Germany - Restart-19 is an evidence-based scientific study conducted by the University Medical Center, Halle, in conjunction with regional government, aimed at investigating the coronavirus risks associated with staging major cultural or sporting events in indoor arenas. The project has received almost a million euros in funding, a measure of just how desperate the situation facing the future of such events has become. The principle aim of the study was to determine which technical and organisational actions can most effectively minimise the risk of infection.
Comprising several sub-projects, the most visible element of Restart-19 was a large experiment conducted in the Leipzig Arena, featuring singer Tim Bendzko and his band, where 1,800 audience members attended to participate in different real-life simulations of the concert experience. Every measure was taken to ensure that no-one taking part in the experiment or in the local population was put at risk, and it is hoped that the data gathered will assist the authorities in finding ways to reopen sports and concert facilities.
Coda Audio user Schalldruck Audio of Chemnitz, Saxony, tendered for the event and was awarded the contract to supply audio. Deploying a combination of AiRAY and ViRAY, Schalldruck invited Coda Audio’s Sebastian Baehr to deliver technical support for the preparation of the project, and to act as onsite system engineer to set and tune the system. Powered by Linus14D amplifiers, the system comprised 12 x AiRAY plus three ViRAY (down-fill) per side, combined with eight ViRAY (out-h
UK - The Creative Production Group, owner of Reading/Manchester-based Visions, has announced the purchase of the London-based sound reinforcement company - Dobson Sound Productions.
Dobson Sound Productions works with a wide range of artists and venues on events from small, intimate dinners through to large festivals delivering high-end systems into a wide variety of live environments.
Chris Norman,CEO, comments: “We have always looked at opportunities to expand our service to our clients and have been keen to have a base in London. We intend to keep Dobson Sound Productions at its historic location in Deer Park Road, Wimbledon where David Lewis, Bill Woods and key members of the team will be on hand to look after customers. The acquisition allows the group to significantly expand its stock holding of sound equipment with a specialist audio provider, it also allows expanded services to Dobson clients.”
Paul Dobson adds: “It is great news that Dobson Sound can continue to look after its clients. Becoming part of the larger family with the services Visions provides, creates exciting new opportunities.”
India - Creating a new platform where customers can learn from the AV industry’s leading professionals, Harman TechKnow Chat by Harman Professional India is a series of virtual, fireside chats that celebrate key contributors, projects and products across the industry.
In addition to speaking with consultants, integrators and other renowned AV professionals about their journey in the industry, HarmanTechKnow Chat will include product demonstrations and highlight noteworthy projects and case studies that feature Harman Professional solutions.
"Harman has been at the forefront of engineering audio solutions for the professional, consumer and automotive markets for decades,” said Aditya Todi, senior director of sales and marketing for Harman Professional Solutions, India and SAARC. “Continuing the same pioneering spirit, we're introducing Harman TechKnow Chat - a medium to showcase and learn from some of the key experts in the Indian AV industry. Through the series, you can expect insightful case studies, fireside chats, product demos as well as conversations that you can enjoy and learn from."
Upcoming sessions include: Digital Switching and Conference Room Audio with Mradul Sharma, principal consultant and managing director, 3CDN Workplace Tech Pvt; Entertainment Series Speakers with Sunny Sarid, principal consultant and managing director, Sound of Music India, and Architectural Lighting with Kelvin Ashby-King, Principal consultant & managing director, T2 Technology Consulting.
Further Harman TechKnow Chat session
Ireland - Fiach is a new work by Philip Doherty that unites the disciplines of theatre, cinema and comedy in a live onstage and in-car drama, accompanied by large format video visuals, powerful sound system and theatrical lighting all in a Covid-safe drive-in viewing environment.
It is also an example of how a kit of eight Astera Titan Tubes, used with thought and invention by lighting designer Mick Murray can go a long way.
The Irish-language work was presented (with English surtitles) by Fíbín in association with An Taibhdhearc in a car park at Baile na hAbhann, Connemara, County Galway, starring award-winning actors Fionnuala Flaherty and Dara Devaney.
