The historic Manchester-based BBC Philharmonic Orchestra has taken delivery of a Sony DMX-R1000 digital console, supplied by Total Audio Solutions. The orchestra will use the consoles to record its acclaimed performances at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, as well as for BBC Radio 3 recordings in their Studio Seven Concert Hall. The console will also accompany the orchestra on the regular overseas concert tours and international broadcasts that it undertakes.
Virtually all recitals are recorded to digital stereo and BBC recording and mixing engineer (programme manager) Stephen Rinker was instrumental in deciding to opt for the DMX-R1000. "We carefully evaluated the criteria by which we should select our replacement console," he explains. "This encompassed a move to digital, and it’s fair to say that the DMX-R1000 was the only digital desk that fully matched our specification. It represented very good value for money, as well as having impressive audio and a rugged build quality."
PLASA has worked in co-operation with some of London’s leading entertainment venues to offer an exclusive insight into the workings of some of the city’s most famous venues; this exclusive backstage tour immediately follows the close of the PLASA Show in London this September. Theatrical London delegates will visit the world-renowned Royal Albert Hall for a night at the Proms; the Apollo Victoria Theatre to see the upgraded Starlight Express; Tussaud’s Group Studios for an exclusive technical tour, and the Donmar Warehouse for a ‘Divas at the Donmar’ performance. To top it off, you can step back in time at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre . . .
Wednesday 12th September: The experience begins with A night at The Proms, The Royal Albert Hall, featuring Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring. Pre-show drinks will be served in the foyer. Performance starts at 7.30pm.
Thursday 13th September: This busy day starts with a coach-ride from Earls Court to The Royal Albert Hall for a guided technical tour of this famous venue, before moving on to the Apollo Victoria Theatre for a guided backstage tour of the recently-upgraded Starlight Express. Following lunch, travel by coach to the Tussauds Group Studios for an exclusive to PLASA tour of the facilities behind the Group’s famous visitor attractions, before visiting Madame Tussaud’s in Baker Street, with an option to go on to the London Planetarium. After a short break, delegates meet up at the Donmar Warehouse, with a tour and performance of Divas at The Donmar featuring Sian Philips. Drinks wil
Brazil-based Selenium Loudspeakers has announced the appointment of Overt Light to Sound Ltd as its new exclusive distributor for the UK. Malcolm Burlow, managing director of Overt, has over 20 years’ experience in the pro audio industry, having previously worked for Numark UK. He says: "We are very proud to be associated with a loudspeaker transducer company with Selenium’s worldwide reputation. Few people realise that the company has been manufacturing loudspeaker components for over 50 years, utilized in some of the finest cabinets available. The market is looking for a high quality and competitively-priced alternative, and we are confident that Selenium will be their first choice."
Overt say that a new range of compression drivers and woofers will be available within six to eight months.
The US-based Entertainment Services & Technology Association (ESTA) has announced that BSR E1.8, Entertainment Technology - Loudspeaker Enclosures Intended for Overhead Suspension - Classification, Manufacture and Structural Testing, is now available for public review, and will be until 25 September 2001. Loudspeakers suspended overhead should not pull apart and rain debris on people below, and this draft document is an attempt to offer guidance to a manufacturer to make sure such a mishap does not happen. The document describes the structural requirements for loudspeaker enclosures intended for overhead suspension, which include enclosure construction, component part security, enclosure suspension hardware, manufacturing control systems, structural testing, and product representation. The standard is intended to enhance the safety of speaker rigging at popular music concerts and other performances.
Further details are available from the Technical Standards Program section of ESTA’s website.
Show Presentation Services (SPS), the leading equipment rental and staging specialist, has announced that it increased its turnover from £8m to £13m over 2000, and achieved a 58% increase in pre-tax profits for the same period, as a direct result of its integrated event services strategy. The results reinforce SPS’s position as a leading independent AV rental and staging business. High business growth rates were achieved by the scenic construction and lighting rental departments in particular, of 241% and 148% respectively. SPS’s investment in a Barco D-Lite7 Modular LED screen was validated by the turnover generated with the successful launch of its LED rental business. A part-year contribution from the Earls Court and Olympia AV contract that commenced its five-year term also boosted SPS’s increase.
