65 x Robe fixtures on The Killers Performance in Las Vegas

Signalling the start of the new NFL season, The Killers staged a special, highly symbolic one-off performance of their anthemic and hugely popular “Mr Brightside” on the rooftop of Caesar’s Palace … for the Las Vegas Raiders who have just moved into the newly completed Allegiant Stadium.
Produced for ESPN, the segment’s lighting design was created remotely by The Killers’ long-term lighting designer Steven Douglas, who included 43 x Robe MegaPointes and 14 x CycFX 8 moving LED battens on the rig, supplied by lighting vendor LMG.

©Lari Dolan of LMG Touring

Steven was working from home in Ireland, unable to travel due to international restrictions during the Coronavirus pandemic. He received a brief about the look of the piece from director Dagen Merrill plus ESPN’s creative team, and his design was realized on site by lighting programmer and operator Josh Spodick and the LMG crew.

The brief specifically called for lots of glitzy beamy through-shots for this clip celebrating the new stadium and welcoming the Raiders to the new season – and that’s why Steven chose MegaPointes as an “excellent” solution … for the brightness, punch and power they brought to the equation.

©Lari Dolan of LMG Touring

A small stage deck was built on the iconic rooftop at Caesar’s Palace measuring 48ft wide and 16ft deep and 2ft high to elevate the band enough for the blow-through camera shots to look stunning and capture the aura and atmosphere of the city’s famous Strip in the background.

There was no LED screen as the space was tight and any kit had to be ground – or in this case roof – supported. Equipment also had to fit into a standard lift, which was the only access.
Steven positioned MegaPointes all around the band at the front, and off to both sides at the back, with alternating strobes and MegaPointes, created 4-tiered diagonal corner features with each tier a foot above the previous, giving a cool ‘bleacher seating’ infinity effect off to the sides.

©Lari Dolan of LMG Touring

The front camera shots zoomed and tracked in past the front row of MegaPointes while the CycFX 8s were positioned in two rows, upstage right at the back with another row at the mid stage point, separating the band upstage and downstage.
This produced a nice crisp back light, so the band popped out from the general background with an almost holographic look. Steven has worked with The Killers since 2006.

Knowing them and the music really well in addition to his extensive experience as a lighting professional for television, concerts and touring shows meant he knew exactly the style and look required. That said, and normally by nature a fully hands-on LD, he commented that it was “extremely interesting” firstly not actually programming and running the show himself on site, then even stranger working from afar, seeing everything on a screen and dealing with the 8-hour time difference. However, everyone was delighted with the results!

©Lari Dolan of LMG Touring

LMG put Josh forward as the operator for all four The Killers shows. Steven completed the drawings – three of the lighting rigs were completely different – and when the setlist was announced for each show, he and Josh painstakingly worked together via Zoom and Skype, developing cue-by-cue lighting for each song. Patrick Kligel was the DoP, George Clayton the master electrician and Hunter Langley the gaffer.

LMG account executive Juliana Stern commented, “Working on this project was the perfect opportunity to prove how LMG has been able to pivot our focus. It was truly fulfilling to see the shoot come together for The Killers and The Raiders after such challenging times. I am so thankful to have been surrounded by the best equipment and the best crew who can bring events like this together.”

For more info about Robe range of products, check the Robe website

 

The World’s First Kara II System is in France at 6MIC

Designed by architects Rudy Ricciotti and Jean-Michel Battesti, 6MIC (pronounced ‘seismic’) has been turning heads since opening its doors for the very first time this summer. Its lichen-covered concrete structure, both a technical feat and a world first, is designed to give a mountainesque appearance to the building, seamlessly blending into the natural landscape.

6MIC’s goal is to become an epicentre for music and culture throughout France. Therefore, they required a sound reinforcement system to reproduce various performance styles and keep a minimal carbon footprint. 6MIC chose to install L-Acoustics throughout all performance spaces to hit both of these goals.

The Rudy Ricciotti and Jean-Michel Battesti design, fully blending into the natural landscape thanks to the vegetation which takes possession of its forms.

Although structural work commenced in 2018, it was not until September the following year that the 6MIC technical team started working on the audio concept.
With an ambitious goal of deploying sound equipment that would be of the highest calibre and future-proof, 6MIC Technical Director Rémi Droesch’s brief was simple: “We wanted the best sounding system!” After consulting with a number of premium loudspeaker manufacturers, L-Acoustics was retained by the 6MIC team for several reasons.

“Out of all the companies we spoke to, L-Acoustics ticked our boxes right from the outset,” explains Droesch. “First of all, the comprehensive loudspeaker range and excellent performance of L-Acoustics make it the best audio manufacturer we know.
Price was equally important to us, and the L-Acoustics team provided a very competitive offer. Finally, following our architectural design philosophy of blending into the nature around us, we wanted to be as carbon friendly as possible, so partnering with a French loudspeaker manufacturer made perfect sense to us.”

The big hall

Dushow was chosen as the system integrator, and its team worked closely with 6MIC’s Albert Peirat on all commercial elements and Laurent Moulis on technical aspects. Dushow also facilitated 6MIC’s first contact with L-Acoustics Sales Manager, Olivier Inizan, who proposed the new Kara II system.

“When Olivier suggested Kara II, which wasn’t even announced to the public at the time, we held our breath in anticipation and excitement. We knew that Kara would be a very good system for us. So calling ourselves the world’s first venue to install Kara II shortly after being referred to as a world-first for our original and innovative architectural design just seemed very appropriate,” smiles Droesch.

The eight KARA II and the four X8 in the main hall.

The new L-Acoustics M1 measurement platform was recommended as part of the overall sound system design to guarantee the perfect system optimization for all the different configurations of the venue’s performance spaces. M1, in combination with the P1 processor, offered the benefit of streamlining measurements of the loudspeaker system throughout the spaces at 6MIC.

This proved its worth very early on. Split across three levels, 6MIC features eight separate areas comprising two concert halls with audience capacities of 800 and 2,000, five rehearsal and recording studios for amateur and professional musicians, and an outdoor patio. Each area is unique, so the team needed to treat them individually to achieve homogenous bandwidth and dynamics.

A closer view of the main hall system featuring hanged arrays of four KS21 in a cardioid setup and eight KARA II.

The audio concept was designed by Moulis, with Inizan and L-Acoustics Application Engineer Arnaud Delorme assisting, and the system was delivered to 6MIC in March.
“Due to the first wave of COVID-19 restrictions, the final Kara II installation had to be postponed until May, with Arnaud completing three full days of socially distanced training and testing in each individual room in June,” continues Droesch.

The X8 frontfills in action.

The Grand Concert Hall system comprises a Kara II variable curvature line source deployed with four KS21 flown per side. Four A10 in radial configuration provide solid infill and X8 as frontfill ensures perfect coverage of the first rows.
Kara II arrays are powered per group of two boxes to offer state-of-the-art line source processing using AutoFIR technology. It also provides consistent SPL and tonal balance response throughout the venue.

The Club uses A15 medium throw line sources with KS21 subwoofers for bandwidth extension. This high contour solution is used with X8 as frontfill and infill. The patio space comprises an ARCS WiFo/SB18m system, while the bar benefits from 5XT with SB18 subs. A mobile X15HiQ stage monitor package with ARCS Wide for sidefill is available to satisfy artists’ demands.

“The great thing about this system is its adaptability. The equipment for the patio can also be used in the bar during the winter,” explains Droesch. “Each separate system is adapted to the capacity and geometry of the room. In the Club and the Grand Concert Hall, we use Milan/AVB audio network protocol between P1 and the amplified controllers, so we have both perfect time alignment of all channel amps and optimized latency. LA Network Manager controls all systems.

