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War of the Worlds at 40

Marking its 40th anniversary last year, Jeff Wayne’s touring musical version of The War of the Worlds has lost none of its ability to thrill. The production is constructed around a 3-tonne 35ft-tall Martian Fighting Machine, which fires real flames, against the backdrop of a captivating 100ft-wide animation wall.

From a musical perspective, the 36-piece ULLAdubULLA strings performed alongside the nine-piece Black Smoke Band (which included many musicians from the original tour in 2006). Now on its seventh tour of duty, the production has been played out on its last three outings through Martin Audio’s MLA PA and sounded as fresh as ever.

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RCA Studio B installs Rupert Neve Designs 5088 desk

Presently operated by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in partnership with the Mike Curb Family Foundation, Nashville’s Historic RCA Studio B is now home to a new 24-input Rupert Neve Designs 5088 console loaded with Shelford 5052 Mic Preamp/Inductor EQ modules.

Opened in 1957 on what would become Nashville’s Music Row, Studio B helped cement Nashville’s place in the international music recording scene. For its first 20 years, the studio operated commercially under RCA, though artists from other labels recorded there. During that period, the studio recorded more than 35,000 songs from artists including Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Roy Orbison, Charley Pride, The Everly Brothers and many more.

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Johnny Marr’s EartH landing

Former Smith Johnny Marr has been touring his fourth solo studio album, Call the Comet, bringing his latest UK journey to a stellar conclusion with a sold-out date at EartH in London – which boasts the first permanent installation of L-Acoustics’ L-Isa Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology in a European live music venue.

For FOH man Russ Miller, this was his first date with L-Isa: ‘I was blown away by it,’ he says. ‘The separation is unbelievable, without it feeling like it’s separate sources. At soundcheck our backline techs were amazed: we had people walking the venue listening; it sounded the same from front to back and from side to side.’

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DiGiCo rides the Wembley wave with Anne-Marie

From playing to 300 people in a club to 360,000 people over four days at Wembley Stadium alongside Ed Sheeran, English singer-songwriter Anne-Marie has enjoyed a meteoric rise. The past three years have also seen her guest on the hit single, ‘Rockabye’, with Grammy-winning pop trio Clean Bandit, and her studio debut Speak Your Mind, peak at number three in the UK Albums Chart in 2018.

Now, she is touring the album, and both FOH and monitor engineers are working on DiGiCo SD12s, with the consoles supplied by Audiotech UK, which splits audio rental duties with Production North.

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张杰 Future Live

Having made his entrance on on the My ShowTV talent contest in 2004 and released 12 studio albums since, Zhang Jie (张杰) – or Jason Zhang – is a musical phenomenon in China. His recent Future Live tour has filled stadiums across China, including a show at the Beijing National Stadium for 80,000 fans, which sold out in little more than two-and-a-half minutes and set new records for a live streamed event with in excess of 100m viewers.

The Future Live show is a theatrical masterpiece, and as well winning praise for the human elements of music and dance, it has been termed a ‘comprehensive showcase of new technology’, with the incorporation of a large L-Acoustics K Series PA system as well as a huge ‘ice’ LED screen, advanced staging and lighting.

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