UK - Sheaf St is the public area of Duke Studios, a hub of creative work spaces in Leeds and comprises a cafe, bar, event space and outdoor terrace. These spaces create a 400-capacity warehouse venue that can accommodate everything from live music and comedy to conferencing and dance music events.
When the Leeds Tech Hub Fund awarded Duke Studios a grant, it’s director James Abbott-Donnelly, took the decision to allocate significant funds toward dramatically upgrading the sound, light and projection facilities in Sheaf St to support a truly flexible and adaptable approach to staging every kind of event possible. Having done his research and spoken to a number of market leading brands, he concluded that Pioneer Pro Audio best understood the needs of the project and also that its range of speakers perfectly fitted the brief.
The Audio Group was engaged to install systems into Sheaf St’s three distinct areas, with the proviso that they could function independently or be used in tandem across the spaces to suit any given event. Following installs in the main Events Space and the Cafe-bar, the work was completed earlier this year when the outdoor ‘Yarden’ was equipped with its powerful yet discreet system. With all of its spaces fully covered by Pioneer Pro Audio’s XY and XPRS Series speakers, Sheaf St found itself fielding a sharply increased demand for its facilities.
The flexibility of the XY and XPRS systems ensure crystal clear speech reproduction and easily deliver the headroom for comedy and talks.
Paul Adamson, managing directo
Australia - This November, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, in partnership with CineConcerts and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, performed Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Concert at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, South Australia. It was the first ever use of L-Acoustics L-ISA Hyperreal Sound in the southern hemisphere and took audiences even deeper into the magical world while the symphony orchestra performed the entire score live to picture.
L-ISA was deployed by leading Australian technical production company Novatech, which has been using L-Acoustic systems for events of all sizes and scope around Australia, from music festivals to live concerts and corporate events, for over a decade. A keen innovator and early adopter of creative event technology, the company has always endeavoured to improve the experience for guests and artists alike and has invested heavily into new technology over the years.
When L-ISA was released, Novatech looked for opportunities to use the ground-breaking technology in Australia. The search quickly focused onto one of its long-time partners, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, which has gained a reputation for outstanding contribution to the world of music and, with the nature of the entertainment perfectly matching the application of L-ISA, was a natural fit.
“With L-Acoustics being the backbone of our audio inventory, we were excited by the introduction of L-ISA and were keen to bring it to Australia for a live performance,” remarks Novatech’s production manager, James Sacca. “It seemed f
UK - With Oscar-winning film credits such as Gravity and Slumdog Millionaire in its portfolio, Pinewood-based Sound 24 is one of the leading post production sound facilities specialising in film and TV.
While Glenn Freemantle picked up a 2014 Oscar for best sound editing on Gravity, his Sound 24 partner Niv Adiri shared the award for best achievement in sound mixing on the same movie, while both have many BAFTA award credits to their name.
Both are discerning when it comes to sound production, and in upgrading their studio at Pinewood to an immersive Dolby Atmos mix room they have chosen Harman’s JBL 7 Series reference monitors for all monitoring; front, surround and overhead. The system incorporates JBL’s new Intonato 24 monitor controller for Atmos. All were supplied by reseller Jigsaw 24.
As Adiri explained, “We have used the room for many years with a different sound system and while it translated well, it was always lacking clarity in the dialogue and spot effects - you didn't quite know what you were going to get.”
Aware that many stages and theatres are equipped with JBL Cinema systems, they were recommended to speak to UK and Ireland distributors Sound Technology Ltd by Jigsaw 24. “And they have been brilliant,” says Adiri, “really helpful and really knowledgeable about what system the room was going to need.”
Ben Todd, application engineering manager at Sound Technology Ltd, provided a system design and demonstrated the recently introduced JBL 7 Series. Having tried the JBL solution out, the
USA - The Classical Academy (TCA) in Colorado Springs recently debuted its new performing arts auditorium with a production of The Little Mermaid enhanced by an all LED Elation Professional lighting system designed and installed by Second Opinion Audio.
