Projects News

claypakyClaypaky fixtures elevate NTPA Productions
Thursday, 16 March 2023

USA - A high school senior at Fusion Academy Plano, Texas, Jacob Kaplan is also the lighting designer for NTPA (North Texas Performing Arts) Collegiate Pursuits, a troupe launched in fall 2022 to offer a bridge to the collegiate and professional theatre worlds via a quality performing arts education and staging family entertainment. NTPA is the largest youth theatre organisation in the country.
Kaplan was thinking about what kind of lighting fixtures would help showcase the character of William Shakespeare as the rock star of his day in Collegiate Pursuits’ production of the Tony Award-winning musical comedy, Something Rotten!. He made student loaner inquiries to several lighting companies in the Dallas area, including Claypaky’s US partner located just blocks from North Texas Performing Arts.
“I expected to get a ‘no’ or no response at all from my outreach,” Kaplan recalls. “But, instead, Claypaky asked me what I wanted to use. We talked about my interest in the field, and they supplied several road cases of equipment for the show.” Currently, Kaplan is loading in his third show for Collegiate Pursuits featuring Claypaky fixtures.
“We don’t have a lot of equipment at the venue, so Claypaky’s support has allowed us to take our shows to the next level and work in a truly professional setting,” says Kaplan. “I’ve been able to experiment with new products and technology from Claypaky’s demo inventory, explore different styles of lighting, and design shows to a higher standard. It’s a great learning experience that

pitbullPitbull band Can’t Stop Now with DMI-KLANG
Thursday, 16 March 2023

USA - Having sold more than 25m studio albums and over 100m singles globally, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that Armando Christian Pérez - better known as Pitbull - earned his other stage name, Mr. Worldwide.
As a relentless entertainer, that moniker is equally appropriate when it comes to the Miami native’s global touring schedule, which keeps the pop/rap artist’s calendar ultra-packed with performances, such as his latest 52-show Can’t Stop Us Now tour of North America. To ensure that Pitbull’s backing band, The Agents, are hearing themselves and each other in the most natural and beneficial way, monitor engineer Matt Holden recently added a DMI-KLANG card to his staple DiGiCo Quantum5 console.
Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Holden has served as Team Pitbull’s dedicated monitor engineer for the past eight years. However, Can’t Stop Us Now marked his very first opportunity to literally plug KLANG’s immersive platform into the monitoring setup, utilising the DMI-KLANG to supply six immersive band mixes - drums, percussion, bass, guitar, keys, and DJ - two guest mixes, one tech mix, and one playback engineer mix.
“The way I went about introducing KLANG to everyone was pretty simple,” he says. “I spent a lot of time building a great sounding mix on my guest mixes during the first week of tour rehearsals, which was a good way to understand how it all works and play with different positions. From there, I just started tweaking it for the drummer’s mix, and when I felt confident enough, I copied it over to his mix, and it

eventech-l-acousticsL-Acoustics provides solution for Eventech
Thursday, 16 March 2023

South Africa - Pretoria-based Eventech has invested in 12 Kara II boxes and a further 26 Kara II Panflex upgrade kits. The company has also invested in eight L-Acoustics X12 monitors, all of which were purchased from DWR Distribution.
“Our original L-Acoustics Kara investment was back in 2018 and it feels like an eternity ago,” says Wynand Veldsman from Eventech. “At that time, we had a fleet of ageing boxes that served us very well over the years, but as times changed and the focus shifted, we required lighter, smaller, high-performance boxes that could be set up with ease and not consume as much time as the older boxes did.
“The luxury of having a few days for load-in was gone, and speed, quality and efficiency were key. After many months of considering our options and many product reviews, the announcement came that DWR would be the L- Acoustics agents in South Africa, and we made the call and placed the order.” Their artillery also includes eight ARCS WiFo, 24 SB 18 and four KS28.
Post Covid-19 pandemic, Eventech has seen business soar, not just locally but across the country. To meet demand, company owner Henry Jenkins and Wynand once again contacted Duncan Riley from DWR, deciding to purchase eight L-Acoustics X12 (2-way passive 12” point source monitors), 12 new Kara II modular line source loudspeakers, and 26 Panflex kits to give each existing Kara four-in-one directivity: one box handily covers any audience geometry.
Eventech’s new units went out for their first show with Gearhouse South Africa, used for Imagine Dragons

