Cameo lights up the Royal Horticultural Society

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is the world’s leading gardening charity and for more than two centuries, has been the passionate force at the heart of horticulture. The RHS inspires millions of people to get involved in gardening, whether that’s through visits to one of the four UK gardens, inspirational flower shows, or seasonal events.

One very popular event in recent years has been the Glow illuminations over the festive period. Illuminate Design, the AV integrator from Witham in Essex, is currently responsible for the lighting of the gardens in Wisley, Hyde Hall and Harlow Carr. In selecting the proper lighting products to illuminate areas up to 150 ha in size, the Illuminate Design team procured more than 500 spotlights from Cameo.

The Cameo QSpot 40i.

The main lighting component for the extensive gardens, with their countless tree and plant species, as well as various buildings, are the 280 Q-Spot 40i outdoor spots with 40 W RGBA LED.
The team led by Illuminate Design Managing Director, Robin Shephard-Blandy, uses the spots to precisely illuminate objects and, when required, highlight them in radiant colors.

The Flat Pro Flood 600 outdoor floods with RGBWA LEDs act as the wide background brush strokes.
More than a hundred Zenit wash lights 30 of Type W600 and 75 of Type W300 deliver even more power and flexibility. Illuminate Designs also found the perfect placement in the gardens for Flat Pro 7 and Flat Pro 12 RGBWA outdoor spotlights.

The Cameo Flat Pro Flood 600.

The Cameo Wash Zenit W600.

“A few years ago, we became aware of Cameo when we were looking for spotlights for fixed installation projects,” explains Robin Shephard-Blandy. “Cameo has always offered us something more than the conventional options. That’s why it was obvious for us to shortlist Cameo when we were again looking for a range of spotlights for temporary installations.

The Cameo range is very extensive and offers us almost everything we need, from the small Qspot 40i to the powerful W600 floods.
We are particularly satisfied with the high light output and uniform color mixing. Spots, floodlights and wash lights are all used both separately and in the DMX network.

The Zenit W300 and W600 also come with the integrated W-DMX transceiver to illuminate small shrubs, art installations and even the huge redwood trees spread over the entire site.“
As a result of its past achievements, the Royal Horticultural Society has now extended the successful collaboration with Illuminate Design by a further three years.

The following products are used in the gardens of the Royal Horticultural Society :

– 280x Cameo Q-Spot 40i RGBA LED outdoor spotlights
– 91x Cameo Flat Pro Flood 600 IP65 outdoor floodlights
– 75x Cameo Zenit W300 LED outdoor wash lights
– 30x Cameo Zenit W600 LED outdoor wash lights
– 24x Cameo Flat Pro 12 RGBWA LED outdoor spotlights
– 24x Cameo Flat Pro 7 RGBWA LED outdoor spotlights

Further information about the RHS and Cameo range of products :

– The RHS website
– The Illuminate Design website
– The Cameo website
– The Adam Hall website
– The Adam hall blog


New DiGiCo Quantum225 Power and New Opportunity

Sensitive to the hiatus in the large-scale, live touring market, DiGiCo has designed the Quantum225 to be agile and flexible allowing the system to adapt to the demands of our changing world.

Specified with the new DQ-Rack with integrated Dante and you have a perfect system for AV installation and the demands of an AoIP networking environment.
Alternatively specify with the MQ-Rack and get the familiar MADI connectivity for your touring infrastructure allowing Quantum225 to integrate with your existing infrastructure.

The Quantum225 includes 72 inputs channels with 36 busses + Master Buss and a 12×12 Matrix. There are four MADI ports and dual DMI ports for added connectivity, 8 x 8 analogue and 4 AES channels for local I/O, built-in UB MADI, optional optics and Waves SoundGrid, plus dual PSU.

Le DQ rack, D c’est pour Dante.

The Quantum225 also incorporates now familiar features from the existing Quantum Range including Mustard Processing channel strips, Spice Rack plugin style native FPGA processing options, Nodal Processing and True Solo.
There is a 17-inch, full colour, daylight bright, TFT multitouch screen with the Quantum Dark application, seen before on the Quantum338, combined with 41 mini TFT’s located across the surface to provide unrivalled user feedback and interaction.

What is unique to Quantum225 is a custom designed, multi-purpose mounting bracket that attaches quickly and easily to the left-hand panel of the console. This can accommodate an additional channel or overview screen, a KLANG:controller, or be further expanded to fit either a laptop or a script particularly useful for theatre applications. The bracket can be installed at two angles with quick release to cater for all preferences or applications.

Le MQ rack, le M c’est pour…MADI !

The new compact, 6U DQ and MQ racks have been designed from the ground up specifically for modern application demands. They feature 48 mic/line inputs, up to 24 analogue outputs or up to 8x AES outputs.

Clever audio design allows the user to reconfigure 4 of the analogue line outputs to be either analogue outputs or dual AES outputs. This I/O flexibility and other configuration changes are managed from the racks very own TFT Configuration screen. Standard features included Dual PSU and 48k or 96k operation.

More information on the Digico website


Martin Era 800 Performance Framing Spotlight

This framing spot fixture, equipped with an 800 W white LED source, is a practical, complete and cost-effective solution for the profile market. It has already established itself in the inventories of large international rental companies. Letʼs take a look at it!

The ERA of the high-power LED spot…

Martin Era 800 Performance

The ERA 800 carries the “Performance” moniker, which has always been Martinʼs trademark designation for fixtures with motorized framing shutters. This unit is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Slim and sleek, its long head, terminating in a 160 mm diameter lens, is supported by a relatively small base that provides the Era with all the stability it needs.

There are two sturdy handles at the top of each yoke arm that work in conjunction with the handles on the base to provide a secure grip. It is so practical that we would like to find them on every fixture. On the other hand, as on all Martin fixtures, only the tilt is lockable. The unit weighs 41 kg, which is quite reasonable for a fixture of this power and size.


The connection panel.

On the base, the panel with the connections features XLR5 DMX input and output, as well as PowerCON True1 input and throughput link. As each ERA 800 unit can draw about 1200 W, we could consider using the power link connector for a second unit on a 16 A circuit.

The absence of an RJ45 socket rules out direct Ethernet control, so the fixture can only be controlled via DMX. Nevertheless, this is how it would be used 99% of the time…

Martin offers only one DMX mode. Thank you! Thank you Martin! With the ERA, we donʼt have to wonder what mode the fixture up in the rig is in… One fixture, One mode… Zen! Our ERA occupies 42 DMX channels. Channels that require precision are doubled for 16-bit control, and thatʼs it: this is a positive feature of the Era!

Accessing the menu.

On the opposite side of the base is the display with its large backlit screen and navigation keys, and a USB connector for software updates.
DMX addressing, manual test functions, dimmer curve selection, component status information… everything is there except the possibility to toggle the display orientation by simultaneously pressing the two arrow keys.
Here, instead, you will have to scroll through the menu, head upside down, until you find in the options the one that inverts the display. What a pain!

Underneath the base, the omega brackets and safety cable attachments.

The rigging system is a classic pair of omega brackets that are fixed under the unit with classic camlock systems. An important detail: Martin has maintained the same center distances on EVERY fixture of this type since the last century…
If you lose an omega bracket and you still have an old Mac 600 or a Mac 250+ in a corner somewhere, you can recycle its omega bracket. It works! Thatʼs cool!

As the two brackets are quite close to each other, it would be preferable (if not indispensable) for Martin to supply brackets that allow an offset (they were one of the first manufacturers to have thought of this!). There are four dedicated slots to allow you to attach the safety cable wherever you want.

Photometric measurements

The derating does not exceed 4%, which is excellent.

With the fixture running at full power, we start by tracing the derating curve, to check the efficiency of the cooling system of the LED engine. The attenuation reaches only 4% after 5 minutes of heating and then stabilizes. This is an excellent result.

With the light output thus stabilized, and the fixture placed at 5 m from the target, we can start our illuminance measurements at the three usual angles: the tightest sharp-focus beam angle, at 20°, and at the widest sharp beam angle.

