Project News Headlines
Clair Brothers Plays Crucial Role in the Latvian College of Culture’s Intense Creative and Production Curriculum
L-Acoustics Delivers a Streamlined, Modern Sound System for San Luis Obispo’s Streamline Moderne Fremont Theater
FloppyFlex at Schuster Center, Mead Theatre
USA – In Dayton, Ohio, in the heart of the downtown arts district, the Mead Theatre is the cornerstone of the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center. Opened in 2003, the 2,300-seat world-class venue hosts a wide range of performances, including the Dayton Philharmonic, Dayton Opera, Dayton Ballet, touring Broadway blockbusters, rock concerts, comedians and more. Helping to inspire the imagination and refresh the spirit of the three-balcony facility, Scenic Solutions of Ohio specified and installed FloppyFlex LED neon into the unique architectural details of the venue.
In addition to the installation in the concentric rings of the ceiling that culminate in a representation of the night sky when the Wright Brothers took their first flight, “We used 204 metres of FloppyFlex White 2100K deployed in the existing coves that accent all three balconies,” says Andrew Persson of Scenic Solutions. “We were able to utilise the existing wire infrastructure with the addition of magnetic dimmable drivers installed remotely, which made circuiting simple and efficient. FloppyFlex was a good solution because of the level of control it allowed, its smooth and consistent output, plus it fit the profile of the incandescent rope light it replaced.
“FloppyFlex was able to conform to the curved shapes of the architecture in which it was mounted and produces a far superior light output compared to conventional rope lights. It has been performing extremely well and uniformly.”
Andrew continues: “The Mead Theatre is an important venue and we wanted to get it right. This was our first experience with FloppyFlex, and it was perfect for the job. We’ll certainly specify it again.”
Beverly Van Zant, also of Scenic Solutions adds: “I saw a performance there last week and it’s like some grand old lady has had her diamond necklaces cleaned. The house looks brand new again. The failure of the incandescent lights was so gradual that, as an audience member, I didn’t notice how much it had taken away from the beauty of the architecture until after we installed the FloppyFlex. Every audience member will now have a feeling that the event they’re attending is extra special and elegant in a way it wasn’t before.”
Schuster Center production director Patrick Keough commented: “The FloppyFlex has been great. It has a nice consistent colour temperature and we love that the entire system is now dimmable. The whole install makes for a really smooth and professional look. Having those concentric rings lit up again adds so much to the wow-factor of the Mead house. And I can’t wait to see how much money we’re saving on our energy bills!”
8th November 2019
ICF Munich Celebrates Services with Allen & Heath dLive
Germany – International Christian Fellowship Munich (ICF), has recently upgraded its audio system with an Allen & Heath dLive solution for its weekly services and events.
ICF Munich is a non-denominational free church, which in addition to its regular Sunday services, also hosts other live events with up to 800 participants.
Due to size of the services and events, a large number of microphones and extensive I/O is needed for the speakers and live performers. As such, one of the main requirements for ICF was an audio system that could meet the demands of a professional concert.
To serve its growing needs, ICF’s new audio system comprises a dLive S5000 paired with a DM48 MixRack and two DX168 expanders for additional I/O. A Dante card is utilised for multi-track recording, connection to wireless microphone receivers and the PA.
Head of audio technology, Marc Deisen, has been working at the ICF for five years and oversees the dLive system. "When we decided on a dLive a year ago, it was very important to us to have a straightforward, well-structured system," explains Deisen. "Many of our technicians are volunteers and have very little trouble working with dLive, especially as we already had an iLive console in use. Above all, we quickly learned to appreciate the I/O patching matrix, which is very clear and easy to use for everyone."
Aside from dLive’s easy and intuitive workflow, a large part of Deisen’s decision to use dLive came down to its processing features. "Now we have enough processing power for more than 50 channels plus effects, all in a modern and reliable system. The Dyn8’s multi-band compressor is unbeatable for all forms of signal processing and the DEEP plug-ins from the valve preamp emulation through the 16T to the Opto compressor, surprise us again and again with their warm sound. "
"A special feature of the ICF building is the stage concept with a 360-degree central platform," continues Deisen. "Our goal, of course, is to keep the cable routes short and to have as few cables as possible leading through the audience to the desk, so the ability to expand with the DX stage boxes is vital, as well as convenient."
8th November 2019
Norway’s Hålogaland Teater Chooses Alcons Audio For Touring System
Norway – Touring theatre productions in rural areas of north Norway can be very challenging, especially with limited local facilities and equipment that has to cope with fast-changing extremes of temperature. But an Alcons Audio LR7 pro-ribbon system is proving equal to every challenge for the country’s northernmost regional theatre.
Established in 1971, Hålogaland Teater was the first regional theatre in Norway, serving counties of Troms and Finnmark. It occupies a modern building at Teaterplassen in Tromsø, built in 2005, which features two modern theatre stages, a cafe stage and a rehearsal stage.
It tours productions all year to 15 regular venues located throughout Troms and Finnmark, often in local dialects. The varied programme includes contemporary and classic drama, musicals, children's theatre and more. These shows need an audio system which can be easily transported and is very roadworthy, but delivers high quality audio for any kind of production in every venue where Hålogaland Teater tours.
Recently the theatre needed to replace its touring system, so chief sound engineer Jim-Oddvar Hansen put together a technical specification based on all the needs, wants and challenges that it had to satisfy. He thoroughly researched every possible solution and system manufacturer and, after putting some systems ‘head-to-head’, an Alcons Audio pro-ribbon solution was the clear winner.
Supplied by Alcons’ Norwegian distributor and Pro-Ribbon Partner Lydproduksjon Tromsø AS, Jim chose an Alcons LR7 pro-ribbon micro line array system, comprising 12 LR7 modules, four LR7B micro line array bass modules and four BF181 mkII compact subwoofers, powered and controlled by two Sentinel10 amplified loudspeaker controllers.
The versatile LR7 features ultra-compact, lightweight enclosures that can be flown, pole-mounted or ground stacked, which deliver exceptional intelligibility, throw and projection control for small to medium-sized venues. Delivering maximum gain before feedback, even in small venues, it features consistent, patented horizontal dispersion with seamless coverage.
“First and foremost, we chose the Alcons LR7 system for touring because of its outstanding sound quality and the strong emphasis on the clarity of speech and low distortion. In addition, the low weight, great rigging and transport options were essential when we have limited space in the tour bus and equipment truck. Together they make it a great solution,” says Jim.
He continues: “Alcons pro-ribbon systems have proved that they work fantastically and are able to withstand the extreme weather conditions in northern Norway. Even when loading from -20ºC and playing an hour later in +20ºC, we’ve never had a problem with the system.”
“We congratulate Hålogaland Theatre for their investment in the LR7 system and for their trust in both Alcons Audio and us,” says Lydproduksjon Tromsø sales installation head Eirik Haua. “We know that the system will deliver a great long-term return on their investment and that audiences are noticing a real improvement in the sound.”
photos: Daniel Lilleeng
7th November 2019
AC-ET Goes Backstage for Leeds City College’s Creative Productions
UK – A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ltd (AC-ET) has announced an exciting partnership with Leeds City College, which commenced with the distributor supplying a full range of industry-leading production technologies for the institution’s new £60m state-of-the-art Quarry Hill Campus.
Leeds City College is one of the country’s largest further education providers, with over 20,000 students attending its courses. The new campus, which includes the college’s School of Creative Arts, puts students right at the heart of Leeds’ cultural quarter, surrounded by leading institutions such as Leeds Playhouse, Leeds College of Music and Northern Ballet, and the BBC.
To create learning environments where students can achieve their full potential, there is a significant programme of investment in the college’s campuses. This includes offering industry-standard facilities which allow students to fully develop the skills and experience needed to work in their chosen sector.
With the School of Creative Arts’ Media & Performance Production department offering backstage arts courses in technical theatre, TV and film production, it was therefore vital to equip the purpose-built facilities with technologies from some of the most innovative and popular brands.
Having a history supporting the college in various ways for a number of years, AC-ET’s Leeds-based Northern sales office was approached to tender for the supply of technical facilities equipment for Quarry Hill’s 200-seat theatre, dance studios, TV newsroom gallery, film studio, and media suites.
AC-ET’s external sales executive, Benjamin Taylor worked with Jonathan Walters, the company’s UK sales and purchasing director, Neil Vann, AC-ET’s brand development manager and colleagues in the rigging, audio and video sales divisions to compile an extensive equipment list which would meet the college’s detailed technical specification and budgetary requirements.
