Business News

To Russia with Celestion
Monday, 25 June 2001

Celestion’s new Cxi sound reinforcement cabinets have been chosen for a sizeable concert hall installation in Taganrog in Russia. Located in the city of Taganrog on the coast of the Azov Sea, the venue, which is sponsored by the large Tagmet mining company, has capacity for 850 people and will host a variety of musical events.

The new sound reinforcement system comprises 20 Celestion Cxi 1022P, a 2 x 10" mid-range cabinet with a 2" driver, and 10 CXi1812 bass bins. Amplification is from Yorkville AP4040s, with ART equalisation, and an Allen & Heath GL3300 front-of-house console. Elsewhere in the Russian industrial heartland, another mining company, Yakutugol, has financed a similar venue. In Nerungri, a town in the Yakutia Republic, an all-purpose music and conference hall has also installed a Celestion system. This time, the system is QX Series, mixed with KR2 background music speakers. Celestion products for both venues, and for the Church of John Kronshtadtskiy in Moscow, have been supplied by PAXT to Slami & Co, the distributor for the region.

Barco Expands UK Operations
Monday, 25 June 2001

Barco has announced a number of important appointments and investments to accelerate its growth in a number of target niche market areas. The appointments are aligned behind the five strategic Barco Projection Systems business units - Projection Products, Digital Cinema, Daylight Displays, Control Room Displays and Simulation.

Simon Turtle, an experienced Barco sales manager, has been promoted to business development manager of Barco Projection Products. He is joined by Colin Dunne as customer services manager. Dunne, formerly with Christie UK and Dynamic Logic has more than 25 years' experience in engineering and customer service. Mark Anderson has been appointed to the newly created position of market development manager for Barco's rapidly-expanding Home Theatre product group. Previously with Pioneer and Sony, he brings nearly 20 years of sales expertise to develop the dealer network. Mark Leahy joins as sales manager for Barco's acclaimed rental and staging product group. Leahy, formerly with Chrysalis Entertainment, brings more than 20 years' sales experience to provide an enhanced support to Barco's UK rental partners. Ashely Raines has been promoted to head up the corporate product group. He is joined by two new account managers, Simon Owen and Anthony Urion.

Mike Coleman, an experienced Barco sales manager, has been appointed business development manager of Digital Cinema to spearhead Barco's entry into the world of digital cinema. Ross Burling, another experienced Barco sales manager, has been promoted to the role of business development manager for Daylight D

Sarner Makes History
Monday, 25 June 2001

Sarner, in collaboration with the Natural History Museum, is breaking new ground in conference technology and the use of video streaming in an educational environment. Following a competitive seven-way pitch, Sarner has been appointed to handle the design and technical installation for the Natural History Museum's innovative new Darwin Gallery.

The museum chose Sarner for this unique project, due for completion in Autumn this year, having previously worked with them on other projects. Sarner's brief was to conceive, design and install leading-edge technology which would enable academics and businesses who are giving lectures or presentations in the Darwin Gallery to be able to simultaneously transmit these lectures to specific recipients around the world and have an interactive discussion with those not present at the Gallery. Video conferencing, which will include digital audio and visual formats, will be sent across the world using the internet as a medium to broadcast the information.

The live presentation will be sent via data lines linked between the Natural History Museum and other sites. Video has to be streamed onto the museum's network, rather than using a conventional coaxial line transmission, and this is proving quite a challenge as there are over 20 sources, some at MPEG 2 resolution, and no one product existing which can fulfil all the requirements. Ross Magri, technical director of Sarner, explains: "We have overcome the problem, by proposing a system which will preview the 20 sources whilst MPEG 2 streams are picked up by the video projectors. To d

Artacoustic Appoints MilTec
Monday, 25 June 2001

Artcoustic, a manufacturer of flat, full-range speakers for the install and leisure markets, has appointed MilTec (UK) Ltd as its commercial distributor. Kim Donvig, director of Artcoustic told PLASA Media: "We have been looking for a distributor who has good relationships with installers within the bar and hotel business and we have now found that company in MilTec (UK) Ltd."

