Installation News

BECTU Wins Fight Over Working Time Directive
Friday, 29 June 2001

The Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) has defeated the UK Government at the European Court of Justice over the UK’s implementation of the Working Time Directive. The UK’s Working Time Regulations 1998, which implements the Directive, entitles workers to a minimum of 20 days paid leave each year. But employees are not entitled to the leave until they have completed a qualifying period of 13 continuous weeks with the same employer. This means that many freelance and contract workers who work for less than 13 weeks have been denied a right to take paid leave.

BECTU launched a legal challenge to the UK legislation and on 26 June 2001 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) accepted the opinion of the Advocate General of the ECJ, which stated that national governments may not exclude groups of workers from the rights that the directive gives them. The judgment effectively extends the entitlement to paid leave to all workers from their first day of employment. Later the same day the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which is responsible for the Working Time Regulations, announced an urgent consultation on regulations to amend those already in place and corresponding guidance. The amended Regulations will not mean that workers will be able to take four weeks paid leave from their first day of employment, but if the employment ends during the first 13 weeks they will be able to claim for leave which has been accrued but not taken during this period. The consultation will propose a system of accrual, providing one-twelfth of the ann

USITT Theatre Architecture Awards
Thursday, 28 June 2001

The United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) has announced that the deadline for submissions to its 2002 Architecture Awards Program will be 2 October 2001. Nominations will be accepted for projects located anywhere in the world, and new construction, renovations, retrofitting or reuse of structures will be considered. Now in its ninth year, the Architecture Awards program was established by the group’s Architecture Commission to bring public and professional recognition to architectural projects chosen for their design excellence and ability to resolve the challenges associated with performance spaces. To be eligible for consideration, project construction must have been completed after January 1st 1992. Among last year’s Award winners were the Severance Hall in Cleveland, Ohio; Theater and Congress Hall in Weimar, Germany; The Lowry Centre in Salford, UK; the LG Arts Centre Sangman Hall in Seoul, South Korea, and the Royal Court Theatre in London, UK.

 
 
Sennheiser for Kilmarnock Theatre Upgrade
Thursday, 28 June 2001

Kilmarnock Palace Theatre in Scotland has been re-equipped with new Sennheiser radio microphone and infra-red systems as part of a National Lottery grant-funded refurbishment. The Northern Light-supplied audio upgrade includes five dual-channel EM 3032-U wireless RF receivers, 10 SK 3063 miniature bodypack transmitters with MKE 2 Gold tie-clip mics, and a dual-channel, infra-red transmission system for use by the hearing and sight impaired. As a major boost to accessibility in the theatre, the infra-red system has been instaled to privide transmission to stethoset (wireless headphone) and neckloop receivers. The system consists of a Sennheiser SI 1015 two-channel wideband modulator, four SZI-1029-UK large area radiators in the auditorium, and 20 HDI-302 two-channel stethoset and 10 R15/O/L neckloop receivers. Northern Light’s Eddy O’Hare described the system as "a no-compromise system delivering reliability proven over many years."

The infra-red system can deliver a true dual-channel output, containing either a stereo balanced mix of the on-stage sound, or, in situations also requiring audio description for the visually impaired, two discrete channels carrying a description channel as well as a show channel. The on-stage Sennheiser 3000 Series wireless system is augmented by a Pro Split 600 aerial splitter, specially built to order by Sennheiser UK, with the receivers flightcased and able to be positioned at any of three pre-sired plug-in points, to provide control room, balcony and stalls control positions to cater for a range of production rigs.

 
Soundcraft Gets Intimate
Wednesday, 27 June 2001

The 12 Bar Club, famously voted the Best Live Music Venue in London by Time Out magazine, has taken delivery of a new 16-channel Soundcraft Spirit LX7. The intimate venue has recently played host to Nigel Kennedy, Lambchop, Mark Eitzel, Billy Bragg and the Jesus & Mary Chain’s William Reid, and with four acts a night, seven nights a week, the new console is already being put through its paces.

Paul Gilbert, engineer and on-line TV webcaster for the 12 Bar Club, knows how well the LX7 is coping with the demands placed upon it. "We’d been using a Spirit Live 3 for years. The longest anyone’s been working here is seven years and the desk was here before he started, so we figured it was time to get a new console. The Club is extremely small and the control room is tiny, so we knew we needed a really small console with plenty of features and outputs. And, as about 40% of artists playing here are singer/songwriters with acoustic guitars, it’s vital to have a really clean signal.

