Europe - Australian singer songwriter Vance Joy’s story is one of continuing success, which comes with the need for a world-class monitor engineer. For Vance, this is Mani Hammond, who has been working with him ever since August 2014. He is deploying a DiGiCo SD10 provided, along with the rest of the audio equipment, by British rental company Encore PA.
Mani started his career on analogue desks, but when he made the move to digital and a DiGiCo SD9, he found the transition an easy one and when Encore purchased an SD10 two years ago Mani decided to give it a try. He has found it the perfect console for the job, siting the high fader count as one of its major benefits and has been touring it with Vance ever since.
“I like having lots of faders as I don’t like changing banks,” he says. “Having 32 faders in front of you makes everything easily accessible.”
Mani is running 12 channels of in ears and is using the onboard reverbs and just a few Waves plug ins, liking to keep things as simple as possible. He has up to 52 channels of inputs including drums, bass, acoustic and electric guitar, Keys, and a horns section, with the inclusion of a B stage increasing the channel count slightly.
“We are carrying most of the PA throughout the tour and we’ve managed to take the control package everywhere with us, which has given us great consistency and, because we’re running on Optocore now, we also have total redundancy,” says Mani. “It has been very solid, and the sound quality is fantastic.”
Having just played Denver’s Red
USA - Luke Bryan has created 20 No. 1 singles, sold over 12m albums, and is one of the most popular touring artists today. Routinely playing to sold-out houses around the world, the artist and his design team at Align Design Group are often challenged to give each tour its own unique look and feel.
In planning for the 2018 What Makes You Country Tour, lead designer Justin Kitchenman wanted to create a more free-flowing visual experience, so he called the Nashville-based production provider Elite Multimedia Productions who supplied the lighting, LED video and IMAG video technology behind the design.
“During our tour design discussions, we are always aware of what we have done in the past and we really try to give each tour a different visual representation,” began Kitchenman. “Over the past few years, one of our biggest production elements has been moving LED video in one configuration or another, so this year we decided to look at different kinds of automation. In the end, we decided on small, lightweight automated lighting pods that can travel up and down during the show to create a lot of different configurations and effects.
“In the lighting package we use a lot of the Elation 360i luminaires because it’s a low-profile, light weight, high-output lighting tool that we can place 180 in the rig and they look great in large quantities.
“With the Claypaky Scenius Unico fixtures, we had used 24 of them last year to replace our spot fixtures, but once we started seeing their output and their optics on tour, we realized this was
Germany - Performances at the outdoor theatre in Ötigheim, near Karlsruhe, attract up to 100,000 visitors each year, thanks in part to their excellent production values. Maintaining a high standard is very important to the ‘not for profit’ owning company Volksschauspiele Ötigheim, which is why a new Yamaha mixing and audio management system was installed in time for the 2018 season.
Volksschauspiele Ötigheim has been staging productions for 112 years. Throughout the summer, shows are staged at its open-air theatre, a former sand quarry which has 4000 covered seats and, it claims, the biggest permanent outdoor stage in Germany.
For the past 15 years a pair of Yamaha 02R digital mixing consoles have been the reliable backbone of the theatre’s audio system. This year, they were replaced with a new system comprising two Yamaha CL5s, an MRX7-D matrix processor, Rio3224-D I/O unit and an RSIO64-D audio/Dante interface, fitted with Yamaha Mini-YGDAI cards for additional inputs and outputs. The system was specified, supplied and installed by Karlsruhe-based Rock Shop GmbH.
“Technology has moved on a long way since the 02Rs were installed in 2003,” says Rock Shop’s Mario Schmidt. “Staying with Yamaha was an obvious choice, because the equipment is so reliable and the workflow is familiar to most engineers. We chose the CL5s because they gave us better features and greater functionality, including Dante, along with excellent sound quality and all the benefits of Dan Dugan automixing.”
The productions are complex, so two consoles were
Europe - With the busiest outdoor event production schedule ever, it looks like there’ll be no summer holidays for TiMax spatial audio systems this year. Alongside long-running premium West End and Broadway shows which continue to fill theatres, TiMax features in at least eight very diverse spatial sound designs across Europe - with some interesting new developments for the evolutionary spatial audio platform.
