DMX Music has standardized all system design and documentation on Stardraw. The premier provider of professionally programmed music, imaging and message marketing has begun to roll out Stardraw AV on a national basis over many of its 26 offices in the United States. DMX Music carried out extensive research and testing of available products before they opted to standardize on Stardraw. Tim Dorwart, vice-president of Commercial Division for the Eastern US, cited the need for quality over and above other requirements: "After our evaluation process Stardraw came through as the clear winner for us in all categories, but certain areas stood out," Dorwart said. "The key factor was the quality of the symbols and the fact they all conform to the same standard, and the protection that this affords the database. There is far less likelihood of corrupt data or a virus sneaking into the software than in programs that do not levy some form of qualitative standard. It was also the product that the sales guys felt the most comfortable with in terms of ease of use and the ability to produce professional designs quickly, and that of course is extremely important."
President of Stardraw.com, Randell Green, told us. "We have always stressed the short learning curve as one of the key assets of Stardraw. Most people can be productive within as little as half an hour. Not only does this save an enormous amount of time at the design stage, but the ability to produce professional quality presentations quickly and easily plays a very important role in closing the sale.&quo
ARX Systems, known for its range of innovative signal processing solutions, has released the new CentreMIXX centre channel creator for speaker systems requiring a central cluster.
Central loudspeaker clusters are now becoming a standard in installations and live sound reinforcement systems, providing the operator with the ability to centre the voice and acoustic program material, whilst at the same time retaining the stereo image across the left and right loudspeakers. Until the advent of the ARX CentreMIXX, only users of high end mixing consoles equipped with a separate centre channel output were able to easily derive a vocal dominated mono centre mix. The ARX CentreMIXX allows even a very simple system to derive a centre channel from a summed mono mix of left and light, with a L-R mix accuracy of 0.1 dB.
ARRI GB used the recent Production Show at Olympia as a platform to expose the benefits of its X-series daylight luminaires. A full house of LDs and production staff attended the demonstration, presented by experienced television lighting director, Dave Lock.
With the aid of a butterfly net and chimera soft box, the talk did more to extol the virtues of soft lighting in confined spaces than live up to its rather laconic billing, ‘Lighting By The Seat Of Your Pants.’ Advocating the use of reflective, rather than direct lighting, Dave Lock explained that the ARRI X Series - the X2 (200W), X5 (575W - the model which was demonstrated), X12 (1200W), 25/40 (2.5K/4K) and X60 (6K) - were the result of the Japanese requirement for a 130° flood, non lens lamp producing a hard shape. He illustrated how much closer this could be operated to the butterfly net to produce the diffused effect, when measured alongside a conventional ARRI 575 HMI Compact, which offers a 55° spread.
"Space is always a problem, and with the X-Lights you can virtually touch the butterfly net and they will produce an incredibly crisp shadow - creating a spread of light over a reduced distance -whereas the 575 HMI would have to be sited far back," he illustrated. The other advantage of the X-Lights he said, were ease of colour change and level control. Aided by the STLD’s Roger Duncan, Dave Lock backed up his presentation showing VHS clips of BBC drama to illustrate effective (and in some instances not so effective) use of location lighting, particularly where the intrusion of na
Starmax International has introduced the SX800 - a 10W, air-cooled, laser luminaire. Based around Starmax’s proprietary solid-state laser technology, the SX800 incorporates an innovative DPSS YAG laser which produces a brilliant 10W green output, enough power for the most demanding concert, nightclub and outdoor applications. The SX800’s features include: an integral beam scanning system coupled with a pan and tilt mirror to project beam arrays and atmospheric effects over a 180 x 45 degree area; full DMX control of all laser functions, scanned effects and mirror positioning, requiring only 115 VAC at 15 amps.
The system is packaged much like a standard intelligent lighting luminaire rather than a typical laser table configuration. Several units can be truss-flown and controlled from the LD’s standard DMX lighting board or controller, without the need for special computers and complex laser controllers. The SX800 is virtually maintenance free with the solid-state laser source providing approx 15,000 hours of operating life.
Avolites has launched Pearl Simulator, a useful, time-saving free software download, available from the company’s website, which provides a virtual interface for Avolites’ popular Pearl 2000 console. The photo-realistic software enables LDs, programmers and operators to start programming a Pearl without a physical console, or to edit existing shows, saving data to a Pearl compatible floppy. Pearl Simulator is also an ideal solution for those learning the desk or anyone wanting a first view of the Pearl 2000 Console and its user-friendly feature set.
