An Optocore/BroaMan fiber network is at the heart of the new MEETT Toulouse Exhibition & Conference Centre. The third largest facility in France (outside Paris) it boasts a 40,000m² modular Exhibition hall, a 15,000m² Conference center, a main street that opens into an outdoor area of 25,000m², capable of hosting a wide variety of events, and has been constructed on a 155,000m² site, close to Toulouse Blagnac airport and the Airbus training centre and workshops.
The Conference Centre .
The installation of the network was carried out by Optocore’s long-term partner, Gilles Bouvard’s company GB4D, in close collaboration with the scenography company Ducks Scèno, headquartered in Villeurbanne-Lyon, under the direction of Aldo De Souza. This scenographer also has an agency in Paris and Shanghai. The Bouvard team worked alongside Grégory Aldéa, head of audiovisual projects at Ducks Scéno, on behalf of the MEETT consortium, Toulouse Métropole and GL Events.
GB4D were able to meet the Consortium’s specification for a complex network that required the capacity to transmit sound, video, lighting and even IT.
Gilles Bouvard set out the engineering challenges faced, and how BroaMan components provided the solution. “We conducted an in-depth study of possible future equipment, both upstream and downstream of our network. During the development phase, neither the scenographer nor I were aware of the audio-visual equipment that would be installed in the complex, so we made a possible hypothesis based purely on the plans.”
To simplify, in yellow it is the Convention Center on 2 floors, in blue the huge parking lot, in green, the Outdoor Exhibition Area and in red, the Exhibition Center.
MEETT itself is divided in three parallel bands, based around a row of modular exhibition halls to the north of the complex. In its complete form the space is massive 500m long and 80 to 100m wide. The separate convention centre and multi-function event hall are at the south wing with a reception area to the centre of the concourse, and multi-storey car park for 3,000 cars. With such distances and wide-spread area the choice of a fiber network to transport all video, audio and data signals was obvious.
The Convention Centre’s 12 Seminar rooms are all equipped with fiber optics, along with a large Hall, in which another convention room can accommodate around 3,500 people (seated), while a second Hall can host exhibitions or other needs. At its maximum, the Convention Hall can hold around 7,000-8,000 people showing the advantage of modularity.
The 12 Seminar rooms above the two Halls.
Fiber optic points are stationed throughout the Convention Centre, and each modular modular room is equipped with three quad fiber connection points. For the management of these 12 rooms, a Seminar Rooms node has been equipped with a BroaMan Route66 Video Router (40 in / 40 out), where 26/26 connect via CWDM multiplexer to fiber stageboxes in specific rooms, while 14 /14 allow fiber video connections between routers in Seminar Rooms Node and Convention Halls node.
Gilles Bouvard explains the rationale. “The CWDM video makes it possible to have two Videos In and two Video Out per modular room (the 26in and 26out video config corresponds to the 13 rooms in the original plan). The 14 optical strand-to-strand video streams allows full duplex in / out with the Convention room node.” The fiber points are cabled on single-mode quad fibers, dispatched to the router by a WDM frame. The latter is supplied from a manual fiber patch which allows connection of 13 COM ports (combined main connections which carry all signals on a duplex fiber) to the router on the 39 available connection points (three per room).
In the Convention Halls node, network distribution is via 24 quad fiber connection points. In the Seminar rooms node a BroaMan Route66 Video Router (38 in / 38 out) provides 24in / 24out CWDM video for fiber stageboxes and the 14 full duplex in / out SDI fiber video share streams, with a WDM frame facilitating various connection points.
The Seminar Rooms Node.
The rear is almost more inspiring !
“Each node is additionally equipped with a Optocore AutoRouter15 for the Seminar rooms and an Optocore AutoRouter10 for the Convention Hall to complete the Optocore loop,” confirms Bouvard. In order to function in all the different spaces, 10 Mobile racks have each been plugged with a BroaMan Mux22-IVT/MADI 4 SDI in / 4 SDI out, with 4 MADI fiber ports for audio; an Optocore X6R-TP-8MI/8LO (two ports of 16AES, four DMX RS422 port, LAN Base 10/100). Each rack can be connected by a Quad fiber to any connection point in the building, both for seminar rooms and the Convention Center.
Two Mobile racks.
It had been necessary to have a full Optocore backbone for audio and BroaMan for video and fiber routing to avoid latency issues, according to Bouvard.
In YGDAI format, the Y3R-TP allows Yamaha mixing desks to interact with Optocore’s SANE protocol.
« This fantastic system allows you to have any audio control surface in the network. In addition, given the complexity of the place, I challenge anyone to set up an Ethernet-based or IP network, and have it be as easy and fast as ours to operate, without having to be a computer scientist!”
The sound reinforcement is an L-Acoustics KARA system with the new P1 processor, while the installed mixing consoles are Soundcraft Vi1000s with MADI cards. The choice relates to the fact that they can have 96 inputs in the network with a remote gain. There are 80 Optocore preamps on site. “All sound consoles can be connected to the network without any problem, most of them, including Soundcraft, could control Optocore preamps directly from the desk.”
The L-Acoustics system, per side 8 Kara and 3 SB18 and to fill the center, a litte hang comprising of 6 Kiva.
In conclusion, Gilles Bouvard says, “The challenge today is to provide solutions to satisfy all user demands, and the transport of different IP and Ethernet-based protocols. “Five years ago it was complicated, but thanks to BroaMan today we have the tools. Together we develop devices to transport and route data streams carrying different protocols such as AVB, Dante, AES67 or video NDI, IP very simply and with no bandwidth limit.”
Upon completion, the GB4D team, Gilles Bouvard and François Lund, undertook a thorough installation check, and set up user training, with installation monitoring, including technicians from the SNEF audiovisual company, Ludovic Miama and Maxime Hiez, operations technicians of MEETT / GL Events in Toulouse; and Josselin Mansuy and Christophe Temoin, sound and video managers of GL Events Audiovisuel, who provided third-party equipment.
François Lund providing training.
With sound and lighting already in place, due to COVID 19 the video equipment phase will now form part of a second capital budget in early 2021.
Yamaha has announced a new addition to its professional loudspeaker range, the MSP3A powered monitor, building on the faithful sound reproduction and convenience of the much-loved MSP3.
Yamaha’s MSP3 has long been a fixture of many different applications, thanks to its great audio quality, compact size and convenient, front-mounted controls.
The MSP3A builds on this legacy by adding key new features, including Yamaha’s Twisted Flare Port™ technology, which delivers an even clearer and tighter low-end, with faithful reproduction across the entire audio spectrum.
Une excellente performance compte tenu de la taille du MSP3A.
The built-in 22W power amplifier is optimized for the speaker unit, which comprises a 4” woofer and a 0.8” dome tweeter, for a clear and natural reference sound. The compact 23.6 x 16.7 x 14.4 cm (9.3 x 6.6 x 5.7”) cabinet weighs a mere 3.6kg (7.9lb), making it easy to reposition and move to different locations.
Les entrées en RCA, XLR et Jack 6.3mm et en haut à gauche, l’évent de type Twisted Flare Port.
Like its predecessor, the MSP3A has multiple (RCA, XLR and 6.3mm) input connectors, level and low/high tone controls. It is compatible with a variety of optional brackets, making it suitable for a wide range of uses.
These include audio monitoring in settings from studios, broadcast, post-production suites and other commercial applications, to monitoring audio from digital musical instruments and computers. A reinforced metal grille ensures that the woofer enjoys maximum protection, which is especially useful for mobile and touring applications.
Included in the MSP3A for the first time in this loudspeaker series, Twisted Flare Port technology is a form of aerodynamic sound control, borne of Yamaha’s extensive subwoofer development experience.
L’évent Twisted Flare Port.
Applying aerodynamic sound analysis and flow visualization measurement technologies to pinpoint and control noise generation mechanisms, noise-generating turbulence at both ends of the port is suppressed by changing how the port widens from input to output and twisting the airflow.
Suppressing turbulence reduces muddiness in the sound and lowers the amount of noise generated at the port ends. This strengthens the connection between the sound and main speaker, delivering clear, tight low frequencies along with improved pitch and rhythm.
Un port conventionnel avec de l’air
L’évent Twisted Flare Port. La turbulence est très réduite, comme le sont aussi les bruits aux deux extrémités de l’évent.
Speaker type: 2-way powered speaker, Bass-reflex type Frequency response (-10dB): 67Hz – 22kHz LF: 4″ (10 cm) Cone HF: 0.8″ (2.2 cm) Dome Crossover: 4 kHz Output power: 22W Peak Output Level (IEC @1m): 99 dB SPL Input sensitivity: LINE 1 : -10 dBu, 10kΩ, LINE 2 : +4.0 dBu, 10kΩ I/O connectors: LINE 1 : RCA, LINE 2 : Combo (XLR/TRS phone)
His majesty Huracan-X, the strength of the gobos, the impact of the photons!
