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

USA - After taking a year off from the road to concentrate on recording, Kenny Chesney has launched The Big Revival Tour across North America in support of his album released last year. A large complement of Clay Paky Mythos, Sharpy Washes and Stormy Strobes help Chesney amp up the excitement at his arena and stadium dates.

Chesney kicked off the tour at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena with guests Grace Potter, Taylor Swift, Uncle Kracker, Dave Lee Murphy and Joe Walsh. A four-time Country Music Association and four consecutive Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year, Chesney has always worked to make sure his production is as cutting edge as possible.

Production and lighting designer Mike Swinford says the look of the tour is "very typical" of Kenny Chesney's road shows. "It's a relatively simple design that's big and bold," he says. "Ke

UK - Aurora Lighting Hire is constantly reviewing and updating its available hire products. Most recently, the company turned to Ambersphere Solutions to replenish their followspot stock.

From the Robert Juliat range of followspots, Aurora picked 'Victor', an 1800W discharge spot and 'Alex', a 2000/2500W tungsten model, both from the compact range. Both these units were chosen primarily for their excellent illumination properties, however Robert Juliat has an enviable pedigree in developing products specifically for the television and event markets in which Aurora specialise and the practical, compact styling of these followspots also proved an important feature.

"To purchase a sizeable number of Clay Paky Mythos from Ambersphere was an easy decision for us to make" says Aurora managing director Nick Edwards, "The beam power delivered from such a compact unit is

UK - After the success of the New Year Eve specials, Jason Manford's latest venture, It's A Funny Old Week has been commissioned for a series with ITV.

It's A Funny Old Week will take a look at the week's news "from international political crisis to bus stop disputes". Each week Jason is joined by a guest stand-up comedian, looking at the funny side of what has been going on in the world in the past seven days.

Filmed at The London Studios, the new show is lit by lighting designer Roger Williams. His plot comprises of Robin 600 LEDWash, VL1000TS, Sunstrips and MAC Auras. The lights which are supplied by Richard Martin Lighting (RML) enhance the bright and bold set which is heavily made up of video screen, used throughout each episode to show the chosen news stories.

(Jim Evans)

UK - "It's a voice that's so distinctive and familiar. You don't even need to see him. The minute Al Pacino steps on stage and utters his first word you are instantly transported to any number of characters he has played. For me it was Michael Corleone in the Godfather: softly spoken, and with that stillness the camera loves, he conveyed enormous power." No wonder Front of House engineer Chris 'Privet' Hedge was excited. "I have to say I was as nervous doing this as any of the big rock and pop shows I regularly do, certainly more nervous than I have been in a long while."

The event was three live interviews with Al Pacino staged in Dublin, Glasgow and London theatres. Britannia Row Productions was responsible for the sound, drafting in the deft hand of Hedge to manage the show. As director Bryan Grant said at the time, "This was an unusual challenge and

South Africa / Poland - Johannesburg-based Surgesound and Polish distributor Soundtrade recently undertook successful roadshows across their respective countries to introduce Powersoft's new X-Series, with its worldwide compatible three phase power supply and advanced channel routing system.

Headed by Surgesound MD, Andrew Rowan, and technical product manager, Ruan Joubert, the tour started in Bloemfontein and travelled through Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London and Durban before finishing in Johannesburg. Supporting the event from the manufacturer was Sound School Trainer and Powersoft sound engineer, Luigi Chelli.

The sessions were attended mainly by touring, production companies and consultants who were eager to see whether X Series lived up to its claim. Explaining their approach, Andrew Rowan said, "Although we used conference facilities in the major cities, a lo

Germany - gerdon MEDIADESIGN's Thomas Gerdon recently created another lighting extravaganza at Dortmund's giant dome inside the Westfalenhalle 1 for Mayday, an event that has become an essential fixture in the calendar of Germany's electronic dance music (EDM) fans.

Since 2012, Gerdon has been igniting the Mayday dancefloor with his far-reaching concepts for promoters I-Motion, often integrating LED fixtures from the GLP catalogue. And this year was no exception.

"It is always a challenge to produce an entirely new design every year - especially as it should never remind guests of something they have already experienced previously," he said. "For this reason, I try to use new and innovative products, and find 'tools' that give me the opportunity to create new looks.

"I also ensure that the design works within the [oval] shape of the venue, because I want

USA - Legendary FOH engineer 'Big Mick' Hughes, who has mixed more than 1,500 Metallica shows over three decades, is confirmed as a guest speaker on the Meyer Sound Mixing Workshop webinar series. Hughes will be joining programme host and veteran mixer Buford Jones.

In the webinar, Hughes will share his lessons from mixing Metallica, the evolution of his techniques, as well as his approach to selecting equipment from consoles and microphones to loudspeaker systems. An open Q&A will be available for attendees' questions.

