Germany - At the Department of Music (Institut für Musik – IfM) of the German Kassel University, prospective music teachers are being trained to teach at all kinds of schools. The department also has its own concert hall, which is used for concerts of all musical genres as well as lectures and examinations. Plain concrete walls and a high proportion of glass elements characterize the room - and place special demands on the sound system.
After a PA workshop with Rolf Dressler - probably Kassel's "longest-serving sound engineer" in 2018 - instructors and technical assistants were enthusiastic about the sound of his Alcons system which he set up in the IfM concert hall in addition to the house system.
"Whenever we switched back from the Alcons to the house system during Rolf's workshop, I kept thinking that our speakers had just been broken," says Roman Beilharz, a lecturer in the popular music department and the main person in charge of sound engineering. "It was striking: the house system didn't just sound worse in a direct listening comparison, it sounded downright broken! When switching back, the clear, punchy sound of the Alcons systems collapsed into a nasal, muffled mush. After that, it was clear which loudspeaker systems we wanted to install in the long overdue renewal of the hall's technical equipment."
Once the funds had been approved, the replacement of the PA system was put out to tender throughout Europe in 2020. The bid from Dressler, an Alcons user from the very beginning, received the highest score in the evaluation process and was
The Netherlands - The 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest at Rotterdam’s Ahoy arena, marked the first major live event to take place in the Netherlands since the pandemic. The event was powered by disguise.
The official technical supplier for the contest, Faber Audiovisuals, relied on a complement of disguise vx 4, gx 2c and 4x4pro media servers to power a total of 55 scenes on a giant LED video wall and floors, used across all 39 competing performances, the opening ceremony, the flag parade and all interval acts, such as the impressive Power of Water. The six-week production period was led by ESC head of production Erwin Rintjema and head of video Hand Cromheecke.
Faber’s Eurovision team included disguise workflow specialist Jo Pauly (of Visual Solutions) as media server operators for the show. The two share a long history of successful live projects powered by disguise, including Marco Borsato’s show at De Kuip Stadium in 2019.
Ben Augenbroe and Steve Ackein, ESC project managers for Faber said: “We chose disguise for reliability and stability. Because we had to run in full redundancy, disguise gave us the right solution. We did not have any issue on this complex production and the disguise 24/7 stand-by team supported us real quick when needed.
“This Eurovision Song Contest 2021 went smoothly for Faber, as all went according to plan and all of our crew were outstanding. Our client, NPO/NOS/AVROTROS expressed they were delighted to have chosen Faber as their technical partner as we delivered as promised. All three live broa
UK - Jakarta-based Mola TV introduced Chill Fridays an interactive weekly livestream that features stars playing mellow music in an intimate setting and, every once in a while, taking questions from fans.
Many of the episodes are filmed at Mola’s London TV studio, where artists like Jacob Collier, Tom Misch and Bruno Major have performed in a set that evokes images of the kind of hotel bars where friends gathered for a pre-weekend happy hours back in the day.
Key to creating this ambience is a warm, inviting lighting design that works hand-in-hand with scenic elements like potted plants and table lamps to engender a homey feeling. Fold Sound owner Tristan Finn, who supplies lights, sound gear, recording equipment and cameras for the show called on Martin Dudley of Martin’s Lights to handle lighting duties, something he’s done skilfully with his ChamSys PC Wing and MagicQ software on a touch screen laptop.
“I have worked with Tristan for years and was very glad to hook up with him on this project,” says Dudley. “We have been supplying power distribution, cabling, DMX control, and technician services, to the shoots. Our goal is to make sure that the show has lighting for the shoot up and running as quickly as possible.”
Although the programme helps viewers chill at the start of their weekend, setting up the show is a somewhat pressured experience. Schedules are extremely tight, with set up starting at 9 am, and shooting at noon, whilst the show is expected to wrap up by 4pm.
