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Let’s Chill Music & Restaurant Offers Unique Customer Experience With HARMAN Professional Solutions

January 14, 2022

NONTHABURI, Thailand—To provide a lively and memorable dining and concert experience at Let’s Chill Music & Restaurant, Mahajak Development Co. Ltd. selected and installed cutting-edge HARMAN audio solutions.   

Opened in August 2020, Let’s Chill Music & Restaurant is a stylish restaurant that offers fine dining and top-notch live entertainment in one place. In addition to serving an eclectic range of food and beverages, the restaurant also hosts a 300-seat open-air service and performance area as well as a private karaoke zone. Mahajak Development Co. Ltd reported that the venue’s management wanted an aesthetically pleasing, sophisticated audio system that could deliver impactful sound with full coverage throughout the space and accommodate a variety of events. With these requests in mind, the installation team selected JBL Professional, Crown, Soundcraft, and dbx solutions to create a versatile, modern audio system.

The stage primarily features JBL VTX A8 line array loudspeakers with patented Differential Drive woofers, Slip Stream ports and Radiation Boundary Integrators for wide coverage and pristine audio. For reinforced stability and easy installation, the team used VTX A8 AF extension bars to mount the speakers to the stage’s roof. Additionally, JBL VTX B18 subwoofers provide impactful, distortion-free bass response thanks to the built-in JBL 2288 transducer. JBL PRX815W/230D full-range speakers serving as floor monitors provide clear sound and personalized settings for the performers onstage.

In the dining areas, JBL CBT 1000 and CBT 70J-1 line array column speakers act as delay speakers to accurately distribute the onstage audio to all parts of the venue. For extended pattern control, increased output and more impactful bass, each speaker also includes the specially designed CBT 1000E and 70JE-1 extensions.

For the backend, a Crown VRack complete amplification system featuring I-Tech 4x3500HD and 12000HD amplifiers power the speakers with even, reliable power distribution. The advanced Soundcraft Mini Stagebox 32R, dbx DB10V premium passive direct box and dbx DI4 Active 4 Channel Direct Box effortlessly process input signals to the Soundcraft Si Performer 3 console, which offers unparalleled sound mixing capabilities and wireless controller support.

Let’s Chill Music & Restaurant management reported that the system delivered by Mahajak Development Co. Ltd. is perfect for creating an immersive atmosphere for guests and audiences. They look forward to hosting a variety of events and delivering impeccable sound throughout the venue using the new HARMAN audio solutions.

“For a venue like Let’s Chill Music & Restaurant, powerful audio systems that deliver top-class audio and intuitive operation are critical,” said Amar Subash, Director, Channel Management and Audio Solutions, HARMAN Professional Solutions, APAC. "We would like to thank our partner Mahajak Development Co. Ltd. for designing an audio setup that meets the performance requirements; pushing the boundaries of the dining experience.”


Seattle Space Needle Receives a Modern Visual Upgrade with Martin Professional Lighting Solutions

Seattle Space Needle Receives a Modern Visual Upgrade with Martin Professional Lighting Solutions

January 12, 2022

SEATTLE—To provide the iconic Space Needle with a versatile and modern outdoor lighting system, installation specialists LVH Entertainment Systems and lighting designer Erik Crowell with Niteo deployed Martin Professional Exterior Projection 500 and 1000 fixtures.

Built in 1962 and inspired by the Space Age, the Space Needle is a staple of the Seattle skyline known for its stunning views from the flying saucer-like observation deck. In 2017, the Space Needle announced an ambitious multi-year renovation project that aimed to modernize the visitor experience while also honoring the tower’s history. As a homage to the original concept art from the 1960s, the Space Needle now features a floor-to-ceiling glass interior and expanded glass panels on the upper-level observation deck, which provide enhanced and uninhibited views of Seattle and the Puget Sound.

However, the tower’s longtime outdoor lighting fixtures, which illuminate the Space Needle nightly, created excessive glare through the all-new revolving glass floor. The Space Needle requested a new, more versatile system that still provided the same iconic lighting for the landmark but also reduced glare and shadows cast through the glass floor for nighttime visitors. To meet these requirements, LVH Entertainment Systems, in partnership with Niteo, installed a cutting-edge and innovative system featuring Martin Exterior Projection 500 and 1000 fixtures that debuted on New Year’s Eve 2021.

“Early in the process for the top hat design renovations, we flagged to the team that by putting in a glass floor and maintaining the existing 1000-watt metal halide lights mounted down at the ground level, even from that height, the visitor experience could be impacted by the glare from those fixtures and light trespass into the space,” said Crowell. “So our goal in redesigning the exterior lighting was to enhance the nighttime visitor experience on the new rotating glass floor while maintaining the iconic design of the floodlighting done by Ross De Alessi, which everybody associates with that nighttime view in Seattle. We started thinking, ‘Well, in an ideal world, what would we do?’ The answer is that we'd light up just the opaque parts of the structure, which were the legs and bottom pan, and we’d trim out all of the lighting that went through the glass floor.”

After a series of trials, Niteo found that specially designed gobos that intricately outlined the Space Needle’s structure and blacked out parts where the glass floor was visible would dramatically reduce glare and unwanted shadows in the observation areas. In order to determine each gobo’s unique design, Niteo worked with Jason Davis, Vice President at LVH Entertainment Systems, and the installation team to insert a custom designed grid pattern in each projector to clearly map which areas needed to be blacked out. Niteo then used this information to create the gobo patterns in Photoshop. The Martin Exterior Projection Series’ high-contrast image capabilities, wide zoom range and impressively high output were all crucial features to the success of this installation.

