Japan - Japan's Yokkaichi Municipal Museum has recently reopened following a refurbishment designed and installed by GOTO INC, based around their state-of-the-art 8K triple head hybrid planetarium projection system. This, the most advanced opto-mechanical projector ever, offers a viewing potential that is second-to-none. The ability to display the Milky Way to magnitude 18 is just one of its capabilities.

To create the most sophisticated yet natural accompanying audio soundscape, a TiMax SoundHub2 matrix was installed to provide real-time, cue-based timecode synchronisation between the planetarium's multichannel surround audio and the ultra-high-resolution visual content that almost fully envelopes the audience.

The TiMax2 SoundHub controls routing of audio from a 24-channel small mixing console and TASCAM 8-channel recorder by timecode cues, distributing both wired and wirele

UK - Award-winning designer Lucy Osborne, internationally acclaimed lighting designer Emma Chapman and lighting specialist and designer Howard Eaton are officially launching their innovative new venue design company Studio Three Sixty at the ABTT Theatre Show this week.

Studio Three Sixty designs and builds a new kind of temporary venue, using the latest technology to create beautiful spaces bursting with versatility.

The story began with Roundabout - a very special commission from new writing theatre company Paines Plough to design and build the world's first Plug and Play Theatre. Roundabout went on to win The Stage Awards 'Theatre Building of the Year 2015'.

Studio Three Sixty was founded by Osborne, Chapman and Eaton to design more temporary venues using the ideas and technology developed for Roundabout.

"We are absolutely delighted to be at ABTT at the launch of

UK - This year's First Night Riders charity motorbike and classic car tour of British theatres, which raises money for The Theatrical Guild's (TTG) vital work, takes to the roads on Friday 3rd July.

This year marks the sixth year that some of the theatre industry's biggest movers and shakers zoom together for a weekend aimed at raising awareness and much-needed funds to help TTG support Backstage and FOH staff in need. Established in 1891, TTG is dedicated to looking after theatre personnel who, due to a variety of circumstances need welfare advice, counselling, educational sponsorship and many other forms of help.

The charity has many supporters in the industry, including Dara O'Briain who is also a Trustee of The Theatres Trust.

Taking place between 3rd and 6th July, this year's route starts in Scarborough and visits the Spa Theatre & Grand Hall and The Stephen Joseph Thea

Fair Pay - Apple Music reversed its payment policy, a day after the singer Taylor Swift said she was refusing to allow the company to stream her album 1989. In an open letter to Apple, Swift said she was withholding the record as she was unhappy with the three-month free trial offered to subscribers. Now Apple says it will pay artists for music streamed during trial periods. Swift had said the plan was "unfair", arguing Apple had the money to cover the cost. "I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company. "We don't ask you for free iPhones. Please don't ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation."

Olympic Achievement - The International Olympic Committee will receive an award at IBC2015 for its work on conserving and managing its audiovisual archives. The awar

Austria - UK entry's Electro Velvet's LED costumes for Eurovision 2015 featured a bespoke design by LED specialists Light Initiative.

"We were approached by creative director Dan Shipton and the BBC Eurovision team to help make Electro Velvet stand out during this year's performances," says Bryn Williams, creative director of Light Initiative.

Working alongside costume designer Frank Strachan and his costume maker Natascha Stolle, the team incorporated 20,000 video-mapped LEDs into the outfits with 5,500 on singer Bianca's dress alone. Unlike many incarnations of this idea seen in the past, the costume team's clever design 'seamlessly' assimilated the LED into the costumes, along with the fabric, glittering sequins and tassels, with no detriment to the overall aesthetic.

"It was of paramount importance that the costumes be beautiful," says Williams. "

UK - The new 300 seat Quarry Theatre in Bedford has opened to wide acclaim. Audio Light Systems were contracted to provide rigging, audio, AV & lighting in the space which has been created within the Grade II listed 19th Century St Luke's Moravian Church.

Working to a Theatre Plan specification Audio Light Systems installed a Slingco grid, BJ Designs suspension systems, Doughty Engineering IWBs & facility panels, ETC lanterns, Christie projectors, Zero 88 control and dimmers, Yamaha & EM acoustics sound equipment among other manufacturers.

"This is a truly impressive and well thought-out space, that has come together very well. The ability of Audio Light Systems to install the entire technical infrastructure really helps with synergy of a space like this," says Trevor Cross MD Audio light Systems.