A short film showing 6MIC and its different rooms:


6MIC opened its doors to numerous talented artists and performers throughout the summer, and feedback has been exceptionally positive. Many French and international acts, such as Oxmo Puccino, Ayo, Peter Hook and The Light, The Wackids, and Svinkels, are booked to appear at 6MIC in 2021.
“We are extremely proud of the end result and would like to thank L-Acoustics and Dushow for their close partnership with us, as well as our local service providers who have all helped us bring this ambitious project to life,” concludes Droesch.

“The technical support we received from L-Acoustics was invaluable, both at the very early stages of the system design as well as later during the final process of system testing and team training. We have been delighted with the feedback so far, with both 6MIC staff and visiting artists singing the praises of the venue and its exceptional sound quality. Kara II is definitely the new way forward, and we are very pleased to find ourselves moving in the same direction.”

More on the L-Acoustics website and on the 6MIC website

 

NEXO’s P+ series now hosts P15 and L18

Three of the ways to use P15.

After P8, P10 and P12, the Audio pro French firm offers the coaxial and versatile P15 speaker, and also completes its subs line from above with the L18. As you will discover in the P15 launch film at the end of this article, this model benefits from the advances already encountered in the rest of the P+ NEXO series in terms of cabinetmaking.

Not easy to see, but one part is birch and the other is poplar.

The panels are worked using numerically controlled machines for cutting, routing and, once the cabinetry is assembled manually exclusively using glues, polishing. Two types of wood are used, birch plywood for the outer layer and poplar, lighter, for the inner one.
The panels are also curved which makes it possible to gain in strength, quality of rendering and to lose weight, while offering much more current shapes and a very compact size. Two wide handles facilitate transport. The weight of P15 is only 23 kg.

The coaxial powering P15. The fixed waveguide is a 60 °x 60 °.

The coaxial transducer that equips P15 is a specific model of very high quality and sensitivity, equipped with a single neodymium magnet for the 15” with 3.5” coil as well as for the driver and its 3 ”dome.

Like P12, P15 can be used in passive mode or in two active channels by manipulating a protected switch located on the rear panel. The SPL gains 2 dB in active with a gain in terms of distortion and coherence around the filter points. The passive filter is embedded in resin in order to protect its components from vibrations and shocks.

The switch is well protected from improper handling.

The standard waveguide is a 60 °x 60 ° but it is easily possible to add an optional magnetic flange opening at 90 °x 40 ° or lastly an asymmetrical flange called PS, named after the emblematic NEXO model and offering 60 ° ~ 100 °x 40 °.
The back plate contains two Speakon connectors plus one on each of the two sides to simplify the wiring of the wedge lines or when mounting on a standard 35 mm pole.


The two P15 vents and an optional flange, here the 60 ° ~ 100 °x 40 °.

Two vents calculated and drawn by computer exploit in bass reflex mode the rear wave and reduce turbulence and distortion at high level.

Installation versions are available in custom RAL colors and feature a fixed fabric covered grille, universal hanging points on the sides and bottom of the cabinet, and a 2 conductor cable for audio input to ensure degree of protection IP54.

Extremely powerful, P15 delivers 139 dB SPL peak in passive mode and 141 dB in two active channels. The bandwidth ranges from 57 Hz to 20 kHz at -6 dB.
The cutoff frequencies between P15 and sub are a choice of 57 Hz, 85 or 120 Hz. The reference amplifier of this model is the NXAMP4X2 MK2, capable of feeding up to 8 in passive mode, but with the big one NXAMP4X4 MK2, we reach the number of 16!

The energy reserves were not forgotten by Yamaha, the parent of this beautiful baby called NXAMP4X4 MK2.

An almost indescribable number of accessories, fly cases, covers, roller trays in addition to flanges exist and facilitate the integration or hanging of P15, alone or in cluster with L18 and when we talk about the ventilator …

Compact horn loaded sub L18

The L18 is the sub complement of P15 and manages with a single 18” speaker to deliver the same pressure as the latter. The cabinet also benefits from the same work in double birch and poplar plywood, which maintains the weight at 50 kg despite the band-pass and horn load.

The finish is applied with a gun on a box perfectly sealed with glue and sanded by robot. Three handles per side make handling quick and easy. A pair of Speakons make it simple to put two L18s in parallel or offer an output to, for example, a P15. To let this sub breathe and guarantee the best flow from both chambers, the front grille takes on a very wide yet strong enough honeycomb design.

The Beautiful & Chic 18” that drives L18.

The LF driver chosen by NEXO, an 18” neodymium transducer with a 4.5” coil, is driven by an extremely stiff and capable of high displacement cone. Its tuning delivers a dry, precise and high impact while maintaining a low point of 32 Hz at -6 dB.

Designed to fill or boost the energy of the first two octaves, the frequency response is limited by the presets at 120 Hz. Two cutoff frequencies 85 and 120 Hz are aligned with the phase of all the other NEXO loudspeakers which guarantees a perfect match with P15 or with, for example, any other sub in the catalog. A low latency preset makes it easier to use L18 with P15 for example as a drum fill system on stage.


The wedge that will delight all drummers !

Specifically designed to also deliver 100% of its performance with the NXAMP4X2 MK2, the L18 transducer coil has an impedance of 4 ohms, i.e. one sub per amp channel. It goes without saying that with the NXAMP4X4 MK2, it will be possible to align the double.

L18 finally benefits from the computing power embedded in the new NEXO amplifiers via algorithms called Advances Dynamic Processing which adapt the maximum excursion of its transducer with the potential in terms of voltage of the amplifier, this in order to deliver the best possible sound, without risking to trigger the thermal limit of the driver.

L18 with the NXAMP4X4 MK2 amp.


Finally to find out more and discover how well the English language is mastered in Plailly ;0) watch the film below.


And see you in a few weeks when hopefully the virus will be challenged by a needle and NEXO’s lawn will have dried out, for a listening of those noisy babies and who knows, maybe the full range of P + (Let’s call that a message in a bottle assuming that we won’t miss empty ones after the holidays.)

More on the Nexo website

4Wall deploys Brompton Technology processing for GUM Studios

With a portfolio including Apple, Vogue, Amazon, and Spotify, GUM Studios is a New York Qualified Production Facility, offering expansive and versatile spaces that can confidently cater for any requirement and shoot.
Recently, GUM turned to 4Wall Entertainment to provide lighting and video equipment for its new Virtual Production (VP) facility. The high-spec virtual environment includes ROE Visual Black Pearl 2 LED video panels, which are driven by Brompton 4K Tessera SX40 processors.

©Clarissa Steed – GUM Studio

“GUM is a long-term customer of 4Wall’s, and we have been supplying it with equipment for years,” says 4Wall’s Account Executive – Video Production, Wayne Romanowski.
“With Virtual Production tipped to become a standard for how major motion pictures will be shot going forward, we were honoured when the GUM team contacted us about supporting them in bringing this cutting-edge technology to their clients.”

4Wall provided 333 ROE Visual Black Pearl BP2 (2.8MM) LED video panels to create a curved wall 40′ wide, 15′ tall and 20′ deep. The company also supplied 51 Full and eight Half ROE Visual Carbon CB8 (8.3MM) LED video panels for an approximately 25′ wide x 20′ deep ceiling for lighting and reflections.

©Jackie Roman – GUM Studio

The entire set-up is driven by three Brompton 4K Tessera SX40 LED processors and five XD 10G data distribution units, out of which “two SX40s along with four XD units are used for the LED wall and the rest are deployed for the ceiling,” adds 4Wall’s Account Executive Sales, John Velez.
With GUM Studio’s new virtual facility offering a perfect platform for productions to operate during the pandemic, and to continue when things regain some level of normality, the team couldn’t be more excited to be part of this project and to supply GUM with reliable, top-of-the-range equipment like Brompton’s Tessera processing system.

