UK - A team of entertainment technology professionals have joined forces to form People Powered UK in a bid to help relieve the pressures of the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The initiative was started by LDs Katharine Williams and Jono Kenyon and has so far amassed 915 members and counting from across the entertainment and live event industries. Williams previously worked on Crew for Calais, a project that saw event professionals build shelters for refugees, whilst Kenyon has first-hand insight into the pressures of the UK’s health service thanks to his partner, an ITU worker.
A statement from People Powered UK says: “People who usually work at venues such as the London Roundhouse and provide production services to festivals are working together across the entire UK. They’re using skills and ingenuity honed building festival infrastructure to provide structures quickly and effectively, and sourcing equipment from outside the NHS’s usual supply chain to provide solutions to challenges hospitals are currently experiencing. Production people already work with emergency services and local authorities at SAGs, on health and safety, and at planning meetings, so already speak the same language.”
Sam Oldham, commercial and operations director of Camden arts venue the Roundhouse comments: "Our industry is full of highly skilled workers, many of whom are currently out of work or have been furloughed. They have essential skills which can be used to support the NHS and we're so proud to see the Roundhouse technical and producti
UK - PLASA, the Professional Lighting And Sound Association, has urged businesses and individuals to get in touch with more evidence on how the ongoing Covid-19 crisis is affecting their operations.
The information is sought by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and will help the Treasury to better understand the devastating impact the situation is having on the events industry.
To gather the evidence, The Events Industry Forum - of which PLASA is a member - has created a survey, which can be completed here until 5pm on Tuesday, 7 April.
"We are working hard alongside other industry associations and organisations to ensure the voice of our industry is heard," says PLASA in a statement. "We hope that through this work we can secure measures already gifted to leisure and hospitality to be extended to events and the events supply chain."
Canada/USA - Audac has announced a partnership with Canadian based A.C. ProMedia as the new exclusive distributor of their audio solutions in North America.
A.C. ProMedia offers a wide range of multimedia solutions aimed at the fixed installation and architainment markets, through consultants, design groups and systems integration channels. They will be managing the sales, distribution and service of the complete Audac product line in North America from their offices in Toronto.
Following the agreement, A.C. ProMedia has appointed Sarah Lima to take Audac under her wing. “We are excited to introduce the Audac family of audio products to the North American market,” comments Lima. “These high quality products have proved to be a reliable solution around the world, and with their Audac Touch you have an out-of-the-box application for UCI configuration. It allows you to merge together widgets in one screen and is accessible on any wireless device on your network.”
Audac’s CEO, Tom Van de Sande adds: “We are delighted to be partnering with A.C. ProMedia. Taking our innovative audio solutions overseas is a big step, but we believe that A.C. ProMedia has all the capabilities and expertise to make them the ideal partner for this opportunity.”
China - Chinese industry is now back to work following the Covid-19 crisis, and Guangzhou-based PR Lighting marked the start of a new month by putting out a statement reassuring their global reseller and customer base that it is once again business as usual.
China was the first country to register the outbreak of the coronavirus (on 31 December, 2019) and while production remained temporarily idle throughout the country during lockdown, PR Lighting used the first quarter of the new year not only to fine tune new products already under development but to make some strategic changes to their global sales infrastructure.
“PR Lighting is back running 100% as normal,” confirmed company president, Dave Liang. “Our technical and marketing departments are fully operational, and production and shipment are back on schedule. We would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during these unprecedented times.”
Moving forward, PR Lighting’s senior sales managers, Lawrence Mao and Bruce Tian, stated, “Although the pandemic in China is now well under control we are aware that much of the globe is presently trapped in crisis. We want to reassure customers that we are here, ready to support them in whatever way we can with their needs. Meanwhile, we are grateful to our international network of distributors and dealers for marketing the products in their local territories.”
The two men emphasised that PR Lighting holds plenty of inventory of all popular items. “These are available for shipment, subject to the current transport
UK - The country may be on lockdown, but one sound designer has found a way to teleport listeners straight into the heart of London.
Will Cohen, co-founder of the String and Tins collective and the person behind the Silent London project, visited some of London's most popular destinations to capture their soundscapes before the UK lockdown took place.
He used a binaural microphone technique to capture the sound of each place - from Leicester Square and Covent Garden to Charing Cross and Oxford Circus - to create a 360-degree soundscape that everyone can now immerse themselves in from home.
“In the final days before London was shut-down, I made sound recordings of areas that I care about as a Londoner," he explains. "From documenting spots that I skated at as a teenager, through to areas I have worked in - I wanted to see what familiar sounds still resonated at this unprecedented time. I used the binaural microphone technique - if you put headphones on, close your eyes and imagine you are there, the physics behind this method of sound capture will immerse you in the environment pictured in the stills that I took on my journey.”
