will-nicola-eddyFirst Dance for Symphotech at Liverpool test event
Tuesday, 11 May 2021

UK - Eyes in the UK and across the World focused on Liverpool’s Bramley Moore Dock successful test events, at Circus, hailing the return of live music from lockdown, with two nights of dance music (30 April/1 May), with over 6,000 people in the audience and Symphotech managing the health & safety.
Symphotech worked from the conception of the test events, supporting the organisers, Circus Music and The Events Company UK, to create a Covid safe event. With the emphasis on the research and test event aspect of the shows, protocols had to meet the criteria required by the scientists and multiple stakeholders.
Symphotech director Eddy Grant was their project leader, producing a detailed, constantly evolving risk analysis for the staff and the audience. He explains: “When the roadmap out of lockdown was announced by the government, in February, I spoke with Sam Newson (The Events Company UK), Richard McGinnis (Circus Music) and Culture Liverpool, aware that DCMS were favouring Liverpool as a location. All were enthusiastic to ‘Make Events Happen’ and the ensuing months have been spent considering the additional challenges to working a normal gig.
“The almost daily shifting sands of the science meant we weren’t certain which elements the scientists were going to look at, with the additional protocols each brought into the frame adding to our planning.”
Speaking on site, Sam Newson states: “Eddy has worked very closely with me in the weeks leading in to these shows. The science has been changing daily to trigger us figuring out wh

dpanew-headsetsDPA debuts small-form headset models
Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Denmark - DPA Microphones has introduced the 4466 CORE Omnidirectional and 4488 CORE Directional Headset Microphones. Based on the design of the company’s 6066 Subminiature Headsets, the new solutions feature the brand’s 5mm round microphone capsule. These latest offerings are designed for use in theatre, broadcast, worship and corporate conferencing.
With a one-size-fits-all design and adjustable height and boom length, the 4466 and 4488 headsets accommodate small to large head types. A three-point gripping system (above, below and behind the ear) ensures a greater level of security, while the flexible ear hooks provide continued comfort during extended use.
“Our customers have been asking us to deliver our latest small form-factor headsets with the highly regarded 5mm mic capsules,” says DPA product manager René Mørch. “With the purposeful design of our boom and locking system, the headset can accommodate all head sizes with just one boom length. This is even true for the directional option, for which the correct placement is so important. With the addition of the 4466 and 4488, users now have access to a wide array of solutions to meet an even greater variety of needs while also maintaining the typical clear and transparent DPA sound, which produces high speech intelligibility.”
In addition, the new headsets share the same interchangeable cable and boom options as the 6066 Subminiature Headsets. This includes the 90-degree cable management at the neck. The headset frame, boom and capsule have a non-reflective surface for unobtrusi

ovation-reve-e-3Ovation Rêve E-3 creates colours and whites
Tuesday, 11 May 2021

USA - Chauvet has introduced the Ovation Rêve E-3, a versatile fixture that allows theatres, broadcast studios, houses of worship and other users to get more for their lighting investment by serving as both a variable white and colour rendering unit.
The Ovation Rêve E-3 performs this double duty without sacrificing brightness or performance, says the company. When creating whites with a 95+ CRI and high TM-30 RF, it delivers a level of brightness equal to that of a 750-1000W incandescent fixture. It also features a linear CCT adjustment with +/- green to match other sources light sources in a rig, and colour temperature pre-sets from 2800 K to 8000 K with high CRI and CQS.
Brightness levels are even greater when the Rêve E-3 is creating realistic colours, ranging from soft pastels to bold primaries, with its RGBAM LED engine. Its “mint” colour LED has been shown to be more efficient at producing a much brighter output as well as higher quality whites and colours.
“The Rêve E-3 represents an important advance for Ovation,” said Albert Chauvet, CEO of Chauvet. “Being able to create colours as well as whites, reduces the number of fixtures needed in a production. This saves space on the rig and in the warehouse, as well as on the truck, which makes it an ideal fixture for our industry as we emerge from the pandemic.”
The Rêve E-3 is virtually silent, making it suited for applications where ultra-quiet operation is valued. Selectable fan speeds make it possible to eliminate even the faintest sounds completely, while the fixture

