Poland - Absen has appointed SQM as the company’s official distributor in Poland. SQM, a specialist provider of multimedia and event services, will have exclusive rights over the sale and distribution of the Aries AX1.5 MiniLED rental display, in the Polish rental staging market.
Headquartered in Poznan, SQM provides multimedia and audio-visual rental services for trade fairs, conferences and events across Europe. The company has recently added over 100sq.m of Absen’s AX1.5 product - part of the Aries MiniLED rental series - to its inventory, making it one of the few partners to be able to offer rental customers such a high-quality 1.5mm fine pitch LED display.
“Quality is the most important factor for us and the AX1.5 certainly delivers on so many levels,” says Michal Górski, CEO at SQM. “After visiting Absen’s manufacturing base in China and witness-testing the product ourselves, we can confidently say that the AX1.5 is the best 1.5mm rental display on the market right now so we are thrilled to be able to be offer it to our European customers.”
Maya Shu, regional sales manager for Absen Poland, comments: “We are excited to have SQM as our distribution partner and are looking forward to working closely with them on opportunities the region. SQM are a forward-thinking company with an excellent reputation for quality and service, so we are confident they will strengthen Absen’s position as the go-to provider of LED displays in Poland.”
Europe - Notch, the company behind the realtime visual creation tool, has launched a podcast, Showcast, giving creatives a platform to share their project stories.
Showcast is “made by creators for creatives” and covers real-life experiences from Glastonbury to music videos. It is recommended for those who want to get insight into realtime production workflows.
During the 30-minute episodes, key industry creatives share their experiences, techniques, and stories across live touring, VFX, XR and motion graphics. The upcoming podcasts for season one will include discussions with Kevin Zhu, senior designer at All of it Now on how he helped Korean supergroup BTS create the first tour to ever use live integrated AR camera systems; as well as an interview with director Pod Bluman and Notch designer Kyle Reseigh at Bluman Associates. Pod and Kyle will be discussing their work on Emeli Sande’s Real Life tour, and how they created a stunning animated backdrop which could be controlled live from the lighting desk.
The first three three episodes are available at shows.acast.com/notch-showcast.
USA - Entertainment technology charity Behind the Scenes has announced that the The Lightpower Collection’s work of famed Rock‘n’Roll photographer and author Neal Preston is returning to the NAMM Show (16-19 January, Anaheim). Neal’s pictures will be displayed in the BTS booth #10747 and will include pictures not previously seen at the show including Mötley Crüe, Kiss, and Bruce Springsteen.
Neal’s books Exhilarated & Exhausted and In the Eye of the Hurricane and posters, including his famous images of Robert Plant and Carlos Santana, will be available for sale. Proceeds will benefit the charity.
Neal will be present in the Behind the Scenes booth to sign books and posters on Thursday, 16 January at 3pm and on Friday, 17 January at 11am and 3pm.
Neal’s archive is regarded as one of the music industry’s most extensive and significant photo collections. Rock fans know him best as the photographer who has toured with Led Zeppelin, The Who, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen, and countless others.
Lightpower is an internationally established distributor for stage and studio lighting equipment. The Lightpower Collection was born out of a company culture that has a passion for collecting Rock’n’Roll art.
The Behind the Scenes charity provides entertainment technology professionals who are seriously ill or injured with grants that may be used for basic living and medical expenses.
UK - IPS is the first rental stockist of the new SGM G-7 BeaSt fixture. This LED moving head with beam and strobe effect incorporates a parabolic reflector, which creates zoomable collimated beam effects with a 10,000-lumen pixel controllable strobe in the centre.
IPS MD James Mason says: “I was really impressed with these units from the first time I saw them, as they are able to create such a wide range of effects. Also, they are incredibly bright - and fully IP66-rated.”
The G-7 BeaSt fixtures will join a well-established range of SGM products already working hard in the IPS hire inventory, including G-Profile Turbo, P-5 and Q-7 fixtures. MD Mason adds: “There has been a lot of anticipation following previews at PLASA Show, and then the big reveal at LDI - our customers are already specifying the G-7 BeaSt on shows for 2020.”
