eclipse celebrates another new year with David Guetta
UAE: For the second consecutive year, eclipse Staging Services met the technical requirements of a pre-New Year's Eve David Guetta performance, which this time took place at the Atlantis the Palm hotel’s Nasimi Beach Club in Dubai. eclipse Group subsidiaries Stage FX and Laser FX were also on hand, providing equipment.
As well as having worked with David Guetta before, the rental company also has prior experience within the venue and is well-versed in catering for its layout and requirements. After impressing the French DJ’s engineer, Carlos Herreros, at the 2016 New Year’s gig at the Media City Amphitheatre, the challenge for eclipse this time around was to meet the expectations and standards it had already set for itself. ‘The aim for us was for him to leave just as happy, if not more following this one, which I believe we achieved,’ said eclipse head of audio, John Parkhouse when discussing Mr Herreros.
‘As Nasimi is a relatively small venue, we scaled the audio system down from the rider,’ Mr Parkhouse continued. ‘That being said it is still the biggest event that’s ever happened at that venue, so for Nasimi, it was on another level compared to previous events we have done there.’
Leading the delivery of audio for the event was eclipse’s senior audio engineer, Tariq Al-Hassan. ‘Following John’s design, I adapted the mechanical data in ArrayCalc to fit any slight changes or discrepancies that occurred during the build,’ he explained. ‘Once Carlos and the touring team arrived on site, a few changes to the sub array and front-fill design were made to taste. We then recalculated ArrayProcessing for any scenarios that Carlos or the venue may have required, including a setting that dipped -6db at the VIP area and then time aligned and tuned using Smaart.
‘After listening to the whole system in Full Glory, it was established that this was the preferred setting as it gave such an even and smooth response across the whole venue,’ Mr Al-Hassan furthered. ‘The system had tons of headroom during the show, and Carlos had plenty of space to push it as he pleased.’
Setup didn’t come without its potential challenges. A change in weather conditions throughout the UAE exposed Dubai to plenty of condensation overnight and in the morning. ‘After sunset, the dew point was high, and condensation formed on everything, even equipment undercover,’ recalled Mr Al-Hassan. ‘Due to the condensation forming so fast it gave us a little trouble with some of the DJ kit, but these issues were soon resolved after proper drying. All in all, the combination of a well-designed PA and signal path lead to a very clear, full-sounding and high volume show with plenty of breathing space.’
For lighting, a compact version of the rig that will accompany David Guetta on his upcoming tour was installed. It comprised 16 Clay Paky HPE 1500W, 32 Sharpys, 16 Martin Atomic 3000 strobes, 16 LED pars and 22 PixelLine 1044 fixtures. Control of the lighting was via two Road Hog 4 consoles run over a Gigacore and Neutrik fibre network.
A total of 70 sq-m of Roe 9mm LED screen and two Green Hippo Taiga media servers were supplied for video to meet the challenge of ‘maintaining a high visual impact show’. The LED screen was split into sections and the content was pixel mapped by the tour’s server. ‘From eclipse’s point of view, it was very important to communicate with the touring video team to ensure a smooth handover on their arrival, making sure that all pixel maps were to specification, so system handover was faultless,’ said Lee Worthington, head of the video department at eclipse.
Stage FX and Laser FX delivered special effects, such as bursts of carbion dioxide and fire, and lasers respectively. ‘It’s always a pleasure to hear the crowd’s reaction to the first laser cue and to see all the phones come out to record our work,’ enthused Laser FX general manager, Arran Hopkins.
‘The final result was spectacular, with razor sharp timing on the queues,’ concluded eclipse project manager Duncan Scott. ‘When you consider how much kit is normally used on this show, a full size set up is something I would go to see should the opportunity present itself.’