Renkus-Heinz, worldwide distributor of EASE software for ADA, has announced the release of EASE 4.0, a generational change from EASE 3.0 to a more intuitive, easier-to-use format with more accurate calculations and more realistic presentations.
Originated and owned by Dr. Wolfgang Ahnert of ADA (Acoustical Design Ahnert), Berlin, EASE has developed since its introduction in 1990 into a standard for sound system simulation software. EASE 4.0 has an improved look that features icons and better menus, making its use much simpler and more intuitive. Easy-to-use wizards help to create new projects and simplify mapping functions and ray tracing. A new ‘Objects Function’ allows users to select any items in the drawing, including vertices, faces, edges, seats, lights or speakers, group them together and then save them into a separate file as an object. The object can then be imported into the model, duplicated, rotated or moved in any of three axes to allow rapid insertion of complicated details.
Other notable changes to the program include the addition of phase data for loudspeakers and loudspeaker clusters; Caesar, a complex acoustical mapping module; EASEVision, an architectural rendering module; and new Texture and Light Source Editors.
After over two years protracted legal action, and at a cost in legal fees alone of over £250,000, Chris Kenyon, founder of Delta Sound, has succeeded in his claim against Bob Long and Federal Signal for breach of contract and misrepresentation in the agreement for the sale of Delta's business in 1999. Damages of over £300,000 with interest, plus costs, were awarded against Federal. In addition, the judge awarded punitive indemnity costs against Federal. The case arose as a result of the terms of the sale which valued Delta at £500,000, to be paid for on the basis of commission payments over three years. Federal denied that such an arrangement had ever been agreed.
Full story in the October issue of L&SI.
Blackburn-based Romers Electronics has specified and installed a custom-designed sound system for the new and existing stands at West Bromwich Albion Football Club. With safety issues and life-safety systems in football grounds and sports arenas top of the agenda, the need for high-level quality, reliable sound has never been greater. Audio systems are also being utilized for the increasingly popular phenomenon of pre and mid-match entertainments.
The requirement for a high quality entertainment system in addition to the safety requirements resulted in the design and construction of two new customised speakers by Arbiter - the AF1 and AF2 JBL-loaded boxes - which were built for Arbiter by Ad Lib Audio in Liverpool. Romers’ MD John Caton told PLASA Media: "We chose JBL components because Arbiter guaranteed the delivery in what turned into a very tight schedule - in time for the new season to kick-off."
The AF2 and the smaller AF1 full-bandwidth JBL reflex boxes are now available as part of the Arbiter/JBL product range. The potent AF2 box is optimized using a JBL 12" 2020 loudspeaker and a 2446 high frequency compression driver, designed to work together via a passive crossover network for maximum cost-effectively. 22 AF2s were supplied to the club, along with 22 AF1s , strategically located in the ground.
Dugald (Doog) Mackenzie of HW International has been killed in a tragic motorcycle accident. Doog had worked for HW for just over four years as area sales manager for the Midlands and South Wales. He died on Sunday 2 September at just 34 years of age. He leaves behind him a wife and two young children. A book of condolence will be on the HW stand at PLASA which after the show will be presented to his family. Funeral details are yet to be confirmed.
For the first time PLASA is running an on-site clinic at the PLASA Show to lend useful business support and advice to member companies exhibiting at the event. This new initiative, which will also see the launch of a new health-related service, is aimed not only at existing PLASA members, but also at prospective members who can learn for themselves the advantages to be gained from using PLASA services. During the course of the Show, representatives from the Association's range of service providers will be on hand in the PLASA Clinic to answer questions and assist members. Services available include the following:
Telephone Interpreting Service provided by Comunicado: interpreters specializing in over 100 languages. Cost is charged per minute, less than half price to PLASA members.
Legal Advice Service provided by Sherman Phillips: advice on intellectual property, contract, leasehold matters and company matters. Free 15 minutes of advice per call. Solicitor will advise if any costs to be incurred.
