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PLASA 2012: Key sessions added to Professional Development Programme

Daniel Gumble
PLASA 2012: Key sessions added to Professional Development Programme

A number of major additions to the London edition of the PLASA Professional Development Programme have been announced today (August 15th).

The PLASA 2012 show, which takes place from September 9th-12th at London’s Earls Court, will be hosting 80 free to attend sessions as part of its Professional Development Programme - the largest free knowledge sharing event of its kind.

"The new style programme forms a roadmap for the next twelve months in theatre, live concert and touring, live events and installed environments. PLASA 2012 continues to be the place where pace setters converge to share expertise and ideas, and we are delighted by the concentration of talent coming to London this September, it is simply phenomenal. Anyone wishing to contribute should get themselves to PLASA 2012 in a few weeks' time," said PLASA CEO, Matthew Griffiths.

Organised into ten distinct categories, the new Professional Development Programme has been designed to entertain as well as inform. The new additions to each category include:

Emerging Technologies Programme

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Networking for Roadies, presented By Wayne Howell? This seminar will focus on the use of Ethernet and Networking in the lighting industry. Covering key information on the 'hows and whys' of Cat 5E and Cat 6 cables, which are becoming increasingly prevalent in the entertainment technology sector, the seminar has immediate relevance for any designer, technician or electrician interested in keeping up with the state-of-the-art.

An Introduction to RDM for Technicians, presented by Hamish Dumbreck (Jese Ltd), Peter Willis (Howard Eaton Lighting Ltd) and Tim Baarsch (Artistic Licence)?Everything you need to know about the protocol for remote management of fixtures and other lighting devices. Find out why it really is faster than a lampie on ladder.

The Art of Noise, presented by Panellists John Taylor (d&b audiotechnik), Jim Griffiths (Vanguardia Consulting), and Jacob Nayne (SGAudio Aps)? A look at the issues surrounding creeping noise control regulations at urban concerts and festivals, the latest tools on the market, which aim to allow engineers and promoters to monitor noise levels, and the methods that sound engineers employ to stay within the sound boundaries.

Keeping it within limits, presented by Jon Burton (chief live sound engineer for The Prodigy)? How to try and maintain a dynamic mix whilst still remain within the increasingly draconian noise limits being introduced around the world.

The Future of Lighting Technology presented by James Simpson, The Royal Opera House In this seminar James will discuss some interesting ideas that are emerging in all industries that may one day be an everyday tool for the lighting industry.
Getting a Return on RDM, presented by Peter Kirkup (Cooper Controls) and Simon Hobday (Artistic Licence Ltd)?Focused at sales staff, this session will introduce Remote Device Management and explain how to increase sales through specification of RDM.

Future Trends Programme

LED Theatrical Luminaires: Are We There Yet? Presented by Fred Foster ?The explosion of LED luminaries has turned the industry on its ear. But are LED luminaries ready for theatrical applications where the most discerning designers in the world work?

Architecture and The Art of Theatre Design, presented by Richard Pilbrow? A revolution in theatre architecture has occurred. The dead hand of modernism and 'engineered' theatre has been lifted. The human scale, three dimensional theatre, beloved of our ancestors, has re-emerged with a new recognition of the power and magic of theatrical energy between actor and audience.
But paradoxically, global austerity, competition on our digital planet, and the contradictions of new world markets, force new realities upon us. How does the theatre design consultant preserve, strengthen, and reinvigorate his, or her, role in creating the essential theatricality and humanity in new affordable theatres for a changing world?

Automation For the People: How Even the Smallest Theatres can Benefit from Automation, presented by Stage Technologies ?A panel discussion with Stage Technologies and guests, about the benefits and challenges of using automation in smaller venues.

Are We Near to Perfect Sound? Presented by panelists Jason Baird (Martin Audio); Werner 'Vier' Bayer (d&b audiotechnik); Miguel Lourtie (Meyer Sound)? As pro sound systems become ever more sophisticated, along with accurate prediction software and more and more powerful DSP, how close are we getting to guaranteeing perfect live sound in any environment? Is that even a realistic objective? Leading product designers discuss the questions.

International & Major Projects

Live Music Recording - Capturing Adele at the Royal Albert Hall presented by Toby Alington Alington describes his live recording and subsequent post-production of Adele's high-profile concert recorded at the Royal Albert Hall at the end of 2011, and the subsequent post-production for DVD, Cinema, TV and CD.

Live Music Broadcast - Mixing the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert, presented by Toby Alington? Alington discusses the thrills and spills of mixing the biggest music event of the year for live world-wide television broadcast. With over twenty artists performing back-to-back sets for nearly three hours of television, the technical and artistic challenges were immense for the audio team.

Olympics Uncovered Programme

Landscape Video, presented by Carol Scott (Tait), Frederic Opsomer (Tait), Dave Green (Immersive Ltd), Will Case (Creative Director Crystal CG International) ?An explanation of the new and exciting opportunities that are now available with a range of LED products that will allow vast expanses to be quickly and cost effectively transformed into the world's largest video screens, as seen at the Opening Ceremony of the World Asian Games in Doha 2011 and & The London 2012 Games.

Back to Basics Programme

db Limits - Mutual Respect, the Road to Compliance, presented by Jacob Navne Knowing what to measure and the difference between measurement types, will simplify daily life for sound engineers, venue operators and concert organizers. Join the noise and legislation consultant for Roskilde Festival, Jacob Navne, as he presents his 'everything you need to know' session in 'a very unscientific manner'.

Sound System Fundamentals, presented by d&b audiotechnik ?A fresh look at some Sound System Principles using experiments and practical demonstrations - for working sound engineers and beginners alike.

