Project News Headlines
Living Word gets Renkus-Heinz
An hour south-east of Vancouver and mere minutes from Canada's southern border, the town of Aldergrove is home to Living Word Fellowship. The church purchased a "fixer-upper" and began major upgrades to prepare the building for services.
The 550-seat sanctuary recently underwent a long-needed expansion and renovation that included new acoustical treatment, audio and video systems designed and installed by Langley, BC-based Pro Sound and Stage Lighting Ltd. As Pro Sound's John Drake explains; “The sanctuary was built in 1982, but the equipment that was in there dated back to the 1970s, so the update was long overdue."
“The room's physical dimensions presented some challenges,” says Drake. "It's a relatively wide room, and not very deep. For the congregation, it's great, because no matter where you sit, you feel close to the platform. But it definitely presented some issues in terms of coverage."
Adding to the challenge was the sanctuary's low ceiling, which limited the possibilities. "The system design would have been a whole lot easier if the ceiling had been about 15 feet higher," says Drake. "As it is, the sound tends to get a bit dense in the centre, so we needed speakers that gave us an exceptional degree of pattern control."
Using Acoustical Simulation software - EASE, Pro Sound modelled the sanctuary, from the acoustical treatment on the walls and balcony to a new audio system based around a main left-right-centre cluster of three Renkus-Heinz PN121/6 12-inch two-way loudspeakers. A pair of PN61R 6-inch boxes provides additional over-balcony fill.
Mounted in the steps of the stage platform, five CFX42 dual 4-inch two-way stair-step loudspeakers provide additional front fill coverage for the lower seating nearest the stage. "Rather than use side fills, we opted to aim the centre cluster a bit higher to cover the balcony, which it does very well, and we added the speakers in the stairs for front fill," says Drake. "Each of the stair step speaker is separately delayed. The imaging is exceptionally good no matter where you're sitting."
A pair of PN212SR subwoofers mounted above the platform add deep low frequency support. A Midas Pro2 digital console covers Front of House duties, while a Biamp Audia handles system drive and processing. On the platform, four PN121M floor monitors provide sound for the ministers and musicians.
"The Renkus-Heinz speakers were really the best choice in terms of coverage and performance," says Drake. "They were a great fit for the room, and for the Church's program needs."
15th May 2013
ArKaos A30 Media Server Illustrates TEDx Talks at York University, Toronto
ArKaos, a leading provider of real-time visual processing technologies for live visual performances, is proud to see one of its ArKaos A30 media servers in action with TEDxYorkU for a recent think tank event at York University, Toronto. The A30 server was supplied by A.C. Lighting Inc., ArKaos’ exclusive distributor in North America.
York University is one of Canada’s leading interdisciplinary research and teaching universities, offering a modern, academic experience at the undergraduate and graduate level. TEDx is a series of events which began as a conference to bring together people from the worlds of Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader with events that include a suite of short, carefully prepared talks, demonstrations and performances on a wide range of subjects to foster learning.
TEDxYorkU included two pre-recorded talks from the acclaimed TEDTalk videos series to the University’s alumni and members of the public. The event organisers wanted to engage with the audience and support the talks by using various high definition digital content. A.C. Lighting Inc. specified the ArKaos A30 media server to control the content because of its simple plug and play setup and easy control from the auditorium’s house lighting console.
ArKaos media servers are designed for entertainment, education, worship and other markets looking for a high performance turnkey solution to seamlessly run real-time video shows.
Built for the MediaMaster real time video editing software, the ArKaos A30 media server delivers outstanding performance, stability and durability. Supporting up to six outputs and several acquisition possibilities, this incredibly powerful system comes delivered with a vast library of high quality digital media from the world’s best visual content providers. Pre-configured to work directly with all market leading DMX lighting desks, the A30 offers a complete solution for professional lighting designers.
Ian Garrett, assistant professor in the University’s Department of Theatre, commented: "Oftentimes making something look simple and elegant is more complicated than an audience needs to know. With TEDxYorkU, being able to use the ArKaos to control everything has evened those odds quite a bit. Using the mapping abilities of ArKaos to control all of our displays and manage the live projections of our multi-camera web feed has been the key to the event's success."
8th May 2013
Electrosonic Supplies Cutting-Edge AV Technology for New Eaton Campus
Eaton’s new campus in Cleveland, Ohio, includes cutting-edge AV technology in the building’s atrium that’s guaranteed to attract attention. Electrosonic was charged with designing the AV systems, media control and power management for the Eaton Experience Center, which combines art and information in a distinctive, memorable way.
The installation was conceived and designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA). Electrosonic served as a consultant to RAA to do the pre-engineering during design phases, and were ultimately contracted by Eaton to build the installation.
The Eaton Experience Center is a unique environment created to help communicate Eaton’s values and its leading position in power management end markets to employees, customers, suppliers, business partners and government, political and civic leaders. The Experience Center consists of: twelve 3D animated illustrations; four 65-inch interactive multi-touch tables; an 80 by 14 foot LED curtain featuring abstract or natural landscapes and data visualizations; a brilliant 53-foot LED chandelier that complements the animations on the LED curtain.
The centerpiece of the Eaton atrium is a five-story chandelier comprised of Traxon Imagic Weave LED mesh wrapped into a cylinder 53 feet tall by 12 feet in diameter. The LED mesh combines a woven stainless steel mesh grid with individually-addressable LEDs to form a canvas for vivid, large-scale media. The chandelier can display specific media on a pre-determined timeline or media for a particular show via a Medialon show controller.
"The chandelier was a pretty unique project," says Electrosonic project manager Bryan Vogel. "It was two years in the making with the metal fabric built section by section, piece by piece on a rotisserie with jig. Every measurement had to be laser-perfect. If it was off by a quarter-inch on one end it would be off by five inches at the other."
Electrosonic kicked off its involvement in the project in September 2011. "We were responsible for the technology connectivity – making the elements of the Experience Center work together," explains Vogel. "We needed to use the technology to its full potential."
Displaying content created by Ralph Appelbaum & Associates, the chandelier serves as a giant art installation as well as a source of illumination. "It’s beautiful. You have a feeling that you’re watching a sunset or are underwater; you get absorbed by the light," Vogel says.
"Traxon Imagic Weave mesh is a very unique product. We tested the racks for weeks because of the complexity and delicacy of the system," he recalls. "We had to make sure it would be hardy in a commercial environment."
The 80-foot curtain wall in the atrium is also comprised of Traxon Imagic Weave with transparent LED nodes in a 62.5mm pitch. The nodes display a video signal sourced from the head-end AV equipment room.
The four interactive tables feature 65-inch LCD displays in a custom kiosk table. "They’re the ultimate cutting-edge technology for touch tables," says Vogel. "They’re very high quality and have Mitsubishi LCDs modified for this purpose by Cyber Touch."
Electrosonic designed and fabricated custom power panels for the LED curtain wall and the chandelier to power the mesh with voltage sensors. "The power panels give employees real-time analysis so they know exactly what’s happening power-wise with each system," Vogel explains. "The power control monitoring is first class: It has airport/government specifications, so employees are alerted to any fluctuations to power and amperage, and if there are any problems it pinpoints the area."
Vogel says it was a challenge getting all the systems "to talk together, but Medialon was the right choice for the control system. Its open architecture enables the client to do unlimited things. So the AV elements in Eaton’s atrium can change and grow with the client’s expectations."
Tim Ventimiglia, RAA director Berlin operations, concluded: "From my view, this installation shows in a dramatic way what you can achieve when an av systems integrator like Electrosonic is brought on board early during the design process and then executes the work. The level of detail and refinement represented in the Chandelier and Curtain structures would not have been possible without this early coordination."
8th May 2013
Acoustic Dimensions and Parkway Electric Bring Kudo to Western Michigan House of Worship
When Holland, Michigan’s Central Wesleyan Church celebrated its 115th anniversary and paid off the mortgage on its current worship centre, the church’s leadership team immediately knew what their first project should be: acoustic treatments and a new sound system for their 2,800-seat, fan-shaped main sanctuary. After a careful search for the right systems consultant, the church hired Dallas-based Acoustic Dimensions, which created an equipment specification for the space built on L-Acoustics’ Kudo platform.
According to Central Wesleyan facilities manager Dwayne Dreyer, the church knew what system it liked almost from the very start. “Our technical director, Paul VanDyke, audio engineers Justin Dreyer and Michael Nieboer, and I went down to Dallas to visit with Ryan Knox and Steve Reed at Acoustic Dimensions, and they took us to half a dozen sites that they had engineered,” he says. “When we walked into Watermark Church, which has a Kudo system, we simply fell in love with what we heard. When we got back home, we visited Resurrection Life Church here in our own area to listen to their Kudo system and it sounded just as amazing. By that point, we were totally sold on the product.”