"This year has seen more challenging business conditions," acknowledges Robin Coles, managing director of SPS. "The first half of 2001 has been flatter than we anticipated but the launch of our new Event IT division in February, is adding positively to our already comprehensive service offering. We are seeking booking levels increase for the second half of the year, and an impending strategic acquisition will consolidate our position as the leading independent AV rental and staging business in the UK."
Trantec’s award-winning S5000 radio mic system was used by Sprout, the event-production division of Marcom Presentations at Disneyland Paris recently to assist the communications of 200 delegates at a major conference. Marcom’s Jason Adams revealed that a selection of lapel and handheld mics were used over the course of the week-long event for new employees. Adams confirmed that the inventory included 10 channels of S5000: "We favour the Trantec system because it offers great reception and it’s easy to set up and use."
The Community AirForce system made an impact on its UK debut when it supported two back-to-back shows by Status Quo in the Channel Islands recently. The kit was supplied from the rental stock of Lancashire-based HSL, who have enjoyed a long relationship with the promoter, Paul Couser, from Onstage Events. The two venues were the 2000-capacity Beau Sejour Centre in St. Peter Port, Guernsey, and the 2,500-capacity Fort Regent in St. Helier.
HSL produced a special ‘mini-rig’ for sound engineer Andy Taylor, providing two AF3 short-throw and four AF10 bass per side (configured as two rows of three enclosures). This was underpinned by eight VLF218s. HSL production manager, Will Soden, said: "We are still assessing the system. However, this configuration proved more than adequate to provide full coverage at the levels required." AirForce was run completely flat, using only the system processor settings, to the satisfaction of Quo’s front-of-house engineer.
Couser commented: "I was very impressed with the Community system - particularly in Jersey where we were able to fly it - and will be using it again with the SAS All Star Band, which includes Midge Ure, Leo Sayer, Fish and Chris Thompson."
A whole range of Sennheiser audio equipment helped ensure the success of Planet 24’s recent production for ITV, Survivor, throughout seven weeks of filming on the remote desert island of Pulau Tiga in the South China Sea. Of particular note was the performance of Sennheiser’s new MKE-2 Gold lavalier clip mic, which successfully provided the principal means of recording broadcast quality sound in the extremely hostile and humid tropical environment.
The new mic is designed specifically for ‘high moisture’ resistance but provides the same acoustic performance as its industry standard counterpart design. "The conditions the microphones faced were very much a worse case scenario - humidity and salt water," explains Planet 24’s technical director Peter Johnston. 16 of the MKE-2 Golds were used, along with their associated UHF SK50 miniature belt pack transmitters and EK 3041 miniature diversity camera-mount receivers. The radio system saw extensive use throughout filming, with remote feeds to the camera crews as they tracked contestants and filmed impromptu links. Sound supervisor Steve Blincoe explains: "The freedom the transmitters gave sound and camera guys and producers was very useful operationally, as it allowed the beach and jungle scenes to be monitored and captured without the limitation of trailing cables. This became essential when we were filming in the surf as we had mixers on our shoulders and water up to our waists! Thankfully we had relatively comfortable accommodation a boat ride away, although we were surviving the
Visitors to Baldwin Boxall’s stand will see a range of new products. These include the VIGIL Communicare, a product developed in response to the publication of BS5588, which states that every public building must have a communication link to each Refuge Point. The system enables a fire officer to remain in contact with any disabled person whilst they are in the safety of a refuge area. The main Communicare control panel will be available in four versions, covering up to 16, 32, 48 or 64 areas. Communicare will, of course, be compliant to BS5588 and BS5839 part 8.
Also new is the VIGIL Eclipse/BVCOM - a serial data port being designed to enable adecentralised VIGIL Eclipse/BVCOM to be controlled externally via the BVRM intelligent microphone. The company’s R&D team is also currently working on software which will enable the BVR20 to be programmed via a laptop. Finally, the company is showing a new range of Class D Amplifiers which will replace the current VIGIL amplifier range. The amplifiers are far more efficient than their predecessors - as they draw less power and will, therefore, produce less heat.
