USA - Located in Marietta, Georgia, North Metro Church is an inclusive house of worship where a dynamic array of music is a key part of its services. Ranging from quiet background ambience to full on praise rock, the installation of a sound reinforcement system that could reproduce music at all volumes with equal high quality was key.
AV specialist Austin Sound Design, based in Auburn, Georgia, has installed audio systems in many houses of worship and knew that an Alcons pro-ribbon solution was the best way to cover the large width, depth and height of the North Metro Church auditorium.
“I attended a demo hosted by Alcons’ David Rahn and Scott Hough a few years ago,” says Austin Sound founder Chris Austin. “I have always appreciated ribbon technology and was immediately drawn to the superior performance of the Alcons pro-ribbon systems. After years of listening to various premium systems, in both install and live music applications, I knew that Alcons was next generation technology and I wanted to be a part of it.”
The brief from North Metro Church was for a high dynamic range, low distortion system with good coverage, clarity and articulation. “The church was open to new ideas and brands. Once they experienced a demo of the Alcons 6.5” LR7 micro line-array system installed at the Greater Atlanta Christian Church in nearby Norcross, they were more than happy to invest in their own Alcons installation,” says Chris.
Chris and his team installed 18 dual 8” bi-amplified high-output LR18/90 compact line-array modules, four triple
Denmark - Cirkusrevyen (Circus Review) is the longest-running review performance in Denmark, with a six-month season kicking off every year since 1935 except for 1945 (due to fire) and 2020 (due to Covid). Staged in a purpose-built big top tent in Klampenborg, Dyrehavsbakken north of Copenhagen, the 2021 season was lit for the first time using Robe Esprite moving lights.
The lighting spec also included a Robe RoboSpot remote follow spotting solution, LEDWash 300+s and LEDBeam 150s, all supplied by rental specialist Live Company, who were working on their second season as a supplier.
Lighting designer Malthe Haugaard was designing his fifth Cirkusrevyen season, which started in May, initially to restricted audiences due to Coronavirus rules. As these were gradually relaxed, ticket sales opened up.
A new production design is created for each season, just as a new review format is evolved and developed. In addition to the backbone of sketches, the action is interspersed with performance slots for music and dance numbers.
For this season, the Esprites were newly purchased by Live Company to replace the older moving lights that have featured on previous productions.
Of the 19 Esprites used for general show lighting, seven were rigged on a truss between the tent’s rear king poles - making up the ‘front’ position in relation to the stage - with the other 12 on the over-stage rig where they were used for back lighting and gobo effects.
Malthe likes the output, the colours including the range of whites - he’s a big fan of white so
Europe - Following nearly three seasons of extensive prototype testing of Audio-Technica’s 8.0 Microphone Concept at MotoGP, the Grand Prix motorcycle racing Championship, commercial rights holder Dorna Sports S.L. has moved to make the 8.0 microphone a core audio component of its future programme broadcasting which includes ambitious plans towards remote production.
Located at Dorna Sports’ Barcelona, facility, the extensive remote production suite, which is planned to be phased in through the 2024 Season, will include a custom-built 7.1.4 / 5.1.4 dedicated audio control room to mix immersive audio received from the track in real time. Audio-Technica 8.0 Microphones are to be located at the podium, parc fermé, pit lane and key positions around the racetrack.
While the audio control room will remain static, audio acquisition at the track needs to capture the complex dynamic audio content of the premier global motorcycling event while also being practical in terms of set-up and breakdown, given that there can be over twenty GPs around the World each season. Audio-Technica’s 8.0 Microphone Concept is designed to be lightweight and small enough not just for discreet placement in a field of play, but each of the eight 12mm elements can be removed from the core mount and packed away quickly in a compact case, making for fast deployment by a single operator.
As well as sports broadcasting, Audio-Technica see several applications for their new microphone design including concert halls and outdoor festivals.
“The ongoing design and technical
USA - While the COVID pandemic compelled performing arts companies to stretch their horizons to reach audiences, Michigan Opera Theatre went further than many during the period, presenting programmes in the Detroit Opera House parking garage, among other non-traditional venues for opera.
Then, for one weekend in September, Blue, a contemporary American opera by Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson, was staged at the city's open-air Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre, a mostly pop-music venue where recent shows included performances by Chaka Khan, Machine Gun Kelly, Erykah Badu, and UB40.
