Allen & Heath used the recent Musikmesse trade show to showcase an esoteric rotary mixer concept, which goes by the working title of Xone:V6. Although the exact specification of the final design is still not complete, the company has set out a clear mission statement for the product: to provide the best audio quality of any club mixer, past or present.
Xone series designer Andy Rigby-Jones has been researching and testing the very best components available for this project, including thermionic valves and VU meters based on an original 1950s design. The emphasis on quality means that a single rotary fader for the Xone:V6 will cost as much as some complete entry-level mixers. Rigby-Jones commented: "I wanted to give visitors to the Musikmesse a chance to see where the company is going on this project and to tell me what changes they would like to see between the prototype and the finished creation. We did this with the first prototype of the Xone:464 a few years ago, and the feedback we got from DJs and club techs really helped make that product what it has become. I can't say exactly when Xone:V6 will be available. This is all about absolutely pristine audio quality, so it won't go into production until I am 100% confident that it sounds phenomenal."
Allen & Heath has introduced a package of new products and options for its flagship ML series of live sound VCA consoles. These include a 24-channel version of the ML4000, the option to order ML5000 consoles with eight dual stereo channels and a Syslink kit for the ML3000, allowing two mixers to be linked in a master/slave system.
Visitors to the Musikmesse were the first to see the new ML4000-24, a 24-channel version of the ML4000. This latest addition to the series was developed in response to frequent requests from customers who needed extensive control and output facilities for conferencing and installation work, but who did not want a large footprint console with lots of inputs. The ML4000-24 can be connected to up to two 24 channel sidecar units, a prospect which has been warmly greeted by PA rental companies looking for maximum flexibility in their hire stock.
Prospective customers for Allen & Heath's top-of-the-range ML5000 mixer were also offered more choice at the show in the shape of the new ML5000-C variant. Instead of the four dual stereo channels offered on standard models, the ML5000-C provides eight dual stereo channels in each frame size, allowing up to 16 stereo sources to be mixed. Each dual stereo channel offers mixable A inputs on TRS jacks and B inputs on XLRs with independent gain, four-band EQ and mono summing. Stereo channels 1-4 are to the right of the master section and are not included in the channel count (so a 48-channel ML5000-48C has 44 mono inputs and eight dual stereo inputs), while stereo channels 5-8 are at the far right of the consol
The Art-Net Alliance is a key industry group made up of major lighting control manufacturers, intended to promote the widespread adoption of the Art-Net Ethernet Standard. Artistic Licence reports that the Art-Net Alliance continues to expand and now includes AC Lighting Ltd, AC Lighting Inc, ADB, MA Lighting, Doug Fleenor Design, ELC Lighting, Electronics Diversified, Enttec, Goddard Design Co, I-Light Group, IES, Medalion, Media Motion, SandNet, Touchlight Systems Ltd, Zero 88 and Artistic Licence.
"Art-Net is the only public domain Ethernet Standard in the marketplace - that’s the reason the Art-Net Alliance is growing at such a rate. We regularly receive emails congratulating us for the decision to put Art-Net into the public domain," said Wayne Howell of Artistic Licence. "The aspect I find most pleasing is that we see both large and small companies supporting Art-Net. Over the next 12 months, I think we’ll see a vast expansion in new Art-Net products."
The Art-Net Standard allows over 250 Universes of DMX512 to be transported by Ethernet cable, providing a highly economical solution for the distribution of lighting data. Issues such as ‘merging’ are built into the standard and no longer require separate products. Perhaps most important is the wide range of options offered by Ethernet. Radio Ethernet is now widely available, providing low cost options for ‘Radio DMX’ solutions.
