Germany - For decades, the name Sennheiser has been synonymous with high-quality products, "true" sound and numerous innovations that have set new standards in audio technology. This year, the audio specialist is celebrating its 70th anniversary. It remains a family-owned and -operated enterprise, now headed by a third generation of the Sennheiser family: Today's CEOs, Daniel Sennheiser and Dr. Andreas Sennheiser, are the grandchildren of the company's founder, Prof. Dr. Fritz Sennheiser.

The list of product innovations from Sennheiser is as extensive as it is impressive. Sennheiser has made a significant impact on the evolution of audio technology over the past seven decades, from the world's very first open earphone, the HD 414, and the wireless stage technology pioneered by the Digital 9000 system to present-day innovations such as MobileConnect, an inclusive audio-

UK - Theatre consultancy, Theatreplan has been appointed as the theatre consultant on the major redevelopment project at Glasgow's historic Citizens Theatre. Built in 1878, the Grade II listed theatre has seen a number of small-scale refurbishments and extensions, but the current scheme is the most comprehensive in its history.

The project has been earmarked for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Glasgow City Council, Creative Scotland and Historic Scotland that go a long way towards financing the transformations, which are far-reaching.

Mathew Smethurst-Evans, who is leading the Theatreplan team, explained, "This is a major project that incorporates significant improvements to the environment for both visitors and staff. Visitors will benefit from much improved public spaces to create a venue where they can experience much more than a theatre show. There will be pur

USA - CREC Public Safety Academy opened their modern new facility in Enfield, CT, in September 2014 with audio systems that support the school's career-oriented education for grades 6 through 12 in law enforcement, fire sciences, emergency medicine and other safety and security fields.

The school's large and attractive new facility serves 700 students and includes classrooms equipped with the latest technology, a gymnasium and fitness centre, a cafeteria and multipurpose room along with a theatrical auditorium.

Jorge Guillén of Guillén Technology Consultants provided building technology, AV, audio systems and safety and security consulting services for the new school. The building's many different spaces presented Guillén with numerous challenges in his audio system designs. The school's goals included intelligible voice paging and high-quality sound reinf

The Netherlands - Dutch rockers BLØF have an enthusiastic and eclectic fanbase as well as earning serious respect for the musical integration of sounds, styles and genres from a diversity of cultures into their work, so the ability to 'paint' with light when constructing their live shows is key to evolving the look and feel of the visual environment.

For BL°F's recent show at Amsterdam's 17,000 capacity Ziggo Dome lighting designer Patrick Kramer did exactly this ... with a little help from over 200 Robe moving lights including 26 of the new BMFL Spots.

Patrick cut his professional lighting career teeth in the theatre and has always liked to work as part of a creative team. On this one, he collaborated with set and video designer Bart van Rooy and between them, the concept of building geometric shapes, squares and rectangles evolved. These were based on a Layher sca

USA - James Schipper of Kinetic Lighting wanted something special to draw attention to the stage at the after-meeting party area during What's Next, a high profile, high-tech NBC Comcast conference on the future of television. "This was a crowd of visionary people involved in looking at new ideas that will one day shape the world of media, so they weren't going to be very moved by a bread-and-butter display," said the LD. "We knew that if we wanted to dazzle them, we would have to go with something bold."

Schipper got the look he was seeking with a massive diagonally slanted overhang array of high-output Nexus 4x4 LED panels from Chauvet Professional. Starting close to ceiling level upstage, the truss overhang formed a descending wedge of rich and varied colours as it moved down stage. The movement of the lights on the array, along with their intense o

UK - Blackout provided drapes and rigging for Crown Business Communications on the 60th anniversary of the original DS, at Citroën's 2015 national dealer conference in Birmingham's newly refurbished Barclaycard Arena.

The conference took 700 attendees through the history of the Citroën and DS brands, and unveiled a new dual brand strategy for the two ranges. Blackout continued its long standing relationship with Crown and production manager Steve Webb having worked together for over 20 years. The show featured automated tracking LED screens, and vehicles that drove onto the stage.

The audience entered into the main exhibition area, where both new and old DS cars were displayed. Blackout's drapes were utilised to cover the retracted seating to make space for this area. Additional drape walls were added by the venue, which were lined with Blackout's aesthetically attractive wh

UK - Having appeared at some of the UK's favourite festivals during the summer, Lily Allen took to the road at the end of November for a two month UK tour, which culminated at the Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations on the 31 December. Sennheiser microphones and in-ear monitors, provided by Skan Audio, sound company for the tour, are with her every step of the way.

