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
UK - In response to the changing expectations of audiences, producers and directors, the importance of technology in contemporary theatre continues to grow at a rapid rate. Since the mid 1970s, the Association of British Theatre Technicians has supported and helped spearhead technical innovation in theatre through its annual showcase, the ABTT show, which this year runs on the 18 and 19 June in London.
Over the years the success of ABTT can be attributed as much to British engineering and ingenuity, as it can to a passion for the theatre. Many UK-based companies have exhibited at ABTT since its inception, including CCT Lighting, Lee Filters, Rosco and White Light - all have pioneered technology in theatre and augmented the potential of productions across the international stage.
Growing from a small niche event at The Donmar Warehouse, the ABTT Show now fills London’s Royal Horticultural Halls to capacity and is attended by over 2,000 visitors from around Europe. Celebrating its 25th anniversary and its 11th year at The Royal Horticultural Halls, this year’s event will be a sell-out show with a record number of exhibitors - over 100 companies will showcase their products and services for the theatre and live performance industries.
Recognized as the only dedicated platform where visitors can go ‘backstage’ and meet the people behind the technology, ABTT plays host to the entire spectrum of suppliers and service companies: from lighting and sound through to rigging, prop makers, scenery builders and costume designers, ABTT offers a one-s
USA - Three leading electronic systems industry trade associations have announced the upcoming launch of shows in Europe and Asia intended to address the needs of their combined constituencies in those regions.
The Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA), the International Communications Industries Association (ICIA/InfoComm) and the National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA) have formed a partnership to develop and produce joint trade exhibitions in Europe and Asia for the benefit of their respective members and industries. The three have a combined membership of over 5,000 companies and individuals that are located in over 60 countries.
The first European show will be held at the Geneva PALEXPO (a brand new exhibition facility) in Switzerland on February 3-5, 2004. A new name and brand for the show is under development, but it will have the advantages of NSCA's focus on integrated electronic systems for commercial construction, ICIA's expertise in audiovisual systems integration and communications and CEDIA's strengths in home networking and home automation.
In Asia, CEDIA and NSCA will join with ICIA in shows conducted in Singapore and China by InfoCommAsia Pte, Ltd. (IAPL). The first combined shows will be in 2004 for InfoComm China and 2005 for InfoComm Asia, when the exhibitions are replaced with the new show name and brand as used in Europe. A formal press conference and signing ceremony will be held on June 2 at InfoComm 2003 in Orlando, Florida. In attendance will be the executive directors of the three associations, the
Singapore - Singapore Exhibition Services (SES), organizer of BroadcastAsia and CommunicAsia, has decided to cancel both 2003 events, which were scheduled to take place from June 17-20 at Suntec Singapore and Singapore Expo respectively.
Commenting on the decision, Stephen Tan, chief executive of SES commented: "Together with our exhibitors and stakeholders, we have decided not to go ahead with the shows. This is a very difficult decision borne out of necessity due to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak and the lack of options for a suitable time frame in which to re-schedule the events. It is also our utmost priority to safeguard the well being of our exhibitors and visitors who have shown us unwavering support all these years."
As the SARS outbreak in Asia has not stabilized, exhibitors and visitors alike had expressed concerns about their safety at the shows. With the WHO and US CDC advisories against traveling to SARS affected areas, it became clear that foreign attendance at the shows would be severely affected.
Postponing the shows to the second half of the year was considered, but no suitable alternative window was available as the calendar for this period is already filled with other events such as IBC (Amsterdam), ITU World Telecom (Geneva) and Comdex (Las Vegas). Tan pointed out that many exhibitors and buyers are already committed to exhibiting at and visiting these events. It would therefore be difficult to identify a suitable slot without moving them too close to next year's shows. The next BroadcastAsia and CommunicAsi
Digigram quietly demonstrated new EtherSound control software, although, as Frank Siedel pointed out, you don't necessarily need a computer to gain the benefits of networked audio. "You can get the audio in and out of the EtherSound network just by configuring the channels and the devices themselves," he said. "Many people think network audio equals system administration and a lot of troubleshooting - just because, in most companies, everybody has network headaches every day. But EtherSound is not like this, because it can be set up without even a computer.
"But, if you want more flexibility, you can use our software. It simply tells you what equipment is connected to the network, the number of inputs and outputs, and allows you to manipulate these as a matrix. All you have to do is define channels by clicking and dragging, and of course, every configuration can be saved and recalled. You can then switch easily between big venues, small venues, open-air, indoor - and by a simple IP connection you can access any EtherSound system in the world.
"If a customer has a problem on the other side of the planet - of course, that would never be due to EtherSound failure! - the system administrator can log on remotely within the same software. In many cases, the problem will be fixable without having to travel."
