TOTAL PRODUCTION INTERNATIONAL
TOTAL PRODUCTION INTERNATIONAL
WWW.TPiMAGAZINE.COM MARCH 2014
LIVE EVENT DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY • MARCH 2014 • ISSUE 175
BACKSTAGE AT LA’S STAPLES CENTER
AND THE WINNERS ARE...
TPi AWARDS 2014 • IN PROFILE: EUROTRUSS • IN THE SPOTLIGHT: PRESONUS • THE NAMM SHOW THE BRITS • CATERING MARKET FOCUS • LA CONFIDENTIAL • MOJO BARRIERS’ 25TH ANNIVERSARY
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TROPHIES ALL ROUND... It’s been a hectic few weeks at TPi, to say the least; not only is this our biggest issue of the year, but we also managed to put on the most successful TPi Awards to date - thanks in no small part to the stellar team behind it. Huge thanks to Event Manager, Amy Wright and Production Manager, Liz Madden, for ensuring the night went smoothly and ran into the early hours. As you can see above, both the TPi and mondo*dr crews had a blast, so thanks to our production suppliers and sponsors who made the event possible, and once again helped us celebrate the talent, creativity and expertise our industry has to offer. And then there was Huey Morgan. “What better way is there to support He came, he caused controversy and he each other than to encourage each conquered, all in a velvet suit jacket. You can other’s passions?” read the behind the scenes report on Pg.24. I’m very pleased to tell you that our new editorial recruit, Patrick survived the afterparty, but a bigger test is approaching. As you know, when Frankfurt was created, it was done so with the ‘baptism of fire’ label for our industry’s newcomers (I know after nine days on the job, it was certainly mine!), so please feel free to welcome and overwhelm him at the show! The Mondiale stand will be our usual pitch between Halls 8 and Hall 9, stand CO3. From TPi’s accolades to The Brits (Pg.64), our cover story this month is the 56th Grammys, which were certainly a mammoth awards night. On Pg.50 we detail the production and it’s impressive audio feat. Also in the Greater Los Angeles area, Hannah and I continued our road trip diaries, this time visiting several companies during our trip to The NAMM Show (Pg.96). And yes, with this issue’s seemingly American theme, we willingly consumed a lifetime’s worth of Twinkies, Baby Ruths and Reeces Pieces. Dan Duffell of Solid State Logic did throw a sneaky Cadburys fix my way though... Jet lag cures aside, there are much more pressing matters at hand. This month’s PSA column looks at the growing concern for electricity-related greenhouse gas emissions at off-grid outdoor events, and we introduce a new column, ‘Clocking Off’ in which you, the readers and supporters of this magazine tell us about a worthy cause you’re involved in once the day job is over. In this first edition, Ian Turner of GLS Lighting and Monitor Engineer, Jac Nott tell us about their Cove Guardian duties in Japan. It’s a tear-jerker. If you’re reading this and are planning a charity or environmentally-active adventure, please get in touch. After all, TPi as a brand is about our community and strong relationship-building just as much as it is technology and design, so what better way is there to support each other than to encourage each other’s passions? That’s where great ideas begin. Kelly Murray Editor
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CONTENTS 03/2014 a member of
Editor Kelly Murray Tel: +44 (0)161 476 8360 Mobile: +44 (0)7738 154689 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Assistant Editor Patrick McCumiskey Tel: +44 (0)161 476 8360 Mobile: +44 (0)7929 249169 e-mail: email@example.com International Advertising & Sponsorship Hannah Eakins Tel: +44 (0)161 476 8360 Mobile: +44 (0)7760 485230 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Sales Kieren Gardens Tel: +44 (0)161 476 8360 Mobile: +44 (0)7733 113284 e-mail: email@example.com TPi Awards Event Manager Amy Wright Tel: +44 (0)161 476 5580 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Graphic Design & Production Dan Seaton: email@example.com Mel Robinson: firstname.lastname@example.org General Manager Justin Gawne Mondiale Group Chairman Damian Walsh Contributors Simon Duff & Mike Clark Intern Verity Carson www.tpimagazine.com • www.tpiawards.com Cover Photography: 56th Grammy Awards - Photo courtesy of The Recording Academy® / Wireimage.com © 2014 Printed by Buxton Press Annual subscriptions (including P&P): £42 (UK), £60 (Europe), £78/$125 (RoW). Subscription enquiries to: Subscriptions, Mondiale Publishing Limited, Waterloo Place, Watson Square, Stockport SK1 3AZ, UK; Tel: +44 (0)161 476 5580; Fax: +44 (0)161 476 0456; e-mail: email@example.com Issue 175 / March 2014 TOTAL PRODUCTION INTERNATIONAL is a controlled circulation magazine, published 12 times a year by Mondiale Publishing Limited under licence. ISSN 1461-3786 Copyright © 2014 Mondiale Publishing Limited. All contents of this publication are subject to worldwide copyright protection and reproduction in whole or part, in any form whatsoever, is expressly forbidden without the prior written consent of the Publishers. Every effort is taken to ensure accuracy in the preparation of this publication but neither Mondiale Publishing Ltd, nor the Editor, can be held responsible for its contents or any consequential loss or damage resulting from information published. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Publishers or Editor. The Publishers accept no responsibility for the return of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, illustrations, advertising materials or artwork. Total Production International USPS: (ISSN 1461 3786) is published 12 times a year by Mondiale Publishing Limited United Kingdom. The 2014 US annual subscription price is 117USD. Airfreight and mailing in the USA by Agent named Air Business, C/O WorldNet Shipping USA Inc., 155-11 146th Avenue, Jamaica, New York, NY11434. Periodicals postage paid at Jamaica NY 11431. US Postmaster: Send address changes to Total Production International, Air Business Ltd, C/O WorldNet Shipping USA Inc., 155-11 146th Avenue, Jamaica, New York, NY11434. Subscription records are maintained at Mondiale Publishing Ltd. Waterloo Place, Watson Square, Stockport, SK1 3AZ, UK.
EVENT FOCUS 06
Muse Muse’s Olimpico Stadium gig gets Outline’s cinematic treatment in Bicocca, Milan.
Maroon 5 LD Eric Wade guides us through his design for Maroon 5’s concert at Londons O2 Arena.
uTRAC The new software set to take the headache out of crewing admin.
Mojo Barriers Turn 25 A look back at the development of safety barriers.
Ehrlich Brothers Elation Professional illuminates the Ehrlich Brothers’ magic stage show.
PRODUCTION PROFILE 24
TPi Awards We give you the in-depth coverage of the 2014 event.
The Grammys TPi goes backstage with the crew responsible for the 56th awards night.
The Brits Simon Duff reports from the production helm.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT 76
PreSonus PreSonus’ MD, Jim Odom, reveals all behind the ambitious Ai Series.
CLOCKING OFF 78
Ian Turner of GLS Lighting and TPi Award-wining Monitor Engineer, Jac Nott write about Sea Shepherd’s plight in Taiji Cove.
COMPANY PROFILE 80
Eurotruss Eurotruss sets the standard for the new European trussing regulations as it celebrates its 20th year.
ON THE ROAD 86
LA Confidential Kelly Murray visits JBL, All Access, Renkus-Heinz and GLP for the latest territory installment.
The NAMM Show 2014 direct from Anaheim, CA.
PSA 102 The attempt to reduce energy use at offgrid outdoor events, explored.
MARKET FOCUS 104 Catering TPi delivers the best in tour catering.
MOVERS & SHAKERS 110 The latest industry appointments.
VITAL STATS 114 Elation’s Marc Librecht takes the hot seat. 05
EVENT FOCUS: Muse
CINEMATIC SUCCESS FOR MUSE BEFORE A GENERAL 2K SCREENING IN 200 ITALIAN CINEMAS AND 700 WORLDWIDE A WEEK LATER, A PREVIEW 4K SCREENING OF MUSE LIVE AT ROME OLYMPIC STADIUM (A CONCERT BEFORE 60,000 FANS RECORDED IN ULTRA-HD IN JULY) WAS PREVIEWED IN JUST TWENTY CITIES WORLDWIDE. OUTLINE PROVIDED THE CINEMATIC SOUND REINFORCEMENT TO ENHANCE THE LIVE CONCERT SCREENING. MIKE CLARK REPORTS FROM MILAN. One of the two UCI cinemas chosen in Italy for this unique preview (UCI Bicocca) was fitted out with an audio rig by Italian manufacturer Outline to give the audience a high-impact live sound for what the band described as its best concert of the year. Outline has been in the trade press news in recent years for high-profile applications of its sound reinforcement systems - such as its GTO - by leading international rental firms and on high profile events (including concerts by Andrea Bocelli, Justin Moore, Alanis Morissette, Will Young and Sting, and at famous festivals such as Womad and Fuji). Francesco Ferretti, of Outline’s R&D department, told TPi: “Outline has designed and manufactured dedicated cinema loudspeaker systems since 2000. We have carried out on-going upgrades to components, such as the woofers and, thanks to their vertical dispersion, the enclosures are particularly suited to multi-screen venue rooms which are often more steeply raked than the 06
seating in cinemas of the past.” Distributor Nexo Digital decided to screen the previews in two UCI Cinemas, not only for the brand’s high profile on the Roman market (27% market share) and in Milan (31% market share), but particularly due to the important innovative technological equipment in both theatres, which was able to highlight the projections of the alternative concert content. These previews were to ensure the best launch for the dates of the single projection day scheduled for 12 November and tickets sold out for both theatres in a matter of hours. UCI Italia Marketing Manager Sonia Fois stated: ”Since pop-rock concerts are among the alternative content that perform best, UCI has for some time been investigating the opportunity of offering in the circuit’s most strategic venues a unique audio and video quality, on a par with seeing a real live concert, and the collaboration with Outline enabled us to offer our audiences this. Audio and video play an equally important role as far
EVENT FOCUS: Muse
Opposite: The screening set up of Muse live at Rome Olympic Stadium at the UCI Biocca cinema in Italy; The movie poster. Below: George Clooney attended the Outline-equipped Italian premiere of his latest film, Monuments Men.
as the viewing experience in cinema theatres is concerned.” As well as the Outline Movie enclosures behind the screen at UCI Bicocca (six Movie B 215’s for low frequencies and three Movie H 102’s for mid-high frequencies), the set-up for the Muse preview included four Outline LAB 21 HS SP (infra-low units), one of the world’s most compact and lightweight subwoofers with a 21-inch woofer. Daniele Pagani of Outline’s Measurement System Department described the control setup: “From the point of processing, there was a Dolby CP750 and an Outline Genius M412 matrix (which processed four channels - left, right, centre and subwoofers). The command macros received from the DoReMi digital cinema hardware completely change the halls’ sonic impact: each macro calls up a preset of all the audio parameters (EQ, twin limiter) on the Genius M412. The macros can also change signal routing, enabling multifunction use of the rooms. L, R and C are then processed by Outline’s iMode modules, which in this case are ‘just’ used for this activity.” IMode’s dual-stage compressor / limiter (RMS and Peak) enables sound pressure to be pushed to the maximum with no distortion and without putting the speakers at risk; even with digital audio content. This compressor / limiter set-up aboard each enclosure, along with a diagnosis system monitoring impedance and other important parameters, safeguards enclosures and extends their duration through time. Pagani added: “This means no more amp
racks, but powered enclosures with iMode technology, which allows the use of the AES / EBU digital input and Ethernet connection for recalling functions via the DoReMi macros. As well as solving considerable problems in cinemas, and offering the possibility of monitoring speakers’ health directly from an iPad, the fact that iMode does away with the need for racks of equipment could be a costreducing solution for cinemas - self-powered cinema systems plus iMode.” “In the past”, explained Fois, “UCI has screened live concerts by Italian singers, the last of which was in 2013 with the group Modà on the occasion of the preview event for the film Bianca come il latte rossa come il Sangue and we hope this trend increases. At the same time, with UCI, singers are experimenting with other forms of use of cinema theatres. For example, for Valentine’s Day this year, all the 447 UCI digital theatres screened an exclusive preview of the video of Per Sempre, the new single by Luciano Ligabue from his Mondovisione album. Outline-equipped theatres are also used for other events, which recently included the Italian preview of the film Monuments Men, attended by the complete cast - George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, Jean Dujardin and Dimitri Leonidas - as well as the film’s coproducer and screenplay writer Grant Heslov and Robert Edsel, author of the book on which the film is based.” The Outline system - installed at UCI Pioltello’s Theatre 9 just in time for the
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EVENT FOCUS: Muse
Below: Outline’s Movie Series allow cinema-goers to enjoy a realistic live sound experience in the indoor venue setting.
Monuments Men - comprised three Movie H 102 (Mid-High horns), three Movie B 215 bass units, two Movie S 218 subwoofers and 24 Movie FX81 surround enclosures. The powerhouse was a trio of Outline M5000-4 amplifiers and control via Outline Genius M 412 DSP Owned by private equity firm Terra Firma Capital Partners, Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group is Europe’s most important cinema operator. UCI Italia is the country’s market leader, with a share of over 20% and 44 multiplex venues, with a total of 447 screens. Fois concluded: “UCI has a Digital Team dedicated to the continuous supervision, maintenance and finetuning of audio and video technology. At the moment, UCI Italia has two cinemas whose theatres are all equipped with Outline systems. They are our most recently opened venues - UCI Gualtieri and UCI Villesse - and in 2013 we also began a plan for the conversion of existing audio systems to Outline in five other cinemas currently under way.” TPi www.outlinearray.com
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EVENT FOCUS: Maroon 5
MAROON 5 THERE’S LITTLE DOUBT THAT MAROON 5 ARE RIDING HIGH AT THE MOMENT. THIS IS A BAND WHO RADIATES CONFIDENCE AND SELF-ASSURED ACCOMPLISHMENT IN THEIR LIVE PERFORMANCES. HERE IN THE UK AND EUROPE, JANUARY SAW THE ARTISTS COMPLETE A DATE SHEET INTERRUPTED BY FRONT MAN ADAM LEVINE’S TV COMMITMENTS TO THE US VERSION OF THE VOICE. ANOTHER OUTFIT MIGHT HAVE OPTED FOR A DOWN SCALE VERSION OF THEIR STAGE PRODUCTION FOR JUST A FEW SHOWS. NOT SO FOR MAROON 5 WHO HAVE THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY BEHIND THEIR TOURING LIGHTING AND VISUALS. With a stage set, laser show, video and lighting design by Eric Wade - a veteran who has worked with the likes of Usher, Mariah Carey and Eric Clapton - this was a show to blow away all of those January blues. Described by the London Evening Standard as, ‘A lightshow which could have illuminated the dark side of the moon,’ Wade’s design was lacking only in compromise. To compete successfully with the video content, the lighting rig needed to be able to hold its own with three of the ‘most high-definition screens this reporter has seen at the O2 Arena’. LIGHTING “I am using a tonne of Clay Paky fixtures on this show,” said Wade. “Probably the most ever. There are Sharpys, Alpha Profile 1500’s, 10
Alpha Wash 1500’s and Sharpy Washes. I really, really like the Alpha Wash which I specified when I originally re-hung the rig - it does the job better than anything else on the market. As for the Sharpy Wash, it is simply an incredible fixture; I’ve been able to swap out a good many lights and replaced them with fewer of the Washes. “With such an intense light level on stage and with live footage being integral to the show, I needed a keylight that could really hold its own. The Alpha Profiles have proved to be just that and more. If a rental company didn’t have them in their warehouse, I would insist on a sub-hire or a purchase as a substitution would simply not be acceptable.” Wade is almost surprised by his Clay Paky epiphany: “I admit to not being a veteran Clay Paky user,” he conceded. “My background is
with another manufacturer but I confess to being totally converted. “The combination of high quality lighting fixtures and a great crew from Neg Earth has made this tour something of a joy,” Wade continued. “I had very limited time to design the show though I did a good deal of programming in my basement in New Jersey. My console of choice is an Ma Lighting grandMA2 - in fact it’s the only desk I would ever use. I have one of my own at home, probably one of the first sold in the States which shows how confident I am that it is a board that will remain the standard everyone else will have to beat for many a year. I guess it is the combination of simplicity and the power to accomplish whatever you want that does it for me. No other board comes close. “I arrived in London to winter storms and lost luggage. Things were not looking bright
EVENT FOCUS: Maroon 5
Opposite: Adam Levine and his band were illuminated by Eric Wade’s selection of Clay Paky fixtures. Below: Chaos Visual Productions supplied the impressive video technology and provided crew to the tour.
but as soon as we got into rehearsals I knew I could relax. The Neg Earth guys were superb - nothing was too much trouble - and then I discovered that Ambersphere Solutions who provide support for both Clay Paky and MA Lighting were just around the corner, so I asked if they would let me have a look at the new Clay Paky B-Eye fixture. They very kindly came over to rehearsals and set up a demo for me. The light was just as amazing as the press has said; I can’t wait to get it in my rig!” VIDEO “Chaos Visual Productions have supplied me with the perfect combination of great equipment and a fabulous crew - I simply can’t fault them. Everything has been efficient and stress-free since we started rehearsals they really know how to look after a jet lagged lighting designer! Any problems simply get solved; for example, our main screen won’t fit in a couple of the venues on this tour but scaling everything down to fit is no problem.” Straight talking Texan, Eric Wade, is currently at the helm of Californian band, Maroon 5 as designer of lights, video, stage, set, FX - in fact pretty much everything except sound. “Although this is not a long tour, we are very large on this,” continued Wade. “This outing is really fulfilling commitments from last year that were disrupted by Adam Levine’s involvement with The Voice in the
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EVENT FOCUS: Maroon 5
Below: Maroon 5 opted to keep their production looking full, despite only playing a handful of European dates; Levine had Clay Paky fixtures in the show design; Below Left: Wade with his MA Lighting grandMA2, supplied by rental company, Neg Earth; Eric Wade (LD), Alex Leinster (Chaos MD) and Andy Tonks, Crew Chief.
USA and - from both a performance and a production point of view - we want to make sure the audience get absolutely 100% from us.” Certainly, Chaos contributed more than their fair share. Rewarded with special praise by a review in the London Evening Standard, the video element of the show weaved seamlessly throughout the set. The central screen spanned the stage over an inverted arch truss that framed the performance area of the band. At 48ft by 24ft it was flanked by two smaller screens stage left and right creating an exceptionally wide stage; restricted viewing was definitely not a problem at this show. All three carried a combination of video content and live footage which was also shown on two more IMAG screens flown above the audience half way
down the hall. At every turn, Wade seemed to intuitively have the audiences’ visual experience as his guiding mantra. “Video has been an integral part of any LD’s box of tricks since the early 90’s,” reflected Wade, “but in the last decade the progress in what is visually achievable has really accelerated. For this tour we’ve combined some of the video from the last tour with lots of new stuff. The Control Freak Systems servers are a very clever piece of kit - I particularly like the effects produced with the audio reactor - like the band themselves they are both fun to work with and very cool to watch. “I work very closely with my Video Director, Chris Keating and although the show is programmed throughout we’re also able to
respond to what happens from night to night in a very fluid manner. That takes more than a little trust and cooperation and to achieve that so quickly into a tour says a great deal about the calibre of the people from Chaos UK that I have around me. With two cameras FOH, two floor cameras on stage, six statics and two robotics in the truss I’m able to create the perfect combination of live visuals and video content for the audience - and that’s what we’re all here to do.” TPi www.negearth.co.uk www.chaosvisual.com www.claypaky.it www.malighting.com www.ambersphere.co.uk
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EVENT FOCUS: uTRAC
uTRAC THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS RENOWNED FOR CONSTANTLY PUSHING BOUNDARIES IN TECHNICAL INNOVATION; FROM PINK FLOYD’S FLYING PIG TO U2’S ICONIC 360° STAGE, THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING BIGGER, BETTER AND MORE IMPRESSIVE TO TALK ABOUT. HOWEVER, AS THE INVENTOR OF UTRAC, RONAN MOORE DISCOVERED, TECHNICAL INNOVATIONS COME IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES. TPi HEARS THE LATEST IN CREWING ADVANCEMENTS... Innovations are happening at every level of of industry, even behind the scenes where you may not even notice them. Whilst these logistical innovations don’t have the visual ‘wow’ factor of their FOH counterparts, their role in ensuring that the show goes on is essential. uTRAC is one such innovation developed by Ronan Moore, who noticed a gap in the market for a solution to the admin headaches inherent with scheduling crew. uTRAC is a cloud-based scheduling and workforce management tool, with specific web apps for crew and supervisors. “The crew are integral to making sure that an event goes smoothly and opens on time, so making sure they’re where they’re meant to be at the time they’re meant to be there is vital,” explained Ronan Moore, Managing Director of uTRAC. “The nature of the live event industry is that it’s always time sensitive, regularly hectic, and frequently volatile in nature. With the possibility of constant changes and alterations to schedules, everyone involved, from production manager to local crew, needs to be 14
up to speed to ensure an efficient show.” Moore started his career as local crew for Event Services Ireland (ESI) back in 1999 when the MTV Awards headed to Dublin. “It really kicked off the industry in Ireland and the noughties saw a huge increase in live events,” Moore said. “Wittness kicked off in 2000, turning into Oxegen in 2004. Over the same period we went from one concert a year in Slane, with possibly one other, to routinely hosting several stadium scale events a season in the Dublin area alone. This increase in activity was great for the industry, but it really stretched us logistically.” Having worked in most areas from stagehand to rigger and stage-builder to crew boss, he found himself working increasingly in an operational role, often battling with the mountain of admin it entailed after the show. It was during this time he began developing his ideas to streamline the whole process. Now Moore heads uTRAC’s team of five from its company HQ in Dublin. “The light bulb moment for an online
solution came during an Oxegen Festival load out in 2008. The office was ringing me looking for an update on everyone’s hours so that they could start processing wages. It was going to take that long to ensure everyone got paid on time. I was stressed and up to my eyeballs in a load-out and I realised that there just had to be a more efficient system, whereby the information I was using for scheduling could be directly accessed for the admin team’s needs the rest grew from there.” uTRAC links scheduling straight to invoicing and features a mobile login for crew members, meaning no more phone calls or forgotten shifts. With festivals and tours getting bigger and more complex annually, crewing companies are scheduling thousands of hours per year. They have become smarter in the way they manage their workforce with businesses such as Salima, Aiken Promotions, Pitman’s People and Knight Rigging Services are all utilising uTRAC’s software. It was used by both Aiken Promotions and ESI to manage the crew for five of Bruce
EVENT FOCUS: uTRAC
Opposite: Ronan Moore, uTRAC MD, in action. Below: The uTRAC programme in use on the iPad and smart phone formats.
