Dublin-based Sound Communications & Electrical Ltd have installed a full TOA public address and background music system in the new luxury, 259-room Four Seasons Hotel Dublin. Although no paging system was required, Sound Communications supplied electrical contractors, Patrick Lynch Ltd, with three, fully-loaded 42U TOA glass-doored racks. These contain CD/cassette/microphones and processing, and are respectively sited in the lounge, café/restaurant and fitness/aerobics areas, to connect up to the general wiring and interfacewith the fire alarm system. The design was based on the option of centralised CD/cassette-based background system and independent sources, with localised volume control and CD selector at the rack.
The two main function rooms can each be divided into four separate areas, with their own mic inputs, each of which may select either the central CD or a rack-based CD specific to that area, and the four meeting rooms can also choose from the central CDs or local mic/auxiliary inputs. This sophisticated network was accomplished using a range of TOA equipment, including a V1000 preamplifier for the central control and a combination of TOA VM1060 and VM1120 mixer amplifiers. The racks are charged with three VP1240 240W power amplifiers and BA-800 twin-deck cassette players are used to source the taped-based material. A pair of TOA WTA30 diversity radio mic systems have been provided for use in the function suites, lounge and aerobics areas. The loudspeakers are likewise sourced exclusively from the TOA catalogue. TOA PC10VI loudspeakers provide high-quality so
The Institute of Sound and Communications Engineers has announced a programme of technical seminars for 2001. These include a tutorial on AFILS on 1 May, a two-day course on 'Basic Acoustic for Sound System Professionals' on 15 and 22 May and a one-day practical seminar on 'Measuring Loudspeakers' on 5 June. These courses are open to all, and full details with relevant fees are available from Cathy Mackenzie.
B&H Production Services has completed a sound system upgrade in the 150-year old St Saviours Parish Church in Sidcup, Kent - using Turbosound loudspeakers for the main PA. Four TCS-59 cabinets - two flown at the front of the knave and two flown at the mid-point - to provide the time-aligned delay. The installation replaces an old column system. B&H won the tender for the contract with a shoot-out against other loudspeaker manufacturers, and won due to the quality of the Turbosound boxes, which managed to contain the church’s internal reverberation problems to the greatest degree. John Ellis, who designed the system on behalf of B&H, commented: "The requirements were for a sound reinforcement system that would handle both speech and music. The church has held several large events since the installation was completed, and they’re over the moon with the results."
Laser Magic has opened an office in Bahrain, offering a full rental package which includes a wide range of laser systems, water screens, xenon projection and other special effects. The company has also invested in lighting from Martin Professional (MAC 500), Coemar (1200W washlights) as well as a range of smaller 250W and 300W intelligent fixtures from Coef. The company has also purchased new Sanyo XF10 projectors, the latest NEC plasma screens and high-quality active sound systems, making Laser Magic one of the best-stocked hire companies in the area. As one of the first projects undertaken from the new office, Laser Magic supplied equipment for the Amir's special concert in Bahrain on the 22 March.
Live video production specialists Nocturne Europe are changing their trading name to XL Video with immediate effect. The move will offer a more consolidated approach to international markets and associate the company directly with XL Video in Belgium, the USA & Japan - outdoor screen suppliers with extensive stocks of Barco, Delite, Saco & Lighthouse LED screens.
In California, an even closer association is taking place with the opening of a new XL Video office in LA, also specializing in live video production. The US operation is headed up by Bob Higgins and Barbara Riedling, both of whom have a long-standing history in, and vast knowledge of, the US concert touring market. This name-change and US office launch follows a successful 12 months for the St Albans-based company. Over the past year it has worked with artists such as Oasis, Madonna, Eric Clapton, Craig David, the Corrs, Robbie Williams, Steps, Leftfield, David Gray, Westlife and on the just-commencing U2 Elevation world tour.
PLASA Media has just learnt that Decoupe, the Tottenham-based distributor of theatrical products, has gone into voluntary liquidation. The company, founded in 1993 by Tom Mannings, specialised in supplying high performance lighting equipment to the entertainment industry, and was until recently the distributor for the range of followspots, luminaires and digital products from Robert Juliat. The company was also the UK agent for the MDG updated range of fog generators and the Sajem Copernik dichroic Par cans. The UK distribution of Robert Juliat product has now been taken over by White Light.
The liquidators are The Thompson Partnership, based in Halsall.
More details in the April issue of L&SI.
PLASA Media has learned that Home nightclub in Leicester Square, London, has been closed after an undercover police investigation showed there was open and serious Class A drug dealing and usage at the venue. Westminster Council made the decision to revoke the club’s entertainment licence with immediate effect, at an emergency meeting following police advice. Chief Inspector Chris Bradford, of the Metropolitan Police Clubs and Vice Unit, said: "We felt it was necessary to take the unusual course of action in a bid to try and eradicate this serious and open problem from the premises.
