Belgium - Although Ghent is famed for its medieval church spires, quaint market squares and its week-long summer city festival, for the students and academics who make up roughly one fifth of the city’s population, one event in particular stands out on the calendar: the Ghent University students union annual party for returning and new students.
This year’s party, which took place within the art nouveau surroundings of the city’s Vooruit Hall. To provide memorable looks for the event, Grizzlysound supplied VéDéLighting with 20 Chauvet DJ Intimidator Hybrid 140SR and 12 Chauvet DJ Intimidator Wash Zoom 450 IRC fixtures. Together, these fixtures formed the foundation of their EDM infused lighting concept.
With the expectant students eager to see both exciting and fresh visuals for the most hyped event of the year, which saw a number of DJs take to the stage to inaugurate the new academic year, Arne Vandenbroucke and the team at VéDéLighting went about transforming the turn of the century theatre into a contemporary party temple. Central to this transformation was the decision to focus light around the DJ booth on stage.
“I’m a huge fan of designing for shows in incredible venues such as the Vooruit, which demand a grandiose approach with lots of exciting visuals,” explains Vandenbroucke. “As a result, our concept was designed around the Intimidator Hybrid 140SR fixtures, which provided maximum stage orientation for the DJ sets while simultaneously illuminating the incredible venue.”
Ensuring that the DJ booth was of centra
The Netherlands - SKALAR - the large scale immersive kinetic lighting and electronic music art installation created by light artist / designer Christopher Bauder and composer / music producer Kangding Ray - has been reimagined for Amsterdam’s The Gashouder, a circular space where the work is being presented by Audio Obscura.
Once again, Christopher is utilising Robe Pointes as lightsources - 93 in total - in this new space. The installation which he calls SKALAR 360, also features 61 double-sided mirrors with perimeter rings of 180 addressable pixels which are suspended on 183 custom Kinetic Lights motorised winches.
In addition to the looped installation piece, Christopher and Kangding Ray are playing seven special related live performance shows in the same space.
SKALAR was first realised in the turbine hall of a former Berlin power station now the Kraftwerk art space, and then the same rectangular shape and dimensions were replicated for SKALAR MX which ran for five weeks in November / December at Fronton Mexico, Mexico City.
The Gashouder was one of the original buildings that Christopher earmarked as ideal to stage a SKALAR experience, with the right combination of quirkiness, funkiness and industrial history. However, its spherical shape required a completely different approach, which has resulted in this unique in-the-round presentation.
The charismatic circular chamber - now been redeveloped as an arts, cultural and leisure area - has an iron roof and was once at the hub of Amsterdam's Wester
Colombia - Allen & Heath’s dLive and Qu series took centre stage at the 14th edition of the Cartagena International Music Festival, set in Cartagena de Indias, with an extensive week-long programme, which saw the mixing systems deployed for FOH, monitor and broadcast duties.
Year after year, nearly 25,000 spectators flock to the festival, which brings together the world’s greatest classical musicians. Held at various venues throughout the city, the festival also hosts a variety of exhibitions, musical masterclasses and educational programmes for young, aspiring artists.
As per previous years, the festival turned to Colombian rental company 903pro to provide audio support across several locations and found dLive and Qu to be the perfect solution to cope with the variety and volume of events and broadcasts taking place over the week.
"I've been mixing classical music festivals in different parts of the world for more than 20 years and I can honestly say that Allen & Heath consoles are just perfect for the job,” explains head engineer Stefano Melone.
The main stage, located in the Plaza de San Pedro Claver and operated by Melone, featured a dLive C3500 setup, paired with a CDM64 MixRack and Waves card, used for multi-track recording. A Qu-16 provided support for the Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Chapel, while a Qu-32 was deployed for TV broadcasting. Additionally, a GLD system handled audio within the Convention Centre.
Melone concludes: “I've always preferred the sound of Allen & Heath for its clarity, depth and quality of
USA - Michael Abbott, audio coordinator for the Grammy Awards, specified 12 Austrian Audio OC818 microphones to be used as overhead microphones on the artist drum kits during the 62nd annual Grammy Awards, which was broadcast live from Staples Centre in Los Angeles on 26 January.
“The broadcast music mix engineers came back to me after the broadcast, commenting on how the microphones provided additional tonal response and spatial coherence to the overall drum kit mix,” comments Abbott.