Artistic Licence, the inventor of Art-Net, continues to provide a wide range of innovative Art-Net products. Included in the range i
Marantz Professional has launched the CDR300 - the world’s first CD recording system designed for stand-alone portable recording. The table-top design combines ease of use, typical of traditional analogue recording machines, with the sonic quality, convenience and flexibility of CD-RW multi-session recordings. The CDR300 is ideal for recording live onto blank CD-R (write once) or CDR-RW (rewriteable) discs, using either the internal microphone or external XLR (with 48V phantom power) and 1/4" mic/line inputs for stereo recording. Universal SP/DIF digital inputs and outputs allow direct connection between digital devices (such as DAT, MiniDisc and other CD recorders), while internal speaker and headphone output provide for easy monitoring of input and playback signals.
Switchable automatic record level and limiter features on the CDR300 easily accommodate use in unpredictable recording environments, while programmable recording and playback EQ controls allow optimisation of sound quality without the need for external mixer processing.
For Verdi's larger-than-life opera Attila, staged at the Royal Opera House recently, it was necessary to add to the number of staging modules that make up the raked stage. Maltbury was approached to supply units of its strongest demountable staging system, Steeldeck 7.5, and these now form part of the repertory stage sets stored at the Royal Opera House on stage trucks.
When the Royal Opera House underwent its refurbishment one radical change was to the way the sets are constructed. Instead of repeatedly building, dismantling and re-building each show in the repertoire, sets are now built just once directly onto massive stage trucks, where they remain. At the touch of a button the automated trucks can be moved on stage, into storage or into a rehearsal room backstage making turnarounds between repertory production quicker and easier.
Head of the technical department at the Royal Opera House, Geoff Wheel, specified 20 units of Steeldeck 7.5 for the Attila stage. "Productions at the Royal Opera House require staging that is economical, durable, reliable and flexible," he explained, "which is why I approached Maltbury. Having used the system before, I know it meets all of the specified criteria. Maltbury's Steeldeck 7.5 fulfilled all our expectations and we are looking forward to making use of it in the future."
Steeldeck 7.5 is one of a number of Maltbury's popular demountable staging systems, which include Ambideck, Metrodeck and, Maltbury's latest developments, Pro-Alloy and Metrodeck Ultra. Maltbury's systems have recently been used
Yamaha's PM1D large-format digital mixing console and the newly introduced DM2000 took top honours at the recent MIPA (Musikmesse International Press Awards) held at this year’s Frankfurt Music Messe.
Over 300 representatives of manufacturers and distributors of musical instruments and pro audio equipment from around the world gathered at the third annual MIPA awards to see honours awarded in over 40 categories. The awards are designed to acknowledge the best products of the previous year and are nominated by editors representing over 50 music and pro audio magazine titles worldwide. The PM1D was awarded first place in the high end mixing desk for top events category beating off competition from the ATI paragon and the Midas Legend whilst the critically acclaimed new DM2000 took top honours in the mixing desk high end section.
BSS Audio have taken a major leap in the expansion of their acclaimed Soundweb programmable DSP system with the introduction of new matrix switchers, capable of routing multiple video sources to several zones, all controlled within a Soundweb system.
While stand-alone video switchers are used in many systems alongside Soundweb, the integration of the control of the video sources has relied upon custom programming between the two systems’ RS-232 ports. Such systems are typically found in theme bars and restaurants (such as sports or music bars), corporate boardrooms and visitor attractions. The SW9016 8x4 Matrix Switcher features eight broadcast-quality composite video inputs (on BNC connectors), which can accept CBVS or SVideo signals of NTSC or PAL standard. These can be matrixed to four output zones (again on BNC connectors). Alongside the video inputs, 16 balanced audio inputs can be matrixed to eight balanced audio outputs (which can then be fed directly to the local Soundweb 9088 DSP unit), and are programmable entirely independently of the video matrix. This means that zones can be programmed to show a news channel while music is playing in the background. Two SW9016 units may be cascaded to provide an 8x8 matrix.
