UK - At the end of 2016, Autograph Sales & Installations completed an extensive installation at the New Adelphi Building at The University of Salford, providing an audio system that accommodates the needs of a multipurpose, flexible venue. A DiGiCo SD9 digital mixing console adds extra versatility to the 350-seat main theatre.
The theatre has been designed to be re-configurable to allow it to host a wide variety of performances. This includes seating and stage placements that can operate in five main modes: end firing; long traverse; short traverse; thrust; and in the round; as well as a dedicated cinema set up.
The SD9 and a DiGiCo Orange Box are key to the system - which includes an extensive EM Acoustics loudspeaker system, QSC digital signal processing and Sennheiser microphones - with system inputs being fed through it as required. It is programmed as an LCR and Sub system via the matrix outputs, with the provision for more inputs if needed.
“The SD9 was specifically chosen for its versatility and the potential to upgrade to the Theatre specific software at a later date,” explains Autograph’s Euan Mackenzie. “Since it was originally specified, DiGiCo released its Stealth Core 2 software (which was supplied pre-installed) making the console even more flexible.”
Although the University’s technical staff had a basic understanding of the console, Autograph’s Peppe Mallozzi covered training with them from the ground up.
“Peppe spent a day with the tech team, covering all that the console can do, and worked wit
UK - “Our current count is nine Audient desks,” says Richard Liggins, technical production manager at the University of West London (UWL). “Seven ASP8024s and two ASP4816s, plus a number of ASP510 5.1 monitor controllers and an ASP800,” which puts it in the running for the facility with the most Audient desks in the world.
Most recently, London College of Music (LCM) - part of the UWL - opened Paragon Annex Studio complex, an investment of more than £1m in the development of seven new recording studios, which includes two each of these Audient consoles.
Liggins explains: “Audient desks reflect a very clear design ethic in terms of the signal flow through the desk. We teach audio studio recording from first principles, and that means an understanding of signal flow through a traditional multi-track studio as a base for all other techniques in audio recording. The in-line architecture of the Audient range supports that teaching very well.”
With this latest enhancement of its existing provision, LCM’s studio complex just down the road from the UWL Ealing campus, is now one of the biggest of its kind in the world. “Audio wise the desks hold their own in a professional studio environment,” confirms Liggins. “The mic pre’s are clean and accurate, the EQ is flexible and supports the teaching of parametric EQ well, and the usual complement of Aux’s etc. are well ordered and clearly marked.
“We decided to standardise our main rooms onto a single platform some time ago, to allow better transfer of technique from the teaching s
Canada - Located within an old church building in Little Italy, Revival Bar has become a live performance hangout for the Toronto music community and fans since opening in 2000. While its designation as a Toronto historic building requires preservation of the building’s frontage, there is nothing to prevent modernization inside. That is why general manager Mathew Saturnino recently decided to upgrade the 400-capacity venue’s sound system with the Electro-Voice X1 system from the X-Line Advance line-array loudspeaker family.
"There’s a lot of competition in live entertainment, and quality of the sound system is one thing that sets one venue apart from another," notes Revival Bar general manager Mathew Saturnino. "We wanted a system that would sound great, with really good, tight sound output within the room. We did a lot of research, and the X1 from Electro-Voice seemed like the perfect fit – newer technology that would give us a very good competitive edge."
The installation was performed by Mississauga-based integration firm Pure AV, with the system being designed by Clint Alves of SoundSoft Productions, Toronto.
Using Electro-Voice LAPS software, the design is based around two five-box arrays of Electro-Voice X1-212/90 loudspeakers, augmented by four X12-128 dual 18-inch subwoofers. The entire system is powered by six Electro-Voice TG7 amplifiers, all outfitted with RCM-28 network and DSP modules to enable easy monitoring and control via IRIS-Net software. The team at PureAV ran the wiring in advance so that, once the shipment of loudspeak
UK - Following a record year working with Jockey Club racecourses, Arena Group has been appointed to oversee the full interior design of Newmarket’s’ temporary infrastructure during its most notable dates in the equestrian calendar including the Qipco Guineas Festival and the Moet & Chandon July Festival.
