UK - Each December, London's The O2 plays host to the Capital Radio Jingle Bell Ball, which never fails to get music fans in the festive mood. As in previous years, Adlib Audio provided audio requirements for the two-days of festive fun, with Sennheiser radio mics and in-ear monitors - a perennial part of Adlib's inventory for this challenging event - delivering flawless sound throughout.

"We've worked on the Jingle Bell Ball for a few years now," says Adlib's Dave Kay. "Each year it's demanding, both in terms of the level of the acts performing and the quick turnaround times we have to work to, and this year was no exception."

Artists performing at the shows included Take That, using Sennheiser SKM 5200 handheld microphones with EM 5235 capsule, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith both deploying 2000 Series handhelds with MD 9235 and e 965 capsule respectively and Ta

USA - Bob Cowan and Adam Correia, monitor mixers for Metallica, will be the next guest speakers on the Meyer Sound Mixing Workshop webinar series, hosted by veteran mixer Buford Jones.

Scheduled for Thursday 5 February 5, 2015, the webinar will focus on the dual monitoring team's approach to mixing a combination of in-ears and on-stage wedges for the heavy metal legends. Cowan and Correia will also share their key to success for earning and maintaining the artists' trust and achieving consistency. Sign up here:

As part of Meyer Sound's worldwide education programme, Buford Jones brings lessons learned from a mixing career of almost four decades to his online Mixing Workshop and hands-on sessions around the world. Jones's illustrious mixing credits include Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Prince, and David Bowie.

(Jim Evans)

UK - Illuminate Design has been keeping warm during the winter months with their busiest winter period ever, smashing previous records.

The Colchester based company worked on a wide variety of events and productions as well as continually providing a high level of day-to-day support to their regular, loyal customers.

Tilbury Docks was the location for a number of Christmas parties and Illuminate Design were tasked to provide a winter lighting theme. The bespoke design included Pulsar Chroma Floods plus ETC Source 4 profiles to light the ceiling and walls within the space. The temporary installation ran for two weeks hosting a variety of parties and dinners.

The company were the chosen supplier to work with Butlins (Bourne Leisure) to help create their winter 'Igloo'. This entailed three identical systems for the resorts at Minehead, Skegness and Bognor Regis. With up to eigh

UK - Lighting hire and technical event production specialists Blue Parrot have taken delivery of 12 new Martin Quantum Profiles to add to their hire stock based in Edinburgh. Blue Parrot's head of hires Dave Morris explains, "We have had a great experience with our Martin MAC Aura and 101 LED fixtures over the last few years. They are incredibly reliable and superb lights to use. It therefore makes absolute sense for us to invest in the Quantum Profile and continue to offer the very latest and best equipment to our production and dry hire customers."

The Quantum Profiles are the latest addition to Blue Parrot's large moving light inventory which now includes 30 MAC Auras, 24 MAC 101s and 22 of the flagship MAC Vipers - a mixture of Profile, Performance and Wash DX models.

2014 was a very successful year for the company with a number of high profile technical producti

UK - West London-based rental and technical solutions specialists Entec Sound & Light has enjoyed a remarkable and dynamic working relationship with singer, songwriter, producer and composer Damon Albarn and Blur, which stretches back about 23 years, almost as long as the 24 years that lighting designer Dave Byars has worked with Albarn on his many and varied live performance projects.

Most recently, Entec supplied sound and lighting equipment and crew for Albarn's critically acclaimed sold-out shows with his live band, The Heavy Seas, at London's Royal Albert Hall venue.

Over the years, Dave Byars has been tasked with realizing the vision of musicians and artists in a plethora of venues ranging from tiny local clubs to stadiums around the world.

His design for Albarn's 2014 tour and the RAH shows included a heptegram - seven pointed star - backdrop, a symbol of particular i

UK - With Jerry Hall cast in the starring role as the Wicked Queen, the recent production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Richmond Theatre had nearly all the ingredients needed for a good run.

Sound designer Rick Clarke, veteran of over 40 West End musicals, added in an important new element - the first deployment of a Flare Audio X2/X0 Compact Vertical Point Source Array system in theatre. The system featured X2 cabinets, flown in groups of two per side, with X0s used as front-fills and delays, together with the award-winning SB21 Flat Panel Directional Touring Sub Bass units. Out front was a Yamaha CL5 front of house digital mixing console feeding the Flare system directly via the Dante network.

