underwent a major upgrade to its audio system, based around a Dante-enabled dLive digital mixing system, with an IP6 for daily remote control, and a DX32 expander rack to provide additional inputs for live performances.
Established in 1066, Nidaros is the world’s northernmost medieval cathedral, the largest medieval building in Scandinavia, Norway’s national sanctuary, and houses relics of the Norwegian king, St. Olav. Attracting over 400,000 tourists a year, the cathedral also hosts a plethora of concerts and performances each month, many of which are broadcast on national television in addition to the regular daily church services.
The purpose of the installation was to provide the cathedral with a central, remote-controllable system replacing the previous system, which consisted of several separate units and extensive analogue cabling. Other requirements were to provide a comprehensive control surface from which to comfortably run larger performances in two locations, and use the system surfaceless to provide a simple, intuitive and reliable interface for day-to-day use, such as the running of services and guided tours.
Supplied by Allen & Heath’s distributor, Benum, a S5000 surface with DM48 MixRack was selected. The S5000 is installed in a mobile rack and can be connected to either of two Cat5 patch points, which terminate in two GigaAce ports on a DM48 MixRack. An IP6 is provided for daily use, programmed to recall presets with matrix settings for the numerous lecture positions in the cathedral, and providing level and mute control for the channels associated with each of these positions. The existing analogue input/output boxes spread around the hall are connected directly to the DM48 inputs/outputs, and the dLive manages a Shure mic wireless system and 16 Renkus Heinz Iconyx speakers via Dante.
The DX32 is rackmounted on a mobile unit, to provide additional I/O for larger performances, and connects directly to the surface. In addition to the two mixing positions and the IP6 controller, the levels can also be controlled via a dLive iPad app, plus there is also a computer in the technical room in the crypts loaded with dLive director control software, offering remote support when necessary.
Head technician for lighting and sound at the cathedral, Ragnar ‘Timmo’ Aune, says: “The dLive system is incredibly easy to use and totally stable. It provides me with all the processing tools I could possibly need while retaining a completely uncluttered, easy to navigate interface. The clerks and other daily personnel also find the IP6 controller extremely simple and clear for their purposes.”
7th April 2017
Christ Community Church Theater Gets Versatile with Chauvet Professional
USA – Theatres of one kind or another have long played a role in the growth of Christ Community Church. Just before Christmas 1984, the suburban Chicago church, which was founded by four couples, held its first service in a rented movie theatre. Christ Community has since grown into a thriving four-campus house of worship that draws 5,000 people to its weekend services.
However, a theatre – albeit of a different kind – still occupies an important spot in the church’s mission. Over the past decade, Christ Community has been successfully engaging young people with its Hub Theater, a student ministry meeting and worship area on its original St. Charles campus. Recently, the church took steps to make this space more relevant to teens by updating its lighting system with all-new Chauvet Professional fixtures supplied by JR Lighting Design of Tinley Park, IL.
“We had been in the space for about a decade, and our current rig was becoming outdated,” said Nick Sheetz, the church’s technical director. “We wanted to upgrade the lighting with a rig that would give us a lot of flexibility to change our looks and create different environments. Flexibility was critical, as this room is utilised for a variety of different events, all with a different feel and style.”
Sheetz connected with Jason Reberski, owner of JR Lighting Design, who put together an all-Chauvet rig for the church. “Jason came along and helped us decide on what specific fixtures we were going to go with,” he said. “We also got a lot of help from Jason in expediting this project. It wasn’t until the last minute that we learned we could pull the trigger on a new lighting system. Jason was able to facilitate us getting the gear in only three days. This was essential, since we had only seven days to install the rig.”
Included in that new rig are six Strike 4 multi-formatted fixtures, ten COLORado 2-Quad Zoom Tours, ten Rogue R2 Washes and four Rogue RH1 Hybrids. This collection of fixtures gives Christ Community Church a wide range of options when it comes to lighting the Hub Theater. Using the high output Strike 4 units as blinders, and drawing on the zoom features, gobo capabilities and rapid pan/tilt movement of the Rogue fixtures, the church is able to create high octane concert-style looks that resonate with young people.
At the same time, the fixtures are also able to wash the stage in warm whites or a rich array of colours for more reflective moments. The zooming capabilities of the COLORado 2-Quad Zoom fixtures have also given the church the capability to change looks to fit different types of events.
For his part, Sheetz is happy to be able to draw on the versatile capabilities of the fixtures in his rig. “The zoom feature on the COLORado fixtures has been huge,” he said. “It’s so nice to be able to use the same fixture to get a good even wash on our stage for one look, then to get a really beamy look at another time. We also love the variety of uses the RH1 Hybrids have. We can create so many different looks with just those four fixtures. The pixel mapping on the R2 Washes is also something we use very frequently.”
