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Elation Proteus chosen for light art piece at Valkea Light and Art Festival


DiGiCo Quantum 225 upgrades “one man touring solution”


Skan PA Hire supplies audio for The Chemical Brothers’ UK tour


Skan PA supplies audio solutions for PJ Harvey’s first UK/Euro tour in six years


GrandMA3 running Maiden’s Tower installation in Istanbul


GR Eventtechnik supplies Federal Government event with Coda Audio system


Martin Audio takes active role in Japan’s first immersive outdoor music festival


Chauvet fixtures chosen for Canadian “Hair” production


Klang:Technologies immersive in-ear monitor mixing system used for “The Time Traveller’s Wife: The Musical”


Gregor Hägele auf Tour mit GLP


Vio-X-Serie von dBTechnologies bei Miljö-Mitsing-Konzert in Jülich im Einsatz


Cohesion selected for Microsoft Ignite 2023


Hard-Fi turn to DiGiCo for first UK tour in over a decade


Maisie Peters on tour with DiGiCo consoles


VNV Nation auf Tour mit Claypaky Volero Wave


Aventem liefert technische Komplettlösung für Aljoscha Höhns „Event Night“


Gabby Barrett on tour with Chauvet


MKM wählt Coda-Audio-Lösungen für Rheingrün Open Air


Dominic Lopenzo evokes stained-glass Christmas memories with Chauvet


Verantec beleuchtet „Rock meets Classic“-Konzerte mit Robe


KV2 Audio’s ES system selected for 2023 Polish DJ Championships


Chauvet-Scheinwerfer bei Zürich Openair im Einsatz


Tube UK supplies audio systems to Christmas trails in UK and Germany


Elation’s Proteus Excalibur and Proteus Maximus shape the look and feel of Wacken Open Air 2023


Engst touren mit Floorset von GLP


Elation Proteus chosen for light art piece at Valkea Light and Art Festival

In December 2023, Särkänniemi Theme Park in Tampere, Finland, hosted the inaugural Valkea Light and Art Festival, filling the park with a myriad of visual spectacles, one of which featured lighting effects from Elation’s Proteus Hybrid IP65 moving head. The event transformed the park into an immersive art realm, engaging the senses with visual art installations, incorporating light, art, music, and live performances.


Leading the creative direction and production of the festival was Finnish artist Kari Kola. He was particularly drawn to “Step Into the Light”, a light art piece by artist/designer Michel Suk from 2017, and sought to reimagine it for Valkea. Suk, a Dutch light technician and artist with a background in lighting for theater, television, and musical performances, draws inspiration from architecture and music in his work. Describing “Step Into the Light” as a ballet of light visible from a distance, Suk’s creation is characterized by patterns of beams, reminiscent of a spirograph, with influences from Pink Floyd’s iconic vertical circle truss.


For the Valkea Festival, Suk adapted “Step Into the Light”, utilizing 24 Proteus Hybrid moving heads from Elation mounted atop vertical towers in a circular arrangement. The lights were mounted at an even distance from each other and had to be exactly perpendicular to the ground, otherwise there were offsets.


“It’s a simple concept in a way but if it’s not calibrated correctly, it doesn’t work and just looks like lights moving”, says Suk. “If it’s calibrated correctly the result is beautiful patterns that look like the old spirograph game. You have all the lights pointing directly at a point in the center, then you can aim at a point slightly higher to get floors of crosspoints. There are lots of possibilities.”


Suk collaborated with designer and international event producer Bas Kemper on the project, who executed the setup and calibration, working in -20°C weather. “Step Into the Light” invited visitors to immerse themselves in an interplay of living spotlights, offering a visual experience that captivated both up close and from a distance.


(Photos: Rami Saarikorpi)


DiGiCo Quantum 225 upgrades “one man touring solution”

Sound engineer Karel Marynissen’s touring company Klaar Voor Opname - based in Ghent, Belgium - was established in 2004. The DiGiCo SD8-24 had always been the console of choice for Marynissen, but when the time came to replace it, he chose the DiGiCo Quantum 225. Belgian audio systems provider Amptec ensured that the entire system was up to high specification of his mixing console.


Predominately working alone this “one man touring solution”, Marynissen specialises in amplifying acoustic instruments for jazz and classical music. “We knew that Karel’s next logical step from the SD8-24 would be the Quantum 225”, says Amptec’s David Liebens. The upgrade also brought access to the DiGiCo Quantum Spice Rack and Nodal Processing.


Marynissen mixes FOH and monitors from his console, as well as managing the performers’ IEMs. The Nodal Processing makes this more streamlined, and the Spice Rack reduces his reliance on additional outboard effects units. “We had to figure out how to reduce the amount and size of the set up so that one man could load in and out from a small van”, recalls Liebens. “The real challenge was cabling - how could we reduce the multiple signal lines into a manageable package?” The answer came in the form of the Festival Box from Optocore.


Using the Festival Box meant that the FOH cabling could be reduced to a single rugged fibre cable running between two purpose built flight cases. The ruggedized Fibreco 4ch expanded beam connection enabled six MADI lines (3 in/3 out) and three 1G network lines to be patchable via the custom panels from Amptec Connx, enabling the system to be fully adaptable to any performance. Amptec Connex designed two cases, one for the SD rack and one FOH. Both of these have been built so that the Festival Box connections are patchable and integrated with the rest of the system.


“The new setup brings significant time savings during setup and teardown, and I have the flexibility to adjust the setup according to the needs of the day, thanks to the patching capabilities”, says Marynissen. “Having a computer and screen integrated into the console flight case means I no longer need to build and dismantle it separately.”


(Photos: Peter Fizgal/Watchkraft)


Skan PA Hire supplies audio for The Chemical Brothers’ UK tour

British electronic music duo The Chemical Brothers recently visited UK arenas in support of their new album “For That Beautiful Feeling”. Production Manager Toby Dennis and Tour Manager James Baseley chose Skan PA Hire as the tour’s vendor.


Audio engineers Shan Hira (FOH) and Ian Barton (Monitors) are both using Midas XL4 analogue mixing desks. For Hira, it’s a console he’s grown to know intuitively over the twenty-four years he’s been bringing the Chems’ sounds to live audiences. “It’s an absolute pleasure to mix FOH for The Chemical Brothers”, he says. “They have written so many great songs and their live interpretation of these songs turns the show into an amazing audio-visual experience, which is always a privilege to be involved in.”


“My objective with their shows is to present their songs in the best possible light”, he continues. “The mix from the stage is different for every show, so the same thing does not necessarily happen at the same time each night. I track what the band is doing and use the options in my FX racks to enhance what I am getting from the stage. After all these years, there is a lot of trust within that, so they leave me to do what I think is the right thing.”


Hira specified a selection of gear across three racks. Housing both classic and retro units, the dynamic rack includes XTA C2 Compressors, XTA D2 Compressors, XTAS Graphic EQ and a Waves Maxx BCL Mastering Limiter/Compressor. “For the two effects racks, there are some units from Skan, the band owns some, and I’ve brought some of my own too”, he explains. “I have an Eventide H7600 Ultra Harmonizer Effects System, Deltalab Timeline 2048, Lexicon PCM 70 Digital Effects Processor, vintage Korg SDE 3000 Digital Delay, Electrospace Spanner surround panner, Line 6 Filter, Lexicon 480 for digital reverb, Roland SRE 555 Chorus Echo, MXR Digital Delay System 2, MXR Pitch Transposer, MXR Flanger, Bel Flanger, Boss Re 20 and a Boss Re 202.”


