Theatre specialist Stagetec UK Ltd has recently completed the installation of a brand new Nexo sound system at the Orchard theatre in Dartford, complete with Crown amplification and signal processing from Sabine, all supplied by UK distributor Fuzion plc. Stagetec’s managing director Andy Stone explained that the Orchard approached them with a basic specification around which Stagetec could suggest some options. As a result, Stagetec proposed three different systems, which were modelled on the acoustical modelling package EASE to provide an indication of sound pressure levels and coverage, of which two were demo'd on site. After hearing the results of the shoot-out, Orchard's project manager, Bob Clutterham, chief electrician Andy Coleman, and stage manager Lee Edmundson decided to go with the Nexo system.
Stone said: "Apart from the obvious audio quality of the Nexo, one of the factors that swayed the decision was built-in protection that the system offers. The Orchard is a big regional theatre with a huge variety of acts passing through from rock concerts to touring plays and musicals to opera and ballet, and even conferences. With the usual mix of professional and amateur companies, the Orchard staff specifically wanted a system that was very difficult to blow up! As well as delivering high quality audio and being extremely compact, that's exactly what the Nexo offers."
The system comprises eight Nexo PS-15s, two of which are flown to form a central cluster and a further pair are situated either side of the proscenium arch. The remaining pair offers a
Jules Lauve has joined Theatre Projects as a senior theatre consultant. He joins the project management team where his responsibilities will include management of major projects, consultation on theatre design issues and design of performance equipment systems and advice on facility management and operations. For six years, Lauve was director of entertainment for the Treasure Island Casino Hotel in Las Vegas. Prior to joining TPC, he headed his own firm, Jules Lauve Entertainment in Las Vegas, where he provided production, design, direction and consulting for live entertainment.
Terme Olimia is a new theme park situated next to the Sotla River, which forms the border between Slovenia and Croatia. The complex comprises a hotel, apartment block, village, sports park, pool complex, nature camp and the Aqualuna Water Park. All the entertainment and announcements throughout the complex are broadcast through a combination of 36 Martin Audio Contractor C115s, distributed undercover throughout the restaurant and café bar areas, and 16 custom-weatherproofed ICT 300s, which are found in most of the zones in the park. The sound installation was undertaken by KSL Studio, Martin Audio’s Slovenian distributor.
Sound and light are working together at the Bose Factory Store in Ashford, Kent, thanks to a state-of-the-art lighting control system from iLight Ltd. With the aim of creating a stimulating in-store experience for customers, the shop is sub-divided into different ‘retail experiences’ to demonstrate the high quality sound and home cinema products. Connected into the audio and AV systems, the iLight system is installed throughout the store as an integral part of the ambience control.
Comprising a mix of seven source controllers, one universal interface and a single two-button stainless steel control panel, the iLight solution is designed to be simple to use. The audio demonstrations and lighting within each retail area are selected via a Crestron touch screen that is connected to the iLight system. The sales executive selects a product on the touch panel and the general lighting in the area is dimmed, the product is illuminated and the demonstration begins. The Bose order was received by iLight’s Norwegian distributor, Nortelco, and supplied and installed by the iLight technical team from their head office in Penshurst, Kent. There are plans to supply another two Bose stores in the UK, plus the opportunity for others stores around Europe.
Federal Signal’s contract to supply advanced voice alarm (VA) equipment for London’s prestigious Canary Wharf development has passed two major milestones. The company has delivered a new VeriFire voice alarm system to Citigroup’s European head offices at Canary Wharf. System acceptance has also been received for a 14-rack VeriFire installation in the HSBC building. This is the latest contract for Federal Signal in its long association with Siemens Building Technologies, which manufacture, supply and install life safety systems for Canary Wharf Contractors Ltd.
Philips CSI has launched its new REO CCTV solution ideal for use by security installers in a host of security applications, including retail, fast food restaurants, convenience stores, schools and small to medium-sized businesses. The system handles up to eight cameras and is designed for fast and easy ‘plug and play’ installation. However, it has sophisticated features such as video motion detection on all cameras, alarm and event handling, ‘picture in picture’ and pre/post alarm ‘event replay’, snapshot event capture, intercom and door entry control.
REO replaces Philips’ well-established Colour POS system but existing monochrome POS observation systems will continue for those customers who prefer monochrome. REO offers colour CCTV operation with a choice of either switcher or multiplexer models. The Switcher model handles up to four cameras with images displayed manually or sequenced in full screen, whilst the Multiplexer allows up to eight cameras to be displayed as full screen, in quad (2x2) or in 3x3 split-screen mode. Both models feature a PIP ‘picture in a picture’ box facility allowing simultaneous viewing of two cameras with one full screen.
