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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.’

Symetrix releases Composer 7.2 software update

Symetrix has launched Version 7.2 of its Composer software designed to work with Edge, Radius NX, Prism and Solus NX DSPs, including a new email notification module and Amp monitoring. The email module enables sending of email notifications directly from DSP hardware, being triggered by any event in the DSP design. The module works via email to text gateways and also allows for SMS text messages to be sent.

Version 7.2 adds amplifier monitoring and control for the Powersoft Duecanali, Quattrocanali, Ottocanali, X4 and X8 amplifiers as well as Panasonic WP-DM9XX amps, enabling Powersoft amplifiers to communicate current, alarms, thermal and impedance statistics directly to the DSP for display on portable and fixed devices.

The amount of simultaneous TCP/IP connections that the control server can host has been increased from six to 1,000 with a new right click change unit type option being added to transform site file DSPs into other Symetrix DSP hardware types, with in-place copy transferring all processing, control assignments and SymVue control screens that are not connected to a physical device I/O, making every design file a viable template.  

Composer 7.2 also adds an UpDown fader type, changing fader images to create touch controls for incrementing or decrementing a parameter, with text able to be edited in place for buttons, label and text objects.

A host key also allows for changing of font size when designing control screens, with a reorganised toolkit in site view listing audio, network and control tools by type.

The display of the selected input is also now visible in matrix selectors, showing the input name instead of a channel number. 

Lights, Consoles… and all that Jazz

Winner of six Tonys, two Oliviers, one Grammy, two Baftas and six Academy Awards, Chicago is the longest-running musical revival in Broadway history and ETC was selected to light the show for its International Tour 2018-2019.

ETECH spoke to head of lighting department, Glenn Duncan to find out more of the technology he used to bring this all-South African production to the international stage.

The world famous Chicago musical has landed in Montecasino Teatro, South Africa after performing in New Zealand and China to critical acclaim. Programmed and run on ETC’s Eos family of consoles, the Johannesburg run has used the Ion XE 20 – provided by South African distributor ApexPro to Splitbeam, the Technical supplier for the South African season.

Mathew Lewis of ApexPro said, “We are always happy to assist where needed with service, as support is a major priority for us at ApexPro.”

The control side is not the only part that features ETC products: the production is beautifully lit using a combination of standard Source Four Tungsten profiles along with the acclaimed Source Four LED Series 2 Lustrs, which create stunning scenes. “With such a high standard of LED technology available, it is no wonder that productions all over the world include ETC fixtures as their go-to choice.”

Head of the lighting department for Chicago’s International Tour 2018-2019, Glenn Duncan, discusses more about his experience with the technology used to bring this colorful production to the stage.

“Having the bigger programming surfaces and more displays on the flagship consoles is great for programming, while the smaller, compact desks make life much easier on the road. Seamless networking also allows us to program and update from whichever console happens to be nearest to the action, and gives us a backup system which can be relied on.”

According to Duncan, using ETC’s Eos family for a touring production is useful as you can program on one of the larger consoles and then run the show on a more compact member of the Eos family. “The ETC Eos family is just that – a family,” says Duncan. “It’s a big plus that our show will run on any of the consoles in the family without modification. At various points on tour, we’ve used an Eos, two Gios, three Ions and an Ion XE, and the showfile has always been perfectly portable between the desks.”

Duncan previously worked on the original production, which used scrollers. ETECH asked him how using the ETC Lustrs changed the show for him – do they measure up in the typical tungsten environment of theatre?

“A great deal of very precise and detailed work was done by Ken Billington and Associates to match the colors and outputs to the original design – and the fact that the Lustr units have been able to fully replace the scroller versions is a testament to the quality of their output,” comments Duncan.

He goes on to explain: “The switch to LED has made for a rig that is easier to tour and more robust on the long, bumpy journeys between cities in China. Recently, I heard a comment regarding one scene, saying how good the all-tungsten picture looked. I later realized that there were actually a few Source Four Lustr units in that picture, too, and one simply could not tell the difference.” He adds that “on a show like Chicago, where the lighting is all about precision, achieving those matches [must have been time-consuming], but I’m certainly impressed with the results.”

