Essay Video a new dimension with Brompton Technology

Driven by a passion for delivering engaging storytelling and producing compelling videos for its clients, Essay Video has recently announced the opening of its brand-new virtual studio located in Norwalk, Connecticut.
The premium virtual facility is equipped with the latest in LED technology, including top-quality Brompton Technology 4K Tessera SX40 LED processors, empowering Essay’s customers to realise their creative projects and create complex, interactive and mixed reality presentations.

“With the global pandemic, we had clients who had to pivot from live events and turn to virtual solutions,” explains Essay Video Founder & CEO, Greg Fellows. “Our newly built virtual studio gives them a safe and healthy environment to make their creative projects a reality. We have multiple offices for privacy and social distancing, and we’ve partnered with HBO and Intel over the last six months to fine tune and perfect our virtual meetings.
Whilst it’s not possible to hold a live show at the moment, clients can come and make the most of our virtual facility’s advanced technology, delivering the closest possible experience to a live event.”

“Essay Video’s virtual studio located in Norwalk, Connecticut.”

Though Essay’s new virtual studio has only been running just over two weeks, its state-of-the-art facilities have already attracted a number of high-calibre projects, including this year’s prestigious 13th annual Supima Cotton Design Competition, which will take place in September to align with New York Fashion Week. Following that, Supima will once again return to the full-service production company’s virtual space to deliver another fashion show, which will be simulcast during Paris Fashion Week.

“We are very excited about both projects and can’t wait to see them going live in our Norwalk studio,” says Fellows. “Our studio features some of the best-quality LED equipment, so we have no doubt that the virtual presentation, which will be broadcasted via Supima’s Instagram Live and will use a mix of pre-recorded and live video content, will be a success.”

The screens installed are high-performance, broadcast-grade ROE Black Pearl 2.8. The LED wall measures 52ft (15.8 metres) by 11.5ft ¾ inches (3.5 metres), and the ceiling comprises seven, 20 metre long by half-metre wide LED strips.
“The content that is being shown is very diverse; anything from corporate presentations to runway backgrounds, as well as simple and complex virtual backdrops,” continues Fellows.
“We are using Brompton’s Tessera S4 LED processor for the ceiling and two Tessera SX40s for the wall, connected with fibre to the Tessera XD 10G data distribution unit. We chose Brompton processing for its superior colour depth and ability to make fine adjustments to the LED screens in front of the camera.”

More and more companies choose virtual platforms to host their events, and Essay’s virtual studio is able to deliver both virtual and hybrid events with services including camera systems, operators, and staff. The team also offers remote camera packages that can be shipped to live-stream participants. Speaking about the response the team has received so far to their new virtual space Fellows can’t help but smile.

“The feedback to our virtual studio has been tremendous!” he concludes. “Everyone who has seen it has been excited about the endless creative possibilities it offers. Supima has been our biggest project so far and we have more investors in the pipeline also keen to use our studio for their projects.
“In the Post-Covid world, we believe virtual meetings will also be an integral part of getting industry leaders together when they don’t wish to travel. We chose Brompton because they always provide the highest quality products and fast reliable service for LED technology and LED processing needs.”

More information can at Brompton Technology website

L-Acoustics Helps SoundGirls to Empower Women in Audio Pro

Following a thorough panel review of numerous applications submitted by SoundGirls members, L-Acoustics is pleased to officially congratulate the three recipients of its 2020 SoundGirls Training Grants:
Carolina Antón was awarded the L-ISA Grant, Kim Watson the Advanced Grant, and Eluned “El” Ashwood the Starter Grant.

“We were overwhelmed by the interest and response that we received from the SoundGirls community regarding these training grants,” says Etienne Corteel, L-Acoustics Director of Education and Scientific Outreach, making the announcement.

L-ISA Grant recipient Carolina Antón of Mexico City

“In addition to supplying their CVs, each candidate submitted two essays on why they were applying for these grants and how they would benefit from them.
Although it was a challenge for the SoundGirls board to narrow down only three winners from such a well-qualified and deserving group, Carolina, Kim, and El all clearly demonstrated their drive and zeal for audio excellence and are, in our eyes, inspiring champions for diversity in this industry.”

Carolina Antón of Mexico City has been named as the L-ISA Grant recipient, and will participate in a three-day L-ISA training curriculum covering one of two available tracks: System, for systems engineers, or Mixing, for mix engineers.
Serving as an FOH and/or monitor engineer on more than 20 tours for artists including Kool & The Gang, Gloria Gaynor, Natalia Lafourcade, MexFutura, Mon Laferte, and Leon Larregui, Antón has passion and experience creating immersive live mixes and system designs.

Advanced Grant recipient and Newcastle UK-based Kim Watson (photo Christopher L. Proctor)

As a system tech, monitor engineer and FOH engineer for two decades, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK-based Kim Watson is the recipient of the Advanced Grant and will complete the manufacturer’s Level 2 Variable Curvature Line Source (VCLS) and Loudspeaker System Calibration (LSC) modules.
Having toured as a monitor engineer for The Subways and system fly tech for Blondie, Watson previously completed four modules from the Level 1 course to prepare her for Level 2 training as she progresses toward earning the K Systems Engineer (KSE) designation, following additional field work.

Starter Grant recipient El Ashwood of Manchester, UK.

Recently completing the L-Acoustics Systems Fundamentals online session in July as part of her Starter Grant, Eluned Ashwood of Manchester, UK will soon finish up the Level 1 course and earn the official status of Systems Technician (ST) after attending her choice of two K Series modules (K1, K2, Kara, Kiva II).
Ashwood’s resumé includes a broad range of festival tech gigs with SSE Audio Group and Wigwam Acoustics, numerous A2 roles at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre, and stage/PA tech work for Lionel Richie’s UK tour.

