World - Huntly Christie, CEO of Christie Lites, has released the following statement in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic: “Like every other company in our business, Christie Lites is not immune and at the end of last week I enacted some difficult measures to counter the effects of the ‘shock-stop’ the industry has endured as a result of the COVID-19 virus. Sadly, this included laying off approximately 200 staff globally. This has definitely been the most difficult situation I have experienced in the company’s 35yr history. We’ve worked extremely hard to build and assemble a great global team and it was a really painful process to see some of our people lose their jobs.”
He continues: “As such, I feel it is important to speak about this publicly and this past week have taken several interviews with mainstream media outlets in North America. I have given an honest account to the media about the devastation to the industry as a whole and the effects on Christie Lites. I feel it is important to speak to the economic consequences that the Coronavirus has caused. In my opinion, we have some leaders and politicians failing to use pragmatism and science to guide their communication and decision making and I did not want to watch 200 Christie Lites staff lose their jobs quietly and without a voice.”
“Some people may take these media interviews and measures taken to mean that Christie Lites is now unstable. In actual fact, I would like to reassure everyone that we are extremely stable and rest assured that Christie Lites will be here for our
South Africa - As South Africa declares a national state of disaster in light of the current global pandemic caused by the coronavirus, DWR Distribution has issued the following:
“The measures that government has implemented, including preventing gatherings of more than 100 people, has enormous implications for the eventing industry in South Africa and across the world. It is fair to assume that the events industry will be hard-hit by the current situation - but it is important to remember that this is temporary, and we are not alone as every industry, sector and market will be under pressure due to the knock-on effects of the pandemic and our world governments are mobilising plans to mitigate these effects - South Africa included.
“What sets the eventing industry apart is that we are resilient, we are not afraid of hard work and most importantly, we look after each other. During this difficult time, we encourage all of our clients and friends in the industry to remain positive, to stand together and to remember that the whole country is going to need a really great party in a few weeks time when this is all over, and we will be ready and waiting to turn on the lights, pump up the volume and celebrate life as never before.
“Over the next few weeks, we would like to encourage you to use this time to your advantage. We will be ramping up our training programmes so that technicians who are not working on shows right now can beef up their skills. Please take a look at our training calendar which will be updated regularly to book your spot. Our
UK - A petition has been launched urging the UK government to offer economic assistance to the events industry during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. Instigated by Matt Rakowski of DBpixelhouse, the petition’s aim is: “For the UK government to provide economic assistance to businesses and staff employed in the events industry, who are suffering unforeseen financial challenges that could have a profound effect on hundreds of thousands of people employed in the sector.”
To-date, the petition has been signed over 131,000 times – surpassing the 100,000-signature threshold required for the issue to be considered for debate in parliament.
Rakowski comments: “The response has been phenomenal so far, we’re at just over 131,000 – which, considering we launched on Thursday evening, is a remarkable achievement, although not surprising considering how many people work in our industry.”
“I’d like to take this opportunity to request we keep this matter at the top of the news agenda for our industry. The current climate looks as though things are only likely to get worse over the coming weeks and months. It’s vital that we stick together as an industry and do everything we can to mitigate the fallout from the current situation.”
“I have written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Prime Minister, my local MP and various members of the cabinet and the shadow cabinet. The content of my letter was to la
UK - Merseyside-based Adlib has made a sizeable investment in Ayrton fixtures by adding Khamsin-S, Bora-S and Diablo LED profiles and wash lights to its inventory, purchased from Ambersphere, Ayrton’s exclusive distributor for the UK.
“Adlib’s policy is to look to the future of technology and be at the forefront of what’s coming next,” says head of lighting and video, Tom Edwards. “Over the past two years we have seen significant growth in both our lighting and video departments as the markets we operate in change and expand. We focus on lasting relationships with clients over many years, so it’s exciting for us that some of the fantastic companies and artists are developing along with us and we can support them across such a wide spectrum of live events and special projects.
“To facilitate this, we were looking to add some big, powerful LED fixtures that were bright enough to handle the areas that we are growing into - fixtures that were comfortable in arenas and larger venues, with a full feature set, framing shutters, CTO wheels, and all the other essentials. The Ayrton products ticked all of these boxes.”
