The Institute of Sound & Communication Engineers (ISCE) has launched a new event to serve the installed sound sector. ISCEx 2002, which takes place at the Alexander Stadium, Perry Barr, Birmingham on Wednesday 27th February, will combine a one day seminar programme and a small exhibition. It will also feature the first ever Warren-Barnett Memorial Lecture.
The seminar programme will feature presentations on Audio for Video Conferencing by Jon Raper; Getting the Measure of Intelligibility by Peter Mapp and Helen Goddard; The Future of the VA Standards by Phil Pratt; Teaching an Old Bear Tricks by Helen Goddard and Robert Thornton. The Warren-Barnett Memorial Lecture - Getting the Message Across - will be given by Peter Mapp.
Exhibitors at the event include AMS-Mapp Acoustics, Baldwin Boxall Communications Ltd, CIE Group Ltd, Communication Technology Ltd, Duran Audio UK Ltd, Federal Signal Ltd, Hayden Laboratories, M&D Designs, Mackie Designs UK plc, Next Two, SigNET AC Ltd, Sound Partner. Further details are available from the ISCE office, telephone:+44 0151 639 5211.
Since his TV debut in 1999, Bob the Builder has become a household name and has recently announced his very own 65-date arena tour and Vari-Lite Europe will be there to help him ‘fix it’!
The lighting designer is none other than Patrick Woodroffe, who will work alongside programmer Dave Hill and operator Mark ‘Sparky’ Risk. The Vari-Lite supplied rig includes 22 VL2Cs, 8 VL6C spot luminaires, 38 VL5, 12 VL5 Arc wash luminaires, all controlled from a Virtuoso console. Conventional equipment will consist of 108 Par 64s, 17 Bambino Fresnels c/w colour changers, six Starklite 1200W HMI followspots. The tour sets off in Sheffield, then moves to Nottingham, London Arena, Newcastle, Manchester, Cardiff and Glasgow. It will then travel to Wembley Arena and then finally to Birmingham.
Taking a critical look at the Top 50 players in the market, Plimsoll is about to publish a Future Players Analysis which speculates on which companies will figure in the future of the industry.
The analysis focuses on the key players, making suggestions of how these companies will "move forward". Fastening on 10 key areas of attention, the analysis shows how current performance might change and how the company will respond to competition.
Not saving any punches, this analysis names 12 losing pace, three of which had sales of over £6.1 million. These companies are not alone in their retreat, as 11 other companies have been named that require a period of great change in order to compete. Many companies have elected to capture market based on debt. Whilst the risk associated with this strategy is high, the short-term effect on others is profound. This method of survival is in direct contrast to the eight companies adopting a more 'steady ship' approach.
The Top 50 Sound Equipment Future Players Analysis, to be officially released on 18 February, carries two full pages of intense analyses per company with several added features never before seen in a Plimsoll Analysis. Plimsoll has determined the current and future value or worth of every one of the Top 50 companies in the analysis. The report also predicts the likely strategy each company is to take over the next 12 months. The Analysis also names other companies that the Top 50 could realistically purchase.
Future Players Analysis can be obtained by calling (01642) 626400.
Former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters has come up with an ideal solution for location recording and song-writing. With a little help from his co-producer Nick Griffiths, Waters has assembled three identical compact recording rigs that can be easily transported and assembled anywhere in the world.
All three rigs are centred around the Mackie Digital 8-Bus recording console and a Master Apple Titanium Power Book running Logic Audio. Nick Griffiths, who has worked with Pink Floyd since the 80s, came up with the solution in response to Roger’s earlier forays into transportable studios. Nick commented: "I wanted a foolproof system that could be unpacked and set-up by anyone. Having worked with Roger for years, I know his exact requirements. When it came time to turn my ideas into reality, I turned to Spike Burridge at Media Tools and Paul Ward from Oxford studio Systems."
Roger’s three identical rigs contain a varied selection of tools including Amek /Neve RN9098 mic pre amps, Apogee 888 digital I/Os, Neve and DBX compressors. For recording mediums there are CD burners, DAT machines and Glyph 18 and 80Gb hard drive systems. Keyboard control is via a custom-made fully weighted classical keyboard from Manga Music, controlling a fully loaded EMU E4, which contains complete orchestra and band set-ups.
