France - Paris-based producer and head of the Mille Feuilles label, Romain Delahaye - a.k.a. Molécule - has been called ‘the pioneer of nomadic electronic music’ and the artist takes his musical inspiration from far-flung locations, recording ambient sounds on his expeditions around the globe and turning them into lively, atmospheric musical creations.
Molécule records sound in extreme locations: aboard a fishing boat in the Atlantic, in a village in Greenland or on the mythic surf swells of Nazaré in Portugal. More recently, he captured the sound of Thomas Ruyant's monohull during the Vendée Globe yacht race. Molécule transforms his recordings into spatialised music with the help of sound designer Hervé Déjardin, engineer in charge of developing immersive audio at Radio France.
Now, Molécule and Déjardin have brought a 360-degree spatialised sound experience to concert audiences listening in darkness, in the round. With the moniker Acousmatic 360°, the duo has taken the concept on tour, using L-Acoustics’ L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology
The term acousmatic, from the Greek word akousma, ‘a thing heard’, can be traced back to Pythagoras. The philosopher tutored his students from behind a screen so as not to let his presence distract from the content of his lectures. Taking inspiration from the idea, Molécule discovered he could create extra synergy with his audience by extinguishing the lights.
Molécule and Déjardin came up with the concept after performing at Paris' Rex Club in 2018. As an experiment, they pla
France - The Monumental Tour is an innovative visual and musical concept initiated by DJ and music producer Michael Canitrot and visual activists AV-Extended in conjunction with French cooperative bank Credit Mutuel, which encompasses streamed electronic music performances and collaborations with outstanding monumental sites all around France.
Lighting designer Cédric Davignon of Bordeaux-based creative practice Electron Libre Design designed lighting for the first digital gig of the tour, staged at the Phare des Baleines (Lighthouse of the Whales) on the Ile de Ré, which is off the west coast of France near La Rochelle.
Cédric chose to work with 10 x Robe Spiiders and 13 x MegaPointe moving lights to create his lighting design which complemented stunning large-format projections beamed onto the newer of the two Ile de Ré lighthouses, transforming its octagonal tower and base building below into a magical kinetic canvas for the performance.
The intriguing 57m-high lighthouse building was designed by architect Léonce Reynaud and started operating in 1854.
It stands nearby to the original 29m-high lighthouse - which dates to 1682 and has the same name - and is directly on the Ile de Ré’s Atlantic facing beach. The old lighthouse has been restored and now operates as a museum, and both lighthouses are heritage listed monuments that provided a stunning backdrop for the concert.
Cédric adds that the goal with lighting was “very much to support” the video mapping and reinforcement of the music and video.
He wanted to add
Australia - Striking a pose on the skyline of the city of Brisbane, the new Hotel X is located in the centre of the city’s Fortitude Valley, also known as the ‘Valley’.
The hotel’s custom façade lighting system has been created to reflect the Valley’s progressive and dynamic atmosphere.
To deliver this large-scale, high-profile façade lighting system, integrated solutions provider bluebottle was appointed to the project. Given its sheer size, LED fixtures were the only choice to fulfil the requirements, with Color Kinetics the chosen brand. The iColor Flex LMX gen2 RGB luminaires were used; mounted in a custom aluminium channel that forms part of the building façade.
To fulfil the control elements of the lighting scheme, bluebottle partnered with Pharos Architectural Controls. A Pharos VLC 500, directly controls the hotel’s façade fixtures creating a showpiece, celebrating notable events, calendar dates, and more.
Commenting on their collaboration with Pharos, Claire Enoka, technical sales from bluebottle said: “The Pharos VLC 500 Controller handles the pixel mapping of over 40,000 nodes. Used in conjunction with the bluebottle remote management portal, it has allowed for an intuitive, easy-to-use system with full visibility of status, shows and schedules for the facility manager.