We were eager to test Huracan-X, the top of the Ayrton Profile range in terms of luminosity, with its 1000 W of white LEDs and its tremendous graphic features, thanks to new onboard technologies for managing colors and effects. Since its beginnings, Ayrton has taken risks, continues to take risks and will keep doing so for many years to come. We wouldn’t have expected anything less.
Here I am rock you like a Huracán
It is always important to lay the groundwork for what we are going to be talking about. Let’s start with two important points: the 1000 W power of its LEDs, and its size. Together with an excellent zoom range, these make for a complete fixture. The functions can be layered to create original and complex effects, while maintaining a high luminous flux. On the other side of the coin, its size and weight are definitely optimized. With a maximum power draw of 1,400 watts, a height of 86 cm and a weight of 44 kg, Huracan-X is clearly not an all-purpose fixture and is therefore pretty much destined for use in large venues.
Even if this is usually the case with Ayrton, this unit really demonstrates the capacity of the brand to innovate. In many respects, Huracan-X complements the Ayrton portfolio with unparalleled elegance. The quality and workmanship for which the brand is known are also evident, as is the ingenuity that unites design and practicality.
A 178 mm lens. At Ayrton, they know that you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.
Even though the volume is different, the base remains the same as that of the Ghibli model. On the front panel we find the screen and the jog wheel for configuring the numerous options of the intuitive and practical menus. From one model to another, one can find his bearings in terms of control as well as in the menu structure and content.
The screen and the jog wheel for navigating the menu maintain the same functions as in other fixtures.
The connection and control side is also the same. On most fixtures, there are two 5-pin XLR connectors for the DMX signal, two etherCON RJ45 connectors for the ArtNet and the sACN, as well as one or two powerCON True1 connectors for the power supply. On this fixture, there is only one of the latter, which is probably due to the maximum power consumption of the projector: 1,400 watts. It’s kind of a pity, as it would always be useful to power a smaller source.
DMX, mains supply, wired or wireless networking – no compromises!
There is also a CRMX TiMo wireless receiver from Lumen Radio. Of course RDM is available with all compatible protocols.
A ventilation grill is located behind each handle.
Two ventilation grills allow air to circulate through the entire base. Cleverly positioned behind the handles, they will never get blocked. Two foam filters prevent dust from entering. The fans are positioned so that one side draws fresh air into the compartment while the other expels hot air.
Under the two covers that enclose the base, there is a power supply board on each side of the pan shaft. On one side there is the DC-DC section which does not exceed 48 V, while the PFC section is located on the other side. These two boards are very similar to those of the Bora model.
Both power boards are contained in the base!
But each one is on its own side, one shouldn’t risk crossing the different currents.
One of the two yoke arms houses the tilt actuator. It is easy to recognize: it’s the one with the blocking lever. On the other side is the control board for the pan and tilt drive systems. Old habits don’t bog down the R&D department, which is always trying to improve every element, even the tried and tested traditional methods. In this fixture, it is the belt tensioning system that has been modified. On previous models, the motor shaft component was used as a tensioner. On the Huracan-X, the shaft is now fixed, while a pivoting piece equipped with two rollers tensions the belt.
It would be difficult to optimize the space more than this!
At the center of one of the yoke arms, the pivoting piece equipped with two rollers provides tension for the drive belt.
In terms of reliability and maintenance, I can only see advantages to this, and the movements on both axes are perfectly controlled. The pan and tilt movements in combination are perfect, as are the wave movements. In a straight line with a fade time of 0 seconds, fast movement is not a problem and it stops very cleanly at the end of the course. (See the video)
Tight zoom, narrowest sharp beam 1
The zoom is, in my opinion, one of the features with characteristics that are the most elusive to define. Everybody wants to have a broad beam spread but also a pencil of light! We know how to do one or the other, but to have both we must necessarily accept mechanical and optical compromises. With the Huracan-X, there are two possible zoom settings that provide the narrowest sharp beam, depending on the order of movements and/or the starting position of the lenses. There is one at 5.9° for which we measured a flux of 16,800 lumens after derating, and another at 6.9° which delivers 27,570 lumens. So we can see a difference of more than 10,000 lm for a difference in beam divergence of 1 degree. The 6.9° zoom, even if it is a little less sharp over short distances, is therefore the most efficient, but the smaller sharp beam is still useful, especially over a long distance where 1° becomes significant, or for a sharp iris. In the latter case, if the transition is fast, you may have to anticipate to avoid seeing the lens movement, which may not be very aesthetically pleasing.
Tight zoom, narrowest sharp beam 2
At 20°, our reference beam angle, we measure 38,100 lumens after derating. The plot of the luminous intensity produces a perfect curve.
Wide zoom, widest sharp beam
It is a little less regular on the wide sharp beam, but is still attractive. It really opens up: we measured a wide sharp field at a divergence of 61.9°! And with a flux of 40,440 lumens. I don’t think I would be wrong to say that the Huracan-X has one of the widest ranges of in-focus zoom angles among profile fixtures.
Derating and dimming curves
With only 9% derating in auto mode, there is nothing to worry about with Huracan-X.
Of course, the drivers of the source module act as the dimmer. Whether in Square Law or Linear mode, the gradient curves are perfect.
We also obtain a very gradual rise from 0% to 10%, which allows for very soft fades, even when the intensity is low and the fade times are long.
Ayrton is fond of smooth dimming curves:
Ayrton’s idea of hexachromy.
With a double three-color mixing system and a 6-color wheel, Ayrton offers lighting designers an almost infinite range of chromatic possibilities. In addition to the classic CMY system, there are three correction filters: CTO, CTB and CTP (minus green), and this solution is very effective. The insertion of the flags into the beam is very smooth and uniform. The system is very fast but it is just as effective when long transitions are required. The choice of this combination of hues is interesting because, depending on the final color you wish to obtain, you can either correct a more or less saturated color or employ a corrector and make it denser. The colors are beautiful and homogenous. And even if perfection is not of this world, I think that each lighting designer will find his own palette of colors.
Huracan-X really delivers effects! Here is one of the two rotating gobo wheels and, below it, the multi-position animation wheel for water, fire and radiant solar effects.
One of the points that really struck and intrigued me was the number and originality of the effects offered by this projector. It has two wheels with seven rotating and indexable gobos each, two effect wheels, and two prisms.
But, as with the tilt drive tensioning system, Ayrton is constantly seeking to innovate and/or improve existing design parameters. In the Huracan-X we find, on the first gobo wheel, two cartridges in which two gobos of the same design are superimposed.
One of the double gobo cartridges: front…
…and back. Even if they look alike, one is the inverse of the other.
Since they are practically on the same focal plane, and their direction of rotation is inverted, a new kind of dynamic effect can be created, either aerially in a nice haze, or projected onto a surface. The latter case also gives a 3D appearance to the image (see video).
The first wheel of rotating gobos.
The second rotating gobo wheel integrates two cartridges of superimposed gobos.
Since the two gobo wheels are very close to one another, we can add a third gobo and either find an intermediate focal length to create a combined effect or morph between the two wheels (see the video). It is, of course, also possible to play with the two patented effect wheels. The first one, with multiple positioning, allows you to obtain horizontal, vertical or axial scrolling (see video). The second wheel is a mosaic of cyan, magenta and yellow spots used to vary the colors of the beam (see video). You can also use the radial or linear prism to increase the 3D effect.
The color animation wheel filled with CMY textures, and its effect on a few gobos.
The multi-position animation wheel for projecting water, fire or radiant effects.
Several layered effects: gobos, prisms, CMY animation wheel…
The last parameter, a mechanical one, is the framing module. Here, just the current standard four metal blades, each of which is able to completely shutter the beam. The eight motors allow precise adjustment and dynamic effects. The module can, of course, be rotated through 90° (see video).
The framing module.
I previously mentioned the compromise regarding the zoom: you can see it on this parameter. In my opinion, for the result to be good, the fixture needs to be at least 10 m away from the element you want to profile, otherwise the blades lack definition. Apart from this point, even if it is quite simple to find a focal length appropriate to the four framing shutters, the first frost is perfect to slightly blur and homogenize the lines.
