Europe - The Rolling Stones’ live shows are still known for their dynamics and power, and the recent No Filter tour featured a stunning lighting and video design that captured the essence of their performance and underlines the indelible legacy and huge influence of their music.
Lighting designer and creative director Patrick Woodroffe of Woodroffe Bassett Design (WBD) worked closely with stage architects Stufish on developing the look and feel of the No Filter tour, which used four grandMA2 full-size consoles, one MA grandMA2 light, five MA NPUs (Network Processing Units) and four MA 8Port Nodes.
Woodroffe explained: “We had very little lead time once the tour had been confirmed but worked with a great team from Neg Earth on lighting, and Solotech on video. Stufish and Jeremy Lloyd put together the scenic design and concentrated very much on the detail of rigging and mounting all the various elements to produce a composition that was both stylish and practical.”
The lighting was programmed and run by longtime Stones lighting director Ethan Weber. He said: "There were always discussions, prior to the start of any Stones' tour from the 90's through the mid 2000's, about which lighting console(s) to use. It's now a given that the show will be run on a grandMA. It's an enjoyable console to programme and run, has great reliability and availability, is powerful and looks good sitting out there and the support you get throughout the world from the MA Lighting network and other users is hugely comforting.“
“We rely on grandMA2
Switzerland - The Zurich Opera House entered the 2017/18 opera and theatre season following an extensive technical renewal that included new audio equipment, modernisation of its workflows, and fresh approaches to its sound reinforcement.
The Lawo mc²66 mixing console that was previously installed in the sound control room has been replaced with an mc²56, with a second an mc²56 also installed in the auditorium – making the sound control desk and auditorium desk mirrored consoles. Operated in mirror mode, the configurations, snapshots and adjustments of parameters that are performed on one console can also be recalled at the other. This ensures efficient preparation of performances, particularly where Microport systems are increasingly being used. Managed in this way, musical and children's opera projects planned for the future will be easier to mix in the hall.
The new Lawo mixing consoles offer 48 faders in the control room – a 32-fader console with a 16-fader extender that can also be connected to the hall console – and 16 faders at FOH, with both sharing a common core. Previously installed with the mc²66, this core remains the heart of the system and has been expanded with Wave SoundGrid with Gold Bundle, along with an additional Dante card. The capacity of the redundant routing card is 8192 x 8192 mono channels; four DSP cards provide 192 DSP channels of processing.
Both consoles can be used standalone or in two-person operation so that, for example, recordings are activated and controlled from the sound control room while the auditori
UK - Battersea Dogs & Cats Home’s annual Collars & Coats Gala Ball returned for its ninth year earlier this month, with Hawthorn on hand - or should that be paw - to deliver full technical production for the star-studded occasion. Taking place at Battersea Evolution, a Smart venue, the creative technical production expert provided lighting, sound, video and staging for the charity’s biggest fundraising event of the year.
Even with a guest list packed with some of biggest names of stage, screen and sport, it was Battersea’s four-legged friends that stole the spotlight at the Gala Ball. Battersea’s legendary Guard of Honour, a red carpet lined with the home’s dogs and their handlers, kicked off proceedings before guests settled down to a dinner by Smart Hospitality.
Guests of the two-legged variety were kept well entertained throughout the evening with both a silent and live auction as well as performances from Mica Paris and reggae and pop legends UB40 featuring Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue.
Hawthorn used this year’s event branding as inspiration to deliver a stylish production design. Following the concept of A Night of New Beginnings, the versatile space was transformed into a literary heaven by the Battersea Special Events Team and florist Maison de Fleurs, adorned with floral displays incorporating book pages.
With this concept in mind, Hawthorn’s design needed to feature a much softer element than in previous years. For this, the company enhanced the room with extra tungsten sources and fitted
USA - Success has not spoiled Louis The Child, nor has it made this pair of Chicago-bred DJs any less daring when it comes to reshaping their distinctive brand of EDM music. Since bursting on the scene two years ago with the highly original and spacey tune It’s Strange, the duo has continued to jump head first into the creative cauldron. Rather than resting on their laurels, they show a fearless willingness to experiment with novel eclectic synths, push percussion assemblages to the limit, and in general do whatever it takes to reach new musical heights.
The same Louis The Child philosophy is at play when it comes to lighting their shows. Going into their 32 -city Last To Leave Tour, which started 12 October, the pair told the team at Creative Production & Design (Austin, TX) that they wanted a lightshow that looked radically different from the one that had been so well received on their previous tour.
