Denmark - In early 2019, the Odense Theatre, in collaboration with The Funen Opera and Odense Symphony Orchestra, staged the country’s largest ever musical production. Featuring a 70-member orchestra and a star-studded cast, the investment by production company AV Center in a Yamaha Rivage PM10 digital mixing system was one of the key factors that made the show possible.
Performed during January and February at Odeon in Odense - a modern venue with a main hall that seats audiences of over 1700 - Leonora Christina is a musical extravaganza telling the 17th century story of one of Denmark’s greatest political intrigues. Directed by Peter Langdal, it includes “all the plot elements of love, power and treason essential for a great musical production”.
The performances featured high profile Danish actors Xenia Lach-Nielsen and Troels Lyby in the lead roles of Leonora Christina and her husband Corfitz Ulfeldt, as well as many other well-known Danish stars of stage and screen.
AV Center is one of the country’s leading production rental companies and a long-term user of Yamaha digital mixing consoles. It has a number of CL and QL mixers in its inventory, but a higher capacity system was needed for Leonora Christina. It was the perfect production for the company to invest in a Rivage PM10 system.
AV Center’s Jesper Findshøj was the sound designer and Front of House mix engineer for the show, which included more than 30 channels of digital wireless microphones, a comprehensive wired microphone package for the symphony orchestra and a
UK - Sennheiser Sound Academy training courses are now online for 2019. Designed for RF techs, AV integrators, sound engineers, designers or consultants, a wide variety of courses are now available including Audio for meeting rooms and Wireless Audio for AV Integrators held at Sennheiser UK in Marlow and Wireless Mics Monitoring Essentials, held at Stage Electrics in Bristol.
Run by Sennheiser’s Customer Development and Application Engineers (CDAE) team, the courses are aimed at both new and existing users and will provide the skills and confidence to operate multi-channel wireless systems, covering acoustics and electrotechnology, wireless mics and monitoring, antenna technology, microphone technology, frequency management and wireless monitoring.
Each course offers a combination of classroom training, which includes hands-on practical modules and eLearning. For full course listings visit: sennheiser.com/soundacademy
UK - Allen & Heath has released drivers for its Qu, SQ and dLive ranges to facilitate control from Crestron, AMX by Harman, and Extron platforms.
Based on the Allen & Heath TCP/IP control protocol, the drivers enable integration with third-party equipment and control systems.
Available now online, these ready-made drivers offer control modules for all key mix parameters, and are a starting point for building custom user interfaces in corporate, leisure, education and other installation applications. Control elements include levels and mutes for input and output channels, send/crosspoint levels, and scene/preset recall. An example programme is provided with each driver.
The AMX driver for Harman’s AMX controllers includes a Qu, dLive and SQ framework (scene recall only for SQ) and is available on the Allen & Heath website.
Two separate Crestron drivers are available for dLive and Qu mixers respectively on the Crestron Application Market. Extron drivers for dLive and Qu are available on the Extron website.
“We worked hard to make sure integrators don’t have to!” comments Martijn Verkerk, Allen & Heath’s installation product manager. “Instead of typing hex strings and writing a control interface from scratch, system integrators can now make use of these modules and get a massive head start in creating simple, stylish user interfaces for their clients.”
UK - Adlib supplied a Coda sound system, video equipment and crew to the recent UK leg of punk folk singer-songwriter Frank Turner’s on-going world tour. Adlib worked closely with production designer Ali Pike, FOH engineer Luke Buckbee and Johnny Stephenson on monitors.
Taking on the full production designer role was an exciting prospect for Ali Pike who initially chatted with Frank about what he wanted video-wise, and had a very clear overall perspective of what she wanted to create. The focus was to bring something fresh and different to the visual mix.
Assisting Ali to get all the kit and the effects she wanted on the road was Adlib’s Matt Hopwood.
The white backdrop for the lighting and video projections was 18 ft high, and Panasonic RZ21K laser projectors were selected for their power and relatively compact size. These were fitted with short throw lenses and run as an overlaid pair, flown on their own dedicated mid stage truss.
Adlib supplied a fully redundant Catalyst V5 Pro Media server that came complete with 6 channel Active Silicon Camera Inputs. The servers were operated via Ali’s grandMA2 lighting console, where she also added effects and treatments to the content that she had compiled for the show.
