SAUDI STARS BKP reveals plans to establish Saudi biz p07 LONG ROAD AHEAD SHO? wins Dubai Road to Sound City event p10 CONSOLE CAPERS Avid debuts new VENUE console range p12
LIVE & KICKING The best live microphones in the business tried & tested
Vol: 4 Issue: 1 January 2010
An ITP Business Publication 1 Licensed by International Media Production Zone
STUDIO AL FAN, IS BACK AGAIN MTV LEBANON.
MAC 700 PROFILE
MAC 700 WASH
MAC 700’s CELEBRATES THEIR TALENT.
January 2010 Volume 4, Issue 01 07 Regional News BKP plans Saudi market assault, Behringer parent buys Midas, Klark Teknik; Buddha Beirut invests in Alcons Audio.
10 Long and winding road SHO? wins Road to Sound City battle of the bands, wins Sennheiser kit.
12 Live and loud Avid showcases new VENUE mixing console range during gala launch in Dubai.
14 COVER STORY: Training day S&S touches base with the UAEâ€™s leading professional training institutes about their plans for 2010.
20 Live & kicking S&S showcases a host of the leading live production microphone technologies available on the market.
27 Hot products Scarbee Jay-Bass, Philips CK LEDs, Neumann TLM 102 studio mic.
31 The Hitlist Online guide to Protools 8; upcoming conferences and trade events.
JANUARY 2010 SAS
WEB LOG DPme.com
NOVEMBER’S TOP STORIES
MOST READ SOUND & STAGE NEWS STORIES
1 Behringer parent buys Midas, Klark Teknik
2 Sony conﬁrms closure of videoconferencing biz
3 Top 5 Middle East AV projects of 2009
Live Nation conﬁrms iTunes live production deal Live Nation and iTunes have formed a partnership to sell exclusive audio and video recordings of the promoter and venue operator’s concerts online. Gigs staged at Live Nation’s network of ‘wired’ venues will be available for purchase and download through iTunes. “We are thrilled to offer artists a new highquality platform to share the magic of their live
shows with their fans,” said Michael Rapino, president and CEO of Live Nation. The initiative launched last month with archived recordings of artists including OK Go, Duffy and Ziggy Marley. Live Nation’s Studios division, regularly records concerts in more than 80 of its venues, which have been transformed into next-generation ‘wired’ live recording studios.
MOST READ NEWS STORIES OVERALL
1 Google’s ‘iPhone killer’ breaks cover
2 First layoffs at OrbitShowtime
3 Behringer parent buys Midas, Klark Teknik
EDITOR’S CHOICES NEWS
TOP 10 BROADCAST TECH INSTALLATIONS
LOUDER THAN HEAVEN
Showcasing the best broadcast infrastructure projects of 2009.
Nervecell discuss touring tech and techniques.
HAS ABU DHABI STOLEN DUBAI’S MANTLE AS THE GCC’S NUMBER ONE LIVE EVENTS DESTINATION?
YES, AND BY A FAIR MARGIN
ABU DHABI’S SPENDING POWER MEANS IT WILL NEVER BE ECLIPSED
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14.3% 10.7% 10.7% THEY’RE LEVEL, AS IT STANDS
NO. DUBAI STILL RULES THE ROOST
DUBAI WILL CLAW BACK GROUND IN 2010
Money, it’s a gas... An interesting sidenote to this month’s cover story focusing on professional training services were comments made by the founder of EMDI Institute, Nowshir Engineer, regarding the apparent reluctance of some graduates entering the live events production ﬁeld to consider starting positions offering salaries of less than around AED15,000 (US$4000) tax-free per month. “Placement is something we look at if required, when required,” he said. “The problem that we are ﬁnding at the moment is not that there aren’t any jobs; it’s that wages have come down to a level that many graduates aren’t interested in working for.” Nowshir’s insight into the situation is enlightening, particularly given the economically challenging times we ﬁnd ourselves in. For anyone unfamiliar with the dynamics of this region, it may seem a bizarre concept that a graduate would snub a starting salary of four grand per month tax-free, regardless of their chosen profession. The fact we’re discussing the live events production industry, where roadies and some engineers would be lucky to earn that sort of ﬁgure for a 24-day touring month, is laughable. Still, it could be seen as an unfortunate consequence of the privileged position many of these graduates have found themselves in.
