UK - Theatreplan has welcomed five new members of staff, just prior to and during the pandemic, to assist the company in meeting the demands of current and future projects.
Andy Josephs joined Theatreplan at the end of 2019 from the Bridge Theatre where he had been head of sound, and part of the small technical team that created and opened the theatre in 2017. Prior to this Andy worked as a sound technician at London's Almeida Theatre, Young Vic Theatre, and the St James Theatre, London. Since joining Theatreplan, Andy has been engaged on designing and specifying sound systems for a large school theatre in China and is also an integral part of the team working on the major upgrading project at Sydney Opera House Concert Hall.
Peter Crockett joined Theatreplan as junior stage engineer in summer 2021. Peter graduated in 2019 with an MEng in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bristol. He subsequently worked with the Cotswold Canals Trust and was involved in Project Velocity Research Lab at the University of Bristol, which is researching into optimisation of chain drives for the British Olympic Cycling Team.
Andrea Sinigaglia and Anthony Grieveson both joined in 2020 to further deepen the BIM expertise within the company. Both had significant experience working for commercial architecture practices, but also had an abiding interest in theatre design. Anthony graduated in Architecture from Liverpool University and his MA dissertation focused on auditorium acoustics. Andrea studied architecture at Universita’ di Firenze and a Master’s degre
South Africa - The Norwegian Settler’s Church (NSC) has a rich history; inheriting its namesake from the group of Norwegians who originally settled in Southern Natal in 1882. Since, the church has undergone various transformations, but remains the longest serving church in the region. Construction on a new auditorium kicked off in 2008, and has slowly progressed through to the current day, developing to accommodate the church’s growing congregation.
Recently, Stage Audio Works (SAW) were brought in to implement the finishing touches; handling the integration of the audio aspect of the church, which, in the words of Phillip Kloppers, media and technical director at NSC, really “makes the building work”. SAW used the expertise they’ve acquired across many House of Worship projects to deliver the entire solution over the course of two weeks. Significantly, this was a chance to showcase the capabilities of the company’s new Plus Audio offering, which delivers ‘professional grade audio performance at an affordable price point’.
However, the project was not without its challenges - the team was confronted with an extremely problematic acoustic environment. The main auditorium’s ceiling is 17m high, and the space is large enough to seat almost 1500 attendees and on top of this, there is a large hole in the centre of the room leading to an underground car park, resulting in further sound leakage. In Kloppers’ own words, “We were looking at a reverb time of around 7.5-8 seconds. It was appalling.”
On SAW’s recommendation, NSC brough
The Netherlands - Founded in 1313, Petruskerk van Leens is one of Holland’s oldest churches and home to its famous, recently restored organ, which has been treasured by parishioners for generations.
Once churchgoers were faced with stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19, the church decided to introduce live streaming services to bring mass, and their beloved organ’s music, into the homes of the parish. To help the church design its AV set-up, it called on Bart Hof, owner of HOF AV. Based on his previous use of the mics in live music applications, Hof recommended DPA Microphones to support the audio needs of the church.
“In my opinion, when it comes to the equipment, the simpler and more straightforward way that you approach music is actually the best way to handle audio in a natural way,” Bart explains. “With DPA mics, it’s just a matter of connecting it, and you get this natural sound with no compromise at all.”
For Petruskerk, HOF installed one stereo pair of DPA’s 4060 Series Miniature Omnidirectional Microphones with extension cables as overheads, approximately 10- to 15-meters above the organ. This approach was chosen after listening to the organ and testing how the mics reacted to certain levels. Rounding out the AV install was a Roland audio mixing console, which the DPA 4060 mics are plugged into, and a variety of Panasonic 2K cameras running on SDI.
“Through our testing, we found that we didn’t have to put the mics too close to the organ, since the sound of this organ is so huge,” Bart explains. “You have to bal
USA - Tulsa-based Church on the Move, established in 1987 with a mere 163 worshipers, now has over 7,000 members worshiping at three campuses surrounding a 2,200-seat main sanctuary. Recently, that primary location underwent a major systems renovation that included the installation of a new K2 loudspeaker system, designed and installed by Oklahoma City-based Skylark AV, an L-Acoustics certified provider, install.
“The church knew what they wanted, and they wanted L-Acoustics right out of the gate,” says Steele ‘Ninja’ Beaty, project manager at Skylark AV. “The only question we had to decide was: which L-Acoustics speakers would work best?”
