UK - Bristol-based Utopium illuminated TEDxBristol as influencers from all over the world took to the stage to inform and inspire attendees.
Now in its fifth year, TEDxBristol is one of the largest TEDx events in the UK and attracted over 4,000 delegates, with thousands more joining online through a live stream. Taking place over two days at Bristol’s Colston Hall, the programme of talks was loosely based around a wider theme of ‘disruption’.
Utopium provided SGM G-4 LED IP 65 Wash lights, a new addition to its inventory, to light the stage presentations and audience from the front truss. The stage was also lit from the balcony with Utopium’s ETC 64s.
The set was lit with a number of Miltec LED Batten 2s and backlit with Martin MAC Quantum Profiles. Chauvet Nexus 4x4 LED fixtures were built into the set panels and also suspended around the screen to create an eye-catching lighting arrangement. All fixtures were controlled using an Avolites Tiger Touch 2 console.
USA - Exhibition and event marketing company 1220 Exhibits was appointed to carry out an interior AV renovation at amusement park Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas.
The company needed to renovate the Aquarium Pyramid and specified a FLEXLite NXG LED system from Nashville-based PixelFLEX for the lobby. Originally, the brief called for a 25K projector system, but the company convinced its client that using an LED video system would be a better long-term solution.
“One of our primary goals with this renovation was to create a dynamic, immersive experience for guests the moment they stepped foot in the Aquarium Pyramid,” said John Zendt, president/CEO Moody Gardens. “The clarity and crispness of the image on the PixelFLEX video wall helps us achieve this goal and is exactly what we hoped for from this design.”
Dan Chadwick, director of interactive services at 1220 Exhibits, continued: “Since all of the exhibit houses at Moody Gardens are built in a pyramid-style with the outer façade being made of glass, we knew there would be an uncontrollable amount of natural light that would bleed into the space. Because of this, they would need to install a fairly large projector to counteract the natural light, and even at its maximum capacity, a projection system would not provide the image quality that we could achieve with the high-definition FLEXLite NXG 3.9mm LED wall.”
As the system installation got underway, the LED video panels would be mounted high above the crowd on a curved wall greeting guests as they arrive. In a busy A/V renovation
UK - Manchester-based film, television and photographic equipment rental company PKE Lighting has invested in 16 LSC Lighting Systems consoles to provide its customer base with simple manual control of fixtures on high-profile film and television production projects.
PKE Lighting were looking to invest in fader-based consoles that would provide ease of use for end users working on studio, stage and on-location projects.
PKE's Matt Evans approached LSC's UK-exclusive distributor, A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET), who supplied six LSC MINIM 24 fader consoles, plus four maXim M 48 fader and six MaXim XXL 120 fader desks.
He commented: "The LSC desks have been in and out on film and television production jobs ever since we purchased them, and without any issues at all. We and our customers are really happy with them. As always, the service from A.C. has been excellent as well."
The MINIM console is specifically designed for the entry-level user, providing fast, effortless manual fader control of general lighting looks, and is perfect for live modes of operation. The compact unit is ready for on-location work, with a voltage selectable internal power supply.
The maXim series of powerfully simple consoles has been designed to satisfy the more demanding operator. It includes six models, ranging from the 24 fader maXim S, up to the 120 fader maXim XXL.
Selected LSC control, dimming and distribution models will feature on the AC-ET stand at PLASA Focus Glasgow on 17-18 January 2018.
USA - Chauvet video panels were used for the video wall set up at Vexata's booth at the Oracle Open World conference held in October.
Digital Dynamite Productions, which provided the audio and video for the booth, specified Chauvet Professional F3 LED panels.
Austin Jansen of Digital Dynamite Productions comments: “We wanted to have a video wall that didn’t look like a video wall. Our challenge was to find an LED panel that had a minimal footprint and one that hid the rigging and rear of the display. The LED video display had to look as though it was part of a large graphic, so visitors could not tell it was really an LED wall.”
Jansen mounted 68 F3 LED tiles on plywood panels. “The panels were positioned on six separate surfaces that we custom built out of birch plywood and covered with vinyl graphics to hide the rear of the display,” he explained. “The F3 panels were perfect for this job, because they’re serviceable from the front. This allowed us to mount the panel cabinet frame directly to a substrate and wire the LED wall from the front. By doing this, we were able to have minimal clearance behind the LED wall, which created the feeling of the panels being part of the overall graphical display.”