The PA system is D&B Audiotechnik; GSL for main hangs, KSL for side and rear hangs, flown J Subs, stacked SL-Subs and V10p for front fills. On stage, side fills comprise boxes of KSL with SL-Subs, rave fills of V12 tops and V-Subs used by the production team. There is also a scattering of M2 wedges and B6 Subs on stage.


Monitor Engineer Ian Barton explains that a lot of fine-tuning goes into his monitor mixes in his “triangle of trust” between himself, Hira and Chemical Brothers’ Tom Rowlands. “I’ve got Ed (Simons) who plays different synths, and some satellite speakers dotted around the stage, so I overlay whatever the sound is”, he says. “There are twenty-four analogue keyboards running at any one time, but mixing it is completely second nature at this point.” Barton also has Lab.gruppen amplification on his own L-Acoustics speakers - two ARCs, two dVSubs, two 108s and four 108Ps.


Hira and Barton worked closely with Skan’s Scott Essen - the Audio Crew Chief and System Designer has been working with this team for years.


(Photos: Ray Baseley/Skan PA Hire)


Skan PA supplies audio solutions for PJ Harvey’s first UK/Euro tour in six years

Skan PA supplies audio solutions for PJ Harvey’s first UK/Euro tour in six years

Playing live in support of her tenth studio album, “I Inside the Old Year Dying”, avant-rock artist PJ Harvey played a string of sold-out dates at carefully chosen venues. Her engineers required audio solutions from supplier Skan PA Hire.


Monitor Engineer Magali Couturier has been with PJ Harvey for some years now, and has exact expectations from her vendor. “I first met (Skan Director) Chris Fitch at Glastonbury in the ‘90s, it was the first time I’d seen a ‘boss’ that was so ‘hands-on’”, she says. “He understands what we go through as engineers, which is why I think he also understands the type of audio tech we need for PJ’s tours.” Couturier also acknowledges the help she received from Skan’s Finlay Watt.


In terms of her mix, Couturier defines her work as creating a “delicate balance”, that is as close to the recordings as possible. “Polly has a lot of effects that change from song to song, so it can be very complex to mix”, she says. “It’s not like you make a sound, and that works for the whole show. It can go from atmospheric to something very rocky or folky.”


“And that balance may change from venue to venue too, where a small detail may bring a song to life or to sleep”, continues Couturier. “This gig is extremely rewarding as a monitor engineer, you really become a part of the performance and the creative, live process. Working with musicians like those we have in her band is why I do this job.”


Couturier has been working on some major changes since the previous tour; Harvey and her band now use Sennheiser 2000 Series IEMs, with Ultimate Ears UE11s. “The 10-piece band used to be on wedges and has now switched to in-ear monitors”, she explains. “The reason for this is that the stage would look better, there wouldn’t be black boxes scattered around and the musicians would be freer to move around.”


“The transition was an interesting journey, given the type of music they play and that none of them had used IEMs before”, she adds. “It’s quite unorthodox - none of them use in-ears in the same way. Polly wants to hear the record, so my aim with her mix is to make it as close to her records as possible.” She does so via a Yamaha PM7 with an RPIO Stage Rack, another new equipment choice for this campaign.


Engineer Rik Dowding was caretaking for long-time FOH Mixer Howard “Head” Bullivant, who has worked with PJ since her early demo days. “Head very kindly asked me to fill in on this tour, which is an absolute honour”, he says. Dowding was originally going to mix these shows on an analogue classic, the Midas H3000, as per Bullivant’s rider. “Gradually, I was getting reports from Magali about the channel count, which was rising. Eventually, we had 48 channels, and I couldn’t do that on an analogue desk and put all my effects in there too, so we made the decision to go with a DiGiCo console.”


From Skan’s inventory, Dowding has opted for an SD10 with 32 Bit SD Rack on stage and an SD Mini at FOH to connect the outboard. The band were initially worried about losing warmth with the switch from an analogue console, so Dowding specified some tube-based outboard. For outboard, he employed a Transient Designer TD4, Tube-Tech LCA-2B, Summit DCL-200, Summit TLA-100, Rupert Neve Portico II Master Buss Compressor and an Empirical Labs EL8-X Distressor from Skan, along with FX including an Eventide H3000, Bricasti M7 Reverb, Yamaha SPX2000 and Lake LM 44 for system EQ. He also utilises some of his own favourite units such as the Rupert Neve 5045 Primary Source Enhancer 5045, a Roland RE-20 Space Echo Pedal and an Empirical Labs EL7 Fatso Jr.


He furthers: “Guitarist John Parrish utilises a very particular set of sounds that not many people tend to use, so for his guitars, I use the Tube-Tech LCA-2B stereo tube compressor. The drums are going through amplifiers and are sent to a buss where the Fatso is applied, adding a harmonic saturation, and fattening up the sound.”


According to Dowding, PJ Harvey is very involved in the live mix process, sending notes on reverbs and delays that are specific to each song. He continues: “Polly’s microphone of choice is a Sennheiser MD 431. She uses that with the Rupert Neve 5045 ‘feedback destroyer’. The 5045 goes into the EL8-X Distressor.”


Harvey’s 26-date theatrical masterpiece played to audiences in venues across eleven countries. The tour was led by Production Manager Tecwyn Beint, who says he is looking forward to working with Chris Fitch and his team again very soon.


Pictured: Skan Tech Finlay Watt (left) with Production Manager Tecwyn Beint; Monitor Engineer Magali Couturier; FOH Engineer Rik Dowding. (Photos: Skan PA Hire)


Skan PA supplies audio solutions for PJ Harvey’s first UK/Euro tour in six yearsSkan PA supplies audio solutions for PJ Harvey’s first UK/Euro tour in six years

GrandMA3 running Maiden’s Tower installation in Istanbul

GrandMA3 running Maiden’s Tower installation in Istanbul

Lighting designer Martin Kuhn used a GrandMA3 replay unit to run a permanent show that he designed for Istanbul’s iconic Maiden’s Tower. The landmark stands on a tiny islet at the southern entrance of the Bosphorus strait, 300 metres from the coast of Üsküdar in Istanbul, Turkey, and has recently re-opened after restoration.


Kuhn was working for Istanbul AV specialist Astel and end client, the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The lighting includes 48 x Ayrton Cobra moving lights which are positioned around the perimeter of the lower sea wall in protective cabinets that open when the show starts, and a selection of 76 x Anolis Eminere and Calumma fixtures illuminating the various architectural elements, together with 27 x SGM P2s and P6 LED floods.


The lights are connected via six GrandMA3 2Port Nodes and two MA Network Switches, and the show was programmed on and offsite on a GrandMA3 light console by Martin Kuhn and Marc Marlo Schelesnow. Once they had completed all the finessing, the showfile was transferred to the GrandMA3 replay unit.


Kuhn researched the history of Maiden’s Tower and its role in Istanbul’s culture and heritage as he wanted to deliver a meaningful and educative lightshow that represented its significance and importance to the city. He collaborated with Turkish author Ayse Kulin, who storyboarded a narrative from which Kuhn, via Depence 3 software, produced a 3-minute video showcase for the client to pitch his lightshow ideas.