“We are aware of Brompton’s 24/7 technical service but, fortunately, we haven’t had to reach out to them for support throughout this project,” says Velez. “That is partially due to the quality of the product and the completeness of its documentation. Looking back at some of the previous installations, their tech support has always been prompt and efficient when I needed the team’s help.

©Jackie Roman – GUM Studio

As with any VP environment, state-of-the-art technology can make or break a production. The combination of Tessera SX40 processor and ROE Visual BP2 LED panels proved a winning recipe for the 4Wall team. “This particular processor / tile combination has a long legacy,” explains Romanowski.

“There are so many ‘known knowns’ about both products, that troubleshooting or adapting new technology features are almost routine matters. Also, we know how the tiles will respond to the processor settings. It’s a very predictable and tried and tested workflow and is frustration free.
Throughout this project, we have seen Brompton roll out many new features to the processor’s software that have implemented well and will expand upon the ease of use to let us achieve even greater and more demanding visual results.”

©Jackie Roman – GUM Studio

“With VP helping break down silos of production, we need reliable partners that can support us in bringing this revolutionary technology to life,” concludes Velez.

“Brompton Technology is perfectly positioned to do that, with its powerful Tessera processor playing an important role in the virtual production workflow and enabling us to serve our customers with a much more immersive way of content creation. GUM Studios’ Virtual Production Studio is a perfect example of that.”

For further information on GUM Studio’s Virtual Production Studio please follow the link Gum Studio Virtual Production

And for more information about Brompton Technology range of Product, visit the Brompton Technology website

 

Limelite Lighting Limited advocates MDG

“If you’re planning to create atmospheric effects, these are the entertainment industry’s go to products,” states television and film lighting hire company, Limelite Lighting about the MDG fog and haze generators in its inventory.

Ideally placed in Goudhurst, Kent, within easy reach of television studios in London and Maidstone, Limelite has been an advocate of MDG haze generators since it was founded in 2007. Directors Ed Railton and Matthew Mountier, both with longstanding freelance careers in theatre touring and television lighting respectively, purchased 10 MDG Atmosphere haze generators at the outset and are still using the same machines 13 years later.

MDG Atmosphere haze machines – still reliable workhorses for Limelite Lighting after 13 years – prepped and ready for their next TV appearance.

“We both had extensive experience of MDG through our freelance careers and knew them to be the best,” says Railton. “We liked the level of control, the fineness of the haze and the smooth, even dispersion the Atmosphere gives it’s so fine you can’t see the haze until light is passed through it.”
Limelite Lighting’s initial engagements were with theatres and small television studios, but the bulk of its work today is in television, with the majority in outside broadcast, and many subhires to larger TV and film rental companies.

“Over the years we have seen a change from DOPs’ traditional requests for cracked oil hazers to the cleaner option of MDG Atmosphere haze generators which have become the lighting directors’ hazer of choice,” says Railton. “The Atmospheres leave very little residue on lenses, gobos and accessories.” This has proved an important factor for cameramen, and for maintenance technicians who spend less time cleaning moving lights and cameras post-show.
“MDG has all the flexibility, control and reliability we need as a rental house,” continues Railton. “Every job is different: studios work within limits and are 100% controllable, but outside broadcast is more complex, wholly reliant on the weather, and changes by the minute. A DOP can call on you at any point with just a ten minute window in the weather. But we can take advantage of the Atmosphere’s 100% duty cycle and use the DMX controller to respond instantly to whatever is needed.”

All Limelite’s Atmosphere generators are housed in bespoke flight cases with spare gas and fluid bottles as complete, transportable units for quick deployment wherever required. The company offers a choice of DMX and manual control generators to suit client needs. Recent productions employing MDG Atmosphere include MTV’s Just Tattoo of Us and Simon Amstell’s latest DVD Benjamin.
“From a hire company’s perspective, our MDG Atmospheres have proved a good long-term investment,” concludes Railton. “The generators are never out of action so we need something reliable and strong, and easy and quick to maintain. Ours have been solid as a rock, the parts are readily available and they are very economical on fluid. Clients know what they are getting and like what they get.”

Limelite Lighting continued to film during lockdown No 1 with The Ranganation and Mo Gillingan’s All Star Happy Hour, while lockdown No 2 saw them busy with a new series of SAS Who Dares Wins, The Great British Sewing Bee and preparations for some of the pantomimes that are still lined up over Christmas.

For more information on MDG Atmosphere haze generators and all MDG fog, low fog and haze products, visit the MDG Fog website

And more information on Limelite Lighting can be found at www.limelitelighting.co.uk

 

Ayrton Khamsin-S for Taiwan’s National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts

©National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts

When Taiwan’s National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying) hosted a revival of the German/Taiwanese co-production of Puccini’s Turandot earlier this year, Mr Chien-hao Kuo, lighting designer and head of lighting, boldly chose to replace all the discharge moving lights of the original design with LED fixtures.

Ayrton Khamsin

He carefully selected 26 Ayrton Khamsin-S profiles which were supplied to the venue from its rental stock by Hispot Workshop of Taipei, Taiwan, a company which has been dedicated to theatre design and equipment rental for over twenty-six years.
Mr Kuo’s choice was a considered one as he had used Ayrton Khamsin-S on several operas in the past and knew them to be both powerful and quiet.

“Because opera singers perform without amplified sound, I was focused on methods of reducing the background noise in the theatre,” he explains.
“Moving lights with discharge sources are notorious for having fans, the noise of which causes disturbance in this kind of performance.” An LED source was therefore the way to go, but without compromise on performance or versatility.


© Tat Keng ©National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts

“I knew from experience that the Khamsin-S is a very versatile fixture: it is fully-equipped with everything you need, whether used as a spot or a wash, and has great gobo projection,” says Mr Kuo. “I knew that, as long as I had all Ayrton Khamsin units hung on all the grids, I would never have to worry about anything the director requested during tech time! Ayrton Khamsin-S can reproduce any picture in my imagination very rapidly, and I can even use its graphic animation effect wheel to simulate various video effects.”

Ayrton Khamsin-S played a pivotal role at the heart of Mr Kuo’s design by creating leading image effects and using the gobo flow to match the media content. “I kept the fixtures busy in colour changing, gobo rotating and graphic animation,” he says. “All functions were set to work for hours, and we never had to reset the system when the show was in process.”

©National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts

Khamsin-S’s reliability was also an important factor as Turandot’s stage set design included a semi-circular cyclorama and central slope feature. “Because of these stage features, once the lights were rigged, it would be difficult to access them for any further readjustment,” explains Mr Kuo. “We therefore decided that all the overheads would be Khamsin-S moving lights because it is a very stable fixture. And once they were rigged above the stage, it was very easy to achieve both clean shutter cuts and smooth washes.”

Because Ayrton Khamsin-S is brighter than the fixtures in the original design, and the LED colours are different from those in the discharge units, Mr. Kuo took time to adjust the intensity and colours to correspond with the original look of the production.
“In this production, digital media took up the largest proportion of the design, with the lighting forming a balance between the stage and video concepts. Khamsin’s electronic dimmer is very precise and allowed me to make fine adjustments that created a proper bridge between the two.”

©National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts

National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying) is a sleek, wave-shaped, 3.3-hectare building which, as the world’s largest single-roof performing arts centre, provided a majestic setting for this internationally popular classic opera. The original co-production between the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying) and Deutsche Operam Rhein premiered in Theater Duisburg, Germany in December 2015, before receiving its Asian premiere at the Weiwuying Opera House in April 2019.

