Saffron Walden-based Tannoy-Audix Systems has secured the contract to supply and commission the public address system on P&O's new Grand Class cruise ships - Grand Princess III and Grand Princess IV. The US$1.25m contract is the latest stage in a long-standing relationship between the two companies, and follows Tannoy-Audix's recent success in winning the PA and general alarm systems contracts for two luxury cruise liners being built in Mississippi for Classic Voyages. These ships, the largest ever built in the US, will each accommodate 1,900 passengers, and will begin service in 2003 and 2004.
Jonny Ringo's, Ultimate Leisure's newest venue in Newcastle combines a two-storey café/bar/restaurant with cutting-edge Internet and satellite TV technology. Total Audio Solutions provided a zoned sound system for the venue, to complement the unique video and computer system being installed by Tyneside's Sound & Vision Network. The system is based around Sony's SRP-S900 full-range loudspeakers, SRP-B1000P subs and SRP-P26 power amps, and controlled by the new SRP-F300 digital audio processor, used to provide multiple audio zones, crossover functions, delay, EQ and limiting. S&VN's Brian Howells said: "We saw the F300 as a great advance for this type of installation, where there are no technical people around. We can just set the whole system up, program as many memories as the staff need, and lock it off."
The latest addition to the Po Na Na chain, Reading's Fez Club, is the first Po Na Na establishment to offer live entertainment, and is also the first to feature a solely Turbsound sound reinforcement system. The re-vamped venue, formerly Alleycats, makes use of the the existing four stacks of Floodlight system serviced (comprising mid-highs and bass units), which Turbosound refurbished and redesigned, adding extra enclosures to create a powerful main system, with the installation carried out by Tarsin. The additional Turbosound units specified include 16 Turbosound TCS-30 enclosures feeding the intimate lower-level setting, supported by two TCS-215 front-loaded subwoofers. Two Impact 121 full-range loudspeakers provide the monitoring for the DJ and a further two TCS-40s create the delay around the main room. Two more TCS-40s provide the VIP area with a dedicated feed.
City Theatrical's Autoyokes have been specified for the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints' new conference centre in Salt Lake City, Utah. 50 Autoyoke fixtures, used with ETC Source Four luminaires, will be installed at the 21,000-seat Assembly Hall. The Autoyokes, which are equipped with AutoIris and 50-degree lens tubes and have 16-bit pan and tilt resolution, were specified by lighting consultant Auerbach + Associates.
Tannoy's Dual Concentric loudspeakers have been installed at the popular Cheers bar and restaurant in London's West End, by Twickenham-based installer ADC & Company. The new system was required after the venue changed hands and acquired a 3am licence, as the existing system did not have the power and flexibility to deal with day and night-time use. Four Tannoy i15 speakers cover the main bar area, while the newly-created dance floor is served by four Tannoy i12 and two T40 sub-bass speakers. All amplification is from QSC. A smaller dance area uses four i8 Dual Concentrics, with two portable T12s in the entrance cafe-bar. All zones are controlled by Tannoy's TX controllers.
Gearhouse plc and theatre and concert structures specialist Kayam (designers of the Tensile 1) have agreed to combine the operation of the Tensile 1 and Valhalla structures. From the same designers as the Kayam structure, Tensile 1 is the world's largest transportable venue, accommodating up to 22,500 people under one roof. The Kayam is already a familiar feature at music events throughout Europe, and to meet the demand for larger structures, the Kayam Concert Tent was introduced in 1998, and this year a third structure, the Valhalla, has been added to the Kayam group to meet the demand for even higher clearances and larger clearspans. With Valhalla and the Gearhouse Tensile 1 offering a similar specification, grouping all four structures under the one umbrella became an obvious move forward. The two companies can now offer anything up to 30,000sq.m in a single, versatile package.
