Project News Headlines
Moscow Theatre Invests in Philips Selecon PLCyc1 Luminaires
Moscow's Teresa Durova Teatrium na Serpukhovke performance venue has invested in Philips Selecon's powerful, smooth colour changing PLCyc1 luminaires in a major upgrade to its lighting equipment, replacing twelve 1250W asymmetric tungsten cyc floods.
The theatre's head of lighting, Vladimir Evstifeyev, invested in the PLCyc1s after testing them in the venue in early 2013. "Vladimir and I were amazed at the PLCyc1's brightness and homogeneous filling without coloured shadows, and also absence of visual crossings of the light flows from adjacent fixtures," says Andrey Isotov, lighting designer at the Maly Theatre. "I was keen to be able to use the latest in LED lighting technology while working on The Scarlet Flower show, and the PLCyc1s do the job perfectly."
"Each PLCyc1 LED luminaire can replace the equivalent of a traditional four-colour, 500W per circuit cyc light," explains Alan Luxford, Philips' regional sales manager, Eastern Europe and Russia. "Also by using the convenient Powercon cabling system, the PLCyc1 can light a typical Cyclorama from a single circuit."
In fact for optimum performance, the fixture may be used for either top or bottom lighting while spaced on four-foot centres. The PLCyc1 also has an on-board LCD menu system for easy luminaire setup, control, and addressing; plus all PLCyc luminaires support wireless DMX control for instant connections without running any control wiring.
Selecon's Russian dealer, Sistema, supplied the PLCyc1s as Sistema's Andrey Kuptsov explains: "We demonstrated PLCyc1 at our workshops in Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod and in Volgograd. We've been busy sending them for testing to other Russian cities under our promo-program 'Try-and-Buy' and the feedback is very positive. Due to this, we are now supplying 50 PLCyc1s to the Kachalov Drama Theatre in Kazan, and we're sure more will follow."
In picture: each PLCyc1 LED luminaire can replace the equivalent of a traditional four-colour, 500W per circuit cyc light
In picture: each PLCyc1 LED luminaire can replace the equivalent of a traditional four-colour, 500W per circuit cyc light
19th June 2013
Community ENTASYS Provides the Acoustic and Aesthetic Solutions for Sint-Leonardus Church
Hifi-Center Melis and Jan Geerts have completed the installation of a new Community ENTASYS sound system for Sint-Leonardus Church, located in Aartselaar on the southern outskirts of Antwerp, Belgium.
With its oldest parts dating back to 1792, and additions in 1861, Sint-Leonardus Church is a traditional building with a beautiful interior, but its dimensions and highly reflective surfaces presented difficult acoustic problems.
The supplier Hifi-Center Melis, and installer Jan Geerts, worked closely with Olivier Massart of Community’s Belgian distributor, M-Pro BeNeLux, to determine a solution that would provide the wide coverage required for the congregation with the very narrow vertical dispersion needed to avoid reflections. Calculations showed that the entire area was best covered by just two Community ENTASYS FR full-range column-line-array loudspeaker systems positioned on each side of the alter, augmented by two ultra-compact ENTASYS 206 loudspeakers located at the sides. The church and architect were also very pleased with the system’s minimal impact on the aesthetics and architecture of the building. The loudspeakers were supplied in white to match the colour of the church’s columns and walls.
An Australian Monitor XA1400 is used to power the Community loudspeakers and processing is handled by a Symetrix SOLUS 8 open architecture 8x8 DSP with control via a Symetrix ARC-2e menu-driven wall panel remote. Installed microphones for the system are Clockaudio and wireless microphones are MIPRO ACT-3 series.
To reduce the time required for installation, the rack was supplied fully built by M-Pro and fine tuning support was also handled by Olivier Massart, who commented, "The client and church visitors are very pleased with the excellent audio quality, wide coverage and sound levels the system provides. It achieves very high intelligibility right to the back of the church, without additional delay lines."
18th June 2013
Philips Selecon PL1s Provide Versatile Solution for Questacon
Canberra's National Science and Technology Centre Questacon has become the first Australian institution to invest in Philips Selecon's fully tunable high output LED PL1 luminaires.
The centre - which attracts more than 420,000 visitors each year - has purchased 20 of the PL1s, which draw on Philips' pioneering technology to meet the everyday challenges of illuminating the world's museums, art galleries and stages.
"As an interactive Science Centre our requirement for lighting is based on more of a theatrical approach than traditional museum lighting," says Christine Hendry, Creative Manager at Questacon. "We use a combination of focused light and colour washing luminaires and needed to have an integrated approach to our gallery lighting with a plan for implementation over several years. The PL1s were seen as the perfect solution for us.
"Our main criteria were the capability for individual luminaire adjustment, pre-programmed lighting scenes, which could be controlled from one point, the ability to colour change walls/floors to create different environments, to reduce maintenance costs associated with replacement lamps and labour, and the ability to achieve colour in a variety of ambient lighting levels. We were also looking for a product that could be integrated into our existing infrastructure with minimal cost."
The first 20 PL1s supplied in Australia were used to great effect as Questacon launched its permanent exhibition 'H2O - Soak Up the Science' - an interactive display exploring the behavior of water, how it shapes our world and how we use this precious resource.
"The Selecon PL1s are performing perfectly," continues Hendry. "We are able to change the lighting environment to suit the needs of the various exhibitions in our space, and have had a marked improvement in maintenance cost savings as we haven't needed to change any lamps in the galleries with the PL1s."
As an educational institution, Questacon says it's important to lead by example not only by showcasing new technologies through exhibitions but to be seen as a leader in adopting sustainable practices throughout its buildings.
"The PL1s were designed to provide a much-needed breakthrough in display lighting, and they are indeed that - the PL1 is the first light source that delivers full control of the beam colour composition regardless of intensity," says Philips Marketing Manager Pete Borchetta. "The resulting luminaire is a fully tunable high output LED light engine supporting colour temperatures from 3000K to 5600K and full colour mixing with a maximum output similar to that of a 70 watt metal halide powered luminaire."
In addition to the H2O exhibition, Questacon has gone on to complete the Excite@Q gallery, which utilises the Philips Selecon PL1s and also the Philips Selecon Accent Display luminaire.
"We are so pleased with the results that we achieved with the PL1s and the flexibility the fittings provided that we have started a replacement program throughout our other galleries," Hendry concludes.
18th June 2013
Christie HD18K in Europe’s first Permanent Outdoor Mapping Display
Christie projection is at the centre of what is believed to be the first permanent outdoor pixel mapping project ever staged in Europe.
The initiative of saving the small early 19th century Breda Castle, situated close to the eastern border of Hungary, by developing it into a new tourist attraction is the result of a collaboration between owners, the Megyeri family, and the initiator, Informax Ltd. Working with Bordos.ArtWorks and Invited Artists (run by Budapest-based 3D artist László Zsolt Bordos) and András Schmid (of Christie technical partner DNN|360) they have mapped the façade in a series of stunning animated tableaux.
From June 15 onwards, an artistic video mapping show will be projected every day (and every hour) after dark, using the 3kW xenon light engine of a Christie Roadster HD18K (18000 ANSI lumens) projector, equipped with 1.8-2.6:1 HD zoom lens. And it is this that the owners now hope will help save the ruined castle.
With his background as an underground VJ, Bordos had created the first high resolution 3D animations for indoor and outdoor projections in Hungary. Already familiar with Christie’s advanced technology after taking part in the ‘Paint Up!’ architectural video mapping challenge in 2010, Bordos and artistic partner Ivó Kovács projected a huge resolution 3D animation onto a 60m x 23m surface using high-powered Christie Roadsters.
Back at Breda, Bordos explained that the owners of the castle had first raised the idea of a projection onto the walls back in 2009 after seeing Bordos.ArtWorks and Invited Artists on the television news. In the winter of that year he contacted András Schmid about the idea, having already engaged in a couple of smaller collaborations with DNN|360 previously. "Breda Castle seemed like a great project to work on, and it has become the start of a great friendship," he said. "It is always a major task to create unique video content — but fortunately we were given plenty of time for the creative process."
He said that the scenes were based on personal dream experiences. "This environment was perfect due to the total darkness … no city lights, no light pollution — a place where black is black, so you really can make some parts of the building ‘disappear’."