The Huracan-X has been designed around a 1,000 watt white LED engine. Depending on the corrective filters used, we measured a CRI ranging from 72, for neutral white, to 87 with 100% CTP. The temperature without any correction filter is 7200 K. This very luminous source is perfectly suited to the requirements of this type of fixture. Its LED engine and its optics allow it to exploit the full potential offered by its multitude of features. As you can see in the video, even if you overlay gobos, prism and effects wheel with a wide aperture, there is still a lot of light.
Behind the collimator, 1,000 watts of LEDs.
The cooling system.
The phrase that best sums up this fixture comes from Yvan Péard: “We’ve never done anything so bold!”. In fact, Huracan-X is seriously beefed up. It is a high-end fixture, both powerful and complete. Its very homogeneous light is enhanced by a beautiful color palette using a C, M, Y, CTO, CTB, CTP system that allows you to combine finesse, power and subtlety. I particularly liked the effects section which, in addition to offering a multitude of possibilities, allows us to add an extra touch of magic to the light. Life is slowly getting back on track and, since you have to let time run its course, what better opportunity to make up your own mind?
LeRoy Bennett and Jason Baeri mastermind MTV platform design, 387m over Manhattan. Canadian singer producer, The Weeknd, was one of a number of artists performing at unusual outdoor settings in Manhattan to mark the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards.
His designated location was the rooftop of the new Edge observation deck at Hudsons Yard, 387 metres high, and consequently the highest in the Western Hemisphere. This presented challenges for lighting designer LeRoy Bennett and his long-serving collaborator, Jason Baeri; but with the help of GLP’s X4 Bar 20s, The Weeknd gave a dynamic rendering of Blinding Lights, the song which earned him gongs for Best R&B Video & Video of the Year.
Bennett worked closely with La Mar Taylor, The Weeknd’s creative director, to come up with the concept. GLP’s award-winning battens not only lit the stage platform but also lined the perimeter of the building’s triangular balcony architecturally. Wearing his signature red suit, black gloves and the bloodied face featured on the After Hours cover, the staging was in stark contrast to other artist sets featured on the show. “Where most relied on XR technology, [our concept] used no special effects; there was nothing virtual, it was all real.” But it had been an intense shoot.
As for the deployment of the X4 Bars, he said, “I liked the idea of a linear light and the X4 Bars were used to outline and define the space itself, to accommodate the helicopter shots from above. They also worked really well as keylights.” Everything was run in white, with extreme brightness due to the nature of the event. “We created a sheet of white light, which did accents and beams, to enable [the effect] to read to camera through the smoke. We didn’t go crazy with the functions.”
But being virtual guinea pigs for this new location threw up issues of power requirements, and the weather variables. As the man on site, it was left to Jason Baeri to deal with the logistics, knowing that the licence to shoot the fireworks had only been granted for the second of the two designated nights, which is when the storms hit.”
One of the most perilous projects LeRoy Bennett has taken on in his long career perhaps? “Well I have done enough crazy things in my life,” he laughed. “Having Jason there gave me complete confidence … he’s worked with me a lot over the years and I have total faith. The difficult part was dealing with the restrictions of the environment and politics of the building with the Covid side.” There was an area on the platform for audio, lighting and cameras. And in addition to the helicopter overheads there was a camera jib mounted on a platform, and additional handhelds.
Baeri, who directed the show from a rover on the deck itself, took it all in his stride. “No one had worked on the Edge platform before as it was only opened for the first time a week or so after our shoot. Like most architectural non-performance spaces, you have specific considerations to not damage the space, but they were extremely accommodating.”
He agreed that the most challenging element had been facilitating the helicopter shots. Despite a day of previs he admits, “you could only guess what the shot would look like from a helicopter… it can be anywhere at any time! So things like fans or geometric dimmer chases would work from one angle but not another; therefore, we had to be crafty with how we approached the looks.”
In this respect he also paid credit to Lauren Quinn in the process. “She is a brilliant director so there was never a shot that we had to adjust from a lighting perspective because of camera placement.”
As for the X4 Bars, they were run in 88ch mode from a grandMA2. “We had them in pixel mode and they had sweeps/wipes going on, but their strength in this particular performance was really as an architectural element.” He agreed that with regard to the helicopter shots, “the fact that we were in the air wouldn’t have been as striking if [the Bars] hadn’t been there.”
Describing the weather on the second day, he notes, “We got shut down a few times for wind and lightning. But our brilliant gaffer Ronnie Skopac, had all the lights bagged and was basically on the balls of his feet all day waiting for the wind to die down. And of course right when the wind alleviated the rains came.” Only around 11pm, an hour before the shooting cut-off, did the clouds part “and like a team of angry worker bees the team went out, unwrapped and powered up the lights, the choppers took off and we got the shot with the fireworks in one take, dead on and just perfect!”
Summarising the huge impact the X4 Bars gave to this unique show, he concluded, “I’ve said before that the X4 Bars are such a wonderful fixture because of just how dynamic they are; it’s this beautiful combination of architectural [usage], because of the way the sources look on camera, and this brilliant beam of light that can either cut through the space like a razor blade or wash the room in brilliant swathes of light. We’ve been speccing them for years because we know every time we do, they will perform just like that. It’s one of the most valuable and consistent tools in the arsenal.”
Robe sponsored the ‘Best Designer’ category of this year’s The Stage Debut Awards which was won by set and costume designer Rose Revitt for the raw, edgy, visceral visual environment she created for “Dr Korczak’s Example” at Leeds Playhouse which was staged in January / February.
Set and costume designer Rose Revitt for “Dr Korczak’s Example” who won the ‘Best Designer’ category of this year’s The Stage Debut Awards.
The Stage Awards celebrate the very best breakthrough talent in theatre, including actors, directors, designers, writers, composers and lyricists making their professional debuts in the past year, so works made after August 1st 2019 were eligible and the competition was extremely stiff!
For Rose, this particular journey started with another prize-winning opportunity. Last year, she won the biennial Linbury Prize for Stage Design which offers 12 emerging designers the chance to work with some of the UK’s leading theatre, opera, and dance companies.
Newly graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff with an MA in Design For Performance (set & costume specialty), Rose applied for the Linbury Prize with her portfolio and as one of the 12 finalists, was linked up with Leeds Playhouse who gave her and two other designers a brief for “Dr Korczak’s Example”.
The Leeds Playhouse team chose Rose’s dramatic bombed-out, rubble-strewn set concept from the three options, and with a short lead-time, this challenging heart-warming yet bitterly realistic work in the time of the holocaust was realised and staged in February 2020.
This turned out to be a fortunate timing, just before the pandemic hit and shut down theatres nationwide and the actual turnaround time from drawings, photos and model box visualisation to full stage realisation was only a few weeks, galvanising all involved in the production. Set in 1942 during the final days of an orphanage in the Warsaw ghetto, the emotive and enduring true story reveals the stark choices of Polish educator and children’s author Dr Janusz Korczak, who champions the rights of young people already leading tough lives in a time of war, intolerance, hate and totalitarian rule. The work addresses numerous moral dilemmas about the values that Dr Korczak is teaching the young people around him, all trying to survive a world with odds stacked against them.
The design was for the Bramall Rock Void, an exciting, completely new, contemporary and fully flexible space at Leeds Playhouse with exposed brick and rock walls that Rose found a huge inspiration for her fragmented rubble and debris strewn world which set the scene for the action to unfold. This symbolic architecture helped tackle conundrums like how to represent hundreds of children and the larger world in a design and introduce motifs, dolls and other objects, props and treatments to assist the narrative and humanise the characters and their situation. “It needed a dignified response and there were many joyful aspects of the show, but I also didn’t want to shy away from the underlining destruction and seriousness of the piece,” and doing this with elegance made it all the more difficult to replicate the true horror of the outcome.
Rose found it hugely challenging and simultaneously invigorating to design, and enjoyed working with director James Brining, who is also artistic director of Leeds Playhouse. She fully appreciates how lighting “can make or break both the illusion and the reality of a story and the way your set and costume designs look and work,” so collaborating closely with the LD is something she thinks is “essential” and always strives for.
In this case, the lighting designer was Jane Lalljee, and the experience was “fantastic”. Rose and Jane spent time meticulously crafting sinister moody looks and rearranging shards of wood and furniture to create dramatic spikey shadows and texturing on the brick walls. The start of Rose’s design process will always involve lots of sketching, drawings, and model box work in which she always includes colouring and light, “lighting definitely adds another layer of magic,” she confirms.
Apart from working on this stimulating production, Rose, who comes from Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, was also delighted to be working for a local company. Before Rose studied in Cardiff, she was based at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester and trained as a technician and producer for their Young Company which fuelled her interest in stage architecture, set design and visuals.
