UK - Shure has opened a new Experience Centre and office in London. The move further establishes the company’s presence in the UK and wider EMEA region by providing a location for product demonstrations with corporate, government and education customers looking for audio solutions for their respective facilities.
The Rose Shure Experience Centre, named after the company’s late former chairman Rose L. Shure, was inaugurated earlier this month with a VIP opening that featured key Shure executives, including CEO Christine Schyvinck.
Schyvinck comments: “I think Rose would be honoured by having such an amazing complex named after her, especially given the short amount of time it has taken to complete such an ambitious project.”
“The Rose Shure Customer Experience Centre has been the accumulation of many, many months of work by Shure employees from all areas of the business,” adds James Hill, UK director of integrated systems sales. “We look forward to welcoming all our existing and new customers to the Rose Centre and understanding their AV needs and requirements in the best possible environment.”
The facility contains three meeting rooms to represent a range of typical workplace environments, as well as a training space with voice-lift camera tracking functionalities. The facility also features a selection of products that reflect modern offices and educational facilities, offering clients the appropriate environment to demonstrate and understand performance and potential of various AV systems.
“As a global leader in man
USA - Although Louisville residents have long associated the term ‘Triple Crown’ with Kentucky Derby thoroughbred horse racing at their own Churchill Downs, this year’s Trifesta may well pose a legitimate threat to that reigning royal trio title.
Produced by Los Angeles-based Danny Wimmer Presents (DWP) - the concert promoter behind popular US music festivals like Sacramento’s Aftershock, Columbus’ Sonic Temple and Charlotte’s Epicenter - a Trifesta pass served as the golden ticket to get into three large Louisville music festivals held on consecutive weekends during September, each of which utilised an L-Acoustics K Series loudspeaker system deployed by Brown Note Productions (BNP) of Thornton, Colorado.
Staged at the Kentucky Expo Centre’s Highland Festival Grounds, the inaugural Hometown Rising festival packed in more than 70,000 country music fans over September 14 and 15 to hear from headliners Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, and Keith Urban, among others. The following weekend, a crowd of more than 90,000 attended the three-day Bourbon & Beyond festival featuring performances from a wide variety of artists, including Foo Fighters, Robert Plant, and Zac Brown Band.
Anchoring the final weekend of the month was the three-day Louder Than Life, which brought out 128,000 hard rock and heavy metal enthusiasts to headbang along with Guns N’ Roses, Slipknot, Disturbed, and many more.
According to BNP president Ryan Knutson, who, with the help of Soundvision, created the system design for Trifesta, each of the three weekend festivals f
Europe - Coda Audio has released a beta version of its upcoming 3D prediction software.
The Coda System Optimiser enables users to design audio systems, from small to large-scale productions. The software is currently under development, with users invited to register to access the beta version from the Coda website (codaaudio.com). The System Optimiser will eventually be compatible with the company’s entire loudspeaker range.
David Webster, global marketing director at Coda Audio International, comments: “This is a ground-up development, so taking the long view; it’s very important to us that audio professionals out in the field are directly involved with the evolution of our 3D system optimisation software. A beta release gives us the opportunity to allow early engagement for Coda system-users operating in real-life environments.
“Our System Optimiser allows the pinpoint design of Coda systems from the smallest fixed install to the largest, most complex stadium production and does so with great ease, in incredible detail, delivering results in seconds, not minutes. The team is looking forward to working with our clients and taking account of their feedback during this development stage, before we roll the product out across the entire Coda range.”
Switzerland - Pop-rock band Hecht entertained 13,000 fans at Zurich’s Hallenstadion in an energy-fuelled visual and sonic extravaganza which included zip-lining keyboardists, crowd surfing, inflatable pink flamingos and several tons of confetti.
Show and lighting designer Roger Staub was asked to create a big, vibrant and memorable show to end their current touring cycle riding high on their chart-topping third studio album Oh Boy and assisting him to make a massive impact were 98 Robe MegaPointes and 60 Pointes.
Roger is also a video content creator and his elegant design combined the media of lighting and video, proportionately putting the band right at the centre of the action on a large (18 x 8m) semi-transparent LED screen.