PLASA Insurance Scheme provided by Allan, Chapman and James: single comprehensive policy with wide range of benefits including exhibitions, full theft cover, samples and spares, financial loss etc. Further policies include medical insurance, stakeholder pensions. Preferential rates for UK company members.
Human Resources provided by CP Associates: professional advice on human resource issues including terms of employment, pay reviews, redundancy etc. Free service to eligible members.Business Financial Reporting Service provided by Dun and Bradstreet: financial reports evalu
In what is claimed to be a UK first, high-end touring and installation manufacturer Chameleon Audio is exhibiting its Mac- and PC-compatible digital audio control system at PLASA. Developed over the last 18 months, it utilizes Apple Computers FireWire and Yamaha’s mLAN technologies.
Chameleon Audio managing director, Paul Houlden, decided to develop the system for several reasons. "Firstly, I feel remote control of audio equipment is the way forward and, secondly, there is an increasing demand from live sound companies for this type of technology. When substantial numbers of amplifiers and speakers are operated or flown in remote locations in large concert venues and stadia, should a fault occur, immediate detection of what piece of equipment has malfunctioned is virtually impossible without a sophisticated control system. Chameleon’s digital audio control system addresses these potential problems in a constructive manner by monitoring the performance, so any aural glitches can be instantly pinpointed. Anything that speeds up this analysis has got to be beneficial," adds Houlden.
One of the first to express an interest in the digital audio control system was Britannia Row Productions, who, following a series of trials at a variety of indoor and outdoor concerts throughout the summer, have purchased a range of Chameleon amplifiers. Other applications which Houlden envisages include the potential of FireWire (IEEE 1394) in remote control and audio crossover instructions, allowing further speedy development of this system and, hopefully, a standard ac
RCF/Mackie has been responsible for the design and supply of a sound system for the new Terminal A at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport at Fiumicino, based around the company’sRX-3000 programmable matrix system.
The new Terminal, built at a cost of ITL 125 billion, is 170m long, 80-100m wide and 20m high, with a covered surface area of 55,000sq.m. It replaces the temporary building constructed in 1997, with the aim of comfortably accommodating more than 12 million passengers a year who use Fiumicino for domestic flights and who, according to recent estimates, are due to grow to 17 million by 2005.
RCF’s association with Rome’s airports stretches back around 25 years, to when the company first started supplying sound equipment to both of Rome’s airports - Fiumicino and Ciampino. One figure that the audio team from Reggio Emilia (home of RCF and now Mackie Designs Italy) is proud of is that, over the years, RCF has supplied more than 10,000 loudspeakers to Rome’s airports.
The building’s designers, CEA (Consorzio Engineering Aeroportuale), appointed ELCA - a long-established Rome-based installer and Mackie/RCF’s agents in the area - to produce the sound system for the new terminal. As with all large contracts of this type, the local agent worked closely with the technical team back at RCF, which was headed up by Antonio Ferrari. Together they produced the project specifications to provide solutions to the inevitable environmental problems. In the case of Terminal A, the main problem was the variation in ceiling height throu
The new LiSA (Line-Source Array System) is the first Italian-manufactured line array system. Since it was designed for one of the country’s leading rental firms, Laboratorio Musica, Mike Clark talks to owner Vanis Dondi about the system.
Designed by a workgroup of three Italian acoustic researchers (Mario Di Cola, Davide Doldi and Davide Saronni), the system consists of three-way full-range high directivity line array elements for long-throw applications. Laboratorio Musicale’s Vanis Dondi, explains: "Two direct radiation 18" woofers reproduce the full bandwidth down to 32Hz, virtually eliminating the need for additional sub-woofers in many applications but, if necessary, there are also optional sub-woofers with three long excursion 18" for extra VLF power."
Three Stage Accompany neodymium ribbon compact drivers are the system’s cylindrical HF source for true line source array radiation at HF and Italian 18 Sound cone speakers (used throughout) incorporate features such as Double Demodulating Ring, Double Silicon Spider, Interleaved Sandwich Voice-Coil and custom weather-proof protection. Two horn-loaded 10" mid range speakers ensure improved vertical control in the mid band.