She had the chance to work on many experimental productions in numerous different formats like in the round, traverse, etc and also worked on some exciting and ground-breaking site-specific projects including as assistant producer on “Mixtape” a gig style presentation designed by Khadija Raza which fused multiple performance styles and narratives. Winning The Stage Debut Award for “Dr Korczak’s Example” means a massive amount to Rose in terms of “recognition for the design and all the work that went into it. “ Having that affirmation from industry experts “is amazing, especially at a time when everything effectively vanished,” she stated. Other nominees for the ‘Best Designer’ category were Liam Bunster for set and costume design on “The Taming of the Shrew” at Shakespeare’s Globe in London and Andrew Exeter for lighting design on “High Fidelity” staged at the Turbine Theatre, also in London.
Theresa Gibson, head of marketing at Robe UK commented, “We were delighted to sponsor The Stage Debut Awards for the third consecutive year. Our involvement was more important than ever this year due to the challenges our industry is experiencing, especially the theatre sector and how it has suffered due to the pandemic! It was wonderful to have three strong nominations for ‘Best Designer’ under such circumstances.
Theresa observed that The Stage did an “excellent” job of holding the Awards event online and producing a “fabulous virtual ceremony” from The Theatre Royal Haymarket hosted by Miriam Teak-Lee. Theresa and the Robe UK team were among thousands of viewers who tuned in that evening to see Rose collect “this special accolade for her amazing work on Dr Korczak’s Example”. “Robe UK are hugely proud to support some of the very best in up-and-coming designers trying to gain a foothold into the industry. Being an award sponsor gave all involved a great reason to celebrate and recognise the talented individuals this industry has to offer and realise just how much we appreciate and are missing live theatre.”
In a strange year where everything halted in March, Rose has new work on the horizon and is designing costumes and associate set designer for “A Christmas Carol” at the Bridge Theatre in London, which opens at the end of November. Simon Russell Beale, Patsy Ferran and Eben Figueiredo will play all the parts and share the storytelling in a vibrant new Nicholas Hytner devised version of the timeless classic. It will also mark a fabulous return to (Covid-compliant) live performance for this cutting-edge venue.
For more info on Robe lighting range of products, please check www.robe.cz
ETC has added a new option to its ArcSystem Pro family of LED solutions. Building on the success of the popular Pro One-Cell High Output luminaire, ETC now has a yoke variant available for purchase. The High Output version of the Pro One-Cell yields 8700 field lumens and is available in 2700 K and 3000 K color options.
Featuring the same high-quality optics as its recessed counterpart, the new Pro One-Cell High Output variant has an adjustable yoke that can be mounted or clamped in spaces that were once challenging to light. All ArcSystem Pro solutions are designed for ease of installation, high-quality light, and smooth dimming.
PK SOUND, the robotic line array company, has announced the appointment of James Oliver as Chief Strategy Officer. Reporting directly to Founder and CEO Jeremy Bridge, Oliver is responsible for the development, communication, execution, and sustainment of strategic corporate initiatives. In addition to his role on PK SOUND’s senior management team, Oliver has also joined the company’s ownership group.
Oliver comes to PK SOUND following a high-profile, seven-year tenure with Adamson Systems Engineering, most recently serving as Director of Marketing and Sales. Throughout that stint, he spearheaded the development of turnkey system offerings and a sophisticated global distribution network that led to exponential year-over-year growth for the manufacturer.
“Joining PK was the easiest transition of my career. The culture of the organization and technological advancements of the product line are completely in tune with the live events industry of tomorrow,” comments Oliver. “The potential I inherit from the PK SOUND brand is incredible, and whatever comes next for the organization is a testament to the foundation that’s been laid before me.
“I’ve joined at a time when there are many questions in front of the live events industry; questions like: – when will we go back to work? When will we be able to share life again with our peers? – When can we feel the rush of an artist hitting the stage, and the swell of excitement within a large crowd of people? – While we cannot control the outcome of this virus, we can control how we prepare for what’s next. This is a moment in our history where we can double down our efforts, ramp up innovation, and come back better than before.
Bass Canyon Festival featuring Trinity, PK Sound robotic line array.
“Over the past year, we have piloted a significant strategic shift in the organization to capitalize on our technological advantages and reimagined the relationship between the service provider and manufacturer. The industry will be different when we return, and we intend to be at the forefront of this change.” As Chief Strategy Officer, Oliver is tasked with charting the strategic direction for business development, marketing, and communications. He will assist the management team in the formulation of overall corporate objectives and advise on all matters related to the PK SOUND brand.
Jeremy Bridge, CEO and Founder of PK Sound.
“Throughout 2020, we refocused our teams and made significant investments in infrastructure, research and development, and strategy in preparation for a major push towards our goal of PK SOUND becoming a top global brand in the professional loudspeaker space,” says Jeremy Bridge, CEO and Founder of PK SOUND. “As we reemerge post-pandemic, PK will be a leader in reimagining a more collaborative and mutually beneficial pro audio industry. James adds a key element to our already-deep talent pool and will execute our strategy to reshape the future of sound. We’re excited to welcome him to the PK SOUND family.”
A very nice view of the internal central dome and domes. Do not look for one of the 70 speakers, the integration has been carried out with extreme care.
On November 11, 2020, a unique sonic technology made in France by Amadeus was revealed in a new artistic work during the ceremony presided over by Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, to celebrate the renowned French writer Maurice Genevoix as he was entered into the Panthéon.
Within the scope of the Armistice Day commemorations, French author Maurice Genevoix, who wrote the tetralogy Ceux de 14 (“The Men of 1914” about World War I), joined other luminary writers such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Dumas, Hugo, and Malraux, along with revered figures from culture, science, and politics in France’s secular temple, the Panthéon
For the celebration, the President of the French Republic commissioned a work from two major figures of the contemporary art scene, the German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer, and the French composer Pascal Dusapin. This is the first public commission for the Panthéon since 1923.
Dusapin’s creation, In Nomine Lucis, is a piece for a musical ensemble of singers, recorded by the French chamber choir, Accentus, at the Philharmonie de Paris concert hall. To bring a more intimate human connection with the Great War into the Panthéon, nearly 15,000 representative names of soldiers who died for France have also been read and recorded by the French actors Florence Darel and Xavier Gallais. Visitors to the Panthéon will hear names spoken as they walk through different parts of the expansive building. “I wanted to make the stones of the Pantheon sing, to create a huge ‘vocal lung’ where everyone will hear different echoes of its past, and of its history,” said composer Pascal Dusapin.
You have to have an eye. Five of the eight C15s as integrated into the dome.
To support the great new musical work, a bespoke and unique sound system was designed and installed within the Panthéon. A total of 70 loudspeakers, designed and manufactured by French audio company Amadeus, are mounted around the transepts and at the dome-ground, which reaches more than 35-meters in height. The speaker enclosures, being coated in natural stone, have been made invisible, becoming an integral part of the monument.
“Amadeus became a space where technological innovations with arts and crafts, combine and complement each other,” said Gaetan Byk, Marketing Manager at Amadeus. “We take real pleasure in constantly surpassing and renewing ourselves, in exploring materials and technologies in all their forms, without limit. These eighty stone-finished speakers, forming part of the Monument, are the purest expression of our know-how and the values we defend.”
The electroacoustic system is controlled by a sound spatialization processor called HOLOPHONIX. “The HOLOPHONIX processor enables the sound spatialization of the different choirs through its various onboard algorithms, in two or three dimensions,” stated Thierry Coduys, Director of Technologies for the project, and a technical collaborator of Pascal Dusapin for many years.
Like an aerobatic pilot repeating his arabesques, Thierry Coduys accompanies the sound with a gesture.
“The spatial programming, the position of the choirs, their trajectory, as well as the other events that compose this ‘electroacoustic score’ are managed through a graphic computer sequencer, called IanniX. The HOLOPHONIX processor receives, interprets and translates these millions of temporal and spatial messages to make them perceptive,” added Coduys, describing the new immersive audio experience at the Panthéon. Designed by the Amadeus company, in collaboration with IRCAM Institute, the HOLOPHONIX immersive sound system has also been selected by several performance venues, many among the most famous and prestigious in France, including Comédie-Française, Chaillot National Theater, and La Scala (Paris).
One of the very rare speakers visible, here a C6.
The HOLOPHONIX processor includes algorithms and technological designs from the STMS (Sciences et Technologies de la Musique et du Son), a laboratory founded in 1995, affiliating the CNRS, Sorbonne Université, French Ministry of Culture, and IRCAM Institute.
