UK - Now celebrating its 21st year of business, British loudspeaker manufacturer EM Acoustics will be returning to the Royal Armouries this May for the 2023 edition of PLASA Focus Leeds. EM Acoustics will be taking full advantage of the northern edition of the UK’s largest entertainment technology show to unveil the new, ultra-compact R5 loudspeaker. The R5 joins EM’s flagship Reference Series of low profile, ultra-high quality full range point source loudspeakers possessing extraordinarily flat frequency and phase responses.
“The R Series has proved spectacularly popular. A smaller box is a logical and welcome addition, in response to phenomenal customer demand,” says EM Acoustics brand manager, Greg Clarke. “As with the rest of the Reference family, the R5 offers high-quality point-source audio, exceptional headroom and wonderful musicality. The smaller form of the R5 expands the use case of this outstanding loudspeaker range, giving designers and engineers an extended and highly malleable product ecosystem.”
The R5 will be on show for the first time at PLASA Focus 2023, an addition to a family of loudspeakers already favoured in high-profile environments including West End theatres, live music venues, touring events and a broad range of installations. EM Acoustics director of operations, Mike Wheeler, looks forward to the show: “We’re delighted to be back at PLASA Focus, connecting with our clients and collaborators. This is a big year for EM, as we celebrate 21 years of the brand, launch the R5 and look forward to many other exciting p
Sweden - Ayrton has announced the appointment of Topstage – and a familiar face – as its new, exclusive distributor for Sweden.
Linnea Ljungmark will be leaving her position as Ayrton regional sales manager to form a new company, Topstage, which will become the new Ayrton distributor for Sweden from Monday 3 April 2023.
“After years of travelling and working for the international markets, the time is right for me to bring my experience back to Sweden, and distribution is in my DNA,” says Linnea. “You could say it runs in the family. This is such an exciting opportunity.”
After almost five years with Ayrton, and an even longer association with the brand which stretches back to the early days of the company, Linnea is one of Ayrton’s own, and with an enviable industry lineage she brings a wealth of product and market knowledge.
“Ayrton is considered a top brand internationally and the time has come to properly introduce the product line and brand to the Swedish market, which is generally very quality- and design-aware, so there is great potential for a perfect match,” Linnea says. “I am really looking forward to dedicating more time and focus exclusively to our Swedish customers to ensure they get the best support possible.”
“When Linnea broached this idea I admit to being a little torn,” says Ayrton CEO, Chris Ferrante. “Linnea has not only been an incredibly valuable member of the Ayrton team but has brought us so much more than just sales. Her brilliant championing of Women In Lighting from an entertainment
Spain - K-array has announced a partnership with AdagioPRO, the audiovisual distributor in Southern Europe.
AdagioPRO, located in Barcelona, is well-known for its representation of innovative solutions in the AV market, with a strong focus on AV install and live events business verticals. As a part of this partnership, AdagioPRO will represent K-array's complete portfolio of solutions in Spain. This includes K-array and also KGEAR and KSCAPE, two of K-array's recent product lines. The AdagioPRO team will also provide dedicated support and training to ensure customers receive the highest level of service.
"We are thrilled to partner with AdagioPRO to bring our state-of-the-art audio solutions to the Spanish market," said Pablo Manoukian, LATAM and Spain area sales manager. "Their commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction aligns perfectly with our values, and we're confident that their customers will benefit from the unbeatable AV experience that K-array provides.”
To showcase the full range of K-array's solutions, Holmusic has invested in the creation of a showroom that will be available for customer training and product demonstrations.
Australia - In the nine years between their 2013 debut album Atlas and now, Grammy Award-winning group Rüfüs Du Sol has undergone one name change, received three ARIA certifications – two platinum and one gold - for their style of house, electronica, and alternative dance music. Multi-citied continental tours have been the norm for the three-piece outfit.
