UK - Adamson’s new S7 line array system, which has just been officially launched, was deployed during Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations at McEwan Hall.
Underbelly, producers of Edinburgh’s 2018/19 Hogmanay events, curated a three-day spectacular to celebrate Europe, and Scotland’s ties to Europe.
The 19th century McEwan Hall became a new venue for Hogmanay and hosted three major concerts - Symphonic Ibiza on 30 December and Capercaillie and Carlos Nunez with special guests on the 1 January, which also marked the start of a new collaboration between Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival.
The Warehouse Sound Services worked directly with Underbelly to provide an advanced audio set-up for the McEwan Hall events.
The Warehouse used Adamson’s new S7 line array system for the events. The system in McEwan Hall consisted of three hangs of eight S7 line array loudspeakers with four S118 and four S119 subs all driven by Lab Gruppen 20K44 amplifiers using Lake processing. The system design was by Douglas Martin using Adamson’s proprietary design software Blueprint AV.
Douglas Martin, hire manager at The Warehouse, says: “The Adamson system performed extremely well given the challenging acoustics within McEwan Hall and the diverse range of shows across the Hogmanay season. The system delivered good even coverage throughout and the audience response was amazing. The performance from this physically small system was incredible and clearly will out-perform similar sized systems currently on the marke
South Africa - Urban Brew Studios was the home to The Voice South Africa. In time for the new season, Studio Ten - where The Voice was shot - as well as four other studios on the premises, received a massive upgrade ranging from walkways, trussing, hoists, curtain tracks and pulleys. DWR Distribution’s theatre manufacturing department were commissioned for the project by Protea Electronics.
Urban Brew has been in the television business since 1995 and has been responsible for a variety of game and reality shows, music and sport shows, documentaries and soaps.
“To me this project was all about the people, the achievement, the deadlines and challenges too,” explains Jacques Welthagen from Protea Electronics. “Protea Electronics was chosen as the preferred turnkey supplier to furnish the complete facility including grids, trussing and lighting displays. We in turn looked to our partners for their solutions and expertise.”
Rob Young and Keith Pugin from DWR designed and oversaw the install of the project. The services of Jacob Mogale of the Install Crew, was also utilised for additional hands on deck.
Timelines and critical on-air dates pushed the teams forward. “As the building had existing roof trussing and was not originally built for television, grids had to be custom built for each specific studio. There was no retrofitting of off the shelf lighting grids,” says Jacques. “The DWR team successfully designed and installed all of the grids; one motorised, one walkway based, two were standard pipe grids and the mot
UK - Lighting designer Jon Smith has worked for the last seven years with one of the more brash and humorous pop punk bands around, Bowling for Soup. In late November and early December, the band played a string of festive UK gigs dubbed the Almost Christmastour with Jon using an Elation lighting rig to light the shows.
This run was a bit different for the LD however, as his own company, JSES provided all the lighting, truss, crew, operation and special effects. “My company has only been operational for two years and I have gone from a freelancer with a desk to a large operation that’s expanding all over the world,” Jon stated. ”We’re running fast to keep up with the work load and the exciting clients we are working with.” Those clients include names such as Drake, Giggs, Gareth Malone and Zebrahead.
About to mark their 25th anniversary, Bowling for Soup are showing no signs of slowing down. For the Almost Christmas tour the LD employed DARTZ 360 beam/spot effects, Satura Spot LED Pro moving heads, Proton 3K LED strobes, Paladin hybrid effect lights and Cuepix Blinder WW2s to complement a string of high-energy numbers from a band who clearly still have what it takes. “We played cities the band doesn’t usually visit in the UK but still every show was busy,” said Jon, who also served as lighting operator and production manager on the tour.
He describes the design’s three-truss set up as fairly basic with front light and two trusses of strobes, blinders, washes and beams. “The music is very fast-paced so the design
Sweden - Melodic death-metallers, Soilwork have kick-started 2019 with a bang - in the form of a co-headline tour with Finnish metal giants, Amorphis. Performing 31 shows in 35 days across mainland Europe, Soilwork were supported by an Allen & Heath SQ-5 digital mixer running FOH and monitors.
The band’s full set-up includes an SQ-5 at FOH, with two DX168 I/O Expanders positioned on stage. Monitors are controlled from FOH, with an iPad placed on stage for the backline tech to make minor adjustments.