“To date some of the more notable shows we’ve been able to achieve have celebrated Easter, The State of Origin Rugby and Brisbane’s successful 2032 Olympic bid.”
Tony Symms, regional manager from Pharos added: “The façade of B
UK - The new studio at London’s Metropolis features a fully certified Dolby Atmos system, based entirely around Neumann monitors.
Developed in conjunction with immersive audio and live streaming specialist Sonosphere, versatility was the key for the Munro Acoustics-designed room. Its centrally located mix position and immersive monitoring environment ensures it can cater for all current surround formats. The room fully meets Dolby Atmos specifications, is capable of delivering 11.8.1 Atmos and includes a Dolby Atmos Mastering Suite server.
Whilst Metropolis has not traditionally been a Neumann house, the Sonosphere team has a long history with the brand and were keen to demonstrate its benefits. A key mission was to ensure clean and extended low frequency, with the required isolation to accurately judge tone-shaping a full octave below the effective range of many monitoring systems.
As a result, three Neumann KH 420 tri-amplified monitors are soffit-mounted to the front wall, with one KH 420 positioned horizontally beneath its video screen and twin Neumann KH 870 400 W subwoofers flanking the three-way monitors, with deep bass response up to 18 Hz. Surround monitoring is handled by 17 Neumann KH 120 compact bi-amplified studio monitors.
“We decided on three loudspeakers across the back wall, with all the loudspeakers around the room arrayed at 30° of separation to each other, so the setup was completely symmetrical for doing third-order [high-order Ambisonic] work,” explains Sonosphere mix engineer, Phil Wright, who was a key member of
USA - On the outskirts of Cincinnati, the city of Blue Ash came to life this summer with the sounds of Carmen, Tosca, and The Barber of Seville reimagined for Cincinnati Opera’s Summer at Summit series, held outdoors from 11 July to 1 August at Summit Park. It featured singing and music from internationally renowned guest artists, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Opera Chorus. The outdoor setting, a choice driven by the Covid pandemic, allowed for an under-the-stars experience, yet with all the grandeur of grand opera theatre sound, thanks to the use of L-ISA immersive technology provided by L-Acoustics.
A system co-designed by Jonathan Burke, who directs the sound design programme in the School of Theatre, Film and Television at UCLA, incorporated L-Acoustics’ broad range of technologies. Sixty Kara II enclosures were configured as five arrays of a dozen enclosures each, all flown from towers and the stage canopy, as the Scene system. The arrays benefited from L-Acoustics Panflex horizontal steering, which assured coverage over the entire seating area extending 450ft from the stage.
In addition, 16 KS28 subs were arrayed in a centre arc on the ground, while nine Kiva II enclosures were deployed as front-fills along the leading edge of the stage, placed atop the subs. Finally, six Syva medium-throw colinear source speakers were mounted on light poles at the rear of the seating area and, using L-ISA Room Engine functionality, created the rear-surround array. All components were provided by Firehouse Produ
USA - Stuffed animals aren’t something usually associated with a band like hardcore metal giants Killswitch Engage. Still, the fluffy playthings helped create a sense of intimacy this summer when the Grammy-nominated quintet recorded a video of their latest album Atonement.
The band, which normally plays at jam-packed venues, was performing at an empty 2,200-capacity venue, The Palladium in Worcester, MA, for the video. To encourage them to look out into the “audience” despite the vacant hall, their long-time lighting designer, Cody James hid stuffed unicorns in the seats.
That worked for the band. As for the fans watching the video, James fostered a powerful, you-are-there feeling by unleashing a torrent of genuine concert looks with help from a beefy collection of Chauvet Professional fixtures supplied by JDI Productions.
“After some long conversations, my PM Josh Mihlek and I decided we wanted the band’s fans to get an experience as close as possible to a true to live show,” said James. “With that thought in mind, I went ‘full Killswitch’ with our looks. We just went for it as hard as we could with help from our light crew Paul Maloof and Peter Therrien to bring an exact live show experience to people’s screens.”
