Further to our news piece last month on the West End musical Napoleon, we can tell you a little bit more about the soundtrack and effects elements of the production. Sound designers Martin Levan and Henrick Marsen, masterminded these aspects, and for full control and realistic localisation of all sound effects, specified Out Board’s TiMax level and delay matrix, supplied by Autograph. All the sound effects within the production are distributed via the TiMax system, which is triggered by MIDI cues and the Cadac show control system. As well as the sound effects themselves, Levan and Marsen utilised TiMax to add artificial reverb enhancement to the auditorium as the natural sound environment was very dead. Two of the TiMax inputs were fed from an ambient mic cluster through to all the loudspeaker panels, just to create a more lively atmosphere!
ARX Systems (Hall 4.1, Stand A70) will be launching a wide range of new products at the 2001 Frankfurt MusikMesse (7-11 March). These include several additions to the company’s powered loudspeaker range including the SPL20 powered sub-woofer, the Level 8 line interface, 8 Pre eight-channel microphone preamp and the ZA5.1 six-channel surround amplifier. The newly-revised and updated ARX V4.1 product CD-ROM detailing all matters ARX will also be available at the Booth, as well as the usual Australian hospitality.
Adam Hall has announced the release of the AC series BNC 75 Ohm receptacle connectors, from Amphenol Australia. The design features an Amphenol BNC adapter mounted in the AC series receptacle ensuring a rugged flush-mounted product. Designed for broadcast, video and other applications that require impedance matched performance, the connector is completely isolated from ground. The industry standard D series XLR panel housing provides the installer with the convenience of having standard metalwork cut-outs for both XLR and BNC installations. Available in standard Nickel finish or optional black.
Wybron Inc has introduced the next generation of its popular Autopilot. Autopilot II is a 3-D tracking system that turns moving lights into automated followspots that track performers in real time. Autopilot II is now ‘plug and play’ simple and anyone can set-up and run. Set-up is virtually automated and viewable in three dimensions on a laptop. Web-based enhancements give users the power to use, adjust, monitor and even diagnose system performance from the laptop. Autopilot II has expanded memory capacity that allows users to control up to 75 moving lights.
Strand Lighting's SLD series dimmers have won the Eddy award for Lighting Product of the Year, as presented by Entertainment Design Magazine. Phil O¹Donnell accepted the award on behalf of Strand Lighting at a ceremony held in New York City in December."We are delighted and pleased to accept this Industry recognition for our new SLD dimmer range," said Peter Rogers, global sales and marketing director for Strand Lighting.
Sennheiser Electronic Corporation and Future Sonics Inc have entered into agreement under which Future Sonics has designed and will manufacture a professional, universal personal ear-phone to be packaged with the popular Sennheiser evolution wireless 300 IEM system. The formal announcement will take place at NAMM 2001 and product will start shipping next month. Both companies will eventually sell the units as stand alone products.
Production of the Midas XL3 console has finally ceased with serial number 1000, the very last XL3 to be manufactured, rolling off the production line last month. The XL3 has had a long and varied history over its 10 years of production. The first ever XL3 users were rental company Electrotec who took a prototype out on tour with heavy metal rock band Motorhead - before the console was even launched. However, the very first XL3 off the production line went not to Electrotec, but to the famous London venue, The Forum in Kentish Town, where it still serves as the FOH console - and coincidentally will later this month be used for Motorhead. The last console, serial number 1000, along with numbers 999 and 998, has already been shipped, via Midas’ Belgian distributors Ampco Belgium, to a large Belgian full service production company, Philing Live, who also have subsidiaries in France.
Mackie Designs has launched the V3.0 operating system for the Mackie D8B console, and it is now available for download at the company’s website. V.3.0 features third party plug-in support, and many new surround sound mixing features, innovative networking capabilities, and many new user-requested features.
Logic System Pro Audio’s new CS1296 three-box bi-amp system has received a good reception since its launch at the PLASA Show in September, Logic reports. Long-term Logic user Creative Light & Sound of Aberdeen has recently invested in eight stacks of the system for their own hire stock, with proprietor Charlie Flett praising the CS1296 for its flexibility, compact dimensions and the ease with which it can be arrayed. Flett chose the multi-functional CM20 15" plus 2" coaxial unit to complement the system. Meanwhile, a new customer, Innovation Pro Audio from the Netherlands, has also invested in CS1296. Four stacks of the system now feature in their rental portfolio along with an array of other Logic products including four stacks of the two-box CS1090 system, four CS1000SB 2 x 18" sub bass units and eight CM15 15" plus 1" coaxial units.
