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The Wonder of RoboSpots and Robe TE Technology at Sea


grandMA3 for Special Beijing Production


First Baptist Concord Sweetens Services and Deepens Connections with L-Acoustics L-ISA Technology and A Series Loudspeakers


Premium Genelec loudspeaker solution enhances Jolie’s sophisticated club experience


Beats Light & Sound Stay Ahead of the Curve with dLive and Avantis


Berklee College of Music Invests in PMC8-2 Monitors


Martin ERA, Aura and ELP chosen for state-of-the-art The Londoner hotel Ballroom


Martin Audio Goes Upscale Mexican Dining in Manhattan


ETC partners with BAFTA as an Official Supplier


DiGiCo ticks all the boxes for busy Costa Rican church


Robe Finds Sanctuary at Rumbach Street Synagogue


Teatro Garcia de Resende chooses ETC ArcLamp


L-Acoustics Scores at Chengdu Phoenix Mountain Indoor Stadium with 360° A Series Installation


Everest Grand Theatre Scales the Heights With Allen & Heath dLive


JK Opole Theatre upgrades with OPTOCORE fiber network


Wavefront Precision Specified Throughout Blackpool Conference & Exhibition Centre


Renowned Audio Engineer Upgrades with ‘Stunning’ New Audient Console


Viaplay’s new multi-screen studio is on air with Hippotizer Boreal+ MK2


Gareth Johnson Installs PMC6-2 Monitors In His Studio At Metropolis


State-of-the-art Elation upgrade meets performance and energy savings requirement at Bob Burton Performing Arts Center


DiGiCo delivers sound perfection at Spain’s leisure and gastronomic epicenter Odiseo


Third Church Pella Upgrades with Martin Audio Wavefront Precision


White Light supplies 26 of the super-powerful framing spots in latest upgrade


A Robe Lighting Solution for De Vooruit


Diversified Installs World’s Largest Fixed L-ISA Installation at First Baptist Church Woodstock


The Wonder of RoboSpots and Robe TE Technology at Sea

The Wonder of RoboSpots and Robe TE Technology at Sea

USA – The world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean International’s Wonder of the Seas, built at Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, will have four Robe RoboSpot systems installed in its 1,600-seat capacity Main Theater and two more in Studio B, which is the iconic Royal Caribbean ice rink.

The four Wonder of the Seas Main Theater RoboSpot BaseStations will be controlling eight FORTE moving lights from Robe, each running in conjunction with four motion cameras. The two BaseStations in the ice rink will be used with four ESPRITE LED Profiles.

Both FORTE and ESPRITE luminaires are from Robe’s ground-breaking range of LED Transferable Engine lighting fixtures, an intelligent, powerful and eco-friendly lighting solution for now and the future which enables different engines: high powered, high CRI and ‘tungsten’ to be used in the same fixtures and changed quickly and efficiently in about six minutes.

This installation builds on the success of RoboSpots installed as a remote followspotting solution in the Two70 venue aboard Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas, which commenced service in 2021.

The Wonder Main Theater show will be an all-singing, all-dancing Broadway blockbuster-style production, complete with aerialists, drones and complex automated scenery, with lighting designed by Rui Rita.

Project managing the vessel’s show lighting installations for Royal Caribbean was Ben Couling, who worked closely on Wonder of the Seas with Gaëtan Mornet of cruise AV integration specialist, Videlio-HMS from St. Nazaire which completed the installation.

The relationship between Royal Caribbean and Robe started when Miami-based Christopher Vlassopulos, Royal Caribbean’s sound, light, and AV systems manager for new build projects, and Amir El Yordi from Control AV Miami visited the Robe booth at LDI 2019, whilst Odyssey was already under construction.

At the time, both Chris and Amir were actually on the lookout for new and cool technologies to utilise in a forthcoming class of ships, but they were so impressed with the RoboSpot, Chris changed the spec in time to get two systems installed in Two70 aboard Odyssey, where they are positioned out of sight in the gallery, so no seats were lost in the auditorium.

Subsequently, RoboSpots were also specified for Wonder.

The intuitive and straightforward operation of the RoboSpot system – an aspect carefully crafted by Robe – is a big plus on cruise ships where follow spot operation is invariably a second job.

Often followspotting duties will fall to cast members from onboard productions or other crew who won’t necessarily have any technical or lighting backgrounds, although a big advantage of using actors and dancers in this role is that they are quick learners when picking up show cues, and their timing is usually instinctually spot on!

For the Wonder Main Theater, the RoboSpot BaseStations and operators are concealed from view on catwalks above the lighting rig, but the space is flexibly designed, and thanks to a comprehensive IP network, the BaseStations, consoles, and other essential hardware can be brought into the house and seating areas to be closer to the stage for tech and rehearsal periods.

For Wonder’s Main Theater installation, the exceptional power and punch of the FORTE was required, so that was the chosen moving light, complete with the TE 1.000W HP (High Performance) white LED engine which produces the highest possible output.

These FORTES replace what would previously have been 2400W dedicated followspot units.

Ben had been keeping an eye on the FORTE development for some time and comments that as ships are specified so far in advance, they must have confidence in manufacturers being in a place to bring certain products to market.

Robe ESPRITES were specified for Wonder’s Studio B ice rink which measures 60 x 40ft and has a lower ceiling, and so is suited to a bright and versatile product that is slightly smaller. These work in pairs on two RoboSpot systems covering each side of the ice.

Ben explains that with all the main production shows being SMPTE timecoded, utilising this system, the LD can control the size, colour and intensity of the follow spots and then also program the ins and outs into the console. “This is particularly useful for consistency as the shows can run for five plus years with many different operators!”

Wonder of the Seas is scheduled to set sail on its maiden voyage from Florida in spring 2022.

Billed as the “world’s largest cruise ship,” it is 362 metres long, 64 metres wide with a draft of 30ft and a gross tonnage of 236,857t, offering capacity for 6988 guests and 2300 crew across its 2,867 staterooms and 18 decks.

photos: RCCL Press (exterior shot) and by Ben Couling

The Wonder of RoboSpots and Robe TE Technology at SeaThe Wonder of RoboSpots and Robe TE Technology at Sea

25th May 2022

Robe Lighting

grandMA3 for Special Beijing Production

grandMA3 for Special Beijing Production
grandMA3 for Special Beijing Production

China – The Beijing People’s Art Theatre used their new grandMA3 lighting control system for a special revival of acclaimed historical drama Cai Wenji directed by Tang Ye, which was part of the venue’s 70th anniversary season.

The work details the life story of Cai Yan, also known as ‘Wenji’, a female literary icon during the late Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220). The original production by renowned playwright Guo Moruo (1892-1978) was first staged at the venue in 1959 and is known for its poetic style and traditional Chinese aesthetics.

The original lighting design by Song Yin was reworked for this contemporary version of the show by Meng Bin, who retained all the essence and mood of more classical lighting and infused this with some modern creative twists. Lighting was programmed by Zheng Pengfei, and the stage design was by Chen Yongxiang.

Working closely with the design team was Lux Li, product promotion manager from MA Lighting’s Chinese distributor, ACE. The consoles used on this production were two grandMA3 full-sizes (live and backup) plus some new grandMA3 nodes.

The theatre’s lighting department has been running on grandMA for some years embracing all three generations of grandMA to date. Most recently, they have invested in three new grandMA3 consoles, two full-sizes and one light to replace the older desks.

Lux explained that they wanted to keep abreast of the latest technologies and having a very successful history with the brand, naturally looked at grandMA3 as a solution. They liked many features of the OS, including the power and scope of the Macro commands and the fact that the console is relatively straightforward, especially if familiar with MA architecture.

Cai Wenji”s lighting was a mix of moving lights: Vari*Lite VL3500s, VL1100s, Martin MAC 2000 washes, Fine1519 Pixies and Martin Rush MH1 Profiles, plus a substantial amount of conventionals, all of it consuming five universes of DMX.

Zheng Pengfei liked several grandMA3 features of the console including selection grid which is a neat way to organise the fixtures in relation to each other, and the phaser editor which allows flexible operation of the fixture’s parameters or can be utilised to dynamically create phasers with multiple steps as well as a simple trackpad to move fixtures. “These and many more tools make programming and modification streamlined,” he commented.

He finds scribble useful, and the fact that the current cue setting fade can be directly clicked on the time and a number added and also likes gel pool noting that the colour is mixed very accurately, which can save serious time in colour adjustment and tweaking. The new programmer can copy saved effects that can be modified and re-saved which is very convenient.

Overall, his impression of grandMA3 is that the console is “very easy to use”.

The biggest challenges of lighting this show included being extremely careful with the use of colour and paying attention to the general control and accuracy needed along with the detail demanded over the production’s narrative timeline.

The theatre’s head of lighting, Fang Yi underlined the importance of a good relationship with the distributor when making a major new equipment investment like this one in grandMA3 as well as for feedback, consultation and swift and efficient support when needed, and comments that ACE provide “excellent and invaluable” technical support and training.
photos: Meng Bin

25th May 2022

MA Lighting

First Baptist Concord Sweetens Services and Deepens Connections with L-Acoustics L-ISA Technology and A Series Loudspeakers

First Baptist Concord Sweetens Services and Deepens Connections with L-Acoustics L-ISA Technology and A Series Loudspeakers
First Baptist Concord Sweetens Services and Deepens Connections with L-Acoustics L-ISA Technology and A Series Loudspeakers

USA – First established in 1891, First Baptist Concord (FBC) is a Knoxville-area church that has witnessed considerable change over its 130 years. One thing that remains the same, however, is the pastoral team’s commitment to personally connecting with its parishioners. Case in point, when FBC took on the renovation of its 25-year-old main worship centre last year, it chose to install L-ISA immersive technology using an L-Acoustics A Series-based loudspeaker system to further deepen and enrich the worship experience for its congregation.

Following several successful one-off projects with Solotech, the church approached the company’s Nashville team again to help it design and integrate new audio, video, and lighting systems for the space. Solotech integrated systems designer Luke Lasater picks up the story: “We worked closely with L-Acoustics to design two PA options for the church: a standard left/right system and an L-ISA option. After reviewing the designs with the church, all agreed L-ISA was the way to go for many reasons: the budget was within a few thousand dollars to the traditional L/R system, coverage was better for the fan-shaped room, sightlines were improved with shorter hangs, and the ability to actually position the elements onstage in the ‘Scene’ of the L-ISA configuration meant that the singers, band, choir, and orchestra could all find a space in the mix. Plus, it gave much of the room a sense of space and a connection to what was happening onstage, which a dual-mono system with a traditional L/R setup in that wide room could not accomplish.”

Solotech brought in Design Technik to create an acoustics solution that would both help resolve the room’s acoustical issues and complement a new loudspeaker set-up. L-Acoustics then worked with both Solotech and Design Technik using Soundvision modelling software to design the optimum system for the space, which is based on an A Series loudspeaker design.

FBC’s new system comprises five Scene arrays of four A15i Focus and one A15i Wide flanked by left and right extension arrays of one A10i Focus and two A10i Wide. Two hangs of three A15i Focus and one A15i Wide horizontally flown deliver out-fill coverage, while four KS28 subs flown in a cardioid configuration behind the centre A15i Scene array supply the LF reinforcement. Coaxial short-throw X Series enclosures provide additional fill and foldback coverage, including 12 X4i for front-fill, four X8 for under-balcony fill, eight 5XT on stands for choir monitoring, and two more 5XT at FOH as engineer cue monitors. A combination of one LA12X, ten LA4X, and three LA2Xi amplified controllers drive the full loudspeaker complement.