James pre-programmed the show and stored it in cue stacks and scene windows, but ran it in a busking style. “I like having to trigger everything myself,” he said. “I think it’s from all the years of running par cans.”
The show took place in two locations within the Palladium. The first
USA - For years, fans flocked to the University of Tampa’s Bob Martinez Athletics Centre to witness excellence on the court. But no matter how many national titles Spartans supporters and athletes enjoyed - including three NCAA Division II women’s volleyball crowns (2006, 2014, and ‘18) - there was no getting around at least one major disappointment on perennial display at the Bob Martinez Athletics Centre: A failing sound system.
That is why, when the University of Tampa undertook renovations of the 36-year-old, 3,400-seat arena that the Spartans’ men’s and women’s basketball teams also call home, it opted for a complete overhaul of its audio capabilities.
And when Regional AV integration firm AvTek introduced Spartans athletic department members to Danley Sound Labs components, the University of Tampa had finally found a sound to match the quality of what was happening on the court.
“Over the years, we’ve had a few sound systems in the Martinez Gym, and they’ve all been terrible,” said Scott Gossen, senior project manager for the University of Tampa. “Announcements were boomy and indecipherable. You couldn’t understand anything that was being said.”
Looking for something to crown the renovation, which featured new bleachers, new floor, new exterior entrances, and new lighting, AvTek, located in Clearwater, Fla., designed and installed a Danley Sound Labs reinforcement system. The system included Danley SH69 loudspeakers, a Danley BC412 subwoofer, and Danley DNA-series amplifiers.
AvTek engineer Geoff Alvarez
Serbia - On its website, Kaleidoskop Kulture describes its mission as one of promoting “a unique image of diversity”. A look at this ambitious project’s itinerary is enough to convince anyone that this is no idle claim. Just about every form of human creativity is displayed, studied, and discussed at the event, which began on 2 September in the city centre of Novi Sad on the banks of the Danube.
The creative scope of this ambitious cultural project was on full display at its opening ceremony, which was attended by an impressive assemblage of dignitaries, including Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister Maja Gojković. Adding to the celebratory atmosphere of the occasion was a vibrant Nemanja Pavelić lighting design anchored by over 40 Chauvet Professional Maverick fixtures supplied by Chameleon Rental.
Chameleon Rental’s Dragan Rajčin, production manager for the opening ceremony, credits the Maverick units with setting an immersive visual tone at the event for those in attendance, as well as viewers watching televised reports. “We created very nice ambient colours with the Mavericks, both on the stage and the wall,” he said. “This resulted in attractive visuals without distracting from the performers or presenters on stage.”
A total of 38 Maverick MK2 Wash fixtures were used throughout the opening ceremony site. The Chameleon Rental team positioned some of these units across the deck of the main stage, using them to accentuate the richly coloured scenic backdrop that was painted on its walls. Other units were flown on truss structures on
USA - The church building of Christ King Parish in the western Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa has been through over half a century of construction, reconstruction, renovation and updates. But the one that likely may have made the most difference was the recent replacement of its old sound system with a new L-Acoustics A10i array and Syva loudspeaker enclosures installed over the summer by the local office of Clearwing Systems Integration.
The building, which opened in January of 1957, was designed to seat 1,200 parishioners. However, like many older Catholic house of worship designs, the preponderance of marble, glass and hardwood made for a highly reflective sonic environment that was highly challenging for music, and especially for speech. As is often the case in these types of spaces, speech is sourced at the altar in the front while music emanates from the rear choir and organ loft, so addressing Christ King Parish’s needs would have to come from both directions.
Using L-Acoustics Soundvision design software, Clearwing Systems Integration created a solution that featured a single central array comprising a five A10i - four Focus enclosures over one Wide - flown at the front of the room, and a pair of Syva and Syva Low speakers mounted on either side of the doors to the building’s narthex underneath the loft at the room’s rear.