pdc-dartsElation hits bullseye on PDC Euro darts tour
Thursday, 16 March 2023

Europe - The game of darts has been enjoying a revival in recent years with fans packing large-capacity arenas for competitions and many more tuning in at home. German company Audio Werft Veranstaltungstechnik turns to Elation Professional KL Panel soft lights to provide game lighting at European darts tournaments across Europe.
Audio Werft has been the technical service provider of Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) European tour and gala events for several years, which are broadcast in Germany via streaming service DAZN. For the current tour, the Audio Werft team employs KL Panel soft lights and the larger, even more powerful KL Panel XL to illuminate the on-stage action for both the live audience and television cameras.
Six KL Panel XL fixtures are used in the front truss, approximately two and a half meters in front of the stage, with another four in a truss directly above the downstage edge. Left and right of the stage are other KL Panel XL fixtures, while four of the standard models are installed in the back truss. Two more KL Panels travel as spares.
Arne Lorenz, head of event technology at Audio Werft Veranstaltungstechnik explains: “There are several aspects we need to keep in mind when it comes to lighting: On the one hand, it is about providing good light for the cameras and the television broadcast. On the other hand, in a precision sport like darts, illumination also plays an important role in the well-being of the players.”
Lorenz stresses that they are responsible for creating lighting that does justice to an official wo

winter-jam-2023Winter Jam 2023 takes Bandit Lites on tour
Wednesday, 15 March 2023

USA - Winter Jam, the Christian music tour, has returned to cities across America with a lighting system provided by Bandit Lites. This year’s line-up features Dove-award winning We the Kingdom, Jeremy Camp, Andy Mineo, Anne Wilson, Disciple, Austin French and Winter Jam founding members, NewSong. With a $15 ticket price sold at the door, Winter Jam seeks to include everyone who wants to attend and hear their message of hope.
Production manager Jerry Holcomb and lighting designer Kurtis Wheat crafted a system that would give the range of artists the most bang for their buck, starting with the large LED surface upstage.
“It is 76ft wide at the top and tiers down to 48ft wide at the bottom and is 32ft tall,” explained Holcomb. “We went through several scenarios and designs based on truck space and budget. One thing we all wanted and worked towards were the angled tower trusses that line the offstage sides of the video wall. Bandit came up with a great look on those.”
Bandit Lites provided GLP JDC1 LED Strobes, Ayrton Khamsins, Elation Chorus Line 16s, Elation Chorus Line 8s, Elation CuePix WW4 and a grandMA 2 Full console for control.
Since finding large quantities of fixtures can be difficult for certain vendors, Holcomb shared Bandit suggested Ayrton Khamsins as both a wash and spot fixture. “We’ve really enjoyed those fixtures,” said Holcomb adding, “we can get a big look within our budget.”
In addition to the general lighting system, Holcomb and Wheat took into account what the co-headliners would need for thei

oastlersPAS delivers light and sound at Oastlers
Wednesday, 15 March 2023

UK - Oastlers School in Bradford is a specialist setting that provides support for children and young people who have social, emotional and mental health difficulties. The school takes an empathic approach and offers a number of therapeutic strategies that sit alongside its high-quality teaching. Music and music technology play an important role in Oastlers’ curriculum and are recognised as being vitally important in adding value to personal and social development, helping to to develop increased self-esteem, creativity and confidence.
During a recent evaluation of its facilities, the school decided to overhaul its music room and an adjacent small hall to create a recording/rehearsal facility and a dedicated performance space.
A key aim was to give learners the opportunity to gain real-world industry experience of working in a professional studio, including broadcasting for an internal radio station and participating in music recording and production. Also on the agenda was an aim to enhance productions and performances staged by students, including those which form part of the coursework for performing arts lessons, by significantly improving lighting provision.
Oastlers consulted with Bradford-based audio, video and lighting specialists Pro Audio Systems (PAS) about the best way forward.
The school’s existing equipment comprised a small rack with a basic mixer for a few microphones and a pair of PA speakers in the music room, as well as four lights run from a rudimentary fader system in the small hall. Chris Beardwell of PAS describes

cidermillTNA line array presses case at Cidermill Theatre
Wednesday, 15 March 2023

