UK - Middlesex University is among the latest educational establishments to invest in an Allen & Heath dLive digital mixing system, recently installing an S3000 surface in the TV production facilities at its Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries in Hendon, north London.
The university’s Sony-designed facilities were created to give students as close to a real-world learning and working environment as possible. Boasting a double-height main studio and separate main, VT and sound galleries, they are equipped to a standard comparable to commercial studios and see a diverse range of programme creation - including a significant amount of live music production - throughout the academic year.
“When we were looking to replace our existing audio desk, I was considering very ‘broadcast-specific’ options,” Aidan Delaney (technical manager at the faculty) explains. “However, we do such a variety of things here that dLive simply made much more sense. It’s a real chameleon and we can use it for whatever we need, no matter the scenario. It’s incredibly flexible and easy to use - plus the feature-rich specs, including the excellent onboard dynamics, really made it the obvious choice in the end.”
Supplied by Moonlite Productions, the complete dLive system comprises an S3000 (fitted with Dante 64x64 card for multitrack recording of live music sessions) paired with a DM48 MixRack and two additional DX168 AudioRacks.
Delaney adds, “Although it’s a very powerful system, it’s really not difficult to get complete novices up and runnin
Mexico - Auditorio Citibanamex is a live music venue located in Monterrey that has emerged as one of the country’s top concert venues since undergoing an extensive renovation and redesign several years ago. Located in the heart of Monterrey’s Fundidora Park, the venue has a capacity of 8,000 and attracts both national and international artists.
Despite the renovation, the venue stood somewhat unobtrusive in a brush of static white light until last summer when it received a radiant outdoor wash of colour courtesy of company Adimsa, Elation’s long-time partner in Mexico and one of the country’s leading lighting providers.
Adimsa installed weatherproof Elation Professional SixPar and SixBar series luminaires across the outside of the building, high-power, single-lens Pars and battens with RGBWA+UV LED chips that provide an exceptionally broad palette of colours. Some 180 SixPar 300 IP and 24 SixPar 100 IP LED Par lights along with 12 SixBar 1000 IP LED battens were installed at multiple points around the site. Lighting design was by Edson Rivera of Adimsa with lighting programming by Victor Rivera.
All projects of this size have their challenges but nothing that Adimsa could not overcome. The first challenge, according to Rivera, was delivery time. Supply and installation had to happen in a short four-week period, which was a demanding requirement for an installation of this magnitude. Then during the installation itself, it rained for two weeks, which made work more difficult for the installation team but didn’t hamper the IP65-rated lumin
Belgium - Lighting and visual design practice Painting with Light (PWL) was commissioned by interactive media and attractions specialist Alterface to light the new Popcorn Revenge dark ride at the Walibi Belgium theme park.
This showcases Alterface’s new innovative ‘erratic ride’ concept, an environment combining multiple projection techniques, spectacular HD video, 3D mapping and 3D shooting plus special effects in a ride that follows a non-linear path. Wireless-controlled ride cars are routed ‘randomly’ through a selection of different rooms over their three-minute journey, allowing guests to return to Popcorn Revenge multiple times and receive a completely different and equally exciting visual and sensory experience each time.
Luc Peumans and the PWL team including principal designer Iiris Roskou and project managers Peter Vandenbosh and Céline Cuypers collaborated with Alterface, theme park show and ride creators Jora Vision and engineers ETF to produce this hi-energy phenomenon in Walibi which is owned and operated by French entertainment group, Compagnie des Alpes.
PWL designed, purchased, installed and delivered the complete lighting package for this ride, in the process illustrating the diverse skill sets and experiences offered by its experts working on both entertainment and architectural lighting projects.
This brought a dynamic ‘crossover’ theatrical-environmental approach to lighting the different ride areas and adding to the atmosphere, fun and animated buzz.
The core action in each of the ride theatre spac
UK - When looking to orchestrate an installation at Harrods, L’Atelier Five called on technical event specialists Light Fantastic Production Services to devise a suitably creative rigging solution to manoeuvre the precious cargo into place.
Created as part of an art installation featuring the work of French artist Richard Orlinski, the project required the ultra-precise handling and positioning of a 200kg King Kong gorilla statue, valued at over £250,000.
The challenging brief involved lifting the 200kg statue from street level down into position at the entrance to the Harrods fine watch room, located on the lower ground floor. The lack of rigging points, minimal clearance and need to protect both the cargo and the interior required delivery of a precision solution to carry out the rather unique task.
