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January/ February 2018

R38.00

AV System Integration | Installations | LIVE EVENTS | Studio Pro Audio

Cover Crestron for Feature Coca-Cola ISE SHOW REPORT

P R O DU C T O F THE Y E A R

H OUSES O F WORSH IP fe ature

E vita The Musica l


I n T his I ssue

E D I TO R

CONT E NT S Greetings, and welcome

BUSINESS NEWS

PROLIGHT + SOUND SHOW PREVIEW

to the first issue of

Barco identifies the key to meeting

Pro-Systems Africa News

room success in a new global study.................3

for 2018. The editorial

Crestron begins revamp of

team is looking forward to working with all of the stakeholders in the live entertainment technology and

Prolight + Sound and Musikmesse..................22

EMEA Experience Centres..................................4

Coca-Cola Opens VC Happiness

serve as its Distributor in Morocco.....................4

in Rosebank........................................................24

Gearhouse boosts their

audiovisual integration markets across

technical inventory with SGM............................6

the continent over the coming year.

SkyGroup Communications

We present a case study exploring the recent AV installation Coca-Cola’s head office for Southern, Central and Eastern Africa, situated in Rosebank South Africa. Take a look at our product of the year feature for some interesting insights from

PRODUCT OF THE YEAR

adds Barco UniSee to line-up.............................6

Product of the Year...........................................34

MGG take a bow at Vodacom CEO Awards.......................................7

HOUSES OF WORSHIP FEATURE

Philips Lighting for Egypt’s prestigious new National Army Conference venue...........8

Southern Africa is going to Church

SMPTE announces appointments of

– with the support of the

new secretary, treasurer and directors.............8

entertainment technology industry.................38

the industry. Our special feature for this issue

Integration & Installation REPORT

ClearOne® taps Make IT Smart to

Stage Audio Works for turn-key worship

PRODUCT NEWS

solutions in Southern Africa...............................40

Christie Apex 0.9mm LED video wall delivers

Acts Church sheds light

amazing colours in an ultra-fine pixel pitch.....9

on their worship production ............................46

Powersoft to launch fixed install amplifier

Prosound takes integrated

range with extended Duecanali Series..........10

solutions to church.............................................48

New Crestron DM XiO™ Director

Christian Revival Church

Network Appliance simplifies

scales up for world-class worship.....................50

million Christians on the continent.

deployment of network AV systems................11

L-Acoustics floods River City Church

Worshipers are flocking to sanctuary

Shure Intellimix® p300 audio

with Contemporary Sound...............................54

arenas across the continent to celebrate

conferencing processor now shipping...........12

DiGiCo – a top choice for churches...............56

their faith, and the entertainment

Martin Audio Offers EASE Focus 3

focuses on houses of worship, an important and growing market for distributors, dealers and installers across Africa. According to research, by the year 2000, there were an estimated 380

technology industry continues to contribute towards making the experience truly exceptional. Finally, we are delighted to be

Compatible Measurement Data.....................12

LIVE EVENTS

SA staging and set company invests in Vectorworks 2018...............................13

Evita – the Musical comes to South Africa.....58

Gefen now shipping two

Yusuf Cat Stevens’ peace train

new 4K Ultra HD extenders...............................13

pulls into Johannesburg....................................64

attending a number of international trade shows this year, with the renowned Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) Trade Show, which opens on 6 February in Amsterdam, first on our agenda. We will be providing coverage from the event’s show floor throughout, bringing you the latest product launches, business news

ISE SHOW PREVIEW SOCIAL

ISE to debut compelling range of conferences and events..............................14

DWR year end function .. ..................................68

Leading video artists participate in

Electrosonic year end function .......................68

the World Masters of Projection Mapping......17 ISE is the place to be .......................................18 Cover photo by Nicole Barnes

and award ceremonies from the world’s largest platform for audiovisual and

C ontri b u tors

integration technology on the global stage. Follow us on social media to keep up to date on all developments at ISE from 6 – 9 February. Our March edition of Pro-Systems Africa News will focus on AV integration

Abrie du Plooy | Abrie is a professional AV consultant for Electrosonic SA, and has worked in the professional AV industry for more than 11 years. Abrie’s field of expertise stretches across both the corporate and residential AV markets and includes video conferencing, auditoriums, outdoor display, digital signage, large format display, and large venue projection, among others. In addition to his extensive hands-on experience, Abrie is one of the few professionals to hold an Avixa CTS qualification in South Africa, and he serves as a director on the SACIA board. Abrie is a skilled and avid writer and industry commentator, kindly visit: www.abrieduplooy.blogspot.co.za to see more of his work.

technology within the corporate environment. If you have any story ideas in the space you wish us to consider; please get in touch at editor@prosystems.co.za. Enjoy the read. – Nicole Barnes

Editorial Disclaimer The views, opinions, positions or strategies expressed by the authors and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, positions or strategies of Pro-Systems Africa News or any employee thereof. Sun Circle Publishers makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, correctness, suitability, or validity of any information and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. Sun Circle Publishers reserves the right to delete, edit, or alter in any manner it sees fit comments that it, in its sole discretion, deems to be obscene, offensive, defamatory, threatening, in violation of trademark, copyright or other laws, or is otherwise unacceptable. 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 Publisher.

Publisher| Simon Robinson | simon@sun-circle.co.za Editor | Nicole Barnes | editor@pro-systems.co.za Managing Editor & Advertising Sales | Claire Badenhorst | sales@pro-systems.co.za Design | Trevor Ou Tim | design@sun-circle.co.za Subscriptions | Albertina Tserere | data@sun-circle.co.za Accounts | Helen Loots | accounts@sun-circle.co.za Sun Circle Publishers (Pty) Ltd | Tel: +27 11 025-3180 | Epsom Downs Office Park, 13 Sloane Street, Bryanston, Johannesburg | PO Box 559 Fourways North 2086, South Africa

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www. pro-systems.co.za


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Barco identifies the key to meeting room success in a new global study A global study of 2 250 senior business professionals, conducted by Barco ClickShare, reveals inefficiencies in business meetings with large implications for productivity. Room layout, interruptions, technology issues, and the presence of food are among the top factors which impact on the engagement of an audience while in a business meeting. In excess of 2 250 senior business executives from companies in the UK, France, Germany, US, and the UAE, were surveyed on their meeting experiences in day-to-day working life. Using quantitative methods, Barco wanted a better understanding of the impact of a variety of stimulus on an audience’s attentiveness when being presented to. The survey results were backed up with a scientific experiment using brain mapping technology (EEG) on a small number of senior business professionals. Researchers tested participants’ psychological responses to common meeting room scenarios. The results highlight a range of issues leading to disengagement, distraction and irritation for employees around the world. Simple factors like technical issues, the presence of food, seating arrangements and lack of engaging content were shown to have a significant negative impact on the effectiveness of meetings. The research revealed the true extent of our shared dislike for inefficient business meetings. Nearly a third of respondents globally said they found less than half of their meetings to be useful, while 38% dared to admit they had dozed off in a meeting before. In fact, not only the number of daily meetings results in loss of attention, but also a poor room layout, or seating arrangements:

6 in 10 (60%) respondents believe that their seating position affects their engagement in a presentation. Test participants sitting at the front of the presentation were more engaged than those at the back who showed signs of boredom. Over half of respondents (54%) said that their meeting engagement was affected by interruptions, and eight in ten respondents were irritated by late arrivals. Over a third of respondents (41%) of respondents use a computer or phone during a meeting, but 8 out of 10 respondents are offended by this activity, showing a lack of awareness of how their actions strongly impact the success of a meeting. Of the factors that impact engagement in meetings, technology was identified as one of the most influential. Over two thirds (67 %) of respondents were regularly irritated by technology issues during meetings, with 4 in 10 (41 %) feeling that their engagement was affected by a failure in technology. However, when technology works correctly and multimedia is used within a presentation, nearly three quarters (72 %) are more engaged. The study exposed the prominent role that food plays in engagement levels in meetings. Well over half of the respondents admitted to attending meetings purely for the free food. While brain mapping showed that the mood of attendees is enhanced by the presence of food, almost a third of business people surveyed said they were distracted by food in business meetings. Peter Collett, a behavioural psychologist

who led the experiment, said: “If things go wrong, it has ramifications, sometimes almost unseen by the people in the audience.” “While many studies focus on how the presenter acts and behaves to improve meeting success, the research conducted by Barco ClickShare presents a unique insight into the factors which may go left unnoticed. Presenters must ensure that the technology works and the room is set-up correctly for the audience. Starting on time and reducing interruptions will greatly increase success but using multimedia and injecting personality will ensure a great experience for all.” Lieven Bertier, head of Go to Market Strategy and Services Meeting Experience at Barco said: “Our research identified that the success of a meeting is determined by a variety of different factors.” “Once a meeting is underway, it’s reasonable to assume that engagement levels are governed by the quality of the speaker. However, our research identified that the success of a meeting is determined by a variety of different factors. These factors include having the right technology at the beginning of the meeting to ensure a seamless flow of information, controlling the meeting room environment such as the serving of food, meeting room layout, and disturbances caused by lateness and work device usage. If a business prepares for these eventualities in the right way the probability of a positive outcome is increased, whether this is for an internal company meeting or a presentation to clients and new business prospects.”

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Crestron begins revamp of EMEA Experience Centres Crestron is upgrading its EMEA Experience Centres to reflect the full range of new products launched in 2017, while strengthening its position at the forefront of the AV industry. Designed to showcase both corporate and residential technologies in a fully immersive environment, Crestron dealers, consultants and end users will be able to experience and use the facilities to demonstrate the power of Crestron solutions. “Updating our experience centres on a regular basis truly sets us apart, making sure our customers are exposed to the very latest technology trends and solutions we have on offer. Showcasing our solutions in a live environment is a truly unique experience,” says Rupert Denoon, regional manager South Africa.

Key updates to South Africa include:

ClearOne® taps Make IT Smart to serve as its Distributor in Morocco Continuing to build and maintain its global distributor network, ClearOne, recently announced the appointment of Make IT Smart to distribute the company’s entire range of conferencing, collaboration and streaming solutions throughout Morocco and the surrounding region of North Africa. “Make IT Smart understands the audio and visual communications needs of customers across a broad range of vertical markets in Morocco and throughout the region,” said Grifiths Zachariah, ClearOne’s senior director of sales for EMEA, India and Oceania. “Their deep experience in all areas of AV/IT, coupled with their understanding of what the local market needs, makes them an ideal choice to represent our expanding line of solutions. Their commitment to training and customer support will also greatly benefit our network of integrators throughout the region.”

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According to Make IT Smart chief executive officer Mohamed Riki, “We are proud to round out our offering with ClearOne’s line of state-of-the-art collaboration, conferencing and streaming solutions. As a value-added distributor, we seek to partner with companies who share our commitment to providing customers with superior performing products that are backed up by ongoing education and support. ClearOne is one such company, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership with its entire team.” Make IT Smart is called the perfect choice to represent ClearOne’s entire portfolio of conferencing, collaboration and streaming solutions across all vertical markets.

• The latest generation DigitalMedia; the DM NVX series. The only end-to-end, secure solution that delivers 4K60, 4:4:4, and HDR over standard 1Gb Ethernet, the new DM NVX Series also features USB 2.0 routing, built-in DSP, and all-in-one encoding/ decoding. • The sleek, all-in-one console Crestron Mercury™ has been installed demonstrating that any space can be transformed into a highly effective collaboration area. It combines all the must-have conferencing and collaboration features employees need, along with the fast, secure cloud provisioning and management required by IT managers. • Crestron Fusion® featuring Global Device Monitoring, Data Collection and Reporting, Room Scheduling and Remote Help Desk is also on display, allowing integrators to see benefits Crestron can bring to their clients. • Crestron touch screens have Also been upgraded to the impressive new TSW-X60 range, allowing staff and visitors seamless control across the office and experience environment. This new intuitive series of advanced technology combines high power performance with high-level security and boasts the benefit of a faster and more powerful internal processor along with new features that deliver big benefits. To make an appointment to visit the South African experience centre, please email: rdenoon@crestron.eu


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Gearhouse boosts their technical inventory with SGM Gearhouse South Africa recently added sixty SGM P-5’s LED Wash Lights to their large technical inventory. This latest addition distinguishes them as the largest stockists of SGM P-5 Wash Lights in Southern Africa fully equipping their technical teams at Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. Gearhouse are one of the leading technical suppliers in the live event industry specialising in international events hosted in Southern Africa as well as abroad. Keen to use their newly purchased wash lights, the SGM P5’s were set-up at the GrandWest Casino in Cape Town for the start of the South African leg of the 2017 Bastille Wild, Wild World Tour. The London-based group performed in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban with Matthew Mole, Opposite the Other, Monark and Tresor as opening acts. The award-winning British rockers who shot to fame in 2013 with their massive hit single ‘Pompeii’ did not disappoint the crowds nor did the stage production. “They were

Marin Matakovic, Stuart Andrews and Adriaan Skinner image by Tarryn Goldwin

backed up by an impressive light show and an interesting, TV news narrative which ran intermittently behind them on the LCD screen." Josh Prinsloo – whatsoninjoburg.com The SGM P-5 LED Wash Light is a powerful, low-profile fixed, waterproof, full-colour LED wash light that incorporates 44 x RGBW 10W LEDs. Combined with a small footprint, the power consumption of the wash light is only 420W while the LED source life expectancy is 50,000 hours. Advantages of the SGM P-5 LED Wash

Light include high performance colour LED fixture, huge variety of saturated colours with superb colour mixing and a very bright light with low power consumption and high applicability. The fixture boasts a IP65 rating with a rugged, durable design and patented RFID implemented interface and a standard built-in wireless DMX receiver.  S.E.T. Africa operations director Marin Matakovic; Stuart Andrews, operations manager JHB; and Adriaan Skinner head of lighting were at the Gearhouse Johannesburg warehouse to congratulate the Gearhouse Group on their investment.

SkyGroup Communications adds Barco UniSee to line-up Local video and communications distributor, SkyGroup Communications, is pleased to announce that it has added the Barco UniSee LCD video wall range to its product offerings, enabling customers to revolutionise their LCD video wall experience. The Barco UniSee, is the vendor company’s new flagship product in the Barco LCD video wall range. The UniSee platform sees a completely redesigned and optimised LCD video wall, ensuring customers benefit from an almost in-person experience and visualisation. “Visual marketing and information solutions need to provide an immersive and near life-like experience, making it critical for you to select the right visualisation tools,” states Marius van Wyk, operations and technical director at SkyGroup Communications. “With the Barco UniSee, we believe we are providing customers access to a platform that is not only changing the future of what we expect from a video wall, but that will completely transform how they engage with visual

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information sharing.” The Barco UniSee platform consists of: UniSee View, UniSee Mount and UniSee Connect. According to Barco, the UniSee View creates richer colours, a barely noticeable inter-tile gap, and automatic, real-time calibration, to create a viewing experience never seen before in LCD video walls. The UniSee Mount is sheer mechanical innovation that uses the power of gravity to keep the panels perfectly in place, ensuring perfect alignment over time – without damaging the panels’ edges. Because a video wall needs to be operational at all times, Barco took all possible measures in the design phase to

ensure the system’s uptime. The modular setup of UniSee Connect also makes sure it can be easily serviced and repaired. Notable features include: 100,000 hours backlight lifetime; 95% intra-tile uniformity (21 points) and 800 NIT TYPICAL brightness. Furthermore, you can expect TYPICAL brightness of 800 cd/m²; intra-tile uniformity (21 points) of >95%; and screen haze of 44% from the UniSee products, not to mentions a backlight lifetime of 100,000 hrs. In order to ensure lower power consumption the UniSee is 100 W; its LCD technology is PVA, and with its unique Barco Sense X technology, you can take advantage of automatic colour and brightness calibration “The applications for the UniSee product range are limitless, and as a result of the quality of images, its narrow screen gap and focus on reliability, the devices can be used in corporate lobbies, auditoriums, executive board rooms, high-end meeting rooms and many more,” ends Van Wyk.


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Photos courtesy: Anriette van Wyk, Kief Kreativ

MGG take a bow at Vodacom CEO Awards

The prestigious Vodacom CEO Awards took place at Vodaworld in Midrand and for the very first time, MGG were appointed to supply the full technical. With a modern vintage theme, lighting designer Francois van der Merwe created pomp and hype on the grandMA 2 full size, while audio engineer Fanie Pieterse ensured the theatrical performance was complimented with exceptional sound. Fanie ran the show on a DiGiCo SD10 and used his brand new DiGiCo 32-bit ‘Stadius’ Mic Pre-Amp for the live sound aspects.

