Latest Issue - May-June 2015
Theatre: This month we look at the newly-refitted Sadler's Wells theatre, which has made significant moves towards LED technology in both its auditorium and stage lighting, and a big step forward in terms of renewable energy – and at the Danish Royal Ballet's production of Swan Lake, with set and lighting designed by the multi-skilled Mikki Kunttu. We also report from the very busy and positive Prolight+Sound show in Frankfurt and from PLASA Focus Leeds, where many of the product debuts from Frankfurt made their first appearance in the UK. We also look forward to the ABTT Theatre Show which runs at Alexandra Palace on 24-25 June.
Technical Focus: Mike Wood examines Robe's BMFL Spot and Chauvet's Ovation LED Profile, while Richard Cadena looks at High Dynamic Range (HDR) video and assesses the Out Board PAT-4 and Data Strategy QC-Check system. We also welcome back James Eade to LSi's pages with a new column called The Conductor, which covers – of course - issues concerning electrical safety.
There's plenty more too, with Sting & Paul Simon on a joint touring outing, a profile of Neutrik as they mark 40 years of keeping us all well connected, an update on the shifting sands of audio networking and, in Second Fix, Roland Hemming asking what value we should place on installations. As always, we welcome your feedback . . .
LSi is ABC Audited.
Rob Halliday talks to Mikki Kunttu about his stunning design for the Danish Royal Ballet's recent production. . .
Lee Baldock and Claire Beeson present a round-up of highlights from this year's Prolight+Sound exhibition in Frankfurt . . .
Steve Moles reports on a tour that is two-handed in every sense . . .
What seems to be everybody's favourite trade show took another turn in May, in the convivial surroundings of the Royal Armouries in Leeds. Lee Baldock and Claire Beeson round up some of the highlights . . .
"Seventeen years ago Sadler's Wells tore down its old theatre and built a brand new one in its place. More recently, the venue again upped the tempo of change and is now in the final throws of its first major refurbishment. Sarah Rushton-Read dropped in to find out what changes the venue has made to future-proof its offering for the next 15 years . . ."
Phil Ward celebrates 40 years of its business by giving Neutrik a plug - "There can be few organisations where this is more apt, when it happens. You phone Neutrik's global headquarters in Liechtenstein, sandwiched between one mountain in Austria and another in Switzerland, and you ask for your intended party. 'One moment,' says the receptionist. 'I'll connect you.'"
"In the last few years I've got so used to small packages with LED luminaires being delivered that it always comes as a nice surprise when a real road case arrives in the workshop for one of these reviews. This month a carrier brought me a Robe Robin BMFL Spot in such a case. This is Robe's most recent offering in the no-holds-barred, all-singing, all dancing, automated spot luminaire category."
"We are experimenting with a new format this month, a mini 'Product In Depth' review designed for simpler products that don't require the bi-monthly full-length slot. As we move inexorably towards LEDs in all things, there are a large number of conventional, or semi-conventional, luminaires coming on the market. No moving parts - apart from a fan, perhaps - but they use new technology and are interesting to look at. The first of these reviews is for the Chauvet Professional Ovation ED-190 WW. "
"LSi takes a look at the studio sound set-up for Britain's Got Talent 2015 . . ."
As the ABTT Theatre Show (24-25 June 2015) prepares to open its doors at a new venue, North London's Alexandra Palace, LSi presents a round-up of what to expect from the this year's revamped show . . .
Phil Ward talks to industry leaders about the latest trends in audio networking . . .
World Expo Milan opens with a fusion of art and technology at its centre. LSi reports . . .
The Shapeshifter from High End Systems offers a unique range of eye-candy effects and its versatility has seen it added to the toolkits of a number of the UK's leading TV lighting directors. Kate Lyon reports for LSi . . .
When Stage Electrics' co-founder Maurice Marshal passed away in 2010, he left behind a fund to support the training of the next generation of theatre technicians. Julie Harper finds out how that has translated into the provision of training placements at Chichester's Festival Theatre . . .
20 Years Ago . . . LSi May 1995
"Lead news this month was that LSD founders Nick Jackson, Terry Lee, Tim Murch and John Lobel had bought back Light & Sound Design's US and UK operations from Christian Salvesen plc - just three years after they sold them . . ."
