Canada - ACT Lighting has been appointed the exclusive distributor for Ayrton in Canada, effective 1 October.
“We are excited to further our partnership with Ayrton to now service the entire North American market,” states Ben Saltzman, CEO of ACT Lighting. “Ayrton is the industry’s most innovative brand and market-leading manufacturer of professional digital lighting with unmatched quality and design. Ayrton’s product portfolio and development strategy are the perfect match for the ACT Lighting team.”
“As Ayrton continues to look forward, it makes sense to consolidate our North American distribution strategy,” says Chris Ferrante, Ayrton CEO. “ACT Lighting is the perfect partner, being the best placed company across the region, especially considering the incredible growth we have experienced together in the US market. We are looking forward to the broader partnership the Canadian connection will bring.”
“ACT Canada is very excited to be able to offer this industry leading brand through our full-service Canadian warehouse in Mississauga, Ontario,” adds Andrew Beck, senior vice-president of ACT Canada. “As in the US, Ayrton will strengthen and complement our existing product lines.”
UK - Following on from last year’s successful event, Christie is once again opening the doors of its Wokingham office to visitors from the UK and further afield. Held over two days, Christie Connect UK will showcase new projectors for enterprise and cinema, LED displays, as well as content management and processing equipment, all of which highlight the powerful end-to-end nature of the Christie offering. The event coincides with Christie’s 90th anniversary and offers a special seminar programme designed to demonstrate Christie thought leadership on current and future technology developments.
One of the event’s main attractions will be the award-winning Christie MicroTiles LED. For many this will be the first opportunity since its launch at ISE 2019 to see a live demo of the MicroTiles LED. Another attraction will be the Christie D4K40-RGB pure laser projector which will feature in a working display where visitors can see for themselves how this award-winning product raises the bar in projector design, image quality, built-in processing, and connectivity.
“We are very much looking forward to this year’s Connect event,” comments David Griffiths, senior director EMEA at Christie. “Last year we had a great turnout over two full days and this year with MicroTiles and other award-winning products on display we’re expecting another full house. Connect is always a first-class networking opportunity for industry professionals so I’d recommend registering early so as not to miss out and help us toast Christie’s 90 years in business.”
USA - TMB will introduce the first offerings in its new FloppyTape range during Lightshow West, taking place on 25-26 September at the Los Angeles Convention Centre.
Suitable for applications from bespoke retail lighting to the most punishing rock and roll tours, FloppyTape is offered in premium and standard versions. Both versions are also available sealed with a highly protective, ultra-clear, UV-resistant, fully submersible, flexible coating. In support of the range, a comprehensive selection of standard and custom profiles and diffusion accessories are offered.
Currently, FloppyTapes are available in Dynamic White, RGBW, RGB, and RGBA, with many more options coming soon. Also, as a very significant bonus - FloppyTapes are backed by TMB’s world famous service and support.
At the tradeshow, TMB will display a wide and varied selection of proprietary architectural products, many derived from the company’s decades of entertainment and production staging experience. From specification grade decorative and specialty lighting, to temporary power hook-ups, to networking and control, to high quality data cables, to the world’s brightest exterior lighting fixtures, there’s plenty to see at TMB’s stand 126.
Germany - ARRI has introduced Orbiter, a new LED luminaire that is “poised to change the way the industry looks at digital lighting”. A bright, tunable, and directional LED fixture, Orbiter is billed as “the most technologically advanced luminaire ever produced for image capture and colour fidelity”. Orbiter’s six-colour light engine promises to deliver a wide colour gamut across all colour temperatures along with smooth dimming from 100 to 0%. With its changeable optics, Orbiter can transform into many different types of lampheads including projection (profile), open face, and soft light. Additional features, such as a fast processor, ample memory, expanded connectivity, a built-in array of sensors, and weatherproof housing, make Orbiter a formidable machine.
Orbiter’s state-of-the-art technology and versatile design makes it an optimal lamphead for today and for the future, with endless possibilities for updates, configurations, and enhancements, says the company.
China - A High End Systems Hoglet 4 is providing lighting control for a new outdoor multimedia installation in China.
