UK - Audio consultancy RH Consulting (RHC) has been counting networked audio products and licensees since 2013 to chart the adoption and evolution of audio networking in the pro audio, AV and broadcast markets.
The 2024 edition of this report on Networked Audio Products, which has meanwhile extended to cover audio, video and control products, is available now and confirms the growing strength of AES67, Ravenna and ST 2110 and the dominance of Dante and NDI standards.
In the dynamic landscape of networked AV, the 12th instalment of the report reveals a significant surge in overall adoption, with a total of 6,013 products from 602 brands. This comprehensive analysis, building on 12 years of audio research and three years of video data, sheds light on emerging trends and market dynamics.
“A milestone has been reached with over 6000 networked AV products on the

UK - The 2023 ABTT Virtual Ideas Platform winner was revealed on Thursday 1 February in a ceremony at the annual ALPD and White Light New Technology Showcase in the Embassy Theatre at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
This annual industry event features the latest in lighting technology and felt like an appropriate opportunity to speak on the Virtual Ideas Platform and its winner, whose innovative idea is now being developed by Triple E.
Presented by ABTT co-chair Mig Burgess and introduced by platform developer Charles Haines, David Ripley was awarded the ABTT Hook Clamp Award and Certificate for his winning idea, The Counterweight Caddy.
The Counterweight Caddy is a method of storing weights and addressing the manual handling issues associated with work on the loading gallery.
Speaking of his award win, Central’s Head of Technical and Pr

UAE - DirectOut has entered into a strategic partnership with 7Hertz, distributor of professional and home audio products.
John Parkhouse, senior live audio consultant at 7Hertz, expressed his enthusiasm, saying: "We are very happy to welcome DirectOut to our portfolio at 7Hertz. The alignment of our core philosophies has seamlessly paved the way for a straightforward and exciting partnership." Founded in 2009, 7Hertz has become a pioneer in professional and home audio products across the GCC region.
Lorenzo Sassi, business development manager at DirectOut comments on the partnership: "DirectOut is delighted to join forces with 7Hertz to bring our innovative audio technology solutions to the Middle East market. We believe that 7Hertz's commitment to excellence and deep passion for sound harmonises perfectly with our values, making this partnership a natural fit. Togeth

UK - LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment) has partnered with Handle Freelance Solutions, The Back Lounge and UK LIVE Event Freelancers Forum to launch a survey, The Hidden Side of Freelancing 2024, to understand and identify the changes required to improve the experience of freelancers who are crucial to the success of the live music industry.
The new survey will explore pay transparency and the personal experiences of freelancers at live music events. It aims to help freelancers understand their true value and benchmark their own experience whilst also celebrating what makes live music a great industry for freelancers. The results will then be assessed, culminating in a publicly available report that will be published in April 2024.
Industry organisations such as Entourage Pro, Production Futures, NOWIE, Rego, and Power of Events are all key sup

UK - US loudspeaker manufacturer 1 Sound has joined forces with AV distributor CUK Group to bring 1 Sound to the UK and Ireland.
CUK is part of the CUK group along with another two AV distribution companies across the UK and Ireland – Tukans (York), and CUK Video and Audio (Dublin).
CUK provides customers with value-added services via a team of channel managers and support staff. Their team has expertise encompassing all aspects of the audio industry – commercial audio visual, leisure, live music, voice alarm and security, conferencing, recording, broadcast, and residential AV. They provide support services for their clients such as system design and electro-acoustic modelling, to site visits, and dealer and end-user training.
For 1 Sound, it is significant for their distributors to align on company values, and for CUK Group they also believe in maintaining

Korea - The need for a lightning fast, reliable and infinitely flexible digital network were the key requirements when Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) set out its requirements for a ‘black box’ theatre in Seoul. The Multi Content Testbed was conceived as a test ground where all types of cultural and artistic content would merge with innovative cutting-edge technology.
Optocore originally received the inquiry from installation company, SiDiS, as far back as October 2021 when the search began for a robust network.
The equipment needed to be compatible with any incoming production mixer, as well as the in-house Midas M32, feeding the L-Acoustics PA. It was based around an M8 MADI switch at FOH, which would share the inputs and outputs of four stage boxes. These, in turn, are catered for by a variety of X6R-FX and X6R-TP devices, and BroaMan Repeat 48, which conv