First up is Maria de Buenos Aires performed by Austria’s Oper Graz in an old jail complex which is part of the city’s Kasematten castle. The venue almost resembles a conventional theatre auditorium but with an ingenious retractable roof. TiMax SoundHub and Tracker were jointly specified by acoustic consultant Fabio Kaiser of Rohde Acoustics and immersive audio specialist Volker Verner of PDV Records Og.
The system was the first of a collaborative hybrid integration of TiMax real-time dynamic spatial reinforcement driving multi-dimensional Amadeus spatial reverberation to fully envelop and captivate the audience. Fabio Kaiser commented: “We had tremendous feedback from audience, conductor, singers and critics.”
For Germany’s Schwerin Schlossfestspiele, longstanding TiMax rental partners Neumann & Müller have again deployed their TiMax systems for spatial reinforcement across the huge lakeside stage, supporting the Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater’s fascisti-themed production of Tosca. As with Graz, the TiMax Soundhub’s dsp processing uses the platform’s powerful new FPGA core processor, offering significantl
USA - SNY Studios at 4 World Trade Centre, the home of the New York Mets, has one of the most impressive settings for a broadcast studio anywhere. Located on the 50th floor of 4 World Trade Centre, the studio offers breathtaking views of Manhattan below. For all its glamour and excitement, though, the skyscraper venue presents challenges when it comes to lighting broadcasts.
Having enough output during the day to stand out against the open-air background without bouncing light off windows is essential to making the studio’s system work; so too is having solid low ends when broadcasting at night. Mike Grabowski of the Lighting Design Group met these and other challenges at the state-of-the-art SNY 4 studio with help from over 300 Chauvet Professional Ovation fixtures.
“SNY’s Studio 42, numbered after baseball great Jackie Robinson, has a unique environment because it’s up so high,” said Grabowski. “Unlike other windowed studios in New York, which are located on the first or second floor, this one is 50 stories up, so you have a lot of open sky. Given the location of the studio, we needed fixtures that are great at the high end and able to produce a lot of clean bright light for daytime shows. Then at night, we wanted those same fixtures to have solid low ends at about 10 foot-candles, so we could light the set while still having all the twinkling lights of the city be visible in the background.”
The output and low-end capabilities of the Ovation fixtures were not the only features that made them invaluable in this installation. Grabows
UK - One of the best-selling artists of all time, Tina Turner’s fascinating life story has now been turned into a stage show with TINA – The Tina Turner Musical. Written by Olivier Award-winning playwright Katori Hall, the show charts Tina’s humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tennesee to her transformation into the global Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
The show is playing at the Aldwych Theatre in London’s West End and as a leading lighting supplier to some of the biggest shows in the country, White Light was called upon to provide the lighting equipment.
TINA – The Tina Turner Musical is directed by Phyllida Lloyd and features a lighting design by Bruno Poet. Bruno comments: “My brief for the show was to help tell this extraordinary story and make the performers come alive within Mark Thompson’s elegant design. The set frames the actors beautifully and is very stripped back, with the focus being on the human story. There are also around 40 scenes in different locations, and the lighting needs to support that sense of time and place. Added to this were several concert scenes so I had to create a design that matched this energy.”
To achieve this, Bruno approached WL in order to draw on his ideal rig. He explains: “It was a combination of experimenting with new units that I felt might be useful in combination with tried and tested favourites. I was really keen to move away from discharge light sources and more towards the latest LED fixtures. I also needed a really flexible rig that could offer a full-on concert experience at t
USA - Clearwing Productions deployed a Harman Professional Solutions audio and lighting solution made up of JBL Professional loudspeakers, Crown amplifiers and Martin lighting fixtures at Summerfest 2018.
Summerfest features over 1,000 performances across 11 stages and attracts nearly one million people annually. In order to provide premium audio and lighting for the world’s top music artists, Clearwing Productions deployed rigs at multiple stages across the festival, including the JBL VTX A12 loudspeakers, and the newly-released Martin MAC Encore fixtures.
“Summerfest is home to the world’s top artists and we’re thrilled to use JBL Professional and Martin lighting to provide an amazing experience for performers and audience members alike,” said Gregg Brunclik, president/CEO of Clearwing Productions. “The new JBL A12s sound incredible - they allow the artists to put on their best performance, and they always get the crowd hyped. With so many different acts, our lighting needs can change drastically from set to set, and the MAC Encore fixtures make the performers look great every time.”