Four compact 5XT coaxial speakers are mounted two per side under the acoustically shadowed left and right transept areas, while four portable X12 monitor wedges enable the musicians upstairs to clearly hear themselves
UK - With the new month-long South Facing Festival, music has returned to the Crystal Palace Bowl, scene of legendary rock shows in the 1970s. The site’s revival has been led by The Crystal Palace Trust after securing substantial funding.
The stage this time may have been built on a floating pontoon - in front of the original stage - and the venue capped at 5,000, but in the hands of festival director Marcus Weedon, and with the equally experienced Loudsound providing site and production logistics, the event was in safe hands.
Capital Sound extended this duty of care by deploying Martin Audio’s MLA technology, which ensured that sound would be contained within the bowl, avoiding any bleed to the nearby residential area.
Over the month, acts as diverse as The Streets, Supergrass, Corinne Bailey Rae, Dizzee Rascal and English National Opera graced the stage, as Capital project manager, David Preston and his team, set about overcoming the challenge of installing and optimising the PA.
“It is hoped that this will become a regular fixture on the festival landscape, which is why we chose MLA, for the close control we could achieve on this site,” remarked Preston, whose team worked alongside production manager, Julia Bruns.
But installation was far from straightforward. With the height of the top of the bowl only two metres below the trim height they were able to achieve, Capital needed to fly the array almost flat in order to ensure sufficient coverage at the back. “This meant striking a fine balance between achieving even coverage
Japan - The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics opening and closing ceremonies almost certainly represented the largest deployment of Optocore audio network devices ever seen.
This was according to Norwest head of special projects, Andrew Marsh, whose company has a long pedigree of fashioning vast digital broadcast networks for spectacular Games Opening and Closing ceremonies, built around Optocore devices.
To give an idea of scale, he says, “The system we provided for our client, Hibino Corporation, comprised just under 1000 audio signals transported on each main and backup network.”
As usual, Norwest duplicated the 21-node system to provide full redundancy. “And we used every one of them,” said Marsh, “along with our usual set of HP switches in RSTP, using our spare pairs of fibre.” These switches controlled the entire audio system at multiple field locations and control rooms. The network design was a collaboration between Marsh himself and John Watterson, Norwest’s senior system engineer at the head of a combined team effort.
Norwest, who already hold a large inventory of Optocore devices, expanded further for this event, to include a number of M12-BNC devices among the 50 Optocore interfaces deployed. “These act as the primary MADI devices where signals are routed on and off the network which interlink us with replay devices or other suppliers,” he said. “With the addition of some custom firmware and macros, we were able to switch between main and backup devices seamlessly.”
They also purchased additional X6R-TP-and X
USA - CityHope Church in Mobile, Alabama’s metro area has just made another leap forward with its summer installation of a new DiGiCo Quantum338 console at its flagship Malbis campus, just north of Daphne.
It’s the centrepiece of a larger audio upgrade that also includes two integrated DMI-Dante cards, an Orange Box interface for MADI, integrated DMI-KLANG card for in-ear monitor mixing, SD-Rack fitted with 32-bit “Ultimate Stadius” mic preamps, SD-MiNi Rack used for broadcast audio-for-video I/O (including video switcher, computers, and lobby audio-processor feeds), and DiGiGrid rackmount Quad MADI interface that allows recording of up to 128 channels at 96 kHz. The Q338 console, SD-Racks and KLANG audio are all on a newly-installed Optocore loop network.
The entire package was specified, designed and installed by Springville, Alabama-based AVL firm ESB Group, the same integrator that installed CityHope’s L-Acoustics Kara(i) and ARCS WiFo loudspeaker systems six years earlier when the fast-growing church first moved into its new 1,400-seat worship centre, which at the time more than doubled CityHope’s worship space.