Tommy B (FOH & monitor engineer for Soilwork) purchased the SQ system, commenting, “Having mixed on most compact consoles, the Allen & Heath SQ series is by far the best. In the past, other manufacturers had set the standard for price friendly consoles, but the SQ just blows everything out of the water. With the SQ-5 I get great preamps, sharp EQ, super FX and with the DEEP compressors, it really adds that extra special something to the system. Plus, using the custom user layers makes a 30ch band seem like a walk in the park to control.”
The highlights of SQ for Tommy are the per channel DEEP processing capabilities, which he makes full use of. “I absolutely love the compressors! I use the Peak Limiter 76 for vocals, its attack and release really suits the lead singers vocal style, it also helps to keep his vocals in the centre of the mix the whole time, as his mic positioning can sometimes be off”, he comments. “I use the Opto on my drum group - heavily compressed - as it gives an extra kick to the drums in the main mix. With SQ
UK - Bacchus Bar & Club in Bishop’s Stortford’s recently brought in XS Audio Visual to design and install an extensive sound system, powered by just two amplifiers from Linea Research.
The entire project had to be completed to a tight deadline. “We had only four days to completely rip out the existing sound and lighting systems and commission a whole new nightclub sound, lighting, and video install, including relocating the DJ booth and existing TV video feeds,” recalls XSAV managing director Lee Michael.
Michael describes the Bacchus Bar as “a perfectly sized, rectangular-shaped venue that can accommodate 500 people comfortably.” On weekends, the well-established hot spot is often busy enough to reach full capacity, with DJs energizing the crowd. During the week, the club’s entertainment systems are used for karaoke and sports events.
XSAV installed a dozen Void Acoustics Venu 12 loudspeakers, suspended from cradles near the ceiling. The low end, so crucial for DJs, was a little trickier. XSAV wanted to install a pair of Void Stasys 218 subwoofers, each loaded with two 18-inch drivers. “The club was concerned that the two subwoofers be out of sight,” Michael explains, “so we had a wall built around one of them and removed parts of the small bar to accommodate the other one.”
The dozen loudspeakers handle 400W AES power each, and the two subwoofers draw up to 2,400 watts AES power. But space taken by a large amplifier rack is space not usable by patrons. XSAV had a ready solution: Linea Research’s 44C20 power ampl
UK - Rehearsals are a valued ally of lighting designers. But for Olly Suckling, they were a luxury he couldn’t afford when he lit the famed fireworks display at Alton Towers Resort.
“Given the nature of this show, the first time everything is seen working together is on the opening night,” says Suckling. “It simply isn’t possible to have a rehearsal with all the fireworks and other special effects being set off due to the sheer cost of such a large display. This means that the creatives from each department have to work together closely to plan how the show will look, without fully seeing the final product.”
From a lighting designer’s perspective, working on the fireworks show also requires the ability to very quickly update programming and make critical changes. This was something Suckling was able to accomplish quite handily in his eight-universe 156-fixture show, thanks to his ChamSys MagicQ MQ80 console.
“It was tremendously helpful that I was able to fully programme offline using a laptop, while still being able to use external time code,” he says. “The ability to build and patch the rig in Capture, and then have all of the data transferred automatically into to my ChamSys show file, was a massive time saver. I also used MagicQ’s time code tracks feature to program repetitive stabs quickly.”
Another thing that Suckling found very helpful was being able to run the full MagicQ software remote on his laptop over wireless. “This made programming changes quick and easy in the field while standing alongside the othe
UK - Ministry of Sound The Annual Classical is an orchestral tour that recently received its world premiere at London’s Royal Festival Hall.
The event sets out to celebrate the famous club’s legendary dance music compilation The Annual dance compilation. Martin Audio has itself enjoyed a decade-long relationship with the south London club and tasked with faithfully reproducing the newly imagined sound on the road was RG Jones Sound Engineering, and their Martin Audio MLA compact PA.
Although the concept was new, reproducing major classical music events for promoters like Raymond Gubbay is familiar territory for RG Jones Sound Engineering, who have been specialising in this genre for many years.
The system designer for the RFH show was system tech Mark Edwards, while the production itself was a joint project between Coalition Agency (MoS Tours and Events producer), and Raymond Gubbay.
The show on London’s South Bank was a sell-out, and for FOH engineer Phil Wright this meant mixing a 50-piece orchestra, along with drums, electric bass, electric guitar, three synths, three backing vocals and the DJ, through 12 MLA Compact elements per side (as main PA) and eight MLA Mini per side as side-fills for the boxes. In addition, six Martin Audio MLA Mini were used as lip-fills, and six MLX subwoofers were arranged in two blocks of three, in cardioid formation.
