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Archive for May, 2016

Philips Vari-Lite immerses the audience on Eurovision 2016

31st May, 2016

Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Philips Lighting (Euronext Amsterdam: LIGHT), a global leader in lighting, announces that award-winning Eurovision 2016 lighting designer Fredrik Jönsson incorporated 40 Philips Vari-Lite VL3500 Wash luminaires into crucial audience lighting for the musical extravaganza’s grand final.


The Eurovision Song Contest 2016 was held at Stockholm’s Globe Arena and saw a live audience of 15,000 international fans, journalists and celebrities. Also, Eurovision announced official global viewing figures for the grand final reached 204 million.


The Philips VL3500 Wash luminaires were supplied by Eurovision 2016 official technical supplier [LITE]COM. Jönsson made fantastic use of their powerful output to flood the audience with stunning color. Each wash reflected the on-stage action, embracing the crowd for a truly immersive experience.


“We needed the Philips VL3500 Wash luminaires’ capability to cover big surfaces but also the punch they deliver in saturated colors,” says Jönsson. “They’re top quality luminaires that always perform very well.”


Jönsson rigged the classic workhorses 26 meters high in the air. From here they lit the A section of seating and standing audience on the floor to ensure each crowd reaction-shot was perfectly camera-ready.


An incredibly popular wash luminaire, used on such mammoth past tours as Justin Timberlake and Kylie Minogue, the Philips VL3500 Wash has an impressive output that exceeds 70,000 lumens and advanced optics. For spectacular wash looks in infinite colors, the fixture provides CMY color mixing, variable CTO color temperature correction and dual five-position color wheels.


“What’s also great about the VL3500 Wash is there are plenty of them and it’s a universal fixture – meaning you can get them just about anywhere in the world,” says Jönsson.


The Eurovision Song Contest took place on Saturday 14 May. The Ukraine won with their entry from Jamala and her song ‘1944’.

FIX8Group delivers awe-inspiring video content on Eurovision 2016

24th May, 2016

Sweden – Visual production expert FIX8Group was part of the team operating the stunning video content for all 43 competing acts as well as pop megastar Justin Timberlake’s performance at the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 (ESC 2016).


The 61st edition themed ‘Come Together’ was held at Stockholm’s Globe arena and hosted by last year’s Swedish champion Måns Zelmerlöf alongside returning host Petra Mede. 

It’s reported more than 200 million viewers around the world tuned in to watch the grand final. This total included the USA, where the show was broadcast for the first time in history.


Managing director Neil Trenell led the FIX8Group team, working with Eurovision 2016 content designer Mikki Kunttu and lighting designer Fredrik Jönsson to create a cohesive, broadcast-ready visual picture.


“This was an incredibly large-scale project,” explains Trenell. “We had around nine terabytes of content, and seven and a half thousand files. Each output required seven different media maps to get a single image on the screens.”


The carefully crafted video content was displayed across the stage’s 900 metres of LED screen, which included the super high resolution floor of 71 million pixels.


The FIX8Group team also worked closely with the show’s camera operators to ensure that the visuals looked perfect in every scripted shot.


“We were constantly looking at the footage, even before it went to the viewing rooms for feedback,” continues Trenell. “This allowed us to make sure there were no camera shots with dark holes in the background.”


The creative process saw several versions of video content for each delegation, with Cyprus having as many as ten. Trenell and his team also had to accommodate a constant stream of revisions, up until the day of the grand final.


The timecoded visuals were powered to the screens using Green Hippo Hippotizer-V4 servers controlled by MA Lighting GrandMA2 consoles. The kit was supplied by ESC 2016 official technical supplier [LITE]COM.


“The Hippotizer-V4 worked really well – the engine is very stable,” continues Trenell. “The ‘Zookeeper’ feature proved incredibly useful and Green Hippo also added coloured boxes to it at our request. This allowed us to keep track of the adjustments and manage our media a lot more effectively.”


Ola Melzig, technical director of Eurovision 2016, comments: “The FIX8Group team are incredibly good at what they do and know how to get the maximum effect out of the Hippotizer. If you give Neil the simplest video clip he will turn it into million-dollar content, just with his MA2. He does a lot of effects on the fly and brought the whole thing to life.”


