Sgt. Pepper Promotion - The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50 years ago this week – and it remains widely regarded as the best rock and roll album concept of all time. To mark the anniversary, the city of Liverpool is to host a huge cultural celebration, called Sgt. Pepper at 50: Heading for Home from Thursday 25 May to Friday 16 June. The council has invested £750,000 of National Lottery funding through its Ambition for Excellence scheme to fund the celebration. The events include:
When I’m 64 - A mass sing-along - broadcast live on radio - of 64 choirs from across the city and of all ages. With an inter-generational theme, the event will focus on what age really means to anyone who is between 14 and 64.
Lucy in The Sky with Diamonds - A light festival on an Olympic scale, with music and fireworks, in the beautiful surroundings of Camp Hill.
With a Little Help From My Friends - Two public art commissions that examine the nature of friendship and self-sacrifice.
Commenting on the festival, Alison Clark, the Arts Council’s national director for combined arts and director north, said, "Our Ambition for Excellence fund uses National Lottery investment to support the creation of work for major national moments. The events to celebrate Sgt. Pepper at 50 on the scale and of the
USA - VDC Trading, the company behind Van Damme cable, has announced a distribution agreement with Fingerprint Audio, a USA-based distributor of pro audio equipment for North and South America since 2009. The agreement sees Fingerprint Audio take on VDC’s entire range of Van Damme audio, fibre, data and video cables, including bulk, manufactured and packaged cables and act as distributor covering the entire USA market with immediate effect.
Commenting on the agreement, Niall Holden, CEO of VDC Trading, said, “Fingerprint are an excellent distribution partner for our Van Damme cable range in the USA. With their expertise in audio and MI, they are well positioned to extend our reach and penetration across the US national market. We are delighted to be working with the team.”
Josh Thomas, general manager of Fingerprint Audio, added, “Van Damme cable is known the world over as a leading, quality cable that provides unrivalled robustness and premium performance. Those values match perfectly with what Fingerprint Audio seeks in its brands, and we are proud to help bring Van Damme’s offerings to a new audience.”
USA - Like a warm summer breeze, the music of pop punk pioneers We The Kings has always been reassuring, pleasing and tinged with a sense of expectation. Beginning with their platinum breakthrough single Check Yes Juliet, on through We’ll Be A Dream (with Demi Lovato), the band has served up some of the most memorable let’s journey forth together love songs for the generation that came of age with the internet.
True to this breakaway spirit, We The Kings has set out on the road to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its debut album with an ambitious 37-city tour that began in Nashville on 17 February and will wrap up at the Slam Dunk festival in the UK. Travelling with the band on the US leg of this journey is a versatile road-friendly rig from New York-based Squeek Lights that is made up almost entirely of Chauvet Professional fixtures.
“We designed a compact, versatile, and impactful rig that would fit into all of the venues the band was scheduled to play and was also very roadworthy,” said Steve Kosiba, the Squeek Lights lighting designer who created the show. “We fit the entire rig in the band’s trailer for transport across the country. The only things in our rig that are not Chauvet are a haze machine and our controller.”
The fixtures in the We Are Kings US rig include Rogue R1 Washes and Nexus 4x1 4-cell COB RGB LED unit
How does someone get started with their event designs? What software and what tools are available to help you create fabulous designs?
LSi has teamed up with Exertis Unlimited, the exclusive distributor of the Vectorworks software in the UK to run an informative morning where we will show how to make the most of event and exhibition designs.
UK - Bat out of Hell the Musical opened at the Manchester Opera House in February where it is currently enjoying a 12-week run. The show is the brainchild of Jim Steinman and rock superstar Meat Loaf - a romantic adventure about rebellious youths. Steinman composed Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell albums and always dreamed of lifting the tracks from record to stage. Forty years later the dream has become a reality.
Production manager Simon Marlow, who will also take the production to the London Coliseum in June for another 12-week run before transferring the show to Toronto, knew that for this technically complex large scale production he would require the help of Unusual Rigging. He said, "As production manager here in the UK and technical supervisor in Canada, I am in charge of everything, from the set, engineering, automation and rigging etc, to costumes, wigs and special effects.
“Having worked with Unusual Rigging on several other projects, most recently constructing the temporary theatre space for Lazarus, the David Bowie musical, they were my go-to company for this project because it throws a number of technical challenges at us."
