Poland - The town of Tomaszów Lubelski in southeastern Poland is home to a new, modern sports and recreation centre. The complex includes a large swimming pool, smaller recreational pool, 60m slide, multiple exercise rooms and a café. When local pro-AV distributor, ESS Audio, was asked to design and deliver a complete full audio solution for the centre, they turned to LEA Professional for their audio amplification needs.
ESS Audio has been providing pro AV design, consultation, training and distribution services in Poland for 30 years.
“We have worked with the team at LEA Professional in different capacities over the years and knew the wealth of their experience,” said Maciej Baranski, system designer, ESS audio. “They were the perfect partner for this unique installation.”
This project features the addition of a new, six-zone, 100V audio system. So, the team decided to use the LEA Professional Connect 704, a professional-grade audio amplifier suited for small-to medium-scale installations, featuring three ways to connect.
Users can engage the built-in Wi-Fi access point, connect to a facility’s Wi-Fi, or use the fast ethernet to connect to any local area network via Cat5 or Cat6 cable. The Connect Series also features cloud connectivity allowing users to harness the power of the cloud for remote control, monitoring, and more from any personal device. Additionally, the Connect Series features HiZ and LoZ channel selectable analogue inputs, Dante inputs, and external I/O control for remote on/off and fault monitoring.
UK - Chris Hale is working out of his garage in Ashford, Kent. Ritchie Reed is 180 miles away in Nottingham. Yet, both are coming together (virtually) every day to offer a valuable service to designers, programmers, event specialists, and integrators with their 30-minute Chauvet Online Demo Sessions.
Working in tandem, the two lighting professionals take a holistic approach to their educational sessions, which air daily at 10am BST, demonstrating fixtures in a way that reflects how they are actually used in real world applications. For example, rather than showcase one fixture in isolation, they will look at paired fixtures, such as the Maverick MK3 Profile and Maverick MK3 Wash; or Rogue Outcast Hybrid IP65 and Rogue Outcast Beam IP65.
“For us, it makes more sense to look at fixtures from the perspective of how they are going to work together in real life,” said Hale. “We want our session to be meaningful, not just abstract product presentations.”
The daily demos also offer a thorough 360-degree look at products. While Hale takes care of the actual product demos, Reed complements this material by providing photometrics, images and weblinks.
“Our goal is to do a full product demonstration, “said Reed. “We share everything that we can get our hands on, whether it’s acoustic reports or DMX layouts etc. We also like to show families of products. This has been a great way for us to stay engaged with our friends in the industry and hopefully provide them with information that will enhance their work in the future.”
Thailand - To elevate experiences of its meeting spaces, the Metropolitan Electricity Authority in Bangkok collaborated with Mahajak Development Co to install Harman Professional Solutions networked AV and lighting solutions.
Established in 1958, the Metropolitan Electricity Authority is a state-run electricity and power provider that services Bangkok, Nonthaburi, and Samut Prakan. The facilities span across three towers and include a convention centre, an auditorium, a food centre, nursing home, an exhibition hall and multiple office spaces. To commemorate the enterprise’s 61st anniversary, Metropolitan Electricity Authority hired Mahajak to install networked AV and lighting systems throughout the facilities.
“The client wanted sophisticated AV and lighting solutions to support their meeting rooms, offices and convention centres,” said Pongsakorn Kanchanachayphoom, director of project, Mahajak Development Co. “We selected end-to-end AMX systems, as they support a wide range of distribution formats and applications, regardless of the distance between source and destination. We chose Martin lighting fixtures for their ability to create stunning visual displays without causing glare.”
To enable digital voting during meetings, Mahajak equipped the MOC meeting room with an AMX networked AV system, which can be controlled using AMX NX series and MKP series control panels or an AMX TPC-iPad wireless control system. Sound is routed through a Soundcraft Signature Series mixing console and distributed to JBL Control series ceiling loudspeakers via
Canada - Scotiabank Arena sits in the heart of downtown Toronto, near the banks of Lake Ontario. A multipurpose arena hosting the NBA’s Toronto Raptors and NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs games, the venue took centre stage in the 2019 NBA Finals when the Raptors clinched the franchise’s first championship.
