20-23 May 2017

Showlight 2017 – Call for Speakers

Showlight is now inviting lighting designers and directors, associates, programmers, scenographers, equipment manufacturers and others to submit their ideas for conference papers for the 2017 programme. Now is your chance to be part of this prestigious event!

About Showlight

Showlight 2017

The Showlight Quadrennial is one of the few international events organised specifically for lighting professionals by lighting professionals across the performance, television, film, architectural and event worlds. Held every four years, Showlight 2017 takes place in Florence and celebrates the 10th presentation of this eagerly-awaited lighting colloquium.

Showlight has made a special name for itself by bringing together many of the most famous names in lighting. Delegates are given the opportunity to be part of the larger international lighting community, as those with established careers and reputations mingle with those just starting out in the industry.
Thanks to a comprehensive papers programme, a rather unusual trade show and an informative and entertaining social programme – the highlight of which is a full Conference Dinner – Showlight is a unique opportunity to mix with others in the lighting industry.

Florence 2017 – the 10th Showlight Quadrennial event

Palais des congres Florence

Palais des congres de Florence

Clay Paky will be the main sponsor for Showlight 2017 which takes place at the historic Palazzo dei Congressi in the beautiful Renaissance city of Florence, and promises to be another unique chapter in the history of the Quadrennial.
The Palazzo has a large seated conference hall surrounded by an exhibition area where up to 40 exhibitors will be located. Delegates will have plenty of time to visit the stands, and exhibitors to attend the presentation of papers. A full programme of visits to major and unusual cultural places is offered on the Monday afternoon.

Call for Papers

A major part of the event is the conference programme and Showlight takes pride in attracting a wide range of speakers on a broad range of subjects: from major international lighting events to innovative use of lighting in the village hall; from state of the art research to borrowing ideas from other lighting genres; from Broadway award winners to student practitioners.

Showlight is now calling all lighting designers and directors, associates, programmers, scenographers, equipment manufacturers and others to put forward their ideas for conference papers for the 2017 programme.
Sessions should be 20 minutes in length to leave time for discussion and to enable more topics to be covered.

Seven main topics have been chosen for broad interpretation, although other categories may be explored!

  • Description of Innovative Lighting Designs
  • Unusual and Special Rigs you have used
  • “I Tried this and it didn’t work” – this could prove the most useful paper presented!
  • Light Souces – new sources, unusual sources, sources of last resort
  • It’s my Design”– and I’ll cry – or cheer – if I want to!
  • Special Effects – how special, how effective?
  • The Future ansd the Past– techniques forgotten that could help us in the future
Florence

Florence

Video clips showing the range of speakers and topics from Showlight 2013 in Český Krumlov can be found on the Showlight website at the site of Showlight.

Speakers at Showlight benefit from free registration which covers everything, including access to all the seminar presentations, the trade show, full participation in the visits programme, food and drink throughout the day and a place at the main Conference Dinner on Monday evening.
Showlight is pleased to offer a contribution towards the Speakers’ travelling expenses.

Submit YOUR ideas for a Paper
To be considered as a speaker for Showlight 2017, please email the following details to the Papers Committee at [email protected] :

  • Your name,
  • Contact details,
  • A very brief summary of your professional background,
  • And a short outline that gives the flavour of your proposed Paper.

Alternatively complete the online form at: http://www.showlight.org/papers

 

At Brighton Michigan School

Color Force 12s Provide Rich Colors for ‘White Christmas’ Show

Chroma-Q® Color Force 12™ multi-purpose LED fixtures were recently specified by lighting sales and production company, E2i Design, for its seasonal ‘White Christmas’ show at Michigan’s Brighton High School.
E2i Design’s Josh Holowicki passionately supports the school’s theater in a number of ways – as chairman of the board of directors, as volunteer technical director and scenic designer, and as producer. As the technical director, he’s responsible for all audio, video and lighting.

High School Brighton Color Force

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is a classic holiday show, based on the famous movie. It follows an army private and captain who were stationed in Europe during WW2 in 1944. They are performers and entertainers who do their best to keep up the spirits of the 151st division during the holidays.
The show ran on the first two weekends of December 2015 at the school’s 900-capacity Brighton Center for Performing Arts, selling out five of the seven shows.

High School Brighton Color Force

“ We used 55 Color Force 12 units for this production – 36 flown for overhead stage lighting, including 11 to light backdrop cycs – plus 9 for foot lighting and shin busters, and 10 over the audience for house color wash, ” explains Josh.
“The Color Force family is a fantastic product line. The fixtures specifically work best for my designs – with their amazing rich color mixing that is extremely versatile, I can add bold color or subtle warm tones when necessary.”

The Color Force 12 model provides power across the spectrum, from deep cold blues to red hot lava looks all from a single fixture. At only 335mm / 1ft long, the unit is ideal for floor, wall or truss mounting. It also provides a massive output of 2,400 lumens, easily washing up to 8m / 26ft with smooth, theatrical grade dimming.
“ The fixtures also offer extremely quiet operation – almost silent – which is great when using a large number of them, ” Josh continues. Josh is a long-time user of Color Force products. In the summer of 2015, he also used the CF12s on a production of ‘Nice Work If You Can Get It’ at the same theater.
At the time, he redesigned the entire lighting system in the theater, investing in 36 Color Force 12 units for the house rig. “ We use them for cyc lighting as well as general stage washes and without a doubt they are a spectacular fixture, ” he said.

High School Brighton Color Force

The Color Force range of creative lighting tools has been utilised on a wide range of high-profile shows and events, including concert tours by Paloma Faith and The Tragically Hip; and theatre shows including Broadway’s recent revival of The King and I, as well as various productions by Boston University, and the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, and Welsh National Opera in the UK.

For more informations, visit chroma-q.com

 

Shure Mourns the Passing of Their Chairman, Mrs. Rose L. Shure

Today, Shure Incorporated announced with great sadness the passing of their beloved Chairman, Rose L. Shure. Mrs. Shure passed away peacefully at her home.
For more than 60 years, Mrs. Shure has served as an inspiration to all Shure Associates, past and present. She was a role model for Shure’s Core Values and basic principles, created by her husband and Company founder, Sidney N. Shure, that have guided the Company.

Rose Shure

The welfare of Shure and its Associates was her highest priority. Business integrity, respect, and fair treatment for all were her motivators. She provided a work environment that inspired creativity, fostered pride in making products of the highest quality, and encouraged all Shure Associates to reach their personal potential.

Sandy LaMantia, Shure’s Chief Executive Officer stated, “ We have had the privilege of working with a truly extraordinary woman. Our Company and many charitable and cultural organizations have benefited from her thoughtfulness and generosity. I am confident that the legacy left to us by Mr. and Mrs. Shure will continue to endure in our hearts and in our minds. That is exactly the way Mr. and Mrs. Shure would want it to be. ”

Mrs. Shure’s family will hold private funeral services.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sidney N. Shure Kehilla Fund, the Jewish Community Center of Chicago, 30 S. Wells Street, Chicago, Illinois, 60606, or a charity of your personal choice.
Please address all communications, questions, cards, etc. to Mark Brunner, Shure Incorporated, 5800 W. Touhy Avenue, Niles, Illinois 60714-4608. Or contact Mark at 1-847-600-6480.

 

Ayrton Video

41 Ayrton NandoBeam-S9 fixtures in a show designed by Stéphane Migné

Stéphane Migné has chosen composer Edvard Grieg’s work, Peer Gynt, to create a beautiful ballet with the beams of 41 NandoBeam-S9 wash/beam fixtures. Each of these features 55 Ostar Stage 15 W RGBW multichip LEDs arranged in five, independently-controlled rings around a central diode, plus a 8-40° zoom.

AYRTON – NandoBeam-S9 – Forty-One Unit Demo from Ayrton on Vimeo.

Ayrton NandoBeam S9

This light show highlights the sharp edge of the beam from the fixture, the absence of a halo around the sources, the quality of the color mixing, the independent control of the rings that allows the user to select the emitting surface, the power of each pixel when only the center one is used, and the speed of its movements.
A beautiful machine!

For further information :

Digital guitar & bass wireless system

Crossfaith Relies on System 10 Stompbox Audio-Technica

Japan-based rock band Crossfaith has built quite a name for itself at home and abroad since its founding in 2006. Featuring members Koie Kenta (lead vocals), Takemura Kazuki (lead guitar), Amano Tatsuya (drums), Tamano Terufumi (keyboards, programming, backing vocals) and Ikegawa Hiroki (bass guitar), the band’s distinctive metalcore sound is delivered with Audio-Technica microphones on stage and in the studio.

CROSSFAITH System 10 Stompbox Audio-Technica

Crossfaith proudly uses a variety of Audio-Technica microphones, including the ATM250 hypercardioid dynamic instrument microphone, the AT4021 cardioid condenser and the AT4047 large-diaphragm condenser among others. Recently the band also started using the Audio-Technica System 10 Sompbox Digital Wireless System for guitar and bass.