Hosted by Alicia Keys, the 62nd Awards featured live performances – including Old Town Road All-Stars, which featured nominees Billy Ray Cyrus and Lil Nas X, who were joined by BTS, Diplo, Mason Ramsey, and Nas.
Other artists performing on the night included first-time nominees and break-out stars Billie Eilish and Lizzo, as well as Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani.
“We are thrilled that our OC818s were part of such a prestigious and high-profile musical event that is watched all over the world,” comments Martin Seidl, CEO of Austrian Audio. “To have our mics specified by the Grammys’ chief engineer and sound designer speaks volumes about the quality of our products, and the recognition they are gaining throughout the industry.”
Handmade in Vienna, the OC818 is a multi-pattern dual-output condenser microphone equipped with a world-first: optional wireless control, while its sibling - the OC18, is a cardioid pattern precision microphone. Its unique design and outstanding sonics, combined with new wireless control technologies offering highly o
USA - Fans, who turned out for Anthony Hamilton’s three-date Florida swing in late December, finished 2019 with a bang. In addition to seeing the Grammy-winning R&B artist perform his hits, they got to enjoy a stellar cast of supporting artists, featuring Ja Rule, K Michelle and Joe.
Each act was supported by a punchy Josh Lawson lightshow that delivered its searing visuals with help from six Chauvet Professional Maverick MK2 Profile fixtures supplied by Apogee Productions of Longwood, Florida.
“I approached each act differently as Ja Rule is classic hard-hitting rap, Joe is a more laid-back version of R&B, and K Michelle is an artist who tells a lot of stories of her past relationships,” says Lawson. “Since the three stops made in Florida were at arenas, it gave me more stage space to play with than I have at my normal club shows. I took advantage of this, by working with different light angles, backlighting and colour combinations to reflect the individual style of each artist on stage.
“Early in the show, I used a solid colour wash with a follow spot, and then transitioned to more colour as the night progressed,” continues Lawson. “When I do multiple acts I like to build on them and make the looks more complex as the night progresses.”
Flown at evenly spaced intervals on upstage truss, the Maverick MK2 Profile fixtures filled a variety of roles in the flexible design, serving as general stage washes, in addition to being used for spot lighting, specials, backlighting, and audience washing.
“The shutter blad
USA - Wayne State College is a mid-sized public school in rural Wayne, Nebraska. The college’s theatre arts degree programme provides its students with three performance venues housed in the Lied Performing Arts Centre.
At 675 seats, the Ramsey Theatre is the largest of the three, but until recently, the quality of its sound reinforcement system was not commensurate with the quality of the programme. Local AV integration company Adams Production Services recently designed and installed a Danley Sound Labs system that delivers “vastly superior intelligibility and impact at a fraction of the former system’s size”.
“Last year, I updated the PA system in Wayne State College’s gymnasium with six Danley OS80 loudspeakers, and they loved the improvement,” explains Brian Adams, owner of Adams Production Services. “They showed me the system in the Ramsey Theatre, which had recently suffered the failure of its main DSP. They replaced it, but it really called their attention to how bad the entire system sounded. It was comprised of fourteen 90s-era open horns and subwoofer boxes, along with several fills and a ton of amps and amp channels. They were way past due for an entire system overhaul.”
Adams designed a simple Danley system for the Ramsey Theatre. “It comes back to the basic principles of good sound reinforcement design,” he says. “For the same coverage, fewer boxes are always better than more boxes because that minimizes the opportunities for interference and comb filtering. Danley produces a wide range of point-source loudspea
UK - Lighting designer James Scott specified 96 impression X4 Bar 20 battens from GLP when London-based rapper / producer AJ Tracey played two shows at Alexandra Palace recently.
The gigs were the culmination of a long year in which Scott, director of multi-disciplinary creative design studio Suluko, had been an essential part of the artist’s creative team, headed by Tawbox. AJ Tracey toured first the UK Academy circuit followed by the festival season, with a simple floor package.
Lighting inventory for the tour had been supplied by Siyan but when it came to the Ally Pally shows production manager Joel Stanley awarded the project to Neg Earth.
The creative for the show was devised by Tawbox, who designed the screen layout and the concept of AJ performing in the round. “This was a specific show design for Ally Pally,” explains Scott. “The concept of the show was in connection with the historical broadcast nature of Alexandra Palace, which ties in with AJ Tracey’s iconic tag line of ‘AJ Tracey . . . Live & Direct’.”
