Thursday, May 09, 2013

Opéra Royal de Wallonie Chooses L-Acoustics

The need for a modern, flexible and efficient audio system was underpinned by the theatre's management plan to make multifunctional use of the building.

On the occasion of the restoration of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie (Royal Opera of Wallonia), a full L-Acoustics line array system was put in place.

After more than two years of restoration work, the 1875-built Théatre Royal de Liège, home of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie (ORW), re-opened its doors to the public at the end of last year in Liège. The whole renovation project, unique in its kind, represented an investment of 31 million euros.

In 2008, Riva Audio was appointed by the main contractor, Putman, to carry out preliminary research, design and install the new audio system using its expertise in stage mechanics and technical installations of theatres and studios.

“The big challenge was to persuade the city officials and opera management to place new audio gear in a classified 19th century building—they wanted the venue to be ‘sound reinforcement-less’,” says Frédéric Vard, managing director of Riva Audio. “For example, it took us quite some negotiations with the government’s Monuments and Landscape Department to obtain permission to place the speaker cabinets.”

XLR sprl a distributor within the L-Acoustics Certified Provider Network for Belgium, collaborated with Riva Audio on this installation.

The need for a modern, flexible and efficient audio system was underpinned by the theatre’s management plan to make multifunctional use of the building.  Alongside the ORW’s performances, the theatre would host conferences, gatherings and concerts. The venue’s iron safety curtain, compulsory in this category of theatres, was equipped with a projection screen on the audience’s side to facilitate the projection of movies.

“When we received the go-ahead to for the sound system, we had to take into account the new furnishing of the theatre,” continues Vard. “In the end, we agreed to install an L-Acoustics line array system on either side of the subtitling projection beam above the stage, before the stage curtains. The amplifiers are located close to the speakers and are remote-controlled through a network, like all other equipment in the ORW.

“The line arrays, consisting of 20 KIVA cabinets—two six-KIVA arrays in front of the curtain and two four-KIVA arrays to serve the lower seats—plus eight SB18 and 14 8XTi as infill ensure complete coverage of the whole theatre; every seat offers the same listening comfort.”

Instead of painting the KIVA speakers in the same red as the curtains, the Monuments and Landscape Department decided to paint them black, turning the technical equipment into a decorative element of the stage.

The installation of the line arrays and cables followed thorough research and design, with Riva Audio presenting a complete construction document indicating the placement of loudspeaker cabinets within the constraints of the ancient building.

“We, together with XLR Project Manager Sébastien Desaever, presented three speaker configurations to the theatre management; L-ACOUSTICS’ contracting and fixed installation department was instrumental in providing the necessary technical plans,” continues Vard.

Vard made use of the stage level boxes in the theatre to install two four-KIVA arrays serving the lower seating of the 1440 capacity theatre. The whole venue was cabled with CAT 6 fiber optics, replacing the ‘traditional’ microphone cables. “Installing Soundcraft stageboxes for the signal transfer from the stage to the Soundcraft Vi4 console was a crucial measure; in an opera environment, noiseless connections are essential throughout the system,” says Vard.


Posted by Julie Clark on 05/09 at 11:15 AM
Live SoundNewsConcertLine ArrayLoudspeakerSound ReinforcementStagePermalink

Elation To Show “EZ-er” Video Panel And More At PLASA Focus

Looking for more user-friendly LED video panels or lighting design software? Faster and smaller RGBW LED moving heads? Or extreme ACL beam effects that are even more extreme?

Looking for more user-friendly LED video panels or lighting design software?  Faster and smaller RGBW LED moving heads?  Or extreme ACL beam effects that are even more extreme? Then stop by Elation Professional’s display at PLASA Focus: Orlando, held here at the Wyndham Orlando Resort, May 15-16.

Elation will be showing exciting new products that address these and other hot lighting/video trends at its PLASA Focus Booth #520:

EZ6 LED Video Panel – Adding the professional look of an LED video wall has just gotten “EZ-er.”  The EZ6 is a high-resolution 22.7” x 22.7” indoor video display panel, powered by premium Tri-Color 3528 SMD LEDs, that delivers a 6mm pixel pitch, 1,800-nit brightness and 960 Hz refresh rate, allowing it to produce sharp, clear high-definition graphics, text, logos and images. Yet it is also very affordably priced, light weight and easy to assemble, making it the ideal choice for nightclubs, concert venues, live stages and exhibit halls – anyone who wants the excitement of a video screen without overstepping their budget or having to undertake a complicated installation.

Rayzor 7 and Rayzor 12 – Ramp up your designs into the next gear with the amazing Rayzor Series. The smallest and fastest LED moving head ever created by Elation, the Rayzor 7 delivers unsurpassed brightness for its size (11 lbs., 9.25” x 5.5” x 12.5”), a razor-sharp 7° beam angle, smooth Quad-Color RGBW color-mixing, and new high-speed 3-phase motor technology that makes its eye-popping beams literally fly around the room.  Powered by 7 x 15-watt OSRAM 4-in1 (red, green, blue, white) LEDs, the Rayzor 7 also offers the bonus of 4-zone chase effects for added visual excitement.  For applications that require greater output, Elation has introduced a more powerful version, the Rayzor 12, with 12 x 15-watt 4-in-1 RGBW LEDs that can produce up to 5,840 lux at 5 meters.  The Rayzor 12 features the compact size, lightning-quick movements, sharp 7° beam, smooth Quad-Color mixing and zonal chase effects that characterize this groundbreaking series, along with some great new features such as a rainbow effect.

Platinum Beam 5R Extreme – The original Platinum Beam 5R ACL beam moving head was one of the most popular and widely acclaimed effects in Elation’s history—now the company is building on its success with the next-generation Platinum Beam 5R Extreme.  Like its predecessor, the new “Extreme” is an intense concentrated searchlight-like narrow-beam (3°) effect that utilizes the Philips MSD Platinum 5R lamp, allowing for much greater energy-efficiency and a more compact, lightweight design compared to discharge fixtures of equivalent output.  But the Platinum Beam 5R Extreme moves at even faster speeds than the original and achieves new levels of brightness and output, thanks to the use of 3-phase motors and an improved optical design.  It also offers some exciting new features, including a remote focus and a wireless DMX option.

