I Cannot Hear it?


It is that time of the year when most venues are having the annual end of year concerts. Lots of dance schools are coming in and putting on shows, showcasing the years’ work for the people that are paying the bills, the parents. At least gone are the days of cassette tapes badly cued and stretched, with more noise than a Mack truck. We went to the CD, with lots of disc swapping and badly burnt discs. We have now laptops and iPads connected to the PA with soundtracks at the ready.  Another problem seems to have reared its ugly head, the constant can you turn it or down. It seems that the people putting together the show are not thinking about the overall level and trying to get the tracks to have a similar level. Therefore, the venue tech spends his time adjust the desk level, so the audience does not leave with bleeding ears. When people burnt CD’s the software they used would normalise the various tracks so there was not a large discrepancy in the levels of each track.  These days the play straight out of their playlist, sometimes with two or more devices. This has happened to me recently; a client decides to swap from one device to another during a show. So, as you can imagine the levels were different plus the noise from unplugging and plugging in.  It seems the concept of putting a show soundtrack together in one place had escaped them. Each device plays back at a different level. Also, maybe when you are assembling the soundtrack invest in some decent speakers or headphones so that you can hear if the recording is bad. Often clients listen on a pair of crappy computer speakers and decide to add a b it more bottom end as it sounds nasty on their speakers. Then when the track gets played over the venues expensive PA it sounds even worse all bottom and distortion. Which we cannot do much with. This also reflects badly on the venue as

So what can we do? maybe we all need to remind clients that to make the job easier for all involved, we would like the soundtrack normalised so the single tech is not jumping from lighting console to audio console to sort out the level problem. We would all be much happier. Maybe when the venue sends out the contract and tech. requirements that needs to be filled in, we could include some information that might help them put together a better show.

Now most playback software programs should have a way of normalising the sound level. I know with iTunes and Windows Media Player you can normalise tracks for when you burn a CD.  So maybe encourage them to go back to CD’s. Or recommend some suitable software to use. Q-Lab for Macs and Multiplay for Windows spring to mind. With these pieces of software, you can adjust levels.

Since bad sound reflects on the venue and the staff we need to give the clients some simple guidelines and help them to achieve a great product. We could value add to the booking by offering a session on how to get great sound or do the soundtrack for the client. Therefore selling another service. It is not an us and them situation, we are all involved in creating a great product. It might cost a bit of time and money for the venue but it likely to result in a happy client, appreciative audience and therefore a repeat customer.

The next step for Ramblings of a Techie

I am an Adelaide Lighting Designer and Theatre Technician. I have been in the industry for 40 or more years. I have worked and designed shows in Adelaide, Sydney, Edinburgh and London.
I also write a blog about the industry, with reviews, thoughts, safety and handy tech tips.I now want to take it to the next stage. Add more content such as video, be able to hire new gear and review it, develop training programs.At the moment the cost all comes out of my pocket. I want to concentrate on developing a site that gives those in the entertainment industry a place to come and find out the latest or learn some new equipment or techniques. I want students to feel that this a useful resource of information. I also intend to develop some workshops to complement the online site. The money will go to developing and hosting the site. It will allow me to attend trade shows and product launches and get the information to you. I will be able to occasionally employ someone to help on the back end and story writing.
I am passionate about the industry, I love creating a great looking show. I also like passing on what I know to others.
I know there are other sites that do similar, but I feel there is room for more information from a slightly different view point.

So if you could commit an amount of money, no matter how little to the cause it will be gratefully accepted. You will get a mention as a true believer in this industry. You will make a difference to blog and the information that people will be accessing.

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Jands becomes exclusive Australian distributors for Global Design Solutions

We are excited to announce that that Jands has been appointed exclusive distributors for Global Design Solutions (GDS) in Australia.

GDS was founded by Matt Lloyd and Richard Cuthbert in June 2004 after identifying the need for a specialist manufacturer to solve challenging problems within the entertainment industry. GDS manufacture of a number of award winning products including the ArcSystem, BlueSystem and modular stage managers consoles.

The GDS ArcSystem is an award-winning range of modular, highly efficient LED lighting designed for use in auditorium and arena spaces. It provides peerless light quality in an environmentally and economically sustainable way.

The award winning BlueSystem has become industry standard worldwide for providing reliable dimmable working light for backstage areas.

GDS also design and manufacture a range of bespoke stage managers consoles which allow the Stage Manager to coordinate all aspects of a production.

“GDS lighting products complement our extensive lighting offering perfectly,” said Tim Kennard, Lighting Sales Manager at Jands. “This distribution partnership allows us to offer a more comprehensive lighting solution that suits the most demanding applications. We look forward to working with GDS.”

GDS’ commitment to solving technical problems with innovative ideas combined with the extensive experience and depth of knowledge Jands has ensures that this will be a powerful partnership.

Further enquiries on GDS products please contact Jands on 02 9582 0909.

About GDS
GDS was founded by Matt Lloyd and Richard Cuthbert in June 2004 after identifying the need for a specialist manufacturer to solve challenging problems within the entertainment industry. With Matt’s experienced commercial background and drive, and Richard’s extensive technical knowledge and enthusiasm, a strong balanced bond formed that always has the customer needs at heart, designing the best solution possible.

True to its roots, from its humble beginnings in a loft space with small workshop, It has grown to become synonymous within the entertainment industry as a top solution provider for major hard to solve issues, such as ergonomic SM desks, Perfectly dimmed Auditorium LED lighting and networked programmable cue lights.

With everything manufactured on the dedicated Bristol UK site, the now substantial team at GDS hold the same values as Matt and Richard, meeting the customer requirements by designing the best solution possible.