Sheetz expands the flexibility of his rig further by flying roughly half of the fixtures on truss and positioning the remainder on the stage, so they can be rearranged depending on the event. “Everyone raves about how easy it is to quickly create a diverse set of looks/environments,” he said. “The fixtures have gone a long way to increasing the production value of the space, especially in our concert events. Serving young people, we have to be versatile, and this rig greatly expands our capabilities in this regard.”
7th April 2017
Wagner Noël PAC Makes a Joyful Sound with L-Acoustics
USA – First opening its doors in November of 2011 with a gala concert featuring Rod Stewart, Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center (WNPAC) is an $81-million, state-of-the-art music and theatre complex at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Home to a 1,800-seat performance hall, intimate 200-seat recital hall and the University’s music department, the facility is a visually striking beacon for the arts for the communities of Midland, Odessa and beyond.
However, the main hall’s original PA system, modern as it was, was never able to match the venue’s acoustical needs: the sweeping balconies that ring the interior right up to the stage previously made proper sound coverage virtually impossible using conventional sound reinforcement technology. That’s why WNPAC recently turned to AV systems integrator LD Systems, which designed and installed a new L-Acoustics K2 audio solution.
The new system is comprised of 20 K2 boxes arranged in a left-right hang configuration, with eight K1-SB and four KS28 subwoofers providing generous low-frequency response. The Kiva II makes its first stateside appearance in a PAS in this install,14 are flown in a centre array for vocal reinforcement. Seven 5XT enclosures are used for front-fills, with two ARCS Focus boxes serving as in-fills. Eleven LA12X and four LA4X AVB-enabled amplified controllers power and process the entire system.
“The big challenge here was sightlines that are fairly extreme; you have people who sit all the way along the edge in the balcony, close to the proscenium wall, so that means the main hangs have to be placed very close to proscenium walls,” explains LD Systems sales engineer Kevin Broussard. “The big benefit of the K2 system is its asymmetrical-pattern capability. We used the K2 in asymmetric mode and were able to keep most of the energy off of the walls and off of the stage, where it could create feedback problems. We’re able to achieve very precise aiming. Nothing else could have addressed the balcony situation as comprehensively and elegantly as the K2.”
LD Systems technicians utilised L-Acoustics’ Soundvision software, which provides extremely accurate 3D acoustical simulation and real-time mapping of coverage and delay modes. In addition, since LD Systems is also a rental company and an L-Acoustics partner, it was able to deploy a K2 system from its rental inventory at WNPAC for a one-off event ahead of the installation as a proof-of-concept demonstration.
“We were able to fly the exact same elements in the exact same positions and showed the client that the K2 would overcome the room’s acoustical challenges,” Broussard recalls. “That demonstration just blew them all away.” So did the first performance of the system in place, which was Mötley Crüe lead vocalist Vince Neil backed by Great White.
LD Systems also amazed the client by installing the new system in an astounding five days, with the countdown starting 5th January, by pre-programming amplifiers and DSP at its Houston office and minimizing cable via networking. “The installation and integration process never interfered with their production schedule,” Broussard says, with justifiable pride.
WNPAC senior production and operations manager Dave Davis describes the difference in sound as night and day. “Before, it was a constant battle with the old sound system, we were just never able to get the sound to cover the loge areas fully,” he says. “The ability to provide proper coverage of the theatre and give each and every one of our patrons an enjoyable listening experience was one of our prime considerations in selecting L-Acoustics. Versatility was also important. Our venue can now handle just about any touring production’s audio needs. Anything from solo acts, jazz, country, rock, metal and Broadway, it all sounds awesome on the new system. Sonically, the L-Acoustics system faithfully reproduces every nuance of a performance at any volume level. Simply put, these sound amazing in our venue! Now, when visiting audio engineers come in, you can see the smiles on their faces when they push up the faders and walk the room.”
The new K2 system has done more than make WNPAC sound better, though, it’s also helping the venue’s bottom line by making it a more attractive stop for top touring acts. For instance, Davis recalls that before the L-Acoustics K2 arrays went in, many major touring acts would opt to unload and use their own sound systems. “Now, when we advance their shows and they discover that we have the K2s installed, they gladly use the house system. It’s less gear that they have to pull off their truck, so it saves them time and money at load-in and load-out, and it’s made our facility a much more pleasant place to perform,” says Davis. “It’s been a real transformation – a good one!”
5th April 2017
Canal+ Adds System T to its IP Mix
France – Canal Factory, a recently developed production facility for French premium subscription channel Canal+, and the free to air channel C8, has undergone a major upgrade to its technical infrastructure. The studio has moved its audio and video workflow to a facility-wide network, which includes the installation of four large-scale SSL System T broadcast audio production systems, an SSL L500 Live console, and SSL Network I/O interfaces. All of these are connected via a high-capacity (120+ devices, 6000 x 6000 audio channels), fully redundant Dante AoIP network that shares the core Canal Factory IP infrastructure.
