As the sun sets over the Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook in Quebec and the day draws to a close, the forest awakes. Tiny yellow lights dance through the air like fireflies, accompanied by a mystical natural orchestra. As if by magic, the Canadian forest is flooded with an eerie light, dangerous beasts seem to appear, and a fire breaks out. All just an illusion! And a stunning one at that. Foresta Lumina – for that is the name of this extraordinary installation – is a walk in the woods that brings stories to life a whole summer long.
“Auf uns” by Andreas Bourani is the soundtrack to the summer in Germany, the background music to the World Cup in Brazil, the German national team’s theme tune. It embodies good times, having fun, and a feeling of being unstoppable. But how was it made in the first place? How do sound engineers, songwriters and producers work together? What equipment do they use, which production techniques - and why? The answers to these and other fascinating questions, as well as revealing insights into the working methods of stars like Bourani, Sido, Camouflage, and many others, can be found right now, thanks to a collaboration between software firm Avid and the website for the German music community, recording.de.
Every spring, Prolight + Sound opens its gates to visitors from the light, sound, and events communities. The aim is always the same: to facilitate making new contacts, present and sell products, and interact with target groups. According to the Trade Fair Frankfurt’s latest Dexperty survey “Communicating Trade Fairs”, more than 80 percent of businesses regard online communications and online media as important for their own marketing activities. However, the reality is that modern marketing tools continue to see little use.
In little more than a month, the world’s biggest light, sound and events trade fair, Prolight + Sound, is hitting Russia. The NAMM Music Fair is running from September 11th to 14th 2014, and from the 11th to 13th it’s running jointly with Prolight + Sound NAMM Russia, making it a top destination for visitors from across the globe. The event has been given a new home this year, Moscow’s Sokolniki Exhibition and Convention Centre. Here’s what visitors can expect.
The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden is one of the most prestigious in the world. Each year, more than 400 performances entertain a total audience of 650,000. With such a high reputation, every last detail has to be perfect, each performance must be 100% - from the individual singers to the set, the stagecraft, the lighting and the acoustics. When it comes to lighting, for the past decade, the Royal Opera House has put its faith in the experts from Martin Professional – experts who also guarantee a great show at Prolight + Sound year in, year out. And for good reason.
Summertime is festival time – especially for singer-songwriter Aki Bosse from Braunschweig. Whether at Hurricane, Southside, or Kosmonaut Festivals – he’s getting fans in the mood with songs like “Schönste Zeit” (Most Beautiful Time), “So oder So” (Either Way), and “Kraniche” (Cranes). Yet these festivals were only the overture for the musician, before departing on his first ‘Open Air’ tour of Germany. And he was accompanied by some first-rate gear by ROBE and High End Systems (HES).
Every year, lighting makes up a big part of Prolight + Sound. Whether it’s beaming out from LEDs, spotlights, lasers, or some other source – light influences our mood and can provoke a specific emotional response. What exactly happens to us, though, and which colour is best for concentration, for relaxation, or for our biorhythm? OSRAM, the lighting manufacturer, has collaborated on numerous studies into these questions – with interesting results.
A sound engineer’s job is simultaneously an exciting and a responsible one. They take care of recording in the studio, testing the room’s acoustics and fine-tuning the tone of the microphones, before they finally produce the perfect sound. Besides which, they get to deal with celebrities, travel, are always meeting interesting new people, and really, you have to envy those sound engineers! But they don’t always have it so easy, as shown by this little gem from the internet. Enjoy!
He worked with artists like Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, Lady Gaga, U2 and Madonna: Mark Fisher, architect and set designer par excellence, passed away in June 2013 at the age of 66. Thanks to his work, he will never be forgotten. At this year’s Prolight + Sound, Fisher was posthumously awarded the Opus Award in the Technical Realisation category for ‘The Wall 2013’ with Pink Floyd, as well as receiving the jury’s [honorary] award.
“It was a great opportunity to honour Mark Fisher’s work and contribution to the community”, said Lucy Davenport of Stufish Entertainment Architects, the architectural and production design studio that Fisher founded. “He was capable of fusing a creative concept with technical finesse without ever compromising the idea and its visual beauty.”
At this year’s Prolight + Sound, a new prize was awarded for the first time: Prolight + Sound International Press Award (PIPA), for outstanding products in the categories of Recording, Pro Audio, and Lights/Video. 120 trade journals and magazines from across the globe took were tasked with deciding which products were to be honoured with the new prize.