Using L-Acoustics’ Soundvision 3D system modeling software, Acoustic Dimensions mapped out a design featuring left and right arrays of nine Kudo each. Low frequency reinforcement is achieved via six SB28 subwoofer enclosures flown between the Kudo arrays in a unique V-shaped cardioid configuration, plus six more SB28 spread out just under the front lip of the wide stage below. Five coaxial 8XT speakers, painted white, are ceiling-mounted under the balcony to cover the acoustically shadowed areas at the back of the main floor seating, and the entire system is powered and processed by 13 LA8 amplified controllers.
“Central Wesleyan’s services feature a broad range of musical styles that encompass everything from choral to rock, all of which Kudo handles very well,” says Gary Zandstra at Parkway Electric, the contracting firm that was awarded the bid for installation. “The system has outstanding clarity for spoken word and orchestration, as well as plenty of punch for both Contemporary worship and the touring acts that they’re currently bringing in, like Michael W. Smith and Kenny Rogers. Now, with this installation, we’ve installed L-Acoustics systems into the three largest churches in the greater Grand Rapids area and each of them is extremely happy with the results.”
1st May 2013
Electrosonic Scores with AV Support for Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame
When Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame opened at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, sports fans flocked to the new 40,000 square-foot space that celebrates the country’s impressive and inspiring sports history. With AV support from Electrosonic, the attraction offers 11 exhibit galleries representing 58 sports, plus more than 50 interactive visitor experiences designed to captivate fans of all ages.
“We were involved in every aspect of the brand new museum,” reports Electrosonic account executive Tony Petruzziello. “Every exhibit required AV components and a number of them are really stand-out experiences.”
Cambridge Seven Associates (C7A) designed the new building, which houses interactives and multimedia presentations designed by Cortina Productions and Bruce’s Garage. Electrosonic was the main AV systems contractor working for The Taylor Group, which provided overall exhibit project management and fabrication. Electrosonic’s Design Consulting team worked with C7A and the media producers to design the exhibits.
Electrosonic hired Calgary AV contractor ASCCI to provide the equipment and local resources for rack fabrication and on-site installation. Eos Lightmedia of Vancouver did the lighting design.
One of the most challenging galleries in the Sports Hall of Fame was The Ring of Canada Sports, which required a customised projection solution. “C7A wanted the images floating overhead, but the ceiling height restricted projector positions and the throw distances needed to achieve the desired image sizes,” says Electrosonic design consultant Andy Batwinas. “In the end, the screen surface evolved to a ring shape and used Sharp XG-P610X projectors with wide-angle lenses mounted above custom mirror bounce assemblies to rear project onto the scrim material.” The scrim can be dropped from a portion of the frame to allow for routine projector maintenance.
A number of noteworthy galleries and exhibits fill the new attraction. In the Skater Gallery, Sharp PG-F267X ultra short throw projectors display imagery on the walls behind athlete figures. “These models allowed us to place the projectors in the floor very close to the walls and achieve a large image for the backdrop,” Batwinas explains.
The entry tunnel is a clever use of a narrow space. Three Medialon MIPs source images of sports suited to the long corridor, such as curling and swimming. Video is projected via three Panasonic PT-DW6300US units aimed at the floor, and edge blended.
“Like the entry tunnel, the Water Sports Gallery capitalises on the Panasonic projectors’ ability to be mounted in odd orientations,” says Electrosonic engineer Jim Funke. “This time they were aimed upwards to give the illusion of being under the water and looking up at shimmering images projected onto discs mounted in the ceiling.”
Another fan favorite is the Formula 1 car in the Ride Motion Gallery, which is backed by a curved screen displaying racing footage. Electrosonic provided a Sharp XG-P560WN running through an FPS IA-200-EX to correct for the screen’s curve. Shadow Boxing in the Contact Gallery gives visitors a chance to demonstrate their pugilistic skills; participants cast their shadow on a screen where a Sharp XG-P610X projector displays the moves of their opponent.
Several exhibits featuring 3D Blu-ray players allow visitors to simulate the feeling of being a hockey goalie and baseball catcher. Other visitor experiences, such as the ski jump exhibit, have sensor interfaces, which trigger events to make them more interactive.
Various Sharp Moments Timeline exhibits, sponsored by the electronics giant, feature Sharp PN-E421 42-inch LCD monitors powered by Medialon MIPs. In the actual Hall of Fame area, guests can use 32-inch touchscreens to select athletes and sports notables they want to learn more about; their images are displayed on Sharp PN-E521 LCDs.
Finally, visitors can gather in the 120-seat Riddell Family Theatre to watch a 10-minute video highlighting great sports moments. A Christie Mirage HD10K-M projector displays onto the theatre’s 16x9-foot painted wall.
Electrosonic provided the audio system throughout the building. It’s comprised of BSS London BLU processors and break out boxes connected to QSC CX-Series amplifiers driving JBL or Innovox speakers.
Medialon MIPs are the video sources for everything not run from a PC. Cisco DMP-4400G-52-K9 Digital Media Players are used in digital signage and several exhibits. Medialon Manager controls and monitors the majority of the exhibits.
The AV systems are housed within a number of equipment racks in the enterprise IT control room.
“The Hall contains an extraordinary amount of media and interactive exhibits under one roof. Electrosonic rose to the challenge and pulled it off magnificently,” concludes Stephen Platenberg, principal, Cortina Productions.
1st May 2013
Martin LED, Video and Control for Harvest Christian Fellowship
On 17th March, Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, celebrated the ministry’s 40th anniversary by hosting a weekend event titled "ReEnvision." The weekend was intended to reflect on how Harvest grew from a small church into one of America’s mega-churches with one of the largest evangelical outreaches in America and the world, "Harvest America."
Harvest lighting designer and programmer Christopher Eguizabal was tasked with lighting the event, as well as a special dinner for Harvest guests and staff to be aired on television. The lighting rig therefore needed to look good for both the live audience and on camera.
Christopher decided to go with Martin’s MAC Aura wash light, which he used to key light the audience as well as wash the audience in an array of colors throughout the evening.
"I have always loved the products that Martin has put out over the years,” Christopher commented. “I‘ve chosen Martin products over others because of the great durability they have, the output compared to other fixtures and the clean look they give. The MAC Auras were no exception – they supplied me with amazing key lighting abilities and variable white, which for cameras worked amazingly well.”
Lighting control was via Martin’s easy to use yet powerful M1 console. “I chose the Martin M1 because I think it is a perfect console for this type of event,” Christopher stated. “It offers a lot of playbacks and it’s easy to grab things on the fly if needed. The layout of the console and software is amazing as well.”
Christopher says that the biggest reason he goes with Martin isn’t only because of the “amazing” products but also because of the incredible customer service he receives.
“Product managers Matthias Hinrichs and Paul Pelletier and the guys at Martin always amaze me with the new software revisions and console products they keep producing and I am happy to be able to keep using Martin products,” he says.
And with Harvest’s recent purchase of the new Martin M6 lighting console, Christopher will have ample opportunity to do just that. He states: “We are definitely excited to use it for our upcoming events that will feature extensive visual media elements.”
Harvest acquired their Martin lighting and control gear, which included Martin EC series LED video panels driven by Martin’s P3-100 System Processor, from southern California-based equipment supplier Felix Lighting.
30th April 2013
Electrosonic Provides AV Systems for New Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Entry Area
When Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex near Orlando, Florida, reconfigured the entry area into the park, Electrosonic was charged with providing the audio-visual design, infrastructure, equipment and programming for the background music, audio messaging and video signage for ticketing and guest relations services.
The project was the first from Electrosonic to implement QSC’s Q-Sys Digital Signal Processing (DSP) unit, which is billed as a powerful yet simple solution for audio processing, control and management. The Q-Sys CORE 3000 128x128 provides multi-channel audio playback park-wide.
"Q-Sys offers a number of advantages to the Visitor Complex," according to Electrosonic commissioning engineer Tony Peugh. "With Q-Sys, you no longer need separate devices to play back the audio, eliminating the need for multiple CD players and solid-state audio playback machines, and minimizing the equipment footprint in the rack room." In fact, Electrosonic combined two EER rooms into one smaller space.
"With this new configuration, 128 channels of audio are available, so you can tailor soundtracks to certain zones in the park by creating audio players in the software," Peugh explains. Q-Sys communicates over a network with Q-LAN "so any device can share audio, functions or information. As the park expands and upgrades, more audio can be added just by providing a network connection. It’s very simple and reliable, and could very well be the next big thing."