“The entire system uses Milan-AVB to transmit audio to the amplifiers,” Lasater points out. “The MADI from the L-ISA Controller feeds an RME AVB Tool, which converts the audio to AVB. The AVB network is run on the L-Acoustics LS10 network switches with a connection to the main AV system for remote monitoring and control from the AV main control system, which is Crestron. Additionally, there is a MADI>AES redundancy to all PA amps should the AVB network have an issue, and the amplifiers will automatically fail-safe over to the AES should an issue arise, but it’s been rock-solid for eight months so far and I doubt that it will ever be a concern.”

A Yamaha Rivage PM5 console with DSP-RX-EX is used to mix front-of-house sound and create feeds for the KLANG:fabrik IEM monitor mixing system onstage. The console features an L-ISA DeskLink integration that allows the engineer to have direct control over each of the 96 objects from the knobs and touchscreen on the surface. “It also allows for additional automation, outside the L-ISA internal system, that’s linked with each scene recall,” adds Lasater, who frequently mixes sound at FBC. “This really enhances the creative experience for the engineers as we can manipulate parameters on the fly, or automate them into our console show file.”

For FBC worship pastor David Henderson, the sonic improvement has been nothing short of astonishing. “Since the instalment of the new system, we have experienced a level of clarity that I originally thought was impossible for the wide range of instrumentation that is represented on our stage every Sunday,” he says. “Within the first couple of weeks of returning to our sanctuary, I had several church members approach me, saying, ‘This is the first time since I’ve been at this church that I can truly hear all the parts represented in the choir, and the balance between band and orchestra is so full and clear!

“We’ve also enjoyed having a new freedom to really experiment with different ways to mix the sound. The immersive system allows our team to shape the sound in creative ways not previously possible with just a stereo system. To put it simply, this system has completely blown away our expectations, and we are super-pleased with the result.”

24th May 2022

Premium Genelec loudspeaker solution enhances Jolie’s sophisticated club experience

Premium Genelec loudspeaker solution enhances Jolie’s sophisticated club experience
Premium Genelec loudspeaker solution enhances Jolie’s sophisticated club experience

India – Mumbai’s luxury private members-only club, Jolie’s, is a hidden gem that truly encapsulates the meaning of its namesake. Sprawling over an impressive 20,000 square feet, the club takes its members on a journey through the senses with its numerous zones, each carefully designed to foster its own distinct atmosphere. From the open, bright, and inspiring design of the breakfast lounge and work area to the exquisite, sultry lighting of the cigar lounge as well as the art and music spaces, the team at Jolie’s have considered all the minute details, with the best of artisan cuisine, cocktails, and culture. To elevate the customer experience further still, the club also features a premium Genelec loudspeaker solution, which was integrated by Genelec’s local AV distribution partner Pandam Professional Audio.

With Jolie’s vision to deliver the best to its members in all aspects, Abhishek Bindal, the senior vice president of Jolie’s, approached Pandam’s owner Prashant Damle for further consultation. In response, Abhishek and his team were invited to Pandam’s Genelec Experience Centre located in Mahim, Mumbai. They were so impressed by the sound demonstration that they immediately decided to go with Genelec, proving why the brand is synonymous with both prestige and quality. Furthermore, the ease of installation and operation of Genelec loudspeakers further sweetened the deal. In situ, the pleasing aesthetic of the loudspeakers’ iconic rounded design blends seamlessly with the establishment’s sophisticated decor.

Under the guidance of Prashant, the project was intensively planned over a two-month period. However, the actual integration was carried out in an extremely tight 20-day period, leaving no room for error. In total, over 40 loudspeakers were deployed, with the assistance of Pandam Audio’s installation engineer, Sunil Jambhale. This includes a relatively even split of Genelec S360A and 8010A models, complemented by four 7382A subwoofers to handle low frequency duties. Any questions or further support that Club Jolie required would be directed towards Nikhil Pagedar, Pandam’s customer support engineer.

Prashant explains the key decisions: "In the event space area we installed the S360As paired with a 7382A subwoofer. This combination delivers a class-leading balance of extraordinary SPL output, wide dynamic range and an intensely detailed, transparent performance." It was important to equip this room with the capacity to satisfy a wide range of different functions, which is precisely what this Genelec pairing achieves.

The club’s bar area also benefits from the performance of the S360As. Although it preserves an intimate feel, it is an expansive space with high ceilings, which properly utilises the headroom that the S360As provide. "To ensure that they blend seamlessly with the environment, and that there are no unwanted vibrations propagating from the loudspeakers, we positioned them on the wall. From there, we precisely tilted the mounting bracket for the best possible listening angle," explains Prashant.

In the restaurant, however, Pandam opted to use the 8010As, which deliver Genelec’s hallmark sound quality in an ultra-compact format. Additionally, other smaller rooms like the private dining area, business lounge, hidden bar and the cigar lounge were also equipped with 8010As, primarily serving as a background music system (BGM). Naturally, the playback volume for all areas can be individually tuned at the management’s discretion, and this in tandem with each loudspeaker’s integrated room compensation switches ensures perfect optimisation for each room environment.

"It was a colossal task, but we endeavoured to provide Jolie’s with the best possible solution. The team were very happy with the system we delivered," says Prashant, "It helped immensely that the team at Jolie’s were so co-operative. Without such clear communication, it would have been hard to achieve the goal in the limited time frame we had."

Manish Rathi, the senior vice president at Jolie’s reaffirms the success of this collaboration: "Working with the team at Pandam Professional Audio was an absolute pleasure - from start to finish. The team’s professionalism and sensitivity with regards to this project were both impeccable. We are delighted with the result!"

Premium Genelec loudspeaker solution enhances Jolie’s sophisticated club experiencePremium Genelec loudspeaker solution enhances Jolie’s sophisticated club experience

24th May 2022

Beats Light & Sound Stay Ahead of the Curve with dLive and Avantis

Beats Light & Sound Stay Ahead of the Curve with dLive and Avantis

India – Since forming in 1997, Beats Light & Sound has established itself as one of India’s leading AV rental companies and is trusted for large-scale events by renowned artists such as Sonu Nigam, Arijit Singh, Atif Aslam, Honey Singh and many more.

With an ever-expanding roster of events in the Delhi based firm's diary, it became obvious that its audio inventory required expansion. Sanjay Chaudhary, managing director of Beats Light & Sound, called on Sun Infonet, Allen & Heath’s exclusive distributor in India, to help specify and supply two new systems.

“At this point, most Indian sound engineers have worked on an Allen & Heath console,” says Kallol Nath, senior applications engineer at Sun Infonet. “With dLive and Avantis rapidly gaining popularity in India, we’re seeing rental companies like Beats Light and Sound investing in these systems to meet the increased demand from engineers.”

To meet this demand the company invested in a dLive system, consisting of an S7000 Surface partnered with a DM32 MixRack, to handle large-scale events. Built around the 96kHz XCVI processing core, all dLive MixRacks provide 128 input channels and a configurable 64 bus architecture for maximum flexibility, with a choice of seven Surface sizes for hands-on control. The S7000 is the largest Surface in the dLive range with 216 assignable fader strips, via six layers of 36 faders, and dual 12” touchscreens which seamlessly integrate with the surrounding hardware controls.

Additionally, the company took delivery of an Avantis console to handle events with lower channel counts. Utilising the same XCVI technology as dLive, Avantis offers 64 input channels and 42 configurable mix busses with dual 15.6” full-HD touchscreens delivering a fast and intuitive workflow. As with dLive, the system latency is a class-leading 0.7ms from input to output.

The systems are complemented by a pair of audio expanders, the GX4816 and DX168, from Allen & Heath’s Everything I/O ecosystem. The GX4816 provides high-input-count expansion with 48 mic preamps plus 16 line outputs and can be rack-mounted or free-standing. The DX168 features 16 mic preamps and eight line outputs in a rugged stage box form factor. Both expanders are compatible with dLive, Avantis and SQ mixers with simple plug-and-play operation.

As well as supplying the system, Sun Infonet provided post-sales support including a training visit from Kallol Nath which was well received by the team at Beats Light & Sound. “Both mixers have a workflow that our engineers absolutely love,” concludes Managing Director Mayank Chaudhary. “The addition of these consoles to our rental stock perfectly fulfils our goal of providing the latest equipment to our customers whilst delivering solid ROI.”

24th May 2022

Berklee College of Music Invests in PMC8-2 Monitors

Berklee College of Music Invests in PMC8-2 Monitors

USA – Thanks to a philanthropic gift from the parents of a former student, Berklee College of Music has become the first teaching establishment in the USA to invest in a pair of PMC8-2 monitors.

The monitors have been installed in Berklee’s main Dolby Atmos-certified Dub Stage where they are giving students the opportunity to mix projects in stereo using the type of high end equipment that they will encounter in real life.

Rob Jaczko, Berklee’s chair of music production and engineering, says: “PMC’s reputation in the industry has always been one of very high quality and I am impressed by the accuracy and bass response of these speakers, even without a sub woofer. This is the first time we have had a pair of PMC speakers on campus, and I am delighted that we can now broaden our student’s awareness of the top tier of monitoring manufacturers.”

PMC’s new range of compact near-and midfield monitors were introduced last year and are already redefining the listening experience for audio professionals, whether they are working in stereo or large scale immersive formats. The range, which replaces PMC’s existing twotwo series, includes PMC6, PMC6-2, and PMC8-2 monitors, along with their associated subwoofers the PMC8 SUB and PMC8-2 SUB. All models have the same signature sound as PMC’s main monitor products such as the QB1, BB6, MB3 and IB2, and are therefore the perfect complement to them.

Located in Boston, Berklee College of Music was founded in 1945 and now has nearly 6,000 students studying a range of music-related specialities including composition, music performance, professional music, music therapy, and music production and engineering. It is widely regarded as one of the best music colleges in the world and its alumni include household names such as Quincy Jones, John Mayer, Charlie Puth, Bruce Hornsby, Meghan Trainor and Diana Krall.

Berklee College of Music took the decision to invest in new PMC8-2 monitors after its main Atmos Dub Stage was equipped with a new Avid S6 Controller console.

“We have numerous recording studios, mix suites and mastering facilities on campus, including six live tracking rooms that cater to the many musicians on site,” Rob Jaczko explains. “We also have a post production speciality within the music production and engineering syllabus, which teaches students audio post production techniques for cinematic purposes. The Atmos Dub Stage is used for this work and is a fabulous listening environment. Changing the console gave us the opportunity to move our advanced mixing curriculum into the studio. This meant we needed dedicated stereo monitoring that could work alongside the immersive audio system, so we chose PMC8-2 monitors because they had the power and accuracy we needed for this space.”

Jaczko, who began his career as a recording engineer and producer at A&M Studios in Los Angeles, is so pleased with the sound of Berklee’s PMC8-2 monitors that he is now considering adding a pair to his own private studio.