shureShure extends Microsoft Teams certification
Tuesday, 11 May 2021

UK - Shure has announced that its recently launched MXA710 Linear Array Microphone is now Certified for Microsoft Teams. The MXA710 joins Shure's portfolio of conferencing solutions already certified for Microsoft Teams, giving installers and end users even more options for their environments.
“Shure's solutions are built for the hybrid workplace. Your customers, clients, and students will feel like they’re in the room with you when you use our market-leading array microphones,” said Paul Gunia, director of technology partnerships at Shure. “Our entire line-up of Microflex Advance array microphones is now Microsoft Teams certified.”
“Microsoft Teams Certification requires products to meet the most stringent audio quality standards in the AV industry,” said Albert Kooiman, senior director of Microsoft Teams Devices Partner Engineering and Certification. “Shure’s MXA710 provides customers with a high-quality audio experience for superior audio performance during conferencing sessions in an easy to install yet out of the way form factor.”

briteshotair-affairBriteShot switches to decontamination products
Tuesday, 11 May 2021

USA - BriteShot, vendor of LED lighting solutions, has shifted its manufacturing strategy amidst the global pandemic and now specializes in COVID-19 decontamination products. Mitigating COVID-19 exposure in indoor environments, BriteShot’s decontamination solutions include its AirAffair air filtration system and BriteShot decontamination tent.
“To help venues re-open safely amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, we have dedicated our R&D resources to design ground-breaking innovation in air filtration and air purification,” says Roy McDonald, co-founder at BriteShot. “With more than a decade of knowledge and experience working in the entertainment space, we aim to have our decontamination technology be a factor in helping entertainment venues, restaurants, schools, houses of worship and more, reopen their doors in a safe and effective way.”
BriteShot’s AirAffair system uses ‘scientifically backed technologies to effectively inactivate and filter contaminated airborne particulate matter’. When air first enters the unit, it passes through a pre-filter of a HEPA/MERV 10 rating to capture large particulate matter. Then, the remaining matter flows through a UV-C light germicidal and cold plasma chamber to kill off and target the core RNA of organisms that can become viral in the human body. To further purify, the air then passes through a MERV 13-rated filter to capture smaller contaminated air particles. Finally, the air is ionized and pumped back into the environment in a completely purified state.
“New York State guidelines dictate that i

aTIG strengthens Crestron team in France
Tuesday, 11 May 2021

France - Technological Innovations Group (TIG) has appointed Alexandre Martin into the role of residential sales engineer in France.
Reporting to Christophe Malsot, TIG's director of hospitality, leisure and retail, Alexandre will be the go-to technical specialist for system integrators and smart home customers, working closely with the expert regional sales team.
Christophe Malsot comments: "Alexandre is a Crestron certified programmer and will therefore make a superb asset to the team, thanks to his perspective acquired from past roles as System Integrator and Automation Programmer. He brings a technical mindset and vast industry knowledge to help us ensure our continued, exceptional customer service for the Residential market."
Alexandre adds: "I feel so happy and proud to join such a talented team and recognised brand. Crestron offers system integrators and homeowners alike with so many opportunities and I'm looking forward to providing our partners with the tools and knowledge they need to deliver outstanding Residential projects. Sharing this passion is what motivates us."

robe-ot-citiesTradition on trend for Robe at Nanning nightclub
Tuesday, 11 May 2021

