USA - Solotech has announced the completion of the acquisition of Nashville-based Morris Light & Sound.
Martin Tremblay, president and CEO, Solotech, comments, “Our joint capabilities enable us to significantly strengthen our footprint in the US, and much more in Nashville, to the benefit of all our clients. It also provides assurance of our unrivalled readiness to our clients in the live productions industry, signals our enhanced ability to offer compelling innovative services and solutions when activities resume after the global crisis ends. We continue to grow based on long-term relationships and delivery excellence to propel our footprint locally, nationally and globally.”
Solotech will leverage its current systems integration experts and resources in the area and all over the United States, as they already design, develop and integrate some of the most advanced systems in a variety of venues, in numerous verticals.
Mickey Curbishley, president, Live Productions Division, US and UK, Solotech, and Philip Giffard, president, global sales and systems Integration Division, Solotech, will oversee a strong leadership in place in Nashville to manage all operational aspects and ensure a smooth and efficient transition. “The Morris teams are dynamic, they hold an innovative vision and together we will successfully put forward our best practices, ideas and service offerings, namely with InteRise in the houses of worship market where they have extensive reach already,” says Rod Sintow, president, Sales and Systems Integration Division, US, Sol
USA - The Stissing Mountain Junior/Senior High School is like many combined schoolhouses in rural America – part educational facility, part community meeting space, and often the most well-equipped location in town to host a live performance. Stissing Mountain easily checks all three capabilities for Pine Plains, New York, home to around 2,500 residents.
To ensure its facilities meet the community's varied needs, the Pine Planes Central School District recently upgraded its AV capabilities utilising a core of Ashly Audio amplification and control solutions.
"When you have a space that is truly the preeminent meeting and performance hall for a community, your primary concerns need to be that the system works well and is extremely intuitive to control," said Thomas DePace of Advance Sound Company – the firm that integrated the new system. "What we found in Ashly Audio was a system that confidently checks those boxes and brings with it a ton of flexibility."
In total, DePace integrated an Ashly NE24.24M with a Protea DSP Audio Matrix Processor providing 12 inputs and 12 outputs, an Ashly NE24.24M with a Protea DSP Audio Matrix Processor with four inputs and four outputs, an Ashly NXE1.52 Network Power Amplifier providing 2 x 1,500 Watts @2 Ohms, an Ashly NXE8004 Network Power Amplifier delivering 4 x 800 Watts @2 Ohms and an Ashly NE8800MM Network Enabled Protea DSP offering eight inputs and eight outputs with two 4-channel Mic Cards.
"We're using that full array of Ashly amplification to power multiple Danley speakers throughout the facility
Italy - The Snowboard World Championships returned to Valmalenco in January 2021, albeit behind closed doors due to the health emergency. The event featured four days of competitions on the snow after a nine years’ absence of the Alpe Palù competition, down the area’s 60 kilometres of ski slopes.
Frate Professional took care of setting up the audio and video systems, installing a wireless system consisting of various stacking stations with RCF HDL 26-A line array and HDL 35-AS subs.
The audio system requested by the client body had to guarantee sound reinforcement for the entire competition area, including the start and the finish zones, with a distance of 800m as the crow flies, between the main diffusion points. Fabio Frate and his team devised a strategic solution: "To avoid laying long cable runs and crossing the parterre with cables, we chose to use Neutrik Xirium Wireless Bridges from the ski lift technical room up to the finish area, where the control room was positioned. An already existing balanced line of the chairlift facilities also allowed a wired connection with the sound diffusion spot of the start area."
The sound system was permanently installed along the snowboard slope for five days, including one day of pre-setup. The system ran non-stop for eight hours a day and was left outdoors (and under the snow) every night throughout the championship period, using only the rain cover accessory to protect the rear connection panel for each unit. "RCF assured us the system would work with great ease, as all components are waterproof and
South Korea - To deliver clear, powerful sound during its services, Yeomkwang Church recently partnered with TechDataPS Co to install a modern Harman Professional Solutions audio system.
Founded in 1946, Yeomkwang Church belongs to the Presbyterian Church of Korea. One of the oldest Christian houses of worship in Geoje - which is located in South Gyeongsang province - Yeomkwang Church is a massive 117,790sq.ft facility that consists of a Vision Centre and a main hall. The church recently decided to upgrade their existing sound system with a modern solution capable of delivering sermons and musical performances.