On the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse Stage, Clearwing deployed a complete JBL audio system featuring 20 VTX A12 line array loudspeakers, 12 VTX S28 and 12 VTX G28 subwoofers, and four VTX V20 line array loudspeakers for fills. Four VRack 4x3500HD and four VRack 12000HD power amps from Crown powered the rig. The lighting rig featured eight Martin MAC Encore Performance fixtures and six MAC Quantum Wash fixtures to illuminate performances by Social Distortion,
Australia - 32 Hundred Lighting’s managing director Iain Reed has been a busy man; he’s recently overseen major installations he created during Vivid, including the gigantic Harbour Lights project that used GPS to coordinate lighting changes on commercial ships and Sydney ferries covered in LEDs as they move through the harbour.
He also collaborated with artist Joe Cox on Colours of Remembrance, lighting King’s Cross’s El Alamein Fountain as part of the multiple installations and sculptures in the precinct. Both projects made excellent use of the dazzlingly bright TMB Solaris Flare IP, the IP65 rated wash that kicks out (appropriately) 32,000 lumens.
The imposing Crimean War-era tower of Fort Denison was lit by two Solaris Flare IPs, while the El Alamein fountain’s 12 by 12m footprint was covered by one. “The most important thing for an outdoor wash is punchiness,” says Iain, “and the Flares are punching straight through. You need to get over all the ambient light in the city, and at the El Alamein Fountain, the Flares are so bright you can hardly see the Claypaky Mythos that are working with them.”
Over at Fort Denison, the Flares more than held their own. “They’re just so bright,” continues Iain. “When we first bought them into the factory, I aimed one at the side of my truck and it melted! But seriously, since we took these fixtures on to evaluate, I’ve been incredibly impressed. They were simple to set-up and get running, and they’ve now been out in the wind and rain for almost two weeks and the
Italy - The 17,368 capacity Pino Zaccheria stadium, the home ground of Foggia soccer team located in Italy’s south-eastern Apulia region, recently underwent a major upgrade in order to meet the latest specifications for the country’s Serie B. The work included a new sound reinforcement system, supplied by Centro Cultura Musicale.
Designed using Outline Open Array 3D software by the company’s senior system engineer Francesco Ferretti, the system is used to play recorded music before matches, announcements, publicity, team line-ups, announcements for the substitution of players and safety announcements.
The upper tier of the roofed west stand is covered by six Outline Vegas 12 CX two-way, full-range coax speaker enclosures installed under the roof. The same format is used with four more Vegas 12 CX for the lower tier, installed under the upper tier of the stand.
The lower tier of each of the north and south curves is covered by four Vegas 12 CX installed under the upper tier, and the lower tier of the open air east stand seating features six Vegas 12 CX mounted below the upper tier.
The upper tier of the seating on the each of the curves’ and the open-air stand are covered by four Stadia 100-30 long-throw DPRWG loudspeaker systems. Each curve has a Stadia mounted on one of the ground’s lighting pylons and the stand has two mounted over the centre of the main stand’s roof.
The Outline powerhouse for the entire set-up comprises four T Five-DSP 2-channel PWM power amplifiers and four M5000-4 4-channel PWM amps and the complete
Taiwan - The 29th edition of the Golden Melody Award (GMAs) staged in the 15,000 seat Taipei Arena presented a golden opportunity for Robe’s RoboSpot remote follow spotting system to show its flexibility and scope – the first time it’s been used in Taiwan.
Organised by Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture, the GMAs recognise outstanding singing achievements in Mandarin, Taiwanese, Hakka and Formosan languages in both the popular and traditional music industries, attracting artists and audience from all over Asia. Moderated by Jam Hsiao, the 2018 show was broadcast live by Taiwan national TV throughout South-East Asia.
Hong Kong based LD Stanley Szeto lit the show, working for the Artesian Engineering Co Ltd.
Stanley is a long-time user of Robe products, so when asked to design lighting for this event, he seized the chance to use Robe Pointes on the rig to create some of the spectacular scenes and effects. He also decided to show-test Robe’s new RoboSpot system.
The RoboSpots were a recent investment by locally based company Aurora Lighting from Taipei, and although he’d not actually seen the system in action as yet, Stanley had every faith that, being a Robe product, he would get the required results.
“We were keen to break new ground – this is a high profile show and it’s important to push the envelope when it comes to technology,” he stated.