Capture Lighting Design Software – Elation is now giving lighting pros an easier way to design and visualize their lightshows.  The company has entered into an agreement with Sweden-based Capture Visualisation AB, to distribute Capture lighting design and documentation software in the U.S. Available for both Windows and Mac OS X, Capture software is world-renowned for being easy to use and having a minimal learning curve, while giving lighting professionals the ability to work in real-time with all elements of their design—lighting, truss system, stage and scenery.  Featuring a built-in library of more than 6,000 fixtures from all major lighting manufacturers, Capture is available in three affordable versions based on users’ needs, and no annual subscription fees are required.


Posted by Julie Clark on 05/09 at 11:09 AM

Paragonis MMP Marks CarniRiv Milestone PreSonus StudioLive

One of the country's top events providers, Paragonis Multimedia Productions was brought in to provide sound and lighting for the event. As Paragonis founder and President Kunle Akintayo explains, CariRiv was an ideal application for their collection of PreSonus StudioLive consoles.

Now in its fifth year, the annual Port Harcourt Carnival, better known as CarniRiv, has evolved from its modest beginnings as an informal regional gathering to become a major festival event - a true carnival in many respects.

This year, with Port Harcourt celebrating its centennial, the program was even bigger. Held at the 25,000-seat Elekahia Liberation Stadium, the six-day lineup featured more than 40 regional and international artists including Shaggy, Morgan Heritage, 2face, Timaya, Duncan Mighty, and many more.

One of the country’s top events providers, Paragonis Multimedia Productions was brought in to provide sound and lighting for the event. As Paragonis founder and President Kunle Akintayo explains, CariRiv was an ideal application for their collection of PreSonus StudioLive consoles.

“The StudioLive never ceases to surprise me, and CarniRiv was another example,” says Akintayo. “We had originally purchased it as an alternative to lugging around our larger live consoles and all the outboard processors, and the plan was to use it for a while and move on to something more elaborate. But we have been so pleasantly surprised with all the StudioLive’s cool features, and since then we’ve purchased more than ten of them for our company and for installations in nightclubs and other venues.”

Akintayo points to the console’s ease of use as a tremendous asset. “So many times, I have been giving a quick crash course to an engineer for some foreign band, and in less than ten minutes I hear ‘I’ve got it.’ It’s just such an easy and intuitive workflow.”

With a client base that includes Coca Cola, Virgin Atlantic, MTN Nigeria, Guinness, Economist of London, and various state and national government agencies, Paragonis prides itself on a reputation for stellar production and top-notch, state-of-the-art equipment. “The quality of the StudioLive is simply exquisite,” says Akintayo. “The sound of the console is simply amazing, and the feature set truly rivals many of the much larger and more expensive desks. I just love everything about the PreSonus.”


Posted by Julie Clark on 05/09 at 10:40 AM
Live SoundNewsConcertConsolesDigitalSound ReinforcementPermalink

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

SE Systems Deploys New NEXO STM Arrays & Yamaha CL5 Consoles For MerleFest

STM rig shared and alternated between the main Watson Stage and the side Cabin Stage

As it has for the past 26 years, SE Systems of Greensboro, NC recently provided sound reinforcement and support for the annual MerleFest in Wilkesboro, NC, deploying its new NEXO STM line arrays as well as Yamaha CL5 digital consoles.

This year’s roster of artists at MerleFest included long-time roots artists like Leon Russell, The Charlie Daniels Band, Avett Brothers, Del McCoury Band, Donna the Buffalo, Jim Lauderdale, Michael Martin Murphey, Peter Rowan, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The festival is named for famed guitarist Doc Watson’s late son, Merle, a gifted musician in his own right. Doc passed away in May 2012, so this is the first year he hasn’t graced the stage himself.

The NEXO STM rig shared and alternated between the main Watson Stage and the side Cabin Stage. The arrays consisted of 15 M46/B112 modules per side for mains, joined by 16 S118 subs in cardioid mode per side, two M46 for front fill, and a 3-stack of M46/B112 modules for out fill in the VIP area.

A Yamaha DME64 digital mixing engine functioned as a converter from analog to Dante that was networked to all NXAMPs. Twenty NEXO 45 N-12 line monitors were also used on the main stage.

“The NEXO STM system was very musical and even horizontally and vertically,” states Chris West, front of house engineer at the Watson Stage. “The mix sounded the same on the ground and at FOH. The throw was incredible; we hardly used the delays.”

“The NEXO STM system sounded natural, even at high volume,” adds Haley Miller, monitor engineer at the Watson Stage. “When dealing with acoustic music, the environment plays a large part, so a natural sounding system is always a plus. On stage it was quiet, and sometimes we couldn’t tell if the PA was on; the system allowed great isolation from stage to FOH with no bleed.”

Four new Yamaha CL5 digital audio consoles with Rio 3224 input/output boxes all connected with Dante were used on the Americana Stage for mains and monitors and at the Dance Stage for mains and monitors. “

The overall impression was they sounded great,” says Myron Surber, sales associate for SE Systems. “The preamps were warm and the Premium Rack was a real plus with delays on the input channels and the additional 1/3 octave EQs.”

“The Yamaha CL5 is a great improvement on previous Yamaha consoles having mixed on both the PM5D and M7CL in festival situations,” states Josh Berneking, who mixed front of house for all the acts on the Americana Stage. “The CL5 is much better in that situation. The new premium rack plug-ins, especially the Rupert Neve EQ and Compressor, sound great.

“I also like the increased naming and labeling capabilities; and color-coding my channels was a huge help at the festival. I also found that it was similar enough in navigation to the M7s that guest engineers walking up to the consoles having no experience were able to jump right in on the desk and mix on the fly with very little help from me.

“The Dante network and stage boxes worked great; they were very easy to patch on, and setup. We were also able to connect my talkback mic to the monitor console through Dante.” Jeff Neubauer mixed monitors on the Americana Stage.

“The console sounded great and was sonically very clean,” says Todd Dupree, who mixed monitors on the Dance Stage. “We had two Rio boxes on our stage; they are great devices, well made, and solid. The indicator lights for signal, peaking, 48v, and the Ping feature worked great in the frantic festival setting.” John Adair mixed front of house at Dance Stage.