The LFPS team devised a custom rigging system based around a wheeled truss structure with a bespoke trolley beam to support a pair of moveable hoists. Having lifted the simian statue from its transit case, the structure was moved into position over the stairwell with just millimetres to spare. Carefully negotiating the delicate environment of the store, the package was lowered gently into its final position as part of the striking installation.
LFPS managing director Rob Myer comments, “We love an unusual brief and were delighted to rise to this king sized challenge. It’s been great helping our friends at L’Atelier Five create such a stunning installation - a proper work of art!”
Denmark - ELC Lighting, manufacturer of the dmXLAN Ethernet distribution system and the Green-GO digital intercom solution, saw both ranges deployed with great success on the recent national tour by Danish rock band Nephew.
Provided by tour supplier Comtech, the ELC dmXLAN system included three 10GBX and two 18GBX switches, along with two ELC NODE8 nodes and six NODE8SL slave units on a fibre network, providing the main backup switch at front-of-house and switching for both dimmer city and video city. These latest models in the ELC dmXLAN range were part of a recent investment for Comtech, from ELC Lighting and Green-GO’s Danish distributor, Light Partner.
With short load-in times, the need for a fail-safe network was paramount. Light Partner’s Johan Kvartborg, who provided technical support on the tour, says: “We didn’t have time for fails on the network. We used the ELC dmXLAN software a lot when merging into others systems, to be sure everything was working. We had a lot of universes for pixel-mapping, so it was very helpful to see the system was working without needing to light up the units in the change-over and reveal the setup before the concert.”
He adds, “With units in different positions it was also time-saving to be able to dedicate VLAN Ports on the switches and DMX outputs on the Nodes, managing the complete system from one central position. Also useful are simple things like the fact that all VLAN ports on the switches are automatically colour-coded when selected, so no need for custom labelling to ensure no-one connects de
UK - DPA’s d:facto 4018V Vocal Microphone plays a starring role in the staging of SIX the Musical - and not just because it conveys the crystal clear audio that sound designer Paul Gatehouse was looking for.
Equally important is the look of the microphone and the fact that it is handheld, which truly conveys the concert-like atmosphere that this popular West End theatre show aims to replicate.
“The d:facto 4018V is a vital part of SIX’s visual imagery because the Queens (the main characters) convey their message using a handheld device,” Gatehouse explains. “The show’s creators, Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, wanted to present a unique experience, something that referenced Beyoncé at Roseland. Working with handheld microphones allows us to do that in a very powerful way.”
Written by Marlow and Moss while they were studying for their final year exams at Cambridge University, SIX the Musical is a modern re-telling of the lives of the six wives of Henry VIII. The story is presented as a pop concert in which the wives take turns singing in a bid to persuade the other wives - and the audience - that their time with King Henry was far worse than anyone else’s. It may sound like an odd concept for a musical but since opening at the Edinburgh Festival in 2017 it has been a major success and now has an indefinite run at the Arts Theatre in London’s West End.
With the exception of one DPA d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphone, which is used to amplify an acoustic guitar on stage, the only microphones used on this producti
UK - Going Through, a play about an asylum seeker fleeing conflict in her native land, has finished its run at the Bush Theatre in London where ADB Klemantis asymmetric cyclights and Claypaky Axcor Spot 300s played key roles in the innovative staging.
The play by Estelle Savasta was translated from the French and performed in English as well as British Sign Language. The words of the asylum seeker, Nour, are also expressed in projected text.
“The show was a really intricate combination of moving set panels, projection and lighting,” says lighting designer Joshua Pharo. “Both performers used British Sign Language throughout, so the lighting needed to work very rigorously to keep them suitably illuminated at all times. My challenge was to integrate seamlessly with Nina Dunn's projections so the audience couldn't tell what was projection and what was light. The set design originally had a backlit cyc, but this evolved into a crumpled backdrop of paper that felt like an epic mountainous landscape.”
Pharo selected ADB Klemantis cyclights to create “a beautifully even cascade of light across the width and height of the paper backdrop”.
Pharo opted to add a complement of Claypaky Axcor Spots 300 to the rig as well. “They provided a vital backbone to the show: the brightness and sharpness of image used to its full range and the incredible zoom range were vital in such a low grid height - just three meters. And the colour tone of the white chip was beautiful in itself. Much of the design utilized the natural colour of the white ch
Italy - Following last year’s success, in 2019 the RDS Stadium in Genoa again hosted www.elrow.com/en.