"I visited the Soundcraft website and picked the desk I felt was most applicable to our needs. It’s really compact; its six auxes and four sub-groups are really important as we broadcast every night live on our website. The two sweepable mids give us the EQ control we need, plus it has plenty of outputs. We run outs to the main bar and restaurant, one to the front of house, one to the camera, another one to a minidisc player if the bands want their show recorded and one to the monitors. Soon we’ll be installing AV screens throughout the club, so people in

 
 
To Russia with Celestion
Monday, 25 June 2001

Celestion’s new Cxi sound reinforcement cabinets have been chosen for a sizeable concert hall installation in Taganrog in Russia. Located in the city of Taganrog on the coast of the Azov Sea, the venue, which is sponsored by the large Tagmet mining company, has capacity for 850 people and will host a variety of musical events.

The new sound reinforcement system comprises 20 Celestion Cxi 1022P, a 2 x 10" mid-range cabinet with a 2" driver, and 10 CXi1812 bass bins. Amplification is from Yorkville AP4040s, with ART equalisation, and an Allen & Heath GL3300 front-of-house console. Elsewhere in the Russian industrial heartland, another mining company, Yakutugol, has financed a similar venue. In Nerungri, a town in the Yakutia Republic, an all-purpose music and conference hall has also installed a Celestion system. This time, the system is QX Series, mixed with KR2 background music speakers. Celestion products for both venues, and for the Church of John Kronshtadtskiy in Moscow, have been supplied by PAXT to Slami & Co, the distributor for the region.

 
Sarner Makes History
Monday, 25 June 2001

Sarner, in collaboration with the Natural History Museum, is breaking new ground in conference technology and the use of video streaming in an educational environment. Following a competitive seven-way pitch, Sarner has been appointed to handle the design and technical installation for the Natural History Museum's innovative new Darwin Gallery.

The museum chose Sarner for this unique project, due for completion in Autumn this year, having previously worked with them on other projects. Sarner's brief was to conceive, design and install leading-edge technology which would enable academics and businesses who are giving lectures or presentations in the Darwin Gallery to be able to simultaneously transmit these lectures to specific recipients around the world and have an interactive discussion with those not present at the Gallery. Video conferencing, which will include digital audio and visual formats, will be sent across the world using the internet as a medium to broadcast the information.

The live presentation will be sent via data lines linked between the Natural History Museum and other sites. Video has to be streamed onto the museum's network, rather than using a conventional coaxial line transmission, and this is proving quite a challenge as there are over 20 sources, some at MPEG 2 resolution, and no one product existing which can fulfil all the requirements. Ross Magri, technical director of Sarner, explains: "We have overcome the problem, by proposing a system which will preview the 20 sources whilst MPEG 2 streams are picked up by the video projectors. To d

 
 
Unusual Capsule
Friday, 22 June 2001

When the Science Museum decided to replace the Steel House exhibit with a capsule identical to the ones currently in use on The London Eye on the Thames, it called on the services of Unusual Rigging. The work involved entailed lowering the house, dismantling and removing it, bringing in the capsule, building it and hanging it. Directly below the space where the steel house was hanging was a large beam engine, which could not be moved and also had to remain visible as an active exhibit during the install. The Unusual team had to carry out all the work during nights as any impact on the normal running of the museum was unacceptable.

A large truss table was constructed above the beam engine. Once this was built, the Steel House was lowered onto the working platform and then dismantled. The component parts were lowered over the side of the platform using a chain hoist, suspended from the roof of the building. The capsule arrived in two parts. The first consisted of the side pieces and the second was a flatbed, with the top and bottom of the capsule.

The upper and lower sections of the capsule were delivered in individual L-shaped steel frames. These were too high for the access doors of the museum, so Unusual devised a way of getting the units in by extending the lower edge of the frame and rotating the shell 45 degrees, hence reducing the overall height. Once in the building, this rotation process was reversed, because there was sufficient height in the museum to get the exhibit to its destination, but insufficient gangway width. Four riggers were used to install suspensi

 
Moving Moving Lights at RSC
Friday, 22 June 2001

A redesign of the playing area at the Royal Shakespeare Company's Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon for the 2001 season meant that a completely new repertoire lighting rig was required. And, when designing that rig, the RSC's head of lighting Vince Herbert and lighting designer Peter Mumford saw the potential for some new lighting opportunities, they turned to The Moving Light Company for advice.