Arranged at irregular angles to one another, the board-mounted panels created a flowing multi-dimensional look at the Vexata booth, giving it an inviting sense of warmth and depth. By changing the configurations of the activated LED modules on the
UK - Scottish-based GAB Audio Engineers recently equipped Heriot-Watt University (HWU) with a variety of flagship solutions from the Martin Audio portfolio.
The sound requirements were part of a major refurbishment of two lecture spaces - James Watt 1 (JW1) and James Watt 2 (JW2) - which form part of the university conference centre. Discussions with Martin Audio began at the ISE Expo in Amsterdam, back in 2016.
Stated GAB director, Jim Bryan, “Our relationship with Martin Audio started in the mid-90s when we were looking for high quality loudspeakers for our hire stock. We invested in Wavefront, then soon started to install EM series, Blackline, AQ series and most recently CDD in our church systems. It was therefore logical to turn to Martin Audio again to meet these requirements.”
In fact, GAB, which was originally set up in 1984 to specialise in a range of hire and installation services, principally for houses of worship and local authorities, had been introduced to Heriot-Watt by Martin Audio account manager, Richard Van Nairn after they had seen the Scottish integrators referenced on the Martin Audio website.
Martin Audio’s product support engineer, Robin Dibble, duly met with GAB and the university AV team on site, and produced modelling of the rooms’ response using Martin Audio software. “Having heard the systems previously, HWU technical supervisor, Neil Macintyre, was happy to place an order for the installation,” confirmed Jim Bryan.
“Consequently, we specified left and right hangs of four MLA Mini, each flown be
UK - DiGiCo consoles are enhancing London Grammar’s live sound on their tour in support of the Truth is a Beautiful Thing album.
The desks are supplied by Triplex Productions, who became involved with the band when the musicians decided to push their live production up a notch and invited Triplex owner Mark Sunderland to production-manage their technical requirements.
Ross Cornwall, managing director of Triplex Productions, says: “The collaboration has worked really well and the tour has gone everywhere - the USA, Canada, Australia, Europe, Asia. It’s so successful that we don't always know where we’re going to be, as dates keep getting added to the band’s diary. The venues are a real mix from large festivals (Glastonbury, Pukkelpop, etc) to the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith and O2 Academy Brixton. It’s been a real challenge for the team to deliver constant results no matter what territory or venue they are in.”
Mark also mans the monitor position on a DiGiCo SD10, with Dan McBean at Front of House using the newest of DiGiCo’s consoles, the SD12, with both running Stealth Core 2 software.
“The sound of DiGiCo consoles is great and their flexibility is almost unlimited,” Ross continues. “A major benefit is the Optocore networking tool. Triplex relies on it for the implementation of this project. With Recording and playback to both desks via an Optocore DD4MR, the network is super flexible and FOH and monitors can send audio between themselves, too, keeping the multicores totally digital.”
The tour continue
North America - L-Acoustics have implemented the largest AV bridging (AVB) touring system on Arcade Fire’s Infinite Content tour.
This is the first time the company has used an AVB system on tour. Supplied by L-Acoustics North American certified provider Solotech, with support from Germany’s Black Box Music, the system’s benefits include simple deployment with minimal network configuring, long-distance network communication, low latency, improved synchronisation and reliability.
The tour is carrying a total of 92 AVB-equipped L-Acoustics LA12X amplified controllers, 48 K1 and 80 K2 loudspeakers, 56 KS28 subs, eight ARCS Wide and eight X8 coaxials. Processing is being handled by a pair of redundant Meyer Sound Galaxy units, one driving analogue lines over copper for system fallback.
All equipment from L-Acoustics and Meyer Sound is certified through the Avnu Alliance and networked via the AVB/TSN protocol using Avnu-certified 11 Extreme Networks switches. The Avnu Alliance is a community creating an interoperable ecosystem of low-latency, time-synchronized, highly reliable networked devices using open standards.
“It is exciting to see the power of AVB bring together this magnitude of devices into one reliable, flexible, yet massive touring rig,” says Avnu Alliance Pro AV segment chair Patrick Prothe. “We’re thrilled to have members putting their certified products to work in the field. Having L-Acoustics and Meyer Sound equipment working together in the same setup via AVB is a testament to Avnu certification.”
USA - Little Ceasars Arena in Detroit opened in September, with nearly 1,700 custom LED strip lights from Elation Professional mounted to the venue’s vast wire grid.