Tight beam

At the tightest zoom setting that provides sharp focus, we measure a field diameter of 1 m, which gives us a beam divergence angle of 11.5°.
The angle of the beam can be reduced down to the 7° declared by the manufacturer (6.64° to be precise), but the projection is not sharp.
So at 11.5°, we measure a center illuminance of 45,100 lux after derating (47,050 lx cold) which corresponds to a flux of 32,870 lumens (34,280 lm when cold).
The intensity curve is smooth.

20° Beam

At our reference value of a 20° beam divergence, the center illuminance at 5 meters is 14,900 lux (15,540 lx when cold) and the flux reaches 35,420 lm (36,950 lm when cold).
We observe a nice flat intensity curve, without hot spots, particularly favorable for beautiful and uniform projections.

Wide beam

At the widest zoom setting that provides a sharp focus, the field diameter reaches 5.1 meters, corresponding to an angle of 54°.
At this beam angle, we measure a center illuminance at 5 meters of 2,160 lux after derating (2,250 lx cold) which corresponds to a luminous flux of 33,660 lm (35,100 lm cold).
The flux remains almost constant (±1,000 lm) over the entire zoom range, even in a tight beam with the tested angle of 11.5° avoiding large light losses.


The dimming curve from 0 to 100%.

The dimming curve from 0 to 10%.

The light of the ERA

Our ERA 800 Performance offers a consistent and uniform beam. The distribution of the light is among the best of its kind. The flux is absolutely right.
It is a unit that delivers a beautiful white light at 6500 K, with a CRI of 70, which is perfectly suited to most applications.

The zoom from the tightest (not sharp) to the widest.

The 35,000 lumens of flux at 20° allow it to handle some very serious applications. The optical system is particularly efficient, and we measure a zoom range from 11.5° to 54°.

The color mixing is really nice and any hue can be obtained without difficulty. Here, there is no particular bias or exaggeration, this is classic and effective. The blues can be deep or vivid, the reds are quite satisfactory, and the pastels are clean.
The only precaution you need to take for an absolutely perfect color mix in the beam is to use a beam that is focused close to sharpness.

The CMY mixing and the concerns when using hues in an unfocused beam.

On a unfocused beam, we can rapidly notice the phenomenon of color flags entering a good part of the beam. This is not a fundamental problem, far from it. You just have to be careful with your beam choices if you donʼt want to be caught off guard.
The linear CTO, which is rather yellow and very soft, is very nice.

The color wheel offers six saturated and dense filters (red, green, blue, orange, congo, and a very nice sort of lavender) that pleasantly complement the CMY.

The filters of the color wheel.

Gobos and effects

The ERA 800 Performance features two gobo wheels and one animation wheel. The first wheel has six indexable rotating gobos, and the second wheel has seven static gobos. They are really very cool, and diverse.
Several types of “colanders”, a true “cone”, a “window” which could prove to be very impressive in the theater, the “Sonar” gobo – with its well-known off-center cones that delighted the many fans of the Viper – are also included. In short, itʼs a delight for texturing the beams or for projecting effects.

The gobos. The rotating gobos above and the static ones below.

The animation wheel adds a little something extra with its unlimited rotation of more or less parallel striations. As on other machines, the stripes only move up and down (forward and reverse) through the beam.

To supplement and enhance the effects of the gobos or simply to animate the beam, two different prisms can be applied. They provide either a beam split into four sectors or a linear array of six sectors. They are effective and can be indexed, but cannot be superimposed one over the other.

The two prisms.

Two frost filters – here again, either one or the other – allow for a fairly significant softening of the beam, with two different levels. They are progressively inserted and the final effect is quite pronounced. Personally I like them very much.

The two frosts.

The framing module meets all the current expectations for this type of feature. The insertion of the shutter blades can come as a surprise because the second (blade angle) parameter of each shutter starts with the blade diagonal to the direction of insertion, but thatʼs just because the parameter starts from an absolute zero DMX value that sets a maximum “negative” angle to the blade itself. In reality, once you get past this surprise, any positioning is possible, just like on any other module.

The motorized framing module.

High precision, an amplitude of movement that allows the entire beam window to be moved, rotation through ±60° for positioning in all orientations – and even a bit more – all of this is enough to create attractive shapes, beautiful framing and even striking beam effects. With a little frost, itʼs perfect.
The sharpness is rough for two blades out of the four, but this is the case with all shutter blades that provide total closure. Nothing extra, nothing less. Overall it is an excellent profiling module.

Disassembly. Letʼs strip it all down!

The fixture laid bare.

The unit is relatively easy to maintain and disassemble for maintenance purposes. The head is enclosed by two large cowls held in place by captive, quarter-turn, Phillips-head screws (which are secured by small wires that snap into place by means of a spring-loaded lug), the yoke arms are also fitted with a cover on each side, and the lower part of the yoke is closed with two half-covers. The base is more difficult to disassemble.

You will need a Torx T-25 screwdriver if you want to carry out a complete disassembly of the unit. But thatʼs really EVERYTHING. The choice of the Torx comes from the manufacturerʼs desire to prevent the user from troubleshooting certain issues on site with his Leatherman. Well, personally, Iʼm not a fan of this principle…
We have to spend so much time on the road doing maintenance on our equipment that Iʼm not happy with any approach that is intended to put a restriction on the user…
Weʼre talking about professional equipment, handled by professional technicians, so tinkering with the Leatherman is not recommended, but hey… at least for the whole fixture itʼs the same Torx 25…

Inside the head, the rear section is occupied by the LED engine, enclosed at the heart of the cooling system. We can only see it through the big lens that concentrates the flux to the optical path. Four big fans (two bringing in the air and two extracting it) organize the air flow through the heatpipe radiator.
The front part of the head contains the effects, with ventilation and filtering to ensure a well regulated temperature and a minimal accumulation of dust.

The output lens of the LED source module.

The rear of the source module with the cooling system of the LED engine.

Next come the zoom carriage and the focus carriage, before the 160 mm diameter output lens. The frost filters and the two prisms are mounted on the focus carriage. They are inserted from the sides – where they are parked in a recessed position – into the beam when they are in use.

The zoom and focus carriages, with the prisms and frost filters.

The range of operation of these effects is quite limited in depth, which avoids having to make a big compromise between the amplitude of the zoom/focus and the use of prisms and frosts…
On the other hand, the frosts and prisms cannot be superimposed upon each other. But is this a real problem? I donʼt think so.

The space between the source assembly and the optical system from which the beam is emitted is dedicated to two modules, one with the colors and effects and the other with the motorized framing system. Both can be removed relatively easily, after a bit of sometimes meticulous disassembly, but quite in line with the classic methods of routine maintenance.

The CMY+CTO side of the colors/effects module.

The gobo side of the colors/effects module.

The shutter side of the framing module.

The side of the framing module with the control electronics.

The modules are very densely packed, but well designed. The maintenance of this type of assembly is always delicate, but in this case, they seem to be well studied to allow the cleaning or replacement of some parts without losing too much sweat.

And the parts not in the head?

The yoke incorporates, along with some electronics, the pan and tilt drives with their big and powerful stepper motors, but the interesting thing is that the access to the belts is quite straightforward. Replacing the tilt drive belt, for example, does not require any disassembly. The access is not obstructed by any structure or wiring. All you have to do is release the system that keeps the belt tensioned to completely free it and replace it.

The bottom of the open yoke. Above is the access to the pan axle.

As for the pan drive, it is more tricky, but it is nevertheless more accessible than on many other fixtures. When you remove the covers from the base of the yoke, you have access to almost everything. This is a very positive point, if only for inspection in case of problems.
The base contains the power supply, the display and the board that handles the software of the unit…


Even though it doesnʼt feature any significant unique innovations, the Era 800 Performance is nonetheless an excellent fixture, befitting the current high-end market. A simple and complete spotlight with rather interesting price positioning, which proudly meets any demand for a powerful, versatile and professional profile fixture on a technical rider.
Its 35,000 lumens of flux and its beautiful uniform beam are enough to bring everyone into agreement. Welcome ERA!

For further information, you can visit the Algam Entreprises website

What we liked:

  • The light
  • The gobos
  • The colors
  • The single DMX mode

what we didnʼt like:

  • The omega brackets cannot be offset

General table



Meyer Ultra Reflex Solution for Direct View Displays

La toute nouvelle salle de projection et de mixage de Netflix à Los Angeles équipée d’Ultra Reflex.