Lighting the way “It was a fantastic event,” said Francois. “The acts varied from theatre to ballet and from drama to rock. While we had a list of requirements to meet and worked closely with the producers and creative team, it was a lot of fun and the gig came out very well.” Francois ran the show on the grandMA2 full size, and says his star performer of the night were the BMFLs which he used for FOH and backlight. “They rocked my world again!” he said. The entire lighting rig consisted of 24 x Robe BMFLs, 12 x LEDWash 1200, 12 x Claypaky Mythos, 26 x Robe LEDWash 600, 10 x Philips SL Nitros, 18 x Robe LEDBeam 100s and 24 x Robe Pointes.

working on this platform is made easy. The SD Range is intuitive, enables you to patch the console to anyone’s patch list no matter how random it may seem, and there are features that allow you to operate according to your own personal preferences.” The vocals and all live aspects such as the guitars and saxophones ran on DiGiCo’s cutting-edge 32-bit ‘Stadius’ Mic Pre-Amp. The product was released at Prolight & Sound earlier this year, and the improvement in converter technology and audio

excellence are distinguishing qualities that the DiGiCo manufacturing team have worked tirelessly to achieve. For Fanie, the new Stealth Core 2 upgrade is a highlight. “Every channel now has full DSP, where before you were limited to a certain amount of channels.” Some people hear the music while others feel it. Audio has been the drive for Fanie for as long as he can remember. “I used to be in the sound team at school,” he recalls. It’s quite funny because I would wake up early on a Saturday morning to set up the sound on the sports grounds. I would then play rugby, and when everybody went off to a party, I would strike.” After completing an audio course at Damelin, Fanie phoned Mark Gaylard, owner of MGG. In fact, he called him twice a week for a period of six months, until Mark employed him! Fanie has never looked back. He ends, “This is the closest thing to what happiness should be.”

It’s all about the sound For the past five years, Fanie Pieterse has operated on the DiGiCo platform and professionally and meticulously ensured excellent audio at last year's Vodacom CEO Awards. “The DiGiCo is the most flexible console I’ve ever worked on,” said Fanie. “It sounds great, but because it’s so adaptable,

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Philips Lighting for Egypt’s prestigious new National Army Conference venue Philips Lighting recently announced that the prestigious new National Army Conference Center in Cairo has chosen a state-of-the-art lighting system and data infrastructure from Philips Entertainment Lighting for its 1700-capacity main auditorium. Requiring a top quality, professional lighting system suitable for a modern, multi-purpose venue, the specifiers needed a trusted brand – one with a product catalogue capable of encompassing a complete system solution. State-of-the-art LED technology, where possible, was a key requirement, as was first-class technical support throughout the project.

Working closely with local specialist installer Egyptian Engineering Projects (known as Quality Egypt), the team from Philips Lighting helped to make these demands a reality. Philips Lighting’s sales and technical teams from both EMEA and USA provided comprehensive on-site support throughout the project, helping to ensure the efficient completion of the installation. The stage lighting system installed includes more than 240 Philips Lighting luminaires. LED technology dominates, including Philips Selecon PLfresnel1 MkII, PLprofile1 MkII and PLcyc1 MkII luminaires, plus more than 80 LED-based Philips SL Punchlite 220 fixtures. “Philips Lighting’s light quality is excellent,” says Eng. Adel Attia, CEO of Quality Egypt. “It enables the theatre to be suitable for any application, whether a concert, theatre or conference. In addition to its low energy

consumption, it is a solution with very effective performance.” The lighting control infrastructure employs a Philips Strand Ethernet data distribution system, with Philips Strand EC21 dimming for the conventional elements of the lighting rig. Attia says, “We have installed Philips Strand dimming and data network systems in a number of other projects, so we are very familiar with them. They’re stable, modular systems, flexible and dependable.” The finished system has exceeded every requirement, from power consumption to output and performance. “We estimate that the power usage is 60% lower than it would have been without the LED lighting,” says Attia. “It has all performed very well, and the client is extremely happy with the installation,” he concludes.

SMPTE announces appointments of new secretary, treasurer and directors SMPTE®, the organisation whose standards work has supported a century of advances in entertainment technology and whose membership spans the globe, recently announced that the SMPTE Board of Governors has appointed a new secretary/ treasurer and has named the Society’s 2018 directors. John E. Ferder has been appointed to serve as SMPTE secretary/treasurer, a position left open when Peter Wharton was elected to serve as SMPTE membership vice president. Ferder has previously served on the Society’s board as a governor of the New York region. In his new role as membership vice president, Wharton has appointed two new SMPTE membership directors for 2018. John Maizels will serve as membership director for international sections, and Herbert Jay Dunmore will serve as the membership director for student chapters and educational institutions. Karl Joseph Kuhn will

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David Schnuelle

Jaclyn Pytlarz

Jay Dunmore

John Hurst

John Maizels

John Snow

Karl Kuhn

Sara Kudrle

Sean Lancastle

Yvonne Thomas

continue to serve as the membership director for North American sections, a position he has held since 2013. In his first term as SMPTE standards vice president, Bruce Devlin has appointed John Snow, Dave Schnuelle, and John Hurst to serve as standards directors. SMPTE education vice president Richard Welsh has appointed two new education directors for 2018. Yvonne Thomas will serve as education director for conference programs, and Jaclyn Pytlarz will serve as education director for mentoring and internships. Sara J. Kudrle, who is currently on the Society’s board as a governor for the New York region, will continue in her role as education director for the SMPTE Motion

Imaging Journal. Sean Lancastle will continue in his role as education director for university liaisons. “The SMPTE directors for 2018 reflect the Society’s commitment to providing the motion-imaging industry — students and professionals working worldwide — with timely, thoughtful, and engaging educational opportunities, programming, and standards and recommendations,” said SMPTE President Matthew Goldman, senior vice president of technology, TV and media, at Ericsson. “The remarkable experience and dedication of our incoming directors will fuel the Society’s ongoing success in expanding its reach and in shaping the industry’s future.”


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Christie Apex 0.9mm LED video wall delivers amazing colours in an ultra-fine pixel pitch Christie is enhancing the Christie® Velvet® Apex Series line of products with the launch of the Apex 0.9mm LED video wall – a quality ultra-narrow pitch LED solution backed by exceptional Christie expertise and customer service. Available in ultra-fine pixel pitches from 0.9mm to 2.5mm and featuring a 16:9 aspect ratio, the Apex Series displays content in impeccable detail, making it the ideal choice for applications where image quality and clarity is paramount.

The Christie Apex 0.9mm video wall offers: • 16:9 aspect ratio • Remote and redundant power supply • Front serviceability • Slim design that is ADA compliant • Advanced monitoring capability (SNMP)

Apex 0.9 is a 0.96mm pitch LED that delivers amazing colours, brightness at high uniformity. The new offering allows for scaling to popular resolutions in a smaller square metre area as well as reducing optimum and minimum viewing distances. The Apex Series offers a proprietary solution of high-quality components that work as a system to provide the highest visual experience, maximise display time, and ensure complete peace of mind, unmatched by other LED displays.

“We’ve enhanced the popular Christie Apex Series to offer a variety of sizes and configurations for customers seeking high quality LED video wall performance,” said David Griffiths, Director of Market Development EMEA, Christie. “Christie is committed to LED video walls that deliver long life, high-quality components and features that reduce total cost of ownership.”

To help simplify the decision-making process, the Christie Velvet LED video wall bundle provides an easier way to integrate a seamless, full HD LED installation. The bundle is a complete solution comprised of an ultra-fine pitch Apex Series LED designed for corporate spaces, control rooms, digital signage and architectural display applications. The simple process starts with choosing the pixel pitch or size of the required video wall required and then the Christie team takes care of the rest. That includes making sure all the LED tiles, power supplies, and cabling needed are made available quickly and easily to help integrate the video wall into the specified space. The performance capabilities of the video wall can be easily enhanced by adding any of the optional processing and content management technologies. For further information, please visit https:// www.stageaudioworks.com/ or https://www.christiedigital.com/emea

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Powersoft to launch fixed install amplifier range with extended Duecanali Series

Powersoft recently announced that it will be launching the new Duecanali 804 and Duecanali 4804, a two-channel amplifier platform with optional DSP and Dante dedicated to the fixed install market, and the perfect answer to system integrators’ needs for a highperformance amplifier solution in leisure and retail spaces at ISE 2018.

The Duecanali 4804 provides 2 x 2400W @ 4 Ω, a power output suitable to a wide range of projects, making it an attractive and cost-effective solution for small to medium size installations seeking both pristine and reliable sound. The Duecanali 804 offers 2 x 400W and represents a lower total power solution for installations in retail, as well as bars and restaurants where a single two-channel amplifier is a requirement, without the need for additional channels or power. The range is completed by the existing Duecanali 1602, which was launched at ISE in 2017 and now sits between the two new products in the Duecanali range. The newly completed Duecanali range can drive low impedance loads (2/4/8 Ohm), and 70V/100V distributed lines selectable per channel. Furthermore, it provides more than 16 different possible output configurations (Lo-Z, Hi-Z, bridge mode, parallel mode, and combinations of these), delivering a maximum output power per channel of 400 to 1250 W at 8 Ω; 400 to 2400 W at 4 Ω; 500 to 3000 W at 2 Ω; 1000 to 6000 Watt at 4 Ω

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bridged; 800 to 4800 Watt at 8 Ω bridged; 400 to 2400 Watt at 100 Volt and 70 Volt. The two new models complete the Duecanali Series, bringing consistency in terms of size and power, as well as look and feel, for Powersoft’s installation market. The products are available in standard or DSP+D versions which extend system performance with onboard high-end signal processing and Dante™ digital audio distribution. Both models can be managed with the newly launched user-friendly Armonía 2.11 Pro Audio Suite™ version. “With DSP onboard, interoperability created via third-party plug-ins, networking and remote control, Powersoft amplifiers have been converted into smart controllers of the future,” says Francesco Fanicchi, Powersoft’s Brand and Communication Director. “This has great bearing on integrators involved in multiple disciplines like audio, video, ETH cabling, power distribution and UPS provision, meaning that the future becomes a whole lot easier.” With this new extension, the Duecanali series now sits coherently alongside

Powersoft’s Quattrocanali and Ottocanali Series of fixed installation solutions, addressing the requirement for small and medium-size applications where the channel count is limited and the need for a flexible product to work with Hi-Z and Lo-Z systems is a must. Building on the success of the Ottocanali and Quattrocanali ranges, the two new Duecanali models not only benefit from Powersoft’s unmatched power to size ratio but also boast the lowest thermal dissipation ratings in the industry, thus requiring no external cooling. Truly efficient, the amplifier recycles the otherwise wasted speaker reactive energy to enhance sound performances, delivering more stable power throughout the spectrum. Duecanali, Quattrocanali and Ottocanali all feature Powersoft’s trademarked switch-mode power supply with Power Factor Correction (PFC), Smart Rail Management (SRM) and bridgeable switch mode fixed frequency Class D output circuit topology. Combined, the three fixed install dedicated series offer a total of 18 two-, four- and eight-channel amplifiers: three DSP models in each series are complemented by DSP+D (Dante) versions offering enhanced connectivity and control functionality, which in turn ensures maximum design flexibility for the systems integrator. In addition, low power consumption, low maintenance, a long life cycle, along with the networking capabilities represent major advantages in terms of cost


P R O D U C T n ews

and time-savings for both the integrators and operators, turning the true COO into an extremely attractive proposition. Marc Kocks, Powersoft’s business development manager for the Fixed Install market, commented: “Powersoft’s DSP technology is recognised as an industry standard and can be found across our entire range, from the flagship touring product X Series to the eight- four- and two-channel fixed-install range. Powersoft offers the most advanced control and monitoring of the entire sound system with a matrix, raised cosine and FIR filters, delays and Powersoft’s unique active damping control, five limiters, live impedance monitoring and more. With the addition of these two Duecanali, we are confident that there is a product for any type of installation, from the exclusive 20-seat restaurant to the 80,000-seat stadium.” As such, the three Powersoft fixed installation series of amplifiers seamlessly integrate within a networking environment, both through standard Cat5-cabled and Wi-Fi networks. Remote access via the Armonía Pro Audio suite allows for full operability, including monitoring and diagnostics, from a decentralised location — via laptop, PC, tablet or smartphone. The fully-customisable interface seamlessly integrates all devices in one easy-tomanage screen, so that everything displayed can be monitored at a glance. Duecanali, Quattrocanali and Ottocanali can all be set up in offline mode so that work can be done on presets while unhindered operation continues. The Due/Quattro/Ottocanali series is fully remote controllable via standard GPI/O connections on the back panel, Powersoft’s proprietary Armonía software, dedicated web app, or third-party application. This usability and efficiency meet the growing expectation for amplifier platforms to provide excellent sonic quality and control while also offering a simple, limited, interface for non-technical staff to access just the main monitoring functions such as sound, volume and zoning, while full operability is left to qualified admin users. The two new models in the Duecanali Series ship in February 2018. Speaking to Pro-Systems, Surgesound product manager Ruan Joubert, confirmed that Surgesound will be distributing the Duecanali Series locally, once stock becomes available. For more information, please visit http://surgesound.co.za or www.powersoft-audio.com.

New Crestron DM XiO™ Director Network Appliance simplifies deployment of network AV systems

Crestron recently announced that it is now shipping DM XiO™ Director, the new AV matrix for the IT age. An enterprise-grade network appliance, natively running simple yet powerful software, the DM XiO Director centrally configures, manages, and controls DM® NVX network AV systems. The DM XiO Director is available in three models, depending on the number of DM NVX endpoints. The software tool enables device discovery, domain configuration, endpoint mapping, multicasting management, and status monitoring. DM NVX Series is the industry’s only secure solution that delivers 4K60, 4:4:4, and HDR video over standard 1Gb Ethernet. “Once your DM NVX network is installed, you need to route the video and manage the system. The DM XiO Director makes it easy to set up large networks of endpoints, name rooms, monitor signal paths, and manage video data over a standard IP network,” said Rob Carter, Technology Manager, DigitalMedia. The DM XiO Director virtually emulates the functionality of a traditional hardwarebased DigitalMedia matrix switcher, routing 4K60 streaming AV signals throughout a room, building, or campus. Three models are offered which support 80 (DM-XIO-DIR-80), 160 (DM-XIO-DIR-160), or unlimited (DM-XIODIR-ENT) endpoint devices. DM XiO Director can handle even the largest corporate

enterprise, university, governmental, military, medical, transportation, sports, entertainment, hospitality, gaming, or retail application. The DM XiO Director automatically discovers each DM NVX endpoint on the network and allows each one to be assigned to a “domain” using a simple UI. A domain is simply a logical grouping of endpoints that operate together as a single switching entity, allowing individual rooms and other subsystems to be arranged and controlled independently. The DM XiO Director effectively eliminates the need for physical switchers in every room, replacing them with the virtual equivalent running on the AV network. The DM XiO Director provides an intuitive web-based user interface to facilitate system configuration, signal routing, and comprehensive diagnostics of the complete AV network. Each domain and endpoint can be designated with a user-friendly name. Navigating the entire system is easy using the search box to quickly find domains, endpoints, inputs, and outputs by name or address. A system overview screen is also provided, showing the video and audio signal status for every input and output in a graphical layout that’s easy to view and navigate. For more information, please visit www.crestron.com.

