USA - Tickets for the first iHeartRadio ALTer EGO concert of 2022 at The Forum in Los Angeles were snapped up by eager fans within 20 minutes of going on sale - a thrilling response for producers Diversified Production Services, Firehouse Productions, and All Access Staging and Productions but one that also necessitated some adjustments to the stage design.
“On hearing that tickets sold out so quickly, we immediately realised that we were going to have to expand the production experience to a much wider audience, as there would be even more seating areas opened for extra ticket sales,” says Patrick Dierson of The Activity, which created the lighting rig for the Capital One sponsored concert, featuring artists like Coldplay, All Time Low, Imagine Dragons, Måneskin, and more.
To accommodate the larger crowd, the design team began angling each of the production elements to create a more rounded look to the overall production at the LA Forum. “We wanted to ensure that every seat in the house received a high visual value for their ticket purchase,” says Dierson. “Ultimately we configured the rig to provide good views to everyone seated within a 270-degree radius of the stage We even opened more seating by compressing the FOH area.”
Dierson and his team called upon an impressive collection of lighting fixtures, video panels and scenic elements to fill the big venue with visuals that would immerse all fans in the performances, whether they were sitting in the audience or watching via livestream.
Playing a key role in this mix was
UK - Gloucester Cathedral is a building with many historic treasures. The cathedral, which dates to the year 1089, has centuries of history and craftsmanship on display - including important architectural features that are considered some of the best in Europe. The cathedral is also a favourite of Harry Potter fans as the cloisters served as the location for various Hogwarts scenes in the films.
Maintaining a Grade I-listed building is challenging, and upgrades to onsite technology must be carefully considered and planned to prevent damage. When the cathedral decided to upgrade its audio capabilities, it turned to the flexibility, scalability, and low-impact installation benefits synonymous with Audinate’s Dante.
The Dante platform is a complete AVoIP solution that allows audio, video and control data to be transported over standard 1GB ethernet networks.
When the cathedral began a restoration project on the Lady Chapel - the newest section of the church, built in the 15th century - the flooring was removed for restoration which presented the opportunity to install a new chapel sound system by running cabling under the floors.
Audiovisual system integrator DM was called in for the project. "When they were taking the floor up, we had a chance to put in a new PA system, and as is my habit on all large buildings with multiple areas, I put in a Dante-enabled equipment kit, including a Yamaha MTX5D mixer,” says Graham Bennewith, installation director at DM Music. “Whenever we're working on a larger or a multi-area building, I use a Dante n
UK - Recently launched U.K. manufacturer Optimal Audio has announced the appointment of Erikson Pro as its exclusive distributor in Canada.
Erikson Pro, part of JAM Industries, distributes a range of brands to the audio and lighting sector, including Allen & Heath, Audient, Chauvet Professional and Martin Audio. Through an extensive network of exclusive representatives, the company maintains close relationships with resellers, consultants and professionals across the sector, priding itself on the high standards and responsiveness of its customer service and technical support.
Dom Harter, managing director of Optimal Audio, comments: "We're delighted to be partnering with Erikson in what is a large and important market. As part of the Focusrite Group, we’re familiar with Erikson’s excellent work with our sister brand Martin Audio, and consequently approach this partnership full of confidence that our fledgling brand is in the best possible hands.”
Christian Bouchard, vice-president at Erikson Pro, adds: “Our long-standing relationship with Dom Harter along with our involvement in the commercial sector through our dedicated division, meant that it was an entirely natural progression for us to work with Optimal Audio. We are excited by the innovation and excellence of Optimal Audio - the added value in performance technology it offers will have a strong appeal for installers seeking superior quality in audio playback, whilst efficiently maintaining the essentials of public address.”
Finland - Genelec has made its Aural ID software technology available in an easy-to-use DAW plug-in format.
Using simple video footage supplied by the user via the free Aural ID Creator mobile app, Genelec will then analyse the way the user’s head, external ear and upper body affect and colour the audio arriving from all directions. This effect is unique to every individual and is called the Head-Related Transfer Function (HRTF). Aural ID’s cloud-based calculation engine then models the user’s own head and upper torso features to calculate their personal HRTF, and this information enables precise rendering of audio in any direction within the Aural ID plug-in, which is available in VST, AAX and AU formats for easy integration into any DAW.
