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Archive for Month: October 2019

Electro-Voice and Dynacord system delivers pure tone at 2019 Crossroads Guitar Festival in Dallas

Founded and organized by Eric Clapton, the Crossroads Guitar Festival is a two-day music event and trade show that benefits the Crossroads Centre substance-abuse rehabilitation facility in Antigua. The 2019 edition was held at American Airlines Center in Dallas, with the indoor arena augmented by an all-day outdoor Village Stage featuring special guests and surprise performances in a master clinic format, sponsored by Ernie Ball.

The sound system for the Village Stage was an Electro-Voice X-Line Advance X2 line-array loudspeaker system, powered by the latest Dynacord DSP amplifiers. Notable performers included John Mayer, Eric Johnson, Joe Robinson, Andy Timmons and Paul Reed Smith. The system was supplied by Gulf Coast Sound (Rayne, LA), with owner Larry Habetz doing most of the mixing for crowds of up to 5,000. Electro-Voice applications engineer Mike Reynolds was on hand as system tech.

The main PA consisted of twin nine-box arrays of X2-212/120, supported by eight ground-stacked X12-128 dual 18” subwoofers. Two EVC-1082 loudspeakers were deployed as front fills. The system was powered by seven of the new TGX20 DSP amplifiers by Dynacord, which enabled 96 kHz Dante audio with full redundancy. System monitoring and control were handled via Dynacord’s new SONICUE sound system software. Two Dynacord IPX10:8 multi-channel DSP amps powered the stage wedges.

On stage, the microphone deployment was also Electro-Voice based, with ND76 and ND86 dynamic vocal mics, and the ND44 handling the critical guitar amp duties. Drum mics included the ND44 and ND46 on snare and toms, ND66 overheads, and ND68 on kick drum.

Larry Habetz reports that the system was very well received by both artists and audiences. “The great thing about this system is that it’s accurate and transparent,” he says. “This show is all about tone, and the X2 really lets it shine. All these artists have their own distinctive sound. Our job was to deliver that sound accurately, and this EV line array makes that possible. We had nothing but compliments all weekend.”

Guitarist Paul Reed Smith, founder and Managing General Partner of PRS Guitars, was in the unique position of hearing the FOH mix from his display area, then experiencing the monitor system on stage. “While performing on the outside stage at the Crossroads Festival and not knowing the brand of line array and monitors, the people I performed with and other famous musicians who played on the same stage, commented very positively on the quality of the sound of the gear,” he notes. “I subsequently asked the front of the house engineer and owner of the sound company what brand of gear they were using ‘cause I liked it so much. They said it’s an EV system. Nice job!”

Larry Habetz notes that the accuracy and responsiveness of the Electro-Voice and Dynacord system is a perfect match for an event like Crossroads Guitar Festival. “The X2 system gives you the truth, and the new Dynacord amps really take it to the next level in terms of efficiency and system control,” he reports. “Once we were up and running, I knew we were in a great place sonically. But when a tone legend like Paul Reed Smith compliments your sound from the stage, it says a lot. That made it a great weekend, both for me and EV.”

High End Systems Launches SolaPix

High End Systems has announced the launch of the SolaPix 7 and SolaPix 19 wash luminaires. The SolaPix family takes the traditional concept of a pixel wash and pushes it to its maximum potential. With a wide variety of looks to help set the mood and steal the show, SolaPix features an additive LED, RGBW colour mixing system for extremely powerful saturated colours and tunable white control, a versatile 4.5° – 60° zoom range, FleX Effects Engine and Pixel mapping on all models.

HES national sales manager Sean Hoey commented, “We are excited to bring this new fixture range to market. SolaPix is truly an innovative wash fixture. It provides incredible wash capability with great output, and the face of the fixture brings a new, unique look.”

Automated Lighting Product Manager Matt Stoner added, “Ever since High End Systems created the pixel wash with our ShowPix fixture, it has been an integral part of lighting rigs of all types. The SolaPix family builds on this technology by introducing new optics and next-generation brightness in a fixture that is far more versatile than ever before.  The lenses and efficiency have been maximised, plus the size and footprint have been minimised. SolaPix also features HaloGraphic Pixel definition, the newest patent-pending innovation from High End Systems.”

