Business News Headlines
Sound Architecture, named official distributor of HOLOPLOT for Iberia, celebrates their X1 system’s first successful deployment via AV rental specialist Ilusovi Servicios
Sound Architecture, named official distributor of HOLOPLOT for Iberia, celebrates their X1 system’s first successful deployment via AV rental specialist Ilusovi Servicios
Spain – Emerging from the demand for increasingly creative and complex projects and the developments in sound, lighting, video and control systems, Sound Architecture was established in collaboration with Ilusovi Servicios, one of the most renowned AV specialist companies in the Iberian market. Building on the company’s years of experience in the AV industry, Sound Architecture is ready to apply its expertise to the integration sector, with the latest in audio technology as their flagship product solution.
With an extensive stock of audiovisual equipment, the Ilusovi team takes pride in its ability to deliver projects of any scale and complexity. Moreover, when standard services and products fall short of solving their clients’ needs, Ilusovi offers customised AV system design and development, leveraging its expert R&D and electroacoustics departments. This ethos is underlined by the decision to make a significant investment in the pioneering HOLOPLOT X1 Matrix Array technology and simultaneously create a new company, Sound Architecture, which has been appointed as the first authorised distributor of HOLOPLOT products in the Iberia region. Ilusovi, meanwhile, immediately completed its first successful rollout of the X1 Matrix Array, with a three month stint at the recent, highly-anticipated, Marbella Starlite Occident festival.
“Sound Architecture comprises professionals with over 30 years of experience across various sectors related to audio and its processing,” says Jose Manuel Jimenez, owner of Ilusovi Servicios and CEO of Sound Architecture. “The company was founded with the mission to deliver collaborative solutions in tandem with HOLOPLOT systems, the pioneers behind a revolutionary era of sound through their ground-breaking Matrix Array sound systems.”
Jimenez adds that at Sound Architecture, the team extends the opportunity to embark on ambitious projects supported by seasoned professionals and leveraging the finest sound technology available today to their clients. “Our goal is to offer comprehensive assistance for both permanent installations and ad hoc, dynamic projects. For these ventures, we strive to bring an element of surprise to the visitors and clients alike with an unparalleled auditory journey, aiming to deliver an exceptional experience that truly captivates,” he adds.
Having been first introduced to HOLOPLOT at this year's ISE when he visited the company’s demo room with another Ilusovi team member, Jimenez says that the presentation, “completely shattered our understanding of how sound can be controlled. The way X1 can precisely steer sound by providing directivity control in both the vertical and horizontal axes was simply unbelievable. After the demo ended, my colleague and I went in for a second time. And then a third time.”
On reaching out to the HOLOPLOT team in Berlin for further information, Jimenez became even more convinced they had to include X1 as part of their already extensive rental product portfolio. “For us, HOLOPLOT isn't just another loudspeaker system; it's an incredibly versatile tool that can be applied to numerous scenarios where traditional sound systems will fall short. X1 truly pushes the boundaries of traditional audio and loudspeaker technology.”
Jimenez recognises the huge opportunities the system opens up, whilst acknowledging they are still in the early stages of familiarising themselves with HOLOPLOT technology and discussing potential applications with their customers. “With so many possibilities, it ignites your imagination. It feels like the sky's the limit with X1,” Jimenez declares.
Jimenez envisions great potential in using HOLOPLOT for large festivals, congresses, exhibitions, and experiential audiovisual projects that require a high level of sound control. “Any event that demands homogeneous, flexible, and precise sound coverage is a perfect use case for HOLOPLOT,” he adds. “With the first rollout of X1 proving such a great success, now that Starlite festival is over we are planning to take it on a roadshow to Spain's largest cities. Our aim is to demonstrate the power of HOLOPLOT technology to our customers, who have all been really curious and excited about the technology since seeing it in action at the festival.”
Shedding some light on future plans, Jimenez concludes by stating their intention to at least double their HOLOPLOT stock in order to serve a wide variety of projects. “The latest exciting news for us has been HOLOPLOT’s announcement of their new X2 Matrix Array, which offers best-in-class intelligibility and sound quality in a more compact form. As I said before, investing in HOLOPLOT isn't just about acquiring another sound system. It feels like unlocking a magical key that leads to a whole different realm of creative possibilities!”
In picture: Israel Jiménez technical production, José Andrés Moreno, audio development, Juan Santos, audio development, Aaron Alcántara, audio systems engineer, José Manuel Jiménez, CEO head of production and Andrés Ibáñez, CEO head of commercial.
photo: Ilusovi Servicios
21st September 2023
K-array strengthens broadcast division
On a mission to strengthen its position as a provider of broadcast solutions, K-array, a leading manufacturer of innovative audio technology, is promoting its latest innovations in broadcast audio. Following a series of high-profile broadcast projects, the brand is promoting its range of versatile and discreet audio products, designed to meet the demands of live television and radio.
“It is important to employ high-end audio solutions that perform at a high level for live broadcast environments,” explains Andrea Torelli, global marketing and communications director at K-array. “With invisible line arrays that can be used to create a slim PA system, monitors cleverly hidden in plain sight at centre stage or flexible, metres-long line array systems that can stretch across the length of the stage, K-array has a range of clever solutions suited to these environments.”
Among K-array’s broadcast offerings, the Pinnacle Series stands out for its ease of use and functionality. Comprising two Kobra line array columns and one Thunder subwoofer per unit, this portable stereo system ensures clear and balanced audio distribution for live studio events. During the live broadcast of the Hungarian qualifying round of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016, the in-studio PA system was based around two Pinnacle active systems, supported by a two-metre long Anakonda, flexible loudspeaker that provides invisible sound, a crucial requirement for environments with live studio audiences.
Within the French broadcast market, K-array products have been involved in a variety of high-profile projects for France TV that highlight the ability of Anakonda and Pinnacle to provide clear audio feedback for audiences in TV studio environments. Renowned talent shows, political talk shows and cultural programmes use K-array products, including those on national and international French channels.
In the USA, K-array’s broadcast solutions recently helped elevate the visual and audio experience of FOX Sports' Big Noon Kick-Off events, one of the most watched sporting events on any US television network. In 2022, local solutions provider CP Communications collaborated with K-array USA to provide essential audio reinforcement including two KGEAR GH12 systems, one at the stage and another at the entranceway. As the season progressed and larger, louder crowds gathered, CP Communications recognised the need for more powerful audio solutions. They expanded their K-array inventory, incorporating Kayman, Anakonda, Thunder and Kobra products to accommodate the expanded audience.
Six Anakonda-KAN200+ flexible line array loudspeakers were installed around the demo field's base, paired with a Kommander-KA24 amplifier. Custom aluminium upright towers and bases were designed to house K-array’s sleek Kayman stainless steel line array loudspeakers, wrapped in specially designed loudspeaker mesh fabric that allowed for branding with team logos and the Big Noon Kick-Off insignia. This ensured high-quality sound and also enhanced the appearance of the broadcast and the 2023 series of Big Noon Kick-Off events will benefit from a similar K-array system.
Across the live broadcast industry, K-array provides solutions that not only promise crystal-clear audio but also consider the importance of minimising visual impact. “We want to promote the fact that our products provide incredible benefits to broadcast environments as well as in the more established installation and residential markets,” confirms Torelli. “The versatility and ability for our loudspeakers to blend into the background whilst providing high-quality audio is shown in the wide range of use cases, and we look forward to powering even more exciting broadcast events in the future.”
21st September 2023
Version 2 Realigns Management Team
UK – TV, broadcast and event lighting rental specialists, Version 2 Lights has announced a management realignment to support its continued growth.
Day-to-day operational responsibilities will be assumed by technical manager Sam Crook, warehouse manager Darren Gale, general manager Emma Gale and rental manager Joe Marter. This will form the Version 2 senior management team, who will take on ownership of daily operations at V2 HQ.
