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TOTAL PRODUCTION INTERNATIONAL LIVE EVENT DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY • MAY 2019 • ISSUE 237

SHAWN MENDES

There’s nothing holding him back.

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LET’S GET LOST TONIGHT...

KISS • MICHAEL BUBLÉ • BARCO ON TOUR • DRAKE • PANIC! AT THE DISCO • PROLIGHT + SOUND 2019 MARKET FOCUS: MEDIA SERVERS • GEARHEADS: CLAYPAKY XTYLOS • KINESYS VECTOR CONSOLE

MAY 2019 #237


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EDITOR’S LETTER

P ROT E U S MAXIMUS

Goodbye to old friends… It’s with great sadness that we have to begin this issue with the heartbreaking news that legendary Production and Lighting Designer, Bryan Leitch, passed away on Tuesday 23 April. Having worked with the likes of Britney Spears, Coldplay and Kylie Minogue, Bryan had become a familiar face within TPi over the years. Back in 2017, we were happy to lend its support to Bryan’s Cancer Bonus Trust Tour, which saw the LD and his wife, Tracey, travel all over the UK to raise money for Bloodwise and Sussex Cancer Fund, as well as to promote a positive message about public health care in the UK. He was, without doubt, one of the kindest souls within our industry and will be deeply missed by everyone here at TPi. Our thoughts go out to Tracey and all of Bryan’s family. In this issue, we have got a nice mixture of genres filling our production profiles. Gracing the front cover is 20-year-old Shawn Mendes, who embarked on his most ambitious world tour to date. Jacob caught up with the crew in Arena Birmingham to find out how the young artist was embracing a rockier influence in his latest live offering. Meanwhile, I visit the crews from Panic! At The Disco Pray for the Wicked and Drake’s Assassination Vacation tours. Both productions certainly were of the highest calibre. Drake’s in-the-round spectacular featured everything from flying cars, drones and 360° video screens. Whereas Panic! At The Disco, completed their transformations in to the arena headliner with an outstanding two-hour set that amongst other gags saw lead singer Brendon Urie and his piano be lifted above the audience and ‘float’ back to the main stage. Elsewhere in the magazine, we have highlights from Prolight + Sound 2019 along with an in-depth look at the world of media servers. Finally, and before I leave you to peruse our May edition, we are excited to launch Production Futures 2019 which will be held for the first time at Fly By Nite Studios, Redditch. This year’s event will take place on 13 November and once again will invite the live industries next generation for a day of networking and education. Stay tuned for more updates as the date draws nearer. Until next time, Stew Hume Editor

EDITOR Stew Hume Tel: +44 (0)161 476 8385 Mobile: +44 (0)7702 054344 e-mail: s.hume@mondiale.co.uk

STAFF WRITER Jacob Waite Tel: +44 (0)161 476 8385 Mobile: +44 (0)7592 679612 e-mail: j.waite@mondiale.co.uk

ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE Lyndsey Hopwood Tel: +44 (0)161 476 8360 Mobile: +44 (0)7800 557094 e-mail: l.hopwood@mondiale.co.uk

EDITORIAL INTERN Conor Kelly

DIGITAL EDITORIAL ASSISTANT James Robertson Tel: +44 (0)161 476 8360 Mobile: +44 (0)7725 475 819 e-mail: j.robertson@mondiale.co.uk

MONDIALE GROUP CHAIRMAN Damian Walsh

COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR Hannah Eakins Tel: +44 (0)161 476 8360 Mobile: +44 (0)7760 485230 e-mail: h.eakins@mondiale.co.uk

PRINTED BY Buxton Press • www.buxpress.co.uk

CHIEF EXECUTIVE Justin Gawne Tel: +44 (0)161 476 8360 Mobile: +44 (0)7768 850767 e-mail: j.gawne@mondiale.co.uk GRAPHIC DESIGN & PRODUCTION Dan Seaton: d.seaton@mondiale.co.uk Zoe Willcox: z.willcox@mondiale.co.uk

>50.000 Lumens

ACCOUNTS Lynette Levi / Sarah Miller: ar@mondiale.co.uk

COVER Shawn Mendes by Andrew Benge

Issue 237 - May 2019 Annual subscriptions (including P&P): £42 (UK), £60 (Europe), £78/$125 (RoW). Subscription enquiries to: Subscriptions, Mondiale Publishing Limited, Strawberry Studios, Watson Square, Stockport, SK1 3AZ, UK. Tel: +44 (0)161 476 5580 Fax: +44 (0)161 476 0456 e-mail: subscriptions@mondiale.co.uk www.tpimagazine.com www.tpiawards.com

TOTAL PRODUCTION INTERNATIONAL is a controlled circulation magazine, published 12 times a year by Mondiale Media Limited under licence. ISSN 1461-3786 Copyright © 2019 Mondiale Media 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 Media 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 Media Limited United Kingdom. The 2019 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 Media Ltd. Waterloo Place, Watson Square, Stockport, SK1 3AZ, UK.

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ITINERARY

EVENT FOCUS 08 KISS Elation Professional DARTZ 360 fixtures light the way for legendary rockers. 10 Michael Buble A Meyer Sound Leo system sounds out the crooner’s live return.

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14 Barco On Tour The company hits the road with its Shape It. Show It truck.

Fog is our passion! NEW: Cobra 3.1

16 Leisuretec The company hosts a Zero 88 lighting console training day.

PRODUCTION PROFILE

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Shawn Mendes The Canadian singer embarks on an extensive global project much to the adulation of his faithful fanbase.

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Drake Stew catches up with the crew behind the reigning king of hip-hop’s highly- anticipated LED laden live offering.

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Panic! At The Disco The charasmatic American outfit return to the continent with their most ambitious live production to date.

EXPO 60

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All the news from this year’s Prolight + Sound 2019.

MARKET FOCUS 86

TPi takes a look at the latest innovations in the media server market.

GEAR HEADS

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92

Claypaky CEO, Pio Nahum unveils Xtylos, its first beam effect powered by laser.

94

Kinesys MD Dave Weatherhead chats about the brand new Vector Console.

 New, extremely silent nozzle. Noise at max. output: 82.5 dBA  Constant fog output at any pump level due to the use of two pumps  Control via Ethernet, DMX512, analogue (0-10V) or directly at the machine  RDM-capable  Touchscreen with simple navigation  Adjustable pump characteristic: Impulse, Extended, Flood, Continuous  Internal Timer  Internal operating hours counter  3100 W, 230V/50Hz

PRODUCTION FUTURES 96

The launch of Production Futures 2019 and its new venue.

PSA: THE BIGGER PICTURE 98

Andy discusses the importance of sleep for the wider touring community.

INDUSTRY APPOINTMENTS 100 The latest movers and shakers.

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Look Solutions Fog machines made in Germany

BACK CHAT 110 TPi’s Lighting Designer of the Year, Tim Routledge, takes the hot seat.

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EVENT FOCUS

ELATION DARTZ ILLUMINATE KISS’ END OF THE ROAD WORLD TOUR Christie Lites supplies a multitude of Elation DARTZ 360 fixtures to create a dynamic, multi-sensory show for the legendary rockers’ farewell world tour.

More than 40 years on and KISS can still draw a crowd anywhere in the world with their crowd-pleasing hits and, undoubtedly, elaborate live show. “It’s simple, four-on-the-floor, rock ‘n’ roll music with heavy guitar rifs,” said Production Designer, Sooner Routhier, of the music’s continuing appeal. “As far as lighting, it requires an old school light show with simple cuing that accents the music but isn’t overly embellished.” Routhier co-production designed the show with Robert Long, who has been with KISS in various roles for over 20 years alongside Associate Designer and Show Director Ashley Zapar. Routhier and Long, who have served as production designers for KISS since 2013, said that they and Michael Cooper originally programmed the End of the Road show, “with a lot of complex cuing, heavily accented with just about every beat embellished with some sort of fancy timing.” Routhier added: “Once we saw the entire picture come together in rehearsals though, we realised that we needed to strip back the cuing to let the overall picture of the production shine through.”

The result is classic KISS with the lighting complementing the band’s timeless on-stage theatrics and power-driven rock numbers. The setup is pure eye candy with 19 moveable video pods above the stage creating different shapes throughout the show while several pantographs with beam lights and strobes help create an industrial look. “Our main objective with lighting was to make a completely configurable lighting design package,” Routhier explained, adding that the design required, “a smaller fixture that was very beamy and could provide quick movement throughout the stage.” Narrow-beam Elation Professional DARTZ 360 LED moving heads with 3° aperture fulfill that speedy, tight beam requirement with 218 fixtures placed throughout the scenic and lighting trusses. “We’ve positioned two sets of torms on stage right and stage left of the upstage video riser and loaded them with DARTZ,” Long explained. “DARTZ are also mounted end to end across the entire upstage structure and drum riser to provide a lighting element to the scenic. They help add background to the stage and 08


KISS

widen the overall look.” KISS shows are filled with classic moments and perhaps none is more iconic than Gene Simmons’ fire-breathing performance. Fulfilling a special role in the routine, DARTZ fixtures act as spinning red police beacons. “We tilt them into the scenic and use the fixture’s continuous pan movement to create the effect,” the designer said. “They do the exact same effect in the torms flanking the video wall.” Lighting vendor Christie Lites, whose Martin Kelley has always provided top notch service, Long said. “The lighting crew on KISS is incredible and talented. The gear is well maintained even though they have to combat

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pyro on a daily basis!” End of the Road is likely KISS’s final tour ever and is getting glowing reviews as another iconic rock ‘n’ roll show from one of music’s vintage acts. The tour plays North American, European and Australian dates through the end of the year. TPi Photos: Todd Kaplan www.kissonline.com www.elationlighting.com www.christielites.com

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EVENT FOCUS

AN EVENING WITH MICHAEL BUBLÉ AND MEYER SOUND After a four year touring hiatus, smooth pop megastar Michael Bublé embarks on 91 shows in North America and Europe with a Meyer Sound system supplied by Solotech.

Although the core Leo family loudspeaker components are similar to those used in Bublé’s 2013 outing, for this tour the configuration has been altered dramatically to remedy monitoring issues and also to provide a more intuitive experience for the audience. The ‘dual hybrid’ audio configuration complements and enhances the production’s split staging. This included a large end stage accommodating a full orchestra and background singers (up to 38 in total), and a smaller b-stage centered in the arena and connected to the main stage by a catwalk. The main stage audio system, which anchors the orchestra image and

covers the bowl seating up to about halfway back into the arena, comprises typical side and main arrays, but with the main front arrays canted off to the side, as they are not directed for vocal coverage of the rear portion of the arena. That job is handled by a separate multi-array system flown under the scoreboard, with the two most powerful arrays here covering the rear seating bowl by functioning essentially as a massive delay cluster whenever Bublé is performing on the main stage. However, when Bublé walks out to the central b-stage, the ‘zero point’ of his voice follows along, transitioning in sync so that when he arrives, his 10


MICHAEL BUBLÉ

Monitor Engineer, Louis-Philippe Maziade; FOH Engineer, Craig Doubet & System Engineer/Crew Chief, Jonathan Trudeau; Monitor Engineer, Marc Depratto. PA/Stage Technician, Francis Lussier; PA/Stage Technician, Jeremy Walls; PA/Stage Technician, Sebastien Richard; FOH Engineer, Craig Doubet; System Engineer/Crew Chief, Jonathan Trudeau; Monitor Engineer, Marc Depratto; Monitor Engineer, Louis-Philippe Maziade.

voice is securely anchored directly overhead while the orchestra image pair of back-facing Leopard arrays to create a self-standing, in-the-round remains at the main stage. arena system. Michael is now very happy. We’ve made him feel like he’s As explained by Craig Doubet, Bublé’s FOH Engineer since 2007, the always singing at the zero point.” original impetus for this novel setup came from the artist. “Michael loves The innovations also help foster a more natural and intimate getting out into the audience on a b -stage, which he has done the last two relationship between artist and audience. “There’s never a disconnect tours, but he was having a problem with his vocal from the main stage PA between where you see Michael and where you hear his voice coming bleeding into his mic and then going into his IEMs. It’s distracting when you from,” said Doubet. “When you see him go over there, his voice goes over have a delay of 125 to 160 milliseconds coming back into your ears when there.” you’re trying to sing.” The main stage system for the tour comprises a When preparing for the tour, Doubet sat down total of 16 Leo and 44 Lyon line array loudspeakers for a brainstorming session with Meyer Sound configured across the front/out and side systems. Director of System Optimisation, Bob McCarthy, A total of 12 1100-LFC low frequency control Senior Technical Support Specialist, David Vincent elements are flown at the main stage, with front fill and Digital Systems Product Manager, Rob Mele to from 8 MINA and 2 JM-1P loudspeakers and floor sketch out possible solutions. The particulars were bass anchored by 4 900-LFC elements. later engineered in collaboration with the tour’s The b-stage system comprised 2 long-throw System Engineer and Audio Crew Chief, Jonathan arrays each with 5 Leo-M and 6 MICA line array Trudeau and Solotech Audio Projects Manager, loudspeakers; side arrays of 14 each MICA I grew up in this business with Patrice Lavoie. loudspeakers; and stage-facing rear arrays of the MSL-5 and 6, which were “The upshot is that now Michael is never 8-each Leopard line array loudspeakers. Flown directly in front of a loudspeaker,” said Doubet. subwoofers here are 12 700-HP, with 2 900for me the epitome of a vocal “When he goes to the b-stage, we move his vocal LFC elements on the floor along with 7 MINA box. Leo sounds like that to along using some newly developed software in loudspeakers for front fill. System drive and Galaxy. What’s more, in a segment of the show optimisation is supplied by a Galaxy 816 AES me, except it has more power where a small band joins him at the b -stage to master processor networked via AVB with 7 Galaxy and versatility.” evoke his days playing clubs, the main stage 816 array processors. FOH Engineer, Craig Doubet system is turned completely off and we bring up a This novel configuration aside, the basic 12


MICHAEL BUBLÉ

elements of the system deliver as expected for Doubet. “I grew up in this business with the MSL-5 and 6, which were for me the epitome of a vocal box. Leo sounds like that to me, except it has more power and versatility. Here Leos are configured to cover the upper decks and it’s beautiful up there - out front as it should be, but rich and smooth all the time.” He also applauds the consistency of the entire Leo family, including the Leopard arrays which are out for the first time with Bublé. “I know I can tune all the boxes the same way and Michael’s vocal will be the same everywhere,” he said. “That’s really my focus for this tour.” Overseeing all aspects of the intricate staging and AVL technology — filling 19 trucks — is veteran Production Manager, Dean Roney, who filled that role on Bublé’s tours since 2005. From Roney’s perspective, Meyer Sound technology and support have proven critical. “Because of the unique set-up, with around 50 hang points for audio, having all self-powered loudspeakers was essential,” he commented. “And, as usual, Meyer Sound support is awesome. Their team took care of a great deal of paperwork and programming in advance, so we were ready to go from day one.” Also contributing to the sonic excellence of the tour, alongside Trudeau, are monitor engineers Marc Depratto and Louis-Philippe Maziade. An Evening with Michael Bublé was launched on 13 February and toured North America through 19 April. From 20 May through 10 November the tour alternates between Europe and North America, with additional dates around the globe through next summer to be announced soon. TPi Photos: Jay Blakesberg www.michaelbuble.com www.meyersound.com

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EVENT FOCUS


BARCO ON TOUR

Opposite: Barco’s Ashley Raines, Nigel Brown, Waseem Ghos & Daniel Murphy.

BARCO ON TOUR In the initial stages of its three-month tour, TPi embarks on a 20-minute round trip to Old Trafford to join up with Barco and witness the company’s latest product offerings.

As an innovative technology company, Barco is constantly at the forefront of bringing new capabilities to the event industry. Following the success of the Barco 4K truck tour in 2017, the decision to once again bring the tradeshow to end-users this year was a “no brainer”. “This time we wanted to go bigger and broader for Europe and we have enough products to make it worth-while,” Barco Country Director UK and Ireland, Ashley Raines began. “It’s an opportunity to showcase our latest innovations before the summer break in an immersive environment.” The #BarcoOnTour truck takes some of the company’s latest offerings directly to industry professionals to see the technology up close and in action – backed by the mantra, Shape It. Show It. “Innovation has been the lifeblood of Barco for over 85 years. It’s also what professionals in the event sectors need to bring exceptional shows or experience to audiences and visitors,” Barco Multi-Market Marketing Manager EMEA, Sylvia Stevens explained. From the Prolight + Sound exhibition trade show in Frankfurt, Germany in early April until the end of June, Barco’s truck will navigate a series of European cities, stopping at over 50 pitstops. “We had over 300 people visiting the truck at Prolight + Sound,” Raines enthused. “We’re travelling the continent and spreading the word as we go.” Among Barco’s range of new products on show was its single-chip laser projectors purposed for a wide range of market segments, the brightest 4K laser projector under 100kg, and even a sneak preview of its all-new mid-level laser 3 chip DLP projector. Other products on show included its

RigiFlex roll-up screen, Direct View LED tiles and UniSee. “Barco has been expanding its range of projectors with the new brighter F80s as well as a new G60-series, providing both mid-range and high-end solutions, both launched at ISE 2019,” Raines said. Barco also expanded its UDX projectors series with the arrival of 4 new members of the UDX family, a pair of 26K and a pair of 40K units to complete the offer to its wide audience of users. The unique FLEX2 feature ensures partners to get even more out of their investment. It allows users to regulate and adapt the brightness and resolution to their specific needs. This means fewer projectors are now needed to cover a wider range of brightness levels and resolutions. These recent additions also keep the same proof points as Barco’s predecessors. The resolution reaches 4K UHD, matching the widest colour spectrum compared to other laser phosphor projectors in the market. While latency is kept at its lowest due to the Single Step Processing technology. Thanks to the Barco Pulse electronics the projectors have a recognisable userfriendly interface. “We cover all technology whether it’s LED, LCD, projection, laser, light source and every-thing in between,” Raines concluded. #BarcoOnTour will pass through Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Austria, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, Poland, the Czech Republic, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. TPi www.barco.com/ontour

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EVENT FOCUS

LEISURETEC INSPIRE THE INDUSTRY’S FUTURE BRIGHT SPARKS The company hosts a lighting console training day on Zero 88’s FLX / S lighting consoles.

The event took place at Leisuretec’s HQ in February 2019, offering a group of home-educated students aged 13-18 the unmissable opportunity to taste the world of entertainment and theatre lighting. Zero 88’s FLX / S lighting desks provide a simple and intuitive solution perfect for applications where the user has little lighting knowledge but needs to operate their theatre, school stage, event or production. Each desk equipped with a visualiser, the group of young people learnt how to patch and set up their stage and how to use Chases, Groups, Cues, Playbacks, Colour Palettes and many other features to create an effective show with wash and intelligent lighting. “We recognise the importance of bringing young people into the

industry to help it grow for the future” said Andy Friedli, Lighting Sales Specialist at Leisuretec. “From our experience it is rare that young people get hands-on experience with professional lighting equipment, unsighted to the possible career opportunities our industry can behold. This is our second training event for young people, and we get great satisfaction from giving them a gateway into our exciting world of entertainment.” Leisuretec also host training events for both their trade customers and industry professionals covering many industry topics across Sound, Lighting and Video. TPi www.leisuretec.co.uk/page/teczone-events

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SHAWN MENDES: THE TOUR Back by overwhelming demand, the Canadian singer-songwriter returned to the continent with an eagerly anticipated live offering - much to the adulation of thousands of screaming fans. TPi’s Jacob Waite makes the trip to Arena Birmingham to meet the tireless touring team...