Baldwin Boxall - Stand S2
Stagetec (UK) Ltd has recently won three major contracts covering a diverse selection of production industry areas. In the theatre market, the company is supplying and installing a complete new sound system at the Orchard Theatre in Dartford. The theatre 3D-modelled the auditorium to ensure optimum coverage and intelligibility, and were demonstrated several systems. They chose a Nexo system, supplied by Stagetec, consisting of eight PS15 mid/high speakers, four LS1200 sub-bass cabinets, plus three PS8 speakers for delays, all driven from Crown Macro-Tech amplifiers. The whole system is controlled via a Crown USM810 digital processor and three Sabine Graphi-Q digital programmable graphic EQs - the idea being to offer a quick, easy and very flexible system catering for the wide range of productions. Stagetec also supplied a Soundcraft K2 mixer, a range of outboard equipment and a Sennheiser Infra-Red assisted hearing system. The project is due to complete by the end of August.
Stagetec continue to flourish in the television market. The latest contract won was for the supply and install a complete new DMX and data distribution system for the BBC’s TC3 studio at Television Centre in West London. The core of the system includes Compulite demultiplexers and multiplexers, IES splitters and an LSC Softlink DMX patching unit. A total of 60 new DMX output boxes will be supplied and installed around the studio, plus DMX patch panels in the control room, studio grid and dimmer room.
Education is always a major market for Stagetec, and the company has just been awarded the con
Los Angeles-based DJ equipment supplier American DJ recently completed a major expansion at its newly-acquired distribution centre in Miami, Florida. Encompassing nearly 20,000sq.ft of warehouse space, the enlarged Florida facility will now service all ADJ dealers located east of the Mississippi, as well as the company's growing customer base in Central and South America.
Establishing a base in Miami will allow American DJ to provide Eastern dealers with faster turnaround on orders, while keeping shipping costs down, explained ADJ general manager Scott Davies. "Our company's success has been built on providing dealers with unsurpassed service and the most affordable prices on lighting and audio gear, and we want to be able to continue to deliver these things, even as our business grows," Davies commented.
Among the improvements made at the Florida facility was the installation of a state-of-the-art computer system, which can receive and process orders much faster. Additionally, four indoor shipping docks were added to the building, and a larger warehouse section was created by reallocating office areas and other under-utilized space. This greater storage capacity was needed to accommodate American DJ's growing product line. Started as a DJ lighting supplier in the mid-1980s, the company today has expanded to three divisions: American DJ (disc jockey and club special effects and intelligent lighting); American Audio (professional mixers, CD players, turntables and other audio products); and Elation Professional (premium stage, theatrical and architectural lig
Hacousto International plans to unveil its new fully digital speaker array at PLASA.
"If our predictions regarding the industry’s response to this new digital speaker array prove as successful as our attempts to keep the design and specification under wraps until its launch at PLASA, we will have met our launch objectives," commented Hacousto’s Albert van der Hout. "Our evaluation of market needs has already been proven with a vote of confidence from one of the World Cup Stadiums. Following successful trials The Stadium has already committed to installing the new speakers," he continued. "We are sufficiently confident to invite the industry gurus to take up our challenge with a bench test. But only after the show," Albert concluded.Hacousto - Stand B24
From July 7th until July 22nd 2001, the MJF (Montreux Jazz Festival) in Switzerland is playing host to some of the best-known names in the world of music, such as Bob Dylan, Jimmy Page & Robert Plant, Gary Moore and BB King, as well as Roger Sanchez & Basement Jaxx. But one of the highlights will certainly be the Dance Night of July 21st, supported by Stanton, and featuring world-renowned DJs Roger Sanchez, Basement Jaxx, DJ Antoine and Etienne de Crécy. Animatec SA, one of Switzerland’s major distribution companies, based in Villeneuve close to Montreux, is one of the official partners of the MJF, and supplies all the mixers and cartridges for the DJ events taking place every day across three major stages of the festival, as well as demos and workshops andthe Salsa Boat on Lake Geneva!
