Tag Archives: Live

Inside Stereophonics’ In-The-Round Sound

Capital Sound created a concentric arc of Martin Audio MLA line array hangs above the B-stage to provide in-the-round style sound on Stereophonics' recent UK tour.
Capital Sound created a concentric arc of Martin Audio MLA line array hangs above the B-stage to provide in-the-round-style sound on Stereophonics’ recent UK tour. Sophie Hoult

United Kingdom (May 21, 2020)—Most arena concerts follow the same game plan when it comes to setting up the PA. With the stage at one end, you put up left and right line array hangs on either side of the stage, some side hangs to cover fans perpendicular to the stage, a bunch of front fills and subs down at the front of the stage, and if there’s budget and a need, maybe some delay hangs at the other end of the room. Now, want to throw a wrench in the works? Throw in a B-stage elsewhere on the arena floor and figure out how to keep those left-right PA hangs from bleeding into the mics. That was the challenge the audio team faced on Stereophonics’ most recent UK tour.

Band leader Kelly Jones specifically requested a B-stage at the end of a 60-foot thrust emanating from the stage. The band’s longtime FOH sound engineer, Dave Roden, spec’d his preferred Martin Audio MLA loudspeaker system for the tour, which he mixed to via a DiGiCo SD5 console. Ultimately, system tech Nick Boulton envisioned and deployed a distributed PA, using the Martin MLAs, that ran the length of the thrust to the PA.

The band’s longtime FOH sound engineer, Dave Roden, mixed each show on a DiGiCo SD5 console
The band’s longtime FOH sound engineer, Dave Roden, mixed each show on a DiGiCo SD5 console Sophie Hoult

Production was running Audinate’s Dante networking protocol to the stage and sending AES3 protocol to the hangs, with Martin Audio UNET back-up. Monitor engineer, Sam Cunningham was using a DiGiCo SD7 on stage while Roden himself was on an SD5 at FOH.

Boulton explained, “We did some modelling with the aim of getting as much even coverage throughout the arena while keeping the weird noises off the stage. With the end of the thrust 60 feet into the room, it was well within the coverage area of MLA so we simply moved the hangs downstage.”

As a result, the conventional main stage L/R PA hangs were replaced by two side hangs further downstage, comprising, respectively, two drops of 16 MLA Compact as conventional outfills. Meanwhile, a further eight MLA Compact for infills were mounted on trusses set near the beginning of the thrust, and angled down.

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When Stereophonics headed out to the B-stage, that third of the show was heard via  three hangs of 10 MLA and two MLD Downfills situated in the center and 90° upstage, forming a concentric arc at the end of the thrust. Three hangs of six MLX subwoofers were set behind that in end fire configuration. This design, Boulton felt, would reduce the sound bleed at the back of the stage, and help ease the room reflections.

Boulton leaned on the Hard Avoid setting in Martin Audio’s Display optimization software, not only creating rejection at the back of the stage but also the hard surfaces at the rear of the arena that would cause slapback. “We worked Hard Avoid to within an inch of its life,” he said. “Considering I had to take all the room measurements from scratch, and we have had to put hangs in different positions, it has been much quicker and easier than I had expected,” adding that at the new P&J Live Arena in Aberdeen, it took 25 minutes to build the plot.

Martin Audio • www.martin-audio.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/live/tour-sound/inside-stereophonics-in-the-round-sound

VF Live: Peter Adjaye #1

Drawing from his collection of rare African records from the 1950s onwards.

With quarantines and lockdowns due to the Coronavirus pandemic ongoing around the world, artists are finding new ways to connect with people worldwide.

In VF Live – our favourite collectors take you inside their homes and record shops, for intimate mixes and performances.

For sound artist Peter Adjaye aka DJ AJ Kwame’s first VF Live set, he delivers a mix from his East London studio.

Watch and listen above, find out more about the set and check out the tracklist below.

“It’s all about afro-funk, highlife and west african contemporary music styles. I am of West African origin – specifically from Ghana – and have always heard highlife music throughout my life. It is one of the most important foundations of contempoary African music infused with a pride of national identity through the mix of traditional and modern techniques.”

