Canada - Three L-Acoustics trainers - Frédéric Blanc-Garin, Marcus Ross and André Pichette - recently came to Solotech’s Montreal offices to offer an intensive three-day training on L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology.
For two additional days, clients, consultants and industry professionals had the opportunity to try the ecosystem and experience the technology.
“Immersive audio is playing an increasingly important role in our various markets. It was therefore with great interest that we held a week-long training session for our specialized technicians and offered personalized demonstrations to several industry players,” said François ‘Frankie’ Desjardins, vice-president, research & development at Solotech.
Truly revolutionary, L-ISA technology enables artists to create new multidimensional sound experiences in productions that use live or recorded material. This ecosystem heightens emotions by giving listeners the impression they’re “inside the music”.
Already used in more than 7,000 performances worldwide, L-ISA has been adopted by several renowned artists, including Childish Gambino, Bon Iver and Mark Knopfler, whose equipment was supplied by SSE Audio, a Solotech company. It is permanently installed in a number of experiential venues and theatres, including ASrtechouse, Spyscape museum, and the Park Theatre in Las Vegas for Lady Gaga’s and Aerosmith's residencies, in which Solotech participated.
“L-ISA opens up a whole new creative spectrum for sound designers. It gives them the opportunity to creat
South Africa - Vectorworks trainer Dylan Jones of DWR Distribution, will present Vectorworks Spotlight training from 2-6 March in Johannesburg.
The course will be split up into Basic (2 March) at R800 per person, Intermediate (3 - 4 March) at R1,400 per person and Advanced training (5 - 6 March) at R1,400 per person.
Subjects include layouts and palettes, basic tools, classes and layers, Spotlight tools, intermediate tools, worksheets and reports, 3D modelling, resource management and file import and export.
The training will be hosted at DWR Distribution, C1, Kimbult Industrial Park, 9 Zeiss Road, Laserpark, Honeydew. Bookings online at dwrdistribution.co.za/register/vectorworks-spotlight-training-march-2020.
Germany - The Area Four Industries Direct Germany office organised an EXE Technology training session.
Held in Emsdetten and led by sales and marketing manager, Carsten Pfeiffer (Area Four Industries Direct Germany), and EXE Technology automation manager, Gianluca Ferrari, the training provided the attendees with a complete overview of EXE Technology’s range of chain hoists, load cells, controllers, and DSTs (Dynamic Stack Tracks). The session then moved on to specific facts and detailed information about models within the EXE Rise and Vario chain hoist ranges, which included classifications, key features and components.
To gain a better understanding of how EXE hoists work, attendees witnessed a complete strip down of the chain hoist and learned about its operation from the inside out. After the mechanical heart of the hoist was put back together, a complete overview of the inspection process (DoV, CE, etc) was covered to help ensure the safety and long-term reliability of the hoists. An explanation of service log contents was also provided.
During the second day of training, attendees were given the opportunity to practise the inspection procedure and ask additional questions.
Attending companies included TDA Rental GmbH, Rigging Service GmbH, Satis&fy AG, Groh-P.A. Veranstaltungstechnik e. K., LITECOM GmbH, Stagebox Rigging Service and Lockschuppen Event GmbH.
UK - On 23-24 January, Fineline Lighting hosted students from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School for a set of Introduction to Rigging Training courses at the company’s Clevedon warehouse.
The training is held annually for students at the school and provides an insight into the world of rigging and technical event production.
Rob Sangwell, director at Fineline Lighting, comments: “It was fantastic hosting the students from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, they all worked hard and learnt a lot. It’s always great to see new generations of technical production professionals expanding their skillset.”
“All the feedback from the students about the training was positive,” adds Bristol Old Vic Theatre School Tutor Frank Bradley. “They really enjoyed the sessions and felt they had learned a basic knowledge of rigging truss which would give them confidence if they needed to apply it practically in future, and provided an insight into an area of work in which some of them would like to gain more experience.”
If you are involved with a Production Arts course and would be interested in working with Fineline to provide practical training sessions for students, email email@example.com
South Africa - DWR Distribution is hosting a workshop with Roland Greil, lighting designer, director and programmer for artists such as Rammstein, The Rolling Stones, Phil Collins, Adele and Spandau Ballett.