The X4 Bars had formed an essential part of his rig and were specified to fulfil a specific purpose. “I needed a batten fixture that was capable of multi cell control and that was also zoomable,” he says.
“They had a very noticeable role in this design; they were positioned in a square layout to delineate the edge of the 350mm deep square stage and then mirrored in the air to echo the shape of the video box.” Scott adds that he always runs the X4 Bars in Single Pixel High Resolution Mode (89-channel)
UK - Music producer George Moorey likes to weave a little historical magic into his recordings, by taking his mobile setup - which now includes an Audient iD14 audio interface - into some of the ancient buildings of his adopted home. Capturing the spirit of the city in the form of samples, he showcases them in a surprising variety of genres including choral, classical, folk, hip-hop, electronica, grime and rock.
His most recent project is a prolific songwriting collaboration with fellow musician and lyricist, Shane Young, called The Powdered Earth. The first single Hold Your Breath is released on 31 January and incorporates piano samples he’s been recording all around the city.
Moorey says: “Piano is crucial to the sound of The Powdered Earth. The parts are simple and repetitive, so I record them as MIDI using a master keyboard and a DAW. This makes it easier to edit and change the songs as they are developed. Using MIDI also means we can replace all the sounds, so I am collecting piano samples at every opportunity.”
One of his favourite haunts is the 12th Century St Nicholas church, where he keeps his upright Opus pianino that he describes as “a little beauty.” He explains: “I use an Audient iD14. It’s perfect for the task. Two quality pre-amps and converters, and easy to use physical controls and software interface.” Fitting everything he needs into one bag, he’s all set for stereo recording and overdubbing on location.
Having recorded in a number of ancient Gloucester
UK - Established over 60 years ago, Belfast-based Niavac has grown steadily to become one of Northern Ireland’s most successful systems integrators, covering the corporate, healthcare, hospitality and education sectors. The acquisition of audio company Loft Sound in 2016 expanded Niavac’s portfolio into the live event industry, a business which is proving every bit as successful.
The company has invested in a Yamaha Rivage PM7 digital mixing system to continue its commitment to high quality service and it has already been out on tour.
“We used Yamaha digital mixers from the beginning,” says Loft Sound’s Steve Corr, who became Niavac events manager at the time of the acquisition. “Our first mixer was an LS9 and our inventory went on to include M7CL, PM5D, all three CL series mixers and smaller analogue boards for conference work.”
He continues: “We looked at a number of options and Rivage PM7 was the obvious choice. All of our engineers - indeed most engineers - are familiar with the Yamaha control surface, so the PM7 was also the easiest transition up to a premium mixing system. The sheer amount of buses and the way they can be used, the sound quality, the amount of EQs, the Premium Rack and the way that we can insert effects and send them any way we want were also huge points in its favour.”
One of Steve’s biggest challenges is mixing an annual tour with the Cross Border Orchestra Ireland (CBOI), a not-for-profit orchestra for 12-24 year olds which provides performance opportunities and high quality musical training. The a
UK - White Light has supplied the lighting for You Stupid Darkness!, which recently opened at the Southwark Playhouse in London.
Presented by Paines Plough and Theatre Royal Plymouth, You Stupid Darkness! is a new play set within the Brightline Call Centre. It focusses on four colleagues who try to keep their lives together whilst the outside world falls apart.
The lighting designer on the show is Peter Small, who comments: “My brief for this production was that it shouldn’t feel ‘lit’; meaning I wanted it to feel as natural as possible to the audience. The concept was that you had sort of peeled the wall off this strange office and were peering in from a dark place, somewhat ‘fly on the wall’. This concept meant working closely with set designer Amy Jane Cook and adding in masking which would allow me to drop the rig very low and hide it away from the audience. As this was a dystopian piece, I also had to have a rig that would allow for bursts of surrealism, alongside the hyperrealism.”
And whilst the show is dealing with large issues, the production itself was all about the smaller details. Peter explains: “The set is the same location throughout and also very naturalistic. Therefore a lot of my lighting had to showcase a passage in time, as this was often the only indication in between scenes. I did this by varying the background from return to return; sometimes the computer was on, sometimes the lamps were on and off, sometimes someone left the main light off but forgot to turn the kitchen light off etc. The show al
USA - The ninth annual iHeart Radio Music Festival landed in the Nevada desert with stars including Alicia Keys, Miley Cyrus and Green Day. The event, held at the T-Mobile arena, was broadcast live on FOX, complete with energetic sets and an array of musical talent. Green Hippo was at the iHeart of all things visual, with Boreal+ Media Servers powering pre-made content.