The Toronto community’s love of the Raptors was highlighted during that Finals not just by the fans in the building - but also those packing the public square right outside the venue. The Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) organisation provides a public area for fans to congregate during both home and away matches. The official name of the location is Maple Leaf Square - but when the Raptors play it transforms into the colloquially named ‘Jurassic Park’.
The location provides a nearly three-story-tall, high resolution LED wall for viewing games outdoors. And to ensure the 5,000 fans who pack the square can also hear the game, the arena relies on Renkus-Heinz’ ICLive X Series loudspeakers.
The ICLive X series is the culmination of over a decade of experience in steerable line arrays, and is the latest evolution of the medium-format, steerable line array in the Renkus-Heinz line. The ICLive X module can be arrayed up to 12 units tall in minutes, making it suitable for jobs of all sizes, including the largest of stadium installs.
“There were a number of critical demands to meet on this project,” said Bill Coons, director at Contact Distribution, who worked to bring the project to life. “The city had an absolute mandate t
UK - Occupying around 14 acres of landscaped grounds known as the Armagh Astropark, and flanked by the Armagh Observatory, Armagh Planetarium, is presently undergoing a major multi-phased renovation as part of the Education Authority Northern Ireland.
Long-standing local AV technology integrators and suppliers, Rea Sound, are on a select supply list for the complex, and having successfully tendered, have been upgrading the facilities with an end-to-end Martin Audio solution; this began over a year ago as part of what will become an advanced, site-wide audio-visual upgrade.
The initial scope covers all spaces with the exception of the dome, which will be subject to a separate contract at a later stage.
Rea Sound project manager, Roger McMullan, confirmed that his company has carefully tailored Martin Audio systems - from O-Line micro line array down to the new Adorn series - in the reception area, café, exhibition area, meeting rooms, lecture theatres, breakout room and library, as part of a 16-zone design.
“The old system was 16 years old - it had reached end of life and was beyond repair,” he explained. “It was very clear from the word go that Martin Audio suited this because of the vast range of products in their catalogue. It met every single criteria.”
The flexible space known as the Copernicus Room offers three presentation screens, each 3.5m wide, offering 3D laser projected movies which explain the planet's relationship with science. “The space holds around 200 people and any or all three can be used in alternative set-
Australia - To future-proof classroom AV technology at CQUniversity, Videopro, has installed a Harman Professional AV solution that includes AMX SVSI Networked media systems.
With campuses across 25 locations in Australia, CQUniversity offers undergraduate, postgraduate, short courses and certificates in engineering, information technology, business and visual arts, among others. As a pioneer in the field of collaborative learning, many of CQUniversity's campuses are home to multi-pod collaborative classrooms. Integrated with video conferencing facilities that enable high-definition audio and video connectivity, the classrooms allow students to connect with lecturers across CQU’s network of campuses. CQU engaged Videopro to develop the next-generation AV platform for these critical teaching spaces
"The university's new collaborative learning environment required a robust, integrated, networked AV system for content distribution within the classroom. A primary requirement was that the solution be able to provide application-level visibility, monitoring, and traffic control to the IT team," said Scott Maunsell, account manager and programmer, Videopro.
"We chose the AMX SVSi N1000 Series Conference Room Solution with the VLAN tagging feature. VLAN tagging allows for labelling packets of AV data with a specific VLAN number/ID, thereby allowing network administrators to regulate switches to allow or disallow traffic flow from one VLAN to other ports. This resulted in superior content distribution and enterprise-grade remote management of AV data from
Finland - With Finland allowing live events within government restrictions, the nation’s favourite country artists, Steve ‘N’ Seagulls continue to do what they do best, touring the country with the bluegrass re-workings of rock and metal anthems that won them YouTube stardom, all mixed from compact dLive Wings system.
