Business News

Theatre Direct Zero in on Cambridge
Wednesday, 14 February 2001

Theatre Direct (part of the Stage Electrics group of companies) recently placed a large order for Zero 88 products which included Contours, Betapack 2s and Level 12 Plus desks. The equipment forms a major part of a venue installation for the East Cambridgeshire District Council as part of their Arts Strategy. Theatre Direct installed both the staging and lighting which included dimming, control desks, lanterns and internally wired bars.

Dobson Sound for What Car?
Wednesday, 14 February 2001

London-based rental company, Dobson Sound Productions recently provided all the audio requirements for What Car? Magazine’s Car of the Year Awards, held at Grosvenor House in London. The event consisted of a sit-down dinner for 950 people from throughout the automotive industry including a significant number of journalists from the motoring press. This was followed by awards presentations for each of the 18 categories hosted by Jonathon Ross, culminating with a spectacular reveal of the winner of the Car of the Year award, won by the new Ford Mondeo. Dobson’s Tone Ferne explained that due to the nature of the reveal, they were required to provide a far more powerful audio system than a standard awards dinner might merit. "We provided a distributed system throughout the ceiling of the Great Room in the Grosvenor consisting of 18 d&b E9 cabinets. There were also two big screens at the front for video and images throughout the awards, behind which we had a further two stacks of d&b C7s each. Then, to make the cutlery rattle on the tables when the Mondeo was finally revealed on a huge revolving turntable to the accompaniment of spectacular pyrotechnics, moving lights and thunderous music, we had two powerful B2 subs hidden under the stage. And I have to say it worked! The cutlery did indeed rattle, along with the fillings in a few people’s teeth I should imagine! We also had the usual plethora of radio mics and playback equipment, and the whole lot was controlled by our trusty Midas Heritage 1000."

Lighting Tech Durango Appointed DHA StockistLighting Tech Durango Appointed DHA Stockist
Wednesday, 14 February 2001

DHA, one of Europe’s leading designers and manufacturers of gobos and innovative lighting effects, appointed Lighting Technology Durango as one of its first distributors in France at SIEL 2001 in Paris. As such, Lighting Technology Durango now holds stock of DHA gobos and moving effects. The appointment follows the successful launch of Lighting Technology’s new Paris showroom under the care of Jean-Francois Cheron and Brigitte Delehaye, who are well known in the French entertainment technology industry, a comprehensive range of products has been set up for permanent hands-on demonstration.

MAVCO Wins Carnival Spirit Contract
Wednesday, 14 February 2001

MAVCO has been awarded the contract to install the audio equipment for all public areas on Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Spirit. The 960-foot, 84,000-tonnes Carnival Spirit is destined to go into service from Miami in the spring of 2001. Onboard, MAVCO is involved with designing and installing audio systems in a total of 23 venues, headed by onsite project manager, Nick Gibson. Work on the project started in Turku last October, where he and his team built 56 racks within six weeks, which are now being installed on Carnival Spirit in Helsinki. In the main theatre, MAVCO is installing two LCS LD88 audio processors to provide room surround effects, and 90 EAW loudspeakers, together with 60 Renkus Heinz and Macpherson loudspeakers. Processing will be via a Peavey Mediamatrix digital sound processor, and 54 Crest CKS amplifiers will be controlled by Crest's NexSys computer control system. The theatre will also have a Midas XL4 fully automated audio mixer together with a Midas XL3 side wing mixer.

Federal Strikes Oil
Tuesday, 13 February 2001

Federal Signal has won its first contract from Romania's national oil company Petromar. The £150,000 contract involves the design, manufacture and supply of an Akusta-based duplicated PA and general alarm system for Petromar's offshore oil production facility in the Black Sea. The system installation will be carried out by Petromar's own engineers. The system has been designed and engineered to operate in harsh offshore conditions while still complying with BS5588 and BS5839: Part 8. It will provide an extensive range of emergency notifications - from fire and toxic gas alert to abandon platform alarm, as well as full audio communications and paging facilities.

Party for Sennheiser DecadeParty for Sennheiser Decade
Tuesday, 13 February 2001

Sennheiser UK threw a spectacular party before Christmas at London's Café Royal to celebrate the company's tenth anniversary. In addition to 250 customers, suppliers and staff, special guests for the evening included Professor Jorg Sennheiser, chairman of Sennheiser GmbH and Rolf Meyer, president of sales and marketing in Germany. Presentations to mark the occasion were made to Sennheiser UK managing director Paul Whiting, sales and marketing manager Rob Piddington, financial controller Lesley Alaway, field sales manager Nigel Mann and technical applications manager John Willett, all of whom have been with the UK company since it was formed. During the evening, the company hosted a raffle which raised sufficient funds to bring the total of Sennheiser UK's annual fund raising activities for Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital to £13,000. Additional presentations were also made to Gerry and Jaz Ford of Dublin-based Professional Audio Ltd, Sennheiser UK's distributor for Ireland, also celebrating its tenth year in business, whilst awards were made in their absence to area sales manager Simon Jones and Dave French from warehouse and despatch, both of whom have also been with Sennhesier UK from the start.