Keeping his controls simple with the ChamSys
Romania - Based in the Romanian port of Navodari, Alezzi Yacht – a 42m x 18m, 1,000-capacity catamaran - offers cruises along the Black Sea coast, complete with fine dining, cocktails and glamour along with breathtaking views of the lively beach resort of Mamaia and Constanta City.
The afternoon is dedicated to an experience aimed at the whole family, whilst the evening cruise is reserved for those looking for a full-on party atmosphere. Any good party requires great audio, and Alezzi Yacht is no exception - Constanta-based AV specialists, AudioVision, were asked to design, supply and install a comprehensive AV system throughout the catamaran. AudioVision selected KV2 Audio for the project.
“We were fortunate to have been involved from the early stages of construction, which made AV integration much more efficient,” observes AudioVision general manager, Vasile Mara. “We decided that KV2 would be the ideal audio solution due its low distortion, extremely high definition and the capacity to cover large areas with relatively little equipment, which is important when you’re restricted for space, as is inevitably the case on a boat. All loudspeaker elements were supplied in white to blend as seamlessly as possible into the surroundings.”
Alezzi Yacht features three decks, each offering a different experience. The lower deck is a restaurant space where guests can enjoy a relaxed brunch or a drink while admiring the sea views through the windows or the panoramic floor. The middle deck is the club where revellers can party without being at the m
The Netherlands - The Grand Final of the 65th staging of the Eurovision Song Contest event took place at the Rotterdam Ahoy in May, where winners Italy triumphed over the other 25 finalists with their song Zitti E Buoni performed by Måneskin.
Utrecht-based Ampco Flashlight were the ESC’s official technical supplier for audio, lighting and rigging, working with Erwin Rintjema, ESC’s head of production, who was responsible for the whole technical production this year and Jeroen ten Brinke, ESC’s head of live sound.
Ampco Flashlight’s Remco Verhoek was their project manager, audio, for the event and he describes the role which Newton played in their system design: “Newton was used as matrix mixer to sum all the mixers to the PA feeds. There were two DiGiCo Quantum7's and two Yamaha CL1's, matrixed into a number of feeds outputting over Dante - on the other end we converted back to AES and analogue via LM44. All desks had AES and analogue outputs into the Newton with its failover feature enabled.”
“The PA consisted of a mixture of L-Acoustics K1, K2, KS28 and Kara in a total of 16 hangs spread across the Ahoy venue. Control of the Newton was done via a Mac Mini that resided in the control rack.”
Ampco Flashlight purchased their first Newton units shortly after its launch in 2018 and have built dedicated drive racks equipped with Newton for use at all their festivals and indoor shows, including North Sea Jazz, Lowlands and Down The Rabbit Hole Festivals, Vrienden van Amstel Live and many others.
Europe - The inaugural Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) event - a European Union initiative to reform its policies and institutions - took place in May at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The hemicycle debating chamber sits inside the striking Louise Weiss Building designed by Parisian-based Architecture-Studio and opened in 1999. It includes a 60m high tower which is left looking deliberately unfinished and was inspired by Roman amphitheatres and the mythical Tower of Babel.
The event included a welcome speech by French President Emmanuel Macron and contributions by other high-ranking politicians and EU officials. As CoFoE was aimed primarily at a younger audience of under 40s, production company Nimblerr asked lighting designer Dimi Theuwissen of Belgium-based creative practice ID2Q to energise the distinctive hemicycle ensuring it looked dynamic and different on camera for this special broadcast.
Dimi decided to change up the look and mood completely with a fresh approach, lighting the room architecture in the background, and in doing so, bringing its presence right into the foreground and camera shots. Helping him to achieve this aesthetic were over 200 Robe moving lights - Spiiders, Tetra2s and LEDBeam 150s.
CoFoE was livestreamed and joined by 300 gen-public via zoom together with various ministers, dignitaries, and VIPs, all of whom appeared on seven large LED screens strategically deployed in a circular around 300 degrees of the hemicycle. Erasmus students from all EU member states were present in a socially distanced live a
Austria - 4youreye and Rezac employed Pixera media servers for this year’s most anticipated charity fund raising event in Austria, Austria for Life, which involved complex media playout and advanced projection mapping setups.