Visually, Roger wanted to create simple and powerful statements and a clean performance space. To keep focus on the band, he proposed the central upstage screen instead of standard left and right IMAGs as one of his starting points.
The concert was also shot for a DVD / documentary film with 15 cameras in total, 11 of which were available for a lively IMAG mix which was cut by John Allen of Live Image.
In addition to the Pointes and MegaPointes, there was a matrix of 84 LED battens around and behind the LED screen, and a scattering of strobes.
He relied on the full multi-functionality of the MegaPointes in particular to provide his beam, spot and wash effects. Roger had used MegaPointes before, but primarily in festival scenarios, so this was the first show with them as the main fixture.
Italy - Every October for the past five years, over a thousand musicians have gathered together in Italy to perform as the ‘biggest rock band in the world’. Yamaha digital mixing has featured each time, with a Rivage PM10 digital mixing system making its debut in 2018. This year the event moved to Linate Airport, Milan, where a Rivage PM7 system was added for the first time.
The scale of Rockin’1000 That’s Live means that the sound has to be managed by a highly professional team. Yamaha Music Europe’s Italy branch were on site in Milan as technical partners, with Alessandro Arturi, Marco Giovanetti and the rest of the crew facing the major task of mixing FOH and monitors for over a thousand singers, guitarists, bass guitarists, drummers, keyboard and wind players.
The event’s biggest digital mixing system yet comprised a Rivage PM10 with CS-R10 and CS-R10-S control surfaces to manage the Front of House mix. A Rivage PM7 system was used for the monitor mixes, with five RPio622 I/O racks providing 304 inputs and 96 outputs. The system was based on a TWINLANe network, with Dante distributing the audio to the PA amplifiers and to multitrack recording via two RMio64-D Dante/MADI I/O racks. A QL1 digital mixer was also provided for the conductor, who was busy keeping all the musicians in time.
Groups of each type of instrument were assembled symmetrically throughout the space to provide an even soundfield and avoid spill or feedback as much as possible. Inputs to the system were from a large number of microphones - either close miked or one m
USA - While he officially retired from touring after his 2012-2014 Cowboy Rides Away tour, George Strait was one of the first headliners at Fort Worth’s new Dickies Arena, playing two back-to-back, sold-out shows in late November.
With those shows and others now being mixed on a DiGiCo SD12 96 desk at front of house, Strait stays at the forefront of live sound technology. Commissioned by Epicenter Productions of Dallas, the console was acquired by George Olson, who has been with Strait since 2004.
“It was the SD12’s compact size, and the power that it packs into that footprint, that really convinced me to go with it,” says Olson, who bumped up the console’s channel count from 72 to 96 with DiGiCo’s latest software, increasing its desirability as a rental unit for his GP Productions company when he’s not using the desk for shows with Strait. “When I looked at its dimensions, I knew that it would fit in virtually any truck or trailer, or the back of any bus, so it would always be able to get to the gig,” he says. “But when I saw how many features they had crammed into that console, I knew it was the one I wanted.”
Olson cites the SD12 96’s two DMI slots, which he’s filling with Waves and Dante cards, and the 192kHz SD-Rack that’s fully loaded with 56 32-bit mic pre-amp inputs, 40 analogue outputs and 16 AES connections among those attractive features. “Plus, the SD12 has the dual screens of an SD5, but in a much smaller size, which makes it great for a wide variety of types of venues,” he adds.
Portugal - NEXT-proaudio has introduced the i Series, the company’s new installation line. Th range comprises the i4 (a 4” LF transducer and a 0.8“ dome tweeter), the i6 (a 6” LF driver with a 1“ HF driver), and the i8 (a 8” LF transducer with a 1“ HF driver).
All speakers are housed in IP65-rated plastic white or black cabinets designed for indoor and outdoor applications, with the speakers benefitting from dust and splash protection. The speakers are equipped with a four-position Phoenix connector located on the back plate, whilst the screw connector provides a faster and easy way to wire the system allowing the speaker to perfectly fit the wall shape while keeps invisible.
This speaker is designed for PA applications in restaurants, bars, shopping centres or conference rooms. For greater versatility, the speakers can be used at 100V or 16Ω. In high impedance operation, a multi-tap transformer is available with three different taps to be used according to the pretended 100V power and impedance needed.