The event takes place on 18 February at the Mosaïek Teatro in Fairlands, Johannesburg, with Greil sharing the stage with local lighting designer Joshua Cutts.
The workshop will concentrate on lighting design for concert touring. “We will look at a few recent and past projects with a particular emphasis on the Rammstein production which I have worked on since 2019. I look forward to sharing an insightful view of the creation process as well as efficiently getting from the first sketches to the final show.”
Duncan Riley of DWR Distribution comments: “This is a wonderful opportunity for South Africans to learn from one of the top lighting designers in the world. If you are in the entertainment industry, the workshop will be presented free of charge and we’d love to see you there. You will walk away feeling inspired and enlightened.”
While entry is free of charge, refreshments and eats will be available for purchase at Café Familia, the coffee shop based at The Mosaïek Teatro.
Booking is via dwrdistribution.co.za.
South Africa - DWR will host Hippotizer training and workshop on 17 and 18 March in Johannesburg.
Hosted by Dylan Jones, the course will cover a range of topics including Hippolauncher, Output Manager, Media Manager, Visualizer, Pinbridge, Multi-Controller, DMX control, Timeline, Videomapper, Pixelmapper and Shape.
Attendees are requested to bring a Green Hippo Server or Play Software on PC, Server Accessories and a valid ID.
The course will be held at DWR, C1, Kimbult Industrial Park, 9 Zeiss Road, Laserpark, Honeydew. The cost is R1,800 and includes a light lunch and refreshments. To book, please visit this website.
South Africa - Nexo has provided P12s, LS18s and a NXAMP4X4 MK2 sound system to the South African Roadies Association (SARA). The gear will be used to bolster the technical production skills training of South African youth.
“The sound system equipment received will greatly enhance SARA’s training programmes and equipment; sustain training, skills development and SARA’s on-the-Job training programme in the event, technical and production skills sector for years to come, and also have an indelible impact on the lives, careers ambitions and dreams of young South Africans,” explains SARA’s president Freddie Nyathela. “SARA extends its profound appreciation and gratitude for the support and vision of Nexo.”
USA - At NAMM 2020, Adamson Systems Engineering announced a suite of training and education initiatives to take place throughout 2020.
These include a US roadshow; increased delivery of the company’s Applied and Advanced Certification training programmes; and the Winding Roads education series, designed to introduce secondary- and post-secondary school students to the potential career opportunities in pro AV and live production.
The Winding Roads Education Event Series, in partnership with the AVIXA Foundation, will provide students in Toronto, Canada, and the surrounding area with insight into live production, performance, and the music industry. Through the initiative, hundreds of individuals will have the opportunity to see professional AV installations and touring systems, get hands-on with state-of-the-art equipment donated by industry leaders like Adamson, DiGiCo, Lab.gruppen, and others, and learn about career opportunities in the industry from the AVIXA Foundation.
“We want to show students there’s more to AV and live production than they may realise, with plenty of potential for exciting and rewarding careers, and believe the entire industry stands to benefit from these efforts,” comments Adamson CEO Marc Bertrand. “We also have other programming that will help our current and future Adamson Network partners to be more successful throughout 2020 and beyond.”
“We’re thrilled by Adamson’s commitment to bringing education and awareness for professional AV careers,” adds AVIXA Foundation programme direct
UK - Leeds City College is the city’s largest educational establishment, offering a wide variety of courses to more than 25,000 students. The college recently expanded its facilities with the new £60m Quarry Hill Campus, home to the School of Creative Arts, featuring an Allen & Heath dLive digital mixing system.
Following a recommendation and demonstration by the audio sales division of A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET), the college opted for a dLive C3500 control surface and CDM48 MixRack, fitted with a Dante 64x64 networking card, for the campus’ soon to open theatre.
For use by both Theatre Design & Production and Music Production students, the dLive system will also be employed for public performances by theatre companies and community groups during holiday periods and outside of college hours. As such, the new system needed to meet a variety of criteria as the College’s chief theatre technician and teacher, Paul Graham-Bell explains.