Aimed primarily at audio professionals working in music, film, broadcast, game audio design and academic research, Aural ID is unique in its ability to offer a comprehensive and personalised headphone experience unlike those relying on generic HRTFs, says Genelec.
New to the plug-in version of Aural ID is the ability to compensate for the sound colouration that any headphones will introduce. There are two modes for achieving this, the first and most accurate being a corrective EQ individually tailored for a library of specific headphone models within the plug-in, while a second mode offers a more generalised response that supports any professional headphone model.
The Aural ID plug-in is available directly from the Genelec Cloud platform via a cloud-based subscription service, giving continuous access
Europe - In a live session from London on 27 January (17:00 CET), d&b’s Ralf Zuleeg will chat to Dom Bilkey, National Theatre London’s head of sound and video, about d&b Soundscape.
Bilkey will discuss his experience using Soundscape on Lehman Trilogy, Death of a Salesman, and more. Plus, there’ll be a live Q&A straight after the session.
Further details are available at https://www.dbaudio.com/global/en/events/db-live/.
Spain - On 17 January, the Art Nouveau jewel in Barcelona’s theatrical crown, the Palau de la Música Catalana, played host to the inaugural ESLAND awards gala. Billed as the ‘Grammys for streamers’ in the Spanish-speaking world, and hosted by streaming star of YouTube and Twitch TheGrefg, the three-hour gala, celebrating the best in content creation and streaming in 2021 throughout Spain and Latin America, was itself streamed live on its own Twitch channel.
Sound reinforcement for the event in the historic auditorium was provided by just four of Amate Audio’s latest Xcellence series X102FD self-powered point source systems and four accompanying X18T compact subs; with a couple of Nítid series N26 systems as front-fills.
An advanced performance compact two 10” design, the X102FD is capable of continuous output levels of up to136dB SPL - equivalent to four compact line array elements. Its onboard next generation Active+ digital power and control platform provides a 2-channel 3000 W continuous programme power source.
Active+ also provides Dante audio networking and full Ethernet remote control (with the company’s DSP Studio 3 software) via dual Ethernet ports; Wi-Fi remote control is enabled with the CWK-D Wireless Communication Kit.
UK - Abbey Road Institute is a specialist music production school and the training ground for the next generation of music producers and sound engineers. Its foundations are the expertise and innovation created at Abbey Road Studios.
Originally based in St Johns Wood as part of the famous studio’s complex, the school’s diploma became so popular with students that it needed to expand its facilities to accommodate the growing demand. During the summer of 2021, the Institute moved into and revived the historic Angel Recording Studios in Islington, near Kings Cross. VDC provided the Institute with a variety of Van Damme cabling as the foundation for the refurbishment; from custom manufactured D25 assemblies on 8 pair Studio Blue to microphone, speaker and console cabling.
The Institute opened the doors to its new home in June 2021. Building on the success of the existing professional one-year Advanced Diploma in Music Production and Sound Engineering, the move has included the launch of a new five-month Advanced Diploma in Audio Post Production for Film and TV to meet the needs of students and the industry.
Alex Watson, technical services manager at Abbey Road Institute, says: “Abbey Road Institute is an amazing school that benefits from the knowledge of creative cutting-edge producers, technical experts, business professionals and established names across the music industry. We’ve seen demand grow rapidly over the years, and it’s been a privilege to be able to reopen Angel Studios and offer the space again to the future of the music and recor
South Africa - Having the right equipment for recording is of utmost importance to Amazing Discoveries Ministries Africa. The organisation is in the studio every day to produce content that is delivered over six video and three podcast platforms. That list of equipment has now been expanded to include DPA Microphones, thanks to a recent upgrade project with Prosound.
With nearly 100,000 subscribers on YouTube alone, Amazing Discoveries Ministries Africa has a large audience to serve. Its studio setup has grown over the years from equipment primarily used to service large-scale live events that could get the job done, to dedicated recording gear.