Animatec SA is the exclusive distributor in Switzerland for Ecler, Stanton, DAS Audio and MA Lighting. therefore please to involve this brands in the Partnership of the festival. "This event gives us and our suppliers a very important opportunity to be close to these well-known artists and to fulfill our goal of meeting their needs. We can also demonstrate to our dealer network that we are not just ‘box-movers’, but close to the real world of today's electronic music," says Patrik Dällenbach, audio product manager of Animatec SA.
London-based pro audio supplier FX Rentals recently rewarded its 100,000th rental customer with a couple of bottles of champagne, presented by FX Group marketing director, Tony Andrews. The lucky order - for a Mackie 1202 mixer and four Shure microphones for an event at Kensington Roof Gardens - was placed on Tuesday 29 May by Jeremy Millins of Sevenoaks-based Pure Productions. Millins said: "We don’t usually hire in gear, but when we do, we use FX. They’re a great life-saver."
Tony Andrews comented: "We couldn’t let such an occasion pass by without some small celebration and we hope that Pure Productions enjoy a drink on us."
Tannoy has launched two new in-wall speakers, and the new i7 Contour full range installation loudspeaker.
The in-wall products integrate the company’s highly-regarded cabinet-based speaker technology into a flush-mountable format. Designed to provide value for money, ease of installation and high performance, the new speakers are suitable for music and film playback, multimedia and teleconferencing applications in boardrooms, themed visitor attractions, shops and residential installations. The powerful m2iw is a two-way system with a 165mm (6.5") long-throw mid/bass driver, 25mm (1") soft dome HF unit and onboard crossover. The design offers the assurance of long-term reliability combined with excellent sound quality.
The high-performance S8iw features a Tannoy 200mm (8") Dual Concentric constant directivity driver with an integral crossover network to provide superior clarity, fidelity and natural vocal articulation over a wide area. Avoiding the use of potentially flexible plastic mouldings, both models incorporate a discreet, laminated MDF baffle panel, which provides the best structural integrity and can be painted to blend with any environment.In addition, a secure four-clamp mounting system allows simple installation and a robust termination block is used to provide optimum input signal integrity.
The new i7 Contour full range installation loudspeaker (pictured) is designed for high quality music and speech reinforcement in applications where wide yet controlled coverage is required. Housed in a slimline cabinet allowing discreet vertical or
Tremayne Crossley (system design co-ordinator) and Richard Sice (marketing manager) from voice alarm system specialist SigNET AC Ltd, recently abseiled from the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle in order to help raise money for a local charity, Disability North. Tremayne says "the thrill and experience of standing on top of the Tyne bridge with nothing but space below was exhilarating." He added: "I descended quickly and the 90ft drop to terra firma took no time at all. I was keen to go again but there was already a queue for the next group of abseilers."
Approximately 150 people took part in the initative to raise money for Disability North, a Charity dedicated to helping the disabled, young and old, to better integrate into society. Janet Schofield, marketing manager of Disability North says: "SigNET have been incredibly supportive" in addition to fund raising SigNET has also donated and induction loop system and "the equipment will play a vital role in improving our facilities for the hard of hearing users."
Crest Audio Professional series amplifiers, supplied by The Sound Department, will be used to power the sound on a series of school discos with a difference. Provided by Tarsin Entertainments for promoter Bobby Sanchez, matched with ASS scoop bins and JBL Venue series mid-tops, the combination is deemed to deliver the perfect 1970s sound Sanchez is looking to achieve for his risqué nights at Hammersmith Palais and other venues, where his clientèle come dressed in school uniforms. In Hammersmith, the sound is complemented at balcony level by the flown in-house system. "Since he plays 1970s music, he wants to achieve a sound reminiscent of the era," says Tarsin’s Peter Dyer. "The event takes place once a week at Hammersmith and it’s a fabulous night out."