“We looked at several models from different manufacturers when trying to find a mixing solution to meet the demands of the theatre,” he says. “The Theatre Design and Production students are taught sound design for dance and musical theatre, while Music Production courses cover both live sound and recording, so flexibility was very important. The control surface also needed to be simple enough to learn the basics of mixing, but also sufficiently powerful for students to explore advanced features and techniques. We also wanted to invest in something that was popular within the industry, to
USA - Harman Professional Solutions has announced that Brad ‘fixintogetmixin’ Divens will present two masterclasses at the 2020 NAMM show in Anaheim.
In addition to currently working as FOH engineer for Enrique Iglesias, Divens has also worked for Linkin Park, Garbage, Cyndi Lauper, HIM, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, Mötley Crüe, Jane's Addiction and more.
Divens will speak at two exclusive Masterclass events, presented by JBL and Soundcraft. Both events will take place on Thursday, 16 January 16 in the AES Academy 2020 room on the fourth floor of the Anaheim Hilton and will be hosted by Soundcraft’s live sound product specialist, Tom Der.
During his Building the Mix masterclass, Divens will discuss and demonstrate his approach to putting together a live mix, including technical topics such as the basics of input gain, EQ, compression, plugins and routing, as well as creative concepts regarding the audience and the artist. During The Music masterclass, Divens will deconstruct live mixes from three different artists and discuss his approach to achieving a polished final mix.
UK - Stage Electrics has announced three seminars to take place during its January 2020 showcase event, to be held at the SS Great Britain in Bristol on Wednesday, 29 January 2020.
The programme features Artistic Licence’s Wayne Howell on lighting control and future of data in your venue, Sennheiser’s Kevin Gwyther-Brown talking about “is your venue is ready for the 700MHz band radio mics spectrum clearance” and Stage Electrics’ Dan Ryan guiding you through making sure that electrical / mechanical infrastructure and equipment used within your venue have an appropriate maintenance regime and schedule in compliance with relevant your legal obligations.
Le Maitre will also be returning to Bristol to host a harbour-side pyrotechnic demonstration from 5pm.
UK - Laserworld, manufacturer and distributor of show laser systems, is holding a general laser training day in the West Midlands.
Taking place on 14 January 2020 in Solihull from 10am, the training is conceived as a workshop, considering not only laser safety aspects but providing a general overview of how show and event laser light systems are used. There will be technical background information as well as hands-on training with different laser systems. Laser safety will be one aspect included.
This workshop is primarily designed for DJs, smaller production companies and lighting designers. Attendees receive a certificate of participation from the Laserworld Academy that states the contents of the training.
Topics include: Laser Safety - legal aspects, basic physics, technical safety aspects, safe laser operation in public, safe laser control; Setting up a Laser - mounting options, wiring, different setups; Laser Control - different possibilities, programming basics, pros and cons of different control methods; Different perspectives to show laser light systems - learn about different ways of using lasers.
Prior booking is required. The day’s training cots £200 with lunch included. Reservations can be made on www.laserworld-academy.com.
UK - A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET), in conjunction with Luminex, has hosted a number of sell-out network training events specifically for lighting, video and audio professionals.
Held at AC-ET's training facilities in High Wycombe and Leeds, industry experts have been teaching the fundamentals of networking, plus the specifics of networking and data distribution for professional lighting, audio and video applications.
The courses provided the chance to learn more about Luminex products - including the new LumiNode next generation Ethernet to DMX processor and the Araneo software tool that provides a complete graphical overview of a Luminex Gigacore Network.
Application specialists from Luminex led the courses; one focusing on networking for lighting & video and the other on audio applications. Both saw a massive demand throughout the year, with each date selling out within days and generating a long waiting list.
Jack Thompson, technical director at Manchester International Festival, comments: “The course content was very good, with an excellent instructor who knew all about his product and how it works in the real world. He was able to work with people at different levels of competence all at the same time.”
Ian O'Donoghue, head theatre technician at the University of Warwick, comments: “The course was really useful and was set at the right level. I felt very welcome and we were looked after well.”
“We are very happy to be able to work together with Luminex to provide these training courses,” commented N
UK - The Association of Sound Designers has announced the third of their flagship triennial seminar events: The Winter School 2020. It will be held in the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama’s Embassy Theatre.