AC-ET won the tender for the supply, which included over 80 Chroma-Q and PROLIGHTS LED lighting fixtures, SIXTY82 truss, Columbus McKinnon chain hoists, Panasonic projectors, Draper screens, HDAnywhere transmission, an Allen & Heath audio control and mixing rack, Martin Audio speakers and Shure digital wireless systems. To connect together the equipment infrastructure, AC-ET supplied Luminex networking products and 2.5km of cable made up of almost 430 units, assembled by the Tourflex Cabling service.
Owing to AC-ET’s strong links to numerous brands at the cutting edge of creative productions, and position as a major international supplier to the performance and broadcast sectors, it will continue to
support and assist with the development of the college’s backstage arts courses in the coming years.
Richard Lee, head of media and performance production at Leeds City College, said: “It’s been fantastic to work with industry specialists with a strong community ethos over the past few years and we’re looking forward to a promising future with A.C. Entertainment Technologies, nurturing the next generation of backstage artists.
“As a college, we pride ourselves on forging relationships with regional businesses to boost the local economy, and this partnership further consolidates our links with the creative arts industry.
“This equipment is vital to providing a real environment for our students to get the best possible head-start in their career and will provide them with the necessary skills to become industry-ready.”
Initiatives being planned include training days at the Quarry Hill campus hosted by AC-ET’s in-house industry professionals. It will also be looking to provide work experience opportunities, and potentially recruit students for suitable roles in its Leeds office.
Jonathan Walters, who also heads AC-ET’s Leeds office, commented: “We are delighted to partner with Leeds City College to help them to foster tomorrow’s backstage talent. The production industry is driven by creativity and innovation. However, an essential ingredient of this is the people working backstage who possess the technical knowledge and experience needed to deliver it.
He continued: “By ensuring that students are given access to the latest industry-standard equipment, it’s a winning outcome for everyone which will help to meet the needs of employers in our industry.”
7th November 2019
L-Acoustics helps Institute of Physics achieve ambitions aims
UK – The Institute of Physics for the UK and Ireland (IOP) has an impressive new London HQ, built from the ground-up with a modern architectural statement that has AV designed-in from the start.
The site is an old plumbing supplies shop in the developing creative industries area near Kings Cross, London. Leaving just the original brick façade, it has been transformed into something completely new. The polished concrete structure of this £13.5 million project brings focus to the large screens and interactive experiences that will greet more than 200,000 IOP visitors every year. It is a space that radiates cutting-edge science, and one that required visual and audio technologies to be as much a part of its essence as the concrete itself.
Recursive AV, the AV consultant on the project, had the unique opportunity to liaise with and influence the architects more than two years before completion, allowing them to achieve the best visitor experience possible.
David Yates, the managing director at Recursive, went about choosing premium technologies to complement the institute’s ambitious aims, including specifying L-Acoustics Syva and Kiva as the ideal audio solutions. "We really felt that the IOP deserved a high-end audio approach," he explains. "They have people coming from all over the world: academics, policymakers, broadcasters, and so on. We wanted to be sure that the sonic quality and the visual impact would be absolutely correct, and that the system could cope with a challenging space. We needed to deliver fantastic intelligibility and a consistent sonic signature in several configurations."
Good planning and predictable results were key for this project, as the building design did not allow room for mistakes. The building’s interior makes a feature of clean, polished concrete, so would not tolerate having any cables or cable conduits on display. Cable routes had to be precast in the concrete and additional holes were out of the question as the water used in drilling would have stained it. This meant that acoustic modelling was key to the planning stage, so speaker positions could be worked out before construction.
Recursive used L-Acoustics Soundvision 3D modelling software to design the system and predict the outcomes. "With Soundvision, what you model, is what you get," notes Yates. “It's fantastic at predicting the real-life response, which is not necessarily true with other products. We trust the process."
A special feature of the IOP building is a large, flexible auditorium that can be divided into two sections with a movable wall, and another front wall that can be removed, opening into a large, triple-height gallery area beyond. The centrepiece of the gallery is a custom-made 11-metre wide screen that uses three edge-blended projectors for its expansive image. On Recursive’s advice, the project architects actually increased ceiling heights in that area and turned the whole space through 90 degrees. A big priority for Yates was ensuring that the flexibility of this space would be served by a consistent audio signature.
Recursive selected L-Acoustics Syva for left and right speakers around the main gallery screen, along with four 108P and an SB15P sub that can be deployed in flexible ways around the gallery, dependent on need. Two Kiva II are hung in the auditorium, left and right, with two more SB15m subs.
"We needed the systems to work as one when the space was opened out, and we also needed the components to work aesthetically." states Yates. "Syva was designed with art galleries in mind and really works for this environment. Also, the gallery suffers from a high reverb time, and Syva deals with that very well. In fact, when you come into the building on the ground floor you walk over to a balcony and look down into that space. Syva covers that, too.
"For the auditorium we needed a wide stereo image and something that would punch, while keeping the sound consistent when it's opened up. It's also got a low ceiling. Kiva II is a compact box and works really well in that area."
Yates acknowledges that the IOP facility has been a challenging system to design but notes that the flexibility of the L-Acoustics range and the accuracy of Soundvision's predictions played a big part in getting it right the first time.
"We've had a long history of working with L-Acoustics. It's a brand we know and trust. As well as the tools they provide, the support they give on the ground is excellent. They're always there for us and we know that we are collaborating on projects as a partnership.
"This is not a typical L-Acoustics system; we haven't followed the rule book rigidly. However, the systems are so well matched across all the ranges that we were confident it would work, and it did."
7th November 2019
Clair Brothers Plays Crucial Role in the Latvian College of Culture’s Intense Creative and Production Curriculum
Latvia – The Latvian College of Culture (LCC) is part of the larger Latvian Academy of Culture and is described as "the best place to study creative industries" in the country. The most tradition-rich school of higher learning in Latvia, LCC stays on the cutting edge of technology to offer its students the most competitive, market-oriented education in the domain of culture. This includes an intense study programme in cultural management that encompasses a wide array of specialisations, from performing arts, photo and video production to technical production, media production and more. The college has a continuous and built-in effort to keep up with the times, which is why school administrators called on SGS Sistēmas, Clair Brothers distributor in the region. Normunds Eilands and Guntars Bluss of SGS were asked to recommend the best loudspeakers for LCC’s next upgrade of its audio production equipment. After evaluating the school’s needs SGS recommended the Clair Brothers kiT12-i loudspeakers, and kiT-Subs to play a crucial role in the curriculum that LCC jumped at the chance.
The school’s diligent teaching staff makes it a point to maintain strong relationships with professional industry players. The college turns students into specialists by preparing them for, and equipping them with, the skills to enter the labour market with both theoretical and practical knowledge of the production of local and international events. Such skills come to bear in the students’ selection and application of the latest technical equipment in the areas of stage design, concert and event sound production and lighting control.
Along with the selected kiT12-i loudspeakers and kiT-Subs, the Clair Brothers PLM 12K44 power amplifier was also specified and installed. Other equipment chosen by the college includes a Lab.gruppen power amplifier, a Midas digital mixing console plus a Midas input/output stage box, Beyerdynamic wireless microphones, Claypaky LED moving lights, Chauvet LED moving wash lights and a Swefog haze generator, among other international brands.
The Latvian College of Culture gives special thanks to the great team at SGS Sistēmas. “Likewise,” adds Eilands. “We appreciate our relationship with LCC and are always pleased to play a part in the development of education, offering the best for the students, the opportunity to use world-class sound equipment from Clair Brothers as chosen by professionals.”
7th November 2019
EM Acoustics delivers top quality audio for new music/craft beer venue in Walthamstow
UK - The Collab in Walthamstow is, as the name suggests, a collaboration between award-winning food and drink providers, Signature Brew brewery and We Serve Humans. The new east London venue aims to provide top quality craft beers and delicious, freshly cooked food in an atmosphere geared to music lovers. Pro audio specialist, Amber Sound, supplied an EM Acoustics system to provide high quality audio for a range of live music events as well as traditional playback.
