The Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) has announced that it intends to appoint an Honorary Archivist. The archivist will be responsible for collating the association's own papers as well as the drawings, audio and video tapes, etc, which form the ABTT's historical collection. The post is honorary, although a budget is available to enable the work to be carried out. For further information please contact Howard Bird, Executive Director, ABTT, 47 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3XT.
When brewer Old Monk required a sound, light and video supplier for their latest Springbok site in Newquay - a former swimming pool which has been converted into a state-of-the-art late license venue - they turned to Nottingham based company TTL. With a design brief demanding a system capable of nightclub sound in the evenings yet with an unobtrusive presence for the daytime trade, TTL project manager Andy Hague specified Logic System loudspeakers throughout. Hague explained: "The main area has a 30ft ceiling height and full length windows along one side, therefore to achieve the necessary SPL, whilst minimising overspill, I needed a very accurate and directional cabinet. The Logic System CS1296 proved ideal. The cabinets are flown 25ft in the air, effectively out of sight, yet still control coverage to 150Hz whilst avoiding overspill in the bar areas. With the bass units being built into dance podiums, we’ve created a stunning dance floor system that is virtually invisible and does not detract from the interior design of the venue."
To complete the system, Logic System IS6 and IS8s are run full-range with the support of IS26 bass cabinets in the bar areas, and are again hidden within the fabric of the design. An Allen & Heath DR128 controls the system and offers the ultimate flexibility of changing the system configuration for daytime and evening use, while an Audace hub was specified to provide localised volume control and source selection behind each bar. TTL account manager Mark Harding summed up the project, commenting: "The whole concept works e
Sennheiser has announced that it is to undertake the distribution and marketing in the UK of the MindPrint range of signal processors, with immediate effect.
The German based company specializes in manufacturing state-of-the-art input signal processing devices, which offer high-end professional standards of construction and performance for commercial studio, home recording and desktop audio-based applications alike. The range is specified to offer first class input processing in the recording studio environment, or to enable the upgrade of computer-based audio workstations and hard disk recording systems to fully professional audio standards, unobtainable with on-board sound cards and standard computer audio interface devices. Performance features within the range include Class-A pre-amp circuitry, 24 bit, 96kHz analogue to digital conversion, balanced XLR and line level jack inputs, switchable 48V phantom power, AES and SPDIF digital outputs, selectable sync options, and professional signal metering.
The current product range includes the EN-Voice Class-A mic/line pre-amp and tube compressor with optional digital 24 bit I/O, the AN/DI Pro 24/ 96, Class-A, stereo analogue-to-digital convertor, the T-Comp stereo tube Adaptive compressor with optional digital 24 bit I/O, and the DI-Port entry level 24-bit, Class A mic/ line pre-amp and stereo analogue-to-digital convertor. Commenting on the new product line, Sennheiser UK’s director of marketing, John Steven, told PLASA Media: "A range of high quality, competitively-priced products like MindPrint is clearly com
NXT has announced that Amina technologies, a licensee of NXT's award-winning SurfaceSound flat panel speaker technology, has supplied speaker systems to the UK’s Houses of Parliament. NXT speakers have been installed in the refurbished Grand Committee Room and as narrow panels along the edge of the windowsills in St Mary's Chapel. A further eight panels are situated in the Public Lobby where they have been painted to look like the supporting stonework. Amina Technologies' NXT flat panel speakers were installed by Sound & Visual Limited and chosen over conventional technology because of their superior sound characteristics when used in open spaces. Unlike conventional speakers, NXT's SurfaceSound flat panel speakers disperse sound evenly across all frequencies. Aside from the acoustic qualities of flat panel speakers, NXT has also been chosen because of the ability to blend flat panel speakers in with their surroundings. NXT speakers can, for example, be disguised as pictures, ceiling tiles or even as part of the fabric of the building. NXT flat panel speakers have achieved wide levels of acceptability in the commercial arena and are now found in buildings across Europe and the United States. Installations include several investment banks in the City of London including ABN AMRO, Goldman Sachs and Chase Fleming; Eton College Chapel; Edinburgh University; Gleneagles Hotel; The Cheesecake Café Bar, Brussels, Belgium; the Hotel Kuunpaikka, Finland; Disco Paradiso, Rimini, Italy; several lecture theatres within Barcelona University and, more recently, London's most high-t
Oxford-based company Airstar Space Lighting helped illuminate the recent Playtex Moonwalk in Battersea Park in London where more than 7,000 women stripped to their bras to raise funds for cancer research. The world-wide leader and pioneers of the lighting balloon industry used one of their large helium-filled lit Solarc's and several air-filled Crystal's to guide the way for the half-dressed walkers during their midnight charity stroll. On the same weekend, Airstar provided light for 50,000 night-time revellers in Oxford's Cuttleslowe Park during an annual hot-air balloon festival. Airstar's products have been used around the world for a variety of projects including Film and TV productions, festivals and cultural and sporting events. The balloons have also been hired to light the set of the Oscar-winning blockbuster Titanic, for the 1999 Miss World contest in the Seychelles and numerous international music festivals.