“In most projector bulbs, there's a reflector behind it that’s designed to push and scatter as much light out as possible,” explained Davis. “The Exterior Projections instead form the light into more of a tight beam, which allowed us to take a more accurate reading of the grid on the Space Needle. The gobo of the grid was literally as big as a watch face, but we were still able to take something of that size and project it with a high resolution. You can't even read the numbers when you're staring at it in your hand, but the light from the projectors came out perfectly and allowed Erik to be able to surgically remove the light from where we didn't want it.”

“I think that the solution is about as technical as it gets from an exterior lighting perspective and as nuanced and precise as you can possibly be with an exterior lighting application,” added Crowell. “All creative aspects aside, we had more than our work cut out for us to make it all come together.”

Featuring a weatherproof design for use on long-term and permanent installations, the Martin Exterior Projection 1000 ensures solid beams and striking washes in any weather condition––necessary characteristics for any installation in the famously wet and overcast Seattle area. Additionally, the Exterior Projection 1000 supports full CMY color mixing and remote control via DMX, giving Space Needle staff an easy and safe way to change the lights’ colors for holidays and occasional civic special events.

“With the old lighting system, changing the colors of the lights involved somebody physically going up to each fixture and putting a theatrical gel on it to get the color that they want,” explained Crowell. “So the ability to change those things safely and quickly with the push of a button on a screen is huge. The tower’s management brings it up in every meeting how excited they are about that. I don't think they've envisioned a use for all of the capabilities of the Martin projectors yet, but the ability for those fixtures to project patterns and create kinetic moving things along the façade is another tool that they can use during shows on their façade or other special events.”

Meanwhile, the Martin Exterior Projection 500 offers many of the same features as the Exterior Projection 1000 but in a smaller enclosure, making it an ideal fill light for the Space Needle’s lower legs and curved surfaces. The resulting new lighting system maintains the Space Needle’s iconic nighttime look from the outside, while the glass interior and observation deck’s views are uninhibited by the lights below. Organizers for the Space Needle are pleased with Niteo, Davis and the installation team for their inventiveness and care and are thrilled with the Martin fixtures’ cutting-edge technology and potential for future events. 

“In terms of the feature set, these Martin lights have the features that other lights are struggling to even incorporate,” added Davis. “They're pretty cutting edge in terms of what they're able to do and they're really high-quality. I think the Space Needle will be in good hands for a long time with this rig.”


Sylvan Esso Embark on Shaking Out The Numb Tour With Cutting-Edge Martin Professional Lighting Solutions

Sylvan Esso Embark on Shaking Out The Numb Tour With Cutting-Edge Martin Professional Lighting Solutions

December 20, 2021

DURHAM, North Carolina—To provide indie-dance duo Sylvan Esso with lighting as dynamic, expressive and riveting as their music for their 2021 Shaking Out the Numb Tour, lighting designer Zach Sternberg designed a state-of-the-art rig featuring Martin Professional lighting solutions.

Founded in 2013 in Durham, North Carolina, Sylvan Esso is made up of singer-songwriter Amelia Meath and producer Nick Sanborn. By combining elements of folk, indie rock and electronic music, Meath and Sanborn developed a sound that toes the line between digital, upbeat music and earnest, vulnerable lyricism, earning them a devoted fan base in the process. This past fall, the Grammy-nominated duo embarked on their Shaking Out the Numb Tour in support of their third studio album Free Love, which they released in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because immersive and dynamic lighting is a staple of Sylvan Esso shows, the duo wanted to bring the imaginative visual style fans expect and love while also working within the production constraints caused by the still-recovering, post-pandemic live music industry. To meet these requirements, lighting designer Zach Sternberg created a streamlined yet versatile lighting rig featuring Martin MAC Allure Profile and VDO Atomic Dot CLD fixtures and a P3-050 system controller.

“This was a post-pandemic tour, so budgets were tighter and efficiency was key,” said Sternberg. “One of the things we really focused on was how to design a show that pushes the limits of creativity and brings the fans that same experience they've come to know and love under the new constraints. I reached out to Martin because I thought it would be beneficial to use their cutting-edge gear in conjunction with some of the more seasoned equipment in our rig to really elevate our show. We designed a decentralized LED pixel grid controlled with a mix of programming between hard DMX values from the console and video content. When we were looking at which fixtures would work best with this show, the Atomic Dot and the Allure stood out because they can seamlessly receive both bespoke programming and video merges.”

The lighting rig consisted of 13 lightweight, foldable carts that connected to form a curved support structure for a grid of light tiles. Each cart housed two Martin Atomic Dot CLDs pointed centerstage towards the band and on the truss above, one MAC Allure Profile fixture centered directly over each one. The efficiency went beyond the design itself, as all of the Atomic Dots shared a single circuit and the Allures were controlled by a single Ethernet line. This rig was more compact than those used on previous tours and required minimal setup and takedown in order to accommodate the reduced crew size, but the design nonetheless provided powerful and dexterous visuals that exceeded the band’s expectations.

