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News and updates

A selection of recent Mainline news and outings.

LVIV BRIDGE, ROCHDALE - March 2022

Lviv Bridge, Rochdale, lit in Ukraine national flag colours

Rochdale's Lviv Bridge lit for Ukraine
Photo by kind permission of Rochdale Borough Council

We are proud to have worked with Rochdale Borough Council on its show of support for Ukraine following the Russian invasion.

Rochdale was twinned with the Ukrainian city of Lviv in 1992, with Lviv Bridge in the town centre being named in 2002. A crowd gathered for the vigil, including members of the Ukrainian local community, and a speech of support was made by the leader of Rochdale Borough Council.

A set of Chauvet COLORdash Batten-Quad 12 units was used to light the bridge in the Ukrainian national flag colours of yellow and blue.

Client: ShowTech Ltd

AUDIO INSTALLATION, JUNIPER AND VINE, BURY - DECEMBER 2021

Martin Audio install at Juniper and Vine bar restaurant

Martin Audio install at Juniper and Vine bar restaurant

We completed our first audio install using Martin Audio speakers for a local wine bar and restaurant refit. Juniper & Vine bar changed hands leaving a very tight timescale to complete works in time for reopening.

The requirement was for a quality audio system to handle background music playback on a tight budget. Martin Audio Adorn A55T speakers were chosen for their high quality sound, cost effectiveness, and offering discrete installation. The 100 volt line type will allow easier future expansion of the system. A three-way amplifier zoning allows good level control across all areas, with spare capacity for future expansion. A small mixer in the bar area accepts a tablet or mobile device input source, with capacity for a DJ and microphone input.

Client: Juniper and Vine

A Clockwork Orange, Bolton School - December 2021

Bolton School production build in progress

Bolton School production build in progress

Visualiser client render of the school hall

Visualiser client render of the school hall

Mainline returned to Bolton School, supplying equipment for their end of year production, an adaptation of the novel A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess.

The main lighting rig comprised two 18m truss lengths on winch stands, with Chauvet R2 wash and COLORDash Batten-Quad 12 fixtures, plus a set of projectors. The lighting show ran on Avolites Titan One hosted on a client laptop PC. Mainline designed the lightshow using Sketchup and Visualiser, which enables us to involve the client throughout the process. Stage deck and power distro was also supplied.

Thanks go out to our colleagues at local suppliers Livewire and Remote Audio Visual.

Client & venue: Bolton School

BRADSHAW CRICKET CLUB FIREWORK DISPLAY, BOLTON - OCTOBER 2021

Fireworks and lightshow at the 2021 event

Fireworks and lightshow at the 2021 event

One of three Martin Audio WPS PA stacks

One of three Martin Audio WPS PA stacks

We were so glad to be invited back to provide PA and lighting for Bradshaw Cricket Club's 50th firework-anniversary event, inevitably held over from 2020. A capacity crowd loved the extended show with our colleagues from Titanium Fireworks.

The show was timed to a medley of the past five music events since the production was broadened, including songs from the Lion King, Independence Day and The Greatest Showman.

This was our largest Martin Audio PA system outing to date, deploying three ground stacks of Wavefront Precision WPS. Four WPS boxes topped two SXCF118 subwoofers in each stack, powered by two iKon42 amplifier racks. Bar area infill was handled by an HK Audio Polar 10 stack.

Speaker positioning is never ideal at the event, having to avoid areas of the cricket pitch being prepared for next playing season. This year however, we were able to model the site for system optimisation using Martin's Display 2 software. We achieved a fine, even sound level across all intended areas with only slight on-site adjustments.

An Allen & Heath SQ-5 mixing desk was in control, distributing sound via Dante with an analogue-over-CAT5 fallback. Local radio station Bolton FM provided background music and commentary, with a mono feed into the main PA.

The light show played a bigger role this year, integrating more with the fireworks. Twelve ground-placed Chauvet Rogue RH1 Beam units were used under Avolites control. A Titan Mobile lighting desk and PC ran the show, fed by an SMTP timecode signal from Titanium's FireOne control system.

Several days of preparation and lighting programming goes into these events, and again the result was happy punters and a happy client.

Special thanks go out to Martin Audio for their close support in the run up to the event, sorting an equipment issue and ensuring our second delivery of WPS boxes and subs arrived in time.