“The fixture’s FleX Effects Generator is a macro system that allows users to choose from a library of different patterns; once selected, up to three colours can be selected for use in the pattern.  These patterns will display over the background of the fixture, which is also completely user-controllable.  Effect speed and fade rate add the final touches, giving the user a massive level of control for fixture face looks.”

Bank Iowa Puts Symetrix on Full Display in New Corporate Headquarters

Boasting nearly two dozen locations, plus ATMs in even more spots, in May 2019 Bank Iowa opened a new corporate headquarters in West Des Moines, Iowa. The new facility accommodates training, meetings, and administrative offices for departments such as accounting and Internet banking, and offers such workspace perks as art from the owners’ extensive collection and desks operated with a mobile app.

To design and install up-to-date AV systems that would support its current needs and provide for future expansion, the bank brought in Iowa Audio Video (IAV) of neighboring Clive, Iowa. Drawing on the experience of countless previous designs, IAV owner James Harle specified digital signal processors from Symetrix to route audio and control the facility’s systems. “They wanted us to meet AV needs for two training rooms, a boardroom, huddle space TVs throughout the building, and sound making for the whole facility,” details IAV Operations Manager Mike Holmberg, who managed the install and programmed and commissioned the system.

The large training room and the board room are managed by a Symetrix Radius AEC processor. The training room is equipped with six Audio-Technical ES933 hanging ceiling mics, taking advantage of Radius AEC’s dedicated wideband acoustic echo cancellation (AEC) processing, zero-latency direct outputs, and discrete references per AEC channel. In the boardroom, two Shure MXA310 table array microphones send up to five channels of audio each over a Dante network to the Symetrix DSP.

The Radius AEC’s basic audio duties are supplemented by facility control tasks normally performed by a wall-mounted control panel. Rather than executing triggers and commands, the RTI KX7 touch panel passes them to the Radius AEC for execution. “We’ve paired the RTI controllers with Symetrix processors many times,” Holmberg comments. “It’s very simple to get them to work together, and everything went smoothly.”

A Symetrix Radius NX 12×8 DSP with 12 analog inputs and 8 analog outputs controls the small training room system. This system has two Audio-Technica ES933 hanging ceiling mics and a Audio-Technica belt-pack wireless mic for hands-free presentations. A belt-pack wireless mic from the large training room also feeds to this Radius NX 12×8. The two Symetrix DSPs are linked via Dante, enabling the NX 12×8 to share the Radius AEC’s acoustic echo cancellation for the wireless systems.

The training rooms and boardroom are set up for Skype or other video conferencing, and their respective Symetrix processors are tied together for cooperative applications. The boardroom and each of the training rooms are set up as separate zones in the DSPs. The huddle space TVs receive control signals from the Symetrix units, but not audio, so they do not need to be assigned to audio zones. Audio outputs from the Symetrix processors run in the analog domain to Crown amplifiers, which drive Bose FreeSpace speakers.

Video is distributed though the spaces using Just Add Power products, so all video travels as HD-over-Ethernet. As with the audio, RTI controllers provide users with a visual interface, but the Symetrix processors do all of the stream management. “It’s nice, with the Symetrix, to have a product that I can deploy and have it just do everything for me,” remarks Holmberg appreciatively.

Rather than hide away all of its shiny new AV and IT equipment, Bank Iowa decided instead to feature it. “The building is more or less designed around the IT rack and room, which is kind of a showpiece,” Holmberg describes. “It’s glass-enclosed and situated right in the middle of the main area. Bank Iowa brought in a muralist to paint a mural on one of the back walls, which is made of drywall, not glass, and the racks are backlit with blue LEDs, so they glow.”

IAV turns time and again to Symetrix to anchor their systems for reasons that go beyond the products’ broad functionality. “We probably have several hundred Symetrix units installed,” reports Holmberg. “The reason we use Symetrix is that it’s stable, the audio quality is very good, and the service from tech support, when we need it, has been great. I love working in the Symetrix Composer software, and with so many Symetrix units in the field, the fact the products are so stable makes them one less thing for us to worry about on a bigger project.”

