Latest Issue - February 2015
This month we have two major features on touring productions for two 'of the moment' British artists. For Sam Smith's US tour, Will Potts' show design conveys both "personality and intimacy" for his Grammy-winning client. Back in the UK, Royal Blood recently won the Best British Band Award at the BRITs; but not before Steve Moles had been impressed by their UK tour. Also inside, Cirque du Soleil's 'Big Top' show, Kooza, made the Royal Albert Hall its home over Christmas: Julie Harper looks at the challenges of putting the show into this particular 'Big Top'.
Phil Ward delivers an update to his 'Front Desk Enquiry' feature from our October 2014 issue, to include the more recent additions to the digital mixing console market from the likes of Yamaha, Roland and Fairlight. In Technical Focus, Mike Wood assesses the LED-based MAC Quantum Profile from Martin Professional. We also round up the highlights from Amsterdam's ISE exhibition and look forward to next month's Prolight+Sound in Frankfurt. And there's plenty more of course - Richard Cadena's Tech Focus on Cleaning up DMX to Roland Hemming on standards in Second Fix, Ian Dow on solar eclipses in Recollected Works, and Rob Halliday looking back at another piece of Classic Gear, the Strand MMS. Finally, a huge thank you to everyone who completed our Reader Survey: the response was better than we could have hoped, and we look forward to getting to grips with the information gathered.
LSi is ABC Audited.
Steve Moles reports from Bridlington Spa on Brighton duo Royal Blood's current touring production . . .
A round-up of some of the reported highlights expected at this year's Prolight+Sound exhibition in Frankfurt, 15-18 April . . .
" Martin hasn't used an off-the-shelf LED light module and, instead, have built their own LED light engine using 90 white LEDs mounted in five concentric rows in a circular array. Each of those 90 LEDs consumes approximately 5W and has its own moulded lens mounted above it. "
Julie Harper reports from London's Royal Albert Hall as Cirque du Soleil's Kooza takes on the challenge of migrating from Big Top venues to the Grade 1 listed building . . .
"Many of the inexpensive LED fixtures require at least 35 microseconds between bytes in order to function. Such fixtures are not DMX-compliant devices. They don't have a fast enough processor to accept a byte, process it, and get ready for the next byte before it comes in . . ."
The British singing sensation tours the States with a classy design package. Sharon Stancavage reports from the US . . .
Phil Ward follows up his survey of the large-format console scene with a look at some new kits on the block - and even some new blocks . . .
Lee Baldock and Claire Beeson report from the Amsterdam RAI on the ever-expanding ISE exhibition . . .
Cruise liner Quantum of the Seas boasts a full complement of energy-efficient lighting and video products. LSi reports . . .
LSi finds out more about aQtubes, a clever new lightweight acoustic treatment . . .
Showstars is about to enter one of the busiest periods of its 32-year history. Founder and MD Graham Shaw talks to LSi . . .
20 Years Ago . . . LSi March 1995
"'Total Fabrication Flies the Nest' said our lead news page, revealing that Chris Cronin and Peter Johns had purchased the UK and US divisions of Total Fabrication from Light & Sound Design (LSD). Cronin, who had been managing the company for some years, was to be joined by Johns from LSD, while another former LSD employee, Ian Coles, would run the US operation from LSD's Los Angeles office."
10 Years Ago . . . LSi March 2005
"The LED patent dispute rumbled on this month with the news that Super Vision International, the Florida-based manufacturer of LED lighting systems, had filed a motion for summary judgement against Color Kinetics. The motion included nine affidavits from, among others, Jerry Laidman, a lighting engineer who had created colour-changing LED effects in the late 1970s, and High End Systems co-founder Richard Belliveau, who had recently sold his patent for a variable colour lighting system to Super Vision."
This month:The Return of the Mack
"Whether or not Gunness' coaxial designs can ultimately be distilled into large-scale touring rigs - and there's no shortage of confidence within PreSonus that they can be - the assault on live sound can now begin in earnest . . ."
This month: Strand MMS
"The more you read, the more you investigate, the more you ask around, the more you realise what a remarkable group of people worked in Rank Strand's control team from the late 1960s onwards. Some of their achievements we've covered here already: the National's Lightboard, the Galaxy."
This month: Karl Taylor - LX systems tech / programmer
"My first memory of anything lighting was at a very young age watching my Dad operate the lighting for the Sennelager Players at the Army theatre in Paderborn, Germany - just down the road from MA Lighting HQ. Apparently he used a Strand Tempus desk, Pat 23s and 37s."
This month: Who switched the lights off?
"At 10,000 feet the pilot had to climb again and, as we needed the side door open, ordered everyone to put on their oxygen masks. The lady from Radio 5 Live didn't have one, so we had two choices . . ."
This month: JustPark
"There's the Top Gear view of the world: the high performance car, the throbbing engine, the open road stretching off to the distant horizon . . ."
This month: Standards? What's standards?
"To me, at the very least, standards encourage you to think; to consider products and ways of doing things that you wouldn't otherwise have done."
This month: 3D Motion Graphics
"In a relatively short time, 3D software has gone from Mike the Talking Head to almost anything you can imagine. It's become the one of the most powerful palettes for painting on the most imaginative canvasses."
This month: Phil Ward talks to Andy Simmons, director of sales at Orbital Sound
". . . what you have to do nowadays is produce results - make money - and this comes from a combination of sales and good service. A lot of people seemingly don't realise this."
"You can leave the four-high travel stack on the dolly . . . pre-set the angle intervals so that, as you lift the cabinets, the pins lock directly into the place you want them. It does half the work for you."
Brit Row system tech James 'JC' Collee discusses L-Acoustics' new K2 system (Royal Blood)
"The mother grid and spreaders started to go in on Boxing Day with 56 rigger shifts across five days and three nights. It's been known for some years as the Circus that stole Christmas!"
PRG's Chris Walker discusses Kooza at the RAH (Kooza)
"I needed a really strong LED washlight that could give me a very focused beam to highlight instruments, but then give an even wash for more general focus . . . I needed it to be very saturated against the cyc."
Production & lighting designer Will Potts discusses his lighting fixture choices(Sam Smith)
Inside our Next Issue . . .
On Tour: Thunder • Venue: Refurbishing Sadler's Wells • TF: Power Distribution • What do sound designers do? • South Africa with Prosound • In Profile: Tupac Martir