Pantomime has been a regular feature in Rick's calendar, dating back to when his children were younger, with the Richmond Theatre an extremely familiar venue. The ex

China - Absen Optoelectronics, a global manufacturer of high quality LED displays, has announced that it has acquired LED display company and solution provider VISS Lighting Co., Ltd, with the purchase of 60% stake in the Shenzhen based company, for a total of RMB24m (EUR 3.3m).

Absen has essentially purchased a 50% and 10% stake respectively from co-owners Zhong Zaibo and Zhang Wenxia. Upon completion of the acquisition, Absen will hold 60% of VISS Lighting's equity, while Zhong Zaibo will hold the remaining 40% share. By virtue of shareholding, VISS Lighting will become a subsidiary of Absen.

Deng Jiangbo, Absen vice president, commented, "This acquisition strengthens Absen's position as a world leading provider of high quality LED display solutions. We are confident that this operation will help the company to provide an even wider range of high quality products to the

UK - Buckinghamshire-based Dry Hire Lighting have become one of the first hire companies in the UK to invest in a quantity of the new Chroma-Q Color One 100 premium performance, homogenised output LED Par fixture.

Dry Hire Lighting carry an extensive inventory of technology equipment from leading manufacturers, and pride themselves on providing customers with access to the very latest high-performance lighting solutions.

Dry Hire Lighting's Rob Merrilees invested in the Color One 100 fixtures following a demo at PLASA London 2014, and a further onsite test at the company's headquarters.

"As a company, Dry Hire Lighting does not stock generic lamps and we've waited until the new LED technology was at the right output and price to get into the market," says Rob. "We set up the fixtures at our offices and were very impressed with the build quality and the output.

Turkey - As one of the most popular singers in Turkey, Tarkan has been nicknamed the country's 'Prince of Pop' by the Turkish media, regularly selling out shows at the country's major venues. September saw him play nine consecutive shows at the 4000-capacity Cemil Topuzlu Open Air Theatre, with a DiGiCo SD5 specially purchased by production company Staras.

The open air amphitheatre is one of Istanbul's most popular venues, especially in summer, when it hosts a variety of live shows by both national and international artists, as well as a number of cultural festivals.

Staras Technical Production handled the lighting, sound and staging for the shows and willingly acceded to the request by Tarkan's production team for a DiGiCo SD5 console for the monitor mix.

"Although Staras has been in business for 30 years, they had not previously used DiGiCo consoles," says Gorkem

USA - John Fogerty continues to entertain fans around the world with regular touring throughout North America and overseas. His most recent tour marked a complete departure from his regular audio system of many years - this time going on the road with the new Adamson Energia PA provided by Atomic Pro Audio.

"I've been working with Atomic for almost 20 years," explains Tim Schad, production manager working with John Fogerty since 2006. "I was sold on Adamson the first time I used it and have started working in different pieces of their gear with John over the last 6 years, but this was the first time we went out with 100% Adamson PA and monitor rig. The new Adamson Energia PA was "way better sounding" than any PA available out there at any cost."

Atomic Pro Audio, located in Rutland, Vermont, has been a supporter of Adamson since 2002. Most recentl

UK - Yes Events has turned to Elation Professional's new Sniper multi-effect light and Elation PAR, beam and LED lights to create Enchanted Woodland, an Illuminated walk through Syon Park near London.

Syon Park, which surrounds 500-year-old Syon House in Brentford, England, contains over four hundred species of tree and has been a horticultural woodland for almost 600 years. With Enchanted Woodland, a visit to Syon Park in winter has visitors seeing the arboretum in a whole new light.

Using 1000 separate light fixtures and over 15km of cable, the Yes Events installation team, headed by project manager / lighting designer Tom Chennells and lighting programmer / systems designer Adam Nicholls, utilized Elation products in a woodland lightshow, at Syon House and in a laser show.

An area of the woodland was host to a son et lumiere where lighting was timecoded to Elgar's famous

UK - White Light recently partnered with the National Gallery to host a special educational session for event professionals from venues in the Unique Venues of London group. White Light is an approved supplier across many of London's premier events venues including Unique Venues of London spaces. The morning event, hosted in the National Gallery's Sainsbury Wing Theatre, was designed to help attendees broaden their knowledge of the technical aspects of event production.

More than 80 professionals attended the event, which featured a seminar, workshop, and Q&A session with White Light's technical experts. Guests were also treated to a gourmet breakfast provided by caterer Peyton Events, an approved supplier across the UVL group.

