UK - For Spectre Studios, virtual production (VP) is not a new field. Prior to the pandemic, the company was already using real-time engines and virtual production technologies for their work on Hollywood blockbusters and, last year, set up ICVFX full-service LED VP studio in conjunction with Big Picture, part of the NEP Worldwide Network, using Brompton Tessera LED processing power to drive ROE LED panels.
The climactic moment for Spectre, however, was in November, when the company participated in Epic Games’ Unreal Build: Virtual Production event, where a small number of creative studios across the world were invited to showcase their next-generation tools and techniques which are set to transform filmmaking industry. Brompton Tessera SX40 4K LED processing was used for the video piece that Spectre showed at the event.
“Unreal Build: Virtual Production was a free half-day virtual event that showcased projects and innovations from film and television industry trailblazers,” says Spectre Studios’ technical director, Rick Pearce. “We were invited to submit some of our early work to be included into a sizzle reel they were putting together to highlight some of the great work being done globally.”
Offering a glimpse of what the future might hold for creative content production, Pearce and his team at Spectre used a 14m by 4.8m LED wall made up of Black Onyx 2.8mm panels, as well as 4m by 4m ceiling using 5mm screens and two LED side screens 3m by 3m each. “Like with majority of our projects, we used Brompton’s 4K Tessera S
Israel - Kley-Zemer’s professional division KZPRO were chosen to supply a JBL Professional audio system for the 60-year-old Bloomfield Stadium during its extensive three-year renovation project. The installation was a cooperation between independent consultant Harel Tabibi, integration company Barkai and installation company The Charmer Group.
Bloomfield Stadium, home of Hapoel Tel Aviv, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv football clubs, first opened in 1962. In addition to hosting three football clubs, the veteran stadium has accommodated many musical acts including Celine Dion, Rihanna, and Pixies.
In 2016, the stadium was closed for a massive three-year renovation, which included expanding the capacity to 29,150 seats, making it the third-largest football stadium in Israel. Barkai was brought in to outfit the newly renovated stadium with a sound system that would be loud enough for football matches, had clear and responsive sonic quality for concerts, and could withstand extreme weather conditions.
“The main challenge of this project was to give appropriate sound coverage to the southern and northern balconies that are not roofed,” said independent consultant Harel Tabibi, who specified and designed the new sound system. “As a result, we had to install the speakers over the sides of the balcony, 80m away from the audience. The main advantage of working with JBL was having such a wide range of products to choose from. Combining the PD-6000 series and PD-500 series loudspeakers created a quality result and gave equal and uniform cove
Germany - In a summer that saw hardly any live shows, Landstreicher Konzert set an example with their corona-compliant series of Picnic Concerts in several German cities.
Singer-songwriter Lea was one of the artists who performed during the concert series, with lighting designer Maximilian Gräf from PE Lichtdesign using 20 KNV Line from GLP to bring a breath of fresh air to the existing tour design.
Gräf, who has been working as a lighting and stage designer for Lea since February 2017, had to fall back on an older design for the Picnic Concerts due to the pandemic. “The design for the new album Treppenhaus only exists on the drawing board, because all festivals were cancelled due to Covid,” he said. “When it came to the Picnic Concerts, I looked at both the old recording of the Zwischen Meinen Zeilen design and the drafts for the planned Treppenhaus set and tried to create something new from both. So, I took dollies and lamp positions from the old set and modified them."
The GLP KNV Line formed part of the future Treppenhaus design, and hence Gräf's first contact with GLP's powerful combination strobe, blinder and pixel block at the Picnic Concerts. “I had already heard extremely good things about the fixture from my colleague Raphael Grebenstein and I trusted his expertise, even though I had never seen it on stage myself. And it really worked!”
The designer placed the flexible LED modules on the four track dollies, the four back dollies, and on the riser edge in front of the musicians, giving depth to the st
USA - The Mall at University Town Centre in Sarasota, Florida, has over 100 stores and 20 dining options that attract multitudes of patrons year round. This past holiday season, the mall retired its smaller Christmas experience from years past and debuted a spectacular new holiday light show as incentive for customers to forego stay-at-home shopping and visit the mall instead.
Justin Stancil of Stancil Entertainment was contacted to design the lighting spectacular and turned to the ONYX platform from Obsidian Control Systems to control the massive system. “The client called saying they had a vision to do a big light show but had no idea how to achieve it,” Stancil shares. “I got the call in August and we designed a complete system - advanced pixels, intelligent lighting, control, hardlined and wireless networking, and automation.”