The CPD team readily obliged, coming up with a design that drew much of its vitality from a new, convention-defying fixture, the Maverick MK Pyxis from Chauvet Professional.
“Given the nature of Louis The Child’s music, we wanted a show that stood out,” said Justin Jenkins, owner of CPD. “Standing out becomes a lot more doable when you have a fixture that does things that nothing else does, which is how I’d describe Pyxis. When I first saw this fixture, I knew that its centre beam, independent pixel ring, infinite pan and tilt, zoom and other features really made it different.”
Jenkins told CPD’s Kendall Clark,
USA - When the latest in a series of remodels stretching back two decades was completed in 2013 at the newly named AXIS at the Planet Hollywood resort in Las Vegas and it was announced that pop star Britney Spears had been signed to a two-year residency deal, no one - including gurus of the entertainment world, and even most of the crew - really expected it to last more than six months.
Today, with that residency wrapping up an overwhelmingly successful four-year run and other pop residencies having taken hold, the venue boasts the highest number of ticket sales in Las Vegas and, most weeks, the highest in the country. In a world of dizzying changes, one of the few constants has been the presence of DiGiCo consoles at both ends of the snake.
The other constant has been the presence of AXIS production supervision and head of audio Eric Fish. “When I first came in, this place was raw concrete,” he recalls. “It was not a facelift, it was a full remodel. Everything was redone from the speaker rig to the consoles to everything in the walls and a ton of acoustic treatment.”
The room has a storied history. It opened on the bicentennial weekend, 2 July, 1976 as the Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts with a run of shows by Neil Diamond. In 2004, it was the scene of Linda Ronstadt’s legendary rant in support of filmmaker Michael Moore in front of a largely conservative audience, which effectively ended her viability as a performer in Vegas. When the old Aladdin hotel was imploded in the late ’90s, the theatre remained, going through a series
UK - Overlooked by a dominating Nelson’s Column and The National Gallery, U2 premiered material from new album Songs Of Experience amongst a set of their greatest hits, at a free show for 7,000 fans in London’s Trafalgar Square on Saturday 11 November.
Introduced by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, MTV Presents Trafalgar Square was the curtain-raiser to the following evening’s 24th annual MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs) at The SSE Arena, Wembley, where the Irish four-piece were honoured with the Global Icon award.
Both events were graced by Stageco’s dedication as staging provider with Wim DeWolf and Mario Dockx handling the R&D, while Dirk De Decker managed both projects. For the U2 event, the Stageco crew of seven [plus local crew], headed by Stefaan Vandenbosch, negotiated one of the busiest tourist areas of the city to erect the company’s now-classic transparent canopy roof. The choice came directly from the event’s production manager, Chris Vaughan, who successfully implemented the product on other events earlier in 2017.
Along with the band roof, the three-day build saw Stageco construct 16 vertical 460-type towers of varying heights and widths, each accommodating 1m and 0.5m wide LED strips designed to transmit lyrics, slogans and graphical content to augment U2’s live set. The company also built four towers for PA and lighting, bridged by horizontal trussing which served the dual-purpose of suspending black drape while offering additional stability.
“Organising and co-ordinating some 20 trucks to come o
Europe - Thirty-Six Robe BMFL Spots were workhorse moving lights on the recent Rolling Stones No Filter European tour, part of a spectacular and epic lighting design created by Patrick Woodroffe.
Patrick and associate designer Terry Cook of Woodroffe Bassett design (WBD) worked closely with stage architects Stufish on developing the show’s overall aesthetic.
With many moving lights on the rig, they sought a high-powered fixture to occupy four 'slots' just below the tops of four imposing 23m high by 11m wide monolithic video towers which define the performance space.
"Patrick and I needed a multi-functional fixture and knew the positions would be hard to access and given the complexity of CDM rules and regulations and the requirement that crew be able to access the fixtures safely - a lot of thought went into the process," explained Terry. “We decided on BMFLs because they are high powered, intense multi-functional moving lights with nice sized front lenses (giving rise to the much-loved quality fat beam) that are also reliable."
