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ETC’S Motorised Rigging Systems in SA

ApexPro, the local distributor of Electronic Theatre Control’s full range of lighting, control and automation technologies, recently hosted a brace of launches featuring ETC’s motorised rigging systems in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Nils Becker, the global ETC rigging products manager, spoke with ETECH during the Johannesburg leg of the launch, held at The University of Johannesburg in October.

ETC has been a global leader in the design and manufacture of lighting and rigging technologies for the theatre, film and television studio environments for more than 40 years, and has a well-established reputation for innovation, responsiveness and outstanding customer service. ApexPro, the distribution arm of Prosound, has a long-standing relationship with ETC, having distributed the company’s lighting and control systems for a number of years. With the rapid adoption of automated staging technology in theatres across the globe, ApexPro decided to invite Becker to introduce ETC’s innovative range of stage automation solutions to the South African market.

NEW POSSIBILITIES

In 2009, ETC introduced the Prodigy range of automation solutions: a new class of over-stage machinery systems that were custom-designed to meet the needs of medium-sized theatres, studios and corporate venues.  According to Becker, ETC’s Prodigy family enables smaller venues to access to motorised staging technology that, as little as a decade ago, was only accessible to the world’s largest and most affluent professional venues.

Prodigy hoists are built around a groundbreaking sloped drum, which makes for a smaller, lighter machine that fits into more places and requires less structural support. There are a variety of models, each of which can be installed in a number of configurations, with a slender design that enables close line-set placement.

All Prodigy hoists use ETC’s unique compression-tube technology, which allows the system to be connected to a structure with fewer brackets, independent of the loft-line placement. This technology cancels out the lateral forces usually created by traditional rigging systems, meaning it can reduce new-installation costs and allow for retrofits in spaces not traditionally designed for stage-machinery systems.

SIMPLICITY DELIVERS RESULTS

The Prodigy system requires an extremely simple infrastructure, as each hoist needs just one cable for power and one for control. A package of 24 machines only requires a single Cat5e cable to connect the hoists to the controller. Prodigy can include a low-profile cable-management system that cleanly hides cabling, as well as pantographs or traditional power options. They accommodate many circuits of power, including emergency circuits, and can contain DMX or network-based data communication.

ETC’s automation controllers deliver high functionality at an affordable price and have been designed with the end-user in mind. From the most basic QuickTouch series to the flagship Foundation controller, the user interface features easy-to-understand displays, such as current weight and position. Also, the system offers a range of installed and remote options to fit the specific requirements of the particular venue, enabling the end-user to execute set changes efficiently and effectively.

SAFETY STANDARDS

ETC’s commitment to safety means that operational safety is a priority of the design and everything in the load path is engineered in terms of a ten-to-one safety factor. The ETC Prodigy hoist has built-in sensors that constantly track, test and log information, such as distance travelled and weight load errors. Every model includes a slack-line sensor and load cell displaying the real-time weight, coupled with an intelligent profiling technology; each motor will instantly halt when it unexpectedly encounters an obstacle in its path.

“In response to increasing awareness about the importance of safety and risk reduction in the workplace, there is a growing aversion among universities, professional theatres and corporate venues to placing people on ladders and within fly rails to access equipment. As a result, there is a growing demand for affordable motorised rigging systems that make it possible for equipment to be lowered and adjusted, which is exactly what the ETC Prodigy range allows,” says Becker.

SCALABILITY

“One of the most important features of the Prodigy family is that it offers venues a highly scalable and customisable solution, that is easy to install and cost-effective to maintain. Also, the system is highly flexible and can be implemented in phases. A venue may invest in just two or three hoists to start with and add to the system as the need arises over the years. As a result, the capital cost of changing from a counter-weight to a motorised system can be managed over a number of fiscal cycles,” Becker concludes.

ETC’s Prodigy offers a package that is user-friendly, affordable to install and increases both the functionality and safety of flying equipment. The Prodigy family promises better access to your flown systems from an approachable interface, thereby making your venue safer and more efficient.