The SW9016 Video/Audio Matrix Switcher integrates totally with Soundweb Designer’s presets, and connects directly to the serial port of a Soundweb device with no extra programming. Matrix settings are made with Soundweb Designer, and stored within the main system presets. This means that via either the simple 9012 wall panel or the more sophi
Martin Professional introduced the Maxxyz lighting control system at last week’s SIB International exhibition in Rimini. One of the main product highlights of the exhibition, Maxxyz boasts a comprehensive range of cutting-edge features and attractive, modular design, with an intuitive operating system, easy programmability and customizable characteristics. The desk’s built-in 3D visualizer with real-time Preview mode gives full real-time preview of shows, allowing the user to create new ones without interrupting the running show. Maxxyz offers Ethernet capability (10/100 Mbit) for DMX universes and multiple console linking, remote access via a laptop/PC or Internet network, plus a link for automatic Internet updates, programming modification, service and support, and more.
Two complete Pentium III-based computer systems communicate with each other through COM+ technology. This allows the system to work as one large, integrated system with internal fail-over and four 3D accelerated screen outputs with DVD playback capability. Eight DMX 512 outputs give a total of 4096 channels. Each DMX 512 output is opto-isolated, half duplex, and the DMX-timings and refresh rate can be adjusted individually.
Other features include two industrial 12.1" super high luminance SVGA TFT screens, built-in Effects Generator, built-in DVD/CD-RW, digital LCD buttons, motorized assignable and multi-functional playback faders, SMPTE/VITC/LANC timecode reader and generator, MIDI in/out and balanced audio in/outs.
ARRI recently awarded a portable lighting kit - consisting of the Junior range of Fresnel spotlights - to a lucky competition winner, after he entered a ‘business card’ draw on the company’s stand at the Video Forum Exhibition earlier this year.
Richard Hookings, a freelance lighting cameraman commented: "I was so surprised to actually win as I was dubious that these things are ever genuine. This kit will nicely complement my existing lighting kit, and being so compact, it will be ideal for situations when I’m working on my own and need to transport my kit around single-handedly." ARRI displayed two new kit formats at Video Forum - both suitable for 3-point lighting arrangements. The first contained two 650W Junior Fresnels and an 800W ARRIlite which offers flexibility and control, whilst the second contained two 300W Junior fresnels and a Junior 150W fresnel, which offers a package weighing in at 12kg for those where portability is the overriding concern. ARRI will also soon be launching a new range of kit formats.
BSS Audio has released a new processor for the expanding install market, aimed particularly at integrated system solutions. The ProSys PS-8810 is a fixed-path digital processor, with eight inputs and ten outputs that each has a dedicated processing path which includes EQ filters, gates, compressors, auto-mixers and delays, as well as other processing objects.
With its fixed-path design, system installers need only configure the routing matrix and decide which of the processing objects will be utilized. Once these are established, the set-ups may be stored as presets and recalled via the PC, contact closure or the 8810’s own internal events scheduler. All functions of the PS-8810 are set-up and controlled from a PC running IQ-WIN software, the control suite that can control a variety of types of audio equipment.
The real strength of this new DSP, however, is that it is the first in a new generation of Harman Professional ‘partnership’ products, utilizing the IQ communication protocol from Crown. In addition, it provides audio networking via CobraNet technology that will enable digital audio and control signal exchange with other existing and developing Harman equipment. With the well-established IQ system, the PS-8810 has the ability to network with Crown amplifiers and other IQ-compliant devices. This means that systems with control and monitoring of amplifiers and signal processing can now be readily constructed, with centralized control from a PC running one control program. IQ for Windows allows the designer to create custom control pages so that c
Data communications company Pathway Connectivity has announced the creation of a new industry partnership, the Pathport Alliance. The alliance is made up of major lighting control manufacturers that have undertaken to implement the Pathport Protocol in their products.
"This alliance extends the power and flexibility of Pathport to a variety of respected lighting control platforms. Users will be able to connect these controls directly to a Pathport network," explained Graham Likeness, Pathway’s vice-president of sales and marketing, "providing users with a system for patching, merging, prioritizing and distributing up to 64 universes of DMX."
The Pathport Alliance is currently comprised of Entertainment Technology, Flying Pig Systems, Interactive Technologies, High End Systems, MA Lighting and Pathway Connectivity. Launched at LDI 2000 in Las Vegas, Pathport earned an LDI Product of the Year award (Lighting Software & Tools category). Last year, Pathport Manager software was recognized with an Entertainment Design Magazine EDDY award for Lighting Software Product of the Year.
