Business News

Sheer Bliss
Saturday, 10 March 2001

Bliss is a highly-sophisticated new bar/restaurant in Bournemouth conceived by experienced leisure entrepreneur, Richard Carr’s Future 2000 plc (the team behind the phenomenally successful Slinky dance nights).

Having owned the art deco building in Bournemouth’s town centre for several years, they contracted local interiors company, Design Mode, to convert the bottom two floors of the former Maples department store into the heavily marbellised Bliss, at a cost of £1.25 million. For the sound reinforcement, Future 3000’s head of technical services, Lee Price, stuck with the Martin Audio catalogue, which dominates the company’s other venues, as well as providing the touring sound for Slinky.

One of his prime considerations was the acoustic isolation necessary from the five storeys above the ground floor and basement, which the landlord has converted for student accommodation. This required an elaborate, acoustically-treated ceiling, with suspended, soundproofed flexi air-conditioning ducting, while the columns were given the same acoustical cladding. Most of the music (funk and soft jazz) is computer-driven, while in the evening a DJ takes over. Price has selected 26 of the EM26s divided into six zones. There are no bass bins and the whole sound is fed through a pair of BSS Soundwebs which routes the CD, DJ and band sources to their respective destinations.

A separate sound system carries 1970s kitsch film themes to a pair of Martin C516 recessed ceiling speakers in each of the Gents and Ladies lavatories. All inputs are separately EQ’d an

RCF Adds Style to Oriel
Friday, 9 March 2001

Oriel, a designer bar and restaurant, has recently opened in Mere Green, a fashionable suburb of Birmingham. The venue needed to have a sound system that would complement the décor. So owner Ian Sloane contacted 'Lonnie' of 2007 Sound & Light and asked him to design a sound system for Oriel. The brief from the client was simple, says Lonnie: "We don't want to see it."

Once Lonnie had surveyed the venue, he contacted RCF to enquire about their fittings for the Monitor Series speakers. RCF produce a special false ceiling adapter, designed to fit the Monitor 4's, which presents a flush-mounted speaker system. The RCF Monitor speakers deliver a high-quality sound that enhances one of the Midlands’ most stylish venues. The main sound system users a Sony MDS-E11 mini-disc for music. The system in divided into two zones with the rest rooms using 100v line feed to the RCF Spotlight speakers (RCF AM1030 100v line amplifier). Main system amplification is from Crown MA series amplifiers, with processing and control via an XTA DP224 speaker management system, a Cloud CX-233 two-zone mixer and RL-1 remote volume control.

White Light North’s Academy Days
Friday, 9 March 2001

White Light North will be holding a series of Academy Days in March and April, offering theatre lighting professionals a chance to get ‘up close and personal’ with products and personnel from a wide range of manufacturers. The first pair of open days, on March 21st and 22nd, will feature Avolites, Martin Professional, Robert Juliat and Le Mark. Avolites will be showing the Pearl 2000 and Sapphire consoles, the Art touring dimmers, the macro tablet and the Avo Visualiser system, Martin the MAC2000 and the rest of the popular MAC moving light range, and LeMark the GAM range of colour, gobos and effects, including the new FilmFX linear effect for Source Four spotlights. Robert Juliat’s acclaimed range of lanterns and followspots, for which White Light are now the UK distributors, will also be on show. Companies represented at the April open days, on the 10th and 11th of April, will include Strand Lighting, showing the 300 and 500 Series consoles and the new, award-winning SLD dimmer rack; Rainbow showing their current range of colour scrollers, smoke and haze machines from The Smoke Factory and Look Solutions, and the Supergel, E-Colour and gobo ranges from Rosco. E-mail to reserve a place.

Stage Electrics Upgrade Northcott Theatre
Thursday, 8 March 2001

The Northcott theatre, based in Exeter's university complex, has recently upgraded its sound system. The theatre's sound engineer Jamie Pryke knew that the existing system was past its best and either had the option of short term hire, or start to build a new integrated system. In the end, he opted for a new system and called in Stage Electrics, whose Ian Dixon suggested they listen to the RCF Vision Series. He arranged for RCF to do a demonstration in the theatre and Pryke, with chief electrician Russell Payne, decided they would fit the bill perfectly. Pryke explained: "The RCF people brought the whole of the Vision Range down for us to listen to, once we'd established they could do the job, it was just a matter of planning the way forward. What we have done so far is phase one of the project, which is to have four Vision 121's installed at the stage front. We then plan to add another four around the theatre, plus subs."