Pearl Simulator is designed to work with the Avolites Visualiser emulation system - uniting both the console and lighting rig in a virtual environment. This is invaluable for situations where programming and set up time is at a premium. Down time can also be optimised and used efficiently - for example, on long haul plane journeys or travel days on the bus. A fully working Visualiser Lighting Rig is now bundled as part of the free Pearl Simulator download.
Pearl operators can use the Simulator on its own to edit and update their shows, whilst new users can use both the Simulator and the Rig to learn how to programme; anyone just interested can load the pre-programmed ‘Show’ file to fill the console with movement and colour effects, shutter & iris chases, theatre stacks and much more.
The Avolites Cache Builder is another free download. This lets you load the consoles just with the fixtures being used, rather than being offered the full personality database - currently over 500. This is ideal
In response to customer demand, Artistic Licence has released the Truss-Ear! This is a truss mount adapter, compatible with a range of Artistic Licence products, including Rack-Split RDM, Net-Link I/P, Net-Link O/P and the soon to be released Power-Hub 4. The Truss-Ear is simply retrofitted to the product by removal of the end plates and provides two thumb screws for added security in addition to dual safety chain mounts. Attachment points for cable ties are also provided, allowing the product cables to be secured.
The new ChromaScape from Pulsar is a compact, waterproof spotlight containing a combination of 80 red, green and blue LEDs. Its IP68 protection rating makes it ideal for outdoor use in any weather condition. Available in black only, it comes with an adjustable mounting bracket - for a variety of working positions. It offers an optional recessed/ground-mounting kit making it an extremely versatile fixture, suitable for a wide range of applications.
The Selecon Arena 2.0/2.5kW Theatre Fresnel and P.C. have just received a redesign. The update has created some impressive beam angle ranges and equally impressive beam quality, a smooth field with little spill and minimal field angle. The key attributes include an automatic disconnect of the mains power when accessing the lamp; Selecon’s unique ‘posi-slide’ focus action, which delivers a fast and smooth focus action minimising lamp vibration as the reflector/socket assembly moves on machined teflon bearings along extruded guide rails; adjustable suspension yoke along the length of the fixture and focus reference scale. The redesign includes improved airflow around the filter holder to maximize filter life and remove unwanted light spill along with a new extruded cover for the accessory mounting slots. The Arena Theatre Fresnel, as with all Selecon fixtures, carries a three year factory warranty.
Avolites has launched its first installation dimmer - the ART2000i Install Dimmer - the latest addition to its ART 2000 digital series. The dimmer, which is aimed at theatrical, architectural, leisure and retail applications, has the same high specification as other dimmers in the ART 2000 range. It is currently available in modules of 24 x 16 Amp units or 12 x 32 Amp, and each Avolites ART Installation System is available in hybrid mixes of the two modules.
Main features include quick and simple installation; proven design reliability; the ability to operate in all types of environments - hot and cold; a hot patch option; 100% duty cycle on all channels simultaneously; virtually silent operation; thermostatically controlled fan in ducted, force cooling chamber; dual Isolated DMX inputs with merge and full soft patch; flexible dimming, mains distribution or contactor modules; intelligent cooling system; smooth dimming of low voltage, low wattage or inductive loads and RCD protection as standard.
The 48-in-to-48-out Hot Patch option is intended for applications which need a high degree of flexibility since it removes the hassle of the retrospective installation of a custom hot patch. The ART2000i Install is designed so all lamps are terminated in the Top Box, allowing the wall units to be installed at the early ages of the site build. When the site is near completion and a dust free zone, the ART2000i Install electronics can then be added. Once in place, the Live and Neutral conductors for each circuit may easily be disconnected making annual (mandatory) checking very fa
D.A.S. Audio has unveiled a new series of rigging accessories for its popular Sound Touring and Compact series products. The accessories include flying grids of different configurations as well as all the necessary connectors, slings and pull straps.
The new flying systems allow for varying combinations of up to nine boxes per grid with the possibility of multiple grids. The system uses L-track aeronautical fittings mounted on steel angles, which reinforce the box and provide for a secure rigging point on the top and bottom of the boxes. Rear-located pull straps provide infinite tilt angles for adjusting audience coverage. The D.A.S. flying systems provide a practical and secure means of rigging D.A.S. systems.