PRODUCTION PROFILE


SHAWN MENDES

Having stormed into the music charts with number one single Stitches in 2015, Shawn Mendes has consolidated himself as a live tour-de-force in recent years. Off the back of his latest self-titled record, the Shawn Mendes camp hit the road with a brand-new production. TPi caught up with the crew members 20 dates deep into the touring cycle. Greeting TPi was a familiar face in the Shawn Mendes touring fold, 24/7 Productions’ Andrew Thornton, who assumed the role of Production Manager for the fourth consecutive year. Over a cup of No. 3 Highpost’s damn fine coffee, the PM went on to recount 24/7’s history with the artist. “The first Shawn Mendes tour included a small European run with 2 busses and a trailer but that immediately expanded to include 2 trucks. We upscaled as demand grew from theatres to arena venues.” The PM was astounded by the “incredibly fast progression” following Shawn Mendes’ arena tour in 2017. “On the Illuminate World Tour we were just hitting the major markets around the world.” More established, Thornton defined The Shawn Mendes Tour as a “more complete worldwide project”, he furthered: “As well as upscaling the production we’ve also brought a lot of automation this time around. All of the shows have sold out and we’re consistently trying to facilitate extra tickets when we can.” For suppliers, the PM brought in Christie Lites for lighting and automation. Clair Global for audio, Team Audio and Radiotek for comms. Fly By Nite and Phoenix Bussing handled logistics. While Brilliant covered the staging and set elements. PixMob, Quantum Special Effects, No. 3 Highpost and Video Screen Services (VSS) also joined vendor roster. Creative Director, Paul Caslin, in collaboration with Production Designer, Nathan Paul Taylor and Lighting Designer, Louis Oliver designed the touring package, which included a main and b-stage for Mendes to perform. “We wanted to keep the performance space organic, allowing the technology to hide in the background,” he said. “With the design, we wanted to craft bold environments for Shawn to perform within.” The main stage comprised left and right IMAG screens each side of an automated LED video wall with a circular fascia. “There are lots of circular

items, including the stage itself,” Thornton reflected. While the b-stage boasted a huge rose with LED tape located in the flower bud, a nod to Mendes’ latest album artwork. SETTING THE STAGE Following the day’s load-in, TPi caught up with Head Carpenter, Jem Nicholson. “We put a big set of Meccano together,” he said rather modestly. “It all comes out of carts and we batter it together and roll in into place.” Downplaying his contribution atop of Harlequin Floors Hi-Shine floor vinyl, Nicholson added the key to the successful execution of the stage and set was to “think fast”. Quintessential to the latest design was a wide variety of automation solutions with a mixture of 48 ½, 1 and 2 tonne Kinesys hoists and 70 load cells. “Automation has definitely picked up in recent years,” expressed Christie Lites’ Head of Automation, Mark Desloges. “Gone are the days of 6 to 24 hoist shows which, at the time, were considered as ‘big showboat’ tours,” he gestured to the rig. “The demand for automation in live touring is increasing at an exponential rate. Between 30 to 50 hoists have become the norm for arena tours – which is great for me because people want to see things move now.” He went on to explain the “versatility” of automation when it comes to show design. “It allows designers to create a variety of looks with a smaller infrastructure. For example, instead of having a giant video wall you can use a fair sized one which engages the audience by physically interacting.” Controlled by Kinesys Elevation 1+ variable speed chain hoist control, Automation Rigger, Rueben Mitchell joined Desloges at stage right. “It’s a lot of motors for two people but it’s working quite well,” Desloges furthered. “The big thing with this camp is the integration and help from the lighting and video departments who put in a lot of work installing the mother grid trusses.” The duo specified Kinesys Vector software for the tour. “All 48 hoists have the load cells fed into them and then we also use libraWATCH to take 20


SHAWN MENDES

a peek at what’s going on up top.” In addition to Christie Lites, Desloges praised Kinesys as a “fundamental” factor in making the rig a success. “It’s such a large project and Kinesys has helped us conquer a lot of things.” Most notably the dimmer rack in addition to a “completely separate system and rack” located on the b-stage. “We currently have the longest piece of USOC cable in existence,” Desloges enthused. “Kinesys has pulled out all the stops and given us a bunch of loaner kit to get through this run. It’s a great company so I’d like to give a big shout out to Kinesys’ David Bond and Martin Honeywell who have been a huge help.”

of the performance area, on the front and b-stage truss as well as 5 units strategically placed around the stage. The upstage and front trusses also housed several Ayrton Khamsin-S fixtures for key light along with 11 4 Lite Molefay fixtures to enhance the performance space. A pair of Ayrton Khamsin-S units were located in the centre of the LED fascia – providing the only lighting directly above the stage – with 3 additional Ayrton Khamsin-S fixtures were located at stage level. Sixteen Ayrton Bora-S wash fixtures were treated as floor package but were rigged on floor-based pre-rig truss upstage of the main stage and used as backlighting and for aerial effects. The b-stage set-up was completed by 8 Ayrton Mistral-S spot fixtures sited on floor shelves to deliver effects and textures on the floor during Shawn Mendes’ piano break, the units acted as additional lighting on the audience and during VT moments as a more subtle alternative to audience blinders. A staggering 96 GLP JDC1s made up the rig which Nixon described as “incredibly bright fixtures” despite not running on full. He enthused: “The fact they have pan and tilt as well as the strobe section in the middle is amazing.” An additional 2 trusses boasted 26 Mole-Richardson 7.2K 6-Light Maxi Spacelite fixtures. While a total of 43 Chroma-Q CFII-12s and 4 Chroma-Q CLFII-72s were purposed for keylight and uplight in addition to the 18 TMB Solaris Flares which made up the lighting rig. Creating low fog atmosphere was a range of MDG Fog Generators. “It’s quite a hazy show and the band really like the look of them. The lights cut through it so well, you’d never know they’re LED fixtures and as we’re also in an industry with quite a big carbon footprint it helps to use” The extensive lighting rig also boasted 20 Martin by Harman MAC Viper Washes as audience light. “Shawn likes to see the audience’s faces because he interacts with them a lot during the show,” said Nixon. “The primarily purpose of the MAC Viper Washes is to bring the stage to the crowd.

VISUALS At FOH, Lighting Director, Ryan Nixon manned a pair of MA Lighting grandMA3 full sized consoles and an MA Lighting MA3 light, the latter of the range to focus and tech the rig. “We’re running the consoles in grandMA2 mode but it’s the first time I’ve used the grandMA3, which has been great.” At the core of the visual design, the grandMA3 consoles triggered the tour’s disguise media servers, pyro and Wahlberg automation winches on DMX control. “Everything syncs back to the consoles at FOH. I’m essentially the show’s operator day to day.” The LD reflected on the importance of the console: “We rely on the grandMA3 console to control a lot of things because there’s redundancy everywhere.” Nixon also manually controlled the key light to make sure Shawn Mendes was lit across the front of the stage. Lighting Designer, Louis Oliver had purposefully avoided the use of followspots or remote tracking, choosing instead to work with Ayrton fixtures to provide creative light across the back, top and side of the stage. “We tested the new Ayrton fixtures and found they could compete with anything else on the market,” stated Oliver. “Ayrton has created a range of LED fixtures you can use without compromise.” A total of 78 Ayrton Khamsin-S profile units were the undeniable workhorse fixtures of the show, rigged on 3 motorised trusses upstage 22


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Similarly, with the PixMob X2 LED wristbands the aim is to make the crowd feel part of the show.” Nixon oversaw the operation and integration of the PixMob X2 wristbands, bespoke LED roses and infrared followspots which delivered an immersive experience to fans; creating a series of looks which were triggered and updated throughout the course of the show. “We program PixMob’s innovative technology and import it into the show, which is a new workflow for me,” he enthused. “The best thing about PixMob is it keeps me engaged and interested. Typically, programming lighting can become a bit repetitive. Thankfully, PixMob allows me to be creative and keeps me on my toes.” PixMob’s Technical Director, Jacques Vanier and Samantha Torres were onsite to overlook the technologies integration. Having worked on Taylor Swift’s Reputation tour, Vanier shed some light on PixMob’s expanding touring profile. “PixMob utilises infrared light technology to activate a series of products and the crowd love it,” he said. “As soon as the LED lights up you can hear the screams from the crowd. From our perspective, it’s always a great feeling for us to hear that appreciation and it allows the audience to integrate themselves and feel like an integral part of the show.” Conceived by the Shawn Mendes’ design team for the Canadian singer’s Billboard performance, a life-sized synthetic rose’s LED mirrored the PixMob X2 wristband programming to help the lighting sequences achieve a maximised effect — which allowed Nixon to amplify the visibility and effect of Oliver’s lighting design, which was a “no-brainer” as Vanier explained: “The flower is a new product which has been developed especially for Shawn in line with the aesthetic of his album artwork and the giant rose on the b-stage,” Vanier said. “The flower reacts to infrared light and has a specific group so not only does it work in line with the wristbands,” he continued. “It also generated its unique set of looks under the control of Nixon.”

PROUDLY SUPPORTING SHAWN MENDES ON TOUR www.numberthreecatering.com 23


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Automation Engineer, Mark Desloges; The No 3 Highpost catering crew; Stage Manager, Duncan Ladkin; PM, Andrew Thornton; Tour Manager, Cez Darke; Promoter Reps, Louis Messina Jr & Cara McDaniel; Production Coordinator, Alicia Forster.

PixMob Lighting Operator and Programmer, Rafael Linares joined the conversation. He discussed his partnership with Oliver and Nixon: “It was a really fluid collaboration from the beginning. The design team would share their ideas and we would elaborate on a particular idea with how we could accomplish the desired effect using our moving heads.” A series of PixMob MH1 moving heads were placed on the 800mm drop downs, located on the main stage along with 12 PixMob Wash Transmitter fixtures were located on the b-stage to cover the entire arena with an impressive “gobo effect” courtesy of its integration with the PixMob X2 wristbands. “We reprogram the bracelet to send specific information to change its behavior,” Vanier stated. PixMob also strives to counter the industry’s ever-expanding carbon footprint by placing designated recycle bins near the exits of each tour venue for the wristbands to be recycled. Quantum SFX’s Michael “Biscuit” Morey provided an extra “wow moment” to the tour with 20 CO2 jets, 10 Stadium Shots and 2 Low Smoke Machines triggered via Nixon’s MA Lighting grandMA3 console. “The low fog is in a couple of songs. As soon as I trigger them from FOH via the console, a chiller comes up and the low fog comes out on stage via compressed air which is neat,” Nixon stated. He reflected on the FOH setup. “We’ve got 4 NPUs backstage, as well as backup server racks and timecode running everywhere in addition to the Riedel Bolero comms system.” A primary convention of most modern pop productions, video has always been “a big part of the show”, Lighting and Video Crew Chief George Doherty said. He gesticulated to the master fibre snake which both the video and lighting team use to network, before going on to describe the benefits of being a cohesive visual unit. “It’s important that the departments are one entity. Even the camera guys help build the screen,” he began. “Nowadays, show designers don’t really see it as lighting and video as separate departments. They see the bigger picture of overall show

design.” For processing, VSS Media Server Programmer Josh Key manned 3 disguise gx2 media servers. “We’ve got a master at FOH, a slave which does the outputting and the understudy server,” he explained. “Everything is run through timecode with the whole system runs through the processing rack before hitting the ROE Visual CB5 LED screens.” VSS’ Adrian Offord explained its LED equipment investments are based on “quality” and “reliability”. He said: “Our LED screen partner, ROE Visual, produces high-end products at the cutting edge of display technology,” which includes a range of resolutions, panel sizes and deployment options, such as the ROE Visual CB5 LED, to give touring crews the flexibility required for even the most creative display designs. Doherty praised the ROE Visual CB5 LED screens purposed for centre fascia flanked by left and right projection IMAG screens. “We specified shallow and highly-beneficial 0.3mm shaders to increase the viewing angle, meaning the audience can see the colour mixing on the screen on an angle whereas if we had a thicker shader it would start to block out certain pixels,” he reiterated. “The picture quality is never compromised with these shaders.” Video Director, Wannes Vandendriessche used a Sony MVS-3000A Compact Video Switcher to direct a mix of Sony HSC-300 camera bodies for long lens cameras and Sony P70s as the remote camera system. He recalled from the director’s chair: “We’re trying to reflect the energy on screen, which the moving cameras help with along with PixMob in the crowd.” Having supplied the back end of video, VSS contracted Faber and a bespoke camera system from Luna Remote System, who provided a fully IP, multi remote camera set up consisting on 2 Junior 5 C dollies, and 2 Series 5 Smart remote pan and tilt heads as well as Sony P70 block camera packages. The configuration allowed two operators to control 4 machines via purpose built operating stations. While the systems were connected via 24


The X2 Wristband Making moments that shine. At every stop of the road.


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Lighting Director, Ryan Nixon; Camera Operator, Henry Commerman; Video Director, Wannes Vandendriessche; Camera Operator, Brendan McCool; LED Technician, Steve Clarisse; Video Engineer, Piotr Klimczyk; Projection Engineer, Joe Makein; PixMob’s Jacques Vanier & Samantha Torres; VSS Media Server Programmer, Josh Key; Lighting & Video Crew Chief, George Doherty & Lighting Crew Chief, Craig Hancock.

a single SMPTE each which feed back to the PPU. All 4 systems, cameras and 30m of track fit into 4 boxes which ensured speedy rigging and de-rigging. VSS supplied Luna Camera Technician and Operator, Brendan McCool who specialised in the equipment to give the production piece of mind throughout the year. “It’s a really clever system and it means there’s only one cable per dolly,” McCool elaborated further. “The system is built specifically for touring because it’s a click and play option.” Sony P70 cameras were chosen for their “lightweight” nature as McCool explained: “They don’t get in anybody’s view as tracking systems. We shoot primarily for the IMAG and screen and Wannes chooses when to project those images as we’re constantly live.” Doherty referenced the “nice” and “considered” packaging of the dollies. McCool concluded: “The track and dollies are incredibly fragile, so we’ve had them custom built to tour. [Camera Operator] Henry Commerman does a fantastic job of wedging the track every day which is crucial to making the picture as level as possible.”

faders coming off on this tour. It’s nice to see the progression of how Shawn has evolved musically from the Illuminate tour.” Wood utilised his personal Avid Venue S6L with Waves SoundGrid Extreme Servers. “The integration between Avid Venue S6L and Waves is better than ever,” he enthused. “The Waves SoundGrid Extreme server makes the console feels like you’re back on an Avid Profile,” he outlined. “I don’t particularly use a crazy number of plug-ins, although I do like to sprinkle them over the mix.” When it came to mixing the sound in a live setting, Wood adopted a hands-on approach. “I like to get pretty involved, there’s always a nice balance between snapshots and programming while also being involved in the show itself.” During the set, Wood roamed between the gate of FOH to his mixing console – constantly testing his analytical ear. “It’s really easy to become automated nowadays, especially with a desk like this. After 100 shows, it would be pretty boring to hit next on every song,” he jokingly remarked. “I like to be involved and play off what the guys are doing up there.” For outboard gear, Wood travelled specified a Pro Tools rig set up with an Apple Mac Pro in the rack to capture the audio, along with a selection of studio-worthy analogue gear. “I like having a bit of an analogue feel in a totally digital world,” he said. “Shawn’s vocal is on the Avalon VT-737SP, which is a staple of his live sound.” The control package was provided by Clair Global in the US while the PA and local audio was provided by audio vendor, Clair Global, which utilised its partnership with AudioRent Clair in Switzerland to supply the UK and European legs of the tour. “As a provider and service, Clair is fantastic and I’m really happy with the kit, initially it was strange to prepare a UK tour in Switzerland however it’s worked out perfectly,” Wood praised. “The PA suits the rockier style because there’s a lot of headroom. I like to push the level of the mix and it really handles itself well in that regard.” The main speaker arrays comprised 16 Clair CO-12 line array boxes. The side hangs boasted 14 Clair CO-12s. The rear hang came in the shape

AUDIO Shawn Mendes added fresh elements to his sonic soundscape this year – specifically a move from traditional pop to ballads with a rock ‘n’ roll edge. “The challenge from this cycle was to fit a mixture of songs from the last two records as well as a lot of new songs,” explained Musical Director, Zubin Thakkar, who was commissioned to sew the set lists seeds. “The key is to curate a show which is appealing to both the die-hard Shawn Mendes fan who knows every word of every song to a new fan,” he remarked. “My job is to make sure both type of fan leave satisfied having heard their favourite songs.” FOH Engineer, Tom Wood picked up the story. “There’s more freedom to be rockier with the mix on this cycle. Everyone is feeling really confident that we can be a bit bolder in our approach, both musically under the guise of Zubin. Ultimately, I don’t need to be afraid to push a guitar solo until the 26


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120°. Front fill duties were achieved by 9 Clair CP-6 loudspeakers, all driven by Dante from FOH Lake Processing LM44s, while the PA amps were driven by PLM2000s. “I’m driving the system via Dante over fibres because our snake is 500ft long,” he added. “We’ve used the entirety of the snake more than once. In the O2 Arena, London we’re adding amps in the catwalk and delays in FOH for total coverage.” However, the sonic feat didn’t come without its fair share of hurdles. “Our biggest challenge is getting our load-in done around the extensive lighting rig because everything is so tight. I typically come in early and use EASE Focus, which Clair provides, to aim the PA every day and get everything set up,” Weurth said. Wood explained his biggest challenge was his desire to make the run “a better tour than the last” and consistently improve from a production and audio engineering standpoint. “It’s a really great group of people here and everyone is their hardest and worst critic but we all genuinely want this tour to be the best it possibly can be,” he reflected: “At this point, 20 dates deep into the tour, we could sit back and rest on our laurels but we consistently push to improve the show every night.” In the caverns of main stage, TPi located Monitor Engineer, Michael Flaherty who waxed lyrical about his Solid State Logic Live L500 mixing console. “It felt like it was the right time to use a different console,” he reflected. Flaherty debuted the console during a radio show slot. “The vocal through the preamps was lighting fast,” he enthused. “The depth it gives to the mix when the band starts, and the dynamic range makes it my ‘go to’ console for this tour.” With nearly 110 inputs talkbacks run via timecode for scenes. Flaherty explained his mixing approach: “Three quarters of my show is timecoded with there being so many moving elements to the production. However, Shawn opens up several of the songs either with an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar or a piano which I manually move to the next snap shot for.” Stage Technician, Adam Field joined the Flaherty in monitor world to tune the RF on a daily basis. “In Europe, we use Mission Control, who are great at liaising with the local authorities and promoter in every territory to

of 8 Clair CO-12s. Clair Audio Crew Chief and System Engineer, Jeff Wuerth explained: “We ended up picking up a rear hang for two reasons. Firstly, the sails were enough that we thought it would be best to include 8 Clair CO-12s because they’re going past the 180° point,” he continued. “The LED screen is also so far forward it was initially impacting our side hangs. Thus, the rear hang covers where the screen may block audio.” For subwoofers, a trio of Clair CP-218s aside were flown in cardioid. While 12 Clair CP-218s were purposed as ground subs underneath the stage all in a cardioid, steered array configuration, which arched electronically at

Design to Reality

info@teamaudio.net info@teamaudio.net +44 203 488 1861 TEAM AUDIO LTD

www.videoscreenservices.com contact: adrian@videoscreenservices.com

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Musical Director, Zubin Thakkar; FOH Engineer, Tom Wood; Systems Engineer, Jeff Wuerth; Monitor Engineer, Michael Flaherty & Monitor Technician, Adam Field.

handle the licensing in advance.” Field detailed the “time restraints” involved with putting together the audio control and playback rig underneath the stage. “We have to build most of our rig in different places,” he elaborated. “There’s ancillary sections of the setup which can’t be added until the stage comes into position, which gives us a short time frame to put it together. However, we’ve managed to overcome it.” With no wedges or side fills on stage to contend with, artists used a mixture of Jerry Harvey Audio Roxannes and Shure PSM1000 IEMs. “Shawn has a mix very similar to the record,” commented Flaherty. “For this tour Shawn and the band have really focussed into being a rockier act. He likes to be fully locked in with what the band are doing. His vocal will sit just above the music but then there’ll be occasions where his vocal is embedded into the song. I have stem groups set up for a drum mix and music mix with a separate vocal group. This amount of control makes the mix process a lot more efficient. Most importantly is that he loves to hear the crowd, especially at the end of the song.” To aid Shawn’s penchant for crowd interaction, Flaherty rode the crowd mics “quite a lot at times judging by the call and response of the songs nature”. Mendes’ vocal mic was a Sennheiser 6000 RF Handhelds with a Sennheiser MMD 945 wireless mic capsule. For the singers’ vocal chain, Flaherty specified a Bricasti Design M7 reverb unit which he recalled as “a nice high-fidelity vocal reverb” which Shawn Mendes typically uses in a recording studio. “It’s nice to replicate that for him on the road, allowing him to feel comfortable on stage.” In addition, Flaherty brought on board a “nice and crunchy” Rupert Neve 1073 Mic Preamp and a TUBE-TECH CL 1B Opto Compressor to keep it in line. “We found going from different countries that it’d always sound pretty different because the hardware is all handmade it was quite inconsistent so what we’ve done is chosen to go down the universal audio route.” Using the Rupert Neve and TUBE-TECH plugins in one unit with a laptop, along with Bricasti Design M7 reverb, Flaherty believed it allowed Shawn Mendes to feel “super comfortable” in a matter of seconds. Several microphones were deployed in different locales across the

stage. Shure B91A and BETA52s were used as drum kick microphones. The overheads packed Shure KSM32s. Additionally, a trio of beyerdynamic M201TGs manned the snares. Whereas hi hats, ride and stage percussion were sounded by Neumann KM 184s. The rack and floor toms as well as the percussion pot donned Sennheiser e 904s. “We’ve had to comprise the mic antenna placement due to aesthetic reasons,” Field explained. “We can’t attach them until the stage rolls which is a challenge. Our battle is having enough time to troubleshoot any RF issues. However, we’ve had no issues and we’re in a good place 20 dates in,” he grinned. Kemper amps were stereo fed via XLR out of the units direct to the mic splitter. On stage vocal mics comprised of Sennheiser E 945s with additional ambient mics on the main stage and a duo on the b-stage. “The crowd is crazy loud which Shawn loves to hear so it’s important we cap-ture this correctly” Flaherty stated. COMMUNICATIONS Designed by Mark Isbister at Team Audio, the Riedel Communications Bolero system allowed Nixon to distribute the timecode to all departments via individual intercom panels and switch between rehearsal and show mode without re-plugging. “The primary reason we distribute timecode through the comms system is because it keeps the delay across the system the same,” Nixon explained. “The coverage with the Bolero wireless is excellent. We get talkback and playback through our headsets so all facets of the production team can communicate easily. The primary reason we distribute timecode through the system because it keeps the delay across the system the same.” The communications system comprised 8 wireless Riedel Bolero packs, 4 C31 wired packs and 6 12-key panels connected to an Artist 128 matrix frame and allowed the team to roam arena venues without dropouts with the correct distribution of the 3 antennas. The multi-channel system facilitated private talk groups, keeping the show channel clear for essential cues. It also allowed the engineers to listen to mixes and the live show audio without swapping headsets or headphones. “In addition to running the LX board, Nixon took the system 30


