The drama department of Queen Margaret University College recently moved into the refurbished Gateway Theatre at Scotland's International Drama Centre. Edinburgh-based GB Audio were asked to design a radio production facility which could also operate as a basic recording studio. GB Audio's Chief Designer, Graham Bodenham, and QMUC's subject leader in lighting and sound, George Tarbuck, came up with a system based around a Yamaha EMX2000 mixing desk. This provides a comprehensive control surface for microphones, instruments, stereo line inputs and talkback, plus a host of outputs to run control room monitors, studio playback monitors, two headphone circuits, tape routing and master output logging.Wall-mounted Denon SCM5K mini monitors are used in the control room with Tascam MD801 minidisc machines, Revox B77s, microphones and headphones by Audio-Technica. ATM multicores connect the studio and control room via simple patch panels.
London-based Lighting Technology Projects were the specialist lighting supplier and installer for the Olympic Spirit Sports Museum, a recently-opened themed attraction in Munich, Germany. The attraction has a dedicated area for each of 33 Olympic sports. A distributed DMX control network was installed, with the dimmers for each area located within the sport experience zone. The majority of the zones also included complex audio-visual displays that interfaced with the lighting.A GrandMaster Flash PC-based system from Artistic Licence was selected for control, as it enables each zone to be treated as an individual light show, while also allowing overall control when required, such as special events, for example. Specially-manufactured three-circuit lighting track recessed into 48mm diameter tubes were used around all of the zones to allow flexibility in the positioning of the luminaires for the lighting consultant, as well as for ease of installation. The venue designer was Event Design Services, and the lighting consultant was Malcolm Innes of Jonathan Spiers & Associates.
ETC's Australian distributor, Jands Electronics, has announced that the Queensland Art Gallery has replaced its total architectural lighting control system with ETC's new Unison system, controlling 26 racks of HP6 wall-mount dimmers. The system was sold through the Production Shop, and installed by O'Donnell Griffin. Lighting levels are critical in the gallery, especially where photographs and works on paper are concerned, as levels above 50 lux can be damaging. The new Unison system ensures that lighting levels meet the correct conservation standards in all the Gallery's exhibition spaces. The control rack houses a central processor with battery back-up memory for storage, and a floppy disk drive. The rack provides network connection to wall stations, PCs for on-line control, and other Unison racks with output via a single DMX512 data system. A DMX512 input is also provided with powerful supporting programming options.
LMC Audio has supplied a multiple Soundweb package to Home, Big Beat's new seven-storey nightclub in London's Leicester Square. The programmable DSP system is at the heart of the multi-zone sound system, and includes 12 Soundweb 9088 boxes, three 9000 Mk II hubs and three 9010 'Jellyfish' remote controllers. The system was designed by BSS Audio's Matthew Bate, with LMC Audio's London sales manager, Ian Woodall, in conjunction with Home's technical manager, Andy Kayll. Of the seven floors at Home, the only level not directly under Soundweb control is the third floor. This features the Steve Dash Phazon system, where, as at Cream in Liverpool, all the processing is managed and stored in a BSS Omnidrive, which is fed by Soundweb.
Installation of some 250 Selecon luminaires has begun at the Tallinn City Theatre in Estonia bringing to life the performance venues in this complex of fifteenth-century buildings which house eight different stages. The Hell Stage, opened in November 1997 and acknowledged as the most unusual stage in the Tallinn City Theatre, was the first performance site to benefit from the choice of Selecon fittings. Originally planned as an understage, this vast irregular-shaped hall lies six metres underground, hence the name. Aboveground, is the Heaven Stage which is due to open in December.
London's latest high profile venue, The Loop in the capital's West End, features an all-JBL sound system, with the equipment line-up reading like a wish-list from the company's extensive range. Project manager Ed Manwaring of Music Marketing Services Ltd who installed the system specified the JBL system. Coverage for the Dance Floor is provided by two VS3115 3-way loudspeaker systems and VS125HS low frequency speaker systems from JBL's Venue Series, together with six Sound Power SP212-9 2-way full range loudspeakers. A pair of EON 15P powered loudspeakers are used for monitoring. JBL Control 25s provide background music for the restaurant, with eight Marquis MS28s used in the Basement Bar. The Upper Bar is served by six Control 28s and this area is also the location for the amp-racks comprising six MPX600 and seven MPX1200 amplifiers, again from JBL.