Edwards first spotted Bora and Khamsin at a tradeshow in the company of Ambersphere: “It was the quality of light coming out of the Bora wash light that caught my eye and especially impressed me,” he says. “It is very rare that you see something in the ‘bread & butter’ range that excites - and on the face of it the Bora specs seem nothing out of the ordinary - but when I saw the fixture, it was like seeing some
USA - Bandit Lites recently made another investment in growing its touring inventory with a sizeable purchase of Elation Professional Proteus Maximus fixtures, Ayrton Khamsins and Robe BMFL WashBeams.
The Elation Professional Proteus Maximus is slated for the Reba McEntire’s upcoming tour featuring a lighting design by Gayle Hase and David Hare. With its ability to cut through great distances, hardy water and dust-proof design, the IP65 rated LED Profile fixture is a great addition to any tour.
“I spent a lot of time looking for long throw fixtures with a bold beam and kept coming back to the Maximus,” shares Bandit Lites director of technical services, Jake Tickle. “Coupled with its advanced feature set and the IP rating, the Elation Proteus Maximus fills a hole in our inventory.”
The newly designed Ayrton Khamsin was recently featured on Robb Jibson’s lighting design for Chevelle’s winter tour. The high-end 750 W LED fixture features a double rotating gobo wheel on a single axis allowing stunning morphing effects.
“Building off our existing Ayrton inventory, the Ayrton Khamsin was the right choice for a large format LED moving head,” says Tickle. “The Ayrton product line has been rock-solid in both our touring and installation market. Between that and the support provided by ACT, it is easy to invest in such a versatile product.”
Due to the popularity of the Robe BMFL WashBeam, Bandit invested in additional luminaires, with many delegated to Dave Butzler’s design on the Garth Brooks stadium tour and the NAS
Norway - Originally built in 1816 and located in the Norwegian city of Trondheim, Trøndelag Teater is the oldest theatre in Scandinavia in continuous use. In September 1997, it underwent refurbishment and re-opened as part of a modern complex incorporating the old auditorium, supplemented by four new stages of various shapes and sizes.
More recently, the decision was made to update the theatre’s incumbent console and invest in a desk that would provide it with a more flexible, powerful system, choosing a DiGiCo Quantum7T with dual Quantum engines.
Siril Gaare, Trøndelag’s head of sound, has worked at the theatre since 1998, first on a freelance basis, then making it her full-time home in 2008, before taking up her current role in 2011.
“In 2018 we knew it was time to change our main stage console,” she says. “We were looking for a more mobile and flexible system. We wanted to be able to sit in the auditorium, but still be part of the team during rehearsals. We also missed having an App that would allow us to go on stage to do certain settings from there.”
Gaare and her team arrange for demos of several consoles, all of which, she says, had more or less what they were looking for, but chose the Q7T, purchased through DiGiCo’s Norwegian distributor, Scandec Systemer AS, for its theatre software and all the opportunities that presented them.
“The redundancy with the two engines was important, as was the feeling of solid hardware in the console,” she continues. “The power of Q7T was very important and running a show
USA - The team at Point Source Audio has grown again with three new additions across the education and customer service teams. Joe Cota has joined the manufacturer as customer education specialist while Justin Hall becomes key account manager and Mitchell Ho is named as account manager, Western US.
Cota brings with him a background as a worship pastor and vocalist. “I’m a professional singer and musician by trade so I can relate to many of the challenges our customers face out in the field,” he explains. “I really enjoy the education component of what I do and the ability I have to help customers solve their audio challenges.”
Hall is a seasoned account manager. “I have serviced customers, managed projects, and dealt with international distributors for a great deal of my career,” he reflects. “I enjoy helping people, so the best thing about dealing with my customers here is that I get to provide a solution to a problem they may be experiencing or help them with their needs.”
While this is Ho’s first step into the business out from minor league baseball, he has been around professional audio his entire life. “I have grown up around Point Source and have seen the work and effort that it takes to make the reputation it has today,” he says. “I want to continue building that reputation with every customer I meet by always putting the customers’ needs first.”