In simple terms, a binaural recording is a method of audio capture that matches the way humans hear. The recordings are made by attaching two microphones on either a human or dummy head, capturing audio that, when heard back on headphones, creates a realistic immersive experience for the listener.
For Silent London, Cohen used DPA microphones’ new binaural headset.
Listen to the recordings
USA - Working from home has become the new normal for many. It can require some adjustment but can be made easier with the right equipment for staying connected. Audio-Technica offers a variety of audio solutions that enable audio professionals to maintain productivity, increase their visibility and keep in touch with their colleagues and co-workers.
Audio engineers, now working from laptops and in less than ideal monitoring environments, are frequently relying on headphones for the monitoring resolution necessary to make edit and mix decisions. The familiarity of the sonic signature of the Audio-Technica M-Series Professional Studio Monitor Headphone line, including the ubiquitous ATH-M50x model and the enhanced performance ATH-M70x model, allow confidence and trust in production decisions with excellent translation to consumer distribution formats. For extended comfort in longer sessions that require less isolation, an alternate solution is the ATH-R70x Professional Open-Back Reference Headphones, a choice of many professionals for personal listening.
To drop in a new track or for overdubs, individual musicians are being recorded at home or via online collaboration. Whether in a home studio or in a personal space, a high-quality, reliable microphone is still essential. Audio-Technica Multi-pattern condenser microphones like the l high-performance, yet affordable, AT4050, and the go-to-mic in numerous professionals’ personal collection, the AT4047MP, are versatile choices for handling a broad range of production applications from vocals to instrument
Germany - The ARRI Academy has announced the launch of a new course designed for all levels of lighting and video production professionals. Lighting Systems Control with Richard Cadena is an 11-part video course that serves as a guide to get you up and running with digital lighting control, using DMX, RDM, Wireless DMX, and ethernet-based networks.
The series consists of short, informative videos with classes ranging in length from five minutes to 34 minutes. Course attendees will gain a working knowledge of standard and emerging technologies and will be trained on the latest lighting technology. The complete list of classes is as follows: DMX, Building DMX network, Troubleshooting DMX network, RDM, Wireless DMX, Intro to ethernet-based networking, Testing ethernet-based networks: PING and IPCONGIF commands, Art-Net, sACN, Consoles, and ARRI LED Ecosystem.
The series is taught by Richard Cadena, LSi columnist and an ETCP-recognised trainer and certified entertainment electrician. Cadena brings over 30 years of lighting industry experience and has been training entertainment lighting professionals around the globe.
The series gives an overview of established and emerging technologies, best practices, and guides users on how to troubleshoot potential issues. Cadena’s insight into the discipline of lighting and the industry is extensive. In the episode on Wireless DMX, for example, he explains, “When people tell me, ‘Oh, I don't trust wireless DMX,’ I start asking questions.” Cadena continues. “‘Well, what kind of wireless were you
Germany - In cooperation with the Sennheiser SoundAcademy, Neumann will be offering detailed webinars on the basics of microphone technology over the coming weeks. In three one-hour sessions, trainer John McGregor will discuss all important aspects of Neumann studio microphones: Starting with the most important theoretical principles, through practical tips and application hints, to product care and maintenance.
The first session will be available on Friday, 3 April at three different times (8.30, 13.30 and 18.00 CET). The other two sessions will follow on 17 and 24 April. All webinars will be presented in English.
Interested parties can register at: https://www.neumann.com/webinars
For an overview of all the free Sennheiser SoundAcademy webinars on offer, please visit https://www.sennheiser.com/webinars
Neumann has also created a new hashtag #AtHomeWithNeumann to help guide its customers, fans and followers to informative video content that will be provided during the coronavirus crisis.
Serbia - With an impressive line-up of EDM stars, the Green Love Festival in Novi Sad has grown into a magnet for music fans, not just for its sounds, but for its visual treats as well. Aside from being located in a beautiful vibrant city on the Danube that was designated the European Capital of Culture for 2021 by the EU, the indoor and outdoor festival also wows fans with some stunning stage panoramas.
This was readily apparent in the looks that lighting designer Predrag Djordjević and stage designer Dragan Rajčin from Chameleon Rental conjured up for artists like Spartaque, Metodi Hristov and Fernanda Martins during the most recent incarnation of the festival. With its crossing patterns of beams set off against a massive wall of bright blinders and video panels, their design wrapped itself around the music, commanding attention without taking attention away from the artists.
