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Archive for August, 2015

Philips Entertainment Lighting sees major install into National Forum of Music

26th August, 2015

Wrocław, Poland – Over a hundred Philips Entertainment Lighting products have been installed into the National Forum of Music (NFM), a brand-new, state-of-the-art concert venue in the heart of Wrocław.

Dubbed the most advanced facility on Europe’s cultural map, the NFM was conceived as a new home for the majority of Wrocław’s initiatives, productions and artistic projects. Located in the city’s Liberation Square, it is also the headquarters for numerous assemblies including the Wrocław Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir.

Philips distributor PS TEATR was responsible for the delivery and installation of the Philips lighting package, which included multi-featured luminaires from Vari-Lite, Selecon and product line Showline, with PS TEATR’s Marek Gumiński in charge of the project.

“The Philips luminaires were chosen for the NFM as they are known worldwide for their reliability,” says Gumiński. “It was also important that the lighting fixtures worked as quietly as possible and the Vari-Lite luminaires met this demand perfectly.”

Fifty tried and trusted Philips Vari-Lite VL1100 luminaires were installed as workhorses in the 1,800-capacity Concert Hall’s rig, alongside 54 Philips Selecon RAMA 150 Fresnel units.


In addition, PS TEATR worked alongside the Wrocław Philharmonic to specify a wide range of loose equipment to be used as part of temporary installs for the orchestra and choir’s various events and productions. This included 24 Philips Selecon PLcyc2 RGBW luminaires, 20 Selecon PLprofile3 luminaires, 30 further Vari-Lite units and six of the incredibly popular Showline SL NITRO 510 LED strobes.

“We recommended the extra Philips fixtures as a means to increase the capability of the rig should the Philharmonic need it,” continues Gumiński. “Their unique features and multi-functionality makes them ideal for a whole range of applications.

“We chose a wide range of Philips LED luminaires in particular on account of their energy efficiency and reliability. Color matching was also very important, as in such a huge space it’s crucial to have fixtures that generate the exact same color. With the NFM being such a prestigious facility there is no place for mistakes.”

Commissioned by Andrzej Kosendiak, the Managing Director of the Wrocław Philharmonic and the Wratislavia Cantans International Festival, the NFM’s design was developed by Pracownia Architektury Kuryłowicz and its associates. The building will open on 4th September 2015, just in time for Wrocław to take its place as European Capital of Culture 2016.

Charcoalblue sounds out ‘sublime’ acoustics at St George’s Bristol

24th August, 2015

UK – Theatre and acoustics consultancy Charcoalblue carried out acoustic testing at Bristol’s St George’s concert hall recently in preparation for a £5.5m redevelopment, with some surprising results.

The hall was originally built as a church in 1823 and designed by Sir Robert Smirke, architect of the British Museum. The church would have been built to suit a congregation who needed to clearly hear the spoken word, but the clarity the room provides brings an unexpected benefit to 21st century concertgoers.

Ian Stickland, team leader for Charcoalblue, said he and his colleagues were initially surprised by their acoustic measurements: “Looking at the objective results of our reverberation time measurements, without knowing which room it was, we would not have rated the results very highly. However, digging deeper, we find that the clarity and detail of sound that the hall provides trumps the traditional standards for reverberation.”

Byron Harrison, who leads Charcoalblue’s acoustics practice, continues: “The hall triumphs in other ways, aside from reverberation time. Musicians are able to explore the full range of dynamics in the hall. Listeners can pinpoint the location of a sound.

“The narrow dimensions of the Georgian building, its modest size, lack of soft furnishings (leather seat-covering rather than fabric), the well-proportioned balcony, and mix of smooth walls and finely textured plasterwork are all contributing factors to this unusually rare acoustic.”

As a result, St George’s is now seen as ‘re-writing the rulebook on acoustic design for new music venues’.

“The hall is a favourite venue for internationally acclaimed performers including cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, the OAE, pianist Mitsuko Uchida and classical guitarist John Williams,” says Suzanne Rolt, CEO and Director of St George’s. “They have long praised the building’s ‘sublime’ acoustics. Now acoustic experts have confirmed that the building has unique qualities that give music a clarity that other concert venues struggle to achieve – putting it on a par with high profile locations such as London’s Wigmore Hall, Snape Maltings and the Sage in Gateshead.

“When the musicians perform to this quality our audiences enjoy a special, spine-tingling, experience. We always knew we had something unique in St George’s but it’s wonderful to have it confirmed by science.”