The installation of the new DiGiCo Q338 console replaces three existing consoles with the single Q338 desk. “The consoles they had at front of house, monitor world, and broadcast were showing their age and lack of support, but putting in the DiGiCo Quantum console was more than just an upgrade - it represented an order-of-magnitude improvement,” says ESB Group Solutions architect/design engineer Drew Breland.
USA - The Dave Matthews Band is back on the road for their annual North American Summer Tour with stops at sheds and amphitheatres across the country from late July through November. Longtime rental partner UltraSound of Petaluma, CA has once again supplied a Meyer Sound system based on Lyon linear line array loudspeakers.
This year marks Dave Matthews Band’s 30th anniversary as well as 25 years of UltraSound and Meyer Sound’s collaboration with the band. After more than a year and a half without performances, the UltraSound and Dave Matthews Band production teams were eager to bring music back to fans.
“Getting back on tour has been a crazy experience. After a year and a half off, all of us had gotten a bit rusty,” Tom Lyon, UltraSound senior systems engineer and FOH engineer for Dave Matthews Band, said. “Luckily, we scheduled a few days with just the band and the monitor rig to rehearse privately and get the muscle memory back. Once we started our first show in Raleigh, we were in fine shape and ready to shine.”
The system configuration for the tour includes main and side hangs of 16-each Lyon line array loudspeakers, augmented by two hangs of nine-each 1100‑LFC low-frequency control elements, and a centre hang of four Leopard compact loudspeakers. Front-fills consist of four additional Leopard loudspeakers, with four CQ-2 loudspeakers deployed for miscellaneous fill as needed. System optimisation and drive are supplied by Galileo master processors at FOH and Galileo Callisto array processors at the stage. The artist foldback system
Germany - Robe’s waterproof iSpiiders wash beam LED moving lights provided the solution for the recent production of Stuttgart. Ein Traum (Stuttgart. A Dream) a new work that is a collage of street, puppet, physical and ensemble theatre performance referencing the city’s history and culture, created in a collaboration between Stuttgart Staatsgalerie, the Schauspielbühnen Theatre.
The show was presented in the open air over 10 days in the Stuttgart Staatsgalerie’s Rotunda, an outdoor amphitheatre and one of the most striking architectural features of this postmodern masterpiece building designed by James Stirling in the 1970s.
Lighting and audio rental company Mad Music supplied the lighting and sound for the production with company owner Mathias Bremgärtner and project manager Peter Wormstädt working in close conjunction with the Schauspiel’s technical director, Stefan Hauschke.
The iSpiiders were part of a purchase by Mad Music initially for this show, and now for general rental stock.
With the live performance and event industry cautiously returning to work after a lengthy pandemic-enforced shutdown, Mathias and Peter felt confident about making this investment in iSpiiders due to the general increase in outdoor events prompted by the Covid situation.
Initially this is through the rest of summer and the early autumn months, but it’s a trend they think could easily extend further during these Covid times, to feed the general surge in demand for performance events in safer external environments.
Europe - Venice, once the epicentre of culture and commerce - and a work of art in itself - has perhaps enjoyed a more relaxed, touristic reputation over recent decades. However, this medieval city’s influential and entrepreneurial spirit is still very much alive, with new and innovative ventures re-establishing it as a hub for forward-thinking organisations in the creative industries.
Spearheading the city’s creative reawakening is PASE Platform, a cultural organisation melding together art and technology. Located far from the madding crowds, in the city’s tightly-knit Cannaregio district, PASE is rooted in the local contemporary arts scene, as well as Europe’s wider creative community. Harnessing the collaborative power of artists, designers, technicians and researchers the PASE team have set out to uncover and create experiences from new creative languages and technologies. Among them, and central to its working studio, is the d&b Soundscape.
For PASE co-founders and directors, Victor Nebbiolo di Castri, and Valeria Zane, being at the avant-garde of creative production is no less than a social and artistic obligation. “Recent developments in immersive listening and spatial sound diffusion confirm we must take these advancements into account,” explains Zane. “For creators and the public, we want to support new projects by exploring space and sound in an innovative way. To provide the technology that will take us into a new digital golden age.”