The lights were used to shoot into and illuminate the audience, to create classic huge aerial looks and to beam down onto the stage and band as they worked that
While video was always going to be a major part of No Filter, it was decided at the outset not to have one large surface, instead they went with four towers – giving a more interesting look and additional depth to the performance space, as well as being ideal as classy portrait IMAG scenes for featuring the four Rolling Stone band mem
Turkmenistan - Internationally renowned lighting designer, Durham Marenghi used more than 800 Claypaky fixtures to deliver the two large-scale lighting designs for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG), produced by Balich Worldwide Shows, held this year at the Olympic Stadium in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
The ceremonies, broadcast on the 17 and 27 of September to 57 countries worldwide, featured giant projection-mapped sets, pyrotechnics and sweeping light displays. For the opening ceremony, over 7,600 performers told the history of the Silk Road through music and dance, culminating in the lighting of the games' 'cauldron' which burned throughout the 12-day event.
Marenghi, the designer behind the lighting for the Rio Olympics last year, specified a large Claypaky lighting package for the AIMAG ceremonies. The rig comprised Claypaky Scenius Unico, Claypaky Mythos, Claypaky Sharpy, Claypaky Sharpy Wash, Claypaky Alpha Profiles, Claypaky Alpha Beam 700 and Claypaky Alpha Beam 1500 fixtures.
"Lighting alongside projection is a delicate balancing act, as the light levels we use are very low," says Marenghi. "For AIMAG we didn't go above 350 lux. This means that the lights we used needed to be very accurate and optically sound to create the beautiful imagery required in these large-scale productions. Claypaky has shown time and time again that their optics and reliability are well suited to these challenges."
One of the largest challenges faced by Marenghi and his lighting team was illuminating th
USA - On Tuesday, 14 November, the Atlona On Tour road show rolled into Boston for a special two-day Visual Systems Show in Marlborough, MA, where more than 75 dealers, distributors and systems integrators took in live presentations focused on Atlona’s Velocity networked control solution, OmniStream R-Type AV over IP platform, and a variety of HDR products. Seth Powell, Atlona’s resident AV over IP training expert, led most of the presentations.
Sponsored by the D.L. Henderson Company, a regional manufacturer’s representative, the event also included a three-hour Atlona Certification Course on how to configure, deploy and maintain OmniStream and Velocity systems. More than 20 attendees were certified. Atlona offers these trainings free of charge, and has been granted CTS certification for them due to providing a thorough and complete curriculum.
The road show continues with two more stops in Chicago and Boston on 28 November and 5 December respectively.
France - Aeroscopia is a museum which celebrates the contribution that the Midi-Pyrénées region has made to French civil and military aviation. As well as aircraft and themed exhibition areas, the museum features spaces for hospitality events, meetings and presentations. In all of them, Yamaha audio systems deliver smooth, turbulence-free sound.
Toulouse is known globally for Airbus, but the area around the city has witnessed over a century of aviation - from France’s first powered flight by Clément Ader, via the Caravelle (the first French jet airliner) and Concorde, to the mighty Airbus A380. Appropriately, Aeroscopia is connected to Toulouse-Blagnac airport - where many French aircraft made their maiden flights - and is within easy reach of the city.
At the heart of the museum, the 506m² l’espace évènementiel (event space) can host up to 400 guests in a cocktail configuration, or 290 guests for a seated dinner. Here, high-quality background music is delivered by eight Yamaha VXS8 and two VXS10 loudspeakers, powered by XMV 8140 and XMV4280 amplifiers.
The amphithéâtre (lecture theatre) features four VXS8 loudspeakers and an XMV4140 amplifier, while the meeting room includes four more VXS8 and two VXS5s, powered by an XMV8280 amplifier, both systems for presentations and video soundtracks.
The sound for each space is managed by its own MTX3 matrix processor and DCP series surface-mounted controllers. The system is also controlled by iPads running Yamaha’s ProVisionaire Touch app.
The system was installed by Patrick Ballan
UK - The multi-cellular controllability of Martin Audio’s MLA was put to the test recently at the notoriously difficult Alexandra Palace, when The War on Drugs played to a 10,000 sell-out crowd.
The American indie six-piece rock band, fronted by Adam Granduciel, were promoting their fourth album A Deeper Understanding - and fortunately their FOH engineer Bob Strakele had prior experience, not only of the venue but also of MLA.
“I have mixed at Ally Pally before,” he confirmed. “So when I heard that we would be doing a show there, I immediately asked our production manager [David Scheid] to get in touch with Capital Sound about getting an MLA system.”