Client & venue: Bradshaw Cricket Club

Manchester Giants, Printworks - September 2021

Manchester Giants lighting and rigging at Printworks

Manchester Giants lighting and rigging at Printworks

Manchester Giants held an event to celebrate the new basketball season. Mainline provided lighting and trussing for the event, held in the city centre Printworks complex.

Chauvet Rogue R2 wash units were located on the balcony, while Rogue Hybrid RH1's were used on the ground. COLORdash Batten-Quad 12's were deployed on truss towers, with a Unique Hazer adding atmospherics.

There was also an opportunity for fans to meet some of the team for signing and a photo in a wash-lit separate area.

Client: Manchester Giants
Venue: Printworks, Manchester

Pinked Floyd, Altrincham - September 2021

Pinked Floyd show at the Garrick Theatre

Pinked Floyd show at the Garrick Theatre

Martin Audio WPS and SXCF118 subwoofer PA stack

Martin Audio WPS and SXCF118 subwoofer PA stack

We were happy to cover a gig for our colleagues at Ace PA due to a calendar clash.

This seven-piece are the third Pink Floyd tribute act Mainline have had the pleasure of working with, all having their own interpretations of the classics.

PA system comprised stage-stacked Martin Audio WPS from the Wavefront Precision range, plus WPM for front fill. Each side boasted four top boxes, plus two SXCF118 subwoofers arranged side-by-side to improve audience sight lines.

Stage monitors were Martin Audio LE200's for lead vocals and drum fill, with LE100's for all other performers. House PA and monitors were powered by two Martin iKON42 amplifier racks.

An Allen & Heath Avantis sound desk with a GX4816 expander unit stage box were deployed across 26 input channels and 7 monitor mixes. An Avolites Arena control desk ran the lighting show, and FOH was completed with the band's in-house AV and laser control.

Several days' light show programming proved their worth and complimented the sound mixed by James from Soundteks.

A mid-stage bar of Chauvet Rogue RH1 hybrid beam / spot units was integrated into the house lighting system and band's traditional circular AV truss. A mirror ball was already on-hand for another job, so it was used to dramatic effect.

Client: Ace PA
Venue: Altrincham Garrick Theatre

Glaston-Bury Trackside Stage, Bury - August 2021

Retrospect at Glaston-Bury 2021

Retrospect at Glaston-Bury 2021

Martin Wavefront Precision PA speakers and Union Of South Africa

Martin Wavefront Precision PA speakers and Union of South Africa

The final summer bank holiday of 2021, and the only one out of lockdown; quite an experience for audiences and crew alike. It was a chaotic weekend across the event industry, with a common theme: from nothing to full-on gigging was a struggle for everyone.

Bury welcomed back the annual fundraiser, Glaston-Bury, with Mainline running the Trackside stage at East Lancashire Railway. Thankfully we stretched our setup over a couple of days to avoid everything in one day.

Seven acts took to a fairly small stage, ranging from solo acoustic to seven-piece soul.

The PA system was our first outing with Martin Audio Wavefront Precision WPS. The stage location was challenging but we managed a good clarity and even sound across audience areas.

Four WPS top boxes were used per side, each with two SXCF118 subwoofers in ground-stacked formation. Stage sound was handled by Martin LE100 and LE200 monitor wedges.

An Allen & Heath Avantis mixing desk was deployed at FOH for main PA and monitor mixing.

Lighting comprised several Chauvet Rogue RH1 beam/ spot units plus Chauvet COLORdash Batten-Quad 12 on upstage vertical truss. Fresnel fixtures provided key lighting from a stand-mounted bar, with dimming and distro from an Avolites Art-2000 PowerCube. Lighting control was in the hands of an Avolites Arena Titan control desk.

Thank you to friends and colleagues that came down to see us or lend a hand rigging and de-rigging. Many thanks also to the excellent team at Drum One for servicing and tuning an ailing drum kit ready for the event.

Please check out some of the acts who performed:

Silhouette
John Doyle
Murder On The Airwaves
Troyen
Snatchback

Client: Glaston-Bury

European Cup Final Outdoor Screen & PA, Colne - July 2021

Outdoor LED screen and Martin Audio WPM PA system for the European Cup Final

Outdoor LED screen and Martin Audio WPM PA system for the European Cup Final

England's success in the European Cup competition drew many screen and projection hire enquiries for the Final. Over a hundred emails arrived overnight following the semi-final win and continued in the next few days, ranging from small private gatherings to large public events. We were selected to supply an outdoor screen and PA system for Laneshawbridge Parish Council in Colne, Lancashire.