Audio-Technica System 10 Stompbox

ATW-1501

System 10 Stompbox digital high-fidelity guitar wireless system combines the advanced 24-bit operation, easy setup and clear, natural sound quality of other System 10 configurations with unique functionality for guitarists, bassists and other instrumentalists. Operating in the 2.4 GHz range, far from TV and DTV interference, System 10 Stompbox offers a rugged, metal, pedal board-mountable receiver with foot switch, two switched TRS balanced 1/4″ outputs and an output mode selector.
With the tap of a foot, musicians can toggle between outputs (e.g., for switching amps) or mute and unmute one output without muting the other (e.g., for convenient tuning). And a single receiver can be paired with up to eight UniPak® body-pack transmitters, allowing users to easily switch between instruments without having to move a body-pack from one instrument to the next.

Kazuki notes, “ Our stage performance means everything to us. We’re all about moving all over and going crazy. So that’s why we decided to use a wireless system.” Hiroki adds, “I think a wireless system helps you express yourself on stage. ”
In the video below, Audio-Technica endorsers Crossfaith describe their experience with the System 10 Stompbox and the benefits of using a wireless system for live performances.

However, the band’s adoption of the System 10 stompbox configuration was somewhat reluctant at first. Kazuki recalls, “To be honest, I was really concerned that a wireless system would make the band sound thin. I was worried that we would lose our heavy sound. [But] there was no transmission loss. I was actually surprised because it sounded exactly like using cables, great tone and dynamics, which I wasn’t expecting. And the setup is just super easy. It’s perfect for a guy like me who hates complicated things.”

Hiroki adds, “ Size-wise it’s ideal, compact and small. So I think it is also perfect for younger players… just put it in your bag and take it with you wherever you want. It’s the same situation during tours. The compact size is really convenient. I will definitely be using the System 10 stompbox system on tour. The sound quality is just amazing, which is really important for Crossfaith. My bass guitar sound is absolutely clear. I can hear every detail within the band mix. ”
Kazuki notes, “ What’s also great is that I can use up to eight guitars with one receiver, which was something revolutionary to me. I am really confident that the system will take our performance to the next level. ”

For more information, please visit le site Audio-Technica

 

Powersoft Announces New Armonia Pro Audio Suite 2.7.0 Release

Armonia Pro Audio Suite 2.7.0

With the release of the latest version of Armonia Pro Audio Suite 2.7.0, Powersoft’s proprietary digital signage monitoring and processing software, the company has unleashed further major features and DSP power in its continually evolving roadmap.
The update, now available for download, includes the new speaker preset v2 (.spk2) file format; this file can be copied directly onto X Series amplifiers with a USB stick, to be recalled later on desired channels via the WebApp interface.

X Series and Ottocanali DSP+D amplifiers are now able to act as totally configurable Dante sources, with the option to stream out eight processed or unprocessed signals. Standalone analog to Dante converters are therefore no longer necessary in complex installations, and direct monitoring of the DSP processing can be easily achieved in third party measurement software such as Smaart v7.
A higher degree of loudspeaker supervision is achievable with the new Live Impedance curve, calculated in real-time and storable/displayable against a reference curve in the new spk2 preset files.

New RMS and Peak limiters with side chain Frequency-Shaping are now available on X and Ottocanali DSP+D Series, allowing an even greater level of protection and performance. Frequency-Shaping, in conjunction with Live Impedance monitoring, is an irresistible combination, which safely pushes the speakers even further in terms of overall SPL.

Powersoft Armonia Pro Audio Suite V2.7.0 Screeshot

In fact the entire communication protocol has been completely rewritten to achieve better performance. Thousands of parameters are now sent in a fraction of a second, allowing for lightning fast operation with X and Ottocanali DSP+D Series devices. In conjunction with the latest firmware the response to Advanced Groups raised cosine equalization is faster than ever, and most importantly synchronized across on all channels.
In addition to X Series and Ottocanali, the new Armonia release is also designed to offer improved functionality for the M-Drive and DSP 4 + IPALMOD models. Alongside the new release of Armonia Pro Audio Suite 2.7.0, Powersoft has provided full online assistance for Armonia users. This is a useful, fully-accessible tool enabling issues to be solved in any circumstances. The new release of Armonia Pro Audio Suite 2.7.0 also coincides with the new official firmware for the X Series platform and Ottocanali DSP+D amplifiers.

Powersoft Armonia Pro Audio Suite V2.7.0

Features include :

  • New Live Impedance tab in output section
  • New internal Dante Output Routing feature (eight Dante output channels fully customisable from Armonìa)
  • New Frequency-Shaping limiters feature for RMS and Peak limiters
  • New LED animation during boot and firmware upgrades
  • Central ring LED shows the mains connection: Blue mono-phase, Red bi-phase, White three-phase
  • WebApp re-style
  • WebApp MAINS tab shows mains phases
  • Improved performance and filtering responsiveness (now synchronized across all channels)
  • Third party control protocol: Add “Save as” command
  • Third party control protocol: Add Ottocanali DSP+D GPO status report
  • Third party control protocol: Fix on X4 communication

Download :

Visit :

Besides firmware updates, inside the forum it will be possible to access direct support from Powersoft engineers, discuss ideas and requests for new features, exchange customized speaker presets with other users and be kept up-to-date on all new developments regarding X Series amplifiers.

 

For managing multiple streams of linked audio and video media

Les Gens Du Son have developed Easys, a complete solution for reality TV

They are seven partners united like the fingers on one hand. . . to tell the truth, given the time they spend at their computers, having seven fingers would actually be a plus for them.
Capable of doing everything as far as capturing and mixing sound for television is concerned, they decided to create Easys, a tool designed to meet the specific needs of reality TV and all of its derivatives. Let’s visit these fellows, who definitely have brains between their ears.

Les Gens Du Son et Easy

SLU : When was Les Gens Du Son founded, and who was behind it?

Frédéric Filhol : We started in 2006 under the impulse of four partners: one with a background as a mixing engineer and the other three coming from shooting broadcast TV, some of them veterans of permanent positions in large structures. I, myself, worked for 11 years in VCF, which has now become Euromedia Group.

We started out intermittently in the early days of reality TV and we immediately perceived the demands of productions keen to go beyond the traditional reportage technique – with a mic boom, field mixer, and portable transmitter – and move towards much more sophisticated services with global coverage, multitracking, and expanded monitoring solutions.
We also quickly realized that we would spend days and sometimes even an entire week racking our brains to find innovative solutions for the big national chains. . . for free. Full-blown pre-production sessions. We had to organize all this quickly, develop it as much as possible and, most importantly, also follow our work in post-production. In short, we had to offer global solutions.

It was becoming clear that releasing audio and video files into the wild, with the only common reference being timecode, complicated the work terribly for the people in post-production, not to mention the endless search for sound that was supposedly missing but was there all the time and simply not clearly marked.

Three of the seven LGDS associates at their facilities in Malakoff. On the left is Vincent Givarch, sound engineer specialized in reality TV, in stars (you can't have one without the other) and, especially, the "project manager" of Easys. In the center is Fred Filhol, sound engineer and driving force behind LGDS, and on the right is David Cerf, another sound engineer, master of fixed and mobile studios

Three of the seven LGDS associates at their facilities in Malakoff. On the left is Vincent Givarch, sound engineer specialized in reality TV, in stars (you can’t have one without the other) and, especially, the “project manager” of Easys. In the center is Fred Filhol, sound engineer and driving force behind LGDS, and on the right is David Cerf, another sound engineer, master of fixed and mobile studios

SLU : So you had ideas and people. What about equipment then?

Frédéric Filhol : Tapages. They still supply us today.

SLU : But how did you get your foot in the door of reality TV?

Frédéric Filhol : That was through VCF, who was asked to provide a technical infrastructure that went well beyond the simple on-location reporter setup, which would not have been sufficient for a new program that was about to begin: “l’Ile de la Tentation” (The Island of Temptation).

I was in charge of planning and handling it. After that, we worked on “Queer” for Glem, with one of the technicians who would go on to become one of our partners. Antenna coupling was brought in, the multiplicity of reception antennas, the dematerialization of media in the era of DVD-Ram…

A working day for LGDS reduced to its simplest expression and now held in a 512 GB SSD, in a Delock enclosure!

A working day for LGDS reduced to its simplest expression and now held in a 512 GB SSD, in a Delock enclosure!

SLU : Oh, that medium is not the most comprehensive insurance.

Frédéric Filhol : Exactly. I can still see myself with our Fostex PD6 recorders, where you press stop and they start a spinning loop displaying “writing”… Audio people sometimes have sound in their hearts that they do not have in their recorders (laughs!). The rack-mount DV 824 Fostex brought us 8 tracks easily, but also sometimes a few problems…
Then came portable direct-to-disk configurations and now CF memory cards and for us, we have chosen the Sound Devices 788 or 664 recorders.

[private]

SLU : You are not an equipment rental company.