Designed by HOK architects, the $863m, 20,000-seat arena is part of District Detroit, a major new development in the city centre.
Lighting and multi-media design firm, Illuminating Concepts (IC), was the lighting designer on the project, responsible for lighting the public spaces through to the theatrical lighting in the bowl. The dynamic ceiling is just one part of the arena’s large integrated lighting network in which all lighting is interconnected – indoors and out – to act as one themed environment.
Illuminating Concept’s design for the arena uses lighting to create a space that engages, guides visitors, creates moods and disseminates advertiser information. IC brought in production design company Crossfade Design, a firm with extensive theatrical lighting and video experience, to handle the theatrical lighting elements, including the dynamic ceiling.
The client wanted the arena bowl to be covered by a solid ceiling rather than the typical black void of most arenas, but with challenges like HVAC and rigging to contend with, not to mention cost concerns, the solution wasn’t easy to find. The answer came in the form of SkyDeck, a tension wire grid system created by InterAmerica Stage. The open wire covering acts as a scrim over the bowl, a modular ceiling that can be reconfigured for any event. Keith Irtenkauf of Illuminating Concepts calls it a “functional solu
UK - Persian-language broadcaster Marjan Television Network has just upgraded its four-studio complex with new LED lighting rigs featuring Chroma-Q, Spotlight, ProLights and Quasar Science fixtures - supplied, along with all associated cabling, by A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET).
Designed so that all four of the studios can be controlled from a single gallery, the facility needed to be flexible to accommodate the wide range of productions, whilst maintaining a contemporary aesthetic. The installation had to be energy-efficient with a multi-purpose lighting package that delivered good colour rendition on camera.
Ian Muir, who heads up AC-ET's specialist Film & TV sales division, oversaw the supply and specified a variety of LED lighting solutions, including 22 Chroma-Q Space Force soft light fixtures; over 100 Spotlight Fresnels; and Quasar Science Q-LED linear lamps - to provide a range of tuneable white LED luminaires suitable for the studio lighting.
ProLights colour changing LED effects lighting were used for more dynamic productions. These included LumiPix linear battens and a range of moving heads including Ruby beam lights, Stark400 pixel-mappable wash lights, and StarkBlade8 moving battens.
AC-ET's in-house Tourflex Cabling custom cable assembly service manufactured to custom order lengths and connector choices, nearly 900m of various power, lighting data, and hybrid power/data cabling. Other associated equipment supplied included aluminium truss, TV spigots and black safety wire. In addition, AC-ET provided product traini
USA - FOH engineer and sound designer Stan Miller is mixing Neil Diamond’s 50 Year Anniversary World Tour on a JBL by Harman VTX Series sound reinforcement system, provided by Sound Image.
Miller has mixed FOH for Diamond for nearly 50 years and has relied on JBL audio systems for Diamond’s tours for many years. For this tour, he selected a JBL VTX V25 system.
“I think the sound for this tour is the best we’ve ever had,” Miller says. “We have better control over the system, and we have better technology than in the past. We have better consistency from venue to venue, whether it's indoors or outdoors. And with the Crown amplifiers we’re carrying, we have gobs of horsepower to run everything, but we never blow loudspeakers. Our show runs somewhere around 100 dB max, or maybe 101 or 102. We don't want to overpower people.”
The tour system includes VTX V25-II loudspeakers, VTX V20 loudspeakers, S28 subwoofers, and JBL HiQnet Performance Manager 2.0 software for system configuration, optimization and monitoring. The entire system is powered by Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers, and all of the microphones and in-ear monitors are AKG.
“With a performer like Neil Diamond, you need a sound reinforcement system that delivers his voice with maximum authenticity and intimacy,” says Dave Shadoan, president of Sound Image. “Because the VTX V25 system provides such precise reproduction, it was the perfect choice for this tour.”
“We have the VTX V25-II loudspeakers on the main system out front, and then the VTX V20s are arou
USA - The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) has announced that the 2017 production of the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes, presented by Chase, has undergone a technological overhaul.
The production has been enhanced with updated technology including a new 8K LED wall and digital projections that will extend to all eight of Radio City Music Hall’s iconic proscenium arches that will make audiences feel like they are part of the show.