Glenn has worked with gear from a variety of hire companies on tour but maintained consistency with his use of ETC gear. “We’ve worked with three different suppliers so far on tour, and the ETC equipment has always been reliable and consistent. I think it helps that the ETC gear is clearly named and you always know what you’re getting after presenting a spec. Rather than a plethora of similar-but-not-identical models, it’s good to know that a Source Four is a Source Four, a given lens will always give you the same optics, and a Lustr will always do what it says on the tin. The RDM features of the LED units are helpful too – if there is a discrepancy in dimmer curve, mode, color mix or DMX response on the supplied gear, we don’t have to climb ladders to put it right.”

“We’ve had very little reason to contact support or ask for help on this tour, which in itself has been a pleasure. The equipment simply gets on with the job – we can all take a lesson from it! In the past, however, I’ve always been able to get the help I need from ETC, from the silliest questions to the deepest code-level nitpicking.”

Lastly, ETECH asked Glenn why, as a touring lighting HOD, he would choose ETC products for a show. “A busy tour can be hard work for crew and equipment alike. The ETC equipment is robust and consistent, easy to work with and always leaves us with a great-looking final product. If I sign up for a tour and see that the rig is ETC-based, I know that the gear will perform. It saves a whole lot of worry and fault-finding when you know the equipment will deliver.”

In Duncan’s words, ‘Chicago the Musical’ continues to deliver, night after night – and city after city. It continues to be one of the most successful international musical hits of all time and thanks to the hard work behind the scenes, the audience can sit back knowing that the lighting experience will be as stunning as the show’s signature piano riffs.

Oxford Suites Relies on Symetrix To Deliver the California Dream

Located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles on California’s Central Coast, Paso Robles is filled with wine, olives, hot springs, beautiful rolling hills, and sunny weather – exactly the picture many have of what the state is all about. Unsurprisingly, the city is not only a popular tourist destination but also a great location for conferences and business meetings.

The brand new Oxford Suites Paso Robles is a hotel aimed at satisfying all of those demands. The latest addition to the Oxford Collection-a group of 17 hotels in 4 states aimed largely at business travelers-the Paso Robles property will formally open in its downtown location in September 2019 with 101 executive suites, a 1,605 square foot ballroom, 2,500 square feet of meeting space, a boardroom, and an array of amenities, right down to electric car-charging stations. A second construction phase will add 40 more rooms.

Over the last half-dozen years, the Bend, Oregon-based Oxford Corporate parent company has partnered with local design/build firm Audio Visual Bend to create and install audio and video systems for the public and business spaces of its new properties. “We did a proof-of-concept install at one of Oxford’s early boutique hotels here in Bend, upgrading it from a home theater AV system to a commercial AV system,” recounts AV Bend AV Designer/Project Manager Tony Sprando. “They’ve been ecstatic with the ease of control of the system.” The Paso Robles location is the fifth Oxford Collection property on which AV Bend has worked.

Bend creates the ease-of-use that so enthralls Oxford Corporate by deploying Symetrix DSP networks and control panels to provide media services through the primary hotel areas. In Paso Robles, AV Bend installed a Symetrix Prism 12×12 DSP and a Prism 8×8 DSP to cover the meeting rooms, boardroom, and public spaces, which include the pool, garden, port cochère (drive-thru entrance area), lobby, bathrooms, bar, and dining room. With so many areas to cover, AV Bend needed the ability to configure a number of different zones, as well as easily cover the distances involved between the spaces. The Prism processors are equipped with Dante networking and a wide selection of I/O configurations and options, making them a versatile choice for installation into multiple Oxford projects. “We’re trying to be very flexible,” Sprando explains.

Music distribution, possibly the most common audio task in hotels, is one of the areas where Symetrix products delivered flexibility. “The two primary background music sources are Pandora for Business/Mood Music playlists,” Sprando observes. “One playlist is for the public spaces, while the other one is designed for the meeting rooms and boardroom, so the hotel can choose different genres for events that might be happening in those private areas. Furthermore, they can pull background music from the hotel into the meeting rooms, then turn that off and seamlessly transition into a presentation.”