Behind the consoles, there were some of the most popular DJs of the moment: Dennis Ferrer, Marc Maya, Milkborg, Toni Varga, Anabel Sigel and Federico Guttadauro, so sound quality played a fundamental role in the successful outcome of the event, promoted by RST Events of Genoa. The audio rig able to meet the requirements of the world-level event was supplied by Show Technologies TM of Recco (Genoa) with an Outline system.
Sacha Bozzo, partner with Show Technologies TM, explains: “For the PA, we adopted a solution we’d already successfully used in the location in question, which comprised two hangs each with 12 Outline Butterfly systems, positioned approximately 10m above the floor and 15m apart, plus two groups of three Outline Mantas modules, stacked left and right and six Mantas modules on front-fill duty.”
PA man Giancarlo ‘Jerry’ Paladini continues: “This type of event, featuring techno music with DJ sets, has reached production costs of tens of thousands of euros, to the point of being comparable with rock concerts with medium/large artistes. Consequently, the performance expected by artistes and promoters from the rigs has increased considerable. Many DJs arrive with their own sound engineer, who has the job of checking the systems’ performance and, if necessary, making any changes to achieve the required results.”
To reduce the space occupied by the 20 Outline DBS 18-2 subwoofers deployed, they were positioned under th
China - Absen LED products have been used to create a large DOOH display that towered 15m high above the exterior of the Hua-Yang Plaza Hotel in Luoyang, where the month-long Peony Culture Festival took place. The festival, which occurs each year from mid-April to mid-May, sees the peonies in full bloom and various folk performances staged around the gardens.
The Hua-Yang Plaza Hotel is situated in the middle of Luoyang National Peony Garden, Luoyang National Flower Garden, Wangcheng Park and the Peony Square, which made it a suitable location for the billboard to provide warm welcome to all of the visitors that journeyed from across the globe.
The display itself - made up of Absen’s A1699 product - measures 730sq.m and offers a pixel density of 6760 x 420, making it the highest resolution OOH LED screen ever seen in the city.
Absen’s A1699 is an updated version of the A1688, which is one of the most successful outdoor LED products in the company’s portfolio. Nearly 200,000sq.m of the A1688 has been used in more than 120 countries and regions over the past 12 years.
“With such a gigantic LED display, the power consumption is, on average, around 63 KW/H,” says Landy Liao, Absen product manager. “Thanks to the Absen-encapsulated LEDs, this DIP product is very energy-efficient without compromising the high brightness levels - even in the direct sunlight. These factors, among many others, are what helps Absen to stand out among its competitors.”
UK - London’s Saatchi Gallery is hosting Beyond The Road, an immersive exhibition and independent project developed by Punchdrunk creatives Colin Nightingale (creative producer) and Stephen Dobbie (sound designer and creative director).
Presented by Beyond Projects in collaboration with the gallery, Beyond The Road merges the worlds of visual arts, music and film, and offers visitors a chance to leave behind their modern day lives and lose themselves in a multi-sensory world led by sound.
Collaborating with contemporary artists, filmmakers and photographers, the exhibition deconstructs a soundtrack by music pioneer James Lavelle (UNKLE), to create a completely new and multi-disciplinary sound experience.
Nightingale and Dobbie now seek to reinvent how people experience and interact with music, so it becomes an environment which visitors are free to explore.
Included in the exhibition will be the work of visual designer and multimedia artist Tupac Martir of Satore Studio and Satore Tech. All visual artists invited to participate have been involved in the creative world of Lavelle through soundtracks, music videos and album artwork for The Road: Part I and The Road: Part II/ Lost Highway.
“James’ versatility of knowledge and curatorial ability in the art world is incredible,” comments Martir. “After years of working together on tours, we now have conversations about aesthetics and new technologies. We started talking about the concept about two years ago. Once it became obvious that my idea needed
Ireland - Andy Knightley from Krecording Audio Solutions is no stranger to recording live performances having been responsible for multiple hit live albums over the last 20 years. The latest addition to this list is Derek Ryan Live, which hit the top of the Irish iTunes country music chart, recorded using a Blackbox BBR64-MADI from JoeCo.