Producers Fíbín asked Mick Murray to create the lighting, video and staging designs. With an impressive array of idiosyncratic mixed media projects to his credit, Mick jumped at the chance and reached for Astera Titan Tubes – supplied by lighting rental and installations specialist Cue One – as a practical, powerful and aesthetically pleasing lighting solution.
Mick and Philip (Doherty), who also directed his work, discussed numerous elements and ideas. The requirement was for a mix of cinematic and theatrical lighting techniques and treatments, and for this to work properly, the quality of light was “hugely important” stated Mick.
As Philip really wanted to immerse the audience in the show, in the stage design Mick positioned the cars – the dealer’s Ford Capri and the policewoman’s unmarked Nissan Primera vehicle – on staging decks with the actors inside as
Germany - Thomas Giegerich is someone who likes to keep ahead of the game. He and his team at bright! studios, based in Frankfurt, were already planning to add a new ‘extended reality’ division to their visual design and services business at some point during 2020, which was in anticipation of it being more widely adopted - in particular - by television productions and video projects.
The team at bright! studios were already working with real-time tracking and real-time rendering software like Unreal Engine and Notch as part of their creative workflow, as well as running a busy show and events equipment rental company from the same premises, so combining these skills into a new product was a logical step.
Further, with the launch of the xR services department in mind, they had already built a small production studio and produced some demonstration reels in January 2020.
So, when the coronavirus pandemic spread around the globe, all these plans were rapidly accelerated as they fast-forwarded their timeline from 12 months to 12 days.
In that time, the first iteration of a fully functional streaming xR studio started receiving bookings almost immediately as live events were shutting down worldwide.
More space was cleared in the warehouse by moving some of the events kit into exterior storage and the bright! Virtual Production Studio was born.
The initial studio set up includes Robe Esprite LED profiles and Spiider LED wash beams for front and overhead lighting, with some LEDBeam 150s for back light.
The studio area is equ
Ireland - With restaurants, hotels, businesses and public amenities beginning to reopen across the EU, temperature testing has become a mandatory requirement to protect against COVID-19. In an effort to support the protection of our customers and reopen safely, Mountain Productions’ global e-commerce platform MTN Shop EMEA has introduced a new temperature screening technology.
The Xenon Fever Defence is a standalone facial temperature screening solution that can screen users in less than one second, helping to avoid congestion at busy entrances. This system can capture early signs of fever and provides an accurate reading to +/- 0.3°C. Upon reading of the temperature, this stop-go system alerts an individual of their result via a red or green light. Should a user have an elevated temperature, an audible message and warning alarm will sound.
With its sleek and unobtrusive build, along with its ability to operate without the use of internet connection, this device can be installed in almost any public setting, says the company.
To date, the Xenon Fever Defence has been installed at companies and organisations across a number of different industries in the Irish, European and US markets in industries including construction, hospitality, office, retail and education. To learn more, visit Shopmtn.eu.
Mexico - A full complement of Elation luminaires gave a spectacular closing to Colombian singer Sebastián Yatra's tour earlier this year in Mexico City, where he shared the stage with several artists, including Mexican singer Carlos Rivera. Chris Penso, an experienced lighting designer who has worked with Latin stars such as Franco de Vita, Carlos Vives, Chayanne and Marc Anthony, was responsible for lighting Yatra's tour.
For two special performances at the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City, the amount of lighting gear was enhanced and to spectacular effect. At Penso’s disposal were 66 Chorus Line 16 LED pixel bars, 36 Rayzor 760 LED wash/beam lights, 34 Smarty Hybrid and 28 Smarty Max moving heads, 10 Fuze Wash Z350 single source par moving heads, 24 ACL 360 Matrix LED moving head panels, 20 Protron 3K Color strobes and 12 DTW Blinder 700 IP. Yatra worked with video engineer and content creator Williams Hincapie on the tour.
Penso commented about his lighting design: "The objective for this tour was to have a wide variety of textures, atmospheres and different sensations. Since Sebastian's repertoire is very diverse, we wanted to be able to go from very aggressive and dynamic looks to very subtle and minimal scenes.”