Recently, Rüfüs Du Sol wrapped up an Australia-New Zealand tour of eight shows performed in four territories for over 30,000 people. For the concerts in Adelaide and Perth, tour promoters Fuzzy Entertainment chose L-Acoustics certified rental partner Novatech to supply sound, visual, lighting and communication solutions for the outdoor sites. The Novatech team’s open communication and collaborative style have made the company a returning partner for the band and mix engineer Cam Trewin.
Novatech was tasked with designing a system that would provide optimal coverage to the vast open field audience area while also taking the neighbouring residential areas into consideration. “Of course, we needed to adhere to strict local council noise limits,” explains Matthew Ruggiero, technical project manager at Novatech. “But on the flip side, being in the wide space of an open field allowed my team and I to have complete control over speaker placement.”
“We were briefed on the shows before their tour began, which gave us ample time to create a system design and share it with the band’s management,” says Ruggiero. “Working with management and the team’s consultants, we fine-tune
France - Recently renovated, the new Eurosport France set said goodbye to conventional fixtures to make way for the latest generation of LED luminaires. The compact and versatile Lonestar from ETC was the automated fixture of choice for Eurosport’s technical team and the lighting company Ar'Krys.
The main filming location at Eurosport France is a physical set with a large 20sq.m LED wall as a backdrop. Despite its 45sq.m of usable surface, it has everything you’d expect of a larger set, and can accommodate up to six presenters, columnists, and guests on the three benches and a standing position. Overhead, a grid of wash lights enables different colour combinations. It is complemented by 20 Lonestar fixtures, intended primarily for lighting the talent and effectively rendering skin tones.
The luminaires were carefully selected by Baptiste Arnaud-Benaïs and Georges Krystkowiak from Ar'Krys, who were commissioned by the Eurosport team to propose a new lighting system for the set. They discovered Lonestar in the ETC showroom in Saint-Denis. "We attended a demo at ETC France and then arranged a loan on-site to try the fixture in real conditions,” says Arnaud-Benaïs. “It checked all the boxes: compact but powerful, versatile with great quality of light, and very well positioned in price.”
Florent Marquaire, technical project manager at Eurosport, was keen to replace the existing 300W tungsten Fresnel fixtures, but the replacements had to meet strict criteria. “Previously, we needed a large number of fixtures to cover all the positions," Mar
UAE - Unusual Rigging & Engineering was the rigger of choice for IDEX – the largest defence exhibition in the Middle East – when it took place at ADNEC in Abu Dhabi last month. The show attracted over 130,000 visitors from 65 countries, with more than 1350 exhibitors across 165,000sq.m of space.
For such a prestigious and sizeable event, David McKean, head of mains and rigging services at ADNEC, brought Unusual Rigging on board to assist the venue rigging team in the installation and management of rigged items throughout all 15 halls for the event.
David commented: “The Unusual team works with us numerous times each year and are well versed in our expectations. This year there were over 100 stands, and Unusual received rigging plans from the rigging manager for each individual stand. From this they were required to mark out and provide both primary and secondary rigging.”
The quantity of kit required for IDEX was vast, with the crew installing several kilometres of truss, over 1200 rigging points and 500 motorised hoists. The build-up period was 21 days, with all works finished by lunchtime on the last day of build. As with all projects of this scale, challenges arose – mainly last-minute orders.
“I have to mention that the entire office team went above and beyond in providing equipment for us to install on exhibition stands at the shortest of notice,”, commented David. “And that’s what puts Unusual in a class above its competitors. Their flexibility and knowledge is second to none and you know that you get 100% support
UK - For nearly a decade, Martin Audio partner, Manchester-based VME, has been providing PA for major boxing events in the nation’s arenas, on an accelerating basis.
Starting out with an inventory of 48 MLA multicellular loudspeaker array enclosures, such has been the demand from this sector that the rental fleet has now more than doubled, and this month the rental company announced that it has increased its inventory of MLA family products to over 100. This makes VME one of the largest MLA rental stagers in the UK.
