Adam Hall is using PLASA to launch a range of new products. These include the Racklight - a brand new concept for illuminating 19" racked products for stage, studio and installation. This product uses innovative technology to produce clear and uniformed light, will not get hot or burn out, is very strong and durable, and does not use conventional bulbs!
Also new is a brand new range of loudspeaker systems for PA stage and installation use. The range of Talon loudspeaker systems comprises a standard series of compact loaded ply wood cabinets available in either black painted or carpet finish and a series of unique high spec cabinets featuring the Fane 'Concept One' primary drive units.
Other new products featured on stand include the latest additions to Amphenol's range of audio connectors, new versions of the 'Astroboard' lightweight material for constructing flightcases, and a range of new hardware components.
Adam Hall - Stand E32
The stars (and the stripes) were out in force for the party to celebrate the West End premiere of the much-talked about film, Pearl Harbor. AD Event Design and Production staged the eye-catching event held at the University of London's Senate House, bringing in Dobson Sound to cater for the audio requirements.
Amanda Davis is known for creating visually spectacular and innovative events, and this was no exception. The whole event was themed as a US wartime party with several extras in 1940s US Army uniforms lounging around the balconies of the main hall, drinking beer and whistling at the guests in typical army fashion as they came in. Perhaps the most spectacular visual feast was the front of the building which was lit from top to bottom with stars and stripes while search lights played into the sky. However, no event would be complete without audio, and that is where Dobson Sound came in. Dobsons provided a distributed and delayed system of 34 d&b E3 cabinets which extended from the Cloisters through into the galleried ‘Crush Hall’ and the bar area beyond. This was effectively a DJ system for big-band music playback, with the DJ himself on a pair of Technics SL1210 turntables and a Denon DN2000 twin CD player. The Beveridge Hall was the main performance area with the Jump Jive band (aka national Youth jazz Orchestra) and the dancers, for which Dobsons provided four d&b C7 systems with d&b MAX wedges and lots of microphones running from a Yamaha PM3500. The final system was for the VIP area in Chancellors Hall where guests were serenaded from the luxury of th
Two of the UK's leading facilities houses recently announced the formalisation of a new exclusive hire agreement. The arrangement sees ARRI Lighting Rental become the sole supplier of lighting facilities to Magic Eye Studios, one of London's leading commercial and TV studios. Wandsworth-based Magic Eye, recent home of 'The Weakest Link', has been seeking a prominent partner with which to develop business opportunities. After considering various options, Magic Eye decided on ARRI Lighting Rental: "Their reputation for quality equipment and service, coupled with a refreshing attitude to business, settled it for us. Our clients deserve the best equipment and technicians, and that is what we intend to give them." This is the first time ARRI Lighting Rental has established links with a studio. Managing director Tommy Moran explains: "We have had many opportunities in the past to link up with studios in the London area, but never one as exciting nor high profile as this. I have been very impressed with magic Eye and their business philosophy and we look forward to a long fruitful relationship."
Federal Signal has announced a new scheduled maintenance package for its Millbank and Akusta customers. As a result of the move, the company is one of the first major PA/VA manufacturers to provide customers with maintenance service contracts, which are supported entirely from within its own resources.
The move comes in response to growing demand from the market place for PA/VA equipment manufacturers to provide around-the-clock maintenance back-up and support for equipment they have supplied to either fire safety systems integrators or end-users. The service applies to Millbank public address and voice alarm systems, and Akusta on-shore general alarm and page party systems. The company has already won its first batch of maintenance contracts from Siemens Building Technologies, which manufacture, supply and install life safety systems. These cover installations at City Bank and HSBC buildings at London's Canary Wharf, the House of Fraser store at the Bluewater Shopping Centre and the Sadler's Wells Theatre.
This year’s Monaco Grand Prix, held at the end of May, saw Michael Shumacher steer his Ferrari to yet another flawless finish for his fifth win in Monaco. This was Schumacher’s 48th career win, three short of the all-time record of 51 held by Frenchman Alain Prost, and puts him at the head of the Driver’s Championship and Ferrari first in the Constructors Championship.