With a set of LED screen panels already out on hire, another controller/ scaler unit was thankfully available at short notice from VME Ltd.

After staff training the previous day, we were able to deploy a new Martin Audio Wavefront Precision WPM line array for an expected audience of up to 200. As the location was on common ground remote from any buildings, it was planned to use public Internet to stream the BBC's coverage of the final. The client had sourced a 4G Wi-Fi dongle, however the signal was not great. Fortunately, we had anticipated this and were able to stream the video reliably by tethering to a mobile phone on a different network.

Equipment overview - Screen: 4m x 2.5m modular LED Screen 5.3DPI. Structure: Prolyte X30V truss on Manfrotto Black Magic winch stands. PA system: Martin Audio Wavefront Precision WPM series flown array, 4 elements per side, plus SXCF118 sub unit per side. Power: Generator supplied by Generator Hire Cheshire.

Client: Laneshawbridge Parish Council

Outdoor LED screen hire - July 2021

Outdoor LED screen on hire

Outdoor LED screen on hire

A welcome return to festival season, but a shock after 16 months with little or no work…

Our weatherproof LED screen made its outdoor hire debut with ShowTech Ltd at The Legends Festival in Shoreham-by-Sea. After that hire had been arranged, we were contacted by new client Smarthouse Technology Ltd, who were looking for an outdoor screen for a private celebration. The complication: load out at festival close, 10pm Sunday, then deliver and build in Cheshire the following morning.

The logistical challenge was completed by having to collect a wayward truss delivery from Birmingham, so that was arranged to follow an overnight stop. The Cheshire screen audio was handled by a pair of our very popular HK Audio Polar 10 PA speakers.

Both clients' requirements were met despite a round trip of over 600 miles, battling weather and motorway closures; a heady reintroduction to post-festival portaloos, trampled grass, service station food and long days. Bliss… Read more about weatherproof LED screen hire.

Clients: ShowTech Ltd and SmartHouse Technology
Venues: Shoreham-by-Sea and Cheshire

Stanleys of Bury AV installation - May 2021

Stanleys of Bury AV refit

With the end of lockdowns now in sight, Mainline have been working on a new installation, Stanley's of Bury. Thanks to a client relationship built during various works in their two other premises, we were invited to quote for various audio visual items in the extensive bar refurbishment.

A five-zone PA system has been commissioned for detailed control of sound in the venue. A stage mixer and Bluetooth input feed the system, with control in the bar area.

Stage area visual action is sent via a camera feed to a pair of TV's in the lower level lounge area.

Other works consisted of repairs to the existing CCTV system, and provision for future PA and control in a second bar.

Client & venue: Stanley's of Bury

Please get in touch to talk about inspecting or refitting your bar sound system

Allen & Heath Avantis desk arrival - April 2021

Allen & Heath Avantis desk new to hire stock

Allen & Heath Avantis desk new to hire stock

An exciting new delivery in April was an Allen & Heath Avantis mixing desk. This is a great new addition to hire stock, completing the dLive and SQ range and harnessing the same 96kHz DSP power. The desk layout suits a larger-format desk workflow, including twin HD touchscreens that are still viewable in outdoor conditions. A great desk for FOH and monitor duties alike. Read more about the Avantis desk.

Low input / output counts can be handled with rear panel analogue XLR connections, while DX32 and GX4816 Expander Units are available for higher counts.

Up to 64 channels / system inputs can be handled on 24 faders across 2 banks, each in 6 'pages'. A superb array of internal effects can be selected for a 12-way effects rack, feeding into some of the 42 mix buses available.

Please contact us for a hire quote.

Elfmas: Letters to Santa - December 2020

Elfmas event at E L R

Elfmas event at East Lancashire Railway

East Lancashire Railway held a series of on-station Christmas events in place of Santa Season train running, which had to be cancelled due to Covid restrictions. This enabled visitors to enjoy a festive show while avoiding any on-train social distancing worries.

