DPA Microphones is pleased to announce the appointment of Music & Audio Solutions & Services as its new distributor in the Philippines, with immediate effect and across all markets including live sound, House of Worship, broadcast, pro audio, film and theatre.
Dominic Tsang and Jun Fernandez.
Founded in 2007, Music & Audio distributes products for a wide range of manufacturers involved in the sound reinforcement and musical instrument industries. Brands such as Korg, VOX, Smarvo and Lava Cable are included in the company’s roster. Music & Audio’s philosophy is to provide premium, cost-effective solutions for the most demanding music-making and sound enhancement needs.
Thanks to a strategic partnership with Audiophile Components Inc. –the largest pro audio distributor in the Philippines with a total of 70 dealers/contractors nationwide –DPA products will now be available through 12 Audiophile branches in and around Manila.
Commenting on the appointment, Dominic Tsang, DPA’s APAC Area Sales Manager, says:“We are pleased to have found an experienced partner in the Philippines and I am confident that with its solid knowledge and local expertise, Music & Audio will be able to serve our current and future customers promptly, efficiently and in the best way possible. By having Music & Audio as a partner, we are ready to expand our sales network to different market segments and capture the full potential of the Philippines.”
Jun Fernandez, Managing Director of Music & Audio, adds: “DPA is a technology leader in the pro audio market and a company with a strong product development team. In recent years they have launched numerous cutting-edge products to different sectors including Broadcast, Film and Theatre.
Music & Audio Solutions Services team during DPA training.
“To offer the best audio solutions to our customers, we only sell products that we love and want to use ourselves and this is especially the case with DPA microphones. Their sound is so real and natural, which is the most important element for miking because microphones are the first part of the signal chain and the one place where you don’t want any coloration or distortion of the sound.
We’re excited to be a distributor for DPA and believe that DPA’s products will generate synergy with our existing brands.”
Ready, steady … go! New dancing partners IRB 6620 and ‘Benke’ Rydman.
As the worlds of humans and machines collide and the relationships between nature, technology and artificial intelligence become daily more inextricably intertwined … urban dance impresario Fredrik ‘Benke’ Rydman made this mutually dependent alliance the subject of his amazing “Varoffer” performance, which has just completed its run at Stockholm Kulturhuset Stadsteater in Sweden.
Two radically different and beautifully fluid pieces made up this seminal work – the first a 40 minute ‘solo’ performance by Benke dancing with an industrial robot to a specially composed new soundtrack by Johan Liljedahl and Carl-Johan Rasmusson; and the second comprising 20 synchronised street dancers moving to Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring’ in 5000 litres of water with a massive mirror suspended above the stage bouncing their images back into the audience to appreciate their symmetry and formation skills.
Splashing effect for the Rite of Spring.
Imaginatively lit by Palle Palme, Robe BMFL Blades, LEDWash 1200s and ColorSpot 700E ATs together with other luminaires all played a vital part in this breath-taking show which took the concept of performance art and technology to new levels.
Palle has worked with Benke since 2003 when he was in the Bounce Streetdance Company including for their global hit “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” which toured worldwide, plus several other invigorating projects which always push creative boundaries due to Benke’s ability to think out-of-the-box and take audiences on extraordinary journeys!
Palle joined the Varoffer creative team around 9 months in advance, and the initial discussions with Benke involved an in-depth outline about how the show should look. They established a workshop complete with scenery and lighting fixtures several months before the opening which allowed them to experiment with various products and techniques.
Palle – who frequently uses Robe products in his design work – knew well in advance that he would have to use the Stadsteater’s house lighting rig as they play in rep and therefore change shows most days.
Benke and the Robot vs The Rite of Spring
Don’t try that at home (or at work, as it is).
Both acts of the piece played in specific areas on the stage – Benke and the Robot performed in an area approximately 8 metres in diameter, while the Rite of Spring dancers occupied a space around 12 metres on a custom 5 cm deep carpet filled with a 3 cm draft of water on which they slided and glided.
Palle used two of the 11 BMFL Blades as low side and front light, with five BMFL Blades on LX bar 0 also for front lighting, and four of the fixtures on the over-stage trussing. The 24 x LEDWash 1200s were also dotted around on the overhead trusses, while the older ColorSpot 700E ATs – among the theatre’s original purchase of Robe fixtures – were hanging in side-stage positions.
The first act with Benke and the Robot was extremely intense, and all the Robe units were used very sparsely, primarily one BMFL Blade at a time for back-light, catching Benke and the Robot in the path of the cross beam, gently fading in and out in rhythmic harmony with the music and the movement. Palle confirms that he would have chosen BMFL Blades even if they had not been part of the house lighting rig – “for the trim height, we needed something powerful and flexible, so it hit the spot”.
Water-mirror effect for the Rite of Spring.
For the second act more lighting came into play, although Palle had to be extremely strategic in where these sources were positioned … because anything placed overhead reflected and refracted off the mirror above the ‘pool’ of water!
He utilized the lighting budget to have twenty special low-rise side-lighting towers built, accommodating a total of 120 static profiles which allowed him to hit the dancers in the pool in a variety of different coloured whites without catching the water in the light. Some of these had super tight shuttering so only arms or legs were caught in the highlights, all adding to the sense of suggestion and mystery.