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Springsteen’s spectacular sold out Wrecking Ball shows last summer across the UK and Ireland. The logistical coordination was tight - five gigs in five cities over five weekends, all by the same teams and suppliers. During the run of shows uTRAC managed unique large and small teams of over 200 staff, assigned to 3,500 shifts totalling more than 30,000 hours over the locations, keeping the show on the road without any complications. Recently named TPi’s ‘Rigger of the Year’, Sven Knight, Director of Knight Rigging Services (KRS), which was also awarded ‘Best Crewing Company’, added: “We began using uTRAC because we were growing as a business and were doing all of our payroll and scheduling administration the old pen and paper way which was very hard to manage. One of the best things about using uTRAC is the level of customer service you get from the team because they know how the industry works so well. Last year we were processing just under 2,500 hours on a weekly basis with uTRAC, it was such a seamless transition from the old system and we’d be lost without it now.” In the last decade there has
been a proliferation of technology in FOH areas across festival sites and concerts such as RFID technology which is the buzz word of the 2014 market. But only in the last few years has this same focus on technology really taken off as an event infrastructure application. Tighter deadlines, and the ever present desire for improved efficiencies, means that any advantage to a smoother run back-stage process is to be lauded. With a projected 2.5 million users of mobile workforce management solutions by 2018, it seems the events industry is starting to realise the benefits. “Scheduling seems like a small part of an event, but it’s so important to get right. Windows of operations are minuscule in the event industry. By making everything run smoother, the overall experience for everyone improves,” concluded Moore. “The event industry has seen at the very forefront of technical development in so many areas. Dreaming big and embracing the dream is often what separates this industry from others. Now we need to take that attitude with the smaller stuff too.” TPi www.utraconline.com
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EVENT FOCUS: Mojo Barriers
MOJO BARRIERS TURNS 25 THE HUMBLE STAGE BARRIER IS A FAMILIAR SIGHT AT FESTIVALS AND CONCERTS ACROSS THE WORLD, AND IS SEEN AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF EVENT SAFETY. BUT THIS WASN’T ALWAYS THE CASE, AND AS MOJO BARRIERS CELEBRATES 25 YEARS, TPi TAKES A LOOK AT HOW ATTITUDES HAVE CHANGED TOWARDS CROWD SAFETY. The Mojo Barrier was first developed in 1988 by John Mulder who was running Netherlands-based promoters Mojo Concerts. “It was the late eighties when I first got the idea,” explained Mulder. “I was working on a Michael Jackson gig at the Rotterdam Stadium and 200 fans were pulled across the ‘barriers’ after getting crushed. “Back then bike rack was used, supported by wood. I remember saying to a colleague that I was going to solve the problem. If there wasn’t a suitable product available I was going to design it. There’s no way that unsafe practice could continue.” With nothing available on the market, Mulder set about creating his own. Of his admittance the first design left a lot to be desired. “It was so heavy it needed four people to lift it,” he laughed. “So it was back to the drawing board. But the first design showed me exactly what needed changing and the next 16
version went into production. “It was originally only meant for our own concerts but orders were quickly coming in from the world’s biggest acts; Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, U2 and Tina Turner. They’d all seen it in action and wanted it. I set up Mojo Barriers as a company in its own right and two years later we were on almost every global tour. “Those first few years were a lot of fun! Travelling all over the world talking to music production and event organisers who wanted to understand the product. One memory which particularly stands out was a Prince gig. He was refusing to perform due to health and safety concerns and I personally talked him through the barrier and how it worked. The show, at the Feyenoord Stadium in Rotterdam, went on.” The original barrier was made from steel. The aluminium version which is still used today was introduced in 1998. The one-metre wide sections feature perforated holes to allow sound through (sound engineers were quick
to point out that flaw in the first design). The basic principle is a vertical section bolted into a horizontal floor plate. For quick set up it is attached to the next section using just one bolt and the base plate extends out to the front and is stood on by the audience, keeping it in place. It’s a design that has since been replicated the world over. “Back at the start when the first few copies came out I did take court action,” explained Mulder. “But I soon realised I didn’t want to spend my life in legal battles. Competition was inevitable either way.” Mojo Barriers’ current Managing Director Cees Muurling, who took over the role in 2009 following the tragic and unexpected death of Patrick Jordan, added: “The market has changed extensively in 25 years and there are a lot of competitors now. Competition is healthy in any industry but unfortunately there are some good and some bad. The difficult thing is that most barriers look the same - how can you tell?” Mojo’s barrier sections withstand a force
EVENT FOCUS: Mojo Barriers
Opposite: Mojo Barriers at the Roskilde Festival, Denmark. Below: Cees Muurling, Mojo Barriers MD with ‘The Gatekeeper’; Jim Gaffney from the Mojo UK Operations Team.
at least five kilonewtons per metre and undergo extensive initial testing using hydraulics to pull back the straight section until the requested values are reached. But there’s more to barriers than meets the eye, and it’s the design of configurations which can literally make or break it when it comes to safety. “The barrier is more than simply a commodity,” explained Muurling. “There’s no point having a barrier if you don’t have skills to be able to design a suitable configuration which offers optimum safety for artists, crew and
audience. So many things are looked at from the demographic, ground type, scheduling of bands; the list goes on. All of these elements need to be taken into consideration, and you need to have the data and the experience to create the right designs.” However, despite the vast improvement in safety over the last two decades incidents can and still do happen. Paul ‘Cookie’ Cook, group head of health, safety and security at Live Nation explained when his attention first turned to the importance barriers played on site: “There was a
barrier movement in 2005 at Manchester City’s Eastland’s Stadium when Oasis played. The incident was discussed right across the industry, and everyone took a lot more interest and raised questions on the importance of barrier layout. “In my opinion the barrier did its job. There were no injuries and only a slight delay. The barrier moved - but it did what it was supposed to do. There was a split in thinking though, and some people thought it didn’t. Since then, licensing has taken a lot more interest.” Another crowd control incident - which
EVENT FOCUS: Mojo Barriers
Below: AEG Live UK’s International Production Director, Keith Wood; Mojo Barriers Founder John Mulder; Mojo Barriers at Reading Festival.
influenced the decision to cancel the following year’s Glastonbury Festival - was Denmark’s Roskilde festival in 2000 where nine people tragically lost their lives. Roskilde was quick to react and has since invested heavily into research and development to improve standards of safety. This included working with Mojo Barriers’ Barrier Load Monitoring System (BLMS) which the company launched in 2005. Incorporating a pressure sensor into the barrier it has been used at events including Roskilde itself and Reading and Leeds Festivals; gathering data on crowd pressure and understanding crowd flow and movement which is then used to design improved layouts. AEG Live UK’s International Production Director, Keith Wood, used the system at a Linkin Park gig where the local council wanted real time data on barrier loads. He said: “Mojo started it all off. Their aluminium barrier is a great product, which is why so many people have copied it. These copies might look similar but they generally don’t work as well. We first used Mojo to create huge 500 metre golden circles on big tours like Bon Jovi. There is a lot more competition now which has seen Mojo get undercut by copy cats that don’t necessarily have the level of crew or skill set that they do.” Jim Gaffney has worked with Mojo since 2002 when the company bought his business, Pit Stop Barriers - which launched at the same time as Mojo in the late eighties - independently from each other. He’s been running the UK operations ever since; this summer moving from UK Director into a consultancy-based role. “Attitudes have definitely changed,” Gaffney confirmed. “Production and tour managers trust my opinion and judgement. My background [in security and health and safety] means I have a 18
deep understanding of crowd movements and how barriers should be used. There used to be reluctance but there is a lot more acceptance now. “I remember when we first introduced a front of stage barrier thrust at Reading - where there was a history of extreme audience movement. The promoter resisted at first because it creates a large space in front of the stage, meaning the bands aren’t as close to the crowds as they’d like. We need to find a happy medium and compromise. But the bottom line is that it really worked. This model, with thrusts, catwalks and secondary lines, is now used across the world and is an accepted option for a busy modern festival site.” Another example is Donington Park’s Download Festival. Live Nation’s Cookie said: “In 2010 we had 110,000 people on site in front of the double fronted stage for AC/DC. That meant developing a particular front of stage barrier design, with secondary and tertiary barriers. There are a lot more companies in the field now so competition is keen, but Jim [Gaffney] is unique in his understanding of crowd dynamics and how to get the best design to reduce pressures and suit the audience demographic. “Last year at Download we had 2,000 people come over the FOS barrier during the Slipknot set. The security team has to have confidence in that barrier, so we all get involved from the start. Jim designed the back step to suit their needs. For me Mojo goes beyond just supplying barrier, they bring their experience.” So what’s in store next? For Mojo’s Muurling there are some clear trends: “We started off pure rock ‘n’ roll,” he commented. “But now the products and disciplines can be seen across the world at every genre of event from corporate to sports. They’re even deployed during access
and egress at venues, such as our work at the London 2012 Olympics channelling crowds from the train stations. “We developed our Gatekeeper 2.0 in part to meet this need. Launched last year, it is an intelligent turnstile system which links to a centralised computer giving real time data on capacity. The new system can host any scanning software from RFID to QR and mobile and has been used at events including the 50,000 capacity Graspop festival where it was used as a complete access control solution.” Emerging markets are also constantly looking to improve safety at events and Mojo has provided barriers in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore for Metallica, going on to secure a Malaysian distributor. This adds to a growing network which includes Japan, Finland and Spain amongst others. For Jim Gaffney the future needs just one thing: open communication. “Barriers are the invisible hero of a show. They influence so many decisions, but people don’t even know they’re there half the time. Everyone needs to continue to work together and raise any concerns they have. That’s never a problem for me! If there’s ever any issues it’s like, ‘come on, let’s sort this out now’. At the end of the day people’s safety is at stake.” Finally, the man who started it all, John Mulder concluded: “When I designed the barrier all those years ago I didn’t realise the impact it would have. It is great that the whole industry was so willing to listen and learn and accept something that required such a change in attitude. A huge thanks goes out to all of the production and tour managers who worked with us to make this happen.” TPi www.mojobarriers.com
EVENT FOCUS: Ehrlich Brothers
ELATION LIGHTING WORKS MAGIC ON EHRLICH BROTHERS’ GERMAN TOUR LIGHTING PLAYS AN ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT ROLE IN LIVE ILLUSION SHOWS; AND DYNAMIC LIGHTING FROM ELATION’S PLATINUM SERIES MOVING HEADS ARE WORKING THEIR OWN MAGIC ON GERMAN ILLUSIONISTS THE EHRLICH BROTHERS’ CURRENT TOUR. Ehrlich Brothers Magic is a one of a kind show - and with 60 cities on the schedule, it’s the biggest tour ever by a magic act from Germany. Lighting, video and audio service provider is Professional Event Solutions (PES), a full service rental house based in Bünde, the same German town that the Ehrlich Brothers call home. “Our close relationship means we are more than just a dry hire company for the Ehrlich Brothers,” stated PES Managing Partner, Carsten Müller. “We’ve worked with them in the past as technical partners and are involved in many other aspects of the show as well. A magic show of this caliber requires an abundance of supporting props and material. The Ehrlich Brothers bring their illusions and the technical elements needed to perform them, as well as some decorative lighting, and we provide the rest - that includes the Elation Platinum Series 20
moving heads.” Because the technical aspects of the illusions are big and heavy, the audio, video and lighting gear needed to be easy to use and set up. In the early planning stages of the tour, the Ehrlich Brothers worked with lighting design firm MO2 Design, headed by renowned LD Ollie Olma, about an easy-to-handle yet efficient lighting set up. MO2 suggested using lamps from 700W - 1200W but PES came with other suggestions, namely, the 189W Platinum Beam 5R Pro and the 300W Platinum Spot 15R Pro. “We had used the Platinum Beam 5R Pros on the Ehrlich Brothers’ first tour in 2012/2013 and were therefore familiar with them,” said Müller. “We then talked to Elation Europe about the Platinum Spot 15R Pro as well. We ended up suggesting both these fixtures for the tour because we knew they could compete
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EVENT FOCUS: Ehrlich Brothers
Opposite: Elation Lighting provides the perfect accompaniment to the optical tricks of the Ehrlich Brothers live shows. Below: Elation Platinum Bean 5R Pros.
with 700W - 1200W fixtures as far as brightness and power savings are concerned.” The Platinum Beam 5R Pro features a sharp and narrow 2.5° beam with eight dichroic colors and eight gobo patterns while the Platinum Spot 15R Pro is a CMY colour mixing unit with 22 gobos and a 9° to 27° variable zoom. Professional Event Solutions presented the fixtures to MO2, as well as to the lighting engineer and the tour’s Programmer / Operator Daniel Gründler, who expressed satisfaction with the speed and output of the fixtures.
“Brightness and speed were the main decision points to go with the Platinum fixtures but ease of use was also important,” Carsten explained. “Each venue on the tour is different and the lighting fixtures need to be repositioned at each, but Daniel has very limited time for that. The Platinum moving heads are easy to handle, making set up a much easier process. And with trim heights of up to nine meters, there is no problem getting efficient bright beams out of them.” 16 Platinum Spot 15R Pros work from above the set with eight positioned
on the floor and eight Platinum Beam 5R Pros mounted in the scenery. The Ehrlich Brothers tour is an ambitious outing with 90 shows on the schedule and often two shows per day. Carsten added: “The Platinum fixtures work about 14 hours a day and have been very reliable.” The fixtures are used for show and effect lighting, to set the mood and to create excitement. TPi www.elationlighting.eu
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PRODUCTION PROFILE: TPi Awards 2014
THE TPi AWARDS 2014
THE WINNERS… The Outstanding Contribution Award Chris Mounsor
Favourite Rehearsal Facility Sponsored By Medialease LH2
Tour Manager Of The Year Sponsored By VER Glen Rowe
Tour / Production Coordinator Of The Year Sponsored By LS-Live Helen ‘Hels Bells’ Smith
Production Manager Of The Year Sponsored By EFM Andy Cotton
Favourite Rigging Company Sponsored By Sunbaba Knight Rigging Services
Monitor Engineer Of The Year Sponsored By Yamaha Otto Kroyman
Favourite Sound Rental Company Sponsored By Harman Professional Britannia Row
Favourite Security / Crowd Management Company Showsec
Favourite Transport Company Phoenix Bussing
Mark Fisher Set Designer Of The Year Sponsored By Perry Scenic Misty Buckley
Favourite Crew Company Sponsored By VME Stage Miracles
PRODUCTION PROFILE: TPi Awards 2014
Rigger Of The Year Sponsored By Rigging Services Sven Knight
Favourite Video Company Sponsored By Chauvet Professional XL Video
Front Of House Engineer Of The Year Sponsored By Martin Audio Snake Newton
Favourite Catering Company Eat To The Beat
Favourite Power Supply Company Sponsored By SES Buffalo
Favourite Venue Sponsored By CUK Audio O2 Academy Brixton
Favourite Staging Company Sponsored By CGA:Live StageCo
Favourite Freight Company Rock-It Cargo
Stage Manager Of The Year Josh Rosen
The Des Fallon Video Visionary Award Sponsored By Green Hippo Richard Turner
Favourite Lighting Rental Company Sponsored By Robe Neg Earth
Lighting Designer Of The Year Sponsored By Martin By Harman Oli Metcalfe
Favourite Set Construction Company Sponsored By J&C Joel Brilliant Stages
Favourite Travel Company Sponsored By Private Jet Charter Music By Appointment
Live Production Of The Year Sponsored By Chauvet Professional Arcadia Stage - Glastonbury 25
PRODUCTION PROFILE: TPi Awards 2014
THE TPi AWARDS 2014 ONCE AGAIN THE TPi AWARDS BROUGHT LIVE EVENT PROFESSIONALS TOGETHER FROM FAR AND WIDE FOR AN EVENING OF AWARDS, ACCOLADES AND A 6AM FIRE DRILL. THE TPi EDITORIAL TEAM SPOKE TO THE HARD-WORKING CREW BEHIND ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED NIGHTS ON THE INDUSTRY CALENDAR. On Monday February 10, the TPi Awards 2014 were held once again at London’s Novotel West to a crowd of more than 1,100 guests. Since its inception in 2002, the TPi Awards has become a staple of the industry calendar serving as one of the year’s most important networking events and social outings. Fun Lovin’ Criminals frontman and BBC 6Music DJ, Huey Morgan, returned for the second time to host the awards, keeping the audience entertained through all 27 categories. Liz Madden, Production Manager, with NoNonsense Group noted that: “Our industry is a tough audience, especially as there are so many awards. Mondiale Publishing asked Huey back, and he is the only person to be invited back. He loved working on the event and said he had the opportunity to catch up with lots of friends.” 26
At the helm once again, Madden - with two decades of experience working on events such as the London 2012 Olympics and Live 8 ensured that the event ran faultlessly. She said: “After the success of last year, we didn’t really implement any changes apart from getting some new suppliers involved, but as I was working with Amy Wright, the Event Manager from Mondiale, it gave us the opportunity to review the ways lots of things were done.” Wright returned to working on the event this year after a 10-year hiatus. Madden was keen to elaborate on their new partnership, stating: “Amy is a real pleasure to work with. We share a need to work with lists and can’t rest until everything is done! Nothing is too much trouble for her and she just gets on with it. I’m really looking forward to working with Amy again.” Wright noted: “The last time I worked on the Awards was in 2003. I think there were around 500 people in the room that year, so
to be involved again and witness first hand the development of the TPi Awards was truly stunning... it’s more than doubled in size with a production worthy of any live music venue in the UK! Liz Madden’s attention to detail was staggering, her knowledge and expertise make her a joy to work with.” As was the case in previous years, Madden’s task was no easy one. “It’s not a case of just deciding on individuals who you want to work with, it is more about creating a team who will work closely together to put on a great show. There are some suppliers and sponsors who have supported the event for years and we are delighted to have them as part of the team.” Madden was also keen to highlight a number of companies wanting to be a part of the TPi Awards for the first time: “We are all keen to keep it fresh and keep bringing new companies into the mix. We were lucky enough to be approached by companies who wanted to get
PRODUCTION PROFILE: TPi Awards 2014
Opposite: Host for the night, Huey Morgan welcomed the audience. Below: Huey paid his respects to the late, great Mark Fisher; The retro style visuals were created by Digital Insanity.
involved can help with this, and it’s great when involved - this year we got the mix just right and the ideas start coming together. I am not sure the atmosphere on site was really relaxed and that the guests come to the event with a critical friendly. eye; they just want to have a great time and “It’s all about maintaining the balance. network. They expect us to put on a good show Guests need to feel they are getting value and hopefully we didn’t disappoint.” for money, and this is the same for sponsors, The Novotel conference room presented suppliers and supporters,” continued Madden. a number of challenges for Madden, she “The challenge is creating a show that is totally “We have to remember different to last year. Having different suppliers Blackout 'People' half-page LSI:Layoutcontinued: 1 11/2/14 14:56 Page 1we are in
a conference room in a hotel - and one that presents many challenges. The weight loadings are restrictive and the low ceiling in the back half of the room is not ideal, but no venue is perfect and we just have to work round it.” As with previous TPi Awards held at the Novotel West, one of the principal issues was achieving an equal distribution of sound. “Sound has always been an issue at this event
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PRODUCTION PROFILE: TPi Awards 2014
Below: Production Manager, Liz Madden with host, Huey Morgan; The Pioneer-sponsored afterparty was held below the main function room.
until 2013 when VME’s Ben Hyman came on board. VME’s careful planning and attention to detail has made such a difference,” Madden added. With well over 1,000 guests in the room, special attention was also given to the visuals. “There are so many guests at this event and being able to see is a key part of the evening so we chose to go with larger screens for real impact. CT’s Project Manager Nick Whitehead wanted to transform the space; hence the white voile drapes from Blackout were installed across the width of the room behind the screens. The lighting worked so well with this and created a dramatic effect. Siyan was this years lighting provider. Madden added: “Sometimes less is more when it comes to lighting and I think Siyan did an
incredible job this year. I hadn’t worked with Nick Valdez and his team before but I hope it won’t be too long before I have the opportunity to work with them again.” The event also became a focal point for student, Nicole Reberio, who wanted to gain experience with Madden in the production department. She told TPi: “It was a fantastic opportunity to meet and work with people so skilled in their field, and I felt privileged to be part of the team. Liz really took me under her wing and showed me the art behind executing such a successful event. What a great night!” AUDIO “It was a great opportunity for VME to get involved in the Awards last year,” commented VME’s General Manager, Ben Hyman who again
supplied the ceremony’s audio equipment. “It was a very important event for us to get right; there are a lot of eyes watching every aspect of the production. “We wanted to come back again this year and improve on what we did previously, and demonstrate that it wasn’t just a one-off that we got everything so right in 2013. We are still a company that is relatively unknown to many industry personel, so there’s the obvious marketing advantages associated with doing this event, but within that, there is also the potential for it to work against us if something isn’t right.” However, the sound department worked fluently and the night went without a hitch. “We made sure that we had the right equipment and crew to make the event happen
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PRODUCTION PROFILE: TPi Awards 2014
Below: The video crew, L-R: Nick Whitehead of Creative Technology, Digital Insanity’s Richard Bagshaw, Richard Shipman, Suzy Casserley of Green Hippo; The J&C Joel team hung bespoke fabrics for the downstairs area.
flawlessly. We had the same crew as last year working on the event, so everybody knew from arrival what needed to be done, therefore it made the project management aspect really quite simple,” noted Hyman. The crew was completed by Steve Brierley as FOH Engineer, system techs Gareth Thomas, Chris Snow and Mike Bell, and audio riggers Steve Ness and Ben Gallagher. Additionally, Toby Donovan from Martin Audio was on site to assist with the setup of the MLA Compact (MLAC) and the time alignment of the whole audio system. Martin Audio’s Nigel Meddemmen also gave technical support to the crew. Explained Donovan: “I have been using MLA a huge amount over the past year on projects such as the Hyde Park Concerts and The Killers tour at Wembley Arena. I was also extremely impressed when I took the Compact system out on tour with Joe Satriani early in 2013.”