Aiding them in this endeavour was a collection of over 100 Chauvet Professional fixtures supplied by Chameleon Rental that included 16 Maverick MK1 Spot, 20 Maverick MK2 Wash, 24 Rogue R2 Beam, and 60 Rogue R2X Beam fixtures.
Massing some of their fixtures along the upstage wall to create a stunning backdrop, positioning some on the stage deck, and flying the remainder on overhead truss that extended midway through the indoor performance area, they were able to immerse the crowd in a field of light from multiple directions.
Key to providing a colourful visual foundation to underline the electronic beats was the output from the combination of Maverick MK1 Spot and MK2
USA - Grace Primitive Baptist Church in Pearl, Mississippi supports a close-knit community of believers with very traditional services. Spoken word and sung vocals are the focus, with occasional support from backing tracks. Its long, rectangular sanctuary can accommodate approximately 300 congregants, but until recently, many of them had difficulty understanding what was being said or sung.
AV integration firm Sound and Communications (SoundCOM) of Flowood, Mississippi solved Grace Primitive’s intelligibility problems by designing and installing a new sound reinforcement system led by a single, unobtrusive Danley Sound Labs SM100 full-range, point-source loudspeaker.
“The old loudspeaker they had in there was original to the building, which is 17 years old,” explained Allen Cotton, solutions architect with Sound and Communications. “They weren’t pleased with the coverage or the clarity. They called our office and we arranged to come by and visit. As a certified Danley designer, Danley’s point-source fidelity was in the back of my mind the whole time. During the visit, we learned that they were not only hopeful that their intelligibility problems could be fixed, they wanted it done in a way that had no visual impact. They wanted something that was unobtrusive.”
Cotton modelled the system using Danley’s proprietary modelling software, Danley Direct. “They had never seen an acoustical model and were intrigued,” he said. “I showed them the Danley SM100’s coverage pattern at different frequencies, especially those most relevant fo
UK - The Space is a theatre training complex for 16-19 year-olds at Heathfield Community School, located next door to Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre in Taunton, Somerset.
The complex includes an 85-seat performance theatre, dance and drama studios all kitted out to high technical specifications - including new Zero 88 Chilli Pro 24 Bypass dimmers.
The facility offers young people in the south-west of the country opportunities for developing future careers in the performing arts. It specialises in a range of interrelated disciplines including dance, acting, film, production arts, makeup, set design and building, and more, with an intake of around 80 students over two years.
The Space’s technical manager Tom Froom explained that the students from both years will produce between 10 and 12 shows over the course of the academic year.
Tom has been at The Space for three years having started as a student there himself and before undertaking a two-year apprenticeship at Tacchi-Morris and The Space. He expresses the importance of having the latest technologies available as part of the learning tools to benefit students.
The new Chilli Pro dimmers have replaced older units which had been in residence for around a decade.
They control 120 circuits of lighting. Currently, the lighting rig includes Selecon Rama 150 and Acclaim PC’s, ETC Source Four Zooms and Source Four Juniors plus a lot of PARs all on the LX rig above the 8 x 8 metre stage. The venue also has retractable seating for configuring in different formats.
They sometimes use
Australia - Canberra -based technical production and event specialist and rental company Elite Event Technology ensured that Horizon 2020 – the Friday Night Party event that was part of the Australian National University Students' Association (ANUSA)’s annual Orientation (freshers) Week activities in February – had appropriate lighting and sound for their main stage.
Staged at the Fellows Oval sports ground on the University of Canberra campus in ACT, around 3000 students enjoyed great weather and a line-up of young emerging talent including Cub Sport, Holy Holy, Wafia, Graace, Remi, Adrian Eagle and Hayley Mary.
Elite also provided a d&b PA system for the event. The company supplies lighting, sound and AV production for numerous other functions at the university.
The lighting rig was based around a festival lighting spec created by headliner Club Sport’s LD Jake Ploss.
Elite’s owner and house FOH sound engineer for the night Darren Russell took this as a starting point and – in consultation with Jake – modified elements to make it practical for the event and to fit the 14-metre-wide truck stage.
The stage offered 6.5m of headroom to its structural gantry, below which Elite flew their four production trusses.
Elite’s Blake Watkin operated lighting for all the other bands apart from Club Sport and the challenge was in lighting each artist differently to match their performance and musical style. With the Robes on the rig, there was plenty of versatility and dynamics!
Over 60 per cent played in daylight wh
Germany - Hamburg rapper Samy Deluxe did not choose to celebrate his birthday privately, but instead filled the Hamburg Barclaycard Arena with around 12,000 fans last December. The show, which also marked the end of his successful SaMTV Unplugged tour, was attended by numerous guests. On top of that was the unexpected release of his new album Hochkultur, which was also given as a present to all birthday guests.
