France - On the northeastern border of Paris, the Philharmonie de Paris complex is the musical epicentre of the City of Lights, encompassing an amphitheatre, concert hall, museum, an exhibition hall and studios and workshops. The newest addition to the complex, the Philharmonie des enfants (Children's Philharmonic) was created for children aged four to 10 with the mission to develop hearing sensitivity through interactive games and immersive sound installations.
Children take their first steps into the world of sound and music in the new, purpose-built venue. The space encompasses five different themed areas, one of which aptly named Plein les oreilles! (Earfuls!), has been equipped with L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology.
Plein les oreilles! is a blend of specially created musical films, stories, concert recordings and sound experiences. By combining fully-spatialised sound, via L-ISA technology, and 360-degree video projection deployed from floor to ceiling, visitors are enveloped in a truly sensory experience. From the beginning of the project design, Mathilde Michel-Lambert, director of the Philharmonie des enfants, wanted to create an immersive room that encompasses new areas of creativity, and seamlessly combines sound spatialisation with the visual narrative to awaken the senses of the audience.
“Knowing that the use of virtual reality headsets, mobile phones and tablets is not recommended for children under 10, we designed Plein les oreilles! with this in mind,” Michel-Lambert explains. “None of the audio-visual elements are
The Netherlands - Theater Aan de Parade in Den Bosh has been closed for a complete refurbishment since August 2020, with a reopening set for 2023. During this time - COVID regulations notwithstanding - the venue has planned to stage productions in eight venues in and around the city including Hall 8 of the city’s Brabanthallen exhibition centre, which has 860 seats and is the largest of the temporary venues.
The lighting rig installed in Hall 8 for the first production run featured Robe T1 Profile and LEDBeam 350s moving lights which were specified by lighting specialist Gertjan Stads and supplied by Unlimited Vision & Sound, a local rental company based in Rosmalen.
These have been added to the Robe DL4S Profiles and LEDWash 300s already owned by the theatre to make a versatile all-purpose rig in the roof which is good for lighting a vibrant range of shows - from comedy to drama and dance.
Robe was first introduced in this theatre back in 2017. The venue closed for asbestos removal, and moving lights were then needed in the small hall as the fly bar system was no longer operational, so this prompted the switch to greater flexibility through utilising moving lights.
The DL4S Profiles were installed for front lighting requirements while the LEDWash 300+s joined the rig to replace the old PAR cans, a process for which Gertjan and his team advised.
They also noticed that as most lighting people and directors were used to working with conventional lighting fixtures, what was needed was a period of adjustment to be able to optimise
Switzerland - After more than 40 years of continuous operation, Theater Basel has undergone extensive refurbishment. To ensure the house is equipped for the future, a newDiGiCo Quantum 7T mixing console has been installed and integrated into an Optocore network infrastructure.
Theater Basel is Switzerland's largest multi-genre theatre, and hosts dance, opera and theatre productions. A wide variety of renovation work has been carried out and purchases made over the past seven years, undertaken during non-performance and non-rehearsal periods to avoid disruption to performances. A few months ago, the house also renewed its entire mixing console fleet.
After an extensive evaluation and test phase - including a hands-on session at Tonspur AG in Adligenswil with DiGiCo’s Dan Page - the decision was made to invest in a DiGiCo Quantum 7T. As the ‘T’ suggests, the Quantum 7 console came with comprehensive theatre software, which includes complex automation as well as other application-specific customisations.
For Robert Hermann, head of sound and video at Theater Basel, DiGiCo's long-standing and widespread presence in the theatre and musical segment, as well as the mature and proven combination of hardware and software, were the decisive points for this decision. The company auviso ag from Lucerne was commissioned with the delivery and integration of the components.
Several training sessions followed to familiarise the team with the new mixing console system. Due to the nature of Covid, the training units had to be adapted; the technical traini
Australia - Her Majesty’s Theatre in Adelaide has delivered another performance, winning a major award at the Australian Institute of Building (AIB) Professional Excellence in Building Awards at the weekend.
The redeveloped theatre took out the Commercial Construction ($60m+) Award nationally, awarded to Hansen Yuncken in recognition of individual building professionals who have demonstrated leadership and assisted the on-time and on-budget delivery of exceptional construction projects.
Originally opened in 1913, Adelaide’s oldest continually operating theatre was transformed into a larger and more accessible venue with modern facilities - its $66m redevelopment was unveiled in June 2020.
