Audio News

Route-r to Success for ASL
Tuesday, 30 January 2001

The latest product to be available from ASL is the VAR-4 Digital Audio Router. This unit uses digital signal processing to provide a self-contained Public Address/Voice Alarm control system and includes built-in digital message storage for emergency or routine announcements. It allows connection of up to six audio inputs routed to four outputs and for the monitoring and control of up to 64 amplifier mainframes (V400) and associated amplifier interface card/surveillance units. Each mainframe connects to the VAR-4 via an Audio-CAN serial data network and audio monitor bus. The router includes digital storage for 2 x 32-second emergency messages and 2 x 10-second test messages, and provides four microphone inputs, typically for two fire microphones and two general purpose paging microphones. Two connections are provided for background music sources, either of which can be selected for routing.

Fuzion Takes On Camco Distribution
Tuesday, 30 January 2001

In a move that has been agreed by all parties involved, Showcom Audio is to hand over distribution of the Camco amplifier range to UK pro audio distributor, Fuzion. Commenting on the decision, Showcom’s Richard Willis explained that over the last year Showcom Audio’s resale and installation support activities have increased significantly with the prospect of this becoming even more pronounced in the future. He said: "Showcom Audio has chosen to concentrate exclusively on the added-value direct sales opportunities, as this seems to be the more profitable route for our future. We are becoming more and more focussed on providing dedicated sound reinforcement solutions for our highly varied client base which is growing daily." He continued: "I am satisfied that Fuzion will represent the line as it deserves to be represented in the UK, and at the same time will give us the opportunity to build on the relationship we started with Fuzion when Showcom became a main dealer for Nexo systems in spring last year."

Fuzion’s Tony Oates commented: "We are delighted that Showcom will continue to sell and support the full range of Camco amplfiers as there is an obvious symbiosis with the Nexo range, which the company already supports." He added: "From a Fuzion point of view, we welcome a brand that is as complementary to those we already carry, while at the same time filling a niche in our portfolio not already covered by our existing manufacturers."

Sanctuary Collects Best Sound Award
Monday, 29 January 2001

Success was on the agenda for Sanctuary Mobiles at the annual Royal Television Society Craft and Design Awards held at the London Park Lane Hilton late last year. Director Tim Summerhayes swapped his more customary jeans for a tuxedo to collect the award for Best Sound for Culture and Non Drama Productions for BBC2’s classical drama, The Marriage of Figaro. The award went to Tim and John Middleton for the production, part of the BBC Music Live five-day festival last summer. The opera was staged at Kirtlington Manor in Oxfordshire, and Tim was drafted in to handle the broadcast sound and to record the production, created for TV in association with the City of Birmingham Touring Opera and directed by Trevor Hampton and Matthew Richardson. Tim Summerhayes and John Middleton are pictured collecting the award.

Project News
Monday, 29 January 2001

Several new projects have been given the green light this month. Dunfermline Athletic has won planning permission for a business enterprise centre, 60-bedroom hotel, swimming pool and leisure facility at its football stadium in Fife. Meanwhile, maintaining a sporting theme, Grimsby Town is expected to start work on a new football stadium at Great Coates in September, having won the go-ahead from North East Lincolnshire Council. Travel giant Stagecoach has submitted plans for the development of a multiplex cinema and entertainment centre at the bus station site in Exeter, and the BBC has begun recruiting 80 staff for a new £4m TV and radio news broadcasting facility in Sevenoaks.

Details courtesy of UK Business Park.

Reeves Returns to Stage Two
Monday, 29 January 2001

Stage Two Ltd, the Watford-based audio-visual, sound and lighting company, has announced that David Reeves has returned to the company as business development manager to consolidate the company's position in the conference equipment hire and presentation field.

Soundcraft Launches M Series
Monday, 29 January 2001

At the recent NAMM Show in Anaheim, Soundcraft launched a new range of compact mixers - the Spirit M series. The Spirit M4, M8 and M12 offer 4, 8 and 12 mono inputs respectively, and all feature four stereo inputs, four stereo returns, 100mm faders, and an S/PDIF stereo digital output. All channels have peak and signal LEDs, complemented by a high-resolution stereo output meter.