Launch of ADS Worldwide ChinaLaunch of ADS Worldwide China
Monday, 25 June 2001

In an agreement signed in Shen Zhen, China, last week, ADSworldwide will have access to the largest domestic loudspeaker market in the world. David Hopkins OBE, chairman and managing director of holding company Audio Design Services Ltd, has been working on this project for a number of years, being a frequent visitor to the Far East. The company has appointed 40 Chinese distributors throughout China and plans for that figure to be 400 within the next four years.

The joint venture sees the creation of Adsworldwide China, an occasion enhanced by the official opening of the company’s new building in Shen Zhen. Amongst the 70 people present there was a large cross-section of representatives from Chinese television and press, as well as the newly selected distributors. After the official signing ceremony, a celebration cocktail party and dinner was held at a nearby hotel in Shen Zhen. The new enterprise will see ADSworldwide’s commercial product ranges being marketed under the ADS label. In a speech at the opening ceremony, David Hopkins spoke of the need for a balanced relationship between Great Britain and China. "For too long," he said "China has been used as the Blacksmith’s shop of the world, often being exploited by some countries that benefited from the low labour rates. The cost of buying household named products from the West is out of the reach of the majority. In a balanced relationship, it is now going to be possible to address the needs of the family in China by producing high quality products at affordable prices." David Hopk

Technical Standards Launched
Saturday, 23 June 2001

At the ABTT Show earlier this year, Technical Standards for Places of Entertainment - a document addressing the standards facing our industry - was launched.

We all know that local licensing authorities impose technical requirements to ensure the safety of the public, staff and performers in places of entertainment such as theatres, cinemas, discotheques, nightclubs and concert halls. An overhaul of these requirements has been long overdue, largely because the regulations were too specific - with the result that the detailed technical requirements were out of date. Another cause for concern was that the expertise and resources available to individual licensing authorities varied enormously, resulting in inconsistencies between them and varying standards of enforcement.

The new publication incorporates a number of features specifically intended to address these problems. It provides functional requirements supported by technical guidance, and incorporates Model Regulations which detail the standards that should apply to any premises used for entertainment. The Model Regulations will be sent to each Local Authority with a recommendation that they be adopted. This will help to ensure an appropriate and consistent national standard for all entertainment premises.

The publication also deals with the physical requirements for building (or converting,) equipping and maintaining any entertainment premises through a series of related discussions on subjects such as Site, Means of Escape, Building Services and Emergency Systems. The publication is expected to provide invaluable

Hotcakes Wins Award
Friday, 22 June 2001

Brand experience consultancy Hotcakes has won the international award for Best Consumer Products Event at the European IBTM Awards in Geneva (30 May), for its production of Marks & Spencer’s unique ‘Time To Celebrate’ touring show.

‘Time To Celebrate’ has been acknowledged as Europe’s biggest ever touring show undertaken by a retailer and was devised to showcase the retailer’s Christmas/Millennium collections. Taking place in a specially-designed state-of-the-art structure, the show was staged adjacent to M&S’s flagship stores in Bristol, Gateshead, Edinburgh and Camberley. It incorporated a celebrity cooking demonstration, a fashion show and an exhibition of merchandise from the Home & Gifts department, and was seen by 26,000 customers and staff across the UK. The event was managed by a crew of 550, and transported around the country by 25 articulated trucks. Hotcakes collected the award during a ceremony at Geneva’s Inter-Continental Hotel. The Event, which has been incorporated for the first time into the huge European IBTM Exhibition at Palexpo, has been created to recognise the excellence, creativity and planning which helps big brands and multi-nationals reach out to their staff, suppliers and customers. From a shortlist of four, Hotcakes fought off strong competition to win the Award, and received additional acclaim for its production of the Mazda MX-5 Catwalk at Cosmopolitan Show which was Highly Commended.

Heuvelman Open London Branch
Friday, 22 June 2001

Pan-european AV equipment rental company Heuvelman Ltd, has opened a London office. Using the latest equipment, Heuvelman supply a wide range of businesses including hotels, broadcasters, corporate clients, conference and event venues with technical equipment ranging from a single projector to full state-of-the-art installations. Voting systems, teleconferencing and IT rental are also supplied by the company.

