UK - The CloudPower series of amplifiers from Apex are set to arrive in the UK and Ireland with the appointment of FBT Audio (UK) as the range’s exclusive distributor.
Effective 1 June 2021, the agreement comes as FBT Audio (UK) continues to experience rapid growth in its commercial audio division - a trend that has continued despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Described as capable of scaling from “a karaoke room to an opera house”, the Apex CloudPower range comprises four Class-D models - the 4 x 350W CP354, 4 x 700W CP704, 4 x 1500W CP1504 and 4 x 3000W CP3004.
Each is lightweight and compact at just 1U and can run in low impedance down to 2Ω or 70/100v line configuration. Also on board is feature rich DSP plus a built-in WiFi hotspot for simple setup, control and monitoring either locally using any HTML5 capable browser (Mac, PC, iOS or Android), or off-site using the built-in LAN connection.
“Our huge growth within the UK installation market in recent years is the perfect platform for Apex to launch these brand new game-changing products for systems integrators,” said FBT Audio (UK) managing director, Mark Parkhouse.
“From features like onboard streaming from AirPlay and Spotify to the gorgeous industrial design and OLED display, CloudPower amplifiers are essential for everyone who values power, control and reliability. We’re honoured to represent them in the UK and Ireland.”
Spain - Integrated Systems Events managing director Mike Blackman marked the opening of ISE Live & Online yesterday with a presentation at the Fira de Barcelona Gran Via in front of a gathering of representatives from government, local executive boards and agencies, ISE’s owners and the media.
ISE Live & Online is a hybrid event, livestreaming from the Fira and broadcasting to a global audience via the ISE Digital platform.
The opening of ISE’s first show in Barcelona represents a significant milestone in the development of Integrated Systems Europe, and a personal and professional triumph for Blackman, who launched the event 17 years ago with a staff of three.
Along with representatives of the Fira, ISE co-owner AVIXA and ISE exhibitors, Blackman made a symbolic trip by motorbike from ISE’s office in Munich to Barcelona, stopping en route in Geneva, the location of the first ISE show in 2004.
Speaking at a press conference just before the doors to ISE in Barcelona opened, Blackman said: “You do not need me to comment too deeply on our shared experiences of the past 15 months. The effects have been universal, and our heartfelt sympathy goes to all countries, businesses and individuals touched by it. No one has escaped. Yes, in more recent times the light at the end of the tunnel has begun to glimmer and then to shine. Which is why after conducting exhaustive research with our exhibitors, partners, and owners we decided that ISE Barcelona, Live and Online, should take place. And here we are.
"And there’s another reason w
UK - Britannia Row Productions Training (BRPT) has launched its Live Sound Fundamentals and Live Sound Intermediate courses online with 145 newly produced video lectures at www.britanniarowtraining.com.
Created after receiving an Arts Council England Culture Recovery Grant, the new online delivery platform offers video lectures, course notes, quizzes and optional exams together with learner support that the live sound specialist hopes will generate a more accessible gateway into the professional audio industry.
BRPT managing director, Mike Lowe, states: “We anticipated having to wait for some semblance of post-pandemic normality before continuing our programmes in live sound, however, being awarded a Culture Recovery Grant was an amazing development. It has provided work and much-needed income for the sound engineers, technicians, camera ops, video directors and editors who have produced our online courses.”
The coming months could see the return of largescale festivals and concerts in the UK, yet this will bring about challenges. The live industry as a whole faces concerns over retaining skilled workers to meet future demands.
Lowe continues: “In any normal year, a certain amount of production workers will retire or slow down. This ‘shrinkage’ has been exacerbated during the pandemic as many workers have now retrained and left the industry indefinitely. By the time the industry will be able to secure consistent work, the s
Italy - Powersoft has named Prase as its Italian distributor. Headquartered in Noventa di Piave, near Venice, Prase was founded in 1993 and for 28 years, the company has provided services to the Italian audio market.
Prase's 50 distribution brands, once paired with Powersoft, will provide integrated installation solutions for system integrators, AV designers and consultants.
Fabrizio Romano Bolzoni, Powersoft’s sales distribution manager, comments: “We’ve always had a long history of mutual interest with Prase. The time has finally arrived to materialise that into a solid partnership for the development and success within the Italian professional installation market. With Prase’s best-in-class reputation throughout the installation sector and in the live world, we are delighted to be entering a partnership with them.”
