MECC Invests in Robe FORTES

Mackay Entertainment and Conference Centre (MECC) is a busy and diverse complex of nine different venue and event spaces in Mackay, central Queensland, Australia, hosting a lively mix of corporate launches and conferences to opera, music, dance, and performance shows.
Head of lighting Dan Grace and his team are delighted to be amongst the first in Australia to have Robe new high power Forte’s LED luminaires in the house, with a purchase of twelve of the fixtures plus twelve new Robe Spiider LED wash beams, with more of both types of moving light to follow once the season ramps up again!

Left to right is Allyssa Tonks, Mark Blake and Dan Grace ©Louise Stickland

The decision to buy Forte was underlined by MECC’s previous experiences with Robe with nearly 100 fixtures already, including 30 x DL7s, a mix of profiles and fresnels, which directly replaced 36 hot and power-hungry 2K fresnels in the main theatre in 2019.
The last batch of these DL7s arrived together with three RoboSpot systems and BMFL FollowSpots, a move that was driven by MECC’s head of AV, Mark Blake.

Mark and Dan are part of an MECC technical team of 18. They were both instrumental in persuading the local government officials who oversee MECC’s operation that the time was right to convert the theatre to a full LED stage lighting rig.
Moving forward, LED is now a prerequisite for any new lighting investments and “it made sense to keep brand consistency throughout the venue and we enjoy a great relationship with our supplier Kennedy Amplifier Hire Service and Australian distributor Jands,” confirmed Dan.

Robe Forte

The new Fortes and Spiiders will mainly be utilised in the Convention Centre halls as part of the main production lighting rig. The other eight Fortes and six Spiiders on order are destined for the main auditorium, however all these newest fixtures will be interchangeable according to requirements in the different venues.

Dan’s ultimate goal was to have a lighting rig that could offer multiple possibilities from one standard design, which would suit all events from a conference one day to a concert for 1500 people the next, etc. Features like framing shutters, the large zoom range, the deep saturated colours, and low noise all played a part in the decision to choose Forte.

The ability of the Spiider to be a wash or a beam due to the zoom, and its excellent array of colours made it an easy choice as a replacement for their LEDWash 600s. When it came to the Forte, initially they had been thinking in terms of a BMFL for power and versatility, but as the time approached to make this particular investment, so did the requirement for it to be an LED source, so first they looked at Robe’s ESPRITE.
This was the first Robe product to offer the manufacturer’s proprietary cutting edge transferable engine technology with a unique replaceable LED light source. They then got wind during 2020 of Robe releasing a powerful LED BMFL type – with loads of power and features packed and decided to wait until this was available to make their final decision.

Dan received the FORTE spec sheet and was “super impressed”, especially by the two rotating gobo wheels, the shuttering system and the 1000W LED. “I knew without even seeing it that this was the perfect luminaire for our venue, and one that would last us well into the future,” he enthused. The decision was made, and the PO signed!
MECC’s history with Robe actually goes back a few years, even before Mark arrived in 2016! The first Robe fixtures came to the venue in 2013 recalls Dan, who has been there for nine years, and that was a purchase of DLX Spots and LEDWash 600s … which are still going strong today!
The original decision to choose Robe was made collectively between all the tech staff at the time, explained Dan, together with influence from local rental / production company Kennedy Amplifier Hire Service (KAHS), from whom they regularly sub rent various equipment.

©Louise Stickland

In 2014, Robe Pointes were added to the inventory. They liked the punch and multiple features of these which meant they could be used across any of the spaces.
When Mark joined, the association with Robe continued, together with the commitment to purchasing more sustainable lighting in the form of LED fixtures. Looking for some good general-purpose LED luminaries, they decided on 20 x LEDBeam 150s. This number was boosted by another 8 when they purchased the 30 x DL7s.

In a normal year, MECC would stage a vibrant mix of around 350 diverse events across all venues, halls, and spaces. In March 2020 with a busy year ahead, everything stopped as countries worldwide grappled with their first waves of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mackay’s local council retained staff and kept everyone working, with time meaningfully utilised in updating safety management systems, venue cleaning, purging old and unused kit and various other stuff, installing new cable runs and generally creating and refining infrastructure to make life in the production fast lane easier long-term.

In August 2020, the Mackay Festivals team produced “Festival Sessions”, a small run of live streamed events featuring 2-hour performances by a wealth of local talent from the Mackay region – DJ’s, bands, soloists, comedians, canvas painters and even some dance schools – all of which were hugely popular with the live entertainment starved public!
After August, things slowly started picking back up and all the usual events like concerts, dance school season, schools’ awards nights etc. started reappearing on the schedule.
The next 6 months are looking like all-action as they will be delivering a regular calendar of shows to the usual high-quality production standards as well as plugging any gaps with the demand for events, conferences and shows that could not happen in 2020!

For more information about MECC you can check the Themecc website And about Robe lighting and their products line on


New WELT TV Studios equipped with Robe T1 Fresnels

Two cutting-edge broadcast studio spaces utilized by German prime TV news channel Welt are at the epicentre of the stunning new Axel Springer Building in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district, which recently opened for business.

© WeltN24 GmbH Anne Hufnagl

The studio lighting and control systems were specified and designed by the ARRI System Group in Berlin, a division of the Munich-based ARRI Group … whose team oversaw the integration and installation of broadcast lighting for overall systems integrator, Qvest Media.

Robe T1 Fresnels

The use of moving lights underpins the fundamental flexibility and efficiency required by the studios’ technical and lighting infrastructure to avoid needing roof access for refocusing, repositioning, etc.

The 98 x Robe T1 Fresnel luminaires were chosen as a key element of the lighting design for several reasons including the overall quality, value, and form factor of the products. Another main driver was the option to have the fixtures supplied with two RJ45 ethernet ports to facilitate connection to the studio’s IP based control system.

This was a cornerstone of the entire studio lighting design and enables the constant central feedback and status monitoring of all fixtures, a functionality vital for the smooth running of a 24-hour studio environment.
The lighting package also included nine Robe Tetra2 moving LED battens, and the deal was cemented by the outstanding service from the teams at both Robe Germany in Munich, and Robe HQ in the Czech Republic.

The ARRI team was led by their head of projects Paul Flemming, senior lighting network architect Carolin Schramm and Torsten Hauer, lighting designer for the ARRI System Group. They were all instrumental in supporting lighting consultants mo2 in the winning combination of these Robe T1 Fresnel luminaires and ARRI’s SkyPanels.

© WeltN24 GmbH Anne Hufnagl

Paul Flemming explains that while the original lighting tender stipulated DMX control, after detailed discussions further down the line, IP control was preferred to maximise efficiency and reduce the number of staff needed to run the studios. The set up effectively enables one service engineer to operate all elements of the studio technology via the control network.
He explains also that in addition to the above-mentioned features, the quality of the light output from the Robe T1 Fresnels was far superior to other fixtures, and they easily met the 600 Lux general intensity requirement. “Working with Robe has been excellent. It’s a first choice for the integration of moving lights into a broadcast lighting infrastructure,” concludes Paul.

© WeltN24 GmbH Anne Hufnagl

The studios both measure 175 square metres and have 5.5 metres of headroom.
Studio 1 is rigged with 47 x Robe T1 Fresnels, the nine Tetra2 bars and 42 x ARRI SkyPanels as the main lighting. Three sides of the studio walls are LED clad behind an opera foil / gauze, and there are nine motorized – fully mobile – video panel ‘trucks’ which can be used in multiple positions. The Tetra2s are attached to the top of these LED panels so back light can be easily focused on presenters standing in front.