The Mixing Workshops take place Wednesday 1 July and Thursday 2 July.To attend these sessions, sign up for free here:

(Jim Evans)

Spain / Portugal - Currently underway throughout Spain and Portugal until October, the Crambo 360° Experience is intended to educate and create awareness of Absen LED technology for end users, integrators and rental companies in the Iberian AV industry.

Organised by exclusive Spanish distributor for Absen, Crambo Visuales, the roadshow - which began on 29 April in Bilbao - recently stopped at Madrid, La Coruña, and Barcelona, as well as Valencia, Sevilla and Malaga in June before hitting Lisbon, concluding on 15 October in Valladolid.

"The 360 Experience is our most important marketing exercise of 2015," commented marketing manager of Crambo Visuales, Mercedes Fuster. "It is an ideal opportunity for us to meet our clients in their natural habitat, and ultimately improve relations trough learning about their real needs."

With a showroom filled with va

Germany - Martin Audio technology partners, Complete Audio recently fielded their premier MLA PA system when the Casper 'Castival' tour - a series of six open air festival type shows in Germany - arrived at the Kindl Bühne Wuhlheide in Berlin (where Complete Audio are based).

"We are supporting the entire Castival Tour - but only with lights, rigging, FOH and monitor desk - the PA systems are usually locally provided," explained Complete Audio MD, André Rauhut. "So basically [in Berlin] we were the local sound provider for our own tour production."

The venue represents a challenge since the measurement point for the local authorities is right behind the FOH position, on top of the bleachers, he notes. "It is always a bit tricky to achieve high SPL levels and then drop down on the top of the audience area in order to get good results at the meas

UK - FOH sound engineer, John Delf, has spent the past few years working with a succession of leading artists, ranging from Plan B to the Script and The Feeling - while maintaining his own Edge recording studios in Manchester. During that time he has never been far from Soundcraft's Vi platform as his digital console of choice.

But back in 2012 he also added another rising band to his portfolio when he joined Australian band 5 Seconds of Summer as FOH engineer and tour manager, as they embarked on a two-year arena and stadium world tour supporting One Direction. In just under two years the band played live in front of over four million people.

In between, the band undertook their own theatre headline tours, before this year graduating to a sold-out 70-date headline arena tour. For the theatre dates opted for the Soundcraft Vi4 with Realtime Rack. But on this latest arena tour

Middle East - When the latest Disney On Ice production Princesses & Heroes was brought to the Middle East by Sports & Entertainment Solutions FZ LLC this May and June, Showforce were on hand to provide the full spectrum of staffing solutions including stage crew, skilled technicians, logistical personnel, demonstrators, follow spot operators and event staff.

The first part of the tour took place at the Qatar National Convention Centre from 27-30 May before moving to the Dubai World Trade Centre from 10-13 June.

An experienced Showforce team of stage crew led by a crew manager assisted with all aspects of the production.

During show days almost one hundred of Showforce's event staff were on-hand to help front of house, from selling tickets and merchandising to VIP hostesses and ushers guiding guests to their seats.

Ali Haidary, founder & CEO of Sports & Entertainment

UK - Hammersmith's Lyric Theatre now showcases state of the art rehearsal, film, cinema, dance and recording studios with technical systems designed by theatre consultancy Charcoalblue.

The new facilities are part of the Lyric's mulit-million pound expansion and modernisation designed by Rick Mather Architects.

The new extension, called The Reuben Foundation Wing, houses new state-of-the-art facilities and will enable the Lyric to expand its programme of activity with young people, emerging and professional artists. Part of the Lyric's future business model is to work closely with resident partner organisations who will contribute new art form expertise in dance, music, film and digital media alongside the Lyric's specialism in theatre.

Charcoalblue joined the project in 2011, and worked closely with the design team and Lyric team: including Jessica Hepburn (executive direct

USA - Holo-Gauze, the 3D display solution for hologram effects, has been utilised as part of the key performance presentation on the opening day of the eighth annual World Science Festival in New York. Light Falls: Space, Time & An Obsession of Einstein extensively featured Holo-Gauze to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Einstein's discovery of the general theory of relativity.

World Science Festival took place 27-31 May at venues throughout New York City. Designed by 59 Productions, Light Falls combined Holo-Gauze holographic effects animation and dramatic portrayals to trace Einstein's electrifying journey to the conception of his theory. World Science Festival founder Dr Brian Greene and an ensemble cast saw their dramatic performances enhanced by Holo-Gauze.

"It was an honour to be able to contribute to the eighth World Science Festival," says Holo

Canada - CAST has announced that its multi-award winning BlackTrax real-time motion tracking solution has been deployed in 1,485 plus shows since late 2013.