UK - Singer-songwriter Callum Beattie captivated sellout crowds on his recent winter tour of his homeland, Scotland. Supporting him with some fiercely bold visuals was a power-packed light show by Steve Mccraken of Mac-Events, who programmed the show and ran it throughout the tour on his ChamSys MagicQ MQ500M Stadium Console.
Working with a kit supplied by Limelight Event Services, Mccracken busked some manual flashes, strobes, and other looks, but most of his show was cue stacked. “We kept the looks consistent from show to show to create the experience that fans expected,” he said. “Although we had to make some changes to accommodate some venues, we remained consistent overall.”
The looks that Mccracken designed seemed to be tailor-made for his client’s genuine up-from- the-streets stage presence. For example, Mccraken created some interesting effects mixing

USA - Rock band Lord Huron burst onto the charts with The Night We Met, a viral hit that caught the attention of billions. Capturing the intricate and delicate nature of their music while recording is crucial for the band, and they put just as much emphasis on recreating that listening experience for live audiences.
To ensure the band delivers a sound on stage that is consistent to their studio sessions, Front of house sound engineer Justin Chechile selected the band’s favoured DPA Microphones vocal and instrument mics, including the DPA d:facto 4018VL Vocal and 2011 Twin Diaphragm Microphones. For recorded and live applications, the band also deploys the DPA DDK4000 Drum Microphone Kit, comprised of the 2012 Cardioid and 4055 Kick Drum mics, along with a stereo pair of the 2015 Wide Cardioids and three 4099 Instrument Microphones.
“Lord Huron first started

The Netherlands - Attracting acts from across the world, Kerstcircus Ahoy recently completed its 51st season in Rotterdam. Supporting the performers and adding to the excitement of the circus was a colourful, and sometimes dramatic, lighting design by Ricky Bouckenhove of Live Systems that featured 70 Chauvet Professional fixtures.
Bouckenhove, who has been lighting the renowned circus for 24 years, relied on a mainly blue and white colour palette to highlight its 12 different acts, which featured performers from 16 different nations.
At the circus’ centre ring, he hung 24 Maverick MK2 Spot fixtures on the 19m circular truss. Drawing on the 440W light cannon’s 16-bit dimming, he was able to have smooth fades at the conclusion of acts. Moreover, the fixture’s tight zoom allowed him to focus light where he wanted it without spill over.
Bouckenhove also arran

USA - In a harmonious blend of cultural reverence, sustainability and modern entertainment, the Lāna‘i Ocean Theatre has emerged as a spectacular amphitheatre on the southeast coast of Lāna‘i, the sixth-largest island in the Hawaiian Archipelago.
This visionary project stands proudly within the lush grounds of the Four Seasons Resort Lāna‘i, overlooking the serene Hulopo'e Bay, and employs IP-rated Proteus Lucius and Arena Zoom Q7IP luminaires from Elation.
An entertainment space that organically conforms to its natural surroundings, the Lāna‘i Ocean Theatre is a Greek-style amphitheatre that pays homage to the historical roots of theatre. The project, initiated in September 2021, transforms a section of the hillside overlooking the bay, creating a venue that seamlessly integrates with the natural landscape and botanical garden setting.
Land and res

Belgium - Nexo rental partner VDB-PA deployed its STM system at the annual New Year’s party in Leuven, with a change in format for this year’s event presenting some interesting new challenges.
Last year the DJ tower was located in the centre of the Oude Market, presenting two separate crowd areas of 30m wide x 60m deep. This year, the tower was located centrally along the long side of the space, making an audience area of 120m wide and just 30m deep.
“The challenge was to create a club vibe with a stereo sound stage for as many people as possible, regardless of where they were located,” reports system designer and tech Lennert Van de Velde.
“We achieved this by flying left and right hags of six Nexo STM M48 main and B112 bass extension elements firing into the square at right angles to each other, with additional pairs of hangs of six STM M28 modules al

Europe - This year’s ISE (Integrated Systems Europe) show was a special one for Truss Aluminium Factory (TAF). On 30 January, the first day of the exhibition, the company revealed its new TAF logo.
The new image was also featured in a special logo reveal video released that same day on TAF’s social media channels and website, as well as in the TAF newsletter and on industry media websites. Going hand-in-hand with the redesigned logo was news of TAF’s new strategic direction as ‘The Factory’.
The teaser campaign highlighted ‘a truss brand you know’ and a factory that’s ‘behind much of the well-regarded truss on the market’.
“The redesigned logo not only serves as the new face of the brand, but also as a symbol of its evolution as a leading truss manufacturer and new strategic direction as The Factory,” says the Czechia-based company that