The LD revealed his favourite Elation lights to be the Chorus Line 16, positioned above the LED screen in the centre of the stage with others in musician platforms and on the stage proscenium; and the Rayzor 760, which were mounted in pairs on three parallel structures to project general washes or narrow beams thanks to its wid
USA - Hughie’s Event Production Services, a premiere source of quality event production service and professional industry equipment in the Ohio and Western Pennsylvania region, recently replaced some of its older AV rental equipment with new, cutting-edge technology.
The company found the solution it was looking for with EAW’s ADAPTive line including the Anna Loudspeaker and Otto Subwoofer. In addition to the ADAPTive line, Hughie’s also relies on EAW’s RS123 self-powered loudspeakers for a range of projects.
From its inception in 1953, Hughie’s Event Production Services has always placed the highest value on quality of service. The Hughie’s team embarked on an 18-month search to find its new PA system. “We’ve known that EAW has made quality products for a very long time and that’s one of the main reasons they were on our radar during our upgrade search,” says project manager Jim O’Connor, Hughie’s. “When we heard about EAW’s ADAPTive line, we were very intrigued. It was clearly a system that we had to take a better look at.”
On hearing the system, the Hughie’s team knew that EAW was the right fit for them and their clients. “We knew EAW’s ADAPTive system was the right call from the minute we heard it. The sound and the sheer versatility of the different types of events that we could do with it was very appealing,” adds O’Connor.
“With our new EAW ADAPTives, we can take a few cabinets for small, ballroom type applications, or we could take many of the same cabinets and do our large outdoor events like
USA - Global design and BIM software provider, Vectorworks is inviting users to its global Vectorworks Design Day on Tuesday, 6 October. This virtual event is geared toward designers in the architectural, interior architecture, landscape and entertainment industries and will educate customers on the new Vectorworks 2021 features, while providing access to a variety of live and on-demand presentations and discussions.
This year, attendees can expect a welcome presentation from Vectorworks CEO Dr. Biplab Sarkar, where he will share the direction of development and deliver a keynote that covers product strategies centred around the theme of this year’s release Simplicity to Design the Complex.
“The global COVID-19 pandemic has altered the lives of many, which is why we are taking this opportunity to bring Vectorworks Design Day to our users in a virtual format, so more people can learn about the new features and tool improvements in Vectorworks 2021,” said Dr. Sarkar.
“We look forward to giving a behind-the-scenes look at how our latest release was created to empower designers of all disciplines with simple solutions to design their most complex projects. Our live Q&A will allow us to connect with our customers worldwide and offer a two-way conversation that not only fields their pressing questions but also shares how Vectorworks is adapting to best support our customers given these challenging times.”
The event will also include core feature and technology updates from industry experts and exclusive on-demand presentations f
South Africa - Whilst South Africa has just moved to Level 1 allowing events for up to 250 guests indoors and 500 people outdoor, technical supplier Multi-Media has utilised the past few months to establish a virtual platform for the future and something that can be expanded upon with the new eased restrictions while adhering to strict safety protocols.
Multi-Media has seven virtual studios based in Johannesburg and Cape Town, which have opened doors for businesses and financial institutions, to continue communicating with their audience during this time. The multi-purpose studio spaces have been used for live events, virtual events and broadcasts (complete with customised 3D virtual sets) and product launches. In addition, Multi-Media has partnered with Century City Conference Centre (CCCC) in the Western Cape, to create additional virtual space.
Event planners and businesses are encouraged to use their imaginations as, thanks to Level 1, the diverse Multi-Media stages could serve as a hybrid event, live show or an option to host multiple satellite venues, all linked up, across the country.
“It took us time to mobilize and adapt to a different way of doing business, but the main concern was trying to communicate to clients how our service could add value,” explains Tim Fish, owner of Multi-Media. The eye-catching virtual studio has been used for a wide variety of events including talk shows, successful car and product launches, educational programmes and various broadcasts. More recently, the green screen formed the backdrop for a music video w
UK - Studiomaster’s popular ClubXS compact mixer series has received an upgrade with the introduction of uprated 6-, 8-, 10- and 12-channel ‘XS+’ models.
The addition of a DSP on/off foot-switch socket comes with new black livery - matching the brand’s digiLiVE console series - and more ergonomic colour coding of channel rotary controls.