K2 was chosen based on three things, says Skylark AV’s Todd ‘Linchpin’ Cromwell: “Performance, musicality, and SPL. Church on the Move is very much a contemporary worship church when it comes to music, and it can get loud. At the same time, we had to keep speech intelligibility in mind. Fortunately, with L-Acoustics, when you achieve one, you also get the other automatically.”
The church’s director of production, Johnathan Basquez, says both of those characteristics are critical. “The clarity of the K2 system is remarkable; you can have someone across the room on a microphone, and it sounds like they’re standing a foot away from you,” is how he describes the experience. “It’s the best intelligibility I’ve ever heard in a PA system, anywhere.”
He also cites the consistency of that experience: “The music can go from loud to soft, from 98 dB to 76 dB, but it never loses i
UK - New research by consultancies AECOM, Avison Young, Bristow Consulting and Buro Happold for Theatres Trust has revealed the extent of the work needed to make the UK’s theatre buildings sustainable.
Matching the current state of theatres against the costs of recent refurbishment projects, the research group has revealed that making a typical 600-seat theatre fully sustainable and accessible will cost £11m. Analysis of 100 representative UK theatres estimates that £1.1bn is needed to make them sustainable and suitable for modern audiences.
However, the research, which was presented at the Theatres Trust Conference 21 Making Theatre Sustainable, shows that this level of investment in 100 theatres would bring huge benefits, saving 6,500 tonnes of CO2 per year - the equivalent of 9,700 return economy flights to New York 2 - as well as £3.3m annual revenue savings for the UK’s theatres / an average of £33,000 per theatre.
Finance is the major obstacle to theatres improving their building’s carbon footprint. In a separate survey 86% of theatres responding said it was a major challenge, with this figure rising to 92% in historic theatres. As a result, 24% of theatres have not made any green improvements to their buildings in the past 15 years and, of the 70% who had, only 20% had energy savings as the primary reason for refurbishment.
To help theatre buildings become more sustainable, Theatres Trust has spearheaded the Theatre Green Book project, along with the Association of British Theatre Technicians and Buro Happold, and it ha
USA - When officials at Oaklawn Racing Casino in Hot Springs, AZ greenlighted a multi-phased expansion project, one of the big ticket items they wanted to add to the resort was a versatile event space that could host conferences, concerts and more.
As the vision came to fruition, the recently opened 15,000sq.ft event centre features the latest technology, including an ADAPTive PA system comprising 20 Anna loudspeakers and 12 Otto subwoofers from Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW). In addition, EAW monitors and side-fills were also employed on the project.
The task of equipping the 1,500-seat venue with the latest in AV technology, including a 1,900sq.ft stage with a large video wall, was given to full-service AV integration firm TMG Systems. Designed by Jerrold Stevens of Marsh/PMK International LLC, this is the second project TMG Systems has worked on with Stevens in which EAW ADAPTive was the chosen solution.
“The system was configured as a left/right hang with eight Anna units and six Otto subs per side, complete with a four-box centre cluster for down-fill,” says Mark LaBouff, national sales manager, TMG Systems. “The ability of the EAW ADAPTive line to be really targeted in the vertical domain was particularly important in this application, along with the ability to set numerous presets to provide optimal coverage when the room is set up in different configurations for various types of events.”
In the new event space, tuning was seamless, using EAW’s Resolution software along with additional reference resources. For LaBouff and his t
USA - Founded in 1836, Emory & Henry College is consistently ranked among the nation’s best private liberal arts institutions. Central to the college’s southwestern Virginia campus is Memorial Chapel, a 500-seat church building that has served as host to thousands of worship services.
This past summer, Memorial Chapel was host to renovation with the installation of a new Danley Sound Labs point source sound reinforcement system.
“The previous installation used ceiling speakers that were installed 35 – 40ftt in the air,” said Justin Plaster of JMP Productions. “This prior design required the speakers to be quite loud to drive sound to event and worship service attendees. With the reverberant nature of the Chapel as well as the height and arch of the ceiling, this made intelligibility of the audio from those speakers very poor. The system was also quite dated.”
In addition to the need for a new sound system, the chapel’s historic nature also posed an additional challenge.