“During this project we created the first large scale broadcast centre based on Dante Protocol for audio”, says Ralph Atlan, Canal+ Broadcast CTO. “anal+ and SSL learned a lot together about the best way to implement SSL consoles in a full IP live broadcast environment. It really makes our partnership stronger.”
Canal Factory is responsible for much of the Canal+ and C8 core daily live programming and music events broadcasts. The C8’s daily talk shows, as well as its nightly news and talk shows such as Le Petit Journal, plus live music and the major sports shows Canal Football Club and Canal Rugby Club are all broadcasting using the new systems. When not in use on live productions the new studios are used for pre-records of shows such as the popular satirical puppet show Les Guignols.
The facilities include two main audio control rooms, four production stages, and a music pre-mix studio. All audio I/O is connected to and routed around the facility’s IP network using the Dante networked AoIP protocol via ‘Commercial off the Shelf’ (COTS) Cisco network switches. This provides comprehensive, ultra-low latency distributed routing with full device discovery and more than 6000 x 6000 system channel capacity. The Dante Network has also been extended to the Canal+ Lumière master control room via a dark fibre link, so that existing MADI infrastructure is now connected to the new network.
The Canal Factory also hosts a 100% network-based video system that includes multiviewers, processing, and edge routing technology, using SMPTE ST 2022-6 (7 to come).
The two audio control rooms at Canal Factory each feature a 64-fader, 3.5-bay main System T control surface and PC-based T-SOLSA control software with a 16-fader panel connected to one Tempest Audio Engine, plus an additional 16-fader 1.5-bay pre-mix/back-up surface connected to another Tempest engine. Dante system-wide routing can be controlled directly from the consoles, or via the control system panels in each room.
Those Tempest Engines (four in total) are in the Machine room. SSL’s OCP network which handles communication between Tempest Engines and control interfaces is carried via the same standard Cisco switching hardware and facility-wide network infrastructure as the Dante network. The Machine Room also has SSL Network I/Os: SDI-MADI and Network I/O: AES units on the Dante Network, plus Dante services and control servers.
For flexible analogue I/O, the facility uses a number of SSL Network I/O SB 8:8 (8-channel mic/line in/out) stageboxes in the TV production stages, the OB services area, and other spaces. The entire facility uses more than 100 Dante I/O devices from many other manufacturers, all connected to the same network.
The SSL L500 console is used as a powerful music pre-mix facility, and as System T's user interface is closely related to the L500's, operators familiar with one, will have no problem operating the other. L500 audio input is from the stage via MADI, and the console feeds the main Dante network.
Head of technical studies Pierre Maillat, head of engineering Charles Lesoil, and project technical executive Jean Marc Delage were responsible for specifying the new studios, in direct connexion with Olivier Beneuf’s [chief operating officer] teams. There were many aspects to the decision to invest in System T and SSL Live, not least the move to a true networked infrastructure where all audio is available anywhere in the facility and where several operators can control a single Tempest Engine simultaneously. "We have around 120 devices on the Dante Network at the moment," says Lesoil. "This facility is proof that a large-scale AoIP network infrastructure can serve a sophisticated round-the-clock broadcast operation. It's made us more flexible – ready for anything."
"The SSL I/O and processing power also makes a big impact on our operation," adds Delage. "The sound quality of the whole system is regularly complemented by our operators, and they love the SSL user interface and processing, its high capacity and sonic performance is amazing."
5th April 2017
Paragon 360 Colourises Seminole Baptist Sanctuary with Chauvet Professional
USA – In 1993 Seminole Baptist Temple began holding services in an impressive brick building at the corner of East Republic Road and National Avenue in Missouri’s third largest city. Photographs of the church on that day reveal a building that looks pretty much the same as it does today. Inside, however, the church’s current sanctuary would scarcely be recognisable to a visitor from 24 years ago, except for the three prominent stained glass windows that tower over its worship stage.
Paragon 360 managed to keep the distinctive stained glass windows at the centre of the church’s look, even while creating a completely new and very modern atmosphere, thanks to a carefully planned and skilfully executed renovation project that featured contemporary scenic elements, the installation of an HD video system, and a new LED lighting system anchored by Chauvet Professional fixtures.
“Seminole Baptist was looking to update the worship centre space to make it more welcoming to all generations,” said Donnie Brawner, CEO of Paragon 360. “Lighting was an important part of this modernisation plan. Aside from creating warm, inviting colours throughout the area, the new lighting system has been instrumental in accenting the scenic and architectural elements we added to transform the sanctuary, while still retaining the classical look of the stained glass windows.”