Explaining the underlying reason, operations manager Aaron Harvey-Holt says that this is in recognition of the fact that his company is now servicing over 40 events a year for TV transmission through Sky Sports, BT Sports and DAZN - all in major UK venues such as Wembley Stadium, Wembley OVO Arena, The O2 Arena, Cardiff International Arena and Manchester AO Arena.
Events include the IBF World Heavyweight Championships - and bouts ranging from David Haye to Tyson Fury - to the more recent high-profile Misfits ‘crossover’ series which saw YouTube star KSI going head-to-head with FaZe Temper at OVO Arena, Wembley.
Rigging a system in the round is quite unlike reinforcing a conventional pros arch rock concert. For example, the PA fly position is normally set within a 7sq.m grid immediately above the ring and configuration can vary from hangs facing out on all four axes to distributed hangs and delays to ensure crowds of up to 20,000 have full intelligibility of all action - from the walk-in music to the National Anthem, DJ interv
UK - Harris Academy based in St Johns Wood, London, is a high achieving secondary school that promotes creativity and academic scholarship. Keeping up with the latest technologies, Harris Academy upgraded their audio system including an installation of over 100 speakers and new cabling infrastructure to achieve an automatically timed class bell system and music at class change over time.
Following a site survey, specialists in audio visual design and integration, Excite AV had scoped a design proposal for the project that would deliver on the brief, in a very time pressured environment.
Gareth Thomas, Director at Excite Audio Visual LTD comments: “Working alongside the academic calendar meant this was very much a time critical project. Within two weeks of the site survey and proposal we were on to installation during the half term holiday, having the new system up and running before the students returned. We used a team of five expert engineers to install and deliver on the project.
“A lot of enthusiasm and close working with the school maintenance team was key to success, with our team working flat-out to complete the installation and programming by the start of term. The whole project went smoothly and we are proud that the client is thrilled with the outcome.”
The equipment, installed in eight different zones throughout the school, included 52 pairs of Ecler IC6 2-way ceiling speakers for the indoor spaces, partnered with 3 pairs of Ecler eMOTUS5OD outdoor loudspeakers for the playground areas, powered by an Ecler eHSA4-150 amplifie
New Zealand - Auckland based Spot-Light Systems – now part of the NEP Live Group – is among New Zealand’s leading lighting live show and event rental companies, and one that has continued to invest in Robe moving lights as the country emerged from the pandemic, adding 24 x MegaPointes, 12 x Tarrantulas to their existing fleets, and for the first time, 20 x Esprites joined the inventory.
While New Zealand managed – via strict quarantine and travel restorations – to keep Covid cases to a minimum, full-scale and capacity shows and live events did not properly re-start until several months into 2022, when things became busy, related Spot-Light Systems’ head of lighting, Matt Tong, and this is what drove these latest Robe purchases.
Business and enthusiasm for the arts, performance and events is now surpassing 2019 levels as promoters, organisations and event organisers jostle to squeeze in shows that didn’t run for two years and accommodate the many new ones that the creative world imagined during that time. Touring has now re-started with a slew of national and international bands hitting the road, further fuelling the demand for production technology.
With nearly 400 Robe moving lights already onboard, Spotlight Systems returned to a brand they know and trust for a multipurpose LED profile type fixture, settling on the Esprites to join the mix of Robe BMFL Spots, BMFL Blades, MegaPointes, Tarrantulas, LEDWash 600s and LEDBeam 100s and 150s. It is currently the largest concentration of Robe moving lights in the country.
“Robe is u
UK - The natural sound of Point Source Audio’s SERIES8 CO-8WL omnidirectional microphones is helping the audio team at Kings Place enhance the sound for a variety of events. The central London venue hosts a wide range of events every day, from corporate presentations to live music and recording sessions. The new microphones are put to use daily across a wide range of these applications.