Marquee Audio has carried out a major installation at the Watersmeet Theatre in Rickmansworth. The company was awarded the contract by Three Rivers District Council after successfully tendering for the audio refit. The 481-capacity venue, which was built in the Hertfordshire town 25 years ago, stages a wide range of events, from spoken word, classical, jazz and pantomimes - as well as dinner dances, conferences and films.
The venue’s technical manager David Mead says that the new facilities at the venue, where the floor has a natural rake, will create more entertainment options. "In the past we have always had to sub-hire in equipment for any band requiring a PA."
Mead confirmed that while the old PA system, which had served the venue for 15 years, had been ripped out in favour of a Nexo PS15/LS1200, the existing Soundcraft Spirit Live 16/2 has been retained.
The Nexo enclosures have been installed as a conventional proscenium arch system, with a pair of PS15s and a single sub on each side (EQ’d through a BSS FCS-966 Opal Constant Q graphic). Three PS8 delays have been hung on the lighting gantry and a further pair of PS8s provide image shifts. The system is driven by a combination of Crown CE400 and CE2000 amplifiers. With so many different styles of presentation, Watersmeet seemed a natural choice for the BSS 9088 Soundweb digital matrix device. "We were unsure at first, but we saw it demonstrated by Marquee Audio at the ABTT Show on a plasma screen, and we could see that the facilities would rally work for us." Soundweb programming
transtechnik has been awarded a contract to the value of DM 398 800 by the Theater am Stadtgarten in Winterthur in Switzerland. The order covers the complete renovation of the control elements of the theatre’s 15-year old lighting system - the venue being one of the largest in the German-speaking world to be dedicated solely to touring companies. New equipment installed includes Prisma NT, Focus and Iris NT lighting consoles, a radio control system for remote control of these, a pair of remote operating stations, an Ethernet hub to be used to network the systems, three DMX mergers to be used to merge and amplify of the DMX512 signal, a digital auxiliary console (Profibus system with programmable controller), a DMX Gateway (protocol converter, Profibus/DMX) and a range of digital dimming.
Transtechnik went on site in early summer and will complete the work this month in readiness for the new season which opens with a performance of Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor. Our picture shows the digital auxiliary console, the main Prisma NT system and the Iris NT auxiliary console (from left to right).
TJ Livehouse, one of Singapore's newest and more popular nightclubs, has had an all-Apogee system installed to provide sound in its 20,000sq.ft venue. The nightspot is a disco, but also hosts live entertainment including band performance, DJ and dance competitions, pageants and game shows. TJ Livehouse, which was converted from a movie theatre, needed to project uniform sound to the entire area, which includes a balcony. Before making the choice, the venue’s management had each potential vendor come into the club and set up a live demonstration. An Apogee system, featuring nine ALA-9 linear array loudspeakers, six FH-18 quad-subwoofers, and 28 DA-800 amplifiers, was then selected for permanent installation.
Silas Rabi, owner of Emaginex, the company which installed the system, said: "Apogee's line array speakers provided the sound quality TJ Livehouse was looking for, normal trapezoidal speakers wouldn't work in the space. Apogee provided the needed power at 50,000W. This was our first use of line-array speakers in a club, and I'm sure it won't be our last."
The 56 products nominated for this year’s PLASA Awards for Product Excellence are currently available for visitors to view on the Top Deck of Earls Court, in the Lighting&Sound International-sponsored New Technology Gallery (pictured). The Gallery allows a one-stop view of all the latest product innovations in the categories of Lighitng, Sound, Stage Engineering and Audio-Visual. Judging for the Awards will take place during the show, by a panel of experts from each respective field. The winners will be announced at a special ceremony at 9.30 on Wednesday morning, at which time PLASA will also present the money raised from the Awards entries to a number of charities.
To view the complete list of products entered for the PLASA Awards for product Excellence, visit the web address below:
The doors have opened at Earls Court for Day 1 of the 24th PLASA Show, and the first visitors are now filling the show floor, where over 370 exhibitors are displaying their latest innovations to the industry. Over 400 products are making their first appearance at a PLASA Show, with the cream of the crop entered into the PLASA Awards for Product Excellence, and displayed in the New Technology Gallery on the Top Deck of Earls Court, which is this year sponsored by Lighting&Sound International magazine.
