Shining light

Promoted as the 'concerts for a climate in crisis', the Live Earth extravaganza showcased the latest developments in low-power LED lighting arrays.
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Best seat in the house: a Digico D5 performed FOH mixing duties during Foo Fighters' Live Earth London performance.
Best seat in the house: a Digico D5 performed FOH mixing duties during Foo Fighters' Live Earth London performance.

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Utilising a stage design conceived by Patrick Woodroffe, the Live Earth set was implemented on a uniform scale at venues located in New York, Sydney, Shanghai, Johannesburg, Hamburg, London and Rio de Janeiro.

In New York, production designer Patrick Dierson utilised a raft of technologies in a bid to realise Woodroffe's creative vision, including 18 High End Showgun spot fixtures, Coemar Infinity washes an LED battery of 64 PixelLine 1044s.

Eleven PixelPar 90s were also used to showcase the production's trademark 'eco-pods', which incorporated clusters of dimmable compact fluorescent bulbs.

"The crux of Woodroffe's vision for Live Earth was to make the rig more energy efficient while ensuring its entertainment value," says Dierson. "We looked at the raw basics of creating the average rock show in this day and age [and decided] we would use higher output fixtures but fewer of them."

In London, Woodroffe and assistant Adam Bassett developed a rig which employed 76 Martin LED Stagebar 54L fixtures along with overhead discharge source MAC 2000 Washes supplied by PRG. PixelRange products also featured prominently, with 123 PixelLine Micro washes, 54 PixelLine 1044s and 37 PixelPar 90s added to the mix.

 

Similarly to New York, a large quantity of LED lighting was employed in the stage set, which was supported by a backbone of moving heads used to light the stage.

Meanwhile, UK company XL Video supplied a HD PPU, cameras, screens and 30 crew members to provide video production and playout services. Flanking both sides of the stage were two IMAG screens consisting of 9m x 7m modules of Lighthouse R16 LEDs. Onstage, XL supplied a 74m x 4m high strip of Barco I-12 LEDs.

LED lighting featured prominently at other venues, with Martin playing the role of chief supplier. In Tokyo, Master's Company supplied 36 Mac 700 washes, 38 Mac 2000 washes, 28 Mac 600Es, 14 Mac 2000 profiles and a Maxxyz lighting console. Meanwhile, in Sydney, production designer Francesco Calvi contracted Chameleon Touring Systems to supply eight Mac 2000 washes and 24 Mac 2000 profiles among other products.

Live, baby live

While lighting technology stole the show at Live Earth, audio tech wasn't far behind. Highlights included:

New York

• Multiple JBL Vertec line arrays with 154 separate Vertec enclosures.
• Main stage reinforcement system: two main arrays consisting of 16 Vertec VT4889 line array elements each, twin 14-box outfill arrays, and twin 14-box suspended arrays of VT4880 subwoofers.

Sydney

• Two main enclosures consisting of 16 JBL Vertec VT4889 line array elements each; Midas desks.

Rio de Janiero

• JBL VT4880A subwoofers with JBL's ultra long-excursion 2269H 18-inch transducers; VT4889-1 full-range line array elements with PlyMax enclosures.

London

• Two DiGiCo D5 Live consoles with another working offline; a DiGiCo D1 routing board for the PA system; EV X-Line and Outline Butterfly systems; Dolby Lake matrix control system and an Iris system; Shure Beta58 mics.

Hamburg

• Four Midas Heritage 3000 and two Heritage 2000 consoles (FOH and monitor positions); Electro-Voice line arrays (X-Line and XLC) powered by Tour Grade TG-7 amps with RCM-26 remote control modules; EV N8000 NetMax for routing, matrix, delays and master EQs

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