The church hired TechDataPS Co to design and implement an end-to-end sound system with enhanced sound quality and ease of use. To meet the client’s requirements and stay within budget, TechDataPS selected a range of advanced JBL speakers, Soundcraft mixers, Crown power amplifiers, dbx processors, and AKG microphones.
Throughout the venue, TechDataPS installed a range of JBL professional speakers. Versatile JBL VT4886 loudspeakers, high-powered AM7215/64 loudspeakers and compact VT4883 subwoofers provide the sound in the main hall. Chosen for its compact design, TechDataPS fitted a VTX M20 as the pastor monitor speaker and selected a JRX212 as the stage monitor speaker. For the choir, a CBT50LA-1 loudspeaker was installed to provide highly directional sound, while an AC18/26 loudspeaker was introduced in the upper balcony to provide maximum bandwidth.
Additionally, a Control 14C/T full-range ceiling speaker was fitted in the baby room
Sri Lanka - Brainchild of music enthusiast, microbiologist and entrepreneur Chathura Masinha, Pearlbay is Sri Lanka’s newest studio complex and creative hub. Providing recording and production services, education and equipment retail all under one roof, it is also home to the country's first Audient ASP8024-HE console.
The British analogue desk serves at the heart of the commercial studio doubling up as a valuable educational tool and is heralded by Chathura as “a much needed upgrade to our music industry”.
Originally starting out as a standalone recording facility, Pearlbay Music Studio continues to offer a comprehensive, bespoke service tailored to the needs of the individual. Headed up by COO, musician and New York Institute of Audio Recording-trained audio engineer, Ranga Dasanayake, the studio quickly caught the attention of young, Sri Lankan artists. “We managed to create a concept, vibe and atmosphere that made them demand more,” says Chathura.
The studio’s success among these creatives sparked the idea to develop the retail and education sides of the business. Pearlbay Studio customers wanted to continue making music at home using the same quality gear, and Pearlbay Music Store was born. Acting as agents for a number of leading professional audio brands (including Audient) a broad range of equipment is now available to buy.
Driven to inspire the next generation of producers, engineers and artists, Chathura opened Pearlbay Institute in December 2020. Rolling out an array of educational options for budding audio students, ov
USA - In the time since it was established in 1983, Northside Baptist Church (NBC) in Huntsville, Texas, has grown from a small group of people meeting in a living room to its current membership of 1,600. With construction now complete on its new home, the church’s management decided that it would need an audio system that could match the quality of such grand surroundings.
“Since it was a new construction project, we didn’t know what the best fit for the space would be, regarding the sound system,” comments Bob Slie, media director at NBC. “Our worship pastor and I attended WFX 2019 in Orlando, Florida, as they had almost a dozen audio manufacturers come in and set up in the same space, which allowed us to compare the different systems impartially.
“We were absolutely blown away by TW Audio’s then-new ELLA system, which was powered by Powersoft amplifier platforms. We met with Mick Whelan from TW Audio and began a relationship that would take us a year and a half down the road to their first US installation in a church with ELLA and Powersoft.”
Slie contacted local company, Arrendell Media, to supply and install the system. The company’s owner, Brian Arrendell, liaised with both Whelan and Slie in order to ensure that the system was installed to the exact specifications sent from TW Audio.
“We also had Rick Woida from Powersoft come in to help complete the installation by setting everything up and tuning the system along with Mick,” adds Slie. “They spent three days with us getting everything set perfectly, including
India - Saga-Cuisines of India, a Michelin star restaurant in Gurgaon, recently celebrated its opening. To make it an attractive venue for artists and bands, owner Vishal Anand invested in a professional sound system driven by a new S21 digital mixing desk from DiGiCo.
To purchase the mixing console, the management of Saga turned to Sahil Sharma who is a well-known audio engineer for Indian metal band Bloodywood. He is also the audio consultant and mix engineer of the new venue.
“We needed a small format console with maximum I/O for this venue installation,” Sahil shares. “At our price point, there is practically nothing that compares to the quality and convenience of the S21. The new venue will host various music bands, dance shows and multi-genre festivals and the S21 provides more than enough IEM and wedge mixes for any act that plays at Saga. Thanks to Hi-Tech Audio Systems for supplying the console. Their guys are just a call away to help.”
