In the final stages of a major revamp of its distributor network, Celestion has appointed Lyd-Systemer as its representative in Norway. Lyd-Systemer is one of Norway’s leading pro-audio distribution companies, and carries Amek, DPA Microphones, EAW and TC Electronics in its portfolio. Managing director Terje Engedahl anticipates that "Celestion will be attractive to the large number of Norwegian end-users looking for cost-effective background and foreground music solutions. This will include the entertainment venues, bars, clubs and restaurants, but also the installation customers, especially in the retail sector."
At the 10th annual British Entertainment & Discotheque Association Awards, held in Birmingham, the Mackie Fussion System walked off with the top award of the evening when it was voted Product of the Year 2001.
The BEDA/Miller awards are voted upon by members of the association and a panel of judges. The judges had the following to say about the system. "Mackie's high-output active speaker system has made a major impact in late night venues across the UK. Combining high precision transducers with application specific amplifier technology, the system is capable of generating extreme output levels with incredibly low distortion levels. Its in-built amplification allows for ease of installation and minimal signal loss."
The new CCS 800 compact discussion system from Philips CSI provides an easy and affordable way to improve the management of meetings and conferences. It also comes with an extra incentive - a free delegate unit for every 10 delegate/chairman units purchased.
The CCS 800 is suited to small to medium-sized applications for up to 100 delegates. Each delegate unit comes complete with built-in microphone, loudspeaker and two headphone sockets with volume control. Optional units have an additional priority override button which cuts off all other speakers when pressed, allowing meetings to be managed more effectively. Other optional features include simultaneous translation facilities, remote participation by telephone and linking to a PA system for broadcasting proceedings to a larger audience. The CCS 800 interfaces easily with external equipment to extend its capabilities. For instance, a graphic equaliser can be added to match ambient acoustics, and a public address system used to broadcast proceedings to a larger audience. Additional microphones (wired or wireless) can be allocated to guest speakers or for audience participation, and proceedings can be recorded and played-back via a tape recorder. Remote delegates can also participate by telephone (or video conference) via a telephone coupler, and a background music source can be connected to create an atmosphere or fill in gaps. Interpretation and language distribution facilities can also be added when required.
Music with walls? Music without instruments? is the title of an international conference attended by 100 delegates and speakers from Europe and the US. The conference opens today at the De Montfort University (DMU) in Leicester and runs until Saturday.
"This is a high-level conference where we will be looking at the future of how music is composed and technological and music innovations," said Professor Andrew Hugill. He is one of the conference organisers, along with Professor Leigh Landy who heads the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Group at DMU. The conference will feature musical installations, listening posts, an internet station for interactive music-making, and musical performances at Phoenix Arts, Leicester. There will be four concerts and six installations throughout the conference, including ‘Time Drops’ by Akemi Ishijima - a continuously running soundscape. Highlights of the programme at Phoenix Arts include Barry Truax who is curating an eight-channel sound concert with channels being used to create a sense of motion around the room and Paul Rudy who performs with a cactus wired for sound which is projected around the auditorium. One of the issues explored at the conference will be the concept of composing music via the internet.
The long-awaited new movie from acclaimed director Robert Altman - Gosford Park - has just completed shooting using very complex audio multi-track recording. Set in the thirties, with an all-star cast including Alan Bates, Stephen Fry, Sir Michael Gambon, Richard E. Grant, Sir Derek Jacobi, Helen Mirren, Dame Maggie Smith, Charles Dance and many more, this film seems certain to be a box office winner.
Director Altman is well known in movie sound circles as the man who ‘invented’ multi-track dialogue recording in feature films. In its basic form, each actor wears a radio microphone and is recorded separately on a multi-track system. During more complex scenes, many different conversations can take place simultaneously, and are filmed by two or more moving cameras. The audio is then reconstructed in post-production from the radio mic tracks and booms. Peter Glossop was in charge of the audio and recording on Gosford Park, which was shot on location in north London and Shepperton. Glossop has perfected the technique of multi-track recording and received the coveted MPSE Golden Reel award for his work on Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet. He was later nominated for an Oscar for Shakespeare in Love and since then he has used multi track techniques continually including on his latest film, the blockbuster The Mummy Returns.