“We are delighted to welcome all three of these highly talented individuals into our Point Source Audio family,” adds James Lamb, president at Point Source Aud
The Netherlands - Audio consultants and system designers, Noizboyz, chose TiMax SoundHub to add an immersive extra dimension to the live sound profile of Dutch Indie band, Kensington, for three recent sell-out gigs at Amsterdam’s 17,000-capacity Ziggo Dome. Noizboyz have been Kensington’s designers for four years, working with them in the Ziggo Dome and Johan Cruijf ArenA.
Following a demonstration with Phlippo Productions for client, Friendly Fire as well as Kensington, Noizboyz Pieter Doms and Thomas Van Hoepen, together with Nathan Leenders from Phlippo (Friendly Fire’s preferred supplier) were given ‘carte blanche’ to create an audio system for the gigs.
Showcasing the dramatic difference in aural effect between stereo output and an immersive spatial mix set up, created as an A/B (stereo mix/immersive mix) macro built on a Digico desk, Noizboyz convinced Kensington’s FOH engineer Ilja Traas and Kensington’s production manager Marcel Buurman of the benefits for audiences.
However, as Pieter Doms points out, “Carte blanche is never carte blanche”. Audio system set up is dictated by the needs of the staging and the band and not vice versa. So, following negotiation, Noizboyz won agreement for four loudspeaker arrays across the stage, with outer arrays 32m apart and inner arrays, nine.
Noizboyz had put their trust in the flexibility and adaptability of TiMax which handles this typical sort of production constraint easily and effectively. Pieter, claims, “Without TiMax this just wouldn’t have been possible. I could try but
USA - First created in 1943, New York Fashion Week (NYFW) is a semi-annual gathering of renowned and emerging fashion designers seeking to unveil their latest collections to buyers and media members from around the world.
As a featured participant in the event, the Australian clothing brand Zimmermann, led by designer Nicky Zimmermann, enlisted the assistance of fashion event agency Shades of Grey to create a guest experience that would leave a lasting impression.
Held at SIR Stage37, the event production team worked with the multi-discipline design firm Enlumen who created a lighting design using Robe Lighting PATT 2013 and picklePATT luminaires supplied by 4Wall.
“The original design brief was to create a hanging sculpture of light in a gold room that enhanced and warmed the tones of the treated walls and custom carpet,” began Shawn Kaufman, Enlumen. “Over the years, Zimmermann has really looked to evolve their show and create dynamic thoughtful designs that are cohesive environments, so we didn’t want to create something that was derivative of what had been done in the past.
“We’ve often thought of using the PATT 2013 and picklePATT fixtures for other projects and we realized they would be perfect for this design due to the warmth of the light and their form-factor that would create a unique visual experience to enhance the show.”
Moving forward to realize the experiential lighting design for the February 2020 fashion showcase, Kaufman and the Enlumen team began by visualising the layout of the space and where the fixtur
UK - Bristol’s oldest gallery, the Royal West of England Academy (RWA), sought the help of GDS to bring their Africa State of Mind exhibition to life for their ‘After Hours’ event. The exhibition featured photography from all over the African continent so the RWA wanted to use vibrant lighting to evoke the beauty of a Saharan sunset.
Having already worked with the Bristol-based lighting manufacturer to transform their gallery and workshop studio spaces in 2019, the RWA were keen to see the bespoke lighting design GDS could create to enhance both their external and internal spaces during the event.
In order to achieve the rich colour palette that the RWA desired over such a large-scale area, GDS chose FOS, Brick and X-Brick fixtures from Italian lighting manufacturer DTS to create a carefully-crafted, even wash of light over the entire façade of the impressive building. A GDS brand partner since last year, DTS products deliver consistent power, and the output of their Brick fixture is so impressive, it could be seen even in broad daylight.
To mirror the natural beauty of sundown on the Sahara, GDS programmed five minute-long colour sequences of vivid red, amber and orange into rich purple and deep indigo, using gradients to create a subtle ambience.