The challenges of lighting Varoffer included the diverse nature of the two acts with almost no changeover time … both needing totally different lighting treatments. “I had to be smart with how I used the whole rig, and which elements could be used in both acts” he says, adding that he was delighted with how the ploy succeeded! The extensive technical rehearsals with the Robot also helped enormously and enabled them to realise that sometimes Robots have their own ideas about where to perform!
Getting wet for Varoffer second part.
Dance is one of Palle’s favourite genres of performance to light and every cue in this unique performance was inspiring for him. He recalls that when he does a standard musical, he will typically have multiple cues for the music and for the positioning of the cast … however with this one, he probably only had around 60 positional cues for each act, so each and every one of them had to look fantastic!
He also enjoyed being back at the Stockholm Stadsteatern for his second show there, following a production of ‘Chicago’ a few years back. He utilised their ETC Cobalt lighting console, worked alongside “excellent” house programmer Pekka Hellsten, and was also “assisted enormously” by the venue’s head of lighting Anders Tuvesson who shared Palle’s passion and enthusiasm for the show and helped in every aspect related to the lighting rig.
About the Robot
“Hey, IRB6220, Gimme five ! “… or two ?
IRB 6620 was created by leading Swedish industrial robotics manufacturer ABB, based in Västerås, and it took them, specialist robotic programmers Robotdalen and Benke around 80 days to prepare all of IRB 6620’s moves for the 40 minutes long stage piece! This process was initially completed in a warehouse in Västerås.
A 10-hour day rehearsal gave them 30 seconds of the show – performance art being totally alien to IRB 6620 which had to learn how to dance from scratch! That was also just the beginning phase of the rehearsals. When IRB 6620 was installed in the theatre for the first time, they spent almost as much time again on stage, with rehearsals and sorting the numerous technical challenges.
IRB 6620 required two technicians standing-by on each side of the stage each time the show went live, watching the action intensely and ready with an ES button to stop the machine immediately if there was an anomaly in the dance like a slip or a wrong directional approach … as IRB 6620 could not detect any potential human errors alone.
On this exceptionally tight choreography Palle commented, “I cannot imagine this being attempted by anyone other that Benke – he is a complete genius!”
Allen & Heath is pleased to announce the appointment of Val Gilbert as Technical Marketing Manager. Based near London, he will be supporting Allen & Heath’s international distributor network, optimising the levels of education and training support they’re able to offer.
Val Gilbert has spent the last six years as the global Engineering Support Manager at Nexo and brings more than 10 years’ hands-on experience working as a FOH engineer across the UK and France.
“It’s an extremely exciting time to join the Allen & Heath team. The brand has gone from strength to strength and with more great things to come, I’m looking forward to developing the education and support offerings for Allen & Heath on a global scale,” comments Gilbert. “The talent and passion for user-based solutions at Allen & Heath is unrivalled, so it’s an honour to be on-board.”
Rob Clark, Managing Director at Allen & Heath, comments: “We’re excited to welcome Val to the technical team. His extensive experience places him in an excellent position to help us develop our global product education and training and to better support our customers. Val is already making a great addition to the team and will be out in the field working closely with our distributors by Spring.”
For today’s fast-paced market of large, high-powered LED moving heads, Vari*Lite presents its VLZ range. We tested the VLZ Profile framing spot fixture
Equipped with a 620 W white LED source and an extra wide zoom range from 8° to 50°, it offers everything you expect from a high-performance spot fixture with a motorized framing module.
The VLZ Profile takes the form of a big, stocky mover with a very elegant design. Its large front lens dominates a perfectly contoured cowling, with sharp angles and smooth curves. We’re going to take it apart, just to get a look at it… maybe it won’t be so smug then…
The unit weighs 42 kg, which does not make it a lightweight, but we need to keep in mind that it is a high-powered fixture with very advanced functions. We will see that this weight is perfectly justified by an extremely sturdy and well-designed internal construction.
The 620 W LED engine emits white light at 8000 K with a CRI of 70, and is integrated into a compact housing where the source components are collimated by precision optics. It is mounted on a system that controls its temperature by means of a network of heat sinks and fan-cooled heat pipes.
The light source housing that holds the LED module and cools it. You can see here the copper heat pipes that run through the housing of the source, and the upper fan.
What can be seen of the output of the source, with the lens that collimates the flux of the LED engine to direct it to the effects of the fixture.
To disassemble the head, two captive Phillips-head screws are used for each cowling. Each of these cowls is secured by a small cable and a small carabiner, which can easily be removed to allow the cover itself to be completely removed, in order to work more easily inside the head of the unit.
The head with the cowling removed.
What strikes us is the solidity with which the construction of the skeleton is designed; this ensures absolute rigidity in the alignment of the modules. Gone are the little pieces of stamped sheet metal… here we have a perfectly machined, sturdy and thick skeleton. This is the Big League!
The internal design of the head can be summed up in four main sections. The rear section, which comprises the source assembly, is fixed to the housing of the fixture by eight screws and a few connectors. Two sets of cables provide the control of the LED engine, on the one hand, and the cooling management, on the other.