A review of Roger Waters’ in Cape Town will be featured in the April issue of L&SI.
The Poll Winners Concert for the first ever BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards took place last week at Ocean, Hackney’s latest music venue. As the lights went down, the stars - including Johnny Depp and Damon Albarn - came out in force to present the Awards, which celebrate the diversity of music throughout the world.
The event, which featured short sets from the Poll Winners, was also being filmed for broadcast on BBC Knowledge, and crew chief Nick Moran needed to augment the venue’s existing lighting to create a rig which would create maximum impact when televised. This led him to contact Fourth Phase. "It wasn’t until just before the event that we knew exactly what the brief would be," explained Moran. To meet this brief, Fourth Phase supplied 10 High End Studio Colors and 12 Studio Spots, eight bars of four Par 36 ACLs and a Lycian 1.2k HMI followspot.
The day immediately following the completion of the World Music Awards, Fourth Phase was involved in a charity Fashion Show in aid of ICROSS, the International Community for the Relief of Starvation and Suffering, which took place in Lady Margaret’s School, Parsons Green. Fourth Phase was commissioned to design, install and operate the ideal lighting rig to transform the school hall into a fashion show setting, supplementing the venue’s ambient lighting.
Designer and communicator Furneaux Stewart has entered the New Year with a healthy portfolio of work and several new account wins. The company, led by co-founder Laurie Stewart, is already working on several new high-profile projects this year, including an introductory exhibition for Syon House, Cardiff Castle's interpretation strategy and projects for the National Trust at White Horse Hill, Studland Bay and Lawrence of Arabia's home, Clouds Hill. The company is also the exhibition design consultancy for the new Acropolis Museum working with international architect Bernard Tschumi.
Within the automotive sector there are also some key projects ahead with the team, headed up by John Furneaux, looking forward to working with Skoda to create its stand for the Birmingham International Motor Show, in addition to major projects with Citroen and Bentley Motors. Ray Hole, architectural director has recently presented his ideas for the renovation of the Snowdon summit building and is also acting as a consultant to Cardiff Council for the masterplan for Cardiff Bay development.
As a result of the successful launch of the telecommunications company 186K at the end of 2001, which required the expertise of Media Director Adrian Little, the two companies are in discussion about further projects for this year. Furneaux Stewart is also working with lighting manufacturer OSRAM to design a demonstration studio at their new offices.
More than 500 people from all areas of the live event production industry attended Total Production magazine’s first-ever Awards event at the Hilton London Metropole, London W2, on the evening of Wednesday 30 January.
The 90-minute awards ceremony was hosted by radio & TV personality Mike Read and featured live entertainment from The Commitments, snooker star-turned-recording artist Peter Ebdon, rising all-girl pop act the Four Tunes, and multimedia dance outfit Future Vision Project.
And the winners were...
Live Production of the Year - Robbie Williams - Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs & Stadiums Tour
Best Production Manager - Bill Leabody
Best Tour Manager - Henry McGroggan
Best Front Of House Sound Engineer - Robbie McGrath
Best Monitor Engineer - John Roden
Best Sound Rental Company - SSE Hire
Best Lighting Designer - Nick Sholem
Best Lighting Rental Company - Bandit Lites
Best Video Director - Nick Jevons
Best Video Rental Company - XL Video UK
Best Set Designer - Liz Berry
Best Set/Staging Company - Star Hire
The Art Of Rigging Award - Paddy Burnside
The Unsung Hero Award - Paul MacCallum
The Editor’s Award - U2 Elevation Tour Production Crew
Best Live Event Of All-Time - Live Aid, Wembley Stadium 1985
Lifetime Contribution Award - Mick Upton
TMB has recently established a new relationship with Roadogz.com, a website aimed at people on the road in the entertainment industry. Roadogz.com will be selling TMB products including cable, connectors and touring expendables, in addition to its range of workbags, gloves, pouches, mini-fixtures and testing equipment.