The new content for both the projections and the LED wall was created by design studio Obscura Digital, which is behind the world’s preeminent architectural projections including the innovative Empire State Building graphic light shows for Academy Award-winning director Louis Psihoyos’s film Racing Extinction.
Additionally, returning this year as designers for several of the Christmas Spectacular’s scenes is batwin + robin productions, a New York-based multimedia design studio that has re-created and enhanced existing video projection and LED content to utilise Radio City’s incredible new projection system.
Technological enhancements in this year’s Christmas Spectacular include updated graphics in every production number as well as complete visual transformations of scenes such as the energetic tap number, The Twelve Days of Christmas, Here Comes Santa Claus and the finale number, Snow.
For the first time, all eight of the venue’s proscenium arches will have imagery projected onto them using the most advanced 14K digital mapping technol
Europe - Lighting designer Steve Bewley has been deploying GLP LED moving heads on the tour of Dizzee Rascal.
Over the course of his career, Bewley has turned to successive generations of GLP LED moving head solutions, starting with the original impression 90, before moving onto Volkslicht and X4/X4 S. Explaining his preference, he said, “I’ve always liked the products that GLP release as they are always of a premium nature.”
Bewley works across a range of music genres from grime to hip-hop, soul and even rock. He notes: “I could instantly see an application for [GLP products] across the board,” he admits. “I have seen X4’s on multiple tours and at trade shows - and as for the JDC1 [GLP’s new versatile hybrid strobe], I had a little play with one at Christie Lites and loved them straight away.”
the JDC1 have become a central part of his design for Dizzee Rascal after commandeering 27 x JDC1s and 72 x GLP X4 Bar 20s - the inventory supplied by Mike Oates at LCR, who have invested in the fixtures. The JDC1’s have a range of tasks - varying from an effects light, to a huge blinder while they are also used to colour wash the stage.
“The strobes are so versatile and I knew the onboard effects would achieve what I wanted for Dizzee’s show,” he said. “The lights are very easy to programme and the onboard macros are killer.
“As for the Bars they were intended to create massive fields of light around the large LED screen, coming from the sides and the roof. I had limited real estate on the show as they wanted to kee
Czech Republic - Robe BMFL moving lights were used to light the first Laver Cup international tennis tournament.
The new indoor hardcourt men’s tennis tournament is staged for the first time in Prague’s O2 Arena, with the action broadcast worldwide.
The fixtures were a mix of 108 x BMFL Spots, WashBeams and Wash XFs, plus 80 x Spiider LED wash beams. The BMFLs were the primary light sources for the main show court, which saw two teams - Europe (captained by Björn Borg) and World (captained by John McEnroe) - battle it out for the trophy.
The full lighting production was designed by SMART Productions, providing a team of 28 riggers and lighting technicians on site led by SMART’s Josef ‘Pepa’ Zenisek who was also the event’s overall technical director for the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the host broadcaster.
It was Pepa who suggested utilising Robe moving lights to illuminate the courts. BMFLs were also used as part of the lighting design for the ceremonies of the 2015 Fed Cup Final also held in Prague.
“We proposed the lighting design and sent visualisations and renders to the organisers to explain how the ideas would look and work efficiently” he explained. It was a process on which Pepa collaborated with Australian based lighting designer Toby Harding from video and production design specialist Offset Dice who was the event’s lighting director.”
Offset Dice is part of Australian based live event production and solutions company Mediatec Asia Pacific who were also involved in delivering the event.
UK - For Robbie William’s Heavy Entertainment Show, sound engineer Simon Hodge is mixing on a Digico SD7 using an L-Acoustics K1 based system from Britannia Row Productions (Brit Row) and has not found it wanting.
“We have played some very tricky venues, acoustically speaking,” said Hodge. “The new amplifiers and subs that Brit Row has invested in have made a big difference. I was expecting the new subs to be better but actually the difference is pretty phenomenal - they produce notes that I’ve not heard before with what feels like effortless power. The new amplifiers have made a difference to the HF as well which seems extended in to the range that only dogs can hear. I have ultimate respect for Josh Lloyd’s system design and line up but that combined with the new system has resulted in the most even coverage that I’ve ever heard in stadiums.”
Lloyd’s approach to system design for each venue is rigorous. “I did all the advance work earlier this year so we have a system plan in place before we ever set out. But all shows, especially ones of this scale, evolve, so I do re-examine those plans and finesse them about a week ahead of arriving at each new venue. Using the new Composite Target approach whilst designing the system in Soundvision means we are getting even more consistent results across the audience listening area, so I spend time fine tuning the aiming of the system then finally pre-setting delays and filters in a more informed, empirical fashion; it’s all about making it sound as good as possible.”