Featuring a video-controlled Aura backlight combined with a bright strobe-blinder dot, the VDO Atomic Dot is a highly versatile compact fixture that produces powerful beams, intricately blended washes and more, making it a key component in Sylvan Esso’s shows. For example, the song “Numb” features a breakdown where Meath sings a capella, save for a pulsing synth that quickly and sporadically cuts across the mix. Sternberg and the lighting crew elevate this moment with a “slap-clap” effect, where the stage goes dark and the Dots strobe across the stage in time with the synth sound. Sternberg notes how the Dots’ unmatched brightness perfectly accentuates this key part in the song and produces a show-stopping moment for the audience.

“The amount of output you get on the Dots with so little power is really impressive,” added Sternberg. “And with the curved rig design, they all point in at the band, which is really great for sightlines. So when we do those big white blasts during ‘Numb,’ it's all focused at that central focal point where Nick and Amelia are standing, and it’s searingly bright. It’s this great moment where we thought, ‘Alright, we have this great wall of tiles, but what can we do to make this moment incredible?’ And the Dots held it down.”

The MAC Allure Profiles, meanwhile, feature a pixelated beam and intricate color mixing capabilities previously only attainable in larger and costlier fixtures. With the Allures directly above the band, the lighting crew could highlight both Meath and Sanborn individually during key moments with striking and colorful beams. Most notably, the Allures played a starring role in a sequence where Meath reflects a beam of light into the audience using a handheld mirror. Sternberg noted that the Allures’ tight and responsive beam control lent itself well to creating that striking moment for the band and audience.

“The Allures have become so integral to the show that they're irreplaceable at this point,” said Sternberg. “It's this design element that has become such a part of the experience that if you take them out of the equation, it's just not the same show. One of the cool things about the Allures is that you've got these seven pixels as your light source, and you can see those pixels individually in the air. What that allows you to do is run effects on each individual pixel so that you're seeing rhythm within the beam of light. People have done something similar to that with gobo shakes and rotating gobos, but you really don’t need gobos with the Allures.”

Finally, the MAC Allure Profiles and VDO Atomic Dots are P3-controllable for pinpoint control and seamless incorporation of video content, which the lighting crew utilized using the P3-050 System Controller. Overall, Sternberg felt that the tour’s lighting rig found the right balance between versatility and economy, as well as embodied the grandiose-yet-human feeling present in Sylvan Esso’s music.

“Nick told me just the other day that this is his favorite design we've ever done together, and I've been working with them for six years,” said Sternberg. “I’d like to mention that we are not running time code or anything either. For Sylvan Esso, it's all human operators. There's this clapping part on the song ‘Train,’ and each clap is a white hit with the Allures and the Dots in tight beams. That moment in literally every show is physically triggered by Eli Feldman, the tour’s lighting director, so there's this very human-computer interaction element in both the lighting and the music that the Martin gear really lends itself to.”


Nakhon Ratchasima Sports Complex Enhances the Audience Experience With Powerful HARMAN Audio Solutions

Nakhon Ratchasima Sports Complex Enhances the Audience Experience With Powerful HARMAN Audio Solutions

December 15, 2021

NAKHON RATCHASIMA, Thailand—To provide spectators at the Nakhon Ratchasima Sports Complex an immersive and exciting entertainment experience, Mahajak Development Co., Ltd. installed a range of cutting-edge HARMAN Professional audio solutions.

Home to the Nakhonratchasima Mazda Football Club, the Nakhon Ratchasima Sports Complex is the fourth biggest stadium in Thailand and hosted the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in 2007. That same year, King Rama IX bestowed the complex’s name during an overlap between the SEA Games and the king’s birthday. The stadium area comprises the Nakhon Ratchasima FC football field, which is surrounded by a grandstand with a single roof on one side. The facility currently has a seating capacity of 25,000, but will be upgraded to 45,000 in the future.

Mahajak Development Co., Ltd. reported that the complex’s organizers requested a new high-output audio system capable of providing clear, intelligible sound with reduced reverberation during games and events. The main challenge was that the audio system needed to be installed on the roof, which only covered one side of the complex, but also had to deliver sound coverage to every seat in the stadium. To meet these challenges and requirements, Mahajak deployed dynamic and weather-resistant JBL Professional speakers, Crown audio amplifiers, Soundcraft consoles and BSS signal processors for wide coverage, ample output and easy-to-use controls.

For speakers, the Mahajak team selected JBL PD500 Series loudspeakers to cover the roof side of the grandstand and JBL Variable Line Array Compact Series line array loudspeakers to cover the rest of the venue. Designed for a variety of venues including sports facilities, the PD500 Series speakers feature four horn-loaded 15-inch, two-way systems and a dual 15-inch subwoofer for a full dynamic range and consistent coverage. The JBL Variable Line Array Compact Series speakers are ideal for long-throw applications. Crown DCi Series amplifiers with network monitoring function power the speakers, and the BSS BLU-100 signal processor offers flexible system configuration and management. The Soundcraft Si Impact digital mixing console controls the system and supports easy-to-use external wireless control for the complex’s staff.

In addition to the under balcony, the Mahajak installation team also installed JBL Control 29AV-1 speakers, powered by a Crown CDi series amplifier and configured using a dbx VENU360 signal processor, in the corridor outside of the stadium for clear and high-quality background audio.

Nakhon Ratchasima Sports Complex reported that the new audio systems meet organizers’ crucial standards of reliability, durability and flexibility. A coherent and powerful speaker system was especially essential given the stadium’s structural challenges, but HARMAN’s cutting-edge, easy-to-use audio systems delivered beyond their expectations.