András Schmid adds that the investor commissioned a fully air-conditioned, weather-proof brick cube to house the technical equipment — inspired by an industrial artist. He recommended the Christie Roadster HD18K as the parameters would allow them to execute the task with just a single projector. "The Roadster has many system integration as well as operational advantages," he said. "It met the criteria for high brightness, 1920 x 1080 resolution and reliable operation in extreme environmental conditions."
The production uses AVStumpfl Wings Platinum 4 play-out and show-control software with custom-built PC hardware. "In this case exhibitors can manage more complex shows than a normal play-out session," he said. "The remote management function was essential, since the distance between site and our HQ [in Budapest] is more than 270km."
Digital video signal distribution is based on Lightware products, while audio distribution uses Yamaha, Community and QSC products. All equipment was supplied by DNN | 360
The accompanying soundtrack was written by famous Hungarian composer, Imre Czomba. "After establishing the main ideas of the storyboard, Mr. Czomba showed me many variations until we eventually made our final selection," said Bordos. "The music was recorded using real instruments, and the quality of the music fits perfectly with the animation."
And so, the owners of the castle, László Zsolt Bordos and András Schmid can reflect on a groundbreaking work in which they managed to overcome numerous obstacles.
For Bordos, the main challenge had been commencing work on the animations while the building was still undergoing renovation. "Although we had precise measurements and had carried out tests, we were nervous until the last moment," he said. "It was an indescribable moment when we saw the animations fit perfectly when projected onto the building for the first time."
And Schmid added: "We had no previous experience of this type of video mapping as this is the very first permanent outdoor implementation in Europe. In fact, when we started to plan our project, there was no permanently operating system anywhere in the world.
"Defining the correct brightness and the most suitable sound system needed careful planning, as in spite of the brick cube, this is an outdoor event-critical installation. Fortunately we were able to put our wide experience gained in the areas of digital cinema and rental installations to good use."
18th June 2013
New Optocore System for Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus
With more than 100 years of tradition behind it, the Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus is among the largest and most important theatres operating in the German speaking countries.
Since 1970 it has been located in the Bernhard Peacock building at Gustaf-Gründgens space where it was spectacularly designed by architect Bernhard Pfau. The sculptural structure boasts curvaceous lines, is staggered in height, is divided into a large house (with 760 seats) and a small house with up to 200 seats. It also contains the ‘Young Schauspielhaus Dusseldorf-Rath’, with separate 300 and 100 seat theatre spaces.
Designed “to respond to the challenges of a globalised world” at the same time it hosts local artists and institutions as well as other art forms including dance, experimental music and the visual arts.
To keep up-to-date with modern technical requirements the theatre recently upgraded its network distribution by installing an Optocore fibre digital backbone. In order to meet safety requirements and conform to legislation, the house system is now interfaced to the fire alarm/voice evacuation system via one of the modified Optocore X6R-FX units.
Optocore dealer, Synthax, provided a number of modules to installation contractor, Salzbrenner Stagetec Media Group enabling them to provide a fully redundant distribution system from stage to FOH.
Salzbrenner’s rack design revolved around two central Optocore DD32R-FX AES-EBU hubs from which the network is constructed, and includes a number of Optocore/SANE converters connected to the Yamaha mixing platforms. These include X6R-FX providing 16LI (Line In) channels and V3R-TP-8LI. In addition six X6R-FX are equipped with 8MI (Mic In)/8LO (Line Out) boards, with four V3R-TP-8LO, X6R-FX-16MI, X6R-TP-8MI/8LO and X6R-TP-16LO.
The new technology has provided more flexible routing options for sound engineer, Hans-Jürgen Becker and the Schauspielhaus technical team.
Said Synthax Optocore product specialist, Kai Reiter, who supported the installation: “Optocore are well known for their flexibility and customised solutions. This time, in addition to the state-of-the-art high channel count platform, they delivered the unique fire alarm firmware, which allows the fire alarm to trigger the Optocore system mute. Thanks to this feature the Playhouse passed all the rigorous safety tests and conforms to fire regulations.”
14th June 2013
Largest Robe Theatre Installation at Vanemuine Teater Tartu
Robe’s Estonian distributor E&T Ltd has completed the largest supply to date of Robe moving lights for a theatre installation.
Over 200 fixtures have been delivered to the Vanemuine Teater in Tartu, Estonia’s lively second city and the country’s cultural and intellectual hub.
The deal, which is part of a much wider programme in which Robe luminaires have been supplied to all eight of Estonia’s state supported theatres as part of a major national lighting upgrade involves a mix of LEDWash 1200, 600 and 300s, MMX Spots, DLX Spots and ROBIN 600 and 300E Spot and Washes.
Vanemuine, Estonia’s oldest theatre founded in 1870 by an amateur acting and singing organisation and named after the Estonian god of music and poetry, has three separate venues: The Big House, the Small House and the Harbour Teater (Sadamateater).
For many years, it has built a reputation for being at the cutting-edge of European theatre and performance, with numerous acclaimed and ground-breaking productions staged against all manner of political and social landscapes.
This busy producing and receiving house is currently handling over 350 productions a year from September to May, encompassing all genres – drama, musicals, opera, dance shows, comedy, live music, etc. It also produces numerous outdoor and off-site shows and events throughout the summer.
The specification for new lighting in all the theatres was compiled by Paavo Nõgene, who at the time was managing director of Vanemuine and is now working in the Ministry of Culture. During the process, he consulted with Andres Sarv, Vanemuine’s current head of lighting and Margus Vaigur, head of lighting at Teater Endla in Parnu, another of the state supported venues.
The requirement for the new equipment to be eco-friendly was right at the core of the document that went out to tender. This was won by E&T, who proposed a package based on Robe’s latest technologies for the moving light elements. Over 500 Robes in total were delivered across all eight venues.
Vanemuine’s Big House now has over 100 new Robe moving lights in its 660 capacity auditorium, including 56 LEDWash 1200s, 20 MMX Spots, ten ROBIN 600E Spots, 24 ROBIN 600E Washes, 24 CitySkape Xtremes, six of which are used to illuminate the front façade of the building, and two DigitalSpot 7000DTs.
In the first month of the Robe’s being installed, they clocked up a saving of 88% in the electricity consumed for stage lighting, which is impressive by any standards!
Having such a dynamic choice of fixtures available means the Big House can offer all visiting LDs a huge choice of tools to light any performance with style and panache. For their own LDs, it greatly expands the creative scope of the work they can produce as well as speeding up the time needed to achieve good results.
The Harbour Teater features a picturesque location alongside the Emajŏgi River and is a fully flexible ‘black-box’ space that can be configured in several formats and accommodate around 250 audience. It now has 30 new Robe moving lights including eight DLX LED Spots, 12 LEDWash 600s, eight LEDWash 300s and two CitySkape Xtremes.
Chief LX Jaanus Moor appreciates using the new kit on the shows that he also lights. Like Andres Sarv, he has worked with Robe products before when they were hired in as specials and additions for the summer and other shows, and he likes the reliability, and on the new LED fixtures, the tungsten emulation effects. These are perfect for any theatrical applications.
Lighting in the Small House, a beautiful 300 capacity Art Nouveau style building further up the hill from the Big House, is run by Imbi Mälk who has received 40 new Robes including ROBIN 600E and 300E Spots and Washes and LEDWash 600s and 300s. She lights the vast majority of the shows playing in there and loves the colour ranges, gobos and the flexibility they bring to the venue.
In the same building as the Big House is the 950 seater Concert Hall which is run as a completely separate entity. In here the new kit includes 24 LEDWash 1200s, 14 ROBIN 600E Spots and six CitySkape Xtremes.
The overall project of 500 plus fixtures represents the biggest single supply to date in Robe’s history.
14th June 2013
Philips Selecon LED Luminaires Create Green Creativity at Strathallan School
Scotland's prestigious Strathallan School has invested in Philips Selecon's latest LED luminaires in a major upgrade to its theatre lighting facilities.
The Perthshire school chose to purchase Philips Selecon's PLfresnel1 LED, PLprofile1 LED, and PLCyc1 LED luminaires to dramatically reduce power consumption and costs, and provide an easy-to-use yet creative, professional option for pupils. For control, they invested in Philips Strand Lighting's new 250ML console. Black Light supplied all of the Philips Selecon and Philips Strand Lighting equipment.