Throughout today, and for the duration of the show, the team from PLASA Media will be bringing you all the latest news and pictures from the show floor. To follow events as they unfold at PLASA 2001, visit our dedicated news section at the address below:
Home nightclub in Leicester Square, London, has been placed on the market by KPMG, the receivers for Big Beat Holdings Ltd. Leisure specialists, Davis Coffer Lyons, have been appointed to dispose of the venue. The high profile club hit trouble earlier in the year when an undercover police investigation showed there was open and serious Class A drug dealing and usage taking place at the venue. Westminster Council immediately revoked its entertainment licence.
Its closure led to Big Beat Holdings going into receivership. At the time, the established pub, club, restaurant and hotel business operated 23 licensed premises around the world. The sale also covers the range of Big Beat venues in Scotland, the recently-opened Media in Nottingham and the Australian Home in Sydney. The sale is likely to attract a great deal of interest from the leisure industry.
Leisure operator Chorion has picked up three of the West End’s most high-profile nightclubs. In a move that makes them the largest nightclub operator in the West End, the group has acquired Sugar Reef and Red Cube close to Leicester Square, and the Chocolate Bar in Berkeley Square, for around £7.5 million.
The hat-trick of deals follows Chorion’s earlier purchase of the 700-capacity 10 Room in Covent Garden for £2.75 million. These will all now join the stable which includes Tiger, Tiger and On Anon.
The move has left property entrepreneur Mark Fuller, who sold his Red Cube and Sugar Reef interests to Chorion in June, free to buy Legends in Mayfair - one of London’s longest-running nightclubs. Backed by a consortium of investors, he has paid a £1million premium for the lease on the property to Perthshire Leisure, the group that owns Abigail’s Party on Brewer Street.
PLASA is now just two days away and it looks like this year’s event will be the best ever. PLASA is where you get to find out what over 400 of the industry’s leading players have been doing in the past few months. It’s got to be better than leafing through hundreds of product brochures or trawling the internet for information. Aside from the exhibition, there are plenty of things to catch the eye, including the DJ Competition on the Sunday, the newly-introduced iDJ Talk Zone offering advice to DJs, a comprehensive seminar and workshop programme, the PLASA Awards for Product Excellence, the various Feature Areas, and the many events, press launches and on-stand receptions organized by exhibitors. If you still haven’t registered for the event, don’t worry, you can register on the day. All you need to do is turn up at Earls Court 1 and register on the door. See you there.
Continuing their long relationship with the Mean Fiddler Group, sound specialists Encore were asked to specify an audio playback system for the leisure group’s latest Central London development, eponymously dedicated to the Irish celebrity chef, Conrad Gallagher. Owned by Vince Power’s company, the luxurious 170-seat Conrad Gallagher restaurant opened last month at 179 Shaftesbury Avenue in London’s West End, serving modern Irish food, with a bar/lounge situated above. It is open seven days a week. Some 30 Sound Advance CT10 recessed ceiling speakers, purchased from their exclusive UK distributors, Sound Department, have been fitted on each floor, including the toilets and the private dining room.
Encore’s Mick Martin explained: "We have worked extensively for the Mean Fiddler Group over the years - and we have also fitted CT10s into a number of other high profile restaurants, including Oliver Peyton’s Mash. The requirements at Conrad Gallagher were to deliver an evenly-distributed sound system across the entire restaurant, and we chose Sound Advance firstly because architects and designers love the fact that they can be painted to complement the decor (in this case blue), secondly because we can gain an even 180° dispersion, and thirdly because they sound good."
The CT10s are also ideal when ceiling height is restricted, as was the case here. This provides the reinforcement end of a system which has been split into four sound zones, each with their own independent sound sources, which are fed from five-disk CD players racked in
RCF/Mackie has been responsible for the design and supply of a sound system for the new Terminal A at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport at Fiumicino, based around the company’sRX-3000 programmable matrix system.
The new Terminal, built at a cost of ITL 125 billion, is 170m long, 80-100m wide and 20m high, with a covered surface area of 55,000sq.m. It replaces the temporary building constructed in 1997, with the aim of comfortably accommodating more than 12 million passengers a year who use Fiumicino for domestic flights and who, according to recent estimates, are due to grow to 17 million by 2005.
RCF’s association with Rome’s airports stretches back around 25 years, to when the company first started supplying sound equipment to both of Rome’s airports - Fiumicino and Ciampino. One figure that the audio team from Reggio Emilia (home of RCF and now Mackie Designs Italy) is proud of is that, over the years, RCF has supplied more than 10,000 loudspeakers to Rome’s airports.