Glossop’s complex recording technique makes enormous demands on the microphones. At times during Gosford Park, we were using 16 Audio Ltd radio mics - 8 channel 69, 4 channel 36 and 4 VHF," he recalls. "One of the main problems wa
Nearly 19 years after they vowed never to play live again, Roxy Music ended years of seemingly endless speculation with the announcement that they would be back on the road this year with their original line-up. Also back is producer Rhett Davies, who has been drafted in as sound director for the tour. Rhett has worked with an impressive and varied roster of artists over the years, including Dire Straits, Brian Eno, Talking Heads and the B52s.
Rhett and Levi Tecofski (FOH mixer) will be using three Mackie HDR24/96 recorders to record the entire Roxy tour. All the concerts will have every feed sent to the HDRs, which in turn will provide a full 72 tracks of new recordings at every stop. The band will be performing songs from an impressive portfolio that includes such hits as Avalon, More Than This, Jealous Guy, Angel Eyes, Dance Away, Love is the Drug, and of course, the seminal Virginia Plain.
The tour kicked off in the UK on June 11th in Glasgow. Additional stops include Newcastle, Nottingham, Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester and three nights at Wembley Arena beginning tomorrow night. On July 17th, the tour moves to North America where stops include Boston, New York, Atlanta, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The third leg includes three nights in Tokyo beginning September 7th returning for more European dates and a final gig in Dortmund, Germany, on September 21st.
Direct marketing company Smart Sound Direct, has introduced the latest in its line of ancillary equipment. The Chameleon CF8 mains distribution unit/high frequency filter is designed to sit quietly within any sound system fending off those inherent mains born nasties such as high frequency ‘spikes’ and ‘saw tooth wave’ beasties living within the power supplies. Using Chameleon evolved precision winding techniques, far more mains filtration is now possible than previously achieved for a unit of this size and weight. The compact close coupled design allows 1U rack models to be fitted with Neutrik 15 amp Powercon sockets feeding up to eight appliances, or alternatively a 2U design featuring six 13 amp outlets.
Neil Finn, of Crowded House and Split Enz fame, has been busy touring an entertaining live show with some semi-legendary muso mates and a very flexible format. L&SI caught up with him in New Zealand and the UK, courtesy of Catriona Strom and Steve Moles . . .
Auckland’s St James Theatre was the setting for the start of the Neil Finn & Friends shows, which featured a line-up including Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien and Phil Selway, Johnny Marr and Sebastian Steinberg on electric and double bass, and Lisa Germano doing vocals and a number of instruments.
Oceania Audio supplied sound, with the company’s Paul Jeffery acting as both technical manager and monitor engineer. "The concert was certainly a challenge," said Jeffery, "but having worked, off and on, for Split Enz and Crowded House for many years, I’m quite familiar with the way Neil operates."
To complicate matters, three guest performers, could be on stage at any one time. For flexibility, Jeffery chose a Midas Heritage monitor console, along with XTA graphic EQ, Lexicon MPX1 reverbs, and Drawmer gates. "We ran 12 sends of monitors with proprietary cabinets housing 12" and 2" JBL drivers," said Paul. "It was a very unpredictable time in monitor world - people were constantly being brought on and off the stage with guitars being swapped around. It was an exciting show."
The male vocalists were all on Shure Beta 58A microphones. A Turbosound Flash/Flood system was spec’d: the theatre’s upper level feat
CP Sound has just completed the installation of an innovative new lighting rig, plus a re-invention and design of the sound system incorporating several new elements at The Core in Yeovil, Somerset. The club - formerly known as Duke’s - is owned by locally-based independent operator Terry Clare. Steve Howie from Howie Design was commissioned to produce the interior design, basing his themeing on ideas triggered from the complex and world of the cult 1999 Warchowski Brothers movie, The Matrix.