Physically, the layout of the desk will be instantly familiar to any experienced engineer or musician. The mono input mic preamp design comes straight from the award-winning Soundcraft Ghost console. The powerful three-band EQ has a swept mid and tightly focused HF response that delivers a cleaner and more controlled sound. The electronic design of the desk incorporates ‘ground-tracking’ architecture, usually found only on more expensive mixers, and attention has been paid to details such as grounding around the faders.

Teasers Tempted by Tannoy
Monday, 29 January 2001

Tannoy equipment has been specified for use in a new themed bar in Manchester by Aquarius Acoustics in conjunction with Dutch installers, MK2 Visuele Media. The Dutch concept bar, Teasers, features a bar, dance floor and DJ booth on the ground floor, with additional seating space and videowall on the first floor, linked by a stunning glass lift centrepiece. Tannoy speakers are used throughout the bar, with the ground floor and dance floor boasting four i12 Dual Concentric speakers and eight compact i8 Dual Concentric speakers for sound reinforcement. Two Tannoy T40 subs, TX1 and TX2 advanced electronic controllers to optimise speaker performance, together with Chevin amplification complete the ground floor. The first floor, complete with balcony, also takes full advantage of Tannoy’s Dual Concentric speakers, using four i12s and eight i8s to provide high quality sound both day and night.image - Teasers1.jpgicon -

Westsun to Open First US ‘Super-Hub’
Monday, 29 January 2001

Westsun International Inc. has announced the creation of Westsun’s first regional ‘super hub’ in Las Vegas, Nevada. When making the announcement on behalf of the company’s executive Board, Rob Davidson, CFO and acting CEO of Westsun, stated: "This is a natural step in our development strategy, one that will allow us to provide our customers with even greater access to our comprehensive equipment pool. It will also shorten lead times, thereby further improving our market-leading service to all of our clients." This new facility will operate under the Westsun Las Vegas banner. Dick Wright, vice-president of West Coast operations, will lead the operation. Anticipated to house in excess of $15 million worth of stock, the new expansion will be complete by May 1, 2001. During the transition, Dick Wright will work closely with Scott Jevons of Westsun Los Angeles. Scott Jevons will lead the Westsun Los Angeles sales team as sales manager, and ensure that it remains a key component of Westsun International’s sales and marketing efforts. Westsun remains committed to providing a high level of personalized service to its existing and new clients.

Showmagic 3.6
Sunday, 28 January 2001

The latest version of ShowMagic, the sound and lighting control system, was released in December. New features include a device library for RS232 control - plain English commands can now be used for devices listed in the library (VTRs, switchers etc); extra support for laptops (Sunlite USB DMX device); new MIDI control features for external audio processors; ‘Latest chase takes precedence’ option; lighting control output through DMX, PMX and MIDI simultaneously and an updated fixtures library.

Yo! Below
Sunday, 28 January 2001

Simon Woodroffe’s new ‘Yo! Land’ in London’s Farringdon Road, Clerkenwell, is the new home for the company’s HQ, as well as the site of the latest Yo! Sushi (featuring a 2,100ft-long conveyor belt which carries dishes to up to 200 diners) and Yo! Below operations.Yo! Below, situated behind Yo! Sushi, provides punters with a rather unusual blend of food, live DJs, Manga videos, massage and singing waitresses. This strongly entertainment-led venue, designed by John Isted, has sourced its show technology from the newly-created Marquee Installations, with MI’s Mark Brown responsible for the design and supply of the system.

"Farringdon combines the best elements of previous sites we’ve worked on, with visuals becoming an ever-increasing part of the landscape. For instance, we’ve now upgraded to the superior quality of plasma displays," said Brown, adding: "It was clear that they wanted the best technology available and the key element is that since the entire trading area in Yo! Below is a performance stage, we needed to achieve even sound coverage."