Since upgrading to the JoeCo unit, it has been the ease of transport and portable nature of the BBR64-MADI that has quickly made it an integral part of Knightly’s rig. “The size of the JoeCo means it's so easily transportable,” explains Knightley. “When I'm doing fly shows I send the preamps freight but I can carry the JoeCo on the flight with me. That not only saves space but also peace of mind given that the recorder is right beside me when I travel. I carry 64 channels in my record rack. Before I switched to JoeCo I used a desktop-based system which meant carrying not only the desktop but also an interface. The BBR64-MADI saves so much back ache given its size!
“We had to transport my equipment to the Eden Court Theatre, Inverness along with Derek's equipment,” he recalls. “Luckily Derek tours very frequently so interfacing with his gear was very simple. My rack is not that big, so it was rolled on to Derek's truck for the journey. Usually Derek would tour with one desk but for this show there was a dedicated monitor desk which meant splits could be brought in, so we all had control of our own gains. The recording itself went very smoothly. We recorded two shows in two days as well as extensive so
Europe - Popular UK band The Kooks have just completed the latest UK and European leg of an ongoing world tour in support of their fifth studio album, Lets Go Sunshine, released late last summer.
Jordon Cooper of Moth Lights is their lighting designer and lighting equipment for this latest tour was supplied by LCR including 69 x Robe LEDBeam 150s and 32 x Spiider LED wash beam as the moving lights, plus a pair of BMFL WashBeams being controlled by a RoboSpot remote follow spotting system.
Jordon has worked with the band since the album launch last year. He was recommended by their stage manager Will Matthews with whom he’d previously worked on Band of Skulls, and when he and The Kooks production manager Dave Skelton saw Jordon’s design for Skindred at Brixton Academy, it confirmed his credentials as well as his talents as a designer and he was offered The Kooks.
He met the band and their initial ideas were generated - some of which they thought about for some time - and collectively arrived on the same page for the overall look and feel of the show which had elements of a classic music TV production with some modern elements.
Lead singer Luke Pritchard wanted a riser layout that allowed him to move around and explore the stage, and once they had agreed on its basic architecture, the other segments of the design evolved quickly.
They made use of a pink satin drape that had originated as part of a festival scenic design by Cassius Creative utilised earlier in 2018 before Jordon was onboard.
Over the stage there were three
UK - Production designer, Tom Campbell used multiples of GLP’s award-winning impression X4 Bar 20s, as well as the new FR1 compact automated light and innovative KNV Cubes in a GLP-dominated stage when guitar-dominated band The Hunna played a small UK tour of mostly O2 Academy theatres recently.
The MIRRAD lighting designer, who has been working with the band for the past two years, adopted completely different scenography from that used when the band last played Brixton Academy in January 2018.
“We started from scratch this time,” Tom Campbell confirms. “We wanted to drive video content but without using a video wall or projection - instead doing something a bit more obscure.” His solution was to light the back wall with 48 of the X4 Bar 20s, pixel-mapped into an Avolites Ai Q3 video server, provided by MIRRAD (while Liteup Productions supplied the Bar 20’s). “This enabled us to run various lo-res content, such as autumn leaves etc to create different textures and produce some varied and interesting colours.”
In addition, he added 20 of GLP’s innovative KNV Cubes and 14 active FR1 pencil beams, used as key lights - situated on the downstage edge, and within the drum kit and backline on stage. “It was not first time I had used them on the road - that was with Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes - so I already knew it was a fantastic piece of kit,” he reports.
The baseless FR1 has a single, high powered 60 Watt homogenised RGBW LED at its core, and Campbell describes the new fixtures as “extremely punchy for such a tiny
USA - Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. seats 20,000 fans and is home to the Washington Capitals NHL hockey team, the Washington Wizards NBA basketball team, and the Georgetown NCAA men’s basketball team.
As of late, the arena had been feeling the effects of the age of its original sound reinforcement system that was installed two decades ago. Headquartered two hours away in Manheim, Pennsylvania, national AVL integration firm Clair Solutions embraced the task of modernising the Capital One Arena with the installation of new EAW self-powered Anna and Otto adaptive line array elements, complete with custom flown equipment racks. Clair Solutions managed the project without a hiccup on a short lead time.
