Latest Issue - July 2014
As the PLASA London show approaches (5-8 October, Excel, London), we look forward to some of the new features and content that exhibitors and visitors can expect this year, and it's shaping up to be a positive second year for PLASA in its new home. Make sure you visit if you can, there will be lots going on.
As we go to press, we are anticipating the launch - via a worldwide online event - of a brand new product from Robe. The product (which is a 'big moving light', we can reveal) made a stealthy appearance on David Guetta's show at Global Gathering - and you can read about the show, although not the "secret" product - in this issue. There'll be more on Robe, and the new product, next month.
Our focus on Intellectual Property protection continues with a guide to the protection offered to manufacturers by Design Rights in the UK and Europe. No stranger to IP issues is GDS, profiled in this issue as it celebrates its 10th anniversary. Also profiled is premier-league German loudspeaker manufacturer, d&b audiotechnik - another company on the verge of a significant new product announcement just as we went to press.
We also have a report on the audio provision for this year's Montreux Jazz Festival, David Barbour's view of this year's ITEAC conference, Julie Harper's report from the Southbank's Meltdown Festival, and Richard Cadena discussing the High End Systems Shapeshifter, Mike Wood reviewing the VL4000 Spot luminaire, and a round-up of theatrical curtain track systems.
LSi is ABC Audited.
Lee Baldock reports from Switzerland on how the Montreux Jazz Festival's official audio suppliers serviced the 2014 event . . .
David Guetta's new show launched in The Hangar at Global Gathering, where LSi met up with the team behind the production . . .
A first look at expected highlights from the London show, taking place 5-8 October at London's Excel . . .
Lee Baldock talks to Bristol-based innovator GDS about the ups and downs, and the ons and offs, of its first 10 years in business . . .
". . . for full effect, you have more options in the enhanced mode. And as Richard Belliveau said when he was showing me the fixture, 'control channels are cheap these days'"
Southbank Centre's Meltdown Festival is a celebration of music and arts with contributors chosen by guest curators. Julie Harper reports . . .
Phil Ward visits the UK HQ of d&b audiotechnik, where there's no trouble at t'mill but plenty of inquisition . . .
"It was almost like old times when the delivery truck containing the Philips Vari-Lite VL4000 Spot Luminaire showed up."
"Hogging the limelight, taking centre stage before a headline artist has even graced the boards . . . But you might be forgiven for not even noticing the focal point of many venues the world over, the humble house tabs . . ."
Sophia Satchell Baeza reports from London's Barbican on Liquid Light Orchestra's design for the Sun Ra Arkestra . . .
Paul Watson reports from Denmark's defunct Horsens Prison as Metallica take to the stage . . .
Richard Bennet reports from London's O2 as Nine Inch Nails prepare for a sold-out show . . .
Earlier this summer, the PLASA Foundation announced the formation of Behind the Scenes UK. Claire Beeson finds out more . . .
David Barbour reviews the 2014 International Theatre Engineering and Architecture Conference . . .
Engineer-turned-patent attorney Lewis Hands on how to protect your intellectual property . . .
20 Years Ago . . . LSi August 1994
"Our news noted the end of several eras. Mark Fisher and Jonathan Park's hugely successful concert design partnership was to split: their final joint project, the Rolling Stones' Voodoo Lounge tour, kicked off this month in Washington DC. Meanwhile, Squire Light & Sound had gone into liquidation: a long-standing name in the UK industry, Squire's had been "a proving ground for many . . . who cut their teeth at the company.""
10 Years Ago . . . LSi August 2004
"Our cover showed Sarah Rushton-Read's moody shot of singer Anthony Kiedis emblazoned across XL Video's Barco LED screen at the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Hyde Park concerts this summer. Inside, we spoke to the team behind the show, including RHCP's LD Scott Holthaus, video and set designer Grier Govorko and sound engineer Dave 'Rat' Levine - along with Clear Channel's John Probyn, XL Video's Des Fallon, Britannia Row Productions' Roly Oliver and Star Events Group's Roger Barrett. "
This month: Mixing It Up
"Not 'trading off' but applying know-how from one to another, bolstering weaknesses and exploiting strengths, putting a bit of 'large' into 'mid', a bit more 'broadcast' into 'large' - and so on. Plus, and here's the tricky bit, conserving brand equity at every step . . ."
This month: Donmar Reference Manual
"Does a piece of classic gear actually have to be a piece of gear? Good question. We've had examples in the past that aren't, but they've been classics in their own ways, explaining lighting or documenting its history. But a mere collection of information about gear? I'd argue yes. There's a modern term for this: meta-data - data about data. So perhaps this time we're featuring a meta-classic, a classic about classics . . ."
This month: Stage manager Jem Melluish
"I started life as a money broker, then went straight into hair consultancy, followed by a stint as an advertising executive and then the obvious move to local crew at the Churchill Theatre. From there, the wonders of theatre led me directly into conference set building, before starting work with CC-Lab who put me on the path to music-based event."
This month: Ian Dow recalls going Back to School
"The shocked face of the driver is a picture I remember to this day. He knew there was only one 961 each day, but suddenly before him was this ghostly apparition of his own coach, full of passengers lit by a strange blue light, which was then swallowed up by the mist . . ."
This month: Word Lens
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," the distinguished writer Arthur C. Clarke once said. The technological marvels now surrounding us make it easy to take that magic for granted; it's hard for something new to really surprise us. Word Lens is magical enough to do just that."
This month: Using your Imagination
"A lot of audio design is done by people with acoustics degrees. Whilst they are very good at the theory side, they've probably never mixed a concert or known what it's really like to surprise and delight a listener."
This month: The Right Number of Ks
"I might have been able to save some money by settling for a standard HD monitor or a Retina display, but I had something else in mind. I wanted one large monitor to act as three or four smaller monitors."
This month: Phil Ward talks to Scott Fraser - UK sales manager for French loudspeaker brand APG . . .
"When I then heard the speakers properly, I just couldn't understand why they hadn't made more progress in the UK. Great sounding, fantastic stereo imaging from the line array, amazing attention to detail, good QC . . . surely people would want these."
"Heading the team in the role of lighting director is Peter Wynne-Willson. Originally Pink Floyd's lighting designer in the mid-1960s, Wynne-Willson is a distinguished inventor of light show techniques and projection equipment..."
Sophia Satchell Baeza on Liquid Light Orchestra's latest work (Space is the Place)
"That's what I like, when they go all wide-eyed and say 'Wow, I didn't know you could do that!' There's always a chance of surprising them, and that's when we're really helping."
DiGiCo's Fernando Delgado talks technical support (The Sound of Montreux)
"It's easy to programme one chandelier to dim perfectly off a particular dimmer, but then another dimmer might do something different; then that dimmer assigned to another lamp, or more lamps, may do something different again."
Richard Cuthbert discusses the art of dimming LEDs for theatre (GDS: A Decade of Innovation)
Inside our Next Issue . . .
Product Focus: Curtain Tracks • GDS: A Decade of Innovation • Meltdown Festival Profile: d&b UK • Show Review: InfoComm, USA • TF: Phillips Vari-Lite VL4000