Celestion Appoint Lyd-Systemer
Friday, 22 June 2001

In the final stages of a major revamp of its distributor network, Celestion has appointed Lyd-Systemer as its representative in Norway. Lyd-Systemer is one of Norway’s leading pro-audio distribution companies, and carries Amek, DPA Microphones, EAW and TC Electronics in its portfolio. Managing director Terje Engedahl anticipates that "Celestion will be attractive to the large number of Norwegian end-users looking for cost-effective background and foreground music solutions. This will include the entertainment venues, bars, clubs and restaurants, but also the installation customers, especially in the retail sector."

ESS International Concerts
Friday, 22 June 2001

Edwin Shirley Staging, the international concert staging company, has won the contract to provide staging for Tom Jones, Sting, The Beach Boys and other high profile, international pop stars as part of a UK tour this summer. The concerts will be held at Warwick Castle and Cardiff Castle towards the end of July. ESS is set to build an 18m by 18m stage in the grounds of Warwick Castle for three concerts which will feature performances from The Beach Boys and Status Quo (20 July), Van Morrison (21 July) and Tom Jones (22 July). All three concerts are already sold out and will attract audiences of more than 30,000. The staging will then be dismantled and re-assembled in time for a series of concerts the following week-end inside the grounds of Cardiff Castle, where Sting and Tom Jones will be performing in front of an audience of 10,000. The BBC will be broadcasting Tom Jones’s performance live in Wales.

Unusual Capsule
Friday, 22 June 2001

When the Science Museum decided to replace the Steel House exhibit with a capsule identical to the ones currently in use on The London Eye on the Thames, it called on the services of Unusual Rigging. The work involved entailed lowering the house, dismantling and removing it, bringing in the capsule, building it and hanging it. Directly below the space where the steel house was hanging was a large beam engine, which could not be moved and also had to remain visible as an active exhibit during the install. The Unusual team had to carry out all the work during nights as any impact on the normal running of the museum was unacceptable.

A large truss table was constructed above the beam engine. Once this was built, the Steel House was lowered onto the working platform and then dismantled. The component parts were lowered over the side of the platform using a chain hoist, suspended from the roof of the building. The capsule arrived in two parts. The first consisted of the side pieces and the second was a flatbed, with the top and bottom of the capsule.

The upper and lower sections of the capsule were delivered in individual L-shaped steel frames. These were too high for the access doors of the museum, so Unusual devised a way of getting the units in by extending the lower edge of the frame and rotating the shell 45 degrees, hence reducing the overall height. Once in the building, this rotation process was reversed, because there was sufficient height in the museum to get the exhibit to its destination, but insufficient gangway width. Four riggers were used to install suspensi

Moving Moving Lights at RSC
Friday, 22 June 2001

A redesign of the playing area at the Royal Shakespeare Company's Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon for the 2001 season meant that a completely new repertoire lighting rig was required. And, when designing that rig, the RSC's head of lighting Vince Herbert and lighting designer Peter Mumford saw the potential for some new lighting opportunities, they turned to The Moving Light Company for advice.

Their plan was to move beyond the increasingly-standard use of automated lighting: as well as having the lights pointing themselves in different directions from fixed positions, they wanted the lights themselves to move! The tracking system for the lights was to be created by the RSC, with the drives and control provided by automation specialists Stage Technologies. Dave Isherwood from The Moving Light Company was able to show the RSC the wide range of equipment held in MLCo's stock. After careful examination, they opted for the High End Studio Color washlight, settling on a system of 12 Studio Color Ms with magnetic power supply, and six Studio Color Ss with electronic power supply and the position correction system. The Studio Colors are arranged over both horizontal and vertical tracks, allowing the widest possible range of lighting angles from a relatively minimal rig. Controlled from the theatre's Strand 500-series control system, installed in 1998 by White Light and The Service Company, the new rig has already been put to use by a wide range of lighting designers, including Peter Mumford, Pat Collins and Ben Ormerod.

Anyone interested in seeing the next development in the us

Conference Examines Music Technology
Thursday, 21 June 2001

Music with walls? Music without instruments? is the title of an international conference attended by 100 delegates and speakers from Europe and the US. The conference opens today at the De Montfort University (DMU) in Leicester and runs until Saturday.

