That time of the Year -unsung heroes

Adelaide has become a hive of activity. It is that crazy period where several major events happen. We have the Fringe Festival, Adelaide Festival of Arts, a major car race with associated concerts and WOMADelaide, I don’t think I missed anything. This means we have something for everybody. 1000’s of folk will be clogging the byways and highways coming and going. There is a certain excitement in the air, at least that is what I think it is. What is also amazing is that it all runs smoothly. Hundreds of venues all get their audiences in and out. People wizz from show to show.

But what is the secret behind it all happening on time every time. It is those people working in semi-darkness, focussing lights, pressing play, and control all of the technical equipment. Without the technicians working thier butts off, a lot of the events could not happen. Wheather in a pop up venue or Stage 1 at WOMAD. The crew hump the gear on and off stage. This dedicated band of people are on a whole a happy bunch, that are worth every cent they are paid. But are they paid enough? Most venues, producers etc., pay a reasonable hourly rate (it could be higher – but that is another conversation.) But you will find a few dodgy folks offering “experience” to students etc, or a low per performance rate, or free drinks and a meal. Anything to get cheap labour as they rack in the dollars.

Overall must crew are respected and treasured. Events like WOMAD, Festival of Arts etc will look after their crews. They recognize the value of their staff. The better you look after crew, the better the quality of work and they more loyal they are.

So while you are out there enjoying quality  of the music, stage show or concert, Think of the crew making it all happen.


Starting out – Tip 2

A lot of venues, especially school based, have a standard lighting rig installed. The beauty of this is that you can turn on some nicely focused lighting for simple shows and presentations. So it usually consists of 3 or 4 washes on stage and a set of specials. This gives you some versatility.But the question is with the specials is if you intend to spread them evenly across the stage – how do you spread them out? Do you have an even number across the stage and an even number from front to back?

But what is the most common place people stand on stage? – that’s right centre stage. Now with 4 lights across the front there is not a light actually focused on centre. Now someone stands to one side of centre it can look unbalanced. So I think the best way to layout a regular grid of specials is to use odd numbers – like 3 or 5. This gives you a centre special, where most people gravitate to. In fact having odd numbers in both directions gives you a  downstage centre and a mid stage centre. These are the two most common positions people gravitate to.In fact 5 is often the most practical.

Below is a rough idea of 6 specials on a stage to give you a visual of what I am talking about.

And remember have fun, ask questions and experiment.

Audio Brands Australia Named Exclusive Distributor for Meyer Sound

Audio Brands Australia has been named as the exclusive Meyer Sound distributor for Australia, with the appointment also extending to New Zealand through a partnership with Pacific AV. Effective immediately, Audio Brands Australia will be responsible for sales, technical support and service of Meyer Sound products across all markets, including touring and AV rental, performing arts venues, houses of worship, hospitality, cinema and studio.

“In Audio Brands Australia we have found an ideal partnership for strengthening and extending the Meyer Sound presence ‘down under’,” says Antonio Zacarias, Meyer Sound Vice President of Global Customer Engagement. “Audio Brands Australia has a solid, strategic approach in the product lines they represent, as well as a proven track record of responsive service and support. The company principals have a close collaborative relationship with the consulting community, which aligns with Meyer Sound’s growing emphasis on commercial installation. At the same time their personal experience in live performance and touring will connect with that key market.”
For Don McConnell, founder and director of Audio Brands Australia, the appointment represents a significant step forward for the company.
“With this appointment, Meyer Sound has recognized our company’s passion for audio and our demonstrated success with other product lines,” says McConnell. “We certainly share Meyer Sound’s commitment to product quality and customer support, and we have everything in place to take Meyer Sound to a wider audience in Australia and New Zealand. We sell solutions, not boxes. Customers know they can rely on us from initial design proposals through ongoing technical support after the sale,” says McConnell.
“We are excited to have Audio Brands join as our distributor for the important Australia and New Zealand markets,” says Helen Meyer, Meyer Sound Executive Vice President. “We welcome Audio Brands to the Meyer Sound family.”
Over the decades, Meyer Sound products and technologies have earned widespread acceptance in Australia and New Zealand, with a number of cutting-edge systems installed in recent years. Examples include the Telstra Customer Insight Centre in Sydney, Hamer Hall at Arts Centre Melbourne, Bee Gees Way in Redcliffe, Soundfirm cinema post in Melbourne, and the ASB Theatre in Auckland.
“Meyer Sound is highly regarded as the prestige, innovative brand,” observes McConnell. “We’re enthusiastic about building on this reputation among existing users while at the same time introducing a new generation of Meyer Sound products to a wider audience of audio professionals.”
Other product lines represented by Audio Brands Australia include Earthworks, Rane, Univox, Mipro and Bosch Commercial Audio. Audio Brands Australia is headquartered in Sydney and may be contacted at or via the website The company’s New Zealand partner, Pacific AV, is located in Auckland and may be contacted at

Elation’s Latest Lighting Innovations Set to Inspire at ISE Stand 12-F50

Elation Professional is taking momentum from a very successful 2017 to the ISE show in Amsterdam with a number of cutting-edge products set to inspire at Stand 12-F50.