The Stephansdom Cathedral in Vienna, was beaming not just with the enthusiasm of the countless helpers on the 28 May, but also due to the impressive usage of modern media playout display technologies.
The 90-minute-long live TV charity fundraising show was broadcast on ORF 2 and Krone.tv. The project, which had been initiated by the LIFE+ chairman Gery Keszler, supports the aid organisations Caritas, Diakonie, Hilfswerk, Red Cross, Samariterbund and Volkshilfe.
LIFE+ itself supports socially relevant projects that fight epidemic diseases and helps people impacted by them.
A variety of well-known Austrian artists invited the Austria for Life audience to follow them on a trip through Austria’s past, that highlighted the different ways in which the country had successfully dealt with great challenges throughout the centuries.
The Stephansdom’s complete south view was bathed in spectacular video content and light, courtesy of a large number of acclaimed visual artists, using Christie projectors. A large 200m2 LED display acted as a frame for the stage and visually connected the cathedral and the cathedral square below.
Rezac HPP from lower Austria used AV Stumpfl‘s multi-award-winning Pixera media server system for realising the projection mapping.
The Viennese company 4youreye also employed Pixera
USA - A mad scientist locks his daughter in a garden full of beautiful but deadly flowers. An earnest medical student spies her and falls in love, but her surroundings have made her poisonous to the touch. Will their romance bloom or wilt? This is the question posed by La Hija de Rappaccini, a contemporary opera based on a Nathaniel Hawthorne story composed by Daniel Catán and live-streamed by the Chicago Opera Theatre this past April.
Drawing on Mexican musical influences, the performance streamed from the Field Museum of Natural History in keeping with the botanical theme. Chicago Opera Theatre’s audio and video production partner Valhalla Media teamed with location audio experts Second City Sound on A/V support, choosing Lectrosonics’ D Squared line of digital wireless. DBSMD transmitter-recorders fitted to the cast members were picked up by a pair of DSQD four-channel receivers. DCHT portable digital stereo transmitters joined an M2T for monitoring by the conductor and mission-critical crew via M2R receivers.
“Midway through the pre-production process, we found out that the opera would be live at the Field Museum,” says Nikolas Wenzel of Valhalla Media. “This presented all sorts of logistical challenges for coverage. My first thought was that for reinforcement of the vocalists, we were going to need something stable, reliable, and easy to use between different levels of the museum. One of the performance levels was on the floor of the great hall and another was tucked off up to the side.”
“One thing viewers of the stream d
UK - This April, Volkswagen UK took over Stage A at Millennium Studios in Thurleigh, one of UK’s premier music, film and TV production facilities, to deliver its annual conference.
Traditionally hosted as an in-person event, Volkswagen opted for a virtual setting built around a live, complex agenda that included keynotes, videos, presentation slides, and more. Volkswagen’s team delivered an immersive presentation in front of an LED screen backdrop supplied by technical production and LED screen hire company, iMAG displays, with iMAG’s sister company Graymatter delivering the control infrastructure for a headache-free Virtual Production event.
IMAG’s involvement stems from an initial conversation between its technical sales and relationship manager, Jonathan Dyson, and Simon Garrett, who was working with event producer Second Sight to source a reliable company to supply the screens for Volkswagen’s virtual event.
“Having developed our own mobile LED virtual production facility, which is currently being used by companies such as Netflix and Amazon, we have first-hand experience of delivering a full ecosystem for all types of immersive events,” says Dyson. “When Simon got in touch to ask if iMAG wanted to be involved with the tender Volkswagen, I was very excited.”
