The Netherlands - With seven Grammy Awards and more than 100m albums sold worldwide, Gloria Estefan is one of the most successful Latin crossover artists of all time. The superstar’s latest smash hit, however, came in the form of a sell-out Broadway musical, On Your Feet, which depicts her moving and inspiring life story.
Tony Award-winning Lighting Designer Kenneth Posner utilized the Chauvet DJ Intimidator Beam LED 350 on the show’s original Broadway run. Now the fast-moving fixture is enjoying an encore in the musical‘s current run at the Beatrix Theatre in Utrecht, courtesy of Stage Entertainment Netherlands.
New York-based Dutch LD Gertjan Houben, who functioned as the Associate LD on the Utrecht show, has specified 48 Intimidator 350 Beam fixtures, supplied by Ampco Flashlight. Although the décor and scenic elements of the Dutch production were identical to those of its counterpart on Broadway, the theatre’s stage dimensions and obstructions created some technical challenges for the translation of the lighting concept, especially with regards to the limited trussing space above the proscenium.
Having already performed in the Broadway version, the Intimidator fixtures provided Houben with the ideal solution. “When looking for a compact and lightweight beam fixture for the proscenium truss, the Intimidators were the perfect fit,” he commented. “Because of their small form factor, they fit perfectly within the truss without creating an unsightly distraction for theatregoers.
“It was a pleasure to work with the Int
USA - Located inside the Fiesta Rancho Hotel and Casino, the Kuwa Nightclub is a Latin-themed club that incorporates a sound reinforcement system that draws from the Event, Vantec, and Action Series catalogues of Spanish D.A.S. Audio.
International House of Music (IHOMI), a full-service music and audio equipment supplier, was contracted to design and deploy the new sound system at the Kuwa Nightclub, along with the lighting and video provisions. Oscar Naranjo Jr. is the company's sales manager and primary audio technician. He discussed the Kuwa Nightclub project and his decision for installing D.A.S. loudspeakers.
“Kuwa’s new sound system is a pretty comprehensive setup,” Naranjo explained. “The house mains consist of 16 Event 210A 3-way active line arrays, with eight enclosures each for the left and right hangs. Positioned behind each of these loudspeaker clusters and slightly to the side, we placed the D.A.S. Vantec 15A powered 2-way point source enclosures. These cover the outer edges of the balcony. Low frequency support is provided by six Event 218A powered sub bass enclosures, with three cabinets each for the left and right sides, which are positioned underneath the stage.
“For front fill,” he continued, “the system includes two Action 8A powered point source loudspeakers. For the performers, there are eight Action M12A powered stage monitors plus an Action 18A powered subwoofer for drum-fill while the side-fill setup consists of two Vantec 215A powered three-way enclosures over two Action 118A powered horn-bass enclosures - one
USA - For decades, Sammy Hagar has been considered one of rock and roll’s all-time greatest lead singers and musicians. Hagar’s passion for music is rivalled only by his commitment to giving back. The best of both worlds recently came together when Hagar was honoured for his philanthropic work at the annual Adopt the Arts Rock Gala at the Avalon Theatre in Hollywood.
Kings of Chaos FOH engineer and production manager Greg Rideout chose a selection of microphones from DPA Microphones for the high-profile event. Adopt the Arts co-founder and former drummer for Guns n’ Roses and Velvet Revolver Matt Sorum took to the stage along with an all-star line-up of some of the biggest names in rock and roll, featuring the Kings of Chaos including Matt Sorum, Steve Stevens, Billy Duffy, Dean and Robert DeLeo, Kenny Aronoff, Michael Anthony, Paul Ill, Steve Luthaker, Phil X, Bernard Fowler, Damon Fox, Stevie Salas, Billy Gibbons and Frankie Perez.