"The new system also has green credentials," says Electrosonic project manager Gary Barnes. "It uses a lot less power than racks full of devices, so people concerned about LEED certification find Q-Sys a useful option."
Electrosonic’s Design Consulting team was involved at the very start of the project, serving as the AV consultant to architects PGAV. Electrosonic’s Yiannis Cabolis was the designer of record.
Electrosonic outfitted the retail building, Voyagers, with 11 QSC speakers and a subwoofer connected to amplifiers in the EER. Twelve QSC speakers were also installed in the entry/exit turn-style area, another dozen in the self-service ticketing kiosk area, and four, including two subwoofers, in the fountain area. In all cases, the audio sources for the speakers came from Q-Sys.
Digital signage is prominent in several areas. The ticket stations and information area each feature two 32-inch high brightness, outdoor-rated LCD displays for graphics and information about tour packages and special events. Four QSC speakers and a paging station are included. The Welcome Center features an identical configuration and the ticket booths boast four LCD displays and eight speakers.
In all cases, the displays are fed by a video player located in the EER via fiber with HDMI/DVI video and serial control. Audio is fed from the player to channels of DSPs and amps. Media is controlled by a media server application running on a PC in the EER; the displays’ start and end of day routines are controlled by the system controller running on the Medialon Show Control Machine.
A covered, outdoor patio adjacent to the Rocket Garden featuring a new restaurant, the Rocket Garden Café, with counter service, has two 32-inch high brightness, outdoor-rated LCDs forming part of the scenic wall treatment. They display historical rocket and pop culture images from the 1960s.
Electrosonic was brought on board the project by Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, which operates Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on behalf of NASA. Whiting-Turner Construction built the new entry area and worked closely with Electrosonic.
29th April 2013
Electrosonic Goes Back to Nature for Mohonk Preserve Visitor Center
Mohonk Preserve in the Shawangunk Mountains near New Paltz, New York, is marking its 50th anniversary this year with a renovation of its green design award-winning Visitor Center tucked cozily into the woods. Electrosonic was charged with creating several new exhibits for the main floor, which enable visitors to maximize their time in New York’s largest nonprofit nature preserve.
Electrosonic installed and programmed the 10-minute orientation film produced by Richard Lewis Media Group, and displayed it in a visitor orientation theater with bench seating. The theater boasts a 26-foot wide curved screen fed by four projectiondesign F12 projectors blended and warped via Dataton Watchout multi-image display and presentation software.
"The theater was our biggest challenge," noted Electrosonic project manager Jackson Benedict. "It’s a very small space with a low ceiling. We had to use fixed-lens projectors, which meant there was very little tolerance in installing them. We had to build a custom ceiling mount that allowed for projector adjustment in the field, as necessary. Projector airflow in the small space also had to be managed effectively.
"The very sharp curve of the screen provided a challenge for warping the blend in Watchout," Benedict said. "It was quite complicated. Shifting the projector one inch in the wrong direction would change everything."
A small control room behind the screen houses equipment in a single rack. The content for all of the interactives can be updated remotely to keep content fresh and up to date. "Electrosonic worked with the exhibit fabricators to make sure we had relatively easy access to all equipment for service," said Benedict.
With over 8,000 acres of mountain ridges, fields, streams, ponds and other unique and beautiful places, Mohonk Preserve is dedicated to protecting the Shawangunk Mountains by inspiring people to care for, enjoy and explore the natural world. Visitors can bike, hike, climb, ride horses, run, ski and snowshoe in the Preserve. Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership was responsible for the architecture, interiors, graphic design and exhibit design of the Visitor Center project.
25th April 2013
J. R. Clancy replaces hydraulics in Quebec college theatre with automated rigging
There’s nothing like the malfunction of an aging rigging system in front of an audience to step up the pace of a replacement—just as it did at CEGEP de Drummondville, a technical college in Drummondville, Quebec.
The college had budgeted for a replacement "within the next five years," said Geoff Stock, project manager with J. R. Clancy, Inc. "While the president was doing a presentation in the auditorium, one of the hydraulic hoists slipped, and the pipe crept in behind him."
Suddenly the replacement rose to the top of the agenda. The hydraulic system was condemned overnight, said Pierre Lemieux, principal with Trizart Alliance, the theatre consultancy firm selected for the job. "Within two weeks, the contract was awarded," he said. "We had good support from Clancy’s local installers. Everything moved very rapidly."
Trizart specified an automated rigging system from Clancy as the best fit for Drummondville’s stage and budget. The system includes 14 custom-built hoists with zero fleet angle - allowing the hoists to be installed in the underhung configuration the stage required.
To control the new system, Trizart chose Clancy’s Altus console, a controller designed for students to use safely while providing the flexibility to create exciting productions. Altus is designed for mid-level backstage rigging systems with up to 48 hoists. Its touch-screen programming allows student operators to create up to 200 cues for a production, with different speeds and targets for each hoist.
The trickiest thing about this job, said Stock, was the short time frame for the installation. "We bid this job in October for a January completion date," he said. "The entire installation - including removing the old hydraulic system - had to be done between December 20 and the middle of January."
Removal of the hydraulic system went smoothly, and a team from GC Stage Equipment got to work installing supplemental steel to hold the new system. Once this steel was in place, the team completed the installation of the new hoists by January 15.
19th April 2013
L-Acoustics Keeps the Nightlife Pumping at Bamboo Miami
Built nearly seven decades ago, Miami Beach's Variety Theater--later known as the Paris Theatre--achieved a certain amount of fame in the '80s when Big Time Productions used the space as a photo/film studio to shoot album covers and music videos for top artists like Madonna and U2.
Today, world-renowned musicians and celebrities are once again pouring into the South Beach hotspot--now dubbed "Bamboo Miami"--but this time for its swanky nightlife. Bucharest-based Bamboo Group, a successful European club owner and promoter, took over the landmark venue last year and renovated it into a lavish nightclub that both faithfully preserves its classic Art Deco ornamentation and dresses it up with a mega-dose of modern ambience.
As part of the renovation, Bamboo Group brought in Audio Formula of Miami to supply a full L-Acoustics loudspeaker system to sonically reinforce the steady stream of top DJs and live bands that the 1,200-capacity space now hosts four nights a week.
After modeling a variety of systems in Soundvision, Audio Formula CEO Nick Assunto ultimately specified L-Acoustics' KUDO for the space. As a result, two four-enclosure KUDO arrays are now flown on either side of the hydraulically elevated main stage area, while an additional pair of three-enclosure KUDO arrays is positioned on the far edges of the balcony's face at the rear of the room. These balcony arrays fire back into the main space and are particularly essential to create a dance floor atmosphere for DJ performances.
For maximum LF impact, Audio Formula stacked four SB28 subs on either side of the stage, with the bottom cabinet in each stack reversed to create a cardioid dispersion pattern. Two additional SB28s are located under the runway down the middle of the room to deliver extra thump in the VIP areas.
Additional L-Acoustics gear installed includes four ARCS WIDE constant curvature enclosures up in the balcony VIP area, six coaxial 12XTi systems for under-balcony and bar coverage, six tiny 5XT "cubes" in the foyer, and ten LA8 amplified controllers to power and process the entire system.
Bamboo Miami's onstage DJ booth, which is on a hydraulic system that allows it to easily be moved backstage when live bands perform, is also home to several self-powered L-Acoustics systems: two coaxial 112P enclosures and two SB15P subs.
"This system has proven to be the right choice for the venue," notes Assunto. "With all of the Italian marble tiles, LED walls and other reflective surfaces in the space, we took full advantage of KUDO's adjustable K-Louvers and SB28's cardioid configuration to very effectively minimize the energy toward those areas. Plus, with the LA8 presets, we are able to match the performance of the KUDO, 12XTi and ARCS WIDE for maximum consistency throughout the venue. As a result, Bamboo Miami has a sound system that is loud but extremely clear--free of distortion and cancellations--and every DJ and band that has performed there has been very impressed."
According to Assunto, the choice of loudspeaker brand came directly from the client. "Bamboo Group owns a number of venues in Europe and was very familiar with L-Acoustics," he says. "They knew they wanted the brand for their new Miami club right from the start because all of the world's top DJs--including Tiesto, Armin van Buuren, Avicii, Swedish House Mafia and many others--request it as the first choice on their technical riders. Seeing that they were planning to attract the very best talent, Bamboo had us install a KUDO system because it would bring the same live experience typically found only in huge concert venues and festivals down to the club level."