IMAG supplied ROE Diamond 2.6mm LED panels for the centre wall with ROE CB5 LED panels for the side screens, creating a large, U-shaped LED backdrop for the set.
iMAG’s creative production manager, Daniel Acland notes that a key challenge for the project overa
USA - The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a non-profit organisation founded in the United States that helps to fulfill the wishes of children with a critical illness between the ages of two and a half and 18 years. Towards the end of last year, when Becci Smith of the Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area Chapter in Northern California received five-year-old Valeria’s wish to sing on a big stage, she decided to contact the team at the Concord Pavilion. Operated by Live Nation and owned by the City of Concord, the venue has a capacity of 12,500.
What followed was a display of cooperation between entertainment technology professionals that not only made Valeria’s wish come true, but reminded everyone involved just how much they’d missed the shows that are the lifeblood of the industry. Against the backdrop of the Coronavirus pandemic where access to venues was naturally difficult, the team at Concord made iconic venue available without hesitation.
When regular Make-A-Wish volunteer co-ordinator, Ian Williamson, reached out to a selection of suppliers for advice, they all immediately chose to offer their services and join in. The resulting performance saw Valeria, who suffers with a congenital heart disease, take to the Pavilion’s stage with a full professional production, and deliver an exceptional performance.
One such contributor was audio provider Some More Sound of Walnut Creek whose owner Yuri Sumnicht answered the call in the affirmative. Yuri chose to install a Coda Audio APS system to take care of the front of house, with stage monitors and front-fil
USA - William Mooney, lighting designer for BYB Extreme Fighting, a bare-knuckles form of boxing, is using an IP-rated Elation Professional lighting rig to highlight the action inside the ring while supporting the atmosphere outside the ring.
With BYB’s three-sided triangle cage, known as the Trigon and the smallest ring in combat sports, there is plenty of that. “It’s the most exciting franchise I have ever been involved with,” states Mooney, a man who has worked on boxing and mixed martial arts projects such as ESPN’s Friday Night Fights (2008-2015) and Combat America MMA Fights. “I’ve worked on all the major networks but I feel more excited about this show than anything I’ve ever worked with in my life.”
Although the fights take place indoors, Mooney uses a multi-environmental IP65-rated rig as a peace-of-mind layer of protection. “To have most of the rig LED and then have the IP rating on top of it, it gives me a greater level of confidence and comfortability,” he says. “If it’s not going to fail outdoors in the rain, it’s not going to fail indoors.”
The latest BYB event - BYB Extreme 5 - took place at the Miami-Dade County Fair Expo Centre on 15 May with an in-person audience in attendance and bouts broadcast worldwide via pay-per-view. Mooney’s rig consisted of six Proteus Hybrid and six Proteus Rayzor 760 moving heads, 54 SixPar 200 IP and 10 SixPar 100 IP Par lights, four DTW Blinder 350 IP and two DTW Blinder 700 IP white light effects, and two TVL 2000 LED panel lights. He also incorporated 18 12PX HEX and
USA - The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Mobile, Alabama had long struggled with inadequate sound system performance due to the cathedral’s high curved ceilings, large stained-glass windows, wooden pews and other acoustically challenging design features.
An upgrade to the sound system became a necessity, but to preserve the beauty and historical nature of the cathedral’s large sanctuary, the ministry leadership decided against acoustic treatment. Instead, they trusted a high-performance sound system backed by Renkus-Heinz loudspeakers.
The cathedral’s sanctuary was plagued by a great deal of acoustic shadowing due to the building’s columns, with sound sources out of the sightline of the congregation, which significantly diminished levels and effective coverage. The previous attempt to redesign the sound system over-compensated with pairs of relatively short column arrays on each of the pillars – 18 in total. The large number of loudspeakers resolved the acoustic shadowing issue behind each column. However, each array was too short to effectively control the lower & mid frequency range. As such, they delivered a significant amount of unwanted energy into the highly reverberant space resulting in harsh and unintelligible sound for many of the congregants.
When Reverend Monsignor William Skoneki was named Rector of the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, he reached out to Joe Fulton, owner of Modern Sound and Communication, to improve the sanctuary’s audio performance. Richard Hembree, from Griffith Sal
Germany - Frankfurt Opera is one of the most renowned opera stages in Europe, having paved the way for many successful operatic careers. Recently, with an extensive d&b audio system already installed, the venue chose to enrich its audiences’ sound experience with d&b Soundscape technology.