“A unique, historical venue like Nakhon Ratchasima Sports Complex requires powerful audio systems to enliven the fan experience and create an exciting atmosphere during sports events, competitions and concerts,” said Amar Subash, Director, Channel Management and Audio Solutions, HARMAN Professional Solutions, APAC. “We would like to thank our partner Mahajak Development for delivering yet another successful project and resolving the challenges with innovation and proficiency.”


NF Delivers Emotional and Electrifying US Tour With Versatile Martin Professional Solutions

NF Delivers Emotional and Electrifying US Tour With Versatile Martin Professional Solutions

December 15, 2021

NASHVILLE—Rapper and songwriter Nate Feuerstein, more commonly known as NF, embarked on a massive amphitheater tour this past fall that showcased cutting-edge Martin Professional VDO Sceptron and MAC Quantum Wash fixtures with P3 system control, provided by Solotech.

Boasting several songs with hundreds of millions of streams––including the single “Let You Down,” which recently crossed one billion streams––NF is a multi-platinum-selling artist who has gained a dedicated following for tackling themes like vulnerability, faith and mental health in his music. This latest tour featured just Feuerstein and drummer Rico Nichols onstage, leaving plenty of room for Feuerstein to move around and display his electric showmanship. The tour’s lighting crew aimed to create a rig that enhanced and heightened Feuerstein’s energy for arena-sized venues while also maintaining an aesthetic use of shadows and darkness. To achieve this balance, Creative Director Chris Denholm and Lighting Designer Clay Joiner selected the highly versatile Martin VDO Sceptron LED video battens and the colorfully immersive MAC Quantum Wash lights.

“We tried to figure out how we could carry a show with just one guy on stage and how to put together a rig that would lend to Nate’s performing,” said Chris Denholm, Creative Director, Music Director, Production Design, NF. “Nate's very physical onstage; he runs around and ping pongs from place to place, so framing him properly has always been an important thing to do. Also, he’s a no-front-light artist; it's all silhouette and sidelight with him. So we really needed a powerful fixture for the sidelight.”

“We wanted something very symmetrical to reflect the style of his music,” added Clay Joiner, Lighting Designer, Creative Director, Production Design, NF. “He raps a lot about mental health and his journey through OCD, and so with that in mind, we wanted to create this space that wrapped around him and that looked bigger than it was by smashing everything together into a small zone and putting everything in boxes. When we were thinking about how we can do that framing, we immediately knew that the Sceptrons were a great choice for that.”

With 16-bit per color image processing technology, extensive pixel mapping and programming abilities, the Sceptron fixtures are a useful tool for anything from eye-catching video effects, colorful beams and more. Denholm, Joiner and the lighting crew used the Sceptrons to create a series of boxes above and alongside the stage with each box housing a group of wash and fixture lights, resulting in a heightened sense of scale. The Sceptrons’ next-generation mapping and programming abilities provided the lighting crew with enough versatility to follow the setlist’s emotional cues, whether through intense washes and strobes during high-energy moments or near-blackout shades for the more contemplative points. This versatility is why the NF lighting crew also used the Sceptrons on previous tours to form unique and memorable visual designs, ranging from a jail cell to a giant hand.

“I know it sounds funny but having a lateral texture as well as vertical texture like the square Sceptron boxes has so much more of a feel to it,” said Joiner. “When you're running content behind them like lights and video, you get so much more impact than if you're just running straight lines and there's no connection point. The whole rig feels so much more alive with those boxes, and there are a lot of moments that I love personally when the Sceptrons steal the show.”

Meanwhile, The MAC Quantum Washes offer Colorganics RGBW LED color mixing for saturated shades across the color spectrum and a 1:5 zoom for both tight beams and wide-spanning washes. The lighting crew placed the Quantum Washes side stage and used them in lieu of a front light in order to keep Feuerstein silhouetted while also providing enough power and coverage to make him visible even from the furthest seats in a given venue. Martin’s P3 visual control software also allowed the crew to control the Quantum Washes with ease thanks to its user-friendly interface and optimal processing power.

“Nate’s kind of a mythical figure––if you see images from the show, you rarely see his face,” said Denholm. “But at the same time, you have an amphitheater, or in some cases arenas, and you’ve got those fans that are sitting far back on the lawn. That's the 7,000th or 8,000th ticket purchased. They need to be able to see Nate even without front lighting, and so the Quantum Washes were the perfect way to make that happen.”


Barrington Stage’s A Crossing: A Dance Musical Illuminates The Journey of Refugees With Martin Professional Solutions

Barrington Stage’s A Crossing: A Dance Musical Illuminates The Journey of Refugees With Martin Professional Solutions

December 13, 2021

PITTSFIELD, Mass.—To provide Barrington Stage Company’s (BSC) production of A Crossing: A Dance Musical with versatile lighting that elevated the show’s lively music and energetic choreography, Lighting Designer Jason Lyons selected a range of Martin Professional lighting solutions, provided in part by Christie Lites.

Founded in 1995, BSC is a non-profit theater company that is dedicated to developing original and compelling works by diverse voices, such as the Tony Award-winning The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee among many other productions. A Crossing: A Dance Musical, created in association with Calpulli Mexican Dance Company follows a group of migrants on their journey across the U.S.-Mexican border, whose stories unfold through visceral choreography and electrifying musical performances by its talented cast. As the play covers raw and relevant topics like immigration, sanctuary, fear and hope using little to no spoken dialogue, the production required a versatile lighting system that reinforced the many emotional shifts throughout the show while accommodating the production’s unique set design and limited space. To meet these requirements, Lighting Designer Jason Lyons assembled an impactful and efficient lighting rig with Martin ERA Series, MAC Series and VDO Series fixtures. Christie Lites provided many of the Martin fixtures for the installation.