The action was relayed on two Lighthouse screens, provided for the race for the 12th year in succession by French audiovisual company, Lumison, on behalf of Automobile Club de Monaco. The larger screen, 120 panels of LVP2056 in a 12 x 10 configuration and measuring a total of 150sq.m, was placed at Saint Devote - the first bend of the race and the most dangerous part of the Monaco Circuit - and a second screen of 30 panels was positioned on the roof of the temporary television building at the entrance to the pit lane. Brent Watson, Lighthouse’s technical manager, oversaw the installation. "The larger screen was supported by a specially made scaffold structure, built well in advance to allow for building regulations inspections," stated Watson. This screen gave racegoers at the tightly-packed circuit trackside TV footage from TCM, the official television company of Monaco, with graphics for placings and timings overlayed by Lumison. Lumison also provided three screens for the Barcelona Grand Prix, with footage provided by FOCA (Formula One Constructors Association), and earlier in the year for a variety of events including the Paris Fashion Show, as well as four screens for
Mad Manufacturing will be providing the full lighting rig in the HK Audio demo theatre at the JHS Event 2001, held at the company's Garforth head office. In addition, Mad Manufacturing will be a guest exhibitor at Event 2001, able to both demo their impressive state-of-the-art lighting and effects systems, and to access the large number of trade visitors throughout the busy three-day duration of the show. With a well-deserved reputation for innovation in what is a highly competitive market, one of Mad's recent successes was the launch of the IMP, or Image Marketing Projector. This is a simple-to-use projector system which features an array of onboard programming options designed to give retailers a high-tech but convenient method of in-store product promotion.
Alongside the IMP, Mad's new installation range also includes the popular 250W AXIS moving head, and the IMP Pro series of effects, all of which will be featured in Mad's lighting and effects setup at the JHS Event 2001.
The JHS Event 2001 runs from June 17 - 19.
A progressive independent church in South Wales has enlisted Marquee Audio to help upgrade its audio system. Darran Clements, head of sound at the Kings Church in Newport, Gwent, wanted to increase the audio front-end and called in freelance engineer, Matt Creed, who has an extensive background in live sound. "The old mixing desk was eight years old; it was no longer big enough and had reached the end of its life. I was asked to find the most appropriate replacement," said Matt, "and so I called Jimmy Potter at Marquee Audio and he recommended the Allen & Heath ML4000-48."
The church needed greater number of inputs to accommodate its expansion and to ensure some future-proofing. "We wanted a large number of channels on a small footprint, and there was nothing that could touch this for quality, price and features - it’s one of he most transparent desks I have used," stated Matt. "With theatrical productions and different band setups requiring a lot of channels - as well as six stage mixes - 50 inputs was the minimum requirement."
The church went on Marquee’s recommendation for the ML4000, which is configured 48 mono, 2 stereo, sending mixes to the pre-existing 15k Nexo PS15/PS10/LS2000 PA rig. New QSC amplification was also ordered from Marquee to drive the stage monitors.
For the third consecutive year, City Theatrical has been named to the Inner City 100 - a list of the fastest growing companies located in America's inner cities. The list is a joint project of Inc, magazine and the non-profit Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC). City Theatrical placed 52nd on the nationwide list of firms. "Inc. and ICIC started the list to reverse bad perceptions that prevent businesses from locating in inner cities - and therefore prevent inner cities from thriving," says City Theatrical president Gary Fails. "But they are finding that inner-city businesses actually set the pace for many business trends, including outstanding customer service and top-speed turnaround."Based in the Bronx, with easy access to New York's theatre district and suppliers, City Theatrical manufacturers precision lighting accessories for theatres, convention centres and other venues. As the dominant supplier of lighting accessories for New York's Broadway stages, the company's products are part of the city's most popular productions, including such shows as Chicago, Contact, Les Miserables, and Phantom of the Opera."City Theatrical is proud to be named to the Inner City 100 for the third year running," Fails adds. "Locating in the Bronx was a good business decision for us, and I'd like to think that by being here we also are contributing to the economic well-being of our neighborhood."
