In 1996 the second edition of British Theatrical Patents 1801-1900 was published in demand to the runaway success of the first edition. Such was the interest and fascination with the subject, the authors Terence Rees and David Wilmore, embarked upon the mammoth task of consulting several million more patents to compile a database of theatrical patents for the first half of the twentieth century. As a result of some five years work the first release of the database is now available covering 1901-1950 and includes many fascinating technological developments relating to moving lights, projection, dimming and control as well as staging, illusions, and a myriad of other technical theatre subjects. The database is now available for purchase (£957+ Vat) and there are currently almost 1,000 patentee entries on the database. Purchasers will receive free updates as new entries are discovered - but beware - as the entries increase so does the price! - the earlier you buy it the cheaper it is! Further information can be obtained from Theatresearch on Tel:+44 (0) 1423 780497
TMB announced today that Warren Mays, the company’s long-serving technical sales manager, has left the company to join Moodie, Pincu & Associates. Colin Waters, TMB’s CEO told PLASA Media: “Warren has been a great asset to TMB over the years and he will be missed. Because of his understanding of the cooperative relationship between TMB and Moodie-Pincu, we believe this move will lead to many new opportunities for both companies. Moodie-Pincu & Associates is a manufacturer’s representatives in the greater Los Angeles area for Electronic Theatre Controls and other entertainment-based manufacturers of theatrical support equipment.
The recently-established Crystal Leisure is all set to launch its first major project. The company will unveil plans for a new multi-million pound superclub within the next few months. Summit, as the club will be known, will hold approximately 1500 clubbers and will be situated on Nene Parade in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. The company is currently working with leading sound, lighting and design companies to create the look and feel of the club.
The versatility of Audio-Technica's range of microphones has been demonstrated with the use of A-T ProPoint mics in a purpose-built badger sett at a Welsh country park. Flintshire County Council's Countryside Service has constructed the sett, with its earth-lined tunnels leading out into woodland, at Wepre Park, at Connah's Quay on Deeside. Specialist sound systems suppliers Apple Sound, based nearby at Mold, installed cameras and microphones in the sett to allow people in the visitor centre at the 168-acre combined recreation and conservation site to see and hear inside the badgers' home. A camera and an Audio-Technica PRO42 boundary microphone were installed in the walls of each of the three chambers of the sett, out of reach of the sharp teeth of any inquisitive badger residents.
Once the project - sponsored by Airbus UK, Apple Sound, International Power and Toyota Manufacturing UK Ltd - was completed, Wepre Park's Countryside Rangers invited the BBC to take a look who agreed to run a webcam by taking a feed off the three cameras installed in the sett. The Wepre Park Badger Cam can be viewed at www.bbc.co.uk/nature/animals/webcams.
A cutting-edge club sound and lighting system have been detailed and installed by Marquee Audio into the new 2,300-capacity concert and dance venue, The Academy, in Birmingham. Opened in Dale End by the McKenzie Group - owners of the Brixton Academy and Shepherds Bush Empire - some £600,000 has been spent on converting the former Rank-owned Hummingbird, which had been closed for six years before being sold to the London-based entertainment company, into a premier mid-sized concert venues. The brief was to deliver a quality club system into both the major auditorium and 400-capacity auxiliary room. As a result, Marquee spec’d a computer-controlled Turbosound sound system, driven by a combination of 15 MC2 MC-1259 and three MC-750 amplifiers, and digitally distributed through a pair of BSS 9088LL audio matrix devices, with a Soundweb 9010 ‘Jellyfish’ remote providing local access.
As for lighting, Marquee supplied eight Optikinetics Solar 250 projectors, four Deathstar strobes, four Martin MAC 500, eight Martin Destroyer X250 multi-rotating beam effects, 12 Martin PRO 918s and two MAC 250s on the rig - working with a four-head Martin Techno Haze smoke machine - all run from an Avolites Azure 2000 desk. In the secondary room a further four Opti Solar 250s, eight Martin Destroyer X250s and four Martin MX4 intelligent light projectors form the rig, controlled from from a Light Processor QCommander.