The building’s designers, CEA (Consorzio Engineering Aeroportuale), appointed ELCA - a long-established Rome-based installer and Mackie/RCF’s agents in the area - to produce the sound system for the new terminal. As with all large contracts of this type, the local agent worked closely with the technical team back at RCF, which was headed up by Antonio Ferrari. Together they produced the project specifications to provide solutions to the inevitable environmental problems. In the case of Terminal A, the main problem was the variation in ceiling height throu
Firepower is the new Royal Artillery Experience, set in the historic buildings of the Royal Arsenal on the River Thames at Woolwich.
The attraction was designed by Event Communications, whose main challenge was to overcome people’s discomfort with the reality of war. They tackled this by highlighting the role in the fight for democracy and freedom played by the armed forces, especially the Royal Artillery, which has been present at all major theatres of war involving the British Army over the last 300 years.
The centrepiece of Firepower is the ‘ground-shaking’ Field of Fire - a spectacular multimedia presentation that recreates what it feels like to be in the middle of a real battle. On entering, visitors are surrounded by various pieces of artillery. Suspended above these are four 5m wide front projection screens. Projecting onto each screen is a Barco 6300 LCD Video Projector with the video sourced from an Electrosonic MPEG2 Server. Overall show control is from an Electrosonic ESLINX show control system, and there are 36 channels of dimming using Celco Fusion dimmers. The audio system, designed by Peter Key, uses Crown amplifiers and EAW loudspeakers with a Bose Acoustic Wave Cannon, Bose 402C controller and 2600 V1 Amplifier.
The historic site is being opened up to the public for the first time since the Regiment’s establishment in the early 18th century. Four listed buildings are being renovated in order to house the collection, including Europe’s oldest Military Academy.
The Lyric in Hammersmith - one of the few surviving Frank Matcham-designed theatres - has returned to Marquee Audio a year after making a major investment in sound mixing, playback, processing and sound reinforcement equipment, to have them configure a new hard disk recording studio. The theatre’s sound technician Nick Manning (pictured in the new recording studio) explained that the new studio equipment fell into the remit of the theatre’s IT upgrade, which is being funded by an Arts Council grant.
"While the theatre was working on replacing its business systems, I set about drawing up a scheme for a dedicated sound computer, which would enable us to produce sound effects for shows," explained Nick. "I then spoke to Andy Huffer at Marquee Audio about designing a hard disk recording system based around the industry-standard Logic Audio software package." The Shepperton-based suppliers built a powerful PC for the Lyric to meet Nick Manning’s specification for a 1GHz, Pentium III CPU, with 256Mb RAM and external SCSI hard drive. The audio is interfaced via a Soundscape Mixstreme sound card, with some effects plug-in tools.
Marquee also supplied a Fatar Studio Logic master MIDI keyboard and a USB card which allows their Akai 6000 sampler (supplied by Marquee a year ago), to interface with the computer. The aim was to enhance the Lyric’s facility for creating sound effects - and this, along with the BBC Sound Effects Library which the theatre has also acquired, will be available for hire.
When this flagship vessel sets sail in late 2003, she will be the largest passenger vessel ever built - over 345m long, 45m wide and 72m tall - making her five times longer than Cunard’s first ship, Britannia. All 45 on-board entertainment systems will be designed by Nautilus Entertainment Design (NED), based in La Jolla, California. Since designing its first lighting systems for Carnival Destiny in 1996, NED has built its capabilities to not only include lighting systems, but audio, rigging, video, broadcast and large-format projection systems as well. NED’s QM2 project manager Bill Havens and the NED design team will be working closely with Harbor Marine Systems (HMS), the French-based entertainment contractor selected by the Shipyard to install the entertainment systems. HMS has previously installed entertainment systems for cruise ships constructed throughout Europe. This includes systems onboard Carnival Cruise Lines and upcoming vessels for Holland America and Costa, which were also designed by NED.
Highlights of the public spaces aboard Queen Mary 2 include the Main Lounge, with three-deck-high seating, as well as a public area unique to this vessel, the 505-seat Auditorium. This venue will be equipped with the latest in lighting, audio, and projection systems for both video and film. The Queen’s Room, a ballroom running the full width of the ship, is also designed for a variety of functions, most notably nightly big band performances. Also unique is the multi-purpose ‘College at Sea’. Used for corporate meetings, presentations and e
The jewel in the British Film Industry’s crown, the National Film Theatre is generally acknowledged as one of the world’s greatest cinemas, offering the biggest and best choice of films dating back to the origins of the industry (it is the only public cinema that can still show inflammable nitrate film).
With three screens showing over 2,000 films, head of technical services, Richard Boyd knows that while they face a critical audience of purists, technologically times also move forward. The principal auditorium already boasted digital sound and recently the NFT decided to review its projection equipment. The 450-seat NFT1 boasts a 12.5ft high screen, and when it came to researching the market for the new generation of DLP digital video projection Boyd scrutinized the market closely before opting for a fully-featured, three-chip DLP Christie Digital Roadster X4, fitted with a 4-7:1 lens.