US Rigging Seminars
Tuesday, 13 February 2001

Harry Donovan and Jay Glerum are presenting a series of seminars on principles and practices of arena and stage rigging. A four-day class will run in Las Vegas from March 12-15, covering the principles and practices of arena and stage rigging. This will also feature a day's session with Rocky Paulson covering personal safety and fall arrest. Further courses will run in Orlando from May 6-9 and in Chicago from June 25-28. Donovan and Glerum are nationally recognised in the entertainment industry for their knowledge of stage and arena rigging, and this is the ninth year they have conducted these rigging seminars.

New HK Audio Distributor in Spain
Tuesday, 13 February 2001

Alberdi Pro in Barcelona has taken on exclusive distributorship of HK Audio sound reinforcement products in Spain. According to Hans Stamer, HK’s MD of music and sales: "Spain is one of the most important markets for audio equipment in Europe. To be successful in this market we need a strong, capable distribution partner, and Alberdi Pro is that partner." The company already has all major HK Audio products in stock.

HHB Celebrates 25 Years
Tuesday, 13 February 2001

HHB Communications celebrates its 25th anniversary this month. The company, founded by Ian Jones, has grown to become one of the UK's leading pro audio suppliers and a major international manufacturer of digital audio equipment and recording media. With offices in London, Los Angeles and Toronto, and distribution partners in more than 30 countries throughout the world, HHB now employs a staff of 70. During its history, HHB has played a pivotal role in establishing the professional acceptance of many digital recording technologies, notably DAT, CD-R and Minidisc and today HHB's own products encompass all these formats. To date, almost three million HHB DAT tapes have been sold, the new Portadisc MD portable looks set to become an industry-standard broadcast recorder and the new HHB BurnIT is the latest in a line of CD recorders which have had a high profile in the market. Looking to the future, HHB sales director Steve Angel outlined the company's plans to assist its customers in taking on the multi-channel world and helping them through the transition from analogue to digital. Our picture shows founder Ian Jones (foreground) with sales director Steve Angel.

Project News
Monday, 12 February 2001

A couple of new developments on the performing arts front. Ballast Construction has won a £14m contract to build the Laban Centre in Deptford, including 13 dance studios and a 300-seat theatre, whilst Newcastle City Council is currently reviewing plans with Newcastle University to develop a £60m arts and heritage complex at the Playhouse theatre site at Barras Bridge. Leisure development continues apace: Government approval has been given for a £30m leisure development at Gloucester Docks which will include a multiplex cinema, restaurants and retail units. Associated British Ports, meanwhile, has submitted plans for a new leisure and retail development at Alexandra Dock in Grimsby, including shops, a restaurant, pub and possibly a hotel. Isle of Wight Council is considering plans from Godshill Park Developments for the creation of a 60-bedroom hotel and conference centre in Wootton and finally Leicester City has won approval to build a £35m 32,000-seat football stadium at Freeman's Wharf.

TC Electronic Takes on TC Works
Monday, 12 February 2001

On the first of this month, TC Electronic took over the exclusive distribution of TC Works products for the UK and Ireland. TC Electronic picked up the contract after TC Works and previous distributor the Arbiter Group agreed to go their separate ways. In the TC Electronic UK team, Jim Motley, will be the man responsible for TC Works sales, while Filip Saelen from the TC Electronic Customer Support team will be taking care of support issues.

Park Avenue Cyber Seat ContractPark Avenue Cyber Seat Contract
Monday, 12 February 2001

Park Avenue has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract to design and build new exhibits for General Motors’ successful Test Track attraction at Epcot in Orlando, Florida. Guests board the Cyber Seats and are taken on a virtual journey, which uses state-of-the-art stereoscopic displays, 3D sound and seats that rotate and vibrate to enhance the experience. This project will be the second ride based around an animated film that Park Avenue has designed, produced and installed at Disney. In July 1998, Park Avenue created the ‘Sparky’ ride film and 18 Cyber Seats as part of the new Innoventions Pavilion within Tomorrowland at DisneyLand in Anaheim.

