World - Shania Twain is hitting the road with her Shania Now tour. Twain has wowed audiences in North America and Europe this summer and autumn with her fast and ever-changing stage show. The constant motion and changing looks on stage are aided and abetted by Ayrton’s MagicPanel-602 fixtures.
Creative director and lighting designer Rob Sinclair, and lighting director Michael Straun were specific in what they needed to achieve the stunning visuals for this show which are based around five large, automated LED video cubes with dancer platforms placed on top.
Sinclair stated, “Shania wanted a fast-paced show where the appearance of the stage and people constantly changed, with the band, the video cubes and the dancers in constant motion. We needed to find some square-faced lights to complement the square video cubes, and the MagicPanels were the perfect answer.”
In total, Sinclair used 100 MagicPanel-602 fixtures, creatively setting them into five overhead pods each with 20 units arranged in a 5 x 4 configuration. The pods fit with the LED cubes, hanging behind and above each of them on automated winches. The video cubes variously carry singers, dancers, the drummer and other band members and can be deployed at different heights throughout the show to add to the overall spectacle. The MagicPanel pods also move up and down and can be angled into different formations so no two songs have the same arrangement of cubes and pods throughout the show.
Sinclair and Straun are joined on the tour by production manager Joel Eriksson, lightin
UK - Back in the mists of time, dinosaurs roamed and ruled the world . . . and now with the arena spectacular Walking with Dinosaurs, they are doing so again (see production report in LSi November).
This time the mist, or rather haze and low fog, is courtesy of MDG with three ATMe haze generators and three ICE FOG Compack HP low fog generators supplied by Sonalyst, the South Wales-based production company looking after the UK and European tour of this show. Sonalyst was already aiming to expand its investment in some serious haze and fog equipment when Walking with Dinosaurs LD John Rayment approached them with his requirements for the tour which called for a huge amount of haze and low fog.
“We were really keen to get into MDG because we are aware of the capabilities of their haze and fog units as high quality, reliable machines,” says George Pakenham, project manager at Sonalyst. “When John confirmed he was a big fan of MDG, we decided to go down that route. It’s our first investment in MDG and the units have been excellent, really first class.”
He added, “a large amount of haze and low fog was needed to create the right atmosphere, so we purchased three of the ATMe haze generators and three ICE FOG Compack HP low fog generators. Each unit is put in the best position for the airflow of the venue, which of course ca
UK - The UK Hog Factor competition final took place at Production Futures as two teams competed in a lighting showdown using High End Systems’ Hog 4 console.
Rose Bruford’s ‘Two CLCs and A Norwegian Walk Into A Bar’ won the lighting programming contest, whilst ‘Hogging Bruford’ finished runners-up. The finalists programmed to Foo Fighters’ Pretender.
The judges, including renowned LD Jonathan Armstrong and senior product manager for Hog consoles, Sarah Clausen, took into account the artistic impression of the live show as well as the programming style of the Hog 4. They agreed that the winning team “produced a better structured show in the desk, and had a better use of colour and contrast with their design, portraying a better journey throughout the song”.
Clausen comments: “Both teams showed a real ability to break down the song and structure of a lighting show to fit the music. We were very impressed with both teams timing and execution.”
Since its launch in 2015, High End Systems has run Hog Factor competitions around the world at various trade shows and will be back next year at Prolight & Sound 2019 in Frankfurt.
UK - After two years of building works, the revamped front of house spaces at the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden opened to the public this autumn. As part of the renovation, a number of exhibitions and displays now enhance the new spaces and offer visitors the opportunity to learn more about the Royal Opera House and the art forms it supports as well as showcasing the ROH's past and present to inspire every day audiences. Unusual Rigging were brought on board to help devise a way of installing a number of scrims over the escalator leading to the newly refurbished spaces on Level 5.
Sarah Tatham, exhibitions manager at the Royal Opera house explains: "We approached Leon Ingram, Unusual's rigging project manager, in March 2018 to discuss the best way to hang the scrims. A principally artistic endeavour, the scrims required a technically complex hang and design. Unusual Rigging fed into the concept and generally advised us on the size of the scrims, the fixing methods and the installation."
