Showtime Sound, on Aug 29, 2023 5:48:35 PM
Showtime Sound, on Jan 4, 2022 10:04:04 PM
OXON HILL, MD – According to Buddy the Elf, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!” This holiday season, the team at Showtime Sound found a way that might be just as spectacular.
As part of their Christmas celebrations, Gaylord National Resort recently presented a range of family friendly activities for the holidays from Nov. 26 to Dec. 31. The Exhibition Hall featured such events as ice bumper cars, ice skating, “Snowball Build & Blast”, and even ice tubing! Families were also able to enjoy snacks and activities such as “I Love Christmas Movies”, a guided walk through experience that brought to life scenes from beloved holiday classic movies and let visitors actually interact with these scenes. According to Public Relations Manager Patrice Clayton, the event showcased “13 different scenes from five beloved Christmas movies, including “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “The Polar Express,” “A Christmas Story,” “Elf,” and “The Year Without a Santa Claus.” Clayton explained, “We have a really great partnership with Warner Brothers, so we went through and thought about what movies really provided a sense of nostalgia for people … movies that just really stick with people. Then, we went through and chose the scenes that were the most well-known and iconic from those movies.”
Alongside the attractions in the exhibition hall, the Christmas celebration also featured an array of exciting events in the resort’s Atrium. During “The Greatest Story,” a live stage show, the Gaylord welcomed guests to “experience the birth of Christ through the eyes of six international storytellers in a musical stage show and multicultural celebration of everlasting faith, hope, and love.” Gaylord wowed guests with a #lit Laser light show. Nightly, the atrium came to life with audio, lighting, lasers, fountains and snow. The Gaylord called on Showtime Sound LLC, continuing their tradition of providing audio reinforcement for these epic annual events, giving Showtime a chance to conjure up a little Christmas magic all their own.
Just like in the movies, event magic also involves a little planning. The unique layout of the Atrium would normally present numerous challenges, but having worked in the space in years past, the Showtime team easily overcame them. Showtime’s Director of Operations and Production, Brian Linnemann explained, “The atrium is huge—it’s 110 feet below the steel, about 240 feet wide, and the lower area is almost 200 feet deep. It’s also surrounded by hard, reflective surfaces, including a huge glass wall and ceiling, plus concrete balconies. We had to keep the sound directly and precisely on the seating and away from the reflective surfaces. Fortunately, our [L-Acoustics] Kara enclosures can be aimed extremely precisely. We used [L-Acoustics] Soundvision modeling and prediction software and the result was perfect—great, uniform coverage with high intelligibility and plenty of impact for the music.”
In addition to experience with this facility, Linnemann had another secret weapon in making these events possible. Working on this event previously was Showtime Sound’s Director of Technical Operations, Marc Chauvin. Chauvin shared, “Unlike, in years past, the scope of this event required a more comprehensive and flexible platform for audio routing and distribution. Keeping the stereo main, lower atrium delays, and flown audio delays for the upper atrium, we also needed to be able to accommodate inputs from live performers for “The Greatest Story”, in-ear monitoring, and a premixed playback for the #lit laser show that was married to a timecode track. Being able to utilize QLab and Radial's SW8-USB for timecode and playback, coupled with the power and interfacing options of the Avid S6L platform allowed for a seamless integration into the live experience for guests.
Showtime Sound, on Dec 16, 2021 6:12:47 PM
FREDERICK, MD – How do you turn sketch art into an immersive experience? You cover the entire wall in it! The Showtime team, led by Galen Newell, stepped up to this challenge on the evening of November 16, 2021 at the Delaplaine Center for the Arts, surrounding event guests with the artwork of a sports mural that does not yet exist.
The Frederick Sports Mural, a project of Community Arts Inc & TGP Gives, is set to be one of the world’s largest sports murals. It will be located at Harry Grove Stadium in the heart of Frederick, Maryland. The muralwill celebrate 125 years of history in more than 30 sports and will recognize 5 coaches and 250 athletes. Visionary and artist Yemi Fagbohun, founder of Community Arts, Inc., created the mural concept seven years ago. Since then, he has worked with an architect, structural engineer and a construction firm, plus the City of Frederick to be able to locate the 550-foot-long and 14-foot-tall public art project along the exterior wall of the stadium. “I thought I would paint a dozen or more portraits, but when we started to research, we found hundreds of athletes who have been recognized for high levels of achievement in their respective sports,” Fagbohun said. While all of the athletes attended Frederick County schools, they also have gone on to achieve fame through the Olympics, including one in Tokyo in 2021, and several professional sports.
Artist Yemi, stands with a rendering of the Frederick Sports Mural
Helping bring this art concept to life for the local community was Showtime Sound LLC’s own Galen Newell. The TGP Gives team had worked with Showtime Sound in the past on a very successful drive-in movie and concert series. Their partnership created the perfect transition for this new endeavor. Community Arts Inc. & TGP Gives tasked Showtime with building a living art gallery showing the mural sketches. Newell and his team utilized laser projection technology to display artist Yemi’s drawings throughout the room.
Showtime took several steps to prepare for an event this unique. Newell described the process, saying, “Because of the size and aspect ratios of the walls that were being used as living canvases, we brought out our gear to do a test run several days prior to the event. This helped to finalize throw distance, lens selection, and projector placement. During this test run, we decided on how we were going to ‘slice’ each wall into sections in order to display multiple works on the same wall at the same time. We found that the walls seemed to naturally divide themselves into 5-6 different canvases, so we asked for at least 8 pieces of art in order to be able to dynamically cycle through the works during the show.”