After winning the job, he commissioned musicians and translators for the 8-minute narrative and musical piece, and then designed, specified, and programmed the lighting and visual elements. In the show, Maiden’s Tower is a female character so the lighting is both powerful and subtle with soft transitions that correspond to the music and narrative which people can tune in and listen to in various languages via a special web application.


Kuhn describes the programming process as “very similar” to that of a theatrical show, needing a high degree of detail and lots of drama. He chose GrandMA3 because he wanted a replay unit that was “future proof”. “I didn’t want to have to re-programme it in a couple of years, so this was the right decision to make”, he says. Kuhn has also been contracted for the first three years of the new installation to keep the show updated and provide special shows for occasions like Independence Day or New Year’s Eve.


Programmer Marc Marlo Schelesnow underwent a one-on-one GrandMA3 course beforehand to get acquainted with GrandMA3 as it was also his first time using an all-GrandMA3 system, although he’s been an avid GrandMA2 user for some time. The basic building blocks of the show were first programmed in a studio using Depence 3, then transferred to the GrandMA3 light console on site for them to finish the task before finally storing it on the GrandMA3 replay unit.


The Maiden’s Tower lightshow is triggered by an external Q-Sys system that connects the various parts of the show, one of them being the Galata Tower on the opposite side of the Bosphorus, featuring a 70-Watt laser. The two towers interact as their lasers create a visual “bridge” across the water for the finale. There are eighteen lasers in the show in total, eight projecting onto the sides of Maiden’s Tower which are concealed in compartments around the sea wall, similar to the Cobras.


One laser is mounted on a hydraulic lift that elevates to the correct level for delivering show graphics onto the Tower wall after the cabinets are opened. Eight 50-Watt lasers are positioned on top of the roof shooting 360-degree beams around the harbour, plus the 70-Watt unit that connects with the Galata Tower. The lighting supply and installation - including the GrandMA3 elements - was completed by Asimetrik, which is the MA Lighting distributor in Turkey, with laser control and programming courtesy of Laserfabrik from Cologne.


Audiences can see and experience the Maiden’s Tower lightshow from Istanbul’s shores, or by boat from both the European and Asian parts of the city.


(Photo: Amanda Holmes)


GR Eventtechnik supplies Federal Government event with Coda Audio system

GR Eventtechnik supplies Federal Government event with Coda Audio system

The German Federal Government’s Digital Summit 2023 took place November last year in the city of Jena. Around 1000 participants from the worlds of business, science and politics got together to discuss issues surrounding digital transformation in the new era. The technical production was handled by Quickborn-based GR Eventtechnik who chose Coda Audio for sound reinforcement. The stage design was created by Facts and Fiction GmbH.


Steffan Grimm, Co-Managing Director at GR Eventtechnik, outlines the brief: “The event, which took place in the Ernst Abbe Hall in the Volkshaus, Jena, required maximum speech intelligibility. Another important factor to be considered was that the visual axes to the stage could not be compromised. Also, the stage area was to be as clean as possible - placing speakers on or near the stage was not desirable.” Grimm chose a system based on Coda Audio’s TiRay line array.


“We carried out the necessary calculations using Coda Audio’s System Optimiser prediction software and designed a system that would deliver complete, precise coverage without any compromise of sight lines”, says Grimm who determined a main hang consisting of left and right arrays of six TiRay each, a centre hang of three TiRay and a sub-array comprising six G15-Sub in a sub arc configuration (with a distance of 90 cm from each other).


Four Hops5 (flown on the projection truss) were used as the delay line, eight D5-Cube took care of the near field area and four Hops5 took care of the stage monitoring (“as a shower in the PA truss”). Amplification was delivered by three Linus14D (played via the in-house Dante network) and two Linus14D (behind the stage for subwoofer and near-field speakers).


(Photos: Coda Audio/GR Eventtechnik)


GR Eventtechnik supplies Federal Government event with Coda Audio systemGR Eventtechnik supplies Federal Government event with Coda Audio system

Martin Audio takes active role in Japan’s first immersive outdoor music festival

Hoshioto Camp 23, which took place recently at Budou Romankan in the Japanese Prefecture of Okayama, became the first outdoor music festival in Japan to introduce immersive sound. Therefore, local sound rental company Bright Co. Ltd., who had originally invested in Martin Audio’s WPC system back in 2020, upgraded the event’s main speaker system.


WPC was recommended as the overall fit, after evaluation against other systems. Kazuyuki Oshita, president of Bright Co. Ltd., says that one of the reasons why he recommended the system to the organisers was its ability to deliver consistency of sound across the area, and to mitigate against noise pollution by being able to contain the energy within the sound field, due to Martin Audio’s proprietary Display control software.


The sixteen principal WPC boxes were powered by Martin Audio’s multi-channel iK42 amplifiers, and to create the full immersion an end-to-end Martin Audio solution was specified, including eight XD15, four SX218 subwoofers, six XP12 and various XE300, and Adorn A55 enclosures.


Various other local rental suppliers, introduced to the main contractors by Martin Audio Japan, also tapped into their inventories to complete the complement required, which also included Spat Revolution processing. These included Super 4, Music Reserve, Freeway and Network Papa.


(Photos: Martin Audio/Bright Co. Ltd.)


Chauvet fixtures chosen for Canadian “Hair” production

Lighting designer Julie Basse and her colleagues, including director Serge Denoncourt, just concluded a two-month run of the musical “Hair” in Montreal and Quebec, Canada. The set allowed them to hide ninety Chauvet Professional moving fixtures in their LSM-Ambiocreateur supplied rig.


At the center of this set were several high scaffolding towers imagined by set designer Guillaume Lord. Contributing to the authenticity of the scene, the rig’s 17 Maverick Force 3 Profile and 29 Maverick Force 1 Spot fixtures were hidden by borders in the overhead truss.


“The scaffolding towers looked as if the venue had been in construction for months and have been squatted by a group of hippies in 1968”, says Basse. “As the show takes place in 1968, from a realistic point of view, we were not supposed to have moving lights, so we decided to hide them. For this reason, my overhead truss trim was quite high (28’).” Moving fixtures that were not hidden high up in the truss scaffolding were kept from view in other ways. For example, Basse placed her 42 Rogue Outcast BeamWashes on boom truss far behind the set.


Basse did keep one type of fixtures visible in the set’s scaffolding: her 42 Colorado PXL Bar 16s, using them to be evocative of the old school ramp lamps that were available during the play’s era. She also positioned her 30 Ovation E-260CW ellipsoidals at a very low trim on each side of the proscenium to light the actors, so audiences could see their faces “without smashing the whole image”.


There was only a single Color Strike M in Basse’s rig, but it helped her create a memorable effect. She used it to backlight Claude, the musical’s main character, during his first and last appearance on the second level of the central scaffolding tower. Describing the effect, she notes: “It backlit him perfectly in the smoke for those two quick and surprising moments.”


Basse worked closely with her programmer Julien Blais-Savoie during this production. “I liked the apparent simplicity of having domestical fluorescent and quartz in the stage, but in good quantities”, she says. “It helped add realism to the set, giving it an 3D aspect. Moreover, we were able to program many punches for the songs, which smoothly brought the audience in a real music hall.”


“I’ve been working with the director Serge Denoncourt on several other musical and theatral productions, such as ‘Mademoiselle Julie’, ‘Je vais t’aimer’ and ‘Annie’”, concludes Basse. “We both love slick, white, and sophisticated lighting looks, but on this production the challenge for both of us was to go where nobody, including us, expected us to go - back to typical 1968 Broadway looks.”


