Business News

Catalyst Will Spur Video Development
Thursday, 17 May 2001

This year’s PLASA will see the future of automated lighting and the application of high-powered video projection, move a step forward with the launch of High End Systems’ new product, Catalyst. Developed for HES by English design company, Wynne Wilson Gottelier (WWG), the alpha version of Catalyst created a considerable stir at the Showtech Exhibition in Berlin where it was soft-launched earlier this month.

Mounted on the front of a Barco ELM R12, a 12,000 ANSI lumens output, triple-DMD video projector, Catalyst allows an image to be moved smoothly and positioned accurately, time after time, within a global envelope. As it is video-based, Catalyst allows truly unlimited colour mixing, with a selection of masks that act as framing shutters or overlays on video clips. The system is delivered with hundreds of gobo patterns, that can again be overlaid, including the entire DHA and High End libraries. All of these facilities are accessible from any DMX desk, and were demonstrated at Showtech from the Wholehog 2. The package, which consists of the dynamic hardware, a control rack, DMX system control software, and video processing software, is to be marketed by High End Systems to rental companies, who are already own suitable DLP projectors, as an add-on.

High End - Stand E64

GL4000 Put In 'The Shed'
Wednesday, 16 May 2001

An Allen and Heath GL4000 has recently been installed in top West Midlands live venue 'The Shed'. Richard Willis of Showcom Audio, the company that supplied the equipment, said the nature of the venue meant they needed a: "Sensible board for sensible money and lots of facilities." The GL4000 is certainly that. A 10 aux, 8 group dual function FoH/Monitor mixer, it is entirely at home in any situation and offers complete control to a single engineer. Its 8 mute groups with 128 MIDI mute snapshots further support the versatility of the console. The console is at the heart of a complete sound system refit that includes six decks of Nexo Alpha E loudspeakers, PS-15 monitors, Camco Vortex series amplification and Klark Teknik signal processing throughout. Since its installation last month, the GL4000 has been used regularly in the 500 capacity venue by a wide variety of visiting acts and sound engineers. Their verdict on the mixer? Richard Willis sums it up: "They're delighted with the system."

1000 DHA Digital Light Curtains
Wednesday, 16 May 2001

This month, DHA Lighting has sold its 1000th Digital Light Curtain. The company has supplied seven pitching six lamp Digital Light Curtains (DLC) and three standard six lamp units for the Australian production of Mamma Mia, already hugely successful in London, Toronto and the USA, taking DLC sales over the 1000 mark. Due to preview from 31 May at the Princess Theatre, Melbourne, with the premiere on 9 June, rumour has it that Mamma Mia is scheduled to run until 3 November, though there have been unconfirmed reports that the show may move to Sydney.

What is now DHA's DLC began its life as a prototype Light Curtain produced for the English National Opera's 1976 production of Dalibor and in 1978 24 Light Curtains were used in Evita to create the innovative production concept of a 'white out' effect. The first motorised Digital Light Curtains were installed on Miss Saigon in New York and the range is now available in six or eight lamp versions with integral tilt drive and colour scroller. DLCs offer reliable versatility, particularly when used with the optional pitching yoke which provides a second axis of movement.

Other current stage shows which feature DLCs include The Witches of Eastwick, My Fair Lady and The Secret Garden in the UK, Cats in Germany and Footloose in the USA. DLCs are still going strong at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas for the EFX show, and have been used to light Sting, Jamiroqui and Culture Club concerts. Additionally, the five-deck theatre aboard Royal Caribbean Cruises Line's Voyager of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship, recently installed

Zero 88 Goes Dutch
Wednesday, 16 May 2001

Zero 88 has appointed Rolight Theatertechniek BV as a European dealer. The company, based in The Netherlands, currently distributes throughout the country via six dealers, Lichtpunt Theatertechniek in Groningen, Pulcinella in Arnhem, Aukes Theatertechniek in Amsterdam, Aveq in Den Haag, Rouvoet and Stagelight who are both based in Den Bosch. Mark Beens of Rolight commented: "The market place is very interested in Zero 88 products thanks to their ease of use and competitive price." To increase Zero 88's presence in the Dutch marketplace, Rolight have organised a dealer meeting at the beginning of June. Tim Burt, Zero 88's product manager will be visiting the event to lend a helping hand with product demonstrations.

