World - Shawn Mendes: The Tour hit the road at the beginning of March on a nine-month world tour under a lighting rig which comprises Ayrton Khamsin-S, Ayrton Bora-S and Ayrton Mistral-S fixtures as the major components.
LD Louis Oliver avoided the use of followspots or remote tracking as part of his design intent for the show, choosing instead to work with Ayrton fixtures to provide key lights for the young Canadian singer, and carve out dramatic backdrops with creative back, top and side light.
“We wanted to keep the performance space organic, allowing the technology to hide in the background,” he says. “With the design, we wanted to craft bold environments for Shawn to perform within. We tested the new Ayrton fixtures and found they could compete with anything else on the market. Ayrton has created a range of LED fixtures you can use without compromise.”
The performing area is a 40ft wide circular stage with steps downstage left and right leading to wide, open 26ft-30ft wings. This gives a 280° line of sight to audiences in most venues, and the front seats curve around the stage to bring them as close as possible to the artist. The set is overhung by a large disc shaped video screen and echoed by five curved sets of trusses hanging in a massive upstage void, all of which move on Kinesys motors.
The 78 Khamsin-S profile units are the workhorses of the show, rigged on three motorised trusses upstage of the performance area, and on the curved front- and B-stage trusses, in addition to five units strategically placed
World - It has been 40 years since British rockers Def Leppard released their debut EP. Since then, they have sold more than 100 million record sales, releasing multi-platinum and diamond-certified albums. The band have also recently been inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Following their eight-month stadium tour, Def Leppaard are preparing for their next stint across Europe and North America, which begins in June. Live engineers Ronan McHugh and Ted Bible are relying on DiGiCo consoles to get the job done.
McHugh has had a longstanding relationship with Def Leppard, which started in the 1990s.
“I went straight from school into Sun Studios in Dublin, and from there, got into the live side of the industry, just to keep working,” he explains. “I went on to do a bit for Sanctuary Management in London in the '90s with Kerbdog & The Almighty - always in the studio and on the road. It was during recording with The Almighty that I crossed paths with Def Leppard, and they’ve kept me busy in one way or another since then.”
McHugh has always been a FOH guy when it comes to live sound, and although he has worked on a number of consoles - analogue and digital - his go-to today is a DiGiCo SD5.
“When I first mixed the band live, it was as fill-in for a Japanese tour, and I spec’d a Midas XL4 with a bunch of outboard. I finished the tour with a [Yamaha] PM5D at FOH, which made sense to me at the time, coming from the analogue world,” he says. “But from that point on, DiGiCo have been stepping up their front end - fir
Italy - Sixty82 has recently appointed Audiosales s.r.l. as the new representative in Italy for its full trussing and staging product line.
Effective immediately, Sixty82's Italian customers "can rely upon the qualities of a dedicated and enthusiastic team, to meet their requirements," says the manufacturer.
Date Jonkman, Sixty82’s executive account manager, comments: “We are delighted to be working with Audiosales. They have a well-established position in the market, and a strong team of experienced people. So we are very pleased they joined the Sixty82 family.”
Stefano Rocchi, owner of Audiosales, adds: "Sixty82 is a team composed of professionals that have contributed in a significant way to the development of the staging and trussing market in the recent decades. Their payoff “The New Original” describes in the best way who the people behind Sixty82 are. They are furthermore providing versatility, knowledge, and innovation, like the new Sixty82 RFIDtag.”
Italy - Adamson Systems Engineering formally introduced its ultra-compact S7 line array enclosures among other additions to the tour-proven S-Series at Prolight + Sound 2019. Italian live event and production company Pianozero joined the Adamson Network with an investment in a versatile new S7 system ahead of its public launch.
“The Adamson S7 is the product dedicated to those looking for a high-quality, versatile, and ultra-compact audio solution from a proven brand,” says Stefano Rocchi, owner of Audiosales, Adamson’s exclusive Italian distributor. “Thanks to its growing profile in the Italian market, Adamson continues to be in high demand not only for major tours and festivals, but also luxury events, conventions, and other applications where the S7 is now an optimal solution due to its compact size and world-renowned performance.”