Among the most striking scenic elements put in place by Paragon 360 are faux rock towers positioned to the right and left of those windows. Accenting these towers is light from eight COLORdash Batten-Quad 12 RGBA linear wash fixtures.
With their individually controlled LEDs, the COLORdash Batten-Quad 12 units lend extra texture and depth to the towers by washing their dappled surfaces in a variety of rich, colours that play off well against the sunlight refracted through the stained glass windows. The flicker-free operation of the COLORdash fixtures is essential to creating smooth video presentations for the church, which uses three Data Video PTZ Cameras installed by Paragon 360 to capture live services for internet streaming and local image magnification.
Paragon 360 also relied on eight COLORdash Batten-Quad 6 wash linear fixtures to colour-wash the insides of the modesty walls to the left and right of the centre stage. “The modesty walls filled the space to either side of the center and connected these areas visually to the faux stone towers, the video panels and the windows,” said Clayton Avery, Paragon 360 Installation Lead & ETCP Certified Rigger. “This creates a more engaging look for people inside the church and those watching on video.”
Rounding out this integrated look is a series of vividly illuminated wall sconces that flank the centre stage windows. Paragon 360 installed 20 Chauvet DJ COREpar 40 USB COB LED fixtures behind the translucent sconce structures. Utilising the wireless control feature of these par-style fixtures, the church can convey different moods during services and events by remotely changing colours.
“We like the compact size of the Chauvet fixtures,” said Avery. “They were easy to install unobtrusively behind and around the scenic elements. Yet despite their size, the fixtures are bright enough to stand out against all the ambient light that enters the sanctuary through its prominent windows.”
The brightness of the Chauvet fixtures also allows them to work well with the church’s new laser projector large format HD video system that Paragon 360 installed. Like the LED fixtures that accent many of the worship area’s distinctive architectural and scenic features, the new video screens could scarcely have been imagined when Seminole Baptist Temple opened its doors back in 1993. However, working together, the two are helping to ensure that this dynamic church enters its second quarter century ready to engage contemporary worshippers.
4th April 2017
Heritage Installed in Major Studio Complex in Shanghai
China – Audient has announced that the first ASP8024 Heritage Edition console to arrive in China has been installed at Shanghai’s Music King Studio. Sitting at the heart of the upgraded studio complex, the 24-channel British analogue console completes the studio’s upgrade, which has seen a number of prestigious clients pass through its doors.
Associated with Sing! China and The Voice of China, Music King Studio boasts a healthy list of engineers and clients. “Others who use our studio – or are affiliated with our engineers – are Luca Bignardi, Anthony Kilhoffer, Kanye West, Jay Chou, James Li, Vicki Zhao, Jeno Liu, Della, Darren Wang and lots more,” clarifies Marketing Manager, Mr Lin.
One of the champions of the flagship desk with was mix engineer Weiwei Jin, who used Music King Studio for recording and mastering the sound effects for the opening ceremony of Shanghai Disney Resort. “Disney is now turning into a regular client,” says Mr Lin.
Originally designed to be a mastering studio operating solely in the digital domain, the installation of the Heritage with Dual Layer Control (DLC) has transformed it into a hybrid setup, a good decision, believes Mr Lin. “It has improved the sound quality hugely and is very easy to work with,” he says.
This praise is substantiated by Music King Studio’s engineers, one of whom, Red, says: “The intuitive layout is really user-friendly, which can actually reduce the burden of recording and mastering.”
Comprising a live room, control room and vocal booth, the upgraded studio and its new addition have already had the seal of approval from Music King Studio’s Mr Ming, who says: “The Audient ASP8024-HE is the dream piece of all the producers,” adding, “Not only is it great-looking and easy to use, but the master section is outstanding.”
The studio itself is in a beautiful old-style building, nestled in a surprisingly leafy area in the heart of Shanghai, just a stone’s throw from the French colonial area.
3rd April 2017
German State Theater Timișoara Upgrades with Yamaha QL Series
Romania – The German State Theater in the Romanian city of Timișoara has a long history, nowadays staging a wide range of German-language productions from traditional plays through to the most modern productions, festivals and cultural exchanges. The recent completion of a fully-digital audio system features a pair of Yamaha QL series mixing consoles.
German language theatre in Timișoara goes back as far as the mid-1700s. German State Theater Timișoara was founded as a separate theatre company in 1956 and today is based on the German Theater Hall of the city’s Palace of Culture, alongside the city’s Opera House, Romanian National Theater and Hungarian State Theater.
In 2014 Brașov-based dB Technolight was contracted to install a Dante network throughout the German Theater Hall, with a view to progressively replacing the existing analogue audio system with completely digital solution. That process was recently completed and features a pair of Yamaha QL series mixing consoles and R-series i/o units for front of house and monitors.