The acoustic testing was part of St George’s preparation for a £5.5M redevelopment – Building a Sound Future – which will see the building extended to include new facilities for audiences, visitors and performers. Once work is completed the venue will be a fully accessible concert hall and will provide a concert-going experience to match the unique and special qualities of the hall’s acoustics. Thanks to the generous support of Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund and many funders and supporters the project has secured £3.5M with a further £2M to be raised for building work to commence in spring 2016.

Charcoalblue opened its Bristol Studio in May this year, where a team of designers now work to deliver exciting projects in the South and West of England.

Avolites Titan rocks the party at Bloodstock Festival

19th August, 2015
UK – Avolites Titan consoles reigned supreme at Bloodstock Festival, with all stages running Titan for the rock and metal festival that drew more than 15,000 metal heads to Derbyshire this month.
Bloodstock’s main ‘Ronnie James Dio’ stage featured metal heavyweights such as headliners Trivium, Within Temptation and Rob Zombie. LD Ben Coxon controlled using two HSL-supplied flagship Avolites Sapphire Touch consoles, networked together with a TitanNet Processor (TNP). HSL also supplied a dimming solution in the form of two 48-way Avolites ART2000 dimmers for the stage, as well as further Avolites consoles and dimmers across the festival site.
“Due to the busking nature of the festival, Avolites was the perfect choice,” says Andy Whittaker of HSL. “The range of Titan consoles, going from the Quartz all the way up to the Sapphire Touch, suited each stage of the festival perfectly.
“The Sapphires on the main stage were a particular success, and the networking capability with the TNP and Multiuser were fantastic. The TNP shared the processing load well and integrating consoles into the Avolites system was simple and hassle-free.”
Visiting LDs, including regular Avolites users including Sepultura’s Mike Scherer, Opeth’s Mick Thornton, and Jeremy Skoorka with Black Label Society also jumped on the Sapphire Touch console to light their acts, with the console’s hands-on approach reported by Whittaker as “particularly pleasing”.
Across on the second stage, an Avolites Tiger Touch II was used to control for a heavy-hitting line up of international metal, while on the third stage HSL supplied a Quartz to provide the lighting for some of the best up-and-coming bands on the scene. Powercubes provided dimming for the generics on both stages.

Triple E’s Alex Kusztelan – PhD Design Engineer

19th August, 2015

UK -Triple E is delighted to announce that its design engineer, Alex Kusztelan, has successfully been awarded his Engineering PhD research degree. Alex is part of Triple E’s talented team working alongside founder and managing director, David Edelstein.

Following 30 years of innovation, Triple E’s track systems are the entertainment industry standard. All of the company’s seven track systems; Unitrack, Unibeam, Chainbeam, Chaintrack, Erail, Unicyc and 2Way are celebrated for their simple design, rugged construction and ease of installation.

In 2015, Triple E launched an industry-changing construction arm to its business under the name ‘EEE-Build’.The first product launched was the inspired new ‘universal building system’ called ModTruss, which is set to revolutionise the theatre staging, set building, stage machinery, construction and event markets. ModTruss won Engineering Product of the Year at the ABTT Theatre Show Awards in June.

“I joined Triple E at a very exciting time,” says Alex. “Last year, the company celebrated three decades of innovation in design and things are far from slowing down. In fact we are working on a wealth of new products and upgrades to existing track and motor designs, as well as ModTruss, which is now ready for action in the UK. We’re looking firmly to the future.”

David Edelstein comments: “We’re thrilled to have Alex on board. He brings an enormous amount of knowledge and passion for design to Triple E, which is already proving invaluable. Together with Alex, we look forward to bringing more of the innovative track and motor solutions to the industry that Triple E is known for.”

Alex has already designed a number of Chaintrack spiral stacking systems including a triangular shaped unit for a project in the UK. He has also designed a new rope tensioning system and metalwork for Triple E’s range of TDRIVE motors.

“I love enhancing existing products and brainstorming ideas for new ones whilst ensuring we keep designs simple and effective. Triple E is open to new thinking and keen to work on new product ideas. This position is a dream job for me and I thoroughly enjoy working with everybody here at Triple E!”

Alex is contactable on

Richard Kenyon joins FIX8Group as Creative Director

18th August, 2015

UK – Graphics, animation and projection mapping expert Richard Kenyon has joined FIX8Group as Creative Director of its new FIX8Studio.