Switchcraft has launched two new video patchbay ranges to meet the needs of broadcast studios, OB vehicles and post-production facilities. The standard size range has a rated bandwidth up to 2.4GHz (SMPTE292M) and can be supplied in 1U and 2U formats with 24 or 26 jacks, 75ohm or non-terminated, and normalled or non-normalled jacks.
Switchcraft's mid-size range provides a bandwidth of 3.0GHz, 32 jacks within 1U and 2U rack panel heights for higher density, the choice of 75ohm or non-terminated, and normalled or non-normalled jacks.
Tascam has introduced a new range of professional DJ scratch mixers. The XS-8, XS-4 OESuper Analog Series and XS-3, are affordable, two-channel scratch mixers, offering high sound quality and a range of features. These follow Tascam’s successful entry into the DJ equipment market with the advanced CD-302 DJ CD decks and flagship X-9 digital performance mixer.
The XS-8 is the top of the range ‘Super Analog Series’ model. As well as exceptionally high sound quality, this "advanced" scratch mixer features fully adjustable and reversible crossfader and channel fader curves, three-band EQ on each channel, as well as dedicated EQ control on the microphone input. Balance controls and cut switches and switchable Master and Cue monitoring are featured, and an effects loop, for connection of an external effects processor, with effects level control and in and out switching on the mixer, is also included. A full complement of inputs includes two RIAA phono level and two line level ins, as well as a session input, mic input and additional, separate stereo line level in. Balanced XLR and unbalanced phone master outputs feature discrete level control; there is also a line level ‘record’ out.
The XS-4 is a more affordable model that features the same high quality analogue signal paths, with a more fundamental feature set, with a clear and highly logically control surface layout. Two-band EQ on each channel, four stereo inputs (two RIAA phono level and two line level), a mic input and separate line level stereo in are all included. Features inclu
Hire company Yorkshire Audio recently evaluated Audio-Technica's AT4054 vocal condenser microphones during the UK leg of the James Brown international tour. Keith Birtwhistle, front of House engineer for the show, carried out the trial employing the mics on keyboard and main vocal positions and was very impressed with the results. "We are always on the look out for new products which improve sound quality and add to the artists’ performance, and I would certainly put the AT4054s into that category. They provide a powerful, clear sound and are a dream to mix."
London based MCL (Media Control Europe Ltd) the integrated solution provider of Avesco plc group, recently purchased one of Acutek's eight channel hoist controllers. Part of Acutek's growing range of control products, the hoist controller meets or exceeds all European and UK legislative requirements.
Nick Whitehead, MCL's head of lighting, commented on the controller's performance on its first outing for a big corporate presentation at the ExCel centre in London's Docklands. "It's built well and has a good specification. Importantly, it complies with all current EU safety regulations, that's an essential consideration for us." The controller's features include a three-pole type 'C' MCB protection on each motor channel, allowing identification of a faulty motor or cable from the rack. The controller also auto-senses local voltage; provided the hoists are set to the correct voltage the controller will work anywhere in the world with no adjustments. The unit also assigns control and E Stop functions to the handset when the handset is connected and detected. Most importantly, the E Stop system complies with risk level 4 of harmonised EC regulations, currently being applied in the UK.
Following the hoist control purchase, MCL have now also ordered one of Acutek's 18 Channel Hot Power Modules for use with their extensive range of automated lighting. "It's quite likely we'll be looking to Acutek to provide more equipment in the future," concluded Whitehead.
Artistic Licence has launched two new DMX512 splitters: DMX-Split RDM and Rack-Split RDM. As the product names suggest, both are designed to support the forthcoming ESTA Remote Device Management protocol. RDM (officially BSR E1.20) is currently in development by the ESTA Technical Standards Program, of which Artistic Licence is an active participant.
RDM will have a major impact on all areas of lighting control. In essence, RDM allows data to flow in both directions on a DMX512 cable. Existing DMX equipment uses the first three pins of the XLR connector to send control data from the console to the moving lights or dimmers. RDM allows data to return (still using the first three pins) from the moving lights and dimmers. There are many benefits, but most significant is that the console can now ask ‘Who's out there?’. The moving lights reply in sequence, telling the console who they are, and how many channels they use.
Then the clever part - the console can automatically assign DMX start addresses to all of the moving lights! No more climbing around the truss looking for that mis-patched light! RDM also allows the status of devices to be monitored, so users could opt to receive a warning when the smoke fluid runs low or a dimmer channel overheats.