World - As the LSi office closes for the Christmas break, we would like to wish all our readers a very special holiday and a happy and prosperous 2020. We'll be back with more daily news here at LSiOnline in the New Year, kicking off on 2nd January. Until then, have a great time - and thanks for reading . . .
The LSi team
USA - Harman Professional Solutions has announced that Brad ‘fixintogetmixin’ Divens will present two masterclasses at the 2020 NAMM show in Anaheim.
In addition to currently working as FOH engineer for Enrique Iglesias, Divens has also worked for Linkin Park, Garbage, Cyndi Lauper, HIM, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, Mötley Crüe, Jane's Addiction and more.
Divens will speak at two exclusive Masterclass events, presented by JBL and Soundcraft. Both events will take place on Thursday, 16 January 16 in the AES Academy 2020 room on the fourth floor of the Anaheim Hilton and will be hosted by Soundcraft’s live sound product specialist, Tom Der.
During his Building the Mix masterclass, Divens will discuss and demonstrate his approach to putting together a live mix, including technical topics such as the basics of input gain, EQ, compression, plugins and routing, as well as creative concepts regarding the audience and the artist. During The Music masterclass, Divens will deconstruct live mixes from three different artists and discuss his approach to achieving a polished final mix.
UK - Audiologic has announced that it has been appointed as UK distributor for microphone manufacturer MXL’s UCC range of products.
Andy Lewis, Audiologic managing director, comments: “We’re pleased to be able to offer our customers the MXL UCC product range. Flexibility and scalability are key to successful unified communications and the MXL conference solutions are also Zoom Room certified. This excellent addition to our portfolio is sure to be a very popular choice in the UC sector.”
UK - Focusrite, the global music and audio products company, has announced the acquisition of pro audio solutions manufacturer Martin Audio.
The total consideration to be paid is £39.2m for the business. This will be funded through a combination of existing cash resources and a new loan facility of £40m with HSBC and Natwest. The completion of the loan facility, and hence the completion of the acquisition, is dependent upon shareholder approval in a general meeting on 30 December 2019.
Martin Audio will continue to operate from their headquarter offices and factory in High Wycombe, under the leadership of managing director Dominic Harter.
Harter comments: “We are excited by the transaction and what Martin Audio can achieve together with Focusrite. Focusrite is a strong brand in the industry and given the geographic proximity of both our businesses we know the team at Focusrite very well. There is a great deal we can do together and we look forward to working closely to develop the opportunities across both of our businesses."
He adds: "In Focusrite we have an industry neighbour of the finest pedigree; a global leader in its own right. Their culture mirrors our own and, getting to know the team, I sense a strong similarity with the deep-rooted values of our own Martin Audio Family. Focusrite are the perfect partner to help Martin Audio continue the innovations that have driven its success. So it is with great pride and enthusiasm that we take this next step; a momentous occasion as the Martin Audio brand enters its 50th year. Working with
Germany - Trussing, staging and rigging solutions manufacturer and distributor HOF has expanded its premises by 5,000sq.m, adding over 650 storing positions and increasing the size of its production site.
HOF has also improved the exterior landscaping by installing a heavy-duty pavement that can withstand the weight of cranes for up to 120 tonnes. Trial installations for stages and constructions of up to 36 x 22m can also take place on the new surface. There is also an apartment on the new premises, which can be used by clients and installation staff during the trial installations.
The new premises has a fully functional photo studio for product photo shootings and video productions.
The new showroom now spans over two levels along with three meeting rooms. On show there are HOF trusses, XOOP Lighting and Excellent Line, brands owned by HOF. CJS Coupler and BroadWeigh, which are both brands distributed by HOF, are also featured in the new showroom.
USA - One London-based lighting programmer took home a brand-new MagicQ MQ70 console as he triumphed in ChamSys’ Programmers Competition, which took place during the LDI 2019 tradeshow in Las Vegas.
The contest required programmers to programme a large Chauvet Professional rig for a one to three-minute song of their choice using MagicQ with MagicVis Visualization, with the top three entrants invited to playback their entries live at the trade event.
“We were blown away by his incredible work,” said the panel of judges in a statement announcing that Matt Blake had won the contest.