France - The Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel, the well-known islet in Normandy, provided an enchanted venue to Laurent Voulzy’s concerts in September.
The popular French singer and song-writer performed here for the first time accompanied by a keyboard player and harpist.
Lighting designer John Artonne enhanced the atmosphere by using Prolights Starkbar1000 to illuminate the stage and create a set of aerial effects.
“Choosing Prolights Starkbar1000 fixtures was a no-brainer for me,” says Artonne. “Among all the products I have seen were those who convinced me the most in terms of light output and effect possibilities, to such an extent that we had the chance to see up close its great potential even when Mont Saint-Michel was shrouded in thick fog. My team was enthusiastic about this choice too.
“It’s always a pleasure working with this brand. Thanks to ESL, Prolights distributor for France, who has been involved in providing local technical support and assistance.”
USA - Keeping pace with Andrew Peterson’s gently winding performance of Behold The Lamb Of God as it weaves its way through a mix of words and music is a supple lightshow designed by Winn Elliot and operated by Jessica Sanders.
Elliot and Sanders’ blend of brightness, colour and shadows was on full display Sunday 1 December when the 20th edition of the popular holiday tour played to a sold-out crowd at the Von Braum Civic Centre in Huntsville. Helping them create their flow of evocative looks was a collection of 16 Chauvet Professional Maverick MK2 Spot fixtures supplied by 44 Designs.
Flown on upstage, midstage and downstage truss, the 440W moving fixtures were used to spot performers in all sections of the stage as the Christmas narrative unfolded. During dramatic moments, the Maverick MK2 Spot units turned up the intensity level with sweeps and overhead beams. The versatile fixtures also created a variety of concert-style looks in support of the show’s diverse musical mix, which ranges from the soft rock country tones of It Came To Pass to the hard-driving Celtic-sounding Gather Round Ye Children.
At the start of the show, when special guests like Jill and Andy Gullahorn, Scott Mulhavill, and Sierra Hull appeared, Sanders busked often to reflect their individual styles. “We created a lot of different looks,” she said. “The Mavericks definitely added versatility to the show. Their optics were amazing. I got to change up looks dramatically using their zoom ranges and varying intensity levels.”
UK - For the UK tour marking the 40th anniversary of Gary Numan’s career as a solo artist, lighting designer Luke Edwards called on the power and clarity of the VL2600 Profile luminaire from Vari-Lite. The tour, which completed at the end of October, played 24 UK venues.
“Although this tour was to celebrate the fact that Gary has been touring for 40 years, he is still very much an artist in the present,” says Edwards. “So we’re using the newest technology, with a large video wall and stage set design for the size of venues we are playing.”
Placed on tiered risers upstage, 14 VL2600 Profile fixtures created strong gobo looks through the band, as well as beam and mid-air effects. “I was looking primarily for brightness and clarity, which the VL2600 Profile handles particularly well,” he explains. “I would have thought they were a discharge lamp source, instead of LED.”
Edwards enjoyed the advantage of the VL2600 Profile’s compact form and punchy output. “The compact size is a big advantage, as space is usually at a premium. With a relatively small footprint and incredible brightness and gobo clarity, it was still powerful enough to cut through the air, even against the video content, and even with a gobo and colour.”
Impressed by the fixture’s output and colour, gobo clarity and high colour temperature, Edwards adds: “The Vari-Lites absolutely delivered, and I will use them again, without a doubt. In fact, they have already been drawn into next year’s tour designs.”
USA - Prism Sound, part of Audio Squadron, has appointed Full Scale AV as its first ever exclusive USA distribution partner for all its products including SADiE.
Full Scale AV has been a distributor of professional audio and music products in North America since 2005. The company provides sales and support of industry leading hardware and software products for musicians, live sound, recording, film/video production and commercial installations.
“We are very excited to begin working with one of the most respected and trusted audio distributors in the States,” Prism Sound & Audio Squadron CEO James Woodburn comments. “The added bonus is Full Scale AV already distribute Tracktion products, so this neatly brings all the Audio Squadron Products under one distribution umbrella in the USA.”