Public events for up to 500 people are currently permitted in Finland, with larger audiences possible at outdoor events where there are several sections or demarcated areas intended for audiences. Indoor events with more than 500 persons may also be permitted in the country from the 1st of August onwards with special arrangements.
As on previous tours, engineer Antti Laitila has created a FOH and monitor mixing rig for the five-piece band of multi-instrumentalists based on a dLive CDM32 MixRack and a 19” C1500 Surface. Careful planning allows Antti to keep the size and weight of the system to a minimum, so the band benefits from a consistent, self-contained setup wherever they play.
A new addition for this run of shows is a portable DX168 I/O expander, giving Antti a dedicated drum snake and future-proofing the setup in anticipation of a full 2021 European tour to mark the release of the band’s fourth studio album in late November. The DX168 has already proved invaluable for accommodating guest performers and for splitting I/O to different locations when recording live videos. Snug in a Peli Air case, the DX168 can fly in the cabin with Antti on future fly-dates, allowing him to up the channel count without increasing the nu
Ireland - Peter Canning from Dublin-based lighting and visual design specialist High Res specified 24 x Astera Titan Tube wireless LED fixtures to provide atmospheric lighting for an eye-catching video featuring singer Hozier recorded at Croke Park stadium, one of many high points during a special RTÉ (Raidió Teilifís Éireann) Comic Relief telethon.
The event united the cream of Irish comedy and entertainment to raise a laugh and much-needed funds for the Irish charity sector on Friday 26 June.
In a tribute to all HSE (Ireland’s health service) staff and other key frontline workers, Hozier performed the Simon & Garfunkel classic, Bridge Over Troubled Water, a highly symbolic song that made significant impact in concluding the fundraiser, for which he was backed by a 16-piece orchestra.
Peter designs and lights numerous television and entertainment shows bringing his own distinctive style, and proposed lighting the video piece during the ‘blue hour’ – that magical window at dusk where the sun is falling while the moon is rising and there is still light in the sky - for maximum dramatic impact.
He suggested starkly illuminating the whole 85,000 capacity stadium to emphasise its vastness and emptiness juxtaposed against Hozier, dominating and dwarfing him and the musicians as they stood isolated and small in the middle of the pitch.
To achieve the precise lighting effect, the quality of the low-level light fill from the Titan Tubes - daylight white in this case - was paramount as well as the brightness. “Astera tick
Zimbabwe - PPC Zimbabwe, the African nation’s largest cement maker, recently introduced its new Surerange series. Heralded with the kind of fanfare typically associated with the release of a film or rock album, the product launch featured a lavish livestream presentation with exuberant dancing, music by performers dressed in construction worker outfits, and a colourful fast-moving light and video show from Events Evolution that featured Chauvet Professional fixtures.
Lighting and set designer Blessing Bero worked his magic in the livestream, which was videoed at the SK Borrowdale theatre, with help from nine Maverick MK2 Spot and four Rogue R2 Wash fixtures. The Maverick units were flown in groups of three on upstage truss, while the Rogues were hung in pairs from the same structure.
Orienting these fixtures downward, Bero used them to add depth to the stage with gobo patters, to separate areas with colour changes, and to create captivating patterns that would fit the small screens that are common in the livestream format. The Maverick and Rogue units were also used to downlight performers, and highlight individuals during solo performances.
“Our Maverick and Rogue fixtures both have extreme zoom, so they worked well together to give us coordinated looks,” said Bero. “We relied on them to create immersive colours across the stage.”
The colour and movement from the Maverick and Rogue fixtures flowed seamlessly with the video images that danced across the stage. Video designer Tatenda Gaylord Rushwaya arranged his LED panels in three s
Sweden - Full production and rental company Soundstar, based in Skövde, invested in some of Robe’s MegaPointes and Spiiders at the end of last year as they needed lighting fixtures with “more punch” than their rental stock at the time.