Internally, GDS used uplighters and 2 DTS Alchemy 5’s to light up the RWA’s famous dome. The 6-colour light engine and soft edged beam of the Alchemy 5 helped to create a soft gradient of light, that bathed the entrance hall and grand staircase in amber-white, burnt-orange, blue an
USA - The award-winning Blue Man Group has taken to the road, and is taking immersive sound along with it for the first time. The group’s current North American Tour officially opened this past September at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles, after developing the production at Fayetteville, Arkansas’ Walton Arts Centre. The Pantages show marked the first of more than 50 cities across the continent that will ultimately welcome the tour in its first season.
Showgoers will also experience L-ISA, L-Acoustics’ immersive-sound technology which Blue Man Group North American Tour sound designer Tony Pittsley says literally puts the audience onstage with the show’s three ironically comic and palpably percussive performers. “With L-ISA, the sounds of the show can move around the stage and the room and appear to come from where they’re supposed to originate from, which engages the audience way more deeply,” he explains. “You don’t feel as though you’re sitting there watching a show as much as you’re feeling enveloped by the experience.”
With L-ISA, audio elements are now literal objects that can seamlessly move throughout the performance space along with the performers and the narrative. The L-ISA Controller provides key parameters for each object: Pan (horizontal location), Elevation (vertical location), Width (the size of an object), and Distance (perceived proximity and reverberation), and L-ISA can manage up to 96 objects and up to 64 physical speaker outputs at a sample rate of 96 kHz.
To bring this to life, L-ISA Immers
UK - Supporting the Keifer Sutherland Band’s performance on their recently completed tour was an evocative Dan Williams designed lightshow that featured Chauvet Professional Rogue R2 Wash fixtures. Like the rest of the fixtures and towers in the touring rig, the RGBW moving wash units were supplied by Colour Sound Experiment.
Positioned on six towers that spanned the upstage deck, the Rogue R2 Wash fixtures provided stunning back washes that accentuated Sutherland and his bandmates on stage, in addition to creating mood-evoking aerial effects.
“Before I sat down and did some renders, I met with Kiefer’s music manager to learn about his vision for the show,” says Williams, owner of DanDoesLights. “Understandably, given his vast experience as an actor, Kiefer wanted a theatrical look, which I thought fit the driving concept behind this tour very well. There is a very distinct and powerful storytelling element to his music and we wanted to reflect this in our design.”
Williams punctuated his design with multiple dramatic moments, downlighting Sutherland and the other band members at different points in the show. “There was the view that these are all very talented musicians, so we should concentrate on lighting them as well as Kiefer,” he says. “Toward this end, we highlighted lots of the band members solos with spots at points, without much no else going on. With some of the slower songs, we would start with small spots on band members and then the looks would ‘grow’ with the song.”
To accentuate the dramatic effect on
Germany - The Federal Joint Committee health agency has chosen Shure Microflex Complete for its Berlin headquarters.
Tasked with implementing health reform bills and directives across Germany, the Federal Joint Committee required a comprehensive and flexible conferencing solution for a range of large and small meeting and conference spaces at its new headquarters, which is located near Berlin’s Tiergarten.
The contract for the installation was put out to public tender and awarded to Berlin-based AV professionals PIK AG, with German touch technology and digital signage specialist MMT Network providing engineering plus planning services and support.
“In the process of moving to our new headquarters, we had to merge the conference facilities from the two buildings we used previously. We decided to migrate from older analogue technology to a new digital system,” explained Thomas Gutekunst, head of the Federal Joint Committee’s administrative department.
PIK AG selected a Shure Microflex Complete digital conference system, installing a total of 141 MXC615 table-top conferencing units that can be selected for operation in chairperson mode, delegate mode, or shared mode if two delegates are using the same unit.
Sixteen DIS-CCU control units act as a central system node, managing and powering the conference units, while providing additional channels for interpreters if needed.
“In our small and mid-sized conference rooms, we wanted to move away from projector technology and focus instead on using displays,” reveals Gutekunst.
France - On 26 February at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, an immersive symphonic concert was given by French violinist Renaud Capuçon and 40 musicians. Virtual Harmony took place under a 300sq.m dome with projection mapping. The immersive experience was powered by the Modulo Kinetic media server by Modulo Pi, and its new module for automatic blending and warping used as a preview.