The lighting canvass, spread across a quarter of a mile square, included 200 palm trees covered in 1000 pixels each, a 50ft Christmas tree with 800 pixels, and a 34ft tree also covered in pixels.
Four Elation Proteus Hybrid luminaires washed the main Christmas tree in colour, along with other wash fixtures, and fireworks were added on some finale shows for an extra burst of excitement. Stancil put together four different shows, all about 10 minutes long, which ran every half hour between 6:30 - 9:30 pm, seven shows a night. The official launch of the new son et lumiere took place on 19 November and shows ran nightly through 3 January.
Lighting was controlled via a setup that included an Onyx PC and NX4 light
UK - London welcomed in 2021 with a spectacular city-wide display, sending a message of thanks and hope to the nation and the world. Jack Morton, the global brand experience agency, helped to develop the original concept and worked in partnership with the Mayor of London’s office and a dedicated team of experts to create the extraordinary experience.
The 10-minute show, designed for home-viewing and created in collaboration with the BBC, was broadcast live on BBC1 and watched by a global viewing audience of millions. Jack Morton’s creative show team worked in collaboration with On the Sly for the music production, Titanium Fireworks for the pyrotechnics design, and SKYMAGIC for the swarm drone sequences.
Lighting for the event was designed by Durham Marenghi with Paul Cook as associate LD and programmer. The spectacular array of 168 Claypaky Mythos 2 and 168 Elation Proteus Hybrids on London Bridge was supplied by Lights Control Rigging and managed by Rob Watson.
Marenghi called on the expertise of ER lasers, the Signify team, Atelier Ten and the Illuminated River project, Armadillo and Tower Bridge, Stadium FX at Wembley and the Woodroffe Bassett team at the Shard to integrate the city-wide effects into a memorable light show to herald what will hopefully be a far better New Year for all.
USA - Every night in December, America’s ‘Steel City’ was transformed, taking on the air of a holiday village, courtesy of a Vincent Lighting Systems (VLS) design that featured Chauvet Professional COLORado Solo 1 fixtures.
An alternative to Pittsburgh’s traditional Light Up The Night public gathering, which was cancelled for the first time in 60 years in 2020 due to the pandemic, the reimagined event created an organic drive-by experience on the city’s streets by adorning the downtown district in brilliant seasonal colours. Vincent Lighting was brought on board by Flyspace Productions, which produced the event in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.
“Instead of running our annual big event for one day we adapted and pivoted to light up many buildings for the holiday season,” said Noland Jenkins, production manager and lead designer for the project. “Although nothing can replace an in-person event, we wanted to make this city-wide display as colourful and immersive as possible to provide some much-needed holiday cheer for the people of our community.”
Key to helping the VLS team achieve this goal were the 70 COLORado Solo 1 fixtures specified for the seven-week project. The IP65 rated RGBW fixtures were hung on lamp posts throughout the downtown district and were used to colorize buildings, as well as to add background and depth for the event’s numerous gobo projections.
“Gobos were critical when we designed this project,” said Jenkins. “When we actually got to implementing the design, our bigg
UK - Sound BAFTA Winner Robert Edwards is one of the UK’s leading television sound supervisor/directors and an elected Fellow of the Institute of Professional Sound. This accolade is the result of 45 years of work and a credit list of productions that includes opening and closing ceremonies for the Summer and Winter Olympics, and TV shows such as X Factor, Harry Hill’s TV Burp, The Masked Singer, Britain’s Got Talent, The Wheel, Michael McIntyre’s Big Show and Celebrity Juice
It was this last’s production during lockdown that saw him head into what was previously his home cinema and, with a few tweaks, turn it into a home studio / office, relying on a DiGiCo S21 mixing console to deliver his broadcast mix.
“Timeline Television, who are based at Ealing Studios, found that the producers of the show wanted to do a few episodes remotely. They wanted me to drive to mix in the truck at Ealing, but when COVID hit, it seemed logical to try to do it properly remotely,” he recalls. “I happen to have all the right kit at home, literally down to the last wire, including the S21 with a Dante card, as I have a Dante network in the office.”