In the ‘Best Studio Microphone 2014’ category, Microtech Gefell, a microphone manufacturer based in the state of Thuringia in central Germany, was rewarded with the coveted trophy. It can thank technology that remains peerless to this day.
At this year’s Prolight + Sound, Swiss laser show specialists Laserworld treated visitors to no less than two spectacular laser light displays, and presented their newest products, including the RTI ATTO and RTI FEMTO series laser systems.
The laser manufacturer has now brought a new product line to market: the Pure Diode Series, designed to bridge the gap between entry-level and professional systems. Its flexibility makes it particularly suitable for club operators and mobile DJs.
It’s already been four months since PLS 2014, and the preparations for next year’s event are already being made at full speed. Almost 900 exhibitors will be presenting their light, sound, and event products at Messe Frankfurt, where both the ‘Musikmesse’ music trade fair and Prolight + Sounds have been taking place every year since 1996. More than 42,000 trade visitors came to see the latest in LED trends, audio technology, and even spectacular laser shows. It was also the perfect chance to meet colleagues from the same field, and to attend some of the numerous presentations. Next year, we intend to make Prolight + Sound an even better experience – so we’re bringing SHOWTECH from Berlin here to Frankfurt.
It all began with the ‘talkies’: in 1924, electrical engineer Eugen Beyer founded his own company in Berlin, laying the foundations for one of the world’s leading producers of headphones, microphones and conference systems. Beyerdynamic can now look back on a 90-year history marked by historic successes, including producing audio equipment for stars like ABBA, the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Udo Lindenberg.
It’s not just 3D displays that have been pushing into the mainstream over the last few years – three-dimensional sound is one of the hottest audio trends. Way back at Prolight + Sound 2012, Fraunhofer IDMT introduced its ATMOSPHEA sound system for creating custom room acoustics. A couple of years ago, this ground-breaking new technology was installed for the first time anywhere in the world, in Hamburg Planetarium, to give visitors an unforgettable audio experience. Now there’s going to be another world premiere: Germany’s most successful series of audio dramas, Die drei ??? (The Three Investigators), is about to begin a unique 3D sound adventure there.
Whether in the studio or on stage: The Rolling Stones are one of the biggest rock bands of all time. Songs like “(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction“, “Angie“, “Gimme Shelter“, and “Paint It Black“ elevated them to music Olympus. But they couldn’t have done it without the right equipment. So it’s no surprise that The Rolling Stones have brought out their own line of cables for microphone and guitar in cooperation with Bravado and audio manufacturer Adam Hall (based in the town of Neu-Anspach close to Frankfurt).
Adam Hall is a frontrunner in the audio and events industries. Prolight + Sound 2014 was another opportunity for them to present their latest products, including customised flight cases, the DAVE 18 G3 compact speaker system from LD Systems, and two new Audac power amplifier ranges.
The Musiktheater Linz caused a real buzz at Prolight + Sound 2014 Theatre and Film Colloquium. Why? Its revolving stage, operational for a year now, makes it one of the most modern and technologically best-equipped theatres in the world. For everyone who wasn’t able to make the presentation at Messe Frankfurt, here’s another chance to find out about this technological masterpiece.
The project was carried out by Austrian steel engineering specialists Waagner-Biro. “Our stage technology department has proved beyond doubt that it can deliver the biggest technical challenges to plan,” said Rudolf Estermann.
Bobby McFerrin’s number one hit song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” brought the American singer, musician, and conductor to the world’s attention. A ten-time Grammy winner, he can even imitate instruments with his unmistakeable voice. And he was also a guest at the recent 15th Leipzig International Festival of Vocal Music, appearing with his seven-man a cappella group in the Gewandhaus concert hall. The critically-acclaimed artist received technical backup from Fohhn Focus Modular systems.
SHOWTECH is going to be represented for the first time at next year’s Prolight + Sound 2015. The PLS team has asked Regine Hergersberg, managing director of Germany’s ‘The Filmmakers’ Federal Society of Film Industry Associations (Die Filmschaffenden – Bundesvereinigung der Filmschaffenden-Verbände e.V.) what we can expect at Messe Frankfurt between April 15th and 18th 2015.
Why should the film industry be represented at the Frankfurt Trade Fair?
Regine Hergersberg: Film is a multidisciplinary affair, one not quite like any other form of creative expression. All the areas of expertise that are combined in the production of a film are intertwined and dependent on each other. This is what ‘The Filmmakers’, as the umbrella organisation for the film and TV industry, is presenting at PLS, this connection between technology, creativity, and organisation.