Co-founder, Sam McGregor, who has a music industry background, explains that Signature Brew was born in 2011 as a result of being fed up with drinking terrible beer at gigs. “We decided that the way around it was to create our own beer in collaboration with a band and things basically went from there.” Indeed, the concept has been so successful that, for their latest venture, and in keeping with the spirit of collaboration, Signature Brew has teamed up with We Serve Humans to open a new venue in Walthamstow – Collab.
“Music is such an important part of what makes Signature Brew special that we couldn’t possibly open a new venue with the aim of hosting live music sessions, either bands or DJs and not have a great quality audio system,” says McGregor. “We talk so much about high quality music in combination with high quality beer, we had to be able to deliver that here. We went to Amber Sound for help and they recommended EM Acoustics.”
Marco Marini and Kelly Morris from Amber Sound along with EM Acoustics’ Dave Kelland went to visit the venue in order to assess the requirements. They recommended a pair of i-C12s with vertical yokes flown from a section of horizontal truss for the stage area. “We deliberately decided on the truss as it gives the look and feel of a small stage and a music venue vibe to the restaurant,” adds McGregor. Four EMS-61s on horizontal yokes supply sound to the rest of the restaurant and bar whilst a compact EMS-51serves the bathroom corridor. Power is supplied courtesy of an EM Acoustics DQ-10 amplifier, and a Yamaha TF-RACK rackmount digital mixer handles control, including the ability for independent control over the three zones as required.
“We’re delighted with the results,” affirms McGregor. “We’ve had DJs and live music, including a bit of jazz, and it all sounds great. The system has been properly EQd for the room, so it sounds good wherever you are. We’ve got it set up so that you can control the levels according to where you are, the time of day and the kind of atmosphere you want to create; for example, we have lots of families during the day and it’s important that they feel comfortable, particularly in the dining areas where you don’t want to be overwhelmed, but in the evenings we’re looking for much more of a lively party atmosphere, especially around the bar, and we can do that too. We’ve had great reactions from everyone so far, and in particular we’ve been seeing lots of really positive comments online. So many people really care about the sound in the places they choose to eat and drink, and those for whom it’s important have left very favourable reviews.”
“We want to be known for very high quality beers in the music space, but if you’re associating beer and music, you have to invest equally on both sides of the equation. I think we’ve achieved that, and the results speak for themselves.”
6th November 2019
Tarik Smith and Chauvet Professional Transform City Tavern Club
USA – History runs deep at the City Tavern Club. Built in 1786, the venerable Federalist structure (one of the last such taverns in the US capital) counted George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson as regulars. Today, the iconic venue hosts a variety of upscale events, and although it provides an evocative setting, power limitations in the 233-year old building can present challenges for anyone looking to light these affairs.
At a recent, corporate showcase at the historic building, Tarik Smith of Atmosphere, Inc. met these challenges and transformed its interior with elegant uplighting created by wireless, battery-powered WELL Fit fixtures from Chauvet Professional.
“As with any historic venue the biggest issue is power, so I had to pay a lot of attention to the design,” said Smith. “The limited power draw at the club meant we had to go wireless, but I still needed even, colourful light that would create an immersive, welcoming atmosphere.”
Smith tapped 60 WELL Fit fixtures to illuminate the main hall and upstairs lounge area. The compact dimensions of the WELL Fit units allowed them to blend easily into the background, while their four RGBA LED’s offered a wide palette of rich colours to deliver a bright, even uplight wash to the walls and architectural columns.
“For the Main Hall, I really wanted to create an entirely different look for the room,” said Smith. “The WELL Fits helped transform the space, to the point that even the house staff was impressed with how different it looked. I also used a few WELL Fits to lead guests to the restroom and to the upstairs lounge area. The wireless connection of the fixtures held strong, even going around corners.”
During set-up the day of the event, a last-minute curve was thrown Smith’s way when the client made a surprise request for pin spotting on the champagne table. Smith, however, wasn’t fazed. Jumping on his motorcycle, he raced to Atmosphere Inc.’s warehouse to retrieve six Chauvet DJ EZ-Pin IRC fixtures. Because of their compact size, the fixtures fit easily into his motorcycle bag for a fast return to the City Tavern.
The hail Mary addition of the EZ-Pins “made things exciting,” Smith recalls. And his resourceful quick thinking was something that the City Tavern’s first generation of customers would have undoubtedly appreciated.
5th November 2019
MDG haze solution for prestigious new events space, Magazine London
UK – Magazine London, the capital’s newest, smartest purpose-built event space and the largest of its kind in London, opened adjacent to the O2 Arena in Greenwich Peninsula this August.
Its simple architectural form offers clean and functional spaces that provide ‘a means for large-scale creative expression’ with 3,205 sq m of versatile interior space for up to 3,000 people, and the capability of a further 7,000 people across the venue’s outdoor show ground.
Technical consultant, Simon Jones of SJ-TPM, recommended MDG haze generators for this prestigious new venue knowing MDG’s great reputation for reliability and performance. He had no hesitation in supplying two MDG ATMe haze generators, complete with purpose-built touring cases for easy storage and deployment which was essential for this flexible, multi-purpose venue.
Jones was brought on board by Venue Lab to review, recommend and deliver the technical infrastructure, establish and fine tune the requirements and purchase the equipment for this multi-purpose venue. Jones worked on the various phases in collaboration with Vibration Design and Production, which delivered the venue’s in-house technical production, to ensure the equipment installed aligned with the building’s innovative principle.
Magazine London has two large internal spaces, each with 8m high ceilings, two mezzanines for VIP areas or additional reception/break-out spaces, and an outdoor festival square, all of which can be used in various configurations to suit the show or event.
No event is complete without good, fine haze, of course, which plays a major role in showcasing the lighting, lasers and general creation of atmosphere. And in such a versatile venue, the team has to be prepared to cater for everything!
“Haze always has to look perfect on television and camera, and also work well with live events,” Jones explained. “It needs to be finely distributed, and quickly dispersed.
“The haze produced by the ATMe is great for the cameras because it is a good, clean haze, it doesn’t reflect, it’s not too dense and it’s nicely distributed across the whole space with two machines filling the venue quickly and easily. We chose to go with two ATMes because the venue is so large, and there are always points in an event when you need to fill the room more quickly. With two machines you don’t have to run them at full, so the effect is more subtle without an obvious source. If you want nice clean haze that everyone is going to be happy with, the natural choice is MDG ATMe.”
The ATMe generators have been used on every event since the venue opened (five so far), including the launch of the new FIFA20 game, the SAP Annual Conference and the Desperado x Elrow Music Show and have a full schedule until the end of the year and beyond.
The ATMe generators have been supplied in purpose-built touring cases, which include additional space for haze fluid and two gas cylinders, that can be simply rolled into whichever position or venue required.
“With such a busy and varied programme of events, it’s important to have a reliable haze generator and a good quality touring case that can move around without jolting,” says Jones. “The ATMe is a good dependable machine that you know will always work well, and with the touring case it’s an off-the-shelf, boxed solution with all you need in one package. You just have to plug it in and go. It makes life easy, and we have the MDG reliability and efficiency and all that comes with it: the back up and support that we all know MDG gives. MDG is the premium option at the end of the day.”
photos: Gemma Parker
5th November 2019
New National Theatre, Tokyo chooses Robert Juliat LED Oz followspots
Japan – The New National Theatre, Tokyo (NNTT) has invested in a stock of Robert Juliat Oz 600W LED followspots for its three performance spaces. The new LED models replace conventional source followspots as part of an upgrade of the lighting inventory for this internationally important arts venue.
New National Theatre, Tokyo is Japan’s foremost national theatre and its only one dedicated to the contemporary performing arts of opera, ballet, dance and drama. The NNTT complex comprises the Opera Palace, Playhouse and The Pit, and hosts over 300 performances a year to around 200,000 theatre goers.
Four of Robert Juliat’s Oz 7°-14° LED Top Control followspots were supplied by RJ distributor, Sogo Butai, initially for use in the small Pit Theatre, but also with the intention of relocating them to the larger spaces of the Playhouse and Opera Palace as needed. This demonstrates the versatility of this punchy zoom fixture whose 600W cool white LED light source is capable of generating an output equal to 1200W discharge fixtures.
“Because of its silent operation, Oz is extremely suitable for the open space within the smaller Pit Theatre,” says Takehito Suzuki, from NNTT’s technical department for lighting. “In venues like those of the New National Theatre, where many theatrical shows and contemporary dance performances are presented, we found Oz is the best followspot for lighting the performers at every distance.”