This is a week-long series of theatre sound related seminars being held Monday 6 to Friday 10 January 2020, including leading industry professionals such as Carolyn Downing, Ben and Max Ringham, Richard Brooker and Scott Willsallen.
The seminars are aimed at undergraduates, recent graduates, apprentices and educators, as well as anyone else looking to expand their knowledge. Admission is free for all students and tutors, as well as ASD, IPS, AMPS and ALD members.
Winter School is also home to the Tech Hub this year. Running alongside the seminars in our main space, the Tech Hub will enable attendees to get hands on experience of the newest sound equipment available from d&b, L’Acoustics, AVID, Shure, Meyer and many more, with representatives there to talk and explain. Evening social events include the popular annual ALD v ASD Pub Quiz.
The last Winter School in 2017 attracted hundreds of attendees from RCSSD, LIPA, Goldsmiths, Rose Bruford, LAMDA, University of Surrey, Queen Mary College and many others.
South Africa - DWR Distribution hosted a Robe Roadshow during the first week of December.
“It has been a while since a product has made such an impact in our market, and both the Esprite and Tetra2 have blown us away,” said Duncan Riley, managing director of DWR. “While the roadshow - hosted in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg - coincided with the busiest time of the year for many in our industry, we were pleased to demonstrate the fixtures to several key industry players. We were very grateful to those who were able to join us, and for the positive feedback that they gave. A big thank-you to the Roxy Revue Bar at the GrandWest Casino in Cape Town and the Grace Family Church in Durban for hosting us.”
Demonstrations were held on the hour between 10am and 4PM throughout the Roadshow by DWR’s Jannie de Jager and Harry von den Stemmen, international sales director at Robe.
“The enthusiastic response to the new fixtures during the South African Robe Roadshow is in line with what we have experienced on a global scale,” says Harry. “We have just enjoyed what I consider to be the best and most successful LDI ever, as The Tetra2 and Esprite are breaking records. It’s amazing,” he states.
“While many people won’t admit it, LED deteriorates over time, which is something Robe wanted to address,” Harry explains. “We’ve developed the transferable engine for two reasons. Firstly, we wanted to demonstrate our independence as a manufacturer by building the engine in-house. Secondly, the transferable engine enables users to swa
USA - Absen recently carried out the 100th training session of its free, globally-recognised ACE training programme as it welcomed technicians to its North American HQ in Orlando on 3-5 December.
The Absen Certified Engineer (ACE) Programme is aimed at the LED display manufacturer’s partners and customers involved in the installation, configuration and maintenance of Absen products. Since its 2014 inception, more than 1,500 professionals have been certified worldwide, with 518 engineers certified in 2019 alone.
“The goal of an ACE training programme is to teach participants how to set up a complete LED video wall from scratch,” comments Kenny Jin who heads up Absen’s ACE training programme. “Through the training programme, participants are able to master new technologies and develop their skills in this increasingly competitive marketplace. Moreover, it allows our partners to strengthen their customer service abilities and reduce costs by bringing the skills in-house.”
Split across two to three days, the ACE programme course allows engineers, technicians and freelancers to get a first-hand look at Absen’s LED products from the inside out, with instruction focussing on LED set-up, troubleshooting and LED control. At the end of the training course, participants must pass both a written and a practical test in order to be awarded the status of Absen Certified Engineer.
Absen’s ACE training programme is continuously updated to ensure engineers are well-equipped to deal with clients’ demands.
UK - Stage Electrics has announced it is hosting a showcase for lighting, audio, trussing and staging equipment in January in Bristol.
Taking place on 29 January 2020 (Wednesday) at the SS Great Britain, the event is free to attend and will run from 2pm to 7pm, with drinks being served after 5.30pm. Over 20 manufacturers will be in attendance, including leading theatre brands Sennheiser, ETC, DiGiCo and Yamaha.
"This event will be the perfect opportunity for those who work within the industry to see and get hands-on with the latest products. Alongside live demonstrations, there will be three interesting seminars, as well as an exciting pyrotechnics display," says the company. Those wishing to attend can secure free parking if they register for the event by 20 December.
Europe - Over the past five weeks, Bose Professional has hosted Installed Sound Expansion events in 10 cities across Europe and the Middle East. Over 900 dealers, integrators, consultants and end users visited Bose offices and external venues to experience a two-hour showcase of some of the latest audio solutions that are now available.