“The adventure with Point Source Audio started out with us looking for some new lav mics,” recalls Gerardo Marrone, audio & recording manager at Kings Place Music Foundation. “We had always used a different brand in the past, but we decided to try something else through our long-term supplier, Autograph Sound. We were looking for something that could work just as well but be more contained within the budget. They sent us a lot of options from various brands and quite a few models from Point Source Audio.”
After going through and testing each of the options, Marrone decided to invest in the SERIES8 CO-8WL. The IP 57 rated waterproof lavalier microphone has a low-profile of 4 mm in diameter but delivers all of the high-performance characteristics that are expected from a larger format microphone. It delivers optimal gain before feedback and can handle 136 dB maximum SPL.
While the flexibility and feature set were important factors for the Kings Place team, it was the sound quality that really set the CO-8WL apart from the competition. “I fell in love with how natural the omni capsules were sounding for lavaliers,” says Marrone. “The less you stress
USA - For the creative team involved in designing the production for Daddy Yankee’s La Ultima Vuelta tour, the brief was quite simple, you create something “fit for a king”.
This was the directive that production designer Rodrigo Proal of Darmah Studios received when he was asked to work on the Puerto Rican born superstar’s 84-date official retirement tour of North and South America, which concluded with a January show in San Juan.
Proal, joined by a gifted and inspired creative team, didn’t disappoint either; the production they collaborated on, with its bold, vibrant colours, intense aerial effects, beautiful scenic elements, and evocative video content created by screens director Bianca Moncada, did justice to the career of the singer who is credited with coining the term ‘reggaeton’ and whose 2004 party favourite Gasolnina introduced modern Latin music to a wider audience.
“This was a special experience for all of us, one we’ll never forget,” said Felix Peralta, the tour’s lighting designer. “We all wanted to make this show fit for a king to honour an artist who ruled so brilliantly for so long.”
For Peralta, the concept behind La Ultima Vuelta (The Final Turn) began three years before the tour, when he joined the Darmah team and lighting designer John Daniels, a life-long friend and mentor, as the lighting director/programmer for Daddy Yankee’s 14-show residency in San Juan.
“As production designer, Rodrigo created a sleek and clean architectural structure for that residency,” said Peralta.
UK - Event crewing specialist Showforce has announced that Becky Meers has been promoted to the role of head of operations UK & Europe. Becky will oversee the account management, crew management and operations functions for Showforce’s UK and European business.
Having joined Showforce’s Liverpool office in 2010 as an account handler, over the last few years, she has ran point on some of Showforce’s largest accounts and projects including Creamfields North and South, Cannes Lions, Glastonbury, Platinum Jubilee and The 150th Open.
The announcement follows the news that the company’s Liverpool office has been expanded as so many international events head to the city this year. The Showforce team is readying itself for a busy period as Eurovision fever grows and the build for the 151st Open beginning. Showforce’s Liverpool office has built an excellent reputation and its key crew chiefs and crew are regularly called on to assist with projects all over the UK and internationally.
Commenting on the promotion, Gemma Charity, group managing director said: “As a company that is only as good as our people, we pride ourselves on nurturing and investing in talent. Becky’s rise through the ranks is a real success story and I couldn’t be prouder of her taking this next step in her career. She has proved herself to be extremely capable in even the most challenging of circumstances, always remaining good natured and calm under pressure.”
USA - Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW) will be showcasing its complete range of line array solutions throughout the 2023 NAMM Show (Demo Booth 17221). The company is putting a spotlight on its newest offerings, including the KF210 2-way 2 X 10″ Line Array and the NTX210L Active 2-way 2 X 10″ Line Array, as well as the AC6 2-way Full Range ADAPTive Column Loudspeaker, with regular demonstrations throughout the show. These new products include both powered and passive options.