"A full investigation has been carried out by my officers and we have explored many other courses of action to avoid having to make this application. Our actions in this case should act as a warning to other premises where there is a serious drug problem that we are prepared to take every step in our power to solve the problem."
It is believed to be the first time that a club of this size has had its licence revoked, police said.
Italian loudspeaker manufacturer B&C has appointed London-based Proel as its official UK distributor. B&C speakers can be found inside many ‘big name’ manufacturers’ enclosures, but this is the first time the company will have had an active distributor and stockist in the UK. The appointment of Proel coincides with two new high-power woofers being added to B&C’s main speaker series, plus the launch of a completely new range of lightweight drivers. The two newcomers are the 18 TBX 46 and 15 TBX 40. The 18" driver will handle 1,000W AES and features a ventilated magnet assembly for higher power handling and lower power compression. The 15" TBX 40 will also handle 1000W AES and shares a similar design approach. The new B&C range is the company’s HPL (High Power Lightweight) series, which features neodymium magnets and high pressure aluminium chassis with solid heat sinks, allowing higher power handling and lower power compression.
The Gilbert Collection is an outstanding collection of decorative art bequeathed to the British nation by Sir Arthur Gilbert and currently on display in the new Museum of Decorative Art in central London’s Somerset House. A major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund has financed the museum as part of the restoration of Somerset House, an 18th century architectural masterpiece by Sir William Chambers. Asked by the director of the Gilbert Collection to resolve the design problems faced with the lighting in the main galleries Rupert Little, technical director of LVS took on the job and specified the new Aureol Beam Shaper from Selecon. Poor positioning of tracks in the original installation were overcome by the flexibility and adaptability of the Aureols, allowing often difficult ‘shots’ to be achieved. From a design point of view, the performance of the fixtures, coupled with a clean design and minimal light spill made the fitting an ideal choice.
If you’re planning to be in Shanghai next week for PLASA 2001 at the Intex Exhibition Centre, take some time out from the show to attend the DTI-funded seminar by DHA Lighting on the use of theatrical lighting effects in architectural environments on Wednesday 4th April. As a DTI-sponsored activity, the seminar will deal with only UK-manufactured products, and PLASA stipulates that it is a seminar rather than a product briefing. DHA Lighting will be represented by Julie Harper, sales manager for Asia, who will address a wide audience through a translator. She will be using DHA products and a number of recent Asian projects - the installation of a silver DHA Gecko Image Projector in a high-tech show apartment and number of white DHA animation effects in a Hong Kong shopping mall - to illustrate how theatrical lighting effects can be translated seamlessly into an architectural context.
The 42nd edition of the Festival Internacional de la Canción de Viña del Mar, Latin America’s longest-running music festival, was staged in February next to the botanical garden and ‘Palacio de Bellas Artes’. Joaquín Cortés opened the festival, which also included performances by the Vengaboys, Ricardo Arjona, Lucero, La Ley and Miguel Bosé. Pat Henry, owner of the Mexico City-based lighting hire company of the same name, supplied and installed the entire lighting rig for Viña del Mar for the eighth consecutive year, and designed the lighting set together with lighting director of broadcaster Canal 13, Jaime Sato. Pat Henry supplied a large amount of Italian-made SGM scanners and moving heads for the event - 50 Galileo IV 1200s, 64 Giotto Spot 1200s and 24 Giotto Wash 1200s. Scanners were mostly installed in backlighting to liven up the stage and to illuminate the artists, while the Giotto washlights were used to surround the large LED display behind the stage.
Stagetec (UK) Ltd has been awarded the contract to supply a sound and lighting system for the 'Pride of Rotterdam' - the first of P&O North Sea Ferries' two new cruise ferries. The new vessels will have accommodation including luxury suites and all cabins will have their own private facilities. They will also offer an à la carte restaurant, a two-tiered show lounge, wine bar, business centre and even a cyber zone, where passengers can surf the web. The system, being supplied through Ellie Jay Cruising Entertainment, consists of a Compulite Spark 4D lighting control desk, Allen & Heath GL3300 32-channel mixer, Sennheiser Evolution radio mic systems and a complement of signal processing and effects equipment. The ship sails on 12th April and will sail daily from Hull to Rotterdam.
With Legoland California now open and the fourth park under construction in Germany, Lego are ready to take their theatrical productions to the next level. By asking Edwards Technologies Inc to install matching AV and show-control systems at similar theatres in all its sites, it is now proving economically favourable for Lego to produce shows with far higher production values, and stage them at all locations simultaneously. In Billund, Denmark, ETI is installing a complete bespoke AV and show-control system to the brand new 450-seat XTREME Theatre, in the original Legoland. This will be the park’s first purpose-built theatre (and the largest in Jutland). The theatre opens in April with a hybrid live/multimedia show ‘Life On Mars’. In California, ETI is expanding its existing AV and show-control system in the Imagination Theatre. This was part of the park-wide installation competed by ETI in 1999. Life On Mars opens there in May.