Crook and Marter have been well-known industry figures and long-term trusted collaborators for nearly two decades both at Version 2 and the previous blueprints, Aurora Lighting and London Light. The company is also delighted to report that Emma Gale has recently accepted the responsibilities of company secretary.
Founder, Nick Edwards will return to a key account role, project managing and supporting LDs, producers and production managers who will draw upon his unrivalled experience and indefatigable work ethic. Edwards will work in tangent with Marter’s rental team comprising of Simon Perrott, Ollie Perry and recent recruit, Stamatula Malfas.
The Version 2 roster reads as a ‘who’s who’ of TV lighting including leading LDs such as David Bishop, Peter Canning, Matt Carter, Nigel Catmur, Andy Cottey, Bernie Davis, Gemma O’Sullivan, Oli Richards, Tim Routledge, Daryl Thornton, James Tinsley and Roger Williams.
Edwards will continue to lead the strategic vision for the Company, which continues to benefit from the long-term support of its main shareholders Nick Edwards and Nigel Wray ‘Britain’s Warren Buffett’, both of whom have made significant capital investments in the company by way of share capital and directors’ loans.
An enthused Edwards comments: “Our commitment is to the UK TV, broadcast and event market. In so I’m a firm believer in David Hieatt’s coined phrase ‘Do one thing well. It's enough'. Having built the company into a market leader in just six short years, and with a trusted management team in place, the time is now right for me to concentrate fully on supporting our customers. This is my focus.”
With a reputation built not just on service and equipment, but on relationships and trust. The Version 2 team is committed to supporting their clients and friends throughout every stage of the production cycle.
20th September 2023
TAF Releases its 25th Anniversary Video
Czech Republic – TAF has announced the official release of its new 25th Anniversary video that shows the amazing development of the TAF brand since its founding in 1998.
See the progress of the TAF brand that starts with two men – founder Jaroslav Rozboril and welder Martin Reznicek – and later leads to a full range of aluminium truss products, the design and delivery of massive support structures, expansion to America, development of a 3D program to configure entire structures from TAF products, a staff of nearly 50 welders and many other impressive milestones over the years.
TAF was also the first in the industry to implement a robotic welding machine in its production process, drastically increasing production output and significantly reducing turnaround times!
The video can be found at: eu.taf.cz/video25
15th September 2023
SLX invests in Ayrton products as environmental philosophies align
Bristol-based production and rental company SLX has invested in a comprehensive stock of Ayrton lighting fixtures as part of its new focus on environmental sustainability. The fixtures, which include Ayrton Diablo, Mistral, Eurus, Perseo, Karif and Cobra, were supplied by Ayrton’s exclusive distributor for the UK, Ambersphere Solutions. The choice was made on shared philosophies as much as on the practical and technical suitability of the products.
SLX used the hiatus of the pandemic to reassess and reset its aims, choosing to focus on environmental and social sustainability, as CEO Alastair Currie explains: “We examined how we operate within a circular economy, what we expect from our manufacturers and suppliers in terms of sustainability and aim to give opportunities for minority and disadvantaged groups to work within the industry. We set out our goals leading up to 2030, running alongside the Bristol Sustainability Agenda, before relaunching as a new brand with a new focus in 2021.
“Part of this reassessment included updating our stock in accordance with the lines we had laid down and we found Ayrton sat very well with where we saw ourselves, both in their product range and their clear road map for the future. They have a wonderful range of equipment which we have now invested in heavily and will continue to invest in further.”
Ayrton’s road map lays out a structured plan to produce a comprehensive series of fixtures to suit every size of venue and project application. All products include signature features that are synonymous with the Ayrton name: accuracy of movement, lightweight and compact form, phenomenal output, innovative optics and colour management, feature-rich lights that belie the size of each fixture, next-generation cooling systems and boundary-pushing graphical effects.
Russell Payne, MD at SLX, explains some of the reasons behind the decision to move to Ayrton: “Our assessment showed we stocked too many lighting fixtures within similar ‘groups’ from different manufacturers, which had a costly and inconvenient knock-on effect in spare parts, stock levels and maintenance. Also, the improvement in the quality of LEDs has made the transition from traditional to LED sources a much more viable option. We decided therefore to streamline this by investing in one fixture for each ‘group’ and found Ayrton’s range covered all the bases. Their fixture Series is designed to cover every throw distance and application and can fit into all our markets: film, television, theatre, live events.
“Ayrton products have superb optics which deliver a lot more light per Watt and are very controllable, with revolutionary heat management. The source is completely flicker-free which is vital: media is consumed in so many different ways; filming in up to 8K is not unusual on the Olympics for example, so not only the amount of light, but also the speed is important when filming with ultra-slow motion cameras.”
SLX also produces its own projects for which it designs the lighting solutions and provides the fixtures: “So having a manufacturing partner you can work with whom you know can deliver the high standards demanded by broadcast lighting is great,” confirms Payne. “One of their great strengths is that their IP-rated fixtures are identical in terms of features – and with no loss of output – to their non-IP rated fixtures, meaning we are able to mix IP and non-IP fixtures easily. That’s invaluable to a rental house. With moving lights replacing generic profiles we no longer need to work at heights which is especially valuable for sporting events, especially when rigging over swimming pools.”
Payne and the team were also impressed by the quality of the Ayrton build which benefits maintenance. “A look inside an Ayrton fixture shows they are so well made. The result is we are not seeing them in our workshops for repair and maintenance, which means we can keep the equipment available and it is not costing us anything in lost revenue on the repair bench or on the shelf.
“All of this has been facilitated and compounded by our relationship with Ambersphere whom we’ve know very well for a long time, and trust their expertise. I am so pleased Ambersphere’s information about the quality of the Ayrton equipment has proved to be so accurate. Having the Ayrton brand supported in the UK by Ambersphere made for a very easy transaction.”
To date, SLX has invested in substantial quantities of Ayrton Diablo, Mistral, Eurus, Perseo, Karif and Cobra and intends to purchase more in future: “A lot of time was spent making sure we made the right decision – choosing to have one manufacturer that can cover all aspects – but once the decision was made, life has become easier at every point,” says Payne. “It has given us an inventory of lights which is flexible yet harmonious with each other. We can even use fixtures from higher up the range if need be.”
Projects to already feel the benefit of SLX’s stock of Ayrton fixtures include some long-term hire of Diablo and Eurus to the flagship venue, the London Palladium, the hit television programme The Great British Bake Off which SLX has worked with since its inception helping to significantly reduce its carbon footprint in the process and the 2023 Commonwealth Games which was won on SLX’s approach to sustainability.
SLX has recently become a B Corp accredited company which Currie states: “Demonstrates our commitment to our community, our customers, the environment, our people and our governance,” and furthermore, became the recipient of the first-ever Green Award from TPI in February 2022.
“It was very gratifying to be recognised by our industry peers for something that is so central to our core tenets,” says Currie. “We focus a lot of time and energy into these aspects and in every relationship we start with a new supplier we look into their full supply chain and how it fits with our ethos. Ayrton has worked hard at improving its environmental impact and is very transparent about its progress and its aims. This is a whole new offering for our clients whom we find often request impact audits and it is an area where SLX and Ayrton are very much aligned.
“It was clear to me that Chris Ferrante (Ayrton CEO) has a very clear vision of where the company is going and is well on the way with the five to ten year plan they had set in motion. It was very easy to see how our own vision aligned with this plan, not only the inspiration of the road map, but the quality of the product, the passion behind the inventor Yvan, and the whole energy behind the Ayrton business which matched really well with what we are trying to achieve. As a result, the choice of Ayrton became a no-brainer. I feel very comfortable knowing they are producing items to such a standard. It is a real wake up call to the rest of the industry just how professional and well organised they are. The R&D that has gone into the products and the way they have come out with an incredibly successful range of quality products at a price point that is acceptable to a rental house is inspirational and a real strength in what Ayrton has to offer.”