The balloons, which are tethered between 5m and 50m, can be used to illuminate from 1,000sq.m right up to 40,000sq.m and are suitable for small-scale garden parties to major outdoor events. The balloons are constructed of a translucent fabric that is custom made to Airstar specifications and are easy to store, transport and set up. They are available to be rented or sold.
As if to put paid to theories of how, thanks to new technology, we’ll all be working from home and communicating with the rest of the world via the internet, Showlight 2001 was the biggest, and quite possibly the best, so far. Three hundred people journeyed from across the globe to be part of this unique event, made even more special by virtue of it taking place just once every four years.
Edinburgh, a truly cosmopolitan city, added its own particular charm to the event and the Festival Theatre couldn’t have been a better choice of venue. It is the sponsors (aka exhibitors) that enable Showlight to take place, and the stage of this great theatre - the second largest in the UK - was capacious enough to house the 40 exhibitors, plus delegates, very comfortably. With an audience made up of a mix of students, consultants, lighting designers, manufacturers and suppliers, the atmosphere was buzzing with discussion, controversy and gossip, as well as the simple pleasure of renewing old acquaintances.
Showlight is special because the speakers do not just turn up, say their piece and depart. They arrive at the beginning and they stay until the end, giving the audience the opportunity to ask questions later! And the social side of Showlight is equally important - delegates enjoy three days 'full board' - coffee, lunch, tea and dinner, all included. And 2001 was no exception: Strand Lighting organised a stunning Scottish Gala Dinner in the splendid setting of Hopetoun House, a thoroughly enjoyable evening which was brought to a dramatic close with a display from a flo
Richard Willis of Showcom Audio has recently completed a significant installation in top West Midlands live venue ‘The Shed’ with a Nexo Alpha E loudspeaker system, Vortex amplifiers from Camco, Klark Teknik signal processing throughout and cabling from Kelsey Acoustics, plus a GL4000 mixing console from Allen & Heath. The owner was looking for a complete upgrade to increase capacity and improve the facilities of the venue, so Willis was effectively given carte blanche to specify whatever he chose. He specified a total of six stacks of Alpha E driven by Camco Vortex amplifiers with a Nexo NX241 digital processor for the main system. Eight Nexo PS-15 cabinets with the requisite TD controllers serve as monitors driven by Camco DX Series amplifiers. Willis describes the combination as both powerful and efficient. "The Alpha E is ideal for venue in terms of its dispersion characteristics, its versatility, and the fact that it is so ergonomic in combination with the Vortex amplifiers. We're driving six stacks of Alpha E with just two Vortex 6s with headroom to spare, giving a total system capacity of 12.8K. In my book that's pretty impressive. In fact I think the Nexo/Camco combination is pretty well unbeatable in terms of price, power and performance." The console is an Allen & Heath GL4000 which Willis described as a "sensible board for sensible money and lots of facilities."