Suzuki also stresses that Oz was chosen because, above all others, its quality met the high standards of the New National Theatre, Tokyo; its Top Control option was a prime example of this, enabling the operators to control both the dimming and iris smoothly and easily from the top of the fixture. “Amongst many LED followspots, what makes this fixture most remarkable is the top control,” Suzuki says. “I find it so finely designed that the operation is a pleasure. I’m impressed by the minimum size of the iris shutter as well; the accuracy of the iris cassette is really incredible, it is great to see how RJ can make a spot so tiny that it seems like a hole pierced by a needle. We can see the real RJ quality in these kinds of details.”
NNTT’s followspot operators agree and have enjoyed using the new arrivals, commenting: “Oz is highly operational with the double function of incredibly smooth dimming and iris control with the top controls. The body is well designed with a good balance of functionality, which makes it an extremely operator-friendly fixture.”
NNTT is familiar with Robert Juliat, having invested in Robert Juliat profiles when it first opened its doors in 1997. “Since the beginning we have used Robert Juliat Athos 914SNX and 910SNX profiles,” says Suzuki. “At the time these fixtures with discharge lamps were fully appreciated, and loved by every lighting designer who used them. They played important roles in so many performances as a key element of the lighting designs.
“The majority of New National Theatre profiles are still halogen-based, although most manufacturers are stopping production of these models, and we need to find new fixtures with alternative sources before these become outmoded. So we are now interested in LED sources which are powerful enough to match halogen fixtures, and Robert Juliat is already ahead of the game with LED models that perform as well as discharge fixtures.”
photos: New National Theatre, Tokyo and RJ Industry Japan
5th November 2019
Martin Audio CDD Deployed in Santo Domingo’s Peperoni Restaurant
Dominican Republic – Sound Video Lighting (SVL has installed a full complement of Martin Audio CDD speakers and SX subwoofers in the elegant Peperoni restaurant and bar in the Dominican Republic capital of Santo Domingo, to ensure consistent coverage and the highest level of sound quality.
Describing the venue, SVL’s Jonathan Del villar explains: “Peperoni is a very popular restaurant serving what is essentially international cuisine in a variety of styles. Owner Jean-Pierre Bahsa used to be a club owner who knows that business very well. He had gone to Bachata Rosa, a popular restaurant in Punta Cana, owned by singer-songwriter Juan Luis Guerra, and was very impressed by the Martin Audio system that we had installed there.
“Since we are friends, he asked us to work on the project early on during the planning stages which was good because we were able to have significant impact in terms of everything that has to do with technology: the audio, video, WiFi and security systems.”
In terms of the audio, the owner wanted a good system with small speakers that could be loud and clear when required. “Basically, there are four main areas in the restaurant with audio systems. On the first floor, they have a large dining area with high ceilings, then an indoor bar with lower ceilings and a cosy party ambiance where the music gets louder later at night. On the second floor, they have two separate areas for private parties.”
To provide the consistent audio coverage and quality required, SVL designed a system with six white Martin Audio CDD8 in the main dining area, three per side, mounted horizontally on the walls, facing down with a SX212 subwoofer mounted behind an air conditioning vent. In the bar, there are four CDD8 in black mounted in the corners, with an SX212 subwoofer underneath the centre of the bar.
Each private room on the second floor is equipped with eight Martin Audio C6.8T ceiling speakers and a ceiling mounted SX112 subwoofer. Everything works off a centralised system with a Yamaha MTX5B multi-room processor functioning via Dante with over 96 AVIO audio insert point adapters. The programme material comes from computers running music profile services that are then fed to the Martin Audio amplifiers and speakers.
Asked about the results, Jonathan sums up: “The sound and coverage is excellent throughout the downstairs area and upstairs rooms. We used EASE Focus software to predict the speakers’ interaction and coverage and show the owner exactly how the system would perform.
“He is very happy with how the system turned out in terms of the coverage and audio quality. We’ve brought many prospective clients to the restaurant so they can hear how good the Martin Audio system sounds, and we’ve received some good projects from those demos.”
5th November 2019
Winslow Township High School Gym and Stadium Upgrade with Biamp’s Community Loudspeakers
USA – JD Sound & Video has installed sound systems for both the outdoor stadium and indoor gymnasium of Winslow Township High School (WTHS) using Biamp’s Community R SERIES loudspeakers. WTHS is a four-year comprehensive public high school located in Winslow Township, Camden County, New Jersey. It serves students in ninth through twelfth grades as the secondary school of the Winslow Township School District.
Joe DiSabatino of JD Sound & Video explained: “We’ve been using Biamp’s Community loudspeakers almost exclusively for all athletic venue projects for 13 years. Both spaces needed high SPL and good low-end and the Community R SERIES with subs met those requirements. We were referred to Winslow High School by Eastern High School in Voorhees, NJ. Several years ago, we outfitted their gyms and stadium with various R SERIES products. After Winslow heard those systems we were brought in for their gym, and then the stadium this year. We designed and installed the systems using a combination of our experience with the loudspeakers, and EASE Focus acoustic modelling.”<p,p>“The gym system was installed in time for the school’s dedication ceremony and has been well received since,” said DiSabatino. “They had only two loudspeakers prior to our install, so it’s a night and day difference. They can have 1,200 plus students in there, and the music and voice are crisp and clear.”
The school’s stadium is used predominantly for football, with an athletics track running round the playing field perimeter. The audio system uses two Community R.5MAX 12-inch high output coaxial two-way loudspeakers and an R.35-3896 covering the home stands and track, while a single R.5MAX covers the field. An all-weather IS6-215WR subwoofer is mounted under the bleachers.
“They had their opening night at the stadium a few weeks ago with a DJ and full house,” commented DiSabatino. “The ref wore a mic and everything was clear and the coverage was great. The big issue previously was being able to hear above the crowd noise and on the field, but that’s no longer a problem with the new system.”
4th November 2019
L-Acoustics Delivers a Streamlined, Modern Sound System for San Luis Obispo’s Streamline Moderne Fremont Theater
USA – Located on Monterey Street in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo, the 865-seat Fremont Theater is a surviving – and now thriving – example of the Streamline Moderne style favored by West Coast movie theaters and performance halls when it opened for both roles in 1942. As its entertainment appeal gradually waned over the decades, the facility dodged various attempts to modernize it as a multiplex cinema, and then to be razed altogether. Thankfully, a new group of partners, the Fremont Theater Entertainment Group, has invested in restoring the theater’s visual and acoustical charm while also modernising its technical facilities. A key part of that effort was the addition of an L-Acoustics Kara loudspeaker system, originally installed in 2018 and then re-flown with a new truss system installed earlier this year.
“We knew from the very start that we wanted an L-Acoustics sound system because they’re simply the best, and we chose Kara because it fit the venue so well both sonically and physically,” explains Bill Gaines, owner of Bill Gaines Audio (BGA), who did the sound system design and installation and, in an unusual twist, is also one of the venue’s six new partners. “We knew that the original installation,” which used a temporary telescoping-type system that was unable to support flown subs, “was going to be replaced with a much more suitable aluminum truss, but we wanted to start having shows in the theater as soon as possible. Once the new truss went in, we simply reinstalled the Kara system to it.”
Gaines notes that Kara was the perfect choice because its smaller form factor still provides the power and pattern control to put pure, clear SPL right on the audience area, keeping it off of the reflective surfaces in the venue. The present system comprises two arrays of eight Kara loudspeakers per side, each topped by a pair of SB18 subs. Four additional SB28 subs are ground-stacked below, while two more SB18 are available as sidefills or drum monitors, as needed. Furthermore, two self-powered 108P speakers deliver stage lip fill to the front-most seats, while the rest of the system is powered via five LA8 and one LA4X amplified controllers.
“With its compact size, 110-degree coverage, and range down to 30Hz with the subs, Kara gave us the flexibility we needed to be able to use the theater as soon as possible, build up our reputation, then let us quickly reconfigure the sound system when the new truss went in,” explains Gaines, whose company, BGA, purchased another two dozen Kara enclosures, eight SB18, and eight KS28 subs as part of becoming an L-Acoustics certified provider for rental (CPr) last year. Complementing those systems are Kiva II for lipfill/outfill use, SB28/ARCS II sidefills, a generous quantity of 14 x15 HiQ stage wedges, and LA12X (housed in LA-RAK II) and LA8 amplified controllers to power everything.