“Put this in tandem with Ambersphere and you have a winning formula,” concludes Payne. “Ambersphere is a great company which carries a few select product lines of excellent quality and work with a few manufacturers. They know their kit and know what to recommend to meet your requirements. This sits nicely with how we like to operate.”
13th September 2023
Green Hippo processes soaring Hippotizer demand
UK – Green Hippo’s London-based manufacturing operation is reporting high demand for its range of industry leading Hippotizer media servers and is ramping up production to meet orders.
The team says the first quarter of 2023 saw a huge rise in sales across all Hippotizer models, including the flagship Tierra+ MK2 and high performance Boreal+ MK2. Most orders are coming in from the rental and staging sectors of the industry.
The recent launch of the Hippotizer v4.8 software update, which packed in a host of new and upgraded features designed to power-up real-time media manipulation, playback and mapping, drove sales. Major enhancements of the new software included Show Manager, facilitating complete control of multiple productions and installations at once and an upgraded Timeline feature where pre-recorded looks can be easily transferred onto a Preset Timeline for quick, easy show programming, and the much-loved SHAPE tool which introduced Dockable Windows, aiding customisable workspace management and enhancing 3D project visibility. Built-in integrations were also upgraded, with a notable addition being the NDI update to version 5.5, which includes game-changing features to its media over IP protocol, allowing for more creative freedom connecting any device with any location.
Zep Mouris, Hippotizer product architect at tvONE says: “The Hippotizer team consistently works hard to implement more and more world-class features in each update and 4.8 is something we’re very proud of. We know Hippotizer users are powering some of the most exciting projects on the planet right now and 4.8 is feeding into them all. We’re thrilled that the new version has been so warmly welcomed.”
In addition to the boost in sales, Green Hippo is running a limited-time promotion, granting Hippotizer users the opportunity to upgrade to the latest advancements of the Hippotizer software at a discounted price. Whether users behind 2 versions or 4, users can get a discounted price and join our network of creators and users, enjoying the latest features. The promotion runs from 1 September - 1 November, 2023, and includes an upgrade to Hippotizer V4.8 and all subsequent 4.8.X releases.
Green Hippo’s Hardware Replacement and Software Assurance Programme (HRSA), enables end users to future-proof software upgrades and trade-in aging Hippotizer media servers for newer models. Available for all Hippotizer media server owners, the Hardware Replacement half of the programme enables existing Hippotizer V4 and V4+ owners to trade their systems in for brand-new Hippotizer V4+ MK2 servers at a discounted price. The Software Assurance half determines what versions of new software will install onto a Hippotizer system, providing the certainty of future software features needed to plan for product investment. Together, HRSA reduces the total cost of ownership of a Hippotizer media server, delivering a faster and better ROI.
Frithjof Becker, director of EMEA Sales at tvONE, comments: “Our R&D team has been working hard to design, implement and release upgrades across the board and we recognise that our users are hungry for the best features on the market. At a time when the AV landscape is advancing so quickly and Hippotizer users are creating the cutting edge of what’s possible, the Hippotizer HRSA Programme is there to support you.
“Our production line is working to meet demand and fulfil orders for our Hippotizer media server range as quickly as possible and we thank everyone who’s investing or upgrading.”
The latest Hippotizer software is available for download now from the Green Hippo website, at https://support.green-hippo.com where a full list of the new and upgraded features can be found. Green Hippo says the best way to find out more or get involved with the HRSA Programme or limited-time promotion is to fill out an inquiry at: www.green-hippo.com/hardware-replacement-software-assurance-2/ or speak to a regional sales manager.
12th September 2023
Singularity makes debut
Wayne Howell’s new design consultancy has made a splash with the combined launch of website and ACT.
The website singularity-uk.com features the services and products on offer along with a growing array of technical resources.
ACT – Art-Net Compliance Tester is a new product. As the name suggests it is designed to allow developers to ensure their products are compliant with the Art-Net protocol.
ACT is available in two forms:
Free version – The free version allows anyone to run the test on any product. The results are limited to a list of pass, advisory, warning and fail. This provides a broad view of whether the product conforms, at zero cost.
Subscription version – The subscription version is aimed at manufacturers during R&D and allows them to test their own products. In addition to the summary provided by the free version, the subscription version provides a detailed analysis of all tests including guidance on how to resolve problems. Once a manufacturer has passed the tests, they can opt to have the test results published on the Singularity web site, giving visibility and allowing users and specifiers to make informed choices. Throughout the subscription, manufacturers also receive updated test vectors as ACT is updated.
The free version is available now: singularity-uk.com/product/act/ The subscription version is in beta test and will be available from 2nd October.
11th September 2023
Unlimited Investment in Robe
The Netherlands – Unlimited Vision & Sound is a busy full production and rental company based just outside Den Bosch in the Netherlands, known for its flair, innovation and dedication to quality service. The company has recently invested in Robe T1s and LEDBeam 350s.
The core business is servicing mid-to-high end B2B events and corporate activations, across the Netherlands and sometimes wider afield and there are some very well-known clients on the books including the city of Den Bosch.
The business was started by Pascal van Engelen in the 1990s, initially servicing his own DJ shows whilst studying electrical engineering at Den Bosch University, to which he started adding corporate clients, a process that’s never stopped! He’s currently joined by 13 full time employees plus a raft of regular freelancers.
One aspect that has consistently underlined Unlimited Vision & Sound’s investment strategies is to keep up with the quality and most recognised industry brands.
Pascal explained that his very first ‘Robe’ purchases actually date to the 1990s when he was still enthusiastically DJing and Robe was still an OEM manufacturer, making hardware for brands like Movitec and Futurelight. “We all saw then that there was a great company in the background producing this stuff. It was extremely well engineered,” he noted.
Fast Forward to 2002 when Robe launched as an ‘own brand’ and then again to 2021, when Unlimited continued making investments including these latest Robe products, the T1 Profiles and LEDBeam 350 luminaires.
This was to service a new contract at the time providing lighting and sound at the temporary home of Den Bosch’s Theater Aan de Parade, which has been closed for a complete refurbishment since August 2020 and is due to reopen in 2023.
During this time, the venue has staged productions in eight different venues around the city, including two periods in Hall 8 of the Brabanthallen exhibition centre, which has 860 seats and is the largest of these temporary spaces. This is the one that Unlimited looked after.
The moving lights were specified by lighting specialist Gertjan Stads, and they were the first LED moving lights utilised by the theatre.
Unlimited Vision & Sound also built a proper streaming studio during Covid, which became popular with many of their clients who were able to continue their business communications successfully during the period.
The T1 Profiles and LEDBeam 350s are now back in the warehouse and are regularly out on numerous other jobs.
“They are both great all-round moving light fixtures,” comments Pascal adding that it’s a company policy to ensure that all major clients’ work gets serviced with leading brands and the best and most appropriate kit.
Unlimited’s operations manager John von Gaal adds that the ROI on the Robe products generally has been excellent despite a slightly more expensive price tag: “It is a trade we were prepared to make that has paid off!”
After a couple of robust years under their belts, Unlimited Sound & Vision will be moving to a new warehouse in 2023, complete with a permanent in-house streaming / broadcast studio with bigger and better facilities.
In picture: Controllux’s Maikel Sakkers, Unlimited Vision & Sound owner Pascal van Engelen and their operations manager John von Gaal.
photo: Louise Stickland
11th September 2023
Robe Announces LSD as New Serbian Distributor
Serbia – Belgrade-based company Light and Sound Design D.O.O. (LSD) is Robe’s new exclusive distributor for Serbia and Kosovo and will also be a project partner for business in the neighbouring Balkan countries of Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro.
Led by the charismatic Milan Scepanovic and a highly enthusiastic team, LSD’s proactive strategy for introducing premium brands and technology in this lively, emerging and fast-developing market was one of the many aspects that united LSD and Robe in business and spirit.