Just forward of the source assembly, two removable modules incorporate most of the effects. The first of these, which comes directly in front of the output of the light source, contains all the elements of color and graphic effects. The color mixing system uses three pairs of CMY filters and it is supplemented by a linear CTO that operates on the same principle. The introduction of the filters into the beam is made in a slight crescent shape and their dichroic hue is graduated in sectors for a smooth, fluid, and progressive insertion.
The dichroic filters of the color wheel are attached edge to edge, allowing a smooth and continuous transition of colors and allowing the creation of split-color effects in the beam. All the gobos, both fixed and rotating, are made of glass. The animation wheel is made of metal and is integrated between the two gobo wheels.
The color mixing module.
The two gobo wheels.
The second module contains the motorized framing system and the iris. The four blades and their dual motors are mounted on a round plate that can be rotated according to the orientation needs of the entire profiling area. Mechanical operation is carried out by four motors on one side and four on the other. Two blades are motorized and mounted on one side, and the other two blades on the other.
The framing module.
The movements of the motors are transmitted by small toothed belts that convey the rotation of the axes to the blades. The delicate aspect of motorized framing in a high-power fixture is essentially a thermal problem.
The metal heats up and distorts until it eventually compromises the proper operation of these thin and fast shutter blades. The VLZ framing module is equipped with a small impeller that cools the core of this element to ensure reliable and sustainable operation. A nice and very well constructed component.
These two modules are mounted inside the fixture on lateral tracks that ensure that they are inserted and aligned with great precision. They are held in place by small screws, one on each side, which we must be careful not to lose during disassembly. These two modules are electronically connected via two large Sub-D connectors, which are also secured by small screws on each one.
The front section of the head with focus and zoom, as well as the two frost filters. On the side is one of the circuit boards that manage the drivers of the motors.
The forward part of the head contains the zoom/focus element but also the prism and the two frost filters, positioned on motorized arms that allow them to enter and exit the optical path.
This part is not removable, but is perfectly accessible for maintenance and cleaning. It should be noted that all the optical elements located in the area of the focus and zoom are themselves motorized so that they can be inserted into the beam regardless of the position of the focus or the zoom.
It is therefore possible without any compromise to use the frost filters or the prism at any beamwidth from 7° to 50°. On either side of the front section are the driver boards for the motors inside the head.
What’s in the yoke arms?
Disassembling the yoke arms reveals a fairly classic construction with, on one side, the tilt motor and its belt drive. In this case, there is no tensioning wheel to maintain tension of the belt, but the whole block of the tilt motor is itself mounted on a support that is held taught by springs, ensuring the necessary precision of the assembly.
Inside the other arm is the circuit board that drives the pan and tilt and, in the lower part, the pan motor, the belt of which passes through the lower part of the yoke bracket and up to the central axis. Two large cable harnesses pass through the arms to reach the head. On one side is the one dedicated exclusively to the source section – with the LED driver and source ventilation – while on the other side is everything related to the internal automation of the effects of the fixture.
The base can be disassembled by removing 14 screws and a few washers, which should also not be lost. As could be expected, it contains a switching power supply unit, a power supply filter and regulator unit. On one side, there is the connector panel, while on the opposite is the display menu and its circuit board, which also controls the DMX processing for the entire fixture. As usual with Vari Lite, the bottom of the base has everything necessary for attachnig the two brackets to which the suspension clamps are fixed. An integral ring accepts the safety cable.
Overall, this luminaire is extremely well built. And even if the whole thing can be disassembled with a single Phillips-head screwdriver, the only downside I’ll remember is the very large number of tiny screws of several different sizes, which must be removed to disassemble any of the internal parts. Make sure you locate and sort them so you can put them back in place… routine maintenance on tour, as is often done, on a corner of the flight case with a headlamp, will be a tricky thing to do.
Now that most manufacturers have opted for many technical solutions such as quarter-turn fasteners with captive screws that remain attached to the components, and even solutions that frequently require only the use of fingers without tools to remove connectors and modules, Vari*Lite has made a somewhat surprising choice in this fixture, which is clearly designed for the road and intended for large-scale projects with very intensive applications. Even in the workshop, the complete cleaning and preparation of a kit of 20 or 30 units would obviously seem to take a lot of time… That’s unfortunate.
The menu and display
The display. Note the status bar at the top, which constantly provides information on the current configuration of the machine.
The display consists of a small screen next to which six keys are used to access the functions.
The very clear and straightforward menu allows you to access all the classic functions of this type of unit. Addressing, operating modes, all network settings for Art-Net operation, test functions, fault messages, various calibration operations for all the motors, manual access to the features, etc., can be carried out manually directly on the fixture.
The unit can be controlled via DMX using one of two possible modes, one using 54 and the other using 61 channels. The more extensive mode allows access to timing channels that internally manage the traverse speeds of most of the motorized features.
The connection panel.
This time management will prove particularly useful for those who are using extremely long transitions or consoles that have difficulty managing speed settings. But most of the consoles with which the VLZ will be working – the big, nice consoles of today – are perfectly capable of managing impeccable linearity for most of the fixture’s functions, even over extended transition times. This mode still is still worthwhile and will undoubtedly meet someone’s very specific requirements.