Two times each night, a lake in the park in Liaocheng, Shandong Province comes alive with lighting, lasers, mist, flames and fountains. The free half-hour interaction enthralls up to 10,000 spectators with the colourful, watery spectacle.
LD Theo Cox - a High End Systems Hog 4 lighting console user - chose the smaller, more compact member of the Hog family for this project. “I elected to programme with a Hoglet 4, as this was the right piece of kit to leave in permanent situ after the shows were up and running,” he explains. “As well as the nightly timecode shows, there was a requirement to run a few simple cues manually, and a physical console was desired but it had to be streamlined. So with only two kinds of fixtures to program, and no need for lots of playback control, the Hoglet with a touchscreen was the way forward.”
AAV China administered the install of a 150m (492 ft) long fountain system, and brought in Cox to co-create the two shows with Tara Winona designing the lasers and Rupert Morse on fountains.
In a control room overlooking the lake, the Hoglet controls all the moving lights - which are mounted in projection cabins built on stilts in the lake - and 30 searchlights on the far side. The lights receive data distribution via Art-Net run on fibre under the lake.
A Wings Platinum system controls the overall show. It plays the audio and video elements, triggers the fountain control system and sends timecode
Europe - Harman Professional Solutions has announced that Hamid Soufian has been appointed vice-president and general manager of EMEA.
Soufian brings more than 18 years of experience in the Harman organisation to his new role.
“We are pleased to welcome Hamid Soufian to this key leadership role as we continue to improve and strengthen the Harman brand worldwide,” comments Mohit Parasher, president & EVP, Harman Professional Solutions. “We are excited to have someone with Hamid’s expertise to help us grow and bolster our relationships with our valued partners in the EMEA region.”
Prior to his new appointment, Soufian was the VP and GM responsible for multiple European automotive customer accounts forging new relationships and enhancing existing partnerships with the OEMs.
“I’m extremely honoured by this appointment and will be working diligently to establish and strengthen long-term partnerships with our distributors and customers across the EMEA region,” says Soufian.
Romania - In the second century, the Romans established Cedonia, a small settlement on the banks of the Cibin river that marked the outer reaches of their empire. They eventually left, and their small village grew into Sibiu, a cultural hub of central Europe where art and commerce thrived side by side.
Today, almost 2,000 years later, the creative vitality of this former hamlet is on vivid display in the Sibiu International Theatre Festival. Earlier this summer, the 25th edition of this 10-day event drew over 3,300 artists from 70 nations who performed for over 62,000 visitors daily. Supporting their work with smooth key lighting and vivid colors was a festival rig supplied by Backstage Production Group that featured Ovation and COLORado fixtures from Chauvet Professional.
Desiring consistency in lighting temperature and light field, Andrei Popéa, general manager of Backstage Production Group, tapped eight Ovation E-260WW and eleven Ovation ED-200WW for the festival stages. For colour, he specified eight Ovation F-915FC Fresnel units, as well as four Ovation E-910FC IP ellipsoidals, and 24 COLORado Batten 72X linear fixtures.
The intensity of the warm whites and smooth dimming curves of the Ovation ellipsoidals along with their variable beam angles, allowed Popéa to maximize placement opportunities for each theatrical performance and avoid unwanted shadows. The Ovation E-910FC IP also projected crisp gobo patterns to add visual interest and movement to the outdoor stages.
These performance features, along with the rainbow of colours created
France - Summer lingered for music lovers at Festival 39 Aout 2019, held at the Domaine de Chalain in France’s Jura region.
The multi-genre music festival was held in a beautiful setting alongside Chalain Lake where an array of Claypaky lighting fixtures illuminated Big Flo & Oli, Martin Solveig, Eagle-Eye Cherry and other performers.
Atomix provided lighting designer Guillaume Steck with 12 HY B-EYE K25s, 10 Sharpy Plus and six A.leda K20 Wash fixtures for the two-day outdoor event.
“With an open-air festival it’s always difficult to programme a show in the middle of the afternoon - it’s usually necessary to wait until nightfall to be able to offer real lighting,” says Steck. “But with these fixtures, allied with a good atmospheric generator, it’s now much easier.”