These events were the culmination of the launch of over 50 new products earlier this year. The Installed Sound Expansion has one goal: to provide consultants and integrators with the components they need to deliver complete systems - from simple, repeatable background music systems, to sound reinforcement, to more complex, networked, and distributed solutions.
To accurately demonstrate how the expanded lines of loudspeakers, amplifiers, processors and controls can provide flexible, full audio solutions for more spaces than ever, the listening experiences were focused around two key verticals, Hospitality and Education. During the sessions, complete audio solutions for small, medium and large installations were carefully explained alongside a wide range of listening experiences.
Guests were able to experience the full and consistent coverage of the new, aesthetically designed DesignMax Premium surface and ceiling loudspeakers as well as the EdgeMax In-Ceiling Premium loudspeaker, the Panaray MSA12X steerable column line array as well as ArenaMatch Utility loudspeakers and MB210 compact subwoofers. Some events also featured demonstrations from the DeltaQ range of ArenaMatch stadium loudspeakers and ShowMatch portabl
UK - The aptly-named GreenHouse at Manchester’s MediaCityUK was the chosen setting for a Green-GO training workshop presented by audio, video and broadcast solutions specialist Canford. As the UK and Ireland’s distributor for the scalable, digital comms system since 2016, Canford has seen demand rise sharply in festivals, live events and broadcast applications.
“The Canford team regularly delivers bespoke, on-site product demonstrations, both for new clients taking their first look at Green-GO, and for those who are already regular users but want to further explore the system’s more advanced possibilities,” explains Erika Dobie, BDM and Green-GO commercial manager at Canford. “Now, with Green-GO experiencing record-breaking demand, the time was right to host the very first UK Workshop event.”
Held on 5 November, the packed workshop session attracted rental partners, consultants, system designers and operators to share their Green-GO experiences and ideas. It also gave them the opportunity to discuss solutions with product experts from Canford, and from Green-GO itself, whose Silvio Cibien and Henk-Jan Blok were on hand to support the event.
As well as giving new clients an overview of the Green-GO system’s basic advantages, the workshop also allowed regular users to take a deeper look at its more advanced features.
“The event has proven to be extremely successful, attracting visitors from far and wide and giving them really valuable insights into the benefits of the Green-GO system,” says Erika Dobie. “I am already being
UK - The market value of the UK entertainment technology industry has grown by an estimated 5% in the past 12 months, according to PLASA research.
This puts the industry’s value at £1.36bn in 2018/19, up from £1.30bn in 2017/18. The sectors with the largest growth include architecture, broadcast and corporate events, which are valued at £250m, £220m and £160m respectively.
Only a third of the businesses surveyed expect the industry to grow in 2019/20 however, the main concern being how and when the UK will exit the European Union.
The full report, which follows on from PLASA’s comprehensive industry research released in 2018, details sector by sector performance, investment in marketing and R&D, and the future outlook for the industry.
“We are delighted to offer this important resource,” comments PLASA managing director, Peter Heath. “It provides vital insight for business planning, budgeting and benchmarking performance - I encourage all businesses to download the full report.”
He adds: “Whilst it’s great to see that the industry has performed so well over the last year, we are clearly looking towards a period of uncertainty as Brexit looms over the sector. PLASA will continue to support our members to the fullest extent that we can.”
The 2019 PLASA industry research report is available to download free of charge to PLASA members or £500+VAT for non-members. For more information, visit <
UK - Live event production educational facility Backstage Academy has signed a new partnership agreement with professional loudspeaker manufacturer KV2 Audio.
KV2 Audio, whose R&D and manufacturing base is in the Czech Republic, has worked informally with the academic institution, based at Production Park in Wakefield, for the past two years, providing equipment for student-led events on an ad hoc basis and presenting seminars.
“These seminars are always well received,” says Tom Weldon, who is in charge of UK sales. “We have an exclusively point source approach to loudspeaker design and are proud to be able to present this approach to the technicians of the future. We strongly believe this is the best way to reproduce the original source, and in a market that is dominated by alternative designs it’s important that students are exposed to all options. We try not to blind people with the technology side, but instead encourage them to really use their ears and from that starting point, it’s surprising how quickly they begin to understand our philosophy and approach.”