The papers have been full of the trials and tribulations of Sheffield's National Centre for Popular Music. The £15 million pound project has run up debts of over £1million since it first opened in March this year (see L&SI March 99). Things didn't look too good for the Centre recently, but following a creditors meeting this week, its future has been safeguarded by the 200 creditors agreeing to a package offering just a tenth of what they are owed. The Centre has failed to attract the visitors levels anticipated and has also suffered staff cutbacks.
A new night club has recently been added to the London club scene which boasts a highly sophisticated lighting and sound system. Supplied and installed by Audio Tek of Dublin, the audio system is based around JBL Venue Series speakers MPX amplifiers. The largest dance floor has the most impressive system with almost 30,000W of amplification and a calculated maximum SPL in excess of 148dB. A major crowd-pleaser, and a first for the UK, is the installation of a 'body-sonic' dance floor where bass drivers mounted in a cavity below the dance floor make it vibrate with low frequency sound.
The three original venues of the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) in Brisbane, have undergone an extensive lighting overhaul. The 2,000-seat Lyric Theatre, the 2000-seat Concert Hall and the 320-seat Cremorne Theatre opened in 1985 and, together with the 850-seat Optus Playhouse, now form the largest installation of ETC lighting and control systems in Australia. The Cremorne uses one of two Express 250 consoles purchased for QPAC's two new rehearsal studios, but will inherit an Obsession II from the Lyric when it is replaced by an Obsession II 1500. The Concert Hall uses two Express 72/144 desks, while the 850-seat Optus Playhouse boasts an Obsession II 1500 channel desk with full tracking back-up, as well as the largest installation of ETC Source Fours in Australia, with 457 Source Fours and 20 Source Four Pars.
Miss Saigon closes at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on October 30th following a record-breaking run of more than 10 years. White Light have been with the show from the very beginning, supplying David Hersey's complex and ambitious rig and then supporting and updating it through the years. The original rig included one of the earliest uses of the now-ubiquitous Rainbow scrollers along with 110 CCT Silhouettes, 80 Par cans, 12 R&V beamlights and over 110 Coda floods of various types, as well as classic lanterns such as Patt 264s and Patt 23s used to dress the club scenes. Control for the rig was from the theatre's Galaxy 2 console for the length of the run. Miss Saigon also saw the first use of a colour-changing version of the motorised light curtain earlier used on Les Misérables - an effect achieved using a then-newly developed Rainbow light curtain scroller.
Los Angeles-based UV/FX has produced a new scenic design for Rick's Place nightclub in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with the help of their new Day to Night and 3D scenic painting technique. The painting was completed by UV/FX's creative director Kent Mathieu and lead scenic artist Rhett Butler (yes, really) in two weeks on-site. The effect produced is of a rain forest with a 'day' appearance under normal light and a 'night' appearance under ultra violet light. This is coupled with a 3D effect, and 3D glasses are distributed to customers to provide the full experience.
Cardiff-based Theatre Vision are busy supplying equipment to a number of key projects surrounding the Rugby World Cup in October and November. The largest of these has been the World Cup supporters Village in Bute Park, a 2,500 capacity venue with a large Megascreen LED screen, a music stage and a 100ft bar. Theatre Vision supplied all mains distribution to the massive site for catering, show, site LX, heating and many other elements. The main stage lighting, designed by Tim Routledge, is suspended on a Slick ground support tower system comprising three large goal posts wrapped in drapes, with the screen providing the focus on the event. The rig consists mainly of Martin's Mac 600 and 500 luminaires, with some generics. As a special feature, a number of Mac 'chandeliers' were constructed, with Mac 250 and 300 moving lights mounted on Trilite truss shapes.