Second Opinion Audio designed all of the audio, lighting, video and motor control systems for the new performing arts space. “This is a total state-of-the-art system and we needed to have the lighting system reflect that,” said Second Opinion Audio founder Bob Langlois. “LED was the direction we wanted to go for maximum flexibility for the client. There is no other auditorium of this size that can claim this technology.”
The Elation lighting rig is made up of both dedicated white light luminaires (24 WW Profile warm-white ellipsoidal spots, 12 DTW Par 300 variable white LED Par lights) and full colour LED lights (22 Colour 5 Profile LED ellipsoidal spots, 10 SixBar 1000 LED battens). A pair of Antari F4 Fazers is used for atmospheric effects and mid-air canopy projection. The full theatrical lighting system is spread across three electrics and was designed by Second Audio’s Terry Taylor, who decided specifically on the Elation fixtures to fit the school’s needs.
Designed and built from the ground up, the new performing arts space was completed in time for the school’s fall presentation of The Little Mermaid.
“TCA is thrilled to have a new auditorium with state-of-the-art lighting and sound,” comments Kaye VonKessel, TCA’s theatre director. “We just finished
Germany - Dynacord’s award-winning IPX amplifiers for fixed installations have made their world debut in one of Europe’s most significant stadium projects – the rejuvenation of the historic Berlin Olympiastadion.
Long known as one of the best-sounding stadiums in Germany, the historic location was outfitted in 2004 with an Electro-Voice system in time for the 2006 World Cup final. After 12 years of faithful service, that system has been upgraded to benefit from the power, energy-saving and networking flexibility of the Dynacord IPX range of amplifiers.
In addition, the stadium’s existing 171 Electro-Voice XLC loudspeakers have been upgraded to the DVX version for more powerful sound and increased intelligibility.
With an overall ambition of reducing the total cost of system ownership, the new solution had to feature IP connectivity, Dante audio and green credentials as well as deliver the best possible sound with headroom to spare. “If you can’t clearly understand what is coming from the loudspeakers, not only is it a safety risk, it’s not particularly satisfying for fans in the venue,” argues, Christoph Meyer, director of events & communications at Olympiastadion.
Fulfilling these requirements are 64 Dynacord IPX10:4 Class-D, multi-channel amplifiers with up to 10,000 watts per amp, providing ample headroom while handling all DSP processing. Two Electro-Voice N8000 NetMax controllers handle audio distribution and interface with the emergency evacuation system.
“Dynacord IPX series DSP amplifiers were the ideal cho
UK - Tim Fawkes has worked for Prodigy since 2012 and been their lighting designer for the last year. He’s currently fully embroiled in creating a lighting riot for the current No Tourists, tour promoting the Prodigy’s seventh album.
HSL is again the lighting supplier, and the band are playing arenas and living up to their reputation for being among the most exciting live acts around.
Tim went for a massive, wide and “epic” look for the stage. “I wanted to get away from the postage stamp look of some shows in arenas, where only a tiny part of the actual venue is involved,” he explained. In addition to feeling the energy and atmospherics of the lighting, the band wanted to embrace the whole audience and pull them kicking and screaming into the Prodigy live trip and lighting plays an absolutely instrumental part in this process.
Tim was also involved in drawing up and developing the set design which is based on an idea from the band inspired by the album artwork involving the iconic Routemaster London bus.
In the middle of the stage are two AEC Routemaster front-engined double-decker buses which are 6m high, 2.5 wide and 3m deep.
Built by Brilliant Stages Tim worked alongside Prodigy production manager Tyrone Brunton and Brilliant account handler Bullet to perfect the scenic elements.