The four cameras in the studio include one in the roof, and are all on robotic dollies / arms, also driven from the control room and capable of moving almost anywhere around the space. Studio 2 is rigged with 51 x Robe T1 Fresnels and 60 x ARRI SkyPanels. Half of this studio features a green-screen setup, while the other half is clad with video wall behind an opera gauze.

© WeltN24 GmbH Anne Hufnagl

The Axel Springer Building project was initiated in 2015 and built from the ground up on Zimmerstrasse, a street once separated by the two sides of the Berlin Wall – a fact also embraced in its unique architecture.

The ARRI System Group team spent around 5 months on-site during 2020 overseeing and commissioning the lighting and control installation systems in the two studios.

Robe’s director of global sales Harry von den Stemmen commented, “Robe and ARRI have recently intensified their co-operation in ARRI’s most important sector, broadcast, where ARRI is a world leader, due to its firmly established business unit, the ARRI System Group. As a systems integrator in its own right, this is attractive and efficient for ARRI customers building new, fully automated studios with the latest technologies like Axel Springer in Berlin.
We are delighted to have collaborated on this high-profile project, and that our lights are such a good match for their technology and ideas. “It is a win-win for both companies and Axel Springer Studios Berlin will be a benchmark project in the exciting and emerging field of complete TV studio automation.”

For more info about Robe lighting and their products you can visit :


The Sulim Kadyrov Mosque features 70+ RCF speakers

The grand opening of the mosque took place on August 21, 2020. The celebration coincides with the 69th anniversary of the birth of the first President of the Chechen Republic, hero of Russia, Akhmat-Khadzhi Kadyrov.

The air volume of the hall, taking into account the under- and upper- balconies, is about 14,000 m3, with a total surface area is 6,360 m2. Acoustic calculations were measured by the computer modeling software AFMG EASE. The sound system covers the entire premises of the prayer halls (the main prayer hall and two halls on the basement level), providing optimal intelligibility as required.

Since there are no intelligibility standards required in Russia, ARIS engineers used external scientific publications about acoustic standards in mosques, including those carried out by ARIS, and with the support of the Acoustics of Halls, inside the Research Institute of Building Physics laboratory (RAASN).

According to these studies, taking into account the volume of the main prayer hall, the optimum reverberation time for RT60 in the frequency range of 500-1000 Hz should be from 1.9 to 2.2 seconds.

Les nouvelles colonnes à contrôle numérique du guidage du faisceau VSA II .

“Since there were no possible adjustments to the original finish, the challenge to reach the optimal RT60 was difficult,” comments Alexandr Shamray, Head of Sales at ARIS. “To achieve good intelligibility, the Speech Transmission Index (STI) must be around 0.60, for excellent transmission, or more.

Taking into account the extremely high resonance of prayer halls and the lack of a meaningful reduction using acoustic absorbers, we focused on intelligibility parameters. Relying solely on controlled directivity and quality of the sound system we worked on reaching 0.50-0.55 (or higher)”.

“The peculiarity of the VSA columns is the possibility to increase the beam of direct sound into the area and reduces the amount of unwanted reflections [..] extremely important for improving speech intelligibility in rooms with high reverberation.”

L’un des nombreux transducteurs à aimant néodyme de 3.5” qui équipent la gamme VSA II et délivrent au travers d’une amplification et d’un DSP individualisé, une réponse en fréquence allant de 100 HZ à 18 kHz.

Shamray continues, “Focusing on the frequency bands of 250, 500, and 1000 Hz, we simulate the results using RCF digitally steerable columns VSA 1250 II and RCF VSA 2050 II, placing the loudspeakers, where possible, with maximum throw of 10m.

The feature of the proposed sound columns is the possibility of adjusting vertical angle and aperture, taking into account the placement of the listeners and the height of the placement of the speakers themselves while maintaining their vertical position.

In addition, these columns have a fairly narrow vertical radiation pattern, which increases the beam of direct sound into the area and reduces the amount of unwanted reflections. This approach is extremely important for increasing speech intelligibility in rooms with high reverberation.”

Le menu de commande des VSA II.

Four RCF VSA 1250 II speakers are suspended on the front wall near the mihrab (a niche in which the imam is located during the service) and under the gallery, at a height of 2.0 m. Two more RCF VSA 2050 II speakers are suspended on a pair of supporting columns of the dome closest to the mihrab at a height of 2m.

An additional pair of RCF VSA 1250 II composes the delay line, suspended on a pair of supporting columns of the dome, farthest from the mihrab, at a height of 2m. Ten RCF L 2406T sound columns are used as sound systems for the balcony, placed on the front wall and on the column of the balcony. 44 PL 8X ceiling loudspeakers are installed on both the prayer halls on the basement level.

“All measurements coincided within 96% of the calculations, resulting in a non-tiring and intelligible sound system with good performance and perfect coverage.”

Les enceintes à pavillon à longue portée nécessaires à renforcer la voix du muezzin avec à gauche HD 6045EN et à droite le RCF HD 410T.

The tradition of inviting people to pray at the mosque has existed among Muslims for 14 centuries. It was necessary to amplify the voice of the muezzin so that it can exceed the noise of a modern city.
Each minaret is equipped with four powerful weatherproof RCF HD 410T and HD 6045EN horn-type speakers. They are directed to all cardinal directions and used for the daily calls to prayer. The HD range speakers are designed for long-throw vocal applications without loss of intelligibility and with low distortion.

More information on the RCF website


Matt Hallard joins Ayrton sales team

Ayrton is happy to announce the appointment of Matt Hallard as the latest member of its expanding international sales team. Hallard takes up the position of regional sales manager for the UK, Ireland, Benelux, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Croatia, Malta, Greece, Slovenia and Turkey, with effect from 1 April 2021.

Hallard brings extensive experience of the lighting industry and the European market from a career that spans over twenty years.
He first cut his industry teeth with an eight-year period as a production manager on cruise ships, after which Hallard returned to dry land in 2005 to launch a career as a specialist in European sales with some well-known moving light brands.

“This was an exciting time in the development of moving lights and I worked with, and learned from, some incredibly talented, hard-working individuals,” says Hallard.
“That diversity of experience has served me well, and now it’s time to apply all that learning to my new mission as regional sales manager for Ayrton.”

Hallard is looking forward to working with the Ayrton team as the industry pushes through the global pandemic: “It’s truly a great honour to be joining the team. I have long held Ayrton in high regard as a vibrant company with excellence in execution and a clear, forward-thinking vision (much like the namesake the company was named after).
I think that reflects in those who represent the Ayrton brand today. Both my new colleagues and the existing distribution network are some of the most talented people in this wonderful industry of light. Many of them I worked with over fifteen years ago so for me it really feels like I’m coming home.

“Ours is a fast-paced industry which I care deeply about; one that has experienced an incredibly difficult period of time but now has the opportunity to re-focus, adapt and improve. This is an exciting time and I’m looking forward to playing my part in taking it forward.”

“We are very excited to have Matt on board,” says Ayrton’s global sales director, Michael Althaus. “The Ayrton team has worked hard to thrive during these difficult times, and we are ready to expand our team to allow us to focus even more on the opportunities out there. Energetic and knowledgeable people like Matt are part of our DNA and we are looking forward to working with him.”