Both front of house engineer Shan Hira and monitor engineer Francoise Le Moignan have worked with Lily since her 2009 It's Not Me, it's You tour, where they first specified Sennheiser mics and in-ear monitors.

"We had used a Sennheiser SKM 500-935 G3 935 in 2009 and were very happy with the way they worked," says Shan. "Mark [Saunders, Sennheiser UK artist relations] very kindly offered to support us again and brought a prototype MD 5245 capsule down to rehearsals for us to try out. We really liked it and

USA - Known by many as the best kept secret in the entertainment world, the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas provides professional level training by some of the most well-respected minds in the industry, on the most powerful equipment, such as ETC lighting desks. "The Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas is a total immersion experience," explains faculty member and lighting designer Brian Gale. "It's where you get the muscle memory that is required to work efficiently in stagecraft disciplines."

The non-profit Stagecraft Institute began in 2006 and provides an immersive education to around 70 people each summer, 90 per cent of whom receive either a full or partial scholarship. All of the topics of study revolve around disciplines within the world of stagecraft and live entertainment, including lighting design and programming, media programming, sound, costumes,

UK - As part of the design and development of their World Duty Free store in Heathrow's new Terminal 2 - The Queen's Terminal - travel retailer World Duty Free Group (WDFG) commissioned a remarkable LedGo FLEX curved LED solution to provide a highly adaptable fascia for their tax and duty free store - creating one of the UK's largest fixed-installation LED walls.

Concept visuals of the new store revealed curved surfaces running along the front of the entire shop fascia. This gave World Duty Free Group and Blynk Digital Media's Neil Muir the idea to fill the surfaces with LedGo's innovative FLEX curved LED panels, to display eye-catching, moving content, visuals and tailored messaging to visitors in the new terminal.

Blynk Digital Media approached A.C. Video, a specialist sales division of A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET) Ltd., to supply them with the LedGo FLEX curved L

UK - XL Video supplied LED and video screens for an hour-long special - Bruce's Hall of Fame - produced by Hat Trick Productions. The show was recorded on 1 November at the London Palladium and aired on BBC1 on 27 December 2014.

The special celebrated Bruce Forsyth's long career in show business and featured artists paying tribute to the stars who inspired them. Stars appearing included Jessie Wallace, who recalled music hall legend Marie Lloyd; Jamie Cullum, who performed a Tony Bennett song; and Alfie Boe who was inspired by Dean Martin.

Working with production designer Markus Blee and line producer Charlene Farrell, XL Video supplied two types of LED for the show's set - a 5.4m wide x 3m high LED screen formed of its ROE MC-7T product and a 7m wide x 2.5m high Unilumin 3.9mm LED screen.

The high resolution ROE MC-7T screen was flown and used as both an audience rel

UK - Since launching back in September 2014, over 250 rental businesses in the AV, lighting, events and broadcast sectors are now signed up to Current RMS, quickly identifying the benefits of cloud rental management software.

At the end of January 2015, Current RMS officially became a partner of the popular cloud accounting software Xero, offering seamless integration with this easy to use product, streamlining the rental cycle that one step further.

Prior to launching Current RMS, rental experts came onboard to test the system, working with the team to ensure it was entirely ready for launch. The same process took place for the Xero integration. One of the testers, Steve Lucas, owner of Soundbite Productions, has quickly seen the benefits of operating his rental business entirely in the cloud.

"Current is a must have for rental and hire companies, especially for those

China - Prolight + Sound Guangzhou, China's largest industry event, has a solid line up of 1,300 professional audio and lighting suppliers. The latest advances in the pro audio and lighting markets will take centre stage during the show period. The show will be held from 5 - 8 April 2015 in Area A and B at the China Import and Export Fair Complex, Guangzhou, China.

An extensive range of topics, focusing on developing trends and market intelligence will be covered in the programme, offering "countless business opportunities and industry knowledge".

Ms Fiona Chiew, deputy general manager of Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd explained, "Participating in Prolight + Sound Guangzhou is essential to staying ahead in this industry. The show and its accompanying fringe programme provide a prime opportunity for exchanging market information and keeping up-to-date with the

USA - British loudspeaker manufacturer PMC played a key part in ensuring that the US Recording Academy's Producers & Engineers Wing got the 2015 Grammy Week celebrations off to a flying start.

PMC is a Silver Sponsor of the P&E Wing's annual party at The Village Studios in Los Angeles, an event that traditionally kicks off Grammy Week and regularly attracts over 500 industry VIPs.