White Light's project manager Jason Larcombe and head of audio Lee Dennison each spoke on topics including lighting, audio, and video for events. The W

UK - January began with another batch of celebrity housemates entering the Big Brother House. The Housemates are competing against each other, battling to be crowned the Celebrity Big Brother winner by the public.

Creative Technology (CT) has been supplying LED display solutions to the renowned reality TV show from its inception in 2000 and has recently been reconfirmed as the supplier for the 2015 series.

For this year's celebrity series, CT is providing the LED screen displays on the side of the house as well as those on the iconic Big Brother orbit eye. Additional LED MiStrip in the catwalk and stairway is enhancing the exit for each contestant as they take on the challenge of the Big Brother House. Abstract LED built within the orbit and around the outdoor set finishes off the famed look of the show.

Mark Elliott, CT managing director, commented, "Everyone at CT is

UK - Blackout provided extensive draping for this year's star studded National Television Awards (NTAs) on 21 January 2015.

Broadcast live on ITV and watched by a packed live audience inside the O2 arena, Dermot O'Leary lead the glittering ceremony with TV's biggest stars out in force for the 20th annual event. The evening saw Eastenders steal the show, taking home the serial Drama Award and Ant & Dec who took home their 14th consecutive National Television Award for Best Entertainment Presenter.

Contracted by NTA producers Indigo Television and working with set designer Chris Webster, Blackout installed a 30m cross stage drape backdrop that framed the large video screen, which was the focal point of the show for the TV broadcast. Additional drapes were installed to screen VIP areas and mask off the arena seats obscured by technical production positions, to create the d

USA - Coheed and Cambria, the American progressive metal band whose innovative concept albums tell the sci-fi story of The Amory Wars, has wrapped a concert tour that included a complement of Clay Paky A.leda B-EYE K20s and Sharpys.

Coheed and Cambria recently toured with the band Thank You Scientist, playing 25 dates across the US and in Toronto. Coheed and Cambria's setlist followed In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3, their 11-year old second album, which has recently been remastered and rereleased. Clearwing Productions supplied the lighting package for the tour, which included Clay Paky fixtures.

"The album tells the story of Claudio Kilgannon and his journey of self-discovery in a science fiction universe. Each song moves the characters along, and the lighting needed to be able to follow the quick changes to their emotional states," explains Clearwing'

Germany - The Ten Tenors are one of the hardest-working acts on the classical-rock scene, reportedly performing an average of 250 shows per year. For this Australian ensemble, currently on tour in Germany, the Netherlands, Holland and Austria, the big news has been a Nexo STM modular line array featuring the STM M28 compact main cabinets.

This is the first significant international tour for Nexo's new M28 compact module. Rental provider Sound Linear was one of the early-adopting PA companies, embracing the STM Scale Through Modularity concept and engineering when it was first introduced by Nexo in 2013, and owner Kalle Hogrefe was at the front of the queue to snap up the recently-added M28 omnipurpose module to add to his inventory.

With the arrival of the compact lightweight STM M28 cabinet, Nexo's Series of STM modular line array modules is complete. M28 greatly enhances the

Germany - Prolight + Sound in Frankfurt is expanding the spectrum of subjects and segments covered at the coming event from 15 to 18 April 2015. With a set of new offerings, the trade fair will also be of particular interest to companies and trade visitors from the theatre and theatre-technology sectors. An extensive seminar programme for this target group, a special 'Quickfinder' guide to relevant exhibitors and a special VIP programme for theatre planners are scheduled.

Numerous manufacturers and service providers from the fields of stage lighting, trusses, rigging, lifting technology, curtain systems, show textiles and seating have already signed up to exhibit at Prolight + Sound. They include Alfa System sas, American Dancewear, Bu?hnenbau Schnakenberg, Bu?tec, ChainMaster Bu?hnentechnik, Chemtrol Divisio?n Teatro, Enforcer Pülz, ETC, Gerriets, Jelmez-art, Maquinas Iberica

UK - XL Video UK has announced a major investment in new Barco projectors and lenses, as well as a large investment in video distribution equipment from Lightware. Both agreements support the company's commitment to regularly update their inventory with high quality, state-of-the-art video equipment.

XL Video has invested £1.2m in 30 of Barco's HDX-W14 projectors, including a quantity of their TLD+ Ultra Short Throw lenses. XL has selected the HDX-W14 units as they offer outstanding image quality and flexible light output.

The projectors feature a modular construction and common modules for these units can be shared with XL's existing fleet of HDF-W26 and HDQ-2K40 projectors.