Jason Rudolph was at the helm as screens producer, using the in-built Hippotizer toolkit to manipulate content to fit each artist’s performance, in front of two ‘SuperWall’ LED screens, one on each side of the stage.
“We used four Boreal+ servers, as two redundant systems - an A and a B system for the A and B screens,” explains Rudolph. “Each main server was doing four outputs to drive all the content for the show. Everything feeds into two linked E2 frames to get onto the screen and allow for switching to backups, and also to accommodate any guests that show up with their own systems.”
The content was mostly produced by the various artists’ design teams, and the impressive line-up presented a challenge for Rudolph with so much video to deal with.
“Often, acts will show up with their tour content, which we need to adjust to fit our screens, and this is one place where all of the handles we have available in Hippotizer really help us to pull this show off,” Rudolph continues. “The content management capabilities in Hippotizer are one of the main reasons we use it on this show. We can be loading content onto multiple servers while rehearsals are going on w
Thailand - Since their debut album in 2001, Potato have steadily grown to become one of the most admired Thai rock bands, attracting a strong following among teenagers in South East Asia.
Their latest two Potato Magic Hours concerts were a testament to their popularity, with thousands of fans coming together to enjoy the band’s performances at the Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani, with an L-Acoustics K1/K2 system helping to bring the magic to life and ‘kick out the jams’ at the second largest exhibition and convention venue in Asia.
For Potato Magic Hours, Thai AV rental partner MediaVision (1994) Co was chosen to deploy the PA system. The venue presented the team with challenges from the outset.
“Even though the venue is very popular with concerts and live shows, the acoustics were our major concern,” says MediaVision chief system engineer Prasobporn ‘A’ Sornkrasin. “Deep retractable seats produced long diffusion on low frequencies, whilst a full ring of VIP rooms with glass panels causes major mid frequency reflections.”
L-Acoustics Soundvision 3D acoustical modelling software was used to ensure the system would provide uniform coverage throughout the entire venue. The final design comprised two hangs of 14 K1 with three K2 and two K1SB stage left and right, with additional 16 KS28 subs ground stacked per side.
Out-fill was catered for with two hangs of 12 K2, with front-fills of six Kara spaced evenly along the curve of the stage lip. The entire system was powered using 36 of LA12X amplified controlle
South Korea - In common with many older houses of worship, modern expectations have meant that the audio quality of sermons in the 1936-built Changsin Church in the Gangnam district of Seoul, South Korea was no longer good enough. A replacement sound reinforcement system was needed and, after a direct comparison with systems from other major manufacturers, an Alcons Audio LR14 pro-ribbon system was chosen by the church.
The church formed a committee which appointed Jang Young-wook, a church sound engineer and executive director of the Korean Church Acoustics Association, as the project consultant. He contacted the representatives of eight leading audio system manufacturers and asked them to participate in a briefing to be held at the church.
The companies included audio contractor Sky Sound, based in the city of Daegu, which had previously worked with Alcons Audio’s South Korean distributor Corelab on the project to install an Alcons pro-ribbon LR14 ultra-compact line-array system in The Gyeongsan Central Church, in Gyeongsan City. Sky Sound also owns an Alcons LR18 compact mid-size line array system in its rental inventory for live events.
The representatives of all eight brands attended the site briefing, which included details of the acoustics and the Church’s requirements, and all were asked to suggest a solution based on an identical budget. Sky Sound CEO Park Sang-hyun and Corelab’s Baek Seung-hoon had worked together on the Gyeongsan Central Church installation, so it was obvious for them to work together on this project.
South Africa - Truck and bus manufacturer Scania recently launched its new product line for the African market at a much-anticipated launch event, held at Montecasino in Johannesburg.
Blue Moon brought on board Dream Sets, one of South Africa’s prominent set and technical services companies, to manufacture the set and exhibition areas and to deliver technical services for the event.
Toni Van Oostenrijk of SpaceCadet, who took the lead role in designing the look and feel of the set for the event, drew inspiration from the front grill of the new Scania trucks, which he worked into the design of the bar and reception area. “When we first proposed this idea to the client, they seemed a little sceptical. However, as with so many of Toni’s designs, as soon as they saw it, they instantly fell in love with the concept,” says Dream Sets project manager, Billy van der Merwe.