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P R O D U C T n ews

Shure Intellimix® p300 audio conferencing processor now shipping Shure has announced its recently introduced digital signal processor, the IntelliMix® P300 Audio Conferencing Processor, is now available and shipping. Originally introduced at the Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) 2017 show in Amsterdam, the P300 offers Shure IntelliMix DSP algorithms that significantly enhance audio quality in video meetings, a variety of connectivity options, plus seamless operation with Shure Microflex® Advance™ and Microflex® Wireless microphone solutions for AV conferencing. The IntelliMix P300 boasts a small footprint and is simple to install, providing professional conferencing technology that offers just the right set of features to create a highly intelligible, collaborative meeting experience in small to medium-sized rooms. The new processor connects up to eight Dante microphone channels to a room

video system, USB soft codec, or mobile device. Each channel supports multiple IntelliMix DSP features, including Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC), Noise Reduction, and Automatic Gain Control, plus best-inclass automatic mixing. These features provide full-duplex communication for echo and noise-free meetings. The fixed architecture provides simple and intuitive setup, resulting in less DSP programming and commissioning time onsite. The USB connectivity enables the P300 to be used with common soft codec programs such as Skype and BlueJeans,

Martin Audio Offers EASE Focus 3 Compatible Measurement Data Martin Audio has announced the availability of GLL loudspeaker measurement data compatible with EASE Focus 3 for many of its point source loudspeakers. EASE Focus 3 from AFMG Technologies is an acoustic simulation programme for 3D modelling that enables the user to define audience areas, section views, and receiver locations flexibly, while calculating sound coverage and frequency response immediately. Dan Orton, Martin Audio’s Product Group Manager, commented: “Martin Audio’s runaway success with the likes of CDD series and BlacklineX has accelerated our installation market share, and now that we and our customers have the ability to model our point source boxes in a 3D environment it will help ensure that this trend continues.” The GLL loudspeaker data compatible with both EASE and EASE Focus is available to download from the Martin Audio website.

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while the 3.5 mm connector means anyone on a mobile phone or tablet can easily bring any remote participant into the conversation. Its compact half-rack footprint enables discrete installation behind a display, under a table, or in a credenza. For additional information on the IntelliMix P300 Audio Conferencing Processor, or details on availability and purchase, visit www.shure.com/americas/products/ mixers-dsp/p300-intellimix-audioconferencing-processor.


P R O D U C T n ews

SA staging and set company invests in Vectorworks 2018 South African staging and set company, Dream Sets, recently invested in Vectorworks 2018 Design Software, distributed by DWR Distribution. Vectorworks 2018 delivers a wide range of industry-specific tools to help save time and deliver exceptional results. Lighting designer at Dream Sets, Mauritz Jacobs, has been using Vectorworks since 2014 and is a firm supporter of the product. “Vectorworks has all the needed built-in features that I need to create and manipulate plans from start to finish. Vectorworks, in my opinion, should be owned by every lighting designer to create desired designs.” He adds, “Vectorworks has always been at the top of design programs. It makes it very easy, and more importantly very fast, to create designs. It is a very user-friendly program which makes it easy to learn and to operate.” According to Jacobs, Vectorworks assists with time management to deliver designs to clients who often operate with tight time-

Lighting designer at Dream Sets, Mauritz Jacobs

frames on projects. “Ours is very fast-paced industry, and time is not always on our side,” Jacobs explains. “With the new Vectorworks 2018, the software development company have gone out of their way to make it as easy and quick as possible to get designs out in limited time.” Speaking about the user experience,

Jacobs commends the software developers for keeping the needs of end-users in mind. “Once you know your way around it, it’s easy to do large designs in a limited time period. Also, the set side of the programme has many new features like the event design which speeds designing up on another level.” Vectorworks has recently released the Braceworks™ add-on for Vectorworks Spotlight and Designer provides design, production, and rigging professionals with an easy way to gauge the performance of temporary structures under load. This one-of-a-kind module ensures safety and compliance with engineering codes and standards, creating a completely integrated modelling, analysis, and documentation process in one interface. For more information, kindly visit http://www.vectorworks.net/en/2018 or www.dwrdistribution.co.za

Gefen now shipping two new 4K Ultra HD extenders Building on its commitment to provide systems integrators with flexible, highperformance solutions for signal extension, Gefen recently announced that it is shipping the GTB-UHD600-HBT and GTB-UHD600-HBTL, two new 4K Ultra HD Extenders that can extend full bandwidth HDMI 2.0 over the most widely used extension medium, Category cabling. “These new 4K Ultra HD extenders address one of the most significant issues that commercial installers face, and that is the extension of full bandwidth HDMI 2.0 over Category cabling – the most widely used extension medium,” said Gefen product manager Jason Fitzgerald. “For corporate, hospitality, retail, education, medical, and any other vertical markets in which content requires extension beyond standard cable limitations, Gefen is making the impossible possible.» According to Fitzgerald, HDBaseT™’s bandwidth extension limitations frequently prevent the use of the highest 4K video resolution standards and desired HDMI 2.0 specification features like HDR and 4:4:4 Chroma Subsampling at 60 MHz. “Other signal

management products such as splitters, switchers, and matrices already fully support HDMI 2.0. Unfortunately, Category cablebased extension products have not kept pace with signal standard innovation,” he explained. “Extension is one of the most common requirements in the AV industry. Integrators need a product that can extend the full capabilities of HDMI 2.0 while using Category cable as the medium.” The GTB-UHD600-HBT and GTB-UHD600-HBTL help overcome the bandwidth limitations of HDBaseT™. The new 4K extenders employ Gefen’s proprietary compression technology to extend the full 18.2 Gbps bandwidth and 600 MHz TMDS Clock of HDMI 2.0, in resolutions up to 4096x2160 at 60Hz and 4:4:4 Chroma subsampling. “This new compression technology ensures excellent image reproduction and strikes an exceptional balance between quality and cost,” Fitzgerald added. The new extenders are capable of 4K Ultra HD 60 Hz 4:4:4 (600 MHz) extension. GTB-

UHD600-HBT has an extension range up to 80 metres at 4K and 100 metres at 1080p, while the GTB-UHD600-HBTL is rated up to 40 meters at 4K and 60 meters at 1080p. Integral features of HDMI 2.0, such as HDR-10 and Dolby Vision™, are also carried along the single CAT-5 or CAT-6 cable that links the sender and receiver units. Both products are capable of extending 2-way IR. The GTB-UHD600-HBT also supports RS-232 extension for seamless integration of control signals. Gefen’s priopertary Bi-Directional POL (Power over Link) sends power from Sender to Receiver or Receiver to Sender over the link cable, offering the maximum level of flexibility in choosing how each unit is powered. Additionally, integration with Gefen’s Syner-G™ software allows for easy firmware updates. Peripheral Vision is the sole distributor of Gefen products in South Africa. For more information, kindly visit http://www.peripheralvision.co.za.

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SHOW PREVIEW ISE

ISE to debut compelling range of

conferences and events Integrated Systems Europe 2018 will see the premier of a range of new show initiatives designed to make the fifteenth edition of the world’s largest AV and systems integration show the most compelling thus far. The move has come as the show organisers, Integrated Systems Events, and its association co-owners AVIXA and CEDIA, focus on adding ever more value to the ISE experience. Here follows a selection of the exciting debuts that ISE attendees have to look forward to.

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ISE SHOW PREVIEW

TIDE (Technology. Innovation. Design. Experience.) Launching on the day before ISE 2018 opens its doors, the TIDE (Technology. Innovation. Design. Experience.) conference, produced by AVIXA, is a one day event, which will take place at the Okura Hotel, a few minutes’ walk from the RAI Amsterdam. TIDE will explore the creative forces and business decisions shaping the AV industry and how businesses can leverage these concepts. The TIDE conference will focus on Design Thinking for Business. The conference programme will be applicable to all design professionals, end customers and AV channel delegates.

The World Masters of Projection Mapping The World Masters of Projection Mapping is a new competition with both the final and awards’ presentation occurring during ISE 2018. It is being produced by Amsterdam Light Festival, the RAI Amsterdam and ISE. The attendees will be able to view the finalists artistic 3D-light displays from canal boats sailing direct from the convention centre to the competition location.

The artistic and technical challenge for five shortlisted video artists will be to create a work of video art to be mapped onto the three-dimensional architecture of the futuristic EYE Filmmuseum, to be experienced, uniquely, from multiple viewpoints. Projectors, supplied by Panasonic, will be positioned around the futuristic building on a variety of platforms. Judging will be led by Amsterdam Light Festival Creative Director Lennart Booij and will take place on 8 February. The winner will be announced at ISE on Friday 9 February at 12:30pm at a special awards showcase event featuring the five finalists. The presentation will feature each of the finalists’ video art.

Visitor attraction conference blooloopLIVE The World Masters of Projection Mapping awards showcase will be preceded by the launch of a new half-day conference. blooloopLIVE at ISE, and will explore how visitor attractions across the world, from theme parks to museums, zoos and heritage sites are increasingly creating night-time spectaculars. These live-technology powered events are designed to entertain guests and keep them at an attraction for longer, and range from lanterns to video mapping

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SHOW PREVIEW ISE

shows or from fountain displays to full-blown theatrical productions. blooloopLIVE will look at the technologies driving this new trend and will focus on hearing from key operators and the AV companies behind the shows.

XR Summit ISE XR Summit ISE is a one-day B2B strategy conference focused on the Virtual (VR), Augmented (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) industry. Taking place on Tuesday 6 February in the RAI, it will explore the latest in these technologies, business strategies and solutions, and how they impact and empower the AV business. XR Summit ISE will deliver an invaluable source of market intelligence and best practice case studies from some of the world’s leading XR experts and thought leaders. It will be equally as invaluable for ISE attendees from ‘the channel’ as for those working in a variety of served vertical market sectors such as, entertainment, finance, construction, education, training, events, simulation, digital signage, medical, real estate and conferencing.

XR Technology Zone Reinforcing ISE’s commitment to XR technologies and solutions is the launch of a new XR Technology Zone. This is a special feature based next to Hall 8 (Park Foyer) to showcase the latest AR, VR and MR technologies and B2B solutions from a range of companies. Central to this new floor space will be an installation from ISE partner Holovis, a leading mixed reality solutions provider for the entertainment, industrial, and retail sectors.

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Additional exhibition space A brand new Hall 15, situated at the front of the RAI Amsterdam, is being introduced to meet requests from companies wishing to participate in ISE. The new area will provide over 4 000M2~ of additional space. Over 1 200 exhibitors are expected to participate in ISE 2018, including more than 180 that are exhibiting for the very first time. Some First Time Exhibitors include: Audiologic, Philips Lighting, Cadac, Vitec, Intel Corporation and Claypaky among many others.

ISE educational programmes At ISE 2018, ISE co-owners AVIXA and CEDIA will produce their most comprehensive ISE educational programmes so far. New for 2018 is an easy-to-use Ticket Shop available through the ISE website. Attendees can buy a full range of AVIXA or CEDIA passes for individual or groups of sessions. There is also the option to purchase a Joint Association SuperPass. This pass gives delegates a chance to attend both AVIXA and CEDIA education sessions at a single comprehensive price. The holder of the pass will be able to choose as many sessions as they wish to attend. Mike Blackman, Integrated Systems Events managing director, commented: “We are incredibly proud and excited by the new initiatives and features being brought to ISE 2018. They are designed to add value to everyone’s time while at ISE, whether you are an exhibitor or attendee. It will be a truly immersive experience for all.”


ISE SHOW PREVIEW

Leading video artists participate in the World Masters of Projection Mapping Starting on 14 January, five leading, international video artists start a three-week display of 3D projections in the centre of Amsterdam onto the EYE Filmmuseum faรงade. The video artists are taking part in The World Masters of Projection Mapping, a joint venture initiative from Amsterdam Light Festival, Integrated Systems Events and RAI Amsterdam. The shape of the multi-faceted museum creates a unique set of technical and production challenges for the artists. To make projection possible, 12 Panasonic projectors have been positioned around the building and pontoons have been moored in the river for a water screen, which will be used in the final week of the competition.

The selection of the finalists was carried out through close collaboration between the EYE Filmmuseum and Amsterdam Light Festival. Finalists include Geert Mul; Alida Dors and Manuel Rodrigues; Alida Dors; Gideon Kiers, David Kiers and Lucas van der Velden of Telcosystems; Florian and Michael Quistrebert; and Eder Santos. Finalist will each be provided with an opportunity to project their work onto the faรงade of the EYE Filmmuseum in the days leading up to the conclusion of the competition, from 07h:00 until 09h:00 in the morning and between 17h:00 and 23h:00 in the evenings. The video displays will be accompanied by audio through radio frequency FM 88.4 on the 8 and 9 February, via audio sets available on the quaysides adjacent to the EYE Fimmuseum and near Central Station. Canal boat cruises are also available, leaving from the RAI Harbour during ISE 2018. World Masters of Projection Mapping culminates on 8 February with adjudication by an international jury, followed by an awards showcase that will take place at the RAI Amsterdam on 9 February, the last day of ISE 2018.

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ISE OPINION

ISE is the place

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OPINION ISE

By Abrie du Plooy

to be

What to expect in Amsterdam from 6 – 9 February 2018

It’s that time of the year where AV professionals keep a close eye on the Rand / Euro exchange rate and travel packages to Amsterdam, in The Netherlands. Everyone fortunate enough to attend the event is digging out jackets, scarfs and gloves from their packed-away winter wardrobe. The reason? Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) 2018. ISE holds the premium position in Audiovisual (AV) Integration Systems exhibitions. Over the last few years, ISE has officially become the largest platform for AV integrators in the world and hosted in excess of 1 200 exhibitors and welcomed 73 000 visitors during the four-day event in 2017. The turnout represents a 12% increase from 2016 numbers as confirmation of its popularity. ISE embraces all the verticals of the industry and offers visitors an unforgettable experience. It is the highlight of the technology innovations year where the experience shines a bright light on the future of the industry. ISE is the launch pad where various research and development (R&D) teams unveil the results of last year’s undisclosed ‘Project X’. Manufacturers reveal new products and developments in an attempt to position themselves as chief amongst their peers. At ISE we see bigger and better, and big brands aim to get consumers’ nod of approval.

ISE 2018 – What will we see this year? The first thing to know about ISE 2018 is that it will be even larger than previous years. Hall 15, with an additional 4 000m2 of exhibition space, was added to the front of the RAI Convention Centre. The latest addition allows delegates to showcase more toys to the tech-hungry visitors. The question on everyone’s lips: “What will we see, this year?” As the ISE show covers a large array of vertical markets within the audiovisual industry, there is no short answer. It may be impossible to cover all of the industries that exhibit in a single article, so I will highlight a few technologies that appeal to most sectors.

Video at the forefront Generally, when one speaks about new technology in the AV industry it means bigger, thinner screens and fewer (if any) cables, but what can really be expected from this year’s show. The main component in an AV exhibition is almost always video. Video forms the cornerstone of most AV solutions and the first thing to expect from manufacturers on the video front is higher resolutions in smaller size displays. Professional and consumer displays are adopting the trend to standardise to UHD (Ultra-High Definition) for smaller size displays. Large Format Displays will boast with 8K resolution even though 8K content is still few and far between. The technology exists, however, and will be showed off. LG will most definitely flaunt their OLED (Organic LED) technology. The technology has been around for a couple of years, and an improved product display can be expected. LG recently demonstrated the OLED canyon at CES in Las Vegas. In response, Samsung launched an impressive competing product, MicroLED, a new emissive technology based on an RGB sub-pixel design, similar to OLED, but using a brighter, inorganic substance – gallium nitride. MicroLED claims to be brighter with a longer lifespan than OLED.

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ISE OPINION

Speaking of video walls, one of the highlights will be the new Unisee product that Barco launched late in 2017. Other brands such as Vestel, NEC, Planar and Sharp will certainly also show off their improved video walls and mounting solutions. Interactive video wall technologies will be put to the test, and it will be interesting to see what technologies were developed. On LED display modules, smaller resolutions are to be expected – but nothing recently launched. Leyard will exhibit their 0.9mm pixel pitch LED solution that, while not brand new, seems to be the finest around. Maybe ISE2018 will deliver even finer. Leyard will also showcase their LED Multitouch version which is now available in DirectLight models, which is remarkable for LED modules. Other leading players, like Absen, has many alternative LED solutions such as floors and louvre types, on show.

Projection possibilities Considering projection, the major focuses will be solid state light sources (mainly laser) and true 4K resolution. NEC may reveal a lower brightness (10 000 ANSI lumens) 4K unit in their PX installation range which should be much more affordable than the top end PH models in which 4K was launched. In contrast to the high-end NEC, Sony revealed a brand new rechargeable, handheld projector that outputs 105ANSI Lumens with matching low contrast and resolution. The specifications are not the key features, but the mere fact that it is literally pocket-sized and designed for the travelling salesman is emphasised. Something else to look forward to is Epson’s recently launched Ultra Short throw projector, which is aimed at the digital signage market. With a laser light source and a maximum screen size of 130”, it would be a remarkable unit to see.