Stage Accompany has introduced the new EFN-DP processing modules, an extension of the Extended Function Network (EFN) circuitry, featured in its Efficiency Series amplifiers. Dedicated to SA loudspeakers, each module features three speaker-dedicated functions, operating simultaneously - clip/excursion protection, dedicated filtering and power optimizing. The clip/excursion parameters are dedicated to the exact specifications of the driver and cabinet, and the excursion protection is a frequency-dependent, zero-attack limiter. The filtering is adjusted to the system set-up, i.e. the filtering for a top/sub system can be a combination of Bessel and Butterworth filter characters, or can have phase correction/alignment.
The third function of the EFN-DP module is power optimizing. Due to the different RMS/peak power values of a speaker and an amplifier, either the actual output capacity of a speaker is never used 100%, or the speaker is exposed to over powering. The power optimizing of the EFN-DP module matches power output of the amplifier with the RMS/peak power handling of the speaker. The circuitry is Opto-coupler regulated for less noise and distortion. Combining the EFN-DP processing with SA’s Dynamic Damping Control circuitry, Stage Accompany say they have achieved the ultimate synergy between speaker and amplifier.
Television lighting director John Allard has won an award for the development of a new fluourescemt lighting system based around a twin 36W PLL light tube. SunStar, now manufactured by AC/DC Lighting of Barrowford, Lancashire, is a cost-effective, highly portable tungsten or daylight balanced fluorescent light. With its hot light output, cool running and low energy consumption, this system is ideal for use with television film crews, photographers and exhibition set illumination. The light units are already in standard use with television companies GMTV and This Morning.
The BBC programme Tomorrow’s World recently featured an innovative new microphone that will help to ease communication in very noisy environments – such as between security officers at pop and rock concerts. Where the noise levels generated by screaming fans can exceed 110dB, using radio walkie-talkies to relay potentially vital messages can be a real problem. However, the new microphone, called Invisio, gets round the problem by picking up the wearer’s voice from inside the head. Sitting inside a specially-made earpiece, the miniature microphone picks up the voice of the speaker via the vibrations passing up through the jawbone.
Celestion has launched two new multi-purpose bass systems that make up a range of innovative products called Substation. The new Substation 10, Substation 15 and the Substation18 are flexible units designed for easy integration into fixed and portable systems. All three cabinets feature a unique Celestion connector panel that allows them to be configured in any one of three modes; Passive Stereo, Passive Mono and Direct Mono. The dual voice coil design enables mono ‘summed’ bass reproduction of a stereo signal, while an internal passive crossover allows the user to select mono or stereo high pass passive filtering for separate mid/high loudspeakers.
The smallest loudspeaker is the Substation 10, which has been designed for use in space-critical fixed installations. This provides additional LF reinforcement for music systems and is ideal for use in retail stores and restaurants. The Substation15 combines high power and performance in an easily transportable cabinet, adding extended bass performance to portable systems or fixed installations. This compact unit provides solid bass performance and high power handling make it suitable for high level bass reinforcement in a variety of venues. The Substation18 is the largest product in the range, providing a powerful low-end performance for bars, clubs and live music venues.
Renkus-Heinz has officially launched the Reflex Series of loudspeakers, which was previewed at the PLASA Show in September. Reflex is manufactured in Europe, and brings two key Renkus-Heinz technologies to a host of applications at a more affordable price. The Reflex Series employs advanced Renkus-Heinz technology, top grade cabinet materials and high quality European audio components. The units are designed for both installed and touring applications, with rugged construction and user-friendly features such as handles and tripod mounting sockets.
The Reflex Series incorporate two unique Renkus-Heinz technologies: Complex Conic horn topology (which eliminates the polar pattern distortions created by traditional horn designs) and True Array Principle or ‘TRAP’ (which ensures that the acoustic centres of adjacent cabinets are physically coincident). Typical applications include theatres, nightclubs, small-to-medium size arena/stadium distributed systems, compact live sound PA systems, and portable or installed conference A/V applications.
