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Business News Headlines

Martin Audio Outlines Green Policy, including commitment to plant 50,000 trees

09/08/2022

Ayrton appoints VGD Project as exclusive distributor for Latvia and Estonia

01/08/2022

Astera launches New Website

26/07/2022

Out Board Appoints Phoenix Audio as distribution channel for mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan

26/07/2022

DiGiCo appoints RMS Proaudio as Portuguese distributor

25/07/2022

Brompton Technology secures £5.1m investment from Connection Capital to capitalise on growth opportunities

19/07/2022

Backup launches new Mental Health First Aider logo

13/07/2022

disguise acquires creative studio Meptik to accelerate global delivery of world-class immersive productions

12/07/2022

Mash P Receives Audient Scholarship to Study at ICMP

12/07/2022

Version 2 Lights Ltd acquires Finelight Ltd

06/07/2022

New Ayrton focus for Denmark, Sweden and Norway

05/07/2022

Equipson Appoints ZaLight to Handle its FANTEK Products In Italy

30/06/2022

Celeste Jones receives prestigious Sennheiser LIPA Scholarship

24/06/2022

ChamSys and StageMix Look Forward to Bright Future in India

16/06/2022

NEXT Truss Acquires Interal T.C.

01/06/2022

Ayrton sponsors two new interviews for Women in Lighting: Sooner Routhier and Emmanuelle ‘Gigi’ Pedron

30/05/2022

Prism Sound Appoints Bluesound as its Hungarian Distributor

30/05/2022

Atlona Heats Up AV Distribution in Bangladesh with Moin Group

26/05/2022

disguise launches Metaverse Solutions division enabling next-level extended reality experiences

26/05/2022

Robe Supports UCI MTB XCO World Cup

24/05/2022

disguise finalises AdMiRe research project with the European Union programme

24/05/2022

Stage Precision and Neutral Human Announce Strategic Partnership

19/05/2022

Christie acquires assets of Brass Roots Technologies

18/05/2022

Robe UK Joins albert

13/05/2022

Creative Technology Become First HOLOPLOT Partner in the UK

13/05/2022

Martin Audio Outlines Green Policy, including commitment to plant 50,000 trees

Martin Audio Outlines Green Policy, including commitment to plant 50,000 trees

UK – Martin Audio recently introduced a dedicated environment page to its website, detailing its approach to the climate emergency. Today, they took that a step further, announcing the funding completion for planting 50,000 trees, plus an ongoing commitment to plant another new tree for every line array cabinet sold.

Managing director, Dom Harter, takes up the story: “As a global leader in the pro audio industry, and as part of the wider Focusrite Group, environmental sustainability is a major opportunity for us to demonstrate climate leadership and values, define good environmental practice, and benefit from an opportunity to meaningfully engage with our staff, customers, and the wider audio community. Working alongside Andy Land, head of sustainability for Focusrite Group, we have been outlining our approach and commencing the work.”

Land added: “Our approach to environmental sustainability extends to our complete operation, aiming to embed us within the circular economy. We believe the only way to make sure we’re doing the right thing is to look at our products in detail across the whole lifecycle, starting with production, then logistics, energy consumption and end of life treatment.

“It’s going to take time, but we’re aiming to map the life cycle of every product and through this detailed work, we’re starting to uncover the environmental hot spots in our products, and what we can do about it. The work involved will not only involve holistic sustainable design, but also packaging, energy efficiency and the headquarters building.”

This longer-term work is complemented by the announcement of Martin Audio’s funding completion for 50, 000 new trees as well a new tree for every line array cabinet sold moving forward.

Commenting on the proposal, Harter said: “It’s well known that forests are among the most important carbon sinks on the planet, and they also harbour enormous levels of biodiversity. Unfortunately, global forests are continuing to decline, which could lead to entire regions becoming uninhabitable if there isn’t change.

“We’re doing what we can to help reverse this by collaborating with the experts at Ecologi and their trusted partners to have already planted 50,000 new native trees. This is part of wider afforestation projects that will transform the local landscape, increase biodiversity, improve resilience to climate change, and over time, as these trees mature, they will sequester carbon within the soil to fight global heating. Furthermore, we are committing to planting a new tree for every line array cabinet sold moving forward. In other words, it’s a small step in paying it back and paying it forward.”

9th August 2022

Ayrton appoints VGD Project as exclusive distributor for Latvia and Estonia

Ayrton appoints VGD Project as exclusive distributor for Latvia and Estonia
Ayrton appoints VGD Project as exclusive distributor for Latvia and Estonia

Europe – As Ayrton continues to expand its carefully chosen network of distributors and comprehensive global customer service, it is delighted to welcome VGD Project SIA of Riga, Latvia as its newest distributor. With immediate effect, VGD Project will exclusively represent Ayrton in Latvia and Estonia.

VDG Project was founded in 2013 as the certified provider distributor and training centre for L-Acoustics in Baltic States where it is responsible for the territories of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, as well as Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Uzbekistan.

The company, project specialists with a reputation for investing only in the top technologies, then looked to extend its offering to include professional lighting and turned to Ayrton’s comprehensive product line to fulfil this promise: “Our goal is to represent only one manufacturer in each market segment,” explains VGD Project’s CEO, Igor Verkholat. “Only one brand and preferably the best! In this way we can be sure to supply a complete service for both the pro-audio and pro-lighting markets, and Ayrton fits into our philosophy very well.”

VGD Project will be distributing the entire Ayrton range of products and will concentrate its efforts on all sectors of the arts and performance, sporting, entertainment and rental markets.

“We formed VGD’s brand portfolio to cover all the needs of our customers and better develop our company,” confirms Natalia Petrukhina, VGD Project’s marketing manager. “This collaboration with Ayrton will allow us to promote our professional and business competences more effectively in the area of the Baltic States.”

“We are very much looking forward to this new working arrangement with VGD, and are excited at the prospect of developing a new market with the energy and expertise of this well-established and respected company,” says Ayrton’s Kseniia Igoshkina.

In picture: VGD Project CEO Igor Verkholat and VGD Project Marketing, PR and Communications Manager Natalia Petrukhina.

1st August 2022

Astera launches New Website

Astera launches New Website
Astera launches New Website

Wireless LED lighting manufacturer Astera launches a vibrant new multi-lingual website optimised for all devices, action packed with product information, full of technical specs, news, useful tips and tricks, invaluable troubleshooting advice, plus a wealth of information about the company, its people, products and ethos.

Essentially everything needed to know about Astera in one erudite, fast, easily navigable, stylishly designed portal, www.astera-led.com.

Astera sales director Sebastian Bückle explained that when the previous website was launched, they had three lighting fixtures and ten accessories available. There are currently 11 unique and innovative Astera luminaires and an impressive 150 handy accessories, all of which deserve their own pages complete with videos and downloads.

“Our objective was to empower our users by creating the smartest web page in the industry containing a mine of relevant information explaining products and answering all questions.”

The project was started during the Covid lockdowns when remote support became a vital service.

Each Astera accessory now has its own page with text, specs, videos, pictures, downloads, etc. which helps showcase the accessory and its capabilities and applications.

A new support section has a smart FAQ area with links to all the key places holding related information.

With the live show and event industry back to full speed and more: “We fully appreciate that technicians, gaffers, crew, designers, etc., need to get good and accurate info in seconds, so we focused on embracing this with practical design and the streamlining of basic elements like the menu systems which are logical and intuitive,” notes Sebastian.

Having good and comprehensive technical support is vital for Astera as the lights become increasingly complex with more features, so the website is designed for all users to find answers to their questions at any time and from any place in the world!

Some excellent resources are online to help people with their needs, including the Astera Academy which offers great tutorials with chapters comprehensively covering most features on all the products.

The Astera User’s Group – currently 5000+ and growing – is replete with friendly and knowledgeable members who share expertise and assist each other daily.

The Interactive FAQ is brand new, and functions almost like an intelligent chatbot. It responds with a predefined answer to typed-in questions. Aware of how some chatbots can be slow, annoying, and frustrating, this tool will be under constant development and able to answer more and more questions over time. Instead of offering just a simple answer, it can cross reference to a particular chapter of a tutorial or offer links to a relevant download.

