UK - Martin Audio has announced the release of the X218 subwoofer, extending the company’s best-selling portable series, BlacklineX.
BlacklineX, launched in 2016, was the first new series developed under the management of Dom Harter and was an instant hit, delivering performance and value for a range of applications including portable sound reinforcement and stage monitoring for live bands, DJs and corporate events, to installations in nightclubs, bars, commercial spaces and houses of worship.
The original line-up comprised just a 15” and single 18” subwoofer and so as Harter says, “the success of the BlacklineX series led to numerous calls to extend the range with a double 18” subwoofer, and we’re delighted to kick off the new year with this punchy sub at an equally punchy price point.”
The X218 is a dual-driver subwoofer with an operating range of 42Hz - 200Hz + 3dB. It produces high output levels - 141dB peak SPL (half space) - with low distortion and can be used singly or stacked horizontally. It features dual 18”/4” voice coil, long-excursion drivers in a reflex enclosure with eight large ports that reduce air turbulence at high output levels.
For added versatility in deployment, the X218 is fitted with a 35mm pole-mount socket for mounting BlacklineX full-range enclosures, and integral M10 inserts provide for eyebolt suspension of a single enclosure.
When used with BlacklineX Series full-range systems, crossover and EQ functions can be performed by the DX0.5 or DX4.0 system controllers or by a Martin Audio ampli
USA - BishopSound, the fast-growing Yorkshire-based PA specialist, is making its NAMM debut this year, giving international visitors to the show the chance to meet the owner Andrew Bishop and discuss what promises to be a busy year for his company.
Having recently launched its first passive line array system, and while simultaneously expanding its wide range of affordable PA equipment, this year BishopSound will be introducing a series of new UK-designed and manufactured speakers aimed at the top end of the professional market.
The first of the new models will be a 2x18" high power subwoofer; initially designed to complement the company's new Delta Dual 8" passive line array, the new high-power subwoofer is likely to find many other uses due to its exceptional performance, BishopSound predicts.
Also, to be launched this year this year will be a new three-way enclosure featuring a 15" woofer, 8" mid-range driver and 1.75" HF unit, again designed and manufactured in the UK and featuring British made speakers. The third BishopSound introduction will be a high-fidelity passive wedge monitor available in left- or right-hand versions.
BishopSound is working closely with the veteran UK speaker manufacturer Celestion which will be producing speakers for the new products to BishopSound's specification in its Ipswich factory in the UK.
Finally, BishopSound has announced an agreement with the noted speaker designer Mykey Hurley which will see the company licence-building Hurley's AK47 enclosure, increasingly popular in the reggae sound system m
USA - More than 200,000 people gathered at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park to usher in 2020 at Jack Daniel's Music City Midnight: New Year's Eve in Nashville. Bandit Lites once again provided the celebration with a comprehensive lighting system to help with six hours of live music, fireworks and the midnight Music Note Drop.
“It’s never easy to plan a party for 200,000 people but the design and production team of David Spencer, Chris Lisle, Mark Anderson and Erik Parker literally make it seem like a stroll through the park,” comments Bandit Lites vice-president, Mike Golden. “This marks the twelfth year of working with this team, and each year they make adjustments to further streamline production.”
Production designer Erik Parker of Chris Lisle Lighting Design refreshed his previous years’ designs for the main stage, outfitting the rig to pop both in person and for the millions streaming online and watching on CNN and NBC. The line-up for the evening featured Keith Urban, Stevie Nicks, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, The Struts and Amanda Shires.
“Bandit’s supply of IP rated gear is super helpful,” says Parker. “For a show like this, outdoors in the middle of winter, we never know what the weather is actually going to do, so it is very helpful to have gear that will withstand it. We had a couple days with a ton of rain and had very minimal issues.
“Matt King (project manager) and Diz Gosnell (Production Manager) worked with us on it to make sure it was functional and that the vision came to life,” Parker said. <
Canada/Germany - The Canada-based IP video processing specialist Embrionix has become part of Riedel Communications.
Founded in 2009, Embrionix provides miniaturised, high-density IP gateways, IP signal processors and converters for broadcast video applications. Since pioneering the use of small form-factor pluggable (SFP) modules for signal processing early in its history, Embrionix has been granted more than 20 patents for its technologies.
Riedel Communications has grown to become a leader in distributed intercom and video network solutions. Riedel has been pursuing a networked approach to video infrastructures for more than a decade with its real-time media network, MediorNet.