Multiple DAS loudspeaker systems have been installed in a refit of 'Bar Ice' in Bexley Heath, south London. Recently acquired by new owners, the venue has received a considerable upgrade to its in-house sound system. Installed by experienced sound and lighting systems company Compa Lighting, the new system replaces the exiting speakers with four DAS Sub-18 sub-bass units and six DAS DS-12 two-way cabinets. Managing director of Compa Lighting, Andrew Matthews, commented: "The 18 inch bass bins deliver superb bottom end that perfectly complements the existing system and are able to cover the entire dance floor area."
The two-way, passive crossover DS-12 cabinets were used to balance the sound in areas beyond the main dance floor and as such they were required to be powerful but compact. The 12" bass and 1" compression drivers of the DS-12s proved perfect for Compa's requirements: "We had to add some reinforcement to one of the bar areas," explains Matthews. "The DS-12s are compact and unobtrusive, but still able to generate high quality sound at very loud listening levels."
Although the results of the combined system were impressive, the performance of the D.A.S. components was so good that it was later decided to go ahead and replace the four remaining cabs from the old system. Compa therefore ordered and installed four additional DS-12 cabs, bringing the entire system up to DAS quality.
The Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) has announced that it intends to appoint an Honorary Archivist. The archivist will be responsible for collating the association's own papers as well as the drawings, audio and video tapes, etc, which form the ABTT's historical collection. The post is honorary, although a budget is available to enable the work to be carried out. For further information please contact Howard Bird, Executive Director, ABTT, 47 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3XT.
When brewer Old Monk required a sound, light and video supplier for their latest Springbok site in Newquay - a former swimming pool which has been converted into a state-of-the-art late license venue - they turned to Nottingham based company TTL. With a design brief demanding a system capable of nightclub sound in the evenings yet with an unobtrusive presence for the daytime trade, TTL project manager Andy Hague specified Logic System loudspeakers throughout. Hague explained: "The main area has a 30ft ceiling height and full length windows along one side, therefore to achieve the necessary SPL, whilst minimising overspill, I needed a very accurate and directional cabinet. The Logic System CS1296 proved ideal. The cabinets are flown 25ft in the air, effectively out of sight, yet still control coverage to 150Hz whilst avoiding overspill in the bar areas. With the bass units being built into dance podiums, we’ve created a stunning dance floor system that is virtually invisible and does not detract from the interior design of the venue."
To complete the system, Logic System IS6 and IS8s are run full-range with the support of IS26 bass cabinets in the bar areas, and are again hidden within the fabric of the design. An Allen & Heath DR128 controls the system and offers the ultimate flexibility of changing the system configuration for daytime and evening use, while an Audace hub was specified to provide localised volume control and source selection behind each bar. TTL account manager Mark Harding summed up the project, commenting: "The whole concept works e
Sennheiser has announced that it is to undertake the distribution and marketing in the UK of the MindPrint range of signal processors, with immediate effect.
The German based company specializes in manufacturing state-of-the-art input signal processing devices, which offer high-end professional standards of construction and performance for commercial studio, home recording and desktop audio-based applications alike. The range is specified to offer first class input processing in the recording studio environment, or to enable the upgrade of computer-based audio workstations and hard disk recording systems to fully professional audio standards, unobtainable with on-board sound cards and standard computer audio interface devices. Performance features within the range include Class-A pre-amp circuitry, 24 bit, 96kHz analogue to digital conversion, balanced XLR and line level jack inputs, switchable 48V phantom power, AES and SPDIF digital outputs, selectable sync options, and professional signal metering.
