heshogfactorHES announces Hog Factor USA 2020 finalists
Monday, 14 September 2020

USA - High End Systems has announced the finalist teams for the 2020 Hog Factor USA Collegiate Lighting Programming Competition. First held in North America in 2015, Hog Factor has become one of the premier lighting programming contests in the United States and across the globe.
For Phase One, each submitting team provided a performance lighting piece, programmed on a Hog or Hog 4 PC. The collegiate teams were judged by a panel of High End Systems and ETC employees. The three Hog Factor USA finalist teams are The Ghost Lights from Webster University, Bacon Powers from Southern Methodist University, and Hamburglers from Texas State University.
With the LDI 2020 Exhibition now cancelled, this year’s contest will take place online as part of ETC/HES’ Study Hall events in October. Details on the contest date, format and judging will be announced soon.
www.highend.com/hogfactor

absenAbsen wins China management accolade
Monday, 14 September 2020

China - LED display specialist Absen has once again been recognised in Deloitte’s Best Managed Companies (BMC) programme.
The BMC programme is a global initiative that identifies and recognises private companies with advanced management ideas and excellent business performance. Key factors in the evaluation of a company’s management ability include strategy, capabilities, commitment and financial strength. This year, the selection criteria also considered resiliency towards the Covid-19 pandemic. Absen was deemed to have shown extraordinary competency in all areas, allowing the company to weather these difficult times.
With a reputation for providing high quality LED displays, Absen once again achieved the #1 global export position for the 11th consecutive year and will next year celebrate its 20th anniversary. Absen has a manufacturing facility with an annual production capacity of 300,000sqm and places great emphasis on R&D and innovation. The company has built a strong customer service network with 15 domestic and overseas subsidiaries in order to support its customers worldwide.
Zhao Jian, BMC managing partner, says resilience creates sustainable value for enterprises. Long-lasting businesses and first-class enterprises have experienced several economic cycles, and will have more comprehensive and sophisticated strategies. The greater an enterprise's long-term mission, the greater its vitality. "Highly resilient enterprises" have developed strong immunity.
Alex Couzins, Absen Europe’s head of brand and marketing, said: “We ar

 
 
mdgEtienne Daho revisits Eden with MDG Atmosphere
Monday, 14 September 2020

France - To mark the re-release of his album Eden at the end of 2019, French singer-songwriter and pop star, Etienne Daho, embarked upon a 17-date concert tour of France's leading venues, including Philharmonie, Pleyel and Olympia. The final date took place in January 2020, narrowly avoiding the lockdown measures introduced by the onset of the Covid-19 crisis.
Victorien Cayzeele, a gifted young lighting designer, was determined to obtain the best possible interpretation for his artist, so he specified an MDG Atmosphere haze generator to materialise the light within his design.
"I had mostly washes and very few spot sources in my kit, so I needed a density of haze that was strong enough to materialise the colour that bathed the set. And, on this tour, we wanted to maintain a uniform and stable level throughout the show.”
Etienne Daho's music, with its electro-pop tendency, required a great deal of work to match the light to the rhythm. Victorien confides that Etienne works a lot on creating an amazing audience experience and, to realise this, Etienne doesn't hesitate in allowing the visual impact to take centre stage and be the star. "There are some saturated colour effects and particular angles that don't put the artist in the limelight, but instead suggest a creative proposal linked to the album or the set.”
This collaboration between Étienne Daho and Victorien Cayzeele began during the Blitz tour in 2018. Victorien describes it this way: "We established a real relationship of trust. Étienne is someone with vision and taste. He's

 
ayrtonAyrton fixtures take up residence at Southbank Centre
Monday, 14 September 2020