The display is powered by an internal battery that allows the fixture to be set-up without a mains connection. This battery is recharged while the fixture is being powered normally during its operation. A status bar continuously displays the configuration status of the unit, saving valuable time when setting up a whole rig. There’s no need to scroll through menus, often for nothing, to check the configuration of the beast: it displays its control mode (16 bit, 54 channels or 16 bit enhanced, 61 channels), its source control mode (standard or studio), any error status and, of course, its address.
To say the least, the output of this fixture lives up to expectations. We have before us an extremely bright spot fixture with a very clean beam, true to the standards we’ve come to expect from Vari*Lite in terms of light quality. The beam is smooth and uniform. The light is beautiful.
The zoom is quite impressive and offers a very extensive range. At the tightest beam setting, we obtain 7.3°, and it opens to a maximum of 52°. At a tight beam setting, applying the iris we can even obtain a convergent concentration; that is to say, we clearly overcome the effect of 0°, but with precise focusing. We can say without reservations that this beam is extremely flexible.
Some different aspects of the beam.
Although this device seems to us to be relatively quiet, there are applications where it is essential to have absolute or almost absolute silence. The VLZ profile can operate in two different cooling modes for its LED source. The “standard” mode uses the full power of the source, while the “studio” mode offers a much lower noise level, at a cost of about 20% less luminous flux. In this mode, the system is less ventilated, while the source is protected by reduced operating strain. This “studio” mode can be activated from the console, via one of the control channels, directly during a show if necessary.
A single, but totally linear, dimmer curve allows smooth and steady dimming. The variance curve we are showing is a clear demonstration of this. No optical compromises were made on this fixture in terms of focusing distance. Everything can be brought into focus over the majority of the zoom range.
The dimming curve from 0 to 100%.
From 0 to 10% the dimmer remains totally linear.
Even the framing blades – which, on many fixtures, cannot be focused if used simultaneously with the gobos – can here be used at the same time and with a focus that allows them to be applied precisely as a shutter effect on all the graphic projections that this fixture is capable of producing. A real plus.
We begin our measurements with the derating. With the fixture at full power after a cold strike, we measure the illuminance at the center of the target.
Then we repeat this after 30 s of heating, which will serve as a reference to the curve; and then every 5 minutes until the light output stabilizes.
The illuminance stabilizes after five minutes and does not decrease more than 6%, which is an excellent result.
With the beam at its tightest, we measure an angle of 7.3°, with a cold-start center illuminance of 50,250 lux and a flux of 16,200 lumens.
At our reference measurement of 20°, we obtain the optimal flux. We get almost 19,000 lumens. The VLZ is the brightest LED spotlight we’ve tested so far at SoundLightUp at the time of this test.
At 52.6°, the flux is maintained at 18,000 lumens, which attests to the high quality of the optical system.
Gobos and effects
The VLZ Profile features a wide range of gobos that are well designed for aerial beams, but which will also be very effective in graphic projections. Among them are some legendary Vari*Lite gobos such as the ovalized cone rosette, and the slightly angled, jagged streaks. The striped bar, the classic cone and various starry-night and colander gobos complete this very versatile set. The gobos have an external diameter of 30 mm.
The fixed gobos.
The rotating/indexed gobos.
The focus allows effects and gobos to be sharp over a large part of the zoom range. The sharpness is quite satisfactory (and even better… many fixtures would envy it) even if I don’t quite get the almost absolute optical clarity that I have in mind and that I was getting on the VL3000 and 3500 (I remember an artist who pointed out to me: “It’s so sharp, it looks like it’s painted on the floor”). However, you should note that our tests are done at 5 meters. Probably, the focus will be a bit more uniform at greater distances.
The VLZ features two frost filters for softening the beam. They can also be used in combination to create a third level of frost. Combining the two of them didn’t seem to us to provide a significantly different beam than using only the second, heavier frost.
The prism is a three-sided rotating type, which is indexable and the effects of which can be linear or staccato, depending on the desired effect. The “mega-stepping” effect offers a jittery vibration that will probably be useful to some lighting designers.
The different combinations of frost.
The rotating prism.
When the prism is used, a little bit of sharpness is lost on the gobos and the focus gets lost a little towards the edges. Since the focus doesn’t work perfectly over the entire diameter of the light output, it is necessary to adjust the focus to whatever compromise works. The animation wheel can be used to continuously scroll irregular, wavy stripes through the beam, or to animate them in a linear fashion in one direction or the other (the “mega-stepping” mode is available on this effect, also).
The iris is very fast and perfectly complements focus and zoom, at the same time providing a precise and sculpted effect on the beam. It can be focused very sharply, even when zoomed in tightly to obtain a converging beam that allows only a tiny “filament” of light to pass through. The range of the iris parameter spans its entire range from 0 to 100% aperture. For “pulse” or other effects, you will have to create them from an external effects generator or a chaser from your console.
The strobe effect operates directly from the power supply of the source and is therefore absolutely exemplary. At parameter settings in the range from 7% to 30%, the strobe and pulse effects work in the traditional manner, progressively from slower to faster speeds. Beyond that range, they offer many random effects, which are random flashes with different densities of flashes or pulses and different time gaps between them.
The CMY color system may seem surprising to anyone who is not used to Vari*Lite fixtures, but it is in line with the tradition of what the brand has been doing for a long time, and which has largely contributed to its success.