Frédéric Filhol : Absolutely not. We have gradually invested in some equipment and connections, but we correspond more to the business model of a technical service provider, such as you find a great deal of in the world of audio. We supplement what we lack from rental companies like Tapages, but our material never leaves home without one of us for the implementation of a specific project.
We do not want to get into debt for too much equipment because this implies another phenomenon of the default choice, which leads to “You take what suits us and not what suits the given situation”. We do not want that. We have a bit of radio gear, Lectrosonics essentially, and we were very interested in Wisycom, but the RF spectrum in France is too unstable to risk the investment.

SLU : The digital solutions use up less of the available space.

Frédéric Filhol : Yes but, in our business, when chasing someone with analog, the worst that can happen if we experience a dropout is a little white noise that the production and the viewers know and have integrated. At the worst, we can subtitle it, because it conserves the audible sound.

In digital, it becomes a heavy rumbling or even blunt cut-outs. For example, we tested the Sony and it is excellent. The sound is reconstructed when data packets are lost. But when too many packets are missing, everything collapses suddenly and makes the sound unusable, so much so that you can’t even subtitle it. It’s gone. The latency of digital, however, does not bother us at all.

Les Gens Du Son is not only ears!

SLU : Going back to the birth of LGDS, you started out as four partners in 2006…

Frédéric Filhol : Yes, and now there are seven of us. Each has brought business with him. If one of us wants to offer a complete solution to the production with which he works, he does, just like the same production may not wish to receive any services beyond the presence of the technician. We offer service à la carte. We are in the process of building a dossier in order to apply for our “Certification Sociale”, which would allow us to hire more of ourselves with fixed term contracts when necessary.

SLU : So you’re associated with Ficam and not Synpase.

Vincent Guivarch : Absolutely, the Live Entertainment Service Provider mark is not right for us, but rather the Certification Sociale, which also involves a number of new hires on permanent contracts, and that represents very accurately the future of our company. We wish to be vendors for sound linked to images, with specific expertise in the pre- and post-acquisition phase, which, for the most part, takes place on location.

The audio acquisition position during a show of "La France a un Incroyable Talent 2015", with Vincent Guivarch at the console. We suppose that the MacPro is recording.

The audio acquisition position during a show of “La France a un Incroyable Talent 2015”, with Vincent Guivarch at the console. We suppose that the MacPro is recording.

SLU : If you had to define that in a simpler way?

Frédéric Filhol : We are the right people, with the right skills and the right equipment in the right place. Vincent, for example, is the specialist in mobile studio mixing for news gathering, reality TV and fiction. That is, a field mixer.
David and I spend much more time doing OB van and consulting. Each team member has a specialty, the sum of which allows us to cover the entire spectrum of audio and video. I am also an instructor at the INA (Institut national de l’audiovisuel – National AV Institute) and responsible for comms.

I train on Riedel and Telex. David Cerf (one of the seven partners – ed. note) and I are therefore best at taking care of this essential part of our work and designing the best solutions for our customers. Intercommunication is of strategic importance, if only to cope with the number of participants in a reality show that have to be followed, equipped and never lost.

The director, of course, but also journalists and even we need to know who is where and, in order to do this, it is fundamental to be able to communicate reliably and without disturbing others. We are also working towards a double intercom between the stage and backstage, the second being for the sort of second set present in shows like “Incroyable Talent”, in order to limit the confusion of the interference of directions between two worlds that are part of the same program but which live at different times and at different rhythms. They do not tell the same story. Of course, there are some links between the two networks.

France has Incredible Talent and an Incredible Service Provider

SLU : Tell us about a typical project where you brought in a new workflow.

Frédéric Filhol : Take “Incroyable Talent”, where Guivarch Vincent (one of the seven associates – ed. note) has been working for seven years. This program features a stage part and a backstage part, and the first four episodes are essentially dedicated to what happens behind the scenes. So far, this behind the scenes part had been treated in pure documentary-style, using cameramen and sound engineers to acquire material.
Euromedia asked us to change the workflow in order to bring it closer to that of a reality show. This implies continuously recording people that can be interviewed, but also – and especially – capturing moments of life. We must therefore equip each with a bodypack transmitter and a mic.

Les Gens Du Son

From that point, methods exist to track who said what, when and where, but we offer a digital solution that is much more powerful and effective. Vincent’s advantage in this case is his perfect knowledge of the program, the needs in terms of images, the ratio between the “documentary” part and the “life scenes”.
The two are complementary, but each has its advantages and technical limitations in editorial terms. To gather such precious moments in order to tell a story, we have to equip everyone with a transmitter and follow them, because these same people won’t behave the same with a mic boom, a camera, and other people in front of them.

SLU : The advantage is that you ensure that there will always be sound to put together with what was filmed…

Frédéric Filhol : That’s exactly right. We multitrack many, many hours of sound. As soon as we wire someone with a mic and a transmitter, it runs 13 hours a day, without the stress of having to know on which camera the audio is located, or which microphone picked it up. We manage this and it is guaranteed. The only constraint is determining a coverage area for the radios, to which everyone must adhere, especially those with mics.
The advantage of working with us is not only the quality of coverage but also the precision of the tracking that determines the zone in which everything that is said will go on to an SSD. We are capturing around 240 GB of rushes per day of shooting.

A view of the Riedel Acrobat kits used on "Incroyable Talent 2015", when DECT made its breakthrough into intercoms, even capable of dialoguing with the Motorola walkie-talkies on the table. You can find it all at Tapages!

A view of the Riedel Acrobat kits used on “Incroyable Talent 2015”, when DECT made its breakthrough into intercoms, even capable of dialoguing with the Motorola walkie-talkies on the table. You can find it all at Tapages!

SLU : Isn’t battery life another constraint?

Vincent Guivarch : Not so much. A Sennheiser 5212 transmitter has a battery life of 15 hours. So we manage to record two candidates who, themselves, are “active” for about 4 hours.

SLU : How many frequencies do you occupy for the backstage/reality parts?

Frédéric Filhol : This past season for “Incroyable Talent”, we got up to 40 and Dushow, who equip the stage, used just as many, counting their various microphones, Overline intercoms, their Lectrosonics service ear-monitors and the in-ear monitoring.
This abundance of active frequencies was because I made the choice of wired and DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications), a technique that works very well, when the number of antennas is well controlled. In addition to that, we added Tait walkie-talkies and relay bases, to avoid shadowing and to connect to the DECT Riedel intercom. The spectrum analyzer was quivering (laughs)!

SLU : Do you get to sleep at night?

Vincent Guivarch : No, there are days when it’s hard. At certain times in the programs or when we launched Easys, the tension is very high. . . White knuckles. We certainly never get bored!

A standalone Ambient timecode generator, wearing the scars of quite a few hours of work and a lot of time spent rubbing shoulders with other devices. German Quality: it works well (as long as you don't measure the CO2 output)

A standalone Ambient timecode generator, wearing the scars of quite a few hours of work and a lot of time spent rubbing shoulders with other devices. German Quality: it works well (as long as you don’t measure the CO2 output)

SLU : You speak of Euromedia; it is a hell of a juggernaut now, and with huge expertise…

Frédéric Filhol : They are the only ones in Europe able to deploy, in two Algéco modular constructions, 70 cameras for “24 hours in the ER” or “BabyBoom” in a week of set up. It’s impossible to capture such numbers – which add up to more than plus 50 radio channels of audio – even in the largest of the OB vehicles, and this know-how extends to the selection of equipment in order to remain within reasonable budgets, which is inevitably a key parameter for customers.
Technicians from other countries have come to the facilities in France and have been very impressed. At the heart of this type of program there has to be a system which takes up all the video, a system which takes up all the audio, and a third system that makes the connection between the two. Historically this has been the timecode.

We use Lockit sync boxes, of the German brand Ambient, to generate the Timecode autonomously; generators that are started every morning with the reference TC originating from the mobile studio but which then continue independently on their merry way. Every morning they are given the reference cue when they start and they have a maximum deviation of one frame every 24 hours.

Turn on your headlights, we’re driving into the tunnel of Dante

A rack full of Sennheiser 3732 receivers, 17 in all, the AES outputs of which are then converted into Dante and distributed to the recorders and Easys monitoring stations. The laptop on top of the rack displays the status of all the receivers

A rack full of Sennheiser 3732 receivers, 17 in all, the AES outputs of which are then converted into Dante and distributed to the recorders and Easys monitoring stations. The laptop on top of the rack displays the status of all the receivers

SLU : Can you give us some details on your typical audio path?

It generally starts from a rack of Sennheiser 3732 receivers, which furnish an AES output signal from our microphones. This is converted in an Auvitran AVB that outputs Dante for us, which we can more easily route and send via switches.

This signal arrives first at the recording station, an SSD system where it receives the timecode. Then it goes to the console, which it also receives and synchronizes to the TC, where it is monitored and where we only adjust the gain of the different microphones. This signal is then routed to the main recorder via a MADI converter and an RME MADIFace.