“The production has a very organic set and a lot of video projection, so I needed to create a lighting language that was able to create these really dynamic moments with the characters throughout the play while still giving me the control to let the video take precedence when it needed to,” said Lyons. “The set has these multi-contoured curved walls, platforms along the upstage area and three giant pieces downstage that change into different configurations depending on the scene. The show is also basically nonstop songs and cues, and as you develop an original story from scratch, it could be that one day there's a whole new scene or song you need to figure out. So I knew I needed a plot that had ultimate flexibility and could adjust to changes quickly.”

With 34,000 lumen output and a 160 mm front lens, the ERA 800 Performance packs powerful brightness and visual impact into a compact design, making it the ideal choice for smaller productions in need of high-quality visuals. For A Crossing, Lyons noted that just four ERA 800 lights provided the coverage and dynamic flexibility that he required to execute the visuals needed for the show while also accommodating the theater’s limited hang space. Additionally, the fixture’s six-slot color wheel selection, vibrant CMY color mixing and wide selection of gobos, frosts, prisms and more allowed Lyons to deploy diverse effects and vivid colors without the need for custom-made templates.

A Crossing is a developmental show, so we didn't have a lot of money for anything custom,” explained Lyons. “But what was included with the ERA was really amazing and helpful. There were times where I played the ERAs at super low intensity but still had this really gorgeous color in a perfectly laid-out template, and I was able to kind of cut things perfectly around the contours of the organic scenery. It was brilliant; I couldn't have been more excited about getting a chance to use these fixtures.”

Along with the ERA 800, the production utilized the multi-source Martin MAC Aura PXL lights for saturated washes and granular programming at the individual pixel level. Along with providing solid and vibrant blends that set the tone of each scene or dance, the PXL also offered a fast and accurate 1:8 zoom that allowed Lyons to also use the lights for tight, zoomed-in beams in certain key scenes. Lyons also equipped the side stage areas with Martin MAC Encore Performance CLD moving-head fixture featuring 6000K pure white color temperature and the patented Animotion FX system for additional effects and beams in key dance and music sequences.

Finally, the Martin VDO Atomic Bold fixtures allowed Lyons to create diverse effects and immersive visuals with highly accurate pixel mapping and built-in backlight and beam effects. With a 72-LED RGB Aura backlight and a 13,000-lumen boost and strobe, the Atomic Bold is a versatile yet compact fixture that can instantly jump between strobe effects and solid washes in order to best suit the needs of each scene throughout the show. Lyons praised the Atomic Bolds and the rest of the Martin solutions for providing the versatility and reliability he needed to bring stunning visuals to the Barrington stage.

“It's always great to work with Martin,” said Lyons. “Brad Schiller is a great representative at Martin but also a great friend. We've worked together so many times over the years, and he and I often talk about new gear, how I can integrate into my designs and what we can do for each other. Demoing Martin’s stuff and talking to them about it is always a pleasure because I always know that at the end of the day, the product is going to be great and we're going to be taken care of.”


The Queen’s Gambit Post-Production Team Relies on JBL Professional 7 Series Monitors to Achieve Consistent Sound

The Queen’s Gambit Post-Production Team Relies on JBL Professional 7 Series Monitors to Achieve Consistent Sound

December 09, 2021

TOPANGA, Calif.—To ensure consistent sound throughout the post-production stage of The Queen’s Gambit, Sound Designer Wylie Stateman of 247SND provided key members of the editorial and sound teams with JBL Professional 7 Series monitors.

The Queen’s Gambit is a 2020 Netflix limited series about a troubled chess prodigy who makes a meteoric rise in the world of professional chess during the 1950s and ‘60s. The series became an instant success, with a record 62 million households watching within the first four weeks of its release. However, with post-production complicated by COVID-19 restrictions, some of the team had to work from remote locations instead of collaborating in person. In order to provide the team with a common sonic reference point, Sound Designer Wylie Stateman provided Director Scott Frank, Picture Editor Michelle Tesoro, Composer Carlos Raphael Riviera, Music Editor Tom Kramer, and Re-Recording Mixers Eric Hoehn and Eric Hirsch with JBL 708p and 705p monitors. Stateman and the rest of his team worked out of 247SND’s editing and mixing suites, which were already equipped with 7 Series monitors, AC28/95 cinema surround speakers and Crown DCi Series amplifiers. The decision to supply everyone with the same monitors was part of an initiative called ‘Cutting Room 2.0,’ Stateman’s approach to streamlining the post-production process.

“In 2016, we committed to a project that we codenamed ‘Cutting Room 2.0,’ with the goal of facilitating a more streamlined approval process by bringing the sound and film editing processes more closely into alignment,” explained Stateman. “The mission was to perform sound editing and film editing together, working in parallel so that the picture editor, director and producers could hear the real soundtrack at each step of the way, rather than settling for a proxy of the mix during editing. One of the challenges we faced was to find a monitoring system that was up to the task. In terms of what we needed to create our 5.1 and 7.1 playback systems, the 708 just rang the bell. It covered all the bases—it sounds great, it’s very dynamic and it’s easily tunable. The compression horn and the overall design of the 7 Series was perfect for us.”