Ennio Prase, managing director at Prase, adds: “This is probably Prase's longest-cultivated partnership: it took around 20 years. Our confidence in Powersoft was solid from the start, but the conditions for a partnership just weren’t there. Today, we can finally start a strong collaboration to grow the Italian market together. Prase’s strong presence in system and entertainment channels will be enhanced by the products of one of the most recognized Italian manufacturers in the world.”
Alberto Prase, Prase’s sales director, says: “The Prase brothers have known the Lastrucci family from the very beginning. It’s a great pleasure for us that the time has arrived for a business collaboration.”
UK - Extending the capabilities of its compact Dante audio network interfacing modules, Neutrik has introduced the NPS-30W Gigabit Power over Ethernet power supply, addressing the increasing requirement for PoE injectors with the first ever such device optimised to operate in the harshest stage and field applications.
The NPS-30W PoE injector behaves as a passive power supply, delivering constant uninterrupted power, with no requirement for power negotiation with connected devices. The NPS-30W PoE partners the new NA2-IO-DPRO and NA2-IO-DLINE I/O interface devices that enable connectivity of legacy analogue and digital audio equipment within Dante audio networks, in the most demanding application environments.
With a 30W PoE budget, up to four of these I/O Dante interface devices can be daisy-chained off of a single NPS-30W; this makes the NPS-30W ideal for applications such as ambient mic'ing.
In common with the NA2-IO-DPRO and NA2-IO-DLINE, the NPS-30W features a compact ultra-rugged form-factor and removable rubber safety casing and is equipped with lockable power connector and Ethernet ports, for utmost reliability in field production applications. Optional mounting brackets or a rack panel, allow all three devices to mounted on the underside of tables, in floor boxes, outboard racks or on a truss.
USA - Audio Engineers of Detroit has opened a new recording studio in midtown Detroit with a 32-channel Neve Genesys Black console at the heart of its main control room.
The studio provides many different recording services, including commercial voice over, podcasts, music recording, mixing in stereo, 5.1 up to Dolby Atmos, audio restoration, location sound and audio-visual services. Running alongside this commercial work, Audio Engineers of Detroit also offers an education programme that teaches students the skills and techniques needed to follow a career in professional audio.
“Some years ago, I had the pleasure of mixing on a vintage Neve console and fell in love with the sound,” says Mike Kinnie, founder and vice president of Audio Engineers of Detroit. “We wanted that Neve sound for the new studio and we also wanted a console that had DAW control so it made sense to us, after researching different consoles, to choose the AMS Neve Genesys Black console.
“It does make life easier, and it makes a difference knowing that you have options in terms of the way you want to work – traditional or ‘in the box’. Most of our clients prefer ‘in the box’, but it is great that we can give them a choice. Having this console will also help our students develop their engineering skills – I know it has already helped develop mine.”
Mike, who began his career in live sound before moving into studio recording, runs Audio Engineers of Detroit with his wife Robin Kinnie. Both have considerable pro audio credentials – over the years Mike h
UK - Pro audio solutions provider Audiologic is working alongside Probrand to deliver a remote learning solution for Arden University.
Arden University is a higher education institution with approximately 10,000 students. It focuses on providing access to flexible learning for ambitious students of all ages around the world and provides a mixture of distance (online) and on-campus teaching services at five UK sites and one in Berlin.
Arden has expanded its learning opportunities from an exclusively distance-learning model to a blended online and on-site model in 2017, but shortly after the pandemic struck in March, the team realised that it would require a different technical solution.
The University wanted to continue its on-campus learning service when classes restarted in September 2020. Rob Palfreman, IT director at Arden, explains: "We were committed to providing a high-quality learning experience to all students whether they were on-campus or attending remotely.”
Running separate classroom and online sessions would segregate students, his team reasoned, and would also place more pressure on lecturers who would have to teach the same session twice. Instead, the IT team resolved to make on-campus lecturer-led sessions available both on and off campus. To maintain the level of quality that Arden students were used to, the experience for remote students had to be as seamless as possible. Meanwhile, lecturers focusing on delivering an engaging learning experience would not have the time to configure audio-visual equipment.
UK - Backstage Academy has collaborated with Brompton Technology in delivery of an online masterclass to over 50 students to help them understand the importance of LED processing for video walls within live events and virtual production.
