'The Trace', a unique multi-media installation by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and Will Bauer, was at the centre of the retrospective of contemporary art that was exhibited recently at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in Canada. The installation was a 'telepresence' experience where people in different rooms of the museum could share the same interactive space. Two Martin Lighting Director (MLD) tracking systems were used to monitor the position and movement of participants in 3D and their presence was reconstructed in real time in the rooms using intersecting light beams, floor projections and positional sound. Automated followspots provided ghostly 3D representations which matched the movement of participants in the remote rooms. The installation used eight Mac 250 units for the aerials and four MAC 250+ fixtures for the projections. In addition, four MAC 300 moving heads were fitted with speakers and parabolic reflectors so that sound beams could also be directed to the location of the participants.
The Opera House in Bournemouth, Britain's largest independent nightclub and home to the infamous club-night 'Slinky', now boasts a complete Martin Audio Wavefront system which serves the whole venue. The club, awarded the South West Region's 'Club of the Year' title in the 1999 BEDA Awards, purchased units through London-based LMC Audio, to create a left and right flown array either side of the DJ booth in the main dance area. Each flown array consists of five W8S hybrid bass units, a full-range W8 and two W8C Wavefront compacts. The new house system is controlled via two BSS Soundweb DSP networking systems, one of which is tasked with limiting and compressing the main audio input and running the W8Cs, while the other is used to provide a mono sub/bass signal to the W8S and W8.
The German University town Kaiserslautern recently added another attraction - the Riverside entertainment complex. MHB, an installation company located in Bexbach, supplied and installed the complete sound system for the complex, relying solely on HK Audio components. 16 LP118 subwoofers (1x18" direct loaded), most of them flown above the dance floor, six VT 212 II (2x12"/2"), two VT 108 (8"/1") and four VT 112 II, all powered by VX 2400 power amplifiers, are installed in the main discotheque 'Fantasy Dancing'.VT108 cabinets provide all the background music in the numerous bistros, restaurants and outdoor terraces. The dance café Hollywood's features a combination of VT112 II and LP118 subs. All systems are driven by HK Audio Digital Field Controllers, which incorporate complete phase and frequency correction.
Martin Professional's US subsidiary, Martin Professional Inc has been awarded the lighting contract for the Sepulveda/Century entrance of the new LAX Gateway project. Designed and specified by Los Angeles-based Dawn Hollingsworth of MRH Design (Moody, Ravitz, Hollingsworth Design Inc), the project will feature nearly 500 Martin Professional Exterior 600 lighting fixtures, used to illuminate columns at the entrance to LA International Airport. The fixtures will be programmed to change colour and will synchronise with an additional 15 smaller glass columns located on Century Boulevard, the main road approaching LAX. The complete lighting project will be controlled via a customised system of Martin ProScenium lighting controllers. Helix Electric Inc, constructors and engineers for the $25 million LAX Gateway portion of the $110 million LAX improvement project, are supplying the complete job. Upon completion in June 2000, the project is certain to be the largest automated exterior colour-changing lighting system in the world.
Tannoy has provided two individual speaker systems for installation into the Metaforum auditorium at Holland's 'The School of the Future' - a state-of-the-art college used for showcasing new technologies in education. The Metaforum auditorium is equipped for either stereo or Dolby Surround playback of audio-visual material. Netherlands-based MCM carried out the installation, which comprised two individual speaker systems - a Dolby Surround system for film presentations, and a central cluster and distributed speaker grid system for speech reinforcement. The Dolby Surround system consists of three pairs of i12 speakers with a TX2 controller for each pair and two B950 sub bass speakers mounted behind the screen. 10 CPA5 compact speakers are mounted at the rear of the auditorium to provide surround effects. The central cluster and distributed speaker grid uses eight Tannoy CMS65 ICT 6.5" ceiling monitor speakers for vocal reinforcement towards the rear of the auditorium, with the speech system comprising a cluster of two i12 speakers flown centrally above the screen.
The launch of new nightclub 'bed' has been rescheduled for Saturday 11th March 2000. The move is a result of a routine inspection of drainage revealing two collapsed drains underneath the former 'Music Factory' club at a depth of 3.5 metres. Though not a major structural problem, interior refurbishment work will be slowed down at the 1,270 capacity venue whilst the situation is rectified to correspond with health and safety requirements. "It's a shame we're not going to open on time, but these things are sent to try us," explained Russell Pate, bed promoter. After being closed for almost 12 months, the venue will welcome a much needed interior and exterior refit, its new name and a redefined music policy.
Leading pro audio retailer The M Corporation has recently supplied equipment for a new studio for U-Nite, a group based in the Nottingham and Derbyshire area, which aims to offer local people access to opportunities and facilities that they may find difficult to attain otherwise. U-Nite found the premises for the studio in Princes Trust rooms in a recently-converted textile mill in a village outside Mansfield. With the site settled, U-Nite turned to the M Corporation's Nottingham branch. Chosen equipment includes an Allen & Heath 32-channel GS3000 mixing desk with meter bridge, Lexicon, Digitech and Behringer effects units, Alesis ADATs and a variety of microphones. Initial projects are underway and U-Nite are involved in negotiations with a local radio station to provide programming that will focus on music in the local area.