The concert put the spotlight on 3Dvarius, the first 3D printed violin by Dassault Systèmes. Attended by 3,000 people surrounding the dome, the musical and visual experience was also streamed live on YouTube.
Event company Mvision oversaw the technical set-up. To project onto the entire dome surface, 12 video-projectors of 30,000 lumens were used. The video-projectors were fed by Modulo Kinetic, the fully integrated media server by Modulo Pi. To seamlessly project media on the dome screen, Modulo Kinetic’s new auto-calibration module was used as a preview. Thanks to the auto-calibration system, the soft edge blending and warping was automatically calculated and implemented by Modulo Kinetic for the 12 video-projectors installed, resulting in a seamless image across the 360° dome.
Renaud Gindre, technical director, worked on the video-projection beforehand: “In the showroom of Mvision, I could install a scale model of the dome to make all necessary tests and make sure the video-projection would work fine.” On site, the A/V team had just one night available to handle the video-projection. “This is a project I wouldn’t have done without Modulo Kinetic and th
Spain - Following the initial introduction of its all-new LMS series loudspeaker management processor in Q4 2019, with the LMS206 dual input / six output device, Amate Audio has launched the more extensive and powerful LMS608.
A completely new and robust loudspeaker management processor platform employing a 64-bit DSP architecture, LMS provides continuous ‘round the clock’ operation and uncompromising performance in the most adverse application environments. Fully configurable, each input is assignable to any output; with two crossovers - with selectable Butterworth, Linkwitz-Riley and Bessel filtering – and independent compressor/ limiter settings available on each output.
With four analogue inputs, a two channel AES/EBU digital input, and eight analogue outputs, all on balanced XLRs, the 1U 19” rackmount LMS608 offers advanced system configuration capabilities - comparable with Amate Audio’s NÍTID active loudspeaker series - for the management of large-scale passive sound reinforcement systems for touring, event or fixed installation applications. Higher performing 24-bit ADDA convertors on the units I/Os gives the LMS608 even higher sound quality than its less powerful sibling.
“The LMS608 greatly extends the advanced capabilities of our new loudspeaker management platform to a wider range of more complex applications,” states international sales manager Jordi Amate, “In terms of power, quality, reliability and ease of operability there is little in the market to challenge it.”
South Africa - DWR Distribution is holding DiGiCo training sessions presented by Kyle Robson in Cape Town (28 April) and Durban (14 May).
Delegates will be given a full demonstration of the DiGiCo S and SD Series digital mixing consoles as well as theoretical and hands-on training. DiGiCo is a user-friendly platform, and Kyle has useful tips and tricks to share.
Those participating are requested to bring along their laptop or PC with an Offline Editor pre-installed. Please also provide a copy of your ID. The cost is R700 and includes a light lunch and refreshments.
Conventions Cancelled - The convention/exhibition sector is being hit hard. Following the cancellation of Pro Light + Sound in Frankfurt, The 2020 NAB Show, which was slated to begin April 18 at the Las Vegas Convention Centre, has been cancelled.
"In the interest of addressing the health and safety concerns of our stakeholders and in consultation with partners throughout the media and entertainment industry, we have decided not to move forward with NAB Show in April. We are currently considering a number of potential alternatives to create the best possible experience for our community," Gordon H. Smith, president and CEO of the event, said in a statement on the National Association of Broadcasters website.
He added that they are "committed to exploring all possible alternatives so that we can provide a productive setting" for the event. The annual confab, which in 2019 reported attendance of roughly 90,000, includes a massive technology exhibition as well as a conference.
Sounds of Silence - The growing list of cancelled tours and gigs makes depressing reading. The Who were the first musicians to cancel a major tour in the UK and Ireland, saying the decision was made with "much regret" but "fans' safety is paramount". Due to start in Manchester on 16 March and finish at Wembley on 8 April, all 10 shows are now set to be rescheduled for later in the year. They have also called off a planned show at the Royal Albert Hall in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust, which was set to take place on 28 March, but say they plan to reschedule this as well.<
Russia - Audac has partnered with AV-Centre as the new exclusive distributor of their audio solutions in Russia. They will be managing the sales, distribution and service of the complete Audac product line in Russia from their offices in St. Petersburg and Moscow. AVC provides a wide range of audio equipment which will now be supported by Audac’s experience and products.