"Sometimes, things just fit. Just like Riedel, Embrionix started out as a garage company and has managed to preserve its innovation-driven startup spirit on its way to global success. Our company philosophies are an ideal match, and our product portfolios and competencies complement each other perfectly," comments Thomas Riedel, CEO, Riedel Communications.
"Riedel is an international player, and we can offer Embrionix all of the benefits of a comprehensive global sales and support infrastructure. Embrionix, on the other hand, has access to unique technologies and proprietary knowledge that will be instrumental in our quest for innovation leadership in the field of video infrastructures."
With this partnership, Riedel gains access to considerable engineering talent in the Embrionix workforce - the majority of which comprises engineers specializing in leading-edg
Belgium - AED Group has launched its own pro audio brand, AED Audio.
The news was announced during AED’s annual Customer Nights networking and showcase events in December and is seen as a return to the company’s roots, as AED’s CEO Glenn Roggeman designed and built loudspeakers during the 1980s and early 90s.
AED Audio’s range includes two lines, the Flex and Solid series. The Flex series comprises one model, the multi-purpose powered line-source speaker Flex6, which can be used in various applications, including flown as a line array or mounted on a pole.
Part of the Solid line, Solid15 is a compact, single 15” 1.800W RMS low cabinet or subwoofer which can be used in many scenarios and several configurations. The speaker can be operated standalone, flown and stacked.
Meanwhile, the Solid28, combined with the Solid15 in low and the Flex6, gives you access to a large scale of applications, says the company. This double 18” band pass powered subwoofer with a 3.000W RMS robust amplifier module gives an output of 137 max SPL.
The three products will be available from April. All AED Audio products will be presented at ISE 2020 at the AED group stand (hall 1, stand H127).
USA - Lighting designer Mason Delman lit an NYU Tisch School of the Arts production of Legally Blonde with Elation Artiste Picasso moving heads and praised the multi-functionality and responsiveness of the high-performance LED profile luminaire. 4Wall Entertainment in New York, with Al Ridella as key account manager, provided 10 Artiste Picasso fixtures for the Tisch New Theatre student organisation production at the Skirball Centre in November.
Delman comments, “This is a theatrical show and the Picasso fit in well. It was a bit smaller and we didn’t need the extra bells and whistles that the Monet has. Being compact was convenient and better fit our needs.”
At roughly two an a half hours, Legally Blonde is not a short, easy-to-light pop musical yet a fairly complicated show as Delman explains. “Most musicals that are adapted from movies are a bit more intricate than a show written for the stage because they tend to have many locations and quick scene jumps, even in a single number. That necessitated a fixture that could fulfil a number of roles.”
On top of that, the designer says the schedule was extremely tight with only 12 hours of tech time and six hours for a dress rehearsal. “Because of that, we needed a fixture that could do what we needed it to do quickly and the Picasso fit the bill.” With speed of the essence, a feature of the Picasso that the designer says was a big time saver was the auto focus on the gobo wheels, as well as the fast zoom and ability to quickly call up saturated reds or blues using the CMY c
Europe - L-Acoustics has announced the expansion of console partners, adding Yamaha Professional Audio, who has co-developed an L-ISA DeskLink for their flagship Rivage PM7 and PM10 mixing systems.
“Collaborating with the creative team of experts at Yamaha has resulted in an exceptionally sleek integration of the L-ISA object controls into Rivage mixing workflow. The new DeskLink is a great example of collaborative design,” explains Sherif El Barbari, director of L-ISA Labs.
Within the Rivage consoles, for every mono or stereo input channel, a direct control of L-ISA Objects or Groups will be available on the console control surface and touch screens.
The L-ISA DeskLink provides a seamless workflow on the consoles, allowing for immersive hyperreal mixing in a familiar environment, making adoption of L-ISA technology even easier.
“It has been a real pleasure to collaborate with the team at L-Acoustics to create a dedicated, deeply integrated and flexible user interface. As the reputation of Yamaha Rivage PM mixing systems for outstanding sound quality and traditional Yamaha reliability continues to grow, this project will benefit our many joint customers throughout the world.” comments Chris Angell, Yamaha Pro Audio R&D.
The Yamaha Rivage with L-ISA DeskLink will be available this Spring and on display for hands-on discovery at Prolight & Sound in L-Acoustics demo room Symmetrie 2+3.