Dondi continues: "Arrays are configured to give required vertical coverage, while horizontal coverage remains the nominal 90 degrees of a single element, resulting in full vertical coverage predictability of the entire cluster, uniform SPL and frequency response over the area covered, minimizing problems associated with traditional arrays, such as c
Firepower is the new Royal Artillery Experience, set in the historic buildings of the Royal Arsenal on the River Thames at Woolwich.
The attraction was designed by Event Communications, whose main challenge was to overcome people’s discomfort with the reality of war. They tackled this by highlighting the role in the fight for democracy and freedom played by the armed forces, especially the Royal Artillery, which has been present at all major theatres of war involving the British Army over the last 300 years.
The centrepiece of Firepower is the ‘ground-shaking’ Field of Fire - a spectacular multimedia presentation that recreates what it feels like to be in the middle of a real battle. On entering, visitors are surrounded by various pieces of artillery. Suspended above these are four 5m wide front projection screens. Projecting onto each screen is a Barco 6300 LCD Video Projector with the video sourced from an Electrosonic MPEG2 Server. Overall show control is from an Electrosonic ESLINX show control system, and there are 36 channels of dimming using Celco Fusion dimmers. The audio system, designed by Peter Key, uses Crown amplifiers and EAW loudspeakers with a Bose Acoustic Wave Cannon, Bose 402C controller and 2600 V1 Amplifier.
The historic site is being opened up to the public for the first time since the Regiment’s establishment in the early 18th century. Four listed buildings are being renovated in order to house the collection, including Europe’s oldest Military Academy.
West London-based Ampekko was recently contracted by Lasalle Investment Management to supply a sophisticated voice alarm and public address system for the Swansgate Shopping Centre, situated in the heart of Wellingborough.
Ampekko worked closely with project manager Neil Horswood of Neil R Horswood Services, after winning the tender to design a dual-purpose system to be integrated into Swansgate’s four spacious shopping malls.
Before finalising the system, the company’s design team performed a number of acoustic modelling tests on-site, including a full RASTI test, required because of the harsh nature of surfaces throughout the centre. They then decided on an integrated PA and voice alarm system, based around Bouyer’s digital GD 2299 - a specialist spot-messaging hard disk recorder and player that allows for up to 100 voice messages to be stored and accessed when needed. Bouyer PGM 5008 microphones were used to offer built-in monitoring and intercom facilities. RB 39 Bouyer projector loudspeaker cabinets were specified in white to blend unobtrusively into the shopping mall. These are powered by eight amplifiers and use the Ampekko SPM10 line monitor.
The system allows for coded messages to pre-warn staff in advance of a possible evacuation, thereby helping to minimise a dangerous situation. Working not only as a security voice alarm, the system provides valuable add-on features including up to 100 repeat voice messages. The messaging system can be pre-programmed to deliver a host of messages from vital security information through to promotional mes
Stage Accompany has launched its new Friend Series, specifically designed for the installation market and smaller rental market. This new series of small speaker systems consists of four models - F1, F5, F7 and F9 - and has a high grade of finish, with double Speakon connectors, steel grille and flush-mounted speakers to prevent baffle-reflection. Their rigid trapezoidal cabinet design, in combination with SA’s Protexture coating and a wide range of mounting options, make the Friends also suitable for mobile applications.
The Lyric in Hammersmith - one of the few surviving Frank Matcham-designed theatres - has returned to Marquee Audio a year after making a major investment in sound mixing, playback, processing and sound reinforcement equipment, to have them configure a new hard disk recording studio. The theatre’s sound technician Nick Manning (pictured in the new recording studio) explained that the new studio equipment fell into the remit of the theatre’s IT upgrade, which is being funded by an Arts Council grant.