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under his wing by learning Riedel director software while watching us remotely log in to it. He now sets up the system at each venue and is able to make any changes to the programming of it that maybe required, which is hugely effective,” Team Audio’s Alison Dale recounted. While on site crew communication was achieved by Radiotek. Thornton commented on the latter: “Radiotek have been supporting us on the Shawn Mendes project for the last two years and the service is impeccable. Nigel Morris and his team have made it super simple for us to manage frequencies without having to reprogram.”

relationship” with 24/7 Productions and Thornton, having worked with them for “many years” on a range of tours. He said: “Dealing with Andrew is always a pleasure, he knows what he wants and has a good understanding of the driver’s hours which definitely helps us when planning tours, especially when we need extra drivers to cover breaks or those longer journeys.” YOUTH Having made astronomic leaps as a consummate performer on stage as well as considerable steps in the music industry with a trio of chart-topping albums, backed by sold-out touring cycles; Shawn Mendes has trumped the convention of age over experience. After closing out the European leg of Shawn Mendes The Tour, both the artist and crew members furthered the campaign in North America, leaving a trail of LED flowers and satisfied fans their wake. Riding the wave of back-to-back album and tour successes, Thornton had the last word. “Everyone seems thrilled with the outcome. Both the crewmembers and the audience enjoy what we’re putting on and the reviews have been positive. All of the shows are sold out, we’re opening extra tickets when we can, so it’s been a very positive experience for all those involved.” TPi Photos: TPi, Andrew Benge & Josiah Van Dien. www.shawnmendesofficial.com www.24-7productions.co.uk www.brilliantstages.com www.clairglobal.com www.flybynite.co.uk www.phoenix-bussing.co.uk www.q-sfx.com www.videoscreenservices.com www.pixmob.com www.ayrton.eu www.christielites.com uk.harlequinfloors.com www.radiotek.co.uk www.teamaudio.net

LOGISTICS During a load-out meeting in Arena Birmingham, Stage Manager, Duncan Ladkin walked TPi through the logistical undertaking - complete with large-scale print outs of arena venue layouts, miniature forklifts and Shawn Mendes The Tour branded trucks, which for Ladkin, marked “one of the most important” factors of its successful delivery. “The load-out meetings started as a joke,” he confessed. “However, we realised it’s actually really useful to visualise the undertaking before we approach it. It’s all about providing nice touches when you are on tour. Especially when you have to try and orchestrate the load out of 21 trucks!” he exclaimed. Entrusted with the navigation of the kit was Fly By Nite’s Simon Sinclair. “On this run we’ve got 20 production trucks and a merchandise truck,” explained the Lead Driver: “We’ve been averaging between 3 and a half hours each night. I’d like to thank Duncan Ladkin and Andrew Thornton for working with us for many years. It’s a very good crew with too many names to mention,” he laughed. “It’d be like an Oscars speech if I started listing them all!” Doherty echoed: “Fly By Nite’s drivers are excellent. Often when you’ve got 21 trucks it can be carnage. However, it has been an absolute pleasure to work alongside them,” he assured. “They’re experts at turning the trucks and looking after their loads and equipment in a meticulous manner.” Phoenix Bussing also supplied 5 crew buses, a band party and an artist party for the tour to transport the crew members from A to B. Phoenix’s Andy Gray commented: “The artist bus was one of our brand-new 5 series and was finished just in time for Shawn.” Driver numbers ranged from 7 to 14, with 7 main drivers and 7 additional drivers to cover the longer journeys. Gray explained the company’s “great 32


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DRAKE: ASSASSINATION VACATION TOUR The residing king of hip-hop and his production crew return to the continent with the challenge of piecing together an ambitious production on the other side of the Atlantic. TPi’s Stew Hume was on site at Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena to get the inside story.


DRAKE

Last year, USA Today published an article proclaiming rap and hiphop had dethroned rock music as the most popular genre in America, according to the Nielsen Music year-end report. A recurring name was Drake, who has become the poster boy the modern hip-hop and rap in the past decade. The Canadian native has set the standard for contemporary hip-hop stars in his music and his ambitious touring productions. The artist’s previous European outing, Boy Meets World, was met with adoration by fans and critics and even made it to the cover of the March edition of TPi in 2017. Two years later, TPi was backstage to chat with some familiar faces about Drake’s latest in-the-round production, Assassination Vacation. Live, Drake made use of the performance real estate at hand with a stage completely coated in LED, as well as a 4-side flown video screen. The content-heavy show enabled show’s creatives to transport audiences into various worlds with the ringleader - Drake - offering the endless energy required to run to all corners of the stage as he worked through his dynamic back catalogue. Production Manager, Christopher Roberts earned his stripes back in the day with the likes of Van Halen and Aerosmith, but for the last few years, Roberts has been working with a plethora of hip-hop acts. Splitting his time between Drake as well as running with the guys from Arcade Fire. “I joined the camp back in 2014 during the Drake Vs Lil Wayne run in America,” stated Roberts. “I had been asked a number of times before to work with Drake but I always had conflicts. But in 2014 everything aligned, and I’ve been with them ever since. “This tour is a carbon copy of the one we put together Stateside,” stated the, explaining that originally, they had been unsure whether this tour would be taken overseas. However, when the green light was given for the European run, it was up to Roberts to pull all the pieces together. “At the end of 2018 we had deconstructed everything, so before the new

year I had to start calling around to try and put the jigsaw back together.” He explained it was a trying process to recreate every element down to the smallest detail. “It’s an ambitious show to put back together,” he stated, enlightening TPi with some of the barriers he came across. “Take the video department. We have an 18-man crew just to deal with all the LED, the cameras and the content. There were a lot of finickity moments with people calling me up saying, ‘oh by the way, we also did this on the last run’, which would see me going to the suppliers to check if we could cater to that request.” After a few months of planning, the PM and crew reformed at Fly By Nite Studios and the show was successfully put back together. The majority of suppliers remained from the US run with Tait providing staging and automation, PRG providing video, lighting and rigging, Eighth Day Sound supplying audio and Strictly FX handling special effects and lasers. Also, on the vendor list was Verity Studios, which supplied a fleet of drones as well as Gear Factory providing a flying car – yes, you read that correctly. Finally, with tyres firmly on the ground were Beat The Street, that supplied busses for the run alongside Fly By Nite, which provided transport for the tour, while Eat Your Heart Out fed the troops. Moments after praising the companies on his supplier roster, Roberts was eager to complement the men and women who make up the wider Drake touring production. “We’ve always had really good people in this touring family,” commented the Production Manager. “I’ve got most of the key members back from previous runs and they are all outstanding!” AUDIO Once again taking the lead in Drake’s audio department were Demetrius Moore and Sean Sturge who reclaimed their respective roles as FOH Engineer and Monitor Engineer. Moore, who has been at the helm of Drake’s live sound since 2010, picked up the story: “I was on the first Lil Wayne tour where Drake was the 36


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featured artist,” reminisced Moore. “Then when he went out on his own I joined the tour as a system engineer, eventually taking the throne as FOH Engineer.” Although Drake has always had b-stage elements where he is performing in front of the PA, this was the first time Moore had taken him into a full 360 in-the-round production. “When we first started looking into the design of this show, there was only one place we could hang the PA – in the four corners,” began Moore. The brand of choice was Adamson, which had been a long-time favourite of Moore’s. “I first came across Adamson in 2012 when the E15 was still a prototype with my predecessor,” he said. “I remember he played a Dr Dre track and both of us were floored by the high-end and how clear and natural it sounded.” Moore finally got a shot behind the reins of the PA in 2015 for Drake’s own OVO Festival. “I wanted to have a PA that would knock everyone’s socks off,” which he confirmed it did to great effect. When the initial planning for Assassination Vacation began, there was only one PA Moore wanted to bring out. “After the stage was mapped out, one of the first things on the design was the PA.” Moore worked closely with Adamson’s Director of R&D, Benoit Cabot, as well as Product Manager and Senior Applications Engineer, Brian Fraser, during the prep of the show. “It was one of those rare cases wherein the speaker designers and the audio engineers got to work together to find the best solution to produce this system,” commented Moore, reflecting positively about the development of this impressive audio setup. While walking the perimeter of the stage - which Moore affectionately referred to as the boxing ring – it was impossible not to notice the lack of subs on the floor. The entire system was flown overhead. “During rehearsals we began to see designs come through which had the whole stage coated in LED,” stated the FOH Engineer. As the screens weren’t blow-through this raised an interesting question over sub placement, he said. The decision to fly them in the air proved a happy accident, producing a low-end delivery which was unrivalled by any previous tour. While developing the idea of flying the subs, Moore and the rest of the Adamson team used Blueprint AV system design and simulation software only to discover flying the low end gave them better coverage than they would have achieved with a traditional ground stack setup. “Normally when you go to a show and you have the subs on the floor, the first few rows get pounded by low end,” commented Moore. “When you fly the subs, you’re able to create a consistent low end throughout the arena. We didn’t know it was going to work but after this tour I would love to fly subs in every show we do.” Without the Adamson and its E119, the flown sub arrangement just would not have been possible, the engineer claimed. “There isn’t a sub that sounds this good which you can fly!” All 4 hangs consisted of 18 E15s 3-way, true line source enclosures, 4 side hangs of 12 ASE S10 two-way, full range cabinets below 4 ASE S10s, and 4 ASE 270° hangs featuring 15 ASE E15s on top 4 ASE S10s. While 10 Adamson IS7p point-source front fills were required for any given date thanks to the array’s extensive coverage. “We’ve essentially got a stadium’s worth of gear out on this arena run,” stated Chris Fischer, Eighth Day Sound’s System Tech. The sheer number of cabinets going into the air made Fischer particularly glad they’re using Adamson. “It’s a nice-sounding system, and the rigging is just incredible – it goes up and comes down so easily,” he said. “It’s just one move and the cart’s off.” Moving away from the PA, Moore discussed his DiGiCo SD7 set up. For this run, the Engineer had updated to Quantum engines. Having first come across the new engine at NAMM, Moore was keen to bring this new development into his control set up. “DiGiCo has always been our console of choice for Drake,” enthused the Engineer. “I really like DiGiCo desks because of their consistency. With every new software version, their workflow always stays the same.” In terms of the new Quantum engine, the main changes Moore had made to his setup centred around the reconfiguration of his MADI FX. “As we go from tour to tour, it’s always a case of growth – that’s the best way I can describe it. Between myself, Sean on monitors, and Drake, we all work together to make the show as solid a possible.” The engineer went on to describe his style of mixing Drake. “A live show should be an experience. I don’t want to just recreate the record. I personally see it as mixing and orchestra with all the dynamics and lows and highs.” Essential to Moore’s live set up was his UAD plug-ins, all triggered by Ableton Live. Among his favoured effects were TC Electronics for delay with drum effects using the AMS RMX16. Another trick up his sleeve was a quad panner, which he used to provide some movement to the live audio. “It’s an idea we developed on the last tour,” stated the Engineer. “On that run I had a speaker behind me which I 38


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Lighting Director, Manny Conde; Production Manager, Christopher Roberts; Video Director, Johnny Hayes; Monitor Engineer, Sean Sturge.

wanted to fire music back and forth from. This time round I have configured it to affect all four hangs, so we can move sound around the arena.” Moving the conversation to the stage, TPi met Sean Sturge in his bunker to talk through his monitor setup. Like Moore, Sturge has also been a longtime DiGiCo user, opting for an SD5 for this run. After changing over from the 32-bit cards on his DiGiCo, the Engineer dubbed it a “very noticeable difference from the last tour, especially when it comes to the drums.” He added: “I like to use the analogy of switching from an Astra to a Ferrari. Both will get you there but one will be much faster!” he exclaimed. It’s not the only features which made DiGiCo an essential part of Drake’s audio fabric, though. “No matter where we are in the world, Drake always finds guest vocalists he wants to bring up to perform. The convenience of the DiGiCo is that you can put guest artists in a pre-mute so they can listen to where they sit in the mix in the IEMS before hitting the stage. I think the pre-mute is one of my most used elements of the desk throughout the run.” For IEMs, Sturge used the Sennheiser G4 packs and receivers along with the Jerry Harvey Roxannes. “They’re the only IEMs which can handle the SPL Drake requires,” enthused Moore. Sennheiser was also the brand of choice for microphones with Drake using the 9000 series. “We’ve been using them for the past three world tours,” he interjected. “We used to have him on the 5200s but one day Sennheiser brought us the 9000 to have a listen to. That night we tried it on a guest artist and loved it so much we just kept it with us. It’s been with us since that day.”

Greeting TPi at Lighting FOH and walking us through the visual elements for the show was touring Lighting Director, Manny Conde. Having been brought on the road at the beginning of the US tour Conde had originally split his time between Lighting and disguise programming. “Prior to the start of the European leg, knowing there would be a lot of new crewmembers, I spent about a month at home where I took everything I had and started putting all the pieces back together,” stated Conde. “I also did a few weeks of previs in LA before going into PRG to prep the tour.” Conde outlined some of the major changes in the lighting rig for this tour. “We are now using Robe BMFLs on the catwalk that leads from the band riser to generate shutter cuts down that runway.” In Conde’s theatrical mind-set, he thought it was “cleaner and more balanced.” A selection of GLP impression X4 Bars, both on the floor and in the grid inside the video banner also contributed to the lighting rig. “One of the main looks I’m using the X4s for is to cross focus on the stage when we have dancers. They provide more fill light for the stage, meaning each dancer is picked up more easily by the audience and the cameras.” Another noteworthy inclusion on the rig was a set of 120 Robe Spikies under the video banner with a selection of Solaris Flares which were deployed on the automated ‘chandelier’, hung within the rectangle video wall. Ground lighting interacted with the Blacktrax system used to follow Drake around the stage. “This time round we have used Martin by Harman MAC Quantum Washes,” he commented. “They have a slightly bigger output and they hit Drake better in a more balanced way.” Handling the BlackTrax on site for the tour was Sam Augustus and Sjors Schlicher who oversaw the tracking system throughout the show. Drake wore small motion detectors that tracked his movements and fed them back to BlackTrax sensors installed on the stage which, in turn, interacted with the Martin by Harman MAC Quantums on the side of the stage. “We worked alongside Drake’s team to provide a 12-camera BlackTrax system to integrate with the prominent visual aspects of the show, Notch and disguise,” commented BlackTrax Assistant Product Manager, Will

VISUAL The look of the Assassination Vacation Tour was certainly striking. With an abundance of LED, the creatives were able to transform the performance space into a variety of environments, from a swimming pool to the basketball court. At the helm of this latest stage rendition was Tour Director Steve Kidd who was also part of the previous Boy Meets World production. This time round, Kidd joined forces with Creative Director, Willo Perron and Lighting Designer, Jesse Blevins. 40


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The Strictly FX crew; FOH Engineer, Demetrius Moore.

McDaniel. “All key lighting used to spotlight Drake also used the BlackTrax real-time tracking system. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with such an internationally known artist. Hailing from the 6ix [Toronto], Drake originates form and champions the very city our BlackTrax head office is located.” At FOH, Conde controlled the show via an MA Lighting grandMA2. “There are always a lot of last-minute surprises with Drake,” stated the LD, while explained in day-to-day responsibilities behind the MA. “Although 70-80% of the show is timecoded, every now and then we’ll switch out a song which means I’m still doing a lot of manual cues or putting up a new look for some guest artist’s moment. It certainly keeps me on my toes.” Aiding Conde day to day was Lighting Crew Chief Chris Davis along with his team consisting of; Jamie Gorman, Alex Hughes, Dai Mitchell, Dave Baxter, Bart Buckalew, Scott Naef and Tess Minor.

in the US and recreating it in Europe,” commented Taylor. “Once the kinks were worked out it was really smooth. The support team at disguise were phenomenal being on call whenever we needed and even going as far as to create us a custom patch to fix any issues we had.” Taylor gave his final thoughts on the tour: “This was a great project to be involved in with a great crew from both the US and European sides. It pushed the boundaries of the technology we have in this industry.” As well as the extensive floor LED there was an abundance of video product in the roof with all four sides of the mother grid being coated in ROE CB5. “Essentially I’m cutting two shows at once,” commented Hayes. Each LED side of the mother grid was split in half with 2 IMAG feeds. “In total I’m working with around 10 cameras in this rig with 7 Sony 2500’s using a section of lenses including a Fujinon 99x long lens, a 14x Fujinon lenses and a 22x Canon Lense.” Also, at Hayes’ disposal were 3 Panasonic HE120 robo cams which he controlled while at his Grass Valley Karrera 2ME Switcher. A notable highlight on the camera rig was a video tracking rig which ran up one of the sides of the stage. The system consisted of a Luna Remote System Junior 5C with a tower set up that could extend to 16ft. “Throughout the show it goes up and down the stage which greats a selection of great looks,” commented the Director. “Drake really understands the power of the camera. Throughout this tour and the previous American leg, we’ve really locked in the pressure points of each song to best use those tracking shots for the IMAG content.” The Director outlined his workflow each night. “I suppose some people might think I’m making things more difficult by having two separate cuts for one surface,” he mused. “But my take is that it allows more of the show to be seen. For example, there will be times that I’ll have one cut stuck on a close up but then the other panel will be showing off the stage so those closer to the barriers can still experience the whole show.” But he’s happy to make sure his approach is part of a natural progression. “For Europe I’ve had a whole new set of camera guys who have all come via PRG. We’re now a few shows in and we are at a stage where we can begin to enhance the show and really emphasise certain elements.” In fact, the Director continued to dish out compliments for his fellow 18-strong video team. “Although we had a lot of new guys on this run, they have all done incredibly well. Thankfully, one person we have got to keep on is our Engineer Lewis McMillan. He comes from PRG and is very knowledgeable – a young fella who knows more than he should,” he laughed. Leading the charge for the European leg was Video Crew Chief, Ed Prescott. “I was given free reign by Chris Roberts and PRG, to hand pick all of the new 14 members of the 18 man department,” commented Prescott.

VIDEO Without doubt, a stand out moment of the show came courtesy of the stage which was completely coated in LED. In total 12m by 24m of YESTECH Magic stage was deployed on the surface and on the edge. Talking through the video elements of the tour was Johnny Hayes, Video Director. “What we’ve been able to create on this one really is outstanding,” enthused the Director. “During the show we have a selection of effects - from turning the show stage into a swimming pool with women swimming under the surface to creating a 3D scorpion that appears to come out of the stage.” The backend to the system included an extensive disguise media server setup with 4 gx2 servers and 2 4x4pro servers. Overseeing the system each day was Luke Taylor, disguise Operator. “The pure power of disguise servers allows us to run high numbers of outputs and high-resolution outputs,” began Taylor, who explained why the disguise was the brand of choice for project. “The ability to have everything laid out in the 3D space and be able to see the show before actually having the setup in place was invaluable. Also, having Notch generative effects natively supported allowed us to use all the BlackTrax and automation data to manipulate content on the stage.” In the system, the gx2s ran all the LED which allowed Taylor and the team to run Notch generative content on the LED with the HDMI 2.0 output cards enabling 4K to be across the whole system. Meanwhile the 4x4 servers ran the projection as the number of outputs was so high (16 main and 16 backup outputs). The show itself was controlled by disguise’s Sockpuppet DMX via Art-Net from FOH by Conde. All the disguise servers also ran all the distribution of signal to all screens via a fiber network using lightware Fiber transmission and matrixing. “The biggest challenge was taking a show that had already run a leg 42


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“In a personality driven industry, and with such a large department, it was more important than ever to get a harmonious atmosphere in the video camp. I started with Luke Taylor on servers and went on to prioritise experienced camera ops to keep my director happy. He wasn’t disappointed.” As well as the abundance of LED and camera equipment, the Drake production also had a selection of projectors used to stream content onto an Austrian drape which appeared at various points in the show. A total of 28 Panasonic PT-RZ31Ks were distributed behind the flown rig, set behind the LED sides. RIGGING / AUTOMATION Although the moveable drape was one of the main pieces of automation, a proliferation of Tait winches was deployed throughout the rig. “In terms of actual automation, there are very few moves,” commented LD Conde. Collectively, 31 Tait Nav Hoists were installed into the overhead rigging and controlled by a Tait Navigator. “We have opted to deploy Nav Hoist everywhere on the rig, even though the only true bits of show automation are with the Austrian drop and the chandelier,” stated Conde. “It really comes down to convenience. Many of these shows on the European run are in venues for multiple days and after each performance we need to reset elements on the rig, such as pyro and projectors. Having everything on Tait’s Navigation systems means we can rest assured, after doing a servicing each day, the truss will return to the exact point.” In total 16 Nav Hoists were fastened to the video border, 10 Nav Hoists lift trussing furnished with Verity Studio’s drone infrastructure and pyro effects, and 4 Nav Hoists move a lighting chandelier up/down in the centre of the rig. Handling the automation in the rig for the tour was Sean Mullarkey

and Dan McLaughlin. Along with the various moments in the air, Tait also supplied a lift in for the stage which Drake used to enter at the top of the performance. Handling the overall rigging for the run was PRG. “We got a total of 5 riggers out with us with a total of 170 points,” commented PM Roberts. Leading the rigging team was Knuckles Dunn with the rest of his team consisting of Clay Coker, Paul Hicks, Dave Townsend and Toby William Tee. SPECIAL EFFECTS Handled by Strictly FX and led by Crew Chief Ed Romack, the special effects team offered a selection of gags from CO2 jets, pyrotechnics and lasers. “This has been my first project with Drake,” began Romack, discussing the origins of the special effects design. “With the show being in-the-round, scale was always going to be key for us.” You only have to look at Romack’s tech spec to get a sense of what he meant by “scale”, with an impressive 80 CO2 jets being deployed around the stage. “The idea was to create a design that matched the level Drake is at right now. When that first wall of Co2 surrounding the entire stage is revealed, it’s a massive moment - it really mirrors the calibre of artist he is!” In total there were 1,700 individual shots within the show, despite being such an ever-present aspect of the show, one of the goals was to keep much of the special effects hidden from the audience. “All our effects are hidden from the audience, with many of them set behind the flown video walls,” stated Romack. “This means each effect has the greatest impact when they happen.” For the tour, Strictly FX provided 8 crewmembers. “During the last tour I took on two roles as Crew Chief and shooting the show,” commented Romack. “This time I’ve brought on Dave Serrano as Pyro Shooter.” Serrano shot the various elements from the FireOne with all the other various

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elements run off an MA Lighting grandMA2. Discussing the laser set up for the tour was Rachel Spires, who was happy to be back in the Drake camp after being brought in on the tail end of the previous Boy Meets World tour. “The laser design for the show was created by Grant Sellers – one of the head designers at Strictly FX. So, my main responsibility is to maintain the design and ensure each element is working correctly each day.” In total, Spires oversaw 10 Arctose Stella 30watt lasers, all of which were run via a Pangolin Beyond system. Throughout the show there were a selection of big laser looks but, for Spires, there was a highlight, so to speak. “We have this look where the lasers trace out the lines of a basketball court - it’s my biggest and most stressful moment in the show,” she laughed. “If either video or I screw up, everyone would notice.” And with the sea of mobile phone lights thrust into the air during the moment of the show, it’s easy to understand Spires’ apprehension. “During set up, the video department throws up the pattern of the court lines, which I then focus everything to. If our trim is the same, it takes around 30 minutes.” Finally, brought out on the Strictly FX rider were 6 Haze Base Pros and 6 Haze Base Classics.