“Our goal is to never dictate to audio professionals what products or technologies they need to use, but to instead create tools that help them do their job and please their clients,” says TJ Smith, president of EAW. “The addition of KF210, NTX210L and AC6 to EAW’s broad catalogue offer exactly that: powered and passive solutions ideal for productions with small crews up to stadium-sized events. We look forward to finding the perfect fit for every live sound professional at NAMM 2023.”
Weighing in at only 60lbs, EAW’s KF210 is an option for small crews operating out of medium to large outdoor festivals, performing arts centres or theatres. EAW’s Focusing and DynO digital signal processing allows KF210 to provide clear and dynamic sound with a pristine impulse response at any volume, from 18kHz, all the way down to 55Hz.
Featuring Optilogic technology, the NTX210L provides ‘effortless array optimisation to get you up and running faster and with fewer opportunities for error, as each array communicates with surrounding modules using proximity sensors’. EAW’s
UK - Headstock Group has announced the recruitment of Vincenzo Borrelli as business development manager for its HH brand. Vincenzo takes responsibility for the expansion of the distributor base for HH products across Europe, along with the ongoing development of domestic sales to the UK network.
James Laney, CEO for Headstock Group, comments: “We are very excited to have Vince working with us. His experience, knowledge and skill will certainly be a big asset to the growth of HH.”
Vincenzo adds: “I am really looking forward to the exciting challenge of increasing the HH profile and developing the distributor network across the regions.”
Ian Wright, director of international sales, says, “HH sales have continued to develop rapidly around the world over the past year. During the pandemic we took the chance to develop many new HH products and as things have reopened, we are seeing the rewards from this investment. Vince’s contribution to this in Europe will be a major part of the next phase, and we warmly welcome him.”
UK - Optimal Audio has announced the release of an all access WebApp Desktop Demo mode.
WebApp is the digital backbone of Optimal Audio’s ecosystem of controllers, amplifiers and loudspeakers providing a system integrator with the ability to configure an entire system of multiples zones in a venue, while presenting the end user with an intuitive and simple interface to control the sound system. Now, for the first time, anyone can experience both the simplicity and power of WebApp without the need for a Zone hardware unit.
The Desktop Demo, available on PC and Mac, offers a fully interactive experience of the intuitive nature of WebApp, and allows users to build confidence and familiarise themselves with this powerful tool.
Jamie Gomez, marketing manager commented: “One of the first things I recognised on joining was that if we could get the WebApp out to as many people as we could, it would be the quickest and most powerful way for system integrators and installers to see the true nature of Optimal Audio and how it is changing commercial audio for the better. Thankfully, Matt Rowe agreed and we were able to develop this relatively quickly.”
Matt Rowe, head of engineering responded: "Similar to test driving a new car, gaining hands-on experience and familiarity with the features of a car builds confidence in making the right purchase decision. In the same vein, the introduction of the WebApp Desktop Demo enables individuals with a PC or Mac to take it for a spin by setting up various zones and sources, adjusting faders and creating rout
Bulgaria - Nova Broadcasting Group recently opened an ultra-modern studio complex of nearly 17,000sq.m in Sofia. To provide professional illumination in the new facility’s multiple studios, Nova Broadcasting Group worked with Elation distributor Luminis on a broadcast-optimised lighting solution.
Nova Broadcasting Group is one of the biggest multi-platform media and technology companies in Bulgaria, part of United Group, Southeast Europe’s leading telecom and media operator. The new facility, designed for high-quality television and radio production of international standards, features five television studios, four radio studios, spacious equipment rooms, editing rooms and newsroom. The capacity of the new studio complex allows Nova Broadcasting Group to produce impactful content using the latest technologies.
Luminis worked with a local lighting designer on the specification and design of the system, which is made up of 202 KL Fresnel 8 FC, 20 KL Profile FC, 137 KL Panel, and 89 KL Panel XL fixtures, along with 36 Arena Zoom Q7IP. The lights are spread across a large 1000sq.m television studio plus two smaller studios of around 350sq.m each. Luminis installed the luminaires working with lighting personnel from Nova TV and programmed initial lighting scenes for the studio. Elation’s Bulgarian distributor, Pro Audio, works with Luminis to provide local support when needed.