Allen & Heath at Club Yellow
Tuesday, 15 May 2001

Two Allen & Heath mixers, the ML5000 and Xone:464, have recently found a home in top Japanese venue Club Yellow. The club hosts a variety of nights, from hard house to soul. Mr Kikuchi, sound manger at Yellow, explained what they were looking for: "We needed a top quality mixer for live mixing and overall control of sound at the club. The ML5000 provided this, at a great price." The 32-channel version of the ML5000 dual function FOH/monitor mixer met his requirements, due to the flexibility provided by its 16 auxes, eight audio groups and eight VCA groups. In addition to the ML5000, Yellow also needed a dedicated DJ mixer for its prominent house, techno and garage nights. The Allen & Heath Xone:464 was chosen and has so far found great favour. Naoko Sugano of Onkyo Tokki, the company that supplied the mixers, believes that the choice of new DJ console at the venue was determined by quality and price for a product that needed to be instantly accessible to any visiting DJ.

Direct Lighting & Lighting Technology
Tuesday, 15 May 2001

New Malden, Surrey is the new home for Direct Lighting, the latest addition to the Lighting Technology Group of companies. Established over 10 years and under the leadership of directors Ian Moodie and Steve Copping, Direct Lighting is well-known in the industry for the distribution of light sources and related products to independent retailers and commercial end users. The company is already networked to take full advantage of the Group's new National Distribution Centre in Corby where a new computerised internal order processing system has been installed to mastermind and speed up deliveries to its customers. The new address for Direct Lighting is: 4 Shannon Commercial Centre, Beverley Way, New Malden, Surrey, KT3 4PT, UK.

Martin Goes Big at Eurovision
Tuesday, 15 May 2001

The 46th Eurovision Song Contest at Denmark’s national stadium, Parken, featured one of the largest automated lighting rigs ever assembled for a single show. Danish lighting rental company SeeLite A/S, who recently took over Martin Danmark’s rental division, supplied all the lighting for Eurovision 2001 (subhired through rental company ProCon of Germany). The package included nearly 900 automated, computer-controlled fixtures including over 700 of Martin’s most successful and popular lights, MAC luminaries. The massive rig also included over 1000 conventional luminaries - all in all a 4.2 million watt lighting system. The Eurovision Song Contest has featured Martin lighting for the past several years, including in Israel in 1999 and Sweden in 2000. By comparison, last year’s Eurovision show in Stockholm incorporated just 300 computer-controlled fixtures. Set-up began a full two weeks before the event.

The lighting design was by SeeLite’s Lars Nissen. With a mandate to produce a show that was bigger than last year’s, and with a large 38,000 seat stadium to fill with atmospheric effects, Lars incorporated a massive amount of Martin automated lighting into the designs. The Eurovision stage itself was enormous; a large and open platform surrounded by several video and projection screens with back light and projection provided by MAC 2000s. Lars placed 78 Martin Atomic 3000 strobes on the projection and video screen truss to the back of the stage for powerful white flash effects. Truss arms hang straight down from the ceiling with pods of M

TOA Calls the Tuna
Monday, 14 May 2001

Hull-based public address specialists, Galloway Electronics, proved the power of an effective website this month when they completed a contract for Indian Ocean Tuna - a subsidiary of Heinz - in the Seychelles. "I turned on the computer one morning and there was the enquiry posted on our website," confesses finance director Brian Galloway. "We had just started to export, and a job right in the middle of the Indian Ocean couldn’t have provided us with a better start." The family-owned business has been operating for 20 years, and for much of that time the company has been dealing with TOA Electronics, and fitting their public address, voice evacuation and CCTV systems as approved installers. Thus when the canning factory stated that they needed a factory-wide public address system, Galloway didn't have to look further than the TOA catalogue.

Indian Ocean Tuna faxed through drawings and Galloway Electronics put together a design based around a TOA drive rack, for final installation by local contractors. The six-zone system - some featuring music, some voice only - will provide total coverage into all the food preparation, store room, staff room and administration blocks, the TOA direct horn speakers powered from a single TOA V Series amp rack situated in the administration block. The paging includes a 10-zone individual mic system, with an all-call and music restoration facility throughout.