In the last decade, LSD has focused its operation on sales and more specifically on the relatively new market in the region for premium products, for which there is a growing appetite.
Light and Sound Design has also put huge effort into developing and offering unparalleled technical and after-sales support alongside sustainable training and educational partnerships with international brands who are connecting the industry.
Having been musicians and a rental company, LSD totally understands the concept of ‘the show must go on’ and the need for good 24-hour technical support for anyone on the front lines of live performance and events.
LSD had been looking at Robe for some time, and unequivocally state: “Robe is absolutely the best” in terms of moving light technology.
That is a primary reason they wanted to work with the manufacturer, together with the general commitment to real product innovation – for which Robe is renowned – as well as the genuinely ‘Made in Europe’ stamp which they see as another big plus.
LSD’s business encompasses all areas of the industry: theatres, television production, all types of concerts, live shows, events, together with clubs, venues and other installations. They have an impressive portfolio of top-level brands, numerous contacts and an energetic and human-centred approach to doing business, all dedicated to getting these products specified for high-profile projects where quality is of the essence.
Michel Arnz, Robe key account manager, commented: “We are delighted to have LSD onboard! The first time I met Milan and saw the set-up, I realised that this was a match for us. The attitude, energy, level of commitment, professionalism and zest for innovation are very evident and I look forward to a long and positive working relationship.”
Light and Sound Design’s set up includes a brand-new purpose-built 4000 square metre four-storey premises in central Belgrade in which LSD has two large showroom areas designed to demonstrate products in the more spacious environments for which they are intended.
Michel was also impressed with the training facilities and initiatives being pursued by LSD to ensure their customers can stay abreast of the latest tech and fully aware of all the creative possibilities brands like Robe bring to their doors, and with other elements of the organisation and its systems.
“All these things are important to be a successful distributor,” notes Michel, “LSD has a dynamic team with plenty of experience and passion for the industry and they will market our products accordingly. We are certain that Robe is in the right hands here!”
LSD placed a substantial first order of Robe stock which will also be on display in their showrooms during a special open day planned for the 27th of September.
11th September 2023
TAF celebrates 25 years of truss manufacturing excellence
Czech Republic – Since its founding in 1998, TAF has continuously earned the trust of its global customer base with the production and timely delivery of safe, high-quality aluminium truss and support structures, along with the design, production and delivery of custom and technically demanding solutions for a wide range of projects.
With TAF headquarters and advanced manufacturing facilities in Olomouc, Czech Republic, together with its American office and distribution centre TAF USA in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, TAF stands ready to deliver its products and top levels of service to customers across Europe, the Americas and around the world.
The wide range of TAF products includes a complete offer of truss with three types of connection systems (quicklock, fork, bolted), towers, roofs, LED frames, barriers, exhibit designs, truck ramps, gates, totems, U-Torms and a large selection of rigging accessories. A premium selection of hoists, lifters, stages, flightcases and aluminium tables/stools are also within its portfolio.
TAF’s ultra-modern production facilities, which feature a staff of almost 50 highly experienced welders and a robotic welding machine operating 24/7, ensure all TAF products meet today’s stringent global standards for safety through high quality manufacturing. As a result of fine-tuning and streamlining its manufacturing processes for a quarter of a century, TAF stands out in the truss industry for consistently providing its customers with deliveries of products and services when and where they need them.
TAF is dedicated to providing its customers with the highest levels of service and has expanded its engineering and design team with experienced professionals who have a strong, proven track record in handling the largest and most complex projects worldwide.
TAF has also recently taken measures to reduce its impact on the environment through the use of HydroREDUXA 4.0 low-carbon aluminium in the manufacturing of 80% of its products. This special aluminium is sourced from smelters and foundries in Norway, where the production process is closely monitored to ensure reduced energy consumption and carbon emissions.
After 25 years of success on the global market, TAF looks forward to keeping its promise of providing customers with the highest quality products, top levels of service and on time deliveries that ensure they meet their deadlines.
11th September 2023
Controllux BV new distributor for Obsidian Control Systems in the Netherlands
The Netherlands – Obsidian Control Systems has announced that Controllux BV has been named the exclusive distributor of Obsidian products in the Netherlands. The agreement, which went into effect on 1 July 2023, covers Obsidian’s full range of lighting control products, including the company’s growing range of NETRON data distribution devices.
Founded in 1968, Controllux is a leading full-system integrator for professional lighting and operates in the key markets of theatre, broadcast and film, entertainment and architectural. The company has grown over the years to add audio and architectural lighting to its portfolio, evolving into a one-stop-shop for system integration.
Controllux distributes a large range of brands and has added Obsidian Control products to its offerings. “As we’ve transformed from a sales company to a full support system integrator with lighting, audio and architectural solutions, the demand for high-end networking and lighting control solutions has also grown,” stated Bas Entius, front office manager at Controllux.
“We had the need for a product line of our own which could meet both our high demands and the quality demand from our customers and Obsidian controls was the right fit. Obsidian products are complementary to our existing range of products so when customers now ask for reliable control solutions, we are able to provide even wider support for all their needs.”
Obsidian, whose products are distributed exclusively by Elation Professional worldwide, has experienced sustained growth since its launch and is perhaps the fastest growing lighting control brand on the market. All Obsidian lighting controllers run ONYX, a powerful yet easy-to-learn lighting control platform designed for both hardware consoles and PC systems. Especially the scaleable NX1 lighting console has created a buzz in the lighting control community since launching in 2022 as has the NETRON line of data distribution devices.
“We are quite familiar with ONYX, which we are very keen on, and the NETRON package was exactly what we were missing: reliable quality, good looks and easy in use,” Bas stated, recalling its similarity to other data distribution equipment they have used in the past but which didn’t fulfill their need for versatile network solutions. “We sort of fell in love with the brand and our complete organisation embraced it, both sales and technical personnel.”
With more than 40 experienced employees, Controllux possesses a lot of in-house knowledge in which to support customers. “We carry stock, hold demo units and have an experienced technical team actively in the market carrying, introducing and supporting the entire portfolio of Obsidian products,” Bas emphasises. “We are happy to be a part of the Obsidian story and look forward to a successful partnership.”
In picture: Michel Hubert (sales field, Controllux), Bert Schmeits (key account manager Benelux, Elation), Romec Berendsen (sales field, Controllux), Bas Entius (sales inside, Controllux) and Enrico Daamen (management, Controllux)
31st August 2023
High Res and Brompton Technology celebrate seven years of collaboration
UK – This year marks the seventh anniversary of the successful collaborative relationship between award-winning independent design practice, High Res, and specialist manufacturer of LED video processing products for the film, broadcast and live events industries, Brompton Technology.
Building on over 25 years of experience, Dublin-based High Res specialises in visionary creative, multi-disciplinary implementation and practical solutions in virtual production and design. Its team, headed by company’s founder, Emmy Award-winning lighting designer and technical creative director, Peter Canning, uses new and innovative technologies such as industry ‘gold standard’ Brompton LED processing to realise ambitious briefs and to help bring client stories to life.
From major spectacle broadcast events to international touring theatre shows, High Res has cemented its place as an award-winning, independent design practice. The company’s move into virtual production circa 2016 includes world recognised productions such as Netflix’s ‘Nightflyers’ series, Apple TV’s ‘Foundation’ Season 1 and Prime Video’s ‘Modern Love’ Season 2, as well as more recent productions including John Carney’s ‘Flora and Son’, Sony Picture’s ‘The Pope’s Exorcist’, ‘Anansi Boys’ for Prime Video and the Liam Neeson feature, ‘Retribution’. For all of these, High Res has utlised Brompton’s Tessera LED processing, which has been a loyal companion to the company’s multi-faceted spectrum of client work.