“Quality and high performance were mandatory requirements, but the budget was also an important factor. So we needed to know that the equipment we chose would deliver those benefits and be very cost-effective,” says Laurence Rippel, German State Theater Timișoara’s technical manager. “We studied the available options and thought that the Yamaha QL series, which we had seen demonstrated at Yamaha’s professional audio symposium at Recklinghausen, Germany, would be the best solution. We asked dB Technolight to arrange a further demonstration here in the German Theater Hall, which proved it was the right choice.”
Budgets meant that the project had to be carried out in stages, so dB Technolight initially installed a Yamaha QL1 console, with Rio1608-D i/o unit, extension Ro8-D output unit and Steinberg Nuendo Live multitrack recording software. Once this system had proved its capabilities on real shows to the German State Theater’s staff, the go-ahead was given to install a QL5 console, with additional Rio1608-D and Ro8-D units.
“Installing the QL1 first was important, because the German State Theater saw in a ‘real world’ situation that the QL series brought many benefits to its productions. It was that experience which confirmed their desire to invest in the larger QL5 and extra i/o options,” says dB Technolight’s Petru Hosu.
“The Yamaha QL series is a professional mixing desk at a very attractive price point,” adds Laurence. “Our engineers have found them very easy to use and all of our shows are running much more smoothly than with the old analogue system. We invite other engineers to mix with them at a number of events and all have been impressed by their facilities, sound quality and straightforward user interface.”
31st March 2017
Northern Light delivers colour and control to Genting Arena
UK – Last year, sound, lighting, AV and stage technology services company Northern Light was asked to install a new, more energy efficient, house and work light system for the Genting Arena. The primary goal was to enhance the overall customer experience and to have something very different to the other arenas in the UK. The solution was an innovative combination of ETC and GDS lighting fixtures.
In 2015, Genting UK, part of leading global leisure and entertainment company, the Genting Group, took over the former LG Arena at Birmingham’s NEC. Now known as Genting Arena, the 15,700-capacity venue is the Midland’s premier entertainment destination, hosting events from world-class comedians, sportspeople, singers, songwriters, dancers and daredevils.
“Northern Light has enjoyed a good relationship with the NEC group for several years, having completed successful installations at several of their sites, which is how we became involved in this project,” Says Michael Percy, project manager/ design engineer for Northern Light. “The existing work light in Genting Arena was poor and deteriorating and they had issues that affected visiting touring companies, so they wanted to upgrade both this and the houselight the system, the aim being to create a safer environment for the staff to work in, to give their customers a better experience and for both systems to be energy efficient, consequently reducing running costs for the venue.”
For the work light system, there was a requirement for maximum coverage, good quality light and minimal glare, so that teams working on floor were not dazzled if they looked up into roof, but also for the same fixture to have a wide beam angle to light more of the roof, so that riggers can locate load points easily and have a good quality of light to work with.
This presented a challenge, as a high brightness fixture was needed to achieve a suitable LUX level at low level, but with a wide beam angle of 120 degrees or more. It also needed to be a LED light source to comply with Genting’s environmental initiative, and have a soft light output.
With no suitable off-the-shelf solution available, GDS custom built two metre LED tubes to deliver the required brightness and coverage.
“When we came to look at the houselight system, the venue’s chief electrician, Pete Hammond, had seen a coloured LED installation at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam and wanted to adopt a similar system for Genting Arena,” explains Michael. “We knew that ETC’s fixtures would be the right lighting products to work with. It just so happened that Ziggo Dome was also an ETC installation, so this gave us a great platform to work from.”
Working alongside Northern Light’s team of Saul Eagles, business development manager, Simon Cooper, chief engineer, Kenny Wilson, site supervisor and Keith Percy, commissioning engineer (control), Michael set about determining the best solution for the project, with initial design starting in January 2016 and Northern Light demonstrating various fixtures during March.
“We spent a lot of time figuring out what was and wasn’t going to work throughout the Spring, including ideas for suspension, rigging, cables routes and containment,” Michael says. “We then did fixture demonstrations, including the ETC Coloursouce fixtures – an LED system that offers hands-on control, high-quality lighting, data distribution and power control in an approachable, plug-and-play format. We were blown away with their performance, particularly given the throw distances we needed to achieve, and we knew they would give the venue the colour changing capability it wanted to achieve, as well as an amazing level of control provide by an ETC Gio lighting console.”
The final system comprises a combination of ETC and GDS fixtures, with 372 ETC Coloursouce PARs general wash for houselights and 163 ETC Coloursource Spot fixtures for aisle lighting. Work lights are a total of 240 GDS Custom LED tubes (“These ticked all the boxes and gave us exactly what we needed,” says Michael.) and GDS Arc8 Cell units.