“Brompton LED processing solutions have been making regular appearances at Backstage Academy and Production Park for some time now,” says Miles Marsden, industry partnerships director at Backstage Academy. “For a company to remain at the cutting edge of such a fast-moving sector is super impressive, so to give our students the opportunity to be included on that journey was a no brainer.”
The training consisted of a short company overview delivered by Brompton director of business development, Rob Fowler, followed by a sampler from the company’s full one-day training course on the Tessera system using the streaming rack delivered by Steve Harris, technical support specialist. Finally, Adam Callaway, technical solutions manager at Brompton, took the students through some of the work the company has been doing in virtual production.
More than 50 second- and third-year students from Live Events Production degree, Live Visual Design & Production degree (LVD), and Live Event Design degree (LED-MA), as well as members of the XPLOR R&D team at Backstage joined the online session.
“Our objective for the masterclass was crystal clear - to act as a first step introduction to LED processing for those less familiar with the topic and the product range, and then to move on to the new Brompton Tessera sof
The Netherlands - Eurovision 2021, broadcast live from Ahoy in Rotterdam, chose Shure Axient Digital Wireless System to help ensure audio quality throughout all performances for singers, musicians, and viewers.
With more than 40 artists on stage and an estimated audience of nearly 200m, viewers across Europe, the 2021 Eurovision edition needed a wireless system that could meet every contestant’s demands.
“With Shure’s Axient Digital we found the perfect system to monitor and coordinate the complex audio set up that Eurovision required, in which sound quality and spectrum efficiency are key,” said Aart Heus, wireless coordination technician at Ampco Flashlight. “Shure’s Wireless Workbench was the most qualified software for it. The hardware not only provides control and stability, it is trustable and reliable which is essential for a show of this size.”
The Eurovision Song Contest relied on Shure’s gear and trusted its Axient Digital for the sound set up, including: 20 Axient Digital AD4Q Four Channel Quad receivers, 20 Axient Digital ADX2FD Handheld Wireless Microphone Transmitters including ShowLink Remote Control and 70 P10R+ Diversity Bodypack IEM Receivers.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is responsible every year for organising the Eurovision Song Contest. The 2021 edition was led by Erwin Rintiema, head of production. Together with host broadcasters NPO, NOS, AVROTROS and Ampco Flashlight, the official sound supplier for the contest, Shure Axient Digital was their go-to-solution to address the show’s demanding re
Germany/UK - d&b has announced the establishment of a new service-focused business entity, d&b solutions GmbH & Co. KG. The new entity will ‘further enable d&b to offer end-to-end expertise in the areas of project development, manufacturing, system planning, installation and maintenance’. The announcement is supported by the immediate acquisition of UK-based multidisciplinary AV provider, SFL Group.
The newly formed d&b solutions will act independently from d&b audiotechnik GmbH & Co. KG. d&b solutions and d&b audiotechnik will have separate, independent business structures reporting up to the d&b Group. The managing directors for d&b solutions are Amnon Harman (d&b Group CEO), Jens Nilsson (d&b Group CFO) and Michael Aldinger (d&b solutions director finance and operations).
“d&b solutions is born out of customers' increasing demand for the integration of full AVL solutions. We see a rise in requests for manufacturer support in design, planning and integration services as well as new buying behavours regarding system ownership and managed services. The creation of d&b solutions as a standalone business entity under the d&b brand will address these developments and accelerate our solution offerings across the entertainment technology market,” explained Amnon Harman, d&b Group CEO.
A major step in the formation of this new business entity is being taken with the acquisition of SFL (Sound Foundation Ltd) and its subsidiaries to form SFL Group - a d&b solutions company.<
Spain - Amate Audio is exhibiting in the Catalan Innovation Zone at ISE Live, in Hall 2 of the Fira Barcelona Gran Via exhibition centre, in association with ACCIÓ, an agency of the Government of Catalunya promoting business competitiveness, which is hosting a dedicated zone showcasing some of the leading companies and technologies from the region.
Barcelona-based Amate Audio will be featuring spread of .some of its latest loudspeaker products.
The company’s flagship Xcellence series X212AF large format, 3-way line array and accompanying dual 18” X218WF ‘compact’ sub were the major product introductions on its booth at ISE 2020.