“We were first introduced to Brompton processing when working on broadcast shows such as ‘The Voice’ over ten years ago with their original M2 processor, but we had worked with a number of the Brompton team in their previous roles at ground-breaking companies like Element Labs and Projected Image Digital,” says Canning. “What struck us the most was how similar both High Res and Brompton were in their approach to their clients and their devotion to innovation and products of quality. Our teams have jointly presented new workflows directly to DPs, DITs, production designers, art directors, VFX producers and supervisors during testing phases of productions, and Brompton’s deep knowledge and understanding of the virtual production pipeline is fundamental in creating confidence in the workflows.”
With a team of creatives, designers, project managers, producers and programmers, Canning notes how important Brompton’s renowned 24/7 customer service and support has been invaluable to High Res. “We know that wherever we are in the world, and no matter what time of the day it is, we can always count on their expert support. This definitely offers a level of comfort when working on high pressure, fast-paced film and TV productions where time is of the essence and no two creative briefs are the same,” he says.
With the film industry being one of the most demanding environments for LED screens, having a reliable processing system offers a great deal of flexibility on-set, according to Canning. “With Brompton HDR technology, Livegrade integration and the evolving feature set of their Tessera software, we have a proven workflow which delivers the exact colour reproduction our clients are looking for, offering a new level of visual storytelling. Our approach to virtual production has come from our in-camera lighting experience, and thus the colour science pipeline and brightness control is extremely important to us,” he adds. “And with recent product launches such as the new G1 receiver card and TrueLight, Brompton have expanded their offerings to DPs and DITs.”
“We are delighted and honoured to be celebrating seven years of successful collaboration with High Res,” concludes Rob Fowler, director of business development at Brompton. “Investing in strong, long-term business relationships with our customers has always been our key objective, one we have been passionately following for over ten years. We hope that our on-going pursuit to deliver cutting-edge LED video processing solutions and new Tessera features will continue enabling companies like High Res to deliver their clients’ creative visions.”
30th August 2023
CS Audio Joins the UK’s Ever-Expanding Newton Family
UK – Based in the heart of the West Midlands with a satellite office in North Wales, CS Audio is an independent professional sound production company supplying specialist equipment, personnel and services to the concert touring, theatre and events industries.
Owner Paul Hatt took very little persuading to make his initial investment in Outline’s unique Newton FPGA processor, supplied by UK distributor CUK Audio. “The unit had been on my radar for a while thanks to the industry ‘buzz’ it has generated; some products quickly develop a reputation for simply being the right tool for the job and Newton is definitely one of them. It quickly became obvious that it was way ahead of any comparable product and ideal for our needs. Its ease of use, dual redundant PSUs and connectivity options, all in such a compact package, made it a very simple decision to invest.”
Paul continues: “It has become our go-to choice for our FOH drive rack, using Dante as the primary network with AES backup and it works so well with our inventory of Martin Audio loudspeaker products. It’s already been out on tours with Groove Armada, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Soft Cell, Emma Bunton and Belinda Carlisle, plus we used it for The Alarm’s 30th anniversary show up here too. My crews really like it because it’s reliable, the control software is excellent and it’s everything they wanted. Also, James [Lawford] from CUK Audio was incredibly helpful, managing to get us product on time during the supply chain problems that have affected the whole industry.”
One of Paul’s freelancers, James Jewry, was PA technician on the The Alarm show and added: “Newton is a superb bit of kit for the heart of any audio system. The workflow and speed of operation helps me concentrate on the bit of getting the sound system tuned and lined up before handover to the band engineer. The variety of inputs and outputs, in only a 1U chassis, is super flexible to deal with whatever’s thrown at you.”
21st August 2023
Audient Appoints New US Distributor
USA – Award-winning audio equipment manufacturer Audient announces the appointment of Korg USA Inc as exclusive US distributor of its entire product range, with immediate effect.
This news comes as Momentum Audio Sales president, John Devins announces his retirement. Audient sales director Simon Sinclair remarks: "We'd like to place on record our personal appreciation of John, the whole Momentum back office team and our regional representatives. We started in his garage ten years ago, sharing space with the Triumph Spitfire and now we're a significant player in the USA market. This is thanks in no small measure to John and his highly focused US team. We wish John a very long and happy retirement with the knowledge of a job well done."
Korg USA is one of North America’s most diversified independent distributors of pro audio and musical instrument brands. Simon comments on the arrangement. “Our new partnership with Korg USA is the next step in building our business in the US and Joe and his team have a very strong understanding of the market and a focus on exceptional customer service. We are delighted to be working with Korg USA and believe this new partnership will ensure the best experience for all of our US customers."
Korg USA Inc president Joe Castronovo shares: “This appointment is aligned with our ongoing strategy to position Korg USA as a leader in a diverse range of categories of professional audio, recording, musical instruments and more.
“Audient products have proven themselves to be essential useful tools for content creators, producers, engineers and musicians, designed to deliver professional audio performance at home and in the studio. Korg USA is proud to help expand the market share of this acclaimed brand in the US and we are excited to share their innovative products with the music and content creation community, alongside our other respected brands.”
17th August 2023
Vari takes on GLP distribution in Mexico
Mexico – GLP has announced that it has appointed Vari (Video Audio Representation and Engineering) as its new exclusive distributor in Mexico with immediate effect. This will increase the German manufacturer’s outreach into the country and further into Latin America.
According to Vari president Ing. Hugo Patiño and sales director Juan Francisco, they have always formed a strong impression of GLP when attending world expos such as LDI. “Their fixture demonstrations stand out and we always see their name on international touring riders,” says Ing. Patiño. “Products such as the JDC1 and X4 Bar 20 have become industry standards in the market.”
And yet, sensing that for all its global success the brand had little profile in Mexico, they set up a meeting with GLP US president Mark Ravenhill and sales and marketing director Tyler Wise at this year’s InfoComm in Orlando and duly agreed the distribution deal.
Ing. Patiño in particular, praised the role of Tyler Wise in getting the deal over the line, stating, “We were impressed by his commitment and the support he offered, both with regard to demo equipment and product training.”
With nearly 40 years in the market, Vari will make a reliable and dynamic partner for the German company and Juan Francisco believes it will be an excellent fit: “While we already had an excellent lighting console brand, which we have managed to position well in the market, we lacked a brand of GLP’s pedigree to complement this. I am confident that both GLP and Vari will benefit tremendously from this new business alliance.”
Both he and Ing. Patiño are excited to be undertaking a complete launch of GLP from the ground up. “We have clients who have had the opportunity to work with GLP abroad and now look forward to seeing a greater presence in Mexico, as well as other companies who are equally excited,” says the latter. “Our priority will be to spread the word through a series of personalised demonstrations, product presentations and videos, showing the advantages of each GLP fixture.”
Ing. Patiño is confident that his company will be able to offer support that is equal to the quality of the brand, right across both the market and product spectrum: “In particular we will be targeting live musical events, auditoriums, theatres, arenas and sports stadia, hotels, touring companies and much more.” He says this will be as relevant to architectural products as the production lighting requirements.
Vari is planning a dedicated marketing campaign to launch the brand, at the same time setting a dedicated space at its facility to showcase the fixtures and provide training. “We take training and the technical service of the brands we represent in Mexico very seriously,” Francisco assures.
In summary, both men are delighted to be representing GLP. States Ing. Patiño: “We are proud to have become GLP’s exclusive distributor for Mexico; a move that will significantly increase the importance of Vari in the Mexican entertainment market. We strongly believe that this is the beginning of a very successful relationship for both of us and have already received many comments from our customers congratulating us on this brand acquisition. Many have already expressed their interest in acquiring GLP fixtures.”
Juan Francisco agrees: “We are convinced that this new alliance will pay dividends for both companies. From those we have spoken to there is genuine excitement at the prospect of seeing GLP equipment in Mexico. At Vari we are proud to be representing the brand.”
His sentiments are echoed by Mark Ravenhill: “We are well aware of Vari’s pedigree and are delighted to be partnering with them to boost our presence in Mexico and beyond.”
