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Archive by David Steinberg

Click Effects Selects Vista Systems’ Spyder for Content Delivery Solution at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field

IMG_20140909_115203Vista Systems’ Spyder has become the image processor of choice for large professional sports installations implemented by Click Effects, whose line of powerful, dependable and cost-effective digital content delivery systems are designed to meet the demands of live sports environments nationwide. The most recent venue where Spyder plays a key role in Click Effects’ content delivery solution is Lincoln Financial Field, home of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles.

“Vista Systems’ Spyder is used in virtually every large professional project with displays over 1080p or with displays requiring multiple windows,” says Greg Stocker, managing director of the sports division of Click Effects. “We’ve worked on nearly a dozen projects in the past few years – all using Spyder, in conjunction with our Crossfire and Blaze video playback systems, to facilitate a level of visual sophistication that fans are accustomed to seeing on broadcast television.”

In addition to Lincoln Financial Field, sports venues featuring Spyder include Bank of America Stadium, home of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers; NRG Stadium (formerly Reliant Stadium), home of the NFL’s Houston Texans; Toyota Center, home of the NBA’s Houston Rockets; American Airlines Center, home of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and NHL’s Dallas Stars; EnergySolutions Arena, home of the NBA’s Utah Jazz; and EverBank Field, home of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.

The new installation at Lincoln Financial Field is believed to have the most extensive content delivery system of any pro sports venue. “We have more than 30 content delivery systems playing audio, video, graphics and data over all of the LED displays, digital signage and ancillary displays,” says Stocker. “If you include suite and concourse monitors there are over 1,000 displays.”

To accomplish that feat operators marshal Crossfire systems, with HDSDI output, and Blaze systems, with DVI output; ten Crossfires handle L-Bar custom advertising alone.

The LED displays, as well as the digital signage and ancillary displays, are so large that three Spyder X20 1608s are used. Content delivery includes live feeds, replays, animations, stats, advertising and crowd motivational videos.

“Spyder enables users to put multiple sources over the huge displays in one canvas,” Stocker explains. “It also facilitates synchronous playback, including on suite and concourse displays, to completely envelop fans in ‘moments of exclusivity,’ such as a touchdown. And it’s all done with very smooth transitions and production values that approximate what fans see on the broadcast networks.”

Before Lincoln Financial Field’s installation came online Click Effects’ most ambitious pro sports project was Houston’s NRG Stadium where “as many as eight to ten sources feed a display that’s nearly 200 feet wide,” says Stocker. “Spyder creates numerous windows then goes to a full-screen replay or animation. Spyder transitions smoothly to reveal stats, advertising and live video.

“We’ve worked with half-a-dozen different multi-window scalers over the years and nothing has been remotely as powerful and reliable as Spyder,” he continues. “The number of layers it handles and how they’re manipulated, the ability to scale effortlessly – these are all hallmarks of Spyder. Nothing can match its reliability, power and transparency of integration with other content delivery systems.”

Click Effects also considers Spyder to be the go-to image processor for college sports installations. “Spyder is also a great choice for college venues,” Stocker reports.

This fall at LSU’s Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge a single Spyder X20 1608 is working in combination with more than ten Crossfire and Blaze systems to drive the big LED display. “They’re getting the kind of broadcast looks they were unable to achieve before,” he says.

And at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville a Spyder is part of new centralized control for the inhouse TV station where it teams with Crossfire and Blaze systems to drive content to a high-density LED wall.

Click Effects is a division of Sound & Video Creations, Inc. in Nashville.

About Vista Systems
Vista Systems’ switchers have become the industry standard for live multiple-destination video and data mixed signal switching with real-time windowing and composition. For more information on Vista Systems, visit their website at www.vistasystems.net.

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Lightware USA Introduces UMX-TPS Family of Extension Systems for Resolutions Up to 4K and UHD

UMX-TPS-TX140_frontLightware Visual Engineering has introduced the UMX-TPS range of extension systems designed to transmit multiple video formats at resolutions up to 4K and UHD. With these transmitters video, audio and control signals can be sent up to 170 meters at full HD over a single CAT5 cable. The UMX-TPS-TX120, UMX-TPS-TX130 and UMX-TPS-TX140 transmitters are ideal solutions for small meeting rooms, classrooms, control rooms and home cinema applications. Lightware USA is the US regional office and point of sale and support of Budapest-based Lightware Visual Engineering products.

The core concept of the Lightware UMX series transmitters is to offer multiple input types such as VGA, HDMI, DVI and Display port on the transmitter signal extender over Fiber and HDBaseT. The UMX-TPS series are the HDBaseT series universal transmitting signal extenders.

All of the transmitters offer an impressive feature set and provide 3D and 4K support. Analog audio and video signals are converted to a digital format and can be transmitted separately from each other. Using the factory, custom or transparent EDID emulation the user can fix and lock EDID data on each input connector. Advanced EDID Management forces the required resolution from any video source and fixes the output format conforming to the system requirements. EDID can be managed independently on each input connector and each connector may have a different resolution and EDID.