Federal Signal Wins Algerian Oil Contract
Thursday, 8 March 2001

Federal Signal has won a £150,000 contract to supply digital Akusta PA equipment for an on-shore oil processing plant in Algeria, operated by Sonatrack Anadarco. The contract, which has been placed by Anadarco’s US engineering contracts Brown and Root, sees Federal providing a range of digital PA equipment for installation at strategic points around the processing plant’s fibre optic-based monitoring network. This latest move follows the recent announcement that the company had won its first contract from Romania’s national oil company Petromar. There the contract was to provide an Akusta-based duplicated PA and general alarm system for an offshore oil facility in the Black Sea.

Install ExpandsInstall Expands
Wednesday, 7 March 2001

Installation and service subcontractor Install recently completed the relocation of its head office. The new premises, situated within three miles of the M6 and located within a newly built business complex, boast an 8,000sq.ft warehouse, an electronics workshop, a purpose-designed training and conference suite, and an extensively equipped office area. The rapid growth of Install over the past year has meant that the premises are not the only part of the company to have expanded. The 12-strong workforce has increased to 22, based both on and off-site. The most recent addition to the team is John Elves who becomes the company’s new general manager.

Stage Electrics Bristol Relocates
Wednesday, 7 March 2001

As from March 5, Stage Electrics Bristol has moved its operation to Third Way, Avonmouth, Bristol, BS11 9YL. The move has been made to unify the company’s existing six Bristol premises under one roof. The 100 staff at Bristol now benefit from a staff canteen, on-site parking and air-conditioned workstations, while clients will benefit from a streamlined hire operation. The company’s contact numbers are listed below.

Purchasing Enquiries: +44 (0)1179379580
General Administration: +44 (0)117 982 7282
Customer Enquiries: +44 (0)117 938 4000

RCF Vision for Anima Club
Wednesday, 7 March 2001

The Anima nightclub in Fife, Scotland has a new sound system from RCF, installed by Images of Livingston. After an initial visit to the site, Billy-Ross Sheridan, Images managing director, asked RCF UK if they would travel to Fife and give a system demonstration for the club’s owners. RCF's Steve Coxon made the trip north and presented the Vision PA range of speakers. This did the trick and Images specified a complete RCF sound system, designed with the help of the RCF team. Taking into account the shape of the room and the mezzanine level, achieving the correct sound coverage was a complex process. Images Billy-Ross explains: "We were very impressed by the on-site help we received from the RCF team. With a job like this you need this kind of positive input to ensure the right result." Amplification is from a combination of QSC PLX1202 and PLX 3402 units.

The aim was to produce a 'big club' without losing the intimacy of the room. To achieve this, Images used four RCF Vision 152s with four RCF Vision 180SW subs for the main dance area. They then utilised the Vision PA121s in the VIP area on the mezzanine level, with Vision 281s as reinforcement/under balcony fills. The DJ booth includes two Technics SL1210 Mk11 turntables, a Pioneer CMX -500 twin CD system, and an RCF ART 300A (active) for monitoring.

Witches Go West
Tuesday, 6 March 2001

On February 24th, The Witches of Eastwick closed at London’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Less than a month later, on 23rd March, the show is to be re-born in a new, more intimate production at the Prince of Wales Theatre. The lighting equipment for Howard Harrison’s Olivier-award nominated lighting design will once again be supplied by White Light, with The Moving Light Company again supplying automated lighting equipment.When The Witches of Eastwick opened at its original home last summer, it contained one of the most complex automated rigs seen in the West End. The new production will feature a scaled-down lighting rig, again featuring ETC Source Fours, Rainbow scrollers, VSFX projection and with the automated rig again including Pirouettes, Digital Light Curtains, Technobeams and Martin MAC300s. Portions of the rig will be supplied anew from White Light, allowing the fit-up to commence while the show is still running at Drury Lane; the remainder will be moved between the theatres now the original production has closed. Control will once again be from a Strand 500-series consoles, with control partitioned between two operators for the technical rehearsal period and then left under the control of one operator for the run of the show.