USA - It was quite a run for the Brummies in 2019. Since making a splash a year earlier with their breakout LP Eternal Reach, the indie folk trio has maintained a global touring schedule appearing at festivals from Electric Picnic to Bonarro. The rapidly rising band capped off the year with a homecoming of sorts, returning to their native Birmingham, Alabama to perform a NYE show at the city’s Saturn live music venue.
Contributing to the good time atmosphere was a Jessica Sanders designed lightshow that featured a whirlwind of colours along with some intense audience lighting, all provided by a house rig anchored by Chauvet Professional Rogue, COLORado, and STRIKE fixtures.
Positioned overhead on ceiling mounted truss structures, the rig gave Sanders the opportunity to create dome-like colour panoramas over the stage. “It was a really good arrangement that let me come up with some unique downlighting specials and saturated looks,” says Sanders. “I got to create some colour combinations that I never worked with before. The idea was to create a backyard party atmosphere, since this is the band’s hometown, and there was this great sense of familiarity in the crowd.”
Sanders had six Rogue R2 Spot fixtures spread evenly across the overhead truss, and four Rogue R2 Wash oriented more toward the centre. She used the spot fixtures to highlight individual band members, while relying on the washes to reflect the festive mood with bold colours.
The five COLORado Batten 72 and eight COLORaodo 1-Quad Zoom Tour fixtures in the house r
China - The annual two-day Rolls Royce sales meeting, hosted for the marque’s worldwide network of dealer partners, maintains an impressive standard of event production, for which this year, as for the last five, global brand experience company, Imagination, pitched for and won.
The realised design brief incorporated an engaging daytime dealer gathering setup and an intricately designed immersive experiential dining experience for 280 guests, supported by TiMax object-based spatial audio.
Imagination’s head of sound design, Crispian Covell, states: “TiMax was pivotal to our sound design across the whole event. As far as I’m aware, TiMax is still the best and only way of doing what we needed. Nothing else can work site-specific surround sound simply by importing a PDF of the room; nothing else allows you to configure the entire loudspeaker system offline or adjust loudspeaker image definitions virtually live. TiMax is completely fluid and its innovative features are invaluable.”
The daytime sales assemblage was distinguished into two distinct sections, characterised by a change in room set up. In just 15 minutes the room configuration transformed from a traditional presentation style, end-on seating set up, to traverse seating positions, like a fashion show. At the flick of a switch, TiMax changed the audio set up to suit the new environment.
The afternoon session relied upon TiMax to keep attention on presenters and moderators as they spoke across three stages. The 280 attendees were seated around the central stage, and presenters
Europe - ISE 2020 sees LED processor manufacturer, Brompton Technology, give the first European showing of its Dynamic Calibration technology and launch its latest LED processor, the Tessera S8, on its largest ever trade show stand. The significant size increase of this newly designed stand, which measures 90m2, will allow Brompton to give regular presentations of Dynamic Calibration, the Brompton HDR solution, and the new Tessera S8, alongside its ever-popular demonstration stations.
First shown at LDI 2019 in Las Vegas, Dynamic Calibration takes a different approach to maintaining uniformity, while unlocking the full potential of the LEDs to achieve “previously unthinkable levels of brightness and colour saturation”.
Dynamic Calibration is enabled after panels are measured with Brompton’s Hydra system; an all-in-one advanced measurement system custom-designed for LED panels and exclusive to Brompton Technology. And Dynamic Calibration is not just for new panels, it can give existing panels using Brompton’s Tessera R2 card a new lease of life.
The new Tessera S8 LED processor, meanwhile, is a cost-effective solution for high profile projects that do not require the large output capacity of the award-winning Tessera SX40 processor, but still want to benefit from the flexibility of Brompton’s industry leading Tessera feature set and easy-to-use software to produce stunning results.
“We had an incredible response to Dynamic Calibration at LDI in Las Vegas,” comments Brompton CEO Richard Mead. “We’re excited to be able to sho
South Africa - The Mosaïek Teatro, a large-capacity venue that forms part of the Mosaïek Church in Fairlands, Johannesburg is the first in South Africa to invest in KLANG’s 3D in-ear monitoring system to complement their new DiGiCo SD5 mixing consoles.