Work has been done to both the front of house and grid at the Manchester Opera House and modifications will also take place at the London Coliseum in order to ensure the venues can take the show, but
UK - Founded in 2006 by Central School of Speech & Drama graduates Kris Box and Marc Callaghan, Liteup Events is a company specialising in both live music and corporate events. The team at Liteup pride themselves on the quality of their customer service and being able to provide a comprehensive range of services including event production, technical support, equipment hire and concept design.
So, when Box and Callaghan discovered that they urgently needed a new lighting console for a client’s upcoming tour, they took the opportunity to visit the Ambersphere Solutions stand at PLASA where they discussed their requirements with Thor André of technical sales.
“When we went to PLASA, we knew that we wanted to invest in MA control, explains Box. “Whilst there we received a call that really gave us the green light to go ahead with an order. Having the opportunity to talk to Thor there and then made the whole process of securing the grandMA2 Light about as straightforward as it could be.”
Box goes on to describe his reasoning for investing in the desk: “We have always made our purchasing decisions based on what the current industry trends are, as well as taking into consideration what lighting designers actually want to use. For these reasons the grandMA2 Light was the ideal choice for us as it is a popular desk for lighting designers working
Spain - The School of Modern Music (TAF) has installed an Allen & Heath dLive S Class digital mixing system, comprising a S5000 Surface with DM64 MixRack, in its concert hall.
Located in Madrid, the centre offers a wide educational programme, focusing on practical experience and a detailed curriculum and requiring professional world-class facilities, staff and equipment.
Alex Blanco, chief technical officer at TAF, comments, "Students should feel that what they are learning is useful, so we endorse practical assignments from the outset. dLive was chosen because of its expansion possibilities and exceptional configuration flexibility, which allows us to manage any type of event, from concerts or theatre productions to broadcasting.”
The dLive system is employed to manage the school’s concert and theatre productions as well as for touring duties and TV show recordings. The system was recently used on a talent show for the Castilla la Mancha TV channel, which involved mixing 20 musicians and the contestants. As well as the live mix, a feed was provided via MADI to the broadcast mobile unit. The dLive was also used on a series of nightly musical shows broadcast on TV.
"Choosing dLive has been a really wise decision. On the one hand, students can learn by working with cutting-edge technology, and on the other hand the school and its technicians
Germany - Italian loudspeaker manufacturer Outline has announced the launch of “the next generation in multi-function processing and control”. The all-new Newton will make its debut in Frankfurt next week.
Newton is a full-featured, FPGA-based ‘multi media nucleus’ that “takes technology convergence for audio-visual systems to the next level”. In addition to comprehensive loudspeaker system control facilities it additionally offers media conversion, sync and clock management plus audio distribution with networking capability, along with a very high potential i/o count (up to 216 in both directions simultaneously).
Newton also features several innovations that solve common real-world problems. As standard it is fitted with Analogue, AES, MADI optical, MADI coaxial and Dante inputs and outputs, which can be freely mixed and matched to suit the application. Further, it can simultaneously manage multiple clocks from different sources: this means that several non-synchronised digital protocols can be connected to Newton without affecting the phase coherence of the audio outputs. At a point where systems convergence and integration is more important than ever, this feature is set to make life a great deal easier for many professional users globally.
Newton is also equipped for the most mission-critical applications in terms of backup strategies -
From 4 to 7 April 2017, Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre will be the meeting place for the entire event industry and the showroom for the latest trends and technologies. There, visitors will find new products by key players from the fields of lighting, sound and media technology. The fair is rounded off by an extensive conference programme aimed equally at newcomers and experts.
South Africa - Green Hippo, manufacturers of the Hippotizer Media Server range, have appointed DWR Distribution as South African distributor.
Hippotizer Media Servers have been on some of the most highly recognized events worldwide, including Eurovision, The Academy Awards and the Super Bowl half-time shows. Theatre spectaculars such as Love Never Dies in the West End and American Idiot on Broadway utilise the system due to its ﬂexibility during production periods and concert tours for artists such as Beyoncé, Jay Z, and Madonna have proven its reliability out on the road.
This May, in conjunction with Green Hippo, DWR Distribution will be heading out for the South African Hippotizer roadshow, visiting Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. This roadshow will showcase the latest developments from Hippotizer V4, including SHAPE 3D Mapping and their creative partnerships with Notch.