Kindly visit www.etcconnect.com/Products/Rigging-Systems for more information about ETC’s innovative motorised rigging solutions.

ETC lights leading news channel Al Arabiya, 24/7

For over 10 years, an ETC Eos Classic has been used to light the broadcast studio of leading TV news channel Al Arabiya, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week live on air without any technical faults.

Al Arabiya is the chief news station in the Middle East, based in Dubai. ETC dealer, Oasis Enterprises has been in partnership with Al Arabiya since 2008, supplying and installing technical equipment to the TV channel. The news studio commented positively on the relationship with Oasis Enterprises, remarking that their ‘reliability and support’ influenced the decision to choose ETC for their broadcast studio: “They offer us a great service and are always available whenever we need them,” comments the Head of News Resources, Mahmoud Issa.

This year, Al Arabiya was upgraded to ETC’s flagship lighting control desk Eos Ti, bringing the latest technology and most powerful hardware to the broadcast studios. “As our channel runs 24/7, it is crucial that there are no errors with lighting, vision mixers or consoles. We need to be equipped with the best and ETC’s Eos console is one of the best so far,” remarks Mahmoud Issa.

The TV company is also equipped with ETC dimmer racks, Eos Remote Processor Units and lighting fixtures – Source Four LED Series 2 Lustr Daylight HD and Source Four jr luminaires. “The Eos family software platform and the Lustr Series 2 output perform extremely well. We are very happy to have them in our studios and look forward to investing in more in the future,” commented Safwan Harcouss, Lighting Manager at Al Arabiya.

ETC’s signature Eos lighting console was the ultimate choice for Al Arabiya for several reasons. The product’s features were key: the Eos operating system’s powerful magic sheets conveniently allows the TV company to coordinate multiple studios at a time and the built-in blind mode makes it easy and practical to work with. The training offered by Oasis Enterprises to staff at Al Arabiya was also extremely valuable and beneficial for the new employees that the firm regularly hires.

Going forwards, the TV company plans to network the entire building that they are currently in, using the Eos Ti control desk. The team will set up the desk in ‘The Gallery’, a central space in the broadcasting area, ensuring ultimate lighting control across all studios.  

“As the console is in constant use for the 24-hour news channel, the reliability of the system is crucial,” commented Karim Abdel Massih, Lighting Systems Manager at Oasis Enterprises. “Al Arabiya is live on air around-the-clock so it can be challenging from a maintenance perspective, however, ETC’s equipment continues to deliver at a high standard.”

Symetrix ramps up for growth with new owners

Mark and Rachelle Graham bring over 30 years audio industry experience to the team.

Creators of high-performance digital audio processing solutions Symetrix has announced that Mark and Rachelle Graham have joined the team as the new owners of the business.

Mark Graham brings over 30 years of audio industry experience to the team, filling the CEO role.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us,” he said. “We have admired Symetrix, both the company and the people, for a long time. I’m really looking forward to building on the successful foundation built over the past four decades and maintaining the rock-solid reputation of the company.”

Symetrix’s current owner, Julia Ogden, has been considering a change in ownership of the company for some time after 32 years with Symetrix. “I knew I could never sell this business unless it was to the right people. It had to be someone who cared about the business and all the exceptional people who work here, and our business partners around the globe,” she said. “I was looking for continuity and an alliance with the same high standards and core values that sets Symetrix apart from the crowd. I believe the Graham’s are the perfect fit.”

Mark Graham was CEO of LOUD Technologies for the last eight years. Before that, he was the president of Crown Audio, a Harman company. His industry experience includes working for Hewlett Packard in their test and measurement division and owning his own audio contracting business. “Mark has a depth of industry experience and engineering expertise that is exactly the right background to accelerate the growth trajectory of the company, especially with his laser-focus on continuing to deliver innovative products,” Ogden explained.

