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Articles May - June 2019

THE FAMOUS STORY

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BToS Productions - The Rising Star

Nazeef Mohommed, the frontman of an immensely young, passionate and growing enterprise – BToS Productions talks to Ankita Bhadrawale about their overall plans for the future and his recipe to designing, curating and executing the event..... read more

The Next Dimension Of Stage Production

Popularly referred to as India’s equivalent of the Academy Awards; the 64th edition of the Filmfare Awards, presented by The Times Group, continued its legacy of honouring artistic and technical excellence in the Hindi film industry of India......... read more

Complete Audio Solutions from Honeywell

Honeywell is the new entrant on the block in the professional sound segment with ‘Honeywell ProSound’. The series is a perfect adjacency to Honeywell’s current PAVA business offering solutions to new verticals like hospitality, entertainment...... read more

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Reynold’s Brings d&b audiotechnik KSL to India


From ferrying the first speaker systems to venues in a cycle rickshaw to becoming one of the leading companies in the Indian entertainment and music environment, Bangalore based Reynold’s has come a long way, rapidly growing into one of the biggest names in live event product rental and distribution.
Felix Remidos of Reynold’s through the years has invested in latest, state-of-the-art Sound, Lighting, Video and Trussing Systems. Earlier this month, Reynold’s became the first rental company in India to purchase d&b audiotechnik’s KSL systems launched at NAMM in January this year. PT got in touch with Mr. Remidos to know more about this purchase and the company’s future plans.


Tell us a little about the inception of Reynold’s - how and when did you start the company?

My grandfather started Reynolds in 1908 in Kolkata. Originally, the family business was into musical instruments, and my father was the first person to manufacture guitars in India. In 1977 at the age of 18, I was already running the business as my father was not keeping good health. In 1981, I moved to Bangalore and started a branch of the same MI business there. We used to talk to musicians who came to the store about their gigs and realized there was a need for good sound, and therefore in 1982, I expanded into the audio rental business. We initially started with a small audio system, which we used to take to gigs in a cycle rickshaw!

What kind of events were you doing when you first ventured into live event rentals and what kind of inventory (speakers & consoles) did you first invest in for live events?

Our first system was put together using Philips (Holland) drivers and our own homemade cabinets. We used an Ahuja Preamplifier with inputs on the amp, and Ahuja microphones. At that time, we did not know anything about audio mixers etc. Most of the gigs were for small dance bands and small college festivals.

What was the staff strength at that time and what is it now?

We started with just two of us and slowly added on staff as we grew bigger. We currently have around 175 full time staff in the rental business between our Bangalore and Hyderabad offices.

Which was that first big ticket show that catapulted you into the big league?

Our first “international” event was with INNER CIRCLE, a popular reggae band that came to Bangalore. That was when we were still using Peavey Drivers and amplifiers, in homemade cabinets that we constructed locally. The other international (though smaller) events were the International Jazz Yatras that we used to handle in Goa. However, we moved on to using proprietary branded systems. Our first system was the Meyersound MSL-4 system that we used with MC Hammer and Deep Purple around the year 2001.

You recently became the proud owner of the d&b KSL systems. You are the first rental company in India to purchase this system. What was your motivation for this purchase and which segment are you hoping to target with these systems?

This was an easy decision as we had already purchased the flagship GSL system. The KSL belongs to the same SL family series from D&B, and it was a natural extension to the existing GSL inventory that we already had.

Did you have the opportunity to hear the systems in a live environment before you made the purchase?

I was invited for a hearing of the prototype in Germany in April 2018, because we already had the GSL in our inventory and this was part of the same family of speakers, so obviously D&B wanted us to be part of the first group of potential customers to hear the system.

Your inventory now includes both KSL and GSL. How many boxes do you have?

Currently, the GSL system consists of a total of 52 boxes, including the GSL8, GSL12 and SL subs. The KSL system consists of a total of 36 boxes including KSL8, KSL12 and the SL subs. So the total inventory of SL series with us currently is 88 boxes and we have another order already pending with the factory!

You were also the first Rental Company in the world to purchase the GSL systems. What prompted this decision?

