Standards News

Allen & Heath Announces New Semester of Award-Winning Mini Masterclass Series

Allen & Heath Announces New Semester of Award-Winning Mini Masterclass Series

USA – Fresh off their SCN (Systems Contractor News) Platinum Award for Best Online Training, Allen & Heath USA is announcing the seventh semester of their weekly Mini Masterclass series. The free 25-minute classes, held online every Wednesday, feature world-class instructors discussing various features and products within the Allen & Heath ecosystem. Created in November 2020 and now totalling over 60 weeks of sessions, the Mini Masterclass sessions continue to evolve and grow based on continual feedback from the engaged masterclass community.

“It’s been a pleasure getting a chance to teach the community about audio and integration topics,” noted session instructor and Allen & Heath USA manager, commercial audio, Samantha Potter. “We have a wonderful group of individuals that are excited to learn and come nearly every week. It’s a chance to show features, projects, and techniques that some people have never been exposed to. Our hope is that each person can walk away after every session with a little more knowledge.”

Previous Masterclass topics have included deep dives on dLive and Avantis firmware updates, as well as workflow recommendations and little-known features, ensuring that participants can get the most out of their Allen & Heath live sound products. Many classes are also dedicated to installation topics, such as the expanding AHM series of powerful matrix mixers. Each session is followed by a Q&A, giving users the chance to have their questions answered by the experts. This innovative format was recently honoured with an SCN Stellar Service Award, noted as representing exceptional service and training by the readers of Systems Contractor News magazine.

“One of the driving forces behind the Mini Masterclasses has always been student feedback,” said Allen & Heath USA marketing director Jeff Hawley. “A good chunk of our sessions in the past have come directly from requests for more details about technology X or protocol Y, or perhaps a deeper dive into a topic that we covered in an earlier session. Rather than our sales and marketing team figuring out what we want to teach, we listen and respond to what folks want to learn. This new semester is a perfect example of that approach in action.”

The new semester began on 11 May, 2022 and features many anticipated classes on advanced networking, DCAs, Dante integration, and more. Along with core instructors Mike Bangs and Samantha Potter, future sessions will also feature guest instructors from the industry and even special live classes from trade events such as NAMM and InfoComm.

“The Mini Masterclass series has been an incredibly fun way to connect with and tap into our most valuable resource, our users,” said Allen & Heath USA live sound and touring manager Mike Bangs.

To register, please visit https://www.allen-heath.com/mini-masterclasses/

12th May 2022

Avolites and The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Announce Five-Year Partnership to Support Production Training

Avolites and The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Announce Five-Year Partnership to Support Production Training

UK – Avolites and The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) have engaged in a five-year agreement with the aim of enhancing students’ access to leading professional visual control systems, tools, and training.

Celebrating its 175th anniversary this year, RCS is recognised as a global leader in performing arts education and offers the only conservatoire-based technical theatre degree in Scotland, the BA Production Technology and Management programme. Avolites, a world leader in the innovation of visual control systems, has been leading the innovation of visual control systems for the past 45 years and has a strong commitment with training the new generation of LDs.
The long-term partnership will see students from the Production Technology and Management course receive both training and access to Avolites’ software and hardware to leverage their wealth of knowledge and put it into practice. In the first instance, Avolites will provide students with access to training for its leading lighting control software, Titan.

For full access of the software, Avolites will supply Avo keys (USB dongles that plug into a console or laptop to allow students to use their laptops as a fully functioning lighting console) for each intake of new students and will provide RCS students with access to Avolite’s online learning platform for them to take the Titan Level 1 course.

This training will also be offered in-person at RCS in Glasgow, with regular visits from the Avolites’ training team to host these sessions.

In addition, Avolites has loaned a Tiger Touch II console to serve for additional training purposes and RCS use. When it comes to RCS shows and other live events, the partnership will see RCS staff and students receive support from the Avolites team.

The three-year BA Production Technology and Management degree aims to produce production technicians, stage managers and lighting designers who can turn their hands to any related role, making them employable in a range of contexts, whilst also being specialists in career pathways, from stage management, stage technology and sound design to sound engineering, lighting technology and lighting design.
Ros Maddison, head of production at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be partnering with Avolites to ensure our students have access to the right equipment to prepare them for a successful career in the entertainment industry.”

Christoph Wagner, lecturer in lighting at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “We are thrilled to start this partnership. Avolites has been very generous in offering our students Editor AvoKeys and access to a console, and what makes this relationship truly stand out is their willingness to offer support to our students when they need it.”