A d&b DS100 Signal engine was duly purchased in time for the 2019/2020 season and the staging of a world premiere at the Bockenheimer Depot - Frankfurt Opera’s second venue.
"It was a spatially complex work, with moving actors and an orchestra spread across the stage” explains sound engineer, Margit Baruschka. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic the production was postponed to 2021.
The decision was then made to move the entire Soundscape system to the Frankfurt Opera. Here it could be used to adapt some of the regular programme to allow for social distancing rules.
Head of sound, Christian Wilde reports, “For a production of Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio, we moved the orchestra behind the stage. Despite these unusual circumstances, we wanted to achieve a credible orchestral representation for the audience - and in this context Soundscape became our primary tool.”
The explicit aim was to let the orchestra sound as realistic as possible - something Baruschka values highly. But with large amounts of scenery onstage, very little direct sound could be heard from the musicians playing backstage, presenting something of a challenge for the sound engineers. "The premise is that you shouldn't hear our work,” said B
South Korea - TechDataPS Cocollaborated with All That Sound to equip YeonCheon Sureul Art Hall with a Harman Professional audio solution.
Located in Yeoncheon-gun, Gyeonggi-do, Yeoncheon Sureul Art Hall is a cultural facility that offers a variety of performances, including small plays, musicals and solo concerts. The venue houses both a 580-seat grand concert hall and a smaller 166-capacity concert hall. Organisers wanted an audio system that evenly transmitted sound, achieved a sound pressure deviation of +/- 3dB for over 90% of the audience and provided impactful performances for shows of all genres.
To supplement the venue’s existing JBL VT4887A line array loudspeakers, the installation team equipped the venue with a range of JBL solutions including VTX V20 and VTX S25 line array speakers, VTX M20 stage monitors, AC18 two-way speakers, 308P MkII studio monitors, Control 28-1 indoor/outdoor speakers and Control 24CT ceiling speakers.
For amplification, Crown I-Tech 4X3500HD, Crown DCi 2|300N and Crown DCi 4|300N power amplifiers provide consistent power output and user-friendly interfaces. Finally, the Soundcraft Vi series digital live sound console ensures comprehensive, crystal-clear coverage throughout the venue thanks to their extensive I/O and powerful DSP.
Organisers at the YeonCheon Sureul Art Hall reported that TechDataPS both faithfully repaired the venue’s existing system and accommodated the unique infrastructure while installing new products. They are especially delighted with the Soundcraft Vi console, which will be of gre
The Netherlands - May saw Faber Audiovisuals join forces with many of the Netherlands’ world-class technical production companies to deliver a successful Eurovision Song Contest at Rotterdam’s Ahoy Arena.
Sint-Annaparochie-based Faber Audiovisuals were selected as official supplier for all video display technology, providing both the video hardware and the skilled team of technicians that installed and operated it. "Eurovision is an unparalleled show,” says Faber Audiovisuals CEO Cees-Jan Faber. “To be able to deliver to such high expectations during a pandemic is an achievement that makes us extremely proud.”
Designer Florian Wieder, who celebrated his seventh Eurovision set design in 2021, created a stunning set design for this year’s event. Perhaps the most eye-catching element was the 508 sq.m LED wall, which was built using the new ROE Visual BQ4, controlled by Megapixel VR Helios processing. Central to the huge wall were two 12m-high rotating LED doors, designed to visually echo the Eurovision theme of 'Open Up.'
There were also two huge ROE BM4 LED floors. One formed the main, 127sq.m, stage and the other the centrally located, 27sq.m, B-Stage. Both stages were fitted with dark glossy glass surface panels. Creating an extra dimension, the B stage also included a transparent 110 sq. m ROE Vanish8 'runway' LED that could fly in and out of the arena on demand. All video content was delivered by twelve disguise media servers: 4x VX4 and 8x GX2c, while the Barco Event Controller platform was used for video switching.