“The right equipment for the recording is of utmost importance, as the better the initial recording, the less time we spend in post-production editing,” explains Fanie Fourie from Amazing Discoveries Ministries Africa. “Time is a very precious commodity to us. We need it done right the first time.”
The latest upgrade has seen Amazing Discoveries Ministries Africa invest in DPA's 6060 CORE Subminiture Microphones in a new installation from Prosound. “Speaking to the team at Amazing Discoveries Ministries Africa, we understood that they wanted something discreet that would sound amazing for their productions,” says Prosound’s Keith Karimi. “For us, that means one thing - DPA’s 6060 and 6066.
“The clarity, consistency and durability of the 3mm capsule really stand out for us. It really does squeeze everything in to such a small package. I’m always happy to recommend these mics for ap
UK - The Royal Albert Hall continues to mark its 150th anniversary through special events to the end of 2023.
The venue, which hosts over 390 shows a year including classical, rock and pop concerts, ballet, opera, awards ceremonies, charity performances and banquets, many of which are televised, is now fully equipped with four MDG ATMe haze generators, supplied by TSL.
The RAH lighting team initially invested in two of the ATMe generators in July 2019 before adding another two in November of the same year. The ATMe haze generators are in almost constant use with two free-standing machines located on stage and two permanently installed in custom flight cases on the stage edges at circle level.
“Good haze is particularly important at the Royal Albert Hall,” explains RAH lighting designer, Richard Rhys Thomas. “When lighting a concert there is no scenery, and often little or no video, so the lighting becomes the scenery. It forms an important part of the overall look, so you need good haze to show the beams from the roof to ground level.”
The procurement of MDG generators had been on the RAH’s agenda for some years following consultation with Matt Wiseman at MDG UK. “As we built up our lighting service with new fixtures, we realised the thing we were lacking was good quality haze,” he explains. “We had an amazing rig, but if you can’t see the beams, it doesn’t matter how good the lights are!”
The team was also getting comments from incoming lighting designers about how the haze distribution was affected by the auditor
USA - Powersoft has moved offices to a larger and more suitable space in Flanders, New Jersey, for the increasing requirements of the company. This expansion has been supported by the appointment of Sara Schiffler as the new business development manager for the Americas.
The new location in New Jersey has the benefits of dedicated private offices, demo/training space, a lab area and is only 45 minutes away from Newark airport. Powersoft’s previous headquarters, more geared towards early-stage companies, was on the fourth floor with shared amenities and without any direct access to loading bays.
“Our new headquarters significantly improves our ability to host our customers and dealers for training, demonstrations and seminars,” says Tom Knesel, general manager at Powersoft US. “The atmosphere is far more relaxed for our employees, and we have almost tripled the space, thus providing better service to our customers while supporting growth.”
Sara Schiffler joins Powersoft with over two decades of AV experience to continue pursuing her passion for audio. Schiffler, who also speaks Spanish and Portuguese, has been appointed to the role of business development manager, to further develop opportunities for Powersoft in the Americas. She previously worked at audio manufacturer Music Tribe, as well as a variety of manufacturers in the AV industry.
“Tom was looking for someone with a deep background in integration and with experience in live sound. I had previously worked with Tom at Music Tribe and I knew him as a leader who I respect and t
UK - Lighting and rigging equipment and services specialists, TSL, has a diverse portfolio of clients across the live events industry. With an impressive remit that encompasses music, theatre, corporate, sporting and e-sport events, the need for reliable, versatile lighting fixtures to handle this varied field of activity is paramount.
“Last year, when we looked to evaluate and increase our range of outdoor profiles, we were intent on investing in LED fixtures which were robust and flexible enough to cope with the many demands we put upon our equipment,” explains TSL director, Loz Wilcox. “We were looking for a fixture which could support our clients on their exterior lighting projects. We tried out options from several manufacturers and chose Perseo above all others for a number of reasons. It’s a great feature-packed fixture, with all the things you’d expect from that range and size of fixture and, to me, it feels like the IP65-rating is just an added bonus! We view it as a light that can do everything, which can be spec’d on any show, not just outside events.”