The new DMX splitters provide all the electronics needed for this next generation of technology and of course work perfectly with 'ordinary' DMX512.
CIE-Audio, the UK supplier of installation audio equipment, has announced the addition of another market-leading brand to their portfolio - the revolutionary new ‘i-ceiling’ from Armstrong. A brand new concept in integrated acoustic ceiling systems, the ‘i-ceiling’ is the latest development from the world’s number one manufacturer of ceiling products.
i-ceiling utilises flat panel speaker technology to provide a unique loudspeaker system which exactly matches Armstrong’s market-leading range of ceilings, to combine their existing aesthetic and sound absorption qualities with the acoustic benefits of NXT flat panel speaker technology. This allows for ‘invisible’ loudspeaker solutions which benefit from greatly increased sound dispersion, providing incredibly even levels of sound reproduction compared with the ‘hot and cold’ spots characteristic of traditional moving coil speaker technology.
The Armstrong i-ceiling system has further been enhanced by a unique range of electronics, which includes digital amplification together with a range of digital and analogue processors. The A2001 (analogue) and D2001 (digital) DSP-based, software controlled processors provide a unique combination of music, public address and active acoustics such as noise spectrums and uncorrelated digital noise sources for custom designed sound masking.
"The addition of the new Armstrong i-ceiling systems provides CIE-Audio customers with a unique range of installation opportunities. With over 80% of the world’s acoustic ceiling
ARRI’s new Pocket Par systems are the ultimate small location lighting fixture, allowing the user to simply choose the wattage, reflector system and accessories required, such as the new Pocket Lite and Pocket Lighthouse.
The low-heat 200W and 400W Pocket Par system represent the latest development in ARRI’s line of high-performance daylight lampheads. Both models have been developed for fast and safe set-up and operation, providing the freedom to supply high quality light output where higher wattage lights were previously required. They are ideal for lighting commercials, interviews or feature films - in the studio or on location - or where space is at a premium. Both models offer interchangeable accessories to make the one light source perform in a variety of ways. The 200W Par has a four-lens set and the 400W Par adds a fifth lens for greater control. Both systems utilize ARRI’s Frosted Super Wide Lens, for smooth and even coverage.
For fast news gathering or field production where portability is the key, Pocket Lite is ARRI’s solution for a lensless daylight fixture. Using the Pocket Par lamp housing, ARRI has added a high-quality textured, low heat dichroic reflector to provide a flexible solution for fast set-up and operation. The result is a diffused reflected light with a powerful even beam. A unique focus mechanism provides an extremely smooth field, with focusability from 17° to 85° on the Lite 400W and from 18° to 60° on the 200W.
Finally ARRI’s Pocket Lighthouse will add another dimension to lighting applications in the f
Stardraw.com has announced that its complete range of ‘shrink-wrapped’ products, comprising Stardraw Audio, AV, Lighting 2D and the recently launched Stardraw Radio, is now available in Italian. This brings the number of language versions up to five with English, French, German and Portuguese already available. All language versions can be downloaded from the Starsraw website.
Thanks to the system architecture employed by Stardraw, translation into any language is a relatively simple task as all of the text in the program is held in an external file that can be edited using any word-processing package, even one as simple as Notepad.
Iemke Roos Audio b.v., Nexo distributor for The Netherlands, has sold a complete Nexo Alpha system to Alpha Audio & Light b.v., a Dutch rental company based in Apeldoorn. In a joint venture, Alpha Audio & Light and Iemke Roos Audio have invested in a number of Nexo Alpha cabinets in order to offer a complete system, with a total number of 32 cabinets, including all flying hardware and completed with system racks with Nexo NX241 system controllers and Crown MA5000VZ and MA3600VZ amplifiers. For larger configurations, Alpha Audio & Light will be working closely together with other European Nexo partners.
The system will be used on many of the ‘in house’ productions of Alpha Audio & Light. The system will also be available, in combination with the complete range of FOH and Monitor equipment, as part of the ‘Alpha summerrent’ programme. This is a concept in which Alpha Audio & Light offers, if required under the name of the customer, audio facilities in order to fulfil a shortage of equipment that can occur during the busy summer season.
The very first Midas Legend 3000, sporting serial number 001, has been shipped to EML, one of the largest rental companies in Europe. Headquartered in Brussels, EML also has offices in Stockholm, Madrid and Amsterdam and a busy summer season ahead with tours, shows and festivals all over Europe.