The lighting design was a joint creation between Volker Weinhart for Germany and Mr Kuo for Taiwan. This latest revival in August 2020 enjoyed huge success, with a simultaneous live broadcast on Weiwuying’s official YouTube channel that also allowed 50,000 people across the world to enjoy the experience together, without borders.

©National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts

For more information on Ayrton Khamsin-S and Khamsin-TC, and the full range of LED lighting fixtures, visit the Ayrton website

Powersoft backbone for new Argentina Stadium

In April 2018, the Government of Santiago del Estero, together with the Argentine Football Association (AFA), began drawing up plans for a new provincial stadium that was to commence construction in June.
Although its destiny of serving as a host venue for the 2020 Copa América was derailed due to the pandemic, the stadium was still completed nevertheless, its final design complying with all FIFA, CONMEBOL, and AFA standards.

The finished Estadio Único Madre de Ciudades consists of a cylindrical covered stadium with a capacity of 28,000 seated spectators, and includes VIP sections, press booths, spaces for catering, and covered parking for 400 cars; as well as a main access plaza and sports museum.
The Estadio Único Madre de Ciudades is also the first stadium in the country to be designed with the sound system in mind from the early stages of construction stage, making it one of the most future-proof venues in Argentina. The audio portion of this ambitious project was entrusted to Equaphon Sistemas de Sonido SRL, an Argentine company with more than 45 years of experience in the professional audio market.

Rubén Branca, Equaphon’s managing director.

“In this type of venue, the safety of the equipment is a determining factor,” said Rubén Branca, Equaphon’s managing director. “Thanks to the different limiters offered by the Powersoft amplification platforms, a very high degree of system security is achieved.”

As of June this year, all Powersoft amplifier platforms have achieved EN 54-16 certification, which provides an extra layer of certainty to the customer as they now meet the testing and performance criteria to be used as Voice Alarm Control and Indication Equipment / Public Address and Voice Alarm systems.

“We’ve been representatives of Powersoft for more than 15 years and have been just as pleased with the performance of the system we deployed at the Estadio Único Madre de Ciudades as we always are,” added Branca.
“The monitoring functions of ArmoníaPlus in particular, such as impedance measurement, allows the operator to verify the operation of all speaker systems at once, which is invaluable in an installation as complex as this.”

The main sound system features stadium voice, emergency, and paging functions, and is divided into a number of distinct areas.
The team installed a total of 19 Quattrocanali 4804 DSP+D amplifier platforms to cover the majority of the stadium, as well as two Mezzo 322 AD and two Mezzo 604 A for some of the smaller rooms.
The audio system is complemented by a Xilica Solaro FR1 DSP and XTouch control system centralising IP audio processing, distribution and management

Grandstand area

At the design stage of the project, working with acoustic simulations, the team decided to cover this area by hanging up eight arrays from the stadium ceiling, which were made up of 12 Equaphon-manufactured STS Touring Series V15+ cabinets each.
This model is an active line array system powered by a two-channel Powersoft D-Cell504 IS module and has a 10” 500 W neodymium speaker and a 1.4” 160 W neodymium driver.

On of the eight STS V15+ arrays.

“As the system was to be permanently hung outdoors, work was done to optimise it for these circumstances,” said Branca. “It became a bi-amped passive box, with a newly designed fixed rigging structure. The amplifier chosen was the Quattrocanali 4804 DSP+D, which drives six cabinets at once.”

The system design decentralised the amplifiers by taking advantage of the Dante protocol and the fiber optic ring, distributing them in 11 racks placed at strategic points of the stadium. This minimises cabling, which, in turn, reduces costs while allowing for the maintenance and inspection of the amplifiers without the need to disturb the whole system.

Armonia+ with the 8 arrays.

“In the north, east, and south stands, the high tray blocks the coverage of the upper part of the low stalls,” explained Branca. “For that reason, 100 V line speakers are used to reinforce that area, which is amplified by two channels of another Powersoft Quattrocanali 4804 DSP+D.”

Indoor areas

The indoor areas at the Estadio Único Madre de Ciudades feature 2-way wall-mount cabinets or STS Touring Series Onyx8 two-way coaxial ceiling speakers, both in 100 V lines. These areas and the VIP boxes are driven by three Powersoft Quattrocanali 4804 DSP+D and two Mezzo 322 AD distributed in three strategically located racks.

Mezzo, the handy powerful module.

Both the home and the visiting teams will have access to video rooms where the coaching staff can play motivational or tactical videos.
Both rooms have an STS Touring Series mikra4 stereo setup and a mikraSub12 subwoofer as a complement; all of which is powered by a Powersoft Mezzo 604 A.

The final rooms, where press conferences are due to be held, features two portable STS Touring Series Suono8 systems in a stereo configuration.
Each one includes a 15” powered subwoofer and a column with 8 3.5” speakers and is powered by a Powersoft LiteMod HV module and processed with a DSP-Lite.
As it is a portable and active system, the user has the flexibility to locate them as required by the application.


A video chronicling the installation (with English subtitles)


More information on the Equaphon website and on the Powersoft website

 

Diverse DARTZ shine on August Burns Red Livestream

On Saturday, November 14, metalcore band August Burns Red celebrated 15 years since release of their debut studio album ‘Thrill Seeker’ with a special livestream performance of the full recording at Rock Lititz Studio near Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Lighting designer David Summers turned to the effects options in Elation’s small yet mighty DARTZ 360 narrow-beam mover to light the event. New York-based rental company Squeek Lights supplied the fixtures.

August Burns Red is a Grammy-nominated metal band that has shown over the years that aggressive metalcore music and positive messaging can indeed coexist. Though filled with heavy guitar riffs and howling vocals, the band avoids the doom and gloom of many metal bands and instead urges listeners to better themselves and the world around them.

Multi-camera shoot

Following two days of rehearsals at the Squeek Lights shop, production moved to the Rock Lititz Studio and its state-of-the-art facilities, custom fit for touring professionals. Not only did Summers have to familiarize himself with an album that is 15 years old (he’s worked with the band for three years), he had to design for a multi-camera shoot rather than the more familiar live audience.

“There were five or six cameras plus a few GoPro’s so there were multiple shot angles to consider,” he states. “It’s very different doing it for cameras instead of a live audience. Many of the looks you are used to making for a live audience don’t translate well on camera. On a livestream, if not every light is aimed towards the camera then you’re going to miss most of the effects. I practiced with new lighting positions and ended up with positions I wouldn’t normally use on a touring show. It was a different approach but it turned out great.”

DARTZ options

Summers placed 20 DARTZ 360 fixtures outrigged on 10 pipes on the ground, forming a semi-circle around the band. Fixtures worked from the top and bottom of each pipe, its 3-degree aperture forming an array of thin beams high and low for classic ACL looks.

Summers comments: “The DARTZ were the meat and potatoes and really the star of the show. As a programmer, when you get to the 12th or 15th song, you’ve generally had the light do everything possible, but with the DARTZ you have a handful of other tricks you can use that most lights don’t have so it makes programming a bunch of songs so much easier.”
The LD points to the fixture’s continuous 360° pan and tilt rotation as a good feature for an aggressive band like August Burns Red. “I can put 10 fixtures in an infinite pan to make a wide encompassing circle and then I’ll put the other 10 in a different staggered position with an infinite tilt. It’s a simple trick but that look alone is something that not many other fixtures can create.”

The designer dug into the fixture’s feature set to access other effects. Although he’s not usually one to incorporate much gobo shaking in his designs, he found the gobo shake with the DARTZ “satisfying,” an effect he used frequently during down-tempo moments, “even with the frost thrown in and focus zoomed all the way out.”