(Photos: Maxim Paré Fortin)


Klang:Technologies immersive in-ear monitor mixing system used for “The Time Traveller’s Wife: The Musical”

Based on Audrey Niffenegger’s bestselling 2003 novel, a new musical adaptation of “The Time Traveller’s Wife” recently premiered at London’s Apollo Theatre in the West End, showcasing an original score by Joss Stone and Dave Stewart. Sound Designer Richard Brooker and Associate Sound Designer Nick Lodge collaborated closely with the production crew - including Callum Donaldson, Isabel McIntosh, Andrew Williams and sound effects designer Pete Malkin - to bring forth this show, which has been running since October.


The production also marks Brooker’s first proper use of the Klang:Technologies immersive in-ear monitor mixing system, supplied by Stage Sound Services, for the show’s band. The system comprises Klang:Vokal and Klang:Kontroller. After initial discussions with Phil Kamp from Klang:Technologies, who offered full support in transitioning from the team’s previous system, Brooker also had the opportunity to visit DiGiCo’s offices to meet Product Specialist Dave Bigg, who provided Brooker with a further opportunity to delve deep into the system.


“You just have to adjust your thought process to understand how Klang works”, says Brooker. “It’s much more aligned with how our ears and brains process information on a day-to-day basis, rather than simply putting on a pair of headphones and working with stereo limitations. It’s about trying to make it feel as natural as if you weren’t wearing headphones or in-ears. Nick did an excellent job programming the system in a way that made sense to us, but also catered to the musicians.”


Brooker adds that once “you get your mix right, and if you’re using the 360-degree soundstage, it’s possible to listen to the mix at lower volumes”. He believes this is helpful because some musicians tend to keep the volume high, which can be damaging to their hearing in the long run, and also fatiguing.


With each band member having their own unique mix setup, Brooker highlights that it shows everyone’s distinct preferences in how they like to listen, with “Klang fully leveraging that flexibility”. He further notes that being a DiGiCo through and through designer and engineer, he appreciates how Klang products integrate with the DiGiCo Quantum7T digital mixing console that is being used for the show.


Talking about the technical set-up, Nick Lodge explains that they are feeding the Klang system directly from the DiGiCo console, “sending Groups and auxes and other things to it, as well as some direct outs so we can treat things directly as, for example, the bass player wants to hear his bass”, he says. “We made an initial assessment of each musician and their needs, then programmed Klang to each musician’s preferences. Some people wanted to play with the angles and positioning and other features, while others preferred a set menu.”


Following the successful deployment of the Klang system at “The Time Traveller’s Wife: The Musical” production, Brooker has also been using it on other shows he is managing.


(Photos: Johan Persson/Klang:Technologies/DiGiCo)


Gregor Hägele auf Tour mit GLP

Bei den „Mama, ich bin dann mal auf Tour“-Konzerten des deutschen Singer-Songwriters Gregor Hägele im November 2023 verantwortete Lichttechniker/Operator Johannes Münsch das Set- und Lichtdesign. Mit sechs GLP JDC1, jeweils vier Impression E350 und Fusion X-PAR 12Z schuf er das Setup für Venues mit einer Kapazität von 300 bis 1.200 Personen.


Jeweils zwei der sechs JDC1-Hybrid-Strobes montierte Münsch an drei senkrechten Traversenstehern. Den Raum zwischen den Stehern füllte er mit den vier Impression E350 Spot, welche direkt auf ihren Cases platziert für Beam-Looks sowie Gobo-Effekte sorgten. Jeweils zwei Fusion X-PAR 12Z schufen das Gassenlicht.


Die JDC1 standen klar im Mittelpunkt und wurden verwendet, „um die Bühne in Farbe zu tauchen und rhythmische Highlights mit einzelnen Pixeln oder kompletten Strobe-Lines zu betonen“, wie der Designer erklärt. Die Fusion X-PAR 12Z waren Neuland für Münsch: „Die Gregor-Hägele-Tour war mein erster Einsatz dieser Lampe“, sagt er.


(Fotos: GLP)


Vio-X-Serie von dBTechnologies bei Miljö-Mitsing-Konzert in Jülich im Einsatz

Vio-X-Serie von dBTechnologies bei Miljö-Mitsing-Konzert in Jülich im Einsatz
Vio-X-Serie von dBTechnologies bei Miljö-Mitsing-Konzert in Jülich im Einsatz

Die Kölner Band Miljö hat ihr zehnjähriges Jubiläum mit einer Tour von Mitsing-Konzerten gefeiert, die unter anderem im Kuba in Jülich Station machte. Das Licht, die Möbel, die (fast) ausschließlich unplugged präsentierten Songs und die Bestuhlung im Saal sorgten für eine heimelige Wohnzimmer-Atmosphäre im Club. Die Beschallungsanlage war mit Komponenten von dBTechnologies bestückt.


Für das Konzert in Jülich nutzte Achim Helmrich, der langjährige Tonmann der Band, aktive Komponenten der Vio-X-Serie. Direkt vor der Bühne waren zwei Sets Vio X 206 mit Stativ auf einem Vio-S118r-Subwoofer platziert. Liegend am Bühnenrand taten drei Vio-X-205-Einheiten ihren Dienst als Nearfills. Um das gewünschte Wohnzimmer-Feeling zu generieren, entschied sich Helmrich dazu, im Publikum noch zwei weitere aktive Vio-X-10-Point-Source-Lautsprecher als Delays zu installieren.


(Fotos: dBTechnologies GmbH/Sascha Gansen)


Vio-X-Serie von dBTechnologies bei Miljö-Mitsing-Konzert in Jülich im EinsatzVio-X-Serie von dBTechnologies bei Miljö-Mitsing-Konzert in Jülich im Einsatz

Cohesion selected for Microsoft Ignite 2023

Cohesion selected for Microsoft Ignite 2023
Cohesion selected for Microsoft Ignite 2023

ATK Audiotek’s Cohesion sound systems were used for Microsoft Ignite 2023, the tech giant’s annual demonstration of new products and solutions. The Cohesion products were deployed at the Keynote Stage and the IP (Interstitial Programming) Theater Stage which thousands of developers and partners attended.


The system at the Keynote Stage included twelve arrays of CO10 line arrays utilizing both 120° and 80° directivities. Eight CP6+ self-powered point source loudspeakers, hidden within the recess of a purpose-built three-foot “moat” shelf in front of the Keynote Stage, provided front fill, while a ninth CP6+ directed sound toward a cluster of seats on the side. Six CP218 II+ subwoofers were deployed in a cardioid arrangement.


Upstairs on the fifth floor of the convention center, Microsoft held their IP Theater Stage to broadcast a continuous live program featuring a variety of hosts, guests, and live demonstrations. The CP6+ was selected to provide the entire PA system.


(Photos: Cohesion/Clair Global)


Hard-Fi turn to DiGiCo for first UK tour in over a decade

Hard-Fi turn to DiGiCo for first UK tour in over a decade
Hard-Fi turn to DiGiCo for first UK tour in over a decade

After a ten-year hiatus, indie rock band Hard-Fi made a return in October 2023 with a 13-day nationwide tour. The West London four-piece played venues such as the Junction in Cambridge, O2 Academy in Liverpool, Rock City in Nottingham, and the Troxy in London. Front of House Engineer Sam Parker and Monitor Engineer Bertie Hunter deployed a DiGiCo Quantum 225 and SD12 digital mixing console respectively, supplied by CS Audio.


