>Addressing the mid/low-end speaker market, Acustica Beyma introduced a whole new range of 10"-18" drivers, the main improvements being more power handling from use of flat-wire voice coils and stronger basket design. Beyma also presented four new compression drivers in 2" and 1.5" versions, utilizing titanium domes and neodymium magnets.
>The Stadium Hazer from Le Maitre is a new concept in the cost-effective manufacture and delivery of vast volumes of non-toxic haze, without the problems of oily deposits. The patented delivery system is designed for easy maintenance and is programmed to self-clean on start-up and shut-down. The delivery arm can be angled through 120° and has a variable speed booster fan to project the haze to where it's required. Le Maitre's Rick Wilson said the pyrotechnics demonstrations, run on the Top Deck, were well attended - as always!
>Further developments to the Matrix sine wave dimming system, were shown on the I.E.S. stand. Client requests have led to I.E.S. increasing its range of products and specifications of the system. A double processor unit per cabinet is now a standard option and with Ethernet data connections for dimmers proving popular, I.E.S. launched interfaces equipped for ANC (Advanced Network Control) and RDM (Remote Device Management). Recent installations for the company include 1,600 channels at Het Muziektheater, home of Amsterdam Opera.
>A company new to the PLASA Show, but with origins deep in the roots of pro audio, KV2 Audio showed two new PA systems - the ES and the EX ranges. The EX10 is a two-way active speaker comprising a 1.75" compression driver onto an 80° x 100° horn with a 10" for bass. Capable of working full range down to 65Hz, the EX10 can be augmented with the EX2.2, a self-powered 2 x 12" sub that can also drive a pair of EX10s.
KV2's ES system comprises the ES 1.0 a three-way high pack loaded with 1.75" with a tighter 90° by 40° horn, a 6" horn-loaded mid-driver with identical pattern, and 12" mid/bass driver. Three subs are available - ES1.5, ES1.8 and the ES2.5 being loaded single 15", single 18" and twin 15" respectively, and designed for different application demands. KV2 also designs and builds all its own amps and processing, the EPAK 2500 providing a complete one-box plugging solution for powering and controlling all six possible combinations of the ES cabinets from a decidedly unconventional (non-19" rack) package.
>Stepping into Abstract AVR's marquee, where colour exploded from the floors and walls, was an impressive assault on the senses. From the new Ledion range, the modular LED dance floor was attracting attention. The new VRX Powerled 1.8m bar creates fascinating light patterns using high powered, super-bright LED technology.
>The PIGI S700 (4kW) HMI projector was launched by E//T//C Audiovisuel, the well-known large format image projection and multi-channel video projection specialist. The S700 is part of the new generation of PIGI projectors and is a compact unit equipped with internal dimmer, dichroic colour mixing and correction filters. The company's project portfolio is impressive: recent work includes this year's Cannes Film Festival, and the very dramatic illumination of Buckingham Palace during the Queen's Golden Jubilee weekend last year which must have been seen worldwide. Managing director John Ross Ashton, enjoying a busy PLASA Show, said the PIGI slide projectors are starting to be used in theatrical applications and can currently be seen on Anything Goes in the West End.
>LightProcessor showed its Zip desks as well as new models in its Dimension range of installation dimmers, available as D610 (6 x 10A) wall-mount, truss-mount or portable versions, plus the D1210 (12 x 10A) and D1810 (18 x 10A) commercial versions. LightProcessor's other popular products include the Paradime digital dimmer - a six-channel dimming module and the DMX-tools range - of DMX signal processing products, including the DMuX, store, Merge and Buffer - the latter available in both truss and 19" rack-mounting version.
>As well as launching the company's brand new website, the Shure Distribution UK stand featured another wide array of new products, including the ConferenceOne discussion system for the corporate and rental market. From QSC Audio, the ISIS WideLine line-array was being demonstrated, with the AcousticDesign AD-C52 and AD-C52S ceiling loudspeakers on show. The Presonus Eureka mic preamp made its European debut, featuring compressor, parametric EQ and switchable staging. Also in signal processing, three new ranges of Phonic audio equipment took a bow: the A (analogue), T (tube) and i (digital) series, including pre-amp, EQ and effects units. Phonic's new P series monitors are available in four different versions, each either active or passive. Finally, three Aviom digital audio snake products made their European debuts - input/output modules and a system bridge.
>With improvements and additions coming on a monthly basis to users of Stardraw, to list them all would be problematic. The new online symbol libraries feature allows users to build their own 'favourites' library, making the enormous and growing range of adopted symbols far more manageable, whilst retaining easy access to updates. Another new addition gaining much attention at the show was automatic cable labelling. It sounds simple, but think about all the spadework it saves with complex wiring layouts. Also, Shure and Middle Atlantic Products now endorse Stardraw Weblink, the program that allows manufacturers to embed custom data within the symbols that represent their products in Stardraw design and document applications.