Capital’s operations & development director, Paul Timmins takes up the story. “We have worked with Bob on a number of shows over the past 10 years, including Billy Talent, Erasure and James. So he contacted me and said he wanted us to do the PA for a band he’d not worked with before, primarily because of the Ally Pally show; then he looped me in with the production manager. What started off as being just Ally Pally then turned into two additional shows at Manchester Apollo as part of a European tour.”
Strakele was convinced MLA would be the right tool to tame the heavily glazed venue notorious for its reverberation. “Having toured with the system before, I knew that we would be able to keep any unwanted energy from bouncing around in the roof,” he said. “The drapes installed certainly helped to an extent, but I feel like the ‘hard avoid’ setting in the roof w
UK - Audio specialist tube UK returned to the familiar urban territory of Manchester’s Albert Square to help deliver the city’s 2017 Christmas Switch On ceremony, which officially fired up the city’s Christmas lights for the run up to a fun-packed festive season.
tube has been involved with the Switch-On since 2001 and has seen it grow massively in that time, so the audience now fills the entire square and the event involves multiple road closures and the traditional hoisting of Manchester’s own huge LED clad Santa onto the front of the Town Hall to oversee the proceedings!
The d&b sound system spec’d for the show was designed by tube’s John Redfern and based on the required crowd coverage and the needs of the multiple acts appearing onstage in the hour-long entertainment extravaganza headlined for the first time by a DJ – Sigala. He was joined by Pixie Lott and X-Factor favourites Yes Lad.
Radio Key 103’s breakfast hosts Mike Toolan and Matt Haslam compered, assisted by Coronation Street star Brooke Vincent, and the onstage action also included production numbers performed by the casts of four high profile musicals - Guys & Dolls, Shrek the Musical, ELF the Musical and Little Women. These either are or will be playing in Manchester for the festive period.
All artists were accompanied by backing tracks run via one of tube’s QLab systems, with Sigala playing his set live. The QLab was also used to play out a series of beds running in the background – radio-style – accompa
Canada - Radio Active Designs (RAD) Canadian manufacturer rep Zimbel Audio Productions has had a busy couple of months placing RAD UV-1G wireless intercom systems with the Canada 150 Celebration, Canadian Country Music Awards, Toronto Pride and Caribana parades and at historic Massey Hall in Toronto for the Canadian Songwriter’s Hall of Fame inductee ceremonies.
The four-day Canada 150 Celebrations at Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square benefited from a six- drop UV-1G system that covered site-wide communication needs for the stage managers with just two antennas. The event featured more than 40 music acts including Drake, Belly, and Barenaked Ladies.
Another six-drop system was used at the Canadian Country Music awards broadcast in Saskatoon. Technical producer Neil Staite says, “The RAD comm system supplied flawless communications between our floor and stage managers over two stages, which made for a very smooth broadcast. I definitely plan on using more of it on next year’s show and on my upcoming shows.”
Because of the recent FCC auction, the amount of available UHF bandwidth will narrow considerably across North America by year end. Fortunately, the UV-1G base station utilizes proprietary Enhanced Narrow Band technology which allows each of the two transmit channels to occupy a mere 25 kHz of UHF bandwidth while maintaining the audio characteristics one would expect from a traditional FM system.
In addition, RAD bodypacks operate in the VHF range, clearing up valuable UHF spectrum for wireless microphone and IEM systems that need
France - The second edition of the Fun Radio Ibiza Experience, organised in association with Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel, took place on 14 April 2017 at the Accor Hotels Arena in Paris. Around 17,000 people gathered at this huge EDM event which transformed the venue into a massive dance floor to the sounds of top DJs Robin Schultz, Nervo, Sam Feldt, W&W and headliners, Afrojack and Hardwell.
“The Paris show is a little taste of resistance,” says show director, and founder of High Scream, Romain Pissenem. “To stand up and dance and have fun is the only response we can show to the threats to which our city has been subjected.”
Helping Pissenem bring the spirit of Ibiza and the Ushuaïa vibe to Paris were over 200 Ayrton lighting fixtures, including over 100 MagicBlade-FX, 50 MagicPanel-FX and 50 MagicDot-XT. The fixtures were supplied by Ayrton as part of a collaboration between the Parisian manufacturer and these masters of spectacular party nights to bring the party to Paris.
“The Paris event is important because it is a big show and everyone’s expectations are high,” says Pissenem. “Plus, it is my home town and I want to give it something special. At Ushuaïa we have seven different shows - a separate one for each DJ - with a new show every day of the week; and every year we create seven new productions which get bigger and better each year.