Scotty Chen from Aurora added, “The front follow spot positions in the Arena are not the best, so unless we cut into the seating areas we have to fly a ‘bridge’ to accommoda
Australia - Memphis may be over 10,000 miles away, but every year, the town of Forth in Tasmania (population 700) resonates with sounds reminiscent of Beal Street as it plays host to the Forth Valley Blues Festival. This year, the thousands of visitors who descended on the event were entertained by artists like Mark Seymour of Hunters & Collectors fame and Guitar Extravaganza featuring Kevin Borich, Phil Emmanuel and Tim Gaze.
Setting an appropriately evocative mood for the festival was an intensely powerful and richly textured lightshow designed by Michael Westcott that featured Chauvet Professional Maverick MK2 Spot fixtures, supplied by Show Systems Australia.
Westcott flew eight of the 440W moving LED fixtures over the festival’s main stage, half on upstage truss and half on midstage truss. Controlling the fixtures via sACN and drawing on features like their 3-facet prism and slot-and-lock gobo wheels, he used them to create overlapping patterns that added a sense of depth to the stage. Varying these patterns helped him create a continuous flow of unique looks.
“Given that there are 14 bands performing on the main stage over a 48-hour period, it can be a challenge to keep each band looking fresh and unique without recycling the same looks and dynamics over and over again,” said Westcott. “Thankfully with the Maverick’s armament of features we always had another trick up our sleeve. The wide zoom ( 13º – 37º ) was particularly useful in helping us vary the looks we created.“
USA – When the San Jose McEnery Convention Centre needed a new lighting system that could support the multi-use, high-production-value conventions their clients expect, they turned to ETC. Now they have a lighting system as advanced as the industry around them.
“The previous sodium light fixtures were from the ‘80s,” says Gabriel Nemeth, director of event operations. “Advances in technology and changing client demands put us behind the times.”
This was particularly true for trade shows that demand a space that serves multiple functions, with some sections being used for keynotes and others for trade show booths. Clients would ask for dimmed lights over the keynote area and bright light in the tradeshow sections – something the old system couldn’t do, costing the client more money to get the effect they wanted.
The sodium fixtures were also unflattering. “It felt like you were in an old warehouse or a big box store,” says Tim Foster, director of production at Team San Jose. Foster, Nemeth, and their team wanted the cooler, bluer colour temperature lighting of 4000K to give the space the feel of natural sunlight.
For guidance to a solution, Team San Jose turned to Mike Wunder, CEO of Wunder Lighting and Controls, Inc. in the Bay Area. Wunder pointed them to the GDS ArcSystem. “There were a lot of positives with ETC and GDS,” says Wunder. In addition to being able to give them the 4000K colour temperature, individual fixture dimming, and operate at 277V, the output from the ArcSystem fixtures was high enough that they were
UK - London's hit new immersive experience, SOMNAI, is tripping out visitors with its dreamlike visuals mapped onto a perspective bending dome at the heart of the production using Avolites Ai's Autoblend feature.
SOMNAI is the latest project from dotdotdot, in collaboration with a host of video content and AV specialists including long-time Ai expert, GaiaNova. The British 360° dome mapping specialist acted as the production's dome system integrator.
"We knew that Avolites' Ai Infinity R6 media server was the right choice for this project, loaded with v10 software and its essential Autoblend feature," says Ben Stern from GaiaNova. "Autoblend is a complete game-changer in how you map domes. It simplifies the entire process and the results are amazing. It's so good that trying to do it any other way is unthinkable - I wouldn't map a dome using anything else."
SOMNAI takes visitors to a place 'where hyper-reality and virtual reality meet - a live, multi-sensory experience with immersive technologies'. The audience is guided into a room where they are told a bedtime story before falling into a hypnotic, dream-like state and asked to put on VR headsets. When they remove the VR gear, the roof of the space has retracted to reveal the huge dome, displaying trippy video sequences. A journey into the subconscious begins.
"Projecting rectangles onto a curved surface might not sound easy, but with Autoblend it just works," Stern continues. "With a bit of programming and visualisation the Ai server does most of the work for you and yo
USA - With headliners like Eminem, The Killers, Muse, Sheryl Crow, Paramore and Kaskade, the 17th annual Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival offered plenty of great music to enjoy.
But North America’s largest outdoor festival has always been about sights as well as sounds. This year’s edition, which ran from 7-10 June, pumped up the visual excitement even more than usual with a massive off-stage lighting display that wrapped around the stages and surrounded the audience in a sea of changing colours.