Direct to Lighting Technology
Monday, 12 February 2001

The rapidly expanding Lighting Technology Group has acquired Milton Keynes-based Direct Lighting. Established for 10 years, Direct Lighting is well known in the industry for the distribution of light sources and related products to independent retailers and commercial end-users. Direct Lighting directors Ian Moodie and Steve Copping will remain with the company, concentrating their future efforts entirely on sales. Stock will move to LTG's brand new central distribution depot in Corby. LTG's sales and marketing director Garry Nelsson, commenting on this latest acquisition told PLASA Media: "This is an opportunity for us to develop our core business of light sources into an entirely different sector of the market. We have a vast stock of lamps and this will enable Direct Lighting to offer faster delivery times and a wider range to their existing customers as well as providing the resources to develop new products and markets."

Creating the Perfect Pint . . .
Saturday, 10 February 2001

In a launch event spanning three days, Imagination has opened the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, a brand experience on which the company has been working since 1997. The Guinness Storehouse, which replaces the Hopstore, the brewery’s existing visitor attraction, is set to become one of Ireland’s biggest draws, with a million Irish and overseas visitors anticipated annually.

The six-storey Guinness Storehouse sits at the heart of the St James’ Gate brewery complex. Originally built in 1904, the former fermentation plant was the first steel-framed building in Ireland. Imagination has converted the 170,000 sq.ft building into a state-of-the-art visitor attraction featuring an immersive Guinness Experience as well as three bars and a retail store. The Irish business community, as well as Guinness’ own staff, are able to use the Guinness Storehouse’s extensive facilities for corporate training and events, while the building’s purpose-built gallery and exhibition area will host an eclectic mix of one-off artistic, musical and cultural events designed to attract a local as well as an international audience. The building is also home to the Guinness Archive, which contains 250 years of brewing and social history.

The emphasis on attracting local visitors as well as the tourist market was a key element of Imagination’s vision for the Guinness Storehouse. The company collaborated with Dublin-based architectural practice Robinson Keefe Devane in the conversion of the building, whose most distinctive feature is its 102ft high atrium, in the

Pro Audio Theatre at Event 2001
Friday, 9 February 2001

Following ever increasing attendances over its four year history, the dates for John Hornby Skewes’ Event 2001 have been confirmed as June 17-19. One major new feature of Event 2001, which takes place at JHS’s premises in Garforth, Leeds, will be the provision of a dedicated pro audio demo theatre on-site. This will feature the HK Audio range of pro audio, including the HX active systems, LUCAS, ELIAS and ACTOR, and the most recent addition to the range, the powerful 3.6kW PROJECTOR. Other pro audio products on show include The Scanner radio system, the Get Yourself Connected series of cabling, JHS pro audio components and Kustom PA systems and cabinets.

Total Production Moves to Mondiale
Friday, 9 February 2001

Mondiale Publishing has bought Total Production magazine from Pulse Publications. The title will now be added to Mondiale’s portfolio of magazines serving the entertainment industry which include Night, Mondo, Theme and Sleeper. TP’s editor Mark Cunningham and sales and marketing director Andy Lenthall will remain with the magazine. Pulse Publications, meanwhile, has announced its intention to continue publication of TP’s sister title Corporate Event Design.

Federal Lands Belfast Contract
Friday, 9 February 2001

Macclesfield-based Federal Signal has won a major contract to provide state-of-the-art VA equipment for the new multi-million pound Belfast City Airport development. The company will be supplying its broadcast VA system Verifire to Oxford-based systems integrators and project contractors Installation Technologies who will integrate it with hard disc-based background music equipment to provide an advanced multi-featured VA and audio communications system. The contract also involves Federal Signal specifying speakers for the column, corridor and ceiling mounting.

Pier Pressure for Bose
Friday, 9 February 2001

Weston Super Mare’s Grand Pier will be reopening in 2001 with a brand new Bose sound system to improve the quality of public address announcements along the pier. Bose field engineers undertook a series of audio tests and measurements to establish the best solution for the pier’s acoustic problems. They came up with a series of Bose 402 full range speakers positioned throughout the amusement arcade on the pier and angled directly towards the listeners so that sound reaches them without distortion or reverberation. On the exterior walkway, Bose 151 environmental speakers have been specified which are designed to be weather resistant for outdoor use.

Strand 500 Workshops
Thursday, 8 February 2001

The Service Company, in conjunction with White Light’s Training Initiative, has recently completed a successful series of half-day training courses on Strand Lighting’s 500 Series of lighting consoles. The courses, aimed at West End and freelance technicians, were held in White Light’s West End offices in Shaftesbury Avenue. The sessions looked at the basics of console set-up and operation, software, hardware and communications. The series of sessions concluded with a seminar on programming moving lights with the consoles, led by leading moving light programmer and L&SI writer Rob Halliday. A further series of workshops are scheduled for March 2001. Anyone seeking further information on these courses, or wanting to book places on them, should contact White Light or The Service Company on +44 (0)20 7731 3291.