Showtime Sound, on Jan 28, 2021 5:51:04 PM
FREDERICK, MD – How long will the Covid-19 lockdown last? Like everyone, Aaron Kovelman can’t answer that one. But there’s one thing the Director of Design and Production at Showtime Sound LLC is sure of: The company he works for will continue to bring safe, socially-distant entertainment options to people for the duration, with an assist from Chauvet Professional.
More details from Chauvet Professional (www.chauvetprofessional.com):
Showtime Sound demonstrated this commitment throughout the fall and into the holiday season by staging “Showtime At The Drive-In,” a series of concerts coproduced with AutoFlex Entertainment. Held at an improvised drive-in venue at the Frederick Fairgrounds, the series featured popular artists such as moe, Grace Potter, KIX, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Goose, Dark Star Orchestra, Mt. Joy and Blackberry Smoke.
Holding over 300 cars spread out over a wide area, the drive-in offered an experience that’s far from the ideal concert setting, but extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. “All of us are determined to provide people with the best possible show, regardless of the circumstances,” said Kovelman. “With everyone so spread out at this site, we had to create visuals that were very bold and looked good from any angle.”
Helping Kovelman and his team accomplish this goal was an almost exclusively CHAUVET Professional rig that was anchored by 16 Maverick MK3 Profile fixtures. The powerful 820-watt LED movers played a variety of roles in lighting the concert series, including the very important task of engaging the widely dispersed audience with dynamic and colorful crowd lighting.
Calling the Maverick units, the “workhorses” of his rig, Kovelman positioned eight of them on towers. Their 51,000 source lumen output gave him more-than-ample punch to cover the audience with light, while the 120ﹾ rotation allowed dynamic crowd sweeps.
Kovelman drew on the CMY + CTO color-rendering capabilities to set an immersive tone throughout not only the stage, but the entire venue. Using the house tower-mounted fixtures, an array of bold primary colors, as well as softer pastels created a uniformity for attendees and performers alike.
The remaining eight Maverick MK3 Profile fixtures in the rig were arranged across the upstage deck. From this position, they were used to create gobos from behind the bands, adding depth to the relatively small stage. Kovelman also added to the dramatic effect of the light-shows by relying on the profile to silhouette band members. For added color, 16 Rogue R2 washes were flown overhead to help wash the performance area.
“We incorporated as many high energy looks into our show as possible,” said Kovelman. “There were challenges involved in this project, not the least of which was setting up the stage and rig while maintaining social distancing, but the results spoke for themselves. As we’ve been planning for the next round of events at the venue, fixtures like the MK3’s will certainly be a key part of it.
Showtime Sound, on Jan 15, 2020 11:57:17 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 2020 – The Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland near the nation’s capital likes to celebrate Christmas in a big way. Set in the property’s towering 19-story glass garden atrium with its views of the river, “Christmas on the Potomac” is the hotel’s myriad holiday installation crowned by Cirque Dreams Unwrapped, a six-week-long (Nov 15 to Dec 30), 25-minute Christmas fable combining breathtaking artistry and showmanship from around the world with spectacular costumes, classic Christmas music, a dancing fountain, laser-light show, indoor snowfall and soaring imagination.
Bringing this production sonically alive was the task of an L-Acoustics Kara system, designed and installed by Showtime Sound LLC of Frederick, Maryland. The system was split between the atrium’s lower and upper terraces: the former comprised a left-right design of one SB18 subwoofer groundstacked with five Kara enclosures per side to cover the ticketed seating areas, and a flown LCR delay system of three hangs of one SB18 over seven Kara for standing and balcony areas. Six LA12X amplified controllerspowered the delay system while three LA12X were used for the groundstacked enclosures. The system also used the L-Acoustic P1 processor for system management, routing, and time alignment, as well as for its AVB compatibility for long-distance signal transport. Audio came into the P1’s AES inputs and was sent as AVB over fiber to the amplified controllers.
Showtime Sound LLC had two distinct challenges on this project. “The atrium is huge—it’s 110 feet below the steel, about 240 feet wide, and the lower area is almost 200 feet deep,” explains Showtime Sound LLC Director of Operations and Production Brian Linnemann. “It’s also surrounded by hard, reflective surfaces, including a huge glass wall and ceiling, plus concrete balconies. We had to keep the sound directly and precisely on the seating and away from the reflective surfaces. Fortunately, the Kara enclosures can be aimed extremely precisely. We used L-Acoustics Soundvisionmodeling and prediction software and the result was perfect—great, uniform coverage with high intelligibility and plenty of impact for the music.”
The second challenge was to move the audio signal around this yawning canyon while keeping the cabling and components out of sight. The LA-RAK II amp rack for the groundstacked array was within 50 feet of the stage, but the other two racks for the flown system were located on a balcony about 120 feet vertically from the stage, necessitating substantial fiber and Cat-5 runs. That, says Linnemann, is where L-Acoustics’ compatibility with the AVB networked protocol made a huge difference.
“With AVB, through the P1, we were able to send both the audio and amplifier control over the same wire, which cut down on the amount of cabling needed,” he says. “In the past, we’ve used Dante for the audio, but that protocol can’t also carry the control data. With P1’s AVB compatibility, and Luminex GigaCore switches over the hotel’s own network infrastructure, we had a complete solution for both. It was the first time we’d deployed this arrangement here, and it worked flawlessly. By using so much less cabling, keeping it neat and invisible, which contributes to the quality of the show, was much easier.”
But in the end it all comes down to the audio fidelity, and the Kara system sounded “simply outstanding,” as Linnemann puts it. “The impact of the music was there, the dialog was clear and crisp,” he says. “The sound really completes a spectacular show like this, and this year’s audio was fantastic.”