The units have bi-directional and transparent IR, RS-232 and 10/100 Ethernet transmission. The RS-232 connection supports command injection allowing it to send any RS-232 control command directly through the LAN connection from an external control system.

All of transmitters are HDCP compliant, CEC and EDID transparent and feature local audio embedding. Remote powering is available through the single CAT cable, but a local power supply can also be used. They can be mounted on a rack shelf or used stand alone. They are compatible with any of the currently available TPS receiver products and can be incorporated into larger routing switchers using the TPS input boards for the Lightware MX series of modular matrix switchers up to 80×80.

Each transmitter offers a different range of video and audio signal extension. The UMX-TPS-TX120 is designed for digital and analog video and audio signals, including VGA, YPrPb and HDMI 1.4 with analog stereo audio from local input or embedded 7.1 HBR audio and HDCP encryption. It offers HDMI, VGA and stereo jack connectors.

The UMX-TPS-TX130 offers the same features as the TX120 and adds DVI signal support and a GPIO control port.

The UMX-TPS-TX140 builds on the TX130 features with an additional DisplayPort video input and a DVI-I connector offering the maximum in flexible support.

The UMX-TPS family of transmitters is available to order now and will be shipping in larger quantities starting mid-September.

About Lightware USA

Lightware USA is the US distributor of professional AV products manufactured by Lightware Visual Engineering in Budapest, Hungary. With the flexibility of the Lightware product line, the Lightware USA team is able to assist with the design for some of the highest performance systems in the world. Router sizes ranging from the robust UMX4x4-Pro up to the impressive 160×160 25G Hybrid give Lightware USA the edge over the competition when it comes to routing multiple video sources to the ever changing variety of displays in the industry. Their array of solutions for extending the highest resolution video formats including 4K and 3D over Cat or Fiber put Lightware USA on the forefront of cutting edge technology.

For more information on these products, visit www.LightwareUSA.com.

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New Birthplace of Country Music Museum Explores Historic 1927 Bristol Sessions with Audio and Video Systems from Electrosonic

Straddling the Virginia and Tennessee state lines, the town of Bristol just opened the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, featuring audio and video systems provided by Electrosonic.

The new museum celebrates the historic 1927 Bristol Sessions, which are considered the origin of modern country music. Held by the Victor Talking Machine Company in a local hat warehouse, the sessions were made possible by the advent of portable audio recording technology. Nineteen performers traveled to what was then the largest urban area in the Appalachians to raise their voices in song; the sessions marked the commercial debuts of the legendary Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter family.

The 24,000-square foot Birthplace of Country Music Museum uses multiple theater experiences, interactives and artifact displays, to tell the story of the Bristol Sessions and their far-reaching influence. The museum is in a vintage building that formerly housed a truck dealership; over a period of years, it was gutted and retrofitted to be true to the era of the Bristol Sessions.

Electrosonic was brought on board the project in its early stages by Washington, D.C.-based Hillmann & Carr, which produced the museum’s video content and handled interactive programming. Electrosonic’s Design Consulting team worked with Joseph Nicholson of studioMUSarx in Philadelphia on the initial exhibit design. Electrosonic’s Orlando office provided the subsequent AV systems and support for the facility.

“There were a number of challenges to working in a historically significant building,” says Electrosonic project manager Tim Wilson, including many hard surfaces to deal with acoustically and limited options for mounting and positioning equipment and running cable. “Our site supervisor, Dave Boudreau, did a fantastic job of making everything fit and work.”

Visitors to the museum enjoy five theaters, four of which feature equipment from Electrosonic. The largest of them, the Orientation Theater, has a holding area styled like a train depot. Visitors hear associated sound effects and historic music clips through Acoustic Enhancement activated sound panels built into the depot walls while they wait to gain admittance to the theater; when they hear a train’s air brakes, the theater doors open and they take a seat to watch the video, “Bound to Bristol,” about the musical heritage of the Bristol Sessions. The Orientation Theater is outfitted with an InFocus projector, Renkus-Heinz speakers, Bag End subwoofers and activated sound panels by Acoustic Enhancement. A pair of NEC monitors above the walkways provides closed captioning.

The small Greasy Strings Theater displays a looped video exploring the philosophy and musical techniques behind the sessions. It has a BenQ projector and Innovox and Tannoy speakers. The Chapel has a few church pews where visitors can rest and watch a video about local gospel groups and how faith has shaped music. It has a BenQ projector, Tannoy speakers and four Acoustic Enhancement activated sound panels built into the pews. The Orientation Theater, Greasy Strings and the Chapel all have Screen Goo projection surfaces on their walls. Their video sources are Alcorn McBride DVM8500 digital video machines.

