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News in pictures 26 May 2010

Coemar lights up Swiss tower; Q-Sys brings Singapore’s Universal Studios to life; Christie projection onto relief map; 'Chandelier' of speakers and screens

The ancient tower of Solothurn, in Switzerland is the focal point for an exciting light show with LEDs supplied by Coemar.

Lighting designer Stefan Gfeller has illuminated the Kulturm tower of Solothurn, an important Swiss historical symbol.

Built in 1538 as a defence tower, Kulturm has been used over the centuries as a granary, prison and bunker; today it has become a multi-purpose cultural centre, hosting theatre events and art exhibitions.

The tower, characterised by irregular stonework with all sorts of nooks and crannies, became the focal point for a rather special light show. The light designer installed nine StageLite LEDs at the base of the tower and six StripLite LEDs in the loopholes. With their chromatic effects and the possibility of varying the projection angles, the Coemar products highlighted every curve of the building in an exciting play of light.

In particular, the StageLite Leds positioned around the tower are motorised LED optical planes, with control of the effects and possibility of digitally adjusting the position of the light beam: concentrated, symmetrical or asymmetrical. The electronic dimmer lets you control the intensity of the light, while the RGB + white colour change system allows the colour mixing of each half line of LEDs.

The StripLite Leds inserted in the loopholes created original contrasts thanks to the RGB LED sources. The projection angle can be varied using two different optics, and the electronic dimmer allows precision adjustment of the light intensity.

Southeast Asia’s first Universal Studios theme park opened this Spring, boosting Singapore’s attempts to become a top regional tourist destination.

Joining the other Universal Studios sites in Hollywood, CA., Orlando, FL. and Osaka, Japan it incorporates 24 attractions, of which 18 are original or specially adapted for the park. Each of the seven uniquely themed zones is based on a blockbuster movie or television show, featuring their own specific attractions.

Singapore based Electro-Acoustics Systems was appointed to supply and install the entire sound reinforcement and background music system, opting to put new Q-Sys complete integrated system platform to the test.

A centralised processing architecture consisting of a QSC Audio Q-Sys Core 4000 system lies at the heart of the design. The audio digital signal processor resides on a local network based on L2/L3 switching technology, for which the Core 4000 performs all the audio routing, audio playback (up to 128 tracks) and processing in addition to managing all the control functions throughout the entire signal chain — from audio inputs to loudspeakers.

Across the site, loudspeakers (many concealed or camouflaged) are powered by a total of 147 of QSC’s CX amplifiers allowing remote monitoring and control.

Two leading South African technology companies, Tadco and Digital Fabric, have joined forces to equip a new cultural museum with high-grade projection and image manipulation from Christie.

The eMakhosini Ophathe Heritage Park near Ulundi in KwaZulu Natal — set in the Valley of the Kings — offers great insight into the local Zulu culture.

It is designed to pay homage to King Shaka ka Senzangakhona and other great Kings of the Zulu nation buried there. In fact the valley contains no fewer than seven ancient royal Zulu grave sites, numerous Zulu settlement remains and abounds in indigenous fauna and flora. It also contains several significant geological features.

Johannesburg-based Christie partner, Tadco, has provided a solution for the heritage site’s multimedia requirements. To relay the 27-minute movie, shot in hi-definition, and with both English and Zulu soundtracks, Tadco turned to the Christie HD5Kc projector, operating in true native HD 1920 x 1080 resolution.

The Christie HD5Kc features high-quality lenses specifically designed to increase image sharpness and provide manual contrast adjustment for impeccable image control. Tadco also built a projection frame enabling them to exchange filters and lamps without tampering with the position of the projector.

The remainder of the installation comprises a NEXO PS 10 system to run the 5.1 surround track, Camco amplifiers and Jands dimming and control with master control provided by an AMX system. This will also contain presets that enable the auditorium to quickly be repurposed for conference use at the push of a button.

During the course of the planning process with Tadco, Amafa had also expressed the need for interactivity in the centre to bring the concept to life. Tadco recommended Digital Fabric’s involvement, and working with software partners Pixel Project, they proposed a digital model that would allow multiple aspects of the valley’s characteristics to be shown in a creative and dynamic way.

The concept involves a scale model of the valley, 3.6m long and 1.6m wide, painted grey and projected onto from above by three Christie DS+300 projectors with short throw lenses. The projectors provide all of the detail across the valley, ranging from photo realistic landscapes to animated battles, text and photographs.

Pro Audio Systems recently installed the audio infrastructure at Bristol International Airport, the latest site in the ongoing World Duty Free ‘Contentainment’ programme.

Due to the unusual layout of the store a new “in the round” stage design was required, located below a “chandelier” comprising LCD screens and also housing a 360-degree coverage audio system.

Pro Audio Systems was also tasked with providing the stage. This had to be both eye-catching and portable. The resultant design, eight feet in diameter and constructed using two layers of high strength transparent 12mm polycarbonate material, was constructed entirely in-house and provided a very colourful and distinctive central location for the performers.

Underfloor lighting for the stage was provided by 48 LED boards, each with 64 full-colour LEDs, remotely controlled from front of house via DMX512 in 3 channel mode (RGB), using a total of 144 control channels. Each section can be run separately if required, just requiring power & data.

The multi-zone audio system utilised Meyer Sound equipment throughout and included one of the first uses in the UK of the brand new UP-4XP Ultra Compact loudspeaker, with several mounted around the top and bottom edges of the ʻchandelier’, providing coverage both at floor level and on the balcony above. Other Meyer Sound products included numerous MM-4 miniature loudspeakers, colour-matched to the decor and a single M-1D subwoofer.

(Picture: David Wiggins)