Arena’s interiors team, operating as the newly-launched Arena Concept division, will utilise the latest design and CAD technology to transform creative client briefs from initial concept drawings and 3D visualisations, to seeing the project through to on site delivery and completion. From branded areas, ambient decor and VIP hospitality, the team will help Newmarket Racecourse to create luxurious, temporary event environments with a high-end permanent feel. Following a series of recent product investments, sister company Spaceworks will supply contemporary new event furniture to help create fresh new looks in the sponsor and public spaces.
Newmarket Racecourse’s regional head of operations, Gemma Steve comments: “The Jockey Club has a long-standing relationship with Arena, with them advising on, and delivering, state-of-the-art temporary environments. As a venue, we are always looking for ways to enhance our offering and improve both the sponsor and spectator experience. With Arena at the forefront of designing hospitality venues, we were keen to utilise their expertise to help us achieve an updated design brief and fresh customer experience.”
Loren Johnson, managing director of Arena Structures and Arena Concept adds: “We are de
Switzerland - A compact Allen & Heath dLive S Class system has been installed in Teatro Sociale in Bellinzona, Switzerland, following an upgrade to its audio equipment. Supplied by Battaglia Light Services, the system consists of a S3000 Surface equipped with a Dante network card, and a DM32 MixRack.
Built in 1846, Teatro Sociale is one of Switzerland’s most historic theatres, which was refurbished 20 years ago following a period of neglect. The venue hosts theatrical productions, and also a variety of concerts, from classical to rock.
“We selected dLive because it has a simple workflow, which is easy to learn for guest engineers, and has a quick setup time, so you can configure the desk in seconds. Another major factor for choosing dLive is that the sound quality is first class, and the system has the best FX, compressors and dynamics, thanks to the DEEP processing models of classic gear,” comments Teatro Sociale’s technical director, Claudio Cheulini.
“The system fulfils the high demands of the theatre very satisfactorily. dLive has tremendous headroom and is versatile, easily able to manage classical concerts to rock and everything in between. Another small but crucial factor is the fact that you can dim all the lights on the desk and avoid disturbing audience members.”
Azerbaijan - The opening ceremony of the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games, produced by Catherine Ugwu’s Betty Productions, featured spectacular visuals throughout the show.
Responding to an initial brief to deliver projection across the back wall and floor of a stage covering half an athletics stadium, Creative Technology (CT) specified 78 Panasonic DZ21 projectors driven with VYV’s Photon Media Server system. While the original brief and specification regarding the projection area and projector count was a little smaller than the Rio Olympics ceremony that CT were involved in last year, many of the same challenges applied.
Following the first test set up, the projection surface was changed from a gauze material to a solid white fabric, the contrast in the content was increased and further 40 projectors were added to ensure that the quality and brightness of the overall image surpassed anything that had been seen before on a ceremony of this type.
The combined effect resulted in the main projection surface burning through any of the typical issues with light spillage from the stage.
The spectacular result was achieved by teamwork from some of the production industry’s leading specialists brought together and inspired by Betty Productions’ attention to detail and determination to deliver a spectacular ceremony.
The Netherlands - One of the most historic buildings in Goes, Netherlands, Slot Oostende is a former castle located in the old centre of the city. It opened to the public in April this year as a multipurpose venue, with a Yamaha Commercial Installation Solutions (CIS)-based audio system meaning its spaces can be used for many different purposes.
Some original parts of Slot Oostende survive, while others have recently been rebuilt following excavations in 2009. This mixture of ancient and modern architecture provides a pleasant atmosphere, which was ideal for a restaurant, meeting venue and brewery producing the venue’s own beer.
Slot Oostende officially opened to the public on 19 April this year, with a planned programme of varied entertainment, as well as meetings, presentations and speech events. To ensure every activity enjoyed high quality sound, Peter de Graaf of AV installation specialists Geluid & Beeld NU! sat down with Leo de Klerk of professional audio dealer Bloomline to design a truly multi-purpose audio installation, suitable for every application.
They chose a system built around a Dante network, controlled and managed by a Yamaha MTX5 matrix mixer/signal processor and a pair of XMV8280-D multi-channel power amplifiers. The advantages of a Dante solution were immediately obvious, as it allows one of the amplifiers to be located 80m from the system rack, on the other side of the building, with no issues.