Roadogz.com is filled with industry-related articles ranging from technical to travel subjects. It also features databases packed with info for restaurants, businesses, resumés and classifieds. There is a also a ‘production office’ loaded with tools for everyday use such as currency converters, calculators, airline seating charts and more. And, last but not least, the site provides the ultimate diversion, online games.
Roadogz.com owner and creator Jesper Luth began his relationship with TMB when he worked as an operations manager for Bandit UK. "Roadogz.com was a concept for about three years and became a reality in January 2001," said Jesper. "The goal is to unify this industry on a social and professional level. There doesn't seem to be anything out there that focuses on the individual on the road in quite the same way."
SCV London has moved its operation to larger premises in Loughton, Essex. Conveniently placed close to junction 5 of the M11, the new site is midway between the North Circular and the M25. SCV MD Julian Blyth told us: "Working in London was becoming increasingly frustrating. Time travel was a major problem: people being caught up in London’s traffic snarl was losing us an enormous amount of time. From our new location, we will be able to service our customers faster and staff hassle will be reduced."
The company can now be reached at 40 Chigwell Lane, Oakwood Estate, Loughton, Essex, IG10 3NY, UK. Tel: +44 020 8428 0778.
As Star Hire (Event Services) Limited celebrates its 25th Anniversary, the staging and engineering support company is expanding to accommodate a full events diary for 2002.
Recent projects, which included supplying stages for numerous New Year’s Eve celebrations across the country, several media company shows and major international events, have led the company to expand its business. "We have experienced an ever-increasing demand for our specialized engineering and staging expertise from music promoters, media companies and event management companies," said technical director, Roger Barrett. "I am delighted that as events in general have become more professional with regards to safety and quality, the depth of skills and knowledge throughout the team at Star Hire is standing us in good stead."
As the summer approaches, Star Hire’s itinerary already indicates that this is going to be their busiest year; the line up of projects includes the provision of mobile stages for the Queen’s Jubilee Baton Relay which is why the company is currently looking to recruit new staff.
Lancelyn Theatre Supplies and White Light Electrics have recently been appointed as distributors of the Skyhigh range of pyrotechnics and firing systems. Both companies have taken in a broad range of the pyrotechnic stocks.
Skyhigh's product development manager Tom Owen was pleased with the development. "Our strategy is to develop a worldwide distribution network for our products and two such key companies are a serious boost for us." Lancelyn's David Wilkins added: "Pyrotechnic equipment for general theatrical use is an area where there has been little effective choice in the marketplace. Choice and competition will stimulate development and this, alongside increasing demands for safety, will drive the market forward."
AVC Productions have extended their commitment to Christie Digital Systems with an order valued at around £500,000, spread across the full line of rental staging projectors. This includes the first UK acquisition of the new RoadRunner L6 LCD projectors.
Headquartered at Slough, and voted Production Company of the Year in the recent AV Magazine awards, AVC took the decision to back Christie Digital after receiving feedback from their in-house and freelance technicians. The purchase will not only extend AVC’s long relationship with Christie Digital, but will also increase their rental fleet to around 150 projectors. In addition to the RoadRunners, AVC also bought quantities of X10 Roadies and X6 Roadsters, with 10-bit ADPs (Advanced Digital Processing). They thus join the exclusive network of rental staging companies holding the powerful X10s in their inventory.
With the economy not at its best, the purchase - part of a package that includes High End moving lighting and a d&b sound rigs - is designed as a confidence booster. "With everyone feeling the pinch since September 11 we wanted to send a message to our clients that we were not going to compromise on quality, even if their budgets have to stretch a lot further than in the past," explained managing director, Patrick Hill.
AVC Productions also wanted to achieve soft-edge blend with their new rigs and picture within picture so have heavily invested in the Dataton Watchout system. Along with four projection screens, four X6 Roadsters (using standard and 0.8 lens) and four L6 RoadRunners, the Dataton
IAG Professional (International Audio Group) has announced that the product lines formerly covered solely by Wharfedale Professional are now divided into two divisions - Wharfedale Pro and Wharfedale Systems. Due to the current diversity and plans for further expansion of the Wharfedale Professional ranges worldwide, it became apparent to the parent company, IAG, that the infrastructure needed changing to focus on different market areas. The increase in business for IAG, especially in the professional product areas, has necessitated the employment of new staff in both sales and product development. This has enabled IAG to develop new products in both loudspeakers and electronics, which, in turn, have increased sales and distribution worldwide.
