Latest Issue - July 2014


Lighting&Sound International - March 2014Lee BaldockIn LSi this month, product copying remains a core issue with the news of Chromlech's liquidation. Chromlech, an innovative manufacturer, fell victim to product piracy in June - just as we began our 'Buy Real' campaign to alert customers to the damage caused by product copying. If we needed an illustration, Chromlech is surely it. Read more about this subject, including readers' letters, in this issue.

Green Shoots: In January 2010, I predicted that climate change would become the single biggest influence on business in the decade ahead – and, as Tim Atkinson points out in his Entertaining Sustainability column, there are now growing commercial advantages in implementing corporate environmental policies and impact accounting. Now the economy is stabilising, let's get back to looking ahead.

We have lots more this month: On Tour visits Cirque du Soleil's world-touring production of Dralion; we have reports from a son et lumière show in Rome's Forum, a television lighting case study with The One Show's move to a new studio, a look at the staging of One Direction's current tour, a profile of Wonder Works, a look at Sage Gateshead's new sound system and my interview with set designer Nicoline Refsing, while on the tech front we have reviews of Clay Paky's B-EYE K20 and Avolites' Sapphire Touch. There's plenty more too – and as always, you're feedback is welcome.

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ReadCirque du Soleil's Dralion

Steve Moles reports on the production of the current world tour from the leaders in avant-garde circus, Cirque du Soleil, and discovers a careful balancing act between technology and performance . . .

ReadLaureus Sports Awards

Steve Moles reports from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on the sporting awards ceremony that puts on quite a show . . .

ReadTF: Avolite's Sapphire Touch console reviewed by Rob Halliday

"It's been almost four years since we took an in-depth look at an Avolites product in these pages. Then, our attention was focused on the Tiger Touch, a compact desk that was clearly the start of Avo moving away from its traditional design of very 'physical' consoles (all faders and rollers) to a more versatile control surface incorporating a touchscreen. That was, one suspects, a hard choice for the company to make, but it was clearly a necessary one given the need to deal not just with dimmers and moving lights but also with LEDs, video walls, media servers, pixel mapping and the like."

ReadTF: Clay Paky A.LEDA B-EYE K20 reviewed by Mike Wood

"Folks are starting to get pretty inventive with their LED luminaires. We are past the point of asking the question, 'Are these bright enough to replace my regular lights?' and can move on with the more interesting question, 'What new things can I do with these light sources?'"

ReadA chain hoist with a servo motor? by Richard Cadena

"Folks are starting to get pretty inventive with their LED luminaires. We are past the point of asking the question, 'Are these bright enough to replace my regular lights?' and can move on with the more interesting question, 'What new things can I do with these light sources?'"

ReadABTT Theatre Show Review

A round-up of news and product launches from ABTT Theatre Show . . .

ReadBringing Rome's Forum to Life

Staged in the spectacular setting of the city's ancient Forum, multimedia installation Augustus Forum 2000 Years Later brings Rome's rich history to life. Mick Clark reports . . .

ReadA Window on The One Show

Peter Phillipson reports on how The One Show's lighting team dealt with the challenges presented by a move to a new studio . . .

ReadNew Sound for The Sage

A brand new RCF line array system has been installed in the main hall of The Sage, Gateshead. LSi finds out more . . .

ReadTouring One Direction

PM Wob Roberts has chosen some of the industry's most dependable suppliers to ensure 1D's latest tour goes to plan . . .

ReadWonder Works

'Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain . . .' Chris Henry talks to the unsung team behind some of the world's most spectacular global events of the last 20 years . . .

ReadSHOWCO: Chronicling a Legend

Musician Jason Sprinzen is in the process of writing a book about SHOWCO, the legendary concert production company . . .

ReadStudio XO and Arcade Fire

Increasingly known for their outlandish stage costumes, when Canadian indie rockers Arcade Fire took to the stage at London's Earls Court earlier this summer they dazzled the audience with the use of some rather unusual new 'wearable technology' from London-based Studio XO . . .