Unusual has worked with the Royal Opera House itself and two of its design studios (Skellon Studio and Studio Eger) in the past. "Unusual is so well known in the industry we were very comfortable working with them from the word go. Our design studios developed a concept and Leon came on site to provide technical advice generally on installation and more specifically on fixing methodology. We supplied detailed drawings and the Unusual team developed the fixing methods and contributed to the paperwork for change of use of the track," explains test
South Africa - Rock band Prime Circle have invested in Robe fixtures. Marco Gomes the band’s bass guitarist, songwriter and manager together with lighting designer Benjamin ‘Benji’ Muir-Mills chose Robe miniPointes, LEDBeam 150s and VIVAs which the band have purchased from distributor DWR.
Gomes and Muir-Mills explained that touring in South Africa can be challenging - many venues on the circuit offer minimal lighting, so having their own rig now means that wherever they go, they can enjoy the continuity of a great lightshow, fans get better production values and less time is needed for re-plotting each show. Instead that creative clawback can be spent in developing the core lightshow they now enjoy with their own kit. It also makes get ins and outs significantly quicker and more efficient.
The decision to go with Robe was based on having used the products on many occasions. Pointes have always been on Benji’s favourites list, and the little LEDBeam 150 is fast becoming his preferred small wash beam fixtures.
Another key reason for choosing Robe is the service from DWR. “They are always incredibly supportive and friendly and offer some of the best general industry support in the country,” says Muir-Mills.
Prime Circle has already started using the new lighting on shows which has “upped the aesthetic substantially” as Muir-Mills explains, adding that he still has a lot of work to do in terms of developing the new show, and he wishes he could use them on every gig, but for now it will be just their SA shows when it’s practical
UK - London’s Tobacco Dock venue was the place to get the inside track as BBC Introducing staged its annual three-day discovery festival in November. Now in its second year, the BBC Introducing Live event again benefitted from a strong musical partnership with Yamaha.
Attracting around 15,000 musicians and industry people to east London, BBC Introducing Live aims to discover unsigned and upcoming artists, as well as helping young people to gain knowledge about the music business. Presented by well-known artists, DJs, managers and A&R people, the wide-ranging programme included over 100 masterclasses and interactive sessions, practical workshops and Q&A sessions, as well as performance opportunities for all levels of talent from amateur rappers to Deadmau5.
In addition to providing extensive technical support for the performance and seminar areas, Yamaha showcased a selection of carefully-selected instruments to inspire musicians and hosted a popular seminar programme; the Yamaha Sessions.
The seminar programme was delivered in conjunction with Steinberg and Line 6. Topics ranged from how to write, record and perform (Mike Coyle Tonik, Hannah Vasanth, Mo Pleasure, Billy Lockett and more) to the creation of unique sounds, and how to get started with music production (Dom Sigalas).
Yamaha also provided mixing consoles and loudspeakers for the bandstands, mini performance stages, Great Gallery stage and the 24 seminar spaces. A Nexo Geo M10 line array was brought in for the stage sponsored by record label Believe, providing sound reinfo
UK - A new 1000mm Heavy Duty Boom Arm capable of taking the weight of a moving light has been launched by Doughty Engineering. The latest addition to the Boom Arm range is set to offer users an attractive solution without the need for a brace.
Mark Chorley, design engineer at Doughty, explains: "Our Boom Arm range is already extremely popular with our customers. The regular Boom Arm works well in most scenarios and has a 25kg Safe Working Load. However, the feedback we were getting from customers is that they wanted something that would allow them to hang moving lights in environments where the overall aesthetic is important."
He continues: "Up until now, anyone wanting to hang a moving light would have to use our Braced Boom Arm which is capable of taking a 100kg weight. However this depends on a brace support which, while effective isn't necessarily the most attractive solution. We hope that the new Heavy Duty Boom Arm bridges the gap. It has a SWL of 50kg which should more than suffice in the majority of situations while still looking good in its place. We hope it's something that our customers will appreciate - and as always, we welcome feedback."
Latvia - In July, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the independent republic was celebrated with an event featuring a choir of 16,5000 voices.
Purpose-built in 1955 the Mežaparks Great Bandstand where the event was staged is an open-air venue of unexpected dimensions. Not unlike a Roman amphitheatre, except that the curved stepped crucible is where the 16,000 plus performers are arrayed, facing onto an audience of up to 30,000. With so many voices and the presentational environment, promoter Girts Majors of Positivus Event turned to audio provider UBS to design an audio solution.