While training academies such as those featured in this month’s cover story should be applauded for their commitment to cultivating professional standards in this region, one has to question whether ‘the message’ is being relayed to graduates who have unreasonable ﬁnancial expectations of an industry which, by international standards, is still in its relative infancy. Perhaps a reality check is what’s really required by those looking for an easy path to the top and a killer salary to boot. On a completely different note, 2010 is shaping up as a bumper year for the industry and your favourite publication, Sound & Stage. Planning for this year’s instalment of the Sound & Stage Awards is in full swing, with various new categories currently being considered for inclusion. Full details of this year’s awards programme and nomination processes will be posted on DigitalProductionME.com in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for them. Despite 2009 proving a challenging year for many, it was a landmark period for the GCC events industry, so competition is set to be ﬁerce. Be sure to get your nominations in!
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04 SAS JANUARY 2010
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BKP plans Saudi market assault EXCLUSIVE The founder of UAE-based audio production specialist BKP, Barry Kirsch, has conﬁrmed the company is considering opening a new studio facility in Saudi Arabia as it looks to tap the booming demand for audio post work in the Kingdom. BKP currently operates studio facilities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai that service KSA clients remotely. It also operates an ISDN link to a production partner in Beirut. “We’re currently assessing the potential of opening a division in Saudi Arabia,” said Kirsch. “It’s a very logical step, but the challenge lies in how
BKP founder Barry Kirsch. we go about it and ﬁnding a strong local partner… it makes sense for us to have a base in Saudi in the long-term.”
Kirsch said the market for audio production services in Saudi was growing rapidly. “The government’s launch-
ing a bunch of FM radio stations, which will provide us with opportunities in terms of producing radio spots,” he said. “We have a growing number of Saudi clients as well as requests for Saudi accents in commercial work produced by us, which we have limited access to here in the UAE. “Saudis like to hear their own accents used by talent in television and radio commercials. But locating that talent outside the country is very challenging indeed. “We also have plans to further develop our operation in Abu Dhabi, as business is very much booming in the capital.”
NUMBER CRUNCHERS S&S’ old mate and lighting designer Beau McLellan has completed the installation of the world’s largest chandelier in an ofﬁce THE FIXTURE’S tower in Doha, Qatar. The stats make for LENGTH, IN remarkable reading. METRES
THE FIXTURE’S WEIGHT
NUMBER OF LED NODES INSTALLED
SONY TO MAINTAIN SHOWTEX GOES VIDEO BIZ IN MENA SOFT AT DIFF 2009
Sony execs have conﬁrmed the company will continue its videoconferencing business in the Middle East and North Africa, despite its failure in Europe. “We will discontinue the range in Europe by the middle of the year,” conﬁrmed Masahiro Soga, senior GM, marketing, B2B solutions, Sony.
Showtex supplied a range of products to last month’s Dubai International Film Fest, including four 25m ShowTracks and a cloth scrim cyclorama fabric measuring 250sqm. The main Madinat Arena venue was also equipped with ShowTex FrontScreen Supermat Perforato projection screens.
SENNHEISER BOOTS CREAMFIELDS FINDS UP FOR FIFA COMP FAVOUR IN UAE Sennheiser supplied a range of wireless technology to last month’s FIFA World Club Championship staged in Abu Dhabi. Zayed Sports City Stadium was kitted out with six channels of Sennheiser’s new 2000 series wireless monitoring transmitters. Trevor Cronin oversaw the systems integration.
More than 10,000 electronic music fans descended on Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace for last month’s inaugural Creamﬁelds dance music event. “The multi-stage, multi-act format of the festival was a great success,” said the MD of festival organiser Flash Entertainment, John Lickrish.
JANUARY 2010 SAS
Behringer parent snares Midas, Klark Teknik TAKEOVER German pro audio giant Behringer has snuck in to acquire leading console manufacturers Midas and Klark Teknik from Bosch Communications Systems for an undisclosed amount. While industry speculation had suggested a deal was in the works for some months, Behringer has taken the unexpected decision to incorporate the acquistions under a new holding company based in Bermuda called the Music Group, which is chaired by Behringer founder Uli Behringer. The umbrella organisation will also assume commercial control of the Behringer brand. Curiously, while the Music Group is largely an unknown quantity, a statement on its website claimed the current managing director Michael
The Music Group acquired Midas and Klark Teknik for an undisclosed amount last month. Deeb, had held the position since January 2003. Behringer and Deeb were unavailable for comment at the time of press. Still, elsewhere on the website, the company conﬁrmed it was seeking to make further acquisitions in the pro audio sector and has invited expressions of interest from organisations keen to do business.