Billy explains how Dream Sets, together with their partners, managed to conceal and then dramatically unveil three full-sized trucks inside a dome structure by using some very creative stage design.
The event was hosted in one of Gearhouse In2Structure’s 6 Bay SupaDomes, which spans 36m by 72m long. Designed and manufactured in South Africa, In2Structure’s Supa Dome boast a load capacity of three tonnes per arch for rigging, which provided Dream Sets with all the capacity they needed to load in an impressive amount of lighting and audio equipment, in addition to a number of LED screens and set pieces for the event.
The Scania launch event comprised several phases
France - Creative lighting artist / designer LeRoy Bennett utilised 91 Robe BMFL WashBeam high powered moving lights - nine working in conjunction with RoboSpot remote operation systems - to help deliver the opening ceremony (OC) complete with holographic projection effects, for the of the Riot Games’ 2019 League of Legends World Championship Finals, staged at the Accor Arena in Paris.
Roy collaborated closely with the creative team from Riot Games and Possible Productions who briefed him on the look and style of lighting that they wanted to achieve for the in-the-round OC show. It energised an arena packed with eSports fans ready for a thrilling seat-edge final.
Drawing on his previous experience of working with Kaleida Holonet screens, projection and multi-layered imagery shows, Roy knew he needed mega-bright moving lights with super-accurate shutters - and the BMFL WashBeam was his fixture of choice.
The lights for the OC and the overall LOL World Championship Final events, were supplied by UK based rental company TSL working for production company ConCom Inc.
The OC choreography covered a wide area, so precise key lighting was essential to delivering the show’s aesthetic and narrative which involved creating a series of game-related environments and effects that interacted with the artists and dancers onstage.
A number of pre-set positions had to be lit and artists had to be lit as they moved between these.
Roy described lighting the event as “a bit like performing surgery – critical base timing, acute attention to det
USA - This week at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre, Sting takes centre stage to bring his musical, The Last Ship, to the West Coast deploying a d&b Soundscape immersive sound system. The show tells the story of two childhood sweethearts set to the backdrop of the collapse of the shipbuilding industry and features an original Tony-nominated score with music and lyrics by Sting, who will also perform for the month-long duration of the show’s LA residency.
Providing the sound experience to create the various scenes and acoustic moods for the performance is a system designed by Sebastian Frost and supplied by Stage Sound Services. It continues to utilise d&b En-Scene object-based mixing and En-Space room emulation software running on the DS100 system processor and a comprehensive d&b A-Series loudspeaker system.
Frost has been associated with the production’s latest iteration since 2017. His work deploying Soundscape with En Scene and En Space and harnessing it with his vision of how the musical should be experienced has delivered an emotional experience that resonates with audiences on a deeply personal level.
Previous productions of The Last Ship, in Canada and on tour in the UK, have used a large number of distributed point source loudspeakers across the theatre. For the Ahmanson Theatre main system, seven hangs of A-Series augmented array loudspeakers were deployed.
“The biggest transformation for this set of shows is the use of the new A-Series. It provides us with lots of power and it took far less time to configure
UK - The International Convention Centre Wales (ICC Wales) is a joint venture partnership between the Welsh Government and Celtic Manor Resort. The centre provides 26,000sq.m of floor space for up to 5,000 delegates, which includes an auditorium with tiered seating for 1,500, a 4,000sq.m pillar-free space that can be divided into six sections creating up to 25 different configurations, and an additional 15 flexible meeting rooms.
Architecturally, it is a refreshing departure from standard conference centre fare, with a triple height atrium at its entrance and a light and airy feel throughout. It has been designed to engender a feeling of well-being, and many of its spaces have impressive views out across the adjoining woodland.
This open, progressive approach has also been applied to the centre’s AV design integration, and installation processes, which gave technical contractor Stage Electrics a level of freedom and collaborative input that has paid dividends for the resulting infrastructure and has made best use of an exacting budget.
Stage Electrics was responsible for installing integrated lighting control throughout the venue, plus PA, voice alarm, production lighting and associated infrastructure - including a Dante AoIP network - for all meeting rooms and public spaces. The company also worked with the client to manage stage engineering and equipment suppliers, technical budgets, and eventually helping to hire technical staff for the venue.
The Stage Electrics team included chief engineer Simon Cooper, who held principal responsibili
UK - White Light has supplied the lighting for Magic Goes Wrong, which recently opened at the Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End.