The company - normally - delivers audio, lighting, video, rigging, and has an OB-truck, for the full complete technical solution, and is working on a wide selection of corporate and industrial events and conferences. It was founded in 1991 by Per Larsson initially as a DJ service company and has steadily grown into a solidly well-respected production house.
“We wanted fixtures weighing around 25kg for easy handling by one person,” explained Soundstar’s Daniel Wiklund.
They completed several projects with the new Robe lights before the Covid-19 lockdown including two big conferences for Volvo Cars, and a 40-year celebration event for Swedish home improvement store JULA which included a couple of thousand employees from around the world. Both these events were at Skovde Arena.
The Robes were also on a 60th birthday event for Benders, Sweden’s biggest roof tile manufacturer, hosted at one of the company’s facilities in Uddevalla, and another project was the Sweden Game Conference, a forum for games developers, experts and start-ups, etc., also staged at Skovde Arena with an international audience.
Since then, everything has changed. And while Sweden took a different approach to its lockdown in going for ‘herd immunity’, like everywhere else in the world, large scale events also came to a
USA - Christ's Church of the Valley (CCV) is a non-denominational Christian church located in Phoenix, Arizona, with multiple other locations throughout the state.
In 1996 it purchased the property now known as the Peoria campus, moving to the site in 2000 and opening a 3,500-plus seat auditorium four years later.
At the church’s broadcast campus, it recently added a number of GLP fixtures to its stage, purchasing eight S350 moving head profiles for key light purposes, and 32 X4 Bar 20 battens as part of a long-term rental package, from 4Wall of Las Vegas.
At the same time, CCV has added 10 of GLP’s E350 moving heads (the S350’s brighter sibling, with an extremely narrow iris) for its newly opened Verrado Campus. According to CCV’s production designer Trevor Rigsby, all new campus auditoriums will henceforth have a package of E350s as their go-to moving spot solution, with the quantities in each case defined by the size of the stages and auditoriums.
Rigsby, who is supported by house LD, MeKenna Beauregard, is no stranger to GLP’s technology. “The first GLP fixture I ever used on a stage was the Volkslicht. I loved that light and used it frequently. In fact I owe my love of GLP products to JRLX president Jason Reberski, who introduced me.”
Of the recent acquisitions, the S350s were earmarked to replace the old traditional discharge light package and were purchased from Phoenix-based Clearwing Productions - the church’s regular local supplier.
“There were several factors I was looking for that led me to the S350,
Australia - TDC – Technical Direction Company, was approached by production company Exit Films to work together on creating a full virtual production for an NRMA Insurance TV commercial. This was the first time a virtual LED background was used in Australia to replace a traditional green screen on set.
TDC knew that to be able to fully deliver the vision of award-winning director Marc Forster they had to use equipment offering superior performance and reliability, so chose the combination of Brompton Technology’s Tessera LED processors driving ROE Visual LED panels.
The commercial, which focused on road safety during the holidays, followed an eight-year-old girl and her magical CGI toy bunny working together to save her dad from distracted driving. The team’s main challenge was to convincingly portray the fast movement of the car, which is generally a difficult environment to film, whilst telling an emotional story that relied heavily on close-up shots.
“Knowing how much Forster disliked the fake screen look, we wanted to give as much realism as possible to the production by bringing a cutting-edge LED screen technique for moving picture purposes,” explains Alex Rendell, technical project manager at TDC. “In that way, instead of actors having to imagine the surroundings, they could actually be in them.”
The TDC team collaborated closely with the DP Ginny Loane to build what became Australia’s first 180-degree LED cyclorama, featuring ROE Carbon 3 3.75mm LED panels. The LED wall served both as the moving backdrop and the main li
Azerbaijan - PROAV recently carried out a new sound design at the Agstafa Agro Industrial Complex in Agstafa City, specifying Martin Audio’s Wavefront Precision Mini (WPM) line array.