New audio solutions From an audio perspective, there are many new angles and features to attract consumers. In the corporate world of online meetings, audio is far more important than video. Kramer Electronics recently launched a vibrating transducer speaker that will turn nearly any surface into a loudspeaker. This product is ideal for huddle space or small meeting room solutions where speakers can be hidden due to space or aesthetic challenges. Bose Professional has an exciting new in-ceiling speaker that will utilise fewer speaker units to cover larger areas with quality audio. In the cinema industry, 3D sound effects are still top of the charts, and I would expect many manufacturers to showcase technologies such as Dolby Atmos. A large part of commercial audio for online conferencing is the microphone component. A sleek new unified communications microphone from Revolabs, who now falls under the Yamaha umbrella, will be on show. Shure Microphones will demonstrate MicroFlex, a completely wireless microphone system for top-class audio recording in dynamic meeting areas. Moving on to residential audio, offerings will be more aesthetic than before, but the main focus will be on file storage, playback and signal distribution for multi-room applications. Signal distribution technology on its own will offer various products at ISE. Wireless technology will be topical and will most definitely be emphasised

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even though it has always had limitations compared to conventional copper wired systems. One can expect to be impressed with recent developments on the wireless audio front. As far as wireless speakers go, Hogar Control will demonstrate Milo – their new wireless active speaker which doubles up as a hub for Wifi, Bluetooth and even Zigby signals for home automation. Milo is Google Assistant active and can stream music, search the web or control third-party devices around the home. When it comes to voice activation, Klipsch’s new active speakers supports Amazon’s Alexa interface for similar functions. Apart from the video and audio component in home cinemas, aesthetic furniture that offers full a cinematic experience by tilting and vibrating with movie images will be demonstrated wherever possible. A few new brands, such as sleek design giant Bang & Olufsen, are entering the Outdoor and Live events a market. A recent collaboration with Origin Acoustics ensures the launch of a high end, modular, outdoor speaker array. Amongst the many players, as before, the active speaker technology with digital distribution will receive a lot of attention from consumers. Lighting manufacturers will all try to steal the show with special effect lighting, trussing, and show control desks. Video manipulation processors is constantly expanding their technologies in that dimension of the live entertainment industry and will be displayed to full potential. Apart from the audio production and recording components, many acoustic treatments – which offers an entire world of options – will most definitely be on display. Look out for the Starfield ceiling tiles from Acoustic Geometry. These tiles combine the properties of acoustic panels with a pretty night sky look.

Bringing it all together Integration systems have always been a large part of the show and will, keeping with the trend, be bigger and better than in previous years. Remotes and touch-panels will be sleeker looking. Processors and hardware components with more capabilities or cloud-based systems that distribute IP commands only will be the order of the day. Kramer Control will showcase their own Touch Panel. Crestron added Google Assistant for voice-controlled home automation, and Elan already bragged with smooth looking remotes. Control 4 will also get a lot of attention from the visitors with the Russound integration and a more user-friendly programming protocol, where consumers can add their own functions. Wireless Collaboration is probably the biggest word in corporate AV at the moment and has been for a couple of years. Expect ISE


2018 to expand this topic even further. Almost every leading provider or manufacturer of corporate components will have some offering, if not a full solution for wireless presentation, or video conferencing. One can expect to see top-end systems from leading brands such as Cisco, Polycom and Lifesize as well as more cost-effective solutions from commercial video houses like NEC and Sharp that offers OPS slots for Android or Windows integrated PCs. These operating systems allow the use of collaboration apps or unified communication software packages, and, with the addition of a microphone and camera, the display turns into a cost-effective fully wireless collaboration solution. Kramer will showcase additional options from their existing VIA range, Datapath is offering a new solution that combines collaboration and display, Barco will expand on ClickShare, and Crestron Mercury will be in full action at the Crestron Booth.

Getting the content out there Exciting innovations in video production and broadcast include a multitude of cameras that offer better technology and higher resolution, signal switchers and preview distribution amps. As in previous years, a cage full of drones will compete for best stability, control and energy consumption. A clean and stable power supply is an important aspect of electronics, and ISE 2018 will have many manufacturers who address this topic too.

Sharing new ideas In addition to the toys and tools of the industry, there will be lecture rooms full of experienced professionals sharing their ‘tricks of the trade’ and industry education giants such as AVIXA and CEDIA will have numerous courses and certification sessions to attend. Apart from browsing through innovations and collecting ideas, ISE is also a networking hot-spot and great place to meet with suppliers, discuss market patterns and client requirements. It’s a perfect opportunity to introduce key customers to the latest innovations and catch up with colleagues and industry associates from other locations. All in all, ISE is an experience unlike any other, and 2018 edition promises to be worth enduring the European winter weather.

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S how P R E V I E W P R O L I G H T + S O U N D

Prolight + Sound and Musikmesse

Another highlight for the international audio community is to be integrated into Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound. For the first time, A3E (Advanced Audio + Application Exchange) is organising an exciting professional-development programme within the framework of the trade-fair duo. The ‘Future of Audio + Music Technology’ conference will be held in Room ‘Entende’ on Level 4c of Hall 4 on Friday, 13 April 2018 and illuminate subjects that are impacting decisively on the global music industry. A3E is a leading industry resource dedicated to the future of advanced audio applications and new music technologies. The conference will be held in English and admission is free of charge for all Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound visitors.

The key topics to be covered by the conference include: • The global musician – next generation cloud DAWs for worldwide collaboration • Wearable technology for musicians • Designing products for the wireless musician • Virtual AND augmented reality for studio production and live performance • Touchscreen apps and controllers for the studio and stage • App integration for traditional instruments • Artificial Intelligence AND machine learning

Musikmesse International Trade Fair for Musical Instruments, Sheet Music, Music Production and Music Business Connections Frankfurt am Main, 11 to 14 April 2018

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“As a future-oriented platform, we are committed to promoting the transfer of information in the industry. We are delighted to team up with A3E, an organisation that enjoys a first-class reputation among professionals in the audio segment, to implement a high-grade educational conference. ‘The Future of Audio + Music’ programme is aimed at developers of audio solutions and at musicians, producers and sound engineers. Thus, it represents a perfect addition to our trade-fair duo”, says Michael Biwer, Group Show Director in the ‘Entertainment, Media AND Creative Industries’ Business Unit of Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH. “A3E is both proud and honored to now be part of the world-class trade fair duo that is Musikmessse and Prolight + Sound, and to be working with a world-class organizer such as Messe Frankfurt. Europe has always been a major force in the advent of new music technologies, and provides all the key resources and communities that are essential in driving next generation audio development. Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound will provide an amazing base for A3E to help bring thought leadership together to further advance the Future of Audio + Music Technology”, says Paul Sitar, A3E LLC President and A3E Show Director. Further information about Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound can be found at www.musikmesse.com and www.prolight-sound.com, and more about A3E at www.a3exchange.com.

Prolight + Sound International Fair of Technologies and Services for Entertainment, Integrated Systems and Creation Frankfurt am Main, 10 to 13 April 2018


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10. – 13. 4. 2018 Frankfurt am Main

Plugging tomorrow into today.

Media Technology System Integration

Worldwide unique mix of innovations, trends and conferences around: +++ AV over IP +++ Digital Audio Networking +++ Digital Signage +++ Conference Technology +++ Immersive Technology +++ Spatial Audio +++


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C A S E S T U D Y I n tegr a tio n & I n st a l l a tio n Together with their bottling partners, the Global Coca-Cola Company employs approximately 700,000 associates across the world. The company is dedicated to creating a great place for their associates to work – where people are inspired to be the best that they can be. This strategy has evidently been successful, as CocaCola has featured on Forbes’ annual list of most attractive employers for more than a decade and was ranked as the fifth most attractive company to work for in South Africa in 20171. Coca-Cola employs an in-house work environment development team, known as Workplace 20/20, which is responsible for overseeing the implementation of standardised technology and design across the company’s global office network. The idea behind this strategy is to ensure that an associate can access the company’s network from anywhere in the world and attend or direct a meeting at any of the company’s offices using the same interface and technology. This approach eliminates potential compatibility challenges across platforms and ensures that end users can operate from anywhere in the world without the need for further training or assistance. Coca-Cola’s Johannesburg office has recently relocated to Rosebank and has benefited from an extensive upgrade under the guidance of the Workplace 20/20 team. The move has brought Coca-Cola South Africa in line with the company’s global standards – opening up opportunities for smarter working processes, higher levels of collaboration and greater productivity – realised through Crestron Electronics office automation solutions, among other technology. In a recent interview, Pro-Systems Africa News spoke with Vernon Pond, Coca-Cola’s technology services manager for Southern, Central and East Africa, about Coca-Cola’s new home.

company’s office space and by the late 1990s, they had taken over three four-story buildings in Parktown. However, as the property was not originally designed to house a single entity, separate buildings and labyrinthine corridors between departments discouraged interdepartmental collaboration and effective utilisation of available resources – and made the adoption of new technologies and work processes particularly challenging. “Each department within the company was housed in isolation, with their own dedicated boardrooms and side offices,” Pond elaborates. “In the absence of centrally implemented standards for meeting spaces and boardrooms, each department was tasked with selecting equipment for their own needs, which resulted in wide inconsistencies between departments and an overall poor user experience.” Also, the building was showing its age, despite extensive renovations over the years, and it was established that the cost of upgrading the existing building could potentially exceed the cost of developing new premises over the long run. As such, Coca-Cola’s senior management team decided that it was time to make a move. “Once it was decided that we were in the market for new premises, the senior management team came together and brainstormed what they wanted in a work environment, both from an aesthetic and functional standpoint,” Pond explains. Objectives highlighted included the need to house the team in a single, open-planned environment that offered breakaway spaces specifically designed to facilitate collaboration, supported by a standardised, state-of-the-art IT network, as well as homogeneous, user-friendly office automation and audiovisual solutions to optimise workflow.

Coca-Cola comes to Rosebank The Coca-Cola Company has maintained local offices in Parktown, Johannesburg since the early 1970s. Since opening its doors, Coca-Cola South Africa has been instrumental in driving the company’s operations in Southern, Central and Eastern Africa, establishing the African continent as a major contributor to the global groups’ annual turnover. Originally housed in a single unit within a multi-tenant office park, Pond explains that as Coca-Cola Southern and East Africa’s operations expanded, so did the

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I n tegr a tio n & I n st a l l a tio n C A S E S T U D Y

Photo by Trevor Ou Tim

The location of the new office was a point of much debate, and following extensive research and consultation, the team decided to invest in Rosebank – one of Johannesburg’s most forward-thinking urban centres. “Over the years, Coca-Cola has hedged its success on remaining close to its customers, and Rosebank offered the opportunity to place our Johannesburg office in the heart of one of the city’s edgiest urban centres,” Pond states. The suburbs’ equal proximity to the Johannesburg CBD and trend-setting Sandton, as well as its connection to the Gautrain transport network, means that Rosebank is home to people from all walks of life – something that Coca-Cola identifies with. “Also, we liked the idea of being able to walk off the street into the offices, rather than remaining behind the somewhat isolating perimeter walls of our old premises,” Pond remarks. The net result, some two years later, is a breath-taking ultra-modern sky rise building that punctuates the corner of Oxford Road, Rosebank.

Local installer delivers international excellence Unlike many office automation and AV integration installations carried out in the local market, the Coca-Cola Southern and East Africa project was closely controlled by the standards and requirements set out by Coca-Cola’s Workplace 20/20 team, situated in Atlanta, USA. The Coca-Cola Company has a long-standing relationship with Crestron Electronics, one of the world’s leading providers of office automation and AV integration solutions, and specifies an extensive range of Crestron products and solutions for Coca-Cola offices through-out the world. As such, Coca-Cola awarded the contract for implementation of AV integration and office automation systems at their new offices to Panavision Evolve, a local integration solutions company that has been deploying Crestron solutions in South Africa since 1998.

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Speaking to Pro-Systems Africa News in a recent interview, Panavision Evolve sales director, Jaco Potgieter indicated that 80% of the installations deployed by the company include Crestron products and solutions and, as such, they have established a close working relationship with Crestron spanning some 18 years. The Coca-Cola contract has provided Panavision Evolve with a rare opportunity to deliver a world-class office automation and integration system at international standards for the local market. “When working in developing economies, one is always faced with the challenge of delivering the best possible solution while taking into account budgetary constraints and the volatility of currency exchange rates,” Potgieter states. “The Coca-Cola installation provided us with an amazing opportunity to deploy Crestron’s office automation and AV integration technology on a US dollar-based budge, using internationally pre-determined specifications,” Potgieter points out. Potgieter states that central to the success of the Coca-Cola installation was the close collaboration and support that they received from multiple stakeholders on the project. “We were provided with a clear directive regarding which products needed to be included. Once the equipment was in place, Coca-Cola’s internal programming department uploaded bespoke coding from Atlanta. As a result, user interfaces are all standardised across the globe,” he explains. One would expect that working across time zones, across vast distances would create some challenges. However, Potgieter states that they experienced very few problems. “We had to make a few modifications due to variations in availability of certain products.


C A S E S T U D Y I n tegr a tio n & I n st a l l a tio n However, with the exception of one or two small adjustments to the programming to accommodate variations in microphone inputs, for example, we were able to go live on schedule.” He goes on to credit Pond and his team of IT technicians for their willingness to assist and provide constructive input throughout the installation. “Right from the start, everybody at Coca-Cola had a clear idea of the objectives, standards and deadlines that had been set. Everybody worked together seamlessly to try to achieve these common goals – which made it a great working experience for all involved,” Potgieter reflects.

Bringing Coca-Cola closer together Traditionally, mult-national companies such a Coca-Cola have had to deal with the logistical challenge of flying executives all over the world to hold collaborative company meetings. The cost and time involved in such endeavours are considerable and does not encourage high levels of collaboration across the organisation. Video conferencing (VC) has revolutionised the manner in which international entities do business, as it eliminates both the time and expense involved in holding

multiple-stakeholder meetings across regions. Pond explains, “With a well-designed AV environment that supports video conferencing, we have radically changed the way that we do business. Associates at the company can set up a meeting with any number of collaborators, anywhere in the world, and be back at their desk in an hour. This has dramatically increased the level of consultation and sharing across the organisation and has the potential to reduce operational costs considerably.” Recognising the enormous potential of VC technology at an early stage, Coca-Cola has established a preferred provider relationship with Crestron to ensure that video conferencing is supported across their global network of offices. At the Rosebank offices, 20 of the 25 collaborative meeting spaces on offer are equipped for VC, and Pond reports an almost instantaneous and unprecedented uptake of the technology among staff. Each VC enabled room is equipped with an HD screen, CISCO cameras, Shure microphones and a Crestron desktop panel, which is pre-programmed with a standardised user interface. Thanks to Crestron’s room scheduling technology, an associate can book a huddle space in advance using an app that integrates with a variety of electronic calendars or simply by using the touch screen panel positioned outside each venue. Once a meeting is scheduled, a user simply needs to follow the prompts on the desktop panel to start their meeting. All components are wirelessly connected using Crestron’s AirMedia® Devise, which enables associates to walk into any meeting space and wirelessly present PowerPoint, Excel, and Word documents, PDFs, photos, and screenshots from any Mac or Windows notebook, iOS or Android device. Employees are hosted on the company’s internal Wifi network. However, guest presenters can wirelessly connect using the guest network, making plugging in an HDMI or similar cable unnecessary (though still possible).

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I n tegr a tio n & I n st a l l a tio n C A S E S T U D Y

Pond explains that Coca-Cola has been using BlueJeans, a cloud-based video calling platform designed to enable people to connect to multiparty video conferencing sessions for some time. “We offered associates access to BlueJeans VC platforms at the Parktown office. However, the user-friendly and accessible AV installation at the new offices has made it truly accessible for the first time, and has radically transformed work processes throughout the organisation,” Pond points out. Pond is able to analyse usage across rooms and devises thanks to the inclusion of Crestron Fusion® monitoring and scheduling software that integrates systems and technologies that typically operate in silos. The software is able to track usage to provide data on room usage, high traffic areas and the number of users among other variables. “With Fusion® in place, we are able to see which rooms get the most traffic and plan scale-up or maintenance intervals accordingly,” Pond points out.