Also new is a shopping cart with “get a quote” functionality that will be forwarded to the respective regional dealer / distributor.

With online shopping well established, while Astera sells via global dealership network, this feature makes it super easy to connect with the relevant local distributor. Demos can also be arranged via the distributor.

A new buy and rent page shows distributors, service centres and rental companies on a world map, also making it quick and straightforward to source Astera products locally.

The news section features a diverse array of Astera projects in action around the world. From music tours and festivals to industrial events and art exhibitions, this trove of info includes lively articles and stunning picture galleries, videos and other illustrations, all with valuable insights into how the products are being used creatively and imaginatively by designers working in different disciplines.

Available in several key languages, Astera wanted to ensure this resource was accessible to everyone, from big rental companies to the numerous smaller customers internationally who might buy a handful of lights or rent lights for one gig.

“We want to make sure everyone can fully understand and appreciate the scope of the products and their features, and while translating the website is a vast amount of work, we have a great team who come from our industry and know all the right terms, lingo and colloquialisms in each language,” stated Sebastian.

Building a big website like this from scratch has involved a lot of energy, commitment and resources, but “it will save time for the whole Astera community in the long run,” stated Sebastian.

In the pacey world of digital communication, the website conveniently answers so many questions or refers people to the correct locations to get support, and is available 24/7, so rather than having to potentially wait to get through to Astera HQ or the distributor, solutions can be found with a few clicks.

Astera launches New WebsiteAstera launches New Website

26th July 2022

Out Board Appoints Phoenix Audio as distribution channel for mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan

Out Board Appoints Phoenix Audio as distribution channel for mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan

China – UK spatial audio pioneer, Out Board, has appointed Phoenix Audio Distribution as the new TiMax distributor for mainland China and Hong Kong including Macau and Taiwan. The company has strong links with the team at Out Board and the TiMax product range, already holding stock at its Guangzhou and Hong Kong offices, with plans to invest immediately into inventory for demonstration and support purposes at its offices in Beijing and Shanghai.

The team at Phoenix Audio, headed up by Chris Zhang and Mac Lo, is well versed in the needs of the pro audio market in its territory, servicing a wide range of premium specifiers, integrators and operator contacts plus considerable experience in the professional live performance and AV installation marketplaces.

Chris Zhang, commented: “It is a great honour to take on the distribution of the TiMax range of products. At Phoenix, we understand TiMax SoundHub and TiMax Tracker, and how they will bring the best sound arrangements for our customers across the Grand China area. This is a very exciting time for our customers and us.”

Out Board director Dave Haydon added: “We’re very fortunate to continue our work in China and Hong Kong with our friends at Phoenix Audio. We look forward to working with them to increase our already significant market penetration in the Hong Kong and PRC territories, and working more closely with customers in Taiwan.”

26th July 2022

DiGiCo appoints RMS Proaudio as Portuguese distributor

DiGiCo appoints RMS Proaudio as Portuguese distributor

Portugal – Expert in providing pro audio solutions to Southern Europe, RMS Proaudio has been working with DiGiCo as its Spanish distributor for almost two decades and have established DiGiCo as the go-to mixing solution for the Spanish market.

“RMS Proaudio have been consistently successful with the DiGiCo brand across Spain, so when the time came to appoint a new distributor for Portugal, they were an obvious choice,” says DiGiCo sales application specialist, Fernando Delgardo.

“We have been distributing DiGiCo to the Spanish market for more than 18 years and now we are excited to bring the same level of experience, support and technical service to Portugal,” says Miguel Angel Jiménez, general manager of RMS Proaudio (pictured). “We are delighted to have this great opportunity and aim to take advantage of all these years working with DiGiCo so that it becomes a reference in Portugal in the same way it is in Spain.”

www.digico.biz

25th July 2022

DiGiCo

Brompton Technology secures £5.1m investment from Connection Capital to capitalise on growth opportunities

UK – Brompton Technology, a global market leader in processing solutions for LED video walls used in live events and virtual production for film and television, has secured a growth capital investment from specialist private client alternative investments business, Connection Capital.

Richard Mead, Brompton Technology CEO, is clear on the benefits the investment will bring to the company. “We are seeing unprecedented growth in demand for our cutting-edge, robust, tour and virtual production-ready LED video processing products from our core industry sectors, as well as a lot of exciting potential for our technology to be applied to new markets. Whilst our focus on quality and dedication to customer service will remain the same, Connection Capital’s investment gives us the ability to scale up rapidly to meet demand and address the new opportunities that are presenting themselves.”

“Brompton Technology is an excellent example of a successful business that pivoted, almost overnight, into virtual production for film and TV during the pandemic and is now emerging even stronger than before,” comments Miles Otway, partner at Connection Capital. “With its industry-leading technology, diversified revenue streams, talented management team and soaring demand for its products, Brompton Technology has a very compelling growth story that has really appealed to our private investor clients.”

Alongside Connection Capital’s investment, Neil Gaydon, a highly experienced non-executive chairman, will also join Brompton’s board. Neil has a track record of successfully delivering growth in technology companies, including as CEO of Pace plc from 2006-2011, during which time Pace became the world’s largest provider of digital TV technologies to the pay TV industry.

Mead concludes: “We are fortunate to be in a leadership position in a rapidly growing market. This investment will enable us to capitalise on growth opportunities and deliver outstanding visual experiences to more and more people worldwide. We are excited to start a new phase of our journey with support from Connection Capital.”

19th July 2022

Brompton Technology

Backup launches new Mental Health First Aider logo

Backup launches new Mental Health First Aider logo

UK – Following in the footsteps of other industries that have taken steps to raise awareness of the importance of mental health, Backup has created an industry specific Mental Health First Aider logo to help signpost people in need of support on a production, raise awareness and promote discussion around the subject of mental health in our industry.

Backup’s goal is to ensure that in every crew there is at least one trained Mental Health First Aider crew member for every 20 crew members. We trust that venues, promoters and production companies will engage with this is and it becomes part of crew contracts,” says Backup vice chair, Piers Shepperd. “We hope this logo will become a recognised standard on shows, events and in our industry workplaces, helping to destigmatise mental health issues and make our industry a happier, healthier place to work.”

The new Technical Entertainment Industry MHFA logo is available for use by: 

  • Individuals who have completed an MHFA training course (MHFA England certified*)

  • Industry specific MHFA course providers (MHFA England certified*)

  • Industry companies which appoint and promote specific MHFA trained staff (MHFA England certified*)

  • Venues that appoint and promote MHFA trained staff (MHFA England certified*)

  • Events and tours that appoint and promote MHFA trained freelancers (MHFA England certified*)

Backup, in conjunction with industry leading MHFA course providers Music Support and the ABTT, will be providing the logo pack to all attendees of courses going forward. If you have previously attended the course via one of the afore mentioned providers, then please contact your relevant course provider for the logo pack.

If, as individual, you have attended an MHFA course from a provider outside of the industry, please contact Backup who will verify (MHFA England certified*) and send you the logo pack.

Any companies, venues, events or tours that have appointed an MHFA as per above and please contact Backup.

“Music Support is proud to be a preferred training provider working in partnership to support this much needed initiative for our industry,” says Eric Mtungwazi, chief executive, Music Support. “Attitudes are beginning to change but there is still so much misunderstood and stigma about common mental health problems. No one in our industry should suffer alone, in silence, or without access to effective help and support. Working together we can make that support a reality.”

“The Association of British Theatre Technicians is very pleased to adopt and support the new MHFA logo, recognising the importance of support for mental well-being across the live performance and events industries,” says Mig Burgess Walsh, co-chair, ABTT. “The ABTT has committed to understanding and improving provisions for the mental health and well-being of those working in our sector, particularly those employed backstage or in technical or production roles. The common identity provided by this logo will help identify the value we collectively place on this work as the association continues to deliver projects focused on raising awareness of well-being in our sector and encouraging a cultural change towards mental health in our industry.”