“In Paris, we have just one chance, once a year, to give people the best party possible. So, when people walked into that massive arena this year, even those who came to the f
Brazil - Four Robert Juliat Lancelot 4K HTI followspots took pride of place front-of-house at Brazil’s Rock In Rio Festival this summer. Held over two weekends at the Cidade do Rock at Rio de Janeiro’s Parque Olímpico da Barra, this festival saw headliners Aerosmith, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Bon Jovi, Maroon 5 and the Red Hot Chili Peppers play to over 700,000 across seven nights.
The Lancelot followspots were supplied by Robert Juliat’s Brazilian rental partner LPL Lighting Productions Ltda, whose Caio Bertti worked in association with Daniel Ridano of Robert Juliat’s Brazilian distributor, Lighting Bits Ltda and the festival’s lighting designers, Patrick Woodroffe and Terry Cook of Woodroffe Bassett Design.
The Lancelot fixtures were rigged in full view of the audience on stylish, modern lighting and sound towers - skilfully designed for minimal impact on audience sightlines and to give a real architecture to the festival site on the aerial camera shots - which arched gracefully over the enormous crowds that make up one of the world’s largest music festivals. The huge throw distances and equally big names on stage called for the precision and finesse of Robert Juliat followspots to illuminate some of rock’s greatest bands in front of the massed fans and television cameras.
“We chose Lancelots for the stadium shows partly because of their brightness, but also because they are the followspots that most lighting designers would like to see on their shows,” says LPL’s director and lighting designer, Rafael Auricchio. “The performanc
Switzerland - Thunerseespiele is well-known for its beautiful scenic location, providing the most stunning backdrop to the high-energy performances gracing the stage every summer. The energy is fully matched by the immersive spatial audio delivered by award-winning sound designer Tom Strebel, using TiMax Tracker stage tracking and object-based TiMax SoundHub spatial reinforcement to deliver transparent vocal clarity and intelligibility.
As usual, Strebel’s seasoned audiopool engineers also crewed the production and Out Board’s Robin Whittaker provided TiMax spatial tuning and programming support on-site.
In previous years, lavish performances have included Jesus Christ Superstar, Titanic and Aida – and unforgettably, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet performed in a massive half-pipe with a cast of BMX stunt bikers and skateboarders. This year’s performance of the global musical theatre phenomenon, Cats, joined its predecessors in high velocity aural harmony, tracked and localised with precision for the immersive benefit of the 2,700-strong nightly audience.
A TiMax SoundHub dynamic delay-matrix spatial processor is controlled by TiMax Tracker automation which uses transmitter tags worn by each performer to send radar-frequency UWB chirps to sensors around the stage which then feed positional information the TiMax SoundHub in real-time.
SoundHub then uses specially-developed algorithms to morph each performer’s radio mic between TiMax Image Definition delay-matrix objects, ensuring that every audienc
Romania - The Timeshift festival in Bucharest was the debut for the largest roof ever engineered and sold by Milos. The massive MR5 Heavy-Duty roof measured 31 x 18m and covered the main stage of the first edition of Timeshift Bucharest Music Festival - an event where technology and music come together.
The festival was a four-day event held from 20-23 July and featured a total of four stages, with the Milos MR5 roof covering the main stage. Featuring international artists such as David Guetta, DJ Snake and Bloc Party, Milos helped Timeshift ensure its mission of providing the means for its audience to “step into another dimension”.
The client for this project was A.S.C. Systems Sound & Light, based in Bucharest. A.S.C. Systems has been in operation for 17 years and is one of the leading rental companies in Romania for stage, light & sound equipment. Their primary goal is to provide customers with solutions that meet their budget, without sacrificing quality, and delivering technical solutions that meet the highest standards.
When asked about his choice of the Milos M5 roof, A.S.C. co-owner Alex Oprita answered, ““We’ve been working with Milos for the past 10 years and that’s why we chose them. They have good products.” When speaking about value for money, Alex said, “It’s what we were hoping for.”
The highly customized MR5 roof was an intensive project that made full use of Area Four Industries’ technical sales service. Norbert Tripp, Area Four Industries technical director, carried out the engineering de
Europe - L-Acoustics sound systems have been specified for the recent European tour of Grammy Award-winning artist John Legend, with BCS Audio supplying the equipment.