Meyer Sound has introduced Ultra Reflex, a patent-pending solution for optimum reproduction of discrete screen channel audio on large-scale direct view video displays. The complete system for each screen channel comprises a high frequency component reflecting off the screen that is coupled seamlessly with a direct radiating low frequency component.

Le bon vieux temps avec un vidéo projecteur pour l’image et un écran trans-sonore pour permettre la reproduction du son.

Le procédé Ultra Reflex avec le « composant haute fréquence » dont l’émission est réfléchie par la surface de l’écran (en bleu) et les plus classiques renforts de grave et subs infra en radiation directe (en vert).

The patent-pending solution encompasses proprietary acoustical designs, DSP technologies and optimization techniques. The result is full bandwidth reproduction together with extremely low distortion, pinpoint directionality, and extraordinarily flat amplitude and phase response for tonal accuracy.

Un gros plan du « composant haute fréquence », en clair, l’enceinte en charge de la localisation d’un des L, C ou R au sein de l’image.

With Ultra Reflex, audiences throughout the viewing space experience accurate and stable sound localization, crisp dialog, high-fidelity music scores and powerful effects audio quality that ideally complements the newest image technologies.

Audio challenges have inhibited wider acceptance of larger direct view displays because, unlike with acoustically transmissive projection screens, loudspeakers cannot be located directly behind the visual image.
Placing screen channel loudspeakers around the display perimeter compromises uniformity of coverage, stability of image localization, and overall audio fidelity.

Miles Rogers

The innovative Ultra Reflex solution preserves the audio advantages of a behind-screen system while also improving breadth of coverage for a wider “sweet spot” in the viewing space.

“The introduction of direct view displays in the cinema industry created the need for a unique solution for LCR screen channels,” says Miles Rogers, Meyer Sound business development manager, cinema & content creation markets.
“Ultra Reflex is the culmination of prediction software, loudspeaker technologies, and the lifelong vision of John Meyer to create solutions for the most demanding audio professionals.”

For the initial launch period, the new Meyer Sound Ultra Reflex solution is paired with Sony’s Crystal LED. This synergetic arrangement allows early adopters to experience the ultimate in high-contrast, high resolution video complemented by leading-edge audio technology. The displays are installed and in use by leading companies and professionals across the world.

La dalle LED Sony Crystal de 518 x 274 cm ciblée par les 3 nouvelles enceintes Meyer visibles en haut de l’image et tirant dans sa direction.

Les plates-formes d’optimisation DSP GALAXY ™ 816 et les alimentations intelligentes MPS-488HP délivrant le signal audio et 48 V sur des câbles composites.

The first joint installation for the two technologies is at a reference-level screening room and lab on the Netflix campus in Los Angeles.
Designed to replicate both critical viewing and audio mixing as well as accommodate VIP screenings, the room features a 17’ wide by 9’ high HDR-capable 4K Crystal LED from Sony. Proprietary DSP for optimization is supplied by a GALAXY™ 816 Network Platform.

The innovative screen channels are part of a complete Dolby Atmos® system that has quickly recallable snapshots for theatrical or 9.1.6 home entertainment playback modes.
The balance of the system comprises a total of 37 self-powered Meyer Sound cinema loudspeakers, including HMS Series lateral and overhead surround loudspeakers bolstered by USW-210P™ subwoofers for surround bass management and X-400C™ cinema subwoofers with VLFC™ very low frequency control elements for bass management and LFE.

A short film to better understand how Ultra Reflex works:

Ultra Reflex Introduction from Meyer Sound on Vimeo.

More on the Meyer Sound website


Robert Juliat Dalis adds a golden glow to the Latin Grammy Awards 2020

Hosted by Ana Brenda Contreras, Victor Manuelle and Yalitza Aparicio, the 21st Latin Grammy Awards were celebrated in late November to honour the cream of the Latin music scene.
This year saw a rather different format from the usual star-studded occasion due to the dictates of the COVID-19 pandemic: to ensure the safety of the artists and the production team, the nominees were showcased to the world in a remote, live broadcast by Univision from the American Airlines Arena in Miami, with breakout performances streamed from other cities throughout Latin America.

Despite the lack of a live audience, this year’s performances were no less glamorous, and the stellar line up – which included the likes of Bad Bunny, Camilo, Kany García, J Balvin, Jesse & Joy, Natalia Lafourcade, Ricky Martin, Fito Páez and Carlos Vives all competing for Album Of The Year – were presented in their best light, bringing some much-needed joy and warmth to its worldwide viewing audience.
The Awards show’s lighting designer and director, Tom Kenny, operating from the Miami base, chose to enhance the appearance of the artists with the elegance and subtleties of a number of Robert Juliat Dalis 860 LED fixtures.

Nine of the 8-colour LED battens were arranged at ground level in a horseshoe configuration bordering the front of the performing area, from where they were used as footlights and for low level front lighting.

With ‘Music Makes Us Human’ as the evening’s theme, Kenny used the Dalis fixtures to bring a warmth and depth to the performers’ faces; Ricky Martin’s set included a duet with Carla Morrison with whom he performed Recuerdo, followed by his own solo performance of the award-nominated song, Tiburones.
“The Latin Grammys draws a massive TV and online presence so every artist is on top form and really looking for the high standards the production brings every year,” says Kenny. “Ricky Martin has always been passionate about his performance and puts a lot of energy and rehearsal into his songs. We introduced the Robert Juliats Dalis 860 to him on previous shows, so I had them ready for him at this year’s mega show in Miami on November 19th.

“The warmth, shape and colour temperature that these units produce not only soften and gave him a beautiful glow, but the ‘old-world-meets-new’ look of each fixture added to the theatrics of the song. He loved them so much he didn’t want to stray too far from their beautiful aura!”
The Robert Juliat Dalis 860 fixtures were supplied to the Latin Grammy Awards by PRG.

More information about the complete Dalis family of LED fixtures and all Robert Juliat luminaires can be found on the Robert Juliat website


Sennheiser to Focus on Pro Business

Sennheiser plans to focus on its Professional business in future and aims to secure a partnership to strengthen its market position in Consumer Electronics. With this decision, Sennheiser is consistently continuing on its course to build greater independence for its business units.

Daniel and Andreas Sennheiser

“In our Professional and Consumer Divisions, we have four Business Units in total: Pro Audio, Business Communications, Neumann and Consumer Electronics. In all of these areas we see great potential for growth.
At the same time, they are characterized by different customer groups, customer requirements, product life cycles and market dynamics,” says Andreas Sennheiser, Co-CEO of Sennheiser.

“To be best able to exploit the potential in each of these markets, we are concentrating our own resources on the three business areas in the Professional division and are looking for a strong partner to invest in our Consumer business,” adds Daniel Sennheiser, Co-CEO of Sennheiser. Talks with potential partners will start shortly.

The Evolution Wireless G4 series.

Strengthen the market position and increase visibility in the Consumer business

“Our products are known for the best sound and for delivering a unique sound experience. These crucial aspects are at the heart of the purchasing decision for our customers in the Premium Headphones, Enhanced Hearing, Audiophile and Soundbars segments,” explains Daniel Sennheiser, Co-CEO. “These are the strengths that we want to work with a partner to build upon.” In parallel, it is important to increase visibility in the market in order to be able to achieve sustainable growth.

Focus on development of Professional business

The Team Connect Ceiling 2 capture and audio management system.

A partnership for the Consumer business enables Sennheiser to place its focus and resources on strengthening its Pro Audio, Business Communications and Neumann business units.
“Whether in the studio, concert hall, conference room or auditorium in the Pro world, Sennheiser stands for a superior audio experience, the highest reliability and the best customer understanding,” says Andreas Sennheiser.

Here, the audio specialist plans to independently invest in its sound competence as well as in its market presence and visibility. This will enable Sennheiser to continue to grow at an above-average rate and to expand its strong position in the global market.
The business communications market in particular offers significant opportunities for growth that Sennheiser intends to capture.

Repositioning for a successful future

“All business units are to emerge strengthened from the planned repositioning. With a strong partner at our side to invest in our Consumer business, we will be even better equipped to play to our strengths  and to continue to bring the benefit of these strengths to our customers,” says Daniel Sennheiser.
Andreas Sennheiser adds: “For over 75 years, Sennheiser has stood for excellent technology and unique audio experiences. In doing so, we always focus on the needs of our customers. And we will continue to do so in the future.’