Integrate 2016

intergrate logo

It is that time of the year for Integrate 2016. This is a major trade show taking place in Sydney. It brings together customers with suppliers over 3 days. There is also a whole range of seminars, covering a wide range of topics. These will be presented by well known figures in the industry. There will be a showcase of the latest and great in equipment from such iconic suppliers as: Amber Technology, Barco,  Clifton Productions, Event Lighting, JANDS, LG, Panasonic, PAVT, Samsung, Sennheiser, TAG – to just name a few.

Seminars are presented by an amazing group of professionals on a variety of topics from digital signage to lighting design. They are numerous to mention but they do seem worth while to attend.

So if you are in Sydney next week I suggest you make your way to the Sydney showgrounds for 3 days of equipment and seminars. Your time will not be wasted.


23-25 AUGUST 2016

WEBSITE: Integrate

Elation’s ZCL Series™ of ACL-type Effects with Zoom Now Available

Elation Professional’s new ZCL Series™ of high-output ACL-type LED effect lights with zoom is now available. First shown at the Prolight + Sound trade show in April, ZCL Series fixtures combine a high-power RGBW multi-chip with a 4° to 44° zoom that gives dynamic effect lighting an added degree of flexibility. The high performance Zooming Collimator Lens system produces a homogenized 4° color-changing beam from each lens. Strobe effects and full-range electronic dimming with dimming curve effects add to the design possibilities.

Perfect for high-performance effect lighting for stages and night venues, the ZCL Series consists of the ZCL 360 Bar™, a versatile continuous rotation moving bar effect luminaire with zoom; the ZCL 360i™, a single-beam continuous rotation moving effect luminaire with zoom; and the ZCL BAR Z300 IP™, a versatile IP65-rated bar effect luminaire with zoom.

ZCL 360 Bar™
The new ZCL 360 Bar™ is a versatile moving bar effect luminaire with zoom featuring five individual 60W RGBW LEDs and the new advanced collimator optic lens. It features fast and precise 16-bit continuous 360° pan and tilt rotation and houses DMX and power in/out connections along with a 7-button control full color 180° reversible menu display.ZCL 360 Bar

ZCL 360i™
The new ZCL 360i™ is a single beam moving effect luminaire with zoom featuring a single 90W RGBW LED and the new advanced collimator optic lens. It features fast and precise 16-bit continuous 360° pan and tilt rotation and houses DMX and power in/out connections along with a 7-button control full color 180° reversible menu display.

ZCL 360i

ZCL Bar Z300 IP™
The new ZCL Bar Z300 IP™ is a versatile IP65-rated bar moving effect luminaire with zoom featuring five individual 60W RGBW LEDs and the new advanced collimator optic lens. It houses IP-rated DMX and power in/out connections along with an LCD menu display with four touch button control panel. A frost filter and glare shield is included when the moment calls for an even softer wash effect and the fixture comes with an adjustable yoke / floor stand.ZCL BAR Z300 IP


Common Features
All fixtures in the ZCL Series can be controlled via multiple DMX channel modes and are RDM protocol ready (Remote Device Management). Multiple unit power linking makes for quick installation and customizable setups. All ZCL Series units operate flicker free for use in TV and other broadcast applications and an auto-sensing power supply covers worldwide voltages and frequencies. The ZCL Series offers all the benefits of LED like greater reliability, less maintenance and increased energy efficiency and is an excellent example of Elation’s continued commitment to providing the best performance / best ROI solutions.

Elation Professional US

6122 S. Eastern Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90040


Tel: (866) 245-6726 (toll free)

Tel: (323) 582-3322




Elation Professional EU

Junostraat 2.

6468 EW Kerkrade

The Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)45 546 85 66




New Zealand’s Oceania Productions have purchased twenty Martin Professional MAC Quantum Profiles with Lighting Manager Simon Garrett commenting that he immediately recognised them as a good, solid workhorse.

“That’s really what we need over here in New Zealand,” said Simon. “I had also been looking for a fixture for theatre shows, something in that medium price, medium weight and medium size area. The MAC Quantums certainly fill that ‘middle’ niche for us.”

Simon is delighted with the size and weight of his MAC Quantums saying he can hold one with one hand and that they are great in terms of truck space.

“They just tick a lot of boxes,” he added. “And having a Martin name on the side of them doesn’t hurt!”

The MAC Quantum Profile combines top-quality white light with a fast, smooth CMY colour mixing system and crisp gobo projection on surfaces as well as mid-air.

With all this and the new Animotion™ FX system that allows never-before seen beam animations, the market is now finally seeing the first real 700/800 W discharge lamp replacement in a profile fixture that effectively harnesses cutting-edge LED technology.

Show tech Oceania

Oceania’s MAC Quantums were immediately put to work on Brickman, the biggest exhibition of lego works in the southern hemisphere.

Originally the creators of the show specified arc lamps, such as a MAC Viper, but Simon thought an LED option would be better suited to a twelve hours a day, nine week show.

“The show has eighteen of the MAC Quantum Profiles, 104 LED PARs and 157 tungsten fixtures,” explained Simon. “Basically we’ve set it up with a couple of faders and at the end of the day they just take the fader down. We leave everything going as we find with a set up like this if you just lamp off and leave everything running you get very few faults. When you turn the rig completely off and then completely on again, that’s when you’re more likely to get faults. When it’s up to temperature the fans are running nice and everything is up to equilibrium with nothing working too hard.”

Simon further remarked how much life Show Technology has injected into the Martin brand in New Zealand.

“If this had happened six months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to get the product in time,” he said. “I knew I wanted the product and was planning to get some later in the year but then this show came along and I was able to proceed straightaway. Because Show Technology are so well organised, I was able to get the product within four days.”