TiLE will be the official European Show of The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). TiLE is aimed at those who have an interest in the future of location-based leisure attractions, whilst TEA is an international alliance of the world's most talented and experienced professionals in the themed attractions industry. The decision coincides perfectly with the 10th anniversaries of both TiLE and TEA and recognises the close relationship that has built up between the two; the European Chapter of TEA (now TEA Europe) was launched at TiLE 1998 in Strasbourg, France, and has become one of the fastest growing chapters of TEA.
French PA system manufacturer L-Acoustics has made a number of important personnel changes: financial manager Hervé Guillaume has been appointed managing director with responsibility for all administrative and financial matters. His new role will allow him to manage all the advanced aspects of L-Acoustics’ established business, while Christian Heil, the company chairman, will focus on the development of a global company strategy. Sandrine Fessard, formerly a sales assistant is now in charge of customer services, working alongside long-established sales manager Michel Brouard. Pascale Danielou joins the sales administration team and will be working in the expanded sales team with Beatrice Mornet. Paul Bauman has been appointed technical support manager, and will be assisted by Stephane Gramondo, who has been in charge of technical support for permanent installations over the last year. Melanie Cerveaux, who joined the team in 1999, is now involved with marketing, advertising, press information, and general media aspects. Although she remains excecutive assistant to the chairman, part of her new role has been the definition of the 2001 marketing strategy and the coordination of the website.
Marquee Audio has joined a select band of companies entrusted with marketing Sony professional products with its appointment as approved pro audio dealer for the brand. The portfolio of Sony sound reinforcement products handled by Marquee will range from the popular radio mic series to more esoteric items such as feedback exterminators, and will include the DMX R-100 digital desk. The appointment was confirmed by Sony’s recently-recruited pro audio sales and marketing manager, Alan Johnson.
Pro Audio Systems have launched their new web site, www.pasystems.co.uk. It includes lots of useful industry links, an on line pro audio store and a members' area. Membership allows access to special deals and free used equipment ads. The site is a good information centre, provides a service to existing and new customers as well as being a comprehensive on line store for a full range of pro audio equipment.
DPA Microphones has appointed its first distributor in Ireland, Big Bear Sound of Dublin. Founded seven years ago by Julian Douglas, Big Bear has become one of Ireland's leading pro audio equipment resellers, representing DigiDesign, Apple and HHB, as well as supplying top-end brands such as Focusrite, TC Electronic and Tube Tech. Strengthened by products like Pro Tools, Big Bear takes most of its business from the recording sector, and the company also designs and builds studios. According to sales director Michael Browne: "We have a substantial client base in recording, including a lot of clients doing classical work, and DPA Microphones has a world-class selection of mics which we can recommend to them . . . The DPA range fits in extremely well with our portfolio profile at the high end of professional audio. I'm particularly confident about the compact and miniature mics, and I can see these taking over the market within a year or two."
Following the announcement of the new administration and management set-up of the PSA, a substantial package of new benefits for members has been unveiled. A new membership pack has been produced which includes a personal membership identity card, pre-paid subscriptions to appropriate magazines, training information and course dates, training booking forms, a diary section, book list and contacts, plus a new, truly interactive web site which is updated daily. Birmingham-based Business Media Services Ltd (BMS) recently took over the role of administrative and membership operations of the PSA office. Bob Fox, the head of BSM, told PLASA Media: "It is our aim to ensure that members of the PSA get the maximum possible from their association with us. We have put together this new package to increase the benefits that membership brings."
Elissa Getto has joined Theatre Projects Consultants as senior theatre consultant in the Norwalk, Connecticut office. She will be a principal member of the team conducting performing arts feasibility studies and advising on a wide range of administration issues. Currently she is working on major studies for the Lincoln Centers in both New York and Dallas. Prior to joining TPC, Getto served as CEO and President of the Westport Country Playhouse, Connecticut and was also president of the Cincinnati Arts Association and an executive director of PACT Inc.
International Leisure Industry Week (LIW - 2-4 October 2001, NEC, Birmingham) has appointed Neil Felton as show director. Felton, previously manager for fitness, health and sport at LIW, is now responsible for overseeing the entire exhibition, as well as dealing with the show’s sponsorships and liaising closely with trade associations.
A new company has been formed that will continue to manufacture the Reflekta and Spektra brands, previously manufactured by Acoustic Sound Systems. Universal Audio will add its own range of cinema speakers, whilst also offering an OEM facility to other manufacturers. A brand new touring system is going through development at the moment and should be in production by mid-summer.