USA - Avinext and Shalleck Collaborative recently equipped 10 learning spaces in Texas A&M University’s new Learning Classroom Building with Harman networked AV systems featuring AMX, JBL and Soundcraft solutions.
Serving more than 71,000 students, Texas A&M University is one of the largest college campuses in the country. In response to increasing enrolment and population growth in the state, Texas A&M University recently launched a large-scale campus expansion project, which included a new Innovative Learning Classroom Building (ILCB).
The new facility houses 10 different learning spaces suited for different applications, with capacities ranging from 72 to 605 students. The spaces include small, medium and large in-the-round arena-style lecture halls, a fan-shaped lecture hall, an egg-shaped classroom, three-tiered learning spaces and two smaller learning studios.
To facilitate student engagement and cross-discipline collaboration while maximizing technological flexibility and simplifying operation for instructors, the ILCB required a sophisticated, facility-wide networked AV system. To meet these needs, Avinext and Shalleck Collaborative outfitted the new learning spaces with AMX encoders, decoders, controllers and touch panels for seamless control, as well as JBL Control Series loudspeakers and a Soundcraft Vi3000 console for high-quality sound reinforcement. Additionally, Datacom provided infrastructure design and cabling for the AV, IT and security systems.
“We engaged with faculty from various disciplines to design a bu
UK - Christie’s London has announced a digital companion piece to Leonardo da Vinci’s penetrating study Head of a Bear, via a collaboration with digital artists Hackatao, an artist duo born in Milan and who have been pioneering the crypto art space since 2018.
To be offered in the Exceptional Sale in London this July, Hackatao have created a work inspired by this Old Master drawing, bringing the bear majestically to life. This specially commissioned digital work will be unveiled at Christie’s King Street from 3 July, as part of the Classic Week view, visible via the Aria AR app. The digital work has been donated to The Museum of Crypto Art where it will subsequently appear.
Hackatao’s response to the masterpiece Head of a Bear by da Vinci is based on the concept of the continuum; a continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, but the extremes are quite distinct. A never-ending pattern, a curve or geometrical figure, each part of which has the same statistical character as the whole, and which leads to infinite circularity and the eternity of art.
Hover over the image of Head of A Bear and, via the Aria App, the bear head becomes animated, fur undulating and ruffling and head turning, and ultimately the mouth of the bear opens and the viewer enters into its jaws. The transition from Leonardo’s drawing, through the mapped 3D head, to the final digital drawings resembles an ocean wave.
Throughout this technical metamorphosis from physical to digital, the attention
Gibraltar - Pixel Artworks has created an immersive light and sound installation within St Michael’s Cave on the Rock of Gibraltar. The Gibraltar Government awarded the project to WrightTech Media, a local digital marketing solutions company with extensive knowledge of the site. Pixel Artworks collaborated with WrightTech Media on the pitch as well as the design and delivery of the complex show, which is scheduled to open to the public on 20 June 2021.
While the project sought to enhance the current Gibraltar Upper Rock Nature Reserve visitor experience, there was no specific site in mind. WrightTech Media and Pixel Artworks showed how St Michael’s Cave could be used in a unique way to take the audience on an unforgettable journey through Gibraltar’s natural history, using projection mapping technology, lighting design and immersive audio.
Christian Wright, director, WrightTech Media, said, “The aim of the project was to reinvigorate Gibraltar’s tourist industry, and I felt we needed something very visual and technology-based to engage audiences to a new level. I had seen some of Pixel Artworks’ immersive and experiential projects and immediately called them to see how they could flex their creative muscles at this unique site. My team knows the site very well, but it was great to get the fresh eyes of Pixel Artworks’ creative team who spotted opportunities we hadn’t thought about, and also helped us to home in on the story we wanted to tell.”