He created another unique look by dropping in a small gobo to produce multiple “needle beams” that look like a spider web.
“The DARTZ allows me to get those more intricate looks so you don’t feel like you’re looking at the same light for 15 songs. To have a fixture that is that dynamic and at that price point is incredible. I rented one set of lights but it looked like I had rented two!”

Color variation

When it comes to color pallette, Summers says he is basically given carte blanche by the band but does get occasional input from guitarist JB Brubaker on visuals. “The DARTZ’s color mixing can create such unique colors like mint, a light lavender, a light amber.
The color control is great. I can create different shades that I mix to make looks unique so I don’t have to repeat the same color combo on any song.”
He adds that he incorporated ADJ Hex Panels as dedicated drum lights for drummer Matt Greiner, saying that anyone deep in the stage can get buried, like a drummer, especially on a livestream.

Like many in our industry, Summers has had little work on his plate since last March and says he has taken the downtime to reset mentally after years of being on the road. “It’s been an opportunity to be home and really be present after working at full speed for many years.” Still, he was glad to be working again.

“Working the livestream show made me very hungry to get back to it. Every day was a 16 or 18-hour day and I loved it!” Summers expresses his gratitude to Squeek Lights, who he says executed brilliantly on the project, especially lighting tech Steve Kosiba who did all the backend programming for the event.

The “Thrill Seeker” Anniversary Livestream sold so well it has prompted the band to hold a “Christmas Burns Red” livestream on December 12, a show that Summers promises will be even bigger. Tickets are only $15 and can be purchased here.

 

MA 1, The First Neumann Automatic Monitor Alignment

German specialist Neumann presents MA 1, an integrated hard/software tool for acoustic calibration and room correction for Neumann monitors. Calibration algorithms, jointly developed with the world’s leading institute for audio signal processing, the Fraunhofer IIS.

Le système se compose d’un micro de mesure Neumann calibré individuellement et du logiciel correspondant pour Mac et PC.

Ralf Oehl

“The Neumann studio monitor portfolio is experiencing an enormous increase in demand; in some cases more than 60% compared to the previous year.
According to user feedback, one of the main reasons is that our monitors have the highest acoustic consistency on the market; i.e. different models deliver identical mixing results in varying listening environments.
This is of crucial importance, especially when different decentralized monitoring processes are involved. To further perfect this advantage for our customers, automatic room correction is the next logical step,” explains Ralf Oehl, CEO of Neumann.Berlin.

“Together with our partner, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS), we want to create our own absolute reference for room correction in studio monitors, regardless of whether it is for small home studios or large control rooms of the highest professional standards.”

Neumann’s Automatic Monitor Alignment is available for all DSP-controlled stereo systems of the KH line, i.e. currently the KH 80 DSP as well as the analog studio monitors KH 120, KH 310, and KH 420 in combination with the subwoofer KH 750 DSP.

Three assemblies depending on the speakers and the presence or not of a DSP on board. When this is not the case, the KH 750 DSP sub serves as a filter, processor and also corrects the phase of the heads. Attention, you must add a quality audio interface and a switch to the MA 1 kit.

Markus Wolff

“It is an integrated system; all components are perfectly matched,” explains Portfolio Manager Markus Wolff. “This enables us to make much more accurate adjustments than third-party solutions, since only we have a deeper knowledge of all system-inherent parameters of our monitors and can take them into account accordingly.

In addition, the Automatic Monitor Alignment uses novel calibration algorithms that generate a room-adaptive target curve and make precise adjustments to correct the respective acoustic problem. Depending on your preferences, the target curve can be further adjusted manually.”

The Automatic Monitor Alignment where brown is the target and white is the response. A hell of a result by the way…

Neumann’s Room Correction: A Simple Solution to Complex Problems

Neumann’s decades of experience in the calibration of studio monitoring systems has been incorporated into the software. Like a personal assistant, it guides the user step by step through the measurements and analyzes the respective listening environment; unnecessary “eye candy” has been deliberately omitted. The resulting correction data is stored and processed directly in the DSP-controlled monitors.

The step of taking measurements. With only one microphone available, the software guides this essential step and determines the mike locations and the number of iterations.

“This handling advantage is extremely important to us,” emphasizes Markus Wolff. “The user does not have to load a plug-in and deactivate it again for audio export, nor is potentially bug-ridden driver software required. After the alignment, the familiar workflow remains completely unaffected except for the drastically improved sound!”

KH 80 DSP stereo pairs can be controlled directly by the software. All other non-DSP-equipped stereo pairs of the KH Line can be aligned by connecting them to the analog outputs of the KH 750 DSP subwoofer. Owners of KH 120, KH 310 and KH 420 monitors thus benefit not only from an extended bass response, but also from the room correction and, this is unique, the phase linearization of the analog speakers.

The calibrated Neumann mike MA 1.

Ralf Oehl: “The Automatic Monitor Alignment MA 1 is the beginning of a new era in Neumann monitoring. The feedback from our test listeners has been very promising.
Starting with a simple user interface and a focus on stereo systems we will, step by step, extend the user guidance and functionality with updates, based on our customers’ wishes. This will include an expansion to multichannel systems.”
The software contained in the MA 1 package is available for macOS and Windows 10.

The MSRP of the MA 1 package including a high quality Neumann measuring microphone is 
€ 249,00 EUR.

In addition, Neumann is offering attractive kits consisting of KH Line Monitors and the MA 1 package for the market launch:

– Monitor Alignment Kit 1 (1x KH 750 DSP + MA 1 package)
– Monitor Alignment Kit 2 (2x KH 80 DSP + MA 1 package)
– Monitor Alignment Kit 3 (2 x KH 80 DSP + 1x KH 750 DSP + MA 1 package)


Further product information at the Neumann website

 

Soundbox uses Adamson CS-Series for a drive-in concert

Drive-in shows may be the order of the day this year, but Big Wreck isn’t the kind of band you want to listen to live with your car’s FM radio on and your windows up.
To get the maximum impact you need a full-on PA that provides power and detail in equal measure qualities Adamson Systems Engineering’s class-leading CS-Series powered loudspeakers brought in abundance to the band’s recent show at Canada’s Ancaster Fairgrounds.

While drive-in concerts have become commonplace during the pandemic, increasingly they require traditional live sound reinforcement and the ability to transmit over FM, explains Colin Moore of Soundbox: “It’s all about the experience, so it’s becoming a mandatory part of the production specifications, and bands and audiences prefer it that way.”
You can still socially distance and have great sound, he continues, adding, “Maybe one out of every ten cars had their doors closed and the radio on, but most people were listening to the PA.”

Big Wreck FOH engineer, Dan Preston.

And for good reason, puts in Big Wreck FOH engineer, Dan Preston. “With some rigs, the guitars are producing frequencies through the cabinets that they’re not producing through the actual amp and, as far as the guitars, in particular, Ian Thornley has an expansive sound a big, wide tone that needs to be reproduced accurately.

I was able to do that here without having to fight the PA. I actually had to dial back my effects from a prior mix considerably. I use a lot of rolling and trap delays with Big Wreck and, with this PA, I didn’t have to fight for them to be heard or separate at all.”

Soon after Adamson officially launched the CS-Series, Soundbox purchased CS Upgrade kits for their entire Adamson S-Series inventory; twenty-eight CS10, eight CS7, and six CS119 kits in all. “And based on their performance we’re really happy we did,” Moore adds. In all, for Y108 Presents Live at The Drive-In with Big Wreck, Soundbox deployed eight CS10s and six CS 119s per side and three racks (one Network Distribution System, one Power Distribution System, and a CS Gateway rack at FOH for tuning and control).

