PLASA Publishing has received news that a winding up order has been served on Metro Audio. The company, well known for its wired intercom and stage management systems, is now in the hands of the Official Receivers Office, which is currently working on establishing a full list of creditors. Although the company is trading as Metro Audio, the order, which went through the High Court on November 17th, relates to Speed 1436 Ltd - the company's official registered name.
In an important and complex communications system, British Aerospace has taken delivery of beyerdynamic DT 109 headsets and an ASL wired intercom system for use in a test bay configured for software development work on Tornado fighter aircraft. The ASL system was chosen for its clarity and ease of operation and due to background noise levels from fans and aircraft systems, the DT 109 headsets provide an ideal communication environment between the control room and the development floor. All the equipment was supplied and specified through beyerdynamic (UK) Ltd who are the UK distributors for the Dutch manufacturer ASL.
London-based Orbital Sound have supplied Pola Productions with a complex sound system designed by Rick Clarke, comprising d&b and EAW loudspeakers, 22 Trantec S5000 radio microphones, an Amek Recall mixing desk and a battery of remotely-controlled XTA DP226 delay/ EQ units, for their latest West End Musical, Spend, Spend, Spend, starring Barbara Dickson.Tim Sharrett, Orbital's technical support manager, devised an innovative solution (by broadening the application of wireless network links) for sound designers to control the accuracy of equalisation, delay and levels of any speaker within the auditorium. Multi-zone systems can also be simply accessed, even with the audience in place. This makes it possible to tune and realign the speakers in real time, giving increased control, precision and ultimately the best sound quality. The system does not transfer program data, but simply communicates screen, keyboard and mouse data to other computers which operate the equaliser and delay software directly. This makes the system so versatile that the show's sound designer, Rick Clarke, can remotely view and interrogate the 32-channel Trantec Radio Microphone Software from anywhere in the building.
Twenty British companies have teamed-up to form the British exhibitor delegation to the pre-Olympics edition of Entech (March 5-7, 2000). The exhibition has moved from its harbour-side home to the Dome, the new Homebush exhibition centre within the Games complex.The UK delegation will present the best of UK staging and stage automation, effects lighting, loudspeakers, software and trade publications. AC Lighting, DHA Lighting, Edwin Shirley Staging, Light Processor and Stage Technologies are all taking stands within PLASA's UK block whilst Allen & Heath, Anytronics, Avolites, James Thomas Engineering, Le Maitre, Martin Audio, Miller Freeman Entertainment, Navigator Systems, Penn Fabrication, Pulsar, Pulse Publications, Showcad, Starlite Systems Technology and Tomcat UK will be featured on stands elsewhere in the hall.
Stage Electrics is relocating its Bristol branch and Head Office to new premises located in the same area at the Junction of Avonmouth Way and Third Way, close to Junction 18 of the M5.The sales and hire company is refurbishing the existing warehouse space of 43,000sq.ft, whilst a new 16,000sq.ft administrative building will be added onto the 3.7 acre site. This will bring under one roof the entire Stage Electrics workforce. Work on the site has started and the first phase, the transfer of the equipment, is expected to be completed by March 2000. The administrative building will be ready later on in the year.
Lighting Britain's biggest shopping centre for Christmas has, unsurprisingly, been a mammoth task. Middlesborough-based Centre Design undertook the commitment and turned to Lighting Technology's Ray Dolby to supply everything needed to complete the specifications, designed by Jason Larcombe of Electra. Multiform Technology Group, distributor of Sagitter lighting effects in the UK, were brought in when one of the lighting manufacturers originally contracted could not provide enough units within the desired timescale for the Christmas project. The Sussex-based company were able to immediately deliver two Sagitter Infinity Club scanners, whilst three more units were air-freighted to the temporary installation within a week.
SPS has expanded its expertise by setting up a new division for the rental of Barco's modular LED daylight display systems. Heading the operation will be Bryan Leathem who has over 18 years experience in outdoor screen markets with Mitsubishi and Screenco - he is joined by Stuart Young, former operations manager at Screenco. The division's first rental contract is to be the opening ceremony for the New Millennium Experience Company at the Dome.
Tannoy Dual Concentric loudspeakers have been specified for Shino's - a new Italian restaurant located in the old GLC building in Westminster. Designed for low-level background music such as jazz and acoustic piano, the system was installed by London-based Steeland Systems. It included eight i8 speakers in the 90-seat main dining area, sprayed white to blend with the light, airy decor, while accompanying bass bins are hidden behind radiator covers. The outside seating area is covered by two i6 weatherproof Dual Concentric loudspeakers, while the downstairs toilets, kitchens and staff areas are covered by Tannoy ceiling speakers.