XL Video UK managing director, Lee Spencer, commented, "We are pleased to expand our inventory of Barco projectors and lenses. Our existing fleet has proven highly reliable and so these mid-r

Israel - The Hanukkah holiday is celebrated in a diversity of ways, one of which is the annual Festigal performance show which brings the glamour and glitz of leading celebrities to the stage for an all-action music and dance extravaganza targeted at eight - 14 year olds. It's one of the best attended and most popular performance phenomena in Israel.

This year, Festigal's lighting designer Ronen Najar - who has lit the show for the past eight years - spec'd 24 of Robe's new BMFL Spot fixtures to be the centrepiece. The BMFLs were part of a delivery of 60 units purchased by high profile Israeli rental company, Argaman Systems.

Ronen, among the country's leading LDs, is known for his 'out of the box' approach and the great style he brings to lighting any project. He once again produced a stunningly colourful and dramatic show for the tour which played three cities - Haifa, Jerus

USA - After a recent summer tour throughout Europe, Stevie Wonder's audio team has something new to sing about; the addition of DPA microphones to his touring rig. On recommendation from jazz singer Dee Alexander, Wonder's front of house engineer tested the DPA Microphones d:facto Vocal and d:vote 4099P Instrument piano microphones while on the road. Now a permanent fixture for all of Wonder's performances, the mics provide the right blend of tone and detail that is necessary for the musician's wide range of styles.

As Wonder's FOH engineer for more than 20 years, Danny Leake has had plenty of time deciphering what audio tools are best suited to the musician. Having used DPA's original 4006 recording mics for Wonder's percussion section for years, the decision to switch the performer himself to DPA mics was an easy one.

"I still use my original DPA 4006s for the percussio

UK - Midlands-based manufacturer of electrical distribution systems, ide Systems, has expanded its operations by opening a new rental division near Lichfield. The move to unit 4AD, zone 2, Burntwood Business Park, has enabled ide Systems to split its business into three distinct areas.

The company, which provided power distribution and cabling for the London Olympics in 2012 and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year, will locate its rental division to the 7,950 sq.ft unit after it agreed a five-year lease with London & Cambridge Properties, which owns and manages zone 2, 3 and 4 of the business park.

The company's other business interests - ide Systems, which focuses on sales and manufacturing, and ide Online - will continue to operate out of its headquarters in Cannock.

Managing director Ian Thomas said: "Due to the active increase in demand, our fleet based at o

South Africa - A sunken fashion ramp created a striking effect at the annual Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg presented by African Fashion International and held at Melrose Arch in October/November 2014. Dream Sets supplied the technical and built the set, a seamless platform from which cutting edge South African designers could show off their latest creations.

While stress levels are up on an event like this - there are 12 different shows with each stylists wanting their own look - it's old hat for Mauritz Jacobs from Dream Sets. With a desire to please, his calming nature has kept him working with longstanding clients in fashion for the past 20 years, often as lighting designer and in this case, as project manager.

Precision is essential and Jacobs strives for a simple, clean look. He used 96 Philips SPX Profiles and 12 Robe Robin 800 LED Wash Units.

The Philips SPX Profi

USA - At Winter NAMM, audio specialist Sennheiser and Apogee Electronics, industry leader in digital audio conversion technology, announced their collaboration.

Apogee's Betty Bennett and Sennheiser's Peter Claussen have jointly announced the cooperation of their companies. Peter Claussen, COO of Sennheiser, said that "Apogee and Sennheiser are a perfect fit. We both operate in the demanding premium sector, serving professional and semi-professional audio customers across the globe. Our product portfolios perfectly complement each other, and I am looking forward to collaborate with a company that has truly pushed the boundaries of digital audio."

Betty Bennett, co-founder and CEO of Apogee, commented: "This is an exciting collaboration for us. Sennheiser is a highly respected brand with an incredible product portfolio and an extensive global reach. Our reputatio

Belgium - Luc Peumans of Painting With Light lit the high profile Belgian TV Music Industry Awards (MIA)s event for the first time last year ... and producers VRT (Vlaamse Radio en Televisieomroeporganisatie) Belgium were so impressed with his work, that this year Luc was invited back to create a full production design - incorporating lighting, set and video / visuals.

The event - honouring the very best of Flemish musical talent and success from 2014 - is the most watched music TV show in the country (broadcast on Channel Eén - One) and a massive talking point on the country's music industry calendar. It unites all the glitz and glamour straight off the red carpet - with Awards nominees and celebrities taking their seats in the 'Green Room' right in the middle of the space - with a full audience of very enthusiastic music fans who fill the rest of the studio.

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