UK - The Cidermill Theatre is a new performing arts theatre owned and run by Chipping Camden School in Gloucestershire. Built to serve both the school and the wider Cotswold community, the £4m venue was opened in October 2022 at a launch event which featured actor Ben Miller and chart-topping singer Jennifer Paige, who performed a set including her international hit Crush.
Centred on the Rockspring Auditorium (capacity 292 seated, 450 standing), the complex also includes a dance studio, black box studio, lounge area, rehearsal spaces, classroom, café and bar. The theatre enjoys a full range of professional facilities and is quickly developing an impressive programme of theatrical performances, live music, dance, cinema screenings and talks. An essential component of any modern, flexible performing arts centre is its audio provision, and the theatre consulted with specialist Michael Krompass at BASE Culture about a suitable system.
Krompass had no hesitation in recommending HH Electronics’ new TNA line array, having experienced a demonstration of the system when it was launched. Suitable for small to medium sized venues, the TNA offers a compact, active package that is easy to set up and packs a powerful punch that belies its size. The system is based around the TNA-2120SA, a multi-channel active subwoofer with integrated Class D amplifier which features two high power 12” low frequency woofers with exceptionally high output, and the TNA1800SA a powerful single 18” active low frequency subwoofer.
The main Rockspring auditorium was equi

st-johnR-H solution for St. John the Baptist Church
Wednesday, 15 March 2023

UK - The market town of Cirencester is home to one of the biggest parish churches in the country: St. John the Baptist, where community members find their home as soon as they step through the 12-century, cathedral-style doors. The church, while visually appealing, doesn’t come without acoustic challenges. Striking stained glass windows and wooden pews lining the space create ample opportunities for reverberation and muffled audio. To overcome these challenges, the church turned to Renkus-Heinz for the sound solution to fit its needs.
Together with UK-based supplier CUK Group, Staffordshire-based event and installation specialist Novum Audio Visual worked to specify and install three Renkus-Heinz ICC36/3 column arrays from the US manufacturer’s Iconyx Compact line. As a result of Novum’s work, 12 unsightly box speakers were removed from the white limestone columns of the 600-year-old nave and its associated cabling. The Diocesan architect, along with the church, was delighted with this visual improvement. This was CUK’s first installation of Renkus-Heinz products after taking over distribution of the brand.
The ICC36/3 comes equipped with a 36-channel digital amplifier, powering the array’s 36 three-inch, full-range, high-sensitivity drivers. With an amplifier and DSP channel for each driver, the Iconyx Compact loudspeakers are designed to custom-tailor the asymmetrical beam of sound needed for each space. Each column is 3m in length, enabling directional control from 150Hz and full steerability from 300Hz and above.
“The ICC36/3 column

abercrombieSydney’s Abercrombie re-opens with Powersoft
Wednesday, 15 March 2023

Australia - Powersoft’s new AES67-enabled amplifier platforms, including the enhanced A+ versions of its innovative, half-size Mezzo range, have made their global debut at the recently reopened Abercrombie hotel in Sydney.
The Abercrombie, located in the inner-Sydney suburb of Chippendale, traces its roots back to 1843, when it opened as the Australian Inn. The current, art-deco building, on the old Carlton United Brewery site, was completed in 1938 and served as a much-loved watering hole and live entertainment venue until its closure in 2014. It was acquired by hospitality group Solotel in 2016 and reopened – two years late, as a result of Sydney’s on-off coronavirus lockdowns – with a 36-hour launch party in December 2022.
The new-look Abercrombie comprises three venues: a ground-floor club space, public bar and beer garden; late-night cocktail lounge and rooftop terrace Casa Rosa; and Lil Sis, an aperitivo wine bar inspired by the caves à vin of Paris.
Tasked with delivering a state-of-the-art AV system worthy of the Abercrombie’s multimillion-dollar redevelopment were Production Audio Video Technology (PAVT), Australian distributor for Powersoft, EAW, AtlasIED, Symetrix and Radio Design Labs, and local system integrator BeyondAV, who inherited “a very difficult acoustic environment” complicated both by the age of the property (the Abercrombie has been a listed building since 1989) and the presence of new residential buildings around it.
PAVT’s business development manager, Dave Coxon. Explains, “Revitalising old buildin