The Systems Division will comprise already established installation speakers such as the Programme 30D, 2080 and 2090 series. The LoudPanel (NXT Technology) products will also come under the Systems banner. Wharfedale Pro will concentrate on the VS, LiX and EVP high performance loudspeakers for PA/MI use. The division also launched a new range of mixers, amplifiers, processors and effects at NAMM 2002.
Director of IAG Professional, Steve Woolley commented: "We are in the fortunate position of having a diverse enough product line up with strong enough sales to enable us to make this decision. I am confident that we are now able to focus 100% on each market with the right products and will continue the healthy growth we have experienced in the last few years."
NBC Olympics has selected Audio-Technica microphones to play a key role in its coverage of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games. Working in conjunction with the host audio-video provider, International Sports Broadcasting (ISB), NBC Olympics has made a solid commitment to provide the most sophisticated and intensive coverage the Winter Games audience has ever known. "We’re going to be using a wide selection of Audio-Technica microphones to capture the sound and drama of the events," stated Bob Dixon, Project Manager/Sound Design for NBC Olympics. "The crisp and accurate imaging they offer will help us make the experience that much more exciting for viewers."
Stereo sound will play a key role in creating enhanced realism in NBC’s broadcasts. Dixon notes that all of NBC’s handheld field cameras will have AT815ST Stereo Shotgun Microphones mounted on them. "When we cut to one of those cameras and open up the microphones, viewers will hear a stereo image containing not only the left and right placements, but some of the depth of the action as well. We’ll also be using the AT815ST and AT835ST Stereo Shotgun microphones to capture stereo crowd ambience," he adds. "That really gives viewers a much better sense of what it’s like to be at the venues."
The AT849 stereo condenser boundary microphone has been a favourite of Dixon’s for many years, dating back to when he covered hockey in Canada. "The AT849 is wonderful behind the goals, and I’ve been using them in that application for a long time
The Met Arts Centre in Manchester, one of a rich selection of theatres and music halls in the city, has had a new staging system fitted in its main theatre. As a variety of musical events take place in the main theatre, ranging from large-scale orchestral concerts and the famous Blues Festival to children's days, the staging had to be as multi-purpose as the hall itself, not to mention suitable for outside use also.
Maltbury supplied 25 Ambideck staging units with legs to variable heights, measuring 32 x 24ft. With variable leg height, the staging can be easily raised and lowered to suit a variety of needs and with ramp access to the rear of the stage, people with disabilities will be able to enjoy the theatre's facilities.
Quadrant Visual Solutions (QVS), the event specialists, staged an exclusive venue event for SGS, the verification and certification multinational, that combined the important business of new product presentations, seminar facilities and team-building exercises with an evening of entertainment at the Alton Towers Hotel on the 11th and 12th January 2002. The event was built around the continuing transition to the new verification certificate ISO 9000:2000, with emphasis upon team working and co-operation to ensure SGS understands and meets its customer requirements at all levels of the business.
The 170 delegates were SGS Yarsley International Certification employees from all around Britain, mostly system auditors or trainers, and members of the support and administration team. The theme of the event was "Connections" and incorporated team building for remote team workers. "Our local teams only see each other around once a month," explains Peter Marriott, the General Manager of SGS. "Two of our field staff may be put together on a contract, but they might not meet again for months."
SGS has an experienced events team to manage the overall logistics of the event, but felt it was important to use the right organisation for the staging and presentation of the conference. QVS was recommended by the hotel to stage such an interactive and demanding event. Lee Francis, QVS' account manager, worked closely from the original concept with Gayle Oliver, administration manager of SGS and Peter Marriot. "We staged a main presentation room cum fo
The ATI Group has announced the formation of a new division, ATI Group Distribution. The new arm of the company officially begins operations tomorrow handling North American distribution and marketing responsibilities for UK-based Audient PLC.
