UK - LW Theatres - Andrew Lloyd Webber’s theatres - has committed to paying all staff, including those employed on a show-by-show basis - and has confirmed no redundancies are currently planned while the coronavirus outbreak continues.
In related news, Lloyd Webber’s musicals are to be screened on a new YouTube channel called The Shows Must Go On.
He sent an email to staff in which he acknowledged “how very difficult it is to be denied the ability to be together, not only with our theatre community, but more importantly with many of our loved ones” at this time.
Rebecca Kane Burton, chief executive of LW Theatres, also wrote to all staff outlining the company’s plans for the foreseeable future. “Our priority is to steer our staff and the company through these unprecedented times, so that we can continue to serve customers and provide jobs in the West End for many years to come. I want to thank all our staff for their support, understanding and commitment.
”As things stand we are not making any redundancies. All our staff will either continue to work or become furloughed workers. We have honoured our commitment to pay staff including those who normally only work with us when shows are running. We will continue to support our staff and help them through these difficult times.”
In his own address to staff, Lloyd Webber said: “We have all been affected
World - Chroma-Q is offering free Vista by Chroma-Q lighting and media control training. Aware and saddened by the current market situation, they will be hosting weekly webinars to help you develop your knowledge and skills, from the comfort of your own home.
Says the company, “Understanding the importance to continue to support loyal clients and to continue education in the wake of cancelled events and one-to-one meetings, last week Chroma-Q hosted the first round of one-hour Vista 3 webinars, with an overwhelming 260 attendees. Each session ran twice, once each in BST and CDT time zones, making the training accessible to a wider audience.”
“Nurturing and developing the skills of our new and existing customers is so important to us. During a time where people may be unable to get on with their ‘usual’ jobs, we wanted to provide learning opportunities that we’re certain will come in handy in the near future,” said Paul Pelletier, global brand manager.
If you are interested in sharpening your Vista 3 skills, the Vista by Chroma-Q team will be bringing you a series of webinars every Wednesday and Thursday throughout April. Keep an eye out on the Vista by Chroma-Q website - course content and registration will be updated every Friday.
Visit www.vistabychromaq.com/training-events to register for the next webinars.
USA - As Covid-19 impacts almost every aspect of the entertainment industry, ETCP Certified Technicians, with support of the IATSE (The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees), are stepping up to put their expertise and available equipment to good use.
Michael Barnes, IATSE international vice-president and business agent for Local 8 says: “This is spreading way too quickly, and we felt like we have to do something to help. If you are helping you can’t feel helpless, and that is not where we want to be. IATSE Locals across the country are contacting governors state-by-state to offer their expertise in the installation of temporary structures to assist in the development of emergency field hospitals for Covid-19.”
Barnes continues: “I sincerely believe the model that is traditionally deployed in situations like this can be drastically improved upon. Implementing the use of rigging and lighting techniques we use every day to create temporary structures will result in a safer and more productive environment. The pre-engineered truss that we install for any temporary arena or outdoor stage allows much more flexibility; with the touch of a button, we can give health care personnel exactly what they need to operate most efficiently.
“No one is better prepared to solve a dilemma creatively than an entertainment industry professional. ETCP Certified technicians are very well-versed in setting up large volumes of equipment for touring shows in under 12 hours. The fact that we can use our skills to help save lives in a time of crisis
USA - On Saturday, 18 April, Rock Cellar Productions, in association with the Get Together Foundation, will present All Together Now! - an online concert event helping the City of Los Angeles during the coronavirus pandemic.
Keeping with the strict ‘stay at home’ regulations of health authorities and the guidance of local, state, and federal government officials, this virtual streaming event will give fans their music fix in the comfort of their own homes. The concert will feature an array of singers, songwriters, musicians, actors, authors, comedians, and celebrities of all sorts “coming together” to perform and send positive messages out to the City of Los Angeles and the world.
Early participation includes Jeff Bridges, Mike Love (The Beach Boys), Lisa Loeb, Steve Lukather (Toto), Vonda Shepard, Peter Beckett (Player), Alan Parsons Live Project, and Jesse Colin Young.
Viewers can donate to the L.A. City Coronavirus Relief Fund (https://mayorsfundla.org/covid19/) through a direct donation button or a text message appeal. All of the money raised will go directly to this relief fund to help Los Angeles support families and small businesses, relieve healthcare workers, provide critical medical resources, provide services to the unhoused, and fund research for Covid-19.
All Together Now! will be broadcast through Alert the Globe and available free on demand.
New Zealand - The Paraparaumu Southwards Car Museum marked the installation of its new lighting system with a concert in its 474-seat multi-use theatre by Adrian Dittmer’s Bruce Springsteen tribute band.