mileyVari-Lite delivers vintage looks for Miley Cyrus
Wednesday, 15 March 2023

USA - Miley Cyrus returned to US screens recently for a massive live-broadcast party with a host of star guests. Taking place at Miami’s Telemundo Studios, it featured classic rock ‘n’ roll lighting effects mixed with a Miami club style setting, achieved using Vari-Lite VL5LED Wash luminaires from Signify.
The DX7 Design team delivered the lighting design, specifying a series of the VL5LED Wash fixtures which were mostly rigged to the arches of the main scenic structure over the main stage.
“This was our third TV show with Miley and on each one, she has opted for a more lighting-based design with almost no video,” explains Tom Sutherland, CEO and lead designer at DX7 Design. “She is a big fan of the more traditional lighting looks, which is why we had a large PAR wall as our background, as opposed to a video wall. Positioning the VL5LEDs on the arches really helped to compliment the Production Design, as well as provide a nice background for any side or low camera shots.”
Cyrus’s decision to include the PAR wall as opposed to a video screen, with a lot of beams and moving lights, meant that the DX7 Design team needed to ensure they had the tools needed to provide the different and dynamic looks for the many musical numbers, but also keep a very traditional aesthetic when needed that complemented the large PAR wall.
“The most impressive feature of the VL5LEDs by far was the brightness,” Sutherland continues. “They were never above 50% intensity for the entire show, yet still easily competed with the other conventional and

dpatadeusz-mieczkowskiLive Warsaw recordings enhanced with DPA
Tuesday, 14 March 2023

Poland - A graduate of Warsaw’s Fryderyk Chopin University of Music, sound director Tadeusz Mieczkowski has dedicated his career to not only understanding the art of music, but learning how to bring out the beautiful, natural sound of recorded instruments. Since 1984, he has been primarily recording acoustic instruments and large musical forms, such as oratories and symphonies, for classical and popular music, as well as film.
With his current work, Mieczkowski has expanded into recording and mixing in Dolby Atmos, most recently capturing a live performance by trio Surreal Players and Mino Cinélu at the Nowa Miodowa concert hall.
Mieczkowski started this immersive project as he does any: identifying the direction of the production. He spent time exploring the acoustics of the famed concert hall, which were designed by Yasuhisa Toyota, director and chief designer of acoustical consulting firm Nagata Acoustics.
“I try to create a vision for my recordings,” Mieczkowski explains. “Before rehearsal, I walk around the venue and listen to the ratio of waves reflected off the floor, walls and ceiling to those coming directly from the instrument. Only then can I choose what kind of microphone I need and know the best placement for the instrument and mic; maintaining acoustic harmony is crucial.”
For the Surreal Players and Mino Cinélu recordings, which were planned for Dolby Atmos applications, Mieczkowski determined he would rely on DPA Microphones’ 4006A Omnidirectional, 4011A Cardioid, and 4015C Wide Cardioid Microphones.

spatialPatchworks hosts Sound II Light event
Tuesday, 14 March 2023

UK - Immersive audio specialists, Sova Audio, will present Sound II Light - a two-day event dedicated to spatial sound taking place at the Leyton-based creative community space Patchworks on 24-25 March 2023. The event is organised by Sova Labs - the social impact division of Sova Audio, that focuses on creating and delivering educational and cultural activities in sound, with the support of Waltham Forest Council Arts & Culture’s Make It Happen grant.
The event will feature live music designed especially for performance on the immersive, 12-point Funktion-One sound system, as well as workshops, panel discussions and a site-specific AV installation exploring the possibilities spatial sound has to offer.
The artists performing at this event have residency days at Sova Audio Studio to work on their pieces on a 12.4 sound system mirroring the setup that will be present at Patchworks.
“Spatial audio allows artists to create works that draw the listener inside the piece. In this sense, you are not only a passive observer, but you become a part of this sonic world as you move and interact with it in space,” says Sova Audio co-founder Tzveti Tzerovska. “Speakers become instruments, sculpting the sound, advancing the experience to be as vivid as it is in real life.”