UK - London’s Southbank Centre has stood on the south bank of the Thames for nearly 70 years. A celebration of progress and modernity, Europe’s largest arts venue was built in 1951 for the Festival of Britain and, under normal circumstances, stages over 2000 performances of music, dance and literature a year, and more than 2000 free events.
Like all arts venues, the Southbank Centre is not immune to the economic and cultural upheaval caused by COVID-19 but, prior to lockdown, the Southbank Centre had, over the past two years, made a long-term commitment to LED performance lighting, with complete moving head installations in the fixed rigs of three of its performance spaces: the 2700-seat Royal Festival Hall, 916-seat Queen Elizabeth Hall and the 295-seat Purcell Room.
As part of this drive towards LED, the team at the Southbank Centre invested in Ayrton Ghibli and Diablo profile fixtures, supplied to the Southbank Centre by White Light, which bring a new uniformity and quality to its moving head inventory.
“We made an initial purchase of 16 Ghibli profiles – six for the Royal Festival Hall and 10 for the Queen Elizabeth Hall - at the beginning of 2018 when the Southbank Centre reopened after its major two-year refurbishment,” says Roger Hennigan, technical manager of the Southbank Centre. “We were so happy with them that we invested in an additional 10 Ghibli at the end of 2019 for the Royal Festival Hall. All of our moving lights are now LED as a result.
“We chose Ghibli after a shootout between three or four major manufacturers

 
 
clear-oneClearOne Conference Controller now available
Monday, 14 September 2020

USA - The newest Conference Controller from ClearOne is now available worldwide.
The Conference Controller’s 10-inch touch screen is designed for easy control of ClearOne’s Converge Pro 2 audio DSP mixers as well as Collaborate Live video conferencing room systems from a single device.
The Conference Controller functions can also be accessed from a personal mobile device, eliminating the need for touching shared surfaces by downloading the free mobile apps.
The Conference Controller can be paired with Converge Pro 2 DSPs, allowing users to make and receive VoIP and/or PSTN conference calls and multiparty calls with the easy-to-use, on-screen dial pad. When paired with Collaborate Live room video systems, users can make and receive video calls as well as manage content-sharing options.
A modern user interface makes controlling conferencing functions as intuitive and simple as familiar mobile and tablet devices.

 
flightcaseFlightcase Movement fights for industry's rights
Friday, 11 September 2020

South Africa - For the South African live events industry, 8 September was an emotional day that will be tattooed in the hearts and souls of the 200 people consisting of business owners, technicians and freelancers, who gathered at the Paul Kruger Statue in Central Pretoria to hand over a memorandum of demands to the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture. Under the banner of the #Flightcasemovement, this historic event saw the industry standing united, marching and pushing flightcases to represent their cause.
The industry players joined in spirit by those who could not afford the transportation cost to be there. “I felt like I was part of a huge national movement that will never be seen for another hundred years, I was proud to be part of this committee,” said Sizwe Mokoena of Ugozi Entertainment, a member of the #Flightcasemovement and who led the protestors in peaceful songs like Asisanamali, the desperate cry to be able to work and generate an income again.
Since 15 March, the South African government has implemented one of the strictest lockdowns across the globe yet has not financially assisted the events industry besides a small income (for some) from COVID-TERS UIF which has also come to an end. Under the gatherings act, events cannot cater to an audience of more than 50 people. It is estimated that the live events industry contributes millions of Rands to the country’s GDP.
The reality is that the industry is now struggling, its people are battling to survive, and many have moved back with their parents, sold their cars, homes

 
 
berlin-6GLP flies the flag at German Red Alert rally
Friday, 11 September 2020

Germany - On 9 September, the Red Alert Action Alliance - Initiatives & Associations of the Event Industry (Aktionsbündnis AlarmstufeRot - Initiativen & Verbände der Veranstaltungswirtschaft) assembled at a large demonstration in Berlin in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to the event industry.
With numerous companies having experienced hardly any sales for six months and a significant drop in revenue, the crisis is now threatening both businesses and jobs.
The demonstration was conceived as a concerted action by all stakeholders in the event industry - from agencies and artists to event technicians and showmen. According to the organisers, up to 15,000 employees in the event industry heeded the call. After countless had already taken off their ‘last shirts’ and laid them down in a symbolic action on the meadow in front of the German Bundestag at noon, the final rally began in the early afternoon at the Brandenburg Gate, and lasted for several hours.
It was primarily those most affected who had their say. After the various convenors and initiators had presented their positions and demands, and Herbert Grönemeyer had moved the crowd with a fiery appeal, a short industry talk took place. During this debate, GLP founder and managing director Udo Künzler joined Dr. Volker Schmidt, general manager of NiedersachsenMetall, as well as Sascha Vollmer and Alec Völkel from The BossHoss.
While Dr. Schmidt described the crisis from the point of view of industrial customers in the event economy and The BossHoss added the per