When he isn’t playing bass for the Springsteen tribute band, Dittmer is the sales and marketing manager of MDR Sound and Lighting in Palmerston North. After he reached out to the museum theatre, about a possible gig, its tech director Levi Hampton told him that the facility was looking to do a lighting upgrade.
“Once Levi mentioned what the theatre wanted to do, I put on my MDR hat and told him that we could supply anything he needed,” says Dittmer. “The theatre was pulling out the existing fly system, as it was no longer effective, and they were no longer hosting traditional theatrical productions. They were wanting to replace that system with a truss grid and a modern LED lighting solution.”
Dittmer gave the theatre the lighting versatility it needed by putting together a flexible rig that includes, 12 Maverick MK3 Wash, 16 Maverick MK2 Profile and eight Ovation E-910FC ellipsoidal fixtures (with 25° and 50° lens tubes) on a 15m by 13m truss grid with hoists.
Positioned evenly on the truss grid, the fixtures are able to provide full coverage across the theatre for dances and events thanks to their impressive output and throw distance. They can also turn around and create tight focused looks for concerts. This was made brilliantly clear during a performance at the theatre by Dittmer’s Springfield tribute band.
Europe - Powersoft has scheduled further additions to its online training programme.
The company is offering sessions on its ArmoníaPlus software, focussing on creating a project, set-up, networking, and monitoring options.
There are also free webinars dedicated to Powersoft products, network connections and Dante/AES67 integration, Powersoft HealthPlus, and the Deva multimedia device.
The training sessions are offered in English, Spanish, and Italian.
The programme includes: Armonia Plus 1.4 How to set-up your project using all options (7 and 9 April); Deva multimedia system for safety and emergency management (8 April); Powersoft products network connections and Dante/AES67 integration (14 and 16 April); Powersoft HealthPlus, system monitoring and remote control using 3rd party control plug-ins (21 and 23 April).
UK - Prolyte's LSU modular LED screen support system is now available for hire from Impact Production Services (IPS).
The Prolyte LSU system can be used to create freestanding LED screen support systems in a range of sizes. Designed to be used indoors for almost any LED screen system that has modules in 500mm wide multiple, it can also built to almost any size required. The kits from IPS contain a selection of components, and by combining different numbers of kits all kinds of screen support sizes can be constructed. If the screen needs to start higher, then IPS can supply a LiteDeck platform to boost the structure to the height required.
The system has already been deployed on a range of events, including on a corporate event in Paris for Showstyle where an 18m wide by 3m high LED screen was the centrepiece of a large room design. The LSU system was chosen particularly as it provides a clean finish to the front of the screen, with nothing sticking forward into the stage area. IPS project manager Tom Warden said: "Getting 18m of 2.9mm LED screen to line up seamlessly was one of my big concerns going into this project, and the Prolyte LSU system was brilliant onsite," adding that "the LED techs onsite all were very complimentary of the system, and how easy it was to set up".
The LSU system has adjustable feet on each base to make sure that the bottom horizontal connecting bar is level, and then vertical ladder truss sections attach to support the height of the screen. Arms then clamp onto the ladder sections and attach to the rear of the screen panels
USA - More than 150 million fans around the world witnessed pop stars Shakira and Jennifer Lopez perform a Latin-inspired concert at this year’s Super Bowl LIV halftime show, on a huge circular video floor powered by Green Hippo Hippotizer Tierra+ media servers.
Lighting director Jason Rudolph took the helm for the visuals for the prestigious halftime show, which was produced by Touchdown Entertainment on behalf of the NFL. It took place at the 65,000-capacity Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
With a plethora of aerial shots on the camera angle agenda, the team devised the large, round stage as an eye-catching centrepiece for the action, which was broadcast live in the USA by Fox and around the world by multiple networks.
“We used two of the new Tierra+ Media Servers on the show - one main, one backup - each doing 2x 4K outputs for the stage,” Rudolph explains. “The Tierra+ was also driving pixel-mapping outputs for the LED lighting on the stage, which were fed into an MA3 and merged so that I could control them either via the console or via pixel-mapping.”
The circular stage was made up of multiple LED screen tiles, supplied by Fuse. The fiery, colourful content, designed by Possible Productions, lit up the enormous stadium, adding dynamics to Shakira and Lopez’s energetic, highly-choreographed performances.