China - Amsterdam -based live experience design studio Live Legends has delivered the full production design and implementation – including lighting, video / visual, laser, scenic and related 360-degree interior elements plus equipment specification, programming, and commissioning – for the new 1,200 capacity nightclub OT Cities Gui in Nanning.
This is the newest club experience presented by the Noa Group, located in Nanning, capital and largest populous city of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of southern China.
A Live Legends creative team led by principal designer and show director Daan Oomen, set designer Stefan Peters and senior lighting director Serge Patist specified 270 x Robe moving lights to be signature fixtures in the innovative venue, right at the core of the lighting design.
Central to the ambitious visual concept for OT Cities Gui is the rich and dynamic history and culture of the locality and the ancient ethnic Zhuang tribe in particular. The intricate geometry of Chinese Xiuqiu (silk balls), the Zhuang bronze drums and other ancient ritualistic objects are underscored with several slick, contemporary twists from a new era of entertainment, exuding quality, excitement, and a superlative guest experience.
“Our goal was to bring the beautiful culture of this minority to a new audience and mix it with modern technology to connect Zhuang history, via the ‘OT Cities’ brand, with a switched-on audience of millennials and generation Z,” explained Daan. “The quest is to amaze and surprise nightclub guests and basical

rebel-gymMartin Audio Blackline powers Riyadh gym
Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Saudi Arabia - When Middlesex Sound & Light (MSL) undertook a contract in Riyadh 16 months ago - to invest a new gym concept with a high octane ‘club-spec’ technical infrastructure - they little knew what was waiting around the corner.
“We shipped the gear out to Riyadh in February last year, and the following month COVID struck,” recalls project manager Toby Jones. “Rather than suspend the work, they decided to press ahead.” Engaging with local crews - communicating via video calls and different programming platforms - hey finally managed to fly out to commission the system during the brief pre-Christmas break from lockdown.
While this represented a joint venture between 1Rebel in the UK (represented by James Balfour and Giles Dean) and Pulse Fitness Group’s Fahad Alhagbani and Nathan Clute, there have subsequently been a number of venues open in London, all bearing the familiar imprint of Martin Audio BlacklineX loudspeakers.
“We had already spec’d Martin Audio in other 1Rebel venues as they represent great value for money, and display tremendous sonic quality,” said Toby. Large quantities of Martin Audio Blackline X12, X10, X8 and X115 and SX212 subwoofers were supplied locally by Martin Audio partner’s Dubai-based distributor, Pro Lab, along with 16 Adorn A55 for the waiting, changing and reception areas.
1Rebel Riyadh boasts separate male and female studios (with female being the larger). Each has its own clearly delineated fitness zones. Knowing that the spec needed to match the high intensity of these studios,

miley-cBroadweigh supports Miley Cirrus concert
Tuesday, 11 May 2021

USA - Broadweigh was the wireless load monitoring system of choice for California based Cassidyrig at a recent Miley Cyrus gig at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The performer was the musical guest at the NCAA’s Final Four basketball tournament on 3 April. In a Tribute to Frontline Heroes, Cyrus performed for an audience of first responders during the Capital One Tournament central show, airing on CBS between the first and second national semi-final games.
Dan Cassidy, MD of Cassidyrig explained: “We were delighted to be approached by Warner Broadcasting to handle the rigging for this fairly elaborate project. This halftime concert is one of the highlights of a season called March Madness so it’s a pretty big deal. As most people know, Miley Cyrus is anything but a conservative performer, so we realised that we’d be working on something fairly large scale and of course she didn’t disappoint. But with just a week to get everything set up, working around basketball games and concert rehearsals and putting in round the clock 24-hour shifts, we certainly had our work cut out.”
The Lucas Oil Stadium is naturally an extremely large and strong building so for Dan and the team, there were no real concerns about overloading or reaching certain elevation. Nevertheless, when dealing with any events like this, using load cells to confirm the weights is par for the course for Cassidyrig. “We had a couple of large cable bridges for audio and lighting, load cells on the structure, an elaborate set of lighting and four LED scenic wall element