For signal processing, Willis opted for Klark Teknik throughout, choosing a DN3600 on main system EQ with a DN514 quad gate and a DN504 compressor/limiter. Monitor EQ is
At a time when many high-tech companies report lay-offs, closures and down-sizing, Stardraw announces expansion into America. US distributor R&S Solutions has been acquired and will continue operations under the name Stardraw.com Inc. "This is an exciting step forward and forms a key part of our strategy for global expansion," says David Snipp, Stardraw’s founder and managing director. "North America is a very important marketplace for us and already represents around 50% of our installed user base. With a direct presence in America we will be able to build on the excellent foundation laid for us by R&S Solutions over the past three years."
Randell Green, founder of R&S Solutions, takes up the position of President at Stardraw.com Inc. He explained: "This is a development that we have all wanted for quite some time now. It is a very logical step and capitalises on the best aspects of each of the separate companies. At R&S we focused on building the Stardraw brand for several years. By going forward under the Stardraw banner we are giving a very clear message that Stardraw is a global company operating successfully across many markets."
Stardraw.com Inc’s New York offices will formally open on July 1, 2001.
The ABTT has confirmed that its ABTT Theatre Show 2002 will be held at the Royal Horticultural Halls on 19 and 20 June 2002. Further details of booking arrangements will be announced shortly. Any enquiries should be directed to the ABTT Office on 020 7403 3778.
This summer saw a free concert for 20,000 people staged in the busy heart of London. Mike Mann discovered that such a production has its logistical difficulties . . .
Before even thinking about the problems involved in bringing central London to a standstill, Star Hire’s Roger Barrett realised that the stage design for the Africa Day concert would have to be an unusual one: "We would normally have built a higher stage than this - but a major feature of the design was that the famous lions should be visible on stage." Two of the huge statues were incorporated into the stage, which was positioned just in front of Nelson’s Column, facing northwards towards the National Gallery. Flanked by the South African Embassy (who funded the entire event) and Canada House, the central area of Trafalgar Square itself also needed treatment. "One of the first things we realised was that the ornamental fountains obscure sightlines for a large part of the square," explained Barrett. "So we included 3,000sq.m of industrial flooring to raise the outer sections of the audience." This was the first rock‘n’roll outing for the Danco flooring system - a modular industrial system which has also seen service in Formula One pit areas.
The stage and audience flooring were delivered to Trafalgar Square by a total of 20 full-size trailers, each one bringing traffic to a complete standstill. In addition to this, a further three trucks for the security fencing, plus other deliveries for sound and lighting systems, meant that Londoners had to cope with
The team behind Starlight Express, now in its 17th year at London's Apollo Victoria Theatre, have decided to update the show’s lighting rig. After adding High End Intellabeams back in 1993, lighting designer David Hersey and the show's original production electrician, Howard Eaton, returned this year to update the lighting rig once again. This time they opted to replace the Intellabeams with equipment from Martin Professional.
The Moving Light Company were called upon to supply the production with 24 Martin MAC 500s and three of the new MAC 2000 units. In addition, they supplied two DHA Pitching Digital Light Curtains, which provide a dramatic new way of lighting the spectacular bridge which forms the centrepiece of John Napier's set design. The changes to the lighting rig were made in a tight 10-day period when the production closed temporarily to allow the auditorium to be re-carpeted and re-seated, during which time Eaton and his team also took the opportunity to upgrade the dimmers and lighting control system, with the rig now controlled by the Rosco-ET Horizon lighting controller.
Horizon programming was in the hands of Robert Bell, one of the creators of the WYSIWYG lighting visualisation software and now Horizon's product manager, who worked with David Hersey and Howard Eaton to relight the show using the new equipment in a very hectic final three days.
Since purchase at the Playlight London Auction, two fully working flightcased Clay Paky Golden Scan 3's have been stolen. They were removed from the Playlight London Warehouse between Thursday 31st May and Wednesday 6 June. One case has a distinctive splattering of magnolia paint and may still have auction lot stickers attached. It is likely that these will sold on at a low price. If anyone is offered these items for sale, or has any information regarding their whereabouts, please contact Chris Hatton on +44 07887 933 357.