The current product range includes the EN-Voice Class-A mic/line pre-amp and tube compressor with optional digital 24 bit I/O, the AN/DI Pro 24/ 96, Class-A, stereo analogue-to-digital convertor, the T-Comp stereo tube Adaptive compressor with optional digital 24 bit I/O, and the DI-Port entry level 24-bit, Class A mic/ line pre-amp and stereo analogue-to-digital convertor. Commenting on the new product line, Sennheiser UK’s director of marketing, John Steven, told PLASA Media: "A range of high quality, competitively-priced products like MindPrint is clearly com
NXT has announced that Amina technologies, a licensee of NXT's award-winning SurfaceSound flat panel speaker technology, has supplied speaker systems to the UK’s Houses of Parliament. NXT speakers have been installed in the refurbished Grand Committee Room and as narrow panels along the edge of the windowsills in St Mary's Chapel. A further eight panels are situated in the Public Lobby where they have been painted to look like the supporting stonework. Amina Technologies' NXT flat panel speakers were installed by Sound & Visual Limited and chosen over conventional technology because of their superior sound characteristics when used in open spaces. Unlike conventional speakers, NXT's SurfaceSound flat panel speakers disperse sound evenly across all frequencies. Aside from the acoustic qualities of flat panel speakers, NXT has also been chosen because of the ability to blend flat panel speakers in with their surroundings. NXT speakers can, for example, be disguised as pictures, ceiling tiles or even as part of the fabric of the building. NXT flat panel speakers have achieved wide levels of acceptability in the commercial arena and are now found in buildings across Europe and the United States. Installations include several investment banks in the City of London including ABN AMRO, Goldman Sachs and Chase Fleming; Eton College Chapel; Edinburgh University; Gleneagles Hotel; The Cheesecake Café Bar, Brussels, Belgium; the Hotel Kuunpaikka, Finland; Disco Paradiso, Rimini, Italy; several lecture theatres within Barcelona University and, more recently, London's most high-t
Oxford-based company Airstar Space Lighting helped illuminate the recent Playtex Moonwalk in Battersea Park in London where more than 7,000 women stripped to their bras to raise funds for cancer research. The world-wide leader and pioneers of the lighting balloon industry used one of their large helium-filled lit Solarc's and several air-filled Crystal's to guide the way for the half-dressed walkers during their midnight charity stroll. On the same weekend, Airstar provided light for 50,000 night-time revellers in Oxford's Cuttleslowe Park during an annual hot-air balloon festival. Airstar's products have been used around the world for a variety of projects including Film and TV productions, festivals and cultural and sporting events. The balloons have also been hired to light the set of the Oscar-winning blockbuster Titanic, for the 1999 Miss World contest in the Seychelles and numerous international music festivals.
The balloons, which are tethered between 5m and 50m, can be used to illuminate from 1,000sq.m right up to 40,000sq.m and are suitable for small-scale garden parties to major outdoor events. The balloons are constructed of a translucent fabric that is custom made to Airstar specifications and are easy to store, transport and set up. They are available to be rented or sold.
As if to put paid to theories of how, thanks to new technology, we’ll all be working from home and communicating with the rest of the world via the internet, Showlight 2001 was the biggest, and quite possibly the best, so far. Three hundred people journeyed from across the globe to be part of this unique event, made even more special by virtue of it taking place just once every four years.
Edinburgh, a truly cosmopolitan city, added its own particular charm to the event and the Festival Theatre couldn’t have been a better choice of venue. It is the sponsors (aka exhibitors) that enable Showlight to take place, and the stage of this great theatre - the second largest in the UK - was capacious enough to house the 40 exhibitors, plus delegates, very comfortably. With an audience made up of a mix of students, consultants, lighting designers, manufacturers and suppliers, the atmosphere was buzzing with discussion, controversy and gossip, as well as the simple pleasure of renewing old acquaintances.
Showlight is special because the speakers do not just turn up, say their piece and depart. They arrive at the beginning and they stay until the end, giving the audience the opportunity to ask questions later! And the social side of Showlight is equally important - delegates enjoy three days 'full board' - coffee, lunch, tea and dinner, all included. And 2001 was no exception: Strand Lighting organised a stunning Scottish Gala Dinner in the splendid setting of Hopetoun House, a thoroughly enjoyable evening which was brought to a dramatic close with a display from a flo
Richard Willis of Showcom Audio has recently completed a significant installation in top West Midlands live venue ‘The Shed’ with a Nexo Alpha E loudspeaker system, Vortex amplifiers from Camco, Klark Teknik signal processing throughout and cabling from Kelsey Acoustics, plus a GL4000 mixing console from Allen & Heath. The owner was looking for a complete upgrade to increase capacity and improve the facilities of the venue, so Willis was effectively given carte blanche to specify whatever he chose. He specified a total of six stacks of Alpha E driven by Camco Vortex amplifiers with a Nexo NX241 digital processor for the main system. Eight Nexo PS-15 cabinets with the requisite TD controllers serve as monitors driven by Camco DX Series amplifiers. Willis describes the combination as both powerful and efficient. "The Alpha E is ideal for venue in terms of its dispersion characteristics, its versatility, and the fact that it is so ergonomic in combination with the Vortex amplifiers. We're driving six stacks of Alpha E with just two Vortex 6s with headroom to spare, giving a total system capacity of 12.8K. In my book that's pretty impressive. In fact I think the Nexo/Camco combination is pretty well unbeatable in terms of price, power and performance." The console is an Allen & Heath GL4000 which Willis described as a "sensible board for sensible money and lots of facilities."