“The team at Vari has built a strong company with deep roots throughout Mexico, making them a most respected firm,” concludes Tyler Wise. “With Juan’s direction of their experienced sales team, and Vari’s willingness and ability to offer local technical support and training, the future of GLP throughout Mexico is strong. This is a partnership I am excited about, where the future is indeed bright.”
In picture: Vari founder Ing. Patiño and Juan Francisco.
15th August 2023
SIXTY82 B.V. Announces Progear OÜ as its Exclusive Distributor for Estonia
Estonia – SIXTY82 B.V., a premier manufacturer of trussing and staging systems in the entertainment industry, has announced that Progear OÜ has been appointed as its exclusive distributor for Estonia.
Progear OÜ is a dynamic and vibrant company that has quickly emerged as a significant player in the Estonian market. With a commitment to meet their customer's needs swiftly, Progear OÜ has built up a comprehensive stock of SIXTY82 products, ready for distribution.
"We are thrilled to collaborate with Progear OÜ and extend our market reach in Estonia," stated Rainier Smeding, sales director of SIXTY82. "Progear OÜ mirrors our dedication to delivering top-tier products and services. Their industry knowledge, resources, and passion position them perfectly to represent our brand and fuel our growth in this region."
Brand Manager for SIXTY82 at Progear OÜ, Andreas Reinula, will be at the helm of this partnership. Andreas brings to the table a wealth of experience in the field and an unmatched enthusiasm for SIXTY82's innovative solutions.
Raivo Sinijärv, managing partner at Progear OÜ, shared: "It's an honour to be the exclusive distributor of SIXTY82 in Estonia. Their superior product design and reliability have left a significant impression on us, and we're confident that our customers who are seeking cutting-edge trussing and staging solutions will feel the same. We are eagerly looking forward to a close collaboration with SIXTY82 and building a lasting partnership."
11th August 2023
Prism Sound Warns Customers Not to Be Fooled by Fakes
UK – Audio interface specialist Prism Sound is warning customers to be careful after counterfeit versions of the company’s award-winning Lyra audio interface were found to be on sale in the Far East.
The UK manufacturer is now investigating who is behind the fake units, which according to CEO James Woodburn are badly constructed and potentially dangerous.
“We discovered these units on sale in China and immediately bought two so that we could examine them more thoroughly,” James Woodburn says. “While they may look convincing at first glance, under the surface they are poorly made and not worth the money people are trying to sell them for. As Prism Sound’s entire philosophy is to give customers the highest possible audio quality, we want to make it very clear to all audio professionals that these counterfeits fall a long way short of the audio performance and build quality of legitimate products.”
At present, only counterfeit Prism Sound Lyra interfaces have been identified but the Atlas and Titan interfaces may also be impacted, and this is now being verified. The company’s advice to anyone offered a cut price Prism Sound unit is to check very carefully that they are not being sold an illegal copy.
“If something looks too good to be true, it usually is,” Woodburn adds. “This is patent theft and for a small manufacturer this type of illegal activity is very damaging to our core business. We don’t want customers to be fooled into buying them because we know that they won’t get the audio quality they are looking for from a poorly made copy.”
Prism Sound has always strongly advised customers to only buy its products locally from authorised and fully certified retailers. This advice is even more important now. A full list of all authorised retailers in all territories is available from the company’s website. In addition, Prism Sound is happy to check any unit to make sure it is legitimate.
“We know there is a second-hand market for audio equipment and inevitably some of our legitimate units are sold on that way,” Woodburn says. “However, we have ways of identifying real Prism Sound units and we are more than happy to check any unit someone might be thinking of buying because we don’t want our valued customers to be sold a fake.”
James Woodburn adds that illegal copies won’t be covered by Prism Sound’s usual warranty and buyers should be aware of that before they part with any cash.
For more information, please visit www.prismsound.com or speak to your local distributor/dealer.
10th August 2023
Martin Audio partners with Production Futures
UK – Production Futures, the initiative which creates opportunities for young people to learn, train, network and develop careers in production across the live event industry, has signed one of the industry’s heavy hitters, Martin Audio, as its latest high-profile partner.
“It’s wonderful that Martin Audio have seen the potential of Production Futures,” said CEO, Hannah Eakins. “We’re particularly delighted to welcome them as a British manufacturer.
“They are a forward-thinking company with a diverse work force, and we’ve seen them transform over the last 20 years.”
Production Futures is equally in the process of transformation, including the announcement of a new audio learning zone. Along with Martin Audio, this will debut at the 28th September event, which takes place at Production Park in Wakefield.
“In that sense the timing couldn’t be better for Martin Audio as we receive increasing interest from budding sound engineers,” continued Eakins. “These learning zones have already worked really well for video and lighting.”
The step change for Production Futures, and necessity to advance the landscape, has been brought about by attendances that have exceeded 1,000 visitors (at the recent Manchester event), representing some 55 colleges and universities. “It is attracting the 16-18-year-old age group as well as well as graduates,” she confirms “and we expect to hit those numbers again at Production Park.”
Someone who is particularly excited is Martin Audio product support engineer, Paul Connaughton. He has himself been leading a systematic training initiative through the UK’s relevant higher education establishments and has been in regular communication with Hannah Eakins about the possible synergies both parties can achieve via the evolving Production Futures.
“Martin Audio’s successful university programme has meant very close synergies with Production Futures. It complements what we are trying to do, as we are both committed to help encourage and educate the next wave of industry professionals, no matter what their pathway, to ensure it continues to thrive,” he states. “I can’t wait to join up with them at Production Park in September and take part in our first show. We will be showcasing some recent product on the stand, whilst demonstrating software, discussing aspects of loudspeaker and system designs. Future shows may see us delivering short training courses once we have our training certifications in place.”
Finally, Martin Audio marketing director, James King, added his own endorsement: “In further extending our outreach to the student community via Production Futures we are continuing our strong commitment to training, and at the same time taking an active role in promoting career opportunities within the industry. As a leading manufacturer it’s right that we support the next generation of sound engineers and technical crew and give back to the industry.”
9th August 2023
Powersoft steps up Japan ambitions with new office
Japan - Powersoft is preparing for a new era of growth in Japan following the opening of a dedicated office in Tokyo.
The Japanese office is the Italian company’s fourth, joining its headquarters in Scandicci, its US business in Flanders (New Jersey) and its China representative office in Beijing.
Spearheading Powersoft’s expansion in Japan is its newly appointed market development manager, Haruka Murayama (pictured), a pro-audio veteran who brings nine years’ industry experience to the role. Murayama most recently spent five years in sales with Bose Professional’s Japanese subsidiary, where she became familiar with X Series, Powersoft’s high-powered live sound amplifier platform and previously worked for the Japanese distributor of Harman, Shure and DPA Microphones.
The opening of a representative office in Japan is part of Powersoft’s strategy for growth by increasing its presence globally, with a focus on the European, North American and Asian markets. The new office will ensure a direct connection to the market, allowing for more effective management of customer feedback.
Luca Giorgi, Powersoft’s sales director, says Murayama's experience and expertise will be essential to meeting the challenge of growing the Powersoft business in Japan.
“Powersoft views Japan as a very strategic market where we have more potential for growth,” he explains. “Powersoft’s growth in the country has been good through our historical Partner, AudioBrains, but we believe that we can increase and consolidate that growth by adding Powersoft’s local resources, and it’s for this reason that we have decided to set up a representative office with Akira Mochimaru and the recent appointment of Haruka: to have local people able to boost the generation of extra demand through local relationships.
“This direct link with the market will help us to better receive feedback and requests from clients and enable Powersoft to provide better products and services to such a demanding market.”
Murayama says she is relishing the opportunity to accelerate Powersoft’s expansion into Japan, where the company’s amplifiers are considered the benchmark for tours and installations. “I am confident in promoting our products because Powersoft is already known for its high quality and innovation, which customers appreciate,” she adds.
