Business News

Jands Joins V-Dosc Network
Thursday, 13 April 2000

Australian company Jands Production Services is purchasing a complete V-Dosc loudspeaker system from Paris-based manufacturer L-Acoustics, for use in its sound rental operation. In doing so, Jands becomes the network partner for all V-Dosc rentals in Australia and New Zealand. Peter Ratcliffe, part-owner of Jands and head of sound operations, commented: "We were attracted to the compact size of the cabinets along with the V-Dosc system's remarkable power, pattern control and near-field response over distance. We wanted a system that would be suitable for touring, corporate and special events. V-Dosc offers a quantifiable improvement in sound quality in all these applications."

ADC Install Tannoy at Cheers
Wednesday, 12 April 2000

Tannoy's Dual Concentric loudspeakers have been installed at the popular Cheers bar and restaurant in London's West End, by Twickenham-based installer ADC & Company. The new system was required after the venue changed hands and acquired a 3am licence, as the existing system did not have the power and flexibility to deal with day and night-time use. Four Tannoy i15 speakers cover the main bar area, while the newly-created dance floor is served by four Tannoy i12 and two T40 sub-bass speakers. All amplification is from QSC. A smaller dance area uses four i8 Dual Concentrics, with two portable T12s in the entrance cafe-bar. All zones are controlled by Tannoy's TX controllers.

Back Stronger Than Ever, say LSC
Wednesday, 12 April 2000

Australia-based lighting control and dimming specialist LSC Lighting Systems has said that the company is now "back stronger than ever", following last year's problems, which involved the company entering voluntary administration (similar to Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the USA). LSC say they are now fully recovered, with the support of new investors, new additions to the team and new distributors. New team members include design draughtsman Nathan Plemming and R&D engineer Sean Scott, while another important area to be addressed is customer relations. Marketing director Alan Graham said: "The sales and marketing infrastructure at LSC is focussed towards creating good information flow to the customer . . . By appointing sales and marketing support officer Belinda Kischkel, LSC can offer a quicker response to customer issues and demands."

Gearhouse and Kayam Put Tents Together
Wednesday, 12 April 2000

Gearhouse plc and theatre and concert structures specialist Kayam (designers of the Tensile 1) have agreed to combine the operation of the Tensile 1 and Valhalla structures. From the same designers as the Kayam structure, Tensile 1 is the world's largest transportable venue, accommodating up to 22,500 people under one roof. The Kayam is already a familiar feature at music events throughout Europe, and to meet the demand for larger structures, the Kayam Concert Tent was introduced in 1998, and this year a third structure, the Valhalla, has been added to the Kayam group to meet the demand for even higher clearances and larger clearspans. With Valhalla and the Gearhouse Tensile 1 offering a similar specification, grouping all four structures under the one umbrella became an obvious move forward. The two companies can now offer anything up to 30,000sq.m in a single, versatile package.

Sony Freedom Finds Favour in North
Wednesday, 12 April 2000

Northern Stage Services, based in Lancashire, has recently added a further six systems of Sony's Freedom UHF wireless microphones to its stock, having purchased the systems from Sony distributor Total Audio Solutions. Murphy points out that even smaller clients are no longer prepared to accept the lower quality of VHF transmission, and that reliability and ease of setup were also prime considerations. The system supplied by TAS includes a MB-806 six-way 1U receiver and six WRT-805HR beltpack transmitters. Murphy has incorporated the system into custom flightcases for rapid turn-around between jobs.

The Power Behind the Words
Tuesday, 11 April 2000

The Palace Theatre, Watford, is one of the few remaining producing theatres in the country, with many of its productions touring nationally and playing in the West End. The Grade II listed Edwardian theatre is currently undertaking a fundraising campaign to raise £1.5m for essential refurbishment and chief electrician Ian Saunders came up with the idea of projecting a fundraising message onto the safety curtain to highlight the appeal to the audience. To get the appeal off the ground, ETC Europe donated two Source Four lanterns to the theatre. ETC Europe's Peter Ed, made the presentation to Ian Saunders whilst Stage Technologies' Nikki Scott was instrumental in organising the donation.

