Installation News

Maltbury's Metrodeck in a tale of two churches
Tuesday, 2 July 2002

Maltbury's range of demountable staging systems can be found behind a variety of theatrical performances, whether professional or amateur. But if proof was needed that they are also ideal for use in more unusual settings, then this is it!

For over 100 years, Woodford Baptist Church in Essex has looked the same inside and out, and, apart from the occasional coat of paint, it has never undergone any major work. But, towards the end of 2001, the congregation decided that it was time for a total modernisation of its church and to make the interior more contemporary and comfortable, stackable chairs replaced pews and a new carpet was laid. In addition, 17 units of Maltbury's popular mid-weight staging, Metrodeck, were bought to create a multi-purpose stage area.

The church had a set of criteria which determined the choice of staging: it was vital it was user-friendly, adaptable, demountable and strong. After researching several staging companies, Maltbury was approached to supply the units and, according to Neil Spencer, minister for the church: "the combination of quality and price made Maltbury's Metrodeck the ideal solution. The strength and flexibility of Metrodeck particularly impressed me: used in the church, it serves as a preaching platform and, moved to the church hall, it provided a stage for our Christmas production last year."

The result of the refurbishment was a versatile, open space suitable for use in a wide variety of situations. Currently installed in the church's main worship area, the Metrodeck is in continual use providing a permanent platfo

De Montfort Hall opts for ML5000De Montfort Hall opts for ML5000
Tuesday, 2 July 2002

Leicester's De Montfort Hall is the latest UK live venue to select an Allen & Heath ML5000 live sound VCA console. The console was bought in to form the centre of the Hall's in-house PA system, which is based around Community loudspeakers and Carver amplifiers.

With a seating capacity of 2000, the De Montfort Hall regularly plays host to prominent artists such as recent attractions Louise, Atomic Kitten and Lee Evans (who tend to bring their own PA equipment), and has been part of the UK's well-worn touring circuit for decades. The Hall also provides a high quality venue for regional arts events. With its 16 auxiliaries, 8 subgroups and 8 VCA groups, the ML5000 can be easily configured for front-of-house, monitoring or combined roles to accommodate the varied needs of visiting acts.

De Montfort Hall's Operations Officer, Phil Giddings said of the ML5000: "I'm really impressed with the desk. It's good and reliable and people find it easy to use, thanks to its logical layout." The console was supplied by the Birmingham branch of LMC Audio Systems.

(Lee Baldock)

 
 
Marquee Audio Lifts the House
Monday, 1 July 2002

Marquee Audio has installed the sound system in the recently opened Lifthouse - a three-floor restaurant/DJ bar in the Smithfield area of London. The company installed a Bose system on the ground floor restaurant and bar, and specified five F10 Martin Audio Blackline 8" speakers for the first floor lounge and bar. A Pioneer six-disc magazine player was also installed on both the ground and first floor areas.

For the DJ area on the second floor, a combination of F10 Blacklines and Turbosound subwoofers provide the speaker set-up, alongside a pair of Technics SL1210 decks, an Allen & Heath DJ mixer, plus CD player and monitor. The system is controlled and mixed by a Cloud four-zone mixer, backed by a Formula Sound noise level limiter and two Bose Business Music amplifiers. The owners of Lift House contracted Marquee Audio after previous experience of working with them at their Charterhouse Bar, also in London.

(Ruth Rossington)

 
Warehouse full of Nexo
Friday, 28 June 2002

The newly renamed Warehouse nightclub, on Friar Gate in Derby, has just taken delivery of a Nexo Alpha E system supplied by Showcom Audio. The system comprises four stacks of Alpha E driven by the new lightweight Vortex 6 amplifiers from Camco with Klark Teknik EQ. An NX241 digital controller from Nexo completes the line-up.

Mike Symes, the club’s owner, commented: "This system represents a great investment for us. The audio quality of an underground club like ours is hugely important. With a lot of the larger clubs down-sizing, potential customers/promoters need a venue of this size to build up a solid core of faithful punters. With resident DJ Jools associated with the club it can only strengthen our position in this market as a growing high quality venue. This is reflected in the fact that we’re the only club in Derby to be granted a 6am licence every Friday and Saturday."

He continued: "Showcom Audio, along with APT Finance, did a sterling job of securing finance for the system. It was less than three weeks from our initial meeting to having the system up and running. With names like Lee Burridge, Steve Lawler and Sander Kleinenberg due to play we are going from strength to strength and are looking forward to a successful future."