Conclusion by Andreas and Daniel Sennheiser

Dear customers, partners and friends,

A partnership for the Consumer business enables us to focus our own energy and resources on strengthening the Pro Audio, Business Communications and Neumann business units.
This means that new possibilities, opportunities and ideas for the future are continuously emerging. For Sennheiser, this means that we must continue to develop and adapt. As a family business, we have to be agile and flexible and make decisions for the future.

This is part of our entrepreneurial responsibility.

Andreas and Daniel Sennheiser Co-CEO


Hippotizer on The Masked Singer TV Show Finland

Les serveurs Hippotizer ont aidé l’équipe à ajuster les couleurs, la luminosité et les effets à la volée. © Saku Tiainen

Helsinki’s Visual Monkeys design agency ramped up the visuals for Finland’s popular The Masked Singer TV show using Hippotizer Montane+ RTX and Karst+ Media Servers in December.

Visual Monkeys’ founder Mikko ‘Bob’ Enäkoski, who says he’s on a mission to bring stadium looks to Finnish TV, designed the show’s set and visual set up and was looking for a solution to create what he likes to call ‘a kick ass show’. This passion led him to the Hippotizer Media Servers.

© Saku Tiainen

“We are a team of around 20 people at Visual Monkeys and we like to deliver,” says Enäkoski. “For this season of Finland’s The Masked Singer, we went all-out, with pyrotechnics and scaled-up video content.

Some of the biggest challenges we face are getting the balance right with the lights and the video, and ensuring the focus stays on the performer, backed up by a brilliant visual setup. That’s where Hippotizer came in, controlled by our main video operator, Lassi ‘Brandon’ Seppä.”

During the live shows, Seppä controlled both the Montane+ RTX and the Karst+ via a grandMA2. He says using a lighting console for control of the Hippotizers is an “excellent combination to help adjust parameters like the colours, brightness and effects on the fly, and in an instant”.

“Hippotizer gives us a simple, customized, fast access to all parameters via a lighting console or ZooKeeper, making my life much easier on a demanding show like this,” says Seppä. “ZooKeeper really gives a good overview of all parameters at once, and using Hippotizer is great when I’m working on a cue-based show.”

Seppä took advantage of Hippotizer’s suite of tools, including VideoMapper, PixelMapper, and HippoSnapper. “VideoMapper on layers really helped me to map HD video content to the custom-sized video screens,” he says. “HippoSnapper is a helpful tool to combine layers and create instant stills content. Overall, Hippotizer gives me customisation, flexibility and control.”

© Saku Tiainen

Enäkoski adds: “We were the first visuals team to work on The Masked Singer Finland, so we had mostly free rein to create how we wanted – we looked at the show visuals in other countries and thought, ‘how can we do this better?’ We listened to the client, designed the show and I think it looked really great. Hippotizer is our go-to for visual control and we’re happy.”
A host of Finnish celebrities donned masks to take part in Season Two of the show. The eventual winner was heavy metal singer, Marco Hietala, who sang the Backstreet Boys classic ‘Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)’ to scoop the prize.

More information on the Green Hippo website


First Pentecostal Church keeps faith with Martin Audio

The new chapel with the two hangs of 16-deep O-Line.

When the First Pentecostal Church in North Little Rock, Arkansas, decided to upgrade its sound system three years ago it became the world’s first adopter of Martin Audio’s then new Wavefront Precision Compact and Mini optimised arrays.

Zachary Ward

Fast forward to the present and the Church has added a new mid-size chapel on its campus for multipurpose use and brought in a new sound contractor. However, it has kept faith in the British brand that has served the community so well in the main church.
This time the PA needed to reinforce events that were “too large for our rotunda space, too small for our sanctuary, and not quite casual enough to be held in our Great Hall,” according to the Church’s Director of Communications, Zachary Ward.

With aesthetics a prime consideration, the solution was found in the House of Worship favourite, the discreet O-Line column micro array, specified and installed by Nashville-based Spectrum Sound.

One O-Line without his grill. 16 box equals 102 db of sensitivity.

This provides balanced coverage for the 232 main floor seats and further 48 seats in the balcony.
Ward confirms that brand continuity was based on the “exemplary” Wavefront Precision performance in the main space. However, the decision was not taken before carefully scanning the market to compare options.
“We considered multiple brands and models but ultimately it was Spectrum Sound who, after seeing the space, recommended we take a look at O-Line, a product which none of us had even heard about at that point.”

16 O-Line hang with a 1 box resolution. In Red is close to the hang, Yellow the FOH and green is distant. In black the rejection behind the speakers.

He added, “The new room presents an auditory challenge as the floors are of tile and the ceiling is more than 40 feet high, creating quite a reverberant space.
Added to that is the need to reliably produce clear, intelligible speech during a sermon or dinner involving a speaker while also being capable of producing rich, vibrant music and vocals during a time of worship. We feel that the Martin Audio system accomplishes these demands well.”

To achieve this, Spectrum has provided two hangs of 16-deep O-Line, run in 2-box resolution from a pair of Martin Audio iKON iK81 amplifiers, with a pair of white floor-mounted SX218 subs placed unobtrusively between a couple of large floor-to-ceiling columns, powered by an iK42.

The SX218 sub.

Spectrum Sound sales manager, Ken DeBelius, who had arranged the original presentation, gave his reasons for recommending O-Line. “Although there are a number of column-style small-format line-source arrays using 2” or 3” drivers, no other brands can match this, especially when considering the overall vertical coverage scalability required in this project.
“O-Line is unique, because it allows the flexibility of a traditionally curved larger line source, but in a package that fits a space like this chapel much better aesthetically. And adding Martin Audio’s Wavefront Precision magic really optimises what is possible as to the acoustical radiation from such a compact solution.”

Ken DeBelius

Operating in different live touring and installation sectors, the HoW market segment forms a major part of Spectrum Sound’s Systems Integration division. However, the FPCNLR project represented not only their first deployment of O-Line but their first Martin Audio installation experience.
Prior to installation they pre-assembled the systems in their workshops and flew them at trim, to test performance. “We were happy with the sonic result right at the outset and adding the dual 18” subs made it a truly full range system,” DeBelius continued.

However, his team were mindful of the considerable acoustic challenges. “The mostly hard, reflective architectural surfaces provide an obvious challenge for any system for amplified speech or music. This system needed to have as precise polar radiation as possible, to keep the overall room reverberation managed and under control.”

The other challenge was presented by the separate upper balcony seating section. “I was loath to add a set of delay fill loudspeakers, once again with aesthetic considerations being a major concern. Thus, the main arrays needed to be capable of projecting up into the balcony, and this they did extremely well.”

Tuning and design were carried out via Martin Audio’s proprietary Display software, using construction drawings and on-site measurements. In addition to powering the main system, the spare channels on the 4-channel amplifier were wired with stage connectivity for use with passive floor monitors. “For now, the system is being driven analogue by a small mixing console, but later on with the upgrade to a larger console they can drive the system via Dante directly into the iKON amplifiers,” states Ken DeBelius.

The 8-channel Power Amplifier iK81.

In summary, the installer said that Spectrum had managed to meet not only the aesthetic requirement with O-Line but also delivered listeners with “good direct-to-reverberant ratios for their live amplified program content. The small size, combined with the controlled directivity of the compact Martin Audio O-Line, provided the perfect solution to solve both of these challenges for this room. That, plus the fidelity and overall sonic character of these arrays were an added bonus,” he exclaimed.

Zachary Ward was equally effusive. “We are extremely satisfied with the performance of O-Line. With such a unique room, including 42ft-high ceilings and several stained-glass windows reaching more than 28ft tall, O-Line provides even coverage and clarity while accomplishing our main goal, preserving the overall aesthetic of the room.”

For more information on the Martin Audio website


Grove theater invests in Chauvet Force

12 Maverick Force 1 Spot s’adaptent au design des spectacles.

From April, 2007, its opening gala hosted by legendary actor Brian Blessed, the 750-seat venue, located in Dunstable – UK, staged over 5000 shows and events. Then the COVID-19 pandemic brought its busy schedule to an abrupt halt.