Chris Kennedy, director of ChamSys, added: “Matt made excellent use of the different fixtures on the lighting rig, created lots of different visual effects some static, some moving and made the most of ChamSys powerful control abilities to create a stunning show. This is all the more amazing since it was created without access to the real fixtures, only using ChamSys MagicVis.”
Also earning recognition for their efforts were runners up Cody Atwell of Jacksonville, FL and Brian LaPoint of New York City.
The MagicQ MQ70 console is the latest offering in the compact console range from ChamSys. Small enough to comply with the carry on restrictions of all airlines, including budget carriers, the MagicQ MQ70 features a 10.1” Multi touch display, with illuminated encoder and fader tracks. The console supports 24 universes with an option to expand to 48, and has three network ports enabling ArtNet and sACN direct from the console.
Vietnam - Prolights has announced the appointment of Vietnam Pro AVL as its distributor for Vietnam.
The developing company has been founded in Hanoi by a young and resourceful team, whose main goal is to ‘bring the highest standards throughout the Nation, focusing on the establishment of the world class brand which represent and providing to the Vietnamese clients professionalism and the best AVL solutions suitable to their needs’.
Lê Mạnh Thắng, Vietnam Pro AVL president, says: "I've been following Prolights for a few years, and I was deeply impressed by the fast process of growth the company has brought to the market. When I visited their HQ in Italy, I saw up close the hard work and the long term vision of the team about the brand establishment, as well as the attention to details in the products that perfectly meet the core values we aim to bring in our emerging market. I'm looking forward to starting this partnership.”
Paolo Albani, international sales manager for Prolights, adds: “We are really proud to have Vietnam Pro AVL among our distributors network. It’s a growing company I’ve been impressed by their professionalism, as well as their deep knowledge of the AVL market. I’m sure this will be a long-term and successful partnership.”
Czech Republic - Adamson Systems Engineering has added BaSys CS s.r.o. to its global network as its exclusive distributor for Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Based in Prague, BaSys CS is a division of Swiss-based technology distributor BaSys, which represents a number of AV and consumer electronics brands in Central Europe.
“We’re proud to represent a prestigious brand like Adamson in the Czech and Slovak markets,” begins Ondřej Tureček, the head of sound for long-time Adamson Network partner ZL Production and now the Adamson brand manager for BaSys CS s.r.o. “Having worked closely with Adamson products and representatives through ZL Production, one of the biggest Adamson rental partners in Central Europe, I’m very familiar with the brand and its many competitive advantages, and see plenty of exciting opportunities and potential for growth in our region.”
In late September 2019, BaSys CS partnered with ZL Production for a formal launch event in celebration of the new agreement, held at BaSys CS Pro’s headquarters in Prague. ZL Production set up a large outdoor stage to showcase Adamson’s tour-proven S-Series of sub- and ultra-compact loudspeaker products and M-Series monitor solutions; meanwhile, attendees were also able to experience the flagship large-format E-Series products in showrooms inside the building.
“We were very encouraged by the positive response to our new agreement with Adamson from the market,” adds Tureček. “With such a respected professional loudspeaker brand now on our line card, we’re able to offer co
UAE - Allen & Heath has appointed Dubai-based NMK Electronics as its exclusive distributor for the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman.
Responsible for the full Allen & Heath range, NMK will offer a broad range of solutions to customers, from MI and pro audio through to AV installation. The partnership takes immediate effect, with plans for regular training and product support activities now in place.
“We are extremely proud to partner with such a legendary brand. NMK has witnessed Allen & Heath grow at an increasing rate over the last few years,” comments Dino Drimakis, business development manager at NMK. “Thanks to the highly talented and friendly team at A&H and with the addition of Avantis joining the flagship dLive, SQ and Qu Series, we feel A&H perfectly complements the NMK portfolio and feel confident that we can continue to raise the profile of A&H in the Middle East and provide exceptional audio solutions for our clients.”
USA - Behind the Scenes (BTS) - the US charity that provides financial support to entertainment technology industry professionals who are seriously ill or injured - has now awarded $1,000,000 in grants.
The milestone has been reached with the support of the wider industry, with numerous companies and organisations backing the charity via direct donations or by donating portions of its sales profits or service fees. “Every person or organisation who has made a donation, bought a raffle ticket or a holiday card, organised or participated in a community fundraising event, or become a Pledge-of-Support Partner has made it possible for Behind the Scenes to bring help and hope to our colleagues during some of their most difficult moments,” says the charity in a statement.