ETC lights largest dance event in the Netherlands

The Festival de Nederlandse Dansdagen (Dutch Dance Festival) is recognised internationally as the main event for dance in the Netherlands and 20 ETC Source Four LED Series 2 luminaires were used to light the performances during the festival this October.

The six day event invites dance companies from all over the country with styles varying from ballet to urban, avant-garde to modern dance and performance art. It welcomes a national and international audience and also presents its own productions including Bloedbanden, dansMuseum and Club Tweak.

Theater aan het Vriithof, based in the south east city of Maastricht, hosts acclaimed performances such as the National Ballet as well as a youth dance day that caters for all ages and audiences throughout the festival.

The venue traditionally used 10 booms with conventional tungsten profiles as side lights but the technical team at the Dutch Dance Festival found the frequent changes of colours particularly challenging for so many shows. For the 2019 edition of the festival, they wanted to replace these profiles with ETC LED fixtures.

“Our wish for the 2019 edition of the festival was to replace the traditional profiles with LED fixtures. It would save time and give all the Dutch dance companies the opportunity to work with the newest technology which we were able to achieve with ETC,” says Marijcke Voorsluijs, technical director of the Festival de Nederlandse Dansdagen.

When testing each side light boom using two ETC Source Four LED Series 2 profiles and one traditional par can, the lighting designers from the dance companies were convinced that the Lustrs would create the atmosphere that their pieces needed whilst also eliminating gel changes between pieces.

“As the largest dance festival in the Netherlands we bring innovation and sustainability to the audience but also provide a space where all dance companies can meet and exchange ideas. We’re proud to encourage them to broaden their horizon whilst using the latest LED technology by ETC alongside traditional lighting fixtures,” remarks Marijcke.

ETC Gio @5 in control at the Rossini Opera Festival

The Rossini Opera Festival (ROF) is an international music festival held in August of each year in Pesaro, Italy, the birthplace of the opera composer Gioachino Rossini. The festival – and its technical team – have always paid close attention to technical innovation, often leading new trends in the field of operatic lighting.

“Here we’ve experienced the whole journey of theatrical lighting, starting forty years ago with analogue systems, incandescent or discharge sources. Then there was the transition to digital, the advent of the scroller, the first scanners, the yoke, the moving head and now we have LEDs used to their full capabilities,” says Fabio Rossi, head of the festival’s lighting department.

For an event like the Rossini Festival, where almost all the shows are like intricate works of art, the technical equipment used is of utmost importance. “The products used must be silent, high quality, versatile and, above all, reliable,” continues Rossi. “The equipment is subjected to intensive use, it must remain operative for up to sixteen hours a day, for more than two consecutive months in rather high ambient temperatures. In this context, the console – the heart of the system – must be absolutely guaranteed to work reliably.”

Serendipity played a crucial role in the inclusion of ETC’s Gio @5 lighting console in the festival. “My personal encounter with Eos was rather fortuitous,” says Rossi. “I was working in a theatre in Eastern Europe and a series of unexpected events meant I found myself working on an ETC Gio, without ever having seen one before. In about an hour I was able to configure it and have enough control to do exactly what I needed. This eventually led to Gio @5 becoming our core system here.”

Gio @5 is a powerful and versatile console, which takes full advantage of the features offered by Eos software, albeit in a compact package. “The features that convinced us to choose an Eos system over other brands are the simplicity of programming; the cue management system, the particularly high-performance tracking system; but most importantly the color management,” concludes Rossi.

During the course of the festival, several people were tasked with operating the console and their experiences were overwhelmingly positive. “The system appeared stable and well organized, the learning curve was fast and I immediately realized that Gio @5 offers a wide choice of options,” says operator Alberto Cannoni.

“The network configuration and the patch were simple and immediate. In recording and editing the cues I found the pleasure of working with a machine that meets the classic needs of a theatre console. Working in Blind also represents a quick and effective solution for tracking,” concludes Andrea Valentini.