Awarded Best New Opera of 2020 by the Music Critics Association of North America, Blue is about a young Black couple raising a son in modern-day Harlem and their struggles with police brutality. With its all-black cast, the opera is a celebration, tragedy, and timely and highly relevant work.
While the Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre isn't often home to the opera genre, what helped tie it all together, creating an immersive and engaging environment for performers and patrons alike, was the production's implementation of L-Acoustics L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology.
“When I was thinking about sound for this piece, I was thinking, how do we maintain the intimacy of the story and still convey the sweeping arc of big ideas? Like confronting God, the state, history, and violence,” says director Kaneza Schaal, who worked closely with Michigan Opera Theatre’s Gary L. Wasserman and artistic director Yuval Sharon.
“This piece was made to be
World - To support first-time and indie filmmakers through the height of the pandemic, DPA Microphones partnered with Rycote on a Pay-it-Forward giveaway in late 2020 from which three lucky winners acquired a full cinema mics kit from the brands.
The contest’s prizes included DPA’s 4097 Micro Shotgun, 4017 Shotgun and 6060 Core Subminiature microphones - along with virtual mentoring sessions, an array of Rycote accessories and other equipment loaners. The recipients, Lijie Cheng of Singapore, Jacob Deming of the United States and Sergey Martynyuk of Austria, have been hard at work putting their new gear, and skills, to the test.
Singapore-based production sound mixer Lijie Cheng was excited to upgrade his microphone arsenal upon winning the competition and has already utilised them for an upcoming web mini-series, Maybe Marriage, and a short film, A Man Trembles premiering in this year’s BFI London Film Festival.
“I was so impressed with the 6060,” he says. “Normally, for mics with smaller capsules, it’s hard to achieve the same sound quality as a bigger mic. Since the 6060 is so small, it can be hidden in plain sight, which makes the sound more open and natural. That helped a lot with a particular costume on Maybe Marriage, which had a very complicated wardrobe. As for the 4097, I loved using it for car rigs, as spot microphones and spontaneous voiceovers.”
Jacob Deming, the owner of Corpsound Audio, which specialises in live performances and events, plans to utilise the DPA microphones he won for the up
UK - The Wilberforce Monument, a statue dedicated to 18th / 19th century politician, philanthropist and anti-slavery campaigner, William Wilberforce, which stands on a 31m high Doric column in the grounds of Hull College in the UK, has recently been re-lit using Anolis ArcPar 150 Zoom LED fixtures.
Graham Roberts of event technical production company HPSS designed the new lighting scheme which is part of a city-wide urban regeneration initiative driven by Hull Council that includes illuminating key city centre buildings and historical landmarks.
The Monument – which is Grade II Listed and near to Wilberforce’s birthplace – was previously lit, but a more robust and weatherised colour-changing LED solution that would offer sustainable, cost-effective, and flexible options was needed.
It was important that the new lighting could be integrated and co-ordinated with other building illuminations for special occasions, and the brief also stipulated that the new fixtures must utilise two existing lighting poles already installed across a pond 65m away, providing the requisite height.
Graham has worked as a project manager at HPSS for eight years and the company already has several Robe products in its rental stock which are in constant use for shows, events, and festivals. When asked to light the Monument, “It made complete sense,” stated Graham, to “automatically” look at architectural ‘sister’ brand Anolis, having had had such a consistent experience with Robe over the years.
He recalls a visit to the Robe factory in the C
USA - To provide Barrington Stage Company’s (BSC) production of A Crossing: A Dance Musical with versatile lighting that elevated the show’s lively music and energetic choreography, lighting designer Jason Lyons selected a range of Martin Professional lighting solutions, provided in part by Christie Lites.
Founded in 1995, BSC is a non-profit theatre company that is dedicated to developing original and compelling works by diverse voices, such as the Tony Award-winning The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee among many other productions. A Crossing: A Dance Musical, created in association with Calpulli Mexican Dance Company follows a group of migrants on their journey across the US-Mexican border.
As the play covers raw and relevant topics like immigration, sanctuary, fear and hope using little to no spoken dialogue, the production required a versatile lighting system that reinforced the many emotional shifts throughout the show while accommodating the production’s unique set design and limited space. To meet these requirements, Jason Lyons assembled an impactful and efficient lighting rig with Martin ERA Series, MAC Series and VDO Series fixtures.
“The production has a very organic set and a lot of video projection, so I needed to create a lighting language that was able to create these really dynamic moments with the characters throughout the play while still giving me the control to let the video take precedence when it needed to,” explains Lyons.