More information on Ayrton range on products can be found at


PL+S digital meeting on 13 April 2021

After the cancellation of Prolight+Sound due to the coronavirus, the industry will meet in the digital space on 13 April 2021: the leading trade fair for entertainment technology will launch the new streaming format “BIZLounge”, which will highlight the crisis- ridden segment’s burning issues and present scenarios for an economically viable future.
Numerous international industry associations will participate in the all-day programme. It will be held entirely in English, thus being aimed at professionals from all parts of the world.

How can events be held safely and profitably in times of Covid-19? What is the European orientation of the sustainable events industry in the future? What are the implications of the current Brexit regulations for the event industry? And how are leading educational institutions addressing the evolving expectations of students and businesses? These and other questions will be addressed by industry experts at the Prolight + Sound BIZLounge in prominent round tables followed by Q&A sessions.

In addition, representatives of theatre technology societies will speak about the new Ecodesign Directive and its consequences for the use of lighting solutions at events. Also part of the programme is the presentation of two renowned industry awards, “Opus German Stage Award” and “Sinus Systems Integration Award”.
“The international event industry stands united. It has used the long phase of lockdown to proactively develop concepts for the resumption of event operations and, even in times of crisis, has maintained undiminished its commitment to technological innovation, sustainability and an outstanding level of training.

This is the signal we would like to send out to the world at Prolight + Sound BIZLounge. We are proud of the high-quality programme we have prepared together with our partners and we invite all industry players to take part via live stream and join the discussion”, says Mira Wölfel, Director Prolight + Sound.
The Prolight + Sound BIZLounge is aimed at suppliers and users of technological solutions, event managers in companies and agencies, as well as students and trainees in the event industry.
Registration is free of charge at

Programme and speakers of the Prolight + Sound BIZLounge at a glance:

10:00 Restart: Current Prospects for the Event Industry
– Marten Pauls, Infection Protection and Hygiene Commissioner, BDKV – Federal Association of the Concert and Event Industry
– Timo Feuerbach, Managing Director, EVVC – European Association of Event Centres
– Merten Wagnitz, Treasurer, i.s.d.v. – Community of Interest for Self-Employed Service Providers in the Event Industry
– Betty Heywood, Director of International Affairs, NAMM – National Association of Music Merchants
– Sven Hansen, 1. Vice Chairman, BVVS – Federal Association for Event Safety
– Eric Kant, Owner of Phase 01 Crowd Management

11:00 Brexit: What to know, what to do
– Randell Greenlee: Director Policy and International Relations, VPLT – The German Entertainment Technology Association
– Anita Debaere, Director, PEARLE – Live Performance Europe
– Peter Heath, Managing Director, PLASA – The Professional Lighting and Sound Association

12:00 What is the European orientation of the sustainable events industry?
– Dr. Markus Große Ophoff, Member of the Executive Board, EVVC
– Further participants tba

13:00 European Legislation: the Event Industry and the Future of Lighting
– Christian Allabauer, Member of the Executive Board, OETHG – Austrian Theatre Technical Society
– Hans-Joachim Rau, Member of the Executive Board, DTHG – German Theatre Technical Society

14:00 No Future? Academic Education in Uncertain Times.
– Prof. Thomas Sakschewski, Beuth University of Applied Sciences, Berlin
– Prof. Dr. Roland Greule, HAW – Hamburg University of Applied Sciences
– Prof. Dr. Arno Gramatke, TH Mittelhessen University of Applied Sciences, Giessen
– Randell Greenlee, VPLT

15:00 Award Ceremony Opus/Sinus
– Winning project „Opus – German Stage Award“: Rigoletto, Seebühne Bregenz
– Winning project „Sinus – Systems Integration Awards“: Osram World of Lights

The next Prolight + Sound will open its doors from 26 to 29 April 2022. All information is available at


Darmah and Brompton Technology celebrate their 6th birthday

Miami-based creative multifunctional studio, darmah, specialises in production design enhanced by cutting-edge tools, and known for its attention to detail and quality control. Last year, it demonstrated again its industry-leading service by announcing the turnkey dXR stage with the latest Extended Reality (XR) Technology.

From set design, creative direction and video content, to developing and delivering the final product, darmah is a much sought-after one-stop shop that uses great technology to bring emotion to the audience and create brilliant moments. A big part of that is Brompton Technology LED processing, which has been key to the company’s success story over the last six years.

“Brompton makes reliable, easy-to-navigate LED processing that allows us to make all our video and xR work look amazing,” says Rodrigo Proal, founder of darmah. “As a Brompton partner, we continue to have a great experience with their people and products.”
Recent projects include Daddy Yankee’s YouTube Concert (most views of a concert on YouTube for the first week of December), the Billboard Latin Music Awards and Premios Juventud 2020 Awards, amongst many other live and recorded performances.

“It’s especially important to use reliable equipment on these important awards shows that are putting on COVID-sensitive events. We love how Brompton makes the integration of video and xR smoother and provides us more control. It also leads to creating visual backgrounds beyond any imagination that keep our clients returning to us for additional projects,” adds Bianca Moncada, partner.

Brompton’s market-leading Tessera LED processing solutions are used on everything from huge global world tours to pioneering virtual productions and virtual studios, which highlights the value of both its image quality and reliability and which darmah depends on.
“The image we get by using Tessera is sharper and more vivid than anything else out there,” Moncada explains. “We really appreciate the ultra-low latency and the high frame rate, too. But none of that means anything if we can’t count on it, and it’s incredibly reliable. That’s key to delivery of our product to artists, award shows, sporting events, and corporate clients.”

“Our origins were in Live Events but today our processing is key to a lot of film, XR and broadcast work as well,” notes Rob Fowler, Brompton’s Senior Business Development Manager, who goes on to explain that Brompton has always focused on the needs of end customers such as darmah, and also forging close links with their preferred LED screen vendors, often in China to ensure the processing system marries up nicely to the LED panels it will be deployed with.

“Although our R&D and processor manufacturing is and likely always will be carried out here in London, we have also grown our presence in China to support partner manufacturers and now employ a diverse team of engineers, account handlers and support staff at our office in Shenzhen, China,” he adds. “In addition to that, we are growing our presence in North America and despite some delays due to Covid 19 we hope to have our LA Office open in 2021.”
darmah realized the ROI in terms of creative possibilities and the all-important competitive edge Brompton could offer them. “Although Brompton is associated with a slightly higher upfront cost, when we look at the total cost of ownership its Tessera processors definitely deliver and keep on delivering great value for our projects,” states Moncada.

According to Fowler, reliability is one of Brompton’s strongest points, as is 24/7 customer support from technicians with real world experience of the production industry. “The other key part of the Brompton difference that companies such as darmah can benefit from is free software upgrades like our recently launched Version 3.1 with support for HFR+, frame remapping and IP control which add new functionality to existing platforms,” he adds.

Training is another subject which is close to Fowler’s heart. “We have always seen training as a key plank of developing our business and the market for Brompton products, that’s why we always aim to provide training to anyone who wants it, such as offering free monthly classes at our HQ in London as well as one off courses at venues world-wide.” The training was further adapted during the pandemic, when the team also started offering courses via video-conferencing systems using the innovative streaming rack solution.