(Ruth Rossington)

 
 
Continuing success for Strand and White Light Sales
Tuesday, 25 June 2002

White Light Sales are continuing to support strong demand for Strand Lighting's 500 Series of lighting control consoles. First put to serious use by White Light on shows such as Martin Guerre and Jesus Christ Superstar back in 1996, the consoles have become the standard lighting control in the West End and around much of the UK.

White Light Sales have recently supplied new consoles to a number of venues. The Leicester Haymarket has purchased two 520is, and will be the first theatre in the UK - and amongst the first in the world - to have Strand's new iPaq-based wireless handheld remote. The Milton Keynes Theatre has replaced its existing console with a 520i. The Malvern Festival Theatre and the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford have both purchased 520is, while the Theatre Royal Norwich and the Wilde Theatre in Bracknell have purchased new 530is to replace their earlier 430s. The Birmingham Royal Ballet are now running from a 520i as part of their ongoing rig upgrade, much of which is being supplied by White Light Sales.

In Croydon, the Fairfield Halls has purchased 530is for both their Ashcroft Theatre and their concert hall. The Ashcroft will also be one of the first theatres in the country to use the new Strand SN110 mini network nodes for DMX data distribution; the installation is being carried out by The Service Company, who also arranged console training for the Fairfield's lighting team.Both the 300 and 500 ranges also continue to be in demand for West End shows and on tour; White Light Hire currently have 500 Series consoles in use on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, My

 
Into the Deep
Tuesday, 25 June 2002

The Deep is Hull’s £45.5m Millennium project and a central part of the city’s regeneration programme. Supported by a grant of a cool £21.5 million from the Millennium Commission, the world’s first ‘Submarium’ has been designed by Sir Terry Farrell and features various aquaria, a business centre, a lifelong learning centre and research facility.

The venue boasts the deepest water tank in Europe. This, and its 11 other tanks, are home to seven species of shark and thousands of fish. These tanks range in size from the ‘Endless Oceans’ tank holding 2.3 million litres of salt water to the smaller ‘Jewel’ tanks which hold just 1 cubic metre. The design consultant for the exhibition was John Csáky Associates, whilst the lighting consultant for the exhibition and exterior lighting was DHA Design Services, with Peter Fordham as project lighting designer. Lighting Technology worked alongside Waterman Gore to provide the ‘above tank’ lighting, and Electrosonic supplied and installed the complete audio-visual hardware and lighting control system.

The exhibition lighting luminaires spec’d by DHA Design Services include Light Projects AR111 spotlights, Syrett Neon cold cathode built into the setworks (predominately brilliant blue), quite a lot of Encapsulite coloured fluorescent lamps concealed within the setworks, Malham LED inground uplights, DHA Gecko gobo projectors, iGuzzini AR111 Peroquet spotlights, and a Howard Eaton fibre optic starfield recessed into the walls of the Introduction drum. In the ground

 
 
Live Business provides sound for Xscape SnozoneLive Business provides sound for Xscape Snozone
Friday, 21 June 2002

Audio contractor Live Business International (LBI) worked from 11pm throughout the night in sub-zero temperatures and several inches of snow in order to refurbish the audio system at Xscape Snozone, a youth leisure complex in Milton Keynes. Xscape Snozone, headed by former Millennium Dome boss P Y Gerbeau, is a major installation featuring food courts, bars, shops, clubs, a multiplex cinema, gymnasium and a climbing wall. The centrepiece is an indoor 170m long ski slope, complete with real snow, up to 12 tons of which is generated each night by 16 'snow guns' and is kept frozen by a mean air temperature of -2°C and eight miles of under-snow cooling pipes.

While the whole of the complex had its audio system updated, the ski slope had a completely new system installed. LBI has extensive experience of using Technomad Vienna weatherproof loudspeakers in harsh environments, such as the decks of cruise ships, and so chose these for the ski slope, as they would be exposed to the snow at all times.

