USA - While on the road with Bruno Mars, Grammy award-winning recording engineer Charles Moniz and live sound engineer Chris Rabold rely on JBL Professional 708P master reference monitors to deliver sound for front-of-house mixing as well as recording backstage.
Mars is known for riveting and tightly-rehearsed live shows with his backing band the Hooligans, and most recently, with Anderson.Paak as the R&B duo Silk Sonic. Mars and the band frequently work on new songs while on the road and needed a high-quality mobile recording setup that could be easily assembled in any setting. Moniz, who worked with Mars on his 2012 album Unorthodox Jukebox and 2016’s 24k Magic, selected JBL Professional 708P reference monitors for their studio-grade sound quality, high output and balanced coverage. Additionally, front-of-house engineer Chris Rabold uses them to dial in a consistent live mix in any venue.
“We often record in dressing rooms, locker rooms, kitchens, workout rooms - I had a setup in a bullfighting ring in Spain one time,” said Moniz. “The 708P monitors have a lot of onboard processing to help you tame unruly spaces. A few tweaks with the built-in EQ can help you avoid overcompensating for those frequencies in your mix, as well as enhance the listening experience for everyone in the room.”
Chris Rabold, Mars’ front-of-house mixer, uses 708P monitors for pre-show mixes due to their “honest and true” frequency response, which translates seamlessly to live PA systems of any make, model and size.
“The 708P monitor
USA - When Cooperstown, New York, came alive for the triumphant return of The Glimmerglass Festival, sound designer Andrew Harper called upon Masque Sound to provide a custom audio equipment package for the summer opera and musical theatre festival.
“Normally all productions are done inside at the opera house where there is no amplification at all,” says Harper. “This year, the producers created an outdoor stage on the lawn, with the singers and audience outside but the orchestra was located inside. I was tasked with combining the two worlds of the singers and the orchestra, while also creating a great experience for the audience outdoors, all while keeping everyone socially distanced.”
Harper had worked with Masque Sound previously and had full confidence they could provide all the equipment he needed to be successful. “I had the pleasure of working with Masque Sound for Theatre Under The Stars in Houston and I knew they would be great to work with for this unique season,” says Harper. “I called Scott Kalata at Masque Sound very early on in the process and he was unbelievably helpful in tracking down all of the equipment on our list.”
For the PA system, Masque Sound provided 32 weatherised Meyer Sound Leopard line arrays. “The stage set up had a unique audience geometry as it was not a completely symmetrical system,” says Harper. “As a result, I wanted something that had great imaging, punch, clarity and power. Since the orchestra was located inside and amplified, I needed to be able to reproduce them in a very musical manner
UK - The seventh annual Outcider Festival, a summer weekend event in Compton Martin in the West Country brought together a blend of over 30 different bands, artisans, food purveyors, and a generous selection of locally brewed scrumpy cider.
Although the main stage setting was decidedly rustic (the festival took place on a farm), the lighting kit supporting the high-energy performances was strictly up-to-date, featuring Chauvet Professional LED fixtures supplied by BH Sound & Lighting Hire.
James Marshall of BH joined with Finlay Wort in designing the lighting rig. Their focus in this collaboration was on versatility, as they knew they’d have to support a diverse mix of acts from polka punk act The Dreadnoughts and ska bands, to Sunday morning ’cider-obics’ and rock sing-alongs.
“Fixture positioning and keeping plenty of options open on the console were the keys,” said Marshall, who has been lighting the festival since its inception in 2014. “As the LD, I wanted to give myself loads of choices through the use of groups, palettes and effects.”
Marshall, who busked the wide variety of acts using his ChamSys MagicQ MQ70 console, described the process of running the boards during the festival: “You can never have too many options. You just keep programming, adding new looks and updating existing ones between bands to ensure each band has a fresh look, but most importantly, you have to follow the music and style.”