The small Yorkshire town of Pocklington is the location for the latest independent cinema, The Oak House, to open in the UK. The complex features a multi-use 200-seat cinema/theatre auditorium with a full-size Cinemascope screen - which rolls up into the ceiling for live theatre performance. The Dolby-accredited system uses Tannoy T300 SuperDual speakers for the LCR channels, with an additional six Tannoy i8 loudspeakers being used for the surround channel. Low frequency effects are boosted with a Tannoy B475 18" sub-woofer, whilst QSC amplifiers drive the system and two Tannoy TX3 controllers are used for maximum controllability.
The Palace Theatre, Watford, is one of the few remaining producing theatres in the country, with many of its productions touring nationally and playing in the West End. The Grade II listed Edwardian theatre is currently undertaking a fundraising campaign to raise £1.5m for essential refurbishment and chief electrician Ian Saunders came up with the idea of projecting a fundraising message onto the safety curtain to highlight the appeal to the audience. To get the appeal off the ground, ETC Europe donated two Source Four lanterns to the theatre. ETC Europe's Peter Ed, made the presentation to Ian Saunders whilst Stage Technologies' Nikki Scott was instrumental in organising the donation.
At a cost of £23 million, the 100-year-old Dome complex in Brighton will see the first stage of its two-tier renovation programme completed this September. The 1,200-capacity Corn Exchange and 230-capacity Pavilion Theatre will both open following refurbishment. The second phase of the project will see the refurbishment of the 1,800-seat central auditorium completed some time next year.
Amersham-based Auditel has secured a US$4.5 million contract from the Government of Iran. The order is for a complete voting and sound and communications system for the Ministry of Housing of the Government of Iran and has been won in conjunction with Sony Corp of Dubai who will supply the TV broadcast equipment. Auditel is responsible for the project management and already has a team in place in Tehran. The installation covers sound reinforcement, voting systems, audio and TV and the entire system will be computer-controlled.
TOA voice alarm equipment features prominently in a rolling development programme at London's Natural History Museum which is currently being carried out by Static Systems Group plc. Presently the installation utilises three TOA equipment racks, plugged with V series amplification and processing. Each fire alarm fully communicates with the voice alarm, which sends out a common PA message. Destinations can be selected and the system will link the fireman's mic and broadcast to any PA zone via a touch-screen and Static Systems' proprietary TDM (Time Division Multiplex). The AMX front-end touch screens were supplied by TOA, to provide a visual switching and a map of the museum for paging and message broadcast purpose (messages are pre-recorded and stored using TOA's EV digital message machines). While much of the system is connected to standard loudspeakers, TOA F-777s are found in the main entrance hall, F-505s on the stairs and F-10Bs in the alcoves and balcony, each controlled via TOA's DP-0204 digital signal processors. Eventually, TOA expects eight racks to be commissioned, connecting areas such as the Earth Galleries, Whale Hall and Darwin Centre through the control rack in the Central Hall of the Waterhouse Building.
Oklahoma-based RSI has supplied a Turbosound system for the newly-built South Hill Christian Center in Washington. Representatives of the new church were insistent that the sound reinforcement system should be of high calibre and work with the acoustics of the new building. Dennis Cummins, co-pastor at South Hill, was reportedly shocked that a system of such intelligibility and warmth would be affordable to the coffers of his church. The installation consists of six Turbosound TCS-56 full-range two-way enclosures, three TCS-30 cabinets, two Turbosound TCS-115 and two TCS-118 subwoofers and four TCS-20s. The TCS-56s, designed primarily for speech and music, formed the main thrust of the system, configured three wide and two deep at the front of the church. Positioned below, one of the TCS-30 cabinets, distributing wide horizontal coverage, provides the front fill, a further two provide front side fills. The loudspeakers providing the low end for the system were integrated beneath the preaching platform in sealed boxes, whilst the TCS-20s underneath the balconies dealt with the delay.