Moncada agrees, saying that their team took courses to be fully trained, and they appreciate how Brompton keeps them up to date with its Tessera updates. “At darmah, we’re all about learning – it’s a nonstop part of what makes our studio distinct. It’s always about the right person with the right knowledge, and that’s a philosophy shared with the people at Brompton,” she says.

“It is incredibly satisfying to see how brilliant companies like darmah use our products as one of the building blocks needed to continue thriving and delivering great service to their customers,” concludes Fowler. “Here’s to darmah’s success and many more exciting Brompton-powered projects to come this year and beyond.”

More information can be found on the Brompton Technology website


Chauvet Professional for a Magic livestream of The Wonder Years

The Wonder Years’ November livestream was a homecoming of sorts, not only for the Top 20 alt rockers, but for Victor Zeiser who lit the 90-minute show. “This band is one of our oldest clients, so working with them again was a real thrill,” said Zeiser, the owner of Squeek Lights.
“Earlier during the pandemic, the guys did a more-low key livestream at a recording studio, but they decided they wanted to cut loose and do a full production show, so they came here to the Ruby Stage in our new facility.”

Drawing on the power-packed and versatile rig at the new Ruby Stage (it opened this summer), Zeiser and the Squeek Lights team delivered the kind of dynamic show the band was seeking. Wrapping itself around The Wonder Years’ distinctive sound, the lightshow reflected the mood and spirit of the music with its colorful crossing beam patterns, intense side lighting, and evocative silhouettes.

Chauvet Professional Rogue R1 BeamWash

Playing a key role in creating this supportive vista was the rig’s 30 CHAUVET Professional Rogue R1 BeamWash fixtures. “They did a lot for us,” Zeiser said of the 40-watt RGBW movers.
“Their most critical use was as our key light. Silhouette moments are great, but people want to see the band. With the 10 units out front we were able to hit them with a nice quality white light, which looked great on camera.

“We also used BeamWash for mid-stage down washing, back washing from our upstage wash, and on tail-down pipes upstage,” continued Zeiser.
“We love the versatility of the beam washes in the rig. It’s great how such a small unit has so much punch when used as a wash; and then on the flip side, you can zoom in so narrow to have a tight bright beam that can cut through a big look.”

Given the show’s livestream format, Zeiser had to limit his use of big, sweeping movements and rely more on color combinations and overlapping patterns to engage viewers visually. “For a live stream, it’s all about what the folks at home see,” he said. “I made sure the film crew gave me a monitor, so I could see what the viewer saw.
I was careful to ride my levels more than I typically do on a live show. I also throttled back some fixtures that I otherwise would have let ripped and exercised a little more care with my color selection, knowing that the camera doesn’t read all colors the same way our eyes do.”

The Wonder Years livestream was Zeiser’s first show of 2020. (He spent much of the year working on Squeek Lights’ new facility.) “It was a lot of fun to jump back in the saddle for the night,” he said.

“Ben Jarrett was a big help with the showfiles, so I got to focus on mashing buttons with the music of The Wonder Years, which I know like the back of my hand. The entire experience with my crew and the band was special a taste of ‘normal life’ that reminded me why I love this business so much.”

Contributing to the success of the livestream were the Catalogue Company, which filmed the performance, Andy Clarke, who did the mixing, Electro Sound Systems of Wilmington, DE, and Ben Jarret, who helped Zeiser with the showfile.

More info about Chauvet Professional range of products can be found on


L-Acoustics sets Exhibition London as New Cultural Hub

Exhibition London from the outside.

The recently launched Exhibition London event space is situated in the heart of London’s White City and Westfield London, one of the capital’s premier shopping destinations. This multi-purpose venue is housed in a stunning Grade II listed building built in 1899 and originally used as an engine house for Central London Railways.

A complete renovation of the space combines sensitive architectural restoration with 21st-century technology, which features an L-Acoustics K Series loudspeaker system, to help establish the new space as a major music venue and cultural hub.

The ground floor AKA foyer features eight permanently flown L-Acoustics X8, which can be augmented with four portable SB15 subs as shown if more bottom end is needed.

The venue is a collaborative venture between Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield and Broadwick Live, operators of Printworks London, The Drumsheds, Depot Mayfield, and Magazine London, which also boasts an L-Acoustics sound system.
Both Magazine and Exhibition audio systems were designed by Simon Jones of Simon Jones Technical Production Management (SJ-TPM Ltd) with assistance and integration from HD Pro Audio and design support from L-Acoustics.

Exhibition’s first floor features an array of nine L-Acoustics K2 per side, with five pairs of KS28 subs ground-stacked along the front of the stage. An A10 Focus is custom mounted on top of each KS28 for frontfill. On the stage the sides are ready to roar with, on top of a couple of KS21, a A15 Focus per side.

Spanning two floors and a total of 1,271m2, Exhibition London features a ground floor foyer and reception area, which can also be used as a breakout area for corporate events and small conferences. The foyer offers direct access to The First Floor staging area, where the original high-pitched ceiling and its exposed roof structure, polished concrete floor, brass finishes, and decorative lighting create a stunning environment for both live music and corporate events.

The original project brief emphasized corporate events, and Jones once again looked to Kara to fulfil the venue’s needs. But as the project evolved, music became the priority, and the larger format K2 became a serious option.
“The First Floor is a 3,000 capacity multi-purpose space, and with the focus now firmly on music, it needed a rider-friendly PA that would also be good for corporate events,” states Jones. “We needed a left/right system and delays that would be beefy enough for full-on rock but delicate enough for speech.”

Andy Huffer

“The whole ethos behind choosing K2 is to meet the demands of touring engineers and offer the industry standard, so there would be no question of bands not using the house system,” adds HD Pro’s Andy Huffer.

The First Floor features an array of nine K2 per side, with five pairs of KS28 subs ground-stacked along the front of the stage. An A10 Focus is placed on top of each KS28 for frontfill, for which HD Pro has made custom mounts.

Sidefill is catered for with stacks of two A15 and two KS21 while twelve X15 coaxial wedges are available for stage monitoring as needed. Two pairs of A15 are flown as additional delays/fills halfway down the room.

The whole first floor veue as seen from the stage where X15s wedges shines. Seen from behind is a stack of two KS28 topped by an A10.

“The main PA is more than capable of covering the entire space, but for corporate speech applications these fills allow us to get more detail at the back of the room without exciting it at the other end,” says Huffer.
“This is essential for vocal clarity.” For the foyer’s rectangular space, compact X8 was chosen for its full range, high SPL, premium sonic quality, and excellent detail.

The engines and control room is via two P1 AVB processors, one for the First Floor and one for the foyer, with nine LA12X amplified controllers for the K2, an LA4X for the A15, and 13 LA4X for the remainder of the system.

Eight X8 are permanently flown, four at each side of the room and facing in to provide even coverage. These can be augmented with four portable SB15 subs if more bottom end is needed. Cabling has been installed throughout the area’s evenly spaced steel columns so that the SB15 can sit at the base of any column.

Amplification and control comprise two P1 AVB processors, one for the First Floor and one for the foyer, along with nine LA12X amplified controllers for the K2, an LA4X for the A15, and 13 LA4X for the remainder of the system, with portable racks for the monitors.

Andy Huffer (left) from HD Pro Audio who provided assistance and integration for this project and Simon Jones of Simon Jones Technical Production Management, the designer of the Exhibition system.