Toward this end, Marshall split his eight Rogue R2 Wash fixtures into two groups to create more coverage opti
France - Lighting designer Mathieu Cabanes discovered the new possibilities offered by Robert Juliat's latest 800W LED followspot, Arthur, on Les Folies Broadway, a large symphonic show performed this summer at the Domaine D'O in Montpellier.
"I use Robert Juliat followspots very often. I particularly appreciate the artistic touch that a followspot can bring to a live show,” says Mathieu Cabanes. “New products and technologies are offered to us every year and I like to study these and their functions and make sure I use the right tool for each application.
"I first used LED followspots on a Robert Wilson show in Indonesia, I La Galigo. They were Japanese models and the result was quite disappointing because the power was supposed to match a Robert Juliat Cyrano followspot, but in fact they were weaker than a Robert Juliat 710 profile with iris. The colour also did not offer us great CRI possibilities for such a colourful show. After this first experimentation, I decided to wait for a great development from Robert Juliat.
"On the advice of my friend Frédéric 'Aldo' Fayard, lighting designer at Concept K, and with the help of Ludwig Lepage, Robert Juliat’s product manager, I discovered the Arthur 800W LED followspot and the SpotMe artist tracking device.” Cabanes then decided to use the Arthur followspot during a symphonic show with 72 musicians and two renowned soloists in the 1800-seat amphitheatre of Domaine d'O in Montpellier.
"I compared the Arthur to an HMI followspot," he says, "and I was really surprised by this little j
USA - Justin Kitchenman of Align Design Group is using some favourite Elation lights on five-time Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan’s Proud To Be Right Here Tour scheduled through 16 October with 35+ shows.
Kitchenman had just got the Cole Swindell Down To Earth tour design out the door when Covid hit in 2020, then spent a year working on livestreams and other smaller projects. When he got the call in April that long-time client Luke Bryan was planning a 2021 tour, he was understandably ecstatic.
The LD, who has been designing for Bryan for a decade, had a design in place from last summer’s cancelled tour, a show he thought he’d never see realized. When the decision was made to pick up from where they left off in 2020, however, the design was back on the table. “I had come to terms last summer that that design was dead,” he said, “so I was thrilled when it was resurrected for this year’s tour.”
According to Kitchenman, the tour came together extremely quickly with a short two weeks between final tour approval and rehearsals in Nashville in June. “That’s when the ACL 360i fixtures came into play,” he stated. “We know what we can do with them and know they are reliable. They were also available so we could get out quickly and do shows.” The Proud To Be Right Here tour kicked off in July in Syracuse, New York, and plays mostly outdoor amphitheatres. “It was very much a team effort to pull it off in time,” Kitchenman said.
The design features automated lighting pods full of Elation ACL 360i fixtures, the designer’s
UK - Shure has announced that, in collaboration with Pro Audio Systems and PSA4AV, they have upgraded the microphone system at Lucky Voice’s Holborn karaoke venue, with the new to market SLXD Digital Wireless system.
In 2019, Lucky Voice opened the doors to a new 5000ft venue in Holborn, which is home to 10 karaoke rooms and had a requirement for a minimum of 20 microphones.
Supplied by Pro Audio Systems and installed by PSA4AV, Lucky Voice had a requirement for a high quality, wireless microphone system that was going to stand the test of time. Craig Walmsley, senior technician, PSA4AV states: “Lucky Voice have been previous users of Shure and we knew that was the only brand that was going to meet all the requirements of the brief. We were really pleased to be the first to get hold of the brand new SLXD Digital Wireless system, in partnership with Peter Butler at Pro Audio Systems who worked closely with us on this project.”