CMY and CTO
The cyan and magenta may appear pale, and the yellow extremely orangish compared to the highly saturated cyan, magenta and yellow primaries on other motorized fixtures. The mixing is very well done, with beautiful tones, except for a small reservation on our part concerning the red generated in CMY, which does not have an absolute depth.
We are clearly looking at a very dark orange; the green that comes from the cyan and yellow mixture is very warm and does not allow us to recover a neutral and deep green like the classic Lee 124. This CMY system is perfectly responsive, and the blends are clear with no irregularities in hue. It is extremely uniform. The speed of the flags is also sufficient for rapid changes, and enables extremely precise and vivid color effects. Naturally, as expected, the fluidity of the slow changes is also impeccable.
The three secondary colors created by the CMY mixing.
The color wheel complements the CMY system with a few straightforward and intense hues, including a magnificent orange, a congo, and a very deep red but, unfortunately, there is no green on the wheel either. On the spot version, an additional color wheel should probably have at least one nice green filter.
Various solid and split colors from the color wheel.
The color wheel has a control channel that defines how it works. Either in linear, in “rotocolor”, or in “mega-stepping” mode. The linear CTO is a great way to complete the range of color options
Framing! (yes… this is a Profile fixture!)
The framing system is a perfectly controlled, precision instrument on this luminaire. The shutter blades move easily from one edge of the beam to the other with great accuracy and speed. The shutter blades are all mounted on a frame that can be rotated 90° in either direction inside the projector, so that all the blades can be positioned as desired.
Several examples of the use of the framing shutters.
This versatility of the framing module can only be achieved at the price of a slight spacing between the blades and, like most of the other profiles on the market offering such capabilities and performance, it is difficult to obtain an absolutely clean and sharp focus on all the framing components. It is a rather small compromise and, objectively, it corresponds to everything that can be expected from a high level spotlight.
This framing is extremely effective; I really love it. It requires 18 DMX channels to control, with the motors of each shutter (two each) being operated at 16 bits, as well as the rotation of the entire frame. Super-clean.
Pan and tilt (yes, because it’s a moving head, too!)
The movements of the yoke are perfectly smooth at all speeds. The movements are unhesitant, precise and, despite the heavy head, they are also quite quick and lively. This is surprising, considering the size of the unit. The tilt is particularly impressive. While not reaching the speeds we get from very small fixtures, I believe that there are few units of this size that are capable of this kind of liveliness.
This fixture targets the market for large, powerful, professional LED spots and profiles, and it is obviously a fixture that will be very popular both in television and in touring productions. It has a number of serious advantages that make it an ideal choice for high-level lighting in many applications.
What we like
The high flux
the liveliness of the movements
What we don’t like
Certain colors, such as the green
The disassembly of the components for maintenance involving many very small screws
We’ve been waiting since the Energia years, and God knows Brock Adamson IS persistent. The digital amp, its processing and its AVB link, all home-made, now turned into reality and will be launched as new CS7p model of a new CS series.
Born as “National Association of Music Merchants Show” and now more international than ever, the NAMM 2019 will be held as every year in Anaheim, California, January 24th-27th.
Here is what the CS7p could look like. Instead of a metal appendix with nothing behind, the Adamson designed module will be fitted inside the back of the speaker.
Adamson decided to unveil the first model in its so-called « intelligent » loudspeakers CS series at NAMM, and this should help the Canadian manufacturer close the loop and integrate diffusion, data feeds, AVB (in particular Milan), processing and digital amplification into its top-notch technical offering, like the other competing leaders in Pro Audio P.A. do.
Needless to say, we’re eager to evaluate the impact this will have across the other Adamson ranges, in particular the E-Series, which should have benefited from these electronic developments since 2012 and the Energia project.
The presentation will occur on January 24th at 4 pm on the Adamson booth (17516, ACC North) and will include, after the CS7p (might be a S7 with « bionic » guts) presentation, an extra one-hour discussion.
Il will be opened to all guests and every voice recorder, with an international bunch of cream of the crop mixers from all over the globe: Moore (Drake), Ricki Cook (Hillsong Church), Stephan Themps (Martin Garrix), Scott Eisenberg (Imagine Dragons), Philippe Dubich (Indochine) and Kenny Kaiser (The Killers), indeed The place to be at Namm on that very day!
If you’re lucky enough to be in Anaheim on the 23rd as well, you might get a sneak preview audition of the CS7p during NAMM’s Media Preview Day, which be held from 3 pm till 5 pm in the NAMM Idea Center (to make simpler, Lobby of Hall C).
The high point of Pope Francis’ three-day, early autumn visit to Lithuania was an open-air Holy Mass celebrated for more than 100,000 of the faithful at Sàntakos Park in the city of Kaunas. For flawless audio reinforcement of the momentous event, Lithuanian rental company NGR Service deployed a massive 228-loudspeaker Meyer Sound system anchored by LEO Family line arrays.
“The biggest challenges we faced were the overall size and irregular contours of the audience area,” says Valdemaras Karpuška, a partner in NGR Service who also served as location manager and live broadcast sound engineer. “The area we had to cover was around 320 meters wide by 360 meters deep, and it wasn’t a regular ‘shoe box’ venue. There were numerous obstacles, such as trees and raised embankments, that we needed to work around.”