. . . LSi June 1995
"Our cover this month showed the dramatic setting of the World Liberty Concert, staged at the famous 'Bridge Too Far' in Arnhem, The Netherlands, to mark the 50th anniversary of VE Day. . ."
10 Years Ago . . . LSi May 2005
"Cirque du Soleil's gargantuan production of KÀ, at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, filled our cover this month. Costing a reputed $183m and with a technical rehearsal period of nine months, this show was "conceivably the most expensive, most rehearsed show ever staged" said Rob Halliday. . ."
. . . LSi June 2005
"Just as we went to press had come the news that Kylie Minogue's Showgirl tour (reviewed in this issue by Sarah Rushton-Read) had been cancelled following Kylie's breast cancer diagnosis - which is why our cover carried the picture of Kylie sitting in the crescent moon, with the message 'Best Wishes, Showgirl'. . ."
This month: Purple Rhine . . .
"I knew that the Vi7000 had been launched on the first day of Prolight+Sound, in the new Finnish sauna that Messe Frankfurt has had fitted in Hall 8 . . ."
This month: The Radio Mic
"Some classics gently shape our backstage world, nudging it in a new direction by giving practitioners better tools to achieve established results. A few, a very select few, revolutionise not just our backstage world but the entire world of entertainment that we serve. . ."
This month: BS7909
"One chap had a shock that put him in hospital for three days; he ended up needing further shocks (in the order of 800V, apparently) to try and reset his erratic and pacing heart . . ."
This month: Audio engineer, David Axis
"I saw my rock first band when I was eight and that decided my career path. Subsequently, I rejected the indoctrination system that passes for 'public education'. Then, lurking about on the fringes of society, I found punk rock (or maybe, it found me)!"
This month: How much should installations cost?
"There is no model for how much each technical element should cost. Some companies do have formulas to apportion value against sound, lighting and video, but this is pretty arbitrary . . ."
This month: MoneySavingExpert
"So this one's a life one rather than a work one, because there are two sides to successfully making a living. One, of course, is getting the jobs to earn the money. The other is making sure you don't needlessly waste that money."
This month: Hard Hats
"If the effort spent on policing the wearing of PPE was spent on educating the people considered to be at risk we'd see a dramatic improvement in site safety in general."
This month: High Dynamic Range
"Amazon and Netflix are both promising to stream HDR content later on this year. As these new capabilities are rolled out and people get used to seeing the best possible picture, then HD, standard dynamic range, Rec. 709, and 24 frames per second will start to look like your grandfather's video . . ."
This month: Steve Moles talks to TV studio lighting consultant Angus Clarke . . .
"It's immensely difficult for youngsters with talent who can't afford the training. Then, of those that do pitch up, many imagine this is some kind of nine-to-five job they can walk away from . . ."
This month: Sustainability Credentials
". . . as events like Eurovision prove, the opportunities to improve the marketability of a product based on its sustainability credentials are only increasing . . ."
"Dance and ballet have really grown on me and I have always felt really at home in that world. Working with choreographers and dancers is just most inspiring. Dance is the field that is most thirsty for artistic creation."
Set and lighting designer Mikki Kunttu talks to Rob Halliday.(Swan Lake)
"In terms of the building infrastructure itself the replacement of the auditorium and architectural lighting in the foyers with LED lighting is a crucial aspect of improving efficiency and brings a fresh, modern aesthetic to the spaces."
Sadler's Wells' Emma Wilson talks to Sarah Rushton-Read about the venue's extensive upgrade (Sadler's Wells)
"Rich [Locklin, LD for Paul Simon] is more a director and designer, in the sense that he is confined by Paul Simon's management about this and that. My creative remit is totally open; the only management directive was they didn't want any video on stage - just keep it simple."
Sting's LD Danny Nolan talks to Steve Moles about a double-headed tour (On Tour)
Inside our Next Issue . . .
On Tour: Take That • The Lyric, Hammersmith • Eurovision 2015 • Live: Mark Knopfler • Meyer Sound at St Paul's Girls School • Profiles: Painting with Light, Prosound