Phil Yates, operations director, Lucky Voice comments: “In tandem with losing one of the frequencies we were using for our previous microphone system, we decided when re-opening the Holborn venue post-pandemic, it was time to upgrade our microphones. The microphones we had installed weren’t standing up to the test of the environment and the Lucky Voice brand is centred around providing the best premium karaoke experience. The Shure SLXD Digital wireless system has been representative of our brand values. The system is reliable, sounds amazing and most importantly for a venue like ours, it is sturdy and robust. We ar
USA - Partech Lighting recently completed an installation package of 12 High End Systems SolaSpot 3000 luminaires in the Andrew Brady ICON Music Centre, a new music venue on Cincinnati's riverfront. The venue features one main floor and two balcony levels overlooking the inside stage.
Based in Cincinnati since 1988, Partech’s focus is entertainment lighting production as well as LED video walls, media servers, and related services. Their history with High End Systems goes back 30 years with use of products such as Intellabeam, Studio Spot and Studio Color, Cyberlight, and DL2s. They’ve also enjoyed a long and successful relationship with their client MEMI Music & Event Management Inc., supplying services for multiple venues throughout the Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio areas.
Partech developed a system specification for The Andrew Brady ICON Music Centre that they felt would be widely acceptable to most visiting LDs, while also working within a rough budget outline. Partech’s Dave Groh comments, “Naturally, throughout the process, budgetary restraints affected some of our recommendations and substitutions were agreed upon. The SolaSpot 3000s were the one item that we felt strongly needed to remain in the specification to fulfill those original requirements.
“We needed a profile fixture that was bright and had a good feature set. It also needed to be a LED source, satisfy any LDs coming into the facility, and most important be from a reputable manufacturer with an outstanding, accessible service network. As one of the major component work
Spain - Luis Ángel Rodríguez's latest business venture Shock Bilbao Club opened its doors in February 2021 in downtown Bilbao with music played through RCF TT+ Series speakers.
Since the first conversation with Sonort Audiovisual, supplier of all the sound systems, Luis Angel Rodriguez asked for the best sound quality for his club. Ricardo Carus, founding partner of Sonort Audiovisual explains the design process. "Looking for clarity, uniformity, and sweetness, the only choice for us was RCF TT+ Series. We choose four units of TT 10-A for the dance floor combined with an HDL 12-AS subwoofer giving more power and range to the zone.
For the bar zone and the restaurant area, we installed TT 052-A combined with a second HDL12-AS sub getting total coherence and equal timbral in the whole space." Carus continues, "For the processing and management of all the speaker systems the MZ8060 was the chosen tool, using two independent outputs for the subs and the other four for the different zones we aligned the system in the correct way.
RDNet management software, connected via a Control 8 RDNet master unit, was also used for individual speaker configuration.
USA - When the time came for Colorado’s St Andrew United Methodist Church to evaluate the effectiveness of its installed sound system, it encountered a problem that will be familiar to houses of worship all over the world.
While the style of worship practised at the church had changed over the years to fully embrace musical celebration including live performances and playback, the aging sound system was no longer fit for purpose, having been originally designed for more traditional spoken word sermons. Determined to transform not just the sound quality but the overall experience of the congregation, the church’s leadership began the search for a solution.
The new system needed to deliver audio quality and flexibility without requiring any major construction changes to the church itself - a challenge that was given to regional systems integrator Equalized Productions where manager and project engineer Chris Malmgren opted for TW AUDiO ELLA.
“The church’s goal was to bring their ageing system forward to meet modern worship standards as well as improve on the quality of all aspects of worship production,” explains Mick Whelan of TW AUDiO USA. “Meanwhile, the architectural design of St Andrew UMC is inspirational, and it was essential that nothing in the sanctuary distract from the impact of that visual experience. A custom acoustical cloud is suspended above the altar and the audio system must blend with this structure as effortlessly as possible, evolving, not standing away from it. Colour matching was essential.”
Working closely w
Namibia - Located amid the African bush not far from Namibia’s capital Windhoek lies The Midgard Country Estate, one of O&L Leisure’s retreats. The estate, self-described as “a paradise where the earth rises again, fertile and green” appeals to a variety of potential customers, possessing 46 newly decorated bedrooms, a bar, two swimming pools and a host of other leisure facilities.
