American DJ is bringing the excitement of laser to larger venues with two new 4.9mW laser effects - the Emerald Star and Octobeam. Both sound-activated effects, Emerald Star and Octobeam are designed to light up spacious dance floors and night clubs laser effects. The Emerald Star is a green laser that produces 16 geometric patterns. The Octobeam is a red laser with eight moving beams of light that chase to the beat of the music.
"American DJ decided to expand our laser line, because we saw a demand for laser effects geared toward larger establishments," said Scott Davies, general manager of American DJ. "Both the Emerald Star and Octobeam are ideal for more spacious clubs, because they cover a wide area and produce a tremendous amount of excitement and movement for single effects."
Maplin Electronics has launched a new premium range of disco and PA equipment, designed to appeal to DJs, venue managers, event organizers and managers of small theatres looking for value for money equipment. The new ProSound range includes speakers, lighting effects, fog and bubble machines and a wide selection of mixers. The new range of speaker cabinets and monitors has been designed and manufactured in the UK specifically for ProSound, and includes the ‘ProSound Blue’ speaker cabinets which feature Celestion drive units. The range of ProSound equipment will be expanded over the next few months to include everything from decks and audio leads to piezo tweeters and amplifiers.
Philips CSI has launched its new REO CCTV solution ideal for use by security installers in a host of security applications, including retail, fast food restaurants, convenience stores, schools and small to medium-sized businesses. The system handles up to eight cameras and is designed for fast and easy ‘plug and play’ installation. However, it has sophisticated features such as video motion detection on all cameras, alarm and event handling, ‘picture in picture’ and pre/post alarm ‘event replay’, snapshot event capture, intercom and door entry control.
REO replaces Philips’ well-established Colour POS system but existing monochrome POS observation systems will continue for those customers who prefer monochrome. REO offers colour CCTV operation with a choice of either switcher or multiplexer models. The Switcher model handles up to four cameras with images displayed manually or sequenced in full screen, whilst the Multiplexer allows up to eight cameras to be displayed as full screen, in quad (2x2) or in 3x3 split-screen mode. Both models feature a PIP ‘picture in a picture’ box facility allowing simultaneous viewing of two cameras with one full screen.
Crest Audio’s X-Matrix is a 12 x 2 matrix mixer, whose primary application is to add additional matrix mixes to the X-VCA console. It can also be used as a stand-alone matrix mixer. As a companion piece to the X-VCA console, it provides the facilities to create additional mixes from the eight sub groups and the Left, Right and Mono mix buses. In both applications, multiple units can be daisy-chained, offering almost unlimited expansion capabilities. Each X-Matrix can accept 12 line inputs (via multi-pin connector) from the X-VCA or from 1/4in TRS line input jacks, and generates two outputs which include insets, level adjustment and muting capabilities. The outputs appear on balanced XLR's mounted on the rear panel.
Expansion, applications and quality X-Matrix may be expanded both horizontally and vertically, turning X-Matrix on its own into a very versatile mixing system for specialized applications, or where additional matrixes or auxiliary mixes need to be added to any console. While it is intended to be used as an add-on accessory to the X-VCA console, its flexibility allows it to be used in a wide variety of applications such as submixing, recording, broadcast and monitor mixing.
Powering for the X-Matrix is derived directly from the console for up to four units. This configuration enables a basic X-VCA to generate 12 x 12 matrix outputs. The X- VCA console acts as the power supply, talkback, and solo and headphone system for the added-on X-Matrix units. With the addition of an optional power supply, virtually unlimited matrixes may be added to the X-VCA.
PLASA saw the launch of the Messenger XL - a new fully digital sidelobe-free speaker array by Hacousto International of Holland. Featuring the latest technology based on a patented algorithmic technique, the Messenger XL is ideal for background music and high quality speech applications, especially in reverberant acoustic environments where it is difficult to meet contractual speech intelligibility requirements.
The Messenger XL is completely software controlled allowing the lobe to be easily fine-tuned for specific types of application. Its tightly controlled beam can be shaped to meet application and environment requirements offering a precisely controlled listening field and high intelligibility with a minimum S/N ratio. Featuring a Q factor of 36, (140 by 1400) it compares very favourably with good horn loudspeakers, which are renowned for high Q factors of around 32 and noted for their directional characteristics. Not only is this new speaker array from Hacousto capable of producing consistently high sound quality across the coverage area, but it also offers an architectural advantage in that the unit can be mounted vertically making it easier to meet architectural and aesthetic requirements.