Uptime guaranteed According to Pond, as VC is becoming increasingly mission critical to operations at Coca-Cola, system failures pose a serious risk to business operations. “We have installed the highest quality network, with the greatest level of redundancy to limit any downtime. While it is not always possible, we try to run like a bank, where downtime is simply not an option,” Pond explains. As such, a lot of emphases has been placed on monitoring and maintenance of both the network and the AV systems. Pond explains that the 25 huddle and meeting rooms are checked daily, using both cloud-based monitoring and manual checks to ensure the system is always operating optimally. Also, Coca-Cola has decided to keep a modest inventory of hot spares on site should a unit malfunction and rely on continued collaboration with Panavision Evolve to maintain all aspects of the AV installation.

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“Panavision enjoys a lot of support from Crestron,” Potgieter states. “We feel confident deploying Crestron solutions as the company offers exceptional aftersales support and a very solid five-year warranty on all of their equipment. Panavision extends aftersales support to clients for up to a year after installation, because we know that we can stand by Crestron quality and rely on their support to provide end users with the best possible customer experience.” He goes on to explain that Panavision keeps a solid inventory of Crestron equipment for loan to ensure that if a client’s equipment is removed for maintenance, they can minimise downtime. “However, Crestron also keeps an extensive inventory of products for loan, and if we can’t find something, they are willing to go the extra mile to import a unit or component for our client.”

Multipurpose brilliance The only space within the Coca-Cola building that is not rigidly prescribed by Atlanta is the multi-purpose auditorium. Both Pond and Potgieter highlighted this space as an exceptional installation and an unexpected success. “I actually dislike multipurpose rooms,” laughs Potgieter, “because – in my experience – when trying to adapt a room to be all things to all people, it often becomes over engineered and consequently used by nobody.” He elaborates “It often takes a lot of technical equipment and a higher level of technical AV knowledge to get the room working properly – and as a result lay people often become intimidated.” According to Potgieter, Coca-Cola has avoided this pitfall thanks to the deployment of Crestron control. Pond explains that in the past, only one meeting of between 50 and 60 people could be held at a time in the company’s auditorium – and during such meetings the entire 200 seater venue had to be used. As such many meetings needed to be conducted off-site at a neighbouring hotel or conference venue.


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I n tegr a tio n & I n st a l l a tio n C A S E S T U D Y

The move has brought Coca-Cola South Africa in line with the company’s global standards – opening up opportunities for smarter working processes, higher levels of collaboration and greater productivity – realised through Crestron office automation solutions, among other technology.

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C A S E S T U D Y I n tegr a tio n & I n st a l l a tio n

This proved expensive and time-consuming, and as a result Coca-Cola SA could not accommodate all of the larger scale meetings envisaged. The new multi-purpose auditorium has filled this need exceptionally well, as it is highly versatile and technologically advanced, but still subscribes to the same operating procedures as the more intimate venues that staff feel comfortable with. As a result, the multi-purpose auditorium has become one of the most widely used spaces in the office. The auditorium is an open plan space that can be used as a single large-scale venue, or it can be partitioned into three smaller sound-proof spaces – each equipped with its own Crestron desktop panel. When the room is being used as a single venue, the central panel overrides both adjacent panels. Once the partitions are pulled into place, partition sensors mounted on the ceiling automate room control and all three panels then come online. “I have to give credit to Crestron for this innovation,” states Potgieter. “Once Crestron received my list of requested equipment for the multi-purpose room, they included the partition sensors in their quote – knowing the difference that they would make to the end user experience.” Pond confirms this, stating that the partitions are used extensively by staff at the organisation and, due to the ease of use, the venue continues to see far more traffic than anticipated.

For VC and visual presentation purposes, Panavision installed Panasonic projectors – a decision that Potgieter states was motivated by years of reliable performance from the units in other installations – together with Screen Innovations’ Motorized Slate .8 Projection Screens. Crestron speakers have been installed in the ceilings and sound is automatically controlled using pre-sets. The central partition is VC enabled, with plans to extend this capability into all three partitions in the future. Recently, Coca-Cola SA represented Africa during Coca-Cola’s Women’s Linc Leadership Conference, an internal conference for female employees at The Coca-Cola Company. The event, hosted in the auditorium, was streamed by thousands of Coca-Cola associates throughout the world and offered African female leaders a platform to share their experiences with a broader audience. “We had to hire in a significant amount of equipment as well as technical expertise to achieve the world-class production that the event turned out to be,” Pond explains. “However, it proved so successful that we are considering upgrading the venue to enable broadcast quality productions onsite in the future. None of this would have been achieved without the close collaboration and dedicated teamwork that went into the AV installation at our offices – and I am extremely excited about what the future holds.” Pond concludes.

1. Universum (2017) World’s Most Attractive Employers 2017 available at: https://universumglobal.com

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PRODUCT OF THE YEAR

Product of the Year Audio Visual Centre – Warren Tree South African AV solutions provider, Audio Visual Centre, was established in 1986 with the commitment to providing unmatched service, technical expertise and state of the art audio visual solutions. The company’s customers include the SA Government, blue-chip corporate companies as well as numerous tertiary education facilities. Audio Visual Centre technical director, Warren Tree, spoke with Pro-Systems News about his nomination for the product of the year.

Product: Biamp TesiraFORTÉ Digital Audio Server Distributor: TID – Alpha Technologies Comment: The Tesira Forte DSP range of products are the best in class products and have enhanced the audio quality of our customer’s conferencing venues dramatically. Tesira Forte has been able to solve all our on-site implementation challenges. Our most common issue is that majority of conference venues have hard surfaces, like glass, granite and wood, that can cause audio reflection and in turn reverberation. Favourite Feature: The Biamp canvas programming software of the Tesira is the best I have used, and I have used most of the major audio DSP manufacturers out there. You can have a “blank canvas” or modify a default configuration. The software allows total customisation of the DSP’s configuration, and visual interface keeps the DSP programming neat and tidy, even when you have hundreds of channels of audio and/or video. Product to look forward to in 2018: Microsoft HoloLens

AV Projects – Michael Guerin Established in 1987, AV Projects AV Projects strives to provide professional audio, video and communication solutions through quality products and services. The company specialises in the design, engineering, and servicing of simple to complex integrated A/V system. Managing director, Michael Guerin, spoke with Pro-Systems about his pick for the product of the year.

Product: Crestron HD MD400 – HD BaseT Transmitter/Receiver Distributor: Crestron SA Comment: The Crestron HD MD400 – HD BaseT Transmitter/ Receiver is an ideal huddle room solution, which allows for various cable connections as well as Wireless connectivity. It is simple to operate, and very reliable. The HD MD400 receiver has a local HDMI input which is particularly useful for adding third-party HDMI sources such as wireless receivers, which can be hidden behind displays. The unit is also capable of sending commands via RS232 or CEC when a sync is detected. Favourite Feature: The unit can operate as a stand-alone solution or be integrated into a larger Crestron Solution with all the necessary feedback. The unit has a built-in scaler which ensures reliable, quality images.

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The start of a new year is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the year that was, with a view to planning for the future. We have spoken with a few installers and service providers across both the Pro-AV and live entertainment technology industries in South Africa about their favourite products of 2017.

AV

Corporate AV Integration – Stefan Mayer Corporate AV Integration was founded in 2011 with the goal of providing corporate audiovisual (AV) and radio frequency (RF) solutions that help its clients maximise their return on investment in these complex and potentially expensive technologies. Corporate AV Integration managing director, Stefan Mayer pointed to a few great products.

Product: Crestron DMPS unit Distributor: Crestron SA Comment: Crestron is just one of a great many companies out there. Another awesome product is the Barco ClickShare wireless presenting unit as well as the Logitech Group Cameras, of which we install large quantities. Favourite Feature: The built-in processor, matrix input and output switching as well as mic and audio input mixing on the Crestron DMPS unit.

Elan Systems SA – Ian le Grange Elan Systems SA is a specialist importer and distributor of audio-visual, automation and control systems for residential and commercial applications. With over two decades of hands-on experience and international training, Elan Systems SA understands that installing an integrated automation system requires more than just the right equipment, and therefore the company has dealers around the continent who are trained to provide clients with the latest technology and automation systems. Product and sales manager for Elan Systems SA, Ian le Grange spoke about his pick for 2017.

Product: Niles Auriel MRC6430 multi-room audio controller Distributor: Core Brands USA Comment: The Niles Auriel MRC6430 multi-room audio controller has been a tremendous success for us. For the first time our market, this is a new generation multi-room audio distribution product that is fully scalable and offers features not seen in this class before; and at a price point that is incredible. For control and setup, it’s as simple as using an Android or iOS device. Favourite Feature: A 6 source to 6 zones scalable to 12 audio zones multi-room system with Android and iOS connectivity and control. A built-in internet audio streamer gives the client access to internet radio services and radio stations. The unit even allows for paging and remote access.


PRODUCT OF THE YEAR

HFX Systems – Ryno Goosen

HFX Systems operates as a specialist systems integrator of audio visual and automation equipment for both domestic and corporate clients. Regional Sales Manager for HFX systems, Ryno Goosen spoke about his favourite product for the year.

Product: Bowers & Wilkins 800D3 series of loudspeaker Distributor: HFX is the supplier Comment: We have had major success with the range. It is the preferred post production speaker at leading international recording studios including Abbey Road, Decca and Skywalker studios. Bowers & Wilkins says: “the best speaker in the world is not the speaker that will give the most, but the speaker that will lose the least.” The range consists of five main speakers; two centre channel speakers for AV applications; and three subwoofers models. Favourite Feature: Speaker uses an industrial diamond as the tweeter material – hardest in the world. Look forward to: Microsoft HoloLens

Meet.Inc – Ryan Beck Meet.Inc is an acknowledged leader in designing integrated corporate meeting solutions for some of the largest corporates in South Africa and abroad. Meet.Inc’s meeting solutions are simple and effective – creating optimal meeting spaces where people, processes and technology work seamlessly together. Technical manager at Meet.Inc, Ryan Beck, spoke with Pro-Systems news about his nomination for the product of the year.

Product: Cisco SX10 Distributor: Axiz Comment: The Cisco SX10 is easy to install and very user-friendly. It has fantastic 5x zoom camera, and the microphone has an exceptional pickup area. Favourite Feature: The installation time for the device is awesome. Look forward to: Cisco Spark Board

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PRODUCT OF THE YEAR

AV Unlimited – Renaldo van den Berg AV Unlimited offers a complete technical solution regardless of the size of your event ensuring that the technical aspect of your event is executed professionally. AV Unlimited is a fully equipped technical supply company specialising in video, with its head office based in Johannesburg. Renaldo van den Berg, head of department for lighting and project manage at AV Unlimited spoke with us about his favourite products.

Product: Martin VDO Sceptron Distributor: Electrosonic SA Comment: This product is pretty new in our inventory and has done so many shows already, from small one day shows to large television productions. The multi-functionality of the Martin VDO Sceptron makes it great to have for any event. Favourite Feature: The fact that they can be used as individual lighting fixtures or as a video element as well as the stability and pixel quality of the product. Look forward to: Honestly, I think South Africa is up to date with products and technology we have available here, thanks to our great suppliers. Obviously there are some cool things we see in the international market but will be here soon.

AVS Hire – Kyle Nel Based in Nelspruit/Mbombela, Mpumalanga, AVS Hire is an event gear rental and technical support company, which provides professional technical equipment and support for the entertainment and events industries. The company specialised in stage, light, sound and video solutions. Company co-owner and managing director, Kyle Nel, shared his pick for products of the year.

Products: Clay Paky – Mythos; the JBL – PRX 800 series; and Roland – V4EX Distributors: Clay Paky – DWR; JBL – Wild & Marr; and Roland – Stage Audio Works Comment: For lighting, Clay Paky’s Mythos has a great beam mode and optics in general. We had to recreate the “Batman” light in the sky for a client, and the Mythos has proven to be the best unit for the job. In the sound department, the JBL – PRX 800 series offers the PRX connect app, which makes setups simple and fast, eliminates the need for external DSP’s or processors, and you can set delays remotely. The system allows us to make a physically small PA sound big and full. When it comes to versatility, the PRX beats any other Active pop up PA system hands down. The PRX 812 specifically makes a great stage monitor, in my opinion, sounds more balanced than the 815 and can take serious levels of hammering without distortion. Finally, for AV the Roland V4EX is a compact routable AV switcher, the preview monitor and multi-format I/O which are all built into the unit make it far more capable than traditional switchers. Look forward to: Nothing particular at the moment – we have really good distributors of all the respectable brands from all over the world in South Africa who all do a great job of keeping the local rental companies abreast of the latest developments and product launches.

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Live Blond Productions – Christiaan Ballot Blond Productions has delivered sound and lighting for broadcasters, corporates, theatres, festivals and artists across Africa and offer a variety of services, including sound, lighting, AV, staging, trussing and structures. Working in close collaboration with their clients, the company designs, plans and implements service to ensure a successful event. Blond Productions’ managing director, Christiaan Ballot, shares his favourite products of 2017.

Product: Phillips 300S Softlight (5600) Distributor: DWR Distribution Comment: The Phillips 300S Softlight (5600) allows us to replace current Tungsten rental fixtures with a more up to date unit, which has greater output, less power consumption and more versatility. With the use of the honeycomb and barn doors, it allows us to use fixture both as a wash and controllable spot fixture. Favourite Feature: We found that the light output of the Phillips 300S Softlight was far superior to any other cold light wash fixture to date and that the stable CRD of 5600 Kelvin was true and without any cast on camera. Look forward to: The ARRI Skypanel S360-C

Gearhouse SA – Durban – Gary Loader The Gearhouse Group is a collection of companies, branches and divisions servicing the event industry in South Africa and beyond. While each company within the group functions individually, they also all fit together seamlessly to provide the widest range of technical services currently available in Southern Africa under one roof. Gary Loader, who functions as audio operations manager at Gearhouse – Durban shared his favourite product of the year.

Product: Soundcraft VI3000 Distributor: Wild & Marr Comment: The Soundcraft VI3000 is easy to use because of its networkability, and the fact that it can monitor radio mic information. It is supplied Dante enabled and has 2 x 16 banks of V-Mix – an automatic mixing software. Favourite Feature: The Soundcraft VI3000 can mirror itself onto a second console.


PRODUCT OF THE YEAR

Gearhouse SA – Johannesburg – Stuart Andrews The Gearhouse Group is a collection of companies, branches and divisions servicing the event industry in South Africa and beyond. While each company within the group functions individually, they also all fit together seamlessly to provide the widest range of technical services currently available in Southern Africa under one roof. Stuart Andrews, who functions as operations manager at Gearhouse – Johannesburg shared his favourite product of the year.

Product: ARX USB DI HP Distributor: Octave Distribution Comment: The ARX Audibox USB-DI converts digital audio to analogue audio, with full transformer balancing and isolation. Plus an output volume control for even more flexibility. It has made bad PC audio feeds a thing of the past. It may seem a small innocuous piece of technology, but it is a vital part of any show that we do. Favourite Feature: It has a very useful headphone output and volume control Look forward to: D3 GX 2 Sever

LEDVision – Richard Baker LEDVision offers clients a turnkey daylight screen rental service coupled with the largest product stockholding of LED Video technology in Southern Africa. Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology ensures unsurpassed picture brightness and clarity across a variety of weather and light level conditions. Low power consumption, high intensity and exceptional image clarity make LED the ideal choice for a variety of indoor and outdoor events such as sporting events, corporate communications, product launches, government events and television game shows amongst others. LEDVision’s managing director, Richard Baker, shared his pick for the product of the year.

Product: ROE Visual Carbon 8; ROE CB8 Distributor: ROE Visual Comment: ROE Visual Carbon 8; ROE CB8is offers ultralightweight, flexible design options, super-fast rigging, minimal trucking space, superb picture quality, versatile functions from indoor to outdoor with very low brightness accurate picture reproduction to high brightness daylight ability. Favourite Feature: Ultra-lightweight and extra thin panel.

Multi-Media Event Trading – Tim Fish With the aim to redefine the service experience within the technical eventing industry, Multi-Media has worked with thousands of clients with the concept and design of stage, sound, and lighting by incorporating the vision of their clients into their events to deliver high-impact, memorable occasions. Managing director of Multi-Media Event Trading, Tim Fish, nominated his product of the year.

Product: DigiLED STELLA D5900 5.9mm LED screen Distributor: AV Systems Comment: This LED product is very robust, flexible in its versatility and offers great value for money which we are able to extend on to our clients. The variety of angles the panels are capable of, and the angle locking mechanism is very superior. The black levels are the best we have seen in similar products. I would highly recommend DigiLED. Easy to set-up and easy to program. A fantastic product at a really reasonable price point. Favourite Feature: Skin tones look exceptionally good for an LED product.