>A most unusual amplifier from Danish manufacturer MTI, the MPA82000 is a standard 19" rack-mount, eight channel, 1000W into 2 ohms (or other variants W-vs-ohms) that is just 550mm deep. Offering full DSP plus an 8-way matrix, it's possible to link up to 16 amps via RS485 and control laptop, with 16 resident programmable presets onboard. At 27.5kg, this is a highly flexible amp for complex installations.
>Award for Design Excellence
The Unibar system allows (a joint development between PCM and Slingco) for the quick and easy raising and lowering of suspension or lighting bars for scenery and lighting equipment with a motor-driven unit. The system has been designed to be installed onto any style of fixing or structure and will prove a cost-effective alternative to the more sophisticated power-assisted winch sets.
Initially available in 250 or 500kg models with single or two-speed options, the entire Unibar unit is self-contained, with the motor positioned on the end of the track. Single- or three-phase power options are offered, and other highlights include its simple, logical 'plug and play' operation.
Although initially designed for five suspension cables, thanks to flexibility in its design approach, the Unibar can be amended to support any number of suspension cables and any length of suspension bar with ultimate top and bottom limits contained within the unit's controls. Unibar allows the units to be positioned side by side with the suspension bars at 200mm centres - a real must in theatres. The Unibar control panel can either be fixed to the wall or operated by hand-held remote.
>Award for Technical Innovation
A small truss with a 6" x 6" cross section, new wave is an alternative to traditional aluminium truss and differs dramatically in several ways. Innovative construction methods allow the use of new materials, including carbon fibre and acrylic. The carbon fibre, in additi
>The Clay Paky stand highlighted the new Point range of miniature colour changing fixtures. Point is a fixed bracket mounting unit; Point IN is a flush-mount version with adjustable angle and rotation, while Point MH adds full moving-body facilities. A lens kit for gobo projection is also available. For the outdoor market, the Rain Spot 575 effects projector offers four interchangeable lenses, rotating and fixed gobos, four rotating prisms and eight colour capability. Further innovative new products are promised from Clay Paky at LDI in Orlando this autumn.
>PCM highlighted its new Unibar at PLASA, designed in collaboration with Slingco, and collected a Product Award along the way. A winch system that presents a cost-effective alternative to the more sophisticated power-assisted winch sets, Unibar is initially available in 250 or 400kg models with single or two-speed options. The entire Unibar unit is self-contained, with the motor unit positioned on the end of the track. Single or three-phase power options are offered, and dual brakes are also available as an option. Unibar supports any number of suspension cables and any length of suspension bar with the top and bottom limits contained within the unit's controls. Units can be positioned side by side with the suspension bars at 200mm centres - a vital requirement for all theatres. The control panel can either be fixed to the wall or operated by hand-held remote.
>The new Lodestar BGV C1 electric chain hoist was on show from Columbus McKinnon's Entertainment Division. Designed to meet the German standard for entertainment rigging, it's avaialable in capacities from 1/4 to 1 ton (250 to 1000kg) and speeds at 16fpm (4mpm). It has a 10:1 design factor to meet the most demanding rigging applications in the entertainment industry. CM's ProStar Hoists are now available in 227kg (500lbs) and 454kg (1000lbs) models. Other new products and the company's well-known, established rigging products, were also being shown and the team was enjoying a successful show.
>At PLASA for the second time, e:cue had a host of products and was having a great show with a well attended stand. e:cue programmer is the central programming interface for almost all products produced by the company: this is a PC-based software which offers all the opportunities of an advanced lighting controller. The e:node 512 Ethernet DMX interface is now offered with a choice of stylish colour fascias aimed at the architectural market.
>Robe Show Lighting's second year at the PLASA show saw the launch of two new moving head fixtures. The ColorSpot 575 AT has two separate gobo wheels and two separate colour wheels and features motorized multi-step zoom, iris and prism with a separate and variable frost effect and remote focus. The ColorSpot 250 AT is a new streamlined design with updated features including a new rotating seven position diachronic glass gobo wheel plus open, and a 10 position colour wheel plus open. Both these and the three facet-rotating prism are now replaceable. Entirely new software enables very smooth rotations of both gobos and prisms, and also offers the choice between 8 or 16-bit resolution for gobo indexing, prism indexing and dimmer, while an improved cooling system improves operating conditions for the lamp and reduces noise.