“Capital One Arena’s previous sound reinforcement system was 20 years old,” explained Jim Devenney, Clair Solutions senior systems designer. “It lacked clarity in some seats and was not up to modern expectations for a live arena experience. The owners worked with Stuart Shatz at WJHW consultants to draft several possible sound reinforcement solutions that would work for the arena and then put them out to bid. Since we have established relationships with so many different manufacturers, we were able to bid on all of the proposals.
“They chose us based on our competitive pricing, our well-established record of successful jobs of this scope, and on our proximity to Capital One Arena.” The owners approved Clair Solutions’ bid in early July, and Devenney’s team met several short deadlines to get everything in place and fully commissio
Israel - MA Lighting was once again the control solution of choice for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest staged at the Tel Aviv Expo Centre which featured lighting design created by Ronen Najar and Dakar Azulay.
Fifteen grandMA2 consoles graced the FOH technical area, controlling 71,061 parameters and a mix of over 2,500 light sources and LED fixtures.
These were lighting the main stage – another elegant design by Florian Wieder – the auditorium and the green room.
MA was chosen by several on the creative and technical team co-ordinated by ESC’s head of production Ola Melzig, including Jack Collins, the event’s lighting systems and control specialist who has worked on several ESCs in recent years.
“The multiuser functionality and ability to control every fixture from every console and to alter fixture types to suit your needs were two big advantages of the MA architecture”, commented Collins, “plus the network’s overall stability and troubleshooting facilities.”
Once the installation was up and running and the production period commenced, Collins watched all the grandMA2 system monitors from his console and could read out every command and, if necessary, search the history, track down errors and pass the information back to the programming team.
Macros – another area where MA is very strong – were also an essential part of the lighting process for a show with short changeover times and many complex sets to accommodate. This enabled timecode information, presets, views, starting and preparing cues to be changed
Europe - Universal Pixels provided video packages for Spice Girls in Dublin, Snow Patrol in Bangor, and The Chemical Brothers in London across an action-packed Spring Bank Holiday weekend. The video specialist supplied over 1,450m2 of LED screen, multiple 3G camera packages, disguise GX2 servers, and a total of 26 crew over the three shows.
When it comes to big shows like this, the devil is in the detail, explained Universal Pixel’s Phil Mercer: “We know from many years of experience in delivering large-scale shows and tours that pre-planning and the correct preparation before equipment and crew get onsite is fundamental. We pay close attention to each project and simplify things wherever we can, so that everything runs as smoothly as possible.”
Kicking off on Friday 24 May, the hotly anticipated Spice Girls comeback show at Dublin’s Croke Park welcomed an audience of 75,000 people. Universal Pixels worked with creative director Lee Lodge, set designer Jason Sherwood, content designer Kate Moross, and video director Jon Shrimpton to create the double-sided video ring in the centre of the stage, two large screens on the wings, and a header of video across the entire width of the stage, including the wings. All of this was achieved with over 700m2 of 5mm LED panels. The video specialist also supplied a 14 camera 3G PPU, Disguise GX2 servers, and 16 video crew.
The same evening, The Chemical Brothers’ headline performance at All Points East Festival in London was enhanced with over 130m2 of ROE 18mm Vanish and two crew. Under the direction of
Ireland - The first convention centre designed from the outset to be carbon-neutral, the multi award-winning Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD) opened in 2010. It has since become a landmark on the Dublin skyline while its world-class facilities, technical infrastructure and central location make it attractive to a wide range of international clients.
Twenty-two separate, individually-configurable spaces are available for meetings and events of all kinds. At its heart is a 2,000-capacity auditorium (featuring a full theatrical production specification) in addition to a capacious exhibition space, extensive banqueting facilities, a further large theatre space in the Forum and six spacious areas in the magnificent glass-fronted foyer.
Autograph Sales & Installations were recently approached to provide an upgrade path to the venue’s existing Clear-Com communications equipment, which had been in place for some years. The brief was to provide a contemporary system that would achieve improved communication connectivity throughout the building and to simultaneously build in as much future proofing as possible, allowing room for easy expansion of the comms infrastructure if needed later.
Autograph’s Ben Tredwell led the project and following an on-site demo, proposed Clear-Com’s Freespeak II system which is a five-channel, full-duplex wireless intercom solution, available on both 1.9 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands and ideal for large-scale application such as The CCD.
The full complement of products delivered included 20 FSII-BP19 beltpacks, a singl
Israel - The Eurovision Song Contest 2019 (ESC) has been an extraordinary showcase of Italy, thanks to the great singing show of runner-up Mahmood and the high-quality performance of the DTS products.