Four out of six CS10.

While the decision to upgrade wasn’t specifically motivated by the changes Covid has brought about in the live concert industry, the CS-Series on-board amplification and DSP, Milan-ready AVB connectivity, and compact footprint all speak to both current and pre-pandemic challenges.

“Having efficient, light weight equipment we can package and transport quickly, for less expense, is more important than ever,” Moore explains. “We’re shaving a lot of weight off our truck packs by moving to this new infrastructure.
As far as efficiency goes, this benefits Soundbox because we don’t need to send thousands of pounds of amp racks out and that also funnels down into an application-to-application scenario. For instance, say a band touring in a bus and trailer want a side-fill rig, they don’t need an amp rack. At the most basic level, they just plug-in power and an XLR and there’s your side-fill package. That’s impressive.”

Granted, the core reason for the upgrade was performance: “It’s pure physics,” Moore adds. “The power wiring has gone from 100-feet to roughly 6-inches between the amp and the box, which plays a huge part in terms of how much horsepower these speakers have.” Beyond that, it also cuts down substantially on the amount of infrastructure and effort, in terms of packing, transporting, and running the cabling and additional racks a passive system requires.

Jeremiah Karni, Adamson’s Head of Education & Applications.

Further, the amplifiers themselves have been built specifically to drive the components in that loudspeaker. “That’s the beauty of the CS-Series,” says Jeremiah Karni, Adamson’s Head of Education & Applications. “You have the benefits of minimized speaker cabling which means less signal loss through long cable runs, and over a decade of R&D aimed at creating the best possible amplifier and signal processing; an amp that’s designed, built and manufactured, by Adamson, in-house here in Port Perry, Ontario.”

And to keep both weight and overall infrastructure as lean as possible, he adds. “What required four 10-U racks before is now two 6-U racks, and the amplifiers only add about 6 lb per cabinet, whereas other powered loudspeakers in a similar range are quite a bit heavier.”

Colin Moore of Soundbox

There’s also a day-to-day benefit for smaller events; namely, cutting down on the complexity of the rig for the end-user and, for Soundbox, the need to reconfigure amp racks on a per-project basis. “Not that we can’t or won’t do that,” Moore says, “but it helps make our systems more turnkey and user-friendly.”

From the standpoint of the on-site production team regardless of the size or scope of the gig the CS-Series provide substantial time-saving benefits when it comes to getting the rig wired and flown. “Anything smaller and lighter on stage is great. That’s also a plus with this rig,” Preston puts in.

Ultimately, however, the primary consideration with any sound system is how it sounds. “Right out of the gate (to my delight) when I was checking my L+R+Sub matrix sends individually, the hang itself produced so much of the lows. If it wasn’t configured already, I’d have dropped the subs down to 60 Hz or 50 Hz right away. For what I do this was a treat. I like to push my snare and guitars down pretty low with rock bands to make sure that they (and not just bass and drums) have some level of concussive force when required, and I was easily able to do that,” Preston adds, enthusiastically.

While other PAs Preston’s mixed through do react similarly: “Not in this size format. I was very pleased and impressed. The lows were produced with clarity and tightness and let me place instruments exactly where I wanted them without convoluting my mix, and without pushing some elements into the subs, which is unheard of for this type of component sizing.”

Big Wreck perform at Live at The Drive-In in Ancaster, Ontario, Canada.

Additionally, the option to purchase CS-Series loudspeakers as a standalone solution or upgrade existing S-Series loudspeakers by simply switching out the cabinet’s rear module, speaks to Adamson’s ongoing commitment to aid users in leveraging their existing inventory and future-proofing that inventory via a complete system platform encompassing loudspeakers, software, and rack-mounted power, network and control elements.

The software dramatically enhances user’s capabilities in terms of design, deployment, and control in both live and fixed install applications, Moore notes: “Sonically speaking we’re very impressed, but we’re equally impressed by the CS control software Adamson has developed and continues to add feature sets to – it provides a lot of flexibility.”
Gateway is also extremely helpful for tweaking and troubleshooting and tweaking on the fly, says Preston: “Because everything is in one interface, instead of having to flip through pages and maybe use more than one computer, I can do everything I need using one software platform – which is ground-breaking.”

Jamal Bleasdell Soundbox’s Head of Audio

Jamal Bleasdell, Soundbox’s Head of Audio, concurs: “From design, you can switch right over to deploying all the settings to the boxes, and since each box has its own amplifier you can see how all the components are doing. If something is failing, you get a report saying that this horn or that driver isn’t working the way it should be. So, you get a lot of information right off the top.”

Housed in a single compact rack at FOH, and custom-created for the CS-Series. “Gateway is a big part of Adamson’s future,” Karni explains. “It’s a single, uniform system control platform, not just for monitoring amplifiers, but with the design software and control architecture behind the DSP platform included, which makes for a simplified and unified workflow for the end-user.”

“There’s an optimization window so you can determine the best way to hang the PA, and a metering window so you can see everything metered right where you want it,” Bleasdell says. Adding that he’s is particularly impressed with Gateway’s Optimization functionality.

“That smooths out the curvature of the PA and calculates that according to the number of boxes you have, so you have a smooth listening field throughout the whole venue. And you can adjust individual cabinets, so if the bottom box in the array is only a few feet away from the front row, you can turn that box down to the desired volume. Before, you could only do that in groups of two or three or four. It’s way better having individual gain control for each loudspeaker.”
“The array optimization algorithm is a recent addition to Gateway,” Karni explains. “It’s not a new concept. But it is a unique implementation that uses a series of FIR filters to smooth out the tonal response of the line array, and you have the ability – not just to change level – but to adjust the phase response of individual boxes, which is also a huge benefit.”

The CS Gateway, the CS NDS, the CS PDS and the CS Bridge, four rack-mounted products designed to provide the necessary tools to get the highest level of performance out of the CS-Series.

The new offering from Adamson was a perfect fit for the gig, Bleasdell says: “I definitely heard a difference in the mid-range and the top end. It’s amazing.” Beyond that, the CS-Series components are heavily weatherized, which was particularly important for this show, owing to weather that bordered on ‘biblical’.
“We were delayed an hour and a half and had a lightning strike about a kilometer from the stage. So, we asked everyone to stay in their cars, evacuated the stage, and just hunkered down and waited. But when the storm passed – even with the amps and all the electronics in them – the boxes worked great. We had no issues at all.”

While this was Preston’s first time mixing on a CS-Series PA, if he has his way, it won’t be the last. “Overall, I found the rig properly balanced and clean. My main bus EQ had minimal tweaks, and honestly, that was to taste, not to alter my start point; I’m looking forward to working on this rig again down the road.”

Additional info on the Adamson website

Astera for Malmo Opera and Funny Girl

Sweden’s Malmo Opera presented an acclaimed production of musical classic “Funny Girl” as part of the autumn / winter repertory programme which continued to run despite the pandemic! Audience figures were dramatically reduced to 50 plus a livestream which could be enjoyed by all who had bought a ticket for each performance.

©Malin Arnesson

Planned two years earlier and fully sold out many months in advance, Malmo Opera decided to go ahead in delivering all their dynamic seasonal main house productions as the budgets were already allocated and spent. Leading Swedish lighting designer Fredrik Jonsson was delighted to be back working on a live show and helping to create the aesthetic for this vibrant, funny, and poignant piece known for its intricate production numbers.

AX3 LightDrops

Malmo Opera has a quantity of Astera fixtures in its lighting inventory which are used for multiple situations and solutions across their range of productions, and Fredrik made the most of the tiny Astera AX3 LightDrops to highlight important details on the elaborate Funny Girl sets designed by Martin Chocholousek.