Mainline worked closely with ELR and Alibi Productions who ran the whole show. Production planning was completed in just 36 hours thanks to the resolve and determination of everyone involved.

Father Christmas joined the cast of actors, with Mainline supplying wireless lavalier microphones and lighting for the platform performance area. A small PA system consisted of Allen & Heath SQ-5 mixing desk and HK Polar 10 speakers, giving enough coverage and volume for the space.

Client: East Lancashire Railway [new window]
Photo courtesy of Rory Lushman

On-train PA Installation, East Lancashire Railway - November 2020

On train 100V line PA system installation. Carriage end switch and inset showing PA rack.

Carriage end PA switch and inset showing PA rack

Mid-carriage speaker position

Mid-carriage speaker position

Initial plans to make Covid-safe train operation were extended to a strategic investment of on-train PA systems for all future events and on-train passenger announcements. Mainline held detailed discussions with the client to ensure requirements were met in a cost-effective and timely manner. A discrete installation achieved a great match with the overall 1950's-1960's railway carriage interiors, with careful selection of speakers, switches and cabling.

Each 100V Line PA system comprises an amplifier rack in the guard's compartment of the train, and Kestral4 speakers located at carriage mid- and end-points, and within each compartment. Each carriage has a local switch to disable its own PA. Connections are provided at each carriage end to allow train formations to be made up and altered as required.

Each PA rack consists of a 19-inch mounted Clever Acoustics MA3240 mixer amplifier and CDMP50 CD / USB media player, fed by a 24V DC to 230V AC inverter, powered from the carriage electrical system. A switched hand-held microphone is used for on-train announcements, muting any music source for several seconds.

Sadly, due to the region entering Tier 3 Covid restrictions the railway was unable to operate Santa trains this year, which would have made first use of the new PA systems.

Client: East Lancashire Railway [new window]

East Lancashire Railway Halloween Event - October 2020

Platform performer at ELR's 2020 Halloween event

The annual ELR Halloween event took on a modified format just before the second lockdown.We took the opportunity to showcase our latest LED screen, floor-standing on the station walkway in a 6m x 2.5m format, curved snugly matching the curvature of the building wall. The overbridge had two sets of rear screen projection running animation sequences from PC's, with audio effects run in to Mackie 15 Thump speakers. Footbridge lighting comprised floor-standing Chauvet COLORdash LED lighting under Titan One DMX control, plus a segregated area for performance.

As an alternative to on-train acting, the cast performed on the main platform areas with Mainline providing wash and key lighting on a flown truss. The platform PA system comprised wireless lavalier mics. for performers, Allen & Heath SQ-5 mixing desk and HK Polar 10 speakers.

Client: East Lancashire Railway [new window]
Photo courtesy of Rory Lushman

#WeMakeEvents, Hebden Bridge - August 2020

Calrec's Nutclough Mill building lit in red for the campaign Calrec's Nutclough Mill building lit in red for the campaign - closeup detail

Calrec's Nutclough Mill building lit in red for the campaign
#WeMakeEvents, #LightItInRed

#WeMakeEvents campaign video#WeMakeEvents campaign video

The evening of Tuesday 11th August saw another co-ordinated demonstration for #LightItInRed. The ongoing UK-wide campaign is drawing attention to the plight affecting our industry, and lobbying UK Government to provide grant support beyond the end of Covid 19 furlough schemes due to finish in October. Many venues, offices and warehouses were lit up in red to show their support.

The performing arts and events industries were among the first forced to a standstill and will be among the last to recover due to the impacts of social distancing. We welcome the UK Government's £1.57bn rescue package announcement in July, however we feel this doesn't go far enough yet.

At best, many of the 25,000 event businesses and 600,000 live event employees are facing a very uncertain future. At worst, we face imminent collapse of the events industry supply chain, worth around £110bn annually to the UK economy. The situation is now being treated as 'red alert' in its severity.

Although we welcome the limited return to live indoor events from 15th August, many venues from small- to arena-scale are not expecting any kind of return to 'normality' until well into 2021. Up to 70% of the live event workforce are freelance. Many have been forced to look for employment away from the industry, with the furlough scheme not covering anywhere near their normal level of income.

Mainline were approached by Calrec Audio Ltd., manufacturers of high-end broadcast audio equipment used worldwide, and one of the biggest employers in the area. We joined forces with Cleckheaton's Wedding Venue Lighting to illuminate Calrec's home, Nutclough Mill.