“The set has these multi-contoured curved walls, platform
Austria - Platinum recording stars Christopher Seiler and Bernhard Speer tell stories of everyday life, offering philosophical observations of situations that everyone has experienced at one time or another.
Helping to turn the pages of these musical tales with supportive visuals is the duo’s lighting designer Niklas Fuchs who began lighting Seiler und Speer, using a ChamSys MagicQ MQ100 Pro, in 2015 when they released their inaugural album. His first show with them was at a small (750-capacity) club in the Alpine resort region of Tyrol, a far cry from their more recent appearances, where fans are counted in the tens of thousands, and TV audiences in the millions.
Through all the growth and changes, however, Fuchs has maintained a sense of spontaneity in running lights for his clients, which is in keeping with their own approach to music. “I don’t use timecodes; it is not part of the personality of this group,” he said. “I see it as my personal daily challenge to hit every cue at the right time. It’s much more fun behind the desk this way!”
Fuchs’ style and his pure joy in lighting was on full display this summer when he lit Seiler und Speer at the Nova Rock festival. Each song in the band’s set had its own cue stack with plenty of bumps and effects. He also controlled three live cameras on a media server, all without time coding. Instead, he relied on his user-friendly ChamSys MagicQ MQ100 Pro supplied by MartinKames.com.
“Martin Kames was the equipment provider for this show, as he is for all Seiler & Speer shows,
USA - Richmond, Virginia-based Lite-Tek Entertainment, a lighting rental and production company, supplied Claypaky Sharpy Plus fixtures to the recently wrapped fall tour of Gary Clark Jr., best-known for his fusion of blues, rock and soul music with elements of hip hop.
Clark kicked off the tour in late August in Austin and played dates across the west, southeast and northeast before a final stop in New Orleans on 17 November. Lite-Tek provided the floor lighting package for the entire tour and added a flown package in select cities. John Adamo is the lighting director for Clark; he has worked with the artist since Clark’s fall 2018 tour.
“We bought the first Sharpy Plus fixtures in North America almost three years ago,” says Lite-Tek owner, Darren Lewis. “Since then, we’ve tripled our inventory and are still running out - every one we own was out last week.
“Sharpy Plus is such a versatile, workhorse fixture,” he notes. “It’s difficult to beat them for their weight, size, output, feature set and price point. Concert touring is the majority of our Sharpy Plus users, but we also use the fixtures on one-offs - we had units with Billy Strings recently - and in the winter the cheerleading competitions like them.”
The fixtures certainly filled that role for Gary Clark Jr. where John Adamo put six Sharpy Plus on the set carts’ custom side arms for the floor package to back light the band and create aerial effects. In select cities an additional compliment of Sharpy Plus fixtures were flown: six were staggered on upstage and m
Poland - LightsOn, a lighting design and rental company based in Warsaw, relies on an FLX S24 lighting console from Zero 88 to run a full schedule of spectacular event lighting.
LightsOn owner, Lukasz Brylski, and his team supply creative lightshows for bands, DJs, smaller concerts, cultural and corporate events, weddings, and parties, with a constantly busy schedule of three or four events per week. They are fully booked with shows and events for the rest of the year, as the industry recovers from the pandemic shut down. A typical lighting set up will feature around 20 fixtures, including moving lights and LED sources, all run on the Zero 88 FLX S24.
Lukasz likes many FLX S24 features, starting with its ease of use and logicality. “I can design and plan the show, then set up the console exactly as I like,” he stated. One of the many FLX S24 features he finds most helpful is the multi-touch interface, which means he can react immediately and spontaneously to the action happening onstage, matching it with appropriate lighting looks and effects.
Lukasz has found Zero 88’s prolific online training and tips videos “extremely helpful” in assisting the learning process and enabling him to maximize his new creative tool. “Good support is essential, and I think this content shows a great professional commitment by Zero 88,” he added.
Furthermore, he believes having the FLX S24 onboard has allowed him to be more creative in his work and, consequently, even grow his business. His crew also enjoys running shows with the console.
USA - Chris Stapleton’s All-American Road Show is back with a stage design featuring 400 VL800 Eventpar luminaires from Vari-Lite, supplied by concert touring specialists Premier Global Production.
Taking conceptual direction from Stapleton himself, creative director Becky Fluke and lighting designer Calvin ‘Mac’ Mosier created film-like lighting, centred around a wall of light, which comprises 388 VL800 Eventpar RGBA and 12 VL800 Eventpar WW.
