Stagetec showed the first production model of Compulite's Vector lighting console, previewed at PLASA last year. This features an integrated CAD package and enhanced paperwork capabilities and is designed to take the operator from concept to closing night in one user-friendly workstation. Also on show, was LSC's Minim desk, a budget-priced 12- or 24-channel memory desk, and the LSC Maxim series of fader-based consoles.
Large format projection specialists E/T/C UK Ltd showed the Pigi 'S' 500 projector, along with a range of accessories for the theatre market. This new projector uses a 2.5k HMI lamp and includes CMY colour mixing, an internal dimming shutter and DMX control of all its functions. Accessories now include single and double film scrolling, as well as the traditional AMD-32 Slidechanger, a manual slidechanger, and dimming control is also available for less complex applications. A wide range of Barco objective lenses is also available, offering improved optical performance.
Litestructures showed its Chromadeck LED-based colour changing dancefloor system: first seen as a prototype at PLASA last year, but now revised and in full production, the 600mm x 600mm x 195mm Chromadeck panel is a hybrid of Litestructures' Litedeck and Pulsar's Chromapanel. As many as 12 Chromadeck units can be powered by one ChromaZone controller, which, in turn, will interface with any DMX lighting control desk.
Litestructures' Adrian Brooks is confident it will be a best seller: "I'm certain that we'll initially see an explosion of Chromadecks in nightclubs because of its versatility and value for money. It's a simple way to add a new dimension to your flooring needs, whether you're looking for a permanent installation, or want to rent it for a set number of weeks. So many people think that to create effective lighting designs you have to hang fixtures from ceilings and walls. Chromadeck will encourage them to think again!"
Further fuelling the control integration between different visual medias, James Thomas Engineering launched Pixeldrive, a highly innovative new video software-based control system for its Pixel fixtures.
Pixeldrive is the result of a collaboration between JTE's own R&D department and IRAD, the developers of the RADlite digital media server. The end-product is a control system which allows the synchronization of digital media to JTE's high brightness Pixelline 1044 battens and other pixelrange products. When running, this will enable visual sequences to be run across both lighting and video media. One of the main bonuses is in the time this will save - Pixeldrive can reduce the pre-production process from hundreds of hours of complex programming to just minutes. For example, to programme a water ripple effect across a bank of Pixellines would take about 30 seconds of programming.
The method imports digital media - the same that is being projected by the RADlite system - into the Pixelline and other Pixelrange fixtures, which then act like another projection surface. The patterns created by these digital images can be manipulated via the lighting desk and complex lighting sequences can be controlled with virtual imagery, which is then sent to any multiple of Pixelrange products, using Ethernet to distribute across as many DMX universes as required, thereby reducing the DMX allocation on desks.
ProTrac is an upgraded fly-bar system designed for those situations where a simple bar or ladder beam no longer meets the requirements. For instance, if the uniformly distributed load needs to be upgraded from 300 to 500kg and the point load from 40 to 150/200kg, the normal fly-bar does not have the required strength. Therefore, the single round tube is often replaced with ladder beams, usually made from steel. ProTrac offers a better alternative than the steel ladder beams, thanks to its combination of an aluminium extruded square profile, underneath which a round tube of 60mm or 48.3mm is attached. Suspension points slide into the square profile and can be locked at any position, and flexibility comes from the fact that several lengths can be easily connected.
UK - After a lack of bookings earlier in the year, which forced a rethink on the scale of this year's SBES, the organizers Point Promotions report that the event has now sold out. And, if demand for additional space continues, show organizer Dave McVittie hopes to be able to negotiate extra space with the venue, taking the exhibition back up in scale once more.
The economic down-turn, coupled with the change of venue, clearly gave some long-term exhibitors pause for thought before booking stand space this year. However good it may be, realistically the new venue represents something of an unknown for some, and extra thinking time was clearly needed before bookings were made. Now however, most established exhibitors, and some new ones, are on board.