Adlib provided six POV cameras, a combination of rackable Marshalls, 2 x CV350 10x zoom ‘block’ and 4 x CV225 ‘lipstick’ units. Three of the lipstick cameras used their standard lenses and one was modified with a fisheye lens.
James Coghlan was the audio systems tech, working with Adlib’s Alan Harrison to e
UK - EM Acoustics has announced the appointment of British sound designer Greg Clarke to its team. He will be responsible for system design and client liaison on behalf of EM Acoustics, a position he will fulfil alongside his career as sound designer. Clarke regularly designs Broadway and West End shows in addition to his work with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre and many others.
“I’ve been an advocate of EM Acoustics for years; I believe fundamentally in their products, their attitude and their philosophy,” comments Clarke. “As we continue to expand, I’m thrilled to be able to put my relationship with the company on a formal basis and share my experience of this exceptional equipment. I’m also really looking forwards to getting to know EM’s broad and diverse customer base.”
EM Acoustics operations director Mike Wheeler adds: “Having Greg on board is a huge asset for us. As both a highly respected sound designer and a key user of our systems in the theatre market, it’s an incalculable benefit for us to be able to make his expertise available to our customers. In addition to offering help and advice on system design, Greg will also be taking on the role of client liaison and after-sales service.”
USA - When the annual Calle Ocho Street Festival took place recently in Miami’s Little Venice it was headlined by Colombian singer, songwriter and producer, Fonseca.
For the past six years, the Grammy nominated artist has been given full visual support by lighting and AV specialists 4 Sound Group. The locally-based company annually provides the full technical infrastructure for this one-day street carnival, frequently calling on its inventory of PR Lighting fixtures.
Around 8,000 people turned up this year to see the so-called ‘King of the Carnival’ perform, and 4 Sound Group’s lighting designer, Juan Miguel Sanchez, gave him a dynamic stage set that befitted the occasion. They deployed 16 PR Lighting Phantom 440, a versatile hybrid Beam, Wash and Spot combined, programming in all three modes to make full use of the Osram Sirius HRI 440W lamp and advanced optical path. This gave them: 0°~ 2.8° angle In Beam mode, 2.8°~ 60° (Spot), and 10°~ 60° (Wash).
These effects were complemented with 16 PR Lighting XLED 4022RZ, a bright LED colour wash featuring 22x 40W (4-in-1 RGBW) LEDs.
The Miami-based production company has been a PR Lighting partner for the past three years.
Company president Joaquin Gonzalez comments: “We particularly chose PR Lighting as our main brand for the quality of its equipment. The power and light output are incredible, and comparable with any other brand in the market. The local support of [PR Lighting US distributor] Mega Systems is very good, and for our part we will continue to increase our invent
UK - Each year the Strictly Come Dancing Live show gets that bit more glitzy and that bit more glamourous.
Now in its 12th year, the live production of the TV show has gone from strength to strength, playing arenas around the country. Each year the show specification is revisited and refreshed with each set piece and prop given a re-evaluation. This year, one of the recipients of a revamp were the chandeliers.
Production manager Andy Gibbs reports: “We had maintained the chandeliers for 11 years, bringing them out of storage annually to add that extra dressing to the set look. Our tour director is Craig Revel Horwood and during the initial discussions about this year’s show, he was keen to include fountains and waterfalls. Clearly, with 1,200 panels of wooden dancefloor that gets loaded in and out and carefully laid at every venue, this was never going to happen. I suggested we go down the LED route and approached Specialz to come up with a proposal. The resulting design and fabrication produced four chandeliers which proved to provide effects far beyond the original expectation.”
Specialz MD Dave Smith comments: “We exchanged various ideas and settled on a concept using programmable node RGBW LEDs and based around three half circle mirror balls on a tier. They had to be the same size as the old chandeliers to maintain the truck pack, they had to be battery powered, WiFi controlled, needed to rotate and descend from a winch. Our SPI cards have a unique programmable animation capability which allowed us to essentially group the 12,0
USA - Production lighting designer Andi Watson recently undertook one of his most challenging projects thanks to a collaboration with LA-based mixed-media artist Doug Aitken.