The mobile rig’s bottom end is driven by four Crest 8001s, the mid-section by four 6001s and the top by four 4801’. "The idea with ‘School Disco’ is that it’s run like a party and Bobby likes to get everyone up on the dancefloor," said Dyer. "The CD-driven system is loaded into a drive rack and Bobby is absolutely delighted with the type of sound produced by the new sound rig."
Dyer’s relationship with Sanchez (who is also one of the DJs), extends back to the Notting Hill Carnival and the Mayflower in Balham, when he was also using Tarsin’s ASS equipment.
InnovaSon has announced the availability of V6.6, the latest version of its Sensoft software and is available for free download at the www.innovason.com download section. Sensoft 6.5 is still available for download. Sensoft is the software used to run a Sensory Live Console and can be installed also on a stand-alone PC or a laptop. The show can be set up anywhere, without the console, and transferred to the console via floppy disk.
French loudspeaker manufacturer Nexo SA has made its debut on the Paris Stock Exchange. A minority percentage of Nexo’s equity was sold, the majority by placement, and 10% by public offering. Both parts of the issue were in heavy demand, the public offering oversubscribed by six times.
Nexo is one of only a handful of European pro-audio companies to be taken public, a reflection on two decades of growth and solid international sales achievement. Micky Johnson, one of the founding partners of the company, detailed the strategic rationale behind the flotation. "Primarily, the objective was to gain access to the capital markets to finance any large projects which may arise, as well as broadening the base of shareholders in the company. It is important to stress that there will be no change in the day-to-day running of the organisation, and that the board of directors will remain the same. With the valuation of the company’s shares, we now have the opportunity to introduce a meaningful stock option plan to retain and motivate our key staff."
Over the last 10 years, Nexo technology for touring and installation applications has broken new ground, most notably with the Alpha System which demonstrated high ‘Q’ performance, ease of handling, extreme power-to-weight advantage and advanced acoustic design. In 1999, Nexo made its corporate debut on the North American audio scene. The Nexo USA office was opened in California, where it has quickly established the Nexo product portfolio as one of the most exciting and innovative on the current market.
The celebrated Liseberg Amusement Park in Gothenburg is the largest in Sweden, and has become a primary live performance venue, welcoming top international performers such as the Rolling Stones, as well as leading Swedish artists. Its huge outdoor concert stage has recently revamped its sound system, ordering one of the largest Soundcraft front-of-house desks in the country.
Liseberg was founded in 1923, a Disney-style amusement park which includes a 1400m-long roller coaster. It has a number of live performance areas, the largest of which has the capacity for audiences of up to 10,000 people, and it is here that the Soundcraft Series FIVE console has been installed in a permanent FOH control room. It is not the first Soundcraft for Liseberg; the first shows at the venue were mixed on a Soundcraft 800. Less than two years ago, in the first phase of refurbishment, sound contractors Gothenburg Audio specified and installed an L-Acoustic V-DOSC system, together with a new Soundcraft SM20 monitor console, oneof the first in Sweden.
The arrival of the 56-input Soundcraft Series FIVE completes Liseberg’s sound reinforcement system, which will be used daily during the summer. Jan Setterburg of Soundcraft distribution company TTS explained how the contract was awarded. "The physical constraints of the FOH control booth make it very difficult for an act to bring in its own mixing console. One of the reasons for choosing a Series FIVE of this size was to provide comprehensive facilities which could handle any production, as well as being ergonomically familiar to visit
Focus Show Equipment, one of Holland's leadingr rental companies, particularly in the theatre market, has recently taken delivery of an XL4 and a Heritage 2000 supplied by Dutch distributor TM Audio. The two consoles were bought specifically for the show Saturday Night Fever which has just opened at the Queen Beatrix theatre in Utrecht. The show, which is anticipated to run for at least two years at the venue, specified both consoles for FoH duties, but even then some of the monitor channels on the XL4 have been replaced with stereo channels.
