PublicScreen & Lightsystem has joined the growing family of Optiscreen distributors enabling Gearhouse Special Projects to supply more screens to more end users through its specialist distribution force. PublicScreen & Lightsystem have offices in both the UK and Germany and the latest in the Optiscreen family of products will be launched on its stand at Photokina at the end of September.
For the recent opening of the Olympic Arts Festival in Sydney, a series of events was held throughout the day culminating in a performance on the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House. The main idea of the show is a ceremony called Tubowgule (the meeting of waters) where the main aboriginal clans of the area meet to welcome foreign visitors to our shores. Lighting designer for the event was Joseph Mercurio joined by the creative team of Stephen Page, David Page and Jenny Irwin. Mercurio used 12 MAC 600s on the stage area, and told us: "I like the colour mix on the MAC600s as well as the beam-shaping. With this show, they mostly went from a full beam to a frost. I use the MAC500s and 600s quite a bit - they always do the job well."Although there was a small stage, 90% of the show happened elsewhere, with the performers spreading out onto the concourse. The Tarpan wall was lit by nine Studio Due City Colors, whilst a prominent tree was lit by a 4K HMI and another City Color. "I hadn't used the City Colors before and I found the output excellent." said Joe. "The beam spread and evenness of light was very impressive. They certainly did the job of lighting the Tarpan wall. I will certainly be using them again as they are a useful architectural fitting." Control was from a Jands Echelon and the lighting equipment was supplied by Chameleon Touring Systems through Martin distributor Show Technology.
Autograph Sound Recording is experiencing a very busy month in preparation for a flood of theatrical events premiering around the county this coming autumn. Autograph will be supplying, installing and, in some cases, designing, the complete sound and communication systems for an eclectic mix of forthcoming premieres including Napoleon - a new musical opening in October at the Shaftesbury Theatre; The Beautiful Game - the latest offering from Andrew Lloyd Webber; The Caretaker - directed by Patrick Marber and sound designed by Simon Baker; Henry V - a timeless classic from the RSC, sound designed by Matt McKenzie; The Secret Garden - a musical version following Henry V also from the RSC and Divas at the Donmar - returning for a third season at the end of August, sponsored by Autograph and sound designed by Andy Brown. The company has spent the last six months investing in new technology and personnel, as well as making some structural improvements to its premises in North West London.
Federal Signal has completed a major £100,000 contract to supply the prestigious Commonwealth Pool in Manchester. The company was contracted to supply and install a combined public address and voice alarm system on behalf of electrical contractors NG Bailey at the complex which, alongside the athletics stadium, will take centre stage in 2002 when Manchester hosts the Commonwealth Games. The contract included products from its Millbank public address brand and elements of data communications from its Akusta range. The facility features an Olympic-size swimming pool, a diving and training pool and a leisure area.
The Showman's Show will take place on Wednesday 18 - Thursday 19 October, 2000, at its regular Newbury Showground location, but this year visitors will notice a new aisle has being added to the show, and there is an increased international presence. here are several areas of the outdoor event industry which will be boasting new developments: The international community has found Newbury with new stands ranging from a Dutch consortium of companies co-ordinated by Festivak and new marquee companies including 'Tentology' from Canada and Spantech from Belgium. Trade associations within the industry will be promoting standards, and this year Newham College will be promoting education via their new rosta of events related courses and qualifications. On-line registration is now available.
Avolites Hire has supplied ART dimmers for a recent film shoot at Pinewood Studios for the new Meg Ryan movie, Proof of Life. The Avo ART 2000 and 4000 dimmers - four systems of each totalling eight racks - were supplied via Avo's Garry Lodge to main lighting contractor Lee Lighting. Lee's Mark Ackers then co-ordinated all relevant lighting equipment for the film's gaffer John Higgins. The Avo dimmers were controlling all the conventional fixtures on the shoot. This totalled over 500 DMX channels and a mixture of luminaires including practicals, 2Ks, 5Ks and softlights. It was fundamental that the dimmers were capable of allowing them to turn all the lights on full, and leave them running for 14 hours. The shoot lasted two months, during which time all the interior scenes of the house in the movie were shot. The exterior scenes and footage had previously been shot on location in Ecuador.