"The school originally approached Black Light to update and tidy its theatre's existing dimmer and tungsten installation, but it soon became obvious that they wanted to make a more fundamental change to the theatre's lighting," says Black Light's managing director Gavin Stewart. "We discussed a selection of revamp options from a simple upgrade to a complete LED install. The potential cost savings swung the school over to Philips Selecon's LED option because it ticked a number of other important boxes for the school: it would use less power, be more flexible, offer a vastly more exciting experience than conventional luminaries and deliver real environmental advantages. "Black Light worked closely with Philips to ensure Strathallan School received the best possible solution."
Key benefits of the Selecon luminaires to the school include simplified colour matching, an easy-to-use user interface, and the fact that with this luminaire it's no longer necessary to change lamps or colour filter. Combining the superior control and light quality of Philips Selecon's PLfresnel1 and PLprofile1 with seamless fading between colours allows designers a new level of creativity.
"The development of this luminaire started with the beam and quality of light from an incandescent luminaire," says Pete Borchetta, product marketing Manager at Philips. "We wanted to create a theatrical lighting instrument that worked and felt like that of its incandescent counter part; from its quality of light, to its output, to its dimming. In the PLfresnel1 we have achieved just that, a fresnel that does everything that a designer and technician would expect in a luminaire - but with the performance, responsiveness, and color that you get out of a very high output RGBW LED Luminaire."
The PLprofile1 is a variable beam profile with precise beam control and pattern projection from a high output beam with an innovative combination of LED source technology and precision optical design. The PLprofile1 uses the same proven LED engine as the Philips Selecon PL3, PL1, PLCyc1, PLfresnel1and the Philips Vari-Lite VLX ranges meaning colour matching is simplified across the stage. The user interface is the same ensuring ease of use.
Strathallan School's Performing Arts Coordinator Mary Robertson-Barnett comments: "The installation has given us great flexibility in terms of colour effects that may be achieved. Scrolling through the spectrum allows for gradations of colour and a fineness of resolution and blending which we were not achieving with traditional gels. The quality of the light is beautiful with a clarity and purity which is markedly different from our old tungsten lights.
"The lights remain cool during operation which has improved the performance experience for our pupils. The reduction in electrical consumption achieved through LED is in line with the School's commitment to reduce power usage and its standing as an eco-school."
The first production to be lit was Into the Woods, which was the senior school musical. The junior musical High School Musical 2 will also benefit from them and there have been a number of informal concerts and lectures.
"Pupils who have benefited from the installation so far have been excited by the potential it affords them," continues Mrs Robertson-Barnett. "The performers are enjoying the quality of light and the reduced temperatures on stage and those involved on the technical side are starting to explore the range of possibilities the lights give them in terms of effects and colour blending."
The Philips Strand Lighting's 250ML moving light control console installed at the school features four encoders and an LCD display screen for quick and easy automated lighting and LED control. Along with all the standard features found on a preset desk, the 250ML control console is ideal for smaller productions with a hybrid of lighting instruments.
"The 250ML is already proving itself to be an ideal lighting control solution for schools and colleges, multi purpose venues and smaller theatres," confirms Amber Tomlin, key account manager for Philips Entertainment UK. "We had a great response from customers and end users in Frankfurt and PLASA Focus and we're excited for the future."
The installation has given the school great flexibility in terms of colour effects that may be achieved.
13th June 2013
Ambersphere and The Anvil Arts Centre
The Anvil Concert Hall in Basingstoke, Hampshire is something of a regional gem that serves a wide swathe of the leafy southern Home Counties. With performances that range from stand-up comics like Jack Dee, through to the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Sir Andrew Davies and Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells ‘For Two’, the in-house lighting system needs to flexible to say the least. The venue has been designed to transform into various configurations: as an orchestral concert hall it has 1400 seats and when it becomes a theatre with a proscenium arch, an open stage or a flat floor extended stage it can accommodate up to 1150.
Ian Jones is head of technical services at Anvil Arts: “When we made the decision to purchase Clay Paky and MA Lighting products, our primary aim was to raise the bar for our house production lighting and take the first steps toward future proofing the rig for the next ten years. We wanted to provide lighting that gave us maximum flexibility, value for money and enhances the experience of our visitors – quite a tall order with the diversity of our performance programme.”
Their first point of contact was Paul Roughton, business development manager at Stage Electrics. “Ian asked us to demonstrate both Clay Paky and MA Lighting options, as a dealer for both brands we were more than happy to pull this together. Working together with Ambersphere Solutions who are the exclusive distributors for Clay Paky and MA Lighting in the UK we were able to facilitate this. Matt Cowles, technical sales and Phil Norfolk, sales director were more than happy to loan Ian some Alpha Spot 300 HPEs and Alpha Spot 700 HPEs as well as a grandMA2 ultra-light console to try out on a show in the venue.”
Matt Cowles explains the process, “Philip and I spent the day with them before the show, took them through the desk and set them up ready for the show. Their chief LX, Chris Poynter had used the desk before but for the rest of guys it was an important part of our support package. Anyone who buys a console from us is entitled to free training. Once the sale was completed through Stage Electrics, there was a two day comprehensive course on site training the guys on the console. We continue to offer free training after that initial session and they have since sent a couple of new employees to our London base for the same two day training course. One of the great features about the grandMA2 consoles is their flexibility – most of the console is completely customisable – not only useful for a venue that has such a range of performance styles but for each of the operators.”
Jones is in full agreement: “The Ambersphere training was excellent and tailored specifically to our needs. We have three lighting technicians who work in rotation. The desk provides the flexibility to build individual user profiles, allowing each tech to set and store their ideal system of working. This streamlines the programming/setup time so emphasis can be placed on creativity, boosting the profile of those on stage and the experience of the paying customer. The grandMA2 Ultra-light has the same capabilities as the larger desks in the family, scaled down to provide best value for money so it was the perfect choice for us.”
Alongside the new console, The Anvil has also upgraded its lighting rig after comparing the Alpha Spot 300 HPEs and Alpha Spot 700 HPEs during that first trial session. As Jones comments: “It made sense to ‘try before you buy’ comparing a number of options and make a decision tailored in detail to our venue requirements. For the lights we wanted high performance at best value, along with reducing our carbon footprint and running costs. The HPE 300s gave us that happy marriage of value for money and features, such as CMY colour mixing, zoom and iris, allowing us to buy more units and therefore increase flexibility and creative options. In fact, from there we went on buy some A.leda Wash K10 units. These allow us to wash the stage with punchy saturated colour and employ a catalogue of neat effects at the drop of a hat, in what we feel is a great combination with the HPE 300s. Add to this, the drop in running cost from three bars of overhead lights consisting of a par can rig of 16x 1kW lanterns per bar, replaced by four units running at approx 1.5kW per bar and I know we have realised all our objectives.”
Jones concludes: “Both energy and value wise it was a clear cut decision to purchase the grandMA2 ultra-light console and the Alpha Spot 300 HPEs along with A.leda Wash K10 units. The whole package has allowed us to provide a more creative and flexible solution at a very realistic price.”
In picture: Christ Toft technician, Ruairi McNulty Anvil technical manager and Chris Poynter chief electrician (back row); Ian Jones head of technical services and Tony Nicholson technician (front row).
12th June 2013
Digital Projection Boost for British Library
Audiences at conferences and film screenings in the British Library will now enjoy powerful digital images, delivered by a new Panasonic projector installed in the Library’s 255-seat Conference Centre auditorium.
Supplied and installed by AV integrator Saville Audio Visual, the 3-chip DLP PT-DZ21K projector has significantly upgraded the venue’s projection facilities, with 20,000 lumens of brightness and a 10,000:1 contrast ratio. Partnered with a 24ft wide adjustable, multi-format projection screen, the solution provides a unique, state-of-the-art presentation facility in central London.
One of the recent major events in the auditorium has been an exclusive London screening of the digitally restored DVD of Billy Liar introduced by Sir Michael Parkinson, a close friend of the writer, the late Keith Waterhouse. Presented by the British Library and Studiocanal, the screening celebrated the 50th anniversary of the classic screen adaptation, enhanced by the exceptional performance of the PT-DZ21K.