Midgard’s audio-visual technology required an update, ensuring that guests are entertained, and conferences run seamlessly. Stage Audio Works’ Namibian office was responsible for AV design and integration, most recently providing a comprehensive turnkey Audac-based distributed audio system for the restaurant and bar area.
SAW Namibia has been involved with the Midgard Estate since 2020 when they were first called in to update the AV systems in Midgard’s conference venues. Joppie Maritz, MD of SAW Namibia elaborates on the initial round of instalments: “We focused on upgrading the estate’s four conference venues, providing audio visual equipment that ensures a seamless conferencing experience for guests. We implemented projectors, motorised screens, discreet ceiling speakers and offered the ability to adapt the environment with advanced audio processing combined with lighting and room control plus video conferencing capacity.”
The second phase dealt with installing the distributed audio system, and the third, which commences later this month, observes the integration of a smaller Audac system for the wellness centre.
The brief for the second
UK - The Ford Ranger has been used in virtually every conceivable application since it first appeared in 1983, especially when modified into the more muscular ‘Ironhide’ variety. Now it can add another item to its list of incarnations: DJ stand.
Capitalising on the growing popularity of this American vehicle in the UK (its sales there increased by 76-percent between 2015 and 2020), Welsh performer DJ Weekesey joined forces with ASG Audio Visual to shoot a promotional video from the back of a black modified Ranger Ironhide.
Laying down the signature mixes that have made him one of the region’s top club artists, Weekesey put on a dynamic four-minute show, using the truck itself as a stand. “It was a 4.5- ton DJ booth,” says ASG’s director Scott Cooper. “The video not only served to highlight Weekesey’s talent, it also drew on the image of the Ironhide to set a really captivating, tone.”
Another thing the video did was showcase the capability of ASG to create powerful images with light and atmospherics using Chaivet Professional fixtures. “We worked some nice looks with our WELL Fit uplighters and our foggers,” said Cooper. “Between the colours and the smoke we created the right kind of attitude.”
Key to setting this mood was the rich red glow from the 14 WELL Fit fixtures used in the shoot. Playing off against the vehicle’s dark colour it endowed the video with a deep, underground vibe. The lighter red hues that covered the area surrounding the truck then added a sense of passion.
“We looked at a variety of di
USA – One of the newest and brightest hubs for Houston’s performing arts scene, The Gordy, has equipped its three theatre spaces with stage lighting technology from Vari-Lite and Strand.
Designed by architects Gensler and theatre consultants Charcoalblue, The Gordy is named for philanthropists Russell and Glenda Gordy, and home to performing arts producer Stages. Its three intimate theatre spaces - the 252-seat Sterling Stage, the 220-seat Lester and Sue Smith Stage, and the 134-seat Rochelle and Max Levit Stage - provide settings for a variety of live theatre experiences.
“For lighting, flexibility was key, alongside quality of light output, a deep colour range and smooth dimming resolution,” said The Gordy’s technical director, Joel Burkholder, who chose over 300 Vari-Lite and Strand fixtures, including 200 tungsten-source SPX ellipsoidals.
“We love the SPX’s innovative features,” said Burkholder, “such as the locking shutters, the resolution of lens tube placement, the consistent field of light across multiple fixtures, and the fine-tuning of the focusing.”
LED-based fixtures including 55 VL800 PROPARs and 10 SL STRIP 10 IP units add colour and flexibility. “The PROPAR’s motorized zoom was the big selling point,” said Burkholder. “The wide zoom range and the deep colour work perfectly for our down-light and back-light system. We use the zoom function far more than we had imagined we would.”