Audient is a respected UK designer and manufacturer of studio mixing consoles, signal processing equipment and surround sound processing components. Founding partners of DDA -David Dearden and Gareth Davies - formed the company in 1997 and UK-based Expotus PLC began the world marketing and distribution of the range of products. ATI Group Distribution will be working closely with Martin Capp, managing director of Expotus, to launch the North American distribution of the full line of Audient products, including mixing consoles, surround sound processors and graphic EQs for fixed installations.
ATI Group Distribution is based at the company's new, expanded headquarters facility at 8301 Patuxent Range Road, Jessup, Maryland.
Avolites has enjoyed a busy few months on the ART dimmer sales front. This follows hot on the heels of the launch of the two latest versions of the ART dimmer at PLASA 2001 - the ART2000-TV and the ART2000-US models.
The development of digital ART2000 dimmer range has addressed the exacting needs of areas such as film, TV and theatre, and two of the UK’s largest film and TV lighting rental companies have recently invested in Avolites ART dimmers - AFM Lighting and ARRI. The AFM order involved a total of 10 dimmer racks - six ART2000 16 amp/48 channels of dimming with an RCD disable system and four ART2000 32 amp/16 channel dimmers, also with a disable system. These are going into AFM’s busy hire stock. The ARRI system involved the purchase of four ART2000 special edition dimmers - with BAC mains input and 48 channels of direct out on Socapex, and two ART2000 12 channel racks of 32 amp rated dimmers, BAC mains input with RCD disable.
The buoyancy in the TV market is reflected in the theatre market with Avolites dimming used on a range of productions including Grace The Musical (see feature in the February issue of Lighting&Sound International); the UK national tour of Bob Carlton’s Return To The Forbidden Planet; The Royal Festival Hall’s Christmas Ballet 2001/02 season and the latest two-year tour of the hit musical Chicago.
ARX Systems, the Australian manufacturer of professional audio products, has announced the appointment of two new European exclusive distributors. Bertin Krompass and his team at Showservice Gmbh are now representing ARX in Germany. Showservice can be contacted by telephone on +49(0)851 4903302, or via e-mail at email@example.com.
At the same time, Igor Pogorzelski and his team at ProfiAudio are now representing ARX in Poland. Profiaudio can be contacted by telephone at +48 22 773 0147 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARX’s managing director Colin Park commented on the new appointments: "The ARX product range is further expanding into the installation and broadcast markets, and both Showservice and ProfiAudio are well placed to service these sectors in their respective markets. We look forward to working with them and taking ARX's European market penetration to an even higher level."
Metier, the national training organisation for the arts and entertainment sector, is looking for 100 Yorkshire-based volunteers from the arts and entertainment sector to take part in its new ‘Learning Champion’ scheme. Individuals taking part in the scheme will be educated in learning and skills development in order to support and guide others through the training and development process. Learning Champions can be freelance or employed in the sector, working full-time or part-time, paid or unpaid.
Participants will have to undertake seven one-day training sessions on each of the following areas: Identify Development Needs; Plan Development; Coach; Mentor; Advise & Guide; Evaluate Development; Evaluate Your Own Work. In between training days, Metier will support participants in practicing the skills they are learning by working with learners. All training will be provided free.
For more information or to apply to become a learning champion, contact Amanda Szekely at the email address below.
Autograph Sound Recording began the year on a charitable note, designing and supplying the sound system, free of charge, for the UKC Hero Awards ceremony, held at the Dorchester Hotel, London, on 9 January.
Sir Elton John was the recipient of the UKC (UK Coalition of People Living with HIV and AIDS) Hero Award, held in celebration of World AIDS Day, in recognition of his outstanding contribution towards the continuing fight against the disease. Autograph's Lee Dennison installed Meyer Sound loudspeakers in the Dorchester's Ball Room, using MSL-2s together with USW-1P subs.
Meanwhile, the Olivier-award winning 'Five Guys Named Moe', which entertained West End audiences for many years, is about to hit the road with a complete Autograph sound and communications touring system. The show will be visiting over 20 venues around the UK and will have less than 48 hours to de-rig in one theatre and re-build in the next.
