Business News

Lab Gruppen Acquired by TGI Group
Tuesday, 18 July 2000

Swedish manufacturer Lab Gruppen, one of the world's leading developers of DSP and amplification technology, is to join the TGI Group of companies, which includes Tannoy, Martin Audio and Goodmans/GLL. Lab Gruppen has over 20 years of experience in manufacturing and distributing high-quality amplifiers and has been a pioneer of switch-mode power supplies and lightweight amplifiers. It has recently added DSP technology to its design and product base. Over the past few years the company has embarked on a successful expansion programme, and it is to consolidate this growth that Lab Gruppen has sold its interests to TGI plc. TGI plc is involved in the design and manufacture of loudspeakers for many different markets including live touring, commercial and leisure installations, recording studios, consumer hi-fi and the OEM automotive trade (in this last category they supply car manufacturers including BMW/Rover, Ford, Peugeot, Volkswagen and Honda).Martin Audio MD David Bissett-Powell, who will be chairman of Lab Gruppen, said that the acquisition provided a logical fit in the TGI portfolio: "This is an exciting addition to the Group, providing us with a range of development opportunities. "The fit and synergy is seen as being particularly advantageous, and while the TGI companies will continue to trade autonomously Lab Gruppen's R&D capability will enhance the Group's moves into digital electronics, providing us with sophisticated loudspeaker management systems and own-brand amplification," he said.

Martin Covers 14 Screens in Europe's Largest Multiplex
Tuesday, 18 July 2000

Martin Audio's new three-way THX-approved sound reinforcement systems have been specified and installed in no fewer than 14 auditoria (including the main THX room and the three Gold Class VIP suites, served by their own bar and foyer) at Warner Village's massive Star City 30-screen multiplex - situated beneath Birmingham's Spaghetti Junction at Nechells. The multiplex is the largest in Europe and its 24 general-run mainstream houses, are complemented by six distinct screening rooms. Martin Audio Screen 5s have been used in triamp mode in the THX suite while in the other larger rooms the same enclosures are run biamped. Screen 4s have been sued in other smaller auditoria - again in LCR configurations stacked with Screen Sub 1 low frequency enclosures.

Speakers at Keble are the d&bs
Monday, 17 July 2000

The Oxford Sound Company has recently completed the installation of a voice-reinforcement system at the prestigious Keble College, one of Oxford's high seats of academia. The installation was in the main dining refectory used as a conference facility accommodating up to 200 people, making the use of voice reinforcement essential. "The refectory is a giant reverb chamber with a reverberation time in excess of three seconds," explained Andrew Riley of the Oxford Sound Company. "So we had to specify speakers with a predictable off-axis polar response and position them to achieve an even sound coverage for all of the seated areas." Three pairs of speakers were used, all fed via appropriate delays and equalisers.

Annexe Closed Down
Friday, 14 July 2000

The Annexe Club in Dean Street, London, is to close. The 250-capacity venue, located in the heart of Soho, was designed by Shaun Clarkson (Jerusalem) and was well known for its many promotional nights including Trash, Milk 'n' 2 Sugars and Soulsonic. We understand the club may reopen as a bar/restaurant called Opium.

Showlight 2001 - Its Good to Talk
Friday, 14 July 2000

With Showlight 2001 just nine months away, many fascinating speakers are being arranged for the event, covering topics from lighting for cruise ships, theme park concepts and military tattoos to theatre lighting. Visitors to the 'International Colloquium on Entertainment Lighting' will hear papers presented by leaders from the world of lighting design, including Paula J. Dinkel, Principal Lighting Designer, Walt Disney Imagineering. Other speakers already confirmed include lighting designer Robert Ornbo, who is presenting Tournaments, Tattoos and Tantrums, focusing on his own experience of lighting large military and Royal shows and Bernie Davis who will talk about the practice and pitfalls of lighting orchestras. For registration and other information visit the Showlight website.

