AC-ET Opens Students Eyes at Oldham College
2nd February 2011
A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ltd underlined its commitment to ongoing training when its Leeds, UK, based northern office staged a Training Open Day for students on the BTEC Extended Diploma in Production Arts (Technical) at Oldham College.
Adam Beaumont, Head of AC-ET's Rigging sales division, James Bawn from the Lighting division and Stuart Moots from the Audio division co-ordinated the event, which involved their collective skills, experience and resources, plus some of the industry's leading rigging, lighting and audio products. The equipment was taken to the college for the day and set up a series of live interactive demonstrations in the purpose built Grange Arts Centre performance facility.
Both Adam and James are previous students of the college. Stuart studied an audio course as part of his Music & Media Technology degree at Leeds Metropolitan University before starting his career in the professional production industry, so all appreciate the importance of learning about the latest technology and its practical and creative applications.
The courses being studied are for Entertainment Technician and Stage Technician qualifications, and include modules on lighting & sound engineering.
Adam commented, "I was approached by BTEC Production Arts course tutor Dave Hughes about doing some training for the students, so we constructed a special half day presentation to run for 2 sessions covering some important aspects of lighting, audio and rigging."
With so much potential information to pack in, specific elements of each area were highlighted and presented in a lively and interesting manner, complete with hands-on examples with which the students could 'get live'. There was also the chance for in-depth Q&As.
The lighting section focused on LED products and technology, with Chroma-Q Color Force high output LED battens and Color Block 2 modular LED fixtures used as versatile examples. The sessions included the philosophy of LED lighting and how the technology works, the applications and the huge benefits - both for the creative imagination and the environment. This subject elicited an enormous amount of interest, and proved a real chance for the students to enhance their general lighting knowledge base.
Audio centred on the technical and design differences and advantages of line array versus point source systems, and digital mixing. A Nexo Geo S12 line array system was assembled and flown on a portable VMB A220 PA tower, hooked up with a Roland M300 console, which was used to demonstrate the breadth and flexibility of digital mixing. The Diploma students in particular engaged with this section of the day, experimenting enthusiastically by hooking iPods and laptops into the system, learning how different parameters of the output could be easily tweaked and effected, and generally making lots of noise!
For Rigging, a Litec QX30S trussing goal post was built, and a session was devoted to truss theory. More familiar with theatrical environments and winch and hemp systems, the versatility of the medium was also a big eye-opener for the students. Adam Beaumont rigged up some CM Lodestar and ProStar motors and elucidated on the chain hoists, plus some basic rigging and safety theory including weight loading. They also set up a Kinesys Libra load cell system to show how dynamic loads can be accurately monitored.
A life size dummy was used to help illustrate the principals of working at height, which was accompanied by a workshop on using the correct PPE equipment.
The 2 AC-ET sessions were each attended by around 15 - 20 people, who battled their way through some seriously inclement weather to experience the training.
Also involved on site from AC-ET was A.C. Rigging sales executive Matt Millward, who studied an Advanced Diploma in Production & Design at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts before relocating to the UK and joining the company.
Says Adam Beaumont, "The feedback we received was really excellent. There were plenty of informed and thought-through questions, and the students were also really impressed with the chance of seeing the latest up-to-the-minute technology in action and getting hands-on with it."
Dave Hughes adds, "Adam Beaumont and his team provided expert tuition throughout the day and the students all said how much they enjoyed their lighting, sound and rigging sessions."
With the benefits of training clearly visible to all, Adam says that he hopes more on site college training open days like this will take place in the future.
This will be in addition to the regular motor schools, rigging courses, sound engineering and 2012 'digital switchover' open days, plus other training and product awareness opportunities that AC-ET offers in its proactive Leeds and High Wycombe demo facilities.
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