ULTRA Event Technical Solutions – Costa Champanis Ultra Events is a technical supply business based in Cape Town, South Africa and operates nationally in South Africa and on the continent of Africa. Ultra Events started life as Ultra Sound, supplying only sound solutions to the events market. Due to market acceptance and growth, Ultra Sound branched out into lighting, staging, video and structures, and therefore Ultra Events was created to supply technical solutions to the events, advertising, film, and theatre as well as television industries. Managing director and owner of Ultra Events, Costa Champanis, shared his favourite product for the year.

Product: Martin VDO Sceptron Distributor: Electrosonic SA Comment: The Sceptrons have assisted in creating new ideas and concepts for events. In addition to supplying the product, Electrosonic SA also provided the training and support. The product was discussed and requirements determined and a growth path established and after that – delivery and what a JOY! Favourite Feature: Easy use and integration in a lighting or video solution

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Photo by Trevor Ou Tim

HOUSES OF WORSHIP

Southern Africa is going to Church

– with the support of the entertainment technology industry According to research conducted by the Pew Research Centre1, it is estimated that Southern Africa will be home to more than four out of every ten Christians in the world by the year 2060. Unlike in Europe – where the number of practising Christians is steadily declining – there has been a staggering surge in the number of active Christians in Southern Africa over the past century – with a notable increase over the past two decades.

Despite our deepening cultural diversity, Christianity remains the dominant religion in South Africa, with almost 80% of the population professing to be Christian in the 2001 national census. While there is a fairly even spread across denominations, there has been a marked increase in churches that follow the Pentecostal paradigm over the past few years. According to the Journal of Religion in Africa, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, somewhere between 10–40% of South Africa’s population could be called Pentecostal – however, this classification varies depending on how the religion is defined and may, in fact, be higher2. The Pentecostal church emerged in the early 20th century as an offshoot of the Protestant reform movement in the USA. According to The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, at the centre of the churches’ philosophy is: “the direct experience of the presence of God by the believer.” Churches that adhere to this paradigm believe that faith should be powerfully experiential, and not something merely found through ritual and

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contemplation. In practice, the Pentecostal church holds joyous praise and worship services for their followers, with the inclusion of live bands, pro-level staging and high-end sounds systems designed to facilitate an ecstatic, celebratory experience for congregants. The live events entertainment industry in South Africa has served the houses of worship market for more than half a century – delivering state-of-the-art installations that are specifically designed with the unique needs of churches in mind. While the biggest and most impressive rigs are traditionally found within Pentecostal churches, places of worship that fall within more the more traditional and conservative denominations also require audio, video, projection and integration systems to enable the delivery of effective religious services – all be it on a smaller and more discrete scale. The scope for AV integration and live event technology within the houses of worship market is, therefore, expanding along with the Christian population in Southern Africa – and companies that specialise in realising


HOUSES OF WORSHIP these projects remain committed to catering their services to respond. As non-profit organisations, church management has to navigate a difficult balance between investing in church infrastructure versus devoting resources to the charity and outreach work that remains central to the Church’s role in society. One of the most consistent themes that emerged during the research process that preceded the publication of this special feature was the willingness of distributors, dealers and installers to take this factor into account when collaborating with church leaders to develop project plans that deliver the desired results with parsimonious budgets in mind. Close working relationships, mutual respect, and a commitment to getting the job done despite challenges is the order of the day when one examines the dynamic between churches and those implementing AV projects – and it is this unique connection that we explore in the houses of worship feature to follow. I would to take this opportunity to thank everybody that made this feature possible – from the AV technicians in churches who took time away from their preparations for the Christmas season to talk with us, to those within various companies who similarly fitted us into their busy endof-year schedules – we appreciate your contributions enormously. – Nicole Barnes

1. Mcclendon, D (2017) “ Sub-Saharan Africa will be home to growing shares of the world’s Christians and Muslims” http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/19/sub-saharanafrica-will-be-home-to-growing-shares-of-the-worlds-christians-and-muslims/. Web. 22 Jan. 2018 <http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/19/sub-saharan-africa-will-behome->. 2. Anderson, Allan. New African Initiated Pentecostalism and Charismatics in South Africa. Journal of Religion in Africa, Vol. 35. 2005.

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HOUSES OF WORSHIP

Stage Audio Works for turn-key worship solutions in Southern Africa By Nicole Barnes

The contemporary houses of worship market is a highly specialised niche market for AV dealers and distributors, which has developed radically with the emergence of new production technologies over the past decade.

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HOUSES OF WORSHIP

Rhema

A South African company of distinction Stage Audio Works was founded in 2000 in Port Elizabeth. The company quickly established itself as a leading provider in the stage rental market and some five years later expanded in to sales and distribution activities. In 2006, Stage Audio Works became the sole South African distributor of d&b audiotechnik – a leading German manufacturer of high-quality loudspeaker systems for speech and music reproduction and sound reinforcement in public places. “At the time, d&b audiotechnik was largely unknown in South Africa but appeared on many production riders for international artists performing in the country,” Ihlenfeldt explains. In 2009, Stage Audio Works expanded their foothold as a leading distributor of international AV technology to the local market by obtaining the agency to distribute Christie, an original equipment manufacturer that provides visual, audi o and collaboration solutions for business, entertainment and industry across the globe. The increasing number of agencies acquired by Stage Audio Works saw the company increasing their reach both locally and internationally – and as a result, the company moved its headquarters to Johannesburg. The strategic decision allowed Stage Audio Works to focus on their core objective of becoming a leading supplier, manufacturer and distributor of complete technology solutions to the live event industry in Southern Africa and beyond.

Stage Audio Works becomes an original equipment manufacturer Gone are the days of congregants sitting passively in a rigid, conservative environment listening to sermons delivered over dated PA systems. A new generation of church leaders and worshipers are actively creating more engaging platforms for praise and worship – many of which rival top-end mainstream live productions for audio-visual and production quality. As such, more and more religious organisations are turning to audio-visual and production technology providers to bring professional-level audio, video, lighting and control technologies into the worship environment. Stage Audio Works, based in Johannesburg, is a leading international supplier, manufacturer and distributor of complete technology solutions to the houses of worship market, among others. The company has established a solid reputation for delivering state-of-the-art, turn-key solutions for worship production in South Africa. Pro-Systems Africa News spoke with Stage Audio Works technical manager Nathan Ihlenfeldt in a recent interview about the company’s contribution to the houses of worship market over the past ten years as well as their exciting plans for the future in South Africa and beyond.

In addition to the company’s ever-expanding list of products and services within their distribution business stream, the company has established themselves as an original equipment manufacturer, with clients in both the local and international live production industry. Stage Audio Works’ leadership team understand the importance of cementing their position, both locally and internationally, by investing in the South African economy through local manufacturing. As a result of extensive research and development and a large investment in their manufacturing facilities and capabilities, the company has successfully launched their own brand of flight cases, padded bags, stage decks and associated products under the Stage Plus trademark. The company also manufactures Total Fabrications aluminium truss products under license from TFL in England. “Stage Audio Works is deeply committed to establishing a legacy in South Africa, not only as an importer of state-of-the-art products and equipment, but as a local manufacturer that supports job creation and the South African economy in a broader sense.” The company’s manufacturing activities have delivered full-time employment opportunities for more than 100 people, and the company continues to invest heavily in the research and development needed to compete with manufacturers of technical staging equipment on a global scale,” Ihlenfeldt comments.

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Rivers

HOUSES OF WORSHIP

Contrary to the common misperception that locally produced products are inferior to imports from overseas – which affects local manufacturers across industries and sectors – the manufacturing processes employed at Stage Audio Works’ state-of-the-art facility in Johannesburg complies with, and in some cases exceeds, international standards for competitive products. “Stage Audio Works’ factory is home to cutting-edge robotics and automated production machinery, which ensures a level of quality and consistency,” Ihlenfeldt points out. Stage Plus products are all subjected to rigorous quality assessment processes, and carry the SABS and TUV stamp of approval and comply with many of the international safety standards. According to Ihlenfeldt, Stage Audio Works was the first South African company to exhibit locally manufactured products at Prolight and Sound in Frankfurt in 2016 and is actively negotiating agreements to see Stage Plus products being exported to markets in Europe and the Middle East. Reflecting on the development of the company, Stage Audio Works has remained relevant and highly successful, in part, because of their willingness to respond to changing market conditions – a philosophy that has seen the company grow and change focus over the years. However, leadership at Stage Audio Works has consistently remained true to their original vision of uplifting the live production industry in South Africa – including for their very important clients in the houses of worship market.

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Stage Audio Works in Churches According to Ihlenfeldt, Stage Audio Works identified the potential for growth in the houses of worship market from inception and consistently align their business model with the needs of churches in mind. “As the company evolved over the years, we have consciously catered our services to respond to the evolving needs of houses of worship. As a result, we have extensive experience and a unique understanding of the requirements of contemporary worship facilities gained over years of consulting, assisting and delivering to customers in this market.” Over the past decade, Stage Audio Works has delivered turn-key AV and live production solutions for hundreds of churches across the country, establishing themselves as one of the leading technology providers in the field. “When identifying potential brands and products, we keep in mind the needs of our target market and make sure that the products that we distribute are well suited to both the needs and the budgets of worship facilities,” states Ihlenfeldt. In addition to their relationship with d&b, who are themselves well established as manufacturers of choice for the houses of worship market on an international scale, Stage Audio Works has ongoing distribution agreements with leading international manufacturers of professional audio, lighting and control solutions, including Amphenol, Sommer Cable, QSC Systems, Radial Engineering, Sennheiser, ACME, Analog Way, Christie, d&b audiotechnik and Yamaha, among others.


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HOUSES OF WORSHIP

Reflecting on the unique needs of the houses of worship market in South Africa, Ihlenfeldt points out that the development of contemporary houses of worship in South Africa has followed the trajectory of contemporary churches in the USA, which is home to the largest houses of worship market in the world. “The evolution of worship services in South Africa is similar to what we have seen happening in the USA. However, our churches have remained a few years behind – largely because of the restricted resources typical in developing markets,” Ihlenfeldt states. The business model adopted by Stage Audio Works for the deployment of production infrastructure and technology for houses of worship in South Africa reflects the difference in scale between developed and emerging markets. “In the USA or similarly developed market, there is a lot more distance between product manufacturers, distributors, dealers/integrators and the end user. In America, a consultant will develop project specifications for a particular church, which will then go out for tender. Several dealers and distributors will respond with proposals, and the contractor will assist the end user to decide on the best deal,” Ihlenfeldt points out. “In South Africa, the whole process is compressed – with end users dealing directly with distributors – which often

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act as the integrator and specifier as well,” Ihlenfeldt explains. “ As a result, South African distributors are expected to offer a consultancy service, design, technical drawing, implementation, integration and after-sales services, as a single package,” he concludes. Stage Audio Works has distinguished themselves as an exceptional service provider to the houses of worship market in the country, due to their willingness to deliver on all of the above services – while remaining affordable and accessible for churches of various sizes with variable budgets.

Stage Audio Works delivers on all fronts Key to Stage Audio Works’ success in the houses of worship market is their ability to deliver a comprehensive, turn-key solution that caters to the unique needs of churches. “When consulting on a church installation, I always explain that the most important deliverable for us in the church context is high-quality audio. When somebody attends a worship service, they have come to hear a message, and if that message cannot be conveyed effectively, the service has failed in its most critical mission” Ihlenfeldt points out. He goes on to state that secondary to the audio system


HOUSES OF WORSHIP

New Life

installed is the visual aspects of worship production. “Visuals, including video streaming of the sermon on large format LED screens and the display of song lyrics for praise and worship, play a critical role in supporting the message that is being delivered.” In response to this need, Stage Audio Works sources and installs affordable LED screens, projectors, switching and distribution gear to enable churches to film and broadcast content. “Many churches are responding to the growing demand for online content by streaming services and posting video content of praise and worship on social media channels such as YouTube. We are the distributor for camera equipment and media solutions from Blackmagic, one of the world’s leading innovators and manufacturers of affordable creative video technology, specifically to cater for the growing need for affordable broadcast production technology in churches across Africa.” Last on the list of priorities for houses of worship, Ihlenfeldt points out the need for professional quality lighting and staging equipment to deliver the high-end live performances that are becoming integral to the culture of contemporary worship. “Providing a set for both ministers and for musicians to deliver their message is important – and the right professional lighting rig adds to the aesthetics of the production enormously.” Ihlenfeldt states. However, professional-level moving-head fixtures from leading international manufacturers come at a price that not many churches can afford. In response, Stage Audio Works has sought out manufacturers in the East that are making a name for themselves

internationally by manufacturing high-end moving fixtures at affordable prices. “The greatest challenge with using lighting fixtures from manufacturers in the East is that the information on fixture profiles is not well published. In response, Stage Audio Works has spent a lot of time building working fixture profiles that work with a wide variety of control desks” says Ihlenfeldt. “As a result, we can deliver a very professional look and feel on stage, using very high-end control together with good, affordable lighting fixtures – which is exactly what is needed for the worship environment.” In addition to the sound, lighting, visual and broadcasting equipment needed to deliver a world-class worship experience – Stage Audio works is well positioned to work directly with the people that will be controlling the systems that they install for churches. Due to their unique understanding of the market, Stage Audio Works respects the fact that many of the people that operate AV systems at a church are not professionals in the field. As such, the company is responsive to the need to make controlling and operating AV systems at churches as user-friendly as possible. “We believe that service, support, training, professional products and attitude are the foundations for customer satisfaction and company growth. Supply means going far beyond simply selling products; it includes design, product service, training, and technical support,” Ihlenfeldt concludes.

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Acts Church sheds light on their worship production The Acts Christian Church, situated in Midrand, provides a range of religious services and praise and worship meetings for their growing congregation in Johannesburg. The churchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s main aim is to provide people with an opportunity to connect, share and grow their spiritual wellbeing. Sunday services at Acts Church include praise and worship as well as sermons that are supported by a carefully selected range of technology that allows for solid production quality and streaming of content across digital mediums but that fit within the carefully managed budget of the organisation.

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Acts

HOUSES OF WORSHIP


HOUSES OF WORSHIP

When it comes to mission work, Acts Church reaches out to people with “Acts of Love”, whether it is providing toilets to a needy community, setting up a library, giving food to the homeless or preparing gifts for senior citizens and children over the Christmas period. As such, church management invests in the infrastructure needed to provide the best environment possible for their congregants, while remaining true to their core values of giving to those in need.

Bringing the light With a North and South Campus to accommodate the increasing congregation, which is now just short of 6 000 people, the church has five Sunday services – three at the North campus and two at the South Campus – with an additional evening service held at the North Campus once a month. In addition to the routine services that the church delivers, they host various live events – from children’s productions to conferences – which cover topics such as Bible studies or fasting periods. In addition, the church’s auditorium has been used as a venue to assist other churches in the area when needed. Technical director at Acts Church, Jason Sampson, states that it is the organisation’s passion to make a difference in the lives of others that has made coming to work each day all the more worthwhile. Sampson has been an active member of the church for two years and is responsible for the visual media and live streaming of services and events hosted by the church. “I believe in the vision,” said Sampson, “It’s a healthy church as we teach what I believe is true.” Sampson and his team operate the lighting department for Acts church. “A few of years ago we invested in two Robe Pointes. The fixtures have worked well, and we often use them to light the roof or as

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spots,” he explains. “We have eight Robin LEDBeam 100; four Robin 600 LEDWash; and also – new to our rig – are six Robin LEDBeam 150s,” Sampson explains. “The LEDBeam 150 has fast sweeping beams and a wide far-reaching quality wash and have proved to be useful little fixtures,” he states. The lighting system is controlled by an MA Lighting dot2 console. “The dot2 is very user-friendly, and it is not difficult to set up cues. I am able to assign faders for effects, and it is very direct when selecting colour.” Due to the ease of use, Jason is able to provide training and share his knowledge with other operators at the church – many of whom do not have a technical background.

The Robe Spiider comes to church The Acts Church has recently invested in two Robe Spiiders that will work alongside their current Robe rig. According to Sampson, the new Robe Spiiders have proved to be an enormous asset to the venue, adding atmosphere to the auditorium. “We had a lot of dark spots that have been filled nicely with the Spiiders,” said Sampson. “The Spiiders were also used on a recent production by our children’s church, which was received very positively.” For many years the Acts Church has had the vision to be a church for the city, to care, connect and grow. “Because the church is not about money but is rather a giving church that wants to invest into people’s lives, there has been a lot of growth,” ended Jason.