Audio-wise at the Core, CP Sound’s Colin Pattenden utilised as much as possible of the existing installation, whilst also addressing the previous system’s serious lack of bass. He added four JBL MS125S cabinets to the room, complete with new RSE PFX 1200 clip control amplifiers. CP Sound also added a DJ monitor where previously there was none - plus two JBL top cabinets for infill, and another two RSE amps, plus a Formula Sound AVC2 limiter.
The lighting installation was also designed by Colin Pattenden working with Ian McLaughlan. Over the bars are a series of fibreglass armadillos (for those Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas moments) and between each is a fibreglass pod - six in total. Each pod has an Opti Solar 250 projector with oil wheel behind it, shining through the centre section of the pod - with the effect of making the pod appear to be moving and ‘growing’ inside. Opposite the bar are two more pods, with a further four over the dancefloor - each pod with its own Solar 250. Solar 250s are again used with oil wheels over the stairwell and behind
Drawmer has introduced the six-pack - a 3U, six channel multi-dynamics processor which features comprehensive universal linking technology designed specifically for surround-sound application. The unit can be configured so that any combination of channels can be linked to track each other's levels preventing image shift. For example, front left/right and rear left/right can be configured as two stereo pairs with individual channel control over both centre and sub-bass (LFE). Channel six offers the option of a switchable 120Hz low-pass filter in order that a sub-bass (LFE) channel may be derived from a five channel surround mix. Each channel comprises a soft knee compressor with switchable Auto or Manual Attack and Release, a variable threshold limiter and a 'Programme Adaptive' Expander/Gate with a variable release time of up to five seconds to retain reverberation tails where necessary. LEDs show link status and comprehensive bargraph metering displays all dynamic functions.
Dutch HK Audio distributor Wils Muziekimport sponsored a seminar on the topic of On-Stage Monitoring. The seminar, which was held in ‘013’ in Tilburg, Holland, was led by guest speaker Rob Hodgkinson and was attended by over 50 participants eager to pick up some practical tips from the Deep Purple monitor engineer. Hodgkinson’s presentation, which focused on all the important aspects of preparation that make effective stage monitoring possible, was followed by a virtual factory tour and additional background information about the entire HK Audio touring and rental line, presented by product specialist Christian Stumpp. After the theoretical part of the presentation came the practical segment, for which a seven-piece band was ready to perform a live soundcheck.
In contrast to standard product demos that use music from CDs, here each member of the audience was given the opportunity to work the monitor console or FOH desk and carry out a thorough soundcheck of any instrument they wanted or of the entire band. Several competitors’ monitors were also available for comparison. A great deal of attention was given to the new HK Audio VT 115 X. This is a two-way full-range loudspeaker system, which can be used for both monitor and FOH applications. Further seminars are planned - for details visit the company’s website.
EVID is a brand new range of loudspeakers from Electro-Voice, designed specifically for installations such as bars, restaurants, hotels, leisure and retail complexes. Designed with versatility in mind, these ellipsoid cabinets offer over 100º of swing and 45º of rotation, which combined with the flexible Strong-Arm-Mount (SAM) system, enables installers to cope with even the most challenging of spaces. EVID is available in three models, plus a subwoofer, and is also designed to integrate with the EP Series ceiling speakers should further choice be required. The baby of the range is the compact 3.2 full range followed by the 4.2 compact full-range loudspeaker system. The largest and most powerful EVID enclosure is the 6.2 extended range high output loudspeaker system, although at only 16.5" high it is still amazingly compact for what it can produce. With dual 6" woofers and a 1" titanium tweeter, the 6.2 is best suited for larger areas that demand higher SPL levels such as shopping malls, airports and stadia etc. Any of the three models may be combined with the 12.1 dual input sub for system enhancement. The systems are available in the UK from Shuttlesound from July onwards.