In October 2019, technical manager at the Mosaïek Teatro, Estian Els and his team took delivery of two DiGiCo SD5 mixing consoles, purchased from DWR Distribution. “Earlier this year, the Mosaïek Teatro hosted the third season of M-Net’s The Voice South Africa, which gave our technical team the opportunity to work on the DiGiCo SD10 console that was used for the show. We all became really comfortable with the technology and, therefore, when the time came for us to invest in new consoles for the Mosaïek Teatro, we decided to go with two DiGiCo SD5s,” Estian explains.
While the team have been very happy with their DiGiCo consoles, they did experience a few challenges with musician’s in-ear monitor mixes. “In the past, musicians were able to log onto our console remotely and arrange their own in-ear monitors mixes ahead of Sunday morning worship services. This was no longer possible once we adopted the DiGiCo platform, which created a lot of pressure on our monitor engineer ahead of Sunday services. Our worship band has very limited time to rehearse ahead of services, and we only have fifteen minutes to try and accommodate everyone before we have to go live,” says Estian.
DiGiCo product manager at DWR Distribution, Kyle Robson has been assisting Estian and his team with their ne
Australia - The International Queen of Burlesque, Dita Von Teese, returned to Australia with Glamonatrix, her most lavish touring show to date. It was the first outing for Phaseshift Productions’ Claypaky Sharpy Plus fixtures. Dita’s production manager and lighting designer, Alex Goldberg, was thrilled to have the new fixtures at the beginning of her world tour.
In Glamonatrix, fans were treated to a full evening of comedy and striptease that celebrated diverse beauty.
“This is the type of show that provides a lighting designer with the opportunity to be an active element in the presentation itself,” says Goldberg. “Often, when you have one performer on stage the lighting becomes an essential part of the show that interacts with the dancers’ performances, keeps everyone looking glamorous, and transforms the entire atmosphere to create beautiful moments. It’s important for me to help the audience focus clearly on the performer while sculpting a beautiful stage picture.”
Nine Claypaky Sharpy Plus fixtures helped Goldberg sculpt the stage and create an environment, which impressed the lighting designer.
Sharpy Plus is a full-fledged hybrid light. In beam mode, its aerial effects stand out thanks to the unit’s extraordinary light output. In spot mode, its light is diffused more evenly allowing the projection of wonderfully uniform visual effects.
“Considering their form factor, their output is really remarkable,” says Goldberg. “I think the gobo selection has been really well manicured and provides a var
USA - At NAMM 2020, Harman Professional Solutions will introduce the new JBL IRX Series portable PA loudspeakers.
JBL IRX Series portable PA loudspeakers provide musicians, performers and presenters with JBL sound in |”a highly portable, feature-rich package”.
A durable, lightweight design makes IRX Series speakers easy to transport. Versatile features like Bluetooth audio streaming, custom application-based pre-sets and automatic signal processors make it easy to dial in sound for a wide range of applications. The IRX Series of portable PA loudspeakers includes the IRX108BT, which features an 8-inch woofer, and the IRX112BT, which features a 12-inch woofer.
“Today’s performers need a portable, easy-to-use PA system that delivers professional results at an affordable price,” said Brandon, Knudsen, loudspeaker product manager, Harman Professional Solutions. “We’re excited to showcase our new IRX Series loudspeakers at the 2020 NAMM and CES shows, which combine impressive volume output and detail with an assortment of versatile features like Bluetooth audio streaming in a compact, lightweight design. Best of all, the IRX112BT and IRX108BT are the most affordable powered speakers JBL has ever offered.”
Featuring two combination XLR/TRS inputs with professional-grade preamps, IRX Series speakers provide “crystal-clear sound for microphones, playback devices and mixing consoles”. One-button Bluetooth connectivity makes it easy to stream audio from mobile devices or link two speakers to provide additional coverage and create a t
USA - Living Water Bible Fellowship in Alamosa, Colorado, had a pair of related problems that frustrated the staff’s ability to deliver a transparent, distraction-free service. First, the pastor could not get his microphone nearly loud enough before feedback threatened to overtake his voice, with predictable wincing among the assembled congregants. Second, even when feedback wasn’t a problem, lack of intelligibility and impact made it difficult for congregants to fully lose themselves in the music or the moment.
Local AV integration firm Lambda Audio Visual designed and installed a new Danley Sound Labs sound reinforcement system that did away with both issues via pattern control and phase-coherent, point-source fidelity.
“Living Water Bible Fellowship contacted us looking for some ideas to help improve the sound system in their main worship room,” explains Ryan Durbin, owner of Lambda Audio Video. “We visited to check out their system and immediately noticed the unique shape and orientation of the room.