To the bemusement and delight of nearby residents, the mill building, dating from 1916, was washed with various discharge and LED fixtures in conjunction with LED uplighters. Chauvet Rogue RH1 and R2 LED washes were used alongside Chauvet COLORdash Batten-Quad 12 and PAR-Quad 18 LED units.

For further details please see #WeMakeEvents on the PLASA site

Client: Calrec Audio Ltd.

PA install, Bury - June 2020

PA system install at Stanley's of Tottington

PA system install at Stanley's of Tottington

With the news that pubs and bars are reopening, Mainline were pleased to be invited to install a new PA system at Stanley's of Tottington. We have previously worked with the owner on his other bar, House of Bridget. Stanley's is a contemporary bar in the heart of Tottington village, regularly hosting live acoustic and semi acoustic acts.

The brief was to provide a permanent install PA that acts could plug their equipment into without needing to bring their own mixer or speakers. The system should also be suitable for background music, and vocals for quiz nights and the like.

Mainline specified a four-speaker configuration of 6.5" + 1" boxes with a range of 75Hz - 19kHz and a max SPL of 115db. With a four-channel amplifier, the level in each part of the bar can be adjusted as required. At the stage area, a 12-channel Soundcraft Notepad 12FX mixer was specified. This compact mixer includes 2 switchable high impedance channels for direct connection of instruments, and features built in effects. Its small footprint made it the ideal choice for the space available. This mixer feeds a small Xenyx 5-channel mixer behind the bar, giving staff master level control, and inputs for background music playback and a microphone.

We also repaired the outdoor speaker system that had been down on level for some time. Rewiring the speakers in parallel presented the correct speaker load to the existing amplifier, giving a considerable increase in volume without replacing any equipment.

Client & venue: Stanley's of Tottington

If your bar needs a sound system inspection or upgrade, please get in touch.

Update and new DJ Disco lighting package - February 2020

DJ lighting package now available to hire

DJ lighting package now available to hire

Throughout February we've continued to support our regular clients with their spot hire needs for lighting and audio.

Towards the end of the month we were at Pendrell Hall, near Wolverhampton, supplying PA and lighting for an evening wedding reception. This was the first outing for our new DJ lighting offer. The package includes 2 mini moving heads, 2 barrel scanners, 2 mirror scanners, RGB colour laser and 2 truss towers with covers for mounting. An optional hazer unit is available if the venue allows. Full details about our lighting and effects package.

The package is available for a single day hire of £120.00 including VAT, based on Friday noon collection to Monday noon return. Collectable with a large car due to the truss tower height being 2 metres.

Don't forget we also have a range of PA & speaker systems to suit DJ events.

At the very end of the month we signed off a new purchase. Direct from manufacturer and built to our specification, there will be more news next time on this exciting new offer.

Update - January 2020

A Mackie speaker under repair

A Mackie speaker under repair

January is a typically quiet time in the events world as everyone recovers from Christmas and New Year season. Here at Mainline, we take the opportunity to service all our equipment ready for the coming season. This is on top of the regular pre and post hire service that everything receives, ensuring reliability for your events.

It's not all repairs and servicing, of course. We continue to support regular and new clients with their hire needs, having several Chauvet fixtures on hire to Starlight Productions and SBS AV.

We have also been working with a new bar in Bury, The House Of Bridget, on their PA and lighting. After an initial three months of trading, they were looking to develop the performance, dancefloor and DJ areas after showing some improvements were needed. Mainline provided advice on décor, and options for lighting and PA. We suggested a phased implementation which will allow each aspect to develop and lead on to the next.

Works included

  • Supplying and fitting wall mounting brackets for the existing speakers
  • Rewiring speakers with new, installation-grade cabling
  • Set up microphones and sound mixer, and provided guidance on their use
  • Supplying and fitting PAR64 lights and dimming for the performance area
  • Supplying and fitting a pair of Martin Wizards as temporary effects lighting, for evaluation before moving to a permanent solution

Client: The House Of Bridget

CONTACT

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Mainline Show Productions Ltd:
Unit B12a, Heywood Distribution Park, Heywood, Manchester OL10 2TS

T: 0161 723 0612 T: 0161 7230612

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