“The implementation of a d&b audiotechnik system was a key component in making this event truly memorable,” says Edmunds Verners Zazerskis, MD of UBS. “UBS was founded in 1998 and we have been providing sound for different choir song festivals for many years; Nordic; Baltic Choral festivals; Latvian School Youth Song and Dance Celebrations; and the many song and dance festivals staged here in Riga, nearly all with our d&b systems.
“Even so, such a large event was not without challenges. The audience area is approximately 130m x 130m; it would not be possible to get even SPL for all seats with a simple two or four hangs of line array, even if they are twenty metres high. And such intrusive towers with long arrays would in terms of listening experience virtually split choir from audience which is completely contrary to the whole ethos of how these events are meant to be experienced. The magic feel for the audience is not to be sat in front of an enorm
Denmark - More than 130,000 people and 184 artists saw the AVB debut of Luminex Network Intelligence in a cooperation with Bright Group and Meyer Sound at the Roskilde Festival. On thr Orange stage and the Arena stage, audio was running on AVB protocol from Meyer Sound Galileo Galaxy 816 network platform through a network of 28x GigaCore 10 switches of Luminex Network Intelligence.
“We were very happy to have Luminex on board for the Roskilde festival. There are many reasons to go for the GigaCore range of Luminex but definitely the easiness, the GUI and the rock-solid reliable performance of their switches is remarkable,” says Fredrik Arwidson from Bright Group Sweden. “Furthermore, we were delighted with the upfront training, the intensive testing in our Stockholm warehouse and with the presence of Roel Apers (Support engineer) of Luminex Network Intelligence during the festival.”
“It was a great experience to test and validate our equipment with the massive Meyer Sound system upfront. The Bright Group has an impressive technical knowledge and after the test-runs together with Dennis Tholema (Meyer Sound) I was very confident our AVB debut was going to be successful,” says Roel Apers of Luminex Network Intelligence.
Artists like Bruno Mars, Eminem, Nine Inch Nails, Dua Lipa and many more were powered by Meyer Sound systems and Luminex Network Intelligence during the Roskilde festival.
CEO Bart Swinnen comments: “We are very proud of our new firmware release including the AVB feature. To debut of our AVB release at one of the la
Norway - In Tønsberg, 60 miles from Oslo, the magnificent Foynhagen has grown into one of Norway’s most important venues for concerts during the summer time. This year they presented a very impressive line-up of acts, from Röyksopp, Seigmen, Young Neils, Bo Kaspers Orkester, Cezinando, The Waterboys, Lars Winnerbäck, DumDum Boys and Åge Aleksandersen & Sambandet, among others, in a five-month run of concerts.
In previous years the event has been faced with the challenge of excessive noise pollution outside the venue, with the implementation of various delay systems being used, in an attempt to achieve coverage while keeping leakage to a minimum.
This year, the promoter was introduced to the force of MLA Compact. Inspired by the solution in Hyde Park at British Summer Time, where maximum off-site levels are restricted to 75 dB(A), Spekter AS, the Lillestrøm-based rental company, invested in a complete system consisting of eight MLA Compact elements per side, and four mighty MLX subs. Assisted by Martin Audio’s Scandinavian distributor, Atendi AS, in designing and calculating the venue and outside reduction, this investment immediately proved justified.
Completing the system were 12 Martin Audio LE100 wedges, as well as mics from Sennheiser and Shure, DI boxes from Switchcraft and a Midas Pro 2 FOH mixer.
The system proved an immediate success. Measuring the outside leakage at certain critical points showed a reduction of 8 dB(A) Leq 15 min as an average, compared to earlier seasons. This same system reached 102 dB(A) Leq 15 at F
UK - Broadcast and event lighting specialists Version 2 has appointed Graham Baskeyfield as its new finance director.
Working closely with Version 2’s MD Nick Edwards, Baskeyfield will play a key role in the company’s expansion over the next five years, as they realise their 2022 vision.
He joins from Aurora, where he’d previously collaborated with Edwards, their then incumbent MD. During their tenure the company went on to exceed plan year on year delivering significant growth to its shareholders. The success of Aurora was crystallised in 2015 with its acquisition by VER (PRG).