Mac, who has previously worked with Prince, Tina Turner, Madonna, Lady Gaga and James Taylor, explains: “When I first saw the VL800 back in 2019, I thought it was great, so I got one and showed it to Chris and Becky and they both loved it, particularly the colours it produces. Soon after that, Chris came up with the wall of light idea.”
The show design, which uses lighting and video in the most integrated way Mac has experienced over his 45-year career, features live video content played on the 12ft high x 56ft wide screen that spans the top of the stage. Using layering and some creative camera work, Fluke is able use the screen as an extension of the wall of light.
Fluke comments: “The way the video wall sits on top, it really needed to marry nicely. We're shooting the VL800s as a layer on the video wall, as we wanted it to really feel cohesive in that way. Certain cameras are just pointed at lights, so it feels like an extension of the lighting rig.” This is made possible by the VL800 Eventpar’s adjustable frequency, which can be set to exceed camera frame rates.
Support for the p
Israel - Named after Frank Zappa and founded in 2004, Israel’s Zappa Group is a live show chain of clubs with an ethos of respect for music, musicians and listeners. From its first venue in Tel Aviv, it has grown to include clubs and outdoor venues in Herzliya, Jerusalem, Haifa ,Beer Sheba, Zappa Amphi Shuni and Zappa live Park, and hosts top Israeli and international music acts.
Following a change of ownership, a new technical manager was appointed to supervise the venues and raise their technical standards. Having worked as technical producer on large-scale concerts, he recognised their ubiquitous use of DiGiCo consoles. This prompted the start of a major move for all Zappa venues to install DiGiCo.
Supplied by Israeli distribution company, Gidron Levitan, the main Tel Aviv venue now boasts a DiGiCo Quantum 338, with Herzliya and Haifa upgrading to Quantum 225s, and the Jerusalem club continuing to rely on its tried and tested SD9 for all live, private and business events.
“Zappa’s commitment is significant both for us and for DiGiCo,” says Eytan Gidron, co-founder of Gidron Levitan and responsible for sales, planning and consulting, as well as technical support. “With the majority of local talent and international artists playing at Zappa clubs across the country, it means that all their engineers will now be using DiGiCo consoles, making it the most accepted and approved console in Israel.”
Having recently moved to new and larger premises, Zappa Tel Aviv is now in its last stages of construction. Purchasing the Quantum 338 was
Switzerland - In creating his evocative looks for the nine-hour presentation of Goethe’s Faust at the Goetheanum School of Spiritual Science in Dornach, Klaus Suppan drew on the colour rendering and performance features of seven Chauvet Professional Maverick Silens 2 Profile fixtures that were recently added to the theatre’s lighting system.
With the new staging of Faust characterized by a simple stage design with clear, minimal lines; light was consciously selected as the main tool with which to draw emphasis upon various scenic elements. Because the stage design only suggests the respective situations and locations, Suppan deftly used light to outline entities of shape and form - a technique that was greatly aided by the framing-shutter mode of his profile fixtures.
"My professional colleagues and the directors of this Faust production were totally enthusiastic about the creative possibilities provided by the Mavericks," commented Suppan. "Not only did we have the framing shutter, gobo wheels and frost to create myriad effects in support of numerous atmospheres, we also relied on the clean dimming behaviour in the lower range between 0-10% to give us the classic theatrical look and feel that is often lacking with LED fixtures."
Another key consideration within the theatre of the Goetheanum involved acoustics, given that the actors have no kind of acoustic reinforcement such as microphones or amplification when on stage. With a stage area of 12 x 12m and a distance between the first row of the audience and the stage measuri
Belarus - For over a decade, Minsk Arena has been the epicentre for all things sports and culture in the Belarus capital. The venue’s main space is an ice arena dedicated to hockey and skating which can also be converted to host other sports events, as well as concerts, conferences, and forums
Minsk Arena hosts some of the most notable sports tournaments, including IIHF World Championship and SU World Junior Figure Skating Championships, as well as musicians like Elton John, Sting, and Shakira. In September this year, the facility completed a large-scale renovation which included a tour-grade audio system from L-Acoustics, installed by BelCultProject.