“We had around thirty inputs and output-wise there were four band mixes and two tech mixes. One of my favourite functions on the SD12 is the Processing Matrix, which is instrumental for building an efficient talk system between the band and crew”, says Hunter. Parker adds: “We gravitated towards DiGiCo due to our longstanding familiarity with the brand. The Quantum 225 and SD12 were ideal for us, particularly because of the need for smaller footprint consoles.” The two consoles were connected via Madi to independent MQ Racks, ensuring complete autonomy within a condensed setup.


(Photos: DiGiCo/CS Audio)


Hard-Fi turn to DiGiCo for first UK tour in over a decadeHard-Fi turn to DiGiCo for first UK tour in over a decade

Maisie Peters on tour with DiGiCo consoles

Maisie Peters on tour with DiGiCo consoles
Maisie Peters on tour with DiGiCo consoles

British singer-songwriter Maisie Peters recently completed the latest UK leg of her “The Good Witch” tour, with further dates across Europe and Australia scheduled for 2024. FOH Engineer Nathan Kennedy and Monitor Engineer Michael “Fitz“ Fitzsimons utilised a DiGiCo SD10 and DiGiCo Quantum 225 respectively.


“During Maisie’s first year, I used an SD10”, says Kennedy. “For the US and UK tour, I switched to the Quantum 225 as I wanted to explore the Spice Rack and Mustard Processing. I apply Mustard compression to my drum groups, which makes the toms, kick, and snare pop a lot more than they did.”


Fitzsimons has deployed DiGiCo consoles across a multitude of acts, from Cradle of Filth to Eric Clapton, and for the past year has been using DiGiCo for monitoring Maisie Peters. “It’s an incredibly busy gig”, he says. “We’ve just wrapped up a grueling 110-day run across the USA, Canada, Japan, and the UK/Ireland, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”


Fitzsimons notes that he has toured most extensively with SD7 and SD10 consoles, and continues with an SD10 for Peters’ tour. “I’m sharing mic inputs on a fibre loop with Nathan, which also includes an Orange Box facilitating bi-directional Dante communication between monitors and playback, alongside various sends and receives”, he adds.


When it comes to the console set-up for monitors, Fitzsimons employs eight Stereo Auxes into his in ear rack, along with spare, guest, and control mixes. He incorporates subs, a butt kicker, and analogue returns to a hardwired drum pack. “The cue and crew mixes leave the board on matrixes”, he explains. “I merge these mixes into stereo groups before the matrix grid and use a shout group as a key input on the duckers to ensure clear talkback during the show.”


Additionally, Fitzsimons utilises ten internal effects, some on Aux sends and others as channel inserts. “For instance, with acoustic guitars, I adjust the wet/dry mix per Snapshot/song”, he says. “I split all my drum channels, then sub-mix the split channels into a buss feeding a stereo group, on which I use a pair of analogue Urei 1176s.”


For FOH, there are sixty inputs in total, which includes talkbacks. Kennedy also uses six mono Auxes, one stereo Aux, six mono groups and five stereo groups. “I have a dedicated Maisie vocal EQ group, kick and snare group, toms group, backing vocals group and guitars group,” he says.


(Photos: James Cumpsty/DiGiCo)


Maisie Peters on tour with DiGiCo consolesMaisie Peters on tour with DiGiCo consoles

VNV Nation auf Tour mit Claypaky Volero Wave

Seit über dreißig Jahren ist das Future-Pop/Alternative-Electronic-Projekt VNV Nation aktiv. Gründer Ronan Harris ist dabei Sänger, Songwriter, Produzent und Setdesigner in Personalunion. Lichtdesigner Martin Heining (Martin Heining Showdesign), der seit 2016 das Lichtdesign der VNV-Nation-Shows entwirft und von Ronan Harris respektvoll als „Lichtmaler“ bezeichnet wird, verwendete für die letztjährige „Electric Sun“-Europatournee im Effektlichtbereich erstmalig die Volero Wave von Claypaky.


Heining beschreibt Bandleader Harris als einen „extrem visuell denkenden Menschen, der oft schon im Songwriting-Prozess Ideen zur visuellen Umsetzung auf der Bühne mitentwickelt“ und überdies auch den Video-Content der Shows selbst gestaltet hat. „Im Designprozess war mir daran gelegen, möglichst mehrere verschiedene Lichtebenen zu schaffen, um wirklich dreidimensional inszenieren zu können“, ergänzt Heining, der sein Design aufgrund unterschiedlicher Hallengrößen hochgradig skalierbar gestalten musste.


Neben vier LED-Wänden und einigen Pixeltowern sorgten insgesamt zehn Claypaky Volero Wave für die gewünschte Dynamik. Die LED-Bars im neuartigen Design mit Einzelkopf-Tilt wurden in fünf linearen Zweierblöcken auf der Bühne platziert, jeweils vor den Videowänden sowie auf dem Drum Riser. „Mit zehn Volero Wave hatte ich praktisch achtzig Movinglights auf der Bühne stehen“, so Heining.


(Fotos: Markus Wilmsmann)


Aventem liefert technische Komplettlösung für Aljoscha Höhns „Event Night“

Aventem hat die „Event Night“ von Aljoscha Höhn am 28. November 2023 auf dem Areal Böhler in Düsseldorf technisch geplant und realisiert. Die Veranstaltung feierte ihre Premiere als Invitation-only-Event auf einer Fläche von rund 8.500 Quadratmetern und brachte mehrere hundert Entscheidungsträger der Event-Branche zusammen.


Gastgeber und Moderator Aljoscha Höhn hatte dafür unter anderem Daniel Unkelhäußer (CMO, IBM), Klaus Gorny (Director Communications, Meta), Frank Bartels (Head of Event Management, Rewe Group), Michael Schindler (Head of Events, KPMG) und viele andere Auftraggeber und Wegbegleiter aus seiner Moderatorenkarriere eingeladen.


Aventem zeichnete für die gesamte technische Infrastruktur verantwortlich, darunter Bühnenbau, Beschallung, Beleuchtung, Rigging, Kamera- und Bildtechnik sowie die Projektleitung. Zu den Highlights des Abends zählte eine Drohnen-Show.


Gabby Barrett on tour with Chauvet

LD Erik McCandless designed the show for country singer Gabby Barrett’s 45-city 2023 North American tour. “Gabby is constantly looking for new territory with staging and trying to introduce new elements to elevate the show”, says McCandless. “As a designer, that’s the best thing you could ask for.”


“Gabby has reached the top of the country charts, but her influences were not limited to that genre”, he continues. “Having been raised on a lot of pop and rock’n’roll as well as country, she wanted us to look to artists like Michael Jackson and Prince for inspiration, as these were important to her in her youth.”


McCandless took this feedback and ran with it, creating a muti-dimensional rig that opens the way to a diverse range of looks, from the soft and subtle to the bright and intense. He achieved this by pixel mapping his entire rig, which was supplied by Production Technology Partners (PTP) of Nashville, and featured Rogue Outcast 1 BeamWash, as well as Colorado PXL Bar 16 fixtures from Chauvet Professional.