L-Acoustics, distributor for The Netherlands Ogip Audio & Lights, has provided leading European leisure park operator CenterParcs with an SMPTE-controlled audio and light show. Ogip Audio & Lights BV has provided the complete technical package for the spectacular Market Dome entertainment show. Michiel Illy, head of Center Parcs' special products and development department, commented: "The overall idea of the new show is to create a theatrical show programme throughout the whole area, with the audience becoming part of the show."L-Acoustics EX-112 processor-controlled 12" coaxial full-range loudspeakers are installed with L-Acoustics SB-115 bass extensions. The recently launched L-A17 power amplifier powers the total sound system. Ashly's new Protea equaliser is used for tonal balance adjustments and time alignment. The complete system is controlled by a Akai 4-track hard-disk recorder generating L-R stereo signals, as well as the SMPTE code connected to a Yamaha 01V for the sound and a MA-scancommander for the Martin Roboscans and Robocolors, as well as DMX strobes and theatre profiles.
The Centre for Visual Arts in Cardiff is to close in November with the loss of 40 jobs, due to low visitor numbers. The Centre is the largest gallery in Wales showing new and historical art from Wales and around the world. It is also home to Fantasmic, one of the UK's only hands-on interactive galleries. In an announcement on the venue's website, the trustees state that the decision has been forced upon them by the refusal of the officers of the Arts Council of Wales to work with them to explore the ways forward recommended in the independent review of the Centre. During the period before final closure, the Trustees hope that the Chairman and Council of ACW will convince the National Assembly of the value of implementing the preferred option recommended by the independent report.
Costa Cruises' newest and largest ship, the 2,680 passenger Costa Atlantica, became the company's flagship after joining the fleet at the inaugural ceremony in Venice last month. Built at the Kvaerner Masa yard in Helsinki, the Costa Atlantica is as tall as a 20-storey building, with a surface area 20 times the size of the Olympic stadium in Rome. It has seven bars, a two-level restaurant, café, gym, beauty salon, spa, casino, conference room and three swimming pools. The audio equipment for all public areas, including the 1,000 seat Caruso Theatre, was supplied and installed by MAVCO. The main theatre uses a Midas XL4 fully-automated audio mixer, together with a Midas XL3 side-wing mixer. 90 EAW loudspeakers, together with another 60 Renkus-Heinz and Macpherson loudspeakers provide sound to the audience of 1,170 guests, in an auditorium consisting of both stalls and an upper circle. Processing is via a Media matrix digital sound processor and 54 Crest CKS amplifiers are controlled by Crest's NexSys computer control system.
Amsterdam's Het Muziektheatre, home of the Dutch National Ballet and the Netherlands Opera, recently completed the final phase of a major new sound system installation. Last summer, a full FOH system was installed using Apogee ALA-3s, FH-2s, SSMs and AE-12s. This summer, a complete refurbishment of the ambient surround system was on the docket. A total of 60 Apogee SSMs and 15 custom-built subwoofers were installed at the rear of the seating areas. The five-channel ambient system is used to reproduce sound effects for opera and ballet, and it doubles as the speaker system for 'LARES,' an artificial reverberation enhancement system. Audio director, Hans-Willem de Haan, says: "The change out to the SSMs radically improved the sound quality and believability of the electronically generated reverberation field. And the wide frequency response and power handling of the SSMs let's us programme any effect we like."
The BBC is to close its studios at Pebble Mill, Birmingham, with the loss of 90 staff. According to reports, modern technology is now allowing programme makers to operate outside of a studio setting, so some facilities are no longer needed. Pebble Mill will continue with 600 people and will make location-based lifestyle programmes.
Sennheiser UK is supplying alarge and on-going number of DAS Audio sound systems for installation by Eclipse Lighting & Sound in the rapidly-growing chain of Revolution Vodka Bars openign across the country, operated by Manchester-based Inventive Leisure. Eclipse's John Fearon said that the DAS speakers fitted the bill perfectly: "We essentially use white DAS DS8 and DS12 full-range speakers, with SUB18 bass reflex enclosures and the CT-1 system controller. DAS is perfect for this type of install. The build quality is very good and the sound is exceptional."