Eight Viennas were used along the length of the ski slope in four positions. Because the sound system has to cover a long, thin area, delay times are unusually lengthy, the longest over a third of a second. LBI also had to experiment with the delay time calculations because of the different speed of sound in sub-zero temperatures. A completely portable audio system for use by DJs was also installed, including Technics turntables, Denon CD players, DAS loudspeakers and a Soundcraft FX8 desk, housed in custom-built racks and flightcases.LBI's job was complicated further by the sound s

 
Revolutionary sound technology in Bar M
Tuesday, 18 June 2002

As official communications partner of Manumission for the third year - Orange has teamed up with Vestax to provide a dramatic sonic makeover for Bar M. Their commitment to the Bar M faithful is plain to see, with the installation of a mighty full-range Turbosound rig. There are 14 TQ-310 two-way speakers fitted in three independently controllable zones, plus three THL-828.2 sub units. The BBS amp racks are accompanied by a Yamaha digital control unit.

But it’s not just the punters that Orange has thought about - in conjunction with numerous DJs and industry anoraks, they have designed, built and installed a DJ booth to rival all others. The ‘enjoymusic’ booth features three Vestax PDX 2000 turntables, a PMC-400 mixer, a DFG-X2 three-band isolator unit below each deck and a DCR-1200 isolator with anti-phase on the output below the mixer and all complimented by a pair of Pioneer CDJ-1000s.

Aside from the DJ equipment set into the mixing panel, there are two cooling fans, a CCTV monitor, an SMS mobile phone for text requests and an airline-style call button to attract attention when you need more Cristal. Otherwise, there’s a small fridge, drinks holders, and space for effect units with UK sockets!

(Lee Baldock)

 
 
Lebanese discotheque equipped with HK Audio
Tuesday, 11 June 2002

The Lebanese city of Batroun, approximately 25km north of Beirut, has been enriched by another attraction, ‘Void’ - a 700-capacity club which is one of the largest and most modern discotheques in the region. In only a few months, the owners, brothers Joseph and George Nader, converted an old cinema into an exclusive nightclub. At the centre of ‘Void’, which occupies two floors, a large, round bar made of steel visually dominates the ground floor. The floor above is balconied so that guests on the upper floor can watch the dancers below. On the upper floor are two further bars, as well as additional seating. The upper dance floor is in fact the rooftop of the round bar. Sound design and installation were provided by Lebanese HK Audio partner, Backstage Music, with Camiel Geagea primarily responsible.

For the main dance floor, six LP 118 1x18" direct-loaded subwoofers and four LP 112 12"/1" mid/high units with AC 22 controllers were installed. The second dance floor is equipped with four more LP 112 mid/high units as well as two LP 118 Sub. The background sound reinforcement is provided by six PR 112 full-range cabinets from the Premium Series.

Camiel Geagea told us: "Due to the proximity of the subwoofers to the dance floor, direct-radiating subwoofers were an absolute must. The new Installation line was not on the market yet, so we selected the most appropriate HK Audio live sound equipment. Since renovating consumed more money than planned, we had to achieve maximum performance with a limited budget. So it was clear that Line

 
Podd installs Martin Audio
Tuesday, 11 June 2002

Pro sound company Podd Sound of Kingston has installed the entire sound system in new club Oval in Wood Green. Conceptualised and developed by six friends including Radio 1 DJ Spooney and Choice FM’s Patrick Berry, the club/bar replaces a Greek banquet hall on the High Road.

Incorporating various theme nights including R&B, 70’s and 80’s music, Greek nights and an Iranian disco, as well as offering the stage to new talent/unsigned acts, the club will host various guest DJs, along with regular appearances from house DJ Nick Smood, Radio 1’s Dreem Teem DJ Timmy Magic and DJ Spooney, amongst others.

Included in Podd Sound’s installation within the dance area and VIP area are four Martin Audio Blackline H3 top cabinets and four Blackline S218 sub enclosures - two stacks each on either side of the stage - as well as HK DJ monitoring, three Technics systems, an Allen & Heath Xone:464 mixer, a Cloud Z8 zoner, Martin Audio DX 1 and XTA management systems - and Martin Audio and Lab Gruppen FP 6400 amplifiers.

(Ruth Rossington)

 
 
Drawmer provides casino audio
Monday, 10 June 2002

Nearing the end of an ambitious one billion dollar expansion project, the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, has installed Drawmer gates and compressors at FOH and monitor positions in each of its three venues. The Mohegan Tribe created the casino in 1996. At twice its original size, it is one of the largest casinos in North America, boasting over 360,000 square feet of gaming space, 20 restaurants, 30 shops, a 3,000 square-foot children's space, and its own gas station!