 
robe-red-alert-restart-usa-kauffman-center-chiefs946070735945-photo-jillian-shoptawRobe backs #RedAlertRESTART campaign
Friday, 11 September 2020

USA - Around 2,000 venues, places, landmarks, and monuments all over the US were lit in red for the #RedAlertRESTART campaign on 1 September to highlight the critical situation facing the live events and entertainment industry and the need for lawmaker’s support of the Restart Act (S.3814) to offer some sort of relief to the industry.
This latest red day of action was part of a wider industry campaign being led by the #WeMakeEvents movement, a collective of trade organisations including PLASA (the Professional Lighting & Sound Association).
The idea of lighting buildings in ‘emergency red’ started in Germany with #NightofLight in June, and the concept caught on with red days of action organised in many European countries and the UK (initiated by #LightiItInRed on 6th July, followed up by PLASA’s #WeMakeEvents action on 11 August) as well as South Africa (#LightSARed on 5 August) and others.
As the colour red has become synonymous with assisting the vast technical production infrastructure and all those talented individuals working in it who effectively facilitate live performance and the arts, Robe has been involved with all of these various ‘LightItInRed’ campaigns in some capacity.
For this one in the USA, signature Robe installations lit in red included the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco; the Video West HQ, the Hubbard Radio building and the Shrine Auditorium in Phoenix and several landmarks around Reno including the famous Reno Arch, the Believe sculpture and the fascia of the Bruka Theatre.
In Kansas

 
 
claypaky-hy-b-eye-k25-teatro3Claypaky extends HY B-EYE series with Teatro
Friday, 11 September 2020

Italy - Claypaky has introduced the HY B-EYE K25 Teatro, a special version of the HY B-EYE K25 that is designed for venues that need silent operation without sacrificing bright colours. This fixture is designed for theatres, television studios, conference halls, showrooms, corporate events, and more.
The HY B-EYE K25 TEATRO has all the same optical, electronic, and mechanical features of the HY B-EYE K25 with changes in the overall design to reduce the acoustical footprint. This luminaire has the same 37 powerful 40 Watt Osram Ostar RGBW LEDs, a zoom range of 4° to 60°, uniform light spread, a rotating front lens, an enhanced electronic engine for dynamic beam pattern design with digital accuracy and repeatability, individual control of each single LED to make spectacular kaleidoscopic projections and charming eye-catching effects.
The HY B-EYE K25 TEATRO is extremely bright thanks to its powerful light source and special optical unit with a truly amazing lumen/watt ratio. The built-in Kling-Net protocol enhances the lighting designer's creativity, while making the management and synchronization of LED light parameters and functions simpler, says the company.

 
peterdoellAES Show technical programme takes shape
Friday, 11 September 2020

USA - With the AES Show Fall 2020 Convention coming up in October, newly announced technical programme details showcase a variety of sessions covering both audio science and research, as well as topical discussions of key issues in the audio industry.
Now in its expanded, virtual format, as Audio Engineering Month, the AES Show 2020 ‘offers attendees their own in-house convention’.
Several recently added sessions have been announced to the AES Show Technical Programme. Grammy-winning producer, engineer and mixer Vance Powell will detail some of his most successful mixing and recording techniques with the session Behind the Mix, hosted by AES recording and production track co-chair Peter Doell.
Doell further delves into the recording workflows taking place in these uncertain times with the session Post-COVID Recording Challenges with guest Warren Huart. While many in the industry have found mounting challenges with online interaction, live streaming, apps, and other technologies, this session aims to examine these issues, while also taking into account the success of those who have found the pandemic has helped streamline their process.
The AES Show will also look into the complexities and opportunities facing much of our industry and beyond, through several topical and current events-related offerings. Unlocking the Control Room: Equity Achievements in Audio will take a look a recent international survey, taken in partn