Sixty Perseo Profile fixtures were purchased from Ambersphere Solutions, Ayrton’s exclusive distributor in the UK, following a demonstration from Ambersphere’s managing director, Glyn O’Donoghue. Fifty of the IP65-rated fixtures were immediately put to use by lighting designer, Adam Povey, on a high-profile, themed woodland walk in the north of England.
“The event ran from October to January in the worst of weathers, during which time we had only one swap out,” says
South Korea - In 2018, South Korean construction company Hoban Co. began moves to take over Resom Resort from its creditors at a cost of $224m after being named as the preferred bidder. Resom owns three resorts in Chungcheong Province in Korea - including Splas Resom, a membership spa resort and Forest Resom, situated in a dense tree forest, which seeks to provide healing through nature and water.
A tender was issued for refurbishment of the existing Splas facility - as well as the construction of a new building - and Martin Audio distributor, Sama Sound, partnered with its dealer, Asea Sound, to submit the successful bid.
Sama Sound product manager, Edan Kwon, stated that the speakers had originally been specified with another brand. “And so we worked hard to get this changed to Martin Audio. With the help of a presentation we were able to show the company and its engineer the advantages of the new system design over other brands.”
Martin Audio’s Wavefront Precision Compact (WPC) was chosen. “This system pretty much decided itself,” says Kwon. “It was the same with our SXC118 subwoofer; since a cardioid subwoofer had been specified, we designed the system with SXC118.”
But from that point on, the scalable Wavefront Precision offered advantages that none of the other previously considered systems could. “The venue was constructed without regard for architectural acoustics, so there were consequently many sound reflections, especially from the venue back wall, as well as from backstage. The Hard Avoid feature [in the proprietary
UK - Eric ‘EZ’ Wade, who runs production management company, EZ Services, has been touring UK theatres and clubs with the rapper, Little Simz - with active support from sound system supplier, Entec Live.
This is a new relationship which has quickly kicked into overdrive, after the West London technical services company had been strongly recommended. Wade was introduced to Entec head of sound Dan Scantlebury by James ‘Kedge’ Kerridge, monitor engineer for Little Simz and monitor tech on another Entec act, Gorillaz. This was at the beginning of the year as rehearsals were about to begin. Fittingly, Kedge had also served his apprenticeship at Entec, and so was able to provide the recommendation based on his own experience.
“I had worked with various production companies and was always struggling to find the right relationship. It was generally Entec’s approach that impressed us - how they spoke to us, how they dealt with quotations and their general workflow are all of the same high calibre. I can call late at night with a requirement and it’s there first thing in the morning. On top of that, their gear is always well prepped and maintained.
“At EZ Services we like to stay loyal and so we have transitioned our other clients to Entec and that’s really worked out for the best.” By that he means Bristol band Elder Island, Bow Anderson who supported Ella Eyre on the recent tour, Girl In Red, Youngr, MiC Lowry and Ghetts.
Most of Little Simz’ dates have been through theatres and O2 Academys (culminating in a grand three-night fin
New Zealand - Venues Ōtautahi manages five busy venues in Christchurch, including the city’s premier sporting, convention, and entertainment hubs, among them Christchurch Town Hall of the Performing Arts which has recently invested in Robe Esprite moving lights.
James Tull, a senior technician working across all five venues explained that the Town Hall was originally built in the 1970s and then rebuilt after the 2011 earthquake in which it sustained extensive damage. The building reopened in 2019 with a 2,222 capacity main auditorium and an 800-seat theatre space and was registered as a category 1 heritage building in 2020.
With all the reconstruction came the need to update and upgrade the lighting and sound, so James and his team started looking at options for modern lights that ticked all their boxes, were more sustainable, and that would make changeovers between productions and events quicker and more efficient.
“Quiet running was at the top of the list as the Main Hall is a primary orchestral space and concert hall as well as used for corporate presentations and gala dinners,” he stated, adding that brightness was another factor drawing them to Esprite plus the replaceable LED engine.
“Looking to the future, we like the idea of being able to change or replace the LED lightsource,” he confirms, adding that they also wanted new lights that would work equally well in the main auditorium and the theatre space and that would satisfy the requirements of their own and the riders of incoming or visiting productions. They also wanted
South Korea - Seoul-based Ingang Audio Co has been appointed as the South Korean distributor for Optocore and BroaMan with immediate effect.