As this is a Prodigy show, these are no ordinary London buses – Tim calculated how many lights he could squeeze into the space and filled them with Martin MAC Quantum Washes, Atomic LED strobes and ColorBlock II LED battens to illum
USA - The Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Alaska, Anchorage (UAA) has taken delivery of Ayrton Ghibli fixtures, supplied by ACT Lighting, Inc., Ayrton’s exclusive distributor in North America.
Professor Daniel J. Anteau, the Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance whose specialty is lighting design, had been looking to introduce cutting-edge LED moving head fixtures to use in UAA’s Main Stage and Harper Studio Theatre. He saw Ghibli online, enquired about the new light’s capabilities and sought out Ghibli users.
“I wanted to know if it was as amazing as it appeared online,” says Anteau. “It seemed to be exactly what I was looking for. Users told me how Ghibli compared to other fixtures I knew. That gave me a lot of confidence moving forward.”
Anteau intends to share the Ghibli fixtures between UAA’s two stages. Although students have just returned for the new school year the Ghibli units have already been used by Alaska’s newest professional theatre company, CAZART, on a production of Lungs by Duncan Macmillan, with lighting design by UAA student James Kendall.
“The department’s new season will run from October 2018 to May 2019, and I anticipate the Ghiblis will be utilized on every production we do,” says Anteau. ‘I expect heavy usage for Playhouse Creatures which opens October 26.”
UK - Specialist music venue company VMS Live appointed technical production specialist Adlib to provide a new audio and lighting design and installation in the popular 1900 capacity Eventim Olympia in Liverpool, UK, one of the high profile live music sites that VMS operates.
This project was led by VMS’s MD Steve Forster and Adlib’s Andy Dockerty who in turn enlisted the knowledge and practical expertise of two of Adlib’s most experienced engineers - Ian Nelson (audio) and Stuart Gray (lighting), choosing a Coda PA and a Chauvet moving light rig.
The general goal was to provide tour-grade in-house production options for visiting artists both in terms of practicality and creative scope, so they can avoid the expense and hassle of bringing in their full productions.
The auditorium was originally constructed in 1905 – designed by legendary theatrical architect Frank Mitcham as a purpose-built indoor circus and variety theatre – with many original features still in place. It comprises a stalls area in front of the stage and two balcony levels. The middle balcony has a bar to the rear and a thin viewing envelope to the stage.
The major audio requirement was to provides a sonic experience to satisfy top level touring artists, offering a viable and attractive alternative to bringing in their own systems. The system design also had to be flexible enough to cater for the many in-the-round scenarios – including sporting and dance events – hosted by the venue.
Having mapped and modelled the space utilising these new flying points, th
China - Shenzhen’s Happy Valley Amusement Park, having celebrated its 20th anniversary in October, is still going strong, receiving over 30m tourists from China and overseas in that time. The Park wanted to make some special changes for its anniversary, to keep the experience fresh, and decided that a sound reinforcement upgrade was the way forward. Ultimately they chose a Martin Audio WPC line array.
Happy Valley is China’s first domestic amusement park chain, with seven locations across China and an eighth opening in 2019. Happy Valley, having previously worked with Budee and Martin Audio on its Chongqing park, once again decided on the same partnership, this time for its flagship venue.
The park looked to upgrade its Water World sound stage, where a flexible system that could be used for a variety of shows was required. The multi-resolution options that exist in Martin Audio’s Wavefront Precision offered the ability to easily adjust, based on a show’s size. The digital optimisation provided by Martin Audio’s Display software guaranteed the Pacific Budee technical team could guarantee the sound quality across the audience coverage area.
Budee’s south China technical manager, Jin Lei comments: “The old system received a lot of complaints about sound leakage into other areas of the park, but Display allowed us to focus the sound entirely on the audience.”
Happy Valley chose to go with a system comprising 16 WPC speaker elements and eight SX218 subwoofers, which could be integrated in different formations. The system is driven
USA - Sitting on a sprawling campus in the Bothell community outside of Seattle, Cedar Park Church was founded in 1970 and has, for the last nearly 50 years, been growing each year.