For signal processing, Willis opted for Klark Teknik throughout, choosing a DN3600 on main system EQ with a DN514 quad gate and a DN504 compressor/limiter. Monitor EQ is
At a time when many high-tech companies report lay-offs, closures and down-sizing, Stardraw announces expansion into America. US distributor R&S Solutions has been acquired and will continue operations under the name Stardraw.com Inc. "This is an exciting step forward and forms a key part of our strategy for global expansion," says David Snipp, Stardraw’s founder and managing director. "North America is a very important marketplace for us and already represents around 50% of our installed user base. With a direct presence in America we will be able to build on the excellent foundation laid for us by R&S Solutions over the past three years."
Randell Green, founder of R&S Solutions, takes up the position of President at Stardraw.com Inc. He explained: "This is a development that we have all wanted for quite some time now. It is a very logical step and capitalises on the best aspects of each of the separate companies. At R&S we focused on building the Stardraw brand for several years. By going forward under the Stardraw banner we are giving a very clear message that Stardraw is a global company operating successfully across many markets."
Stardraw.com Inc’s New York offices will formally open on July 1, 2001.
The ABTT has confirmed that its ABTT Theatre Show 2002 will be held at the Royal Horticultural Halls on 19 and 20 June 2002. Further details of booking arrangements will be announced shortly. Any enquiries should be directed to the ABTT Office on 020 7403 3778.
This summer saw a free concert for 20,000 people staged in the busy heart of London. Mike Mann discovered that such a production has its logistical difficulties . . .
Before even thinking about the problems involved in bringing central London to a standstill, Star Hire’s Roger Barrett realised that the stage design for the Africa Day concert would have to be an unusual one: "We would normally have built a higher stage than this - but a major feature of the design was that the famous lions should be visible on stage." Two of the huge statues were incorporated into the stage, which was positioned just in front of Nelson’s Column, facing northwards towards the National Gallery. Flanked by the South African Embassy (who funded the entire event) and Canada House, the central area of Trafalgar Square itself also needed treatment. "One of the first things we realised was that the ornamental fountains obscure sightlines for a large part of the square," explained Barrett. "So we included 3,000sq.m of industrial flooring to raise the outer sections of the audience." This was the first rock‘n’roll outing for the Danco flooring system - a modular industrial system which has also seen service in Formula One pit areas.
The stage and audience flooring were delivered to Trafalgar Square by a total of 20 full-size trailers, each one bringing traffic to a complete standstill. In addition to this, a further three trucks for the security fencing, plus other deliveries for sound and lighting systems, meant that Londoners had to cope with
The team behind Starlight Express, now in its 17th year at London's Apollo Victoria Theatre, have decided to update the show’s lighting rig. After adding High End Intellabeams back in 1993, lighting designer David Hersey and the show's original production electrician, Howard Eaton, returned this year to update the lighting rig once again. This time they opted to replace the Intellabeams with equipment from Martin Professional.
The Moving Light Company were called upon to supply the production with 24 Martin MAC 500s and three of the new MAC 2000 units. In addition, they supplied two DHA Pitching Digital Light Curtains, which provide a dramatic new way of lighting the spectacular bridge which forms the centrepiece of John Napier's set design. The changes to the lighting rig were made in a tight 10-day period when the production closed temporarily to allow the auditorium to be re-carpeted and re-seated, during which time Eaton and his team also took the opportunity to upgrade the dimmers and lighting control system, with the rig now controlled by the Rosco-ET Horizon lighting controller.