Established in 2006 under president Joo Hong Chang and CEO Steve Kim, Ingang Audio has built a portfolio of global pro audio brands, including Meyer Sound, Calrec, Countryman, Samson and Lectrosonics.
Both Chang and technical director, Eric Han had known Optocore and BroaMan for many years and the latter has received Optocore training. The company had also developed a good relationship with Optocore distribution sales manager, Dawid Somló and the tech team during earlier project development.
“Ingang had been talking with us for long time,” explains Somló. “They are an excellent pro audio company with a good infrastructure. They are keen to develop their portfolio with our video transporting systems and also add them to their audio projects.”
Ingang Audio Co’s senior marketing manager, Jake Min, adds, “Having Optocore and BroaMan [in our portfolio] is like securing a backbone for our brands. We now have optical paths for sending and receiving audio/video/intercom and some control signals. Also, it enables us to make an optical connection between loudspeaker, processor and console, replacing the existing cables.”
As for BroaMan, they hope to expand the brand’s outreach beyond broadcast into theatre, although Min estimates that with the impact of COVID-19, the broadcast segment will lead the way rather than live events.
To that end they already have a project lined up, with two
Italy - Three years after releasing the successful EclPanel TWC and EclPanel TWC Jr, Prolights has released two new soft light fixtures, the EclPanel TWC Jr 4x1 and the EclPanel TWC Mini 2x1.
The new units have the same features as their bigger brothers, with an RGB+WW source, a CCT range from 2,200K to 15,000K (in film mode), colour modes like HSI, RGBW, gels, source emulation and XY coordinates, and equipped with W-DMX and CRMX. Furthermore, the newly added panels have an Ethernet connection for Art-Net and s/CAN, a 24-36VDC input for connecting to external batteries and an alternative 48VDC input for an external power supply.
In terms of size, the EclPanel TWC Jr 4x1 has the same length as its flagship version, but half the width, making it a suitable fixture for low-ceiling environments, whilst the Mini version is one-quarter of the size of the flagship fixture.
With a 230W source, the EclPanel TWC Jr 4x1 has a total output of nearly 16,000 lumens at 4,000K, and the same high CRI, TCLI and TM30 values as the rest of the range. Despite its small form factor, the Mini has a 115W source, outputting almost 7,000 lumens at the same colour temperature.
The increasing success of Prolights soft lights in major Hollywood productions has contributed to the improvement of several on-board software features, like a wide PWM range up to 40KHz, lower fan noises for silent applications, a high-resolution mode at low dimmer value, and a new dimming curve that offers a 16-bit dimming experience while using an 8-bit dimmer.
The newly released version
USA - It’s been a difficult and challenging two years for concert and event spaces during the COVID pandemic, but what’s emerging at the other end of a long, gloomy tunnel is a new, more sonically shaped generation of venues. The Factory, which anchors a new entertainment and dining destination known as The District in the St. Louis suburb of Chesterfield, is an example of that dynamic.
The recently-opened 52,000sq.ft venue can hold between 2,350 and 3,400 concertgoers or event attendees in flexible dance floor and fixed-seating configurations that face a huge 60ft-wide stage. But what sets The Factory further apart is the scale of its L-Acoustics PA system, which provides complete coverage for every audience member no matter where they are seated or standing in the large performance hall.
“The Factory is built on the most valuable real estate in the region and there is no wasted or extra space anywhere in the building. So we had to create a sound system that no one could ever say no to,” observes Chip Self, president and CEO of Logic Systems Sound & Lighting, The St. Louis area-based systems design and integration firm that supplied the new L-Acoustics system.
It’s also a system from which no one can say they’ve missed a note or a word with one dozen K2 loudspeaker enclosures atop two Kara II down-fills comprising the left and right main array hangs. These are buttressed by two A Series enclosures per side as in-fill and out-fill, respectively; six eight-inch coaxials used for front-fills; and four A10i Wide speakers for delay.
USA - Symetrix has launched Symetrix Professional Services, fee-based services that “leverage the experience and knowledge of Symetrix applications engineers to provide engineering support for their customers’ projects”.