That design philosophy and investment has certainly paid off for the club, which has very quickly become one of Miami's most popular "buzz" venues. Over the past few months, Bamboo Miami has hosted popular artists like Tyga, Akon, and Alejandro Sanz, as well as a post-championship celebration for the Miami Heat. During the recent Winter Music Conference in March, Snoop Dogg, Flo Rida, and Paul Oakenfold were among the many artists to perform on the system, and Pacha Ibiza celebrated its 40th anniversary at the venue with a two-night party.
19th April 2013
Snider Foundation Upgrades Philly Ice Rinks with Community R-Series
In November of 2008, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced that the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation would take over operation and programming at three Philadelphia ice rinks that were targeted for possible closing amid the city's budget troubles. Snider founded the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team and is chairman of Comcast-Spectacor which owns the Flyers.
With help from the Snider Foundation, the Scanlon, Laura Sims, Simon and, later, the Tarken ice rinks have received major renovations. The rinks are now fully enclosed, operate all year and include locker rooms and computer labs.
As part of the renovations, local A/V contractor, Bruce Johnson of A.V. Rental Services, Inc., installed new sound systems with Community R1-94 loudspeaker systems. "The acoustics are horrible," Johnson said, "but the system is awesome. Everyone can understand the announcements; the coverage is good everywhere and the music sounds great."
Dave Howden, Community’s director of technical services, says the R1s were a good choice for these ice rinks because, as an outdoor loudspeaker, they can stand up to the humidity and temperature of an ice rink. In addition, the R1s have pattern control below 500 Hz which helps to minimize echoes and reverberation. Johnson devised custom brackets to work with the R1’s standard u-brackets and to mount the loudspeakers to the open steel framework of the buildings. The systems in all four ice rinks were designed for simple operation with a Shure mixer and microphone and music inputs.
About 2,500 inner-city kids play hockey in leagues at the rinks under the Snider Hockey Program. The program puts each child on the ice three to six days a week. Each child spends about an hour on the ice and 30 minutes each on homework and "life skills." 96 percent of participants graduate from high school. In addition, the rinks are open two or three evenings each week for school hockey games and scrimmages. Johnson says he is proud to have played a part in this very successful program.
2nd April 2013
Robe Installed at New McAllen Family Church Auditorium, Texas
The Family Church of McAllen, Texas (TFC) chose a Robe lighting system for its new 1400 capacity main worship auditorium.
The Robe fixtures were specified by TFC’s technical director Obed Castillo and supplied by Phil Rapp of Gear Systems Design from Edmond, Oklahoma, who partnered with TFC to supply and install the full technical production package for the new space.
The new larger sanctuary was the result of a much needed expansion to the existing premises to accommodate the popular and well-attended worship services.
TFC launched in 1948 as the Church of the Good Shepherd. In 1995 Pastors John and Terry Brady joined the ministry, and the congregation has grown steadily ever since, causing the church to outgrow its previous sanctuary.
Their dynamic style of worship is now led by Worship Pastors Nathan and Star Funk, and the Church enjoys phenomenal Youth and Children’s Ministries, in short it has truly become a ‘Family’ Church experience.
The stage systems for the new auditorium were designed for concerts and broadcasts in addition to the five weekly services. Currently TFC has a web-based ministry, but future plans include going to a multi-site format, so good broadcast lighting was vital to the final technical plans.
Gear Systems specified four ROBIN 600 LEDWashes, eight ROBIN 300 LEDWashes, four ROBIN 300E Spots, eight ColorSpot 250E ATs and ten LEDForce 18s plus a Robe Faze 1050FT hazer.
Most of the lights are installed on trussing above and around the stage, and some are floor mounted on the stage. With the flexible design of the rig, any light can be moved to any position allowing endless possibilities for looks and effects.
The auditorium has limited available power, so it was important to choose fixtures with low power consumption, hence the selection of the LED fixtures and Robe’s small 250 series moving lights.
Practical on-going operational costs were another consideration, coupled with the fact that McAllen’s location on the southern tip of Texas in the Rio Grande Valley means that high temperatures are a factor, so fixtures outputting little heat will help with the utility bills.
"The lighting is crucial to every aspect in the auditorium and all its uses," explains Rapp. "The variety of the Robe fixtures has given the flexibility needed to accommodate the contemporary style of worship together with any broadcast lighting requirements".
He adds that "reliability is crucial for a system of this size that is in such regular use, so given their track record Robe was an obvious choice."
The bright & bold colours from the LEDWashes enable the lighting and set designers to paint with colour in various directions from the front truss, and these colours really pop on video.
The strength of the ROBIN 300E Spots allow for crisp patterns and beams that help define images on video. These fixtures can ‘reach out’ around the entire room and envelop the audience, drawing them into the worship sessions.
The LEDWash 300s and ColorSpot 250E ATs perform a masterful job of adding endless energy to the stage.
The LEDForce 18s can be used as a truly multi-purpose fixture to colour anything on the set or add more static beams when used with the optional 10 degree lenses. The TFC’s elaborate scenic elements and props are designed by the TFC Creative team, and the lighting really helps in highlighting and emphasising these.
Above all, the rig was designed for complete versatility – any fixture can be repositioned anywhere above or on the stage or on the deck to give an almost infinite variety of looks and effects. The lighting is primarily operated by TFC’s volunteer technical team using a Jands Vista S3 console … and everyone is delighted with the results.
2nd April 2013
J.R. Clancy creates custom beacon for One World Trade Center
Building one of the brightest beacons in the world—the one that will shine from the top of the new One World Trade Center tower in lower Manhattan—is the kind of challenge that comes around once in a lifetime.
For the engineering and manufacturing teams at J. R. Clancy, Inc., however, once-in-a-lifetime jobs come around on a regular basis. That’s why the company rose to the top of the must-hire list when Ballantyne Strong, the entertainment lighting and projection system company, was selected to create the beacon.
Strong worked closely with lighting designer Claude Engel through the preliminary phases of the project. "Clancy was always the first choice because they had been world renowned for their expertise on custom fixtures," said Glen Thor, director of Strong Lighting. "Mike Murphy, Clancy’s president, and Strong’s engineering team got together on the project over the next 13 months of engineering work, and we were able to get it to the finish line in less than half that time."
The energy-efficient beacon shines at 1,740 feet above the streets of New York, just below the 1,776-foot total height of the new tower. "The antenna structure is approximately 400 feet tall, and consists of 18 separate segments," explained Tom Trytek, P.E. of TDK Engineering, the firm Clancy chose as its partner in completing the project. "Our component, the beacon, is in the last segment."
The light itself is made up of 16 suitcase-sized petals, each containing 11 modules of LED lights. The bottom petals each contain an array of 22 LED modules. Each module produces 1,200 lumens on its own, for a cumulative total of 316,800 lumens—a light that will be seen easily from Manhattan to New Jersey, even on a foggy night.
The petal array lives in a stainless steel structure with large mirrors located between the LED modules to maximize and direct the light across the city, said Bridget Cox, J. R. Clancy director of project management. "The ‘mirrors’ themselves are not actually glass, but are specialized laminated assemblies of honeycomb board with a custom reflective aluminum surface," she said. The light sources remain stationary, while the mirror assembly rotates on a small, motorized turntable. A computer supplied by Barbizon Lighting sends a signal to the J. R. Clancy motor control cabinet, turning the beacon turntable on every day an hour before dusk, and shutting it off an hour after sunrise.
The motorized turntable, mirror assemblies, and electrical components were built by a manufacturing team led by Clancy, with the assistance of Blair Construction and Fabrication in Auburn, NY. The team paid special attention to reducing the potential for maintenance and repair issues. "The entire beacon is exposed to the elements, so it had to be designed to withstand New York City heat in the summer, cold in the winter, and precipitation," said Cox. "There’s a special enamel paint treatment used for all of the parts that could not be made out of stainless steel. The stainless steel motor control cabinet can withstand the summer heat intrinsically, but if the temperature drops below 40 degrees, internal heaters kick on to keep the control components at a relatively constant temperature. The turntable motors are also equipped with heaters to help avoid condensation."
Designing a super-bright lighting fixture is challenging enough, but the fact that this beacon lives above 1,700 feet required the design team to think through every aspect of maintenance and repair. "The specifications from the architect were that the beacon was to be fully capable of being dismantled and replaced in place," said Trytek. "The beacon is segmented, so every component can be removed individually and replaced."
Clancy and TDK examined every aspect of the original design to determine the best ways to simplify and ruggedize the structure, reducing the likelihood of a mechanical breakdown. "Pete Svitavsky, P.E., at Clancy and I have worked together on many projects, so we started brainstorming the best route for doing this drive system," said Trytek. "We took a 180-degree approach to the methodology of turning the system. The original conceptual design by the architect could have worked, but there were too many mechanical components in a very tight space with limited access. We made it a lot simpler and more robust."