As for the Fremont Theater, word is out that it’s now the place to play in San Luis Obispo. “The band engineers and artists coming in all love it,” says Gaines. “On one of the first big shows with the new PA, the drummer came out front to listen as his drum tech tuned the kit, and he was all smiles. That’s when we knew for sure that we got it right.”
photos: Erick Beltran
1st November 2019
Colorado Symphony Conducts a DiGiCo SD7 Quantum Upgrade
USA – Home to 80 full-time musicians representing more than a dozen nations, the Colorado Symphony is one of North America’s leading orchestras and performs more than 150 concerts annually at the 2,700-seat Boettcher Concert Hall in downtown Denver, at nearby Red Rocks Amphitheatre, and across the state. In 2012, the City of Denver purchased a DiGiCo SD7 mixing console as part of a major audio facilities upgrade for Boettcher Concert Hall that also notably included a full L-Acoustics loudspeaker system. With productions growing increasingly complex and technically more demanding over the past seven years, the City once again chose to invest in DiGiCo, this time by upgrading its existing SD7 with a brand new Quantum engine.
For more than 15 years, Aric Christensen has served as Colorado Symphony’s head of audio. Seeing that he individually mics all of the orchestra’s instruments and typically runs upwards of 100 inputs on a standard show, DiGiCo’s flagship SD7 was his primary choice from the very start, as was the recent Quantum upgrade.
“As amazing as it might seem, we had actually started to outgrow our SD7,” he shares. “And really, without the SD7, some of our shows would never have been possible. To do as many inputs as we do at a sample rate of 96kHz, there’s really no other console out there that’s going to have the processing power and right MADI I/O to handle it. I also wanted to do virtual soundcheck of 96 channels at 96k, so I obviously needed a lot of ports to be able to accomplish that as well.”
As soon as Christensen heard about the Quantum engine’s forthcoming availability, he was one of the first people to reach out to Group One and DiGiCo saying: “Yes, please!” he recalls. “The fact that it was going to allow our console to be future-proof for probably another decade is what really appealed to me. And now that DiGiCo is starting to announce things like Mustard, Chilli 6, and other Spice Rack offerings, it’s really going to be a game-changer.”
Knowing that an upgrade of the Colorado Symphony’s seven-year-old console was imminent, Christensen took a P.O. proposal for Quantum to the City, saying: “It’s going to be a significant number to do this upgrade, but it’s basically like we’re buying a brand new console and getting it for almost a third of the price.’ They were able to see the value in it and agreed that it was the smart thing to do, and now it’s like our console is brand new again.”
The Colorado Symphony most frequently performs in Boettcher Concert Hall at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. The hall, built in 1978, is the country's first in-the-round concert hall. No audience member is more than 85 feet from the stage, with more than 80 percent of the audience being seated within 65 feet of the stage.
Along with the Quantum upgrade, Boettcher Concert Hall moved to an Optocore fibre-optic set-up and added a large 56-input SD-Rack and 32-input SD-MiNi-Rack, the latter of which is fully equipped with input cards, bringing the venue’s rack-based input count up to 88. Two of those cards are the new “Ultimate” Stadius mic pre-amp modules supplying 16 total channels of 32-bit performance.
“I loaded the Stadius pre’s into my first two SD-Rack slots, which are my ‘money’ channels; that’s where I’m routing my concertmaster for an orchestra show and guest and solo artists for pop shows,” he says. “DiGiCo’s standard SD cards sound great, of course, but being able to A/B the two reveals how smooth, rich, and dynamic the new ones are, especially listening back to those recorded channels on near-field monitors in the studio. Julian Pichette, our A2 and recording archivist, and I were both amazed by how incredibly lifelike those tracks are. There’s just something more to them, kind of like the difference between listening to a regular CD and a Super Audio CD.”
One of the many pleasant things about upgrading to the new gear, Christensen reports, has been how seamlessly the segue into the new tech has gone: “I’m pretty amazed that DiGiCo figured out a way to make everything that was great about the SD7 new again, but still comfortable and familiar. Even though they’ve obviously changed a lot under the hood processing-wise and it’s really a brand new product, DiGiCo was very intentional to make sure that the workflows and feel of the original SD7 would remain, which was important to those of us who have been using the console for years. At the same time, Quantum brings so much potential for new capabilities and features. The next few years with this console are going to be very exciting as the manufacturer continues to roll out new tools. With Quantum, DiGiCo remains ahead of the curve and, once again, I feel like I’m truly on the forefront of fidelity, technology, and the ability to do anything that’s asked of me.”
1st November 2019
First Baptist Dallas Implements DPA Subminis For TV Broadcasts and Worldwide Streaming
USA – Through broadcast and online digital channels, First Baptist Dallas’ reach expands beyond its in-house attendance. With a following that spans tens of thousands of worshippers, the megachurch takes its audio and video capabilities very seriously, looking to lead audio engineer Brad Roberts to choose just the right gear. Most recently, Roberts became one of the first US users of DPA Microphones’ new 6066 CORE subminiature headset microphone, relying on its capabilities to provide a discreet, high-quality sound for the church’s lead pastor, Dr. Robert Jeffress.
“I chose to upgrade the lead pastor’s microphone to DPA’s 6066 because of its impressively small capsule and redesigned headset; for such an unobtrusive solution, the sound quality is impeccable,” explains Roberts. “The 6066 is completely hidden from close-up HD camera shots and its non-reflective boom further improves the aesthetic, as it does not catch undesirable stage light.”
The church’s arsenal of DPA microphones also includes numerous 4061 omnidirectional microphones for acoustic pianos and violins in the band, a 4098 supercardioid gooseneck microphone at the podium, the 4018VL vocal microphone when a handheld mic is needed and a wide array of 4066 omnidirectional headset microphones in all 12 of its worship venues. Roberts relies on the headset mics most often during speaking/teaching presentations, baptisms and drama productions, including the church’s annual Christmas concert. Together, these solutions provide Roberts with the audio quality he desires for these large services, where all eyes – and ears – are tuned in closely.
“DPA’s sound is natural and solid, so I don’t have to EQ as much, which has been really helpful,” explains Roberts. “With 25 years of professional audio experience in the live and recording worlds, it’s safe to say I’ve listened to a lot of microphones. I’ve been using DPA for well-over a decade. I knew when I brought the brand to First Baptist that everyone would hear the difference and I was right. I ended up swapping out one of our previous mics with DPA, and I didn’t tell anyone. The vocalists, musicians and audio team all ended up noticing that the audio quality was more pristine and sounded very natural.”
Roberts appreciates the consistency of the brand and the robust build of the microphones, noting that he hasn’t needed to replace any over the years. “With previous microphones, I’ve struggled to eliminate ambient bleed, but with DPA, that problem is solved,” he adds. “When I initially came to First Baptist Dallas, we completely retooled how we miked things. It’s a big space and I brought in DPA to get a better broadcast audio and front-of-house mix. There’s a reason why I keep going back to DPA, the sound quality is unbeatable.”
Today, First Baptist Dallas has a collection of more than 40 DPA microphones, and Roberts is excited to get his hands on more. First Baptist Dallas celebrated its 150th anniversary last year and has gathered over 14,000 members and 12 worship facilities, which span five city blocks—the largest privately-owned property in downtown Dallas. With both worldwide TV broadcasts and online streaming, First Baptist’s viewership reaches into the millions of worshippers each week.
31st October 2019
Time Out Market Optimises Coverage and Sound Quality with Martin Audio
USA – New York City-based ear NETWORKS has recently designed sound systems for the newly opened Time Out Markets in Miami, New York and Boston consisting of Martin Audio CDD, SX subs, O-Line arrays and ceiling series loudspeakers to provide uniform coverage and exceptional audio quality.
Time Out Market is a food and cultural market bringing the best of the city under one roof: its best chefs, drinks and cultural experiences. The first Time Out Market opened in Lisbon in 2014 and the popular format is now coming to other cities around the world.
Time Out Market is rooted in the heritage of Time Out: a magazine created in London in 1968 to inspire and enable people to explore and enjoy the best of the city. Since then, Time Out editors have been writing about the best food, drink and cultural experiences worldwide. Today, a global team of local expert journalists is curating the best things to do in 327 cities in 58 countries across websites, magazines, social media and live events. Now this curation is brought to life at Time Out Market.
