Experienced pro audio sales specialist, Sue Webb, has joined TOA (UK) as sales manager. She most recently occupied a similar position with Wharfedale Professional, and prior to that worked with both HHB and Harman, having started her audio career in production at Soundcraft.
Sue will assist in the resurgence of the TOA brand in the UK and specifically focus on their huge roster of products at retail level, notably the Japanese company's low impedance speakers. "TOA already has a reputation in the contracts market, but after 16 years in the pro audio business, my immediate challenge will be to increase the company's market share in retail sectors such as the music industry." The aim will be to consolidate relationships with TOA’s present distributor network as well as develop new outlets as the company’s marketing reach expands.
Central London-based Orbital Sound have appointed Eric Simpson as their senior warehouse manager. He has joined their central London based team to further streamline the operations of their busy warehouse situated at the heart of the Brixton-based facility.
Eric, whose experience is known to many, has officially "hung up his touring boots" to take on this role which follows over 21 years touring with some of the largest names in the business. Recent credits include Ronan Keating, Feet of Flames, Westlife and Hear'say. His knowledge of sound systems as both a FOH operator and chief engineer, coupled with his understanding of live productions, gives him the right credentials to oversee the warehouse operations.
The warehouse forms the core of Orbital's infrastructure and is situated in the adjoining buildings behind their Victorian townhouse where the sound and communications division is now based along with the hire, design and administration departments. Covering over 12,000sq.ft, the warehouse is designed to house Orbital's extensive inventory and 24/7 technical support team. Its fully networked, bar-coded stock control system designed by Andy Hilton, of Totally Brilliant Software, allows for maximum efficiency and smooth communications between divisions.
Eric Simpson told us: "It’s great to become a part of Orbital's forward-thinking organisation. The stock control system allows for every piece of kit to be monitored exactly, with a full service history of where it has been used, where it is at the moment and where it will be next week. By contr
Warner Village Cinemas have extended their relationship with Martin Audio cinema systems with the opening of the 12-screen West 12 Centre multiplex at Shepherds Bush. Forming part of the £20million redevelopment of the Concord Shopping Centre, the building of the latest Warner Village Cinemas site is part of a general renovation of the area, with design by architects the Colman Partnership.
The sound systems consist of Martin Audio Screen Series cabinets, which also featured recently in a number of screening rooms at the high-profile Warner Village Cinema complex at Star City, Birmingham, and in the Warner Bros. preview theatres in London. Warner Bros International Theatres' director of projection and technical equipment, Phil Crawley, confirmed that Martin Screen 4s and 5s are currently being adopted in new Warner Village Cinema multiplexes around the UK. Screen 5s and Screen Sub 1As are set conventionally as L/C/R systems in the two large Dolby Digital EX cinemas (Screens 9 and 12, with 386 and 284 seats respectively). The added cinema surround is provided by Martin Audio Effect 5s. Dolby Digital 5.1 features in the other screening rooms, where Martin Audio Screen 4s are in use.
The 3-way Screen 4 and Screen 5 full range systems boast dedicated midrange and high frequency sections, with the Screen 5 designed for larger-scale cinema environments. This system, which has been designed to meet the THX specification for 3-way screen systems, consists of a 2 x 15" low frequency section, plus a unique mid-range and high frequency horn which exhibits ideal pattern contr
Stage Electrics has launched a number of projects for the New Year, the first being the decision to offer its full range of hire stock from its London branch. The new branch was one of the success stories of last year and will be the subject of further expansion in the coming year. 2002 will also see the consolidation of the Stage Electrics group of companies into one brand to create a nationwide network of branches. As a result, Theatre Direct in Cambridge and Theatre Vision in Cardiff and Brecon will become branches of Stage Electrics from 1 February 2002 and will benefit from the extra support, access to a wider range of equipment and resources that come with being more closely aligned to Stage Electrics.
Leading pro audio distributor, Fuzion plc, has extended its operations into Thailand with the setting up of a brand new distribution company, Fuzion Far East Ltd, based in Bangkok. Fuzion Far East will be carrying a number of the same brands as Fuzion plc in the UK plus others and will also be distributing lighting, AV and comms products. Fuzion plc's Tony Oates is holding down the job of managing director with Sutat 'Pok' Kohkiat as technical director, Varuit Rattapong at the front as assisted by Pongsak Pattanaphan as sales/product manager plus a number of hand-picked professionals from within the industry in Thailand.