"While the theatre was working on replacing its business systems, I set about drawing up a scheme for a dedicated sound computer, which would enable us to produce sound effects for shows," explained Nick. "I then spoke to Andy Huffer at Marquee Audio about designing a hard disk recording system based around the industry-standard Logic Audio software package." The Shepperton-based suppliers built a powerful PC for the Lyric to meet Nick Manning’s specification for a 1GHz, Pentium III CPU, with 256Mb RAM and external SCSI hard drive. The audio is interfaced via a Soundscape Mixstreme sound card, with some effects plug-in tools.
Marquee also supplied a Fatar Studio Logic master MIDI keyboard and a USB card which allows their Akai 6000 sampler (supplied by Marquee a year ago), to interface with the computer. The aim was to enhance the Lyric’s facility for creating sound effects - and this, along with the BBC Sound Effects Library which the theatre has also acquired, will be available for hire.
Pioneer is launching its next generation twin-CD player, the CMX-3000, at PLASA 2001. Stylishly designed, with black rubberized buttons and a carbon finish, the CMX-3000 incorporates ground-breaking features only previously seen on Pioneer’s CDJ-1000, such as Wave display, onboard memory, hot cues and new pitch bend buttons. It also boasts a high-quality scratch mode, which allows scratching, scratch cue and backspin. The CMX-3000 brings the twin-CD player platform not only to the mobile DJ but also to small clubs, music bars and serious bedroom DJs. The Wave Display, patented to Pioneer, is a visual mapping of the landscape of each track. This is graphically represented in the display panel, showing the peaks and lows in the WAVE, and thereby guaranteeing accurate cueing on CD.
A further creative highlight of the CMX-3000 is the Hot Cue/Loop function, which memorizes up to either three cue or loop points per CD. These can be recalled by hitting any of the three buttons, great for remixing or over dubbing. All Cue and Loops can be BPM synced. Additionally, a rescue button is at hand, with the world's first Emergency Loop feature which sets a four-beat seamless loop - an indispensable feature if a track is about to end and the DJ has failed to cue up the next track. The presence of Pitch Bend and rubberized buttons, in particular, are a direct response to consumer feedback, and show the degree to which Pioneer has been prepared to listen, and respond to, the marketplace.
With its new CMX template Pioneer has also re-iterated industry issues of durability head on. C
Audio Analysts has appointed Bruce Eisenberg has as vice-president of touring. Eisenberg has been in the music industry for the past 25 years, and has worked with many major artist management companies and agencies. Bruce's experience and contacts with record company managers and booking agents will be a great help in acquiring major touring artists for Audio Analysts’ client base. Alan Eisenbach joins the company as the new market touring account executive. Eisenbach’s experience as Sound Engineer and Technical Coordinator for the Grizzly Rose in Denver, Colorado for the past five years has assisted in building a solid base of relationships to work with on a local and national level. "Alan’s contacts in the Rocky Mountain territory and with national touring acts will be a great asset in helping us develop the next generation of our touring clients," states Audio Analysts’ president, Bert Pare’.
Audio Analysts’ current client roster include Guess Who with Special Guest Joe Cocker, Sammy Hagar, REO Speedwagon, Styx / Bad Company, Static X, Insane Clown Posse, Dwight Yoakum, and Ringo Starr ‘s All Star Band. AA has had huge success with it’s Aalto System, developed in conjunction with JBL, and has recently added the new Vertec line array technology from JBL.
Stage Electrics has provided 50 tonnes of equipment to Sidmouth International Festival 2001. Stage Electrics production department supplied technical services to the 47th International Festival in Sidmouth during July. This continues a 27-year relationship with the festival, supplying power generation, distribution, site and production lighting and main arena sound. Nine heavy goods vehicles carrying 50 tonnes of equipment including 2.1km of festoon (3,400 lamps), 6km of cable, 350kW of lighting, 30kW of production PA and 920kVA of generated power was installed by 24 crew over a one week production build. The show ran for seven days with seven operators for both lighting and sound.
Baroque, a Scottish & Newcastle-owned bar situated in the centre of Derby, has recently undergone a complete refurbishment of the ground floor area. As part of the refurbishment the venue has had a new background music system installed by Derby-based Pro Technical Services. Richard Anderson, Pro Tech's service manager explains: "We were approached by Phil Meah, who manages Baroque. He told us that he was working on a concept for Scottish & Newcastle at Baroque and that he wanted a background music system for the bar."