This main recorder is a MacBook with double SSD, internal and external in a Delock enclosure. The first, pre-console recorder is a backup in case the console falls. It runs at 48 kHz/24 bit. This sample rate and bit depth provide some comfort at low levels, and we maintain the signal in digital to eliminate conversions and background noise.

Where once you would have had stacks of machines, with media as exotic as it was improbable, in order to get half the number of tracks with some difficulty, there is the LGDS master recorder: a MacBook Pro with two SSDs and Boom Recorder Pro. 64 tracks as simple as pie, and a few clicks in Asterix, the TP Link switch beneath it in the picture

Where once you would have had stacks of machines, with media as exotic as it was improbable, in order to get half the number of tracks with some difficulty, there is the LGDS master recorder: a MacBook Pro with two SSDs and Boom Recorder Pro. 64 tracks as simple as pie, and a few clicks in Asterix, the TP Link switch beneath it in the picture

SLU : What recording software do you use?

Frédéric Filhol : You are probably not familiar with it: Boom Recorder Pro. It is very simple and can record up to 256 tracks. Typically we use only 64. Its main strength is its file patching. One can choose the directory into which each track will be recorded, allowing us, for example, to connect two disks simultaneously. Or more. To my knowledge, it is the only one that can do this.

SLU : I imagine that all this needs very careful patching, routing, and cabling to work with.

Vincent Guivarch : It’s not difficult, you just have to exercise the utmost rigor in setting up the system.

Frédéric Filhol : As I tell my students at INA: my grandmother used to say that when you are laying the pipework, the fewer the faucets, the fewer the leaks. Therefore, you make sure to simplify the diagrams (laughs)!

Goodbye Mr. Coax, hello Mrs. Fiber

SLU : I have the feeling that the radio part of your work has changed significantly in recent years.

Frédéric Filhol : Yes terribly, probably even more for us than what has happened in live performance. The main difference is that we now have the ability to remotely locate the receiving antennas – and more recently also the transmitting antennas – very far from the receivers and as close as possible to the transmitters through the use of optical fiber instead of old-fashioned coax.

A rear view of the Tapages coax-to-fiber hub, or how to elegantly get rid of hundreds of meters of coax while moving the antennas closer to the action

A rear view of the Tapages coax-to-fiber hub, or how to elegantly get rid of hundreds of meters of coax while moving the antennas closer to the action

The same hub from the front, proudly announcing the presence of 8 fibers – A and B, like the coax that they replace. Made by Tapages

The same hub from the front, proudly announcing the presence of 8 fibers – A and B, like the coax that they replace. Made by Tapages

This progress has been made possible by solutions imported and distributed by Tapages, who also develop their own systems. For the record, a few years ago we had to carry hundreds of meters of coax which, for reasons of impedance, had the same length as the longest cable run of the diversity pair. Fiber optic connections have revolutionized our work. It is the same with Wi-Fi and its distribution.

The box by Tapages that converts an antenna signal into fiber optic signal, allowing it to be easily transported very far away. Above it is its power supply

The box by Tapages that converts an antenna signal into fiber optic signal, allowing it to be easily transported very far away. Above it is its power supply

SLU : The RF transmitters you use most right now are Sennheiser…

Frédéric Filhol : Yes, the SK 5212 coupled with the DPA 4060 omnidirectional capsule, used with the DPA clamp shaped like a funnel that makes it rigid, prevents breakage and reduces rubbing noises.

SLU : Do you use a master clock to synchronize the console, Dante and the recorders?

Frédéric Filhol : Yes, we use a Rosendahl master clock. Ideally, it should be linked to that of the mobile studio and to each camera via WordClock, but that doesn’t prove necessary for reality TV and, 99% of the time, an identical TC generated in each device with an Ambient sync box is enough for us.
There is no concept of an absolute synchronization. Sometimes I feed the Rosendahl a video reference and then use its own WordClock, once it is aligned with this reference.

One of the first decisions we made when we were putting together LGDS was to lay a good foundation, “synchronization needs to use a star topology and it needs to be German” and, as a result, we’ve never had problems. And it was not even that big. We got a standard Nanosyncs, and then an HD, and it works!

The famous specific clamp for the DPA 4060, in the hands of Frédérique

The famous specific clamp for the DPA 4060, in the hands of Frédérique

SLU : What is the master in the Dante network?

Vincent Guivarch : The console. We tried once to make the Auvitran AVB the master, but it did not work at all. Our set up is very simple.
The console receives the Rosendahl and the synchronization signal is also sent to the Auvitran AVB, which makes the conversion from AES to Dante. Another output is sent to the 3732 receivers that are daisy-chained, and a final one goes into the Sound Devices 970 backup recorder. Finally, we respect a precise power-up order so that all goes well in synchronization as well as with IP.

SLU : You stagger them to avoid muddles?

Frédéric Filhol : Yes, normally everything, even if it is not such a sensitive issue, since we are not working live. Let’s just say that “Network soup” still is an issue.

As “Easys” as it gets

Two Elo touchscreens with Easys ready for action, monitoring mode on the left and log mode on the right with, between them, a Thomann powered speaker with pretty unbeatable price/performance ratio and perfect for this application

Two Elo touchscreens with Easys ready for action, monitoring mode on the left and log mode on the right with, between them, a Thomann powered speaker with pretty unbeatable price/performance ratio and perfect for this application

SLU : Now that we’ve done a quick tour of audio, let’s get into the thick of it, in the functions of Easys, your proprietary software, or how to manage quickly and efficiently the captured media, adding information to it, well beyond simple timecode.

The moment of capturing the face of a participant in order to create his profile and assign him a microphone. Simple and fast

The moment of capturing the face of a participant in order to create his profile and assign him a microphone. Simple and fast

Frédéric Filhol : The idea for this program came to us from the start of LGDS, even if only to find a way to avoid the time lost opening and closing channels for the journalists to hear. “Journalist 2 here; could you open up the microphones of Toto, Brenda and Fifou and send them to my ear monitors?” The first solution that was found for this was a touch screen driving a Yamaha DME. I think this is still used.

A view of the Capture display of Easys, with empty microphone "boxes" and those already assigned.

A view of the Capture display of Easys, with empty microphone “boxes” and those already assigned.

As for us, we have chosen to create a software from scratch by making use of the Ircam Max “engine” that uses object programming, which Vincent handles. The problem was, we were not able to integrate the iPhone – that is, the possibility to enter parameters quickly and easily without being physically at a computer. Because our time was limited, we decided to take everything and establish the specifications of the ideal tool.
It needed to manage the monitoring and perform dynamic allocation of radio mics – that is to say, the ability to capture the name and the image of a candidate, to assign him a free frequency, to ensure that it appears immediately in all touchscreens, and to remove temporarily or permanently those who are no longer wired for audio. It is from this project that we created the current version of Easys.

Vincent Guivarch : In the case of “Incroyable Talent” or “Baby Boom”, participants do not stop to renew. We must catch them on the fly, insert them into the recording workflow by equipping them with a free transmitter and a microphone, and finally give everyone on the team, from the director to the journalist, to the technicians, the ability to listen freely to their audio, selected via a touchscreen.

The display on the right shows Easys in use on "Incroyable Talent 2015", or how to listen on the fly to what is always visible in front of you on the display. . .

The display on the right shows Easys in use on “Incroyable Talent 2015”, or how to listen on the fly to what is always visible in front of you on the display. . .

It has to be simple, fast and flexible. Even if the people who grab and integrate participants are, for example, on the ground floor, the sound board on the second floor, the reporters on the 4th and the participant is in his car parked on the street, the process should still be simple and instantaneous.

A simple iPhone using their application becomes a capture station, able to insert a whole new participant in the network . Remember the microphone and the bodypack!

A simple iPhone using their application becomes a capture station, able to insert a whole new participant in the network . Remember the microphone and the bodypack!

SLU : How do all the fixed positions and input iPhones talk to each other?

Frédéric Filhol : In WiFi. We develop our own professional and powerful access point that outputs on single mode duplex fiber optic on the grounds of length because in Cat5 we would be limited to 70 meters.
The advantage is that it is the same fiber that Tapages uses to remotely place the antennas for the microphones. The application is installed on the iPhone by us and is not available in the iStore.

SLU : Have you thought about a live performance version of your application?

Frédéric Filhol : We have spoken to a few people working in musical theater, and they could be interested in the ease of monitoring each microphone without having to go to the console.

A detailed view of the 3732 receivers with the Auvitran AVB, which converts from AES to Dante, in the middle. You can see the AES inputs on the front panel

A detailed view of the 3732 receivers with the Auvitran AVB, which converts from AES to Dante, in the middle. You can see the AES inputs on the front panel

SLU : But that implies that the microphones are multiplexed in the Dante stream…

Vincent Guivarch : No, not necessarily. Our app works with Core Audio, so it is not required to be in Dante. It is practical to have only an RJ45 to connect, but in MADI it works just as well, as long as the card is good. Since MADI is bidirectional, we have also anticipated the possibility for talkback, a troubleshooting solution especially for shoots where there are no intercoms. It still requires an external mixer to route the signals to those concerned.