Pianozero’s new Adamson package is comprised of 16 S7 two-way, full-range line array enclosures and 12 complementary S118 subwoofers.
“As a multi-service company, Pianozero is constantly seeking the best possible solutions for our customers’ needs, from lighting to audio to video and beyond,” begins Pianozero owner Michele Rebesco. “Our customers always ask for state-of-the-art audio solutions, and we required a compact, high-performance PA system with simple rigging that would properly serve everything from big live shows to theatre applications to conferences.
“The only solution we found that met every one of our needs came from Adamson. We’re very happy to be one of the first companies
Germany - Prolight + Sound in Frankfurt was filled with innovations and exciting experiences at the d&b stand and demo room this year. Featured on the stand was the d&b SL Series - GSL and KSL Systems, the d&b Soundscape, and new ‘little wonder’, the B8-SUB/Bi8-SUB, as well as the d&b enabling technologies, proving it’s not just the big things that matter.
Visitors to the d&b booth had the opportunity to see the small B8-SUB/ Bi8-SUB for the first time. At a mere 170mm tall the subwoofer’s low profile belies an exceptionally high performance to size ratio. It’s a suitable fit for tight spaces, be they fixed installation or mobile production environments, reproducing frequencies from 43 Hz to 170 Hz.
In the d&b Soundscape demo room there was a real buzz with some very special guests; renowned theatre designer Sebastian Frost, Grammy award winning artist and engineer Imogen Heap, and Serge Gräfe, sound engineer and designer for Kraftwerk, all offering unique insights into their experiences with the d&b Soundscape in the My Soundscape sessions.
The daily Art and Engineering with the d&b Soundscape sessions also proved to be popular amongst guests eager to hear artists, sound designers and FoH mixers discuss their working experience with the d&b Soundscape.
Prolight + Sound also offered visitors the chance to learn more about the Milan protocol and DS20 audio network bridge, the first d&b Milan enabled product, and the new d&b ArrayCalc Exchange SketchUp plugin which could be found at t
UK - ROE Visual and Backstage Academy have kicked of their partnership with the delivery of a batch of LED panels from the LED solutions manufacturer and two days of intensive training.
ROE Visual will sponsor Backstage Academy with several types of its LED panels, thereby providing these industry-renowned products for training purposes.
“ROE Visual has always been keen to support the industry with in-depth knowledge on LED technology in general and the use of its LED panels,” states Marina Prak, marketing manager for ROE Visual. “That’s why we offer the ROE Academy on several locations or as in-house training. The importance of knowledge transfer can’t be over-estimated. Knowing Miles for quite some years it was not difficult to start a partnership when Backstage Academy contacted us with a request for sponsoring.”
“We are pleased to be supporting Backstage Academy with ROE Visual products and look forward to host the ROE Academy at Production Park. Access to these excellent facilities is a nice add-on, it will allow us to support our UK clients and users with training activities closer to home,” comments Auke Meijer, sales director.
Providing some of the most frequently used LED panels for current events and tours will bring the students LED knowledge up-to-date with the industry standard products. ROE Visual will provide the Carbon series CB5 as well as the Black Pearl BP3 LED panels, including a complete set of hanging, stacking accessories and processors.
“With this partnership Backstage Academy continues its stra
Italy - Music & Lights will be on show throughout the 2019 edition of Music Inside Rimini, held in Rimini from 5 to 7 May.
The fixtures from Prolights and Tribe will be featured on the Live You Play rock stages at the event.
Stage N.3, Hall C3 will be fully lit by Prolights luminaires, recreating the atmosphere of a real live show offering visitors a true live immersive experience. The stage will host live performances and the chance to get up-close-and-personal with the latest lighting and video technologies fully installed on a real stage giving visitors the chance to see the fixtures in their natural habitat.
MIR will also mark the national launch of the new Prolights, Tribe and ArchWork solutions recently featured in Frankfurt at Prolight + sound. Visitors, customers and partners are all invited to meet the team on stage 3 of Hall C3 in the Rimini exhibition centre.
South Africa - Team Robe T1 successfully crossed over the finish line coming 112th overall at the 2019 Absa Cape Epic.