This provided even distribution and identical audio to each of the 2,500 or so seats in the house, while delivering a superior experience for the musicians onstage.
UK - KV2 Audio systems are currently on tour in the UK with a number of major productions, including Kinky Boots and Motown: The Musical, both supplied by Autograph Sound, as well as Tim Firth’s musical, The Band based on the music of Take That and Matthew Bourne’s convention-busting production of Swan Lake.
These and many more productions are currently gracing stages throughout the UK using a variety of KV2 Audio point source systems.
According to Andy Sharman, head of sound on the current UK tour of Kinky Boots, the real advantage of using a point source rig, especially on tour, is its adaptability. “Every theatre is different,” he says. “Using this design of loudspeaker allows us to adjust the configuration from place to place really easily, while staying within the designer’s original vision. It may be a bit old-school, but in reality, if there’s a part of the room that we need to cover, we just install a loudspeaker and point it there! It sounds too simple to be true, but it works.”
The Kinky Boots touring set up deploys two KV2 ESR215s and four EX15s on the proscenium, two EX26s and a single EX12 above centre-stage plus one VHD2-18K subwoofer per side. “This gives us even coverage throughout and plenty of headroom for a very lively musical production,” affirms Sharman.
Morgan Rogers is Sound No 1 on the touring version of Motown: The Musical. “This is my first production using a KV2 point-source system, and I’m really enjoying it,” she admits. “We’ve moved i
USA - Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Atlanta Falcons and host of this year’s Super Bowl between the victorious New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams, features a challenging upper bowl devoid of acoustic treatments.
Nevertheless, a total of 58 Danley Sound Labs’ point-source SH96 Synergy Horn loudspeakers rocked the upper bowl with Danley’s characteristic fidelity and cliff-edge pattern control. In addition, VIPs enjoyed the musicality of 60 Danley GO-2-8CX loudspeakers installed in the luxury suites overlooking the game. For the 20-second year running, national AV integration and production firm ATK Audiotek handled all of the sound for this annual event.
“We’ve been doing this for so many years that we are very comfortable with how our on-field carts and temporary loudspeakers will perform,” explains Kirk Powell, sound designer with ATK Audiotek. “The wild card is always the house sound system. We don’t want to attempt covering all the way to the top of the bowl from the field because we’d get a lot of spillover and reflections back from the roof and upper bowl walls.
“This year, Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s Danley SH96s picked up beautifully where our systems left off. I didn’t expect anything less because I know that Danley makes really good products. We had a couple of days before the game to tune everything up so that the delays were perfect and that the tonality of both systems meshed naturally.”
ATK Audiotek worked closely with Baker Audio, the regional AV integration firm that installed the Danley syst
USA - In a spectacular New Year’s kick-off, Insomniac Events produced two blockbuster EDM festivals at the National Orange Show Fairgrounds in San Bernardino, with stage designs by SJ Lighting. More than 70,000 fans attended Audiotistic and Countdown NYE, shows that featured dance music acts performing from a large DJ booth highlighted with 12 Solaris Flare Rayzr LED fixtures.
“The Flare Rayzr blades were so bright, they were overpowering even at the back of the venue,” says stage designer Stephen Lieberman, president of SJ Lighting. “We used the 1m models to detail the DJ booth, making it the focal point of each show. With a 25 mm semi-transparent LED screen in front, the Flares were so strong, we had to throttle them back a bit because the blow-through on the screen was so intense.”
Lieberman adds: “The Rayzr’s flexibility allowed us to tailor the look for each artist – and there were a lot of them. Many asked specifically about the fixtures and how to get their hands on them. In terms of output, colour rendering, and overall performance, these fixtures crushed it.”
SJ Lighting specialises in lighting and production design for festivals, nightclubs, and concerts. Insomniac Events was founded by Pasquale Rotella, who was inspired by the Los Angeles underground dance music scene of the early 1990s.
Rayzrs are available in 50 and 100 cm lengths, with 18 or 36 RGBW Cree LEDs in 3-pixel groups. TMB is exclusive distributor for Solaris Lighting products.
UK - After bursting onto the scene in 2007 with their debut album Take to the Skies, Enter Shikari established their reputation as a live band.