"This is a high-level conference where we will be looking at the future of how music is composed and technological and music innovations," said Professor Andrew Hugill. He is one of the conference organisers, along with Professor Leigh Landy who heads the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Group at DMU. The conference will feature musical installations, listening posts, an internet station for interactive music-making, and musical performances at Phoenix Arts, Leicester. There will be four concerts and six installations throughout the conference, including ‘Time Drops’ by Akemi Ishijima - a continuously running soundscape. Highlights of the programme at Phoenix Arts include Barry Truax who is curating an eight-channel sound concert with channels being used to create a sense of motion around the room and Paul Rudy who performs with a cactus wired for sound which is projected around the auditorium. One of the issues explored at the conference will be the concept of composing music via the internet.

Gosford Park Gets Audio Treatment
Thursday, 21 June 2001

The long-awaited new movie from acclaimed director Robert Altman - Gosford Park - has just completed shooting using very complex audio multi-track recording. Set in the thirties, with an all-star cast including Alan Bates, Stephen Fry, Sir Michael Gambon, Richard E. Grant, Sir Derek Jacobi, Helen Mirren, Dame Maggie Smith, Charles Dance and many more, this film seems certain to be a box office winner.

Director Altman is well known in movie sound circles as the man who ‘invented’ multi-track dialogue recording in feature films. In its basic form, each actor wears a radio microphone and is recorded separately on a multi-track system. During more complex scenes, many different conversations can take place simultaneously, and are filmed by two or more moving cameras. The audio is then reconstructed in post-production from the radio mic tracks and booms. Peter Glossop was in charge of the audio and recording on Gosford Park, which was shot on location in north London and Shepperton. Glossop has perfected the technique of multi-track recording and received the coveted MPSE Golden Reel award for his work on Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet. He was later nominated for an Oscar for Shakespeare in Love and since then he has used multi track techniques continually including on his latest film, the blockbuster The Mummy Returns.

Glossop’s complex recording technique makes enormous demands on the microphones. At times during Gosford Park, we were using 16 Audio Ltd radio mics - 8 channel 69, 4 channel 36 and 4 VHF," he recalls. "One of the main problems wa

Roxy Music Back on the Road
Thursday, 21 June 2001

Nearly 19 years after they vowed never to play live again, Roxy Music ended years of seemingly endless speculation with the announcement that they would be back on the road this year with their original line-up. Also back is producer Rhett Davies, who has been drafted in as sound director for the tour. Rhett has worked with an impressive and varied roster of artists over the years, including Dire Straits, Brian Eno, Talking Heads and the B52s.

Rhett and Levi Tecofski (FOH mixer) will be using three Mackie HDR24/96 recorders to record the entire Roxy tour. All the concerts will have every feed sent to the HDRs, which in turn will provide a full 72 tracks of new recordings at every stop. The band will be performing songs from an impressive portfolio that includes such hits as Avalon, More Than This, Jealous Guy, Angel Eyes, Dance Away, Love is the Drug, and of course, the seminal Virginia Plain.

The tour kicked off in the UK on June 11th in Glasgow. Additional stops include Newcastle, Nottingham, Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester and three nights at Wembley Arena beginning tomorrow night. On July 17th, the tour moves to North America where stops include Boston, New York, Atlanta, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The third leg includes three nights in Tokyo beginning September 7th returning for more European dates and a final gig in Dortmund, Germany, on September 21st.

CP Sound Find Armadillo Heaven
Wednesday, 20 June 2001

CP Sound has just completed the installation of an innovative new lighting rig, plus a re-invention and design of the sound system incorporating several new elements at The Core in Yeovil, Somerset. The club - formerly known as Duke’s - is owned by locally-based independent operator Terry Clare. Steve Howie from Howie Design was commissioned to produce the interior design, basing his themeing on ideas triggered from the complex and world of the cult 1999 Warchowski Brothers movie, The Matrix.

Audio-wise at the Core, CP Sound’s Colin Pattenden utilised as much as possible of the existing installation, whilst also addressing the previous system’s serious lack of bass. He added four JBL MS125S cabinets to the room, complete with new RSE PFX 1200 clip control amplifiers. CP Sound also added a DJ monitor where previously there was none - plus two JBL top cabinets for infill, and another two RSE amps, plus a Formula Sound AVC2 limiter.