Iceland - Harpa, the concert hall and conference centre, located in capital city Reykjavik - has invested in 48 x new Robe Forte moving lights which will be utilised in their 1600-capacity Grand Hall, home of the Icelandic Opera and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.
The striking Harpa building was designed by the Hanning Larsen Architects from Denmark in conjunction with Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson - well known for creating sculptured and large-scale installation art using elements like light, water, and air temperature - and opened in 2011. The structure comprises a steel framework clad with different coloured and shaped geometric glass panels inspired by Iceland’s beautiful and mineral-rich basaltic rock landscape.
Harpa stages numerous high visibility world-class productions and events as well as hosting meetings and high-rolling summits. Karl Sigurðsso

UK - PLASA Focus Leeds is gearing up for another successful year at the Royal Armouries from 14-15 May 2024, and you can now register for your free entry badge.
Attracting over 2,000 visitors, the popular regional event is known for connecting professionals with lead names in the entertainment technology industry across two friendly days of networking and discovery.
Boasting a fully booked show floor, PLASA Focus Leeds will feature 150+ brands in pro audio, AV, lighting, rigging, and staging. Attendees will have the chance to closely examine new products and engage in face-to-face discussions with potential suppliers.
Lighting professionals can look forward to meeting Ambersphere, Avolites, ChamSys, Chauvet Professional, Entedi, ETC, GLP UK, Prolight, Robe UK, TMB, and Vari-Lite.
Top quality pro audio is also on offer from Audio-Technica, Bose Professiona

UK - In a fusion of sound technology and storytelling, Meyer Sound ULTRA-X family loudspeakers and 2100‑LFC low-frequency control elements play a pivotal role in bringing the immersive sonic landscape of Stranger Things: The First Shadow to life at the Phoenix Theatre in London’s West End.
The prequel show, which serves as an origin story for the Netflix series, ties together the past, present, and future of fictional Hawkins, Indiana. The stage production was brought to life by a creative team, with an original story by show creators Matt and Ross Duffer and writers Kate Trefry and Jack Thorne; direction by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin and a sound design by Paul Arditti with associate sound designers Rob Bettle (focused on realising the system design) and Christopher Reid (working closely with Paul on content creation).
For the stage production, which t

UK - Urban Audio Productions (UAP), a prominent player in the live events industry since 1999, has consistently delivered bespoke packages ranging from sound and lighting equipment rentals to full-service production. From supporting emerging bands in intimate venues with compact desks and IEM systems to providing complete touring packages for established acts, UAP's expertise spans diverse locations and venues, relying on Shure wired and wireless products for audio consistency.
UAP provides audio solutions across industries, from high-profile corporate projects such as the TED global conferences to some of the most prolific songwriters, including providing full touring audio solutions for artists such as Ian Brown, Steve Vai, Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott.
Since 2011, Dan Lewis, technical director at UAP, has steered the sound engineering for Noel Gallagher’s High Fl

Italy - Forged nearly four decades ago as a congress equipment supplier, STS Communication has since transformed into a full-service provider, delivering technical expertise and equipment for corporate and special events, music tours, exhibitions, brand activations, broadcast TV, as well as fashion and retail projects.
As a member of the PRG Alliance, the company stands as one of Italy's pioneers in deploying Virtual Production, prominently featured in two multifunctional STStudios: CR49 and Studio1D, both powered by Brompton Technology LED processing.
“Aimed at cinematic virtual productions, CR49 features a comprehensive setup, including a camera tracking system, media servers for background plate playout, render nodes for Unreal Engine photorealistic 3D content, and a highly skilled crew,” says Alessandro Rosani, chief technology officer at STS Communication.

USA - Situated on the Kent State University campus in Kent, Ohio, the Centre for the Performing Arts is dedicated to creative excellence and delivering an exceptional learning environment for students. After struggling with a single-channel communications system and walkie-talkies for some time, the School of Theatre and Dance evolved its production communication with its recent installation of Clear-Com’s Arcadia Central Station IP intercom platform.
The new Arcadia system seamlessly integrates with the school’s Clear-Com FreeSpeak II digital wireless and HelixNet digital wired party line intercom user stations they had previously installed as part of an infrastructure upgrade. This set-up now combines all the functionality Kent State University requires to have the constant clear communications it needs for every stage of the production - from pre-production tech set-