A GDS Mains Blues System is installed along the catwalks and followspot control areas. All fixtures are mounted at high level using custom metalwork and bracketry. Control is via an ETC Gio Console and three ETC Paradigm systems with an ETC Paradigm central server. These are located at two different locations around the arena (north and south) with the system also tied into an existing ETC network to form a much wider control network. The system is powered by two ETC Sensor 3 racks with relay modules located at two different locations around the arena (again, north and south) to minimise the lengths of the cable runs, with the DMX/S-aCN Network distributed by an ETC Net3 System with 17 ETC Four-Port Gateways.
Supported by teams from the NEC and Genting Arena Rigging and electrical department, work started on site in July and was completed at the beginning of September, with the Northern Light team providing on site support for various events throughout September and October.
“There were several challenges presented to us, not least of which was the sheer scale of the venue,” says Michael. “We were also working at height, with all work carried out from mobile access platforms, as nothing was accessible form the technical walkways/gantries or floor level. We also had to install new containment and wiring throughout the arena bowl.”
Additionally, the position of the fixtures was restricted, due to general requirements and the space needed by the rigging department to accommodate the multitude of productions the venue hosts. Because of this, the fixtures had to be located hard up against the roof, out the way of all the node points and steelwork. And with only had a 13-week installation window during the summer dark period to install and commission the entire system, the four teams worked 12 hours a day, five days a week.
“It was a very tight schedule, but it was all worth it,” Michael adds. “When we first turned the system on the difference was incredible and the work lights in particular make a huge difference to the staff, the venue and incoming shows.”
“The installation of this new colour changing lighting system has really improved the quality of our lighting solutions within the arena, and will help create an unforgettable experience for all our event-goers,” concludes Phil Mead, managing director of the Genting Arena. “The £800k system can create different atmospheres for all genres of event, and allows event organisers to use their exact brand colours throughout the arena. With our lighting, they have more flexibility to deliver a bespoke customer journey, a unique option that cannot be found anywhere else in the UK at present.”
30th March 2017
Historic Luxembourg Abbey gets sympathetic treatment with L-Acoustics Kiva II
Luxembourg – Dating back to the 17th century and located in the Grund district on a Unesco world heritage site, Neumünster Abbey is one of Luxembourg’s most important historic sites. In May 2004, after ten years of restoration work, it was opened as the Neumünster Abbey Cultural Exchange Centre (CCRN). Earlier this year, following a two-year consultation, event and technical design company KTDS Technical Support installed an L-Acoustics Kiva II system into its Robert Krieps Building.
Although only parts of its long and turbulent history are documented, it is known that as well as being a Benedictine abbey, Neumünster has also housed a hospital, a prison and gendarmerie barracks and an orphanage. In the mid 1800s, it was also home to a military hospital for the troops of the Germanic Confederation. When the Prussian garrison left in 1867, it once again became a prison, with convicts being put to work in the Tutesall, making paper bags, wicker chairs and binding books. World War II political prisoners were later held here, and in the mid-1980s when it was finally decommissioned as a jail, around 4,000 men and women convicts had passed through its doors.
It is fitting then that, having survived four centuries of turbulent history, the group of buildings that makes up the CCRN, part of a network of Cultural Exchange Centres located throughout Europe, is now a public institution dedicated to cultural projects and that the Tutesall is now known as the Robert Krieps Building, so named after former Minister of Justice and Culture, who, as a deportee imprisoned at the age of 17 in the Grund prison, had the idea to transform this former place of detention and sadness into a place of culture and exchange.
The Robert Krieps Building houses a 283-seat theatre, which hosts concerts, plays, dance, films and conferences. With vast expanses of wood, a high ceiling and windows looking across to the Krudelspuert (the door of the fortress exposed during the construction of the Wenzel circuit, a circular cultural route around the city of Luxembourg), the room now exudes warmth and gentleness.
The theatre has an intimate atmosphere, with nothing separating the audience from the actors or speakers, as the first row of seats has been installed on the floor of the large stage, which measures 14 metres in width.
Olivier Deladoeuille, technical director of KDTS designed the system, which was purchased through XLR, L-Acoustics certified distributor for the region, who were also involved with the project from its start. They worked closely to the requirements of the site operator, with the installation also performed by the KDTS team.
“We chose to use L-Acoustics partly because it was what the customer wanted, but also because of its brand positioning within the Luxembourg market,” he explains. “L-Acoustics has been used on major events and in installations in theatres, clubs, opera houses, convention centres, sports arenas and amusement parks in Luxembourg since the advent of their Wavefront Sculpture Technology in 1992, so it is well-known and accepted.