Their plan was to move beyond the increasingly-standard use of automated lighting: as well as having the lights pointing themselves in different directions from fixed positions, they wanted the lights themselves to move! The tracking system for the lights was to be created by the RSC, with the drives and control provided by automation specialists Stage Technologies. Dave Isherwood from The Moving Light Company was able to show the RSC the wide range of equipment held in MLCo's stock. After careful examination, they opted for the High End Studio Color washlight, settling on a system of 12 Studio Color Ms with magnetic power supply, and six Studio Color Ss with electronic power supply and the position correction system. The Studio Colors are arranged over both horizontal and vertical tracks, allowing the widest possible range of lighting angles from a relatively minimal rig. Controlled from the theatre's Strand 500-series control system, installed in 1998 by White Light and The Service Company, the new rig has already been put to use by a wide range of lighting designers, including Peter Mumford, Pat Collins and Ben Ormerod.

Anyone interested in seeing the next development in the us

 
 
CP Sound Find Armadillo Heaven
Wednesday, 20 June 2001

CP Sound has just completed the installation of an innovative new lighting rig, plus a re-invention and design of the sound system incorporating several new elements at The Core in Yeovil, Somerset. The club - formerly known as Duke’s - is owned by locally-based independent operator Terry Clare. Steve Howie from Howie Design was commissioned to produce the interior design, basing his themeing on ideas triggered from the complex and world of the cult 1999 Warchowski Brothers movie, The Matrix.

Audio-wise at the Core, CP Sound’s Colin Pattenden utilised as much as possible of the existing installation, whilst also addressing the previous system’s serious lack of bass. He added four JBL MS125S cabinets to the room, complete with new RSE PFX 1200 clip control amplifiers. CP Sound also added a DJ monitor where previously there was none - plus two JBL top cabinets for infill, and another two RSE amps, plus a Formula Sound AVC2 limiter.

The lighting installation was also designed by Colin Pattenden working with Ian McLaughlan. Over the bars are a series of fibreglass armadillos (for those Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas moments) and between each is a fibreglass pod - six in total. Each pod has an Opti Solar 250 projector with oil wheel behind it, shining through the centre section of the pod - with the effect of making the pod appear to be moving and ‘growing’ inside. Opposite the bar are two more pods, with a further four over the dancefloor - each pod with its own Solar 250. Solar 250s are again used with oil wheels over the stairwell and behind

 
Lightfactor Install at St Paul’s
Wednesday, 20 June 2001

Lightfactor has recently supplied lighting and control equipment to St Paul’s Church in Hammersmith. The church is a large 1000-capacity building, constructed in 1880 and the current lighting refit is part of the church’s ongoing programme of events, designed to involve and stimulate participation from the local community. The need for dramatic, theatrical-style lighting is a growing one, with services frequently featuring live music and performers. As part of the technical refit, Lightfactor supplied four LightProcessor Paradime rack-mounting dimmers and a LightProcessor Q24 control desk - now utilised to control the concert lighting system. At the same time St Pauls’ have also purchased three Paradime Wall packs and four architectural remote button plates to control the ‘house’ lights for every day services and functions.

 
 
CyberExpress
Saturday, 16 June 2001

The Dickson CyberExpress is a 21st century retail concept, first launched in Hong Kong last autumn. The HK$380m investment by the Dickson Group of Companies has resulted in a 70,000sq.ft, high-tech development at Kowloon Station.

It’s a full-on interactive shopping environment, offering a wide selection of the best known brands in the universe. The ‘cybermall’ functions as a complementary intelligent retail centre to Dickson’s e-commerce venture, DicksonCyberExpress.com.

The idea was to create the ultimate consumer experience for cyber-chic shoppers. The team chosen to pull the project together included UK-based design and production company Media Projects International, retail designer JGA Inc from the US, Hong Kong architects Gensler, UK-based AV systems specialists Electrosonic and various LDs and directors.CyberExpress’s seven ‘zones’ include Entertainment World (CDs, DVDs, videos, books and magazines), E-World (computers, communications, AV and electronic equipment); Fashion World (clothes and accessories); Kiddy World (toys, sweets and learning games); iCosmetic World (cosmetics and health products) and Sports World (sports and fitness products). Two internet cafés - Exploration World and Cyber Sea - offer connected opportunities for shoppers to take a break.