Conceived by Doug Aitken Workshop, the mirrored art installation, Mirage Detroit, has transformed the 100-year-old Savings Bank in Detroit into a mesmerising adventure for visitors, due in part to the judicious use of customised GLP fixtures, which are used exclusively to light the space.
The LD says the collaboration came about largely by chance. “I had been working on another project in Detroit with the Library Street Collective team who were in the early stages of putting together Mirage Detroit with Doug. Several things fell into place and Anthony and JJ from LSC suggested to Doug that he and I should talk about the lighting component of the piece.”
The concept, in which the 70,000sq.ft Silvers Building was transformed into a kaleidoscopic world of reflective mirrors, fomented over several months and via numerous conference calls. “Doug sent me detailed drawings and renders of how the piece was going to look in the space and we discussed how the lighting would be used to bring both buildings to life.”
Both collaborators agreed that only white light would be used in the installation. Watson explains: “To me, light is the medium and the language with which the Silvers Building and Mirage communicate. I wanted that communication to be as pure as possible and not affected by a subjective colour choice.”
However, this presented a conundru
USA - Reflect, an award-winning provider of retail digital signage programmes and long-time digital partner to Levi Strauss & Co, has teamed up with D3 and BrightSign to create a striking visual experience at the recently opened Levi’s flagship store in Times Square. At nearly 17,000sq.ft, it is the largest Levi’s flagship store in the world. The multi-level location employs AV treatments that create striking visual interest throughout the store.
Originally established in 1853, Levi Strauss & Co. is one of the world’s largest apparel companies with 500 stores worldwide, and products available in over 100 countries.
When tasked with creating a modern environment that was not only welcoming, but also told the story of the brand, Levi’s turned to Reflect. Reflect - which also oversaw the digital design and integration of the San Francisco Levi’s store - leaned heavily on the use of LED panels to create large-scale vignettes in prominent, high-traffic areas. In total, 10 million LED pixels blanket more than 1,000sq.ft of prime wall space located on both levels of the store. The full array of LEDs - supplied by D3 LED - are powered by just two BrightSign XT1144 media players. The inclusion of two additional BrightSign XT1144 media players ensures a high degree of redundancy.
“Times Square stores are among the highest-visibility retail establishments in the world. Delivering a brand-right digital experience was our goal,” says Brandie Perkins, senior account manager at Reflect. “We entrusted BrightSign media players to deliver a f
USA - Georgia Tech fields a mean team of Yellow Jackets baseball players that has posted numerous NCAA Division I conference championships. The team practices and plays all of its home games at Russ Chandler Stadium, a 4,000-plus seat stadium originally built in 1930 and massively renovated in 2002. Like everything on the Georgia Tech campus, Russ Chandler Stadium is nestled deep inside Atlanta’s Midtown area.
Gainesville-based AV company dB Integrations recently gave Georgia Tech two Danley-based sound systems for Russ Chandler Stadium: one for game day that includes a beefy Danley SH96HO loudspeaker and an even beefier Danley BC415 subwoofer and one for practices that uses a more modest Danley OS80 weatherised loudspeaker.
“The Yellow Jackets had a dated sound reinforcement system mounted on a 25ft tower behind centre field,” explains Ronnie Stanford, director of sales and marketing at dB Integrations. “The audio quality was poor, and the system had zero low-frequency extension. The situation called for a complete redo, and we were careful to build game-day and practice systems that would help the team avoid noise complaints. In addition, we designed and installed a whole new front end in the press box, along with simple practice control from the home dugout.”
He continues: “The Georgia Tech facilities managers were already familiar with Danley Sound Labs because they heard a demo for the football field a few years ago. They didn’t want to mess with a distributed system - they wanted high fidelity, great intelligibility, and solid p
Slovakia - Music & Lights has appointed Showmedia S.R.O as its distributor for Slovakia.
Košice-based Showmedia has extensive experience throughout Eastern Europe and already had Music & Lights brand Prolights in its portfolio.
Installations completed by Showmedia have included the lighting design of the RTVS broadcast station in Bratislava as part of Nuit Blanche - the biggest festival of art in Slovakia with over 200,000 people attending. Other notable installations or productions include the entire Encore Club and the Old Bridge structure.
Fabio Sorabella, M&L MD, comments: “We are so excited to have Showmedia join us as our Slovakian distribution partner, their track record and reputation speak volumes throughout the area and we are excited to see what the future holds.”
