Its widening appeal as an industry showcase is underlined by the fact that just about every major manufacturer from the audio, AV, lighting and staging worlds, had a presence at the Show, despite its proximity to both Namm and Live. Since most have appointed local distributors, the profile of the show remains distinctly French, and the visitor figures underline the fact that it still plays predominantly to its home market (of the 23,497 who attended, less than 6% were from overseas).
That said, even 6% constitutes a fairly considerable amount of international visitors, and Paris is a city which will always manage to attract. So what news did we find on the show floor?Behind the scenes, ADB has been making some key changes. The Siemens-owned company has spent the last few months restructuring, revising the reporting structure so that the French and German operations now report directly to the central ADB operation in Belgium. Alfons Fahrtmann, a Siemens man for the past four years, has been brought in as the new general manager and will work alongside the established team of Mike Musso and Raph Janssens on a range of new initiatives, including a number of new products which will be rolled out in the coming months.
It’s now a year since Blackout and Triple E announced their intention to merge and 12 months on, there’s still plenty to talk about. Not only is the new company now firmly bedded into its new London HQ, but it was recently appointed the UK distributor for the ShowLED starcloth manufactured by Amelia in Belgium. This new string-and-socket system works in combination with a lightweight DMX-compatible 8-channel controller, to make the building, maintenance and reuse of starcloths easier. Industrial strength velcro fixes the LED sockets and cables in place, but allows their easy removal for later use. And the compact controller supporting 256 LEDs, offers 10 pre-set chase patterns.
German loudspeaker manufacturer d&b audiotechnik, made its debut at Siel this year. It was there to officially launch d&b France, an operation entrusted to the very safe pair of hands of respected sound engineer Didier ‘Lulu’ Lubin, which the company established in August last year to support a growing French customer base.
DHA found in Siel a perfect platform from which to announce the appointment of its first French distributors - Dimatec and Lighting Technology Durango. Dimatec will now handle the DHA Gecko, gobos and moving effects, whilst LTD, who we featured last month, will stock a range of gobos and moving effects.
At PLASA last year, Fal demonstrated a prototype version of a new intelligent light. At Siel we got to see it in the flesh; the Three-Sixty3 Colour projector features true colour mixing for an almost infinite range of projectable colours. To further enhance this new addition to the family, the pan and tilt now have a dramatically improved low noise movement, which is also self-correcting. Another prototype at PLASA that became reality at Siel, was the Fal Night Colour Pan - an outdoor image projector that has already been spec’d on a number of high profile projects.
L-Acoustics had a prototype version of a compact monitor system - the MTD1018a - a coaxial passive two-way speaker system. The company is on the move later in the year to a new purpose-built production facility.
The final word must go to Zero 88 for you have to admire the nerve of a company that has the audacity to launch a product called Frog at a French trade show. But Graham Eales at Zero 88 wasn’t sporting any black eyes, so the successor to the Sirius range of lighting desks, can’t have upset too many.
Siel will be bac