designspaceProteus Hybrids light mile-long drive-thru
Tuesday, 11 May 2021

USA - Lighting design house, Lightswitch, transformed an everyday parking garage on the Arizona State University campus in Tempe into an experience for the senses and turned to Elation luminaires, including Proteus Hybrids, for much of the sensory-rich exhibit. Called designspace, the drive-thru experience featured visual design installations from industry professionals, structural artists HYBYCOZO and ASU students enrolled in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.
Lightswitch, who successfully redesigned The Morton Arboretum in Illinois into a drive-thru experience this past holiday season, tapped into that knowledge for the mile-long drive adventure through the Packard Parking Garage. Described as an exploration of the duality of space, both the space above us and the space between us, the experience took riders on an immersive journey from our world to outer space through a series of sculptural art pieces and sound, light and video installations.
The designspace project allowed students to display their art while working on the lighting, video and production skills they have learned through their studies, including how to set up all the gear. Lightswitch principal John Featherstone, who is quite familiar with the university through past collaboration with the design and art department’s Jake Pinholster, led the project design team.
The Lightswitch team spent two weeks with the students loading in, focusing, and programming the project. The white parking structure proved the perfect canvas for light with several Elation

ardaVan Damme deployed at Arda Recorders
Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Portugal - Arda Recorders, which opened in 2017, is located in the heart of Porto. It features five independent spaces with Van Damme cabling throughout.
Studio A features a vintage Neve 8068 console and a Fazioli F278 grand piano. It has a 100sq.m live room, three iso booths and an echo chamber with variable ceiling.
Studio B is suited for most modern productions, with a versatile 20m2 live room and a sound lock that doubles as an amp booth. Its control room is centred around a 32 channel Rupert Neve 5088, complemented with a great array of outboard gear. Studio C consists of a small live room and a control room for voice-over and overdubs sessions.
The Mixing Room is centred around 32 channels of Avid Artist Mix faders and more than 100 channels of vintage and modern hardware. The Mastering Studio was designed with quality acoustics in mind and has ATC main speakers and Burl conversion.
Van Damme was specified throughout the build. The project used 20 x 8 Way D-Sub to XLR cables leads which were made up on a very tight schedule, using both 8 pair multicore Blue Series and 8 pair multicore Green Series cable. 500m of 16 pair Blue Series, 200m of 12 pair Blue Series and 500m of Quad Microphone cable was also supplied to ensure maximum quality of sound.
Miguel Pinheiro Marques, Arda Suppliers, commented: "Our new studio facilities were built with record-making in mind and it’s a beautiful space for producers and engineers alike. We even have the city’s public vinyl library - with a collection of more than 35,000 records – here, so

usb-ultra-vsr-broadcastARX launches VSR Broadcast interface
Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Australia - ARX has introduced the USB Ultra I/O VSR Broadcast, a 24 bit high resolution plug and play USB 2 channel play and record digital/analogue pro audio interface. The USB Ultra I/O VSR Broadcast removes the need to use any existing sound card outputs, with their inherent noisy environment and problematic grounding.
Designed for interfacing USB equipped computers with the balanced inputs and outputs of professional sound systems, the full transformer balanced Inputs and Outputs on the USB Ultra I/O VSR Broadcast provide the isolation required to eliminate earth loops / ground hum and other extraneous interaction noise and distortion.
The USB Ultra I/O VSR Broadcast offers analogue style recording headroom with Analog 0dB In converting to –18dB and FS Digital providing Analog style headroom when recording in the digital domain. The -18dB Digital signal reverts to 0dB Analog Out, giving the user the best of both analogue and digital. In addition to the standard selectable sample rate of 44.1 KHz, the USB Ultra I/O VSR Broadcast also offers 48 KHz,88.2KHz, 96KHz & 192 KHz.
As part of the ARX Audibox range the USB Ultra I/O VSR Broadcast is a simply ‘plug and play’, installing as a fully compatible generic USB audio device and requiring no special driver program installation on Windows 10 or Mac OSX. The front panel features a standard Type B USB connector, as well as a ground lift switch and Status LEDs indicating the sample rate selected or available. The rear panel has Left and Right transformer balanced analogue Amphenol XLR Input

