Latest Issue - April 2015
Reader Survey: Thanks to everyone who took the time to complete our recent Reader Survey - as very many of you did. Overall, the research confirmed that LSi is the clear market leader. That's good news, but what's really valuable is that your feedback has given us a clear idea of the issues facing your work and business, including the pressures imposed by regulations and new technology. We'll be working over the coming months to make sure our content meets those needs.
In this issue, we welcome award-winning theatre sound designer Gareth Fry, who gives an excellent account of the roles and responsibilities of theatre sound teams - including a detailed overview of what a sound designer actually does. It's a must-read if you're interested in a career in theatre sound, or if you just need to understand more about it - for example, if you're a member of the Tony Awards Committee. From Steve Moles we have a production review of the latest tour by British rock band Thunder, and a collection of reports from South Africa, centring on a series of installations of ETC lighting and control equipment in TV studios and theatres. There's lots more too, including some very useful information relating to venue management in Entertaining Sustainability, a round-up of leading suppliers of power distro and my interview with visual designer Tupac Martir.
LSi is ABC Audited.
Steve Moles takes a look at the production behind the recent UK tour by English hard-rock band, Thunder. Focussing on lighting, audio, video, rigging, set design and production management . . .
With the ever-popular PLASA Focus Leeds taking place at the Royal Armouries at Clarence Dock on 12-13 May, we take a look at some of the show's expected highlights . . .
With limitless combinations of bespoke distros available, Chris Henry speaks to the leading players in mains distribution . . .
Award-winning theatre sound designer Gareth Fry provides an answer to the question: who does what in theatre sound?
"Last month I wrote about DMX timing and how some devices can alter the refresh rate of a DMX data stream. This is one of those devices . . ."
eclipse and d&b at the Volvo Ocean Race. LSi reports from Abu Dhabi . . .
Lee Baldock visits Pearce Hire to discover how they are encouraging the industry's next generation . . .
Steve Moles visits theatres and TV studios in South Africa with ETC distributor Prosound. Includes Cape Town's Fugard Theatre & Artscape, Durban's Playhouse, Supersport studios in Johannesburg and more . . .
20 Years Ago . . . LSi April 1995
"In the news, ETC was to end its arrangement with Arri (GB) Ltd under which Arri had successfully marketed ETC's lighting control products in Europe and most Asia. The arrangement would be replaced with a new international distribution structure . . ."
10 Years Ago . . . LSi April 2005
"Phil Ward discussed the subject of noise at work regulations and how they affected the live sound reinforcement at rock concerts . . . Steve Moles reported on the touring production for Natasha Bedingfield, which saw Dave Gibbon in the lighting designer's seat, and Anthony King at the FOH mixing position . . ."
This month: All That Jazz . . .
"At the Milano there's a carefully orchestrated speakeasy vibe, or perhaps the evocation of a decade or so later, after Prohibition but before Elvis - either way, it's the spirit of a time well before rock made electro-acoustics not only necessary and visible but also cool . . ."
This month: The Lil'DMXter
"It can be hard to recall now, nearly 30 years on, the fear with which many regarded DMX - the miracle of 512 dimmers down a single cable that had what looked suspiciously like audio connectors on the ends . . ."
This month: Lamp & Pencil's Robin Barton
"As a child I quickly worked out that I was not suited to the limelight! I still wanted to be involved and had made friends so I found my way backstage and realised how much fun it is. From there I was lucky enough to make it a career."
This month: Uber
". . . Uber, has a bigger ambition: reinventing the taxi cab not just for the internet age but for the global age, when many people genuinely do find themselves in London one day, New York the next, Hong Kong the next and just want transport without worrying about local rules, phone numbers, language or currency."
This month: Have Regulations Worked?
"The dangers of using trusses as fall arrest anchor points is starting to be more fully understood. It may look 'safe' but could easily give a false sense of security, unless the employer has done the engineering . . . "
This month: Spreading the Canvas
""Projection isn't the only video-based medium that's escaping the tyranny of the flat rectangular prison. Video pixels have been busting out of their rigid boundaries and scattering into crowds of pixel-wearing people since at least 2010."
This month: Lee Baldock talks to visual designer Tupac Martir . . .
"By this time I'd met a lot of bands and became more and more involved with the lighting guys, watching them, talking to them, learning from them."
"That's the beauty of Avolites, I've never used this desk before, but within 10 minutes I was up and running - just treat content as a gobo and the screen as a lamp and it's easy."
LD Ian 'Scampi' Bintliff discusses his lighting and video control (Thunder)
"You can think of a soundscape as a really long song, one that lasts the length of the show, whose instruments can be naturalistic sounds or not, which are played to create crescendos and chaos, or moments of stillness and silence. The technology is affordable enough now that we can create an immense multi-layered cinematic sound design with thousands of cues, or we can deliver sharply defined minimalism."
Gareth Fry explains the role of the sound designer (Theatre Sound)
"When I first went to see NBC, their main studios 1 and 2 in Windhoek had all very old spec' equipment from the '70s era. I suppose it says a lot about how well it was first implemented that it was still working, though 'barely working' might be the phrase."
South Africa TV lighting consultant Angus Clarke talks to Steve Moles(Focus: South Africa)
Inside our Next Issue . . .
Review: Prolight+Sound, Frankfurt • Refurbishing Sadler's Wells • Profile: Neutrik On Tour: Sting & Paul Simon • Interview: John Meyer • Chichester's Apprentices