“We utilised the latest Hippotizer software build 4.5.3, and all of the content was run as FlexRes Lossless 422,” Rudolph continues. “The codec choices, as well as media management functions of Hippo are
USA - Bon Iver supported the release of their latest album, i,i with a tour of arenas in select North American cities, with Red Hook, New York-based Firehouse Productions supplying an L-Acoustics K2 and Kara PA for the trek. But the second and latest leg of the tour was even more special - and spatial - thanks to Firehouse’s deployment of L-ISA Hyperreal Sound technology.
According to Firehouse Productions account rep Chris Russo, the tour’s L-ISA configuration featured three central arrays each composed of 16 K2 plus three Kara down, flanked to the left and right by hangs of 24 Kara as the Scene system, which extended over the full width of the stage. Farther out to the left and right, two per side, 12-enclosure Kara arrays served as the Extension system, while two fill-arrays of 12 K2 expanded out-fill coverage to 180° of seating.
Two hangs of 10 KS28 each were flown in close proximity to the centre K2 arrays providing homogeneous LF coverage, while three ARCS II per side down below were used for nearfield out-fills and six Kara lined across the stage delivered front-fill. Fifty-two LA12X amplified controllers powered the entire system, and four new Milan-certified P1 AVB processors plus a pair of L-ISA Processors rounded out the L-Acoustics system complement.
Although Bon Iver FOH Engineer Xandy Whitesel had mixed using L-ISA technology for a select “one-off” show with the band at the Santa Barbara Bowl a couple of years ago, this was his first opportunity to tour with the setup. “Andrew Gilchrest, our system tech, and I foun
Philippines - The New Clark City Athletics Stadium is an Olympic Grade Class 1 multi-purpose stadium located at New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac, in the Philippines.
High-profile events hosted recently by the 20,000-capacity venue have included the athletic events and closing ceremony of the 30th Southeast Asian Games and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2020 ASEAN Para Games.
The Athletics Stadium’s architecture with its hinged roof, which takes inspiration from the crater of the country’s Mount Pinatubo volcano, now hosts an impressive new Outline Stadia PA system composed of 30 loudspeaker enclosures powered by eight Outline GTA Otto (Dante) power amps, installed by Amigo Entertainment Technologies, Outline’s distributor for the Philippines.
Amigo also installed an Outline Stadia PA in the New Clark City Sports Hub’s IAAF-certified Class 1 Aquatics Centre, designed by Philippine architects Budji + Royal and adjacent to the Athletics Stadium.
Amando Nieva Zamora, chairman and CEO of Amigo, states, “Throughout our years of intensive research and growth in our industry, we have developed a premium line of products and services to suit every client’s needs and now supply audio, video, lighting, sfx and sports facility equipment, as well as providing services such as AVL integration, software development and electrical design & installation.”
The stadium’s PA system is formed by Outline Stadia 100 LA enclosures. Zamora continues, “To handle this key project, which featured some challenging aspects, such as the
UK - A team of entertainment technology professionals have joined forces to form People Powered UK in a bid to help relieve the pressures of the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The initiative was started by LDs Katharine Williams and Jono Kenyon and has so far amassed 915 members and counting from across the entertainment and live event industries. Williams previously worked on Crew for Calais, a project that saw event professionals build shelters for refugees, whilst Kenyon has first-hand insight into the pressures of the UK’s health service thanks to his partner, an ITU worker.
A statement from People Powered UK says: “People who usually work at venues such as the London Roundhouse and provide production services to festivals are working together across the entire UK. They’re using skills and ingenuity honed building festival infrastructure to provide structures quickly and effectively, and sourcing equipment from outside the NHS’s usual supply chain to provide solutions to challenges hospitals are currently experiencing. Production people already work with emergency services and local authorities at SAGs, on health and safety, and at planning meetings, so already speak the same language.”
Sam Oldham, commercial and operations director of Camden arts venue the Roundhouse comments: "Our industry is full of highly skilled workers, many of whom are currently out of work or have been furloughed. They have essential skills which can be used to support the NHS and we're so proud to see the Roundhouse technical and producti
UK - PLASA, the Professional Lighting And Sound Association, has urged businesses and individuals to get in touch with more evidence on how the ongoing Covid-19 crisis is affecting their operations.
The information is sought by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and will help the Treasury to better understand the devastating impact the situation is having on the events industry.
To gather the evidence, The Events Industry Forum - of which PLASA is a member - has created a survey, which can be completed here until 5pm on Tuesday, 7 April.
"We are working hard alongside other industry associations and organisations to ensure the voice of our industry is heard," says PLASA in a statement. "We hope that through this work we can secure measures already gifted to leisure and hospitality to be extended to events and the events supply chain."
Canada/USA - Audac has announced a partnership with Canadian based A.C. ProMedia as the new exclusive distributor of their audio solutions in North America.