Amongst the confirmed exhibitors are Canford Audio, De Wolfe Sound Effects Services (exhibiting for the first time), HHB, ntl, P Squared and Planet Wide Radio (on separate stands for the first time), Preco, Radica Broadcast Systems, RCS and Thum & Mahr. In all, approaching 50 exhibitors are now booked to attend SBES 2003.
The 28th Sound Broadcasting Equipment Show takes place at the Platinum Suite of the ExCeL Conference Centre in London's Docklands on Wednesday and Thursday the 26th and 27th of November 2003. The show is aimed at professionals in independent and public service broadcasting, as well as those in TV and film sound recording, outside broadcasting and post- production sound. It attracts visitors from all sectors of the industry based in the UK, Ireland, mainland Europe and further afield.
Doughty has launched a range of Lighting Hoists. Although pretty lightweight themselves, these new hoists can handle loads of up to 140kg. Their minimal 'closed height' allows them to be installed in studios with limited headroom, or alternatively to give maximum overhead working height when stowed. By adding one or more pantographs to the system, optimum flexibility and control of individual luminaires can be achieved. Since the hoist will also accept programmable position control, studio time savings can be considerable.
Trantec's UK distributor Orbital had on stand the S6000 miniature radio mic. Based on the award-winning S5000 series, the S6000 has been developed from the ground up by Trantec's in-house R&D team, who have worked with end users to produce a system tailored to theatre and broadcast applications.
The miniature transmitter has a profile smaller than a credit card and is housed in a robust aluminium case. It features new 'compander' technology to deliver the audio quality required, and by virtue of its LCD panel, clearly displays gain on power up and the unit's operating frequency. An IR port allows gain and frequency to be configured either manually or remotely from a PDA. The S6000RX receiver is a slimline 2U 19" chassis, which can hold up to eight channel receiver cards. Each channel's bandwidth covers 72MHz, enabling the user to tune from the top of channel 62 to the bottom of channel 70 (798MHz - 865MHz), bringing greater flexibility throughout the UK, Europe and the USA. An internal PC (Win XP) allows for flexible system monitoring - up to 40 receivers can be controlled via a single interface.
Orbital also revealed the launch of a distinct, but complementary, division - Fixit - offering a 24-hour maintenance service contract for out-of-house installations and productions, and a repairs facility for all audio and comms equipment, benefiting from new technical workshops and a huge investment in the latest test equipment.
Most theatres would give their right arm for a fully automated powered flying rig, but not every theatre can afford the expense of automation, so Stagemate, developed by Bader of Germany and distributed in the UK by Triple E, will certainly help. It's an inexpensive and easy method of motorizing existing hand-operated counterweight rigging systems. Installed on the flyrail and in place of the existing rope brake, Stagemate allows a single person to control several hand lines.
With this system, the existing hand-operated counterweight rigging system is retained, and it can be moved to enable different lines to be motorized for different productions. Stagemate offers variable speed travel for both individual lines and groups, with speeds of up to 1.2m/s. The provision of a remote control console ensures the fly-man can have an optimum view of the stage. As with all the best inventions, Stagemate is nice and simple: the hand line is clamped between two drive belts made of hard-wearing, non-abrasive material, while making sure that the line is balanced with battens and sets.
Speed, movement and position are set via the local control unit, which also provides for an emergency stop, whilst distance is measured using a light sensor linked to an incremental encoder.
Avolites featured the Diamond 4 Elite lighting console, first seen at LDI in Las Vegas last year. This is a scaled-down version of the original D4, and features include 14 submasters and 96 assigned playbacks, with direct access to 96 fixtures via Legend Cells (re-assignable preset playbacks). Also on the Avo stand was the RADlite digital media server - controllable by any DMX desk (in this case an Azure Shadow). This video and digital effects package can be mixed and output from any lighting desk. It can be run as a video source for any show, either independently from the main video IMAG and playback production, or fully integrated with other video media as required. RADlite combines any number of images and vector shapes with digital video, colour backgrounds and text. Controlled just like a moving light, it allows the operator to apply masks like colours, shapes and effects (e.g. rotate, zoom, pan/tilt), and to fade the video effects in and out in time to the music or action in real-time.