“We are so excited to be working with L-Acoustics, recognized as one of the leaders in concert sound, to provide these grants to our members,” shares SoundGirls Co-Founder Karrie Keyes. “L-Acoustics is dedicated to innovation and design excellence and now a leader in helping to diversify the industry.”

“It’s been our privilege to partner with the SoundGirls community by creating this annual grant program and taking an active step in helping fulfill their mission of educating and empowering women in audio,” Corteel adds in closing.
“We’re proud of what each of our three new L-Acoustics family members have already accomplished so far, and we look forward to celebrating their achievements as they continue to make names for themselves in this wonderfully evolving business.”

SoundGirls can be found online at SoundGirls website

And more details on L-Acoustics training


The new Source 4WRD Color by ETC

ETC has presented Source 4WRD Color as the latest addition to the Source 4WRD fixture family. This new product offers a color-changing retrofit for existing full-size Source Four ellipsoidal/profile fixtures, bringing additive RGBA color-mixing, saturated washes, quick color changes and much more to Source Four.

As a non-destructive retrofit, Source 4WRD Color is the next generation of ETC’s Source 4WRD LED line. Source Four ellipsoidal / profile fixtures can be transformed into RGBA LED luminaires with the Source 4WRD Color LED engine, while retaining all of the features of the Source Four including the lenses, accessories and its renowned reliability.

Source 4WRD Color technology is also available in two complete wash light fixtures. The Source 4WRD Color PAR and PARNel deliver soft-edges and saturated color, no retrofit required. These luminaires incorporate the Source 4WRD Color LED engine into a custom housing, offering economical color washes, including zoom on the PARNel version.

As well as producing a homogenized beam and around 5000 lumens, all versions of the S4WRD Color features 12 built-in presets and 5 sequences in stand-alone mode.
With the addition of FixtureLink, Source 4WRD Color is compatible with cable-connected fixtures (using the DMX port) including ColorSource, Source Four LED, and Desire; allowing you to trigger presets and sequences without a console.

A video presentation

David Lincecum, Vice President of Marketing at ETC comments: “With Source 4WRD Color, you get a simple and cost-effective color-changing retrofit that can upgrade an existing lighting system quickly, allowing you to create even more stage looks than before. 4WRD Color will allow venues to move their existing equipment to LED, using less energy, lower maintenance and all this at a very compelling price point.”

Find out more via the ETC website

June 2021 the new meeting for ISE

June 2021 the new meeting for ISE. After a period of consultation with the industry and the impact of the ongoing pandemic, Integrated Systems Events announce that ISE, scheduled for 2-5 February, has been postponed and will now take place in June, dates tbc, alongside a virtual offering.

Additionally, ISE will launch RISE Digital, a regular programme of content and networking events which will run throughout the year and support the live show.

Today, Integrated Systems Events released the following statement:

We’ve been monitoring the conditions in Europe since the beginning of this year and have worked hard on your behalf to balance health and safety concerns with the need for commerce and F2F interaction. These two factors have had shifting weight throughout the calendar year and although we’ve felt confident and hopeful regarding delivering this show in February, we’ve come to the conclusion that the best option for all of us is to delay the show edition until June 2021.

“The health and safety of our team, exhibiting companies, industry partners and attendees is our number one priority,” said Mike Blackman, Managing Director, Integrated Systems Events. “Given the understandable concerns among all of our stakeholders regarding coronavirus, and the uncertainty regarding travel restrictions and country lockdowns, we have concluded it is not prudent to maintain our original schedule of an in-person February 2021 trade show.”
“From our many conversations, it is clear the industry can’t wait to get back together doing business face to face and we are committed to delivering an engaging and safe in-person ISE in 2021. We feel by moving the event to June, it provides time for the industry to adapt and restore balance. We look forward to hosting the global AV community in our new home in Barcelona.”

Fira de Barcelona Chairman, Pau Relat, comments: “From Fira de Barcelona we highly value ISE’s strong commitment to Barcelona and, in moments as complex as the current ones, the decision to postpone the event for a few months in order to ensure the best possible edition with the largest international participation of companies and visitors, will be very positive both for attendees and for the city. We will keep on working together to ensure that a leading event such as the ISE has a great first edition in its new home in Barcelona in 2021.”

David Labuskes, CEO, AVIXA commented: “AVIXA is proud to be a partner with CEDIA in delivering ISE to the audiovisual industry each year. We full support ISE’s decision to postpone the first show in Barcelona until June 2021. This isn’t a trivial undertaking and has thousands of moving parts, but in making this decision, ISE reaffirms their commitment to the health of all those who participate in these events from the taxi cab driver to the exhibitor teams. And all of those same people will be even more committed to be a part of the extravaganza that ISE promises to be.”

Tabatha O’Connor, CEO, CEDIA added: “We are eager to gather as a community once again at ISE 2021, the decision to postpone was made after careful and thorough consideration. We know moving the show to June will provide the time and resource needed to ensure the show is both safe to attend and can deliver on the exceptional experience that ISE is known for, fostering opportunities to learn, discover, and be inspired by the technology that is driving our industry forward.”

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our stakeholders, exhibitors, sponsors, visitors, media partners, contractors, and the team at FIRA Barcelona for continuing to support us through this uncertain and ever-changing situation.

Lastly, we wish you and your family all stay safe and well in these challenging times.
The Team at Integrated Systems Events


Astera Gets COLOSSAL

COLOSSAL is a lively, dynamic, and inventive street theatre and performing arts company based in Wellington, New Zealand, founded by three highly creative individuals, brothers Zane and Degge Jarvie and Imogen Stone, with backgrounds in circus, architecture, and design.
Over the last three years, COLOSSAL has started working light in various different forms into their pieces which have become popular at light festivals, a path that’s highlighted their passion for detail and innovation combined with fun and audience connection that lies at the heart of all their performance concepts.