Edwards had originally purchased the S21 for a large Gospel choir that appeared on Britain’s Got Talent two years ago, as the broadcast desk he was working on didn’t have sufficient inputs or outputs to accommodate everything required.
“The S21 proved a good solution as an add on. It’s got a reasonably small footprint, it’s versatile and i
The Netherlands - The buzz around the new Sony PlayStation 5 launch was unmissable in November as Sony HQ buildings worldwide exploded in a spectacular series of co-ordinated lighting and visual shows to herald the new flagship PS5 console.
In the Netherlands, Hilversum-based technical production company Smits Light & Sound (SLS) invested in 100 x new Robe LEDBeam 150s to make up the 200+ Robe fixtures - including 172 x LEDBeam 150s - that were needed to complete an ambitious lighting scheme created by brand agency BAAS Amsterdam and SLS for the ADAM Tower in Amsterdam Nord.
The ADAM Tower (Amsterdam Dance & Music) on the banks of the IJ River in the redeveloped docklands area close to Amsterdam’s famous central station is a vibrant creative hub and a well-known local landmark.
It was the first time that Jeroen Smits and his SLS team had lit the 100m-tall building which has stunning panoramic views, and he specified the LEDBeam 150s together with 30 Robe Pointes, 12 Robe BMFL WashBeams and other fixtures together with over 100sq.m of 5mm LED screen.
The building’s 110 permanent architectural LED luminaires were also hooked into the grandMA3 console controlling lighting and video for the time-coded PS5 launch show.
The 172 LEDBeam 150s were placed in the individual window spaces of the building’s top seven floors.
Each fixture was enclosed in a white box created utilising approximately 400m of pipe-and-drape system covered in white poly-satin curtain fabric, chosen for its reflective properties when combined with lig
USA - Lee Rose and the creative team behind the Hollywood Party segment of Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve show begin looking for a suitable soundstage for their production in mid-September. Most years the process is fairly routine, but not in 2020.
“We scouted the Los Angeles Convention Centre as a possible location,” said Rose, who began lighting Dick Clark New Year’s Eve segments back in the ‘par can days’ of December 1984. “Normally we’re on a soundstage for the Hollywood Party, but as it turned out, most of the TV shows that went down for the pandemic left their sets on their stages. Between that and production starting up for some new shows, there were no stages to be had. A venue was finally confirmed in October with production ‘tweaking’ the layout to make it more COVID compliant.”
The prolonged quest for a stage was one of many issues Rose and his associates faced this year. Still, it wound up being “entertainment-as-usual” for the 10m-plus TV viewers who tuned in to watch the Hollywood Party, as it delivered all the fiery punch that fans have come to expect from the programme.
This was readily apparent when Megan Thee Stallion dominated the stage with her “red-hot sound and dance moves”. Supporting her performance was Rose’s bold and dynamic lightshow, which featured 12 Chauvet Professional Maverick MK Pyxis fixtures, supplied by PRG.
“As soon I saw the art director’s layout for Megan Thee Stallion, with its series of 6ft 6ft dancer risers, I envisioned using the
USA - Radiant Church, a thriving multi-site church located in Tampa, Florida, has recently overhauled the AVL system in its dedicated space for elementary-aged children. This included the installation of 37 ADJ lighting fixtures to create a vibrant and versatile rig designed to provide a fun-filled and contemporary backdrop for Sunday services and midweek events hosted by the church’s lively ‘Radiant Kids’ ministry.
Planted by Pastor Aaron Burke and his wife Katie in 2013, with a vision of creating a life-giving church that would transform a community, Radiant Church has quickly grown to spread across five locations in the Tampa Bay area. With an attendance approaching 4,000, it was placed at number 5 in Outreach Magazine’s 2020 list of Fastest-Growing Churches in America. Throughout this growth, the church has continually invested in the AV technology they use to present vibrant worship and engaging teaching, both for those gathering in person and watching online.
Their latest project was a complete technical revamp of the dedicated space used for ministry to fourth and fifth graders at the church’s flagship South Tampa location. The technical supplier for the new audio, video and lighting system was Atmospheric Productions, a company with a long history of working with Radiant Church. Owned and operated by business partners Andre T Miller and Jay Parmenter, who have over 20 years of collective industry experience, the company was established in 2015 and specializes in church integration projects.
“Radiant Church has been a client of At
Europe - BroaMan and Spiritland OB will co-host a Zoom-based webinar on 14 January, at 14.00hr GMT (15.00 CET, 9.00 EST).