Paul Wong, managing director, Avolites, said: “To begin any educational journey, you need a strong foundation and support system, and through this partnership RCS students can combine their academic studies with access to our professional visual control tools. Our long-term commitment will allow us to be there for the students every step of the way, from learning the basics, to developing specialist skills that will push their career further and faster.”

Avolites and The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Announce Five-Year Partnership to Support Production TrainingAvolites and The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Announce Five-Year Partnership to Support Production Training

30th March 2022

Six ESTA document in public review

Half a dozen documents are available for public review on ESTA's TSP website at https://tsp.esta.org/tsp/documents/public_review_docs.php. They are free to download.

E1.26, Entertainment Technology – Recommended Testing Methods and Values for Shock Absorption of Floors Used in Live Performance Venues, sets out the energy absorption requirements for floors in venues used for live performances, and the methods for testing them. This document is to be used in conjunction with all applicable local building codes and requirements. The existing American National Standard is being considered for reaffirmation. Comments are due no later than 21 March 2022.

E1.36, Model Procedure for Permitting the Use of Tungsten-Halogen Incandescent Lamps and Stage and Studio Luminaires in Vendor Exhibit Booths in Convention and Trade Show Exhibition Halls, is a model set of procedures that can be used by convention center and trade show exhibition hall staff to mitigate the risks perceived to be associated with the use of tungsten-halogen lamps and stage and studio luminaires. The standard gives guidance to allow T-H lamps and luminaires to be used in a safe manner in convention centres and trade show exhibition halls. The existing American National Standard is being considered for reaffirmation. Comments are due no later than 21 March 2022.

BSR ES1.18, Event Safety – Rigging, is a new draft standard addressing the roles, responsibilities, and general requirements for design, planning, installation, set-up, removal, and operation of rigging activities for special events. It does not address system, hardware or component requirements, which are covered in other ESTA standards. This is fundamentally intended to be a safety management standard. Comments are due before 22 March 2022.

BSR E1.4-1, Manual Counterweight Rigging Systems, is a revision addressing the requirements for manually operated counterweight rigging systems used in entertainment. Its scope covers design, manufacture, installation, and use of these systems. It does not address building structural requirements. The updates in this version maintain consistency with changing technology and with changes in accepted industry practice. Comments are due before 22 March 2022.

BSR E1.6-4, Design, Inspection, and Maintenance of Portable Fixed Speed Electric Chain Hoist Control Systems in the Entertainment Industry, partitions the existing ANSI E1.6-4 into two separate but related standards (E1.6-4 and E1.6-5) because some functions of the standard are deemed to require different or higher levels of expertise than other functions of the standard. This part addresses design, inspection, and maintenance aspects, which focus more on the roles and responsibilities of the equipment designer and manufacturer. Comments are due before 22 March 2022.

BSR E1.6-5, Selection and Use of Portable Chain Hoist Controls in the Entertainment Industry, is related to ANSI E1.6-4. This part addresses selection and use, pertaining more to the user's responsibilities and requirements. Comments are due before 22 March 2022.

15th February 2022

Important Updates to DIN SPEC 15800:2021

Important Updates to DIN SPEC 15800:2021

Vectorworks, Inc., MA Lighting and Robe Lighting announce important updates to DIN SPEC 15800:2021. Evolution of the GDTF file format demonstrates industry-wide involvement, extensibility and scalability.

With fellow General Device Type Format (GDTF) founders MA Lighting and Robe Lighting, global design and BIM software provider Vectorworks, Inc. reveals several valuable updates to GDTF - the standard for describing the hierarchical and logical structure and controls of any type of controllable device in the lighting and entertainment industry. The GDTF file format has continued to evolve with input and involvement from manufacturers across the globe and critical feedback from its many adopters, resulting in a newly published update to DIN SPEC 15800:2021.

“Receiving recognition in the form of a published update to DIN SPEC 15800:2021 is a testament to the continued evolution and success of GDTF,” said Vectorworks CEO Dr. Biplab Sarkar. “The necessary work will continue to take place to ensure GDTF’s bright future so that its benefits can not only advance the work of the designers utilising it, but the entertainment industry as a whole.”

DIN, the German Institute for Standardisation, is the independent platform for standardisation in Germany and worldwide. A DIN SPEC is a document that specifies requirements for products, services and/or processes. It’s a trusted strategic instrument for quickly and easily establishing and disseminating innovative solutions that do not conflict with any existing standards or rules of procedure.