British Library media administrator Alan Hall said: “The auditorium plays an important role in the daily life of the Library, staging film screenings, conferences, presentations and theatrical previews. The new projector brings the facility right up to the standard demanded by today’s technology-wise audiences.”
The PT-DZ21K projector series was selected for use during the opening and closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The application in the Olympic Stadium came with a very long projection throw distance and a large, complex shaped projection surface that required a powerful projection system with high-performance masking and 3D mapping capabilities.
Following a series of Saville projects in London over the past year, the installation adds a further prestige name to the company’s growing list of key clients in the capital.
11th June 2013
Chauvet Lights East Village Arts Club in Liverpool
A premier arts and culture club featuring live music, arts events and casual dining, East Village Arts Club in the student district of Liverpool, captivates big crowds with a variety of Chauvet gear, including fixtures from Chauvet DJ, Chauvet Professional and Trusst.
Converted from the building of the old Royal Institute of Arts & Science, the 700-plus capacity venue is the latest addition to the expanding MAMA Group. Lighting and rigging design company Utopium London Ltd. permanently installed the Chauvet LED gear throughout the club’s four rooms: a restaurant, club space, loft area and chill out room. Trusst trussing makes up the ground support system on each of the two stages and for the front of house trusses.
“Our main priority was to use lighting technology which bought the redeveloped venue into the 21st century. After predominantly using LED fixtures from Chauvet’s range throughout the installation, we made a conscious decision to continue this theme across the whole venue for design, effect and energy reasons,” said project manager Angus Chinn. “The products we used are modern and current, accentuating the overall look of the new space.”
For the stage in the main room Chinn chose rugged Chauvet DJ COLORbar SMD LED strip lights, Chauvet DJ Intimidator Beam LED 350 super-bright beam fixtures, Chauvet DJ Intimidator Scan 300 and Chauvet DJ Impulse 648 strobe lights. Chinn also used lights from the Chauvet Professional brand, including Q-Wash 560Z-LED wash lights and Q-Spot 560-LED moving yokes — all hung on a myriad of two and three metre truss sticks from Trusst. Additionally, 12 Chauvet Professional COLORado Zoom Tour wash lights warm the truss in the same room.
“East Village Arts Club is a multi-purpose venue, so our team worked closely with the client to understand the desired atmosphere needed in each room, choosing diverse LED fixtures suitable for 700 capacity club nights, relaxed restaurant settings, exhibitions and lectures,” Chinn said.
The loft room features more trussing from Trusst and turns to life under the projections of two Chauvet DJ Scorpion Scan 3D EU lasers, eight Chauvet DJ COLORbar SMD linear fixtures, four Chauvet DJ Impulse 648 strobe lights, Chauvet DJ Intimidator Spot 350 moving yokes and Chauvet Professional Legend 412 pixel-mapping moving head fixtures.
An array of Chauvet DJ COLORband PiX linear fixtures placed high along a wall in the antechamber for the loft room generate colorful reflections on an artsy display of human heads that hang from strings from the ceiling. Great for use as a powerful wash with the additional 'eye candy' of pixel mapping effects, COLORband PiX is a full-size, linear pixel mapping fixture that easily generates video effects and animations when multiple units are used together.
For atmospheric effects Chinn added Chauvet DJ Arena Hazer 2 haze machines and Hurricane 1300 foggers to the main room and to the loft.
7th June 2013
Yamaha CL5 Gets Royal Approval at Namur
Located at the confluence of two major rivers, the Belgian city of Namur has been an important centre of trade and industry for centuries. Such locations also tend to become cultural centres and Namur is no exception. Recently the city’s main theatre - Théâtre Royal de Namur - installed a brand new Yamaha CL5 to replace its long-serving O2R96 mixing console.
Théâtre Royal de Namur is the very heart of the city’s culture. As well as hosting plays, ballet, contemporary dance, musicals, comedy, classical music recitals, pop concerts and the city’s annual music festival, it also hosts workshops and training events in a wide range of artistic disciplines.
In the decade since it was installed, the theatre’s Yamaha O2R96 digital consoles has been worked exceptionally hard in all of the venue’s creative spaces. This year the console was given a well-earned retirement, with audio solutions provider Sebuco.sprl working closely with the theatre’s technical manager Marc Noel and head of sound Marc-Alexandre Delacharlerie to specify a high quality replacement.
“Over the past decade, shows at the theatre have become more complex. They need more inputs, processing power and flexibility,” says Sebuco’s François Hubaux. “The theatre needed a console which would be easy to configure and operate for many different types of production, a small footprint, deliver great sound quality and which could be integrated within a large and flexible audio network.”
François, Marc and Marc-Alexandre looked at consoles from a number of manufacturers and all concluded that upgrading to a Yamaha CL5 with Rio3224-D i/o unit was the best solution.
“The CL series is a real all-in-one solution,” says François. “The sound quality is excellent and the CL5 is a compact size with a good visual overview, making control of shows straightforward. The Dante network makes it very flexible and straightforward to extend the system for big events. Being able to control the console from an iPad, using the StageMix app, also makes setting up and soundchecking a lot more straightforward.”
“Another advantage is that the CL5 was accepted on technical riders very soon after its introduction,” he continues. “Experienced touring engineers are using it, but it is also very easy to learn - users of the LS9 and M7CL feel at ease on a CL console very quickly.
“The theatre’s technical team is very happy with the CL5 but, most importantly, it means the largest possible number of guest engineers are happy with using the theatre’s mixing console as well.”
In picture: Marc-Alexandre Delacharlerie (sound manager at Théâtre Royal de Namur) and François Hubeaux of Sebuco.
6th June 2013
Fougaro Arts Complex Benefits from Audio by of t&mSystems, Powersoft and Adamson
DNA Systems has recently completed the installation of multi-space audio systems in the Fougaro arts complex in Nafplion, a beautiful small port city in the eastern Peloponnese region of Greece. The systems comprise a combination of t&mSystems, Powersoft and Adamson.
Originally a tomato canning factory, the 2,500 square metre complex has been transformed and renamed Fougaro (smokestack), with reference to the building’s 36 metre chimney. The former industrial buildings have been stylishly developed by Florica Kyriacopoulos, a businesswoman and renowned art collector. Ms. Kyriacopoulos wanted to fill a void in the local artisan market, whilst achieving her own lifelong dream to enrich the cultural life of Nafplion with a venue exclusively dedicated to creativity. The Fougaro complex includes a library, art shop, amphitheatre, arts workshop, café-bar, art spaces and a summer cinema.
The owners of Fougaro considered audio to be a critical element in the multi-purpose venue and compared solutions from a number of companies before the contract was awarded to DNA Systems, whose study and proposal was completed by technical director, Aris Issaris.
For the indoor and performance areas, DNA Systems chose Adamson’s new Point 8 loudspeakers, augmented by Point 115 subs and driven by Powersoft amplifiers, utilising the amps on-board DSP to optimise the system. For the outdoor areas, which cover around 250 square metres, DNA Systems selected t&mSystems AV6 all-weather loudspeakers, powered by a Project 120.4P multi-channel amplifier.
The systems are controlled by a t&mSystems ProjectMix818 8x8 matrix mixer, with a PageMic8 located in the security office. t&mSystems RCML control panels are located in all areas where sound is installed, providing mic and line inputs plus source and volume control.
Aris Issaris commented on the systems, “The results we achieved exceeded expectations. The audio quality is excellent and coverage throughout the visitor areas of the venue is seamless. With both t&mSystems and Adamson providing clean simple designs and the colour options we needed, we have been able to merge the loudspeakers well with the aesthetic design of the various spaces. The venue administrators are very pleased with the quality of the systems and the installation timescale and we are grateful for the cooperation of Ms. Kyriakopoulou and the confidence she has shown in our company.”
5th June 2013
K.M.E. Equipped Discotheque TAO in Wolfsburg with Hybrid system
TAO means 'creation', the unity of YIN and YANG reflecting also in the Asian influences the TAO club is created with.
A huge Buddha model above the DJ desk and Asian decoration besides latest light and sound equipment make the TAO not only another standard discotheque in Wolfsburgs city centre but a completely new concept with club character. Music from the latest charts, House and Black attract up to 1000 people per night.