When the band began planning its current tour, its manager Keith Reynolds asked Matthew Knowles to create a lighting design that would not only support their multi-dimensional sound, but would also contribute to their stage presence with a classic but edgy look.
Knowles, who is with 10 Out Of 10 Productions, succeeded in doing just that, designing a show that paid homage to traditional stadium lighting while also projecting a somewhat disruptive sense of contemporary energy. Aiding him in this endeavour were eight STRIKE P38 and two Maverick MK1 Spot fixtures from Chauvet Professional.
“The band wanted to go for a classic stadium look, which meant a lot of backlighting with lots of haze to create moody and dark atmosphere,” commented Knowles. “At the same time, the solution needed to be flexible and versatile. The Chauvet fixtures checked all of the boxes in the end.”
After some pre-tour testing, Knowles was convinced that the STRIKE P38 had the flexibility to provide the wide variety of key looks needed to capture the flavour of the band. With their audience blinder and strobe capabilities, the 90W LED fixtures provided energetic looks to elevate the band’s performance.
“Among the things I really like about the STRIKE fixtures is their fantastic tungsten emulating red shift,” says Knowles. “This allowed me to fulfil one of the band’s requests to inject some classic tu
USA - Leisure World Seal Beach (LWSB) offers all the amenities of a small town in a resort-style setting for people aged 55 and over. A short freeway ride to Los Angeles and Orange County, LWSB spans 542 acres and boasts a nine-hole golf course, swimming facilities, fitness and exercise rooms and six club houses.
An impressive feature of LWSB is its 2,500-seat outdoor amphitheatre, where the Clair Brothers kiTCurve12 loudspeaker system was recently installed by Tim Metzger of TMAV Consulting & Integration and Ben Frederick of Production Access Group.
Frederick explains: “Tim and I chose the kiTCurve12 because we had both heard them before and knew what they could do sonically for the size of box. Based on existing lifts at the venue, we had a set horizontal position that was quite wide, but after placing them in EASE Focus, we were pleasantly surprised at the even coverage and that we were able to both hit the front row and keep as much of the sound in the seats and not bleeding out to the surrounding community. This also removed our need for front-fills or a centre-fill.
“The typical events in the space are not loud rock concerts, so the goal was to create an impactful system that had ample volume, but more importantly clarity and musicality. The kiTCurve12 did that with flying colours and with very little additional tuning for the space.”
UK - Alex Webb used 28 x Astera AX1 PixelTubes - battery powered wirelessly operated fully controllable LED RGBW batons - to create The Heart of Manchester, a 20m high heart shaped light sculpture on the Quay Street façade of the #1 Spinningfields building in central Manchester.
Alex is a brand manager for Allied London, the property developer at the centre of evolving this vibrant area of the city, which has become a leading business destination, legal quarter and a thriving living and working community as well as a place for socialising and entertainment.
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Spinningfields commissioned various public art displays around town to explore love and heartbreak in the city, a project that also included offering this as their own creative contribution for public enjoyment and Instagram hotspots!
Inspired and tasked to find new, fresh and invigorating ways of getting people to engage with their environment and appreciate the striking modernist urban backdrop of Spinningfields, Alex is constantly seeking to drive footfall to and spark interest in the area’s cafes, bars, restaurants and other facilities.
The pulsing Astera AX1 heart is visible across the evening skyline and from key vantage points like the Deansgate-Castlefield Metrolink station and as far away as Old Trafford.
It was an instant Valentine’s Day hit on social media with people flocking for selfies with it in the background, so much so that the installation has been extended and will run for the remainder of February.
The tubes w
UAE - In January 2019, The AFC Asian Cup returned to the UAE for the second time since 1996 and - for the first time - the month-long tournament saw 24 teams take part. It is the largest sporting tournament the UAE has ever hosted and took place over eight stadia across Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Al Ain and Sharjah.
Over 5,000 volunteers were on hand to ensure the event ran smoothly, taking on various roles from operations and logistics to media management and hospitality.
Creative Technology (CT) supplied perimeter LED for five of the eight stadiums that were dotted around the UAE on behalf of client, Sports Logistics. Each stadium had 252m of S10 perimeter LED around the ground which was used to display advertising and sponsorship content throughout the games.
CT’s project manager, Darko Rosenberg explains: “The team has been travelling up and down the country monitoring the LED perimeter across all sites to ensure a smooth delivery for every game. The crew has been brilliant and delivered fantastic results as always.”