“The update to DIN SPEC 15800:2021 is a good example of how DIN SPECs can evolve and stay current with specifications that meet the needs of the market,” said Michael Bahr, project manager at DIN. “GDTF and DIN SPEC 15800:2021 are clearly succeeding in serving the needs of the entertainment industry. I'm happy that we could support this project and update this standard with the GDTF group. The updated DIN SPEC 15800:2021 will make the GDTF format easier to use and more scalable for the future. That's what DIN SPEC is made for: ‘Today’s idea. Tomorrow’s standard’.”

DIN officially published GDTF as a public available specification for the entertainment industry worldwide in June 2020. Since then, the original creators of the file format have been joined by manufacturers and users across the industry to ensure it remains the standard to truly benefit the end users. Open communication, addressing feedback and continuous improvement efforts have led to the latest version of the file format, GDTF 1.2. GDTF 1.2 includes several major changes that address prior criticisms of the standard and key enhancements.

GDTF 1.2 includes SVG support for defining 2D representation and .gITF support for defining 3D representation, allowing for better graphical rendering for GDTF objects. The additional support of these object types makes GDTF truly universal, not only targeting fixtures, but all kinds of objects that are used inside of an event.

The updated GDTF file format will provide support for non-linear behaviour of channel functions inside GDTF with DMX Profiles and better descriptions of the physical behaviour of channel functions with SubPhysicalAttributes. The non-linear behaviour and SubPhysicalAttributes allow designers more precise rendering of F\fixture behaviours in rendering. In addition, channel functions that ramp, pulse or strobe can now be described more accurately.

GDTF 1.2 delivers support for non-DMX based control protocols like OSC. This support for OSC demonstrates the file format’s ability to not only support DMX, but also other formats, providing design and production professionals with more flexibility and control.

GDTF 1.2 also provides support for more object types like trusses, lasers, hoists and power distributors with new geometry types.

“A seemingly impossible task to allow standardised cross-manufacturer data exchange between devices in the lighting and entertainment industry has turned into a success story of industry-wide cooperation with the GDTF specification,” said Josef Valchar, CEO of Robe Lighting. “The continuous engagement of the GDTF group resulted in another GDTF update in the form of DIN SPEC 15800:2021, incorporating the feedback and work of many industry experts who contributed their expertise and time into a standard that allows their own products to utilise simpler yet more comprehensive workflows.”

“The GDTF group maintains a strong commitment to developing the format using open sources, while demonstrating responsiveness to critiques and requests to improve the formats,” said Gerhard Krude, managing director of MA Lighting Technology. “All in all, we emphasise that GDTF and MVR are made by the industry for the industry.”

To learn more about GDTF visit, gdtf-share.com, and if you are at LDI2021 stop by to attend the free learning sessions on GDTF. The updated DIN SPEC 15800:2021 will be published by Beuth Verlag sometime after LDI.

18th November 2021

MA Lighting

Creative Technology Deliver Student Day at Resonance Ahead of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

Creative Technology Deliver Student Day at Resonance Ahead of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

UK – The leader of Dudley Council was “bowled over” with the life-changing opportunities being given to students at Resonance during a recent visit.

Councillor Patrick Harley stopped by the higher education facility based within the DY5 Enterprise Zone at the Waterfront in Brierley Hill to find out how students will be working alongside global company Sports Technology (ST) at next year’s Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

ST is the specialist major multi-sports division (sister company) of Creative Technology (CT) and has been appointed official provider of large video screens and audio services. Alongside LED and PA systems in the majority of the venues, ST will provide a broad range of audio-visual services including an innovative and highly flexible signal distribution network in every venue, providing a fully integrated IP based solution for all non-broadcast audio, video and data distribution.

As part of its bid to provide services, the company had to demonstrate how it would give something back to the community and support a local organisation, in this case Resonance.

During his visit to Resonance, the leader met with some of the team from Creative Technology and Sports Technology who were delivering their first training and educational session to students.

Students were briefed on how the company will support and train them and given details on an ambitious work placement and internship programme, which could see them gain real life experience working within the technology disciplines at the Games.

A student at Resonance commented: “Having big companies and professionals come in to talk to the students [means] you can understand where you can go, the options that are available to you; this reflects what you’re learning on campus, it is a big benefit.”

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said: “Having visited Resonance during the training day, I was bowled over with the magnitude of the opportunity being given to students.

“Resonance is unique, and we are incredibly lucky to have the facility in our borough but this opportunity to be part of something as big as the Commonwealth Games and allow students to hone their skills and get real on the ground experience at a global event is incredible.