(Jim Evans)

South Korea - The quality and capacity of South Korea's hotel, shopping, seminar and conferencing facilities is increasingly highly-regarded on an international level. Leading operator Amway Korea has been a significant contributor to this upward trajectory for many years, and with the recent addition of a Plaza complex in the Gangseo District of Seoul it now has 14 multi-use sites to its credit throughout the country.

AV distributor and installer Sound Solution was engaged to provide suitably reliable and robust audio processing and distribution for Amway Plaza Gangseo, covering multiple seminar rooms and conference spaces. "The principal requirement for this project was to create an optimal acoustical environment by high quality digital audio processing, and it was this need that led us to consider the use of DSPs from Symetrix - a brand that we have used successfully on

France - Theatre Projects opened its new Paris office last Thursday 18 June at the Passage de Retz, the art gallery located at the entrance of Theatre Project new studios. Guests from the Parisian cultural and architectural scene attended.

The new studio in Le Marais District of Paris is also the base for two respected acoustic designers who have joined Theatre Projects Paris.

Seb Jouan Victoria and Chavez Thielemann will work with the rest of Theatre Projects' consultants on theatre design projects internationally. They will also provide standalone acoustic design services to architects designing sophisticated performance and entertainment spaces.

They are already working on several projects including the new Yves Saint-Laurent museum in Marrakech, the new Abu Dhabi District Lyric Theatre, the Weltmuseum in Vienna, The Casino de Paris and Folies Bergères in Paris, the next

UK - Vortex Events' Matt Gourd and Iain Rendle have a combined knowledge of over 20 years in the events industry. Their company provides both dry rental of all their equipment as well as full production support for everything from musical productions, TV shows and dance events to touring productions, festivals and corporate events.

Having recently purchased a Hippotizer V4 Karst media server, Vortex Events will be putting it to the test immediately on the John Peel stage at Glastonbury this coming week.

Matt Gourd, "We looked at many different media servers and having used a wide range onsite for events, it was easy to see that the V4 range was one step ahead in many ways. These include the value for money and great support they offer. The Karst will help us realise some complicated mapping projects and visualise them at the design stage. This means we can easily translat

UK - Singer-songwriter Ben Howard's UK tour is keeping rental company Nitelites on its toes; with a band full of studio engineers, there really is no room for error. "It's good for us, because it keeps us sharp," says Nitelites' director Andy Magee, who has chosen a substantial L-Acoustics system to deliver the quality of audio his artists demand."

Following his sold out UK tour in November and December, taking in venues such as London's Brixton Academy and Manchester's O2 Apollo, Howard completed a successful UK arena tour in April, with three nights at London's Alexandra Palace, Birmingham's NIA, Glasgow's SSE Hydro and Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena on the schedule.

The team at Nitelites met with tour production manager Chris Pollard, and it was agreed that an L-Acoustics K2 system would satisfy the criteria for nearly all the venues on the December tour.


USA - With strong reviews, word-of-mouth recommendations, and 12 Tony Award nominations, the musical Fun Home appears to be right at home on Broadway. Based on an autobiographical graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, it is an unusual show - a delicate, rather than big and flashy musical - according to lighting designer Ben Stanton, who found himself with a low-tech show in need of high-tech lighting.

Stanton uses shifting pockets of light to follow the action from scene to scene, defining rooms of different shapes and sizes as furniture appears and disappears through a complex series of traps. Using an ETC Eos Ti lighting desk, programmer Alex Fogel built a low-res pixel map encompassing the whole stage, with each lighting area as a separate pixel. By applying a gradient to the intensity parameter of the area lights, he was able to smoothly drag focus around the playing area,

USA - University of California, Irvine's (UCI) Claire Trevor School of the Arts presented The Electra Project, famed Romanian director Mihai Maniutiu's reimagining of the classic Electra story.

This avant-garde piece followed Maniutiu's minimalist style, using very little scenery to create a provocative production. Under Maniutiu's direction, lighting designer Martha Carter and scenic designer Morgan Price brought this story to life. Carter used Martin Professional's atmospheric effects to play on the audience's emotions as the titular character battles through her story. They used UCI's existing JEM Glaciator X-Stream and paired it with a JEM Ready 365 hazer which Martin loaned to the students to help fill out their production.

The initial planning started with only a 15-page script and notes from Maniutiu to have minimal scenery. While Carter and Price had their work

USA - Standing out is always important in the world of television, but never more so than during Upfront's Week, an annual event that sees networks pitch their upcoming programmes to potential sponsors.