In case the show threatened to rise above a background murmer, Drawmer introduced the SP2120 Speaker Protector, a 1U processor designed to prevent excessive SPLs from a given speaker system. With a security lock and key to allow only authorized system adjustment and management, it gives engineers the power to protect the drivers and electronics in the speakers themselves, and venues the capacity to stay within local noise-level limits whoever's on the stage, in the DJ booth or in the CD rack. It wasn't needed at the RAI Centre.
Audient launched the ASP008 - a compact, 1U rack mount unit, featuring eight channels of the highly acclaimed mic pre, developed originally for the ASP8024 recording console and the Aztec live sound mixer.
All channels include XLR input, 48V phantom power, switchable input impedance, 25-250Hz hi pass filter, phase reverse, as well as line input selection. Channels one and two also feature a -20dB attenuator and a high impedance Instrument/DI input, on a jack on the front panel. LEDs provide indication of signal present and overload. A digital output option is available in addition to the standard balanced analogue outputs, making the ASP008 an ideal 'front end' to any DAW or Pro Tools system.
This is the first new product to be launched by Audient since its restructure earlier this year. The company has recently relocated to new headquarters at Herriard Park in north Hampshire, UK, to provide room for the newly enlarged enterprise and for planned future growth.
In addition to Innova Son, the other important console appearance was Cadac's S-Type, announced in September and now in production. It's available in 17-, 25- or 33-way frames, typically at 25 frames with 16 mono inputs; eight group, aux and matrix outputs; eight DC master faders; and a communications module.
The 4-band parametric EQ comes from the J-Type, while this desk can be expanded via buss connectors to link a number of frames together. The modules can be placed according to taste. According to Cadac's Tony Waldron, plenty of live sound people had been to visit the stand. "We've had the Dutch contingency, lots of German and Denmark contacts - all the usual customers who want to see the latest from us.
"In the last 10 years," Waldron observed, "loudspeakers have become so good that they reveal things in a live or playback mix that you couldn't hear before. People like John Meyer have been good news for us, because their achievements show why you can justify investing in high-end products like Cadac. Accordingly, more and more people in live sound are becoming interested in this level of technology, and because of that we've addressed all of the issues involved in shifting the large, tightly packed electronics packages that consoles are."
Cadac also showed the R-Type Lightweight Touring Console and digital developments with the D20 Digital Input Mix Matrix and the M20 Remote Controlled Mic Amp.
SR40/DIV, a stationary UHF diversity receiver added to the WMS 40 wireless mic system.
Audio EngineeringThe Micron 700 Series wireless system goes to 16 channels, using MDR762 twin-channel diversity racks in conjunction with the new BandMaster antenna distribution and combiner systems.
Bruel & Kjaer
Launch of 2260 Observer, a portable sound level meter and analyzer. In real-time, it analyzes in 1/1- or 1/3 octave bands, covering 8Hz-16kHz and 6.3Hz-20kHz respectively. Room reverberation measurement is an option.
Low-voltage versions of the DPA 4061 and 4066 headband mics, namely the DPA 4063 Miniature and 4067 Adjustable Miniature Headband - both available as Lo-Sens and DC.
New Asian-German development and manufacturing axis, introducing the DSP-2000 range of signal processors. Among these are the MXO-2000, a 2- to 6-speaker management system, and the MEQ-2000 multi-modegraphic EQ.
EASE 4.0, a new version of the audio modelling software adding more complex coverage and cluster calculations, simpler entering of room data and room mode
Amsterdam's RAI Centre has now hosted three of the last six European AES Conventions, and while this reflects the popularity of the city among delegates, exhibitors and voyeurs alike, as a commercial rope-ladder for the high end it may be wearing a bit thin.
It was quiet, and if the exhibition is to stimulate the local markets around itself, there are other cities that need attention while Holland's well-turned soil could lay fallow for a few years. That said, portents for improvement were visible both in that very local support, and in a few promising technological breakthroughs for sound reinforcement.
Innova Son's Compact Sy80 appeared centre-stage, an 80-input, 48-buss live console based on the Sensory Compact Live chassis. It features upgraded 'Sensoft' software, and with a stage-box can be expanded to create further inputs and outputs.
Company founder Philippe Royer presided. "It's very much the result of consultation and feedback from our end users, dealers and distributors," he said. "One of the main improvements has been in the design. Beside that, it's a more rugged console for touring and there is a new suite of software functions. The user can specify the layout of his console, so it becomes a global or universal console. Each of the faders can be an input - mono, stereo or multiple; a VCA; a matrix; or an aux and so on. It is completely user-defined."
Because of this, the Sy80 is equally at home tackling FOH, monitoring, live recording and on-air duties. A new DSP module in the audio rack expands the capability of the console still further, and ensures that it's compatible with everything else in the Innova Son range. "We're getting more and more end users in broadcast," continued Royer, "particularly coming from the live broadcast production angle. Many of the facilities needed are similar to theatre and touring uses, so we try to provide all of them."