When the time came to upgrade the church’s sound system in its 970-seat main auditorium, the decision to install a new system from Clair Brothers.
Steve Palermo, owner, LIFT AV, consultant and project manager of the new system, explains: “No architectural changes had to be made, however, we did spec the system for the church’s planned future renovations. This Clair Brothers kiTCurve12 system was designed to accommodate future renovations without requiring any further system enhancements or funding.”
Cedar Park Church’s old system was antiquated and due for a modern approach. The first step of the physical installation was the removal of all eighteen of the old speakers, ten amplifiers and a long-passed-its-prime system processor.
Palermo adds, “The idea was to significantly reduce the amplifier footprint and amperage requirements while making a huge improvement in fidelity, output and headroom. And with the new four per side kiTCurve12 system, a significant improvement was made to the stage site lines thanks to the incredibly elegant form factor of the system.”
Palermo and his LIFT AV team worked closely with Andy Soemo, sound and recording pastor at Cedar Park Church, to determine the best speaker system choice.
Now that the install is complete, and he’s had some time to experience it first hand, Andy reports: "I’m really happy abou
USA - When fast-growing Action Church in Florida decided to transform an older building into the ministry’s new broadcast location, they chose to dynamically light the space using an Elation Professional intelligent lighting system designed by AVL integration company Crown Design Group (CDG).
Action Church opened the new chapter, its fourth, in Winter Park, Florida, this past fall. As a dedicated broadcast location, the main sermon takes place at the new facility and is then fed live to Action Church’s other locations, one smaller location and two mobile sites that are set up and torn down each weekend that CDG has also outfitted with Elation gear.
“Every Action Church location has live music and a pastor host but this is their first large, non-mobile location,” says CDG co-founder Ben Graham, whose passion is to see churches inspire and grow their congregations through the use of AVL technology. “They required a versatile system that could cover both house and stage lighting and because all locations take a live feed from the Winter Park site, they needed lighting that could easily transition for use in the sermon broadcast.”
Needing a versatile colour-changing house lighting solution for the 1000-seat main room, CDG found it in Elation’s LED downlighting Colour Pendant. “They wanted control of the house lighting to project any colour and to match with the background they have on screens so we use the Colour Pendants to shade the room and bring colour from the stage out into the audience,” says Graham.
For colour wash on s
UK - Accompanied by an Allen & Heath dLive mixing system, English rockers Nothing But Thieves finally return to the UK, bringing their mammoth year-long world tour to an end.
SSE Audio - one of the largest rental stockists of Allen & Heath products in the UK - supplied the full audio set-up, which includes a dLive S7000 and DM64 MixRack fitted with Dante for multitrack recording and virtual soundcheck on FOH and a dLive S5000 with a DM64 MixRack on monitors.
Gary Curtis, FOH engineer and long-time user of Allen & Heath products, comments: “I first came across dLive at SXSW several years ago and I instantly found it very user-friendly, great sounding and very quick to assign layers, but the flexibility of the system is what really drew me in. Now I’ll use dLive at every opportunity I have - for this tour, I even convinced our monitor engineer (David) to move away from the ‘Dark Side’ and join the dLive team.”
“I was really apprehensive of using dLive at first but as soon as I had spent a few hours familiarising myself with the console, I just fell in love,” explains monitor engineer David Ruffle. “It was so fast, easy and perfect for what I needed to do with the in-ears - in terms of stage times - and it really does do everything I could want or need.”
Both engineers also use a range of the dLive’s built-in effects and DEEP processing suite, including the 16T, the Mighty compressor, the PeakLimiter76 and Dyn8. Ruffle comments, “In terms of processing and onboard effects, we use all of it! I’m using at least o
Norway - Norwegian LD Kimarius Abrahamsen chose Ayrton MagicBlade-R and MagicBlade-FX lighting fixtures as the main structural elements of his design for Cezinando’s tour and summer festival appearances this year, helping earn the Norwegian singer, rapper and songwriter his third NRK P3 Gull (Gold) Award as Live Artist of the Year.