St. George's, Brandon Hill, is a well-established Chamber Concert hall, created in the shell of a disused church. In recent months it has undergone substantial renovation in a phased programme, of which Phase I is now complete, and has involved primarily the securing of the external fabric. Stagetec were awarded the sub-contract to design, supply and install new stage lighting, sound and communications systems in association with theatre consultants Carr & Angier. The luminaires utilised to fulfil the specification were the Selecon Pacific cool beam profile spots (Acclaim PCs and Profiles) and the ETC Source Four MCM PAR. The Pacifics and Acclaims provided the front light and the Source Fours the down light over the stage area. The Source Fours were controlled from individual CCT Freedom dimmers and the remaining luminaires from Light Processor Paradime hardwired dimmer packs. A Compulite Photon lighting desk provides the main control system complete with riggers control and DMX splitter. The existing Lightolier houselight control system was refurbished and integrated into the new installation. The contract also included a PA system which had to be discrete and not interfere with the architecture of the building - to this end RCF column speakers were distributed around the building.
The Athlone Stadium in South Africa's Western Cape province has been chosen to be the regional home of soccer, and will receive a 49m Rand (£4.85m) upgrade. The first phase of the project (12m Rand - £1.18m) will see the replacement of the stadium's floodlighting system. The second phase will involve the upgrading of the existing west stand and the construction of an open east stand. The new west stand will have 14 private boxes, VIP seating, adjoining recreational space and players' facilities to meet FIFA standards. Construction of the first phase is due to be completed by April or May 2000.
Contact: Mr Saleem Mowzer, Cape Town City Council, Exco Committee Chairperson, PO Box 298, Cape Town, South Africa 8000. T: +27 21 400 1111 F: +27 21 418 6036
Nashville's new Outer Limit club is something of a hybrid venue. Within the complex, situated on the outskirts of Music City, are four different club venues: Coconuts has a South Pacific feel complete with Adirondack chairs, palm trees, tiki huts and a waterfall on stage, Hysteria has a Kiss-style multi-level stage with a large lighting rig, outfitted in diamond plating with a neon dance floor, Lava Lair has a gothic feel to it, including cast iron gates and a 30-foot long plaster dragon and erupting volcano, whilst Neptunes, as one might expect, comes complete with pirate ship and open seas. The one thing these venues have in common is that each of their unique sounds are heard thanks to Electro-Voice speaker systems. Dan (Tracey) Castonguay, the Outer Limit's sound designer spec'd the system which includes 22 Electro-Voice Sx80 compact fill speakers. Coconuts has two T55 top boxes, two Sb180 subs, one PSX2000 mixer and one R Series wireless system. Hysteria includes four MTL-1 Dual 18-inch subs, four MTH-1 top boxes, four Sx500 dance fill speakers, and one R Series wireless system. Lava Lair" hosts six MTL-1 Dual 18-inch subs, six Sx500 top boxes and one R Series wireless system. Neptunes has four MTL-1 Dual 18-inch subs, four Sx500 top boxes, and one R Series wireless system.
The Hammersmith Palais has undergone a major refurbishment - the 2,300-capacity venue has reopened after two years of disuse, thanks to a £1 million refurbishment which has given the famous 80-year old dancehall a new lease of life. Part of the upgrade includes a new sound system spec, the contract for which fell to Tarsin Ltd who in turn worked with Marquee Audio to supply the complete order. The new-look Palais boasts six bars and a VIP area. The main club system is based around a Nexo Alpha E loudspeaker system, driven by Crown MA amplification, and mixed through an Allen & Heath GL-3300. The outboard rack is plugged with industry standard Yamaha SPX-1000s and Roland SDE-330s. The front-end club and other source equipment also meets a high specification, and includes Tascam DA30 DAT player, Tascam 202 cassette player, Sony MDS-E55 and DRE1 minidisc recorders, three Technics SL1210 turntables, two Pioneer CDJ500 CD players and a Rane MP24 DJ mixer.