ClubXS has been a big seller for Studiomaster since its introduction in 2016. A dedicated compact design for small to medium entertainment installations or portable live sound, it offers a wealth of product-class leading features and specs for these applications at an amazing price point. The ClubXS+ refresh maintains the value for money proposition with 6-, 8-, 10- and 12-input channel models now equipped with the DSP on/off foot-switch capability, bringing them into line with the already existent ClubXS16+ model.
Input channel configurations on all models feature two stereo channels, and increasing +48V phantom power mic channel counts across the range, with; two on the ClubXS6+, four on the ClubXS8+, six on the ClubXS10+, eight on the ClubXS12+ 8, and 12 on the ClubXS16+.
Series’ specifications include balanced mic/line connectors, three-band EQ, built-in variable independent input channel compression (non Stereo chs), two aux channels, channel MUTE switch, 16 programmable DSP effects, and a versatile MP3/USB/SD card playback and recording system. This includes a Bluetooth playback capability that enables playback of audio from phones, laptops and other Bluetooth devices. High quality 60mm smo
UK - AV integrators, Old Barn Audio (OBA), have been specifying Martin Audio’s CDD series on a regular basis, ever since it was first released in 2015. And they have just added a new fitness centre to that roster.
When Steven Kelly, who runs the Natural Fit Gym in Tunbridge Wells with partner Shaun Harris, contacted OBA, their first requirement was a state of the art audio system.
“This is the first of what will be a series of upmarket gyms and they wanted the best,” recalls OBA director Phil Clark. “We told them straight away that they needed Martin Audio.” The client was reassured not only by this, but the fact that OBA are also based in the Kent spa town.
Another condition was that the speakers needed to be discreet. And so OBA opted for the ultra-compact CDD5. “Even though the CDD5 is the smallest in the CDD range they give great power, clarity and dispersion,” he says. “It’s a high-end solution, and being black, set against a black ceiling the sound source is virtually invisible.”
The gym, which includes a sunken swimming pool, is divided into four zones as far as sound distribution is concerned: café, main gym, changing rooms and members area. All four playback devices are individually controlled by the instructors’ iPhones and iPads, with bespoke music for many of the classes, played out at BGM levels.
“Steven Kelly was so impressed with the sound system that he will be running with Martin Audio again at their second venue, which will be in Hove,” continues Clark.
“We install CDD because they are
UK - Shaun Pearce, MD of Pearce Hire, is actively lobbying the government, as are many throughout the sector. He is asking for urgent government intervention. Specifically the continuation of SEISS (self-employment income support scheme) for those individuals working in the industry, continuing furlough support for employees and extending rates relief to event hire businesses (most of which are SMEs and owner-operated like Pearce Hire).
Pearce and his management team were looking forward to a record year in 2020, recruiting another four permanent members of staff with typically, over 70 seasonal freelance technicians being employed. Pearce Hire was on the cusp of rolling out its busiest summer season ever when the government shut down the economy and everything came to a grinding halt. “The impact was immediate and disastrous for us,” says the MD.
As an event production company, with an expertise in temporary power and production services for outdoor events and greenfield site events, May to October are Pearce Hire’s busiest months. With an all too familiar and gloomy story, Pearce explains what happened next. “Even before lockdown was officially announced we had started to get cancellations from early March onwards. From then on it was a downward spiral and within six weeks we had lost over 85% of our annual business because of circumstances entirely out of our, or anybody else’s control.”
Late Autumn and Christmas work is also now being cancelled as fears of a second spike loom. “We have an extremely loyal customer base and many of
Italy - GLP’s new KNV series has been used for the first time in Italy, on two high profile broadcast TV shows.
The first of these was Radionorba Vodafone Battiti Live, where DoP Massimo Pascucci featured a large selection of KNV Cube, KNV Dot and KNV Line in the scenography, working alongside set designer Luigi Maresca and show director, Luigi Antonini.
This popular musical show is produced by Radionorba and broadcast by TeleNorba and Mediaset on the Italia 1 channel. Hosted by Alan Palmieri and Elisabetta Gregoraci, it features leading artists and their hits of the summer.