Fuzion Far East came about due to a need for quality distribution in that territory with no secondary activities that compete with the customers. After a number of discussions with operations in Thailand and research into the market, Oates saw an opportunity to create a separate company along the same lines as Fuzion plc in the UK, in order to concentrate purely on the distribution process. However, Oates was quick to point out that Fuzion Far East is not merely an extension of Fuzion plc's activities in another country, but a completely separate entity in its own right. "We're not talking about colonialisation here," said Oates. "This is a totally local operation staffed entirely, with the exception of me, by local industry professionals. My role, and that of Fuzion plc, has been to assist with some fresh ideas, resources and facilities. We also intend to focus on education and removing "black magic" from technology. We have recr
Stagetec (UK) Ltd has just completed the design, supply and installation of a sound, communications and lighting system for the new performing arts centre at the University of Plymouth's Exmouth campus. This major new GBP2.5 million teaching complex incorporates a performing arts area housing a large lecture theatre, a performance area and seminar rooms. Stagetec’s design was based on an outline specification from University staff. The lighting system features an internally-wired grid over the auditorium and stage areas, connected to eight LSC iPRO 12-channel digital installation dimmer packs. A Compulite Spark 4D console was chosen for its quick and easy programming facilities, its power and expedient size.
Stagetec supplied a selection of luminaires from the Selecon range, including 1.2kW fresnels, 600W Pacific profiles, Aurora cyclorama floods and a Performer followspot. Stagetec also provided a separate house lighting control system, utilising a two-channel Leax Scenemaster 8000 controller and dimming system.
The sound installation is based on facility panels mounted all around the building, and wired back to a central audio/video patch system. Four Martin Audio EM76 speakers are mounted both sides of the theatre's stage, driven from Crown CE series amplifiers and mixed via an Allen & Heath Mix Wizard 14:4:2 mixer. Ancillary equipment includes Denon CD and cassette machines and Shure and Audio Technica microphones.
The communications side of the install includes a Tec Pro intercom system, backstage and front of house paging, a show relay and a Sennheiser Inf
For bi-amped monitor applications utilizing HK Audio's VT115X multi-function 15"/2" cabinets, HK Audio has now introduced a dedicated VT115X Monitor Application Module. This is run in conjunction with HK's AC 22 Controller and VX2400 power amps. When run in bi-amp mode, the VT115X delivers more headroom and 'cut through', often needed on larger stages in particular. The AC 22 stereo controller with the VT115X Monitor Module provides two channels of two-way frequency crossover with +24dB/octave system frequency correction, with circuit protection offered by HK Audio's onboard dynamic limiters.
Hard on the heels of the announcement of LDI's award for Best Audio Product at the show for the newly launched Legend 3000 tri-purpose mixing console, Midas seems to be on a winning streak as the company closes out 2001. To add to the collection on the corporate mantelpiece, Midas can now add a Pro Audio Review PAR Excellence 2001 Award for the Legend 3000, an EDDY Award from Entertainment Design for the Midas Heritage Theatre software, and a TEC Award nomination for the Midas Heritage 1000.
The Heritage Theatre software was one of just five outstanding new products to be singled out for an EDDY for major technical advancement in the field of professional audio (see yesterday's news). Representing Midas to receive the award at the 10th annual EDDY Awards ceremony in New York City was MD Bob Doyle. "We've had an absolutely amazing year," commented Doyle. "The Heritage Series has continued to go from strength to strength, and in two short years I think it's fair to say that the Heritage 3000 is now a new industry standard in concert sound."
Orbital Sound has recently added a range of outdoor Rock speakers from US-based manufacturer Rockustics to its extensive hire portfolio. For intrepid outdoor sound engineers, the company can supply a variety of Rocks to suit every outdoor application. Products include Punk Rocks, Octa Rocks, Econa Rocks, Rocky Too, Rocky Junior and even a Sub Rock! Designed to withstand both wind and water erosion, the Rocks can exist in sub-zero temperatures beneath snow and ice for months at a time.