Grants have been provided to individuals from across the US and Canada working in every facet of this industry, from live events to motion picture and television production, broadcast, concert touring, corporate events and beyond. BTS is also helping those seeking financial assistance to enter mental health or addiction counselling. Meanwhile, the charity is working to develop a mental health and suicide prevention initiative that will provide information and resources to those in need or who are concerned about their colleagues.
Big Issues - Industry bodies have highlighted the biggest issues for the arts following the general election result – with Equity stating it is “extremely concerned” about the impact of Brexit.
Following the Conservative win in last week’s general election, organisations, also including the Creative Industries Federation, UK Theatre, Incorporated Society of Musicians and the Back for the Future Campaign, have outlined their priorities for the creative industries.
Equity general secretary Christine Payne said: “As the largest union in the creative sector, representing more than 48,000 professionals, we strongly encourage the government to take up the offer we make today of expert guidance on matters that are crucial for the future health of the UK’s creative industries.
“Equity remains extremely concerned about the impact Brexit will have on our members, in particular the need for the government to prioritise continuing freedom of movement, which is also essential for employers and engagers in the entertainment industries.
“To date, we have not been satisfied that our voice has been heard and we would urgently invite ministers to meet with us to address the key issues of mobility, tax and social security arrangements, safeguards for employment rights, copyright, settled status and funding for the arts.”
Ed’s Decade - Ed Sheeran has been named the UK's artist of the decade by the Official Charts Company. Sheeran achieved the milestone after a combined run of 12 number one singles and albums between 2010 and 2019
UK - Audiotonix has reached an agreement for a next-stage investment from private investment house, Ardian.
James Gordon, Audiotonix CEO, comments, “This is an outstanding opportunity to partner with Ardian to enable further growth, and it represents a significant step in the future development of Audiotonix. We have built an incredible infrastructure within the group in the past five years, which has clearly benefited all our brands with manufacturing know-how, developing new technologies, and growing their worldwide reach. Ardian’s financial support and advice, combined with Astorg’s, who are also remaining as an investor for this next phase, will help expand our brands and product portfolio even further.”
Olivier Personnaz, managing director, Ardian Buyout, comments: “How people enjoy live, televised and streamed entertainment is going through a revolution. The world’s top acts, performers, broadcasters and supporting creative industries, want to give audiences the very best experience. Events, music and media content are becoming more immersive, embracing new technology and relying even more on great sound.
“That’s why we are excited about how this new partnership will help Audiotonix differentiate itself even further through the undisputed quality of its audio technology and service to customers. The highly experienced management team are well placed to grow the scope and reach of the business, delivering outstanding audio experiences to more and more people worldwide.”
François de Mitry, managing partner, and Stéphan
UK - West London rental specialist Entec has announced the appointment of Daniel Scantlebury as its new head of sound, effective immediately.
Scantlebury, who has joined after several years with Manchester-based dbnAudile as a senior project manager, says: “It was time for a new challenge and an incredible opportunity like this does not come along very often, so I’m thrilled. I’ve always respected Entec for its approach to business as well as its impressive history, and moving south to be closer to my family was also a consideration.”
The news of Dan’s appointment coincides with another major move for the company’s sound department. A committed d&b rental house since 1995, Entec recently invested in the brand’s latest generation SL-Series with the purchase of 50 KSL line array loudspeakers - 28 KSL 8 (80° dispersion), four KSL 12 (120°) and 18 cardioid SL-Subs - for medium to large applications.
Making its debut with Entec on Van Morrison’s autumn UK tour, this investment follows the company’s exposure to the SL range whilst working on Gorillaz’ most recent tours, Humanz Live and The Now-Now, in partnership with Colorado’s Brown Note Productions.
“We are set up for the future,” claims Scantlebury. “In my opinion, KSL and its sibling GSL have superseded every other brand on the market, so we are entering this new phase with seriously cutting-edge technology that has been proving itself over and over.
Entec’s KSL system will next appear on Dream Theater’s The Distance Over Time UK tour
Czech Republic - Over 300 sound industry professionals from 40 countries recently visited Prague for Yamaha’s annual System Designers Conference.