Salisbury City Hall Given Strand UpgradeSalisbury City Hall Given Strand Upgrade
Monday, 14 May 2001

An ongoing technical refurbishment at the Salisbury District Council-owned City Hall, which recently saw motorised hoists and rigging improvements bringing it up to Health & Safety standard, has now seen the venue upgrade to new Strand LD90 digital dimmer racks. While the previous analogue dimmer system sat exposed in the gallery, the conversion of a storage room has provided a dedicated area for the six new racks, which offer 144 channels of 2.5kW dimming (with RCD earth leakage breaker options on the power blocks). At the same time ten Strand SL 15/30 Zooms and eight Strand Cantata F soft-edge fresnel lanterns have been added to the lighting rig.

Work at the 953 (seated)-capacity concert venue was carried out by Edinburgh-based Northern Light, who successfully tendered for the specification prepared by technical consultants, Theatretech, and supplied all the Strand equipment. The Scottish company also wired the new DMX network which, according to the theatre¹s senior technician, Phil Manning, was long overdue. The next phase will see an upgrade to the in-house sound system when funds become available.

The Influence of Lighting
Sunday, 13 May 2001

Late March in London saw several industry organisations come together to contribute to an evening of presentations, the theme of which was Entertainment Lighting and its Influences. Members of the Society of Light & Lighting (SLL), the Institute of Lighting Engineers (ILE) and the Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) were present to hear several speakers outline their own particular experiences.

Peter Phillipson of Future Group Lighting Design talked about the differences between the disciplines of theatre and television lighting, compared to architectural lighting. To illustrate his point, he demonstrated the differences between a number of lighting fixtures. He also went on to discuss the critical role of the lighting programmer and introduced Stuart Porter, who had worked alongside LD Andrew Bridge on the production of Aida at the Royal Albert Hall. Dave Isherwood of The Moving Light Co, followed with a demonstration of moving lights outlining the benefits they can bring to a production.

PLASA’s Matthew Griffiths talked about the role of the Association and outlined a number of projects where entertainment lighting had been integrated into permanent installations, particularly benefiting educational establishments. Television lighting directors Duncan Brown and Warwick Fielding talked about the role of lighting in television, highlighting their presentations with reference to some of the many productions they have lit.

Celestion’s Permanent Mooring in Denmark
Friday, 11 May 2001

A Celestion CX system has been specified for one of Copenhagen’s most popular venues for private functions, the ‘Sealand’, an old ferry permanently moored in the heart of the city. This large vessel, capable of seating 700-800 people for dinner, is in demand for all kinds of private rentals, parties, concerts and fashion shows. Its proprietor Skanlines is jointly owned by the Danish and German governments. Musiktronic, the Copenhagen-based audio supplier, has recently kitted out the huge interior space of the ship with a new front-of-house PAsystem, featuring proprietary Musiktronic cabinets (all using Celestion drivers), and four delay channels, each using a pair of Celestion CX1220s. The system is controlled by a Yamaha 01V mixing console. The Sealand system has an unusual feature; the levels of both the front-of-house and the delay positions can be controlled from anywhere in the room, using wireless remote control.

Fineline Goes Heavy MetalFineline Goes Heavy Metal
Friday, 11 May 2001

Touring, festival and corporate event lighting rental house Fineline have become the first UK stockists of Tomcat’s new Extra Heavy Duty trussing. Fineline’s initial purchase of nearly 300ft of the super-strength truss was prompted by the demands of a recent event at Westpoint Arena in Exeter for Warwick Corporate Events, for which Fineline constructed a complete 80m x 30m x 11m high pitched-roof tented structure within the Westpoint venue - using the new trussing to form the topmost span of the apex. The 80m run of Extra Heavy Duty served as the main truss run. Below that, further out from the centre each side were two runs of lighter GP trussing (also Tomcat), and below these - still further out from the centre - were two runs of Trilite lightweight trussing, at a height of approximately 4m. All three layers of trussing were bridled together with additional runs of Trilite for rigidity and stability. The complete superstructure was suspended by 24 Lodestar motors, and Warwick Corporate Events dressed the entire ‘box’ with drapes and starcloths and Fineline installed an impressive moving light rig of Martin MAC 500s and 600s over the dining area, plus Golden Scans over the dancefloor. Lighting design was by @lighting.