V-Dosc for the French Open
Friday, 14 July 2000

Following extensive architectural renovations of the Centre Court complex at Roland Garros Paris, an L-Acoustics dV-Dosc system has been installed for the International French Open Tennis Championship of this year, reinforcing the position of L-Acoustics within the high performance permanent installation market. As part of the project to renovate the Centre Court at Roland Garros, the French Tennis Federation's architect Didier Girardet, from ACD Girardet & Associates, contacted Mas Conseil, a PA consultancy headed by Jean-Pierre Mas, to specify the PA system. After the system requirements were defined, the concept proposed by L-Acoustics was chosen.

Dale and Whittaker Leave Celco
Thursday, 13 July 2000

Having only just celebrated Celco's 21st Anniversary during the PLASA Light & Sound Show, Keith Dale and Colin Whittaker have parted company with Celco Ltd. In a move that will come as a surprise to many, the separation is a result of another change in the ownership of the company - one that did not meet with the agreement of Dale and Whittaker who had been trying to strike a joint venture with a major British manufacturer. The new shareholders of Celco are Amptown of Germany, Applied Electronics of USA and Sonoss of France with Lightstorm Trading maintaining an equal interest with the new investors. PLASA Publishing understands that Dale and Whittaker intend to take a well earned break before evaluating their options in the industry - either jointly or individually.

SGM In Brazil
Thursday, 13 July 2000

April 22 1500 - April 22 2000: 500 years after the landing of Pedro Alvares Cabral on the South American coasts, Brazil celebrated its own discovery with a major event involving the whole Country. Brazil 500, organised by TV network Rede Globo, kicked off two years ago on April 25 with a huge concert in São Paulo - in the interim, a series of concerts have taken place in cities across Brazil. The culmination of these came in April this year with a major concert in Esplanada dos Ministérios in Brasilia. It attracted an audience of over 400,000 people with millions more following the event broadcast live on television. The lighting supply for this major performance fell to the experienced Elo Iluminação who used a large amount of SGM kit in the spec, including Giotto Spot 1200s, Giotto Wash 1200s and Galileo IV Live 1200s

Interactive Auditions!
Thursday, 13 July 2000

The Rocky Horror Show, possibly one of the world's most famous musicals, returns to Broadway in the Autumn but it won't have come together in the traditional way. The show's producer has teamed up with online service to launch the first-ever online casting call. Aspiring performers can submit audition tapes, the best 20 of which, will be posted online allowing visitors to the site to vote for the best performance. The two winners will be announced on August 11th and the final cast will be confirmed the following week. The show is expected to officially open on Broadway on Halloween night, with previews starting October 3rd.

UK Light Jockey Contest Semi Finals
Wednesday, 12 July 2000

The famous Limelight Club in London recently hosted the DI UK Light Jockey Contest 2000 main heats - sponsored by Clay Paky and Pulsar. Over three weeks, 20 contestants put their programming and creative skills to the test. Judging the six heats were Pulsar's Jane Monk and Simon Cox, DI's Paul Fowler and Limelight's Jane Vernol. The six winners - Chris Penney, Rob Calvert, Stuart Wardale, Josh Moreton, Colin Walker and Pete Ramdine - will all now compete in the semi-finals which will take place at the Ministry of Sound on July 26th and 27th . The three best will go through to the all-important UKLJ2000 Grand Final to be staged at the Hippodrome on 12th September during the PLASA Show.

James Thomas Expand and Move
Wednesday, 12 July 2000

James Thomas Engineering is moving. The move to newly-acquired high-tech 4,900 square metre premises in central Worcester - part of the UK's historic industrial heartland - is a significant one. JTE's manufacturing operation has expanded so rapidly in the last two years that the company has finally outgrown the site in Pershore that has contained them - albeit with several extensions and additional buildings - since 1984! The building, workshops and offices are part of a new, purpose-built industrial unit. The extra space and rationalisation of resources will allow James Thomas's hectic production schedules to be managed even faster and more efficiently. The company's new address is Navigation Complex, Navigation Road, Diglis Trading Estate, Worcester, WR5 3DE.