Each zone has a dynamic mix of vibrant and innovative new media installations, interactive stations, virtual games, video programmes and information portals. Media Projects’ creative director, Malcolm Lewis, explains that although screen-delivered infotainmen

 
Marquee Fulfils Church’s Audio UpgradeMarquee Fulfils Church’s Audio Upgrade
Wednesday, 13 June 2001

A progressive independent church in South Wales has enlisted Marquee Audio to help upgrade its audio system. Darran Clements, head of sound at the Kings Church in Newport, Gwent, wanted to increase the audio front-end and called in freelance engineer, Matt Creed, who has an extensive background in live sound. "The old mixing desk was eight years old; it was no longer big enough and had reached the end of its life. I was asked to find the most appropriate replacement," said Matt, "and so I called Jimmy Potter at Marquee Audio and he recommended the Allen & Heath ML4000-48."

The church needed greater number of inputs to accommodate its expansion and to ensure some future-proofing. "We wanted a large number of channels on a small footprint, and there was nothing that could touch this for quality, price and features - it’s one of he most transparent desks I have used," stated Matt. "With theatrical productions and different band setups requiring a lot of channels - as well as six stage mixes - 50 inputs was the minimum requirement."

The church went on Marquee’s recommendation for the ML4000, which is configured 48 mono, 2 stereo, sending mixes to the pre-existing 15k Nexo PS15/PS10/LS2000 PA rig. New QSC amplification was also ordered from Marquee to drive the stage monitors.

 
 
DAS Cabs Cut Ice in South London
Wednesday, 13 June 2001

Multiple DAS loudspeaker systems have been installed in a refit of 'Bar Ice' in Bexley Heath, south London. Recently acquired by new owners, the venue has received a considerable upgrade to its in-house sound system. Installed by experienced sound and lighting systems company Compa Lighting, the new system replaces the exiting speakers with four DAS Sub-18 sub-bass units and six DAS DS-12 two-way cabinets. Managing director of Compa Lighting, Andrew Matthews, commented: "The 18 inch bass bins deliver superb bottom end that perfectly complements the existing system and are able to cover the entire dance floor area."

The two-way, passive crossover DS-12 cabinets were used to balance the sound in areas beyond the main dance floor and as such they were required to be powerful but compact. The 12" bass and 1" compression drivers of the DS-12s proved perfect for Compa's requirements: "We had to add some reinforcement to one of the bar areas," explains Matthews. "The DS-12s are compact and unobtrusive, but still able to generate high quality sound at very loud listening levels."

Although the results of the combined system were impressive, the performance of the D.A.S. components was so good that it was later decided to go ahead and replace the four remaining cabs from the old system. Compa therefore ordered and installed four additional DS-12 cabs, bringing the entire system up to DAS quality.

 
TTL and Logic System at Springbok
Tuesday, 12 June 2001

When brewer Old Monk required a sound, light and video supplier for their latest Springbok site in Newquay - a former swimming pool which has been converted into a state-of-the-art late license venue - they turned to Nottingham based company TTL. With a design brief demanding a system capable of nightclub sound in the evenings yet with an unobtrusive presence for the daytime trade, TTL project manager Andy Hague specified Logic System loudspeakers throughout. Hague explained: "The main area has a 30ft ceiling height and full length windows along one side, therefore to achieve the necessary SPL, whilst minimising overspill, I needed a very accurate and directional cabinet. The Logic System CS1296 proved ideal. The cabinets are flown 25ft in the air, effectively out of sight, yet still control coverage to 150Hz whilst avoiding overspill in the bar areas. With the bass units being built into dance podiums, we’ve created a stunning dance floor system that is virtually invisible and does not detract from the interior design of the venue."