He concluded, “We’re very happy with the lighting, especially during the pandemic, when we had to shift programm
The Netherlands - Construction is underway and progress being made to build a new children’s transitional care unit in Amsterdam, showcasing how the AV community has come together to support the project with donations of product, time and services. In a joint venture between ISE, its co-owners CEDIA and AVIXA, and generous contributors from the industry, The Jeroen Pit House will be furnished with a state-of-the-art entertainment space for chronically ill children and their families to enjoy.
The Jeroen Pit House, which is being built within the grounds of the Emma Children’s Hospital, will make the difficult transition from hospital to home easier, safer and steadier for chronically ill children and their families.
Over 30 AV brands have committed to providing services and product for free to develop the media space, which will include a sensory room and home cinema. Woelf & AVEX have contributed design, product management and installation services. Other contributors include ACT, Antratek, Apart, Arcam, Attero Tech, Audac, Audinate, Audipack, AVEX, Barco, Belden, Biamp, Bose, Chief, Cisco, Crestron, GenericAV, Intronics, Kenwell, Kramer AV, Logitech, Middle Atlantic, Monitor Audio, Nedis, Pakedge (SnapOne), Philips, Procab, Projecta, SCP, Sennheiser, Sony, StarTech, TU, and tvONE.
“Thanks to the ongoing generosity from industry contributors, we have brought together the best in technology, design and installation expertise to create a hi-tech entertainment space within the transitional care unit. The project will provide, amongst other
France - Audio developer and manufacturer Amadeus has installed an immersive sound system for Le Préau, the National Drama Centre in Normandy-Vire. The newly-designed solution utilises a three-speaker ‘antenna’ system, controlled by the company’s Holophonix spatial sound processor, and offers much higher accuracy of sound localization for the audience in the theatre environment.
Le Préau has a mission of artistic creation, dissemination of these creations in regional and national territories, and artist-in-residence programsme. The Centre has been directed by Lucie Berelowitsch since 1 January 2019.
In France, National Drama Centers (NDCs) are emblematic institutions of the dramatic decentralization policy pursued by the State for 70 years - the first five centres were created between 1946 and 1952.
“Le Préau is a place of creation and sharing, with a strong artistic permanence, to ensure a contemporary creation articulated around awareness and transmission, capable of covering its territory and opening up to the national level and ultimately to the European and international levels,” says Lucie Berelowitsch.
The Main Hall at Le Préau has a capacity of 590 seats, installed over a 22m depth and 18m width.
The electro-acoustic sound reinforcement system designed for the National Drama Centre of Normandy-Vire by Amadeus - in accordance with technical director Alexandre de Monte and director Lucie Berelowitsch – offers high accuracy of sound localisation for the audience as well as high audiovisual correlation.
USA - The final touches are being put on the new studio facilities at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Featuring a 24-channel Audient ASP8024-HE with Dual Layer Control (DLC) in its classroom-sized control room, Recording Studio 381 is a fully stocked, 96-track (64 analog, 32 Dante), surround-capable recording facility.
When choosing the console for the Music Technology programme, assistant professor of music technology, Seth Shafer was determined that his students should have a fully-featured tracking and mixing experience. “They should have the opportunity to experience an analogue inline console with sufficient bus outs, plenty of auxiliary sends and a lot of insert options,” he explains. “On the other hand, the DLC control surface allows them to work in the box with convenient hands-on control.”
During his extensive research, Seth discovered that Audient utilises the same mic pre technology in both the large and small format consoles. He went to see the ASP4816 at Chris Schlarb’s Big Ego studio. “I’m a big fan of the music he’s produced on that console. He praised the reliability and solid sound. In an educational setting with many different hands at the controls, his endorsement gave me the confidence that the ASP8024-HE would be the centrepiece of our studio for decades to come.”
The console was installed in a new studio space as part of a new wing to the Strauss Performing Arts Centre, which opened for courses in spring of 2020. “The inline routing options of the ASP8024-HE are incredibly flexible,” he says, with st
UK - The high-profile owners of new £20m penthouse suites at London’s Battersea Power Station have been playing second fiddle to a breeding pair of peregrine falcons.