“We invite our industry friends and colleagues to get behind this new industry specific MHFA logo and help promote Mental Health awareness in our industry,” Piers concludes. “And don’t forget, if you are a freelancer you can sign up for our AJ Bursary for free MHFA training; the course is provided by our fellow industry charity Music Support.”

*If you have attended a Mental Health First Aider course which was not delivered by an approved MHFA England Certified Instructor Member, please contact Backup as we have a wider list of approved Mental Health First Aid Instructor Training Providers we can check against.

13th July 2022

disguise acquires creative studio Meptik to accelerate global delivery of world-class immersive productions

disguise acquires creative studio Meptik to accelerate global delivery of world-class immersive productions

UK – disguise, the market leader in extended reality (xR) technology, has acquired Atlanta-based immersive entertainment specialists Meptik, to empower the global deployment of trailblazing immersive productions, studios and installations delivered by Meptik and powered by disguise.

While both companies will continue to operate as separate entities, disguise will be leveraging Meptik’s expertise to expand its global reach, helping creatives build the next generation of extended reality and metaverse experiences. Meptik’s teams will work with disguise to workshop new solutions, create product roadmaps, and drive new standards in entertainment technology.

Meptik specialises in creating dynamic virtual worlds that blow audiences away and keeps them coming back. Their clients range from film studios to lifestyle brands, Fortune 500s, musical artists, and more.

Combining creative chops with technical skills, Meptik is always working behind the scenes to define what’s next for Extended Reality (xR), Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), and Virtual Production (VP). Led by Sarah Linebaugh and Nick Rivero, their team of experts deliver groundbreaking projects for film-makers and broadcasters as well as remarkable corporate and immersive installations.

xR technology unleashes storytelling potential by delivering photorealistic, three-dimensional, real-time graphics that immerse performers and audiences alike in a virtual world visible on set and in-camera.

disguise’s market-leading extended reality (xR) workflow has, in the past two years alone, enabled over 600 xR productions in over 50 countries, powering live entertainment productions for music artists such as Katy Perry and Billie Eilish, film and episodic TV productions for Netflix and Amazon Prime, corporate presentations for Siemens and Verizon and live broadcast programmes from Eurosport, MTV and ITV.

With new disguise locations opening up around the world and a software interface available in multiple languages, disguise is accelerating the democratisation of its xR workflow to meet the expanding appetite for xR, virtual production and virtual studios.

As a rapidly growing global player in the Events, Media and Entertainment space, disguise is well placed to support a similar growth trajectory for Meptik, bringing their creative and technical expertise to all. Customers can expect a Meptik team with the latest technology in their back pocket, and an ever-growing global team of experts to support them on their creative journey.

Meptik will also use its unique combination of creative and technical expertise, to aid disguise in its mission to empower game-changing virtual experiences - at the intersection of physical and virtual worlds.

“We have always prided ourselves on our ability to service both sides of the xR equation – the creative and the technical – and we love creating dynamic virtual worlds that blow audiences away,” says Nick Rivero, co-founder of Meptik. “Joining forces with disguise will enhance our ability to continue to serve our clients from start to finish while maintaining our down-to-earth spirit.”

“Meptik has been a trusted partner of disguise for many years, growing to excel at bringing out the very best capability for disguise solutions. Given that we have both been, in the past two years, bringing extended reality and immersive entertainment to the world, this acquisition would expand on these efforts and lead the next era for extended reality and metaverse experiences,” says disguise CEO Fernando Kufer.

12th July 2022

Mash P Receives Audient Scholarship to Study at ICMP

Mash P Receives Audient Scholarship to Study at ICMP

UK – Mash P is getting a hands-on, practical introduction to the world of production thanks to the Audient sponsorship at ICMP. Enrolled on the six-month Music Production & Sound Engineering course, he is building on his burgeoning talent as a musician. He even performed at the Glastonbury Festival this year, celebrating the release of his latest music.

“I want to say thank you to ICMP for the environment, the equipment, studios and the space for people like me to learn,” he says. “Also, thank you for the equipment given to me from my Audient sponsorship.” Audient provided him with the EVO Start Recording bundle, which includes EVO 4 audio interface, the EVO SR1 condenser mic and EVO SR2000 monitoring headphones.

Mash, whose given name is Nathaniel Sesay, was captured by civil war rebels when he was nine in his native Sierra Leone. After the brutal civil war was over, he was completely rejected by family and friends and had to spend 12 years living on the streets of Freetown. When he started writing music, his alter-ego Mash P was born.

“Doing music keeps me alive. I forget about my past. Music can’t judge me. The only thing I had was music. Music saved my life,” he says. He is getting so much out of his studies in the UK, he said he’d like to do more courses in the future. “It’s a pleasure to be in the school. I want to say thanks to the tutors and staff for their encouragement, as they are really helpful.

“ICMP gives me more courage and energy. Now I believe my dream is coming true,” he says. “This is what heals me. I just want to be accepted into the community for my musical talent, so I am really happy about this ICMP course.”

12th July 2022

Version 2 Lights Ltd acquires Finelight Ltd

Version 2 Lights Ltd acquires Finelight Ltd

UK – Version 2 has announced that it completed the asset purchase of Finelight Ltd ("Finelight"), a UK-based television lighting rental company.

Finelight's rental business will merge fully under the Version 2 umbrella with immediate effect. The coming together will benefit existing customers of both parties with a new increased inventory pool. This integration combined with substantial equipment investment reflects the forward momentum at Version 2.

Version 2's managing director Nick Edwards said: "We are excited to integrate Finelight's inventory into our growing operations. As a preferred supplier to the BBC, Finelight have built up an excellent reputation for quality of service. We're equally delighted to welcome Simon Perrott to our management team."

Finelight's managing director Simon Perrott added: "We have got to know Nick and the team at Version 2 over recent years whilst collaborating on a number of high profile shows. We have a shared passion for great customer service, and we're looking forward to building upon this further with the backing of Version 2 and their large equipment inventory."

Simon, a veteran of the TV lighting industry, started his career at Richard Martin Lighting before forming Finelight over 25 years ago. He was involved with some of the first supply of moving lights to studios, working on iconic shows such as Top of the Pops.

At Version 2, Simon will be account managing a wide range of shows, including continuing his long standing relationship with leading LD David Bishop.

During the course of July 2022, Finelight's operations will be consolidated into Version 2's Reading headquarters. Communication channels for both companies in the interim will remain unchanged.

6th July 2022

New Ayrton focus for Denmark, Sweden and Norway

Nordics – In keeping with Ayrton’s accelerating strategy of focused distribution, and in amicable agreement with our friends and partner, LiteNordic, Ayrton’s sales and distribution arrangements for Norway, Denmark and Sweden will soon be changing.

With effect from 31 July 2022, LiteNordic will no longer be Ayrton’s distributor in these countries. LiteNordic will continue to represent Ayrton until that date, and support all sales made before 31 July under warranty thereafter.

All sales enquiries after that date should be made to Matt Hallard, Ayrton’s European sales director, until a new distributor is appointed.

“Ayrton is now actively inviting Nordic distributors and industry captains looking for an exciting new challenge to get in touch,” says Hallard. “We are very grateful to LiteNordic for the past two years of dedication and hard work but agree that a change in distributorship is now the way forward. We will continue to work closely with LiteNordic until 31 July 2022 to ensure a seamless transition to new distribution partnerships.

“Ayrton is the leading brand of LED – and now laser – lighting fixtures and this is an exciting time to be joining our world. We are looking for three focused, dynamic, energetic young companies who are as excited as we are about the future of Ayrton. There’s a wealth of stellar companies out there whom we are yet know and we look forward to meeting them!”

 

 

5th July 2022

Equipson Appoints ZaLight to Handle its FANTEK Products In Italy

Equipson Appoints ZaLight to Handle its FANTEK Products In Italy

­Spain – Mantova-based ZaLight has been appointed to handle the Italian distribution of all products manufactured by FANTEK, an internationally acclaimed manufacturer of telescopic towers, platforms, trusses, modular supports for LED walls and more.

As part of the Spanish group Equipson, FANTEK is renowned for following a rigorous quality path, from modern CAD design through to construction with computerised operating machines and stringent validation tests. These, combined with the company's long history and illustrious reputation, were the qualities that attracted ZaLight to the brand, says ZaLight business development manager Luca Di Donato.