“We are really excited about this partnership with DWR, we believe their dedication to customer service and scope for the South African video market presents exciting opportunities for all,” said Phil Blue, technical sales manager, Green Hippo.
“We are looking forward to a great future with the product, and will be committed to supporting clients who already have Green Hippo products,” commented Duncan Riley of DWR.
China - With an already successful presence in Asia thanks to a joint venture and historic distributors, French loudspeaker manufacturer APG took advantage of the recent Prolight+Sound Guangzhou trade show to announce new partnerships around APG North East Asia, the company’s joint venture in Hong Kong.
The first expansion is evidenced in China where APG welcomed TRAudio, who will share responsibilities with APG’s historical Chinese partner BVCam. “This partnership with TRAudio will focus on the entertainment sector, while BVCAM will keep doing the amazing job they have done for years in every other markets,” explains Raymond Wong, managing director of APG North East Asia. “Being based in Guangzhou since 2011, TRAudio is ideally positioned to help us grow the brand in the entertainment market and in particular in the club scene, while giving the APG brand a more comprehensive coverage in China.”
TR Audio's owner Huang Zhao enthused, “We are very happy to have the opportunity to work with APG, a brand with decades of experience in loudspeaker manufacture. We are looking forward to presenting their products to our network of clients in the entertainment market and creating new opportunities for APG.”
At the same time, APG has announced expansion in Korea. Effective immediately, system integrator, Soundplace Inc. will act as APG’s sole di
Canada - Lighting designer Al Paquette was looking for some new and exciting fixtures to incorporate into his design for the current 1000 Arms tour by Canadian country rockers Blue Rodeo - and chose Robe Spiiders and PATT 2013s which were newly purchased by lighting vendor Apex Sound & Light from Ontario, Canada.
Al has worked with the popular band for the last six years, and this is the fourth full production tour he's done with them for which he created a totally original look and design. He knows what they are comfortable with onstage, "it's about setting the right mood and environment for the music," he explained.
Limited truck space was another consideration for this one, so getting maximum impact from a minimum number of fixtures was essential. Keeping this in mind he chose the 20 x Spiiders and five PATT 2013s.
The Spiiders were evenly positioned along the upstage truss with the five PATT 2013s on floor stands at various heights around the back.
The Spiiders created an "awesome" wall of light enthused Al, who used the central flower effect for highlighting the audience during some special punctuating moments.
The PATTs were dimmed down for most of the show, used for nice warm tungsten glow effects and - sparingly - as a blinder.
Prior to this tour, Al had been using another brand of LED wash light for a few years which was
Germany - PL+S 2017 sees Out Board showing two of its premium entertainment technology offerings across two stands. TiMax OutBoard (Hall 4.1: A30) debuts the TiMax SoundHub VR playback, spatial audio and show control variant, which marks Out Board’s move to support rapidly growing demand for tightly-synchronised, low-latency immersive audio in multimedia VR content for the theme-park ride-car and experiential-exhibit marketplaces,
Configured in a compact half-depth 2U rack-mount chassis, the new TiMax SoundHub VR playback server, spatial processor and show control hub features 16 playback tracks and analogue, Dante or MADI outputs, 12-24VDC or 90-230VAC PSU options, plus the new TiMax Portal MicroServer multimode show control hub and custom GUI server.
Out Board’s Dave Haydon and Robin Whittaker will also be previewing a new intelligent and adaptable spatial audio rendering resource for TiMax. The highly intuitive and dimensionally-aware StageSpace visual programming interface automatically configures delay-matrix localisation objects for the market-leading TiMax2 SoundHub spatial audio processor and TiMax Tracker stage tracking automation system.
For its second year at PL&S, Out Board’s PAT test joint-venture associates Data Strategy (Hall 3.0: G90) will demonstrate the PAT4 Test Processors, CAB5 Cable Test and RCDT Test modules with their
USA - Elation Professional has introduced the Artiste DaVinci, a full-featured yet compact “theatrical grade” LED moving head spot luminaire and the first fixture in Elation’s new Artiste series.