En haut de l’images, 4 Force 2 Profile installés en fixe assurent la face.

Although the theatre had to close its doors to the public during the lockdown, activity within its walls didn’t stop. With the popular venue empty, its technical director Richard Shrubb and his team were more readily able to upgrade its lighting rig by adding 16 of the new Chauvet Professional Force series fixtures supplied by its longtime vendor 10 out of 10 Productions.

“Grove Theatre was still using a sizeable number tungsten fixtures in its rig,” said Paul Need of 10 out of 10 Productions. “The lockdown proved to be a suitable time to commence this work as there were no dates in the diary for any performances.
Richard and his team wanted to bring the rig in to this century. They also appreciated the savings in power they could expect from both their FOH and stage lighting, as well as the savings in replacement lamps. Also, having 16 moving fixtures in the rig will reduce their change-over and focusing times.”

Le Maverick Force 2 Profile.

Thanks to the support of the theatre’s patron, the Central Bedfordshire Council, Need and the 10 out of 10 Productions team were able to install 12 Maverick Force1 Spot and four Maverick Force 2 Profile fixtures at the venue.
The 470-watt LED spot fixtures are hung on electrics over the stage and can be moved to accommodate different lighting designs, whilst the 580-watt profile units are fixed positioned FOH. A group of eight Ovation CYC 1FC fixtures were also included in the lighting upgrade.

With their intense output (20,000 lumens for the spot fixture and 21,000 for the profile) the Maverick Force units can deliver more than enough brightness from any position in the theatre.

As a cultural hub of its community, the Grove Theatre presents a broad range of shows, from musicals and rock concerts, to children’s plays and classical recitals. The two new Maverick fixtures are expected to add much-valued flexibility to the theatre’s rig thanks to performance features, such as their capacity to produce an array of hues as a result of their CMY+CTO color mixing and an added color wheel with CTB and CRI filters.

Les 12 projecteurs Maverick Force 1 Spot.

The Maverick Force 1 Spot and Maverick Force 2 Profile will not be the first Maverick fixtures to have an impact on the Grove Theatre. A little over three years ago, 10 out of 10 Productions supplied the theatre with Maverik MK1 Spot and MK2 Wash fixtures.

“Those fixtures work perfectly and are very suitable for the size of the venue,” said Need. “They really stood out during an eight-week Christmas Pantomime production. So, we’re very confident recommending Chauvet to valued client.”

More on the Chauvet professional website


LD Systems Expands Its AV Integration Portfolio

At last ISE 2020 Adam Hall Group announced a variety of new LD Systems audio products for audio-visual integration. The diverse range of professional installation solutions are now ready for release.

In addition to the MAUI i1 the first MAUI specially designed for use in permanent installations and DQOR loudspeakers, which are also available in 70/100 V versions, the IMA and IPA amplifier series offer maximum flexibility as central signal modules functioning in the background. The steadily growing portfolio of LD Systems installation products is completed by the new ZONE X 1208 DSP matrix processors, which operate with configurable user layouts, app integration, and optional Dante network connection in the interface between integrator and end user.

Gabriel Alonso Calvillo

“The goal of Integrated Systems is to always provide solutions,” explains Gabriel Alonso Calvillo, Product Manager, Integrated Systems, and plays a major role in developing our new installation series. “That’s why we initially focused on product solutions which are required for daily planning and installation operations.

Creating relevant technical platforms will allow us to offer specialized solutions in the future too. In this way, we want to continually increase our market share in the AV fixed installation sector, while also simultaneously respecting the values that have always represented Adam Hall and its brands: reliability, performance, user orientation, design, and innovation.

We are also expanding our project support at the same time. In the future, we will increasingly act as the point of contact for our partners and customers, both in-house and on site.”

An Overview of the New LD Systems Installation Solutions

MAUI i1 – Indoor / Outdoor Passive Installation Column Loudspeaker

Thanks to the MAUI i1, LD Systems is taking the next step and making it possible for planners, integrators, and end users to also use the award-winning powered column loudspeakers in permanent installations.

The MAUI i1 has nine 3-inch full-range woofers and two 1-inch neodymium tweeters, including a two-way frequency range, and supplies 120 watts (RMS) at 8 ohms.
The BEM-optimized high-frequency waveguide makes it possible to precisely control the vertical dispersion and ensure the balanced distribution of sound throughout a space – even in difficult acoustic environments.

The MAUI i1 is also equipped with an 8 ohm/70 V/100 V control switch with tap connections for 60, 30, 15, and 7.5 watts for smooth integration into constant-voltage loudspeaker systems.
A special U-shaped mounting bracket for flexible wall mounting is included in the scope of delivery.

The MAUI i1 installation column loudspeaker is now available in either black or white.

DQOR Series – Outdoor and Indoor Installation Loudspeakers

The new DQOR series’ installation loudspeakers are suitable for both outdoor and indoor projects. The two-way systems are available in 3” (DQOR 3), 5.25” (DQOR 5), and 8” (DQOR 8) sizes and come in low- and high-impedance (T) versions with 8 and 16 ohms respectively. The DQOR models can also be integrated into 70/100 V environments using a control switch for variable power tapping.

The product housing is outfitted with a built-in wall mounting bracket as well as a handy slide/lock mechanism for flexible use in many different indoor and outdoor applications. Thanks to the recessed connection panel, which has no visible cable paths, the DQOR series can also be used in visually sophisticated environments.
To direct the sound in a precise manner, for example, in the restaurant and retail sectors, the loudspeakers have an integrated 27° tilt and 45° pan mechanism. The new DQOR series is available in black and white.

The DQOR installation loudspeakers will be available from March 2021.

IMA 30 and IMA 60 – Mixing Amplifier with Four Priority Levels and 70/100 V Tap

The IMA 30 (30 W @ 4 ohms) and IMA 60 (60 W @ 4 ohms) models are the first products to be released by LD Systems in the new IMA series. The wide range of input and output options, including Bluetooth for the wireless connection of music sources and a multistage priority circuit, means the mixing amplifiers in the compact 9.5-inch housing can be freely integrated into commercial and industrial applications.

Both IMA models offer four priority levels for emergency calls, microphone/line inputs, connected music sources, and an optional automatic standby mode. User-friendly operation is a top priority for LD Systems. Not only integrators and installers but also end users should be able to easily use the IMA series in day-to-day activities.

The IMA 30 is now available, the IMA 60 will be available from March 2021.

IPA 424 T/IPA 412 T – DSP-Based Four-Channel Power Amplifiers

The LD Systems portfolio now also includes DSP-based installation power amplifiers due to the introduction of the IPA series. The four-channel IPA 412 T (120 W) and IPA 424 T (240 W) models have built-in transformers for each channel, a 100 V/70 V tap, and a low-impedance output up to 4 ohms. Both models feature an expansion card slot that allows IPA amplifiers (including all DSP parameters) to be controlled via Ethernet and seamlessly integrated into larger installation networks via Dante (AoIP).

In the basic setup, the IPA power amplifiers work like a conventional installation amplifier with a 100/70 V tap and separate low-impedance output. The DSP section includes a parametric EQ (including loudspeaker library), compressor, matrix mixer, delay, and the ability to select prioritized sources. The IPA series can also be operated with LD Systems remote control units and paging microphones by using a CAN-based (controller area network) REMOTE bus (in/out).

The IPA 412 T and IPA 424 T 4-channel DSP power amplifiers will be available from May 2021.

ZONE X 1208/ZONE X 1208 D

ZONE X 1208 – a 19-inch hybrid DSP matrix processor with diverse remote control options, lets users load DSP templates for a variety of installation requirements. In combination with the integrated Event Scheduler (planner), calendar-specific workflows can be created to automatically change presets.

The ZONE X 1208 also features a REMOTE bus for seamless integration of LD Systems wall panels and paging microphones. As a flexible signal matrix, ZONE X 1208 offers 12 balanced microphone/line inputs with high-quality microphone preamps and 48 V phantom power for each channel, eight balanced line outputs, and eight GPI and eight GPO logic ports.
With the integrated Ethernet interface, the ZONE X 1208 can also be controlled remotely with the universal Xilica Designer control software based on the current Linux operating system. Dedicated remote control applications for iOS and Android are also available for customizing the software user interface. In addition to ZONE X 1208, the matrix processor is available as ZONE X 1208 D with an integrated Ethernet + Dante card with 64 × 64 Dante AoIP channels.