BCS owner David Shepherd explains: “As is so often the case, the client specified an L-Acoustics system. This is one of the reasons we’ve been an L-Acoustics supplier for several years now. Their systems are rider-friendly simply because they make great sounding products and consistently deliver the high quality of sound the artists want. And we want to provide our clients with that high quality - you always know what you’re going to get with L-Acoustics.
“We’ve been working with John Legend since 2014,” recalls BCS project manager, Nick Boulton. “His FOH engineer, Troy Milner, had been really impressed with a K1 system they’d used during the first run of shows he worked on with John and he wanted to replicate that experience.”
In the larger arenas, BCS deployed main hangs of 14 K1 with 4 K2 down-fills, inverse stereo out hangs of 14 K2 and a flown centre-hang of 6 Kara. To add a little more impact to the system, K1-SB were flown behind each of the main arrays, with additional KS28 in front of the stage in an arc sub configuration to provide smooth low-end coverage throughout the venues. The entire system was driven with AVB-ready LA12X amplifier controllers.
“The rig performed very well throughout the tour,” concludes David. “It's easy to fly, safe and quick to work with and provides us with the scalability we needed for the varying venue sizes. We’ve
Denmark - The Rhythmic Conservatory (RMC) in Copenhagen aims at supporting the creative forces of its students, musicians as well as producers, as they have more than 30 rehearsal rooms that are equipped with recording set-ups, including USB recording interfaces, external preamps, a MIDI keyboard and controller and studio monitors so the students can hook up their own laptop and capture and work on their musical ideas. In 16 of those rehearsal spaces, a pair of Dynaudio LYD 7 studio monitors has now been installed.
“All of the new rooms are prepared with a basic set-up that allows our students to bring their own laptop and simply plug in,” says sound technician, Tim Harris, who took the lead on designing the new rooms. “They have access to record up to 16 simultaneous tracks and since most of our students have a DAW and their favorite sound and instrument libraries on their own laptops anyway there was really no need to install computers with the same software in every room.
“We actually tested five different monitors in the same approximate size and price range and found that LYD 7 was by far the best solution,” Harris continues. “From a pure sound-quality perspective, as well as in terms of coping with the physical space. The rooms are quite small so the monitors are often placed close to the walls, and the‘Position switch on the LYD 7 really works out great in that respect.
“Another important aspect for these new rooms was a significant focus on quality. We knew that it was key to be able to offer the students equipment that is be
New Zealand - New Zealand singer-songwriter Bic Runga marked the 20th anniversary of her debut album with a tour across the country.
The album, Drive, was released in August 1997 and won the New Zealand Music Award for Album of the Year in 1998. It went platinum seven times in New Zealand.
The Auckland leg of the anniversary tour was held at The Civic Performance Art Theatre, with the main sound system supplied especially for the event was JBL’s new line array system, the VTX A12.
“When we were given the opportunity to mix with the VTX A12, it was a no-brainer really,” says leading sound engineer Kevin Bennett, who mixed FOH for the show. “I have never received as many compliments from an audience as I did after this performance. Sonically the A12 is exceptionally smooth on and off axis. Very little tweaking was necessary to get the system to work at its optimum in the venue.”
"The audience response to this show was not something I was expecting,” says Bic Runga. “I do think a combination of Kevin Bennett's experienced mixing and the PA he got to use gave the show an extra clarity and presence that translated to a special experience for the listener. Most of our feedback after the show was not just about the music, but about the sound quality, it seemed to move them."
Four JBL VTX A12 line array loudspeakers per side were ground-stacked to cover the floor area, while six VTX A12’s were flown to cover the balcony. Two JBL VTX G28 subwoofers per side were used for the bottom end. JBL have completely redesigned the r
South Africa - MJ Event Gear supplied the full technical for the annual employee awards organised by building materials merchant Cashbuild.
The annual Cashbuild Hall of Fame Awards were hosted at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton to recognise the top performers among its 4,700 employees based at stores in South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, Malawi and Zambia.
Commissioned by Trace Elements, MJ Event Gear has provided the full technical for the event since 2010. MJ’s Theo Rood ensured the event, which catered for just over 200 guests, was stage manager for the awards. He relied on Robe moving lights, programmed by LD Gary Sam on a grandMA2 light, to create the fire and ice theme that lit the ballroom.