A stop at the Immersion Theater comes later in the tour. Its video focuses on making visitors part of the unbroken circle of country music and includes clips of many different artists performing “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” – from Jimmie Rodgers to Lynyrd Skynyrd. This theater has a custom Da-Lite perforated, curved screen, three blended BenQ projectors, a Dataton WATCHOUT video source, Tannoy speakers and Bag End subs – and room to dance. The walls are lined with murals showing crowds of appreciative country music fans at the annual Rhythm & Roots Reunion festival in Bristol.

Throughout the museum, a number of interactives equipped with 32-inch ELO touch screens engage visitors in various aspects of the Bristol Sessions and country music heritage. Interactives dubbed “Way Back Machines” enable visitors to scroll through photographs showing Bristol over the years; four “Mixing Stations” allow them to change the mix on assorted tracks from the sessions. Two “Bristol Remastered” interactives, with Brown Innovations focused beam speakers, showcase a number of session tunes covered by contemporary artists. An interactive recording booth invites visitors to sing along in their own version of the famous Bristol Sessions, and “Send a Postcard” lets them choose a digital postcard design to email to family and friends.

Bristol-born Tennessee Ernie Ford gets a video kiosk driven by an Alcorn McBride DVM8500 with overhead speakers. The “Rediscovered/Reinvented” video, displayed on a 46-inch monitor, shows how movies and media integrate country music today. It is also fed by an Alcorn McBride digital video machine.

The museum has provided space for a working internal radio station, too. Visitors can look through picture windows to the audio booth, which features a vintage radio control room and studio equipped with a 1940s Raytheon console from a Bristol radio station that has been retrofitted to convert analog to digital signals. The FCC has granted a low power FM license, and the studio will soon begin broadcasting WBCM, Birthplace of Country Music Radio. Electrosonic provided the interactive outside the windows where visitors can tune into four pre-recorded radio shows if the radio station is not broadcasting. Audio playback is provided by a QSC Q-Sys system.

Electrosonic built three control rooms on the second floor of the museum, which are connected with a fiber network. Empty racks have been provided to accommodate future expansion in the already limited space. Museum staff maintains all of the audio and video equipment.

“Everything looks very, very good and sounds excellent,” says Wilson. “The Birthplace of Country Music is a very cool place to visit, and the people there are wonderful. They really believe in the product and have done a great job showing the full spectrum of country music from the 1927 sessions to today.”

Dr. Jessica Turner, the museum’s director and head curator, concluded, “It was important to us, as a music museum, to have the highest quality sound and media experiences. This is exactly what the group from Electrosonic delivered. I was impressed that the whole team worked with us to troubleshoot problems to find innovative solutions, often going above and beyond to provide expertise and professionalism. I was sad when the installation was complete and we would no longer be working together.”

About Electrosonic
Electrosonic, celebrating its 50th anniversary, is an international audio-visual company that creates tailored, state-of-the-art solutions for a wide range of markets including theme parks, museums, control rooms, and corporate meeting rooms. Since its founding in 1964, Electrosonic has built a strong reputation for working on complex projects, both large and small, and has developed lasting partnerships with customers and suppliers. Beyond complete integrated systems, Electrosonic provides a comprehensive scope of services including technical design, projector lamp sales, maintenance and operational support.

Learn more about Electrosonic. Visit http://www.electrosonic.com

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WorldStage Goes Underground for “Dive” Immersive Art Installation for Summer Streets 2014

The New York City Department of Transportation’s Summer Streets 2014 arts festival once again turned Manhattan’s Park Avenue pedestrian tunnel into an immersive art experience with help from WorldStage, which provided audio and lighting support for Norwegian artist’s Jana Winderen’s sound installation, “Dive.” Last year WorldStage teamed with NYCDOT and artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer on “Voice Tunnel,” the first time in history that an artist transformed the utilitarian space on Park Avenue between 33rd and 40th Street.

“We were excited to work with WorldStage last year, and when we decided to do a new project we came straight to WorldStage,” says Emily Colasacco, director of urban art/Summer Streets at NYCDOT. “The tunnel is such a challenging space: The exhibit was from 7 am to 1 pm on three Saturdays in August and had to be set up overnight and disassembled in the afternoon to open the tunnel back up to vehicular traffic. Then there was the additional challenge of how to create an intense sound piece in a space that echoes. We had to balance that intensity with allowing participants to talk.”

Jana Winderen has worked as an artist, curator and producer since 1993. She has researched the hidden depths of the world using the latest technology to reveal the complexity and strangeness of the unseen world beneath. She focuses on finding and revealing sounds from otherwise inaudible natural habitats and creatures.

The subterranean tunnel was a perfect venue for “Dive,” which featured sounds of crustaceans, fish and mammals recorded by Winderen in shallow to deep underwater environments from Greenland to Thailand and beyond. Those sounds mixed with lapping waves and man-made noises from boats and seal-scaring devices. The public explored eight habitats of sound diving deeper and deeper into the tunnel, which was bathed in evocative blue light.

