UK - Adlib has been providing a riotous sound for favourite UK rockers, Kaiser Chiefs, renewing a long term working relationship with the band and reuniting many crew who have worked together over several years, on a tour that's been every bit as full-on and enjoyable as previous ones.

Adlib's George Puttock, Sam Proctor and James Petch joined the band's engineering duo of Chris Leckie at FOH and Ilias Andriantos on monitors for a rousing three week tour where all the energy and passion of the Kaisers' renowned live performances was exceptionally well received by the public.

Working alongside Chris and Ilias are the tour's production manager James Hennin and tour manager Liam Rippon.

The sound system chosen was L-Acoustics. The venues ranged from London's 16,000 capacity O2 Arena to many well-known & loved theatres and town halls, culminating in a homecoming gig at Leeds Are

UK - Xerocon London 2015 marked one of the UK's largest gatherings of its kind with over 800 people attending. The two day conference held by leading accountancy software company Xero boasted over 40 exhibitors, nine guest speakers and the launch of Xero's latest product updates.

For Xerocon's second year in the UK, production agency Lipfriend Rodd International Ltd once again engaged Creative Technology (CT). In addition to providing the equipment and crew for the main conference, CT also supplied the three breakout rooms and the gala dinner.

In the main room a super wide screen measuring 42.5m by 3.5m was created using seven flown Panasonic DZ21K projectors. The internal warping and soft edge blending capabilities of these projectors produced one giant seamless image.

As well as displaying presentation graphics, the screen relayed live footage of the speakers captured via

UK - Bombay Bicycle Club will forever be known as the last live band to play at London's Earl's Court venue. But preceding that already-famous December show was a tour that had started nearly a year before, on which DiGiCo SD9 and SD10 consoles played a starring role.

Front of House engineer Tom Wiggans joined the band in the summer, part-way through the tour. A DiGiCo user for around 12 years - including working with UB40, Squeeze, Wet Wet Wet and The Cranberries - Tom's debut with Bombay Bicycle Club came on festival shows, before he used a DiGiCo SD9 on the band's US shows. He then chose an SD10 for the UK tour.

"One of the advantages of professional sound these days is how much preparation you can do," he says. "I was able to get a multitrack recording of one of the shows, which I listened to on my laptop and figured out what was coming from where, because t

Germany - Experienced German lighting designer, Henning Schletter (of Imaginary Lights) has become one of the first creatives in the world to adopt GLP's new impression X4 Bar 20 LED batten lights - deploying them at a major product launch for Jaguar, in front of a star-studded audience that included British actor, and Hollywood star, Idris Elba.

In addition to starring as Luther and Nelson Mandela (in Mandela - Long Walk to Freedom Elba is also a rapper and DJ. And tasked with launching the new Jaguar XE by driving the new sports sedan personally from London to Berlin, Elba later co-hosted a party behind the decks at the Umspannwerk Alexanderplatz, alongside Noah Becker.

It was here that Schletter set up his impressive lightshow, working for production company, die veranstaltungsmacher, in cooperation with Norbert Zitzmann Communications, the brand communication specia

USA - After Oscar awards were collected and the lights dimmed on stage at the Dolby Theatre, the stars hit the streets of Los Angeles to find their favourite after parties. Among these, the Governors Ball, held at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at the Hollywood & Highland Centre. Kicking off the event's entertainment this year was Grammy Winner Sergio Mendes, who performed songs with special guest will.i.am from their co-produced, Latin Grammy-winning album Timeless, using several DPA Microphones d:facto Vocal Microphones.

Selected by Mendes' production manager John Baker, wired and wireless versions of the d:factos were used for vocals by Mendes, will.i.am and the three female singers who performed centre stage for their roughly 45 minute set. Baker also selected DPA's d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones for a variety of the band's instruments.

"My goal was to spread the D

UK - Alchemea College is celebrating the recent success of several of its former students at this year's BRIT Awards, Grammy Awards, MPG Awards...and on the charts.

Jimmy Napes (aka James Napier, Class of 2004) was both songwriter and producer whose work contributed to Sam Smith's BRIT Award nods for British Breakthrough Act and British Global Success, as well as nominations for British Album and British Single. Other Alchemea alumni represented at the BRITs include Steve Sedgwick (Class of 2002), house engineer for British Male Solo Artist nominee Damon Albarn, and Robbie Nelson (Class of 2001) who engineered Morning Phase by International Male Solo Artist nominee Beck.