Daniel Parton of Orbital¹s hire department, commented: "The Rocks blend seamlessly into any outdoor environment and offer innovative alternatives for a variety leisure-build installations. Their their unique aesthetics offer huge potential for any themed environment and have been used successfully for a number of exhibition stands and special events."
After last month's successful sound design for Alice in Wonderland, Autograph Sound Recording has delivered another design and installation to the RSC, this time for their seasonal production of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe at London's Sadlers Wells.
The company was called in to take over the sound design for the production for the first time since its stage debut four years ago. Terry Jardine’s new design makes sole use of the Meyer Sound loudspeaker range, including the MSL-2, UPA-1C and UPM-1. A 70-input Cadac J-type mixing console is also in use, along with a 28-channel Sennheiser radio microphone system.
Simon Baker, a leading member of the Autograph sound design team, worked alongside Terry as one of two associate designers, creating over 100 new sound effects for the production, with a standalone system utilizing a Yamaha 03D and two Akai S6000s. Autograph's Chris Full also played the role of associate designer, supervising the installation and the orchestral mix. With only ten days from get-in to the first public performance, the team coordinated the installation perfectly, overcoming the enormous task of rigging, positioning and equalizing the 67 Meyer Sound loudspeakers around the auditorium.
Critically acclaimed Spiritualized have been using Shure microphones on their latest European tour ‘Let it Come Down’, which unveiled the band’s much-anticipated new line-up and album. A Spiritualized gig is a complex affair: FOH Engineer Graham Pattison dealt with up to 72 input channels from the new 13-piece line-up which featured a 6-piece brass section. For the London shows, a 6-voice choir was also added to the set.
Lead singer and guitarist Jason Pierce used a Shure Beta 58A for vocals, plus a Shure SM57 for miking up his guitar cab as did his two fellow guitarists, whilst the choir all utilized Shure Beta 87As. The brass section benefited from Shure Beta 56s and 57As, which are specifically engineered for drums and instruments. The PA system was supplied by Canegreen and featured two Midas Heritage 3000 consoles for the FOH and monitor positions, plus Meyer amplification and loudspeakers.
Acoustic Dimensions will be involved in the first challenge for the new reality-based television show, ‘Challenge America with Erin Brockovich’. New York City Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, issued the challenge to rebuild rundown soccer fields and to renovate a theatre in lower Manhattan. Ms. Brockovich has been asked to finish the project in one week - without a cent to work with.
The abandoned theatre was originally designed by Robert Moses in the 1930s. Joseph Papp used it in the 1950s as the first home for the famous New York Shakespeare Festival, which is now based in Central Park. By the 1970s, the theatre itself had fallen into disrepair and neglect, blocked off by chain link fence and covered in graffiti.
Acoustic Dimensions donated its services to consult with HLW Architects on the renovation of the theatre. The new design involved the removal of the dilapidated stage house, leaving the band shell open to a view of the East River, whilst a series of cables and canopies reshaped the structure. Acoustic Dimensions consulted on the acoustics for the band shell and on the design of the cabling structure to eliminate vibration and whistling from the wind. Now completed, the theatre is open to the public.
The Heritage Theatre software, developed by Stardraw for Midas, was one of five new products to be singled out for an EDDY award for major technical advancement in the field of professional audio.
The Heritage Theatre software sits on top of the Stardraw platform and enables offline editing of any scenes and settings for the Heritage 1000 console. For this system, MIDI is used to communicate with the desk, but the Stardraw engine can communicate with any other hardware or software using any protocol. Stardraw provided Midas with an SDK (software development kit) which can be used by any manufacturer to develop add-ins for their specific products. The same system is used throughout the Klark Teknik Group for all their software-controlled products.
Commenting on the Eddy award, MD of Midas, Bob Doyle, told us: "This is a milestone award for Midas and the Heritage Theatre software under Stardraw. They say software is never finished and it can be difficult for judges to make an award. In this case the Stardraw team worked very hard in conjunction with Midas to deliver the system on time and I hope everyone has as much fun using it as we did developing it."
The EDDY was presented in New York on December 7th 2001.