Asked about the project, ear NETWORKS’ Kurt Schlossberg replies: “We were asked to design an audio system that could operate throughout the day under various conditions, providing background music during the day, cocktail music during the early evening and a foreground system that could support performances from DJs and bands.
“Our goals when we designed the system,” Kurt continues, “were for highly articulate vocal reproduction that’s neither muddy nor diffuse, very natural sounding music running through a wide variety of current and classic genres and a very contemporary sound for DJs. So we needed a very broad-based speaker system to cover all of the genres, moods and sonic levels. Given all that, Martin Audio offered the best possibilities on every level.”
Overall, ear NETWORKS has deployed Martin Audio CDD8s, CDD12s, SX112, SX212 subs and O-Line micro line arrays in all three venues. Time Out Market Miami, a single floor 18,000 square foot space, has 24 CDD8s, two CDD12s, three SX212s, two SX112s and four O-Line line array modules along with Martin Audio C6.8T and C8.1T Ceiling Series speakers for the bathrooms, hallways and other ancillary spaces. The CDD speakers are mounted approximately ten feet off the ground at intervals around the room. Three SX212s run the length of the space and two SX112’s are used as sub support for the O-Line arrays, deployed for DJ and live band performances, as well as reinforcement for the video wall.
Time Out Market Boston, a single floor 25,000 square foot space, includes 36 CDD8s, eight CDD12s, 11 SX112s and four O-Line cabinets while Time Out Market New York, a double floor 21,000 square foot space, has 72 CDD8s, three SX112s and six SX212s.
Asked about the client’s response to the new systems, Kurt concludes: “They are really happy. So far, the venues have been operating in all formats and everything has been flawless. CDDs have an extremely wide range and are very articulate through the full frequency range with smooth uniform coverage throughout the venues. The sound is amazing wherever you are in the space.”
30th October 2019
Lewis University Fosters Complete Theatre Education with Chauvet Professional
USA – An inscription at the entrance of Lewis University’s Philip Lynch Theatre offers a glimpse into the building’s past. It reads “Lewis Holy Name School of Aeronautics,” a testament to a time when the 250-seat thrust stage and studio theatre with a 90-seat black box space served as an aircraft hangar, part of this suburban Chicago school’s long-standing commitment to educating aviators. (During WWII it suspended normal classes to aid in the training of navy pilots.)
The inscription is not the only manifestation of Lewis University’s rich aviation history that can be seen in its thriving theatre department. Like its counterpart that is responsible for educating future pilots and aeronautical engineers, the theatre department is committed to exposing students to the latest technology in their field. Toward this end, the department added Chauvet Professional Ovation and Maverick LED fixtures from JRLX, Inc. to its Philip Lynch Theatre lighting system.
“Our department has an open-ended goal of updating technical production elements on a continuous basis,” said Andrew Nelsen, who serves as the theatre’s technical director and production designer, in addition to being an assistant professor. “The goal is to stay relevant with the changing technology of the industry, to expose our students to the latest gear, and to satisfy expectations of designers as well as our audiences. Jason Reberski of JRLX was instrumental in help us select new lighting fixtures that enhanced this flexibility.”
Nelsen described how the five Maverick MK1 Spot fixtures and four Ovation E-910FC colour mixing ellipsoidal units Lewis University acquired will be used at the Philip Lynch Theatre. “They are not intended to be permanently installed, but to serve as flexible tools that can be shared between the two theatre spaces,” he said. “I also view these fixtures as teaching tools that can be struck from the lighting grid and brought to the classroom for students to get up close to. The relative agility of the MK1s and its light weight, plus its good hand grips and locking pan and tilt, make the handling of these fixtures in and out of the ceiling comfortable for students.”
The Maverick and Ovation fixtures are also demonstrating their versatility in shows at the Philip Lynch Theatre, which produces five main stage plays or musicals a year as well as hosting a wide range of student and alumni driven performances. “I love to use the Mavericks in pairs as diagonal back light, with the fifth instrument hung down centre on the theatre stage,” said Nelsen. “This gives me the ability to steer that unit in as a special. I have also used the MK1’s as punchy and versatile side light instruments. In these applications, they hang 21 feet above the stage deck and a maximum of 20 feet horizontally from the edge of the stage.
“For 13 The Musical, I put all of our MK1’s in a row on an upstage line set,” continued Nelsen. “This gave me the ability to play with the composition of light beams in the air as well as having dynamic backlight effects. We also like to use this configuration for our annual Christmas variety show. Recently, we hung MK1s in our Blackbox Theatre for a production of Constellations. Student Lighting Designer, Eric Redmon used the stock patterns of the MK1 to establish the multiple 'universes' that the characters traverses during the play.”
Describing the Ovation E-910FC as his “workhorse fixture for side light,” Nelsen typically has them in low side positions or low front positions. Outfitted with 26° lens tubes, the ellipsoidal units are flown from six to 12 feet above the stage deck when hanging from the vomitorium and aisle positions. When hung from the lighting rig, they are 21 feet above the stage deck.
Nelsen has reduced the number of lights needed for color mixing, since the Ovation E-910FC ellipsoidal has been acquired. “In the past, I hung multiple instruments in these positions, which are close to the audience and required additional cabling,” he said. “Using the Ovation fixtures in these places is saving us on labour. Due to the integration of these fixtures, we have drastically reduced our consumption of colour filters and given our designers greater colour flexibility.”
This flexibility is especially appreciated at the Philip Lynch Theatre, given that access to power and hanging positions is limited at the former aircraft hangar. “I have a handful of favourite hanging positions to steer light in from the sides of the stage and under the balcony floor,” said Nelsen. “In these positions, lighting instruments have historically been competing for space with other instruments, such as rigging and pipes. We have been using the Ovation fixtures in these tricky positions, as they solve the problem of space by eliminating the need for multiple fixtures to colour.”
Technology it seems has a tradition of meeting challenges at the brick and timber building that is now the Philip Lynch Theatre, whether it involves aeroplanes flying, or the curtain going up on a successful theatrical production.
30th October 2019
Two DiGiCo SD5s for the Mosaïek Teatro
South Africa - The Mosaïek Teatro, a large-capacity venue that forms part of the Mosaïek Church in Fairland, Johannesburg, can accommodate 2,800 people and has become a home to various productions such as Idols South Africa, The Voice finale and international performances scheduled for 2020. Mosaïek owns some of the best tech in the country, most recently investing in two DiGiCo SD5 mixing consoles with SD Racks and Waves.
“With only three SD5s in South Africa, two of which are now based at the Mosaïek, this has been an important investment for the market they are catering for,” said Kyle Robson of DWR Distribution, the DiGiCo distributors in Africa.
“DiGiCo is one of the top brands in the world, if not the most requested console on technical riders,” comments Estian Els, head of technical at Mosaïek Teatro. “The SD5 suites our business model very well. We chose the larger console in regards to the channel count perspective, wanting to provide a good solution to clients making use of the Teatro. In addition, support is imperative to us and we’ve always received great service from DWR.”
The Mosaïek technical team saw the benefits of the DiGiCo platform first-hand during The Voice South Africa finale hosted at their venue earlier this year, where Multi-Media supplied full technical requirements. Kyle was on the event for technical support and had the opportunity to give Estian Els and colleague Frans van der Merwe an overview of the console. A visit from DiGiCo’s Ian Staddon to the church during Mediatech sealed the deal.
“The Mosaïek in-house technical team are loving DiGiCo and the training has gone incredibly well,” said Kyle. “They’ve really caught on to it, and are loving how flexible the consoles are. The confidence has really grown amongst the team. Productions hiring the Mosaïek Teatro are going to have a great experience.”
Estian concludes: “We’ve only ever received world class service from DWR. Their love for people has been very important to us as we are also in the business of people. We are very excited. A big thanks to Kyle, who has been amazing.”
In picture: Kyle Robson (DWR) with Estian Els (Mosaïek Teatro).
30th October 2019
A Rupert Neve Designs 5088 for The Vault
USA – The Vault is the private recording studio for producer / engineer Kevin Sellors, located just north of Atlanta in Marietta, Georgia. It is also the musical home of producer / keys player Joey Huffman, an industry veteran who has played with artists including Matchbox 20, Lynard Skynard, CeeLo Green and Mick Jagger. First opened in 2014, the studio has recently expanded with the addition of a 16-channel Rupert Neve Designs 5088 console, fully loaded with 16 Shelford 5052 mic preamp / inductor EQ modules and a pair of Shelford 5051 Inductor EQ / compressor modules.