"I am very happy to work with FANTEK again, having launched the brand on the Italian market almost 20 years ago," he says. "In my view, FANTEK's careful quality process and attention to detail are a guarantee of reliability and success. ZaLight's philosophy is to only distribute brands of the highest quality and indisputable prestige. FANTEK perfectly embodies these features."

Juan José Vila, COO and CMO of Equipson, adds: "We are delighted to have a company of the calibre of ZaLight representing FANTEK products. Some FANTEK products are already well known in Italy but we are constantly developing new products and these, combined with the sales and marketing expertise of ZaLight, will ultimately make the brand much more visible internationally. For a company that has a history of more than 70 years, these really are exciting times."

ZaLight, which also distributes Equipson's LightShark range of DMX-based hardware lighting consoles, was established in 2013 and now distributes products to a wide range of industry sectors including Broadcast Events, Cinema, Theatre and architectural. Its distribution portfolio includes many international brands and it prides itself on providing tailor-made support to customers, from first design to final production.

"The agreement with FANTEK positively integrates our existing portfolio of products with a range of proven quality accessories aimed at projects of all sizes including exhibition set-ups, live events and fixed or temporary installations," Di Donato adds. "As part of our relaunch of the FANTEK brand in Italy we will be running an intense marketing campaign, and setting up a show room where customers can demo FANTEK products. Many customers already know of FANTEK but our sales team will be promoting the entire range and building on the company's established reputation for quality and professionalism."

In picture: Luca Di Donato (business developer ZaLight), Juan José Vila (COO & CMO Equipson) and Graziano Zanini (president ZaLight) at the FANTEK booth at ISE, Barcelona.

30th June 2022

Celeste Jones receives prestigious Sennheiser LIPA Scholarship

Celeste Jones receives prestigious Sennheiser LIPA Scholarship

UK – For over 25 years, Sennheiser has sponsored the Student Scholarship programme of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) and provided the college with its audio expertise and resources. This year, the audio specialist was delighted to announce another brilliant first-year student of the BA (Hons) Sound Technology course, Celeste Jones, as the winner of Sennheiser’s 2022 LIPA Scholarship. This will see her not only receive financial support for tuition, but give her access to Sennheiser’s valuable experience, expertise, and global network of contacts.

Sennheiser’s strategic planning manager, Tim Sherratt, was involved in the selection process and congratulated this year’s winner of the sought-after scholarship. “It never ceases to amaze me just how talented LIPA students are,” he exclaims. “The quality of this year’s submissions was once again excellent. In selecting Celeste there is no doubt that she is deserving of this award. She is a wonderfully engaged and knowledgeable individual who possesses that rare equilibrium balance of the creative and technical mindset. I look forward to watching her grow over the coming years.”

Sherratt was supported in this year’s selection process by Ben Harrison, theatre sound designer, who comments: “This was the first time I was involved with the scholarship programme and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I was absolutely blown away by the quality of work the students presented to us, which made the selection process really hard! I can only echo Tim’s comments that Celeste is absolutely deserving of this award, and I’m looking forward to seeing where she goes and what she achieves in her career.”

Jones, a first-year student of the BA (Hons) Sound Technology course, echoed her excitement at receiving the scholarship: “I am honoured and elated to have been awarded this scholarship,” she says. “Sennheiser’s financial support and their abundance of industry contacts are incredible prospects to developing as a young person in sound, and I am very grateful. I’m eager to keep studying at the amazing institute that is LIPA, amongst the outstanding people there, and to continue cultivating my skills in all areas of audio. This is an excellent opportunity with such a respected company, and I look forward to continuing our relationship over the coming years.”

As part of Sennheiser’s ongoing support, Volker Schmitt, manager, technical application engineering and Marcus Blight, technical application engineer, delivered an interactive and innovative masterclass for the third-year BA (Hons) Sound Technology students, drawing on Sennheiser’s experiences of miking the biggest stages in the world and working in this unique industry.

“Both Marcus and I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet with the LIPA ‘family’, aka a close-knit group of LIPA teaching staff and some of the students, to be able to share our industry experience and discuss technical questions about supporting some of the world’s most complex live events,” shares Volker. “It was a great day full of interesting discussions and a bit of laughter, and a great chance to support young and up-and-coming students in their continuous pursuit of perfection in music and sound culture.”

This year has also marked a new chapter in a partnership of over 25 years between LIPA and Sennheiser, with the audio specialist extending its product support to LIPA to also include the new BA/MArts Film-making & Creative Technologies course.

“The equipment offered by Sennheiser will facilitate the learning process of future storytellers, film-makers, creatives and technicians, who will be using AV technologies to deliver exceptional content for film, TV, theatre, concert and online audiences,” concludes Jon Thornton, head of sound technology at LIPA. “We are grateful to have a partner so committed and supportive of our work and our students, helping them be prepared for whatever the future of the industry holds.”

24th June 2022

ChamSys and StageMix Look Forward to Bright Future in India

ChamSys and StageMix Look Forward to Bright Future in India
ChamSys and StageMix Look Forward to Bright Future in India

India – PALM expo was an exciting event for ChamSys, not only due to the enthusiastic reception its award-winning line of lighting consoles received, but also because the May show marked a new chapter for the company in India, as it worked the show with its recently appointed dealer, StageMix.

“We are extremely happy to welcome StageMix as our Indian dealer,” said Aziz Adilkhodjaev, ChamSys’ international business development manager. “Given the recent surge of interest in our products, we’ve been looking for a partner with the passion for growth that could help us seize the opportunities in front of us. We’re confident we found that partner in StageMix.”

Nitesh Narayan, sales manager of StageMix is equally optimistic about future growth. “This is a wonderful opportunity for our company,” he said. “Chamsys has great products with a lot of features and functionality that are not readily found elsewhere. We got some very positive feedback from senior lighting designers who had used Chamsys abroad. Our team is committed to providing top notch support to our customers, so we share this philosophy with Chamsys, which already has a great platform with online training videos, webinars and training sessions.”

StageMix wasted no time in putting this service and training driven philosophy to work. As a run up to the PALM expo, the company conducted seminars in Bangalore and Mumbai, which attracted more than 60 lighting designers, programmers and directors over a three-day period.

“Many of the guests at our seminars were experiencing the Chamsys MagicQ and QuickQ consoles for the first time,” said Narayan. “They were blown away with the powerful lighting control features, shape generators, full lighting visualisation, pixel mapping, HD media playback, and other features.”

This enthusiasm was also plain to see at PALM expo. “Our stand was very busy,” said Adilkhodjaev. “Visitors were clearly impressed by how the MagicQ products are easy to learn, easy to use and very powerful.”

For its part, StageMix is eager to emphasise these attributes in its market development efforts. “As part of our promotion plan we will be conducting regular in-person training for theatre and concert lighting professionals as well as sending out our demo boards on shows so that everyone can get their hands on the powerful features of Chamsys,” said Narayan, adding that, lighting professionals who see the consoles “quickly fall in love with them.”

With enthusiasm like this, it’s easy to understand why ChamSys and StageMix are both looking forward so excitedly to a bright future in India.

16th June 2022

NEXT Truss Acquires Interal T.C.

The Netherlands – NEXT Truss from Leeuwarden is acquiring Dutch truss manufacturer Interal T.C., based in Venray, with immediate effect. Since it was first set up in late 2019, NEXT Truss has been on a growth trajectory, with the goal of becoming a global player within 5 years and establishing a leading market position in the events industry. All Interal T.C. employees will remain on board in the new organisation.

Interal T.C. has been manufacturing truss structures for the events industry since 2003. They offer both standard and custom-made systems of the highest quality, with a strong focus on customer service. There is still plenty of potential for future growth within Interal T.C., as well as for expanding NEXT Truss.

The Interal T.C. rental business will in future be operated by AED Rent, which will supply both new and existing customers with dry hire rental of trussing and rigging equipment from the local hub in Venray. Over time, the rental business could be expanded even further, with the addition of other AV products (such as stage and trade show lighting) from AED group, to support the local market.