Fundamental to this endeavour is a flexible d&b Soundscape rig. Among PASE’s f
UK - Lighting designer Tim Lutkin employed two Robert Juliat SpotMe systems in their first double use at the National Theatre on this summer’s production of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood.
Lutkin, who has extensive experience of automated tracking systems - but none with a real person behind the light - was curious to explore the features of SpotMe. The result was a lighting design full of sculptural subtlety and creativity that went far beyond traditional tracking.
Jack Champion, National Theatre’s lighting supervisor for Under Milk Wood, explains: “Tim used SpotMe in a different style, hardly using the actual light output from the front followspots, but using instead the positional data generated by SpotMe to control the moving lights to follow the actors. He assigned one SpotMe system to lead actor Michael Sheen and the other SpotMe to cover the rest of the cast, and could use SpotMe to cherry pick the lights he needed at any certain moment, picking the actors up and ‘releasing’ them when he wished.
“This way he could, for example, follow an actor to a position with moving lights, then instead of fading off that set of lights to pick up someone else, he could remove just some of those moving lights from SpotMe control to leave them covering the stationary actor, then assign different lights to SpotMe with which to pick up another actor. It was clever, and a subtle and sophisticated way of using SpotMe that was much more fluid and organic, especially with the followspot operator being in control of the movement. It felt
Dominican Republic - The Voice Dominican is being aired for the first time ever in the Dominican Republic and is being run from the largest studio in the country by Procapital Films and RAM Productions.
Paulinho Lebrão, a Brazilian designer, has recently had the opportunity to work on this project. Working for BM Eventos, the lighting, video and sound supplier of the Voice Dominican, Paulinho is the owner of FOH Lighting Control, established in 2009, specialising as a light programmer and operator. He has been using wysiwyg since 2016.
As with everyone in the industry, struggling through the pandemic, Paulinho has been no different, taking this time to focus on his family and expand his skills and repertoire of abilities. Rather than think of it as a negative, Paulinho used the time to evolve into a more forward-ready person, for when our industry kicks back into gear, which he seems optimistic is happening, considering the work coming in.
wysiwyg is used on all aspects of this show as an important tool, because the show is programmed virtually, even before rehearsals start. So, all the details and the process need to be very reliable and wysiwyg delivers that.
The show has a total of 84 Universes running (including lighting and video mapping).
Italy - The 17th Century Teatro Municipale in Italy’s Piacenza reopened its doors with a endition of Verdi’s Requiem. Directed by Placido Domingo and performed by the Arturo Toscanini Philharmonic orchestra and the City Theatre Choir, the concert was held in front of a socially distanced in-person audience and live streamed, utilising a KLANG:fabrik unit to deliver those at unable to attend with a 3D audio mix.
Traditionally used for in-ear monitoring, with the emergence of live streaming, KLANG systems have more recently found favour with productions for spacial audio mixes for online viewers, making their listening experience engaging and immersive.
Federico Bianchi, audio engineer and KLANG specialist for Italian distributor AudioLink, was approached by Acid Studio, the theatre’s technical partner, to work on the mix for the live stream of this special event.
“From the very beginning, I proposed an immersive audio solution,” he recalls. “Recently, many events have been streamed and the opportunity to offer listeners a different, more suggestive and qualitatively superior experience was an idea that I immediately married with this production.”
Bianchi notes that most viewers of this type of event listen with headphones via mobile devices or computers. For him, this made the choice to raise the quality of the audio even more obvious and important.
“There are various systems on the market for immersive audio, but KLANG is the one with the highest quality and algorithms, and it has an easy to use, intuitive interfac
USA - The Brooklyn Mirage is an aptly named open-air live music venue located in the heart of New York City’s most populous borough. The sanctuary in the East Williamsburg area of Brooklyn recently reopened after a 15-month hiatus and now greets crowds of eager live music fans with a an IP-rated lighting package from Elation Professional.