The turntable structure involves a slew ring bearing—a single large, circular bearing with a projected life of one billion revolutions. "It turns as fast as a second hand, and it operates roughly twelve hours a day," said Trytek. "With proper maintenance, it could last almost forever."
Just to be safe, though, Clancy built a second gear motor into the turntable to provide a redundant motor drive system, so the beacon would still operate in the event that one of the motors malfunctioned.
"The slew ring is so much simpler, with an infinite lifespan, and it’s very easily serviceable," said Thor. "Ours was a motor track system that would have required much more maintenance. I have to give Tom Trytek and the folks at Clancy all the credit for coming up with a better solution and saving everyone a lot of time, effort, and money."
Even with all of these precautions, the team knew that service personnel would need to access every part of the beacon for routine maintenance and repairs—both for the beacon itself, and for the components above it. "Through the center of the mirror system is an access ladder," said Trytek. "Just above the beacon on the tower are four FAA lights, as well as a light at the very top of the antenna. So we had to be sure that a maintenance person could pass through without interfering with the mirror, to reach the lights at the top of the tower."
While some of the mirror panels are fixed to the frame of the beacon housing, the center panels can be removed, "sort of like a leaf in a table," Trytek explained. "Each of the leaves of the mirror system can be stored to the left and right sides of the mirror frame. So you have an unobstructed way to get to the upper and lower petals of the LED system."
With the beacon soon to cast its light across Manhattan, Thor is quick to praise the expertise the Clancy team brought to the project. "Clancy’s role has been instrumental; we couldn’t have done it without them," he said. "Between the three companies, there has been a personal level of trust and understanding. I trusted that they were doing the right thing, and that was the key for me."
In picture: the top antenna section and the beacon system with partial mirror
In picture: the top antenna section and the beacon system with partial mirror
28th March 2013
Danley gets into the Ivy League
The Hun School of Princeton is a private school for students in sixth grade through high school. Located near Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, the school serves five-hundred students from over a dozen states and nearly two-dozen countries. A third of the students board there. School assemblies, dramatic and musical performances, and other events take place in the Hun School’s 350-seat proscenium theater, but a low ceiling and overly-diffuse loudspeakers had given the it poor sound reinforcement for many years. Recently, the school hired local A/V design and integration firm Reid Sound, Inc. to identify the weak links in its sound reinforcement chain and to make strategic improvements on a budget. Reid Sound installed Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers and a subwoofer. Their combination of high fidelity and excellent pattern control elevated the theater’s sound quality from poor to excellent.
"The theater is used for a variety of events, including musicals, dramas, presentations, dance performances, and more," said Darren R. Sussman, owner of Reid Sound, Inc. Sussman designed the new system together with Timothy Pearce, Reid Sound’s director of installation services. Sussman continued, "Vocal reinforcement was a major concern, but the system had to deliver excellent music reproduction as well. The space is very wide, but it’s not very deep. Moreover, the ceiling height is only around eighteen feet. Because the loudspeakers would be hanging very near the front of the stage, precise pattern control was critical."
The previous system consisted of a pair of popular commercial powered loudspeakers mounted to the walls next to the proscenium. Although a number of deficiencies existed within the entire system, the project’s budget only allowed for a partial replacement, and Sussman and Pearce identified the loudspeakers as the most significant weakness. "The old loudspeakers weren’t very directional," Sussman explained. "They spilled a lot of energy onto the walls and ceiling, which contributed to poor intelligibility, and there were seats that were inadequately covered by direct sound." In short, the coverage was indistinct and uneven.
The team selected a pair of Danley Sound Labs SH-50 loudspeakers for the center cluster. "The arrayed pair gives excellent 100-degree horizontal coverage to the entire seating area, and the tight 50-degree vertical coverage keeps energy off the ceiling and on the seats," said Sussman. The center cluster is primarily responsible for vocal reinforcement. They also installed a pair of Danley Sound Labs SH-95s, one on either side of the proscenium, for reproduction of program material or reinforcement of musical instruments. Again, the SH-95s deliver pattern control that excites the listeners, but not the space itself.
Although Reid Sound had done a handful of smaller systems involving Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers, this was the company’s first experience with a Danley subwoofer. "Normally, I would have installed a pair of subwoofers, but when I read the Danley TH-118’s specifications, I realized that a pair would be tremendous overkill," said Sussman. "Those specifications proved to be accurate. A single TH-118 provides an incredible amount of low-frequency extension in the space. It’s not even turned up halfway, and it can shake the room." In addition to the Danley loudspeakers and subwoofers, Sussman and Pearce installed a new Biamp Nexia processor and new QSC CX-Series amplifiers.
"We completed the job in February and we’ve heard nothing but great comments from the school," said Sussman. "They just completed a production of Hairspray using the new reinforcement system. Spoken word was perfectly intelligible and music was full-frequency and engaging. The new Danley system is a great improvement for the Hun School of Princeton."
27th March 2013
SGM Illuminates Christ Light
In Southern Brazil, on the coast of Santa Catarina, sits one of the world’s largest Art Deco statues. At the top of Morro de la Cruz (Hill of the Cross), the statue of Jesus Christ stands overlooking the city of Balneário Camboriú, with one arm outstretched, welcoming visitors from near and far, and the other carrying a symbol of the sun.
Measuring 33 metres in height (including the pedestal) and 22 metres wide (from fingertip to fingertip), the task of lighting this majestic tourist attraction at first seemed less than straightforward. However, when Mario Luiz Pretto of Cristo Luz (Christ Light) contacted SGM’s Brazilian distributor, João Alonso of LBO Lighting Comercio e Importação e Exportação Ltda, requesting a more powerful lighting output than the former installation could provide, João Alonso proposed the SGM P-5 wash light featuring 44 high power 10W RGBW LEDs per unit. This proposal immediately caught Pretto’s attention and was subsequently specified as the new, revitalising light source for the Christ Light.
The fixed installation has brought unique features of the significant landmark, which transfixes the numerous visitors. Every night, people strolling around the central area of Balneário Camboriú can look up and enjoy the multi-coloured light of the monument, which has become an attraction unlike any other in Brazil.
This lighting installation, which daily illuminates the grand statue after dark (December to March from 8pm, and April to November from 7pm), is rendered possible by the use of just six powerful and bright P-5 LED wash lights. The RGBW LED source creates beautiful symbolism, as each day of the week is represented by a different predominant colour for the statue, which is generally known worldwide as a symbol of peace.
On Sunday, the predominant colour is white, symbolising peace and faith. On Monday, the colour is yellow, representing peace and energy. On Tuesday, the colour is green for peace and nature, while Wednesday is blue for peace and health. On Thursday, the colour lilac signifies peace and reflection and on Friday the colour red stands for peace and love. Finally, on Saturday the rose colour symbolises peace and happiness.
As the weeks fly by, with multiple colours lighting up Christ Light for the visitors of Santa Catarina, SGM reflects with pride on having taken a key role is this colour extravaganza.
27th March 2013
GLP Creates Magic in Las Vegas for the music of Motown
When production for Smokey Robinson presents Human Nature: The Motown Show decided to relocate from the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas to the nearby Venetian Hotel, experienced lighting designer Steve Cohen received a call out of the blue from the show’s creative director, David Rudder. “They had already hired a set designer [Andy Walmsley], and were interested in having me light the show in the new space,” he recalls. “Although we had never met before, since I live in Vegas, it was easy for me to see the show and see if we hit it off.”
Fortunately for both the show’s male vocal group Human Nature and Cohen they did; but since the group wanted to come up with a whole new look for their show, the designer had to choose his fixtures carefully to compensate for the limitations of the room and budget, as well as the existing lighting infrastructure. So he selected six impression Wash One, 12 impression Spot One and 16 impression X4 from GLP’s award-winning portfolio to help create the dynamic.
The designer found himself challenged with the technical infrastructure of The Venetian Sands Showroom, which takes its name from the legendary showroom of the ‘rat pack’ era, and has a capacity of 750 seats. With a low trim height (18ft), thrust stage but no side lights and “a roof populated by 40 older moving heads in various states of repair, with stock gobos and lenses only suited for a much higher trim”, Cohen knew he needed some unique fixtures to fulfil his creative intentions. And GLP came to the rescue.