The ColorSpot 250 AT is aimed at TV studios, small to medium-sized clubs and discotheques, while the ColorSpot 575 AT is geared towards the large clubs and discotheques, concert and touring applications and large-scale architectural illuminations.
>A celebratory mood abounded at DiGiCo, the company having signed a deal to supply an undisclosed number of D5 sound consoles to hire company Britannia Row. DiGiCo was also showing off its D5 Live FMX front-of-house/ monitors control package, which provides a work surface for monitors, a work surface for front-of-house and features the proprietary Gain Tracking system, which offers independent gain control for both FOH and monitor operators. It can also be split into two D5 live 56 EX packages for rental flexibility.
>Well known as a producer of domestic hi-fi, Mission showed two new pro products; the FS Business Music System is literally an 'out of the box' (or rather briefcase) PA for business presentations and small (<40 persons) meetings. An amp, with mic and line input, tone and volume control, feeds to an NXT panel radiating sound front and rear. Small and very portable, the system can be scaled up with more panels. In the realms of concept speaker, Mission also presented the ViSound, an extension of a Swiss developed LD TV screen mounted into a bathroom mirror; Mission has added a discrete flat panel speaker fronted by a polycarbonate mirror along the top edge. IP rated (though not enumerated at the time) this device will doubtless appear in the bathrooms of many a posh hotel in the future.
>The well established show controller Artist, from ShowCAD, was for this year's PLASA augmented by two not-so-glamorous - but nevertheless essential - new pieces of kit. The EDMX is an Ethernet-to-DMX controller which allows DMX distribution by Cat5. The host computer is a 19" rack-mount unit specifically designed for Artist applications, in a 1U package. ShowCAD Artist also controlled the range of LED products on the Tryka stand, as well as running two product demos for Coemar. Artist's ability to operate remote and automatic pre-programmed performances is underlined by its use in the Chicago Rock Café and Wetherspoons Lloyds Number One venues which use the system's Real Time Clock function to run scenes and cues to change to suit the time of day, but with the option to override the systems via touch screens, digital input panels and MIDI interfaces.
Sharing the ShowCAD stand was Edirol, an abstraction of Roland. Its DV-7 is based around video control software linked to uncompressed digital images from a high quality video server. Capable of control via MIDI or DMX, this product from Edirol is intended to make live show operation simple and intuitive without compromising image quality. Dedicated to audio and video editing, the DV-7 eliminates rendering time, and as the workstation uses the same native DV format as digital video cameras, this means you can connect a digital camera to the DV port and transfer audio and video without any loss in picture quality.
>Amplifier manufacturer MC2 Audio showed its new E Series (switchmode) range of amplifiers. These lightweight amplifiers have been designed for the touring market and will initially be available at 750W/channel into four ohms and 1250W/channel into four ohms, both in 2U chassis. The series will be expanded with a bigger amplifier (2000+W/channel into four ohms), also in a 2U chassis, later this year.
>Repeatedly moving a bottle of champagne between an ice bucket and a table may not seem the most production-orientated of actions (unless perhaps for certain journalists or PR people), but this millimetre-accurate task was an excellent way of demonstrating Stage Technologies' Visual Creator system. The software removes the complex mathematics from three-dimensional stage automation, building a virtual environment through which the user plots the path that s/he wants an object to follow. With these developments seeming set to ensure that the use of multiple-motor stage automation will become more widespread in future, the PLASA Award for Design Excellence was well deserved.
>There were new and updated products in abundance on the Lamba stand. The company was showing products from its exclusive KAM entry-level mixer range, in addition to products from Cerwin Vega (see earlier copy), Nady, Road Ready and Stanton. The new Stanton ST-150 turntable was attracting particular interest after its star turn in winning the DJ-Turntable of the Year award at the DJ Magazine T-Scan Awards.
>Formed in December 2002, Projected Image Digital, sister-company to Projected Image, was showing a selection of the Digital Media Servers it distributes, including IRAD's RADlite and High End System's Catalyst V3 software, which was outputting digital content from the growing Projected Image Digital Content Library.
>The Pro 9200 completes the Pro 200 line-up from Peavey. The 9200 is the flagship system, a 2100W into 4 ohm amplifier and despite its high power rating, this 19" rack-mount device is just 12" deep. Peavey showed a pre-production model of its new Nion 6, described as "a big, fast, powerful Media Matrix for everything". To be more specific, this is a floating point, Cobranet-enabled DSP device based on the powerful Shark chip. 32-in, 32-out, grouped in blocks of four, the Nion 6 can be linked as a central system (up to 1000 channels, approx) but has internal scripting for local control so very much a building block device. Also of note, the X Bridge links Cobranet to X Frame 88.