Standards News Headlines
Three Draft ESTA Standards Available for Public Review
Three new or revised standards are available for public review on the ESTA TSP website at http://estalink.us/pr. Anyone materially affected by the documents is invited to review them and to offer comments before the deadline. The review documents are available for free. They are listed below in order of action due-date. Note that the reviews do not all end on the same day.
BSR E1.62, Minimum specifications for mass-produced portable platforms, ramps, stairs, and choral risers for live performance events, is being offered for a fourth public review. The proposed standard covers mass-produced portable platforms, stair units and ramps used with those platforms, and choral risers, designed to be used for the presentation of music concerts, dramatic plays, fashion shows, and other entertainment and special events. The units covered by this standard are of a size and weight that allows them to be moved and erected by one or two people. The scope also covers the railings provided as fall protection accessories, and the legging systems. The public review runs through to 23 September; by the start of 24 September the review is finished.
BSR E1.4-3, Entertainment Technology – Manually Operated Hoist Rigging Systems, is a standard for permanently installed, human-powered manually operated hoists, used as part of rigging systems for raising, lowering, and suspension of scenery, properties, lighting, and similar loads. This standard establishes requirements for the design, manufacture, installation, inspection, and maintenance of manual hoist systems for lifting and suspension of loads for performance, presentation, and theatrical production. The public review runs through to 7 October. It is finished when 8 October starts.
BSR E1.21, Entertainment Technology – T emporary Structures Used for Technical Production of Outdoor Entertainment Events, is a revision of ANSI E1.21-2013 to deepen the requirements for operations management plans, designated person responsibilities, and related requirements. E1.21 establishes a minimum acceptable level of design and performance parameters to ensure structural reliability, safety, and to establish a reasonable standard of care for temporary special event structures. The public review runs through to 28 28. It is over when 29 October starts.
5th September 2019
ESTA Announces ANSI Approval of RDMnet
On 27 August ANSI’s Board of Standards Review approved E1.33 RDMnet, as an American National Standard. It is now published and available on the ESTA website at tsp.esta.org/freestandards. The American National Standard designation is internationally recognized as a mark of technical diligence and commercial impartiality.
Officially known as ANSI E1.33 – 2019, Entertainment Technology – (RDMnet) Message Transport and Management for ANSI E1.20 (RDM) compatible and similar devices over IP Networks, the RDMnet standard was developed by the hard-working, all-volunteer members of the TSP’s Control Protocols Working Group (CPWG).
RDMnet is a generational step forward, extending existing RDM functionality beyond the current physical limits of local DMX512 connections onto wide area hi-speed Ethernet networks. It allows for large-scale system monitoring and configuration while adding mobile device support. RDMnet also provides vendor agnostic configuration of network gateways, as well as system partitioning between multiple venues on the same Ethernet network. Multiple control consoles are now easily integrated and synchronised on the same control network.
RDMnet (as well as over 60 other safety and compliance standards) is available as a free download from tsp.esta.org/freestandards. ESTA’s free standards library made possible by the sponsorship of ProSight Specialty Insurance. The standard also may be purchased for $40 USD from the ANSI and IHS on-line standards stores.
5th September 2019
KLANG launches innovative education programme
Europe & Asia – German in-ear monitor mixing experts, KLANG:technologies, has launched a new-style of education programme, which encompasses typical in-depth product training, but augmented with user-friendly binaural academic theory, tailored and interactive content for different market sectors, and contributions from expert guest speakers.
“We try to make our training events educational, not just linear product presentations,” explains KLANG’s head of sales, Phil Kamp. “The opening section of the session doesn’t mention our system, it’s about the psychology of hearing, how our hearing works, how our brain deals with audio signals, and ultimately, how to provide an immersive and natural in-ear mix. Many of our attendees are seasoned audio pros who are very educated about how to operate a mixing board but haven’t necessarily drilled down to the theory about how our hearing works.”
Dates have already been successfully completed across Europe and Asia. Some of the sessions covering rock and festival sound have included guest pro users, such as System of a Down, Linkin Park and Anastacia’s engineers, who all shared how they use the KLANG system and their creative tips.
“I really enjoyed being part of KLANG’s Immersive mixing programme,”says Anastacia’s monitor engineer, Becky Pell, who presented at one of the sessions. “KLANG excites me for two reasons: it allows me to create incredibly spacious and natural sounding IEM mixes even when I have a huge number of inputs; and, it greatly reduces ear fatigue and the need for high sound levels, which means healthy hearing for life.”