“At Berklee, we only equip our studios with definitive gear that is representative of a professional standard,” he adds. “This philosophy defines every purchasing decision we make because we want to ensure that our students become familiar with the type of equipment they will encounter in the real world. PMC certainly fits this brief, and I am sufficiently impressed with the performance of the PMC8-2 monitors we have installed that I would like a pair of them at my studio.”

Although Berklee currently has only one Atmos Dub stage Jaczko adds that he can’t rule out the possibility of more immersive audio studios being built in the future, especially now that streaming services such as Tidal, Amazon and Apple are embracing spatial audio formats for music.

“We are watching the market to see where this goes before making a decision, but if we do I can see PMC being part of that conversation,” he says.

24th May 2022

Martin ERA, Aura and ELP chosen for state-of-the-art The Londoner hotel Ballroom

Martin ERA, Aura and ELP chosen for state-of-the-art The Londoner hotel Ballroom

UK – The Londoner is described by its owner, Edwardian Hotels London, as the world’s first ‘super boutique’ hotel. It is a remarkable new £500 million, 5-star luxury boutique hotel, located in the heart of London’s Leicester Square, with six of its 16 storeys extending over 30m underground. The Londoner combines the very best aspects of a luxury boutique hotel with a range of bespoke meetings and events spaces.

Equally impressive is its award-winning AV installation, designed, supplied and installed by Visual Systems (part of the Myriad Audio Visual Group and CP Partnership), with ARUP acting as consultants for the client.

To equip the hotel’s Ballroom – a state-of the-art event space and the largest pillarless ballroom in London's West End – Visual Systems turned to the Martin by Harman lighting catalogue for a class-leading event lighting system, featuring Martin ERA Series, MAC Aura Series and ELP Series. All Martin products were supplied by Martin’s UK distributor Sound Technology Ltd.

“We’ve operated in the hospitality sector for over 35 years, but this is by far and away the most impressive of projects.” commented Ray Sappal, project director, Visual Systems. “The client wanted a state-of-the-art facility. They wanted the AV to be discrete with the latest Audio-Visual hardware available. They also wanted the ballroom to be the best in the country.”

The 6,092 square-foot Ballroom, with a maximum capacity of 850, is a multi-functional space for all types of events including launch parties, conferences, award ceremonies and weddings. It sets itself apart with the installation of state-of-the art audio, lighting and rigging systems, such that the hotel is able to include best-in-class equipment in all its Ballroom hire packages.

Particularly impressive is its installed event lighting system, which features an all-LED line-up of 30 Martin ERA 400 Performance moving heads, 20 MAC Aura XB washes and four Martin ELP CL Ellipsoidal profiles.

“We looked at various manufacturers on both functionality and cost, and after a lot of research and demo’s decided on Martin.” explained Martin Goodman, lighting consultant, Visual Systems. “I felt the units had a lot of features that would work well within the Londoner and would also be approved by external event companies working at the venue. We also have Martin fixtures within the group’s hire stock so I knew the product would work. The feedback we have had from the client and their clients has been that of surprise and amazement at what the lighting rig within the Ballroom can do.”

The Ballroom has already hosted some of the world's most creditable fashion, film and lifestyle brands including the British Film Institute, British Vogue, British Designer, Richard Quinn and Givenchy Beauty.

Nick Kalsi, Edwardian Hotels' Technology Consultant, added: “I worked closely with Visual Systems on this project and am so pleased with the design and installation carried out. Visual Systems have done a great job in providing us with systems that are not only user friendly but easy to maintain and future proof. This has been a very difficult and a long project for all due to Covid, but we have come out of it stronger and with a product to be proud of. The Ballroom is unique in that we have every item you may require for a high end event, including a spectacular Martin lighting system which just takes this area to another level."

Ray Sappal concluded: “I don’t think we are going to see many new hotels of this size being built in London. Winning the project was an honour for us. Being trusted to deliver the system and seeing the finished product working is what makes these projects a joy to work on. The Londoner is a unique hotel in its own class and I think it’s going to be some time before we see another hotel being built like this.”

photo: Edwardian Hotels London

24th May 2022

Martin Audio Goes Upscale Mexican Dining in Manhattan

Martin Audio Goes Upscale Mexican Dining in Manhattan

USA – Following a successful installation at La Grande Boucherie in Midtown Manhattan last year, Bond Applied Technology LLC has again installed Martin Audio’s popular CDD speaker series in another top New York restaurant.

This time the action moved to the trendy TriBeCa district of Lower Manhattan, and a new boutique Mexican restaurant called Casa Carmen, which has been equipped with ten ultra-compact CDD6 enclosures and four cleverly concealed SX110 subwoofers.

Collaborating once again with interior designer Julien Legeard of Legeard Studio (as at La Grande Boucherie) Bond director, Christopher Mayes-Wright, once again adopted the coaxial differential dispersion technology of Martin Audio’s tried and trusted CDD.

“My experience with CDD speakers has been nothing but amazing every time,” exclaimed Mayes-Wright. “I’ve been able to compare them in situ with other similar speakers and the clarity and accuracy of imaging and voicing is noticeably miles better.

“Some folks think this is irrelevant in an installation environment where there are so many factors affecting acoustic performance: asymmetrical rooms, a mixture of often highly reflective materials such as tiles and glass. But I believe that in these circumstances it’s even more important to have a perfectly tight and controlled sound coming from your loudspeakers, to avoid what I call the ‘shopping mall effect’, which you find in lots of spaces where the sound comes from above.

“What tends to happen is that the sound energy just floats around untamed in a vast layer above the heads of the customer, and sounds like never ending clatter. The clarity of CDDs is one giant leap towards avoiding that scenario.”

The restaurant itself represents the first US opening by a family of restaurateurs from Mexico City. The name ‘Carmen’ is a homage to the family matriarch and celebrated Mexican cook, Carmen ‘Titita’ Ramirez Degollado, and it is being run by her grandsons, Santiago and Sebastian Ramirez Degollado. Following the pandemic, TriBeCa is currently going through a resurgence.

The sound system is very efficient, but still very powerful. “ I’m a big fan of running a powerful system at below 35 per cent of its potential,” continues Mayes-Wright. “This keeps distortion to an absolute minimum and also extends the life of the equipment.”

The brief had been clear; the system needed to sound good and fill the room, but at the same time allow regular conversation to take place. “The room acoustics help with this,” notes the installer. “There’s a layer of absorption on the ceiling and the natural wood and stucco surfaces help with diffusion of high frequencies.

“They also wanted to hide the speakers wherever possible; I always like this approach, so we were on the same wavelength from the start.” Sound feed is playback from a multi-zone Sonos system.

As to speaker concealment this not only benefited the design aesthetic but was in keeping with the installer’s general ethos. I’m all about hiding speakers. They are designed to be heard, so why slap them on the wall where they mess with a designer’s lines if you can move them somewhere out of sight and still achieve the same effect?” he rationalises.

This in particular applied to the SX110s which are enclosed in the cabinetry by the bar and inside the walls in the dining area, in all cases, isolated with ¾ inch rubber sheeting to prevent acoustic transmission. “We worked with the designer to choose appropriate vents and trim pieces, and this proved extremely successful,” stated the Bond director.

Correct speaker mounting of the full-range CDDs – in this instance on the ceiling, 16ft off the floor, using custom Unistrut frames – was also critical to achieving even dispersion. Clever preparation enabled them to be positioned perfectly between the beams.

“With speakers so high, pointing downwards, you often lose clarity and run into standing waves between the floor and ceiling. The CDDs’ tight phase response between drivers (they’re phase aligned due to the driver design) helped enormously with this.”

Despite the presence of a third-party processor, the CDDs were able to be run pretty much straight out of the box. “I didn’t do much more than enter the manufacturer-recommended EQ settings for the CDD6s, cross over the subs and do some overall tweaks after a walk-through the space with diners present.”

And Christopher Mayes-Wright’s final verdict? “The clients are super happy,” he confirms. “I went to dinner with friends at Casa Carmen shortly after it opened and experienced the sound on a busy night. The fact that everyone said how clear and controlled the sound was really made my day!”

Martin Audio Goes Upscale Mexican Dining in ManhattanMartin Audio Goes Upscale Mexican Dining in Manhattan

24th May 2022

ETC partners with BAFTA as an Official Supplier

ETC partners with BAFTA as an Official Supplier

UK – ETC has worked with BAFTA and the redevelopment of its home and headquarters in London. The revamped BAFTA 195 Piccadilly is now officially reopen and will be the central hub for BAFTA’s UK-wide, and global, learning and talent development programme.

State of the art facilities and technologically advanced equipment has been used in the redevelopment including ETC products which have been installed in the new theatres within the space. This includes several lighting fixtures: fos/4 Fresnels, Source Four LED Series 2 profiles and Irideon wash lights. Eos family consoles with network infrastructure including Response Mk2 DMX Gateways are also used to control the lighting, with a stage engineering package involving ETC’s Prodigy P2 hoists and QuickTouch Preset controls.

By improving facilities and doubling the building’s capacity, the redevelopment has enabled BAFTA to dramatically increase its charitable programme. 195 Piccadilly will be a creative centre for film, games and television. A world-leading independent arts charity, BAFTA works throughout the year to find and promote the next generation of talent and to break down the barriers that can make it hard to build careers in the creative industries.

BAFTA’s revamp of its headquarters also brings an expansion of its talent support programme. ETC fully supports BAFTA’s initiatives for encouraging new talent and is equally committed to building up the next generation of lighting professionals with programs that are specifically aimed at students such as the Fred Foster Student Mentorship Programme.

ETC regional sales manager for the UK, Jeremy Roberts comments: “BAFTA is such an important organisation for our industry, it was with real pleasure that we were able to support the changes and upgrades to the building. There is a great synergy between the education initiatives of the BAFTA team and the work ETC does in its North Acton training space for aspiring broadcast and film lighting professionals.”

Pauline Campbell, head of property at BAFTA added: "We were pleased to work with ETC. In addition to providing cutting-edge technology, their support allowed us to fulfil our charitable remit and provide creatives, new talent, and practitioners with a dedicated global hub for the arts, as well as a lasting legacy in the heart of central London.”

photos: BAFTA/ Rory Mulvey, ETC

ETC partners with BAFTA as an Official SupplierETC partners with BAFTA as an Official Supplier

23rd May 2022


DiGiCo ticks all the boxes for busy Costa Rican church

DiGiCo ticks all the boxes for busy Costa Rican church

Costa Rica – PAS Church in Costa Rica recently embarked on the important task of selecting and installing a new FOH console to manage an increasingly demanding weekly schedule. With multiple services each week, a range of group meetings, broadcast services and a thriving music department, the Church needed a new console that could manage the technical demands of this varied programme. Enlisting the services of local audio specialist, Mas Música Internacional S.A, the Church swiftly settled on DiGiCo’s compact, feature-laden SD12 digital mixing console.

“We were looking to replace our incumbent console and we needed a robust replacement, capable of withstanding daily use thanks to the Church’s hectic weekly programme of live, virtual and musical events,” explains PAS Community Church’s sound manager, Luca Frugone, who has been in charge of the Church’s audio requirements since 2016. “The brief was to find a single console to manage FOH, IEM and monitor requirements, with plentiful output busses a high priority.”

Located in the capital city of San Jose, PAS Community Church is a modern Christian church, offering a progressive agenda, embracing all sectors of the congregation from teenagers, to divorcees to senior citizens. There are daily services, with several at the weekend, regular live virtual services, and a renowned music department, with an active weekly schedule of events, and a large following on the church’s dedicated music media channels.