The Eurovision 2016 grand final took place on Saturday 14th of May. The Ukraine came out on top, with their entry from singer Jamala.

XLNT CyberMotion’s CyberHoist II system delivers crucial automation on Eurovision 2016

24th May, 2016

Sweden – XLNT Advanced Technologies’ industry-leading CyberHoist II™ system has delivered seamless and reliable automation across the colossal live production of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 (ESC 2016).


Europe’s biggest televised event, which was reportedly seen by 200 million worldwide, was staged at Stockholm’s Globe Arena.


Technical director Ola Melzig, who is nothing short of a Eurovision expert with extensive experience managing the event since 2000, specified the CyberHoist II system from ESC 2016 official technical supplier [LITE]COM.


[LITE]COM, which invested in 32 units and four MotionCue3D control systems prior to the event, supplied a 88-hoist system, supported by Ampco Flashlight Rental.


Melzig worked alongside [LITECOM] CyberHoist II project manager Mathias Sonntag and Martin Hoop of Ampco Flashlight to design the complex moving arrangement for this year’s automation-heavy show.


“Once the set design was established back in September it was quite obvious that it required a significant automated element for both staging and lighting,” explains Melzig. “CyberMotion was about to release the second generation of CyberHoist whilst looking for the ideal large-scale platform to debut it. I jumped at the chance as we were the first ever show to use the system back on Eurovision 2003 so it closed the circle nicely.”


The hoists were required to automate the main elements of the show including the ten ARCS above the stage, six ‘flowerpot’ lighting trusses which moved from underneath the stage upwards, 12 back lighting pods which comprised TourPro AquaBeam and Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures, two LX-trusses, two pyro trusses, two trusses with Holo-Gauze projection screens plus two trusses for the 2 x 3 backlight followspots.


“The updated CyberHoist II system is really amazing,” continues Melzig. “Its advanced cues allow you to program quickly and easily. But the most interesting thing was the way we implemented it to control each automated lighting object as well as the set pieces. The fact it was all on one system saved a lot of time and money which was fantastic.”


The entire lighting rig comprised an immense 1,700 fixtures, however CyberHoist II has been specifically designed to manage and accommodate the rigours of automation design for such large-scale entertainment environments.


Eurovision 2016’s CyberHoist II operators were Joeri Swagemakers and Ingo Koenzen, assisted by CyberHoist technicians Pepijn van den Berkhof and Carsten Jäckel.


“CyberHoist II is ideal for this show as it’s extremely safe, very reliable and fast to program,” explains Swagemakers. “It allows us to efficiently make any adjustments the lighting designer requires. It is also a very safe system – with redundancy in almost every aspect of the system.”


CyberHoist II embraces EN61508/SIL 3 (Safety Integrity Level 3) compliant technology, controlled by CyberMotion’s MotionCue3D™ Performance Console. It is also compliant with other applicable international safety standards and codes of practice (DIN56950, BS, FEM, etc.). It includes all top-notch options, such as dual channel load cell and bi-channel high-speed communication including actual load and status information from hoists and programmed objects to the operator.


“CyberHoist II has been fundamentally designed to respond to the needs of motion control requirements in live production,” Swagemakers continues. “It is object-based, meaning we can simply select an object, use the Object Control function to move it to a certain position and record it on the MotionCue3D desk. The speed of programming on this system has even surprised the lighting designer of Eurovision and his programmers.


“One other impressive feature is the option to use two precise settings for deceleration and acceleration – Smooth and Linear. In Smooth the motion is seamless with no hard stops in between or at the end of a movement. You can actually move a circle like a rolling coin – it looks completely flawless. The Linear setting is then ideal for fast movements.”


The Eurovision Song Contest 2016 took place on Saturday 14 of May. Jamala with her song ‘1944’ saw the Ukraine scoop the victory, with Australia and Russia in second and third place.

Event Acoustics appoints new European distributors for pioneering sound management system MeTrao

24th May, 2016

UK – Acoustic and audio specialist Event Acoustics has appointed leading independent audio engineering and design consultancy Vanguardia as its UK distributor for MeTrao, the company’s unique intelligent network audio measurement system.