“Our primary challenge was that this is a tiled Victorian building, so it’s quite reflective,” says Huffer. “The First Floor, in particular, has lots of big, long shiny surfaces facing each other. Some acoustic draping is used, but we did not want to hide all the beautiful tile.

Having K2, with its variable directivity, allowed us to optimise the system, keeping sound on the audience and off the walls. This, in conjunction with a complete grid system flown from the crane beams, gave us more rigging options.”

Jeff Woodford, Application Engineer Install at L-Acoustics.

As well as providing design support in the planning phase of the project, Jeff Woodford, Application Engineer Install at L-Acoustics also provided on-site acoustic measurement and electronic optimisation, calibrating the sound system to give the best performance throughout Exhibition.
With optimum flexibility of the system also a prime consideration, two DiGiCo SD12 consoles with Dante cards and Optocore sharing an SD Rack with 32-bit cards and an SD11i with D Rack are provided as the control package. “These are also an industry standard and make the venue a desirable proposition,” notes Jones.

Adding to the system’s flexibility, a comprehensive fibre network was installed, linking the front of house and monitor systems upstairs and down, allowing audio to travel to and from any area. The network also allows the DiGiCo consoles to be moved to different areas, as required.

Multi-purpose venue, Exhibition, sits in the heart of London’s White City and Westfield London shopping destinations.

“We’ve installed simple touchscreen panels for controlling volume, etc., throughout the venue,” says Huffer. “This means things can be changed quickly and easily to go from, for example, a stand-alone system for live music to distributed background music from someone’s phone.”

“Both HD Pro and L-Acoustics have been exemplary in their design, support, and commitment to the project,” adds Jones.
“The system sounds really good. I’ve done a lot of PA systems, but even I was surprised at just how good K2 sounds in here. It has exceeded my expectations, and it looks good, too, which is so important in a setting like Exhibition London.”

“It was fantastic to work with L-Acoustics on Exhibition London, the K2 system installed is superb in every way and gives us maximum flexibility in terms of the types of events that are produced in this beautiful Victorian venue,” concludes Bradley Thompson, Managing Director Broadwick Live.

More information on:

– The L-Acoustics website
– The SJ TPM website
– The HD Pro Audio website
– The Exhibition London website

RCF X MAX Series 10 & 12 Now Shipping

The full-range passive two-way RCF X MAX series has been designed as a multi-purpose speaker, to achieve the best nearfield quality, vocal coherence, and a stable tonal balance even at full volume.

The X Max 10.

X MAX series builds on the heritage of the popular RCF MAX series to create a complete range of solutions for high-powered applications in bars, party rooms, clubs, and discos.

The elegant and compact design with accurate finishing makes it suitable for almost any environment and architectural constraints.
The cabinet and its components are designed inside RCF’s laboratories combining low resonant design and superior transducers, for remarkable power handling and clarity.

The X MAX Series features a custom-designed mid-freq shaping for close distance listening on a perfectly tuned crossover to ensure even coverage and detail of the vocal range and the best frequency and phase response. The LICC crossover design includes electronic protection on high-frequency driver.

The directivity index of the Max 10. The lows are clearly omnidirectional before the 10” begins to focus its energy forward, before being joined by the driver.

The directivity index of the Max 12 showing a smooth shaping of the mid-high response with just a little accident at 1800 Hz, where woofer and driver briefly « melt » together.

The excellent contruction quality of the X Max Series.

The cabinets are built-in plywood coated with black textured acrylic paint. A sturdy powder-coated metal grille protects the front, and an acoustically transparent sound foam backing on the inside of the grille ensures protection from dust and humidity.

The X Max 10 without the front grille. 8 screws and the horn and drive assembly can be rotated by 90°.

The base of each speaker includes a robust steel pole socket for mounting on a stand or a subwoofer pole. Threaded inserts are provided on all sides for optional mounting hardware. Included are multiple rigging points to fly the speakers for maximum architectural freedom in any installation.

The rotatable 90°x70° horn allows installation either vertically or horizontally for the best versatility in any environment and architectural constraint.
Both models feature 1,4” compression driver with electronic protection, X MAX 10 boasts a 10” woofer and delivers a maximum SPL of 128 dB SPL with a total power handling of 700 W. The 12” woofer equipped X MAX 12, reaches a maximum SPL of 129 dB SPL with a total power handling of 800 W.

The excellent Max 10 on axis response, showing a smooth yet a bit skinny low, good mid and high frequency reproduction. A sub will add extra energy and extension to the bass produced by the 10”.

Same comment albeit the 12” will be able to produce a nice low end without the need of a sub for certain applications.

To get the best out of the X MAX speakers and precisely tailor their sound, RCF recommends using the DX 4008 digital processor and the IPS 2700, a Class H amplifier delivering the right power to tackle them.

The DX4008. 4 inputs, 8 outputs, good converters and DSP ressources to fine tune and additionally protect the X MAX.

The IPS2700 amplifier. Class H, 2×1100 at 4 ohm and 2×700 at 8, simple and robust, spot on for driving the X MAX.

To get even more on this new series, visit the RCF website


Barcelona ISE 2021, Go no Go March 5th

Statement from Mike Blackman, Managing Director, Integrated Systems Events
Integrated Systems Events has been working hard alongside each of you to bring a successful ISE 2021 to Barcelona on 1-4 June this year.
Together with each of you, our shared goal is to deliver a show that prioritises safety and brings a return on investment to our show community. With the rapid implementation of vaccines, and the current reduction in daily new cases, we see the COVID situation in many European countries (including Spain) improving at an increasing pace.

Based on this positive trend, we anticipate a climate that will make it possible to run an in-person event in Barcelona. However, we are realistic that current attitudes to travel may mean a lower volume of attendance than in previous years.

Mike Blackman

We are reviewing all options, and are listening carefully to feedback from the industry, with a plan to provide an engaging event in Barcelona for those who wish to be a part of it.
ISE is a community of over 1,000 exhibitors and nearly 100,000 attendees and has grown as such through working together, focused on growing the market and delivering opportunities for the amazing people that make up this industry.
And we recognise that not all the members of our community are ‘in the same place’ as we conceive of gathering together or travelling to Barcelona.

For those exhibitors and attendees who are unable to travel to Barcelona, we will offer a robust digital programme highlighting unique content that can only be found at ISE. In addition, we are exploring regional opportunities for the local markets of Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, taking ISE on the road for those who may not be able to make it to Barcelona.

Recognising and respecting the many members of our community we wish to give all our exhibitors the opportunity to choose if they wish to continue to be part of ISE 2021 Barcelona, without hindrance.

This means:

No penalty fees will be due for any withdrawals that are made before 5 March.

Those exhibitors who are committed at a higher level than they may need, have the opportunity to reduce their commitment without penalty.

Those companies that decide not to continue and have paid in part or full for ISE 2021 will have the option of a full refund of their monies or be able use this as a credit towards participating in other ISE events in 2021 or even as a deposit/payment for ISE 2022. This is about you and your success now and into the future.

All exhibitors will retain their priority points from ISE 2020 and be able to participate in the rebooking process for ISE 2022 as dependent on their points and priority ranking.

As promised before, all companies that exhibit at ISE 2021 will receive 2x the points for their participation at the in person Barcelona event.

Any companies that participate in the digital part of ISE 2021 or any of the future local events will receive priority points based on the level of their investment.

In the event you need to cancel hotel reservations, cancellation deadlines have been extended to 22 March.