Looking like a magical tale come to life, the outdoor display, which was designed by David Weiner of David Weiner Design, swept up visitors with its rainbow of coloured trees, making it easy for them to set their imaginations free. Creating this captivating colour-scape were 1000 Chauvet Professional COLORado fixtures, supplied and installed by The Design Oasis.
“Having the opportunity to bring the site to life with lighting is something that we have been interested in for a long time. The property is chock full of beautiful, giant tress just begging to be lit. When the producers came to us last fall and said ‘let’s do it,’ we jumped,” said Weiner. “There was no doubt in my mind that the result would be nothing less than transformative to the environment and elevate the fan experience.”
Weiner’s enthusiasm was echoed by Abbas Ritscher of The Design Oasis, who said, “When David told me about his vision of transforming the festival grounds into a wonderful colour canvas, I knew it was something I’d want to be involved with, s
Italy - For the recent Jovanotti tour, Lorenzo Live 2018, which has been playing sport arenas in the main Italian cities, prominent British lighting designer, Paul Normandale, requisitioned 44 GLP impression X4 Bar 20 from rental company Agorà, to light both A and B stages during the show.
These formed the anchors of what he describes as “an immersive design of the whole room, with moving stages, screens and set”.
The designer set 14 X4 Bars in a line on the back of the main stage, behind the musicians, another 14 on the front of the main stage, eight on Stage B (two per side) and the remainder in strategic positions on the main stage.
During the show, the X4 Bars had a key role to play, especially when Lorenzo played on Stage B, which elevates 5mfrom the ground, in a DJ set.
Paul Normandale commended the X4 Bar 20s as being “clear low profile units on a stage populated by a lot of players. They provided two clean lines behind the band and behind the artist.”
Daniele Francescone, Agorà crew coordinator, added: "The X4 Bar is a very versatile product, made with high quality components and attention to detail. I have noted the durability of the components and the coverage provided by the light. The colours are wonderful. The LEDs and the lens have been chosen with great attention. I give this 9 out of 10."
South Africa - The South African State Theatre’s Opera House has recently opened its doors to new musical genres, in particular jazz, and needed a new audio system that could meet the varied demands now placed on it.
At the end of last year, an L‑Acoustics Kara system was installed, bringing the Opera House’s audio bang up to date with a solution that can handle the diversity of productions the theatre hosts in a rider-friendly format.
Originally opened in 1981, the South African State Theatre was the major force behind establishing the performing arts in South Africa and is a national flagship. It has six theatres sited on the huge State Theatre complex in Pretoria. The Opera House is the largest of these and has always been the country’s premier opera venue, as well as hosting a wide variety of theatre productions.
The design and installation of the Opera House’s new system was performed by Richard Smith with technical support from L‑Acoustics application engineer Julien Laval and was commissioned by him in November 2017.
“The original brief came via a tender which had a general specification from the theatre,” says Smith. “All the major manufacturers pitched for it and we were lucky enough to be awarded the contract.”
The system comprises 24 Kara with eight SB18i as left / right hangs, five ARCS II as the centre cluster, two X12 as in-fill, six 5XT as front-fill and four ground-stacked SB28 subs. The system runs on LA8 and LA4X amplified controllers.
The first show to use the new system was Capital Singe
Belgium - Light Moves was a stunning indoor 'son et lumière' (sound and light) installation designed and produced by Koert Vermeulen, an award-winning lighting designer and founder of Belgium-based international lighting design agency ACTLD.
Appearing for one night only in the Gothic remains of an abandoned church in the centre of Brussels, the installation featured the Claypaky Sharbar as star product, amongst a range of other fixtures from the Italian brand.
Originating in France, son et lumière shows focus on historic architecture and places of interest, with light shows set to music. For Light Moves, Vermeulen brought the outside in, drawing from his knowledge of the relationship between light and human emotion to create an intimate, ten-minute show for his guests.
"I know the kinds of sensation you can bring using light," says Vermeulen, who has designed many son et lumière shows throughout his career. "I used light as an implicit storytelling tool. I wanted to evoke senses and moods that facilitated the audience's connection to their own emotions. That can be beautifully done with just lighting and sound, there is no need to use explicit storytelling means such as projection or LED video content."
With no large video element to take the lead and a desire to do justice to the venue's distinct architecture and intimate surroundings, the quality of light produced by the selected fixtures was high on the agenda. Vermeulen chose to work with Claypaky, whose products he trusted to deliver. He selected versatile fixtures from
USA - Operating out of 11 offices across the US, The Sextant Group is a leading firm of technology consultants, providing innovative solutions to a wide range of client needs. Over the past few years, they have embraced the advantages of Alcons Audio loudspeakers for an increasing number of high profile projects.
