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Solotech Continues Sound Working Partnership with LIPA


The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) is a performing arts higher education institution in Liverpool, founded by Paul McCartney. Since 1985, McCartney had known that the building which housed his old school, the Liverpool Institute High School for Boys, was becoming increasingly derelict after the school’s closure and wished to find a productive use for it. In 1996, LIPA was born.

Solotech and the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts first established their Sound Working Partnership in 2017. The project includes opportunities for work experience and long-term employment for students, along with logistical support and training from Solotech.


Kyle Durno advising on system tuning

LIPA currently offers 11 full-time BA (Hons) degrees in various fields across the performing arts, including Sound Technology and Theatre & Production. These courses, in particular, have proven to be a rich source of talent for Solotech over the years. Head of Audio Sales Dan Bennett, Senior Application Engineer Kyle Durno, and many other former students have all gone on to forge successful careers with the company and in the broader live production industry.

For Nick Lythgoe, Director of Technical R&D at Solotech, the courses form part of a structured calendar of training days, exposing the students to both his expertise and the hardware that Solotech provides. This has included training on audio networking, Yamaha consoles, and L-Acoustics loudspeakers. As a certified L-Acoustics trainer, Solotech was able to educate and certify those who attended as accredited KARA II engineers, a real advantage in their life after study!

“I love these days,” says Nick. “The students are amazing, and you can see that they are getting so much from the hands-on experience. As someone who has enjoyed and taken so much pleasure from this industry, it’s a genuine privilege to be able to give back and train future generations.”


Solotech’s Nick Lythgoe delivers KARA II training

The culmination of the academic year, the 2ube Xtra festival, enables the students to put into practice much of what they have learned in the classroom.

The 2ube Xtra festival is a collaborative event across LIPA, with students from almost every program/department either performing or working on the production – including students from music, dance, sound technology, theatre design and production, film and creative technology, and management. It runs over 12 days and features 52 bands.

The festival takes place in LIPA’s Paul McCartney Auditorium, where Solotech specified and supplied an L-Acoustics KARA II system for the event. L-R hangs of 6xKARA II per side were flown directly off the front truss, with 6x KS28 ground stacked in a cardioid array to provide low-frequency reinforcement. L-Acoustics A15 Wide were used as infill across the stage apron, while L-Acoustics X12 provided even coverage to the side galleries.


Flying L-Acoustics KARA II with Katerina Panagopolou

In addition to the PA, Solotech supplied a Yamaha DM7 console, a d&b audiotechnik M4 monitor package, and four channels of Sennheiser D6000 wireless.

Solotech provided additional support throughout the festival. L-Acoustics’ Katerina Panagopolou was on hand to assist with the rigging, while Solotech’s Kyle Durno was on hand to assist with the final tuning of the system. Kyle then returned during the festival along with Dan Bennett to provide additional support.

Chris Layton, Senior Lecturer in Sound Technology and Course Leader, commented: “We’re delighted that our partnership with Solotech continues to go from strength to strength. The support we have received in recent months has been fantastic.

“Not only have they supplied the system for our festival, but our students have received training and advice from those who are at the top of their professions in this industry. That kind of real-world exposure is invaluable for our students looking to forge a career in the live audio field.”

Solotech’s Kyle Durno and Dan Bennett at LIPA

Dan Bennett, Head of Audio Sales at Solotech, added, “It’s key that we nurture the up-and-coming talent in our industry, and we’re delighted to continue to support LIPA in this way.

“As a former graduate, LIPA has a special place in my heart. I have experienced the excellent introduction that their Live Performance Technology courses give to our industry, and the opportunity to give something back is a privilege on both a personal and professional level.”


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