This event, held over two nights, hosted over 2400 guests in total celebrating employees who have given 25, 40, and even 50 years loyal service to the company. Protec put together a bespoke audio and video package working alongside Christie Lites for this lavish production servicing a corporate presentation, an awards ceremony, the showcasing of two new vehicles, live entertainment including singers, dancers and theatrical performers, and a gala dinner.
Having recently expanded its capabilities in the UK and European region, Protec offers event technology and staging solutions from the creative and planning stage through to the delivery and technical support. This team of industry professionals can support all types of event, from the intimate corporate meeting to the stadium spectacular. They have won awards for their innovative uses of traditional event technologies and their imaginative uses of alternative technologies such as robotics and drones to create memorable event experiences.
Production manager for Optimum, Tony Butler, reflected on his experience working closely with the Birmingham based team.
“Protec have been fantastic on the most recent production for Optimum at the Ricoh Arena. From early planning and budgeting, all the way through the pre-production process and on-site delivery the whole team have supported me superbly. I can’t thank them enough for making my job so much easier & the client’s reaction to the project says it all. A true bunch of dedicated professionals.”
HOD of video Sean Godefroy guided us through the video solutions he chose.
“Barco E2 was the ideal choice to handle the pixel space of all the content as there were 4k inputs and outputs and it is incredibly flexible in a show environment. We chose a 2.6mm Unilumin LED wall measuring 12 x 5m with a resolution of 4608 x 1920 flanked by two circular side screens using double stacked Barco 30k projectors to display camera feeds ensuring a vivid, sharp display. We also used two Panasonic 12k projectors for the relay screens projecting 16 x 9 content and one DSM monitor for the main presenter’s speech.”
“For the recordings and camera feed we used a combination of cameras,” Godefroy continued, “We used three studio broadcast cameras, these were two 22x lenses and a 42x lens and 2 Panasonic HE 140 hotheads. The combination of lenses and location of cameras enabled us to get all angles from the stage which allowed for brilliant visuals on the night but was also great for the after edit.”
Colour matching three different surfaces was a challenge easily overcome for Godefroy and his team.
“Colour matching the screens was the difficult task as we had front lit LED, the side screens were rear projection on short throw lenses fed via double stacked 30k HDF Barco projectors and the relay screens were single stacked front projection on long throw lenses fed via the client’s Panasonic 12ks – so there were three different surfaces and display machines. Trying to make them as uniform as possible is always a challenge but we planned it well and chose the right equipment. All projectors were controlled via network. The four 30ks were controlled via a Barco toolset to allow constant monitoring of projectors and their alignments. We were very happy with how it looked.”
Ben Waters, Protec’s audio HOD, explained the client’s brief and his solutions.
"The client was looking for a punchy, clear system that both spoken word and a west end styled performance were equally suited to. For this event we chose to put in L-Acoustics, using Kara for the main PA hangs, with flown SB18 and ground stacked KS28 sub elements. As for outfills, we used ARCS Wide for the sides of the hall and we used more Kara to improve the dancefloor coverage as well. Along the thrust we used X8s as lip fills, and also put in some X8’s as nearfield monitors for the visiting engineer too, all powered off LA12X amps. To control the PA we used three Lake LM44 system processors to make sure the whole PA was all aligned and sounding sweet throughout.”
For control and networking Waters “…used Yamaha consoles – CL5 at Monitors and a QL5 at front of house – on a Dante network with Yamaha Rio boxes. These are quick desks that are very rider friendly, so the visiting engineer was quickly able to get the sound they wanted. As for radios, we used all Sennheiser both EW500 Handhelds as well as Sennheiser SR2050 in ear monitors, totalling over 30 radio channels in use. Playback was triggered over a QLab system consisting of main and back up, which also sent timecode out.”
Protec implemented the new Riedel Bolero comms system,
“This is a brand new comms system which allows high clarity and clear intelligibility of both speech and background program so that everyone can communicate clearly and in real time, but it also is super flexible integrating wired comms and gives a big circuit count on one wireless beltpack. For this event we had almost 40 people on comms.” Waters explained.
The whole PA was designed in house, by HOD Ben Waters, using L-Acoustics Soundvision.
“Soundvision allowed us to check the volume at certain important frequencies as well as the dispersion, and very key, show the clients at pre-production meetings expected site lines and coverage. Finally, on top of this we also supplied audio for the reception area, this was a very simple room of coverage for voice of god announcements and background music, we chose to use D&B point source speakers, powered by D&B D12 amps and a Yamaha QL1 desk, again using Sennheiser radio mics for the announcements."
Charlie Speakman, director of Optimum, praised the Protec team for their dedicated support and exceptional delivery throughout the entire event process.
"My sincere thanks to everyone at Protec for delivering exceptional support. It is rare to find such a dedicated, professional and friendly team. At every step I had 100% confidence that you would deliver a fantastic service, and I wasn't disappointed!"