Theatre Projects Consultants has been commissioned by the Singapore Tourism board and the National Art Council in Singapore to advise on the planning, design and construction of a new theatre in Singapore's Chinatown. Currently referred to as the Village Theatre, the new venue will occupy a one-block site on South Bridge Street in the heart of Chinatown. David Staples of TPC is leading the team preparing the brief for the Theatre and determining the size, form and type of theatre to be constructed on the site. DP Architects of Singapore have been appointed as the architects for the projects. They are also working with TPC on the Esplanade - Singapore's major new arts centre.
Sibelius Hall, the new concert hall in Lahti, Finland, opened its doors in March. Designed as the permanent home for the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, the Hall consists of three elements - the concert/congress hall, the Forest Hall and a renovated former carpentry factory. Artec Consultants of New York provided the theatre planning, acoustics consulting services and sound and communication system design for the venue. The concert/congress hall design includes a moving acoustic canopy, acoustic control curtains and acoustic banners. We will carry more on this in a future issue of L&SI.
R&W Sound Engineering has recently installed a complete audio system into the new London lounge bar, Mono. As customers would be unlikely to benefit from the advantages of a stereo image R&W specified a mono sound system, designed to be operated by staff with basic technical experience, is used for background music, DJ sets and live music sessions.Involved in the project from the outset, R&W's recommendation of a mono audio system, led to the name and theme of the members-only bar. The audio system's main source is a Marantz CC38/Pro 5-disc CD player, which feeds the system via a Cloud SX133 two-zone mixer and ARX EQ30 graphic equaliser. A separate Mackie 1402-VLz Pro mixer, connected via a recessed wall socket to the main system is used for live events. An ARX Microdrive three-channel amplifier drives four ARX Micromax loudspeakers and a hidden ARX sub-woofer.
The London Hippodrome has recently installed a new Pulsar control system. The state-of-the-art console features four new Masterpiece 216s and is capable of controlling the vast 1,500 channel Clay Paky and generic lighting rig. Each Masterpiece has a specific section of the lighting linked to it making programming extremely logical and structured. A MIDI keyboard and MIDI enabled PC communicate with the Masterpieces to synchronise powerful lightshows that can be programmed and recalled instantly for any occasion. The rig houses seven huge motorised satellites, each with six moving petal arms. The control of these has been integrated into the new system via five Masterpiece Replay Units. The complex articulation of the moving rig is accessed through a Touch Screen PC, that commands and mimics the massive structure.
The first week in April sees the opening of an ambitious new project by The Almeida Theatre Company who are in the process of converting the derelict Gainsborough Studios in North London. The Studios, home to many a famous Hitchcock movie, are due for total demolition later in the year, but not before the Almeida completes an exciting 22 week programme.The two storey high building has undergone radical internal restructuring to create a theatre- sized hall hosting as its first production, Shakespeare's Richard II, set to be performed from 30th March. This production will then be joined in repertoire, on June 1st , by Coriolanus, both plays starring Ralph Fiennes in the title roles. To accommodate three tiers of seating, the mid-floor of the Studios has been removed and, at the same time, a temporary lighting grid has been installed above the stage by Summit Steel. The show's design makes full use of the building, including a fissure that has been cut into the back wall from floor the ceiling. For this reason the lighting and all its rigging had to be fitted within the existing roof trusses, rather than hung from them in the conventional manner. Full coverage in the May issue of L&SI.
ARX USA has recently supplied NASA with 12 Ambience 1 70V compact loudspeakers for installation at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The Ambience 1s are being used to monitor the communications between Houston, the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the orbiting Space Shuttles and - most importantly - the astronauts during 'EVAs' (Extra Vehicle Activities) or space-walks.