Ten AX3s were hidden behind custom golden shell casings that emulated classic 1930’s Ziegfeld Follies era footlights in line with period setting of the piece. The AX3s were attached magnetically to metallic plates behind the plastic shell shapes, slightly angled up to authentically simulate footlights coming from the orchestra pit area. The AX3’s magnetic fixing option is one of many neat features for this incredibly versatile little luminaire.

Fredrik added some AX3s inside the two large ventilation funnels of the battleship set to highlight the interior of the funnel ends and give these more prominence. AX3s positioned in the bottom of the ventilation tubes allowed Fredrik to achieve a highlight in the bend at the top of the funnel which faced the audience.

©Malin Arnesson

More AX3s were utilised on a striking chandelier that sat on the floor for the first scene at Nicky Arnstein’s mansion when he and ‘funny girl’ Fanny Brice move in as newlyweds. In the narrative, the building has been mothballed for some time so at the start of the scene, the furniture and chandelier were covered in white ‘dust sheets’.
These were removed after a while by the chorus, and the chandelier lit up as they launched into ”Sadie, Sadie”, the musical number that follows. All these AX3s were controlled through the Operas’ main grandMA lighting console.

Fredrik really enjoys adding lighting features like this and bringing more texture, depth and focus to specific set elements. “Apart from adding nice detail to the overall look, it and makes the whole picture richer and more luxurious” he stated. He thinks that ensconcing AX3s inside the funnel pipes, for example, is a small touch but one that was “hugely satisfying.”
Generally, he thinks Astera products are “powerful, robust, quality engineered and very easy to use”. He’s used AX5s on some projects and is waiting for an opportunity to spec the newest Astera Titan Tube product family, “I hear the CRI levels are outstanding” he commented.

©Malin Arnesson

Malmo Opera in the fortunate position of receiving state and regional funding rather than being fully reliant on ticket revenue which has made this current season viable and massively appreciated by cast and crew for the ability to work! This seriously boosted morale for at least some in an industry experiencing extremely tough economic fallout of the pandemic.
The first 50 first to book their tickets for Funny Girl on each of the days it played were allocated the 50 available socially-distanced seats in the massive 1232 seat auditorium, while everyone else booked for that show had the option of a live stream via the
Malmo Opera website
for free.

©Malin Arnesson

Fredrik was initially approached in 2018 by director Ronny Danielsson to work on the production, having collaborated with him previously on “Kinky Boots” also at Malmo Opera, and “Shakespeare In Love” at Stockholm’s Stadsteater. Fredrik also worked with Martin Chocholousek on “Kinky Boots”, so this talented and imaginative creative team were reunited once more to deliver multiple visually exciting environments to frame this popular and successful show.

For more information about Astera LED range of products, check the Astera website

 

DNEG and Brompton Technology forge new virtual production worlds

DNEG is one of the world’s leading visual effects and animation companies, honoured with five Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects for its visionary work on Inception, Interstellar, Ex Machina, Blade Runner 2049 and First Man.
In 2013, it set up a TV episodic arm to expand its offering, which has grown exponentially with the boom of streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Apple TV Plus. In recent years, and further driven by the impact of COVID-19, the company has developed its offering in virtual production, an exciting venture that has led to a close collaboration with Brompton Technology.

DNEG’s amplified focus in the area, and an upscaling in its work on episodic shows in addition to its traditional film work, involved creating a new in-house studio environment tailored to virtual production. This required the company to do some due diligence on the tech they were bringing into the fold.
“We are seeing more and more filmmakers becoming interested in the developing possibilities for virtual production,” explains Paul Salvini, Global CTO, DNEG. “This interest has intensified in the last few months due to the effects of social distancing on travel and the number of people that can safely be on set. Our team was excited to work with Brompton because of their expertise and a shared passion for excellence and innovation.”

The Brompton team has worked closely with DNEG’s virtual production team, and particularly Head of Virtual Production Isaac Partouche, for the past nine months.
“We’ve developed a great working relationship with DNEG, working closely with the entire virtual production team from the start to give them a thorough understanding of how to get the best out of their LED panels on set,” says Brompton Technology’s Technical Project Manager, Adam Callaway.

Partouche has been supervising DNEG’s virtual staging requirements for its upcoming shows and remarks on the importance of having Brompton on set with the team.
“The Tessera SX40 4K processors have been a great addition to our virtual production set-up,” says Partouche. “The image processing is impressively fast, the ‘Genlock’ options synchronize the content correctly across the LED volume with significantly less latency response and by using Brompton’s Hydra dynamic calibration tools we’re able to get the best HDR results from the wall.”

Brompton SX40

DNEG’s technology requirements are moving rapidly to cater to client demand, and the company has already provided virtual production services for Kenneth Branagh’s new take on Death On The Nile and Andy Serkis’ sequel to blockbuster Venom, as well as director Denis Villeneve’s highly anticipated re-imagining of Dune.

“We’ve also recently completed some exciting new LED volume tests,” continues Partouche. “Brompton has been very closely involved in these, and the Tessera processing has made a big difference to how easily we’ve been able to set everything up and get it looking great.
The initial tests were completed at Dimension Studios in Wimbledon the footage of our Gunslinger test is online, shot by our Creative Director Paul Franklin, and we have completed subsequent tests on a larger scale at Shepperton Studios. We also have an in-house creative lab setup, which is a useful proof of concept facility.”

This in-house set up has allowed DNEG to push the technology to see exactly how far they can go when on set. “Working with Brompton on our virtual production offering has been exciting,” concludes Partouche. “Brompton products have become an integral part of us being able to create real-time worlds and environments, allowing us to create a new way of working and giving both our filmmaking partners and our creative teams free rein to unleash their imaginations.”

For more info about Brompton Technology range of products, check the Brompton website

 

ETC Introduces High End Systems SolaFrame Studio

ETC is pleased to introduce the SolaFrame Studio automated luminaire, a fanless, convection-cooled fixture that prioritizes high quality features, great spectral output and silent operation.

Audibly invisible and visually impactful, the fixture’s feature set is designed for exquisite projection control and gorgeous color in a compact package.
A good fit for theatres, concert halls, opera houses, film/TV broadcast studios and houses of worship, it uses a 300 watt High CRI Bright White engine to produce 10,000 lumens. The fixture’s convection-cooled engine allows for completely fanless operation.

SolaFrame Studio is packed with features including a high quality 13-lens optic system with patented Lens Defogger, extremely powerful 5.5 – 57° zoom, CMY / CTO-Linear color mixing system, seven position plus open replaceable color wheel, full-curtain framing system for total control of beam shaping, 16-blade iris for tight beam effects, light diffusion with additional, optional heavy diffusion, seven position plus open rotating gobo wheel and linear prism for controlled pattern replication across a stage.


The SolaFrame Studio on the left is much more compact and less heavy than the SolaFrame Theater on the right.

Automated Lighting Product Manager Matt Stoner commented, “The SolaFrame Theatre has been an exceptional fixture for us. Our customers have often requested a smaller version to expand the applications where fanless fixtures can be used. This led to the development of the SolaFrame Studio, with its broad feature set and smaller footprint it improves the silence made famous by the SolaFrame Theatre.”

The animation wheel.

High End Systems Brand Manager Tania Lesage added, “With pioneering technology in moving lights and more recently in LED fixtures, our expertise in fanless technology is unmatched and has been demonstrated in countless installations worldwide.
The unique blend of our years of experience, technical expertise and customer service has come together in the creation of our new fixture SolaFrame Studio, which we are incredibly proud to add to our product portfolio.”