The NFT project manager, Ed Mauger and independent software programmer Tony Hay, along with control and display solutions specialists Planet Communications and Christie Digital support teams, designed a complex system that allowed for fast switching, cueing and parameter changing of the X4. This has been achieved via a Crestron CNMSXAV control processor and LC1600L 6" passive matrix colour LCD rackmount touchpanel, which has been integrated into an Ed Mauger-designed custom panel with faders. This takes care of the remote cueing and switching of all the theatre’s playback sources - DVD, VHS, S-VHS, Betacam and U-matic hi- and lo-band - as well as satellite, TV and
Baroque, a Scottish & Newcastle-owned bar situated in the centre of Derby, has recently undergone a complete refurbishment of the ground floor area. As part of the refurbishment the venue has had a new background music system installed by Derby-based Pro Technical Services. Richard Anderson, Pro Tech's service manager explains: "We were approached by Phil Meah, who manages Baroque. He told us that he was working on a concept for Scottish & Newcastle at Baroque and that he wanted a background music system for the bar."
Now, Baroque has a definite 'continental' feel about it and what Phil certainly wanted to avoid was an over-active sound system that would in his words "Blow his customers away". What Richard proposed was an RCF Monitor system comprising six Monitor 5s and two MSW 8 bass units. This gave just the right amount of sound during the day time and was capable of having a little more presence in the evening.
Logic System Pro Audio returned from Singapore in July having exhibited at the PALA show for the first time ever. A joint venture with Del Salado Entertainment Pte Ltd, the show proved a huge success and has already spawned several new orders and a great deal of interest in the brand which is new to the region. During his stay, sales manager Dean Davoile was taken to see ‘Bali Rock’ the first Logic System installation in Singapore. The venue features a dance area with a quieter ‘chill out’ zone on the upper floor. The sound system comprises IS8’s running full range supplemented by IS24 sub bass units. Lawrence Chee, owner of Bali Rock enthused "I have been impressed with the system since day one and it still amazes me the level and quality of sound I can get from such compact and discreet cabinets."
Located on a wooded hillside overlooking the beautiful cathedral city of Winchester, King Alfred’s College was founded in 1840 and today is home to over 5,000 full and part-time students. The fastest growing area of work is in Performing Arts, and the college has made substantial investments in its core infrastructure in recent years. Seven years ago, land was bought to develop the West Downs Student village. To satisfy the need for extra teaching space for performing arts, the College restored the old West Downs Preparatory School, a Grade 2 listed building. This enabled the College to create three new performance areas and eleven seminar rooms, as well as a 300-seat theatre and arts centre. The project also involved the provision and installation of new lighting and audio systems that could be adapted to meet the diverse needs of the performing arts courses, student societies and conferences. Dan Neagle, Senior Theatre Technician and Andy Clancy, theatre technician at the College brought in AC Lighting to advise on suitable equipment to meet the technical and budgetary requirements of the project. There followed a period of site visits and consultation to agree final specifications. This included dealing with the difficulties of carrying out a complex installation within the constraints imposed by a listed building.
The final installation included a wide range of lighting control equipment including MX24 and 300 Series lighting consoles from Strand, and an 86 x 3kW ETC Sensor dimmer system. Luminaires included Strand Cantata 1200W fresnels, Strand Quartet 650W Fre
David Atkinson Lighting Design has just completed an extensive design for the National Football Museum in Preston on behalf of Land Design Studio.
The museum was split into two areas, the first being ‘Finney’ - an area which covered the invention of the game, its development over the last 150 years, and what the future is likely to hold for both players and supporters.
Finney was designed with a high proportion of complex graphic panels which were either flat or multi-layered. Atkinson spec’d a light from Commercial Lighting Systems, which utilized twin 36W compact fluorescent lamps. To this he added barndoors and a filter holder to wash the various graphic panels. To add definition and depth to some of the multi-layered panels, he fitted T5 encapsulite tubes to the reverse of the panels. The exhibits were lit with low voltage profiles, floods and fibre optic sources.
The contrasting second area of the exhibition , ‘Shankley’ is much more of an interactive space. Ross Hopcraft the designer wanted to create a strong aesthetical lighting feature to the exhibition, which Atkinson achieved using the Targetti F1 system. From this, strong ambient washes of green filtered light were projected with accent lighting to the various interactive features. In addition to the F1, Atkinson also added Strand SL architectural (HID) fixtures to project gobo images of netting across the floor and graphics.