Gloria in excelsis LEO
Front Of House engineer Tomas Ždanovičius, also a partner in NGR Service, took the lead on sound system design for the event. “We started our planning by using the MAPP XT™ software, which is an irreplaceable tool for predicting coverage,” he recalls.
“Once we knew where we stood with coverage, we assembled a system based around loudspeakers from the LEO Family — LEO, LYON, and LEOPARD — along with M Series and UltraSeries speakers. With the delay integration, all pass filters and other options built into the GALAXY and Galileo processors, we had no problem making the whole system coherent with practically no delay and phase differences in the whole venue.”
The four main front arrays each comprised eight LEO® and four LYON™ line array loudspeakers. An additional 14 towers for fill and delay systems carried combined total counts of 52 LEOPARD™, 60 MILO®, 24 MICA® and 40 M’elodie® line array loudspeakers.
Ancillary fill and foldback systems utilized JM-1P (6), UPQ-1P (2), UPA-1P (4), and UPJ-1P (2) loudspeakers along with MJF-210 (4) stage monitors. Seven Galileo® GALAXY™ and eight Galileo 616 processors provided system drive and optimization.
“The Meyer Sound line arrays have a convenient rigging system that let us get the job done quickly and easily,” adds Karpuška. “Also, the wide frequency range of the arrays gave us full music bandwidth without using subwoofers. We had faster set-up involving less equipment, and with lower power consumption. And the final coverage was at 99% of what we had predicted. So we were very happy with the results.”
Choir of 300, orchestra of 80, 8 traditional instruments, 2 soloists, 1 Pope
In addition to celebration of the Mass and a homily from Pope Francis, the complete program also included music from an 80 piece orchestra, a 300-voice choir, two vocal soloists and an ensemble of eight traditional national instruments.
“On the main arrays, the music and the voice of Pope Francis and the other speakers came through as rich, clean and clear as it could possibly be,” says FOH engineer Ždanovičius. “Personally, I could not hear any sound from the delays, but the positive feedback from the organizers told us all we needed to know. We were thrilled with what we heard!”
Ramūnas Alenskas of Sonus, Meyer Sound’s Lithuanian distributor, played an important coordinating role throughout the preparation and implementation stages of the event. “This shows the importance of good planning, and the quality of the equipment from Meyer Sound, that every aspect of the project, from rigging thru final tuning, ran smoothly and on time. We’ve had lots of compliments from the organizers, telling us how pleased they were to work with NGR Service and Meyer Sound on this extraordinary event.”
Two fully mirrored DiGiCo SD12 digital mixing consoles were utilized for the live reinforcement mixes of the event. Principal podium microphone was a Shure KSM8 dual diaphragm dynamic microphone.
The visit from Pope Francis held special significance for Lithuanians as it had been 25 years since the last papal visit, by then Pope John Paul II, later canonized as a saint. The events also coincided with the centennial celebration of Lithuania’s restoration of independence, adding to the historical import of the apostolic visit to this predominantly Catholic nation.
Established in 2008, NGR Service specializes in providing the highest quality of sound reinforcement for demanding events all over Lithuania.
These include noted jazz festivals, theatrical events, television shows, Broadway-style musicals, rock shows and classical music concerts and various outdoor and indoor festivals.
High End Systems has announced that entries are now open for Hog Factor 2019, taking place at Prolight + Sound on the 3rd April in Frankfurt. Open to all aspiring lighting practitioners, university students and apprentices – the competition is back on a bigger scale than ever before, welcoming entrants from across Europe, Africa and the Middle East regions.
Hog Factor was first held in the US (2015) and has grown its reputation in the industry for being the chief lighting programming competition across the globe. In the first phase of the competition, entrants are invited to program a light show on a Hog console to a specified song via a visualisation file. The deadline for submissions is the 26th February 2019. Following this, judges will select three shortlisted teams who will receive free travel and accommodation for Prolight + Sound 2019 (2nd – 5th April).
Lighting show performance competition
The teams will compete against one another with a performance of their lighting show on the High End Systems booth at the exhibition. This will be in front of a live audience of industry experts and a panel of judges who will then announce the winners.
Nina Mesitz, a member of last year’s winning team ‘Status Cue’, commented positively about her experience of the competition: “The hands-on approach and interaction with industry professionals is invaluable. There is much to learn and vital key contacts to make for the future. It is an opportunity not to be missed for anyone with a passion for a lighting career!” ETC Vice President of Marketing David Lincecum added, “Hog Factor is exciting, rewarding and educational for all aspiring lighting practitioners, but equally so for the crowds that watch! The audience is really engaged in every beat of the performance.”
Over 840 Claypaky fixtures were used on the sixteenth Junior Eurovision Song Contest (JESC) final which was broadcast live from Minsk to more than 2.7 million viewers globally. The enormous production was skilfully orchestrated by Head of Production Ola Melzig with lighting designed by Alex Manzenko.
“We specify Claypaky products as they’re extremely reliable, and have an excellent output to power consumption and weight ratio,” explains Melzig. “The light-weight of the fixtures always benefits us. Although the Minsk Arena has a very good roof structure, it’s good to know the weight of the fixtures won’t restrict us in any way.”
