On February 1st AEI Music held a launch party for ProFusion, featuring renowned Ibiza and Ministry of Sound DJ Brandon Block. Hosted at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, the launch was attended by many of the UK’s leading retail and leisure operators. Attendees were treated to a champagne reception and demonstrations of the software that supports ProFusion, blending all the benefits of Hard Disc storage with the know-how of experienced professional music programmers. Capable of running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, the system is able to store 400 hours of digital music or eight hours of video. Up to four separate zones from a single unit give businesses the opportunity to segment their sites into specific areas. Pre Launch trials have proved a great success, with operators including Whitbread, AMF Bowl and Scottish and Newcastle signing up for further installations.
massAV, of Burlington, Massachusetts, has officially become the first company in the world to purchase the new Line Array 760 series speaker from EAW. CEO and owner of massAV, Patricia Basteri, recently ordered a speaker and monitor system, which includes 24 x 760 speakers, 12 x SB 1000s and 8 x SM-15 monitors from EAW. The new order will upgrade the capabilities of the company, whose current system of 16 x KF 650s and 8 x 850s will complement the new system. "This new Line Array product will bring great versatility to the venues and facilities that our top clients are currently using," Basteri said. As the exclusive AV provider for The Bayside Expo Center, The Rhode Island Convention Center and Microsoft New England, massAV plans to maintain its firm grip on event services in the Northeast region. Senior audio engineer for massAV, Jason Geshelin, said of the system: "The sonic quality is absolutely superb! The KF760 travels well, is easily rigged and the overall product packaging will allow smooth load-in and load-out.”
Mirrorware specialist Light Engineering has just completed an unusual contract destined for a Las Vegas nightclub. The brief from Brilliant Stages was for a number of mirror balls ranging from 5" to 32" diameter with a broken glass mirror effect. Shipped just before Christmas, the balls are due to be installed sometime soon and Light Engineering is preparing itself for the flood of orders it is certain will follow.
Armstrong World Industries Inc, NXT's latest Licensee, has launched the i-ceiling Sound System incorporating NXT's SurfaceSound flat panel loudspeaker technology. The complete system includes Sound Panel ceiling speakers and pre-packaged electronics units (including both processors and amplifiers) to drive the panels and custom tune the system for the space. One of the first applications of the new i-ceiling is in Temple, Texas, where Nextel is installing nearly 300 Sound panels in its new call centre. The Sound Panels will be used to provide sound masking in the 108,000 square foot facility, most of which is open plan.
Following on from the success of the Opus microphone range introduced last year at the Frankfurt Music Messe, beyerdynamic is releasing a further five new Opus models. Opus 53, 67 and 87 are all optimised for percussion, Opus 82 is for high output level wind instruments and Opus 54 is a high specification neckworn vocal microphone. A ‘light’ version of the popular MCS conference system will also be launched. This is configured for smaller conference situations with a maximum capacity of 30 delegates. New additions to the MCW wireless range include new stations suitable for simultaneous translation applications, as well as conference functions.
Toronto-based Spectrum Manufacturing has recently launched a new colour-changer - the Aquarelle - the result of a seven-month long race to design an architectural colour-changing system for the Famous Players project in Montreal.
The work began in March last year when lighting designer Stephen Pollard approached Dave George of Spectrum to discuss the feasibility of a new architectural system. The deadline was October 2000 and since he wanted to ‘paint the outside wall of the theatre with light,’ the team at Spectrum, having accepted the challenge, immediately christened the project Aquarelle - French for ‘water colour’ .
Spectrum’s engineering department began by evaluating several architectural lighting fixtures, finally recommending a 1,000 metal halide HID fixture. Its optical system, modular reflector and overall construction of the fixture seemed ideal for the proposed link up with a colour scroller. For the scroller itself, Spectrum started by modifying one of its existing large size indoor constant tension colour scrollers, the M-5 MkII. Since the terms of the brief required the unit to be totally sealed from the external environment and withstand heat from the 1,000W lamp, not to mention the extremes of the Montreal climate which can range from -40 degrees in the winter to +100 degrees F in the summer. Using its in-house environmental chamber, Spectrum tested components, and then built a full-scale prototype to verify that the proposed design would withstand 100% humidity.
A patented IR-reducing technology that eliminates 95% of
Soon to be released from The Effects Company is an advanced system of air-launched effects - the CO2 Cannon, which will be available in single or multibarrel versions. Previous methods for time-consuming hand loading are now eliminated as this system uses factory pre-loaded cartridges, available in two sizes/loadings with a choice of effects such as E-Fetti, Glitter, Streamers, Star, Hearts, Flash Discs, Metallic Streamers, Ultra Violet E-Fetti and even condoms! Available at the end of March, the CO2 Cannon system will have its world launch at the Frankfurt MusikMesse in early March.