Dome Decision Imminent
Tuesday, 11 July 2000

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and other ministers yesterday listened to the two final proposals from bidders vying to take over the Millennium Dome next year. Culture Secretary Chris Smith then told Parliament that a decision on the future of the venue was imminent. The two proposals are for an "urban entertainment resort" from Nomura International's Dome Europe, or a hi-tech campus of offices and workshops proposed by the Dome Legacy consortium. Each bid is thought to be worth around £100 million ($151.7 million) for the site in Greenwich, London, but government officials refused to confirm the figures and denied it had already decided to give the deal to Nomura. The Dome cost £758 million and was propped up with another £29 million cash injection in May.

Autograph Donates Technology & Time to LIPA
Tuesday, 11 July 2000

Autograph Sound Recording has announced its association with the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA), commencing with the donation and permanent installation of a CADAC A Type mixing console for the Paul McCartney Auditorium, the college's largest live performance space. The tie-in with LIPA also includes Autograph sharing their 27 years of live sound design and rental experience with the Sound Technology degree students, by undertaking a regular series of live theatrical sound workshops.

SNP Group Takes the Tennis to Southfields
Tuesday, 11 July 2000

Tennis fans departing from Southfields Tube Station, the nearest stop to Wimbledon 2000, have this year found something else to stare at other than their shoes. Sponsors TDI and IBM, have transformed the station into a tennis haven - the length of the platform features astroturf tennis courts, fan-suspended tennis balls, and hanging baskets. Also present is a huge 2.1 metre by 1.6 metre Clarity Visual Systems cube wall, displaying an edited video of past Wimbledon champions in a heated rally. The cube wall, provided by SNP Group, is the first to ever be installed on an Underground station.

Stage Stars Challenge Chancellor
Tuesday, 11 July 2000

Chancellor Gordon Brown has received a letter from some of Britain's leading stage actors -including Sir Ian McKellen, Dame Judi Dench, Sir Michael Gambon and Sir Derek Jacobi - in which they urge him to "meet the challenge of rejuvenating our regional theatres as a key creative industry." The letter claims that British regional theatre is in crisis, and warns: " . . . for far too long lack of adequate funding has led to a decline in working opportunities, to fewer new productions and to smaller casts. Unless additional funding is made available - and directed into productions and work on the stage - we could well face a two-tiered system of quality of theatre provision between London and the regions."

White Light Lighting Bursary 2000
Tuesday, 11 July 2000

White Light's Lighting Design Bursary - now in its third year - has been extended to include any student over the age of 18 studying lighting design in the UK. Launched in 1998 as part of The Training Inititaive, White Light's wide-ranging training and education programme, the Bursary was only open to Lighting Design students at Rose Bruford for its first two years. As in earlier years, the Bursary involves students initially producing a short synopsis outlining a project they would like to light. Students selected at this stage are then invited to develop their concept into a full lighting design proposal (within a theoretical budget) and a 'pitch' for that proposal, which they must present to a panel of industry professionals. This year's competition offers a prize of £500 for each of up to three winners; the prize presentation, which for the last two years has taken place at the Royal National Theatre's annual lighting designers' luncheon, also offers a useful chance to make new contacts within the lighting industry. The 2000 Competition offers an additional prize: the overall competition winner will be sponsored to attend the internationally-acclaimed Showlight lighting conference, which takes place in Edinburgh from May 21st-23rd 2001. Full Competition details are available on the White Light website. Those interested in taking part must register their interest by the end of August 2000, with the deadline for the submission of synopses being September 18th 2000.

Lamba Wins Nady Distribution
Monday, 10 July 2000

Lamba has secured one of the most significant agencies in the history of the company with their appointment this month as the exclusive UK distributor for Nady products. California-based Nady Systems has a long tradition of wireless microphone innovation dating back to 1976, while Lamba boasts an even longer track record in both MI and pro audio - the two core markets that Nady's products address. Talks began at the NAMM Show last January, where Nady launched several new state-of-the-art wireless mics, and under the new Nady Audio badge, introduced several new power amplifiers, mixers, hardwired microphones and rack-mount equipment, further extending their influence in the DJ and pro audio markets.