ReadYesterday's News

Yesterday's News - 20 Years Ago20 Years Ago . . . LSi July 1994

"PLASA Members had responded angrily to LSi's reporting of AVAB's resurfacing in Sweden as AVAB Niethammer, following the bankruptcy of the original company, AVAB AB, and the associated Emil Niethammer operation in Germany. A number of UK companies had been owed money by one or both operations at the point of their closure, and little information was provided by either of the receivers involved. A great deal of the money involved related to AVAB AB's re-equipping of the Gothenburg Opera House. "

Yesterday's News - 10 Years Ago10 Years Ago . . . LSi July 2004

"Lead news this month was the merger of PRG and VLPS (Vari-Lite Production Services). The resulting company would operate as PRG Lighting, PRG Audio and PRG Scenic Technologies. Jere Harris, who was to take on the role of chairman and CEO of the new company, said that PRG was "bringing stability, resources and a stronger business orientation to an industry that is highly fragmented and under-capitalised." Rusty Brutsché of VLPS would become vice-chairman and Chief Technology Officer of the new company. "

ReadAudio File

Phil WardThis month: FIFA Las Vegas!

". . . the inclusion of a UK console (Allen & Heath's GLD-80) at the centre of renovations to Rio's iconic Maracana stadium is the nearest that anything English is going to get to the venue for the tournament's final."

ReadClassic Gear

Classic GearThis month: The Splicing Block

"If you want a test for which once-indispensable tools are now obsolete, just try them out on a current technical theatre student: 'Stencils' to a lighting student will get a dismissive look as they turn back to their VectorWorks Student Edition. Present a sound student with a splicing block and you might just get a bemused expression as they try to figure out exactly what it actually is . . ."


ReadCrew Cuts

Crew CutsThis month: Lighting Designer, Tom Campbell

"I was extremely lucky that my secondary school had a pretty good lighting rig in their theatre - four MAC 500s and a lot of generic fixtures. I quickly realised, not only that I enjoyed doing it, but that I could miss lessons if I helped out on school productions."

ReadTools from Beyond

EvernoteThis month: Boris (and other) Bikes

"Bike sharing actually pre-dates the technology. Way back in 1965 a group in the Netherlands left free white bicycles scattered around a town, free for anyone to use. They quickly vanished . . . a sad reflection on human nature that free tends to be abused."


ReadRigging Call

Second FixThis month: No Substitute

"It's astonishing the number of people who criticise, for example, a truss being slung in a way they haven't seen before, believing the way they learned to be the only way . . ."

ReadVideo Matters

Richard CadenaThis month: Wireless Video on a Budget

"The documentation says to use Bash or Python - both of which are programming languages - but it doesn't tell you how to do it!"



QandAThis month: Lee Baldock talks to production designer, creative director and principal of Rockart Design, Nicoline Refsing . . .

"I love the music side, and what comes with that is the whole process of loading something in in a very short space of time, and loading it all out again. I love that challenge - producing all of the parts, working out what's possible."


View AllVoices in this Issue

"There's enough of a visual narrative in the performance to carry a lot of it. But you're right, we go to some lengths to avoid disorienting the performers. During the most gravity-defying act, the trampolines, nothing in the rig moves at all."

Cirque du Soleil's Josh Mowczko talks to Steve Moles (Dralion)

"Chromlech, the French manufacturer behind innovative LED lighting products such as Jarag and Elidy, has gone out of business with the loss of 14 jobs. The story of the company's failure is a case study of the prevailing copy culture, and a cautionary tale for our manufacturing industry."

Copy culture claims another victim (Industry News)

"We had a total of five LED screens, four flown and one on a pulley system tracking across the stage. The flown screens were moving through both horizontal and vertical planes across a distance of between 15 and 20 metres with the weight of each of the Lighthouse screens in excess of 1500kg."

CT's Chris Burke on the tech behind the Laureus awards (Laureus Sports Awards)


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

DTS Lighting

Mojo Barriers

City Theatrical

Stage Electrics



Le Maitre


Prolyte 2012


XL Video 2