“I pixel mapped to create a graphic surface behind Gabby and the band that had enough versatility to give every song a new environment, while also bringing enough volume to fill any dead space onstage”, explains McCandless. “We had three pre-existing risers that we wanted to keep using from our 2022 tour. This created a fairly long footprint. Since most of this year’s dates were support slots in amphitheaters, I needed something that could transform three risers into a cohesive set, move on and off stage quickly, and in some cases, compete with the sun.”


To accomplish this, McCandless decided to arrange his fixtures on three video carts that he could arrange to create a graphic array of lines and circles that worked for large rig-wide sweeps and wipes. He then created separate pixel maps of every fixture’s elements so he could build clean transitions and effects in any layer quickly.


For the 32 Rogue Outcast 1 BeamWash fixtures in his rig, he pixel mapped the main mover body and LED ring. “Each song utilized a different combination of fixture layers to create its own little world”, he says. “For example, with Gabby’s cover of ‘Need You Now’, I put us in a neon world of color bars and had the Outcast’s rings set in multiple vibrant shades of blue, green and pink.”


“Throughout our show, the ring element of the Outcasts was essential to the look of our rig”, adds McCandless. “I could create a song’s world by turning a layer of any fixture on or off, but the go-to starting point for me was matching the Outcast rings to the bar lines. It gave the rig a neon effect that tied the entire design together.”


The Rogue Outcast 1 BeamWashes along the Colorado PXL Bar 16 fixtures also helped McCandless keep light focused on his client. “One of my biggest pet peeves as a designer is seeing a ton of lights onstage, but only seeing a flat front spotlight on the performer”, he says. “Even worse is when every light onstage is on and you can’t find the artist. Our rig for this tour had a lot of lit surfaces to look at, and all of it was more or less pointed at the audience’s eyes.”


“Using the Outcasts combined with overheads and the PXL bars, I could carve Gabby out of even the brightest and flashiest of sequences”, he continues. “She tends to cover the entire stage, so a trick I’ve used is to create temp faders that point movers at each corner of the stage, and one for center. I could set these fixtures in the song to be on her mic stand, then have the temp faders available in combination to manually follow her as she moved about the stage.”


Pixel mapping the entire rig was not without its challenges, according to McCandless. “I ended up not using as many bitmaps as I thought I would”, he says. “They didn’t translate super well across five different fixture control surfaces. Certain colors that wouldn’t match, fixture brightness had to be constantly evened out. So, instead, I found myself using the pixel maps to create pages of selection orders groups and macros that could ‘copy’ looks and create delays across the whole rig from the first unit. This not only sped up programming, but it kept any wipe effects cleaner than if I were to select from a layout view.”


McCandless worked closely with lighting director Vanessa Sexton and production-tour manager Tayler Bock.


(Photos: Chauvet Professional)


MKM wählt Coda-Audio-Lösungen für Rheingrün Open Air

MKM wählt Coda-Audio-Lösungen für Rheingrün Open Air
MKM wählt Coda-Audio-Lösungen für Rheingrün Open Air

Das zehnte Rheingrün Open Air lockte im vergangenen Jahr rund 7.000 Techno- und Electro-Liebhaber in das bei Karlsruhe gelegene Rheinstrandbad Rappenwört. Die MKM Event Show Technik GmbH verantwortete als Generaldienstleister den Bühnenbau sowie die Licht- und Tonproduktion.


Das von Kai Hanstein geführte und in Pfungstadt bei Darmstadt ansässige Unternehmen setzte dabei ausschließlich Systeme von Coda Audio ein. „Ich bin bereits seit 2019 Teil der Coda-Audio-Familie“, sagt Hanstein, der den Systemtechniker Daniel Vollrath aus Bad Kreuznach für das Rheingrün Open Air als System- und FOH-Techniker engagierte.


Vollrath setzte bei der Beschallung der zwei Rheingrün-Bühnen unter anderem auf die folgenden Komponenten: 16 x AiRay (Line Array-System), 26 x SCP (Sensor Controlled Subwoofer) sowie G712-Pro und G715-Pro (3-Wege-Multifunktionslautsprecher). Angetrieben wurden die Systeme von mehreren Linus14D-T- und M-Racks (3 x Linus14D-Systemverstärker im 10HE- bzw. 1 x Linus14D-Systemverstärker im 3U-Case).


Ursprünglich habe Vollrath mit dem Gedanken gespielt, für die Zeltbühne das kleinere ViRay-Line-Array-System von Coda Audio einzusetzen (ebenfalls im Bestand von MKM). Die örtlichen Gegebenheiten ließen das jedoch nicht zu. „Die geringe Deckenhöhe erlaubte kein Line-Array-System“, sagt Vollrath, der sich deshalb mit einem Mix der Point-Source-Lautsprecher G712 und G715 behalf.


Dabei bediente er sich eines kleinen Tricks: „Die quadratische Bühne ist mitten im Zelt aufgebaut, vorne und hinten stehen jeweils drei SCPs, links und rechts jeweils fünf SCVs“, erklärt er. „Die SCVs habe ich um sechs Millisekunden delayed und damit von den SCPs entkoppelt. Das hat geholfen, die DJs im Zentrum der Bässe zu schonen, ohne nach außen hin Druck zu verlieren.“ Die Lautstärke-Pegel seien angemessen gewesen. Begonnen habe man mit 92 dB, gegen Ende des Festivals sei man bei 100 dB angelangt.


(Fotos: Daniel Vollrath)


Dominic Lopenzo evokes stained-glass Christmas memories with Chauvet

Dominic Lopenzo evokes stained-glass Christmas memories with Chauvet

The stately brick building with the vaulted roof at 730 South Florida Avenue stood as a reassuring landmark for residents of the Lake Morton Historic District in Lakeland, Florida, since its opening in 1925. A particular feature that was a favorite was the large rectangular, arch-topped stained-glass windows that lined the building’s sides, and the base of its belfry tower. Grace City Church purchased this historic site in 2013.


Grace City’s lighting designer Dominic Lopenzo missed the elegance of the stained-glass windows after Grace City moved from the old South Florida Avenue building into a larger, more modern facility a couple of years ago to meet the needs of its growing congregation. This Christmas he created the effect of these beloved gems at the church’s services with the help of pixel mapped Chauvet Professional fixtures.


“The stained-glass window looks between our LED wall and the Chauvet lights are probably my favorite element of my design this Christmas”, said Lopenzo. “The massive stained-glass windows in our old building were special, so this look is reminiscent of that era in our new church. With the pixel mapping functions of the Colordash Battens and the R3 Washes in our rig, I am able to create a more seamless look between the LED wall images of the stained-glass windows and the lighting fixtures by setting up color changing effects for each individual LED pixel.”


Using his church’s “regular year-round rig” for Christmas, Lopenzo relied on four Rogue R3 Spot, four Rogue R3 Wash, four Rogue RH1 Hybrid, and ten Rogue R1 Wash fixtures for his lighting. He also used eight Colordash Batten Quad-12 for backlighting in the center of the stage.


“The R3 fixtures are in the air on my upstage truss, while the R1 washes and RH1 hybrids are scattered around the deck”, he said. “The washes are used in a typical wash fashion for slower and lower dynamic parts of the songs, but when the big instrumentals kick in, they’re zoomed all of the way in to act as beam fixtures to complement the R3 spots and RH Hybrids. For Christmas, I feel like Gobos are the best things to use to create vibes for the songs. I usually have one of the Gobo designs set for the majority of any particular song.”