At the recent Pro Light & Sound exhibition in Frankfurt, the leading lighting distributor Lightpower announced the launch of a new gel-string manufacturing service in Germany, which the company is operating under licence from Rosco, under the brand name ‘Major’. The service, which is the first of its kind in Germany, will provide gel-strings for all types and sizes of scroller, not just Rainbow (for whom Lightpower is exclusive worldwide distributor) and will also utilise gels from the ranges of both Lee Filters and Rosco.
Sennheiser's interpretive Guideport System has had its first North American use at Mexico's El Rey Mayan Educational Theme Park. Centered on one of the Yucatan Peninsula's most interesting archeological sites, the site features actors portraying scenes from daily Mayan life, providing glimpses of religion, science, craft, trade, and palace life. El Rey also features a spectacular light and sound show every evening set against the backdrop of the Mayan ruins.
The Sennheiser Guideport System brings state-of-the-art interpretive technology to El Rey, providing personalized information to each visitor. Operating from a centrally-located PC, the Guideport System tracks each visitor through remote sensors and plays location-specific recordings through a wireless headphone system. Users can select the language and level of expertise to match their own and are free to experience the exhibits in any sequence they please.
In addition, audio information is synchronized with other media presentations when visitors are within the zone that covers a media presentation. Sennheiser Mexico and partner Gilsama configured the Guideport System and helped create a ‘tour’ designed specifically for children. Guideport's clear stereo sound complements the sound effects and exciting texts which make up the El Rey experience.
RCI Custom has signed a significant development and maintenance contract with software provider Stardraw.com to create a new, web-based tool for the design and production of custom control and connection panels. PanelBuilder will be hosted on the RCI Custom website and allows registered users to design, specify and purchase custom panels.
Managing director of Stardraw, David Snipp, explained the background to the deal: "RCI had long been aware of the capabilities of applications like Stardraw Audio, but it was a trade show conversation that made them realise Stardraw.com could develop an affordable custom solution. PanelBuilder is based on proven techniques seen in Stardraw applications for years, but it exploits leading-edge software and internet technology."
PanelBuilder is resident on the web server and works from within a browser, so there’s nothing to download or install. It comprises a drag and drop interface linked to a complete library of all of RCI’s panel products, so the user simply selects the panel he or she wants, drags on the connectors that are needed, and sets engraving, finishes, artwork and so on. The resultant design is linked in realtime to sophisticated backoffice systems so that a user will get an automated quote instantaneously.
Users of PanelBuilder can design a connector plate or panel in seconds without the need for complex CAD training and see exactly how it will look. They will also get a price quote and drawing file for that panel immediately, any time of the day or night, even on weekends! The professional quality C
Following the successful launch of the Dynaglide winches in December, Hall Stage has launched a new range of Grid and General Purpose Pulleys. With safe working loads of up to 500kg, the Dynaline pulleys use a new composite, lubricated nylon sheave design and profile. The range features three diameters - 100mm, 150mm and 200mm - suitable for most stage applications and operations.
All units have shielded ball bearing sets for silent running and the new design allows a customer or specifier to pick any sheave combination with any fixing option. The Dynaline range is available from stock in any of the three sizes, with a safe working load of up to 500kg in the 200mm units - with any sheave/fittings combination.
Tascam has added a new mid-market MiniDisc recorder/player to its range. The MD-350 builds on Tascam’s success in the market with its 300 series MD recorder/players, offering professional standards of audio interconnectivity, as well as improved sound quality, with high resolution ADA conversion and ATRAC version 4.5 compression.