Island East is a massive new commercial and high class residential development in Hong Kong. Its remarkable 'by appointment only' corporate visitor centre includes show areas, meeting rooms and marketing suites tailored to different kinds of customers. One of the key features is a 180° video show, designed by Electrosonic, which uses five Barco 707 projectors, with butted images projected onto a metal mesh. The mesh screen has lighting effects behind and during the show, the centre screen splits to reveal a rear projected image. All video sources are from Electrosonic MPEG2 video servers. Electrosonic ESLINX is used to control the 48 channels of dimming, the video servers, the Peavey X-Frame Media Matrix and the motorised doors.
Good news for clubland, because there's a brand new clubbing venture on the way for 2000! The former Music Factory, situated on the outskirts of Sheffield's City Centre on London Road, has been taken over under the Gatecrasher Group of Companies. Despite various rumours circulating, this will not be a 'Gatecrasher 2'. The Music Factory is a venue synonymous with Northern clubbing and bears an enviable history of successful club nights. The 1,270 capacity venue has been closed since April this year and will welcome a much-needed interior and exterior refurbishment. Plans for an extensive refurbishment, launch details, plus artist and resident information with a twist will be revealed shortly.
UK distributor Sound Dept has supplied an EAW sound system and Crest amplification to the discotheque Club 2000, which is situated within the Grill complex in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. The installation contract was won by Scotland-based Northern Light following a visit by David Nazir and a demonstration of the system to Paul McGlinshey, owner of the 1,500 capacity venue.Nazir specified four three-way ASV 7652s, which are flown, and four SB528EP subs, configured in pairs and sited under the two dance podiums. A further four EAW MK5194s are used for infills, along with part of the old main dance system which was replaced. A pair of Crest CA18s power the subs, supported by a pair each of CA12s for the bass, CA9s for the mids and CA6s for the tops. The whole system is processed with a Rane DSP device. Nazir has commissioned another EAW/Crest system on behalf of Northern Light, for Polo Lounge club and bar in Glasgow, for King City Leisure.
Ethos Acoustics' newest loudspeaker, the Performer, has been delivered for installation in the soon to be re-opened Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden. Selected for both on-stage use and for auditorium in-fill, the Performer exceeded the exacting performance targets set by the House, both in terms of accuracy and power from a small enclosure. The ROH joins existing user Trans World Television (TWI) with their selection of the Performer Pro variant. The speakers are rugged but unobtrusive, incorporating facilities for a full pan and tilt bracket, secure fixing for a safety chain and steel protection grilles over the over the drive units.
Abbey Road Studios has opened a new remastering and audio restoration suite, where award-winning engineers Simon Gibson and Andrew Walter will be working to provide clients with state-of-the-art technical equipment and the benefit of their experience in the production of high quality remastered recordings. The new facility is equipped with 5.1 surround sound monitoring to enable the remastering of multi-channel recordings for DVD, offering a one-stop shop for clients considering the transfer of archive material to DVD.
Pro Sound & Light Services was recently commissioned to design a specific audio system for the Cross nightclub in London's Kings Cross area. The company's Andy Linklater designed and installed the system using RCF's Vision Series contractor loudspeakers. In designing the system, Linklater had to deal with brick archways, low ceiling heights and potential noise complaints from local residents. A total of 10 RCF Vision PA281 enclosures, four RCF Vision PA261 enclosures and eight RCF 18s800 chassis in custom-designed sub bass enclosures were used to realise the seamless coverage patterns.
Maltbury's Special Projects team has recently completed a major project for the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea, where it supplied and fitted a bespoke, demountable seating tier system, comprising 64 special Metrodeck frames, to the 1,000 seat auditorium in the art deco, Grade 1 listed building, situated on the town's seafront. The £800,000 refurbishment and restoration of the auditorium is part of a wider refurbishment programme of the Pavilion and was completed within the five-week 'window' in August and September.
The Royal Court Theatre in London's Sloane Square is in the final stages of a massive rebuild programme, costing in the region of nearly £26m. Bristol-based Stage Electrics won the competitive tender to supply and fit the production lighting, sound and communications systems worth around £1million, to a specification originated by the Royal Court and their consultants, Theatre Projects.