The show, entitled The Awakening, sympathetically showcases the beauty of the cav
USA - The Robson Performing Arts Centre in Claremore recently completed a stage lighting and control upgrade with over 300 LED luminaires and a networked control solution from Vari-Lite and Strand, Signify entertainment lighting brands.
“We wanted LED equipment that would give comparable functionality to our previous fixtures, along with some added ‘eye candy’ elements to enhance our performances,” explains technical director Pamela Neuok, who turned to theatre consultancy Schuler Shook, the original theatreconsultant for the building, to advise on the specification.
Schuler Shook prioritized high quality light output and technology that would be both accessible to students and powerful enough for a professional theatre programme. “The Strand products met our design criteria very well,” says Schuler Shook’s Jack Hagler.
The final design and installation, completed by Batts AVL, features 112 Full Colour and 84 Tunable Warm White Strand Leko LED Profiles, six Vari-Lite VLZ Profile fixtures, Vari-Lite SL BAR 660 and 640 fixtures for cycs and drops, plus a wide selection of 78 VL800 Series fixtures, including Eventpar, Propar and Eventwash models.
For control, the intuitive touchscreen interface, scalability and sophisticated LED control of Strand’s NEO Console were considered an appropriate fit for the needs of both an educational environment and a busy performing arts centre. The NEO system also integrates seamlessly with Strand’s Vision.net controls for house lighting management.
“We have been having a lot of fun lear
Germany - Cover band Lonely Hearts Club isn’t likely to achieve the fame of the British quartet that inspired their name. But the six musicians from Gescher were greeted with a level of enthusiasm worthy of the Beatles or any superstar when they appeared on the open-air stage at Freilichtbühne Coesfeld at 5pm on Saturday 15 May.
For the 160 entertainment-starved fans in attendance, the band’s show, represented a small, hopeful step back to enjoying live performances as COVID-19 lockdown rules begin to ease with safety protocols still in place. Part of a regional test to demonstrate how outdoor events could be conducted safely, the concert ended at 9 pm, so people could return home in time to comply with Germany’s 10pm curfew.
The early closing time made sense from a health and safety standpoint, but it nevertheless posed special challenges for André Entrup and his team when lighting the concert, given that the sun didn’t set at the concert site until 9:19pm, almost 20 minutes after the show concluded.
“We had to create an engaging lighting show during daylight,” said Entrup, the technical director of Freilichtbühne Coesfeld. “Aside from having to account for the COVID related protocols, our biggest challenge was lighting the open air stage with all the sunlight outside. The stage was under a truss roof. In addition to accounting for the ambient light, we had to deal with mixed weather, as we had a short but intense rain shower during the show.”
Helping Entrup meet these challenges was a collection of Chauvet Professional Maveric
South Korea - To enhance the visitor experience at Pororo & Tayo Theme Park Jeju, TechDataPS Co recently upgraded the park’s aging sound systems with Harman Professional audio solutions.
Based on the popular characters Pororo the Little Penguin and Tayo the Little Bus, Pororo & Tayo Theme Park Jeju features numerous ‘edutainment’ attractions that encourage children to learn while having fun. However, the park’s sound system was becoming a detriment to the experience, causing auditory fatigue for park employees and visitors due to an abundance of echo and harsh frequencies.
To provide a better experience for guests, Pororo & Tayo Theme Park Jeju’s audio system required a complete overhaul. After being impressed by the performance of JBL Control 60 loudspeakers at the BSS Harman Zone in Yongin, park organisers hired TechDataPS to equip the facility and grounds with a complete Harman system featuring JBL Professional, Crown, BSS, AKG and Soundcraft solutions.
TechDataPS reported that the customer was concerned about the echo because of the high ceilings and wide-open spaces. They added that the previous sound system was installed for emergency disaster guidance without considering the echo effect.