Photo Courtesy COLOSSAL

For the 2019 HighLight Carnival of Lights in Lower Hutt, the company purchased eight Astera Titan Tubes specifically to provide a solution for their invigorating “Metronomes” installation. Since then, they have found numerous ways to integrate the highly practical and portable Asteras into other ideas and activities.

Developed for a large scale audience, “Metronomes” was based on the themes of space and time, and juggling these in a massive physical work for which they needed lights to be rigged to the end of eight 4-metre metal tube metronomes.
These were counterbalanced via pivoting axels and mounted in square steel bases ballasted and secured that, once manipulated manually, swung back and forth juggling the two dimensions and establishing a sense of rhythm.
When it came to finding an appropriate light source, they wanted something bright with beautiful colours and, obviously, anything with cables was completely out … explained Zane.

The light source had to be light and strong enough to be attached to the end of the metal poles with their weight balanced correctly through the axel allowing the motion to create an inertia as Zane and Degge triggered the swinging manually, juggling them into different patterns.

Photo Courtesy COLOSSAL

Degge had first encountered Asteras while researching for a video project, and he approached Astera’s Australian and New Zealand distributor – ULA Group, for more details and a demo after which they made the investment.
“They were a perfect solution,” says Zane, “completely wireless, reliable, with a long and controllable battery life and lightweight enough to be used as the moving parts we wanted.”

The Astera App allowed colours and patterns to change and shift fluidly with the pace and rhythm of the motions for a more exciting and fully choreographed show adjustable live and in real-time to respond to the juggling of the swinging metronomes.
Each single juggling performance lasted 8 minutes and these took place back-to-back during a three-hour window each night of the festival, which was a big hit with the public.

Zane’s favourite feature of the Titan Tubes is “just how adaptable and how quick and easy they are to use,” and he was also impressed by the “outstanding” customer service received from ULA Group team.
Since this initial project, they have used them for several other works, most recently during their Covid-19 lockdown for lighting their streaming studio whilst performing a series of interactive live shows.

With the lockdown and social distancing now lifted in New Zealand applauded as one of the most effective coronavirus responses worldwide COLOSSAL is now working on new shows and content.

For more info on Astera LED, please check the Astera website

Meyer Sound Constellation & Leopard at New Jakarta Theatre

Jakarta International Expo is a private enterprise, owned by the Murdaya family, and from the outset the theatre’s managing director, Prajna Murdaya, was committed to achieving the highest level of excellence in all technical aspects of the project, including audio and acoustics.

“The venue was originally specified to be just a theatre, but I saw the potential to make it also serve as Indonesia’s largest concert hall,” says Murdaya. “When I heard about Constellation and its worldwide base of existing high-profile installations, that became a key factor in deciding to go ahead and offer it here as well.”

Prior to his final decision, Murdaya had auditioned a Constellation system at the Singapore International School. “I was floored by the drastic difference it made, both onstage and in the audience,” he recalls. “A music teacher was singing an art song, starting with Constellation on. They turned it off in the middle, and her face showed bewilderment. The effect was dramatic — and hilarious!”

One of the self-powered MM-4XP.

Of course, for Yo-Yo Ma’s concert, his first in Indonesia, the Constellation system remained on throughout, adding reverberant depth and richness by extending the theatre’s RT60 baseline physical acoustic from 1.2 seconds to 2.2 seconds.
The extraordinary flexibility of Constellation allowed the theatre’s technical manager, Bayu Wicaksana, to customize the response, adding warmth and sensitivity specifically optimized for the renowned cellist’s instrument.
Ma’s emotional rendition of six suites for cello by Johann Sebastian Bach drew extended standing ovations from the audience.

A total of 285 small, self-powered loudspeakers (MM-4XP™ miniature and UP 4XP™ full range plus UMS-1XP™ subwoofers) are deployed throughout the auditorium to create natural acoustical environments uniformly throughout the large space. The sophisticated processing is handled by Meyer Sound’s multi-module D-Mitri® Digital Audio Platform, with 51 microphones distributed overhead for sensing the ambient acoustics.

If you look closely you will notice a mic hanging from the ceiling (top center of the shot) and three MM-4XP speakers behind the seats (one is illuminated by a fixture).

For events requiring amplification, the JIExpo Theatre provides a direct reinforcement system anchored by LEOPARD line array loudspeakers, with arrays of 12 per side to cover the first two levels and an additional set of four per side for the uppermost level.
Convincing yet controlled deep bass is supplied by a cardioid configuration of five 1100-LFC™ low-frequency control elements flown over center stage.

Center channel loudspeakers are UPQ-1P, with UPJ-1P™ loudspeakers as side fills and UPM-1P™ loudspeakers for front fills as well as under and over balcony fills. The system can be used with Constellation off, or with subtle acoustical enhancements added for a variety of pop, rock, jazz and musical theatre performances.

The powered UPJ-1P fixed under the balcony and the Leopard stage right hang.

“Using Constellation lets us ‘wrap’ the PA sound into the room for the best effect,” notes Technical Manager Wicaksana. “Working together, these two systems are setting a new and higher standard for theatres and performing arts centres in Indonesia.”

D-Mitri, the very heart, brain and muscles behind Constellation, but above all a powerful network-based digital audio processing and distribution platform that can be configured for a variety of functions in sound reinforcement, show design, and system control.

Although open for only a few months before events were suspended by the pandemic, JIExpo Theatre was rapidly gaining a reputation as the premier event location, not only for arts performances, but also for educational events and political gatherings. Managing Director Murdaya attributes the early success in part to the venue’s innovative application of the newest sound technologies.