Fineline is now adding a Tomcat ground support system with a 4 tonne per leg loading capacity to go with the trussing and into their rental stock. The ground support will be in action in Geneva for a huge corporate event in the summer that requires 80 ft spans with a centre load in excess of 1 tonne. Fineline’s Darren Wring ex

Navigator Hamper
Friday, 11 May 2001

Navigator Systems recently presented Pascale Lecomte of Britannia Row with a Harrods food hamper for taking part in a research and development project linked to the company’s Hire Track Eclipse rental management software. Britannia Row, which has been using Eclipse since 1999, was chosen at random from a number of companies who participated. Navigator will use the results from the findings to further develop the software.

Fourth Phase at White Cliffs of Dover
Friday, 11 May 2001

Fourth Phase Production Arts supplied a BP6 Gold Pani projector to artist Joanna Jones to realise her dramatic projected work on Dover’s famous white cliffs over the Easter weekend. The project was part of the Arts Council’s Year of The Artist initiative. Joanna’s idea was to combine the structures and textures of a cliff face with the structures and textures of a painted layer created by herself into a huge outdoor abstract painting. The painted layer was photographed as a 6 cm X 6 cm transparency by Ute Schendel which was then produced as a large format Cibachrome Pani slide by Wyatt Enever of DHA. Production Arts Emma Hutchison and Dominic Airs visited the site and ran a camera obscura to establish the lens needed, the exact size the artwork should be and the optimum positioning of the projector. They used a 22cm lens and a throw distance of 50 metres to produce a 35 metre square image. The projector was housed in a specially constructed enclosure for protection against adverse weather conditions and inquisitive members of the public. The projector was switched on before dusk at 7.30pm and off again at midnight when the site closed. At 5am, the site opened again and the projector was fired up so the painting could be seen going through its continuum of changes until it had dissolved completely, leaving only the naked cliff face in full daylight. This process could be seen from dusk on Good Friday until dawn on Easter Monday. The innovative idea proved an enormous success. People came from all over the South of England to see the projections and to enjoy

Federal Signal’s PA/VA Roadshow
Friday, 11 May 2001

Federal Signal, the leading supplier of public address and voice alarm (PA/VA) systems, is hosting a new summer roadshow to highlight the significance of British Standards for PA/VA systems. The initiative is aimed at consultants and specifiers from across the PA/VA and fire protection industry who need to know more about the issue of operating standards and why it is important to use systems with BS5839 compliance.

The guest speaker will be Doug Edworthy, formerly of Millbank Electronics and a leading expert in systems engineering, marketing and quality management. He has been running his own consultancy since 1994. Jason Hatswell, commerial sales manager at Federal Signal, said: "The road show will explain why British Standards are so important to those responsible for product specification, design and installation. We will also show Federal Signal’s equipment and explain how it complies with the standards."

The dates for the road show are as follows: 14 June, Federal Signal House, Macclesfield; 21 June, Birmingham Metropole Hotel; 26 June, London Swallow Hotel; 5 July, Newcastle Malmaison Hotel. For more information, telephone +44 (0)1625 666600.

EAW System for Dodgers Stadium
Thursday, 10 May 2001

The LA Dodgers are enjoying a new sound system for the 2001 season, which opened with 53,154 Dodger fans witnessing a 1 - 0 win over Milwaukee Brewers. The new sound system enhanced the event from the first note of Barry Manilow’s national anthem to the last call by public address announcer Mike Carlucci. Acoustic Dimensions, project led by Steve Shull, spent the end of the 2000 season going through fan surveys and conducting interviews with team members and management to research the challenges of the original system, then fast-tracked the solution during the off-season. The new design includes replacement of the old central cluster with an EAW KF900-based system. New Meyer MSL 4s make up the left and right field effects clusters, which allow ping-pong and panning of sound effects or organ music across the stadium. Additional loudspeakers provide coverage to the outfield bleacher seating, and delay speakers cover certain areas that are shadowed by the cluster.