As part of the Grade II-listed building’s £9bn regeneration project it was stipulated that a new tower had to be erected to replace the original chimneys, the natural habitat of these birds of prey who have been nesting there for 13 years.
Martin Audio long-term partners Rossco was introduced to the project by Simon Woodward of Polar Bear Live at the inception. As an acoustics consultant and event technical provider, MD Ross Sharples has provided audio support since the original confirmation of the Malaysian Consortium bid back in 2013.
“We are fully qualified when considering the impact of sound on the environment,” he said. And this includes the falcons’ wellbeing, where a 1-min calibrated measurement mic has been placed near the nesting platform to monitor any sound disturbance.
But as Europe’s biggest urban development project neared fruition, operators, the Battersea Power Station Development Company, started to introduce events on the jetty overlooking the Thames last summer. An over-the-top line array was brought in by another service provider with the result that the sound travelled across the Thames to Pimlico and beyond.
“Everyone complained and that jeopardised the licence,” reports Sharples. “So this year they brought Simon back and he commissioned us to achieve more acceptable levels.” The Rossco MD had no hesitation in turning to his Mar
UK - After many months of forced closure due to COVID restrictions, the Chichester Festival Theatre (CFT) has burst back onto the scene with Daniel Evans’s revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, South Pacific.
CFT is one of the UK’s leading producing theatres, regularly selling out the 1300-seat auditorium and transferring plays and musicals into London’s West End. The Grade II listed venue recently underwent an extensive renovation project followed by by a comprehensive audio upgrade to an EM Acoustics sound system in 2019. This has since been upgraded again to feature EM Acoustics’ flagship award-winning R10 loudspeaker and the medium format HALO-B line array system.
“It was all a bit piecemeal following the renovation, but having replaced our existing outer delay line with EM Acoustics EMS-61s and added EMS-51 front-fills, we wanted to update the rest of the house to EM to create a more cohesive system,” explains CFT head of sound, Mike Keniger. “This is always a challenge in a venue with a thrust stage but in 2019 we were able to replace the larger existing boxes for EMS-129s which made a huge difference in both coverage and quality and was of great benefit to the mix of productions - from plays to musicals – that the theatre produces.”
Subsequently, Keniger became aware that EM were working on a new point source box, having seen it featured in industry press. He was able to attend a demo in 2020 and was immediately hooked. “I was extremely impressed by the sound of the R10 from the moment I heard it,” he r
USA - It may well go down as one of the most moving live music moments never seen. At the conclusion of the We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert, after a bountiful feast of big looks, New York’s own Paul Simon was to take the stage to sing The Boxer, lit only by a soft tungsten glow.
It would have been a very special scene, notes Tom Kenny, lighting designer for the start-studded Central Park show, one that he, like some 80m TV viewers who tuned into the concert, would have loved to have seen had the show not been called off early due to lighting strikes associated with the approaching tropical storm Henri.
In addition to cancelling Simon’s performance, the weather washed out appearances by Bruce Springsteen, Cynthia Erivo, Elvis Costello, Patti Smith, Maluma and The Killers among others. Still, there was much about the evening to celebrate. Over half the Live Nation concert, which was produced by Diversified Production Services, Done + Dusted, and Clive Davis, was completed, providing an uplifting celebration of the city, it’s creative drive, and live music’s journey back from the pandemic.
Providing a captivating visual backdrop for the spectacular show, was Bruce Rogers’ bold set, along with a massive lighting design by Kenny that featured over 600 fixtures and 108 IP video panels from Chauvet Professional that were supplied by 4Wall Entertainment.
“As a fan, I would have loved to have seen this concert take place in its entirety, but the evening provided us with so many wonderful memories as it was,” said Kenny
The Netherlands - Schouwburg Kunstmin is a theatre and performing arts venue in the Dordrecht, which has invested in Robe’s T1 Profile LED moving lights.