The Mohegan Sun's size and grandeur is complemented by three top-notch performance venues: the existing 350-seat Wolf Den, the new 300-seat Cabaret, and the new 10,000-seat Mohegan Arena. Mohegan Sun attracts national acts of the highest caliber, and everyone from Janet Jackson to Gloria Estefan to Aerosmith to Tony Bennett has graced the Mohegan Sun stage. Lead audio engineer Gene Mulcahy explained that choosing Drawmer gates and compressors was part of the venue’s policy of choosing high-end sound reinforcement equipment: "I can select any equipment in the world because we have the backing and the motivation to put together an engineer's dream rig. If you look at any professional tour demand that comes in, it's all Drawmer."

Between the three venues, 16 Drawmer DS201 dual channel gates and 20 Drawmer DL251 spectral compressors provide processing power at FOH and monitors (the FOH and monitor stations are identical in each venue). A handful of DS404 quad gates adds to the count in the Wolf's Den. The DS201 dual gate features ‘frequency conscious’ gating along wit

 
Marquee handles install at Home Bar and Restaurant
Tuesday, 4 June 2002

Marquee Audio has recently installed the entire sound system in the basement nightclub area of the new Home Bar and Restaurant in Shoreditch. Covering five zones in total, four F12 Martin Audio Full Range 12" + 1" multi-angled enclosures have been installed in the DJ area, along with an Allen &Heath DJ Mixer and control equipment, which includes a BSS Electronic Crossover. Two F8 Martin Audio Blackline 8" speakers have been mounted in the bar, two in the VIP area and a further two in the lower entrance. Neil Gregory, who runs the venue with partner Des Byrne, said: "Marquee were recommended to me by the people at Canteloupe and we are very happy with what they have done. They put the whole spec together, recommending the Martin Audio speakers, and we are delighted with the overall sound system."

(Ruth Rossington)

 
 
A.C. Lighting Special Projects at The Watermans
Wednesday, 29 May 2002

During a total refurbishment of The Watermans Arts Centre in Brentford, technical director Andy Mahaffey selected the Special Projects division of A.C. Lighting Ltd, to install the architectural lighting and audio solutions.

The first stage of the project involved architectural lighting, comprising clusters of three 500W fresnels, each fitted with an amber filter; these were used to give a soft glow of light to the stage and bar area. The second stage covered the event and effects lighting system; this employs custom internally wired bars, all with switched and dimmed outlets, as well as DMX connections. A Jands Event 24/120 console was also supplied, which provides control over all functions of the system. The audio requirements were the final stage of the installation and AC were handed the brief of providing infra-red hard of hearing systems in both the theatre and cinema complexes. With in-depth knowledge gained from similar projects, Peter Keiderling, special projects manager at A.C. Lighting, specified Sennheiser SZI 1015-T transmitters, and R150 receiver earphones.

(Ruth Rossington)

 
Lightfactor waxes lyricalLightfactor waxes lyrical
Wednesday, 29 May 2002

Lightfactor Sales has supplied the majority of the lighting fixtures for two completely new floors and a refitted entrance area at the famous Madame Tussauds Waxworks exhibition in Amsterdam. The supply includes a wide variety of instruments - nearly 500 James Thomas MR16 ‘Birdies’ with integral dimmer - chosen for their neat, unobtrusive appearance; MAD ITM moving lights; LDR Tempo fresnels with long-life bulbs; Optikinetics GoboPro fixtures, and customised Thomas PAR 36 and 46 cans, utilizing 12.8 Volt halogen sealed beam units - to produce a tight, crisp beam. These lights are mounted on custom Internally wired bars also manufactured by James Thomas.

Lightfactor also supplied AVR colour-changing down-lighters and special connection cables, surface-mounted UV fittings, chandelier bulbs and several hundred metres of three-circuit tracking. LightProcessor Power Station II dimmers powered areas where fixtures were not powered by the track. For the entrance area downstairs from the exhibition, Lightfactor supplied ETC Source Four profiles and PARs, mounted on specially fabricated curved IWBs - again supplied by James Thomas to the client’s specification. One of the more offbeat touches is the admissions price list in the entrance. This is created by rear-projection onto a piece of frosted glass by an LDR Soffio profile, which uses the Phillips CDMT 150W lamp, containing a high-resolution glass gobo. A High End Technobeam is used for secondary imaging in the entrance, whilst another Power Station II dims the generic lighting in that area.