This past year has provided challenges to all of us in many ways, but we have in common a passion and commitment to go forward, to rebuild and help make our industry even stronger. We look forward to your continued participation with us at ISE 2021 and beyond.

More information on the ISE website


João D’Oliva Monteiro Theatre reopens with the help of GoldenSea UV

João D’Oliva Monteiro Cine-Theatre in Alcobaça is considered one of the most beautiful in Portugal. The work of Swiss architect Ernesto Korrodi, the building is also of historic importance in Portuguese architecture, combining elements of Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Modernism and Functionalism.
Its eclectic programme covers all forms of international and local music, dance and theatre productions. Commercial and independent cinema also makes up an important part of the venue’s programming, ensuring the Cine-Theatre has become the main focus of the social and cultural life of Alcobaça and its surroundings.

Courtesy of Luis Vidigal

Following a period of enforced closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, João D’Oliva Monteiro Cine-Theatre joyfully reopened its doors at the start of October for the R’B & Mr.SC concert that marked the opening date of NOVO PALCO, a festival exclusively dedicated to artists of the municipality.
To enable this to happen in a COVID-secure way, Cine-Teatro de Alcobaça carried out a series of measures to adapt and effectively disinfect its performance and public spaces, meeting all the conditions of safety and hygiene to ensure the prevention of the spread of the new coronavirus.
Audience capacities were reduced to 50%, use of masks on the premises before, during and after the shows became mandatory, specific entrance, exit and circulation standards in the auditorium were implemented and appropriate signage installed.

UVL 150

In addition to these measures, the Cine-Theatre was also equipped with a system of UVC disinfection lights from GoldenSea UV which are used to sanitize the different spaces within the building using ultraviolet radiation.

Three UVL150 ultraviolet disinfection lights were supplied by GoldenSea UV’s Portuguese distributor, NAN of Lisbon. These are mounted on stands and located in the auditoria, on stage and in backstage areas to achieve maximum disinfection.


NAN also supplied a single UV4C-H ultraviolet cabinet for the disinfection of smaller objects, such as headphones, mobile phones, microphones and all kinds of paraphernalia in everyday use. This innovative system of UV sanitisation is more effective in disinfecting surfaces and air than traditional methods based on aqueous or powder solutions.

“We want people to feel fully secure in resuming their cultural consumption routines in the municipality, which are essential for social cohesion,” says the Mayor of Alcobaça, Paulo Inácio. “We are making every effort to ensure excellent conditions of hygiene and disinfection so that Alcobaçense cultural life is part of this ‘new normal’ that we will have to deal with in the near future.”

Courtesy of Luis Vidigal

All GSUV products use Osram/Philips 253.7nm UV lamps which are the only ones certified as effective against Sars-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
GSUV products have been designed with built-in security measures that guarantee compliance with the UNE 0068 specification and safe handling, such as delayed start to allow the evacuation of the area to be disinfected; remote control; motion sensor cut out; drop sensor (in mobile units); red or green indicator lights, as well as an audio warning signal.

“GoldenSea UV has a range of products to suit venues and spaces of all sizes and is proving very popular in the entertainment industry which has been hit very hard by the pandemic,” says NAN director, Luis Vidigal.
“We are delighted that this range of products is so instrumental in enabling venues to reopen, albeit with limited capacity, and bring some form of activity back to our valued arts scene.”

More info about GoldenSea range of products available on their website


Putting on an Exhibition in London

Exhibition London is a new multipurpose live music and events venue in White City, West London initiated and operated by Broadwick Live and Venue Lab, offering another stunning, uniquely interesting, highly adaptable – 1400 seated to 2800 standing capacity – historic industrial space in their portfolio. It is ideal for conferences, exhibitions, gala dinners, awards presentations, location filming and live music events.

© Gemma Parker

Opened in early 2020, Exhibition London’s complete technical infrastructure was specified and procured by consultant and technical production director Simon Jones of SJ-TPM who also coordinated and oversaw all elements of the technical installation and commissioning. Simon had started work on the project in the second quarter of 2019 after having been involved in other Broadwick Live venues.

He chose both Robe and Anolis products to be core house lighting system elements for the main show-space where the spec features 28 x Esprites – Robe’s latest super-bright TE (Transferable Engibe) LED profile – and 30 x Robe Spiider LED wash beams plus two RoboSpot remote follow spotting systems with two BMFL Follow Spot fixtures to run with them.

Simon’s previous Broadwick Live project was the brand-new Magazine London concept in Greenwich, where he spec’d nearly 100 Robe LED moving lights including T1 Profiles and Spiiders plus Anolis Divine 160 RGBW LED floods. Once again Anolis Divine 160s were selected for LED house lighting at Exhibition London. Having had a great experience with the Robe moving lights at Magazine London, Simon looked again at the brand for its “reliability and cost-effectiveness”.

© Gemma Parker

Delivering high production values is a constant aim of all Broadwick Live venues, and at Exhibition London the objective was to maximise this to offer the best facilities for both corporate and music shows alike, reducing the need for clients to bring in their own full productions.

Simon was keen to utilise Robe’s latest technologies for the venue and wanted the Esprite fixtures for their punch, brightness, elegant colour mixing and multiple other features, all of which make it a sensible choice for both music and commercial and industrial events. Plus … The Esprite’s Transferable Engine is a highly cost-effective option for any investor.

It was Simon’s first time using this fixture which he saw trialled at Magazine London during a Major Lazer show and was suitably impressed. Before making a final decision, he spoke to several lighting designers, lighting directors and operators who all confirmed the positive feedback he was hearing about the Esprite.
Spiiders he describes as “a great truly multipurpose wash fixture” to add the show. With the Spiiders in Magazine London also a great success and Simon previously specifying them for the Westfield shopping centre also in White City, they have proved a good reliable workhorse, so he is definitely a Spiider fan!

Robe’s ‘Made in Europe’ stamp and accompanying reliability was another incentive for a busy venue installation. Simon is also delighted with the 45 x Anolis Divine 160s at Exhibition London, which create an excellent room wash and house lighting system across the main show floor.

© Gemma Parker

Other lights in the house at Exhibition London include strobes, some LED 4-lites and front truss profiles for static key lighting and specials, plus mini PARs and profiles, together with the Robe moving lights, controlled via a grandMA3 light.
A Luminex system distributes data throughout the venue and MDG hazers and an L-Acoustics sound system complete an impressive technical package.

With no real space to position follow spots, RoboSpot was an obvious solution to control the two BMFLs Follow Spots which are rigged in the mothergrid and essential for numerous shows from awards presentations to music. “They are easy to use, cost-effective and take up no floor or event space,” states Simon.
For the lighting design at Magazine London, Simon asked Flare Lighting’s Ben Cash and Dave Amos to create a system that would work for the broad spectrum of clients and setups based on the specified luminaires.

The solidly built venue dates to 1899 and was originally used as a train engine house for Central London Railways. The main hall has an apex roof from which a trussing mothergrid is part flown and part ground supported on four legs, rigged utilizing the building’s original crane beams that traverse the room left to right to spread the weight loading. The mothergrid is trimmed 7 metres off the floor giving a good height.

© Gemma Parker

Two further mothergrids above the audience are also supported off the crane beams. Simon has really enjoyed working on the Exhibition London project for many reasons including the fact it’s a “beautiful space” and that Broadwick Live are committed to delivering a “fantastic show-space for events and prepared to invest in the infrastructure to enable the best client and guest experiences.”