Added Hyman: “With an event such as this, it’s great to have an extra person that solely concentrates on the setup and performance of the system, whilst not worrying about rigging and running cables. Toby was a great help. “Events are all about having experienced crew, and the correct number of crew members involved, who truly understand the nature of the event. VME has always had its foot in the door with festivals and large scale PA systems, this is especially true of the last couple of years following our purchase of Martin Audio’s MLA system. We’ve actually just doubled our stock to cope with what’s coming up this year. “For a typical corporate event, we wouldn’t have three large hangs of line array as the main PA, but this is TPi - a rock ‘n’ roll style corporate event - so it required something a little extra.” The audio setup was similar to last year, certainly in the design concept of the main and back part of the room. The main hangs
of MLA Compact were hung in a left, centre and right configuration, with two rows of outfill to cover the off-axis tables using Kling & Freitag CA 1215’s. “We also used the new Kling & Freitag Passio for stage frontfill, due to its discreet size and high output,” said Hyman. “We adjusted the design of the back part of the room, increasing the overall size of all the loudspeakers. We also used Kling & Freitag CA 106 and CA 1001 to cover all areas of the room, with each cabinet on its own channel of processing and amplification from Lab.gruppen FP 10000Q’s. “Time alignment is such a crucial part of this, and when there are 26 cabinets flown across a large area it’s not exactly a five-minute job to get it right. We wanted to have all the processing in the room controlled centrally from one laptop too, so we chose to use Martin Audio’s Merlin controllers to see the entire sound network in both parts of the room
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PRODUCTION PROFILE: TPi Awards 2014
Below: Chauvet Professional sponsored a white London cab for some photobooth fun at the afterparty, this month’s prelude shows how the Mondiale team put it to good use!
controlled nicely from one point.” An MA Display optimisation already existed from the previous years’ awards, so the audio crew had angles for the MLAC somewhat mapped. Continued Donovan: “Nigel produced a fresh preset for the show this year, just to compensate for small changes in the trim height which we achieved in the main room. I then time-aligned the MLAC system, the Martin Audio DSX subwoofers and the rest of the loudspeakers in the lower section at the rear of the room. I also used a network of five Martin Audio Merlin processors, controlled from a single laptop via Vu-Net software, for delay and EQ of the entire system.”
on a redundant pair of Mac Mini’s, and radio microphones were Sennheiser Evolution G3 with 935 capsules. “Last year we provided Sennheiser SKM5200 handheld microphones with Neumann capsules, but once we heard that Huey Morgan was hosting the event, we were pretty sure he would do his ‘dropping the microphone’ routine, probably more than once, so we opted for a slightly more Huey-proof microphone, and capsule!” laughed Hyman. A Yamaha CL1 console was used at FOH to run the show, with audio distributed via Dante. Two Yamaha Rio3224-D Dante stageboxes, one behind the main stage to feed the MLA Compact, and the other at the back of the room
“As far as the other suppliers go, it was one of the nicest events I’ve ever had the pleasure of working on.”
So what did Donovan think of his first TPi experience in a professional capacity? “I thought the event sounded really good, the MLAC covered the main space with an extremely even SPL and frequency response. It provided really good rejection in the small stage area, and I know this made the unenviable FOH job easier. The way that MLA can provide this even coverage without the need for zoning the arrays certainly made my job easier too, and worked very well for this ‘corporate’ type of event.” Audio playback came via QLab running 32
to feed the processing for the Kling & Freitag cabinets were also deployed. Concluded Hyman: “We utilised a lot of the in-house unistrut in the back room area this year to hang loudspeakers in better positions. Previous suppliers to the awards had ratchet strapped brackets to the columns, which we did last year in similar fashion, but this year we wanted to make it much more ‘proper’ in terms of rigging. We increased the overall size of the loudspeaker cabinets in the back part of the room, to get even more level when required for
the stings. “We received great feedback from the audience this year, that extra attention to detail is what makes it for us. As far as the other suppliers go, it was one of the nicest events I’ve ever had the pleasure of working on. We all helped each other out, the banter was flowing and everybody appreciated the necessity to get everything perfect, therefore if anybody could help somebody out to achieve this, they certainly did.” VIDEO After a break from being involved with the TPi Awards - although there was a double win for the company last year - Creative Technology (CT) reinstated its supplier status for the 2014 ceremony. Explained CT’s Nick Whitehead: “We were showing off an impressive curved LED screen on our PLASA stand last year when we were approached by Liz Madden to come back on board.” “The initial inspiration for the Awards’ visual theme came from the screen that was used on CT’s stand,” commented Madden, “The colours that Mondiale had selected for the Awards branding were black and white and the film theme evolved from there.” “We didn’t use that particular CT screen in the end as it wouldn’t have worked in the venue but it was certainly inspirational.” CT provided three flown high resolution Barco C5 LED screens - one centre screen for GFX and two side screens for IMAG, in addition to a number of plasma and LCD displays. “We
PRODUCTION PROFILE: TPi Awards 2014
Below: Robe lighting fixtures bathed the Novotel Conference Room in a delicious mix of colour.
also supplied the Green Hippo Hippotizer media server replay system and a four-camera HD PPU system – a Grass Valley Kayak system and two Bradley Engineering HD robo ball cameras,” said whitehead With a total of 11 crew members plus a project manager, CT provided a system engineer, two video engineers, four LED engineers and four camera operators to man the production. White continued: “The biggest challenge was getting the amount of equipment into such a small space, and given the amount of lighting and rigging being rigged on the same day meant everyone was working hard. It all ran smoothly on the night and it was great to be involved in an event for our own industry for a change. Many of our colleagues and friends were in the audience too, which added a bit of pressure!” Providing the visual content on the screens - which delighted the audience at various points throughout the awards ceremony - was Digital Insanity’s Richard Bagshaw and Richard Shipman. “Our roles this year were concept, video content and delivery, with myself taking up the additional role of Hippo Programmer / Show Controller and Richard taking his regular role as vision director,” explained Bagshaw. “When Justin Gawne, General Manager of Mondiale Publishing’s Entertainment Technology Titles, spoke to us back in November 2013 about themes, he had come up with the idea of black and white.” “Of course once you mention it to Richard Bagshaw of Digital Insanity, things really start to take off and his creative genius took centre stage once again,” added Madden. Bagshaw furthered: “The idea of old cinema reel leaders then progressed into the Grindhouse cinema vibe that everyone saw on the night. The idea was quite literally, ‘a night at the cinema’, hence the popcorn and the old Pearl & Dean adverts dispersed with fresh new 34
TPi Magazine and sponsor branding, but still sticking to the retro cinema feel.” As for equipment, Green Hippo Hippotizer HD’s were utilised for their reliability. Bagshaw described the set up: “One Hippotizer HD was running a dual output system, driving the main screen and offering a separate 16:9 package to the PPU to give Richard graphics to add into his camera cuts. We of course had a backup machine, being driven by Suzy Casserley of Green Hippo.” Green Hippo’s Codec FlexRes is a major new feature in video quality output for its media server range, and Bagshaw put it to good use. “It’s brand new, only a handful of users have the beta version of this and it worked a treat,” he said. “People seemed to like the cinematic theme it was different from the other eight TPi Awards shows we’ve produced, and it went at a pacey rate too, which is important when you have so many awards to get through!”concluded Bagshaw. Autocue hire came from Autocue, with James Hamling leading the way. The show caller once again was Alex Clayton-Black. LIGHTING “I considered it something of an honour to be asked, given the nature of the event,” said first-time supplier to the TPi Awards, Nick Valdez of Siyan Lighting. “I was keen to put our stamp on the way the evening looked, to approach it as an evening dinner event, rather than a rock show.” Valdez spent many hours in the venue using Cast’s WYSIWYG for pre-production. “In the real world, the warehouse team were working on the show from the Tuesday before the event, and James Scott, the desk programmer was preprogramming for three days.” There was a real team effort behind the Awards build, which eased Valdez into his first
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PRODUCTION PROFILE: TPi Awards 2014
Below: XL Video continued the relaxed retro house party vibe in its VIP area.
time supplying the lighting crew. “I would like to thank and praise the other suppliers who worked on the production. It was a pleasure, and in the end about as stress free as it could have been.” Valdez had his own crew of eight working on the event, including Crew Chief Karl Lawton. Alongside Desk Operator James Scott was Matt Morris on dimmer duties and the team was completed by Dan Everitt, Joe Zilm, Anna Mac and Dan Terry. Siyan’s Project Manager, Tom Grant programmed and operated the aftershow lighting. The challenge of utilising a hotel as a venue for Valdez and his team came during the rigging process. Rigging was supplied by Blackpoolbased Knight Rigging Services, led by the TPi Award winning Sven Knight. Valdez continued: “The main room in the Champagne Suite has plentiful rigging points, but getting the weight distributed to the satisfaction of their structural engineer was a challenge, especially accommodating the 2,300kg of screens. “I was very conscious that we had to deliver on numerous levels. One of the main sponsors of the event is a lighting manufacturer, Robe, so this had to work for them too,” said Valdez. Robe also had its own afterparty VIP lounge. “While we are all familiar with Robe products in a stage environment, I was keen to show how effective they could be on an event such as this. Hopefully we achieved that!” added Valdez. In the main function room, Robe provided a stylish lighting rig. The lighting design was based around six trusses traversing the room and two trusses - front and back - flown above the stage. Three further trusses positioned along the back wall picked up the main LED screens. Valdez furthered: “As far as the design process was concerned, I think we had to keep in mind the nature of the event, and to light it accordingly. It’s also quite a busy build day 36
and so taking into consideration how the other departments can work around what we are doing is important. I kept the video screens on three separate trusses to try and mitigate any issues that they or we had during the build.” Robe Cycfx8 LED Batons were employed to up and down-light the voile lined walls. While 10 units were rigged on each of the three video trusses, six were positioned on the floor to cover the caterer’s access and the remainder were spread around the perimeter of the room to uplight the voile drops. The diminutive Robe Robin 100 LED Beams were used primarily to illuminate the tables throughout the two rooms. The two real challenges being the lack of trim height in some of the areas, and keeping the LED Beams - normally used for their piercingly bright beams - at the right intensity to maintain the overall ambience whilst lighting the dining areas sufficiently for the guests to see their food. “I think we’ve discovered a far more flexible modern replacement for the traditional pinspot,” commented Desk Operator, Scott. The Robe Robin 100 LED Beams were used as a general wash light and provide the main wash for the B stage in the centre of the room. The Robe Robin DLF Washes were used as the main stage and runway key lights, whilst the MMX Spots and Pointes were used to create complimentary gobo looks across the voile lined walls. The Pointes were also used in saturated colours to cut through and contrast with the general wash, adding bold blasts of colour around the room. A total of 16 Robe Robin MMX Spots projected primary colours and hard edged gobos onto the drapes from beneath the video screens. Furthermore, six different lighting themes were created for the different awards sections and each time the video graphics changed style, the lighting changed to suit.
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PRODUCTION PROFILE: TPi Awards 2014
Below: Rider Provider’s retro TV wall.
The big overall challenge was keeping the lighting interesting, exciting and fluid but most importantly complimentary to the awards ceremony itself. The 27 categories of winners plus videologues meant the careful blending of lighting with video content was no mean feat, but was very well-received. A total of 19 universes, driven by an MA Lighting grandMA2 Light console, were output via a mix of NPU’s and ArtNet boxes, three Avolites Art 2000 dimmer distribution racks were also used for data cabling. Valdez confirmed that Scott used the grandMA 2 Light because, “It’s a console he knows very well, and, quite frankly, he is an absolute genius on it!”
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RIGGING Kright Rigging Services (KRS) provided the rigging elements to the event once again. Owner, Sven Knight, explained that he enjoys being involved in the Awards year after year due to the industry-led nature of the event, and working with the familiar faces of the production suppliers and sponsors. For the first time, KRS used uTRAC’s workforce management tool to keep track of staff locations on site. Billed as the easy scheduling crew softwear, Knight made use of the programme to enable the show’s fast, safe and secure rigging procedures were executed efficiently. Additionally, Knight recieved a double win in the Rigger of the Year and Favourite Rigging Company categories at this years’ 2014 show. Knight said: “KRS is delighted with the outcome of this year’s Awards. The award for ‘Rigging Company of the Year’ was a highlight to a busy start of the year and is testament to the hard work and professionalism that the office based staff provide. KRS is looking forward to the new challenges 2014 will bring and continue to embrace the exciting developments in our industry. “KRS continues its involvement with the
TPi Awards under the direction of Liz Madden. We see the TPi Awards as the highlight of our companies calendar,” he concluded. STAGING AND DRAPING The TPi Awards 2014 presented nothing that staging rental company, LS-Live couldn’t handle. Madden placed her confidence in LS-Live for the third year running as she was happy with the format from the previous year. Additionally this year, further staging was required in the afterparty area for a bespoke VIP suite for sponsor, XL Video. The install was managed by LS-Live’s Tom Richter, Project Technical Support, who was taken on in January 2013 after graduating from Backstage Academy’s FdA Live Events Production, after impressing Director Ben Brooks with his performance during work experience at the company. Richter managed a team of two freelancers to install the main stage, catwalk and B stage for the Awards, and VIP areas and multi-tiered staging in the downstairs bar for the after party. Built using LS-Live’s industry standard staging components from its rental stock, the company provided a cost-effective solution that was quick to assemble on the day, complete with a black marley finish for a truly professional look. LS-Live once again built an underlit TPi Awards logo into the B stage. Furthermore, LS-Live sponsored the Tour / Production Coordinator Of The Year award, which was won by Helen ‘Hels Bells’ Smith. In the main room, Blackout installed a truss ground support for the perimeter of the venue space and fitted it with 91-metres of black wool serge drapes and 58-metre white voile. Said Blackout’s Tim Searle: “Upstairs for the champagne reception, we provided a pipe and drape structure with a further 120-metres of black wool serge and 30-metres of white voile, whilst downstairs we supplied 150-metres of black wool serge draping to create an exclusive area for the afterparty.
PRODUCTION PROFILE: TPi Awards 2014
Opposite: The TPi Awards 2014 sold out faster than ever before and enjoyed an army of sponsored additions including the ethical table water from GLS Lighting; The afterparty bar, sponsored by Pioneer Professional Audio, was a hub of networking activity; Nick Valdez led the lighting crew to its first successful supplier status at the Awards; Chris Mounsor collected the award for Outstanding Contribution.
“The TPi Awards are always a highlight of the music industry’s calendar, and it was great to be involved once again in the production,” he added. The portals for the drapes were provided by S+H once more, under Terry Murtha’s guidance. HEALTH & SAFETY Steve Kearney has provided Health and Safety consultation and advice to the TPI Awards for the last eight years, working closely with the venue team and coordinating with contractors to create an integrated event safety
management plan. “Because suppliers are showcasing their equipment and technical skills, communication with the venue’s structural surveyor and H&S team is crucial,” said Kearney. “All technical suppliers provide detailed drawings and specific methods of working, together with risk assessments, which we then feed into an overarching event safety management plan.” The final document included details covering the contractors’ responsibilities, accident reporting and investigation, essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), event risk
assessment, access and egress, fire safety and arrangements, evacuation procedures, general venue conditions and facilities, and welfare. Kearney continued: “We then submitted the plan to the venue for scrutiny. The venue team were very receptive to what we were trying to achieve and co-operated all the way.” Once the plan was signed off it was distributed to all suppliers so that relevant information could be shared with their crews. Kearney worked closely with Madden, liaising with her regularly on all safety-related matters. He oversaw the on-site installation and ensured that any potential
PRODUCTION PROFILE: TPi Awards 2014
Below: Huey Morgan kept hold of his Sennheiser microphone this time; VME’s Ben Hyman and Steve Ness; The PSA’s Andy Lenthall paid tribute to some late industry professionals; The LiteConsole DJ set up complete with Pioneer decks at the chilled-out afterparty.
hazards or risks were mitigated and controlled. “Gallowglass Crewing supplied 38 crew over a two-day period,” said Kearney, “They were supporting Siyan, LS Live, Creative Technology and Blackout, undertaking a range of duties that included loading and unloading trucks, lifting and carrying, assisting with AV, set, staging and lights. During the show itself Gallowglass was responsible for cable carrying for the roving cameras and operating follow spots.” Kearney went on to add: “One of the major challenges faced was the large number of guests attending the Awards. The room at the Novotel is almost at capacity every year. Access and egress for guests and staff were constantly monitored and we liaised closely with the Banqueting Manager to ensure that the siting of tables afforded sufficient access for waiting staff during service. “The demands of this event added a slight additional psychological pressure,” conceded Kearney. “Given the high profile of these awards and the fact that all of our industry peers 42
and would be casting a critical eye over the installation.” SECURITY It was a busy TPi Awards for Showsec Security. Not only was it responsible for the event security, but just as in 2013, it won the coveted TPi Award for Favourite Crowd Management Company. Deyo Adelugba, Senior Operations Manager at Showsec, stated: “We were required to supply security to manage the TPi Awards event, in total eight staff on the night. Our role was to secure the entrance into the award ceremony, during the build-up and breakdown, in the aftershow and also for the VIP area. “Customer service is very important and was adhered to on the evening.” BRANDING For the third consecutive year, Sunbaba took care of branding. Jonathan Booth, Director at Sunbaba, enthused: “We’ve been involved with the TPI Awards for three years and it is one
of our favourites, there is always a lively and friendly atmosphere on the build. The awards themselves were great fun and a reminder of the depth of talent we have in the UK. “The artwork for the TPi Awards changes each year and our job is to make sure this still fits well within the elements we supply for the event. This year we used Foamex boards in exchange for the larger back drop that was used behind the bar last year, the boards respond better to the lighting set-up in the Chablis Suite, we used specialist Urban Trapeze Vari-Hite Grippers with 1.5mm cables to suspend the boards and allow for height adjustment after the boards had been hung.” THE AFTERPARTY The post-award antics took place in the basement of the hotel, known officially as the Chablis Suite. The whole afterparty and the main bar were sponsored by Pioneer Professional Audio. “It was great to be able to participate in the TPi Awards, undoubtedly the
PRODUCTION PROFILE: TPi Awards 2014
Below: Dinner was served as graphics created by Digital Insanity adorned the three CT screens; Gallowglass were on-site during the build to provide health and safety consultation.
particularly when lit.” most glamorous event in the industry. We definitely look forward to working with TPi in THEMED FURNITURE the years to come,” stated Tania Lee, European Furniture specialist Rider Provider supplied an Marketing Communications Executive (Pioneer array of vintage sofas and accessories to add DJ Europe). to the ‘70s film theme that ran throughout the The afterparty looked the glameorous part evening. too, with bespoke drapery was once again “We have the largest selection of coloured provided by J&C Joel. Head of Marketing at the Chesterfields in the UK for hire, so we company, Claire Taylforth, said: “It was great showcased our orange, yellow, green and to be involved in the TPi Awards again, J&C purple sofas,” said Georgia Juett. “Our bespoke Joel has attended the awards for many years 80s Tube Fabric cube seating was an absolute now and it is an important event within the must have for the film theme, and our retro industry calendar, which celebrates many of our armchairs are original ‘70s with reupholstered customers and suppliers. covers and vintage fabric. We also supplied a “For the past three years, we have been large selection of floor lamps, the Alfred Studio proud to support the Favourite Set Construction floor lamps fitted the retro theme very well, and Company award. As well as sponsorship we they added a touch of glamour to a space.” have manufactured drapery for the Chablis As for the bespoke retro TV and speaker Suite.” wall, Juett was pleased with the reaction it J&C Joel manufactured nine bespoke received: “It worked so well for the TPi Awards fabric swags from blue and yellow Jomeleon and is a great centerpiece and photo op - its (JOM604B, JOM600B and JOM609Y), a sheer always fun to see people stopping and saying two-tone Trevira CS voile which, according to ‘oh I had that TV when I was a kid!’ The Taylforth: “give fantastic iridescent qualities, #40419 - DP544 ad - TPI_Layout 19/02/2014 11:05 Page 1
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moment we received the brief we knew we had to roll it out.” Juett was adamant that Rider Provider was well prepared to see off any challenges which the awards could have potentially thrown up, and said: “Rider Provider has a 30,000 sq ft warehouse filled with a vast array of furniture, unusual props and dressing that will suit so many themes. It was just a matter of selecting pieces that would work well for the theme, venue and guests. We also create bespoke pieces for clients as well as continually keeping our stock fresh and on trend with new kit.” The only logistical problem, she added, was: “getting up at 3am for the load out!” THE DJ BOOTH For the TPi Awards afterparty - sponsored by Pioneer Professional Audio - trussing manufacturer Prolyte supplied a LiteConsole MK2 DJ deck to accomodate all three Pioneer CDJ-2000nexus multiplayers and a Pioneer CDJ-800 digital turntable (all supplied by VME).