With the help of local distributor, Mas Música Internacional S.A., PAS Community Church selected premium brand DiGiCo’s compact yet feature-packed SD12 console, accompanied by two D2 Racks offering an additional 96 inputs.

“The Church always has slightly different requirements for events each day but the SD12 ticks all the boxes,” explains Henry Quiros Ramirez, from Mas Música Internacional S.A. “The additional I/O racks provide more than enough capacity and the option to easily hook up any additional gear. Thanks to the console’s dual screens, it is possible to have two engineers operating simultaneously, which is a great feature for the audio team in situations with little time for sound checks, as one person can manage FOH and another monitors.”

It has been several weeks since the installation and the church’s engineers are very satisfied with the choice of console. Frugone and his team are relishing the freedom the SD12’s programmable routing provides, allowing them to focus on creativity in the live mix and not operational issues, and ultimately deliver a better experience to the audience.

“The flexibility to program snapshots is very important, as it allows us to automate certain routine functions so that we can focus on creativity in the live mix,” concludes Frugone. “DiGiCo's Stealth processing offers extraordinary power, especially considering the console’s incredible macros technology, where several processes and programmable actions are distilled into a single button. The audio quality is a huge leap forward for us. The separation and clarity from the preamp to the summing master buss is incredible, and I am particularly impressed with the valve-style harmonics of the DiGiTubes processing.”

20th May 2022


Robe Finds Sanctuary at Rumbach Street Synagogue

Robe Finds Sanctuary at Rumbach Street Synagogue
Robe Finds Sanctuary at Rumbach Street Synagogue

Hungary – Budapest’s Rumbach Street synagogue, designed by Viennese architect Otto Wagner and completed in 1872, has recently been restored to its original Moorish revival style exquisiteness and glory. It has re-opened to the public after decades of dereliction following a partial reconstruction in the late 1980s and early 1990s which ran out of funds, and this more recent effort which was finished during the pandemic.

In addition to being used for prayers and other spiritual activities, the main chamber (sanctuary) and other related spaces have been reimagined and kitted out with the latest technologies. AVL Trade was chosen to integrate a full lighting and AV system into the synagogue as the final detailing of the restoration project which has transformed the venue into a set of stunning modern event spaces for Hungarian Jewish umbrella organisation, Mazsihisz.

AVL Trade’s Csaba Csanadi has worked on the project for over two years; the initial approach and invitation for the company to tender on the project came just as the pandemic was starting. He didn’t think twice when it came to the right moving lights for the job and specified a selection of Robe fixtures including 12 T1 Profiles, 12 Spiiders and 16 LEDBeam 150s.

These luminaires were all selected for flexibility and because they fit nicely and neatly into the space, offering multiple options for the venue’s mix of activities.

The synagogue is tucked away in one of the narrow winding streets of Belvaros, the historical centre of Pest old town in the east of the Hungarian metropolis which is also a colourful party district. “It was a huge honour to be involved in this project and to work with the Rumbach complex director Henriett Kiss, who oversaw the restoration, and her team,” commented Csaba.

The sanctuary will be used for concerts and other performance events. The impressive retractable Bimah in the centre sinks completely into the floor via hydraulic lifts, enabling the space to be used for 300 capacity end-on concerts and religious services using a small stage. When the stage is located centrally in the room, the capacity is increased yet further.

AVL’s lighting design took the octagonal architecture and structural form of the sanctuary as a starting point, and it was fundamental to maintain the integrity and visual harmony of the room with any installed technology.

One of their first brain-teasing jobs was establishing flying points, a hugely intricate job which involved working in the restricted wooden roof space 25 metres above the floor of the chamber and drilling unobtrusive holes through the ornate ceiling without damaging its surface, then rigging motors and winches safely and securely around the joists.

This facilitated hanging trussing below providing technical positions for lighting, audio and video.

The two main lighting positions are an eight-faceted truss, flown above the Bimah in the central space and a straight truss in front of the stage area.

T1 Profiles are rigged in both positions. “They are a fantastic all-round fixture producing great skin tones and with excellent dimming, perfect for camera applications and also for theatrical style shows and musical performances,” stated Csaba.

The Spiiders were picked for their washing capabilities, rich colours and because they can produce effects and a bit of craziness using the individual pixels or the flower effects.

The LEDBeam 150s were a “complete no brainer,” stated Csaba. “They are small, light and unobtrusive enough to be displayed anywhere in the room as needed: on the stage floor or rigged on the truss to highlight the ceiling and other architectural features.”

All the lights are run over ArtNet with a portable ChamSys console as part of the package, which can be set up in various positions around the room.

The system is good to go for any event.

Being able to light the whole environment and highlight its unusual décor and colours with rich golds, reds and blues – more often found in Asia and Islamic mosques and architecture – was integral to the lighting brief. The interior is covered in intricate hand sculpted and painted plasterwork, beautiful stained glass rose windows, octagonal balconies, an original mosaic floor and countless other visual details.

Henriet Kiss is delighted with the results.

As the building opens and is taking bookings post pandemic, she expects a busy schedule including plenty of Israeli artists who will be performing. “Good lighting is essential for the concerts and cultural events that will be staged here and we needed a system that also respected the heritage council requirements.”

As well as the sanctuary, Rumbach Street synagogue now has a permanent interactive exhibition on the third floor narrating the story of Hungarian Jews through one extended family, the Pulitzers (Politzers); plus a 40-seat conference hall and a large kosher café. It will be a cultural jewel at the hub of Jewish society in this cosmopolitan and vibrant European capital city.

photos: Louise Stickland

Robe Finds Sanctuary at Rumbach Street SynagogueRobe Finds Sanctuary at Rumbach Street Synagogue

20th May 2022

Robe Lighting

Teatro Garcia de Resende chooses ETC ArcLamp

Teatro Garcia de Resende chooses ETC ArcLamp

Portugal – Portugal’s stunning Teatro Garcia de Resende was recently renovated and selected ETC lighting solutions including ArcLamp luminaires, ArcMesh Drivers and an Echo control system to upgrade the space.

The theatre, which is recognised for its interior ‘Italian-style’ architectural beauty, was built in the 19th century and is a part of the European Route of Historic Theatres: a route around Europe which distinguishes the most beautiful, historic theatres that represent European cultural heritage.

The theatre’s technical director, António Rebocho, was in search of LED lighting to replace the existing tungsten lights in the building. He particularly wanted an LED solution which would not compromise the quality of the light or increase maintenance costs. After researching various options, António decided to go with ETC’s ArcLamp luminaires commenting that he had ‘never seen the room so beautiful – the new lights enhanced all the colours, especially the red tones.’

ETC dealer, NAN Audiovisuals installed 108 ArcLamp lights with Fade to Warm feature technology into the Teatro Garcia de Resende. The LED luminaires provide quality light, smooth dimming and up to 90% energy savings. António Rebocho commented: “ArcLamp is a unique solution in the market which would accomplish everything needed for the project. It improved the quality of light in the theatre whist simultaneously reducing the maintenance costs related to lamp replacements and energy consumption. Being able to control the lighting from the installed button stations and lighting desks was also a great improvement.”

ETC regional sales manager Konstantinos Vonofakidis adds: “The Teatro Garcia de Resende is considered to be a building of great architectural beauty and a landmark in the city of Évora. We are very thankful and proud that our ArcLamp solution was chosen by the theatre. Despite some challenges due to the age of the venue and its electrical infrastructure, the highly experienced staff of NAN, our dealer in Portugal, did a fantastic job with the installation and commissioning of the system. Not only was the lighting result stunning but also highly energy efficient and nearly maintenance free.”

photos: Jorge Santos

Teatro Garcia de Resende chooses ETC ArcLampTeatro Garcia de Resende chooses ETC ArcLamp

19th May 2022


L-Acoustics Scores at Chengdu Phoenix Mountain Indoor Stadium with 360° A Series Installation

L-Acoustics Scores at Chengdu Phoenix Mountain Indoor Stadium with 360° A Series Installation

China – The 18,000-seat Chengdu Phoenix Mountain Indoor Stadium lies at the heart of the state-of-the-art Chengdu Phoenix Hill Sports Park. With an ideal design for global basketball, ice hockey and other competitive games, the stadium will host the upcoming 31st World University Games and the 18th Asian Cup in 2023. In addition to hosting international and domestic sporting events, the venue is poised to stage live concerts, performance art shows, and high-profile product launches. The massive complex is a world-class events venue that will enrich the local Jinniu district community with a wide range of multi-cultural entertainment programs throughout the year.

Construction on the NBA-standard arena began in 2019, with audio and video technology design and installation awarded to China Radio, Film and Television Design and Research Institute (DRFT). Mr. Zhou Yaoping, director of engineering at DRFT, had worked with L-Acoustics and was confident in the brand’s reputation for delivering world-class audio solutions for high-profile sports and touring projects. Mr. Zhou worked with local L-Acoustics certified provider, Rightway Audio Consultants (RAC), for technical support throughout the project. “On top of the superior precision and power of the L-Acoustics solution, we knew that we would also receive impeccable service from both RAC and the L-Acoustics application team,” he explains.

Challenges to the sound design included VIP box areas with reflective glass surfaces and a centrally located 360° LED display screen, which would change positions depending on standard heights for the sport or optimal placement for live events. Systems designer at DRFT, Ms. Zhang Xinyu used L-Acoustics Soundvision software to map the venue and test different sound system configurations to attain optimal coverage and SPL for the entire audience, regardless of where the LED screen is placed. “Soundvision was an excellent tool to help me experiment various design ideas,” explains Ms. Zhang. “It allowed me to find the best speaker configuration for optimal performance, taking all screen placement options into account.” Settings for each event type are pre-calculated and can easily be recalled by venue operators in LA Network Manager.

The final system installation was led by Mr. Li Daojun, senior engineer at DRFT. The main system consists of eight arrays, each comprising six L-Acoustics A15i Focus and one A15i Wide, hanging from the roof in an oval shape above the LED display to deliver 360-degree coverage to the audience. A cluster of four hangs of three KS21 subwoofers each, flown in the middle, ensures low-end rumble. Under the display cube, four L-Acoustics X15 HiQ act as monitors for athletes on the court. The whole system is driven by 22 LA4X amplified controllers.

Senior engineer Mr. Li praises the support DRFT received from RAC and L-Acoustics. “We were able to call upon experienced application engineers at any time during this three-year project, in turn ensuring that we provided the end user with a comprehensive run-through of the operating system” he says.

Mr. Li added: “The flexible A Series system was the right solution to a complex brief. Chengdu Phoenix Mountain Indoor Stadium and the technical team are now ready to serve quality sports and entertainment programming to the dynamic Jinniu community.”

Similar sentiments were echoed by Mr. Liu Heming, deputy technical director of Chengdu Chengtou Vanguan Sports Culture Development Co. Ltd., the company in charge of technical operations of the arena: “On testing day, the overall sound in the arena amazed me. Not many sporting venues possess a sound system of this calibre. Now my team has the right tools and resources to perform at the high technical standards of world-class events.”

