General News

Book Now for the PLASA Show Seminars
Friday, 17 August 2001

Bookings are now well underway for the seminar and workshop programme planned for the PLASA Show. This year the emphasis is very much on knowledge with those signing up gaining an insight into how new technology is creating new opportunities, how individuals have pulled together highly complex projects, why integration is so important and how they can achieve more by picking up tips and techniques from others.

In a programme of seminars sponsored by Installation Europe, audio installation and integration is the theme under which issues of networking, control and the benefits of converging technologies are explored. Tuesday sees a Theme and Leisure Masterclass, presented by Leisure Management, in association with the TEA and TiLE, which focuses on how the leisure industry exploits special effects, lighting and audio technology to create unique environments to enhance the visitor experience. On Wednesday, the sessions move to consider the integration of audio and lighting into building design, the regulations facing those who install lighting, the increasing profile of new media such as LED technology, and the basics of video conferencing.

For the first time you can also attend any number of focused courses and workshops. The ISCE is running three sessions covering the issues associated with audio system design, whilst Loughborough College and the AETTI are jointly promoting a series of courses which offer those interested in theatre a chance to work towards BTEC certification.

Step Forward Mr Average . . .
Sunday, 12 August 2001

A new study analysing almost 230 audio companies and their directors, offers a rather unique insight into the individuals running today’s companies. The research, by Plimsoll, suggests that, in broad terms, there are four distinct types of director.

Mr Average: The study found that the average director in the audio industry is 49 years old and has been in the job for over seven years. The average salary is £25,000 per annum.

Old Hats: the study revealed that despite a 7% yearly turnover of directors, almost 39% have held their position for more than 10 years. Just under one fifth of UK directors in the sound equipment industry are now over 60 years old, and over the next three to five years, as these bastions of the industry reach retirement age, their departure could have a profound effect on the companies they formerly controlled.

Marathon Runners: If the industry is a victim of an ageing set of leaders, there’s no evidence to suggest that their companies’ performance is flagging. Of the 59 companies where these over 60s work, almost 34% are running successful companies - in comparison to the industry average of 31%.

These companies acquisition prospects because the directors are getting long in the tooth - it’s certainly a scenario that predators look for when scanning for prospects. In fact, the study features 32 companies where every board member is over the age of 55.

At the other end of the scale there are the Young Guns. 51 directors are under the age of 35 with 20% of these working at successful companies. 15 of these ‘youn

Capital Sound Buys Meyer M3D
Sunday, 12 August 2001

Capital Sound Hire has purchased a Meyer Sound M3D line array system from UK distributor Autograph Sales. The order for 24 M3D cabinets represents a break with the company’s tradition as an exclusive Martin Audio user. Managing director Keith Davis explains: "Meyer has moved on faster than other manufacturers and we think that this system is superior to any other line array system on the market." Capital’s client base covers a wide range of genres, including major rock and stadium venues, but also musical tours and classical events; from the Bolshoi Ballet to the Stereophonics. The first outing for the system was the co-headline tour by Shirley Bassey and Chris De Burgh.

2001 Tony Awards
Saturday, 11 August 2001

It was a remarkable night to top the remarkable season that Broadway’s newest smash-hit musical has enjoyed since its acclaimed opening earlier this year.

At the 2001 Tony Awards Ceremony, held on June 3rd at the Radio City Music Hall in New York, The Producers (pictured) won all of the awards for which it had been nominated - 12 wins in all, breaking the all-time record for Tony wins by one show.

Adapted from his own film by Mel Brooks, the show won Brooks himself awards for Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical. It also netted prizes itself (Best Musical), for many of its performers, and for the rest of its creative team: Susan Stroman (Best Choreography, Best Direction of a Musical), Doug Besterman (Best Orchestrations), Robin Wagner (Best Scenic Design), William Ivey Long (Best Costume Design) and Peter Kaczorowski (Best Lighting Design).

Both Wagner and Kaczorowski were runners-up at last year’s Tonys for their work on the acclaimed revival of Kiss Me Kate, scheduled to make a West End appearance later this year. This year, Wagner beat last year’s winner, Bob Crowley (nominated for The Invention of Love) as well as Heidi Ettinger (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer) and Douglas W Schmidt (the popular revival of 42nd Street). The other lighting nominees were Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer for Jane Eyre, Paul Gallo for 42nd Street and Kenneth Posner for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

The Producers’ clean sweep meant that a number of other popular musicals went home empty handed, notably the much-hyped new production of Follies, the re

AC Lighting Completes Move to New Premises
Thursday, 9 August 2001

AC Lighting - well-known provider of many and varied items of lighting equipment and accessories to the entertainment industry - recently moved its entire operation to a custom-fitted headquarters just one mile from its previous home on the Western Side of High Wycombe. L&SI was invited to celebrate the official opening of the new premises with members of the AC Lighting team.