Gary Sam said: “It’s always such a pleasure to work with the MJ team. Equipment-wise, the grandMA2 light worked well for me as I enjoy the MA platform. A lot of the time, when it comes to lighting, I try and balance complimenting shades of colour, and then sometimes I go the complete opposite with things that don’t match for effect. The Robe fixtures did their job!”
The lighting rig comprised of 24 Robe LEDBeam 100, 18 Robin 600 LEDWash, eight Robe MMX Spots, 24 Thomas PixelPar, 24 Longman ColorMe, four Claypaky Sharpy and a Le Maitre MVS Hazer. Prolyte X30V truss was used for totems and goal posts.
MJ also made use of the professional services of AV Systems who supplied the LED screens and Just Sets for the stage and steps.
UK - Rental specialists Pinewood MBS Lighting worked alongside cinematographer Josie Williams on the award-winning film David and Bathsheba by directors Sammy Patterson and Dagmar Scheibenreif.
Filmed at Pinewood Studios Underwater Stage as part of the 48hour Film Project, the film is a resplendent mix of storytelling and spectacular lighting and camerawork.
Working with Robert Shears, Pinewood MBS provided supported and equipment to the shoot, including ARRIMax M18 and Dedo Octadome kits which the crew employed to good effect, particularly during the underwater sequences filmed by Dagmar Scheibenreif.
Commenting on the support received by the production, director Sammy Patterson says: “Our heartfelt thanks go out to Pinewood MBS Lighting, Pinewood Studios and absolutely everyone who helped us and worked so hard to put this film together - we could not have done it without them. We’re thrilled to have won in three separate categories and are looking forward to sharing our film with audiences around the world.”
Commissioned and created in just 48 hours, the winning production will now go on to represent London against winners from other cities around the world as part of Filmapalooza 2018.
Pinewood MBS managing director Darren Smith adds: “We are always delighted to be able to play a part in productions such as this - the entire crew have done an incredible job on David and Bathsheba, creating such a fantastic looking piece of work in just 48hours. We wish them the very best with their production.”
UK - A SSL console is being used on Imagine Dragon’s latest world tour in support of their Evolve album.
Tour sound company Sound Image recommended the SSL Live L500 to FOH engineer Scott Eisenberg. "It was great to be able to bring up channels that sounded good right out of the box," he notes. "We were able to bring everything together really quickly, which is a tribute to both the band and the console."
The Evolve show features two stages. The main stage is for the primary song list with full line-up, while a 'B' stage allows the band to switch to pared-down, unplugged interludes that include viola, cello, acoustic bass, and keyboards.
This was one of the main challenges for Eisenberg - two stages, lots of instruments, and lots of inputs: "It's about 80 inputs between the two stages," he says. "Around 50 from the main stage, a dozen from the B Stage, plus talkbacks and so on." The drum kit is a significant proportion of the main stage count - about 16 inputs - and there are several downstage drums that the other band members play, which account for around seven inputs. "It's a bit of a handful,” says Eisenberg, "But nice that it's broken up into two stages."
In terms of overall sound for the tour, Eisenberg notes that the band tends to sound more 'rock' than sometimes comes across on the albums. "The band has given me the liberty to make it sound different to the album, which has been nice. Though of course I do listen to - and take note of the album - there are things that fans who only see the show once will be listening
UK - West End fringe venue The Space and its in-house company Space Productions, are building a solid reputation around great acting and direction as well as new and challenging drama.
The company’s sound designer, Keri Chesser, is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of sound design within the intimate site, confidently manipulating the audio framework of productions using a TiMax SoundHub spatial audio matrix.
Chesser and the Space Productions team have recently staged a minimalistic adaptation of Howard Barker’s The Castle, where TiMax once again topped her tool kit. “I love to use TiMax,” she explains, “It makes me braver with my sound design. Makes me want to discover new ways of manipulating the audio rather than just sticking to the limitations of the speakers I have.”
The invisible loudspeaker set up comprised just seven cabinets: two compact speakers at floor level in the audience, pointed at the walls for diffuse surround, two monitors on the stage mezzanine and a further two hidden PA speakers positioned upstage along with a sub. Seven outputs from TiMax drive the loudspeakers directly, and sound effects from Q-Lab on a Macbook Pro go to TiMax via Dante, which Chesser used or the first time for this production.
She attests: “Working with Dante was a lot easier than I thought. I’d been putting it off as I’d had no training but, with help from Dave Haydon from OutBoard, it actually made my life so much easier and there were less wires.”
The Castle’s atmospheric sound beds are central to the sta