“It will help steer students into their chosen career path and help make them even more employable within the industry at the end of their degree course.”

Rick Benton, chief executive and principal at Resonance said: “Engaging with industry lies at the heart of what Resonance is about. Through the inspirational training day with Creative Technology, our students have not only gained an in-depth insight into careers offered within the live events sector, and the skills required to succeed, but now have a potentially life changing opportunity to take part in work experience with a leading global AV company at a major international event.”

Lee Dennison, head of client relationships at Creative Technology added: “After a very hard 18 months for any real face to face student engagement, the attendance, interest, intrigue and positivity from the students was amazing. We spent a great day working them on their professional and personal development and we are really looking to building on our relationship with Resonance as we all move forward.”

In picture: Chris Cronin – treasurer board of trustees of Resonance, Councillor Patrick Harley – leader of Dudley Council and Dave Crump, CEO CT Europe and Middle East.

8th November 2021

Powersoft extends its new learning programme with Two certified courses

Powersoft extends its new learning programme with Two certified courses

Italy – Italian audio specialist Powersoft has launched two brand-new certified courses on its website, allowing users to gain knowledge about core technologies, DSP, and network connectivity solutions.

The two new courses, 201i and 201t are continuations of previous courses already available on the website, providing a more extensive look into topics such as Dynamic Music Distribution systems, MEZZO amplifier platforms and WM Touch.

During the 201i course the user continues on the path started with course 101i, completing the explanation of all the windows and functions of ArmoníaPlus whilst learning how to manage the networking and control through third-party plug-ins.

In the 201t course, Interactive Tuning is introduced, a tool that uses the potential of Smaart v8, allowing users to measure and align an audio system, even offline. There are also lessons on networking, and a more in-depth exploration of ArmoniaPlus.

The E-Learning platform is designed to be a one-stop destination for online training. The courses are designed to provide sound engineers, integrators, and AV technicians the advantage to learn directly from Powersoft’s experts and gain certification upon completion.

“Created by our in-house experts, these courses are for anyone working in the professional audio market, so they can operate with specialist understanding on audio systems, and gain an expert’s insight into our audio products,” said Thiago Terra, education and application engineer.

The courses cover two main areas of the audio market: live sound and install and are split into different levels: basic, intermediate, and advanced.

In the live sound and install courses, users will be taught how to utilise Powersoft’s renowned products to deliver the best sound quality to future audiences. As well as providing a concrete overview of ArmoníaPlus, the courses will give users a complete overview of how to build effective sound systems that can be tailored to the specific needs of the installer.

Once a course is complete, the trainee will receive a certificate of completion.

“These follow-on courses have been designed to give users across the audio industry a chance to build upon their knowledge and gain new skills when installing audio systems and utilising Powersoft products,” said Terra. “It’s our hope that, with the launch of this education programme, we will be able to continue to support the audio industry’s development.”

The new online courses can be accessed by visiting: www.powersoft.com/en/training 

3rd November 2021

ESTA announces yet another ANSI standard for event safety

ESTA's Technical Standards Programme has announced approval and publication of yet another ANSI-approved event safety standard, developed by the Event Safety Working Group.

ANSI ES1.4-2021, Event Safety – Event Fire Safety Requirements applies to fire safety in the live event industry. This standard addresses the identification and assessment of event-specific fire risks, and the effects that fire and smoke will have to the life safety of all persons who might be affected. It includes those measures required to minimise the likelihood of a fire starting, means of escape (egress), fire safety monitoring and the methods used to limit the development, spread and effects of fire.
The standard can be downloaded free of charge, from the Technical Standards Programme's Published Documents page, found at https://tsp.esta.org/tsp/documents/published_docs.php

15th October 2021

ESTA's TSP public reviews

ESTA’s Technical Standards Programme currently has five draft standards in active public review. The reviews are open to anyone having a material interest in the subject matter. The review opportunities are as follows.

The Event Safety Working Group has one draft standard in public review.

BSR ES1.18 – 202x, Event Safety – Rigging provides minimum requirements and general guidelines for the suspension of equipment and materials that are utilised in the technical production of organised special events. It addresses the general requirements for design, planning, installation, set-up, removal and operation of rigging activities. These activities may be conducted using permanent or temporary structures, either in or out of doors. It does not cover permanently installed rigging systems, and it is not a tutorial or a list of specifications.

Submit comments before 09 November 2021.

The Photometrics Working Group has two draft standards, and one reaffirming standard, in public review.