Steck positioned the K20 Washes at the front of the stage with the Sharpy Plus and K25s spread out on two decks. “With the HY B-EYE K25s the timeless kaleidoscope effect, known to everyone from the B-EYE K20, remains a key asset that no other projector has managed to match,” he states.
“The power of the K25, even in broad daylight, is simply amazing,” says Steck. “With Sharpy Plus we get the standard beam features of a Sharpy, which are not even necessary to mention any more, plus a full-blown ‘spot’ mode. The powerful beam of the Sharpy Plus delighted all the stage managers. The K25 and Sharpy Plus fixtures were a winning duo.”
Pierre Girard was the project manager for the festival with Quentin Vallet the lighting chief and Aurelien Rob
UK An accepted technical challenge of London’s outdoor theatre season are the major productions at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, which run right through the summer.
Working within the existing stage infrastructure, theatre lighting specialist Jon Clark helped interpret director Jamie Lloyd’s stripped back production of Evita, juxtaposing GLP’s new LED moving lights with traditional par cans.
GLP’s impression X4 Bar 20 battens have been put to many creative uses since their launch and Clark managed to extend the envelope further, assigning different roles to the 24 fixtures supplied from White Light’s inventory. He also road tested GLP’s new Fusion Stick 10 while giant impression X4 XL RGBW heads took the place of follow spots in what was generally a very monochromatic design, punctuated by cold ice blues to mimic the Argentinian flag.
Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical tells the story of Eva Peron, from a life of poverty to spiritual leader of the nation, but here Jamie Lloyd had applied a contemporary twist.
Jon Clark and set designer Soutra Gilmour have collaborated regularly with the director over the past decade, and since Clark also lit Into The Woods at the Open Air Theatre in 2010 as well as the opera The Turn of The Screw last year, he was used to the challenges of working in this location.
“We have a very established relationship which is hugely valuable, given that the stage rehearsal period is short for a production of this scale. Most of the lighting is programmed overnight wit
UK - Event production specialists Light Fantastic Production Services supported the creative team behind Luminary, the recent art installation at Crossness Pumping Station devised by artists Anna Heinrich & Leon Palmer.
Commissioned by Peabody, London’s oldest and largest housing association, and working in partnership with Crossness Engine Trust and KD Productions, the event celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sir Joseph Bazalgette, the Victorian engineer responsible for implementing the London sewer system.
Created as a multi-media art installation, Heinrich & Palmer’s concept for Luminary was a spectacular combination of projection, audio and lighting effects. Designed around a visually stunning, ethereal experience, the project provided visitors an immersive exploration of the iconic heritage structure. Working to the specification of the artists and the KD Production team, LFPS provided all video, lighting, audio and rigging equipment to the highly original, beautifully presented production.
The show’s centrepiece featured an incredible suite of images that travelled through the architecture and physical make-up of the Grade 1 listed building. Created using 3D laser scanning technology by 3Deling London the exquisitely detailed sequence featured exploded diagrams and artistic interpretations of the structure’s DNA. The video content was screened across a large theatrical voile using a pair of Panasonic RZ21K laser projectors, with triggers sent from a media server to lighting and audio departments allo
USA - Towson University in Maryland has created an inclusive learning environment situated near the area’s prominent educational, community and cultural resources. From theatre to dance and music, the university’s performing arts programmes produce over 200 student and professional performances each year.
Needing performance venues which can keep up with the busy production schedule, they called up Pennsylvania-based Illuminated Integration to renovate the 500-seat Howard J. Kaplan Concert Hall with a new lighting system including Chalice 70W recessed downlights from Altman Lighting.
“We were initially brought onto the project as the antiquated lighting system in the concert hall had failed from a controls perspective, and they had decided to convert the entire space to LED as well,” begins Mike Birardi, lead design creative, Illuminated Integration. “The targets in doing this were to reduce energy and maintenance costs while improving the overall illumination of the space without losing the architectural design aesthetics. We really tried to give them a solution that could do all those things for better performance with lower maintenance and more energy-efficient usage.”
Working with Towson University for the first time, Birardi and the team at Illuminated Integration began researching the most beneficial lighting technologies.
