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.
Marquee Audio have embarked on the first four audio installations for an expanding pub chain operating in the Brighton and Guildford area. Zelgrain Ltd have grown their own estate to 25 leisure outlets in near record time, following the acquisition of Original Pub Holdings (OPH). The first refurbishment has seen the conversion of The Old Richmond, a legendary punk rock venue in Brighton's city centre, into Pressure Point. Marquee's Scott Wakelin designed the live PA system around Turbosound TCS series contractor products. These are driven by Yamaha P4500 and QSC Powerlight amplifiers via a BSS FDS-360 electronic crossover. This forms part of a highly specified FOH network of audio equipment, which also includes a Soundcraft Spirit 16/4/3 mixing console, BSS Opal Constant Q graphic, Behringer comp/limiters and Yamaha digital reverb. An existing CA SR707 was redeployed. Stage monitoring is provided by two Yamaha P4500 amps powering Renkus Heinz Q15s, while six each of Shure's classic SM57 and SM58 mics also form part of the order.
To coincide with this year's Frankfurt Music Messe [12-16 April 2000], Amina Technologies, in conjunction with NXT plc, will run a seminar presenting an overview of NXT- the new Acoustic Flat Panel Loudspeaker Technology - and its practical application and benefits within professional installations. The seminar will take place on Thursday 13 April at 11am at the Marriott Hotel, Frankfurt. The seminar will feature presentations from members of NXT - the developers of the actual technology itself, as well as Peter Mapp - one of the UK's leading audio consultants - who will give his expert advice on the application and installation of NXT-based products, whilst offering comparisons with conventional methods.
Liverpool superclub Cream will be heading south, if plans for a new venue in Brighton get the go-ahead from the local council. A planning application for the new club was submitted recently and is currently under consideration although there is no news yet of where the venue will be, if successful. Cream hope to have the Brighton venue up-and-running by the end of the year and although details of events and DJs have yet to be announced, the northern superclub's reputation alone should guarantee interest from clubbers across the south coast.
White Light recently took delivery of the first four Robert Juliat Cyrano Followspots off the production line. The Cyranos were then immediately delivered to the Royal Albert Hall where they will be permanently based as part of a long-term arrangement hire between Royal Albert Hall and White Light. One of the first shows to use the Cyrano spots was the Mountbatten Festival, where the rest of the largely automated rig was supplied by White Light's sister company - The Moving Light Company. The rig also included 17 High End StudioColors and 30 Martin MAC 500 and 250 luminaires. The Cyrano Followspot is a new addition to the range of RJ Followspots which White Light already own.
The Victorian Arts Centre has recently completed Australia's largest permanent theatre system installation in its Melbourne Concert Hall. Totalling more than 35 self-powered loudspeakers systems, provided by Meyer Sound Australia, the system design was no small feat.The new pro-audio system in the 2,600-seat hall comprises a central cluster of three Meyer MSL-4s over two CQ-1s with a UPA-IP and UPA-2P on either side. The balcony downfills include a left/centre/right configuration of CQ-2s over DS-4Ps for the left and right and a CQ-1 over a DS-4P for the centre down fill. 24 UPM-1P making up the under balcony fills. In addition, a PSW-6 per side is located above the stage and a left and right array of two DS-4Ps, 4 MSL-4s and a CQ-1 flown over 2 PSW-6s.
'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.