The move has been a welcome step forward for the company’s 50+ staff which, after 10 years of steady growth, had found themselves bursting out the seams of three separate premises across two industrial areas - with all the inevitable inefficiencies that the situation gave rise to. The meticulously-planned move to the new premises has now given AC Lighting the infrastructure it needs to both operate efficiently at its current size, and to cater for its certain future growth.

Extensive refurbishment of the new premises has increased the available floorspace by over 40% to 37,000sq.ft (3,437sq.m). The construction project, which lasted five months, added two floors of office accommodation, dedicated manufacturing facilities for the production of cables and colour scrolls, a new service centre and substantial warehousing. The building also includes a new demonstration facility with a 6m ceiling height, adjacent training rooms and a reception area.

The extensive warehouse facilities have been fitted with high bay and pallet racking to maximize storage capacity and to offer greater efficiency in handling of materials. Cable drum storage racking has been installed, with capacity for up to 60 larg

L&SI Sponsors New Technology Gallery
Wednesday, 8 August 2001

Lighting&Sound International, PLASA Media’s leading entertainment technology journal, is sponsoring the New Technology Gallery at PLASA 2001. This is the showcase of all products nominated for the prestigious PLASA Awards for Product Excellence. Situated on the Top Deck of the PLASA Show, near to the main bar area, the showcase offers visitors a chance to check out the features and capabilities of all of the major product innovations at PLASA 2001, in one place.

L&SI will be based on the Lower Deck (stand K19), where we will be offering free readerships to qualifying UK industry personnel, plus special offers on international subscriptions only available at PLASA 2001 - plus PLASA Media freebies to all new subscribers!

L&SI can be found on stand K19.

ESTA Launches New Standards Projects
Wednesday, 8 August 2001

The Entertainment Services and Technology Association has launched projects to draft three new American National Standards:

BSR E1.18, Recommended practice for the selection, installation, use, and maintenance of single-conductor portable power feeder cable in the entertainment industry. The standard is intended to offer guidance on how to select, install, use and maintain single-conductor portable power feeder cables. The project will promote safety and compatibility in the equipment and practices used in live performance and in film and video production in North America.

BSR E1.19, Recommendations for the use of ground fault devices in the entertainment industry. The standard is intended to offer guidance on how to select, install, use and maintain ground fault protection devices in the entertainment industry. The project is intended to promote the use of these devices to protect people and property from hazards associated with using electrical equipment in wet locations, such as when pools of water are used on stage or a location video-shoot is conducted in the rain, and to promote reliability and avoid nuisance tripping.

BSR E1.20, Remote device management over USITT DMX512. The project is intended to develop a method of bi-directional communication over a USITT DMX512/1990 data link between an entertainment lighting controller and a remotely-controlled dimmer, moving light, or other device. The protocol for this communication is also intended to work with the BSR E1.11 lighting control protocol being developed by the same working group.Int

Guidance Notes for PLASA MembersGuidance Notes for PLASA Members
Wednesday, 8 August 2001

The PLASA Standards Office has prepared a series of Guidance Notes for PLASA Members. Each provides useful information on current topics of interest and will be updated on an ongoing basis in line with developments. Further documents are planned in response to the needs of PLASA members. The following guidance documents are currently available. These documents are in PDF (Portable Document Format) and may be read with Adobe Acrobat Reader (version 3 or later) which is available free from

Guide to Australian EMC Framework: contains advice on the EMC and C-Tick labelling requirements for equipment destined for the Australian market.

Basic Guide to the FCC Rules: contains advice on application of the USA Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules on EMC for entertainment equipment.

Standards for Dimmers: contains advice on the applicable safety and EMC standards for professional dimming equipment in Europe. Now revised - version 2.

EN 61000-3-2: details the current status and activity on EN 61000-3-2, the EMC standard for harmonic current limits. Now revised - version 2.

Electrical Safety for the USA Market: contains advice on the electrical safety requirements for the USA market.