Throughout the building there are six locations, each with Omniwave loudspeakers and a Yamaha DCP1V4S surface-mounted cont
UK - Blitz|GES has secured a multi-year deal with event venue, the Design Museum. Blitz|GES was awarded a preferred supplier contract, placing it on the museum’s accredited production list.
The museum hosts a range of events each year, from conferences and awards nights, to major brand activations and product launches. Blitz|GES has worked with the venue since its move from Shad Thames to Kensington in late 2016, and will continue to deliver full AV and technical event production services to its clients.
Livia Puggini, head of events at the Design Museum commented: “I am delighted to continue our relationship with the team at Blitz|GES over the next three years. I’m looking forward to working alongside them to provide exceptional service to our clients.”
Graham Pope, group commercial director at Blitz|GES added: “We are proud to have been appointed a preferred supplier for such a prestigious venue and are excited to be working with the Design Museum to continue to deliver innovative technical production solutions.”
Germany - Markus Heinzel of Liquidstudio is the proud owner of the first Audient ASP8024 Heritage desk to be installed in Germany. Based in Freiburg, he has recently upgraded his professional recording and music production studio, wanting to “rely on my technology, so I can get on with making music”.
It was last year that his finances finally allowed for the improvements to his space, for which the biggest investment was the Audient. It took him the best part of a year to find the right desk which also suited his budget. “The combination of a well processed and proven, big analogue desk with DAW integration is perfect for me,” says Markus. “I use the DLC module mostly to make automations, it's great to play with that.
“After working with a digital console for 10 years, I wanted to come back to analogue. I wanted to record using the excellent analogue EQs and shape the incoming signals directly,” he continues. “When I mix, I create stems and sum through the desk which gives me the option to fine tune things with the Audient channel EQs. I then love to use the Retro Iron and the Low Bump/High Lift EQs on the mix bus when printing a mix as they lift everything up a bit, and add power and clarity to the mix. Another great feature is the mix bus compressor which adds a nice glue to the final mix.”
In the evenings, Liquidstudio doubles up as a non-commercial live club: The Slow Club. Markus has designed the whole space cleverly to flip between its two distinct roles, whilst managing to utilise every inch of space. When he’s not running
UK- Underneath the Victorian railway arches in London’s Shoreditch district lies Cargo, one of the capital’s edgiest late-night bar and club venues. While the venue’s genuine Banksy graffiti art-filled courtyard is a magnet for art aficionados and tourists alike, the club itself has been busy building up a formidable reputation of its own thanks to an eclectic music programme.
To install an appropriately multifaceted lighting rig, Cargo recently approached London-based installation specialists, Halo lighting, which specified a number of Chauvet Professional and Chauvet DJ fixtures.
“Cargo approached us wanting a lighting rig capable of supporting a wide variety of dub, house, techno and electro events,” commented Yann Guenancia, director of Halo Lighting. “The combination of Chauvet Professional Rogue R1 Wash and Legend 230SR beams, in addition to Chauvet DJ COLORband Pix and Par Quad 12s provided excellent versatility at an excellent price point.”
Six Rogue R1 Wash and four Legend 230SR Beams were flown from overhead truss to provide the central core of the install. While the R1 Wash’s saturated colours, powerful light output and gobos were specified for their atmosphere inducing qualities; the Legend 230SR fixtures provided the ultimate counterpoint with punchy beams to cut through the dance floor.
“The combination of the Rogue R1 Wash fixtures and Legend Beams are essential for creating the look and feel of an exciting and progressive venue,” commented Guenancia. “Both fixtures provide the energy and drive necessary fo
UK - A top of the range light and sound system is now delivering all the right notes at The Borderline in Soho, a 300 capacity intimate basement live music venue transformed by new owners DHP Family.
The venue has been remodelled to create a flowing space that provides the best possible experience for both performer and audience. As well as creating improved sight lines, more than £100,000 has been invested in a high spec audio and light system.
With excellent audio established as a hallmark for all DHP Family venues, top of the list was the installation of an L-Acoustics PA system to deliver a signature hi-fi quality sound throughout the venue.
DHP Family technical manager Dave McVea said: “The audio system we inherited was an eclectic mix of gear that had clearly been amassed over a period of time. While it did the job, there was no real design to the system. We’re proud that our venues have a reputation for excellent audio so clearly we needed to change that.”