“We provided the S21 along with a D2-Rack that has been set up for ultimate ease of use for the in-house engineer,” explains Vanshaj Sharma, application engineer for DiGiCo at Hi-Tech Audio Systems. “The console offers everything needed for a band’s performance in a venue like Saga. Investing in an intuitive and powerful mixer with a compact footprint like the S21 is a great opportunity for the club and restaurant venue.”
Like so many other industries, the pandemic impacted the Indian hospitality industry. Slowly restaurants, clubs and pubs are coming back into action which has crea
Poland - The Florian Krygier Municipal Stadium has recently undergone a complete modernisation which includes the installation of a new sound system based on RCF P Series speakers.
The stadium, located in Szczecin, Poland, has a long history. It was built in 1925 with the name of Florian Krygier, named after a Polish football coach who was an instrumental figure in Pogoń Szczecin’s history.
Since the 1950s club management was under MKS Pogoń Szczecin until 1989 when Szczecin City Commune transferred operations to the Municipal Sports, Recreation and Rehabilitation Centre. Until the beginning of 2007, it was the most prominent facility in the Polish Orange Ekstraklasa football league. It is currently used for football matches and is the home stadium of Pogoń Szczecin.
The stadium itself has recently undergone a complete modernisation, so only part of the old stadium is still in place. A significant reconstruction started in 2019 with planned completion scheduled for 2022. The investment includes the Training Centre for Children and Youth (Centrum Szkolenia Dzieci i Młodzieży), remodelling and expanding the stadium, football fields, and associated infrastructure. The new stadium will reach 20,500 seat capacity and 22,000sq.m of covered area. It will transform into a “closed” stadium with four grandstands and roof.
The first phase of modernization of the stadium within the west and south grandstands has been completed recently with a new sound system based on RCF P Series speakers. All P 6215 are suspended to the roof of the stadium co
UK - PMC is marking its 30th anniversary by opening PMC Studio London, a Dolby Atmos music mixing suite that will be used to demonstrate the company’s professional loudspeaker products, particularly those suited to this immersive audio format.
Based in a former piano factory in Islington, PMC London reflects the company’s long-standing relationship with Dolby and its determination to further the development of Atmos in a music mixing context. This new facility, which joins other PMC audio suites in Los Angeles, New York and Nashville, will give artists, record labels and recording professionals the opportunity to experience Dolby Atmos music mixing and discover the full extent of its creative possibilities.
This ground up project was carried out in conjunction with acoustics consultants JV Acoustics.
PMC’s commitment to the Dolby Atmos format dates back to 2017 when it designed one of the very first Atmos Music monitoring systems for Universal Music Group’s Capitol Studios in Los Angeles. Similar systems have now been installed in many other top studios around the world, including London’s iconic Dean Street Studios, Dolby’s New York Midtown Studios, UMG’s Berry Hill Studios and msm Studio Group in Munich.
“This is an exciting development for PMC - and for the UK’s professional audio industry,” says Oliver Thomas, PMC’s commercial director. “Dolby Atmos is already the leading immersive audio format for film and television and it is now gaining ground as a music format, with Dolby Atmos music releases now available thr
Korea - Loudspeaker manufacturer KV2 Audio has been working with recently appointed Korean distributor, Daon SD, to establish the brand in the Korean market. Based in the Korean capital of Seoul, Daon SD distributes a number of well-known audio brands in both the commercial AV and live entertainment sectors.
“KV2 has opened up a huge number of possibilities for us,” says Daon SD director, B.S. Koo. “We’ve been working for some time with a team that performs sound design and optimisation for venues and other multi-purpose spaces using BIM design. We work closely with the team to ensure that a good acoustic device produces the best results, perform algorithm-based optimisation simulations, and determine the design of a sound system that fits the room.
“The BIM-based design process starts the whole process by providing the client with construction specifications of an optimised architectural design, and at the same time determines a significant amount of the process load early on. We have found that for most scenarios, a LR stereo configuration of a high quality point source system is the best solution. Therefore, we needed to find a supplier of point source systems with good response characteristics. After much research we concluded that KV2 Audio was the only alternative that matched our thinking, and we went from there.”