All sponsors are given the opportunity to host a technical demonstration and in PMC's case this took the form of a joint presentation with Auro Technologies, which showcased its Auro-3D audio format. Five PMC twotwo.8 monitors, four twotwo.6 monitors and a twotwo.sub2 active subwoofer were positioned around The Village Studio's Studio A live room in an Auro 9.1 configuration to create the Auro-3D effect of an enveloping cocoon of sound. The flagship AV processor Auro-3D Mensa was on hand to create th

Germany - Christie partner publitec has added 40 new Christie Boxer 4K30 projectors to its rental range. This German audiovisual distributor and events technology company from Herdecke has set a new rental benchmark.

The Christie Boxer 4K30 boasts high performance, marking it out as a premium product within the middleweight category. A full 30,000 lumens, 4K (4096 x 2160) native resolution and 3DLP quality, while weighing less than 68 kg. Users receive a projector that is easy to use and offers optimum feed and performance flexibility.

The Christie Boxer has built-in Christie TruLife image processing to provide the highest bit depth, fastest frame rate and native 4K signals, with HD signal upscaling that lets the Christie Boxer fit seamlessly and simply into existing HD workflows.

publitec already offers a wide range of Christie projectors, accessories and add-on parts, and

UK - Jonathan Djanogly MP, made a special trip to officially open Le Mark's new super-efficient office & warehousing expansion in Cambridgeshire.

The new extension allows Le Mark's UK & export teams to expand even further, with almost double the original floor space.

The new development also includes a showroom for its global brand-Dirty Rigger Gloves & Accessories and an in-house photography and video studio. The studio will be there to support Le Mark's global distribution network, offering on-demand, customised product demonstration videos and marketing material.

With energy efficiency and green credentials held paramount throughout the design and construction, Le Mark's new development offers 21st Century low-energy innovation.

From state-of-the-art intelligent air-sourced heating to multi-layer insulation, natural light tunnels and LED low-energy lighting, Le Mark's n

UK - The lighting design for the final arena tour of Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds - The New Generation was created by Tim Routledge, in the process adding his own distinctive stamp to the stage adaptation of H.G. Wells' 1898 classic sci-fi masterpiece - with a little help from Robe's new BMFL Spot fixtures.

When Tim took over lighting the epic live show in 2010, it underwent a complete redesign. The production toured again in 2012 before this final run, where he again reworked the lighting, this time due to swapping out several older fixtures for newer technology that had come onto the market in the last two years.

He retained all the classic looks and styling that had helped make WOTW such a visual tour-de-force, whilst new elements - not previously possible - were added to help ramp up the drama for this landmark finale.

The six BMFLs replac

Record Receipts - London's West End has reported its 11th consecutive year of record box office takings, measuring gross sales of more than £623m in 2014. Figures published by the Society of London Theatre also show increased attendance at London's major commercial and subsidised venues during 2014. However, some of the increase is due to the fact that the year was recorded as a 53-week period, rather than the usual 52.According to SOLT, 14.7m people attended the 52 London theatres in full SOLT membership in 2014, a 1.0% increase on 2013. Gross box office revenue was up 7% on 2013, rising from £585.5m to £623.6m. This is a 29% increase on the last 53-week year, which was in 2008, and an 82% increase on the 53-week period before that, in 2004.SOLT claims that the increase in revenue can be attributed to an improved seat capacity achieved across the year, which is

Russia - Established by Russian Radio in 1996, the Golden Gramophone Award is the most prestigious music award show in the country. Recently celebrating its 15th annual event at the Ice Palace in St. Petersburg, rental company (and technical partner) Euroshow played the leading role, developing a design conceived by the company's Alena Morozova.

Incorporated in the set were no fewer than 480 strings of SGM's pixel product, the LB-100 LED balls. Each string contains seven semi-transparent balls with a sphere of 28mm and a pixel pitch of 120mm viewable in 360?, creating alluring 3D graphic displays.

Demonstrating the magnitude of this show, the award itself is a golden gramophone statue, comprising gold and silver mounted onto a platform of optical glass with laser engravings. Experts estimate the cost of a "gramophone" to be around $1.4,000 US. On top of this, the Gol

Russia - Black Cat Music recently installed a Diva Acoustical Shell system in Moscow's Nazarov Musical Theatre.