Within a matter of weeks Cohen was integrating his design into a complex set, including a rolling video wall and a huge lit ‘Motown’ logo, and with the house system on a slim budget, he knew, “It was going to be a challenging gig the whole way.” With the inherent realities as they were, Cohen also knew he could still provide this show with the unique creative looks which are the hallmarks of all Steven Cohen Productions’ work.
And so, working with creative director Rudder, the direct involvement of Human Nature and Cohen’s team of video expert, Curtis Cox and lighting programmer Mark Foffano, he set out on his quest to deliver a high end design to complement the music and story this Motown show delivers.
“Once I realized it would take some unique instruments to make this environment really work for the show, I approached [GLP Inc president] Mark Ravenhill to see if the new Impression X4 was in full production, as I knew I wanted those, as well as the Wash One and Spot Ones, which I had a chance to test in a real world situation, having never used either type previously.
“One of the added benefits of these fixtures was that I was able to install the Impressions right on the set as part of the design look, and utilize the wash and spots as ‘shin buster’ floor lights and under-scenery lights which gave the metallic and LED screens set design real dimension. This, plus the ‘in your face’ looks from the set gave the show some real lighting dynamics that you could never have achieved from any house hung system. These GLP’s really make this show work!”
The show production itself has Human Nature, Australia’s #1 pop vocal group, reimagining the sounds of Motown. In a show presented by Smokey Robinson, the acclaimed quartet and its seven-piece band, The Funk Foundation, offers a contemporary yet timeless take on classic Motown hits, featuring songs by The Four Tops, The Supremes, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson and more.
Steve Cohen is certainly no stranger to earlier generation impression LED moving heads, having used them on the last Blake Shelton tour as well as Billy Joel / Elton John, Sugarland, and Star Wars In Concert where he was production designer, working alongside LD, Seth Jackson.
In fact, Steve Cohen is a real advocate of the new wave of LED fixtures, describing his decision to specify the impressions as a “slam dunk”. “Finally, there is real color,” he says categorically. “The Impressions have the best color I have seen out of a moving head in many years. They are fast and interesting to look at, light weight, and have low power requirements — which is the case with most LED lights — but the difference is that these have the qualities of ‘real’ light.
“I had been reluctant to spec them as anything but special effect fixtures, but now I think you can expand their application into areas where a standard moving fixture would normally be the weapon of choice.”
And of course the ratio of weight and footprint to output and efficiency add further benefits — both for designer and the production accountant! “Anytime you can fit more s**t in smaller space, your design has a bigger impact simply by the numbers of heads. So if you can put a lot of lamps in a truss, or have 50 floor fixtures where before you could only fit 25, the impact to the show is obvious and the design can be driven by those increased numbers.”
The consequence, for Smokey Robinson presents Human Nature: The Motown Show, is a set that is “clean, saturated and uncomplicated” and with a lighting design which efficiently communicates the entertainment experience the show is striving for.
27th March 2013
Clay Paky Alpha Spot HPE 1500s Light Up The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
Clay Paky Alpha Spot HPE 1500s are lighting up The Joint, the concert venue for the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas where 16 fixtures were recently acquired and hung above the stage.
The Joint is an intimate 4,000 capacity space known for delivering unforgettable live music experiences. With a commitment to remarkable sound, it has earned a reputation as one of the most authentic venues in Las Vegas.
“We used to rent lights then decided to buy them. When we started looking at fixtures we had three lights in mind, including the HPE 1500,” says Christopher Lose, lighting designer for the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. “We’re a rock & roll venue and need all the bells and whistles and versatility we can get. We have ten lighting designers a month who come in wanting different things. So the more tricks our lights have the better.”
Lose reports that the HPE 1500s “destroyed everything else” when he explored potential fixtures to add to his inventory. “We chose the light based on its autofocus, beam macros and intensity. The autofocus and beam macos were features only Clay Paky offers. And in terms of intensity, the HPE 1500s were much better than the competition.”
Another deciding factor was the support forthcoming from A.C.T Lighting, the exclusive distributor of Clay Paky fixtures in North America. “A.C.T has always treated us well for everything we’ve bought from them,” says Lose. “They offer great service and 24/7 availability. All these factors combined meant Clay Paky blew the others out of the water.”
The Alpha Spot HPE 1500, a 1500W moving head, is the most impressive graphic effects spotlight available with an incredible array of colour and imagery devices, including 20 gobos on three wheels, animation disc, rotating prism and the exclusive Automated-Star-Gobo (patent pending). All devices are fully combinable with limitless rotation and morphing possibilities. The zoom has an extreme aperture range from 7° to 57° (1:8 ratio) with an amazing 120 bpm speed. An auto-focusing function combined with the Dyna-Cue-Creator make programming and operation easy and creative. A special high definition iris, the advanced zoom-tracking-diffuser and silent operation position the Alpha Spot HPE 1500 at the edge of show lighting technology.
Lose reports that the HPE 1500s are “working wonderfully” in their workhorse capacity at The Joint. “We had a demo unit here for six months, and it’s still working perfectly.”
Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky area manager for North and Latin America, adds: “The Joint is a great concert venue and I know the HPE’s will be perfect for location. We’re proud that they were selected.”
20th March 2013
GLP Spot Ones/Wash Ones Enhance Saddleback Church
Described as an “evangelical Christian megachurch” Saddleback Church in Southern California embraces high production values to reinforce its services.
Looking to remain at the cutting edge via an architectural makeover late last year, they took delivery of a quantity of Spot One and Wash One LED moving head fixtures from GLP — commissioned by the then lighting director, Jon Griffin.
GLP Inc president, Mark Ravenhill, recalls: “Jon contacted us about the fixtures when they were planning a lighting upgrade to their main stage — replacing the existing discharge lights they had been running for many years. He had heard about the Spot One and could instantly see the potential of it for Saddleback.”
The main sanctuary at their 3,000-seat Worship Centre in Lake Forest has long glass walls down each side and by conducting the demo at the peak of the day in high brightness conditions it allowed Griffin to see how the fixtures would perform when confronted with vast amounts of light streaming in.
Aside from the impressive output and performance, other issues — such as the 5-year warranty on the light engine, the internal workings, maintenance and ease of use — were also factored into the evaluation as was the critical silent performance. Griffin inspected the construction quality, the sealed front chamber and saw the ease with which he could change gobos and other items to customise the fixtures for particular events.
“By the end of the demo, he was able to see that both the Spot One and the Wash One could not only perform in Saddleback, but would also save a large amount of money over the product’s life cycle,” stated Ravenhill. Noting that there was no cost premium, despite the LED engine, Jon Griffin specified six Spot One and four Wash One fixtures in a white housing (which is offered as standard), placing the order with GLP dealer, Cal Stage & Lighting of Santa Ana.
Jon Griffin’s first impressions couldn’t have been more positive. “They are fantastic used architecturally, and I expect the church to order more GLP units when the scenic designs are finalised. I've received so many favourable comments as they pop the color and provide more texture than our 700W [discharge] fixtures ever did. I can't say how happy we are.”
But shortly afterwards Jon Griffin left his position, and his role was taken by the church’s technical director, Greg Baker, who has been with Saddleback for six years, and who had simultaneously been upgrading the video. He was equally complimentary about the impact the new washes made to the walls.
“The Wash Ones also help light our Pastor during message delivery — and during music [performed by band and vocalists on the 70ft wide stage], we move them to the offstage walls for color. The Spot Ones we use for texture, mostly for color and design on these same walls. We use the gobos — including a couple custom gobos — and the animation wheel for moving effects, and during the music we use the fixtures to their full capability, changing our color palette and texture for each song.” Programming couldn't be easier, he says, and Saddleback changes the scene presets every weekend to keep the dynamic fresh.
“We chose these fixtures originally for the complete package of features and these certainly give us the color and contrast to cut through a very bright environment,” he concludes.
With eight locations in its Lake Forest property — and seven other regional campuses — on a typical weekend Saddleback expects to host around 25,000-30,000 worshippers, all watching the sermon preached from the main Worship Center … which is some weekly audience for the GLP moving heads!
14th March 2013
Outline Butterfly System Installed in the Prestigious Warner Theater
The prestigious Warner Theater has made its next quantum leap forward in entertainment services with its new Outline Butterfly PA system. Nestled just two blocks from The White House in Washington, D.C. the majestic Warner Theater has a rich legacy dating back to its origins in 1923 — first with Vaudeville, and later as a cinema theater during Hollywood’s Golden Age. Fully restored in 1992, the Warner Theater took on yet another incarnation and became an esteemed live performance venue. The new sound system delivers the power and clarity of Outline technology to support the venue’s expanded entertainment roster.