Tracklist:

1. Marijata – No Condition is Permenant
2. Gyedu-Blay Ambolley – Simigwa Soca
3.Thomas Frempong – Mada Meho So
4. Nana Tuffour – Sikyi Medley
5. Ahehehinnou Vincent – Best Woman

Original Resource is The Vinyl Factory https://thevinylfactory.com/live/vf-live-peter-adjaye-1/

VF Live: Charlie Dark’s Have Box Will Travel #5

A tribute to “legendary UK MC and unofficial mayor of Brixton: Ty.”

With quarantines and lockdowns due to the Coronavirus pandemic ongoing around the world, artists are finding new ways to connect with people worldwide.

In VF Live – our favourite collectors take you inside their homes and record shops, for intimate mixes and performances.

Charlie Dark returns for his weekly Wednesday afternoon show – Have Box Will Travel – which sees the Run Dem Crew founder, community leader, activist, poet, DJ and Attica Blues member delving into his mighty collection.

Watch and listen to the set above, find out more about the show and check out the tracklist below.

Hearts are heavy in the studio today as I learned of the passing of legendary UK MC and unofficial mayor of Brixton Ty. Our friendship spans over thirty years – we came up in the music game together and also shared many stages over the years.

This is just a small selection of classic tunes I used to hear whenever I went to rReggae dances at Brixton Town Hall. Thought I’d pull some from the collection to play in his memory. Bless up people.”

Tracklist

1. Rhythm and Sound – We Been Troddin
2. Silford Walker – Jah Golden Pen
3. Greogory Isacs – Beautiful Africa
4. Jackie Mitto – El Bang Bang
5. The Observers – Zorro
6. Prime Minister I Roy – Sure Sounds
7.Junior Soul – Super Love
8.Chosen Few – Do Your Thing
9.U Roy with Bob Marley and the Wailers – Kingston 12 Shuffle
10. Freddie McGregor – Hahovah
11. Upsetters – Black Pants
12.Pablo Gad – Hard Times
13. Rhythm and Sound with Cornell Campbell – King In My Empire
14. Ty Featuring Eska – Sophisticated and Course

Original Resource is The Vinyl Factory https://thevinylfactory.com/live/vf-live-charlie-dark-have-box-will-travel-5/

Orpheum Theater Upgrades with Sound Image

Touring sound/installation specialist Sound Image replaced the aging audio system in Flagstaff, AZ’s Orpheum Theater with a new EAW KF810P line array.
Touring sound/installation specialist Sound Image replaced the aging audio system in Flagstaff, AZ’s Orpheum Theater with a new EAW KF810P line array.

Flagstaff, AZ (May 20, 2020)—The Orpheum Theater in Flagstaff hosts a myriad of concerts, performing arts events and more—enough so that its PA system was ready to call it a day after 16 years. Teaming with Sound Image (Escondido, CA), the Orpheum Theater’s audio production manager Scotty J. demoed various systems and ultimately decided upon an EAW KF810P Line Array, backed by SB818P Single 18-inch flyable subwoofers.

Originally built in 1914 and then later rebuilt in 1917 following a major snowstorm, the Orpheum Theater is located in the center of downtown Flagstaff. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and recognized as one of the West’s most significant theater structures. The classic 650-seat space with additional standing room up to 1,000 people, hosts major bands, plays, classical concerts, film screenings, community events and occasionally TV shows.

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“The theater doesn’t specialize in one type of music or event, so we needed a versatile PA that could not only handle speech intelligibility, but also the decibel level of hip-hop and EDM shows,” says Scotty J. “Numerous times, I was worried that we had been pushing the existing PA to its last watt. The older PA’s amplitude was never a problem as we could make it loud, but the coverage, because of the design of the theater itself and the number of boxes we had, just wasn’t adequate for the room.”