SE Systems
NEXO & Yamaha

Posted by Keith Clark on 05/08 at 12:50 PM
AVLive SoundNewsAVConcertConsolesLine ArrayLoudspeakerSound ReinforcementSubwooferPermalink

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

A Great Mix? Sometimes It Depends On Who You Ask…

“That was the most amazing show I've ever heard!” When someone walks out of a concert saying this, is it accurate?

Mixing sound in the live realm is not rocket science. In fact, it’s probably closer to voodoo.  A studio engineer creates a masterpiece that will (hopefully) live forever in permanent hard copy existence. But the very nature of a live mixing dictates that every show will be unique - and that none will be perfect. 

A front of house engineer is in the business of creating a memory. Impact, excitement and anticipation form the landscape of the journey you’re guiding the audience through. Perception is everything.

“That was the most amazing show I’ve ever heard!” When someone walks out of a concert saying this, is it accurate?

Are they referring to fidelity, tonal balance, and mix perfection? Or is it possibly the impact, anticipation, and excitement that affected them in an emotional way?

We can’t force the audience to have fun, but we can make sure the audience hears the most important aspects of the music while doing our best to mask and acoustically downplay any negative issues that arise.

Imagine mixing a show with the utmost finesse, articulating a series of precision and complex cues, and then an irritating knucklehead from the audience leans over the console and says, “Hey man, can’t hear the keyboard.”

My first thought is to strangle the annoying punter. He obviously knows nothing about the intricacies of mixing or he’d be behind the console, right? Well, maybe not. Sometimes as engineers we get so wrapped up in displaying the depth of our skills that we forget exactly what is most fundamental and important. 

Have you ever heard an engineer fumbling with effects while the mix sounds tragic? Don’t kid yourself - 95 percent or more of the audience has no idea and really does not care whether you used a macro-pristine-ultra-chamber or a $20,000 tube comp on each of the 12 vocals.

What they do care about:

—Can they hear the vocals?

—Can they also hear the vocals?

—Can they hear everything else? 

—Does it capture their attention, take them to a state of bliss, happiness, rage, or whatever direction that particular music is supposed to take them, so they can stop worrying about whether they can hear the vocals?

No matter what goes wrong sound-wise during a live performance, if it’s noticed from the audience perspective, then the problem belongs to the house engineer. There are no excuses.

Here’s the important point for engineers: “NOTICE.”

The show starts and all seems good, but then I realize there’s no guitar microphone in PA left. I can immediately turn it on and “fix” the problem, also thereby instantly letting 10,000 people know about the goof.

Or, I can slowly pan the guitar mic to center, then left, and back to center. If I dialed it up correctly, then for the next song the odds are that the problem has now actually become a cool guitar effect. It’s not about hiding mistakes; it’s about giving the audience the best show possible.

“That snare sound is my sonic signature!” Yes, someone did tell me this once, and yes, it’s got to be one of the most irritating things I’ve ever heard. 

If the audience is focused on the way we mix, we’re fighting an uphill battle. I realize that there are many situations where the sound engineer is an integral part of creative process of the show. But the point remains - don’t muck with the frill until the basics are dialed in.

It all comes down to this: drawing attention to the mix, rather than the performers on stage, is often good for the ego. But it can be bad for the career.

Dave Rat heads up Rat Sound, based in Southern California, and has also been a mix engineer for more than 25 years.

Posted by admin on 05/07 at 04:31 PM
Live SoundFeatureBlogStudy HallConcertEngineerMixerSignalSound ReinforcementSystemPermalink

High End Systems Hog 4 And Catalyst On Bloc Party

The band's biggest show to date, the performance hinged on proper video support for the 19,000 capacity venue. Video Director Matt Askem and XL Video rose to the occasion with a stunning visual package that perfectly complemented LD Rob Sinclair's lighting.

Popular British indie band Bloc Party celebrated the release of their new album, “Four”, by performing a one-off show at Earls Court in London.

The band’s biggest show to date, the performance hinged on proper video support for the 19,000 capacity venue. Video Director Matt Askem and XL Video rose to the occasion with a stunning visual package that perfectly complemented LD Rob Sinclair’s lighting.

XL Video supplied two Catalyst Media Servers, a Hog 4 console from High End Systems and two Barco FLM HD20 projectors, along with their Kayak based HD PPU with four Sony HXC-100 HD cameras and five Bradley Engineering CamBall2 HD remote cameras.

Well-known for his concert film work with Take That, a-Ha, Simply Red and others, Askem was also the live video director for the opening and closing Olympic Ceremonies. For the Earl’s Court gig, the video director brought in media server programmer Hugh Davies-Webb to assist at the Earls Court show, giving Hugh his first opportunity to work with the new Hog 4 control platform.

Hugh explains, “Our goal was i-mag that complements what’s going on with the songs by blending content and live cameras, and by shaping the video to fit the lighting and set designer’s vision of the show, so everything is working together.

“We took lots of camera feeds from the Vision Mixer and treated them in appropriate ways - either colorizing, or doing different shades, and then used different sized PIP’s and such to really shape the video. With a bit of rewiring we actually got six different video feeds going into the Catalyst media servers that I was driving with the Hog 4, and we had up to six feeds that we could put up on each screen.”

The additional horsepower of the Hog 4 platform proved a major timesaver for Davies-Webb during pre-production. “This style of programming is quite meticulous,” says Hugh, “in that you’re often using one camera image over another image over another image - and putting different colors in and blending them all together.

“I’ve got a day with the video director before he runs off to meet the band and make sure that they’re going to approve what we’re doing - and about 24 songs to get in the bag, so with this style of programming, there’s not much time to get it done and dusted.

“That’s when a desk like the Hog 4 is a real lifesaver. The Hog 3 OS is still one of the fastest operating systems for a proficient programmer to use, but the Hog 4 is a real step up. The syntax on the Hog desks is really awesome; with a couple of keystrokes you can achieve something that would take several loads of key presses on other desks.”

The Hog 4’s User Kinds were utilized by Hugh for a significantly quicker programming experience.

“As someone who loves Full Boars and Hog 3’s,” says Hugh, “I must say the Hog 4 platform is brilliant. One feature that stands out to me is the User Kinds, which is just a fabulous feature for media server programming.

