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.
Sony Broadcast and Professional Europe has announced its intention to start the European production of its ultra portable liquid crystal display (LCD) projectors at its existing manufacturing plant in Barcelona, Spain. Sony hopes that the move will increase production efficiency, shorten delivery times and improve after-sales service in the European market. The plant is scheduled to produce 50,000 LCD projectors in its first year rising to 100,000 units in 2002.
The American National Standards Institute has accepted the ESTA Technical Standards Program's standard for aluminium trusses and towers as an American standard. ANSI E1.2-2000, describes the design, manufacture and use of aluminium trusses, towers and associated aluminium structural components such as head blocks, sleeve blocks, bases and corner blocks. It does not cover individual, separate rigging hardware such as ½ couplers and shackles. E1.2 was one of the many projects of the Rigging Working Group which is also working on standards for manually powered and motorised rigging systems, stage house and structural requirements, flying performers, speaker enclosures.
The Sanken COS-11 miniature lavalier microphone has proved extremely popular for theatre and film applications where superior sound quality and concealment are demanded. Now Sanken have introduced an improved version - the COS.11s. The new COS-11s features a thicker cable with a 0.5mm jacket - twice as thick as previously. The new cable smoothly matches the entry connector, preventing snags when pulled through hair or clothing. Developed in conjunction with leading sound design companies, the new cable remains soft, pliable and adheres comfortably to the skin, even after extended use. The COS-11s is extremely rugged and impervious to the body humidity associated with rigorous stage film and TV production. Superior sealing between cable and microphone body eliminates ingress of water that can lead to corrosion in inferior lavelier microphones. Ideal for live broadcasting and location recording as well as theatre applications, the COS-11s provides top levels of transient response, extended frequency range and extremely low sensitivity to mechanical noise.
Bandit Lites has introduced a new motor control system which fully conforms with all European directives. Bandit's design engineers spent over two years of extensive R&D working on the project and consulting with several prominent European manufacturers, including ETC and Martin Professional, while developing the system. The new motor control has full fault-detection systems integrated into the design and is currently being used on a number of Bandit Lites shows in Europe, including Feet of Flames, Lord of the Dance and Paul Weller.
Chichester-based new product patenting and development company Patent Plan has seen an idea it protected in 1998 evolve into a product that now plays an integral role in the structure of the Millennium Dome. Kit Grundy, MD of Patent Plan was approached in 1998 by Michael Russell, MD of Arc Lighting, a lighting design and development company on the Isle of Wight, to protect the intellectual property of Arc's illuminated flooring system. Once the illuminated flooring system's patent protection was in place, Arc Lighting was approached by Dome architects who wished to use it to form the Money Zone's Investment Bridge. After the architects had seen the potential of the flooring system in greater detail, Arc was asked if the system could also be used for the exterior of the Money Zone. The company manufactured and installed 630sq.m of slim light boxes which weighed in excess of 25 tonnes and consumed 45,000W. Arc's flooring system has now gone on to win a SMART Award.
NJD has introduced the Mirage - a colour-changing downlighter and truss light, which uses red, green and blue colour-mixing (three 50W, 12V dichroic lamps) to produce 65,000 colours. Measuring 127 x 121 x 81mm, the polished aluminium Mirage unit can be fixed directly to the ceiling or, with a 'Downlight' fixing kit, fitted into a standard 140mm round hole for suspended ceilings. A power pack can power two Mirage heads, controllable via DMX, MIDI or 0-10V. The Mirage units are available in either polished aluminium, gold, black or white anodised aluminium, and can accept two different lamp types for wide (wash) or narrow (highlight) angle applications.
Audio Technica has introduced the new AT889cw wireless microphone. Designed for aerobic instruction and other demanding applications, this new head-worn mic provides condenser microphone quality with rugged, moisture-resistant construction. The AT889cw is a noise-cancelling microphone designed for use with all A-T UniPak wireless transmitters. Built to withstand strenuous activities, the mic has adjustable head and neck bands which allow the user maximum control over microphone positioning.
Baldwin Boxall's Vigil voice alarm system has been installed at the Homebase megastore at Braehead - the largest home improvement store in the UK - as part of an extensive fire alarm and evacuation system. This is the first Homebase store to fit the system, although it is already in use by many Sainsbury's stores - owners of the Homebase chain. Fully compatible with BS5839 Pt 8, the Vigil Compact system is a 1U, simple to install voice fire system, capable of operating across four zones. Developed for use in supermarkets and shopping malls, the Vigil Compact provides an ideal solution for applications where larger, multi-zone systems would be unnecessary and more costly.