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News in pictures 15 June 2011

Renkus-Heinz is the power behind Little Buddha; Symetrix is Paris match at Gare de l’Est; QSC at the Opera; SGM wields the Axé in Brazil

The glittering Little Buddha bar in the island’s capital Nicosia is the latest upscale addition to Cyprus nightlife. Music is a famed part of the Buddha Bar experience and features Latin/oriental lounge beats that gradually move into more upbeat house tunes as the evening progresses. With sound quality central to its enjoyment S&V MegaSound were called in to design a system capable of delivering exceptional fidelity and precise directional control – along with the ability to deliver flawlessly night after night.

The Renkus-Heinz system employs 16 TRX81 2-way full range loudspeakers and four PNX112 subwoofers, powered by MC2 T1000 and T20000 amplifiers. Audio routing is handled by a Symmetrix Zone Mix 760 digital zone mixer with ARC2i remote control panels. S&V MegaSound also supplied the DJ setup of Pioneer CD decks and mixer and an American DJ MP3 player for background music playout.

Built in 1849 and with significant additions, Gare de l’Est is one of the oldest and one of the largest train stations in Paris. Recently, SNCF (France’s railway company) hired UK- and France-based Sound Directions to update its ticket sales area with sound reinforcement to deliver information and revenue-generating advertisements to waiting customers.

To prevent the sound intended for the waiting queue from contributing to the overall din, Sound Directions systems specialist, Christophe Palluat de Besset selected MystSystems PAN64 ceiling-mounted loudspeakers. The PAN64 broadcasts in a square of 64-centimeters at a constant level for up to 15 metres, with a remarkably steep drop-off outside that beam width. A modest rack of MystSystems B17 100-volt amplifiers provides power.

“The main challenge at Gare de l’Est is the huge variability in the number of customers at different times of the day and thus the huge variability in ambient noise,” said Palluat. “It was evident that we had three options. We could make it loud enough to be heard in crowded conditions, but then we would blow people away at the less busy times. We could make it appropriately loud for those less busy times, but then people would miss the information when it was crowded. The ideal solution was to implement an automatic gain control that would adjust to match the ambient noise.”

Palluat selected the Jupiter 4 from Symetrix to provide not just the AGC, but also the rest of the system’s processing requirements. Three sensor microphones located at strategic locations near the SNCF desk monitor ambient noise for use in the Jupiter’s AGC algorithm.

The stylish Opera Café has opened in Odessa’s elite hotel, Arcadia Plaza, complete with a QSC sound system. Installed by the engineering department of Real Music, QSC’s Ukrainian distributors, the venue takes its name from the world-renowned Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre. The Café itself is located right in Odessa’s late night tourist mecca.

Real Music set about the design, installing four QSC lightweight, portable active K8 8 inch, full range speakers and a dual 12 inch KSub in the VIP 1 suite. Meanwhile, out in the Café’s main hall, ten of QSC’s HPRi22i 12 inch multipurpose active loudspeakers have been specified, along with four HPR181i 18inch subwoofers. These were specified to meet the technical requirements of the facility.

The Axé Brazil festival took place recently when an audience of around 80,000 people gathered at the local arena in Belo Horizonte over the two days. Dedicated to the uniquely Brazil music genre known as Axé, with its roots in Salvador de Bahia, the event featured popular Brazilian artists such as Ivete Sangalo, Cláudia Leite, Chiclete Com Banana and Asa De Águia.

The 12-strong technical team from production company Estação da Luz ensured that there was a first class sound and lighting infrastructure, with SGM lighting providing the bulk of moving heads.

For his stage lighting design at Axé Brazil, José Lino Silva chose a mixture of SGM spots and washes, favouring bright colours that complemented the lively rhythms of Axé music, including 70 Giotto Spot 400, 21 Idea Beam 300 and 24 Ribalta LEDs.

Each group appearing brought its own LD who had the freedom to create their own lighting scenes, programmed and triggered from two GrandMA consoles. In total 12 different light artists created their own looks from the SGM palette, with all commending the Giotto Spot 400 — and the many effects of which it is capable.