Known for its contemporary design, Minsk Arena also prides itself on implementing the latest technology, including being the first arena to install a cable roof system capable of withstanding loads of up to 120 tonnes, with special sensors monitoring cable tension 24/7. The venue also features an eight-faced plasma screen video cube, the biggest in Europe. When it came time to update sound technology, the Arena’s management mandated that the facility stay at the forefront, requiring a sound system that would significantly improve the audio quality and provide optimum coverage throughout the venue and across its diverse range of events.
“The key challenge was to ensure the system can be used for big sporting events, such as ice hockey and ice-skating championships, and then, with minimal effort, be transformed into a full-blown concert audio system,” explains Yuri Mihailovski, chief financial of
UK - Between April and August, Foals played a number of festival shows, which saw live engineer Nigel Pepper using a Yamaha Rivage PM7 digital mixing system for the first time. Supplied by Adlib, the experience was so positive that he has already specified it for the band’s 2022 UK and European shows.
“I had reached the point where I was ready to change from the system I was using,” he says. “On paper the Rivage PM series seemed attractive and the specifications would fit my workflow. I tried different systems, which included using Rivage PM7 in rehearsals, and quickly found it was the one for me. It really fitted the way my brain works.”
Nigel was introduced to Yamaha’s Tom Rundle, who visited Foals production rehearsals and talked Nigel through the system.
“I wanted to really see what I could get from it and make sure I wasn’t missing anything,” says Nigel. “I cut my teeth on analogue and have quite an old-school approach. Yamaha has carried the ethos of analogue over to its digital systems very well and have laid out the Rivage PM7 very intuitively. It felt comfortable straight away, I liked the tactile input, the fact that I could put my hand on the controls I needed without thinking about it and being able to use my ears to make decisions, not being blinded by what’s on the screens.”
The immediacy of the hands-on experience is important for a band like Foals, where no two shows are ever the same.
“They are quite tricky to mix. They play a bit like a punk band, reacting to the vibe of the gig,” says Nigel.
USA - UK-based Audiologic has announced its collaboration with Technically Creative, to deliver an immersive experience at the Harry Potter Flagship Store, New York.
Technically Creative, specialists in creating immersive audio-visual solutions, worked together with Audiologic to deliver an exciting brief to bring to life the magic of Harry Potter, in an immersive in-store experience. The experience store is billed as 21,000sq.ft of magic, housing the world’s largest collection of Harry Potter merchandise.
The main aim of the project was to deliver a store-wide sound system with visuals and special effects. Due to differing styles of room and ceiling spaces, Technically Creative and Audiologic needed to be mindful of the carefully curated aesthetics adopted for visually discrete speakers.
The entire site is run on the Q-SYS ecosystem, namely the Core 110f processor. Q-SYS is a fully capable audio, video and control ecosystem and provided Technically Creative with the platform to deliver the entire experience.
James Voakes, senior audio visual engineer at Technically Creative, comments: “Audiologic were able to offer us a huge range of equipment and as always were incredibly attentive with both quoting and supply. Q-SYS is our platform of choice and allows us to deliver prestigious projects such as this one at the Harry Potter flagship store. Both us and the client are very happy with the immersive solution.”
Ben Spurgeon, senior technical manager, Audiologic, concludes: “Technically Creative are an incredibly proficient Q-SYS
UAE - Stage One Creative Services delivered stage engineering for the hero centrepiece at UAE’s 50th National Day celebrations. The show, which took place on 2 December, marked the country’s Golden Jubilee as the largest celebration to date.
The floating theatrical experience, designed by award winning artist, Es Devlin, is situated on Hatta Dam in the Hajar Mountains. Stage One engineered, fabricated, installed and operated the hero rotating stage which hosted the cast. The floating disc-shaped sculpture, which is 19m tall at its highest point, doubled up as a performance area and projection surface.
The key challenge was engineering a heavy steel structure that will remain balanced in a cantilevered state on a floating pontoon. This was achieved through judicious structural and marine engineering and a hefty serving of ballast. To allow the disc to revolve, it was constructed on top of three concentric track rings and is driven by four motors. The movement is controlled by Stage One’s proprietary automation system, Qmotion.
Starting work in July, the sculpture was designed, built and transported to the remote location in just three months, with teams arriving to install in early September. Once fully loaded on site with scenery, reflective water pool and performers, the disc weighs in at almost 300 tonnes.