The redevelopment was built by national construction company Hansen Yuncken and designed by Adelaide-based COX Architecture, and managed by the South Australian Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure and Adelaide Festival Centre.
The project employed more than 150 construction workers at its peak and engaged a 90 per cent South Australian work force, including specialist artisan contractors and local craftspeople.
Adelaide Festival Centre CEO and artistic director Douglas Gautier comments: “We are delighted to see Her Majesty’s Theatre receive the great recognition it deserves and for the spectacular work done by the team at Hansken Yuncken on this much loved Australian arts venue.
“This award further highlights the building and creative talent we have here in South Australia and our ability to design and deliver world cla
Japan - Robert Juliat continues its collaboration with Japan’s Zepp Hall network of concert venues via its exclusive Japanese distributor, Sogo Butai Co.
The latest project, supplied and installed by Sogo Butai, was for the 2,900+ capacity Zepp Haneda in Tokyo and consists of a full complement of LED fixtures across the whole range of Robert Juliat’s LED portfolio: profile, single lens, followspots and cyclorama lights.
Sogo Butai lighting designer Yukiteru Hayashi chose the comprehensive selection of LED fixtures to include 24 Dalis 860 cyclorama lights, six Tibo 533CW 115W Cool White and four ZEP 664SX2 300W profiles, 28 Warm White ZEP 360LF2 300W and 10 Cool White ZEP 360LF2 300W Fresnels, alongside 6 Oz 600W LED followspots.
Four of the Oz followspots are sited in front-of-house positions and two in side positions. The profiles are rigged to a movable batten as ready-to-be-used fixtures and stored in the stage right wing. The Warm White ZEP360LF2 Fresnels are rigged in side positions, 12 either side of the auditorium, and the Cool White ZEP360LF2 Fresnels are all rigged on the first downstage truss.
A subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc, Zepp concert halls are dynamic, busy venues which are spread across all areas of Japan and beyond. The venues play host to many international tours and Japanese musicians and are also popular locations for corporate events and conventions.
With such a diversity of uses, the versatility and economy offered by LED fixtures and the quality of Robert Juliat products in particular was
UK - Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, and directed by Polly Findlay at London’s The Bridge Theatre last autumn, the European premiere of White Noise explored the subject of race in the 21st century from both a black and white perspective through a group of college friends.
Working on an ambitious set design by Lizzie Clachan, lighting designer, Jackie Shemesh, chose six Ayrton Diablo LED profile fixtures to deliver some extremely precise lighting effects and ambient washes, and worked hard to sculpt the huge set despite some difficult rigging angles and ensure the skin tones of the diverse cast looked correct on stage. The 27m-deep set included a thrust stage, an overhead catwalk, a series of side wall flats arranged in perspective to frame the stage, and an angled ceiling flat which severely restricted hanging positions and lighting angles.
“I chose Diablo for several reasons,” says Shemesh who has used the compact profile fixtures on several productions at the National Theatre. “First, I know and like the fixture, so knew they would give me some nice results. Secondly, the truck’s side walls and low roof made it very difficult to get light into the acting area. I knew I wanted some low-level moving light options front-of-house, and with limited headroom over the audience, we needed a fixture that was both small, light and quiet. Diablo ticks all those boxes. Nicole Smith (The Bridge Theatre’s head of lighting) and I tried a few options, but the angle was so shallow that only the Diablo would fit the bill
The Netherlands - The Harbour Club brand is known worldwide. The latest evolution in this successful concept is the just-completed The Harbour Club Theatre, a new 300-capacity purpose-built performance and event space located adjacent to The Harbour Club’s flagship restaurant Amsterdam Oost. It extends the opportunity of sampling exquisite food whilst enjoying top-notch entertainment, starting with the show Vegas, starring Dutch magician and illusionist Hans Klok, plus a cast of eight dancers, four singers, three acrobats and a live band.
Lighting for this enew venue has been designed by Benny La Maitre, who put 24 Robe T1 Profiles, 28 LEDBeam 350s and six Spiider wash beam moving lights at the centre of the rig.
This is part of an overall production design encompassing audio, video, staging, pyro and SFX, all planned and co-ordinated by The Harbour Club technical manager, Bob Nieuwland, who started the design process by drawing up the set in WYSIWYG. He then asked Benny onboard to fine-tune the details which included the swapping of some lighting fixtures once the final look of the set was established.