Event Acoustics has also assigned Istanbul-based ELIT the sole rights for Turkey, whilst audio visual design and distribution specialist ZAP S.A will cover Switzerland, with a headquarters in Geneva and branches in Lausanne and Winterthur.


To further boost the UK venture, Vanguardia has recruited well respected sound engineer Roly Oliver as head of live business, with a focus on the distribution of MeTrao to rental companies, consultants and temporary and permanent installations.


Oliver discusses why MeTrao is set to transform the audio management aspect of the live event industry:


“From my experience, as both sound engineer and sound supplier, one of the most frustrating things has been wanting to have real time information about the actual impact of our stage on the perimeter levels,” he explains.


“MeTrao finally gives us that, including trackable third octave analysis of the problem frequencies and even filtering out crowd noise. This allows for a much more relaxed approach to staying within the licensing limits of the event, but still delivering maximum enjoyment to the paying audience. Promoters, sound engineers and ultimately audiences are going to love this device. I cannot wait to introduce it to people over this summer.”


An unparalleled tool, MeTrao provides audio professionals and event organisers with a quick and easy way to measure and observe the increasingly strict sound level regulations of live event environments, whilst boosting the quality of the audio output.


The system offers a unique feature of diagnosing off-site which sound system at a multi-stage event is reaching a risky level. It also establishes the problematic frequency so that adjustments can be made. This allows engineers and event managers to avoid breaching regulations by meeting critical off-site limits.


“We are confident MeTrao is going to add a fantastic new aspect to our business,” says ZAP’s Flavio Rüdy. “The system is a totally new approach, making it possible to distinguish between audience noise and the PA sound itself. It can even be used to measure wind and vibrations. This innovative technology is then combined with robust and professional hardware and an easy-to-use software interface with a convenient cloud infrastructure. We are also looking forward to working closely with Event Acoustics; the team has a focused and professional approach and a great will to keep developing the system. This future-proofing is a very important factor for us.”


Event Acoustics’ Peter van der Geer, an expert in audio and noise management, isolation and acoustics adds: “We are delighted with our new European partnerships. Vanguardia, ELIT and ZAP S.A are all companies with unparalleled reputations for both technical expertise and customer service, making them the ideal fit to launch MeTrao to their respective markets.”


“MeTrao has been designed according to the highest global standards and therefore deserves a respected, industry-leading distribution network,” agrees Marcel Albers, Director of Global Sales at Event Acoustics. “We are confident it is going to take Europe and the UK by storm.”


Vanguardia launched MeTrao’s distribution on the 1 May 2016, with ELIT and ZAP set to follow suit at the end of the month.

Event Acoustics appoints Marcel Albers to lead global expansion strategy

17th May, 2016

The Netherlands – Specialist acoustic and audio consultancy Event Acoustics announces the appointment of Marcel Albers as Head of Global Sales, with a focus on the worldwide distribution of the company’s trailblazing sound management system MeTrao.


Renowned in the Dutch music and entertainment industry, Albers has a 20-year track record of success as an international artist manager, theatre and television producer and record company owner.


With this extensive experience and a key interest in innovation and breaking into international markets, Albers has proved the ideal fit to push Event Acoustics’ pioneering products into the wider world.


“I have been involved in the activities of Event Acoustics for some time now,” explains Albers. “The company leads the next generation of sound management, with a team that comprises true experts in the field of audio and acoustics. Their work in research and development is way ahead of its time and I am delighted with the decision of Ampco Flashlight Group to give this work priority, putting the globalization of MeTrao high on the agenda.”


MeTrao offers an entirely new way of measuring sound and vibration. It provides audio professionals and event organisers with a quick and easy way to measure and observe the increasingly strict sound level regulations of live event environments, whilst boosting the quality of the audio output.


Albers will combine his new position with his work as Commercial Director of the Synco Network Europe and its existing music company activities. To allow for this, his role as Director of Marketing and Communications for Ampco Flashlight Group will be taken over internally for the short term.


Dick van Berkum, CEO Ampco Flashlight Group, comments: “Event Acoustics and MeTrao are very important for our group of companies and I’m glad we have a man like Marcel to lead this international challenge.”


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