The Cloud One Group Ltd, located in Birmingham, have appointed Bill Jones as business development manager. Well known within the industry, and most recently with Lightfactor Sales, his background in sales, aligned with his vast knowledge of sound and lighting equipment, will strengthen the group’s long established position within the areas of equipment hire and event production. Installations, flight-case manufacturing and the sale of pro audio products are other areas covered by Cloud One, Stratford Acoustics - the rental arm - and Midland Custom Cases.
The PSA launched its latest initiative for those working within the Entertainment & Events industry. The aim of the Register - called Skill Base - is to provide all operatives with the opportunity to obtain recognition of their skills and qualifications, and to provide evidence to a contractor or employer of their ability to do a job competently and safely.
The creation of the Register is also intended to help counteract some of the problems facing the industry, such as declining employment, skills shortages, lack of training, poor health and safety records, and an unfavourable public image. The Register will set agreed industrial skill standards, based on qualifications and experience, which are being established in co-operation with trade associations and employers across Europe. This will further enhance the new International groups being established by the PSA in Ireland, Holland Germany, France and Switzerland with others to follow. The system will be web-based from the PSA site and is free to members for the first year and is also available to non members for £50pa inc VAT. Companies wishing to list their employees will have to become corporate members at a cost of £450pa + VAT. Once up and running, anyone will be able to check out an individual’s skills by searching on the website by either name, company or skill type. Future developments will include a full blown Continual Professional Development system which the PSA hope will become the international reference point for anyone employed in the industryThe launch date will be August 2001.
The Dickson CyberExpress is a 21st century retail concept, first launched in Hong Kong last autumn. The HK$380m investment by the Dickson Group of Companies has resulted in a 70,000sq.ft, high-tech development at Kowloon Station.
It’s a full-on interactive shopping environment, offering a wide selection of the best known brands in the universe. The ‘cybermall’ functions as a complementary intelligent retail centre to Dickson’s e-commerce venture, DicksonCyberExpress.com.
The idea was to create the ultimate consumer experience for cyber-chic shoppers. The team chosen to pull the project together included UK-based design and production company Media Projects International, retail designer JGA Inc from the US, Hong Kong architects Gensler, UK-based AV systems specialists Electrosonic and various LDs and directors.CyberExpress’s seven ‘zones’ include Entertainment World (CDs, DVDs, videos, books and magazines), E-World (computers, communications, AV and electronic equipment); Fashion World (clothes and accessories); Kiddy World (toys, sweets and learning games); iCosmetic World (cosmetics and health products) and Sports World (sports and fitness products). Two internet cafés - Exploration World and Cyber Sea - offer connected opportunities for shoppers to take a break.
Each zone has a dynamic mix of vibrant and innovative new media installations, interactive stations, virtual games, video programmes and information portals. Media Projects’ creative director, Malcolm Lewis, explains that although screen-delivered infotainmen
Microphone manufacturer Audio-Technica has appointed Ideas Marketing to act as its UK public relations consultants. Established by Nick Powell, former employee of A-T, Ideas Marketing is seen as well equipped to assist Audio-Technica's marketing effort. Rod Geary, Audio-Technica's general sales manager commented on the agreement: "A-T have appointed Ideas Marketing to help us to maximise the impact of several very exciting products which we have in the pipeline." Rod Geary also explained that since Nick's departure in May of this year, the A-Team has streamlined its approach to marketing related issues, with Denise Turner recently appointed to the position of executive assistant. Denise, who has been with the company for four years and has held a number of roles including marketing administrator, becomes the first point of contact for all Audio-Technica marketing activities, which will be co-ordinated in conjunction with Rod Geary.
Karl Winkler, veteran brand manager for Neumann microphones, has been promoted to director, marketing communications, for Sennheiser Electronics Corporation. In his new position, Winkler will oversee all advertising, public relations and field communications for the Sennheiser, Neumann, Innova-Son and D.A.S. Audio brands. In addition, he'll be responsible for new promotional items, all printed materials, and corporate website development and maintenance. Winkler and his team will also initiate ongoing in-house training programs, manage the SEC merchandising calendar and provide the company's monthly sales rep update newsletters on programs and new products. Based at Sennheiser corporate headquarters, Winkler's new team includes literature and trade show coordinator Mary Kenny, database manager Lisa Egner, web developer, Jesse Starks, and marketing coordinator Luke Bean.