“It’s a rectangle with a peaked ceiling, with the stage set up on a long wall. There are balconies on both sides that look down on the stage from above. The space fits about 150 people. The orientation and loudspeaker placement created a ‘boomy’ reverberant sound in the main worship area. They were having a lot of difficulties producing defined sounds. Moreover, the room shape and a soffit area above the stage left no obvious place to put a loudspeaker for general coverage.”
Durbin worked with his CAD designer to model the
UK - Lighting and video specialist Colour Sound Experiment supplied lighting equipment, LED screen, rigging and crew to the most recent UK leg of Respect: The Aretha Franklin Songbook tour which has just finished.
The vibrant and animated two-hour live concert was created by Adrian Grant (producer of Thriller Live) and directed / choreographed by Tiffany King, celebrates the huge success and songs of Aretha Franklin - the Queen of Soul. It was delivered by three leading vocalists - Stacy Francis, Tanya Edwards and Cleo Stewart - together with a live band, a gospel choir and ‘preacher man’ AJ Lewis.
Colour Sound had supplied the tour earlier in the year, so production manager Aaron Booth again returned to Haydn Cruickshank and the team in West London.
For this one, they were also asked to supply a lighting and visuals director, so regular Colour Sound collaborator Sam ‘Kenny’ Kenyon stepped up and took over programming and running of the show’s lighting and video.
Utilising the same basic rig as before, they wanted to recreate the looks, scenes and atmosphere that had worked so well previously.
The venues were mainly theatres and concert halls, all with a wide variety of stage spaces, so it was essential that the rig was adaptable. Combining a bit of rock ‘n’ roll with some theatre methodology, using trusses for some shows and house fly bars for others, Kenny ensured that there was maximum production continuity each day.
The lighting rig was based on three trusses - front, mid and rear - plus a fourth tr
India - Based in Mumbai, Chakor Sound’s recent investment in a Yamaha Rivage PM7 digital mixing system has paid dividends.
Established over four decades ago, Chakor Sound has grown to become one of India’s leading providers of live sound and other audio solutions, as well as servicing international tours. Maintaining an inventory of audio systems, its relationship with Yamaha dates back to its investment in analogue mixers, later upgrading to the LS9 and M7CL digital mixing consoles.
Since then, the company has entrusted all of its investment in digital consoles with the Yamaha brand. This has included most of the Yamaha range, including the CL5 and QL5. The company has recently purchased a Rivage PM7 digital mixing system
“Rivage PM7 offers similarly high standards of operation and workflow efficiency to Yamaha’s flagship Rivage PM10 digital mixing system, but in a relatively compact, portable package. Features like the Rupert Neve Designs SILK processing and the advanced DaNSe noise suppression plug-in raise everything to a whole new level," says Ankit Purao, mixing engineer at Chakor Sound. “It has changed the way how I mix shows, the console layout is so intuitive and user-friendly.”
UK - The team behind the ground-breaking Blackout installation have released the results of the UK Backstage Entertainment Industry’s Evaluation on Mental Health Awareness.
This pioneering study was launched alongside the acclaimed 6-minute immersive experience at September’s PLASA Show, held at London Olympia. Funded by leading industry associations PLASA, the ALD, the ASD, the ABTT and the PSA, the academic analysis was conducted by Dr Paul Hanna, research director in clinical psychology at the University of Surrey. Hanna has worked closely with Blackout’s core creative team since they launched the installation in May 2019 at The Guildford School of Acting.
According to the survey, the prevalence of mental health issues among those working in the UK technical, backstage and entertainment industry is far higher than the national average. More than half (58.7%) of those surveyed admitted to suffering from a mental health problem, way above the UK national average prevalence rate of 25%. Women are more often affected, with 71.1% of females stating they currently have, or previously had, a mental health problem compared to 54.2% of males. Working in the industry is often a contributing factor, with 45.5% of those surveyed stating that they did not have a mental health issue before starting work in the industry.
Mig Burgess, who headed up the Blackout project, comments: “I am thrilled that as many as 1,300 of our colleagues have contributed to this important survey. We are so lucky to have Paul working w
UK - The Stage to Studio competition for the best audio mix, hosted by PLASA in association with Sound on Sound and Headliner magazines, ends on Monday, 13 January. Those interested in entering can find out more on the PLASA Show website.