BroaMan’s point-to-point fibre transport solution, based on the Repeat48WDM platform, was selected by one of the UK's leading OB trucks - Spiritland One - to provide a multi-format stagebox system to run multiple video, audio and data signals between stage and truck.
Co-hosts, Spiritland co-founder, Antony Shaw, and BroaMan technical sales manager, Maciek Janiszewski, will present a case study on this advanced system design, and how they evolved such a compact custom solution. The session will incorporate an interactive Q/A.
BroaMan itself offers customised fibre solutions as well as standard devices for every application that requires IP/SDI/HD/3G video transport or routing.
Webinar is at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/6316103590492/WN_RseZpQqYTl-VPIvXCThhOQ
Denmark - Lighting designer Johnny Thinggaard Lydiksen counts himself lucky to have had a busy autumn, engaged in working on several different television productions, all of them using Robe moving lights.
This has included music show Here’s Your Hit for DR2, a flagship channel of the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, and two major TV Awards shows, one for radio station P3 Guld (Gold) at the Aalborg Musikkens Hus and the high-profile Crown Prince Couples Awards staged at the Værket Randers.
Directed by Dean Strange, Here’s Your Hit is staged in the charismatic Tunnel Fabrikkerne in Copenhagen's north harbour.
This facility was originally built to fabricate and engineer elements utilised in the construction of the Oresund Bridge that connects the Danish capital with the Swedish city of Malmo. It is now in the process of being redeveloped as a multifunctional space for business culture and youth projects, as well as being a testament to Copenhagen’s recent industrial history.
For the series, various visiting bands and artists get in-depth with the full process of recording and producing a hit song, accompanied by advice and commentary from industry experts. The band then played their song live in the studio to wrap up each show.
Series creator and scenographer Betina Leth imagined the industrial style pop-up studio setting of the venue, complete with shipping containers and lots of bare metal structural elements, a fantastic backdrop for which lighting took centre stage to build the drama and atmosphere.
Germany - For more than 100 years, Goldbäckerei Grote has been serving its customers in the Sauerland region. In addition to 17 cafés and bakeries, the fourth generation of the family business has now also opened a gastronomy location directly on the shores of Lake Sorpe (Sundern). For the first time, an all-day concept has been introduced, where customers are provided with hot and cold dishes, cocktails and regional specialities. The upper floor is designed as an event area.
The company Event Active from Schmallenberg was commissioned to equip this space with the appropriate audio-visual technology. Managing director Noel Büchte stated, "Goldbäckerei Grote wanted to offer a high-quality event location with its Heimathafen [events space]. Therefore, we planned the technology so that the products could be perfectly integrated and deliver an excellent performance.”
Martin Audio loudspeakers were used exclusively for the entire project. Stated Noel Büchte, "Martin Audio's portfolio offers many solutions for the installation sector, so we were able to use several product lines: weatherproof outdoor loudspeakers, budget-oriented background speakers and high-quality ceiling speakers - all available in high or low impedance versions.”
Almost 50 loudspeakers from the Adorn, Ceiling and CDD series have been integrated unobtrusively into the room design. But the loudspeakers also have another advantage. "Since we were integrating a complex audio matrix, we naturally also needed the matching loudspeaker pre-sets for this. Unlike some other manufacture
The Netherlands – Tasked by a Regional Public Health Service with finding an effective solution for a new COVID-19 testing centre to enable its 18 test bays to signal for technical assistance, Backbone International turned to tried-and-tested event production technology from digital communications specialist Green-GO.
The company, a leading production management and temporary infrastructure specialist with operations worldwide, is well used to delivering the best technical solutions for any number of environments. Faced with this signalling challenge as part of a systems integration project for a testing facility in Eindhoven, they turned to Green-GO, and its Beacon call indicator units. Developed for the event production industry, the Green-GO Beacons have a transparent outer case and light up when receiving a call.
Backbone’s Daniël Zwaan explains, “The testing facility has a couple of ‘streets’, each with nine testing stations. The client needed employees at each station to have a button which they can press in case of a technical issue. This should trigger a red light at their counter, and another in the control room, indicating in which ‘street’ the support is requested. The employee or support engineer should then be able to de-activate the red light once the issue is solved.”
Zwaan continues, “We were looking for an existing system that could work for this project. Green-GO was a smart and fast communication solution.”