“We call it ‘The Vault Recording Lounge’; I like to keep it pretty laid back. We don’t wear shoes, we have a bar along with a pretty good collection of vintage gear,” says Sellors. “Like any audio person, I’ve heard the legend of Rupert Neve since the beginning. I’ve had the opportunity to do a couple of records on 80-series vintage consoles, and fell in love like anyone else.”
When Sellors heard about the new 5088, he knew he had to hear it, so David Lyons of Sonic Circus invited him to Nashville, TN to run a mix through a 5088. “Within the first ten seconds of hearing it, I knew the 5088 was the one. The step up to the 5088 has been a complete and total game changer for me. Recording through it has gotten me the sound I’ve been chasing my whole life. It’s sort of effortless – and it’s super flexible as well. The routing is intuitive. Wherever you’re trying to get, you can get there fast.”
30th October 2019
Hippotizer in command at Cairo’s Panorama Museum
Egypt – Green Hippo, specialist creator of tools for the real-time manipulation of video for the AV industries, has announced that its Hippotizer media servers are driving a range of custom high-resolution displays at the newly renovated Panorama 6th October Museum in Cairo, which commemorates the 6th October War of 1973.
Using Hippotizer’s advanced mapping capabilities and flexible third-party integration options, local AV specialist Audio Technology S.A.E was able to meet the many challenge of this complex installation, which includes custom HD projection mapping solutions in three interior halls, as well as on the outside of the building itself. The museum is now able to pursue its educational remit with a full-day entertainment program which brings the history of this troubled period back to vivid life for audiences of all ages.
The building’s exterior is the projection surface for 4k resolution content, mapped and fed to six high-power 30,000 lumen laser projectors by a Hippotizer Karst+ media server. Inside, three halls feature high-resolution projection. In Hall 1’s 150-seat 5D cinema, a Hippotizer Amba+ provides Full HD, 3D stereoscopic content, while in Hall 3 a Hippotizer Boreal+ feeds a 10K resolution U-shaped display, via six 13,000 lumens Christie Digital laser projectors, filling the audience’s visual field for a truly immersive experience. Finally, in Hall 4, another Hippotizer Boreal+ provides full HD content for an immersive, 360° projection using nine 10,000 lumen Christie Digital laser projectors. Here, the footage features scenes from Egypt’s more recent political times: the 2011 and 2013 revolutions.
“Mounting, blending and aligning the projectors in the very small spaces to cover the large screen surfaces, especially for the 3D mapping projection show in the outdoor zone and in Hall 3, was a big challenge,” says Jacko Makram, project design leader for Audio Technology Co, S.A.E. “Also, deploying and managing the content in high resolutions of 4K or 10K, blending these projections and then ensuring consistent system stability during the daily shows.”
With the blending and wrapping capabilities of the Hippotizer media servers, these challenges were relatively simple to deal with. “We easily managed the content to fit our custom screens and split the required content for each projector,” says Michael Emad, project installation leader. “Also, the Hippotizers’ ability to be controlled via third party systems, such as Crestron or Medialon show controller, and to synchronize with other system elements, allows for easy operation by the show operator.”
Throughout the nine-month period of installation, commissioning and staff training, Audio Technology Co, S.A.E was aided by Green Hippo’s technical support, from training for the design and installation teams to ongoing backup during the project phases.
The result has been appreciated by all concerned. “The client has said that the completed installation exceeds all their expectations,” says Makram, “and the audiences to date have been so excited, as this is the first time in Egypt that we have had all of this technology and experience combined together in one place.”
29th October 2019
Efficient Elation Lighting System for Legends Casino Events Center
USA – Located in Toppenish, Washington, four hours south-east of Seattle on the Yakama Nation reservation, is Legends Casino Hotel and Events Center, a first rate facility that stands as one of the top casino and entertainment centres in the American Northwest. Wanting to attract new guests by expanding its entertainment programme, Legends recently built a new events centre and sought to maintain their high standards by equipping the space in state-of-the-art entertainment technology systems.
Legends reached out to Elation Professional dealer Morgan Sound, Inc. of Lynnwood, Washington, for a vision to transform a 200' x 200' ballroom into a top-notch 1,750- seat concert and performance venue. Contracted to design and install the audio, lighting, video, staging, and drapery systems at the new events centre, Morgan Sound called on its team of AV experts to transform the space into a first-class venue.
To deliver a superior lighting experience for the multi-use facility, Morgan Sound equipped the new events centre with a cutting-edge Elation lighting system. “We chose Elation products for their flexibility and brightness and the experience on site has been very positive,” stated Stephen Weeks, senior A/V consultant for Morgan Sound.
Needing a technical system flexible enough to support touring acts ranging from comedy, pop and country all the way to hip-hop and rock, Morgan Sound designed an all LED lighting system consisting of 34 Seven Par 19IP Par lights, 16 Rayzor 760 moving heads, 12 Artiste DaVinci moving head spots, ten Colour 5 Profile ellipsoidals and six Cuepix Blinder WW2 luminaires.
A key aspect of the lighting system is its energy efficiency and less need for maintenance, two factors that directly lead to lower costs. “The lighting systems are entirely LED to reduce power draw consumption and eliminate the need for lamp replacements,” Weeks confirms. Savings extends to other areas as well. With the Elation LED system there is less cabling, fewer connections to contend with, and there are no dimmers to work with. There is also less heat generated compared to traditional arc source systems, which means a lower burden on the air conditioning system and translating into less power draw.
Elation rep firm Audio Source and Jim Gragham was instrumental in getting Morgan Sound the fixtures and assisting with product selection and demos. Since completion of the project in late April of 2019, Legends Casino Events Center has hosted a number of top acts like REO Speedwagon and Martina McBride with comedians Terry Fator and Bill Engvall and acts Three Dog Night and Queensryche on the autumn calendar.
28th October 2019
Rock Warehouse install HK Audio Elements in Newcastle Civic Centre Council Chamber
UK – When looking to up-grade the sound system in its Council Chamber, Newcastle Civic Centre turned to long established supplier Gary Nicholson of Newcastle-based Rock Warehouse to propose a solution.
Having previously installed an HK Audio system in the Civic Centre’s largest space (the baronial style Banqueting Hall, capable of seating up to 600 guests), HK Audio was again Gary’s first choice.
With responsibility for looking after the full gamut of A/V requirements throughout the Civic Centre, Paul Frankcom explained the brief: "With the principal use of the Council Chamber being to host meetings for up to 200+ delegates using a variety of microphones positioned around the room, first rate speech intelligibility was the priority, with the objective being to commission a system capable of delivering a uniform audio experience for all delegates, with even coverage from the front to the back of the room. The requirement to equip the room to become more multi-functional was also a consideration, necessitating a system also capable of delivering full frequency range response for music playback at sound pressure levels sufficient to allow the room to host events as well as meetings, while remaining aesthetically unobtrusive."
"Having installed HK Audio’s Elements line array systems in a variety of venues, we were confident it would be the perfect solution," continued Gary. "To prove the point, we approached Neville Raine of HK Audio’s UK distributor JHS, to demo various Elements system configurations in the room. Once in situ, the suitability of Elements and the leap in quality and clarity was immediately evident, with much higher gain without feedback achievable from previously troublesome microphone positions thanks to the tightly controlled dispersion and linear response of the E 435 mid/high enclosures. It was initially expected that additional fill speakers would be needed to cover the balcony. However, it was demonstrated that by lengthening the line of E 435’s from four to six enclosures, the resulting increase in vertical coverage and throw then delivered crystal clear coverage right up to the balcony, all from two very discreet lines of HK Audio Elements at the front of the room."
After testing various configurations, an active system was deemed to be the most appropriate option, offering the benefits of pre-optimised on-board DSP in addition to ease of installation and the associated cost advantages.
The selected system comprises two HK Audio Elements E 210 SUB AS active subs, with each sub powering and providing the necessary processing for a line of six E 435 mid/high enclosures (with each line comprising an E 435 IK install kit, expanded using an additional four E 435s).
Gary concluded: "Once again, Elements has delivered great results in another demanding environment’ with the venue’s Paul Frankcom adding: ‘We’re very satisfied that Elements has delivered a significant up-grade in audio performance for a surprisingly modest outlay."