Earlier this month at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, Napes' work was also acknowledged as Smith took home the prestigious prizes for Record of the Year and Song of the Year, as well as winning Best New Artist

Russia - In November 2014, Alexey Zhivanov, lighting designer for Russian stage rental and install firm Grand Show, was tasked with supporting two distinct events: a rock concert at a nightclub and a ballet staged in a traditional opera house. To accommodate the needs of each production, he brought along the versatile Martin Professional M2GO lighting controller.

Maximilians, the Siberian restaurant and venue where Russian rock band Chizh & Co performed, is equipped with a small array of fixtures including projectors, LED Wash Zoom fixtures, LED spots, strobes and smoke machines. Zhivanov didn't need any additional touchscreen monitors or gear to control the lighting fixtures. He simply connected the M2GO to his laptop.

"The rock concert focused mainly on slow compositions, so I programmed scenes filled with warm colours and smooth effects", said Zhivanov. "The

UK - Flare Audio has been selected as the only audio supplier for this year's LEAF (London Electronic Arts Festival) at Tobacco Dock this March.

The event, created by Bestival founder and DJ Rob da Bank, is a two-day cultural celebration of electronic music, art, technology and digital futurism that will attract around 20,000 electronic music fans into the heart of London.

The LEAF conference is aimed at electronic music fans and the 'pro-sumer' market, with day one focusing on talks, demonstrations and discussion groups aimed at fans, enthusiasts, apprentices and connoisseurs, as well as interactive panels from high profile artists from the many corners of music, tech and art. Among panellists will be the legendary Nile Rodgers, leading a discussion entitled Unmoderated, Uncensored and Unlimited.

A diverse programme of music follows the conference, including a specia

USA - ANSI E1.19 - 2015, Recommended Practice for the Use of Class A Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) Intended for Personnel Protection in the Entertainment Industry, and ANSI E1.23 - 2010 (R2015), Entertainment Technology - Design and Execution of Theatrical Fog Effects, were approved by the ANSI Board of Standards Review on 10 and 13 February respectively. They are now published and are available for free at http://tsp.plasa.org/freestandards. The free download is made possible by the sponsorship of Prosight Specialty Insurance. They also may be purchased from ANSI's eStandards Store (http://webstore.ansi.org/) for $15.00 each.

ANSI E1.19 is intended to offer guidance in accordance with existing applicable standards on how to select, install, use and maintain ground fault protection devices in the entertainment industry to protect persons from shock and persons and pr

UK - Sound Technology is hosting its second in a series of training courses for Harman's new HiQnet Audio Architect design, configuration and control software for installed audio systems on 11 March 2015. This free one-day Introductory Course is aimed at sales staff and engineers new to Harman's DSP products.

This introductory course will give an overview of all HiQnet hardware devices that can be configured and controlled by Audio Architect, and a demonstration of the core features and workflow of Audio Architect itself. This course is designed for those who may specify or sell Harman networked install product but don't necessarily need to know the finer intricacies of how to program all of it. It is also aimed at engineers who are working with these types of product for the first time.

HiQnet Audio Architect configuration and control software represents the combination of Hi

UK - Orbital Sound has announced the dates for its annual Easter Sound Fundamentals for Theatre training course, running this year from 7-10 April at its purpose-built Brixton training facility. Over 500 students have already passed through the theatre sound training programme, helping to prepare technical theatre and theatre sound students for careers in live entertainment.

The Sound Fundamentals for Theatre course combines essential theory with practical skills, catering for a wide cross-section of skill levels. Students are typically drawn from the UK's leading drama schools, as well as freelancers and corporate sector technicians. Organised by Orbital Sound's training co-ordinator Alex Waddle, the course is led by Richard Carter and supported by technical director Bill Addison.

Over the four days, students are also given the opportunity to try out some of the latest audio

UK - Le Maitre Ltd is sponsoring fireman Scott Butler on his intrepid Journey To Elbrus challenge in what will hopefully gain him a place in the Guinness Book Of World Records.

In June this year Scott will be cycling 1800 miles across Europe then rowing solo 750 miles across the Black Sea. If that wasn't enough of a challenge he will then climb Mount Elbrus in Russia, the highest peak in Europe. Scott will be raising money for three charities - Firefighters Charity, The MS Society and Facing Africa.