Adding to its international presence, BlackTrax has a growing ecosystem of partners that benefit from easy on-site training and support, enabling them to push the boundaries of what can be achieved for their clients. Additional technology partners include: Mark Roberts Motion Control; AI Media Servers; Jurlights, Netherlands; The Unit, Netherlands; Production Technology LLC, Protec, Dubai; Prolight, Poland; DWP Live, Tennessee; and, Spirit Events in Toronto, with many more in the pipeline.

"It's going to be terrific to see our BlackTrax system reach this milestone," says Gil Densham from CAST. "It is a product built out of passion from a lot of dedicated people and it has proven to be an essential resource f

USA - New opportunities often come when you are expecting something else. Such was the case with Rabbit Creek Community Church. A rapidly growing house of worship in the southern section of Anchorage, Rabbit Creek was looking to upgrade its audio system as part of an effort to enhance its increasingly popular video streamed services. With this in mind, its leaders called Stark Raving Solutions, a Kansas City firm well known for serving the audio, video, lighting and staging needs of churches.

The Stark Raving Solutions team provided Rabbit Creek with an audio system that enhanced the phonetics of its live and broadcast services. However, before the Stark Raving team packed and headed back to Kansas City, they suggested a small addition to the project that would have a big impact on the quality of the church's services. Drawing on their experience lighting other houses of worship

Sweden - Liseberg - with its giant wooden tracked 'Balder' roller-coaster that dominates Gothenburg's skyline - is one of the most visited amusement parks in Scandinavia, attracting around 3m visitors a year.

In addition to all the rides, there are four live stages, and the Park produces around 800 events a year in its two seasons - from April to September and November / December, including an award-winning ice show. Lighting for all these is overseen, co-ordinated, and for the most part also designed by Rickard Broman and Jenny Björklund, who are both big fans of Robe products.

Liseberg's main stage can accommodate up to 20,000 people and frequently hosts concerts by international touring artists. Their small stage has capacity for an audience of around 1750, and then there is the Children's Theatre and the open-air dance court, which is used for traditional - rather than ED

UK - AV systems integrator Saville Audio Visual has announced a set of record breaking results for 2014, with turnover increasing 12% to top £40m for the first time in the company's long history.

Group finance director Colin Nixey said, "Our major emphasis has been a planned strategy for growth alongside improvements in business efficiency. The most pleasing aspect is that both of the company's key trading arms have played a major part in this success.

"With 14% growth, the AV Systems division has improved its share of the growing, competitive audio visual and unified communications installation market in the UK. This has been strongly supported by a 10% growth in turnover for our Conference & Live Events division, winning new business nationally and internationally."

The company has recently demonstrated its confidence in the conference industry with an

China - Flexibility and reliability topped the list of requirements when systems supply and integration specialist EZPro International was engaged to design an advanced audio processing system for a popular indoor children's theme park in China's Heilongjiang Province. Located in Lesong Plaza in Harbin, Songsong Town was developed by Thinkwell Group and incorporates a host of attractions alongside relaxation areas, educational spaces, catering and entertainment.

A long-time Symetrix DSP user, EZPro was aware that products from the highly scalable SymNet range would be able to handle audio processing duties across two expansive floors. Taking advantage of the SymNet devices' ability to support robust, Audinate Dante media networking, the resulting design covers no fewer than 11 sound reinforcement zones and specific tasks including: performances on two compact stages; background

UK - For over a decade, the Royal Courts of Justice have built a reputation as a Central London venue which provides historic spaces for corporate hire and external events. Although this is a service they have provided since 2000, the Courts announced last year that they would no longer be offering their spaces for such occasions. As a result, on 6 June, when White Light supplied the lighting and sound equipment on a corporate dinner organised by the TFI Group, it would be doing so for the last ever corporate event held at the venue.

White Light has a long history of working at the Royal Courts of Justice. In 2007, Seasoned Events was awarded the events management and catering contract at the venue and, following this appointment, developed a close working relationship with White Light; regularly using the complete production solution specialist for a series of events. White Lig

USA - Grammy nominated country singer Chris Young is on the road, bringing his show winning sounds to fans around the country with lighting provided by Bandit Lites.

Production manager and lighting director Mike Stanley worked with lighting designer Chris Lisle to create a rig that kept the day-to-day building at a minimum, with nine main sections locking together to create a stunning visual array of lights and video. Bandit supplied the lighting package, which includes Robe Pointes, Bandit 5x5s, and Martin MAC Auras.

"Auras were the perfect combo of wash and eye candy, along with the great zoom feature to get punchy beams," shared Stanley. "There are also a good mix of Chauvet strobes, as well as Colorado battens that provide a glow through the catwalk of the set and underneath the risers. We've also got a line of Colorado's downstage in front of the band, whic

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