The audio contractor was Pro Sound of Las Vegas with project manager Larry Spurgeon and project engineer Scott Marcellus coordinating. Shull, Spurgeon and Marcellus have a history of working together which made for smooth planning and execution between consultant and contractor. "This project involved some very complex engineering and processing. It was a real pleasure to work with guys that have been to the rodeo," Shull said. The new system is unbelievably clear with incredible low frequency energy. "The system exceeded even our expectations for reproducing low-end frequencies as well as bein

MassAV Debuts EAW KF760 in Boston
Wednesday, 9 May 2001

On May 3rd, Mass Audio Visual of Burlington, Massachusetts, unveiled the new EAW KF760 Line Array sound system. The first in the world to own this product, massAV entertained 125 industry guests at the renowned concert facility on Boston's Waterfront, The Fleet Boston Pavilion. Jason Geshelin, senior audio engineer for massAV, designed the new system for even coverage in the 5,000-seat tented-facility. The system comprised 12 KF 760 cabinets, four KF 761 downfill modules and eight SB 1000 bass units. 100,000 watts of power was provided from Crest 9001 and 8002 amplifiers, with processing from DBX 480 and 480R units. Front-of-house mixing duties were carroed out on a Crest GTX console, with a Ramsa 840 used for monitors.

The afternoon featured entertainment from the Berklee "Tower of Power" Ensemble and singer/songwriter Brian Alex. Brad Berger, FOH engineer for the ensemble commented: "The imaging and coverage was fantastic," he continued: "The coverage was smooth throughout the facility. I was really impressed by the quick drop-off and lack of sound coming off the back of the box. Working with massAV was a complete pleasure."

Jason Geshelin explained: "The Pavilion is an acoustically challenging facility to cover and mix in. The KF760 solved many problems inherent to the venue, including eliminating delay speakers."

Brian Alex, whose credits include Entrain & Missing Person's commented after performing: "This product is superior to anything out there. The clarity and throw is incredible."

Launch for Ground Zero
Wednesday, 9 May 2001

Three European entertainment industry veterans have announced the formation of Ground Zero BV, which they claim to be ‘the first system integrator and show control specialist company in Holland’. The founders of Ground Zero are Sierk Janszen, Rutger van Dijk and Reind Brackman, all well known figures in the worldwide entertainment industry. The company’s main working area will be North-Western Europe and Spain.

Sierk Janszen has worked as applications manager at Avenger Systems in Belgium for the last six years after he had worked as a sound-engineer for several theatre-companies in Holland. Rutger van Dijk has been the manager of Vari-Lite Production Services Amsterdam since it establishment, before which he worked as technical production manager on many musical productions, Cirque du Soleil Europe and Focus Showequipment. Finally, Reind Brackman is the owner and founder of Beo (the Dutch Compulite dealer) and Trekwerk, a company specializing in automatic flying systems and their controls.

Valiant Lamps Moves and Expands
Tuesday, 8 May 2001

Lighting Technology has announced that Valiant Lamps has moved to the Group's New Malden, Surrey Location as part of an expansion and reorganisation programme. In addition, Valiant is already networked to take advantage of the Group's new Corby National Distribution Centre where a new computerised internal order processing system has been installed to mastermind and speed up deliveries to its customers across the UK and Europe. The new address for Valiant Lamps is: 4 Shannon Commercial Centre, Beverley Way, New Malden, Surrey, KT3 4PT, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 20 8949 3070 Fax: +44 (0) 20 8395 3072

Brähler Mic System for Patent Office
Tuesday, 8 May 2001

Cambridge-based Brähler ICS has provided a new microphone system for the courtrooms of the Patent Office in London, as part of a sound system overhaul. Two main areas had to be addressed: firstly, a modern microphone management system was required to make proceedings run more smoothly; secondly, it was vital that this system was integrated with an element that made it highly versatile. Both these needs were met by the supply and installation of Brähler’s Automic system and their Congress Data System Virtual Audio Network, CDS-VAN for short. The former provides the overall infrastructure. The latter endows it with great flexibility and eliminates much of the peripheral hardware normally associated with such projects. Installation also included replacing the existing PA system.