 
 
sundialArtistic Licence upgrades sunDial quad
Friday, 11 September 2020

UK - sunDial quad, the PLASA Gold award-winning mains LED dimmer from Artistic Licence, offers smooth LED dimming with DMX512. Following a firmware upgrade, the product is now offering improvement in dimming resolution, achievable with many theatrical controllers.
The latest firmware is available free-of-charge and can be uploaded using DMX-Workshop.
DMX512 can control up to 512 channels and has an 8-bit native resolution. This means each channel can be set to a level between 0 and 255 and is encoded as an 8-bit number (256 levels). sunDial quad has a much higher native dimming resolution of 14-bit, so in normal operation a dimmer curve translation is used - in effect, sunDial picks 'sweet spots' on the response curve to achieve a nice fade.
However, some professional lighting consoles allow two DMX512 channels to be combined to provide up to 16-bit resolution (65,536 different levels). In this scenario, no curve translation is necessary. Following sunDial's latest firmware upgrade, the console can access all the subtle levels available in sunDial's high native dimming resolution - thus ensuring ultimate dimming performance for applications that demand the most subtle effects.
sunDial quad is often used for house lights in theatre, and can be easily integrated with the stage lighting consoles. It also has the advantage that its firmware can be upgraded (at zero cost) in the field. Customers can achieve this using the Artistic Licence DMX-Workshop free software package.

 
meyer-soundConstellation plays star role in Jakarta theatre
Friday, 11 September 2020

Indonesia - Opened late last year, the JIExpo Theatre is the new crown jewel of the Indonesian capital city’s Jakarta International Expo (JIExpo) centre for meetings, events and arts performances. Among first events was a concert by illustrious cellist Yo-Yo Ma, whose dynamic performance proved an appropriate showcase for the venue’s Meyer Sound Constellation acoustic system.
Constellation and the complementary direct reinforcement system - based on Leopard line array loudspeakers - were provided through Meyer Sound national distributor Mega Swara and installed by Jakarta-based integrator Kairos Multi Jaya. With a capacity of 2,500, the JIExpo Theatre now ranks as the largest venue in the Asia Pacific region to offer the programming flexibility and superlative acoustic qualities afforded by Constellation.
Jakarta International Expo is a private enterprise, owned by the Murdaya family, and from the outset the theatre’s managing director, Prajna Murdaya, was committed to achieving the highest level of excellence in all technical aspects of the project, including audio and acoustics.
“The venue was originally specified to be just a theatre, but I saw the potential to make it also serve as Indonesia’s largest concert hall,” says Murdaya. “When I heard about Constellation and its worldwide base of existing high-profile installations, that became a key factor in deciding to go ahead and offer it here as well.”
Prior to his final decision, Murdaya had auditioned a Constellation system at the Singapore International School. “I was f

 
 
stadthalle-delbruck1Chauvet lights Stadthalle Delbrück weekend
Friday, 11 September 2020

Germany - Bei uns ist immer was los - the words are written across the top of the homepage of the Stadthalle Delbrück website. Roughly translated into English, they mean “we always have something going on”. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has put this claim to the test, forcing the popular East Westphalian cultural centre to cancel its diverse schedule of shows, Stadthalle Delbrück lived up to the spirit of this motto recently by turning its idle stage into a broadcast studio so local bands could record professional quality music videos.
Taking place over a weekend, the safe, socially distant event (there was no live audience and minimal production crews), featured five different bands. Providing them with a dynamic stage setting was a power-packed fast-moving lighting rig supplied by LDT Veranstaltungsservice that featured over 25 Chauvet Professional fixtures.
A collection of six Ovation E-930VW ellipsoidals along with four Ovation F-145VW and four Ovation F-915VW Fresnels, already hung on the truss over the audience. Installed by LDT Veranstaltungsservice last year, these units were used for front lighting and key lighting.
To deliver extra visual punch and provide full production looks for the video shoots, LDT Veranstaltungsservice brought in eight Maverick MK2 Spot and four Rogue R2 Wash fixtures, along with an Amhaze fogger from its own inventory for the weekend.
Half of the spots and washes were hung on upstage truss. From this position, the spot units were used to texturize the stage with crisp gobo patterns, while the was