“We are excited to introduce the Audac family of audio products to the Russian market,” remarks Tatiana Schurova, managing director of AVC. “Their vision has always been focused on providing the right product for the customer.”
“Now Audac can add value to the customer experience in Russia with our complete line of products,” says Bart Vandermot sales executive at Audac. “These high quality products have proved to be a reliable solution around the world, and with this partnership in Russia we can extend our reach.”
UK - ISCEx 2020 (Coombe Abbey Hotel, 17-18 March) is to take place as scheduled this week, with certain modifications to the event schedule and social programme.
“Following the government’s recent announcement, we have made some updates to our coronavirus (Covid-19) statement in relation to ISCEx 2020 and the additional steps we are taking, which is published on our website,” says show organiser ISCE. “As a further measure, and in consultation with the catering team at Coombe Abbey, we have amended the networking dinner arrangements to allow for guests to enjoy a fine meal with drinks with an option to either stay at the dining tables or return to a more private area if they prefer. We will also be changing the usual self-serve buffet to serving a selection of individual hot food bowls for the lunch during the exhibition.
“As we write, there are currently more than 30+ manufacturers committed to attend and provide an outstanding opportunity for a relaxed, informal event and some thought-provoking seminars. We are continuing to closely monitor the developments and advice from the UK government, Public Health England, the NHS and the World Health Organisation. We are focused on maintaining normality where possible - as kneejerk reactions tend not to be helpful.
“This is clearly a fast-moving situation and the government will need to make some challenging decisions that are proportionate to the risks.
“We particularly ask that anyone planning to attend ISCEx 2020 that believes they may have been exposed to the Coronavirus, or who
USA - Lighting/production designer Jon Eddy is using 38 Claypaky Sharpys to illuminate the Original Misfits reunion shows featuring Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only. He also incorporated his Misfits lighting design into 2019 Psycho Las Vegas, the massive metal/punk rock festival held annually in August. Eddy is marking his fourth year designing for Psycho Las Vegas.
The Original Misfits got back together for a series of gigs last year and continue to play selected venues in 2020. Their next appearance will be headlining Mexico City’s Domination Fest in May.
The reunion shows, which included dates in LA, Denver and Seattle, coincided with the band’s 40th anniversary; they sold out their date at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
Eddy designed the shows with a huge fanned out finger rig; six of the long fingers feature 18 Sharpys, bottom hung. An LED videowall is upstage split into seven 5 x 20ft strips with strobes and blinders in between on ladders. Twelve Sharpys are bottom hung on upstage GT floor towers. An additional eight fixtures are on the downstage edge of the deck. DSS, Inc. provided the fixtures.
“Sharpy has been the main workhorse in my rigs for almost 10 years now,” says Eddy. “They’re the best, with the most even beam and fastest, smoothest motion - even with the pinspot beam at its narrowest - that beats every other beam fixture.”
Eddy notes: “Sharpys have always been the go-to fixtures that have set my shows apart. I love using beams and negative space in my designs.”
Psycho Las Vega
USA - Real-time media playback solutions heavyweight Green Hippo deployed its range of Hippotizer Media Servers to fight for world-class visuals with the season premieres of WWE Monday Night Raw and WWE Friday Night SmackDown television shows.
Fourteen Hippotizer Media Servers braved the WWE road: made up of Karst, Karst+ and Boreal+ machines. In total, more than 20,000 individual clips were processed during each performance, with pre-made content mixed with effects generated within Hippotizer V4.5.
The global entertainment company WWE - known for its audience-grabbing, in-ring energetic theatrical drama - wowed crowds across the US, Middle East and Europe with big name appearances and new staging augmented with mammoth LED screens and visuals.
“The team used a custom 4.5.2 build of the Hippotizer software, the biggest reason being so we could utilize SHAPE, which allowed production designer Jason Robinson to achieve effects he has been wanting to create for a long time,” says Tony Thompson from Upstaging, who oversaw the Media Server aspects of the WWE tour and specified the Hippotizer machines. “SHAPE was relatively simple to use, after a little training.”