UK - Autograph Sales is hosting a programme of regional UK one-day Meyer Sound Technology training courses in late August, which are free of charge to everyone who registers at the website below before August 15. The courses, taught by Meyer Sound's technical training and seminars director Mauricio Ramirez, are scheduled to take place at The Helix, Dublin City University, on August 25; Audio Alliance North, Manchester, on August 26; B&H Sound Services, Peterborough, on August 28; and Capital Sound, London, on August 29. A fifth seminar is also planned to take place the same week in Edinburgh, details of which will appear on the website once confirmed.
The seminar will encompass such topics as phase alignment, delays, filters, line array theory and conventional loudspeaker arrays, as well as acoustic prediction and measurement techniques. Lunch and refreshments will be included during the day and all seminar delegates will be offered instant free registration for Meyer Sound's MAPP Online prediction program and a useful CD collection of data files, audio calculators and technical information. At PLASA, Autograph will announce its autumn/winter 2003 educational programme which will include M Series Line Array Training, Optimization of Self Powered Systems, MAPP Online and SIM School. A series of keynote lectures with John Meyer and the Meyer Sound technical team is also planned, as are other Autograph training and education seminars, including Orchestral Miking, Mixing for Theatre, Wired and Wireless Communications and a series of market-specific workshop days for ch
UK - As part of the PLASA Show relaunch, this year's event will see increased facilities dedicated to technicians with the introduction of The PLASA Production Village. This will incorporate The PLASA Crew Zone supported by Total Production magazine, and The PLASA Backstage Area, organized by the PSA (Production Services Association).
Placed on the Top Deck overlooking the main hall, the area will offer a number of facilities and services. The PLASA Crew Zone will offer a place to relax, furnished with two internet-ready computers sponsored by StageAccess.com, where visitors will be able to catch up with old friends by registering with StageAccess.com. The PLASA Backstage Area, organized by the PSA, will offer demonstrations and the opportunity for 'hands-on' use of products. Companies involved last year included Le Maitre, AC Lighting, Tomcat, Stage Technologies, TMB, Marquee Audio and PCM and it is expected that a number of new products will be on display for the first time this year.
Elsewhere, the main features emphasize two key selling points for the PLASA Show - namely as a major international platform for the launch, application and demonstration of new technology, and secondly, the enhancement of networking opportunities for visitors and exhibitors. The New Technology Gallery, sponsored by Lighting&Sound International, is now at the front of the main hall and will display all the products entered for the PLASA Awards for Product Excellence. As the gateway to the show, it will be a well-branded area and will emphasize the show's bold, new image and brand
Switzerland - For the ninth consecutive year, US-based manufacturer Shure has been chosen as the official supplier of microphones and wireless systems for the Montreux Jazz Festival. Providing nearly 50 U2 premium wireless systems and over 1,000 additional pieces of audio equipment, such as the company's venerable SM58 and KSM studio condenser mics, Shure will take the stage at numerous festival stages including the celebrated Auditorium Stravinski, Miles Davis Hall, and Casino Barriere. In addition, Shure will also be providing 24-hour, behind-the-scenes technical support for the duration of the festival.
Faced with the challenge of accurately capturing the variety of onstage performances at Montreux, Shure Europe marketing director Ron Marchant said: "With almost a decade of experience to our credit, we've carefully tailored each venue's microphone offerings to the express needs of that stage. As far as festivals go, this is one of the most demanding. I couldn't possibly think of a better environment to put our products to the test."
Beyond supplying the gear, should a technical question arise, Shure service manager Michael Wolf is on the spot to provide support. Wolf remains 'on call' via a phone hotline so that he can be reached 24 hours a day to ensure that Montreux staff can utilize Shure's expertise to answer any audio questions quickly.
In addition to the various festival performances, this marks the first year of the Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition. Run in conjunction with Universal Music and the Bea Young Artists' Foundation, the compe
UK - Last year £50 million was spent converting a former steelworks near Sheffield into the Magna science and exhibition space. In September, Tidy Events is intending to carve this huge space into seven zones, load in full colour lasers, sound and lighting, then add the world's top-name DJs to create a huge dance event catering for 5,000 clubbers.