Heavily laden with LED video walls and flooring, it’s imperative for any Eurovision Song Contest that the fixtures’ output stands out against the video content. Melzig says, “If we run the video screens too low, we will start to lose colour and contrast. It’s important that we use fixtures that stand out against them, to find a balance between lighting and video.”
Manzenko’s multi-role lighting was paramount to the production, creating an atmosphere for the 15,000 attendees in the arena, as well as manufacturing looks that would translate accurately for the millions watching the televised live final around the world.
“Our brief was to make a functional, yet beautiful lighting design in the hall and on television,” says Manzenko. “The Axcor Beam 300, Scenius Spot, Sharpy and B-EYEs helped me to create the atmosphere in the hall, while the Scenius Unico made it possible to get a high-quality picture on television due to the high CRI, and framing system.”
Manzenko used the Claypaky Axcor 600 Profile fixtures to highlight the audience in the back and on the sides of the arena. “We used the fixtures to expand the space and scale of the hall,” he says. “We didn’t have to use all the parameters of the fixture because it was bright enough, but when we tested it we were able to increase the brightness of the fixture by 20% with the brightness boost feature. The CMY system in the new fixture has also become noticeably smoother, which is very important when lighting for television.
Creating vastly different looks for each of the performers
“Using the Claypaky fixtures makes it easier for me to create vastly different looks for each of the performers, of which there were more than 20 including the interval performance.”
The versatile A.leda B-EYE K20 which boasts a 4-60˚was zoom wrigged along the outline of the stage. Manzenko used the fixture for highly saturated washes to create a large stage space, as well as effective visuals by making the most of the 37 individual zones of control to create dynamic imagery.
“We used all of the features across the Claypaky fixtures, animation wheels, gobos, prisms, and frost devices, because without them it is often impossible to create the desired function both on the stage and in the hall,” Manzenko concludes.
Claypaky fixtures were supplied to JESC 2018 by Minsk-based rental and production house, Blackout Studio. Manager of Blackout Ilya Piatrouski says of the Axcor fixtures: “We’re really enthusiastic about the new line of Italian fixtures.
We need powerful units that don’t have lamps to replace our old stock, and this is the solution. This equipment has received very good feedback from clients, and the products are answering the market’s demands.”
“The team at Blackout did such a great job. Thanks to manager Ilya Piatrouski and his fantastic team,” says Melzig. The contest is produced each year by the European Broadcasting Union, in conjunction for 2018 with Belarusian Television & Radio Company. The slogan for this year’s contest was ‘light up’. JESC returned to the Minsk Arena in Belarus to host the largest edition of the contest to date, welcoming a record number of representatives from 20 countries.
Following a highly successful 2018 show, high-end LED video processor manufacturer, Brompton Technology, returns to Amsterdam for Integrated Systems Europe 2019.
This year, stand 12-C105 will see the fast-growing company showcase its new Tessera Processor Software 2.2.0 for the 4K SX40 processor, to deliver an enhanced feature set that follows the easy-to-use style of its intuitive user interface.
The SX40 is Brompton Technology’s highest-ever capacity processor and offers support for full 4K screens at 60Hz with 12 bits per colour output, a zero-latency up/down scaler that matches the source to the screen, plus all of Tessera’s industry-leading processing features such as ChromaTune colour correction, On Screen Colour Adjustment (OSCA), and more.
Used in combination with the Tessera XD distribution unit, which is a sophisticated single box solution designed to manage the complications of mass cabling that can arise with large LED display systems, the SX40 provides a cost-effective yet powerful system that will support the biggest, brightest and boldest LED projects.
By updating the SX40 to the latest 2.2.0 software, users can now access a suite of handy new features such as Panel On Screen Display (OSD), Processor Redundancy, 90 degree rotation and Chinese language support in the user interface.
The new Panel OSD provides detailed status information right on your panels, enabling sections to be quickly cycled through to access Panel Information, Module Information, Ethernet Information, Video Status, Calibration Information, I/O Status, Temperature plots and Error plots, giving engineers a quick and easy way of identifying issues on any part of the screen.
Processor Redundancy delivers ultimate peace of mind for users by introducing an auto-failover mechanism. If, for any reason, a problem occurs with the video input or output on a primary processor, it can be configured such that a back-up processor takes over in just a few seconds, enabling the show to go on. This feature can be used with or without closed loop redundancy, an additional safety mechanism which protects against any cabling faults that may occur.
90 degree rotation
90 degree rotation does exactly what it says, with fixtures now able to be rotated in increments of 90 degrees.
Chinese language support
Finally, the SX40 along with all of Brompton Technology’s processors, now includes Chinese language support, which can be accessed via the Language section of the Preferences menu.
Both the software and any required firmware updates can be installed in a matter of minutes, with technicians informed of progress every step of the way.
“Our aim has always been to develop industry-leading products that are of real benefit to our users,” says Brompton’s Business Development Manager, Rob Fowler. “By designing our hardware to be a platform for ongoing software development, we engineered in the capacity to expand functionality right at the very start and, by listening to the technicians who use Brompton processors on a daily basis, we are able to develop new features that truly address what the market wants and needs.
“This means that our products not only expand with changing requirements, but have an extended lifespan which delivers great return on investment. As with all our developments, this latest software release is a direct result of that ethos.”