“The Meyer Sound team was very responsive in meeting our requests,” he notes. “Their team was great to work with, and I could tell they have a passion for taking on very innovative projects. Vendors usually balk at unusual requests, but Meyer seems to get excited by them.”

A UMS-1XP subwoofer. Two 10’’ to help the Constellation MM-4XP and UP 4XP™ during their journey to the lows.

Other key contributors in the design phase were theatre consultants Philip Soden and WSDG acoustic consultants. The Meyer Sound contingent was led by Constellation Project Director John Pellowe with design and tuning of the direct reinforcement system supervised by Director of System Optimization Bob McCarthy.

JIExpo Theatre boasts one of the largest stages in Asia, measuring 48 m wide by 16 m deep and expanding up to 21 m deep following renovations with the orchestra pit covered.
The theatre is the latest addition to the larger exposition complex, first opened in 2010. JIExpo also offers 100,000 square meters of exhibition and convention space, incorporating five exhibition halls along with ballrooms, meeting rooms and support operations.

More on the Meyer Sound website


Soundstar makes Robe Investment

Swedish full production and rental company Soundstar, based in Skövde, invested in some of Robe’s MegaPointes and Spiiders at the end of last year as they needed lighting fixtures with “more punch” than their rental stock at the time.
The company normally delivers audio, lighting, video, rigging, and has an OB-truck, for the full complete technical solution, and is working on a wide selection of corporate and industrial events and conferences. It was founded in 1991 by Per Larsson initially as a DJ service company and has steadily grown into a solidly well-respected production house.

“We wanted fixtures weighing around 25kg for easy handling by one person,” explained Soundstar’s Daniel Wiklund. They looked at various brands “and felt that Robe had a bigger advantage in weight and output, and they are also multi-purpose luminaires!”

Soundstar’s owner, Per Larsson.

They completed several projects with the new Robe lights before the Covid-19 lockdown including two big conferences for Volvo Cars, and a 40-year celebration event for Swedish home improvement store JULA which included a couple of thousand employees from around the world. Both these events were at Skovde Arena.

The Robes were also on a 60th birthday event for Benders, Sweden’s biggest roof tile manufacturer, hosted at one of the company’s facilities in Uddevalla, and another project was the Sweden Game Conference, a forum for games developers, experts and start-ups, etc., also staged at Skovde Arena with an international audience.

Since then, naturally everything has changed! And while Sweden took a different approach to its lockdown in going for ‘herd immunity’, like everywhere else in the world, large scale events also came to a standstill. Since this time, Soundstar has produced some internet / web shows and other stream-based events utilising their OB-truck and their Robe fixtures.

When not busy with these activities, Per, Daniel, and the team have been extending their warehouse and offices into a 500 square metre purpose-designed space which should be ready for the winter if everything goes to plan!

Soundstar first bought Robe products around 2002 – when Robe initially launched as a brand – with some 250 Wash XTs and 575 Wash XTs for rental stock, and early on they also installed Robe MS Zoom 250 XT compact moving heads and the then-popular Spot 250 XTs and DJ scan 250 XTs.
More recently it was the proactive work of Robe’s Swedish distributor Bellalite that convinced them the newest technologies being produced by the Czech-based manufacturer were better than the competition! “So, we gave it a shot and have not regretted it at all!” concludes Daniel. “Robe is very reliable, and we appreciate the awesome after-sales support.”

During the lockdown, Daniel states that their biggest challenge has been to survive ”mentally” in terms of thinking about and imagining how the industry might be after the pandemic, together with real practical concerns about how long it will last and how exactly the event industry might recover and get back on its feet. All unknown questions causing plenty of anxiety and consternation right now.

What Daniel misses most is “Standing behind a lighting console on a BIG live event or live concert, hearing the production-manager in my intercom saying ‘3, 2, 1, GO!!!’ and then the roaring crowd!”
Hopefully, we are starting to see small signs of hope that some of this live event activity will be safely possible to resume in the medium-term future.

For more info, check the Robe website

Robert Juliat Topaze followspot installed at New York’s El Teatro

New York City’s El Museo del Barrio’s multipurpose theatre has added a Robert Juliat Topaze followspot to its rejuvenated lighting rig during its extensive renovation.
4Wall was the lighting integrator for El Teatro which was meticulously restored in 2018 and reopened early in 2019.

© David Joseph, Courtesy of Katz Architecture

Originally called The Heckscher Children’s Theater, El Teatro was built in 1921 and boasts a Landmark-Quality interior with a remarkable series of 30-foot murals and stained-glass roundels. It was the original home of the Joseph Papp New York Shakespeare Festival.
The theatre seats approximately 600 and is a venue for museum-hosted performances and rental events.

The restoration included an upgrade to the theatre’s lighting plot, which included Robert Juliat’s Topaze, an economical yet full-featured followspot with a 1200 W MSD source.

The fixture’s long lamp life and low running costs make it a powerful, cost-effective solution for mid-size theatres and shows.

Among its features are a fully closing iris cassette, universal adjustable gobo holder, frost filter, individually removable colour frame, colour changer and easy focus reference.

“The Topaze is mounted in the projector booth above the balcony and shoots through glass to the stage,” explains Mark Mainolfi, Technical and Production Coordinator for El Museo del Barrio. “We’re impressed by the reach and ease of Topaze. It also offers control parameters for focus, frost and iris.”

Most recently the museum used the Topaze to highlight dancers during a performance by The Manhattan Ballet School. “The lighting director was pretty impressed by this state-of-the-art spot,” Mainolfi recalls. “He appreciated the ability to quickly switch between multiple gel frames at once for precise colour matching and correction.”