The components of the system, therefore, had to be carefully selected for their effect on the soundscape. Sennheiser radio microphones are supplied to the performers who strut down catwalks between diners, while Sabine feedback exterminators ensure a clear signal, and a combination of QSC amplification and six tried and trusted RCF Monitor 8s handle the delivery, sourced either from the Technics SL1210 decks, minidsic or Numark CD players at the DJ station, or f

JBL Covers Bush Inauguration
Friday, 26 January 2001

Rain and cold weather presented many challenges for a smooth presidential inauguration ceremony, but speaker systems from JBL held up to the elements and delivered the sound. Patrick Baltzell of Baltzell Audio Design specified JBL VerTec speakers for the hundreds of thousands of listeners on the Capital Mall. Baltimore's MSI installed a number of their new VerTec VT4889 arrays on custom towers throughout the mall. MSI's project manager Art Isaacs and the MSI crew worked all-night shifts in freezing weather to prepare the nine delay towers. JBL VerTec line array systems were set up in multiple locations, with the two main towers spanning a front stage area nearly 47 metres (150 feet) wide. Crown power amplifiers were used throughout. In the VIP/Diplomat section, 155 JBL Control 25AV speakers were utilized, whilst JBL 4892-90A Array Series speakers were provided by MSI for covering mid-throw applications in a number of audience regions.

Protec At Dubai’s Media CityProtec At Dubai’s Media City
Friday, 26 January 2001

Dubai-based Production Technology LLC (Protec) recently staged a spectacular, integrated sound, light and pyrotechnics show to launch Dubai Media City to an invited audience of 2000 VIPs. Guests were granted stunning views of the production from a grass amphitheatre in front of the three state-of-the-art buildings, during which a 24m x 9m backdrop of the stage was lowered, opening up sightlines to the glass edifices which became the focus of the show. The buildings were then lit in yellow, red and blue, virtually creating a large scale replica of the Dubai Media City logo. The entire six minute sequence was choreographed to a specially-commissioned musical composition which flooded the site through a 50,000W sound installation, culminating in a vivid pyrotechnical display that boasted over 6500 effects. Over 1500 lights were installed inside the buildings to illuminate them and a further 180 intelligent luminaires were used to light the arena and surrounding landscaping, using over 260Km of cabling.

Audio Technica’s Magic at the Minster
Thursday, 25 January 2001

A major overhaul of the sound system in one of Britain's most famous cathedrals has been achieved with the help of Audio-Technica microphones. Sound designer Michael Hyland and installers Northern Light opted for a range of Audio-Technica mics as part of a complete revamp of York Minster's sound system, which included an induction loop to aid the hard of hearing and new video facilities. Unobtrusive AT935QMRX miniature gooseneck condenser mics, AT961-RH condenser boundary mics and the popular high output, low impedance MB2000 mic, with its MagnaLock silent switch, were all used in the new system which covers a number of zones in the Cathedral of St Peter. A central 'status panel' is set out to represent the Gothic building's layout. The status panel incorporates the 29 loudspeaker zones and 23 microphone positions and allows the user to set up the sound system before an event.

Dare Releases Shielded Micro 12
Thursday, 25 January 2001

DARE Professional Audio has released a shielded version of its highly successful Micro 12 loudspeaker. The Micro 12 is passive as standard, handles 650W and has a dispersion of 90 by 60 degrees. The speaker has seven integral flying points, the horn can rotate for horizontal installations, and there is also a wall/ceiling bracket available. The Micro 12 provides a high powered compact solution for audio visual applications where a quality audio performance is expected. It is also available in portable weatherised versions.

Rolec Hard Disks Going Strong
Thursday, 25 January 2001

Hayden Laboratories report continuing sales of the Rolec hard drive background and foreground music systems into a variety of venues and installations. Le Petit Blanc in Oxford, one of the renowned brasserie brand of chef Raymond Blanc, now has a Rolec DHD-200C onboard, supplied by Installation Technology. Recent retail environments with Rolec systems include Boots stores in Milton Keynes and Kensington, both via Reflex Systems and fashion store Envy at the Bluewater shopping experience in Kent, via Music Marketing Services. Hocken Sound and Music Marketing Services are installing Rolec hard drives into Litten Tree pub venues for Surrey Free Inns. Restaurant Bazaar is a Chinese restaurant roll-out, expanding rapidly in the Greater London area, owned by Taipan Taverns. All sites are including Rolec hard drives for music, installed by HTL from Blackpool. Other HTL Rolec installs include the Marriott Hotel in Swansea and more with Forte and Posthouse hotel installations through Balance Audio. Liverpool-based Orritt Electronic Services now always supply the Rolec system over multi-CD machines. Recent examples are Edwards, a Bass Leisure young person’s destination venue, O’Neill’s Irish bars and Bass’s City Town bars and Arena venues.