To complete the system, Logic System IS6 and IS8s are run full-range with the support of IS26 bass cabinets in the bar areas, and are again hidden within the fabric of the design. An Allen & Heath DR128 controls the system and offers the ultimate flexibility of changing the system configuration for daytime and evening use, while an Audace hub was specified to provide localised volume control and source selection behind each bar. TTL account manager Mark Harding summed up the project, commenting: "The whole concept works e

 
 
NXT Flat Panels for UK Parliament
Tuesday, 12 June 2001

NXT has announced that Amina technologies, a licensee of NXT's award-winning SurfaceSound flat panel speaker technology, has supplied speaker systems to the UK’s Houses of Parliament. NXT speakers have been installed in the refurbished Grand Committee Room and as narrow panels along the edge of the windowsills in St Mary's Chapel. A further eight panels are situated in the Public Lobby where they have been painted to look like the supporting stonework. Amina Technologies' NXT flat panel speakers were installed by Sound & Visual Limited and chosen over conventional technology because of their superior sound characteristics when used in open spaces. Unlike conventional speakers, NXT's SurfaceSound flat panel speakers disperse sound evenly across all frequencies. Aside from the acoustic qualities of flat panel speakers, NXT has also been chosen because of the ability to blend flat panel speakers in with their surroundings. NXT speakers can, for example, be disguised as pictures, ceiling tiles or even as part of the fabric of the building. NXT flat panel speakers have achieved wide levels of acceptability in the commercial arena and are now found in buildings across Europe and the United States. Installations include several investment banks in the City of London including ABN AMRO, Goldman Sachs and Chase Fleming; Eton College Chapel; Edinburgh University; Gleneagles Hotel; The Cheesecake Café Bar, Brussels, Belgium; the Hotel Kuunpaikka, Finland; Disco Paradiso, Rimini, Italy; several lecture theatres within Barcelona University and, more recently, London's most high-t

 
PLASA Completes First Phase of Industry Research
Friday, 8 June 2001

PLASA has completed the first phase of its major industry research project, which will provide PLASA members with an invaluable insight into their industry. As well as being able to estimate the global market size for professional lighting, sound, staging and AV products and services, the research also gives a very detailed picture of the market in the UK. For the first time, PLASA has information about the value of the product sectors, how fast they are growing and the size and growth of the various vertical sectors into which its members sell. The findings enable the Association to say some very precise things about its members collectively and the nature of the industry as a whole.

PLASA plans to repeat the exercise every 12 months, enabling it to build up ever-more accurate trend information. A quick flick through the 119-page report reveals that it estimates the respective size by revenue of PLASA’s four main product sectors: light, sound, AV and staging; gives growth figures for this year and next across the four product sectors; breaks the sectors down into sales and rental; includes information on revenue from the provision of services such as installation, design and servicing; sizes the target market sectors and indicates which are the healthiest and the fastest growing; includes information on average company size by staff, investment in training, R&D and marketing.

Members who took part in the survey will shortly receive a free 22-page copy of the overview, together with the opportunity to buy the detailed sections. Members who didn’t take part w

 
 
ESS Superstructure at Syon Park
Friday, 8 June 2001

ESS Superstructure has secured a major contract to build a vast 2,500sq.m superstructure building for a high profile, blue chip corporate event. The contract is the first for ESS Superstructure following the recent formation of a joint venture between ESS Ltd and The Pure Group. An ESS Superstructure building will be used initially by HP:ICM, one of Europe's leading live communication companies, for a client event involving a global brand. Two thousand delegates are expected to attend a one-day management conference, which will be followed by an elaborate gala dinner to be hosted in the superstructure building. The huge aluminium transparent structure, which is 100m long by 25m wide and 11m high, is based in the grounds of Syon Park in west London. Managed by The Pure Group, the Superstructure will be available for hire as a conference and corporate hospitality venue, in conjunction with a second structure, also commissioned for the site. ESS Superstructure and The Pure Group are in discussion with other sites in London to provide fully-serviced building structures ranging from 900 to 3,000sq.m for conference and corporate hospitality events. Both businesses have been approached about numerous event activities during 2001, particularly between September and December. Tim Norman, director of ESS Superstructure Ltd, said: "This contract win underlines our capability to handle major events. London is suffering from a dearth of large-scale venues. ESS Superstructure is well placed to meet this current demand by providing high quality, fully serviced, custom built venues. T

 
Nexo and Crown Project Praise
Wednesday, 6 June 2001

The Covenant Life Church in Glasgow is about to embark on phase two of a significant Crown-driven Nexo installation. The 800-capacity venue, which has sister churches across Scotland and as far afield as southern Germany, has been in residence at this site for over a year and is delighted with the new audio installation, which has so far has been completed by Sound Control in Glasgow with equipment supplied by Fuzion plc. Currently it comprises a pair of Nexo PS-15s and an LS-1200 at the front of the church with a pair of PS-10 delays driven by a Crown MA-2402 and an MA3600VZ. Phase two, which is due to start shortly plans for up to four PS-15s to be sunk into the stage behind grilles so that they do not disturb sight-lines for TV cameras or indeed the congregation, a PS-15 to act as a monitor for the drummer and keyboard player, and up to four PS-8s to be flown either side of the stage area as infills for the singers. A further four PS-8s are destined for the balcony area which is under construction at the back of the church.