SLU : How many participants, and thus signal flow, can you manage in Easys?

Frédéric Filhol : 64 in all, which is already quite dense, but the appearance on the screens can be changed.

Vincent Guivarch : There are 3 types of interfaces. There is “Capture”, which allows you to photograph the face and directly integrate any new participant with a microphone and name . There is “Console”, which is used for audio monitoring, viewing and scripting and, finally, there is “Admin” which, as its name suggests, opens the door for system administration and on-the-fly configurations that are immediately carried out in all connected stations. Some streams can be locked and not modifiable, while some others, typically those of the presenter or significant participants, may still arrive at the same place on the screen so that they can be found more easily. It is flexible and powerful.

What can crash, will crash…

SLU : The tough question:What if it crashes?

Vincent Guivarch : We have worked hard on degraded modes. First of all, any packet loss, for example in WiFi, is reported, and this facilitates resending the missing info. It is impossible not to know. After a crash, the pre-crash data can also be accurately recovered. During a timecode crash, the console switches to its internal clock to recover.

SLU : There is no server, as such…

Frédéric Filhol : No, actually we have chosen to embed the web server in the application, that is to say, each application is a server. Capture, Admin or Console are three servers that allow you to connect each device by its private IP. If something does not work, the address and, therefore, the device turns red. We know it right away. You can connect up to 255 networked devices, as well as subnet masks.

SLU : It was you who designed it all, Vincent?

Vincent Guivarch : I basically specified it and two developers wrote the software. In my previous life, I was in IT and science, which allowed me to be comfortable with this type of app.

Frédéric Filhol : Our “Professor Calculus” here used to work on the stars at CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique – national scientific research center)! (laughs)

Vincent Guivarch : (trying to be serious) We launched the hardcore development on July 1 even before we had the financing from the bankers (it’s not easy to explain this type of project – ed. note).

SLU : I think it would be perfectly reasonable for you to apply for some economic assistance for innovation and, contrary to popular belief, there are numerous and fairly substantial funds.

Frédéric Filhol : Yes, but as you know, in a small operation, you can not chase after funding, build the project and, at the same time, continue working every day in order to live. . . But we are thinking about it.

The other side of Easys: the Log!

During "Incroyable Talent 2015", one of the Easys consoles in Log mode, a good way to test the effectiveness of the solution for rapid acquisition

During “Incroyable Talent 2015”, one of the Easys consoles in Log mode, a good way to test the effectiveness of the solution for rapid acquisition

SLU : So far, we have been speaking of pure audio. When did the logging part of Easys come about?

Frédéric Filhol : Almost at the same time. Euromedia found the audio part interesting but they asked us right away to add information capabilities regarding what is being said, when and where – the famous log – to make Easys a complete and working solution for reality TV.

SLU : It’s not really in your job description to do this…

Frédéric Filhol : No, all I remember is arriving one morning and seeing the faces of my associates when Easys Audio was finally specified, the funding issue was completed and perfectly on track, and telling them “guys, we are going to change everything, we will do the log!”
The reactions were mixed as we had taken some time to get our bearings and to solidify the initial project. I held firm, because the demand for a tool that is comprehensive, easy to set up and use was, and still is, very strong .
The goal is to generate an XML file that contains certain data fields that have been filled out on the fly by operators who monitor the audio via Easys and create its identity card. It was therefore logical that this logging section should also be part of Easys. The XML is thereafter recovered by the two major image editing platforms – Avid Media Composer and Apple Final Cut – and these create locators, tags that contain the information.
If, for example, I want every point in which Jean-Claude is mentioned, I do a search by the first name and the timeline in the software will jump to the appropriate position.

An iPhone screenshot of the Capture mode, with a number of microphones locked in order to avoid cutting off the presenter or the boom microphones that, by definition, will not be reassigned

An iPhone screenshot of the Capture mode, with a number of microphones locked in order to avoid cutting off the presenter or the boom microphones that, by definition, will not be reassigned

SLU : But to develop this extension of Easys, all of the sudden you had to learn three jobs: that of the logger, the image man and software developer.

Frédéric Filhol : That’s right. We also took advantage of the flexibility of our software to offer cells that can be named on the fly. For example, this is handy for knowing that Camera 1 is filming Pierre, who is getting upset. So you can add a checkbox above -Cam 1- and click on it when Peter gets upset, so that the editor can find it. But you can also place drop-down menus, in order not to clutter up the display. . . or some of each. The user can do what he wants and change his mind as he wants. Typically, the camera can be a check button, while the location, on the other hand, must be a drop-down because there are many where action can be taking place. You can also add a list of emotions quickly.

The programming of this tool is instantaneous and completely adheres to the needs and style of the production that uses it. Of course you can edit each log, go back in the timeline, read it and add details. I can just as well monitor the audio of one microphone while I log what I see on another camera.

SLU : Can you take with you the XML files to follow a particular story?

Frédéric Filhol : Yes, in the last version of Easys, it’s possible to export the file as a PDF. Another planned innovation is the auto-log, which creates an automatic event at the arrival of a new participant (and therefore a new microphone) on the program and at his departure and the temporary closure of his microphone.

The audio is the driver, for a change, and not the last wheel on the coach

SLU : The sound remains essential…

Vincent Guivarch : Absolutely, and the thing that strikes us is the number of people who, in the context of a reality show, listen and report the occurrence of an event that deserves coverage so that they can get the cameras on it more quickly. The audio is the keystone. The loggers stand in front of a huge display with all of the camera feeds and spend hours inserting information, listing and even suggesting actions. These days you can film and record the audio of almost everything continuously, creating a colossal base of information. You have to learn extremely precise ways to bring life to it. Four or five indications are sufficient. Here, again, excess is the enemy of success.

SLU : Where do you stand in terms of availability of Easys?

Frédéric Filhol : On “Incroyables Talent” this season, Easys was used for monitoring and Easys Log was available, but only to test. An alternative solution was used by Euromedia for security, EVS IP Director, a more complex system, which inserts the log as metadata directly into the video media and which manages the video stream. A great solution, but it’s extremely expensive.

EASYS Scripting

EASYS Scripting

SLU : Easys sounds simple to use but its deployment requires having you, no doubt. Have you considered how to market it?

Vincent Guivarch : It requires knowledge of computers, networking, Wi-Fi. . . It will work by licensing but we have not yet made a firm decision. For the moment, it is being used as part of a global service on shoots where Les Gens Du Son are handling everything that has to do with audio.
And when I say everything, I mean that our reasoning stretches to include the world of post-production, which, at times, leaves us wondering if we are doing the same job. We are thinking of bringing in post-production people on shoots so that they comprehend our requirements for capturing the audio on which they will have to work afterward. A video shoot is, by definition, always different and unpredictable.

SLU : What might happen in the future in terms of the new software or interfaces?

Frédéric Filhol : Ideally, having a remote control of the large display on an iPad, for example. This would allow you to toggle the console remotely, to fit an ear monitor while enjoying Wi-Fi coverage and radio monitoring, and go on the shooting locations, for example, around the pool of Marseilles, for logging while directly seeing the action. For some programs, being able to observe what happens off camera would improve the quality of the video logger’s work.

SLU : We talked about a number of programs that use or could use your services, and Easys in particular. Do you have some others that come to mind?

Frédéric Filhol : Yes, on all of those programs where, initially, many candidates go through screening phases, like “La Nouvelle Star”, “MasterChef”, “Les Pâtissiers”… It would be very practical for working on this type of program.

SLU : Who are your customers?

VG: Freemantle, Endemol, Shine or even French television. Tapages, as well. . .

As the advert would say: “but that’s not all!”

SLU : It seemed to me that I saw your name on the show “Rising Star”, a program which we wrote about for the excellent lighting, and would do the same for the sound.

Frédéric Filhol : Yes, we took care of the sound design for the live broadcast of this show, another of our activities. I, personally, took care of the antenna mix, intercom and talkbacks for Euromedia, along with a colleague. For Yasta, Benoit Gilg – a super bright guy who did a great job – took care of picking up the music and, finally, Dushow was in charge of the live FoH and monitors. A superb digital installation using an Optocore ring connected the four consoles with a 5. 1 mix.

Les Gens Du Son

We learned a lot about multi-channel music mixing, even if we manage this type of configuration every week for Canal+, on broadcasts of football matches. We had great discussions with Pierre Laqueyrerie – the system engineer for M6, which broadcast the show – for example, about the divergence of the voices. Whether you back it off at the center or push it in stereo, everything is possible in the music mix, as long as you don’t ruin the LtRt stereo downmix of the 5. 1, as few viewers are equipped to receive it and you should not forget the rest.
David Cerf, of our group, has finally developed the MIDI bridges between sound and lighting, in order to ensure that the lights will follow the ambient sound cues.