“We are not used to listening underwater,” says Winderen, “so this offered a new and unique experience in a very special place. The space gave people room for concentrated listening. When I saw the tunnel I thought it was a great way to dive into the unknown.”

The artist says that it made sense to partner with WorldStage on the project “because they had the experience” of working in the tunnel last year. “They knew how to bring in power and [deal with] security issues. They knew how to help solve problems and make my ideas a reality.”

WorldStage provided 64 Meyer UPM-1P Compact Loudspeakers, 16 Meyer 500-HP Compact High Power Subwoofers and RedNet PCIe cards in external Thunderbolt Chassis for the signal audio control installation. WorldStage audio system designer Kate Brown once again integrated the sound system working with Winderen and Professor Tony Myatt, who designed and programmed the audio system to play in 3D spatial sound.

“WorldStage set up a demo room and an 25% scale mock-up in their New Jersey shop where I could work with the sound files and Tony did tests,” says Winderen. “WorldStage was totally great in all ways – very professional and friendly. They facilitated the job, helped us get the speakers we wanted and found the positions for them.”

Lighting also played a key role in creating the tunnel’s underwater atmosphere. Fixtures consisted of 100 Color Kinetics Color Blasts and 100 Astera wireless LED PARs, which supplemented 30 high-output LED fixtures provided by NYCDOT and the 12 high-output sodium fixtures – the regular tunnel lighting – that were gelled to match the WorldStage units.

“WorldStage came up with a blue light that worked – that was the right color and intensity,” says Colasacco. “Light was there to support the sound and reflect diving underwater and going deeper and deeper. Although the lighting was static it varied slightly in color.”

Terry Jackson, WorldStage vice president/director of lighting, says the company “definitely didn’t want to mimic last year’s tunnel lighting so we lit the installation with all LED fixtures and played with intensity, slight movement, fixture placement and color – all while maintaining the NYCDOT-approved level of light for general public safety.”

Colasacco sums up the WorldStage experience as “amazing. Terry was just phenomenal, so were Daryl [Carmen] and Erik [Perry]. The whole team was my team – all working together with the same purpose as part of the creative. WorldStage is always willing to jump in and do what needs to get done – and they can do pretty much anything. We would work with them in a second on any project.”

Winderen echoes that sentiment and adds, “I can’t think of anything that hasn’t been great!”

At WorldStage Dennis Menard was senior project manager, Daryl Carmen production manager, Michael Kacunel audio A1, Alison May lighting director/programmer and Erik Perry senior project manager/lighting. IATSE Local One provided the crew labor.

WorldStage Inc., the company created by the merger of Scharff Weisberg Inc and Video Applications Inc, continues a thirty-year legacy of providing clients the widest variety of entertainment technology coupled with conscientious and imaginative engineering services. WorldStage provides audio, video and lighting equipment and services to the event, theatrical, broadcast and brand experience markets nationally and internationally.

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WorldStage Goes Underground for “Dive” Immersive Art Installation for Summer Streets 2014

The New York City Department of Transportation’s Summer Streets 2014 arts festival once again turned Manhattan’s Park Avenue pedestrian tunnel into an immersive art experience with help from WorldStage, which provided audio and lighting support for Norwegian artist’s Jana Winderen’s sound installation, “Dive.” Last year WorldStage teamed with NYCDOT and artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer on “Voice Tunnel,” the first time in history that an artist transformed the utilitarian space on Park Avenue between 33rd and 40th Street.

“We were excited to work with WorldStage last year, and when we decided to do a new project we came straight to WorldStage,” says Emily Colasacco, director of urban art/Summer Streets at NYCDOT. “The tunnel is such a challenging space: The exhibit was from 7 am to 1 pm on three Saturdays in August and had to be set up overnight and disassembled in the afternoon to open the tunnel back up to vehicular traffic. Then there was the additional challenge of how to create an intense sound piece in a space that echoes. We had to balance that intensity with allowing participants to talk.”

Jana Winderen has worked as an artist, curator and producer since 1993. She has researched the hidden depths of the world using the latest technology to reveal the complexity and strangeness of the unseen world beneath. She focuses on finding and revealing sounds from otherwise inaudible natural habitats and creatures.

The subterranean tunnel was a perfect venue for “Dive,” which featured sounds of crustaceans, fish and mammals recorded by Winderen in shallow to deep underwater environments from Greenland to Thailand and beyond. Those sounds mixed with lapping waves and man-made noises from boats and seal-scaring devices. The public explored eight habitats of sound diving deeper and deeper into the tunnel, which was bathed in evocative blue light.

“We are not used to listening underwater,” says Winderen, “so this offered a new and unique experience in a very special place. The space gave people room for concentrated listening. When I saw the tunnel I thought it was a great way to dive into the unknown.”

The artist says that it made sense to partner with WorldStage on the project “because they had the experience” of working in the tunnel last year. “They knew how to bring in power and [deal with] security issues. They knew how to help solve problems and make my ideas a reality.”

