At the end of a busy Summer Season for Dobson Sound, one of the more practical new products taken into its hire stock was beyerdynamic's new DT390 headsets. Martin Reed, Dobson's Sound engineer was enthusiastic about the headsets: ’We used the DT394s [Motorola Comms Version] and the DT390s for a mixture of comms, duplex talkback and IEM systems fed with PFL and Motorola links. The 27dB isolation the headsets gave us was a great advantage especially with the levels we had had to face at some of the rock events.’ The DT390 series of headphones have been designed as noise defending monitoring headsets. The headsets have been applauded by television camera crews that have to work on sound stages and a special version of the DT390 will be available in the next few months that has a low-profile ear-shell so that the headset does not interfere with the camera when it is being used on the operators shoulder.
High End Systems debuted its newest automated luminaire, the x.Spot, at the recent LDI exhibition in Las Vegas. The x.Spot boasts enhanced projection capabilities through its sophisticated f2.0 (4:1) zoom lens (11° to 45° range) with steady aperture and flat-field focusing. The fixture’s high light output comes from an MSR 700W short arc lamp, optimized through a multi-elliptical reflector for maximum output.Modular construction lets each user customize the x.Spot and assemble the optimal feature set for every show. Gobo and effects wheels are placed in x.Spot's three user-configurable slots. Oversized, rotating LithoMotion wheels create dynamic image movement through the light beam. Another option is a comprehensive set of framing shutters, which accurately frame set pieces. The x.Spot offers state-of-the-art colour mixing as well as variable colour temperature correction (3000° K to 6200° K), making each fixture instantly adaptable for theatre and TV studios.To extend x.Spot's life into the future, each fixture comes with an Ethernet port, making it ready for ACN (Advanced Control Network) and other network-based protocols. x.Spot is targeted to ship during the first quarter of 2001.
Logic System Pro Audio has announced the first sale of their new CS1296 arrayable touring system, to Atomic Sound Systems of Newark, Notts. The system, launched at PLASA 2000, consists of three boxes - a fully arrayable mid-top box with optional flying hardware, a twin 15inch cabinet and a single 18inch cabinet (although a twin 18inch enclosure will be added to the range in the near future). Delivery of the 30-box system took place in early October, in time for the busy run-up to Christmas.
Skyhigh Stage FX has designed a new range of pyro detonating systems - the PDS Range. The company claims that this new range is one of the safest pyro firing systems commercially available. As soon as the PDS firing key is turned to arm the system, not only does the fire button illuminate, making it perfectly clear the system is armed, but also an LED is illuminated on the Smartpod, informing anyone at the business end, that the system is now armed. The LED is bi coloured, and serves two purposes. It not only warns personnel on stage that the system is armed, but it also informs them whether or not the pyro in the Smartpod has a circuit through it.A Smartpod will only pass an electrical signal to a pyro once. If a pyro fails to go off the first time, the system has to be re-set, before that pod will receive a signal again, thus eliminating a possibility of an unexpected explosion. Currently the PDS range consists of two channel, four channel, plus 12 and 24-channel systems. Plans are in place to manufacture all but the two channel as ready flightcased packages, with space in the case for pods and cables.
Scar Audio - part of Audio Industries Research - has introduced a range of baffle-only speakers available direct from the factory, which enable the user to create state-of-the-art sound systems at a fraction of the normal cost. These 'ready to play' baffles range from 2-way 12" systems, to 2 x 18" sub-bass bins, surround speakers and studio monitors, are fully wired and tested with drivers, horns, crossovers and tuning ports. All that is needed is a simple box (or flightcase). Alternatively, they can be built into the room/stage structure, under stage or seating for even better performance. The range is aimed at contractors, system installers, hire companies or overseas customers wishing to reduce the cost of UK products.
Continuing its free upgrade philosophy, Pulsar is offering all users of its Masterpiece control desk the latest 'Chase Generator' software free of charge. The 'Chase Generator' allows the creation of complex chase sequences from just a single scene memory, making programming quick and easy. The upgrade is supplied as an EPROM and is simple to install. To obtain the free upgrade software, contact Pulsar on 01223 366798 or your nearest Pulsar Reseller.
At the LDI 2000 exhibition in Las Vegas last weekend, Vari-Lite introduced the Virtuoso DX console, the latest addition to the Virtuoso system, intended for those who wish to purchase their control system. The Virtuoso DX, which uses the same operating system as the Virtuoso, supports up to 2,000 luminaires and contains eight built-in DMX universes in a smaller, more compact package. A 3D graphical interface provides real-time status from all Vari*Lite luminaires and simulated feedback from all other devices. The console provides easy and consistent programming of Vari*Lite luminaires, DMX moving lights and conventional lights. The console supports up to 26 DMX universes and is equipped with an off-line editing program that allows 2D and 3D programming of all show data. The Virtuoso DX provides manual control functions including three hard encoders dedicated to intensity, pan and tilt controls, and six soft encoders for all other parameter functions. Vari-Lite say the console will be available for purchase in the first quarter of 2001.