“With Artiste DaVinci we put all the design features that creative LDs ask for in a small package,” states Eric Loader, sales director at Elation Professional. “It’s full-featured yet LED-based so it offers a complete palette for the creative designer in an energy-efficient design. This is really the ultimate performance fixture designed for the most demanding theatrical and stage applications and is an excellent example of our commitment to offer best-in-class price/performance ratio fixtures.”
The Artiste DaVinci produces a bright and highly efficient beam. An output of over 13,000 lumens is comparable to 700W discharge lamp fixtures, yet it does not require lamp replacements. Powerful enough to light a stage or set from even the highest trim height, a newly designed 300W LED engine (>7,500K) and advanced optics is at the heart of this enhanced performance and energy efficient luminaire that will shine through even on the largest stages.
Built to make the design task easier while allowing for more creative freedom, the Artiste DaVinci offers a variety of design features in a small package. Full CMY colour mixing gives a broad palette of col
France - L-Acoustics announces that the LA12X amplified controller is the first L-Acoustics product to receive Avnu certification, the LA4X will also receive certification in the coming weeks. A member of the Avnu Alliance since 2015, L-Acoustics has committed its development resources to open standard AVB technology, which streamlines network infrastructure by combining audio signal transmission with system control and monitoring.
The Avnu-certified LA12X and LA4X amplified controllers include built-in AVB bridge functionality, reducing the need for additional costly networking equipment and facilitating set-up and interoperability of systems. Together, they are the first Avnu-certified amplified controllers to be launched with both Bridge and Listener technology. To accompany LA12X and LA4X, LA Network Manager software is also updated with an AVB controller, which eases connection with other systems and integrates seamlessly via an easy and natural user interface.
“We’re proud to be the first manufacturer to provide a combined AVB bridge and listener capacity with our flagship amplified controllers,” said Genio Kronauer, director of electronics at L-Acoustics. “Enabled by our membership in Avnu Alliance, we have implemented AVB technology and certified it for interoperability and compliance, which ensures our products are future-proof and increases
Germany - Austria’s AV Stumpfl returns to Frankfurt with a broad line-up of high-performance media server products and projection screens for the live entertainment space. The AV Stumpfl philosophy applied to each product is built around enabling faster set up time, lower maintenance requirements, portability and a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), the company says.
New to Prolight+sound will be the fully upgraded Wings Engine Stage media server. Technical director Fred Neulinger describes the new server, "The original Wings Engine Stage was already very robust and built from stainless steel. For the new Wings Engine Stage, we created an improved system architecture that is even more shock absorbent and is truly fantastic for all rental and staging environments.
“It has a more powerful processor and new display port outputs, in addition to framelock and genlock inputs. Prolight+Sound visitors will love seeing this new media server inaction."
The flagship Wings Engine Raw 8K server will also be shown. Currently it is the world’s most powerful media server of its kind for uncompressed content playback, delivering four simultaneous streams of uncompressed 4K content at 60hz. Multiple automotive brands usedWings Engine Raw 8K technology to launch their next-generation innovations in uncompromising quality at the recent 87th Geneva Motor Show.
Germany - BroadWeigh is set to enjoy its biggest ever presence at this year's Prolight and Sound with five of its product partners promoting the company's offering through displays and demonstrations. A.C. Entertainment Technologies (Hall 5, B25), Hof Alutec (Hall 3, A44), Louis Reyners (Hall 3, C14), Scanrig (Hall 3, F31) and Sonoss (Hall 3, C14) and will all represent BroadWeigh on their stands at the show.
Mela Coskun, marketing manager at Louis Reyners explained: "We are very excited to be joining forces with Sonoss, France to present BroadWeigh to the public on stand C14 in Hall 3.0. We will be running product demonstrations and a strength competition using the BroadWeigh load cells to measure the strength applied by hands of each participant. Winners of the competition will be presented with a goody bag which we are packing with a range of items including various branded pieces from BroadWeigh, while the overall winner of the show will receive a special prize."
Uno Knaff, marketing manager at Sonoss added: "We will have several 3.25t and 4.75t load cells along with both USB and handheld receptors for demonstration. Software will be running on a laptop and can be displayed on our TV screens which will demonstrate the solution."
Scanrig is also set to demonstrate the wireless system which received its official European debut at last year's show. "We
Australia - Philips Lighting reports that its LED stage lighting added to the drama and detail of an award-winning production of the hit Broadway musical Wicked at the historic Theatre Royal in Hobart, Tasmania.