The £2.6 milli

 
 
Theatres on the Bay selects CadacTheatres on the Bay selects Cadac
Wednesday, 29 May 2002

Cadac Electronics Plc reports that it is supplying four J-Type Live production consoles in a prestigious contract with Singapore's brand new Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, which opens on 12th October this year, following a 10-year multi-million dollar building project.

The J-Types will be used in two spaces - in the main 2000-seat theatre and in the 1600-seat concert hall - with each space having a console located in its own dedicated control room, plus another console for the FOH mix position. This is complemented by two floating 24-input extension frames that can be deployed whenever needed. The desks arrive on-site in early June, with Cadac working closely with Esplanade's sound team to provide on-site training sessions to ensure a smooth, fast commissioning process.

Production Manager Kenny Wong explains: "Our mission is to make Esplanade totally accessible. It may sound obvious, but we wanted to specify equipment that would be used as much as possible - meaning that it had to be able to fulfil just about every possible requirement. We felt that by investing in the best, we would be able to help reduce the cost of productions and pass the savings on in terms of lower ticket prices. In conjunction with our theatre consultants, TPC, we began chasing the elusive ‘industry choice’ for every piece of equipment. In terms of deciding which mixing console to go with, we looked at what types of production would make the heaviest demands - namely, the musical. Looking at the majority of musicals out there in West End, Broadway and touring the world, the ma

 
Scottish Parliament scores virtual first
Monday, 27 May 2002

Today, the Scottish Parliament will move to Aberdeen for a week. This will be the first time ever that the Parliament has met in Aberdeen, Scotland’s third largest city and the oil capital of Europe. While in its temporary home, the Parliament will score another first, using virtual studio technology, installed and operated by Metro Ecosse.

Using For-A’s state-of-the-art digiWarp-EX technology, Metro Ecosse has created a virtual parliamentary newsroom from which material will be webcast on the Parliament’s website. The virtual studio will provide a modern news setting for a variety of interviews and features, and will incorporate a video screen depicting a virtual image of the Parliament’s new Holyrood site, currently under construction. There will also be a computer-generated image of the interior of the new building, from which the presenter can continue studio-based interviews. Footage will also be created of a Virtual Planned Parliament Chamber, allowing people to see how the Parliament will look. This footage will be available for use in future virtual studio projects. Commenting on the innovation, Alan Smart, head of broadcast at the Scottish Parliament, said: "The Scottish Parliament is a modern and forward-looking institution. We are anxious to harness the power of the latest technologies and the virtual studio is a prime example of this."

Metro Ecosse is the approved supplier of audiovisual equipment to the Scottish Parliament. Oscar Askin, director, added: "Metro Ecosse has worked with the Scottish Parliament for the pa

 
 
Mackie/EAW team up for Marquee Installations
Thursday, 23 May 2002

Marquee Installations have carried out the latest audio-visual fit-out for Six Continents, in their roll-out of the Edwards brand. In Swindon, they have again chosen the combination of Mackie and EAW components, following the design model originally created with Orritt Electronics.

Marquee Installations' Mark Brown says that all the installations include multiples of Mackie Monitor 8s and 5s, underpinned by MSW8 subs, providing the environmental sound on both the ground and first floors. "We choose these because they are compact and discreet, produce a good sound and have a wonderful tonal balance."

On the dance floor, they specify EAW speakers in the form of JF290Zs, reinforced by FR250Z subs. The four mid-highs are flown while the pair of bass bins are ground-stacked. Brown adds that correct speaker positioning is vital in achieving the transparency of sound that Six Continents' brand supremo, Doug Chadd, is seeking. "Fortunately, the space in Swindon lends itself to good distribution," he says.

Marquee Installations' other secret weapon is the BSS Soundweb, into which they load four pre-determined sound thresholds, dependent on the time of day, each with its own tailored EQ. During the daylight hours the system is fed from a 'customer-profiled' Rolec hard drive computer, and by night a DJ operates. In the DJ booth we find three Pioneer CDJ-500s CD players, and an Ecler 8-input mixer.

(Lee Baldock)

 
Free advice for UK designers and architects
Wednesday, 22 May 2002

With recent revisions to Building Regulations concerning conservation of fuel and power coming into effect, UK architects and building design professionals will be pleased to hear that a design advice service offered by the Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme (EEBPp), to improve the energy efficiency of all building projects is available to them free of charge.