Focus SE's Piet Meekel commented: "Like me, the sound designer, Jeroen Ten Brinke, is a great fan of Midas consoles, so even with the modifications, it wasn't a difficult choice to go with Midas for this show. In fact, the very first console I bought when I started Focus Show Equipment 30 years ago was a Midas console, and it's still going strong today." As well as being a rental company, Focus SE also owns some 2,500sq.ft of rehearsal rooms which is a great bonus for clients. Most of the big shows that come to Holland have used them at some point including famous names like the Rolling Stones, and all the big theatre shows such as Miss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera and many others. In fact, Saturday Night Fever held all of its auditions and rehearsals there before opening in Utrecht.
This week Show Technology’s managing director Emmanuel Ziino made a major commitment to the rapidly growing area of architectural lighting by appointing Jonathan Ciddor as architectural products manager. Ciddor has been involved in the lighting business for over 30 years, the last 15 specializing in taking entertainment lighting to architectural and theming applications to create interesting lighting solutions. This wealth of knowledge will now be used to develop Show Technology’s position as one of the leaders in innovative architectural lighting in Australia.
Jonathan’s own experience on large scale architectural and theming projects is vast and he has worked on a wide range of projects. He is currently working on the permanent location of the Olympic Cauldron at Homebush Bay involving over 20 Clay Paky Goldenscans. The installation of this project is by Beyond Audio Visual, a new venture by Con and Angelo Andrews, and the design is by Barry Webb & Associates with Heyday Electrical the on-site electrical contractor.
An elaborate TOA networked system forms the core of the new tone and voice signalling system at the head office and distribution centre of RS Components (UK) Ltd at Corby. Retrofitted by Provoice, the audio division of Burnley-based fire protection and voice evacuation specialists, Protec, the system is based around a centrally-sited, 32-zone SX-1000 audio management digital matrix, powered by a combination of TOA VP240, VP120 and VP60 amplifiers, housed within a suite of five ‘Access Series’ drive racks, manufactured by Wilshire & Quick.
There are 48 amplifiers in total, and since the system is plugging into a pre-existing PA set-up, using branched circuits, Provoice opted to use an impedance monitoring system, specially designed by TOA Germany, and featured for the first time in the UK. Prosound’s Jan Hawrot explained that the system contained four automatic messages and a computer signal indicator and test diagnostic.
The SX-1000 is ideal for both routing of simultaneous audio channels and fault monitoring and logging. It can be configured as a 64-audio input/128-audio output device, with 128 x 128 control inputs. The 16 audio busses enable simultaneous processing of up to 16 audio signals, while the software-driven operation makes complicated wiring set-ups unnecessary. Two SX1200 microphones have been installed - one located in the security control room and the other, which is integral to the main panel, in a dedicated system room. These will be used for paging to all zones. There are 59 wired speaker circuits and the system is interfaced with the
The latest Jongleurs comedy club has been developed on the site of the former Mash & Air in Manchester’s city centre - in a multi-level building, requiring multiple signal feeds. When Andy Chamley’s Telford-based AC Limited won the contract from Regent Inns plc for the sound and lighting package, they put together a specification based around a pair of BSS Audio’s 9088 DSP networking devices, with two local 9010 ‘Jellyfish’ remotes. Chamley says the success of the installation owed much to the close support offered by BSS Audio’s Dave McKinney. "This was a complex installation, since the venue exists on four floors, and required careful design," he explained.
On the ground floor is Bar Risa - a daytime operation and night-time feeder bar, with a hard disk music system. This is linked by a Soundweb device and Jellyfish, offering satellite and other source input select from the Jellyfish. "We have also installed a DJ console, allowing them to create a trendy club atmosphere," explains Andy. "Thus we have different gain settings, EQ and other parameters stored in Soundweb. The system is also time-aligned for the DVD and satellite output to run in sync with the screens."
While the second floor is largely a service area, the third level forms the ground floor of the comedy club itself, which has a capacity of 500. Here the second Soundweb controls the entire PA system and there are three different stored settings. Chamley explains: "There’s the Comedy set-up, with the bottom end rolled off, time al