Rachelle Graham has been a marketing manager for several large organisations including Agilent Technologies, the University of Kansas and BioServe Space Technologies, one of NASA’s Commercial Space Centers.

Symetrix is poised to launch several new products in the next couple of months: “The launch of our new products will move ahead seamlessly. We’ve put a lot of thought into how to make the transition as smooth as possible so that none of our deadlines slip. We will assure that Symetrix customers continue to experience the benefit of our ease of doing business, award-winning customer service and tech support, and products that provide the solutions and reliability they have come to expect from Symetrix,” added Ogden.

Symetrix will remain at the same location, and all employees will be retained. Julia Ogden will continue to work for the company throughout a transition period and will also serve on the company’s board of directors going forward.

Khoroni Resort in Thohoyandou buy Electro-Voice Evolve 50 systems

The Khoroni Resort in Thohoyandou recently upgraded their mobile PA systems and the Electro-Voice Evolve 50 was their choice of speaker.

Pepe Khumalo met with the resort management team and did a demo of the Evolve 50s, to highlight its superior quality sound, functionality and ease of use. There was no hesitation from the Khoroni Resort decision makers, and they ordered Evolves on the spot.

Prosound delivered the system to the resort in the Limpopo Province, and handed it over to the AV staff. They were very, very pleased.

Afrocoustic Sessions at Rockets use Electro-Voice Evolve for live shows

Rockets Restaurant in Bryanston have been hosting the Afrocoustic sessions on a Thursday night, and the live acts have been thrilled to use an Electro-Voice Evolve 50 system as the main PA.

The Afrocoustic sessions give a platform to established and up and coming musicians to perform at one of Johannesburg’s top restaurants. The sessions are filmed and broadcast by Pockittv, so lovers of Afro Soul can watch the shows on their mobile devices if they can’t make the live show that night.

The Evolve system was perfect for the venue, which has noise restrictions as it’s based in a residential neighbourhood. The linear line array design allows for the perfect levels within the venue, without bothering the neighbours. The built in Bluetooth DSP control allows the venue manager to control sound levels via the EV app throughout the night.

To add colour to the shows, Prosound have also provided ETC parcans and lighting controls.

The Afrocoustic Sessions take place at Rockets in Bryanston every Thursday nights. Line-ups for the sessions will be announced by Rockets and Pockittv, follow their Facebook pages to get regular updates.

Electro-Voice fills The Camfield

The Camfield is Australia’s largest pub. At 9,000m2, it accommodates up to 3,000 patrons alongside the Swan River and Optus Stadium in Perth. It also houses 96 Electro-Voice loudspeakers and amplifiers, supplied by Audio Source and integrated by Vision Cabling, that provide sound for ambience, functions and entertainment purposes.

The canteen area serves food along with BGM from Electro-Voice Evid-S commercial installation loudspeakers. EKX passive subwoofers extend the frequency response of the system.

Several terraces surround the pub, offering views of the river, the stadium and beer garden, respectively. Each terrace is equipped with Evid ceiling speakers, while ZX5 loudspeakers have been installed in the corners of the spaces. In the aforementioned beer garden, a custom-built screen receives audio reinforcement from further ZX5 speakers.

Electro-Voice CPS amplifiers power the entire sound setup at The Camfield – 2-channel models drive the ZX5 loudspeakers, while 4-channel units power the Evid-S cabinets.

‘Vision Cabling Systems designed the concept around the Evid-S wall-mount and the ZX5Pi weatherised range for the performance, quality and ease of installation,’ said Marcus Stackpole, project manager for Vision Cabling. ‘With The Camfield being so close to the Swan River, speakers that could perform in an environment such as this were integral to deliver the project.

‘The performance of both the indoor and outdoor speakers selected outdoes what was proposed to the client, exceeding their expectations and delivering a higher quality of sound than previously thought with acoustic challenges throughout the venue, including stadium ambience.’