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PRODUCTION PROFILE: TPi Awards 2014
Below: An MA Lighting grandMA2 Light console was chosen for the event, and was supplied by Siyan Lighting; The video control room during pre-production; Toby Donovan was the resident System Tech; Robe’s Josef Valchez and Robe UK’s Mick Hannaford; Martin Audio’s MLAC was complemented by Kling & Freitag’s Passio system for stage frontfill.
At the heart of this model’s design are two large aluminium trussing-style end sections that give the MK2 its signature sleek yet industrial appearance. These distinctive sections were powdercoated in white, combined with a contrasting black top fascia panel with backlit laser-cut logo, and a vinyl-branded front panel. To complete the look, the LiteConsole was internally lit with a subtle blue hue, creating a professional yet eye-catching impression.
THE PHOTO BOOTH Chauvet Professional, sponsored the ‘Live Production of the Year’ category once again at the TPi Awards. The luminaire manufacturer also sponsored a fun photo booth to the afterparty, supplied by Coco Photobooths. Michael Brooksbank, General Manager for Chauvet Europe, sees great value in sponsoring the Live Production of the Year award and said: “The TPi Awards 2014 ceremony honours the talents of the production and event
industry. This is a great opportunity for us to contribute to the industry which we service and to highlight the Chauvet Professional brand to premium players who design, supply and operate some of the greatest live events.” On that note, Sponsorship Manager, Hannah Eakins added: “I’d like to say a huge thanks to all of our sponsors for making this year’s event come together. Their involvement is vital and really shows how this industry supports and encourages each other.”
PRODUCTION PROFILE: TPi Awards 2014
Below: The LS-Live team with Nick McGeachin; This year 27 awards were won; Huey squared up to the cameraman; The Prolyte Liteconsole MK 2.
LOGISTICS Taking care of transport and trucking for the Awards was KB Event. Stuart McPherson from KB Event stated: “We were really pleased to be involved again this year. An even larger and more striking production demanded more input from us, which we are always grateful for. To be
managed to get at least two trucks parked out front when the fire alarm went off early in the morning - and no we didn’t set it off!” Madden concluded: “Based on the feedback we’ve had in, people had a great night and are looking forward to what the team come up with for next year. It’s wonderful to see so many
“Based on the feedback we’ve had in, people had a great night and are looking forward to what the team come up with for next year.”
involved in an Awards ceremony that recognises and honours the best in our Industry is very rewarding.” The Novotel venue, according to McPherson, threw a couple of logistical problems up for the crew: “The load in at the Novotel is tight, particularly with a seven truck production. There is no parking available at the hotel for loading in and out so we have to hold trucks off close by and call them in when space is available and production are ready to load the equipment. Saying that, my operations team 48
talented people and dedicated suppliers being rewarded for all their hard work. Although it is a very tough gig, it is a pleasure to be part of it.” TPi Photos: Jim Ellam and Kelly Murray www.tpiawards.com www.nononsensegroup.com www.digitalinsanity.co.uk http://uk.ct-group.com, www.siyan.co.uk www.vme-uk.com www.knightrigging.co.uk
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Details of the TPi Awards 2015 will be announced shortly. For ticket sales, please contact Event Manager, Amy Wright: email@example.com 0161 476 8889 For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Sponsorship Manager, Hannah Eakins: firstname.lastname@example.org 0161 476 8360
PRODUCTION PROFILE: The Grammy Awards
THE 56TH GRAMMY AWARDS BILLED BY THE RECORDING ACADEMY AND HOST TV BROADCAST NETWORK CBS AS “MUSIC’S BIGGEST NIGHT,” THIS YEAR’S 56TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS TELECAST WAS SEEN BY 28.51 MILLION US VIEWERS, MAKING IT THE SECOND-MOST WATCHED GRAMMY SHOW FOR 21 YEARS. THE ANNUAL AWARDS CEREMONY, PRODUCED BY AEG EHRLICH VENTURES FOR THE RECORDING ACADEMY, HAS BEEN RECOGNISED WITH A TOTAL OF 64 EMMY NOMINATIONS AND 21 WINS FOR SOUND, LIGHTING, ART DIRECTION, AND OTHER CRAFTS. TPi GOES BACKSTAGE AT LA’S STAPLES CENTER. ATK Audiotek has been the audio production provider for the Grammy telecast since the show permanently moved to the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles in 2000. “Having the same crew and infrastructure helps on the install, for the amount of time we get,” said Michael Abbott, Audio Coordinator for the show. “Audiotek started on Monday. I have a crew that comes in on Tuesday to pre-cable - there are 60 mults and fibres - then Wednesday we have our full install. By the end of the day we’re fully faxed out and ready to go the next morning for rehearsals; it’s non-stop from that point. “Rehearsing 20-plus separate performances before the Sunday evening broadcast is challenging enough,” said Abbott, a veteran of more than two-dozen Grammy shows. But the fact that the rehearsals are initially out of 50
sequence adds a layer of complexity to what he calls “a Broadway show on steroids.” Abbott was still receiving amended stage plots up to the last minute from artists rehearsing off-site. The audio workflow at the Grammys has remained largely unchanged for several years. Basically, the lines from the stage are split to FOH and monitors for the audience and artist mixes, and to a pair of Music Mix Mobile (M3) trucks parked outside the venue. The music, mixed in 5.1 surround by Co-Broadcast Music Mixers John Harris and Eric Schilling in M3’s Eclipse truck, is then fed to Broadcast Production Mixer Tom Holmes in NEP Denali’s Summit OB vehicle. Holmes adds the music mix to the production audio elements, including on-stage podium and presenter handheld microphones, and graphics package playback tracks. Those production audio elements are also split out to the arena, where
the FOH Production Mixer, ATK’s Vice President of Special Events, Mikael Stewart, adds them to the house music mix, created by Ron Reaves, FOH Music Mixer, seated beside him. During rehearsals, the live music mix generated in Eclipse, with Harris and Schilling typically mixing alternate acts on the Avid D-Control console, is recorded to a Pro Tools multitrack session. Each session is then transferred to M3’s similarly equipped Horizon truck, where the respective engineer continues to work offline with the artist’s representatives to create a production template from which the eventual live broadcast performance is mixed. ATK switched over to DiGiCo consoles in 2012 and this year provided an SD10 for Stewart plus SD7’s with redundant engines for Reaves, Tom Pesa, the A stage Monitor Engineer, and Michael Parker, Monitor Engineer for the B stage. There was one minor addition this
PRODUCTION PROFILE: The Grammy Awards
Opposite: The main stage during rehearsals. Below: (L-R) Daft Punk stole the show; Ron Reaves, FOH mixer with his DiGiCo SD7.
year, an SD8-24 positioned backstage at A2 World that enabled an assistant engineer to more easily oversee signal distribution. Also at A2, Brian Flanzbaum, M3 Preamp Technician, manually adjusted the Grace Audio and Aphex mic amps feeding 160 lines to Horizon outside. ATK additionally provided two DiGiCo SDRacks - for a total of 14 - that duplicated the sources from the A and B stages. In previous years FOH and monitors shared the same head amps; this year, said Jeff Peterson, ATK System Designer, Reaves requested discrete control. “Those are running MADI to Ron’s console,” said Peterson. “Staying at 48k we get an entire rack down one MADI cable instead of two.” Four identical hangs of Harman JBL VerTec VT4889 line-array cabinets and flown VT4880A subwoofers, plus additional VerTec delays,
covered the audience of approximately 20,000. Powersoft K10 amplifiers drove the entire system, including stage monitors. New this year was a pair of prototype subwoofers designed and developed by ATK in collaboration with consultant Mario Di Cola of Audio Labs Systems in Italy. Each sub bass cabinet incorporates a Powersoft M-Force moving magnet linear motor with a 30-inch polypropylene cone, driven by a single K10 amplifier. According to Scott Harmala, ATK’s CTO and VP engineering: “The motor’s strength is somewhere in the order of 50 to 60 times greater than even the best 18-inch driver on the market. At 25 Hz it has eight dB more output than two of our double-18-inch subwoofer boxes.”
The next iteration will incorporate a specially developed Powersoft amplifier module capable of delivering 15,000W. The short transmission line cabinet design will also be reconfigured so that it can be easily flown and arrayed, and more efficiently packed into a truck, Harmala revealed. Backstage, another Grammy veteran, RF guru David Bellamy of Soundtronics, with assistant Grant Greene, coordinated the wireless microphone, instrument lines, and in-ears for the event. Bellamy mapped out the performances and available channels on what he calls his “war board.” Bellamy had surveyed the venue beforehand: “I know what TV channels we’re going to be operating in. I flesh that out with the frequency coordination program, then I dial up all those
PRODUCTION PROFILE: The Grammy Awards
Below (L-R): B stage Monitor Engineer, Mike Parker behind his DiGiCo console; David Bellamy and Grant Greene took care of the wireless microphones for the spectacular evening.
frequencies and see if they’re legitimate in this room,” he said. Greene reported: “We’ve got 44 channels of microphones, 20 channels of guitars, 20 channels of in-ear monitors, and over 200 frequencies of communications for PL codes.” Communications are managed at a separate position. MICROPHONES For the third consecutive year, all of the artists and bands who performed using in-ear monitors on the telecast used the company’s PSM 1000 Personal Monitor System. Shure vocal mics were in abundance on the stage. Jay Z helped get the party started with his Shure UHF-R wireless microphone system, and was soon followed by Shure endorser Hunter Hayes (UR2 transmitter with SM58 capsule); Robin Thicke (UR2/SM58); Keith Urban and Gary Clarke Jr. (UR2/SM58); Shure endorser Imagine Dragons (UR2/KSM9HS), who performed with Kendrick Lamar (UR2/ SM58), and The Highwaymen (UR2/SM58). The
all-star Daft Punk performance featured Pharrell Williams and Stevie Wonder (UR2/SM58); then Nate Ruess (UR2/SM58), who performed with P!nk; Ringo Starr (UR2/SM58); Chicago (UR2/ Beta 58); and endorser Sara Bareilles (UR2/ KSM9), who performed with Carole King (UR2/ SM58). Shure endorser Kacey Musgraves (a twotime winner on the night) performed on a Shure UR2/Beta 57A. Bellamy also reported: “All the horns were using Shure UR1 on high power in spectrum with a high noise floor; and the equipment worked perfectly.” On a satellite stage in the audience, Lorde sang into a wired SM58. Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor as well as John Legend and Paul McCartney all opted for wired Beta 58’s. John Harris, in the M3 truck, commented: “For this years’ show, Eric Schilling and I discussed using the Beta 181 on Lang Lang’s pianos. Combined with the A75M clamps, they provided a great solution for us, both sonically and aesthetically.” The pianist performed with Metallica, and used a Super 55 BRC, in one of
the Grammy Awards show’s signature artist mash-ups. P!NK, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Madonna, Beyoncé, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Queens of the Stone Age all appeared on-stage with Sennheiser microphones and wireless systems. P!NK, for example, used a Sennheiser HSP 4 cardioid capsule on a custom headset before switching to a Sennheiser SKM 2000 transmitter with a custom MD 9235 capsule. Bellamy deployed 22 channels of Sennheiser wireless during the show and had several Sennheiser EM 3732-II radio frequency receivers in his rack backstage. “I am using channels 62 and 67 because of the high number of RF devices in the show - these are the only receivers that will hit these upper range frequencies on the market, and I really need them,” he explained. Two channels were dedicated to show host LL Cool J, also the star of the CBS hit show ‘NCIS Los Angeles’, who made use of a Sennheiser SKM 5200 transmitter coupled with an MD 5235 dynamic microphone, in tandem
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PRODUCTION PROFILE: The Grammy Awards
with an SK 5212-II bodypack transmitter. A combination of Sennheiser MKH 416 shotgun and Neumann KM 184 condenser microphones brought the sound of the crowd into the mix. “We use the MKH 416’s on the front line, and the KM 184’s as surround mics,” explained Production Mixer Tom Holmes. “We always use these microphones because they sound great and don’t get in the way of the show. Our ultimate goal is to have listeners at home feel like they are in the same environment.” Audio-Technica had a strong showing on the backline, with various artists making use of the AT4080 phantom-powered bidirectional ribbon mic on guitars; AT4050 multi-pattern condenser on guitars and bass; AT4040 cardioid condenser on overheads; AE2500 dual-element cardioid instrument mic on kick drum; AE5100 cardioid condenser instrument mic on hi-hat and ride cymbals; AE5400 cardioid condenser on rotary speaker top; ATM650 dynamic instrument mic on snare; and ATM350 cardioid condenser clipon microphones for the toms. Radio frequency interference is minimal on the arena floor, according to Greene: “We are below ground, with 60 ft of concrete between here and the outside world, and the glass is RF reflective.” But an unannounced news crew can certainly cause problems. “We’ve been chasing
them all week; it only takes one person to shut a whole show down.” With six of the performances taking place out in the house, allowing time for set changes on the main stages, Soundtronics deployed its Phoenix Phase Four antenna system, as in previous years. “We’re running 11 zones: 10 out in the house and the eleventh for the Pauley Perrette segments,” said Greene. Perrette, an actress from the CBS primetime show ‘NCIS’, conducted backstage interviews with artists and presenters between performances. “The stage is basically the same configuration each year, but it always changes a little bit in the final weeks of preparation, because they start getting requests and / or demands from different producers and bands,” reported Bob Hughes, Senior Sales Executive for All Access Staging and Productions, and VP of the company’s proprietary Versa Staging. The art department for the Grammy Awards show - art directors Alana Billingsley and Kristen Merlino, augmented for the second consecutive year by Matt Steinbrenner - also handles the Golden Globes Awards telecast, Hughes noted. Because of the timing of the Winter Olympics the Grammy telecast was moved forward this year, leaving less time than usual between the two awards shows. “The band looks happened the final week
of preparation after the Golden Globes, before the Grammys loaded in. I think we completed the drawings for the stage after the trucks were loaded on Friday night; our load-in was Sunday.” Based on experience, Hughes said: “We had to send enough gear to overcome any hurdles.” All Access is busy for the entire week leading up to the Grammy Awards show, said Hughes. “We also do MusiCares, and this year on top of that was the Beatles special.” The Recording Academy’s charitable MusiCares Foundation annually honours an artist - this year, Carole King - with a tribute concert the night before the Grammy broadcast that features many of the performers from the awards show. Some of those performers also stayed on to record the TV special marking the 50th anniversary of the arrival of The Beatles in the United States, which was produced in the LA Convention Center, located next-door to the Staples Center. “One of my partners at All Access also handles the Grammy Celebration [the Recording Academy’s official afterparty],” hughes added: “So we had between 12 and 15 semi-trailers full of gear in downtown LA during Grammy week.” The Grammy stage typically occupies one end of the arena. “The stage is configured so that it fills every nook and cranny around it, along with a ramp and runway going upstage to
PRODUCTION PROFILE: The Grammy Awards
Below: John Harris in the Music Mix Mobile (M3) truck which handled the outside broadcast; A FOH teamshot backstage at the Staples Center.
be able to load gear,” he explained. All Access has been supplying the stage ever since the height was raised to seven ft, in order to provide clearance for artists and technicians, six or seven years ago. “They like the fact that our structure allows them to have clear walkways and tech space areas under the stage. They use that for talent entry, tech areas, loading people on lifts, special effects, and gags that live under there.” Hughes has been working on the Grammys for many years, but for the first six years only provided the rolling risers for the backline equipment. The late Bob Keene, one of television’s more prolific production designers, liked the rock ‘n’ roll look of his risers, Hughes recalled. “But when I started doing the main stage there was a change in the art world. Brian Stonestreet ended up being the Production Designer when Bob passed away. They went a little more artsy with the steel deck packages that John Bradley provides, he’s the staging supervisor on the job.” Bradley supplied the
deck until it went to seven ft. LIGHTING Full Flood President Robert Dickinson was the Lighting Designer on the show, with the firm’s Jon Kusner acting as Lighting Director. “We are the head of ‘Team Lighting’ because these productions never occur without a lot of people,” observed Dickinson. As he also noted: “These are big hybrid projects and they require a lot of vendors.” especially with this year’s schedule, which moved the Grammys to the week following the most-watched sports event of the year. “How do you gather around 1,700 lights and put them into an arena at the same time that the Super Bowl is loading out and they’re loading in American Idol?” he pondered. “It’s a huge amount of gear that needed to be in many locations all at the same time.” Entertainment technology specialist PRG Production Resource Group provided a broad assortment of Philips Vari-Lite fixtures including 175 VL5 Washes, 170 VL5Arc Washes, 150 VL3K Spots, 20 VL3500 Spots, 110 VL3500
Washes, 16 VL3500 Wash FX’s, and six VL3515LT Spot luminaires. PRG also supplied 18 of its proprietary Bad Boy CMY Spot hybrid automated luminaires, 75 Clay Paky Sharpys, 175 Leko Spots, 350 Barco Versa TUBE linear LED fixtures, and 110 Martin Professional Atomic Strobes. Followspots included seven Ballantyne Strong Gladiator 3000’s, four Ballantyne Strong Super Trouper Long Throws, and six Lycian M2 units. A total of eight Reel EFX DF-50 Diffusion Hazers were available on request to add stage fog. Specials for specific band looks included another 20 Clay Paky Sharpys, 10 MoleRichardson 10,000 Big Eye Fresnels with Martin Professinal MAC Auras fitted inside, 36 generic LED Strobes, 10 Coemar PAR Lite LED’s, 76 Solaris LED Flares, and 36 GLP impression X4 LED Wash fixtures. PRG also brought in six of the company’s Best Boy 4,000 Spots for positioning in the ‘mosh pit‘ for a shadow gag. Additionally, 40 Philips Vari-Lite VL3000’s hung on new FOH trusses. Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s performance
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PRODUCTION PROFILE: The Grammy Awards
Below: Metallica’s James Hetfield and virtuoso pianist Lang Lang; Production Mixer Tom Holmes in the hot seat.
included Chauvet Professional Nexus 4x4 highoutput LED panels (which also featured heavily in the Pepsi Grammy Half Time Show TV advert). According to Lighting Director Andrew O’Reilly, a veteran of “between 16 and 18” Grammy shows: “I ran a PRG V676 [control console] and controlled most of the stage rig - all of the overhead lighting and all of the back wall of lights. I also had a lot of the floor lighting.” He added: “There was another V676 run by Harrison Littman. He controlled mostly the front of house rig, all the stuff we used to light the audience, and all the perimeter lighting. He also picked up a lot of the band addition stuff.” There were four V676 desks in total: “We like to have a backup!” said O’Reilly. Lighting Director Patrick Boozer operated a pair of ETC Eos Ion consoles. “He controlled a variety of things, including any conventional instrumentation, of which there was actually very little, some basic audience light, and some
band elements. He also controlled all of the strobes for the show,” said O’Reilly. Typically on the Grammy show an artist gets 90 minutes to two hours on stage for rehearsal, including soundcheck, said O’Reilly. “But two of the acts, the opening by Beyoncé and Jay Z, and the closing Nine Inch Nails performance, required extensive programming and rehearsals off-site, with the artists and their own lighting departments. That typically doesn’t happen. So boards were brought in to execute what they had programmed and to further refine it once we were in the Grammy environment.” Both acts used MA Lighting grandMA2 control desks, he enhtused. VISUAL EFFECTS Metallica brought along their own laser show, courtesy of London-based ER Productions. The song they performed, One, also featured lasers provided by ER - on tour. According to ER director Marc Webber: “We
supplied what we’d normally use on tour: six high-powered white light OPS scanning lasers and two of our special OPS Taipan gold lasers, which were rigged really high in the lighting truss.” What was special was that ER made 20 special red ‘burst boxes’. Webber added: “Each fixture has a 1W red diode and burst grating and takes DMX in and out, which allows you to put a laser into the audience in a safe manner.” The design used was essentially the tour programming, modified on-site, he said. “There’s never really much time on shows like this so we had to do it in visualisation first. The Grammys were really helpful; they did give us time one evening with extra crew so we could get what we wanted out of it.” But what was really special, said Webber, was that ER was able to supply the lasers at very short notice, and managed to get the rig signed-off by the fire marshal: “We had all the right measuring and test equipment to prove it
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PRODUCTION PROFILE: The Grammy Awards
Below: (L-R) Kasey Musgraves performed country songs for the live audience; Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds wowed audiences with his dramatic energy; Mike Parker in the monitor position; The venue was lit by rental company PRG’s lighting stock.
was safe.” Dickinson, who has designed everything from Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies to the gamut of televised award shows, noted that a couple of factors outweigh all others. “Number one, we have to do a television broadcast. That includes a bunch of mechanics,“ Dickenson continued, “The first is, we have to have enough exposure to be able to broadcast a show. Second, what is the scenery about?” But the defining signature look of an event is not dictated solely by lighting and scenery, he noted. “Screen content, graphics, and a lot of other aspects all have to be harmonised.” While once upon a time artists would simply show up at the Grammys and perform, these days they might be accompanied by a professional lighting set designer, such as Leroy Bennett. He told TPI: “We’re at a point where probably 60% of the concepts for music artists’ performances are offered by our design team, and 40% are a negotiation, and an understanding of the goals of the artist. But I think that dialogue, even though it’s only 40% of the creative, occupies 95% of the time. Because the artists that really want to say something are going to obviously need the most 60
attention.” The Grammy production typically features a massive backdrop of screens, and that too has become a part of the design discussions, said Dickinson. “There’s an ongoing conversation as to how much to depend on them, who’s going to do the content, and then how we realistically modify the content. The screens, lighting and cameras are no longer three independent areas - they have to be tied together in a big conversation.” Ultimately, said Bennett, there were several challenging performances this year: “Beyoncé was incredibly challenging. Nine Inch Nails required moving audience members out of the way to put in lights so we could capture these big shadows, and that was quite challenging.” Daft Punk was astoundingly challenging; you wouldn’t know it to look at it. Their stage set, a mock-up of a recording studio that morphed into a dance club, was technically challenging, agreed O’Reilly. “Every surface, every line was covered in Flex Neon, a bendable LED tape. There were probably over 100 individually controlled pieces.” The set arrived in numerous sections, recalled O’Reilly. “There was a ceiling that flew
in, there were walls that flew in separately, and there were roll-in pieces. All the pieces had to get on stage and then be connected together. “In the running of the show I believe there were 5.5 minutes to set that up. We didn’t think it was going to happen, to be honest, because it did not come together in the appropriate amount of time during dress rehearsals.” Nine Inch Nails’ performance involved the band’s own screen backdrops and content. “What they wanted to do really did not make for easy television from many perspectives,” Dickinson commented. “One is the amount of setup time, the other is exposure differences. The unfortunate thing about screens is that they basically reduce contrast in the television broadcast, because you have this gigantic thing that is nothing but luminosity.” But longtime Grammy show Executive Producer, Ken Ehrlich has always encouraged a spirit of collaboration, and commented: “I thought that the compromise we achieved allowed for it looking on television the way that someone seeing Nine Inch Nails live would think, that’s pretty spectacular, and completely, radically different from anything I’ve ever seen.” Queens of the Stone Age, performing with
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PRODUCTION PROFILE: The Grammy Awards
Below: Lorde performed and won a coveted Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance; Beyoncé and Jay-Z performed together, lit with Chauvet Professional Nexus 4x4 fixtures.