Branislav Bernár, Showmedia director, adds: “The Music & Lights portfolio of products is complex yet balanced, offering a rarely seen combination of design, an innovative approach, quality and reasonable prices. They offer solutions that can be used in any environment from smaller installations through to the biggest productions. The level of customer service and availability of products and spare parts is amazing, and it makes it easy for us to always quickly fulfil the needs of our customers. We are looking forward to working together and excited for the future.”
Germany - Music & Lights, along with its lighting brands Prolights, Tribe and ArchWork, will be exhibiting at the upcoming Prolight + Sound 2019 trade show in Frankfurt (Hall 12.1 stand D40).
The company will utilise 400sq.m of demonstration, meeting and display space and will launch a number of new products.
Panoramaipspot is a 420W compact IP-rated moving LED spot delivering high brightness levels.
RA2000 is a moving profile/spot light with a proprietary LED engine suitable for both touring and broadcast applications.
PixiewashXB combines cutting-edge LED technology and traditional single lens styling to deliver superior light quality without the multi-cell appearance.
The annual Music & Lights Aperitivo held on Wednesday 3 April gives invited guests the chance to network, chat and unwind with the team and enjoy Italian food and drinks. To get your exclusive Access All Areas pass to the Aperitivo, please register at the stand and collect your pass from your dedicated Music & Lights team member.
Germany - As part of its Fine Pixel Generation campaign, Absen will give centre stage to its headline touring product - the Aries Series - at Prolight + Sound 2019.
The tradeshow will also allow the company to exhibit the capabilities of its award-winning Polaris Series. These products, and more, can be found on Absen’s stand in Hall 4.0, E35.
Absen recently celebrated its 10th straight year as the #1 Chinese export brand for LED displays - a feat that was thanks in no small part to the strength of its rental products - and intends to retain this title with the help of the Fine Pixel Generation’s newest members.
Absen’s new Aries Series is the company’s first NPP range that has been specially designed to meet the growing demand for sub-2mm fine pitch LED in rental staging applications such as auto shows, high-end conferences and live broadcasts. Supporting HDR10 (high-dynamic-range) standard, the new AX1.5 model allows for a much broader range of colours, while being road-rugged thanks to its corner edge protection.
Featuring the latest in Integrated Matrix Device (IMD) and Common Cathode (CC) technologies, the new Aries Series (featuring the 1.5mm pixel pitch AX1.5) provides over three times the strength as traditional LED screens whilst consuming 20% less power. CC technology in particular allows improved contrast ratio and brightness, as well as helping to reduce heat generation, thus ensuring a longer lifespan.
As well as the Aries Series, Absen will also use Prolight+Sound to demonstrate the staying power of its Polaris S
UK - Pearce Hire has claimed the Best Power Supplier Award at the recent Event Production Awards (EPAs), held at Novotel London West on 19 March.
The company provides production services and dry hire to over 2,000 events each year and is set to work on projects including Lovebox, Forest Live series, Classic Ibiza, Detonate Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival and Equifest in 2019.
“It is a huge accolade to have even been shortlisted for an Event Production Award, as we have also been a finalist for a TPI Award and a Festival Supplier Award this season. But to actually win the EPA for Best Power Supplier was really the icing on the cake,” says Shaun Pearce, managing director, Pearce Hire.
“I am extremely proud of the hard work and commitment our dedicated staff and crew put into our projects throughout the year, and a big thank you goes to every one of them. As well, of course, as our loyal customer base who have really put us in the position to win this award.”
The team has now returned to their HQ in Peterborough where they are busy preparing for what they anticipate will be their busiest spring and summer season to date.
The Pearce Hire team will be available to meet on stand RA-05 at the upcoming PLASA Focus Leeds trade show, taking place at the Royal Armouries on 14-15 May.
USA - Obsidian Control Systems is now shipping both the NX2 and NX Wing, the first lighting control products available under the Onyx lighting control platform. Both consoles ship with new Onyx software.
The powerful NX 2 is a compact yet fully integrated lighting controller with all the connectivity and power the ever-increasing size of shows demands. As a member of the Onyx platform, the NX 2 offers a slate of professional features like a high brightness, full HD multi touchscreen, eight assignable parameter encoders, an assistive mini touchscreen, full keypad and command section, a dedicated grand master, and 10 full playbacks with four freely assignable buttons.