SLU : Do you do the soundtrack design?

Frédéric Filhol : No, we manage it live and can pick and send and call up the sounds that seem to correspond to the program from sound banks or from the producer, but we do not compose them. There is a specialist for this, the Studio du Petit Pont. We offer solutions for sending these ambient sounds using Ableton Live, but with a dual redundant configuration and a GPI input and output to interface with the lighting console.

Les Gens Du Son

Conclusion

Serene, highly competent, and capable of advising, innovating and deploying intelligent solutions, we were blown away by the LGDS boys and we learned a lot about their craft and what they bring to it every day. From the intercoms to audio acquisition, from logging to mixing, they have a wide range of technical resources and know-how but, above all, an infinity of tools for taking problems out of production, something that assures and constructs their success.

As for the question of what other company does the same thing in France, and even in Europe, integrating all the skills, the answer is not very many, apart from the Euromedia Group and a few reality television specialists. Adding Easys to the equation, it seems a safe bet that we will be hearing about these seven guys for quite a while, especially since reality shows seem to be continually evolving by generating ever more specialized acquisition requirements, and need for Gens du Sons (People of Sound) and people with good brains.

Speaking of brains, they fried mine, luckily they had to pick up their children, otherwise I would still be there! ;0)
More informations http://www.lesgensduson.com/

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Farewell Tour in Taiwan

Mitsumasa Hayashi Pointes his beams to Jody Chiang

The ‘Queen of Taiwanese Music’ Jody Chiang said farewell to fans after a long and stellar 34 year singing career which has produced no less than 60 albums and seen her win eight Golden Melody Awards!
Twenty-six epic concerts were staged by the superstar at the Taipei Arena in the Songshan District of Taipei and the Kaohsiung Arena in Zuoying District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Ticket sales for the original 16 dates were so over-subscribed that an additional 9 shows were added, enabling over 250,000 people to see her perform live for the final time.

Robe Pointe Tournée Jody Chiang

Photo : Toshihiro Nakaigawa

Jody Chiang’s regular lighting designer since 2013, Tokyo based Mitsumasa Hayashi, was asked to create high-impact lighting for the occasion. One of Japan’s leading LD’s, Hayashi worked closely with set designer Fion Cheng and a team of producers from the Young Hope Corporation in Taiwan to make the shows exciting, elegant and memorable – a fitting tribute to a successful superstar.

Robe Pointe Tournée Jody Chiang

Photo : Toshihiro Nakaigawa

Hayashi’s main effects lights were 46 x Robe Pointes.
The set started as a ‘bare stage’ and had a curved theme that included a long runway snaking out into the audience, staircases and various hydraulic platforms which rose out of the stage throughout the show.

The lighting was designed with full adaptability to the fore – able to transform from full-on Broadway style razzamatazz one moment to the bare elemental shreds of experimental theatre the next. At any time, the show presentation could be stripped back to the base elements, which were the carefully and precisely positioned lighting instruments.

A large arched upstage truss dominated the general stage architecture, complemented by a large arched HD LED screen upstage, which was supported by two side LED screens for IMAG.
Alongside all these big, high-impact dramatic ‘gags’ and scenic pieces, the general look and feel of the performance area was clean and uncomplicated, allowing Jody Chiang to be the centre of attention.

Robe Pointe Tournée Jody Chiang

Photo : Toshihiro Nakaigawa

Out above the audience, 368 paper lanterns were suspended in the celling as part of the set dressing.
Twenty four fixtures were rigged on the arch with another 22 on the floor upstage, allowing him to frame Jody Chiang in their powerful beams when stage-centre or when working the catwalk, utilising multiple effects like gobos, colour and prisms to accentuate her presence.

Robe Pointe Tournée Jody Chiang

Photo : Toshihiro Nakaigawa

Hayashi chose Pointes to make up these framing effects. He especially likes the frost and prism features and the half-colours, all which were used extensively for creating unique effects for this show.
Pointes were also ideal because they could look fast, poppy and contemporary for the up-tempo numbers, or slow and moody for the ballads. “They are truly a multi-purpose fixture!” he declares.

Hayashi first invested in ROBE in 2014 with the purchase of 40 units by his own rental company, The Mula Corporation. He has compared and contrasted many beam and ‘multi-purpose’ fixtures lately and Pointes have so far proved to be the best choice for his design style.
Robe’s Pointe has been a big success in Japan, with over 1000 sold since the launch in 2013, resulting in record sales for Robe’s distributor LTG. All the lighting was controlled via a Compulite Vector console, supplied by rental company Engineering Impact Taiwan Corp., together with the rest of the lighting equipment.

Robe Pointe Tournée Jody Chiang

Photo : Toshihiro Nakaigawa

Working alongside Hayashi in Taiwan were his FOH team from Mula : lighting director Yoshinori Yamamoto, lighting programmer Takeshi Nakanishi, moving light operator Lee Kyungmin, operator Toshiyuki Nakamura and lighting systems engineer Kazuyoshi Kondo.
The biggest challenge was to balance the ambient brightness from the video screen with the lighting. The lighting has to be powerful as the video, but not overwhelming and balancing this dichotomy was the key.

Mitsumasa Hayashi’s professional lighting industry career started in 1975 when he was involved in the foundation of the Shikoku Stage & Television Lighting Corporation.
In 1986 he moved to Tokyo and established his own office and lighting design practice, developing his penchant for imaginative lighting and expanding the international scope of his design work.
In 2007 he founded STUFISH Japan (now called Live Art) to work more creatively and closely with the late set designer / stage architect, Mark Fisher. He is now busy lighting a plethora of projects including music shows, tours and live events.

More informations : www.robe.cz

Amsterdam

ETC LED fixtures ensure lighting at Royal Concertgebouw

The world famous Royal Concertgebouw Concert Hall in Amsterdam has become the latest concert hall to update its lighting system to LED, with help from ETC and their Dutch dealer Ampco Flashlight Sales. But the decision on which fixtures to specify was not taken lightly : it took around a year of testing and discussions before deciding on 84 Desire® D60XTI Studio HD fixtures, controlled by an ETC Unison Paradigm® system.

La salle de concert du Royal Concertgebouw d’Amsterdam éclairée avec des projecteurs Desire d’ETC. © Govert Driessen

La salle de concert du Royal Concertgebouw d’Amsterdam éclairée avec des projecteurs Desire d’ETC. © Govert Driessen

Says Flashlight Sales’ lighting sales manager Bas van Schelven : “ In such a prestigious venue, maintaining its famously superb acoustics was a huge concern for the staff and performers. So even though the XTI fixtures were designed for external use, we specified them since they have no fans to make a noise. ”

ETC Desire D60XTI

ETC Desire D60XTI

Other tests included making sure the orchestra and choir members could easily read their music sheets under an unfamiliar light; and ensuring that there would be no flicker on high definition TV cameras.

“ Light output is much improved, ” adds Bas, “ with a more even spread over the orchestra platform, compared to their previous fixtures. Users have told us that they are quite happy with these new lights over their heads. ”
“ Music sheets are easier to read for the musicians, and TV producers have remarked on how well the new LED lights work with TV recordings and live HD streams via the website. ”
Another major advantage is the reduced power consumption, coupled with lower heat output : the new fixtures, which average approximately 75 W, replace eighty 575 W traditional Source Four PAR luminaires. As Bas points out, the hall already feels cooler than it did with the lights on full power.

The lights are not only used during symphonic orchestra performances, but also on other types of productions, including recitals and children’s shows. “ Because the ETC fixtures are capable of creating colours, ” he adds, “ there is less need to install extra lights – so not only do they save time, they also save on rental costs. ”

La salle de concert du Royal Concertgebouw. © Hans Roggen

La salle de concert du Royal Concertgebouw. © Hans Roggen

Unison Paradigm power control
The managers at the hall, including technical supervisor Alfons Hutschemaekers, wanted a simple system, which now includes Paradigm serving as a master controller alongside a lighting control desk.
Says ETC Field Project Coordinator Luke Delwiche :
“ Paradigm allows basic-level control from either an existing DMX console with a handful of groups, or for full control through sACN with a visiting console. Paradigm also offers control of overall colour temperature, level-scaling and control priority, all with a custom-designed user interface. ”

For more information on ETC and its products, please visit www.etcconnect.com

 

An Ayrton MADesign™ Solution for Brandon Flowers

Sometimes the most original solutions are formulated from the most haphazard moments of abstract thought. Take Steven Douglas, LD for the Killers frontman, Brandon Flowers: “ I had a weird thought while we were in Las Vegas for rehearsals of the promo leg of the tour way back in March.
I was looking out of the window at the beam coming from the top of the Luxor Hotel and was wondering how much brighter and more defined it would be if we could switch off all the other ambient light coming from the rest of the strip. It got me thinking about how I used wash lights on stage to light the band members; how I can lose impact sometimes from the all spot and beam fixtures. ”

Brandon Flowers éclairé par un MADesign Ayrton

Photo de Kevin Winter

“ So I started thinking if I could find a way to light the band members from really close up. Then I wondered, ‘Would I need so many wash lights?’ And, as a resuIt, I would also have a whole lot of black space above to populate with beams. ” It was with this in mind that Steven Douglas visited Ambersphere Solutions where he found his beam lights and more besides. “I found exactly what I had been searching for apropros the wash light idea.