PROAV managing partner, Elshan Aliyev, stated, “When WPM first came onto the market, such was the trust we had in the Martin Audio brand name, we were happy to place an immediate order and we were the first to do so. When this latest opportunity came about we had no hesitation in specifying it again.”
As Azerbaijan's agricultural development project, Agstafa Agro Industrial Complex plays an important role in providing the population's food security and increasing the country's export potential and sustainability. It has been operating in the west of Azerbaijan since 2009 and serves 15,000 hectares of land, using advanced agro technologies.
Within the large complex is a multifunctional event hall, and fuelled with the confidence PROAV had in WPM, they recommended it as being best fit for purpose. “The reason for specifying it in this instance was because of the unusual shape of the hall and the objectives of the sound system,” reports Elshan.
“The client trusted us, and WPM was a logical decision. They were happy to take it on our recommendation.”
The main system comprises eight WPM per side, powered in 1-box resolution by Martin Audio iKON iK81 amplifiers. In addition they provided 12 Blackline X15 stage monitor speakers.
Elshan Aliyev says that WPM meets all the requirements, and the client agreed. Anar Orujov, managing director of the
Korea - The Nodeul Live House has upgraded its sound system by hiring integrators, TechDataPS Coand All That Sound, to design and install a Harman Professional audio solution.
The Nodeul Live House is a performing arts centre located on Nodeul Island, which is man-made island in the Hangang River. Accessible by the Hangang Bridge, Nodeul Island was established and created by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and serves as a cultural hotspot in the city.
In addition to lifestyle centres, various food and beverage outlets as well as scenic spots of natural beauty, the island is home to the Nodeul Live House. Accommodating a maxiumum capacity of nearly 1,000 guests, Nodeul Live House is a popular music venue that offers large-scale performances and concerts. To enhance those live shows, TechDataPS Co and All That Sound equipped the venue with an audio solution that features JBL Professional’s VTX line-array loudspeaker systems.
"Nodeul Live House provided detailed requests for their sound set up, which included the solution for reduction of low frequency booming noise when the bass becomes blurred and indistinct.” said a spokesperson for TechDataPS Co. “Also, since there were several speakers already installed, we had to redesign the existing layout to bring out the best performance of the system. Keeping in line with the requests, we chose JBL VTX A12 loudspeakers because they provide an undistorted balance of high-end resolution and precise sound."
To compliment the sound, VTX G28 dual 18” subwoofers, which feature JBL's patented Diffe
USA - From its beginnings in the mid-1970s, with barely more than a dozen members, to the opening of its 3,500-seat auditorium in the new century, Denton Bible Church (DBC) has kept itself at the leading edge of technology. And the church, named for its Dallas, Texas-area suburban location, has continued to do so with the May addition of a new DiGiCo Quantum338 console, which is used for both front-of-house and monitor mixing.
At the same time, a new DiGiCo SD12 console was also installed as the church’s new broadcast audio console. Both desks, plus the two DiGiCo SD-Racks installed along with them that sit on an Optocore network, were integrated and commissioned by Digital Resources, Inc., an AV systems integrator based in nearby Southlake.
This is DBC’s second generation in the digital mixing arena, and they had become accustomed to the streamlined operational aspects and high I/O counts that digital consoles can offer. “So their next digital consoles had to be able to continue to provide a lot of I/O and a high degree of functionality,” explains Digital Resources audio sales manager Lance Eddleman.
“Their SD12, for instance, is the latest 96-input-channel model, which gives them plenty of I/O for their broadcasts. And the Quantum338 gives them the high number of faders they wanted, to support their blended traditional and contemporary worship styles, as well as some really advanced features, such as the Spice Rack and Nodal Processing.”
After Eddleman and the DRI team witnessed the official worldwide launch of the Quantum338 at
China - SE Audiotechnik is the exclusive PA partner for the EV EDM Festival in Shanghai’s Happy Valley theme park, where more than 2,000 visitors are expected every day from 10 July to 30 August.