This is the second consecutive year Stage One has contributed to the UAE National Day live event celebrations alongside artistic director and designer Es Devlin, technical designers Wonder Works and Official UAE 50th Celebration prod
UK - With his repertoire of music blended with comedy, Tim Minchin’s UK tour, which began back in 2019, resumed after lockdown with a further eight-week stint. Titled Back . . . Encore, this took him through a number of sold-out UK theatre shows, interspersed with a handful of arena dates.
The Australian was supported onstage by a seven-piece band - three brass players, bass, guitar, drums and percussion. Masterminding the sound production was Martin Audio’s rental partner, Capital Sound, with Dave Roden mixing once again to his favoured Wavefront Precision WPS.
Capital drew on their inventory of 32 WPS line array enclosures, but purchased six additional multi-channel, Dante-supporting iKON amplifiers for the tour, enabling the system to be driven in the optimum one-box resolution.
Explaining the need for the expanded WPS inventory this time around, Capital account manager, Martin Connolly, said that the additional elements had provided Dave Roden with increased horsepower when matching to the main hangs and outfills.
“The WPS system is perfectly matched for Minchin,” he said. “It was so successful last time and so Dave [Roden] requested it again.” Crucially, the restricted loading points at some theatres became another defining factor.
However, WPS was supplemented at the three larger capacity arenas - Nottingham Motorpoint, Leeds First Direct and Cardiff Motorpoint - where Martin Audio’s larger WPL took over main duties, moving the WPS out wide to function as side-hangs.
Providing low frequency extension we
USA - To bring the Tony Award-winning musical Hadestown to life on stages across the US for its national tour, lighting designer Bradley King implemented a versatile lighting rig featuring Martin Professional LED fixtures, provided by Christie Lites.
Written by singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and directed by Rachel Chavkin, Hadestown is an American blues and folk-infused version of the Ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Mitchell first premiered Hadestown in 2006 with a DIY theatre group in Vermont and recorded a concept album based on the show in 2010 before the final version debuted on Broadway in 2019 at the Walter Kerr Theatre.
This year, Hadestown embarks on a national theatre tour that debuted at the Kennedy Centre in Washington, D.C. Lighting designer Bradley King, who won a Tony for his work on the Broadway production of Hadestown, wanted a rig that translated the Walter Kerr’s natural and intimate lighting to venues of all sizes while accommodating the limited gear capacity and setup times inherent to touring Broadway productions. To meet these requirements, King implemented versatile and powerful Martin solutions including the MAC Ultra Performance, ERA 800 Performance, and MAC Encore Performance and Wash fixtures.
“On a very practical level, the task at hand was to figure out how to take a show that barely fits in the Walter Kerr and then squeeze it into six or seven trucks and be able to set it up and take it down in 14 hours,” said King.
“The Broadway production is nearly all Martin
USA - Lighting designer Tim Deiling used 35 Ayrton MagicDot SX fixtures to help construct the visual narrative for the Broadway production of Six The Musical when it transferred from London’s West End in October (see LSi December, out now, for detailed production report on the musical).
Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss’s multi award-winning musical follows the story of Henry VIII’s six wives, expanding on each of their stories and translating their historic power struggles into a modern day pop contest which breathes dynamic new life into the story. Tim Deiling’s associate lighting designer, Tim Reed, reports:
“The show takes place on a standing set with no set moves throughout. Instead, we chose to use a rock concert style of lighting with lots of beam looks at all times to determine the visual architecture of the show and to identify and delineate the Queens and their individual looks.
“The MagicDots were an important part of this process, providing striking mid-air effects as well as enabling us to open up the room when all the Queens are present, carve the performance space into different areas, or give each Queen a definitive look. Jane Seymour, for example, is lit in mainly in white using MagicDots with which we are able to create a very ‘closed down’ state, using the architecture of the lighting to really pull the eye towards her.”
The MagicDot SX fixtures are sited on upstage towers where their compact form proved a real advantage
UK - Overcoming the somewhat inauspicious climate created by the global pandemic, Legoland Windsor Resort has continued to invest in its infrastructure. Part of that investment has included the upgrade of their 4D cinema as well as the implementation of a new ride, the UK’s first Flying Theatre attraction, Ride of the Sky Lion.
The new attraction forms part of Legoland’s most recent development, Mythica, an area that was inaugurated for the park’s reopening in early 2021. The Legoland production team overseeing the design and installation of the new ride called on their long-term audio supplier and consultant, Dave Shepherd of D.S. Audio to ensure the audio experience was the best possible. Shepherd specified a system based on EM Acoustics’ new flagship Reference Series R10 system.