The range of software facilities at Vari-Lite Europe has been expanded to provide more powerful options for both visualization and off-line programming. In addition to WYSIWYG, AutoCAD and Vector Works, Vari-Lite Europe has added support for Visionary 3D, the off-line pre-programming software for the Virtuoso and Virtuoso DX control console family and the award-winning software package 3ds max 4.
The Visionary 3D, an off-line programming software package, emulates the main features of the Virtuoso console family (currently only available for the Apple Mac G3/G4) making it possible for lighting designers and operators to create and edit Virtuoso showfiles without the need for a console or a lighting system. 3Ds max4, a modeling, rendering and animation package, complements the core software packages by allowing the LD to realistically visualize a show. It’s the first time that 3D Studio Max 4 has been available in the lighting industry and allows the designer the chance to ‘walk in’ and look around the lighting rig. A copy of the software can be downloaded from the following website.
A complete loudspeaker and audio test system is now available from Stephen Court - creator of Sound Check - one of the world's best selling test CDs. In the form of plug-in hardware, a CD-ROM for Windows and calibrated measurement mic, Speaker Check uses CLIO MLS technology which allows accurate measurements in ordinary room acoustics. The system converts a PC into a Pen Recorder and printer, Real Time Spectrum Analyser, Dual Channel oscilloscope and millivolt meter. It allows the measurement of frequency response, impedance curves, distortion v frequency, impulse response, phase response and a host of other useful speaker and audio system measurements.
After the first hectic day of this year's PLASA show, the cream of the DJ technology world gathered in the suitably stylish environs of London's AKA restaurant for the annual DJmag T-Scan awards ceremony. The awards recognize the true popularity of the latest DJ products amongst end users, voted exclusively by readers of DJ magazine. The 14 awards covered all aspects of the DJ world, with Mackie collecting the prize for Studio Monitor with their HR824. On hand to receive the award was Rick Bos, Mackie Designs product/marketing manager and Tony Williams, director of sales from Mackie UK. Rick Bos commented: "I am very pleased to pick up this award on behalf of the Mackie team who created this monitor, we feel that it really is the best in its field and so do the people that matter, the readers of Djmag."
Sky's broadcast coverage of the 2001-02 football season sees Audio-Technica AT835ST microphones called into action to convey the thrill of the crowd to the watching audience. The introduction of the AT835STs follows a series of successful tests carried out by Sky Sports audio consultants, Video Sound Services, during last year’s FA cup final and play-off games. Joint VSS owner and BAFTA-winning sound engineer Robert Edwards explains: "As technologies such as surround sound become widely available, television audiences expect to be transported to the stadium with realistic audio coverage delivered to their armchairs. We are constantly evaluating new equipment that will help us to keep pace with this changing demand and the AT835ST helps by providing a really strong ambient crowd noise. Traditionally we have used two closely matched mono microphones mounted onto the commentary boat, but there are great advantages to be had by moving to a single position stereo microphone. We evaluated a number of microphones and we found that the 835ST had everything we were looking for: simplicity, reliability and superb performance. The internal matrixing system also makes it easily compatible with the Dolby encoding system required to mix the games."
Edwards, along with his VSS partner Ian Rosam, submits his specifications to Sky Sports, who hire the equipment from broadcast facilities company Visions. Sky then calls VSS in to co-ordinate the sound mix for the games. As well as a busy season of domestic football, Robert and Ian are currently in the midst of preparations f
The latest addition to Avolites' range of lighting control consoles, the Diamond 4, has received an overwhelming response at PLASA 2001, according to managing director Rick Salzedo. At a packed champagne launch for the industry press, sales director Steve Warren presented the Diamond 4 and explained its enhanced time-saving features, the result of feedback from many users of the company's consoles.