L-Acoustics Scores at Chengdu Phoenix Mountain Indoor Stadium with 360° A Series InstallationL-Acoustics Scores at Chengdu Phoenix Mountain Indoor Stadium with 360° A Series Installation

18th May 2022

Everest Grand Theatre Scales the Heights With Allen & Heath dLive

Everest Grand Theatre Scales the Heights With Allen & Heath dLive
Everest Grand Theatre Scales the Heights With Allen & Heath dLive

Tibet – Nestled 3,900m above sea level amongst the mountainous peaks of Shigatse, Tibet, the recently completed Everest Grand Theatre holds the accolade of being the highest altitude professional theatre in the world and has been dubbed “the artistic pearl of the world’s third pole”.

When Chinese AV solutions provider EZPro was handed responsibility to supply the sound reinforcement system for the theatre, reliability and versatility were high on the list of criteria to maintain peak performance throughout the year.

“To meet the needs of the varied performances and activities, flexibility is absolutely critical,” explains Zhu Liuwei, senior technical manager of EZPro. “With the dLive system, we could store and recall different ‘modes’ by using show files, scenes, and the preset library to achieve very efficient changes. As the dLive audio engine resides in the MixRack, it is easy to change the location of the Surface if required, and this was another big plus for the theatre.”

For the install, EZPro partnered a pair of Allen & Heath dLive S7000 Surfaces with two DM64 MixRacks to operate as main and backup systems. The S7000 is the largest control surface in the dLive range, offering up to 216 fader strips via 6 layers of 36 faders, in addition to 26 assignable SoftKeys, and local analogue and AES I/O. The dual 12” touchscreens provide a comprehensive overview of the mix, with the Harmony UI allowing quick and intuitive control of all parameters. The DM64 MixRack is built around Allen & Heath’s 96kHz XCVI processing core, delivering 128 input channels with full processing, 64 mix outs with full processing, a configurable bus architecture, and class-leading latency of 0.7ms. The S7000 and DM64 are linked via dual redundant gigaACE sockets and both support a pair of hot-swappable PSUs for added redundancy and resilience.

With Dante used throughout the theatre for audio distribution, both dLive systems were equipped with Dante cards with the Primary and Secondary ports being used to provide a redundant audio link, via network switches, to the power amps and speakers. Additionally, an analogue audio connection from the main MixRack was used to provide an additional level of redundancy in the event of a network hardware failure.

“The dLive system ticks all the boxes. A flexible FOH position, ease-of-use and fast set-up,” concludes Zhu Liuwei. “And the variety of built-in DEEP Processors greatly helped FOH engineers to deliver a studio-quality mix for music performances.”

18th May 2022

JK Opole Theatre upgrades with OPTOCORE fiber network

JK Opole Theatre upgrades with OPTOCORE fiber network
JK Opole Theatre upgrades with OPTOCORE fiber network

Poland – Poland’s largest dramatic theatre has reopened after lockdown, to reveal a major renovation to its various spaces, which took up much of 2021.

In order to preserve its impressive heritage, it was recognised that Jan Kochanowski Theatre in Opole (JK Opole Theatre) would need to undergo full modernisation, and a thorough overhaul of its technical infrastructure, fulfilling a dream it had nurtured for several years.

The cost of reconstruction was budgeted at PLN 25 million (nearly $6 million USD), with over half coming from EU funds.

The project, which took eight months to fulfil, included the renewal of the main building façade, the entrance and surroundings, the modernisation of stages and auditorium (including ventilation), as well as sound and lighting systems. This included a complete OPTOCORE fibre network, based around the deployment of five unique AutoRouters.

The theatre layout itself includes the 575-seat Big Stage, with an impressive revolving stage, Small Stage (with 193 seats, in amphitheatre auditorium style), a Ground Floor stage known as the Bunker and a Model Workshop (Modelatornia), with 140 seats in customisable configuration. This is where the idea of modernising the theatre's electroacoustic system first began in 2017 with the possibility of producing sound from each side, in any configuration.

As part of this project, a new theatre façade was made, and the ventilation and air conditioning system and part of the electrical installation of the building were modernised. At the same time, the Center for Theater Education was also established. A new stage lighting for the Small Stage was delivered, its acoustics were improved and the electroacoustic system of all stages was modernised at the hands of well-known technical integrators, M.Ostrowski Sp. J.

Their audio design engineer (and project manager), Paweł Francuz, stated: "The modernisation of the TJK technical facility was no easy task. The theatre building is a huge facility, with several rooms, requiring a complicated layout of the cable routes from the central control room on level -2 (the hub of the entire signal distribution system to the electroacoustic system). The task was not facilitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, as a result of which we had to stop work, and the delivery of some of the devices manufactured overseas was delayed.”

In designing the new infrastructure M. Ostrowski instinctively specified a DiGiCo / OPTOCORE combination, as the quality and functionality of the mixing and network distribution system became their top priority.

The digital transmission of audio signals, broadcast through Meyer PA systems, is based on creating an autonomous OPTOCORE fibre optic network for each stage of the theatre. It operates in a redundant five-point star topology independently for each scene to create full communication between each location (amounting to 30 locations in total). This has been made possible by the deployment of five unique OPTOCORE AutoRouters, further facilitated by an additional redundant Dante network.

These are equipped with a total of 86 Neutrik OpticalCON DUO sockets to carry out the function of combining individual scenes with each other in any configuration, remotely, without interfering with the structure of fiber optic network connections.

The five AutoRouters are configured and implemented as follows: The first AutoRouter 40 Duplex multimode LC is responsible for signal distribution between devices operating within the Big Stage, a second AutoRouter 30 is responsible for signal distribution between devices operating within the Modelatornia, a third AutoRouter 20 takes care of signal distribution within the Small Stage, while a fourth AutoRouter 20 handles signal distribution within the Stage environment on the Ground Floor (Bunker). Finally, the fifth AutoRouter 10 serves as the master zone router, responsible for connecting all the other AutoRouter interfaces; using the dedicated OPTOCORE Control Software it automatically co-ordinates scene connectivity, either individually or in any configuration, by default.

The DiGiCo SD series consoles and SD stageracks are equipped with OPTOCORE DD32R and X6R-TP fibre interfaces, which route the main PA feed to the Galileo processor. This enables bi-directional, low-latency transmission of up to 1024 audio channels is possible. This applies to both the console-to-stagerack and console-to-console transmission. The total number of analogue I/Os available is 256 inputs and 136 outputs (with additional I/O built into each console), which can be freely assigned (taking into account the number of channels supported by individual consoles). The OPTOCORE interfaces are responsible for receiving and transmitting signals from and to stage connections and receiving signals from wireless systems.

An additional solution used in connection with the transmission of digital audio signals, is a set of OPTOCORE > DANTE converters allowing for the transmission of a total of 256 input channels and 256 output channels between networks. This concept assumed the possibility of redundant transmission of ‘everything, everywhere’. The provision of such a large number of digital I/O channels ensures simultaneous implementation of all functions (i.e. the possibility of safe signal transmission within a single (or many) scenes, the possibility of multi-track recording and streaming as well as integration with sound mixing systems from other manufacturers. Again, all functions can be performed simultaneously.

This all adds up to a flexible, elegant and highly efficient system.

photos: Teatr im. Jana Kochanowskiego w Opolu

JK Opole Theatre upgrades with OPTOCORE fiber networkJK Opole Theatre upgrades with OPTOCORE fiber network

17th May 2022

Wavefront Precision Specified Throughout Blackpool Conference & Exhibition Centre

Wavefront Precision Specified Throughout Blackpool Conference & Exhibition Centre
Wavefront Precision Specified Throughout Blackpool Conference & Exhibition Centre

UK – A highly complex and reconfigurable Martin Audio Wavefront Precision design throughout the new Blackpool Conference and Exhibition Centre is the brainchild of system designer Samuel Williams of Derby-based Media Powerhouse.

The first major building development at the Winter Gardens complex since the construction of the Opera House in 1939, the venue, set on two levels is one of the largest of its kind in the north of England. It features the necessary infrastructure for hosting modern conferences and exhibitions. Media Powerhouse’s integration includes cutting edge projection video and smart lighting technology as well as Martin Audio scaleable line arrays in each of the eight rooms.

The exhibition space is set on the first floor, with a large 2000-capacity conference space on the second floor. It is conceived as four separate but reconfigurable venues on both floors. With a total 2400 sq.m of reconfigurable space, the venue is ideal for large events. The space can be combined with other venues throughout the complex to further expand the 7,000 capacity.

Williams, who also acted as the consultant, was aware that the spaces needed to function as both stand-alone spaces, or divided into smaller cells with the partitions removed. This would require the technical infrastructure to be highly flexible, with presets for all technical services available for each room configuration.

He was also aware that the venue would need to cater for a raft of different events, from the recent Conservative Party Conference to pure theatre productions and full tilt rock & roll.

“Martin Audio was [in the frame] from the beginning,” says Sam. “We had briefly looked at another brand, but it wouldn’t have given them what they wanted – from a 15m throw up to a 60m throw – or the versatility. It needed a different kind of box, and one that was affordable. Initially, we were going to use WPM, but it was not big enough so when Martin Audio released WPS we immediately made the decision to upgrade. It’s certainly one of the better sounding boxes on the market.”

“In fact Martin Audio is putting some serious engineering into its products, where other manufacturers seem to have stopped and are relying too much on digital processing. You look at other waveguide designs and they haven’t changed whereas WPS is a good example of speaker design innovation, both physical as well as digital design.”

With assistance from Martin Audio product support engineer, Robin Dibble, Williams specified a total of 32 WPS elements along with their flying frames divided between the eight rooms, 12 XD12 stage monitors, 32 Blackline X8 and 12 SX118 subs.

In its basic configuration, the processed arrays are powered from Martin Audio iKON iK42 four-channel amplifiers in 2-box resolution, with each pair of array cabinets fed from one amplifier channel. Everything runs on a Dante backbone.

“For each usage there is an individual optimisation for the WPS arrays, carried out in DISPLAY 2 and stored in the iKON amplifiers. We can recall the optimisations automatically via the venue control system depending on the changing configurations. In the first installation of its kind, when the array is changed, the configurations are recalled through the presets,” says Williams.

“Every room has a default setting, and everything works automatically; the system just needs to be told what mode it is in, and all incoming production needs to do is to patch into the system.”

This has been a long project. “I designed the original layout nearly four years ago,” says Williams, who was responsible for all programming. “After we bid successfully for the job the contract got delayed for a number of years. The venue is now being operated by Blackpool Entertainment Co. Ltd.

Confirmed deputy head of facilities / technical manager, Ben Rooney: “Media Powerhouse has been able to accommodate technical design changes to suit the direction of the business. Sam reassured me that for the required application Martin Audio was far more suited to our business model [than the other brand under consideration] due to its multiple tier offerings.

“Upon hearing WPS as a visiting system in the ballroom prior to the installation I knew it would be a platform we could deploy in all of our large format venues. Media Powerhouse subsequently invited me and complex facilities manager, Phil Jackson, to Martin Audio’s UK factory where we listened to some ADORN and O-Line products which we are currently looking at for installation within some of our other venues, as part of our future fit-out plans.”

16th May 2022

Renowned Audio Engineer Upgrades with ‘Stunning’ New Audient Console

Renowned Audio Engineer Upgrades with ‘Stunning’ New Audient Console
Renowned Audio Engineer Upgrades with ‘Stunning’ New Audient Console

UK – Motorhead, Bring Me The Horizon and Funeral For A Friend producer and mixer, Romesh Dodangoda has just installed a brand new ASP8024-HE mixing console in his Cardiff-based Long Wave Recording Studio.