The event came to a close on 1 February when Qatar won the Asian tournament and will now go on to qualify for the FIFA Confederations Cup.
Rosenberg notes: “The tournament has been fantastic from start to end, and it has been a pleasure working alongside Sports Logistics once again.”
UK - Northern Irish band Snow Patrol embarked on a UK tour to support new album, Wilderness, which concluded at London’s SSE Wembley Arena in February. Lighting and show designer Davy Sherwin selected Claypaky Scenius Unico as the only moving lights of the production.
Sherwin has worked with the band since 2002 and describes the creative relationship as ‘excellent’. “Sometimes the band gives me a starting point for a design, and I build on that. There are discussions and it is collaborative process, but mainly I have an awful lot of freedom in the design process,” he says.
Rigged on both the front truss and two automated trusses above the stage, Sherwin used the Scenius Unico in conjunction with the video wall to shift the size and shape of the stage throughout the performance, as well as providing crucial key lighting.
“The beam shape was a very important consideration when I was selecting the fixtures,” says Sherwin, who used the beams of the Scenius Unico to provide front and rear key lighting for the band. “The beam was perfect.”
The Scenius Unico offers designers a 5-55˚ linear zoom and four separately moving blades at variable speeds.
The fixture had to deliver output bright enough to stand out against the often-psychedelic visuals of the 50 x 30ft video screen. “The main reason for choosing the Scenius Unico was its unrivalled brightness,” explains Sherwin. “The Unico cut through the screen brightness with no trouble at all.
“The Scenius Unico has great colours, especially the primary colours.
USA - One of the most elegant fixed sound system installations now graces the 400-seat sanctuary of the Valley Life Centre in Dallas. Nexo’s compact Geo M6 line array has been delivered by local audio specialists Alpha Sound, as the front end of a digital system featuring a Yamaha QL5 mixing console, and personal in-ear monitoring facilities.
“The 400-seat, intergenerational congregation sanctuary previously had a mono centre cluster of horns enclosed in a fabric cloud and a simple analogue console with a few wedges for monitors,” says Devin Sheets, head engineer at Alpha Sound.
Now, two Nexo M6 line arrays cover the 180° room evenly with added localisation from low profile out-fills. Along with the subwoofers, the speaker system naturally delivers a "modern" sound that is fitting for contemporary worship styles. “The new system will serve this church community very well for decades to come,” adds the elder Sheets.
The M6 line array configuration consists of six per side, one per side of Nexo LS18 subwoofer, one per side Nexo ID24 speakers used for out-fills, and two Nexo NX4x1 Mk2 amplifiers. "The clarity and detail of this new system is absolutely incredible,” states Chris Barker, head pastor. “Many people can hear the instruments and voices for the first time, and the younger crowd really loves the new depth of sound.
Because it all sounds so smooth, we really aren't getting complaints about the volume even though it is actually a lot louder than ever before. It all just sounds amazing."
UK - White Light provided the lighting equipment for Arthur Miller’s The American Clock which has recently opened at the Old Vic Theatre, London.
The American Clock portrays the devastation that American citizens experienced when the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began in 1929. The play uses an ensemble cast to explore the lives of several families across several cities. It is directed by Rachel Chavkin and features a lighting design by Olivier Award-winning Natasha Chivers.
Natasha comments: “This is an epic play that manages to tell a huge story about an entire nation. Rachel wanted to create something quite extraordinary in which we put the audience right into this extraordinary time in American history. Part of this included having audience members on stage. What this means is that the Old Vic stage has now been turned so that it’s practically ‘in the round’. When I’ve lit shows here before it’s always been ‘end on’ so this was a new experience for me.
“Initially, we toyed with the idea of using a tracking moving light system as well as followspots due to the fact that we needed to stay with the characters as they moved round the revolving stage. We eventually decided to go for one large moving light rig which would light everything. What’s really interesting about this play is that it’s a combination of your traditional Arthur Miller play coupled with music pieces. As a result, it meant the design I created needed a mix of tungsten, LED and discharge lighting”.
Natasha would use the
UK - Hot on the heels of their latest studio release Holy Hell, British metalcore act, Architects, have recently completed their UK and European tour accompanied by an Allen & Heath dLive system. The tour included some of the band’s biggest headline shows to date - finishing off at the SSE Arena in Wembley, London to an audience of 12,500 fans.