Nine Inch Nails in another mash-up, “had screen content that was absolutely brilliant, but unless it was shot from a very specific angle it made absolutely no sense whatsoever,” Dickinson added. Such specific design demands a conversation before the event in order to be effective, he said. What makes it interesting for Dickenson as a designer is “not just to facilitate a bunch
of gear to show up, but also to collaborate to make it viable, and realistic, and still maintain the integrity the artist wants,” said Dickenson. “What is refreshing, and important, is when a group of people - including the artist, if they’re so inclined - get together and develop a conceit or an approach that is distinct within the body of a three-and-a-half-hour broadcast.” TPi
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PRODUCTION PROFILE: The Brits
THE BRITS THE BRIT AWARDS 2014 IN ASSOCIATION WITH MASTERCARD WERE HELD FOR THE 4TH YEAR RUNNING AT LONDON’S 02 ARENA, DEMONSTRATING THE CREATIVE FORCE OF BOTH THE BRITISH RECORD AND PRODUCTION INDUSTRIES. SIMON DUFF REPORTS FROM BACKSTAGE. Presented by James Cordon, the awards featured live performances from eight of the world’s leading acts culminating in a grand finale from Pharrel Williams and Nile Rodgers. With television feeds going out live the show demanded world class production and precision change-overs. Britannia Row provided audio requirements including an L-Acoustics PA system, lighting came from PRG Europe and included High End Systems Hog 4 consoles. XL Video supplied LED, screens and projection with ER Productions on laser duties. The award trophy for The Brits 2014 was designed by milliner Philip Treacy, famed for his fashion designs for the likes of Kate Middleton, Alexander McQueen and Chanel. A sleek, shiny, modern and triumphant design; it set the tone for this year’s main event. From set design to sound, lighting, video and special effects; the event reflected all of those values. Production 64
Manager, Tony Wheeler from Nine Yards Productions worked with Kate Wright and Lisa Shenton of Papilo Productions to manage the production of the event, contracted on behalf of the BPI. Other key suppliers included Outback Rigging, Steel Monkey, Blackout, Eat Your Hearts Out, Show & Event Security, Showstars, Stage Miracles, Oglehog (cameras and PPU) and Lovely Things (furniture). StageCo created a 30 metre by 60 metre stage structure and an assortment of other structures including FOH control which was designed by Peter Bingemann, and featured curved LED elements and a giant Brit statue. A crew of eight from StageCo worked day and night shifts to get all the structures built in four days. SOUND WORLD Derrick Zieba has been sound designer for every Brits since 1994 and for 2014 was reunited with Britannia Row and Sennheiser, a team that also
worked together on this year’s MTV Europe Music Awards. An affable, good-humoured natural leader and hugely talented designer, he started his professional career at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, before becoming head of sound at the newly opened National Theatre on the South Bank. He has gone on to design some of the biggest and most complex events in theatre, events and rock ‘n’ roll. “One of my main challenges at The Brits is to ensure great auditorium PA coverage for the live show, without introducing too much colouration to the live broadcast sound,” he explained talking prior to the show. “I am a big fan of L-Acoustics K1 system and in keeping with last years Brit Awards, I specified a K1 line array.” The main left and right hang comprised 16 L-Acoustics K-1 elements, along with four L-Acoustics KARA and two sub bass hangs made up of eight L-Acoustics SB28 subwoofers. For the outer hang 14 V-DOSC and three dV-DOSC
PRODUCTION PROFILE: The Brits
Opposite: Pharell Williams and Nile Rodgers; Ellie Goulding won the Best British Female Solo Artist award.
elements were used with similar numbers used for the far outer hangs and delays. Distributed front coverage consisted of eight L-Acoustics 108P in fill cabinets and eight SB28 subwoofers. All amplification came from L-Acoustics LA8’s with Lake LM26 processors. A Dante returns system was employed throughout, with two separate fibre returns for stage end and delays. Zieba stated: “I have specified the same PA that worked so well last year. Don’t try and fix what isn’t broken! Nico Royan was my System Tech from Britannia Row. He is an incredibly skilled and experienced System Tech that I have had the pleasure of working with for decades. He was ably assisted by Cesar Lopez - another very experienced System Tech with Dee Miller working as Audio Crew Chief, a hugely experienced Monitor Engineer in his own right, having worked for the likes of Led Zeppelin at The O2 Arena.” Josh Lloyd from Britannia Row mixed artists at FOH with Chris Coxhead handling presentation, VT and playback mix duties, another long-term Brit awards worker. Console wise Midas Pro 9 and DiGiCo SD7 consoles were the order of the day at both FOH and monitors for the band mixes and a Midas Pro 2 at FOH for Presentation microphones, VT inserts and walkups. Zieba added: “I have chosen the consoles
for their quality, flexibility and reliability and the fact that most of the ‘A List’ bands on this show are on tour using these consoles.” Outboard audio consisted of a standard package of valve compressors and high-quality reverbs supplied as standard plus additional extras added at the request of specific artists, for example a FOH Waves Sound Grid Server package. In the monitor world Pete McGlynn,
another Brit veteran, was Mix Engineer. “Preparation, preparation and more preparation is the key to all of the audio,” emphasised Zieba. To give an example he added: “For just one artist collaboration on this year’s show we have in excess of 24 stereo channels of in-ear monitors in use. Wedge mixes are down this year with less than 10 discrete mixes being needed.”
PRODUCTION PROFILE: The Brits
Below: Ellie Goulding; Disclosure and AlunaGeorge.
All changeovers ran perfectly with both Lloyd and Coxhead’s assured mixing at FOH pleasing both broadcast demands and that of an expectant arena audience. Zieba concluded by looking back over the past 20 years with the five audio technologies that have made a difference to his sound design since he started on The Brits. He said: “Digital consoles, line array loudspeaker systems, fibre optic multicore, networked audio and Lake digital processors.” Here’s to another 20 years of impeccable ground-breaking sound. MICROPHONES All presenter microphones including James Cordon’s were Sennheiser’s digital 9000 SKM Series with ME 9004 heads. It’s a microphone that Zieba has become very fond of: “It’s extraordinary. It is the first microphone that I have used for this type of work that has no handling noise. So it is utterly silent in people’s hands, which is really good. The quality of it is just superb. There is no EQ on it, it’s flat and
what you hear is what you get. We tried it last year on The Brits in rehearsal but didn’t go live with it. This year I have 100% faith in it. We have used it on the MTV EMA’s too and Sennheiser used it on Eurovision this year so now we are at a point where we can go live with it on a show like this.”
shows, I always try to give the artists their own radio frequency microphone preference, be it Sennheiser, Shure, Audio-Technica or another and to let artists bring in their own radio frequency if they wish. This gives even more of a headache to my excellent radio frequency Supervisor, Sapna Patel, who has to coordinate
“I have specified basically the same PA that worked so well last year. Don’t try and fix what isn’t broken!”
Zieba has successfully worked with Sennheiser as his radio frequency partner on The Brits for over a decade. “Their logistical and engineering help has been invaluable,” he said. “There are now so many hand-held microphones, instrument packs and in-ear monitors on the show that supplying all of the show’s needs would be impossible without Sennheiser’s assistance. Unlike other award
frequencies and licensing between Britannia Row kit, Sennheiser kit, the band’s own kit, instrument kit from UK backline companies and radio frequency products brought in from the US. This is where Sennheiser’s assistance comes into its own. Often when we have a specially ‘blinged-up’ standard Sennheiser microphone from the US, Andrew Lillywhite will have to completely remove all of the US
PRODUCTION PROFILE: The Brits
Below: (top) Arctic Monkeys frontman, Alex Turner, had playful banter during his acceptance speeches for the groups latest accolades - Best British Group and Best British Album; The stage was designed by Peter Bingemann and built by StageCo, it provided a grandesque centrepiece; (Below) Chris Coxhead, FOH Mix Engineer; Rudimental, winners of Best Single.
electronics and replace them with UK licensable electronics just for their one song in the show! We often end up with a spreadsheet showing over 150 coordinated pieces of radio frequency kit just for the live performance part of The Brits, excluding any TV or commercial use. The challenge of achieving that on a live-to-air show without a whisper of interference is huge. I take my hat off to Sapna, Mark Saunders and Andrew from Sennheiser who make that happen every year.” LIGHTING AND VISUALS Dave Davey was stage production Lighting Designer with PRG handling the lighting specification and Dave Hallet as Project Manager and lighting crew boss. A huge amount of ceiling truss hung over the arena to light what is essentially a TV and rock show combined. This included on the stage rig were 44 PRG Best Boy 4000 Spot luminaires, 54 Philips Vari-Lite VL3500 Washes, 24 VL3500 Spots, 12 GLP X4 impressions, and 24 Martin Professional Atomic 3000 Strobes. An impressive 70 Clay Paky Sharpys were also used on the main stage russes and a further 148 Sharpys 68
were used to cover the arena floor table lighting. A total of 14 Virtuoso Node Plus were used for data networking. At FOH High End Systems Hog 4’s were the lighting console of choice also supplied by PRG. For Clay Paky The Brits 2014 was a success in more ways than the main event. In January, the company’s new B-Eye’s were installed on the lighting rig at The Brits launch show held at ITV Studios in Central London. Glyn O’Donoghue, Managing Director of Ambersphere Solutions, Clay Paky’s sole distributor for the UK, said: “The B-Eye is a whole new category of fixture. Customers are amazed at how versatile it is. It’s really a perfect wash light with a really powerful beam light with a defined beam and super fast movement, people really like this combination.” Back at The O2 Arena, XL Video supplied the main curved stage set LED pieces, made up from Absen six mm LED tiles, 462 in total. The circular closedown screen used three Barco HDQ-2K40 projectors and on the Brit statue, four Barco HDF-W26 projectors. Side of stage relay screens used two Barco HD20 projectors on each side. Centre
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PRODUCTION PROFILE: The Brits
Below: Beyoncé in the spotlight; Lorde picked up a Brit for Best International Female Solo Artist; Katy Perry’s neon Cleopatra inspired set was designed by Jonathan Perry from Perry Scenic; Bruno Mars’ set was also designed by Jonathan Perry from Perry Scenic with set construction by LS-Live.
of House relay screens consisted of four Barco R12+ projectors. XL Video, with Paul Wood as Project Manager, also supplied specific artists requests throughout the show, including front projection gauze screen and two Barco HDQ 2K40 projectors for Beyoncé. The accompanying cameras, PPU and control system were managed and supplied by Oglehog and Chris Saunders who continued his long relationship with The Brits. SNP Productions Ltd supplied Oglehog with eight Catalyst media servers and two Full Boar 4 consoles. SNP’s Managing Director, Simon Pugsley was tasked with programming SNP’s new HES Full Boar 4’s consoles and Catalyst media servers for Beyonce’s performance working closely with Paul Wood and his team to provide graphics to the onstage projection and sculptural LED screens.
Female Solo Artist, FFP used 10 LFM 1 liquid flames and fabricated two dozen burning drumsticks and several handheld pyrotechnic devices as well as confetti rigged above downstage and the presenter’s catwalk for her set. FFP also rigged 10,000 balloons above the audience for the Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers finale. In the arena and on the night it has to be said that it was Beyonce who stole
SPECIAL EFFECTS First to perform on the night were Arctic Monkeys, complete with a giant flaming A and M sign created and run by pyrotechnics specialist FFP FX. For the third time in their career they picked up the award for Best Group and Best Album in the same year. For Ellie Goulding, winner of Best British
the show with XO. The staging for her was a triumph of modern theatre design powered by a huge inspiring sound. Other notable award winners on the night included David Bowie who picked up Best British Male Artist; Rudimental, Best Single; Sam Smith, Critics Choice and Daft Punk, Best International Group. Lasers had to be big for 2014 and to that
end, ER Productions - fresh from working on the Grammys - supplied 23 high-powered OPSL systems totaling 497W. Ryan Hagan Director at ER commented: “Three artists requested lasers for their performances and we worked closely with Dave Davey to ensure all effects required were executed correctly and safely. It was the quality of the OPS diodes that helped ER Productions produce the TV white looks along with the vibrant colours required.”
“It was the quality of the OPS diodes that helped ER Productions produce the TV white looks along with the vibrant colours required.”
Arctic Monkeys used three 21W RGB OPS lasers systems up-stage centre, just behind the band and used white and yellow colours. Katy Perry’s neon Cleopatra theme suited the laser looks incredibly well. Hagan added: “It was important to achieve different styles from the three laser rigs so for Katy Perry it was decided to concentrate the
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PRODUCTION PROFILE: The Brits
Below: Josh Lloyd, FOH Band Mix Engineer; Ellie Goulding used extensive designs from FFP FX and ER Productions.
majority of the power on-stage. It was also a great opportunity to utilise the large matte white Brit Statue with some laser mapping effects. This came from two 25W RGBYC OPS systems with high-speed 60k scanners located at FOH. This was a truly unique effect and one ER Production’s has never delivered for a live TV show. The neon theme also allowed us to use really bright greens, magentas and cyan’s which show up on camera really well. The end result looked great and added an effective layer to the laser display. To top this up we rigged six 21W RGBB OPS systems onto the curve trusss, stage left and right with two 24W greens hung centrally on a mid-truss. The focus for these were the pit cameras, which shot up through the
performance catching all the laser effects.” For Ellie Goulding ER Productions used 12 21W RGBB OPS systems and diffracted burst effects. The lasers accompanied the track Burn with white and yellow effects throughout with the final verse using red diffracted effects. DRAPING AND STAGING Draping and rigging specialist Blackout created a bespoke fabric backdrop for Beyoncé as she performed a glittering rendition of her empowering anthem XO - the first live TV performance of the single. Led by Blackout Project Director, Kevin Monks, who collaborated with Brits TV and Beyoncé’s production team to install an eight metre wide by 12 metre fine gauze high speed roller screen which
became the centrepiece of Beyoncé’s simple yet glamorous performance. In collaboration with set company, Steel Monkey, the team installed three steel boxes upstage of the screen, clad with multiple layers of white voile to create a series of projection surfaces for XL Video to display creative content. At the opening of the performance, Beyoncé stood between the fine gauze and a giant close up of her face was projected live onto the screen, appearing to the audience as if suspended in mid-air. As Beyoncé sang the lyrics ‘turn the lights out’ the projection disappeared and the main central set frame was revealed by a kabuki fabric drop system and the gauze screen was raised at over one metre per second by the roller screen mechanism. Both systems were controlled by
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132’ X 56’ (40 m x 17 m) X16 16h00 dimensions
132’ X 56’ (40 m x 17 m) X16 16h00
SPEARHEADING STAGING EVOLUTION
PRODUCTION PROFILE: The Brits
Below: The 2014 Brit Awards marked the ceremony’s 20th year; Fans enjoyed performances such as Beyonce’s, and the event was broadcast to a TV audience.
the Blackout team to reveal the singer in her sparkling green dress. On stage, the three 2.5-metre square boxes were positioned behind her and used to project stars, fireworks and abstracts of the New York City skyline. Monks commented: “Beyoncé’s performance gave us the opportunity to use two of our reveal products, especially our fast roller screen system which is an ideal mechanism to create dramatic effects or to deploy projection surfaces within the content of even the most technically challenging shows.” Katy Perry wowed with her Egyptian themed neon Cleopatra set design by Jonathan Perry, Director of Perry Scenic, complete with a replica Tutankhamun Chariot and 3D Sphinx Cats perched upon stunning UV columns. Jonathan Perry also designed Bruno Mars’ set, a New York themed apartment that included a two metre in length rotating fan. A late request direct from Bruno saw the team work through
the night to create the graffiti themed effect that graced the stage. “It was a pleasure implementing Bruno Mars’ creative vision and a joy for Perry Scenic to work with him again,” said Perry. Working under time constraints, LS-Live was contracted by Perry Scenic to deliver structural requirements for Mars’ set, which included an upstage wall and rolling riser structure in front for the musicians. LS-Live’s Director, Ben Brooks commented: ”The whole set needed to roll on in just three minutes, so we designed it in different modular Prolyte LiteDeck components that fitted together quickly on stage via the easy top lock system, which we use for all our rental LiteDeck. We built the structure in line with Perry Scenic’s designs and installed lighting fixtures round the edges and an automated aluminium fan in the rear wall to complete the industrial look. Time was tight, but the lines of communication with Perry Scenic were great as
always and we delivered the set the day before the show.” TPi Photos: JM Enternational www.brits.co.uk www.britanniarow.com www.blackout-ltd.com www.er-productions.com www.ffp-fx.net, www.ls-live.com www.nine-yards.co.uk www.oglehog.com www.outbackrigging.com www.perryscenic.com www.prg.com www.showandevent.com www.showstars.co.uk www.snp-productions.co.uk www.stageco.com www.stagemiracles.com www.steelmonkey.co.uk www.xlvideo.tv
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: PreSonus
PRESONUS PRESONUS’ STUDIOLIVE ACTIVE INTEGRATION AI-SERIES LOUDSPEAKER RANGE, LAUNCHED AT NAMM 2014, CONSISTS OF THREE FULL RANGE SYSTEMS AND A SUBWOOFER. DESIGNED TO PRODUCE STUDIO QUALITY SOUND FOR THE SMALL THEATRE, CLUB PA AND OUTDOOR PAVILLION MARKET PLACES IN A WIDE VARIETY OF APPLICATIONS. SIMON DUFF TALKED TO JIM ODOM, PRESONUS’ MANAGING DIRECTOR, ABOUT THE HISTORY OF HIS COMPANY AND THE AMBITIOUS AI SERIES. Jim Odom, musician, producer, and LSU graduate in Electrical Engineering founded PreSonus in 1995 with the goal of building professional and affordable music production tools for musicians and audio engineers. PreSonus began in Jim’s garage and moved to the second floor of Causey’s Furniture in downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where it stayed its first three years. PreSonus’ first product, the awardwinning DCP8, digitally controlled 8-channel compressor / limiter / gate, holds a patent for analogue control over digital circuitry. Truly ahead of its time, the DCP8 was designed for the studio engineer to insert eight channels of analogue compression with the ability to save, recall and automate settings where features only found in mixing consoles costing more than $100,000 USD. At Causey’s location, PreSonus designed and built the ACP8, an analogue version of the DCP-8, the BlueMax two channel tube compressor, and the ACP22 dual compressor / 76
limiter / gate. In 1998, PreSonus moved to its current location at the Baton Rouge Bon Carre Technology Park. Subsidiaries have been set up in Dublin, Hamburg, Boston, and Hong Kong and the brand is supported by 53 independent distributors which cover up to 62 countries worldwide. “The company was founded on the principles of the intersection of art and technology,” explained Odom. “We pay close attention to the needs and desires of our customers, while finding elegant solutions that combine the latest in hardware research and software design. We recently invested $200,000 USD in the creation of a DSP research lab at Louisiana State University. We have a strong commitment to growing our software development in Hamburg, which now employs some of the best minds in digital audio software development and design. We just finished construction of a new facility in Baton Rouge that has recording and performance rooms designed by worldrenowned architects, Walters-Storyk out of New
York. In terms of manufacturing we now have six approved facilities in China that produce our various product lines. We created PreSonus Hong Kong, Ltd, to assemble and train a staff of experienced quality engineers. This has been very successful for us in providing continuous oversight of the manufacturing process for all of our products. Our company is staffed with musicians, audio engineers and content creators, giving us an internal product-research group that insists on the best in product design and usability.” The StudioLive AI-series of powered loudspeakers consists of three full range systems and a subwoofer. Which model chosen depends on where and how they will be used. Based on a three-way technology that utilises a coaxial driver and woofer, or pair of woofers, to provide accurate acoustic reproduction over the full acoustic spectral and dynamic range. The StudioLive 312AI features a 12-inch ferrite woofer and an eight-inch midrange driver and 1.75 inch titanium compression driver driven by
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: PreSonus
Opposite: PreSonus launched its Studiolive Active Integration AI Loudspeaker Series in January. Below: Jim Odom, Founder of PreSonus.