The sale - delivered by Robe’s Benelux distributor Controllux - was just before the pandemic shut down the industry in March 2020, and with re-opening now on the horizon, the theatre is looking to add more T1s to the inventory to replace their aging 2Ks on the FOH bridge with an LED source.
Head of lighting Bart Meester and head of technical and facilities Martijn Lohuis were both involved in this latest Robe investment. Bart has been head of lighting at the venue for 15 years.
It followed another set of T1s, LEDWash 300+s and LEDBeam 150s purchased in 2019 for M3, a fully flexible ‘bare floor’ performance space just up the road at Energiehuis, a reimagined old power station building now dedicated to culture and the arts. This vibrant multipl-hall, multi-purpose venue is used by several different promoters and organisations, and M3, its largest space, is programmed and run by the team from Schouwberg Kunstmin.
Separate to that, other halls and rooms in Energiehuis also contain various Robe fixtures that have been supplied over recent years by Controllux.
The current spectacular neo-renaissance style Kunstmin building dates to the 1930s - when what is now the Main Hall was added - and it is now a designated national heritage-protected ‘monument’. It has seen several renovations over the years, the latest in 2012-14 which saw a substantial reworking and enlargement of the prod
Czech Republic - AudioMaster CZ recently upgraded the historic Reduta Theatre in Brno with a Soundcraft Vi2000 digital mixing console to complement the existing Vi3000 mixing system.
Originally constructed during the Renaissance, the Reduta Theatre is the oldest theatre building in Central Europe and has continuously hosted concerts and productions since 1620. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Béla Bartók and Thomas Adès are just a few names in the rich history of concerts that have been performed in the Reduta Theatre.
In addition to dramatic performances and concerts ranging from jazz and classical to modern pop and rock, the Reduta Theatre hosts a wide range of events, such as TEDx conferences, Opera Europa conventions and corporate events.
In 2016, the Reduta Theatre found itself in need of a new front-of-house console literally overnight when their previous analogue console caught on fire in the middle of a show. In order to replace the console in time for the next performance, director of stage operations Jan Vrbka and the theatre’s two audio engineers - Jirka Pochvalovsky and Standa Mitana - tested a Soundcraft Vi3000 digital mixing system against two consoles from other brands. The engineers ultimately selected the Soundcraft Vi3000 console for its user-friendly mixing interface and manoeuvrability.
“The main purpose was to create a good working environment for staff and guest sound engineers working in our building,” related Vrbka. “On the day that the Vi3000 was installed, our engineer Standa Mitana was able to mix that evening
UK - As the theatre industry gets back to more regular working patterns, sound designer Ben Harrison has a Yamaha Rivage PM5 digital mixing system working 9 to 5 on a new touring production of the Dolly Parton musical.
Playing in venues from Inverness to Southampton and Plymouth, the UK tour of 9 to 5 The Musical runs through until March 2022. It features a new Ben Harrison sound design.
With an array of past credits - including Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Starlight Express, Evita, Fame, Hairspray, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Blood Brothers and many more - Ben’s choice of the Yamaha Rivage PM5 digital mixing system for this tour neatly brought his past and present together.
He notes that everything he learned about digital mixing came from earlier experiences with Yamaha consoles, both the PM1D and PM5D-RH. “I had shows going out with Yamaha desks for years. Probably longer than I should have, but they were the systems I’d built my workflow around,” he says.
“Finally, with the advent of a Rivage PM5 at this price point and specification, I now have the chance to revisit my roots.”
One of the advantages for Ben of returning to Yamaha is there has been no need for the production to carry extra outboard equipment.
“All the plug-ins I use are built in and there are so many more new and useful features onboard to hone the mix,” he says. “The way the Rivage PM5 can be easily configured to be dual operator is a huge advantage. The #1 sound operator can be concentrat
USA - When Michael Garrison Associates (MGA) was contracted to upgrade the existing loudspeaker system for Abundant Church’s 3,600-seat main auditorium at its East Campus (AC-East) in El Paso, Texas, president/owner Michael Garrison and his team turned to Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW) and its ADAPTive PA system.