WorldStage provided 64 Meyer UPM-1P Compact Loudspeakers, 16 Meyer 500-HP Compact High Power Subwoofers and RedNet PCIe cards in external Thunderbolt Chassis for the signal audio control installation. WorldStage audio system designer Kate Brown once again integrated the sound system working with Winderen and Professor Tony Myatt, who designed and programmed the audio system to play in 3D spatial sound.

“WorldStage set up a demo room and an 25% scale mock-up in their New Jersey shop where I could work with the sound files and Tony did tests,” says Winderen. “WorldStage was totally great in all ways – very professional and friendly. They facilitated the job, helped us get the speakers we wanted and found the positions for them.”

Lighting also played a key role in creating the tunnel’s underwater atmosphere. Fixtures consisted of 100 Color Kinetics Color Blasts and 100 Astera wireless LED PARs, which supplemented 30 high-output LED fixtures provided by NYCDOT and the 12 high-output sodium fixtures – the regular tunnel lighting – that were gelled to match the WorldStage units.

“WorldStage came up with a blue light that worked – that was the right color and intensity,” says Colasacco. “Light was there to support the sound and reflect diving underwater and going deeper and deeper. Although the lighting was static it varied slightly in color.”

Terry Jackson, WorldStage vice president/director of lighting, says the company “definitely didn’t want to mimic last year’s tunnel lighting so we lit the installation with all LED fixtures and played with intensity, slight movement, fixture placement and color – all while maintaining the NYCDOT-approved level of light for general public safety.”

Colasacco sums up the WorldStage experience as “amazing. Terry was just phenomenal, so were Daryl [Carmen] and Erik [Perry]. The whole team was my team – all working together with the same purpose as part of the creative. WorldStage is always willing to jump in and do what needs to get done – and they can do pretty much anything. We would work with them in a second on any project.”

Winderen echoes that sentiment and adds, “I can’t think of anything that hasn’t been great!”

At WorldStage Dennis Menard was senior project manager, Daryl Carmen production manager, Michael Kacunel audio A1, Alison May lighting director/programmer and Erik Perry senior project manager/lighting. IATSE Local One provided the crew labor.

WorldStage Inc., the company created by the merger of Scharff Weisberg Inc and Video Applications Inc, continues a thirty-year legacy of providing clients the widest variety of entertainment technology coupled with conscientious and imaginative engineering services. WorldStage provides audio, video and lighting equipment and services to the event, theatrical, broadcast and brand experience markets nationally and internationally.

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Alcorn McBride Welcomes J.R. Solis To The Sales Team

Alcorn McBride is pleased to announce the hiring of Jesus Rodrigo (JR) Solis as International Sales Engineer. He joins the company in a new position, which has been created to meet the growing demand for staff at Alcorn McBride, the leading manufacturer of show control, audio and video equipment for the themed entertainment industry and a rapidly growing provider of audio and video systems for retail and transportation.

The new post of International Sales Engineer is designed to support and grow Alcorn McBride’s global business. Reporting to the Director of Sales, Solis is responsible for supporting the company’s international distributors and dealers in Latin America and Canada.

“JR has the high degree of technical knowledge required for this new position as well as experience working abroad – and fluency in Spanish and French – that will serve him well in this role,” says Scott Harkless. “He will be an integral part of our sales and support teams as Alcorn McBride continues to grow our international business.”

Solis most recently served simultaneously as Lead A/V Designer for Disney’s “Magic” cruise ship working with Walt Disney Imagineering/Creative Entertainment, Audio/Video Designer for the EPCOT Test Track Attraction Re-imagining, and Parkwide A/V Lead for EPCOT and Downtown Disney. He was also a Team A/V Designer for the Disney “Fantasy” new build project in Papenburg, Germany. Solis was also a Production Planner for ESPN “Wide World of Sports.” Solis also has completed professional training and certification programs in the US, Mexico and France, including Binloop and Show Control Programming with Alcorn McBride Inc.

“I got to know Alcorn McBride from working so closely with their products. I knew I wanted to be a part of their team.” says Solis. “I’m excited to be joining the company at a time of significant growth and want to help increase Alcorn McBride sales worldwide.”

About Alcorn McBride:
Founded in 1986, Alcorn McBride is the leading manufacturer of show control, audio and video equipment for the themed entertainment industry, and a rapidly growing provider of audio and video systems for retail environments and transportation applications.  Staffed by some of the industry’s best engineers and backed by outstanding customer support, the company has demonstrated great agility in bringing new designs to market.  A hallmark of Alcorn McBride products is their durable, zero maintenance design.  The company’s products provide consistent, reliable operation for audio and video playback applications worldwide.  For more information, visit www.alcorn.com. 

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Clay Paky Hits the Road with Journey and the Steve Miller Band’s Summer Tour

Journey and the Steve Miller Band are in the midst of their 2014 summer tour, and Clay Paky Sharpys are along for the ride that will take them to 30 cities across the U.S. and Canada.