CE Marking for Trade Shows: contains advice on the CE Marking requirements for equipment displayed at trade fairs and exhibitions in Europe, including the PLASA Show.

The C.D.M. Regulations - A Summary of the Regulations for PLASA Members: contains advice on the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations. Now rev

Virtual Tour Now Online
Tuesday, 7 August 2001

For those visitors new to PLASA or simply keen to remind themselves how impressive last year’s event was, the Show website now features a virtual tour of last year’s PLASA Show. The tour takes in various elements of the exhibition with views from both the lower and top decks. By clicking on any of the green circles featured, visitors can look at the show floor in 3D and also explore other facilities at Earls Court 1.

Studiomaster Go Into Receivership
Sunday, 5 August 2001

L&SI has received official notification that Studiomaster is in administrative receivership. The Milton Keynes-based company, which was officially registered as Studiomaster Diamond, had recently been experiencing problems with the chain of supplies from its Indian manufacturing plant and had been forced to contact customers advising them that the dispute had left them with no option but to put the company into administrative receivership.

Studiomaster was well known in the industry as a designer and manufacturer of professional audio equipment, a role it had been performing for over two decades, although the current company wasn’t incorporated until 1991.

Its first ever products were power amplifiers followed quickly by mixing consoles for live sound. Around this time the first affordable multitrack machines appeared and Studiomaster designed a studio quality desk to meet the needs of amateur recording enthusiasts. In the years since it has pioneered console development, from the Series II, the first mixing console to incorporate MIDI automation, through to the first professional standard compact console, the 6-2-1.

It’s not clear what will happen next - calls to the company are continually met by an engaged signal. However, in January this year, the company set up a new company simply called Studiomaster and we understand that it may well resupply products under the Studiomaster brand name sourced from an alternative manufacturer.

Baker Tilly has been appointed administrative receiver - at this stage they are unable to give any information regarding th

51st PCM Motor School
Sunday, 5 August 2001

PCM was one of the first companies in this industry to promote the value of training. Since L&SI routinely covers news of its well-established Motor Schools, we thought it high time we actually sent someone to take a closer look. Jacqueline Molloy volunteered . . .

I must confess to not having prior intimate knowledge of Columbus McKinnon hoists, but I now feel confident that should I ever have the need to strip and rebuild one, I would not disappoint the training staff from PCM!

29 of us gathered at PCM’s premises for the start of the two-day intensive course aimed at unravelling the mysteries of CM Lodestars. The popularity of the course, which has been running since 1993, is such that some attendees had flown in from Dublin and Portugal to take part. A cross-section of the industry was represented, including freelancers and representatives from sound, lighting and rigging companies. It was also good to see a group of students from Welsh College, accompanied by their lighting lecturer, all keen to gain a working knowledge of Lodestar motors, several of which the college owns.

After some much-needed caffeine, we were shepherded into the classroom-style space that was to be our home for the next two days. We got to work in pairs, which was a great way for breaking the ice and getting to know our fellow participants. It was also useful for moral support when trying to recall the exact sequence in which the motor needed to be rebuilt!It was also reassuring to have the smiling faces of previous participants gazing encouragingly upon us from the official group phot

Brighton Rocks with Rainmaker
Sunday, 5 August 2001

Lighting design and events specialists Rainmaker recently lit an open air stage on Brighton Beach for a Channel Four party event starring dance impresarios Norman Cook AKA Fatboy Slim and Groove Armada, and enjoyed free by approximately 35,000 excited revellers.

The main focus of the stage was a giant Screenco LED screen. This had been rigged to facilitate a C4 broadcast of the Ashes cricket from Edgebaston on the Thursday through Sunday. However, Channel Four then decided it would create a great local buzz of they threw a party on the Friday night, offering an opportunity to groove the summer evening away with the best in contemporary club vibes with local hero - the Fatboy himself! They then decided to broadcast parts of the party a week later on C4’s ‘Fatboy Slim Night’.

The Fatboy Slim event originally started out just as a just live show, with Rainmaker initially asked by production company Skybridge to supply four Space Cannons to reveal spectacular architectural illuminations on Brighton’s famous West Pier at a strategic moment late in the evening. However, a few production meetings down the line, it turned into a filmed event for Channel 4 and became obvious that additional stage lighting would be required as the event gathered pace. Rainmaker’s Paul O’Brien produced a dynamic lighting design for the stage. Using the two 10 metre high PA towers featuring a L-Acoustics’ V-dosc system supplied by Delta Sound and engineered by Andy Jackson, plus two additional six metre towers, Rainmaker installed a spectacular, highly flex

Australian Lighting Association Proposed
Saturday, 4 August 2001

On Thursday 12 July, a preliminary meeting was held at the Sydney Exhibition and Convention Centre, to seek interest in the formation of an Australasian association for all who share an interest in the art, science and technology of light.