(Photos: Chauvet Professional/Grace City Church)


Dominic Lopenzo evokes stained-glass Christmas memories with ChauvetDominic Lopenzo evokes stained-glass Christmas memories with Chauvet

Verantec beleuchtet „Rock meets Classic“-Konzerte mit Robe

Für die diesjährige „Rock meets Classic“-Deutschlandtour hat sich der Technischer Dienstleister, Jochen Habermann mit seiner Firma Verantec, für Lichtequipment von Robe entschieden: Habermann setzte setzte insgesamt 24 Esprite, 24 Spiider und 28 LEDBeam 350 ein. Gaststars der Orchestertournee waren Joey Tempest (Europe), Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) und Maggie Reilly sowie Mick Box und Bernie Shaw, die das fünfzigjährige Bestehen ihrer Band Uriah Heep einläuteten. Tourveranstalter war Manfred Hertlein.


Neben Rental-Spezialist Habermann war auch Jakob Link (J-Design) als Lichtdesigner und Showoperator mit auf Tour, das Rigging verantwortete Hannes Pfiffer, die Produktionsleitung lag in den Händen von Jörg Hartung. Eine der Herausforderungen der insgesamt rund 100 an der Produktion beteiligten Personen lag darin, die vier Sattelzüge an Material pünktlich vor Ort zu haben und den engen Zeitplan einzuhalten. „9 Uhr Load-in, 10 Uhr Aufbau, 14 Uhr Soundcheck, 20 Uhr Show, 22 Uhr Abbau, 24 Uhr Get-out - da muss man schon genau wissen, was man tut, und jeder Handgriff sollte sitzen“, so Habermann.


Insgesamt zehn Städte standen für Verantec auf dem Plan. Die Rental-Company war für Rigging, Licht, Ton und Media zuständig. „Damit der Ablauf auch wirklich reibungslos funktionieren konnte, war eine akribische Vorarbeit mit unseren Technikern und Lichtdesignern notwendig. Es kommt ja nicht allzu häufig vor, dass ein symphonisches Orchester auf eine Rockband trifft“, sagt Habermann.


(Fotos: Jochen Habermann)


KV2 Audio’s ES system selected for 2023 Polish DJ Championships

On December 9, 2023, the Polish DJ Championships, organized for the fifth consecutive year by Clubsound Management, brought together the most talented club players at Warsaw’s Explosion Club. The semi-final auditions kicked off at 11:00 a.m., featuring twenty semi-finalists.


In a format introduced in 2019, participants selected one of ten flash drives with music and had twenty minutes to prepare their ten-minute competition set. The jury, consisting of renowned DJs, club residents, event organizers, and the editor-in-chief of Poland’s premier DJ title evaluated each performance. The top three DJs - Korn, DJ PLK, and DJ Salis - earned their spots in the night’s final party.


Arcade Audio, KV2’s Polish distributor, provided a KV2 ES system for the competition. The jury opted for relatively low volume levels during the auditions, as it occasionally exceeded 93 dB in their centre box, yet the ES1.0 mid-high loudspeakers, accompanied by ES1.8 subwoofers, ensured precision for nuanced DJ techniques during the several hours of auditioning.


(Photos: KV2 Audio International s.r.o.)


Chauvet-Scheinwerfer bei Zürich Openair im Einsatz

Chauvet-Scheinwerfer bei Zürich Openair im Einsatz
Chauvet-Scheinwerfer bei Zürich Openair im Einsatz

Das dreitägige Zürich Openair im Vorort Glattburg ist ein musikalischer Schmelztiegel mit Künstlern aus den unterschiedlichen Genres - von Balladen bis zu elektronischen Beats, von Hardrock bis zu Indie. Auch Jazz, Blues und Folk gehören zum Programm. Bei der diesjährigen, zehnten Ausgabe des Festivals traten unter anderem Robbie Williams, Zara Larsson, Bastian Baker, The Killers, The Chainsmokers und Paul Kalkbrenner auf.


Bei der Gestaltung der Hauptbühne des Zürich Openair 2023 wurden zwei hohe Türme mit jeweils einer großen, vertikal ausgerichteten Videowand an der Basis durch horizontale Lichtreihen miteinander verbunden. Weitere Lichtreihen gingen von jeder Wand aus und fielen zu kleineren Säulen links und rechts der Bühne ab. Diese Anordnung erweckte den Eindruck einer Hängebrücke, die ihr Aussehen durch verschiedene Lichtmuster und eine ständig wechselnde Mischung intensiver Farben veränderte.


Zu diesem visuellen Panorama trugen eine Reihe von Chauvet-Professional-Scheinwerfern bei, geliefert und installiert von der FeedBack Show Systems & Service GmbH, welche alle Video-, Audio- und Beleuchtungsdienste auf der Hauptbühne bereitstellte. Der Zuschauerbereich war einer Rockkonzert-Arena nachempfunden. Das Rigg von FeedBack unterstrich diese Atmosphäre mit Beleuchtungsdisplays, einer Vielzahl von Blenden für die Publikumsbeleuchtung, synchronisierten Pixelmapping-Effekten und linearen Beleuchtungsarrangements.


Der Schlüssel dazu waren 154 motorisierte Color-Strike-M-Scheinwerfer. Die Lichtdesigner nutzten die beiden weißen Röhrenelemente in der Mitte der Scheinwerfer, um die Spannung mit Stroboskoplicht und Publikumsbeleuchtung zu erhöhen. Mittels der pixelmappbaren RGB-Fläche des Color Strike M wurden zahlreiche weitere Effekte erzeugt. 54 Colorado PXL Bar 16 sorgten für zusätzliche visuelle Tiefe auf der Bühne. Die IP65-zertifizierten Color Strike M und Colorado PXL Bar 16 überstanden das großteils regnerische Festivalwetter unbeschadet.


(Fotos: Chauvet Professional/Zürich Openair)


Tube UK supplies audio systems to Christmas trails in UK and Germany

Manchester-based sound design specialists and audiologists Tube UK are supplying audio systems to eight Christmas trails throughout the UK and one in Germany this season - totalling 168 individual sound systems, consuming 1,681 loudspeakers.


UK sites this year include Leeds Castle in Kent, Dunham Massey in Cheshire, Stourhead in Wiltshire, Bedgebury in Surrey, Wimpole Estate in Cambridgeshire, Chester Zoo and Heaton Park in Manchester, and Kew Gardens in London which was one of the first sites to start the trend back in 2013 with their “Christmas at Kew” concept.


The German trail, “Weihnachts-Wunderwelt”, is located in Benrath, a large upscale residential suburb of Düsseldorf known for the 18th-century rococo Benrath Palace residence, complete with substantial landscaped gardens and lake. Each location offers its own unique setting which is enhanced by lighting, sound, and some installations by UK-based and international lighting designers and artists.


Working closely with the production team from Culture Creative, Melvyn Coote and the Tube UK crew have developed a fully weatherised distributed sound system hardware concept for trail experiences. In addition to the 1,681 loudspeakers, which are connected using approximately 41 kilometres of speaker cable, 166 mixing desks, 168 Walkmans, seven QLab machines for timecoded elements and 289 amplifiers are deployed. All the kit is supplied out of Tube UK’s base in Manchester.