Since then, Daon SD has deployed KV2 systems on a large number of events, including the reality TV singing competition, Mr. Trot, currently the highest-rated show ever in the history of cable television in South K
UK - Specialist recruitment agency SER Limited has committed to donate 10% of its event industry placement fees to Backup, the technical entertainment charity.
Established in 2004, the Blackburn-based company works with clients of all sizes throughout the UK and internationally, covering sectors including audio visual and lighting, plus building controls, machine tools, construction, mechanical and electrical, fire and security, telecommunications and more. SER says it is dedicated to understanding all parties’ situations when recruiting, taking time to understand why vacancies have arisen, why the candidate is open to the opportunity and the motivators, ambitions and goals of both the client and the candidate.
Kate Booth, SER’s AV and events recruitment consultant, comments: “I was aware of Backup pre-coronavirus and had attended a previous fundraising event held by the charity; the work they do is amazing. It has been really difficult to watch the events industry, and the freelancers that support it, fight for financial survival over the last 12 months. We’re (hopefully) anticipating an increase in demand for event recruitment once the restrictions are lifted and companies start to rebuild, and I wanted to pay back to the industry that I love.”
She continues: “So, with agreement from SER’s MD, Gary Bentley, and having spoken to Backup we have agreed that from now on we will donate 10% of every event placement fee (once the candidate has passed probation) to Backup in order to support the amazing work they do. It’s our way of giving
France - IP video specialist Vitec has announced that Eric Deniau has joined the company as chief technology officer.
“IP video streaming continues to grow across all markets as more and more enterprises harness the power of their networks to deliver and manage video traffic,” said Philippe Wetzel, CEO of Vitec.
“The pace of innovation that is taking place in IPTV is accelerating as organizations across industries elevate their dependence on video streaming.
“Eric will be joining Vitec as CTO to lead technology innovation and R&D efforts worldwide. He has a deep knowledge of software and a sophisticated understanding of hardware products that will enhance the experience and capabilities of Vitec’s talented R&D leadership team. He is tasked with developing the next generation of codecs, ASIC technologies, and software solutions that will power Vitec products for years to come.”
Eric was most recently with Enensys as CTO and has over 30 years of experience in the media industry, including experience managing large software projects for major broadcasters, and has played a major role with the standards communities that have brought interoperable MPEG, DVB and 3GPP technologies to market.
France - Arbane Groupe has hired Christophe Palluat de Besset as its sales director for France. Palluat will work to create new sales dynamics within the company and develop commercial activity with the APG and Active Audio brands which are both part of Arbane Group.
With over 25 years of expertise in the AV industry, Palluat brings considerable experience working with audio manufacturers and distributors, notably Arbane Groupe’s Active Audio. “I worked in a number of roles before founding pro-audio distribution company Perfect Sound in 2009,” Palluat explains. “At the time, Active Audio’s commercial distribution in France was given exclusively to Perfect Sound, so I know Active Audio very well.
“I spent 11 years working for Perfect Sound as their CEO and came to know and respect the APG and Active Audio brands beyond their reputations,” said Palluat. “When both brands announced their strategic partnership in 2016, I thought it was the perfect partnership that would pave the way to a great future for both brands. APG’s product lines are excellent and Active Audio is known as the French manufacturer of the world’s largest range of column speakers. My experience tells me that both product lines will perform extremely well in the installation markets for AV integrators.”
Palluat’s immediate goal is to present Arbane Groupe’s comprehensive and complementary audio ranges and services to AV integrators across France and continue to grow the company base and reputation.
“APG benefits from a fantastic reputation with techn
USA - Starring Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as Soviet deep-cover agents in the US during the Reagan-era Cold War, The Americans was a major critical success for the FX cable channel. Four Primetime Emmy, one Golden Globe, two Peabodys, and five American Film Institute awards are just the tip of the series’ iceberg of accolades.
Sound mixer Paul Pouthier, whose credits also include Gossip Girl and Orange Is the New Black, recorded nearly all of the dialogue with a portable bag system packed exclusively with Lectrosonics wireless. Transmitters included four SMDWBs, two HMa plug-ons, and a mix of original SM, SMa, and SMV packs. Receivers comprised four UCR411a plus two Dual SR units, the predecessor to today’s SRc. Set comms were handled by IFB-T4 and UM400a transmitters paired with R1a receivers.