Scott, a firefighter with the Royal Berkshire Fire & Rescue Service has a history of challenging himself. He has run marathons and adventure races, cycled from John O'Groats to Land's End, driven the Nurburgring and also written a book. This will be his first ever attempt at a world record. Sponsorship details are available at www.journeytoelbrus.com.

(Jim Evans)

UK - Sunday night was the annual Oscars Ceremony and Richard Martin Lighting (RML) were on hand to provide the lights and more than a little sparkle to the Sky Movies coverage hosted by Alex Zane.

Joining Alex on the sofas were a panel of celebrity guests from different sectors of the entertainment industry, giving their thoughts and opinions on fashion, the night's winners and any celebrity gossip that was circulating.

Malcolm Reed designed the lighting show which worked around an impressive set made to resedmble the Hollywood Hills. It's not a vast studio and there is so much already going on that you don't need a big lighting rig.

After many years of lighting the show, Malcolm knows this only too well and chose a simple yet effective spec including Sharpys, Alpha Spot 700's and XTC 1.

(Jim Evans)

Italy - The show Illusion, with several Salamanders from Le Maitre entertained visitors at the Rainbow MagicLand in Valmontone close to Rome throughout the summer 2014.

The attraction combines music, fantasy and projection. With hundreds of lights installed on the fountains and special effects enhancing the show, Illusion had nine dancers interacting with the fountains and the projections.

One of the world's leading companies for aquatic shows and an internationally renowned video designer participated in the realisation of this show.

Mr. Bonsanti, technical representative at MagicLand, commented, "The show went on two to three times a night for a duration of 25-30 minutes and could accommodate 300 people. Thanks to a series of effects, the organisers were able to create true illusions with pirate and jungle themes.

"The stage on the water with the castle built o

UK - Armour Pro has announced that Audica is to review its UK sales, appointing Audiologic as a distributor for sales to installers and integrators of its commercial audio systems.

Simon Stoll, managing director of Harlow-based Audiologic said, "We have always been impressed by Audica's combination of impressive sound quality and superb styling, and are delighted to be able to bring this to our installation customers. Audica complements our portfolio and is a brand that undoubtedly strengthens our profile in respect of the retail sector."

"Our business model has changed substantially over the past two years," explained Alex Munro, brand director of Armour Pro, which includes the Audica brand. "We have been extremely successful in delivering loudspeaker systems for the retail sector internationally, and now supply some of the world's largest retail chai

Germany / China - HK Audio has further strengthened its position in the Chinese pro audio market by signing a distribution contract with Algam China.

The new deal, which was signed at the recent ISE 2015 show in Amsterdam, is effective from March 1 2015 and will see Algam China focusing on building HK Audio's presence in the growing Chinese MI sector using the Lucas, Elements, Premium PR:O, Pulsar, Linear 5 and SoundCaddy ranges.

Shenzhen Melody will also continue to distribute HK Audio across China, with an emphasis on installation products.

François Lay, HK Audio's international market manager, said, "We've had a successful business relationship with Algam France for decades, so it was a natural step to partner up with the company's recently formed China division.

"Algam's extensive branding and marketing expertise - coupled with their exceptional knowledge of

UK - Martin Manufacturing UK has been crowned champion of skills investment at the Semta Skills Awards 2015. Martin Manufacturing UK, which employs 48 people in Louth and makes a range of smoke boxes for the entertainments' industry, won the SME Investment in Skills category, sponsored by Pera Training.

They were presented with the award at a gala dinner in London's Park Plaza, Riverbank at an event hosted by TV presenter Michael Underwood and where Minister of State for Business, Enterprise and Energy, Matthew Hancock, gave the keynote address.

Jason Andrews, general manager of Martin Manufacturing, said: "Skills are important to our business - competing in the international marketplace we need to stay ahead of the game so we need the most skilled workforce we can muster.

"Some of our employees have worked for us for over 20 years and we need to ensure their knowl

USA - NBC Network News relies on six of API's A2Ds when filming popular news programmes such as Morning Joe, The Today Show, and Nightly News with Lester Holt in their Los Angeles studio.

The six A2D mic pre amps are put to work all day long, and are used in both the Newsroom Set and Studio W or Studio West. Audio engineer Stan Ouse explains, "The backdrop of the Newsroom Set is a functioning news room. In Studio W we support all of the NBC networks and we do shows and live shots all throughout the day. For example, last week we did Hardball with the host plus the guests. That studio can do a single live shot or a whole show, whatever we need."