Generally, the traditional five episodes are recorded during the months of June and July in five different locations that represent the main cities of Puglia. However, this year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the show would have been cancelled were it not for a supreme production effort and the rapid drop off of infections. Thus a single location was chosen - the square immediately in front of the Aragonese Castle of Otranto - in order to avoid moving equipment and manpower.
All GLP fixtures are imported into Italy by distributor, Alto Lighting, and for this show were supplied by rental company, MOD Srl.
Massimo Pascucci had no hesitation in using GLP’s solutions after seeing videos of the KNVs in use. “Because in this show I had focussed a lot on using the lights graphically, the product seemed perfect to me,” he said. Thus 12 of the KNV Cubes were accompanied by 25 KNV Dot and 10 KNV Live. Each KNV format can be used independently, or seamlessly com
Colombia - TV singing contest The Voice continues to dominate global viewing habits, and The Voice Kids in Colombia on Caracol Television is one incarnation of the phenomenon. Like its sister shows around the world, the spectacle demands ever-better visuals as each season ups the one before.
For the latest Colombian kids’ version of the show, video designer Alvaro Fuentes, from Bogotá-based visual design company Visual in Motion, drew on his collection of Green Hippo gear to achieve the ambitious looks required by the production team. Fuentes’s Hippotizer armoury is headed up by a Hippotizer Karst, which alongside a family of Hippotizer Media Servers drove the content for Season 4.
“Because of the complex LED screens setup on stage, which were in different positions, sizes and resolutions, we needed a tool to map the content onto the surfaces,” says Fuentes. “That’s where Hippotizer is a huge help - VideoMapper is the perfect tool, making it really easy to make everything fit and synchronise.
“The other tool that we value the most is the DMX component, since we need to synchronize the video content and also the lighting fixtures, we wrap it all together in a lighting desk that controls everything via Art-Net.”
For The Voice Kids, Fuentes and his team positioned LED screens on every wall of the set. All were different sizes, including tall strips of 1m x 4.5m to contrast others at 3m x 4.5m. Between these screens, 3m x 4m boxes with the The Voice logo were displayed, illuminated by LED nodes mapped
USA - Christie has announced the launch of the Christie Mirage SST RGB pure laser projector with a 50,000-lumen light source. With the same small and flexible form factor of the original 35,000 lumen Mirage SST, the new 50,000 lumen model cranks up the brightness for spectacular visual experiences, says the company.
The Mirage SST features a fibre-coupled, ultra-compact projection head weighing just under 51 kilograms and a remote light source that can be located up to 50m away from the head. It is engineered specifically for complex applications that require a high-brightness projector with incredible image fidelity, but that are tight on space such as venues without projection booths or outdoor weatherproof enclosures, or where quiet operation is critical and otherwise challenging to achieve.
“The new Mirage SST is a powerhouse in a small package,” says Larry Paul, executive director, technology and custom solutions, Christie. “With the chilling equipment and light source installed away from the projection head, as well as the ultra-low output of 2501 BTU, it gives users a flexible and quiet solution for theme parks, projection mapping spectaculars, domes and planetariums.”
A wide range of lens options are offered for added installation flexibility, with a total of 10 high-brightness 4K lenses with ratios from an ultra-short throw 0:38:1 to a long throw 7:69:1, and eight high-contrast lenses that offer enhanced contrast performance from 2000:1 to 5000:1.
Christie Mirage SST features TruLife electronics, a proprietary electronics plat
Germany - d&b audiotechnik has announced the introduction of a new addition to the company's product repertoire, the 44S loudspeaker. The 44S is d&b’s first flush mountable cabinet, delivering compact, high performance audio and a wide range of flexible mounting options.
“For audio professionals who may be challenged by dimensions, architecture, or aesthetics, the 44S loudspeaker is a powerful, compact, flush-mountable loudspeaker that provides the sound needed, no matter what space they have to work with,” comments Wolfgang Schulz, d&b product manager. “It’s a very compact point source loudspeaker for flexible use in nearfield applications, and there is a big need in our industry for this type of form factor.”
An intelligent waveguide and baffle design creates a very smooth horizontal dispersion down to the lower frequencies while being tightly focused vertically. The 90º x 30º dispersion pattern keeps sound directed exactly where it should be.