At Legoland in the UK, ETI is upgrading the facilities of the existing 'Circus Tent' venue. The system will include a complete video and show-control installation, but at Lego's request will integrate with much of the existing audio and lighting equipment. 'Life On Mars' opens in the UK in June. Finally, in Gunzburg in Germany, ETI is engineering a similar state-of-the-art AV and show-control system as part of their park-wide design for the park. The fourth Legoland opens in summer 2002.image – Lego.jpg
Avolites has recently supplied the UK‘s two major film, video and television lighting rental houses - AFM Lighting and Lee Lighting – with ART dimming systems, which will run at a guaranteed 100 % duty cycle with very low levels of filament and choke noise. When AFM Lighting approached Avolites about their need to selectively disable the RCB functions for individual dimmer modules, the Avolites design team was happy to accommodate.The resulting facility is now offered as an option to all Avo customers, whereby the RCB function of each dimmer module may be individually disabled via a push-button key-switch. This is a common requirement during live TV recording and film shoots, where lights must be guaranteed working, without the risk of a minor earth fault (e.g. dampness on lamps) tripping the RCB protection devices.
For maximum flexibility, the Avolites ART-2000 dimmers can have the RCB-disable option applied in groups of 12 channels - unlike other dimmers where the whole rack has to be switched into similar mode. AFM’s Chris Millard worked closely with Avolites’ R&D team, headed by JB Toby, to produce this feature. Immediately after delivery to AFM, the dimmers went to Leavesden Studios in Hertfordshire, and into action on the set of a high profile Warner Bros movie, due for release in the Autumn.
Continuing in the film and television vein, for Lee Lighting North, Avolites has supplied eight modules of ART-4000 dimming to add to their rental inventory. For Lee Lighting in London, a further supply of 11 ART-2000 48-way racks has just been complet
SJM Consultants has for the last four years been awarded the contract to provide technical and production management of Kensington & Chelsea Colleges' (London) fashion shows, which have been held at the college and at Chelsea Old Town Hall. For 2001, the show is to be held at Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street London W8, on 22 May. Steve McNeil of SJM Consultants will be providing production management along with Svend Johanson of DSA Production Services, who are supplying the technical backup, set, catwalk and crew.
In order to continue supplying customers in London and the South East, Playlight will be moving into new premises in North West London following the auction being held in its existing warehouse on Friday 18th May. Dan McMullan is setting up the new base with Jim Ewart who will head the new operation. Ian Duff and Andrew ‘Chunk’ Charters will be providing logistical and technical back-up. The new office will be concentrating on the dry hire of lighting, sound, drapes and starcloths to the conference and theatre markets, as well as the dry hire of film gear to the industry. It will be up and running by July and operations will carry on as normal out of the existing warehouse up until that point. The northern end of the company has also come under the spotlight and will be concentrating on the above areas, but in addition, will have a division handling OBs, festivals and studio work. The company plans to streamline its hire stock through the auction and shed a large volume of sound and lighting equipment surplus to its requirements. Following the auction the company will be revamping the remaining hire stock and investing in new equipment better suited to the markets it works in.
Destiny's Child, the Houston, Texas-based group, has been out touring the USA during March to celebrate their successful album, ‘The Writing's on the Wall’ and to promote their new CD, ‘Survivor,’ released this spring. For this short stint, lighting contractor Theatrical Media Services (TMS) from Omaha, Nebraska, has provided LD Shane Preston with a rig of High End Systems products including 25 Studio Spot 575s, 13 Studio Color 575s, eight Dataflash AF1000s and one F-100 fog machine, along with some conventional gear. Lighting crew chief Raymond Werthmann says the show is "constantly moving" with a moving backdrop, kabuki drops, and lots of "extra surprises." The High End gear is on every truss, Werthmann says, with eight of the 24 Studio Spot 575s on the floor and all Cyberlights in the air. Werthmann comments: "The equipment is working well. It always does. It's like all High End fixtures - you put it up there and it works. You don't have to think about it."Joining Werthmann on the lighting crew are Aaron Stinebrink and Audra Breyer. The multi-award-winning Destiny's Child plan a bigger outing this summer, with a larger show and more equipment . . .