© David Joseph, Courtesy of Katz Architecture

Topaze also was used for the return of the 1983 musical about African-American singer Doris Troy, “Mama, I Want to Sing!” The show made its debut at The Heckscher Children’s Theater and has toured worldwide for decades. The musical came back to El Teatro to mark its 35th anniversary late last autumn.
At El Teatro, Erica Vargas is the Director of Operations. Dan Snyder is Assistant Project Director at 4Wall.

For more details on Robert Juliat’s Topaze followspot and others in the extensive followspot family, as well as Robert Juliat’s full portfolio of LED, tungsten and discharge lighting fixtures, visit the Robert Juliat website

Robert Juliat is distributed exclusively in North America by ACT Lighting, Inc. For more information, visit the ACT Lighting website

Brompton Technology part of the Sunday Times “Sage Tech Track 100”

For the third year running, Brompton Technology has been ranked in the Sunday Times Sage Tech Track 100.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, The Sunday Times Tech Track 100 league table ranks Britain’s 100 private tech (TMT) companies with the fastest-growing sales over the last three years.

This year’s special Covid-19 edition highlights the important contribution that technology companies have made to the UK during the pandemic, from supporting the NHS to enabling remote working.

The current situation has had far reaching effects on the entertainment and corporate events industry, but Brompton has continued to work closely with its customers, supporting them in the development of new initiatives, such as the use of LED screens to provide virtual backdrops for TV and film production in studio rather than on location.

– For more information about the Sunday Times Sage Tech Track 100

– And other information can be found at the Brompton technology website

174 Ayrton MiniPanel-FX set up at Vela, China’s most recent nightclub

Suzhou in China is one of the fastest growing major cities in the world, located just 100km west of Shanghai on the lower Yangtze River. It boasts many interesting historic and modern attractions, not least its latest nightclub, the 800-capacity Vela, which opened its doors in December 2019.

Lighting designer, Andy Taylor of Gasoline Design, was appointed to provide the dynamic lighting for the club and chose to use a whopping 174 Ayrton MiniPanel-FX for his design. He detail his choice: “I have used Ayrton products on nightclub install designs before, most notably DreamPanel™Twin in Jewel, Las Vegas, and MagicPanel™-R and MagicBlade™-R in Omnia at Caesar’s Palace, also in Las Vegas.

The fittings worked with spectacular effect in both of those designs, so when I was looking for something different to use as the workhorse of the effect lighting for Vela, the MiniPanel-FX was a natural choice. The client was also keen for the design to look like nothing he had seen anywhere else and to create that elusive ‘wow’ factor. Having a large array of MiniPanels ticked both those boxes to great effect.

“I don’t recall seeing any fixtures with the same square lens configuration as MiniPanel-FX, which was a big selling point.
The most important thing for me is quality of function and reliability I don’t want to put 174 fixtures in a design and get 174 different shades of white and with Ayrton you can guarantee uniformity, even after many hours of use.”

Taylor was able to use the MiniPanel-FX to achieve the dynamic effect he wanted for the club. “The MiniPanels are primarily rigged in clusters at the centre of six rectangular moving pods.
The intention was to create a ‘ceiling’ of moving light capable of being pixel-mapped as a low resolution screen that can mirror and complement the club’s LED screen content, as well as create massive in-air moving beam looks.
There are also 40 MiniPanel-FX mounted on the back wall behind the DJ, sited in between, above, below and in two rows either side of strips of LED screen. These create beam and pixel-mapped effects that shoot out into, and over the guests.”

So which moments of the design stood out most for Taylor? “For me it’s important to instill in the operators and programmers that, just because something can spin around continuously, it doesn’t mean it has to all the time!” he says. “With a club it is particularly important to build the night, punctuated with ‘wow’ moments.

So, for the first part of the night the MiniPanels are relatively leisurely in colour and movement. Their big reveal is the first time the ‘pods’ start moving. This is their first ‘go as bonkers as you like’ moment and it really heightens the disorientation and excitement caused by, in effect, the whole ceiling moving and twisting over the heads of the guests.

“Once the resident techs learnt how to program these unique fixtures, they were very excited about the potential of the looks they could achieve with MiniPanel-FX, which is always refreshing to see. It’s important that the guys who have to look after, program and operate the system night after night are as excited about its potential as I am.”

“We are so happy with the performance and results from the MiniPanel-FX,” says Vela’s general manager, Julie Zhou. “It’s very important to us to emphasise Vela’s unique structure in the best light, and the MiniPanels deliver this with amazing colour and a great quality, soft light.
The house technicians enjoy having individual colour control over MiniPanel-FX’s four lenses, which they haven’t experienced with other comparatively-sized moving heads. The result is we now have a club that is very dramatic and full of colour, which we all like very much!”

More information on MiniPanel-FX and the extensive portfolio of Ayrton LED fixtures can be found on the Ayrton website

More information on Gasoline Design can be found on the Gasoline Design website


Warner Grand Theatre Ready For Show Time with Dynamic DiGiCo Duo

The Warner Grand Theatre is the last of a series of classic Southern California Art Deco-Moderne cinema palaces from the 1930s. In 1996, the theatre was purchased by the Department of Cultural Affairs and has continously operated this landmark and Art Deco gem since that time.

An interior view of the historic Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro, CA during the unboxing of many exciting toys.

Now, the 1,525-seat historic film house in San Pedro, California hosts classic and art films as well as concerts and other live performances. It’s doing that with very modern sound thanks to newly installed DiGiCo audio consoles: an SD12-96 at front of house and an SD9T for monitors, as well as an SD-Rack with Stadius 32-bit I/O mic pre’s on an Optocore HMA optical loop.
These desks control a brand new VUE Audiotechnik al-8 line array sound system, all of which were installed there in July by El Segundo, CA-based Bell Event Services (BES) under the direction of Audio/Operations Manager Tim Campbell, who served as the project manager.