“Rather than continually shuffling between different wheel sets on the desk, to go from my keystoning parameters to my scaling and to my positioning parameters, User Kinds allows the programmer to - with the push of a button - get the desk to bring up the parameters that you actually want to use. That feature is a massive timesaver.”

Davies-Webb also found himself enjoying the Hog 4’s motorized fader feature.

“I’ve been a bit of a motorized fader Luddite,” he confesses, “and I never saw the point - but with the way the Hog organizes info, the motorized fader is a really nice feature and it made my show easy to operate.”

In closing, the programmer gives high marks to the entire Hog 4 range. “High End have really done it right. They launched a whole range of desks that look cool, have great features, and the price is right as well. They’re going to give the competition a few sleepless nights!”

High End Systems

Posted by Julie Clark on 05/07 at 01:45 PM
ProductionNewsProductionLightingProduction SoftwareVideoConcertPermalink

David Rosenthal Finds Lexicon PCM Total Bundle Essential Live And In the Studio

David Rosenthal has enjoyed a remarkably successful career as a keyboardist, synth programmer, orchestrator, and touring musician and that doesn’t begin to cover it all.

David Rosenthal has enjoyed a remarkably successful career as a keyboardist, synth programmer, orchestrator, and touring musician and that doesn’t begin to cover it all.

Rosenthal is also Billy Joel’s musical director, a role that recently has him performing worldwide at events like 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief and the upcoming New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival 2013.

Besides working with Billy Joel for the past 20 years, he’s also worked with Bruce Springsteen, Enrique Iglesias, Elton John, Cyndi Lauper and many others, provided synth programming and musical direction for the Tony-winning Broadway Musical “Movin’ Out” and runs Sonic Adventures Studio in New Jersey.

The sonic adventure continues with Rosenthal’s recent discovery of Harman’s Lexicon PCM Total Bundle reverb/effects plug-in.

“I’ve been a Lexicon user since the early ’90s,” said Rosenthal. “In fact I was one of the people who contributed customized Music FX presets for the PCM 80 when they used to sell preset sound cards. I’ve used products like the Lexicon PCM 80, 81, 90, 91 and 480L and they’ve always been a big part of my sound.”

Rosenthal has always embraced the latest musical technologies, but it wasn’t until recently that he felt that computers and software had reached the point where he could forego his outboard effects.

He used to use banks of keyboards and racks of outboard effects processors because it was the only way he could get the sounds he needed live. It’s only been in the past year or so that computer technology has gotten to the point where Rosenthal needed it to be.

“The tech has turned the corner, thanks to resources like laptops with 16 GB of memory, better synth plug-ins, solid-state drives, 64-bit operating systems and plug-ins like the Lexicon PCM Total Bundle. Now everything can keep up, I have enough processing power and polyphonic capability and everything responds like a musical instrument.”

He hasn’t given up his cocoon of keyboards entirely, he still uses multiple keyboards live because he doesn’t want to map a lot of sounds on a limited number of keyboards. “When I’m on stage I want to think about playing, not about program changes and which buttons I have to push during a song.”

“The Lexicon PCM Total Bundle doesn’t sound like it’s close to the ‘Lexicon sound’ – it is the Lexicon sound,” Rosenthal emphasized. “It has the smooth reverb tails and that beautiful natural decay, and its algorithms don’t ‘smear’ the initial attack of my keyboards.”

In live performances Rosenthal primarily uses a tweaked sound based on the Concert Hall algorithm that he calls “Bright Keyboard Hall,” finding that it gives depth and spatiality to his keyboard sounds without getting too boomy in an arena or large hall.

In the studio, Rosenthal is still exploring the sonic possibilities of the PCM Total Bundle. “Other reverb plug-ins have fallen short for me and I have always used Lexicon hardware units for my important studio projects – until now. I also like the fact that the PCM Total Bundle gives me 100-percent total recall of my settings, which is an incredible timesaver in the studio and assures I’ll never lose any of my customized sounds.”

“The PCM Total Bundle is exactly what I expected a Lexicon plug-in to sound like,” Rosenthal concluded. “Nothing else sounds like a Lexicon reverb, and the PCM Total Bundle gives me the same sound quality and musicality I’ve come to rely on from Lexicon that I can’t get anywhere else.”

The Lexicon PCM Total Bundle is designed to work with popular DAWs like Pro Tools and Logic, as well as with any other VST, Audio Unit or RTAS-compatible platform. Compatible with Windows Vista, XP and 7 and Macintosh computers, it offers 14 unique Lexicon reverbs and effects, and hundreds of finely crafted studio presets.

Its intuitive user interface provides control of key parameters with a graphical real-time full-color display and flexible sonic customization capabilities.


Posted by Julie Clark on 05/07 at 12:25 PM
Live SoundRecordingNewsConcertDigitalDigital Audio WorkstationsProcessorSoftwareSound ReinforcementStudioPermalink

Sardou’s “Les Grand Moments” Tour Features 93 Martin Professional MAC Vipers

In late 2012, popular French singer Michel Sardou began a four-month "Les Grands Moments" tour across France, revisiting his biggest hits in a truly energetic show.

In late 2012, popular French singer Michel Sardou began a four-month “Les Grands Moments” tour across France, revisiting his biggest hits in a truly energetic show.

Lighting designer Jacques Rouveyrollis used just one type of spotlight on stage throughout the tour -  the MAC Viper Profile from Martin Professional – a somewhat bold choice given it was the lighting fixture’s French début. Fortunately it more than delivered on all its promises. 

A total of 93 MAC Viper Profiles, supplied by the Dushow Group (who currently have 160 in total), were installed, 56 equally spaced over three gantries and 37 on the floor spread across four levels.

No traditional spotlights were used – a rare occurrence for such a show. The simple lighting plan acted as the sole stage design element and provided the performance area with structure by offering a wide variety of effects.

At front of house, 6 MAC III Performances were installed behind the control desk for extra punch.

The MAC Vipers enabled Jacques Rouveyrollis to design several different lighting scenarios to accompany the various songs.

Using a single type of light source provided a sense of harmony between songs as the color temperature remained identical throughout. Even when changing beam density and direction, the lighting remained uniformly consistent.