Paul Newman of Lucidity Technical Production Services and Mike Hewan, a Johannesburg-based business consultant, were sponsored by Robe Lighting and DWR Distribution as they put their heads down for one of the most brutal mountain biking races the world has to offer.
“It was a fantastic opportunity to support Team Robe T1, and we were very proud to be involved in Cape Epic for another year,” comments Josef Valchar of Robe Lighting. “Cycling is a popular sport in the Czech Republic and we are all big fans, as well as privileged to play a small part in such a legendary competition.”
With the South African entertainment industry behind them, Team Robe T1 shared video clips and photos throughout the race. Even at times when they ran out of legs and out of steam, they managed to come in smiling and solid every day and helped each other through the dark spots. While the pair had a target of being in the top 120, they were thrilled to do even better.
“We had a fantastic race. We didn’t have any mechanical issues which was indicitive indictive of our team name,” grins Paul. “I really want to thank Robe’s Josef Valchar and Pavel Nemec, as well as DWR Distribution’s Duncan Riley and Robert Izzett. We gave it everything we had. Thank you for allowing us to be part of this magnificent race, it has been very special.”
Duncan Riley and Rob Izzett agree: “Team Robe T1 rocked it, thank you for making us proud and
USA - When it was time for Lightwire Theatre - the group behind touring productions The Ugly Duckling, Dino-Light, Moon Mouse and more - to step up its technical game, the venue turned to RC4 Wireless for wireless dimming and DMX needs.
“We use RC4Magic Series 3 [2.4GHz] transceivers with four and two channel dimmers; we wire into 12V inverters for EL [electroluminescent] wire. The [RC4] products are as low tech as you want or as high tech. I’m not even scratching the surface of what RC4 products can do, and it’s changed the way we can make shows,” notes Ian Carney, co-founder and performer at Lightwire.
The RC4Magic 2.4GHz Series 3 line of products are the firm’s most popular units, and has been a staple in theatres, theme parks and on concert tours. “My objective with RC4Magic, and all our Series 3 wireless dimmers, is power control for anything a props master or show electrician might need to manage. Along with LEDs, lamps, motors, and more, RC4 dimmers can drive electroluminescent materials, like EL wire. Ian and Lightwire have done a spectacular job of putting this functionality to use. Their award-winning work is beautiful and amazing to see. I love it,” says James David Smith, president and chief product designer at RC4 Wireless.
Lightwire shows travel the world, and take RC4 Wireless products along for the journeys. “All the units are being stored in non-climate-controlled environments, on things like ships going to China. If they’re sitting in the trailer and it’s freezing cold or it’s really hot
UK - Southwest London’s Stylus Productions has recently purchased a complete Allen & Heath dLive FOH and monitors package from Autograph Sales & Installations.
Comprising two dLive S5000 control surfaces plus DM48 and DM0 I/O racks, the new equipment is to be deployed with Australian singer-songwriter Dean Lewis, who sets out on tour this April, starting in the UK and continuing throughout the year across Europe.
Sam Thomas and Oliver Weeks, co-directors of Stylus Productions, comment: “We were becoming more aware of the increasing popularity of the dLive series consoles within the touring market, having seen them crop up on artist riders more regularly as well as hearing anecdotal feedback from engineers. So, when a new client, namely Dean Lewis, came to us spec'ing Allen & Heath we were happy to use that as the springboard into our first investment in dLive consoles.
“We’ve elected to go for a core system of S5000 control surfaces with a DM48 MixRack because we feel, as did the project’s engineers, that it affords a great balance of size and functionality. The addition of the DM0 not only provides redundancy, but good levels of independent control for both FOH and MON engineers to do their thing.”
Thomas and Weeks add: “As with all consoles in our inventory we like to ensure that they can meet the requirements of our clients no matter what the circumstances, which is why from the get-go we decided to expand the system with optical fibre capabilities and Waves networking options. The OpticalCON protocol fibreACE c
USA - Fine Design Associates has been designing exhibit lighting at leading tradeshows for more than 25 years, working closely with creative company to create lighting for exhibition displays. Most recently, Fine Design was responsible for lighting an industry leading brand’s booth at the CES show held in Las Vegas in January.