The tour had a tou
UAE - World Class Events supported DXB Live and WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 in the safe and successful delivery of WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 15-18 October.
Project director John Adkins, senior project manager Brian Gowen and six project managers planned and oversaw the event build, which welcomed 1,300 competitors, 10,000 international visitors and 100,000 visitors from the UAE.
John Adkins, managing director of World Class said: “Make no mistake, the de-rig for World Skills Abu Dhabi 2017 was a mammoth undertaking! The scale of the event, size of the venue and large quantities of kit, equipment and exhibits and the timeframe we working to meant that nothing less than a precise and efficient plan would ensure a successful outcome. The way that Showforce switched on all of its departments to mobilise the numbers of crew involved, when they were busy with other projects, was really impressive.”
He added: “I personally really enjoyed this job, which was largely down to the people involved, it was a great team and everyone had a strong work ethic, this coupled with good personalities made for a great deal of camaraderie onsite a project imperative for successful execution. A clear and concise communication plan was implemented, from the WS Sector managers, to our zonal project managers to crew members etc which allowed us to deliver effectively and meet the deadline.”
Commenting on WCE’s performance, Aidan Jones, executive director of WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 said: “It was g
Spain - A sizzling 2017 Ibiza summer season saw new clubbing experience Hï burst on the scene with fresh energy and impetus mainlined into the heart of the Balearic dance scene via visual productions created by Romain Pissenem and his team from High Scream.
Over 200 Robe moving lights helped Romain define Hï’s two spaces – the Theatre and the Club. These included 72 x Pointes, 24 x Spiiders and 36 x Spikies in the Theatre and 100 x Spikies and another 20 Spiiders in the Club, all supplied by their regular lighting rental partner, France based the SLS Group, who also supplied all Hï’s video.
The building was previously known as Space for years by the clubbing fraternity, so a major aesthetic objective was the total transformation involving everything apart from the exterior walls.
Romain teamed up with acclaimed show, lighting, set and video designer Willie Williams, whose clients in the concert touring sector include U2, REM, George Michael and Robbie Williams.
The team also included technical directors Bertrand De Saint Pern and Philippe Monlong, technical manager Ian Woodall and production manager Caroline Harrington.
Operating seven nights a week with the season at full tilt, they also wanted to be able to radically change the look of the theatre each night, so multiple motors, moving trusses and pods were installed in the roof, together with a custom tracking rail system that allowed whole groups of lights to be moved and re-shaped.
With these rigging aspects in place, the environment was structurally fluid and infini
UK - Ayrton fixtures were used in the lighting design of the 2017 Slam Dunk Festival.
The alternative music event was headlined by rock band Enter Shikari and held in Leeds, Birmingham and Hatfield, with warm up shows at The Dublin Academy and Belfast Limelight and a further headline date in Barrowlands.
LD Steve Bewley used Ayrton’s MagicBurst LED graphic strobe fixtures and MagicPanel-602 units to achieve the dramatic visual effects needed for the event.
Bewley said: “For this show we designed four rotating towers which we wrapped in haphazardly-arranged LED strips, and used these to flank the drummer by deploying two towers either side of him. We then rigged three MagicBurst units vertically inside each tower towards the rear which, concealed within the towers, we use to shoot huge blasts of light out between the LED strips – much to the surprise and delight of the audience.”
He added: “Enter Shikari are a wild band and the wilder the strobing is, the better they like it – so we have two or three different types of strobe for these shows which enable us to change it about for the audience. We chose MagicBurst as one of the main strobes effects because of the graphic capability, and the sheer power of the units. When the towers rotated we are able to show the audience the full force of what the MagicBurst is capable of.
“I can spin the units around to add interest, often pointing not directly at the audience, but at the roof or tilted at angles, and can introduce interesting chases to the music. Because the MagicBurst has
Hungary - Around 1,000 dance aficionados arrived at the Dürlin Budapest Event and Performance Space in Hungary recently to celebrate Bladerunnaz, the traditional annual opening of the autumn/winter season.
To ensure one of the country’s premier drum & bass events made its usual impact on the dancefloor, service company and Martin Audio partner, BG Event , provided its MLA Compact PA system.