In the role, Richard is responsible for overseeing the development and integration of FIX8Studio – the company’s new digital activation facility.

“Over the last few years I have completed several successful projects for FIX8Group, warming to the company’s style and ambitions,” says Richard. “This relationship naturally progressed to a point where it made sense for us to pursue our shared vision, to integrate the technical and creative disciplines and in turn create an industry leading company for all live event technical and creative requirements.”

Richard brings a wealth of industry knowledge, experience and skills to broaden FIX8Group’s offering by adding the high end, world-class Visualisation and Graphics creation studio.

“FIX8Studio is working on several projects utilising our extensive skill set to deliver an end to end service,” Richard explains. “Everything from the initial conceptual ideas through to design and storyboarding, planning, execution and delivery.”

Richard was introduced to the world of live events through his interest in building hi-fi systems and DJing during his late teenage years. This evolved into him taking up professional DJing, through which his technical understanding of audio systems led to him being offered a job as a live sound engineer.

“I worked with a number of artists such as Shirley Bassey, Rod Stewart, Elton John and Queen,” says Richard. “I was inspired by Queen’s lighting rig to take up lighting design for nightclubs and live performers. After moving to London I became a freelance AV technician. I became an expert in video/data projection when it was still a black art. I formed my first company with a colleague providing project management and show operator services. We came across one of the first Apple computers being used for conference graphics. We decided to invest in a system and that is where my interest – obsession! – in computer generated graphics started.

“As my understanding of future digital media requirements grew, I began the journey of continual skills development to deliver innovative, leading edge digital media. My quest for continual improvement and skills development carries on to this day. I like to think of myself as an old dog that is always learning new tricks. I have been fortunate enough to work on many large corporate events and high profile theatre productions at the National Theatre, The West End and on Broadway.”

It was his work in theatre that led Richard to become a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

“With Richard’s constant quest for innovation and improvement and his incredibly diverse experience within the industry, we’re thrilled he has joined the FIX8 team,” says MD Neil Trenell. “This is a very exciting time for us as we launch the FIX8Studio to even further enhance our content creation offering. We look forward to working with Richard on a pixel-load of spectacular projects in the coming months.

Paul Williams Joins FIX8Group

18th August, 2015
UK – Paul Williams has joined FIX8Group as Project Director.
Paul joins the team following eight years as Managing Director of Integrated Audio Visual Ltd – a company which he built from start up to provide AV services to end clients and production companies. Prior to that, he spent five years as a freelance AV engineer.
“After working closely with FIX8 on various jobs over the past four years, it was obvious that the synergy created through those close working practices could be strengthened and leveraged for forthcoming projects,” says Paul. “My responsibilities as Project Director will focus on supporting the delivery of our work.
“This will include streamlining the processes for project delivery, with an overview of compliance and training within the company. I will also take on project management roles on some specific projects, as well as working closely with the Technical Director to ensure that we are bringing the best tools to bear in delivering and exceeding the expectations FIX8Group’s clients.”
One of the first major projects Paul will be working on is refining the LED technology for an exhibition next April.
“This is based on a system I have been developing over the last 18 months,” says Paul. “It will involve redesigning and manufacturing the LED control system so that thousands of metres of LED pixel tape can be used, significantly scaling up what we can offer.”
Paul will also be working to improve the IT infrastructure for the company, including rental management, bringing in his 20 years of computer systems engineering experience.
“I hope to help FIX8 not only provide outstanding services to its clients, but also provide services backed up by robust practices and forward-thinking technology,” Paul concludes.

Philips Vari-Lite VL4000 BeamWash luminaires rock AC/DC at Wembley

18th August, 2015

UK – For over 30 years AC/DC fans have demanded high octane, big bang punch from their live experience and this year the band’s Rock or Bust tour did not disappoint. Set designer Ray Winkler joined forces with lighting designer and show director Patrick Woodroffe to seamlessly translate the distinct AC/DC sound into a grungy buffalo horned ‘Mad Max’ style stage, flawlessly complemented by metallic, two colour classic rock and roll lighting primarily delivered by over 60 of the new Philips Vari-Lite VL4000 BeamWash luminaires.

Performing Europe-wide to the head banging delight of more than 60,000 fans per night, the raw style of Woodroffe’s design reflects AC/DC’s in your face, visceral, straight up rock-and-roll approach, delivering big, bright chunky beams, dirty acid colours and a beat perfect manipulation of intensity throughout.