 
madlife-stage--studioeagles-tribute-band-2Madlife hosts live events with Elation
Friday, 11 September 2020

USA - With live events at a slow trickle, those venues that have been able to open up, albeit with restrictions, are elated and generally selling out. Madlife Stage & Studio, a 284-capacity live music venue and recording studio in Woodstock, Georgia, which like other live venues in the U.S. was forced to close earlier in the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, re-opened in late July with a full lineup of acts on the schedule.
“Madlife re-opened over a month ago at half capacity as one of the few places around holding live events,” said local lighting designer Caleb McClesky, who often helps at the venue, supporting house LD Brendon Rosenbaum and frequently supplementing the house rig with his own Elation lighting gear. “Patrons have to sit at tables so everyone is socially distanced. Staff is required to wear masks and the venue is sanitised between shows. It’s been nice to be back, for everyone, and the majority of shows have been selling out.”
Caleb says that from a young age, when attending shows he was always looking up in the rig to see what type of lighting was being used to get ideas for what might be good to purchase. “When out on the road or vacationing on a Royal Caribbean cruise, I’d see Elation gear and always asked the lighting staff how they were. I’ve always heard great things about their reliability, even out at sea, and the weather toughness. I’ve always been impressed with the quality of the Elation products.”
When Caleb started designing lighting for a local Atlanta band, GLOW, he began to buy Elation gear

 
 
rabenhofAvantis upgrade for Vienna’s Rabenhof Theatre
Friday, 11 September 2020

Austria - As Vienna’s Rabenhof Theatre prepares to reopen its doors, audiences will soon be enjoying an audio upgrade, including a new 64 channel Allen & Heath Avantis mixer.
Built as a workers’ assembly hall in the 1920s, the Rabenhof was converted into a theatre in 1990 and underwent a complete refurbishment in 2008, during which much of its art-deco character was restored. The theatre has earned a reputation for serving up an eclectic mix of experiences, ranging from contemporary theatre and musicals to puppetry and baroque opera.
Almost every day brings another new performance to the Rabenhof Theatre, so head of sound, Josch Russo is accustomed to working with tight setup times and a high throughput of guest engineers. When the venue decided it was time to retire its aging digital mixer, speed and ease of use were high on the wishlist.
Following demos and consultation with Allen & Heath’s Austrian distributor, ATEC, Josch took delivery of the latest Avantis console this summer. “Avantis is the perfect fit for our theatre in terms of size and channels,” Josch comments. “It is easy to use and self-explanatory.”
The Avantis has the full dPack upgrade, including Dyn8 dynamic EQs and Allen & Heath’s DEEP processing emulations. ATEC Pro’s managing director, Manfred Prochazka adds, “Avantis’ scene management tools give the Rabenhof Theatre team the flexibility they need and the twin touchscreens and slick UI make it an enjoyable console to work with. The sound quality is amazing, and it offers so many possibilit

 
zero-88-fanny--stella-img20200812205504Fanny & Stella on the fringe with Zero 88
Friday, 11 September 2020