Adam Hall is using PLASA to launch a range of new products. These include the Racklight - a brand new concept for illuminating 19" racked products for stage, studio and installation. This product uses innovative technology to produce clear and uniformed light, will not get hot or burn out, is very strong and durable, and does not use conventional bulbs!
Also new is a brand new range of loudspeaker systems for PA stage and installation use. The range of Talon loudspeaker systems comprises a standard series of compact loaded ply wood cabinets available in either black painted or carpet finish and a series of unique high spec cabinets featuring the Fane 'Concept One' primary drive units.
Other new products featured on stand include the latest additions to Amphenol's range of audio connectors, new versions of the 'Astroboard' lightweight material for constructing flightcases, and a range of new hardware components.
Adam Hall - Stand E32
The stars (and the stripes) were out in force for the party to celebrate the West End premiere of the much-talked about film, Pearl Harbor. AD Event Design and Production staged the eye-catching event held at the University of London's Senate House, bringing in Dobson Sound to cater for the audio requirements.
Amanda Davis is known for creating visually spectacular and innovative events, and this was no exception. The whole event was themed as a US wartime party with several extras in 1940s US Army uniforms lounging around the balconies of the main hall, drinking beer and whistling at the guests in typical army fashion as they came in. Perhaps the most spectacular visual feast was the front of the building which was lit from top to bottom with stars and stripes while search lights played into the sky. However, no event would be complete without audio, and that is where Dobson Sound came in. Dobsons provided a distributed and delayed system of 34 d&b E3 cabinets which extended from the Cloisters through into the galleried ‘Crush Hall’ and the bar area beyond. This was effectively a DJ system for big-band music playback, with the DJ himself on a pair of Technics SL1210 turntables and a Denon DN2000 twin CD player. The Beveridge Hall was the main performance area with the Jump Jive band (aka national Youth jazz Orchestra) and the dancers, for which Dobsons provided four d&b C7 systems with d&b MAX wedges and lots of microphones running from a Yamaha PM3500. The final system was for the VIP area in Chancellors Hall where guests were serenaded from the luxury of th
Federal Signal has announced a new scheduled maintenance package for its Millbank and Akusta customers. As a result of the move, the company is one of the first major PA/VA manufacturers to provide customers with maintenance service contracts, which are supported entirely from within its own resources.
The move comes in response to growing demand from the market place for PA/VA equipment manufacturers to provide around-the-clock maintenance back-up and support for equipment they have supplied to either fire safety systems integrators or end-users. The service applies to Millbank public address and voice alarm systems, and Akusta on-shore general alarm and page party systems. The company has already won its first batch of maintenance contracts from Siemens Building Technologies, which manufacture, supply and install life safety systems. These cover installations at City Bank and HSBC buildings at London's Canary Wharf, the House of Fraser store at the Bluewater Shopping Centre and the Sadler's Wells Theatre.
The most modern build materials and manufacturing techniques have been employed by Georg Neumann to create the M 150 Tube, a microphone that uniquely exploits the heritage of a revered classic design, while exhibiting a performance capability at the very limits of modern acoustic and electronic engineering. The instantly recognisable head-grille recalls the famous M 50 from which the M 150 derives its distinctive acoustic characteristics and operating principle. First introduced some 50 years ago, the M 50's clarity and realism earned it a repuation as an orchestral microphone of choice, most notably in the DECCA tree configuration.
The omnidirectional, pressure gradient transducer provides excellent transient response and low frequency reproduction. By mounting the surface of the diaphragm flush to a small (40mm) sphere, the capsule acts as a pure omnipressure transducer at the lowest frequencies, delivering a perfectly circular polar pattern. This pattern narrows increasingly through the mid and upper frequency ranges, forming a unique directional characteristic, ideal for natural stereo recording, or indeed, 5.1 and 7.1 multi-channel techniques.