Fast-expanding installation contractors, Promedia Systems have just completed an audio fit-out of City Bars & Restaurants plc’s flagship venue, 10 Covent Garden - a transfiguration of the New Connaught Rooms banqueting facility. Promedia have deployed 10 C Audio Pulse 2x1100s and a single 2x650 amplifier to drive the sound systems installed throughout the five rooms, and director Ian Woodall says that the flexibility this affords has provided a winning combination. "We have an ISDN line in the amplifier room, with one of the channels hooked up to Soundweb and the other to the C Audio’s proprietary Connect network to allow remote amplifier diagnostic and reprogramming of the EQ and/or matrix parameters. This means that the network can be dialled up from home and any problems solved remotely." But he adds that since 95% of problems end to be user error, it makes a great diagnostic tool. At 10 Covent Garden it is the BSS Soundweb which forms the entire control backbone for all five rooms, including All About Eve and The 10 Room, matrixed via two 9088 devices, a 9010 Jellyfish and four 9012 Shrimps, offering a local input and output in each room. The Shrimps have been reconfigured, with a little help from some neat programming in the Jellyfish, to facilitate 11 separate sources. Thus from a single point in the venue the engineer can control any of the CD multiplay sound sources fed to any of the rooms.
Edwin Shirley Staging, the international concert staging company, will be providing all the staging and general contracting services for the Backstreet Boys as part of their forthcoming South American tour. This part of the tour will last two months and visit four different countries and will end with a concert in San Juan, Puerto Rico on 20 May. Staging for the tour will involve a provision to hang an 8 tonne video screen suspended from a 25 metre high roof with 12 metre PA wings. ESS will be acting as project manager, hiring local subcontractors to provide equipment and labour.
Trantec’s award-winning S5000 microphone system is currently being used on a touring revival of the popular Thirties musical by Cole Porter, Anything Goes. The system was supplied through Wigwam Acoustics Ltd. The four-month UK tour kicked off in Blackpool and will complete its run in St Helier, Jersey, where it will be for the whole of the summer. The 14-channel belt-pack system is being used by all the lead performers and key members of the chorus. The positioning of a live band in the middle of the set means that radio mics for the cast are crucial. Sound designer Glen Beckley is also using an S5000 system on the current UK tour of the seventies disco musical, Oh What A Night.
Barco has signed major contract agreements with eight leading cinema dealers. Abbott Theatre Equipment Co, Bell Theatre Services, Bright Star Systems, Cinema Equipment Sales, Media Technology Source, National Cinema Supply Corporation, Omnex Pro Film and Universal Cinema Services have all signed rental agreements with Barco Digital Cinema.
Barco Digital Cinema is one of only three licensees of Texas Instruments’ DLP Cinema technology. TI developed DLP Cinema technology in close co-operation with key players in the film industry, and will continue to work closely with Barco to develop commercial products based on this technology. "One of the most frequently asked questions about digital cinema is: Where are the engineers and technicians going to come from, to install and service equipment in this new technology?" said Harry Mathias, Barco’s director of Digital Cinema, America. "The dealers, that are our new partners, are the companies who designed, equipped, and serviced, most of the major new stadium seating multiplexes in the world today. These dealers have an army of experienced cinema technicians that are being trained in the new technology by Barco’s extensive training department."
Stagetec has been awarded the contract to design, supply and install a feature architectural lighting scheme for St Johns Beacon in Liverpool. The project, in association with Lee Forde from Liverpool Vision, consists of 10 Studio Due City Beams mounted on the roof tops of surrounding buildings focused on to the Beacon, a 400ft high tower housing the local radio station. DMX distribution will be achieved between buildings using the Interactive Technologies radio DMX units. The system will be controlled from a Compulite SP-4D rackmount replay unit linked to a CompuCall telephone to DMX interface allowing the whole system to be controlled from the building's telephone system. A Compulite SparkTOP system and CompuCAD software is part of the package, enabling the lighting to be programmed off-site and then loaded into the SP-4D. The project is due to be completed by the end of March.
No less than three of Northern Light's Touchscreen Programmable Stage Management desks are bound for the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts. Situated in an award-winning complex centrally located on the Wanchai waterfront, the Academy has a range of flexible performance venues equipped to international standards. Three members of the Northern Light team who developed and manufactured the desks will travel to Hong Kong to install and programme them and provide operational training. Throughout the project, Northern Light's design team worked closely in liason with the Academy's associate director, Philip Soden, customising the desks to meet their specific requirements. Pictured left to right are Steve Courtney, Alan Paris and Dave Webster - three members of the Northern Light team bound for Hong Kong.
Power Gems Sales & Marketing Division has moved to new, larger premises in Park Royal, London. The company’s new facility provides it with an extensive warehouse and new product demonstration area. The move has been partly necessitated by the company’s acquisition of Quartermaster in July 2000, which expanded both the products and services offered in Europe to include a wide range of ‘daylight’ lighting systems. The company can now be reached at Daylight House, Unit 4, Oliver Business Park, Oliver Road, Park Royal, London, NW10 7JB, UK. Tel: +44 20 8965 0000.