Designed for live sound spatialization and immersive experiences, the HOLOPHONIX processor brings together several different spatialization techniques including Wave Field Synthesis, High-Order Ambisonics, Distance-Based Amplitude Panning, and more, enabling intuitive placement and movement of sources in a 2D and/or 3D space. “I worked closely with Thierry Coduys on selecting the most appropriate algorithm to accurately render the trajectories he wanted to apply to the sounds.
We tried several solutions offered by HOLOPHONIX, and finally, we selected the ‘k-nearest neighbors’ algorithm (k-NN),” said Clément Vallon, member of the Technical Team at HOLOPHONIX.s. KNN selects the k loudspeakers closest to the source position and applies level differences between them. The gain differences are calculated based on the distance between the source and the selected loudspeakers. The quantity of speakers k is chosen by the user with the ‘neighbors’ parameter. KNN allows a very flexible spatialization, as the loudspeakers can have any layout. “It is an algorithm that is not used much for immersive concerts, but it offers a great flexibility, which was perfectly suited to the geometry of the building and to the rendering desired by Thierry Coduys and Pascal Dusapin,” added Clément Vallon.
Holophonix. 128 in and out in Dante and all that exists or almost in terms of algorithms with a graphical interface at the height of the audio rendering.
The HOLOPHONIX processor creates an extremely advanced platform that can mix, reverberate, and spatialize sound content played from various devices using several different spatialization techniques in two or three dimensions.
“I mainly designed tools allowing the spatial writing of ‘In Nomine Lucis’ creation. Pascal Dusapin and Thierry Coduys wished to create a unique and living experience for the listener. By adding a motion dimension to the choirs, visitors are invited to explore the monument in a different way,” stated Adrien Zanni, who recently joined the HOLOPHONIX Technical Team to design and develop ‘spatial writing’ tools and languages.
“A melody can appear near us and disappear in the long resonance of an adjacent transept that we do not yet distinguish; inviting us to discover it,” noted Zanni. “Two approaches have been explored. The precise writing of trajectories: first, crossing the Pantheon from North to South, or from East to West, or from the ground to the dome. Second, the development of generative algorithms controlling the movement of multiple sound sources, mainly inspired by physical models, for example, a simulation of flocks of birds, or stochastic models,” explained Zanni.
“We used two pieces of software for the development of these algorithms, IanniX and Max, the first one for the management of the trajectories and the second for the creation of the ‘playing’ interfaces, used by Thierry Coduys for the ‘live’ spatialization and mixing of the pieces,” revealed Zanni.
Thierry Coduys from behind, facing the three-dimensional representation of the Pantheon by the open source 3D graphic sequencer IanniX.
Fifty-four Amadeus C12 model speakers are installed on the imposts of the building’s columns at 16-meters high off the ground. The speakers feature an H60 x V60° bespoke conical waveguide to optimize the high-frequency directivity in such a reverberant space.
Pascal Dusapin listening to the rendering of his work and trapped with his eyes to the sky like everyone else by the work of spatialization.
Another eight Amadeus C15 model speakers have been installed at the dome-ground at a height of 35-meters above the ground. These speakers also feature an H60 x V60° bespoke conical waveguide. They are used in an ‘indirect’ configuration, aimed toward the glass windows of the dome, to maximize the diffraction effect. This is an artistic choice.
“The composer Pascal Dusapin wanted something ‘angelic coming from the sky’, with precision in the mid-high frequencies, but not allowing people to precisely locate the sound sources,” explained Zanni.
One of the eight C15s fixed on its bracket and oriented to avoid direct sound. Built as it should be in Finnish birch plywood, it is then coated with a micro-plaster, consisting of natural stone powder, lime, pigments, resin and various additives.
Both the fifty-four C12 and eight C15 speaker cabinet enclosures are stone-covered. Amadeus worked closely with French specialists and architectural conservators on researching shades and materials and nuances to determine the correct finish. The speaker cabinets are made of birch plywood but are covered by a micro-coating, made of natural stone powder.
The result of the “stone” camouflage on a C6 completed by acoustically transparent cement gray fabric.
Amadeus’ specialty is tailor-made, here a C6 veneered in dark stained natural oak.
An additional eight Amadeus C6 model speakers, six featuring a dark oak wood stain, while two are stone-covered, are installed 4-meters above the ground, and are dedicated to playing the audio of the spoken names of 15,000 representative soldiers who died for France which were read and recorded by the French actors Florence Darel and Xavier Gallais.
We had the privilege of attending the ”Pantheonization” of Maurice Genevoix and were able to listen to the work of Pascal Dusapin inside the Panthéon. The result is intangible and present at the same time. Airy and defined with a very restrained high and especially low end. A moving sound mass that blends very well with Kiefer’s works and with the volume of the place. The cold and long acoustics of the Pantheon are skillfully exploited.
To get a binaural machine output sound preview and discover the location and the technical and creative teams at work, click on the Making-Off link below.
Equipment used in the Panthéon’s immersive audio install include:
– 8 Amadeus C15 speakers – 54 Amadeus C12 speakers – 8 Amadeus C6 speakers – 10 Powersoft Ottocanali 4K4 DSP+DANTE amplifiers – 2 MT128 with SoundPad recording/playback software with 128 tracks – IanniX software for audio trajectory spatial designs – 800-meters of optical fiber OS2 – HOLOPHONIX sound processor used for the on-site immersive soundtrack creation, while spatialized audio content was recorded on the MT128 SoundPad software for scheduled playback in the Panthéon.
From AV professionals to amateur speaker builders, everyone will be able to benefit from the company’s new and improved M-Force technology, the integrated motor and cone, thanks to a series of documents due to be released free to the public. Ever since its release in 2013, Powersoft’s M-Force linear transducer has redefined what was possible in the realm of infra-bass, reaching well below the conventional frequency range.
The new M-Force 301P02 moving magnet linear transducer.
Despite its continued use and relevance at the highest echelons of live and installed sound, the Italian innovator has sought to push its boundaries even further with the introduction of the new and improved M-Force 301P02 and its associated reference designs, which have been created to ensure that everyone from AV professionals to amateur speaker builders will be able to benefit from the company’s powerful technology.
“Although the original M-Force has had a great life cycle, we knew that the time was right for our patented infra-bass technology to take another leap forward,” said Powersoft’s sales manager for OEM solutions Giacomo Previ.
“This new iteration of the M-Force linear motor transducer comes equipped with high voltage and high current connectors and a whole range of internal electromechanical improvements. We’re so excited to share the new M-Force with the world, and we can’t wait to see what our fellow audio innovators will be able to create using this new technology.”
The impedance in free air of the M-301P02. Low, very low.
The patented M-Force moving magnet linear motor structure allows extraordinary levels of efficiency and reliability, making it the perfect choice for high efficiency, high SPL low-frequency sound reinforcement applications. The implementation of the M-Force technology is now easier than ever, thanks to the 301P02 a complete solution that enables all levels of speaker builders to incorporate the M-Force into any design with absolute confidence, both in self-powered and passive configurations.
The motor is factory matched to a purposely built diaphragm, through a newly designed coupling and a lightweight chassis, that also improves thermal dissipation, while the addition of a front spider further stabilises the design.
M-Drive, the amp module created to feed the low to very low impedance transducers (M-Force, IPAL etc.) for self powered subs. 310 V, 200 A and 15,000W peak, plus the DSP to process the DPC sensor data. A real beast far from out of fashion.
The new reference designs have been created by Powersoft to help users increase the SPL capabilities of their systems, whether they are speaker builders, sound system owners, or installation professionals. All of the designs are free and come along with a cut list and presets that can be managed using the company’s ArmoníaPlus software.
“Self-powered configurations rely on the M-Drive, a purposely built amplifier module designed to deliver the juice to the M-Force. We recommend powering double 30-inch passive designs using the mighty X4L,” explained Fanicchi.
Mighty ? Just 32,400W at 2 Ohms over 4 channels and a max output voltage of 300 V and Max output current of 140 A.
Powersoft reference designs
As the now released reference designs illustrate, Powersoft’s M-Force 301P02 is ideally suited to a variety of seemingly disparate applications:
The EDM design.
The ‘EDM Sub’ bandpass design features two M-Force 301P02 transducers, which can be built both as a self-powered or passive infra-sub, driven either by an M-Drive amplifier module coupled with a DSP-Lite ETH or an X4L amplifier platform respectively. In both cases the two transducers are connected in series.
The DSP-Lite ETH or 005 processing platform is none other than the well-known DSP-Lite card from Powersoft, but with a network input to take control from a distance and attached to a plate also serving as a heat sink.
The DSP card which makes one or two subs accessible via the network and offers many settings. Too bad it does not have a digital or network audio input and that it does not communicate with the M-Drive module other than analog.