With an overwhelmingly positive responses from this, and a follow-up meeting in Melbourne, organisers Andy Ciddor and Cat Strom (Forcer) have decided to press ahead in establishing an Australasian Lighting Industry Association, provisionally entitled ALIA.

Discussions at the meetings were based around a widely-circulated proposal prepared by Cat Strom, Steve Furzey and Andy Ciddor, the text of which can be found on the preliminary ALIA website -

It was agreed that a broadly-based and inclusive lighting industry association is a worthwhile goal. Members of Australia’s existing lighting association, the Illuminating Engineering Society (IESANZ), who attended the Sydney meeting, took the proposal to a meeting of their IES Central Executive held in Sydney on the 19-20 July 2001. The provisional ALIA proposal was reviewed and it was felt that there were many areas that could be of mutual benefit to IES and ALIA memberships. A business plan for the implementation of the proposal is currently in preparation. Suggestions, support, comments and criticisms will be gratefully received at the e-mail address below.

Lumière de Bourges
Saturday, 4 August 2001

The Augustin Cloisters are one of the highlights of Les Nuits Lumière de Bourges - a season of lighting and sound shows run in the historic French town of Bourges during the summer months.

It’s a multi-site Son et Lumière show - the audience sees the 90-minute spectacular on foot and stroll about 2km during the show, being guided by a blue line of light. At each of six main buildings or sites, they see and hear a show with dramatic lighting and projected images. The show was designed by Philippe Noir and Christine de Vichet. Lighting design by Pierre Boudeau and Vladimir Lyszczynski, sound by Daniel Deshays and images by Serge Fouillet. The main technical contractor for the event was AEB, with Cyclope providing the large format filmstrip projectors. Electrosonic France was responsible for overall show control and slide projection.

Deadline for PLASA Awards Draws Near
Friday, 3 August 2001

With the closing deadline set at 10 August, there’s just one week to go for companies exhibiting at the PLASA Show 2001 to enter their new products for the prestigious PLASA Awards for Product Excellence. Two awards - one for Design Excellence and one for Technical Innovation - are given in each of the four categories of Lighting, Sound, AV and Stage Engineering. Winners are presented with a trophy (specially-designed by DHA Lighting) at a ceremony on the final morning of the show. All the winners will be featured in a special post-show Awards supplement published with the October edition of Lighting&Sound International magazine, but win or lose, all nominees will benefit from full pre-show publicity for their latest products.

If you want to enter your products for a PLASA Award, full details of the nomination process can be found on the PLASA Show website or call us now on +44 (0)1784 482860. Remember - you’ve got to be in it to win it!

Association News - PLASA Head Office Restructured
Wednesday, 1 August 2001

PLASA has announced a significant restructuring of its Eastbourne-based Head Office.The restructuring applies to the Association’s Administration and Membership Services departments, and has been implemented to create a basis for the development of the Association’s strategic plans over the next three years.

Matthew Griffiths, PLASA’s managing director, explains: "The rationale behind the change was to create a structure which placed an emphasis on business development, and at the same time created a more cohesive umbrella for the Association’s administration, Membership Services and Trade Development - the latter being an important Membership Service in itself."

As a result of the restructuring, Norah Phillips, formerly Membership Services Manager, has taken on responsibility for Business Development, with the brief to identify and research potential commercial opportunities for the Association, which can then be developed for the benefit of the PLASA Membership as a whole. PLASA’s Membership Services portfolio is now looked after by Jan Shepherd and Helen Kneale, reporting to Shane McGreevy, who takes on the role of General Manager, alongside his current role as Finance Director.

As of 14 September, Anna Bartlett, previously Trade Development Manager, is leaving the organisation to pursue her career in other areas. Ongoing work with various aspects of Trade Development will now be divided among the Business Development, Membership Services and the administration departments.

Anna, well known to many PLASA Members, has worked

Association News - PLASA Show Website is a Record-Breaker!
Wednesday, 1 August 2001

The PLASA show website has received over 90,000 page requests since its launch in May - compared with less than 30,000 for the same period last year.