Tidy has delivered its fair share of groundbreaking and unique events - from a 72-hour dance party in the depths of Wales to filling London's biggest dance club to capacity - and Magna 7 is set to be one of their most impressive yet.
The seven arenas will boast a myriad of sounds and styles and are divided into the Main Arena, the Face of Steel, Funky Bubble, Hardcore Bubble, Digital Entertainment Zone, Retail World, Chill-Out Zone, and the VIP Space Pod. This exclusive zone floats several storeys in the air and is accessed by a high-speed lift. The full line-up will be announced shortly and tickets are expected to go on sale in mid-July.
USA - Entertainment Design magazine presented its annual EDDY Awards for outstanding contributions in the field of entertainment design and technology at a special 'Salute to New York Theatre' ceremony held on Friday 27 June at the John Jay College Theatre in New York. The Awards were presented in conjunction with the Broadway Lighting Master classes and the first Broadway Sound Master Classes.
The 2003 winners were set designer John Lee Beatty, projection designer Elaine McCarthy, sound designer Dan Moses Schreier, production electrician Mike LoBue, noted director Mary Zimmerman's design team (Dan Ostling, Mara Blumenfeld, T.J. Gerckens), and Theatre Projects Consultants.
Winning lighting products included City Theatrical's WDS Wireless Dimming System, Entertainment Technology's IPS Intelligent Raceway, Electronic Theatre Controls' Emphasis control system, Martin Professional's MAC 2000 Performance, and the Vari*Lite VL1000 automated ellipsoidal spotlight.
In the Sound Products category, DiGiCo's D5 Live digital mixing system was awarded Best Console. The D5 Live system has already won the 2002 PLASA Product Excellence Award, the Pro Audio Review Par Excellence Award 2002 and has been nominated for a TEC Award 2003 by Mix Magazine.
Winning projection and staging products included Medialon's Manager show control software, Texas Instruments' DLP Dark Chip Enhancement, Dataton's Watchout projection software, Tomcat's Swing Wing truss and Rose Brand's 110" Smoke Out IFR.
UK - Innovations set to have a major impact throughout the building and construction industry will be given pride of place at Interbuild 2004. New Product Zones are being introduced in four dedicated areas of the exhibition (which takes place at the Birmingham NEC from April 25-29), and each of the items featured will be automatically entered for a new product award. There will be seven categories - Best Lighting and Electrical Product, Best Interior Product, Best Exterior Product, Best On-Site Product, Energy Efficiency Award, Disability Access Award and Best Overall Product.
Steve Webb, event director for Interbuild said: "Interbuild has always been regarded within the industry as the perfect place to introduce new ideas, and we feel it is only right to give them a greater profile. That's why we have devised a scheme to promote the new products before and during the event - including an Awards Dinner on Monday April 28 at the Birmingham Metropole at which the best will be officially recognized."
The closing date for entries to the Awards scheme is Friday November 28 and a distinguished panel of independent judges will meet in January to draw up a short-list of contenders. The New Product Awards is not the only scheme being promoted at that time because the winners of the 'Master Builder of the Year' scheme, run by the Federation of Master Builders, will also be unveiled during Interbuild.
Positive feedback from Members to new-style Association Day
PLASA hosted its 2003 Association Day and Annual General Meeting on Friday 6 June, in the impressive surroundings of the historic Coombe Abbey Hotel, near Coventry.
The PLASA Association Day is designed to incorporate the Association's AGM into a full day's activity, offering PLASA Members an event that is both useful and enjoyable, as PLASA's managing director Matthew Giffiths outlined: "We've made a conscious effort in recent years to get away from the focus on the AGM: this meeting is a legal formality for an Association, and is itself over very quickly. The real value of the Association Day then arises from the seminars, discussions, networking and entertainment which follow - all of which is heavily subsidized by the Association and is there for members to take up."