In addition, Prism Sound has also appointed dBm Pro Audio in New York City, along with their affiliates, as the company’s authorised service centre extending support in the key hubs of NYC and LA. Further to this, long-time Prism Sound specialist, Frank Oglethorpe has re-joined the team to handle US technical support, rounding out a comprehensive localised customer support strategy.
UK - Stage Electrics has announced it is hosting a showcase for lighting, audio, trussing and staging equipment in January in Bristol.
Taking place on 29 January 2020 (Wednesday) at the SS Great Britain, the event is free to attend and will run from 2pm to 7pm, with drinks being served after 5.30pm. Over 20 manufacturers will be in attendance, including leading theatre brands Sennheiser, ETC, DiGiCo and Yamaha.
"This event will be the perfect opportunity for those who work within the industry to see and get hands-on with the latest products. Alongside live demonstrations, there will be three interesting seminars, as well as an exciting pyrotechnics display," says the company. Those wishing to attend can secure free parking if they register for the event by 20 December.
World - Twenty-four Astera AX1 LED battery powered wireless ‘pixel tubes’ played their part onstage with rock band Muse during their action-packed Simulation Theory world tour, which has just played its final show in Chile, having been on the road since February.
The AX1s were used in just one song - Algorithm - for maximum impact. They were placed in custom angled holders on the sides of a long runway / thrust during the blackout, and at the start of the song formed 12 illuminated pillars of light behind lead singer / guitarist Matt Bellamy, who was playing keyboards on the B stage right in the centre of the venue.
The tubes were then picked up by a troupe of Ninja performers who used them in bō staff-style to make geometric formations and accentuate their distinctive robotic movements as they moved along the walkway and across the stage.
Two conjoined AX1s each made up one bō staff and there were 12 Ninjas at the largest shows. The tour played a mix of stadiums and arenas.
Creative director Jesse Lee Stout of Metaform Studio wanted to use the fixtures. His original ‘simulation theory universe’ setting for the show was a concept inspired by 1980s and 90s sci-fi movies and spacey themes, which was developed into a dynamic ‘Cyber Noir’ environment for the band, where lighting - designed by Sooner Routhier - was very much a character in the plot.
Being a Cyber Noir show, he needed the Ninjas to have an illuminated tool / weapon for strategic moments and thought that AX1s - used in bō staff style - would be the right
Austria - An Allen & Heath dLive mixing system recently provided audio support for the 200th anniversary of one of the leading financial institutions in Europe, Erste Bank.
Held at the Wiener Stadthalle, the event saw more than 12,000 in attendance and with nearly 80 musicians performing, including an orchestra, big band and choir, the event presented several challenges, requiring several mixing consoles with the ability to handle over 120 inputs and 44 monitor outputs to both wedges and IEMs. Additionally, an extensive Dante network was used for shared access to wedges and wireless systems, track playback via DAW and connections to the main PA.
Supplied by live production company, Habegger Austria, FOH comprised a dLive S5000 surface equipped with a Dante card for stem playback and PA feeds, and a DM32 MixRack fitted with a gigaACE card for the digital split to the monitor system. An IP8 remote controller was used for controlling FX returns and channel mixes for video voiceovers.
Operated by Felix Zwerger, monitors featured a dLive S7000 surface, IP8 remote controller and a DM48 MixRack, fitted with a gigaACE card for TieLine connections to the DM32 at FOH. Two DX168 expanders and a DX32 expander were also used to add extra physical I/O onstage. Both MixRacks were fitted with Dante cards for monitor and wedge sharing and access to Shure wireless devices.
Richard Redl, head of audio at Habegger Austria and FOH engineer comments: “I was one of the first dLive users in Austria and I’m still in love with this console. The show needed a hi
Italy - The Parma Città Della Musica festival is new, but its Romanesque setting was decidedly historic. Set in the Parco della Citadella of this ancient northern Italian city, the festival’s inaugural edition had the walls of a 16th century citadel serve as the backdrop for its stage. Accenting this setting was evocative lighting from over 60 Chauvet Professional Maverick fixtures supplied by Fumasoli Audio and Lights Rental.
Gustavo Boetti, lighting manager for Fumasoli, built the lighting rig with the evocative nature of the festival’s setting firmly in mind. His goal: create a rig that would lend itself to theatrical looks. The lighting designers for the festival’s co-headliners, pop icon Antonello Venditti and Italian rap star Salmo, both made use of his rig to support their clients with compelling scenic panoramas on stage.