Specifically, the Beacon solution gave the Backbone team the advantages of being readily available
Norway - Bølgen Kulturhus in Larvik is a multi-purpose, multi-use venue that welcomes thousands of patrons annually for concerts, cinema, and theatre presentations, as well as conferences and events of all descriptions. With the recent installation of an Adamson Systems Engineering E-Series PA in its main hall, Storsalen, Bølgen has extended its already substantial capabilities to present the wide variety of programming it offers and the diverse range of events it hosts.
Previously, Norwegian distributor Benum provided Bølgen with Adamson rigs for the venue’s other two, smaller performance/event spaces: eight IS10, four IS119 subs, four PC5, and two D120 amplifiers in ‘Sanden Scene’; and eight S7, two IS119 and two D120 for Blåboksen.
In the Storshalen space, Benum has now installed a system comprised of 20 E12 (flown 10 per side), six E219 subs, and four S7p loudspeakers for lip and in-fills; all powered by D-Series amplifiers by Lab Gruppen (eight D120 amplifiers for the E12, two D200s for the E219 and one D80 for the S7p). Additionally, a Lake LM44 is deployed at FOH to create a fully redundant digital network with all audio distribution handled via Dante and a dedicated analogue backup.
Benum, which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021, has been representing Adamson Systems Engineering exclusively in Norway since 2015, and in Sweden since 2017. Adamson’s growth in the market has been substantial, says sales manager Kenneth Vadset: “We got a flying start with an S-Series installation at the Olavshallen concert hall in Tr
USA - At short notice, Elizabeth Coco eagerly embraced the opportunity to light three concert videos for the First Baptist Church of Glenarden outside Washington DC.
“Every year the church does spectacular Christmas and New Year’s Eve services, but due to COVID they had to reinvent things,” recalled Coco. “We did a series of filming over the course of seven days that included gospel performances from the church, as well as some partnering houses of worship in the area. From this, we created videos for the holidays as well as one for release later in 2021. I really enjoyed the challenge of taking on this project.”
In the process, Coco not only expanded her creative horizons, she also discovered the capabilities of the Chauvet Professional Maverick series, as her “surprise rig” included six MK3 Spot and 12 MK1 Spot fixtures.
“The performance of these fixtures was amazing,” said Coco. “The zoom range and pixel masks of the MK3s were perfect. I was so excited when I walked in the door and saw a case of them sitting on the deck waiting for me, because I had heard about them. I decided to place them directly behind the performers. I kept them in narrow zoom at all times to make them really visible with haze and create different beam shapes in the air.
“They didn’t have ArtNer or sACN easily accessible at this site, so we couldn’t dual control and map the MK3s,” she continued. “But I’m actually glad, because I didn’t have the time to really use that functionality either. Instead, I ran the MK3s in 128 channel mode an
Germany - Nearly 500 Astera AX3 LightDrop wireless battery-powered LED fixtures were utilised for a Weihnachtsshow (Christmas Show) special broadcast by popular German singer, dancer and entertainer, Helene Fischer.
Essential elements of the show broadcast on Christmas Day were recorded at the vast Halle 6 of Dusseldorf Messe, complete production lighting designed by award-winning LD, Tim Routledge.
Due to coronavirus restrictions and the relatively short lead-time in which these segments of the show had to be produced, neither Tim nor camera director Paul Dugdale – also based in the UK – could physically be there in person. So, to ensure that the lighting design was installed and ran smoothly, Tim brought German LD Michael Kuehbandner onboard as lighting director to oversee the project in Dusseldorf.
It was Tim’s first design for the artist; however, he has worked on numerous Paul Dugdale projects before.
Normally Fischer’s annual Weihnachtsshow, one of German TV’s most popular festive events, would be an impressively glittery and glamourous extravaganza with guests and an enthusiastic live audience, but this year that wasn’t possible.
To reflect this and the dramatic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the entertainment industry, the creative team wanted to do something radically different. They placed the artist in the huge empty Messehalle in Dusseldorf and filmed a series of intros and segues connecting a collage of “best of” clips from previous Weihnachtsshows which have been broadcast since 2011.
USA - After arguably the toughest year in recent memory, Bayside Church in Granite Bay, California, one of the largest churches in the Sacramento area, wanted to do something special for its congregation this holiday season. As a special holiday gift to the community, Bayside built a Christmas village complete with ice-skating rink, towering Christmas tree and special Christmas light show, a festive holiday experience enhanced using dynamic IP-rated luminaires from Elation Professional.