The objective of KLANG’s training programme is to enable attendees to learn about successfully providing an immersive sound experience that mirrors normal aural activity. The sessions explore the company’s design ethos, explaining why certain features are included, and how the R&D team analyses a huge spectrum of pro audio equipment and instruments to discover and tackle the biggest challenges for musicians and engineers.
“Each training session is tailored according to who’s attending,” continues Kamp. “This means we can look at the appropriate ways the system can be used, be it a rock ‘n roll environment or house of worship, and make it an interactive experience for the delegate.”
Headquartered in Aachen, Germany, KLANG:technologies is the world’s first manufacturer of truly immersive in-ear monitor (IEM) mixing technologies. Its mixing engine is specifically designed to be used with IEMs and provides musicians with individual, natural and three-dimensional sound. It enables the brain’s natural capability to sort and prioritize audio within the mix, not only providing transparency, but also lowering levels as sounds merge rather than conflict.
“The product itself is incredibly user-friendly, and the training programme is fun and interesting,” concludes Pell. “KLANG is the evolution of IEM mixing. Goodbye stereo; it’s been a blast, but this is the future!”
28th August 2019
NEC Group Apprentices Become First in the UK to Pass Rigging Apprenticeships
UK – Four apprentices working for the NEC Group have recently become the first in the UK to complete their Live Event Rigging Apprenticeship.
Sam Carr, Tyler Smyth, Luca Monaco and Connor Millington have had the opportunity to work across a range of live events at Arena Birmingham, Resorts World Arena and the NEC during their three-year apprenticeships.
Completed under the eagle eye of expert assessors from The JGA Group, the end point assessment is the first of its kind. Created by both the NEC Group and JGA, the assessment was developed to test the skills that the apprentices have learnt over the three years and give them the next step in their career.
Over the past three years, the apprentices have also achieved their Level 2 National Rigging Certificate and rigged for world-class concerts and exhibitions. The assessment saw the apprentices evaluated for their work in real scenarios, with Sam and Tyler rigging for a show at the NEC, and Luca and Connor rigging for the Gurdas Maan concert at Arena Birmingham.
After deciding university wasn’t for him, Sam Carr applied for a rigging apprenticeship with the NEC Group in 2016. He said of the experience: “I’ve learnt so much over the course of the apprenticeship. When I first started my knowledge of rigging was non-existent, but over the last three years I have acquired a wealth of skills and qualifications and now I’m a fully competent rigger.”
Angela Walsh, Apprentice Co-ordinator at the NEC Group, said: “At the NEC Group we are committed to providing opportunities that can offer career stability in fun and dynamic environments. Offering the Live Event Rigging apprenticeship has allowed our apprentices to learn from fully experienced riggers with years’ of experience and will help them towards the next step in their career. I know that a couple of our apprentices are hoping to travel the world with their qualifications, supporting touring shows, and I am confident we have given them the skills they need to flourish.”
It’s a busy week for students across the country as they open their GCSE results. An apprenticeship could be a great next step to get started in a new career. The NEC Group has already placed more than 30 apprentices in 2019, with almost 20 apprenticeships currently available in a variety of different disciplines, spanning its business, leisure, and entertainment venues.
22nd August 2019
Stage Electrics to host Stage Pyrotechnics Training
UK – On the 23rd of September Stage Electrics is hosting a stage pyrotechnics training day at the Lawrence Batley Theatre, in Huddersfield. This practical, one-day training course will offer an overview of pyrotechnic devices, their uses and how to company with health and safety standards. This will be a fantastic, hands-on experience which is suitable of professionals, students and anyone with the intention of using stage pyrotechnics for live events.
Lead by industry practitioner, Lincoln Parkhouse, he will lead attendees through a selection of workshop presentations and live device demonstrations. Separated into small groups, all attendees will have the chance to learn how to operate a multitude of professional devices including grid rockets, flames, airbursts, Saxon wheels, waterfalls, mines and comets.
All attendees will receive a certificate of completion, alongside free membership to the association of pyrotechnicians. No prior experience is necessary to attend this course, but all attendees need to be at least 18 years of age. More information and links to purchase tickets can be found on the Stage Electrics website at www.stage-electrics.co.uk
2nd August 2019
Brompton proud to offer training in Manchester
UK – The end of May saw Brompton Technology complete two well-attended, one day training courses at the new Manchester HQ of one of the UK’s market leaders in innovative visual technology, FIX8Group.
The course was led by Brompton technical support specialist Sarah James and attended by both local Brompton partners and locally-based freelancers, who were taken through the fundamentals of operating the company’s state-of-the-art T1, S4, M2 and SX40 LED processors and XD data distribution unit.