And on which we find the preset selection controls, level adjustment, status LEDs on the card itself, an input and output socket for bridging two subs and finally an RS 485 port which gives access to the specific DSP of the M-Drive which uses information supplied by the DPC sensor in just 10 µs.
The purpose of this sensor is to provide the amplifier module with the differential measurement between the pressure inside the load volume and that outside. This keeps the M-Force system in the maximum range of its possibilities, with minimum distortion and offers the best coupling with its acoustic load.
As this adjustment occurs rarely and requires specific skills in electroacoustics, it requires Armonía ProManager. This double 30” configuration is surprisingly compact and can reach a maximum SPL of 147.3 dB @ 1m (ANSI/CEA2010B) when driven with an M-Drive, and of 146.1 dB when driven by an X4L.
The Differential Pressure Control sensor offers complete control over sonic performance and higher SPL over time.
The operating principle of the DPC, visible at the top of the drawing, above the woofer.
The sound versatility of M-Force inside the EDM Sub.
The design has been optimised for producing ultra-high SPL down to 18 Hz, making the EDM SUB the perfect subwoofer and infra add-on to your install or touring sound reinforcement system. The four available presets ensure ample coverage for different music programs: Standard, Punch, Infra, and a Cardioid version of the Standard one.
Note that by its nature, the M-Force is not subject to any form of thermal compression but that the DPC is only available on active subs equipped with M-Drive for better bass control.
The DV Sub design. Don’t know you, but this name reminds me of another sub, French actually and featuring three 15”.
The ‘DV SUB’ is a bandpass cabinet loaded with the M-Force 301P02 transducer for subwoofer applications. The design has been optimised for producing very high SPL down to 28 Hz in a very compact package, making the DV SUB the best possible upgrade for an existing subwoofer, virtually eliminating non-linear distortions.
A « classic » subwoofer behavior, filling energy in the first octave 30-60 Hz, knowing that it offers between 6 and 8 dB SPL in addition to the existing double 18 ”models…
The maximum SPL is measured at 147.8 dB @ 1m (ANSI/CEA2010B), undistorted and long time. Two presets are available to squeeze the most out of this box: Standard and Punch, each of which is also available to accommodate for cardioid configurations.
The CineSub designed to be deployed vertically behind the screen or flat.
The ‘CINESUB’ is a hybrid transmission line cabinet loaded with the M-Force 301P02 transducer for infra and subwoofer applications. The design has been optimised for producing low distortion and high SPL, measured at 142.5 dB @ 1m (ANSI/CEA2010B) from 16 Hz to 120 Hz, as per the Dolby and THX recommendations.
The Cinesub lower SPL compared to other designs is more than compensated by a frequency response of phenomenal linearity and extension. 3 octaves!
Thanks to this high SPL, one single unit can replace four double 18-inch speakers with a better frequency extension and capability, making the CINESUB the perfect low-frequency system for cinema sound systems as well as for high-end home theatre installations. The modular design makes it perfect to be used in both single and double cabinet configuration, and both presets are available for linear and minimum phase setups.
To get even more info on M-Force, M-Drive, DPC and the other transducer technologies created by the crazy Scandicci guys, click here
Last but not least, thanks to Mauro Donati, Application Engineer at Powersoft, his knowledge of M-Force, amp modules and impedances flirting with short-circuit and especially his patience, were invaluable to us in writing this news.
Digital Projection has hired Jérôme Cadilhac as its business development manager for the South of France, a newly created role, effective immediately. Cadilhac will report to Digital Projection’s EMEA sales and marketing manager, Dirk Siedle, as well as working closely with Stéphane Bourdon, Digital Projection’s historical sales manager for France, Spain, Portugal, and North Africa.
“I have been working in the audio-visual world since 2006,” said Cadilhac. “After five years at French AV wholesaler, IXAM, I spent nine years at Christie Digital Systems, where I was first in charge of projector, LED, and media server distribution in the South of France, then across the country for the company’s new ‘Enterprise’ vertical.
“These 14 years of experience in the field mean that I have an excellent grasp of the various distribution networks in France and have built solid relationships with the main players in the market; from integrators and service providers to design offices and wholesalers.” Although Cadilhac’s designated sector will be ‘South of France’ he will also be involved more widely with major key accounts thanks to his pre-existing relationships with the companies.
“I’ve known about the potential of Digital Projection’s product range for a long time,” said Cadilhac. “Stéphane Bourdon has done excellent work for over a decade, and now is the perfect time to strengthen the team and the brand’s dominance in the French market when other players seem to be pulling back.
“Digital Projection is a company that is as innovative as it is adaptable. The company has been very smart in the way it’s been growing over the years, and their new RGB laser range (with the Satellite MLS) is a particularly good illustration of this. Despite its reach, the team remains close on an interpersonal level, and the managers are dynamic and attentive to the teams in the field, an environment I look forward to returning to.”
Cadilhac identified Digital Projection’ cutting edge 3-Chip DLP laser RGB Satellite MLS as one of the key products for the company moving forward along with the Radiance LED range. “On a daily basis, it is the sale of the DLP Laser projector range that will get my full attention,” he confirmed. “My main objective is to significantly increase Digital Projection’s turnover in France and to structure the office to meet the high expectations of our partners, who I hope will be more and more numerous in the months to come. My existing contacts in the industry were all interested to hear that I’d joined Digital Projection, and the relationship of mutual trust that we’ve built over the years will very quickly enable us to strengthen our presence on the French market.”
Digital Projection’s Dirk Siedle added: “We’re really happy to bring Jérôme on board. His breadth of experience in the French professional projection market will be invaluable to us moving forward and his already established relationships are sure to help us increase our footprint in this strategically important market.”
The broad blades of light generated by LED battens with tilt movements has rapidly established itself as a new approach to scenic effects. When coupled together to form continuous lines several meters long, they provide very attractive possibilities. Here is a very powerful model from Robe, the Tetra2.
The fixture takes the form of a meter-long batten, 10 cm wide, with a total height – base and head – of about 30 centimeters. The head is motorized and can rotate in tilt through 210° (±105° from vertical). Small yoke arms attached at the ends provide the connections and tilt drive. The whole unit weighs 18 kg. The 18 RGBW sources, each of them 40 W, are operated with two independent zoom drives that allow the beam to be adjusted from 4° to 42°. To be precise, we can regard them as two sections of nine beams, many parameters of which can be managed independently.
The zoom function can be used independently on the two sectors.
This batten is a derivative of the Spiider from which it inherits the sources and, in particular, the flower effect, which is found here in two positions. A half-sized version of this fixture exists, under the designation Tetra1, which is 50 cm long and has the flower effect in the center. Tetra2 allows lighting designers to create long linear sources by mechanically coupling modules without visible separation. The alignment is almost perfect and offers possibilities for sculpting the space in several ways.
The color synthesis is carried out in RGBW and offers a rich and complete palette. A “CMY” emulation mode can be activated via the control channel in DMX. The DMX color control provides access to a set of many standard “gel” hues, as well as a simulation of warm color temperatures.
The pure RGBW colors.
The emulated CMY primaries.
On the Tetra2, there are two independent flower effects. One in the center of each of the two sections. This effect, with its multiple sharp rays, blooms and takes shape when you open the zoom. At a tight zoom, the concentrated beam is independently controllable.
The flower effect at full RGBW, with the zoom at minimum, and with the zoom at maximum.
Each flower effect features dimming and RGBW control, but it also is dependent on the general dimmer of the fixture. In full-color mode, the effect is multicolored, displaying the four primary colors of the sources. The color mixing allows you to make some colors appear alone, or to display color mixes not as a global hue but as multiple beams. Each flower effect can rotate, like a rotating gobo.
Some different colors used with the flower effect.
A story of colors, but also of pixels…
The main attraction of Tetra2 lies in its ability to generate aerial animation. And the linearity of it also makes sense for the way in which we can control all these sources. And this is where an essential notion comes into play: the use of each source as a pixel. Our Tetra2 can make its pixels available for two distinct layers: essentially a background color controlled with DMX, and a pixel layer that allows us to create animation effects using Arkaos via the Kling-Net protocol.
Preset banks of effects (Patterns) available in the fixture can also be animated and sent directly from the DMX console, just like an effects generator, as we find on many fixtures using matrixed sources. These patterns are numerous and varied, allowing for chases with points and lines, and can be driven in different directions, with variable speeds and the possibility of fading the different color sectors through progressive transitions.
Pattern effects and color schemes.
Pattern effects in two layers (a blue background with red pixel effects).
The use of multicolored gradients can be particularly spectacular, and can take on very different looks. We can consider using mixtures of colors, but also black to create very impressive beam separation effects.
Magnificent color gradients.