The asymmetric cabinet design and the optional back box supplies additional flexibility that allows adjustments of +/- 20º in 5º increments, accommodating different listening heights. A rotatable waveguide extends this to both horizontal and vertical positioning.
Paired with the 10D or 30D installation amplifiers the 44S claims an exceptionally high performance to size ratio providing a powerful 121dB and123dB output, respectively.
“We at d&b are very proud to showcase our ongoing commitment to the installation market with the launch of this new product”, comme
USA - At the end of 2019, footwear giant Crocs made the decision to move its warehouse to a brand-new distribution centre in Dayton, Ohio. At the time, the company had no idea just how its operations would be challenged in the months ahead, or how important the safety and operation of the distribution centre would become as an essential facility. Fast forward to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic that has impacted every corner of the globe, Crocs took the necessarily steps to install an overhead paging system in its new distribution centreto ensure it was set up for business as usual in a world facing unusual circumstances.
In order to get the system quickly up and running, audio supplier Chapel-Romanoff Technologies (CRT), turned to LEA Professional to ensure Crocs could operate efficiently. CRT was commissioned to provide the overhead paging system for the facility which, at the time, had none.
CRT used four of LEA Professional’s Connect Series amplifiers including three of their Network Connect CS354 4-channel, 350 Watt units and one of their Network Connect CS352 2-channel, 350 Watt units. All four units include free access to the LEA Professional Cloud Platform, to provide systems integrators with powerful, reliable and secure remote monitoring and control capabilities.
“For this project we didn’t need a two-channel amp with 1000 watts but we also didn't want a 10-watt multichannel amp. LEA Professional is right in this sweet spot and provided us with an option for 4 and 8 channels in a single rack space between 200 to 300 Watts per channel,”
USA/Europe - During the COVID-19 pandemic, literally every aspect of life has had to be rethought, but few verticals have faced hurdles like education is facing today. Whether or not to hold classes in person or remotely has become literally a fundamental choice. Marist College, a private liberal arts college founded in 1905 in Poughkeepsie, NY, faced those same difficult options as it readied itself to start the new school year in late August.
Technology solutions from Audio-Technica made that task i easier and successful. The school acquired and installed 150 Audio-Technica U851RO Omnidirectional Condenser Boundary Microphones and 50 ATDM-0604 SmartMixers, which now outfit 50 classrooms at the school. But the story of how this project came about is an education in itself.
“We wanted to offer a learning experience as close to traditional in-person classes, using a blended synchronous model in which the teacher and half the class are live and the other half are remote, while still conforming to all the New York State and Department of Health requirements and staying within our budget,” explains Lee Walis, manager of technical services at Marist College, an AVIXA certified technology specialist who would design and install the systems.
“At first, I thought we’d need a high microphone count in each room, at least five in the smaller classrooms and a minimum of ten in the larger lecture halls, as well as multiple mixers per room to handle a variety of different processing needs. An additional design requirement is to include a voice-lift feat
World - Creative Technology (CT) has recently launched a new website. Since joining the NEP group three years ago, the CT business world-wide has expanded significantly through a combination of organic growth, acquisition and re-branding of regional businesses and is now operates from 24 inventoried locations across 15 countries.
The new website built over a 12-month period provides a consistent look, feel and messaging while allowing a high degree of local customisation for CT’s evolving global structure, says the company.
At launch there are dedicated new sites for US, UK, Middle East and Spain including multiple language options on the Spanish site.
In the coming weeks Asia Pacific, Northern Europe, Ireland, Germany and Holland will be added each with dedicated sites focusing on relevant local service offerings and market sector activities and significant additional language functionality.
The development process has been led by Kris Jonson, director of marketing for CT in North America who comments: “With this new website we have more flexibility with SEO, and our graphics have been updated with a more modern look and feel which is crucial to keeping the brand fresh.”
Dave Crump, CEO for CT’s EME division, adds: “We were determined to develop a new web platform which clearly communicates our core values and global service proposition , whilst allowing a high degree of regional flexibility, a clear focus on our local delivery capability and reflects the widely varying customer culture in different geographic markets. Kri