Martin USA Moves to New FacilityMartin USA Moves to New Facility
Tuesday, 6 March 2001

Martin USA has recently moved to new modern headquarters in Sunrise, Florida. The new facility is located in the Sawgrass International Corporate Park - a large, master-planned business park with retail, hotel and recreational facilities. Constructed around an ‘open’ design with plenty of room, the new building is ideal for a staff with a solid teamwork philosophy. At 45,000sq.ft, Martin US’s new office is effectively twice as big as its previous facility and houses a large, dedicated showroom in which to showcase Martin products and conduct Martin University classes.

Battle for Dome Hots Up
Tuesday, 6 March 2001

Since the Government made the decision to remove preferred bidder status from Legacy plc, the battle for who gets to do what with the Dome has intensified. The Experience consortium, which includes promoter Harvey Goldsmith, has joined forces with the four-company consortium of Quintain, Lend Lease, Stanhope and Grosvenor. The latter has already been in talks with the BBC and the Tussauds Group, which may spur the revival of a 10-year-old plan for a giant theme park at Greenwich, first put forward by Tussauds long before the notion of a Millennium Dome was conceived. Any BBC involvement in the bid could involve turning the Dome into a theme park inspired by classic programmes such as EastEnders and Walking with Dinosaurs. This now places the consortium in a strong position to challenge the rival bid from the Dome’s former chief exec Pierre-Yves Gerbeau, whose bid is centred around retaining the Dome as a visitor attraction.

OPTI Expands US OperationsOPTI Expands US Operations
Monday, 5 March 2001

Following an impressive year’s trading, the US operation of OPTI has announced its move to larger premises. Based in Virginia, the business has set up home in a new building which will combine office and storage space and provide scope for future expansion. The new facility will continue to stock the full range of UK-manufactured OPTI Kinetics lighting products, as well as OPTI Trilite for the rental market produced at the company’s plant in Carp, Ontario, Canada. With responsibility for sales, marketing and distribution throughout North, Central and South America, turnover for the year is set to grow by 20 per cent.

Avesco Buys Gearhouse Divisions
Monday, 5 March 2001

Following the news last week that the Gearhouse Group and a large number of its subsidiary operations have been placed in administrative receivership, Avesco PLC has acquired the Midlands and North divisions of Gearhouse Group PLC for £4 million. We understand that the business and assets acquired include the operations in Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow and at the NEC.

Momo Gives Thumbs up to BSS
Sunday, 4 March 2001

In a drive to match its highly-rated North African cuisine with high quality audio, fashionable restaurant Momo, in London's West End, has carried out a major upgrade to the audio system across both its two floors. Proprietor Mourad Mazouz, enlisted the Sound Division Group to replace the entire system. As a result, a pair of BSS Soundweb 9088 Mk2 devices offers routing and processing capabilities throughout the premises. The Kemia bar downstairs plays host to many up-and-coming bands as well as featuring DJs playing a very wide variety of musical styles. The front end mixing is taken care of by an Allen & Heath Xone 464 with the two Soundwebs’ processing power being used as a combined resource, the bulk of it assigned to running the upstairs dining area (used mainly as a background system although instantly reconfigurable as a foreground system for private parties).

Showlight Pulls in Top Names
Sunday, 4 March 2001

Paula J. Dinkel, Peggy Eisenhauer and John Rayment will be the keynote speakers heading a formidable array of 21 top-class speakers at Showlight 2001.

Paula J. Dinkel, principal lighting designer for Walt Disney Imagineering, is currently leading the lighting design teams at Walt Disney Studios in Paris. Her paper ‘Theatre to Theme Parks’ owes much to her 20 years’ experience with Disney theme parks and retail projects, amongst them DisneyQuest in both Orlando and Chicago, the Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore and Club Disney.

John Rayment, the man responsible for the exciting lighting design of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, will discuss this experience in his paper ‘Olympics’. Beginning his career in seventies London, Rayment went on to become associated with the Sydney Dance Company, and was also one of Australia’s first lighting designers to go freelance and get an agent, allowing him the freedom to work on projects which have included drama, opera, musicals and events such as World Expo 88.