The competition launched in November inviting submissions for the best mix of VC Pines’ Stage to Studio session from PLASA Show 2019. The packed sessions saw a line up of emerging artists perform live, headlined by VC Pines who was recently BBC Radio One’s artist of the week. The sessions were mixed at the show by eminent engineers, with Pines’ recording overseen by Jamie McEvoy (Noel Gallagher, Placebo, the Vaccines.) The raw audio files were then released for the competition.
Audio professionals and enthusiasts from around the world have already entered, vying for one of two professional audio packages worth £1,000 each. Genelec are giving away a pair of 8320 monitors with additional GLM software, and Shure are offering a KSM32 microphone and set of SRH1540 headphones.
The judging team is comprised of representatives from Headliner, Sound on Sound, Genelec, Shure, Miloco Studios, PLASA, and VC Pines. The winners for the two competition categories - Best Original Mix and Best Alternative Mix - will be announced in February.
The Stage to Studio competition closes on midnight (GMT) on Monday 13 January. To find out more about entering please visit:
USA - AMS Neve and Westlake Pro have partnered to create the first AMS Neve Showroom in the US. Located at Westlake Pro’s headquarters in North Hollywood, the space provides an environment for clients to listen to the entire AMS Neve product portfolio.
David Walton, AMS Neve’s distribution manager, comments: “It’s really exciting to be working with Westlake Pro and the new showroom because they have enormous experience, ranging from frontline sales to complete integrations and development of some of the biggest, most famous studios around the world. With products like mixing consoles, support is very important. Westlake’s experience with design and integration, as well as on-going support for the products they sell, means that we are in a really good position to work together moving forward both with existing and new products.”
Walton adds that, as AMS Neve is a British company, the physical and time difference between the UK and the US is best overcome by partnering with Westlake, particularly in areas such as customer support.
“Our valued US customers can be confident that their calls, questions, maintenance, and support needs will all answered promptly and efficiently,” he says.
Joe Taupier, president of Westlake Pro, adds: “Westlake Pro is proud to be the first authorised AMS Neve demo showroom in the United States. Our fully functional AMS Neve Showroom has Dante connectivity throughout, so whether you want to hear the capabilities of the Genesys Black in stereo or Atmos, we are ready for you.”
Europe - Nexo has unveiled two new compact point source loudspeaker models in its P+ Series. The P8 and P10 are “true multi-purpose performers that have serious ambitions to become just as ubiquitous in the audio marketplace as their predecessors, the classic PS Series cabinets”.
The P8 arrives exactly 20 years after the launch of the PS8, a super-compact stage monitor and PA speaker which, together with the larger PS10 (launched 1993), became a staple product in rental inventory for AV and audio production companies, and a common sight in fixed installations.
At its manufacturing HQ just north of Paris, France, Nexo has invested in new tooling and assembly plant to produce the curvy modern enclosures that are the signature of its new P+ Series. Re-imagined for the 2020s, the P8 and P10 models will put entirely new possibilities into the hands of the sound designer and engineer, says the company.
Inside custom birch and poplar plywood shells, the P8 features a coaxial 8” LF driver with 1.5” diaphragm HF driver, and the P10 has a coaxial 10” Neodymium LF driver and 1.7” diaphragm HF driver. The horn driver can be rotated in both cabinets, something of a Nexo trademark after it was innovated in the PS Series. However, in the new P+ Series, the quick-release Magnelis steel grille can be quickly removed, allowing the horn to be swapped out, changing the standard 100x100 degree dispersion for a 110x60 degree alternative.
The custom-designed coaxial drivers are at the heart of these speakers, responsible for smooth, clean sound and impre
UK - Pantomime season in the UK and Ireland brought another crop of hilarity and slapstick to stages up and down the countries.
One of the most high-profile presentations for this season was UK Productions’ Peter Pan at Blackpool Grand Theatre, directed by Anthony Williams and lit by Andy Webb.
Andy specified all-Robe LED fixtures with the T1 Profile at the core of his lighting scheme. The design also included Spiider wash-beams, ParFect 100s and 150s, DL4S Profiles, LEDWash 300s and CycFX 8s.
Andy has a lot of experience in lighting the world of pantos, which requires some classic theatre treatments, but also leaving room for experimentalism and fun. He has also worked at the Grand Theatre before, an original Frank Matcham designed house - and now a Grade II Listed building - dating back to 1894 that is exceptionally tight for space when staging complex contemporary productions.