The Church's head of sound Barry Nicholson, explained: "We've been hankering after a Nexo system ever since we first heard one with friends down in a church in Wales, so as soon as we moved into our new building, we set the wheels in motion. Despite hearing demos from other manufacturers, we found that nothing came close to the Nexo. The power and clarity produced from such compact boxes, especially the PS-8, is truly amazing. And I must say the team at Sound Control and Mick Butler from Fuzion have both been marvellous throughout, always ready

 
 
Rane Install for Co-op HQ
Tuesday, 29 May 2001

Hayden Laboratories, exclusive UK distributors for Rane Corporation products, has supplied a Rane ECS-Engineered Conferencing System, with automatic mic mixers, to the Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS) HQ boardroom in Manchester. The installation was undertaken by locally-based Akwil Projects. The site is on the 13th floor of a 1960s tower block in Corporation Street, downtown Manchester, overlooking the MEN Arena, Granada TV Studios and Boddingtons Brewery. The boardroom is an interesting space consisting of a square boardroom with listed internal décor and ceiling. The room’s major acoustic challenge was presented by the listed ceiling which has multiple early reflections. Eddie Akka of Akwil Projects, who also installed the original SR system in the same boardroom 20 years ago, was called in to specify a 21st century system. Eddie consulted various suppliers and asked them to assist in producing the definitive design for a new SR System, which had to be simple and automatic in use. Ian Downs of Hayden Laboratories produced a practical system design and specification that not only fulfilled all CWS’s requirements but also left plenty of headroom for the development of future technologies, as CWS were keen to harness the potential of Video Conferencing – as well as high quality audio - via the new SR system.

To improve the system’s intelligibility and gain, ceiling-mounted speaker coverage was divided into six zones using a Rane SRM66 matrix mixer, Rane GE215 Graphic equalisers and a Rane MA6s six-channel amplifier. The heart of the system is

 
Game, Set & Match to Intasound
Tuesday, 29 May 2001

Worcester-based PA Company Intasound blasted open the new multi-million-pound Oxtalls Indoor Tennis Centre in Gloucester, with a new Crown powered Martin W8 system, purchased from the Birmingham branch of LMC Audio Systems. Sponsored by Audi and part of the ‘Sport For All’ initiative, this new 20-court complex is designed to bring tennis training and coaching within the reach of everybody. As well as the indoor system for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Intasound provided a fully integrated son et lumiere system for the inaugural firework display. A specially commissioned synchronised soundtrack, featuring sampled match-commentary and struck balls, was played back through the Martin W8C/WSX combination. Pictured left to right are Francis Dale (Intasound), Paul Collis (Intasound) and Sean Hames (LMC).

 
 
Funtime goes into the Vortex
Monday, 28 May 2001

Harrogate-based sales and installation specialists Funtime Music has recently installed a number of Camco's Vortex amplifiers supplied by Camco's UK distributor Fuzion plc, into two new Po Na Na venues in Lincoln and Salisbury. Funtime Music, nominated as Installer of the Year at the upcoming BEDA Awards later this year, has the contract for all new Po Na Na venues and plans to install Vortex amplifiers throughout. Funtime's Jonathan Reece explained his choice: "It really wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that Vortex has revolutionised what we do in amplifier terms. We weren't particularly happy with the amps we were using, especially on the bottom end, but Vortex is just leagues apart. They sound superb right across all frequencies, but particularly on the bass. They run extremely cool so operation is trouble-free, and they also look very stylish, which for installations can actually be quite important. The lightweight aspect, although ostensibly more attractive for touring applications, is an added bonus as far as I'm concerned. But what is even more amazing is the price. It's hard to believe that you can get such a reliable, high quality product for the price I'm definitely sold!"