“The Christmas at Kew” trail is one of the longest in length at three kilometres, and it is also one of the best known and most popular. The sound system specifications on each site all vary depending on the size of the areas they are covering, the amount of audience expected in these spaces plus the complexity of the trail, and this year, between 12 and 28 systems were set up at each venue.


A typical distributed soundscape system for this application is designed to cover distances between 40 and 300 metres and comprises a small Yamaha MG06 mixer, a Behringer NX1000 amplifier, a Sony Walkman media player and JBL Control 1 speakers that will be placed between 7 and 15 metres apart along the path.


Speakers are typically positioned on the floor to minimise interference between different systems and areas and reduce the general audio “travel”. For some of the gathering/eating/bar areas, slightly bigger 8-inch driver speakers on stands are used. A series/parallel wiring technique is used so more speakers can be powered from one amplifier, reducing the amplifier requirements by half and the requisite cabling by approximately a third.


The Tube UK team installs each system, loads the content onto the media player, completes the balancing, then conducts a walk-round with the client together with their production and site managers and representatives from - in this case - promoter RGL (Raymond Gubbay Ltd, a division of Sony Music) as well as with the venue’s own events team. Any relevant notes arising from the walk-through are processed and the audio is tweaked. The systems are fine-tuned and checked for any environmental spillage or other unwanted interference, then handed over to the production run crews for the weeks that the trail is open to the public.


The most challenging site to install this year was Chester Zoo, which had to happen during its public opening hours, with no proper “quiet time” available and no vehicular access apart from a 90-minute window in the mornings when they had to whizz around the site in buggies delivering as much of the kit as possible to the designated areas. All other installation work had to be done on foot - resulting in a record of 49,000 steps clocked up in one day on this site.


After Kew, the next longest trail this year is Bedgebury at 2.4 km and the shortest is Benrath in Germany, which is 1 km. The German event brought different challenges including having to deal with Brexit paperwork, carnets, and the protracted timescales it takes to get kit in and out of the UK and across the borders.


As this was the first one there, Tube UK flew an engineer out to set up and install the system working with a local company and training two of their crew. This was with a view to being more sustainable as the project can potentially be realised next year without having to send engineers from the UK. Fixes and maintenance can also theoretically be dealt with locally.


On another environment note, when it is the second or third time that some of these locations are running trails, accurate virtual walk-throughs via Zoom or other VC platforms can also save time and boost efficiency and be very effective.


(Photos: Kat Gollock)


Elation’s Proteus Excalibur and Proteus Maximus shape the look and feel of Wacken Open Air 2023

Elation’s Proteus Excalibur and Proteus Maximus shape the look and feel of Wacken Open Air 2023
Elation’s Proteus Excalibur and Proteus Maximus shape the look and feel of Wacken Open Air 2023

As many know, real Wacken fans don’t let the weather stop them. It’s not for nothing that “rain or shine” is the rallying cry of party-loving metal fans who travel to northern Germany from all corners of the world for Wacken Open Air (WOA). This year, metalheads had to be particularly strong.


Days of constant rain had so softened the “Holy Ground” of the festival site that a travel stop had to be imposed for the first time in the festival’s history. Anyone who made it onto the grounds though still got the full Wacken experience, including knee-deep mud. Lighting designer Jerry Appelt, who has been associated with the massive metal festival for twenty years, has also experienced a lot in Wacken. “I am emotionally attached to the festival”, he says, adding, “It was remarkable how the organizers dealt with the very difficult situation this year.”


Seventy-two Proteus Maximus and forty-eight Proteus Excalibur fixtures from Elation Professional were an integral part of the lighting design. Technically, Appelt, who designed the lighting for the two main stages, relied on a mix of new and tried-and-tested for WOA 2023. “For Wacken we always create an overall lighting architecture that works across the entire square”, he says. “That’s why we still use the good old searchlights here, which you can see from the motorway fifteen kilometers away.” The Proteus Excalibur “supplied the space with lighting architecture” on the stage wings and piano towers, he adds.


Appelt anchored the audience lighting using the Proteus Maximus, which he often uses at larger open-air events. “The festival shows on the main stages are now almost entirely broadcast via livestream”, he explains. “It is therefore important that you see the audience as a whole in the broadcast and not film it into a black hole. After all, Wacken is not only about the music but also about togetherness and the very special festival spirit that is created by the people.”


Alongside Jerry Appelt, Matthias Rau, Manfred Nikitser, Ole Güllich and Emmanuel Jörgner also waded through the sacred mud of Wacken 2023. Jonas Horney from Salty Dog Studios Hamburg handled lighting preprogramming.


(Photos: Manfred Nikitser)


Elation’s Proteus Excalibur and Proteus Maximus shape the look and feel of Wacken Open Air 2023Elation’s Proteus Excalibur and Proteus Maximus shape the look and feel of Wacken Open Air 2023

Engst touren mit Floorset von GLP

Jonas König (Koeniglicht) zeichnete für das Produktionsdesign der jüngsten Engst-Tour, welche die Band durch Deutschland, Österreich und die Schweiz führte, verantwortlich. Dabei verwendete er Scheinwerfer von GLP - und leere Bierkästen.


„Ein Bierkasten kostet praktisch nichts und passt thematisch ganz gut ins Bild“, erklärt König. Hinter einer zentralen Wand aus Bierkästen setzte er eine Matrix aus GLP Impression X5 Compact ein. Auf dem Boden vor der Wand arbeitete er mit Impression X5 Bar 1000. Weitere Bierkästen in den Gassen beherbergten eine Reihe Fusion X-PAR 12Z von Fusion by GLP.


„Die Bierkastenwand war das Centerpiece des Stagedesigns, das mit einem dramaturgischen Aufbau inszeniert wurde“, erläutert der Designer. „Die Wand offenbarte ihre lichttechnischen Geheimnisse Schritt für Schritt. Neben der Beleuchtung projizierten wir nämlich zusätzlich auf die Front.“ Den Content hierfür entwickelte er selbst.


Die am Boden platzierten Impression X5 Bar 1000 beleuchteten entweder die Wand von unten oder gaben mittels Tilt ein flaches, dramatisches Hinterlicht auf die Band. Das Gassenlicht kam aus den Fusion X-PAR 12Z. „Diese schlichte Wand war enorm wandelbar und supereinfach im Auf- und Abbau“, sagt König. „Mit Hilfe der Beleuchtung und der Projektionen generierten wir eine Fülle an schönen, starken Looks mit klaren Linien, was auf den relativ kleinen Bühnen für einen sehr aufgeräumten Look sorgte.“


Aus GLPs Impression-X5-Serie hatte der Designer in der Vergangenheit vorwiegend Impression X5 Wash eingesetzt. Bei Engst hingegen entschied er sich aufgrund der begrenzten Platzverhältnisse für den kleineren Impression X5 Compact. Für die Fusion X-PAR 12Z habe neben ihrer Helligkeit und ihrem Zoom in erster Linie die Tatsache gesprochen, dass sie gut in die setprägenden Bierkästen passten. Die Impression X5 Bar 1000 wiederum setzte König bei Engst erstmalig ein.


Operator der Tour waren Oliver Thomas und Simon Matuszczak. Die technische Leitung lag bei Thomas Haine. Die Audio+Frames Veranstaltungstechnik GmbH aus Berlin fungierte als technischer Dienstleister der Produktion. König selbst begleitete die Tour nicht.


(Fotos: Sascha Göttsche)