Immersive audio was the theme of this year’s SDC. Prague was an appropriate location, as the city’s long history of opera and classical music has seen many venues built with acoustics in mind. It was in the newest of these - the O2 universum, opened just six weeks earlier - that the conference took place.
Featuring a wide range of conference facilities and a 4,500-seat sports arena, the O2 universum staged demonstration immersive sound systems in both the largest conference room and the arena, as well as comparing them to a large format Nexo L-R line array system flown in the arena.
SDC 2019 featured a wide range of different presentations and demonstrations. These included the Prague Music String Quartet demonstrating the benefits of acoustic room enhancement using Yamaha’s AFC4 active field control system, followed by a stuffed chicken being sent flying around the room, its clucking tracked by the AFC4 system.
Other sessions saw the arena AFC4 system used to demonstrate how stage tracking heightens the experience of theatre and live music, as well as how regenerative audio systems can be used to boost the atmosphere at sports venues.
Seminars on system design and finance for large arenas were hosted by Nexo, while sessions on acoustic measurement and analysis, digital networking, EN54 certification in stadiums and arenas, remote conferencing, education in production management, certi
UK - White Light and ELP Broadcast & Events (ELP B&E) have announced a strategic partnership.
ELP B&E will continue the full service broadcast and events wet hire business it currently operates. The partnership commences on 6 January 2020 and reverses the position announced in November 2019 of the cessation of ELP B&E at the end of 2019. It will pave the way for the acquisition of ELP’s lighting rental business by WL during 2020.
ELP B&E staff and premises in Manchester will be retained, along with the equipment stock. Additional staff, equipment and operational resources will be added from within the WL organisation, bolstering ELP B&E’s strength and ability to meet client needs. During the early months, fulfilment and despatch will continue from ELP’s base at Cardington Studios with a transfer to WL’s Wimbledon premises taking place later in 2020.
ELP Rigging Services will supply specialist rigging equipment and services to the strategic partnership and will continue to operate as the in-house rigging supplier at the Cardington and Millennium Studios.
Initially, the strategic partnership will continue to trade as ELP B&E until such time as WL acquires the business activities of ELP B&E. Key personnel involved in the strategic partnership are Darren Fletcher, Matthew Smith and Robert ‘Sinbad’ Dunne from ELP B&E along with Andy Hook and Ian Charlampowicz from WL.
“I am hugely delighted that WL has stepped forward to take up the ELP B&E mantle,” says Ronan Willson, ELP B&E founde
Italy - RCF Group has completed the acquisition of professional sound systems manufacturer Montarbo.
From an operational standpoint, the brand’s running and distribution will be overseen by AEB Industriale.
A statement from RCF says: “The incorporation of Montarbo into the group further expands our product range in a market segment that is demonstrating strong growth. The acquisition perfectly fits RCF Group’s strategy of selective M&A activity focussing on iconic brands that leveraging the Group’s competitive positioning, together with its technical and commercial expertise, fully exploit the growth potential contributing to the Group’s progress and value creation.”
Arturo Vicari, CEO of RCF Group, comments: “We’re delighted to welcome Montarbo to our Group. It’s a historic brand that has contributed to the evolution of the music and professional audio industry in Italy and around the world. For anyone who has followed the development of this market over the years, elite brands such as Montarbo have a special significance and therefore represent a wonderful opportunity for us to increase the value of our group. RCF Group is one of the most dynamic organisations in the global professional audio industry, meaning Montarbo will be able to live up to its potential and continue to grow alongside us.”
Cyprus - A.L.A. Equipment, founded in 2001 by Andrea Piemonti and Tony Lyssiotis has been appointed distributor for Prolights in Cyprus.
Andrea Piemonti, managing director for A.L.A. Equipment, comments: “I have worked in this industry for more than 30 years but when I first approached Prolights I was pleased to join a partner who shares our commitment in delivering the best solutions. It’s a well-rounded company, a breath of fresh air in the AVL market. Prolights’ wide selection of products offer enormous advantages suited to any kind of needs, from broadcast and live shows, right through to the architectural projects. I’ve seen closely the hard work behind Prolights solutions and their long-term vision of strong brand establishment. I have no doubts that the future will be bright for this brand. We’re looking forward to starting this collaboration”.