Edwards comments: “We are delighted to be welcoming Graham to his new role at Version 2. His experience is second to none, and is well in-tune with the challenges of our ever-changing fast-paced industry. Graham is already well respected by both our team, and external stakeholders it’s the perfect appointment.”
Europe - Grammy Award-winning artist, Imogen Heap, has taken to the road for the first time in eight years on a 40-week long Mycelia world tour, accompanied by an Allen & Heath dLive system and frequently partnering with a d&b audiotechnik Soundscape, to provide an immersive 3D audio experience for concert goers.
The full live set-up includes a dLive DM0 MixRack along with two DX168 expanders, purchased specifically for this tour (through Ampco-Flashlight-Sales), which are used in a multi-surface configuration to control both FOH and MON from a single MixRack. The configuration employed on the tour sees the DM0’s 128 input processing channels split to provide 64 input channels with discrete processing for both monitors and FOH.
dLive Director software is utilised for monitoring system control with all musicians having access to individual iPads running dLive OneMix, allowing them to further fine tune their IEM mixes. Each show also features a dLive surface (hired locally), which is connected to the MixRack and handles FOH duties.
Joep Hendrikx (FOH engineer) comments: “The DM0 gives us the option to bring a console with the proper analogue and digital I/O that we can easily travel with on a plane, without compromising on feature set or sound quality.”
To interface with the performers’ laptop-based setups, the DM0 is fitted with a superMADI card which sends audio to and from several RME MADIface Pro interfaces, enabling low-latency integration of software instruments and external processing, all at 96kHz. The DM0 is fur
Sustainable Art - An environmental programme designed to help arts organisations become more sustainable has helped its participants reduce their energy consumption by almost a quarter in the past six years, saving £16.5m as a result. The group of 136 of Arts Council England’s national portfolio organisations have also decreased their carbon emissions by 35% in this time period, according to a report on the scheme by ACE and green arts charity Julie’s Bicycle.
These figures are the culmination of a partnership between Julie’s Bicycle and the Arts Council that began in 2012 with the aim of encouraging arts organisations to become more environmentally sustainable. As part of the six-year programme, the 136 participating organisations consistently reported data at regular intervals across the period. 47 of these were theatre organisations, including the Royal Court and the Lyric Hammersmith in London. However, Julie’s Bicycle said it was unable to provide broken-down figures for the theatres on the list.
Interval Advertising - Nearly two thirds of respondents to a poll by The Stage said they would object to theatres screening adverts during the interval. The online survey was held in response to news that English National Opera is seeking permission to project adverts on to its safety curtain. Of 443 respondents to the poll, which asked: “Would you object to theatres screening adverts during the interval?”, 62% said they would object and 38% said they would not. ENO is initially planning to use the curtain to show adverts for forth
Austria - Studio Due Light, in collaboration with Laman Gmbh in Austria, has recently illuminated the Novomatic Forum in Vienna as part of a façade lighting overhaul. The previous fixtures installed were traditional luminaries with a high-level of energy wasted.
The project included replacing the façade uplighters on the ground and first floors, along with the balcony lighting around the forum. Confronted with new challenges to accommodate the LED fixtures, the specifiers noticed the impossibility to run DMX cable to the bottom part of the building, to replace the in-ground fixtures with the energy-efficient ones.
Faced with this issue, Mr. Robert Makovsky of Leman Gmbh turned to Studio Due to come up with a cost-effective solution. After several tests on-site, Studio Due implemented W-DMX into their Terra Plus RGBW RDM fixtures. “We have implemented Nano TRX modules from Wireless Solution, with an Indoor 2 Backbone antenna, so we could receive DMX and transmit RDM back to the controller,” says Paolo Carvone, field application engineer for Studio Due. With this implementation, it is possible to get power from the existent infrastructure, and DMX to the fixture wirelessly, without having to dig and run new cables.
Two WhiteBox F-1 G5 transmitters were also used in the installation, located on the second-floor, and transmitting on both sides of the building. Each receiving antenna is placed around the rim of the in-ground fixture, just behind the top cover, to optimize the incoming signal strength.