The tour unites two of the iconic groups that helped define The San Francisco Sound. In careers spanning 40 years, Journey has sold 80 million albums worldwide and the Steve Miller Band more than 30 million records.

Tour Tech East Ltd. in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia is providing lighting support for the tour supplying 34 Sharpys and 20 Sharpy Washes. Senior account executive Tracey Ploss has worked with Journey and the band’s lighting designer Kevin “Deuce” Christopher for eight years.

“Last year Deuce used a couple of Sharpys, but this year he specifically wanted Sharpy Washes for the tour so we added them to our inventory,” says Ploss. “We’ve made a significant investment in the Clay Paky fixtures.” Sharpys are very popular with Tour Tech customers for their output, size and low power consumption. Fixtures are currently out with Styx and Foreigner, and the Calgary Stampede deployed a large number for its famed rodeo.

Deuce, who has been lighting designer for Journey since 2004, says he “probably doubled” the number of Sharpys in his new tour rig. “There are 12 on the side trusses and four each per overhead truss for a total of 12 more. Plus one each on ten US Towers that top a wall of 20 Sharpy Washes,” he explains. “A video display, comprised of PRG/Nocturne V-28 and V-9 LED panels, is directly behind the band above the towers. It looks like there’s a wall of light with the video display resting on top.”

He says he “wanted to do something a bit different” in creating an interesting background for the band, “but the budget didn’t call for elaborate custom sets. So Tour Tech helped me deliver the desired effect without going custom.”

Tour Tech fulfilled Deuce’s idea of using black A-Type, 30×30-inch x 8-foot truss turned upright on casters. “At the bottom of each bay there is a wooden insert. Each Sharpy fixture is placed on the insert – all of the fixtures actually sit in the truss and none on top,” says Deuce. “Using the truss as set pieces housing the lights allows us to have a tidy pack in the truck, ease of placement and removal from stage, and convenient movement for set changes with our three-band bill.”

The Sharpy Washes enable him to “go from a very narrow beam for nice graphic geometry to a wide beam for a silhouette look on the band and wash out in the audience.” Their light output also had to be able to stand out against the video display.

The Steve Miller Band’s lighting designer, Andrew Richter of IOD Group in New York, has used Sharpys and Sharpy Washes “extensively” the last two years. “The pure power from such a fast and compact fixture makes it ideal for all but long-throw, wide-beam applications. I prefer the Washes in a mid-stage position for our non-shared rig due to their speed and depth of color rendering.”

The scenic design for the band calls for Richter to block off the Sharpy Washes on the rear lower truss with a fiber optic drop and a full stage drop designed by Stanley Meyers for “Jet Airliner” in which the Sharpys play a key role.

“The ‘Jet Airliner’ stage drop consists of a large central jet aircraft pointing upward with layers of smaller aircraft in a Japanese rising sun homage,” Richter explains. “I really wanted to create a sense of the jet in motion. My long-time colleague/programmer Scott McCowan and I worked on several different intensity chases and color bumps to a less than desirable effect. Ultimately, we thought of the old anime/manga ‘speed racer,’ where the primary subject is stationary and the windows show movement quickly zipping by.”

They achieved a similar effect by deploying Sharpys from a side position so they “graze the drop with the imagery of lines of clouds zipping downward past the static aircraft wings and fuselage creating movement,” he says. “It’s the perfect synergy of the right light and brilliant programming to create the vision I wanted without video, without animation wheels but using purely the speed and position recall accuracy that only a Sharpy can deliver.”

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Deuce over his last few Journey tours – he’s always thinking of new ways to bring their performance to life for the audience. I knew the Sharpy Wash would be a nice addition for them and I was very excited that he liked it so much. Tracey and the Tour Tech East team are also great to work with, so the entire project has been a pleasure for A.C.T,” commented A.C.T Vice President, Automated Lighting, George Masek.

For Journey, Kevin Cassidy is the crew chief, Rob Kern production manager, Armando Figueroa in charge of power distribution and control, Oscar Carnales lighting tech, and Cole MacDonald FOH systems tech. Scott McCowan programmed the Steve Miller Band show.

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, commented, “This is a very ambitious and impressive tour and both designers are doing a great job at deploying our fixtures to their fullest.”

A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive North American distributor for Clay Paky.

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Technomedia select Lightware Matrix and Fiber Extenders for 3D “Grand Hall Experience”, Projection Mapping at Union Station, St. Louis

Historic Union Station in St. Louis has reopened after an extensive $66.3 million renovation to its lobby where Technomedia, a Mood Media Company created the largest permanent 3D projection mapping attraction in the United States on the 65-foot high barrel-vault ceiling and walls transforming the space every evening for hotel and local guests and visitors. Technomedia chose Lightware DVI-OPT-TX110 and RX110 transmitters/receivers to extend the multi-4K 120 frame video signal to 14 projectors displaying the dazzling custom content. Lightware USA is the US distributor for Budapest-based Lightware Visual Engineering products.