“We needed to design a system which took into account the needs of the room itself, as well as the artistic programming and requirements of the venue’s operator. With the help of Han Dohmen from L-Acoustics, we arranged a demo of the Kiva II system. It was decided that this would be the perfect solution as Kiva II offers long range, consistent coverage and sound pressure levels throughout the entire area of the theatre, whilst its light weight, elegant lines and clever hanging system made it ideal for the project, particularly as a discrete solution was desired.”
Hangs of six Kiva II are positioned left and right at the front of the stage, with each hang complemented by two SB15M subwoofers. One X12 coaxial enclosure is wall mounted left and right, just in front of the first row of seats, with the flexibility to be positioned between 2m and 4m above ground level, depending on the nature of the event being held, and two SB118 subs are positioned one either side of the rear of the auditorium. Amplification for the entire system is via five LA4X.
“KDTS has developed a great, trusting relationship with CCRN which made the project possible,” concluded Olivier. “The Kiva II system has been a great success and works perfectly for their needs.”
30th March 2017
Leading Spanish School Adopts dLlive
Spain – Spain’s School of Modern Music (TAF) has installed an Allen & Heath dLive S Class digital mixing system, comprising a S5000 surface with DM64 MixRack, in its concert hall.
Located in Madrid, the centre offers a wide educational programme, focusing on practical experience and a detailed curriculum and requiring professional world-class facilities, staff and equipment.
Alex Blanco, chief technical officer at TAF, comments: "Students should feel that what they are learning is useful, so we endorse practical assignments from the outset. dLive was chosen because of its expansion possibilities and exceptional configuration flexibility, which allows us to manage any type of event, from concerts or theatre productions to broadcasting.”
The dLive system is employed to manage the school’s concert and theatre productions as well as for touring duties and TV show recordings. The system was recently used on a talent show for the Castilla la Mancha TV channel, which involved mixing 20 musicians and the contestants. As well as the live mix, a feed was provided via MADI to the broadcast mobile unit. The dLive was also used on a series of nightly musical shows broadcast on TV.
"Choosing dLive has been a really wise decision. On the one hand, students can learn by working with cutting-edge technology, and on the other hand the school and its technicians have a tool that allows us to manage any type of event, regardless of its complexity," concludes Blanco.
In picture: Alex Blanco with TAF’s new dLive.
27th March 2017
Wroclaw Olympic Stadium Redevelopment for World Games Includes Community Loudspeakers
Poland – The historical Olympic Stadium in Wroclaw has been sympathetically refurbished and modernised, under a redevelopment plan that included substantial new construction. The opportunity for the project came as a result of Wroclaw being awarded host city for the 2017 World Games.
Built in 1928, the listed-monument stadium was one of the many great sports complexes constructed across Germany in the 1920s, its location becoming a part of Poland after World War II. Restored areas include the brick exterior of the original building, along with the old clock tower opposite the main grandstand. The largest transformation has been the building of a new main grandstand with covered seating. Additionally, the venue has improved hospitality areas and significantly better access for disabled sports fans.
The re-design of the 11,000 capacity stadium, which will host speedway racing, American football and rugby, is the work of Poznan-based architect Wojciecha Ryżyńskiego. The sound system for the Olympic Stadium was designed and installed by Tommex Żebrowscy Sp. J. and is based around Community R SERIES loudspeakers and Dynacord electronics.
The main system is housed in the commentary room and linked to two separate amplifier rooms. The audio signal is transmitted over the stadium’s network using the Dante protocol and is triple redundant, with two fiber rings and a turbo function ring.
The system uses a Dynacord CMS 2200-3 audio mixer, 16 x 16 DSP equipped digital control matrix and a DPM 8016 digital matrix manager. The audio matrix is 32 × 32 and handled by Dynacord’s P 64 digital audio matrix units. By using the IRIS-Net network, each element of the system is continuously monitored and all operations are controlled via a Dell all-in-one touchscreen PC.
For the new main grandstand Tommex positioned the loudspeakers on the front edge of the roof canopy, using seventeen 60 x 60 degree R.5-66MAX to cover the lower front seats and 16 R.5-96MAX, with 90 x 60 degree dispersion, for the higher rear seating. For the refurbished smaller stands, consistent coverage is provided by 52 R.15COAX and twenty R.5-66TZ loudspeakers. Additional field and motorcycle park areas use a combination of R.5HPT and R.35-3896 loudspeakers.
Commenting on the installation, Marcin Zimny, commercial director of Tommex, said: “The refurbishment and new build of the Olympic Stadium has retained its historic architectural integrity whilst delivering the facilities and experience of a totally modern venue. The sound system’s high performance and all-weather reliability are designed to meet the standards of the stadium again becoming a world-class venue.”
