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News in pictures 18 May 2011

LG packs a Punch with big screen 3D sports; Infinite flexibility for 1000-year old German Cathedral; Goboland UK – the Best of British for Betty Blue Eyes; Salle Albert Rousseau installs d&b through 20k

The Punch Pub Company is expanding its use of 3D technology for its guests by using the CF3D projector from LG Electronics. The pilot installation is in the Raynes Park Tavern in south-west London, showing 3D cinema images on a huge 2.4-metre screen.

The tremendous advantage of the LG CF3D projector is that it puts the two projection systems necessary for cinema 3D – one for each eye – into a single unit and using a single lens. That makes it very simple to install and maintain, whilst ensuring the 3D screen is always perfectly aligned for stress-free viewing. The projection system uses circular polarisation, which means that inexpensive passive glasses can be used, ideal for the pub environment where they can be easily washed and reused.

The system, including the special silver screen and a Sky+ HD satellite decoder, was designed and installed by AV specialist supplier USL Audio Visual, a long-term partner of Punch Pub Company. Since the first installation in the Raynes Park Tavern the trial system has been extended to pubs in the north east of England.

The Mainzer Dom (Mainz Roman Catholic Cathedral) in Germany, one of the most historically important buildings in Western Europe, has undergone a complete audio visual refit. The sound system which served it so well for the past 30 years was recently decommissioned and a new infrastructure designed and specified by media consultant, Rolf Mayer of Bischofsheim-based IFB Consulting. The audio network was based on a QSC digital Q-Sys platform.

In providing superior audio in an environment for congregations of up to 4,000 people, Mayer decided that when considering the components best fit for the purpose, high intelligibility had to be the primary consideration. He added that a digital backbone with complex routing and low-latency signal transport over standard TCP/IP hardware, and a sophisticated routing matrix offering an advanced control and monitoring solution, were indicated. “Operationally the system also needed to be intuitive, and usable by non-technicians. Finally we had to think about the logistics and the cable laying — as the audio and video in church needed to be extremely flexible.”

As a result, the Q-Sys solution, including a Core 1000 processor and six I/O Frames, were specified and installed and the new digital environment fully implemented. The installed system extends coverage to around 25 zones — including the main nave, aisles, transepts, cloisters, choir stalls, organ lofts and high altar, as well as four independent chapels and Bishops Crypt in the basement — providing signal inputs to the discreet, active steerable column line arrays and an Ampetronic induction loop system.

Gobo manufacturer, Goboland UK, has made a variety of custom and standard gobos for the wartime-era musical Betty Blue Eyes which opened last week at the Novello Theatre in London’s West End.

Based on Alan Bennett and Malcolm Mowbray’s BAFTA-winning 1984 film A Private Function, Betty Blue Eyes is set in the ration-stricken Britain of 1947. It tells the story of a pig, raised illegally to provide the local dignitaries with a feast to celebrate the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip – a wedding feast out of keeping with the austerity of the times.

The ensuing shinanigans are lit by award-winning lighting designer Neil Austin, for whom Goboland UK produced coloured glass gobos of the Royal Crest, stained glass windows and a keystone-corrected Union Flag, for use in Vari-lite VL3500Q Spots. Goboland worked with the designer to create a graduated edge iris gobo that makes it possible to achieve a soft-focus, round edge beam that is not normally available from the VL3500.

Goboland UK also created black and white glass gobos depicting the butchers’ shop windows for ETC Revolution fixtures, and the now familiar ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ motto projected from an ETC Source Four 14° fixture. A number of Goboland’s standard Black Steel Collection Designs were also used for lighting the Ballroom dance scene, again in Revolutions.

Finally, Goboland UK manufactured 8 full colour glass gobos of the Betty Blue Eyes show logo and images of Betty herself for the Opening Night Party, held at the Waldorf Hotel, right next door to the Novello Theatre. Lighting supplier White Light projected the gobos around the room from Mac2000 Spots.

Photo: Michael Le Poer Trench

A revamp of the Salle Albert Rousseau theatre in Quebec, Canada has seen the house sound system totally replaced and the stage entirely remodelled to accommodate current trends. Steering that remodelling was the audio consultant Alexandre Forgues of 20k inc., a man who, more than most, had reason to inject some sentimentality into the project.

“I started my career as a system engineer and had visited the theatre many times; I know it well and have a great fondness for the room. On several occasions I had taken in a d&b audiotechnik system from a local rental company. The house had always liked the sound of d&b equipment so when I established my consulting company 20k some years later and was asked to design a system installation it was natural that I would look at the d&b range to replace their old PA.”

The system 20k has designed comprises Qi-Series loudspeakers; Qi10, Qi1 and Q subwoofers flown left right, with E6 loudspeakers mounted to the proscenium walls as fills to the boxes at the sides, and again as front fills to the stalls. “Unlike the old system which was very large, black and visually intrusive, we have had d&b colour match the fills to the walls, and further work has now been completed to the stage lip so the front fills are built in. The main left right system is tiny compared to what was there before.”