For the Fox Broadcasting Company this meant renting the historic Beacon Theatre on Broadway, and bringing in a bevy of stars like Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny of The X-Files fame, Lea Michele, Jamie Lee Curtis, and a musical performance by the award-winning cast of Empire, Jennifer Hudson and dancers from the cast of Grease Live! to entertain guests. Adding a dramatic visual element to the high-profile proceedings were two giant video screens set off by the striking light of over 60 Nexus 4x4 panels from Chauvet Professional.

Lighting designers James Schipper and Rachel Miller of Kinetic Lighting (Los Angeles) worked with scenic designer Anton Goss t

UK - Having already worked with a wide variety of different organisations and venues this year, White Light has provided its services on yet another immersive piece of theatre - the world premiere of Heartbreak Hotel at The Jetty, Greenwich. Produced by Managing Mayhem and Zebedee Productions, Heartbreak Hotel opened at The Jetty on 11 June with White Light acting as a production partner.

The show sees The Jetty, which formerly served as a coal-unloading point for Blackwall Point Power Station, transformed into a purpose built structure which allows audience members to check into what is a unique experience.

Prior to the recent popularity of immersive theatre productions, White Light had already established strong working relationships with companies such as Punchdrunk. Their most recent project, the co-production with the National Maritime Museum entitled Aga

UK - Adlib has carried out a sound and lighting installation for Manchester Met Student Union (MMU's) new SU Hall - designing a flexible and integrated Harman Professional solution for a multitude of audio reinforcement duties.

Adlib was awarded the contract for the new £10m MMU SU Building, which is situated adjacent to the Union's Salutation pub, based on their design recommendations, and the relationship that has developed since the company first started supporting MMU with equipment rental and sales.

Overseen by Adlib's Ian Nelson, the design concept is aimed to maximise multiple use of a building involving a bar, multipurpose entertainment space, admin offices, a shop, café and conferencing facilities. The system will cater for student union events, from comedy and club nights though to conferences and exhibitions, and be able to cope with numerous room layou

USA - Big musical numbers, whimsical props, flashy dance sequences - all are key parts of any Broadway musical, and the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of On The Twentieth Century delivers all of these. From the moment the show curtain goes up, RC4Magic Series 3 Wireless DMX and Dimming takes centre stage, supporting a Tony award winning show that was also nominated for four Drama Desk Awards, nine Outer Critics Circle Awards and three Drama League Awards.

"Almost every piece of scenery in this show uses wireless dimming, along with several props, most of which have multiple fixtures requiring wireless dimming," says Brian Maiuri, production electrician at the American Airlines Theatre. "And the show's main scenic element is a life-sized train automated on a free spinning turtle that transports the train up and downstage as well as left to right. Th

USA - The Manchester Grand Hyatt is Southern California's largest hotel. Its 125,000sq.ft of flexible ballrooms and breakout rooms remain booked without pause. However, that tight schedule, while a blessing in every other respect, became the principle challenge in an extensive renovation of the hotel's AV system. Due to their ease of programming, cost effectiveness and complete flexibility when expanding via Dante, San Diego-based Audio Associates chose a number of Symetrix SymNet Radius 12x8 open architecture networked DSPs and affordable SymNet xIn 12 and SymNet xOut 12 I/O expanders as the audio heart of Manchester Grand Hyatt's new AV system.

"This is a large, multi-phase project," explained Eric Evans, sales engineer at Audio Associates. "Most of the system is up and running, but as the work expands to other floors and other areas, we will be installing more

UK - A.C. Video, a division of A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET) has been appointed as an authorised dealer for the Philips Signage Solutions product range - bolstering the company's line-up of leading-brand complementary video system technologies.

Incorporating the latest advances in display technology, MMD - the leading technology company and brand license partner for Philips Signage Solutions - delivers first-class picture performance along with practical design and convenient features for both integrators and end users, such as SmartPower, SmartControl, FailOver and Clinical D-Image proprietary innovations available across models in the range.

The signage line-up includes the entry-level Q-line featuring eco-friendly SmartPower functionality for power consumption savings of up to 50%; the E-line with FailOver backup and SmartControl technologies for future-proof conn

Belgium - Lighting and visual design practice Painting with Light's new office in the Paardenstallen (stables) at the C-MINE development in Genk, Belgium was officially declared open by Genk Mayor, Wim Dries, at the weekend.