Laser Grafix recently spiced up the official opening of the 400-seater Shere Khan restaurant at the Trafford Centre in Manchester with their Monumental Slide Projection service. The ceiling of the Orient complex of the Trafford Centre had the new Shere Khan corporate image projected on it, along with images of poppadoms and curries.
Now in its twelfth year, the biennial Linbury Prize for Stage Design offers the UK's most promising stage design graduates an opportunity to work with some of the country's leading professional companies. An exhibition of designs by shortlisted prize contenders can currently be seen in the Lyttelton Exhibition Foyer until the 8 January 2000. Up to 12 graduates are exhibiting scale models, sketchbooks, plans and costume designs. Judges this year include Richard Hudson, who has designed extensively for productions in the UK and abroad, Tim Hatley, who has worked for theatre, opera and dance and Vicki Mortimer who has worked on a variety of productions for both the West End and Broadway.
HB Litherland, of Blackpool, was recently named Audio-Technica 'UK Distributor of The Year' for the 1998-99 period. Rod Geary and Tony Cooper for Audio-Technica presented the award to HBL's John Exton and Alan Davidson during the recent HBL exhibition at Haydock Park. In a separate presentation, Audio-Technica presented its Music Dealer of the Year award to Music Village. The award presentation (pictured) took place during the recent PLASA Show at Earls Court. Audio-Technica's Rod Geary and Justin Frost hand over the award to Music Village managing director, John Dacosta and marketing director, Ray Edwards.
Continuing its training for excellence programme, Pulsar has extended the range of seminars on offer for the year 2000. These will encompass all aspects of Masterpiece operating and programming, along with technical services for the Clay Paky product range. Pulsar will also offer a series of open days which can be tailor-made to suit the requirements of colleges, installation companies and corporate users.
The first week of November proved to be a busy time for London-based sales and hire company, Eskimo Noise, supplying both Warp Records 10th Birthday Celebrations and The London Borough of Islington's Firework display. For the Warp Records event, the main speaker system was part of Eskimo's extensive Nexo Alpha inventory, comprising seven M3s, 15 B1s and six S2s (28 Alpha boxes for 1000 people - loud!!). As usual the system was powered by Crown MA3600VZ and MA5000VZ amps. FOH desk was a Yamaha PM4000 with mainly BSS inserts and the usual eclectic mix of FXs gigs such as this demand. The monitor system was Eskimo's favourite Nexo PS-15s driven by Crown MA3600VZs all controlled by a Soundcraft SM12. At the Islington bash, Eskimo placed several stations of Nexo Alpha around the park that - all delayed to a point directly in front of the firework launching compound. A total 48 Alpha cabinets were deployed in the system all run by Crown amplification and through a DDA CS8 desk.
The Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA) is asking all interested parties to comment on the first draft of a revised and updated version of DMX512, which will be formally designated BSR E1.11, Entertainment Technology - USITT DMX512, Asynchronous Serial Digital Data Transmission Standard for Controlling Lighting Equipment and Accessories. Wide public input is being sought in order to finalise this draft and ensure that the needs of the industry are being met. The comment period is now open, and will end at 4.00 p.m. ET, January 12, 2000. The draft document may be requested in hard copy from ESTA's Technical Standards Manager at the address below. When commenting, please provide the following: clear identification of the relevant clause, page, and line numbers; the proposed change marked in legislative format, with strikethroughs to indicate deleted text and underlines to indicate new text; substantiation for the change; and a wordprocessing file of the proposed changes (Word Perfect, Word 97 or lower, or RTF), with each proposal on a separate page. A sample comment form is included at the end of the draft standard and is also available for comment. Please send electronic submissions to dmx-rfc@DesignRelief.com. Please mail paper submissions to Technical Standards Manager ESTA, 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 2302, New York, NY 10001, USA
Paul Kinsey, deputy director of operations at First Leisure has led a management buy-out of the Group's nightclub and bars division. The £210.5million asking price was reached with a little help from investment company Candover, also recently involved in the acquisition of Earls Court Exhibition Centre. The division includes just over 60 clubs and themed venues.
FX rentals recently helped producer Tristin Norwell (producer of Talvin Singh's Mercury Award-winning album 'OK') when he wanted to convert a Gloucestershire manor house into an impromptu recording facility. The company provided a rental package based around a Studer A827 analogue two-inch 24-track tape machine running with Dolby A, 32-channel and 24-channel Mackie mixing desks, Munro MA1 monitors and an extensive range of mixing equipment. The facility was used for the recording of Embrace's new album.
Early December will see the Clothes Show Live, in association with the British Heart Foundation, at the NEC in Birmingham. Lighting a whole host of the latest fashions from the world's top British and International fashion designers will be numerous Martin Macs (controlled by a WholeHog system) supplied and installed by Stage Electrics. The show has been organised by Barker Brown Ltd on behalf of the BBC Haymarket Exhibitions Ltd.