The Live! Show in London has seen the UK launch of the new Midas Venice console - the company’s first high-profile console in an ultra-compact format. The Venice brings Midas to a new range of applications, such as smaller conference or live band applications, for effects returns or additional inputs in large multi-console applications, in installation/contracting work, or as part of a small mobile system. The Venice also provides an ideal feature set for live acts who need to mix their own FOH and monitor sound from on-stage. There are three versions available: Venice 160 (8 mono/line + 4 stereo-line/mono-mic inputs); Venice 240 (16 mono/line + 4 stereo-line/mono-mic inputs); and the Venice 320 (24 mono/line + 4 stereo-line/mono-mic inputs).
New from Klark Teknik at Live! 2001, is the new upgrade to the recently-launched DN9848 loudspeaker processor - the KT Kompressor Module v2.01. This upgrade adds a full-function compressor to every output of the DN9848 in addition to the four already on the inputs without sacrificing any of the unit’s standard features. The upgrade is available free from the Klark Teknik website, along with the Stardraw for Klark Teknik software control shell and supplementary software.
Following the recent announcement that Fuzion is to handle distribution of the Camco amplifier range, the company introduced Camco’s innovative Vortex Series of amplifiers, at the Live! Show in London yesterday. Vortex, say Fuzion, represents a significant advance in lightweight, high-power amplifier design and technology. Vortex is a high power amplifier featuring high-efficiency, high-power (6000W into 4 ohms) and high-quality audio in a light, 2U chassis. The microprocessor-controlled amplifiers digitally control and monitor all functions and provide all internal ‘housekeeping’ tasks. Each has a three-stage switched-mode universal power supply, with reliable over-voltage protection up to 400 volts. In addition, Vortex is designed to present a straight-through thermal cooling path unimpeded by internal electronic parts, meaning there is no air movement (therefore no ingress of dust) over critical components. Other features include an RS485 port on the rear of the amplifier as standard, and Camco’s EUI (Extended User Interface) which allows for the use of peripheral modules for additional functionality when required.
Matrix Audio Developments, the pro audio amplifier manufacturer, has launched the F1 compact loudspeaker system, which has been designed specifically for the commercial installation market. The system comprises the highly-compact, and easily-mountable mid/high F1 cabinet (measuring just 17cm x 9cm x 8cm) and the B1 bass cabinet, which can be either free-standing or incorporated into fixtures and fittings. When combined, one B1 and two F1 cabinets are capable of producing 100Wpc RMS at a frequency of 35Hz - 18kHz.
JBL Professional has recently released the EON G2 ‘Generation 2’ line of powered speakers. Among these is the EON10 G2 compact powered speaker with 10" woofer, increased power and a three input mini-mixer. This is ideal for AV applications, smaller musical and spoken word performances and, when combined with the new EONSUB G2 powered subwoofer, provides a full range sound system with full range power for more demanding performance and playback applications. The EON10 G2 features increased power over the first generation EON 10, with 125W for low frequencies and 50W for the highs. The 10" Differential Drive low frequency driver uses a neodymium magnet for light weight and reduced distortion. As with other EON G2 speakers, the EON10 G2 is kept cool, not by heatsinks or fans, but by JBL's Thermomaster Total Thermal Management System.
The latest product to be available from ASL is the VAR-4 Digital Audio Router. This unit uses digital signal processing to provide a self-contained Public Address/Voice Alarm control system and includes built-in digital message storage for emergency or routine announcements. It allows connection of up to six audio inputs routed to four outputs and for the monitoring and control of up to 64 amplifier mainframes (V400) and associated amplifier interface card/surveillance units. Each mainframe connects to the VAR-4 via an Audio-CAN serial data network and audio monitor bus. The router includes digital storage for 2 x 32-second emergency messages and 2 x 10-second test messages, and provides four microphone inputs, typically for two fire microphones and two general purpose paging microphones. Two connections are provided for background music sources, either of which can be selected for routing.
PCM has added a new webbing ladder to its inventory of professional rigging accessories. The new product replaces conventional, bulky ring and tube-style ladders with streamlined rods of carbon or glass fibre. The rods are inserted into tubular braid sleeves made from synthetic fibre which are sewn into side members of the same material for maximum strength. The product is ideal for all entertainment industry applications - theatrical, performance, industrial, live event, touring, television and film. The ladder is available in standard lengths of 10, 15 and 20 metres, and custom lengths can be produced as required.