“Form-factor was a big challenge because we had to find a lighting technology that could fit the existing openings in the ceiling for the downlights,” continues Birardi. “We also wanted a technology
Canada - RPM Lights is a long-time supporter of AC Lighting. Backed by a partnership between the executives of both companies, RPM Lights owners Jimmy Pappas and Glen Murphy, developed and built their vision for LED lighting in the Canadian marketplace eight years ago. With multiple decades of lighting and rigging industry experience between them, Pappas and Murphy built a reputation for their ability to adapt and utilise technology to achieve outstanding results in the markets and industries their company serves.
RPM Lights is a Toronto based rental and sales supplier offering an array of LED lighting products to tradeshows, film, TV and live entertainment industries. Working with well-known trade shows such as the Canadian Auto Show, as well as on popular TV shows and films including Designated Survivor and Big Brother, RPM Lights recently adopted the new Prolights Eclipse-FS, a full colour RGB+Lime LED Ellipsoidal that was introduced into the market in mid-2018.
USA - A 48-channel Allen & Heath SQ-6 digital mixer landed a role in the Shakespeare Centre of Los Angeles (SCLA) production of Henry IV, one of the Bard of Avon’s most popular historical plays.
Built from the ground up outdoors on the West Los Angeles Veteran Affairs campus under the artistic direction of SCLA founder Ben Donenberg, Henry IV was staged with a cast that included Tom Hanks as Falstaff, Hamish Linklater as Prince Henry, and Joe Morton in the title role. Sound design fell under the guidance of Diablo Sound, an LA-based firm that has brought audio to many of SCLA’s most acclaimed productions.
Diablo Sound president and principal designer Drew Dalzell looked long and hard for a compact console with a feature set and price point that could facilitate the audio blueprint he envisioned for the play. His moment of discovery occurred when the SQ-6 landed in his lap.
“The SQ-6 is indeed small, feature rich, and sounds great,” he notes. “That’s the trifecta for me, especially in theatre. I’ve always loved the Allen & Heath sound, and this one lives up to its heritage.”
Front of house engineer Anna Grossman used eight of the SQ-6’s DCAs to create a template of scenes that managed the play’s Broadway-style, line-by-line mixing format. “It’s not an easy mix method to learn or execute,” Dalzell explains. “But by keeping it down to just eight DCAs in front of you, you actually stand a fighting chance.”
Grossman’s scenes were programmed in what Dalzell calls a “modified round-rob
UK - At the PLASA Show, Shure UK announced Autograph as the recipient of its 2019 Pro Audio Partner of the Year award.
The award was presented at the show by Stuart Moots, associate director, UK Pro Audio Group, as part of their annual programme to acknowledge the exceptional work carried out by Shure partners each year.
This year’s award was presented to Autograph Sound Recording for their exceptional dedication and commitment to wireless best practice that delivers results at the highest level.
“Autograph were an early adopter of Axient Digital and have been a great ambassador for digital wireless technology,” says Stuart Moots, UK Pro Audio director. “They’ve shown unwavering commitment to delivering first-class results at a time when the RF landscape remains challenging - particularly in highly congested spaces like London’s West-End. Autograph deliver everything we expect from a Shure partner, and more; it’s easy to see why so many theatre productions call on them to deliver. They are a great team to work with and we look forward to building on this year’s success.”
Will McGonagle, hire manager, Autograph comments: “We are delighted to be named Shure’s Rental Partner of the Year for 2019. Axient Digital, and in particular, the ADX1M transmitters have very quickly become a crucial part of our inventory. Along with the PSM1000 IEMs and countless microphones you will find now Shure in every theatre you find Autograph.”
UK - Lighting control manufacturer Zero 88 enjoyed a busy and lively PLASA 2019 where for the first time in the UK, the company presented its new RigSwitch remote controlled switching system together with a host of other neat, practical and innovative power, data and control solutions.
Running concurrently with the first two days of the show, Zero 88 also ran two days of free hands-on introductory and training sessions for the FLX lighting console family at the Hilton Hotel, a two minute walk from Olympia, which were popular and well received.
Product manager Jon Hole commented that the quality of the visitors to the show was “consistently good” and that the footfall was busy throughout, especially on the Monday and Tuesday mornings.