Brompton will be demonstrating the new Tessera processor software 2.2.0 on its stand throughout the I.S.E. 2019 show on stand 12-C105.
Amadeus have announced they are now shipping the new Philharmonia Mini passive speakers, co-designed specifically for the Hi-Fi market by world-renowned architect Jean Nouvel. Amadeus unveiled the Philharmonia Mini at the High End Music trade show in Munich, Germany.
The band-new passive speaker design is based on the Amadeus’ top-of-the line Philharmonia powered speakers, which were initially created specifically for the Philharmonie de Paris recording and mastering studios.
“The sonic philosophy of the Philharmonia Mini is inherited from the initial model, Philharmonia, which has been our ultimate reference throughout the development process,” said Michel Deluc, Director of Research & Development for Amadeus.
The Philharmonia Mini was born from the prestigious legacy of Amadeus’ success in the professional audio world over the last 25 years. Amadeus’ users include the greatest sound engineers, mixers and producers in France and throughout the world.
Three Philharmonia with their Lawo MC²56 mixing console in the Philharmonie de Paris studios
“The original Philharmonia-first released in 2015 and created from our collaboration with Jean Nouvel and the Philharmonie de Paris-has touched, charmed, and surprised many music lovers over the last few years,” adds Gaetan Byk, Marketing Manager at Amadeus.
“The Philharmonia Mini is a form of response by Amadeus and Jean Nouvel to requests from our customers, users, and partners from the consumer world. Extending the brand and therefore the Philharmonia range was necessary. We had to offer a more compact version, more discreet, less pricey and non-powered and not digitally-managed, incorporating a state-of-the-art passive filtering section, all without distorting the shape, finish and construction technique imagined by Jean Nouvel,” states Byk.
The Philharmonia Mini and its pedestal, totally part of the speaker, and extending it beautifully.
“Designing a passive speaker allows the installer the use of a wide choice of peripherals (converters, preamps, processors, amplifiers, and more) as a complement and not necessarily dedicated to this model” states Michel Deluc.
The new Philharmonia Mini speaker design features a curved structure that is both simple and complex, consisting of 288 wood veneers accurately machined, aligned and glued, offering a distinctive look and volume.
The speaker in itself (resonance volume) features a 432mm height with a 353mm depth. The cabinets are custom manufactured from layered Birch and stand 1.23 meters tall. The speaker enclosure features a unique hybrid laminar port using progressive termination inspired by the original Philharmonia.
A view of the laminar port in the rear of the speaker.
Machined into the wood material along the full height of the speaker system, the very low velocity port yields optimal linearity for the lowest possible distortion, giving a frequency response down to 44 Hz (@ – 6 dB) without any additional correction.
“The distinctive construction technique helps neutralize standing waves affecting sonic clarity and low-frequency definition through an extremely complex internal structure using a combination of interlocking panels arranged in two perpendicular planes, each hosting several tuned notch resonators. This allows a dramatic decrease in sound coloration through a crossed structure of longitudinal and trans-verse reinforcements,” reveals Deluc.
The Philharmonia Mini 2-way, passive speakers feature the original Philharmonia’ 28-mm soft-domed tweeter and a custom 170-mm woofer, for an amplitude linearity range (±2dB) from 54 Hz to 22 kHz, and a cut-off frequency (-6dB) of 44 Hz. The high-frequency driver features very low dielectric losses and high thermal conductivity, loaded behind a fast exponential waveguide machined in wood, which yields exceptional control over spatial dispersion.
The silk dome and its exponential waveguide.
The first millimeters of the horn have been carefully taken care of. To achieve a perfect precision,it has been made out of Corian, a composite material with a mix of mineral filters and acrylic resin.
The pedestal contains the passive components inside the lower part of the speaker enclosure, including the custom Amadeus-designed passive crossover. The outstanding sonic performance of the resistors, capacitors and inductors is achieved through a unique combination of advanced technologies, meticulously researched.
Detailed view of the mounting of the wood layers by wood dowels.
“Achieving such a linear response without active components -and digital correction-created an enormous amount of work on the design of the enclosures’ internal structure, the hybrid laminar port, and the waveguide expansion,” states Deluc
“The passive filter design philosophy matches the aesthetic of the speaker. It is very minimalist. The passive crossover features a subtle combination of two different orders, inducing an absolutely perfect phase summation between the two speakers, and an excellent impulse response.” concludes Michel Deluc.
The rear panel of the pedestal features a pair of beautifully finished, top-quality binding posts from Japan-based manufacturer FURUTECH. These carbon-finished binding posts feature rhodium-plated conductors that are the result of meticulous engineering and careful auditioning of various suitable materials. The FT-816 (R) features a pure copper conductor material for minimal impedance, extremely non-resonant carbon fiber, non-magnetic stainless steel, and eutectic copper alloy housings.
Transducer (HF): Ø 28 mm soft dome
Transducer (LMF): Ø 170 mm bass driver
Recommended Power: 50 – 300W/8Ω
Amplitude linearity (±2dB): 54 Hz – 22 kHz
Cut-off frequency (-6dB): 44 Hz
Peak SPL 1-meter (Pair, IEC Short Term): 118 dB peak