Created by Penn & Teller, Magic Goes Wrong focuses on a hapless gang of magicians trying to host a charity fundraiser – with entertaining results. It features a lighting design by David Howe, who is lighting several of Mischief Theatre’s other shows. He comments: “The basis of the show is that it’s very much a slick variety show where everything should technically run smooth. However, the magicians and acts who perform aren’t the most skilful which results in everything going wrong.”
Set designer Will Bowen created a ‘variety-looking’ stage, complete with glossy floor, big theatrical tabs and glitter-drapes. There is also a large video wall at the back of the space which is used to introduce the acts as well as add texture, with a video design by Duncan McLean.
Bowen continues: “Taking all of this into consideration, my design has three goals. The first was to support the ‘variety show’ feel, with strong washes of colour, lots of comedy face light yet still be suitable for camera work. The second was ensuring that the portals and flown drapes received lots of lighting in order to make them ‘zing’ and ensure we maintain that light entertainment feel we’re used to seeing on TV. Thirdly, there was the wider brief of lighting the various tricks and keeping them ‘magical’ whilst still allowing the comedy to shine.”
David approached WL who is also supplying the M
Italy - Jo Campana is with Francesco Renga on his L’altra metà (The Other Half) tour. The name refers to the hidden part of every one of us which can only be seen by looking into the mirror.
On the basis of this idea, lighting designer Jo Campana came up with his Uno Nessuno Centomila (One, No One and One Hundred Thousand) concept. The set features several panels with reflective surfaces and columns with concealed video elements, which can only be seen when reflected in the back wall, also covered with mirrors.
“The tour is remarkable for its rather small number of lights. So I decided to create a concept with mirrors to make the stage look visually wider and increase the number of light rays," Jo Campana said.
The impact is surprising. With only 13 Claypaky Mythos units for the effects, we came up with a varied, engrossing light show. Jo Campana went on to say why he wanted to try something different.
“In our work, creativity and the constant desire to try new experiments are fundamental. They are the added value we can really give to the look of a tour. In this case, the idea developed into a play of reflections, refractions and replications, which really impressed the production team and the fans.”
Francesco Renga's Italian tour concluded on 23 December in Cagliari, resuming in Europe in May in major cities.
France - On 8 December, 1852, the city of Lyon’s large Catholic population had planned a spectacular firework display to mark the installation of a statue of the Virgin Mary on the bell tower of Fourvière.
A violent thunderstorm intervened, forcing a cancelation of the outdoor celebration. Undeterred, the Lyonnais lit candles in their windows, endowing their city with a radiant, hopeful glow, and giving rise to an annual celebration that today attracts some two million visitors from across the world.
The light displays that enthrall Fêtes des Lumières visitors today, could scarcely have been imagined in the pre-Edison era of the original celebration. Contributing to the rich tapestry of vibrantly coloured LED lights at this year’s four-day festival were panoramas at the Place des Célestins and Grand Hotel Dieu that featured Chauvet Professional COLORado Panel Q40 fixtures.
Tech & Live, a subsidiary of the Eurosono Group, created the light plots in addition to supplying and installing the IP65 rated fixtures at the two historic sites. A collection of 25 COLORado Panel Q40 units was used as part of a sound and light show with mapping at the Place des Célestins, and eight of the RGBW panel-fixtures were deployed at the Grand Hotel Dieu.
Positioned on scaffolding towers at the four corners of the spacious Place des Célestins square, as well as on two bridge structures, the COLORado Panel Q40s showered the UNESCO World Heritage Site in bold, realistic colours that contributed to the festive atmosphere, without detracting from the sq
UK - A K-array loudspeaker solution has been deployed at London’s Royal Society as part of a major upgrade of its AV systems. Supplied by UK distributor 2B Heard and installed by Whitwam AV Integration, the loudspeaker system provides uniform audio coverage of the Society’s multi-purpose lecture theatre while blending discreetly into the venue’s environment.
The Royal Society is the world's oldest independent scientific academy, dedicated to promoting excellence in science. Founded in 1660, it was granted a royal charter by King Charles II and today fulfils a number of key roles: promoting science and its benefits, providing scientific advice for policy, and fostering international and global co-operation.
Many of the Society’s events take place in the main lecture theatre, a 180sq.m multi-use space which they felt was in need of modernisation. The existing sound system of on-wall passive speakers reinforced by a grid of ceiling speakers was outdated, and lacked the articulation to be properly intelligible in all areas of the room, so resulting in several dead spots.