Les musiciens de Brandon Flowers éclairés par des MADesign Ayrton

Photo de Torey Mundkowsky

“ The guys had a MADesign from Ayrton in the showroom that they were using as a desk light – for the grandMA2 funnily enough. I was instantly interested in it as it was perfect for what I needed to accomplish a close-up wash; they were also architecturally interesting even when they were off and the added bonus of the RGB strip on the back was great as I figured I could use it to light the drapes in the smaller club venues where depth of stage could prove to be an issue. ”

The Ayrton MADesign™ is equipped with RGBW LEDs and 45mm optics which produce everything from pastel shades to saturated colours. The upper arm is fitted with five adjustable spotlights with integral wireless DMX/RDM from LumenRadio™ as standard while, as Douglas points out, there is an independently controllable RGB backlight on the rear of the fixture. While all is designed to be deployed as the perfect solution for corporate events, presentations and conferences, Douglas clearly had alternative plans…

“ I decided they were perfect as I could have one over the top of each band member and keep them isolated. I’ve used them as the primary wash light for the backing band and they’re used for much of the show in that way. However, they are also a great effect light for chases and strobe moments as well as the obvious solution for solo pickups. ”

Brandon Flowers

Photo de Torey Mundkowsky

From Douglas’ visit to Ambersphere and his meeting with Philip Norfolk and Lee House to check out the beam lights for his design, he also came away with MADesigns – but not as a desk light for his grandMA2 – while some Ayrton MagicBlades™-Rs made a timely appearance at Shepherds Bush for the final show of the tour.
“ I’ve been really pleased with the MADesigns; they do the job I envisaged exactly as I planned and more. It is also a bit special that no-one has used them like this before; it is very nice to have a unique item on stage. I will definitely be using them again when the design calls for it. ”

More information : www.ayrton.eu

 

In Del Mar, California

Robe BMFL Blades for Kaaboo Festival Perfect Sunset

It’s always exciting being involved in something new and innovative, so Nashville based lighting and visuals designer Chris Lisle was delighted to be invited by production manager Jim Dorroh of LEO Events to light seven performance stages at the inaugural Kaaboo festival recently staged in Del Mar, California.
Chris specified 20 x Robe BMFL Blades as a major part of the lighting scheme for the Sunset Cliffs (main) Stage of the three day event, a music ‘experience’ and a specially curated ‘sound voyage’, combining rock music and some EDM with comedy, incredible food, contemporary art, great vibes … and premium amenities!
Chris worked closely with co-designer Erik Parker and assembled a hand-picked team of lighting programmer / operators to run and coordinate lighting for all the stages. Music headliners included The Killers, No Doubt, Snoop Dog, The Zac Brown Band and many, many more.

Photo: Brian Spady WireImage pour Kaaboo Del Mar via imageSPACE

Photo: Brian Spady WireImage pour Kaaboo Del Mar via imageSPACE

The goal was to make each stage look different, dynamic and unique while keeping everything user-friendly for guest LDs. Both Chris and Erik work as touring LDs and know the scenarios and the pressures of producing good shows in short timescales at festivals. “We wanted to make it as straightforward and satisfying as possible for visiting LDs in terms of them being able to clone / swap fixtures and provide a good layout of lights to give anyone arriving over the weekend the chance to have a great looking show,” he explained.
The 20 x BMFL Blades were positioned on one of the upstage trusses and used primarily for back lighting and as general effects lights for the Sunset Cliffs stage.
Apart from the brightness, Chris specifically selected them for the shuttering function which is ultimately useful for a festival set-up like this, together with the feature set which gives LDs the ability to create some vibrant and eye-catching effects with their compressed programming time.

Robe’s new BMFL Blade offers four fast shutter blades with smooth and precise movement, all individually angled and positioned within a frame which can itself rotate through 90 degrees … for sharp or soft, precisely repeatable framing of projected images.
The fixture has two gobo wheels that can be combined with the animation wheel to create numerous funky effects, and other features include exceptionally smooth linear dimming; high definition colour mixing, full width beam and an output in excess of 250,000 lux at 5 metres, plus Robe’s EMS™ (Electronic Motion Stabiliser) technology.
Weighing just 38Kgs, BMFL Blades are ideal for festival set ups.

Approximately nine of the bands playing Kaaboo’s Sunset Cliffs stage brought their own LDs, and the others were lit by ‘house’ LD / programmer Matt Shimamoto. Many of the guest LDs used the BMFLs for big backlight looks taking full advantage of the great optics and gobo selection.
Lighting on the Sunset Cliffs and Grandview stages was supplied by Solotech and included grandMA2 control systems, with the other four stages supplied by Visions Lighting.

More informations : www.robe.cz

 

In Verona Arena

Bruno Poet chose SGM LED for Intimissimi On Ice

Award-winning lighting designer Bruno Poet felt privileged and inspired when offered to work in Verona Arena with the spectacular live show Intimissimi On Ice. At the same, this was his first opportunity to deploy SGM’s LED luminaires in his creative design.

Crédits photo : Luca Parisse / Balich Worldwide Shows

Crédits photo : Luca Parisse / Balich Worldwide Shows

Show director, Francisco Negrin, describes the elegant ice-skating show as “ a generator of the energy of shadows and light ”. The two acts depict very different aspects, where Act I starts with the dark energy in violent and chaotic forms exploring the dark sides of male/female relationships with both loneliness and desire. The desire turns into passionate lust and then into real love. Act II, however, is about light, joy, playfulness culminating in a celebrational finale.

Crédits photo : Luca Parisse / Balich Worldwide Shows

Crédits photo : Luca Parisse / Balich Worldwide Shows

For such an impressive and emotional show, lighting played an essential role.
And with a lighting designer on board internationally recognised for his lighting for large scale live performances, many versatile effects were taken into use.
“ I have a particular interest in working on productions, which rely on a bold lighting design to engage the audience and tell the story. I love collaborating with creative and technical teams to make thrilling live shows ”, says Bruno Poet.

Using the entire open-air arena as canvas

Bruno Poet opted for a SGM LED solution. “ These LED lights provided the most flexible solution for the jobs I needed them to do. There are no conventional fixtures that could have been used in this way. I see it as choosing the best tool for the job ”.
Rental company, Musical Box, from Verona supplied 150 SGM RGBA SixPack LED blinders, containing each six individually controllable 40W outputs, and 82 SGM P-5 RGBW wash lights, receiving the lighting designer’s full recommendations for their handling of the entire process.

Crédits photo : Luca Parisse / Balich Worldwide Shows

Crédits photo : Luca Parisse / Balich Worldwide Shows

The impressive facilities of Verona Arena demanded for an extraordinary presentation while at the same time providing some challenges for the lighting designer in the sense of there being no roof structure. “It’s a technical challenge when you cannot hang lights overhead, and have to protect all the equipment from the rain.

Another issue is dealing with the ice and the projection – any light that hits the surface of the ice kills the projection, and any backlight reflects off the ice and blinds the audience,” says Poet.

Selecting lighting fixtures from SGM eliminated the need for protecting the lights as they are IP65 rated, which was one of the main reasons for the designer to specify them for this show and for a future outdoor project in Bregenz.
The many SGM luminaires where deployed for different effects and purposes for Intimissimi On Ice. Bruno Poet explains: “ The SixPacks framed the set. We used them both for decoration (eye candy for the cameras) and for effects.
We controlled each cell individually, so we could send pulses of light around all 150 of them. They looked great – really punchy. The P-5s were used in two ways. One group was rigged all around the perimeter of the arena to light the architecture, and to wash the audience in colours.

Crédits photo : Luca Parisse / Balich Worldwide Shows

They are incredibly bright for their size and power consumption, and being waterproof they did not need to be covered every time it rained. They looked great – especially in the overhead camera shots filmed for TV. A second group did a similar job to uplight the empty steps of the arena, rigged upstage of the stage set. The rest of the P-5s were used as footlights at the front of the stage for lighting the cast, without spilling light onto the ice. ”
Such came about the magnificent journey of the show interpreted by international ice-skating champions accompanied by lyrical and pop music featuring special guest star, Ellie Goulding. The producers and creative teams for both live show and TV show were all delighted, informs Poet as he is already well into his next exciting project.