The two independent zooms are also an essential element. They range from 4° to 45°. Tightly closed, they produce a blade of narrow beams very closely squeezed together. A small aperture visually smoothes the alignment of beams to make an absolutely uniform curtain of light, while a wide aperture can offer very efficient “flood” capabilities, much like a blinder. The zoom mechanisms are fast enough to allow for some surprising and rich visual effects.
The zoom range.
Positioning and movement
The motorized tilt of the large Tetra2 makes it possible to create broad “curtains” of light: wide apertures, false ceiling effects or walls of light. The tilt range of 210° is sufficient to reach all the angles that are useful for deploying the greatest effects. The movement is fine and smooth, and/or very quick, if necessary.
The base houses the power supply modules and the DMX control electronics. One end holds the tilt motor, which operates via a belt and pulley. On one of the two long sides of the base, there is a touchscreen display and navigation keys: you have the choice. The menu is sort of a labyrinth, which offers a lot of configuration possibilities!
The touchscreen display and navigation keys.
In front of the ventilation ports on the base, a dust filter can be easily removed by means of a simple clip-on grill.
The connectors are located in two separate positions on the rear of the base of the Tetra2. The PowerCON True1 power supply input, XLR5 DMX input and an RJ45 Ethernet port are on one side, while the True1 power supply output link (a single Tetra2 unit consumes about 600 W), DMX output and another RJ45 port are on the other side.
On the rear of the fixture, you can see the tilt lock, the three fans that cool the sources and, on the sides, the two holes for the coupling.
On the lateral extremities of the base, there are two small holes that allow the units to be coupled to each other, by means of metal lugs that come out when a latch is actuated behind the arms. The lugs of one unit fit into the holes of the next, but do not provide mechanical locking.
In the head, the two sets of nine lenses are each mounted on a carriage that can move back and forth on two long, worm-gear actuators. In addition, two smooth rods precisely guide the movement of each carriage, ensuring a perfectly rectilinear movement. This is how the zoom works.
One of the two carriages with nine zoom lenses.
At the very back inside the head, the 18 RGBW LED sources of 40 W each are distributed over the entire length, each one coupled via a light guide to a small lens. The two flower effects have a motorized boom that allows them to be used with or without this diffusing filter.
The LED source combined with its rotating flower effect and its diffusing filter, the latter of which is shown here toggled out of the beam.
With the filter, the beam is identical to the others, while without the filter, the directly focused beams create the flower effect. It is also at this level that the rotating effect of the flower is produced. The focusing lens is mounted on a sprocket, just like a rotating gobo. A kind of rotating “grating”. Underneath the base of the fixture there are two slots for the two clamping systems. They consist of two large rails about 30 cm long, which are attached by three cam-lock fasteners.
The base, seen from underneath, and the mounting rails.
They feature a slot that allows you to adjust (oh joy!) the attachment point of the clamps like an adjustable omega bracket, but even longer. The positioning of Tetra2 on any type of truss is therefore very easy. No truss junction or strut will be an obstacle. And that’s good, because you won’t have to interrupt a linear deployment! A fastening point for the safety cable completes the rigging facilities.
Controlling the Tetra2
The fixture supports DMX/RDM, Art-Net, MA-Net, MA-Net2, sACN and Kling-Net protocols via cable – XLR5 or RJ45 – or via an optional Lumen Radio wireless module. For DMX control, the unit offers several modes, six to be precise: using 34, 56, 97, 115, 110, or 128 channels…
The flower effect beams, playing with colors and zoom.
The Tetra2 requires an advanced console and it takes some time to familiarize yourself with it in order to tame it. The simplest control mode requires you to think of the unit as several fixtures (for the sake of simplicity, consider several “icons” or “groups” of fixtures for a single batten). There is no mode that makes it simple to use. You may have to tinker with an exotic library for a simplified operation mode (I even tried it, it’s possible).
Robe nevertheless provides – even in its 34-channel mode 1 – independent control of certain parameters: separate dimmers, separate RGBW control. So, control is not very basic. The nerds are going to have fun, though! It’s a pity that this most basic mode doesn’t provide access to the internal effect patterns. This basic mode allows you to control a “background” color in RGBW, which is the basic color of the batten (with a dimmer, therefore) with its CTO emulation channel, and then the two independent “flowers” via RGBW and a dimmer. A master dimmer, two zooms, and control functions complete the controllable parameters.
Two coupled Tetra2 units deployed on the floor, with zoom effects.
Mode 2 offers access to a certain number of pattern control channels (selection, speed, fade, etc.) and to 16-bit control (on two channels) of certain parameters.
J. Morel in the beam of a Tetra2.
The next four modes offer independent operation of the different LED sources, making full use of the individual pixels, and allow the Tetra2 to be used as a matrix unit, with mixing capabilities between a pixel effect and a colored background. The most extended mode, with 128 channels, manages everything independently and in high resolution. The “color mix control” channel is used to set priorities for the color information and how the beams (here considered as “pixels”) will react to it. This becomes particularly interesting in extended mode, since you can work on different layers (background and pixels).
The “color mix control” channel is used to set priorities for the color information and how the beams (here considered as “pixels”) will react to it. This becomes particularly interesting in extended mode, since you can work on different layers (background and pixels).
The color mix control allows you to prioritize, for example, an animation effect using the pixels, which can be subtracted from or added to what is being sent to the background. It all depends on how you want the effect to appear, and on how one should take precedence over the other (very interesting in a concert when an operator must have the “lighting designer’s hand” that cuts and decides on the fader what media to let pass relative to the lighting).
It can just as well be the other way around. There are also fade modes between layers… more than ten control modes can be defined and changed at will throughout the lighting control, as needed. This control, which is sometimes complex to grasp, requires a bit of thought and training because the possibilities are very extensive.
Using tilt on a coupled set of two Tetra2s.
The “control” channel allows you to perform any possible resets of the fixture, but also to remotely configure ventilation modes, dimmer curves, color management modes, and different emulations of tungsten sources. It is also on this channel that you can activate or deactivate the Kling-Net, which directly interprets the data from an Arkaos system.
Effects combining the flower effects with layers of different colors.
Two channels are dedicated to the adjustment of the LED driver frequency, to avoid flickering in video captures. One channel determines a choice of frequency between 300 and 600 Hz, and one channel allows you to fine-tune.
With a tight beam, Robe declares an illuminance at 5 m of 14,600 lux and a luminous flux of 5831 lumens. With a wide beam: 1333 lx and 8439 lm.
An odd bird, full of potential
The Tetra2 is truly remarkable. This fixture is apparently the most powerful in its category, and the most complete in terms of effect possibilities. All these characteristics guarantee it a place in many great productions. Although complete, comprehensive access to all the parameters allows you to envision some very specialized and ultra-creative applications, we can only lament a little that this doesn’t provide any really simplified alternative control option for quick use. Nevertheless, this excellent unit should contribute to providing audiences with some very nice things to see. We are looking forward to finding it in the inventories of the rental companies, because on some nice rigs it will make a big difference…
Ayrton is very happy to announce the appointment of Sky Corporation as its new, exclusive distributor for Serbia with immediate effect. Established in 1999, Sky Corporation doo is a first-class company specialising in distribution, retail and systems integration, and a regional leader in event and production technologies and services.
“At Sky Corporation we believe that high quality products and top performance are paramount in numerous applications and projects, and that’s where Ayrton steps in,” says Sky Corporation director, Milan Cvetinovic. “In the entertainment industry Ayrton products are high-end and we are happy to have the opportunity to introduce the Ayrton quality to our market. We have used all kinds of top-quality products in our production company but Ayrton is way above all of them. “We firmly believe that Ayrton will help us to build more value into the company and to our clients.”
“We are delighted to have Sky Corporation on board as distributor for Serbia,” says Ayrton’s director of strategic development, Jonas Stenvinkel. “The team there has an excellent reputation, are always demonstrably forward-thinking and great to work with!” “As exclusive distributor, Sky Corporation will offer the whole range and full service for Ayrton products across the Serbian market. We have many clients who have need of quality products in television, theatre, production and rental companies, and many more, and we can’t wait to show them the Ayrton fixtures in action. We plan many roadshows and demos at client facilities and concert venues as it really is the best way of promoting the beauties of Ayrton. I’m very excited to have the power of Ayrton quality in our company’s portfolio.”
More info about Sky Corporation can be found on their website: www.skymusic.rs
Over the past 120 years, the National Association of Music Merchants has grown from a small, domestic consortium of piano dealers into a massive educational and support organization boasting arguably the world’s best trade show dedicated to both the business and pleasure of making music.
