Latest Issue - January 2014
Our cover this month shows one of Steve Moles' shots of Black Sabbath's recent UK tour, which he covers in depth in this issue's On Tour feature - thanks to the band's production and management for granting LSi access to this production. Also inside we have a response from the Save Tungsten Campaign to Richard Cadena's Technology Focus article (LSi December 2013), in which he suggested that the campaign was a case of a reflexive reaction against technological change. As a result, this campaign group, which is supported by many of the finest lighting designers working in the world today, is now able to present itself and its aims to LSi's readers for the first time (pages 26-28).
Data Dependency: Elsewhere, both Rob Halliday (Tools From Beyond, 78) and Richard Cadena (Video Matters, 100-102) are banging the drum of data backup, and with good reason. We are all increasingly engaging with data of some kind, and as our dependence increases the risks associated with a hard drive failure or some other computer calamity become ever greater. Hopefully, this will encourage you to put a plan in place if you haven't already. You can thank us later. Pre-Light+Sound: It's almost the time of the year when most of our industry's equipment supply chain descends on Frankfurt to feast on all the latest tech toys, we've provided you with a forward look at what the ProLight+Sound 2014 exhibition will have to offer (see pages 42-54).
LSi is ABC Audited.
A look forward to some of the expected highlights at the spring showcase that is Frankfurt's ProLight+Sound exhibition
Steve Moles visits Sheffield Arena and talks to the team behind the legendary rockers' current touring production
LSi looks at how L-Acoustics helped to provide the long-awaited answer to the sound questions posed by the National's Olivier Theatre
DPA's dynamic, highly ambitious CEO, smart, hands-on workforce and quest for high-end audio makes this Copenhagen-based brand something to talk about, writes Paul Watson
"The other networking issue that sometimes confuses people is something called a 'subnet mask' . . . another 32-bit number, also written in quad-dotted decimal, that can be automatically assigned or manually configured."
"As a front-of-house engineer who regularly has the opportunity to work closely with lead singers, I have been quietly championing the KSM9 stage vocal mic for the last few years. On many occasions when making comparison tests during sound-checks, I often found the original KSM9 to be my favourite, and more importantly, so do the singers. When I heard that Shure had released a new version, not only was I really pleased to see the continued support for the product, but I had to try it."
LSi takes a look at some of the industry's latest new products
Peter Phillipson talks to the team behind the recent Coliseum production of Madam Butterfly, including lighting designer Peter Mumford
A response to Richard Cadena's Technology Focus article, 'Ugly Tech Transitions' (LSi December 2013) on behalf of the Save Tungsten Campaign
Lighting programmers Jussi Kaatrasalo, Oskar Krogell and Pontus 'Bullen' Lagerbielke put pre-release ETC's new Cobalt desks through their paces on a range of different shows across Scandinavia. They told LSi how they got on
London's vibrant Soho Theatre has been expanding its audio capabilities with help from Nexo. Phil Ward dives into Soho for a bit of French
Robe continues to be a popular choice for Israel's top TV lighting designers, with Robin MMX Spot and LEDBeam 100s prominent in the eye-catching lighting scheme designed by LD Ronen Najar for the first 24-episode series of a brand new singing contest, Rising Star. LSi reports
d&b's new D80 amplifier promises to bring a new level of power and performance to its leading PA systems - as one of Denmark's largest audio rental companies, Allround, tells LSi
20 Years Ago . . . LSi February 1994
"Richard Pilbrow and David Taylor of Theatre Projects Consultants had survived the Los Angeles earthquake on 17 January. The consultants, in town to meet architects of the Ahmanson Theatre in downtown LA, were in a Santa Monica hotel when the 6.7 magnitude quake struck at 4.31am, centred on Northridge. "Richard was thrown out of his bed on the fourth floor, and I had a mass of stuff crash down into mine," reported Taylor, who was on the sixth floor. Hours later, the pair found themselves sheltering from the 5.7 magnitude aftershock under a table in architect Barton Myers' office."
10 Years Ago . . . LSi February 2004
"A decade on from?Machinal, and The National Theatre's production of His Dark Materials was on the cover of LSi, with Rob Halliday again assessing the production. The high profile adaptation of Philip Pullman's fantasy novel was a six-hour epic which was, said Halliday, nevertheless "enthralling". The show was directed by Nicholas Hytner, with sound design by Paul Groothuis and lighting design was by Paule Constable."
This month: Keep this frequency clear
"I have a feeling that the legacy of the SM58, and the SM57, is not going to lie down and let a new generation of microphones from Sennheiser, DPA, Earthworks or anyone else simply waltz onto the live stage with their studio tans and seize all of the limelight."
This month: Apple Macintosh
"The Apple Macintosh has just - unbelievably - celebrated its 30th birthday. Even though it's not strictly an entertainment industry product, it is certainly a classic - and one which we've been putting to use since it first appeared."
This month: Sound engineer, Liam Halpin
"I tried to learn the guitar when I was 11 and after a couple of years got introduced to audio engineering for a church. I was getting better at that, so I gave up playing guitar and concentrated on audio. I quit half my GCSEs to rewire the school's lighting system. After two weeks' work experience with Entec, I never went back to college."
This month: Ian Dow recalls Going Live on a steam boat
"The next morning Wardrobe ladies clutching steam irons, make-up girls with hair dryers, scene crew with drills and practical lamps all swarmed aboard searching for 13amp sockets on this 50-year-old steam train."
This month: Online Backup
"I've said it before, but I'll say it again: backup. Often. However often you do it is probably not often enough, particularly if (a) you rely on data for work, or (b) you have kids, and all your pictures of them are digital. If your data is not safely backed up then some day, you are going to be very sad."
This month: The importance of mentors - Who was 'the one' for you?
"There are a number of young amateur or semi-professional engineers who would welcome access to the collective experience of our small group. I'd urge the rest of you to do the same."
This month: Content Is King
"I've come very close to losing data and I've had to pay a lot of money to recover data from hard drives that crashed or were misbehaving. Before you do anything else, make sure you have a backup plan in place . . ."
This month: LSi talks to Mark Calvert, managing director of design studio Immersive
"We realised that the potential of the Pixel Addict Server could not be fulfilled without some outside investment and R&D, so we joined forces with Avolites to create the Ai Media Server."
"Baz is very generous in that respect - yes, he certainly provided some colour keys for specific songs and contributed comments throughout the programming, but I did all the programming and had a lot of freedom within that context."
LD Michael Keller talks to Steve Moles about Baz Halpin's lighting design ( On Tour: Black Sabbath)
"The STC believes that the ability to be able to produce any colour (via a filter) from a full spectrum warm-white light source is fundamental to stage lighting. LEDs cannot do this . . ."
The Save Tungsten Campaign state their case ( Don't Murder Tungsten Lighting)
"Everything in our programme is 'curated', so there's an artistic policy very much driven by our artistic director, Steve Marmion, feeding through everything we book. And he's perfect for here because, firstly, he loves high art and, secondly, he loves dirty jokes."
Soho Theatre's James Atkinson talks to Phil Ward ( Word of Mouth)
Inside our Next Issue . . .
On Tour: Maroon 5 • Show Review: ISE, Amsterdam • Technical Focus: Elation Satura Spot LED • Profile: Symetrix • Theatre Sound: APG with Candide