2,000W of triamped, Class D amplification. Odom commented: “We chose the threeway system architecture primarily because of our dislike of how two-way systems reproduce vocals and spoken voice. Most crossovers are right in the middle of the natural acoustic cavities of the human voice, rendering an acoustic representation that sounded thin and raspy to our ears. Being studio snobs, we wanted a voice to sound like a voice, a sax to sound like a sax, and so on. The three-way acoustic crossover and powered system gave us the tools we needed to accomplish this.” The 315A1 features a 15-inch subwoofer, along with the same coaxial mid / high drivers and power amplification as the 312AI. For smaller applications the 328AI pairs two eight inch midrange drivers to deliver a powerful and punchy low end. The rear of the StudioLive AI series reveals a combo XLR / TRS line input and an XLR microphone input with a Class A microphone preamp and 12V phantom power, as well as an XLR mix output, USB and Ethercon connections. Audinate Dante is the chosen digital network protocol for the AI range. “Dante is quickly becoming the ubiquitous choice for audio networking and also has the most direct experience in real-world system installations,” said Odom. “We have worked with the engineers at Audinate for several years and have given them our input and feedback regarding audio networks, dating back to 2007. The Dante system is easy to set up, and the connection management software is well designed. Our goal for customers was to pick a solution that is reliable and allows integration into larger installations.” StudioLive is suitable for a range of smallscale applications such as theatres, bands, pubs, nightclubs, outdoor pavilions, theme parks and
market places that desire the most advanced control and software configuaration available, as well as amazing acoustic performance. Its a product accessible to both venue owners and rental companies alike. It allows the installer, audio engineer, FOH engineer, and others to configure and control an entire system, small or medium-scale, with an iPad or laptop. Odom explained: “Individual speakers can be soloed and checked, auto-time-aligned, and spectrally tuned, then placed back into an overall system for global tweaks. A pub owner has ultimate control over the system at all times and can place limiters, check on transducers, and so on, from the bar!” Research into the StudioLive range began in 2009 and involved hundreds of prototypes and five years of development. PreSonus partnered with David Gunness of Fulcrum Audio for the acoustic design and selection of transducers. Odom claims that the product range has the most advanced DSP and embedded architecture ever built into a loudspeaker. He added: “It gives us fantastic control over the acoustics of the
entire system, including other speakers within a system.” Looking forward, Odom believes that for pro audio advanced wireless communication between products on a stage will be of continued importance. He concluded: “We need to communicate and transmit audio - without running all of those cables! Seamless integration, great sound, affordable, globally connected, great service, expert advice, advanced acoustic design, brilliant engineering will help define our future. Our goal is to continue to research and define solutions to the common and uncommon problems in creating, mixing, mastering, distributing, and performing music and sound. Many of the common tools of today will be integrated into a series of smart, interactive products. I believe that PreSonus is poised to advance the industry in many of these categories and that our passion and connection with both the art and technology of our craft will lead us there.” TPi www.presonus.com
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CLOCKING OFF: Cove Guardians
BY DAY, IAN TURNER IS A LIGHTING DESIGNER AND THE DIRECTOR OF GLS LIGHTING; HIS WIFE JAC NOTT IS A TOURING MONITOR ENGINEER. OUTSIDE OF THEIR WORK IN OUR INDUSTRY, THEIR BIG PASSION IS OCEAN CONSERVATION. THE COUPLE SUPPORT THE SEA SHEPHERD CONSERVATION SOCIETY, AND ACT AS DIRECT ACTION CREW, VOLUNTEERS AND COVE GUARDIANS. GLS PROVIDED THE WATER ON OUR VERY OWN AWARDS TABLES RECENTLY, WITH A NOD TO WATERAID BUT BEFORE PARTYING INTO THE EARLY HOURS WITH YOU, THEY VENTURED TO JAPAN FOR A VERY NOBLE CAUSE. HERE, THEY WRITE FOR TPi ABOUT THEIR LATEST ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION TRIP IN THE FIRST INSTALLMENT OF OUR NEW COLUMN, CLOCKING OFF. Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organisation whose mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect eco systems and species. Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. During January 2014 we travelled to Taiji, Japan, to join the SSCS Cove Guardian program. As Cove Guardians we are part of a constant presence on the ground to document the slaughter of dolphins and other small cetaceans in this town. This slaughter runs almost daily from September to March each year and was documented in the Oscar winning documentary The Cove. The primary incentive for the Taiji hunt is profit from the sale of dolphins to marine parks throughout the world. This provides the money, but the actual slaughter is something 78
the locals consider to be ‘pest control’ – killing dolphins who are stealing the fishermen’s fish! The government say that it is a traditional hunt for meat, however this tradition only started in 1969 (making the Rolling Stones a much older tradition) and the meat is so heavily contaminated with mercury it is unfit for human consumption. A day with the Cove Guardians starts early; the team are on the ground every day before sunrise, but the police have been watching outside our hotel all night and are waiting. Every movement is followed by armed police in cars and on foot, every step filmed. Cove Guardians even work in pairs with GoPro cameras on for security. We stand on the shore, in the cliffs, on the harbour and we film, photograph, count and livestream video. We witness laughing ‘fishermen’ deliberately driving boats over the panicking dolphins ripping them with their propellers. We watch the cove run red with blood and hear the screams of the dolphins as they die an often slow death in front of family members, or get wrestled out of the water
and kidnapped for a life in the marine parks to perform tricks for dead food (dolphins naturally do not eat dead fish, they have to be trained to do so). We operate within the Japanese law so we document and we bring the sights and sounds to the world’s attention. This is where everyone else comes in and we would both like to thank all our friends and colleagues for sharing, tweeting, emailing and generally telling the world what we have witnessed so far. With condemnations from so many people including the US and UK ambassadors to Japan and the first Japanese newspaper also recently condemning the killings, we feel we might be approaching a tipping point. Thank you all for your support. Do keep an eye on the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians Facebook and Twitter feeds for more news. The fight is not over but the Cove Guardians will be there for however long it takes. For the oceans, Ian and Jac. www.seashepherd.org
IN PROFILE: Eurotruss
EUROTRUSS IN THE WORLD OF TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESSION IN WHICH WE WORK, EUROTRUSS IS WAY AHEAD OF ITS OWN GAME. THIS TRUSSING COMPANY IS PUSHING FORTH WITH NEW SAFETY STANDARDS, GAUGING THE EXPECTATIONS OF THE TEMPORARY STRUCTURE SECTOR BEFORE THE OFFICIAL GUIDELINES HAVE EVEN COME INTO PLAY. TPi’S KELLY MURRAY VISITED THE HEADQUARTERS IN LEEUWARDEN, THE NETHERLANDS, TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THESE NEW LEGISLATIONS AS THE MANUFACTURER LEADING THE WAY CELEBRATES ITS 20TH ANNIVERSARY. My first ever encounter with Eurotruss - a manufacturer of aluminium truss systems to the international live events market - occurred on a stiflingly hot summer’s day in Romania, almost three years ago. I was attending the country’s annual dance festival, the Liberty Parade. It was on the festival site’s grounds, a beach no less, that I was introduced to the concept of roof structures, created from lightweight truss. The company supplying the roof, full service rental house, Fives, had invited me to Romania to witness how they put on an outdoor event with the best equipment in the industry, in conjunction with the highest levels of health and safety, regardless of the weather conditions (even desert creatures were suicidal in that heat). My first real lesson in truss manufacturing was completed in the best 80
possible environment: a live gig, in the harshest of conditions with the people responsible for the roof - Owner and Founder, Martin Kuyper and Director of Operations, Frank Schrage - on hand to explain why their brand was the only one in the whole of Fives’ truss inventory. DUTCH COURAGE This year, Eurotruss is celebrating its 20th anniversary, which is an achievement in itself, but is particularly heart warming considering this is a company which came to life in a farm shed with just three welders. Back to the early days when Eurotruss began to produce, trussing itself was a relatively unknown product in the industry. So much so that in the early ‘90s, the company drove around with the product in the boot of a car, like door-to-door salesmen for the rock ‘n’ roll
European staging industry. “It all started at in my early twenties with a rental company called Gigs Support in my hometown, Leeuwarden,” explained Kuyper. “The first steel truss was made by Henk Vellinga who is actually still my friend today, and business partner in a different business. In 1992 Eurotruss was created as a separate company department for trussing but in 1993 Gigs Support fell apart. Although I studied economics and originally planned a different path, the tremendous joy and excitement of being a part of this crazy entertainment industry got to me. I took Eurotruss out of the remnants and founded Eurotruss BV on January 17 1994.” The first large customer to team up with Eurotruss was Lightpower, in Paderborn, Germany. Every Thursday a truck would drive across the border with the finished truss in tow,
IN PROFILE: Eurotruss
Opposite: The Eurotruss HQ in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. Below: Eurotruss Founder & Owner, Martin Kuyper; Director of Operations, Frank Schrage; Commercial Director, Peter Draaisma.
so was the primitive nature of the business back then. The engineering behind the truss backed up by Kuyper’s passion, determination, ambition and, crucially, personal approach to business, were the key ingredients that would inevitably set this company up for a global future in the live event sector. “I’d be lying if I said I had a business plan back then. I had two major challenges; to prove to everybody that I could become successful
and that I had the ability to learn from people who had an established status and clear vision in our industry,” he added. “I talked to my key mentor back in 1995, Ralph Wezorke, of MA Lighting and Lightpower. He helped me get comfortable in the driver’s seat. I had passion for the product, the Eurotruss customers, and the drive to tell everyone that Eurotruss was the right product and staging partner. Plus I had the joy of
travelling for 200 days a year, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures every day. All of this has made the last 20 years go by so fast, but I’ve always had a smile and a clear determination of where to go next,” said Kuyper. COMPANY CHARACTER Kuyper has recently moved from Leeuwarden to Florida, USA, in order to set up the company’s
IN PROFILE: Eurotruss
Below: The Eurotruss welding staff maintain the manufacturing skills in The Netherlands, but the company is going from strength to strength and will officially open a US operation on March 1; Eurotruss can supply bespoke installation pieces, standard truss systems and temporary structures, which are a key part of its business having recently supplied roofs to outdoor live events including Bastille in South Africa and Rihanna in Israel.
US operation. With his location now across an ocean, Schrage is adamant that this ‘hands-on’ mentality he was taught by Kuyper will remain a key feature of the business model going forward. “The office side of our work has always been conducted by just a handful of core people and because of this, the business has grown exponentially in the last few years,” Schrage told me. “Firstly, there was a distinct lack of knowledge with respect to the safety-side of trussing at the start of this business. Not only has Eurotruss succeeded in effectively filling this gap in the market, but we also know that customers value Eurotruss because of this knowledge, because of our expertise and also the technical support that backs up our products. This remains something which potential competitors from emerging markets in other countries can’t provide on the same level.” Schrage detailed the quality of the welders in Holland as “superb”. “The welders are paid decently here, and our approach to staff is felt on a very personal level, much like our customers,” he noted. “Welders must be treated with a lot of respect, because respect in many ways has a greater worth than money.” Relationships outside the office are strong too. Schrage takes the time every Monday morning to walk around the manufacturing 82
plant and chat to the staff about their weekends, bridging any gaps between the office and the floor workers, and reinforcing his appreciation for their skills. No doubt this mentality will be a transferable attitude across the Atlantic too. “Our stock availability, level of service and hands on mentality has already started to prove successful, in all our subsidiaries” he added. AMERICAN ADVENTURE When I first met Kuyper, he had just sold the company, although he would endeavour to maintain his responsibilities. Just two short years later, after seeing the company he created venture into a direction he wasn’t entirely agreeable with, he bought it all back, every share. Kuyper expanded: “Each newly founded and growing company goes through many stages and at a certain point the founder - the driver and the passionate one - should step aside and let professional people in to help the company successfully enter into the next stage. A successful company like Eurotruss attracts investors and management which I believed could support me to push Eurotruss to be a true global contender. “This is a mistake lots of founders and company owners make. I now strongly believe all companies in our ‘small’ entertainment
industry need entrepreneurs to keep running the company as the spirit and passion they bring to the table is like fuel for a car. “I am so determined to make Eurotruss the leading truss and staging company in the world that I could not let it slip by and simply blame others. The responsibility was mine, and I took it back. I realised that that alone would not cement Eurotruss as the top player; I required a strong management too.” The key personal team is completed by recent addition Peter Draaisma as Commercial Director and Henry Schuil as Business Development Manager. When I paid the HQ a visit, I was met by the effortlessly welcoming Draaisma. Continued Kuyper: “I learned that to lead Eurotruss, our whole team had to be dedicated and eager and for that you have to create the right business environment to do so. Now I want to get the bird’s eye view that doesn’t require a daily presence in the office,” he said. “We believe that setting up warehousing and sales support as a hub is essential to a successful and long term market positioning. Setting up the American hub was very attractive to me. The personal change and a strong business plan convinced me to go the US.” Officially, the US operation will launch on March 1, just before Europe’s busiest trade fair, Prolight + Sound opens its doors.
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IN PROFILE: Eurotruss
Below: The Liberty Parade, Romania’s biggest dance event where Five’s supplied a Eurotruss roof structure; Director of Operations, Frank Schrage noted that in The Netherlands, respect in the work place for skilled jobs is worth more than currency.
A BRIGHT FUTURE The show will mark Draaisma’s first time at the event as a Eurotruss representative, having only joined the company a mere seven months ago - after being headhunted by Kuyper - to come on board. Draaisma told me: “Frank and Martin were so busy with day-to-day operations that they didn’t realistically have the time to project a long term plan to grow the business. I brought a different perspective to the company and was able to broaden the perspective in terms of moving the brand into the future.” Draaisma’s reputation within the trussing industry is well known, in both Europe and North America, following his time working for another trussing manufacturer and Doughty Engineering. Draaisma stated that an increasing focus on the marketing of Eurotruss as a brand for its preferred partners worldwide would lead to more interaction with the industry on key levels. “Martin has built a strong, solid and beautiful company and it is our privilege to continue its legacy in the next chapter. After seven months I am still impressed with the high quality of the products, the support and the staff and Eurotruss has all the potential to become market leader,” he said. Back at the HQ, walking around the factory floor - headed up by new Plant Manager, Dominique Duijn - it’s easy to see that Eurotruss runs on harmony. There are skilled workers in every direction, building with true craftsmanship the products that have put this manufacturer on the map year after year. To give you an idea of its capabilities, the Qatar National Convention Center used an incredible 24km of box truss as mobile rigging grids for all seven exhibition halls of this unique venue. Be it custom constructions or its flagship product - the FD34, currently selling hundreds of meters on a daily basis Eurotruss is in a remarkable position to supply rental companies, as its truss inventory is stored in several locations around the world, for quick 84
access. “I suppose that everyone wants to join the winning team,” Draaisma continued. “For example, at Frankfurt we have changed our booth with increased seating and a bar area that gives us the opportunity to host a network event for our customers after the exhibition closes, so that our customers can relax while they talk business.” This in itself is a pivotal task for the Eurotruss team. Although the Eurotruss factory has the lay out to do mass production, a major part of its daily business is custom one-offs. The process time from design and engineering, right up to shipping, is minimal, proving that the Eurotruss efficiency management is working. Schrage commented: ”It is all about communication and commitment. It’s part of the job to inform our specialists in time, and with a twist of rock ‘n’ roll we can move mountains!” Kuyper agreed: “In the coming years, Eurotruss will grow further by offering the market a local support with expertise. Within three years I think we will achieve a bigger market share in our existing markets, and have seen successful entries into new markets including North and South America, Russia and Asia.” NEW INDUSTRY STANDARDS As suggested earlier, Eurotruss is ahead of its game as far as rules and regulations within the trussing industry go. Various incidents in the past have acted as a catalyst to dictate that new standards should be set. This is finally happening this year and Eurotruss is at the very forefront of putting these new industry standards into practice. “What we want to offer our customers is a product that is certified by the TUV, complying the standards,” said Henk Tiekstra, Technical Manager within the Eurotruss Group. TUV is the German technical association or Technischer Überwachungsverein, the equivalent to PAT testing.
“We’ve had our trusses tested and approved to comply with the German standards because the German market is a real hub for us, and our distributing network is very important to the longevity of the company,” he furthered. This stems from the fact that the standards used in our industry were the German Industrial Standards, the DIN 4112 for temporary structures like roof constructions for example, and the DIN 4113 for constructions made out of aluminium. Recently European Standards have replaced and will replace the local standards like the DIN standards but also the British Standards (BS). The DIN 4112 for structures like roofs have to be replaced by the EN 13814 (Fairground and Amusement park machinery and structures) and for trussing in general the DIN 4113 will be replaced by Eurocodes EN 1990-1999, also called EC0-EC9. Since 2012, all aluminium structures such as roofs, which are newly built or need a building permit renewal must be in compliance with EN13814. In practice this creates a big impact for companies with existing structures, as they have to be re-evaluated. The latest development will take place by July 1 2014 when the DIN 4113 will disappear and all truss types will therefore need to comply and be recalculated to the Eurocodes. This will apply to all European countries and allegedly be taken as the new standard in ours, the entertainment industry. Concluded Tiekstra: “Eurotruss complies to all new standards as yet no other company has taken the whole nine yards.” As the evening sky begins to turn into a pretty pink and the chilling winter air takes hold, I leave the Eurotruss HQ after what can only be described as a thoroughly educational day. Make no mistake, this is a out-rightly confident company, but it is also home to some refreshingly insightful figure heads, who just happen to have an encyclopedic understanding of their field… TPi www.eurotruss.com
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ON THE ROAD: LA Confidential
FORGET THE TOURIST PATH, TPi’S KELLY MURRAY SEEKS OUT THE PRODUCTION LOWDOWN IN TORRANCE, SUN VALLEY, NORTHRIDGE AND ORANGE COUNTY... The region of Los Angeles was founded in 1781 by Spanish Governor, Felipe de Neve and 40 years later became a part of Mexico following the Mexican War of Independence. The Mexican–American War then resulted in California as a whole being secured as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, officially becoming a part of the United States. California was initiated into statehood in 1850, and in a very short time became the centre of film entertainment industry throughout the world. From Charlie Chaplin’s move stateside over a century ago to the saturated market of reality stars today, Hollywood remains the number one western destination for both veteran performers and the ambitious stars of tomorrow. Outside of its broadcast roots, Los Angeles is also the prime location of the live and touring sector. Sunset Strip in the ‘80s was a rock ‘n’ roll haven, the ‘90s saw boy bands and female solo artists fighting for the top spot on the Disney Channel, and the ‘00s were home to some of the biggest arena productions for some of those Disney 86
stars (even if they were in the midst of a public breakdown…). Fast forward to the present day, and with its close proximity and easy access to Las Vegas, the region of LA has become a huge manufacturing, rental, production and creative touring hub for the live event industry. Which could mean only one thing seen as TPi was flying west for The NAMM Show; we hired an SUV (somehow I don’t think we passed for ‘soccer moms’) and drove to some key manufacturers in the Greater Los Angeles area who had an interesting story to tell. LA is a place where vehicles choose not to indicate, where traffic jams are lengthy, warm, pits of despair, but is also a destination where the population is still thriving with eagerness to produce all manner of shows. With beautiful scenery to the side and uncharacteristic wind behind us, we hit the tarmac for another ‘On The Road’ lesson in history, US operations when headquartered in Europe, the importance of safety in staging and the latest technology in loudspeaker manufacturing...