Also from the Xcellence series, the all-new X102FD is an ultra-high output compact point-source alternative to line arrays in medium and smaller size application environments. Its advanced cabinet geometry incorporates two 10“ drivers in a concentric V-configuration, a 1.4″neodymium HF driver with a simple ‘no tools required’ ‘pull & turn’ rotatable aluminium horn. With a compact form factor in relation to its extremely high power and signal output, which enables a single pair of X102FD cabinets to outperform up to two 4x 8” line array strings.
The new G7 premium commercial audio loudspeaker features Amate Audio’s proprietary hexagonal form, injection moulded reinforced ABS plastic enclosure. Described as “offering the highest quality and performance to price ratio achieved with a plastic cabinet”, the G7 is a ground-up, fully in-house development to create “a compact injection-mould
UK - Shure has announced free software networking capabilities for its SLX-D Digital Wireless System. Shure’s Wireless Workbench 6 software and ShurePlus Channels iOS app will be compatible with SLX-D later this summer. The software solutions offer the necessary RF management that professionals rely on for critical oversight and control of Shure wireless systems.
Shure’s Wireless Workbench 6 software allows audio professionals to discover and automatically connect to all Shure devices on the network for remote monitoring and control. With just a few clicks, users can scan the spectrum, identify open frequencies, and deploy to networked systems.
To ensure an optimal working environment, and smooth production with SLX-D, Wireless Workbench 6 can also help: establish network parameters and track all devices used in any given production; manage alerts and make adjustments in real-time without interrupting the performance, and Implement necessary changes to Shure devices remotely from a computer.
The ShurePlus Channels app gives users optimal control from the palm of their hand, helping them monitor events and make important real-time changes using a mobile device. The easy-to-download iOS app can be connected via Wi-Fi or an Ethernet adapter to automatically discover and manage Shure networked devices. Users are able to precisely monitor RF signal strength, audio levels, and battery life, from their mobile device for on-the-go performance management. Additionally, users can remotely diagnose and adjust critical channel information - ensuring the s
Vietnam - Harman Professional Solutions recently collaborated with BaSao Audio to equip the ballroom at Sonaga Beach Resort & Villa with a new audio system.
Located on the Vietnamese island of Phú Quốc, Sonaga Beach Resort & Villa is a luxury resort that offers upscale accommodations in addition to a restaurant, swimming pool, fitness centre, ballroom and bar. The facility owners hired BaSao Audio to outfit the main ballroom with a complete Harman sound system.
BaSao installed a combination of JBL loudspeakers, AKG microphones and Soundcraft audio mixers to support a wide range of events in the venue.
JBL BRX308-LA loudspeakers and BRX325-SP subwoofers were selected for the main sound reinforcement system. Additionally, the installation team equipped the space with JBL EON612 portable PA speakers to provide premium sound quality and flexibility for remote events.
BaSao Audio also included AKG KM200 wireless microphone systems to provide reliable speech reinforcement with clarity and high intelligibility. Soundcraft Signature 16 analogue mixers control the system.
“Sonaga Beach Resort & Villa required powerful and compact audio solutions to complement their sophisticated venue,” said G Amar Subash, VP & GM, Harman Professional Solutions, APAC. “We would like to thank BaSao Audio for delivering our latest product line, JBL BRX300 as part of well-planned solutions with exceptional expertise and creating an engaging space for the resort’s patrons.”
China - The annual Spring Festival Gala staged by BTV (Beijing Radio and TV Station) which celebrates the Chinese New Year is one of the most watched television spectaculars in the world. The 2021 edition of the show, with its central theme of unity was no exception, attracting a large audience and wowing its audience with a combination of art and high tech.
Recorded at the 3,600sq.m studio at Xingguang Film and TV Centre in the Daxing District of Beijing, the Gala presented a song and dance extravaganza (including virtual performances) that used a 360° panoramic immersive performance area.
The show presented its production team, Beijing Zenith Culture and Art Company, with many challenges, breaking down as it did the traditional barriers between audience and performers.
The design of the audio system in particular was demanding - the immersive approach meant that performance areas were fragmented and a staggered layout would be required. Audio specialist Mr Ma Xin, of the Chinese Coal Mine Art Troupe, was the chief sound designer for the Gala and deployed Coda Audio’s compact three-way line array N-RAY system to overcome challenges.