“This particular gig had many challenging components, including dual drum kits, over eight guitar rigs, a kids’ choir plus a complete audio input interface with redundant stereo programme feeds to AXS TV for Sammy's show,” says Rideout. “From the beginning, the level of support I received from the DPA team has been incredible. DPA delivered the mics and the company was there for me every step of the way. DPA completely covered my input list. Sound Image Nashville was a big help in dealing with time constraints on the day of show by letting me come into the shop and pre-program the console.”
Germany - At Prolight & Sound Frankfurt, UK immersive audio and showcontrol specialists Out Board will introduce the new TiMax 500S software for TiMax SoundHub, with enhanced programming and showcontrol workflows for rendering and control of live, presentation and experiential spatial reinforcement and immersive audio, including new-look variable day/night skins optimised for outdoor, rehearsal and show conditions.
TiMax will also have sneak previews of the powerful new bespoke TiMax FPGA dsp core, which offers new creative tools for spatial reinforcement, 3D audio and acoustic enhancement.
Based on detailed input from leading sound design associates, along with direct experience of TiMax developers themselves working on high-profile shows in the field, StageSpace allows auto-calculation of delay-matrix localisation objects derived from three-dimensional data imported directly from CAD files or entered directly. Integrated TimeLine and PanSpace resources allow quick and easy intensive programming and control of multi-layered immersive soundscapes and show control interactions.
UK - tvONE is expanding its EMEA sales team by adding Jon Hubery as regional sales manager for the Middle East and India.
Jon has spent the last four and a half years working with a UK distribution partner, Holdan.
Frithjof Becker, EMEA sales director of tvONE, states, “Jon Hubery is an experienced sales manager working in the AV Market for years. He will lead our expansion into the Middle East and India. Our local partners in the region are looking forward to working with Jon.”
Hubery adds: “After working four years in the UK with AV Integrators, I am looking forward to working internationally again and introducing tvONE to India and the Middle East. I am delighted to be back at tvONE and cannot wait to get started with our partners from across the region to help and support them with their existing and future projects."
USA - US entertainment laser projectors manufacturer X-Laser has become an official dealer of Avolites lighting control hardware in the United States.
At LDI 2017, the company worked with the Avolites team on a setup which featured Avolites lighting consoles used to demonstrate and unveil the X-Laser Mercury laser control system.
Adam Raugh, president of X-Laser USA, says: “The team at Avolites were extremely helpful both on site at LDI and especially in the run up to the show while we were finalizing the necessary fixture profiles as we prepared the launch of our Mercury laser control system. Now that we’re on board with Avolites, we can provide our clients turn-key laser fixture packages including projectors equipped with our Mercury laser control interface, as well as powerful Avolites control hardware that’s pre-loaded with our laser fixture profiles.”
South Africa - DWR is presenting Prolyte Campus, a Prolyte Group training initiative, with guest speaker Ruud de Deugd from Prolyte on 13-16 March.
Prolyte Campus offers a complete programme of learning activities to create awareness on the safe use of Prolyte products.
France - APG has announced the appointment of Alexis Reymond as sales engineer for Western France and the UK. Based at the company's HQ in Nantes, Alexis will be in charge of business development for both regions, as well as providing consultancy and technical support.
With a strong background as a sound engineer for live events in France and abroad, Alexis also worked for many years as an audio consultant and auditor for the design of loudspeakers, providing sonic insight and expertise to public institutions and Houses of Worship.
Alexis comments, “France’s Western region has very strong growth potential and already benefits from an active pool of users and a well-established partner network. A number of recent prestigious installations combined with satisfied end users are an excellent starting point for our growth in this region, allowing us to strengthen our partner network and increase the visibility of the APG brand.
“The UK also has great prospects in the short and medium term: in a market that is almost saturated by ubiquitous brands, the Brits have an entrenched audio culture, yet remain very open-minded when they see innovative and different products”.
Grégory Dapsanse, APG’s marketing and business development director comments: “Alexis is a fantastic addition to our team. His appointment coincides with major growth for our brand, so we expect to further accelerate this trend. Alexis brings the perfect mind-set for our newly reorganised structure: his experience as both a sound engineer and a sound designer enhances our
South Africa - Singer songwriter Jesse Clegg recently completed his traditional national December acoustic tour, which utilised Martin Audio’s MLA Mini.