Bary AS was responsible for the production design of Cezinando’s show and the supply of the majority of the technical equipment, including the Ayrton MagicBlade fixtures.
Frode Eggum Have of Bary AS says: “We want to congratulate Cezinando on his fantastic win and would like to think it might have something to do with his killer concert at Øyafestivalen earlier this summer which had everyone talking!”
Bary worked closely with Abrahamsen on Cezinando’s show for Øyafestivalen, one of Norway’s biggest. But Abrahamsen’s story with Ayrton MagicBlades began even earlier: “Before Cezinando's summer tour, I really wanted to try out Ayrton's MagicBlades as they seemed like interesting fixtures that could change the whole look of the stage design easily and quickly,” says Abrahamsen. “I really wanted to challenge myself to play with ‘walls of light’ and pixel-mapping in a show. I ended up using twelve Ayrton MagicBlade-R fixtures in Extended Mode on the tour, and immediately fell in love with them!
“For the Øyafestivalen show, I worked closely with Sebastian Ekeberg, Bary’s production designer, to find some fixtures that would complement with our current ground package, and fit into the stage d
Cypris - Famed for fine strawberries and a biennial Strawberry Festival, the village of Deryneia in southeastern Cyprus boasts open-air folk art museums and older Byzantine churches, as well as the more recent vintage Agion Panton (All Saints) Church. Begun in 1974, Agion Panton Church's construction was interrupted by the Turkish invasion of that year but resumed in 1987, finally reaching completion in 1992.
To design and install a sound system for its beautiful but acoustically complex sanctuary, the church's leaders selected V Hypersound & Light, which specializes in devising sound systems for acoustically challenging houses of worship. With the advice of the Renkus-Heinz team, V Hypersound & Light designed a system based on Renkus-Heinz Iconyx Gen5-series digitally steerable line arrays, supplemented with CX-series point-source loudspeakers.
"At Agion Panton Church, our team decided to work with Renkus-Heinz IC16-8-RN digitally steerable line arrays to cover the main area of the church," recounts V Hypersound & Light Ltd Technical Manager Vassos Mouzouras. "Renkus-Heinz' beam-steering technology is perfect for dealing with the high reverberation time that resulted from the 30-meter-high (98.4 foot) dome."
The ability to precisely steer individually shaped beams enabled the V Hypersound & Light team to direct the sound at the congregation, while minimizing reflections off the hard surfaces and especially the dome. "The Renkus-Heinz loudspeakers that our team installed sounded great and created a balanced-sounding area, with no d
UK - When Wembley’s SSE Arena opened its doors for the first time to an all-nighter, featuring undisputed champion of drum 'n' bass, Andy C, it presented a number of fresh challenges not previously encountered.
With only the lower bowl area open for the occasion (and the upper tribunes screened off) Capital Sound needed to design their MLA sound system accordingly, while their system tech Ben Turnbull also needed to ensure the minimum of noise escape - as the Wembley area is now densely populated with flats and hotels - to guide the event safely through to dawn.
Promoter and production company Lock ‘N’ Load Events have worked successfully with Capital Sound and Martin Audio’s MLA many times on EDM type events in recent years, including Alexandra Palace.
Capital Sound account manager Martin Connolly says: “From the public’s perspective we were able to run at good levels, aiming at an average of 102dB(A) but peaking at 106dB(A). We were never asked to turn it up, while offsite we were running at well under the threshold.”
To achieve this, they fielded 12 x MLA elements and two MLD Downfill enclosures on each side of the stage, with side hangs of six outfacing MLA Compact elements on each flank.