When the party lasts more than 50 days and takes action during the rain season in Shanghai, you have to find a reliable partner with a good plan and real workhorses when it comes to gear. The choice fell on SE Audiotechnik with its compact, yet powerful M-Line. Overall more than 126 Speakers have been utilised on the main stage.
A total of 36 M-F3A PRO full-range speakers and 32 M-F3A PRO FS flysubs have been rigged – an array of 18 M-F3A PRO are supported by 2x8 M-F3A PRO FS on both sides of the stage in order to keep the sound pressure level high enough up to the last row. Besides excellent sound the requirement was to integrate the system discretely into the stage design - thus the M-F3A PRO could play at its full strength.
A total of 24 subwoofers have been used; eight of the 21” B21s below each array and another eight in front of the stage extending the frequency range of the system below 30 Hz.
Due to the extra-wide stage design, the coverage right in front of the stage has been filled with two sets of two S15 PRO subs and two M-F3A PROs stacked on top – one set to the left and one set to the right of the 8 B21 subwoofers in front of the stage.
Twelve SMX 12A stage monitors have been placed evenly positioned at the lip of the stage together with another set of two S15 PRO subwoofers and three M-F3A PROs stacked left and right of
USA - Stepping inside the Palace Theatre in Derry,NH, with its sweeping curves and imposing balcony has long been a special treat for New Englanders. On 15 July, thousands of them got to enjoy this experience again on a virtual level during a livestreamed Citizen of the Year ceremony honouring the theatre’s president, Peter Ramsey.
The 40-minute event didn’t take place at the downtown Manchester theatre itself, but 11 miles away, at Studio Lab, where owner Tim Messina and his team at Events United used 128 Chauvet Professional F2 LED panels to build a massive curved video wall that displayed a dynamic and immersive 3D replica of the iconic building’s interior.
Measuring 52ft wide by 13ft high, the wall provided Messina and his team with a 5,376 by 1,344-pixel canvas on which to create their multi-dimensional panorama. During scenes when the honouree was interviewed in front of this realistic setting, viewers got the sensation that they were watching things unfold from an upstage position inside the theatre, with its seats in the background.
“It was important that we included imagery of the theatre in the programme,” says Messina. “Our client for this event, The Greater Manchester Chamber, provided us with a photo from the stage of the theatre. This image was used during an interview with Peter Ramsey and worked very well to create the sense that the interview was taking place at the theatre, rather than in our studio. In the image there are theatrical lights pointing towards the camera, we mimicked those lights with R1 washes to make it
Belgium - Entertainment design specialist Painting with Light (PWL) created and supplied the lighting and video design plus lighting control including programming and operating for the 2020 Belgian edition of Het Rad (Wheel of Fortune). PWL worked in conjunction with its Genk C-Mine neighbour Deusjevoo, who designed and delivered the set.
The series was recorded in Studio 1 at Videohouse in Vilvoorde and aired on SBS’s VIER channel.
PWL’s creative director Luc Peumans produced the lighting and video design and worked closely with Dries Hermans of Deusjevoo on the set design, the latter involving substantial quantities of inbuilt practical lighting. These custom LED set elements were all painstakingly installed by the PWL team working in close conjunction with Deusjevoo.
Céline Cuypers designed and engineered a special wheel lighting and audio trigger control.
Wheel of Fortune has been running in Belgium for some time in the past but this was the first season produced by SBS who wanted a fresh and distinctive look with an “elegant and classy” slant as well as an intimate ‘homey’ feel, so the design strategy had to be multifunctional and based on this.
Luc took “a theatrical approach” to this project creating a series of pleasing visual ‘big pictures’ that stood out on their own whilst encompassing the overall cosiness that was desired.