He’s no stranger to working in big-named studios around the world, but his recording studio back in Wales is where his heart – and a large collection of vintage and modern high-end gear – is. For some 15 years, the console at the centre of this studio has been a classic Audient ASP8024, which has served him very well. “I have not had even one day of downtime due to the console; it has been so reliable and never let me down. They really are rock solid,” he says.

“This mixer has such sentimental value to me. I first saw it on the cover of Sound On Sound magazine in March 2000 and I dreamt of owning it one day. I finally got it in 2007 and the first record I did on it was Smart Casual, by Kids In Glass Houses for Roadrunner Records,” he reminisces. “Since then, pretty much everything I have done has gone through this console at some point or another. I love the sonics and reliability of it, so upgrading to the new one was a no-brainer for me.”

On arrival day, Romesh made sure his more than 13,000 followers didn’t miss any part of the epic desk exchange by documenting both the decommissioning of the original console and the install of the new one on Instagram. “It was a sad day to say bye to my console, however I could not be happier with the new one, it is stunning! I’m so, so happy. It looks fantastic in the studio, a real centre-piece,” he enthuses.

Swapping an Audient for an Audient meant that the install went relatively smoothly. “The hardest part was getting it in the building, but after that it was effortless to connect up. Everything sounds brilliant.

“The new Heritage Edition is simply amazing! There are lots of feature upgrades which although small, are actually incredibly useful to me, making the desk have even more functionality for my sessions. It sounds fantastic and the new transformers on the mixbus are pretty hard to turn off once you hear what they do!”

He continues: “Having the deeper meter bridge option has also been a great addition to the new console, too. This means my monitors are closer to me, allowing me to hear more detail whilst being in front of the desk.

“Everyone who has popped into the studio since we put it in hasn’t been able to take their eyes off it,” adds Romesh, proud that so many people have been admiring his new desk. “It really does look the part in there and is a big focus of the room. The studio feels more modern, it sounds better than it ever has and it's an absolute joy to be in front of every day.”

Happily, the old desk was snapped up by a member of Romesh’s Control Room Audio Community and has stayed in Wales. “I’m thrilled that the old console will remain nearby and continue to produce new music,” he says.

16th May 2022

Viaplay’s new multi-screen studio is on air with Hippotizer Boreal+ MK2

Viaplay’s new multi-screen studio is on air with Hippotizer Boreal+ MK2

Finland – Nordic Entertainment Group’s Viaplay streaming TV service has a brand new studio in Helsinki, complete with wraparound LED screen backdrops driven by Hippotizer Boreal+ MK2 media servers.

The broadcaster’s built-for-purpose, state-of-the-art studio, designed and ordered by Viaplay and built in collaboration with NEP Finland, features a curved 2.6mm LED screen behind the presenters' table comprising 4416 x 960 pixels and standing large at 11.5 x 2.5m. It displays live feed, pre-made and branded content as the channels air sport, film and original drama.

Rigged to the right of that is a straight 2.6mm screen that is 1920 x 768 pixels or 5 x 2m and there are two further screens: a circle screen above the table is made from 2.9mm flexible LED panel that is 3612 x 172 pixels or 10.5 x 0.5m and another 98" Panasonic display. All of this is VideoMapped using the Hippotizer Boreal+ MK2.

Green Hippo’s Finland distributor Amepa Oy was approached by Viaplay’s broadcast studio partners NEP Finland and Sibelius Design to deliver the visual elements of the studio, which is located in the Helskinki district of Vallila.

Amepa’s Johan West, who has championed the Hippotizer brand in Finland since 2003, suggested the Boreal+ MK2 as offering the right processing power, robustness and media management system for the job. “The most important thing for this installation was that the media server would have enough rendering power, as the client needed many mixes, sub-mixes and layers that would eat up a lot of computing power,” says West.

"That’s the reason why I specified and installed a Boreal+ MK2 – I knew it can handle the task. We also required network capacity using HippoNet, MANet, ArtNet and NDI so all four network ports on the Boreal+ MK2 are in use.”

West and his team installed the Boreal+ MK2 in the server room located approximately 40m away from the studio. A network was built consisting of HippoNet, MAnet, ArtNet and NDI between the control room, server room and the studio, covering three studios in total. “I can control everything from wherever is needed,” West continues. “Everything is programmed with short timelines and triggered via an external Zookeeper. The Hippotizer operating team create templates in Adobe After Effects, and we are currently using NDI for running content back and forth between the Boreal+ MK2 and after effects. Two HDSDI live feeds are also going through the Boreal+ MK2 and the placed within custom alpha masks onto the screens.”

Viaplay carries a large amount of sports broadcasting, meaning that there are a large amount of logos, pictures, backgrounds and live feeds to process for events such as F1, NHL, skiing and Premier League football.

“The video data driven to the LED walls is two 3840 x 2160 at 50hz feeds over fibre to the main studio, and all the LED wall processors are in the studio behind the curved LED wall,” West explains. “I managed to fit all LED into one UHD output of the Hippotizer and those sections are then mapped using the VideoMapper in the Boreal+ MK2, with the second output running the one 4K monitor.

“The content mapping is achieved using different viewports with four main and four sub mixes, so a bucket-load of layers are in use due to the fact that there is a lot of changes for every broadcast! All upright LED strips are also pixel mapped in the Boreal+ MK2.” During live broadcasts, one Hippotizer operator is on-site at all times, programming and creating visuals on the fly.

Viaplay’s services include the on-demand subscription streaming service Elisa Viihde Viaplay and V sport and V film pay-TV channels. In Finland Viaplay's sports rights include a wide range of worlds best sports events like Formula 1, Premier League, Bundesliga, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League, NHL, UFC, FIS Winter sports, MLB, golf and much more.

photo: NEP Finland

11th May 2022

Gareth Johnson Installs PMC6-2 Monitors In His Studio At Metropolis

Gareth Johnson Installs PMC6-2 Monitors In His Studio At Metropolis

UK – Music producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Gareth Johnson has long been a fan of PMC’s high quality professional loudspeakers but following the launch of the company’s latest monitor range he is now even more convinced of the benefits of using PMC.

“They are a revelation,” he says of the PMC6-2 speakers he as now installed in his studio at Metropolis in London. “As soon as PMC said they were launching a three-way monitor, I knew I had to have a pair. They are incredibly detailed and the SoundAlign control interface is great. You can hear the entire audio spectrum, even at very low volume levels, and they make working in the studio much easier, quicker, and less tiring.”

Launched under a year ago, PMC’s new line of compact, state-of-the-art near- and midfield monitors are already redefining the listening experience for audio professionals working in stereo and large scale immersive formats. The monitors are the result of five years of intense development and are the perfect complement to PMC’s main monitor products such as the legendary QB1, BB6, MB3 and IB2 models, which are found in many of the world’s top audio facilities.

Gareth Johnson’s new PMC6-2 nearfields supplement his existing pair of IB2 XBD-A main monitors, which he bought some years ago when he first set up his studio at Metropolis.

“As main monitors, the IB2s are incredible and I love them,” he says. “They are also very big and powerful; so big, in fact, that when I told my wife I wanted a pair she said fine, but don’t even think about bringing them home!”

Johnson’s credentials as a composer are second to none. He has written 500+ songs licensed for synch across film, TV, sports and games, and his clients include FIFA, FIA Formula E, BBC, Audio Network, HBO, Sky, Sony, Universal Music, Warner, CNBC, Discovery Networks and many more. He is equally in demand as a producer and remixer and has his own business, Stand Alone Productions, which he set up in 2000. In recent years he has worked with many major artists including The Who, Suede, Noel Gallagher, Primal Scream, Kasabian and Them Crooked Vultures.

These days he often works with his co-writing partner, Martin Kaczmarski, who has also installed PMC6-2 loudspeakers in his room at Metropolis. By having the same monitoring systems, the pair can move projects more easily between their studios because the sound signature doesn’t change.

“I also have a writing room at home in West London and I am currently building a new studio there, which will eventually be my main base,” Johnson says. “PMC will feature in that studio, too, but I haven’t decided which model yet, it will depend on the size of the room and what it needs.”

He adds that the PMC6-2 monitors are getting plenty of attention at Metropolis. “Everyone who comes into my room loves them,” he says. “PMC is an aspirational brand, but you get what you pay for, and they are certainly quality. I think any piece of high end equipment can be justified if it helps you work faster, better and more effectively.”

11th May 2022

State-of-the-art Elation upgrade meets performance and energy savings requirement at Bob Burton Performing Arts Center

State-of-the-art Elation upgrade meets performance and energy savings requirement at Bob Burton Performing Arts Center
State-of-the-art Elation upgrade meets performance and energy savings requirement at Bob Burton Performing Arts Center

USA – The Bob Burton Center for the Performing Arts is a beautiful 532-seat live performance venue in Fallbrook, California that serves as a joint community/school facility with Fallbrook Union High School. Used for everything from high school productions to local theatre, dance, and music performances, the venue’s ageing stage lighting rig was recently upgraded with state-of-the-art Elation Professional fixtures as part of an energy reduction grant project.

Production and installation company Pyxis Industries of Wildomar, California, worked with the venue on the energy efficient lighting upgrade, which included Netron data distribution, as well as Magmatic brand atmospheric effects.

Chad Costanzo, president at Pyxis Industries, has had a long-term relationship with the venue and explains the project. “The school received an energy savings grant – funding for California schools to pay for energy reduction projects – and applied the funds to an upgrade of their lighting rig which was over 20 years old. Part of the grant requirement was that the upgraded system had to be more energy efficient than what they currently have. The school had a lot of incandescent fixtures and naturally wanted to go LED.”

Besides the energy savings factor, the lighting system needed to be quite flexible as the venue is used for a variety of purposes, both by the school and outside artists. Seeking to replace a number of outdated incandescent fixtures with something more modern, Chad worked with Elation’s southern California rep, Richard Wilson, to arrange a demo of several possible solutions.

Chad worked with the venue’s theatre operations technician, Tony Bushley-Anello, on fixture specification and lighting system design. The result is a new stage lighting system made up of all Elation LED luminaires. Thirteen Fuze PAR Z175 lights with 175W RGBW COB LED engine project a high-quality flat field of light yet emulate the classic lens look of a traditional Fresnel. They work with 64 Colour 5 Profiles, a high-quality ellipsoidal spot with 180W RGBAM LED engine and CRI over 94.

For flexibility of positioning, the system includes moving heads, 12 Fuze Wash Z350s, a single-source PAR automated yoke wash luminaire with 120W RGBW COB LEDs which replace old ellipsoidal fixtures, and 16 Fuze Profile LED moving head framing fixtures with a 305W RGBMA LED engine. Twenty-one Seven PAR 19IP par wash lights replace conventional downlighting fixtures, with additional colour coming from 15 SixPar 300IP lights. Rounding out the rig are 17 Seven Batten 72, 6ft colour-changing LED battens.