The MAC Viper also gave scope to a variety of effects thanks to the gobos it offers from two 5-slot rotating gobo wheels.

Jacques Rouveyrollis was able to make the most of the graphics both within the space and as projection, and also had the chance to incorporate animation looks from the fixture’s FX wheel into his design.

Another advantage of the MAC Viper on the tour was its size. Increased power typically means increased size but that’s not the case with the Viper, whose compact and lightweight format eases the riggers’ work, a significant advantage on such a long tour.

What’s more, its compact format doesn’t compromise on power since the MAC Viper can reach a light intensity of 26,000 lumens (brighter than 1200 W models available on the market).

All that from a lamp rated at only 1000 W, meaning the energy saved is considerable - about 100 KW per Viper compared with 600 KW on traditionally lit tours. On the “Les Grands Moments” tour, that power savings allowed for enough headroom to create an intense light curtain as a backdrop.

Lighting Designer: Jacques Rouveyrollis
Assistant Lighting Designer: Jessica Duclos
Lighting Director: Nicolas Gilli
System Manager: Georges Da Silva
Automation Technician /
Servomotor Manager:    André Lassiva
Rental Company: Dushow

Martin Equipment:
93 x MAC Viper Profile
6 x MAC III Performance

Martin Professional

Posted by Julie Clark on 05/07 at 12:12 PM

Outline iMode Provides Networking Backbone For New Orleans Saloon

The two-floor venue features two new, state-of-the-art sound reinforcement systems consisting of Outline loudspeakers and iMode networking and control technology.

New Orleans’ latest traditional jazz venue, the Little Gem Saloon, recently celebrated its rebirth and grand opening. The two-floor venue features two new, state-of-the-art sound reinforcement systems consisting of Outline loudspeakers and iMode networking and control technology.

Outline’s iMode-based sound system provides the venue a crystal-clear, transparent sonic foundation for delivering authentic live jazz.

Located at the head of New Orleans’ famed “Jazz Alley” on the 400 block of South Rampart Street, the Little Gem Saloon has been resurrected on the site of its original 1903 location. Jazz historians unanimously agree that no other single location is more significant to the founding and evolution of jazz than the Little Gem Saloon.

“When I was approached to provide a sound design for the Little Gem Saloon, I immediately thought of Outline,” says Michael Paz, a New Orleans-based sound designer and music industry veteran. “Knowing that we would have two separate performance spaces one floor apart, Outline’s iMode technology was the clear and obvious choice.

“The ability to monitor, control and, if need be, run the same program material through both systems simultaneously, was really appealing. Plus having all that control at the engineer’s fingertips via Outline’s iMode app for iPad and iPhone really gave Outline an advantage over other systems.”

The upper and lower performance spaces of the Little Gem Saloon have almost identical front-of-house systems based on three Outline DVS12P-iSP self-powered, 12-inch, two-way trapezoidal cabinets arrayed in a left-center-right configuration.

A total of five Outline iSM112-iSP cabinets, two on the ground floor and three in the upper level space dubbed “The Ramp Room” in homage to Rampart Street, act as floor monitors in the venue. In addition, one Outline DVS118SW-iSP single 18-inch subwoofer rounds out the installation. All iSP designated speakers are iMode-capable.

The iMode technology embeds a Linux-based CPU with an integrated DSP chip, parameter control software and Web server right into its powered speaker systems, thereby eliminating outboard gear between the console and power amplifier. Audio conversion is done at 24-bit/192 kHz resolution, with users having real-time control over levels, delay, EQ and shelving filters per speaker.

iMode also allows the user to monitor performance parameters across the system, including VU-metering, selected preset parameters, clip and limiter status, amplifier overheating and protection. These parameters can be accessed using an iPad with a dedicated Outline software app or via any standard Web browser on any Internet-capable device.

“In a historic venue like the Little Gem Saloon, the sound system should be pleasing to the eye, but invisible to the ear,” said Tom Bensen, Outline North America’s senior vice president and managing director. “When it comes to sound reinforcement needs, traditional jazz music is akin to classical music.

“The transparent, crisp and natural sound that the DVS12P-iSP delivers is perfectly suited to reproducing and reinforcing each instrument and performance nuance note for note, without coloration. I was very pleased with the way the systems blended in each of the performance spaces both visually and sonically.”

From 1903 to 1909, Frank Doroux’s original Little Gem Saloon indelibly linked a series of three late-1880s Italianate terrace houses at 445-449 South Rampart Street to the birth of America’s greatest indigenous art form, jazz. The club became the watering hole for jazz legends such as Buddy Bolden, Freddie Keppard, and other early performers of the neighboring Back-of-Town district (known today as Mid-City and Central City). The original Little Gem closed its doors in 1909, re-opening on January 20, 2013


Posted by Julie Clark on 05/07 at 11:59 AM
Live SoundNewsConcertInstallationLoudspeakerSound ReinforcementStageSubwooferPermalink

FOH Engineer Marko Hunt Relies On SpectraFoo Analysis Software From Metric Halo

Hunt is keenly aware of the advantages of regularly “calibrating” his ears using SpectraFoo analysis software from Metric Halo.

Marko Hunt is closing in on four decades behind the mixing console, and he has spent the last thirty-two of them with The Oak Ridge Boys – first at monitors and then later at FOH.

Before securing that enduring gig, Hunt cut his teeth touring with the Little River Band in its heyday. He also spent several years touring with Johnny Cash. After all those countless gigs in the innumerable venues of the nation and the world, he hears music with precision and objectivity.

Perhaps because of that ability, Hunt is keenly aware of the advantages of regularly “calibrating” his ears using SpectraFoo analysis software from Metric Halo.

“As good as my ears may or may not be, it’s still a good idea to use a measurement tool to maintain accuracy,” Hunt said. “Anybody who does what I do knows that there are so many things in a room that can throw you off.

“I can hear a frequency and call it. By now, I’m good at that. But I can still get fooled; it’s not uncommon to mistake a frequency for one that’s an octave higher or lower. Moreover, I’m used to calling frequencies in the standard 1/3 octave bands.

“With SpectraFoo, I can objectively see what’s going on with much greater resolution, switching to 1/6 or even 1/12 octave, which allows me to pinpoint a frequency on my parametric EQ. Very often, that center point may sit between the 1/3 octave bands.”