PLASA has completed the first phase of its major industry research project, which will provide PLASA members with an invaluable insight into their industry. As well as being able to estimate the global market size for professional lighting, sound, staging and AV products and services, the research also gives a very detailed picture of the market in the UK. For the first time, PLASA has information about the value of the product sectors, how fast they are growing and the size and growth of the various vertical sectors into which its members sell. The findings enable the Association to say some very precise things about its members collectively and the nature of the industry as a whole.
PLASA plans to repeat the exercise every 12 months, enabling it to build up ever-more accurate trend information. A quick flick through the 119-page report reveals that it estimates the respective size by revenue of PLASA’s four main product sectors: light, sound, AV and staging; gives growth figures for this year and next across the four product sectors; breaks the sectors down into sales and rental; includes information on revenue from the provision of services such as installation, design and servicing; sizes the target market sectors and indicates which are the healthiest and the fastest growing; includes information on average company size by staff, investment in training, R&D and marketing.
Members who took part in the survey will shortly receive a free 22-page copy of the overview, together with the opportunity to buy the detailed sections. Members who didn’t take part w
The Bishop of Matabeleland, The Rt. Revd. Wilson Sitshebo in Zimbabwe, took part in a special service at St Asaph Cathedral in Wales, via a live telephone link provided by Apple Sound. The service on 20 May was led by the Bishop of St Asaph, The Rt. Revd. John Stewart Davies, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of The United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. The Revd. Bethan Scotford, USPG Mission Adviser for the Church in Wales said: "Apple Sound understood our requirements and the precise timing within the celebratory service. As a total technophobe, my dream of having a live link with Africa was well and truly in the hands of Apple Sound. The end result delighted everybody in the Cathedral . . . It created a unique and unforgettable event for us in our celebrations of a World-wide agency. We are very grateful to Apple Sound for their sterling work in this instance and we look forward to future collaboration with them."
The live linkup was made possible using Gentner Audio Perfect teleconferencing equipment, which was integrated into the existing Cathedral sound system by Apple Sound.
ESS Superstructure has secured a major contract to build a vast 2,500sq.m superstructure building for a high profile, blue chip corporate event. The contract is the first for ESS Superstructure following the recent formation of a joint venture between ESS Ltd and The Pure Group. An ESS Superstructure building will be used initially by HP:ICM, one of Europe's leading live communication companies, for a client event involving a global brand. Two thousand delegates are expected to attend a one-day management conference, which will be followed by an elaborate gala dinner to be hosted in the superstructure building. The huge aluminium transparent structure, which is 100m long by 25m wide and 11m high, is based in the grounds of Syon Park in west London. Managed by The Pure Group, the Superstructure will be available for hire as a conference and corporate hospitality venue, in conjunction with a second structure, also commissioned for the site. ESS Superstructure and The Pure Group are in discussion with other sites in London to provide fully-serviced building structures ranging from 900 to 3,000sq.m for conference and corporate hospitality events. Both businesses have been approached about numerous event activities during 2001, particularly between September and December. Tim Norman, director of ESS Superstructure Ltd, said: "This contract win underlines our capability to handle major events. London is suffering from a dearth of large-scale venues. ESS Superstructure is well placed to meet this current demand by providing high quality, fully serviced, custom built venues. T
This month sees the launch of a new promotions company specialising in the UK audio industry, simply titled ‘Ideas Marketing’. The new company, which will offer a wide range of marketing services, including public relations, graphic design, corporate hospitality, presentations, media liaison and exhibition co-ordination, is the brainchild of Nick Powell, known to many in the industry from his previous role as marketing manager for Audio-Technica. Powell brings a wealth of pro audio and music industry contacts to Ideas, and is experienced in promoting audio products to both end-user and business clients alike. He is joined in the new company by his wife Stacey, who has a more general marketing background, having gained experience of working with national media through her role as PR Officer for the Environment Agency. Of the new venture, Nick said "Our understanding of the marketplace is just one benefit of Ideas - knowing that promoting the client's product or brand does not stop at PR is another. Ideas will actively seek promotional opportunities for its clients, and will identify and deliver customers to their sales team." Ideas is seeking a small, but complementary portfolio of clients, and would be delighted to hear from companies who would like to learn more about the marketing services on offer.