BioAcoustics Ltd has recently installed a new audio description system at the Theatre Royal, Windsor, based around the latest dedicated Sennheiser equipment. The theatre, which was the first in Europe to introduce audio-described performances for the blind and partially-sighted (Bill Kenwright's Stepping Out, in 1988), has also been instrumental in assisting other venues with introducing similar systems. The replacement of the ageing, original Sennheiser system includes six Sennheiser SZI 1025 'radiators' and SI 1015 'modulator' that transmit the sound to the Sennheiser HDI-302 two-channel headsets, as well as a dedicated room for the describers to work in. The £12,000 upgrade was funded with support from local business, with additional funding from bodies including the ADAPT Trust and Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Transtechnik has installed an automated lighting control system in two Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation) television studios in Munich. The company used three Voyager systems to control the overhead equipment in the studios, two Focus lighting control systems, around 180 lighting hoists and 40 scenery hoists. In a studio where two production control rooms are shared between four television studios, the new system allows complex cues to be reset at the touch of a button. The network has been designed for redundancy and utilises Ethernet hubs and fibre optic cables, but the conventional method of DMX patching by switching over DMX connections also has its place, making unintentional access to one of the remotely-controlled studios practically impossible.
Cinema specialist Sound Associates has, for the first time, specified an EAW cinema system for installation in a new Odeon multiplex. Asked to specify a system for Odeon's latest £4.5 million 'millennium' eight-screen cinema in Epsom, the Surrey-based company decided to break with tradition and audition EAW's CB series. As a result, Sound Associates has installed three CB523 bi-amplified three way speaker systems into the four large screen cinemas, and CB259 bi-amplified two-way systems into the others - each stacked with SX184C subs. This combination has been found to offer clear left, centre and right sound distribution across the whole room. All the components were supplied by Sound Dept, EAW's exclusive UK distributor. Boasting a capacity of 2,176, the all-format cinema offers Dolby digital and DTS digital sound throughout with two auditoria designated as feature cinemas.
Following a major refurbishment programme in 1998/9, the Grand Theatre, Blackpool, has recently upgraded its technical systems to include over 90 Selecon luminaires. The theatre has taken possession of new lighting equipment for the main house and foyer areas. Lighting Technology Group (Manchester) supplied the Selecon kit comprising 24 special front-of-house profiles in a gold and cream finish to match the decor in the foyer, 30 high performance Fresnels, six 2.5k Arena fresnels, five 4-way cyc lights and 30 Aurora units. In addition to the Selecon kit, Lighting Technology supplied 15 James Thomas Engineering lighting bars, each with six Thomas Par 64 lanterns and an additional 40 colour-changer Par cans. All luminaires were supplied with the new Trigger Clamp from Doughty Engineering. The theatre also purchased an Avolites console and dimming for the venue.
Six of BSS Audio's new FDS-366 Omnidrive Compact Plus system controllers are running the new Thunder Ridge sound system at The End in London. The five-way X2000 - a custom-designed replacement for the original system installed four years ago - required precision tuning to cater for the venue's acoustics. The four units will each control one five-way stack in the main Vaults system, while active monitor systems will be run from the remaining channels. All will be data linked via RS 485 multi-drop, allowing BSS Soundbench set-up and monitoring anywhere within the venue. The Lounge system, which will again be run five-way, will be controlled by two more Compact Plus units (one per stack), plus active monitoring on spare channels. This system, along with the adjoining AKA rig, will be linked via RS 485.
Northern Ireland-based Moonlighting Sound and Lighting has installed a Cerwin Vega! system into the Dundonald International Ice Bowl in readiness for the UK Figure-skating Championships, to be televised by BBC's Grandstand. The company supplied 16 Cerwin Vega! PS-15s to create a two-tiered central cluster above the ice-rink to augment the PA in the 2000-capacity venue. The cabinets were initially installed on a trial basis but following the positive feedback from the BBC, the UK Figure-skating committee and the competitors themselves, a decision was taken to keep the cluster as a permanent fixture.
Racing Channel broadcaster, Satellite Information Services, has upgraded its studio equipment to include Trantec radio systems. The installation included a Trantec S5000IEM transmitter with two receivers and two Trantec S5000L systems, under the supervision of SIS's installation engineer, Julian Stevens. The lapel mics give the two presenters greater freedom of mobility than they have previously enjoyed and they will be receiving information via the IEM in-ear receivers.
2000 has begun well for the Oxford Sound Company, with contracts being confirmed with a cumulative value of over £1.5m for design and installation work. Included in the record-breaking month for the company are two voice-captioning suites for BBC Television in London, a fully digital re-build and re-location of all of BBC Aberdeen, sound and communications for all of RADA's three new theatres, as well as the new Soho Theatre in London, and the Derry Theatre in Londonderry, and a sound system for the Regents Park Theatre.