Horizon programming was in the hands of Robert Bell, one of the creators of the WYSIWYG lighting visualisation software and now Horizon's product manager, who worked with David Hersey and Howard Eaton to relight the show using the new equipment in a very hectic final three days.
Since purchase at the Playlight London Auction, two fully working flightcased Clay Paky Golden Scan 3's have been stolen. They were removed from the Playlight London Warehouse between Thursday 31st May and Wednesday 6 June. One case has a distinctive splattering of magnolia paint and may still have auction lot stickers attached. It is likely that these will sold on at a low price. If anyone is offered these items for sale, or has any information regarding their whereabouts, please contact Chris Hatton on +44 07887 933 357.
PLASA has completed the first phase of its major industry research project, which will provide PLASA members with an invaluable insight into their industry. As well as being able to estimate the global market size for professional lighting, sound, staging and AV products and services, the research also gives a very detailed picture of the market in the UK. For the first time, PLASA has information about the value of the product sectors, how fast they are growing and the size and growth of the various vertical sectors into which its members sell. The findings enable the Association to say some very precise things about its members collectively and the nature of the industry as a whole.
PLASA plans to repeat the exercise every 12 months, enabling it to build up ever-more accurate trend information. A quick flick through the 119-page report reveals that it estimates the respective size by revenue of PLASA’s four main product sectors: light, sound, AV and staging; gives growth figures for this year and next across the four product sectors; breaks the sectors down into sales and rental; includes information on revenue from the provision of services such as installation, design and servicing; sizes the target market sectors and indicates which are the healthiest and the fastest growing; includes information on average company size by staff, investment in training, R&D and marketing.
Members who took part in the survey will shortly receive a free 22-page copy of the overview, together with the opportunity to buy the detailed sections. Members who didn’t take part w
The Bishop of Matabeleland, The Rt. Revd. Wilson Sitshebo in Zimbabwe, took part in a special service at St Asaph Cathedral in Wales, via a live telephone link provided by Apple Sound. The service on 20 May was led by the Bishop of St Asaph, The Rt. Revd. John Stewart Davies, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of The United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. The Revd. Bethan Scotford, USPG Mission Adviser for the Church in Wales said: "Apple Sound understood our requirements and the precise timing within the celebratory service. As a total technophobe, my dream of having a live link with Africa was well and truly in the hands of Apple Sound. The end result delighted everybody in the Cathedral . . . It created a unique and unforgettable event for us in our celebrations of a World-wide agency. We are very grateful to Apple Sound for their sterling work in this instance and we look forward to future collaboration with them."
The live linkup was made possible using Gentner Audio Perfect teleconferencing equipment, which was integrated into the existing Cathedral sound system by Apple Sound.
ESS Superstructure has secured a major contract to build a vast 2,500sq.m superstructure building for a high profile, blue chip corporate event. The contract is the first for ESS Superstructure following the recent formation of a joint venture between ESS Ltd and The Pure Group. An ESS Superstructure building will be used initially by HP:ICM, one of Europe's leading live communication companies, for a client event involving a global brand. Two thousand delegates are expected to attend a one-day management conference, which will be followed by an elaborate gala dinner to be hosted in the superstructure building. The huge aluminium transparent structure, which is 100m long by 25m wide and 11m high, is based in the grounds of Syon Park in west London. Managed by The Pure Group, the Superstructure will be available for hire as a conference and corporate hospitality venue, in conjunction with a second structure, also commissioned for the site. ESS Superstructure and The Pure Group are in discussion with other sites in London to provide fully-serviced building structures ranging from 900 to 3,000sq.m for conference and corporate hospitality events. Both businesses have been approached about numerous event activities during 2001, particularly between September and December. Tim Norman, director of ESS Superstructure Ltd, said: "This contract win underlines our capability to handle major events. London is suffering from a dearth of large-scale venues. ESS Superstructure is well placed to meet this current demand by providing high quality, fully serviced, custom built venues. T