The Brooklyn Mirage lies in the Avant Gardner complex, an 80,000sq.ft site that occupies an entire city block. The vast complex includes an indoor space, The Great Hall, and an intimate club space called The King’s Hall, as well as the outdoor The Brooklyn Mirage.
The large courtyard is surrounded by towering walls and is lined with palms and other foliage. Multi-tiered, it includes a balcony that encircles the courtyard, as well as a fourth level overlook called The Crown. The venue hosts all types of events - corporate or private - but thrives as a bastion for electronic music lovers.
Head of production at Avant Gardner is Stephen Wyker, who verifies what many had expected after an extended absence of live music. “Not only are people back, they are back at 150%. Artists were ready to get back on the road and demand for tickets has been sky high.”
Wyker handles lighting design at The Brooklyn Mirage and says lighting wise the overall need was fairly simple. “We wanted a creative lighting package we could use outside and the only way to do that was to use IP65-rated fixtures. When we were looking for IP fixtures in 2019 there was really no other competition to the Proteus Hybrid. We had used 16 of t
Austria - For the first time, Linz State Theatre (Landestheater Linz) moved outside in order to beat COVID restrictions for its summer series of opera/operettas, dance, plays and galas. The Schlosspark at Linz Castle provided an impressive alternative setting for the month-long programme in the Austrian city.
With trees and the Castle itself providing the backdrop, the experiment proved to be a success, as rental company (and Martin Audio partner) Z-VT fielded a large proportion of its Wavefront Precision scalable line array inventory.
The entire staging infrastructure needed to be built from the ground up and recognising that the audience area was much wider than it was deep, Z-VT populated the stage with three hangs of 12 WPM Mini array elements, supported with subs and in-fills, all driven in one-box resolution from a total of six Martin Audio iKON iK81 amplifiers.
Martin Audio’s Austrian distributor, K24 Technik supported the event. “Z-VT considered three hangs of WPM to offer the optimum solution,” acknowledged K24’s Johannes Stummer, “We wanted 12 cells vertically in each hang for efficiency, using the Hard Avoid feature in the Display optimisation software to contain the sound within the audience area and avoid spillage into the neighbouring areas.”
Social distancing applied, with each pair of seats divided by tables from the next pair, enabling a capacity audience of 630 to enjoy the diverse programme which was designed to provide an even wider scope of art than previously.
There were a number of special guest appear
USA - The Landon Arena at Stormont Vail Events Centre has been the place to see basketball and hockey games in Topeka since it was constructed in the 1980s. The 7,000-seat multi-purpose arena also hosts large events and live music. Avant Acoustics chose Fulcrum Acoustic loudspeakers to upgrade the sound system during the latest renovation.
Avant Acoustics specified Fulcrum’s FH15 Full-Range Coaxial Horn for its broadband pattern control to avoid interferences caused by the room reflections. “We considered a system of distributed line arrays, but that would have been cost prohibitive, as would adding acoustical treatment,” says designer John Hodgson. “We knew that Fulcrum’s FH series would provide the level of audio quality and clarity that was required even in the absence of additional acoustical treatment for the room. We listened to a demo of the new FH loudspeakers and knew they were the best point source option for the project.”
The new video board installation prevented the loudspeakers from being placed in the centre for aesthetic and weight reasons. To work around this, Avant Acoustic designed the FH15s in six separate arrays of three around the arena to cover the stands and to fire back at the arena floor. “Often when we design point source arrays, we struggle to get them in an acoustically appropriate arrangement due to interference,” says Hodgson. “The FH arrays very well due to its pattern control and coaxial design. The intelligibility of the new system is great for such a reverberant space.”