“This is a very cost-effective way of r
South Korea - Merging Technologies has delivered one of the largest Ravenna/AES67 installations for its networked audio interfaces. It features 16 Horus units, 11 Hapi units and 35 8-channel Premium A/D cards and 37 Premium D/A cards. It is also the first major installation to feature Aneman Enterprise as the master control for the whole system and the list of show control and playout servers is no less impressive. There are eight Ovation systems for all zones matrix routing and processing and six Emotion systems for audio-on-demand playback which can all operate in DXD by virtue of the premium cards being fitted.
Paradise City is such a huge complex and the audio network is across four buildings and features 35 zones with 69 subsidiary zones and these zones encompass four floors of a hotel, three floors of pools and spas, two conference rooms, public areas including a patio and garden, multiple restaurants, bars and clubs and a massive plaza with an immersive audio system. Control of each zone is by a local tablet which can pick up five radio channels, the audio-on-demand Emotion server and local microphone and line inputs for the DJ, Karaoke, live shows or whatever is needed. Aneman Enterprise is located in the central control area with the video, CCTV and safety systems.
“This was a real test of putting the theory into practice. A networked installation of this size requires some confidence in the technology and we were not disappointed,” Dominique Brulhart, Merging’s head of software engineering and project manager for this venue remarked. “Th
Europe - Lighting designer Pryderi Baskerville is working with creative director Sean Evans, production designer Jeremy Lloyd from Wonder Works, video director Richard Turner, production manager Chris Kansy and production director Andrew Zweck to deliver for Roger Waters’ live productions.
Pryderi has worked for Waters since 2013 and as LD / lighting director / lighting programmer since 2016. The Us+Them world touring cycle (see LSi September 2018 for production report) started in May 2017 and runs until December this year. Pryderi specified 97 x Robe BMFL WashBeams for the stadium version of the shows and 57 x BMFL Spots and 8 x BMFL Blades for the arena gigs.
Waters himself is involved with every step of the production for all his touring work.
With video a major part of the show - a media in which Waters has consistently innovated through the years - and particularly with the impressive 65m-wide upstage LED screen for the stadium shows and the fly-in Rolio projection surfaces that bisect the arena shows - Pryderi needed some seriously bright and reliable light sources.
The BMFL WashBeams with their even higher output were a natural upgrade progression for the outdoor shows.The stadium shows feature 15 x BMFL WashBeams rigged above the LED Screen and another 10 per side on two special PA mast ‘torms’
These sleek PA t
Portugal - NEXT-proaudio has introduced Audio Tool, a free software for speaker and amplifier systems configuration.
This tool includes a database with all NEXT-proaudio passive speakers as well as the company’s digital and analogue amplifiers of the M Series, MA Series as well as Powersoft’s X Series.
The databases include parameters that enables the software to calculate the optimum configuration.
With Audio Tool the user can, automatically, get the best combination between speakers and amplifiers in order to get the best performance from both devices.
Basically the user inputs which speaker model and how many units per amplifier channel and the software sets the recommended amplifier, according to the selected amplifier mode and technology (Stereo/Bridge and Analogue/Digital).
Besides that, Audio Tool, is also capable of automatically calculate the proper limiter settings such as threshold, attack and release times regarding the whole system settings.
USA - Wu-Tang Clan celebrated their 25th anniversary with a sold-out concert 240 miles to the north of Staten Island at the Tsongas Centre in Lowell. The show featured a Freddy Thompson lighting design that featured over 60 Chauvet Professional fixtures, supplied by JDI Productions, Inc.
Thompson’s show did more than provide eye-popping visuals to match the various moods on stage; it also created a light bridge that connected the Wu-Tang Clan to their devoted audience. “There’s a strong bond between this group and their fans,” he explains. “The start of the show was pretty intense. The crowd was all about seeing the group making their appearance on stage. So, naturally we focused a lot on audience lighting.”
Thompson used 16 Rogue R3 Wash, 16 Maverick MK1 Hybrid, 12 Rogue R2 Wash, 16 Legend 230SR Beam, and four STRIKE 4 fixtures to create his looks on stage and over the crowd. The Rogue R3 Wash fixtures were flown on the downstage truss and were used to light the group and their set pieces. Also on the downstage truss were the STRIKE 4 units, which provided audience lighting.
On the upstage truss, Thompson flew eight of his Maverick MK1 Hybrids and an equal number of Rogue R2 Washes. The remaining Maverick and Rogue R2 units, along with the Legend fixtures, were positioned on 12’ truss towers stage left and right.