Key features of the Diamond 4 include: 28 cue playback masters, 200 pages; 128 preset fully legended preset faders, configurable as fixture masters or cue masters, 200 pages (a preset fader can now control a chase, cue or fixture, fully configurable); 1,000 or more fixtures; 200 pages of 128 direct access programming palettes; multiple times on attributes and fixtures; logical, informative cue viewing environment; dedicated buttons for theatre plotting features; electronic legending for palettes, groups, fixtures, and cues; dual theatre and multiple cue list playbacks; fully automatic configuring of palettes and groups; ethernet capabilities; six DMX lines built in, additional lines using ethernet; high quality exceptionally smooth faders used throughout and last but not least, powerful shape generator, fan and highlight capabilities.
White Light Sales, the exclusive UK distributor for the acclaimed Robert Juliat range: the Marius 1.2K HMI followspots. The Marius will be on show for the first time on the White Light stand - F4, just inside the main door - at PLASA 2001, which runs from September 9th-12th at Earls Court, London. The Marius is also a nominee for the Product of the Year Award at the show.
The Marius will be accompanied on the stand by other members of the popular Robert Juliat family, already finding use on many shows in the West End of London as well as the Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican Concert Hall and at the BBC. White Light Sales will also be using PLASA 2001 to show other products from their extensive sales stock, including the highly versatile Unique variable haze machine and ever-popular Tiny-Fogger miniature for machine from Look Solutions and smoke machines from The Smoke Factory, both ranges available exclusively from White Light in the UK.
£3 million-worth of sales in the last year suggest that people are discovering that White Light is more than just a hire company. White Light Sales’ projects include the ongoing upgrades to both the Royal Albert Hall (which the company is supplying with ETC Sensor dimmers and Unison control stations) and the Barbican Concert Hall (which has purchased more than 70 Robert Juliat profile spot, sixty ETC Source Pars, six City Theatrical Autoyokes and High End automated fixtures), as well as equipment upgrades at RADA’s Vanburgh Theatre (which has purchased a selection of new lanterns from Strand Lighting) and the Guildhall School
Sennheiser today announced to the industry press the introduction of a number of new products at PLASA 2001. New to the evolution range of products is the ew550 live touring receiver, a completely new design comprising two independent UHF true diversity receivers in a 1U 19" rack-mount unit, designed specifically for multi-channel operation. Each receiver offers 16 channel memories and 1280 programmable frequencies within a 32MHz switching bandwidth. Other enhanced features include an advanced RF input stage for optimum multi-channel systems operation in hostile sound touring environments.
Also new to the evolution range, the e664 adds to the company’s dedicated instrument microphones. Designed for applications such as drum kit overheads, or highly accurate acoustic instrument miking, the e664 features low noise electronics, high output and a highly sensitive capsule that draws on Sennheiser’s heritage in market leading electret mic design.
Sennheiser also announced the official launch of the latest addition to the DAS Audio range of loudspeakers. Compact One is in keeping with the trend towards self-powered loudspeakers and incorporates 1000W of class D amplifier technology. It is configured with 15" and 6" speakers and a 1" compression driver. Additional features include protection against under voltage, soft clipping, soft start up, mute/unmute functions, birch ply construction and Ancra track flying hardware. Applications include pro mobile systems and high-end fixed installations - in fact, any sound reinforcement application where m
This morning, AKG unveiled its latest Emotion Series Microphone C 900. This is a high quality condenser microphone for vocalists, and provides many unique features at an excellent price/performance ratio. Features include a 24-carat gold-plated transducer case for optimum protection from corrosion and humidity (the entire transducer element is shock-mounted in a special elastic ring). The microphone is also extremely insensitive to handling noise. The supplied Presence Boost Adapter can be installed to boost the 5 - 9kHz range by 2 to 4dB for improved high-frequency sound and better intelligibility.
AKG has also added to its best-selling WMS 40 system, a series of miniature devices that offer perfect solutions to various wireless miking problems. The new products are small enough to fit in a shirt pocket and have been named ‘microtools’. Microtools provide maximum flexibility for a number of sound reinforcement situations. The microtools Series currently comprises the following products: SO 40 snap-on - a miniature plug-on transmitter, GB 40 guitar bug - a miniature transmitter; MP 40 micropen - a miniature bodypack transmitter; CU 40 - a universal charger for all microtools.
In mid-July, Showsound hosted a demonstration of a new sound technology known as the Audio Spotlight. The device, which was demonstrated by inventor F. Joseph Pompei, represents what the company believes to be the first successful development of a truly directional loudspeaker. Whereas a traditional loudspeaker produces a large field of sound, the Audio Spotlight emits a narrow beam of sound - as little as just 3° at 3m.