The JBL 7 Series includes the self-powered 708P and 705P master reference monitors as well as the passive 708i and 705i. All models feature JBL Differential Drive low-frequency drivers and 2409H high-frequency compression drivers for extended dynamic range, ultra-smooth frequency response beyond 36 kHz and extremely low distortion at high sound pressure levels. JBL’s proprietary Image Control Waveguide provides a wide sweet spot with consistent, detailed sound on- and off-axis. Mounting points on the top, bottom and rear make 7 Series monitors ideal for installed applications such as Dolby Atmos mixing setups that require overhead speakers. Additionally, the 708P and 705P feature built-in digital signal processing (DSP) including EQ and delay for easy room calibration, plus an RJ-45 port for HARMAN HiQnet connectivity.

“JBL had the wisdom to build the 7 Series around compression drivers for the high frequencies, which are much more predictable than dome tweeters when it comes to approximating the environment that the mix will ultimately be judged in, which is more like a theater,” said Stateman. “The design of it is really reassuring in terms of translating to the larger auditorium sizes. I'm confident in what we're producing, so whether you're watching and listening on a smartphone or in the 15,000-seat main room at ComicCon, it’s going to sound right.”

The 5.1 and 7.1 editing suites at 247SND feature JBL 708P monitors for the left, center and right channels, with 705i models powered by Crown DCi 8|300 amplifiers for the surround channels. The remote members of the team received a similar package consisting of all powered speakers for easier setup. Additionally, the main mixing and editing space at 247SND, where the final mix was created, features 28 JBL AC28/95 dual 8-inch loudspeakers in the surround positions.

“Post-production sound is a team sport, and it revolves around the approval process,” explained Stateman. “Being able to have a common monitoring experience is very important in terms of sound. That common experience allows us to benchmark sound pressure levels and frequencies that are appropriate to the story we're trying to tell. Speakers play a very significant role in developing a common experience for listening to sound pressure and frequency response.”

The Queen’s Gambit aired on October 23, 2020 and quickly became one of the most-watched shows of the year. Critics and audiences praised the sound design and music, and the series won numerous accolades including 11 Primetime Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards and three MPSE Golden Reel Awards for its sound effects, dialogue and music. The series’ positive reception is due in part to Stateman’s commitment to giving his team the most high-quality, consistent monitoring experience possible—something he’s been doing for years and aims to continue.

“Over the years, I’ve set up several dozen sound editing bays, purchasing more than 50 of the 708s and 705s,” said Stateman. “They're reliable, interchangeable and easy to swap out quickly. It's a very consistent, well-manufactured product. I think the 7 Series is a milestone creative asset in terms of post production sound and truly a crowning design and manufacturing achievement for JBL.”


Srisawad Power 1979 Create Meeting Spaces With  HARMAN Professional Audio-Visual Solutions

Srisawad Power 1979 Create Meeting Spaces With HARMAN Professional Audio-Visual Solutions

December 09, 2021

BANGKOK, Thailand—To create an efficient meeting space that supports collaboration and efficiency for guests, financial services provider Srisawad Power 1979 Co., Ltd. teamed up with Mahajak Development Co., Ltd. to equip its facility with a state-of-the-art HARMAN Professional Solutions AV system.

Originally founded in 2008 by the Kaewbootta family as an automobile title loan business in Petchaboon province, Srisawad Power 1979 Co., Ltd. has since opened branches in other provinces to expand their service coverage. The company offers financial services to those who need aid but have limited access to services offered by banks and financial institutions. Today, the company offers auto-backed loans and home-backed loans through its 1,627 branches. To provide a suitable environment for meetings and collaborations at the company’s main headquarters in Bangkok, Mahajak Development Co., Ltd. installed a comprehensive networked audio-visual system featuring JBL Professional, Crown, Soundcraft, AMX and BSS solutions.

“The six-story building with office zones, public areas, meeting rooms and an underground parking lot was constructed for the company’s head office,” said Supachai Sakulchoo, Project Sales Engineer, Mahajak Development Co., Ltd. “The client wanted an audio system to be installed on the ground floor to support background music, as well as an audio-visual and control system in the seminar space and boardroom. For the boardroom, we choose wall-mounted and ceiling speakers to deliver background music and support public announcements during events. In the seminar room, we installed left and right loudspeakers on the stage and a subwoofer on the ceiling. To conclude the setup, we wall-mounted the control equipment in a separate room. We were honored to work on this project along with Atkrist and other parties.”

To create modern and cutting-edge meeting spaces for Srisawad Power’s clients and staff at their headquarters’ multipurpose hall on the ground floor, the Mahajak team installed JBL Control 25-1 background speakers and 16C/T ceiling speakers for wide coverage and consistent sound dispersion. A Crown CDi 4|300 amplifier provides efficient and reliable power for the speakers, and the Soundcraft Signature 16 audio mixer with BSS BLU-3 and BLU-50 controllers offers intuitive and responsive audio control for the company’s staff.

In the seminar room on the third floor, JBL CBT 70J-1 and CBT 70JE line array column speakers, Control 19CS ceiling speakers and LSR305 two-way powered studio monitors offer wide coverage, intelligible output and consistent dynamics throughout the entire space. A Crown XLi 1500 amplifier and Soundcraft Signature 22 audio mixer provide the system with a user-friendly and streamlined backend. To provide staff with simple control over the AV system, the Mahajak team installed an AMX NX-2200 integrated controller, AMX MST-431 wall-mounted touch panels, and an AMX PS-POE-AF-TC PoE injector, as well as a dbx 1260m digital zone processor and dbx ZC-FIRE Fire Safety Interface.