Coe-tech, UK distributors for Coemar and TAS intelligent lighting products, has ended the year on a high note in the live concert and touring market, having enjoyed a high degree of success in establishing the new Coemar CF7 moving light as a must-have tool for many top lighting designers. The award-winning CF7 has now been supplied to top touring artists including Robbie Williams (LD Liz Berry), Steps (LD Vince Foster), Mel C and 5ive (LD Peter Barnes), Sarah Brightman (LD Patrick Woodroffe), the Beautiful South (LD Dave Byars) and Radiohead (LD Andi Watson). The CF7 HE (hard edge) luminaire’s profile was further boosted by winning an LDI 2000 Award.
Stage Accompany has introduced the latest addition to the Entertainer Series - the E27. Specifically designed as a compact, medium-power full-range loudspeaker, the E27 is usable as a sound reinforcement system without the need for additional bass cabinets.
The Series has a frequency range of 55Hz - 30,000Hz, and a continuous power of 400W and is capable of producing high definition, distortion-free sound at both low and high SPLs, up to 127dB. The speakers feature Ribbon Compact Drivers, SA’s exclusive transducer for mid and high frequencies. Because of the directivity of the driver, no compression horn is needed, which eliminates sound colouring.
AEI Music have announced that its latest hard-disc music storage system will be launched on February 1st 2001. The new system, says AEI, combines the benefits of hard-disc storage with the 'Human Touch' of experienced music programmers, without relying on computer modelling to choose the music, thereby ensuring that repetition is avoided, and tracks 'sound good together'. ProFusion is a closed format system that can be scheduled up to the minute, hour, day, month and year, allowing for promotional items and messages to be stored alongside the music.
At the NAMM Show (Anaheim, California, 18-21 January 2001) Sennheiser will be launching the RS30, 40, 60 and 80 wireless headphones. As the showcase model in the series, the RS60 uses SRS Labs' headphone enhancement technology to include switchable surround sound, delivering a realistic and spacious listening experience through stereo headphones. SRS processing is based on the same psycho-acoustic principles which allow us to hear sounds in three dimensions, and is unique because it achieves without the use of special recording techniques. Frequency response is a full 20Hz to 20kHz, with up to 100dB of sound output.
GAM Products has extended the GamTube line to include as standards the new T-5s and T-8s as well as T-12 bi-axial lamps. GamTube is a colour sleeve that fits over fluorescents of almost any size and comes in 40 off-the-shelf colours.
Airstar, famous for its illuminated lighting balloon, has extended its special events range with Totem, a lighted column that should add a new dimension to exhibitions and corporate events. Totem’s outer envelope is mounted on a base and the balloon is automatically inflated by an internal fan. The Totem comes in three models – the Totem 200, a 2m column, the Totem 500, 5m column and the Arche – an arch-shaped version.
Sony has introduced a new large size video screen to its line-up of public display solutions to provide a high impact visual medium for indoor advertising, digital signage and retail applications. In a plug and play format, the new 126” (diagonal measurement) JJTron utilises LED technology with an 8mm pixel pitch and partial 12-bit processing. Screen control is through a remote commander, not unlike a typical television remote control unit.
High End Systems has announced the software development of a new feature for its line of automated lighting products. Called Internal Effects, the feature allows an endless selection of pan and tilt movements to be accomplished with even simple control systems. The present Macro channel is used to support and control the selection of Internal Effects. The feature may also be used with lighting desks such as the Wholehog II, which contains an on-board Internal Effects Engine. The software is available for download through the High End Systems website. Once the software is loaded into the fixture, the existing Macro channel becomes converted into the new Internal Effects feature.
TMB Associates has introduced the PowerPAR 575 fixture. With an MSR575 or MSD575 lamp in a modified Source Four PAR body, the PowerPAR575 offers very bright, daylight-balanced output with the excellent field quality of the Source Four PAR. The attached electronic ballast includes an auto-sensing worldwide power supply and auto restrike. The PowerPAR 575 dimensions are the same as a standard Source Four PAR except for the longer yoke with the ballast. The unit weighs only 8kgs (18lbs) and draws only 3 amps at 230VAC (6 amps at 120VAC). These features make it an ideal fixture for exhibition and display applications as well as architectural installations.
General Motors is incorporating NXT's patented flat panel speaker technology in its latest concept car, the Buick Bengal. The Bengal, which is a front-wheel drive, V6 four-seater convertible will be featured at the 2001 Detroit Motor Show in January. The vehicle is fitted with voice-activated controls and a four-position joystick on the steering wheel, which eliminates the need for gauges and knobs and allows the entire dashboard to become a large NXT flat-panel speaker. The audio system comprises five NXT speakers, which envelop the interior in audiophile-quality sound.