“Powersoft's growth in the APAC region is a concrete investment aimed at taking advantage of the many opportunities that the Asia-Pacific market offers for developing and intensifying business activities, offering our portfolio of unique and innovative solutions and products, and adding a further piece to our international growth and development plan,” concludes Luca Lastrucci, CEO of Powersoft.
1st August 2023
3LR Lighting boosts brand portfolio with Schnick-Schnack-Systems
UK – Specialist consultancy 3LR Lighting has announced another key addition to its portfolio of leading lighting brands, with the inclusion of renowned LED manufacturer, Schnick-Schnack-Systems.
As a leading lighting consultancy serving architectural, entertainment, maritime, broadcast and film markets, 3LR offers wide-ranging expertise, based on its broad experience of lighting system design and control. In doing this, it advocates and is directly supported by well-known global manufacturers of lighting and control systems, including ETC, Rosco, Unonovesette, Ventana, Studio Due, SUMOLIGHT and now, Schnick-Schnack-Systems.
From its manufacturing base in Germany, Schnick-Schnack-Systems produces individual, ready-to-use lighting solutions with associated controls for a broad range of applications, especially television and film studios, architectural projects, system integrations, cruise ships and events. Its range of high-quality LED components includes strips, tiles and dots designed for decorative use in all types of environment, for indoor or outdoor use. Schnick-Schnack-Systems is able to offer its own production line, electrical and mechanical design, and CNC consulting, all under one roof, enabling it to respond quickly to individual customer demands.
“With 3LR we merge two excellent teams,” says Solveig Busler, speaking on behalf of Schnick-Schnack-Systems. “With the expertise of 3LR we have a brand representative that understands our product range and will make it easier for the customers to explore our products. 3LR’s knowledge makes them the ideal partner to represent our brand and our products in the UK market and to realise amazing projects with their customers in the UK. Our aim is to deliver lighting modules that are installed in the most beautiful and outstanding projects.”
The close collaboration between the two companies has already begun, with UK customers benefitting from training sessions that will bring them much closer to the manufacturer. 3LR and Schnick-Schnack-Systems will be participating together at industry events including the PLASA Show, Production Futures and Light23, to meet customers, colleagues and friends.
Matt Lloyd, director of 3LR Lighting, says: “The addition of Schnick-Schnack-Systems to our growing list of supporting manufacturers is a great step for 3LR. Like many people in the UK market, we’ve long been aware of the excellence of their products. We look forward to working with Solveig and all the brilliant team to maximise the brand’s extraordinary potential in the wide variety of markets that we serve.”
Busler adds: “We are convinced that there is a huge potential for growth with 3LR and Schnick-Schnack-Systems. We expect 3LR to be very strong in architectural lighting and system integration. We know that they are extraordinarily skilled in providing comprehensive solutions in lighting and control and what more could we ask for, when we have so many pixels to be driven?”
In picture: 3LR's Matt Lloyd and Josh Allen with Solveig Busler (centre) of Schnick-Schnack-Systems at this year's Prolight+Sound event in Frankfurt, Germany.
28th July 2023
Groundbreaking new HQ for Northamptonshire business determined to protect the planet
UK – Unusual Rigging commenced building works on a ground-breaking new headquarters on Wednesday 26th July in its commitment to respond to the climate emergency.
The innovative project is set to see the company pave the way as pioneers, showing what can be done towards regenerative design within the built environment whilst also sharing the obstacles they face with the wider industry.
Unusual is determined to demonstrate that ‘business as usual’ can be business as Unusual, in pursuit of ecologically intelligent design principles.
The organisation, renowned for its work on events like the Olympics, the World Cup and West End and touring theatre hit shows, is taking a huge leap forward in their commitment to the circular economy.
The design for the new HQ and research building, on the company’s current site in Bugbrooke, Northamptonshire, takes all the economic principles of the circular economy and applies them to the new building.
Tom Harper, managing director at Unusual Rigging explained: “It’s all about designing out waste, designing for disassembly, running on renewables, sequestering carbon, etc. We’ve been applying these principles to our work in the industry for a while now. We were selected as a finalist in the prestigious World Economic Forum ‘Circulars’ award scheme for our innovations towards a circular economic business model. Now we’re taking it that one step further and we’re excited to be leading the way. We are very much ahead of any legislation in our aspirations to achieve this.”
In the new building, Unusual, along with architects Corstophine & Wright, are:
- choosing carbon sequestering materials over carbon intensive ones (accoya wood over standard cladding. Glulam timber over steel).
- delivering on an internal design, based on principles of reuse –opting for biodegradable materials over carbon intensive (breathaboard over plasterboard).
- addressing heating and lighting requirements with passive haus capacity in mind
- constructing the building to be easily disassembled at end of life, meaning all the materials could be reused again.
- planning to regenerate the landscape, adding ponds and specific landscaping for a bent towards rewilding
- ensuring that the building will be run on 100% onsite renewable energy (solar)
- Adding a further twelve electric vehicle charging points
Jonathan Plant, director at Corstophine & Wright said: “It is rare and refreshing to have a client like Unusual. In his role to drive forward the development of their new headquarters, Tom has had the confidence and tenacity to follow his aspirations for a building routed in the principles of the circular economy. Going well beyond what most owners or developers might consider sustainable, we as architects, needed to innovate in the way we design and the materials we use. We have and are facing constant obstacles to overcome with the design of the building, whether that’s with materials that are still being tested before coming to market or with stakeholders who don’t share the same commitment. Tom is without doubt, an inspirational client to work with.”
26th July 2023
ELC appoints ECM S.A. as distributor for Switzerland
Switzerland – ELC Lighting has announced the appointment of a new exclusive distributor for its award-winning ELC brand of DMX control and networking tools in Switzerland – Electric Claudio Merlo Lighting Equipment S.A. (ECM S.A.).
Founded in 1971 by Claudio Merlo, and based in the southern Canton of Ticino, ECM S.A. found success as a supplier of popular lighting brands such as Coemar and Optikinetics, to the booming discotheque market. At the end of the 1970s, the business base expanded to include Swiss theatres. From its beginnings in rented garage spaces, the company has grown to employ 14 people and now serves the whole country from a modern headquarters and centralised warehouse, with branches in German and French-speaking Switzerland.
Welcoming the ELC brand to the ECM S.A. portfolio, managing director Lorenzo Merlo comments: “As a pioneer in the field of IP lighting networks for over 20 years, ELC has benefited from strong distribution in Switzerland right from the start and has long been one of the recommended standards for fixed installations. Also, many rental companies are loyal to the ELC brand.”
Manufactured in Gemert, in the Netherlands, ELC’s network solutions already provide a respected complement to the console and dimmer brands in ECM’s S.A. portfolio, guaranteeing system homogeneity. The inclusion of ELC now enables ECM S.A. to respond to system requests of all sizes, from simple DMX control points to complex IP networks, giving customers the convenience of having a single point of contact for the entire control chain.
Of ELC’s strengths, Merlo points to the wide-ranging configuration possibilities and ease of use. “For example, ELC’s DMXLAN software,” he says, “which is constantly evolving, enables remote control of all network components, as well as the fixtures connected to them and facilitates setup work with or without the use of the RDM-QR.”
He adds: “Generally, ELC’s durability means that products and parts can be supplied over very long periods. This continuity enables users to upgrade or maintain their installations many years after commissioning.”
Merlo sees great potential for the ELC brand in Switzerland, both in legacy systems and as the industry continues to evolve. He says: “The opportunities we see are as diverse as updating ELC installations that are over 15 years old, to introducing ArtNet, sAcn and DMX protocols in home automation and architectural lighting.”
Over more than half a century, ECM S.A. has established itself as a leading supplier of renowned brands from across the entertainment industry. Active in theatre, television, live music, conferences, hotels, cinemas and multi-purpose venues, as well as in architectural fields, ECM S.A. supplies professional equipment to installers and rental companies throughout Switzerland.