According to BG Event’s Balázs Szentiványi, the promoters opted for Martin Audio’s technology after specifying the MLA Compact on the drum & bass stage at the Balaton Sound festival, which they also promote.
Szentiványi said: “We knew that MLA Compact, accompanied by the mighty MLX subs, would unquestionably provide the ultimate gear for such a bass-heavy event. Due to MLA’s sonic capabilities over the full spectrum it was an ideal choice. We were able to use the special features of the MLA system, the SPL optimisation, leakage prevention, and ‘hard avoid’.
He added: “There is no acoustic damping in the room so that we had to avoid slapback from the rear, using the unique control - as this is something that bothers artists and crowd alike.” The system design was in the capable hands of BG’s long serving system engineer, Viktor Meszaros.
The MLA Compact arrays were rigged in a traditional Left/Right formation, four elements per side, with the MLX subwoofers in a conventional stack, two pieces on each flank. The subs were driven at a constant 80-90% capacity to reflect the sub-heavy genre of the music.
USA - Audio-system integrator Solotech recently completed the world’s first permanent installation of JBL by Harman VTX A12 loudspeakers at The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor Hotel & Casino resort.
The Colosseum is a 5,000-seat venue that hosts a wide range of performances - from chart-topping rock bands to acclaimed comedians. In order to improve the sound quality in the venue, The Colosseum hired Solotech to replace its entire audio system in three separate phases. In the first phase, which was completed earlier this year, Solotech replaced the venue’s aging main hangs with 26 VTX A12 loudspeakers, JBL’s latest line array technology.
“We've got a world-class venue, and thanks to the VTX A12, we now have a world-class PA,” said David Cyrenne, production supervisor and audio engineer at The Colosseum. “We needed something reliable and versatile to complement our 5,000-seat venue. We had a VerTec system in here before that served us very well, which is part of the reason we ended up going with JBL again. With the whole system integration, including JBL Line Array Calculator and Performance Manager software, it's a complete package.”
“It's kind of like high-end reference-monitor-quality sound in a concert line-array,” said Mark Radu, senior systems designer, Solotech. “There’s no distortion in the high-frequency driver, so it's crystal clear. It is such a smooth sounding box from top to bottom. The sound is so ‘in your face,’ and sonically, it’s like nothing JBL has made before.”
Once all three phases of the upgra
Finland - Helsinki City Theatre, the biggest professional repertoire theatre in Finland, has recently reopened its doors after an extensive three-year refurbishment and upgrade process. The technical part of the multi-million Euro renovation project was designed and managed by international theatre consultants Theatreplan.
“We were first approached by HCT in 2014 to work with them on a complete refit of the entire building,” explained Theatreplan director and stage engineering specialist, Dave Ludlam. The project started in March 2014 and was delivered in July 2017 for inauguration in August to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the modern Finnish nation.
Theatreplan carried out work on two of the six stages within the building: the ‘big stage’ with a capacity of 947, and the 347-seat ‘small stage’. The big stage now benefits from a re-shaped proscenium which has improved sightlines; increased power flying capacity; two new concentric revolving stages with three elevators inside.
“The revolves are now much more flexible and it’s a lot easier to reconfigure the orchestra pit,” said Ludlam. “We also put in a new modular floor which is much easier to use than the previous solution, and all goes towards making the stage a far more versatile and easy-to-work-with space. The small stage also benefits from a new revolve, modular floor and expanded point hoist system with significantly increased capacity.”
Theatreplan also designed brand new audio and lighting installations for both venues.
HCT technical director, Antti
UK - Southampton Solent University has upgraded its performance studios as part of a £100m facilities improvement programme running up to 2020, with VDC supplying the cabling infrastructure.
The university’s TV, Film and Media Technology department already boasts a number of professional-standard facilities including 4K-ready broadcast studios, radio suites and newsrooms, and the decision was made to invest in similarly high-quality facilities for the Music and Performance students. The department has nine rooms in total, five full studios and four smaller workstations which can be used for mixing. Studio 1 was upgraded in 2016 but the remaining studios hadn’t been touched for around ten years so much of the kit was showing signs of wear and tear.
When the decision was made to redevelop Studio 1, Technical Instructor Jon Wills contacted VDC to provide the cabling infrastructure.