The lighting was delivered via Rotterdam-based Peitsman Licht en Geluid (Peitsman Lighting & Sound) headed by Hans Peitsman, one of several companies asked to quote on supplying a technical package that will include ongoing support, based on a comprehensive brief developed by Bob for The Harbour Club Theatre.
Bob has been working for The Harbour Club for several years, looking after all their technical and production aspects, s
USA - When Portland’s Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall re-opened after a pandemic hiatus, those patrons attending the season debut of the resident Oregon Symphony were delighted to hear a striking difference in the sound of the orchestra. Following the installation of a Constellation acoustic system, they experienced for the first time a rich and balanced natural reverberance distributed evenly throughout the hall. On stage, the musicians could hear each other clearly despite disappearance of the massive and ungainly physical stage shell. The Rose City’s popular Italian Rococo Revival landmark had acquired a new and flexible acoustical signature.
With a current seating capacity of 2,776, the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall is one of a quintet of venues operated by the appropriately stylised Portland’5 Centres for the Arts. It was built in 1928 as a vaudeville house, transitioning to movies only two years later, and finally going dark in 1982. After a $10m renovation project, the venue reopened in 1984 as a multi-purpose concert hall and as the new home of the Oregon Symphony.
“Ours is the first vintage movie theatre restoration to install Constellation, and that made it a bit of a learning curve,” says Portland’5 executive director Robyn Williams. “It’s a sophisticated system but it’s getting rave reviews. The audience experience is much better. Those who don’t even know Constellation is in here are saying the hall sound is very good now, and those who do know about it say it’s a game changer.”
Williams and other key decision make
South Korea - TechDataPS Co installed a Harman Professional Solutions audio system to create a lively and engaging space for visitors to the Paju City Civic Centre.
Founded in 1994, the Centre is a public facility owned by the Paju City Facility Management Corporation, with five floors above ground and five basement floors. The public corporation utilises the centre to promote the arts, host sporting events and improve the quality of life for Paju residents.
But the venue’s existing audio system presented major challenges, including inconsistent electrical work and a lack of output from the speaker amplifier, prompting organizers to commission a complete system overhaul. Additionally, the centre is an old building that isn’t structurally equipped to handle modern audio systems without additional support.
After conducting a structural safety diagnosis, TechDataPS Co overcame these challenges by designing and installing a new audio system using flexible piping and JBL Professional, Crown and Soundcraft audio solutions.
The installation team utilised JBL VTX V20 professional loudspeakers and S25 compact high-output line array subwoofers to deliver full dynamics, wide coverage and clear sound throughout the venue. JBL SRX712 stage monitors provide equally clear and distortion-free sound for onstage performers.
Crown I-Tech 4x3500HD amplifiers with Omnidrive HD Processing and the LevelMAX Limiter Suite efficiently power the speakers, and the Soundcraft Vi2000 digital audio console and Vi Stagebox offer mixing power and input flexibility
UK - Located on the waterfront in the North Wales seaside resort of Rhyl, the 1031-seat Pavilion Theatre hosts touring theatre productions, comedy acts and music tours, alongside playing a key role at the heart of the community, staging local cultural events and school productions.
When the theatre’s technical manager Andy Hughes was tasked with replacing the existing PA with a modern, versatile system capable of handling everything from a comedy gig to a rock & roll show, one brand came immediately to mind. “I had heard a lot of systems in the theatre over the years from touring shows, including many big-named brands and Nexo always really stood out sound wise.”
Andy approached entertainment technology specialists A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET), where senior audio sales executive Steve Eaton turned to the Engineering Support Team at the Nexo Campus in France to design the system. With an extensive history in theatre sound, Nexo Engineering Support manager Bertrand Billon took on the task.
“Designing a ground-stacked system for a multi-level theatre is always a challenge,” says Bertrand. “It’s important to strike the right balance between long-throw and not overpowering the audience at the front. At the Pavilion Theatre, we took advantage of stacking Geo M10 on top of the MSUB18s, giving us the extra height required to avoid creating a hot spot in the front rows. The removable directivity flanges helped us to achieve this soft spot at the front, changing the horizontal directivity from 90° to 120° without requiring a com
Australia - Harman Professional Solutions recently partnered with Prestige Group and MadisonAV to outfit Cali Beach Club on the Gold Coast with weather-resistant audio solutions for “top-notch sound in outdoor conditions”.