“I sort of fell into the Lectro world,” says Pouthier. “I came onto The Americans fresh off of Gossip Girl, under the tutelage of the great Allan Byer. He used Lectrosonics, as did Mike Lonsdale, a commercial mixer in New York whose gear I was borrowing and would eventually acquire. After experiencing Lectrosonics for myself, I knew I would never go back to anything else.”
Lectrosonics’ simplicity of setup was a key player in many in-car dialogue scenes. “In vehicles, the director was fond of French overs,” Pouthier explains. “Those are shots where you’re looking from the back seat at two people talking in the front, and there’s no typical profile or straight-on stuff. Most of the time, I just had t
UK - Shure partnered with SFL to provide a COVID-secure solution to Royal Star & Garter care homes, allowing residents to stay connected to family and friends throughout the pandemic.
The impact of coronavirus has been devastating for the care home industry. The risk of transmission means that family and friends cannot visit care home residents under the circumstances that they are used to. Royal Star & Garter, a registered charity providing care for veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia in their homes wanted to enable residents to stay as connected as possible to their families during this difficult time and so working with SFL Group, they designed COVID-secure visiting rooms.
Sam Jacobs, project manager, SFL comments: “SFL were approached to provide a holistic audio, acoustic & furniture solution to the custom built rooms, having experienced what we are able to create in live events, Huw Williams, from Royal Star & Garter, gave SFL his brief for the installation, to design & deliver an audio solution that allowed residents and visitors to seamlessly communicate without an audio divide, we needed to consider acoustics in the room to prioritise audio quality and design and manufacture custom furniture, discreetly housing the control elements either side of the glass dividing wall.”
SFL recognised that the system they needed to implement had to be simple to operate whilst also having minimal to zero maintenance requirements. Sam worked closely with the Shure to design and test systems appropriate for t
Norway - Despite its rural location, when the concert hall at the Inderøy Kulturhus complex in Norway needed a new sound reinforcement system, its managers were determined that local residents would enjoy the best possible experience. Choosing an Alcons Audio LR7 pro-ribbon system, Inderøy Kulturhus shows that community facilities do not need to compromise on their sound.
Opened in 1990, Inderøy Kulturhus was the first major cultural centre in the historic Innherred region of Norway. As part of a project to add physical education facilities for the primary school and premises for Inderøy Upper Secondary School, a sports hall, concert hall and service areas were built. Operated by municipal limited company Inderøy Kulturhus AS, the concert hall stages a wide range of events to benefit the whole region.
Although this agricultural area has a low population density, the developers did not want to compromise on the audience experience, so the auditorium was designed with high quality acoustics. By the mid-2010s, the previous audio system needed replacing, so general manager Arnstein Langåssve and sound & light technician Lars Erik Fisknes approached Arnstein Fossvik of production technology specialists Trondheim Lyd. He introduced them to the Alcons Audio LR7 pro-ribbon line array system at the Prolight+Sound trade show in 2015.
“We were convinced that the LR7 was the best system for Inderøy Kulturhus and finally, in early 2021, the dream came true,” says Lars.
Trondheim Lyd supplied and installed a complete Alcons system, comprisin
Kosovo - Funktion-One distributor 303.bg overcame the geographical challenges of the global pandemic to specify and install one of Kosovo’s first permanent Funktion-One sound systems. Fantazia, in Pristina, which is operated by renowned underground promoters Servis, is a bar and club concept with high quality electronic music, excellent sound and a policy of inclusivity at its core.
Servis was founded in 2016 by Leo Lumezi and Patrik Ukiq as a club night, which has expanded into a platform for different creative concepts and collaborative experiments with its crew of DJs and designers working on projects in the arts, sound, film and fashion
Lumezi explains: “Fantazia, meaning Fantasy, is the realisation of a long-term dream of ours to create a daily running home of music in Pristina, which would bring together music lovers and friends in a weekly curated programme, together with Funktion-One sound quality.”