SSE Audio - a long-standing partner - was tasked with supplying and installing the sound system having a proven track record for delivering top quality audio systems in DHP Family’s Rock City and Rescue Rooms in Nottingham, Oslo in Hackney, Thekla in Bristol and most recently The Garage in Islington.
Dave added: “I wanted an L’Acoustics system with plenty of headroom, so the system should not be stressed and easily deliver a quality sound for our acts and events, in keeping with our previous audio upgrades. It also brings the venue’s technical specification ri
USA - There are no straight lines in Time, the new Orange County club designed by Davis Ink, Ltd. That’s one reason why the dance floor is visible from anywhere in the venue. The lighting design by Steve Lieberman’s SJ Lighting features a “digital chandelier” made of Chauvet DJ MotionOrb fixtures along with some power packed spot and wash lighting from Chauvet Professional Rogues.
“The space inside this venue is almost amoeba-like,” said Lieberman. “It’s a single flowing and very immersive unit. Davis Ink completely ripped the former retail store apart down to the bone to create the new structure. We identified focal points throughout the space and used those locations to create our dimensioning and distribution of fixtures. Since the space is so different we spent a lot of time evaluating how each space would transition into the next.”
Among the focal points Lieberman worked with is the towering 35’ ceiling over the dance floor. It rises more than 15’ over the rest of the room. “Having a high ceiling gave us the opportunity to do something very special,” he said. “We utilized all the planes of space that this height created. Since the walls are so tall, we took advantage of that and had LED strips and other fixtures follow the walls from the lower ceiling to the higher ceiling.”
Hanging from the middle of the ceiling is (quite literally) the centrepiece of Lieberman’s lighting design, a massive digital chandelier made of over 100 Chauvet DJ MotionOrbs. “The chandelier has a classic look, with a digital backbone; so
Ireland - INEC Killarney, the largest music and multi-purpose venue in Ireland outside Dublin, has successfully completed the first stage of a significant production upgrade plan with the help of A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET).
AC-ET worked with the venue, which has hosted many national and international music acts including The Script, Tom Jones, Snow Patrol, Hozier, Walking on Cars, Kenny Rogers and Tom Jones, to specify and supply a complete new lighting rig including a full range of fixtures, cabling and lighting control desk.
ProLights fixtures form the cornerstone of the rig, which uses a variety of moving lights including Pixiewash and Diamond19 RGBW LED wash lights, Luma1500 LED profiles and Ruby discharge beam lights. These were supplemented with ProLights StudioCOB FC full colour LED PARS and Solar IP65 LED wash lights. ETC Source Four profiles and ARRI True Blue Fresnels completed the set-up, with AC-ET providing all lights complete with flight cases, clamps, safety bonds and replacement bulbs.
In addition, AC-ET supplied the lighting control desk, an Avolites Arena, and DMX signal distributors. Power and DMX signal cabling was supplied by Tourflex Cabling, AC-ET’s in house cable manufacturing service.
The first artist using the rig was Gavin James, Spotify’s 2016 Artist of the Year and winner of Choice Music’s Song of the Year Prize, who played to a sell-out audience on 18 February.
Steven Douglas of Coruscate Lighting Design, the lighting designer of the show, commented: “I was delighted with the quality
Russia - Allen & Heath’s dLive S Class mixing system was recently used at the prestigious Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow for a performance by the Astrakhan Opera and Ballet company.
The Astrakhan performed its production of The Damnation of Faust opera, which has been nominated for the Russian national theatre award, The Golden Mask.
Provided by MixArt, the dLive system consisted of a DM48 MixRack and S3000 Surface, which was used as the FOH and monitor system. A DX32 expander rack was installed in the orchestra pit to enable local connection of multiple orchestra microphones, and the DM48 was equipped with a Waves network card to allow multitrack recording and virtual soundcheck. There was also an IP8 remote controller to manage special sound FX and playback.
“At rehearsals and at the last rehearsal I controlled the dLive system using the S3000 installed in the centre of the audience,” comments Vadim Shcherbakov, director of MixArt’s Southern branch. “Before the performance we put the S3000 backstage, and I managed the sound using only a laptop with dLive Director and an iPad with the MixPad app.”