PLASA Offers Human Resources
Wednesday, 24 January 2001

PLASA (the Professional Lighting and Sound Association) has recently introduced its latest addition to the range of benefits which it offers to members. PLASA’s new Human Resources service, set up in conjunction with CP Associates HR Consultancy, provides PLASA members with access to professional help and advice with personnel issues. The service is designed to offer practical, independent advice, based on the latest factual information available, and covers areas including contracts & terms of employment; disciplinary and grievance procedures; employee benefits; employment legislation; pay reviews; recruitment and selection; risk assessment; redundancy and absence control.

To use the service, members simply call the PLASA office, and are then given the telephone, fax or e-mail address of CP Associates. They are then entitled to 15 minutes of free advice on any one subject. Where a more detailed or specific consultation is required, PLASA has negotiated highly preferential rates for its members. These might include personnel procedure audits, contracts of employment and staff handbooks, setting a human resource strategy, and new personnel policies or systems. To safeguard the viability of the service, it can only be used by a member company’s PLASA contact or managing director.

PLASA’s Membership Services Manager, Norah Phillips, comments: “We aim to offer our members real advantages in the areas of business and information, and this is the latest in a series of new services which we have introduced with this in mind. We believe that this new fac

Navigator Extends Service
Wednesday, 24 January 2001

Navigator Systems has announce the opening of their new website designed specifically for registered users of HireTrack and HireTrack Eclipse. This new site will enable members of the Navigator community to instantly access the Navigator Systems library of technical support documents, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, the company has developed a forum of issues, where all users can post suggestions, ideas, and comments. Customers will have the opportunity to share custom reports and/or utilities with other users. The company newsletter will also be maintained, keeping customers apprised of current projects, and new releases of the software.

Mackie Designs Purchases Sydec
Wednesday, 24 January 2001

In a move to expand its global digital audio recording presence, Mackie Designs has signed an agreement to purchase Sydec n.v. of Belgium, a leading innovator of digital audio technology products. Sydec created the first PC-compatible multi-track digital audio workstation: released in 1993, it is considered by many professionals to be the most stable workstation in the audio industry. Sydec products have won numerous international awards including the EQ Blue Ribbon awarded by the AES (Audio Engineering Society). With the purchase of Sydec, Mackie Designs Inc., will own the digital audio workstation technology and other intellectual property created by Sydec, and currently being marketed by Soundscape Digital Technologies Ltd. Mackie Designs has been actively developing technologies in the digital audio environment, winning the 1999 AES TEC Award for Best Medium-Sized Console (Digital 8*Bus). Additionally, Mackie recently released the HDR24/96, a 24-bit hard disk recorder/editor.

"We are excited to be able to take advantage of Mackie's global marketing and manufacturing machine," commented Erik Wijnen, managing director of Sydec. "Our cutting-edge technologies will find a home in many more audio products, worldwide. We'll be able to further develop audio technologies in tandem with Mackie Digital Systems."

Jamie Engen, president and CEO of Mackie Designs Inc, comments. "On so many levels, this is a smart alliance. We're expanding our global presence, intensifying and solidifying our digital research and development, and opening up the floodgate

Clearer Call for Royal National Theatre
Tuesday, 23 January 2001

London-based pro-audio distributor Autograph Sales, has announced the supply of a Clear-Com Matrix Plus 3 digital point-to-point intercom system to the Royal National Theatre. The fully-progammable intercom system will be installed in the 890-seater Lyttelton Theatre in April 2001. At the heart of the communications system will be a Clear-Com Compact 72 mainframe, expandable up to 72-ports. Various system interfaces will allow the RNT to incorporate its existing complement of Clear-Com Party-Line equipment - including over 30 beltpacks and four master stations. As part of the Matrix Plus system, Autograph Sales has also supplied more than 14 Clear-Com ICS-92 9-key switch stations, all featuring electronic labelling of the destination keys.

Dobson Sound Continues Expansion
Monday, 22 January 2001

Following the recent appointment of Nick Hughes as technical manager, Dobson Sound has appointed Tone Ferne, who has been brought in to join Bill Woods and David Lewis in managing and co-ordinating projects. The appointment as a permanent member of staff is a natural progression, say the company, as Ferne was already doing a great deal of work for the company on a freelance basis. Bill Woods commented: "Tone’s background as a sound engineer of considerable experience gives him an extremely strong edge in all the work that we do that has a music element to it. We tend to be involved more in the entertainment side of the corporate world anyway, so Tone’s skills and experience suit us perfectly."