Now, Baroque has a definite 'continental' feel about it and what Phil certainly wanted to avoid was an over-active sound system that would in his words "Blow his customers away". What Richard proposed was an RCF Monitor system comprising six Monitor 5s and two MSW 8 bass units. This gave just the right amount of sound during the day time and was capable of having a little more presence in the evening.
The Illuminated Video Workshop, the Screenco-led consortium that presented two days of innovative show magic at Three Mills Island studios last winter, is set to stage the successful workshop again at the PLASA Show. Situated in the ‘AV Gallery’ of Earl’s Court’s Top Deck, Screenco’s Mike Walker has pulled together the same top-flight technical support teams from the premier event. WAlker explained: "Judging from the number of calls from people who had been unable to attend the January event, the reputation of that two-day spectacular had really spread further than we could ever have imagined. We have been inundated with calls from people, who realising that they had missed out on something special, asking whether we would ever be running it again."
Walker’s first calls were to Edwin Shirley Staging, who agreed to provide their lozenge-shaped Orbit stage - with the dome at each end - and to Chris Beale at SSE Hire, whose provision of the Out Board TiMax sound spatialising system had been one of the highlights of the event. He also contacted Simon Whittaker at Stage One Creative Services - who will again be providing their Q-Motion system to track the 15mm and 25mm Screenco modules on vertical excursions and spinning rotations - and technical director Adam Wildi. Both instantly pledged their support. Peripheral AV equipment will be provided by Screenco’s sister company, Creative Technology, who will supply plasma screens, Electrosonic Vector image processing and Doremi digital video disk recorders.
The PLASA event will
Audio Pro Nederland BV has announced the appointment of Peter de Fouw as a partner. De Fouw, until recently managing director of TM Audio Holland BV, will concentrate mainly on developing the distribution activities and increasing the product portfolio for Audio Pro. Rolf Dijkstra, owner and managing director of Audio Pro, and de Fouw have a history of cooperation, and feel that the combined experience will be a key element in the success of the partnership and their new plans.
Logic System Pro Audio returned from Singapore in July having exhibited at the PALA show for the first time ever. A joint venture with Del Salado Entertainment Pte Ltd, the show proved a huge success and has already spawned several new orders and a great deal of interest in the brand which is new to the region. During his stay, sales manager Dean Davoile was taken to see ‘Bali Rock’ the first Logic System installation in Singapore. The venue features a dance area with a quieter ‘chill out’ zone on the upper floor. The sound system comprises IS8’s running full range supplemented by IS24 sub bass units. Lawrence Chee, owner of Bali Rock enthused "I have been impressed with the system since day one and it still amazes me the level and quality of sound I can get from such compact and discreet cabinets."
Sennheiser presented a total of five Sennheiser Student Achievement Awards and £2500 in prize money at this year’s LIPA Graduation ceremony. Sennheiser UK managing director Paul Whiting presented the awards during the ceremony in the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, conducted by lead patron Sir Paul McCartney, principal and chief executive, Mark Featherstone-Witty, and members of the Council and Trust. The winning students, all studying for or graduating with Sound Technology BA Degrees and Theatre Performance Technology DIPHEs, were nominated by peers and tutors for outstanding work in the course of their studies. Winning projects ranged from radio drama production, to songwriting, recording and production and theatre stage management, and included work from first and second year, as well as graduating students. Included for the first time were specific Sennheiser Awards for the TPT DIPHE, for both group and individual project work.
Graduating this year, with a BA Honours Degree in Sound Technology was Chandra Fleig from Cologne. Among the most able and hard working students to have participated in the Sennheiser Scholarship Scheme, Chandra earned considerable praise from colleagues during a work placement opportunity with BBC Resources at Television Centre and is already working with a television production company in Berlin.