e1-londonE1 London reveals all new sound & light systems
Tuesday, 14 March 2023

UK - Following a successful start to 2023, E1 London has unveiled its ‘most eclectic season to date’. Featured acts include Blawan, Pantha Du Prince, Dr Rubinstein, Dubfire, DVS1, Ellen Allien, Hector Oaks, Indira Paganotto, Kangding Ray, Kelly Lee Owens, Marcel Dettmann, Matrixxman, Mood II Swing, Nastia, Special Request. This season the club also unveils its new A/V & lighting system.
For this latest run of events, all new screens will run up the wall behind the performers, from floor to ceiling and above the heads of the crowd, offering a whole new visual dimension. These will be displaying bespoke seasonal content created by Spencer at Rebel Overlay. It will be regularly updated to keep the venue feeling fresh and play on top of the over 151 lighting fixtures which range from spots to beams to lasers to pixel-mapped LED bars. In all, there are 4,620,288 pixels in total with a 4k canvas that spans the full length of the venue for the ultimate in immersive technology.
This cult underground club boasts ‘next level audio visual and lighting’ with both E1 music rooms featuring bespoke Funktion-One sound systems that have been designed, installed and maintained by Sound Services Ltd. They include Evolution 6 Mid Highs and the new linear transducer-powered BR132A Bass enclosures. This new technology can unlock low frequency information that goes unnoticed on most audio systems, while the BR132 is the largest, deepest and most powerful of Funktion-One's bass reflex series of bass loudspeakers.
The Warehouse and Black Studio sound systems and

hippoflippers-rollerHippotizers drive Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace
Tuesday, 14 March 2023

UK - America’s Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace has landed in London, offering fun-seeking skaters an AV-rich, club-like experience. Billed as ‘the world’s best rink’, its West London location is decked out with 10 LED screens, five projectors and 200 Lucenti Tubes, all driven by Hippotizer Boreal+ MK2 Media Servers which were bought by the venue owners.
With the original Los Angeles Flipper’s known as ‘Studio 54 on wheels’ due to its disco soundtrack and famous faces, and the more recent New York Rockerfeller Centre revival resetting the party tone, the London incarnation has big shoes to fill. The new two-storey, 34,000sq.ft space is able to welcome 2,500 people per day, and is set up as a live music venue and bar-restaurant in addition to the rink.
Rigged around the main skating area are a number of screens, LED walls and projections, enhancing the visual feast. The projection surfaces are roller blinds made from Carbon Black, a new fabric with carbon fibre nanotubes woven into the material. This is a black projection surface and with the blinds over the stunning windows gives the option of allowing natural light to flood the venue or have the blinds down to give a more immersive visual experience.
Lucenti LED Tubes are rigged in triangle formations above the rink which run alongside club-like lighting and a slamming sound system. The interiors were designed by independent design studio, 93. Production design was delivered by nVisible, headed by production designer, Tim Dunn, who brought Digital Insanity’s Richard Bagshaw in to p

blakesheltonBlake Shelton gets down the honkey tonk
Monday, 13 March 2023

USA - Steve Cohen and Bob Bonniol collaborated on the production and lighting design for Blake Shelton’s current Back To The Honkey Tonk tour. In the process, they created something that is likely to influence and inspire other designers for some time to come.
The creative journey began when Shelton, the multi-award-winning country music superstar and coach on The Voice, said that he wanted to create the distinctive look and feel of a genuine honky tonk bar for his new 2023 tour. Co-scenic designers, Cohen and Bonniol set about creating an evocative old-school look that matched this vision. In contrast to the retro vibe they were seeking to replicate, the duo used 21st century AI technology and the Unreal engine to achieve their vision.
Working with these tools was, in Bonniol’s view “a liberating experience” that freed them from many of the constraints that have historically impacted the design process. “Steve and I started by creating an architecture for the lighting positions that reinforced Blake’s vision,” he recalled. “We then extended this “back” into content, matching the real scenic structure in terms of perspective and detail to a virtual set that consisted of roughhewn wooden beams, old bar signs, and lighting. Using Unreal engine allowed us to move incredibly fast. We could make decisions at the beginning of each rehearsal day about where we wanted to go for each song in terms of lighting and texture, and then have that scene in the server by lunch for cueing.”
The result of this process has been a se