Utilising deep pools of light and shadow, crisp key lighting, and boldly saturated back light, the designers eschewed the “typical concert look with its continuous rapid movements” in favour of more immersive and subtle displays.
“The designers wanted the lighting to create emotion,” says Boetti. “Because of this, they focussed on using the fixtures to create more scenic looks with a lot of back light, side lighting, and dark areas to build a sense of space and drama.”
Working with Enrico Fumasoli and the rest of the Fumasoli Audio and Lights Rental team, Boetti selected 44 Maverick MK2 Washes as the backbone of his design, hanging 12 across the front truss, 20 on the back truss, and positioning
UK - Anna Valley has announced their purchase of over 500sq.m of 3.9mm Unilumin LED, making the AV and entertainment technology company one of the biggest suppliers of single-batch high-resolution LED in the UK. The purchase was motivated by increased demand for super-sized screens for projects like X Factor: Celebrity 2019 where 200sq.m of Anna Valley’s new stock was used to create the digital backdrop for the live final at the SSE Arena, Wembley.
The improvement in LED resolution and the increase in the computing capability of video processors and servers has prompted a surge in demand for large screens to display ultra-high-resolution content for live events and broadcast shows. However, in order to achieve image consistency across these video walls, they have to be built from LED panels that are not only from the same supplier, but from the same production batch. Anna Valley now hold enough high-resolution LED stock to cover the stage area at the SSE Arena, Wembley twice over, or to build a giant screen measuring 30m x 17m to display 8K content at a native resolution.
“With 500sq.m of single-batch LED, we’re now able to offer almost limitless scale and versatility in display design,” says Anna Valley operations director, Pete Jones. “This represents a significant financial investment and reinforces Anna Valley’s position as the leading entertainment technology supplier to the event, live entertainment and broadcast sectors.”
Anna Valley has also bolstered its stock of black marble LED floor by 6sq.m, bringing their total inv
Europe - Over the past five weeks, Bose Professional has hosted Installed Sound Expansion events in 10 cities across Europe and the Middle East. Over 900 dealers, integrators, consultants and end users visited Bose offices and external venues to experience a two-hour showcase of some of the latest audio solutions that are now available.
These events were the culmination of the launch of over 50 new products earlier this year. The Installed Sound Expansion has one goal: to provide consultants and integrators with the components they need to deliver complete systems - from simple, repeatable background music systems, to sound reinforcement, to more complex, networked, and distributed solutions.
To accurately demonstrate how the expanded lines of loudspeakers, amplifiers, processors and controls can provide flexible, full audio solutions for more spaces than ever, the listening experiences were focused around two key verticals, Hospitality and Education. During the sessions, complete audio solutions for small, medium and large installations were carefully explained alongside a wide range of listening experiences.
Guests were able to experience the full and consistent coverage of the new, aesthetically designed DesignMax Premium surface and ceiling loudspeakers as well as the EdgeMax In-Ceiling Premium loudspeaker, the Panaray MSA12X steerable column line array as well as ArenaMatch Utility loudspeakers and MB210 compact subwoofers. Some events also featured demonstrations from the DeltaQ range of ArenaMatch stadium loudspeakers and ShowMatch portabl
UK - Silent Disco King, a leading provider for wireless headphone events, helped deliver the biggest ever silent disco event at Lowlands festival.
Back in 2017, the festival organisers wanted to increase the size of their silent disco to 10,000 headphones and needed a suitable supplier. Having visited the company’s UK head office, Lowlands turned to Silent Disco King, who, in August 2018, delivered a silent disco for the festival with not 10,000 headphones but 20,000 headphones.
In August this year, the supplier provided 30,0000 headphones to light up an arena with three channels of music, keeping festival goers dancing until sunrise as customers were able to switch between two DJs or the on-site radio station.
Seven technicians and supervisors from the Silent Disco King team were on site to help set up and manage the event, with a local crew of 90 people for distribution.