Peggy Eisenhauer, the only lighting designer to receive two double-nominations for lighting design, is talking about ‘Design Philosophy’. With partner Jules Fisher, she runs the successful Third Eye studio, a provider of innovative lighting design for some of America’s top shows, the most recent being the musical production of Jane Eyre which opened on Broadway in December. Her partnership with Fisher began some 15 years ago and they have gone on to collect many desig

‘Scouser’ Going Live
Saturday, 3 March 2001

Soundcraft has announced a new event in its successful series of Going Live seminars.

The ‘Scouser’ Going Live, which will run in Liverpool at the end of April, will feature a panel of engineers who all started their careers in the city.

The formula of Going Live is a simple and proven one. Soundcraft provides comprehensive and professional PA equipment for the students to work on, including a wide variety of mixing consoles for front-of-house and monitoring. All the course tutors are working engineers who tour with the biggest acts in music today. All the usual topics from how to operate front-of-house and monitor consoles, to microphone placement and outboard electronics, will be covered in the three-day agenda. There will also be a special class on digital mixing in a live situation. PA systems and tech support for the seminar will be provided by Liverpool’s Adlib Audio.
Dates: 27-29 April 2001
Venue: Liverpool

Touring Toys for Backstreet Boys
Saturday, 3 March 2001

The Backstreet Boys are the biggest boy band out there. So it’s fitting that their Black and Blue world tour, which kicked off January 22, is likely to be the biggest show on the road right now - with a lighting package of more than 250 moving lights and a stage overflowing past 100 feet, rumbling across the country in 27 trucks. The equipment list, supplied by lighting contractor Premier Global Productions of Nashville, includes 144 High End Systems products and includes Studio Beams, Studio Colors and Cyberlights all controlled through a pair of Wholehog II consoles. Veteran lighting designer Peter Morse has specified High End gear on a variety of top-name tours including Barbra Streisand, Christina Aguilera, Reba McEntire, Mariah Carey and more.

Interactive Club Experience for Students
Friday, 2 March 2001

Mobile phone company Orange has kicked off its largest ever Student Union club tour: ‘Enjoy Music on Campus’ is a high tech clubbing production that transforms student unions into impressive clubbing venues. Orange is employing expertise gained through its extensive music sponsorship portfolio to take leading DJs and the latest technology to universities across the UK. The first event took place in February at the De Montfort Student Union in Leicester and throughout the coming months will visit universities from Belfast to Plymouth, to allow as many students as possible to Enjoy Music on Campus. The line up for the events include the Freestylers, Jon Carter and talent from Grand Central Records. The club nights are designed to support the launch of ‘Orange on campus’, a mobile phone package specially designed for students.

TOA Hit the Stadium Market
Friday, 2 March 2001

TOA France has installed a new sound system in the Stade de la Meinau, a 30,000 capacity soccer stadium in Strasbourg, and the home ground of FC Strasbourg. The new system not only provides general public address announcements, but also emergency warning broadcasts, interlocked with the fire alarm system. To meet European technical criteria for voice evacuation systems, the SX-1000M Smart Matrix Unit was selected as the nucleus for the system, and features emergency audio signal channels as well as speaker line failure detection circuitry. A total of 56 ES-0871 general use speakers and 20 F-160 Fashion speakers are sited both inside and outside the stadium, driven by 18 2kW power amplifiers. This project was realised with the co-operation of Spie Trindel and CGV France.

PCM Training in South Africa
Friday, 2 March 2001

PCM kicked off 2001 by continuing its on-going commitment to industry training, taking its award-winning Lodestar Motor School across the globe to South Africa. PCM’s John Jones and Tony Dickson held three Schools - one in Cape Town and two in Johannesburg. This is the second time John and Tony PCM have visited South Africa for training and Motor School purposes. The last time was in 1998 when the course was run in conjunction with SARA (the South African Roadies Association) to provide 16 of its members with much needed training opportunities. The Schools were attended by 16, 20 and 28 people respectively. Most students were relatively inexperienced, and travelled from all corners of the country to take advantage of the opportunity. PCM’s John Jones comments: "It’s really great to be back in South Africa and to add continuity to the work we started two years ago.. We continue to be impressed by the hunger to learn and the energy and commitment shown by those wanting to make a career in the production industry."