With screens and rigging kindly provided by Manchester-based Brompton rental partner A to V, Sarah took the attendees through the processors’ easy-to-use interface, as well as giving them hands on experience with handy features such as ChromaTune colour correction, On Screen Colour Adjustment (OSCA), Dark Magic for colour smoothing in low brightness conditions, On screen display (OSD) and Genlock.
Neil Trenell, creative director and founder of FIX8 commented: “It’s been a pleasure to host the Brompton training at our premises this week. Their philosophy of quality and high production values aligns closely with our own. We have been regular users of their system so its been great have an opportunity to learn more about it and to welcome other partners who share our interest in the system.”
“With more and more of our processors in the market there is an increasing demand for technicians and freelancers with the knowledge to get the best out of our processors so making sure people have access to high quality training is key,” adds Brompton’s business development manager, Rob Fowler. “We are delighted that companies such as Fix8, which is also experiencing a period of rapid growth, are keen to host training sessions. Providing monthly training sessions at our London HQ has been very popular but we are mindful of the time it can take to reach us if you are based elsewhere. Taking our training on the road allows us to reach people who might otherwise struggle to give up the extra time for travel to and from the capital.”
All Brompton training is offered free of charge, with the open sessions designed for anyone interested in learning more about how to operate Brompton’s Tessera LED processor hardware and software.
For more details about forthcoming training courses and to book a place, please visit https://www.bromptontech.com/support/training/
1st August 2019
Avolites Announces New US Training Dates
USA – Avolites and its US distributor, Group One Ltd., continue to reaffirm their commitment to exemplary customer support by increasing the frequency and reach of both their Titan-based console and Ai media server trainings. After hosting two-day console sessions in ten US cities over the first six months of 2019, plus a more in-depth four-day Avolites Academy master class in Miami, the two companies have now announced an even more ambitious schedule of 15 console trainings, three master classes, and three Ai trainings for the second half of the year.
“We here at Avolites consider training to be one of the most important aspects of our business,” says Group One’s Brad White, who has been conducting product trainings for the manufacturer since 1996. “With the speed of tech advancement, it can be hard for users to keep up with all of the latest ways to make their jobs easier and better. With that in mind, we’ve chosen to make our training programmes both more widespread and often. Most of these will now be conducted by our US Training and Support Manager Kade Behm, who is an excellent teacher and really knows Avolites’ product line inside and out.”
Titan sessions provide two days of complete on-console training, with each attendee receiving a T1 dongle to take home. The dongle provides one DMX output of Titan Version 11.3 software and is fully functional with no limit. Class size is limited to 14 participants.
Console trainings will be conducted in the following cities on the following dates: Boston (July 23-24), Pittsburgh (July 30-31), Detroit (Aug 6-7), Indianapolis (Aug 20-21), Minneapolis (Sept 3-4), Portland (Sept 17-18), Seattle (Sept 24-25), San Francisco (Oct 15-16), Salt Lake City (Oct 22-23), Denver (Oct 29-30), Phoenix (Nov 5-6), Las Vegas/LDI (Nov 19-20), Kansas City (Dec 3-4), Dallas (Dec 10-11), and Houston (Dec 17-18).
“We’ve also added more Avolites Academy master classes to our line-up, packed with advanced knowledge and testing that our users have been requesting,” White notes. “After four days of very in-depth, hands-on training, our attendees receive a certificate of completion and are included on the official Avolites list of certified programmers.”
Master class sessions will take place in New York from July 8-11 at See Factor’s demo room (BlackTrax studio), in Chicago from Aug 25-29, and Los Angeles from Oct 7-10.
Avolites will additionally be hosting three-day Ai media server training sessions at See Factor in New York from July 22-24, Visional Productions in Atlanta from Aug 19-21, and Melt Creative in Las Vegas from Nov 18-20. Group One’s Ruben Laine will lead the trainings and attendees will receive an Anjuna Ai dongle providing two outputs.
“Nothing is more satisfying than seeing the kids that I trained in the ’90s designing and/or operating top shows around the world,” White adds. “Avolites is proud to continue its commitment to education, meeting the demands of our current and future Avolife experts.”
26th June 2019
Orbital Sound Teams Up with Pleasance Edinburgh
UK – Orbital Sound is partnering with the Edinburgh Fringe’s largest and most highly respected venues, The Pleasance, to stage a unique two-day training event in advance of this year’s Festival. The bespoke course addresses the specific requirements of audio for the dynamic environment of fringe theatre, providing venue crews and technicians of all skill levels with the essential ingredients needed to develop their audio knowledge. Led by Orbital Sound’s head of education Mike Thacker, Fringe Fundamentals for Sound runs from 24-25 July in Edinburgh, with a total of 35 places available.