Design Advice offers all organizations, from both public and private sectors, free, objective advice on how to maximize both the financial and environmental benefits of providing quality built environments with minimum operation costs. As part of the campaign, Design Advice is offering free independent site energy assessments for new build and refurbishment projects with a floor area of 500sq.m or above. The assessment will be undertaken by one of a network of 160 specialist consultants and will assess every aspect of the design’s use of energy, offering key recommendations on increasing energy efficiency, making environmental improvements and saving money.

For further information on the free consultation call the Energy Efficiency Best Practice programme helpline on 0800 585794 and ask for information on Design Advice.

(Ruth Rossington)

 
 
BFI Moving Pictures Exhibition
Monday, 20 May 2002

Moving Pictures is a new touring exhibition exploring the experience of going to the cinema and watching television, celebrating both the past and present, as well as looking to the future of digital technology.

The exhibition showcases favourites from the extensive collection of film and television material held by the BFI chosen from thousands of films, programmes and production materials. David Atkinson Lighting Design was contacted by Land Design Studio to come up with a cost effective, flexible and dynamic lighting design to cope with the scope and scale of the exhibits, as well as the touring schedule. Land devised a bespoke modular steel system, with the resulting architectural solution having something of a warehouse feel.

As the designers wanted to use colour to define areas within the exhibition, Atkinson chose to use a large quantity of Encapsulite fluorescent fittings, sleeved in varying colours, which were set into acrylic panels. A grid wall system with steel mesh panels suggesting a studio atmosphere was lit by industrial MR16 low voltage fittings fitted with the new BLV lamp, which produced a cool six Kelvin colour temperature.

By simply utilizing Fluorescent and low voltage sources it was enough to give the impact required to create a very stimulating exhibition.

 
CP Sound large in ManchesterCP Sound large in Manchester
Monday, 20 May 2002

CP Sound, the creative audio design and installation specialist, has completed two major projects in Manchester. Both are new build venues within a few hundred metres of one another, and both now feature sound systems designed by CP’s Colin Pattenden, featuring a variety of JBL speakers powered by RSE amplifiers.

At Waxy O’Connors, part of The Printworks complex, the acoustic challenge was to produce a clean multi-layered system. The Waxy’s site is a busy, good looking labyrinthine complex of passageways, spaces, snugs, small meeting/drinking rooms and several bars, spread across four floors. A stunning stripped wood, sculptured tree stretches up through a high atrium space slicing vertically through all four floors. Pattenden - who has also designed and supplied sound for the very successful Waxy’s sites in London and Glasgow - has used a mix of JBL speakers, including Control 25s, Control 28s and SB2 subs, all driven by RSE amps. CP Sound also supplied a Rolec hard drive computer music system for backgrounds music, and spec’d the separate CD player source for the toilets. Waxy’s sound is divided into eight individually-controllable zones - all fed through a Cloud Zone 8. The picture was completed, audio-wise, with a DJ set up, designed to plug in to the Red Room, consisting of a Denon DN-1800 twin CD player and a Citronic CDM 10:4 mixer to feed the whole building as required.

The Zinc Bar & Grill is the latest in a series of Conran Restaurant sites for which CP Sound has designed the audio. Once again, the brief was for excellent so

 
 
Coup for Westminster Theatre campaign
Monday, 20 May 2002

A surprise last minute decision from Lord Falconer, Minister of State at the DTLR, agreed with Save London's Theatres Campaign's request to 'call-in' Westminster’s decision to demolish the Westminster Theatre. Falconer's finding has given new heart to the campaign which had all but given up hope of a reprieve for this unique theatre and arts centre. The final decision on its fate will now be in the hands of the Secretary of State following a full Public Inquiry which is likely to take place this summer.

The Secretary of State has declared that he is 'very selective' about 'calling-in' planning applications, and usually only takes this step if 'planning issues of more than local importance are involved' and 'that the application is one that he ought to decide himself because he considers the proposals may conflict with national and regional policies on important matters.' This vindicates the Save London's Theatres Campaign which has made a strong case for 'calling-in' believing that the demolition of the Westminster Theatre could create a dangerous precedent.