The acquisition of Interal T.C. is a good fit with the strategy and ambitions of NEXT Truss. The skill and experience available at Interal T.C. will make a positive contribution to the future growth of NEXT Truss and new product development.

The staff and contacts will remain unchanged at both companies, retaining all the skills and experience. NEXT Truss and Interal T.C. will operate under one roof, where management and operations will be integrated to achieve economies of scale for both customers and suppliers.

NEXT Truss, Interal T.C. and AED group will continue to define the future of the AV industry together.

1st June 2022

Ayrton sponsors two new interviews for Women in Lighting: Sooner Routhier and Emmanuelle ‘Gigi’ Pedron

Ayrton sponsors two new interviews for Women in Lighting: Sooner Routhier and Emmanuelle ‘Gigi’ Pedron
Ayrton sponsors two new interviews for Women in Lighting: Sooner Routhier and Emmanuelle ‘Gigi’ Pedron

Ayrton is an active sponsor of the Women In Lighting (WIL) project with the aim of promoting the work of women lighting designers across the entertainment industry, showcasing the skills and capabilities of these talented women, celebrating their achievements and encouraging others to become involved.

One of the most interesting ways of raising awareness of WIL is by sharing the inspirational stories of those women already working in lighting and WIL interviews (of which there are in excess of 160 on the website) are a major facilitator of this.

WIL has recently released two new Ayrton-sponsored interviews with women lighting designers: Nashville-based Sooner Routhier, an award-winning designer, producer and director, who has worked with an impressive list of headline artists including KISS, The Weeknd, Motley Crüe, Muse, Rhianna and, currently, Coldplay and LA-based Emmanuelle ‘Gigi’ Pėdron, a French-born lighting designer who has worked with the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, My Chemical Romance, Garbage and Prince.

Sooner Routhier is a creative powerhouse in the live music industry and, through Sooner Rae Creative, has redefined entertainment lighting and production, whilst also mentoring bright new talent.

In her interview with WIL co-founder, Sharon Stammers, Routhier talks about her initiation and pathway into lighting, her inspirations, collaborations and creative processes. She also speaks of the challenges of turning ideas into reality and the logistical challenges that are the legacy of the pandemic, touches on the issue of sustainability and keeping up with technology, and gives some advice to women starting out in entertainment lighting.

Emmanuelle ‘Gigi’ Pedron is cCelebrated for weaving art and spontaneity into her lighting designs, and is a lighting design graduate of the School of Fine Arts of Lorient in France. Having worked in live music for over twenty five years, Pedron tells Stammers how her artistic curiosity brought her to discover lighting design as her medium. She talks about the importance of networking, collaboration, working within budget and her famous customised consoles! And shares thoughts on LED lighting, new technology and the architects, artists and LDs who inspire her.

As a passionate music lover, a true connection with the music and the bands she works with is intrinsic to Pedron’s designs, as is her unusual condition of Chromesthesia: the ability to immediately ‘hear the colour’ of a song. Pedron also speaks of her biggest challenges and her attitude to working as a woman in the live music industry.

Women In Lighting is a global project co-founded by Sharon Stammers and Martin Lupton of Light Collective. Well-established in architectural circles, the project is fast becoming popular in other lighting disciplines. Over 160 inspirational interviews with female lighting practitioners can be watched on the WIL website at www.womeninlighting.com

In picture: Sharon Stammers interviews Sooner Routhier and Emmanuelle ‘Gigi’ Pedron as part of the WIL interviews available online.

30th May 2022

Prism Sound Appoints Bluesound as its Hungarian Distributor

Prism Sound Appoints Bluesound as its Hungarian Distributor

Hungary – Prism Sound has announced the appointment of Bluesound as its distributor in Hungary, with responsibility for its entire range of audio interfaces including the new DREAM ADA-128 modular audio conversion system.

Established in 2004 by managing director Thomas Csernus (pictured), Bluesound represents many of the world’s top pro audio brands such as API, ART Proaudio, Audix, Cranbourne Audio, DPA Microphones, PMC Speakers, Drawmer and Lectrosonics.

Csernus believes that Prism Sound’s pedigree and reputation for exceptional sound quality will help it establish a firm foothold in the Hungarian market.

“The company has a good name in Hungary, but there is work to be done to promote the brand as it was previously not well represented in Hungary,” he says. “It will be an extremely important extension to Bluesound’s product range, complimenting the PMC speakers that we began distributing in 2021. Prism Sound’s build quality is excellent, and the sound of the interfaces is just amazing.”

Mark Evans, sales director for Prism Sound, adds: “We are very pleased to have a company of Bluesound’s calibre representing our products in Hungary. This is a market where there is huge potential for high quality audio equipment that is versatile, reliable and easy to use. Prism Sound’s portfolio meets all of these criteria, and we are confident that, with Thomas’s help, Prism Sound will soon be the ‘go-to’ brand in Hungary for all audio conversion needs.”

Prism Sound’s range of high-quality audio interfaces first came to Thomas Csernus’ attention when one of his customers recommended them. After contacting the company, he was able to demo a Lyra 2 and Titan audio interface and was immediately impressed.

“I fell in love with the sound and build quality of the units, both of which were excellent,” he says. “These are products that you need to hear as no YouTube video will do them justice. We hooked the Titan up to a pair of PMC IB1S speakers driven by Hypex 400 amps and the sound was just amazing. Classic wow effect. So much detail. Prism Sound may only be known to a small group of enthusiasts in Hungary at the moment, but we’ve already had great feedback so I am confident we will reach our goals.”

Bluesound believes that, along with mastering facilities, many independent producers, engineers and songwriters embrace the Lyra 1 and 2 because these units offer an affordable interface that delivers no compromise audio. Recording studio that need more flexibility will appreciate the multi-track Titan and Atlas units that offer more inputs and more connectivity.

“Eventually, when the new ADA-128 becomes available, we will have a product that suits recording studios and film sound stages with multiple rooms where there is a need for a high performance, networkable audio distribution and processing system,” Csernus adds. “The extra horsepower this will bring will ramp up the quality of pres, while multiple clock domains will allow one studio to work at 48k and another to work at 96k. That could be a real game changer for us because no one in Hungary is currently providing such facilities. When you are working with video you need a different clock domain to those people who are recording classical music, not to mention your internal Dante or Madi network that might be on a different sample rate. Being able to offer a system to cover all these eventualities is very exciting and we are looking forward to the future with Prism Sound.”

30th May 2022

Atlona Heats Up AV Distribution in Bangladesh with Moin Group

Atlona Heats Up AV Distribution in Bangladesh with Moin Group
Atlona Heats Up AV Distribution in Bangladesh with Moin Group

Bangladesh – Atlona, a Panduit company, continues to build out its Asia-Pacific (APAC) channel partner network with strategic distribution agreements that raise the company’s profile in countries with rapidly growing AV opportunities. This now includes the South Asia nation of Bangladesh, with Atlona appointing Moin Group as its distribution partner for commercial and residential AV markets.

Moin Group’s strengths serving the corporate, government and hospitality verticals well-positions the company to strengthen Atlona’s brand recognition and market visibility throughout Bangladesh, a quickly evolving AV market driven largely by the need for hybrid business and education solutions.

“The pandemic has inspired large corporate houses to invest in multimedia solutions and AV technologies that support professional online meetings and remote work environments, and we have seen more initiatives in higher education and seminar training being equipped with networked AV systems,” said Imran Hossain, head of business, Moin Group. “Atlona offers a diverse range of AV over IP and legacy switching solutions that fit perfectly into these systems, while positioning Moin Group as a leading AV supplier in Bangladesh.”

More specifically, Imran sees very strong opportunity to build Atlona’s brand value with systems integrators building out video walls, meeting spaces and enterprise-level control systems. These are ideal AV environments for flagship Atlona lines such as OmniStream AV over IP systems, Omega collaboration and presentation products, and Velocity AV control solutions. He also looks forward to working with Atlona on training and education initiatives throughout Bangladesh, including seminars with decision-makers for corporate AV purchasing, and sponsored technology orientation programs in educational institutions.