The set included a long gantry level walkway along one side of the studio. The signature LED puzzle board at the heart of the action was flanked by a set of
UK - Edinburgh International Festival has unveiled My Light Shines On, a series of video works and light installations across Scotland’s capital to mark the beginning of the festival season and celebrate the enduring spirit of the Festival City.
Through a series of digital commissions, the Edinburgh International Festival is partnering with Scottish artists and national arts companies, spanning the worlds of theatre, music and dance, to film original performances in venues including the Edinburgh Festival Theatre, The King’s Theatre, Leith Theatre, The Hub, Usher Hall and The Queen’s Hall. All films premiere on Edinburgh International Festival’s YouTube channel on Saturday 8 August at 9:30pm.
The films include a personal love letter to Scottish theatre from the National Theatre of Scotland, directed by award-winning filmmaker Hope Dickson Leach and co-conceived with National Theatre of Scotland artistic director Jackie Wylie and dramaturg Philip Howard, along with Scottish Opera’s modern-day interpretation of Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Telephone, starring Soraya Mafi and Jonathan McGovern, filmed in the bar of the King’s Theatre.
The Royal Scottish National Orchestra features mezzo soprano Karen Cargill in a recorded performance led by music director Thomas Søndergård in his International Festival debut. The Orchestra performs a rich programme in celebration of Mahler’s 160th birthday.
A series of films from Scottish Ballet includes new work from emerging choreographer Nicholas Shoesmith, as well as a revival of acclaim
UK - Since any semblance of order in the music industry has been thrown into turmoil by the global Coronavirus pandemic, lockdown has challenged an industry primarily run by freelancers to be resilient and creative - qualities which they have demonstrated in abundance. DiGiGrid has seen demand for its products remain solid, as artists and technical staff strive to keep working.
Dan Page, brand manager at DiGiGrid is as aware as anyone of the serious difficulties faced by the sector, but believes that its natural resourcefulness will help in the struggle to survive the most testing of circumstances:
“Whilst every industry has been affected to a greater or lesser extent by the pandemic, our sector was probably the first to close and will most likely be the last to reopen in a ‘normal’ way. For freelancers particularly, that makes things extremely tough. Lost income, combined with the worry about when any kind of ‘normal’ will return, places huge stresses on people, but throughout lockdown we’ve seen plenty of ingenuity as the industry seeks to focus on as many positive actions as it can.”
At DiGiGrid, staff have been adapting to this new enforced way of life, learning new skills and brushing up on every aspect of what they do. Its team is involved in a constant dialogue with its user-base, offering guidance and support, whilst taking close account of the way in which this technically adroit community is adapting to the circumstances, and applying DiGiGrid hardware to support a wide range of imaginative projects. Dan continues:
Czech Republic - Colours of Ostrava is usually the largest multi-genre live music and performance festival in the Czech Republic and one of the most popular events on the European festival calendar, offering 22 stages of diverse and vibrant entertainment across four days in mid-July. It is staged in the raw industrial environment of the former Dolní Vitkovice (DOV) steelworks – now reimagined as an important cultural and heritage centre – near Ostrava in the north-east of the country.
This year, like all European festivals, it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic and rescheduled for 2021.
However, with the government allowing gatherings of up to 1000 people after 22 June, it seemed that compact events could become feasible, and so ‘NeFestival’ (NoFestival) was planned as a much smaller event at the same site to bring the spirit and essence of Colours – music, theatre, lighting art vibes, discussion, etc. – to a small but enthusiastic audience.
SMART Productions led by Josef ‘Pepa’ Ženíšek coordinated all the technical production as they have done for Colours since 2010, and Robe Lighting was again a technical partner and collaborator in another landmark event in spite of the unusual circumstances.
One stage was constructed on the DOV national heritage area, which is part of the Colours regular site, right under the Bolt Tower that once presided over DOV blast furnace number 1.
The Robe fixtures - 30 iPointes, 20 MegaPointes and four BMFL WashBeams - were used in a highly symbolic role as ‘light towers’
Italy - Backed by radio inventor Guglielmo Marconi himself, RAI has a long history of being in the forefront of broadcasting.