Sennheiser has added three new professional models to its range of professional headphones and headsets. All three models are closed back, circumaural designs. Two new broadcast/location sound recording headsets, the HMD 280 pro and HMD 281 pro, combine neodymium-equipped drivers, providing an 8Hz - 25kHz, virtually linear frequency response for critical monitoring, with a high quality noise compensating microphone system. Designed for live presentation, reporting, talkback and intercom applications, the HMD 280 combines an excellent quality and comfortable 102dB SPL headphone monitoring system, with 32dB ambient noise rejection and a super-cardioid boom mic. Mounted on a flexible either-side boom with especially low structure-borne noise, the high directivity microphone capsule ensures clarity of speech, even in the most noisy production environments.
The similarly specified, single-sided HMD 281, specially developed for talkback applications in combination with film and TV cameras, features the same premium components and performance. Both headsets are available in alternative belt pack compatible configurations for Clearcom (4-pin female XLR - HMD28X/CC) and RTS (5-pin male XLR - HMD28X/RTS) intercom systems.
The HD 280 pro monitoring headphone is also now available, intended for broadcast, ENG and all sound production applications. Capable of up to 32dB ambient noise rejection, this ultra-sensitive, neodymium equipped headphone, delivers a precise, linear, extended frequency response and 102 dB SPL for critical monitoring. Comfortable and firm fitting, and easily ad
The ancient Herod Atticus amphitheatre in Athens, situated against the stunning backdrop of the Acropolis, recently played host to ‘Bravo China and Greece,’ a spectacular multicultural performance billed as a celebration of the ancient cultures of China and Greece in view of their forthcoming roles as Olympic hosts in 2004 and 2008. Audio production company for the event, one of the biggest ever to be staged in the open-air venue, was Athens-based Sound Control, also the distributor for Midas, Klark Teknik and ElectroVoice.
Production manager, Sound Control's Renos Papapaschos specified a powerful Electro-Voice X-line system for the show, plus a full complement of Midas consoles and Klark Teknik processing. A 64-frame Heritage 2000 was on FOH duties, whilst a Heritage 3000 catered for monitoring requirements. An XL3 plus sidecar looked after the recording of the show and a Midas Venice handled the audio for video/TV feeds. Two Klark Teknik DN9848 digital audio processors were controlling the X-line and a rack of DN360s looked after EQ for the monitor system.
’Bravo China and Greece’ featured the cream of the two countries' classical and folk performers with the backing of a full orchestra led by renowned conductor, Hu Yongyan, who currently serves as musical director and conductor for the Shanghai Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra.
Kent's event of the year went off with a bang, as 12,000 people gathered at Hop Farm for a night of fun, fireworks and pop, with performances from acts including Hear'say, Liberty, Jo Breezer, Right Said Fred, Thymes 4, Dodgy, Supersister, A1 and the All Stars.
PA Company SRD group supplied for the event a GAE Director FOH system which consisted of four flown mid/highs per side married with two bass cabinets whilst additional cabinets and bass support were ground stacked. Monitor duties where handled by a mixture of GAE Modular II, Pro-Stage and 152TM cabinets all powered by QSC Powerlight amplifiers, with PL218s, 230s, 236s, PL6s and even PL9s being pressed into service. On the microphone front all wired and wireless microphones were Shure, with Premier Series Wireless fitted with Beta58 and 87 capsules seeing the most vocal action on the day.
In-ear monitoring was again Shure, with PSM700 systems used throughout. Wired mics utilized included the Beta 91, Beta56 and Beta57's along with SM57s and SM58s. Stuart Roberts, managing director of SRD Group commented: "I use QSC because in addition to the fact that they combine bulletproof reliability and sonic superiority, when it comes to output power versus current draw they’re second to none. GAE cabinets are renowned for their dynamic response and the fast transient behaviour of QSC Powerlight amplifiers significantly enhance this aspect of the system. As for wireless systems we chose Shure Premier because, in live performance, it's the only system that sounds like a mic on a wire."
Cadac Electronics has extended its successful series of technical seminars, announcing a new programme for 2002. Kicking off on 23 January at Cadac's UK premises in Luton, the 2002 schedule is focusing on Quality Engineering for Live Sound Applications - combining practical presentations on Balancing and Shielding, EMC, Gain Structure, as well as comparisons between Digital and Analogue console design approaches.