Raffaello D’Andrea. “We were approached by Steve Kidd, Drake’s tour manager, who told us Drake wanted drones in his show, but he wanted something which had never been seen before. From there we started working on different concepts with the creative team.” The team ended up producing looks for two different songs in the artist’s set – Elevate and Look Alive. “For Elevate, they wanted something organic and ethereal,” commented D’Andrea. “We modelled the choreography after a swarm of bees which follows Drake as he goes from one end of the stage to the other. For Look Alive we came up with a concept of a wave of drones that undulates above Drake before transforming into a 3D cross.” The number of Lucie micro drones which performed each night varied from venue to venue but in total there were 88 drones and the production disposal. The show was operated by a single drone operator, with assistance from stage hands to deploy the drones at the two moments in the show. “Unlike the remote-controlled flying Lamborghini, our Lucie micro drones flew their pre-programmed choreographies autonomously - no drone pilot required,” commented D’Andrea. “One of the technical challenges we had to overcome was finding a place for the drones to land. As Drake’s stage had no wings or stage lifts, we had to come up with a novel way for the drones to land offstage. We then came up with the solution of the drones landing in nets off the side of the stage, right by the audience. We’ve never done this before and it’s an example of how our clients push the limits of our technology and come up with new, innovative solutions to unique challenges.” D’Andrea gave his final thoughts on the production. “People often describe technologies they’ve never seen before as ‘magic’. This is also how people talk about our drones when they see them live for the first time. By bringing robotics and AI to live events, we are creating magic. It’s spectacular to see a swarm of drones performing a perfectly synchronised aerial ballet without a single drone pilot in sight. Of course, what’s powering this performance is advanced technology, but when you sit in the audience, all you see is magic.”

DRONES For most artists a top of the line audio-visual tour on display would suffice but Drake is not your average performer. On his previous tour, the production brought out some of the latest winch technology to extend the visual stage show out into the audience with automated spheres creating a selection of shapes thought the show. This time round, the production also looked to the sky to increase the production value – this time with drones. First of all, in one of the most photographed elements of the show, a yellow sports car is suddenly seen taking flight and gliding over the audience. “It’s certainly one of the highlights of the night,” commented Roberts. “The car has been built by a company called GearFactory. Essentially it’s filled with helium with motors on the side control.” But this was not the only moment in the show where the production made use of the air space - with Verity Studios also being on board to provide the production with a fleet of its Lucie micro drones for the tour. Discussing the company’s involvement was Founder of Verity Studios,

LOGISTICS Side by side on the road with the production were were Beat the Street and Fly By Nite. “Drake is a great tour for us,” stated Beat The Street Ian 44


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Massey. “We have worked with Drake for the last eight years, everybody on the tour is an absolute pleasure to work with.” The company supply a complete package of 10 sleeper coaches and ground transport for the tour. “Many of the drivers on this tour have been asked back time and time again, we are very proud of this and long may in continue!” concluded Massey. Meanwhile, ensuring the ambitious stage show got from A to B was a fleet of over 30 FBN trucks. “We’ve handled Drake for the last few years,” stated Fly By Nite’s Matt Jackson. “It’s been on card for some time as these dates were rescheduled. I think that is one of Fly By Nite’s strengths that we are flexible and able to deal with changing dates and demands. “Admittedly, this was a very low mileage run with the trucks being out for 2 months and doing no more the 2,500m,” commented Jackson with many of the dates being multiple dates in the dame venues. Despite playing multiple dates the fleet remained with the tour at each venue. “Some of the guys had additional roles on the show but it’s always good to keep them on site to deal with any issues.” This was also a benefit halfway through the six date residency in the O2 that was split in half by UB40 – another Fly By Nite show as it happens. “We had to load out half way through the O2 dates, again another reason for keeping both trucks and driver close by.”

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NONSTOP With the show coming to an end and the artist’s wrapping up proceedings with his hit God’s Plan much to the pleasure of his enraptured audience. A production of this grandeur and ambitions really did seem to mirror the calibre of the artist. After the Birmingham date, the Drake family headed south to London to turn the ‘O2 into the O3’ for a 6-night run in the capital. TPi Photos: Theo Skudra from Tom Glass Pictures www.drakeofficial.com www.8thdaysound.com www.prg.com www.strictlyfx.com www.veritystudios.com www.gearfactor.com www.flybynite.co.uk www.beatthestreet.net

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PRODUCTION PROFILE

PANIC! AT THE DISCO: PRAY FOR THE WICKED The American rock band, fronted by charismatic frontman Brendon Urie, once again hit the UK, this time bringing their outlandish production to arenas. TPi caught up with the crew keeping pace with the band’s recent upsurge in popularity.


PANIC! AT THE DISCO

For anyone reading this who is in their twenties and thirties, with even a passing interest in rock music, there is no doubt you will know of Panic! At The Disco (PATD). As a kid growing up on Scuzz TV (RIP) I was more than familiar with PATD with songs such as I Write Sins Not Tragedies ever present in the mid-noughties rock psyche. TPi first got to experience the new look of the band almost three years ago during their Death of A Bachelor tour; an extremely tight show with the ambition of an arena performance. Fast forward to early 2019, and the PATD family had a full run of the Manchester Arena, loading-in an impressive video set up, an arsenal of pyrotechnics and even a flying piano… Told you they had ambition. Although many of the core crew from the Death of A Bachelor tour were still present on the crew roster – including Tour Manager Tony Marino, FOH Engineer Spencer Jones, Monitor Engineer Jeremy ‘Spud’ Groshong and LD Alex Specht – with a growing production, the PATD family had to get a little bit bigger…

Catering. Although relatively new to the PATD camp, Draude gave his thoughts on the band’s rise in popularity, not to mentioned production. “The feeling I’ve been getting from the crew and the management is they are now at the level they should have been. It’s got a lot bigger in a relatively short space of time but all the crew have dealt with the growth really well.” During our conversation, the PM cited reports released that day stating the Pray for the Wicked had become the band’s biggest grossing tour in their career. The new single, High Hopes, had also just become the longest-leading number one on US Billboard’s Adult Pop Songs radio airplay chart in more than 10 years – further proof of the level at which the band now operate. DESIGN The visual show seen on the Pray for the Wicked tour had certainly expanded since TPi’s last encounter with the PATD team thanks to the lighting package, LED screens and the impressive special effects departments. Additionally, the production went all out on their automation department, which oversaw everything from video panel movements to the impressive spectacle of Brendon Urie and his flying piano. The show design was a collaboration between GPSK, Scott Nagelberg of Crush Managment and the band’s road management team made up of Tony Marino and Zack Hall. Discussing the growing ambition of the band’s stage show was Lighting Designer and Operator, Alex Specht. “We certainly have a few more tricks up our sleeves these days,” began Specht as he walked through the progression. “Right now I’m looking at upwards of 250 lighting fixtures in the rig, not to mention all the additional elements we have out on this run.” These days Specht holds the mantle of Show Designer as well as LD. “I always look at shows within a frame,” he began, describing

PRODUCTION Leading the crew was Production Manager Aaron Draude. Having worked with the likes of One Republic and more recently Camila Cabello, he is more then used to handling a large pop production. “I got brought in last year in August,” began Draude, speaking from the bustling production office. “In terms of the suppliers we have brought on this run, most of them I’ve had a previous relationship with. Due to time constraints, we kept the same suppliers from the previous US run to this one.” The supplier roster consisted of SGPS providing rigging and automation, Fuse for video, Eighth Day Sound for audio, PRG for Lighting and Strictly FX. Also present were Mojo Barriers, The Powershop, Fly By Nite, Beat the Street and Bittersweet 50


PANIC! AT THE DISCO

the delicate balance of ensuring each departments work harmoniously. “For example, in the song Casual Affair I’ve designed my whole lighting rig around the laser looks. It’s the same with video. I don’t want the lighting to be fighting the video and vice versa. It’s all about making a whole show.” With more elements layered out in front of him, Specht has adopted timecode into his live set up. “All the way up to our last album cycle, I had never used timecode,” he commented, expressing how he had some reservations concerning the move over. “The way I look at timecode is to compare it to a musician recording an album – it’s my ‘best take’ of a light show presented every single night. Also with the sheer number of fixtures I’m just not sure it would be possible to do it manually. It also makes troubleshooting a lot easier. But there are still one or two moments within the show I’ve programmed to be launched live which scratches my ‘wanting to rock-out’ itch.” With the tour heading across the globe, Specht explained how he had to adapt his fixture list several times. “I think we are on rendition number six,” he laughed. The main source lighting for the tour came from 5 fingers of truss which, for the UK, featured a collection of Robe BMFLs. “They’re a fantastic hybrid fixture,” enthused the LD. “They have a slightly fatter beam than others on the market which has really helped make the rig look larger in some of these bigger rooms.” Also on the rig were GLP JDC1s. Although this was the first time using them, it was an addition Specht was “really digging”. He elaborated: “They’re a real three in one fixture – a great strobe, and fantastic LED wash and even some eye candy moments. I’m also been a big fan of the tilt factor which is a subtle look but one I think makes a real difference.” One of the pillars of both the design and the stage set was the ability to create a multitude of looks throughout the show. A clear example of this

were the 6 upstage LED towers which turned 90° to reveal a selection of Martin by Harman MAC Viper AirFXs – 72 to be precise. Elsewhere, up in the air in a truss which mirrored the triangular thrust on the floor, were 21 PRG Icon beams used by the LD to create a cage effect. Then, on the two side torms, a total of 16 PRG Best Boy 4000 Washes. “We’ve also brought out the Robe RobeSpot,” continued the LD. “We’ve got 4 in total with 2 focused on Brendon and the other 2 on the guitarist and bassist. It’s an incredibly smooth operating system which we are able to arrange backstage without taking up too much space.” An MA Lighting grandMA2 was the console of choice for the tour. When TPi first met Specht in 2016 he had just got hold of a grandMA2, and apparently, he’s never looked back. “What I like about the MA is that you can set it up how you feel best and no one ever runs it the same way. It leads to some interesting conversations when you meet other LDs or programmers. There is always something else to learn.” On a final note, Specht commented how the crew, who had been brought on by PRG, had been incredible. “I’ve got a total of six lighting crew out with us,” he commented. “A lot of them have come from the Bruno Mars camp and are all very hard working constant professionals.” VIDEO For the stage set, LED panels were a major part of the design. The first were 6 LED towers up stage on the riser, which also had the ability to turn 90°, along with 6 more towers hung in the roof. Talking through the video set up for this tour was Charles Ford, Media Server Operator. “There is video everywhere!” he laughed as he stood behind the solid block of LED panels. Across the board the ROE Visual MC5 was product of choice alongside Brompton processors. “Although I don’t deal with the processors directly,

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PANIC! AT THE DISCO

all of the video team have been raving about them,” commented Ford. “They havn’t had a single problem throughout this run.” He continued: “One of my initial goals when I got brought on was to make the video package as simple as possible. We got everything from the media servers going straight into the Brompton processors.” The server in question was PRG’s Mbox which, according to the Media Server Operator, was “an incredibly stable system”. He continued: “To be honest, for this show we are doing a lot of relatively simple playback and therefore didn’t need an overly complicated system. The content was already mapped out before I joined the crew, so I just needed a simple setup able to run the show reliably each day.” Hello Charlie and Trigger and Bloom produced all the custom content for the tour. Alongside the stage LED screens, were a plethora of cameras to feed the flanking IMAG screens. Responsible for producing the cut each evening was Video Director, Jack Edinger. Behind his Ross Video Carbonite Black, Edinger oversaw a 12-camera package. “There’s certainly a lot of them out with us,” he began, pointing to the various feeds on his console. “The main goal from my standpoint is to keep the look of the IMAG very clean. It’s not the kind of show with lots of visual effects. It wouldn’t fit into the vibe.” He explained his main objective was to ensure all the fans got to see enough of the frontman. “Back in the day, Panic! used to be an emo band and, although we have kept the rock feel, this is a pop show,” he explained. “The fans are so passionate about Brendon and I want to make sure he gets enough screen time.” To ensure those moments were captured, the video department opted for some rather innovative discrete cameras thought the set. “There is one gag where we have Brendon play a piano at a FOH b-stage which is then lifted above the audience and tracks back to the main stage,” stated the Director. “To capture the moment, we used the Blackmagic Design Micro Studio 4K placed on the piano. It’s just one of those discreet cameras that captures all the various moving parts of this show. Another

highlight, and in a similar vain, is during the song Death of a Bachelor when Brendon walks through the crowd for which we have a Teradek Bolt Wireless Transmitter with one of the Micro Studios which produces a great look as he walks out through the pit.” Elsewhere, in the pit, were a selection of Panasonic Studio 4K cameras. The Director was quick to compliment the work of video supplier Fuse and their “top of the line kit” which made his life a lot easier. PYRO Lending a hand to the overall visual aesthetics of the tour was Strictly FX. Talking TPi through the special effects setup was John Lyons. Having been involved with the band’s last run, Lyons has spent a fair bit of time with PATD and built up a great deal of respect for the group. “It’s a really entertaining show,” he stated. “But more than that, Brendon’s charisma is infectious and when he’s up there you can tell he’s having a great time.” The SFX Crew Chief explained some elements had carried over from the last campaign, including a flame bar for the song Crazy = Genius along with a streamer effect at the top of the show. “Other than that it’s a completely new design,” he stated. One of the latest additions was an impressive laser package. “Lasers were brought in this past summer,” stated Lyons. “It’s something they had specially requested. We got our inhouse laser guy at Strictly, Doug Cenko, to come up with the design and it’s just phenomenal. I really do see him as one of the best in the business and he did a fantastic job on this tour. Both he and Alex [Specht, LD] did a great job on the collaboration.” On the rig were a total of 8, 15w Arctos lasers and a selection of 30w Stellas that shot down from the truss to create a selection of cone effects. For control the SFX department utilised a Pangolin Laser System Beyond software. Elsewhere on the Strictly FX rider were a variety of effects, which came with their own set of challenges. “It all really came down to space,” 52


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PANIC! AT THE DISCO

The Panic! At The Disco production office team; Media Server Operator Charles Ford; FOH Engineer Spencer Jones; Monitor Engineer Jeremy ‘Spud’ Groshong.

explained Lyons. “Early last summer we began to see drawings and we realised there was not a whole heap of room to give us a safe distance from performers - as well as to avoid damaging the abundance of LED screens around the set.” Also, in-keeping with the set’s slick design, Lyons did not want to have pyro fixtures left on the stage. “After mapping out a safe space for the effects we actually opted to build the fixtures into the set itself,” he stated. “From a visual standpoint it looks much cleaner but also, from a safety standpoint, it means they will not be tripping over cabling on the stage.” During the performance, Lyons shot the show via a FireOne controller from stage right, with complete line of sight with a second spotter on stage left.

11am then hand over all the points to the other departments.” But one question had to be asked – how are you dealing with that flying piano? “Well it’s certainly one of my top priorities during the start of the day,” he noted. “I’m fortunate I can bring in local riggers and really facilitate all the moving parts. So much of this set is intertwined and there is not a lot of flexibility in terms of positioning.” Collectively with the piano and Urie, there was a dynamic load of 2,000lb. “When it flies, the system tacks the load transfer. The main goal is to ensure you have pure load disbursement throughout the rig.” Meanwhile on the ground, the SGPS stage had various automation tricks up its sleeve, including a toaster which gave Urie and dramatic entrance at the top of the show, flying into the view of the audience. The set also had a triangular truss extending out into the audience. Creating a safe distance between the audience and the stage, as well as following the curvature of the stage, was a Mojo Barriers barricade system. “We were approached by Production Manager Aaron Draude a few months before the tour started,” stated Mojo’s Stanley Jilesen. “The band had a very long runway in their set and in the UK it was even longer. The production wanted it to follow the b-stage, runway, and FOH lines as neatly as possible. With our variety of corners and specials we were able to successfully follow the shape of the set and keep everyone safe.” More than 150m of barricade were supplied for the tour. “This package included lots of the special G2 black Mojo Barrier,” commented Jilesen. “We always use our G2 barrier on touring productions as it’s lighter and smaller when collapsed so it takes less truck space.”

RIGGING AND STAGE Discussing all the overhead elements of the tour was Head Rigger Jerry Ritter. He was called up by Production Manger Aaron Draude during a break from his recurring job with Bruno Mars, and Ritter jumped aboard the PATD bus to take on this ambitious project. “It’s a massive set for sure,” he began. “Every day I’m hanging close to 130 points for a 130,000lb payload. With the flying gag there were always going to be more considerations than your standard rock show.” Ritter explained there were 4 main grids he and his team of in-house riggers hung each day, with all the production hung underneath. The grid system was a “natural choice” considering the video and lighting were so “intertwined” and the look was based around clean, straight lines, “rather than trying to weave your way through various buildings to try and replicate those looks”. From a speed stand point, Ritter said it helped to keep load-in to schedule, which usually sees him marking out around 7am with rigging beginning an hour later. “I’m usually set by

AUDIO At FOH, TPi met up with two familiar faces from the audio department; FOH 54


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PANIC! AT THE DISCO

Lighting Designer and Operator, Alex Specht; Video Director Jack Edinger; SFX Crew Chief, John Lyons.

Engineers Spencer Jones and Monitor Engineer Jeremy ‘Spud’ Groshong. Having been with the band eight and six years respectively, both men have integrated themselves into the audio fabric of the band, seeing PATD grow into the arena act they are today. “We’ve certainly expanded the crew over the years,” reflected Jones, who used to juggle the roles of Production Manger and FOH Engineer. Clearly happy to now dedicate more time to audio. Audio supplier Eighth Day Sound provided a d&b audiotechnik system consisting of 20 KSL8’s for the main hang along with 6 GSL subs in the air. For side hangs there were 16 J-Series and 8 V-Series for the 270° hang. On the floor the low end came courtesy of 12 B22S with an additional 8 Y10s for front fills. “I’m stoked to be using the new GSL and KSL from d&b,” stated Jones. “In terms of PAs I think it’s one of the best sounding systems in the world and one of the truest and most transparent boxes. Tons of power and punch without transforming your inputs.” He continued: “We have used Eighth Day as our supplier in the states numerous times and they have always been able to provide us with great PA’s and control packages. Having a base in the UK made a nice transition as we brought the tour over.” Also in the name of consistency, Jones was able to bring his entire control package with him for the European leg. “Over the years, this package has become more and more specified and detailed so it just made sense to bring it over rather than try and replicate it this side of the Atlantic.” At the core of the system was a DiGiCo SD5. “I really like the surface,” Jones enthused. “For me, it’s one of the most ‘analogue’ feeling surfaces but it also gives flexibility for workflow.” The engineer has recently moved away from Waves plugins, opting for a more traditional outboard setup.