“The South Asia market, including Bangladesh, is flourishing with business opportunities that require professional AV products and service providers, including experienced distributors that work closely with systems integrators and end users,” said Kurt Loh, business director, Atlona Asia-Pacific. “Moin Group is well connected with the public sector and corporations, with a reputation for ethical and committed business practices that have established a positive image for the company throughout the country. We look forward to collaborating with the Moin Group as we work to bolster Atlona’s visibility throughout Bangladesh.”

26th May 2022

disguise launches Metaverse Solutions division enabling next-level extended reality experiences

disguise launches Metaverse Solutions division enabling next-level extended reality experiences
disguise launches Metaverse Solutions division enabling next-level extended reality experiences

UK – disguise, the visual storytelling platform and market leader for extended reality (xR) solutions has launched its Metaverse Solutions division to enable the next generation of extraordinary live, virtual production and audiovisual location-based experiences for the metaverse.

The recent rise of real-time 3D graphics rendering capabilities in gaming platforms means that today’s audiences are craving richer, more immersive experiences that are delivered via the metaverse. While the metaverse is already defined as an $8 trillion dollar opportunity by Goldman Sachs, companies are still finding it challenging to navigate the technical elements needed to start building metaverse experiences.

disguise Metaverse Solutions will build on already existing disguise solutions that empower live events, audiovisual, location-based experiences and virtual production content in order to allow businesses to start taking advantage of the unique opportunities the metaverse has to offer.

Launched within the past two years, disguise’s market-leading extended reality (xR) workflow has powered over 600 productions in over 50 countries. These include the delivery of live events in the metaverse, such as Kaskade’s in Fortnite and Rocket League as part of its Llama-Rama event series as well as supporting launches for major brands like Gucci and Ferrari.

disguise will further leverage its extended reality solution together with its partnerships with metaverse event enablers Surreal and advanced content creators Zoan while also combining its workflows and expertise with Epic Games’ suite of applications, such as architectural visualisation tool Twinmotion, web 3D viewer Sketchfab and 3D photogrammetry software Capturing Reality. With this, disguise will build capability to offer virtual production workflows custom-designed for the metaverse.

In the metaverse, live concerts hold more appeal than any other experience, with 45% of all adults eager to listen to live music in a virtual world. According to Rolling Stone, we are on the brink of a virtual artist revolution with Ariana Grande, J.Balvin and DJ Marshmello being the early adopters.

For over 20 years, disguise has powered spectacular experiences including music performances for the biggest artists in the world: Billie Eilish, Ed Sheeran, Camilla Cabello, Katy Perry, DJ Kaskade and J.Balvin, as well as for major shows like Coachella and Glastonbury to name a few. Their solution has been used by brands like Nike, Underarmour, Volvo, Siemens and Walmart as well as to power spectacular augmented reality and projection mapping experiences in the 2020 Expo Al Wasl Plaza dome, the BTS ‘Love Yourself, Speak Yourself’ Tour and rapper Dave’s Brit Awards performance.

disguise’s ability to enable infinitely scaleable content has been used extensively in entertainment venues such as the newly-opened Nashville-based Nightscape venue and the Atlanta and Vegas-based Illuminariums which, through cinematic scenes generated in real-time at a 240-degree native field of view, allow visitors to experience being in another world, without using any VR devices.

This rich history will allow the new division to work with major and emerging Metaverse platforms, such as Fortnite, Roblox, Sandbox, Niantic and others, to deliver integrated solutions so brands and performers can create metaverse experiences that resonate with their audiences.

“Our mission is to help create experiences that challenge expectations. We believe in connecting the physical with the virtual worlds, to create Gateways to the Metaverse. Through this we will enable a world that fulfils essential human needs: to connect, to collaborate and to be included. The promise of the Metaverse is to unleash a new wave of opportunities for every kind of creator, including partners, brands, and performers alike. We have always focused on simplifying complex technology to unlock creativity that empowers our users to create the most amazing experiences. The creation of our Metaverse Solutions division and the launch of disguise Labs, are a key part of this strategy,” says disguise CEO Fernando Küfer.

Led by disguise chief experience officer, Alex Wills, the Metaverse Solutions division will be fuelled by the creativity, technical consultancy and innovation from disguise’s newly-formed exploration unit named disguise Labs that is led by disguise’s chief of staff, Abi Bowman.

disguise Labs will be a global initiative, creating unique spaces for brands, creatives and technologists to test and experiment metaverse workflows. First established in New Zealand by Sam Folkard, head of labs New Zealand, Labs will now expand, bringing together local partners in key locations such as Los Angeles, New York, South Korea, London and Montreal. disguise’s Global Head of Labs, Lara Bowen will be leading Labs’ global expansion.

Built in partnership with experts in virtual production, live shows, broadcast and corporate communication, these Metaverse Experimentation Spaces will ignite innovation for future metaverse experiences. Brands or creatives wanting to explore the metaverse are invited to make use of the unique workflows, technology and expertise these spaces have to offer.

“There is a huge amount of interest and investment in this space right now and, what is most exciting about launching this new division is that we offer a tangible solution to help brands and creators develop the next generation of experiences. Our xR technology combines key metaverse building blocks including real-time 3D graphics, spatial technologies and advanced display interfaces, all to deliver a one-of-a-kind gateway to the metaverse,” says disguise CXO and head of Metaverse Solutions Alex Wills.

26th May 2022

Robe Supports UCI MTB XCO World Cup

Robe Supports UCI MTB XCO World Cup
Robe Supports UCI MTB XCO World Cup

Czech Republic – Robe was proud to a sponsor of the Nové Město na Moravě, Czech Republic, stage of the 2022 Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, where one of the toughest parts of the XCO (cross country) course was designated “Rock ‘n’ Robe”, and Robe’s new Show Truck concept which provides a fully mobile studio space / meeting hub / demo area / roof deck, was also a major success, attracting some of the weekend event’s buzz and excitement.

“It was great to be back with a full audience this year,” commented Robe’s international marketing manager Pavel Nemec. “It gave us an opportunity to show our support for a fantastic sporting event, to have our branding visible everywhere and appreciate the performances of some of the best cycling athletes in the world, simultaneously demonstrating how our Show Truck can be provide a vibrant and practical event space, a public gallery and a VIP deck.”

Being involved in the event gave Robe the chance for prominent branding across national and international television and globally via the Red Bull livestream plus multiple social media channels, including those of the top riders from the 800 competitors who represented 37 countries.

Apart from all of that, the Robe team enjoyed some superlative adrenaline charged XCO cycling action throughout the three-day event.

It was the tenth time that Nové Město has hosted a stage of the UCI MTB World Cup, and the Czech course is well known for being one of the fastest, most ‘technical’ and difficult around the world. It is also a rider’s favourite and has been voted the ‘best XCO event’ nine times!

Changes in the course including to the “Rock n Robe” section, ensured seat-edge excitement for the 15,000 plus spectators who rocked up to witness the finals live-and-direct in person on the Sunday as well as the millions watching the live stream or sports and TV channels around the globe.

The 400 metre Rock ‘n’ Robe downhill section was filled with large boulders, rocks and other obstacles making it among the most demanding and dynamic parts of the XCO competition.

It was a place where anything could happen as riders negotiated their way through with many surprises! The Rock ‘n’ Robe run was flanked by seating tribunes packed to their 700-person capacity bringing extra energy and strategically placed Robe branding ensured that the company name was burned in to all the key shots from the prime camera positions in that location.

The top riders also had the Robe logo on their handlebars as part of the branding deal, giving further quality exposure especially when they posted across their own social channels and followings.

The Robe Show Truck which debuted at Prolight+Sound Frankfurt last month, was used with its ‘black box’ tent extension and hosted some important assorted workshops and presentations all linked to the cycling action.

These were lit with around 40 Robe moving light fixtures that are part of the truck’s current touring lighting rig.

“I had lots of feedback about the great atmosphere in and around the truck,” remarked Pavel. The truck is one of the new and exciting ways in which Robe is bringing its innovation, energy and good vibes to a diversity of events and locations in Europe throughout the summer.