25th October 2019
National Theatre equips all three of its theatres with Martin MAC Encore moving heads
UK - Since the National Theatre‘s initial investment in 42 MAC Encore Performance LED moving heads for the Olivier Theatre in May 2018, a planned roll-out has seen the venue on London’s Southbank install MAC Encores in the Lyttelton and Dorfman Theatres and add further units to the Olivier. In total, 156 MAC Encore Performance and Wash fixtures are either permanently installed or held in shared lighting resources.
Selected for their feature set, durability and near silent operation, the roll-out has been supplied by a number of Martin dealers including White Light, Stage Electrics, Hawthorn and Flashlight, all themselves supplied by UK Martin distributor Sound Technology Ltd.
In the Olivier Theatre, the largest of the three theatres within the National, lighting supervisor Jack Williams is preparing to install additional MAC Encore Performance CLD fixtures as the process of replacement and updating continues. “We did a shoot out of a number of CLD fixtures and found this to be the best,” he said.
The Olivier Theatre alone now hosts 16 MAC Encore Performance CLD, 31 MAC Encore Performance WRM and 32 MAC Encore Wash WRM - installed both above stage and front of house.
“Our biggest change was 18 months ago when we swapped the TW1 at FOH for WRM Encore Performances and that gave us a lot more control of the lighting than previously.” Jack continues. “The Martin fixtures are always consistent, they are workhorses and really reliable in terms of positioning. For productions requiring a really intimate feel, the MAC Encores with their near silent operation are generally the only fixtures (alongside a few generics) in use.”
In the Lyttelton theatre, lighting supervisor, Laurie Clayton, indicates the 20 MAC Encore Wash and 20 MAC Encore Performance that now sit over the stage. “Their installation began during the production of War Horse in December 2018.” he said. “We had a lot of discussions with lighting designers prior to the installation. We can now do full stage coverage with these and shutter off the scenery as we want.”
The replacement of the older TW1s has been a popular choice, he confirms. “Everyone is happy with the LED fixtures, and having the Wash and Profile gives us quite a bit more flexibility.” Laurie also highlights the significant drop in power consumption, first from 2kW fixtures, then to 750W and now to 600W.
Summing up, he says: “The Encores are so quiet, with great light output and versatility.”
The Dorfman Theatre meanwhile has 12 MAC Encore Wash WRM permanently installed. However, 15 are currently in use for the production of Faith, Hope & Charity at the Dorfman, where Michael Harpur is senior lighting technician.
Michael noted the weight advantage of the Encores: “They are less than 30kg and they have well designed tour handles so can be moved quickly into position.
“We have used them with Top Hats and Egg Crate Louvers and they have worked brilliantly.” he continued. “At the same time they are subtle and discreet in position when not in use and the fact that both Encores and our Aura XBs are so quiet is a fantastic asset.”
But fundamentally it’s their consistency that gives them the edge. “They just keep on working,” he says. “And the rendering of the skin tones with the warm fixture, making everything look natural, is particularly important in an intimate theatre like the Dorfman.”
Concluding, Paul Hornsby, the National’s lighting resources manager, says older technology like the TW1 has all but been replaced. “The MAC Encores have settled in well as a workhorse,” he says. “They work fantastically well. We work these fixtures hard in all three venues and we expect them to last eight to ten years.”
25th October 2019
J&J Gives Mirano Brussels New Looks with Chauvet Professional
Belgium – There's no better way to tap into the pulse of a city than to delve into its nightlife. As many night owls in Brussels will attest, the Mirano club has served as the cornerstone of the city’s after dark culture since the big bands swung in the 1930s. But even the most iconic venues need a makeover every once in a while, which is why Mirano’s management recently called on J&J Event to refit their club with a 21st century lighting system.
J&J Event devised a versatile lighting system for Mirano that is equally at home supporting a wide range of club nights, theatrical performances, contemporary dance spectacles, and concerts. Central to creating this versatile installation was a collection of 88 Rogue series fixtures from Chauvet Professional.
With the venue's Art Deco interior largely unrenovated since the building's inception in the 1930s, large portions of the ceiling had to be rebuilt and reinforced to accommodate trussing and other technical elements. Positioning the Chauvet fixtures from the ceiling trussing, the J&J team was able to create a visual platform upon which a number of versatile looks could be created for a wide array of events.
"On a creative level, what was interesting about this project was that we were tasked with creating a space that could support concerts, shows, and club nights," said Paolo Nigro, CEO of J&J Event. “Our resulting versatile design enhances the value of the artists who perform there and guarantees a great atmosphere for the people who have high expectations of this historic venue."
Providing the cornerstone of the design are a combination of 56 Rogue R2X Beam and 32 Rogue R2 Wash fixtures hung from ceiling trussing. Thanks to the powerful output of the R2X Beam's 231W Osram power source and the vivid, saturated colours of the R2 Wash, the J&J team was able to provide the venue’s lighting engineers with a spectrum of looks to program through the house’s ChamSys MagicQ MQ80 console.
A further arrangement of 87 COLORband PiX fixtures from Chauvet DJ were included in the lighting installation made by Inytium for several reasons. For one, the pixel mappable fixtures allow a multitude of exciting effects to be created for the different artists performing within the venue. What’s more, thanks to the decision to position the linear fixtures in square formations from the venue’s ceiling, the COLORband PiX units provide a refreshing modern visual juxtaposition to their Art Deco surroundings.
“Although the Chauvet fixtures certainly bring a contemporary twist into the Mirano, we were careful to ensure that they nevertheless work to reveal the beauty of the venue,” said Nigro. “With this arrangement, we’ve ensured that the soul of the club remains very much in tact, in the process securing the venue’s position as bastion of club culture in Brussels.”
24th October 2019
London’s Royal Academy of Arts Chooses DPA Microphones for its Stunning New Lecture Theatre
UK – From its unique double-height dimensions to the extensive use of reflective marble surfaces used during its construction, the Royal Academy of Art’s new Benjamin West Lecture Theatre in London presents some unusual acoustic challenges.
Ensuring high quality sound is obviously a prerequisite for such a prestigious building and it was therefore imperative that the right microphones were chosen, ones that could cope with the unusual acoustics and with the wide variety of uses that the Lecture Theatre covers.
“DPA microphones have proved to be the ideal solution because they allow any technician or engineer to jump in and achieve quality sound.” says Benji Fox, AV events manager at the RA. “We are using a selection of the company’s products in a number of different ways, including acoustic mics for lectures, belt packs and lapel mics for panel discussions and the new 6066 CORE subminiature headset microphones for smaller panel discussions, filming and live streaming.”
Opened in 2018 as part of the RA’s Burlington Gardens’ landmark redevelopment to mark its 250th anniversary, the Benjamin West Lecture Theatre signals a new stage to the RA’s heritage of rigorous and lively debate. Hosting events such as the Festival of Ideas, this space has become a haven for celebrated thinkers from across the arts to come and share their ideas and opinions. As well as being double-height, the Benjamin West Lecture Theatre also showcases bespoke seating and modern design.
The Lecture Theatre’s DPA inventory now includes two 4018 supercardioid microphones, which are positioned on custom lecterns at the front of the room.
“These are ideal for lectures because they have such good off axis response, so speakers can still be clearly heard, even if they move to the side of the microphone,” Fox says. “We also have five 4098 supercardioid mics rigged on a ceiling winch as pick-ups for ambient audio and to add to our hearing loop system. We do a lot of podcasts in the Lecture Theatre and these mics are great for delivering high quality stereo sound.”
For panel discussions, the RA is using DPA 4080 miniature cardioid microphones that are usually attached to panellists’ lapels. Fox was introduced to these by an external contractor and was so impressed that he decided to try them out for himself.
"There are features on the 4080 that simply work amazingly well; actually better than all the other manufacturers’ lapel capsules that I have tried on site,” he says. “The unnecessary make-up gain on the 4080s, compared to the other capsules we’ve tried, means that we need less EQ overall. In fact I’ve been able to run a few events with no EQ on channels or on the master bus, something I previously thought was unachievable.”
Fox adds that many of the RA’s events are recorded for archive and for podcast, with the production handled by the in-house AV team.
“Whichever DPA mics we choose, from 4080s or our recently adopted 6066 Headset microphones, we know we will be making the best possible source recordings that will need the minimal amount of post-production. The proven track record of DPA mics at the Benjamin West Lecture Theatre means that I am now looking to expand the RA’s stock across other sites and for a variety of specialised applications.”