The specially designed one-hour training sessions were based on a very successful informal format that the Zero 88 team has developed, with four a day including an extended two-hour session over lunchtime - with refreshments and a light lunch. The 6pmsession featured an extra highly informative Q+A plus a drink for all those attending.
The main new product reveal was RigSwitch, a fully customisable range of switching cabinets from 12 to 96 relays per cabinet, with four pre-designed options to cover the most regularly requested combinations.
All relays feature staggered power-on, DMX control and remote switching, using anything from a simple contact to a network of engraved keypads and touchscreens. Each channel has an MCB as standard, with additional options of RCBO, ELCB and AFP (Arc Fault Protection)
Australia - Regarded as the ultimate production showcase by long-term technical partner, Novatech Creative Event Technology, the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) South Australia’s annual AHA Awards for Excellence raised the bar once again this year.
With over 30 awards to present, comperes and performing artists, around 200 time-lined cues, all driven by bespoke video content, the technical design required a solid framework. This was provided by Novatech’s suite of Brompton processing and distribution products, which integrated and simplified the whole LED screen system.
“We have been the technical provider for the AHA Awards for eight years now,”says Bryan Goh, video project manager at Novatech. “It’s one of the signature events in our calendar and we love doing it. It’s a very ambitious event, with fresh concepts every year. They entrust us with creative control over the stage design and technical aspects of the event, which gives us the opportunity to go wild with technology, show off the new toys, and give the hotels industry a great experience.”
For the 2019 ceremony, Novatech went with all-LED screen for visuals. Two 6 x 6.3 metre ROE Visual CB3 3mm LED screens were set left and right of stage, with three curved 4.8 x 4.8 metre ROE Visual CB5 screens were hung on motors to fly in and out, revealing the performing band behind them. Two ‘ticker’ type 9.6 x 1.2 metre long CB5 screens graced each side of the stage, whilst at the rear of the stage, a string curtain digital drape formed a backdrop.
A pair of Brompton S
UK - As Central London’s largest conferencing and events centre, Central Hall Westminster recently played host to the Oscar Events House Live in London concert with Assi El Hallani and Mahmood El Turki. As the in-house technical production partner at Central Hall, White Light provided the lighting and audio solutions for this sell-out event.
The concert, held in celebration of Eid El Adha, saw both singers perform with their accompanying musicians to an audience of over 2000 people in the Great Hall. White Light were on hand to enhance the event with atmospheric lighting, utilising a combination of LED moving units and haze effects, and to provide full audio coverage and support.
Remon Hanna, director of marketing at Oscar Events House comments: “Central Hall Westminster was the ideal choice for our first London concert and the magnificent Great Hall looked and sounded perfect. It was a great experience working with the White Light team, whose production expertise made the whole event planning process a pleasure. We look forward to returning for future concerts and working them again.”
Paul Southern, managing director of Central Hall Westminster, adds: “Music concerts are an integral part of our business and it was an honour to host the first in this high-profile series. As always, our in-house production partner White Light, knew exactly how to enhance the audio capabilities of the venue and turn our historic Great Hall into a beautiful concert setting.”
UK - Twenty years after its inception, Newham Council’s annual free festival Under The Stars continues to pull in crowds of up to 10,000 at East Ham’s Central Park.
Graham Baker of turnkey technology providers, Centre Stage, has been servicing the event for all but one of those festivals. In order to keep the production fresh for a roster of headline acts including Naughty Boy, Norman Jay, Cocojam, Musical Youth and the traditional Sunday showcase of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Baker this year turned to his friends at W1 Productions, knowing they had recently acquired JBL’s new VTX A8 / VTX B18 line array from UK and Ireland distributors Sound Technology Ltd. Both parties agreed that this would make the perfect debut for a rig that could be flown 12-aside, with six B18 subwoofers a side in a cardioid sub array. A further four A8 provided infills along the front while the entire system was powered and processed by W1 Productions’ newly-purchased Crown VRacks.