“It was logical for me to choose Lightware,” says Andrew Atienza, Technomedia Projection Specialist. “It’s a reliable and cost-effective solution that works well when you’re dealing with the concerns of a historic space. We have limited rack space in the machine room on the third floor balcony. The TX110s are the size of a DVI connector so no additional rack space and no additional wiring was needed for them.”

Union Station was the world’s largest and busiest train station when it opened in 1894. Lodging Hospitality Management (LHM) purchased the station in 2012 with the goal of restoring the property and driving business to the station’s new hotel, dining and shopping options while maintaining the Grand Hall’s historic character.

The Grand Hall has been refurbished with stylish lounge and bar seating and a stunning ultra high definition 3D projection mapping show, which plays every evening on the hour between 5 and 10 pm. Since its debut on May 9, National Train Day, The Grand Hall Experience has increased attendance to the Grand Hall by over 125 percent. It has exceeded all expectations and quickly become one of the most popular attractions in St. Louis.

Technomedia, conceived and developed The Grand Hall Experience for LHM. The experience consists of a variety of shows that showcase creative design and innovative storytelling. The show take viewers on an amazing journey from the blue depths of the sea where a whale, sea turtles and sharks float weightlessly to the heights of world’s great ceilings where the magnificent artistry of Rome’s Sistine Chapel and Paris’s star-studded Sainte-Chapelle soar overhead. In other shows, the detailed filigree of the historic building come life with 3D detail that transforms into complete immersive visuals like psychedelic flowers bloom. Clockwork gears turn and lighted train cars race down a tunnel, the building itself moves and shifts uncovering the incredible surprised behind the walls. St. Louis-born celebrities John Goodman, Bob Costas and John Hamm contribute to the narration.

Technomedia is no stranger to 3D projection mapped shows. The company used Lightware for video distribution for the Cuartel de Ballaja in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Atienza also selected Lightware matrices for “Iris” at LA’s Dolby Theater.

He notes that the equipment and content are running maintenance-free. “It’s been completely hands off,” he says. “It’s wonderful not having to worry about anything. The Lightware units required very little set up and have been rock solid reliable.”

Since The Grand Hall Experience is expected to be a permanent attraction at Union Station the aim is to create new content on a regular basis. “The Christmas show is already in development,” says Atienza. “We can also loop custom content seamlessly for special events held in the lobby.”

About Lightware USA

Lightware USA is the US distributor of professional AV products manufactured by Lightware Visual Engineering in Budapest, Hungary. With the flexibility of the Lightware product line, the Lightware USA team is able to assist with the design for some of the highest performance systems in the world. Router sizes ranging from the robust UMX4x4-Pro up to the impressive 160×160 25G Hybrid give Lightware USA the edge over the competition when it comes to routing multiple video sources to the ever changing variety of displays in the industry. Their array of solutions for extending the highest resolution video formats including 4K and 3D over Cat or Fiber put Lightware USA on the forefront of cutting edge technology.

For more information on these products, visit www.LightwareUSA.com.

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Electrosonic Welcomes Josh Cottrell as System Consultant for the Entertainment Market

Electrosonic is pleased to announce that Josh Cottrell has joined the company as a System Consultant for Sales. He is based in the company’s Burbank office and will focus on Electrosonic’s Entertainment business that includes themed environments and attractions.

Josh Cottrell has worked at the highest levels of the entertainment industry for more than 16 years, and his credits include numerous award-winning productions. For 10 years, he served as Show Systems Manager, then subsequently as Project Manager/Show Systems Manager, at BRC Imagination Arts in Burbank where his projects spanned the globe. Among them were the Story Garden by AMOREPACIFIC; the USA Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010; “Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted” and the “Shuttle Launch Experience” at the Kennedy Space Center; The Heineken Experience in Amsterdam; and the Empire State Building’s “Dare to Dream” exhibit.

“Over the years Josh has done multiple projects with us as an Electrosonic client,” says Bryan Hinckley, Electrosonic’s Business Development Manager. “Having come on board from the client side, he has a unique perspective on the way we work and the services we provide. Josh has had such good experiences with Electrosonic that he ultimately wanted to join our team!”

“I am delighted to be part of a group that is respected throughout the industry and has completed countless world class projects,” says Cottrell. “I’m looking forward to adapting my skills to the Electrosonic side of the business and moving ahead with exciting new projects.”

Cottrell began his career in the entertainment industry as a technician at one of Southern California’s legendary theme parks, Knott’s Berry Farm. From there he expanded his talents to include special effects, audio, video and control systems, rigging, pyrotechnics, scenery, lighting, staging of live spectaculars and stunt shows, theme park design and planning, 3D and animated media, technical direction and project management.

For three years, he was a Producer, Project Manager and Technical Director at Landmark Entertainment in North Hollywood. Among his credits there were “Hershey’s Really Big 3D Show” in Hershey, Pennsylvania; “The Secrets of Castle O’Sullivan” at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia; and “The Mask” at Warner Bros. Movie World Madrid theme park.