The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Green Light - Theatres across England have been given the green light to reopen from next week under the next stage of the government’s roadmap. Venues will be able to open with social distancing, with capacities capped at 50% or 1,000 people for indoor shows, and 50% or 4,000 people outdoors.
For many theatres it will mark the first time they have been able to open their doors in more than a year, with theatre bosses now looking forward to the possibility of social distancing being removed completely by June 21, the next date in the roadmap.
Prime minister Boris Johnson said theatres would be able to reopen on 17 May and added that the country was “on track" to move to Step 4 of the roadmap on 21 June, under which social distancing would be removed. "Today we are announcing the single biggest step in our roadmap and it will allow us to do many of the things we have yearned to do for a long time," he said.
On Broadway - Tickets for Broadway go on sale this week, although shows will not restart until 14 September. Theatres will then be allowed to fill 100% of capacity, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced. Thousands lost work when Broadway theatres closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic. "Broadway is a major part of our state's identity and economy, and we are thrilled that the curtains will rise again," Cuomo said on Twitter.
New York plans to lift the majority of coronavirus restrictions later this month, but Broadway needs more time for rehearsals and producers need time to advertise the shows. "Restarting Broadway is a

esc-2021Claypaky Xtylos plays key role at Eurovision 2021
Monday, 10 May 2021

The Netherlands - Osram, parent company of Claypaky, will be the official lighting partner of the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC), held this year at the Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam on 18-20 and 22 May 2021.
Claypaky will be represented by a complement of 481 Xtylos luminaires equipped with a tailor-made laser source and boasting concentrated beams of coloured light. They are being provided by the shows’ rental and production companies, including Ampco Flashlight, the ESC’s Official Technical Supplier for lighting.
“Xtylos was launched by Claypaky about 18 months ago and has already been used in a number of major world events and specified for others, which unfortunately were cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Claypaky sales director Alberico D’Amato. “All the Xtylos that will be used at the ESC 2021 are already available on the market and used by major rental companies across the globe.”
Although the stage has been redesigned, the ESC 2021 organisers have decided to maintain last year’s technical set-up, as the event was cancelled due to the pandemic. The Claypaky Xtylos were also part of that project and have been confirmed among the key lights of the event. Henk Jan van Beek of Light-H-Art, this years' ESC lighting designer, in fact called Claypaky's Xtylos “irreplaceable”.
Marcus Graser, Claypaky CEO, adds, “I am excited that the Claypaky Xtylos will be part of this celebrated event, which always has a wide echo in our industry. I also am confident that everyone will enjoy an unforgettable show highli

is-seriesAdamson debuts IS-Series Weatherized loudspeakers
Monday, 10 May 2021

Canada - Adamson Systems Engineering has introduced a range of new products available immediately for the installation market, including an extension to its IS-Series of installation loudspeakers and a suite of improved and updated design tools for architects, integrators, and sound designers.
With the introduction of the IS-Series Weatherized line, Adamson offers AV professionals a loudspeaker family purpose-built to ‘withstand the most extreme climates in the world’. Weatherized are suitable for marine and coastal venues, outdoor stadiums, open-air performance spaces, and other permanent outdoor installations.
“Adamson loudspeakers have always been known for their durability and sonic performance, both on the road and in permanent installations,” says Adamson’s head of product and technology Brian Fraser. “With the Weatherized line, we’ve added corrosion resistance and environmental sealing features that are going to ensure long-term durability in harsh environments without impeding performance.”
IS-Series Weatherized models achieve an IP55 rating without sacrificing performance or aesthetics. All structural steel elements of the IS-Series Weatherized cabinets are made of a high yield strength stainless alloy that offers 100% corrosion resistance. The new models also feature an interior and exterior coating with a distinctive smooth finish that provides a water-resistant seal and allows for easy cleaning and removal of dirt, grime, salt water or sand.
Explains Fraser: “Whether you’re dealing with sea water, intense heat o