Audio

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Lighting Audio Visual Structures Rigging Power Sets Daylight Screens Portable Venues Venue Technical Management Grandstand Seating Theatre Equipment Rental Systems Integration

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HOUSES OF WORSHIP

Prosound takes integrated solutions to church Prosound is a leading integrated audio, lighting, AV and structural solutions provider for the production industry in Southern Africa and internationally. The company has serviced religious organisations, both locally and abroad, for more than 40 years, and enjoy long-standing relationships with a myriad of religious institutions.

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Bryanston Catholic Church

HOUSES OF WORSHIP

Prosound’s services include the design, installation and integration of sound, lighting and staging solutions that are specifically adapted to the unique needs of the houses of worship market. In addition to supplying high-quality, affordable entertainment technology for church auditoriums across Southern Africa, Prosound is committed to delivering systems that work, and which are fully integrated to deliver a holistic experience for worshipers. As such, the company provides project management services, and many within the Prosound team share their experience, insight and skills with decision makers and those operating AV systems within churches, to ensure that religious services are delivered reliably and provide worshipers with an great overall experience. The Prosound team have installed AV systems in a number of churches in South Africa, in both contemporary and more traditional worship environments. Among the company’s impressive portfolio of projects is the First Love Generation church in Ruimsig, where Prosound’s church audio specialist, Victor Vermaak, designed an Electro-Voice solution incorporating Zxa1 powered speakers to enable the church to provide audio to their overflow room. Working in a more traditional Catholic church in Bryanston, Johannesburg, the Prosound team installed the Ashly NE24.24 system for speaker management and sound

processing, together with Protea software and high-quality EV speakers that were customised to ensure minimal visual and structural alteration to the classically constructed church upon installation. More recently, Prosound continued their ongoing relationship with Bridge Church in Alberton, with the installation of a lighting system that would provide sufficient front of house lighting to enable the recording of services for broadcast over digital media. Due to their understanding of the market, Prosound is very sensitive to the budget constraints that many houses of worship operate under – and therefore work with church leaders to come up with solutions that provide maximum impact at a reasonable cost. Working with the AGS church in Beyerspark, Prosound has been in consultation with the church since 2015 to upgrade their stage lighting solution. Last year, Prosound developed a phased approach to the project that will enable the company’s technical team to install the necessary trussing, an ETC ColorSource 20 Lighting Console and 12 RGBW LED par fixtures in an initial phase, with the introduction of ETC ColorSource LED Profiles at a later date, as budget allows. Prosound’s commitment to delivering solutions rather than products is evident in the projects that they have delivered to religious organisations over the years. The core business of any religious organisation is, first and foremost, the spiritual wellbeing of those that come to worship at their facilities. Having the right AV solutions in place is central to delivering on this mandate, and Prosound, therefore, states that they hold their projects for houses of worship close to their hearts.

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Photos courtesy: CRC Church

HOUSES OF WORSHIP

Christian Revival Church scales up for world-class worship Christian Revival Church (CRC) has established a reputation for providing an exceptional worship experience for thousands of churchgoers across South Africa, as well as for world-class broadcasting praise and worship productions across the globe.

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CRC

HOUSES OF WORSHIP

Under the leadership of Senior Pastors At and Nyretta Boshoff, the church continues to expand, according to their vision “to build one church in many locations, nationally and internationally” with the sole mandate “to win the lost at any cost” since their inception in 1994. CRC grows with evolving technology, to bring the Gospel across borders. As such, they continually invest in international-standard audio, lighting, broadcast and production technology to bring their message to the more than 40 campuses across the country. Also, the church provides broadcasts to more than 24 Correctional Services Live on a Sunday, as well as to millions of viewers who follow services and events, hosted by CRC, on four television platforms and across three digital platforms.

Creating the platform to spread The Word The CRC’s dynamic and visionary leadership team have developed close working relationships with a number of leading companies in the pro-level entertainment and broadcast technology markets over the years. This collaboration has ensured that CRC has the

infrastructure and technology needed to drive their dynamic vision and to stay ahead of the curve and relevant through their broadcast of world-class worship and ministry to every available platform. The church has invested in local talent – sourced from within the church – to put in place passionate and highly committed full-time creative and operational teams to drive their lighting, audio, AV and broadcast systems. In addition, the church relies on hundreds of volunteers to operate the broad spectrum of media elements involved in produce a successful Sunday celebration or conference. Johannesburg-based lighting specialists, DWR Distribution has enjoyed a close working relationship with Pastor At and the team at CRC, which spans more than a decade. Speaking to Pro-Systems News in a recent interview, DWR’s Robert Izzet recalls: “When we started talking with Pastor At about the lighting rig required for their ambitious Pretoria campus in 2010, he indicated that the vision for the venue was to have a lighting rig that could host any international-standard live event, without having to rent in any equipment. We submitted a proposal that was largely a ‘wish list’ – and, over the past six or seven years, we have worked together towards realising that vision using a phased approach.”

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HOUSES OF WORSHIP

Dreaming Big The achievement of this vision is not only evident during Sunday services held at CRC campuses across the country, but especially during the church’s flagship spiritual conferences, which are held three times a year and attended by thousands of worshipers from all around the world. These conferences are hosted in both Bloemfontein and Pretoria Main Campuses simultaneously, meticulously coordinated using Live Link technology, with top international guest speakers ministering live in alternating sessions from both venues. The largest conference is CRC’s DreamWeek, hosted during October every year. DreamWeek sees more than 16 000 people attending daily, a number which is growing exponentially every year – making it one of the most popular conferences of its kind in the country. Continuing their long-standing collaboration, DWR Distribution held to some very tight deadlines to ensure that upgrades to the lighting installations at both Bloemfontein and Pretoria campuses were complete in time for the 2017 DreamWeek conference.

CRC Blooms in Bloemfontein The latest upgrades at the Bloemfontein campus saw the venue’s main auditorium receive an impressive facelift. “CRC is committed to establishing a functional building to reach out to more people, and the 5000-seater Auditorium situated in the South of Bloemfontein was extended to accommodate an additional 1200 people. The ceiling was removed, air conditioning installed, and a new 24m-wide stage, more than double the size of the original stage, was built,” states DWR's Robert Izzett. In addition, the DWR team installed Prolyte H40V trussing above the revamped stage onto which both the church’s existing lighting fixtures and the new LED power-saving units comprising of 18 Robe Spiiders, 6 Robe Pointes and 28 LED Parcans for audience wash were hung, and an eight-port node was added to the MA control system. A 3.9mm Absen LED screen, made up of 144 panels and measuring 8 x 4,5m, was erected on stage. Also on stage, 70 Absen LED panels to form two side screens. Over and above this, additional Absen LED screens were positioned on stage on custom-made floor brackets, designed and manufactured by DWR’s Rob Young and Keith Pugin.

The light shines on Pretoria Pro-Systems News had the pleasure of meeting with the AV technical team at the CRC Campus in Pretoria to discuss the latest upgrades to the lighting rig installed at their state-of-the-art 7 000-seater sanctuary auditorium.

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At CRC Pretoria, a 90m curved Prolyte truss was erected above the auditorium, midway through the venue above the gallery line, onto which 48 Robe LEDBeam150s and 18 LED Parcans were positioned. Speaking to lighting designer and operator for the church, Carla Fourie, the inclusion of the new LEDBeam 150s has made an enormous difference to the house lighting in the 7000-seater auditorium. “The new fixtures allow us to flood the balcony area with light, which creates an intimate worship atmosphere. The new fixtures increase the visibility of the audience while filming.” She adds that the inclusion of the LEDBeam 150s allow for colour to be washed over the audience, which adds significantly to praise and worship as it brings the congregation closer to the production on stage. Izzett concurs, stating that: “The relatively new LEDBeam 150 from Robe –launched at Prolight+Sound 2017 – is an amazingly versatile fixture – which allows for light levels to be lifted over the entire auditorium, but which can also produce beams of light to be projected onto the congregation.” In addition to the upgrading of the house lighting rig, CRC Pretoria has installed 70 Absen 3.9mm panels on stage to enable the creative team to design a dynamic set on stage during services. “We have worked with the creative team at CRC in Pretoria for some years to come up with creative sets for their stage. For this year’s Dream Week, they decided it was time to go digital and have installed some highly versatile LED panels, which they can arrange in just about any configuration they desire,” states Izzett. “We used to really struggle to come up with new ideas to keep the stage set interesting and vibrant,” says Fourie. “With the new LED panels, we can upload an image and change screen configurations as often as we like – which means our set will never look dated.”

DreamWeek delivers for all CRC’s DreamWeek 2017 was received with enormous enthusiasm by all, with thousands attending events in Pretoria and Bloemfontein, and many more following on social media channels. Guest speakers at this years’ event included Ps. Ray McCauley, and international guest speakers, Russell Evans, Cynthia Garrett, Sam Rodrigues, Rick Godwin and John Hannah. Speaking on social media after the event, CRC stated “DreamWeek has been the life-changing conference we expected and what an incredible ride it has been. We are forever grateful for our leaders, Pastors At Boshoff and Nyretta Boshoff, who always inspire us to “dream big with God.” The Boshoff’s ability to dream big has realised a truly breath-taking live entertainment platform for worshipers across the globe, which Izzett sums as “simply amazing.”


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HOUSES OF WORSHIP

L-Acoustics floods River City Church with Contemporary Sound When Lafayette, Indiana’s First Assembly Community Ministries officially rebranded itself as River City Church, the name change was accompanied by several other updates, including the segue to a more contemporary, production-oriented worship style. As part of that transition, River City’s sanctuary required a more modern sound system—a need that CCI Solutions was nicely able to fill with a new L-Acoustics ARCS WiFo (ARCS Wide and ARCS Focus) system.

“The old PA was about 20 years old and designed for an era when modern production was not part of the church’s services,” explains Luke Flowers, who has been River City’s production director for the past four years. “Our style has changed a lot and we needed a PA that could keep up with a full, contemporary, rock-band kind of service.” In houses of worship installations, one of the biggest challenges – especially in medium-sized rooms – is the consistency of both coverage and sound quality, and River City chose a Washingtonbased system integration company, Tumwater, CCI Solutions. “As usual, budget drove a lot of the decisions about what gear to use,” says CCI Solutions project lead Mike Sessler. “The great thing about the ARCS WiFo system is that we don’t have to compromise in terms of the end audio product, even when the budget would seem to demand compromises.”

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The goal for the new system was solid, even and coherent coverage in every seat, top to bottom. Flowers describes the room as fairly sizable: “It’s long and not exactly narrow, but not fan-shaped either,” he says, noting that the previous system consisted of speakers on sticks sitting on the stage. “Our trim height is only 21 feet, and we had some screen situations going on, and the other speakers we tried were just in the way.” The final install comprises two hangs of two ARCS Wide and one ARCS Focus supplemented by four SB18 subs and a quartet of compact coaxial 5XT as front fills. As part of the grand design, CCI also installed a 28-fader Allen & Heath dLive S5000 console that feeds the three LA4X amplified controllers driving the entire loudspeaker system. There are no wedges onstage, so CCI further provided a large complement of Shure PSM 300 personal monitor systems. “We endorse ARCS WiFo systems because not only do they sound


River City amazing, and cover consistently, but they are very compact. The constant curvature approach works well in a room like this where low visual impact is important,” says Sessler. “The way the stage is designed, the proscenium is really low, but once you get past that, the room opens up. Even with the challenges of the room and the trim height and, especially, the budget, ARCS WiFo sounds great. A lot of compact arrays just don’t hold up in a room of this size. They just don’t move enough air.” The SB18s are also flown, but perhaps not in the way one might initially assume. “We’ve been trying different configurations and have found that hanging SB18s in a horizontal line in the centre is a really good solution for this kind of room. The coverage and pattern control is just great, plus it helped us keep the sight lines clear for lighting and video.” CCI Solutions vice president of Sales and Integration, Duke DeJong, points out that simplicity and consistency are two characteristics that drive CCI to choose L-Acoustics—and specifically ARCS WiFo—time and time again. “Every time we put in an L-Acoustics speakers system, the customer wins, and our team loves the results. The ARCS WiFo system especially provides phenomenal value and fantastic sound, and the price for performance can’t be beaten. “The most impressive thing about L-Acoustics is how incredible it sounded right out of the box,” Flowers says. “I remember thinking you could almost get away without tuning them after we turned them on for the first time. After we dialled in all the elements in the boxes, they just sounded better and better. The articulation at both high and low SPL remains unchanged, which is a welcome change compared to many other boxes. “The most common comment I get from members of the congregation is how clear the PA sounds. The clarity of the ARCS WiFo is incredible, but L-Acoustics also delivered in their subs. The coverage and tightness of the SB18s are amazing; a big issue I have with many shows is how messy low end sometimes gets. But the SB18s are ridiculously tight, so much so that we didn’t do anything to them out of the box.”

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HOUSES OF WORSHIP

DiGiCo – a top choice for churches

Reigate Baptist Church in the UK has recently invested in a DiGiCo S31 digital mixing console. Sound engineer at the Christian Revival Church (CRC) in Pretoria, Pierre Grobler, also works on DiGiCo. Both explain why it is their console of choice for churches internationally.

Matt Kenfford, the UK-based Church’s gathering pastor states: “Stage Electrics’ Jamie Gosney introduced DiGiCo to us a couple of years ago, and we instantly loved everything about the consoles. They are great desks because they are easy to use, produce great sound, and you have the option to upgrade software, which keeps them up to date. “DiGiCo is a world-class console – but we are a church and have to be wise with the money that is made available to us, and the SD9 was a little out of our price range,” says Kefford. “Jamie suggested we look at the S Series consoles and we decided that an S21 would work for us. However, then the S31 was launched, it was a no-brainer for us to opt for it instead. The extra screen made complete sense, as this is a fixed installation and we are using most channels, most weeks. It makes it really easy to use and you have everything at your fingertips.” While Matt has experience as a sound engineer, the church has various clients using the facilities who do not have the same experience, so ease of use was a prime consideration in his console choice. “With the S31, the caretaker simply comes in and puts the right settings on the console,” says Kefford. Kefford adds that “There have been several times when things haven’t gone to plan, and I

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have been able to talk people through troubleshooting it over the phone. The S31 is so intuitive and easy to remember that I’ve been able to solve a lot of problems remotely.” Sound engineer at the Christian Revival Church (CRC) in Pretoria, Pierre Grobler, echoes many of these sentiments when speaking about the DiGiCo desk that is currently in operation at the church. “One of the greatest advantages of DiGiCo technology is the ability to download the firmware updates from the cloud so that one never has to deal with redundancies,” he states. According to Grobler, who oversees audio and technical production for CRC, DiGiCo is the ideal desk for the church because it is the international standard. “We have artists visiting from the USA, such as the Newsboys, and once their technical teams see that we are operating on a DiGiCo console with an L-Acoustics sound system, they instantly relax. They know the technology and therefore producing here becomes a breeze.” CRC invested in their DiGiCo desk in 2014, and Grobler has not looked back since. “DiGiCo provides excellent audio quality so that we are delivering outstanding quality – both live and for broadcast, every time,” he concludes.


Rigging and such: a series of blogs by Rinus “Rhino” Bakker

Slinging matters; An Insert is not a basket! Although slinging is a hot topic, using inserts in your bridle chain is not a very common issue. However, lately I have seen a couple of examples of the below type of slinging and it bothers me enough to make me want to write about it. So here we go!

The above pictures show 3 types of a two-legged bridle, all more or less the same. But it’s proven again here, the devil is in the details.

Around the beams you can find basket hitches. A Basket Hitch can be defined as: Slinging Method, where the flexible body of the sling goes around an object, with each of the ends of the sling meeting in one and the same component, from where the lifting force is transferred into the lifting structure, or direct into the lifting machinery.