After extensive shoot outs Oliver Strauss and Tim Lemke decided for their new top location for the K.M.E. PANO hybrid system. As mid/high systems they chose the QF 5045 and as subwoofers QLB 215 driven by digital amplifiers DA 230.
K.M.E.s partner DM Elektronik Veranstaltungstechnik Wolfsburg provided qualified technical support during installation and initial operation.
The owners of the club are very impressed by the excellent sound quality, compact dimensions and the modest appearance at an unbelievable power output. Also DJs and guests gave a very positive feedback about the ambience of the club and the performance of the PA system.
Photos: Christian Oppermann, szenebilder.de
4th June 2013
TiMax SoundHub Takes a Bow at the RSC in Stratford
Few names carry more weight in theatre circles than the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford whose renowned stagings of The Bard’s works tend to set the global benchmark for how it should be done. But, without losing site of its historic roots, the RSC has gone through something of a renaissance in recent years, with more than a nod to the contemporary both in its modern re-works such as a Bollywood-style Much Ado About Nothing, and not least with its very own smash hit West End and Broadway musical Matilda.
The main Royal Shakespeare Theatre auditorium and smaller adjacent Swan Theatre were re-opened in late 2010 following extensive re-modelling, accompanied by a substantial and ongoing investment in new production technologies. Just prior to the re-build, the nearby Courtyard Theatre was created as a temporary home for the RSC’s productions. It is also the prototype for the new one-room theatre format proposed for the RST and Swan to create a more traditional Shakespearean performance area, characterised by a deep thrust stage surrounded by audience on three sides.
A recent purchase for the Courtyard’s audio infrastructure has been a 48x48 TiMax2 SoundHub matrix with MADI option, partly to satisfy a need to get MADI to and from the Digico SD9 and provide onward signal distribution to what the RSC describe as their three-dimensional delay system, comprising multiple Meyer UPM-1P balcony delays, UPJ-1Ps either side of the proscenium and a central UPM-1 cluster above the thrust stage. As well as signal distribution and speaker system management, another fundamental requirement for the sound department was flexible delay-matrix processing to apply variable upstage/downstage vocal localisations and band imaging.
Other generic DSP platforms under consideration needed relatively complex hook-ups between several units to achieve the same end. As head of sound Jeremy Dunn observes: “We were initially going to go with gear our crew are all familiar with, to avoid them having to learn a new bit of software. But it was always going to be a bit of a science project involving a number of separate boxes and interfaces feeding into each other.”
Dunn was introduced to TiMax SoundHub by HD Pro Audio’s Andy Huffer who visited with Dave Haydon from TiMax developers Out Board to demonstrate the unit and in particular to convince him that its 'task-based' Mac/PC software was simple and intuitive enough that there was really nothing to learn. “The big attraction was TiMax SoundHub could give us MADI, analogue and AES I/O, plus dsp all in one box,” said Dunn.
After about an hour’s tuition from Dave Haydon, RSC engineers were programming and auditioning TiMax image definition delay-matrix setups for the different stage zones, applying linked EQ adjustments and assigning Group zone controls to tune and trim the multichannel distributed Courtyard Theatre sound system. As most shows currently have fewer than four or five vocal mics, the operators use aux sends on the SD9 to crossfade individual mics between TiMax inputs which are statically routed to level/delay image definitions programmed to ensure that each actor’s voice is always precedent to any of the loudspeakers whenever they enter that localisation zone. “We tried it for about a month, it was a joy to use, sounded great and the price was right so we asked Andy Huffer to get us one,” Dunn confirms.
The TiMax SoundHub-S48 unit was first deployed in the RSC’s Courtyard Theatre, which saw its original temporary role grow into being an overflow venue during festival seasons, and which is now mooted as a potential new studio-style home for the RSC’s more experimental and contemporary productions. The new TiMax has also since done service in the West End for the RSC’s Bollywood-style production of Much Ado About Nothing at the Noel Coward Theatre, and Jeremy Dunn sees other units possibly being required for future roll-outs of their temporary auditoriums which regularly take up residence in London’s Roundhouse and venues in New York.
The Courtyard hook-up is interesting, exploiting the diverse 'hub' capabilities of the new acquisition. The TiMax SoundHub unit supplied comprises 32 analogue and 16 AES analogue inputs, with 48 analogue outputs and 16 AES outputs. The built-in MADI interface takes vocal mic direct outs, mix busses and aux sends from the SD9 as inputs to TiMax; then MADI out from the TiMax goes via an RME MADI card into a Mac Powerbook, allowing mic signals to be sent via TiMax to Altiverb reverb plug-ins hosted by Plogue Bidule on the Mac. MADI out of the Mac goes back to the desk to deliver Altiverb reverb returns and QLab sound effects to the console.
Once the reverb returns, vocals, band and sound effects have been re-assembled back at the SD9, its MADI link to the TiMax SoundHub then gets everything out to their respective parts of the PA system via the SoundHub’s delay matrix and analogue I/O. If AES digital outputs are required in the future, TiMax can provide these at different sample rates (48/96KHz) on any AES output pair, each with independant clock source selectable from internal 48KHz or 96KHz, external WordClock BNC, or from any AES input pair.
Jeremy Dunn, has also shown interest in TiMax Tracker performer tracking automation, taking time out to experience it first hand at Raymond Gubbay’s Royal Albert Hall in-the-round production of Carmen. “I’d always assumed there’d be phasing artefacts unless a real person was judging and managing the transitions, but in Carmen you really couldn’t hear the join, so I’m definitely looking into opportunities to use it at the RSC. We’re also interested to start trying out the SoundHub’s playback capabilities for effects – even though its generally all QLab here, TiMax offers an alternative workflow for certain things and some powerful features like editable delay panning; also Dave Haydon has explained how these can be seamlessly integrated with QLab using MIDI.”
4th June 2013
Electrosonic Engineers MicroTiles Video Wall and Provides AV Support for LKAB Visitor Centre
It may not be the Aurora Borealis, but the giant Christie MicroTiles video wall engineered by Electrosonic at the LKAB Visitor Centre in Koskullskulle, Sweden, is lighting up the north.
LKAB (Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara Aktiebolag) is the world’s technical leader in supplying iron ore pellets, acquired from underground mining, to the global steel industry. Its rich magnetite mines are located in the north of Sweden above the Arctic Circle. A new research centre in Koskullskulle includes a visitor centre that welcomes guests to the nearby Malmberget mine. LKAB’s iron ore mining operations are among the most productive in the world and feature automated processes that result in the 'greenest' production of iron.
Electrosonic’s Stockholm office was tasked by LKAB consultant WSP with designing and engineering the audio-visual facilities at the visitor centre, including its showpiece video wall comprised of 192 Christie MicroTiles. The video wall dominates the flexible main presentation space, which can seat 120 people classroom style. The wall is arranged in a 16x12 configuration for an image size of 6.5 x 3.7 meters (21.4 x 12 feet). The display consumes little floor space and is bright enough to be used with full room lighting and with natural light streaming through an exterior glass wall at the opposite end of the room. During the Arctic winter, the MicroTiles display is highly visible from outside the building.
A Vista Spyder image processor, configured for eight inputs and eight outputs, feeds the video wall ensuring that all images are displayed at their full resolution and providing flexibility in image placement. The high resolution of the MicroTiles themselves means that no pixels are visible no matter how close the audience gets to the display.
Permanent inputs to the display include a Blu-ray player, a dual-output high specification computer mounted in the source system rack, a digital video tuner (set top box) and facilities for connecting sources like laptops. An Extron JMP 9600 player is used to present a show that introduces visitors to LKAB, its products and processes. Spectacular high-resolution aerial photographs of LKAB’s operating sites are used as backdrops to formal and informal presentations.
Electrosonic also supplied the presentation room with a comprehensive audio system comprised of a BSS Soundweb DSP controller that accepts inputs from the video sources and from five microphones deployed as needed, plus Crown amplifiers and JBL loudspeakers. A four-channel Bosch infra-red system was also installed; it benefits the hearing impaired and may be potentially useful for simultaneous translation.