Symetrix Professional Services include site file programming, custom intelligent module creation, and remote or on-site commissioning.
There is a dedicated in-house team of Symetrix applications engineers who can review the system design to ensure that the selected hardware will work seamlessly in a system. Because it is being reviewed by Symetrix, customers will have the peace of mind that it is approved by the original equipment manufacturer.
UK - Thomas Heatherwick’s Materials House was commissioned by the Science Museum in London as an exhibit to show “everything that anything can be made of” for the Challenge of Materials gallery. The idea was that, instead of prioritising any one material to make the house from, and then exhibiting small samples of all the other materials within it, the studio chose to make the house itself from all of the materials.
The result - six-metre-high pieces of each material bonded together into a single element of many strata was built in situ on the first floor of the museum in 1999 and remained a centrepiece of the gallery until December 2021, when Unusual Rigging was called upon to help the museum remove the exhibit from its long-time home, and lower it to the ground floor, ready for transportation to be held in storage.
Robin Elias, director at Unusual Rigging explained: “Materials House is a fantastic artwork made of 213 materials, bonded together in over 2000 individually shaped pieces sourced from more than eighty suppliers and sponsors. Measuring 7m x 4m x 1.5m, it had been welded to substantial steel foundations beneath the floorboards at the museum. It was displayed at a jaunty angle and restrained by attachment to an overhead beam, but it had no useful fixing points and was of indeterminate weight but estimated to be between 4-8 tons.”
In order to be able to move Materials House in one piece, Unusual needed to remedy this - it was vital to know the exact weight of the exhibit and design and install a system to allow the team to move it
Europe - The ESM312 is the latest - and most powerful - addition to KV2 Audio’s range of stage monitors. Aimed at large scale stage monitoring applications, the ESM312 is a high output full-range low profile 3-way, passive monitoring solution. Features include two bass reflex-loaded 12” neodymium woofers, a single horn loaded 6” mid-range woofer and a 1” compression driver in a compact, Baltic birch cabinet.
KV2’s most powerful stage monitor yet, the ESM312 delivers 133dB sustained output, and 136dB peak with very high dynamic range. A 1” compression driver with a complex geometry phase plug and a neodymium magnetic structure ensures ‘astonishing output for its size, exceptionally low distortion and extended frequency response’. The ESM312 also features dual 12” woofers with sophisticated voice coil technology and neodymium magnetic motor structure for dramatically increased force, lower distortion and increased frequency response linearity. It’s ability to reproduce vocals is quite simply unmatched by anything else available on the market.
The compact, wedge-shaped design incorporates rear-mounted flip-out stands to allow for 35º or 45º angles as required. A specially designed acoustic fabric covering inside the grille protects against liquid spillage whilst a wear-resistant polymer coating is designed to withstand the rigours of touring and repeated stage use. An ergonomically designed recessed handle on each side panel facilitates handling and transport.
USA - Walnut Hill Community Church located in Connecticut, provides a combination of both in-person and online weekend services to their five-campus congregation. The central campus in Bethel, CT, has invested in top level production values and technology, which includes the purchase of a grandMA3 compact XT lighting console which is running with grandMA3 software.
Creative lighting senior intern Jonathan Martin, who designs, programmes, and operates lighting for most of Bethel’s worship service events, helped guide the team’s decision to purchase a grandMA3, backed by Walnut Hill’s production director, Christopher Ellington.
Jonathan explained how lighting was high on the agenda when the decision came to up the production stakes. “We kept coming back to grandMA3, which had the perfect combination of price point and hardware feature set,” he explained, whilst Christopher also underlined the importance of investing in lighting both for now and the future, and co-ordinated much of the logistical work involved in making the transition to MA.
The console is running approximately 40 conventional fixtures, 16 moving lights and 42 custom RGB pixel tubes, plus some LED PARs and MR-16 blinders, with the pixel tubes used extensively for creative lighting and to provide illuminated scenic elements, either hung from roof trusses or floor mounted where it also assists in creating visual textures and depth of field for the streamed events.
As well as lighting the stage, some of the moving lights highlight the 750-seat Bethel auditorium and are