Ashley Lewis, Robe UK’s key account manager for touring, film TV & theatre commented, “I would like to thank everyone at Broadwick Live and the Vibration Group, Flare Lighting and especially Simon at SJTPM. As an inspirational technician and project manager and a good friend for many years, he’s always entrusted me in his lighting decisions, and I have assisted in guiding him through choosing our products at Robe. Good luck, and when our world returns to live shows and events, these venues will be even more amazing!”

© Gemma Parker

Exhibition London opened at the start of 2020 and staged about four shows including a completely sold-out concert by Catfish and The Bottlemen before closing for a period earlier in the year due to the pandemic.

Right now, the venue is currently open for production and filming bookings and looks forward to being available for other private and corporate bookings when possible.

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


Prolight + Sound, postponed until 2022

Back in September 2020, a decision was reached by Messe Frankfurt and the industries involved to forgo any physical events at our home base in the first quarter of 2021.
Now, following close consultation with customers, it has become necessary to postpone the international physical trade fair Prolight + Sound, planned for April as a result of the regulations and travel restrictions that have been imposed.

There is currently no end to the pandemic in sight. Events are effectively banned in Germany, and ongoing international travel restrictions mean that it is impossible to make any trade fair plans for April or May 2021.
“The coronavirus pandemic has taken centre-stage, and our plans have not escaped its impact. In light of the current situation, it would not be possible for us to satisfy our customers’ requirements for international trade fairs in April or May,” said Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt.

That is why Messe Frankfurt has decided, following close consultation with its customers and partners, to postpone the hybrid Prolight + Sound event planned for April. An annual spring event is essential for the trend-based order cycles in the entertainment, which means that postponing these events until the second half of the year would not serve the interests of exhibitors.
As a result of the current situation and ongoing travel restrictions, exhibitors are faced with huge uncertainties regarding who will be allowed to be present and their customer contacts, making it extremely difficult to commit to trade fair participation. It simply is not possible at present to offer any planning certainty for investments in trade fair presentations for April or May.

Focus on digital formats

Due to the fact that physical events are not possible, Messe Frankfurt has created numerous digital offerings for its customers. Additional digital information and content offerings are already being planned for Prolight + Sound.

Braun: “The ongoing shutdown of retailers in our visitor countries has made relevant up-to-date information and solutions essential, and we are satisfying this demand with our digital offerings during this volatile time. As you know, we are also continuing to do everything in our power to make safe and successful trade fairs possible, because nothing can take the place of face-to-face encounters.”

As a result, Prolight + Sound will take place from 26 to 29 April 2022.


48 x Robe Esprite for Billie Eilish Livestream Concert

Billie Eilish has wowed the world for being more than a global music phenomenon! A smart teenager with empathy, humanity, and honesty, she will tackle tough topics head-on and her many additional activities include fund-raising for crew and technicians affected by the global halt of live music and performance.
Sweeping off with five Grammy’s earlier in the year, the fertile collaboration with her, also Grammy award-winning, music producing brother Finneas and their contrasty intricate works that connect the dots of life, surreality and expression in a brainy mash of art, reflection and audacity has energized a massive and diverse fanbase.

The first arena-sized world tour, “Where Do We Go”, scheduled to run from March to September 2020 halted abruptly after three shows, so the recent “Where Do We Go” ‘Livestream Concert’ re-united many talents from her acclaimed creative team. Under the Creative Direction of Billie Eilish and Moment Factory, collectively they worked to script and stage this stunning XR pay-per-view stream that delighted fans and lit up the internet as much in awe of the production as the magical Eilish aura!

Le Robe Esprite.

Lighting designer and director Tony Caporale from Tennessee-based Infinitus Vox was working as LD on the tour, and also came onboard in the role for the livestream concert, where he collaborated closely with lighting director Madigan Stehly of 22 Degrees who was working for XR Studios Burbank in Los Angeles which staged the performance, directed by Tarik Mikou from Moment Factory.

The overhead lighting rig at XR Studio comprised 48 x Robe Esprites … Robe’s newest Transferable Engine LED profile fixture. Six of them were running on a Robe RoboSpot system.
These were the only lights used for this highly acclaimed production, renowned for its stunning XR graphics and imagery that transported performers and audience through cities, oceans and incredible worlds during an intricate performance capturing all the live dynamics of Eilish’s music and dramaturgy, from massive anthemic moments to very personal messages.

Tony and the artist are usually in communication about how to bring her live performance visions to life, so the show development followed this format again as he also liaised with Madigan and lighting programmer Joe Watrach. While they finessed the lighting, Tarik and Moment Factory production manager James Richardson focused on integrating all the video elements – cameras, content and XR cohesively together.

Lighting is fundamental to the XR concept and the overall studio space. “The process was challenging in the best possible way,” stated Tony with a big smile as he refined Eilish’s usually intense live lightshow to dovetail with the studio environment generally and augmented specific XR requirements for maximum impact.
Tarik, Tony, and Madigan’s perspectives united to engineer many innovative and fun approaches, all treading stealthily to enhance the XR illusion!

First, Tony and Madigan dissected the full setlist and discussed lighting treatments and effects they felt were both appropriate and achievable. “The core approach kept Billie well-lit within her respective color preferences for each song and then built looks that worked for the assorted XR environments,” explained Tony.

Preventing light bleeding onto the video walls was crucial so they carefully utilized specific lights that were concealed from certain camera angles in “a bit of smoke-and-mirrors,” states Tony.

The studio’s physical setup included a substantial stage / floorspace with three large Roe LED video walls, a video floor, and the overhead lighting rig with the 48 x Esprites plus a couple of additional fixtures on the floor for side lighting. On the other side of the studio was the socially distanced FOH setup with workstations for lighting, audio, video, media servers, cameras, directors, etc.

For XR Studios, which has produced a string of notable AR / XR streams, Esprites have emerged as a favorite moving light for various shoots due to their excellent color temperature range, consistency, high CRI and C-Pulse features, all vital elements for any type of camera-based production. However, this was the first time that Tony had worked with Robe Esprites – which were supplied by Fuse Technical Group together with the two RoboSpot systems and the grandMA control platform.

Six Esprites, five at the front and one at the rear of the studio, were controlled by two RoboSpot BaseStations which were positioned upstage right at ‘dimmer beach’ behind the video wall. The remote follow spot system was overseen on site by Fuse’s Matthew Kniss, and these six fixtures took care of all the key lighting for mainly Billie, but also Finneas if he was mobile during the performance.

The other Esprites were utilized to add detail, texturing and drama to the different XR spaces created for the stream, from “you should see me in a crown”’s spooky minimalistic monochrome set with giant spider stalking Eilish to the cinematic deep ocean blue void of “ilomilo” which concluded with Eilish being eaten by an animated shark!
The Esprite’s shuttering system was extremely useful to Madigan and Tony in lighting this show, where the subjects were pinpointed without spillage onto the video elements, enhancing the spectacular XR drama.

For the ballad “i love you”, Billie and Finneas appeared in a vast space perched – almost suspended – on top of a stark monolithic column, lit overhead by a single Esprite shuttered perfectly to frame them and “complete the illusion” explained Tony.
For “No Time to Die”, Madigan came up with a neat idea recalls Tony, where the video content passes Billie and its movement is matched by light dimming in and out from a few of the Esprites.