The immersive layout of the space required not only that the audio had to be of the highest quality, but that the enclosures had to be small and lightweight and have very accurate directional control. Without the necessary accuracy, there would be an increased danger of feedback and also that the sound reflections in the room could compromise the clarity across the venue and even affect the recording quality of
Egypt - The National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation (NMEC) in Fustat is one of UNESCO’s projects to help safeguard and preserve Egypt’s cultural heritage. The April opening of the new-build museum was marked with a lavish ceremony, in anticipation of which the Egyptian government undertook a multi-million-dollar investment to re-paint, re-light, and equip downtown Cairo with sound.
The epic opening ceremony, which was supervised, directed and organised by Media Hub Saadi-Gohar Company, combined marching bands, cheering children, synchronised lighting, and a line-up of famous Egyptian actors and singers. The centrepiece of the productions was the transfer of the mummies of the ancient kings and queens of Egypt from their previous resting place in the Egyptian Museum to their new home.
Twenty-two mummies in chronological order of their reigns, from the 17th Dynasty ruler, Seqenenre Taa II, to Ramses IX, who reigned in the 12th Century BC, were paraded through in the heart of Cairo while Egyptians - and the world - watched and listened to the historic pageant. Each mummy sat in a nitrogen-filled box - to protect against decomposition caused by oxygen exposure - atop a decorated vehicle disguised to look like an Egyptian boat. Each of these vehicles was fitted with heavy shock absorbers to protect the fragile National treasures from possible bumps in the road, despite the road's recent re-pavement in preparation for the royal transport. For the occasion, L-Acoustics kept the pharaohs’ sound as golden as their sarcophagi.
"Through this whole parad
Italy - Powersoft has launched a project registration process on its website that will allow subscribers to receive a discount on Powersoft products to be purchased for any installation project, as well as direct support from Powersoft’s expert technical team.
Registrants can be any company or user in the project chain, such as distributors, end users, system integrators or resellers, and the discount and support will be accessible to customers once the submitted project, after meeting certain requirements, has been considered eligible.
To be eligible, registrants must provide at least three months prior to the estimated product delivery date, all project details (including programme and products of interest) to the official project registration form, accessible via MyPowersoft.
"We have launched this initiative to further support projects around the world in light of current market conditions," commented Powersoft's Fabrizio Romani Bolzoni, Powersoft sales distributor manager. “This launch will allow anyone in the chain to benefit from a discount, additional support and allow them to optimize their investment in audio system installation.”
After registration, registrants will receive a confirmation email and will be contacted by authorized personnel to receive information on the benefits they will be entitled to.
"This is our way of further assisting the AV industry, along with the extended warranties launched at the beginning of this year and last years’ service plan," commented Bolzoni. "This initiative will allow us to prov
UK - Video technology company, 80six, recently opened the doors to its virtual production studios in Slough. The VP facility boasts a pre-configured curved LED stage, suitable for shooting in-camera VFX. Brompton Technology products are part of the studio's high-end technical backbone.
80six has been at the leading edge of building and implementing xR stages and has now directed its attention to live LED in-camera virtual production, which uses similar technologies. The company has spent the last 20 months carrying out extensive R&D with LED and cameras for film and TV productions with partners such as Epic Games, Dimension Studio, DNEG & OSF.
“Throughout the last couple of years, we have carried out various tests that have given us a solid understanding of the principles of VP. We can now confidently advise our clients as to the benefits and limitations they can expect when shooting in-camera VFX or when using LED video panels as light sources,” says Jack James, director at 80six.
Set in an overall area of approximately 335sq.m, the Virtual Production Stage includes an 18m x 4.5m high-resolution LED volume, built with award-winning ROE Visual Diamond DM 2.6mm for the rear wall and ROE Carbon 5.7mm for the LED ceiling, along with movable lighting dollies.
The ROE screens run on Brompton Tessera SX40 4K Version 3.1 LED processors. “Brompton’s 3.1 software high frame rate capabilities allow for smooth, fast play-back of content, which is particularly useful for slow-motion for film, TV and esports,” says James.
South Africa - Event and entertainment technology solutions supplier Stage Audio Works has relocated to new premises in Kyalami Park, Midrand, Johannesburg.