Scotty worked directly with Ben Davis from Sound Image who advised on the purchase and design of the rig. “Ben came out, looked at the room, took his measurements and discussed with us what was available within our budget,” says Scotty J. “We looked at several different systems and EAW was clearly the best option. I heard the EAW rig in a few different environments and it always sounded amazing. Through my interaction with the EAW team, I knew I wanted to work with them. Also, a lot of the acts/engineers that come through the venue know EAW, which added to my confidence in the brand.”

The new EAW PA system consists of 12 KF810P line arrays with six boxes on the left and right respectively, 12 SB818P Single 18-inch flyable subwoofers and four RSX129 2-way self-powered loudspeakers for front fills. When spec’ing the system, Davis wanted to make sure the PA could generate enough SPL from the mains and didn’t want to rely too heavily on the subs. In addition, the venue is a long rectangular space with a balcony on one end, so making sure the balcony was covered was another important factor.

“We made a very significant investment for the theater in order to attract more national acts,” adds Scotty J. “We are excited to unveil it in the very near future, once the theater re-opens.”

Eastern Acoustic Works • www.eaw.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/live/regional-and-local/orpheum-theater-upgrades-with-sound-image

Survey Explores Female Representation in AV

Women And Girls in AV StudySilicon Valley, CA (May 19, 2020)—According to a new industry survey, women currently working in AV have a growing global presence, with the greatest impact being felt in the U.S. and Europe. The 2020 Women + Girls in AV survey was conducted by Women in AV; the organization canvased 506 professional women worldwide between February and March this year.

The 32-page report provides an extensive breakdown of demographic and industry-based statistics, outlining not only who is working in the industry, but also highlighting recommendations to further help foster women’s presence in the AV workplace.

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Among its findings, the survey noted 80 percent of its respondents were White/Caucasian, 92 percent live in either the U.S. or Europe, and 67 percent “fell into” their AV career path. A full 60 percent of the women surveyed were 36 or older, with 31 percent 46 or older, which may signal positive implications about the feasibility of a long-term career in the industry. That view is bolstered by the finding that 49% of those surveyed have been in the industry for 10 or more years.

Roughly 60 percent of females in the AV industry work in management at a supervisory or higher-level role, according to the report, and coinciding with that finding, 58 percent holding non-technical positions, with the highest concentrations found in sales (25%), PR/marketing (20%) and project management (13%), while engineer and technician roles each garnered 12.5% of respondents. Out of those surveyed, 83% were earning enough that they did not need a second job, and 52% have “families to care for,” the report stated.

While many of these are encouraging numbers, the survey nonetheless illustrates a need for and some pathways toward improvement within the AV industry. 52% of those surveyed felt the industry “could be better at valuing women’s representation and diversity.” Meanwhile, 44 percent of women did not have a mentor for their career, and only 27 percent had a female mentor. Women surveyed identified Leadership, Career Advancement, and Technical Training as the prime growth opportunities they’d like to see—a finding which could be interpreted as correlating with the tendency for females in AV to work in management roles.

“This is a thrilling, game-changing moment for all women working in the AV industry and another huge win for advancing gender equality in technology industries,” said Jennifer Willard, founder of Women in AV. “For the first time, we truly have meaningful data about who our female colleagues are around the world, what we do, and where to develop effective career training initiatives to improve our professional skills and inspire more women and young girls to be excited about joining us as Women in AV.”

The report, downloadable for free from the Women in AV website, concludes with a variety of key recommendations to improve female representation and professional satisfaction.

Women in AV • www.womeninav.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/business/survey-explores-female-representation-in-av

Reopening Live Music Right, Right Now

While up to 120 patrons are allowed inside Lava Cantina's backyard for concerts, it's the 40-space parking lot livestream that sells out nightly.
While up to 120 patrons are allowed inside Lava Cantina’s backyard for concerts, it’s the 40-space parking lot livestream that sells out nightly. Lava Cantina/Facebook

The United States is edging toward plugging the economy back in, and while a handful of states have begun reopening with mixed results, clearly there is no one-size-fits-all answer for when or how to open up.