Saved from possible demolition or re-development in 1995 by a local group of preservation activists, the Warner Grand Theatre is poised to be the hub of this Los Angeles neighborhood’s renovated downtown. “The combination of the new consoles and the new PA system means that this is a world-class destination for touring shows,” states BES President Michael Bell. “That’s why the choice of DiGiCo means so much; any audio engineer in the world would be able to walk in here and be familiar with these desks and be happy to see them, because they’re such great consoles.”

Warner Grand Theatre Master Electrician and FOH Engineer Victor Prudeaux at the venue’s new DiGiCo SD12 console.

In addition to their functional and operational benefits the SD12 is supercharged with the SD12-96 upgrade, taking it from 72 to 96 channels and from 36 to 48 aux / subgroups, while the SD9T offers a redesigned “T” workflow to suit theatrical requirements the consoles are also remarkably compact. Bell says the SD12, installed at the rear of the auditorium, takes up far less space than the previous FOH desk.

“They would be able to add more seats as a result, for increased show revenue or social distancing purposes,” he says. “And the SD9T has a really small footprint. We have it installed on the stage, but it can be easily moved around, repositioned based on whether it’s being used as the monitor mixer for a musical concert or a theatrical performance at the front-of-house position. These are the perfect consoles for this room for a number of reasons.”

Victor Prudeaux wears many hats: at the Warner Grand Theatre he is both its front-of-house mixer as well as its master electrician, and he mixes and consults at various other venues and stages in the Los Angeles area. Thus, he was well positioned to know what he wanted for the renovated Warner Grand Theatre, and he wanted DiGiCo.
“I have worked on every digital console under the sun and nothing compares to DiGiCo sound quality and functionality,” he proclaims. “It’s simply the best there is.”

Prudeaux says the SD12-96 is an excellent all-round FOH console for any venue because of its ability to tailor its workflow to meet that of the operator and the moment. “With DiGiCo, I’m not tied down by a set workflow,” he says. “I don’t have to scroll through a thousand pages to get to the one I need.”

Left to right: Joe Dismondi (BES), Victor Prudeaux (WGT) and Tim Campbell (BES) behind the newly-installed DiGiCo SD12 at Warner Grand Theatre’s FOH mix position.

He finds the SD9T equally praiseworthy. “We do a lot of theater here, and the SD9T’s theatrical software’s snapshot function means that if an understudy has to suddenly go on, I can just select the understudy in the Player feature, and the all of the custom settings and processing we’ve previously edited and saved for that character’s replacement actor are there,” he says. “I don’t have to rebuild an entire show like I have to on other consoles, and we’re ready to go within moments.”

Finally, Prudeaux says the Stadius 32-bit preamps in the DiGiCo SD-Rack will allow for enhanced speech intelligibility and clarity for theatrical performances. “And every show that comes through here, concerts or theater productions, will find the same consoles they likely carry on the road DiGiCo which works to make us a preferred destination for shows,” he says. “That’s a lot of good reasons to go DiGiCo.”

The Warner Grand Theatre, which was declared a historical and cultural monument of the city in 1982 and added to the National Register of Historic Places, is getting ready for its next 90 years, with upgraded projectors next on the list of planned enhancements. “When touring comes back, the Warner Grand is going to be a real showcase room, thanks to the DiGiCo consoles,” says Bell.

For more details on :

– The Warner Grand Theatre website
– The Belle Event Service website
– The DiGiCo website


Yamaha ADECIA, Flexible Smart Audio For Collaboration & Conferencing

Available from Q1 2021, this state-of-the-art solution is based on Dante audio networking and comprises the new RM-CG dynamic beamforming ceiling array microphone, the dedicated RM-CR conference processor, Yamaha’s innovative VXL1-16P line array speakers and the optimized SWR2311P-10G PoE+ switch.

The RM-CR Conference Processor, sleek, small and yet very powerful.

ADECIA is very easy to install, set up and operate. The heart of the system is the RM-CR conference processor, which automatically recognizes microphones and speakers on the same network.
During commissioning it automatically sets the optimum sound settings for the environment, taking into account the location of speakers and microphones, the room’s reverberation characteristics and echo responses.

The rear of the RM-CR sporting a Dante port to connect with the RM-CG dynamic ceiling array microphone.

Auto-tuning is achieved with a simple, five-step process using a special web-based interface. The system then performs auto mixing of all connected Dante audio sources.

The conference processor can handle a wide range of sources, including dynamic microphones, analogue line level I/O, USB, Bluetooth and SIP telephony.

The RM-CG dynamic beamforming ceiling array microphone.

The RM-CG dynamic ceiling array microphone features multi-beam tracking technology which focuses on voices.
Thanks to the special spiral layout of its microphone elements, the RM-CG provides the narrowest, most precise beam for voice capture, while continuous background noise is eliminated using Yamaha’s advanced noise reduction algorithms and Human Voice Activity Detection (HVAD). Combined with its beam tracking technology, it can clearly pick up individual voices, even when more than one person is speaking.

Forget any visible microphone, but not the sound !

ADECIA features further intelligent audio technologies including speaker tracking, adaptive acoustic echo cancellation and more to deliver crystal clear, stress-free remote communications, without requiring any technical knowledge to set the system up.
Dante audio and the control and power are supplied through one LAN cable, while three different mounting methods ceiling, VESA and wire mount are included to suit any space.

The optimized SWR2311P-10G PoE+ switch.