Other flagship desks on show in Amsterdam included Yamaha's PM5000, launched in Frankfurt; Audient's Aztec, launched last year; DiGiCo's D5 Live; and Stagetec's Aurus - again, both launched last year. However, the presence of these desks cheek by jowl with their studio counterparts illustrated the synergy between the new markets better than anything.
Only three sound reinforcement companies took advantage of the new Exhibitor Seminars, all of them tellingly local. Alcons Audio's Tom Back explained ribbon transducers, understandably, while Ampco discussed active noise control. But Duran Audio really took the mouse by the clogs with a hefty analysis of digital directivity control.
Duran's proprietary Digital Directivity Control (DDC) resides in the company's Axys Intellivox speakers, but here new concepts were introduced called Digital Directivity Synthesis (DDS) and Digital Directivity Analysis (DDA). Between them, DDS and DDA can simulate almost infinite radiation patterns of an array, and provide a glimpse into the future of system design for, especially, problematic acoustic spaces.
Singapore - Asia’s most established sound, light, broadcast and AV communications exhibition, PALA, has rescheduled its event from July to 1-3 October 2003.
The decision to reschedule the exhibition was made following consultation with exhibitors, trade associations and government bodies in light of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in the region. "Ensuring a safe and effective business environment for our attendees is the core objective of change in PALA’s show dates," stated Rosalind Ng-Seah, deputy managing director of IIR Exhibitions.
October's show will take place at the Suntec exhibition venue in Singapore.
USA Minneapolis recently hosted the United States Institute of Theatre Technology's Annual Conference and Stage Expo over the 19-22nd March. The show was well attended, 15% up on last year with 3,300 people taking part. Whilst the actual stage expo is quite small from a visitor/exhibitors viewpoint, the conference programme more than makes up for it. Many American universities offer theatrical and drama courses giving rise to a large theatre oriented student population. The annual USITT show is heavily geared towards those students as well as those wishing to go to university, and accordingly manufacturing exhibitors are there not so much to sell their wares, but more to encourage an interest in their products, and also to give advice and training.
The conference programme is a busy affair, with no less than 125 talks, seminars and discussion groups over the four days. The subject matters varied widely, although all are theatre-based. The programme caters well for all disciplines, with topics as diverse as 'hands-on sound engineering courses', 'followspot operation', 'scenery painting', 'projected scenery' or the more obscure 'playback party' where delegates were invited to take along a favourite recording they have made to play back to the other delegates. There were a few more obscure subjects lurking in the programme too, including 'A brief history of the brief', exploring the sociological influence of underwear on civilisation!
The exhibition had some familiar faces, with the likes of ETC, City Theatrical, Clear Com, Meyer, Vari-Lite, GAM, Lee, High End Sy
Rohde & Schwarz's FS300 Spectrum Analyzer brought the rarefied technology of measurement instruments into a price bracket that reflects the growing spread of wireless communication technology. With a frequency range of 1kHz to 6GHz, it can be used to check RF emissions almost anywhere and is just a half-rack width, while 3U high. As wireless connection takes root in entertainment installations of every kind, this type of product will become more and more useful to contractors as well as broadcasters.
Alcons Audio was another AES debutant following the sweeping changes at Stage Accompany, adding to the good local support for the exhibition. Having ported much of SA's ribbon transducer expertise into the new company, Alcons launched the RBN 601 6" model claiming peak power handling of 1,000W and patent-applied 90° horizontal coverage.
With line array to the fore at most other exhibitions, this was a technological statement of intent from the new stable, emphasizing the wide dispersion, the natural cylindrical wave pattern and 103dB efficiency.
As you'll also see from the news pages in this issue, Alcons has founded Alcons Audio Deutschland GmbH. Carsten Albrecht will act as sales and technical support manager of the new operation.
Italian cable and connector manufacturer Link was making its AES debut, sharing stand space with others from Dutch dealer Audio Pro's leading lines.
Established in 1987, Audio Pro's market-stall approach to exhibiting laid out Yamaha's PM1D, Audient's Aztec, Optocore, d&b audiotechnik's E-Series and TC Electronic's EQ Station - a good haul of sound reinforcement gear by any standards. Founder Rolf Dijkstra explained that the company specialized in theatre installation. "We've been working with d&b since '93 and that has enabled us to attract the attention of touring and corporate-event production companies too. We've broadened our horizons.
"But you have to bear in mind that Holland is a very small market, so you have to take on specific things to do specific jobs. We've added each line as required, and each addition has attracted others." Dijkstra added that over the last few AES shows, people have been actively seeking out certain sound reinforcement brands, and that studio and live applications were merging within single products.