Alec Takahashi, a former lighting designer and lighting director at the church, was called on to light the project and worked on creative production with the church's creative team, including Bayside creative director Corbin Phillips. Felix Lighting of Southern California supplied all of the lighting gear for the project.
The Christmas experience, which included a 10-minute light show, opened on 25 November and ran through 3 January.
Takahashi says one of the main challenges of the project was getting the vision the church had for the project to fit within a tight budget. “Their ambition for the show visually was massive so trying to match that with a limited number of fixtures and still have that wow factor was quite a challenge,” he says. “When initially thinking about what fixtures I wanted to use, the Proteus line was the first that came to mind. Although I had not personally used the line yet, I knew its reputation as high-quality IP-rated fixtures was phenomenal.”
The designer says he sought lighting that was “robust” and could hold up under
Qatar - The Amir Cup Final 2020 Ceremony, the biggest football cup competition in the State of Qatar, and the inauguration Ceremony of Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, the fourth FIFA World Cup stadium to open in Qatar following Khalifa International, Al Janoub and Education City was recently performed using two grandMA3 full-size and multiple MA Network Switches.
Qatar Vision Company developed, produced and managed the inauguration and final, that took place during Qatar National Day and exactly two years before the country hosts the FIFA World Cup final. Mohammad Assaf and Mark Anton were the lighting designers.
Because of strict health and safety protocols, Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium was only allowed to reach approximately 50% capacity. Any fan who attended the match had to return either a positive COVID-19 antibodies test or a negative COVID-19 test prior to being allowed access to the stadium. Social distancing measures were also implemented within the vicinity of the stadium, including the fan zone and on public transport.
The opening ceremony concept and creative treatment was created by Qatari artistic director and producer Sharif Hashisho, who is also the managing director of Qvision. Hashisho and is widely known for his previous work as a director of ceremonies for the 15th Asian Games and director for the 17th Gulf Cup, as well as the artistic director and producer of the IAAF World Athletics Championship in 2019.
The opening ceremony concept and creative treatment for the inauguration Ceremony of Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium were inspired from Arabic Po
UK - The London skyline again turned into a beacon of blue at 18:00 on Thursday 7 January. Major sporting and entertainment venues, national landmarks and historic buildings across the capital illuminated in a gesture of thanks to the NHS, volunteers and all those on the COVID healthcare frontline.
Heading the list of venues were The O2, London Stadium and Olympic Park, the National Theatre and Madam Tussauds London.
The #LightItBlue campaign has been organised by mental health non-profit organisation Makeitblue CIC, formed last year by members of the live events and entertainment industry.
Tim Owen, Makeitblue director of strategy and engagement said, “With the support of the Mayor of London, we want to light the city blue as a public demonstration of continued support and admiration for all those working under immense pressures to look after COVID and other emergency patients.
“Knowing the best thing the rest of us can do is to stay safe at home, we’ve used our communication networks to organise this campaign and are concentrating on locations that can be programmed or switched on remotely.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said, “It is a very challenging time for our city and nation, and we owe a great debt to our NHS and key workers who are working so incredibly hard to serve our city. By lighting up buildings in blue in their honour, our capital is again standing together to thank them for their tremendous efforts.
“These workers deserve our praise and our thanks, and I urge Londoners to continue following the loc
USA - The 1,500-seat Marque Theatre was virtually empty, save for a few widely separated family members on hand, when Spafford took to the stage for its 2021 New Year’s Eve livestream. Matt Collier, the jam band’s longtime LD, couldn’t help but contrast the scene to the one he remembered from the band’s last NYE show, when they played before a packed house at Great American Music Hall, more than 750 miles (and a whole world) away in San Francisco.
“What a difference a year makes,” said Collier. “There was less stress than there was last New Year’s Eve, because we played in a virtually empty hall, but I missed the energy of the crowd so much. Just as the band feeds off crowd, I also do as an LD. So, it was a bit of a bummer not to have them there this year.”
Setting his disappointment aside, Collier became completely immersed in the moment once his busked show kicked off. “It doesn’t matter where the concert takes place, or what the situation is,” he said. “It’s all about creating the best possible looks for the band - nothing else is as important.”