The pair first met 303.bg’s Benoit Vanderhaghen when he supplied the sound for a Ricardo Villalobos show at Pristina’s Zone Club in 2016, and reconnected in November 2020 as preparations for the new venue advanced.
“Everything happened very fast,” recalls Vanderhaghen. “Three weeks after our call, the installation needed to be done. There was no time to fly there from Paris and there was also the budget to consider.”
Fantazia occupies a rectangular, 80m2 space on the site of a former butcher’s shop, in a popular area of Pristina’s city centre. With residents all around, there’s a need for the sound system to i
Middle East - Creative Technology Middle East has welcomed two new additions to its operations. Dailos Rodriguez has joined as venue operations manager for the company’s newly-formed venue services department. He has over 24 years of experience in the hospitality and AV industry and has worked across multiple venues. He has secured various high-profile contracts during his time and implemented in-house AV services for some of the Middle East's biggest hotel chains.
Of his appointment, Rodriguez says: "It is a great honour joining the CT team, and I look forward to getting started on the variety of fantastic projects we already have lined up."
Also joining the team is Mark Johnson, who has been appointed business development manager for venue services. With over 19 years of experience in the AV hospitality industry, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his role, says the company. Johnson has secured several large-scale contracts across various venues and has been a key factor in the growth and development of many different AV venue services throughout the region. He states: "It's very endearing to be a part of Creative Technology's new Venue Services department from conception! I look forward to accomplishing many new first with CT."
Andrew Reardon, MD for Creative Technology Middle East, comments: "It is an exciting time for the Middle East as we continue to grow and expand our team of professionals and our offering. It is a pleasure to have both Mark and Dailos on board, and I wish them all the best going forward."
USA - UPMC Cooper Field House is the home arena for most of Duquesne University’s major sports teams, including their NCAA Division 1 Basketball team: the Duquesne Dukes. During a recent renovation of the facility, Daktronics installed a Fulcrum Acoustic-based system to deliver the high impact sound that Duquesne was seeking.
Daktronics mounted Fulcrum Acoustic’s FH15 Full Range Coaxial Horns in a centre cluster above the court. Four FH1596s were selected for their 90° x 60° pattern to cover the lower-tier seating, while narrower-coverage FH1565s cover the upper seats. A fifth FH1596 faces straight down to cover the court. The FH’s extended directional control keeps the sound focused on spectators while minimizing reflections, thus improving intelligibility and overall clarity.
Four of Fulcrum’s Sub218L Subwoofers are suspended from the ceiling in a vertical array providing wide low frequency dispersion with vertical control. “The fidelity and output of the Sub218L is perfect for the exciting bass that fans are looking for,” says installer John Carlson. “The fans eyes light up when they hear that bass. Even at lower sound levels, the system maintains a full, clean sound.”
Seven CCX1295s provide supplemental coverage for seats shaded from the center cluster by the overhang from the upper seating deck. Fulcrum’s patented Passive Cardioid Technology™ enables CCX12 loudspeakers to provide high output coverage without energizing reflective surfaces and degrading clarity.
Adjacent to the main arena is Duquesne’s practice gymn
UK - BBC Studios' popular celebrity TV contest Strictly Come Dancing returned for its 18th series at the end of 2020, with new visual content choreographed by Hippotizer Karst+ media servers.
Leading the dance was a partnership of a Karst and Karst+, with the same duo serving as backup. An average series audience of more than 10 million Brits watched as the routines played out in front of a colourful array of visual content. The main stage was constructed as a series of arching LED screens, providing an eye-catching backdrop for the cameras.
The visual content included custom-made content for each performance - created by Potion Pictures and led by David Newton - and a mix of loops, full length time-coded tracks, and live rendered visuals.
These utilised Unreal Engine and nDisplay, with the data fed into the Hippotizer Media Servers by an output splitter. Live rendered content was also used, designed by Joe Philips at Potion Pictures, and utilising a camera and lens tracking system provided by Mo-Sys.
The Hippotizers were operated by Matt Lee, with lighting design by David ‘Bish’ Bishop, who has worked on a host of high profile events including the State Opening of Parliament, The Royal Variety Performance and the Queen’s Concerts.