Cali Beach Club is a $10m Ibiza-inspired beach club in the heart of Surfers Paradise. Surrounded by residential development, the venue showcases a new type of beach club with pools, open-air spaces, outdoor deck areas and cabanas overlooking the picturesque Gold Coast beach.
In order to deliver immersive audio experiences for its guests while minimising noise pollution for its neighbours, Cali Beach hired MadisonAV and the Prestige Group to design and install a complete Harman audio distribution system consisting of JBL Professional loudspeakers and Crown amplifiers.
“Cali Beach is the first of its kind,” said Matthew Keegan, partner, Artesian Hospitality. “It offers multiple restaurant options, a beach volleyball court, an outdoor cinema and more. The club has neighbours right next door, and there are no walls or roofs to assist in managing noise levels. We needed a sound system that would mitigate unwanted dispersion while maximizing the quality of the sound within the venue. We’ve been very happy with the JBL system. It’s been an extremely smooth experience working with both Prestige and MadisonAV. They faced a challenging task, and we’re very happy with the results.”
Prestige Group and MadisonAV designed an open-air audio setup that included 80 loudspeakers, including many in nearfield positions to mini
Italy - The new Harley Davidson Bergamo building extends 2,000sq.m, with showrooms, offices, rental spaces, and a customer service shop. The style of the new structure includes architectural elements that combine steel details with wooden elements, giving it an exceptionally bright atmosphere.
The new headquarters building also features a spacious relaxation area that is available to its customers. Shared spaces and the showroom feature new RCF audio systems, with over 20 high-power speakers installed in the ceiling. All speakers, part of the RCF Business Music Series, are two-way wooden cabinets with 10-inch woofers in white, perfectly discreet, and suitable for the style of the environment.
“A brand like Harley Davidson trusts RCF when it comes to power and acoustic detail,” comments Yuri Casi, RCF Installed Sound Italy sales manager. “With our range of options, we can now offer products suitable for all types of commercial environments. From music systems for background up to high-power concert sound systems, our new Business Music line always satisfies our clients.”
Germany - The vision of founder Ariel Schiff, the Amano Group of hotels, bars and restaurants relies on sound design as the basis to transport interior design, bar and culinary concepts. This recognition that sound plays a key role in curating a memorable customer experience in a hospitality setting is evidenced by the fact that the group has its own sound designer on staff.
When the group first approached experienced German AV technology specialists Raum+Schall to design and install a sound system in the soon-to-open restaurant of the prestigious Hotel Amano East Side in Berlin, CTO Markus Lienhart knew that he wanted to use the Nexo ID Series. “When I first saw and heard the Nexo ID24, I thought, wow, this is installation loudspeakers v2.0. In terms of design, performance and the versatility of its HF directivity, it gives us the tools we need to realise a whole new level of performance in a high-end hospitality setting.”
A shoot-out with other systems was arranged at the nearby Hotel Amano Grand Central, with the group’s owner and key management present. “As soon as we fired up the ID Series system, I got goose bumps” continues Lienhart. Requests quickly followed to install Nexo systems in three other Amano Group properties in the city.
“We started at the Hotel Amano East Side, using eight ID24s with a pair of IDS110 subs in both the restaurant and rooftop bar, with power and processing from Nexo DTD/DTDAMPs,” reports Lienhart. “The systems sounded fantastic throughout, with no dead edges. Critically, the systems are able to accom
China - DJ Wengweng, well-known electronic musician, the main founder of Acupuncture Records and the Lantern Club, has recently opened Solo, a new electronic music room in Bejing, with the help of Van Damme Cable.
Measured at only 18sq.m, the music space will be used to record live sets of or other artists, and make their musical talents and ideas better known through the internet.
The key aim is to establish increasingly strong relationships with domestic artists, labels and club operators, start discussions around the development of electronic music culture in China and create development opportunities together.
Despite its size, the sound, lighting, DJ and acoustic processing equipment are all professional standard. Installation was achieved with the help of Phoenix Audio, Van Damme’s Chinese distributor.