Electro‑Voice EVH Series brings tested reliability to Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium

  • More than 110 EVH Series loudspeakers provide robust messaging and emergency audio
  • Tel Aviv-based D-AND-D delivers innovative solution alongside Lighton Ltd and Charmer Group
  • Mr. Harel Tabibi was in charge of the sound design

 

“As well as quality and reliability I look towards EV for a portfolio of solutions that can cater to all the requirements of a high‑end installation”

Originally built in the 1990s but renovated on multiple occasions since then, Teddy Stadium is home to four of Israel’s most loved football teams: Beitar Jerusalem, Hapoel Jerusalem, Hapoel Katamon Jerusalem and Beitar Nordia Jerusalem. The 31,733 capacity venue has also been used to stage large-scale entertainment events.

For the latest phase of the venue’s audio evolution, Tel Aviv-based professional audio distribution and production specialist D-AND-D was asked to supply a multi-function PA/VA loudspeaker system that would be capable of delivering crystal clear audio throughout the venue, whose capacity was increased to its present total with the addition of a new south side stand in 2013. The system needed to accommodate standard stadium visitor and commercial messaging, as well as communications in the event of an emergency.

D-AND-D’s Danny Ariel recalls that an extensive process of “meeting with the client, understanding their needs, and then working on CAD plans,” in cooperation with the project architect shaped the eventual loudspeaker design. Positive previous experiences with Electro-Voice products meant that the brand was always a strong contender for the Teddy Stadium installation, with Ariel praising the standard of “the Electro-Voice product design, and consistent track record of innovation, high quality sound and reliability.”

The final design features a grand total of 114 Electro-Voice EVH-1152D premium 2-way coaxial horn-loaded full-range loudspeakers. Each incorporating a 3-inch DH7N titanium/neodymium HF compression driver, rotatable constant-directivity waveguide, and pattern control maintained down to 500 Hz, the EVH-1152D speakers are specifically designed to suit inherently reverberant spaces such as stadiums.

With Lighton Ltd and Charmer Group serving as project integrator and installer, the new audio system has delivered all of the robust audio performance that Ariel has come to expect of EV. “As well as quality and reliability I look towards EV for a portfolio of solutions that can cater to all the requirements of a high-end installation,” he says. “With the Teddy Stadium project it has once again risen to meet that expectation.”

Midsummer Night’s Dream Munich — an impressive audio and visual experience with sound by Electro‑Voice

  • Midsummer Night’s Dream 2018 enthralls 30,000-strong audience in Munich’s Olympic Park
  • Highlights included top acts such as Clueso and OMD as well as Germany’s largest fireworks show
  • TC Showtechnik was responsible for technical realization
  • Extensive sound reinforcement focused on Electro-Voice X2 line arrays as well as XLD, XLE and ETX loudspeakers

 

“The X12‑128 is absolutely stunning, a real winner!”

When the 13th edition of the “Midsummer Night’s Dream Munich” took place in Munich’s Olympic Park, it did so under literally heavenly conditions: cloudless skies, a mild 25 degrees temperature and an incomparable show. More than 30,000 spectators were treated to performances by 12 top-class live acts – including Clueso and OMD – as well as street art, food trucks and the largest and most spectacular fireworks show in Germany.

TC Showtechnik was responsible for the entire technical production, for which Managing Director Martin Schulze drew on the experience of many years in the live events sector, during which he has often used systems from Electro-Voice and Dynacord.

Three stages required sound reinforcement. The two smaller stages were served by XLD line array systems, with very compact XLE enclosures fielded as front-fills and ETX loudspeakers deployed as a sub arc array. All performed their tasks flawlessly. More challenging was the provision of a suitable sound reinforcement system for the main stage, on which headline acts Clueso and OMD performed.