The recently-opened Royal Opera House isn't experiencing much luck since its £214 million redevelopment. Following technical problems and cancellations on a run of recent productions, the Opera House was beset by further problems during a recent performance of Sir Harrison Birtwistle's Gawain. The production was brought to a halt part-way through a performance when one of the lift mechanisms intended to transport a performer into position failed to operate effectively. The production was temporarily halted and later resumed - by the time the curtain came down it had fallen 40 minutes behind schedule.
Total Audio Solutions has just completed a full radio production studio installation for South Birmingham College. The College runs several courses from its Sparkbrook Media Centre, including HNC in Radio Broadcasting and NVQ and ONC in Radio Production. The studio, which was fitted out as a turnkey installation by the company, incorporates presenter and guest facilities, allowing students to polish their interview technique. Playback sources range from traditional turntables through to MiniDisc and DAT, while the college's Sadie production system is also integrated into the production suite.
Dresdner Bank in Frankfurt has a sophisticated new conference system from Brahler ICS. The bank's auditorium, round hall and mirror hall were the three areas which were equipped with microphones and language transmission systems via Brahler's latest digital wired - and wireless infra red - technology. In the auditorium, 168 delegate units were installed, all fitted with new hand-held microphones with luminant ring indicator. These mics switch off automatically and the cable recoils itself, when they are replaced in the holder. Software control is 32-bit. Three CCTV cameras in the auditorium are computer-linked to the microphones, so that delegates can be viewed by the interpreters inside the booths, whilst they are speaking.
In a bid to attract top name DJs to his club Infinity, on the island of Jersey, owner Gary Dobson, already the owner of three clubs on the island, recently invested in a new sound system. He awarded the contract to London-based installation company, Tarsin Ltd. Dobson visited a number of Tarsin's previous installations on mainland UK, including the recently re-opened Hammersmith Palais with its Nexo Alpha E system, supplied by UK distributor Fuzion. The 1,000-capacity Infinity is split over two levels, plus a mezzanine level on either side. Eight Alpha E B1-18 bass cabs and four E-M mid/hi packs cover the ground floor while a further four B1-18s and a pair of E-Ms cater for the top level. Two more E-Ms fire onto the mezzanine levels, while the DJ, situated at mezzanine level, uses two PS-15s as DJ monitors. Three Crown MA-5000VZ amplifiers power the bottom end and four MA-3600VZs run the mid-highs while an MA-2400 looks after the DJ monitors. Protection, level monitoring and EQ is provided by a Sabine GRQ-3101S Graphi-Q, also supplied by Fuzion.
EAW has become the official sponsor of a technically ground-breaking club night at The Matrix in Reading, where the company's new Avalon sound system recently made its UK debut. The Extra Dimensional Experience (EDX) is held on the first Friday of every month, and uses state-of-the-art mixing techniques for both audio and video to produce what is described as a homogenous, interactive visual and aural experience. Yes, well we've all had those!
The opening of the recently-refurbished Royal Court Theatre on London's Sloane Square has been postponed because the building is not ready. The Theatre was scheduled to re-open on 7 January 2000, following its £25m lottery-funded refurb. This is by no means the first delay - work was originally scheduled to conclude in May of 1998: this was then put back one whole year to May 1999 and then a further six months, to November 1999. When it does eventually open, Lighting & Sound International magazine will bring its readers a full technical review.
Woking-based B&H Production Services recently designed and installed an Infra-Red system for the Skyscape venue adjacent to the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, which features two 2,500-seat auditoriums. Due to the design of the venues, the location points for the IR radiators were limited, and the units were mounted on top of the main flown loudspeaker stacks. Sky, which sponsors Skyscape, will be using one of the auditoriums as its sound stage for filming the world's top 100 bands during 2000. A total of 60 IR receivers are available for the public to use, with the choice of headphones or neck loops. B&H has had long experience of induction loop systems for clients such as Virgin and UCI, and has recently moved into IR systems, using the US-based Williams system.
The new Jazz Hotel and Casino opened recently in New Orleans, with Lumenyte fibre optics playing a large part in the design. The lighting design for the building is by The Elwyn Gee Group of Novato, California, who specified the 42ft runs of BRB-LEF and LEF510M fibre optics as a safety feature inside the handrails on the steps and escalators. This method of lighting was chosen because downlights would have been too intrusive on the themed environment. In another application, Lumenyte was used to detail three of the four entrances of the Terrazzo stone steps.
The new Levi's Centre in London's Regent Street has an all-JBL sound system that would not be out of place in many of the capital's top dance clubs. A worldwide re-branding operation, which kicked-off in San Francisco at a cost of £2.5million, means that all Levi's Centres will adopt a lifestyle approach to retail merchandising. A major part of this refurbishment programme is the provision of DJ-driven high quality background music, Chill Out Areas with Sega Dreamcast consoles and video entertainment. Models from JBL's Marquis Series form the mainstay of the system with MS28s also being used as DJ monitors. Some 32 JBL Control 23s are arranged strategically throughout the store, with eight SB2 subwoofers providing low frequency reinforcement. The chill-out area uses four JBL 48923s from the Array Series and a JBL Sound Power SP128S sub woofer underpins the system. The whole system is zoned via a SoundWeb controller.