Latest Issue - October 2014
It's PLASA Show time again, this time on familiar ground as the show returns to Excel for its second year. With a busy programme of events, and healthily increased visitor pre-registration levels, the show is shaping up nicely to deliver its unique blend of opportunities - and you can get a taste of the highlights in store in this, our preview issue.
At the show you'll be able to see many of the new products highlighted in this issue - including Robe's brand new BMFL moving head, RC4's Series 3 Wireless Dimmers, the new Reference headphones from Flare Audio, and ETC's Source Four LED Series 2. Also inside, we have two interesting theatre venue features - one on the £22m refurbishment of the Chichester Festival Theatre, and another on the brilliantly inventive new tourable theatre developed by Paine's Plough, the Roundabout Theatre - which graces our cover this month. Another not to miss is touring veteran Dick Hayes, who talks to Steve Moles about his career, including both tough knocks and magical moments - speaking of which, we also take a look at the audio set-up for Monty Python's swansong performances at the O2 Arena.
Finally, we also say goodbye to two well-known industry figures this month. Pasquale Quadri, a pioneering entrepreneur whose impact on show lighting will last for decades beyond his own lifetime, and Derrick Zieba, one of the best-known, best-liked and most experienced live sound system designers in the pro audio business. RIP gentlemen.
LSi is ABC Audited.
As the PLASA show prepares to open in its new home at ExCeL, we present part two of our look ahead at some of the expected highlights . . .
Steve Moles reports from Bramham Park on the production behind this year's Leeds (and Reading) Festivals . . .
What are the sound choices when it comes to the biggest input counts? And should we be rethinking how we consider capacity? Phil Ward finds out . . .
When LSi last profiled Robe, it was already a significant player in the entertainment lighting market, just eight years after its dramatic switch from unsung OEM to own brand. But it's the four years since that have seen the biggest leap in the company's fortunes. Lee Baldock reports . . .
"Both are very lightweight and easily concealed in props, clothing, or set pieces, which is why they are favoured by clients like Blue Man Group, Cirque du Soleil, The Met, Sydney Opera House and many more . . . "
Simon Allen finds that Flare Audio's new Reference headphones deliver an unprecedented listening experience- but that sound this good brings its own new challenges . . .
"Our subject today is a light, and an important one: the Source Four LED Series 2, ETC's 21st-century re-invention of its industry standard Source Four spotlight."
The world's first CBeebies Land opened this summer at Alton Towers Resort, and features an all-Ohm audio system. Erica Basnicki finds out more . . .
Rob Halliday visits the newly refurbished Chichester venue . . .
Sound designer Rory Madden headed the team that made sure the audience could hear every classic line in the swansong performances of comedy royalty Monty Python, at London's O2 Arena this summer. LSi reports . . .
PRG Nocturne, provider of LED video and projection support to the concert touring, festival, and corporate event markets, recently announced the expansion of its operations in the UK and Europe. LSi finds out more . . .
Remembering Pasquale 'Paky' Quadri, and Derrick Zieba . . .
Sarah Rushton-Read visited the pop-up venue during its residency in Summerhall at this year's Edinburgh Festival to find out what makes the Roundabout's world go around . . .
Chris Henry talks to TSL, a lighting & rigging rental company very much on the up . . .
LSi talks to Dick Hayes, the 'voice of audio' at Entec Sound & Light, as he enters retirement
Lighting the charismatic Bootsy Collins . . .
SGM's multi-purpose Q-7 is put to the test by the rock legends . . .
20 Years Ago . . . LSi October 1994
"The 1994 PLASA Show, held at Earls Court 2, had drawn record visitor numbers. This year's Best New Product Award had gone to Keny Whitright's Wybron for the Autopilot tracking system, while Hermann Sorger of Ludwig Pani received a special award from PLASA chairman Mike Wood in recognition of services to the industry. Seminars included those by Mark Fisher, discussing his staging designs for Pink Floyd's The Division Bell tour, and Gil Densham and Robert Bell on lighting previsualisation techniques using a new software system called WYSIWYG."
10 Years Ago . . . LSi October 2004
"Our editorial leader noted PLASA's introduction of a Code of Ethics for PLASA Show exhibitors at the show this year in response to concerns about product piracy. We reported that "a handful of disputes were resolved by PLASA at the show", and that copy product had been removed from the show floor for the first time. "
This month: You Never Can Tell
"Good audio for public address is essential, like transport and gas. Excellent audio for entertainment is even more important. Why? Because it transforms people."
This month: Real, Live Classics
"Better, it turns out, than reading about classic gear or writing about classic gear is actually handling classic gear: getting hold of lights and consoles and dimmers from back in time and marvelling at the construction, enjoying the aesthetics, in some cases wondering that they ever worked at all!"
This month: Lighting designer, Paul Smith (Smiffy)
"I got into lights at school and with local Am-Dram and had pretty much decided that I wanted to be Patrick Woodroffe by the time I was 14. Thanks to Alan Thompson and Peter Marshall at what was then Theatre Projects, I got started in the warehouse and on the rental desk, and once I'd properly ballsed that up, Bryan Leitch should be held fully responsible for me becoming an LD. I may never forgive him, hehe."
This month: Slack
"Remember when computers made work easier - when email saved the need to post, the web saved the need to find a catalogue. Remember that beautiful moment before the information overload of the Facebooks and Googles and Twitters and Skypes and emails and chats and clouds and the need to constantly manage where that file went, how that message was sent, who forgot to Cc who?"
This month: Smaller Permanent Installations
". . . for schools, amateur theatres and the like, it's just as important as in the professional market to vet your contractors properly. The question is how."
This month: Decoding codecs
"'Codec' is a portmanteau of 'compression' and 'decompression.' Video information is compressed for transport and storage because today's video files can be enormous . . ."
This month: Phil Ward talks to Nick Cook of marketing consultancy NCM . . .
"Clearly the years of experience I have with audio lends itself to the pro audio business, but the techniques for reviewing the marketing approach of a company and making recommendations to increase sales are the same in most B2B areas."
"That's really the only way to handle the full picture of the market. It's important for me that I am not just depending on what I am told. I want to talk to people, I want to hear it and feel it for myself."
Robe CEO Josef Valchar talks to Lee Baldock (Robe at 20)
"Having worked as a sound engineer in both studio and live for over 12 years, I feel confident that I can quickly assess how a speaker system or pair of headphones sound. At least I did, until I heard these."
Simon Allen reviews the new headphones from Flare Audio (A New Reference?)
"This helps stop the drift from left to right, and also prevents pressure building at the centre point, because the thrust diverts the pressure off to the sides."
Jim Gaffney discusses the new 'peaked' barrier format employed at Leeds Festival (Leeds & Reading)
Inside our Next Issue . . .
Show Review: PLASA London 2014 • Profile: DTS Lighting • 30 Years of Triple E • Bolton Theatre's Geek Week • PLASA and JAMES • On Tour: Pur at the Veltins Arena