Derrick Saunders Retires
Monday, 10 April 2000

A host of industry friends and colleagues from all over the world gathered in Cambridge on Saturday 8th April to wish Derrick Saunders, Pulsar's long-time sales and marketing director, well on his retirement. Colleagues who paid tribute included Pulsar MD Paul Mardon, Clay Paky's Enrico Caironi and Lightpower's Gunther Olbricht. Derrick won't lose touch with the industry altogether for he plans to work alongside wife Monica at Adda Super Cases. PLASA would like to take this opportunity to wish Derrick and Monica all the very best for the future.

Mackie Completes EAW Deal
Monday, 10 April 2000

Following our news story last month about the proposed deal, Mackie has now completed its purchase of Eastern Acoustic Works Inc (EAW). "We are excited about the opportunities afforded us by this acquisition," stated Greg Mackie, founder and chairman of Mackie Designs. "EAW is a leading brand in the professional audio industry and is recognised as a world class developer and manufacturer of high-end professional audio equipment." Jamie Engen, Mackie's chief operating officer added: "There are significant synergies which will come from the combination of Mackie, EAW, and RCF, our Italian subsidiary. Our brands, our engineering, our manufacturing capabilities, our distribution channels, our target markets and especially our people, all complement one another."

Brighton Dome Refurbishment Underway
Friday, 7 April 2000

At a cost of £23 million, the 100-year-old Dome complex in Brighton will see the first stage of its two-tier renovation programme completed this September. The 1,200-capacity Corn Exchange and 230-capacity Pavilion Theatre will both open following refurbishment. The second phase of the project will see the refurbishment of the 1,800-seat central auditorium completed some time next year.

Matthews Studio Group Files For Chapter 11
Friday, 7 April 2000

PLASA EXCLUSIVE:PLASA Publishing has this afternoon learned that US-based Matthews Studio Equipment Group - one of the largest suppliers of professional equipment to the entertainment industry, has today announced that it has filed a voluntary petition for reorganisation under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. The NASDAQ-listed company supplies conventional and automated lighting, grip, transportation, generators, camera equipment, audio and video equipment and theatrical supplies via its worldwide distribution network.Carlos D. DeMattos, chairman and CEO, said: "We have spent the past several months attempting to come up with a proposal that would address the company's challenges outside of a court proceeding. Ultimately, the time required to complete a restructuring transaction and the uncertain cost of closing unprofitable locations were too great to overcome."He continued: "This procedure will bring order to a disorderly process. It should have little or no impact on our customers, our vendors, or our employees. We intend to continue to compete vigorously in all of our markets and to work diligently to meet the needs of our customers."Certain of Matthews' subsidiaries were included in the filings as a result of last-minute demands by the company's lenders, to which the company was forced to accede.

Peter Johansen Receives Three-Month Sentence, Poul Schluter Resigns
Friday, 7 April 2000

PLASA EXCLUSIVE:Danish financial newspaper Børsen has reported this afternoon that Peter Johansen, the former head of Danish lighting manufacturer Martin Professional, has received a three-month jail sentence following this week's high profile trial for company fraud. In addition, he has been fined a total of DKK 3.6 million (approx £300,000).The Danish newspaper Børsen, also reports today that Poul Schluter, the former Danish Prime Minister and chairman of the board of Martin Professional, has given notice of his resignation, and will leave the company on April 27th.

Iranian Government Contract Breakthrough for Auditel
Friday, 7 April 2000

Amersham-based Auditel has secured a US$4.5 million contract from the Government of Iran. The order is for a complete voting and sound and communications system for the Ministry of Housing of the Government of Iran and has been won in conjunction with Sony Corp of Dubai who will supply the TV broadcast equipment. Auditel is responsible for the project management and already has a team in place in Tehran. The installation covers sound reinforcement, voting systems, audio and TV and the entire system will be computer-controlled.

Synco Europe Moves into New Territory
Friday, 7 April 2000

At the Frankfurt Musik Messe next week, Fred Heuves and Karel de Piere of Synco Europe will announce the latest international signing to the Synco Europe Rental Network - with a brand new company which expands the Synco network into fresh territory for this relatively new concept in live sound PA rentals, first unveiled at Frankfurt a year ago. All Synco network members use the Renkus-Heinz Synco Touring System (RH-STS) PA system. Full story shortly.