Wills explains: “I’ve been using VDC personally in my freelance work since the mid-1990s and I introduced them to the university when I joined in 2007. We’ve used their Tourcat Ethernet cables in our outside broadcast equipment which we take out to festivals with the students each summer, so we know they offer a robust solution.”
VDC supplied three patchbays in Studio 1 with a custom wiring solution. “It’s wired as I asked them to, it’s bespoke for me,” adds Wills. “It all comes out to 25-way D sub connectors and then, off-the-shelf from VDC, I purchased D sub tails to connect all the equipment up. It just meant it was flexible for me.”
Europe - Production manager Will Wilkinson engaged the services of Video Design, Negative Earth lighting and SSE for sound during Lady Antebellum’s recent European tour.
The band visited the Netherlands, England, Scotland and Ireland during the European leg of the tour comprising six dates between 1 October and 10 October, with the crew and band arriving on the continent on 27 September.
Wilkison says: “When you tour with such a tight schedule at an arena level, the key is being able to source close what we use in the US. In that sense of matched equipment, it was a very smooth transition from the US into Europe. As far as Video Design was concerned, our biggest concern was over the video content. With almost no time for production prep ahead of our first show in Amsterdam we needed to send our content over before we arrived and have it loaded onto the server.
Alex Leinster at Video Design sourced a Green Hippo server and prepared it for a short tech rehearsal that took place at Negative Earth lighting’s base before the gear was shipped off to Amsterdam. Wilkinson adds: “When we got there we just needed to plug it in and we were ready to go.”
The content, all commissioned by the band, played onto a large rear wall of LED; a set of Barco FLM’s projected IMAG onto flanking screens. Fed by a large camera package, five operated cameras included three long lenses out front for the three principal vocalists, two in the pit, and a couple of robocams on stage for some more intimate angles and reverse shots.
“Our LD Brent Maxon run
UK - Rental company Ian Livie Concert & Corporate Lighting helped set up Paul Rodgers’ Free Spirit Tour with a minimalist rig of moving light and Leko fixtures and video content on Resolume controlled from a grandMA2 console.
Ian Livie and LD Jared Trinnaman are committed MA Lighting control aficionados. Livie says: “I had worked with Warren Cracknell for many years on Joe Bonamassa, the US blues guitarist so when he discussed the option of working with Paul Rodgers on the Free Spirit Tour I knew I had to invest in a console I was confident would stand the test of touring time both now and into the future. The LD, Jared Trinnaman felt the same way; I saw the show at the Royal Albert Hall and was so impressed with what he did with the console.”
Trinnaman himself had already invested in MA control. He says: “I’ve been an MA user since 2012. It was suggested to me by designer Paul Guthrie and I’ve never looked back. I personally own a grandMA2 OnPC Command Wing and, if I’m not using it, it’s out on rental. It has been a fabulous purchase from that perspective.
“The best feature of the MA2 is, in my opinion, the flexibility for the programmer,” continues Trinnaman. “From the graphic user interface, to layout views, and macros... as the LD I can set up the console for exactly what I need for that particular show. I may need to see a different set of views than the last show I did and the software allows me, as the user, to set up my views any way I want.
“We triggered the video content on Resolume using th
France - Airstar became an official partner to the Régates Royales Cannes this year after five consecutive years of cooperation.
Airstar’s lighting solutions were once again installed at the heart of the historic classic yachting event - the 160th edition of which took place between 23 and 30 September.
Airstar’s Crystal lighting balloons took pride of place, with two 160cm and three 200cm envelope balloons in situ on the docks around the boats and at the stands in the exhibiting village in the centre of Cannes opposite the Palais des Festivals. Some were then relocated to Palm Beach for the evening’s festivities.
With a set up time of just 15 minutes, yet designed to withstand tough outdoor conditions including wind gusts of up to 70 km/h, the Crystal range is perfectly suited to an event of this nature and are maintenance free. The Crystal lighting balloons can be fitted with either LED or halogen lamps, and are equipped with an extremely quiet fan for cooling rendering them almost silent, making it the perfect solution for high end events.
For this prestigious event, the team at the Cannes office of Airstar European Network (AEN) fitted six 400 watts halogen lamps in each Crystal balloon, making each of them capable of lighting up a surface of 1,500sqm.
With its larger surface area, the two metres wide balloons also carried partner logos on each side for additional impact, giving Air Mauritius, Champagne Comte de Cheurlin and the Mauritius Island outstanding visibility towards a prestigious audience.
Pascal Gard, race dir