ON THE ROAD: LA Confidential
Staging giant All Access was founded in 1991 by Clive Forrester and his business partner, Erik Eastland. All Access Staging & Productions initially began its operations by renting equipment and sub-contracting projects while offering design abilities and expertise. In the industrial scenes Torrance, we met with British born Forrester, the company’s CEO. He explained that at any given time, All Access is able to achieve a huge task: to have over 100 concurrent productions on its event calendar from the rental and touring market, to television sets, special events, corporate function and the sports markets, it’s a staging company with a mind-blowing daily schedule. Plus, in addition to its line of rental staging and gags there is the option to quite literally take any idea and turn it into a bespoke reality at the company’s custom manufacturing facility. During a factory tour around the various buildings that All access occupy, he explained: “We used the expertise that we gained from touring in the industry in our different capacities to provide a superior staging product to an industry that was looking for more versatile solutions to the travelling challenges. “Originally, All Access offered a different variety of services, including lighting and rehearsal space rentals for bands at our headquarters; however, as time progressed,
the company has grown exponentially each year into one of the top companies in quality set construction and staging design,” said Forrester. “In fact, industry demand drove us to specialise in staging solutions, prompting the development of our proprietary line of staging products, the Versa system.” Versa decks have become an industry standard among a huge sector of the touring market worldwide, and they have also become indispensable in the television sector in the US. “Our ‘80 / 20 Solutions’ have been a big part of our worldwide growth allowing us to duplicate the standard building blocks of our touring systems worldwide. The artist ships the custom supplements and is able to have an affordable and identical custom set throughout the tour with minimal transport costs and better value for the money spent,” he added. All Access has built its reputation as the ‘can-do’ company. An inexhaustible work ethic coupled with attractive, reliable equipment has enabled the company to become a leader in the world of quality set construction and stage design. “Our set pieces and staging equipment have enhanced countless concerts, tours, television sets, parties, tradeshows, as well as a few beaches and sporting venues. There are very few places our equipment and crew have not been!” smiled Forrester.
According to Forrester, the All Access motto really does encompass its business philosophy: ‘All Acces, All The Time, Don’t Even Ask’. As we walk around the various departments of the company, this motto can be seen on walls and doors around the facility. “Our clients can contact us at any time with virtually any deadline, and we will make it happen. We really are the ‘can-do’ company. From myself to our on-site and set-up crews, everyone at this company is a part of the All Access family. Over the years, we’ve been given countless awards for both set construction and staging, and while we know the equipment definitely has something to do with it, we would like to think that the ‘heart’ of the company, and our passion has distinguished us from the rest of the competition. “While our proprietary equipment designs do set us apart from our competitors, our number one distinguishing feature can be summed up in one word: service. It is our commitment to our clients that sets us apart from competitors. Additionally, we are very proud of our Versa stage system and our patented Versa Deck. The Versa Stage decking system is the cornerstone of the All Access operation and the pinnacle in rapid deployment staging technology,” he added. The four ft by eight ft Versa staging decks 87
ON THE ROAD: LA Confidential
are encapsulated in an aluminum frame that protects them from wear and tear. Complete with air-force grade coffin locks and selflocating pins, these decks slide together straight and lock down to ensure a durable and quality finish every time. Additionally, Velcro linings for skirting and handrail slotting allow for a clean, professional appearance. “The Versa Stage System was named for its versatility - applications include rolling stages, spot platforms, risers, and tiered, multi-level bleachers,” noted Forrester. From set construction for the likes of American Idol and Arcade Fire and stage and
equipment rental to Jason Derulo, Germanys Next Top Model, Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Eagles - the latter of which was an incredible rooftop production at LA’s Forum venue which saw the roof being turned into a spinning vinyl record - All Access has its sector covered. However, to add another dimension to its talents, it recently has branched out into the ice rink building sector. After all, it’s another stage in a live environment... “When we learned about Ice World International’s energy efficient, technologically sophisticated product and their desire to expand to the US, we felt that All Access would be the
perfect partner as we share a commitment to building attractive, environmentally-friendly structures for special events,” the CEO explained. “It has turned out to be an excellent match as we have been fortunate to be able to provide the infrastructure and seasoned crews to successfully create Ice-America in partnership with seasoned skating professionals.” And the plan is to simply keep on improving: “We have many new products under development to add to our product lines which we will be pleased to reveal once they’re tested and ready for industry use,” Forrester concluded.
compact, yet very high output loudspeaker. “It is the most versatile system on the market,” stated Ralph Heinz, Sr. VP of Renkus-Heinz and a trained mechanical engineer. “The IC2 scales to any application, from a single cabinet up to digitally steerable arrays of up to 16 units tall.” While the capabilities of the IC2 could be considered revolutionary within the pro audio industry, it is simply the latest evolution of the Iconyx family of steerable arrays, which have actually been in production since the early 1990s. “We’ve been doing this this longer than many other manufacturers, and offer the widest range of digitally steerable loudspeakers available,” he added. Providing innovative products is the beginning of - but not the entire formula - for long-term success, explained Heinz. “Our reputation has been earned by providing superior service, reliability and sound quality
while being a proactive business partner for our customers. “Our core philosophy would be to create something ‘new and improved.’ If a design offers the potential for a truly improved performance, sound quality, and reliability over our previous or existing designs, we will pursue it,” said Heinz. Being a smaller, perhaps, more niche and clearly focused player in a debatably crowded pro loudspeaker field allows Renkus-Heinz to, “pursue new and innovative ideas, rather than ‘me too’ products. Although we do offer some of those as well, as standard,” said Heinz. “From a product stand point, we offer world-class products with exquisitely natural sound reproduction capabilities. As a business partner, we provide unparalleled application support throughout the entire life-cycle of a project - from system planning and speaker
When Harro Heinz founded a loudspeaker manufacturing plant over 30 years ago, he set out to create a business that would cemente his passion for electronics. He began work as an engineer at Grundig, a German radio manufacturer, before becoming the President of Rauland Borg, the very position he left to found his own company, Renkus-Heinz. Today, the offices are located in Foothill Ranch, a district of Orange country, which is engulfed by leafy ‘side walks’. TPi spoke with Harro’s son, Ralph about where the company sits in the industry today, and the thinking behind its reputation for impact-making technology. Being digitally steerable and RHAON enabled, Renkus-Heinz flagship product, the IC2 (IC Squared) digitally steerable loudspeaker leverages all of its Iconyx digital steering and digital audio networking technologies into a 88
Channel 4, SU2C Live. Photo Courtesy of Immersive Ltd
DEFINING THE FUTURE
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ON THE ROAD: Los Angeles
placement, to proper configuration at time of order, through to the alignment and commissioning of our systems in the field,” he furthered.
This intricate audio journey for the Heinz family is set to continue for another 30 years the Sr. VP confirmed. “2014 will see more of the same from Renkus-Heinz, because after all, why
would we mess with a formula that’s clearly working?”
some new launches, both of which has the kind of reaction JBL had hoped for. “It was a great opportunity to launch two major new product lines - the VTX V20 dual 10-inch line array and its companion S25 dual 15-inch subwoofer along with the VTX F Series of multi-purpose fill enclosures [F12 and F15 single 12-inch and 15-inch 2-way enclosures and the F18S single 18-inch subwoofer],” stated Paul Bauman, Associate Director - Tour Sound, JBL Professional. “Both product lines were featured on the NAMM Grand Plaza main stage, providing an opportunity for attendees to be able to hear the VTX system in action under real world conditions.” According to Bauman, the core technologies featured in VTX include the D2 dual diaphragm, dual voice coil compression driver and Differential DriveTM dual voice coil, dual magnet cone transducers. “On the loudspeaker side, we
have V25 [dual 15-inch] and V20 [dual 10-inch] line array elements which are complemented by VTX S25 dual 15-inch and S28, G28 dual 18-inch subwoofer models. From a sound design perspective, VTX F Series provides an effective fill system complement to VTX V Series models while also serving as a high performance stage monitoring solution. Crown Audio VRack12000HD and VRack4x3500HD turnkey power amplifier racks complete our system solution offering along with JBL HiQnet Performance ManagerTM software.” Crucial to JBL’s commitment to audio engineering is its detailed training programme for both the VTX and VerTec systems which is aimed at system engineers and technicians who are working with the system on a regular basis, as well as system specifiers such as FOH engineers, sound designers and consultants. Said Bauman: “We offer regular three-day factory training sessions where we cover line
The JBL Professional story is an interesting one to say the least. The brainchild of a potentially manic-depressive genius with an innovative interest in electronics, James Bullough Lansing the company’s founder unknowingly started a legacy that would produce some of the most iconic live events in concert history. From The Grateful Dead’s ‘Wall of Sound’, 1974’s Cal Jam to Neil Diamond’s impressive 1985 set up, JBL has been on a pro audio journey to truly behold. When we visited the JBL offices in Northridge, its effortlessly fun, metal-loving Marketing Coordinator, Becki Barabas led us on a tour of the company’s HQ and showed us what JBL has achieved in the rock ‘n’ roll audio fame academy. Today, the VTX Series is JBL’s flagship touring product line and the brand is certainly in use with some influential end users. The Grammy’s were in process with a JBL system in tow and The NAMM Show had just finished 90
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ON THE ROAD: Los Angeles
array theory, simulation, suspension procedures, sound design, subwoofer configurations, system operation and optimisation. “The main objective is to give attendees the knowledge they need to get the best results in the field. We’ll also be introducing remote training to support VTX V20 where factorycertified trainers will be available to conduct two-day sessions at the client’s location and show support.” Bauman explained that training is extremely important in order to get the best possible results with JBL systems. “We place a strong emphasis on this, in fact, in order to become a fully certified VTX partner, training is considered mandatory. It really is in everyone’s best interest that the system is safely and optimally deployed in order to obtain best results in the field and 92
training provides the foundation necessary to achieve this,” he added. The consensus at JBL, is that it is set apart from the competition due to its proprietary transducer technology and system integration. “The D2 driver is truly a unique transducer and it’s also a unifying technology. The same large format D2430K transducer employed in our flagship M2 studio monitor is also used in VTX V25 and VTX F Series. This means that what the artist hears in the studio on the M2 is consistent with what is heard onstage through the F Series stage monitors as well as what the audience hears out front through VTX V25 or V20 enclosures,” continued Bauman. And there’s more… the second key differentiator is the high level of system integration that JBL is able to achieve by
working closely with its sister companies which also sit under the Harman Professional umbrella such as Crown Audio, BSS Audio and the System Design and Integration Group (SDIG). “The fact that we can work closely within HPRO allows us to achieve a more integrated system solution and Crown VRack plus JBL HiQnet Performance Manager are good examples of the synergy that results from close collaboration,” he stated. The response since NAMM has been “phenomenal” for the JBL tour team. “We’ll be developing additional F Series and V20 suspension accessories and there will be new JBL Line Array Calculator and Performance Manager software releases in the future and there is also an exciting VTX product roadmap ahead so please watch this space!” enthused Bauman.
ON THE ROAD: LA Confidential
Based in SoCal’s Sun Valley, GLP’s growing US operation is ran by ex-pat, Mark Ravenhill who since opening the office in 2010 has maintained his role as US President. As TPi pulls up to the hill-engulfed warehouse we’re met by the friendly Brit, who has swapped the weatherchallenged isle for the bright lights of the West Coast. After several years working for another automated lighting company, Ravenhill left to spend time with his family. When some former colleagues joined GLP, they head-hunted him for a new venture with the company. “Initially I was based in Europe, but it was under discussion to begin an operation in North America. It’s a vital market and if you want to have control over your own destiny, then it’s the right decision to make. We made that decision, and almost four years later, here I am.” GLP US is the exclusive distributor of both GLP and G-LEC for the Americas. G-LEC is a creative video company which GLP bought five years ago and in the US, it also distributes two other brands; Cosmic Truss which is a full range of truss and support structures - branded as Global Truss outside of the Americas - and a range of products which are sourced under the brand name of Scenex Lighting. Ravenhill elaborated: “It’s all LED products, 94
but for scenic applications. More lighting is being integrated into sets these days and all of these products are to satisfy that market. From our base in Los Angeles, we have warehousing, full technical support and administration.” Completing the core GLP US staff is Annalise Laundrup, Operations Director and Carl Wake, Technical Director, leaving the office in very capable hands when Ravenhill is away. For much of 2014, Ravenhill will be returning frequently to his original home to ensure that both sides of the Atlantic are taken care of. “I’m going to get a lot less sleep, I think!” he joked. “There’s a huge link between the US and UK markets in a number of ways for GLP’s business and it is very important that we are looking after both sides. Being a UK native, it’s easy for me to adjust and speak the ‘local language’, but my primary role remains to ensure the ongoing success and growth of our US operation. “We are strengthening connections across the globe and have a focus on building a lot of new markets. We can feel the wheels of the economy starting to turn again, and both customers and competitors agree. So, we are pushing forward, both in terms of business and technology.” At the time of going to print, GLP’s biggest sellers are the impression X4 and the impression
X4S, as Ravenhill explained: “Honestly? In the US I can’t keep them in the warehouse, which I suppose is a positive problem to have! They are part of our latest fixture series and have really managed to tick all the boxes that a lot of lighting designers were previously asking for. We’ll continue to promote this range at Prolight + Sound in Frankfurt with the larger X4 XL which was previewed at LDI 2013 in Las Vegas. “There will also be some surprises too, but you’ll have to come and see us at the show to find out more! It’s actually a big celebration for us; it’s our 20th birthday party!” he beamed. If you can’t wait for the birthday cake, you can have a taste of GLP’s US success so far this year with a look at some high profile live events that have already taken various GLP products on the road. Billy Joel’s tour US tour and residency at Madison Square Garden - designed by Steve Cohen - and Britney Spears’ Las Vegas residency at Planet Hollywood - designed by Baz Halpin, Chris Nyfield and the team at Silent House - are both well underway. Elsewhere Bryan Hartley carried various GLP fixtures on his recent jaunt through Europe with the Trans Siberian Orchestra, (TPi’s February cover). “It’s been very busy from the start of the year for us,” smiled Ravenhill. “Of course we hope that it will continue!”
WELL DONE TO ALL OF THIS YEARâ€™S WINNERS FROM TPi MAGAZINE
SPONSORS & SUPPORTERS
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EXPO: NAMM 2014
NAMM 2014 THE OFFICIAL POST-SHOW FIGURES ARE IN, THE PRO AUDIO SECTOR IS THRIVING AND TPi’S PENCHANT FOR AMERICAN CANDY CONTINUES... TPi HIT THE TRADESHOW FLOOR IN ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA TO FIND OUT ABOUT THE LATEST AUDIO LAUNCHES ACROSS THE ATLANTIC. As my first ever trip to the infamous NAMM Show got underway, there was clearly something in the air and the pro audio industry was buzzing. As the week went on, the home of Disneyland turned out to be a great host and TPi was awash with that positive American ‘can do’ attitude - not to mention the scent of maple syrup laced pancakes. NAMM, you certainly served us well… While the vast majority of the show is dedicated to the MI industry, the pro audio and lighting sector also hold an important place on this show floor. Most major players were somewhere to be seen, whether this was by taking their own stand, on a distributor booth, or in the case of Martin Audio, Meyer Sound and DiGiCo to name but a few, taking up residency at ‘Hall P’ (the informal networking area of Marriot Pool Bar, that is). According to the NAMM official post-show press release, emerging brands, growth in pro 96
audio and the music technology category, and an increase in international exhibitors, converged for the second -highest exhibiting companies ever. In total there were 1,533 exhibiting companies representing 5,010 brands. Meeting those brands was a 2% increase in buyers over 2013. Totalling 96,129 members of the music product industry registered for the 2014 NAMM Show. There was also a 6% increase in international attendees and 636 exhibitors, from 49 countries made up over onethird of the total exhibiting companies. While a lot of the companies we met with were waiting for ISE in Amsterdam and Prolight+Sound in Frankfurt to make their latest announcements, North America still holds a vital position in the tradeshow calander for the live side of entertainment technology. Here, we dive into some of the show highlights… Allen & Heath has introduced the 30 in / 24 out Qu-24 to its Qu series of compact digital mixers, which also includes the rack mountable
EXPO: NAMM 2014
Opposite: The busy ADJ stand; The Chauvet Professional team. Below: The DiGiCo presence on the Group One stand; The Electro-Voice press conference.
Qu-16. Qu-24 features total recall of settings (including 25 motorised faders and digitally controlled preamps), an intuitive Touchscreen, Qu-Drive integrated multi-track recorder, dSNAKE for remote I/O and personal monitoring, multichannel USB streaming to Mac, Qu-Pad control app, and iLive’s renowned FX library to deliver class-leading audio quality. AJ McLean, singer with the Backstreet Boys led a roundtable discussion to formally present Anvil Cases’ new line of Mobile Device Protection and announce his partnership with the company. Anvil Cases’ VP for Mobile Jose Beltran answered questions about the company’s new Anvil iPhone case, created specifically for touring production personel. Audio-Technica (Booth 6740), a leading innovator in transducer technology for over 50 years, offers its BP894 MicroSet subminiature cardioid condenser headworn microphone. Inspired by A-T’s popular BP892 MicroSet, the BP894 features a rotating capsule housing with talk-side indicator for use on either ear and perfect polar
pattern placement. Avid showcased the latest versions of some of its key audio products on stand 6400 in Hall A, including Pro Tools 11 and AAX virtual instruments for MIDI-based music creators, the Sibelius music notation family the all-new Avid S6 mixing console and the Avid S3L for studio-quality sound for live performances. Cerwin-Vega introduced its XD loudspeaker series. The XD4 and XD5 full range systems and XD8 powered subwoofer join the existing XD3 powered speaker. DPA Microphones, gave away three d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones at the 2014 NAMM Show. Launching globally at NAMM 2014, the new ETX family builds upon the industry-leading innovation and 85-year heritage of Electro-Voice audio engineering to offer the most advanced professional portable powered loudspeakers available today. A versatile high-end choice for live entertainment venues, rental companies, pro musicians and DJs, and installed sound, the ETX family 97
EXPO: NAMM 2014
Below: The Laserworld team; DJ Mark Gallo on the Pioneer booth; QSCâ€™s Phil Sanchez; Gioia Molinari of RCF; GLP US President, Mark Ravenhill with various Cosmic Truss products; AJ McLean of the Backstreet Boys with the Anvil Cases and Calzone Cases team.
features three two-way models (10-inch, 12-inch and 15-inch, all with a precision HF titanium compression driver), a three-way model (15-inch with a 6.5-inch MF driver and a precision HF titanium compression driver) and two subs (15inch and 18-inch drivers). Harman was selected to support the NAMM GoPro Stage at the Grand Plaza this year; the system included the new JBL VTX Series V20 line array system and S25 subwoofers.
Additional equipment included Crown Audio VRack amplifier systems, Soundcraft Vi Series digital consoles and AKG wireless and wired microphones. A full Martin Professional entertainment lighting system was used and featured MAC Viper, MAC 700 and MAC 301 fixtures operated by an M1 programmable controller. Midas unveiled its M32 digital mixing console, featuring 40-inputs and a host of
connectivity options. PreSonus held an exclusive series of semiprivate product demos for the media which included Q&A sessions with the team. QSC introduced its much-anticipated digital mixer line - the TouchMix Series, offering production professionals and live performance venues the power and capability of a large format console in a portable, integrated and easy to use product.
EXPO: NAMM 2014
Below: The Sennheiser booth; TC Group focussed on vocal performance at this year’s show; The D.A.S Audio stand; The Solid State Logic crew with the company’s first showing of its Live console on the west coast; Audio-Technika held an early morning press briefing for its latest launch, the BP894 MicroSet subminiature cardioid condenser headworn microphone; Megan Clisby and Margie Ulm of Renkus-Heinz
RCF’s latest addition to its ART series, the ART 745-A, was presented at on the stand. A two-way powered speaker that includes a 4-inch compression driver. Renkus-Heinz was part of the CMT NAMM Canadian Reception, providing a full IC2 steered beam line array system to the event which was in the Plaza Ballroom of the Sheraton Park. On the Riedel stand, the RockNet real-time low latency audio distribution network was presented alongside RockNet console interfaces for SSL, Soundcraft Si, Studer and Yamaha. Roland Systems Group showed its new VR-3EX, the next generation 4-channel SD performance mixer which features HDMI inputs/ outputs, USB streaming, HDCP support, built-
in touch multi-viewer, an audio mixer all in a compact portable unit. Designed to be a live production switcher thebuilt-in audio mixer with up to four frames delay to ‘lipsync’ your video source. Solid State Logic presented its Live desk, the company’s first console for live sound production. This was the first West Coast presentation of the console in a trade show and thus the first opportunity for hands-on demos for the professional live audio engineer community in the region. TC-Helicon, TC Electronic and Tannoy, all members of the TC Group family of companies, premiered nine new products at this year’s NAMM Show. Spanning from vocal processing
and monitoring and a book release on all aspects of vocal performance, a lot of ground was certainly covered. Waves Audio offered its eMotion Mixer for SoundGrid systems. The line’s first products were recently introduced: the emotions LV1 for live sound front-of-house and monitor applications, and eMotion Studio, for recording, mixing and post production facilities. Designed to integrate seamlessly with Waves SoundGridcompatible I/Os, eMotion is poised to revolutionise the world of mixing. The NAMM Show 2015 will take place from 22-25 January at the Anaheim Convention Center. TPi www.namm.org
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REDUCING ELECTRICITY-RELATED GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AT OFF-GRID OUTDOOR EVENTS Carbon emissions and climate change - two terms sure to divide, frustrate and confuse. Despite their lack of physical tangibility, money - perhaps unsurprisingly - can have a positive impact on their reduction. If burning fuel is causing your emissions, cutting them can save you money - something every event organiser is interested in. When it comes to events, savings on power will inevitably be gained through better management and more sustainable approaches to energy use. One of the key catalysts for such developments in the industry can be attributed to academic research with input from suppliers. The De Montfort University has been working in partnership with Midas, providers of biodiesel-powered generators, to gain insight into current use and make suggestions for future improvements. Here is an extract from their research and findings: De Montfort University has been monitoring data from electricity use at temporary off-grid outdoor events since 2009. Over 200 electricity profiles of the minute by minute electricity consumption of stages (audio, video and lighting), traders (food traders, non-food traders and bars) and site infrastructure (production, lighting and artists tour buses) have been analysed. We can now better understand how electricity is used at these events. We have also spoken with event organisers, traders and power providers to understand what electrical equipment is used and for how long it is used. The analysis of the data suggests opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 50% by specifying more energy efficient equipment, switching equipment off when not in use, introducing battery storage, using renewable energy and sizing generators more effectively. Below are examples of potential savings: SPECIFYING ENERGY EFFICIENT EQUIPMENT Some equipment used at events is relatively inefficient; for example incandescent lighting, analogue amplifiers etc. Specifying more energy efficient switch mode amplifiers can reduce electricity consumption. SWITCHING OFF WHEN NOT IN USE There are opportunities to switch off equipment when it is not being used and to switch it completely off rather than switch it to standby. An example is switching off stage video. 102
SPECIFYING ENERGY EFFICIENT EQUIPMENT â€“ SWITCH MODE AMPLIFIERS FOR STAGE AUDIO
SWITCHING OFF STAGE VIDEO WHEN NOT IN USE
www.psa.org.uk SIZING GENERATORS MORE EFFECTIVELY Because of uncertainties over site layout and the amount of equipment that will be connected to generators, many generators are oversized. A combination of earlier site planning and using the electricity profile data should allow for more accurate sizing in the future.