For Collier, achieving this goal for Spafford’s two NYE shows meant modifying the position of his lights in relation to the band, and changing his colour choices. As he explained: “You have to do things differently in a livestream show to give it depth so it doesn’t look flat.”
Collier added depth to his livestream stage by having his eight Chauvet Professional Maverick MK2 Spot fixtures moved as “high up as possible” on the house rig. He also had the band m
Thailand - Upgrading its facilities, the Montatip Hall, Udon Thani International Convention and Exhibition Centre hired integrator Mahajak Development Co to design and install Harman Professional network AV and lighting solutions throughout its meeting spaces.
Continuing to establish the province of Udon Thani as a growing business centre, the Montatip Hall, Udon Thani International Convention and Exhibition Centre is a premier enterprise venue. The facility covers 25,000sq.m and features 80 meeting rooms, several banquet halls and a convention and exhibition centre that accommodates up to 5,000 people.
“The client wanted powerful, flexible AV and lighting systems to support events of any scale, reinforce brand image and ensure customer satisfaction,” says Pongsakorn Kanchanachayphoom, project director, Mahajak Development Co. “It was challenging to design the audio system to cover all areas of the venue and deliver sound uniformly in all directions. We integrated a range of Harman Professional's AV and lighting systems across the facility, which provide premium performance with the versatility to accommodate future applications.”
In addition to hosting tradeshows, the facility’s largest halls - the Thanakorn Rooms - can be separated into two smaller meeting spaces.
Mahajak deployed an array of JBL Professional speakers. Powered by JBL CSA 1300Z Commercial Series Amplifiers along with Crown XTi 2002 and XTi 4002 power amplifiers, the systems include JBL Control 16C/T two-way ceiling loudspeakers, Control SB-2 dual-coil subwoofers,
USA - When Seattle was forced to adapt its customary New Year’s Eve celebrations due to the ongoing disruption caused by COVID-19; necessity, once again, proved itself to be the mother of invention.
The result - a collaboration between event production company, Modern Enterprises LLC, and projection mapping specialist Maxin10sity - was a revolutionary ‘sky mapping’ show that saw virtual lights, projection, and special effects superimposed on live footage of the city’s leading landmark, the Space Needle, and the sky above.
CEO and founder of Modern Enterprises, Terry Morgan, reports: “I’ve worked with Tamás Vaspöri (managing director at Maxin10sity) for years and have always been so impressed by what we were able to create together; namely the Borealis Festival of Light here in the US, which debuted to a wonderful crowd of over 120,000 people.”
Although the New Year’s Eve sky mapping show - fittingly named The Dream - had its own advantages (such as the absence of civic considerations like security, power, crowd control, and portable toilets) the team still only had two months to realise this unprecedented concept; mapping projections, lights, and special effects on the sky itself.
“There are challenges in all productions but, because this show is something new, we had to be very prepared and think through everything twice,” says Vaspöri. “We had to work a bit more on the storyboard but, when it was done and approved by the client, we could move on as normal from an animation / production point of view.”
Italy - Located on the coast of the Gulf of Portofino, in Santa Margherita, Italy’s Covo di Nord-Est, or the North-East Lair, has recently undergone an extensive rebuild with a new audio system. Originally built in 1934 as a private residence, the venue quickly became a popular club during the 60s and 70s, and after storms ravaged the venue in late 2018, it has once again opened its doors to the public.
“After the storm in 2018, we undertook a complete rebuild the entire venue,” said Stefano Lo Sardo, owner of Vibra Service and project manager for this build. “But we didn’t just want to rebuild, we wanted to upgrade, and that meant a new audio system that would rise up to the challenge.”
Together with Italian distributor Audiosales, they designed a completely new sound system. Featuring both Martin Audio speakers and subwoofers, the system was supported by Powersoft’s fixed install dedicated Quattrocanali 1204 and Ottocanali 4K4 amplifier platforms, with onboard DSP.
“Our focus was to provide coverage throughout the entire venue, especially in the centre, as it’s where the bar and most guest seating are,” says Lo Sardo. “We also needed to consider the buildings around us, making sure that we avoided undesirable coverage near the surrounding buildings.”
The system was designed with six Martin Audio CDD10B speakers situated in the centre of the venue suspended from the ceiling. These speakers, along with the other 12 speakers and subwoofers placed throughout the venue, are fed directly into an Audac preamplifier and Power