Silvio Cibien, ELC’s international sales manager, says: “We are very pleased to welcome ECM S.A. to our international family of distributors. Of course, we have known of the company and its strengths for many years, so this is an exciting time! As we look to the future, to the next stage of our growth in the Swiss market, ELC could not be in better hands than with ECM S.A.”
In picture: inset top left, Günther Wiedemann and (bottom left) Alain Suard; main picture, clockwise from top left: Marco Cereda, Barbara Magni, Lorenzo Merlo, Giuseppe Marzella, Michele Schäfer, Giovanni De Leonardis and Manolito Lucchini.
25th July 2023
Powersoft Expands Footprint in China
China – Miao Wang (pictured) has joined Powersoft China as a solutions engineer in its new Beijing office.
Wang, who will host the highly anticipated Chinese launch of the UNICA platform at InfoComm China (19-21 July), is the latest hire for Powersoft’s local operation, which recently relocated to the national capital from its previous office in Shenzhen. He will report directly to Abbu Hu, Powersoft’s chief representative officer in China.
Wang joins Powersoft from a local pro-audio equipment manufacturer, where he worked with clients to deliver professional sound solutions, introduce new products and provide manufacturer support for important projects and installations. Previously, after studying professional audio at university, he worked as a sound engineer at a television station, handling live sound mixing and recording.
It was as a student that Wang first came across Powersoft’s amplifiers which, he explains, are as renowned in China for their power, quality and efficiency as in the rest of the world. He says he is enthusiastic about bringing his pro-audio industry expertise to bear in his new role and spreading the word about the company’s industry leading hardware and software solutions with his Chinese colleagues.
“I am looking forward to contributing my experience and understanding of professional audio,” he explains, “and sharing how Powersoft’s powerful products provide the most suitable solutions for the market. I am also excited to collaborate with my new colleagues and partners to meet the needs of and provide the best service to our clients.”
Welcoming Wang to Powersoft, Hu says she is: “looking forward to working with Miao to further drive awareness of the Powersoft brand in the Chinese market.”
Alongside Xiang Ji, senior director of marketing for Powersoft’s Chinese distributor, EZPro, Wang will host the official presentation of UNICA, Powersoft’s ultra-versatile new install amplifier platform and Universo, its complementary cloud-based software, at InfoComm China in Beijing.
19th July 2023
Backup launches Are You OK? campaign to support mental wellbeing industry-wide
UK – This year’s Kart-Fest, The Village Fete saw Backup launch Are you OK?, a campaign aimed at raising further awareness of mental health throughout the technical entertainment industry.
Founded in the early 2000s to provide financial support to technical professionals across sectors such as concert, live events, theatre, TV and film, Backup expanded its remit during the pandemic and has adapted its services to support colleagues not just potential facing financial hardship from physical illness, but their mental health and wellbeing.
The annual Kart-Fest has been the most prominent and successful of Backup’s fund raising activities, bringing together karting fans and spectators alike to enjoy a fun-filled day, with this year’s Village Fete theme brining much added to the enjoyment whilst raising money and much-needed awareness of their cause. Around 70% of the technical industry’s crew is freelance and since the pandemic, Backup has seen a marked increase in mental health support requests, evidencing the lack of support, resources and aid provided for this valued workforce.
This year, Backup announced its new campaign, Are You OK?, to signpost easy, confidential and sensitive access to both urgent and non-urgent mental health support, with a focus on the freelancers who are not otherwise supported. Working with industry suppliers and venues, Backup will provide a single point of access for the technical industry’s crew members and freelancers by utilising industry equipment, noticeboards and venues to place prominent campaign posters with information and QR code providing direct access to support resources.
Creative Technologies (CT) was one of the first organisations to join the cause and could not be prouder to be involved. “Here at CT, we view supporting strong mental health as an essential part of our culture, providing the environment, structure and engagement for all our team both staff and freelance,” says Marc Butterworth, CT UK’s director of operations. “The opportunity to be onboard from the start with Backups 'Are you okay?' Campaign was one we felt we couldn't miss. It's a fantastic way to get information to those in the industry, who need support, on where to go for help on issues surrounding mental health.
The posters are right there, on the flightcases, in front of those working hard to deliver incredible results for our clients. We have had great feedback already and our inhouse mental health first aid team could not be happier at the speed this has reached the target audience. Thank you Backup.”
Not only is the support of organisations such as CT essential to reach the individuals who so desperately need the support, it is critical they get behind the message to ensure the resource is utilised in an industry where mental health support has not always been a priority.
The Rock & Roll culture has long provided a breeding ground for a lack of self-care, ignorance of mental health struggles and even shame when it comes to asking for help. Are you OK? hopes to break this damaging stigma by allowing industry professionals a safe and confidential space to admit they may not be OK and signpost to urgent and non-urgent mental health support.
“I know first-hand the impact that mental health issues can have,” adds Autograph managing director and Backup trustee, Scott Arnold. “I've been very lucky to have the unwavering support of Autograph and it’s made a world of difference to me. But not everyone is as lucky, so it’s vital that organisations within the industry make sure the individuals who so desperately need help can reach it quickly and easily. It’s wonderful to see these companies already getting behind the message to ensure the resource is utilised in an industry where mental health support has not always been a priority. We encourage as many more as possible to get involved."
Stage Sound Services, TSL, 22Live and Christie Lites have also proudly signed up to the Are You OK? cause and look forward to seeing the difference it makes to their colleagues and friends.
If you would like to join them helping signpost to mental health support, you can take advantage of the generosity of Le Mark, which is providing free ‘Are You OK?’ stickers (one packet of 20 stickers per company/venue) and 5 Star Cases, who will supply any new flightcases produced for customers who request it with the ‘Are You OK?’ QR code already printed onto their flightcases.
To find out more about the Are You OK? and sign up to the campaign, please visit https://www.backuptech.uk/download-areas/publicity-and-campaign/
19th July 2023
HIVE and Production Park forge strategic partnership
UK – Manufacturer of innovative media engines, HIVE is known for its alternative approach to offering outstanding performance in a smaller form factor. With lower energy consumption and a reduced carbon footprint, HIVE products offer the same or improved media output as costly competitors.
On a mission to continually improve the way AV projects are delivered, HIVE products have been deployed at some of the most exciting immersive events and exhibitions around the world, including the Japan 2020 Olympics, Liverpool World Museum, Dubai World Expo and Frameless London. Of particular note is the recent launch of HIVE's innovative BeeBlade product, an integrated media control solution offering unprecedented efficiency and convenience at an affordable price point.
This ambition has led HIVE to forge a strategic partnership with the prestigious live experience and entertainment campus, Production Park. A community of people and businesses focusing on innovation and cross-collaboration, Production Park is where live events and experiences are created. This partnership is based on the shared future visions of HIVE and Production Park: innovative technology with a reduced carbon footprint that is disruptive to the marketplace. Furthermore, through this partnership, HIVE now has access to capital to support its growth and product roadmap.
HIVE and Production Park’s partnership will continue to strengthen through the sponsorship of HIVE products within Production Park studios and classrooms, whilst Kane Sargent, an ex-student of Backstage Academy at Production Park, has joined the HIVE team as a full-time support engineer.
“Production Park is where the industry comes together, and we’re thrilled that our technology has a place there,” remarks Mark Calvert, co-founder at HIVE. “It’s also important to us that the people around us are aligned on our core values, such as innovation, education and sustainability, and the expertise and experience at Production Park is rooted solidly in these foundations.”
“HIVE stands for all we believe in here at Production Park: innovation, sustainability and a dedication to transferring the tools and the knowledge to the next generation of live experience professionals,” confirms Lee Brooks, CEO at Production Park. “We’re delighted to be able to support their exciting growth story.”