The system was introduced to him by Audiosure, Martin Audio’s South African distributor, with whom he has enjoyed a close relationship in recent years, since they first introduced him to a mixing desk. When he and long-term sound engineer, Verny Scholtz, saw the need for a compact, portable, high quality PA Audiosure jumped in.
Alison Taman, general manager of Audiosure, knew right away that Martin Audio’s MLA Mini would the right fit for Jesse’s tour. The locations ranged from open-air botanical gardens to intimate lounges and only the MLA has the power, control and portability to pull off every situation without compromise.
“As the distributors for Martin Audio in South Africa, we are thrilled that a prestigious brand and high-end audio system such as this was experienced by music lovers around the country, allowing them to enjoy a world-class talent like Jesse with such sound quality and detail at a live show,” she concluded.
Jesse, who has been following in the footsteps of famous father Johnny, and is well on the way to conquering North America after a string of top 10 hits in his native country, said that where possible he always looks to avoid house systems and use his own production.
“Last year we had challenges when using another PA system,” he admits.
And with club and venue sizes varying between 500-1000 capacity, working with either a three or four-piec
USA - When Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas presented its annual The Gift of Christmas show in December 2017 design collaborators UVLD took control to a new level employing Claypaky Scenius Profiles and Mythos2 fixtures for the spectacular, 90-minute multimedia production.
The production featured Santa and his workshop in Act One, a choral interlude in Act Two and a living nativity in Act Three. This season, new music and a new script opened the show; two-thirds of the lighting cues occurred in Act One and five days were devoted to programming them.
“In the past we’ve had 10 or 12 dedicated follow spots to cover people flying and various audience activities,” says UVLD lighting designer Matt Webb. “We discovered a new follow spot system and decided to give it a shot. It allowed us to utilise moving lights as follow spots.”
“We could designate four Scenius Profiles as our follow spots,” says Webb. “That allowed us to eliminate a bunch of seat-kills that tied up floor space with dedicated follow spots. And we could position the Scenius fixtures exactly where we wanted them – we weren’t stuck with any fixed points. If we needed two fixtures on one person we could assign that; we could configure them as needed.”
“Scenius blew everything else out of the water,” notes David Seitz, associate lighting designer and programmer with UVLD. “It had fantastic optics, was incredibly bright and looked fantastic. It was great to be able to utilize them as the primary follow spots on the show.”
UK - Singer-songwriter Duo Lipa, who recently performed at the BRIT Awards, has enjoyed a strong 2017.
For a year and a half, FOH engineer Will Nicholson and monitor man Alex Cerutti have used their DiGiCo SD5 and SD12 consoles respectively.
Nicholson, who has a previous working relationship with the artist's production manager, Pete Abbott, says: “We worked together on Icona Pop, and a couple of smaller artists; also, [musical director] William Bowerman is a friend of mine, so when Pete gave me a shout to see if I was interested, I was keen to get involved.”
Nicholson has been a DiGiCo user for five years and says the scalability of the SD range is ideal for his FOH workflow.
“Modern pop touring is often characterised by two significant factors: time and budget,” he explains. “Whilst I haven’t had to make use of the smallest surfaces in the [DiGiCo] range, I have used an SD5, 10, and 7 on this campaign pretty seamlessly, when schedule or territory dictated. The SD5 is my console of choice, provided the I/O fits into its specification; it is such an enjoyable console to mix on. Visually, there is so much information available to you on an immediate level.
“The three screens are just tremendous; I normally leave my Waves plugins on the central display, and input control on the two side screens, which allows me to use the overview screen for buss and matrix metering, and my Snapshot sheet. Mixing on digital consoles is an empowering experience, and you can do so much on the SD5.”