MAXIMUM, MINIMUM AND INTERQUARTILE RANGE OF GENERATOR LOADING
STORING ELECTRICITY Generators often work at very low loads (and therefore relatively low efficiencies) overnight. Generators could charge batteries during the day that could then meet the very low overnight demand. For example, non-food traders. SWITCHING FUEL Some power systems with relatively low and predictable demand could be met entirely by renewable energy. For example solar PV and battery storage for powering LED lighting.
STORING ELECTRICITY – NON FOOD TRADERS
POWER QUALITY The monitoring has also identified power quality issues with some systems. The types of load at events are changing, for example, in providing the power for stages. Incandescent lighting is being replaced with LED lighting, traditional amplifiers are being replaced with switch mode amplifiers, and more LED video is being used. Due to the non-linear nature of such loads, harmonics are introduced into the system resulting in distortions to the current and voltages, over-current surges produced by resonance, and poor power factor. Automatic power factor correction and harmonic filters could help overcome these issues. FUTURE It is now possible to monitor the output of generators at off grid outdoor events on a minute-by-minute basis. It is possible to measure the current and voltage of every load on the system. Consequently, the actual power consumed by each part of the event can be measured in real-time. This includes traders, who are traditionally charged a fixed tariff for their power. They can now be charged for the actual electricity consumed and thereby given a financial incentive to reduce their own electricity consumption. These power systems can also be operated as smart micro grids. This could involve a smart controller matching the electrical supply to the demand with the aid of a battery. The controller maintains the generator operation at maximum efficiency by storing excess electricity in a battery for use overnight. Other power sources such as solar PV and wind could contribute to the dynamic balancing of the system. A controller could also remotely switch off un-essential loads for short periods of time, when electricity demand is predicted to be too high. Such systems could provide up to 50% reductions of greenhouse gas emissions from electricity use at off grid outdoor events. This work is now being taken forward working with the Powerful Thinking campaign and we expect ‘smarter’ systems in use at events in the near
SOLAR PV, LED AND BATTERY STORAGE – SITE LIGHTING
future. SOURCES Professor Paul Fleming is Director of Sustainable Development at the Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development De Montfort University, Leicester. Dr Ben Marchini is a KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership Associate) working for Midas (the Biodiesel Generator power provider) www. midas-uk.co.uk in partnership with De Montfort
University. For more information contact Paul Fleming: email@example.com. Reference: Fleming P, Marchini B and Maughan C (2014) Electricity related greenhouse gas emissions at outdoor events, Carbon Management. www.future-science.com/doi/abs/10.4155/ cmt.13.69 TPi www.psa.org.uk 103
MARKET FOCUS: Catering Services
CATERING SERVICES BE’ ELZEGRUB
Meet Be’elzeGrub, an impressive new company with a fresh creative approach to on-tour catering, private chefing and corporate events. Its combination of experienced staff and devilishly tasty creations are a recipe for success. Its attention to detail coupled with its cleverly designed flight cases will transform even the most uninviting of backstage areas into a cosy, welcoming hangout for the band and crew. The Be’elzeGrub portfolio of clients includes the BBC, Lana Del Ray, Bjork, Mark Owen, Damon Albarn and The Lumineers.
Buy-in-Out is a new catering concept for bands on tour. It provides healthy hearty food served on plates with real cutlery and napkins - no more rubbish take aways for the band and crew and no more tour managers being nagged about the quality of the food a band gets. According to manager Claire Alliston, Buy-inOut strives to act as a headache removal service for tour managers. Having recently launched the service nationwide, Alliston earned her industry stripes previously working with Eat to the Beat for 15 years. Recent tours have included London Grammar, Kyan, Sub Focus, The Darkness, Park Life festival, Kendall Calling and live at Jodrell Bank..
Crunchtime Catering is a family run business based in Hampshire providing homemade, delicious and nutritious food to event staff, stewards, security SIA, volunteers, artists and production crew at a wide variety of events and festivals across the UK. With a growing list of clients from some of the UK’s largest festivals, Crunchtime is quickly becoming one of the leading staff caterers within the live event industry.
EAT TO THE BEAT
TPi Awards 2014 winner of ‘Favourite Catering Company’, Eat to the Beat, is proud to celebrate its 30th birthday this year. Eat to the Beat caters for tours, festivals, films, TV and major events based in Europe, America, China, the Middle East and Brazil. Building on the success of its work during the London 2012 Olympics, Eat To The Beat has just completed catering for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The 180-strong crew looked after 2,500-production crew at over 11 sites including a fine dining restaurant. Catering from three to 3,000 people, Eat to the Beat is fast becoming the global event catering company with home cooked food still at the heart of everything it does.
k c a b Feed back e v i g Bespoke unique catering flight cases helping to reduce our Carbon footprint on the environment just one of the ways Feedback prides ourselves on exceeding your expectations. www.feedbackeventcuisine.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org mobile: +44 (0)7968 785969
MARKET FOCUS: Catering Services
EAT YOUR HEARTS OUT
TPi Awards 2014 nominee, Eat Your Hearts Out, is a supplier to some of the biggest touring events and live productions in the European events calendar. Most recently, EYHO supplied catering to the crew working on The Brits at London’s O2 Arena - officially the world’s busiest venue. Offering quality service, the finest produce and creative menu ideas; EYHO remain a key contender for the rock ‘n’ roll business of backstage dining.
Having recently invested in modern kitchen and service equipment, Eatopia is now positioned to offer its services to the live touring industry - providing its chefs with the ultimate in creative environments. Eatopia’s success has been accomplished by offering significant savings to clients without compromising on the quality of menu options or the professional service they require. Production teams have benefited from its highly competitive pricing policy, its mix of high quality menus, friendly service and creative front of house décor.
Feedback understands the importance of looking after the environment, and takes every opportunity to minimise its impact upon it. Feedback works with local councils to ensure all waste is disposed of in a responsible manner, recycling wherever possible. For example, its used cooking oil is passed on to bio fuel centres to be converted into bio diesel. All its equipment has been chosen to minimise its energy consumption whilst maximising productivity - its energy efficient Frima cooking stations and induction hobs serving as just one example. In addition, its bespoke flight cases have been designed to reduce the volume of cargo transported on tour, therefore having a positive impact in reducing its carbon footprint. Recent tours include a six-month stint with Robbie Williams.
Flying Saucers celebrates its 34th year in 2014. The company is currently on tour with Michael Buble, James Blunt and Tom O’Dell, and has a busy year ahead. Val Bowes, Director, said: “Client needs and expectations have developed over time, and it’s important to keep up with the changes this brings to the table (no pun intended!). Food allergies and intolerances are considered and different diets are followed - one of the latest of which is the Paleo Diet. While new dietary trends come and go, the dedication of the catering team, however, is something that remains consistent.” An important part of any tour, the Flying Saucers team provide the glue that keeps the tour family together, well-fed, healthy and happy.
NEW 24.4.2AI ©2013 All Rights Reserved by PreSonus Audio Electronics who proudly claims StudioLive, Capture and QMix as trademarks and furthermore wants you to know that Nimbit is a Registered trademark (oooo!), as is Studio One, except by PreSonus Software, Ltd. Smaart is a registered trademark of Rational Acoustics. All that i-stuff belongs to Apple.
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MARKET FOCUS: Catering Services
Popcorn Catering, established in 1989, is an award winning company specialising in tour and event catering within the music industry. Popcorn sends out teams of caterers who bring a fantastic atmosphere to the backstage vibe. Although expanding in recent years, Popcorn prides itself on its small company image offering personal service, experienced staff and above all, value for money for its client.
Snakatak Catering has provided a highly professional catering service for touring bands and festivals since 1985. Providing top quality, freshly prepared food is at the heart of its business. Snakatak’s hard-working staff ensures that the different culinary and dietary requirements of the entourage are met, from the smallest to the largest of tours. Working to the motto ‘always a pleasure, never a chore’; Snakatak takes great pride in providing the personal touches that create a friendly and relaxed environment to help ease the pressures of being away from home. Snakatak continues to attract work from across the spectrum and clients include Justin Timberlake, Muse, The Script, Kasabian, Bruno Mars, Nitro circus and The Isle of Wight festival.
Upbeat food is a unique tour catering company with crew that deliver. Having been tour caterers for the last 15 years, partners Hugh and Toni have an ever-expanding list of happy clientele. Chris Littleton (The Eagles, Shania Twain) said: “Fantastic food and fabulous people sums up how I feel about Upbeat Food.” Bill Rahmy (Red Hot Chili Peppers) stated: “I’m now back wrestling the Dixie highway.” Liam Birt (Rush) stated: “The right people, the right skills and attitude.” Dominic Anderson (Lily Allen) conceded: “They might be kiwis but they can cook.” Bob Whittaker (R.E.M) added: “Upbeat, priceless added value to a tour”. Recent Clients have included Taylor Swift, Barry Gibb and Donny and Marie.
NEXT TIME.... In the April issue of TPi Magazine, we’ll be running a Market Focus feature on Live Sound Consoles. If you are a manufacturer and would like to be involved in the directory, please send 120 words of product description and a high res image (300 dpi) to Assistant Editor, Patrick McCumiskey by March 18. We look forward to hearing from you!
MOVERS & SHAKERS Sponsored by www.interfacio.com • +44 208 986 5002
MOVERS & SHAKERS Martin Audio has confirmed the appointment of the experienced Andreas Weingärtner as its new International Account Manager. Based in Bremen, Germany, Weingärtner brings more than 26 years of sales and marketing experience in pro audio to the role - covering all aspects of MI, rental and fixed installations. “After all this time in pro audio I remain excited by the possibilities, and this has enabled me to constantly learn, not only about new products but also the changing needs of distributors and end-users,” said Weingärtner. Academy Music Group has appointed Nikki Miles of Academy Music Group’s South Coast venue, O2 Academy Bournemouth to become General Manager of O2 Academy Oxford. Miles has an excellent reputation and hands on experience in live music and clubs, having worked in operations across bars and venues in Bournemouth for several years prior to joining AMG in 2009 as Bars Manager and more recently, Venue Manager. In addition, Will Dore-Dennis has moved from O2 Academy Leicester to take up his position as General Manager of O2 Academy Bournemouth. Prior to Leicester and over the last five years, Dore-Dennis has held management positions within the Group at O2 Academy venues in Oxford and Birmingham. “Both General Managers have experience within AMG, particularly the application needed within the club business as well as live music, and Students’ Union partnerships,” said AMG’s Chief Operating Officer, Graham Walters. Also within AMG, Sean Flanagan has become Assistant General Manager at O2 ABC Glasgow and O2 Academy Glasgow, with Keryn Ward now Bars Manager across both Scottish venues. B&C Speakers has appointed Dean Chiu to the position of Sales Manager for the AsiaPacific region. “Dean’s unique skill set and experience will make him a welcome addition to our team. We are confident that he will improve the level of service that we have in this rapidly expanding region, making B&C easier to deal 110
with,” stated Ron Tizzard, Director of Sales for B&C Speakers. Chiu’s background includes International sales, ODM product development, Quality control and sourcing. He is also a musician with hands on professional audio and MI retail sales experience. He will be based in Taipei, Taiwan with responsibility for the entire Asia-Pacific region. Elsewhere, Cadac recently appointed Soinua Pro as its new distributor for Spain and Portugal. The appointment sees Cadac switch its distribution to the Basque-based sound touring and installation specialist, headquartered precisely between Bilbao and San Sebastián. Commenting on the decision to switch distribution to Soinua, Cadac Brand Development Manager Richard Ferriday said: “It was a strategic decision in order to more effectively focus our distribution on the live production sector. This is where Soinua is especially strong, being heavily involved with sound touring and live event production throughout Spain.” D.A.S. Audio has announced three new personnel appointments with the recent hiring of Robert Almodovar, Javier Cabal and Darrin Young. Robert Almodovar is D.A.S. Audio of America’s new Applications Engineer. Hired in January, Almodovar is a graduate of Full Sail and Interamerican Universities where he studied music performance, electronic music, recording, and post production. He has served as a recording engineer and was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for his work on the Shakira and Beyonce remix of Bello Embustero. Having started with D.A.S. in October 2013, Javier Cabal was brought on to oversee the company’s involvement in the MI / Retail sales sector. With the title of Sales Manager for MI Accounts, his background includes pro audio sales positions with Sam Ash Music, MARS Music, and Space Music. Darrin Young is D.A.S. Audio’s new Business Development Manager for MI / Retail. Hired in January, Young’s background includes positions
with the Stanton Group as Market & Product Specialist / Product Manager as well as Manager of Sales and Training for the organisation. In his new position with D.A.S. Audio, Young will endeavour to increase the company’s presence in the MI / Retail sector, where he will focus on large accounts and restructure the company’s sales and MAP policies. With the start of a new year comes the start of a new arrangement for Robert Juliat in its distribution network as AED Distribution takes on the role of official distributor for the Benelux countries. The agreement came into force in January when AED Distribution took on responsibility for the Netherlands, having represented Belgium and Luxembourg since 2011. AED Distribution will cover all markets but is especially excited at the prospect of supporting the theatre market with Robert Juliat products. “We are very happy to bring the full range of Robert Juliat products to the Benelux territories, and in particular to the theatre market,” commented Hans Vanderheijden, MD of AED Distribution HQ. TSL Lighting has welcomed Martin Locket as a business strategist. Locket, through his company Visible Spectrum, will be supporting Managing Director Sam Tamplin and his team in developing and growing the range of services offered by TSL and the market sectors they are active in. Locket commented: “I am really looking forward to working with TSL Lighting, as it is an exciting new approach to the lighting rental industry and a strong team behind a high quality emerging brand. There are lots of opportunities available to the company and I am looking forward to a long term involvement with the whole TSL team.” Entertainment lighting specialist, White Light, has announced the appointment of industry veteran Ken Berreen as the company’s Distribution Sales Manager. Berreen brings to the role more than 30 years experience with lighting and sound technology having worked at all levels of the entertainment industry. Previous roles include project management, lighting
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MOVERS & SHAKERS
Opposite: Martin Audio has appointed Andreas Weingärtner as its new International Account Manager; B&C Speakers has appointed Dean Chiu to the position of Sales Manager for the Asia-Pacific region; Nick Cook has left his position as European Marketing Director for Commercial Audio at Yamaha to set up a strategic marketing and sales consultancy, NCM; TSL Lighting has welcomed Martin Locket as a business strategist.
design, installation, hire, and sales experience most recently as European Sales Manager for well-known stage lighting manufacturers. “I am happy to welcome Ken to White Light,” said Peter Threadgold, White Light Sales Director. “His experience on all sides of the industry makes him a great addition to our team. I look forward to working with him as White Light continues to grow.” Nick Cook has left his position as European Marketing Director for Commercial Audio at Yamaha to set up a strategic marketing and sales consultancy, NCM. Cook, who had been with Yamaha for eight years, was responsible for managing and coordinating Commercial Audio sales and marketing activities throughout Europe. Prior to joining Yamaha, Cook was already highly regarded within the professional audio community having held a number of senior sales and marketing positions with leading manufacturing companies including Solid State Logic, Amek and Fairlight.
In addition, Yamaha Music Europe has recently announced changes to its marketing, sales and technical support within the European Commercial Audio organisation, which sees the creation of new positions to underpin Yamaha’s strengthening position in the installed and live sound markets. The changes support Yamaha’s expansion in the installed sound market by adding dedicated Commercial Installed Sound specialists to its Commercial Audio sales teams in France and Germany. Diamond Event Services has welcomed Imogen Ensoll to its team. Having trained in Stage Management and Theatre Production Ensoll spent 10 years working professionally in the field of Stage Management. She is now looking forward to bringing this experience to the role of Operations Coordinator. Ben Hyman has been promoted to General Manager, VME after several years as the audio and lighting rental company’s Project Manager. The Knutsford, UK, based headquarters has
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recently employed a number of new staff which now allows Hyman to oversee the business from a managerial view point. This expansion will establish a new era for VME and further develop the company’s efficiency and performance, which is especially important during the very busy summer events season. Last but by no means least, Larry Beck has been appointed as Elation Professional’s new PR and Communications representative. Larry brings to Elation over 15 years of industry and public relations experience having worked as Martin Professional’s PR coordinator since 1998. “I feel very fortunate to have joined such a passionate and professional team,” he stated. “There is real camaraderie at Elation that permeates throughout all levels of the company. I’m very impressed by the level of quality across the company but none more so than with the quality and character of the Elation personnel.” TPi www.tpimagazine.com/jobs
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Winners of ‘Live Production of the Year’ TPI Awards 2014 STAGE MANAGER Professional freelance Stage Manager required. Applicant must have considerable experience working in high pressure environments in the UK and abroad. Role includes management of all disciplines operating on the stage during install, rehearsals, showtime and de-rig.
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The TPi Production Guide
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VITAL STATS 156 Marc Librecht Profession: Sales & Marketing Manager, Elation Professional Date & place of birth: 21 April 1978, Bonn, West Germany How did you get into the professional lighting industry? When I was 16 I worked in a club as a Lighting Jockey (LJ) and after school I worked as a freelancer. I then had my own small company working on events. After that I started an apprenticeship in event technology and worked for an installation and rental company for over 10 years. That company was one of Elation’s biggest customers and eventually Elation asked me to work for them, that’s where I still am today. Did you have a mentor of sorts? Not really. I knew what I wanted to do and I knew how to get there!
“If somebody had told me three years ago that this were possible, I would have said they were from another planet!”
What event in your career so far holds fond memories for you? It was my first big project as a technical manager. Normally that size of event was too big to handle for the company I worked for, but we did it and our customer was very happy. It was nearly 60 hours without sleep, but as a young guy it was possible and I learned a lot from the event. What influence do you think the European market has on the rest of the world? Europe is actually ahead of the rest of the world in adoption of new technology so people look towards Europe to see what is being used on high profile events. Where do you feel Elation’s latest products fit into the market place? That’s easy - with best in class performance and value. We provide products which the features lighting designers are asking for as solutions that allow rental companies and installers to increase their return on investment. Elation products can be easily compared to all the top brands in the market and we are ready for any shootout! We are also innovating, working closely with key sub suppliers on lamp technology in both traditional discharge and LED. What technological advances have you seen develop during your time at Elation? Starting with a unique high-resolution moving head video panel, Elation has developed new technologies across a variety of products over the years. Elation was the first company to develop the Platinum 5R lamp technology together with Philips and we used the Philips 5R lamp in our Platinum 5R Spot long before other companies jumped on board. Now we’ve developed our legendary Platinum 5R Beam further into the new Platinum Beam Extreme. I love this unit. It has incredibly good optics and the output is 114
unbelievable. We also introduced tri white technology (CW, WW, Amber) to achieve perfect step-less white colour mixing from 2700K up to 7000K, and we are one of the leading developers in tri-quad and six-colour mixing technology. I am also elated (pun intended) about our new TVL white light products. From soft light via Fresnel to a profile, these affordable units have a CRI above 90 plus they are absolutely silent. If somebody had told me three years ago that this were possible, I would have said they were from another planet! As you work in a sales and marketing role, in your opinion, what makes a successful manufacturer besides the product itself? We want to be more than simply a manufacturer or distributor. People buy from people and the relationships we have with our customers means everything to us, it is more like a partnership. That’s why we introduced our Elation Total Support. We listen carefully, we are there in good times and bad, and we do everything we can to ensure customer success. We want customers to be proud of being part of the Elation network. What direction do you think live event design will take in the coming year with regards to lighting? Have you noticed any recent trends? We continue to see lighting incorporated as part of the scenic design - like with our Cuepix Series for example - and beams are, of course, still very popular. Battery operated units and wireless controls are becoming more and more popular as well.
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Published on Mar 5, 2014
TPi, the definitive magazine for live entertainment design and technology. This month TPi goes awards crazy with the TPi Awards, The 56th Gr...