ETC lights up Ballet Philippines’ 50th Anniversary

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Ballet Philippines, the premier ballet company of the country. ETC is happy to be part of the celebration by providing lighting equipment to the celebratory ballet production, “Swan Lake.” Jennifer Tipton, renowned American lighting designer completed the lighting design for the production. Scenic design credit goes to the US-based Filipino set designer Eduardo “Toto” Sicangco. 

The ballet production ran August and September 2019, in the Main Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). The Source Four LED Series 2 Lustr augments the lighting inventory of the Cultural Center. ETC’s x7 Color System brightens up the theatre, further enriched the color rendering, creating stronger audience reactions with deeper, richer dramatic scenes. 

With support from the Asian Cultural Council, Jennifer Tipton hosted several masterclasses for young and promising Asian lighting designers. Participants interacted with Tipton and experienced live demonstrations of lighting, focusing, and plotting a rig.

Apart from the anniversary activities of Ballet Philippines, ETC held a two-day Eos console training session with the Cultural Center of the Philippines, in Manila. Attendees learned basic and advanced skills on Eos consoles, delivered by ETC trainer, Audrey Leung.

ETC was honored to be such a large part of this celebratory event.

Broadway runs on Eos

This fall, ETC is proud to once again be involved in an overwhelming number of shows on Broadway as they begin or continue to run their performances on the Eos platform. ETC was founded through a love and an appreciation for the art of technical theatre, and is truly thrilled that its Eos Family consoles are considered the premier desk in the business.

“Our software and family of consoles have grown and expanded right along with the advancements in entertainment technology. We truly depend on the designers and programmers out in the field—their input and innovation drive what we build at ETC,” says Anne Valentino, senior product manager of entertainment controls. Built for venues of every scale, from Broadway theatres to smaller spaces like school auditoriums and basement theatres, the ETC Eos Family of consoles share a common programming surface and powerful software, based around what we hear from the industry.

Whether bringing new voices to life in groundbreaking new productions, or introducing younger generations to the classics, Broadway theatre is a pillar of culture and innovation in the United States. ETC is proud to be there, helping keep the magic alive every day.

Electro-Voice and Dynacord serve up superior sound at Becker Brau – HB

The latest renovation at the historic Becker Brau – HB in Bucharest has seen the installation of a new audio system that exploits the synergies of Electro-Voice loudspeakers and Dynacord electronics. The venue is the site of the first German brewery in the city and is a popular location for a variety of events, from live music and theatrical shows to weddings and corporate events.

It was this wide range of applications that provided the main challenge for HSA Audio, the Romanian Electro-Voice and Dynacord partner in charge of the system design. “We were challenged by both the architecture and meeting the needs of multiple people, from the owners and interior designers to the orchestra and the event planner,” recalls Adrian Colita, General Manager at HSA Audio. “Our main architectural challenge was to choose an audio system that could seamlessly blend into the design of the location while also meeting the technical and acoustic requirements.”

To achieve this, HSA Audio chose the Expandable Vertical Array (EVA) from Electro-Voice for fixed installations, which allows users to drive up to eight boxes (the equivalent of 16 line array elements) from a single amp channel. The main hangs consist of three EVA-2082S 920 per side, with low-frequency extension via two EVA-2151D subwoofer elements each side, all sporting a white finish. To complement this, EVID-S series commercial sound loudspeakers were also installed, providing superior sound quality with controlled coverage for keeping background music focused and paging intelligible. Sixteen EVID-S8.2W loudspeakers form the venue’s background music system, while also serving as delays for the main system and providing a seamless, linear sound that matches the elegant design.

Power and processing for the installed solution is via Dynacord L Series amplifiers with four L1300FD and a further pair of L3600FD units deployed. Dynacord’s Multi Amplifier Remote Control (MARC) software allows users to configure, operate and supervise up to eight amplifiers. “The L Series amplifiers have helped us a lot on the processing side for both the main audio system and the background music, all the more so as we can easily set the delay groups,” says Colita. A Dynacord CMS 1000-3 mixing console provides additional hands-on control.

“Our customer and their guests are very pleased with the audio quality and system performance, as well as the elegant design.” adds Colita.