Finally, the sixth-floor board room features JBL Control 25-1 background speakers powered by a Crown XLi 800 amplifier. Additionally, an AMX MCP108 AV control system provides staff with easy controls for facilitating presentations, videos and more.

A spokesperson for Srisawad Power 1979 reported that Mahajak met their request to acquire a powerful and flexible AV system for the company headquarters in order to support events of any scale, create a sophisticated brand image and ensure an impeccable guest experience.

“For an expansive venue like the Srisawad office building, a self-sufficient and future-proof AV network solution is crucial to support a wide range of meetings, seminars, and events,” said Amar Subash, Director, Channel Management and Audio Solutions, HARMAN Professional Solutions, APAC. “We would like to thank our partner Mahajak Development for their expertise in creating a collaborative space and heightening the AV experience for guests.”


Hadestown Embarks On National Tour With Versatile and Powerful Martin Professional Lighting Solutions

Hadestown Embarks On National Tour With Versatile and Powerful Martin Professional Lighting Solutions

December 07, 2021

NEW YORK—To bring the Tony Award-winning musical Hadestown to life on stages across the US for its national tour, lighting designer Bradley King implemented a cutting-edge and versatile lighting rig featuring Martin Professional LED fixtures, provided by Christie Lites.

Written by singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and directed by Rachel Chavkin, Hadestown is an American blues and folk-infused version of the Ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Mitchell first premiered Hadestown in 2006 with a DIY theater group in Vermont and recorded a concept album based on the show in 2010 before the final version debuted on Broadway in 2019 at the Walter Kerr Theatre. Met with critical praise and box office success, Hadestown received fourteen nominations and eight wins at the 73rd Annual Tony Awards in 2019––the most nominations and wins for a single production that year.

This year, Hadestown embarks on a national theater tour that debuted at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Lighting designer Bradley King, who won a Tony for his work on the Broadway production of Hadestown, wanted a rig that translated the Walter Kerr’s natural and intimate lighting to venues of all sizes while accommodating the limited gear capacity and setup times inherent to touring Broadway productions. To meet these requirements, King implemented versatile and powerful Martin solutions including the MAC Ultra Performance, ERA 800 Performance, and MAC Encore Performance and Wash fixtures.

“On a very practical level, the task at hand was to figure out how to take a show that barely fits in the Walter Kerr and then squeeze it into six or seven trucks and be able to set it up and take it down in 14 hours,” said King. “The Broadway production is nearly all Martin MAC Encore Performance CLD fixtures and MAC Viper DX washes. We knew we wanted to try and stay away from lamps on the road, just because introducing lamp changes can be a pain and LEDs are at a point now where we don't really need lamps, so we were definitely looking for an all-LED rig. We were interested in a fixture that could double as a profile and a wash, and the Ultra is as close to that as any other fixture I've seen.”

Built to illuminate everything from stage shows to stadium concerts, the Martin MAC Ultra Performance features a next-generation 46,500-lumen LED light engine with over 50,000 hours of life, providing reliable output and stunning visuals even after years of use. The abundant headroom ensured that King and the lighting team could successfully create the dark, moody world of Hadestown in venues of all sizes while still keeping the stage visible for audiences in any section. Additionally, the Ultra Performance’s dual frost effects and innovative Extended Framing System gave the touring rig the versatility needed to emulate the original production’s soft and natural lighting aesthetics.

With the Ultra Performance filling out most of the rig, the Martin ERA 800 Performance provided additional output and effects downstage. Featuring an 800-watt white LED engine and fast 1:8 zoom in a compact, tour-ready package, the ERA 800 delivers full beams and washes from a range of distances, making it ideal for touring productions where every venue is different. King noted how, like the Ultra Performances, the ERA 800 also sported a strong set of frost effects that he implemented heavily throughout the show. 

“I've never used a huge amount of the features in any moving light, just because I use patterns pretty judiciously, but I was super impressed with the Ultra Performance’s dual frosts,” added King. “With the Ultra, you’re able to put a heavy frost in and actually have that edge of the beam start to disappear and get that nice, lovely blob. That was a very important thing to me, and I've never seen another fixture pull it off before, so that was exciting. The 800s also have great light and heavy frosts so that I can fuzz or gobo or get rid of that circle. Seeing that on the 800, and then seeing an even better version on the Ultra was really exciting.”

Finally, King equipped the touring rig with Martin MAC Encore Performance CLD and Wash fixtures, which he used heavily on the Tony-winning Walter Kerr Theatre rig. As with the original production, the Encore lights provided crisp, neutral white illumination as well as subtle shades of color, which complemented the music and performances’ raw and vulnerable style. The Encore series also sports near-silent cooling and effects operation, making them useful and reliable elements to any kind of live production.

As Hadestown hits the road, King is confident that the tour’s lighting rig will bring the natural yet dramatic ambiance felt in the Walter Kerr to venues of any size or layout. He also thanked Martin for their continued support and communication on Hadestown and future projects.

“It’s always a pleasure to work with Martin,” said King. “Brad Schiller from Martin came out and visited us during rehearsals to help us sort out a couple of things. I adore Martin fixtures; I think that they are built with a lot of love and quality, and that's why I keep using them.”