“For me, I just like having tools at my fingertips rather than screens and a mouse to control my mix.” The FOH Engineer elaborated on some of the necessities in his outboard rack. “Smart Research C2 compressor and Graphics for the mains, Distrssors for vocals along with a Bricasti M7 for reverb. I’m a big fan of the M7 as it’s very warm and versatile.” Another highlight on the rig were two Eventide Eclipses which he used for doubling alongside some light distortion for vocals. “In terms of the show, one of my main concerns is keeping Brendon’s vocals crisp, clear, and free from any feedback on the 32ft thrust, or the flying over the crowd piano. People love to sing along. It’s certainly a vocal heavy show but I still love getting a nice big punch from the nine piece band. Full drums, plenty of low end, huge band sound but at a reasonable volume where the crowd’s singing sits right in the mix. Sometimes you can’t compete. It’s a lot of fun when the room plays along. The d&b has certainly given me plenty of power, clarity, and head room to create a balanced mix.” In monitor world, Spud also opted for a DiGiCo system with an SD12. “I’m still rather new to the world of DiGiCo,” admitted the Engineer. “This is my first album cycle using it and I was a bit apprehensive to make the change. It’s been a bit of a learning curve and in the beginning I had to have a fellow engineer help set up my show file. But now I’ve been with it for a while I really don’t see myself going back. It’s pretty flawless.” Part of the necessity to move over to the brand came down to the demands of the band’s recent stage show, he explained. “We’re now up to 80 channels. As well as the expanded sting section, we’ve also added a few new elements, especially on the drums.” This included a Shure SM7 over the kick drum along with an additional overhead microphone. “I know Spencer is using a lot of the overhead mic in his mix to give more life to the drums. I’m using

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PANIC! AT THE DISCO

the SM7 by the kick to give more punch in the ears,” said Spud. As a Shure endorsed band, the audio crew made use of a wide selection of the company’s microphone and IEM offerings. For ears Spud used the PSM1000 while for vocals he opted for the UR4Ds. The entire core band used a variety of Ultimate Ears. “For Brendon’s vocals he’s on the KSM8,” added Jones. “We have used it for some time now since it was released. It’s clean and crisp and cuts through the mix nicely.” With such a variety of IEMs and wireless packs, RF was obviously a concern for Spud - although he puts his faith in his wider audio crew. “My Monitor Technician Liam Von Elbe slays!” he enthused. “If there’s one thing I really lack in my skill set, its RF. Liam understands the technicalities of RF management. He was the one who actually pushed to have wireless transmission for the flying piano. He was right and there haven’t been any issues since moving to the wireless set up.”

his request and I saw the numbers of trucks they were now requesting.” A total of 18 trucks were provided for the tour. “They did a few smaller shows in Europe during the start of the tour, only needing 9 trucks initially,” commented Jackson. “This gave us a interesting challenge splitting the gear the would need for their first run once it had been brought over from the states by Rock-It Cargo.” Thankfully Fly By Nite Studios has a few days where the space was free giving Jackson and the rest of the FBN team a space to sort of the gear necessary for the first run. There was a recurring message shared with TPi during our time on site. Crew veterans and newcomers are all in agreement: PATD are finally receiving the recognition they deserve. Watching the show, it’s impossible to disagree. Panic! At The Disco offered a masterclass in stage presence, maintaining the attention of the audience throughout their two-hour set, with the help of a spectacular production befitting the band’s newfound pop prowess. There’s only one question remaining. With arena’s conquered, where will they head next… TPi Photos: Jake Chamseddine www.panicatthedisco.com www.prg.com www.fuse-tg.com www.8thdaysound.com www.strictlyfx.com www.allaccessinc.com www.sgps.net www.mojobarriers.com www.flybynite.co.uk www.beatthestreet.net www.bittersweetcatering.co.uk www.thepowershop.eu

LOGISTICS Collectively, Beat The Street supplied a 12 berth super high deck band bus with 2 16 berth double deck and another 12 berth super high deck for the crew. Another 16 berth was added to that for the extra crew brought in for the UK leg. Finally, an additional 12 berth single deck for the support band Arizona. “As a company we have supported Panic! on a number of tours and short festival runs over the last few years,” commented Beat The Streets Garry Lewis. “We’ve always found the tour and production management teams easy and straight forward to deal with. It was a fairly well routed tour with just a couple of double drive days. We look forward to continuing our relationship with them as they build their fan base throughout the UK and Europe.” Continuing its long time relationship with PATD, Fly By Nite worked with band for almost a decade. “We used to help them out during all their academy runs,” began Matt Jackson of Fly By Nite. “Having such a long relationship with them, I’ll admit I was surprised when Aaron sent through 58


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PROLIGHT + SOUND 2019

Opposite: The ADJ team; Avid’s Chris Madden.

PROLIGHT + SOUND 2019 TPi hits the tradeshow floor to check out innovations from all corners of the live events industry.

Absen was centre stage with its latest touring product, the Aries Series, allowed the company to further exhibit its increased rental prowess with the capabilities of its award-winning Polaris Series. A.C. Entertainment Technologies debuted a number of its highly knowledgeable staff willing to discuss all lighting, control, dimming and cabling needs. On show were a selective range of the latest entertainment technologies including from AC-ET’s in-house cable manufacturing facility, Tourflex Cabling, which makes high quality bespoke data, mains and multicore lighting cables. Tourflex Cabling have recently invested in brand new state of the

art machinery to provide customers with a service that offers even more customisation options for their cabling and connectors, including overmoulding, engraving and different colours. Also on show were the Stage CL lighting console, featuring intuitive hands-on control with hue and saturation encoders per fixture, and a simple touch screen interface. Finally, AC-ET also showcase the Reel EFX range include the RE 5 Fan compact wind machine, with built in programmable DMX and the DF-50 Diffusion Hazer, one of the safest, cleanest and most efficient hazers in the entertainment industry. Adam Hall Group’s Gravity presented the new Touring Series: the

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PROLIGHT + SOUND 2019

Area 4 Industries’ Fabio Prada; ADB; Riedel’s Julian Bülhoff; The ArKaos team.

first ever stand series specifically developed for the professional rental market. The impressively rugged all-metal stands are built to withstand the roughest rigours of the road. In addition, the Gravity Touring Series are equipped with captive adjusters made of metal and other additional features to make life “on the road” noticeably more efficient. Adamson Systems Engineering expanded its popular S-Series, a line of sub-compact, tour-proven loudspeakers. The latest additions

included the S7 ultra-compact two-way, full-range line array enclosure and complementary S118 subwoofer, plus the S7p and S10p two-way, fullrange point source cabinets. Together, the latest boxes offer a substantial increase in configuration options for standalone S-Series systems. “The S-Series family changed the face of Adamson, transforming it from a manufacturer of performance loudspeakers to a provider of complete system solutions,” shared James Oliver, Director of Marketing and Sales.

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ADB was present with a large demo and hospitality area (HALLE 12.0 stand E59), where visitors could meet and discover all the new products as well as some classic products. “In recent years, we have decided to combine tradition and innovation by enhancing ADB’s classic know-how with a range of LED lights equipped with state-of-the-art technology for versatile, high-quality lighting, which is particularly in demand in theatres. Today, therefore, we know that our distributors and customers can not only count on our classic catalogue, with long-standing products such as the Warp and the timeless Eurodim dimmers, but also on control desks and LED theatre lights, which look to the future,” said ADB CEO Simone Capeleto. ADJ debuted 8 new professional lighting products: Allegero Z6, Focus Beam LED, 15 HEX Bar IP, Vizi Wash 237, Saber Bar 6, Par Z MOVE RGBW, Encore Burst RGBW IP and the Encore Burst UV IP which were displayed for the first time on the company’s stand. The range of moving heads, IP-rated washes and an impressive motorised LED linear fixtures enhanced ADJ’s extensive catalogue of lighting equipment. Allen & Heath highlighted some of its ultra-compact dLive touring systems. In recent years, dLive Wings systems have rapidly established themselves as one of the most popular options for compact touring. Central to the dLive Wings concept is the compact C1500 surface, which allows engineers to manage upscale shows from a 19-inch console, using its 12-inch touchscreen, 19 assignable SoftKeys and 12 faders over 6 layers. “Going from a 36 fader surface to a 12 fader C1500 or a touchscreen can seem daunting at first,” commented Ben Morgan, dLive Product Manager at Allen & Heath. “But with a bit of planning and smart use of SoftKeys, it’s amazing how quickly engineers embrace the Wings concept and the freedom it brings. I hope we can encourage more people to explore the potential of ultra-compact touring at Prolight + Sound.” ArKaos demonstrated its latest products including MediaMaster v5.4, Kling-Net, PRO DJ LINK - a project with Pioneer DJ - and its powerful new 4K media servers. Several leading lighting manufacturers used the potential and massive flexibility of ArKaos’s Kling-Net protocol to run and demonstrate the versatility of pixel-fixtures on their stands, including Robe, Claypaky, Elation, JB Lighting, Music & Light, and more. Avid announced a new agreement with the UK’s largest pro audio services provider SSE 63

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PROLIGHT + SOUND 2019

Allen & Heath’s Lars Dietrich; Claypaky unveils the Xtylos; Christie’s Polly Bradley-Brock; The Celestion stand.

Audio to supply the UK’s major outdoor summer music festivals Avid VENUE S6L with live sound consoles as they look to upgrade their legacy Avid systems. AV Stumpfl presented its latest products and solutions, including PIXERA mini, a flexible and ultra-compact version of its new powerful range of media servers, as well as its PIXERA v1.0 software, and the upcoming AT64-SHIFT screen system leg. PIXERA is a 64-bit system for real-time media processing, compositing and management, built around the key theme of usability. Based on the same principles as the highly successful T32-SHIFT, the AT64-SHIFT can be used for much larger mobile projection screens. While the T32-SHIFT is compatible with AV Stumpfl’s Monoblox32 and MonoClip32 projection screen frames, which means it can easily be combined with existing AV Stumpfl screen systems. Using the T32-SHIFT, it takes less than five minutes to assemble and adjust an AV Stumpfl mobile projection screen system, including height adjustments. At the Ayrton stand, attendees were excited to see the new products and a new lightshow populated by Ayrton’s latest fixtures. This year’s releases, the Ayrton Levante and Diablo wash and profile fixtures, were in action for the first time alongside Khamsin, Bora, Ghibli, Mistral, Merak and NandoBeam, all of which illustrated the huge versatility, power and feature set of Ayrton’s expanding new Wash, Spot and Profile ranges. Barco took some of its latest innovations on a Shape It. Show It roadshow that will see the company visit almost 50 events in cities across

Europe between April and June, starting at this year’s Prolight + Sound. The company’s range of new products included single-chip laser projectors for a wide range of market segments, the brightest 4K laser projector under 100kg, and even a sneak preview of an all-new mid-level laser 3 chip DLP projector. Visitors can also view the innovative Rigiflex; the powerwall you can roll up. Other products on show will be Direct View LED tiles and UniSee; seamless LCD video walls with bezel-less viewing and an innovative mounting system. BlackTrax powered an interactive demonstration, designed by Meptik, to spotlight the power of real-time tracking and automation, and to check out the new features wysiwyg has in store. BroadWeigh showed off its BroadWeigh TwistLink, which was centre stage, alongside the BroadWeigh Wind Speed Sensor. Kelly Voysey, Sales and Marketing Manager at Mantracourt commented: “Prolight + Sound is a very important event for us in that it puts our brand in front of a truly international audience. We have been supplying load-monitoring equipment for years, but it’s only relatively recently that entertainment riggers have started to embrace the concept.” Brompton Technology showed its new HDR solution by combining the power of its Tessera SX40 LED processor with ROE’s superb Black Onyx LED screens. The SX40 is Brompton Technology’s highest-ever capacity processor and offers support for full 4K screens at 60Hz with 12 bits per colour output, a zero-latency up/down scaler that matches the source to the screen, plus all of Tessera’s industry-leading processing features such 64


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PROLIGHT + SOUND 2019

The Cadac consoles team.

as ChromaTune colour correction, On Screen Colour Adjustment (OSCA), and more. “Our initial preview of HDR at ISE 2019 created a real buzz,” said Brompton’s Business Development Manager, Rob Fowler. “We’re delighted to be able to offer our customers another sneak-peak ahead of the official launch this year by partnering with ROE Visual at Proligh t+ Sound.” Calibre’s new HQPro1000 4K/UltraHD scaler/switcher received its first public showing. The first in the company’s HQPro series along with the new HQPro1050 remote controller will be available for Q2/2019 delivery. “The HQPro1000 is the result of an extensive market research effort that revealed a real need for higher performance at lower price points,” said Willy Tsai, Managing Director at Calibre UK. He added: “There is a whole market segment that is not being catered for – and we believe the HQPro1000 responds to what those customers are looking for by setting a new level of price/performance. It features extensive functionality that has traditionally been associated with a high price – and delivers it at a much more affordable level.” Cadac showed a number of new developments, including a console ‘sidecar’, and console mirroring and bus VCA features in a preview of v6.0 CDC OS. The company’s booth features the full current range of CDC consoles, running on its MegaCOMMS dedicated music production audio network, which supports up to 3072 channels of the same ultra-high quality, fully time-aligned, phase-coherent, high-resolution audio, over distances of up to 2km. Celestion confirmed the arrival of its new CDX14-2410 1.4-inch exit, high frequency compression driver. CDX14-2410 is the latest of Celestion’s ‘ultra-low noise’ compression drivers, featuring a patented phase-plug design which, together with a unique “deep-drawn diaphragm” results in more accurate sounding HF, exhibiting much lower distortion than many comparable devices already on the market.
 “In essence, the 2410 is a low profile, ferrite magnet version of the well-established CDX14-2420 neodymium magnet compression driver,”

commented Celestion Marketing Manager Ken Weller. “The ferrite magnet means it is not so light weight as the neo counterpart, however it delivers the same high levels of performance at a more cost-effective price point.” Chauvet Professional drew large crowds throughout Prolight + Sound. The brightest attraction for visitors were the company’s new Maverick MK3 Spot and Maverick MK3 Profile LED fixtures. Supported by a marketing campaign built around a ‘take your breath away’ tag line, the new fixtures with their intense output, make them ideally suited for even the largest arena and stadium applications. The new 820W fixtures also offer best-in-class in terms of their weight and dimensions, being lighter and more compact than any luminaire with a comparable output. Adding to their advantage is a wide range of performance features, including full-loaded static, rotation and animation effects. Both fixtures have a 6° to 54° zoom angle, the widest ever offered in the Maverick series. “The show was great for us,” said Albert Chauvet, CEO of Chauvet. “We felt good going into this show, and the overwhelming reception received by our new Maverick MK3 fixtures more than lived up to our expectations. These fixtures are really going to raise the bar.” This year Christie showcased the Christie MicroTiles LED, Christie Pandoras Box media server, Spyder X80 multiscreen windowing processor, and the newest addition to Christie’s RGB laser projection line-up, the D4K40-RGB projector. Christie staff will be available to share their technical expertise on designing end-to-end experiences that dazzle. “Christie is excited to bring the latest in projection, display and processing technology to Prolight + Sound 2019,” said Karl Johnson, director of product management, CMP, Christie. “Live events demand agile, reliable and powerful technology, and Christie solutions are the epitome of these leading-edge solutions. Our technology works together seamlessly to deliver powerful experiences, and our first-rate service and support means that customers have Christie’s backing long after installation.” Chroma-Q showed its latest range of LED Solutions. The Brute Force is a 66


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PROLIGHT + SOUND 2019

d&b audiotechnik KSL; Movecat; Clear Com’s Jon Sparrow; Yamaha Commercial Audio.

powerful new, LED alternative to traditional light sources such as a quarter Wendy Light, made a big impact this year. Capable of delivering up to 140,000 lumens and drawing just 15 amps at 240V, Chroma-Qs larger Brute Force 6 is a highly versatile, controllable fixture that could change users’ approach to lighting. After its unveiling at the show last year, the Studio Force II has been adopted in a number of studios. This high intensity, tuneable white LED wash batten delivers variable colour temperature, plus/minus green shift control, and can produce deep saturated colours when needed. Claypaky Xtylos, the first ever laser beam moving light, was a great success. About 10,000 people attended the live demo shows at Claypaky’s stand. The success of the Xtylos video teaser was even more overwhelming. It received over 150,000 views on various social media channels. The teaser undoubtedly led to a lot of industry professionals wanting to witness the innovative developments in light technology in this revolutionary new unit in person. It is a beam moving light that uses a revolutionary laser source specifically built for it, which is enclosed in a reliable, safe, completely sealed module. Many surprising new Claypaky products are debuting at ProLight + Sound 2019: Xtylos, Axcor Wash 600, Mini-B and CloudIO. CODA Audio showcased its graphical user interface for LINUS products. LINUS Control V2. LINUS Control v2.0 is a complete departure from the previous LINUS Live v1.2 platform. As well as new control software, new rewritten and restructured firmware has been developed to provide more stability, flexibility

and features. The LINUS Control v2.0 software provides a reliable and ruggedised application for the control and monitoring of the CODA LINUS amplification platform. It is optimised for both MacOS and Windows, for both tablet and native interfaces. Bundled in the application behind the scenes is the device Firmware, Speaker Files, Control Logic and a 3rd Party UDP Control protocol that will allow for offline remote control of LINUS amplifiers from 3rd Party Devices, very useful in installation scenarios. Complete Audio, inaugural adopters of Martin Audio’s MLA platform anywhere in the world back in 2010, continued to impress its clients with the multi-award-winning system. They worked with products, including 38 MLA, four MLD Downfill, 20 MLX subwoofers and 24 MLA Compact enclosures. Venue capacities ranged from 8,000-18,000 (at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne), and therefore the rig was scalable. The left / right hangs consisted of between 12 and 16 MLA elements, depending on venue size, with one or two downfill boxes. Outfills were provided by 12 MLA Compact per side, and where required, drops of either 6 or 8 MLA elements provided delays at the rear. d&b audiotechnik introduced its bitesized B8-SUB. Standing only 170mm tall, the B8-SUB keeps a remarkably low profile yet boasts an exceptionally high performance to size ratio that provides a low frequency extension down to 43 Hz. The B8 pairs with the established d&b xC, xS and E-Series loudspeakers, with dedicated models for mobile (B8-SUB) and install (Bi8-SUB). 68


PROLIGHT + SOUND 2019

Elation Professional’s news stand; CLF Lighting; DPA Microphones’ Florian Kresse. Minuit Une’s Aurélien Linz; DiGiCo & KLANG:technologies; Chauvet Professional’s Ben Virgo.

Fitting comfortably in the tightest of spaces, the B8 is ideal for corporate environments, cruise ships, small venues and more. “The lower frequencies play an important role in the perception of speech and rhythm,” affirmed d&b Product Manager, Wolfgang Schulz. “Subwoofers have often been omitted from applications due to space constraints or the visually sensitive nature of a venue. Now listeners can get a full bandwidth experience everywhere, because it’s very easy to integrate the B8 anywhere.” DiGiCo showcased new software upgrades for the SD12 and SD10 which take both consoles to a completely new level. When the SD12 was launched, it raised the bar for a compact, affordable, multi- application digital console. It delivered DiGiCo sonic quality, had dual 15-inch touch screens and was the first SD Range console with a built-in recording interface. Along with the SD12 96 chargeable upgrade, the new SD10+ upgrade comes free of charge. Only available for Core 2 consoles, SD10+ expands the already powerful SD10 from 132 to 144 input channels. Both upgrades continue DiGiCo’s commitment to providing continued additional value on clients’ original console investment. DPA Microphones displayed a full range of microphone solutions for the live market, including its tiny subminiature 6000 Series that include an attractive and highly secure headset. DPA also rolled out its other microphones that incorporate its CORE by DPA amplifier technology range. These included its 4000 Series of d:screet miniature lavalier, d:fine headset and now d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones. Doughty’s Fifty Clamp made its Prolight + Sound debut this year. Mark Chorley, Design Engineer at Doughty commented: “We are really excited to hear what people visiting the show have to say about this new clamp. Early indication is that it’s a bit of a game changer. Some of our customers have already told us that the extra 30kg is going to make a big difference.” The Fifty Clamp has TUV approval, a SWL of 50kg and has been designed to fit tube diameter 38mm – 51mm. It is made from pressure die cast aluminium which prevents damage to thin wall truss. It is captive

with M10 or M12 bolts and comes supplied with an M10 fixing kit. “It’s already available to order,” explained Chorley so we are looking forward to gathering additional feedback as uptake increases. Doughty also showed its new Scaff Boom Arm and Heavy Duty Boom Arm at the show. Eilon Engineering and AED group announced its new partnership, with AED appointed as the new distributor of Eilon products in the Benelux countries. The total product range of Eilon Ron StageMaster systems will be available for sale at AED Distribution. “After testing and looking into all the most common systems on the market, the Ron StageMaster was the best choice for AED. We’re impressed by the easy and quick set up of the system that provides you all the data and reports you need,” said Bart De Smet, Rigging Advisor at AED group. Noga Eilon Bahar, VP Business Development at Eilon Engineering, commented: “We are happy to begin our cooperation with AED for renting, leasing, distribution and service of our Ron StageMaster systems in Benelux and beyond. This cooperation with AED, a well-known, established, total solution provider in the AV industry, is an important addition to the Ron StageMaster distribution network worldwide and a natural addition to AED’s line of products. I am sure that this cooperation will be successful and together we will make live events even safer.” Elation Professional showcased the new luminaires in its popular Fuze and Paladin series. All new Fuze series fixtures include the Fuze Spot, Fuze Profile with a full coulor spectrum LED engine, and Fuze Profile CW with cold white LED engine, all automated LED moving heads. The Fuze Spot and Fuze Profile - designed for theater, television and a wide array of precision lighting applications - house a 92 CRI engine that utilises a 5-colour homogenised LED array of red, green, blue, mint and amber sources. The carefully tuned LEDs ensure accurate colour reproduction while delivering a powerful output of over 9,000 lumens. Virtual colour temperature, magenta / green adjustment plus colour gel emulation give designers access to an impressive LED color array. Compact, quiet and lightweight, both fixtures house a 7° to 46° zoom. Dual gobo wheels, animation wheel, frost, prism and iris round out their comprehensive 70