“Any time you’re working to improve sound in a historic location, there are challenges,” said Jay Andrews, regional sales manager for Danley Sound Labs. “The installation required that there could be no alteration or structural change to the room. This meant that each speaker needed to blend into its surroundings so they felt invisible.”
To meet the installation requirements, Danley Sound Labs was able to match the paint colour throughout the room to allow the speakers to blend in with their new surroundings.
By using Danley Sound Labs
USA - Crusader Stadium is the home of the NCAA Cru Football team at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. During the summer of 2021, Daktronics upgraded the end-zone scoreboard and sound system with the goal of doubling the size of the video display area while minimizing changes to the existing structure.
For long-throw coverage, Daktronics deployed six Fulcrum Acoustic AHS speaker modules in the horizontal ‘ribbon’ above the video area of the scoreboard. Each AHS module packs a lot of output into a 31” tall package, with up to four coaxial compression drivers and four horn-loaded 10” woofers per module.
The available space within the scoreboard structure allowed for three stacks of two modules each. This provides sufficient output to achieve the project’s sound level goals for the seating areas. The high-frequency driver density provides the output needed to minimize high-frequency air loss which becomes problematic over stadium-scale distances.
“The AH family of loudspeakers showed us that this level of output was possible from a relatively compact enclosure,” says David Gunness, vice president of R&D at Fulcrum Acoustic. “The AHS is just the next phase of development for long-throw applications; meant to deliver significant high frequency projection and an adjustable vertical pattern to provide the exact coverage required.”
The compact enclosure of Fulcrum Acoustic’s AHS Series allows the modules to be incorporated within the available space above the video display and to be maneuvered on-site during installation mor
Australia - Due for a complete audio overhaul, the Erindale Theatre recently collaborated with CMI to outfit its facility with JBL Professional BRX300 line array systems.
With 443 seats, the Erindale Theatre is the largest theatre space south of the Canberra central business district. Featuring a full fly rigging system for set changes, an acoustically optimized orchestra pit and advanced AV and lighting equipment, the multi-purpose space can accommodate a wide range of functions from theatrical productions and concerts to large corporate seminars and community group presentations. To ensure a high-quality audio experience, Erindale Theatre needed a modern sound reinforcement system. CMI selected the JBL BRX300 modular line array system for its excellent sound quality and coverage in a compact, easy-to-use form factor.
According to CMI staff, the variety of performances and events held at the theatre dictated that the new audio system needed to be compact, easily manageable and provide the highest-quality sound. They reported that the JBL BRX300 modular line array system met all of the requirements, deploying in minutes and providing optimal sound throughout the venue.
The JBL BRX300 system consists of four BRX308-LA line array elements and one BRX325SP powered subwoofer.
In addition to providing clear, powerful sound with broad coverages, the JBL BRX300 system provides versatility, easy setup and flexible configuration. The line array units can be stacked on top of the subwoofer, pole-mounted with the optional BRX308-PM pole accessory or flo
USA - The historic Setnor School of Music at Syracuse University was founded in 1887 and currently occupies one of the oldest facilities on campus, a building constructed in 1889. Recently, the prestigious school of about 300 students modernised and upgraded its department infrastructure, including a move from analogue cabling to audio networking – a task completed with consideration to the historic significance of the building thanks to Audinate’s Dante.
Copper wire and XLR cables running between rooms at Setnor were installed sometime in the 1950s. The old analogue cabling and break-out panels had become outdated, noisy, and inflexible. Dante was critical for the school during the upgrade as it offered a solution with minimal impact on the historic buildings on campus.
“With a building like this, we can’t just knock big holes in the walls and run more and more copper,” said Kevin Muldoon, an instructor and the sound recording engineer at Setnor. “We’re replacing all the many runs of copper and XLR with about 200 feet of fibre optic cable to navigate through all the twists and turns to get signals from the auditorium to my office.”
Muldoon is also responsible for recording student performances for live streaming and archiving. With a Dante audio network connection in place, Muldoon and his team run all their microphone inputs through Dante-enabled Rupert Neve RMP-D8 eight-channel microphone preamps to the live board for mixing, recording, and live streaming.
Specifically, the XLR microphones in the auditorium connect to the RM
Thailand - Mahajak Development Co recently outfitted the Lido Connect entertainment complex with Harman audio solutions to deliver quality sound and flexibility for cinema screenings, live music, performing arts and other events.