International Seminars at Pro Light & Sound
Friday, 2 March 2001

PLASA, the VPLT (PLASA’s sister association in Germany) and Trade Partners UK (British Government) have been working together to present three seminars at the Pro Light & Sound Show at the Frankfurt Musikmesse next week with simultaneous German/English translation. The first, on Wednesday 7th March at 12.30pm, covers ‘Cruise Ships and Events Technology‘ with Peter Ed of ETC Europe, Martin Lilly (Airtours/Sun Cruises), and Davey Smalley of BSS Audio. The seminar looks at event technology on cruise ships, revealing what requirements there are and which products and solutions are needed for these less than straightforward environments. The second seminar, on Thursday 8th March at 12.30pm, is entitled ‘German - English Trade’. Paul Robinson from the British Embassy in Berlin and Michael Schneider of Lightronic discuss the difference between the British and the German way of thinking and its marketing. It considers the differences in supply and demand and reviews the development of trade relations between both countries with regards to event technology? ‘Working on DMX, fog, rigging and others - the international standards situation.’Is the final seminar on Friday 9th March, again at 12.30pm.The standards officers of PLASA and the VPLT, Tim Cox and Eckart Steffens, discuss the importance of technical standards and review the various projects underway worldwide.For further details visit the VPLT/PLASA stand - A01 - at the show.

Screenco Make Hay at Goodwood
Friday, 2 March 2001

Goodwood has offered Screenco a three-year contract to supply outdoor video screens for the Festival of Speed and the Goodwood Revival meeting. The large-screen visual display specialists return for the ninth Festival of Speed in July, which will be themed The Will To Win, and celebrates 50 years since Ferrari had their first Grand Prix victory. Screenco will be providing two 40sq.m truck-mounted screens for the event, along with production facilities and links. Both screens are linked by microwave, positioned in such a way that one is never far from seeing the action. September’s Revival meeting has become one of the world’s most historic motor racing events, and the only one which recreates in period detail the atmosphere of post-war motor racing. Screenco will be attending with two 40sq.m trucks.

Bidding War at Dome Auction
Friday, 2 March 2001

News reaches us that the recent Dome auction turned into something of a bidding war and in so doing laid to rest fears that there would be a flood of cheap second-hand product hitting the market. Word has it that whilst there were some bargains to be had - top end lighting desks normally worth £15,000 upwards going for £7,000 - there were also numerous instances of bidders paying way over the list price for items. A 24-channel lighting control desk, for instance, which you can get for £525, was actually sold for £700, and this before the 10% premium buyers have to pay on all items. We also understand from our mole at the auction that numerous other items were attracting slightly higher or close to list price and one can only wonder at who out there has pockets so deep that price is not an issue. But not everything promised in the auction actually made it to the sale as the NMEC withdrew several items yesterday on the basis that it didn’t wish to prejudice the future use of the Dome - these included the Broadcast and Dome TV Suites and all associated equipment, together with plasma screens.By the time the auction ends at close of play today, more than 15,000 items from the Dome will have been sold and an anticipated £5 million will have been raised for an attraction that cost £800 million.

Manchester United Scores with TannoyManchester United Scores with Tannoy
Thursday, 1 March 2001

With 18,000sq.ft of floor space, the new Manchester United Megastore is currently the largest Football Club merchandise store in the world and sells over 2,000 branded product lines including replica kits, sportswear, magazines, videos, books and other memorabilia. Situated within the new East Stand development of Old Trafford, the Megastore uses Tannoy speakers throughout to provide both background music and audio to accompany video screen presentations. Installed by Preston based ADI, six Tannoy i5 AW ICT speakers flank the entrance ramp and provide an effective audio introduction to the store. In addition, two Tannoy i8 Dual Concentric speakers complement a large rear projection video screen located at the rear of the store.Tannoy CMS 65 ICT ceiling monitor systems are also used throughout the store for background music, particularly in the café and MUFC Sport areas. The Tannoy speakers are fed through Biamp SPM522AMX PC based mixers and powered by three R300 and a single PA9 InterM amplifiers.


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