The AGM itself provided the opportunity for PLASA chairman David Hopkins OBE to address his first AGM as chairman. He spoke of how an Association should serve its membership in a fast-changing business environment. Managing director Matthew Griffiths then described the Association's activities over the past year, and gave a brief overview of the year ahead.
The business information element of the day included two well-attended seminars - the first, on Lean Manufacturing, was presented by Annie Pearson from the Manufacturing Advisory Service, and detailed how manufacturing processes can be streamlined to increase efficiency and reduce lead times. The second session, presented by Bob Empson of White Maple Consulting, was ti
Belgium - When Belgium’s Minister of Culture announced that 2003 was to be the year of Jacques Brel (one of the country’s great modern singer/songwriters in the French language), plans immediately got underway to ensure that events staged to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Belgian singer’s death would attract the attention of the world.
One of the key features is an exhibition charting Brel’s life. Stan Colders of Nexus Creative People was commissioned to design the exhibition, his ideas relying heavily on theatrical techniques - lighting, video and set dressing - mixed with artefacts from Brel’s childhood. The ‘set’ incorporates the house where Brel grew up, taking the visitor on a journey from Brussels to Paris, to a recreation of his Parisian room where he wrote many of his songs. Visitors can also re-live Brel’s last concert in a scaled-down version of the theatre.
Colders called on the expertise of lighting designer Koert Vermeulen of Art-Concept-Technology Lighting and Production Design, together with Dirk Argeerts from ASP Technics who carried out the technical production and pre-production of the exhibit. Koert specified fixtures designed and manufactured by Lighting Services Inc and supplied through UK distributor, Enliten.
Within the spec were 17 QM200 wide angle floodlights, with a permanent glass lens designed to soften the beam, on a Eutrac 3 track system. The floods utilize a computer-designed reflector working in unison with a double-ended tungsten halogen lamp to produce a seamless wash of
Germany - The Major One is Lightpower's new single-channel dimmer, dedicated to be used directly with the luminaire. It provides an ideal solution when using single units positioned remotely or over long distances with decentralized dimming and control systems. This makes the dimmer mainly suitable for exhibitions and fairs. With its address, limit, switch and level function the operation of the Major One is straightforward: the light intensity can be adjusted on the dimmer itself without an external control, and in case of a circuit break, all data will remain available.
Dubai - PALME, the Middle East’s professional sound, light, audio-visual and systems integration exhibition, is offering PLASA members a 25% discount off its space-only rate until 1 September 2003 (inclusive), or a 15% discount off the space-only rate thereafter.
There are strong reasons to justify attending: the Middle East continues to present the professional lighting and sound industries with significant market potential and is the world’s fastest growing tourist destination, predicted to attract 68.5 million tourists by 2020 - an annual growth rate of 7.1%, well above the world average of 4.1%.The region, and the UAE in particular, continue to invest huge sums in new, architecturally-driven initiatives which require state-of-the-art facilities to be competitive. Projects in development include the Kempinski Hotel on The Palm island (US$50 million); The Gardens shopping mall, Dubai (US$218 million); Dubai International Airport expansion (US$4,100 million); Dubai Festival City (US$1,600 million) and the BurJuman shopping mall expansion (US$275 million).
The market potential is not just restricted to the UAE - the 2006 Asian Games will take place in Qatar, leading to a complete overhaul of the country’s infrastructure, and next year will see Bahrain organizing the region’s first Formula 1 Grand Prix.
PLASA Members wishing to take advantage of the discounts should contact Iain McLean at IIR.
USA - The voters were divided at this year’s Tony Awards in New York, presented earlier this week, with no one show sweeping the boards. In the technical categories, it was La Boheme’s night, with Baz Luhrmann’s stylish production of Puccini’s opera winning designer Catherine Martin a Best Scenic Design Tony and lighting designer Nigel Levings the Best Lighting Design Tony.
"It was thrilling to win," commented Levings, who was previously nominated for The King and I. The Tonys round out a successful New York award season for the Boheme design team: Levings and Martin also won the equivalent categories in New York’s Outer Critics Circle Award and the Drama Desk awards. Levings’ co-nominees were Donald Holder for Movin’ Out, Brian MacDevitt for Nine and Kenneth Posner for Hairspray, while the other scenic design nominees were John Lee Beatty for Dinner at Eight, Santo Loquasto for Long Day’s Journey Into Night and David Rockwell for Hairspray. (Further information about Boheme, along with a profile of Nigel Levings, can be found in the February 2003 issue of Lighting&Sound International).