This extensively equipped MD recorder provides for advances in performance and ease of operation in numerous professional sound applications, but particularly in broadcast sound, sound installation and sound design and FX roles. A new MDLP (MiniDisc Long Play) function, providing a 320-minute record or playback time, is included in no less that four record/playback modes, offering stereo, mono and 2x and 4x operation. Both balanced XLR and unbalanced phone analogue I/Os are provided, featuring 20-bit AD and DA conversion, for improved signal resolution. Both SPDIF and TOSLINK optical digital I/Os are included. An additional optical digital input is also provided on the front panel for quick connection of source signals from other CD or MD players. A front panel P2 keyboard port enables input of disc and track names and the execution of TOC edit commands from a standard computer keyboard.
Advanced Record functions such as level controlled sync-record, automatic track IDs and automatic sample rate conversion of 32kHz and 48kHz digital source material are included along with auto-ready and auto-cue functions in playback.
Symetrix has recently signed an affiliation agreement with Peak Audio Inc (a division of Cirrus Logic) that would permit the incorporation of CobraNet technology into current and future Symetrix products, such as the SymNet Audio Matrix hardware system. CobraNet is fast becoming the standard for digital audio and control signal distribution over 100MBit Ethernet cable. The SymNet Designer 1.1 unit integrates this efficient protocol into the SymNet system.
"CobraNet is a forward-thinking technology that falls right in line with the Symetrix commitment to innovation," noted Jim Latimer, director of sales. "Our customers will benefit from CobraNet's improved efficiency and lower cabling costs. With CobraNet, our customers will be able to easily design and assemble sophisticated systems with SymNet's user interface.
Professional projection specialist, Christie Digital Systems, has introduced three new projectors in its new VIVID LX class of multimedia projectors, designed for a broad range of corporate to educational applications.
The VIVID LX35 is a high-quality multimedia projector providing a rich blend of presentation, integration and AV rental capabilities. The VIVID LX26 is the first high-quality multimedia projector that provides a great fixed installation solution and portability, whilst the VIVID LX20 is a high-quality multimedia projector delivering outstanding presentation performance in a compact and lightweight package. All three projectors are perfect for fixed installations, yet portable enough to move from room to room on a corporate or educational campus.
Star Hire (Event Services) has added a new safety feature to its award-winning VerTech staging system. From now on all of the company’s 20m span and 25m span roofs will be fitted as standard with fall-arrest safety nets.
The new net system is a result of the experience gained on Star Rigging’s successful installation of similar permanent nets on the grid at Wembley Arena. These nets are the preferred choice of the HSE, as a net installation is the only ‘passive’ system that does not require a positive action by workers to remain safe, and the nets also allow for self-rescue in the event of a fall.
The nets meet all relevant British Standards, being fully fire retardant, with a mesh size suitable to pass chain hooks through. Satisfactory installation at each event will be an additional item added to Star Hire’s inspection and hand-over documentation and they will be issuing new guidelines to all users to ensure the highest possible standards of safety. The net is an additional safety feature as all crew working in the roof still require a full harness, both for connection to an inertia reel device to access the roof in the first place and for subsequent work place positioning.
Another important element to Star Hire’s commitment to safety is its annual training programme, undertaken by managing director Maddy Sheals and managers Jake Piper (HRM for VerTech crew) and Graham Thomas (project manager for mobile StarStages). The focus of this year’s training is on crew boss responsibilities on site, which includes health and safety,
Marantz Professional has introduced two handy new pocket guides covering both Installation and Professional Audio product lines. The two A6 size guides include useful product overviews and feature lists. Full product specifications are available on the Marantz website or in A4 hard copy from Marantz Professional Europe Sales or the extensive network of appointed professional dealers.
Neutrik has released the Speakon SPX series, the next generation of the amplifier/speaker connector. The new unit offers the same reliability as the company’s NL4FC, whilst also offering increased power handling, connection security and flexibility, and is intended to replace its predecessor over the next few years.
The new SPX Series can deliver currents up to 50 Amps on all four contacts for audio applications. This means a single connector is capable of carrying the current load from amplifiers of over 1kW. Another unique design element is that electrical contact is made only after the connector is completely inserted and locked to prevent arcing when connected under load.