In addition to the tricks and phantoms that acoustical spaces and PA systems love to conjure, there are often physiological reasons why the objectivity afforded by SpectraFoo and Hunt’s Earthworks M30 omni-directional measurement microphone can be a life saver.

“Because of the timing of things, there are some days when I go over the mountains flat on my back in a bunk,” he said. “God never meant for you and your ears to go over the mountains on your back!

“Or I may fly, and the pressure change may leave my ears completely whacked. But my computer doesn’t care. My mic doesn’t care. And SpectraFoo doesn’t care. I can still tune a room – close to perfectly – even if my ears are still recovering.”

When working with The Oak Ridge Boys, a well-tuned room is essential. With four vocalists, four soloists, and percussion, there is a lot going on and a lot of open mics.

Indeed, the high pass for bass vocalist Richard Sterban (think “oom-pa-pa-oom-pa-pa-mau-mau” from “Elvira”) is often as low as 80Hz, and he’s a fairly quiet singer. If Hunt doesn’t take care of the 200 to 300Hz especially, his mix will invariably turn to mud.

“Although I travel with my own console, every night I’m faced with a different room and a different PA,” he said. “SpectraFoo helps me to maintain consistency from night to night.”

Of course, Hunt also relies on his ears – you can often find him walking around a venue before a show listening to Steely Dan, Diana Krall, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea and other “clean recordings” that he’s very familiar with.

Apart from helping Hunt to objectify his experience, SpectraFoo can also make it easier to communicate with others about sound, which can otherwise be a very subjective topic of conversation – or of disagreement.

“I remember one time when I was setting up, and the left side of the PA sounded funny,” he said. “I talked with the venue technicians, who insisted that they had just had someone out to tune things up and that the problem must therefore reside with our gear. So I showed them with SpectraFoo: first the right side where everything looked good, then the left side, where things were obviously messed up.

“Then they said, ‘it has to be your console!’ So I hooked up the console output to SpectraFoo and it was obvious that both channels were fine. They couldn’t fix it that day, but they did call me later to say thanks and that, yes, a few of the components had been wired out of phase.”

Although he doesn’t use them all, Hunt appreciates the huge diversity of tools available in SpectraFoo, and he uses a fair number of them – both on the road and in the studio.

“The main tools that I use for tuning a room and for the actual performance are the Spectragraph (volume versus frequency) and the Spectragram (volume versus frequency versus time),” said Hunt. “I’ll usually compare the output from the console with the output from my Earthworks mic using the Transfer Function (source versus mic).

“If I hear a frequency poke up, I can turn to the time-based Spectragram, and that lets me know where it is and whether it’s in the console or only in the room.”

He uses many of the additional tools, such as the oscilloscope, the Lissajous phase scope, THD Distortion Analyzer and the Phase Torch to confirm the operation of his equipment and to help out in the studio.

“I also can route my monitor buss to the source input and compare any channel on the console to what’s coming out of the P.A. or using separate busses compare any two channels on the console, i.e. kick and bass guitar. Once you’re set up it’s as simple as switching window sets.”

Metric Halo Labs

Posted by Julie Clark on 05/07 at 11:42 AM
Live SoundNewsConcertMeasurementMicrophoneSoftwareSound ReinforcementPermalink

Monday, May 06, 2013

Ruehling Associates Augment High End Systems Inventory

Ruehling Assocaiates adds new fixtures, Hog 4 control products

Established in 1982, Ruehling Associates, Inc. is a premier rental and sales provider of lighting equipment to a diverse clientele. Based in Maple Grove, MN, the company has been a loyal dealer and staunch supporter of High End Systems products since the Intellabeam 400HX’s debut in 1988.

Much to the delight of their clients, Ruehling Associates recently augmented their High End Systems inventory with a smorgasbord of new gear, including SolaSpot LED, Trackspot Bolt, TechnoArc, Technospot and Intellaspot fixtures and a variety of Hog 4 control products.

As ‘architects of light in motion’, the firm has delivered world-class lighting solutions to the mid-size market for over thirty years. President Ron Ruehling’s business model of 50% sales and 50% rentals has promoted continued success and growth through good and tough times alike.

Ron points out, “By selling what we rent, and renting what we sell, we are able to share our knowledge in application and maintenance of the same products. This is what keeps both types of customers coming back. Our rental ‘competition’ would be staging companies that continue to purchase new products from us as well as purchase our used gear.

“Those same companies often cross-rent from us and we offer them trade-in options on their used gear, so it’s a win-win-win.”

“When the Intellaspot, Technospot and TechnoArc were introduced, and then the new Hog 4 console line, it was hard to contain the excitement around here,” says Ruehling. “We now have a fresh, complete product line to bring to our established market.

“The Trackspot Bolt is impressive, a great seller, and they get rented every week. The SolaSpot LED - in my opinion - is HES’s ‘best kept secret’ right now; I plan to stock up on more. The even field and CRI are truly impressive.

Sales, Design & Training Manager Travis Slyter comments, “Ruehling Associates is pleased to continue our long-standing support of the Wholehog console family. Our rental department invested in Hog IIs in the early days of Flying Pig Systems and since the merger with High End Systems, we have integrated the entire Hog 3 family into our rental fleet.

“Over the last five years, our nationally-recognized Wholehog training workshops have introduced dozens of users from a variety of applications to this scalable, flexible family of controllers.

“The affordability, flexibility and availability of Hog hardware in local rental inventories combined with the quality of support from High End Systems have established the Wholehog family as one of the most specified control systems in our region.

“The release of Hog 4 opens a lot of new creative options while still maintaining compatibility with legacy Hog 3 products. We are very excited to add Full Boar 4 and Nano Hog 4 consoles to our rental inventory along with Playback Wing 4 and Hog 4 PC Widget controllers. We will also be integrating Hog 4 products to our console training seminars in the near future.”

According to Travis, the Trackspot Bolt stands tall as a popular fixture with both sales and rental customers.

“Many designers have been excited to have a new moving mirror option,” he points out. “The Bolt offers lightning fast movement reminiscent of classic HES fixtures like the Intellabeam and Trackspot. The compact Bolts fits in many tight locations too small for moving yokes.