For 12 years, Cottrell also headed his own company, Precision Effects, in Sherman Oaks, California, which provided project management, special effects, show action, scenery, technical direction and production fabrication for a wide range of customers, including the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California; Magic Mountain’s “Batman Stunt Show;” and Tomb Raider’s “Jewels of the Serpent” at Paramount Parks.

Cottrell’s extensive experience has covered creative, technical, and management efforts from concept to production to the field. He has a proven ability to realize the creative intent, provide solid technology solutions and create seamless show and facility integration within a project’s resources.

“Josh is incredibly well respected in the industry, and his contacts and connections are second to none. We’re very proud to welcome him to the Electrosonic team,” Hinckley says.

About Electrosonic
Electrosonic, celebrating its 50th anniversary, is an international audio-visual company that creates tailored, state-of-the-art solutions for a wide range of markets including theme parks, museums, control rooms, and corporate meeting rooms. Since its founding in 1964, Electrosonic has built a strong reputation for working on complex projects, both large and small, and has developed lasting partnerships with customers and suppliers. Beyond complete integrated systems, Electrosonic provides a comprehensive scope of services including technical design, projector lamp sales, maintenance and operational support.

Learn more about Electrosonic. Visit http://www.electrosonic.com

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WorldStage Launches The LAB in San Francisco

WorldStage is opening The LAB in San Francisco as an extension of its core business focusing on emerging media server and interactive technologies for live events and happenings. The LAB enhances the bicoastal presence of WorldStage, which has offices in New York City, Orange County and Nashville, and gives the company its first office in northern California.

WorldStage President Josh Weisberg explained, “The LAB allows us to get a little more creative in our technical approach for clients with customized hardware, software and control solutions. We’ll be taking advantage of the latest and greatest media server and interactive technologies as well as projection mapping, tracking and creative LED installations. Clients can see and experience the technologies we offer: The WorldStage LAB will have on site examples of different media servers, video projection, pre-visualizations systems, and software programming for them to explore.”

Jane Ewert will head up The LAB as director of business development. Tech guru Josh Silverman has joined the start up as the Director of Technology. They will be collaborating and partnering with creatives, designers and producers in the Bay Area to offer innovative new approaches to corporate events, theater, trade shows and marketing installations.

According to Silverman, “The WorldStage LAB is a unique space where we merge the arts of programming and live event production. We will create one-of-a-kind designs with custom applications and emerging technologies to transform live and interactive shows for clients worldwide.”

Ewert comes to the WorldStage LAB with a 20-year background as a producer and account executive for live events, digital media and broadcasting in the Bay Area. She has managed and driven sales for a number Bay Area creative agencies, overseeing live events and presentations for Apple, Sun, Cisco, Intel, Hitachi, and Yahoo. Prior to her career in business development, Ewert was an executive producer with the Washington Post Interactive division and a news journalist in Florida, Washington, D.C. and Michigan.

“As a producer and account executive in the Bay Area I hired WorldStage exclusively for our live events,” she says. “WorldStage pushed the limits with their technical creative engineering expertise, and I knew the process would be seamless with no mistakes. I couldn’t be more pleased to help build WorldStage’s presence here.”

Josh Silverman brings ten years of design, audio/video integration and software development experience to an industry increasingly focused on combining these disparate fields to create innovative systems and experiences. He has been the principal of Pretty Extreme, Inc. since 2007. The New York City-based company creates exciting interactive experiences and develops custom software for brands and individuals. He was also the principal of Three Byte Intermedia, Inc. from 2007-2010. Prior to that he was a senior software engineer with Show and Tell Productions, a commissioning engineer with Electrosonic and a systems programmer with Scharff Weisberg, the company that merged with Video Applications Inc. to form WorldStage.

His work has included projects for Sprint, HP, Sony, Oracle, ABC, Singapore’s Visionarium, Prada Epicenter Stores in Beverly Hills and Tokyo, and the Jazz Hall of Fame at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

The WorldStage LAB will introduce itself to the Bay Area with a series of open house events as well as in-depth, one-on-one sessions. On Wednesday September 24 and Thursday September 25 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM, the WorldStage LAB will welcome clients and collaborators to meet the principals, see the facility and enjoy some refreshments. Private walk-throughs can also be scheduled any time during the week of September 22. Those interested in either of the open houses or a private walk-through should contact clientservices@worldstage.com

WorldStage Inc., the company created by the merger of Scharff Weisberg Inc and Video Applications Inc, continues a thirty-year legacy of providing clients the widest variety of entertainment technology coupled with conscientious and imaginative engineering services. WorldStage provides audio, video and lighting equipment and services to the event, theatrical, broadcast and brand experience markets nationally and internationally.

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Stay up to date on the latest technology news. Select press representatives post company news several times a day. Check back often to get the latest news on product releases, mergers and acquisitions, and product applications. To be included in this virtual press conference, please contact The Wire.

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