The Yamaha RM-CG ceiling microphone and RM-CR processor are also designed to work seamlessly with other Yamaha or third-party components for even more flexible system design.

Yamaha’s innovative VXL1-16P line array speakers.

If, for example, a Yamaha MRX7-D matrix processor is used with a PoE switch supplying at least 15 watts, the RM-CG can be integrated into existing installations.* (* In these installations automated room alignment and quick set up web UI is not available).

“As times and business requirements change, achieving pristine audio quality in rooms for training, conferences, meetings and multi-purpose use normally require costly expertise to design, install and set up,” says Nils-Peter Keller, Senior Director Pro Audio & AV Group Yamaha Europe.

Nils Peter Keller

“The introduction of ADECIA now allows customers to easily customize and configure a professional audio solution for remote conferencing and collaboration.
With added safety requirements in today’s spaces, ADECIA enables a contact-free conference experience, meaning remote working and social distancing have no impact on the ability to communicate.”

With over 130 years of mastering the best possible sound quality whether it be world-class instruments, concert hall acoustics or high-tech DSP algorithms Yamaha’s development of ADECIA encompasses this collective knowledge, technology and research in an effective, easy-to-use solution to solve today’s and tomorrow’s communication challenges.

More information on the Yamaha website

Brompton Technology : A new App for LED panels assessment and report

Brompton Technology is pleased to announce the release of its DynaCal Reporting App which generates detailed, multi-language, browser-based reports that offer an objective assessment of a panel’s performance based on accurate measurements using the Hydra Calibration system.

This brand-new tool allows Brompton customers to see at-a-glance headline LED panel performance figures such as achievable luminance and colour gamut, presented in terms of percentage coverage of the Rec 2020 colour space. There are also options to view comprehensive information down to a per-pixel level for each individual panel using convenient, interactive, visual displays.

The DynaCal reporting app is available for any LED panel that has been calibrated using Bromp-ton’s new Hydra Calibration system. Utilising the detailed information collected by Hydra, reports can be generated for individual LED panels, or for entire batches.
These reports can easily be shared and viewed in any browser without any special software installed, and the report language can be switched between English and Chinese on the fly.

“The great thing about DynaCal Reports is that our customers are just one click away from data that can help inform decisions about how their panels should be used,” says Thomas Walker, Brompton’s Product Manager. “The reports offer a quick and easy way of comparing panels and checking they are capable of delivering what is needed at any given point or for a specific project.”

Luminance maps show how the LEDs are performing across the entire panel surface, with addition-al histograms to analyse the distribution of pixel luminances for each colour.
For those looking to dive deep into the colour capability of the panel, DynaCal reports include spectral plots showing the precise distribution of light across the visible spectrum, including peak wave-lengths and spectral width for each colour.

Per Pixel Precision Dynacal report.

An interactive CIE xy chromaticity diagram shows the panel’s measured colour gamut versus standard colour spaces such as DCI-P3 or Rec.2020, with the ability to zoom in on a ‘point cloud’ for each primary colour to assess the colour consistency (or ‘binning’) of the LEDs.
Another important feature is a convenient thermal image of the panel, captured by the Hydra Calibration system at the time of measurement, along with the chosen target calibration temperature and measured ambient temperature.
Together, these give a clear picture of the thermal environment at the time of measurement to ensure consistency throughout the batch.

“In addition, our ThermaCal feature offers a separate profiling solution that compensates for the thermal patterning that can affect LED panel performance,” explains Walker. “More information on ThermaCal can be found on our website.”

“At Brompton, we are constantly on the lookout for ways to bring additional value to our customers, with the new DynaCal Reporting App being no exception,” concludes Managing Director, Richard Mead. “When we announced the Hydra camera and Dynamic Calibration last year, we proved to our customers that when it comes to content playback, it is the quality of the image and not neces-sarily pixel pitch, that is the new driver for LED display technology.
With this new App, we have once again created an industry defining tool to deliver beautiful, easy to read, easy to share, fully interactive LED panel calibration reports, which will reconfirm why our customers chose to invest, and continue investing, in Brompton Technology’s products.”

In order to use the DynaCal Reporting App, new or existing LED panels must be fitted with Brompton’s Tessera R2 receiver card and measured using Brompton’s exclusive Hydra calibration sys-tem.

More information on Hydra can be found on the Brompton Technology website

Rafael Mendoza ballet’s litten by Artiste Picasso

Mexican ballerina Elisa Carrillo, principal dancer at the Staatsballett Berlin and 2019 winner of ballet’s top prize, the Prix Benois de la Danse, traveled to her country of origin to present a series of ballet performances called “Gala of Stars, Elisa and Friends.”

The special shows, which took place last year in some of the most renowned venues in Mexico, including the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City, were lit by Rafael Mendoza using Elation Artiste Picasso LED profile luminaires.

“Gala of Stars, Elisa and Friends” featured performances by renowned figures in classical and contemporary dance from some of the most important ballet companies in the world such as the American Ballet Theatre, the Mariinsky Theatre, the Berlin State Ballet, and the Mikhailovsky Theatre.

Mendoza has served as lighting designer for the “Elisa and Friends” ballet gala for years, effectively from the beginning of the project, and has years of experience lighting ballet, dance and opera behind him.

He comments: “Mexico, with its different dance expressions and genres, classical dance, Mexican folklore, contemporary dance and many that have been added in the last 40 years, all involve the wonderful human body expressing itself in different ways.

I design lighting thinking about the body and movement, adding symbolism or other elements that, for example, in ballet is often defined in the script. Light often defines the space, defines the time, and defines interior or exterior places where you want to take the viewer.
Color is often chosen depending on those spaces or simply highlights the state of mind of the dancers, modeling the body by contrasting it through the beam angle and color, generating drama and interest for the viewer.”