“It’s also a great solution to eliminate sway when you have to share rig points with moving lights and projectors. The reduced power draw and lower heat of the LED source are big hit in smaller installations and corporate events. Fixtures in those venues are often projecting gobos for long hours in locations with limited power. The Bolts stay very busy in our rental department!”

Similarly, Technospot and TechnoArc provide designers real bang-for-the-buck. “The Technospot and TechnoArc offer a rich feature set at a very competitive price point,” says Slyter. “The wider aperture allows these fixtures to really punch through stage washes and video displays. The Technospot rivals the output of units requiring twice as much power and offers a great selection of gobo, prism and animation effects with a zoom range you don’t often see in this class of fixture.

Travis continues, “The TechnoArc has been a great solution for our rental department. We needed a beam fixture to create ACL / searchlight effects for concert and dance customers, and we also needed a versatile theatrical wash light to fill the mid-size niche in our rental inventory.

“The TechnoArc allowed us to serve both markets with a single fixture. It’s incredibly bright and very fast. There’s nothing else like it on the market right now.”

The Intellaspot continues the tradition of the x.Spot, allowing a high-output, full-featured spot fixture to be operated at 110 Volts, which Travis explains is crucial to their corporate and house of worship clients.

“The Intellaspot has won shootouts with 1,500 watt fixtures thanks to its output, power consumption and variety of features. The versatility of gobos and effects combined with a frost option and large zoom range makes the Intellaspot excellent for a wide variety of applications. It’s another HES product in a class by itself.”

Slyter agrees with Ruehling’s observations on the recently introduced SolaSpot LED. “SolaSpot has some of the best optics I have ever seen in a spot LED fixture,” he enthuses. “We have done several blind shootouts with traditional arc spots and so far no one has been able to pick out the LED unit. It has very crisp patterns and a super flat field. The warmer 5600K color temperature has a great CRI.

“The zoom and prism are bonus features you don’t find in a fixture this size at this price point. SolaSpot LED is a home run and the best kept secret in the industry right now. We are working hard to change that and look forward to adding more units to our rental department.”

Ruehling concludes, “In order to effectively respond to the unique demands of the professional market, only the best support ‘from presale to after sale’ will do. Quality is what separates the winners from the punters. High End’s products are creatively inspired, well-engineered, easy to service and reliable. Their after sales support is second to none. We look forward to continuing our partnership with HES in the future.”

High End Systems

Posted by Julie Clark on 05/06 at 11:37 AM

SSL Digital Broadcast Console Makes Classical Music Sing For Vienna Boys’ Choir

A Solid State Logic C100 HDS Digital Broadcast Console has been chosen to make classical music sing for the new Musik und Theater (MuTh) Concert Hall, the permanent home for the Vienna Boys’ Choir (VBC).

A Solid State Logic C100 HDS Digital Broadcast Console has been chosen to make classical music sing for the new Musik und Theater (MuTh) Concert Hall, the permanent home for the Vienna Boys’ Choir (VBC).

The 400-seat facility is also home to many other institutions and hosts performances ranging from the Vienna Philharmonic to dance and jazz presentations. The C100 is used for front of house live sound mixing, DAW capture, post production and live-to-air broadcast/streaming. The choice of the C100 was based in part on purity of sound and SSL’s responsiveness to client needs.

“While we looked at consoles from all the major manufacturers, SSL was our choice for many reasons,” says Roland Tscherne, technical manager and sound engineer for MuTh. “First and foremost, SSL offers the most clarity and precise sound, worthy of the internationally acclaimed artists who perform here.

“Second, unlike other companies, SSL was very willing to sit and discuss our specific needs and work with us to fulfill those needs. SSL didn’t stop paying attention once the console was installed, as we have received software updates that include many of the refinements we were looking for. SSL is a company that takes care of you through the sale and continues the relationship into the future. That attention is very valuable.”

The MuTh Concert Hall is also an educational facility for children and young adults who attend its co-ed kindergarten, elementary and high schools that are attached. The theatre places particular emphasis on children’s opera. The entire operation is conceived as a gathering place for educating young people in the performing arts and to foster collaborations with other established institutions centered on youth performing arts.

According to Tscherne, the C100 resides in the theatre itself, acting as the front of house console and the audio hub for the facility. The C100 has been configured to send stereo and 5.1 mixes to the house system for concerts and film presentations.

At the same time, each mix combination and the individual microphone channels are sent to the DAW for capture, re-mixing and post production. If a performance uses 30 wireless and 60 orchestra microphones, one push of a button sends all the single tracks to the DAW, saving time, while giving the engineering staff more opportunity to concentrate on creating the perfect mix.

“When we first put in the C100, each engineer definitely had a wow factor going when they sat down at the console,” concludes Tscherne. “Because it was an SSL console, they were a little bit intimidated because they haven’t ever used a console like this.

“However, one hour later, they were impressed with the ease of use, comfortable with mixing a project and, most importantly, with the pristine sound. We look forward to a long and successful relationship with SSL.”

Solid State Logic

Posted by Julie Clark on 05/06 at 11:06 AM
Live SoundRecordingNewsConcertConsolesDigitalSound ReinforcementPermalink

d&b Helps Blue Rodeo Celebrate Twenty-Five Years

Playing theatres and small arenas around Canada, the production needed a show pack that could adjust to a range of audience sizes, while still remaining manageable for a relatively small crew.

After twelve studio albums, numerous international concerts, and developing the well earned reputation as ‘one of the premiere bands in Canadian music history,’ Blue Rodeo kicked off 2013 with their celebratory 25 Years Tour.

Playing theatres and small arenas around Canada, the production needed a show pack that could adjust to a range of audience sizes, while still remaining manageable for a relatively small crew. With the help of Apex Sound & Light, in Toronto, and d&b audiotechnik, Blue Rodeo was able to keep the entire show to only one truck.

Apex Account Manager Chris James was especially impressed, commenting, “It’s almost unheard of to have an arena show with audio, video, lighting and 15 ft of backline all in one 53 ft trailer. Especially as an easy pack, and not a total nightmare!”

With smooth load-ins, usually running less than three hours, and even faster load-outs, Blue Rodeo System Tech, Phil Hornung credits the d&b audiotechnik compact V-Series sound system.