Sennheiser funds a number of ongoing sponsorship initiatives at LIPA, principal among them the international scholarship for students studying for the Sound Technology BA degree. There are currently three Scholarship students studying at LIPA
Tannoy Professional has named sister company, TGI/Tannoy North America Inc, as Distributor of the Year for 2001. Based on technical ability, customer service and support levels, as well as growth in turnover, the award was presented to TGI following outstanding performances in all three areas. Tannoy's sales and marketing director, Derek West, told PLASA Media: "Tannoy Professional saw excellent growth in worldwide sales during the last financial year, increasing turnover almost 50%. We have an unwritten rule that sister companies cannot win the Distributor of the Year Award but when we judged the results, one market clearly stood out as the major contributor to that growth. Combine this with their dealer and product support, which has always been second to none, and we had to tear up the rulebook and present TGI with the Distributor of the Year 2001 award."
Tannoy has also presented its Best New Distributor Award to Avix Tech, based in Seoul, South Korea. Sean Martin, Tannoy's international sales manager, explained: "Avix's business this last year has been nothing short of outstanding for a new distributor. We usually allow a couple of years for distributors to settle in, but Avix hit the ground running and has achieved tremendous results in the last 18 months, which is why they have been given this award." Founded in 1992, Avix began by importing and installing professional audio equipment in the public broadcasting, video and audio engineering markets. By 1993, the company also began to design major concert halls, art galleries, museums and churches
For those of you not ornithologically minded, the Audubon Society describes eagles as ‘magnificent predators of the air, one of the most exciting birds to witness in action’ - but frankly, this particular Californian sub-species was rather dull to witness in action.
Have you ever seen a crocodile in a zoo? It sits there - an armoured monster so highly developed it hasn’t evolved for 60 million years - and doesn’t move. Something similar was going on in Manchester in late June. The performance, in terms of execution, was without imperfection, apart that is, from the interminable changes. Every time the show approached anything like the critical velocity so essential for momentum, they threw it away with a trip to make-up. The singing was crystal, even if Joe Walsh did look like a man recovering from a severe stroke when he sang, and the playing was note perfect. But it was lifeless. Tough job for the production then?
As video director Kate Ferris said, "this is strictly I’mag presentation." Kate is a veteran of concert video, though her work is infrequently seen in the UK. She regularly directs for Michael Jackson, Gloria Estefan and Cher to name but three, and it was apparent that in terms of demand, this was fairly low key for her. The two screens (four when they play in-the-round), and all other video kit comes from Nocturne in the US. The projectors are probably of most interest, being DLP 10kWs from Digital Projection in Atlanta, which I’m assured are the brightest for their rating, and very straightforward and reliable.
AKG is launching the new Emotion Series Microphone C 900 at PLASA 2001. This is a high quality condenser microphone for vocalists, and provides many unique features at an excellent price/performance ratio. Features include a 24-carat gold-plated transducer case for optimum protection from corrosion and humidity (the entire transducer element is shock-mounted in a special elastic ring). The microphone is also extremely insensitive to handling noise. The supplied Presence Boost Adapter can be installed to boost the 5 - 9kHz range by 2 to 4dB for improved high-frequency sound and better intelligibility.
AKG has also added to its best-selling WMS 40 system, a series of miniature devices that offer perfect solutions to various wireless miking problems. The new products are small enough to fit in a shirt pocket and have been named ‘microtools’. Microtools provide maximum flexibility for a number of sound reinforcement situations. The microtools Series currently comprises the following products: SO 40 snapon - a miniature plug-on transmitter, GB 40 guitar bug - a miniature transmitter; MP 40 micropen - a miniature bodypack transmitter; CU 40 - a universal charger for all microtools.
Barrie Fraser, formerly of Federal Signal, has joined Next Two (part of MEDC Ltd) as export sales manager. Next Two was taken over by MEDC Ltd in August 2000. The company, an ISO 9001 certified manufacturer of manual, visual and audible alarms and loudspeakers for potentially explosive atmospheres and harsh industrial and marine environments, has invested in the business to secure future success in the market for loudspeakers to be used in industrial, commercial and leisure applications.