"The quality of sound systems nowadays is so good that you can use things like TC effects processors in both situations," an echo of thoughts elsewhere in the show. "But I'm expecting particularly big things from the EQ Station. Companies like BSS and Klark Teknik used to have remote-controlled graphic EQ systems, but have somehow got away from them. For engineers, it's a really handy instrument - especially for the monitor guys, who stand next to the artist listening to the foldback and adjusting the sound
UK - It's been billed as an opera which has to be seen to be believed, and when you become aware of the plot, you'll understand why. Based on America's most lurid talk show, which brought worldwide television audiences programmes entitled 'Pregnant by a Transexual', 'Here Come the Hookers' and 'I Refuse to Wear Clothes', it is packed with swear words, tap-dancing Ku-Klux Klan members, a gay black Jesus and a God who resembles Elvis - the critics are having a field-day.
Also noteworthy, though attracting less press attention, is the fact that this is the first new opera for both creator/composer Richard Thomas and the National Theatre, chosen by incoming National Theatre director, Nicholas Hytner, to premiere as his first production in the Lyttelton Theatre.
Lighting designer Rick Fisher was first involved with the show when it premiered at Edinburgh last year. The production has expanded following its transfer and Fisher, together with programmer Vic Smerdon, are using the house Strand 500 desk to control the rig of High End Studio Spots, Martin MAC 600s and Vari-Lite VL5Bs.
Blitz Sound has supplied the sound equipment for the show. The company's links with the production also stretch back to the Edinburgh Festival last August, where they originally supplied a partial system consisting of a Cadac R-type mixer and 24 Sennheiser radio microphones.
For the show's run at the National, sound designer Mike Walker has selected a range of equipment including 37 Sennheiser radio microphones, a 64 input Cadac J-type mixer, processing from BSS, XTA and Lexicon and 30 Ya
USA - Pixeon Inc, the Austin-based LED effects company, was the recipient of two major awards at this year's Lightfair show in New York. At the New Product Showcase and Awards Presentation, Color Stream was presented with the distinguished Roeder Award. This special award is made at the judges' discretion for products that "truly meet and exceed the current challenges of the twenty-first century." Pixeon accepted the award beneath a specially designed Color Stream sculpture, by lighting designer Marsha Stern. Last September Color Stream - an innovation from WWG, the British-based lighting design partnership - also received an award for product innovation at the PLASA show in London. Later, Pixeon was given an award by the judges for best booth design.
Dutch company Xilver saw its Droplet LED fixture awarded best new theatrical and entertainment lighting product. The jury felt that the product was particularly innovative in the way it combined colours and the movement it offered for a small design fixture.
UK - With the significant changes taking place at this year’s PLASA Show - from the new floorplan layout to new features at the show and some creative new marketing initiatives - the show organizers are hosting and Exhibitor Open Day on Thursday 22 May to keep exhibitors up-to-date with developments and provide every opportunity to maximise their participation at the show.
The day is designed to highlight the marketing and PR for the PLASA Show and advise exhibitors on how they can dovetail their own promotional activity with the Show’s - including advertising placement and keeping the show’s PR company and trade press appraised of new product information. With this in mind, the format of the Open Day will be more marketing-focused than in previous years.
PLASA Show director Nicola Rowland comments: "This will be an opportunity for us to expand on our plans for the key feature areas of the show - The New Technology Gallery, the Central Meeting Area, the Press, Exhibitor and Presentation area and the Association and Industry Trade Bodies area and, of course, this year’s extended educational programme."
There will also be an opportunity for exhibitors to walk round the hall and see the location of their stand space. This will be particularly useful this year because of the changes in stand location for the majority of exhibitors. The timings of the Open Day will also differ from previous years, starting at 3pm at Earls Court. This will be followed by an opportunity to meet the PLASA team and fellow exhibitors in a more informal e
UK - When a seriously professional company like Edwin Shirley Staging needs to get advice on heavy duty label and identification, they called in Le Mark. An interesting meeting between Kevin Wollage of ESS and Linda Gibbons of Le Mark earlier this year led to the request: "Not only do we need labels for road cases - we need labels for our trailers!"
As it had to be visible and remain usable in all conditions, this product needed to be something special, so Le Mark produced a re-designed and uprated version of their renowned PAL Label product - this time with a double-layed background that allowed the PAL Plate to be riveted directly to the ESS trailer units!
Linda Gibbons - Le Mark sales director said: "It was an exceptionally unusual application that showed ESS had total commitment to their clients. The new marking system allows the driver to be 100% certain of load and destination during the loading and trailer connection operation."
Linda concluded: "For 20 years, our Printing Division has been working hard to handle the heavy duty labelling needs of the global entertainment Industry. We like to think that we will always rise to the challenge - on this occasion we had to really pull out all the stops, but we achieved it! It was also a great opportunity to work with Kevin and to get behind the wheel of some serious metal!"