For the first time, DTS fixtures were chosen for the ESC: 376 Katana LED bars were shining in the main hall with their “blade of light” and 48 Synergy 5 Profile were installed in the Green Room.
Lighting designer Ronen Najar says of the DTS products, “We hung the KATANA around the stage and above the crowd. KATANA was the perfect fixture for continuing the triangle ceiling design and completing the lines from the triangle video strip. With the new module designed for us we used the KATANA all the time. SYNERGY was hung in the Green Room and helped us to duplicate the feeling from the main venue. We were very happy and all units worked without problems.”
The 64th edition of Eurovision Song Contest, held in Tel Aviv, ended among the enthusiastic applause of the public and the whole organisation.
"In DTS we are really proud for this new challenge that made us better known throughout Europe, showed our energy and focus on growth and improvement," concludes Raffaella Scaccia, DTS sales director.
France - Le Moulin Rouge, the emblematic cabaret of Parisian nights and entertainment since 1889, recently renewed its followspots and chose Alice, the latest in Robert Juliat's generation of LED followspots.
Three new Robert Juliat Alice 600W LED followspots have recently joined the iconic Moulin Rouge revue, Féerie. This show, which has been on the bill for 19 years, tells the story of the Moulin Rouge over two hours of amazement and spectacle, mixing dance scenes and variety acts. Every evening, a dream world is invented on stage with 60 artists, 1000 feather costumes, crystals and sequins, exceptional performances, sumptuous sets and original French music, not to mention the famous French-cancan.
Robert Juliat’s Alice followspots have found their place in this legendary venue, installed on a technical bridge, from where they cover distances of 15m to 30m across a 30m wide stage. Chosen for its low energy consumption, beam quality and colour temperature, this LED model gives off much less heat than older, conventional models.
Supplied by Alterlite, one of Robert Juliat’s French distributors, these new LED Alice followspots also meet the aesthetic expectations of the venue’s technical teams, as confirmed by Christian Bréan, lighting designer at Moulin Rouge: "I was very confident during the tests in comparing our old Lucy 1200W discharge units with the new Alice LED followspots, and I see today that we made the right choice. The uniformity between the three Alice followspots and the light output remain constant over time. This is essential
UK - Stage Electrics has supplied the Lyric Theatre in Carmarthen, Wales, with a lighting control upgrade alongside additional staging.
The theatre, part of the Carmarthen Theatres Group, was seeking a lighting control solution that offered professional grade programming power, along with the ability to integrate into other systems, making transitioning between desks simple.
“ETC’s Ion Xe was the obvious choice for the Lyric Theatre,” comments Neal Tomlinson, technical sales consultant at Stage Electrics. “We sought out a solution that offered flexibility, whilst being able to work coherently with the grade of fixtures coming through the venue. This theatre hosts a number of touring shows, so compatibility was a must.”
Looking to further expand their offerings to touring shows, in terms of space, the theatre has invested in a Prolyte LiteDeck staging system, so the theatre can now offer extended stage and catwalk solutions for shows using the venue.
Carmarthen Theatres Group is a part of Carmarthenshire County Council’s leisure department and they manage three performing arts venues within the county, with an aim to make participation in the arts available to all.
Israel - The Eurovision Song Contest 2019 was hosted by Israel at the Expo Tel Aviv and boasted over 700 Ayrton fixtures in its massive lighting rig.
Set designer, Florian Wieder, and Tel Aviv-based lighting designers, Ronen Najar and Dakar Azulay created individual looks for each of the 41 competing countries.
Wieder’s stage design was based on triangles and the number 12 - important symbols for Israel - while Najar and Azulay chose a large number and variety of lighting fixtures which allowed them to create enough unique looks to handle a show of this size and diversity. Key to their enormous and extremely adaptable design were over 700 LED lighting fixtures from Ayrton.
“Our main idea was to maintain the special stage design developed by Florian,” explains Najar. “We therefore chose to use a significant amount of Ayrton MagicBlades to create new geometric lines as a backdrop that enforced the triangular motif and allowed us to be innovative and create multi-dimensional art.”