The Sextant Group’s Joe Hammett is one of its senior systems designers. “I first learned of Alcons in late 2014,” he says. “The following year a co-worker recommended that I take a look at them, because we had a project where we needed to recess multiple subwoofers in a small space. I visited the company’s booth at InfoComm 2015, listened to the loudspeakers there and was immediately impressed. Then the real research began.”
He continues, “On many of my projects there is a fine balance between room aesthetics and the size of the loudspeakers required to produce the desired output. An advantage of Alcons pro-ribbon technology is that the power handling allows for a higher output with lower distortion, when compared to other loudspeakers of a similar size. With an Alcons solution, I am able to hide loudspeakers in recesses and other out-of-the-way places without sacrificing floor space.”
Two very different projects Joe has specified Alcons products for are a public-facing experience centre for a major electronics manufacturer in New York and an immersive theatre in a leading US children’s research hospital.
For the electronics manufacturer, the brief was for an ultra-high-quality audio system to complement a giant, 96
UK - The New Testament Church of God (NTCG) has been established in Slough for more than 40 years and has occupied its current Herschel Street location since 1990.
Sound reinforcement for music and speech is of fundamental importance to a contemporary house of worship of this kind and having conducted a review of its provision, the church, led by Pastor Wayne Perkins, decided that the time had come to make improvements. Whilst the church was generally happy with its existing front of house speakers, issues surrounding onstage monitoring had reached a critical point and far greater flexibility was needed in terms of audio-mixing both onstage and for front of house.
Pastor Wayne reports, “Our programme of events across the year is varied and features everything from the spoken word to music soloists and full band ensembles. People of all ages and levels of experience take part in performances, so delivering clear sound on stage across every frequency is crucial to the communication that lies at the heart of our purpose. We had been suffering some intermittent faults with our existing analogue monitor system and given the fact that it was more than 20 years old, decided to replace it with something more up-to-date and reliable. A new mixing console was also essential to improving our all-round audio delivery, as was the need for good quality microphones.”
The church contacted Audiologic to seek guidance and advice on the best way forward and following a site visit, business development manager Paul Simpson recommended a QSC Audio system for stage m
China - K-array systems have been installed in the latest bar created by Dining Concepts: Yojimbo, designed by international designer, Ashley Sutton.
Located in the heart of the nightlife precinct of Central, Hong Kong, Yojimbo replicates the underground world of Japanese clubbing through its international DJs, entertainment features and cocktails similar to the underground Ginza lanes of Tokyo.
Yojimbo is a slightly bigger space than many of Hong Kong’s bars or clubs yet a discreet system of four Vyper-KV52 line array elements and two Rumble-KU210 subwoofers powered by a Kommander-KA14 amp was enough DSP to cover the lobby bar area.
The main room functions as a nightclub so a more powerful line array of Mugello-KH3 loudspeakers were flown on either side of the DJ booth paired with a Mugello-KS5 subwoofer underneath it.
Completing the setup, a pair of smaller Mugello-KH2 powered line array elements has been installed on the opposite wall.
“K-array is a really good company to work with,” says Fabian Paganini, Dining Concept’s music director. “Their speakers are very good quality, but what’s also attractive is the opportunity to work with some quality people, such as [president of global sales] Marc Vincent who lives right here on Hong Kong Island and gets very involved with our installations.”
Europe - Lighting director Dave Lee has been working with Niall Horan since the very first One Direction show at Watford Colosseum to the band’s final performance in Sheffield, and following last year’s Promo tour, is now constantly on tour with original band member, Niall Horan as a solo artist. “In five years I have never really stopped working with him,” he says.
On the Irish singer’s current Flicker World Tour, Lee has been touring with 38 of GLP’s X4 Bar 20s, supplied by rental partner LCR. He found these helped extend a stage set originally conceived last year, depicting an acoustic studio look, with lots of sound proof acoustic foam set pieces, tungsten lighting and big rugs as a floor covering.
He switched his original spec to GLP’s versatile battens after seeing them on a car launch for the Jaguar F-PACE car (on which he was running lasers). “There were two lines of around 100 Bars each and I thought ‘hell they move fast - What are they?’ I was blown away!”