“After touring with a variety of consoles over the last few years I decided to make the switch to dLive after having them recommended to me by fellow users Ben Hammond and Jared Daly”, comments FOH engineer, Jonny Burgan. “I am a big fan of how modular the dLive systems are, being able to scale down surface size without sacrificing audio quality and compromising on processing power is something that not enough manufacturers have tried to address, yet Allen & Heath have managed to perfect it.”
Supplied by SSE Audio, the band’s full set-up comprises two dLive S5000 surfaces and two DM64 MixRacks, handling all FOH and monitor duties. Tom Pickett (SSE) comments, “I’ve been looking after Jonny and Architects since 2016 and I’ve known Dan Williams (monitor engineer) since working with him on Neck Deep, again starting in 2016. So, to see the two of them come together on the same gig, using the same board was great to be a part of.”
All FOH I/O is managed by a DX32 Expander, fitted with both analogue and digital output cards, which feeds the system inputs via AES with redundant analogue connections also present.
Burgan comments, “With regards to dLive’s processing power, h
UK - The heady mix of highly tuned bikes, screaming engines, screeching tyres and brakes and supernatural speed races meshed with the breath-taking daring of motorcycle stunt acrobatics… indoor Motocross racing and Freestyle MX all rolled into a single adrenaline fuelled night of seat-edge action complete with pumping soundscape . . . and you have the heartbeat of
Producers and organisers Arena Sports Live presented Arenacross (AX in three of the UK’s leading arena venues – Belfast, Birmingham and Sheffield – for their 2019 AX tour, with HSL supplying a full production package – lighting, video and rigging – plus sound in partnership with Nitelites.
Additional venue ‘sports lighting’ was also provided by HSL for the two Birmingham shows at the Resorts World Arena (NEC).
HSL’s project manager was Ben Perrin. He and the team were delighted to be back having supplied lighting for the 2018 tour, and lighting and video for the recent Liverpool International Horse Show, also an Arena Sports Live event. They worked closely with producer Matt Bates and production manager Tony Nash from Arena Sports Live.
Ben produced an outline production lighting design, then called on the huge experience of Nick Jevons as programmer, lighting director and operator on the road. He utilised a flexible package of beam, spot and wash moving lights to ensure appropriately hi-impact lighting to match the hi-velocity action, excitement and sounds.
Nick’s challenge was to make it powerful, dramatic and totally in the face . . . a task he relished
UK - Technical theatre students at the Guildford School of Acting recently benefitted from hands-on experience creating dynamic soundscapes and source-oriented vocal localisation for their stage musical production of 9 to 5.
Cambridge-based immersive audio pioneers, Out Board, provided the school with a TiMax spatial delay-matrix, complete with TiMax Tracker, for students to experience the creation of a sound design pushed beyond the usual boundaries of intelligibility, balance and audience immersion.
After the student production, course tutor Sam Digny and guest mentor sound designer Justin Teasdale held a seminar insight day showcasing their experience and success with the advanced immersive TiMax technology. A wider audience of invited industry professionals comprised local hire companies, production managers, sound engineers and students old and new.
Out Board’s Robin Whittaker hosted a morning session presenting TiMax alongside a discussion of the wider principles of sound. He posited, “Where do you go beyond the fidelity readily achieved by modern loudspeaker systems? Beyond fidelity, localisation is the obvious thing and a major part of this whole current immersion discussion, in a stage environment like this, is multiple localisations made effective for an entire audience.”
In the afternoon Teasdale presented the dynamism of the 9 to 5 soundscape, which included vocal localisation of the main cast and panoramic spatialisation of the band, who were positioned off-stage. The classic LCR-hung Optima 5 line array system in the
UK - The Bodyguard stage musical is an ambitious show, with a large cast, orchestra, and crew required to bring the classic, soulful song list to life alongside Alexander Dinelaris’ acclaimed libretto.
Since its successful West End run, the show has toured the world and now has a second UK tour underway, with Alexandra Burke taking the lead as singer Rachel Marron. It is also proving to be a showcase first outing for the new Sennheiser SK 6212 mini-bodypack transmitter, supplied by Autograph Sound.
From the start of this run, sound designer for the show Richard Brooker was sold on using a digital wireless system, having already used Sennheiser’s Digital 9000 system on Bend it Like Beckham and Dreamgirls. “Moving to digital gave a new sound that is much more open and clear,” he recalls. “It isn’t compromised by the companding process... It’s much more transparent.”