Because Dua Lipa is now transitionin
UK - Thanks to songs such as You Raise Me Up and Have I Told You Lately, Russell Watson’s blend of classical opera and catchy pop has succeeded. On the road recently with Watson’s latest tour was LD Ollie Wilkinson of Arranpaul LTD, who treated Watson’s show to an all-encompassing visual spectacle with a selection of Chauvet Professional Rogue R2 Wash fixtures.
Wanting to provide a stunning set of visuals for the Manchester-born opera singer, Wilkinson worked together with Production Manager Dan Tiley to produce a show of grandiose measures. To provide illumination for one of the defining features of the stage - a wraparound curtain behind the band - Wilkinson utilised the 19 (15W) RGBW quad-LEDs of the Rogue fixtures to excellent effect.
“I wanted to wash the entire backdrop with colour,” commented Wilkinson. “The saturated colours of the Rogues, with their seamless colour spectrum shifting, allowed me to achieve this effect.”
Additionally, Wilkinson was also able to utilise the Rogue’s 12° to 49° zoom range to provide both concentrated and wide wash to cover the whole backdrop.
“I wanted to go from having a tight beam up-lighting the cloth, to a more diffuse general coverage,” continued Wilkinson. “Thanks to the R2's incredible zoom range, I was able to produce these effects on demand to quickly switch atmosphere between the more operatic and pop numbers during the show.”
To complete the Chauvet setup, Wilkinson specified a further selection of Net-X rack-mountable Art-Net-to-DMX devices. The Net
USA - The Admiral Theatre, an art deco movie house in Bremerton, Washington, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.
The Admiral Theatre Foundation, which helped renovate the venue in the 1990s, raised $1.2m and recently completed upgrades to its infrastructure and sound reinforcement system, adding 11 new Clair Brothers 1AM+ and 1.5AM+ powered monitors.
"Performers these days are looking for hi-fi sound in their monitors. The days of a simple 'horn-in-your-face' are gone," said Andrew Saylor, production manager for the Admiral Theatre, who also plays the role of Audio 1, house system tech, and frequent FOH mixer.
"In our search for new monitors, we wanted something that could handle volume while still remaining punchy, transparent, and bright. We demoed a lot of different top-name manufacturers, and the Clair Brothers 1AM+ and 1.5AM+ powered monitors stood out as having the greatest sonic characteristics and, considering their integrated amplifiers, a reasonable price point."
Because the Admiral Theatre's stage already suffers from low-frequency build-up, Saylor opted for nine of the Clair Brothers 1AM+ monitors, which rely on a 12-inch low-frequency driver and a 3-inch high-frequency driver to deliver point-source fidelity. Two beefier 15-inch/4-inch Clair Brothers 1.5AM+ monitors serve as bass and/or drum wedges. By opting for the powered "+" versions, the Admiral Theatre did away with the complication and extra expense of an amp rack.
The fall 2017 season was the first to use the new Clair Brothers monitors, and Saylor reports
UK - The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) has upgraded its lighting fleet, adding seven new Martin by Harman MAC Encore Performance moving heads to its shared stock.
Commissioned by Paul Halgarth, lecturer in lighting, electrics and programming at LIPA, and supplied by Martin by Harman dealer Stage Electrics, the new fixtures will enable students on the Theatre and Performance Design and Technology degree courses to access the latest technology.
Halgarth says: “We always need the latest technology and we pride ourselves in having industry standard equipment. It’s vital as students can go from our course straight into employment.
“I specifically wanted units with framing shutters because we didn't have any,” he continues. “Stage [Electrics] were extremely helpful and I looked at all the leading [competitive] brands as well as the Martin MAC Viper and MAC Quantum.
“I really wanted to go down the LED route. I dismissed some as being unsuitable, and while the MAC Viper ticked all the boxes, and I felt had an intense quality of light and stunning deep contrast when using textured gobos, I knew it would be great if we could have an LED source. And that’s when Rob told me to hold on.
