Tenfeet Sets Sail with Hippotizer Montane+ at Rotterdam Ahoy

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 Dutch lighting specialist unleashes latest Hippotizer Media Server for arena shows.

December 2017 saw Dutch singer Waylon, appearing in association with Radio Veronica and its Top 1000 show, play three sold-out nights at the Ahoy Rotterdam arena. The Radio Veronica brand goes back to the 1960s – when it broadcast from offshore – and its Top 1000 is a hotly anticipated announcement, yearly listing ‘the 1000 best songs ever’.

Waylon is well on his way to Dutch ‘national treasure’ status, having represented his country in the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest – as part of band – and returning in 2018 as a solo act. Waylon, real name Willem Bijkerk, made his breakthrough on Holland’s Got Talent 2008, reaching the final and placing second. Recognised for his soulful voice he made music history as the first Dutchman to sign to the Motown label.

The Rotterdam shows featured Waylon, plus special guests, delivering tracks from the Top 1000 list. Dutch creative outfit Tenfeet was charged with providing pre-program studio facilities for lights and video, as well as operating media servers during the live gigs. Given carte blanche by the event organisers to configure a video control system to exactly match its wishes, Tenfeet – less than two weeks before rehearsals and pre-programming – selected for a media server that it had never before used: Hippotizer Montane+ – the most powerful Notch enabled media server available today. A risky move? Not as far as Tenfeet was concerned.

“Only two weeks before, we heard about Green Hippo’s newest Media Server”, explained Ton Swaak of Tenfeet, “which was the Montane+, optimised for Notch software. We were familiar with the software and Green Hippo has always been a key part of our rental stock. Even though we had never seen Montane+ ‘live’, we knew that we could rely on the quality of this product, so we placed an order with Ampco Flashlight Sales for Green Hippo’s first batch of Montane+ models.”

Having taken delivery of the world’s first Montane+ units, Tenfeet put the finishing touches to the Top 1000 show, which featured 20% pre-rendered content, with the remaining 80% a live feed. With the big LED screen stretching the width of the stage, Tenfeet placed six HD dome cameras in the set, a pair of manned cameras front-of-house, plus handhelds within the audience and onstage. A separate user controlled the dome cameras with the Tenfeet operator performing the actual switching.

Teamwork was key here. “There was close and intensive communication between the operators, as well as with the ascender operator from Faber audiovisuals,” said Ton. Ultimately, the Montane+ controlled all camera signals via SDI inputs, and ran Notch along with the pre-rendered content. Having bitten the bullet and ordered untested machines, the show went 100% to plan, delivering three awesome sold-out nights in the famous Ahoy Rotterdam venue!

Reflecting on a Rotterdam job (very) well done Ton added, “The Montane+ system was completely new to us, together with the use of Notch, as was the workflow this set-up required between lights, content creators, video programmer and camera crew. This could have been unsettling for some, but the instant on-site support from Green Hippo’s Phil Blue and Ryan Brown, as well as from Luke Malcolm of Notch was incredibly supportive. The Montanes did a great job, above expectation and couldn’t even “cool down” before being transported to the next job – Golden Earring live in Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam. After that, we’re packing them for 14 sold-out Rotterdam shows. So, to be continued!”

The Green Hippo Montane+ gives you access to a formidable force in the live production world. Featuring Notch, Montane+ seamlessly enables users to create, simulate, render edit and play.