The monthly seminar series is designed to provide sound operators, engineers, designers, installers and consultants with an invaluable insight into key engineering and design issues, based on Cadac's extensive design expertise. The seminars are led by sound and console design expert Tony Waldron, formerly head of sound at London's Royal National Theatre.The Cadac Sound Seminars for 2002 reflect Cadac's corporate philosophy of sharing information and providing an educational framework, covering the spectrum of professional sound topics. The popular 2001 programme included a series of presentations in Luton, as well as a number of regional events.
The Cadac team staged seminars during the 2001 PALA show in Singapore, hosted by Sennheiser Asia. Entitled ‘Quality by Design’, these took place in front of a specially invited audience of around 20 sound designers and consultants. Sebastian Wong of Sennheiser Asia commented: "The feedback from participants was very positive. It is the Cadac team's willingness to share their experiences that makes the seminars most interesting and useful." Cadac seminars were also held in the US - at Masque Sound
TC Group, the Danish parent company of TC Electronic, TC Works, and TC-Helicon, has made an offer to the shareholders of TGI plc to purchase their holdings in the company. TGI plc, listed on the London Stock Exchange, is a holding-company comprising four companies representing individual platforms on the pro audio market - loudspeaker manufacturers Tannoy and Martin Audio; Swedish company Lab Gruppen - manufacturer of power supplies and high-end amplifiers, and GLL - a manufacturer of speakers for the in-car market.
"The purpose for wishing to merge with TGI plc is actually quite simple. It is a matter of creating synergy between the TC technology in digital audio processing and TGI's years of experience in developing, producing and marketing speakers. By combining digital technology from TC and the speakers developed and produced within the TGI plc Group, we will be able to develop and market new products, that we believe will have a significant potential in the markets," says TC Group CEO, Anders Fauerskov.
He continued: "In the recent years TC have invested considerably in the development of the digital technology which we are now introducing to the market. In this context it is believed that TGI plc and TC are ideal partners, due to the TGI companies' experience and position on their markets today. With a portfolio of high-end products and reputation for top-end quality, the TGI companies are a perfect match for TC Group, known as one of the leading companies in the digital processing industry."
Classic Sound, the UK's only dedicated 5.1 film and classical music facility, has taken delivery of a TC electronics 6000 surround sound effects unit supplied by distributor HHB. Classic Sound’s 6000 unit is networked to the main 5.1 mix room and the facility’s two editing suites, where it is being used for DVD and film projects and 5.1 mastering work.
Neil Hutchinson, director and co-owner of Classic Sound, say: "Since opening last March we have seen a steady increase in the number of 5.1 projects we are handling. A large proportion of our workload is now for 5.1-based product such as DVDV, DVDA, SACD and cinema release."
He continued: "The TC 6000 was an obvious addition to our equipment list as it complements our already extensive range of outboard reverb units, which include two Lexicon 480L and 300L units and two TC5000 reverbs."
MC2 Audio has announced the appointment of three new international distributors since the PLASA Show in September. The company has welcomed to its network of agents worldwide IS Music Trading, based in Tallinn, Estonia; Triangle Sound & Image, based in Lebanon; and Prolight, based in Warsaw, Poland. MC2 Audio director Ian McCarthy told PLASA Media: “We are looking forward to working with our new partners to take our products forward in these exciting new markets and we wish them every success."
Outline has launched the new H.A.R.D. 212 'low-profile' stage monitor, ideal for no-nonsense television studio and live band applications. Its unique acoustic architecture, with a folded waveguide (patent pending) for reproducing mid/high frequencies, has enabled the cabinet's maximum height from the floor to be limited to just 33cm, combining compactness with high quality performance.
Fitted with three neodymium loudspeakers - 2 x 12" woofers and a 3" compression driver loaded with the waveguide, the H.A.R.D. 212 can produce a maximum SPL of 135dB (AES), 141 peak, from 60Hz to 17kHz, with an almost constant polar response over a listening distance of between 0 and 3 metres. Another interesting feature of the enclosure is its lack of susceptibility to feedback, even at high SPLs, say Outline. The use of speakers with neodymium magnets has allowed the system's weight to be reduced by 50% compared with those fitted with traditional ferrite magnets, and the H.A.R.D. 212 weighs in at just 26kg.