“The Encores are already on our first production and the reaction from students has been immensely positive.”
The new units will be available for use not only in the Paul McCartney Auditorium and Sennheiser Studio Theatre, which have been part of the Institute’s fabric since it opened in 1996, but also a new studio theatr
France - Airstar has announced the release of Bulbs, the company’s latest lighting balloons.
The inspiration behind Bulbs came from Pierre Chabert, president and director of innovation at Airstar. The Bulbs are named after great inventors and are inspired by vintage bulb shapes appreciated by the general public and the Airstar network.
“The event market constantly needs to renew itself to provide new ideas and solutions for its customers and the general public”, explains Airstar sales director, Xavier Ponson. “Traditional light bulbs are popular shapes that you can find in most design stores and interior decoration outlets nowadays. We believe it can have a similar success for events, so we decided to turn it into an Airstar innovation.”
With their original shapes, Bulbs replicate giant models of traditional bulbs. Available in eight different shapes and sizes, ranging from 1m60 for the smallest model to 4m30 for the largest, they are the perfect solution to any needs and environments. BULBS are equipped with a built-in fan allowing to keep a perfect shape. Installation time takes between 15 and 40 minutes in total depending on the size of the model.
The LED technology offers a lifespan of over 50,000 hours while reducing the power consumption (80W to 300W depending on the models). They can operate between 100V to 240V, 50/60Hz.
South Africa - The Ultra South Africa music festival took place in February over two legs, visiting the Cape Town Stadium on 9 February and the Expo Centre in Nasrec, Johannesburg on 10 February.
Supplying the full technical for the Ultra events, Gearhouse Group was going into the production raincoats. For the Johannesburg leg of the tour, Gearhouse invested in 128 Selbyguard Rainroof covers and bases, along with 12 Selbyguard Air Domes from DWR Distribution. To transport these items, a further 11 Dolly Rainroofs and 2 Dolly Airdomes were bought.
The Gearhouse team was spot on in its predictions about the rain and utilised 128 bases with Rainroof covers (64 medium and 64 extra-large) and the preplanning really paid off - in JHB not a single fixture went down this year.
Setting up the Selbyguard covers is simple and is really like rigging a standard moving light. First to be rigged is a base plate, followed by the lighting fixture, and then the actual cover is attached to the base with velcro. A real bonus is that doesn’t affect the look, especially on evening events.
Northern Lights - The Kaiser Chiefs, Postman Pat and Turner Prize-winning artist Lubaina Himid are all on the line-up for the Great Exhibition of the North, which will take place this summer. The 11-week festival will celebrate "great art, culture, design and innovation from the north of England". Staged in Newcastle and Gateshead, it will be paid for with £5m from the government's Northern Powerhouse fund. After the opening ceremony on 22 June, the event will run until 9 September.
It will begin with performances by the Kaiser Chiefs and poet Lemn Sissay and will feature what's said to be the UK's largest water sculpture - an 80m-long fountain - on the River Tyne. On the opening weekend, members of the public will be invited to join in with wandering groups of dancers, while three choirs will make their way through the cities. John Lennon's last piano and the original Postman Pat models will be part of an exhibition of northern cultural creations at the Great North Museum.
Rolled Gold - The Rolling Stones have scheduled their first UK tour since 2006. The band will play five stadium dates as part of their No Filter tour this May and June. "It's such a joy to play with this band," said Keith Richards. "We're only just getting started really." The band last played the UK five years ago, with headline performances at Glastonbury and the BST Festival, but they haven't toured here for 12 years.
The group kick off the European leg of their tour at Dublin's Croke Park on 17 May, before playing the London Stadium on 22 May. Other dates inclu
Norway - Second Warehouse, a web-based service that can simplify cross-rental of pro AV gear, has been launched.
The platform unites AV suppliers and rental companies in one place where they can organise sub-hire of equipment, make safe payments, arrange transport and trade with minimal or no commission.