ZONE X 1208 and ZONE X 1208 D hybrid DSP matrix processors will be available from February 2021.

More information:


Rupert Neve, Audio Industry Icon, Dies at 94

Mr. Rupert Neve’s impact on the audio industry can hardly be overstated. It’s no exaggeration to say that millions of people worldwide listen to music every day that was produced using equipment incorporating Rupert’s designs somewhere in the process, from the vocal recording to the final mix, if not from beginning to end.

His designs, ranging from large-format mixing consoles to compact 500 series modules, are ubiquitous, and may be found anywhere from the largest production facilities to the most basic home studios. His audio hardware designs have also been reproduced as software plug-ins, making them available to anyone with access to a computer.
Rupert and his wife, Evelyn, moved to Wimberley in late 1994 and became U.S. citizens in 2002. In 2005, they acquired premises near where they had settled in the Texas Hill Country and established Rupert Neve Designs (RND).

Born in Newton Abbott, England, in 1926, Rupert showed an enthusiasm for electronics from an early age, repairing and building radios as a boy while growing up in Argentina.
At the age of 17 he volunteered to serve during World War II, joining the Royal Signals, which provides communications support to the British Army. Returning to civilian life in England, he built a mobile system to record choral groups and public events onto lacquer disks. He also supplied public address systems for events involving Princess Elizabeth, now Queen Elizabeth II, and Winston Churchill.

I know many artists that were waiting for his arrival, somewhere up there…

The company manufactures the 5088 analog mixing console and a range of rackmount and desktop processing, summing and other equipment, including the Portico, Portico II, and Shelford lines. In 2012 RND began producing equipment in the 500 series form factor and in 2018 Rupert released his first digital design, the RMP-D8 Dante-networked multichannel microphone preamp.
Rupert’s contributions to the professional sound industry were recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Technical GRAMMY Award in 1997, an Audio Engineering Society Fellowship Award in 2006, 16 TEC (Technical Excellence and Creativity) Awards for Rupert Neve Designs products, and Studio Sound magazine’s Audio Person of the Century Award, in 1999.

Rupert Neve doing an autograph on one of his consoles.

After working for Rediffusion, Ferguson Radio and a transformer manufacturer for a time, Rupert set up his first business, CQ Audio, manufacturing home hi-fi amplifiers and loudspeakers.
In 1960, a composer in Ireland commissioned him to design and build his first audio mixing console the piece of equipment with which he ultimately became synonymous. In 1961, Rupert and his wife established Neve Electronics.

Adopting the latest technology, Rupert designed his first transistor-based equalizer in 1964, then produced his first transistor mixing console, for Philips Records’ studios. In subsequent years, he designed and manufactured many of the iconic pieces of equipment for which he has since become celebrated, such as the Neve 80 and 50 series mixing desks.
Years later, individual microphone preamp, equalizer and processing modules originally incorporated into those consoles, such as the 1073 and 1081, became highly prized for their sonic character. The relative scarcity of original modules has spawned a host of boutique manufacturers making reproduction units.

Rupert adopted digital technology in 1977, introducing the world’s first moving fader system, NECAM (NEve Computer Assisted Mixdown), and installing the first system at producer George Martin’s Air Studios in London. The Neve 81 series of mixing desks integrated digital assignable controls into an otherwise analog design.

Rupert and Evelyn sold the Neve Companies in 1975, by which time they employed 500 people worldwide with manufacturing locations in England and Scotland and sales offices across North America. Austria’s Siemens Corp. subsequently acquired the Neve brand from its new owner, later selling the company to AMS in England.

Rupert and Evelyn, now operating as ARN Consultants, established Focusrite Ltd. in 1985, producing outboard equipment and a large-format mixing console, of which just eight were made.

One of them can be found at the Sound City Setagaya Studio in Tokyo.

Part of the mission of ARN Consultants was to provide sound reinforcement and acoustics solutions in difficult environments such as churches and cathedrals. Rupert also developed techniques and equipment to enable the building of low-budget studios around the world.
During the 1970s and ‘80s, he established the Cambridge Radio Course, an intensive residential course intended for Christian workers using radio to educate, inform and entertain their communities.

ARN Consultants moved on to work with Amek Systems and Controls Ltd. in Manchester, England. Rupert’s first design project was “The Equaliser,” a stereo mastering EQ produced by Amek under the Medici brand.

That led to further collaboration with the manufacturer and the development of another large-format mixing console, the Amek 9098, and a line of outboard equipment derived from the analog desk designs. Rupert’s Transformer-Like Amplifier (TLA) design was integrated into several Amek mixing console lines.

One of the 3 famous consoles designed for AIR Studios 1978, now in Bryan Adams’ studio, Vancouver.

ARN Consultants, now operating from Wimberley, Texas, worked on a number of projects, including Legendary Audio’s “The Masterpiece,” a modular mastering system. Rupert also became involved in the MI (musical instrument) market for the first time, designing a preamp and pickup assembly for Taylor Guitars. In 2011 he partnered with sE Electronics to design the Rupert Neve Signature Series of active ribbon, condenser, and tube condenser microphones.

In 2002 Rupert and Evelyn Neve became US citizens.

In 2011, Yamaha launched the first Rupert Neve Designs plug-ins, approved by Rupert, for its Steinberg platform. The plug-ins, emulations of the designer’s current and classic module circuits, have also been integrated into Yamaha’s CL Series and Rivage PM10 digital consoles for live sound production, another first for Rupert.
Rupert is survived by his wife of nearly 70 years, Evelyn; five children, Mary, David, John, Stephen, and Ann; nine grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

And more information on Rupert Neve here


Yamaha is saddened to hear of the passing of an audio industry icon Rupert Neve.
Pure musical excellence was brought to audio engineers, producers, and musicians through his creations.
Rupert set the standard for quality in audio for broadcast, recording, live sound, and other segments in the music industry.
We are honored and grateful to have worked closely with Rupert and Rupert Neve Designs in bringing his products to Steinberg and to the Yamaha live sound world.


Sirkus Finlandia keeps the show on the road with Ayrton

Finland’s biggest touring circus, Sirkus Finlandia, completed a successful tour of the country late last year with a lighting rig composed almost entirely of Ayrton fixtures. The Ayrton products were supplied and supported by Ayrton’s exclusive distributor for Finland, Oy Lafoy Ltd of Helsinki.

© Sirkus Finlandia

Established in 1976, Sirkus Finlandia is a family run business with an international reputation. Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, Sirkus Finlandia had planned a 250-date tour across 115 cities from April to November, with audience capacities of 1600. The pandemic may have delayed its plans but it certainly didn’t stop them.

Ayrton Perseo

Determined to keep the show on the road, the company still managed to bring its colourful, uplifting show to the Finnish people over the summer, performing 108 shows in 23 cities to reduced audiences from the beginning of June until the start of November, a major achievement in these difficult times.

Sirkus Finlandia’s lighting designer, Eero Auvinen, incorporated Ayrton Perseo IP65-rated fixtures into his design for the first time a design which already used 6 Ayrton NandoBeam S3 wash lights and 8 Ayrton MagicDot-R.
These were rigged over the main ring on trusses suspended from the Big Top’s supporting structures and used pre-show to light the audience and create eye-catching visuals.

Throughout the show, the NandoBeam S3 fixtures were used as front lighting, while the MagicDots and Perseo units created an array of wonderful effects, textures and colours that provided a magical ambience for the huge variety of acts.

Video presentation of Perseo

AYRTON – Perseo – Presentation from Ayrton on Vimeo.

Auvinen has chosen to use Ayrton lighting fixtures on Sirkus Finlandia tours for several years: “We started with MagicDots when we were in need of something light and small for the band stand,” he explains. “Oy Lafoy, which has supplied and supported our lighting equipment on tour for more than 10 years, recommended the MagicDots.

Ayrton Nandobeam S3

Ayrton Magicdot-R

Oy Lafoy are a very reliable company and we trust their opinion, so we were happy to try their suggestion. We were very impressed with the MagicDots, so the next year we replaced our front lights with NandoBeam S3s.