“In opera, it’s very important that technical innovations do their work without impacting on the character of sound,” says Valery Voronin, the art director and the chief conductor of the Astrakhan Theatre of Opera and Ballet. “I still believe in the old-fashioned idea that opera is better off without sound reinforcement, so I was especially happy to hear clear and natural sound.”
South Africa - The Blue Man Group visited South Africa for the very first time in February and March this year and, whilst performing at The Teatro at Montecasino in Johannesburg, they celebrated the 200th performance of their world tour. South African sound engineer, Christo Davis, has worked with Blue Man Group for the past year, mixing an average of four shows or more a week on a DiGiCo SD7, with his deputy sound engineer covering the rest.
The Blue Man Group, established in New York by three friends in 1991, are known for their award-winning shows that captivate audiences with music, comedy, fresh stories, custom instruments and technology.
“I did a show with them in Australia about four years ago and I just hit it off with the sound designer,” says Christo. “We have similar philosophies and approaches on how we like to do things and he’d been trying to get me back on the road ever since. Last year it all lined up and here I am.”
The audio inventory for the show, including Christo’s SD7, is supplied by Dutch rental company Ampco Flashlight Group.
“I’ve been using the SD7 for the past three years and I love it,” Christo continues. “It’s very intuitive and even if you are new to the console, it doesn’t take long to find your way around it. It’s such a powerful package. Back in the day, we used to tour with racks and racks of outboard gear. Now you show up with your console and that’s pretty much all you need - and it sounds good too. In the early stages of digital consoles, they all sounded quite harsh and unplea
UK - Stage Electrics has supplied the University of Huddersfield with a raft of live sound equipment to allow students on its BA (Hons) Music Technology, BA (Hons) Music Technology and Popular Music and BMus (Hons) Creative Music Technology courses to get hands on experience with the latest digital products.
“Working with digital consoles for live sound is something we have wanted to develop into our courses for quite some time,” says the university’s Stewart Worthy, who teaches the courses along with fellow lecturer Alex Harker. “The other part of the university already runs music technology courses with industry standard analogue consoles such as Allen & Heath and Avid, but we wanted to do something different in our area, offering two different consoles with different operating principles to give our students a more diverse experience. We’re delighted that we’ve been able to do this for the first time this year.”
Stewart worked with closely with Stage Electrics’ Rob Beamer on the tender to supply two industry standard consoles, a DiGiCo SD8 and a Yamaha CL5, along with stage racks and other associated equipment, including Sennheiser radio mics and a rack of Radial eight channel mic splitters.
“The Yamaha console is very useful because you come across them in a lot of different types of live sound activities,” Stewart continues. “The DiGiCo has become an industry standard for theatre productions, as well as other live sound applications. DiGiCo consoles also have different features and flexibility in terms of setup, which
UK - How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying was recently revived at London’s Wilton’s Music Hall and White Light supplied the equipment.
How to Succeed tells the story of J. Pierrepont Finch who rises from lowly window washer to high-powered executive. The show is directed by Benji Sperring with a lighting design by the award-winning Nic Farman. Nic comments: “What’s great about working with Benji in particular is that he really allows me to make lighting become an integral part of the story telling. It was about creating caricature through the lighting and being brave with the design as we wanted to put our stamp on the show and make it appeal to a modern audience without losing the 60s era that the show is set in.
“Similarly, Mike Lees, the set and costume designer, created a beautiful perspective set and furnished the ‘office’ with brightly coloured props that connected to each character, so that gave me licence to use strong colours both in the scene work and songs.”
This was the first time that Nic had worked at Wilton’s Music Hall. He states: “While the venue’s architecture is truly stunning, it does throw up a number of issues; namely the lack of overhead rigging on the forestage which is where the majority of our show was staged! I negated this by rigging all of the front of house from the circle front to get light onto the fore stage. This shallow angle front light worked well with the ‘comic book’ nature of the show and design.”
Nic also had to contend with a limited set-up time, wi
Estonia - Robe DL7S Profile LED moving lights and PARFect 100 LED PARs have been specified and installed at the Estonian National Concert Hall (Eesti Kontsert), located in the heart of Tallinn and home to the Estonian National Orchestra (ENO).
The impressive Neoclassical building is shared between the Estonian National Opera and the Ballet Theatre Estonia. The Concert Hall is run by the Eesti Foundation, together with five other high profile concert hall venues – in the Estonian cities of Tartu, Parnu and Jõhvi - and St Petersburg, Russia.