The audio configuration uses Funktion-One series: two R1 full-frequency main amplifiers and two F101 supplementary speakers. One BR218 double 18’’ bass. Van Damme Tour Grade Classic XKE starquad microphone cable, Black Series Tour Grade 8 pair multicore and Black Series Tour Grade 4 x 4.00mm multicore were also used in the Solo Club install.
Herpreet Kaur Singh, commercial director at VDC Trading, comments: “We’re delighted that we were able to support Phoenix Audio with this install. It’s a privilege to be involved with Solo, a space linked to such a high-profile artist and one of the important personalities in the development of Chinese electronic music culture.”
Chris Zhang, director of Phoenix Audio, adds:
UK - London venue Troxy has announced the appointment of Jools Butterfield as operations manager. With over 25 years of experience within the event industry and 20+ years in managerial roles, Jools will be providing insight and invaluable experience from the ground up.
Jools will be making the transition from his most recent role as senior festivals manager Vision Nine His responsibilities included event manager for the NASS festival, assistant event manager for Boardmasters festival and the overall creation of the strategy and approach of all Vision Nine events.
In previous roles, he spent 15 years as Lovebox founder and festival manager, latterly being part of Live Nation where he was instrumental in the ongoing success of Citadel and Wilderness Festivals.
Simon Eaton, head of live at Troxy, comments: “Having spent many years working alongside Jools at MAMA & Company I couldn't be more thrilled to welcome him into the Troxy fold. He is a wonderful asset to our venue family.”
Julian Butterfield adds: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining a venue with the rich cultural history of Troxy. Going back numerous decades to the early 20th century, Troxy is interwoven into the fabric of London, a connection I am thrilled to be maintaining and expanding on.”
South Africa - Rivers Church is one of the fastest-growing congregations in South Africa. Starting with a humble attendance of only 70 people in 1992, Ps Andre and Wilma Olivier have grown the church into a faith of thousands, with multiple campuses located in Sandton, Kyalami, Centurion, Durban North and Ballito. Self-described as a ‘dynamic church’, Rivers offers inspirational messages and community to all age groups, with their online streaming service further widening their reach, particularly amidst the pandemic.
The church is dynamic in terms of adapting and integrating audio-visual technology to enrich their services, resource sharing between campuses and streaming online. “We started working with Stage Audio Works (SAW) in 2011 at the most basic level, but they are now our principal supplier and integrator for audio and video,” explains Andrew Illgner, head of audio at Rivers Church. “We’ve worked with a lot of suppliers over the years but SAW goes the extra mile as they bring knowledge and expertise that we don’t have. They have an extremely knowledgeable team; for example, it was Nathan [Ihlenfeldt, SAW technical director] who got us on the path of digital audio networking.”
For the most recent project, SAW specified and supplied two flagship Yamaha Rivage PM7s to replace four existing CL-series mixing consoles at Rivers’ main campus in Sandton.
Two Yamaha PM7s will now serve as the primary mixing consoles in the Sandton campus, covering the main auditorium, which hosts a maximum capacity of 3,000. One co
USA - The Christ Fellowship Churches in South Florida are enjoying new visions during services at five locations this year, following a major investment in Hippotizer media servers to playback pre-made content and drive LED pixel strips with swathes of colour.
Three of Christ Fellowship’s largest locations, in Palm Beach, Royal Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie are now enjoying the user-friendly, visual impact of Hippotizer Taiga, Karst and Boreal Media Servers respectively. They were specified by the church’s technical director, Neil Zimmerman.
“We were previously using a tired, software-based visuals solution but found that the graphics cards within our computers had major limitations and required constant updates,” says Zimmerman. “I was aware of the power and intuitive interface that Hippotizer offers, and as the church grew, I knew this was the best option. Other churches in the US are using them, and I’ve experienced Hippotizer first-hand.”
Zimmerman approached Tim Corder at Hippotizer dealer, Diversified, who suggested media server solutions from a number of brands. “Tim was phenomenally helpful, and we knew Hippotizer was the best fit for us,” Zimmerman continues. “Knowing that the dedicated Hippotizer hardware is designed to support our needs was a big plus. We’re working with some fairly large pixel spaces, so we needed hardware that could do the heavy lifting, and we also needed a solution that scaled across multiple locations and sizes. We love that we can leverage clean sustainable workflows for Sunday services, but wh
Italy - Loft01 in Prato is a former warehouse, newly converted into a lounge, restaurant and cocktail club in the heart of the Italian city of Prato. With a capacity of 90 (seated), it can be hired out for any type of event, from birthdays, weddings, art exhibitions and dance parties, customised to suit. In addition, clients benefit from a full technical infrastructure, including a Martin Audio Wavefront Precision Mini (WPM) PA, installed by dealers CLS Service.