Two AMX NI-3100 controllers provide overall system control. The user interface is a touchscreen mounted at the lectern and supplemented by an Apple iPad, which enables control from anywhere in the visitor centre.
Adjacent to the presentation room is a board room for management meetings, which Electrosonic has outfitted with basic AV facilities that offer a growth path as the use of the space becomes better defined.
The main display in the board room is comprised of four NEC X551UN 55-inch LCD monitors in a 2x2 array; they feature ultra narrow mullions, sport LED illumination and are bright enough for all ambient light conditions. A Blu-ray player, set top box and two Kramer SID-X1 twisted pair transmitters feed a Kramer presentation switcher. Once again, an AMX room controller with touchscreen user interface provides overall control of the NEC display.
4th June 2013
Hong Kong’s Yau Ma Tei Theatre adds layers of light to Cantonese opera
The newly reopened Yau Ma Tei Theatre has put a modern twist on traditional Cantonese opera. The historic 300 seat venue in Kowloon, Hong Kong, features the latest ETC technology, with layers of the highest quality conventional and LED light.
Originally opened as a cinema in 1930, the Yau Ma Tei Theatre screened films from a variety of genres until it closed in 1998. Nearly a decade later, the building was saved from being bulldozed when it was declared an architectural and cultural landmark. The government decided to revitalise the area, beginning conservation work to transform the former cinema into a performing arts venue that would become home to a Cantonese opera troupe.
During the renovation, power consumption in the theatre was a big concern. The aging building has limited electrical capacity, so the lighting system had to be green. The staff decided to install a hybrid rig of energy efficient conventional ETC luminaires and ETC LED fixtures, in order to reduce the amount of power necessary to run the lights. The rig includes dozens of Source Four luminaires, six Source Four PARNels, 30 Selador Desire D40 Vivid LED fixtures and 18 Source Four LEDs. The fixtures are controlled by an ETC Ion control desk with a Universal Fader Wing and a Net3 Radio Focus Remote (RFR). An ETC Sensor+ system provides power control.
The ETC LED fixtures serve another critical role at the theatre: they are used to highlight the intricacies of Cantonese opera. The Source Four LED units are used in various positions for on-stage lighting, bringing out the beauty of the costumes and makeup. “The Source Four LEDs give us sharp gobo focusing and colour rendering,” explains Sunny Wong, the theatre’s technical manager. The Selador Desire LED luminaires are used for brightly coloured washes and to illuminate scenery.
Wong adds: “The operation of the Desire luminaires is more user friendly than other LEDs on the market and their colour simulation is more accurate.” The vibrant hues add to the drama of each performance.
Choosing ETC as the lighting manufacturer for the Yau Ma Tei Theatre was very easy. “ETC products are the most popular stage lighting equipment in Hong Kong, in terms of efficiency and performance,” says Wong. “They are on the top of my list.”
The Yau Ma Tei Theatre held its grand opening in July last year, and celebrated with a two week long programme lasting. Since it opened its doors, the theatre has staged a performance almost every day.
In picture: the Yau Ma Tei Theatre in Hong Kong installed a hybrid rig of energy efficient conventional ETC luminaires and ETC LED fixtures.
31st May 2013
Australia’s Star chooses DiGiCo for event centre
Nearing the end of a billion dollar transformation, The Star in Sydney's Pyrmont has morphed from a large-scale casino into a full-blown leisure and entertainment complex. With its panoramic views of Sydney's harbour and skyline, the venue has been designed to entice and host international headliners and A-list celebrities from around the globe. Situated within The Star is The Event Centre, a world-class entertainment space suited to intimate concert settings as well as domestic and international conferences, exhibitions and awards functions, which boasts a combination of DiGiCo SD10s and SD11s at the heart of its audio system.
The Event Centre is a huge 2400 square metre column-free space, the biggest of its kind in Sydney. The room caters for 4000 patrons in concert mode, 3000 guests with half seated, 1200 in a banquet ballroom setting and 1300 in a conference space.
Head of Audio at the Event Centre, Ian Brown, made his assessments of what audio solution The Event Centre would need early on in the process. DiGiCo quickly surfaced as the best choice and Ian was quite vocal in his reasons behind going with an SD10 and SD11 in particular.
"This was the first major purchase of audio equipment since the initial fit out of the Casino. From the beginning of this project we set a very high standard for all systems to be installed into the Event Centre, with special emphasis on the audio system. We had a huge list of special requirements the system had to meet: it had to deliver the best sound available today; and be able to mix up to four independent events on one core system while integrating with our HD vision, conferencing systems and broadcast trucks, as well as be able to link to the existing audio system within the casino. Ultimately, my brief was simple. It had to be the best in the world. Nothing else would do."
The flexibility of the console was paramount as Ian also notes: "We required a system that could easily switch from doing a concert for major International artists to a conference with the main room operating as two spaces, then go back to broadcast with MADI consoles from the truck linked to the system; and all with minimal time and minimal fuss. It also had to be a system that any sound guy (or girl) would be happy to use - and we can be a very fussy bunch. Above all, it had to be reliable. The SD series consoles were the only system that could meet all of the scenarios we could throw at them and they have exceeded all of our expectations."
With such a varied cross section of events being held at the Event Centre year round, the ability to re-locate consoles and re-configure them in various locations easily via optics proved very appealing to Ian at the onset and has since proven extremely practical.
"We've had the consoles working hard since we opened. They have been used on the AACTA awards, the launch of the 2013 NRL season, a constant string of corporate events including product launches for Blackberry, HP, and Gala events with artists such as David Campbell, Dragon, Mark Seymour and a stream of major Chinese artists over Chinese New Year.
"The ability to put a console anywhere in or out of the venue and have it link to the rest of the system with a simple optical patch is a god send especially when sub mixing for vision and / or links to breakout rooms are required. Many events require some unusual operating locations and complex routing is the norm here. Optics makes this a breeze, also saving us a lot of cable and head scratching. Hum and unwanted noise are a thing of the past. We are able to mix vision on one SD11 in the control room while sub mixing additional vision and playback from the main operating position on the other SD11 while mixing a band and additional mics on the SD10s. We can then bounce a mix to one of the SD11s for a live conference link, then bounce a total mix out for broadcast or streaming from any of the consoles. The possibilities are endless."
The ultra-low latency of the SD consoles has also ensured that syncing and streaming to HD video is easily achievable.
"The SD system has met all of these challenges with ease. We are not only able to access the hundreds of inputs and outputs across the entire Star Casino property via our extensive Dante network, but we can also link to the other properties in the Echo Entertainment Group or any site worldwide via a secure DVN service. We can also stream live over the Internet, and all in HD. The almost complete lack of latency in the system makes broadcast and syncing to vision a snap."
After steady use for several months, the SD consoles have met every requirement for Ian, his crew and any major act who has used the Event Centre, proving further the undisputed power and flexibility of DiGiCo.
"Everyone at the Star is blown away by the SD consoles. The layout and features are done just right. The mic preamps are stunning, tonnes of gain and clean - they don’t add any unwanted noise or tone to the input. The EQ is as good as any I have ever heard. There is no difference in sound quality between the SD10 and the SD11, this is unheard of in any of the other mixers I have used when you go from a large to small format console from the same manufacturer. The routing capabilities of the system are extremely powerful while being easy to get your head around; it has made most of the cable infrastructure we installed redundant. The FX and dynamics are fantastic. The snapshots and pre-sets are powerful yet functional - easy to use and update on the fly. They are clearly designed by people who operate sound systems for people who operate sound systems. The learning curve is very shallow for such a powerful system. Every time someone asks ‘can I …?’ that is as far as they get. I just say ‘yep’. They are a pure joy to use and there are constant fights over who gets to mix. Fortunately I usually win."
There is no shortage of professionals remarking on the consoles in action, with Ian happily reporting some great feedback from some of Australia's leading engineers.
"Everyone who has used the consoles has been blown away by the clarity, abundance of features and the ease of operation of such a feature packed system. David (Strawberry) Quinn said after his first show on the SD10 ‘it’s like driving a F1 car’. Will King, FOH on the AACTA Awards said after getting rave reviews ‘It’s not me, I didn’t do anything. All I did was push up some faders’. Matt (Dickie) Debien, monitors for AACTA Awards said ‘I love the console. I am going to spec it on all my shows’. I had to put a guard on the console because he wanted to take it with him."