The new lights were delivered by Tallinn based sales and installation company E&S, and were part of a much-needed technical upgrade that replace the previous lighting scheme which was fully ‘conventional’.
“We don’t just do concerts” explained Eesti Foundation director Jüri Leiten, “Although they are very important”, but in addition to the 40 or so symphony concerts staged in an average year, the Concert Hall accommodates 180 rehearsals (including the ENO), at least 150 other types and styles of concert plus 80 – 100 conferences and corporate events. So it’s a busy space, buzzing with activity and an average of 450 events annually.
Ambient noise levels precluded every other proposed moving light fixture involved in the selection process, apart from the DL7S which runs so quiet it’s almost imperceptible.
The DL7Ss were supplied in white housings to match the walls of the Concert Hall, which has a fully flexible layout, retractable seating and can accommodate up to 1000 people
UK - Following a run at the Watermill Theatre, Newbury and a UK tour in 2016, satirical play The Wipers Times has arrived in the West End with a limited run at The Arts Theatre. Full technical service provider Hawthorn were chosen to provide lighting equipment for this dark comedy from the trenches.
A stage adaptation of their award-winning BBC film, The Wipers Times by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, tells the true and extraordinary story of the satirical newspaper that was created in the mud and mayhem of the Somme.
The team at Hawthorn worked with lighting designer James Smith to provide lighting equipment for the production when it toured in 2016 and were delighted to be asked to be involved once again when it arrived in the West End.
Smith, explaining why he chose to get Hawthorn on board once again, said: “After seeing the success of how Hawthorn delivered the UK tour of Wind in the Willows, of which I’m the Associate LD, it was not a hard decision to ask them to supply the lighting equipment for The Wipers Times, both on the original tour and the transfer to the Arts Theatre.
In line with technical enhancements within the industry, the rig for the West End production utilises a mixture of LED fixtures, such as the ETC ColorSource Spot, alongside more traditional tungsten fixtures such as the Vari*lite VL1000TS.
“The production required a wide variety of fixtures including framing moving lights, LED source fours, zoomable LED cans and very tight Aero cans” says Smith. “This was due to the hu
UK - Bristol Music Trust (BMT) has revealed the next stages in its ambitious £48.8m redevelopment programme for Colston Hall, including a name change for the venue.
Louise Mitchell, chief executive of BMT, said: “We are on track with our transformation campaign and at this stage in the process, we can now focus on the detailed plans for the redeveloped Hall, including what its future name should be.
“The name Colston does not reflect the Trust’s values as a progressive, forward-thinking and open arts organisation. We want to look to the future and ensure the whole city is proud of its transformed concert hall and so, when we reopen the new building in 2020, it will be with a new name. This overall rebrand is part of transforming the Colston Hall we have today into the new National Centre for Music Entertainment, Education and Enterprise.”
With two-thirds of the funding raised and public consultation complete on the pre-planning application, the Trust is now heading into its final campaign stage. This includes raising the remaining third of the money and finalising detailed plans ahead of the planning application being submitted to Bristol City Council later this year.
Louise explained: “We have always been clear that the option of commercial sponsorship would be part of our transformation fundraising plans and we are now looking to engage with commercial organisations about sponsorship opportunities, which is key to helping us reach our total. The new name could include recognition of a commercial partner, but we will be consulti
USA - Star power was out in force on 19 March, when the Geffen Playhouse hosted the 15th annual Backstage at the Geffen, a fundraiser that benefits the celebrated theatre’s artistic and community outreach programs. Quincy Jones and Mel Brooks were honoured; their awards presented respectively by Barbra Streisand and Rob Reiner. Aisha Tyler of the Emmy-winning CBS programme The Talk was the evening’s host. Bridesmaids director Paul Feig appeared, as did comedians Sarah Silverman and Dave Chappelle.
This star-studded list of honorees and participants notwithstanding, as a charity event, Backstage at the Geffen had to be run with an eye toward controlling operating costs. For lighting supervisor Darren Rezowalli, this meant creating a compact rig that could be set up quickly, yet still deliver the sharp effects and rich colours that such a glamorous evening demanded. A collection of Chauvet Professional fixtures was critical in helping the LA-based designer create the looks he wanted without sacrificing the efficiency he needed.