Across the front, in a broadside cardioid array for rear rejection, were 16 MLX subwoofers (capable of 150dB peak), keeping any bass well away from the back wall, with eight Martin Audio XD12 spaced along the tops of the subs for nearfield coverage.
Capital also supplied Andy C, who took to the stage around 11.00pm, with Pioneer
India - Angriya, India's first luxury cruise ship, which will sail between Mumbai and Goa, was commissioned at a formal inauguration ceremony in October.
Launched as a joint venture by Mumbai Port Trust and Angriya Sea Eagle Pvt Ltd., the flagging off took place in Mumbai, when PR Lighting customer, Goa-based Reynold Event & Promotions were sub-contracted to provide all the lighting by event management firm Wizcraft.
The company recently purchased 12 of PR Lighting’s XR 480 BWS hybrid moving heads, pressing them straight into action for the occasion. They were used principally to colour wash the ship and provide gobo projections, and were mounted on platforms at dock-side, that lined the front of the ship.
The XR 480 BWS is designed to provide three features in one (beam, wash and spot) from an advanced 480W lamp matched with a superb optical system. And according to Reynold Event & Promotions’ director John Remedios: “We were extremely impressed with the beam quality, effects and gobos.”
The attendees of between 600-800 people were transfixed by the gentle looping of the colour movement throughout the official launch ceremony. “The XR 480 BWS was a big success,” admits Remedios. “Since this was a dock location surrounded by sea, the light beams could be seen from quite a long distance away. That part of Goa is generally pretty quiet, so everyone knew that something big was happening.”
The order of 12 XR 480 BWS was Reynold’s first from the Chinese manufacturer -but it’s unlikely to be their last. “This eve
UK - Rope Assemblies has worked with Castleford Heritage Trust to create a safe footbridge at Castleford's Queen's Mill - part of a major restoration project to restore the historic building which is used as a venue for local events.
One such event, the Castleford Beer Festival took place last month - a community event drawing in the crowds with musical art, food and of course beer. James Knowles, project manager at Castleford Heritage Trust reports: "The venue was all ready for the festival which was set to attract over 1000 visitors. However, we had an issue with the function room - it only has one emergency escape and so we had to install a bridge so that, should visitors be required to leave the building in an emergency, they could do so safely. Without the bridge, we would not have been able to use the room."
Thanks to a recommendation from a rigging company working on the project, James got in touch with Linda Martin at Rope Assemblies who, along with Joanne in the sales team, advised on the right product for the job and sent out some samples. She explains: "For a job like this we recommended 5mm stainless steel assemblies, with M10 Swage Studs on either side. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing but it is hard wearing and a better solution than galvanised items as it stands up to the elements much better. James was delighted with the samples and so placed an order for over 107 metres."
Poland - Tommex Żebrowscy Sp. J. has recently completed the design and installation of the audio system for the new Stadion Orła Łódź motorcycle speedway stadium in Łódź, Speedway is a popular motor sport in Poland and the 10,000 capacity Stadion Orła Łódź is the home of the first league KŻ Orzeł Łódź speedway team. It is also the fourth speedway venue to be completed recently by Tommex.
Marcin Zimny, the commercial director of Tommex, comments: “With our experience we know the products that combine to provide the most effective and reliable systems for this application. Speedway is a very noisy environment, both from the track and the fans, and we rely on Community’s R Series loudspeakers to cut through that noise with high intelligibility.”
Comprehensive acoustic modelling was completed by Tommex as a core part of the system design. Stadion Orła Łódź has 360° covered stands, allowing Tommex to distribute 27x 90°-60° R.5-MAX loudspeakers just back from the leading edge of the canopy, with R.5HP and R.15COAX loudspeakers providing additional fill and field coverage. “As always with Community, actual system measurements closely aligned with the modeled predictions,” observes Zimny.
The system is operated from an Ashly digiMIX24 mixer, with a ne8800 providing system DSP and 4-channel Ashly nXe1.54 amplifiers driving the Community loudspeakers.