“It was a very open stage under a magic sky, you had to be on the look-out for reflections,” explains Schulze. The TC Showtechnik team opted for X2 full-range and X12-128 subwoofer models from Electro-Voice’s X-Line Advance line array family, which enabled trouble-free operation. The double-18-inch X12-128 sub wins particular praise from Schulze: “I honestly have no idea what is so different about this double-18 direct-radiating cabinet, but I feel the difference. The X12-128 is absolutely stunning, a real winner!”

The biggest challenge was the floating sound system covering the expansive Olympic Lake. “We invested most of our time in developing this concept,” says Schulze, describing how TC Showtechnik conceived the solution at its Eglfing headquarters. It comprised a very effective combination of Dynacord V17 bass elements topped with Electro-Voice XLE elements. “Once we had measured the system on land, all we had to do on the water was ensure that the clusters were positioned in a complementary manner.” The compact design of the V17 and the relatively low weight of 17 kg XLE enclosures were key factors in the choice of loudspeakers.

The X2 line array was driven by Electro-Voice TG7 amplifiers equipped with RCM-28 modules for monitoring and remote control. In addition, a significant number of Dynacord L2800FD and L3600FD amplifiers were deployed, prompting more praise from Schulze: “The value for money is excellent and the ease of use leaves nothing to be desired. You can quickly access the parameters via USB and the rest is simple: load the presets, set the time alignment and you’re done”. Through the use of OMNEO IP technology, audio transport, remote control and monitoring was all achieved via Dante.

ETC and Avab head to JTSE 2018 with a special reveal

On November 27-28, ETC will be teaming up with Avab Transtechnik France at JTSE, and this year an exciting announcement will be made exclusively at the show. High End Systems will also be exhibiting at the annual tradeshow which takes place at Porte de la Chapelle in Paris.

Visitors to the stand – 140-141 / 162-163, Dock Pullman – will gain an overview of the product range including the latest innovations and lighting solutions by ETC and High End Systems. In Dock Eiffel, in-depth product presentations will also be available in JTSE’s Black Boxes, an area dedicated to demonstrating lighting equipment in optimal conditions.

Amongst the products on display and available for demonstrations are ETC’s Eos family of consoles – Eos Ti, Gio @5 and Ion Xe; ETC’s newly launched Relevé Spot fixture and High End Systems’ SolaFrame 3000, SolaFrame 750 fixtures and Hog 4-18 console.

Relevé Spot

The first member of a new product family for ETC – an automated fixture specifically designed for the theatre. The fixture boasts a calibrated four-colour additive mixing system and a unique Ani-gobo wheel which is paired with a dynamic customisable five-position rotating gobo wheel.

Eos

ETC’s Eos family of consoles brings award-winning colour tools and advanced, granular control of your whole rig. Flagship console Eos Ti, as well Gio @5 and Ion Xe will be available for demonstrations at the show this year.

EchoTouch

ETC’s EchoTouch controller offers compact, stylish and intuitive touchscreen control of lighting in architectural and smaller entertainment spaces. It can operate as a standalone controller giving direct control of DMX/RDM and sACN fixtures and devices, or be integrated into a larger Unison Echo control system. Users can locally program zones, presets, and sequences to control their devices.

SolaFrame

High End Systems SolaFrame series features the most advanced and complete line of LED frame fixtures on the market. The SolaFrame 3000 will be on display at JTSE. It is the flagship luminaire in the Sola Series range, boasting more than 37,000 lumen output on the wall and a 1000 Watt Ultra-Brite White LED engine.

The SolaFrame 750 will also be available, and is the most compact framing fixture in High End System’s family of automated tools, featuring a 6-50 degree zoom, rotating gobo wheel and fully continuous animation. Alongside this, the SolaFrame Theatre fixture, Hedgehog console and the latest Hog 4-18 console will be on site during the two-day tradeshow.