The lighting installation was also designed by Colin Pattenden working with Ian McLaughlan. Over the bars are a series of fibreglass armadillos (for those Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas moments) and between each is a fibreglass pod - six in total. Each pod has an Opti Solar 250 projector with oil wheel behind it, shining through the centre section of the pod - with the effect of making the pod appear to be moving and ‘growing’ inside. Opposite the bar are two more pods, with a further four over the dancefloor - each pod with its own Solar 250. Solar 250s are again used with oil wheels over the stairwell and behind

Bytecraft Forces Caire into Liquidation
Wednesday, 20 June 2001

Bytecraft announced recently that whilst earlier this year it had injected much needed capital into UK company Caire Ltd, in order to protect staff and creditors of that company it was now putting Caire into liquidation. "Bytecraft feels that liquidation is the only responsible course of action," said general manager John Rowland in London. "Because of a long-standing relationship with the Caire parent company, and also because we had bid several projects with Caire Ltd, we felt we needed to help the company when it ran short of funds," Rowland added.

Earlier this year, Bytecraft has injected £60,000 into the troubled company and had, in fact, been implementing Stage 5 of its international strategy that called for a permanent presence in the UK. An investment position in Caire Ltd added value to the opening of a UK daughter company Bytecraft Europe with potential to deliver some inter-company business. "When analysing the sales opportunities and current order book, an investment in Caire Ltd appeared sound. We could never have anticipated the recent turn of events," Rowland said. "The largest creditor and debtor to Caire Ltd is Caire SA and the directors were unable to agree on a payment schedule. We therefore had no alternative than to take the onerous, but responsible, decision to close the company."

"Bytecraft Automation has been negotiating several contracts separately from Caire Ltd. These contracts are being put together by our UK staff, but are contracted and funded by Bytecraft HQ in Melbourne, Australia. These unfo

Tomcat Hits the Jackpot
Wednesday, 20 June 2001

In true Vegas-style, Tomcat unveiled its new Las Vegas office in mid May. The grand opening of the new office in the Western region of the United States lasted the entire afternoon with over 40 representatives from surrounding companies and various media visiting the new facility. The new site will carry over 200 sections of standard truss products in stock at all times, as well as over 50 Columbus McKinnon Lodestar motors and various rigging accessories. The new office comes hot on the heels of the opening of Storm at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino where the Tomcat family of companies manufactured essential parts of the special effects. The new office is located in an industrial section of Las Vegas at 4020 Ali Baba Lane, Bldg D Suite A about two miles off the Southwest end of Las Vegas Boulevard. The office consists of two staff members, Sharon Ozzolek, sales assistant, and Brian Wise, hoist technician.

Lightfactor Install at St Paul’s
Wednesday, 20 June 2001

Lightfactor has recently supplied lighting and control equipment to St Paul’s Church in Hammersmith. The church is a large 1000-capacity building, constructed in 1880 and the current lighting refit is part of the church’s ongoing programme of events, designed to involve and stimulate participation from the local community. The need for dramatic, theatrical-style lighting is a growing one, with services frequently featuring live music and performers. As part of the technical refit, Lightfactor supplied four LightProcessor Paradime rack-mounting dimmers and a LightProcessor Q24 control desk - now utilised to control the concert lighting system. At the same time St Pauls’ have also purchased three Paradime Wall packs and four architectural remote button plates to control the ‘house’ lights for every day services and functions.

Zero 88's Dutch Open Day
Tuesday, 19 June 2001

Zero 88's newly appointed Dutch dealers, Rolight Theatertechnik have hosted the first in a series of Zero 88 open days in Holland. The theme of the two-day event was of partnership, with a renewed emphasis on servicing the needs of the Dutch lighting market. On the first day, Tim Burt Zero 88's product manager, met with representatives from Rolight Theatertechnik and the six main Zero 88 trading partners in Holland. The meeting gave the customers a good opportunity to see the latest developments in the product range and also to discuss future requirements. The second day was very much a hands-on experience where a large number of visitors from all sectors of the industry were given the chance to see and use the wide range of products that Zero 88 now produces. Rolight and the main Zero 88 trading partners, will be running further open days around Holland where the product range will be on display.