The Team :

  • Show Director: Francisco Negrin
  • Lighting Designer: Bruno Poet
  • Lighting Programmer: Matt Daw
  • Production Electricians: Fabrizio Ganzerli and Giandomenico Barbon
  • Supplier: Manager of Musical Box, Michele Arduini

Others informations on : http://balichws.com/intimissimi-on-ice/

 

At Bridgestone Arena in Nashville

Audio-Technica Provides Microphone For CMA Awards

Audio-Technica supplied more than 150 vocal and instrument microphones for the 49th Annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards, presented on November 4, 2015 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
Broadcast live in 5.1-channel surround sound on the ABC Television Network in the USA, the awards show featured an extensive selection of Audio-Technica wired microphones, plus Artist Elite 5000 Series UHF Wireless Systems with AEW-T6100a and AEW-T5400a handheld microphone/transmitters.

The acclaimed Artist Elite 5000 Series UHF Wireless System with the AEW-T6100a hypercardioid dynamic handheld microphone/transmitter was used for lead vocals by Audio-Technica endorser Jason Aldean, who performed “Gonna Know We Were Here”; fellow Audio-Technica endorser Thomas Rhett, who a performed mashup of “Crash and Burn” and “Uma Thurman” with Fall Out Boy; Justin Timberlake, who guested with Chris Stapleton on “Tennessee Whiskey” and Timberlake’s own “Drink You Away”; and Hank Williams Jr., who sang his new single “Are You Ready for the Country” with Eric Church.

Justin Timberlake using Artist Elite 5000 Series UHF Wireless System and AEW-T6100a Hypercardioid Dynamic Handheld Microphone/Transmitter. Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images.

Justin Timberlake using Artist Elite 5000 Series UHF Wireless System and AEW-T6100a Hypercardioid Dynamic Handheld Microphone/Transmitter. Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images.

The 5000 Series wireless was also used by Maddie & Tae, who performed the award-winning “Girl In A Country Song” using the AEW-T5400a Cardioid Condenser Handheld Microphone/Transmitter.

The backline mic complement of Audio-Technica wired microphones included the AT4080 (phantom-powered bidirectional ribbon microphone) on guitars; AT4050 (multi-pattern condenser) on overheads; AT4040 (cardioid condenser microphone) on guitars; AE2500 (dual-element cardioid) on kick drum; AE5100 (cardioid condenser) on hi-hat and ride cymbals; ATM650 (hypercardioid dynamic) on snare; and ATM350 (cardioid condenser clip-on) and ATM250 (hypercardioid dynamic) on toms.

The CMA Awards presentation is recognised as Country Music’s Biggest Night and represents the pinnacle of achievement for those involved in country music. The team of industry veterans responsible for the audio at this year’s CMA’s again included a who’s-who of broadcast audio. Serving as Co-Audio Producers were Tom Davis and Paul Sandweiss; ATK/Audiotek provided the sound system with FOH mixers Patrick Baltzell and Rick Shimer; the broadcast music mix was handled by New Jersey/California-based M3’s (Music Mix Mobile’s) John Harris and Jay Vicari; J. Mark King served as Broadcast Production Mixer. Stage monitoring was handled by Tom Pesa and Jason Spence, and James Stoffo served as RF Coordinator/Microphone Tech.

“ Audio-Technica is a vital supporter of our technical team during the CMA Awards, ” stated Tom Davis, Co-Audio Producer of the 49th Annual CMA Awards. “ Their artist relations and on-site technical support are both superior. And of course, their wired and wireless mics sound great, and are consistently reliable. Having Audio-Technica in our corner makes our lives a whole lot easier! ”
James Stoffo, RF Coordinator/Microphone Tech, echoes Davis’s sentiments : “ We love the support we receive from Audio-Technica, and we have never had any problems with interference, drifting or audio quality of their wireless systems. The A-T 5000 series wireless that we have used, not only on this show but others, has been flawless. I’m always happy to see A-T on the show. ”

 

Robe BMFLs in the Lighting Design of Dimitri Vassiliu for Johnny Hallyday Tour

Among the first live concerts to be staged in Paris after the November 13 terror attacks were three amazing and emotionally charged shows at the AccorHotels Arena by French singer, musician, superstar – and legendary showman – Johnny Hallyday.

Photo Louise Stickland

Photo Louise Stickland

Photo Louise Stickland

Photo Louise Stickland

The Paris dates were part of the current “’Rester Vivant” (Staying Alive) tour, to which top French lighting designer Dimitri Vassiliu has brought his huge experience, fertile imagination and talent for lateral thinking to create a vibrant and powerful ‘big rock show’.
The design features 36 x Robe BMFL Spot moving lights on the rig which are integral to the show, and are being supplied by lighting contractor Dushow which has invested heavily in Robe this year.
For the AccorHotels Arena performances, an additional 20 x BMFL Spots were added to the rig to light the audience.

Photo Louise Stickland

Photo Louise Stickland

With nearly 200 tours, 18 platinum albums, worldwide record sales of over £80 million and a formidable reputation for spectacular live shows under his belt … Johnny Hallyday is arguably France’s most iconic music star.
This is the first time that Dimitri has worked on a Johnny Hallyday tour, asked on-board by the star’s management team to bring fresh creative perspective to the maverick stage show.
Dimitri in turn assembled a creative team which includes scenographer Emma Favre and video content producer Peggy M, who added their own ideas to the multi-layered visual equation, which involves moving video screens, scenic elements and plenty of drama and excitement. He was also very involved in commissioning of the video content.
The BMFL Spots are positioned on the front and over-audience trusses for lighting the audience and the B-stage in the middle of the room. There is also a ring of them around the deck of the main stage, where they are mounted on different level plinths and used for aerial effects and for skimming low across the audience, involving them in the show. Their intense brightness ensures that they really catch the eye every time they are used.

Photo Louise Stickland

Photo Louise Stickland

BMFL Spots were a new light for Dimitri, so after initially seeing a demo at Dushow, he then used 10 on one of Hallyday’s summer festival performance to make absolutely sure that they would do the business on the tour. It was then that he realised just how super-bright and fast they are … in fact exactly the attributes he was looking for as in ‘large powerful spotlights’. They are also ideal for the large arenas they are playing.

Photo Louise Stickland

Photo Louise Stickland

He admits that he’s not yet had the time or chance to explore the vast amount of looks and possibilities offered by the BMFL, but they are working brilliantly for the overall look and feel of the lighting which is a sophisticated blend of vintage and modern. The biggest aesthetic task on the tour, he says, is creating that mix, and using all the different technologies involved to look simple and retro one minute … juxtaposed against full on rock-out madness the next!

His favourite songs to light include some of the great JH anthems like Noir C’est Noir, Fils de Personne, Allumer Le Feu, etc., and he really appreciates the generous amount of creative freedom by the artist which has allowed him to experiment and produce some very dynamic results for lighting, video and automation.
Dimitri has worked on many projects with Dushow over his fascinating 30 year industry career and comments that the relationship is excellent. He has serious respect for the company, which is why he trusted them when they first recommended he look at the BMFL.

Lighting and video is run across three consoles – a Hog 4 operated by Dimitri together with another one run by Stéphane Chiron, and a grandMA2 light operated by Philippe Marty triggers a Catalyst media server running playback video to the six moving screens and a digital pros arch that surrounds the stage.

Photo Louise Stickland

Photo Louise Stickland

This fantastically dynamic FOH visuals team and their great synergy is helping ensure that Johnny Hallyday continues to deliver the very best live shows to his adoring fans – of all generations. Action packed with energy and rousing songs, he is again confirming his position as one of the greatest live showmen in the business!

More information : www.robe.cz

 

Demo Video by Stéphane Migné

Ayrton Versapix-RS, five 3.5° beams in a fan-shaped array

Ayrton VersaPix-RS

Ayrton VersaPix-RS

Ayrton reissues the VersaPix, launched in 2012, this time in the RS version, with ultra-tight beams of 3.5° and a record on-axis intensity of 200 cd/lm.
The configuration of this fixture, with five LED sources splayed out in a 90°, fan-shaped array, allows for heretofore-unseen designs, whether they are used used together or separately – spheres, saucers and other original 3D effects.

Designed by Stéphane Migné with 30 fixtures programmed by Arnaud Pierrel, this demo is, once again, mesmerizing.

AYRTON – VersaPix-RS – Thirty Unit Demo from Ayrton on Vimeo.

Each source is a new Osram 40 W multichip RGBW LED, with an emissive surface of only 4 mm2, coupled with the largest optic in the range: a 94 mm lens that boasts an optical yield of 82%.
It is this combination that allows Ayrton to achieve a tight and punchy beam: 3.5° at 200 cd/lm, also thanks to a new patented individual cooling system that draws air into the back of the source and out around the edge of the lens.

Detail of the cooling system of one source: air is drawn in from the rear...

Detail of the cooling system of one source: air is drawn in from the rear…

...and exits around the optics

…and exits around the optics


The design of this fixture is beautiful, with its five large sources, with individual housings that protrude like the rocket engines of a spaceship ready for lift-off.
The electronics include a power supply with power factor correction, flicker-free LED drivers, two DMX control modes (13 and 29 channels), RDM support, three ventilation modes (automatic, studio and stage) and factory programmed effect macros.

Further information, Visit the Ayrton website : http://www.ayrton.eu/