Paolo Albani, international sales manager for Prolights, says: “Having A.L.A. Equipments on-board make us really proud. Their 20-year experience is a strength and thanks to them the Prolights brand will grow throughout Cyprus. We’re sure that this will be a successful partnership.”
Hungary - KV2 Audio has appointed Megatone as the brand’s exclusive distributor in Hungary. Based just outside the capital of Budapest, Megatone is one of the country’s largest full-service production companies supplying a wide range of markets from event production to broadcast, to corporate AV and much more. Alongside this, Megatone also operates a thriving installation wing which handles AV installs from the initial project planning, to design, install and service. There is also a specialist lighting division and finally a distribution operation.
According to KV2’s sales director for EMEA & Latin America, Alessandro Pagliani, Megatone was a natural choice. “Megatone has been working with our products for several years in the capacity of a main professional installer and dealer. Most of the recent installations in Hungary - such as the Opera Café in Budapest and the Turay Ida theatre as well as several major hotels - have been Megatone projects. As we continue to raise our profile in Europe and KV2 products are being used in more and more high-level installations, it’s a logical step for us to raise the quality of our partners.
“We are already working with Megatone on a number of very interesting new projects, both in the fixed installation sector as well on projects that will enhance our presence in the live sound market - there several rental companies in Hungary with VHD 2.0 systems and others with ES and EX Series, all of which need to be serviced by a high profile and professional partner such as the Megatone group is today,” c
Belgium - Biamp has announced a new streamlined European distribution model to strengthen the company’s sales, support, and product distribution in the region. Biamp has transitioned to either a sole distributor or dealer-direct distribution system to better support specific countries throughout Europe.
The following sole distributors have been announced:
Austria: Kain Audio-Technik GmbH
Denmark: Kinovox Scandinavia ApS
Germany: prodyTel Distribution GmbH
Italy: Prase Engineering S.p.A.
Norway: Scandec Systemer AS
Poland: Konsbud Audio Sp. zo.o.
Spain: AVIT Vision S.L.
Switzerland: Show Supply GmbH
The Netherlands: Mennegat Trading BV
In Belgium, Luxembourg and the UK, Biamp will be transitioning to a dealer-direct distribution model.
“We are thrilled to partner with this select group of distributors who offer regional expertise and strategic alignment with our expanded European operations,” comments Rashid Skaf, Biamp president, CEO, and co-chairman. “We look forward to working closely with these partners to drive growth and enhance operations throughout the region.”
Following the recent opening of the company’s new European headquarters in Antwerp, Belgium, and the acquisition of Apart Audio and Community Loudspeakers, Biamp says its new European distribution model will enable the company to “more aggressively pursue opportunities in all target geographies and vertical markets: corporate, food service and hospitality, retail, large venues, education, rel
UK - Specialist hire and events company SLX has made a number of new stock announcements, including a £250,000.00 spend on SGM fixtures. The investment places SLX as a major stockist in the South West of the SGM IP rated LED fixtures used for professional stage lighting, broadcast lighting and architectural installations.
Chief executive and owner of SLX, Alastair Currie, says: “The new roster of SGM fixtures now on the shelves of our warehouse or already out on hire include the P-6 Flood, Q-7 Strobe, G-7 Spot and even the brand new much anticipated G7 BeaSt. That’s a spotlight we’re sure will very rarely be sat on our warehouse shelves, as lighting designers and production managers around the country seem very keen to utilise it.
“We’re delighted to become the biggest stockist in the region of SGM fixtures. The SGM fixtures we already had, including the P-6 Flood, always performed well for us commercially so we’re confident the new ones will too. They’re a highly respected brand, innovative and leading the way in LED light technology. We want our clients to have access to the absolute best and we’re confident with our range of lights, including a strong selection from other manufacturers, we can compete with major players in the hire and events sector.”
SGM UK managing director, Ian Kirby, says: “SLX is a business that is really going places, so we’re delighted to see them choosing SGM as a partner. They have invested in both G-7 and G-7 BeaSt products. The G-7 is our most robust go anywhere, work anywhere spot and the G-7