popquizChauvet makes impact on Popquiz recordings
Monday, 10 May 2021

Belgium - The still-to-be-announced winners of Popquiz, a popular show on the VTM television network that asks 14 teams of two contestants to guess the titles of pop classic songs based on a series of audio and visual clues.
The winning pair, who will be announced soon now that the pre-recorded show is completing its 10-week run, will get to attend every concert in Belgium for one year, even sold out performances, once live music returns.
Adding to the show’s energy level was a distinctive set created by the Arf & Yes set design team that featured a high-impact lighting design anchored by 160 ÉPIX Strip Tour linear fixtures, as well as 48 ÉPIX Strip Tour 50 units and 25 COLORado 1 Solo washes from Chauvet Professional.
The Arf & Yes team hung the one-metre long LED strips in a circle over the stage deck, whilst the remaining ÉPIX units were integrated into the back of the set, and the COLORado washes were positioned as backlights for the audience.
By arranging the strips in a circular configuration, Arf&Yes endowed the set with a instantly recognizable identity, while evoking a touring concert image. “When people are going between channels and they come to Popquiz, they will immediately recognize the circle,” said Arf & Yes’ Jonas Weyn, who served as the lighting and video operator for the show. (Dirk Declercq and Marco Pauwels were the lighting directors).
The circle of ÉPIX Strip gave the design team a great deal of flexibility to come up with a wide variety of looks. To enhance this flexibility, Weyn used

waldorf-astoriaWaldorf Astoria rooftop restaurant adds Meyer to menu
Monday, 10 May 2021

USA - The Rooftop by JG at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills recently installed a trellis structure with retractable rain coverings and radiant heaters along with a complete renovation of the Meyer Sound foreground music system.
“The owners were acutely aware of the importance of sound in the overall customer experience, and they already were familiar with the quality of Meyer Sound products from other installations there since opening,” says John Swan of Las Vegas-based Technology West Group, who was design engineer and project manager for the upgrade. “This was an opportunity to raise the bar for audio even higher in this area.”
Comprising 17 UP‑4slim full-range loudspeakers and six MM‑10XP miniature subwoofers, the new rooftop system augments the total of 92 additional Meyer Sound self-powered loudspeakers that already were installed in five other public areas when the hotel opened in 2017.
“The UP-4slim was a perfect fit for the rooftop because the owners insisted on discreet loudspeakers that would blend into trellis beams,” continues Swan. “Not only did the UP-4slim have the slender profile needed, but Meyer also offers a custom colour option. In this case, the company making the trellis had their own paint formula, which they sent to Meyer Sound where it was matched perfectly. In addition, using Meyer Sound’s XP series loudspeakers allowed us to retain the advantages of self-powered systems without running even more AC conduit around the trellis.”
All the new loudspeakers are fully weather-protected, and the signal

imag-remembering-the-oscarsiMAG mobile facility stages virtual Hollywood show
Monday, 10 May 2021

UK - Remembering the Oscars, staring Strictly Come Dancing’s Aljaž Škorjanec and Janette Manrara, is a celebration of the Golden Age of Hollywood. With the originally intended 41-date UK theatre tour curtailed for two consecutive years because of the pandemic, Škorjanec and Manrara were desperate not to disappoint fans. The show’s producers, Steven Howard for The TCB Group and David Shepherd from Imagine This Live, looked for alternative solutions.
With streamed performances gaining increasing success, they turned to video production specialist iMAG Displays to help them bring the sparkling show to life in a series of streamed performances, which aired for three weeks from 27 March.
“When Steven and David got in touch with us, we were more than happy to help,” says iMAG founder and technical director, Alex Strachan. “We sent them pictures and information about our mobile virtual production studio, which was set up in the Bournemouth International Centre at the time, so they could see how this alternative solution could work for them.”
iMAG’s mobile facility offers a 360-degree LED workflow, which includes an in-house drawing team, rigging specialists and full LED set up. Howard and Shepherd realised that working within a virtual setting could open up a host of creative possibilities for the one-hour special, which featured the Strictly duo and a cast of singers and dancers performing favourites from Dirty Dancing, Mary Poppins, Flashdance, Cabaret, The Wizard Of Oz, Singin’ In Th