Ampco Belgium, Midas's distributor in Belgium, sold the console to EML. "EML is one of our biggest customers," said Ampco's managing director, Karel de Piere. "They already have two XL4s, two Heritage 3000s, a Heritage 1000, an XL3 and a couple of Venices, so it was only right that they be first in line for the Legend when it started production." By the time Midas's David Cooper went to Belgium shortly after the console had been delivered, it had already gone out on tour with Dutch band Bløf. Indeed EML was so taken with the desk that within two weeks the company’s purchase manager, Wim Jans, decided that the original 36-channel version was not big enough, so it has already been swapped for a 44-channel version which was sent straight out again with Bløf. On top of that he has ordered a further 52-channel board which will be delivered next week.
Navigator Systems Ltd have come up with a solution which will ensure that companies who own ‘demo’ stock achieve the best possible return on their investment. Following several months of discussions with sales representatives, Navigator discovered that for some keeping track of the ‘demo’ stock had turned into a logistical nightmare. Items such as mixing desks, projectors, plasma screens and lighting consoles had either been forgotten or simply gone missing.
By adding several new features to its rental management software system RentalDesk, Navigator Systems have now made it possible to search quickly and easily for the ‘First Available Date’ for the ‘demo’ item required. Thus, if a company requests a mixing desk for a five-day period in June, the sales rep can check whether it’s available for that period and if it isn't, give the client the next best alternative date. This will ensure that the ‘demo’ item is being used efficiently and sales stock will not have to be used because of a double-booking that wasn't taken into account. Ex-demo stock will therefore not accumulate and will not have to be sold at vastly reduced prices. The new system also makes it possible to record the exact location of the demo item.
Proel (International) has been appointed sole UK distributor for the highly regarded QUBE PA range. Following the takeover of international responsibility for distribution by FBT Electronica, QUBE (a joint venture of the USA’s Renkus-Heinz and Italy’s FBT) now has a network of distributors with the UK passing to Proel (International), in London.
The QUBE range comprises professional-level systems from small packages to full touring rigs and has won many press accolades and users from across the board, including bands, clubs, hire companies and installers. Proel’s Managing Director, Paolo Burocchi, told us: "We’re very excited to have added QUBE to our growing range of pro audio equipment. It’s a good product with a great reputation and we intend to work very hard developing it in the UK market."
Winner of the 2001 LDI Award for Product of the Year Scenic Effects, and 2001 Eddy Award Lighting Product of the Year, Rosco’s ImagePro is now being launched across Europe. Already hugely successful in America, the ImagePro offers an easy, inexpensive solution for projecting photographic quality images, from the iris slot of an ETC Source Four, Altman Shakespeare, Strand SL or Selecon Pacific lighting fixture.
Projections have already proven to add individuality and effectiveness to an exhibition stand, theatrical production, conference, product launch or film/television production. Anywhere that a temporary projection may be needed is where the flexibility of ImagePro will be indispensable. The image is created on a plastic iPro slide with full colour high quality images printed on high temperature plastic. Rosco has hundreds of images available for immediate use, catalogued on the CD which is packaged with every ImagePro, or we can create your own image which will be shipped to you as an iPro slide, ready for use.
Star Hire (Event Services) Ltd has set an event industry precedent by gaining LANTAC approval for its SS11-09 (Mk2) mobile StarStage. LANTAC is the Local Authorities National Type Approvals Consortium, a scheme which over 90% of the 550 Local Authorities in the UK belong to. In essence, certification under the scheme means that Star Hire no longer has to have the complex engineering calculations checked by local authorities at every show. This saves the clients, licensing authorities and themselves significant time and work in the tight schedules of the live events industry. Local Authorities and clients can be sure that the stage is safe, merely by possession of the signing-off certificate. This guarantees that the stage has been erected in accordance with the LANTAC approval.
To gain the certificate the stage and its documentation were examined in detail by one local authority, which included a full inspection of it being installed on site, so covering work practices as well. Their report was then checked by a second independent authority. Finally, an engineer independent of both authorities signed the documentation, having checked the work of the two authorities. This is the first time that a stage system that meets current guidance and regulations has won LANTAC approval in the UK. The SS 11-09 Mobile StarStage will feature prominently in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations, as it tours the UK fulfilling 48 shows in as many days as part of the Queen’s Jubilee Baton Relay.