This is used for special events like the opening night party, where more SPL was required. Well known DJ / producer Nicola Zucchi was at full tilt playing through WPM - stacked, four elements per side - above a pair of SX218 subs, run in two-box resolution from Martin Audio’s iKON amplifiers. In addition, an LE100 wedge monitor provided his reference sound.
In permanent installation at the venue is a Martin Audio Blackline X10 and S15 subwoofer set-up, which is used for all other occasions.
The technical infrastructure is also extremely flexible and reconfigurable, since by implementing the control app they can change the system parameters, and Loft01 can transform from a restaurant into a club. All signals runs on a Dante network so that the mixing console can be set anywhere to suit the event.
CLS Service founder Duccio Mitola was awarded the contract to meet this criteria by owner Jonny Gerges Saad. “I first met him when he was playing as a DJ at an event at the Castle Filattiera, playing through a [Martin Audio] ICT300 and WS18X sub. A few days later he joined the large family
Russia - On its inauguration in 2007, the Toratau Congress Hall became an instant architectural icon. Encompassing 14 multifunctional conference rooms, three VIP meeting rooms, a concert hall, a massive, 4000sq.m exhibition space, and three restaurants, each of the facilities matched the innovative design of the building itself. As time went by, Toratau Congress Hall attracted an increasingly international roster of events and artists, which in turn presented more demanding technical requirements. Venue management realised that the main auditorium would require a new high-end, multifunctional sound reinforcement system. A brief that was fulfilled by L-Acoustics K Series and X Series.
Situated in the city of Ufa, the capital and largest city of Russia's most populated Republic of Bashkortostan, Toratau Congress Hall was designed to cater for events ranging from regional civil conferences to touring artists and international summits: most notably the BRICS summit - a gathering of five major emerging economies, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - and the 2015 Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
The audio system in the principal concert hall was lacking in sound quality, capacity and flexibility, prompting the venue to enlist the help of Moscow-based experts, Theatre Techniques and Technologies and L-Acoustics certified provider distributor for Russia, Sonoruss. The two companies were jointly appointed to manage the installation of a new audio system, from modelling, specification and design through to installation of the equipment
Taiwan - A thriving hub for the arts in the capital city of Taipei, the Taiwan Traditional Theatre Centre is now the permanent home to the Guoguang Opera Company and the National Chinese Orchestra while also hosting a wide variety of other events on a rental basis.
With the recent installation of a Constellation acoustic system - the first in Taiwan - the centre has enhanced the audience experience across all musical genres while at the same time reducing operating expenses and often eliminating costly down time between performances.
The impetus behind the eventual installation of Constellation stems from the original concept behind the centre’s main 1,055-seat performance hall, as explained by technical director Huai-min Jen.
“When the centre was first proposed nearly 10 years ago, the resident opera company was transitioning to the use of wireless reinforcement for the singers,” he says. “The hall was designed with a relatively dry acoustic to accommodate amplification, which meant that a large and very cumbersome stage shell had to be erected to support orchestral performances. It required a crew of 10 or 15 to bring up from the basement as well as an entire day to set up and then take down, which cut into rental availability.”
Operating costs aside, the physical shell also introduced acoustical compromises. “The shell was not optimum for all performances,” Jen continues. “You can’t adjust it to provide the perfect environment for all performances. But now, with Constellation, we can instantly optimize for every performanc
Spain - On 17 January, the Art Nouveau jewel in Barcelona’s theatrical crown, the Palau de la Música Catalana, played host to the inaugural ESLAND awards gala. Billed as the ‘Grammys for streamers’ in the Spanish-speaking world, and hosted by streaming star of YouTube and Twitch TheGrefg, the three-hour gala, celebrating the best in content creation and streaming in 2021 throughout Spain and Latin America, was itself streamed live on its own Twitch channel.
Sound reinforcement for the event in the historic auditorium was provided by just four of Amate Audio’s latest Xcellence series X102FD self-powered point source systems and four accompanying X18T compact subs; with a couple of Nítid series N26 systems as front-fills.