The Campaign has been battling with the owners and Westminster City Council for six years now to save the Westminster, which they feel is so much more than just a theatre. The campaign has received backing from a number of high profile individuals, including Paul Scofield CH, Sir Donald Sinden and Corin Redgrave, not to mention the support of key organizations such as Equity, the Musician's Union and the Cinema Theatre Association. English Heritage is also opposed to the demolition.

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The Birmingham Hippodrome
Monday, 20 May 2002

Dramatic changes are taking place in the middle of Birmingham. Much of the city centre appears to be under construction, and - as increasingly seems to be the case in such projects - the civic redevelopment has been led by the artistic facilities at its heart: the Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre has recently completed a development project that lasted almost two years.

Following a £24 million National Lottery Award through the Arts Council of England and further support from the European Regional development Fund, Birmingham City Council, donations from businesses and individuals and funds raised through appeal, the project has seen practically every part of the building reworked. The foyers were demolished and re-built providing greatly improved access, including lift and disabled access, together with a restaurant and other catering facilities - all wrapped within a design that feels light and airy. On the other side of the building, the purchase of adjacent land has allowed for the creation of a new complex housing facilities for the Hippodrome, the Birmingham Royal Ballet, which uses the Hippodrome as its home base, and DanceXchange - the national dance agency for the West Midlands.

Expansion back from the stage has also allowed the most useful improvement to the theatre as far as those who tour into it will be concerned: the building has always been blessed with an enormous stage, but unfortunately it is 3.5m below street level, and the get-in has always been slowed by having to use a lift and/or ramp. Now, a new rear-stage extension houses a 15m lift that can c

 
 
Tega install Hull University’s AsylumTega install Hull University’s Asylum
Thursday, 16 May 2002

Hull company Tega has recently completed the installation of sound and lighting at Hull University Union’s new venue, ‘Asylum’. The union building, dating from the seventies, has never had a proper venue for events, and until recently the refectory area was pressed into service. This was far from ideal as equipment had to be removed after every event, and the ceiling height was less than 10 feet.

The long-awaited new venue has been designed by Big Blue and features a large stage, sprung dancefloor, DJ booth and bar area with permanently installed sound and effects lighting. Tega have worked closely with the University on many events in the past, and, as a result of their good support service, were awarded the sound and lighting contract. The main sound system uses the Union’s eight existing EAW KF650 boxes, which are flown above the stage on custom-designed frames. The eight SB600 sub bins are located beneath the stage along with two Logic System CS1000SB subs to augment the system’s lower frequencies. In the bar area are eight Mackie ART300 speakers, with a further four providing stage fill. The main system is powered by Chevin Research amplifiers (2 x A1000, 2 x A3000 and 5 x A6000), and the Mackie speakers are powered by QSC amplifiers. The system is controlled using a Peavey MediaMatrix Xframe-88 system which allows zoning of the main and bar speakers, and provides limiting and crossover functions for all speakers.

Chris Ford of Tega selected the Peavey unit because of its flexibility. "The beauty of the Xframe system is that, with

 
Middlesborough Empire sticks with Martin
Wednesday, 15 May 2002

One of the UK’s most notable dance venues, the Middlesborough Empire, has continued its systematic sound upgrade with Martin Audio by turning the upper circle of the famous old theatre into a self-contained 500-capacity ’70s themed venue. Co-owner Barry Faulkner confirmed that a new Blackline system had been imported to complement the powerful Wavefront rig (eight W8C, 12 WSX subs) downstairs, which pumps music from the nation’s top DJs into the 1100-capacity main auditorium.

The club’s relationship with Martin Audio began when design engineer Rod Short joined the High Wycombe-based manufacturers back in April 1995. Rod had designed the original club system at The Empire, while working with his previous company - but quickly turned the club round to Martin. This time around he designed a system which was supplied through Dial Sound & Lighting in Yorkshire. Four flown Blackline H2s service the upper mids, while a similar complement of S218s create the sub-bass impact - one pair either side of the DJ rostrum, which is situated in the centre of the room. The system is tuned through Martin’s dedicated M3 Blackline controller and powered by Martin MA1400 amplifiers. A further pair of Blackline F10s act as DJ monitors.

Faulkner told us: "We wanted to create our own 70s room, with disco and jazz funk, by refreshing the space. So we blocked it off from the upper circle - and replaced the infill speakers. We have a long relationship with Rod Short so it was natural we should ask him to design the system."

The venue today trades three or

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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