The Black Box No 14 will provide demonstrations of several of ETC’s acclaimed luminaires including Source Four LED Series 2, ColorSource CYC, ColorSource Spot and ColorSource PAR. Specialists from ETC, High End Systems and Avab Transtechnik France will be on the stand for visitors to talk to and ask any questions. The exclusive announcement will be made on the first day of the show so be sure to visit the stands (140-141 / 162-163) to find out what the big reveal is.

Symetrix always performs at Lakeshore Players Theatre

In April 2018, after 65 years of continuous operation as a community theatre, Lakeshore Players Theatre began operating year-round in the brand new Hanifl Performing Arts Center. Located in White Bear Lake, about 18 miles northeast of Minneapolis, the new facility includes a sound system managed by a Symetrix Prism 8×8 DSP.

“The Symetrix Prism 8×8 routes audio to most of the building except for the Kids & Family Theatre, which is separate,” explains Dan Cincoski of DT Cincoski Design, who designed and installed the system. “In the main theatre, we have 10 Radio Design Labs (RDL Inc.) audio wall plates that provide inputs and outputs, converting analogue to Dante and streaming it to the Prism. We have about 40 channels of audio that can be routed via Dante through either the Prism or the Midas M31IP house mixer in the auditorium. We put analogue inputs in the lobby, two mic inputs and an aux input on a mini-jack. Those go to the Symetrix, as well, so they can do performances and presentations in the lobby.

Although most input is sent to the Prism via Dante, the processor sends audio in the analogue domain to the various speaker systems around the building. “We can send audio from the theatre or the lobby to almost anywhere in the building except for the Kids & Family Theatre,” Cincoski relates. “We send audio to the front-of-house speakers in the theatre, the Scene Shop, the Black Box, the Green Room, office areas, hallways, bathrooms, and so on.”

Symetrix ARC wall panels provide basic system control. “Using the matrixing in the Symetrix Prism, I have zones set up using an ARC-SW4 that route paging to zones around the building so they can hear the theatre or the lobby audio and control the levels,” notes Cincoski. “For control, we have a Symetrix ARC-2e panel in the lobby that controls the local audio levels, and an ARC-2e in the main theatre control room that manages nine presets for the auditorium sound. The presets include a presentation mode that doesn’t incorporate the Midas mixer, acoustic performance (just a mic to pick up sound, which is distributed to the building and listening assistance systems), practice modes, and incorporation of the lobby in the mix outputs. We also installed a Symetrix ARC-K1e wall control. It’s just basic control; that’s all they need.”

The Symetrix ARC-2e is a menu-driven remote control for Symetrix DSPs that provides 24 menus with 16 items each for control of basic function or more complex, logic-based events. It features 3 navigation buttons and an 8-character backlit display with 32 scrolling characters. The ARC-K1e provides a rotary controller with button, typically for volume control, while the ARC-SW4e features four switches that can be programmed as latched, momentary, or radio buttons for control of mute, source selection, and presets. All three models are single-gang, Decora-style faceplates.

Cincoski has been using Symetrix processors for the past four years but until now, he was exclusively using Symetrix Jupiter 8×8 DSPs for stand-alone room installs. “The Jupiter 8×8 is inexpensive, it sounds good, and you don’t have to do a lot of programming,” he observes. In fact, my original design for the Lakeshore Players Theatre called for a Jupiter 8×8. But I realised that using a Symetrix Prism and a Dante network would make it possible to have more inputs and outputs, with easier wiring, and the flexibility of matrix mixing.”

This was the first time Cincoski used Dante, but he wasn’t fazed by the technology. “With the Prism, programming is relatively easy,” he insists. “I programmed

input gain, routing, equalisation and other processing, speaker matching, and so on, and I was able to get it done fairly quickly.”

The Lakeshore Players Theatre system is in full use now, and the client is delighted. “The system sounds good, they have the flexibility and features they need, and we did it within the budget,” confirms Cincoski.” The Symetrix Prism and Dante enabled me to deliver a lot more functionality for the money than in the original plan. And the Prism has performed very reliably; we’ve had no problems.”