At the recent NAMM Show in Anaheim, Soundcraft launched a new range of compact mixers - the Spirit M series. The Spirit M4, M8 and M12 offer 4, 8 and 12 mono inputs respectively, and all feature four stereo inputs, four stereo returns, 100mm faders, and an S/PDIF stereo digital output. All channels have peak and signal LEDs, complemented by a high-resolution stereo output meter.
Physically, the layout of the desk will be instantly familiar to any experienced engineer or musician. The mono input mic preamp design comes straight from the award-winning Soundcraft Ghost console. The powerful three-band EQ has a swept mid and tightly focused HF response that delivers a cleaner and more controlled sound. The electronic design of the desk incorporates ‘ground-tracking’ architecture, usually found only on more expensive mixers, and attention has been paid to details such as grounding around the faders.
The latest version of ShowMagic, the sound and lighting control system, was released in December. New features include a device library for RS232 control - plain English commands can now be used for devices listed in the library (VTRs, switchers etc); extra support for laptops (Sunlite USB DMX device); new MIDI control features for external audio processors; ‘Latest chase takes precedence’ option; lighting control output through DMX, PMX and MIDI simultaneously and an updated fixtures library.
In the run-up to Christmas, L&SI’s Lee Baldock visited the offices of OptiMusic to learn more about the success of its versatile OptiBeam system . . .
Born from an idea to create a musical instrument consisting of multiple beams of light, played through movement and dance, the OptiBeam is a system by which beams of coloured light can be used to trigger sound, or other effects. When the beam is bounced back from a reflective surface, it triggers a pre-programmed action via MIDI. The system - one of the ‘Millennium Products’ so designated by the Design Council - consists of the light unit itself, which can be either the standard seven-beam version, or a single beam; the dedicated light-to-MIDI control box [OM-1] and any MIDI keyboard, sampler or sound module, to generate the sounds.
From there, it can become increasingly complex: groups of OptiBeams in sets of up to 32 units can be programmed via PC to produce up to 99 sequential or simultaneous steps apiece. The MIDI signals can be converted to virtually any other protocol, including DMX. Alternatively, you can place a reflective sticker on the floor beneath a beam, and reverse the operation to trigger when the reflected beam is broken - in this way, a person or object passing through the beam will trigger a cue.
The inventor of the system is Guy Sigalov (inset, left), a talented musician and innovator; working alongside him is commercial director Mishka Klotz (inset, right), and between them, they look after R&D and commercial development from their base in North London. They are joined by Anna Prie
Celco has entered the New Year with a trio of new product developments.
The Ventura console has had a software update. Version 3 incorporates an easy-to-use, yet powerful, effects generator, WYSIWYG mode for cue programming and MIDI/SMPTE (previously a chargeable upgrade). The software can be downloaded free of charge from the re-styled Celco website at www.celco.co.uk
The company has also extended its control range with the Platinum (pictured) - a powerful 1024 channel PC-based lighting control system for generic and moving lights. The Platinum utilises a stable Windows NT environment and features include connection to any DMX-controlled desk for playback, drag and drop patch features, unlimited number of presets, cues, sequences, and a graphical shape editor for pan/tilt movements.
The Fusion 2000 is a new 12 x 16 amp rack-mount digital dimmer which complements the existing Fusion range. The specification includes two extra non-dim auxiliary channels, 30 memories and three sequences for stand-alone use. Fully flexible soft patch, choice of dimming curves and Socapex/Harting outlets are fitted as standard.
DARE Professional Audio has released a shielded version of its highly successful Micro 12 loudspeaker. The Micro 12 is passive as standard, handles 650W and has a dispersion of 90 by 60 degrees. The speaker has seven integral flying points, the horn can rotate for horizontal installations, and there is also a wall/ceiling bracket available. The Micro 12 provides a high powered compact solution for audio visual applications where a quality audio performance is expected. It is also available in portable weatherised versions.
Hayden Laboratories report continuing sales of the Rolec hard drive background and foreground music systems into a variety of venues and installations. Le Petit Blanc in Oxford, one of the renowned brasserie brand of chef Raymond Blanc, now has a Rolec DHD-200C onboard, supplied by Installation Technology. Recent retail environments with Rolec systems include Boots stores in Milton Keynes and Kensington, both via Reflex Systems and fashion store Envy at the Bluewater shopping experience in Kent, via Music Marketing Services. Hocken Sound and Music Marketing Services are installing Rolec hard drives into Litten Tree pub venues for Surrey Free Inns. Restaurant Bazaar is a Chinese restaurant roll-out, expanding rapidly in the Greater London area, owned by Taipan Taverns. All sites are including Rolec hard drives for music, installed by HTL from Blackpool. Other HTL Rolec installs include the Marriott Hotel in Swansea and more with Forte and Posthouse hotel installations through Balance Audio. Liverpool-based Orritt Electronic Services now always supply the Rolec system over multi-CD machines. Recent examples are Edwards, a Bass Leisure young person’s destination venue, O’Neill’s Irish bars and Bass’s City Town bars and Arena venues.