The all LED lighting system is not only highly efficient and requires little maintenance, it also operates silently for ‘you could have heard a pin drop’ performances. Tony and his team at the venue completed the installation themselves. “They were able to get away from 1500W and 1000W lamps so it’s a big energy savings for the school, which will really pay off over time,” Chad comments. “The new system allowed them to compare the LED vs incandescent systems and document the energy savings, which was substantial. They have cut their energy consumption almost in half, a reduction that easily met the grant requirements.”

Not surprisingly when updating a two-decade-old lighting system, the venue’s DMX infrastructure was inadequate. The solution was to put in Netron EP4 nodes from Obsidian Control Systems to convert Art-net to DMX and stream it around the space. The EP4 nodes, compact Ethernet to DMX gateways with four RDM compatible ports, make events easier to setup and control. Additionally, the venue obtained a pair of Therma Tour 800 haze effect generators from Magmatic atmospherics. Capable of producing exceptionally fine, long-lasting haze that excels at revealing light beams and mid-air effects, each hazer is equipped with Magmatic’s MagFLY wireless DMX receiver card for convenient remote operation.

The new lighting rig, installed in the autumn of 2021, debuted on a Christian Theater Arts Project performance of The Wizard of Oz last November and has since been used to light several Fallbrook Union High School events and local dance productions, including The Nutcracker ballet.

State-of-the-art Elation upgrade meets performance and energy savings requirement at Bob Burton Performing Arts Center State-of-the-art Elation upgrade meets performance and energy savings requirement at Bob Burton Performing Arts Center

10th May 2022


DiGiCo delivers sound perfection at Spain’s leisure and gastronomic epicenter Odiseo

DiGiCo delivers sound perfection at Spain’s leisure and gastronomic epicenter Odiseo
DiGiCo delivers sound perfection at Spain’s leisure and gastronomic epicenter Odiseo

Spain – Known for its balmy coastline and unspoilt coves, laid-back Murcia is a centre of landmarks to linger over. One of these is ODISEO, a unique venue dedicated to the pure pursuit of pleasure. Boasting three restaurants, a sports bar, a nightclub, a show room and multiple terraces, as well as Europe’s largest cantilevered pool suspended 27 metres above the ground, ODISEO’s remarkable space of 15,500m2 is distributed across three levels and offers entertainment experience synonymous with tourism empires such as Las Vegas and Dubai. On par with great entertainment comes the venue’s equally impressive audio infrastructure that includes DiGiCo 4REA4 processors and a Quantum225console supplied by RMS Proaudio, DiGiCo’s distributor in Spain.

ODISEO is owned by Orenes Group, one of Spain’s fastest growing businesses in the leisure sector with projects galore including casinos, gaming and sports betting rooms, as well as hotels and restaurants. Committed to innovation and the use of the latest technologies as one of the key driving forces behind the growth of a successful project, Orenes Group hired sound design consultant Lolo Moldes, who worked in close collaboration with the team at RMS Proaudio to deliver the audio installation.

“When Orenes Group contacted me about the ODISEO project at the beginning of 2019, I was immediately hooked,” says Moldes. “Architecturally stunning and unique in every way, I was motivated by the team’s ambition to have the premium, comprehensive AV infrastructure installed at this new venue, which would have the same look and flair as some of the top Las Vegas entertainment spots.”

With only three months until ODISEO’s’s official opening, Moldes planned the perfect audio set-up that would be able to accommodate the venue’s complete integrated leisure experience. After careful consideration, DiGiCo systems were chosen because of their straightforward architecture, solid sound quality and powerful processing.

“From the very beginning, we knew the systems we install will be used by Odiseo’s in-house engineers for our own shows, as well as visiting sound engineers for the international artists performing at the venue,” adds ODISEO’s technical director Isidro Carrasco. “Therefore, ease of use was one of our key priorities,” says Carrasco. “The sound quality and the system being future proof for many years to come were also very important consideration points, as well as the system being rider friendly. DiGiCo ticked all our boxes, so we were happy to proceed with the installation.”

Originally, Seville’s audiovisual equipment supplier, RMS Proaudio, installed three DiGiCo SD11i consoles in different areas of the venue. Following the launch of Quantum225in 2021, ODISEO’s team swapped one of the SD11is for this small-format digital console with a powerful Quantum Engine.

“We were pleased with our SD11i consoles but, when the Quantum225 hit the market, we did what was already part of Orenes Group’s DNA: invested in the latest technology. And we were thrilled to work with the new Quantum console!” exclaims Carrasco. “The Quantum engine offers us a great improvement in the sound of our dinner show, and it’s great to mix with the Nodal Processing feature on the monitoring side. We also love the Mustard Optical Compressor available on DiGiCo Quantum consoles, as it offers us better flexibility and extra control within a mix.”

As well as the consoles, DiGiCo’s 4REA4 system processors were also deployed to provide routing, processing and mix control across Odiseo’s multi-space venue.

For the in-ear mixing, RMS Proaudio supplied a KLANG:vokal immersive in-ear mixing processor that allows up to 12 musicians to create their own immersive in-ear monitor mix from 24 mono or stereo sources, perfect for Odiseo’s varied programme of visiting and resident artists.

“Thanks to KLANG:vocal, the ODISEO team was able to seriously improve the listening experience of their in-house and visiting performance, with KLANG offering a lot more clarity and spatiality to the artists’ in-ear monitoring systems,” says Manu Meñaca, technical support and educational department at RMS Proaudio.

Once the installation was completed, the ODISEO technical team received full training on both the DiGiCo and KLANG systems, with RMS Proaudio continuing to offer full support when the team has any questions.

“We are very happy with the choice of our DiGiCo and KLANG products,” concludes Carrasco. “For Odiseo’s management system, we use two 4REA4 processors from which we run up to 150 channels to around 80 busses. We have DiGiCo A-Control Series remote controllers spread all over the venue for different functions. The system is perfect for our use and the three DiGiCo consoles we use, together with the five D2-Racks give us the sound quality and the configurations we need. I can’t think of anything we could have done better!”


DiGiCo delivers sound perfection at Spain’s leisure and gastronomic epicenter OdiseoDiGiCo delivers sound perfection at Spain’s leisure and gastronomic epicenter Odiseo

10th May 2022


Third Church Pella Upgrades with Martin Audio Wavefront Precision

Third Church Pella Upgrades with Martin Audio Wavefront Precision

USA – Advanced Audio and Lighting recently completed a technical redesign of the Third Reformed Church in the city of Pella, Iowa, opting for a Martin Audio line array solution.

The integrators were re-engaged, having successfully carried out an earlier sound and lighting installation for the client. Explaining the necessity for the upgrade at the Pella facility, the company’s president (and senior design engineer) Graeme Brown, said: “As so often happens, the existing system was a case of fine products having been installed, but completely misapplied within the environment, so that coverage was extremely inconsistent.”

He noted that the building’s unusual geometric had provided challenges in this regard. “The space is quite unique, a modified fan-shaped building with lots of ceiling angles and a massive custom centre truss that required outfills and delayed loudspeakers to evenly cover all seating.”

The new PA would not only need to address these issues but also have the capability of reinforcing a variety of events and source inputs. “While the Church’s main focus is contemporary music, it does have a choir and mixed quartets on a regular basis for the early service.

“The client was requesting very hi-fidelity, with extended sub-bass, rather than necessarily high SPL.” His solution was to designate a main PA comprising the scalable resolution of the Wavefront Precision WPS compact line array, which features two 8” LF drivers, four 4” midrange drivers and four 1” exit HF compression horns. Wavefront Precision was recently accoladed with the Queen’s Award for Innovation.

To this he added centre flown SXC118 cardioid low frequency enclosures, as well as a further SXH218 subwoofers on the floor for added sub-bass. Additional fills were provided by Martin Audio’s CDD series.

“The Wavefront system and SXC118, in conjunction with the DISPLAY 2 software and iKON DSP amplifiers, driving the system in 1-box resolution, provided optimum efficiency. “It gave us the best control over which areas of the sanctuary needed coverage and which needed avoided. Once properly configured (during the design phase) commissioning becomes greatly simplified; since the system handles the loudspeaker management on its own, the integrator can focus on aligning and tuning the room and not ‘fixing’ the sound system.”

To achieve this optimisation had required a good deal of clever programming in the Martin Audio software, in particular using the ‘Hard Avoid’ function, stated the installer. “There was initially some acoustic treatment in the space, more absorption was added during this phase.

“With that and the multiple ceiling angles adding diffusion, the space is very well behaved, and the system performs extremely well in those conditions. It has much more gain before feedback, when compared with the previous system.”

The new Martin Audio system also meets all the requirements for weight loading and general aesthetics. “The original system was the typical ‘flying junkyard’, so popular at the time. It consisted entirely of front-loaded, point source powered enclosures, whereas the new system is based on line array technology and cardioid low frequency control.

“Between the Martin Audio factory rigging hardware and the custom Polar Focus beam mounts, this was an extremely clean installation. Everything is high and tight. The clients were thrilled even before it was powered up.”

The result is that the 800-capacity congregation in the main sanctuary now receives the exact same signal wherever they are seated, and when the doors open out to engage a further 100-seat overflow, whenever capacity is reached, these worshippers too will be immersed in an identical audio experience.

Advanced Audio’s designer believes the clients are now able to achieve their goals of communication on a much higher level, while no longer battling sound system shortcomings. This is supported by a church spokesman.

“The Martin WPS system that Graeme and his team installed has met and exceeded our expectations, since our room design is not your typical space for modern live sound. The WPS arrays perform very well in our space and have taken our musical mixes to a much higher level while also improving speech intelligibility.

“The steerability and thoughtful design of this PA allowed us to create intentional ‘PA Silent’ areas on the sides of our room. This allows us to better serve our congregation with prayer and communion ministries during our worship services.

“From the tightness of the low end to the clarity and smoothness of the high end, we are extremely pleased with this system design and performance.”

10th May 2022

White Light supplies 26 of the super-powerful framing spots in latest upgrade

White Light supplies 26 of the super-powerful framing spots in latest upgrade
White Light supplies 26 of the super-powerful framing spots in latest upgrade

UK – As part of a progressive upgrade, the Royal Albert Hall has added 26 Martin MAC Ultra Performance framing spots to the 18 MAC Encore Performance CLD they acquired in September 2019, respectively replacing older generic and discharge moving lights. Both orders were fulfilled by theatre lighting specialist, White Light, with all Martin lighting products sourced from their UK distributors Sound Technology Ltd.

According to RAH lighting designer Richard Thomas, this is the third straight swap out to Martin lighting over the past four years, as prior to that a complement of MAC Vipers had also been chosen as replacement wash lights.

“However, we are not driven by brands,” he stated. “We pick the lighting based on what’s best for us. In the case of the MAC Ultras we looked at a number of top brands but this fixture ticked all the boxes.”

Both the MAC Encore and MAC Ultra sales were led by White Light business development manager, Jonathan Haynes.

“I think [the RAH] was aware of just how many MAC Encores there were in the field, including installations in other key London theatres. This has given them a top-notch rig as they continue to do bigger and better things by renting their lighting to incoming shows. They have definitely made a significant investment.”

His company also has a service agreement with the venue and maintains all its equipment. “I have had a long relationship Rich Thomas and [head of production and technical] Ollie Jeffery and they have remained very loyal to White Light.”

When the concert hall was ready to retire its old halogen units back in 2019 the search began for a super bright LED replacement.