Lido Connect is a multipurpose entertainment and retail venue located in the former Lido Multiplex Movie Theatre in Bangkok’s Siam Square. After the 50-year-old multiplex closed in 2018, the building underwent extensive renovations to transform it into a cultural hub for moviegoers, music fans, artists and shoppers. As part of the renovations, the former Lido 1 theatre remained a screening room but received major upgrades, while Lido 2 and Lido 3 became a live music venue and a small black box theatre, respectively.
To provide pristine sound for movies, concerts and other events, each of these spaces required new sound systems. To execute their client’s vision, Mahajak Development Co. equipped Lido Connect with a range of JBL Professional, Crown, Soundcraft, BSS and dbx audio solutions.
“The client wanted to enliven the space with immersive, hi-tech audio systems to deliver pristine sound quality while ensuring a smooth listening experience,” said Pongsakorn Kanchanachayphoom, project director, Mahajak Development Co. “To support the varied range of events to be held at the venue, we carefully selected Harman fixtures that reproduce speech, music and other sound effects with finest detail and fullest dynamics.”
To deliver cinema-quality sound in the renovated Lido 1 theatre, the Mahajak team deployed JBL
Canada - Founded in 1930, Glad Tidings Church has served Vancouver for over nine decades in three different locations. Established in its current location since 1963, the church built a new 1900-capacity sanctuary in 1983 which remains its home today.
Whilst the structure of the auditorium has changed little over the years, it has continued to evolve at a technical level. The most recent development has been the design and installation of a new HALO-C compact line array system from British manufacturer, EM Acoustics.
Recognising the need to replace their aging point source system with something more modern and efficient, Glad Tidings approached Canadian production company and AV integrator, Gearforce, headed by Bryan Adams’ long-term monitor engineer, Rob Nevalainen.
Whilst the touring scene is currently on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nevalainen has turned his considerable expertise to designing audio systems. He takes up the story: “This year Glad Tidings has a new pastor who was keen to revitalize the building and grow the congregation. One of his most important criteria was to ensure that his words could be heard clearly throughout the auditorium so that every member of the congregation could benefit from the same worship experience, regardless of where they were seated.”
Gearforce was asked to specify a sound system that could deliver exceptional audio yet come in at a reasonable price point. Specifically, Nevalainen and co-designer Dakota Poncilius were looking for a system with a high level of predicatability and even propag
UK - On the East coast of Yorkshire, Bridlington is a popular seaside destination for days out and family holidays.
Lacking any major redevelopment for almost three decades, the seafront’s public spaces were in need of regeneration. So in 2019, East Riding of Yorkshire Council embarked on an ambitious £4m project to transform an area between Garrison Square and Regent Gardens, reinvigorating the space with a new, colourful look.
Crucial to the revitalisation plan was the installation of new lighting elements within the communal areas. Lighting design practice, Sutton Vane Associates, was appointed by engineering consultants Sweco to design a lighting scheme that added vibrancy to the site whilst also providing a practical benefit after dark.
To help realise their creative vision for the location, Sutton Vane Associates commissioned outdoor lighting specialist, DW Windsor, to develop a custom lighting solution to fulfil the new design.
DW Windsor worked with Sutton Vane Associates to create several bespoke, illuminated totems that formed the centrepiece of the new lighting scheme. The totems are lit from top to bottom and incorporate colour-changing functionality, which can be set for different purposes, such as celebrating holidays and calendar events.
In addition, Sutton Vane Associated specified DW Windsor’s inground linear lighting solution, Vaio, to further enhance the walkways along the seafront. Given the coastal location, the lighting needed to withstand highly variable weather conditions. Vaio is a fully encapsulated IP6
UK - Powersoft’s Dynamic Music Distribution (DMD) solution is at the heart of the audio system providing the soundtrack to Kent’s newest sports and entertainment destination.
With Dynamic Music Distribution, Powersoft offers SIs the ability to scale inputs and zones conveniently and efficiently with dynamic routing capabilities embedded on its amplifier platforms. This makes it simple to dynamically route music and other signal sources along with control signals between different zones and across multiple amplifiers – all independently of source location and without the need for a centralised DSP.