The new cable connector also consists of only three parts to make assembly faster and easier, and a one-piece internal chuck accepts cable diameters between 6 and 14mm. Termination is either with screw terminals or by soldering and the inserts accept stranded 6mm²/10 AWG wire. A right angle version (NL4FRX) will be available, as well as a kit to convert standard NL4FX connectors to the right-angled version without any additional wiring or soldering. The new Speakon can be ordered with boots in any of five colours (black, red, yellow, green and white) for instant identification, and the right-angle version can be colour-coded with coloured collars.
Additionally, the NL4FX is compatible with all current NL4M receptacles and the new NL4MMX adapter to convert a standard ‘female to female’ cable into a ‘female-male’ cable. The new secure double-locking mechanism employe
Responding to input from the marketplace, Tannoy has launched the V Series, a new range of point source, dual concentric sound reinforcement loudspeaker systems, which feature a modern cabinet design providing installation flexibility.
The Tannoy V Series combines the qualities and high performance of Tannoy’s established installation loudspeakers into a new dual-wedge cabinet shape. The flexible and discrete cabinet shape makes the speakers ideal for use as floor monitors and low profile ceiling mounting in landscape configuration. In addition, the V Series features a foam covered mesh grille, essential for the aesthetic needs of today’s installations.
The Tannoy V8 replaces the i8 and T8 and is designed for high quality music and speech reinforcement. It can also be used as a mini stage monitor, as its conical coverage pattern gives the performer greater freedom of movement than allowed by conventional horn loaded designs. The high-powered 8-inch Dual Concentric drive unit features Tannoy’s unique Point Source technology and a halogen high frequency protection system.
The Tannoy V12 follows the format of the Tannoy V8 but with a 12" Dual Concentric offering much greater efficiency, power handling and bass performance in foreground applications. It replaces the i12 and T12 and the dual-wedge shape is maintained to give flexible and discrete mounting for installations, even more important with a larger cabinet. The Tannoy V15 incorporates an entirely new, high performance, Dual Concentric drive unit - the 15" PowerDual. With substantially
Maltbury has unveiled Metrodeck Ultra, its new lightweight modular staging system. The Ultra is based on Maltbury’s popular mid-weight staging system, Metrodeck, with which it is also fully compatible. The lightest and simplest to assemble of all the Maltbury systems, Metrodeck Ultra is particularly suitable for use by schools, hire companies and in the conference and exhibitions industry.
Weighing a mere 10kg for a 1x1m unit, Metrodeck Ultra consists of a lightweight top, constructed from a speciality ply sandwich board with a foam filling, and a durable aluminium frame. For construction, Velcro straps are used to connect adjacent units, with smaller straps joining the decks and larger ones securing leg to leg connections. In addition, eliminating the need for a spanner, T-bars can be used to secure, by hand, the legs of individual modules. With detachable alloy legs of varying heights, Metrodeck Ultra is a practical staging system: it also comes with a wide range of accessories, including treads, handrails, tier connectors, castors and a selection of surfaces and inter-frame links.
In response to feedback from end users, High End Systems has released a new, fully modular 2:1 zoom optic system for the x.Spot, along with a new faceted ‘flat field’ reflector. This version of x.Spot will be marketed as x.Spot HO (High Output).
Additional output is primarily achieved through the larger aperture (higher ‘f stop’) and greater efficiency of the 2:1 zoom lens system, while increased colour temperature and improved beam uniformity are a result of the faceted reflector. As a result, designers can now specify 4:1 zoom fixtures for shorter throw, wide projection applications and 2:1 zoom fixtures for longer throw or beamage applications where output is king and ultra wide zoom range is not critical.
High End will of course continue to offer x.Spot with 4:1 zoom optics: the 4:1 zoom unit will also now include the faceted ‘flat field’ reflector, thus incorporating the higher colour temperature and flattened field benefits of this technology. All the components may be retrofitted to original x.Spots and High End is currently running a special x.Spot Owner Loyalty Programme through authorized High End dealers. Shipment of x.Spot HO begins in May.