LD Bertil Mark, who has been working on the artist’s tour design since 2019 (after handling various festival engagements in previous years), was given the task of transferring the ‘living room’ atmosphere endemic to an unplugged concert to Hamburg's largest concert location. In terms of lighting technology, he included 24 GLP impression X4L, 12 X4 Bar 20, 22 JDC1 hybrid strobes and 18 Highlander Wash lights, in his set design.
“’Unplugged’ always implies something warm - a kind of living room acoustic atmosphere - and that was also the idea for this show set,” explains Bertil. "Samy's own musical implementation of the unplugged concept was extremely 'fresh' overall and so I was able to develop theme based on that. In the end it became a nice mixture of old and new technology, along with some wooden set elements."
Bertil, who regularly turns to GLP solutions, had already used the S350, X4S, X4 Bar 20 and JDC1 during the unplugged tour in March and April. X4 Bar and JDC1 in particular are among his standard tools. “The X4 Bars are my fixture of choice for 3D light surfaces and light curtains. In single-pixel mode, they ar
Spain - Marea has been rocking for over 20 years as one of the most popular Rock en Español bands around. In 2019, the band released their first album in eight years, El Azogue and promptly hit the road in support with renowned Spanish lighting designer Miguel González on board to define the visual concept.
Gonzalez has worked with a variety of high-profile acts over the years, including Marea since 2007, and incorporated 52 Elation Chorus Line 8 LED battens in his design. Seeking a linear light that was something more than a static wash light, he chose the Chorus Line 8 for its 4 to 40-degree zoom and 220-degree tilt axis movement, dynamism that allows it to fulfill a number of roles in a single show from directional stage wash to dynamic eye candy effect.
“I chose the Chorus Line for its versatility and the short 50cm length, which gave me plenty of possibilities when positioned in vertical truss pipes. The fast zoom and the speed of the tilt movement added vitality and I used them quite a bit throughout the show,” stated González, who also handled programming and lighting desk operation on the tour.
The Chorus Line 8 fixtures were positioned in eight 2m vertical truss pipes, four fixtures per pipe, with the remaining fixtures located under a stage riser (behind retro lenses), a position that allowed the LD to take advantage of the fixture’s zoom. “The Chorus Line 8 played a major part in every scene of the show,” he said, “from pixel-mapping effects to fast beam sweeps.”
One of Spain’s largest AV rental companies
UK - The 2020 edition of Edinburgh Festival Fringe - the world's largest arts festival - has been cancelled due to public safety concerns arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Also cancelled are the Edinburgh Art Festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Edinburgh International Festival and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
"Just a few months ago, the idea of Edinburgh without the Fringe and our sister festivals would have been totally unthinkable; now, like so many other aspects of our day-to-day lives, we must pause and take stock in the face of something far bigger," said Shona McCarthy, the chief executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society.
"Our hearts go out to the doctors, nurses, health and social care professionals on the front line, to everyone working to keep the country going, and to those who have been directly affected by this pandemic. Your courage in the face of adversity is an inspiration to us all.
"My thoughts too are with the many thousands of artists, writers, producers, reviewers, venues and backstage crew whose careers have been put on hold over the past month or so. We know today’s decision will be a difficult one for many, but please know that we will continue to be here for you and will do everything we can to support you in the weeks and months ahead."
The organisers have committed to refunding all participant registration fees and any Fringe tickets and Friends memberships purchased by audience members. Participants who have already paid will be offered
Europe - Lightpower has announced a number of organisational changes and senior personnel moves. “After 42 years of successful activity on the market, it is time for our company to take another step,” says a statement.
“Over the years, our company has developed and established numerous national and international business activities. In order to give these businesses a common roof, we have founded the Lightpower Holding company. The task of this holding company is to act as a control centre for all underlying companies and to develop future strategies in close cooperation with their managing directors.”
The establishment of the holding company is also accompanied by a change in the management of Lightpower GmbH. As part of this process, Herbert Marx and Michael Rickers will succeed Ralph-Jörg Wezorke, managing director of Lightpower and Franz-Josef Wewer, authorised representative of Lightpower.
As joint managing director, Herbert Marx is responsible for sales, marketing and purchase. Herbert Marx, a well-known personality within the industry, is appointed to the management board. Having been with the company for 12 years, Marx initially worked as marketing manager before he took over as director of sales.