Ouse says he's known about the API brand "since the '90s - I had a recording studio of my own here in Burbank." NBC's selection of API gear, according to Ouse, was a natural progression after NBC

USA - Located in the rural Illinois town of Carlinville, Blackburn College serves six hundred undergraduates. Its work programme keeps costs low and campus community involvement high by employing students in a range of non-traditional student jobs under the direction of professionals, for nine of the campus's 16 buildings.

A recent $3m upgrade to the 430-seat Bothwell Auditorium continued that tradition, with the student construction crew providing much of the labour. Amid a range of new infrastructure is a new sound reinforcement system centred on Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers and subwoofers, which provide exceptional fidelity and pattern control.

"The old system was original to the building, which was constructed in the 1970s," explained Ryan Winstead, sales design consultant with Advanced Audio and Lighting Systems (AALS) of Peoria, Illinois. "Their tech sta

Qatar - W-DMX by Wireless Solution and lighting fixtures by Griven are now on display on one of Qatar's premier five-star hotels - the Sheraton Doha Hotel & Resort. This hotel structure has been a landmark in Doha for more than 30 years, so when it was time for renovation, every detail was considered to bring the building up to the highest technological standards while still maintaining its original look and charm.

In addition to the interior, the upgrade involved the exterior lighting design of the hotel that would not only enhance the waterfront skyline but the three-sided pyramid shape of the hotel as well. The close Al Majlis Congress Centre, a secondary lower building with four-sided pyramidal section, needed a complementary lighting scheme. Its smooth, concrete surface proved to be quite difficult to be evenly lit up as the lighting fixtures could only be installed at a ve

USA - 48 of Robe's LEDWash 1200s are in action on the current Garth Brooks US tour, specified by the country megastar's longstanding LD Dave Butzler, and purchased specially by leading rental house Bandit Lites. Brooks - whose staggering popularity continues to pack out arenas - has released his first studio album in 13 years Man Against Machine to coincide with the tour.

Butzler explained that Brooks was fully involved in creating the stage design, and while he wanted to wow the crowds for this one, he wanted to keep the music - rather than the production - centre stage. To satisfy ticket sale demands and remain close to his audiences - for which he is famous - Brooks elected to play multiple dates in more intimate medium-sized arenas, rather than massive stadiums.

The starting point for Butzler's lighting was a large centre cluster of audio, so he designed around this

Italy - The show Illusion, with several Salamanders from Le Maitre entertained visitors at the Rainbow MagicLand in Valmontone close to Rome throughout the summer 2014.

The attraction combines music, fantasy and projection. With hundreds of lights installed on the fountains and special effects enhancing the show, Illusion had nine dancers interacting with the fountains and the projections.

One of the world's leading companies for aquatic shows and an internationally renowned video designer participated in the realisation of this show.

Mr. Bonsanti, technical representative at MagicLand, commented, "The show went on two to three times a night for a duration of 25-30 minutes and could accommodate 300 people. Thanks to a series of effects, the organisers were able to create true illusions with pirate and jungle themes.

"The stage on the water with the castle built o

Czech Republic - Robe welcomed 13 students and two lecturers - Phil Hughes and Clive Davies - from the University of South Wales, Glamorgan, to its HQ and factory in Valasské Mezirici, Czech Republic, all from the BSc Honours Lighting Design & Technology and Live Event Technology courses.

The trip was co-ordinated by Robe UK's sales director Ian W Brown with USW course leader Stuart Green, and it has become an annual date on the calendar. As usual, it was also completely over-subscribed, so the number of applicants had to be whittled down to those who would be likely to benefit the most.

Ian, whose relationship with the university started a few years ago, commented, "Both courses produce a high proportion of graduates who progress on to very successful industry careers - and that is what first prompted me to look further.

"The courses are based on equipping

UK - Another year has flown by, and it's time to start nominations for the Technical Theatre Awards 2015.

The nomination period is now open on the new website - head to www.technicaltheatreawards.com now to put your colleagues forward.

Says the organisation, "We have a great year planned ahead, including streamlining the voting process and bringing together a committee of industry leaders to finalise our shortlists.

"We are also heading to Europe for Stage|Set|Scenery, as well as our annual visits to PLASA Focus and the ABTT Trade Show.

"Our awards ceremony will be taking place on 5 October 2015, and all our nominees and sponsors will be invited to join us as we announce this year's winners.

To make all this possible we are putting together a bigger team than ever. We are currently looking for more sponsors to support our awards, including some brand new a

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