In practice, the Audio Spotlight generates a beam of sound that can be accurately pointed at specific locations. People within the field of the beam will hear clear audible sound, whilst others standing just outside will not. The sound can be aimed directly at targets or reflected off almost any surface in a method known as Projected Audio.
Joseph Pompei has developed this innovative new system at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Laboratory. A significant number of the devices have already been built, and new manufacturing techniques are about to see the production scale increase to meet the anticipated demand. Showsound will distribute, install and operate the patents-pending Audio Spotlight in the UK and Europe.
How it Works
The Audio Spotlight uses ultrasound generated by specially developed transducers that are fired into the air. The natural non-linear properties of air interfere with the ultrasound, breaking down the very short sound waves into different ultrasound patterns along with outputs within the audible sound range. The effect of the air on the projected narrow beam of ultrasound is not random and can
Smoke Factory of Hannover, Germany, has earned a worldwide reputation as a manufacturer of professional fog-generators. The list of Smoke Factory innovations introduced over the years includes: 0-10 V control of output and output volume; DMX control of output and output volume; XLR standard connection for fog-generators; Radio remote control; Direct output volume control through lighting desk fader; Continual fogging and electronic temperature control.
The Tour-Hazer, being launched at the PLASA Show, is an addition to this Professional Touring Range. The DMX-controlled Tour-Hazer creates a fine haze instead of big clouds of fog. By filling the air with a perfect ‘designer mist’, the Tour-Hazer creates an ideal environment for beams and moving light shows. Unlike many other hazers, the Tour-Hazer does not need a compressor. It is small, easy to handle and to carry, comes with a flightcase (from Amtpown Cases, Hamburg) and fits in every trailer’s packing list, due to its 19" size. The noise of the unit is very low, and the output can be controlled from very fine low output haze to almost fog-machine-like output (which can be helpful in situations where the room is bigger than expected, the air conditioning stronger or too many doors open). The input required is 230V/1.600W only, a 110V version (1.500W) is also available.
The Smoke Factory can be found on stand H7.
Pulsar has announced some new additions to the ChromaRange family of LED technology lighting fixtures. To complement the existing ChromaLight, ChromaDome and ChromaZone, these new items will allow further flexibility for the use of LED fixtures and provide a comprehensive solution for architectural and entertainment lighting design projects. The entire range will make their exhibition debut at this year’s PLASA and promise to be the highlight of the show.
ChromaBank contains 12 ChromaHearts packaged together in one linear lighting source featuring a total of 960 LEDs. It has a built in ChromaZone to power and control the unit, offering numerous internal effects and chases that can operate in stand-alone mode or with an external DMX/PMX controller. ChromaBanks are idea for TV, Theatre, Stage and Club applications providing incredible illumination and flexibility from a LED based fixture.
ChromaStrip is a linear light source housed in either clear (20 degree) or prismatic (90 degree) 5.5cm diameter polycarbonate tube that is available in 900, 600 and 300 millimetre lengths. Each tube features red, green and blue LEDs allowing infinite colour mixing possibilities. This waterproof product has been designed to highlight architectural features such as windows, doorways, coving or building structures outlines.
ChromaFlush is a sister product to the existing ChromaLight, offering all the same exciting features. Housed in a flush enclosure makes this product perfect for both ceiling and panel mounting when directional adjustment of the light beam is not required.
Renkus-Heinz, worldwide distributor of EASE software for ADA, has announced the release of EASE 4.0, a generational change from EASE 3.0 to a more intuitive, easier-to-use format with more accurate calculations and more realistic presentations.
Originated and owned by Dr. Wolfgang Ahnert of ADA (Acoustical Design Ahnert), Berlin, EASE has developed since its introduction in 1990 into a standard for sound system simulation software. EASE 4.0 has an improved look that features icons and better menus, making its use much simpler and more intuitive. Easy-to-use wizards help to create new projects and simplify mapping functions and ray tracing. A new ‘Objects Function’ allows users to select any items in the drawing, including vertices, faces, edges, seats, lights or speakers, group them together and then save them into a separate file as an object. The object can then be imported into the model, duplicated, rotated or moved in any of three axes to allow rapid insertion of complicated details.