“Hippotizer has been my go-to choice of media server for many years,” says Bishop. “They're very reliable, easy to use and the support from the team in London is outstanding. They provide a great balance of being able to create something very quickly, while also having the option to refine t
UK - Focusrite Group is launching Optimal Audio, a commercial audio brand that will join a stable that also includes Focusrite and Focusrite Pro, Adam Audio, Martin Audio, Novation and Ampify.
The new brand will be introduced to the market on 20 April in a virtual event, for which interested parties can register here.
“It’s a rare privilege to create a brand from scratch,” comments Focusrite Group CEO, Tim Carroll. “The commercial audio sector has grown consistently over the years, and even during the pandemic has been more robust than many. We expect that momentum to accelerate in the coming months, so we feel that the timing is perfect for the introduction of Optimal Audio.”
He adds: “Taking a considered view of the commercial audio sector led us to conclude that it represents a maze of often overly complicated products that can be difficult to understand, install and operate. Optimal Audio will set out to do things differently, with a streamlined offering that is straightforward to install and simple to use.”
Carroll concludes: “Alongside its own dedicated staff, a number of colleagues from across the group - most notably within Martin Audio - are helping to bring Optimal Audio to fruition. In the long term, our ambition is that the brand will have its own distinct team.”
To Safely Go - Pilots to assess how small and large-scale events can reopen safely are being launched by the government, which is describing the work as “crucial” for getting venues such as theatres reopened in June under the roadmap. The government said it was working with event organisers and local authorities to get “fans safely around a dozen events this spring”, as part of the previously announced Events Research Programme.
The ERP will provide “key scientific data into how small and large-scale events could be permitted to safely reopen”, the government said, in line with getting venues - including theatres - reopened without social distancing no earlier than 21 June. Major events already lined up for the pilot scheme include the World Snooker Championships, at the Sheffield Crucible, and the FA Cup final at Wembley.
The World Snooker Championships at the Crucible will “test a theatre setting”, the government said, and evidence will then be shared across the sector so venues can “prepare to accommodate fuller audiences". It said the review would be “crucial to how venues - from major sport stadiums to comedy clubs, theatres to live music spaces, wedding venues to conference centres - could operate this summer”.
Centre Stage - Drama schools need to appoint more people of colour in academic and management positions “as a matter of urgency to create permanent institutional change”, according to a new report from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation that points to slow progress on diversity. The report, called Cent
Germany - Audio specialist Pan Acoustics has announced that Johannes Kampert has joined the company as head of global sales. In the position he will be responsible for all worldwide sales activity and will drive continued expansion of the global sales network.
“Johannes brings to us vast experience in international sales of complex audio and video networks. His commercial expertise combined with technical know-how is a real benefit to our organization and we are looking forward to working together,”says Udo Borgmann, CEO at Pan Acoustics.
“At Pan Acoustics I found key values that are crucial to me: quality, experience, passion and fun in what you do. I sincerely believe in success through people and in building long term partnerships. Pan Acoustics has an ideal growth perspective and I’m looking forward to each client who wants to work with us now – and in the future,” says Kampert.
Denmark - Sound recordists and production sound mixer Jono Cary has switched to Bubblebee Industries’ Sidekick in-ear monitors because they are “so comfortable that they can even be worn underneath headphones”.
“Comfort is such an important factor, especially when you have a long day ahead of you,” he says. “Sidekick fits into my workflow perfectly and makes monitoring the IFB feed when doing ‘lives’ so much easier. I’m able to wear the earpiece all day without any pain or discomfort.”
Designed to be virtually invisible, Bubblebee’s Sidekick in-ear monitor features a micro driver solution where the driver fits invisibly in the ear canal, eliminating the need for acoustic tubes outside the ear. This gives it a small and lightweight footprint and makes it a popular alternative to earwigs. With this IEM in place, the sound crew, presenters and talent on set can easily communicate with directors and sound mixers back in the studio while still hearing everything that is going on around them.
“The difference between Sidekick and other IEMs is literally night and day,” Jono says. “Normally on a live set, I’m listening to the feed from the gallery whilst monitoring my lav/boom mics from my sound recorder with headphones over the sidekick. The great thing about Sidekick is that it floats in the ear canal so it doesn’t block out all the other sounds around you when you have your headphones off.”
In 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Jono was seconded to ITV to work on various shows with presenter Andi Peters, host of