In their engagement with the Academy, KV2 has provided a ‘tool kit’ of products, enabling students to create a six-way monitor mix via the passive ESM26 and ESM12 alongside a portable plug and play FOH system with the active EX series, offering complete reconfigurability that can be set-up by individual students quickly and easily.
In sharing close geographical proximity to Wakefield - KV2’s UK headquarters are in Harrogate - the other benefit of partnering wit
UK - Music industry charity Music Support has partnered with 10 companies and organisations to train industry professionals in mental health first aid (MHFA).
The drive has been prompted by an in-house initiative led by the charity in 2018, when it invested in MHFA training for its own staff and volunteers.
Music Support will work with The Event Safety Shop (TESS), a live event production safety service; industry charities Help Musicians and The BRIT Trust - the charitable arm of BPI; PLASA; The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF); Production Park; Backstage Academy; PSA and its benevolent fund, Stage Hand; and Thrive: Mental Wellbeing - an NHS-endorsed app designed to help people combat stress.
Matt Thomas, Music Support’s co-founder and chair of trustees, comments: “MHFA training is becoming a priority for businesses across many industries and sectors, both nationally and internationally. We’ve received a lot of support and encouragement from partners about the prospect of Music Support delivering training, and MHFA England [the only provider of licensed mental health first aid instructor training in England] is currently campaigning for the Government to put mental and physical health on an even footing. This is gaining traction from politicians and is likely to become an area of statutory responsibility for employers in the future. Now is the time for our industry to get in ahead of the curve.”
He adds: “Ultimately, we’d like this initiative to be an industry-wide adoption of good practice which will significantly imp
UK - Wakefield’s cathedral staged the official ceremony for 74 Backstage Academy (BA) students who graduated recently.
Students had their various production degrees conferred by Dr. Sue Duncan, assistant Vice chancellor and registrar, University of Bolton (with whom Backstage Academy is partnered).
They were also honoured by their various course leaders as they prepared to leave academia and enter the production world. Johnny Goodwin (Live Events Production), Graham Thorne (Live Visual Design & Production) and Claire Porter (Stage & Production Management) in turn accoladed their respective students as they filed up to the stage.
As Goodwin put it, “It’s always a great occasion to meet the families. They shake your hand and thank you for the guidance once they can see there is a job at the end of it, and that [students] are not simply running away to the circus.” And many have already found full-time employment within the industry.
The Ceremony also saw Backstage Academy’s first Honorary Fellowship conferred on Ash Nehru, co-founder of Disguise (formerly d3 Technologies) one of Backstage Academy’s enduring industry partners. Nehru was awarded the inaugural fellowship in recognition of his inspirational work and dedication to innovating the field of visual design and technology integration.
“We are delighted that 75% graduated with a first or 2:1. Our partnership with BA provides unique opportunities and conversion rates are high,” stated Dr. Duncan in her address. “Backstage Academy has earned a reputation as a
UK - Audio visual production supplier SFL is running a series of courses, inviting anyone working in the audio industry to attend.
These include a Yamaha Networked Audio Systems workshop, DiGiCo SD consoles training, Midas PRO Series consoles training day, and an Introduction to Live Audio For Church.
Harvey Appleton, SFL project manager who is also one of the course teachers, comments: “We believe that education is vital and running these courses is a great way for SFL to share its knowledge with the industry and we find it extremely rewarding. This is why we have developed a range of courses that focus around the equipment we use most frequently and subjects, such as live audio for churches, where which we know can be challenging, particularly for those that don’t have years of experience.”
The Yamaha workshop is an opportunity to get hands-on with the latest Yamaha equipment, covering a broad set of important industry skills, from networking and Dante to console operation and integration with a variety of Dante products, whilst the DiGiCo SD and Midas training provide an introduction for sound engineers and system technicians wanting to get up to speed on the equipment.
The Introduction to Live Audio for Church course is suitable for beginners as well as for experienced engineers who want to brush up on their skills and plug knowledge gaps. It is also designed for volunteer church tech operators, ministers or church staff who may occasionally have to operate audio equipment, as well as musicians or worship leaders se