ANSI E1.55 – 2016, Standard for Theatrical Makeup Mirror Lighting offers recommendations and requirements for makeup mirror lighting in performer dressing rooms and similar locations. It defines a range of acceptable lamp CCTs and colour-rendering ratings, and also specifies illumination levels and lighting angles for illuminating the performer's face while applying makeup. The existing standard is being considered for reaffirmation.

Submit comments before 27 October 2021.

BSR E1.69, Reporting the Dimming Performance of Entertainment Luminaires Using LED Sources describes a way of showing the end-user or equipment specifier the dimming performance of LED luminaires, when the luminaire output level is set by a control signal slowly varying from 100% to 50% and then from 50% to black-out.

Submit comments before 01 December 2021

BSR E1.41, Recommendations for the Measurement of Entertainment Luminaires Utilising Solid State Light Sources is intended to be used for the presentation of photometric data for luminaires employing solid state light sources used in the entertainment and performance industries. This standard defines photometric data that may be presented on documents purporting to accurately describe the photometric performance of these luminaires when producing both white and coloured light.

Submit comments before 15 December 2021.

The Rigging Working Group has one draft standard in public review.

BSR E1.22 – 202x, Fire Safety Curtain Systems covers the design, materials, fabrication, installation, operation, testing, and maintenance of fire safety curtain systems used for proscenium opening protection in theatres.

Submit comments before14 December 2021.

All of the pertinent documents associated with each of these public reviews can be found on the Technical Standard Programme’s Public Review Documents page at https://tsp.esta.org/tsp/documents/public_review_docs.php.

14th October 2021

ROE Academy Training for IATSE 695 Members

ROE Academy Training for IATSE 695 Members
ROE Academy Training for IATSE 695 Members

USA – Over a year after the last live training course, the two-day ROE Academy for the IATSE 695 members could be concluded. Although hosting online courses during the pandemic, ROE Visual US is able to host in-person sessions in a Covid safe environment, providing much-needed technical support for LED technicians.

There are nearly 400 IATSE locals spread out across the US and Canada, with over 150,000 members working in all areas of the entertainment industry. The Local 695 covers a wide range of jobs in the film and TV industry, such as video engineering and studio projections.

Hosting a dedicated ROE Academy session for IATSE 695 involved training 25 members in three separates groups to follow the social distancing policies. Each two-day session included lectures on LED theory and the ROE Visual product lines and hands-on training. Mike Smith, ROE Visual’s experienced service manager, shared his profound knowledge of LED technology.

“During the hands-on sessions, all trainees had a go at actually building a LED wall, learning best practices on handling ROE Visual LED products on the way. LED processing and software set-up for the iSet and the Brompton systems were part of the extensive training.

“Picking up these on-site classes after more than a year feels very good. It works so much better to be vis-a-vis when explaining a product. Seeing the success of ROE Academy and receiving positive feedback from trainees is invaluable,” comments Smith.

ROE Academy Training for IATSE 695 MembersROE Academy Training for IATSE 695 Members

30th September 2021

Learn to use Evolution Wireless Digital in two free seminars

Learn to use Evolution Wireless Digital in two free seminars

The Sennheiser SoundAcademy is welcoming everyone interested in wireless audio to a mini-series of two live seminars that will explain the new Evolution Wireless Digital system. Whether you are playing or singing in a band, are setting up mics for a place of worship, or are looking for a solution for moderation and speech, the app-based Evolution Wireless Digital is for you. Seminar 1 takes place on 31 August at 12:30pm CEST (Berlin time) and gets you started on benefits, features and operation, seminar 2 on 14 September, again at 12:30pm CEST, takes things further by taking a more in-depth look at the system. As these seminars are webcast live, the hosts are happy to answer any questions you may have. Please register at https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_kiKU__dJTVy8O5sZvibqKA.

“Evolution Wireless will bring simplicity to your performance, show, service or talk while operating in the professional UHF spectrum,” said Volker Schmitt, technical application engineering manager, pro audio. “In our live seminars we will introduce the system to you and show you how easy it has become to set up wireless microphones.”

Seminar 1 will look at how to operate EW-D and get it set up with the help of the app, touching on all features and benefits that the system offers. Seminar No. 2 takes a detailed look at the app, at audio sensitivity and RF co-ordination.

The seminars will be held in English. If you would like to book a free seminar in another language, please contact de-soundacademy@sennheiser.com. These seminars can be specifically adapted to meet the needs of you or your team.

25th August 2021