robe-macbethRobe Lights the way for New Zealand Opera
Monday, 13 March 2023

New Zealand - The New Zealand Opera’s recent acclaimed production of Giuseppe Verdi’s MacBeth unleashed a classic and grisly narrative of power, politics, corruption, murder and authoritarianism that is every bit as pertinent today as when William Shakespeare penned the original play, circa 1606.
Lighting designer Matt Marshall was delighted to be part of a talented cast and creative team delivering this production for which he specified and used Robe T1 PC moving lights to provide special soft back lighting to delineate the cast and evoke a sense of separation between them and the large scape video projections across the set.
The performance opened at the Aotea Centre in Auckland, then travelled to the St James Theatre in Wellington and the Isaac Royal Theatre in Christchurch, impressing critics and theatre buffs and thrilling audiences.
It was the first opera that Matt has lit using T1 PC fixtures and his first creative collaboration with British director / designer and video artist Netia Jones who designed set, costumes and video as well as directing the work. Projected images played a prominent role in the dramaturgy, beamed onto three imposing scenic walls making up the set.
As the only other technical creative in this structure, plenty of expectation was on Matt to deliver a smart and dramatic lighting design to suit the viscerality of the piece.
With video projections so fundamental to the action and aesthetics, this also informed the way he lit the stage and cast. It was needing a specific and refined back light to

cameoCameo on track for Berlin Six Day Race
Friday, 10 March 2023

Germany - From 27-29 January, the 110th Six Day 2023 took place at the Velodrom in Berlin. The cycling race, also known as the Six Day Race, is one of the sporting highlights of the German capital, sending the professionals out on to an impressive 250m oval track.
This year, the lighting in the Velodrom was the responsibility of AVM Event Veranstaltungstechnik & Service, which already has years of experience with the SixDays offshoot in Bremen, north Germany. With more than 300 Cameo spotlights used in Berlin, the full-service provider relied on an impressive lighting setup.
As the cyclists do their laps at top speeds of up to 80 km/h, what is needed above all is an equally bright and homogeneous illumination of the racetrack. AVM Event entrusted this task to a total of 116 Cameo Zenit W600-D LED washlights, which, with their high-resolution dimming behaviour and barndoors, provided precise illumination limited exclusively to the racetrack.
"The Zenit W600-D made all the difference," confirms Jens Wiegandt, owner of AVM Event. "The organiser spoke of the best performance ever! For us, the ZENIT W600-D is currently the best solution for sports and trade fair events on the market." In addition, the LED washlights ensured a lower hanging load and enabled the team to also use the spotlights as blinders in the show light design.
In addition, AVM used 70 Cameo OPUS H5 beam spot wash hybrid moving heads to project gobos on to the track and create effect beams throughout the hall. The show lighting design was complemented by 24 Opus S5 Spot-Movin

codaCoda line array installed in Owla Bruges
Friday, 10 March 2023

Belgium - When Jozef De Kesel, the Bishop of Bruges, declared that he could see no future for The Holy Family Church in the Langestraat Quarter of the city, the building ceased to be a centre for worship. Enter young entrepreneurs Mon and Zowie Hayen, owners of Brasserie Uilenspiegel, who envisioned the transformation of the 1904-constructed red-brick landmark into a multi-purpose events venue.
That vision became a reality with the creation of Owla Bruges, a 270sqm space suitable for concerts, performances, weddings, parties, corporate events, conferences, seminars, fashion shows, product launches and more.
High quality, flexible audio would naturally be essential to the venue’s success, although the team at Owla suffered something of a false start when its original installed system was deemed less than optimal during the first concerts staged in the space. Moving quickly to rectify the situation, and at the recommendation of its lighting contractor, Owla contacted audio specialist Studio Haifax to supply and install a new system. Pieter Begard of Studio Haifax recommended Coda Audio N-RAY to replace the existing setup.
As a regular customer of Coda Audio’s Belgian distributor Viladco, Pieter was very familiar with the quality and power of the ultra-compact N-RAY line array, and was confident that a Coda system would prevail where the previous system had not succeeded. Pieter consulted with Viladco’s Hans Engelen over the system design. Using Coda’s proprietary System Optimiser 3D modelling prediction software, they were able to design a sy