Blackout Triple E in Presence of Royalty
Tuesday, 19 June 2001

Late May saw the 45th anniversary of the inception of the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme commemorated at the Royal Albert Hall, an event which also formed the only official public recognition of Prince Philip's 80th birthday, televised as ‘80 Years a Royal Celebration’. Following a long-standing working relationship, Visage Television commissioned Blackout Triple E to supply a 40m x12m rental starcloth, as well as rigging from which to suspend a 1.6 ton LVP110 LED screen supplied by Creative Technology. Dominic Peissel, MD of Blackout France handled the production management of the event.

PLASA AGM Breaks New GroundPLASA AGM Breaks New Ground
Tuesday, 19 June 2001

PLASA held its most successful AGM to date on Thursday 14 June in the stunning setting of Coombe Abbey, near Coventry. Just under 70 Members attended, including for the first time, a number of Associate Members.

During the AGM, both PLASA Chairman Mick Hannaford and Treasurer Sammy de Havilland reported a successful year for the Association, covering the range of initiatives that had been introduced in the past 12 months. In his keynote speech Chairman Mick Hannaford reflected on the changes taking place within the industry and the need for companies to equip themselves to cope with a rapidly changing world. He emphasized the role that PLASA had to play in this and also stressed the need for more training, an ambition that the Association has given a further boost to with the recent establishment of its training and education steering group. In a reference to the increasing concern about copyright infringement, he also told Members of the Association’s plans to introduce a low cost design registration scheme next year. Following the AGM, members were given a presentation on the future strategy of the Association by managing director Matthew Griffiths. He made reference to the recently completed Industry Research, commissioned by PLASA to give its members immediate facts and figures about the size and potential growth of the industry, which had suggested that the entertainment and venue technology industry was worth £10billion worldwide.

Following the AGM, Members decamped to a number of break-out sessions covering the PLASA Show, Standards and Member Services, wh

Doing The Monitors
Tuesday, 19 June 2001

Dutch HK Audio distributor Wils Muziekimport sponsored a seminar on the topic of On-Stage Monitoring. The seminar, which was held in ‘013’ in Tilburg, Holland, was led by guest speaker Rob Hodgkinson and was attended by over 50 participants eager to pick up some practical tips from the Deep Purple monitor engineer. Hodgkinson’s presentation, which focused on all the important aspects of preparation that make effective stage monitoring possible, was followed by a virtual factory tour and additional background information about the entire HK Audio touring and rental line, presented by product specialist Christian Stumpp. After the theoretical part of the presentation came the practical segment, for which a seven-piece band was ready to perform a live soundcheck.

In contrast to standard product demos that use music from CDs, here each member of the audience was given the opportunity to work the monitor console or FOH desk and carry out a thorough soundcheck of any instrument they wanted or of the entire band. Several competitors’ monitors were also available for comparison. A great deal of attention was given to the new HK Audio VT 115 X. This is a two-way full-range loudspeaker system, which can be used for both monitor and FOH applications. Further seminars are planned - for details visit the company’s website.

Panamarenko Lifts Off
Tuesday, 19 June 2001

Exhibited widely in Europe, Japan and the US, Panamarenko, whose works are immediately recognizable and highly distinctive, has become one of the most famous contemporary artists in the world. Obsessed with flight, Panamarenko calls himself an artist-technologist, producing work that is a cross between art and science.

Belgium’s Museum of Contemporary Art (SMAK) in Ghent recently hosted a three-month retrospective exhibition of his most impressive works, an event that opened with a one-off show entitled Panamarenko by Night which took place on March 23. Martin’s Belgian distributor EVDV proposed giving Panamarenko’s work an additional touch of dynamism for the show so its architectural lighting specialist Duncan Verstraeten took the opportunity to incorporate Martin effects lighting into this rather unusual environment. He contacted lighting specialist Lode van Pee of City-Lights who designed a scheme to ‘guide’ visitors through each piece of art.

20 of Martin Professional’s new Atomic 3000 strobes debuted at the show. Other Martin lighting effects included nine Exterior 600s, two MAC 300s and 13 CX-4 colour changers (some with custom-made wash lenses) along with a MAC 2000 profile spot. The light show was programmed on a Martin LightJockey and replayed by a DMX recorder. A Jem 6500 heavy fog machine created an even more surrealistic atmosphere. City-Lights installed all lighting.


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