Third Man Records Powers World-Class Performances with HARMAN Professional Solutions in New London Location

Third Man Records Powers World-Class Performances with HARMAN Professional Solutions in New London Location

December 03, 2021

LONDON – December 03, 2021 – HARMAN Professional Solutions, the global leader in audio, video, lighting and control systems, including networked AV, today announced that Third Man Records, one of the top independent record labels in the US, selected JBL Professional, Martin, BSS, and Soundcraft solutions for their new store and venue in London.

Located in London’s Soho district, the new Third Man Records store is the label’s third location and its first international storefront. Downstairs from the main store area, The Blue Basement is a live music venue designed for intimate and exciting shows featuring local and international artists. Label founder and musician Jack White is a well-known audiophile and personally designed the store’s audio systems to meet his high standards. White selected equipment from HARMAN Professional Solutions to deliver high-fidelity background music in the store area and impactful live sound for The Blue Basement.

"We’re on a mission for purity, we build spaces where nothing is translated, nothing impersonating something that it’s not,” said White, Co-Founder and Co-Owner, Third Man Records. “Live music venues are like churches, they’re sacred spaces that need to give people what they want, something real. JBL gets that and it’s why they’re obsessed with translating sound in such a pure way."

Fans lined up early on the morning of September 25, 2021, for the London store’s grand opening to purchase exclusive in-store records by Paul Weller of the Jam, David Ruffin, the Jesus & Mary Chain and other beloved British artists. Later in the day, White played a surprise show in The Blue Basement as well as a rooftop set near the storefront. In addition to a large collection of new releases, vintage reissues and rarities, the store also includes oddities like a music-making phone booth, a token-operated vinyl recording station, and a book vending machine.

The upstairs store area features a background music system of JBL AC16 compact loudspeakers and ASB6112 subwoofers, which brings Third Man’s eclectic music roster to life with crystal-clear sound. Crown DCi 8|600DA amplifiers with Dante Networked Audio and DriveCore technology bring exceptional power to the speaker system, and BSS Soundweb Contrio controllers provide staff with intuitive, easy-to-use controls.

Downstairs in The Blue Basement, the stage area features JBL AM7215/95 high-power loudspeakers, which provide audiences with powerful yet detailed sound. AC18 and AC16 loudspeakers are mounted in delayed positions around the venue to ensure vocals sound clear and intelligible for each member of the audience. For bigger, high-capacity shows, like White’s inaugural set, the room also has optional JBL ASB6115 subwoofers for extra low end and impact. The Soundcraft Vi1000 digital mixing console provides intuitive controls for live sound, and both the upstairs and downstairs audio systems implement BSS signal processors for optimal sound distribution.

“It was great to see how important the quality of the sound was to the team from Third Man and how much they valued the audio equipment that we put into the project,” said Ed Jackson, Manager, Applications Team, EMEA, HARMAN Professional Solutions. “They’ve got a really interesting shop and it deserves a great sound system. The engineer who worked on Jack’s opening show said, ‘It’s the best sounding small venue in London,’ and I agree with him––the way the equipment and the room have come together sounds amazing. It combines the sound quality of a recording studio with the energy of a live stage. Everyone I’ve shown it to has been blown away.”

Founded in 2001, the Third Man brand now includes music mastering, book publishing, photography, audio hardware and upholstery branches alongside the record label. The first Third Man location opened in Nashville in 2009 as a record store, live music venue and label headquarters, followed by a Detroit branch in 2015 and a vinyl pressing plant at that location two years later. These locations also feature world-class sound systems with industry-leading HARMAN Professional solutions, personally selected by White. 


AMX Partners with Panopto to Streamline Video Recording and Sharing with New Software Integration for Modero Touch Panels

AMX Partners with Panopto to Streamline Video Recording and Sharing with New Software Integration for Modero Touch Panels

November 18, 2021

NORTHRIDGE, Calif.—HARMAN Professional Solutions, the global leader in audio, video, lighting and control systems, today announced a partnership to integrate Panopto’s video management platform with AMX control systems and Modero touch panels. Panopto is the leading video management system, known for making it easy to securely record, manage and share videos. The new software integration gives AMX users the freedom to interact with Panopto using AMX control solutions and Modero touch panels.

“Integrating AMX control systems and Panopto’s easy-to-use video recording and management capabilities opens up a world of possibilities for higher education and corporate applications, all without complicating anything for the end user,” said Jamie Trader, Vice President, Video & Control, HARMAN Professional Solutions. “Achieving this kind of control used to require juggling multiple software and hardware systems, but this new functionality puts the power and security of Panopto at our users’ fingertips while letting them focus on what’s really important.”

Used abundantly in universities and large enterprises, Panopto allows users to securely capture video, presentations, meetings and screenshares, as well as webcasts. Users can monitor viewer behavior for engagement, share content securely and quickly search videos for specific moments using its Smart Chapters feature. The AMX-Panopto integration, developed in close consultation with the University of Freiburg, Germany, provides AMX and Modero users with several benefits:

  • One-touch recording of lectures, presentations and more
  • Ability to pause, stop, delete or extend active recordings
  • Easily view and manage scheduled recordings

“Teachers, presenters and facilitators need simple workflows to record, manage and share video content,” said Mike Rich, vice president of strategic alliances at Panopto.  “AMX’s offerings make it easier to put the power of Panopto at people’s fingertips.”