tkandUnusual handles rigging for The King and I
Friday, 10 March 2023

UK - The multi award-winning Broadway production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I musical is touring the UK, following its sold-out season at The London Palladium. The musical which has been captivating audiences for over six decades, is playing at a different venue every week until July 2023 and is, according to production manager Jason Culverwell “Probably the biggest musical with a weekly turnaround, touring the country right now.”
Knowing how demanding the schedule was going to be, Jason immediately brought Unusual Rigging on board to handle the rigging requirements for the tour. “My relationship with Unusual goes way back, having worked with them on shows such as War Horse, Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and Ocean at the End of the Lane. I knew that they would have all the knowledge and skills required to provide a full bespoke rigging package for The King and I.”
The brief given to the Unusual team, was to ensure that the show would work in all the venues it was playing at. “We have a few smaller venues on the tour which makes it more challenging, that’s for certain, but Unusual always finds a way to make it work in a way that doesn’t impact on outcome for us or the experience for our audiences,” commented Jason. “In some venues, where the utopian footprint for the show could not be achieved, we have made some adaptations, but none of which feel like a compromise.”
Luke MacBride, design engineer, Unusual, added: “We’re visiting 25 venues on this tour, and at

stephen-sanchezElation KL Fresnel lights Stephen Sanchez
Friday, 10 March 2023

USA - Lighting designer Bobby Grey of Notan Creative was brought in by 24/7 Productions to design a series of late-night talk show appearances for singer-songwriter Stephen Sanchez and chose to incorporate Elation Professional’s KL Fresnel 8 FC soft light as a retro look fixture in his design for a February performance on The Late Late Show With James Corden.
For the Late Late Show performance, Sanchez teamed with Em Beihold to deliver a duet of his hit Until I Found You.
For the performance, LD Grey placed 10 KL Fresnel 8 FC fixtures on C stands for a vintage Fresnel backdrop look. “I just love a Fresnel and feel it really personifies light as art. A big Fresnel has this great vintage Hollywood feel,” Grey stated, explaining that he originally tried to retrofit a classic 10" Fresnel with LEDs inside to get a colour-changing glow but gave up on the idea. “Then I looked at another brand that has a similar light to the KL Fresnel but comes in a blue and silver casing. This wouldn't have worked for us as we wanted a clean, vintage feel,” he says. “When my friends at Volt Lites told me about the KL Fresnel 8 FC and I saw the beautiful black casing and the rich colour mixing, I knew this was the direction we needed to go.”
Fresnel 8 FC employs a 500W RGBMA LED engine (CRI 92) to emit a beautifully diffused wash of full-spectrum light that includes dynamic whites. Grey says the feature of the fixture that was most important in achieving the look for Sanchez’s performance was the “big beautiful lens that just gets

sslSSL Live in the mix for Lizzo’s tour
Friday, 10 March 2023

USA/Europe - The latest leg of Lizzo’s The Special Tour is currently taking the pop singer who recently added a fourth Grammy Award to her collection, winning Record of the Year for her About Damn Time single - across Europe, the UK and North America through summer 2023.
Since the start of the tour in 2022, front-of-house engineer Nick ‘Gauge’ Todd and monitor mixer Rico Gonzales have both been behind SSL Live L550+ consoles supplied by global production provider Solotech. Gonzales additionally uses an SSL Fusion processor and an THE BUS+ compressor and dynamic EQ, and Todd has also recently added a Fusion at FOH.
The two engineers switched to SSL Live desks for the three-month-long first leg of The Special Tour, which got underway in September 2022. The pair made the move to SSL at the suggestion of Gonzales, who has been with Stevie Wonder since 2014, mixing monitors for him during the past six years on an SSL Live console. He has also had years of experience working on SSL 4000 and 9000 Series desks in recording studios around Dallas, Texas.
For all the SSL Live console’s features and functionality, Gonzales is clear about why he made the switch: “My main reason is the sonics. Then, the onboard processing and all the EQ.”
He was previously using a variety of outboard hardware but has been eliminating some of it in favour of the SSL Live’s onboard processing. “The dynamics don't feel ‘hard’ unless you want them to. They're very, very smooth, very analogue feeling. I've been using the Blitzer on the bass,” he offe