With this in mind Autograph's Nick Lidster, sound designer, has worked hard to create a compact and user-friendly system based around Meyer’s MSL-2 system. The tour is also utilizing Autograph's newly designed touring amplifier rack, which is a double 22U shock-mounted case, which can easily withstand the 20 venue changes.
Bandit Lites has got off to an early start on what could be a record-breaking year. The company has already signed up ten new acts this year with further signings in the pipeline. Recently added to the roster of clients is Luis Miguel (LD Fabian Boggino) who is touring the world with a huge system featuring the Bandit MotoData truss cueing system and a plethora of Martin MACs. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (LD Keith Wissmar) are set to take a bigger system than ever before into arenas for their ‘Tour of America’. Toby Keith (LD Eddie ‘Bones’ Connell), takes his unique form of country music around the states this spring, not to mention a High End Systems rig unlike any other Bandit has ever done before.
Lonestar (LD Alex Krompic) head to Canada with a versatile High End Systems moving light rig allowing the group to play venues of all sizes whilst Acquire the Fire (LD Danny Zacharias) are touring with a High End rig. Dream Theater (LD Ben Richards), take their unique form of rock meets classical on a world tour with a Martin MAC series-based system. Slayer (LD Bryan Hartley), are back again as the hard rock legends tour the US with a Martin moving light system.
Brian Wilson (LD Will Twork), is also on World Tour with a mix of classics and new music under a Martin moving light rig. Shakira (LD Patrick Dierson), played in Spain to announce the release ofher new album and prepare for an upcoming tour. And finally, System of a Down (LD Jesper Luth) are embarking on a massive world tour and are ready to headline under a Martin-based lighting system.
There’s no doubt that S Club 7’s second UK tour will be highly successful, thanks to the expertise of Summit Steel, who were called in by CV Production’s Chris Vaughan, the tour’s production manager.
"As with all things, the key to success lies in good forward planning and design. The rigging design involved a great deal of CAD drawing," said Summit Steel’s Chris Walker. "Having been awarded the contract on 1 November, by the time the tour went into rehearsal on Jan 10, we were already working with draft 8 of the rigging plot. Our extensive touring experience allowed us to co-ordinate all the rigging information from the tour’s various designers and suppliers," continued Walker. "We then liaised extensively with all the venues and their house rigging contractors to ensure that load-ins would run smoothly."
To rig the show, Summit used 220m of James Thomas trussing, along with 55 CM Lodestar hoists. These were used to provide backdrop, side screen, tracking screen and catwalk support trussing, as well as cable bridges and hoists used during daily fit-up for the scenic elements.
Total Fabrications Ltd were called in to manufacture the catwalk deck and handrail to fit the truss structure supplied by Summit Steel. "From an early stage, Total Fabrications and Summit worked closely together to produce an excellent result that is safe, looks great and is easy to tour and rig," commented Charlie Kail, the set construction co-ordinator.
"The catwalk is suspended using 26 Summit hoists fitted wit
Northern Light has announced a restructuring programme to take the business forward in 2002. A key development is the launch of Immedia Systems, a new audio-visual division located in Reading. The new premises include workshop and stores areas, as well a large office suite and conference room. Immedia aims to build on Northern Light's established reputation and extensive experience in the AV installation's business, providing engineering led solutions. According to the company, the move will allow "greater strategic focus in this specialized industry, enabling a more effective response to the market and customer needs".
Richard Passman heads up a highly-trained specialist projects team including programmer Nick Nurock, sales engineer Dave Pritchard and AV engineers, Andy Macdonald, Steve Dishon, Derek Heeps and Graham Lawton, who recently rejoined the company from Dubai. The opportunity has also been taken to centralize the London and South-east operations in Reading. The international sales team of Derek Gilbert and Graham Fisher will move from their temporary offices in Marlow to enjoy the benefits of the new premises.
As part of the New Year reorganization north of the border, Northern Light has closed its small Glasgow branch, consolidating the hire and sales operations at the Edinburgh headquarters. Mike Smyth, Ken Christie and Gerry Corcoran will continue to represent the West of Scotland.
Commenting on the developments at Northern Light, managing director, John Allen told us: "Business success demands a creative and flexible response. Change is