The black box was used as a gallery space to display iconic photos from Czech cycle racing and sports photographer Michal Červený. He has documented the Nové Město race over the last ten years as well as other high profile cycling events worldwide including the famous and gruelling Cape Epic event in South Africa.

Several related events staged in the Robe Show Truck included two talks, one on Saturday evening by famous Czech travel writer, car enthusiast and TV personality, best known as ‘Expert Pepa’ for his automotive programmes and as the host – along with his whole family – of popular travel programme, “Daddy on The Way”.

The presentation slides, graphics and video visuals were delivered by Robe’s Pro Motion moving projector fixtures.

The second discussion event focused on this year’s Cape Epic race in South Africa, with leading Czech riders Martin Stosek, Kristian Hynek and Petr Vakoc who are among the best World Marathon and Cape Epic riders. As they shared their experiences, they were also joined by Michal Červený who has captured all the drama and thrills-and-spills of the race on camera.

“It was fantastic to unite these different communities of travel, cycling and sports under one roof in our truck,” notes Pavel, and all these additional activities taking place in Robe’s Show Truck enabled guests to enjoy and maximise their time at the event.

Warm weather and stunning sunshine throughout the weekend saw the Show Truck’s roof terrace become a very popular VIP platform. Located close to the XCO race start and finish lines, this offered a great vantage point from which to experience the excitement of the racing at these key points.

Joining everyone on the terrace Saturday morning was Robe sponsored Olympic champion Czech snowboarder and alpine skier Ester Ledecká, who took time out for an ‘auto-gramming' session with fans and visitors as well as watching some of the races. Her father Janec Ledeky is a famous Czech singer and musician so there are many crossovers and interconnections with the professional entertainment industry.

“The weekend was a lively mix of sports and other adventure-based activities and a great opportunity to get Robe’s name out there as well as the chance to enjoy some incredible sport,” concludes Pavel.

Reigning Olympic XCO champion Tom Pidcock from the UK won the Elite Men’s race with Australia’s Rebecca McConnell storming across the line first in the Elite Women’s race in a third successive XCO win.

In picture: Michal Cerveny in the Robe black-box gallery

photos: Jan Brychta and Michal Cerveny

www.robe.cz

24th May 2022

Robe Lighting

disguise finalises AdMiRe research project with the European Union programme

disguise finalises AdMiRe research project with the European Union programme

 

UK – disguise, the visual storytelling platform and market leader for extended reality (xR) solutions has announced its successful participation in AdMiRe, a collaborative research project designed to help develop new solutions for Mixed Reality (MR) technology.

AdMiRe (Advanced Mixed Realities) is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 952027. In addition to disguise, the programme’s consortium includes Brainstorm, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Spain), Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (Switzerland), NRK Nirsk Rikskringkasting As (Norway), Premier Sports, Societatea Romana De Televiziune (Romania) and the Spanish National Research Council.

The main mission of AdMiRe is to research, validate and demonstrate innovations for MR pipelines with the goal of enabling a new level of interactivity in TV programmes, thereby enhancing the audience’s feeling of immersion and making broadcast content more engaging. AdMiRe also seeks to develop MR and xR workflows that radically improve how live-action talent interacts with CG elements on set in a realistic, hybrid environment where virtual and physical components blend seamlessly.

disguise’s contribution focused on prototyping innovative features in its xR workflow to substantially increase efficiency and facilitate the creation of high-quality in-camera visual effects. This will empower better performances from talent interacting with and immersed in believable and captivating virtual environments. It will also enable creatives to deliver more innovative and engaging content while substantially reducing production and post-production costs. The research also investigated further democratising of these new technologies.

The European Commission’s Innovation Radar has identified disguise as a ‘key innovator’ and will feature the innovations developed in the AdMiRe project on their platform amongst the most impressive technological and scientific advances being delivered by researchers and innovators around Europe.

disguise researchers focus on the challenges of machine learning, computer vision, graphics and classical algorithm design from the ground up. Using a complete end-to-end workflow of devising project proposals, finding and working with other world-leading partners and delivering significant state-of-the-art research that goes beyond incremental improvements, disguise research expertly crafts new approaches to solving difficult problems in the production space.

Through the two years of structured research at AdMiRe, disguise has not only generated fully working prototypes but also generated novel patents. The new features will make the disguise xR setup process even faster and easier and enable on-stage talent to physically interact with the virtual realm in real-time.

“Through the dedication and hard work of our team of researchers, we are so pleased with the outcome of this project. We can hardly wait to get these fantastic new workflows into the hands of our customers, both new and existing. Combining these features will make the whole disguise xR process of setup even faster and easier and enable the on-stage talent to physically interact with the virtual realm in real-time,” says Richard Sykes, lead software engineer at disguise

“Research-based collaborations like AdMiRe are invaluable opportunities for disguise to develop new prototypes and to experiment in new and wider scenarios. These programmes allow us to peek around corners that don’t exist yet and test what the future of technology might look like while capitalising on this knowledge to ensure that our products are always at the forefront of innovation,” says Sara Coppola-Nicholson, head of the research programme at disguise

Upon conclusion of the AdMiRe research project, disguise has been awarded a new grant as part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 Programme.

This grant will fund further research with AdMiRe partners Brainstorm and Spain’s Universitat Pompeu Fabra, as well as new collaborators. Commencing in September 2022, the 30-month project, known as “MAX-R,” will create new pathways to advance innovation in xR with the aim to launch an entirely new era in the production, distribution and enjoyment of creative media.

“disguise’s mission is to be one step ahead and push the boundaries: always looking for new ideas, collaborating with knowledgeable partners and creating best-in-class solutions. AdMiRe has led to the development of prototypes that will carve out a new path for mixed reality technology. With MAX-R kicking off later this year, we continue our mission to develop tools that deliver a new era of extended reality production, helping both existing clients and new users. This is all a continuation of our mission to allow people to tell their stories in the most compelling and immersive way,” says disguise CTO Ed Plowman.

24th May 2022

Stage Precision and Neutral Human Announce Strategic Partnership

Stage Precision and Neutral Human Announce Strategic Partnership
Stage Precision and Neutral Human Announce Strategic Partnership

Innovative tracking software, Stage Precision (SP), and technical business development specialist, Neutral Human, have announced their strategic partnership alongside the launch of Stage Precision to the wider market.

SP is an independent data and control platform that enables users to build complex control-systems and previsualise or pre-programme technological workflows for the global live events market.

“The industry’s creative technologists have adopted SP as part of their trusted workflows. It has enabled the high-end projects to develop with pioneering complexity, so now it’s time for the wider industry to discover such this ground-breaking tool,” said Neutral Human’s founder, Sarah Cox.

“What drew me to working with SP is the fact that the product is community-led. Its development comes from working alongside its user base on real world challenges and finding solutions to those problems.”

SP keeps track of all position and control data around live events, broadcast, XR, VP, and installation projects, connecting devices between the digital and physical world through a unified 3D space.

“Essentially, it’s a user interface or a software that solves problems within interactive media installations and broadcast virtual production,” said SP managing director, Michael Giegerich, who also co-owns bright! studios.

It was while working under the auspices of bright! studios that the team identified the need for a specific 3D data management product while working at the coalface of visual design and technology for live events.

“In 2017, we were still working on the side of creative studios and workflow integrators and transitioning our pipelines from rendered content to real-time content. Also, with the evolution of positional data, we knew there was an untouched market with a lot of potential,” he explained. “The pandemic allowed us to not only further refine SP, it also allowed us to focus on the features necessary for virtual production. We now have the right workflows and plug-ins in place for this very specific market.”

A number of high-profile installations and events have already made good use of SP’s unique toolkit, including the Opening and Closing ceremony of the EXPO in Dubai, various XR and VP stages around the globe like the XR Stage at Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore, as well as last year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

“I see us as an enabler for this burgeoning side of the industry,” said Giegerich.

“In today's world, data is everywhere. It’s the foundation of everything we interact with. With our background in creating live shows, we have experienced first-hand the complex challenges with the many places data can be produced. With SP we are focused on simplifying the user experience.