Areas like the bar and restaurant have very simple control needs, requiring nothing more than a volume control for background music. In these areas, AV Bend installed Symetrix ARC-K1e modular remote control panels, which offer a rotary encoder with a button and a few LED indicators. For the meeting rooms and spaces that may need to route and switch sources or perform other control functions, ARC-3 adaptive remote control panels were put in. The ARC-3 features a touch interface and a menu system that can be programmed to perform complex logic-based events such as preset selection, source selection, and room combining.

The business meeting areas, having more sophisticated facilities, presented greater control needs. The meeting rooms are actually one large room that can be partitioned. Each of the resulting two rooms includes a projector and screen for video and is capable of hosting a wireless handheld microphone and a wireless lapel (lavalier) microphone.Event attendees can carry in a laptop and connect it through an HDMI jack or a VGA connection on a wall panel.

In the boardroom, laptops access the network via an HDMI jack built into the table. In addition, the boardroom has a Dell PC built into the room’s TV, controlled by a wireless keyboard and mouse. The boardroom facilitates participation by people in offsite locations with an interactive touchscreen, camera, and microphone.

Oxford Corporate has been opening a new property every year, and Sprando expects to keep installing Symetrix systems in new properties as they are built. “In the last five hotels, we’ve had very few service calls about the audio system. The Symetrix products have proven themselves to be quite reliable,” he concludes.

Kinky Boots Alive and Kicking!

In the foyer of the Fugard Theatre, a cardboard cut-out has been set up so that audience members can take a photo of themselves ‘wearing’ the thigh-high glittery red boots so prominent in the production and its marketing materials. The fact that even this small show-related attraction has such a long queue on performance nights says a lot about the production’s runaway success. Since its opening in June of this year, Kinky Boots has been playing to rapturous full houses. 

Now Kinky Boots will continue sashaying and strutting its stuff across the boards of the Fugard Theatre until 27 October.

The lighting for the show was designed by seasoned UK veteran Tim Mitchell and programmed by Mathew Lewis. “Programming for Kinky Boots made me fall in love with the Eos consoles all over again,” said Lewis, who is also the ETC product manager at ApexPro. “The lovely thing about Eos is whether you’re using your laptop or you’re using the big flagship console, it’s all the same software. So it’s all compatible and works together. It’s such an easy console because it speaks the same language the designer speaks to a programmer.”

According to Lewis, the lead product developer on Eos, Anne Valentino, actually went and sat in theatres while they were programing and listened to how the designers talked to the programmers. She then developed the syntax from there, so as to keep it simple and comprehensible. The Eos Ti was born from these efforts, and it is the console Lewis worked on for the production. His love for the console is contagious and, according to him, “There’s not a show on Broadway that’s not on Eos.” Lighting Designer Tim Mitchell echoes the sentiment by saying that “Eos consoles make average programmers look brilliant.”

The Eos Titanium (or Eos Ti) is ETC’s flagship lighting control console, with powerful hardware, easy-to-navigate software, and the right tools to realise art within the tight timetable of professional productions. The desk’s common-sense syntax is consistent and predictable so anyone – novices and professionals alike – can get down to business. You can work from an abstract concept of a design to a straightforward command sequence, thinking less about the mechanics of the system and more about the look of your show. All of this with an award-winning colour engine.

Another ETC flagship is prominent in the lighting rig for the show: the Source Four LED Series 2 Lustr, ETC’s flagship lighting fixture. Leading the pack of LED theatre lighting, the Lustr uses ETC’s x7 Color System with the addition of a lime-green LED emitter and more red, to create a deeper, richer colour spectrum that fills in the gaps that ordinary LEDs leave behind. This cutting edge technology lends the production a world-class sheen, as various spaces are created and enhanced by lighting wizardry.

The biggest lighting challenge and goal, per Lewis, was contrasting the “boring old world” of the shoe factory with the glitz of Lola’s neon nightclub lifestyle. “The way that LED technology has come along, made it much easier to be able to switch between these states. Especially the Lustrs that can render tungsten-like looks all the way through to bold, saturated colour. Couple that with the power of Eos, particularly the colour mixing engine, and the whole process becomes a lot easier.”

Kinky Boots is a foot-stomper, and had the audience on its feet by the rousing show-stopping finale. Book now to avoid disappointment – and remember to get your own kinky-booted selfie during interval!

Article from: www.entertainment-tech.co.za