For “ilomilo”, Tony also activated the animation wheel to create an underwater ripple effect augmenting the undersea world.
Eilish herself is integrally involved in the visuality of all her performances, a fact that Tony relishes because it makes his life “a lot easier”.

A good communicator, usually after a short brief, Tony can run with a lighting interpretation of what she wants. “She’s very keen on having me accent different detail and subtleties,” he clarifies.

While this was his first encounter with Robe’s Esprites, Tony’s association with the brand goes back to his club lighting days and in fact to the ColorSpot 170 ATs and other maverick fixtures from Robe’s early years.
“Robe is always pushing forward, not just with lighting fixtures but also with related technologies like GDTF / MVR protocols, and their willingness to forge ahead and always show appreciation for their clients means a lot to many, not just to me but many others in the wider industry,” he stated.

Billie Eilish’s “Where Do We Go” Livestream Concert was enthusiastically received and is being hailed as a stand-out event in a sea of streaming shows that have proliferated this year as the pandemic has taken its toll on the live music industry worldwide.

The XR content was coordinated by Moment Factory, Silent Partners Studio, Silas Veta, Chop Studio and Pixels & Noise, Moment Factory XR content lead Aude Guivarc’h, and project managed by Michael Hernandez, (real-time rendering using Notch and Unreal Engine). Stefaan ‘Smasher’ Desmedt was the camera director assisted by Brandon Kraemer.

For more info on Robe lighting range of products, check the Robe website


It’s DiGiCo world at Bellevue Baptist Church

Bellevue Baptist Church, the largest house of worship in Memphis and one of the leading churches in the Southern Baptist Convention, recently finished a complete renovation of its audio systems, which also included extensive acoustical work throughout the sanctuary.
The project was led by the church’s longtime systems integration partner, Springfield, Missouri-based Paragon 360, which had previously designed and installed the scenic, lighting and video systems there.

Bellevue Baptist Church’s 6,800-seat main sanctuary.

The new installation, in the church’s 6,800-seat main sanctuary in the suburb of Cordova, features three Quantum7 consoles deployed at FOH, monitors, and broadcast. In addition, an SD12 console is now also deployed in church’s fellowship hall, wrapping up what Mark Coble, Audio/Acoustics Design & Commissioning lead for Paragon 360, calls “a full DiGiCo solution for the church.”

Mark Coble, Audio/Acoustics Design & Commissioning lead for Paragon 360.

“When looking to update its loudspeakers and consoles, the church required a mixing system with a high channel count, and DiGiCo was one of the few that could handle this, being able to mix 256 inputs and offer 128 outputs, all running at 96k,” says Coble. “Reliability and customer support were also very important reasons they chose to go with the DiGiCo platform.”

Coble further cites the redundancy of the Quantum7’s dual processing engines, and the fact that the entire system runs at 96 kHz, including multitracking for virtual soundcheck at FOH and importing to ProTools in the broadcast control room. “The church wanted a system that could last up to 20 years,” he says. “We’re confident that the DiGiCo systems can do that and then some.”

In the main worship center, two fully-loaded, 32-bit Mic Preamp-equipped SD-Racks with custom distribution are located onstage. Two additional SD-Racks are found offstage to take input from all of the existing floor pocket inputs, while a fifth rack, an SD-MiNi, is parked at FOH.
“Two more SD-Racks are in the broadcast suite for capturing local sources and distribution of signals via analog and AES,” Coble explains. “An SD-Rack with custom distribution is also located on the fellowship hall stage and one SD-MiNi Rack is in the offstage room for system drive.”

A BroaMan Optocore AutoRouter is managing all the SD-Racks via fiberoptic connectivity and allows the entire campus to be interconnected. All of the consoles can ‘see’ all the racks, providing the ultimate in flexibility. A pair of DiGiGrid MGR units are being used to support 128 channels of recording and playback for virtual soundcheck at both FOH and monitors. And a DiGiCo Orange Box is an on/off ramp for Dante within the system to support the church’s Axient wireless microphones and any other Dante devices that are on the network.

The new DiGiCo Quantum7 console at Bellevue’s FOH mix position.

Among other goals, the church sought to better accommodate its wide variety of worship music styles. “At Bellevue, we have a couple of different styles of music,” explains Technical Director Caleb New. “One style includes a typical rhythm section with a small group of vocalists consistent with what most people think of when they hear Contemporary worship music. The other style includes a full 50-piece orchestra with a 300-member choir and a 12- to 16-member praise team. These two service types will typically do similar songs but with very different instrumentation.”

“That’s where DiGiCo really makes a difference,” he continues. “We knew that we had to find a console that would allow us to cover all of the inputs that we needed. We had maxed out our previous digital consoles and would constantly unpatch and reuse channels in order to handle all of our usual inputs and whatever special channels were needed for that week.

Caleb New, Bellevue Technical Director.

We needed a console that would let us focus on mixing rather than deciding which inputs would actually be patched on the console for that week. The Quantum7s allow us to have every instrument mic’d and every channel of playback on the console surface so that we no longer have to spend as much time prepping our show files we were able to get straight to mixing. Mixing on these consoles is a dream.”

“Another reason why we went with DiGiCo was for the SD/Quantum software that is standard across most of their consoles. This will allow us to use DiGiCos in multiple rooms and set them up in a similar fashion in order to simplify moving between rooms. This also speeds up the process of training new volunteers as they can learn on a console in a smaller room before moving to the larger venues.”

There were some very specific workflow and technical challenges that the church sought to meet. One was addressing how the broadcast console would be able to have full access to the inputs from the worship center and fellowship hall. The process of switching venues was previously done through a large analog patch bay, which was time consuming and prone to errors in patching and difficulty in troubleshooting.
Paragon 360’s solution was to design the console system with an Optocore auto-router so that the fellowship hall could live on the same fiber loop as the worship-center consoles, giving the broadcast console full access to all available inputs at any time.

Paragon 360’s Mark Coble at the DiGiCo Quantum7 in Bellevue Baptist’s broadcast control room.

“The DiGiCo consoles have given us a lot more control over managing the high channel counts that we use here at Bellevue,” says New. “At the monitor console, we’re able to easily handle 20 stereo IEM mixes on top of a few wedge mixes and a 40-channel personal monitoring system that uses a combination of direct output and aux mixes.
We never would have been able to manage that many mixes on our former desks. At front of house and broadcast, the ability to use snapshots and presets has really streamlined our workflow as we switch out between different services and musicians.”

The project was also notable for the time constraints it had to be completed under. “We had to completely decommission the old system with its traditional three-way splitters and install the new DiGiCo system in the main sanctuary within four days so the church could continue to operate on its normal schedule,” Coble recalls. “Not easy, but we did it. Now, the church benefits from a high input count, excellent reliability, and the same software platform across all SD/Quantum consoles.”

When asked about the church’s reaction to this remake of its audio infrastructure, New replies proudly, “It’s able to handle anything we’ve thrown at it and it sounds great. Both our musicians and members of our congregation were able to tell a positive difference from week one on the new consoles.
Once the DiGiCos were in, our musicians on stage noticed an immediate improvement in their monitor mixes. Several of them said that this is the first time they’ve ever been able to really hear everything that was actually happening on stage.”

Coble agrees, “They love these consoles! They’ve made their audio workflow so much more efficient, effective, and comfortable. Now it’s all DiGiCo, all the time.”

For more details visit:

– Bellevue Baptist Church
– Paragon 360
– Quantum7 consoles