“AC/DC has always demanded bold, bright, spectacular – yet uncomplicated – lighting and I think this time we gave it to them in spades!” explains Woodroffe. “We were looking for powerful, bright lights that would work particularly well with no colour. We also wanted some more delicate effects, some tight beams and some hard edge source points. We chose a variety of fixtures including the new Vari-Lite VL4000 BeamWash and the VL3500 washes, which in combination gave us most of what we needed, in various permutations.”

Woodroffe worked in close collaboration with long term AC/DC lighting director Cosmo Wilson, who is responsible for taking the show on the road. Indeed the the pair took a leap of faith when they specified the then unproven VL4000 BeamWash: “I’m fast approaching my 700th AC/DC show,” laughs Cosmo, “and all of them apart from this tour have used Parcans as a mainstay in the rig. However I’m a big fan of Vari-Lite and although at the time the VL4000 BeamWash was unproven, we were assured Vari-Lite would deliver.”

Suffice to say Vari-Lite did deliver and according to both Woodroffe and Cosmo the VL4000 BeamWash luminaires are working brilliantly. “The VL4000 BeamWash lens system is unbelievably good,” continues Cosmo. “We use it as a wash but then we tighten it up and it’s a great profile. I’m not a big gobo person – let’s face it AC/DC isn’t exactly a gobo band – however the rare times we do use them they work really well.

“Yes, they’re big lights, but they move fast and that enables me to change the look on the stage in an instant. Colour is also important as we wanted to reproduce all those grungy and acid colours with a raw, almost analogue feel. AC/DC lighting is all about using intensity to accompany the music – we want the audience to feel the heat, feel that sense of attack and decay alongside the attack and decay of the guitar.”

Lighting has been supplied by US company Upstaging and UK based Neg Earth. The current tour runs until December 15th when the band finish their Australasian leg at Western Springs Stadium in Auckland. However there are rumours that the tour will extend into 2016.

AC DC 2015 Wembley Stadium

Avolites’ Arena is rock solid for Angus & Julia Stone at Somerset House

7th August, 2015

UK – Interest surrounding Avolites’ newest lighting console, the live control focused Arena, has been gathering momentum after a number of festival appearances, including at Somerset House’s Summer Series for acts including Angus & Julia Stone.

Set in one of London’s most iconic landmarks, Summer Series featured a diverse and impressive line-up of headline artists alongside hotly tipped emerging acts. As house desk for the 11-day series of performances, Arena was used by the likes of folk duo Angus & Julia Stone LD Toby Hoggarth, while George Ezra, lit by John Barker, also employed an Avolites set-up.

The Arena combines the popular interface of the Tiger Touch II with more live control than ever before.

Alongside its vibrant main display, Arena’s second touch screen provides an additional workspace window, also labelling the adjacent macro buttons and rotary pots. These fully assignable playback encoder pots allow intuitive control of channels and effects.

The Arena also comes packed with 40 faders, each with electronic legends, for speedy access to all playbacks, fixtures and palettes. An in-built managed network switch makes networking multiple devices simple and reliable.

This was the band’s third appearance in London in a year, and as their sound and fanbase have grown, so too has their lighting set-up. Hoggarth’s rig for the show included eight Chromlech Jarags, Clay Paky B-EYE K20s and five 2-cell moles, to complement a house lighting rig that included eight K20s, six Mythos, 16 GLPX4s, 18 K10s, twelve Alpha spots, 48 Thomas bi light blinders and 12 atomics, designed by Petter Skramstad.

“Thoughts on the Arena? Well it is obviously an advantage having the extra set of faders, and the LCD legends are useful too!” says Hoggarth. “I’ve been using V9 on my usual Mobile set up, and it’s working brilliantly for me. Unfortunately, due to time constraints on the current tour, I’ve not had a chance to fully explore the Key Frame Shapes function, but I can’t wait to try it out, as from what I’ve seen you can build great combinations of effects in very little time, something which up until now has been very difficult, not just on Avo desks but others too.”

Huw Llewellyn, House Lighting Technician for Somerset House, was excited to be among the first to use the new console, having used the Sapphire Touch on the Summer Series in 2014.

“The Arena’s extra faders are just brilliant,” says Llewellyn. “And with the new software, even without motorised faders, you can change page virtually, without affecting the fader underneath.

“The second screen really comes into its own, especially with the encoder pots. I used them to do rate masters as well as tap tempo, and they were brilliant. People will find ways to use those that Avo never thought of!”


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