Michael Rickers also becomes joint managing director and concentrates on the areas of finance, human resources and organisation. Michael has been with Lightpower for three years. Prior to this, Michael was responsible for finance and controlling at a German Bundesliga football club for several years.
Additionally, the managemen
Canada - Adamson Systems Engineering has launched a series of free educational webinars for current and potential partners and end-users around the world. The Adamson Education Webinar Series addresses some on-going challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic while keeping consistent with the company’s amplified focus on partner education for 2020.
“Everyone has been impacted by Covid-19 and its aftermath, though it’s been especially trying for the live sound community,” begins Jeremiah Karni, head of education at Adamson. “That’s why we’ve been working hard on ways to support and engage with our global network despite the fact that we can’t get together. In addition to offering informative, insightful, and interesting content for attendees, the webinar series also provides them another means to interact directly with our team, as well as their peers in the Adamson Network. It’s about asking questions, sharing ideas, and making sure that, as a community, we’re better poised to come out of this challenge stronger than ever.”
The Adamson Education Webinar Series launched in mid-March with a pair of episodes dedicated to the latest version (v1.2.8) of Adamson’s Blueprint AV 3D predictive simulation software, followed by an in-depth discussion and Q&A with Adamson’s head of education, Jeremiah Karni, and head of product and technology, Brian Fraser.
New webinars currently go live every Tuesday and Thursday. With past episodes already archived for on-demand access, the series will continue to cover a myriad of topics relevant to Ada
UK - Touring and live events may be on hold for now, but learning and career development continue to move forward at the ChamSys Training Academy. The lighting console maker has been actively expanding its online education resources with new courses, tutorials and appointment opportunities being added on a continuous basis. In addition to providing programmers with the chance to sharpen their skills (and develop new ones), the academy is serving as a platform for them to remain connected to the industry in the wake of the closings and cancelations that have taken place.
Open to anyone, the academy offers daily online webinar training sessions. Conducted by active lighting designers and programmers, like Philip Watson, Brett Lorins and Charles Courser, these sessions cover a range of basic, intermediate and advanced topics.
The ChamSys Training Academy also features an expanded menu of video tutorials, including Beginners Sessions that provided a basic look at subjects like windows, buttons, faders and shortcuts; to Intermediate Sessions that deliver in-depth guides to topics like using the Execute Window to its maximum benefit. An extensive collection of Advanced Sessions is currently under development.
Another highlight of the academy is its free MagicQ and QuickQ online training sessions. Free of charge, the sessions provide practical user-friendly guides to mastering these powerful software tools.
For programmers and designers seeking a more personal learning experience, the ChamSys Training Academy offers one-one-one consultations duri
Thailand - The Office of the Permanent Secretary for Defence recently upgraded its headquarters with Harman Professional Solutions AV, lighting and control systems.
Part of Thailand’s Ministry of Defence, the Office of the Permanent Secretary is responsible for determining strategic goals, executing plans, drafting policy and the inspection and monitoring of the Royal Thai Armed Forces.
Occupying a grand, nine-story building with multiple wings outside Bangkok, the organisation’s headquarters includes a multipurpose hall which can seat 1,500 and be divided into two separate spaces on demand. To ensure world-class sound, video, lighting and control for presentations and events, the Office of the Permanent Secretary deployed a range of solutions from JBL Professional, Crown, Soundcraft, BSS, Martin Professional and AMX.
"The client needed cutting-edge AV and stage lighting systems for the multipurpose hall that seats 1,500 people,” said Pongsakorn Kanchanachayphoom, director of project, Mahajak Development Co. “A robust and flexible solution was necessary to facilitate different types of events. Evaluating these requirements, we designed a system with Harman's industry-leading networked AV and lighting solutions, providing the client with the required flexibility and allowing them to upgrade the platform in the future."
To achieve suitable sound reinforcement in multiple room configurations, the Office of the Permanent Secretary installed a range of JBL loudspeakers in the main hall. When the hall is divided, 15-inch JBL AM7215 speakers
Europe - Madrix 5 software has always been available as a demo version for everyone to try out the pixel mapper at the convenience of their own work machines.
Madrix 5.1 launched the additional 'pre-programmer' software license to facilitate show and project preparation without the need for a full output licence.
A new way to fully test Madrix 5 is now being introduced as an additional resource to support the current workflow needs of operators, lighting designers, VJs, and project companies around the world.
Madrix 5 professional is an extensive software licence, which is available free of charge as a time-limited license that works until 1 June 2020. It is fully functioning within this time frame. The only requirement is to make a small, one-time purchase for a Madrix Key from a local dealer. This USB dongle then remains universally usable for the range of Madrix software products and licences.