Hodgson chose Fulcrum’s
Poland - Streamed performances have become a routine way of taking the performing arts to audiences on a scale that nobody could have anticipated just 18 months ago. After difficulties with the technical sound production of Opera Wrocławska’s first streamed production, a Yamaha Rivage PM7 digital mixing system has changed everything for its audio department.
Streaming has offered a vital lifeline for the arts during the pandemic, but there has been the question of whether larger scale productions like orchestral concerts and major theatrical shows can stream their performances with the necessary artistic effect? An essential part of achieving this is, of course, how the production sounds.
In 2020, Poland’s Opera Wrocławska embraced live streaming, but it was presented with two key problems: Firstly, of 300 staff, the venue’s sound department comprised just three people - Grzegorz Bieńko, Sebastian Jarus and Jakub Krzysiek - who had no experience of streaming productions. Secondly, the mixing capacity was three Yamaha DM2000 mixing consoles, which were not ideal for adapting to streamed shows.
“The DM2000 is still a great audio consoles for theatrical use but, due to its age and facilities, it was difficult for us to deliver the best quality for a live stream,” says Grzegorz.
Undaunted, when tasked with directing the sound for Opera Wrocławska’s first streamed live concert - an orchestral version of Stanisław Moniuszko's opera Straszny dwór (The Haunted Manor) - Grzegorz, Sebastian and Jakub rose to the challen
Sweden - Improving the sound for the congregation in an ancient church can be a difficult task. But Yamaha’s VXL series slim line array speakers make it much easier, as demonstrated in the medieval church at Säve, near Gothenburg.
“The church’s audio system was at least 20 years old. It was outdated, with a non-standard mixer and speakers/amplifier designed for home use. So it could not possibly deliver sound of acceptable quality,” says Sten E. Ranwald of Gothenburg-based Ljud & Säkerhet.
Sten was asked to improve the 13th century church’s sound but, because of its historic structure and decor, it needed to be done very sensitively. “We could not interfere with the structure of the church or place any equipment that would have a visual impact,” he says.
“After the old system was removed and while the church’s electrical system was being upgraded, the staff were able to rent a Yamaha STAGEPAS 1K all-in-one, portable PA. This system alone almost filled the church with clear, seamless sound and it helped a lot in their choice of manufacturer for a new, permanent solution.”
The Yamaha system which Sten specified and installed comprises two VXL1W-24 slim line array speakers and a DXS12mkII 12” powered subwoofer for the main congregation sound, plus a UniVox induction loop amplifier for the hearing impaired. Two Yamaha VXL1W-8 slim line array speakers were installed as monitors for the clergy and church musicians, with an MSP5 powered studio monitor to relay the sound of the church bell to the clergy and congregation.
China - The Peacekeeper Elite League is the highest level of eSports competition for the videogame Peacekeeper Elite - the localised title of PUBG Mobile in the Chinese market. And while esports is a burgeoning market in the live production world, the production costs across these performances have traditionally been high due to the need for dedicated, on-site staff and expansive cable runs connecting many different video and audio feeds.
To mitigate this challenge, VSPN - a co-organiser of the Peacekeeper Elite League - recently experimented with a new way to host its events by relying on Audinate’s Dante for broadcast audio over a vast geographic distance.
On 3 May, the first weekly final of the Peacekeeper Elite League 2021 S2 season was held in Chongqing Banan Huaxi Sports Centre. Twenty professional teams from across the country gathered in the mountain city of Chongquing to compete.
While the idea of remote production had previously been considered too challenging due to latency issues associated with audio, the production team’s discovery of Dante changed their approach.
Using Dante, the event’s commentators and production staff were able to largely work remotely in Xi’an – some 750km away from where the competition was taking place in Chonqing – with minimal audio latency. This setup enabled impressive cost savings by reducing the number of individuals on-site, minimizing traditional AV cable runs, and simplifying the workflow under an easy-to-manage Dante network.
In Chongqing, the event’s workflow uses an SSL Syst