A tri-amped Martin Audio THX system has been specified for the feature cinema at the three-screen York City Screen cinema. Arranged in L-C-R configuration, the three-way system includes three Screen 5s and a pair of Screen Sub 2s, with 16 Effect 5s for the surround sound. Amplification is from QSC. The system is accompanied by the new THX-SG01 digital crossover, which is tailored to the speaker type as well as to the positions of the speakers in the auditorium. The system was installed by South London-based cinema specialist, Future Projections.
Clever Group, the WPP Group's facilities and events company, has announced that David Pacy is returning to the company as chairman and chief executive officer with immediate effect. Pacy takes over from Stuart Appleton who will be leaving the company to pursue other interests. Pacy founded the original Clever Group (then called Metro Video) in 1980.The Clever Group includes Metro Broadcast, Metro Tyrell, Metro Staging, Metro East, Metro Ecosse and Clever Technology. From January 2000, the group will assume the Metro name once more. The creative production arm of the group, Clever Media, will be combined with Enterprise IG, WPP's global branding and identity company.
Stagetec has just completed the supply and installation of a complete new sound and lighting system for Sir Thomas Picton School, Haverfordwest. The sound system is to be used for everything from school assemblies to rock concerts and consists of two pairs of Martin Audio EM186 speakers for the main seating area and a pair of Martin Audio EM76 speakers for the balcony. Foldback was provided by a pair of Renkus-Heinz Qube 12s whilst the sound system is processed utilising a BSS Soundweb enabling the system to be fully commissioned and then left to run with no user controls. A complete new lighting installation was carried out including new lighting bars, socket outlet boxes and a cord patch unit incorporating six Light Processor Paradime dimmer packs controlled from a Compulite Photon lighting desk with riggers control. The existing luminaire stock was refurbished and additional units were supplied consisting of Selecon Pacific profile spots, CCT Freedom fresnels and ADB floods.
Blitz Vision and TP Sound Services, two divisions of the Blitz Communications Group, recently provided visual and audio support for the Marks & Spencer AGM at The Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, for production company HP:ICM. Two main screens with 9200 Reality Projectors and a four camera portable production unit. Full two-way audio links, along with back-up audio and communications links via telephone lines, were taken into three separate overflow areas to accommodate the 2,700 shareholders attending the event.
Vari-Lite has announced that it has sold off its stock of automated lighting equipment located in Australia to local distributor Jands Electronics, which will now become the exclusive distributor of Vari-Lite products for sale in Australia and New Zealand. Rusty Brutsche, chairman and CEO of Vari-Lite, called the move "a natural progression of our relationship with Jands."
At the recent LDI Show in Orlando, the awards ceremony held on the morning of the last day of the show recognised the achievements of individuals and companies within this industry.Two industry veterans stepped up to collect awards for their long-time contributions to the industry. The Wally Russell Award went to Don Stern, whilst the Light in Life Award was awarded to Sonny Sonnenfield. On the lighting design front, the work of three lighting designers was recognised. In the architectural category, Pat Gallegos' picked up the award; in the entertainment category this went to Don Holder, whose many recent credits include the design for Disney's Lion King and in the themed project category, Anne Militello was honoured for her lighting designs for theme parks, notably the recently opened Spiderman ride at Universal's new Islands of Adventure. Just one award was offered on the sound designer front and this went to John Micelli of Soundelux Showorks.On the product front, the awards were as follows:Sound Product: VRAS (Variable Room Acoustics System) from Level Control Systems.Software Product: Horizon and WYSIWYGScenic Effect: 180 Degree Lens from Hardware XenonRigging and Hardware: The LinkLift from ProtecProduct of the Year/Architecture: Mini Mac Profile/ Wash from Martin professionalProduct of the Year/Entertainment: Cyrano from Robert JuliatPlus there was a special award for product development given to LSD/PRG for its Icon M.Laserlite FX collected an award for the Laser Show of the Year.As part of the LDI Awards, ESTA also presented their own range of awards. The Extendabl
Mike Lowe has confirmed that he is closing down Teatro srl after 12 years in the business. He has contacted all the company's distributors and is currently engaged in the process of selling off the company's stock at near cost price.The company was established in February 1987 when Bruno Dedoro of club lighting effects manufacturer Coemar was looking to develop a new range of products aimed specifically at theatre. Mike Lowe had recently resigned as managing director of Strand Lighting and so the two formed a partnership with Teatro taking up residence next door to the main Coemar HQ in Castel Goffredo. Over the years the company developed a complete range of professional theatre lighting, which began with the 1k Tratto and 2k Acuto and grew to embrace a full range of profiles, PCs, fresnels, floods, cyclorama, followspots, parlights, colour changers and accessories.