With a 20+ year track record for professional theatre audio training, Orbital Sound’s dedicated education centre in London hosts a regular series of specialist courses. Managing director Chris Headlam expands: “We have always been dynamic advocates for helping create the next generation of technicians and engineers. Our courses are designed to address the real-world issues they face in the theatre, encouraging best practices based on the key audio skills and theory. By teaming up with Pleasance for this unique course, we want to help all fringe venue technicians expand their confidence and skills immediately before this year’s event.” Orbital Sound’s relationship with The Pleasance spans many years, fielding expert technicians and equipment during the hectic Fringe for the past 26 years.
The Pleasance Theatre Trust, under its artist and technician’s support umbrella Pleasance Futures, is fully supporting the cost of all places for technicians coming to the Pleasance this summer. Pleasance director Anthony Alderson states: “The Pleasance passionately believes it is important to give people the space and freedom to take risks both on and off stage. From this spirit of innovation springs confidence, and great careers are given a platform upon which to flourish. This spirit has embodied the organisation throughout the past 34 years, during which we have become world-renowned for supporting great talent both on and off stage, building an environment that nurtures, encourages and develops the brightest new ideas, raw talent and skill. Providing these opportunities is why we exist.”
Fringe Fundamentals for Sound will cover a wide cross-section of skills, including audio concepts, systems elements, audio processing, cabling, safety and rigging, console set-up and audio playback, QLab essentials, mixing basics and radio microphone systems. The emphasis is on combining theory with practical skills, catering for a wide mix of skill levels.
24th June 2019
Atlona Expands Award-Winning Training Programme for AV Systems Integrators
USA – Atlona continues to ramp up its Atlona Academy training and certification programme, adding new, higher level courses for systems integrators seeking to sharpen its AV over IP expertise. The targeted education initiative will allow participants to earn valuable AVIXA Renewal Units (RUS) and CEDIA Continuing Education Credits (CEUs).
Earlier this year, and to meet growing demand for targeted, certified training with continuing education credits, Atlona updated its suite of accredited online courses, revising and streamlining its 100 and 200 level programmes offered through the Atlona Education Portal. These initial programmes provide up-to-date instruction and information for the design, configuration and use of Atlona’s complete suite of AV over IP products and solutions. Atlona also added new accredited courses for its Velocity™ IP-based control AV control platform.
Now, in addition to the core 100 and 200 level classes, Atlona has expanded the educational resource with three new online certification courses:
300 Level – Velocity Control Certification Training
400 Level – Networking for A/V
500 Level – OmniStream Setup and Configuration
Atlona has also enhanced its Hands-On Factory Training Courses to include three advanced level training curriculum programs:
Advanced 100 and 200 Level – Circuit Based Solutions
Advanced 300 Level – Velocity Control System Course
Advanced 400 and 500 Levels – Networking for AV, OmniStream Setup and Configuration Course
Both 300 and 400 Level Courses are now live at the Atlona Academy Education Portal and 500 Level Courses will be available online beginning 1 July.
Atlona will also offer “Advanced Hands-On Factory Training” courses that will be held monthly at its corporate headquarters in San Jose beginning July 16, and repeated monthly. Atlona partners outside of the Americas will receive the same trainings at international headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. Refer to the calendar for current dates, locations and online registrations.
“Now AV professionals have a clear path and end-to-end process to design, roll-out and integrate AV over IP systems, as well as handle set-up, management and control of the underlying IP network,” said Ken Eagle, senior director of global training, Atlona. “By making use of the Atlona Academy Education Portal and the integrator-specific dashboard, they can further advance their knowledge not only of specific products, but on AV networking and design. We want to help them to be successful on the job site – on their first attempts – in setting up advanced, networked AV solutions.”
The Atlona Education Portal is one of many training resources Atlona offers. Atlona’s overarching goals are to teach established and aspiring AV industry professionals how to maximise the company’s industry-leading AV and control solutions, as well as the broader array of AV over IP technologies on the market today. Atlona also offers a video on demand Education Video Library and periodic webinars.
For those seeking more personalized training and hands-on product experience, Atlona will offer ten Atlona AV Factory Training events in 2019, including six to be held at its San Jose headquarters. Internationally, Atlona will offer four multi-lingual events at its Zurich facility in English, French, or German.