A.C. ProMedia offers a wide range of multimedia solutions aimed at the fixed installation and architainment markets, through consultants, design groups and systems integration channels. They will be managing the sales, distribution and service of the complete Audac product line in North America from their offices in Toronto.
Following the agreement, A.C. ProMedia has appointed Sarah Lima to take Audac under her wing. “We are excited to introduce the Audac family of audio products to the North American market,” comments Lima. “These high quality products have proved to be a reliable solution around the world, and with their Audac Touch you have an out-of-the-box application for UCI configuration. It allows you to merge together widgets in one screen and is accessible on any wireless device on your network.”
Audac’s CEO, Tom Van de Sande adds: “We are delighted to be partnering with A.C. ProMedia. Taking our innovative audio solutions overseas is a big step, but we believe that A.C. ProMedia has all the capabilities and expertise to make them the ideal partner for this opportunity.”
China - Chinese industry is now back to work following the Covid-19 crisis, and Guangzhou-based PR Lighting marked the start of a new month by putting out a statement reassuring their global reseller and customer base that it is once again business as usual.
China was the first country to register the outbreak of the coronavirus (on 31 December, 2019) and while production remained temporarily idle throughout the country during lockdown, PR Lighting used the first quarter of the new year not only to fine tune new products already under development but to make some strategic changes to their global sales infrastructure.
“PR Lighting is back running 100% as normal,” confirmed company president, Dave Liang. “Our technical and marketing departments are fully operational, and production and shipment are back on schedule. We would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during these unprecedented times.”
Moving forward, PR Lighting’s senior sales managers, Lawrence Mao and Bruce Tian, stated, “Although the pandemic in China is now well under control we are aware that much of the globe is presently trapped in crisis. We want to reassure customers that we are here, ready to support them in whatever way we can with their needs. Meanwhile, we are grateful to our international network of distributors and dealers for marketing the products in their local territories.”
The two men emphasised that PR Lighting holds plenty of inventory of all popular items. “These are available for shipment, subject to the current transport
UK - The country may be on lockdown, but one sound designer has found a way to teleport listeners straight into the heart of London.
Will Cohen, co-founder of the String and Tins collective and the person behind the Silent London project, visited some of London's most popular destinations to capture their soundscapes before the UK lockdown took place.
He used a binaural microphone technique to capture the sound of each place - from Leicester Square and Covent Garden to Charing Cross and Oxford Circus - to create a 360-degree soundscape that everyone can now immerse themselves in from home.
“In the final days before London was shut-down, I made sound recordings of areas that I care about as a Londoner," he explains. "From documenting spots that I skated at as a teenager, through to areas I have worked in - I wanted to see what familiar sounds still resonated at this unprecedented time. I used the binaural microphone technique - if you put headphones on, close your eyes and imagine you are there, the physics behind this method of sound capture will immerse you in the environment pictured in the stills that I took on my journey.”
In simple terms, a binaural recording is a method of audio capture that matches the way humans hear. The recordings are made by attaching two microphones on either a human or dummy head, capturing audio that, when heard back on headphones, creates a realistic immersive experience for the listener.
For Silent London, Cohen used DPA microphones’ new binaural headset.
Listen to the recordings
USA - Working from home has become the new normal for many. It can require some adjustment but can be made easier with the right equipment for staying connected. Audio-Technica offers a variety of audio solutions that enable audio professionals to maintain productivity, increase their visibility and keep in touch with their colleagues and co-workers.
Audio engineers, now working from laptops and in less than ideal monitoring environments, are frequently relying on headphones for the monitoring resolution necessary to make edit and mix decisions. The familiarity of the sonic signature of the Audio-Technica M-Series Professional Studio Monitor Headphone line, including the ubiquitous ATH-M50x model and the enhanced performance ATH-M70x model, allow confidence and trust in production decisions with excellent translation to consumer distribution formats. For extended comfort in longer sessions that require less isolation, an alternate solution is the ATH-R70x Professional Open-Back Reference Headphones, a choice of many professionals for personal listening.
To drop in a new track or for overdubs, individual musicians are being recorded at home or via online collaboration. Whether in a home studio or in a personal space, a high-quality, reliable microphone is still essential. Audio-Technica Multi-pattern condenser microphones like the l high-performance, yet affordable, AT4050, and the go-to-mic in numerous professionals’ personal collection, the AT4047MP, are versatile choices for handling a broad range of production applications from vocals to instrument
Germany - The ARRI Academy has announced the launch of a new course designed for all levels of lighting and video production professionals. Lighting Systems Control with Richard Cadena is an 11-part video course that serves as a guide to get you up and running with digital lighting control, using DMX, RDM, Wireless DMX, and ethernet-based networks.