The page requests for the month of July alone are expected to total around 75,000, which is around 45,000 more than at the very peak of traffic on the eve of the show in August last year. Figures for August this year are expected to reach even higher.

The success of the site is no doubt down to the fact that it has been designed with the intention of making the information as accessible as possible. New this year is a Fast Facts section intended to give visitors key information about the Show such as dates, opening times and costs. Information on the event, seminar programme and exhibitors is comprehensive and being added to daily. A unique feature is an interactive floorplan which visitors can navigate by using a series of directional arrows and zoom tools.

The site also has a dedicated news section which highlights the many product launches planned for the Show - in fact the offices of L&SI are under siege at the moment with news coming in every hour of the day. The website has been developed in-house by the Media team at the PLASA Head Office, in conjunction with consultant Chris Toulmin.

Standards: We Need Your Input
Tuesday, 31 July 2001

PLASA’s Standards Office is appealing for help from the industry. The office is currently reviewing a number of standards-related issues and would value feedback and input from the industry in general, but PLASA Members in particular. Current topics under review include the Event Stewarding Standard - a new British Standard is to be written; EN 55103 - the EMC standard for audio, video and lighting control systems is under revision; EN 60598-2-17 - the electrical safety standard for stage and studio luminaries is to be revised. Also being reviewed at the moment is the Draft Revised EMC Directive - the European Commission's proposed revision and the ESTA Power Cabling Survey - which examines the usage of single conductor feeder cables. If you have an interest in any of these issues, please e-mail Tim Cox at the PLASA Standards Office on

ABTT Council AppointmentsABTT Council Appointments
Friday, 27 July 2001

Blackout Triple E's David Edelstein (pictured left) and ETC's Mark White (right) were appointed to the ABTT Council at the AGM held in June at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, in conjunction with a visit to the theatre to look at the new technical installations. The Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) is run by a Council of 11 volunteers and for the next two years David Edelstein, joint Managing Director, Blackout Triple E, will serve as Chairman and Mark White, ETC Sales Manager for UK and Ireland, will act as Honorary Secretary.

After studying engineering and training in stage management at LAMDA, David Edelstein began his career working in repertory theatre, moving to the National Theatre in stage and then production management from its opening in 1976. David founded Triple E Ltd in 1983 and has since designed and developed a number of innovative, award-winning products for the stage, which are now used on a global basis and accepted as entertainment industry standards. Having joined the ABTT Council in 1998, David aims to contemporise the image and widen the appeal of the Association during his Chairmanship, thus encouraging younger members and promoting new technology.

Until the end of 2000, Mark White was a member of the team of theatre consultants at the Royal Opera House and in October 2000 joined ETC as a Sales Manager. Having worked in the theatre industry since 1985, Mark's career has included the development of bespoke lighting and control equipment for well-known shows including Cats and Phantom of the Opera. He has also designed lighting and e

Putting the Wow! Into Your Production
Wednesday, 25 July 2001

The PLASA Show, London’s leading entertainment technology event, represents far more than just an arena from which to see the latest developments and innovations within the entertainment technology industry. It also offers visitors the opportunity to learn more about how to use this technology to best effect through its Masterclass Programme. This year, the Masterclass Programme, which runs from the Monday to the Wednesday, will focus on the fields of special effects, architectural installations and audio and corporate presentations and will include an impressive line-up of speakers, all of whom are experts in their specific fields.

Tuesday 11th September 2001, Theme and Leisure Day of the Masterclass Programme is a ‘must’ for visitors interested in learning how, through imaginative design and intelligent production techniques, special effects can be utilised in live entertainment to have maximum effect on the audience. There will be three presentations during the course of the day dealing with different aspects of this vibrant sector.

PLASA welcomes American WOW!Works chief effects artist, Tylor Wymer, an industry leader in pyrotechnics and special effects engineering and the former special effects design director for Walt Disney Entertainment, who will host an exciting session called, ‘Special Effects Ignite The Senses - Putting the Wow! Into Your Productions’. Highlights will include a fun and interactive overview by Mr Wymer in the areas of pyrotechnics, confetti, fog/haze, snow/wind/rain and the new trends in scent technology.

Mr W

PLASA 2001 Show Seminars
Monday, 23 July 2001

To complement the exhibition, PLASA has lined up a range of seminars, workshops and clinics that will give an insight into how new technology is creating new opportunities, how individuals have pulled together highly complex projects, why integration is so important and how you can achieve more by picking up tips and techniques from others.