Hayden Laboratories Ltd, UK distributors for Rolec hard drive background and foreground music systems continue to supply these machines for a massive variety of venues and installations. Le Petit Blanc in Oxford, a lively restaurant 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. Birmingham-based Hocken Sound and London-based Music Marketing Services are installing Rolec hard drives into Litten Tree pub venues for Surrey Free Inns. Jim Thompson's Oriental Bar, Restaurant Bazaar is a Chinese restaurant roll-out, expanding rapidly in the Greater London area, owned by Taipan Taverns. All sites are benefiting from Rolec hard drives for music, installed by HTL from Blackpool.
Yamaha has introduced the UW500 'Personal Studio System' - an all-in-one solution for audio and MIDI recording. The UW500 system provides everything for the computer musician including comprehensive analogue inputs, digital in/outs and multi-port MIDI capability. A comprehensive software package for sequencing, editing and tone generation is also included. Connecting via a single high-speed USB cable, the UW500 system will transform a computer into a fully equipped, easy to use home recording and music production studio.
LCS will introduce, through its newly-appointed UK distributors Sound Dept, the CueConsole - a modular control surface which replaces the conventional front-of-house sound mixer. CueConsole's new approach to digital control surfaces is its adaptable modularity. Four types of control modules interface with the core of the system - the SuperNova or new Matrix3 audio engines. (The foundation of Matrix3 is the 3U LX-300 frame. Up to 32 of these frames can be linked in a fault-tolerant network, supporting a maximum of 400 audio inputs and 512 audio outputs.) The modules are flexible in that they can be configured in whatever way is most convenient for the sound designer/engineer. Because CueConsole is merely a control surface, with no audio passing through it, the interface back to the audio engine is standard network interface cable. As a result, the modules can be set up in the conventional front-of-house position, or alternatively different modules can be sited in different locations.
In a radical overhaul of their dimmer portfolio, Strand Lighting has announced the first models in an advance new programmed known as the SLD Series. The range has been ruggedly designed from the ground up - creating an architecture based on optimum usability and built with state-of-the art, entertainment specific components. Designed to interface fully with Strand's proprietary ShowNet Ethernet system, the SLD dimming system provides a wide range of inputs as well as presets for its Outlook architectural system, along with 99 system wide control back-up presets with individual fade times.
MTFX now manufactures both 'Poly Packman' snow and 'Paper Packman' snow. These are fully flame retardant, does not clog the machine and can be used for dressing a set. The company has also added to its sales inventory a complete range of CO2 fired confetti cannons which includes a basic Kanji kit.
The University of the Highlands and Islands Project (UHI), which runs one of Europe's largest teaching and learning videoconferencing networks, has further enhanced its provision by adding beyerdynamic's MCW wireless conference system. Known as the 'Mediawall', the system incorporates the very latest in presentation technology and was supplied and installed by McMillan Aberdeen under the guidance of Graham Stellard who coordinated the project. The beyerdynamic MCW system was integrated to expand the operational facilities by allowing groups of people to exchange information emulating a lecture theatre situation as well as being used for management meeting by the University's governing principles.
ARX Systems has introduced a series of multi-channel power amplifiers with built-in zoning features. Comprising three models, the ZA Series is designed for any multi-channel application including paging systems, foreground and background music, AV systems, loudspeaker multi-zoning, etc. The ZA Series features AutoLink function which automatically links channel inputs as required, eliminating the extra expense of an external zoner/splitter. The models are the ZA400 (4-channel, 250W pc into 4 ohms); ZA600 (6-channel, 125W pc into 4 ohms); ZA800 (8-channel, 125W pc into 4 ohms). Initial installations of the ZA Series include the CSIRO Science Centre in Canberra, Australia and the Ing-Ge Ceramics Museum in Taipei, Taiwan.
Worcestershire-based rental company RMPA has just invested in ElectroVoice's latest microphone launch, PolarChoice, purchased from EV's UK distributor, Shuttlesound. PolarChoice podium microphones offer the option of four different pickup patterns, allowing the selection of the best pattern for the application. The ability to select from omnidirectional, cardioid, supercardioid or hypercardioid assures the maximum protection against system feedback and ambient background noise. RMPA's Rick Bailey commented: "They really are excellent microphones in every way . . . The gain they offer before feedback is impressive, and the sound quality is superb. And it's just as well because the very first event they went out on was the MOD's World Symposium on speech intelligibility and speech coding at the DERA headquarters in Farnborough! However, the client was as impressed with the mics' performance as I was."