“When I heard that Sarah was starting out with her new company, I called her two minutes later. There is no one as well connected with such a deep technical understanding of the industry. I knew she was the perfect person to help SP move into this next phase.”

“I was super excited when Michael called,” said Cox. “I’ve worked with him and his team, even before SP, and have watched the company develop over the years. The world of live events is interconnected with other markets like corporate, education or immersive media, and so far the big missing part has been the data and how to handle it between the digital and physical world.

“We hope that people will soon become aware that SP is a very practical tool that can make all these new technologies easier to apply in real world productions, leaving creatives and technicians with the time and space to focus on what they do best; creating spectacular experiences.”

photo: Nathan Reinds

19th May 2022

Christie acquires assets of Brass Roots Technologies

USA – Christie has announced its acquisition of assets from Brass Roots Technologies LLC, an Allen, Texas-based technology innovation company specialising in consulting and the engineering design of advanced optics and electronics for high-performance display and imaging systems. All current employees of Brass Roots Technologies have transferred to Christie and the operations will remain in Allen, Texas under the Christie name.

“The purchase of Brass Roots Technologies’ assets will help diversify and advance Christie’s own engineering capabilities,” said Zoran Veselic, president and chief technology officer, Christie. “We welcome Brass Roots Technologies’ talented engineers and design team, who will join our existing teams to explore future technologies together.”

Since its inception in 2009, Brass Roots Technologies has continually been at the forefront of innovation, developing critical technologies that advanced imaging and display solutions to an entirely new level. The company provides system-level perspective, custom engineering design services and licensed IP technology. Its expertise is in developing differentiated solutions that integrate advanced optics, mechanics and electronics and has varied industry knowledge including video, entertainment, imaging, medical, telecommunications, and defence/military imaging.

By joining Christie, the Brass Roots Technologies staff will enhance the engineering offering with a skill set that includes system architecture, optical design and analysis, mechanical design, electronic hardware and FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) firmware design, software development, in house CNC fabrication, prototype assembly and functional tests and verification. The team’s experience also includes DLP, LCD and LCoS projection systems, LED video walls, digital projection optical systems based on lamps, LED, laser phosphor, and laser illumination, lenses and ultra-high frame rate projection.

Frank Poradish, founder, Brass Roots Technologies, adds: “We are honoured to join Christie in this merging of the minds. We have collaborated with Christie since the start of our business more than 13 years ago, and there is no better fit for us. The synergies between the two organisations will contribute to growing Christie and add to its technology capacity both in the labs and in engineering resources.”

18th May 2022

Robe UK Joins albert

Robe UK Joins albert

UK – Robe UK has joined the ‘albert’ Initiative: a UK-based BAFTA (British Academy Film & Television Arts) owned and industry run organisation which is dedicated to raising awareness and empowering professionals and companies working in film, television, commercial and other screen-based media productions to operate as sustainably as possible.

One of its aims is to build an accredited network of equipment suppliers and as a lighting supplier to many rental companies active in these sectors, Robe UK appreciates the value of the albert Initiative’s work as a broader part of the entertainment technology industry.

BAFTA highlights two key responsibilities in helping to reverse climate change, firstly making changes to its own working practices and Awards ceremonies (it hosts the high-profile annual BAFTA Awards celebrating the best British and international contributions to film) and to support and inspire all screen industries as they transition towards a Net-Zero future through albert.

As a brand, Robe has been committed to producing and promoting more environmentally friendly professional lighting products for several years, both in the products themselves and in the production process.

Supporting the albert Initiative underscores this commitment right now and looks to the future.

“It will help accelerate spreading the message about slowing and stopping climate change on multiple levels and stress the importance of productions being carbon neutral. Having information about where they can source products and technology to help achieve this goal is a vital resource,” commented Dave Whitehouse, Robe’s theatre products manager.

Lighting has often been a massive consumer of electricity in any production, and with the recent advances, particularly in LED technology, switching to LED light sources has enabled a dramatic reduction in the energy needed to produce similar lighting effects.

Robe’s unique and patented Transferable Engine (TE) LED technology, designed, developed, patented and manufactured in the company’s own factory in Europe, is a hugely flexible concept offering the option of having different and interchangeable LED engines – high powered, high CRI, etc., – in the same fixture hardware, which can be quickly changed or ‘transferred’ in about six minutes.

TE puts the lighting fixture manufacturer in control of the LED engine and enables engines with different properties to be produced and fitted into the same fixture housings, prolonging the lifespan of the hardware by making it hugely more viable and versatile.

Engine properties, including longevity, enable supply and rental companies to get the most out of their LED light sources and this TE technology also addresses issues like cost, time, technological advancement, flexibility, predictable performance, and longevity.

Robe’s Transferable Engines are data capturing and self-referencing, so all the engine’s performance is available. This gives the performance predictability as the engines are transferred between luminaires, one of the advantages of ensuring longevity by owning the process.

Key to making more sustainable lighting choices is educating and training lighting practitioners about how much the best lighting working practices (lighting on site and in the studio in an energy efficient way) are fundamental to an understanding of how carbon neutrality can better be achieved.

albert is named after Albert Square, the central location for the BBC’s popular and long-running soap, EastEnders, which first broadcast in 1985. The albert footprint logo and 3-star albert certification is prominent at the end of the EastEnders credits, a level achieved in 2015 and maintained consistently since then reducing the carbon footprint of the show in multiple departments and helping to bring sustainability to the screen.

albert projects include Creative Energy, Screen New Deal, Creative offsets, Green Rider, albert Toolkit and many others, and the albert logo and accreditation is increasingly visible on the credits for productions including the news, documentaries, current affairs, soaps and dramas.

“All of these reasons and the proactivity of the organisation in promoting the need for carbon neutrality makes albert a great platform and service about which the whole industry should be aware,” concluded Dave Whitehouse who led the administrative process for Robe UK to become a member.

www.robe.cz

13th May 2022

Robe Lighting

Creative Technology Become First HOLOPLOT Partner in the UK

Creative Technology Become First HOLOPLOT Partner in the UK

UK – Creative Technology has announced its official partnership with HOLOPLOT, becoming the first UK partner of its revolutionary X1 Matrix Array solution.

Following several extremely well-received demonstrations of the mind-blowing audio system to select groups of clients in 2021, Creative Technology showcased this innovative audio technology to larger audiences last month as part of CTFest22, an annual in-house event at the company’s headquarters in Crawley.

“It’s hugely exciting to be become the first HOLOPLOT partner in the UK. HOLOPLOT takes a revolutionary approach to delivering audio for live events and installations which aligns seamlessly with Creative Technology’s mission of using innovative technology to create unforgettable experiences. The flexibility of the system is in my mind unmatched, the control that can be achieved with just one array is astounding.

“Our valued clients across all markets have shown a lot of interest in HOLOPLOT after a very successful demo week at our UK offices as a part of CTFest22 last month, as well as numerous demonstrations also having taken place across several of our other global locations including in Northern Europe and the US. As an international technology provider, the ability to add HOLOPLOT to our global inventory is something we are exploring with our audio teams and our clients, watch this space,” stated Mark Boden, head of audio at Creative Technology UK.

As well as opening new and exciting opportunities for enhanced audio across a multitude of live events, becoming a HOLOPLOT partner also opens new doors for immersive arenas within the systems integration sector of Creative Technology, with some never-seen-before projects set to take the industry by storm.

“From our first meetings Creative Technology immediately recognised the potential of our technology and its applications. As the first HOLOPLOT partner in the UK, Creative Technology will be able to extend their leading role in delivering game changing audio solutions for their clients’ ambitious projects.

“The X1 Matrix Array breaks new ground, widening the possibilities for the creation and delivery of transformative audio experiences thanks to the beam forming accuracy and 3D immersive field creation, which will provide multiple solution options across the different market sectors supported by Creative Technology. Very quickly both HOLOPLOT and Creative Technology recognised the opportunity in coming together and like us share the mindset of pushing the boundaries of what is possible in today’s live event environments,” said Ryan Penny, head of sales at HOLOPLOT.

In picture: Mark Boden and Ryan Penny.

13th May 2022