Paul Gillies, managing director, comments: “To ensure this event ran smoothly we worked closely with Kees Heegstra, festival frequency co-ordinator, to select frequencies and optimise coverage by linking each DJ wirelessly to our centralised transmission mast. This provided coverage across a large part of the site, including two 10,000 capacity venues, the refreshments area and the campsite.”
The festival’s license for audio covers the Friday, Saturday and Sunday and the Silent Disco King solution enabled a whole day to be added to the festival resulting in additional revenue streams and more entertainment for the festival goers.
Europe - Two years ago, after Thomson Cruises (part of TUI) had rebranded to Marella Cruises, the instigation of a refurbishment programme of the fleet saw UK technology company tedav (part of The Entertainment Department), awarded a long term contract to provide entertainment and comms systems, starting with the conversion of Mein Schiff 1 to the Marella Explorer luxury ship.
Audio and networking components deployed through the many entertainment spaces and general deck areas were sourced from the Harman Professional Solutions catalogue via UK distributor Sound Technology.
tedav’s successful audio design template - along with the addition of Martin from Harman lighting - was adopted and expanded when the company returned to Navantia Cadiz Shipyard in Spain 12 months later to begin work on their second project - the Marella Explorer 2. And with technology having moved on, they were able to place the first UK order at the time for the new JBL VTX A8 line array system.
Under the direction of tedav’s senior project manager, Martin Jones, and cruise technical manager, Flavio Diolaiti, just eight weeks after embarking on the project, they had equipped eight venues on the 14-deck vessel, transformed by a 40-strong team (including permanent technicians respectively dedicated to sound, light and automation).
“We created a bespoke installation out of nothing,” says Flavio Diolaiti. “We had to start from scratch, as none of the equipment onboard was reusable.”
Overall, the project involved around 25,000m of cable, and from an audio per
South Africa - VWV Technical Business Unit has invested in PixelPlus’s LED visual solutions through Stage Audio Works. As an experiential agency that serves as the technical partner to VWV Group, the company hosts events and buys equipment based on these shows or specific client requests.
The VWV team was looking to purchase something that would stabilise its portfolio and deliver an experience above and beyond for its clients. Following discussions with the team at Stage Audio Works and comparing the proposed solutions against other options, VWV eventually chose LED panels by PixelPlus due to the ease of set up and the visual beauty the solutions presented.
“Over recent years, we have used projection,” explains Martin Slabbert, VWV technical manager. “Projection can be great, but it’s never quite the same as LED. We looked at purchasing LED purely so we could stay on top of the game and serve our clients with a better product. The quality and the resolution that Stage Audio Works showed us with their PixelPlus solution was brilliant.”
The LED boasts a versatile system with easy set-up and configure, something that was very important to Lerato Moroe, VWV business unit director. “I am not an AV guy, but I’ve helped set up the LED system and it’s quite straight forward,” he states. “What I like especially is that it doesn’t make a mess. With most modern screens, you find the cabling to be a nightmare, but with this it was quick to set up and it’s always neat and tidy at the back. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the back of a
USA - Rapper Logic toured 26 cities across North America this fall on his The Confessions of a Dangerous Mind tour with lighting design by Mitchell Schellenger and lighting supply by Volt Lites of Burbank, California.
Schellenger employed a rig of Elation Professional Artiste Monet moving heads as the workhorse fixture in his design and says the powerful, multi-purpose LED profile was just what he was looking for.
Schellenger had visited the Volt Lites shop in LA to demo the Monet and found the fixture’s multiple capabilities to his liking. “I didn’t want to use the typical wash, profile, beam configuration,” he says. “I wanted this to be a simplified look and by doing so I needed a fixture that was capable of doing a lot of things with the power and capacity to light the entire show from above. The Monet just made perfect sense.”
On the Logic show, an overhead rectangular rig holds 24 Artiste Monets in six rows of four fixtures each. Across the backline and lined up with the six overhead finger trusses are six more Monet fixtures used for aerial effects and to shape the band. Running perpendicular to the Monet truss fingers are four automated finger trusses, which at times disappear completely to leave the Monet fixtures alone.
Despite the large arena settings, Logic wanted the show to have an intimate feel so Schellenger abstained from LED video graphics and used IMAG with a supporting light show. While two monolithic screens (each 15ft wide by 32 ft tall) project live images of the artist, the upstage centre is left intentiona