Two Mezzo 604 ADs – Powersoft's four-channel, 600W compact amplifier – are powering the entirety of the 250-capacity Matches Sports Bar, Grill & Social, forming the core of a hospitality venue incorporating multiple distinct audio zones and spaces. Tucked away behind the counter, a single 4.3” wall-mounted Powersoft WM Touch screen, gives complete control of the entire DMD system, including Mezzo's embedded dynamic routing capabilities.
“By using Powersoft’s Dynamic Music Distribution solution, we were able to keep our design simple all the way through, from designing the project to handing it over to the client,” explains Ashley Bond, managing director of system designer and installer MADE Worldwide. “The client is then left with a powerful start-to-finish solution from a single industry leading manufacturer, providing them with a safe and secure audio system that’s really going to push through.”
Matches Sports Bar – l
UK - Organisers of the annual Leeds Castle Concert, worked tirelessly to reschedule this year’s event, featuring the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, following the easing of restrictions - staging it later than normal, on 4 September.
Leeds Castle is amongst the many long-standing clients that have relied upon RG Jones Sound Engineering for decades. In the case of this site, the company has been providing sound systems since the very first show way back in the early 80’s. It’s a tricky site to cover well, and for the highly popular concert fielded a classic system of its own - Martin Audio’s original MLA - to overcome the coverage challenges.
Although this historic Castle site in Kent is isolated, imposing no restrictions on sound levels, the contouring leaves much to be desired from an acoustician’s perspective, with a steep hill on which many of the crowds up to 10,000 congregate to watch the performance. “It measures around 210m from the stage to the top of the hill, and it was important to get enough up-angle on the PA,” reveals RG Jones’ MLA tech Sam Millen, while highly experienced classical music sound engineer Phil Wright, adds, “It’s almost like playing Red Rocks [amphitheatre].”
The sound company’s team had drawn on the optimisations created by Martin Audio’s Robin Dibble for the 2019 event, which featured Martin Audio’s WPL line array. “But due to having different PA towers this time we needed to make a few tweaks,” said Millen. He and fellow MLA tech Graham McGarrick also needed to time-align for the changin
UK - Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance is the UK’s only Conservatoire of music and contemporary dance. With two separate faculties for dance and music in southeast London, the establishment today is the result of a 2005 merger between Trinity College of Music and Laban. When the decision was made to upgrade the sound system at the Conservatoire’s Faculty of Dance in London SE8, Trinity Laban turned to Autograph Sound who designed, implemented and commissioned an innovative multi-role sound system from EM Acoustics.
Autograph’s Business Development Lead Euan Mackenzie handled all the project specification and system design for this very focused application with some unusual requirements: “Performers in contemporary dance need to feel that they are part of their audience and experiencing the same auditory stimulus, so the system had to be completely immersive in the unusual sense that the sound field had to seamlessly cover not only the audience area but also the stage,” he explains. “We achieved that by careful placement and time-alignment of the various loudspeakers, so that the acoustic image appears to be behind the dancers, creating what is in effect a single performance space which is shared by the performers and the audience. However, the other part of the brief required that the space should also be able to be used for full musical theatre productions where natural, transparent vocal reproduction is as important as musicality - which led us to think that we’d need a couple of different configurations to achieve what the client
Lithuania - Audiotonas recently won a tender to renew the audio system at the 400-capacity Juozas Miltinis Theatre in Lithuania. Situated in Panevezys, the fifth largest city in the country, the Grand Hall has been upgraded with a Martin Audio Wavefront Precision (WPM) line array.
According to Audiotonas chief audio engineer (and system designer), Vytautas Stasiukaitis, an old-school point source PA system, more than 20 years old, was no longer fit for purpose. “The performance was not acceptable by today’s standards, and so the theatre wanted a high-tech sound system in which performance features could be optimised according to the architecture of the room,” he explains. “As the most cost-efficient system which met all the requirements of the Theatre Wavefront Precision was the way to go.”
It was the facility’s first experience with Martin Audio and the sound engineers of Miltinis Drama Theatre were certainly impressed. “This was particularly the case after we installed and tuned the system with DISPLAY software,” continues Stasiukaitis. “The intelligibility, consistency and frequency response were outstanding throughout the entire audience area. We set the back wall as a ‘Hard Avoid’ area because there was no acoustic treatment on the wall and that helped to maintain excellent audio performance with minimum reflections.”