Principal designer, Paul Fine and his team have been working on a global technology leaders’ booth making them stand out at CES for many years. The lighting design has evolved over time to add more lighting fixtures to enhance the desired effects of their client.
The booth design for this client had beautifully printed SEG (silicon-edged graphic) fabric walls extending from the four corners of the booth. Large entrances were available on all four sides of the booth. The walls created an intimate space for the exhibitor to display their products, and have demonstrations / meetings with the attendees. Using the Chroma-Q Color Force II (72”) fixtures, Fine Design was able to transform the fabric walls from opaque to translucent, depending on the desired effect. When the walls were translucent, they were up-lit in beautiful reds, pastels, or white. An attendee could see in or out of the space as if they were looking through an etched glass window. Adding this additional row of fixtures on the ground this year has really allowed the exhibit space to pop.
“In order to be effective at exhibit lighting, we need to know how to light the wall, as well as having the control that we need.” comments Fine. “The steady and cons
USA - Mean Girls, The Musical has been playing at Broadway’s August Wilson Theatre since April 2018. The new production features a dynamic, video-led design that seamlessly changes playing locations. Such scenic agility is facilitated by one of the most ambitious uses of story-enhancing video content on a Broadway show.
Responsible for this video content is British video design team Finn Ross and Adam Young of FRAY Studio, who worked closely with the show’s director and choreographer, Casey Nicholaw and set designer, Scott Pask, to create the sophisticated and at times surreal world of North Shore High and its students.
The set comprises two stage-wide curved walls with sliding doors and panels. The top screen is set back to create a sense of depth and dimension. In addition, there are six LED screen legs that bleed off into the wings.
Images are delivered using five disguise gx 1 media servers, linked to 22 NovaStar NovaPro HD processors, and triggered by a combination of timecode and cues from the lighting and sound department. The content created in Notch is beat-perfect, complementing every change in mood, tempo and energy and ensuring that the show feels slick from beginning to end.
Video content switches scenic location with filmic dexterity from present day to the past - fantasy locations, basements, school corridors, a swimming pool, a party, canteens to classrooms - and that’s just in the first act.
“Casey had a very clear and absolute vision for the stage design and Tina Fey’s script changes location so fast it
USA - Rat Sound Systems is marking its 19th year of providing sound reinforcement at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival. The Camarillo-based company debuted Outline’s Newton 16+8 audio processing units as its processor of choice.
Newton is Rat’s front of house hub through which each mixing console is connected and then capable of addressing the myriad of connectivity options. Final mixes from FOH and Newton are delivered directly to each of the stage’s PA’s or out to the delay tower systems that populate each of the seven stage locations.
“The Newton 16+8 coupled with our Dashboard software is a dream come true in technical innovation and flexibility,” states Jason Farah, J2/Outline US, North American sales. “Newton offers smart, real-time technical solutions to many of the on-going problems Rat Sound technicians experience, and the industry as a whole, for that matter,” Farah explains. “A festival the size and scope of Coachella requires FOH agility with each artist’s mixing console technical needs. Now Rat Sound can simply ask how they would like their signal sent.”
Jon Monson, head of touring for Rat Sound, comments: “This is the solution that we have been waiting quite some time for, the innovative technology coupled with dependability is unparalleled in the industry and it is now used in each of our standard drive racks because of its flexibility.”
Rat Sound’s own Dave Rat adds: “We’re extremely happy with the capabilities of Newton now, and we have been contributing ideas, requests for future capabili
Germany - Eight of ArKaos’ new 4K studio servers were providing a 360° video solution for the recent fourth German edition of popular TV franchise Dancing on Ice, which was recorded at the Magic Media Company’s Coloneum venue in Ossendorf, Cologne, in a special set up that was customised for the first series.
The show’s lighting designer, Manuel Da Costa, has lit DSDS (Germany Seeks the Superstar) and many other leading German talent and music shows. For Dancing on Ice, Da Costa worked alongside his regular visuals designer Dennis Muhl who wanted to run the video cues via his grandMA3 console. The video and screens supplier was ETC Germany.