Stuart Fenwick has joined the audio facilities company Envo-Tech to head up its expanding leisure division. Envo-Tech’s MD Brian Puckey commented on the appointment: "With our business in the leisure sector growing and the opening of our new dedicated professional audio showrooms based in London, it became obvious that we needed someone with Stuart’s industry experience". Fenwick, formerly with Martin Professional, joins Envo-Tech after a spell with G-E-T.com.
"It’s the first time a show’s sound has been all-digital on Broadway," says sound designer Jonathan Deans. "As revolutionary as Tharon Musser putting memory lighting control on A Chorus Line."
Deans is speaking at the back of the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York, home to Seussical: The Musical, the slightly troubled new show (half the creative team replaced before opening!) by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, the writers responsible for Once On This Island and Ragtime. He can make the claim because of what looks like a tiny mixing desk shoe-horned into the space next to him: CueConsole, a hands-on control surface to LCS’ Matrix3 and SuperNova range of digital signal processing sound equipment. Why choose to take a chance on a new piece of equipment? Firstly, size is an important consideration in theatre where on a sold-out show each full price seat can bring in around $37,000 per year. "The CueConsole takes up seven seats," Deans notes, "rather than the 28 that a conventional set-up would have needed. That’s for a system with 128 inputs and 64 outputs. If the show’s a hit, that means the producers are effectively getting the sound system for free!"Secondly, the ability to easily move some or all of the modular console around during the production period, connecting it back to the eight Matrix3 LX300 16-input/8-output processing racks in the basement through standard CAT5 cable. "We had all of the faders set up in the middle of the orchestra seating at our first venue, so that the operator could
The International Live Music Conference takes place from 9 - 11 March 2001 at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington High Street, London. It pulls together key figures involved in the presentation of live entertainment around the globe. Attendance is ‘by invitation only’ and the ILMC includes among its members some 35 different professions from nearly 40 countries. The Main Room debates will kick off as usual on Friday afternoon at the Talking Shop, where a variety of the subjects will be covered, and the rest of the weekend's talks previewed. Taking centre stage in Saturday afternoon's main forum will an investigation of the urgent issues surrounding crowd safety, made more relevant in the last few days by the terrible events at Australia's Big Day Out and Brazil's Planet Atlantido. In a major session set to span the entire afternoon under the banner 'Safety in Numbers', chaired by Roger Barrett and Roberto de Luca, the views of leading figures from the worlds of production, security, and event promotion will be put forward in a discussion that has to be seen as relevant to everyone in the live industry. On Sunday, the conference will examine how the dance market works and the new global medium of webcasting. The conference is organised in association with Blink TV, SMG and Le Maitre Fireworks.
On February 1st AEI Music held a launch party for ProFusion, featuring renowned Ibiza and Ministry of Sound DJ Brandon Block. Hosted at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, the launch was attended by many of the UK’s leading retail and leisure operators. Attendees were treated to a champagne reception and demonstrations of the software that supports ProFusion, blending all the benefits of Hard Disc storage with the know-how of experienced professional music programmers. Capable of running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, the system is able to store 400 hours of digital music or eight hours of video. Up to four separate zones from a single unit give businesses the opportunity to segment their sites into specific areas. Pre Launch trials have proved a great success, with operators including Whitbread, AMF Bowl and Scottish and Newcastle signing up for further installations.
massAV, of Burlington, Massachusetts, has officially become the first company in the world to purchase the new Line Array 760 series speaker from EAW. CEO and owner of massAV, Patricia Basteri, recently ordered a speaker and monitor system, which includes 24 x 760 speakers, 12 x SB 1000s and 8 x SM-15 monitors from EAW. The new order will upgrade the capabilities of the company, whose current system of 16 x KF 650s and 8 x 850s will complement the new system. "This new Line Array product will bring great versatility to the venues and facilities that our top clients are currently using," Basteri said. As the exclusive AV provider for The Bayside Expo Center, The Rhode Island Convention Center and Microsoft New England, massAV plans to maintain its firm grip on event services in the Northeast region. Senior audio engineer for massAV, Jason Geshelin, said of the system: "The sonic quality is absolutely superb! The KF760 travels well, is easily rigged and the overall product packaging will allow smooth load-in and load-out.”