Stuart Kerrison, founder of Second Warehouse, says: “I know how important cross-rental is and also what a time-wasting drag it can be, because I’ve been the guy spending hours on the phone, calling friends in the hope of finding that one bit of gear I need for a show. Second Warehouse solves those headaches and lost hours, while making sure that your equipment is always out being used and earning you money.”
Second Warehouse includes a wealth of features. Users can quickly and simply expand their cross-hire network, get quotes, negotiate prices and organise transport, prioritise existing relationships via the ‘preferred users’ feature; trade commission-free with high volume use; and use the direct messaging system to ensure transparent communication throughout.
Second Warehouse can also directly communicate with many rental management software applications to track available inventory to keep it booked out. The system is web-based and works on all devices.
“Second Warehouse has the potential to fundamentally change how the rental sector functions, ensuring that companies of all sizes are able to trade with one another in absolute confidence, so everyone does better business,” says Kerrison. “No one got into this business
Canada - Solotech has been awarded the contract to provide and install a new speaker system at the National Arts Centre (NAC) as part of the Centre’s $225m Production Renewal and Architectural Rejuvenation Project.
The equipment, including d&b audiotechnik production equipment and loudspeaker systems, will be installed in the NAC’s three largest performance halls: Southam Hall, the Babs Asper Theatre and the Azrieli Studio.
UK - Lighting designer Nathan Wan, who designed the light show at last year’s Autosport International, returned for the show’s 2018 edition at the Live Action Arena in Hall 5 of the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham.
Wan utilised over 250 Robe moving lights, working for the Live Arena’s equipment suppliers and technical consultants Network Productions. Network Productions’ Nick Halliday looked after the Live Arena’s technical direction and management aspects, with Dave Beel as production manager.
Nathan introduced the power of Robe BMFLs into the mix last year for the first time, which enhanced the dynamics he could create with the rig.
Apart from getting enough brightness in there, other parameters to consider include not blinding drivers as they belt round the short track at supernatural speeds, so fixture placement was crucial.
In the centre of the arena facing the 5,000-capacity seating tribune were three large LED screens, and to get some more lighting architecture into this area, the design included two 6m diameter circles of truss, hung vertically either side of the centre screen facing the audience.
Each of these was populated with 20 x Robe MegaPointes which provided two high impact blocks of effects lighting at Nathan’s fingertips, capable of reaching along and across the 150m-long by 40m wide arena / track.
A series of long trusses in the roof were trimmed at about 9m, and these were rigged with 88 x BMFL Spots, 40 x Pointes and 36 x LEDWash 600s.
Thirty-six Spiider LED wash beams were rig
China - The Mr. Future Music Festival brought nearly 40,000 fans to Wuhan, China to enjoy an impressive line-up of hip-hop and electronic artists in front of an interactive set design.
Sharing the massive stage with the acts were over 100 Adamson loudspeakers supplied and supported by the company’s exclusive Chinese distributor Real Music.
“Mr. Future is a unique and innovative event that brings people from all kinds of different circles together,” begins Real Music owner Zhen “Richie” Wang. “Of course, music is the central component, and Club Muse, the organiser, chose an Adamson system to ensure every single ticketholder had a powerful and exciting experience that exceeded their expectations.”
The substantial system included main reinforcement from arrays of 15 Adamson E15 three-way, true line source enclosures per side. Because the unique stage design didn’t include hanging points, two speaker towers were custom-designed to suspend the arrays. Adamson’s compact S10 two-way, full range cabinets were deployed as both side fills, in arrays of 12 enclosures per side, and front fills, lining the lip of the stage.
For low-end, 16 Adamson E219 subwoofers per side were flown behind the main arrays with an additional 18 E219s and 12 T21s groundstacked for additional support.