They approached ArKaos looking for a new server solution that could offer extremely high-quality rendering performance, and that was easy and intuitive to control from a lighting console.
They needed this for quick and precise video mapping of the large-scale LED screen covering 360sq.m and wrapping the studio which was integral to the production design, as well as hardware with genlock capabilities.
The LED screen was three different pitches - 2.8, 5.7 and 8.6, and the two main rings of LED around the studio were 6768 and 8568 x 144 pixels resolution respectively. In addition to this, four LED banners ranged between 1768 and 4160 by 728 pixels and there was a strip of LED in front of the judge’s chairs.
Eight Panasonic 31K video projectors were used to project detailed and intricate images onto the ice, effectively using it as another screen.
On top of all that,
USA - Brown Note Productions recently deployed a lighting rig designed by Matthew Smith and Brad Salt of Colourblind Production Lighting for Rufus Du Sol’s Solace tour, featuring Martin by Harman lighting solutions.
Formerly known as Rufus, Rufus Du Sol is an Australian electronic dance group formed in 2010. After releasing their fourth studio album Solace in 2018, the band embarked on an international tour spanning four continents. The group worked closely with Colourblind to create a dynamic lighting design centred around a striking LED grid backdrop.
Tasked with realising the design in a tour-friendly format for the North American legs, tour lighting provider Brown Note Productions put together a lighting package featuring Martin by HarmanVDO Sceptron 10 linear LED video strips and MAC Aura LED wash lighting fixtures.
“Colourblind developed a design concept and worked with us to evolve it from the first drawing to what became the final rig,” says James Watt, production manager at Brown Note Productions. “The Sceptron structure behind the band was a fundamental project to figure out, especially to make it tour-friendly while getting them the look they wanted. They knew what they wanted, and we had to figure out how to pull it off pull it off realistically to make it easy to build every day.”
The LED grid behind the band is comprised of 120 VDO Sceptron 10 linear LED fixtures arranged in ten rows. The structure spans the entire stage, with a gentle curve that wraps around on each side. Behind the grid is a massive video scre
Australia - Since its Broadway premiere in October 1954, the musical Peter Pan has captivated audiences with images of fairies, mermaids, lost boys, pirates, Captain Hook and a tick-tocking crocodile. More than 65 years after its debut, and over 10,000 miles from the Great White Way, the magic of Neverland came to life in a recent production of the J.M. Barrie classic at Parkland High School, outside Burnie, Tasmania.
Supporting the production with vivid colours and evocative gobos was a Chris Foster-designed lightshow. Foster’s design drew on the performance features of the school theatre’s new lighting system, featuring Chauvet Professional Maverick MK2 Spot fixtures, supplied by Show Systems Australia.
“Parkland High School has a phenomenal new performing arts facility, especially for a small regional public school,” says Mathew Adams of Show Systems. “However, when planning our lighting design, we had to be aware that bar loadings were somewhat limited, so we had to plan the rig for maximum versatility. This made it essential to select fixtures that were both flexible and compact. The choice of Mavericks was key to meeting this objective.”
The Show Systems team placed six Maverick MK2 fixtures on overhead LX bars, and two on the floor among the set pieces. “The Mavericks are largely used for gobo breakups and air effects,” says Adams. “Combining the MK2’s standard gobos with the dual rotating wheels provides a great mix of versatile design opportunities that, when coupled with the fixture’s other beam-altering feat
UK - Stage Electrics has appointed a new technical sales consultant for the north west.
Jayney Bell is returning to Stage Electrics after some years as a freelance lighting technician, predominantly for touring theatre. Bell was previously the London branch manager.
Anna Western, Stage Electrics sales director, comments: “Jayney is a hugely experienced production electrician and combined with her historical knowledge of how we work, she has already hit the ground running. I am excited to have someone as knowledgeable and who knows the industry as well as she does to represent us in the north west.”
UK - Recreating the velvety evocative sound of the late Luther Vandross, the 100-city Luther UK tour is drawing large enthusiastic crowds throughout the UK. Versatile R&B singer Harry Cambridge takes audiences on a dreamily romantic journey as he emulates the mellifluous vocals of the eight-time Grammy winner legend who touched millions of hearts before his untimely passing in 2005.