Three hundred and thirty MagicBlade-R and 206 MagicBlade-FX were rigged on ladders at regular intervals across the massive back wall and side walls, and interspersed with 100 Khamsin-TC profile fixtures. “The MagicBlades took a major role,” continues Najar. “We used them for the dominant moments, as well as a background to support the LED screen. When you have 500 pretty identical fixtures on the back wall, you definitely can create exciting looks and mixtures! One of the most significant moments was the opening number for the very first broadcast - th
Belgium - Ancienne Belgique is steeped in musical history and is one of Brussels' most revered live music venues. A multi-application space spanning several floors and incorporating two live rooms and a recording studio, it’s often the first stop on the touring calendar for international acts, as well as a hotspot for up and coming local bands.
Over the last 18 months, the venue has invested in two DiGiCo consoles in a bid to stay as flexible as possible: first, an SD5, which sits at monitor position and most recently, an SD12 which is now the venue's go-to FOH board.
“All of our crew are capable of doing everything, and what's nice is that we are also interchangeable between the main hall and the club,” opens Ancienne Belgique's technical manager Mark Vrebos. “For example, a rock and roll show might be all-standing and full to the brim, but if we have jazz music we might choose to make it all seated, or half and half. We can also bring the capacity of the main hall down from 2,000 to 800 if needed. It's basically a very versatile space. Then we have the club, which is a fantastic place for local acts to showcase their talents.
“We knew we wouldn't be able to use our good old analogue boards forever; we keep them alive, and we still use them because it's good to have both options. But it was getting more and more difficult, and we didn't want to wait until it was too late to make a digital investment,” explains Vrebos. “Today, we absolutely need digital.”
The SD12 was chosen for its high power, functionality, and small footpri
USA - After outgrowing its long-time location in Tustin, California, Calvary Chapel Tustin (CCT) moved to nearby Santa Ana in 2015 leasing the main sanctuary from the First Church of the Nazarene. The two churches co-exist on the property with CCT occupying the 700-seat main sanctuary and First Nazarene holding services in the recently remodelled chapel.
Based on the success of BESA-Bowls Engineering Sound & Acoustics’ recent sound system upgrades at Wildwood Calvary Chapel in Yucaipa, California, CCT contracted the design-build firm in early 2018 to facilitate much needed audio upgrades. BESA founder and senior sound designer, Darren Bowls, worked through a sound design that addressed the extremely high ceilings, split-block wall surfaces, and the voluminous nature of the room. Bowls felt CCT would benefit from a similar equipment combination he first implemented at Wildwood: Fulcrum Acoustic loudspeakers powered by high-output, audiophile-quality amplifiers from UK-based company, Linea Research.
“We typically don’t use mid-grade equipment as part of our designs,” says Bowls. “By the time we get the call from the client they are generally pretty frustrated with the level of performance of their existing sound system and are looking for final solutions. We only deal with the best equipment available from a handful of manufacturers.”
While Bowls felt that the Fulcrum Acoustic loudspeakers were delivering impeccable fidelity, he felt the amplifiers he was using were leaving something on the table. He’d recently discovered Linea Rese
UK - With less than 30 hours from load-in to showtime in a 600-capacity theatre, Orbital Sound’s Mike Thacker needed true plug-and-play functionality from his audio production package of Yamaha control systems and Nexo Geo M10 mid-size line array.
Mike Thacker, Orbital Sound’s head of education, was commissioned to creatively design and facilitate the audio systems for a production of Starlight Express by the Coventry Youth Operetta Group. The assignment was a challenging one. The 65 young artistes of the YOG, many of them wearing radio mics, would be performing on roller-skates, dancing and singing on a track that encircled the stalls of the Albany Theatre. “Yes, right in front of the PA,” explains Thacker. “My main concern was whether we would be able to get enough gain before feedback.”
The one-man audio crew took just 90 minutes to load in and rig the main PA, groundstacks of four Geo M10 cabinets, on top of three Geo M15 subs. At front-of-house, Thacker was using a Yamaha CL5 digital console and Rio3224-D2 I/O rack units, running a Dante audio network. Front-fill was provided by Nexo’s compact ID24 speakers, and there were a number of PS Series cabinets on stage for foldback.
“Setting up the Geo M10 line array was very simple. I was surprised at how quickly I was able to fit it up and leave myself time to concentrate on the mix. Actually, there were no problems at all with feedback. The Nexo PA is so nicely focussed that all I had to do was point the boxes into the auditorium where the sound was needed, and use a little b