Vari-Lite Expands European Dealer Network
Thursday, 8 February 2001

Vari-Lite has announced the first phase of the expansion of its European sales dealer network, supporting the distribution of the new Vari*Lite Series 2000 luminaries, with the appointment of Norsk Sceneteknikk A.S. in Norway and HispaLite in Spain. Vari-Lite has a long relationship with both companies, who have considerable experience of the company’s products and the technical resources to support sales customers. The network is designed to provide an enhanced service to the European marketplace, with local expertise, warranty support and training being easily accessible to end-users. Vari-Lite is actively expanding the network across Europe.

RG Jones Joins Synco Network
Thursday, 8 February 2001

Announced at the Live! Show at Alexandra Palace in London yesterday, London-based audio rental and installation specialist RG Jones has become the first UK-based member of the fast-expanding Synco Network of European production rental companies. The agreement sees RG Jones purchase 50kW of the Renkus-Heinz Synco Touring System (RH-STS), along with amplifier racks, rigging equipment and 12 of Synco CW121 stage monitor wedges - the first Synco system to be based in the UK. RG Jones joins five existing Synco Network members: Ampco Pro Rent and PAS Audio (Holland), Puro Audio (Portugal) and DEE Sound & Light and Flashlight/APR (Belgium). The addition of RG Jones makes Synco the largest single-brand-based PA network in Europe, with over 1 million watts of RH-STS PA systems.

Set Lighting Becomes First VL Rental Associate
Wednesday, 7 February 2001

Set Lighting & Sound has become the first UK rental associate of Vari-Lite, having added the Vari*Lite VL2202 spot luminaire to its extensive hire stock. The Based on the VL2201 spot luminaire, the VL2202 features an upper enclosure that houses the control electronics as well as a power factor corrected arc power supply for the 700W short arc lamp. The small, lightweight, and virtually silent luminaire also features a zoom optics system and rotating gobos. Controlled from any Vari*Lite console, it can also be controlled from a wide variety of DMX512 consoles without the need for additional interface equipment. Set Lighting’s Guy Heselden told us: "We are very excited at the opportunity of becoming the first UK Rental Associate, and looking forward to along term working relationship with Vari-Lite. Initially adding the VL2202 luminaire to our hire fleet allows us to supply an ever-changing and demanding hire market." Established in 1992, Set Lighting & Sound is also one of the UK's leading suppliers of Martin Professional’s MAC 500 and 600 luminaires for rental.

Skanning the Reef with DN9848
Wednesday, 7 February 2001

UK indie band Reef have just completed a mini UK tour as a follow-up to their recent UK tour at the end of last year. Reading-based Skan PA provided all the audio requirements, and took the opportunity to put Klark Teknik’s new DN9848 loudspeaker processor through its paces. Skan’s Chris Fitch was pleased with the way the units performed. "We had three units on FOH for Reef driving our Turbosound Floodlight rig. What impressed me most was the flexibility of the processor, and the fact that every input talks to every output. I also liked the fact that all the offline editing is done in MS Excel, which I felt was a real bonus. Extremely user-friendly, and both clear and simple to use."

After that the units are destined for Sound Republic in Leicester Square for the launch of the 2001 Comic Relief appeal, where Skan will be using them to provide 24 isolated feeds for the various members of the press who will be broadcasting the event. "Effectively we’ll be using the DN9848s as a distribution amp to keep all of the various feeds clean and separated, as there will be a huge amount going on over several different frequencies," said Fitch. "Although it’s early days yet for us with this product, I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen so far both from a sonic point of view, and as I stated earlier, its amazing versatility."

A-Ha Makes Comeback With Midas
Wednesday, 7 February 2001

Norwegian pop group A-Ha, who rose to fame in the mid-80s, is back with the critically-acclaimed album, Minor Earth, Major Sky. The album, described as ‘one of the best comeback albums ever,’ was voted into 29th place in the top 100 albums of the year by a panel of 40 music journalists in the UK ahead of the likes of U2, Fatboy Slim and Bjork. The group is currently on a sell-out tour of Japan and Germany with Hannover-based rental company, Rocksound, supplying the PA equipment including a Midas XL4 at FOH and a Heritage 3000 for monitors. Although Rocksound is providing the gear for the German leg of the tour, the engineers are from Norwegian rental company AVAB-CAC, who will be taking over the equipment requirements when the band returns to Oslo for two dates in March. FOH engineer Sven Persson specifically requested a Midas XL4 for FOH requirements, stating that it is "quite simply the best live mixing console in the world."

The console supplied by AVAB-CAC for the Oslo dates is a 56-input fully automated version with flying faders on all channels. Jarle Kvalsund specified a Heritage 3000 for the monitor console largely due to the 24 flexible auxiliary sends which he has configured as eight stereo and five mono mixes to suit A-Ha’s requirements. This flexibility makes the desk perfect for mixing stereo in-ear monitors which the whole band is using.


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