ams-neveMr Firechild installs Neve 8424 console
Monday, 10 May 2021

Sweden - The first Neve 8424 console to arrive in Sweden is now up and running in a private studio belonging to artist and producer Pontus Hagberg, the man behind the popular Mr Firechild synthesiser video review channel on YouTube.
Pontus chose a Neve 8424 console for his own studio because it combines analogue summing and analogue processing in one simple, easy to use and cost effective solution.
“I have been using a classic ‘in the box’ studio with some hardware synthesizers for 25 years, but it was only recently that I discovered how much of an edge real analogue outboard units have over plug-ins,” he explains. “It is similar to comparing virtual instruments with real analogue synthesisers – the difference is very apparent.
“Once I fell in love with analogue hardware, I started using the hardware insert feature in Pro Tools Ultimate, which led to me buying a lot more analogue outboard gear and additional audio interfaces to add more and more AD/DAs. Eventually I realised that all my channels were already in the analogue world, so I could sum in analogue as well. Summing this way has been popular for many years but, for me, the real mojo was analogue processing.
“With the 8424 console I found my perfect match because the routing and features were exactly what I wanted but it also has the iconic Neve sound. I fell in love with the look of it when it was reviewed in Sound on Sound in October 2020 and soon after I placed an order.”
Neve’s first 8424 in Sweden is now the centrepiece of Pontus’ studio in the north of

originsVisual Productions in control at Origins Centre
Monday, 10 May 2021

South Africa - For curious minds intrigued by anthropology, archaeology and the San people, the oldest residents of South Africa, the Origins Centre Museum at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, has an extensive collection of stone tools, fossils and rock art, all interwoven with technology.
Since opening its door in 2005 Gavin Olivier of Digital Fabric has been intricately involved in the museum, recently installing a Visual Productions system to centralise lighting control via a single button, but which has delivered more than expected.
Having spent the last two years in Dubai on Expo 2020, Olivier of Digital Fabric, a company that specialises in heritage work and attractions internationally, was pleased to be back at one of his earliest installations. “I never really stopped going to Origins,” he says. “I was part of the original team, working as an audiovisual consultant with project director Francis Gerard of Totem Media. Like most things, museums rely on funding, and since then, we’ve returned several times to assist with small upgrades to keep the system running.”
Olivier is affectionately referred to as a ‘friend of the museum’ by Duncan Riley of DWR Distribution. “When it comes to Origins, we typically do more than our core business, but the current team running the museum are outstanding. While Origins is close to my heart, it’s also good for my soul. In this instance, aside from the AV and lighting, we have rebuilt many of the display cases, including dress panels, conservation standards, object mountin

robe-sanremo-music-festival-2021-2021-03-04-at-1422Robe hits high notes at Sanremo Music Festival
Friday, 7 May 2021

Italy - The 2021 Sanremo Music Festival was staged at Teatro Ariston in Sanremo, Liguria and apart from being one of the country’s biggest and best-known song competitions and media events, also chose the country’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. It was organised and broadcast by RAI and lit by director of photography (DOP) Mario Catapano.
The lighting rig included over 400 Robe moving lights - a mix of T1 Profiles, Spiiders, LEDBeam 150s, Pointes and a six-way RoboSpot system - all supplied by Pesaro-based rental company Sound d-light Srl.
For the first time, the competition, which unfolded over five evenings of live television, also broadcast worldwide, and streamed via the official ESC website, was hosted without a live audience due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The contest comprised two main sections - one featuring 26 established artists, plus a Newcomers section of eight rising-star singers. The voting came from a mixture of sources including a judging panel, a large public tele / internet vote and by the musicians and singers of the Sanremo Festival Orchestra.
It was the fifth time that Mario Catapano has lit the event. And as in 2020, he was asked onboard by both TV director Stefano Vicario and artistic director Amedeo Sebastiani (Amadeus) with whom he has previously worked.
His starting point for the lighting was the elaborate set design imagineered by Gaetano and Chiara Castelli which comprises six large shrinking perspective octagonal portals surrounding a central staircase with a large LED screen at the upstage end, o