E x pert O P I N I O N L I V E E V E N T S Figure 1 shows a classic bridle. The shackle in the apex connects the two bridle legs and allows the chain hook to connect to the two bridle legs. Figure 2 shows a classic bridle in combination with an endless round sling (spanset or soft steel). This round sling is positioned through the eyes of the bridle steels, in this way the round sling is set up as a basket. A shackle taking each end of the sling and connecting these to the lifting machinery. This type of “insert” is used so it’s possible to make small adjustments with regard to the bridle position, without having to change the complete bridle. In essence the reliability of these corrections now depends upon the friction of the endless sling within the eyes of the steels. Friction can cause heat, so please do not use this method with regular (fibre) spansets. Apart from this, the D/d ratio will seriously limit the capacity of the spanset or soft steel used. All-in-all may be a handy way of adjusting your bridle point, but surely not a safe or controlled one. Figure 3 shows the endless round sling applied in the ‘endless insert’ slinging method. The round sling is used completely open, with single stands on all parts of the connection. Not conventional at all, and a lot weaker in its application. Applied like this, the sling is not used as a ‘doubled’ package, but the sling sides are opened up from the normal parallel sides in a straight pull version. Adding a direction of pull, introduces an angle between both sides of the sling, thus reducing the capacity. The flatter the angle gets, the higher the internal forces will be, even if the load itself does not increase. Figure 4: Another example of an “insert” bridle on a cantilever

As you might be aware, in slinging methodology we distinguish 4 basic methods:

So, using the “insert” method may look like a good and quick solution to position your points, however, there are enough reasons to stay clear of this method. Please make sure to familiarize yourself with the data given by the round sling manufacturer.

• Direct (single vertical) • Choke • Basket • Bridle Apart from these, there are also some less common methods, of which the “endless insert” I see sometimes used in our industry. Let me explain this a bit more…

More reading: You can find some useful stuff here: http://www.spanset.com/uploads/uk/Safe%20Lifting%20Chart%2087034.pdf http://www.spanset.com/uploads/uk/Technical%20Information%20-%20Slings.pdf

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LIVE EVENTS REPORT

Evita –

the Musical comes to South Africa A South African technical team helps to bring the 40th-anniversary production of Evita – the Musical back to the stage

Pieter Toerien and David Ivan once again delighted South African audiences at the close of last year, with their presentation of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s original West End and Broadway musical production, Evita – the Musical. The show was staged at Montecasino’s Teatro late last year, before moving to the Artscape Opera in Cape Town, and has since embarked on an Asian tour. Originally staged in the West End in 1978, Evita-the Musical is loosely based on the life of Eva María Duarte de Perón, the wife of Argentine President Juan Perón and the First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death in 1952. The narrative follows Evita on a fervent and ultimately tragic journey from her humble beginnings as a fatherless child in a poverty-stricken rural village to her rise to fame as an ambitious actress. We see Evita using her charm to navigate the rigours of political life at Perón’s side and her struggle to remain politically, ethically and emotionally intact while in power. The story closes with a portrayal of her redemption – despite her failings – and transcendence to a role of “spiritual leader of the Argentinian nation” – a title bestowed upon her before her death from cancer at age 33. It is little wonder that theatre-going audiences and critics received the 40th-anniversary production of Evita – the Musical with open arms. In addition to the world-class talent on offer, highlighted through brilliant staging and technical production, the rags-to-riches story of a charismatic leader who finds redemption – despite the corrupting influences of a rapid rise to power and the murky waters of political leadership – remains close to the hearts of many, and is beautifully delivered by all accounts.

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REPORT LIVE EVENTS

Recreating history The South African production of Evita – the Musical was directed by legendary Broadway director, Harold (Hal) Prince, an American theatrical producer and director whose career spans some 60 years. During his illustrious career, Hal has been presented with no less than twenty-one Tony Awards, more than any other individual, including eight for directing, eight for producing the year’s Best Musical, two as Best Producer of a Musical, and three special awards. The original 1978 production of Evita – the Musical featured choreography by Larry Fuller – beautifully reproduced by Rebecca

Kim Jordan for this production. In an interview with Sheila Chisholm of The Cape Times, Jordan states that when Fuller walks onto the set of Evita – the Musical in South Africa, he would see his original choreography seamlessly unfolding – unaltered. According to Toerien, who produced the 40th-anniversary production of the show with the full support of Webber, every costume and set was constructed to Timothy O’Brien and Tazeen Firth’s original 1978 designs. However, with the careful inclusion of projection technology and modern lighting design – the set does not look dated.

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LIVE EVENTS REPORT

Emily Adams at her DiGiCo DiGiCo SD 7T

South African audiences were treated to the talent of UK actress, Emma Kingston, who was personally chosen for the role of Evita by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Prince. Playing the role of narrator is South African musical theatre sensation, Jonathan Roxmouth, who presents a somewhat cynical depiction of the liberation icon, Che Guevara. Gayle Edmunds of The City Press states in her review of the show: “Experiencing the combined vocal power of Roxmouth and Kingston is something you don’t want to miss if you are a committed musical theatre fan. It is astounding.” Supporting the leading pair is Robert Finlayson in the role of Peron, Anton Luitingh as Magaldi and Isabella Jane in the role of the Mistress. Toerien’s 2017 production of Evita – the Musical, is billed to be an authentic replication of the show that received critical acclaim in 1978. However, production technology has come a long way since the original staging on the West End – and the inclusion of some cutting-edge technology contributed significantly to the show.

Setting Evita up for success In staging Evita – the Musical, the technical team were tasked with recreating the look and feel of the original West End production, while taking advantage of an array of production technology to ensure that the show presented the best quality production possible on a modern stage. The technical director for the South African and Asian tours, Alistair Kilbee, and his team of technicians from Gearhouse Splitbeam supplied a complete rigging package for the tour, including 50 brand

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new 1T Prolyft Chain Motors, which were purchased through DWR Distribution, and used for the very first time on this production. “Gearhouse Splitbeam has been instrumental in realising the technical requirements of this production, and will continue to ensure that the show is delivered smoothly to venues in South Africa and throughout the Asian tour schedule,” states Robyn D’Alessandro, head of communications at Gearhouse Group SA. In addition, the Gearhouse Splitbeam team assisted with the setup and hand-over of automated projection equipment and the lighting rig that were instrumental in bringing the set to life. “The new automation system controls the motion of the moving projection screen, balcony, two wagons and two revolves, adding motion to the show’s AV design and transforming the minimalist set,” D’Alessandro explains.

Sound engineering that would make Evita proud South African audio engineer, Emily Adams has furthered her reputation as an outstanding theatrical sound engineer in her role as head of the sound department on Evita – the Musical. It seems fitting that Adams has made her presence felt on a production that honours the iconic Eva María Duarte de Perón, whose reputation as a trailblazer for women’s right has been acknowledged the world over. Toerien’s production of Evita – the Musical presented Adams with her first opportunity to take the leadership role on set. “This has been my first production as head of the sound department on a show of this scale,” states Adams.


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LIVE EVENTS REPORT

She adds that: “I started as an RF technician, and I have done many shows at the Teatro Theatre – but always as deputy head of sound.” She says of her role in the top job – “This has been really challenging, but I have loved every second of it.” Many sound designers hold the view that women make excellent audio operators in the theatre environment, as they often take a subtler approach in comparison to their male counterparts. “Many designers for musicals want a natural sound so that the audience doesn’t walk away feeling like they have been ‘blasted’ for two hours,” states Adams. “For Evita, especially in the second act, I tried to make the smaller and more beautiful moments as delicate and natural as possible. It brings out more of the emotion,” explains Adams. “For the first two weeks, I was so focused and invested that I would often get caught up in the emotion on stage,” she laughs. “I definitely take that on as an operator – I often get very drawn into the moment while mixing,” she admits. Adams has experience working on the DiGiCo platform and used a DiGiCo SD 7T on the production. “I would definitely choose the SD7 if given the choice of console for a musical,” she says. “The SD7 is user-friendly and easy to navigate – so, before long, you find yourself jumping between layers and editing with ease.” The programming for Evita – the Musical came directly from Broadway, with adjustments made to accommodate the South Africa version of the production. Adams explains that the audio cues for the show are extensive – with many of the finer details already laid down. She, therefore, took the basic structure that was provided and cleaned it up to adapt it for this production.

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“I did things such as assigning the correct cast members to each control group per cue, shifted a few groups around and renamed them. I found the use of QLab triggers for the desk cues very interesting because is not a way that I have programmed in the past. I am used to triggering QLab from the console, so it’s the reverse of how I normally work – but I have grown to like it. If I go to a cue too early, I can easily correct it without worrying about triggering an SFX on QLab. I also have more control on the console to jump between cues to edit,” Adams explains. According to Adams, the sound system used for the production, which includes products from Meyer’s popular Milo range, has added to her experience of mixing for the production considerably. “When working on a theatre production, the house is smaller one day and bigger the next, which can make it difficult to ensure even coverage. However, the system is so well structured across the whole auditorium that I never have to worry about it.” Reflecting on the highlights of this production for her professional development, Adams points out that working alongside many members the original creative team for Evita – the Musical was a great learning experience and a privilege. “We had the original choreographer and costume designer, as well as Dan Kutner, who was directing the show on behalf of Hal Prince, who was very much in the loop,” Adams states. She talks about how the creative team had input in all areas, across the board. “You wouldn’t normally have a choreographer giving you sound notes, but because he knew what Evita – the Musical sounded like originally, he was able to work towards recreating the full picture of the show. It was really amazing to have this input. The knowledge and passion from everyone in the team is what made this production so amazing,” she concludes.


LIVE EVENTS REPORT

Yusuf Cat Stevens’ peace train pulls into Johannesburg The architectural properties of venues may present acoustic challenges for sound engineers, but Gearhouse SA rose to the occasion, satisfying the exceptionally perfectionist artist, Yusuf Cat Stevens at Johannesburg’s TicketPro Dome.

By Gill Midgley and Deirdre Bartlett

Llewellyn Reinecke

According to Gearhouse’s audio operations manager, Llewellyn Reinecke, only a handful of sound engineers have the technical ability to obtain acoustic excellence in a venue of this nature, and freelancer Friedrich Wilsenach achieved just that. Historically, the structure was designed as a car showroom, which has earned it the reputation of being a challenging, but not insurmountable, environment for sound engineering of live events. However, as one of the larger indoor event venues in South Africa, the TicketPro Dome was able to accommodate as many of Yusuf Cat Stevens’ Johannesburg fans as possible, over two nights, at the end of November. His considerable popularity was evident as far back as the early 1970s when his hit Can’t Keep It In held the number one slot on the national hit parade for six weeks.

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REPORT LIVE EVENTS

The Cat in SA The seed for Yusuf Cat Stevens’ strong connection to South Africa was sown in 1961, when he heard the music from King Kong, which he claims as one of his all-time favourite musicals and which played a significant role in his creative process. Stevens introduced African harmonies and traditional sounds into two of his best-known hits, Wild World (Bana Bana) and Peace Train, which he recorded with a local choir, the Incwenga Voices. Recording a children’s album in South Africa marked Stevens’ return to music, and thereafter to the stage, after 25 years, to honour Nelson Mandela at the Cape Town 46664 concert, in 2003. David Hefti and Fried Wilsenach The Peace Train tour, Stevens’ first ever tour of this country, kicked off at the TicketPro Dome in Johannesburg. However, unlike the many of the music concerts held at the Dome, this one demanded softer, more L-Acoustics provides innovative solutions intimate sound management. According to Wilsenach, South African audiences are accustomed The transition from a controlled and near perfect studio environment to loud shows. “The first half of Yusuf Cat Stevens’ show is very intimate to concert venues will always hold challenges. Naturally, the artist and quiet – with ballads accompanied by acoustic guitar, and FOH Engineer want as close a sound replication as possible. “We predominating.” For this reason, Wilsenach felt that an average of can’t correct every single room mode error in a large-scale venue. 88dBs was more suitable for a concert of this nature. “Initially, Stevens Finding the middle ground meant tweaking the system by capturing and the international FOH engineer, David Hefti, liked the relatively many transfer function measurements with Smaart (by Rational low level, but as the mix developed during sound check and grew Acoustics) in multiple positions, and arriving at an average room louder, they discovered that the venue presented some unique mode that then gets corrected. In addition, the fine adjustment of challenges,” states Wilsenach. input channel EQs in certain frequencies needs to be achieved,” says Wilsenach. “If you have good coverage and intelligibility in a reasonably quiet environment, you don’t need a high SPL level. The audience automatically adjusts to it.” To overcome the reflective challenges of an indoor arena, Wilsenach used L-Acoustics’ prediction model, “Soundvision”, one of the first 3D sound design programmes capable of operating in real time. As Reinecke explains, “This prediction software system, combined with laser inclinometers from TEQSAS, uses laser precision measurements. By aiming each speaker in the array at specific areas within the audience ear level, optimal coverage with minimal reflection (echo) is obtained. You then achieve coverage of the prediction area at the same level throughout the venue.” Wilsenach also made use of L-Acoustics Array Morphing – a tool that controls low frequencies through a band filter, as opposed to using a parametric EQ.

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LIVE EVENTS REPORT

But for Wilsenach, the core of any L-Acoustics system is the Network Manager that ensures real-time control and monitoring of LA8 amplified controllers, with high-level, hands-on system control. The stage set-up at Kirstenbosh Botanical Gardens, Cape Town A further challenge emerged during the first night’s performance. The large industrial air conditioning The Peace Train runs smoothly system was turned up for the audience, increasing the room noise floor by almost 6dB, which made the ambient noise level much Technical rehearsals for Yusuf Cat Stevens’ The Peace Train tour ran for louder, making it difficult to sustain the relatively soft performance three weeks prior to the first show. The production team for the suggested by the music. Johannesburg leg of the tour included the three local contractors The delay speakers’ volume had to be increased to overcome the appointed by Gearhouse Group SA – systems technician: Friedrich air conditioning noise. Before the second night’s performance, Wilsenach; support monitor technician: Simon Panos; and stage Wilsenach requested the Dome’s management to switch off the technician: Makhosini “Fats” Ngwenya. section of air conditioning above the retractable seating behind FOH. A total of 86 instrument and personal monitoring input channels Management at the Dome is deeply committed to providing were programmed for the show by the monitor mix engineer, Mike Johannesburg audiences with the best possible live event Gibbard, and mixed on a Digico SD10. experience. As such, they respected the importance of providing the FOH engineer, Hefti, ran a multitrack recording from the FOH best possible sound quality and obliged – despite the fact that such a console via AVB into a Protools HD system using an AVID S6L mixer decision has never been made before, and event management totalling 64 input channels. In addition, Stevens insists on a 2-track needed to absorb the considerable cost implications of switching the recording of every performance, which he listens to after the show to system on and off. ensure that the result satisfies his intention. According to Wilsenach, large rock concerts that average around The Peace Train Tour commemorates the 50th Anniversary of 100 dBs SPL are not affected by the air conditioning. However, due to Stevens’ debut album and first major hit, Matthew & Son released in the lower sound levels demanded by this show, simply turning off the 1967. With his acoustic guitar (Gibson J-200) combined with a voice air conditioning system proved a highly effective solution that was that reputedly has grown richer over the span of his career, Stevens fairly simple to implement, especially due to the Dome delighted audiences with his ballads and other favourites, which hold management’s willingness to accommodate his request. a special place in the hearts of many South Africans. The aim of the sound management was the same for each venue The significance of the message in Peace Train is one that remains in the country – Kirstenbosch, Cape Town and Durban ICC – to obtain evergreen. It was strongly influenced by the song from King Kong, even coverage and dispersion with adequate level and intelligibility Shosholoza – which loosely translated means “go forward” or “make for a gentle and intimate show. However, the implementation varied way for the next man”. Its modern meaning is one of support for with different line array systems installed in each venue. any struggle.

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S oci a l

DWR Year end function – Johannesburg

Chris Gerds, Marlene Riley, Robert Izzett, Gareth Chambers, Jethro Jordaan and Nicholas Barnes

Goodwin Gaidie, Pitso Siko and William Sebei

Duncan Riley, Jaco Beukes, Annalise Hodgson, Cherine Viney, Amanda Miranda and Angela Botha

Johnny Scholtz and Philemon Maepa

Gareth Chambers and JP de Vernon

Electrosonic year end function – La Rosa Mexican Grille and Tequeleria in Honeydew

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Bruce and Jenny Genricks

Denise and Schalk van Wyk

Gerrie Coetzee, Vanio Alexandrov, Dawid Smit

Jorge Vilares and Lyle Tarby

Raydene & Joey Twala

Sandile Kweyiya, Terry Bourquin, Sello Kgotiane


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Pro-Systems News January/February 2018  
Pro-Systems News January/February 2018  
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