“The gala typically falls between two mainstage productions, and since it’s a fundraiser, we do not want to do a labour intensive – and costly -- rehang for it,” said Rezowalli. “Our plot for the gala is always heavily influenced by either the incoming or outgoing lighting designs. This can be challenging because the gala uses the full stage, while our designed season productions use very custom configurations. The deck here is trapped. We usually rebuild half the apron for the gala to allow
The Netherlands - Home to AFC Ajax, Amsterdam ArenA is a world class stadium and the preferred venue for the Dutch national football team’s international fixtures. As part of its ongoing upgrade, it recently installed a new audio solution based on the d&b Y-Series system.
Production manager at Amsterdam ArenA, Tim Oosterop comments, “Like our LED screens, or escalators, audio investment is not something you can charge for, it doesn’t translate directly into revenue, but it does see the audience come earlier and stay longer. If they’re here that’s good for revenue, and makes best use of the facilities.
“Ajax already has its own video production department and puts a lot of work into the pre-show environment. Entertainment is the key component and quality audio is a big part of delivering that experience.”
Looking toward a new audio installation, Oosterop, and Head of Technology Martin Wielaart, defined three main objectives: Compliance, specifically to UEFA/ FIFA regulations for performance and intelligibility, and adherence to national and international safety standards for evacuation systems; Address the venue’s atypical acoustics, difficulties that could not be solved – in realistic financial terms – through current construction techniques; Enhance the stadium’s reputation as a host of other entertainment events – especially concerts – with an acknowledged leading audio brand.
To address the requirements of safety and conformity the arena engaged the services of RH Consulting, a specialist practice tha
UK - Currently playing at the Salisbury Playhouse, Echo’s End tells the story of a young couple in 1915 Wilshire who find themselves caught up in the turmoil of troubled times. It is written by award-winning playwright and novelist Barney Norris, directed by Alice Hamilton and features a lighting design by Howard Hudson. White Light was called upon to provide the equipment.
Echo’s End marks Howard’s fifth production at the Salisbury Playhouse. He comments, “Salisbury is a great venue and this is a brilliant new play that tells a story about that part of the world. The entire play is set outside on the Salisbury Plain, so one of the main requirements was to achieve a sense of natural light and the epic undulating scale of that area at different times of day.”
As with most of his designs, Howard had to work closely alongside the set design, which in this case reflected outdoor Wiltshire. He adds, “A major element of Tom Rogers’ design was a 14-metre-wide printed cloud cyc at the back of the stage which allowed us to create a wide variety of different looks for the eight scenes, ranging from dull, clement overcast grey days, to strong, deep saturated sunsets. This was also useful for the transitions between scenes as it provided a really great and varied backdrop for the company to be silhouetted against.”
Prior to the production opening, Howard visited WL’s Wimbledon base where he was able to experiment with a range of fixtures before adding them to his rig. He comments, “WL were very helpful in letting me come down
USA - Lake Forest, California’s Saddleback Church, the host campus and broadcast site for the sizeable worship community led by Purpose Driven Life author Rick Warren, has been in its current location for nearly 25 years, but never had an audio system upgrade - until now. Seeking to improve intelligibility, the church turned to the installation division of Escondido-based Sound Image, which replaced the site’s ageing point-source system with a new L-Acoustics Kara array setup.
“There were all kinds of physical challenges,” recalls Sound Image’s Scott Coyle. “The room is basically a big square with about 200ft per side, and the back quarter of the space is bleacher-style seating. Plus, there are glass walls down each side measuring 30 feet high by 90 feet long, so we started out faced with a 2.2-second reverb time.”
“The previous PA was put in when the room was built almost 25 years ago,” notes Saddleback audio lead Aaron Ruse. “It served the church fairly well, but audio technology has leapt forward so much in that time - especially in the past decade -that we knew that in order to provide the best experience for the congregation, it was time.”
“They did several comparative listening tests, including a final one in the actual room,” continues Sound Image’s Mike Fay, who was the integrator’s point of contact on-site. “They heard five or six PAs and kept coming back to L-Acoustics,” Coyle adds.
Ruse says it was an obvious choice. “Every time we put multiple PAs head-to-head and ranked them, no PA was consisten