From Elation’s award-winning Artiste series of creative, full-featured moving heads comes the Artiste Picasso™, an innovative and inspirational theatrical-grade luminaire that connects art to engineering. The Artiste Picasso is a rare combination of brightness and features in an LED light. One of the brightest and most feature-rich profile LED lighting fixtures on the market today, it is a high-output (22,000 lumens), feature-packed (zoom, framing, CMY, CTO, gobo wheels, animation, prisms, frost and more) yet compact profile light featuring a new high-power 600W Cool White LED engine.

Making its European debut at ISE will be the Smarty Hybrid™, a full featured Spot, Beam and Wash fixture and the most compact CMY color mixing hybrid Elation has released to date. At the heart of the fixture is the new Platinum lamp using “FLEX” technology which offers a “smartly” designed discharge lamp/ballast package for high output / compact performance at an efficient and affordable price point.

Elation will also have on display the popular and award-winning Proteus™ line of IP65-rated arc-source moving heads. The next-tier product line of discharge-based IP-rated moving lights includes the Proteus Beam™ and 3-in-1 Proteus Hybrid™. Compact, robust and budget-friendly, Proteus is designed to unleash creative vision and excel under any conditions. CMY color mixing, color wheel, rotating replaceable gobos, static gobos, rotating prisms, and remote control are some of its many features.

“Our product line is as strong as it’s ever been and we look forward to showing our latest innovations to new customers and connecting with established clients. Not only is ISE one of our favorite shows of the year, it’s a growing show and we’re growing right along with it,” said Marc Librecht, Elation Professional’s European Sales & Marketing Manager.

For more information, contact:

Elation Professional EU

Junostraat 2.

6468 EW Kerkrade

The Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)45 546 85 66

The SL BAR 720ZT from Philips Entertainment Lighting

A new release from the Philips Entertinment Lighting group.

A high performance linear wash and effect luminaire. DMX motorized zoom and tilt combined with powerful output make the SL BAR 720ZT an ideal solution for blended linear washes and distinctive dynamic beam effects. DMX  8, 14,21 channel modes with RDM. There is an onboard display to set it up. It has continously variable speed fans to keep to temperature under control.

Features and benefits
•5000 lumens.
• Low power consumption – 420W maximum.
• 5.5-30° zoom range.
• High output saturated colors mid-air effects.
• Designed to withstand the riggers of the entertainment industry.
• Easy install utilizing detachable 1/2 turn Omega clamps for quick
swap over from floor to hang.
• Easy removable front lens for infield cleaning.
• Two year limited warranty.

For more info:


FM Digital Install a ‘Virtual Catwalk’ in Toowoomba’s Grand Central Shopping Centre

In this unique and clever installation, 12 LED screens run video content that stimulates a live fashion show. A Green Hippo AMBA handles all the video and audio content with ease.

Watch to see the install in action, and hear John Westney from FM Digital talk about how Green Hippo made it all a reality.

Australian Distributor: Lexair

Starting Out – Tip 1


Remember back to when you started out in technical theatre. How did you learn about the ins and out of the backstage magic. Often an old hand was around to show us the ropes, and it still the same today. But is there a way to actually improve your knowledge? Well for lighting it often a great idea to get your hands on some equipment and play with it in your own time. Take it home, or find a quite space to set it up and experiment with it. See what you can do, see how it focuses, what you can achieve with the shutters and barndoors if using a fresnel. Get some colour and see what the colour of light has on different costumes, and materials. Even if different materials appear to be the same colour, if they are made from different types of material they react to light differently.

Learn how to change the lamps in the theatre lights, learn how not to touch the glass. Learn how to clean and maintain them. The more familiar you are with equipment, the more you will understand how to use it and use it efficiently.

Do not be afraid to ask questions, just time the asking of your question so as not to interfere with complex tasks. Most of us are happy to explain how things work and to show you simple short-cuts to make your job easier.

With this knowledge you are then an asset whether it is an amateur theatre company of you are starting out in a professional environment. Most of all remember to enjoy your learning.