Lightfactor Sales Supplies AdLite
Thursday, 6 April 2000

Lightfactor Sales has completed the sale of High End Studio Spot 250s to Liverpool-based AdLite - the newly formed sister company of Ad Lib Audio. This is the first investment in moving lights by the new lighting rental and installation company, headed by Dave Platt, who also specified the fixtures after seeing them on the Texas world tour at the end of last year, for which Ad Lib Audio supplied the sound and Dutch lighting company Flashlight provided the lighting.The fixtures have now been used at a number of events, including an all-night dance event in the Isle of Man, and the slightly more decorous theatrical environment of the Stand By Your Man UK tour, for which Platt was LD. AdLite already have a busy summer festival season planned, and expect to be adding more Studio Spots to their inventory in the near future.

Turbosound Appoints Portuguese Distributor
Wednesday, 5 April 2000

Turbosound has appointed Apogeu as its exclusive Portuguese distributor. Apogeu also distributes Lab Gruppen, Yamaha, Clay Paky MA Lighting and Prolyte in Portugal, and is highly regarded for its commitment to the brands in its stable. With showrooms in Lisbon and Oporto, the company is well equipped to showcase the complete Turbosound range, and has already made a significant initial commitment to Turbosound, by investing over 120,000 Escudos (approx. £40,000) in Turbosound Floodlight systems, as well as QLight, HiLight, TFM and TCS series speakers.

Ascott Provide Kit for Political Conference
Wednesday, 5 April 2000

The Konigswinter Conference held its 50th annual meeting of German and British leaders in politics, business, banking, finance, and media at the Randolph Hotel and Keble College in Oxford on the 23rd-25th March this year. Ascott Conference Communications provided the complex and comprehensive sound facilities required for the event, in conjunction with conference organiser, Maxine Vlieland of Specialist Conferences . This is the seventeenth successive year that the two experienced British companies have worked together on the project. Ascott provided the full staging, lighting, sound and simultaneous interpretation services for presenters and the media from both countries.

Martin to Illuminate Eurovision Song Contest 2000
Wednesday, 5 April 2000

Martin Professional will provide over 300 automated luminaires for the Eurovision Song Contest 2000 to be aired on May 13th from Stockholm, Sweden. Martin distributor, Oscar lighting, will provide over 200 moving heads, including MAC 600s, 500s, 300s and 250s, as well as other Martin luminaires. Belgian company Groupe Son Privé (through Martin distributor EVDV) will also be providing 60 MAC 600s for the Eurovision Song Contest. This is the second year running that Martin lights will be used for the popular talent show. Eurovision 1999 from Israel also boasted a huge Martin lighting rig. This year's event will take place at Stockholm's Globe Arena and will be aired by Swedish station SVT. An estimated audience of over 100 million viewers will tune in to the show. Lighting Designer for this year's event is Kristoffer Röhr and the massive lighting rig will be the largest intelligent light show ever produced in Sweden.

SIB Returns, Maintaining International Audience
Wednesday, 5 April 2000

The return of the SIB exhibition in Rimini (26-29 March), following its switch to a biennial basis in 1998, was a well-attended and successful event, with the majority of exhibitors reporting excellent international coverage among their visitors. Particularly strongly represented among the visitor profile were Eastern European and South American visitors, as well as those from the Middle and Far East - highlighting the show's continued status as a major international attraction. A group of 12 companies took part in the PLASA UK Group, exhibiting under the British Trade International SESA funding programme. Many members of the group received a personal visit on the Monday morning from the British Consul General, Charles de Chassiron, who had travelled from the British Consulate in Milan to visit the UK companies at the show.A full round-up of the news and highlights from the show will appear in the May issue of Lighting & Sound International magazine.

Pioneer's New DJ Website
Tuesday, 4 April 2000

Pioneer Europe has launched a website resource aimed at DJs of all levels of experience - at The site's 'Interactive' section allows visitors to sample the Pioneer range of mixers for themselves, selecting tunes from a variety of genres including Techno, Drum 'n' Bass and House. The 'Music' section offers 20 tracks of the latest releases from progressive record labels. Other features of the site include video interviews with the world's biggest DJs and details of the hottest upcoming events around Europe, as well as a text and chat forum covering a wide range of topics pertaining to dance music and DJ technology.