Utilising the latest in industrial components, the NX 2 contains a powerful Intel Hexa-Core processor, high-speed NVMe SSD drive and 16GB of DDR4 RAM. Fast boot times, instant operation and the ability to process 64 Universes right inside the console without the need for costly external processing networks result in unprecedented power in this small form factor.
Also shipping is the NX Wing, the complementary USB control surface to Obsidian Control Systems' Onyx platform. Based on the NX 2 console, the NX Wing utilises the same design and components with an identical footprint and layout. Through its USB connection, the NX Wing provides a responsive professional hardware surface to operate Onyx on any PC system without compromises.
A Capture licence is included with every NX 2 console, allowing immediate access to the lighting design and visualisation software. Every NX2 lightin
Germany - At Prolight + Sound, Calibre (Hall 4, Stand B35) will be presenting two new products for the first time in a global launch.
The HQPro1000 is the first product to be announced in Calibre’s new HQPro 4K scaler-switcher range of high-performance solutions. It features a modular architecture for optimum upgradability, tseamless switching and support for multiple sources and layers. Scaling is provided by Calibre’s low-latency proprietary HQUltra technology supporting 4K50/60 4:4:4 RGB formats.
Also on show for the first time will be the new AIO LED display. Recognising the growing popularity of LED technology but the challenge of deploying LED-based screens, the AIO (All-In-One) is designed to be lighter and easier to install – typically, less than one hour - than competing solutions. The QUAD Series FHDQ130, targeted at demanding applications, features 4K resolution and is a 130-inch display with 1.5mm pixel pitch; the A118-18 118-inch model, which is designed for digital signage, features a 1.8mm pixel pitch.
Willy Tsai, MD, comments: “We’re embarking on a global growth strategy that, in the first place, will see us become a provider of complete solutions, rather than just a manufacturer of the constituent elements of those solutions. We’ll be entering new geographic and vertical markets, and substantially expanding our worldwide partner network in order to enhance our service and support, wherever our customers may be. The next 12 months promises to be a very exciting time for Calibre.
“These two new products are represe
China - Lighting and visual artist Christopher Bauder from Berlin-based WHITEvoid was asked to reimagine his ground-breaking Mirror Mirror kinetic lighting installation for the 2019 world premiere of the new BMW 7 series which took place in Shanghai.
He used 52 circular shaped Kinetic Lights mirror disks which worked in conjunction with 42 synchronised Robe Pointe moving lights plus one MegaPointe to stun the 500 VIP guests in the majestic former industrial environment of the West Bund Art Centre, Shanghai.
Christopher was commissioned by show producers China Kingway for whom he’d previously delivered the initial Mirror Mirror in 2018 as a stand-alone segment making up Apologue 2047/2, a work directed by Chinese film director and former cinematographer Zhang Yimou.
This time, the show was directed by Mr Bao, CEO of China Kingway assisted by LuLu He and also featured a special electronic soundscape by composer Kanding Ray, combined with a live performance by famous Chinese sheng player Wu Tong. The sheng is a traditional Chinese mouth-blown free reed vertical pipe wind instrument.
Christopher was delighted to look at ways he could adapt Mirror Mirror to meet this brief and work in this dynamically different context.
The show needed to highlight the styling and proportions of the cars and create a great ambience and anticipation for the reveal, so they developed a series of three-dimensional tableaus that would interplay with artefacts from automotive environments - like streets, landscapes, architecture and natur
UK - A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET) hosted a Seeing is Believing event featuring leading video brands NovaStar, Prolights and Green Hippo, with nearly 80 delegates attending the training and demonstration day on 6 March.
Held at Production Park in Wakefield, the day provided specialist training for professional video users on NovaStar's award-winning LED display processing solutions, to get the optimum picture results out of video screens.
The products were demonstrated using Prolights' flagship OmegaPIX LED displays, which feature NovaStar's A8s card to deliver stunning image quality. Content was fed from a Green Hippo Hippotizer V4+ Boreal media server.
The event was geared for all levels of video user, from novices through to highly experienced professionals, and attended by rental companies, designers and AV installers from a wide range of sectors.