Ian also had a big list of ‘thank you’s’ for the team at GT and DiGiCo for their advice and support.
"There are many people I would like to thank, above all Drew Menard, Peter Thoms and the team at Group Technologies. Legends, they have been so helpful throughout the whole process and their support has been Incredible. Also David ‘Webby’ Webster and all the boys and girls at DiGiCo in the UK. Their products are just superb and I cannot thank them enough for making a system that has exceeded our demanding specifications. The addition of the optical system to the SD11 has given us a level of flexibility and performance we could not achieve with any other system."
31st May 2013
Robert Juliat Lighting for Refurbished Theater Vasile Alecsandri, Romania
A huge selection of Robert Juliat spotlights, profiles and followspots have been chosen for the new lighting installation, following a major refurbishment, of the historic National Theater Vasile Alecsandri in Iaşi, Romania.
The National Theatre, which was named after one of Romania’s most famous poets and actors, hosts the Iaşi Romanian National Opera and is listed in the National Register of Historic Monuments. It has recently undergone a lengthy 7-year renovation during which time its programme of events was spread out across theatres all over Romania.
“This disadvantage of multiple locations has transformed over time into an advantage for us,” explains Mr Aurel Anton, chief lighting engineer at the theatre. “Throughout this time we were able to accumulate knowledge and experience from all these other theatres which helped us to define precisely what we wanted for our newly refurbished building.”
High on the National Theatre Vasile Alecsandri priorities was the new lighting equipment from Robert Juliat.
A plethora of theatre lanterns including RJ 329 HPC 2500W and RJ 310 HPC 2500W PC, Pebble and Fresnels fixtures were installed, all of which have 200mm lenses for maximum light output. These were augmented by a large number of RJ 306 1000W Lutin PC units which have interchangeable lenses that enable them to be transformed into Pebble or Fresnel fixtures.
The National Theatre Vasile Alecsandri’s programme incorporates all major theatre and opera performances within the same building – a fact which increases the technical requirements of the venue. “The Theatre has become a flagship in terms of the high standard of technical equipment we offer,” says Mr Anton.
The new inventory of profile fixtures therefore includes 1200W RJ 600 SX series zoom profiles and 2500W RJ 700 SX series zoom profiles with the full range of available beam angles. All the new Robert Juliat fixtures are used comprehensively from front of house positions, on-stage ladders, low level side lighting positions and as back light.
“We chose the Robert Juliat fixtures because of the great optical system which can be found inside each RJ fixture,” says Mr Anton. “It is also very important to highlight the unique performances of the PC fixtures which use clear PC lenses. We were also motivated to chose the RJ products because of the high quality focusing mechanism in every unit.”
The inventory is completed by a complement of Alex 2500W tungsten and Topaze 1200W MSD 7/14° followspots.
The Theater Vasile Alecsandri was the most important recent project for dB Technolight which has proved to be a successful project. “The products supplied by dB Technolight are flawless, and the services are excellent,” says Mr Anton, “a fact which motivated us to work with them as suppliers.”
photo: Dan Belivan dB Technolight
28th May 2013
White Light's Production Solutions for David Bowie Is at the V & A
White Light’s range of entertainment services made the company a perfect choice to supply production solutions for David Bowie is, the latest exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. The expansive retrospective, which opened in March, is the fastest selling exhibition in the museum’s history, bringing in crowds as diverse as the experience itself.
David Bowie is combines lighting, video and physical elements with the dramatic and distinctive sounds of Bowie’s music to create a larger-than-life sensory experience. For the exhibition, White Light provided lighting fixtures, lighting control and production services, including project management and console programming. The entertainment lighting specialist worked with electrical contractor Reed Engineering to achieve Adam Grater’s immersive lighting design.
As visitors journey through Bowie’s career from David Jones to Ziggy Stardust and beyond, they are thrust from scene to scene by a fast-paced and colourful barrage of content. Large video screens display a variety of film footage and photography from the David Bowie archives while coordinated audio is played through both speakers and individual headsets. Artwork, original costumes, and artefacts – more than 300 in total – complete the experience.
The exhibition features LED lighting fixtures and strobe effects provided by White Light, including Pulsar Chroma Strip 2 units, Chroma Q ColorForce 12 battens, and RGBW Chauvet Tour Pars. White Light’s Jonathon Haynes programmed the exhibition using an ETC Ion control console.
“The challenge with a project like this is not individual technical elements, but combining these to complete the visitor experience,” says Simon Needle, projects director for White Light. “Advanced planning and communication were essential to delivering a cohesive exhibition” he said. “We were very happy to work with the V & A Museum, Reed Engineering and Adam Grater [of DHA Design] to help make David Bowie Is a success.”
Photo: Adam Grater.
24th May 2013
Theatre Projects Celebrates the Opening of The Lennox Suite at Edinburgh International Conference Centre
The Lennox Suite, an extension to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC), celebrated a star-studded grand opening on 2nd May 2013, unveiling incredibly flexible staging solutions designed and specified by Theatre Projects in collaboration with The Right Solution and architects BDP.
Built in the heart of Edinburgh's West End and surrounded by some of Scotland's most prestigious financial institutions, space for this events space was at a premium. Added to this challenge, the design team were required to make the new space fully integrated with the EICC’s existing facilities. This required a much greater level of coordination and communication with the rest of the design team than usual, but this suited Theatre Projects' collaborative style perfectly.
What makes The Lennox Suite so unique is its fully automated moving floor. Theatre Projects designed an innovative engineering solution for the floor system, which easily transforms the room from a flat floor events space to a tiered auditorium. Tom Davis, project leader for Theatre Projects, explains: “The Lennox Suite can be used in a variety of seating and staging configurations, and can also be split into two or three smaller spaces. Primarily intended as a complimentary multi-purpose hall to the EICC's existing conference venues, this space can transform the room from a 1,600m2 flat floor exhibition space, to a 2,000-seat auditorium, a 1,400-seat arena, a banqueting suite for 1,400 guests, or almost anything else that takes your imagination.”
There’s also a tensioned wire grid that spans the entire space, allowing technicians to reconfigure the lighting and sound systems (designed and specified by Theatre Projects) while the floor lifts are in simultaneous use below. This gives the EICC an operational edge by greatly reducing the down-time between events, while also avoiding many of the dangers of working at height.
The Lennox Suite leads the way in flexible events space design, and its tension wire grid and moving floor are among the largest and most ambitious of their types in the world.
Theatre Projects team:
Project leader: Tom Davis
Stage engineering designer: Tom Lamming
Lighting and sound equipment designer: Mark Ryan
Specialist sub-contractors for theatre systems: Delstar (stage engineering), Northern Light (production lighting and sound)
21st May 2013
DiGiCo’s Tatabánya Trio
For the past two years, the Hungarian government has been funding a special project to bring regional theatres up to date and into greater community use. The town of Tatabánya has been one beneficiary, where three DiGiCo SD9 consoles have ensured that further capital investment will not be needed for many years.
Titled Agora, the project aims to modernise the venues and help them to stage a greater range of multicultural events. In Tatabánya it has included a complete technical refit of the town’s theatre, which has featured three new DiGiCo SD9 consoles: two for the venue and a third as part of a mobile audio system which can be used at events in different locations throughout the area.
Supplied by Budapest-based Chromasound, the SD9 was chosen thanks to its perfect mix of channels, outputs and onboard processing for the events that Tatabánya stages, plus the regular software updates issued by DiGiCo, which ensure a large degree of future-proofing.
“This is a one-off project and, as there will be no chance within the next ten years to get further investment, the very best of today’s technology was needed,” says Chromasound’s Imre Makkay. “DiGiCo continuously upgrades its consoles with many new features, which is the kind of future-proofing that was essential to Tatabánya.
“We also know that the sound quality is the same on every DiGiCo product, so whichever console was chosen, we knew we would be supplying the best equipment.”
The theatre mainly hosts plays, with the audio system predominantly used for speech. But musical events are also staged, ranging from jazz trios, through world music to rock, for all of which the consoles needed to be versatile enough to handle equally well.