English Heritage has recently employed the services of audio-visual specialist DJ Willrich to recreate the atmosphere of a 17th Century riding school at Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire, through the use of sound. By using a 10-channel sound system and a Maris Stinger to synchronise all the events, including lighting, DJ Willrich has risen to the task, so that visitors to the Castle can now close their eyes and imagine themselves standing in the middle of the riding school as it was more than 300 years ago. A host of sounds, including the horses moving about the school, the voice of the riding instructor, the tack and the onlookers, including Lord and Lady Cavendish themselves, combine to recreate the highly-realistic atmosphere which, according to the Chairman of English Heritage, is "a triumph".
One of the highlights of the German heavy-metal calendar, the recent 'Bang Your Head' festival in Balingen attracted over 10,000 head-bangers for two days of high culture with bands such as Scorpions, Saxon and Running Wild. Sound was once again supplied by event regulars Prolite and Media Systems, who used 30 horn-loaded HK Audio R-Series RT 112 12" / 2" mid/high enclosures along with 74 horn-loaded RL 118 (1 x 18") subs. Fifteen pairs of each were flown on each side of stage, with the remaining 44 subs were split into groups of four along the stage front. The system was controlled via a notebook computer and a network of HK Audio Digital Field Controllers, operated by engineers Alex Baron and Rob Hodgkinson. Each of the front-of-house engineers, Ernst Seider and Tom Pätsch, had his own Yamaha PM3500 mixing console, enabling them to alternate mixing duties to provide smooth change-overs between the 22 bands at the event.
Two of the leading companies in the lighting industry have announced an alliance that will make them an even more powerful force in the lighting industry worldwide. CAST Lighting of Toronto, Canada, and Electronic Theatre Controls (ETC) of Middleton, Wisconsin, are co-operating in an OEM deal that will see CAST's pioneering lighting visualisation software closely integrated into the range of ETC's advanced lighting control systems. Fred Foster, founder and CEO of ETC, told us: "This relationship is the opportunity to combine the best of both worlds, and it opens the door to exciting new possibilities in the future."
Leading systems integrator Integrated Circles has installed an outdoor rear projection display screen for Railtrack. Situated on the main square at London's Euston Station, the screen forms the focal point for the information window display seen by tens of thousands of commuters every day. Simon Beer, MD of Integrated Circles, was concerned about the ambient light levels in the station, and after carrying out tests, opted for a combination of the dnp 84" Black Stripe screen with Sanyo XF 10N LCD projector, offering 3000 ANSI Lumens. Beer told us: "It's all about delivering contrast, because a washed-out image is often quite bright enough - it's just that the ambient light is overpowering the dark parts of the picture. So the combination of contrast enhancement filter systems from dnp and good contrast from the Sanyo has made this very successful." The system was provided by Paradigm AV, the UK distributor for dnp.
Apogee Sound International has reinforced its current European distribution channels by the addition of two new partners, Lightfactor Sales (LFS) in the UK and KEM Electronics in Greece. Lightfactor Sales is a long established UK- based distributor, servicing all areas of the pro entertainment and leisure industry, whilst KEM Pro Sound & Vision Systems is a distributor of pro-audio products.
Australian-based lighting control systems manufacturer, LSC Lighting Systems, has appointed Fairlight BV as the official LSC Distributor for the Netherlands. LSC's marketing director Alan Graham told us: "Holland has traditionally been one of the more significant countries in Europe in terms of sales, in which LSC products can be found in some of the most prestigious venues. With Fairlight on board, we are confident that our representation will increase. This, coupled with our newly-introduced and soon-to-be-released products will make LSC one of the major lighting control brands recognised for quality and reliability in Holland."Fairlight has already taken delivery of their first stocking order, which includes the new ePAK and ePRO dimmers.