Spirit by Soundcraft is launching a 40-input version of its popular LX7 mixing desks. Housed in a 32-mono channel frame, the LX7-40 features a maximum of 40 inputs, including stereo inputs and returns. Like its siblings, the new model features seven separate bus outputs, including Mix Left and Right, four Groups and a dedicated Mono bus for centre speaker clusters, side or rear fills. With the inclusion of six auxiliary busses and Direct Outs on 24 of the mono channels, the output count rises to 37.Spirit has also announced a major update for the Digital 328 console, adding many new and improved features. The 328's dynamic automation is now compatible with a wider range of sequencers, while changes and additions to the user interface make for even easier operation.
Audio Design Systems, under its trading name of ADSworldwide, has entered into a special joint venture with a Chinese company to sell a range of home theatre equipment under a UK label. ADS will see its new range being sold under the Mistral label in all of China's seven major cities. It is envisaged that the Mistral, which comprises a range of home theatre speakers together with an amplifier and DVD player, will also be marketed within the UK and Europe. The televised launch of the product was recently staged in Shenzhen on China's south-eastern coast. David Hopkins OBE, managing director of ADS, was there as a special guest, and admitted that the event had been far more high-profile than he could have thought possible. He added: "There can be no doubt that the venture will succeed if the initial launch is anything to go by."
Tannoy Professional, in conjunction with Funktion One Research, has launched the Focus 10 PowerDual - a high-quality music and speech reinforcement loudspeaker with complementary Focus 18B bass unit. Designed specifically for use in medium-sized venues and distributed systems in stadia, the PowerDual combines Tannoy's Dual Concentric technology with Funktion One's patented Axhead technology, which provides a controlled 60° horizontal x 40° vertical dispersion, never before achieved with a Dual Concentric fully horn-loaded unit. Tannoy's Focus 10 is a weatherproof skeletal design suitable for internal and external use and is compact and lightweight for ease of mounting. Both speakers have been designed for use with the Tannoy TDX2 Digital System Controller, which includes two input and six output channels to provide up to five crossover modes for both stereo and mono operation. Output channels feature independent control for gain, delay, high and low pass filters, five-band parametric EQ, limiting and polarity and the TDX2 also comes with a number of pre-programmed presets for use with all current Tannoy speakers.
A new simultaneous translation facility, incorporating a Sennheiser infra-red transmission system and Evolution wireless microphones, has been installed by London-based M&R Communications, as part of a major refurbishment to the Congress Hall at the Hilton Hotel in Abuja, Nigeria. The system has been specified to accommodate pan-national conference requirements and the six-channel Sennheiser infra-red system includes over 1,200 stethoset receivers, COM 1423 gooseneck microphones and MKH 40 cardioid condenser mics for the lectern. A smaller two-channel portable system was also provided for smaller bilingual meetings.
Canford Audio has acquired the design rights to the range of broadcast audio products previously supplied by Audio Systems Components Ltd (ASC). This well-known and respected range, including the Buddy PC Workstation, MD-Report! location recorder, Minx OB mixer and the Talking Brick workstation loudspeaker as well as VHF tuners with pro-conversions, is now manufactured a its Washington (UK) facility. At the same time, UK distribution and support of the ISDN products from Spanish manufacturer Prodys has also moved to Canford. This includes not only the established Pronto series, but the new Nomada portable contribution unit, and Multiplexer 2MB link equipment.
GMS Music has introduced the musicPro music management system. Based on the award-winning SmartDisc technology, musicPro offers low-cost control and flexibility for computerised management of background and foreground music. Featuring a song-bank of up to 500 tunes, musicPro provides the option to change or update music when needed by allowing unlimited access to GMS's vast music catalogue - featuring over 50,000 tunes.
South west-based rental company, CAV, has recently taken delivery of a 48-channel Midas Heritage 3000 mixing console purchased from the Birmingham branch of LMC Audio Systems. For CAV proprietor, Hans Beier, this is his first Midas purchase. In the short time that the desk has been resident at CAV it has already travelled down to Jersey for an event there, and upon its return went straight out to major UK festival, V2000.
Auditel has launched a new range of E series infra-red radiators for simultaneous interpretation and tour guide systems. The top of the range EP105E provides radiated power of 24W with 21 channels and commensurate endurance and range coverage. It uses the latest extended frequency diodes previously only found in systems for users requiring 12 to 16 language channels. A single emitter can cover up to 9,500sq.m. There are tow other products in the range - the EP150 and the smaller version EP160.
Mid-Sussex based KAVE Theatre Services has recently been appointed the UK distributor for the American SFX range of audio control software. The range consists of five packages offering various levels of control, making them suitable for a wide spectrum of users from schools and colleges to the professional theatre.