Midas and Klark Teknik have been two of the more successful pro audio manufacturers in recent years. Midas was awarded this year’s Sound & Stage pro audio technology award for its PRO6 console, while Klark Teknik has received considerable acclaim for its DN360 EQ range. Midas’ director of console engineering, Alex Cooper, was
upbeat about the takeover. “For more than twenty years I have devoted my life to [this business],” he said. “I am convinced that working with the Music Group will provide us with advantages that will help us maintain our high standards and grow the business for the long term.” Robert Mulatz, senior VP of Bosch Communications Systems, said the sale of both companies resulted from the fact that neither had ultimately “been deﬁned as a core business area” by the German electronics giant. “With the Music Group, we believe we have found both the passion and the ﬁnancial ability needed to grow Midas and Klark Teknik,” he said. “Of all potential buyers, Music Group [was] the best ﬁt.”
BUDDHA BAR BEIRUT BOOSTS AUDIO TECH
CT TEES OFF AT DUBAI WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Buddha Bar Beirut has completed the installation of a range of Alcons loudspeakers supplied and installed by Lebanese systems integrator SPLSound Pressure Level (SPL). The system, designed and installed by SPL, features 16
Creative Technology (CT) Dubai supplied the full on-site television production rig and various presentation technologies to the Dubai World Championship golﬁng tournament staged at Jumeirah Golf Estates last month. CT currently provides the on-site television service to the European PGA tour (trailer mounted LED screen, 35 LCD TVs, Tournament Television programme and distribution services) but for this event was asked to provide an enhanced service comprising of four ad-
08 SAS JANUARY 2010
Alcons TS3 single 6.5” ceiling mounted loudspeakers. Three VR8 8” + pro-ribbon loudspeakers are mounted on wall brackets in the reception bar area, while 18 ceiling-mounted VR8 and six ﬂoor mounted BF302 twin 15” subs cover the mezzanine. Two further VR8s are installed in the DJ booth as monitors and the whole system is powered by 10 ALC2ST ampliﬁers with SDP processing. “No extra equipment or processing was needed to manage the system,” said SPL partner Elie Louaizi.
ditional LED screens, 56 LCD TVs, 23sqm (6x5 panel) and 62sqm (10x8 panel) Lighthouse R7 LED screens. The standard service trailer-mounted 18sqm Barco Olite 612 LED Screen, used during the European tour, was specially shipped in for the event.
LONG AND WINDING ROAD Punters, musos and assorted industry types rocked up to Dubai’s Alpha nightclub last month to witness local act SHO? crowned the winner of The Road to Sound City battle of the bands event, sponsored by Sennheiser. Celebrity judges including Beyonce’s drummer Kim Thomson and CSI’s Gary Dourdan as well as Sennheiser’s own Ryan Burr declared the group the winner from six ﬁnalists. The band took home a range of Sennheiser audio products for their troubles, including an ew500 935 G3 wireless microphone system, two e935 wired micro-
10 SAS JANUARY 2010
phones, two e906s, two e914s, an e902, e901 and an e905, all of which were used on stage during the competition, plus a full day’s training session on optimum microphone positioning. “The Road To Sound City has been a fantastic event to be involved with,” says Mig Cardamone, business area manager for Sennheiser Middle East. “The level of talent and accomplishment of the bands taking part was phenomenal, but SHO? are well deserving winners. We’re very much looking forward to following their progress and providing them with support along the way.”
SHO-ING THE WAY Dubai-based rockers SHO? have been creating quite the buzz in recent months. THE BAND IS: Zara Quiroga - Vocals Rizal Khan - Guitar Fab - Bass Justin Blincoe - Drums
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INDUSTRY HAPPENINGS True Colours perform on stage at Duba i Creek Golf & Yacht club.
Zlatan Filipovic and Seth Thompson. Nikkhihari Haran, Leonora Pacini, Charmaine Hernane and Sue Pengelly.
LIVE AND LOUD VENUE technology expert Rob Allan.
Avid showcases new VENUE mixing console range during gala launch in Dubai. Avid ofﬁcially introduced its new VENUE Live series consoles in the Middle East during a gala concert event recently staged in Dubai. VENUE technology expert Rob Allan was on-hand to outline the consoles’ new features, ably supported by backing band True Colors. VENUE D-Show, Proﬁle and SC48 systems were located on-site during the launch, which was staged at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club and attracted a large number of the UAE pro audio industry fraternity.
12 SAS JANUARY 2010
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