UK - London fringe theatre returned to the capital, as the first socially distanced and fully Covid-compliant live musical production of post-pandemic England 2020 was staged in a specially renovated garden space at The Eagle pub in Vauxhall. Fanny & Stella, a sharp-witted com-romp through some extraordinary events gave theatre fans a snapshot into the real lives of two eccentric Victorian Londoners - Ernest Boulton and Frederick William Park.
Based on the book and lyrics by Glenn Chandler (creator of hit TV series Taggart), the show was directed by Steven Dexter and produced by Peter Bull and Richard Lambert of Lambco Productions. Richard also designed and operated the lighting using his Zero 88 FLX S24 console.
“It was perfect for the job,” enthused Richard about the console, “totally portable and fitted easily onto a fold-out table, and just like the essence of the show, it literally popped up. It packs away into a tiny flightcase about the size of a satchel!”
The 40-capacity audience sat under cover around tables that were re-arranged each performance to accommodate guests in their relevant social bubbles as identified in the online booking system, while the stage was in the open air.
Every single show sold out every single seat, and the final week the Box Office was inundated with phone calls and emails for tickets.
Richard specified front lighting only to attain the truly ENSA (Entertainment National Service Association - nicknamed back in the 1940s as “Every Night Something Awful”) - style of ‘pop-u

 
 
alcons-audio-amsterdam-west-side-studio-enjoys-dutch-directness-with-alconsAmsterdam’s West Side Studio opts for Alcons
Friday, 11 September 2020

The Netherlands - West Side Studio is a creative partnership between four Dutch production professionals, specialising in post-production sound and offline editing for motion picture and television. Its most recent addition is a cinema screening room, where an Alcons Audio pro-ribbon 7.1 surround system has impressed the studio’s owners and clients alike.
Located in the busy port area just north-west of central Amsterdam, West Side Studio is the brainchild of Evelien van der Molen, Mieneke Kramer, Lennert Hunfeld and Vincent Sinceretti. Featuring several edit suites and an ADR studio, for the new cinema room they wanted 7.1 reference monitoring, but with the quality and flexibility for future expansion to full Dolby Atmos specification.
Cinema exhibition services specialists CinemaNext was contracted to supply and install the equipment in the new room and, after looking at all the available systems, an Alcons Audio CRMSCompact pro-ribbon system was chosen.
“We wanted to have a really simple, straightforward system with the least amount of conversions in the signal chain. The Alcons pro-ribbon solution allowed us to route digital audio from our Pro Tools system directly to the loudspeaker system, without having to put anything in between,” says Vincent Sinceretti.
The West Side team visited Amsterdam’s STMPD recording studio, owned by superstar DJ Martin Garrix and featuring an Alcons- equipped Dolby Atmos Premier Studio. “The listening tests proved to us that Alcons was not only the best system, but it also offered the best value for

 
ms-my-wish-img3658Powersoft amplifies audio on luxury cruiser
Friday, 11 September 2020

Croatia - The MS My Wish offers ‘a deluxe, intimate experience’ for its 38 guests. With an advantage due to its a smaller, yacht-like size, the ship can navigate narrow waterways and explore not only Croatia’s medieval cities but also its smaller, quieter islands hardly explored by bigger vessels.
Boasting an onboard restaurant, a large sundeck, a rooftop hot tub, and a swimming platform for access to the Adriatic ocean, the MS My Wish needed an audio system that could match its design.
“The Mezzo 324 and Mezzo 604 were perfect for the job,” said Captain Marin Crncic of the MS My Wish.
The Mezzo series is Powersoft’s answer to providing the same sound clarity, reliability and build quality in a smaller install amplifier – just half of the rack unit form factor. All models come with state-of-the-art built-in DSP. It has two power sizes with a two or four channel output. The Mezzo, in its smaller versions, is a sealed design and approved for hidden placement, such as mounted above a ceiling or tucked into wall box, perfect for a smaller cruise ship.
“The ship required an audio system that could be spread over 12 zones and could be adjusted accordingly,” continued Crncic. “One of the most demanding areas is the sun deck, which uses two subwoofers, six ceiling all-weather speakers and two professional two-ways for the jacuzzi, and the Mezzo handles it perfectly. It also simplified the process massively due to the built-in DSP, which helped tune the system.”
The system needed to allow for alternative audio content, accom