MGA and Abundant Church have a long working history, as they partnered together back in 2004-07 to design and install the original loudspeaker system for the then new AC-East facility. Ten years later, MGA was on the team to develop plans for a new “satellite” campus on the west side of El Paso, featuring an 1,800-seat main auditorium. The Abundant Church leadership wanted to “raise the bar” for this project, so MGA presented an option to employ EAW’s ADAPTive technology in a true “left, center, right” system, where each of the three arrays individually cover the entire fan-shaped seating area.
“The ability of ADAPTive to be hung straight to smoothly cover wide seating areas, plus its stellar sonic performance made it a no brainer for the church to choose this product,” says Garrison. The final design for the West Campus (AC-West) consisted of 26 Anna main modules and eight Otto subwoofers; it was commissioned in May 2017.
“I am impressed with this system’s imagery and coverage throughout the room – it’s beyond anything I’ve heard in a live setting,” says John Buntyn, Abundant Church’s audio director. “The system’s ability to respond to minute adjustments makes it a joy to mix on. I appreciate that the m
Italy - Riccione is known as the Green Pearl of the Adriatic on account of its tree-lined streets, parks and gardens.
The town’s reputation for hospitality dates back to the thirties and it has been a trendsetter since, with clubs in the surrounding hills, beach and spa facilities and its famous main drag, Viale Ceccarini.
The noted street recently hosted the opening of The Balena (The Whale) Lounge Bar by the Villa Delle Rose and Peter Pan group, a venue offering ‘a combination of taste, style and design’, in a strategic point once occupied by the Trussardi Boutique.
An Outline loudspeaker system has been installed at the Balena. Marco Tiraferri explains on behalf of the group that manages the Villa delle Rose and Peter Pan clubs, “It’s not a disco in the town centre: we cater for a clientele aged from 25-30 upwards who want to pass an evening in a stylish setting, but also enjoy a music selection that is not only refined but above all reproduced well.”
He adds, “Music plays a key role in creating the right atmosphere in all environments. Even more so in the case of a lounge bar, which must have top-grade music reproduction, and a good sound system on which time and care have been spent from the drawing board stage can make all the difference.
“The Outline brand was chosen due to our desire to ensure clients premium quality audio to accompany them from breakfast to dinner and from champagne tasting sessions to the great selection of dishes proposed by our chefs. The Outline sound literally knocked us out. However, the o
UK - The CPL crew led by Lee Gruszeckyj were back working on a festival site again, providing video design and production for Camper Calling 2021 which took place over four days at Ragley Hall, Warwickshire during the UK’s August Bank Holiday weekend.
The festival, organised by Jazz Events, was back with a lively musical megamix and additional fun and adventure.
CPL working via Urban Audio Productions supplied a video equipment package comprising screens, cameras, and control. The last event was in 2019, and each year the production values and scale of Camper Calling are increased alongside the great attention to detail that ensures it retains its friendly boutique style.
The big change up on the video front from 2019 was rigging the side stage IMAG screens in portrait format, a move suggested early in the design process by CPL to frame artist close-ups and full-length shots beautifully and elegantly. With this decision made at the outset, all the bespoke content could be tailored to fit.
The two IMAG screens each measured 4.4m wide by 6m tall and were complemented by five columns of screen onstage which were varying widths - tapering down as they went offstage, all with a 4.8m drop.
All the screen was from CPL’s stock of Roe CB5, and 115 panels in total were on the project. This was driven by Brompton SS40 processors and XD boxes for distribution, running via a fibre system with loop redundancy.
Three operated Sony HXC 100 HD cameras were positioned, two either side of the FOH platform - for cross shooting - and one hand-