“The system sounded absolutely explosive,” enthuses Mr. ShaoHua, the lead sound engineer for the Mr. Future festival. “Hip-hop and EDM is very bass-heavy, and the Adamson system delivers clear, powerful low-end like no other. We used Adamson’s Blu
Thailand - Com 7, a technology retail chain, has relocated its headquarters to a new six-story office building in Bangkok. AV integrator Mahajak Development selected an end-to-end Harman networked audio solution consisting of JBL speakers, Crown amplifiers, Soundcraft mixers, BSS audio processors and AMX control systems to create a multi-zone AV system for the conference and training rooms.
Pongsakorn Kanchanachayphoom, project director, says: “Harman solutions incorporate the latest advances in technology with seamless integration, allowing us to achieve their goals and install a conference audio system that delivers consistent intelligibility and advanced networking capabilities.”
Mahajak outfitted Com 7’s conference and training rooms with JBL LSR305 two-way studio monitors and Control 25-1 compact speakers. Mahajak also installed Control 14C/T full-range ceiling speakers, providing total coverage and consistency throughout the rooms. The speakers are powered by Crown XLS DriveCore Series and JBL Commercial Series amplifiers.
Mahajak built the training room AV systems around the Soundcraft Signature 10 mixing console. Throughout the facility, the audio is networked and configured using a BSS Soundweb London BLU-100 signal processor, which offers a fixed configuration of 12 inputs and 8 outputs of configurable signal processing and features open architecture that is fully configurable through HiQnet London Architect.
For control, Mahajak included AMX NX-2200 and NX-1200 NetLinx NX integrated controllers, which provide intuitive oper
Belgium - Luc Peumans and the team from Painting with Light created a lighting design and supplied media servers for the production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid staged by Marmalade Content at Flanders Expo in Ghent, Belgium.
Luc had worked in the same role on Marmalade’s 2016 Beauty and the Beast productio and was delighted to be reunited with set designer Stefan Haudenhuyse and director Frank Van Laecke, with whom he collaborated on 14-18, a Spectacular Musical. The technical director was Bart De Coensel from The Production Box.
The creative process began with a brain-storming session between Luc and the producers, Frank and Stefan, from which this basic aesthetic framework emerged and Luc started to develop the lighting concepts.
An underlining theme was to make it properly ‘spectacular’ in both impact and presence, so the audience would become fully immersed in the action. “I basically wanted to bring an ‘epic’ feel to it,” explained Luc. “This was the approach needed with a 40m-wide stage and vast upstage LED screen, all vital to setting the scene.”
Luc also wanted to ensure that there was a clear demarcation between the two worlds: above and under water. He referred to past Little Mermaid productions - including black-light production that he had lit some years back - where the underwater sections are often interpreted as dark and moody.
However, for this production he wanted the underwater scenes to be bright and magical - thriving and full of positive energy.
A network of
USA - Rock band Avenged Sevenfold has been busy with its latest world arena tour, following the release of the group's most recent album, The Stage.
FOH engineer Bob Strakele - also known for his work with The War on Drugs, Awolnation, Papa Roach, and James, amongst others - has been with them at every stop, and chose the Solid State Logic L500 Plus live console for mixing duties. Audio kit on the tour has been supplied by Solotech.
On this tour, Strakele has around 48 inputs from stage, with about 23 of those accounted for on the drum kit. The rest of the set includes bass, two electric guitars, two acoustics, plus five vocal mics. According to Strakele, the main sonic challenge arises from the sheer size of the tour venues, so clarity is a priority: "With double kick drums and blazing fast songs, it might be hard to keep it punchy - keep it together... So I'm using a lot of EQ to make things pop out, though the SSL EQ is amazingly musical and to me it doesn't sound 'EQ'd', even with some wild curves."
One of the big features of the console for Strakele was the Stem group - a type of audio path that you can mix to like an auxiliary, and that can be 'fully processed', with all the dynamics, EQ, FX, and routing that's available to an input channel. "I've always been a studio engineer and a live engineer, so the Stem Group was a game-changer for me,” he says. “I can funnel several things into one stem, process it the way I want to, then send it somewhere else and process it further. This allows me to do what I do in the studio with a patchb