Having made a decision to overhaul many aspects of the building’s technology, the Royal Society’s technical team turned to Winchester-based Whitwam AV Integration, established in 1909 and providing bespoke technology solutions for over 35 years, and with whom the Royal Society has had a long-standing working relationship. Whitwam proposed an integrated audio system centred around K-array loudspeakers and amplification.
The Society’s introduction to the Italian louds
The Netherlands - When Dutch rock band Krezip reunited after a 10-year hiatus they wanted to make a big impact, so their management Friendly Fire asked Andre Beekmans of The Art of Light to create a signature lighting and video production design for three epic shows at Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome.
Assisting him in the task were over 150 Robe moving lights - a mix of Spiiders, BMFL Spots and BMFL Blades.
The stage design, including a thrust connecting main and B stages, was already decided on when Andre joined the team, but he had an open brief for lighting and video.
Six 9m high by 2.5mwide upstage video columns defined the upstage area, and these moved sideways on a tracking system making up multiple configurations. While the show narrative was evolved from the band’s music and history, another wish was to move the whole production up several levels from where they left off on 2009.
Andre collaborated closely with the artists and their technical producer Marcel Buurman and the band’s manager Robert Swarts, who both had some requests, but they were keen for Andre to further develop his creative ideas, so there was a healthy bi-directional dialogue and communication as well as a complete trust of each other’s vision and talent. “It almost felt like I was another band member at times,” Andre stated.
The show started with all the screen elements butted together in a solid block with a lot of IMAG on it for the first part of the show so audiences could clearly see everyone. When the screen divided it revealed nine columns of six Rob
Austria - For more than 20 years, Allen & Heath has provided audio support to Viennese rockers, Wiener Wahnsinn, who perform around 120 gigs each year from local shows to some of the biggest open-air festivals across Europe.
Freshly equipped with a dLive C3500 and an SQ-6 for FOH and monitor duties, Wiener Wahnsinn have recently wrapped up their latest Doppelt oder Nix (Double or Nothing) tour, where the new systems were deployed for the first time.
Having previously toured with an iLive T112, technical director and FOH engineer, Tom Deimbacher adds, “The band decided to stay in the A&H family as the mixers are just the easiest things to use. The dLive user interface is so well designed, and I love being able to route whatever I want to wherever I want. Plus, they sound amazing.”
Supplied by Allen & Heath’s Austrian distributor, ATEC Pro, the band also purchased a DM0 MixRack equipped with a gigaACE card, a Dante card (fitted in the dLive surface for virtual soundcheck and multitrack recording), and two DX168 expanders for additional I/O.
Needing a compact system that could be adapted for any kind of situation, the band explain, “We needed the system to be as flexible as possible, ensuring the utmost quality for the audience, whilst keeping our sound engineer happy by providing him with the best possible tools to do his job. We have quite demanding requirements when it comes to sound and monitoring, and so far, Allen & Heath mixers have been the only ones to deliver literally everything we want and need.”
USA - Victory World Outreach has been ministering in Colorado Springs and around the world for 40 years. A ministry with churches in the US and in 10 different countries, Victory World Outreach has resided in their current building - a remodelled grocery store - for 27 years and in that time has made no significant changes to their main sanctuary. That all changed in 2019 however when they decided to modernise their AVL set-up and chose integrator and Elation Professional dealer Second Opinion Audio (SOA) for the audio, lighting and video upgrade.
With an enduring focus on helping others and after years investing in their satellite churches, the time was right to renew their local house of worship. “With fluorescent lights an eyesore and our main worship space feeling dated, it was time to make some big improvements,” says Paul Jones, lead pastor at Victory World Outreach.
With the knowledge that AV and dynamic lighting systems can positively impact the overall worship experience, the church chose a flexible Elation lighting system to raise its profile and help grow its ministry. “Part of our decision behind doing a complete upgrade to the main auditorium was our desire to reach younger families,” Pastor Jones says. “Bob Langlois and Daryl Porter from SOA put together an AVL package and we loved what they came up with.”
SOA specified, designed and installed an all-LED Elation lighting system made up of Artiste DaVinci moving heads, DTW Par 300 variable white Par lights, WW Profile HP warm-white ellipsoidal spots, SixPar 300 LED Par ligh