Coe-tech Ltd has appointed FPD Savills to hold a two-day public auction/stock clearance sale to make way for the latest range of new Coe-tech products. The auction will take place at Coe-tech’s premises in Northampton on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 July 2001. It will feature over 3000 lots of all types of professional sound, lighting, AV and special effects equipment. Viewing day is Tuesday 24 July 2001 from between 9am to 4pm. The diverse array of equipment for sale will include intelligent lighting; moving head luminaires; discothèque lighting; architectural colour changers; theatre lighting including followspots, profiles and fresnels; trussing; video equipment - cameras, switchers and video walls; sound processing equipment; loudspeakers; power distribution and cables. For Further Information and catalogues, please contact: FPD Savills, 4 St. Peter’s Gate, Nottingham, NG1 2JG, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 115 934 8100 Fax: +44 (0) 115 934 8003.
As part of an extensive fire alarm and evacuation system for the Eden Project in Cornwall, a Baldwin Boxall decentralised Vigil voice alarm system has been installed within the entire site, which includes the Central Control House and Biomes. This first phase voice alarm system which is installed in the Visitor Centre, now the Central Control House, contains over 600W of amplification and provides all aspects of a voice alarm system - as well as creating a cost-effective public address system. The 21U high rack contains the BVR20 ‘Microdrive’ routing mixer, which also links up all the other racks (phase two) within the 14 hectare site by a data highway. The phase two VA system was installed prior to the whole site being opened to the public in Spring 2001 and comprises two 47U racks, which contain over 6,500W of amplification and a BVR20 routing mixer. The system provides all aspects associated with VA, paging and background sound effects. Now fully commissioned both phases will work in conjunction with each other and control over 14 zones including all biomes, Central Control House and the link between biomes.
Spector Lumenex Ltd, a privately-owned safety communications company, has been acquired by Tyco and will be integrated into its Fire & Security’s Engineering Services Group of its Wormald Ansul (UK) division. Spector Lumenex, with reported revenues of £6 million in 2000, is a leader in voice alarm, public address and intercom systems. The company specialises in the field of hazardous area products, particularly for clients in the oil and gas, petrochemical and marine industries. "The customers of Spector Lumenex are identical to those served by Tyco Fire & Security and their products very complementary to the ‘Avalon’ name, a well-known brand already in our portfolio," said Mark Clegg, director and general Manager of the Tyco Fire & Security’s Engineering Services group. "Spector Lumenex not only brings additional UK coverage, but will allow us to increase the scope of products and services we can supply to our customers."
Tyco International Ltd is the world's largest manufacturer and installer of fire and safety systems and the largest provider of electronic security services in North America and the UK. The company operates in more than 100 countries and employs over 200,000 people. Wormald Ansul (UK) has annual revenues in excess of £200 million and employs 2,190 people around the UK and is owned by Tyco International Ltd.
Star Hire (Event Services) Ltd supplied its SS 15 12 mobile stage to the BBC for the Russell Watson at BBC Music Live concert, with highlights shown on BBC1 on Bank Holiday Monday to 3.7 million viewers. A sell-out audience of over 2,000 fans enjoyed the concert. The event took place in Leeds’ Millennium Square on Friday 25 May, and was the first seated concert to be hosted there. Leeds Council has invested in the region of £13million in the city centre event site, with facilities that include artists’ dressing rooms and hospitality area located beneath the stage area of the square.
The SS 15 12 stage supplied is the largest of Star Hire’s mobile fleet of stages, with over 175sq.m floor area, standing 12m high; it was flanked by its own PA wings, which supported a Wigwam PA system on this show. The time-frame for the event saw Star Hire’s staff, under newly appointed SS 15 12 crew boss Graham Drew, install the stage on the Thursday in just six hours, and more impressively, have it down and clear of the Millennium Square a mere 12 hours after the end of the show.