Playlight Expands London Base
Tuesday, 4 April 2000

Playlight has now expanded its lighting hire operation for customers based in the south west and London areas. Barry Hampson, Playlight's commercial director told PLASA Publishing: "Due to our recent large scale commitments to major film productions, we realised that our service to the television and drama production markets was under-resourced. To address this we have introduced additional lighting stock at our London base." The company now has an increased range of studio heads and moving lights, generators, ARRI HMI and MSR heads, Kino Flo heads and Joker light and socket Pars, plus a host of power distribution and cable.

TOA System at Natural History Museum
Tuesday, 4 April 2000

TOA voice alarm equipment features prominently in a rolling development programme at London's Natural History Museum which is currently being carried out by Static Systems Group plc. Presently the installation utilises three TOA equipment racks, plugged with V series amplification and processing. Each fire alarm fully communicates with the voice alarm, which sends out a common PA message. Destinations can be selected and the system will link the fireman's mic and broadcast to any PA zone via a touch-screen and Static Systems' proprietary TDM (Time Division Multiplex). The AMX front-end touch screens were supplied by TOA, to provide a visual switching and a map of the museum for paging and message broadcast purpose (messages are pre-recorded and stored using TOA's EV digital message machines). While much of the system is connected to standard loudspeakers, TOA F-777s are found in the main entrance hall, F-505s on the stairs and F-10Bs in the alcoves and balcony, each controlled via TOA's DP-0204 digital signal processors. Eventually, TOA expects eight racks to be commissioned, connecting areas such as the Earth Galleries, Whale Hall and Darwin Centre through the control rack in the Central Hall of the Waterhouse Building.

Turbosound's High Calibre Church Sound
Tuesday, 4 April 2000

Oklahoma-based RSI has supplied a Turbosound system for the newly-built South Hill Christian Center in Washington. Representatives of the new church were insistent that the sound reinforcement system should be of high calibre and work with the acoustics of the new building. Dennis Cummins, co-pastor at South Hill, was reportedly shocked that a system of such intelligibility and warmth would be affordable to the coffers of his church. The installation consists of six Turbosound TCS-56 full-range two-way enclosures, three TCS-30 cabinets, two Turbosound TCS-115 and two TCS-118 subwoofers and four TCS-20s. The TCS-56s, designed primarily for speech and music, formed the main thrust of the system, configured three wide and two deep at the front of the church. Positioned below, one of the TCS-30 cabinets, distributing wide horizontal coverage, provides the front fill, a further two provide front side fills. The loudspeakers providing the low end for the system were integrated beneath the preaching platform in sealed boxes, whilst the TCS-20s underneath the balconies dealt with the delay.

Gearhouse Merger Boosts Lighting Division
Monday, 3 April 2000

Gearhouse plc have set up one of the most powerful lighting production companies in the events industry with the merging of two of their subsidiaries, Lighting Unlimited (UK) and Kent-based Gearhouse XTC. The operation, headed by Nick Whitehead, will be known as Lighting Unlimited UK and will be based at the company's existing facility in north-west London. Lighting Unlimited already enjoys a major share of the corporate conference and product launch market, while XTC predominantly specialises in the exhibition markets. In anticipation of the increased workload, and as we reported earlier, Lighting Unlimited has already responded by recruiting three senior personnel from the Spot Co, including former sales and operation director Mick 'Jaggie' Scullion who becomes sales director. He is joined by project managers Tony Fagan and Theo Cox.

White Light/Moving Light to Supply Witches
Monday, 3 April 2000

White Light has been appointed by producer Cameron Mackintosh to supply the conventional lighting rig to his new musical The Witches of Eastwick, which will open at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in July. The Moving Light Company will supply much of the automated lighting rig to the production. Howard Harrison is in the lighting designer's chair and working alongside him will be assistant lighting designer Oliver Fenwick, production electrician Alistair Grant and lighting programmer Rob Halliday. Harrison's conventional rig will include over 200 units including ETC Source Four profile spotlights, Strand SL Zooms, Par 64s and various battens, as well over 100 Rainbow scrollers and Cadenza EP effects projectors with custom disks in White Light's VSFX motor units. Control will be from a Strand 500-series console. The Moving Light Company will be supplying the production with 12 Strand Alto Pirouettes, 15 DHA Digital Light Curtains, four DHA Digital Beamlight 2s, six City Theatrical AutoYokes and nine compact moving mirror units which will be hidden around the auditorium to light the show's innovative flying effects.


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