This summer, RAI wrote another chapter in its history when it broadcast its first TV series from an audio and lighting company’s warehouse. Enrico Fumasoli and the team at Fumasoli Audio & Lights Rental made this possible by converting a section of their facility, which was idle because of the COVID-19 lockdown, into a broadcast studio, complete with advanced cameras and audio gear, as well as a lighting rig anchored by eight Maverick MK2 Spot and 20 Maverick MK2 Wash fixtures from Chauvet Professional.
Patrick Iavarone created the lighting design for the eight-part RAI TV series, which featured the versatile Bonne Soirée, a musical ensemble that covers everything from traditional folk genres to rap. “The aspect I gave to the Bonne Soirée program was a mix between a peaceful TV show and an engaging live concert,” said Iavarone. “The Mavericks helped me with clean lines of light and colour temperatures that resulted in great effects for the camera.”
Iavarone positioned the 440-watt LED Maverick MK2 Spot units on the stage deck behind the band. Drawing on the output and CMY +CTO colour mixing of the fixtures, he used them to coordinate looks with the displays on the video wall that ran across the width of the stage. During some moments, he moved the fixtures in sync with the music, creating an enchanting twinkling star effect.
The Maverick MK2 Wash fixtures were positioned throughout the performance area.
Austria - An Audient Nero has joined songwriters and producers, Felix Brunhuber and Florian ‘Flo’ Fellier in their newly opened Wilderness Studios, nestled in the Austrian Alps. Realising a dream to establish a studio with “the best sound imaginable”, the boys have taken inspiration from the natural beauty, vast forests and vertiginous mountains of their homeland to create a “creative oasis”.
Together they are ‘Wild Culture’ and have clocked up over 80m streams across all the usual platforms (YouTube, Spotify and Soundcloud). As such, they know exactly what they need to put together their own “unique, high quality productions” and reckon now is the time to share their inspiration with the wider world.
Carefully specifying their audio gear to suit the 33sq.m main studio space, their experience as artists has helped them curate the perfect area for visitors to feel “free and creative”. They explain, “Wilderness Studios is designed for productions, recording top liners, singers and bands as well as for mixing and mastering. Up to 8 people can work in the main studio.”
They have paid careful attention to all elements, from temperature control and lighting to create the desired ambience, as well as getting the sound right. “With our big Neumann system comprising KH870 and KH420 controlled by the Audient monitor controller we have the perfect sound to write, produce, mix and master music.”
Describing Nero’s part in the overall setup, Felix says, “The Nero is used as our main monitor controller and is a central p
USA - Virginia’s Southard Audio recently overcame the challenges of lockdown when it deployed its new Martin Audio WPS system for the first time, helping the congregants of Harrisonburg’s Divine Unity Church to move outdoors for a special, socially-distanced service.
The event marked the first time that the company was able to use its WPS system, which recently joined the large format WPL system that Southard Audio has been using for a year.
Founded by Mike Southard in 1980, Southard Audio is known as a leading events specialist in Virginia and beyond. “We do large events throughout the Eastern US and a little bit into the Midwest,” explains managing partner Jason Misterka. The company has also long benefited from a working relationship with Soundworks of Richmond VA – the two became the first WPL owners in the world when they each purchased 24 WPL cabinets, 12 SXH218 hybrid subs and 12 iKON iK42 amps.
Taking WPL out on the road for year was enough to convince Misterka that it was time to add more Martin Audio to the Southard inventory. “After using WPL for a year we wanted to phase out some of our older boxes and standardise everything around one system that all of our techs know how to use. So when the WPS came out we jumped.”
But as soon as the WPS system arrived, COVID-19 brought events to a halt. The first opportunity to deploy the new system came months later, when Divine Unity Church decided to make the most of its outdoor space.
“This was literally a church service in a parking lot and we were happy to have the gi