The Grand Hall itself is single tier with raked seating. “We could see this as a perfect opportunity for a WPM installation,” he observes. “We provided 12 modules per side, which is why we did not nee
USA - When faced with shelter-in-place regulations amid the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, Westminster Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, DE, like many churches around the world, decided to shift from in-person gatherings on Sundays to recorded services so churchgoers could watch from home.
The initial offerings relied on existing audio and video equipment, which was more than 20 years old. The church’s streaming feed lacked detail, balance and consistent room ambiance, and the lack of intelligibility of the spoken word made it difficult for remote churchgoers to hear the service well.
To help solve this problem last fall, Tony Thurman, Westminster’s director of music, and members of the church’s property committee, initiated talks with Robert Bullington of Front Row Seat Productions, a local AV contractor, to come up with a new sound system. Together, the teams immediately tapped DPA Microphones for its technical expertise and array of headsets, mics and accessories.
Bullington worked with Gabriel Antonini, business development manager of DPA, to create a masterplan for upgrading the church’s microphones as part of a re-engineered audio system. The goal was to enable Westminster to livestream choral, organ and piano music at the highest quality, providing listeners with fully balanced stereo sound comparable to attending a live service or concert.
“To capture the shape of the space at Westminster, we deployed a wide array of solutions from DPA Microphones,” says Bullington. “Included among these is a pair of DPA 4006A Omnidi
Vietnam - Dotted throughout Vietnam, the government has built private theatres to host regional and national cultural performances for the country’s military. These 700-seat venues serve government officials and military leaders with regular programmes of choir performances that convey messages of patriotism and national pride by promoting the unique history and culture of the Vietnamese republic.
One such theatre in the capital of Hanoi recently received an upgrade to its sound system, installing the new K3 line source array, integrated by local L-Acoustics Certified Provider Distributor, ProAVL Vietnam.
ProAVL managing director Thang Le has been an L-Acoustics user for over a decade, turning to the manufacturer’s sound systems for their quality and flexibility for projects that spanned installations in civic venues and high-end residential markets, as well as for live events. “L-Acoustics has a long-standing history of innovation. Since our company was involved in a wide range of productions in highly visible public places, I needed to leave a strong impression on customers by introducing high quality, innovatively designed products from L-Acoustics to the local market,” says Le.
Early on, Le nurtured strong partnerships with the military, and ProAVL Vietnam has consistently provided the best solutions in sound for a range of military theatres and productions over the years. “When the director of the Hanoi military theatre expressed his wish to enhance and replace the sound system previously installed, which had begun to degrade in quali
USA - When The Muny, America’s oldest and largest outdoor musical theatre, was given the green light to commence its 103rd season, Masque Sound once again returned to the historic venue with a custom audio equipment package. Working directly with sound designers John Shivers and David Patridge, Masque Sound helped the team reboot its outdoor season after presenting an online season in 2020 due to COVID-19.
With the support of the City of St. Louis Health Department, The Muny’s 2021 season operated at full capacity, including the 1,500 free seats available for each performance on a first-come, first-served basis. The five-show season began with Smokey Joe’s Café and was followed by The Sound of Music, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, On Your Feet!, and Chicago.
“Masque Sound graciously added equipment that we asked for from previous seasons and we were able to update the system in a number of ways,” says Patridge. “We continued our advancement of using audio over IP to improve upon the extensive upgrades that were made at The Muny in 2019. We upgraded the wireless radio system by moving to the Sennheiser EM3732-II high-end receiver with up to 184 MHz switching bandwidth. That was a nice sonic upgrade and from a software perspective, the EM3732-II’s are so much nimbler.”
The duo also employed software monitoring tools from Wavetool for the first time at The Muny this season. “Most of our workflow was now Dante, so we used the Wavetool software to monitor our digital signal path,” adds Patridge.
USA - In early August, the San Diego Symphony celebrated the grand opening of its new outdoor performance space, The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, after a 13-month delay due to Covid. The centre sits on the edge of the bay in Downtown San Diego, serving as a gathering ground for live performances and public city events. Solotech specified and installed all AV equipment, including a Clear-Com Eclipse HX Digital Matrix system with integrated FreeSpeak II Digital Wireless Intercom, HelixNet Digital Network Partyline and LQ Series of IP Interfaces.