MAVCO has been awarded the contract to design, supply and provide project engineering services for the complete local entertainment, shipwide broadcast and PA/BGM systems for AMCV's Project America newbuild programme - for two 1,900-passenger cruise ships for service in Hawaii - the largest cruise ships ever built in the United States. The vessels will begin service in 2003 and 2004 under the United States Lines brand. The contract, which includes the design and preparation of complete engineering specifications for lighting, audio, video, rigging and show control systems for 15 venues, is being undertaken at MAVCO's recently-opened Design and Engineering office in the UK under the direction of Rob Shuard. Other current assignments include Costa Cruises' newest and largest ship, the 2,680 passenger Costa Atlantica currently being built in Finland. MAVCO is providing complete audio systems and project engineering from its new workshop fabrication and production facilities in Turku. The 84,000-ton Costa Atlantica offers seven bars, a two-level restaurant, cafe, gym, casino, conference room - and three swimming pools.
Tannoy Dual Concentric have been installed into Bateaux London's 350-capacity restaurant cruiser The Symphony by London-based Terry Tew Sound and Light. Tannoy speakers are used for both vocal and music reproduction and were specified for their sound quality and compact size. The speakers were installed into The Symphony to improve sound quality in the dance floor area and include a pair of T12 full-range multi-purpose speakers featuring Tannoy's Dual Concentric drive units. The T12s are used in conjunction with a single T40 compact sub-bass system to provide effective sound reinforcement on the dance floor area.
Pete Brotzman's new company, Crystal Pro Audio, undertook its first Walkabout Inn fit-out recently, using a Crest CA modular amplifier series (supplied by Sound Dept) with 'overbuilt' power supply to power the complex live and playback audio system, distributed across two floors. Brotzman used the CA series to run a Martin Audio Wavefront 8C PA and LE400 stage monitor system at the Swansea venue, along with a number of EM series boxes for delays and infills. The three sections of the Wavefront 8 were driven by CA2, CA6 and CA18 amplifiers respectively, while further CA4s, CA6s and CA9s power the EM boxes. A pair of BSS Omnidrive Installs are used to crossover the system, and the settings are programmed into a pair of BSS 9088 Soundwebs and fed to the relevant zones. Playback is sourced from a Rolec Hard Disk system and Tascam five-CD multi-changer.
After more than three years in development, the new £10.6million 200-seat Soho Theatre and Writers' Centre has opened in Dean Street, London. It becomes the West End's first ever purpose-built theatre for new work. Until 1995, the Company had been resident at the Cockpit Theatre, premiering the work of over 35 writers. Homeless in the interim, it was not until 1997 that it was able to purchase, 21 Dean Street and appoint Paxton Locher as Architects to oversee the conversion. Work began soon after and was completed in January this year. The new building includes a comfortable, air-conditioned theatre, a studio, rehearsal room and also, uniquely, space for writers and facilities for seminars and workshops - alongside, on the ground floor, the award-winning bar and restaurant Cafe Lazeez.
Stagetec has recently completed the supply and the installation of the performance lighting control systems, sound reinforcement and communication systems for two new music performance spaces and a sound recording studio at the new Mick Jagger Centre in Dartford. The project involved the redevelopment of parts of Dartford Grammar School, including the existing school hall, old gymnasium and old school library. The new spaces were integrated into the existing buildings and incorporate new foyer and administration areas. Theatre consultants Carr & Angier designed all aspects of the stage technical equipment. Full story in April L&SI.
As a repertory theatre, in theory Sadler's Wells could play host to a different company each week, so to make chief electrician Martin Hunt's life a little easier, he's installed 36 of Wybron's new CXI (Colour X Infinity) Colour Fusion colour changers. Offering an extensive palette, the CXIs enable Sadler's Wells to call up virtually every colour of the spectrum. Each scroller uses just two gel strings made up of graduated frames of cyan, yellow and magenta to make the commonly used gel colours from Rosco, Lee and GAM, plus a host of shades in between. For Hunt, this means that the gel strings don't have to be changed for each different production. The first production at Sadler's Wells to benefit was Dick Whittington, which was lit by Andy Bridge who is also using Wybron equipment on the UK production of Fosse.