John Harrison, entertainment manager for Brittany Ferries, comments: "I was interested to attend as video is an increasingly important creative element of our ships' entertainment production. It was very well organised, and easy to understand as a video novice."
James Voakes, senior AV technician at Paragon Creative, adds: "The event made excellent practical use of the products to aid the training, and I was impressed by the flexibility of the NovaStar and Prolights system."
Stuart Burdett, video sales manager for A.C. Entertainment Technologies, says: "We are delighted with attendees' feedback. Those new to NovaStar's products, as well as experienced users, found th
Belgium - Fisheye, Painting with Light, PRG Belgium and WIcreations - four of the technical partners involved in the 40-45 Spektakel Musical production - have been featured in a behind-the-scenes film.
40-45 Spektakel Musical is being staged at the Pop-Up Theatre in Puurs by Studio 100.
The short film, available for free on YouTube, was shot during the set up and first weeks of the production and features clips from the show as well as exclusive interviews with director Frank van Laecke, technical director Bart Caels from B-Art Production Design, creative lighting expert and video designer Luc Peumans, innovative entertainment engineering specialist Hans Willems, Fisheye director Stijn Slabbinck - in charge of several scenic masterpieces - and Tom van Hemelryck from PRG, who provided lighting and rigging equipment.
It gives viewers a technical and creative insight into the meticulous planning and challenges of producing this ambitious show set during World War II, the vision and foresight of Studio 100 and the strong teamwork, standards of excellence and innovative solutions that are making it happen.
A team from Painting with Light led by Luc Peumans crafted the lighting design and undertook the programming and operating. They also produced the bespoke video content and designed the video control system complete with its programming and ope
Italy - Dionysus Rising is a new opera by Roberto David Rusconi, and part of the vibrant OPER.A 20.21 programme from the Haydn Foundation of Bolzano and Trento. The production brings modern context to the myth of Dionysus, the ancient Greek God of wine, fertility, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, and theatre, and is set in a rehabilitation centre for patients suffering from mental health issues.
Roberto David Rusconi is the 2019 Artist in Residence for the Haydn Foundation and is well known for his wide-ranging portfolio of immersive musical experiences for opera, theatre, and dance, as well as extensive work in music for film and TV. The Dionysus Rising music uses a small orchestra together with live voices and playback. To convey this ambitious immersive soundscape and complex scoring clearly and intelligibly to the audience, Rusconi turned to L-Acoustics' L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal technology.
He was first introduced to the system by L-Acoustics director of scientific outreach, Etienne Corteel. "I wanted to work with Etienne since we met on another project back in 2014. I got together with him and Christian Heil (president and founder of L-Acoustics) and they explained their ambitions for L-ISA and what it could mean creatively. It was a real stroke of luck - the right time and the right place. My goals were identical to theirs, and the opera project had just been commissioned. I was looking for something, and I found the best."
Rusconi worked with the L-ISA Controller and Processor at his own studio for several months, exploring
Italy - As the site of the Rome Film Festival every October, the Auditorium Parco della Musica has played host to many of the brightest movie stars. Last year, Martin Scorsese, Nicole Kidman, Sigourney Weaver and Julia Roberts were among the celebrities participating in the festival’s events.
Given its association with the film industry, this Renzo Piano-designed complex just north of Rome’s ancient city, made an appropriate setting for a recent retrospective by one of Italy’s favourite actors, Gigi Proietti.
Cavalli di Battaglia takes a moving, contemplative look at Proietti’s over 60-year career on stage and in internationally acclaimed films like Sidney Lumet’s The Appointment and Robert Altman’s A Wedding. Supporting the retrospective at the Auditorium Parco della Musica was a lightshow created by prominent theatrical designer Umile Vainieri. Anchoring his warm and evocative lighting design is a collection of Chauvet Professional Maverick fixtures, supplied by Fumasoli Audio and Lights Rental.
Vainieri used 28 Maverick MK2 Wash and 14 Maverick MK2 Spot fixtures in his design for the show, which is based on a popular televised version of Cavalli di Battaglia that ran on Italy’s RAI network in early 2017. He positioned 18 of the wash units on the stage deck in double rows just in front of the orchestra to create a variety of dramatic effects.
During the more reflective moments of the show, these fixtures produced evocative points of light, while the orchestra and the backup performers were kept mo