27th March 2017
Electro-Voice delivers world-class sound at Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins
USA – Hard Rock Stadium is owned by, and home to, the NFL Miami Dolphins. It also hosts University of Miami football and major entertainment events throughout the year. As part of a three-year, facility-wide renovation, the re-named facility now boasts a massively upgraded sound system by Electro-Voice.
With the stadium’s addition of a roof and massive video displays, crowd noise levels are substantially higher than the original open-air design, making even coverage critical, both in terms of SPL and frequency response. In addition to the primary task of improving the fan experience through better audio, the sound system is also used for mass notification of life safety information. The Dolphins selected Diversified Systems to design and integrate the system, charging them with the task of overcoming increased levels due to roof reflections while delivering both vocal intelligibility and musical fidelity.
Drawing from all parts of the diverse yet sonically matched Electro-Voice loudspeaker portfolio, the installation delivers concert-quality sound via 186 XLCi-127DVX line array elements, weatherised and integrated into custom-engineered frames to withstand extreme storm and wind conditions. These are augmented by EVF-1122S front-loaded loudspeakers and EVH-1152D long-throw loudspeakers to cover hard-to-reach zones like corner seating areas. In addition, 48 dual 18-inch subwoofers, custom designed for the project, add an exciting bass element that was absent in the stadium’s previous system.
An ongoing installation challenge was the management of the installation across the renovation’s phased construction timeline, requiring ongoing support of the legacy sound system while the new Electro-Voice system was being installed, tuned, tested, and deployed. To ensure even coverage throughout all seating areas, EASE modelling and intelligibility plots were critical tools in selecting the appropriate loudspeakers and their placement. Two Electro-Voice NetMax N8000 digital matrix controllers allowed the integration team to apply FIR filtering to optimise loudspeakers as needed and appropriate.
In addition to the primary task of improving the fan experience through better audio, the sound system is also used for mass notification of life safety information. Electro-Voice ceiling and surface-mount loudspeakers ensure smooth, continuous coverage in luxury suites, concourses, restrooms, offices, and all public areas throughout the stadium. This task required approximately 1800 ZX1i indoor/outdoor loudspeakers and over 1000 EVID ceiling-mounted designs selected from EV’s wide range of options.
The Dolphins team is pleased to report that the system has exceeded its performance expectations while meeting budget and timing requirements. The system is at its best when the stadium is full, enhancing the fan experience with clear, effortless coverage, and rising to the occasion to amplify crowd energy in big moments.
Whether deployed for sporting events or major concert events, Hard Rock Stadium offers a winning combination of full-range fidelity, comprehensive coverage, and high intelligibility that plays a key role in transforming the venue into global entertainment destination for large-scale events.
24th March 2017
Yamaha Delivers Big Beats for Fitness Freaks
The Netherlands – Dutch gyms VondelGym has recently opened its second facility in Amsterdam, featuring a Yamaha audio system. The owners have been so impressed with it that they have asked for a similar system to replace that by a different manufacturer in the first gym, despite it only being two years old.
VondelGym is owned by a five man consortium, including Dutch television host Arie Boomsma. The first centre opened on Overtoom in Amsterdam two years ago and has proved such a success that a second one has recently opened across the city on Wibautstraat.
Opened in December 2016, the new 1100m2 facility is in the basement of an office building and has been fitted out with the latest fitness equipment for up to 120 people at a time. To help inspire participants to work themselves hard, the owners wanted an audio system that could play hip-hop music at high volumes and with plenty of bass. Experienced live sound engineer Stan van Ettikhoven was approached to see if his installation company, Rock 'n’ Roll Engineering, could help.
Stan suggested a Yamaha Commercial Installation Solutions (CIS) system, comprising 21 full-range VXS8 loudspeakers distributed throughout the space, with a compact HS8S subwoofer by the boxing ring in the centre. Powered by XMV4280 and XMV8280 amplifiers, managed by an MTX3 matrix mixer/processor and controlled via two DCP1v4s and one DCP4s panels, it delivers all the volume, power and clarity required. A microphone was also installed in the boxing ring for presentations, training and instruction.
“The system is really impressive and very suitable for hip-hop,” says VondelGym co-owner Marvin Michel. “Wherever you are you get stereo sound and the low frequencies produced by the HS8S are spread evenly throughout the gym. The HS8S is particularly impressive, considering how small it is.”
One challenge of the installation was to minimise the low frequency vibrations that could travel through the building to the offices on the floor above. Stan solved this by installing custom rubber fixings between the loudspeaker brackets and the walls. He also used the MTX3 to create a separate audio zone near the gym’s entrance bar, where the system volume can be lower if required.
“We are really pleased with the Yamaha system,” says Marvin. “We are so impressed with it that we have asked Stan to install a similar system at our first gym. The system there is only two years old, but the Yamaha solution is so much better.”