On “Elisa and Friends,” Mendoza used the Artiste Picasso™ for the first time.
“I was in search of new LED fixtures when I found Elation’s Artiste series and the Artiste Picasso,” he explains. “These luminaries have enchanted me with all the possibilities they offer and, above all, for the applications they can cover in the type of work I do.

I studied the fixture, saw it perform and understood that they were the ideal fixtures for me to transition to LED technology. They have given me the possibility to use LED lighting for any dance genre due to its technical possibilities, color temperature options, high color saturation and power. They are also very quiet.”

Mendoza says it was interesting to compare the light quality and intensity of a fixture with a discharge lamp with a fixture of the same light quality and technical capability but now powered by an LED engine that consumes 30% of the power. “But what impressed me the most about the Picasso was its zoom range and framing system,” he says.
“Being able to shape the beam according to my needs, to match the scenery or to hide a scenic element or body was decisive in my choice. I have loved getting to know the Artiste series and the truth is it has left me pleasantly satisfied.”
The Artiste Picasso is a full-featured theatrical-grade luminaire with 620W 6,800K Cool White LED engine and advanced optics that delivers over 23,000 total lumen output. It houses theatrically useful design features like graphics, animation and framing.
Combined with a full-spectrum CMY color mixing system and linear CTO color temperature correction.

For more information, check the Elation website


Robe for Vinegar Bottle Installation

Auckland, New Zealand-based lighting designer Rachel Marlow of Filament Eleven 11 created an edgy and exciting ambience with ‘Who Lived in a Vinegar Bottle’, an immersive lighting and audio installation work staged over four days in Auckland Town Hall Concert Chamber.

©Louise Stickland

This was part of the ‘Auckland Live Fringe Town’ aspect of the city’s annual Fringe Festival event, a proudly independent and hugely popular open-access arts festival which took place earlier in the year, just before the Coronavirus pandemic shut down the industry for an indefinite period.
Rachel used the venue’s lighting equipment which includes Robe MMX Spots, WashBeams and T1 Profiles to help realise the piece, which was commissioned by Auckland Live programmer, Anders Falstie-Jensen.

Rachel Marlow and Bradleu Gledhill. Photo by Louise Stickland.

Collaborating with Rachel was Bradley Gledhill who assisted in the design, rigging, lighting programming and timecoding; Thomas Press who produced the special 20-minute soundtrack; and dramaturg Benjamin Henson with whom both Rachel and Brad have worked on previous invigorating projects.

Rachel and Brad pitched their initial ideas to Auckland Live midway through 2019, which was followed by lots of discussions and some early renders created in Capture. Being able to pre-vis the show helped enormously with gaining the commission as it offered the client a clear notion of how it would look.

Combining a dynamic mix of technical disciplines and fusion of ideas, a unique performance concept was developed to unfold Elizabeth Clark’s traditional story a favourite from Rachel’s childhood in a new and engaging medium.
Lighting wise, this included the notion of creating an art installation using what are essentially rock ‘n’ roll moving lights, plus a few custom elements, and this was one of the key provocations.

©Louise Stickland

The performance area was beneath a box truss in the centre of the room. The four MMX Spots and eight MMX WashBeams were rigged on this, with the single T1 Profile (generously on loan from JANDS NZ, and Auckland Live subsequently purchased a new batch of 5 x T1 fixtures) was positioned right in the centre of the box.

Framing the piece with a narrative storyline structure was fundamental to Rachel’s vision of relating the tale ‘The Old Woman Who Lived in a Vinegar Bottle’ which encompasses many contemporary and relevant themes like complacency, dissatisfaction, entitlement … and taking life and people for granted!

©Louise Stickland

Another galvanising factor was the room which usually hosts seated musical and theatrical performances but had to work spatially for ‘Who Lived in a Vinegar Bottle’. As it turned out people – audiences were limited to 20 per show – stood all around the space and moved as the journey evolved and propelled them through the experience sound, lighting and imaginations working together to evoke a series of thrilling individual experiences.

The T1 Profile was selected for the centre luminaire because Rachel needed a powerful light source with framing shutters to keep it in a tight space, and a fixture with a wide range of looks, colours and effects for that central role.
Well familiar with the MMX range as a general lighting tool for her theatre and music work, Rachel knew exactly how to make the fixtures work for this piece. Brad also knows the Robe fixtures very well, which assisted in programming the finer details.

©Louise Stickland

T1 and MMX effects included rapid shutter cut chases that gave the impression of movement and fluidity around the space as the light mimicked the audio image during certain parts.
Having these Robes available ”definitely helped facilitate the ideas I wanted to achieve,” commented Rachel. “The T1 is a fabulous light to control and it especially had a lot of impact during the louder and more intense moments towards the end.”

Moving lights used in a concert context are usually highly visible, however in this scenario, their role was intimate and understated, to draw people into the action rather than impress them when standing back and looking from afar.
At the heart of the installation suspended from the truss were three ‘pixel clusters’, each comprising multiple lightbulb shaped housings with a single LED tangled together by a spaghetti-knot of transparent cords.

A bespoke item made by Rachel, they caught and refracted the light beautifully adding depth and dimension to the space, as well as providing a focal point for the eye.
Custom LED strips with Perspex covering hung on catenaries from the truss about a meter off the floor … were also specially made by Rachel and Brad and these echoed the shape of the room and the square of the trussing.

©Louise Stickland

Two projectors rigged on the trussing and pointing vertically downwards were used to project very subtle abstract moving images onto the floorspace immediately below the box.
All the lights were programmed on one of the venue’s grandMA2 consoles and ran to timecode for the four evenings that the show ran.

For more press info, check the Robe website