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Archive for May 22nd, 2012

Clay Paky Sharpys Deliver New Look to Bruce Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball World Tour

Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures, from Las Vegas-based Morpheus Lights, are giving Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band’s Wrecking Ball World Tour a look that The Boss’s previous concert performances have never had before.

The Wrecking Ball World Tour kicked off in the U.S. this spring in support of The Boss’s 17th studio album, “Wrecking Ball.” Springsteen’s lighting designer Jeff Ravitz, of Intensity Advisors, selected 28 Sharpy fixtures for his inventory after having seen them last fall.

“In putting Bruce’s tour together I thought the Sharpys would be an excellent replacement for the lights we had been using inside the set platforms to push light through custom openings we created,” he explains. “I thought they’d be a nice change with a really defined and distinct look. The Sharpys also allowed us to design with some interesting gobo patterns.

When Ravitz added Sharpys the idea came up of using hazers to paint the air and enhance the lights’ sharply-defined beams. Adding the singer-friendly MDG AtmosphereAPS hazers that Ravitz chose — to help create interesting visual compositions–was a first for a Springsteen tour. “The haze really helps to show off the Sharpys,” Ravitz reports.

He positioned 16 fixtures below the stage shooting up through plexiglass windows that replace part of the deck on the custom-built Tait Towers stage plus 6 fixtures each, on two vertical side trusses shooting from left and right. The Boss’s shows have typically been designed to be very horizontal to allow for maximum sightlines from every angle. But for Wrecking Ball Ravitz decided to add some Sharpys to a powerful vertical truss for a “very dynamic look.”

He says, “We’re having a lot of fun with the Sharpys. Sometimes they’re used with no color, sometimes with deep color and sometimes we even ballyhoo them. We feel we’ve found the right balance.”

The Sharpys are proving to be rugged and reliable on the long tour schedule, Ravitz adds. “The crew tells me the Sharpys are pretty bulletproof and are working great every day.”

A.C.T Lighting is the distributor for Clay Paky in North America.

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, adds, “We’re so pleased to see our Sharpys on this high profile and very popular tour. Mr. Ravitz is an excellent designer and it shows in the projects he works on. We’re glad to be able to help with our innovations.”

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Magnum Audio Calls on Community to Cover University of South Florida Sporting Venues

Tampa, FL, May 2012…  Founded in 1956, the University of South Florida has grown to become one of the largest universities in the US. Famous alumni include actors Lauren Hutton and Drake Hogestyn, wrestler Hulk Hogan, and Major League Baseball player/manager Tony La Russa. USF’s sprawling main campus in Tampa is home to a range of varsity sports teams, including football, baseball, soccer, and softball.

Magnum Audio Group of Tampa recently provided powerful sound systems for three of the campus’ sporting facilities: a 4500-seat baseball stadium, a 1500-seat softball stadium, and a 750-seat soccer stadium. Despite the magnitude of the three design-build projects, Magnum’s Randi Crooks reports things ran quite smoothly.

“We do a lot of athletic venues,” says Crooks. “I’ve been the head Audio Engineer for the Tampa Buccaneers for 19 years now, and we also handle audio for the BUCS at Raymond James Stadium, and for the New York Yankees at Steinbrenner Field here in Tampa.”

Indeed, with that level of expertise, it’s hardly surprising that these jobs went off without a hitch. “Baseball and softball venues in particular are fairly simple distributed systems, and the soccer stadium wasn’t all that different,” he explains. “The seats at the soccer stadium are only located on one side, but they have long landscaped berm areas where people can sit on their lounge chairs. We set up the Community R1 loudspeakers to fire down the base lines, because we knew it was powerful enough to provide coverage to that entire area.”

The baseball stadium is covered by eight Community WET-Series W2-2W8 dual 8-inch systems, along with two R1-66 medium-throw loudspeakers and two R.5 SUB subwoofers. Four Crown DSi-4000 amplifiers power the loudspeakers, with system drive and processing provided by a DBX Drive Rack 260. An Ashly MX-508 eight-channel rack mount mixer completes the system.

Over at the softball stadium, five WET W2-2W8 systems are installed, along with a pair of R1-66 medium-throw loudspeakers and two R.5 SUB subwoofers. The system is powered by three Crown DSi-4000 amps. Another DBX Drive Rack 260 covers system DSP, and another Ashly MX-508 mixer provides input channels.

Four more R.5-99 short-throw loudspeakers are installed for the Baseball and Softball batting cages. That system is powered by a pair of Crown DSi-2000 amplifiers, with a six-channel Ashley MX-206 mic/line mixer.

Audio for the soccer facility is handled by four R1-66 medium-throw loudspeakers and four more R.5-99 short-throw systems. Powering the system is a pair of Crown DSi-4000 amps. Another Ashly MX-508 mixer and DBX Drive Rack 260 round off the system.

In addition to coverage and performance, Crooks points to the all-weather durability of the WET-Series and R-Series as another factor in their selection. “We do get our share of extreme weather here in Florida, and Community’s weather-resistance has proven itself time after time,” he observes. “After Hurricane Wilma came through in 2005, we used R-Series loudspeakers to replace the destroyed systems in 13 football stadiums in Palm Beach County, and they’re all still working great.”

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Community Professional Loudspeakers is a manufacturer and supplier of professional audio equipment.  Since 1968, Community has led the pro-audio industry with technological innovations which have become industry standards. Today, Community offers over 150 professional loudspeaker products, including installed loudspeaker systems, weather-resistant outdoor loudspeaker systems, ceiling loudspeakers, high level voice paging systems, and portable entertainment systems.  Visit www.communitypro.com for more information. 

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