For 2020, we added Perseo and the results are amazing. This is the first year I have been able to fully utilize gobo projections thanks to Perseo’s good optics and punch. Now we have seen how it performs under show conditions, we are well on our way to making our lighting rig Ayrton-only.”

Circus logo projected by Perseo © Sirkus Finlandia.

Auvinen and his team (technical designer, Tuomo Körkkö and AV Technician, Tero Juopperi) chose Perseo not only because of its incredible design capacity and feature set, but because it is an IP65 rated, dust-proof fixture.

Tero Juopperi (at left) and Tuomo Körkkö © Sirkus Finlandia.

“A Circus is a very demanding environment for lighting fixtures, especially with the horses running around the ring – the amount of dust they create is incredible,” Auvinen says.

“The cleaning and service process for our equipment is very time-consuming, and it the ultimate reliability test for any fixture.
We needed fixtures that can take this, along with 100+ load-ins each season, and occasional water leaks from the roof of the Big Top. Perseo was able to handle all of this easily and we have saved a lot in maintenance time.

“But what makes the Ayrton fixtures stand out most is their reliability in the harshest of conditions. We can trust completely that the rig will be fully operational in every city we visit!”

For more information visit:

– The Ayrton website
– The Lafoy website
– The Sirkus Finlandia


Le Plan’s Parisian concert hall choses L-Acoustics

Based in Ris-Orangis and owned by Communauté d’Agglomeration Grand Paris Sud, Le Plan opened in 1984, with a new venue built in 2014, and was recently awarded the prestigious contemporary music scenes label (SMAC) by the French Ministry of Culture.

A hub for Parisian music lovers and a reference venue for first-class sound quality, Le Plan’s audio system has recently been upgraded with L-Acoustics K and X Series delivered by Audiolive, replacing its previous 17-year-old system.

Robyn Bennett and her band rehearsing at Le Plan using the new L-Acoustics system.

Le Plan hosts an eclectic national and international programme covering the entire spectrum of contemporary music genres from hip hop to pop, rock, and more.
Le Plan’s audio team also has a mission of raising awareness of key developments within the contemporary music scene, and hosts specialist courses in live sound recording and mixing for students from EMC University. The venue’s two concert halls, seating 830 and 200, are open to professional and amateur musicians for masterclasses and conferences.

Benjamin Feuillade

“Our previous system had served us well, but we wanted to continue being a reference venue for great sound, and it was time for an upgrade,” says Benjamin Feuillade, sound engineer at Le Plan.
“Following internal discussions with our director, Fabien Lhérisson, and technical director, Jean-Noël Paquier, we made a list of our key requirements for the new main system, secondary areas, amplification, monitoring, wiring and rigging, which we put into a tender document.”

A key criterion was to have at least the same low frequency output as the previous system, so a 10-inch system was the minimum required. “K2, with its 12-inch transducers, easily reached our goal. Our new main system can go down to 35Hz, which was important to us,” notes Feuillade. “Audiolive’s proposal was also highly competitive and unmatched in terms of additional benefits offered by L-Acoustics, which was a key factor in deciding to award them the contract.”

Olivier Inizan and Arnaud Delorme.

Using Soundvision, the L-Acoustics team of Arnaud Delorme and Olivier Inizan prepared the system design to meet all objectives including well-distributed coverage, plenty of headroom, solid frequency response, consistency, and efficient control of the system.

The system comprises left / right hangs of five K2, with six KS28 under the stage, positioned in an arc sub compact mode, one X12 per side for near field coverage and an X8 per side for frontfill.
Additionally, one X12 was deployed for the bar area and two X12 for the VIP balcony. Seven LA12X and one LA4X are used to control the entire FOH system. The monitor system comprises 13 X15 and two SB18, all powered by seven LA8.

Le Plan’s stage monitor system comprises thirteen X15 and two SB18 subs.

“The detailed design allowed us to install all the right rigging points, motors and power supplies in advance,” continues Feuillade. “This saved a lot of time when we received the big delivery, just three weeks before the first lockdown hit France in March 2020, and we completed the entire installation in just one day. Calibration was done using L-Acoustics M1 suite, integrated into LA Network Manager software, allowing us to measure the entire room, and then optimise the setup offline.”

Six KS28 subs are positioned under the stage in an arc sub compact mode.

Le Plan’s team immediately noticed the significantly increased and well-distributed coverage. “Where we had previously needed to use secondary sources to feed the under-balcony area, K2 can easily reach the back wall. The bar and VIP areas now also have good and harmonious tonal balance.

By choosing an arc sub compact configuration for the KS28, we managed to achieve an amazing result in terms of consistency in all areas. We feel that we have really gained a lot with this system!” exclaims Feuillade.

Le Plan’s team has also been convinced by the L-Acoustics workflow, including LA Network Manager, with P1/M1 cited as a significant advantage. “It is now incredibly easy to host different mixing consoles and to tune the system exactly as we need it to be,” states Feuillade. “And, thanks to LA Network Manager’s Autoclimate feature, we are able to adapt the system during a show for increased humidity and temperature caused by the audience.”

Le Plan’s main system comprises left / right hangs of five K2, an X12 per side for near field coverage and an X8 per side for frontfill.

The new system has also helped the venue strengthen its 30-year partnership with EMC School, whose courses have benefitted a significant number of French engineers. Feuillade himself was one of the first, and he is now teaching the courses for second- and third-year students, offering hands-on monitor and FOH mixing sessions, and giving students a great reference point for working with a high-end sound system.

“This is a top-of-the-range audio setup that allows us to create the very best conditions for our visiting artists and their crews, students, and audiences,” concludes Feuillade. “People often tell us how great the sound quality is. They can’t explain why it’s so good, but we know.
“This whole process has been a great experience, and the collaboration with L-Acoustics and Audiolive has been invaluable. We are delighted to have chosen L-Acoustics K2 for Le Plan and can’t wait to start doing live shows again.”

More on the L-Acoustics website


116 x iPointes for David Guetta at the Louvre

Photo ©Guille GS

It was the gig of show designer / director Romain Pissenem’s dreams! Global music superstar David Guetta, France’s most iconic DJ and music producer playing a unique set live at one of the world’s most visually, architecturally, and historically impressive site-specific locations, Musee du Louvre in central Paris …

Photo ©Guille GS

Celebrating the monumentally symbolic roll-over from 2020 to 2021 in this breath-taking environment with style, cool, poise and some superlative dance beats, 116 x Robe iPointe moving lights on the rig helped make it THE New Year’s Eve livestream to remember from the year THAT WAS.
It was also the third in David Guetta’s “United at Home” concert series to raise money for those in need in what’s been a universally tough year for everyone.

Romain and his UK and France based creative production company High Scream were also the stream’s executive producers, working directly for the artist and collaborating closely with staff from The Louvre. The 15-camera stream was directed by Job Robbers.
Romain’s team included lighting designer Ian Tomlinson and lighting programmer and operator James Betts-Gray.

His starting point for the production design was the beautiful 21.6-metre-high glass and metal pyramid structure designed by architect I M Pei with its 603 rhombus shapes and 70 regular glass triangle segments, a timeless contemporary masterpiece that defines the Louvre’s main courtyard. While Romain and High Scream have been producing David Guetta’s live shows for the last couple of years, working on a show of this stature and significance took everyone to new levels of show production.

Photo ©Guille GS

For Romain, a truly international citizen, this show was also an emotional snapshot for an incredibly proud Frenchman. “The biggest challenge was to respect the wonderful aesthetics and integrity of this very special space and add in a complex, high-impact, show-stopping electronic music show capturing the sheer magic of this incredible moment,” commented Romain. The pressure was on for everyone involved to impress an audience of approximately 16 million who joined the stream from literally every corner of the globe!

Throughout 2020, High Scream has designed and produced a steady trickle of broadcast and streaming projects, all of which have enabled Romain to get savvy about how to bring the visual atmospherics and excitement that are a given with live audiences to screens large and small anything from a smartphone to a massive LED wall providing a cascade of goosebump moments for viewers.