“Some of the local engineers already knew DiGiCo consoles, but after just one day of training even those who had no previous experience were fine,” Imre continues. “We stood behind the beginners on the first shows, but to be honest we had nothing to do. The guys were instantly happy thanks to how intuitive the SD9 is to mix on and the clear overview of its control surface. The shows went really smoothly from the start.
“The theatre directors and technicians are all really happy with the consoles. Having three of the same type has made things easier, so it doesn’t matter if they are working in the theatre or on the mobile system.
“For a company like Chromasound it is pretty rare that we have the opportunity to supply three high class digital consoles like the DiGiCo SD9, so it is an achievement we are very proud of!”
21st May 2013
ETC Source Four HID for Lisbon’s Museum of Electricity
ETC has proved that Source Four fixtures aren’t just for theatres – by supplying Source Four HID luminaires to the Museu da Eletricidade (Museum of Electricity) in Lisbon.
“We first worked with the museum’s managers about two years ago,” says Vitor Paiva, commercial director at ETC dealer Luzeiro, “when they bought tungsten ETC Source Four luminaires. They were impressed, and asked to look at other models in the Source Four range. Key to their specification was that they need low maintenance and high light output.”
So at the end of last year, the museum supplemented its exhibition lighting with 24 ETC Source Four HID fixtures, which were immediately put to use on a display by Portuguese painter Vitor Pomar. These were deemed such a success that the managers ordered a further 34 to light the World Press Photo exhibition, which runs throughout May.
“The lighting was the subject of great acclaim,” says Paiva, “both on the part of the international organisers, and of the television companies who visited and interviewed photographers under the Source Four lights.”
“The Source Four HID has a long life lamp and produces less heat per lumen output than tungsten luminaires – plus, in taking advantage of the optics which made the Source Four renowned, a 150W HID Source Four fixture provides an output close to that of its 575W tungsten counterpart.
The ETC Source Four HID fixtures which Luzeiro supplied are perfect for delivering a precisely focused beam of light, perfectly showing off the spectacular photography. The exhibition, which travels to 45 countries over the course of a year, is a display of the best photos that have appeared in print in the past year, and follows an awards ceremony in Amsterdam.
In picture: ETC Source Four HID luminaires in use at the Museum of Electricity in Lisbon, photo: Luzeiro.
21st May 2013
Robe LEDWash 600 for the Skövde Stadsteater
Robe ROBIN LEDWash series fixtures continue to prove a popular choice for theatre installations in Sweden.
The 503 seat Skövde Stadsteater is another venue that has invested in LEDWashes, taking delivery of eight ROBIN 600 LEDWashes that were supplied by Swedish distributor Bellalite via locally based rental company, Sound Star.
The decision to purchase the latest fixtures for the theatre – an integral part of the first purpose built Cultural Centre (Kulturhus) in Sweden in 1964 – was made by head of lighting Fredrik Ekström. He sought an LED moving light and looked at the various options.
He specifically wanted one with a bright output, a smooth homogenised light source, silent running and a good zoom range. The LEDWash 600 ticked all the right boxes and he describes them as, the “perfect” fixtures for the venue. He also remarks that the variety of ‘real’ whites that can be produced by the LEDWash 600s was important.
Skövde Stadsteater hosts a wide variety of shows including lots of live music and concerts, together with comedy and drama. During peak times, they are staging at least five shows a week and host 30 plus major productions per year.
Prior to the LEDWash 600s, the venue has had Robe ColorWash 250E ATs installed for the last five years which have run constantly and needed little maintenance, so they knew first-hand that Robe was a reliable option.
While Ekström is away working as head of lighting / stage manager on the current tour of Cirkus Cirkor, his place at Skövde Stadsteater has been taken up by Simon Carnell who has been using Robe products for around ten years, initially in a nightclub in Bournemouth, UK.
Carnell studied lighting design at the University of Glamorgan – a course which has an excellent working relationship with Robe UK – graduating in 2010. Before moving to Sweden, he also freelanced at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff, Wales, another busy venue which has some Robe moving lights. Additionally, he has used Robe moving lights on numerous tours.
The first of Robe’s hugely successful LEDWash series fixtures came to market just as he was leaving University, so he’s very pleased to be working with these now in Sweden. “I have always found Robe products to be good, reliable and affordable,” he comments.
He finds the speed of the LEDWash 600s ideal for lighting dance shows, where rapid repositioning is a must. The last one of these he lit at Skövde Stadsteater involved 32 scenes that segued straight into one another with no pauses, so the LEDWash's speed was a great asset and the units received a good workout. He adds that the colour palette is also great for matching with the ColorWash 250E ATs.
Skövde Stadsteater is one of many Swedish theatre venues to invest in Robe in the last year; others include Stora Teatern in Göteborg and Södra Teatern in Stockholm.
21st May 2013
Nairobi Baptist Church Go iLive with Allen & Heath
Nairobi Baptist Church recently upgraded their existing analogue mixer to an Allen & Heath iLive digital mixing system, supplied by Kenyan company, Sound Creations.
Founded in 1958, the Church required a more sophisticated console with improved sound quality. Sound Creations, the distributor for Allen & Heath in Kenya, suggested an iDR-48 MixRack with iLive-T112 surface.
“We were confident the Allen & Heath iLive-T112 would be the ideal mixer for Nairobi Baptist church and would meet their specific needs,” said Nipul Shah, owner of Sound Creations.
Tim Pollard, managing director for A&H regional distributor, PAXT, said: “It is always a pleasure to receive successful stories from our customers and this installation by Sound Creations is the perfect example – great work.”
20th May 2013
EM Acoustics Takes Top Billing at The Atkinson
Recently re-opened after a three-year, £17M redevelopment programme, The Atkinson is Sefton Council’s flagship arts and cultural venue. Housed in a grade II listed building in the heart of Southport, The Atkinson integrates four arts and cultural venues – the Southport Arts Centre, the Atkinson Art Gallery, the Botanic Gardens Museum and the Southport Library – into one single, regional cultural centre.
Renowned London-based theatre specialist, Theatreplan, was called in as the theatre consultant to oversee the redevelopment of the two auditoria housed in The Atkinson. Theatreplan had no hesitation in specifying EM Acoustics loudspeakers throughout both venues, all of which were installed by Oxford Sound and Media, along with the rest of the loose audio equipment.
The main performance venue, the Atkinson Theatre, is a traditional proscenium arch theatre with a capacity of 440, and also houses a state-of-the-art cinema screen. The second venue called the Studio is designed to be a more flexible performance space.
Featuring a large permanent stage, an open floor and balcony seating, the Studio is ideal for music and children’s theatre. It can seat up to 300 or as few as 60 for more intimate events. Theatreplan’s Mathew Smethurst-Evans explained that they were keen to keep the equipment similar across the two venues to keep the users experience as straightforward as possible. “It was clear that the spaces are going to be used by a huge range of performers with widely differing skill levels, so the equipment needs to be easy to use whilst delivering high quality sound throughout the complex.”
For the Atkinson Theatre, Smethurst-Evans opted for a combination of EM Acoustics flagship two-way point source MSE-159 and MSE-156 full range passive loudspeakers for the proscenium arch and L/R sidefill supplemented by five i-2 passive front fill speakers. A pair of flown EMS-118 subs provide low frequency reinforcement and pair of ultra-compact EMS-51s are on fill duty for the Minstrels Gallery. On stage monitoring requirements are handled by six EM Acoustics dedicated M-12 stage monitors.
The Studio relies exclusively on MSE-156s throughout (six in total) with low-end reinforcement coming from two groundstacked EMS-118 subs plus six M-12 stage monitors. All amplification is provided with EM Acoustics amplifiers.
“We chose EM Acoustics products because we have been extremely impressed with them on recent projects,” stated Smethurst-Evans. “Simply put, we believe that there is little to compete with them at this price point. Thanks to their passive crossover design, EM loudspeakers are truly “plug-and-play”. The fact that users don’t have to worry about managing controller or amplifier presets immediately puts them at ease, and the sound quality is excellent. From the installer’s point of view, once the system is commissioned, they almost never have to go back because the products are robust and reliable. There is very little for the end user to do other than switch the system on and off! For this kind of project, EM Acoustics has proved time and again to be an ideal solution for all concerned.”