To deliver quality sound with minimal echo in the indoor areas, TechDataPS selected JBL Control 67 P/T pendant speakers. For the outdoor stages, TechDataPS selected JBL VRX 900 Series line array loudspeakers. Since the main stage is close to the park’s parade ground, TechDataPS positioned the speakers to isolate sound within th
The Netherlands - Heading the production lighting department for the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest finals at The Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam, was LD Henk-Jan van Beek from Light-H-Art working closely with associate designers Bas de Vries and Martin Beekhuizen. In addition to creating an overall lighting style for the show, they liaised with all the delegations – many had their own consulting LDs and artists directors – creating 39 individual performances within the overall show design.
Henk-Jan specified 740 x Robe moving lights for the event, which made up over a third of the total lighting rig which came in at a count of 1,782 active fixtures.
These and all the event’s lighting equipment – plus audio and rigging – was delivered by ESC 2021’s official technical supplier for lighting, audio and rigging, leading Netherlands rental specialist, Ampco Flashlight.
Ampco Flashlight’s operational & commercial director Dennis van der Haagen explained that the company was chosen following an official European tender process to supply – uniquely – three areas of the production. “To realise everyone’s expectations, we combined our experience as the lighting and rigging supplier in Portugal 2018, with our extensive audio track record for live music and broadcast crossover events.”
The Robe fixture break-down was 396 x Spiiders, 220 x LEDBeam 150s, 92 x BMFL WashBeams, 25 x Tetra2 moving LED bars, with 12x BMFL Spots operated via 12 x Robe’s RoboSpot remote controlled follow spotting systems.
Florien Wieder’s impressive
Germany - Founded in 1866, Theater Freiburg is the oldest and biggest theatre in Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden-Württemberg, south-west Germany. Moving to its present venue in 1910, like many theatres it has seen an almost continuous series of changes and renovations, some more successful than others. Most recently, the installation of two Yamaha Rivage PM7 digital mixing systems have brought much-needed peace of mind to head of sound Jonas Gottschall and his technical team.
Featuring orchestral performances, opera, musicals, dance, plays and more, the Theater Freiburg building includes a main stage, smaller stage and Chamber stage. The venue has a long history with Yamaha digital mixers, going back to the DM2000 and the PM5D. More recently, the venue invested in systems by other manufacturers because, as Jonas - who joined the theatre three years ago - says, “At the time there was no Yamaha console that could do exactly what Theater Freiburg needed.”
“You can only work according to the circumstances of the time,” he adds. “In 2014, the theatre had to go down a different route, but the system it invested in ran into trouble with the network connection from the control surface to its DSP.”
The issues culminated in every live sound engineer’s worst nightmare, when three productions had to be stopped mid-show, in front of audiences. “It took the manufacturer six months to investigate the problem and I don't think they ever found it,” says Jonas.
“Reliability is the number one priority for me,” says Jonas. “With any system, i
Belgium - Kristof Van Mensel from lighting and visual design company TCF (The Creative Factory) uses Astera products extensively – particularly AX3 LightDrops – in his projects which range from live performance to festivals to television studio lighting work.
The tiny AX3s are particularly useful for ‘pop-up’ scenarios, he explains, or for shifting between mobile locations. “Two cases of eight AX3 LightDrops are always in the back of my car ‘just in case’ and are infinitely useful,” he states.
Kristof is long term lighting designer for the Scala & Kolacny Brothers women's choir, a highly visual act that has gained worldwide recognition. He regularly incorporates Astera fixtures into their live show designs and loves the fact that something as small as the AX3 can give the artist such a dynamic a tool to work with.
“I ensconce them in the set and have also used AX3s on occasions as hand-held lighting effects for the artists, which is really effective and dramatic to up-light faces,” Kristof comments. Artists like Scala & Kolacny Brothers are always up for experimentation and trying new dramatic treatments. “AX3s are simply a hugely versatile and compact light source.”
His association with Astera started about five years ago when Controllux became the Belgian distributor and contacted him to show the range of products. Now they are one of his key inexpensive and indispensable creative tools.
“It’s incredible what you can do with Astera AX3s or Titan Tubes for a band or a music artist wanting to tour on