In previous years, the symphony had been hosting outdoor performances, from June through September, weather-permitting, in a temporary manner with a portable stage and AV equipment they would bring to the site with each performance. The goal for this new venue was to create a facility designed specifically for elevated outdoor performances where the San Diego Symphony, as well as other leading touring acts, could perform outdoors year-round. To achieve this, the San Diego Symphony turned to Solotech and Salter acoustics and AV consultants.
“I have been a long-time user of Clear-Com in my background with Cirque, so I understand what is required of a communications system in complex production environments and the value that Eclipse HX can bring to a production in terms of flexibility,” commented Aaron Beck, business development manager & sr. engineer for Solotech.
“At first, there was only a plan for a HelixNet system with 4-channel partyline and a handful of wireless beltpacks, but we quickly recomm
USA - The up-and-coming Miami neighbourhood of Brickell is not only recognised as the financial district of the city, but it is rapidly developing into a much sought-after residential area. And with that comes a demand for bars and restaurants.
8Street Brickell is a boutique bar owned and operated by Mark Meram with a capacity to host VIP parties and DJ sets whilst also offering an intimate hangout for locals, as well as international and national tourists visiting the city.
Mark’s vision was to create a sophisticated modern twist on a classic Speakeasy style, with the interior of this venue creating an homage to the style and design ethos of the 1920s. Including wood and button tuft upholstery and a soaring and undulating ceiling enhanced with LED lighting.
8Street Brickell was designed by Callin Fortis and his team at Bigtime Design Studios as part of a new condo complex. “From the offset, we knew this venue was going to be something special,” explains Fortis. “Equally it was going to demand a high-level audio installation which would complement, not detract, from the overall look and feel of the bar. In particular because of the complex LED-mapped ceiling grid we were designing as a focal point of the bar’s architecture. It was a natural fit for us to work with high-end integrator Paul van Puffelen and his team at Southern Technical Support in order to help us realise Mark’s distinct vision of a modern-day speakeasy.”
Mark was clear on what he wanted in terms of the audio specification. “We were looking for a versatile au
UK - The recruitment network for creatives and freelancers Curtain Call has re-launched an improved membership platform to help link up freelancers with employers - and PLASA members benefit from reduced subscription fees.
The network, which is free to join by freelancers, has a search and match algorithm that makes it easy for employers to find skilled available freelance technicians and creatives for project-based or long-term positions.
Businesses looking to recruit need to subscribe to search the database, with PLASA members able to get 15% off for 12 months by signing up through the Pioneers programme. For every PLASA member company that signs up, Curtain Call will donate £15 to #WeMakeEvents, and for every month of membership, the network will plant a tree. Early adopters include the Ambassador Theatre Group, Donmar Warehouse, Sonia Friedman Productions and White Light.
Peter Heath, managing director of PLASA, comments: “Curtain Call is a fantastic platform which brings employers together with skilled workers while also creating accessible pathways for newcomers into our industry. We couldn’t be more pleased to bring this service to our members, particularly after the prolonged period of industry closure and loss of personnel to other sectors. This partnership will certainly help to connect up and regenerate our sector’s workforce.”
Matt Humphrey, founder of Curtain Call, adds: “We are thrilled to partner with PLASA and lau
Italy - Staged in the elegant courtyard of the Palazzo Farnese in Piacenza, the flagship performance of this year’s Notte d’Opera a Palazzo was a stirring representation of Puccini’s Tosca. The natural acoustics of the 16th century architecture were lifted powerfully yet naturally through TiMax spatial audio processing.
Complementing TiMax’s sympathetic spatial amplification and to ensure complete audience immersion, impressive virtual scenography was video-mapped onto the imposing façade of the building.
Federico Bianchi, designed the multichannel d&b sound system, drove the TiMax SoundHub processor and mixed the show on a DiGiCo console. With social-distancing maximised to ensure a Covid-safe environment for performers, musicians and the audience, positioning of the distributed loudspeaker system was inevitably challenged by an unconventional stage set up. This led to comparatively irregular speaker positions which TiMax nevertheless stitched together into a seamless, object-based, immersive soundfield.
Whilst Bianchi concedes that covering the wide audience area was the biggest difficulty, the on-stage spacing was also challenging to the sound design. A 55-piece orchestra was positioned in front of the opera performers on the main stage, whilst a large choir was positioned to the side.
Bianchi said, “The non-traditional, wide spacing of the three musical sources forced me to find solutions to keep each element blended and in perfect timing each other. It would have been impossible without TiMax to guarantee localisati