Andy explained how he wanted to light Peter Pan differently from a standard panto as the storyline “had the latitude for us to be much more ‘musical’ in approach”. His idea was to emphasise and build up the characters and locational compositions rather than relying just on the slapstick - which was there, but more understated and thoughtful that you’d expect!
Consequently, lighting went the same way, offering a lot more multi-layered cues, depth and texturing than might be found in traditional panto. Also, being Peter Pan, there was the great dramatic vehicle of flying to add excitement to the performance!
Three Foy flying tracks over t
Poland - Absen has appointed SQM as the company’s official distributor in Poland. SQM, a specialist provider of multimedia and event services, will have exclusive rights over the sale and distribution of the Aries AX1.5 MiniLED rental display, in the Polish rental staging market.
Headquartered in Poznan, SQM provides multimedia and audio-visual rental services for trade fairs, conferences and events across Europe. The company has recently added over 100sq.m of Absen’s AX1.5 product - part of the Aries MiniLED rental series - to its inventory, making it one of the few partners to be able to offer rental customers such a high-quality 1.5mm fine pitch LED display.
“Quality is the most important factor for us and the AX1.5 certainly delivers on so many levels,” says Michal Górski, CEO at SQM. “After visiting Absen’s manufacturing base in China and witness-testing the product ourselves, we can confidently say that the AX1.5 is the best 1.5mm rental display on the market right now so we are thrilled to be able to be offer it to our European customers.”
Maya Shu, regional sales manager for Absen Poland, comments: “We are excited to have SQM as our distribution partner and are looking forward to working closely with them on opportunities the region. SQM are a forward-thinking company with an excellent reputation for quality and service, so we are confident they will strengthen Absen’s position as the go-to provider of LED displays in Poland.”
UK - So successful has been the debut of Martin Audio’s new WPS line array on the Eddie Izzard tour that Capital Sound has taken the opportunity to extend its inventory, after winning the bid for the Tim Minchin tour - since the two UK itineraries overlapped.
WPS is the latest model in the Wavefront Precision series, which features scalable resolution for greater flexibility in amplifier management and optimisation of coverage, consistency and control. WPS comprises 2 x 8” LF drivers, 4 x 4” midrange drivers and 4 x 1” exit HF compression drivers loaded by a moulded HF horn which occupies the full width of the enclosure.
In addition to stand-up comedy, WPS this time also needed to reproduce a full band, with the artist’s grand piano supported by brass, keys, bass and guitar, requiring 56 inputs at the sound desk. FOH engineer would be the experienced Dave Roden, who has worked through many generations of Martin Audio PA’s over the years with his regular charges, the Stereophonics (and recently with their lead singer Kelly Jones).
Roden had been asked to seek alternative bids for the tour when Capital Sound’s Paul Timmins intervened. “Dave had possibly been considering another brand solution due to its weight and size when I mentioned the Martin Audio WPS system which I thought would also meet the criteria, when other systems would have been too heavy,” he states. “I told him about the success of WPS on the Eddie Izzard tour and he seemed happy with the solution. Martin Connolly worked up the quotation and we were successful, afte
USA - At NAMM 2020, monitoring specialists PSI Audio will exhibit their active studio speakers, including the A17-M, A23-M and subwoofers A225-M and A125-M.
In addition to the monitor speakers, PSI Audio will also show the AVAA C20. This product helps with controlling the part of room acoustics that is generally most challenging to treat: the low frequencies from 15Hz to 150Hz.
With its five-inch woofer membrane, the PSI Audio A17-M is fairly small compared to a lot of other nearfield monitor speakers. Due to the use of innovative proprietary technology like Adaptive Output Impedance (AOI), Compensated Phase Response (CPR) and Class G/H amplification, the A17-M provides great accuracy.
For those who require a larger speaker, PSI Audio’s A23-M “delivers exceptional range and accuracy for discerning producers and engineers”. For added flexibility, the speaker’s tweeter and midrange driver are mounted to a rotatable baffle. This feature gives users the free choice between setting the A23-M up horizontally or vertically while retaining its sound quality.
Finally, The Active Velocity Acoustic Absorber AVAA C20 active bass trap has the power to eliminate low-frequency resonances from a room by imposing an acoustic impedance that acts like a big hole in the wall. It “sucks in” the affected resonant frequencies between 15Hz and 150Hz without introducing any form of counter-noise.