A carefully concealed and fixed cabling network was put into each courtroom for the microphones. And Brähler’s technology meant that cabling was minimal. However, a high degree of portability was conferred by the integrated CDS-VAN system which is software based. Therefore, moving from room to room along with the sound processing is no problem. (Simply loading whatever file is appropriate to a particular courtroom means that rapid set-up and take-down are possible. Very handy, not least because room layouts are frequently changed to suit different requirements.)

Clay Paky Outlines Plans for New HQ
Sunday, 6 May 2001

Italian lighting manufacturer Clay Paky has unveiled plans for a major new headquarter facility, close to its current base in Pedrengo.

The new HQ not only represents a major investment for the company (you don’t want to know how many noughts were on the end of all those liras), but also a new chapter in what has been one of the major success stories of our industry. And the timing is perfectly cued, for it’s 25 years since Pasquali Quadri first founded Clay Paky, in 1976.

Over the years, the company has grown to be one of the major players in the lighting market and whilst much of that is down to its roots in the club sector, recent years have seen Clay Paky diversify into the wider arenas of TV, theatre, touring and architectural lighting. Central to all this has been technical innovation - GoldenScan did much to establish the company; more recently the launch of new products like the Miniscan HPE and Stagescan in 1997, and the Stageline in 1999, have been huge catalysts for growth.

The new headquarter facility is therefore a logical step, and since no company moves to make life harder, it goes without saying that it will not only give Clay Paky significantly more space (the new building will be 8,000sq.m with the option for expansion up to 24,000sq.m) it will also deliver a wide range of advantages. The first will be one of consolidation, as the company currently operates across three sites - totalling 6,000sq.m - its main Pedrengo facility being the largest of these. All three will be sold, and all the various links in the Clay Paky chain, from R&D r

Great Wall of China
Saturday, 5 May 2001

Electrosonic’s tradition of creating giant high-resolution electronic images continues with the completion of a 180sq.m display in Beijing, China. The China Millennium Monument is China’s memorial building to the Year 2000. It is a grand structure, occupying a total floor space of about 30,000sq.m. Its Century Wide-Screen Projection Hall houses an impressive 56-screen (30m x 6m) projection videowall. Measure Scientific of Beijing was responsible for the design and integration of the system which uses Sanyo projectors and locally-manufactured screens controlled by an Electrosonic Vector image system.

Beware the Con Artists
Saturday, 5 May 2001

Here’s a cautionary tale for readers. News has reached us of an Australian-based contractor who appears to be defrauding companies out of security deposits by inventing fictional contracts.

Since the ruse is fairly sophisticated and adopts an approach employed by perfectly genuine companies in the marketplace, it doesn’t immediately signal alarm bells. Essentially, it goes as follows: the contractor e-mails companies, claiming to have been appointed project manager for a major cruise contract. The e-mail dangles a few details about the likely size of the contract and then invites companies to respond if they’re interested in bidding for any part of the audio or lighting specification. Once they’ve indicated an interest, the contractor then offers to forward the bid package for evaluation, in return for a small, refundable security deposit. What happens next is all too obvious - the money is sent, and the contractor disappears. And because the amount is nominal, most companies don’t pursue it, preferring to write it off to experience.

Fortunately, in this most recent instance, the PLASA Member grapevine kicked in, and thee-mails were circulated to others within the cruise sector, each company adding another piece to the complex jigsaw. The final picture that emerged made it clear to all that no further time should be wasted pursuing the alleged contract. That sequence of correspondence then landed on our desks and working with our Australia-based writer, Andy Ciddor, we carried out further checks. All the telephone numbers (except the fax l

Report Dodgy Structures
Friday, 4 May 2001

PLASA Media has been advised of a new service designed to draw attention to poor standards of work within the industry. If you see a 'dodgy’ structure being built, such as a truss or tower being put up incorrectly or fashioned from battered old bits of ancient origin, you can now report it via e-mail to the Institute of Structural Engineers. This service has been arranged for the Industry by Roger Barrett, MD of Star Hire and PSA Council member.


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