Péter Rábay of Luminis, who worked closely on the project for 18 months, says that the studio required soft lights, profile luminaires and Fresnel lights that would work w
France - The recent robotics exhibition at the Eurexpo Lyon in France saw the use of 20x Prolights Astra Wash19Pix and 24x Astra Wash7Pix lighting fixtures, at the FANUC stand, a Japanese automation company.
Camille Roblin, technical director at Toulouse-based events company SAS Melomane, commented: "I think Prolights is a wonderful brand with a great quality of fixtures. The Astra Wash19Pix has a powerful wash output, and the pixel ring give it some unique effects. I love their products, and it's great to see it being adopted more and more in France.”
The Astra Wash19Pix is a 19x40W RGBW moving wash light with 4°-54° zoom, pixel control and pixel ring. The Astra Wash7Pix has similar features but with 7x40W LEDs, and built in a compact form, providing silent operation, smooth and fast movements.
Over the past year, Prolights has launched several moving lights in the Astra range, including the Astra Profile400 and the Astra Profile600IP.
Stream On - The success of artists like Taylor Swift and BTS helped global music revenues rise to $26.6bn (£21.7bn) last year, the highest level since records began in the 1990s. The growth was largely driven by streaming, which now accounts for 67% of the industry's earnings. Last year, 589m people paid for a subscription, said trade body the IFPI, up from 523m in 2021.
But labels say income could be higher, and are pushing for prices to rise. "It would help if music subscription pricing could reflect the realities of inflation," said Simon Robson, president of international markets for Warner Music.
The UK's largest streaming service, Spotify, hasn't increased its prices since launching in 2009, with an individual subscription set at £9.99. Most of its competitors maintain a similar pricing structure. Warner Music CEO Robert Kyncl recently suggested that the US rate should rise to $13.25 (£10.83), based on the 2011 US launch price of $9.99, adjusted for inflation. "Music is undervalued, and this is not my opinion - there are actually numbers to back it up," he said. "If you take the US, the price that the user pays per hour of consumption of music is half of what they pay for movies and TV shows on streaming services. So right there, it's 50% undervalued today."
Eurovision Live - The grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest will be broadcast live in cinemas across the UK for the first time. Liverpool will host the event on Saturday 13 May, following two semi-finals earlier in the week. Organisers say the screenings will encourage fancy
Curaçao - Everyone on this island country looks forward to the two-day Curaçao Carnival which consists of the Gran Marcha (The Grand Parade) and Marcha di Despedida (The Farewell March). People on the island being work on the carnival six months in advance. The event itself involves 6,000 participants and 1,500 ‘helpers’ who either play music or keep the beverages flowing.
The carnival’s parades snake through the streets of the island’s capital city, Willemstad.
Enhancing the vibrant atmosphere of the parade, each carnival group has at least one party trailer. Massive Production supplied and outfitted audio video and lights for 16 of these trailers. For some, the company went all out turning the vehicles into moving concert stages. Adding a level of bling to these 45ft ‘boombox trailers’ was a collection of Chauvet Professional fixtures from Massive Productions’ own inventory.
Supporting the performances of the artists, and engaging the crowd as well as the dancers, was a lightshow created with Rogue R2 Beam, R2 Spot, and R2 Wash fixtures, EPIX Strip IP units, pixel mapped to coordinate with LED screens, and COLORado 1-Tri IP washes.
Given that the festival trailers took roughly six-hours to complete their journeys, the Massive Productions team was careful to outfit them with rigs that could create a variety of different looks. While the EPIX Strips were used to outline the trailers and give them defining architecture, and the COLORado units created a rainbow of colour washes that fit the mood of the moment, the Rogue movers w