The manufacturer states that for best results, the unit should be bi-amped, using Outline T2.5 and T4.5 digital power amps for the top and bottom end respectively. The system's parameters are controlled by a Genius 6 24-bit digital processor which, thanks to its 60 storable presets, enables timbre to be personalized and recalled precisely when required by performers. The control/power rack can drive up to four H.A.R.D. 212 units in parallel. The cabinet is also available in a semi-finished version, which can be given a custom paint job to match TV studio or stage sets, and
Yamaha’s eagerly-anticipated new DM2000 digital mixing console was launched last month at an uncommonly extravagant presentation in Birmingham.
The city was chosen for the corporate facilities of the ICC, the hospitality of the city centre’s main restaurant strip and the proximity of the following morning’s Sound Broadcast Equipment Show (SBES) at the NEC - for which Yamaha’s event provided a significant curtain-raiser.
In another world-launch coup for the Japanese company’s UK operation, Yamaha-Kemble UK’s sales and marketing director Ricci Hodgson hosted a dramatic unveiling of the DM2000 amid dry ice and thunderous sound effects. This was followed by a detailed description of the DM2000’s specifications by Terry Holton, head of the R&D team in London, for which the new console represents a major evolutionary step from the hugely successful 02R.
Holton emphasized the desk’s high-resolution audio quality - 24-bit/96kHz digital audio on all 96 channels - made possible by a new-generation chip developed at Yamaha’s own plant in Japan. Other breakthroughs include new mic preamps; full support for LCRS and 5.1 surround formats as well as stereo; copious expansion card slots; and dedicated software interfaces for digital audio workstations such as ProTools and Nuendo.
After revealing an SRP of $14,500 and a target shipping date of next March, Hodgson rounded off proceedings by introducing a live demo of the console. Engineer Simon Honeywell mixed a disco-driven performance of Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by
Autograph Sales Ltd, an authorized distributor for Digital Talkback, has reported an excellent response to the company’s new DTB-2001 system since its launch at the PLASA Show in September. One of the major advantages of the DTB-2001, say Autograph, is its total compatibility with all two- and four-wire communications systems, including Clear-Com, for which Autograph Sales is the UK distributor. In addition, the DTB-2001 is the first system of its kind to exploit DECT technology, widely used in the telecoms industry. This form of digital frequency agility saves set up time and is licence exempt in the EU and many other countries worldwide.
Autograph Sales has sold and shipped over 30 Digital Talkback units since the product was launched at September's PLASA show. These units went to a variety of users, including broadcast clients, theatre and concert service providers, such as Gradav, Richmond Film Services and a multi-channel system to the Queens Theatre, Hornchurch.
CP Sound has just completed phase one in a major new club sound and lighting installation, in the Cellar Club at Reynolds nightclub in Stafford, West Midlands. The intimate 150-capacity space has vaulted ceilings, with arched passages snaking mysteriously below ground level. Above are two additional floors which are currently being developed and which will soon to become an integral part of what will be a much larger venue.
The sound system is all JBL, supplied by JBL's UK distributors Arbiter Pro Audio. The Cellar's dancefloor area features four JBL MS112 top speakers and two MS125S subs. The bar is serviced with four of the new JBL Control 29s, with Control 24 speakers also in the toilets. For the DJ booth, CP Sound supplied Technics SL1210 turntables and an Allen & Heath Xone:464 mixer, complete with a Denon DN-1800 twin CD player. The mixer was chosen to provide the facility of live microphones when the club has bands playing onstage. Distribution is by a Cloud CX133 zone mixer with a remote control - for operation from the bar area when desired. Amplifiers are all RSE.
For the lighting, CP chose the Pulsar Chroma range to illuminate and highlight the architectural elements in the bar. The arches of the room are down-lit with ChromaHearts, chosen for their multi-colour effects (14.7 million) and impressive 25,000 hour lamp life. Arches inset into the wall run along the length of the space on one side, naturally splitting the room into sections. The central columns of these sections are lit from four sides with ChromaDomes illuminating the brickwork. The ChromaDomes