He says that Mike Oates at LCR, the designer’s regular supply source, was able to meet the full lighting spec with no substitutions for the UK and European legs.
The GLP inventory is used in two blocks, there are 10 fixtures on the floor in a straight line behind the band “to give that lovely thin line that gets broken up by the band”. The remaining 28 battens are set as a ‘wall of lights’, arranged in four rows of seven. “I curved my back truss at the point where they hang from so I can get a focus onto stage; the band plays within 3
Belgium - Lighting designer Rik Uyttersprot from GRAViTY Design injected an edgy and raw lighting aesthetic to help showcase the stark bare stage production values of WOW at the Kortrijk Xpo in Belgium.
The performance comprised over 50 dance segments which were presented as the end of year work by classic and contemporary students from the Pirouette Dans School, one of the most famous dance and choreographic academies in Belgium.
Woven into the intense action and drama were 20 x Robe Spiider LED wash beams and 48 little LEDBeam 150 moving lights. These are part of a new purchase by Roeselare based lighting rental company La Strada Fashion which was delivered by Robe’s Benelux distributor, Controllux.
Rik has lit the annual Pirouette Dans show for over a decade and has worked with La Strada Fashion, which is owned by Roland D’Hondt, for around 18 years. La Strada will frequently hire Rik to work on the design elements of their lighting and visual projects.
The Hall has plenty of weight loading, so a series of raked trusses were flown in the roof above the stage. There is also the benefit of plenty of space around the stage area which accommodated five high powered projectors positioned behind an upstage screen, adding images and moving footage to the action.
The Spiiders and LEDBeam 150s were dotted all over these and used for the top lighting – from creating beautiful intricate scenes to blunt single beams illuminating dancers, these units gave Rik all the dynamics he needed to light the diverse performance which plays thr
UK - Manchester’s 2,400-seat Bridgewater Hall presents a challenge for the facility’s technicians, who are often called upon to run the lighting for its many events.
Jonathan Rowland, technical manager of the hall, recently made it easier for his staff to perform this task by installing a ChamSys MagicQ MQ80 console. “Given the volume and diversity of what is booked here - everything from orchestral to rock concerts, as well as corporate events and graduations - our techs are often running the lights,” he explains. “We needed a lighting desk that all of our technicians could operate, even the sound guys!
“We looked at the available options that aligned with what our venue needed,” continues Rowland. “A trusted supplier, Chris Bogg of DBS Solutions, recommended ChamSys. The more we studied it, the more it seemed that the MQ80 with a PC Wing fitted the bill perfectly. The layout is simple and user friendly, and the touchscreen only adds to that simplicity. We like that the screen is a good size, easy to read, and allows you to change the user view when necessary.”
For a typical show or event, The Bridgewater Hall’s ChamSys console will use the pre- set faders or will work on the Execute function on the PC Wing. “This is really a treat for us,” says Rowland. “It’s really simple to put any previous settings/states onto the faders in seconds.”
Although the ChamSys MagicQ MQ80 is simple for the house technicians to run, the console, which supports 24 universes and has 10 Playback Faders with 200 pages, offers a robust
UK - Belfast’s award-winning Lyric Theatre, the only full-time producing theatre in Northern Ireland, has upgraded its FOH sound mixing console with a new Soundcraft Vi1000.
According to technical manager Ian Vennard, the facility’s existing desk had become dated and needed replacing. “We were starting to struggle with what we were trying to achieve with it,” he admits, “and our programme has included shows that stretched us way beyond its capabilities.” Consequently, over the past few years, they had rented different consoles - including Soundcraft - on shows that demanded more from the FOH console.
Eventually it was time to upgrade on a permanent basis, and with 2018 being the Lyric’s 50th anniversary at its Ridgeway Street home, there seemed no better time to act. The 96-channel Vi1000 digital desk was acquired from local dealer McCusker Pro Audio.
Vennard says: “The Snapshot Recall on the Vi1000 was one of the things that really stood out to us, and was the principle reason for going with the desk. Our Autumn season will see us present Good Vibrations, directed by Des Kennedy, and this show will allow us to really push the capabilities of the Vi1000, with a high input count from live musicians on stage and extensive sound design plot for the show. This will enable us to present the best sonic experience possible for the audience.”
As with most theatres, space at the Lyric is at a premium so the form factor of the Vi1000 meant that they could have a 96-channel mix at front of house and take up no more space than th