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.
Hayden Laboratories Ltd, UK distributor for Denon, has launched the Denon CDR-1000 and the CDR-W1500 (pictured), two professional machines designed to take advantage of the burgeoning CD recording market - in clubs, DJ environments, studios, live and multi-purpose venues of all types. Unique features include 19" rack-mounting option - available in kit form; digital level control - for enhancing and ‘brightening’ analogue recordings in a digital domain, and CDR playback on both decks of CDR-W1500. The machines are fully-featured and quality engineered, offering all the robustness and reliability expected from the Denon brand.
Audio Technica has released the new ATW1400 series of UHF radio systems. Offering three fixed channels on licence-free frequencies, and additional regulated frequencies, the ATW1400s have been built with sound contractors in mind. The ATW1451beltpack system can be used in conjunction with a wide range of microphone options from A-T's Wireless Essentials range, including lavaliere, headset, boundary and gooseneck microphones options. The ATW1452 handheld system uses a internal shock-mount for reduced handling noise, and a high-energy vocal capsule for improved output. Both systems feature the ½ rack width, 1u high ATWR14 true diversity receiver, and employ Audio-Technica's Invisible Link technology.
CLD Distribution reports that it now carries stocks of the new Neutrik audio analyzer, the ML1, first seen at PLASA 2000. This compact and comprehensive audio test device has created world-wide interest since its introduction, which has led to a delay in meeting demand, but production has been increased and the product is now available in the UK.
Stage Accompany has announced that the first production batch of the ES 40 amplifier has left the its factory. This new flagship model for the Efficiency Series amplifier range, is based on the same high speed/high current class G design for increased efficiency. The ES 40 boasts a power output of 1810W/2850W @ 2 ohm per channel (cont/peak <1% THD). It features individual power supplies per channel for ultimate reliability and a capacitor bank rating of 210 Joules per channel for dynamic power reserve. State-of-the-art features include Dynamic Damping Control (SA’s proprietary circuit that compensates for signal loss in long speaker cables), Extended Function Network (EFN) and Active Clip Eliminator (ACE).
Also new from Stage Accompany is the latest addition to the Entertainer-series, the E 27. Designed as a compact, medium-power, full-range loudspeaker, the E 27 is suitable for sound reinforcement system in theatres, discotheques, clubs, houses of worship, auditoriums, theme parks, etc, without the need for additional bass cabinets. With a frequency range of 55Hz - 30,000 Hz and a continuous power of 400W, the E 27 is capable of producing high-definition, distortion-free sound at both low and high SPLs, up to 127 dB. The main reason for the excellent sound quality, say Stage Accompany, is the Ribbon Compact Driver, 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 completely.
A new application for the company’s Optiscreen technology was given its official launch on Friday by AV company Gearhouse. The company is using its modular video screen system to create a new style of advertising hoarding which allows for advertising to change throughout the day. Newly-appointed Gearhouse director John Hemming unveiled the new system at the company’s Birmingham premises.
Sony Broadcast & Professional Europe has reported shipment of over 300 units of its new DMX-R100 digital mixing console in the first six months of availability. David Bush, general manager for professional audio, said: "Sony BPE had felt for a long time that there was a huge gap in the market between a number of small, low-cost digital mixers and high-cost larger alternatives." Andrew Hingley, senior product manager for the DMX-R100, added: "The console has found a home in a wide range of applications, from project studio to broadcast to theatre and front-of-house." A major new software upgrade to the DMX-R100 is expected to be announced shortly.
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.