Catherine Martin and co-designer Angus Strathie were also nominated for Best Costume Design, but at the Tonys, as in the other awards, were beaten by William Ivey Long for his flamboyant designs for Hairspray - one of the eight categories won by the surprise hit musical of 2002, which also collected prizes for Best Musical, Best Leading Actor in a
Italy - For the 2004 edition of SIB (13-16 March 2004), the show’s organizers are promising a cutting-edge expo with a new image, new targets and two new sections as part of a plan drawn up in conjunction with research and consultancy company Cermes-Bocconi.
"We’ve carried out support activity for Rimini Fiera’s management on the basis of our experience in the sector of exhibitions of international importance," explains Professor Francesca Golfetto, joint director of Cermes-Bocconi. "Bearing in mind the on-going evolution of its business sectors, it’s extremely important for strict scientific surveys to be conducted on an event of SIB’s international calibre, to ensure the utmost satisfaction of its numerous clients." As a result of this plan, SIB now also has a new subtitle - the International Exhibition of Event and Entertainment Technology - and a restyled logo.
In addition to its traditional lighting and audio sectors, SIB 2004 will also highlight everything else related to creating successful events and shows. Alongside the SIB Theatre section, which through the years has become a reference point for the sector and will be further expanded, there will now be two new sections: SIB Design, dedicated to furniture and décor for venues and architectural lighting; and SIB Congress, dedicated to the organization of commercial and promotional events, a showcase for tensile structures, technology for queue and crowd control, sets and fittings, staff, catering and services.
SIB is also updating as far as its spectac
Germany - This month, Germany plays host to the TiLE Conference and trade exhibition for the second year running. The 12th annual TiLE, which covers the latest trends in the location-based leisure attractions industry, is being held in Berlin at the Estrel Convention Center, from Tuesday 17 to Thursday 19 June 2003.
"There is no doubt that many companies which supply to venues that entertain and/or inform are finding it hard to do business," explained event organizer Richard Curtis of Andrich International. "The current economic and political situation has seen tourism and travel drop, and along with it visitor numbers to many attractions. Also, the uncertainty has meant that many investment plans are on hold. We hope that TiLE will be a catalyst to help lift the industry out of its current gloom."
The Conference will feature a range of speakers on subjects of topical interest and will look forward to better times ahead. The exhibition, meanwhile, will include a mix of the best designers and suppliers for museums, branded attractions, spectaculars and theme parks etc.
UK - Stage Electrics' Open Days provide customers and suppliers with a forum dedicated to providing hands-on demonstrations of the very latest products. The compay's recent Bristol Open Day was no exception; demonstrations from Strand, Selecon, Rosco, Martin Professional, DHA, Le Maitre, Mackie/EAW, Audio-Technica and Zero 88 offered customers a wide range of interest.
.Visitors got a glimpse into the workings of Stage Electrics' warehouse, with tours supplied by sales and marketing manager Linda Moore, who says: "Stage Electrics Open Days are a great opportunity for suppliers and customers to meet. They have proved highly successful and we are already planning more for later in the year."
Not only were customers provided an insight to the inner workings of Stage Electrics, technical manager Adrian Searle organized a Moving Light Symposium, providing hands-on experience of a whole range of moving lights and lighting desks, including the latest Syncrolites and LED Battens and the MAC 2000 range. The symposium offered technical advice and guidance on the use of moving lights from the company's technical control team and manufacturer Martin Professional.
The Bristol Open Day also presented an ideal opportunity to exhibit its new Arc Roof Stage System - one of the recent additions to its hire stock. The system builds into an 8 x 6m covered stage, satisfying the need for a medium sized staging system that meets all current health and safety standards. The stage has already been booked to be utilized on events ranging from charity music shows to community f