ETC celebrates Augment3d award win at PLASA 2019

ETC and High End Systems celebrated a successful tradeshow following three days of busy stands, Tech Talks seminars and a win for ETC’s Augment3d at the PLASA Awards for Innovation.

The brand-new 3D programming environment which is part of the upcoming Eos v3.0 software release triumphed at PLASA in a ceremony that celebrates the year’s most pioneering product designs. Judges commented: “This will change the way lighting design and operation works by increasing speed in the lighting workflow and making the process from design to conception easier to manage.”

This was illustrated during the tradeshow at ETC’s Augment3d challenge event where participants were invited to create five focus palettes on an Eos family console in the quickest time possible using either encoders, a mouse click (in the 3D model) or the Augment3d Focus Wand. The quickest time recorded was 37 seconds on the Focus Wand, notably faster than the best time on the encoders which was 3 minutes, 32 seconds. “By combining the power of previsualisation, live interaction and augmented reality, Eos console users can now work quicker and more efficiently before and during production periods,” comments ETC Market Manager, Rory Fraser-Mackenzie.

Alongside Augment3d were several new innovations including the latest moving lights by High End Systems. The newly launched SolaWash 1000 and TurboRay fixtures were on the stand for visitors to see. SolaWash 1000 wowed crowds with its full-curtain four-blade framing system and dual frosts that give designers the ultimate versatility; while TurboRay caught visitor’s eyes with its classic face look backed up with modern technology to produce spectacular effects unseen in any other fixture.

Visitors to the stand were also able to explore the ArcSystem, BluesSystem and CueSystem product lines, recently acquired by ETC and demonstrated by product experts. The high quality architectural lighting solutions are already installed in leading venues worldwide and include new features such as additional color temperatures and RDM control.

Product specialists from ETC also hosted Tech Talks seminars at PLASA this year which hundreds of visitors attended. The topics included ‘Maximising your LED Color System’, ‘Power Up – managing your LED power infrastructure’, ‘The Illusion of Color’ and ‘Effects and Affects’ on both Eos and Hog.

Attero Tech incorporated into QSC portfolio

QSC has announced the acquisition of Attero Tech, a move which will combine the growing portfolio of Q-SYS audio, video and control (AV&C) products with Attero Tech’s range of networked AV endpoints and I/O peripherals. Attero Tech’s engineering staff will also be joining the QSC team.

‘This acquisition is a natural next step for our organisations given our long relationship, highly compatible portfolios and the exceptional shared values and company cooperation that have developed over the last several years,’ said Jatan Shah, chief operating and technology officer at QSC. ‘Both QSC and Attero Tech were early adopters of network audio transport technology, including CobraNet, Dante and AES67. In addition, when QSC expanded the control capabilities of the Q-SYS ecosystem in 2017, it allowed Attero Tech to become the first manufacturer partner to independently develop Q-Sys Control integration plugins, and has since developed 20 plugins for their portfolio of I/O devices.’

‘A primary guiding principal of our Q-SYS product development strategy has been a protocol-agnostic, software-based approach utilising the best hardware available, combined with innovation at the software and application layer. This approach allowed us to deliver a standards-based, powerful, flexible and scalable AV&C platform unlike anything on the market,’ commented TJ Adams, VP of systems product strategy and development at QSC. ‘Adding the Attero Tech peripherals to the greater Q-SYS Ecosystem will expand existing options for integration end points today, and enlist this new engineering talent pool to accelerate the pace of future software innovation and native end points for the platform.’

Rus Sundholm, president of Attero Tech, added: ‘Attero Tech has grown to become the premier provider of innovative, cost-effective audio networking I/O endpoints and AV connectivity solutions. Our catalogue of products have a reputation as highly robust, innovative products within the AV industry. We are excited and confident for the future of our combined organisation.’

Joe Pham, president and CEO of QSC, concluded: ‘This is such an exciting time for QSC and I am thrilled to welcome the Attero Tech team to the QSC family. We look forward to executing an integration strategy that prioritises the needs of our customers, incorporating Attero Tech into QSC sales, support, service, marketing and training for our channel, while always striving to ensure and maintain a positive experience for our customers.’