DJs can learn more about MP3 digitally-compressed music files and how this new technology is already creating a platform for a more creative approach. In a programme of seminars sponsored by Installation Europe, audio installation and integration is the theme under which issues of networking, control and the benefits of converging technologies are explored. Tuesday sees a Theme and Leisure Masterclass, presented by Leisure Management, in association with the TEA and TiLE, which focuses on how the leisure industry exploits special effects, lighting and audio technology to create unique environments to enhance the visitor experience. On Wednesday, the sessions move to consider the integration of audio and lighting into building design, the regulations facing those who install lighting, the increasing profile of new media such as LED technology, and the basics of video conferencing.

For the first time, you can also attend any number of focused courses, workshops and clinics. The ISCE is sponsoring three sessions covering the issues associated with audio system design, whilst Loughborough College and the AETTI are jointly promoting a series of courses which offer those interested in theatre a chance to work towards BTEC certification. Al

Sennheiser Searches for Musical Talent
Friday, 20 July 2001

Sennheiser, the company whose microphones give voice to so many of the world’s performing artists, is inaugurating a competition to search out some of the nation’s best hidden musical talent. The search for the country’s best unsigned bands and artists is being run in conjunction with Nexus Media’s Making Music title, the world famous Gibson guitar company, top British guitar amp manufacturer Orange, leading recording technology company TASCAM, and Mindprint studio effects.

Six musical categories are divided into pop, rock, dance, hip-hop, R&B and jazz. The winners of each heat pick up £500 in cash, plus a wealth of guitar, amplifier and recording equipment, not to mention Sennheiser evolution microphones and headphones. The overall winning artist or group, judged from among the winners of each of the individual categories, stands not only to receive £5000 in cash, almost £2000 of Sennheiser evolution microphones and headsets, a Tascam digital recording workstation, Orange guitar combo and a Gibson SG guitar, but also the chance to record with one of the world’s most respected producers, Mike Hedges, in his brand new Wessex Studios complex.

Entries must be in by 30th September and application forms and details are available in an extensive press advertising campaign or from the company’s website.

PLASA 2001 Hotline Goes Live!
Friday, 20 July 2001

Booking your tickets to the PLASA Show, the entertainment technology industry’s leading event, running from 9-12 September 2001 at Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London, has never been easier. You can now book in any of the following ways:

By Telephone: The Visitor Hotline is now live! Call +44 (0) 870 429 4472 to make your credit card booking or to request an advance booking form.

Online: Go direct to to book online.

There are many advantages to pre-registration. Not only will you save £6 on the cost of entry to the Show (tickets on the door are £12) but you will be sent a personalized badge in advance permitting you fast entry into the show. You will also receive up-to-date information on the Show’s Masterclass Programme and how to book your seat at any of the sessions. Entry to the show is free for overseas visitors.

Now in its 24th year, the PLASA Show will feature over 350 exhibitors - manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of professional lighting, sound and AV equipment for the performing arts, night venues and theme bars, concerts and touring, the DJ market, architectural installation, corporate presentations, amusements and attractions, recording studios, cruise liners, TV and film, educational and religious establishments.

Harrogate International Centre
Sunday, 15 July 2001

A joint project involving manufacturers Allen& Heath and Audace has provided a UK conference and exhibition venue with a unique paging system.

Bryan Waters, MD and founder of Audace, explained that the HIC system required a larger number of output zones than A&H’s DR128 digital matrix could provide. "The first challenge was the need for a system of 16 zones. We wanted to provide the Centre with a single control system that would work with two of the Allen & Heath units." Waters, who professes a keen enthusiasm for the Cornish pro audio manufacturer’s products, set up Audace specifically to provide one-off solutions and off-the-shelf support products for the blossoming digital market. "When the DR128 was launched, there was nothing like it on the market for anything like the price - and there still isn’t," he enthused. "However, the software supplied with the DR128 is for set-up, rather than an operational programme. Our solution, which is part hardware, part custom software, allows non-technical operators (in this case the HIC’s team of receptionists) to control paging levels and zoning from a simple control panel, while technical staff have full access to the two DR128s for the Centre’s computer network."

The central paging panel, which was commissioned for this project, offers users a pre-selection of multiple paging zones, which combines with a push-to-talk microphone to provide access to the Centre’s nine halls, the foyer, backstage and technical areas. Output level to each of these may be set within


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