“d&b was an easy system to adapt to various audience geometries. I could preconfigure the angles of the array while the riggers were still hanging points,” explains Hornung. “The ArrayCalc software for system setup is extremely accurate, I’ve tested it; so when it was our turn to set up, being able to easily export that data into the d&b R1Remote control software meant everything was already working.

“With half as many amplifiers, and half as much cabling as other systems, it all came together quickly.”

Apex employed V8 and V12 in the main array, with the d&b Q1 and Q7 loudspeakers as fills.

“The goal was to create a large format line array performance from what was not actually a large array. In fact, the system is so compact and light weight; only two people are needed to move it into place.”

The passive three way V-Series system, including the fills and subs, runs on only ten amplifiers.

James explains that the R1 Remote software, “Connects any number and location of amplifiers to the system technician, and provides access to the parameters needed. It is extensive in its control and simplicity.” He adds, “The outstanding efficiency of our system means everything can run easily on only a 60 amp single phase power.”

Although not an “ear pounding type of mix,” Front of House Engineer Rich Steeb still required a system that would “rock with anything out there.” Steeb has mixed for Blue Rodeo for over nineteen years, enjoying a more consistent and neutral sounding system to work with from night to night.

With the V-Series, he found that, “Very little tweaking was needed during sound check. The miles of headroom the system offers is important in the overall tonality of any mix. Also, the mic selection and subtle characteristics of each guitar change are more perceivable with the V8 and V12 components.”

Even the monitor tech for Apex, Shaun Shuell saw advantages “The d&b sound system leaves the competition far behind.”

Particularly impressed with the directional abilities of the PA, he explains that “Blue Rodeo prefers the stage volume as low as possible. We were able to hang the sound system further downstage and with the band’s backline amplifiers in isolation cabinets backstage the effect was perfect; very quiet for the artists, no matter where we played. It just sounded great wherever we took it.”

d&b audiotechnik

Posted by Julie Clark on 05/06 at 10:55 AM
Live SoundNewsConcertLine ArrayLoudspeakerSound ReinforcementStagePermalink

Friday, May 03, 2013

The Maj Theatre In Perth Installs All-Digital Riedel Intercom System

Riedel Communications today announced that His Majesty's Theatre in Perth has installed a Riedel digital intercom system.

Riedel Communications today announced that His Majesty’s Theatre in Perth has installed a Riedel digital intercom system.

The Riedel solution prepares the facility for Australia’s “digital dividend,” which mandates the release and eventual auction of 126 MHz of contiguous RF spectrum and will affect wireless microphones, in-ear monitors, and RF communications systems.

The new all-digital intercom system at “The Maj” is centrally controlled by a Riedel Artist 32 digital intercom matrix. The theater has replaced its traditional analog partylines with the flexible Riedel Performer digital partylines and exchanged its existing wireless system with Riedel’s Acrobat digital wireless system.

“The implementation of the Riedel system at His Majesty’s Theatre has made vast improvements in the venue’s back-of-house operations as its high-level coverage greatly increases the scope of our flexibility and opportunities for communication in both performance and rehearsal modes. We are thrilled with the system,” said Rodney Phillips, general manager, His Majesty’s Theatre.

The Acrobat wireless system runs in the DECT spectrum at 1.9 GHz, well clear of other wireless audio systems and completely unaffected by the digital dividend. The single CC-8 base station can control up to 18 wireless belt packs, each with two full-duplex channels.

Four strategically placed CA-6 antennas ensure complete coverage throughout the facility. Rich interfacing allows the audio team to replace a myriad of paging microphones, combining them directly into the stage manager’s 1RU control panel.

Four Artist key panels (one rackmount and three desktop) give users high-quality audio and total system control. The user-friendly Director software enables technicians to control conversations — crews only hear what they need to hear — and thus improves the clarity, utility, and safety of theater communications.

Riedel Communications

Posted by Julie Clark on 05/03 at 09:27 AM

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Martin Professional Lights Up Harvest Christian Fellowship Celebration

Harvest lighting designer and programmer Christopher Eguizabal was tasked with lighting the event, as well as a special dinner for Harvest guests and staff to be aired on television -- he opted for Martin Professional lighting systems for the event.

On March 17th, Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, celebrated the ministry’s 40th anniversary by hosting a weekend event titled “ReEnvision.”

The weekend was intended to reflect on how Harvest grew from a small church into one of America’s mega-churches with one of the largest evangelical outreaches in America and the world, “Harvest America.”

Harvest lighting designer and programmer Christopher Eguizabal was tasked with lighting the event, as well as a special dinner for Harvest guests and staff to be aired on television.

The lighting rig therefore needed to look good for both the live audience and on camera.

Christopher decided to go with Martin Professional’s MAC Aura wash light, which he used to key light the audience as well as wash the audience in an array of colors throughout the evening.

“I have always loved the products that Martin has put out over the years,” Christopher commented. “I‘ve chosen Martin products over others because of the great durability they have, the output compared to other fixtures and the clean look they give.

“The MAC Auras were no exception - they supplied me with amazing key lighting abilities and variable white, which for cameras worked amazingly well.”

Lighting control was via Martin’s easy to use yet powerful M1 console.

“I chose the Martin M1 because I think it is a perfect console for this type of event,” Christopher stated. “It offers a lot of playbacks and it’s easy to grab things on the fly if needed. The layout of the console and software is amazing as well.”

Christopher says that the biggest reason he goes with Martin isn’t only because of the “amazing” products but also because of the incredible customer service he receives. 

“Product managers Matthias Hinrichs and Paul Pelletier and the guys at Martin always amaze me with the new software revisions and console products they keep producing and I am happy to be able to keep using Martin products,” he says.

And with Harvest’s recent purchase of the new Martin M6 lighting console, Christopher will have ample opportunity to do just that. He states, “We are definitely excited to use it for our upcoming events that will feature extensive visual media elements.”

Harvest acquired their Martin lighting and control gear, which included Martin EC series LED video panels driven by Martin’s P3-100 System Processor, from southern California-based equipment supplier Felix Lighting. 

Martin Equipment:
20 x MAC Aura
P3-100 System Processor
1 x Maxedia
1 x M1

Martin Professional

Posted by Julie Clark on 05/02 at 11:30 AM
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