Taking its name from Harry Warner, one half of Hollywood’s famed Warner Brothers, the Warner Theater is now a preeminent D.C. Metro showcase, and home to the annual BET Awards. Its lofty stage has been graced with performers from Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, ZZ Top, and Paul Simon — who accepted the first ever Gershwin Prize awarded for a popular song — beneath its magnificent proscenium in 2007. Today this regal palace boasts a new world-class sound reinforcement system from Outline that will further enhance its significance as a prominent and renowned venue for top acts in the entertainment industry.
"The sonic performance is stellar, and the narrow profile of the arrays minimizes impact on both lines of sight and frontal lighting needed for theatrical purposes," says Ishai Ratz, house sound engineer at Warner Theater. "The Outline Butterfly delivers all the performance we need, and then some, but does not overpower the theater visually. That was an important consideration when it came to choosing the right PA for this venue."
Two left/right hanging arrays of 14 Butterfly speakers along with two CDL1815 cardioid subwoofers comprise the front of house system. This system is complemented by eight arc-delayed Outline LAB15SP self-powered subwoofers mounted beneath the stage delivering uniform and coherent low frequency coverage. Six Outline self-powered steerable Mini-COM.P.A.S.S. speaker systems, with their unique variable horizontal control, provide the front and stage lip fills.
Tom Bensen, sr. vice president and managing director of Outline North America was on hand to commission the system when it was first installed in mid-January of this year, just prior to Inauguration Day. "At the onset of celebrating our 40th Anniversary in 2013, I am pleased to have such an important and respected institution as the Warner Theater join the Outline family," says Bensen. "As a venue managed by industry leader Live Nation, the quality and caliber of performers that will come through this acclaimed theater will provide the ideal, mutually advantageous platform whereby the artist, the venue, and Outline will each benefit greatly from the experience."
13th March 2013
Miami University Graduates to L-Acoustics
John D. Millett Hall on the campus of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio is best recognized as home to the school's popular RedHawks basketball and volleyball teams. But the 9,200-capacity venue is also well known as the site for the school's commencement exercises, as well as concerts and other events from a list of guests as varied as Yo-Yo Ma, Beck, Bill Cosby, The Fray, O.A.R., Bela Fleck, Jay Leno and the Dalai Lama.
With the facility's aging distributed PA system struggling to even accommodate announcements at sporting events, the school hired Cincinnati-based L-Acoustics Certified Provider Loud & Clear, Inc. to supply a sound reinforcement system each time it hosted a concert. Now, Loud & Clear has turned a satisfied rental client into an even happier fixed install client with the recent installation of an L-Acoustics KARA system.
Used for concerts and games alike, the new sound system is comprised of left and right 12-enclosure KARA arrays flown on the north end of the court. Ground-stacked below each array is a stack of four SB28 subs arranged in a cardioid configuration. Six LA8 amplified controllers housed in custom racks power and process the entire system.
"The KARA system in Millett Hall is being used for everything from sporting events and concerts to lectures and graduation ceremonies," says Eric Cimini, installation manager at Loud & Clear. "One of the biggest things the client requested going into this project was that the coverage be extremely consistent throughout the entire venue. They wanted everyone to hear exactly the same thing--from the cheerleaders right below the PA to the athletes on the court to the final row of seats at the other end of the arena. Looking at these little 12-box arrays, one might not expect them to cover the space as well as they do, but KARA totally delivers."
"With our new L-Acoustics system, we went from hearing multiple complaints about the sound at every event to hearing multiple compliments," enthuses Brad Clark, facility director for Miami University's Millet Hall and Hall Auditorium. "Everyone has been absolutely thrilled with it; I've not heard a single complaint since it was installed."
"I'm really impressed with its coverage and range; the low end sounds so much better and really suits the University crowds," he adds. "Plus, the L-Acoustics name is one that appears on every touring rider. In the past, we would typically contract out 10 to 15 events a year, whereas we'll be able to do all of those in-house now, which is great."
Although the KARA will spend most of its life flown in Millett Hall, the system was designed to be portable in the event that the school wishes to use all or part of it at the Department of Music's 735-seat Hall Auditorium or for an outdoor concert. Motorized hoists permit the arrays to easily be lowered and removed, while additional hardware allows the cabinets to be stacked or flown elsewhere on campus when needed for smaller events.
In picture: the Loud & Clear crew prepares to hang one of Miami University's new KARA arrays at Millett Hall.
In picture: the Loud & Clear crew prepares to hang one of Miami University's new KARA arrays at Millett Hall.
12th March 2013
ETC Features Bandit Installation at Training for New Rigging Line
ETC’s recent training session for factory representatives on their new Prodigy variable speed rigging featured a Bandit Lites’ installation at a Nashville school. Bandits’ director of sales, Chris Barbee, was on site to offer insight into installing the new rigging system.
"It was a beautiful facility that had the equipment in both variable and six-speed rigging, and it allowed us easy access to the grid to show people the equipment," said ETC’s Gary Henley. "Rather than a conference room with a projector, we thought that if we had the opportunity to take them to a working space and see the equipment and have the installer there to explain the process, it would be much more practical."
When Ensworth School received a donation to continue the master plan for the high school theater, the independent school contracted Bandit to design and install an automated rigging system for the facility. The school had not been able to fund any moveable rigging during the original construction four years prior.
The client and Bandit chose the new ETC Prodigy Hoist system which allowed for a streamlined installation process and a cleaner look. The system included 4 fixed-speed and 7 variable-speed linesets, controlled by a Foundation controller. This installation was only the second variable speed system installed by ETC at the time.
With the four motorized electrics, Ensworth is able to more easily maintain their lighting fixtures. In addition, motorized scenic pipes allow scenery and drapes to fly in from above instead of rolling in sets on wheels from offstage during a production.
One initial challenge for the installation was choosing a rigging system that did not require any adjustments to the structure of the building. An advantage of the new ETC rigging is how it does not transfer any lateral load to the structure, allowing the weight to be evenly distributed on the building.
With the distinct advantage of managing the installation of the new rigging, Barbee spent some time during the workshop to answer questions regarding the installation and completion of the product.
"I was pleased to share our knowledge about our process and installation of the system," said Barbee. "The factory representatives are tasked with specifying this equipment, and being able to share the installation side of the product makes their job much easier."
11th March 2013
Boettcher Gets Better with L-Acoustics
Denver Performing Arts Complex's Boettcher Concert Hall, home to the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, was built in 1978 as the first U.S. symphony hall in the round. While the 2,634-seat performance space's unique layout continues to remain enduringly contemporary, the venue's previous PA system has not fared quite so well, recently prompting a full audio system retrofit that included an L-Acoustics amplifier and loudspeaker package.
The City of Denver hired South Norwalk, CT-based acoustician/consultant Akustiks to specify the new system, which features an exploded cluster design using ARCS II and KIVA loudspeaker lines. Supplied by AVDB Group, the system was installed by Steve Kuberski and Mark Herron at Mood Media (formerly known as Muzak).
The primary PA is comprised of four horizontal arrays of ARCS II--a cluster of six constant curvature cabinets pointing toward the main orchestra seating section, two four-cabinet arrays firing into the left and right mezzanines, and a smaller three-enclosure array covering the rear parquet section. Three additional ARCS II--each individually hung in a horizontal orientation--serve as upper front-fills and address the upper ring and rear mezzanine seats. Four double-stacked KIVA clusters are also positioned overhead to supplement coverage to some of the upper seating and other areas.
Down below, up to eight additional KIVA can be positioned on the stage lip as needed for front-fill, while low frequency reinforcement in the space is achieved via four SB15m subs arranged in a cardioid configuration. System power, processing, networking and control are accomplished through a combination of six LA8 and two LA4 amplified controllers.
"I looked at this project with four different manufacturers, and one of the deciding factors to use L-Acoustics was the performance of ARCS II, which fit the bill very well," says Akustiks Partner Anthony Nittoli. "Boettcher is an asymmetrical surround concert hall, so it's an extremely challenging environment to put a sound reinforcement system into. But ARCS II's tightly controlled coverage pattern very nicely allowed us to place sound exactly where we wanted it and keep it off of the surfaces that we didn't."
Over the past couple of years, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra has increasingly peppered its show roster with soloists and guest acts as diverse as Trey Anastasio, Bela Fleck, Guster, DeVotchKa, Kip Winger, Pink Martini, and Rodrigo Y Gabriela.