Ensuring that the system was fully optimised were W1 Productions project manager, Lawrence Chichon, FOH sound engineer, Jack Hale, and systems engineer Tom Matthews, with the support of Sound Technology’s Stuart Strachan. Centre Stage, whose sister company, Alistage, was also involved in providing front of stage barriers and risers, found the tie-up with W1 Productions and the new JBL rig to be mutually beneficial.
“We have dry-hired systems from W1 for many years, and it was nice to give this new PA a test drive,” states Baker. JBL’s next generation dual 8" compac
UK - July saw over 100 delegates assemble at the Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre, (one of three theatres within the central London campus of RADA, The Royal Academy Of Dramatic Art), for a review of DiGiCo’s new Quantum Engine and designed-for-theatre T software.
Hosted by DiGiCo and Autograph Sound, the day opened with Autograph’s co-founder Andrew Bruce telling his story from the early 70’s to the present day. This section effectively charted the development of modern theatre sound, using anecdotes and images of legendary West End shows including Starlight Express, Cats, Miss Saigon and many others.
Ably assisted by Autograph sound designers Avgoustos Psillas and Gareth Tucker, plus Tom Williams and Dan Page from DiGiCo, Andrew then spent the remainder of the day walking delegates through the functionality of the T software.
One of the delegates was Jeremy George, head of sound at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, who commented: “I really enjoyed learning about the origins and deeper functions of software that I use daily, not to mention [it was] very useful in terms of tips and ideas to try next time I’m programming a show’ - which, as it happened, was a few hours after the Quantum Synergy day had finished. T Software makes my life easier on a daily-basis. It’s definitely the best way to programme and operate theatre sound.”
USA - Powerhouse Kitchen, created for San Jose University, is probably the world’s largest mobile kitchen. Designed for both mass catering and show cooking, the monstrous food truck features an integral stage and an AV system built around a huge pop-up LED screen constructed from ADJ’s AV4IP panels.
Established for over eight years, Texas-based Cruising Kitchens started out creating bespoke food trucks of all sizes for both well-established brands and start-ups. The company has branched out to undertake a variety of more unusual projects including mobile offices, media centres, bars and even a nightclub.
The university’s catering department, Spartan Eats, wanted a new food truck and entertainment centre that could not only be used to enhance the San Jose Spartans tailgate experience during the football season at their CEFCU Stadium but also for community engagement events both on and off campus.
Taking on the challenge, Cruising Kitchens fabricated an enormous custom-built creation featuring a 40’ long modified and reinforced shipping container welded to a 70' extendable flatbed trailer. Wrapped completely in custom graphics, the impressive truck features a large internal commercial kitchen, suitable for the preparation of a wide variety of cuisine, as well as an in-built stage which can be used for cooking competitions and demonstrations.
The 12ft stage folds out from the side of the truck, as does a 10ft awning, while two islands - fitted with castors - can be wheeled out onto the stage to provide a demonstration workspace. Two mov
New Zealand - To create a more immersive movie-going experience for audiences, Avid Automation and JPRO recently upgraded the Lido cinema with a JBL by Harman surround sound system with 7 Series reference monitors.
Established in the 1920s, the Lido Cinema is one of New Zealand’s oldest and most prestigious cinemas. Originally opened as a single-screen art house cinema, the Lido expanded with a second 44-seat capacity theatre known as The Lounge in 2005.
The Lido recently decided to upgrade the aging 5.1 sound system in The Lounge to a state-of-the-art 7.1 surround sound system. Unable to place speakers behind the screen due to the rear-projection system in the Lounge, the Lido recruited the help of AV integrators Avid Automation and JBL distributor JPRO to install a custom solution. After surveying the location, Avid Automation and JPRO designed a Harman surround sound system comprised of JBL 7 Series reference monitors.
“It’s always been a bit of a troublesome venue for speaker placement due to the rear-projection screen,” says Richard Dalton, managing director, The Lido. “We’ve had about three sound systems in there since it opened and none of them have been particularly good. The idea of working with the AV Integrator and JBL to create a custom solution was rather exciting. The amazing work in the Lounge has exceeded my expectations with a premium audio result - I love it.”
Avid Automation and JPRO equipped The Lounge with JBL 708i reference monitors in the left, centre and right channels in a bi-amplified configuration. T