The move follows a change in strategic direction of the company’s Mitech Direct division (MI retail sales) to a stronger presence online. The new business model has enabled SAW to reorganise operations in a way that reduces the requirement for physical space overall whilst deploying more resources in key areas for increased profitability.
“We are fortunate in that our business has remained strong throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” states SAW group CEO, Will Deysel. “However, to ensure that, we’ve had to remain agile and react quickly; one of our early decisions was to move Mitech Direct to a predominantly online sales model, which has prompted our relocation to new, appropriately sized premises in Kyalami Park.”
The business is split across two buildings; one that houses sales, distribution and service operations including a showroom that showcases SAW’s full portfolio; and the other that houses manufacturing for SAW’s own brands along with a dedicated showroom.
“The move will be beneficial for our business in a number of ways,” continues Deysel. “In addition to providing significant cost savings on the physical space, it’s also an excellent opportunity to streamline our warehousing and operations and we’ve invested in automated storage and racking to facilitate that. We’re also delighted to unveil a new showroom for our own product ranges in the manufacturing b
UK - Founders of the global #WeMakeEvents movement feature in the fourth episode of The Meister Series, Jägermeister’s project celebrating “the mavericks and innovators in the music and events industry.”
In April 2020, #WeMakeEvents was launched by PLASA in response to the impact of the pandemic on the live events ecosystem. What started as a single UK campaign soon grew into a global movement now spanning 40 countries. Since then, through fundraising, mental health support and campaigning, the organisation has worked tirelessly to keep the music industry alive and support those impacted by the crisis.
In this fourth episode, founders and board members of #WeMakeEvents - Nicky Greet and Peter Heath from PLASA, Koy Neminathan from Avolites and James Gordon from Audiotonix - join Jägermeister in a passionate conversation about the origins and work behind the movement.
#WeMakeEvents said: “The latest Meister Series episode by Jägermeister is a beautiful piece of work and it’s an honour for #WeMakeEvents to be involved in such a great project. This episode plots our development from April 2020 when six of us decided to start a campaign to help the businesses and people in the live events supply chain, up to today, now with 40 countries aligned in a global movement.
“At #WeMakeEvent, we live for live events; the performances that delight, inspire and improve our wellbeing. Whilst we are seeing some positive small steps in audiences being able to return to enjoying live
UK - Bluesound Professional has announced the launch of the fourth instalment of its podcast series called Surroundscapes. The series continues to feature expert guests from around the world offering perspectives on changes affecting the current and post-pandemic workplace.
The series is targeted at commercial A/V integrators, consultants and business owners interested in the idea of using audio visual technology to ‘help create memorable and immersive experiences in commercial environments amidst our new reality’.
Hosted by Graeme Harrison, VP and GM of Bluesound Professional, Surroundscapes Series 4 is theme focused on the Future of Music and Music Creation. Harrison, along with invited industry experts, will explore two principal areas of the music industry. First, they will investigate new ways of both composing and performing music often using innovative technologies, and second, how songwriters and musicians can make a fair living in the age of digital technologies and platforms, centring around new ways of creating value and connecting with audiences - both large and small.
Surroundscapes is presented in quarterly series, with each comprised of five to 10 episodes of audio podcasts focused on a specific topic within the central theme of the ‘future of business’. Created for mobile consumption, the podcast is an interview-style content series hosted by Harrison, where he and invited expert guests explore the use of A/V technologies in shaping human perceptions and experiences of space, and their impacts on
USA - One of the most highly anticipated tours in the Contemporary Christian music world this year is The Blessing USA Tour, pairing six-time GMA Dove Award winner Kari Jobe and husband/partner Cody Carnes. Kicking off in Pittsburgh on 15 April and culminating in Brandon, Mississippi on 18 June, the tour is taking the singer-songwriter duo on a 24-city run of shows at large houses of worship and theatres across the Midwest and South, including Dallas, Orlando, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Houston and elsewhere.
Sponsored by illumiNations and CovidSafeChurch.com, the tour is implementing “socially distanced and/or reserved COVID-safe seating and capacities” in each venue, and tour members will be tested and everyone entering will be temperature checked, in addition to other standards and local requirements. What’s also different about this tour is how the DiGiCo Quantum338 console, operated by production manager Brenton Miles and supplied by tour outfitters Spectrum Sound, Inc. and IPS Live, is acting as the literal hub of every aspect of the tour’s sound.