"The Orchestra's performances with pop and rock artists have all been very successful and certainly necessitated the presence of a serious, rider-friendly sound reinforcement system," says Aric Christensen, Boettcher Concert Hall's head of audio for the past decade. "I had previously mixed on V-DOSC and KUDO systems, so was very familiar with L-ACOUSTICS, but ARCS II was largely unknown to me. However, I trusted both Anthony's design expertise and the manufacturer's reputation, and we've been extremely happy with the results. The point-source approach of our ARCS II system is much more appropriate for the room and everyone that has mixed on it so far has responded really well to the whole experience."
Christensen points out that the system gets used on almost a daily basis, be it providing simple vocal reinforcement for the conductor introducing pieces to full reinforcement for a band with some spot-miking of various orchestra soloists. "Not only is this system perfectly capable of handling rock and roll, but it's also well-suited to reinforce higher dynamically demanding classical performances without adding coloration to the acoustic instruments," he says. "That, in my opinion, represents a far greater challenge, and one that it carries out remarkably well."
photo: Mike Pappas
photo: Mike Pappas
4th March 2013
Robe is Chosen for Supernatural Revolution
Robe moving lights were central to the stage lighting scheme created jointly by Edward Puerta, Silvio Sanchez and Elvin Quinones for the Chosen Generation Conference – Supernatural Revolution event staged at the King Jesus International Ministry (KJM) in Miami, Florida. Hosted by Apostle Guillermo and Prophet Ana Maldonado, the youth outreach event attracted over 4500 enthusiastic participants.
The project to light the event was instigated by Eddy Puerta from KJM and the Robe fixtures used were a combination of those from the in-house system plus 24 additional units hired in from James Watson at Arts of South Florida.
The house rig which was installed in 2006 by Paradigm Lighting from Tamarac when the building was completed features six Robe ColorSpot 575E ATs, 24 Robe ColorWash 575E ATs and 12 Robe ColorMix 575s. These have been in constant use ever since and are still going strong seven years later.
The Supernatural Revolution event was shot in HD and broadcast globally by KJM so it needed to look great on camera as well as live, and also required plenty of dramatic theatrical style lighting. This was the reason that additional Robe units were specified for the show. They comprised 12 LEDBeam 100s, eight LEDWash 300s and four LEDWash 600s, plus a Robe Haze 800 FT fog machine. Arts of South Florida also brought in Florida based freelance LD Peter Moore to light and programme for the Supernatural event.
The 12 ColorMixes and 16 of the ColorWash 575s which are located over the stage were focused on architectural features around the room like the altar, various columns, walls, plants, etc. Six of the ColorSpot 575E ATs were located on the stage at floor level and used for general 'eye-candy' and for creating movements by beaming into the crowd and for audience interaction. Six ColorWash 575E ATs were positioned around the FOH area and used to bathe the whole auditorium in colour, immersing the young congregation in the ‘worship experience’.
The additional lighting for this event was used to enhance the general performance lightshow, strengthening the colour and movement around the room and boosting the visual effects on stage, all adding up to a truly special ambience to fit the occasion. Many elements of the event relied heavily on lighting effects to produce themes and specific moods including the start. During the praise and worship sessions, lighting was used to create a lively festive atmosphere. This style of visual enhancement on a very physical level is regularly used at the Ministry.
For the standard Ministry services, lighting is operated by a team of four volunteers using a grandMA lite console.
Jerry Seay from Robe Lighting Inc. recommended that Puerta and his colleagues used the occasion to take a look in situ at some of Robe’s latest LED moving lights and they were impressed with the results.
“We greatly appreciated their low power consumption,” says Peurta, explaining that typically they would need to supplement the onstage power to accommodate a rental system of this size. However, using these additional Robe LED fixtures, all 54 moving lights were powered with the existing available resources.
28th February 2013
Community Delivers the Sound for Singapore's First Olympic-Size Ice Rink
Electronics & Engineering (E&E) has recently completed the installation of a Community sound system at Singapore's first Olympic-size ice rink at JCube.
Owned by CapitaMall Trust, JCube is located out of town in Jurong East. Managed by CapitaMall Asia, JCube differentiates itself from the usual shopping and dining mall experience with the ice rink in the centre of the building. The 60 x 30 metre rink has a 460-seat gallery and can be used simply for community skating, or for more competitive sporting events including speed or figure skating and ice hockey. It can also host live streaming events and concerts in the space.
The sound system at JCube rink provides both high intelligibility speech and entertainment quality music, and additionally allows for the multi-use requirements of the venue. To meet the specifications of the rinks management, E&E worked closely with Community’s Singapore-based director of business development, Thomas Mittelmann, who liaised with the technical team at Community’s HQ in the US.
Seventeen Community WET W2-2W8 loudspeakers are mounted around the rink edge. The W2-2W8’s dual 8-inch horizontal drivers with centrally located 1-inch horn provide the optimum 120-degree wide horizontal dispersion required for the venue. Additionally the W2-2W8’s extreme all-weather capabilities handle the environmental conditions of the rink and its provision in white ensured the loudspeakers blended perfectly with the venue’s aesthetics.
In addition to the distributed W2-2W8 system, the audio design includes a ceiling loudspeaker system for the audience areas. The upper spectator stand comprises thirteen Community D8 8-inch coaxial ceiling loudspeakers. The D8 loudspeakers deliver consistent coverage with their Tru-Phase high frequency waveguide providing a wide uniform dispersion. In the lower stand there are thirteen Community D6 ceiling loudspeakers, providing the same consistent quality as their larger sibling, but equipped with a 6.5-inch low frequency driver. A further ten Community D4 ceiling loudspeakers and four Community DS8 surface mount loudspeakers are installed at back of house.
Five Ashly Audio NE2400 2-channel amplifiers power the Community loudspeakers. The network enabled amplifiers feature full control and monitoring capabilities via standard 10/100 Ethernet protocol and Protea software. An Ashly Audio NE4250 amplifier powers the back of house system.
Processing is provided by a Symetrix Symnet 8x8 digital signal processor, supplied with SymNet Designer software which equips the rink with more than 300 DSP modules, including feedback elimination, loudspeaker management and auto mixing. The built-in modules enable the audio engineer at the rink to switch quickly and easily from one processing mode to another depending on the function of the rink at any given time.
Completing the audio system are a Mackie 1642-VLZ3 I6-channel compact recording mixer and Shure SLX24/SM58 hand-held wireless microphones for concert type events.
27th February 2013
Electrosonic Upgrades Video Wall at Caltrans District 7 Traffic Facility
When Caltrans District 7 began the first phase of a multi-phase AV system upgrade at its Los Angeles facility, it contracted with Electrosonic to create a brighter, more reliable video wall for traffic monitoring that takes advantage of the latest in projection technology.
“Caltrans District 7 has more than 400 cameras on the highways of Los Angeles and Ventura counties,” says Electrosonic project manager Guy Fronte. “They can review camera feeds 24/7 in the facility and when there’s a traffic event – road damage or an accident – they can magnify that feed on the videowall. The videowall is integral to 24-hour traffic management.”
The existing videowall comprises a 12-screen centre unit in a 4x3 configuration flanked by a pair of 6-screen 3x2 units. The giant wall features 80-inch diagonal screens in the centre and 52-inch screens on the sides.
The standard format of the wall has single-camera feeds on the side screens and 2x2 graphic traffic patterns on the centre screen with single-camera feeds surrounding them. “They monitor heavy traffic volume locations and can bring any one of those feeds up on the larger central display as needed,” Fronte explains.
The wear and tear of more than five years of constant operation had taken their toll on the existing rear-projection engines and begun to degrade the facility’s ability to monitor traffic, so Electrosonic replaced the videowall engines with Christie one-chip SXGA displays to take advantage of improved projector quality. Christie RPMSP-D132U displays were selected for the centre screen and RPMX-D132U displays for the side screens.
The side projectors were installed in existing cabinets behind the videowall; the centre projectors were placed in a huge metal framework previously built by Electrosonic. “Caltrans District 7 has the most spacious rear-projection room I’ve ever worked in,” says Fronte. “It’s very well thought out, so replacing the engines was quite simple.”
The primary challenge for the installation was working in conjunction with the 24/7 hours of the facility. “We couldn’t take down the wall during rush hours, so we swapped out one projector at a time to allow for continuous operation,” Fronte notes.
Videowall control is achieved using a Quantum processor previously installed by Electrosonic. The Crestron touchscreen control system that operates the wall, turns the system on and off and monitors lamp life, was modified to accommodate the new projector engines.
Electrosonic also furnished 48 spare lamps and is providing an extensive two-year service contract, which includes complete parts and labor, unlimited telephone support, proactive preventive maintenance visits and eight-hour response time on weekdays.
“The Caltrans people were so pleasant to work with,” recalls Fronte. “We have a great working relationship in bringing them the best videowall we can!”