Audio Design Services Celebrates 10 Years
Monday, 10 July 2000

Audio Design Services has celebrated its 10th anniversary by changing the company name to ADS Worldwide - reflecting the company's increasing involvement with global markets. ADS Worldwide has now embraced the education market with a range of products such as the MiniLab, which provides cheap and flexible access to language and general tuition for schools and other establishments. Part of the celebration included a formal dinner at the Deanwater Hotel in Cheshire, at which members of the ADS Worldwide team are pictured.

ESTA Draft Standards for Public Review
Friday, 7 July 2000

ESTA (Entertainment Services and Technology Association) in the United States has announced that the following draft standards have been made available for public review. - BSR E1.3, Entertainment Technology - Lighting Control Systems - 0 to 10V Analog Control Specification - BSR E1.7, Entertainment Technology - Recommended Practice for the Design and Use of Manual Systems for Flying Performers - BSR E1.10, Entertainment Technology - Minimum Loading requrements for Theatre Stage HousesIn each case, the review period closes on September 12, 2000.ESTA has also announced the start of a Standards-Drafting Project for Theatrical Boom & Base Assemblies.

VL2201 Gets UK Debut at National
Friday, 7 July 2000

The West Yorkshire Playhouse's production of the classic Hollywood musical Singin' in the Rain, which opened to excellent reviews on 22 June at London's Royal National Theatre, has seen the UK debut of Vari-Lite's first for-sale product - the VL2201 zooming spot. In addition to the new fixtures, the rig also includes VL6 and VL6B spot luminaires, augmenting the National's installed rig of 36 VL5B was luminaires and seven VL6 spots, all run from an Artisan II console. Lighting design is by Andrew Bridge, assisted by Mike Odam. The VL2201s were purchased by the West Yorkshire Playhouse as part of their sales and leasing agreement with VLPS.

Lighting Design Partnership International
Friday, 7 July 2000

André Tammes, the founder of the Lighting Design Partnership and a number of well-known figures in the field have this week launched under the new Lighting Design Partnership International (LDPI) banner. Tammes, continuing to work with long-standing colleagues Lawrie Nisbet and Kevin Sturrock, will now be joined by Alan Mitchell and Gavin Fraser, formerly director and principal designer respectively with Jonathan Spiers Associates. Douglas Hamilton, who has worked for the past six years with Lawrie Nisbet at Edinburgh-based Architectural Lighting Design (now merged with LDPI) completes the senior LDPI team. LDPI, in addition to its London and Edinburgh offices, will be based in Sydney Australia, under the direction of Tammes and Sturrock, with a design team of eight.

Power Gems & Quartermaster Merge
Friday, 7 July 2000

Power Gems, the manufacturer of electronic ballasts for entertainment lighting, has merged with Quartermaster, specialist supplier of products to the entertainment lighting industry. The Power Gems London office will form the sales and marketing division of Power Gems Ltd, and will be headed by Patrick McGuane, who joins the board of directors. Power Gems will exhibit at the PLASA Show at Earls Court, 10-13 September 2000.

Hacousto Appoints German Distributor
Thursday, 6 July 2000

Hacousto International b.v. has appointed ProAudio Marketing GmbH as their official distributor in Germany for the Matrics Pro-Sound range of products. The appointment follows a study of the target market and those companies in Germany who showed interest in representing the products, particularly the Magic 88, the digital processor-mixer aimed at the pro-sound, conference and installation/contractor markets. ProAudio Marketing, who were officially appointed at the beginning of July, have started with a large stock order off which is intended to support the significant sales expected following their initial product launch.

Scéno Plus Wins Awards for Dream Factory
Wednesday, 5 July 2000

Canadian company Scéno Plus has won awards in Britain for its role in the design and build of the Dream Factory, the new head office of the British Playbox Theatre. The Dream Factory received three prestigious awards at the Quality in Construction Awards 2000: the Supreme Winner Award, the Small Project of the Year Award, and the Marketing and Image Award. The Dream Factory is a unique venue for aspiring actors to learn about stage acting. The first of its kind in England, the theatre is located at the Aylesford School in Warwick and boasts a 280-capacity flexible theatre space, rehearsal studios, a boutique and cafe.


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