Miles is at the centre of that hub. He’s mixing the show’s front-of-house sound as well as the in-ear monitors for the entire band, as well as for a 10-person VIP group that can access the stage, band, artists and crew in each city before the show. These are mainly volunteers and staffers from local churches that Miles and other The Blessing USA crewmembers will walk and talk through the tour’s workflows and equipment.
The Quantum338 gets plenty of attention because those VIP attendees are
USA - After the widespread cancellation of the 2020 Graduation and Commencement season in the States, students were anxious to know whether this year they would be able to celebrate the completion of their degree programmes on a grand stage.
Cooper Cannady of Martin Audio partner RMB Audio, the event’s long-term services provider, was faced with the same conundrum.
“We have serviced Duke University Commencement at the Wallace Wade Stadium [in Durham, N. Carolina] since the evolution of the campus back in 2003,” said the RMB Audio owner, whose company is based nearby.
“This year I was invited to initiate planning for an event which I knew may never occur.” However, when University president, Vincent Price, finally received the green light from the Centre for Disease Control and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the RMB Audio tech team had to function test all equipment that had been dormant for one year.
The event was set for 2 May; the stage loaded in on 23 April and the RMB Audio crew arrived on 27 April. But the problem was that with strict socially distanced guidelines in force, the layout kept changing. “Every day brought with it a new scenario,” stated Cooper. While some 5,700 students had graduated, 2,000 undergraduates would attend, originally spaced 6ft apart in the inner field (to engage them closely with the event), while the seating plans revised to allow an additional two guests. The 40,000-cap stadium would now host a total of 6,000 attendees, and the original 6ft social distancing was reduced t
USA - Each spring, the annual NFL Draft broadcast offers millions of sports fans an opportunity to discover with which franchises players will be signing for the upcoming football season. This year’s event, held in Cleveland from 29 April to 1 May, welcomed 50,000 fans a day for live events, including the NFL Draft Experience interactive football festival and nightly concerts from Black Pumas, Kings of Leon, and one of the city’s native sons, Machine Gun Kelly.
Once again, the National Football League and events promoter C3 Presents chose Houston-based certified provider LD Systems as the live sound vendor for the NFL Draft. LD’s primary deployment was for the Draft Theatre, a massive 200ft-wide by 220ft-deep by 80ft-tall half-moon structure created by Stage FX. Erected near FirstEnergy Stadium and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, overlooking Lake Erie, the structure housed the NFL Draft TheatreStage, where NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made pick announcements and where all concerts and other main events took place.
“We never had any doubt that an L-Acoustics sound system would be the best tool for the job, but as we experienced at both the 2019 Draft in Nashville and during the planning phases of the 2020 Draft in Las Vegas prior to that event being cancelled due to COVID, we knew to expect limitations on where and how high or low we could fly our arrays,” recalls LD Systems audio department operations manager Thomas Ruffner, who worked closely with 2021 Draft Theatre Production manager Shawn Worlow of The Production Collective and C3 Prese
The Netherlands - Located on the banks of the Zaan river in the city of Zaandam, a few kilometres north-west of Amsterdam, Filmtheater De Fabriek (The Factory) is a popular cinema. The cinema has recently added a new 30 seat theatre and, at the same time, updated the audio in its existing 90 and 64-seat theatres, all with Alcons Audio pro-ribbon systems.
Filmtheater De Fabriek offers an in-depth movie experience, each month offering introductions, after-talks or panel discussions about its programme of films. These provide more context for the films and the viewer with food for thought. This approach to providing a more complete experience includes the sound.
De Fabriek occupies a 100-year-old former school building, which has seen many changes over the years. A recent refurbishment saw original details being preserved and, at the same time, the cinema being brought right up to date with the installation of a Dolby 5.1 system in the new theatre and improving the existing theatres with a modern, high quality sound systems. This included upgrading the largest theatre from Dolby 5.1 to 7.1.
Cinema integration company CinemaNext was approached and, after recommending Alcons pro-ribbon systems, Filmtheater De Fabriek’s board member Marc Zeldenthuis, managing director Katrien Lamers and project coordinator John de Jong visited the ISE 2020 trade show.
“We first heard Alcons in the company’s demo room at ISE 2020,” says John de Jong. “We also visited several other cinemas for information and to listen to their systems. In terms of audio qua