I was part of a group of 20-30 customers worldwide that were invited to hear the first official preview of the GSL system in 2017. And I think, probably the only customer that did not own a d&b rig !! However, when I did hear the system and realized what it was capable of in terms of both Audio Quality and SPL levels, I immediately knew that I HAD TO HAVE IT . For me the reasons to buy this system was fairly simple - a) The Audio Quality, b) The amazing power that the speakers delivered which was very important for the large scale concerts we were wanting to use the system for and c) The technology behind the speakers. Having path-breaking technology like cardioid mid-top speakers, meant that all the energy was going out IN FRONT, and when one walked on stage hearing the PA fully on, it was amazing how quiet the stage was! The SL subs really MOVE AIR, and you will feel the punch right in your gut! Most importantly, d&b were using the same time-tested D-80 amplifiers to drive the speakers, so it wasn’t all new. The heart of the system being the amplification was still what d&b was using across most of their speaker models and that made the system very reliable . Reynolds is extremely honoured to be the first company in the world to receive the GSL system – not something that we asked for, or expected – but it was a pleasant surprise that d&b decided that they wanted us to have the first system out on the planet !

Please tell us a little about your association with d&b and their distributors in India – Ansata

We have a very close relationship with Ansata, thanks to the fact that they are in Bangalore and hardly 2-3 km away from our warehouse as the crow flies. Apart from that, what we really value in our relationship with Ansata is their professionalism, their commitment to the brands that they carry, the support that they offer and most importantly, their technical knowledge, which in a highly technical industry is very important, as you cannot only talk about products and money. As a distributor, you need to have the knowledge and the technical background to support what you sell.

Tell us little about your inventory today. What does your inventory look like today?

So, apart from Audio, our company also offers Lighting, Video (both LED and Projection) as well as Trussing / Rigging for events. Our Audio inventory runs into several pages, but suffice to say, that in each of the above verticals, we rank among the top five in the country – which is not a mean feat by any standards!! Apart from our new d&b system, we still have a sizeable inventory of Meyer Sound Audio Speakers and Audio Focus Speakers (the smaller Ares 8 line arrays). In Lighting, it mainly revolves around Clay Paky and PR moving lights, as well as a huge inventory of LED lights. Our Lighting control is mainly MA Lighting– both dimmers and controllers. In Video, our projectors are mix of Christie and Panasonic, our LED Screens currently are all from Liantronics, and our AV switchers are from Extron, Lightware and Barco. We recently purchased the Barco E2 switcher, which is our flagship switcher at the moment. Our trussing is from Total Fab’s, Eurotruss and Universal Truss. Our scaffolding is completely from Layher, Germany. We are today a complete ONE STOP solution and most event companies prefer to work with us as they don’t have to look for multiple vendors as we have everything in-house. We back up our inventory with a full-fledged service center comprising of eight full time technicians and a fleet of 10 Cargo Trucks and also Passenger Vehicles for our crew.

What are the big tickets shows you have done in the recent past and anything big lined up for 2019?

We have worked with all kinds of events – International Touring Rock Acts like Bryan Adams, Metallica, Guns n Roses, Deep Purple etc. Today’s international performances that are more popular are the EDM acts, and we have worked with Wiz Khalifa, Jason Derulo, Avicii, DJ Hardwell, DeadMau5 David Guetta, Armin Van Buuren, Above and Beyond etc.

We have worked with several of the big festivals in India including NH7, Serendipity and have also supplied equipment for several large religious and social organisations including the Dalai Lama, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Sadh Guru, and the late Sai Baba. Our bread and butter and daily business is primarily in the corporate sector. We have done the largest corporate events in India including SAP Tech Ed, Google Developer Days, IBM’s Town Hall with their CEO Gennie Romerty etc. In the political arena, we have done large-scale election Rallies for our Prime Minister Narender Modi and other leaders like Rahul Gandhi and KCR in Hyderabad. Regarding prospective work in 2019, we do have several projects in the pipeline, but keeping in mind the NDA’s signed, I am not at liberty to mention these at the moment.

What is your perception of the live events industry in India today?

Looking back at where I started in 1982 with a small system on a cycle rickshaw, for sure, we have come a long, long way. The market has grown, there are several big players in our industry who are doing quite well and run a fairly professional business. One of the key factors that will need realignment in the future is the fact that many in the industry use short cuts to do an event as they want to save costs and increase profits. Many undercut on pricing to get business. These short cuts don’t work in the long run. Safety is a non-negotiable factor, and the industry needs to recognize this and while many organisers do know this, they talk about it as if they are saints and willfully ignore it when doing their own events as the sole motive is to increase profits. Also, equipment rental companies need to focus more on training and equipment knowledge, safety parameters, and WHEN TO SAY NO to a client. Ideally, forming industry related associations that can have proper training programs and a common platform to improve on safety, and look after the welfare of both staff and equipment maintenance, is the right way forward as is being done in other countries.

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