Telford-based broadcast sound equipment supplier Soundsense received the vote of UK broadcasters covering the General Election. The firm's rental department supplied over 30 ISDN outside broadcast kits to radio stations around the country, including BBC Radio 5 Live who were supplied with over 20 units for their election night coverage. Soundsense supplied a combination of AEQ and Glensound codecs; the AEQ units being flown in from the factory in Madrid especially for use on the election campaign. "We're deeply indebted to our colleagues at AEQ who moved heaven and earth to ensure we had adequate units in the right place at the right time," said Soundsense spokesman Derek Tallent. "It allowed us to prove to our customers that once again Soundsense is a key supplier to the broadcast industry."
In addition to supplying units directly to broadcasters, Soundsense is also establishing a trade hire department to accommodate the growing number of requests it is receiving from other hire companies for its ISDN Codecs and Telephone Hybrids. "With the growing number of requests we were getting, it made sense to try and accommodate the requirements of our colleagues in the hire industry," said Tallent.
The Covenant Life Church in Glasgow is about to embark on phase two of a significant Crown-driven Nexo installation. The 800-capacity venue, which has sister churches across Scotland and as far afield as southern Germany, has been in residence at this site for over a year and is delighted with the new audio installation, which has so far has been completed by Sound Control in Glasgow with equipment supplied by Fuzion plc. Currently it comprises a pair of Nexo PS-15s and an LS-1200 at the front of the church with a pair of PS-10 delays driven by a Crown MA-2402 and an MA3600VZ. Phase two, which is due to start shortly plans for up to four PS-15s to be sunk into the stage behind grilles so that they do not disturb sight-lines for TV cameras or indeed the congregation, a PS-15 to act as a monitor for the drummer and keyboard player, and up to four PS-8s to be flown either side of the stage area as infills for the singers. A further four PS-8s are destined for the balcony area which is under construction at the back of the church.
The Church's head of sound Barry Nicholson, explained: "We've been hankering after a Nexo system ever since we first heard one with friends down in a church in Wales, so as soon as we moved into our new building, we set the wheels in motion. Despite hearing demos from other manufacturers, we found that nothing came close to the Nexo. The power and clarity produced from such compact boxes, especially the PS-8, is truly amazing. And I must say the team at Sound Control and Mick Butler from Fuzion have both been marvellous throughout, always ready
To meet the increasing demand on the Special Projects Division of AC Lighting to design, supply and install complete lighting schemes, the company has formed a new alliance with Reggiani Lighting, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reggiani Spa (Milan, Italy). Reggiani, formed 40 years ago, is a family-driven business with a strong philosophy for ideas, innovation and quality. Today, Reggiani is a renowned market leader in the field of architectural lighting and manufactures a wide range of luminaires for interior and exterior applications. The Company has subsidiary operations in France and the UK and 47 distributors around the world. Commenting on the new partnership, Peter Keiderling, special projects manager at AC Lighting, stated: "Our projects-driven business continues to expand and diversify and it became vital for us to have access to a broad range of architectural fittings. We are delighted to be working with such a respected name and believe a combination of Reggiani and AC Lighting will be a powerful alliance."
Jack O’Donnell, president and owner of Numark Industries, has announced that he has received final court approval to acquire all assets of Alesis Studio Electronics and its affiliates. Alesis, the well-known manufacturer of ground-breaking products such as the ADAT, had been in the process of reorganization over the past several months, and had begun talking with outside interested parties this spring. While the two companies will function as separate business units, O’Donnell and a newly-appointed transition team headed by Paul Antrop, CEO of Numark, will begin immediately looking for areas where the two companies can benefit from each other’s strengths. O’Donnell commented: "I recognized a few years ago that in order to stay in front of this fast-paced market, Numark needed to bolster its engineering and product development efforts. While we’ve seen the fruits of these efforts in recent years with the introduction of numerous new products with break-through technology, I’m looking forward to the kinds of products and technologies we’ll be able to provide the market with Alesis’ stellar engineering team."