The restoration of the listed building - once home to the Winterslag mine's working ponies - has been a three-year labour of love by Painting with Light founder and CEO Luc Peumans, working together with local architect Ruben Hermans. It also represents completion of the final element of Stage 1 of the wider C-MINE project -- led by Genk City Council - to regenerate the site of the former mine which is right at the heart of Genk's rich industrial heritage.

Says Luc, one of the best known show and lighting and multimedia designers in Benelux, "I was delighted with just how many people came to the event to share an incredibly proud moment in the company

Israel - Koltech is a forward thinking lighting and audio rental company based in Beersheva, Israel's seventh largest city and the biggest in the arid Negev desert region to the south of the country.

The company is owned by Yossi Bendavid - popularly known as Zak Zak which means talkative - and Shlomi Auitani. The pair worked together at a previous company for several years and then set up Koltech seven years ago.

Koltech initially specialised in supplying technical solutions to theatre and opera productions. Their reputation soon spread along with their operational scope, and they quickly found themselves supplying concerts, outdoor festivals and a whole range of corporate and business events as well as arts projects.

They decided to invest in Robe for the first time in 2011, purchasing MMX Spots.

They already knew of the brand and its reputation from a couple of sources

USA/Germany - Funktion-One has delivered upgrades to sound systems at four iconic venues - Cielo and Output in New York, Beta in Denver and Berghain in Berlin. The four nightclubs have benefitted from an intensive period of R&D that has enabled Funktion-One to take product performance to new levels.

The loudspeaker manufacturer's latest development is having a positive impact on owners, operators and their clientele. Company founder, Tony Andrews, reveals, "Funktion-One's continuous quest for fidelity has led to a breakthrough in cone stabilisation, almost eliminating diaphragm breakup and its associated non-linear acoustic behaviour."

All four venues are united by their focus on sound quality. Owner of Cielo and Output, Nicolas Matar, highlights: "Output and Cielo are 100% driven by audio quality and are renown worldwide as such."

Beta's executive direct

UK- Hire company Richmond Film Services has invested in a DPA d:dicate 4041-SP condenser microphone, making it one of only two companies in the UK to own this product.

Designed to work in a standard 48V phantom power environment, the d:dicate 4041-SP offers a totally transparent audio path with a low noise floor. With a one-inch diaphragm, this microphone is the largest product in DPA's extensive range.

Nigel Woodford, owner and founder of Richmond Film Services, says: "I bought the DPA d:dicate 4041-SP to satisfy a request from a customer who wanted to use it for Foley work. It was teamed with a Nagra Seven recorder, which has sufficiently high quality mic pre-amps to do it justice. Apart from Foley work, I can see a future for it in capturing vocals, particularly in the studio, where its low noise floor and very high SPL handling, will make it a very popular choice.&quo

UK - Aurora Lighting Hire is supporting lighting director Gurdip Mahal and gaffer James Tinsley on the new BBC One adventure quiz Prized Apart.

Working with production company Electric Ray and set designer Julian Healey, Aurora has provided a full service installation to the extensive studio lighting set up at Farnborough Five.

In keeping with the dry heat of the show's Morocco based location adventures, LD Gurdip Mahal has bathed the set in a desert glow created using a blend of MAC Viper Profiles, MAC Auras plus Vari-Lites VL3500 and VL2000 that mirror the arid on screen conditions.

Adding to both the vibrancy and versatility of the lighting design, Martin Viper Performances and Rush PARS are mixed with Sunstrips and Shapeshifters whilst Super Nova Flowers, Sharpys and Source Fours take care of highlights and keying.

Julian Healey and Gurdip Mahal have previously

UK - XL Video, working for Production North, supplied all video production - LED Screens, IMAG cameras / PPU and crew - for the most recent UK tour by hi-energy pop-rockers, The Vamps.

The tour included several arena shows and was the largest to date for the rising stars who originally met via You Tube around 2012, as well as the first for Global Live, the new 'live' division of Ashley Tabor's UK-based Global Entertainment - and a co-promotion with AEG Live

The Vamps stage / set and video design was evolved by the tour's technical director Iain Whitehead (Production North) and lighting designer Peter Barnes, and included 145sq.m of XL Video's ROE Visual MC-7T LED screen. The lively IMAG mix was cut by Dan Ormerod, and video was a major part of the overall aesthetic that made the show and its presentation exciting, interesting and enjoyable to watch.

Video screens were the mo

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