avolitesAvolites marks 45th anniversary
Friday, 7 May 2021

UK - Avolites is celebrating its 45th anniversary today (Friday, 7 May).
From its first touring dimmer rack, the landmark Avolites LD dimmer (later to become the FD dimmer), to the launch of its latest flagship Diamond 9 console earlier this year, the company has been at the forefront of technological change in the lighting events industry ever since.
The company was first set up by Ian Walley in 1976 and gets its name from the AVO meter (Amps, Volts, and Ohms) that he would habitually have with him at load-ins. Over the decades, Avolites has manufactured a wide range of lighting control and networking products, media servers, accessories, and software, but is probably best known for its range of lighting control consoles and dimmer racks. These include the first generation of consoles designed to control the new intelligent lighting products that were emerging onto the market in the 1990s, such as the Pearl, Sapphire, and first Diamond consoles; the Art series of dimmers followed by the PowerCube dimmer/distribution units in the 2000s; and the launch of its own game-changing Titan lighting control software in 2009.
A strategic move into media servers also saw the launch of the Ai software platform, both used in the opening and closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Summer Olympics to perform video mapping across the audience seats, setting a Guinness World Record for the largest landscape video display. The pioneering Synergy software feature set was launched in 2019, allowing the power of video and lighting to be used interchangeably for the first

live-logoFans OK with COVID certification - #ReviveLive study
Friday, 7 May 2021

UK - A recent study conducted among 25,000 concertgoers has shown fans are overwhelmingly in favour of providing COVID certificates to be admitted to a live event.
75% of those surveyed have said they would be happy with the idea of COVID certification, and over 50% have said they are ready to attend music events right now, with a further 25% stating they would attend once the right mitigations are in place.
This is welcome news for the live events sector, which is currently in talks with the UK government over the type of access control measures that should be put in place to allow events to resume in the summer.
The #ReviveLive survey was released by LIVE (Live music Industry, Venues and Entertainment), a federation of live music industry associations representing 3,150 businesses, over 4,000 artists and 2,000 backstage workers. Members include Association of Festival Organisers, the Music Venue Trust, National Arenas Association, Concert Promoters Association, and more.
In further encouraging news, 85% of those surveyed have said they are planning on attending either the same or higher numbers of live music events compared to the period before the pandemic, with 55% having already bought tickets to events taking place in the coming months.
The survey also revealed strong appetite for the market of virtual music events, which flourished in the past year, with one in four stating they would still want to engage with online events even after the resumption of live concerts.
Chris Carey, chief economist of LIVE who led the res

charlotte-lawrence1Chauvet creates moods for Charlotte Lawrence
Friday, 7 May 2021

USA - Teen Vogue model turned singer/songwriter Charlotte Lawrence recently completed a four-video recording session at Beehive Studios in LA that included her national TV debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and a subsequent appearance on The Late Show With Steven Colbert. Helping Julien Reux to create the right mood for the performances were 28 Chauvet Professional STRIKE 1 fixtures supplied by PRG.
“When producer Jonny Stiegler, the co-founder of Beehive, asked me to light these videos, I spent time studying the artwork on Charlotte’s new album as well as the wardrobe designs she’s been involved in,” said Reux, the owner of ReuxLight. “I wanted my design to reflect the hip, modern, western vibe of her style as well as the emotional force of her music.”
The design Reux created also had to be flexible enough to convey different looks for each of the session’s four videos, which ranged in length from three minutes (for the TV appearances) to 40 minutes. “Our art director, Cameron Nawaz, really helped me take what I had in my head and turn it into reality,” he said. “Working with the textured fabric panels Cameron came up - and rearranging my STRIKE fixtures -made it easy for us to change our looks quickly.
“Throughout the session, each set had its own stage and light orientation,” continued Reux. “Since we had a camera jib, the STRIKE fixtures were very important to maintaining good visuals for the top camera shots.”
Reux created different looks by changing colour schemes for each song. He also set different em


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