London-based pro-audio distributor Autograph Sales, has announced the supply of a Clear-Com Matrix Plus 3 digital point-to-point intercom system to the Royal National Theatre. The fully-progammable intercom system will be installed in the 890-seater Lyttelton Theatre in April 2001. At the heart of the communications system will be a Clear-Com Compact 72 mainframe, expandable up to 72-ports. Various system interfaces will allow the RNT to incorporate its existing complement of Clear-Com Party-Line equipment - including over 30 beltpacks and four master stations. As part of the Matrix Plus system, Autograph Sales has also supplied more than 14 Clear-Com ICS-92 9-key switch stations, all featuring electronic labelling of the destination keys.
Britannia Row Productions has expanded its hire inventory to include 12 of the new TQ-440SP loudspeakers from Turbosound's Qlight range. Audio designer Derrick Zieba was the first to use them on two major televised events: Jim Davidson's Christmas Special - Coming Home for Christmas - filmed onboard HMS Invincible, followed by Miss World. Zieba explained: "The new self-powered TQ-440SP bears a strong resemblance in terms of voicing to larger Turbosound enclosures I've used before." To keep an even sound pattern, Zieba, with the help of Brit Row's Nick Maddren, designed a system comprised of single stacks of Turbosound Floodlight, delayed down the elongated space. Four stacks per side, with four pairs of suspended TQ-440SPs, created the arch necessary to give good coverage.
As Brit Row's head of audio for the Miss World event, one of the last held at the Dome in London, Zieba brought in the TQ-440SPs again for the vocal aspects of the sound reinforcement. The FOH system comprised a Turbosound Flashlight system flown stereo together with 10 TQ-440SPs flown above the stage.
Compulite Systems have been at the hub of high-tech development for the entertainment industry for two decades.
The company has recently released a mobile version of its popular CompuDim 2000, which supports all previous features. Designed for theatres, opera houses, TV studios and concert halls, CompuDim 2000 is an intelligent, high precision, fully digital dimming system. Due to its modular design it is possible to offer several cabinet configurations up to 96 dimmers. The dimmers offer both DMX and/or Ethernet communication with status reporting either locally to the control module or to the Compulite console.
A small Copenhagen playhouse is staging one of Europe's theatrical events of the year: the reunion of composer Tom Waits and director Robert Wilson on a production of George Buchner's 'Woyzeck'. This is Wilson and Waits’ third collaboration, succeeding 'The Black Rider' and 'Alice'. The production, with music by Tom Waits and lyrics by his wife Kathleen Brennan, is the first to feature an all-Danish cast of actors and musicians. Sound designer Nicolaj Aarup has miked his 10-strong cast with DPA 4065 headset microphones, teamed with Samson UT6 wireless systems. "I've worked with a lot of headset mics, but I've never had such an excellent performance," says Aarup. "The 4065 gives me so much headroom, it doesn't matter if the actors are whispering or shouting, I can get the true voices coming out of my system. It's like listening to them in the dressing room, only louder. "Tom Waits thoroughly approved of the vocal sound, although sometimes we had to add a little effect to 'squeeze' the sound because it was almost too good. His score sets out to paint a very rough and harsh picture, and it would be inappropriate to make it sound too clear and smooth." The Betty Nansen production of 'Woyzeck' has attracted attention from theatre impresarios all over Europe, and it is hoped that the show will play internationally in 2001.
Fostex has introduced the VFO8 digital eight-track recorder/mixer - offering a truly digital multi-tracker at a highly-competitive price, say the company. Although an eight-track system, it is technically a 24-track because it has the advantage of 16 additional "ghost" tracks for multiple takes or for holding alternative versions solos, etc. A large 5.1GB hard drive is fitted as standard giving more than two hours of non-compressed eight-track recording. An optional SCSI interface provides fast backup, and WAV file import and export to external SCSI media provides unlimited storage. Familiar, easy, non-destructive audio editing is offered via Copy/Move-Paste/Erase commands. An innovative mastering mode gives ten independent pre-set digital ASP effects on tracks seven and eight. A choice of Flat, Wet Mix, Light Mix, LiveMix, Pop Mix, Dance, Hard, 70s, Hall and Lo-Fi mode are available.