In a competitive tender, Black Cat Music's Berlin based team won the contract in the face of tough international competition. Originally built for the Moscow Olympic Games of 1980, the Nazarov Musical Theatre has recently undergone a major refurbishment. The revival in fortunes for the theatre, located within the Olympic Games legacy site, began when it became part of the Moscow State Philharmony in 2014. A requirement of the building overhaul was an upgrade for the auditorium acoustics, with an acoustic shell being specified by Moscow State Philharmony.

With the contract awarded, the Berlin based project team of Paula Ulrich and Tim Ehrlich worked to increasingly tight time scales while also accommodating client changes to the final dimensions of the Diva shell. Tha

UK - Metronomy completed a year of touring their Love Letters album with a show stopping gig at London's Alexandra Palace venue with lighting and set designed by Ed Warren, one of an innovative 'new wave' of lighting and visual designers making an impact in the world of live stage presentation.

The floor lighting package throughout the tour had in fact featured Robe moving lights, and more were added for the finale show, making a complete count of 14 x Pointes, six LEDWash 300s, 39 x LEDBeam 100s, 17 x LEDWash 600s and 26 x Robin 600E Spots, all supplied by Southampton based rental company, GLS.

The stage design was based on a 'futuristic' 1970's TV show concept, the visuality of which was partly inspired by the work of Ed's two favourite light artists, James Turrell and Dan Flavin, and their experimentation with block colours and the bold vibrancy of neon.

The result

UK - Flare Audio has again impressed on former Westlife frontman Shane Filan's second solo tour. The first tour represented a milestone for the West Sussex-based audio manufacturer as it was the first UK-wide outing by a major artist to use Flare's touring speaker system, the X5A line array. The impressive 'audio punch and clarity' combined with the lightweight and compactness of the products led to the production team immediately re-selecting Flare for the second tour.

Configured with six X5s and four Q18 bass units each side and powered by Lab.gruppen PLM20000Q four channel DSP amplifiers, the system was a revelation to sound engineer Darryl Walsh. "To say this system is stunning is an understatement," he enthused. "I can only describe it as a blank canvas for mixing; the PA is sonically almost 'invisible'."

Walsh used the Flare system for 31 of the 34 sh

Canada - Having completed a series of significant upgrades to six control rooms at its Agincourt and Queen Street campuses in Scarborough, Ontario, in 2011, Bell Media (former CTV Canada) has expanded and integrated its Lawo mc²56 and zirkonXL consoles around a Lawo Nova73 router - creating a networked infrastructure with a total of five mc² series consoles.

The initial installation supported migration from SD to HD, and included four mc²56 MkI digital production consoles and two zirkonXL consoles. These have now been joined by a further mc²56 MkII console.

The audio mixing systems were initially chosen for the broadcast of the 2010 Winter Games by Canada's Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium and comprised a 64-fader mc²56 console configured with DSP cards, redundant processors, 15 MADI ports, 32 AES3id I/O, and three DALLIS frames which were located at the Agincourt Campu

USA - The annual excitement of the Pepsi Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show raged around the University of Phoenix stadium, Arizona on 1 February, broadcast to the world by NBC. International superstar Katy Perry headlined the much-anticipated Halftime Show supported by Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott.

Ayrton LED fixtures played their part once more in the dynamic lighting design by Bob Barnhart of Full Flood, Inc., with the new, compact MagicRing-R1 and NandoBeam-S6 helping to wow the crowds.

Five-time primary lighting designer for the highly anticipated telecasts, Barnhart delivered a spectacular show, overcoming many of the logistical difficulties of lighting a full-blown, large-scale production in the middle of a football stadium by mounting his lighting equipment on sixteen mobile lighting carts and four band carts.

Twelve Ayrton MagicRing-R1 beam projection fixtures were in

USA - The Winter Jam Tour Spectacular is back on the road for their 2015 leg of jaw-dropping performances and worship. Pollstar reported Winter Jam as #1 in 2014's First Quarter Year To Date Worldwide Ticket Sales chart, and this year looks to be even bigger with performances by Skillet, Jeremy Camp, Francesca Battistelli, Building 429, Family Force, Newsong, For King & Country, Blanca, About a Mile, Veridia and speaker Tony Nolan.

Bandit Lites once again worked with production manager Jerry Holcomb to provide the lighting for this ministry. Equipment included Clay Paky B Eye K 20 wash lights, Martin Vipers, Vari-Lite VL 3500 washes, Clay Paky Sharpys, Martin Atomic 3000 Strobes, 4 lite inline moles, Color Force 72 wash lights, 60ft black A type circle truss divided into 3 sections all lined with 12 mil LED product.

"I really like the arch that we've created on stage,&quo

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