An advanced performance compact two 10” design, the X102FD is capable of continuous output levels of up to136dB SPL - equivalent to four compact line array elements. Its onboard next generation Active+ digital power and control platform provides a 2-channel 3000 W continuous programme power source.
Active+ also provides Dante audio networking and full Ethernet remote control (with the company’s DSP Studio 3 software) via dual Ethernet ports; Wi-Fi remote control is enabled with the CWK-D Wireless Communication Kit.
USA - It’s been a difficult and challenging two years for concert and event spaces during the COVID pandemic, but what’s emerging at the other end of a long, gloomy tunnel is a new, more sonically shaped generation of venues. The Factory, which anchors a new entertainment and dining destination known as The District in the St. Louis suburb of Chesterfield, is an example of that dynamic.
The recently-opened 52,000sq.ft venue can hold between 2,350 and 3,400 concertgoers or event attendees in flexible dance floor and fixed-seating configurations that face a huge 60ft-wide stage. But what sets The Factory further apart is the scale of its L-Acoustics PA system, which provides complete coverage for every audience member no matter where they are seated or standing in the large performance hall.
“The Factory is built on the most valuable real estate in the region and there is no wasted or extra space anywhere in the building. So we had to create a sound system that no one could ever say no to,” observes Chip Self, president and CEO of Logic Systems Sound & Lighting, The St. Louis area-based systems design and integration firm that supplied the new L-Acoustics system.
It’s also a system from which no one can say they’ve missed a note or a word with one dozen K2 loudspeaker enclosures atop two Kara II down-fills comprising the left and right main array hangs. These are buttressed by two A Series enclosures per side as in-fill and out-fill, respectively; six eight-inch coaxials used for front-fills; and four A10i Wide speakers for delay.
UK - Thomas Heatherwick’s Materials House was commissioned by the Science Museum in London as an exhibit to show “everything that anything can be made of” for the Challenge of Materials gallery. The idea was that, instead of prioritising any one material to make the house from, and then exhibiting small samples of all the other materials within it, the studio chose to make the house itself from all of the materials.
The result - six-metre-high pieces of each material bonded together into a single element of many strata was built in situ on the first floor of the museum in 1999 and remained a centrepiece of the gallery until December 2021, when Unusual Rigging was called upon to help the museum remove the exhibit from its long-time home, and lower it to the ground floor, ready for transportation to be held in storage.
Robin Elias, director at Unusual Rigging explained: “Materials House is a fantastic artwork made of 213 materials, bonded together in over 2000 individually shaped pieces sourced from more than eighty suppliers and sponsors. Measuring 7m x 4m x 1.5m, it had been welded to substantial steel foundations beneath the floorboards at the museum. It was displayed at a jaunty angle and restrained by attachment to an overhead beam, but it had no useful fixing points and was of indeterminate weight but estimated to be between 4-8 tons.”
In order to be able to move Materials House in one piece, Unusual needed to remedy this - it was vital to know the exact weight of the exhibit and design and install a system to allow the team to move it
USA - The Music Centre at Strathmore, Washington DC, is a modern glass-and-steel multidisciplinary arts space. Well-appointed with excellent acoustics, it is like many other performance venues in American suburbs. But last month, this fairly typical space became, in the words of one critic, “a heavenly place to be”.
That happened when Sarah Brightman walked onto its stage as part of her A Christmas Symphony tour. The classical/crossover soprano brought her magic to Strathmore and 16 other venues across the US during the tour, mixing an array of music from Puccini to John Lennon into her two-hour (plus an intermission) show.
Supporting her was lighting and show design by Nathan Taylor. The timecoded lightshow was programmed by Plymouth, UK-based LD Jason Hyne using the suite at NEG Earth, and run during the US tour by Austin, Texas-based LD Ruby Leigh of Allume Live Productions.
Travelling with the team on the tour was the ChamSys MagicQ 250M Stadium. “Portability was critically important in light of the travel schedule,” said Hyne. “I visited ChamSys in the UK for a demo of the 250M in late July 21. Right away, I knew that this is the desk for me. I have used the Chamsys 250M desk over the autumn in the UK with the Kaiser Chiefs festival shows and Roger Taylor’s The Outsider tour, and it has been a revelation to me the power this compact desk can give whilst programming and operating shows.”
Hyne is quick to point out, however, that portability could not come at the expense of performance on the Brightman tour. In this respec