This same operating principle is retained in the M 150, but Neumann's engineers have undertaken ground-breaking work on the use of high grade titanium in capsule design which has resulted in the development of a very thin 12mm diameter diaphragm, producing greatly improved response characteristics. The M 150 employs the same sophisticated power supply and transformerless output circuitry as the award-winning M 149 Tube, impr
A progressive independent church in South Wales has enlisted Marquee Audio to help upgrade its audio system. Darran Clements, head of sound at the Kings Church in Newport, Gwent, wanted to increase the audio front-end and called in freelance engineer, Matt Creed, who has an extensive background in live sound. "The old mixing desk was eight years old; it was no longer big enough and had reached the end of its life. I was asked to find the most appropriate replacement," said Matt, "and so I called Jimmy Potter at Marquee Audio and he recommended the Allen & Heath ML4000-48."
The church needed greater number of inputs to accommodate its expansion and to ensure some future-proofing. "We wanted a large number of channels on a small footprint, and there was nothing that could touch this for quality, price and features - it’s one of he most transparent desks I have used," stated Matt. "With theatrical productions and different band setups requiring a lot of channels - as well as six stage mixes - 50 inputs was the minimum requirement."
The church went on Marquee’s recommendation for the ML4000, which is configured 48 mono, 2 stereo, sending mixes to the pre-existing 15k Nexo PS15/PS10/LS2000 PA rig. New QSC amplification was also ordered from Marquee to drive the stage monitors.
Multiple DAS loudspeaker systems have been installed in a refit of 'Bar Ice' in Bexley Heath, south London. Recently acquired by new owners, the venue has received a considerable upgrade to its in-house sound system. Installed by experienced sound and lighting systems company Compa Lighting, the new system replaces the exiting speakers with four DAS Sub-18 sub-bass units and six DAS DS-12 two-way cabinets. Managing director of Compa Lighting, Andrew Matthews, commented: "The 18 inch bass bins deliver superb bottom end that perfectly complements the existing system and are able to cover the entire dance floor area."
The two-way, passive crossover DS-12 cabinets were used to balance the sound in areas beyond the main dance floor and as such they were required to be powerful but compact. The 12" bass and 1" compression drivers of the DS-12s proved perfect for Compa's requirements: "We had to add some reinforcement to one of the bar areas," explains Matthews. "The DS-12s are compact and unobtrusive, but still able to generate high quality sound at very loud listening levels."
Although the results of the combined system were impressive, the performance of the D.A.S. components was so good that it was later decided to go ahead and replace the four remaining cabs from the old system. Compa therefore ordered and installed four additional DS-12 cabs, bringing the entire system up to DAS quality.
When brewer Old Monk required a sound, light and video supplier for their latest Springbok site in Newquay - a former swimming pool which has been converted into a state-of-the-art late license venue - they turned to Nottingham based company TTL. With a design brief demanding a system capable of nightclub sound in the evenings yet with an unobtrusive presence for the daytime trade, TTL project manager Andy Hague specified Logic System loudspeakers throughout. Hague explained: "The main area has a 30ft ceiling height and full length windows along one side, therefore to achieve the necessary SPL, whilst minimising overspill, I needed a very accurate and directional cabinet. The Logic System CS1296 proved ideal. The cabinets are flown 25ft in the air, effectively out of sight, yet still control coverage to 150Hz whilst avoiding overspill in the bar areas. With the bass units being built into dance podiums, we’ve created a stunning dance floor system that is virtually invisible and does not detract from the interior design of the venue."
To complete the system, Logic System IS6 and IS8s are run full-range with the support of IS26 bass cabinets in the bar areas, and are again hidden within the fabric of the design. An Allen & Heath DR128 controls the system and offers the ultimate flexibility of changing the system configuration for daytime and evening use, while an Audace hub was specified to provide localised volume control and source selection behind each bar. TTL account manager Mark Harding summed up the project, commenting: "The whole concept works e