Shepherd’s brief was straightforward enough – to design a world class sound system for the new Flying Theatre ride with consideration to budget and future technical expansion. Shepherd began the project by conducting extensive research on similar installations in the U.S. in order to improve on known issues, namely intelligibility. Following his research Shepherd decided on an EM Acoustics system built around a core of R10s.
“The ride includes a 15m high parabolic metal screen and three floors of moving gondolas to create an immersive flying experience through the new World of Mythica,” explains Shepherd. “With localised scent, water spray and wind devices on each gondola adding to the immersive experience, it was essential that the dynamic audio
UK - A daredevil walk the plank challenge which kicked off this year’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here on ITV, was designed and rigged by Unusual Rigging.
ITV bosses are no strangers to the feats that Unusual is able to pull off, having contracted director Robin Elias as crew chief on several stunts for various different shows. Robin said: “Pre-pandemic, ITV had brought me on board to work with them on the show in Australia. Then when Covid hit in 2020 and the show hurriedly relocated from Oz to Wales, none of the trials involved any rigging - there simply wasn’t the time to devise them. We fully expected to be back in the jungle in 2021, but because of the continuing pandemic, it was once again re-routed to Wales, and I was retained as a consultant.”
This year’s opening trial – the one which sees the celebrities first enter the camp was called Walk the Plank. The team on the show had a rough idea of what they wanted to achieve, basing it loosely on a similar trial that had been filmed from the top of a high rise building in Australia some years back. But, the landscape of North Wales is somewhat different to Sydney. So, Robin and crew chief Sam Carter, travelled to north Wales to conduct a number of site visits and came up with two locations and two different stunts.
The chosen location was Moel Tryfan - a slate quarry in Gwynedd. One of the biggest challenges faced by Robin and Sam, was how to overcome the complexities of the location, to ensure the trial was safe for the contestants and all those operating it.
UK - Like many public events, the outlook for the Edinburgh International Festival in 2021 was a little different. With restrictions limiting the use of indoor venues, the festival looked to d&b Soundscape - and its acoustic shell - to unite the disparate worlds of classical music and sound reinforcement; to recreate the comfort and quality of the concert hall in a temporary open-air environment.
On the grounds of Edinburgh’s Junior Academy and the city’s Old College Quad, two custom built pavilions, a hundred metres long, were installed like giant bubbles, roofed, but open sided for free-flowing fresh air. Striking in scale and appearance and, as it turns out, entirely capable of the intimacy and focus essential to the arts.
Knowing they had a long-standing reputation for delivering exceptional classical performances, Edinburgh International Festival initiated an informal, exploratory, chat with sound design consultants, Sound Intermedia. With thousands of discerning listeners in mind, especially those accustomed to unamplified music, the necessary sound reinforcement would need to be imperceptible to the ears.
“At Sound Intermedia we’ve been embedded in the cultural world of classical artists and music for more than twenty years,” says founder, Ian Dearden. “Serving as a bridge, or translator, between the art and the technology. A PA often brings an element of anxiety to classical musicians. Of course, we’re always thinking about the audience experience, but you’re three quarters of the way there if you have performers who ar
South Africa - Idols South Africa 2021 underwent its most substantial visual transformation for a few years with a shift of venue, from the State Theatre in Pretoria to Studio 10 at the Urban Brew complex in Johannesburg. This moment was seized by the show’s long term lighting designer Joshua Cutts of Visual Frontier, for a radical re-think, and for the first time in 17 Idols seasons, he presented a lighting co-design created collaboratively with Andre Siebrits, also from Visual Frontier.
The pair relied heavily on Robe moving lights – over 200 were specified on the rig, plus two RoboSpot remote follow spotting systems – to assist with a fresh new aesthetic that takes the SA edition of the show production to “next level” status.
Owing to Covid regulations, a large live audience was still not possible this year, so Josh and Andre embraced this effective restriction by redefining the look and optimising it for the multi-camera direction of Gavin Wratten, who also had some clear ideas about visuality.
Taking a ‘bare stage’ approach was a bold and confident move that utilised lighting plus all the negative spaces in the room to create the drama, depth, and diversity.
“It had to look completely different from anything before but also very contemporary,” explained Josh, “and for this we needed multi-purpose fixtures to be at the core of the rig.”
The backbone of the slick modern lighting look was created with Robe Esprites and MegaPointes with 24 of each type.
The rig was enhanced by having the two RoboSp