PROLIGHT + SOUND 2019

Vioso’s Emanuel J. Züger; The Spotrack team; The Madrix stand.

feature sets. Attendees the the ETC and High End Systems stands were able to catch demonstrations of Augment3d, ETC’s new fully integrated 3D programming environment in Eos v3.0. This innovation lets users control and design in a three dimensional space as well as interacting with their fixtures through augmented reality. Also on show was High End Systems’ TurboRay, the newest automated fixture. Its distinctive appearance with a classic retro design and radial diffusers attracted many visitors to the High End stand. ETC’s Relevé Spot was another main attraction at this year’s exhibition. The moving light, specifically designed for theatre brings a calibrated four-colour additive mixing system and unique Ani-gobo wheel that creates textures like never before. It is an automated light that brings affordable, high quality colour mixing to smaller venues. Funktion-One unveiled its latest technological development with the launch of Vero VX, which has been in development for the last three years, promises Vero sound for a wider range of venues and environments thanks to its more compact footprint. Funktion-One founder Tony Andrews said: “We’re delighted to introduce Vero VX to the world. Since Vero’s launch in 2016 we’ve had a lot of interest in a smaller system that offers the same performance characteristics and ease of deployment. Through significant engineering innovation, we’ve managed to achieve that objective.” The Vero VX system comprises VX90 full-range vertical array elements, V124 or V221 bass enclosures, amp racks, fly bars, transport dollies, ground stack hardware, cabling and Projection predictive software. Global Truss and A.T.C. arranged a strategical relationship for heavyduty systems, stage roofs and special constructions. Florian Schaaf from the Global Truss said: “Now we are able to rely on the long-time experience of A.T.C. in the field of professional solutions and special constructions. The first results of this partnership are already visible with the Multi-Tower-Basement, the new stage roofs as well as our innovative FOH. We are looking forward to the cooperation with A.T.C. on the technical and on the sales side. A win-win for the companies and the

customers.” “We are looking forward to the cooperation with Global Truss where both companies’ abilities are merged,” said Thomas Wagner from A.T.C. “Global Truss is already really strong in the retail market and will be too in the professional market with our cooperation. The customer will profit from this cooperation and will receive a lot of innovative products in the near future.” GLP occupied its biggest booth ever at Hall 12, enticed lighting professionals with its signature lightshows, choreographed by American Lighting Designer, Nate Files in addition to its trademark GLP beer, enabling LDs to chat informally at the bar with company representatives. Alongside the celebrations, was GLP’s riveting lightshow, highlighting the new KNV Dot and Line. The KNV Line consists of five single pixels in a row, in which form factor is maintained 1:1 and thus they correspond to five KNV lines in form and pixel distance of a KNV cube. But the centrepiece of this year’s show was GLP HIGHLANDER Wash, an impressive, traditional wash light based on a 1,400W discharge lamp, with a large zoom range, impressive field angle, full motion 4-blade framing system and fast iris. Another well received fixture was the new impression S350 Wash, which was also demonstrated on the active rig. Great interest was also shown in the new impression FR10 Bar, which will surely make its way onto major productions during the coming year. Green Hippo is constantly improving the Hippotizer software, the latest version which was on display at Prolight + Sound added two widely requested features: Object to Output and BeatBridge as well as a host of smaller fixes and improvements. Object to Output is a new way to manage displays in Hippotizer. Working within the powerful 3D toolset of SHAPE, Object to Output enables a surface in the 3D world to be sent directly to a physical output. In addition, V4.5 introduces BeatBridge, a new component that simplifies programming by allowing Hippotizer parameters to react to audio input. It’s a fast and easy way to create, in real-time, sound reactive effects. BeatBridge operates as part of the preset system, ensuring compatibility 72


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PROLIGHT + SOUND 2019

The Le Maitre team; Meyer Sound’s Sonic Lounge; The Music&Lights stand.

with external controllers such as Midi and DMX. KLANG: technologies introduced attendees as an immersive in-ear mixing into the SD-Range and the latest A3232 DMI for S-Series consoles. There was a first opportunity to experience a working version of their new control integration for immersive in-ear mixing; the bidirectional control of mixes and immersive pan positioning will allow monitor engineers to provide fully immersive IEM feeds as part of their normal workflow. Kinesys showed its latest technologies in this specialist entertainment field at Prolight + Sound. Products highlighted will include Kinesys’ powerful new Vector control console, the innovative Apex hoist system and LibraCELL / LibraNODE load monitoring. On the stand the company also flew a 75-inch screen over our stand using Apex and Vector Console, powered by Green Hippo media servers and Observatory London for the visuals. L-Acoustics have the new ARCS A15 and A10 systems and companion sub KS21 deliver renowned L-Acoustics concert performance and reliability for audiences from 50 to 5,000 in an approachable, compact format that offers unlimited versatility and ease of use. With the launch of the new ARCS product range, L-Acoustics introduces a new charter agreement offering rental partners meeting the ARCS standard system requirements the opportunity to join the official L-Acoustics rental network. LANG AG offered additional special trainings the AV Stumpfl Pixera and the Analog Way LivePremier series in Lindlar as well as its brand new LivePremier series from Analog Way, which offers a comprehensive product line of modular and scalable 4K/8K multi-screen presentation systems and video wall processors for high-end staging and premium system integration. Another highlight at the booth was its prototype, the Solutions4AV FlipUP-E. A mobile Samsung Flip, which has received various upgrades and is powered by the integrated EnergyPACK 500-12. The frame of the

display is available in various classy designs and the modified stand is now equipped with wheels. Lawo’s exhibition setup at this year’s Prolight + Sound focused on IPbased products and solutions for theater and live applications. In a handson environment, visitors experienced Lawo mc audio consoles and Lawo IP routing systems as well as Lawo’s video processing units and audio-over-IP interfaces, including A_stage, the new members of the A_line family of WAN-capable stageboxes. Le Mark had customers visiting all the way from Russia, Canada and even New Zealand. The PAL Label Challenge was a highlight of the event, with attendees trying their very hardest to pull apart our ultra-high-tak foam adhesive from between two flight case recessed label plates. Le Maitre rolled out its Wireless Salamander Quad Pro flame machine to the tradeshow floor. As well as boasting its Proloom ignite system, the MVS Smart Hazer and the freezefog Pro low smoke system. MA Lighting highlighted the latest features and functionality of its grandMA3 and dot2 lighting control solutions. Visitors experienced the latest preview version of the grandMA3 software as it progresses towards the V1.0 launch later this year. All grandMA3 models will be available for hands-on demo in Mode2 and Mode3. Recent developments including new ways of colour control, visual ways of Phaser control, enhanced 3D visualisation or networking protocol implementations and much more are on display. MA’s product experts will be on hand to answer all of your questions.
 MADRIX previewed its first major software update at this year’s show, alongside the full range of hardware products for modern lighting control. Version 5.1 will bring native support for Blackmagic Design, NDI, and Spout to the award-winning pixel mapper. Operators around the world are already looking forward to these flexible new ways to work with video. The Sonic Lounge hosted daily demonstrations of Meyer Sound’s new Spacemap LIVE spatial mixing platform, and an extensive display 74


PROLIGHT + SOUND 2019

Powersoft’s Davide Quarto & Sandro Soleri; Nexo’s Tim Bamber & Gareth Collyer; Robert Juliat’s Séverine Zucchiati; Whalberg Motion Design’s Frederik Lunde Jacobsen.

of Meyer Sound products, including the new ULTRA-X40 point source loudspeaker, first launched at ISE 2019 as the successor to Meyer Sound’s UPA loudspeaker. MDG celebrated with the first presentation in Germany of its IP55-rated WPE Series of fog and haze generators. The ATMe WPE haze generator and Me1 WPE and Me2 WPE fog generators are rugged, non-stop, variable output, outdoor versions of their highly successful counterparts. “The reception to the new WPE units was fantastic,” said Martin Michaud, MDG CEO. “Our European customers were very happy to see that the controllability, output, ruggedness and ease of maintenance they know in standard MDG generators is now available in weatherproof and dustresistant housings for all kinds of outdoor use.” Music & Lights stand design featured the largest footprint to date and played host to over 400 luminaires in the popular PROLIGHTS arena along with the 20 new lighting products in the touring, studio and architectural markets also on display, which were launched during the event. The display area featured a new and innovative interactive touchscreen system allowing visitors to test fixtures at their own leisure, interact with the Music & Lights team. New fixtures on show during the show included: PANORAMAIPSPOT and RA2000. Nexo collaborated with Yamaha on its DXRmkll speakers. “Working with Nexo was an obvious step in taking DXRmkII to the highest level of performance. Liaising closely with Nexo engineers at its state-of-the-art facility greatly contributed to the impressive SPL and unmatched reliability of these new loudspeakers,” said Yoshi Tsugawa, General Manager of the

Yamaha Pro Audio Division. “As a result, they deliver enhanced performance and reliability, allowing them to meet the demands of a wider range of environments that require professional, high-quality performance in a compact, lightweight package.” Jean Mullor, CEO of Nexo concluded: “It was very exciting to see the DXRmkII concept take shape and to contribute to the process. We are proud to have played a role in the DXR series’ development from its inception to the present, putting the finishing touches on the new upgraded lineup.” The full DXRmkII range will be available from June 2019. Obsidian Control Systems showcased its NX 4 lighting controller and will be providing a first look at the new DYLOS pixel composition engine. Equipped with a range of professional features and using the latest in industrial components, the NX 4 is designed to handle even the largest show with ease. With a well-arranged combination of motorised and manual faders, along with an array of playback buttons, the NX 4 offers 44 total playbacks in a compact yet extremely powerful package. Optocore exhibited its innovative products and solutions for the transport of audio, video and control data by Optocore Optical Digital Network System at PL+S. Osram marked its PL+S appearance by confirming that it will light up the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in Tel Aviv with its individual solutions, for the fifth time in a row. A substantial proportion of all the moving heads in the International 76


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PROLIGHT + SOUND 2019

The ShowTex stand; The Prolyte Group; Out Board’s Dave Haydon; The ROE Visual team.

Congress Center will be provided by Osram’s entertainment brand Claypaky. “We are very happy to be ESC’s official lighting partner again this year. Our lighting solutions will be individually aligned to this year’s show to stage the many musical highlights and create a fantastic and unique atmosphere with our lighting effects,” said Gunnar Eberhardt, Head of Entertainment and Architectural Lighting at Osram. UK spatial audio specialist, Out Board showcased the latest evolutions of its groundbreaking TiMax immersive audio and showcontrol systems. Demos will feature the intuitive TiMax 500S software workflows including StageSpace for instant auto-calculation of adaptive localisation objects directly from a map of the venue; and TiMax HARDCore FGPA, a powerful new dsp engine for the TiMax Soundhub platform, which adds extended delay-matrix memory and ultra-smooth dynamic delaymorphing algorithms to create totally transparent real-time localisation. Out Board also previewed the all-new TiMax TrackerD4 evolution of their market-leading stagetracking showcontrol. This year Portman Lights released its newest product, the P1 mini LED, the latest in its highly specialised range of products. Exhibiting a tungsten look and retro style to match Portman Lights’ existing product line but this time with full LED. Arranged in the same configuration and housing as the original P1 Retro Lamp, P1 mini LED combines 2 layers of light sources: a special 1800K linear filament and an RGBW glow that adds colour and enhances the creative possibilities of the new fixture. “We are very excited to bring our new P1 mini to the market at Prolight + Sound,” said Portman Lights’ Business Development Manager, Dominik Zimakowski. “This is a ground-breaking product for us because, for the first

time, we have produced a full LED stage lighting fixture whilst retaining the truly vintage, halogen look. P1 mini LED provides that unique Portman Lights look that is so in demand for television and live performance yet answers the growing demand for LED light sources.” Powersoft had a full suite of industry audio solutions, including the brand new X4L amplifier; the LOTO DSP 1-2 in / 4 out Advanced DSP board; the DSP-Lite ETH 1-2 in / 3 out DSP interface; and an update for its Snapshot Selector mobile app. As the latest addition to Powersoft’s already enviable range of amplifiers, the X4L, has been created to drive modern high SPL woofers that require very high voltage in order to deliver their full potential. The product is specifically designed to deliver up to 300 V (peak) to the loudspeakers, which translates to more audible impact from the music itself. PR LIGHTING displayed its highly efficient short-arc metal halide lamp, the XR 1700 Framing (PR-2887) which represented PR Lighting’s most powerful framing fixture yet and the flagship in its range, producing unprecedented light output. Featuring four framing blades, it delivers a range of graphics in different sizes and shapes and a further four framing blades to give a full curtain effect. The whole module offers endless rotation to provide unlimited versatility - a major breakthrough. PRG was once again present at Prolight + Sound, transforming the Frankfurt Festhalle into the PRG showroom. As in previous years, the design of the show has been created by Jerry Appelt and bright. The company displayed its expertise in the fields of audio / concert touring, PRG special constructions and kinetics. Guests had the 78


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05 - Maggio - TPI - ALCHEMY 5.indd 1

ALCHEMY 5 The new-generation Fresnel wash moving head

29/04/2019 12:33:20


PROLIGHT + SOUND 2019

Funktion-One unveils the Vero VX; The BlackTrax family; Robe celebrates 25 years.

opportunity to network with the team and discover more of PRG’s latest technologies and services. In cooperation with Cybermotion and ROE Visual, Prolyte Group hosted a show every day, at every hour. Showing its unrivalled capacity in the design and build of complex truss structures, Prolyte Group displayed a range of heavy-duty trusses, and trusses specially designed for LED walls at the exhibition in Frankfurt. Riedel gains further expertise and know-how in hardware and software-based participant management and engagement tools after acquiring shares in EvoCount. The partnership will generate numerous synergies in event technology, cost management, and logistics and complements Riedel’s wide range of services in the rental business. “Guest management has become a core element of every major event. With the services of our new partner, EvoCount, we have again expanded our range of digital event solutions and optimised our ability to align all processes and services comprehensively in the event sector,” said Marco Kraft, Head of Sales in Germany at Riedel Communications. “Riedel continues to invest in the future and is working to develop even more synergies for our customers worldwide.” “Riedel stands for innovation, vision, and growth. This collaboration provides us with an excellent basis for further expansion in the global events market,” said Tim Mertel-Blinn, Co-Founder of EvoCount. Robert Juliat, which celebrates its centenary in 2019, presented its SpotMe system at Prolight + Sound Frankfurt international fair this week. Robert Juliat’s award-winning SpotMe bespoke solution for followspot technology was demonstrated with a new interface, the SpotMe Maestro, developed in partnership with zactrack of Austria. SpotMe Maestro allows the SpotMe system to operate universally with all DMX lighting consoles on the market.

“With SpotMe Maestro we have made the SpotMe technology more widely available to all venues and events, broadening the protocol possibilities,” said Claus Spreyer, Robert Juliat’s Sales Director. “We are proud to be associated with zactrack - a major player in the field of position tracking, 3D-calculation and media control is.” Robe celebrated 25 years with style and flair at Prolight + Sound Frankfurt 2019 with its largest and most dynamic booth to date – also one of the biggest in the exhibition – which provided a dramatic backdrop for the show-stopping finale of the ‘Lost Worlds’ trilogy of live shows, complete with seven dancers, a specially compiled soundtrack and over 300 of the newest Robe moving light fixtures. ROE Visual will present new and existing products in an inspirational setting at the Prolight + Sound Exhibition, aiming to showcase its products creative capabilities. 
 In cooperation with Brompton Technology, ROE Visual will show an HDR solution in a sneak-preview set-up, combining Brompton Tessera SX40 LED processing power and the superb Black Onyx LED screens. 
 ShowTex reinvented itself to present its amazing stage fabric in motion with a brand-new stand, designed to spark creativity and inspire all visitors. An asymmetrical display of red theatre drapes showed the infinite possibilities of the extra-wide Velours Delta. The dynamically layered curtains, including both a Wagner as a Venetian drape, were all DMX controlled through the latest ShowTex motor technology. Behind it, a printed voile moving up and down on a HiSpeed Roll-Up system, appearing and disappearing for the intrigued audience. Additional circular infinity mirror with integrated High Output LEDs by ShowLED was a true selfie magnet. A skillful demonstration of how glassless GiantMirror foil can make a great eye catcher at any event. The Spotrack team were on hand at PL+S to explain and discuss all 80


PROLIGHT + SOUND 2019

aspects of the hardware and software that comprise a system which is revolutionising the lighting industry’s approach to spotlight control. Showcasing its ability to allow an operator to remotely control light from any location, with any number of moving lights as follow spots. Working in tangent with any moving light and any lighting console, in any performance space. Spotrack can be used in all entertainment sectors for live production from anywhere in the venue. StageSmarts introduced its new C24 power distribution. The C24 incorporates all the core elements of the company’s larger and award winning smartPDU series that have serviced numerous arena tours and events since its launch just over two years ago. The C24 is designed to deal with the challenging loads that today’s LED lights and screens represent. Each of the 24 channels has a load sensor that detects possible overloads as well as accidentally disconnected loads. Tourflex Cablin invested in brand new state of the art machinery to provide customers with a service that offers even more customisation options for their cabling and connectors, including over moulding, engraving and different colours. Cabling and connectors can be over moulded and sealed in a thermoset material, making them highly resistant to fluids – ideal for outdoor use. The overmould makes products more robust to withstand shock, vibration, and continual flexing without damage to the termination point. Customers can also opt to have their company logos moulded onto their connector to clearly identify it as their property. Another stand celebrating an anniversary was Vari-Lite with PL+S 2019 marking 25 years since the V*L5 won an Emmy award, which was proudly on display on the tradeshow floor. Vari-Lite’s newer technology was also on show, including its VL2600 range, which comprised the VL6000 Beam, VL800 Beamline, and the new VL10BeamWash – a hybrid 550W discharge fixture with a large front lens and punchy effects offering. Also, on display was the company’s new concept/prototype VL6500 Washbeam, featuring radial diffusers on the

front face of the VL6000 Beam. Whalberg Motion Design attended the Prolight + Sound 2019 messe with many of its popular products including all of our DMX Winches, Track Runner, Mini Roll Down, Lifting Column, DMX Rotator, DMX Rotator with power outlet, Track Runner Upright with very positive feedback from all of you. The company also showcased two brand new products in Frankfurt, including the Mini Track Runner (product file in process) and Winch 50 Double with Cat5 Cable (product file in process) in Hall 12.0 at stand C26. Yamaha showed the latest updates to its digital mixing consoles and an updated range of loudspeakers on show, including the brand-new TF Series V4.0 firmware. This adds a number of enhancements, including a Selected Channel View for even more intuitive, efficient operation, scene fade time function for added for scene management flexibility (particularly in theatrical applications), additional mute groups, expanded support for DZR-D and DXS-XLF-D series speakers and an extensive selection of new QuickPro Presets for a variety of microphones, in-ear monitors and speakers. The TF StageMix iPad app has also been updated. Zero 88 highlighted 4 new multifunctional products, alongside its German distributor, Ultralite. These are Betapack 4 - one product with six dynamic variants; the ZerOS Server - one product with three different uses; new Data Distribution products – the first of a completely new range, and the latest ZerOS 7.9.5 software release for all ZerOS consoles. Zero 88’s robust Betapack has served the entertainment and installation industry for 30 years. Betapack 4 builds on this heritage and experience with a solution for distributing both dimming and “hot power”, so ideal for a mixed rig featuring both tungsten and LED fixtures – all in one single, affordable device. TPi Photos: TPi www.pls.messefrankfurt.com 82


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PROLIGHT + SOUND 2019

THE MONDO*DR AWARDS

The mondo*dr Awards 2019 went off with a bang thanks to a well-attended event and celebrations all round. Although it was only the third edition of the awards - that are solely focussed on celebrating the best fixed installation projects from around the world - attendees, over 400 in total, came from far and wide to share the celebrations. Networking flowed, as did the drinks and nibbles, before guests were welcomed by the opening lighting and visual introduction that topped the evening bill. The technical production for the evening was managed by GoTo Live - the same crew behind the TPi Awards. The ceremony was delivered by a vertical array of 8 TW AUDiO VERA 20s (4 per side) and 6 TW AUDiO VERA S32 cardioid

subs (3 per side), 2 TW AUDiO SYSRACK-X amps with a Powersoft X4 each side. For control, an Allen & Heath C2500 and an Allen & Heath CDM32 StageRack was utilised with microphones from Shure and DPA on the audio front. The lighting fixtures were provided by Robe, and were controlled via an Avolites Tiger Touch II. There was a Dicolor X-Plus LED display, too, which used an RGBlink T-ONE console and X3 processor/switcher for video processing and content management. mondo*drâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rachael Rogerson-Thorley and Jamie Dixon hosted the evening, with special guests from the category sponsors taking to the stage to present their corresponding awards. Congratulations to the 2019 winners! www.mondodrawards.com

Arena Coop Norbotten Arena

Bar & Restaurant Annabelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

Concert Hall EartH

House of Worship Gustav Vasa

Integrated Resort World Conference Center Bonn

Nightclub Elements Club

Stadium Eden Park

Theatre National Theatre

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MARKET FOCUS

MEDIA SERVERS In recent years, media servers have opened the doors for show designers, allowing further integration of video into touring productions - from single screens all the way up to fully immersive stages. TPi takes a look at some of the leading media server brands from the world of live events.