LG Corporation's new performing arts centre in South Korea is one Asia's most technically-advanced performance facilities, and features a state-of-the-art ETC dimming and control system supplied by ETC Asia, through Samhwa Yang Heng Co, ETC's Korean distributor. Much of the remaining performance lighting equipment was supplied by TMB Associates. This included a load distribution system, using over 2,000 metres of ProCable PC1214 six-circuit, 20A cable, plus 76 breakouts and break-ins, as well as various ProPlex control cables, including 1,000m of PCCCT colour-changer cable. TMB also supplied 400 ETC Source Four luminaires, 68 Wybron Coloram II colour-changers, 500 assorted City Theatrical Source Four accessories and an Aquafog 3300 CO2 fogger, two Altman 703 Blacklight fixtures, 70 ProCan Par 64 fixtures and various atmospheric effects from Le Maitre.
Two famous Soho venues have been supplied with new Soundcraft mixing desks, by Marquee Audio - including one to the site of the former Marquee Club, where the Marquee Audio story began. Top Conran restaurant Mezzo, which now occupies the famous Marquee Club site at 90 Wardour Street, has replaced its 24/4/2 Delta DLX desk in the basement, where in-house sound engineer Jay Garrett will use it with the growing number of soul/funk tribute bands now being staged. From there, Marquee Audio ventured into famous erotic cabaret club, Raymond's Revuebar in Brewer Street, where their stalwart Delta 200 desk has been replaced by a 16-channel K1.
Total Audio Solutions (TAS) has commissioned a new all-digital mobile sound recording unit, designed to provide a no-compromise audio service in a compact and affordable format for broadcast, film and music production. The mobile, known as the TArdiS, is based on a 'go-anywhere' Volkswagen LT46, is designed around the new Sony DMX-R100 compact digital console. The DMX-R100 is the first in the UK to be installed in a mobile facility and is equipped with 24 T-DIF I/Os and eight AES/EBU connections as well as analogue ins and outs. Other features include 24-bit/96kHz converters and the on-board dynamics. The TArdiS is equipped with 24 tracks of Tascam DA78 multitrack and the Sony MX-2424 HD recorder, as well as a pair of Sony 4-head PCM-700 DAT recorders. Monitoring is by PMC, while effects are courtesy of a Sony DRE-S777 sampling reverb processor and DPS-V77 effects unit (both of which feature digital I/Os). CDP-D11 and MDS-E11 CD and MiniDisc units are also incorporated, each requiring just 1U of rack space. TAS is also investing in a support vehicle for the new mobile - a long wheelbase Land Rover 110, which is being equipped as an off-road location vehicle.
GB Audio provided the sound system for the Millennium Festival of Flight at the Museum of Flight in East Lothian, which included a display by the Red Arrows aerobatics display team. The full weekend event culminated in a 3½ hour display, which also featured the Battle of Britain Memorial. GB provided commentary and safety notice (voice only) coverage for the main viewing sites carried out by a flown cluster of Shermann HD115s over the main arena, a tower with four Shermann Commando series 3 and various smaller speakers inside the three main display hangars. Chameleon and Crest amplification was used throughout. The main viewing runway was covered by 16 Shermann Cubs. Control of all zones came from a Yamaha mixing desk with Yamaha system EQ and time delays. Around three kilometres of cable was needed and two Audio-Technica VHF wireless links to get sound to where it needed to be.
The first two of NXT's many patent applications in the USA have now been granted. The original Defence Evaluation & Research Agency (DERA) patent (Panel-Form Loudspeaker), which was exclusively licensed to NXT in 1996, has now also been granted in the USA. A total of 376 granted patents out of a total of 1,316 patents and pending applications in 66 countries worldwide have now been confirmed. NXT has a very substantial portfolio of Intellectual Property including its own patent rights, together with those licensed to it by NCT Inc, of Maryland, USA, Sound Advance Systems of California and other technology partners. To achieve this degree of patent protection NXT spends nearly $5m per annum on patent and legal fees.
In a major expansion of its global projection rental fleet, the Avesco Group has placed a substantial order with Christie Digital Systems which will further extend Avesco's foothold as a leader in the rental staging marketplace. In a deal that will be worth more than US $5 million in total, Avesco will invest in a quantity of Christie Digital's projectors - specifically, the award-winning Roadie X10, Roadster X6 and Roadster X4. With initial delivery of 40 projectors, the new stock will be distributed between Creative Technology's expanding North American interests, while in the UK, holding company Avesco plc will place the equipment with its subsidiaries, including Creative Technology and Media Control Ltd.