 
 
parliamentHippotizer blends ‘healthcare’ images onto Parliament
Thursday, 10 September 2020

UK – London’s Palace of Westminster became a vast projection surface in May to coincide with International Nurses Day, as a series of images thanking NHS key workers were beamed onto the building from 260m away across the Thames.
Projection experts at Motion Mapping deployed two Hippotizer Amba+ Media Servers to blend and warp the visual content to ensure it was beautifully displayed onto the intricate façade of the building. Motion Mapping’s Stuart Harris says he made good use of Hippotizer’s SHAPE feature to achieve great results.
“We had just 45 minutes on site to get the projection right, including all alignment and blending with the framework of Parliament, to going live with the world’s press covering the event,” says Harris. “SHAPE made it simple to warp and blend the images so that they appeared correctly, even while being beamed from such a long distance away. We even had to do some of this in real time, and the Amba+ servers handled it with ease.
“Hippo features such as Advanced Media Management and Timeline enabled us to change and amend quickly on site - it’s so agile and flexible. And when an issue arose, such as a light being left on in one of the windows inside Parliament, I could create a workaround in seconds, which is very handy when images are about to be broadcast around the world.”
The visual content varied from messages of thanks to three-storey-high pictures of famed ‘founder of modern nursing’ Florence Nightingale, to coincide with the 200th anniversary of her birth.
Setting up on the

 
essay-videoEssay Video gets immersive with Brompton
Thursday, 10 September 2020

USA - Essay Video has recently announced the opening of its new virtual studio located in Norwalk, Connecticut. The virtual facility is equipped with the latest in LED technology, including Brompton Technology 4K Tessera SX40 LED processors, empowering Essay’s customers to ‘realise their creative projects and create complex, interactive and mixed reality presentations’.
“With the global pandemic, we had clients who had to pivot from live events and turn to virtual solutions,” explains Essay Video founder & CEO, Greg Fellows. “Our newly built virtual studio gives them a safe and healthy environment to make their creative projects a reality. We have multiple offices for privacy and social distancing, and we’ve partnered with HBO and Intel over the last six months to fine tune and perfect our virtual meetings. Whilst it’s not possible to hold a live show at the moment, clients can come and make the most of our virtual facility’s advanced technology, delivering the closest possible experience to a live event.”
Though Essay’s new virtual studio has only been running just over two weeks, its facilities have already attracted a number of high-calibre projects, including this year’s 13th annual Supima Cotton Design Competition, which will take place in September to align with New York Fashion Week. Following that, Supima will once again return to the full-service production company’s virtual space to deliver another fashion show, which will be simulcast during Paris Fashion Week.
“We are very excited about both projects and c

 
 
martinMartin Audio debuts iOS app for Blacklinex Powered
Thursday, 10 September 2020

UK – Martin Audio has announced the availability of its first ever iOS app, XP Connect, for control and streaming for its self-powered portable series, BlacklineX Powered.
When BlacklineX Powered launched, users were able to access the built-in three-channel mixer and onboard Bluetooth streaming by utilising the rotary panel controls on the back of the loudspeakers. Now all of that functionality is brought to life in an intuitive, colourful app making it more convenient for the user, says the company.
Announcing the app, project leader Dan Orton, Martin Audio’s product group manager, stated, “The user base of BlacklineX Powered has grown substantially since launch, and we thought it was now timely to introduce the app to the market, rewarding those users and encouraging others to the virtues of this series.”
In determining the navigation path and User Interface, Orton said the challenges had been simple usability. “We needed to give full control to the end user, with all the functionality of the back panel and in an intuitive format. For the majority of users it’s a quick and easy way to set up their loudspeakers and deliver a low scale mix using simple controls, such as input faders, output faders and hi-pass filters.
“You can put them into pairing mode for streaming Bluetooth audio—and because we could control the speaker by Bluetooth as well as streaming, it also lends itself to tablet control,” he adds.
The XP Connect app is “absolutely intuitive” once loaded, he affirms, and is designed to control a pair of spe

 
claypakylec1Claypaky HY B-EYE lights Chicago’s xR Stage
Thursday, 10 September 2020