The vx 4 is optimised for playing up to four times uncompressed 4K60 using its high-performance NVME RAID drive array; as well as the capability of playing lossless 10-bit video. Additionally, it can capture either 16 3G-SDI sources, or four 4K sources (2160p60). With the introduction of r15.2 and the vx 4, disguise now supports HDR content and provides a means of applying colour profiles. Consisting of a colour space and a gamma curve, users can now set a colour profile to their content, or capture images and disguise does the real-time conversion. The vx 4 also offers users a choice of content quality using industry

DISGUISE disguiseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new vx 4 server has been engineered to play back video at higher quality and resolution than ever before. Previewed at Integrated Systems Europe 2019, where it scooped the Installation Best of Show 2019 Award. 86


MEDIA SERVERS

recognised codecs, from delivering high quantities of compressed content to the higher visual fidelity of uncompressed image sequences (TGA, TIFF and DPX). The new flagship pro range server has even more network bandwidth with dual 25GbE and dual 10GbE ports; enabling faster media file transfer and higher resolution networked live video capture. Like other pro range servers, the vx 4 is ultra-rugged with a crossbraced stiff chassis and isolated core components. The new chassis design also features a new hi-res OLED front panel for more detailed system information. The vx 4 also features disguise’s unique VFC technology, which allows users to output DisplayPort, DVI, SDI or HDMI without changing the system, as well as mix signal formats and resolution types in the same project, with guaranteed frame synchronisation and near-zero latency. The vx 4 ships

standard with the latest in disguise’s VFC technology, the HDMI 2.0 VFC cards. The vx 4 has been engineered to play back video at higher quality, smoothness and resolution than ever before. Optimised for playing up to four times uncompressed 4K60 using its high-performance NVME RAID drive array; as well as the capability of playing lossless 10-bit video. Additionally, it can capture either 16 3G-SDI sources, or four 4K sources (2160p60). The vx 4 has dual 25 Gb/sec and dual 10 Gb/sec ethernet ports, enabling faster media file transfer and higher resolution networked live video capture. The vx 4 features an all new hi-res OLED front panel for more detailed system information. It’s even tougher in its design with a redesigned back panel, improved cross-bracing and isolated core components. www.disguise.one 87


MEDIA SERVERS

back uncompressed 4K (4:4:4) at 60fps. Its compact chassis is only 46cm deep and is therefore very easy to transport. The server offers many customisation options and a redundant power supply. Pixera two is available with 2, 4 or 8 outputs and supports the new FLEX input card technology. Customisation and upgrade options include GUI cards, NVMe harddrives, various CPU and graphics card upgrades, video and audio input/ output cards and uncompressed playback licenses. In order to make it easy for customers to pick the right components for their PIXERA two media server, the AV Stumpfl team has created a user-friendly online-configurator, which allows the selection of different hardware components. The online configurator is available on the AV Stumpfl website. Pixera two users also have the option of integrating the acclaimed camera based VIOSO auto-calibration into their workflows. With this powerful technology, Pixera two servers can be used to automatically align multiple projectors with soft edge blending and geometry correction. When working on shows or live events that feature a large number of projectors, the ability to assist the image warping and blending process by using automatic camera-based calibration becomes particularly useful and can save the crew a lot of time. The 2018 incarnation of LUMINA Light Festival which consisted of 17 works of art; namely 7 light installations, an interactive light installation, a performance light installation, and 8 mapping / projection-related works. Two of these installations – Colours and Forms by OCUBO, The BLKBRDS & JUKEBOX crew, in the Citadel of Cascais, and Of Dreams and Life by Robert Sochacki, in the prominent Casa das Histórias Paula Rego, were realised using technology a pair of AV Stumpfl’s new PIXERA two media servers. The compact, 2U systems can play back uncompressed 4K content at 60fps and come complete with a redundant power supply. As well as the PIXERA two systems, the team made use of AV Stumpfl Wings Engine Raw and Stage systems. Pixera servers can also be used as Notch host systems. AV Stumpfl recently released a free demo version of the Pixera system. www.avstumpfl.com/pixera

AV STUMPFL AV Stumpfl PIXERA is a 64-bit system for real-time media processing, compositing and management, built around the key theme of usability. A radical new interface logic enables first-time users to intuitively understand the main software mechanics. Users can gradually discover the options and features and can smoothly transition from being a beginner to becoming a specialist. Actions in the 2D and 3D space follow the same mechanisms. The system is designed allowing users to execute the most important basic actions in record time and with minimum effort. Pixera’s three main interface tabs are called Screens, Mapping and Compositing. Every single tab allows for a different point of view and point of access to the overall creative setup. The Screens tab offers users an overview of your project space where you can arrange your screens, LED walls and objects. Mapping is where warping, soft edge adjustment and output routing happens. Within the Compositing tab you can be creative and use content to create and program your shows. With Pixera, AV Stumpfl combines one of the most powerful render engines in media server history with a ground breaking new interface approach. Some of the highlights of Pixera include an extremely userfriendly GUI and seamless integration of 2D and 3D spaces for fast show programming, compositing and warping/projection mapping. Integrated projector and LED display databases for drag and drop pre-configuration. Flexible and powerful API that allows external applications to build on Pixera features. It supports NDI streaming with a powerful render engine for ultra-high-resolution content. Among the different Pixera media server systems available, the versatile Pixera two media servers are particularly suited to the rigours of live-event and touring scenarios. Pixera two is a 2U server model that that can play 88


Intricate timecode TPI Awards 2019

The Avolites Arena Creative Visual Control

Fluid live

Fatboy Slim 2019


MEDIA SERVERS

Green Hippo’s Hippotizer V4+ media servers stand out for its ease of use yet powerful real-time system at the heart of touring productions worldwide. Green Hippo has a long history on tour starting with Basement Jaxx in 2002 Pixel mapping on Hippotizer V2 systems. Today’s Hippotizer V4+ Media Server embodies the philosophy learned from 19 years of continuous innovation and touring experience. Hippotizer V4+ is a range of servers from one 4K output (Amba+) to6 (Taiga+) designed for life on the road. Custom designed hardware includes critical details such as quick filter changes without un-racking the system. Hippotizer V4+ is also rental friendly thanks to included tools for automatic system restore to ensure fast and easy workshop turnaround. All V4+ systems run the award-winning Hippotizer software. Known for its ease of use and seamless DMX integration, Hippotizer is a favourite for touring video and lighting operators alike. Controlled across the network, Hippotizer systems are frequently seen running backstage while the designer at FOH is programming the servers and ingesting media from their laptop running Hippotizer software. Network based control also extends to Hippotizer’s 3D projection mapping and display management tool, SHAPE. Included with all V4+ systems, SHAPE is the third dimension of Hippotizer enabling projection mapping, automatic alignment and output mapping all from a familiar 3D interface.

GREEN HIPPO The unique network structure of Hippotizer and SHAPE ensures that programmers and designers can work in parallel during the critical pre-tour production period. Hippotizer’s real-time engine guarantees the system responds instantly to changes whether its new media added or cueing changes. Though the system has a timeline, it does not have to be used; in fact, many productions program Hippotizer directly from the lighting desk. Real time control, extensive Notch integration and a range of built-in tools from BeatBridge to Video mapping make Hippotizer a creative media server. In many ways, tours reflect the desire for fans to be wowed: the touring stage is in a race to stay ahead of video screens that now permeate every aspect of life. Hippotizer V4+ Media Servers provide the flexibility, power and speed to not only create a memorable show, but ease of use and reliability do so day after day around the world. www.green-hippo.com 90


GEAR HEADS

CLAYPAKY XTYLOS

Claypaky CEO, Pio Nahum, chats to TPi about Xtylos - its first beam effect powered by laser.

When did the development of the Xtylos begin? The Xtylos was a joint venture between Osram and Claypaky that was conceived, designed and implemented over four years. The original idea was to develop a multi-colour RGB LASER SOURCE with a completely different structure from pre-existing light sources, in order to have a total and efficient optical and electronic control of the light beam. Therefore, allowing the ability to obtain different and special effects otherwise impossible to bring to fruition with traditional LED and lamp technologies. For example, the possibility of obtaining an extremely collimated RGB beam with a divergence lower than 1°, at very high intensity and with extremely bright and saturated colours.

use laser light in the new Xtylos, Claypaky and Osramâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s R&D departments have created a totally new, patent-pending optical group and carried out countless tests on performance and safety aspects. The result is a luminaire with no equal on the market. Could you talk through the technical aspects of the fixture? There is a reliable, safe and fully sealed module, based on RGB solid-state laser. In this tailor-made module, a sophisticated and efficient optical system makes it possible to obtain, in extremely small spaces, a light source mixed at very high efficiency and luminance. Furthermore, the output of this module has been designed in such a way as to obtain a system with all the special features of the laser light but with the safety of a normal LED or lamp system. All this thanks to the combination of a projection lens specifically designed and optimised for this type of source. The fixture is therefore extremely compact, efficient and fast in its movements.

What was the original goal of the project? This mode of using a laser source is very innovative. Lasers are renowned for being rather complicated and expensive devices. Lasers most frequent application as a light source has been in the field of video projection. To 92


CLAYPAKY XTYLOS

Claypaky CEO, Pio Nahum.

What challenges did you encounter in its development? There were some different issues such as mixing and optically combining different spectrum laser sources as well as electronically controlling them because they are not like LEDs. Our main challenges were to obtain a ‘light engine’ with laser characteristics that had no safety problems, once inserted into the fixture with the optical projection system and develop a very sophisticated thermal control of the sources to avoid efficiency losses. What looks can be achieved with this fixture? This is a revolution in projection systems. Xtylos’ extremely collimated beams mean the fixture can be manipulated, deconstructed, broken down into many sub-beams and create special effects that were once impossible to achieve with traditional systems. The fixture also enhances the possibility of getting colours even brighter than white light and instantaneous colour changes which are impossible with lamp systems such as the Sharpy. Extremely solid and saturated colour light beams generate full beam of light without visible hotspots as well as fast movements and the possibility of

combining beams with mirrors or other optical systems typically used in laser technology. At the moment, the Xtylos has shown only a small part of its potential but has already created a deep gap with all the traditional effects.

“Xtylos’ extremely collimated beams mean the fixture can be manipulated, deconstructed, broken down into many sub-beams and create special effects that were once impossible to achieve with traditional systems.” Claypaky CEO, Pio Nahum 93

Xtylos was unveiled at Prolight + Sound. What feedback did you receive? Claypaky came again with a totally innovative product for our market, opening the possibility for future new scenarios. The comments from those on the tradeshow floor in Frankfurt, Germany were very positive. I think it was appreciated that the beam moving light concept was completely reinvented - giving LDs the possibility of using concentrated beams in white or a range of light colors. As well as very saturated colours such as red, blue and the green. The very uniform beam and the quality of the light have been appreciated, as well as the speed of both pan/tilt and effects, which allow to create combinations never seen before. TPi www.claypaky.it


GEAR HEADS

KINESYS VECTOR CONSOLE

Following its eagerly-anticipated debut at Prolight + Sound 2019, Kinesys Managing Director and Founder, Dave Weatherhead, talks to TPi about the company’s brand new Vector Console.

When did development for the Vector Console begin? The concept development started in May 2018 with first prototypes built and run in late August 2018. We showed off one of the prototypes at LDI in Las Vegas in November 2018 - it was a very soft launch, used primarily to gauge interest in the market and to gather feedback from existing clients.

Everything an automation engineer needs to run and program a show is at their fingertips, with dedicated key access to core features such as cues, grouping and channel setup. In addition to individual playback controls like go and pause there are jog wheels that provide flexible rate and speed adjustment as well as a 2-axis joystick. They can even choose between using the touchscreen display or the more conventional mouse, trackpad and keyboard setup.

What are the primary mechanics and conventions of the Vector Console? Vector is conventionally installed on a PC/laptop and, typically, used with the Kinesys Vector Keypad accessory. The Vector Console integrates the necessary computer hardware in to a single ergonomically designed package with in-built 15.6-inch touchscreen display, keyboard and an extended backlit control surface dedicated to Vector functionality. Additional displays may be connected if needed but, essentially, the console is ready to run straight out of the flightcase.

Are there any additions to the software’s core functionality? We’ve extended the user management system to allow individual user logins. We have also added to the core of the Vector software to allow realtime cue speed adjustment and joystick operation for manual operation. The console surface can also be used to control a backup computer or laptop even in the unlikely event of an issue with the console’s internal PC.

What benefits does the hardware bring to the pre-existing software? Ultimately, it’s all about ease of use and convenience for the operator and programmer, with the software running on a built-in dedicated PC.

What are the safety and security elements of the console? A hardware DMH and e-stop achieve a SIL3 rating when used in conjunction with Kinesys Mentor series safety controllers - which is absolutely vital 94


KINESYS VECTOR CONSOLE

Kinesys’ Dan Dufaur; Dave Weatherhead; Martin Honeywill; Ed Williams & David Bond.

for anyone considering flying anything above an audience or stage. Our favourite addition is the contactless (RFID card) user identification and quick login to Vector. You’d be hard pushed to find anyone who’s not forgotten their login details for something important at one time or another. Thankfully, with the Vector Console, you can set up multiple admin and user profiles and assign them to individual RFID cards and limit access to elements of Vector based on the user profile. For example, this means that the operator running the cues can be locked out of being able to edit the cues.

absolute premium both backstage and on a touring truck. Creating an all in one console for Vector that takes up little desk space and doesn’t require an external PC as well as its ability to be stowed securely in its own flightcase is a massive selling point. The RFID login allows operators and admins to login at the swipe of a card which also encourages operators to log out when not next to the console for further security. What has the reception from the live events market been? We have had some amazing feedback from the prototype we sent out over the Christmas period to Rigging In Motion, our partners in Hungary. Since the official launch at this year’s Prolight+Sound we have sold out our initial production run and we have had lots of interest from existing customers wanting to upgrade their existing Vector systems. TPi www.kinesys.co.uk

How does the Vector Console benefit live production? Vector Console benefits operators with rugged integrated hardware dedicated to running the Vector application; the ergonomically laid out control surface and safety functionality improves workflow and operator efficiency during a show. As anyone on a show can tell you, space is at an 95


PRODUCTION FUTURES

Production Futures 2019 TPi’s annual event for burgeoning talent in the industry sets its sights on Fly By Nite Rehearsal Studios’ Redditch headquarters.

Fly By Nite Studio Manager, Scottie Sanderson.

We are excited to announce that on 13 November 2019, Production Futures will take residency at Fly By Nite Rehearsal Studios’ state of the art facility. In line with the last three years, TPi will bring a whole host of rental houses, manufacturers and educational facilities under one roof to pass on their expert knowledge to the next generation of live touring professionals. Located just South of Birmingham, FBN Rehearsal Studios stateof-the-art, purpose-built production rehearsal studio offers major domestic and international acts the best incentive to see the UK as the starting point for European tours. Over the past few months, Post Malone, Shawn Mendes and Mark Knopfler have all made use of the facility, prior to their European tours. “FBN Rehearsal Studios are very proud to be hosting this years Production Futures Event,” commented Studio Manager, Scottie Sanderson. “We know how important it is to attract new and fresh individuals into this wonderful industry, and how support at a grassroots level can make all the difference. Production Futures brings together industry veterans and a wealth of knowledge for aspiring freelancers wanting to work in the live events arena. The networking opportunities are priceless, and hope to see the visitors returning to the Studio in years to come!” Confirmed exhibitors at this year’s event include Chauvet

Professional, ChamSys, High End Systems, Green Hippo, Tait, DB Pixlehouse, Pearce Hire, disguise, IPS, Hawthorn, Sennheiser, Avolites and Production Park. Also joining the fray is Royal College of Speech and Drama, Rose Bruford College, LIPA, Backstage Academy, BOA, STLD, Confetti, BIMM, and ISCE. TPi Talks also returns to the Production Futures fold. Launched last year’s Production Futures, TPi Talks saw recognised industry personnel take to the stage and relay their experiences to an audience of touring techs and aspiring roadies. Last year’s line-up included Ed Sheeran’s Show Designer Mark Cunniffe, Royal Blood LD Sam O’Riordan and Monitor Engineer Françoise Le Moignan who has worked with the like of James Blake and The Streets. The line-up for this year’s TPi Talks is already in the works and will be announced soon. TPi Breakthrough Talent Awards also returns to the fold this year. As the young sibling of the TPi Awards, Breakthrough Talent was set up to shine a light on those that have already made significant strides in their career – ranging from the fresh-faced employee on the warehouse floor to the graduate embarking on their first tour. Registration for this year’s event is now open and is absolutely free for students. If you are interested in exhibiting at this year’s event, please contact Hannah Eakins at h.eakins@mondiale.co.uk TPi www.productionfutures.co.uk

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Fly By Nite Studios, Redditch Wednesday 13 November 2019

www.productionfutures.co.uk

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PSA: THE BIGGER PICTURE

GETTING TIRED OF ALL THIS SLEEP TALKING PSA’s Andy Lenthall examines the importance of sleep on the road as well as safety and wellbeing.

I’d venture to argue that we do safety pretty well. Whatever gave rise to the vast leaps in understanding of legislation, standards and best practice, we hope that we played a small part. When tragedy strikes, it’s kind of upsetting that we’re really good at analysing what should have been done when it wasn’t done in the first place; the power of hindsight. Something that doesn’t often come into the frame when incidents are investigated is fatigue, which is odd because punishing schedules and long days are hot topics of discussion. In last month’s column, we reported on the discussion at the ILMC Production day. This month at the Prolight + Sound exhibition, the safety conference day included yours truly in a panel discussion entitled ‘Nobody Should Be Proud to Work a 12 Hour Day’. “12 hours?” I hear you say, “bloody part timers”. In a way, you’d be correct in your assertion. Back in 2013 the then PSA Chairman, James Cobb, conducted research into fatigue and its effect on accident rates in live production, statistically valid results revealed that, on average people’s working day is over 14 hours. He also found that on average people on tours/event sites are usually getting a little over five hours sleep as an average over the working period and nearly one in five are usually getting less than four hours over the working period. If that sounds familiar, we have a problem.

Research itself is not without its issues. Two studies that we’re aware of have been met with rather aggressive responses claiming that research will only lead to regulation, removing their rights to dictate their own working pattern. A recent article published by the BBC entitled Sleep Myths ‘Damaging Your Health’ stated that New York University researchers said the belief that less than five hours’ shut-eye was healthy, was one of the most damaging myths to health. The classic alcoholic beverage to help you sleep was another issue tackled. It may feel like it helps you get to sleep, but the benefits are lost by its effects on sleep quality. A quick online search reveals far better techniques for shutting the brain down before sleep, swing by www.rocknrollyogi.com for some tips from Becky Pell, one of your own, a highly experienced touring monitor engineer who happens to know rather a lot about yoga and relaxation. Of course, it’s not just about your own health; lack of sleep can cause serious issues in the workplace. Looking back at James Cobb’s research, the correlation between fatigue and accidents was striking. Getting six hours sleep over two weeks equates to feeling like you’ve been awake for 24 hours. Anyone who’s been awake for 18 hours has their cognitive function effects similar to being over the drink drive limit. Would you want to work with people over the drink drive limit? You’re not just risking personal injury, 98


PSA: THE BIGGER PICTURE

impaired decision making or reactions can lead to others getting hurt. Mapping lost time injuries against lack of sleep highlighted some worrying statistics. It equated to one lost time injury every three years for everyone working in live events; that’s 15 times the construction industry’s accident record, a statistically significant link between work hours, sleep hours and accidents. Working backwards, if we reduce working hours to 12 hours per day, we’d prevent 15 % of those injuries, the figure for a 10 hour working day is 30%. In the UK alone there are 8,000 lost time injuries each year that wouldn’t happen if people weren’t fatigued. You might want to read that paragraph again, Cobb did, thoroughly. It’s all well and good discussing the issue at a conference, calling for action, making suggestions, nodding in agreement, but Cobb presented his research findings at the same ILMC Production Meeting in 2013. Some people in a position to do something actually did; simple moves like single rooms instead of twin rooms and adherence to more reasonable working hours. Some did, many haven’t. The findings were also presented to the Health and Safety Executive’s Joint Advisory Committee for Entertainment, they found it very interesting, nothing further was said. Don’t worry, they won’t be getting on the tour bus at 2am to ask you if you’re asleep any time soon. At the Prolight + Sound event, we were asked if we need regulation, I suggested that we already do. France, for example, is much better at enforcing the working time directive. A long 18 hours shift for a member of UK crew might see two shifts of local crew. People still manage to earn a living and events still happen. Transport is the obvious example; a tour is planned and a transport provider engaged. Routes are set and the transport people get to work plotting routes, crossings and double/triple drives, ensuring that drivers comply with regulated hours and take their breaks accordingly. The extra cost of extra drivers is accepted as the norm. Is that the case when allocating production crew? Pay one person for one day when two might mean reducing working days to a level where we avoid those 8,000 lost time accidents. Bill Sapsis, US rigger of great repute was also on the panel in Frankfurt, he pointed out that promoters are no longer ‘mom and pop’ setups, they’re large organisations with global reach. How can these organisations afford to comply with regulation in one territory better than another? Best practice where required versus what we can get away with elsewhere. This isn’t the first time we’ve mused fatigue and working hours in these pages, you’ll be forgiven for forgetting an article a decade or so ago that mentioned a landmark case where an employer was successfully prosecuted for causing a fatal road accident through long working hours. The victim had worked several 16 hour days and was driving home, he wasn’t driving for work. How many fatalities in our sector have fatigue as a contributing factor; is fatigue considered in investigations? Does anyone consider the effects of fatigue when writing risk assessments? Even if it was, would that be referred to when it all hits the fan on site and an overnighter is the only option? Do we risk miracles becoming the norm every time they’re performed? Perhaps we do have ourselves to blame then, perhaps it’s a question of enough people saying no until there’s nobody left to say yes. There’s also the difference between opportunities to rest and actually resting. What an individual does with their time off is their choice but sometimes other things are prioritised over much needed sleep. It’s the same with any job, but insurance giant Aetna has taken the step of rewarding employees for getting enough sleep. They can earn up to $300 extra per year for achieving seven hours or more sleep, with a $25 bonus for every 20 days they achieve the target. Jealous? Well, that’s an office environment and perhaps more to do with productivity. We’re a dynamic, higher risk environment and better sleep is more connected with not having time off through injury, a bonus in itself. We’ve probably had enough research, perhaps with the exception of actually engaging technology to properly measure sleep in various live production environments, something that we’ve started to look into. Wearable tech with built in sleep monitors seemed to be the answer, until we found that they don’t really work on a moving bus. Then again, do we really need to tell you if you’re tired or not? Perhaps we simply need to know when and how we stop talking the sleep talk and start walking the sleep walk? TPi www.psa.org.uk

Your Performance. Focused. Only Renkus-Heinz has the tools necessary to place sound precisely where it’s needed most, delivering the intelligibility, clarity and power your audience demands without the wash and reflections of traditional loudspeaker systems. The ICL-X Series by Renkus-Heinz helps you overcome the most challenging production hurdles with minimal setup time. From community theater to national touring companies, Renkus-Heinz brings sonic control center stage. We focus the sound, so you can focus on the performance.

www.renkus-heinz.com 99


INDUSTRY APPOINTMENTS

Sponsored by www.interfacio.com • +44 208 986 5002

INDUSTRY APPOINTMENTS

SIXTY82 appoints Audiosales as Italian distributor; EAW’s Jeremy Forsythe; Audiologic’s Andy Lewis.