LEDs and Lies - Why the Answer Is (and Isn't) Always LEDs, presented by PLASA Chairman, Mike Wood? Haitz law reminds us that LEDs have doubled in brightness every 18 to 24 months for the last 45 years and are continuing to do so. But in this seminar, everything is questioned about LEDs and the answers may surprise you.

Getting A Foot In the Door, presented by Alchemea ?Having taught some of the best in the business, Alchemea know a thing or two about improving your chances to make it in pro-audio, hear Alchemea's pro's giving their top tips for success in the industry.

How Can Skills Academy Membership Help Your Professional Development? ?The Skills Academy's membership network offers connections, resources and influence in the creative and cultural sector. Connect with other industry partners in this informative session.

Breaking New Ground Programme

Audio Think Tank, presented by Dave Swallow? Forward thinking audio for forward thinking sound engineers. Join Dave Swallow (La Roux, Imogen Heap, Amy Winehouse) and a panel of front line audio professionals as they talk about the future; where should the technology be going and how can it be achieved?

The Integration of Video and New Technologies on Björk's Biophillia Tour, presented by video engineer, Lucy Ockenden? One of the most technically challenging tours in the past twelve months, Biophilia is a musical experience spanning many different formats including 10 separate iPad apps, one for each song and custom-built musical instruments, including 1ten-foot "pendulum harps", which use gravity to strum their strings. This session is an account of working on Bjork's Biophilia tour, including the premise behind the project, iPad apps and development, and the integration of app visuals and iOS devices in to the rig.

Safety Issues Programme

Empowerment through Health & Safety, presented by BECTU? This seminar looks at a change in attitude to Health & Safety, where the individuals in a workforce are encouraged to take control of their personal safety and of others.

'No hat, no boots, - no need?' presented by Total Training? Safety culture and PPE. Why is the use of PPE thought so necessary? What does the law really require? Are we insisting on visible precautions but neglecting the invisible factors affecting safety?

Sustainability Programme

Entertainment Technology - How Can it Help Theatres Achieve the Triple Bottom Line? Presented by Mhora Samuel (The Theatres Trust); Colin Cuthbert (Northern Light); Robert Longthorne (Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse) ?What can entertainment technology offer theatres that need to address the triple bottom line of economic, environmental and social sustainability?

Energising Culture: Powering our Cultural Venues, presented by Julies Bicycle? A seminar exploring practical solutions to powering our cultural events into the future, based on the Energising Culture guide, authored by Julie's Bicycle and published in partnership with The Theatres Trust.

Business Issues Programme

Preparing Your Business for Sale, presented by K&L Gates?Jeremy Davis and Patrick Eaton of law firm K&L Gates LLP give an overview of the key considerations when contemplating the sale of your business. The session will cover marketing, valuation, exit routes, tax planning, structures to maximise and protect value, getting your business ready for sale, due diligence and the basics of the sale agreement, as well as potential pitfalls that may arise along the way and how to avoid them.

The Loudness Issue, presented by Malcolm Johnson (IPS), Mark Yonge (AES), Graham Heath (Broadcast Sound Supervisor) and Chris Maclean (Post Production Sound Mixer)? International standards for loudness measurement have been established in Europe and the USA, giving broadcasters new responsibilities. This session will explain all about loudness and how it matters and how it can now be controlled in the broadcast and content making industry. Mark Yonge, AES Standards Manager, will lead this panel session along with experts from the programme origination and broadcast sectors.

Exhibitor Demo's & Training Programme

What's Your Future Role in the Live Events Industry?? Chaired by Robin Watkinson (Backstage Academy), Daniel Schofield (LOCOG), Rob Spring (BBC Radio 1/1Xtra), Dave Swallow (FOH Sound Engineer James, DJ Fresh, La Roux), Cate Carter (LD Duffy, Elbow, Glastonbury John Peel Stage) Industry experts from a wide variety of disciplines across the live events sector discuss their job roles and what skills, training and personal assets you need to achieve a successful career in each.

Navigator Professional Training; Basic, presented by: TAIT? The Introduction to Navigator course gives students an overall view of the principles of entertainment automation systems and teaches the basics of how to configure and program automation systems using FTSI's award winning Navigator hardware and software.

Scale Through Modularity: NEXO's Post-Modern Take on Line Array? NEXO's R&D director Francois Deffarges presents the STM system, NEXO's new flagship sound reinforcement technology. From concept to delivery, Deffarges examines the patented innovations within this multi-element modular system, from driver design to rigging hardware. STM - is it a genuine alternative to mainstream line array?

Wireless Lighting Control with DMX, RDM and Ethernet, presented by Interlite AB? Wireless Solution provide a total solution for wireless lighting control, introduction in the wireless world of DMX, RDM and Ethernet but also how to co-exist with other wireless products without interference and let the user be more creative, cost effective and save time.

Digital Innovation and Spectrum Planning, presented by Shure Distribution? Major global changes to available spectrum for radio microphones and PMSE users have created the need for a better understanding of co-ordination of wireless systems. Shure's Tuomo George-Tolonen talks about RF transmissions in professional applications and how to sensibly approach spectrum planning utilising the latest in both digital and analogue wireless technology.

How to Commission an Installed Sound Environment, presented by NTI Audio ?The XL2 Audio and Acoustic Analyzer measures the intelligibility of speech in an installed environment, enabling you to create full reports on the STI-PA (Speech Transmission Index for PA) values for a room. The NTi Audio Solution for Installed Sound provides you with the instruments to measure all the important factors that influence Speech Intelligibility, including SPL, frequency response, distortion, reverberation time (RT60) and ambient noise (Noise Curves). This workshop further demonstrates how to find faults in a system as well as measure polarity and configure Delay Speakers to improve the sound quality and speech intelligibility in large venues

Register now at to receive a 50 per cent discount and gain entry to the entire four-day event for £10.


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