Other notable changes to the program include the addition of phase data for loudspeakers and loudspeaker clusters; Caesar, a complex acoustical mapping module; EASEVision, an architectural rendering module; and new Texture and Light Source Editors.
New from Selecon at PLASA this year is the mechanical dowser accessory, which completes the Pacific MSR light system. The dowser continues the modular design philosophy of the Pacific: it is a separate accessory that simply drops into the Pacific lamphouse, onto which can be mounted any of the Pacific lens systems. Using graduated optical filters, the dowser provides a visually even fade from full output to blackout. Control is via DMX. The daylight colour temperature (5600K) and high efficiency of the 575W MSR lamp combine to deliver a high output, high impact beam. The Pacific heat management system ensures even energy distribution at the gate allowing for the use of dichroic glass patterns. Hot restrike, standard MSR and MSD lamps can be used with the Pacific. Power supplies include a universal electronic power supply and 220 - 240v magnetic ballasts for architectural applications. The dowser is also suitable for use with Pacific CDM luminaires.
Also new from Selecon is the HiPort, a recessed high output pattern, framing and colour projector. Responding to the demand for a high output projector that is fully recessed within the ceiling cavity, Ardiis, the architectural lighting division of Selecon, has developed the HiPort range, a unique new tool for creative lighting at an affordable cost. The HiPort is the ideal tool for pattern projection or where accurate beam control is required for either long throws and higher ambient light conditions or when a strong architectural lighting statement is desired.Using the 70 or 150W CDM/CMH lamp the HiPort meets the demand for p
Announcing a UK exclusive distribution agreement, AC Lighting will use its presence at the PLASA exhibition to display the product range of leading German manufacturer, MA Lighting Technology Gmbh. MA Lighting will also be present at the show (J12) and in addition a private suite has been booked to provide facilities for in-depth product demonstrations away from the noise of the show floor.
Taking pride of place at PLASA will be the grandMA lighting console and the release of Version 3.00 software. This release facilitates advanced networking capabilities, including the ability for multiple operators to programme complex shows on the console and for full tracking back-up between consoles and replay units. The grandMA is the largest console in the range and harnesses the benefits of the latest technologies: a distinguishing feature is the three colour TFT touch displays with brilliant contrast and adjustable viewing angle. All output displays are interactive offering direct access for modification following the philosophy of 'see something - touch it - modify it'. In addition the console will support two optional external monitors. The console is equipped with 20 motorised faders that can be assigned to a host of functions, including controlling single channels just like a preset board, varying the intensity of scenes like a memory board, manually making cross fades to the next scene and many other tasks. The console is also equipped with keyboard, mouse, mouse pad, trackball, 4 parameter encoders, in-built 2 GByte hard-drive, 3½" disk-drive and UPS (Uninterruptable
In what is claimed to be a UK first, high-end touring and installation manufacturer Chameleon Audio is exhibiting its Mac- and PC-compatible digital audio control system at PLASA. Developed over the last 18 months, it utilizes Apple Computers FireWire and Yamaha’s mLAN technologies.
Chameleon Audio managing director, Paul Houlden, decided to develop the system for several reasons. "Firstly, I feel remote control of audio equipment is the way forward and, secondly, there is an increasing demand from live sound companies for this type of technology. When substantial numbers of amplifiers and speakers are operated or flown in remote locations in large concert venues and stadia, should a fault occur, immediate detection of what piece of equipment has malfunctioned is virtually impossible without a sophisticated control system. Chameleon’s digital audio control system addresses these potential problems in a constructive manner by monitoring the performance, so any aural glitches can be instantly pinpointed. Anything that speeds up this analysis has got to be beneficial," adds Houlden.
One of the first to express an interest in the digital audio control system was Britannia Row Productions, who, following a series of trials at a variety of indoor and outdoor concerts throughout the summer, have purchased a range of Chameleon amplifiers. Other applications which Houlden envisages include the potential of FireWire (IEEE 1394) in remote control and audio crossover instructions, allowing further speedy development of this system and, hopefully, a standard ac
The new LiSA (Line-Source Array System) is the first Italian-manufactured line array system. Since it was designed for one of the country’s leading rental firms, Laboratorio Musica, Mike Clark talks to owner Vanis Dondi about the system.