Audio Acustica has been recruited by TMB as Distribution Partner for Mexico, on its 40th anniversary. TMB Sales Manager, Stephanie Kilburg recalled: “Our relationship with Audio Acustica goes back 20 years. Audio Acustica is now working closely with TMB, building our brands in Mexico and helping increase public awareness of the quality and reliability of our products.” Audio Acustica Subdirector, José Roberto Ono, added: “We look forward to taking our relationship with TMB to the next level. Their product line-up complements our other lines very handsomely, and the quality is of course first-rate. We and TMB have a great working relationship, and our customers will appreciate increased access to TMB’s many new and exciting, innovative products.” Audiosales will offer guidance on a wide range of possibilities, advising customers in Italy on the best Sixty82 solution for its particular needs. Date Jonkman, Sixty82’s executive account manager said: “We are delighted to be working with Audiosales. They have a well-established position in the market, and a strong team of experienced people. So we are very pleased they joined the Sixty82 family.” “Sixty82 is a team composed of professionals that have contributed in a significant way to the development of the staging and trussing market in the recent decades,” commented Stefano Rocchi, Owner of Audiosales. “Their payoff, ‘The New Original’ describes in the best way who the people behind Sixty82 are. They are furthermore providing versatility, knowledge,

and innovation, like the new Sixty82 RFIDtag.” Audiologic has promoted Andy Lewis to the position of Managing Director. “I’m naturally very excited to be taking on the role of MD at this very special company. The work we’ve done growing the business has its roots firmly in the dedication and attitude of the staff in every area of Audiologic,” Lewis said. This month, the company also confirmed its parnership as a UK distributor for USA-based AV connectivity specialists Attero Tech of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Adding Attero Tech to its portfolio complements Audiologic’s distribution of QSC Systems. Managing Director Andy Lewis commented: “Attero Tech’s AES67 products have been specifically designed to be compatible with QSC solutions and thus constitute a valuable addition to the Audiologic range, enabling customers to obtain everything they require for complete DSP solutions from under one roof.” Eastern Acoustic Works has promoted Jeremy Forsythe to the position of Director of Product Management. Forsythe joined EAW in March 2017 as Business Development Manager. “This is a great opportunity for me, and it comes at just the right time,” commented Forsythe. “We have a superb engineering staff, and our business is strong and growing. We’ve developed ground-breaking technology that is making a big difference for our customers. And what you see now is just the beginning. We’re developing amazing new products, 100


www.interfacio.com • +44 208 986 5002

INDUSTRY APPOINTMENTS

Solotech’s Aaron Beck; Thomas Kachnik; Paul Owen.

and I’m excited to be a part of it.” A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET) has been appointed as the exclusive UK distributor for PureLink’s IPAV Pro series of 10Gb AV over IP transmission, switching and signal processing solutions, which are specifically designed for the touring and rental market. Sister company, A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ireland Ltd. will handle distribution in the Republic of Ireland. The IPAV Pro series combines revolutionary 10Gb Ethernet over IP switching technology with a toughened chassis custom made for the rigours of rental and staging. Utilising the SDVoE protocol, it provides reliable distribution of uncompressed 4K video in real time, with zero frame latency and pixel perfect image quality in even the most demanding of conditions. Solotech has welcomed Thomas Kachnik as Business Development Sales Representative for the company’s Las Vegas Office. With over 20 years of experience in the technology and entertainment industries, Kachnik has previously worked as an executive sales leader and manager at Ultrasound, Music Tribe, Ford AV and Audix-Mostert Marketing. “Tom’s experience from all aspects of the industry including integration, manufacturing, distribution, rental touring, and managed services make him an excellent choice to contribute to Solotech’s growth in North America,” said Mike Poirier, General Manager. Paul Owen has also been appointed as General Manager of the company’s Nashville office. Drawing on over 40 years of experience in the audiovisual and entertainment industry, he is recognised for this work in the world’s biggest stages and stadiums. “Owen managed the Nashville office operations with brio since it’s opening, that’s why his appointment was the perfect decision to pursue our business opportunities in this area”, said Martin Tremblay, President and CEO of Solotech. While Aaron Beck has been announced as Business Development Sales Representative at its Las Vegas Office. Beck has previously worked as a Sound Designer on major projects such as Criss Angel MINDFREAK, The Buddy Holly Story National Tour and Assistant Sound Designer on The Lion King National Tour. “With his Cirque du Soleil background and a vast 101


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INDUSTRY APPOINTMENTS

Renkus Heinz Matt Czysewski; SSE Audio Group’s David Kinna; Meyer Sound’s Marc Chutczer; PT Yamaha Musik Indonesia.

expertise coupled with learning the ropes at his father’s church, Aaron is an incredible addition to the Vegas team, he’s a perfect match for his position,” said Poirier. 2B Heard has been joined by Mark Morley as UK Pro Audio Distributor in a business development capacity, in a move intended to coincide with the move to new premises, which includes warehouse, demonstration facilities and a newly developed immersive recording studio. Moreley said: “Joining a dynamic distributor like 2B Heard is an incredible opportunity,” said Morley. “As a well-established, industryleading brand, it’s easy to admire what the company has accomplished and its future potential. I’m excited to be part of the team that will write 2B Heard’s next chapter.” Renkus-Heinz has appointed Matt Czyzewski as President, effective May 2019. Czyzewski joins following his 22-year tenure at Biamp, where he started as a Product Manager and worked his way up to Vice President, executive VP, Chief Operating Officer, and finally Chief Executive Officer. “Matt Czyzewski’s combination of engineering, business development, and progressive management experience makes him a great choice to lead Renkus-Heinz into the future,” asserted Harro Heinz, Renkus-Heinz founder and CEO. SSE Audio Group has created the new role of Director of Finance. Based in Redditch, David Kinna will oversee the financial operations of the Group’s UK and European operations.“My background is with companies of a similar size to SSE Audio Group, albeit in very different fields to Pro Audio.

The world of rock ‘n’ roll is a niche market, so finding a finance director with experience in this sector for a company the size of SSE would have been a tall order. However, the world of finance gives you experience that is very much transferable and I look forward to bringing my skill set to this industry,” said Kinna. SSE MD John Penn said: “As SSE has grown over recent years it was something we had been looking at for a while. Then with the acquisition by Solotech they were keen to have somebody solely focussed on the financial aspect of the business. This was the obvious time to make the appointment and provides a conduit between the Solotech board and the SSE management team.” Meyer Sound confirmed that Silicon Valley veteran executive Marc Chutczer will adopt the newly created position of Vice President of Digital Program Management. In his new role, Chutczer will take charge of one of the most significant refocusing efforts in the 40-year history of the company. “Digital signal processing and networking technologies have become inseparable from today’s leading-edge loudspeaker and acoustic systems,” said Executive Vice President Helen Meyer. “The appointment of Marc Chutczer and the concurrent formation of a new cross-functional management team will enable Meyer Sound to maintain its lead in developing and bringing to market the world’s most advanced, fully integrated solutions.” NEXO has confirmed an all-new line-up in Indonesia from April, appointing a new distributor for its sound reinforcement products. PT 102


www.interfacio.com • +44 208 986 5002

INDUSTRY APPOINTMENTS

Riedel Communications’ Nacho Lee; Maestra Group’s Adrian Powell, Alex Hardie, Michaela, Katherine Fung and Matt Appleby.

Yamaha Musik Indonesia (Distributor) will take on the prestigious French line, cementing sales and support for NEXO and Yamaha brands at its Jakarta offices. The Yamaha Indonesia team, led by Chihaya Hirai, will be working closely with newly appointed NEXO Business Development Manager Joe White, who has responsibility for South East Asia markets. Together they are preparing to put NEXO in the spotlight this year. “We are ready for the imminent arrival of NEXO’s new GEO M12 mid-size line array,” said Hirai. “We have already planned launch events for this system in Jakarta and Surabaya.” Cymatic Audio has assigned RAD Distribution as the sole distributor for all Cymatic Audio products throughout the US and Canada. Jon Haber, President of RAD Distribution, said: “Cymatic Audio is known as one of the leaders and pioneers in audio recording and playback for live performance,” he said. “Their rock solid hardware and software have made them common items seen on live riders. We’re proud to be distributing Cymatic Audio products which are a completely natural fit for us.” Riedel Communications has appointed Nacho Lee as Riedel’s UK

Sales Manager for Theatre and Industry. Lee joins Riedel with 15 years of experience in the pro AV and electronics industries. “Throughout his career, Nacho has demonstrated his ability to build meaningful relationships and his skill in translating new opportunities into business growth,” said Paul Rivens, General Manager at Riedel UK. “He will be an invaluable resource as we continue to expand the Riedel footprint in markets across the UK.” Maestra Group has added several new staff to the London team. The new staff joining the team include two project managers, two production designers and another technical manager. Michaela Welford and Matt Appleby have both been appointed as Senior Project Manager. Michaela worked in Dubai’s vibrant and a high-pressure events bubble for five years, so Maestra London was keen to capitalise on her expertise. “Their events are diverse and constantly striving for perfection in every area, from designs and set to new technologies,” she stated. Appleby saw the company as a “bright and exciting future”, adding that the events and projects on which Maestra work are varied and exciting with great latitude for creativity.

AUDIO LIGHTING RIGGING VIDEO AUCTIONS 103


www.interfacio.com • +44 208 986 5002

INDUSTRY APPOINTMENTS

4Wall Entertainment completes the asset purchase of UK-based HSL Group Holdings.

Alex Hardie has been appointed as the new Technical Manager. Hardie brings the lighting element of technical design to the fore with a career that started as a theatre ASM working his way up through being a technician, an operator and then an LD. He then switched his huge enthusiasm for the job and passion for lighting to events and experiential. Adrian Powell has been made the Production Designer. He said “I live for work and we do it for the majority of our lives, so I want to be somewhere that’s fun, challenging and stimulating and Maestra London seemed like the perfect fit!” Finally, Kat Fung is the Assistant Production Designer. She enthused: “It’s fun, fast-paced and the outcome is extremely rewarding, especially with the opportunity of working with some dedicated and hardworking people who have been in the game for a while”. Music & Lights have appointed LightNeq as distributor in Czech Republic. Prague based LightNeq have become the latest addition to the Music & Lights distribution network in becoming exclusive distributors of PROLIGHTS, TRIBE, ArchWork, DAD, ProAudio, PROTRUSS and GDE. Managing Director of LightNeq, Pavel Lenoch explained: “Each of the Music & Lights brands have been gaining a great deal of interest globally, and we know from having previously worked with the team and visiting the HQ, the support is in place for us to grow our relationship substantially by adding their brands to our portfolio. PROLIGHTS especially is making its mark on the industry and we can’t wait for what is to come next!” Prolyte Group has continued expansion in the North American market, announcing Keith Bohn as General Sales Manager North America. Keith Bohn has over 25 years experience in design, manufacturing, and use of structural rigging solutions, ranging from simple span truss applications to complex permanently installed structures worldwide. “I am very excited about joining the Prolyte team,” stated Keith. “The attention given to user training and safety is impressive, not to mention the breadth of the product line covering very light applications to clear truss spans over 180ft in length. I am eager to introduce more of the US market to Prolyte’s solutions, especially the innovative tool-free Verto line of truss.” PK Sound has named Paul Freudenberg as Vice President of Global

Business Development for PK Sound. He will be responsible for managing global sales and marketing as part of PK’s executive management team. “It seems clear that the road forward will include innovation that will make complex tasks easier and more efficient, while providing measurable improvement to the state-of-the-art. PK is poised for growth and has the engineering resources to bring new solutions to existing and future challenges,” Freudenberg said. “When executed successfully, this track will propel our company forward.” Clair Brothers has expanded its global reach with Bary AS. As one of Norway’s largest and fastest growing suppliers of technical solutions and equipment for concerts, festivals, events and other productions, Bary AS is also the largest, fully-Norwegian-owned company in the business. Explained Morten Bakke, Director of Business Development: “We love a real challenge and we want Bary AS to be the best at what we do.” From the moment Bary began its communication with the Clair Brothers team, they were already excited about the possibilities. In fact, when asked where and when they first became aware of Clair Brothers, Bakke smiled: “Since we were walking around with diapers as babies!” he enthused. “Clair Brothers has always been there, touring early on with some of the biggest musical acts on the planet. And today, as a top loudspeaker innovator, they’re more than a highly-respected name in our line of business. “To be honest, when we first thought of the idea of joining forces with Clair Brothers, we didn’t think we were being realistic. I mean, do we really believe we can get Clair Brothers in Norway? Huh? Are you nuts? This is what we asked ourselves. But, like I said, we like a challenge, so we had to try!” PRG will integrate its global research and development efforts into a new operating group, PRG Innovation, encompassing its efforts in Belgium, China and the United States which include facilities in Dallas, New Windsor, New York and Los Angeles. “PRG Innovation brings all of our talent focused on product 104


18 - 20

Indonesia’s International Showcase of Entertainment and Hospitality Technology Exhibition

J U L Y

2 019

Jakarta International Expo Kema yoran - Indonesia w w w. a v l - i n d o n e s i a . c o m

PRO AVL INDONESIA Indonesia’s International Showcase of Professional Audio, Visual, Lighting & Technology Exhibition

TOURISM TECHNOLOGY ASIA Indonesia’s International Showcase of Hospitality & Tourism Technology Exhibition

BROADCAST & MEDIA TECH INDONESIA Indonesia’s International Broadcast and Digital Media Technologies Exhibition

In conjunction with :

MUSIC INDONESIA 2019 The Focused Platform for Music & Entertainment in Indonesia and Beyond

For more information, please contact : International : Matthew Ng Phone : +65 6702 3005 / +65 8685 8000 Email : matthew.ng@giec.biz Indonesia : Alfred Rubino Phone : +62 21 634 5861 / +62 878 8635 6216 Email : alfred@kristamedia.com

Jointly Organised by


www.interfacio.com • +44 208 986 5002

INDUSTRY APPOINTMENTS

Bary AS Director of Business Development, Terje Hvam.

development into a single, global team, allowing us to anticipate market trends, move with agility and align product development with our larger strategic objectives,” said Jere Harris, Chairman and CEO of PRG. “I believe that our investment and performance in marketdriven innovation is one of the most powerful points of difference separating our brands from the competition. Now, that advantage will become even more significant.” 4Wall Entertainment, a US-based provider of lighting and video rentals, sales and services, has completed the asset purchase of HSL Group Holdings of Blackburn, UK. Since the initial announcement, 4Wall worked diligently to complete its first international acquisition and is now proceeding with the integration process. The facility and location is being rebranded as 4Wall UK, creating the first international presence for 4Wall. 4Wall UK will be comprised of the former HSL sales team and staff, with former HSL Managing Director Simon Stuart leading the sales team and assuming the role of VP of Business Development. “With the deal completed, we are officially part of the 4Wall family, ensuring long-term stability of our location,” said Stuart. “We couldn’t be happier to join this amazing organization and thank our friends from across the pond for the opportunity.” 4Wall and HSL have previously worked together on concert touring acts traveling between the two countries, creating a natural partnership between key employees and even customers that will be strengthened moving forward. Having a true 4Wall location overseas will allow the company to better serve tours and events scheduled to make US and UK stops. 4Wall COO Wes Bailey spoke on completing the acquisition: “The 4Wall UK team hasn’t skipped a beat since the announcement was made two weeks ago which perfectly exemplifies why this was the right time for 4Wall to expand into the international market. There is a strong group in place that will help us introduce the 4Wall brand to the UK in a positive way.” 4Wall UK offers a 165,000sq ft. building, which includes large prep areas, training facilities, WYSIWIG suites, and more. To inquire for more information from the UK sales team about future events. TPi www.tpimagazine.com/category/industry-jobs

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TPi PRODUCTION GUIDE

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108


TPi PRODUCTION GUIDE

Equipment we offer: • Cable Ramp - Rental & Sales • ADA Disabled Wheelchair Cable Ramps - Rental • Event Power Distribution - Rental • Cable - Rental • Powerlock Cable Systems - Rental • Lighting & Adaptors - Rental

Tel: 0845 606 6049 Email: hire@tempower.co.uk www.tempower.co.uk

To advertise here enquiries should be made to Lyndsey Hopwood Lyndsey Hopwood - Tel: +44 (0)161 476 8360 Email: l.hopwood@mondiale.co.uk

MAY 2019 ADVERTISERS 10K Used Gear Limited

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GLS Lighting

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Pro Tapes

69 59

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Prolyte Group

Avolites 89

LDL UK

85

Protec 3

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Le Maitre

71

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99

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57

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63

MA Lighting

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29

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107

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21

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106

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CLF Lighting

15

7 53

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51

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Movecat 77

Digital Projection

83

Robe 45 ROE Visual

65 55

Sound of Music

81

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38

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28

disguise 43

Music & Lights

TW AUDiO

67

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No.3 Highpost

23

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91

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Funktion-One 17

Phoenix Bussing

27

Gerriets 81

Pioneer 75

5

71

109

TXRX 61 28


BACK CHAT

TIM ROUTLEDGE TPi Awards’ Lighting Designer of the Year

Over the year’s you’ve worked in television, live touring and large-scale sporting events. What is it about each discipline that you find appealing? I am a very lucky LD. I have a lot of great clients in lots of different disciplines and I am equally at home in a FOH position at The O2 Arena to the lighting gallery in a TV studio and so on. Being knowledgeable about all aspects has opened up a world of possibilities and one that is very rare. Few people cross over especially from concert touring to TV and back again.

You’ve certainly had a busy 12 months working on the likes of Sam Smith, Florence + the Machine and Stormzy to name but a few. What is the secret to balancing all these productions? Workflow; I have setup the company, Tim Routledge Lighting Design, to use a certain way of working. We are geared up to design a huge range of shows at anytime as the organisation in the background is as slick as possible. I’m also a bit of a control freak so I like things to be neat, tidy and organised, the second that system isn’t adhered too then the wheels fall off. As a designer, what trends/technological innovations within the world of lighting have you been most excited by in recent years? Technology has grown unimaginably since I started in the industry. The most exiting development in the past three or so years has been in followspot technology. Technology in followspots has been stagnant for years but it is the most crucial bit of kit in any show. We can now accomplish things with key light and tracking performers that we have always wanted to achieve. I haven’t used a traditional spot on a rig for quite a while as my go-to bit of kit is now a remote spot system. The ability to take control of everything apart from position means I can tell an operator to track someone for the whole show and I opt in when its on or not. It makes for a much less stressful show and much quieter one on comms. It’s a blessing!

What inspired you to pursue a career in lighting and show design? I was a child actor on the first independent tour of the USSR back in 1988. I thought I would carry on doing that but the adolescence hit and I really didn’t want to be on the stage and decided I’d rather be on the other end of the multicore. I knew another LD, Stephen Abbiss, at my youth theatre and got involved in Edinburgh Fringe shows. When I went left university in 1996 I thought I just wanted to do experimental fringe theatre. However, 20 or so years later and that is no longer the case.

How did it feel to reclaim your the Lighting Designer of the Year title at the 2019 TPi Awards? ‘I’ve still got it’ was my initial thought! But I’m thrilled that in an ever-expanding universe of LDs and projects all over the world, I’m still getting great feedback and response from the industry and my contemporaries. As everyone says doing what we do, it’s never about winning awards… but it is… it isn’t … or is it?

What was your big break in the industry? I was lucky enought to be forced to adopt the MA Lighting grandMA1 for a project. At the time it really wasn’t that known and I quickly became the go to guy for all things MA which continued into the arrival of grandMA2. 110


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Profile for Mondiale Publishing

TPi May 2019 - #273