For The Bodyguard, Brooker, who works alongside associate sound designer Kelsh Buckman-Drange and production sound engineer Josh Richardson, wanted a digital system with a smaller bodypack to give him greater choice for concealment, more comfort for the cast and a simple solution for the audio team. He chose the new Sennheiser SK 6212 mini-bodypack, which was previewed at the 2018 IBC exhibition.
“It has the signature sound that I would expect from Sennheiser, but it’s in a much smaller package,” he says. “And the battery life is unbelievable. Sennheiser claimed it would do 12 hours, and it does!”
Part of the Sennheiser Dig
UK - The team at Nottingham-based OneBigStar was already familiar with the Chauvet Professional Ovation series when they made a major investment in the LED fixtures. “We’ve built the Chauvet trade show booths for years, so we’ve worked with Ovation units before and have been very impressed,” says Steve Yeardsley, managing director of the technical and event production company.
Recently, Yeardsley and his team acted on this confidence by adding a substantial number of Ovation ellipsoidal and par-style fixtures to OneBigStar’s inventory. The new fixtures are intended to replace the company’s existing tungsten units.
“We’re constantly looking to invest in new technologies, especially when they involve moving from older units to better, brighter and more energy efficient ones,” says Yeardsley. “The Ovation range certainly stands tall against the tungsten fixtures they’re replacing.”
Included in the new product mix are the Ovation E-910FC RGBA-Lime colour mixing ellipsoidal in both indoor and IP-rated versions; the high output Ovation E-260WW warm white ellipsoidal; and the P-56VW variable white par-style fixture.
Many of the new fixtures have been put to immediate use. “We have recently undertaken an exhibition project that involves lighting large stands for agricultural machinery brands,” says Yeardsley. “We are using a combination of Ovation ellipsoidals and variable white pars with a few Maverick MK2 Spots thrown in for gobo projection. The response to the fixtures in this role has been excellent! They lit the area
UK - Edinburgh Castle and the medieval Old Town offered a magnificent backdrop to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebration for thousands of revellers who welcomed the new year immersed in a city centre-wide high quality pro audio installation.
In collaboration with the sound designer Dan Jones, Catalyst Event Production Services was tasked with specifying, installing and operating a sound solution for much of the event that would envelope partygoers, leading them to "a complete d&b audiotechnik loudspeaker, amplification and R1 control software solution".
UK-based live entertainment company Underbelly, which has produced the event on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council since 2017, bills Edinburgh’s Hogmanay as “one of the biggest celebrations in the world”. The famed Street Party showcased Scottish and European musicians, street theatre artists, dancers, choirs and aerialists, while the midnight firework display was set to a specially-commissioned track by German band Meute.
The team split the designated party areas of the city into four ‘arenas’. Within each of these PA towers were constructed, spaced at 20m intervals. In total, 22 towers were built, each carrying arrays of d&b loudspeakers consisting of two Y8, one Y12 and a Y-SUB, along with two Y10P for near-fill.
There were further systems deployed on The Mound, where six towers were erected. Each tower consisted of arrays of three T10, one Q-SUB and two T10 near-fill. An additional system made up of eight Y8 and two Y-SUBs provided further fill coverage. Amplification w
UK - Artem, the physical special effects company, made further inroads into the theatre sector recently with a new effects’ challenge from the world of dance. Artem, whose credits include Harry Potter: The Cursed Child and Holiday on Ice, were asked to design and build a piece of equipment capable of projecting a single giant smoke ring the shape of a doughnut - known in physics as a Torus - from the rear of a stage, out over an audience.
The ‘smoke vortex cannon’, as it came to be known, had to be large enough to make an impact in a sizeable performance venue, whilst being resilient and easily transportable on tour. In addition, the cannon needed to be DMX programmable, to enable control from the lighting gallery.
Artem’s client is the Birmingham and Barcelona-based dance company, Humanhood. Artistic directors Rudi Cole and Júlia Robert Parés anchor their work in physics and astrophysics, as well as in their personal insight into Eastern mysticism. Their new production, Torus, is inspired by the creation of a geometrical shape by revolving a circle in a three-dimensional space around a coplanar axis, and by the existence of these shapes throughout the natural world. Artem’s smoke vortex cannon delivers a dramatic visual effect at a key moment during the performance.
Artem built a number of rigid-bodied cannon prototypes in various sizes, all of which featured a rear-mounted membrane pulled into extension by a series of bungees and secured by electromagnets. Once released, the membrane creates a sizeable single sh