Source is provided by Sennheiser wired and radio mic systems and a Denon CD / MP3 player. Tommex also designed and installed the stadium’s g+m elektronik APS-Aprosys v
Mexico - October saw Papa Roach and Good Charlotte making a triumphant return to Mexico as headliners of a rock spectacular - powered by Loto Audio and Funktion-One - in the nation’s capital.
Promoted by Zepeda Bros - the team responsible for a string of successful rock events, including Knot Fest Mexico - the show delivered over four hours of live rock music to an enthusiastic crowd at the open-air gardens of the Arena Ciudad de Mexico. The two international acts were supported by three of Mexico’s finest - Lack of Remorse, Matherya and QBO.
To ensure the audience received the full power and impact of the performances, Loto Audo supplied a complete Funktion-One Vero sound system.
The system garnered praise from all the acts’ FOH engineers - providing proof positive of Vero’s abilities across all genres of music. For the opening act, Lack of Remorse, FOH duties fell to Hugo Garzon - one of the most sought-after sound engineers for metal rock bands in Mexico.
Garzon says: “I was impressed when they gave me the audio and we started the soundcheck. It was crazy to hear the power and clarity with which it was counted at that moment, I left very satisfied to work with such powerful audio.” A sentiment echoed by both Papa Roach’s FOH engineer Bobbo and Good Charlotte’s mix-man Chris McMillan.
The system comprised hangs of three V60, two V315 and two V90 per side, plus an asymmetric configuration of eight V221 bass enclosures and four V132 sub-bass enclosures. Two F1201 speakers were used as front-fill. The stage front monitor
The Netherlands - Over the course of their 20-year career, Dutch rock stalwarts Racoon have woven their way through an array of evocative sounds, being as comfortable collaborating with Armin van Buuren on a trance version of one of their hits as they are performing with the London Chamber Orchestra.
Reflecting the multi-faceted style of Racoon in light calls for a design that can convey a wide range of moods in a clear, but subtle fashion. Erwin van Lokeren, the band’s long-time lighting designer, is accomplishing this feat on the band’s Fall ’18 tour with a lightshow that (like his client’s music) is at once straightforward and complex. An indispensable tool in helping van Lokeren achieve this is his ChamSys MagicQ MQ80 console.
“I have been Racoon’s designer since 2006, and it is always exciting and challenging working for them because their music is so diverse,” said van Lokeren. “Racoon music ranges from up-tempo pop to really fragile small songs. This means that I have to go from making the show look big, to creating something very small and intimate. On this tour, I try to create a show that is a bit industrial. I have lights moving up and down in different positions, so they work as scenic pieces as well as sources of illumination.”
Limiting his three-universe show to 62 fixtures, van Lokeren is keeping his rig uncluttered to evoke an intimate hardcore basic mood on stage.
In light of his design vision for the current Racoon tour, the effects options in van Lokeren’s ChamSys console are of particular importance.
UK - Stage Electrics has won a contract to supply production lighting and AV solutions to Croydon’s Fairfield Halls as a part of the venue’s highly anticipated redevelopment.
Working with the Contractor, Vinci Construction, and the theatre consultant, Sound Space Vision, the Stage Electrics team, will be starting on site this month. “Stage Electrics has a long-standing relationship with this venue,” comments Richard Phare, Stage Electrics regional commercial manager. “I was personally involved with Fairfield’s last technical refurbishment over 20 years ago. It’s fantastic that Stage Electrics can, again, play a part in this venue’s continuous development.”
The Stage Electrics team are completing works within the venue’s three main performance spaces; the 1800-seat Concert Hall, the 750-seat Ashcroft Theatre and the Arnhem Gallery - plus a new multi-function space for up to 450 people.
“This is an ambitious project,” adds Phare. “Fairfield Halls will become home to a vibrant new cultural quarter once the works are finished. The client’s aim is to transform Fairfield into landmark destination for the arts in South London, something I feel is certainly achievable.”