“We got some great looks out of the Mavericks,” says Thompson. “We wanted movement and intensity with some songs to balance the static looks we emphasized with some of the other songs. Aside from the aerial effect
South Korea - For the past 13 years, Incheon, has hosted the Pentaport Rock Festival, held in the city’s Pentaport Park for three days each summer. Produced by Yescom Entertainment, it is one of the country’s biggest live music events and covers a wide variety of musical genres.
This year, it featured the industrial rock of Nine Inch Nails, the moody electronica of Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, the shifting nuances of My Bloody Valentine, and rocking performances from local favourites including Jaurim and Daybreak. For all of the diverse styles, the L-Acoustics K1 and K2 system, supplied by local rental company Seoul Sound, delivered consistency of SPL and tonal balance across the main KB Kookmin Starshop Stage’sextensive field.
When Yescom Entertainment’s An Heung Chan accepted the role of production manager for the festival, he was both honoured and excited at the prospect of working on such a mammoth event. “We know how crazy it can be to cope with so many bands from so many different musical genres, all sharing the same stage over three days,” he says. “Dealing with schedule and set changes took a lot of time, but audio was ultimately the most important part of the production.”
With An Heung Chanhaving had many good experiences working with Seoul Sound and its L-Acoustics systems, he was confident that the company’s Kim Do Seok and his team of engineers would be a great asset to the event. “Being a sound engineer and musician myself, I had great expectations of the sound system,” he adds.
“We chose K1 and K2 becaus
Poland - The church of St Brygida (St Bridget) in Gdańsk recently hosted a televised concert to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s appointment. An Alcons Audio pro-ribbon audio system was the solution to tame the church’s difficult acoustics.
St Brygida is a large, brick-built church, famed for its amber altar and its 1980s role as a sanctuary for the leaders of the Solidarność (Solidarity) trade union, when Poland was under martial law.
Staged to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Polish national Karol Józef Wojtyła being chosen as Pope John Paul II in August 1978 - the first non-Italian Pope for 455 years - the concert featured Cappella Gedanensis, a vocal and instrumental ensemble which performs traditional music from the region around Gdańsk and represents the city all over the world. The group’s performances often include well-known soloists. For this concert, they included singer Plácido Domingo Jr, mezzo-soprano Alicja Wegorzewska and pianist Maciej Miecznikowski.
Transmitted live by broadcasters Polish TVP1 and TV Polonia, the concert’s audio production was handled by Gdańsk-based Offstage. The tall interior of the church features vaulted ceilings, with many columns and other flat, reflective surfaces, but these were tamed by Offstage’s Alcons pro-ribbon system.
The set-up included two QR24 modular line-source array columns per side, with two VR12 mid-size versatile monitors as out-fills and two VR8 compact versatile monitors as zonal speakers in the middle of the church. The system was powered by Se
Australia - Audio, video and lighting services provider NW Group recently bolstered its lighting inventory with Martin by Harman lighting fixtures, provided by Show Technology.
To serve the live concert and touring markets, NW Group specified MAC Aura XB and MAC Quantum Profile fixtures.
Graeme Whitehouse, general manager, NW Group, comments: “We’ve used Quantum Wash, Viper and Aura fixtures with great success for years. We were in the market for next-generation fixtures that could deliver rapid movement and beautiful colour mixing during high profile stage performances. After testing numerous fixtures with local supplier Show Technology, we decided to go with Martin MAC Aura XB washes and MAC Quantum Profiles.
“We’re extremely happy with our choice - the Aura XB and Quantum Profiles enable us to provide even more value to our clients in the arts and entertainment world as well as the corporate arena. As we’re now expanding into “in-house” venue services, such as Brisbane’s iconic City Hall, we’re continuing to demonstrate the versatility of these fixtures.”
NW Group’s new MAC Quantum Profile fixtures enable them to achieve a mix of breakup gobo, aerial and beam looks to enhance any event.
“The Quantum Profile adds an extra layer of beam animation to our plotted looks and the Aura XB performs so well, it’s now our go-to stage wash fixture,” said James Dee, account manager, NW Group. “The Aura XB also features an innovative zoom and lens design that allows it to deliver useful tight beam looks you wouldn