Designed by a workgroup of three Italian acoustic researchers (Mario Di Cola, Davide Doldi and Davide Saronni), the system consists of three-way full-range high directivity line array elements for long-throw applications. Laboratorio Musicale’s Vanis Dondi, explains: "Two direct radiation 18" woofers reproduce the full bandwidth down to 32Hz, virtually eliminating the need for additional sub-woofers in many applications but, if necessary, there are also optional sub-woofers with three long excursion 18" for extra VLF power."
Three Stage Accompany neodymium ribbon compact drivers are the system’s cylindrical HF source for true line source array radiation at HF and Italian 18 Sound cone speakers (used throughout) incorporate features such as Double Demodulating Ring, Double Silicon Spider, Interleaved Sandwich Voice-Coil and custom weather-proof protection. Two horn-loaded 10" mid range speakers ensure improved vertical control in the mid band.
Dondi continues: "Arrays are configured to give required vertical coverage, while horizontal coverage remains the nominal 90 degrees of a single element, resulting in full vertical coverage predictability of the entire cluster, uniform SPL and frequency response over the area covered, minimizing problems associated with traditional arrays, such as c
West London-based Ampekko was recently contracted by Lasalle Investment Management to supply a sophisticated voice alarm and public address system for the Swansgate Shopping Centre, situated in the heart of Wellingborough.
Ampekko worked closely with project manager Neil Horswood of Neil R Horswood Services, after winning the tender to design a dual-purpose system to be integrated into Swansgate’s four spacious shopping malls.
Before finalising the system, the company’s design team performed a number of acoustic modelling tests on-site, including a full RASTI test, required because of the harsh nature of surfaces throughout the centre. They then decided on an integrated PA and voice alarm system, based around Bouyer’s digital GD 2299 - a specialist spot-messaging hard disk recorder and player that allows for up to 100 voice messages to be stored and accessed when needed. Bouyer PGM 5008 microphones were used to offer built-in monitoring and intercom facilities. RB 39 Bouyer projector loudspeaker cabinets were specified in white to blend unobtrusively into the shopping mall. These are powered by eight amplifiers and use the Ampekko SPM10 line monitor.
The system allows for coded messages to pre-warn staff in advance of a possible evacuation, thereby helping to minimise a dangerous situation. Working not only as a security voice alarm, the system provides valuable add-on features including up to 100 repeat voice messages. The messaging system can be pre-programmed to deliver a host of messages from vital security information through to promotional mes
Stage Accompany has launched its new Friend Series, specifically designed for the installation market and smaller rental market. This new series of small speaker systems consists of four models - F1, F5, F7 and F9 - and has a high grade of finish, with double Speakon connectors, steel grille and flush-mounted speakers to prevent baffle-reflection. Their rigid trapezoidal cabinet design, in combination with SA’s Protexture coating and a wide range of mounting options, make the Friends also suitable for mobile applications.
The jewel in the British Film Industry’s crown, the National Film Theatre is generally acknowledged as one of the world’s greatest cinemas, offering the biggest and best choice of films dating back to the origins of the industry (it is the only public cinema that can still show inflammable nitrate film).
With three screens showing over 2,000 films, head of technical services, Richard Boyd knows that while they face a critical audience of purists, technologically times also move forward. The principal auditorium already boasted digital sound and recently the NFT decided to review its projection equipment. The 450-seat NFT1 boasts a 12.5ft high screen, and when it came to researching the market for the new generation of DLP digital video projection Boyd scrutinized the market closely before opting for a fully-featured, three-chip DLP Christie Digital Roadster X4, fitted with a 4-7:1 lens.
The NFT project manager, Ed Mauger and independent software programmer Tony Hay, along with control and display solutions specialists Planet Communications and Christie Digital support teams, designed a complex system that allowed for fast switching, cueing and parameter changing of the X4. This has been achieved via a Crestron CNMSXAV control processor and LC1600L 6" passive matrix colour LCD rackmount touchpanel, which has been integrated into an Ed Mauger-designed custom panel with faders. This takes care of the remote cueing and switching of all the theatre’s playback sources - DVD, VHS, S-VHS, Betacam and U-matic hi- and lo-band - as well as satellite, TV and