When the eagerly anticipated 2021 NAMM Show had to be canceled due to continued COVID concerns, the association quickly pivoted its focus by creating a digital alternative known as Believe in Music Week, running from January 18 to 22.
FOH Engineer Chris Rabold.
L-Acoustics announces that it is fully supporting NAMM this month by sponsoring a virtual Marketplace booth, where it will be hosting a comprehensive lineup of eight unique video sessions on a variety of topics, all with live Q&A.
Visitors can also book online meetings with L-Acoustics team members, chat live, and receive special access to swag and an exciting giveaway. Of particular note will be the booth’s keynote session, “Contour XO IEM Origins Story,” moderated by FOH Engineer Chris Rabold (Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé).
Christian and Jerry, two good sounding guys ;0)
This will be a Zoom “fireside chat” discussion with L-Acoustics Founder and President Dr. Christian Heil and JH Audio Founder and President Jerry Harvey. This illuminating conversation explores their origins in pro audio and how they came to collaborate on the recently-launched Contour XO in-ear monitor.
L-Acoustics Application Manager Josh Maichele.
“Immersive Audio for Houses of Worship” will be another standout session, with L-Acoustics Application Manager Josh Maichele hosting a conversation with technical directors at three churches Mount Paran in Georgia, Orchard Hills in Pennsylvania, and River Pointe in Texas to learn about why they each chose L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology for their congregations.
The full schedule of video sessions from L-Acoustics is as follows (all times are PST):
Thursday, January 21st: 8:00 a.m. – L-ISA: Immersive Audio for Houses of Worship 10:00 a.m. – The Power of K3: Compact, Full-Range, No Compromises 1:00 p.m. – L-Acoustics Creations: The Power of Pro Audio at Home 3:00 p.m. – L-ISA: Immersive Mixing Techniques with Robert Scovill
Friday, January 22nd: 8:00 a.m. – Contour XO IEM Origins Story: A discussion with Dr. Christian Heil and Jerry Harvey, hosted by Ambassador Chris Rabold 10:00 a.m. – A10: The Perfect Fit for Event Audiences of 50-5,000 1:00 p.m. – L-ISA Theatrical Workflow: From Concept to Performance 3:00 p.m. – MILAN / AVB: Audio and Control Data Over a Single Network
L-Acoustics L-ISA Application Engineer Carlos Mosquera
Furthermore, L-Acoustics L-ISA Application Engineer Carlos Mosquera will take a deep dive into the anatomy of an L-ISA mix with a binaural performance and mixing tutorial on NAMM’s Believe in Music Gear TV during the week.
“NAMM has always been much more than an industry trade show,” shares Alan Macpherson, CEO, L-Acoustics Americas. “The organization’s reach in music advocacy, market development, and educational focus have all been key to keeping NAMM’s strong leadership position.
Alan Macpherson, CEO, L-Acoustics Americas.
Shows have thrived, despite sea changes in the market over the years, and this is evidenced by the smart and concerted effort to bring professional audio to the fore. This year, NAMM has risen to a new challenge, yet again with its Believe in Music Week, a well thought out alternative to the in-person trade show that should provide excellent interaction. L-Acoustics is proud to be part of it, and we look forward to making quality connections with both new and existing customers this month!”
Free registration for the 2021 NAMM Believe in Music Week can be found here
Outside the Circle uses the power of Proteus Maximus as an integral effect in unique end-of-year lighting display. With fireworks forbidden and Covid-19 keeping people isolated for New Year’s Eve, Ton Nieuwenhuis and Martin Ciesluk of design firm Outside the Circle decided to bring a bit of lighting inspiration to the people of the Dutch town of Hengelo.
“We wanted to bring some light to people at the end of a tough year,” he said, “so we put together a project that included 21 mobile trailers with lighting to drive around the streets of the city on New Year’s Eve. It represented how, because of Covid, we are all in small groups but when seen together symbolized something greater, us all coming together.”
The project, called Het Hengelicht, involved 8 fixed lighting locations (sponsors) plus 21 vehicles pulling trailers on which a Proteus Maximus™ was encircled by four RGB laser-source beam lights Claypay Xtylos. The effect from a distance of each grouping was one of a giant single beam of light. The fixed locations used one Maximus with 8 Xtylos.
Ciesluk says that initially he wasn’t sure what fixtures he wanted to go with but knew he needed something with power. “I knew I wanted LED and something bright that could take a bit of shaking around from being driven around in a trailer. As the other fixtures we used required domes, I wanted an IP65 fixture in order to have one less dome in the trailer. I was happy to discover the Maximus and Niclen was able to provide 38 of them for the project. It has a hotspot LED engine that is good for long-throw aerial beams and at only 1400 watts, it was easy on our small power generator as we didn’t want to have to refill the generators too often.”
Ciesluk’s initial idea was to choose 30 locations throughout the city to place lighting fixtures but with concerns over too many people gathering, the decision was made to make the majority of the lighting mobile by placing a power generator with lights in trailers to be driven around the city.
“We wanted to make sure that everyone in the city could enjoy the lighting,” says Ciesluk, who calls the project more of an art installation.
“Some people would come outside to see what was going on while others would look out their window as the lighting passed by. The response was amazing. People were clapping and waving at us from behind windows.” Ciesluk says they tracked the movement of every trailer and ended up covering about 80% of all the streets in Hengelo.
The Outside the Circle crew drove around the city beginning at 8:00 pm when the town mayor initiated the project. Lights shone skyward in full-on white light for four hours with 30-minutes of more dynamic color and movement ringing in the New Year at midnight. Design was by Ton Nieuwenhuis and Martin Ciesluk with Ciesluk also handling the programming.
Besides garnering sponsors to finance the project, resources came from crowd funding, as well as the Hengelo city council, who, after initially denying funding, had a change of mind after seeing how much enthusiasm the project had generated on social media.
“Meyer Sound has seen great success from the NAMM Show over the past few years as it is a great place for us to showcase our products suited for this audience,” notes Meyer Sound Director of Global Marketing Tim Boot.
“Although we are unable to connect with our customers in person during this time, we are grateful that we have this opportunity at the virtual NAMM show to share what we have been working on over the past year, including a new variant of our best-selling loudspeaker and a new solution for the post-production and residential markets.”
The virtual booth will feature product information about the award-winning ULTRA X40 and ULTRA-X20 point source loudspeakers, LEOPARD compact linear line array loudspeaker, the company’s new software applications Spacemap Go spatial sound design and mixing tool and MAPP 3D system design and prediction tool and the newly introduced Ultra Reflex screen channel sound solution for direct view displays.
The principle of Ultra Reflex.
Derek Featherstone, CEO of UltraSound and FOH mixer
As part of the NAMM U “TEC Tracks” programming, Grateful Dead founding member Bob Weir and Derek Featherstone, CEO of UltraSound and longtime FOH mixer for recent Dead-related acts including Dead & Company, discuss the long strange trip of the band’s quest for the best audience sound experience. Weir goes back to the Wall of Sound days when Meyer Sound CEO John Meyer first got involved, even pre-dating the founding of Meyer Sound Laboratories in 1979. The session is available Thursday, January 21 at 12:45 PM PST.
Additional programming includes engaging discussions with Berlin-based electronic duo Mouse on Mars as well as Ed Sheeran’s production team. Meyer Sound Director, Spatial Sound Steve Ellison will sit down with Mouse on Mars, Tuesday January 19 at 10:00 AM PST for “Mouse on Mars Discuss Spatial Sound Mixing” where the artists will explain how they use Spacemap Go for their work from live performances and art exhibitions to the recording studio for their new album and explain how to use the spatial sound tool. The session is available on the Meyer Sound exhibitor page at the designated time here
Wednesday, January 20 at 10:00 AM PST, Ed Sheeran’s longtime Production Manager and FOH Engineer Chris Marsh and Audio Systems Engineer Charlie Albin as well as Meyer Sound’s Sales Manager, Asia Pacific Chris D’bais, will dive into the singer-songwriter’s high-ranking ÷ (“Divide”) Tour. The session “Ed Sheeran Production Team Discusses Divide Tour” explores the production team’s life on the road, their preferred audio solutions, and what they have been working on since the end of the tour in 2019. The session is available on the Meyer Sound exhibitor page at the designated time here.
The ultra wide coverage UPQ-D3 with an 80° x 80° pattern.
The NAMM Show also provides the backdrop for two concurrently scheduled industry recognition events, the TEC Awards and the Parnelli Awards. The Meyer Sound UPQ-D3 wide symmetrical coverage loudspeaker has been nominated for a TEC Award in the Outstanding Technical Achievement in Sound Reinforcement Loudspeakers category.