Funtime has installed six Vortex amplifiers in Po Na Na in Salisbury using Vortex 4s to drive the top boxes and Vortex 6s on the bass bins. A further three Vortexes have been installed in Lincoln.

 
Oxford Sound Gets Hippodrome Gig!
Monday, 28 May 2001

The Golders Green Hippodrome has been the official home of the BBC Concert Orchestra since the early 1970s. The most recent, and probably the most extensive technical refit in recent years was completed at the end of April 2001 and included significant building works as well as a complete studio overhaul. The Oxford Sound Company was chosen to install a new 72-input SSL console, the SL9000J Series, and to integrate it into the existing infrastructure, as well as adding new cabling for the additional inputs. Much of the studio equipment was also replaced, including talkback system and effects units. Main monitoring is via an impressive PMC BB5/XPD system, with Excel-201s for near-field and surround monitoring. The existing 24-track Studer A800 is used as the standard recording machine and additional cabling was installed for ‘guest’ recording equipment to provide 48-track facilities when required. "Working in old buildings not designed for this level of technical equipment always brings problems," said Stuart Edmiston, Oxford Sound's project manager. "This is quite a unique venue with sophisticated levels of recording and live performance equipment working side by side."

The auditorium sound system was also upgraded during the shutdown period with the existing Meyer UPA-1 speakers being refurbished by Autograph Sound. A new 32-channel Soundcraft K3 mixer for controlling the audience sound balance was supplied and installed by the Oxford Sound Company, with microphone feeds shared between the SSL and the Soundcraft via a microphone splitter s

 
 
Golden Flying from Stage TechnologiesGolden Flying from Stage Technologies
Monday, 28 May 2001

On the 25th April, Golden Princess left the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone and sailed to Southampton, the home of P&O, from where she later set sail on her maiden voyage to Barcelona. She will be based in Europe throughout the summer, before sailing the Eastern Caribbean in the autumn. The main lounge stage on board the Grand class vessel features a four deck high flytower, orchestra pit, large side stage areas and substage area with stage elevators. Many land-based theatres would be lucky to have the facilities provided. A major feature of the new ship is much improved personnel access in the flytower for maintenance of the rigging systems and the large amount of lighting equipment installed in the space. As part of the design process, Stage Technologies developed TanJent (patent pending), an innovative solution to guiding the flybars throughout the full travel of the bar. The flying system uses a variation of Stage Technologies’ proven BigTow winches with patented zero-fleet technology.

In addition to the flying system the main lounge on board Golden Princess includes two stage elevators, with infill covers, a series of cross stage tracks with rigid chain drive for moving stage wagons, a safety curtain, lighting trusses, curtain tracks, rain curtain and Austrian curtain. The automation system uses the latest version of Stage Technologies’ Acrobat console, together with Maxis processing power. The recently introduced Solo is also provided to provide portable handheld control of any axis. The aft lounge features a Juggler console controlling an assortment

 
Radiance of the Seas
Sunday, 27 May 2001

Royal Caribbean International has recently introduced the first of its Radiance class of ships - Radiance of the Seas. This stunning vessel is the largest ship ever to have been built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, and the first joint venture between a German shipyard and an American cruise line.

RCI has a tradition of delivering high quality onboard entertainment and Radiance is no exception. The Viking Crown is the trademark destination on-board Royal Caribbean ships, a spectacular space surrounded by a sweep of glazing, that wraps itself around the funnel at the highest point, providing panoramic views for the passengers. In the evening, the Viking Crown takes on a completely new persona and turns into a major entertainment complex and, in the case of the Radiance of the Seas, this includes a disco, a black-box theatre and bars of various hues.

The disco is called Starquest, and Wynne Willson Gottelier (WWG) has designed a spectacular lighting, sound and video system in the area to get the holidaymakers on their toes. One of the main features is a WWG-conceived Beamlight which has been used to create a cage of 78 sequencing, vertical beams around the dance area. Other effects contained in the feature dome above the dancefloor are Martin MAC 250+s, Roboscan Pro 918s and Acrobats, Clay Paky Miniscan HPEs, Diversitronics strobes and a bunch of neon controlled via Mode Digitrans inverters. All the automated lights listed are fitted with custom gobos. The overall lighting control is provided by a ShowCAD system linked to a Lynx button panel. Two Le Mai

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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