allenheathAllen & Heath ready to rock SXSW 2023
Friday, 10 March 2023

USA - The annual South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas has been celebrating the convergence of tech, film, music, education, and culture since 1987. For the past several years, Allen & Heath has had a significant presence at SXSW, with the company’s mixing consoles being featured at multiple performance stages.
This year will be no different, as Allen & Heath consoles will be in use throughout the festival - including the British Music Embassy stage, a venue for breakout UK music stars, where two flagship dLive S5000 surfaces will handle front of house and monitor mixing. Each surface will be paired with its own DM64 MixRack, featuring 128 channels of input processing and 64 configurable buses. Inputs from the stage will be fed into a DX32 modular stagebox, equipped with next-generation low-noise PRIME input modules.
Allen & Heath’s proprietary gigaACE network audio protocol will handle the digital split between the two consoles, as well as shared preamp control. Aside from showcasing up and coming bands, the BME stage will also host innovative multimedia events featuring experimental AV performances.
Across the street, the Sellers Underground stage will be powered by a 64-channel Allen & Heath Avantis console, along with a GX4816 remote stagebox. Avantis consoles handle festival mixing with ease, offering a dual full HD touchscreen workflow and 42 configurable buses which can adapt to the needs of any engineer.
“SXSW is always a highlight of our year and a chance to really connect with up-and-coming artist

l-acousticsL-Acoustics strikes twice at Thunder Valley
Friday, 10 March 2023

USA - The Venue at Thunder Valley Casino Resort is a new 4,500-seat entertainment space officially christened on Valentine’s Day this year. Under the aegis of the United Auburn Indian Community Tribal Council, the $100m, 150,000sq.ft entertainment complex in Lincoln, California, approximately 30 miles north of Sacramento, is already proving the value of its approach to venue technology with the first run of shows.
That started with the Eagles’ Hotel California 2023 tour, followed by Bruno Mars, and then Santana with Bryan Adams, plus The Black Crowes, Frankie Valli, Ringo Starr, and many more in the wings, all using The Venue’s newly installed L-Acoustics K2 sound system.
Touring artists like these are attracted to the venue for its controlled acoustics and leading-edge technologies, with the L-Acoustics K2 system as its audio flagship. “With a system like K2 in place, touring shows can leave all or most of their touring PA on the truck,” observes Chris Miller, engineer and owner of Sacramento-based CTM Sound, the project’s audio systems integrator and exclusive audio production vendor for Thunder Valley. “We were very comfortable taking on a room this size with K2.”
In consultation with the L-Acoustics applications team and Akustiks, the consultancy that ultimately specified the venue’s audio design, CTM installed a system that perfectly addressed The Venue at Thunder Valley. For instance, the two main hangs of 14 K2 per side, buttressed with two flown hangs of seven K1-SB subs per side, are powerful enough to cover virtually the

the-cureBrit Row backs the Cure on European tour
Friday, 10 March 2023

Europe - The Cure played 46 concerts in 22 countries across the continent with audio reinforcement from long-time rental partner, Britannia Row Productions.
“Exciting, powerful and dynamic” is how The Cure’s FOH engineer Paul Corkett describes the band’s latest sonic offering. “Robert [Smith, frontman] has a huge amount of input in the shows; how they sound and how they look.”
Continuing a relationship that has lasted decades, Brit Row, part of the Clair Global group of brands, provided equipment, crew, and international support for the recent tour, which was led by production
“To achieve the desired sound, I use one delay for vocals, but no other FXs from my console,” Corkett explains. “I hardly use any compression – when the band play hard, Robert wants the audience to really feel the dynamics of the songs and the performance of each individual musician.”
When looking for the right choice of desk, Corkett turned to trusted colleague, systems engineer Colin Burrell.
“Colin and I have worked together since 2011, and he has a fantastic knowledge of consoles and PA systems. He’s a great engineer himself, and together we decided that an Avid S6L was the next logical step at FOH, with me having previously mixed on an Avid Profile.
“It was important for the desk to integrate with Avid Pro Tools, as I record to three Pro Tools rigs; one runs at 96Khz to enable virtual soundcheck, while the others run at 48Khz. All of our show files are archived, and Robert himself mixes the shows for broadcast and social medi


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