Where I live, on the outskirts of coronavirus hotspot New York City, more than 2,000 people in my county have died from COVID-19, hundreds of them at the hospital four blocks from my house, so things are—and should be—closed here. But maybe it’s not like that where you live (I hope not) and maybe the lockdowns are overkill for your area. What then?

Ultimately, there’s no truly safe way to open things back up until there’s a vaccine, but your state is going to open up soon if it hasn’t already, which means the only option left is to do so as safely as possible. Naturally, nobody can agree on how to do that, especially when it comes to live concerts. Case in point: the national headlines over a Travis McCready show in Little Rock, AR, where authorities pulled the venue’s liquor license until the promoters changed their already extensive safety plans. Many in the concert industry were left wondering if that was just a taste of things to come.

So when I heard through the grapevine that a place outside Dallas has been holding two concerts nearly every night for live audiences since May 8, my jaw hit the floor. How were they keeping customers safe but also happy? And—keep in mind what it’s like where I live—how crazy were they? I called up Ian Vaughn, owner of Lava Cantina in The Colony, TX, and let me tell you: not crazy at all.

Lava Cantina's 'backyard' holds 120 people during a show, well below it's 1,800 cap during normal times.
Lava Cantina’s ‘backyard’ is hosting 120 people during a show, well below its 1,800 cap during normal times. Lava Cantina/Facebook

For one thing, far fewer people have died from COVID-19 in Denton County than where I live (25), but even so, his place is reopening right, not only in terms of safety, but also for the right reasons, discovering creative ways to keep the staff working when unemployment figures are spiking, finding partners with which to pool resources and buoy all their businesses in the process, and more.

“It’s better to be safe than sorry in a circumstance like this,” he began, “so we keep everybody far, far apart. Everybody’s wearing gloves, everybody’s got masks on. We are going above and beyond what we’ve been asked to do.” Lava Cantina has more than 100 employees—it’s a big place—and when the venue got Payroll Protection from the government, that meant Vaughn had to find ways to keep them all working.

Eagle AVL/Miller Pro AVL mix six-camera livestreams on an Avid S6L.
Eagle AVL/Miller Pro AVL mixes six-camera livestreams on an Avid S6L console. Lava Cantina/Facebook

He quickly teamed up with locally based Eagle AVL/Miller Pro AVL, which, among other services, provides video production for national tours and events. Now Eagle’s techs keep working, too, shooting nightly six-camera concert livestreams for Lava Cantina’s Facebook page, which is getting nearly a million impressions a week, allowing the venue to sell sponsorships of its streams. Bands, meanwhile, get promo footage that would normally cost thousands to shoot, along with virtual tip jar money. To make sure the jar is stuffed, Vaughn got local restaurants to donate $10 gift cards; fans who tip $20 get $60 in cards, which drives new customers into those restaurants desperate for business.

Lava Cantina's parking lot
While up to 120 patrons are allowed inside Lava Cantina’s backyard for concerts, it’s the 40-space parking lot livestream that sells out nightly.

The venue’s main stage is in the backyard—a “backyard” that normally holds 1,800 people. Local authorities are allowing 25 percent capacity audiences, but Vaughn’s keeping it to 15 percent, 120 customers, ensuring there’s an excess of room. For those who aren’t comfortable yet with a full-fledged evening out, there’s the parking lot which hosts the venue’s own take on the increasingly popular drive-in concert concept. Here, up to 40 cars can drive in and watch the livestreams on LED screens, hearing the show via Omega Corps line arrays. Each car gets 20 feet to itself, along with a table for four that’s been cleaned and sanitized. “The drive-in sells out every night,” said Vaughn.

The arrangement is a hit, but it’s not a long-term solution. “If we were paying retail on this right now, it would not be feasible,” Vaughn admitted, but it’s keeping people working and giving customers a much-needed break. “This is not a money-making play by any stretch of the imagination. It is a goodwill opportunity. We see it as a great partnership with the community that’s just turned into something much bigger.”

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/pro-sound-news-blog/lava-cantina-serves-up-live-concerts