The series consists of short, informative videos with classes ranging in length from five minutes to 34 minutes. Course attendees will gain a working knowledge of standard and emerging technologies and will be trained on the latest lighting technology. The complete list of classes is as follows: DMX, Building DMX network, Troubleshooting DMX network, RDM, Wireless DMX, Intro to ethernet-based networking, Testing ethernet-based networks: PING and IPCONGIF commands, Art-Net, sACN, Consoles, and ARRI LED Ecosystem.
The series is taught by Richard Cadena, LSi columnist and an ETCP-recognised trainer and certified entertainment electrician. Cadena brings over 30 years of lighting industry experience and has been training entertainment lighting professionals around the globe.
The series gives an overview of established and emerging technologies, best practices, and guides users on how to troubleshoot potential issues. Cadena’s insight into the discipline of lighting and the industry is extensive. In the episode on Wireless DMX, for example, he explains, “When people tell me, ‘Oh, I don't trust wireless DMX,’ I start asking questions.” Cadena continues. “‘Well, what kind of wireless were you
Germany - In cooperation with the Sennheiser SoundAcademy, Neumann will be offering detailed webinars on the basics of microphone technology over the coming weeks. In three one-hour sessions, trainer John McGregor will discuss all important aspects of Neumann studio microphones: Starting with the most important theoretical principles, through practical tips and application hints, to product care and maintenance.
The first session will be available on Friday, 3 April at three different times (8.30, 13.30 and 18.00 CET). The other two sessions will follow on 17 and 24 April. All webinars will be presented in English.
Interested parties can register at: https://www.neumann.com/webinars
For an overview of all the free Sennheiser SoundAcademy webinars on offer, please visit https://www.sennheiser.com/webinars
Neumann has also created a new hashtag #AtHomeWithNeumann to help guide its customers, fans and followers to informative video content that will be provided during the coronavirus crisis.
Serbia - With an impressive line-up of EDM stars, the Green Love Festival in Novi Sad has grown into a magnet for music fans, not just for its sounds, but for its visual treats as well. Aside from being located in a beautiful vibrant city on the Danube that was designated the European Capital of Culture for 2021 by the EU, the indoor and outdoor festival also wows fans with some stunning stage panoramas.
This was readily apparent in the looks that lighting designer Predrag Djordjević and stage designer Dragan Rajčin from Chameleon Rental conjured up for artists like Spartaque, Metodi Hristov and Fernanda Martins during the most recent incarnation of the festival. With its crossing patterns of beams set off against a massive wall of bright blinders and video panels, their design wrapped itself around the music, commanding attention without taking attention away from the artists.
Aiding them in this endeavour was a collection of over 100 Chauvet Professional fixtures supplied by Chameleon Rental that included 16 Maverick MK1 Spot, 20 Maverick MK2 Wash, 24 Rogue R2 Beam, and 60 Rogue R2X Beam fixtures.
Massing some of their fixtures along the upstage wall to create a stunning backdrop, positioning some on the stage deck, and flying the remainder on overhead truss that extended midway through the indoor performance area, they were able to immerse the crowd in a field of light from multiple directions.
Key to providing a colourful visual foundation to underline the electronic beats was the output from the combination of Maverick MK1 Spot and MK2
USA - Grace Primitive Baptist Church in Pearl, Mississippi supports a close-knit community of believers with very traditional services. Spoken word and sung vocals are the focus, with occasional support from backing tracks. Its long, rectangular sanctuary can accommodate approximately 300 congregants, but until recently, many of them had difficulty understanding what was being said or sung.
AV integration firm Sound and Communications (SoundCOM) of Flowood, Mississippi solved Grace Primitive’s intelligibility problems by designing and installing a new sound reinforcement system led by a single, unobtrusive Danley Sound Labs SM100 full-range, point-source loudspeaker.
“The old loudspeaker they had in there was original to the building, which is 17 years old,” explained Allen Cotton, solutions architect with Sound and Communications. “They weren’t pleased with the coverage or the clarity. They called our office and we arranged to come by and visit. As a certified Danley designer, Danley’s point-source fidelity was in the back of my mind the whole time. During the visit, we learned that they were not only hopeful that their intelligibility problems could be fixed, they wanted it done in a way that had no visual impact. They wanted something that was unobtrusive.”
Cotton modelled the system using Danley’s proprietary modelling software, Danley Direct. “They had never seen an acoustical model and were intrigued,” he said. “I showed them the Danley SM100’s coverage pattern at different frequencies, especially those most relevant fo