UK - British rock band Simple Minds is still thrilling crowds with its larger-than-life sound. The band has been out on an epic world tour, selling out venues wherever it goes and supporting its latest album, Walk Between Worlds. The band's FOH engineer Oliver Gerard, and monitor engineer Mike Gibbard, have both chosen SSL Live consoles for the tour.
Even though Simple Minds is touring a new album, it would never neglect the classic songs, and this has probably been one of the biggest challenges for Gerard, Gibbard, and their gear. "I have to cope with music from the late 70s, through the 80s and the 90s rock and roll stadium thing, and on to now," says Gerard. "I try to recreate the true sounds of those moments because everyone knows those songs in certain colours."
Gerard has been working with the band for over 10 years, so he has built an extensive range of bespoke effects - particularly reverbs - into a standard rack of outboard to sit alongside his SSL L200. On the other hand, Gibbard who started with the band this year, has recreated most of what he needs inside his SSL L500 console, using up to 11 reverbs at any one time to bring the multi-layered Simple Minds sound to IEMs and wedges.
For both, the sound of SSL Live was the deciding factor. Gerrard: "I have used pretty much all of the digital consoles with Simple Minds. When I had the first demo of the SSL I thought it looked complicated, but I got the opportunity to cover for a friend who was using an L200 with another band. I joined him for a gig to check out how he was mixing the
Europe - “When the call came to make a Michael Jackson show, I knew immediately: that's exactly what I wanted,” says lighting designer Marcus Krömer
"Beat it! is a show inspired by the life and career of Michael Jackson, from his first steps with the Jackson 5 until his death,” he said. “The entire production is characterised by great respect for the artist and his work, but at the same time is not a tribute-show. Rather, we wanted to present his show and his music in a modern context, but still remain authentic,” states Krömer, outlining the idea behind the production.
Also, the fact that this could not be achieved without a large slice of rock 'n roll was made clear to the Beat It! team. "Paul Happ, our programmer, and I worked a lot with his music and found so many details and little things that we all wanted to work out,” the designer adds, describing the initial approach to what became a rousing show.
It was also clear that while modern production would not work without the use of LED lights, the result should by no means look like modern lighting technology. "That would have been a break in style and we wanted to stay as authentic as possible. Of course, there are LED walls in the background, some even moving. But in the context of the show, they are deployed to not look like the typical video wall in the stage background. However, from the very beginning there was a wish for some renderings to be projected with some songs and an agreement was made early on between the light and video department."
Ukraine - A digitally controlled Electro-Voice and Dynacord sound system has improved audio quality at Kharkiv National University, one of Ukraine’s three major higher learning institutions. Powered by award-winning L Series amplifiers, the new installation exceeds audience coverage and sound pressure level requirements with fewer amplifiers than the previous system.
To meet the client’s brief of providing powerful and intelligible sound reproduction in the University’s events hall, systems integrator M-Art had to overcome the acoustic challenges of a high ceiling and numerous reflective surfaces, including a balcony at the rear end.
Following a detailed acoustic analysis of the room, M-Art and Electro-Voice partner SoundHouse Pro looked to the high sound pressure level and tightly focused dispersion of Electro-Voice Expandable Vertical Array (EVA) to solve the reflection and reverberation issues of the previous sound system. The new solution comprises left and right arrays of EVA-2082S dual element cabinets, flown at 6.2 metres and angled inwards to avoid reflections from the VIP audience boxes closest to the stage.
Each array consists of four EVA enclosures, each of which contains two line array elements. The top two enclosures deliver 6° vertical dispersion for longer throw, while the bottom two offer 20° vertical dispersion for near-field coverage.
Concealed hardware means the close-packed arrays occupy only two metres of vertical space, and the décor-matched paint finish ensures that they perfectly blend with the room. Providing