Video presentation


For more information about High End System range of products, check the High End website

 

Robe Illuminates Mountains at Parrtjima Festival of Light

©Mandylights

Festivals have fast become an elusive dream in the Covid era so the 2020 Parrtjima Festival of Light at Alice Springs in Australia’s Northern Territory provided a rare reminder of the community, camaraderie, magic and imagination evoked by lighting art.
The 10-day event organised by the Northern Territories Major Event Company (NTMEC), and produced and curated by AGB, went ahead due to the state’s highly successful Covid-19 management strategy.

Featuring a carefully picked collection of amazing and fun light artworks together with a spectacular nightly lightshow designed by Richard Neville from Mandylights delivered to a locally produced soundtrack, 80 x Robe MegaPointes were used to throw lighting and effects onto a section of the West MacDonnell mountain range.
The lighting equipment was supplied by Melbourne-based MPH Australia, who’ve been involved as event suppliers for moving lights, LED, and other specialist fixtures in conjunction with Mandylights, for the last four years.

©MPH Australia

The first year MPH was involved, their Robe BMFLs were utilised for the task of lighting the mountains. However, in 2018 these were all in Jakarta on the Asian Games, so MPH’s founder and MD Matt Hansen made a decisive investment in the MegaPointes … which do the job brilliantly due to their impressive brightness!

When the new Parrtjima 2020 dates were confirmed as going ahead, Matt and his team re-prepped everything in their Melbourne HQ, it had been two days away from loading for the original dates when lockdown was imposed and the kit journeyed from Victoria by rail, while Matt and MPH’s production manager Michael Parsons flew to Darwin, capital of the Northern Territory.

There they did the mandatory 14-days quarantine required for interstate travel from Victoria and New South Wales (or in fact currently any other Australian state) at Howard Springs Accommodation Village, a 3500 capacity compound originally built in 2012 for construction workers building the gas processing facilities at Blaydin Point.
Despite some dodgy internet connections and food, Matt was generally impressed with the experience. After their 14 days was up, they flew from Darwin down to Alice Springs and started rigging for the Festival.

The MegaPointes were positioned on four scaffolding structures 20 fixtures each distanced 1-1.5km apart, and between 250 and 400 metres away from the base of the mountains. Width-wise their light covered an area of around 2.5 kilometres along the mountain range.
The nearby ground areas involved in the lightshow including the Festival site are traditionally covered by projected images plus some additional lightsources which this year included 12 x BMFL Spots focussed on the park area and fairground.

©Mandylights

MPH also supplied around 200 other luminaires for the event – including some Robe LEDWash 600s which were used inside a giant inflatable sphere projection surface.
Data to the fixtures site-wide was run via Art-Net and ACN. The MegaPointes used a Ubiquiti point-to-point wireless ethernet (Art-Net over Ethernet) network comprising a central omnidirectional antenna located in the main desert park site and smaller nanobeams at each MegaPointe scaffold tower.

Matt stated, “It was just fantastic to be getting our hands dirty, putting up lights, running power data to the MegaPointes was wireless and generally working hard at a festival doing the things we love that we once took for granted … and now nothing is certain!
“It was also great to see the event unfold and be enjoyed so enthusiastically by the public! Some of the lighting art was fantastic and truly unique!” On site everyone working ‘backstage’ followed the golden Covid rules of “hands, face & space” wore masks, frequently washed hands, and practised social distancing.

©Mandylights

Like everywhere else in the world, the events and live entertainment industry in Australia has been devastated by the pandemic. Businesses have received some government support to help them survive the crisis until it is deemed safe to re-start the industry.
“Events like this are a lifeline right now … apart from the much-needed cashflow, it’s the morale boost more than anything else. It will be interesting to see what the Australian Government has on their roadmap for the entertainment industry’s road out of all of this!” Matt concluded.

©Mandylights

For more info, check the Robe lighting website

JDC Line helps Glass Animals into Dreamland

One of the more acclaimed, and viewed, virtual concerts during lockdown has been the recent live internet performance from psych-pop stars, Glass Animals. The Oxford-based quartet were all set to tour their chart-topping Dreamland album this Spring until lockdown came along.
When their lighting team (Cassius Creative) were eventually called into play (by Tour/Production Manager, Simon Lutkin), it was to produce a viewable online show only (Live In The Internet)—a dynamic concert masterminded by the band’s inventive front-man, Dave Bayley.

Set up nearly five years ago by Chris ‘Squib’ Swain and Dan Hill, Cassius Creative dipped into their armoury of GLP fixtures and at the same time became one of the first adopters of the new JDC Line hybrid strobe batten. This combines a powerful linear white strobe element and two separate RGB LED pixel mapping lines, all in a slimline format that complements the classic JDC1. To Swain and Hill it simply seemed like “a natural extension”.
The virtual venue chosen for this unique showcase was the LH3 rehearsal/prep space at Neg Earth, the lighting hire company who would have been delivering the tour inventory. During the hour long performance the band reimagined their renowned live show for streaming, and were joined along the way by singer songwriter Arlo Parks and rapper Denzel Curry.

Using inspired video content from Russian company Sila Sveta to create an ever-changing immersive environment, the show tested the lighting artists’ ability to combine the dynamic impact of a pop video, or TV promo, with a full length concert. “The band didn’t want it to feel like a music video, they wanted it to be as live as possible.” state the two LDs.

Cassius Creative explained how they helped convert performance space into what was described as a “vibrant paradise” to represent Dreamland, with the aid of 14 JDC Lines on the downstage edge on the floor and 36 JDC1 in the roof, with the visuals constantly transforming the stage scenically via a number of “miniature sets within a set”, as Dave Bayley put it. They also suggested the use of foliage, working in conjunction with the lighting to produce an organic feel, taking inspiration from mixed media artist, Nam June Paik.

Both Dan and Squib refer to Bayley as “one of our most creative clients. What he wanted was a video game element, moving between analogue and digital, organically merging screen with nature.”
Cassius Creative have used GLP tools regularly over the years, and despite the short time frame did have the luxury of a few days of pre-viz (using Depence 2 lighting visualisation, which has the JDC Line in its fixture library).

“We’ve always had a good relationship with GLP and used a lot of their products, particularly the JDC1 strobes,” confirms Dan Hill. “These are great fixtures and were perfect in the overhead rig. “We didn’t want to use beams and moving lights really, but instead the JDC’s act as a ‘roof’, forming an extension of the video screen which mimics the light source.”

As for the JDC Lines they were deployed as a downstage border, helping to frame the edge of the stage. “We chose them for their colour element, making it a great and interesting product. What you can achieve with pixels made it a really good fit with the musicality.”

Having access to the JDC Lines also gave them a versatile alternative to GLP’s X4 Bars which had originally been specified for the tour. “We were given an introduction to the product virtually from David and Simon [at GLP UK]. One advantage is, because of how it’s set up, it sits nicely alongside the strobe. And in terms of what it can do with pixels, colours and dimmer effects, it’s very easy to rig as an architectural extension of the JDC1. We tried to mimic the mode of the JDC1.”
Squib states that GLP are one of the companies redefining the batten for the modern era, believing there had been a gap in the market for too long. “Rather than eye candy and light curtains with products like the JDC Line we can see the impact it can now have.”

It is a credit to the versatility of GLP’s advanced LED fixtures when Dan Hill states, “We have never set out to make a light show.” Explaining, he says, “These lights were supposed to feel a natural part of the world that was created [onstage] and only be called on to provide impact when needed; the more subliminal the better.
“In fact for the TV world it looked great, and read brilliantly to camera.”

Other credits for ‘Live In The Internet’ include James Barnes (director); Marcus Domleo (DoP); Amy James (producer); Daniel Richardson (lighting programmer); Sam Henderson (video programmer).

For more info about GLP range of product, check the GLP website