In the role of both lighting designer and technical supplier was Gareth Kays of GK Productions, Tasmania's leading performance technology consultancy. His brief was to create an impressive, Broadway-style production on a comparatively small stage.
"One of my main challenges was disguising the ground support system which allowed lead character Elphaba to take flight during the number Defying Gravity," Kays explained. "I used Philips Showline SL BEAM 300fx moving head luminaires at full zoom for back lighting Elphaba as she rose into the air. Light radiated out from her, masking the mechanics and giving the impression she truly was flying. I used Philips Showline SL LEDSPOT 300 luminaires to light the downstage in a dappled gobo wash, which added to the radiating backlit look."
Kays also used the Philips Showline SL LEDSPOT 300's advanced effects system and CMY colour mixing to bring the staging to life.
"In a lot of the scenes I used very strong colours and large gobo effects to create a magical storybook feel. I found the stock gobos in the Philips Showline SL LEDSPOT 300 gave me plenty of creative options; I used the brick gobo for
Poland - The historical Olympic Stadium in Wroclaw, Poland has been sympathetically refurbished and modernised, under a redevelopment plan that included substantial new construction. The opportunity for the project came as a result of Wroclaw being awarded host city for the 2017 World Games.
Built in 1928, the listed-monument stadium was one of the many great sports complexes constructed across Germany in the 1920s, its location becoming a part of Poland after World War 2. Restored areas include the brick exterior of the original building, along with the old clock tower opposite the main grandstand. The largest transformation has been the building of a new main grandstand with covered seating. Additionally, the venue has improved hospitality areas and significantly better access for disabled sports fans.
The re-design of the 11,000-capacity stadium, which will host speedway racing, American football and rugby, is the work of Poznan-based architect Wojciecha Ryżyńskiego. The sound system for the Olympic Stadium was designed and installed by Tommex Żebrowscy Sp. J. and is based around Community R Series loudspeakers and Dynacord electronics.
The main system is housed in the commentary room and linked to two separate amplifier rooms. The audio signal is transmitted over the stadium’s network using the Dante protocol and is triple redundant, with two
UK - Rental company Adlib continues its work with top comedians, having just supplied full production – sound, lighting and video – for Jack Whitehall’s sold out, three week At Large UK arena tour. The Liverpool based company previously supplied production for his ground-breaking 2014 arena tour, which was staged in the round.
Having appropriate production in the right proportions and places is a key to delivering comedy on a large scale. It is about presenting this very intimate and personal style of entertainment and communication in a way that ensures audiences in larger venues enjoy all the same essential experiences as a one-to-one scenario.
Steve ‘Patto’ Pattison mixed front-of-house, working with a strong team from Adlib including monitor engineer / sound crew chief Marc Peers and systems tech Tony Szabo, who was responsible for the precision and detail required to ensure that every seat in the house had crisp, clear and audible speech.
Patto’s console of choice was a DiGiCo S31 - a first time out with this particular product for both him and Tony - while Marc used an S21 for monitors. As only eight channels were being used, the tiny footprints of the consoles were an ideal mix of quality and size for the application.
The stage box was a DiGiCo SD-Rack This was connected via BNC coax cable from FOH to stage and run at 48K for fu
UK - The British TV show Strictly Come Dancing approaches its 15th season this year. Renowned for its visual razzmatazz, the show’s lighting depends on a vast network of data control, an essential component of which is the powerful ProPlex IQ Two 1616.
“We purchased an IQ 1616 Ethernet-DMX node last autumn for Season 14,” says Mark Newell, lighting gaffer and chief systems tech for the show. “It’s an integral part of a system incorporating two consoles and a media server, all outputting on the same network. We’ve been using the ProPlex node to output DMX for a grid of LED battens, pixel-mapped within the media server, and used to light any band extras or special props that the couples use during their dances.
“Because the consoles we use for Strictly have a limited number of outputs, we have to swap routing during the show. The ProPlex IQ 1616 is perfect for this job because we can easily change the routing very quickly using the large touchscreen display. Unlike other products of a similar nature, the large display on the IQ 1616 has all the information you need in a large font without having to go through lots of sub-menus to get to the required page.
“There is also an excellent web browser interface and both control options are very simple to use with no fuss. The 1616 really defines user friendly. In addition, to be able to p