The tour proved to be one of the first major examples of V4.5’s new output mapping feature, Object to Output, which maps content to outputs directly inside SHAPE’s 3D workspace, ingeniously simplifying the management of large numbers of displays.
The team’s army of Hippotizers comprised five Karst units with single output SDI 1920x1080; seven Karst+ with t
UK - Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre - the largest theatre in-the-round in the country - has recently upgraded its lighting rig to incorporate SolaFrame fixtures from High End Systems.
The glass-walled space, seats up to 750 people on three levels and is a seven-sided theatre suspended from four large columns. Although most of the theatre’s work is self-produced and bespoke for the space, its current programme requires a luminaire that can meet very different challenges; from straight plays, to musicals and even live music events.
“We were looking to replace our existing moving lights with a high-quality LED unit and had waited a number of years for the right fixture to become available,” says Mark Distin Webster, head of lighting. “Following much consideration, we felt the SolaFrame 1000 was the moving light that gave us the best spectrum of choice whilst still maintaining a high-quality core.”
The theatre’s design means all seats are less than 30ft from the circular stage. To give lighting designers immediate access to useful angles and looks, seven SolaFrame 1000 fixtures are interspersed with pre-existing wash units.
“Additionally, we put a SolaFrame 3000 high-CRI unit on centre as it’s always a popular lighting position and the 3000 has plenty of punch and huge amount of options,” explains Distin Webster. “Crucially, its 55° beam angle means it can fill a revolving stage in a single shot. Also, using the same product range allows for easy and precise colour matching to the other units around it.”
USA - In a city renowned worldwide for its music, live production companies need something extra special to highlight their status. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, ProductionOne has achieved this with the purchase of two Alcons Audio pro-ribbon systems. As company owner Kiley Butler says, “We love hearing people rave about how beautiful music sounds through them. The power with 90% less distortion than other systems creates a clarity unparalleled in professional audio.”
Having invested in both LR18 compact mid-size line-array and LR16 compact line array systems, the LR18 was quickly put to work on shows by multiple Grammy winner Alison Krauss. “It felt like we were in a studio with 3,000 other people,” says Kiley.
ProductionOne was founded almost 20 years ago, working on youth and non-profit events. The company has grown steadily into a full-service production company, which serves a wide range of events in the live concert, touring and corporate markets. In 2019, the management team wanted to invest in a major new sound reinforcement system, initially looking at conventional line arrays. But a trip to the annual InfoComm show in Orlando changed everything.
“Being audio nerds, we knew of Alcons Audio and we were drawn to learning about the engineering behind the pro-ribbon drivers,” says Kiley. “We looked at all the major brands and, until InfoComm, we were thinking of growing the business with other systems. But after visiting the Alcons listening room, any idea of using traditional compression drivers was ruined.”
France - Classically trained French musician, DJ and electronic music producer Worakls is renowned for his melodic and experimental sounds. He toured his latest Orchestra album throughout 2019 to a series of 1000-1500 capacity venues and concluded the year by stepping up to three arena-sized shows - Zeniths in Paris and Toulouse and the Salle 3000 concert hall at the Lyon Palais des Congrès - complete a with a 31-piece orchestra.
To light these larger shows plus some additional European dates scheduled for early 2020, lighting designer Nicolas Galloux was asked onboard to add his visual magic into this musical collaboration.
Nicolas specified around 80 Robe moving lights to assist him in the task, including MegaPointes, BMFL Blades, Spiiders and LEDBeam 150s, all supplied by French rental company S Group who also provided the audio.
S Group’s technical director Nicolas Cantier was instrumental in getting Nicolas G involved with lighting these important shows, on which he worked closely with the artist to evolve the appropriate ambience and mood.
They made the decision that lighting should be the primary visual medium, so no video meant Nicolas was under a lot of pressure to accomplish all the desired effects and ramp up the overall emotional impact of the performance, a task he achieved with style and flare.
“With Worakls’ intricate music and all the depth and richness brought by the orchestra, I knew that with the right fixtures, I could achieve everything needed with lighting,” he explained.
The design and physi