The newly revised course materials, as well as quizzes and tests, have been approved for AVIXA and CEDIA certifications and credits. These credentials, which are awarded upon completion of a course or program, signify the qualifications achieved by AV professionals, and are especially valuable to those seeking to advance within the industry.
20th June 2019
Shure Supports the Industry of Tomorrow with West Herts College and Frank
UK – Shure, a leading manufacturer of microphones and audio electronics, supports West Herts College students at an educational day of seminars and performances at Watford Colosseum. Ahead of Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes third album release earlier this month, the band decided to support the college in their home town with a masterclass and performance at the event.
The day consisted of three seminars. The first was a production talk with Frank and Dean from the Rattlesnakes on their approach to recording their third album with Cam Blackwood. The second talk was with the band road crew and featured the bands tour manager Ian Dowdell, guitar teach, Elliot Russell and monitor engineer, Will Taylor covering life on the road. The final talk was with the bands manager Matt Greer, focusing on building a profile, the album campaign and developing an artist.
Stephen Carter, HND Music & Curriculum Developer, West Herts College comments: “Taking the vocational industry approach that we have at West Herts College and the help from companies like Shure is hugely beneficial to the next generation. Not only are they able to achieve the theoretical knowledge to pass the qualification but the hands-on industry experience of putting on events like this one, help them to build a working portfolio to take with them on their journey into the music industry. Without companies like Shure being so hands on with education and offering their expertise, the next generation would not be prepared and ready for the industry.”Continuing: “Shure’s sponsorship to the college has been incredible! Having the team on hand to talk to students about Shure as a company, the products they sell and their impact on the wider music world was exceptional. Having that firsthand experience is invaluable to the students from the college.”
Following a day of masterclasses for the students, there were performances from three bands in the evening. Jiminy Crickets Psychedelic Circus, a band from West Herts College who won a competition to open the show. Out of 25 entries, they were chosen by the band! Lyoness and Black Futures also played a set and Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes headlined the evening.
All of the bands were using Shure equipment, Mike Woodhouse, sound engineer explains “As Rattlesnakes are long time Shure product users, we have a plethora of Shure gear aiding us in our live sound. Starting with microphones for this run we had a Beta 91A on the Kick, SM81 on the hi-hats and the old faithful SM58 across the front, on all drums, backing vocals and Franks vocal. The techs and I also use SM58 switch mics to communicate before and during the show. We have four dual PSM1000 IEM units, combined using the Shure PA821B active combiner and beamed across stage with the 8089 Shure Helical antenna. We also have two Dual UR4D+ units for all guitar and bass, our guitar tech plays on some of the newer songs so having four channels is great as we have a backup in case one starts getting RF interference. All wireless units are networked together with Cat5 so our monitor engineer can scan first thing and plot frequencies using wireless workbench for all IEM and guitar wireless. We always choose Shure for RF as it's just unparalleled in quality and reliability.”
Stephen Carter was impressed with the sound on the show, commenting: “Shure mics are leading the way in the industry. They always have and they always will. An SM57 on a guitar cab always sounds great and the SM58 is the perfect mic for Frank, it’s a pure workhorse! Lyoness used both the KSM8 and KSM9 for vocals. Gillian has always struggled to find the right mic to help push her vocals over the power coming from the band. The KSM8 is crisp, clear and works incredibly well for her! The 98AMPs are such versatile mics, on both the stage and in the studio, their small footprint makes set up so easy and the Beta 181 is fast becoming our go to overheads for every situation. The beta range of microphones are always consistent, require minimal processing and sound modern and powerful!”
Supporting the industry of tomorrow is incredibly important for Shure, Jack Drury, market development specialist, pro audio, comments: “There is a huge amount of creative and technical talent emerging into our industry right now, which is very exciting! It’s our privilege as a manufacturer to work with institutions such as West Herts College, ensuring that their students have the opportunity to work with high tier wired and wireless microphones as part of their qualification. Perhaps more importantly than working with the equipment is the ability to share our experiences, knowledge and advice with the students, and ultimately help them start to build a successful career in the industry. We are hugely appreciative that artists such as Frank Carter share these values and it’s been fantastic to work alongside their team and West Herts College on this project!”
Mike Woodhouse adds:“It’s companies like Shure that really need to interact with the up and coming engineers. With their support, relationships can build and, hopefully, flourish, creating a healthy support network group between Shure and the soon to be front runners for potential major acts. Getting involved early on is a great way to open young engineer’s minds to the finer details of microphone applications and the increased requirements for RF on stage.”
In picture: Jack Drury.
photo: Nathan Dodd