Photo ©Guille GS

After much consideration, Romain decided they would hit the right vibe with lighting and lasers as the media to create layers of optical excitement, however they also supplied camera director Job with a collection of custom playback video content to pepper his mix as needed!
With Guetta’s DJ decks positioned centrally at the base of the main pyramid – a 34-metre-wide expanse – it was clear from the outset that the aesthetics precluded having any trussing or metal structures in view, so all lighting was positioned in a matrix arrangement on the floor radiating outwards from the decks.

The 116 x iPointes were the primary lights of the show

They looked stunning as their intense beams sliced dramatically through the rain and night sky radiating the incredible energy and sounds being created by the artist.
iPointes were chosen for their brightness, features and durability. For the geometry and style of the production design to work, protective domes were out, so they needed to be robust water-resistant fixtures as no one had any illusions about the Parisian weather in December!

Sure enough … apart from a brief pause for around 10 minutes at the start of Guetta’s set, it rained persistently all evening, turning to sleet and ice-rain towards the end of his incendiary hour-long performance … which was brutally cold but ensured the light beams looked even more awesome!

The iPointes were arranged in a series of carefully crafted linear lines creating a triangle shape mirroring the elevation and angles of the main pyramid. Effectively an ocean of lights in front of the DJ booth, which evoked the dynamic look that was fundamental to the design working from all the camera angles and was especially cool on the drone shots!

Photo ©Guille GS

The courtyard also has two smaller glass pyramids and seven triangular-shaped water features flanking the main pyramid … all providing additional surfaces to reflect and refract light, together with the rain that further amped up the overall moodiness with additional atmospheric twists.
Four hundred and thirty-two lights were utilised in total. To these Romain added some subtle lasering on the pyramid itself, with 20 x 30-Watt lasers shooting up and across the structure producing subtle highlights, disturbance and glitch effects which looked great on camera.

Photo ©Guille GS

Lighting and audio equipment were supplied by S Group, a regular High Scream show and event technical partner, with the lasers from Laser Fabrik.
The stream was broadcast live on various platforms including Facebook, Instagram TV, Twitch, YouTube, and numerous TV channels.
Romain, who has worked on many incredible shows worldwide, commented, “This was just REALLY special, particularly after a year like 2020 … it was something else. We were all very honoured to be involved and for David (Guetta) to entrust his production to us. The show brought an important message of hope during this very challenging time, and we were all grateful and immensely proud to be part of it.”

Having already raised over $1.5 million for charities with the United At Home events from Miami and New York, United At Home Paris was dedicated to UNICEF and Les Restos du Coeur. Donations could also be made to the Louvre, which has been closed for many months due to the pandemic.

For more product and general info, check the Robe website


Adamson CS-Series for Tate McRae’s The Tonight Show

When times get tough, artists adapt, relentlessly leveraging leading-edge production technology to explore ever more innovative ways of making an impact with remote live performances. And that’s exactly what drove the deployment of an Adamson Systems Engineering CS-Series loudspeaker rig for Tate McRae’s performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Adamson CS10 and CS119 power the Tate McRae performance for The Tonight Show.

Directed by Jonah Haber and filmed in Brampton, Ontario, the Alberta-based, global pop sensation’s performance of her massive international hit, ‘You Broke Me First’ featured all the trappings of a high-end video shoot courtesy of Vancouver-based production house, Boldy, and set design, video and staging by Toronto’s Congo Blue Productions.

Jeremie Ngandu

Typically on video shoots, audio is an afterthought. Not in this case, explains Jeremie Ngandu, who designed the system for the production and credits the Adamson loudspeakers as integral to the live energy and immediacy of McRae’s performance.

“We converted a 28,000-square-foot warehouse into a performance space,” Ngandu says, adding that the set included four separate performance areas or ‘rooms’ that McRae moved between during the song each kitted out with lighting and video screens to create a variety of effects.

Having worked with McRae on similar virtual live performances for The Jimmy Kimmel Show and The European Music Awards, Ngandu knows exactly what McRae and her dancers need to hear to pull off the high-energy performances McRae’s become known for.

The Adamson CS-Series system was a big part of that, he notes; in terms of ease of setup, the power and SPL necessary to set the tone and enhance the performance in what was, acoustically, a difficult environment, and, most importantly, in allowing Ngandu to provide great sound for both McRae and her dancers.

Behind the scenes at the Tate McRae video shoot, with each zone featuring stacks of good vibes.

Soundbox Productions supplied Ngandu with eighteen Adamson CS10 line array cabinets and six CS119 subs, which he deployed in six ground-stacked positions each consisting of three CS10 on top and one CS119 on the bottom. These were spread across the set to provide even coverage as McRae and two dancers moved through the space.

“I had the different zones on matrixes, so I could ride the levels as they moved throughout the set and could really feel the music everywhere. Using the Adamson stacks provided a live feel for the dancers and Tate,” he says, adding: “It’s important to keep in mind this was very much a live performance – one shot, no edits – so I think the ability to feel the track, with impact, enhanced the performance.”

A well known 19” Kevlar driver, a new power and DSP module developing 3000 W, 138 dB SPL Max, meet CS119.

The degree of control CS-Series provided was also helpful: “This wasn’t an ideal environment. It’s a concrete space with a metal roof, exposed brick, and no sound absorption. That’s where the zones came in.

Tate and her dancers felt every note and every beat of the drums because, as they moved, I’d bring up the level up in each area, but only to where I could still control the dynamics in the room. I really like the dispersion pattern of the CS10. It’s very focused, but it’s also wide and powerful so you don’t have to blast them to have that impact.”

That level of control benefitted everyone on the shoot, not least of all McRae herself. “Tate was on in-ears and that can be kind of isolating. So being able to have that live feel with the sub hitting her as she was singing and dancing, that helped a lot.”

Easy and handy to use, two channel Class-D amp & DSP with a total output of 2400 W, everything is controlled and monitored through a CS soft.

Although this was his first use of the CS-Series loudspeakers, for Ngandu, Adamson is a known and trusted quantity.
“I’ve used Adamson S-Series loudspeakers before, and I’ve done my Adamson Certification Training. I know how their loudspeakers sound and the power they pack.”

Beyond that, he continues: “With everything being spread out the way it had to be, having powered speakers connected via one cable was a game-changer. I didn’t have to run a whole bunch of amps and infrastructure.” As far as tuning, he adds: “It was pretty quick that way, too. I basically left them flat and had everything set up and patched in half an hour – I just plugged the speakers in, powered them up, and we were good to go.”

Tate McRae and her dancers pulling off the high-energy performances McRae’s is known for, getting plenty of energy behind them…

The final piece of the puzzle was a pair of Adamson CS7p two-way full-range loudspeakers that Ngandu used as reference monitors, “The CS7p were recommended by Soundbox and they really came in handy. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but when I played my own multi-track recordings through them before we started, the clarity, depth, punch; everything was there and the mid-range was so clear.”

“Tate was very pleased. She loved the sound overall, and I enjoyed having the CS7p as reference monitors. Tate wants her in-ear mix to sound like the studio record. That’s one of her biggest requests. I’ve listened to the record a million times. I know what it’s supposed to sound like and I know what Tate wants it to sound like. So, flipping between in-ears and the CS7p, you hear a true representation of the mix, which helped a lot. The CS7p allowed for a clean, tight, and punchy mix that translated one-for-one, exactly the way she wanted it to.”

Adamson CS7p deployed as reference monitors.

The clean look of the Adamson CS10 and CS119 also lent itself perfectly to the final result, he adds. Although he’d watched the performance already, seeing it in context during The Tonight Show brought that home.
“It was great to see all the hard work pay off and the system looked so good. The way the lights were hitting it. It was so clean.”

Most importantly, the performance was phenomenal. Not surprising given the accolades the 17-year-old pop singer/songwriter has racked up since her first release, ‘One Day’, went viral in 2017. Nailing it so perfectly, particularly without an actual crowd in front of you, isn’t easy, but McRae certainly made it look that way.

“I think the systems we had in place helped her lock into the music and feel like she was in a live space. A lot of the time, on studio sets, you have one or two speakers and you just have to pretend you’re performing as if you’re in a larger-than-life space. Having the Adamson system helped emulate being on a real stage with all the PA, subs, and power. I feel like that allowed Tate to lock in and deliver the performance that we all saw.”

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