UK - Panto is a British performance genre that combines wit, slapstick comedy, double entendres, magic, fantasy and usually a bit of politics tossed together with the musical hits of the year.
“We like happy endings,” commented lighting designer Andy Webb, which is why he specified Robe for two key shows for producers UK Productions (UKP), Snow White & The Seven Dwarves at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre in Buckinghamshire directed by Chris Wilkins-Nelson, and Cinderella directed by Benji Sperring, staged at the Malvern Festival Theatre in Wiltshire, both produced by Martin Dodds.
The 1,200-capacity Waterside Theatre is the larger venue in terms of both stage and audience sizes, and here Andy utilised 60 x Robe luminaires - a mix of T1 Profiles, Spiiders, MegaPointes, BMFL WashBeams, LEDBeam 150s, Cyc FX8s and ParFect 100s, together with elements of

Germany - Take That joined a host of German and international popstars who performed on Germany’s Your Songs TV show recently, each with their own large LED screen visual backdrop driven by Green Hippo Hippotizer Boreal+ MK2 Media Servers.
Billed as a celebration of popular music, Your Songs sees well-known artists sing one of their most successful tracks while enveloped in visuals and accompanied by a live orchestra. The LED Main Wall measured 16m x 5m at 4096 x 1280 pixels, while an 8m x 2.5m LED ‘Talk Wall’ displayed secondary graphics. A series of ‘gardenfence’ LED strips surrounded the stage, pumping out 12300 x 1450 pixels of graphics.
The data-heavy visuals were designed by Saskia Olma and Vlad Befus of LUPIXX. “Every artist got the video content individually designed just for them,” they said. “This year was the second time [broa

Germany Calling - Adele has announced four concerts in a specially-built stadium in Munich this summer - an idea she described as "a bit random, but still fabulous!" The shows will take place in an 80,000-capacity open-air venue in the German city on 2, 3, 9 and 10 August. It will be the first time the singer has performed in mainland Europe since her last tour in 2016.
She said she hadn't been planning any more shows after her current Las Vegas residency and two London shows in 2022. But the star said she had been tempted by the offer of "a one off, bespoke pop-up stadium designed around whatever show I want to put on", which was "pretty much slap bang in the middle of Europe".
Grammy Awards - Taylor Swift stole the show at this year's Grammy Awards, becoming the first performer to win the prize for album of the year four times. The superstar had previously bee

UK - Vision: 2025 and Julie’s Bicycle launched a Sustainable Materials and Waste Management Toolkit for Festivals at AIF Congress, Bristol on 1 February.
This new resource condenses years of research around industry practices to give organisers a spread of practical, easy to implement waste management processes, to help improve practices, and encourage re-use of materials and reduce waste.
Chris Johnson, Vision: 2025 chair, unveiled the new, free-to-access toolkit, followed by an in-depth presentation by Julie’s Bicycle project lead, Richard Phillips, and Vision: 2025’s comms manager Bethan Riach. The toolkit, which is part of an ongoing industry project, Towards Zero Waste Festivals, focused on improving waste management practices in the festival sector, funded by the Dixon Foundation.
The AIF Congress audience represented over 80 festivals,

UK - London-based creative agency Treatment Studio has been awarded Media Content Creator of the Year at the 2024 Parnelli Awards for U2:UV Achtung Baby Live at Sphere. The 22nd annual Parnelli Awards took place at the Anaheim Convention Centre on 26 January during NAMM 2024, recognising those who demonstrated outstanding work in their fields.
Along with their work with U2 over the past 40 years, Treatment Studio’s impressive portfolio of projects also include Elton John’s headline performance at Glastonbury Festival 2023, Adele’s residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and the Reframe: The Residency Exhibition at The Southbank Centre London.
Willie Williams, co-founder at Treatment said: “For a company that originated in London, to win this US award two years in a row is very gratifying. Thank you all.”
Sam Pattinson, c

UK - The ABTT Theatre Show is set to return for its 44th edition once more at Alexandra Palace on 5-6 June.
Over 150 brands will showcase their products and services. In addition, there will be more activities including skills workshops, training, seminars, demonstrations, CV surgeries, career advice and free hearing tests.
The ABTT Theatre Show always attracts a broad range of visitors at all stages of their careers alongside an ever-increasing list of exhibitors from all areas of the industry!
The two-day event will include a wide range of free seminars on the latest industry topics which run alongside the busy show floor. This year’s programme will be announced soon.
The ABTT will once again be providing a wide variety of hands-on skills-based sessions, including taster sessions from the ABTT Bronze Award for Theatre Technicians.
ABTT events man

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