Supporting Cambridge’s heartfelt musical tribute is an immersive and colourful Ashely Horton-designed lightshow that features Chauvet Professional Rogue R3 Spot fixtures, supplied by Music Mann.
Horton’s lighting design is smooth, engaging and versatile. The latter quality was extremely important, given the spectrum of songs in Vandross's back catalogue.
Horton's decision to specify the Rogue R3 Spot was influenced by a desire for visual versatility. Thanks to a number of features such as a 300W LED engine, 13° - 37° zoom, and saturated colour mixing, the R3 Spot give him the tools to craft a number of visual moods for a wide variety of songs.
"We were looking for spot fixtures that had a lot to offer in terms of performance and versatility,” comments Horton. “The R3s fit perfectly for cost and flexibility. In the end, I was so impressed by the Rogue R3 that I decided to construct the entire show around it. The sheer brightness and versatility of this fixture provides incredible looks within the theatre venues we’re playing."
Positioning the eight Rogue R3 Spots in his rig all on a single upstage row of truss, Horton is able to integrate the
Acoustic Shock - The Royal Opera House has lost an appeal against a viola player who was awarded damages in 2018 for hearing loss he suffered during rehearsals for Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Christopher Goldscheider is a former viola player in the orchestra at Covent Garden, who said he was no longer able to work as a musician due to “acoustic shock” he suffered during a weekend rehearsal in 2012.
Goldscheider said the noise he was exposed to was unacceptable, and a judge ruled in his favour in March. However, in October the ROH, which is being represented by law firm BLM, was granted permission to take the case to the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal has now upheld Goldscheider’s case, although on narrower grounds. Specifically, it overturned the High Court finding that Control of Noise at Work Regulations meant employers were required to enforce the wearing of hearing protection for all players at all times during the course of a rehearsal or performance over a certain volume.
The ROH as well as the Association of British Orchestras, UK Theatre and the Society of London Theatre had argued that this would impose impossible restrictions on almost any live music situation.
Earth Song - An all-star animated environmental music video featuring the voices of Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran and Ariana Grande has gone viral on social media. The song In Earth, by comedian and rapper Lil Dicky, also has cameos from Katy Perry, Snoop Dogg and Miley Cyrus. Speaking to Time, Dicky - aka David Burd - said: "What started as a si
USA - Submissions are now open for the 2019 edition of the Knight of Illumination Awards USA (KOI-USA).
The event, which is the USA edition of the UK's respected Knight of Illumination Awards, first took place in 2018 to celebrate the talents and work of lighting and video designers across the sectors of Live for Broadcast, Theatre and Concert Touring & Events in the United States.
This year's competition features two new categories – Opera and Corporate Events – and the award ceremony and gala dinner is taking place in Las Vegas on 22 November (Friday) alongside the LDI trade show.
The categories are:
Plays - large venue
Plays - small venue
Musicals - large venue
Musicals - small venue
Live for Broadcast:
Live Performance Special - Music
Live Performance Special - Non Music
Concert Touring & Events:
Club Tour Lighting
Concert Video Content
Stage Tour Lighting
Arena Tour Lighting
Corporate Events - Video Content
Deadline for submissions is 31 July. Productions must have been performed or broadcast between 1 August 2018 and 31 July 2019 to be eligible for inclusion – find out more about entering the competition here.
Singapore - Professional entertainment solutions company Music & Lights has appointed Lighting & Sound Distribution as its exclusive distributor of Prolights, Tribe and dedicated architectural lighting brand ArchWork, for Singapore.
With over 18 years of proven track record, Lighting & Sound Distribution has earned a strong position in the show and entertainment market sector, providing quality European professional sound and lighting, architectural LEDs, trussing, media servers and special effects equipment in the Southeast Asia region.
Louis Teo of Lighting & Sound Distribution explains, “Our professional values and commitment towards product quality is what attracted us toward the Prolights, Tribe and ArchWork brands from Music & Lights. We want to ensure that we and our clients share a rewarding relationship and continued product satisfaction that lasts; and the core values at the heart of Music & Lights and each of its brands really convey and reiterate this message.”