Total Audio Solutions has recruited Canadian David Anthony Otañez, formerly of Yamaha Commercial Audio and Denmark Street Studios, London, to spearhead the company’s sales into the UK post-production and studio markets. Otañez, who has been closely involved with computer-based recording systems for the last 10 years, brings to the company a wealth of experience with digital mixing consoles, which will prove useful in advising potential customers for the Sony DMX-R100, rapidly becoming one of Total Audio Solutions’ most sought-after products. Otañez also has an in-depth knowledge of Pro Tools and other hard-disk-based recording systems.
London-based rental company, Dobson Sound Productions recently provided all the audio requirements for What Car? Magazine’s Car of the Year Awards, held at Grosvenor House in London. The event consisted of a sit-down dinner for 950 people from throughout the automotive industry including a significant number of journalists from the motoring press. This was followed by awards presentations for each of the 18 categories hosted by Jonathon Ross, culminating with a spectacular reveal of the winner of the Car of the Year award, won by the new Ford Mondeo. Dobson’s Tone Ferne explained that due to the nature of the reveal, they were required to provide a far more powerful audio system than a standard awards dinner might merit. "We provided a distributed system throughout the ceiling of the Great Room in the Grosvenor consisting of 18 d&b E9 cabinets. There were also two big screens at the front for video and images throughout the awards, behind which we had a further two stacks of d&b C7s each. Then, to make the cutlery rattle on the tables when the Mondeo was finally revealed on a huge revolving turntable to the accompaniment of spectacular pyrotechnics, moving lights and thunderous music, we had two powerful B2 subs hidden under the stage. And I have to say it worked! The cutlery did indeed rattle, along with the fillings in a few people’s teeth I should imagine! We also had the usual plethora of radio mics and playback equipment, and the whole lot was controlled by our trusty Midas Heritage 1000."
MAVCO has been awarded the contract to install the audio equipment for all public areas on Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Spirit. The 960-foot, 84,000-tonnes Carnival Spirit is destined to go into service from Miami in the spring of 2001. Onboard, MAVCO is involved with designing and installing audio systems in a total of 23 venues, headed by onsite project manager, Nick Gibson. Work on the project started in Turku last October, where he and his team built 56 racks within six weeks, which are now being installed on Carnival Spirit in Helsinki. In the main theatre, MAVCO is installing two LCS LD88 audio processors to provide room surround effects, and 90 EAW loudspeakers, together with 60 Renkus Heinz and Macpherson loudspeakers. Processing will be via a Peavey Mediamatrix digital sound processor, and 54 Crest CKS amplifiers will be controlled by Crest's NexSys computer control system. The theatre will also have a Midas XL4 fully automated audio mixer together with a Midas XL3 side wing mixer.
Federal Signal has won its first contract from Romania's national oil company Petromar. The £150,000 contract involves the design, manufacture and supply of an Akusta-based duplicated PA and general alarm system for Petromar's offshore oil production facility in the Black Sea. The system installation will be carried out by Petromar's own engineers. The system has been designed and engineered to operate in harsh offshore conditions while still complying with BS5588 and BS5839: Part 8. It will provide an extensive range of emergency notifications - from fire and toxic gas alert to abandon platform alarm, as well as full audio communications and paging facilities.
Sennheiser UK threw a spectacular party before Christmas at London's Café Royal to celebrate the company's tenth anniversary. In addition to 250 customers, suppliers and staff, special guests for the evening included Professor Jorg Sennheiser, chairman of Sennheiser GmbH and Rolf Meyer, president of sales and marketing in Germany. Presentations to mark the occasion were made to Sennheiser UK managing director Paul Whiting, sales and marketing manager Rob Piddington, financial controller Lesley Alaway, field sales manager Nigel Mann and technical applications manager John Willett, all of whom have been with the UK company since it was formed. During the evening, the company hosted a raffle which raised sufficient funds to bring the total of Sennheiser UK's annual fund raising activities for Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital to £13,000. Additional presentations were also made to Gerry and Jaz Ford of Dublin-based Professional Audio Ltd, Sennheiser UK's distributor for Ireland, also celebrating its tenth year in business, whilst awards were made in their absence to area sales manager Simon Jones and Dave French from warehouse and despatch, both of whom have also been with Sennhesier UK from the start.