Mackie Joins Forces With Emagic
Monday, 22 January 2001

At the recent NAMM Show in Los Angeles, Mackie Designs announced that it has joined forces with Emagic, one of the world's premier audio software and hardware innovators, in order to develop a range of state-of-the-art hardware controllers. The two companies have agreed on an inaugural project - the creation of ‘Logic Control’ - a control surface for Emagic's Logic Audio software. In order to offer cost-effective software and hardware upgrades, Logic Control will be designed, configured and developed as a modular system. The first product in the new "Logic Control" series of hardware will be a competitively-priced entry-level version featuring eight motorized touch-sensitive faders, one touch-sensitive master fader, eight mutes, eight solos, eight rotary encoders, tape style transport, 2 XDR mic pre-amps, a data wheel, and an alps control pad.

Jamie Engen, CEO of Mackie, commented: "Our goal is to build a very powerful, yet affordable, hardware controller for one of the most widely-used audio production applications available today. By combining forces, Emagic and Mackie will be able to ensure that Logic Control will have absolute compatibility."

Brit Row Run with new Turbo TQs
Monday, 22 January 2001

Britannia Row Productions has expanded its hire inventory to include 12 of the new TQ-440SP loudspeakers from Turbosound's Qlight range. Audio designer Derrick Zieba was the first to use them on two major televised events: Jim Davidson's Christmas Special - Coming Home for Christmas - filmed onboard HMS Invincible, followed by Miss World. Zieba explained: "The new self-powered TQ-440SP bears a strong resemblance in terms of voicing to larger Turbosound enclosures I've used before." To keep an even sound pattern, Zieba, with the help of Brit Row's Nick Maddren, designed a system comprised of single stacks of Turbosound Floodlight, delayed down the elongated space. Four stacks per side, with four pairs of suspended TQ-440SPs, created the arch necessary to give good coverage.

As Brit Row's head of audio for the Miss World event, one of the last held at the Dome in London, Zieba brought in the TQ-440SPs again for the vocal aspects of the sound reinforcement. The FOH system comprised a Turbosound Flashlight system flown stereo together with 10 TQ-440SPs flown above the stage.

Bose Recreates Natural Sound
Monday, 22 January 2001

The £97m At-Bristol project has incorporated a Bose sound system into one of its main attractions to recreate the amazing sounds that the natural world has to offer. The Bristol-based attraction is unique in that it brings together science, nature and the arts to present a fantastic 21st century experience. There are three main areas - Wildscreen at-Bristol, Explore at-Bristol and the Imax Theatre at-Bristol. A multi-channelled Bose sound system in the Wildscreen area delivers exceptional natural sound clarity through nine high mounted Bose Panaray 502BE environmental bass loudspeakers and 70 Bose 151 environmental loudspeakers, tucked discreetly away amongst the ferns. In the main display areas, interactive touch screen displays are all individually supported by their own unique sounds from Bose speakers.

Midas Works for a Nobel Cause
Friday, 19 January 2001

The Nobel Peace Prize concert took place on 11th December at the Oslo Spektrum in Norway. The concert, which was broadcast to a worldwide audience of over 320 million viewers. This year the honour was bestowed upon South Korean president Kim Dae Jung. The concert attempts to feature the very best artists from all areas of the musical spectrum, and this year presented artists such as Moby, Bon Jovi, Westlife and Natalie Cole. Continuing the successes of previous years, prominent Norwegian rental company AVAB-CAC, who also distribute Midas in Norway, was again chosen to provide the sound system for the event. Stuart Mørch-Kerrison of AVAB-CAC who was both sound designer and FOH engineer, specified Midas mixing consoles for both FOH and monitor positions. "The FOH set-up featured a Heritage 3000 console and a Heritage 2000 console MIDI-linked together in order to allow both mixers to change cue settings simultaneously," he explained. "Both desks were run in "virtual fader" mode, meaning that all fader levels, VCA settings, subgroup routing and relevant muting could be stored after each bands soundcheck, and instantly recalled during the show. The main monitor console was a Midas XL-250 which has become a real favourite with the monitor engineers at AVAB-CAC."


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