USA - Electronic music artists Alex Kislov and Arvi Mala pre-recorded a dynamic set to live stream at multiple festivals from the new xR Stage at LEC Event Technology. Their immersive one-hour performance featured HY B-EYE K25 LED wash lights provided by Claypaky.
The duo was one of the first to use LEC’s xR Stage, Chicago’s only xR stage designed to accommodate virtual events. LEC owner and director of operations Matt Brotz and So Midwest principal and designer Robb Jibson partnered to build out the space in LEC’s new warehouse, where the stage’s standing set includes two large right-angle LED videoscreens and an LED floor.
Brotz and Jibson turnkeyed Kislov and Mala’s set, supplying a five-camera shoot with drone, full lighting, control, processing and editing with background visuals provided by So Midwest.
“Alex and Arvi are used to walking into a huge festival and playing for the crowd,” Jibson notes. “With the coronavirus causing music festivals to shift online, Alex and Arvi thought it would be cool to prerecord a performance they could use for various festivals from LEC’s new xR Stage.”
Claypaky provided the HY B-EYE K25s for the performance, which Jibson placed under the DJ table where they were the centerpiece of the set’s illumination. “I’ve used Claypaky’s B-EYE K20s for years, and the K25s are a welcome update,” Jibson says.
“We wanted to extend the set’s visual content and create depth on the 2D screens,” he explains. “We wanted to incorporate the fixtures into the pixel map, make all th

 
 
vj-dayWL helps deliver VJ Day tribute on BBC One
Thursday, 10 September 2020

UK - Saturday 15 August 2020 marked 75 years since the official end of the Second World War, following the victory of Japan. To commemorate this anniversary and remember those who served in the Far East, the BBC commissioned a series of programmes, one of which was VJ Day 75: The Nation’s Tribute which was broadcast on BBC One. Following its previous work on the BBC’s coverage of the VE Day celebrations, ELP, a trading division of White Light, was called upon to provide the lighting and power distribution for the programme.
VJ Day 75: The Nation’s Tribute took place at Horse Guards Parade in London. Narrated by Joanna Lumley, whose father was an officer with the 6th Gurkha Rifles, the evening charted the crucial campaign that led to the end of the Second World War. Key moments were reflected through readings and musical performances by Sheridan Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Paterson Joseph and Martin Shaw.
ELP’s managing director Darren Fletcher comments: “The BBC wanted this to be an ambitious, unforgettable evening so it was huge privilege to play a part in that. Hosting the event at the Horse Guards Parade was also a unique experience as, due to the usual timetable of parades and public viewing, this normally would not be possible. However, with the social distancing now in place, these have had to be put on hold hence it was available for this event.”
Darren and the team were contacted by the show’s lighting designer Nigel Catmur, who they have worked with on many occasions. Darren explains: “There was so much happening

 
sound-technologies-logo1EAW appoints Chicago-based representative
Thursday, 10 September 2020

USA - Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW) has announced Sound Technologies as its manufacturer’s representative for Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.
“Sound Technologies’ Principal Jim Bobel not only spent four years as part of the EAW sales team but he has over 25 years of experience working with some of the top brands in the industry, so he brings in depth product and technology knowledge to the table,” says TJ Smith, president for EAW. “We are excited to once again be working with Jim as he grows his business. Sound Technologies will be a great asset in helping serve customers in the region.”
Based in Chicago, Sound Technologies’ mission is to ‘support and serve manufacturers, integrators, designers, production companies, artists, and anyone looking to produce great audio’.
“Earlier this year, it became very clear that our industry in particular would be heavily impacted by COVID-19 and I felt compelled to create a company that could meet the needs of our evolving industry,” says Bobel. “Sound Technologies exists to deliver a greater level of service and is built to adapt to serve our brands and customers. As our portfolio grows, we are partnering with companies that align with our mission and values. The products from EAW are a perfect match for us and we are excited to develop opportunities and grow together.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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