Richard Thomas takes up the story: “We wanted the functionality that the previous fixture gave us, which was special keylight for camera and lighting people’s faces. But there was no like-for-like replacement. We had actually been looking for a lower end spec, with framing and iris, and so not only did the MAC Encore’s gobos become an extra feature for us but so did the colour mixing. Another key feature was the silent running as the rig also needs to cater for orchestral events.”

The Encores, which were supplied with the heavy frost assembly, were used regularly and reliably from their position on downstage trusses. during the season before lockdown rendered all theatres dark.
"We went for the CLD version as it’s brighter than the WRM." he continue. "For a 12m-14m throw we needed the greater output and besides, we can use the variable CTO, which is really good, for lighting faces.”

When it came to the MAC Ultras, the venue knew it needed a super-powerful and reliable LED replacement for their discharge fixture.

According to Jonathan Haynes: “The Ultras weren’t around at the time we first discussed it but then it fell into place at exactly the right time.”

Sound Technology’s Joe East and Chris Walker arranged the site demo and again the framing spot was put through its paces and having impressed all involved, a subsequent order for 26 units was placed with White Light.

The MAC Ultras are positioned three levels up on the circle, in the gallery, and on a central circular truss.

“The MAC Ultras’ native light and quality of light is fantastic while there is also the graphic possibility of layering gobos, while maintaining a high light output,” says Richard Thomas.

“The main goal was to replace the previous fixture with LED, in the knowledge that the units also had framing and animation effects. In fact the framing is a bonus which we can use far more than before. For instance often the stairways are used as an entrance to shows so we can now frame them off.”

The incredibly low noise floor of the super-high output fixtures has proven to be a real benefit.

“Given their proximity to the audience, the MAC Ultra’s quietness is just incredible even at high output.” says Thomas. “This allows us to use them, unlike our previous fixtures, to enhance all events including orchestral concerts.

“Finally, from a health and safety point of view we appreciate the handles on the bottom of the yokes which makes rigging and de-rigging, particularly on the circle rail, a lot safer.”

“We are extremely impressed so far,” summarised Richard Thomas, part of whose role at the theatre is lighting design and programming for shows that don’t bring their own tech teams. "What can I say, the MAC Utras just work, but then I wouldn't expect anything else."

photos: Richard Ecclestone

White Light supplies 26 of the super-powerful framing spots in latest upgradeWhite Light supplies 26 of the super-powerful framing spots in latest upgrade

9th May 2022

A Robe Lighting Solution for De Vooruit

A Robe Lighting Solution for De Vooruit

Belgium – De Vooruit in Ghent is an award-winning and historically significant festival and arts centre originally built for the Flemish labour movement between 1911 and 1914, as well as an interesting and eye-catching building containing multiple halls now mainly used for concerts, club nights, live performances and assorted cultural events.

The 1,100-capacity Concert Hall venue has recently received a complete lighting upgrade, with Robe chosen as the moving light brand with a mixture of 31 T1 Profiles, 12 Spiider wash beams and 22 LEDBeam 350s.

These were specified after discussions between De Vooruit’s technical crew co-ordinator Karel Clemminck and lighting expert Jarne Pollet, together with Peter Vanhove from locally based rental company, Euro PA. Peter has been involved with De Vooruit in different technical capacities since the 1980s.

The Concert Hall is one of four main functioning venues, plus the Grand Café which, in a normal non-Covid year, hosts over 700 shows and events. It is the main venue for music shows and club nights, with incoming productions utilising the house lighting and sound rigs augmented as necessary.

Before the lighting upgrade, Karel and Jarne brainstormed all the things that were most important for offering the best lighting options both for their clients and their own shows and wanted Robe T1 Profiles from the off.

“We loved the finesse of white light ranges and the T1 colour mixing generally,” stated Karel. While they originally thought this an ideal fixture for front lighting in the Theatre Hall, the intention was to use the new lights venue-wide, so with all the other features and they knew T1 Profiles would be great for the Concert Hall as well.

That Robe is a genuinely European designed and built brand was another critical factor for their decision, along with the excellent service they knew they could expect from Robe’s Benelux distributor, Controllux.

Karel arrived at De Vooruit two years ago having worked at other venues and he has been using Robe products since 2006. He likes Robe’s personal touch and general approach and thinks the products are ground-breaking and innovative.

He first saw the T1 Profile demonstrated in Bruges Concert Hall alongside several other brands in an event organised by STEPP, a professional association of Benelux region producers, designers and technicians from the arts and events sectors, and this is where he was amazed by the colours.

Jarne, who has worked at De Vooruit for 13 years, attended a Robe factory visit just before the pandemic started and was well impressed with the setup and the products.

Most of the events staged at De Vooruit will bring in their own lighting designers, so with the re-fit it was also important to have brands and lights that everyone liked, used and thought practical.

The in-house lighting team mainly lights the club nights, so they all wanted the most flexible and versatile and robust kit. A full-time technical team of ten plus some freelancers work closely with regular Euro PA techs and engineers to stage the music events.

Karel comments that they are already seeing a “huge difference” in the quality and dynamics of the light shows that can be produced, as performances are gradually re-starting in different formats and we start to move – tentatively – beyond the pandemic. “It’s been a big investment but well worth it,” he commented.

The new lights are controlled via the house ChamSys console.

When Karel arrived at the venue, he wrote a brief for a new technical services support contract which went out to five companies, from which Peter and Euro PA came back with the best and most comprehensive proposal, so Peter’s long association with the venue continues.

photo: Louise Stickland

6th May 2022

Robe Lighting

Diversified Installs World’s Largest Fixed L-ISA Installation at First Baptist Church Woodstock

Diversified Installs World’s Largest Fixed L-ISA Installation at First Baptist Church Woodstock
Diversified Installs World’s Largest Fixed L-ISA Installation at First Baptist Church Woodstock

USA – For most, the name Woodstock brings to mind New York’s famed 1969 rock music festival, or perhaps Snoopy’s feathered friend from Peanuts. But Atlantans will tell you that Woodstock is a city 30 miles north of downtown ATL, and that one of the long-standing beacons of that community is First Baptist Church Woodstock (FBCW), whose history traces back 185 years to 1837 when it was founded as Enon Church.

In 1986, when former Southern Baptist Convention president Johnny M. Hunt joined the church as senior pastor, FBCW truly flourished, leading to the 2005 construction of a 7,200-seat worship centre to accommodate its booming congregation of more than 20,000 members. Seventeen years later, the church has taken another major step forward by becoming the site of the world’s largest permanent installation of L-Acoustics L-ISA immersive sound technology.

Leading global technology solutions provider Diversified was brought into the project nearly two years ago to provide the church with an AVL upgrade for its in-person worship centre experience. “First Baptist Woodstock has two service options to participate in, and while they have different musical elements and characteristics, they share a common need for sonic clarity, consistent tone, and massive headroom yet intimate sound. We were asked to help them reimagine a venue that would feel equally intentional for both of those very different services,” recalls Tim Corder, Diversified director of strategic accounts, worship and performance environments. “After spending several days with the church’s creative team in an intense ideation session, we imagined a system anchored on the in-room experience that would have the ability to transition very quickly within a 15-minute turnaround from one service to the next.”

From the onset, the Diversified team strongly felt that L-ISA was the right ft for the project. “They needed a system that would be able to give dimension to what they were doing in each service, as well as make their massive room feel small, intimate, and engaging,” explains Diversified account executive and audio lead Nick Geiger. “We knew that L-ISA would do both, and also allow them to essentially flip a switch to move between their two performance setups.”

FBCW production director Josh Belokonny points out that they initially turned to Diversified because the worship centre’s original mono centre cluster speaker system was failing to meet their needs. “We had volume and tone inconsistencies throughout the room that made it hard to establish a consistent experience for everyone,” he says. But he also suggests that a new left/right line array system might not have been the right choice for a replacement. “There's a lot of architecture that is very specific to the space here, and we had to take that into account. Standard left and right arrays in this room were an obstacle from a video standpoint because they would cause a lot of sightline issues.”

The solution came in the form of the new A Series loudspeaker line from L-Acoustics. “A Series, and specifically the A15i, was chosen for several reasons: first and foremost because the technology and sound of the box mimic larger L-Acoustics enclosures like the K1, K2, and K3,” shares Josh Maichele, L-Acoustics applications project manager, house of worship. “Secondly, some of the major advantages to the A Series products are their size and weight. We were able to get the long throw because A15i is a line source, but we were also able to bend the array faster with the A15i Wide, allowing us to reduce the line length and keep the arrays well above LED wall sightlines.”

Using Soundvision, Diversified and L-Acoustics specified a main Scene system comprising five arrays of five A15i Focus enclosures over one A15i Wide, backed by four central hangs of two KS28 subs. That system is flanked by two Extension arrays of five A10i Focus over one A10i Wide, which is complemented with two out-fill arrays of five A10i Focus over one A10i Wide and two far horizontal out-fill arrays of three A10i Wide. Below, 14 coaxial 5XT are spread out across the stage stairs for front-fill, with two X8 providing extreme left and right front-fill. Additional A10i Wide enclosures are positioned out in the house for over- and under-balcony fill, while above the stage, two hangs of one A15i Wide and one A15i Focus plus two mountings of A15i Wide serve as choir monitors. A total of three LA12X, 15 LA4X, and four LA2Xi amplified controllers power and process the house and monitor systems, which are all managed via the new L-Acoustics L-ISA Processor II.

Another significant advantage of opting for the A Series-based L-ISA design, and one that surprised the church, was its cost savings. “Once we started running numbers, this L-ISA implementation was actually nearly 25 percent less expensive than a traditional left/right based system because we were able to utilize the cost-effective A15i and A10i loudspeakers,” Corder notes. “The overall value between performance and investment really couldn't be touched by any other solution.”

“As the guy that is responsible for budget dollars, when I learned what L-ISA would offer us: more clarity, depth and better imaging than we'd ever achieve with a standard array system, I automatically thought, ‘That's going to cost a lot of money.’ So I was shocked and overjoyed that it was actually more economical,” confirms Belokonny.

With traditional left/right array-based systems, typically, only 15 percent of the audience seated down the centre strip of the room hear things in true stereo. With L-ISA, nearly three-quarters of First Baptist’s congregants are now in the 'sweet spot' for experiencing spatialised audio.

“By seat count, this is now the largest venue in the world to have a permanently installed L-Acoustics L-ISA setup,” says Corder. “Diversified completed the very first house of worship project with L-ISA back in 2019, so it’s awesome for us to see the technology and projects continue to grow.”

Belokonny is equally thrilled with his new reality. “When you critically listen to audio somewhere for several years, it’s amazing to walk the room and have it sound completely different overnight,” he says. “There is great excitement and peace of mind knowing that what we're able to produce now is a lot more accurate and represents what's happening onstage. I know that will embolden the worship leaders and band members to play out more, and it'll create excitement in the choir. I can't wait to see where we’ll go from here because our new baseline is just leaps and bounds better than the best that our old system ever was. And it's consistent throughout the whole venue, which provides an opportunity for everyone to be way more unified and to have this sense that we're all in this moment of worship together.”

Diversified Installs World’s Largest Fixed L-ISA Installation at First Baptist Church WoodstockDiversified Installs World’s Largest Fixed L-ISA Installation at First Baptist Church Woodstock

5th May 2022