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Archive for February 29th, 2012

Sky-Skan Provides Expansive Sound for Charles Hayden Planetarium at Boston’s Museum of Science With HARMAN’s JBL Loudspeakers

NORTHRIDGE, California – One of the most stellar attractions at the Museum of Science in Boston is the Charles Hayden Planetarium—more spectacular than ever after a recently completed $9 million renovation. The Planetarium is the most technologically advanced theater in New England, and in addition to a state-of-the-art digital projection system, the Planetarium features an equally impressive 10.2-channel HARMAN JBL loudspeaker system.

“We pride ourselves on designing and installing the world’s best domed planetariums and visualization theaters,” said Marcus Weddle, Marketing Director for systems integrator Sky-Skan, headquartered in Nashua, New Hampshire. “Although admittedly the visuals are what get peoples’ attention in a planetarium, the experience would be somewhat hollow and incomplete if you didn’t have sound on a scale to match. In a domed theater environment, that means large-scale surround sound.”

“The sound system is great,” said Darryl Davis, Planetarium Systems Coordinator at the Boston Museum of Science. “The low end is much better than we had with our original theater, and if the industry catches up to 10.2, we are already prepared for it.”

To deliver the expansive sound required for the almost 60-foot dome, theater designer Kurt Berna and the Sky-Skan team installed eight JBL AE (Application Engineered) Series AM6340/95 high-power 3-way loudspeakers, two AM6212/00 high-power 2-way speakers and two ASB6128V high-output dual-18-inch subwoofers. The AM6340/95 speakers are driven in bi-amp mode, and the speakers are powered by two Crown Macro-Tech i Series MA-5000i, four CTs 1200 and five CTs 2000 amplifiers. The mixing console is a custom Sky-Skan mixer, and audio signals are handled by three BSS Audio Soundweb London BLU-160 signal processors with digital audio bus capability.

“Obviously, we couldn’t let the speakers intrude on the visuals in any way,” Berna said. “We hung the speakers from the roof, behind the projection screen, and positioned them to give even sound distribution throughout the dome. Although they needed to fill a large space, we were able to get the SPL and sound fill we needed using just 10 JBL main speakers and the two JBL subwoofers, because of the speakers’ wide yet precise coverage pattern and high power handling capability.”

Berna said, “We collaborated closely with JBL engineers and the acousticians on the project. In addition to the fact that the shape of a dome can be acoustically problematic by nature, the original construction needed better isolation from the outside environment. We solved those problems and the acoustics and audio quality in the Charles Hayden Planetarium now are outstanding.”

“The purpose of a planetarium is to transport people to another world,” Berna concluded. “We’re extremely happy with the way this installation turned out. The enveloping quality of the surround sound system and the absolutely stunning visuals really make you feel like you’re traveling through space and time and you completely forget that you’re in a theater.”

For more information about Sky-Skan, please visit www.skyskan.com

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets — supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG, Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon and Mark Levinson. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 13,000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported net sales of $4.2 billion for twelve months ending December 31, 2011.

Clay Paky Sharpy Fixtures Light Up Madonna’s Stage at the Super Bowl Halftime Show

Super Bowl Halftime Show

Super Bowl Halftime Show

Madonna may have headlined Super Bowl XLVI’s Halftime Show, but Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures made a name for themselves too, helping to light up the stage for the Material Girl at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Lighting designer Al Gurdon, of UK-based Incandescent Design, utilized 204 Sharpys supplied by PRG after being impressed with their performance on FOX’s “X Factor.”

Gurdon has been recognized internationally for his TV and event lighting design. He has received many awards for his lighting over the years, including Lighting Designer of the Year from the TPI Awards, Lighting Design Awards, Royal Television Society Awards, Knight of Illumination Awards, and Australia’s Helpmann Award. He has served as lighting designer for the famed Eurovision Song Contest.

For the Super Bowl Halftime Show, Bruce Rodgers of Tribe Inc. was once again the production designer, All Access Staging built the set and PRG and Full Flood provided the lighting services.

“The shape of the Halftime Show is always determined by the artist,” says Gurdon who has been lighting designer for two previous shows featuring The Black Eyed Peas and The Who. “Madonna is an entertainer, and this year there were many more staging elements to the show itself, including a lot of dancing, so there was less of a need for lighting to ‘carry’ the spectacle.” In fact, this year’s Halftime Show was one of the largest and most technically challenging ever with the largest cast, most lift effects and biggest projection and lighting rig.

Gurdon notes that since “Because of the nature of the act and the show, glamour lighting was a very important element, and my job was basically to always present her and the other performers in the best light , and simply allow the audience to see the show.”

As a result he created “a cleaner look this year” and was careful to preserve all the video projection mapping taking place on stage where Madonna was joined by M.I.A., Nicki Minaj, LMFAO, Cee Lo Green.

“The Sharpys seem to be ideally suited to projects where power, brightness and optical efficiency is required,” says Gurdon. “I put them in rectangular pods of 20 in the air and 16 on the floor, packed very tightly together. When used in a cluster as one big moving light they could operate either as a solid beam that could really rival the big outdoor spots, yet we could suddenly split them into 20 beams, too.

Sharpy is a 189W moving head with an unprecedented brightness usually achievable only with far greater wattages. Tipping the scales at just 16 kg, Sharpy produces a perfectly parallel, laser-like beam with an incredible output of 5,100 footcandles at 65 feet. It is also groundbreaking in the purity of its beam, which is sharply defined and free of any halo or discoloration around the edges. It offers an interchangeable color wheel with 14 fixed colors and an interchangeable gobo wheel with 17 fixed gobos, allowing users to change the shape of the beam and create an array of spectacular mid-air effects.

Gurdon reports that the Sharpys “performed very well. They are pretty awesome for their size: extremely compact but incredibly powerful. You really get an intense effect out of them. I was very pleased.”

Mike Oz Owen was the Varilite board operator for the Halftime Show. A.C.T Lighting is the North American distributor for Clay Paky.

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, adds, “We’re proud that our Sharpys are once again the feature light in such a high profile event. Mr. Gurdon is a great friend of Clay Paky and an excellent designer and we believe the SuperBowl marks another important step in the acceptance of our products and our brand recognition in the US.”

About Clay Paky
Headquartered in Seriate (Bergamo), Italy, Clay Paky SPA has a history of designing and manufacturing innovative professional show lighting. The company was founded in 1976 by entrepreneur Pasquale Quadri who anticipated the enormous impact the evolution of technology would have on the show and entertainment worlds.

For more information on Clay Paky products, please contact:
Francesco Romagnoli francesco@claypaky.it
Davide Barbetta webmaster@claypaky.it

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L-ACOUSTICS KARA/KIVA System for 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games

INNSBRUCK, Austria – February 2012 — Austrian full service provider Light and Sound has provided an L-ACOUSTICS KARA/KIVA WST line source system for the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck.

Innsbruck’s city center was transformed into a huge party zone for the 2012 Games, with an action-packed program taking place at Medals Plaza, which hosted not only the daily Victory Ceremonies but also the week-long Innsbruck 2012 Music Festival. more

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