Out Board Electronics’ TiMax level and delay matrix has been specified for the third consecutive year by sound designer Bobby Aitken, for Raymond Gubbay’s annual opera-in-the-round at London’s Albert Hall. TiMax is in place as the delivery engine for the vocal reinforcement system on this year’s production, Aida. TiMax provides precise source-oriented reinforcement, making it obvious where each voice emanates from, resulting in unobtrusive sound reinforcement that is natural and believable, avoiding the ‘disembodied voices’ syndrome that the connoisseurs find so distracting. Out Board’s Robin Whittaker, who has been intimately involved with the programming and set up of the full sound system used for all three annual productions, commented: "The two preceding productions - of Tosca in 1999 and Madam Butterfly last year - were invaluable learning opportunities in the process of developing the techniques brought to bear on this year’s Aida. It's been a progression of a great leap forward followed by a step backward, and this year, a couple of further strides forward."
Designed as a cost-effective solution specifically for sound contractors, the new ISA Series from QSC Audio features six models, including three low impedance models (ISA 280, ISA 450, ISA 750) rated for 2-ohm operation, and three ‘T’ versions with 25, 70 and 100 volt outputs for distributed audio systems (ISA 300T, ISA 500T, ISA 800T). Versatile loading options and a comprehensive feature set make the ISA Series a suitable power solution for a wide range of permanently installed sound systems. The ‘T’ versions will drive 8- or 4-ohm loads and a distributed system on the same channel simultaneously. This enables a contractor to reduce the number of required amplifier channels by allowing a limited number of distributed speakers to be attached to the same amp as is powering the main sound system.
Housed in rugged 3U chassis, all six models feature rear panel gain controls for tamper resistant operation with 2dB detents for quick and repeatable settings. Inputs include both XLR and detachable Euro-style connectors. Outputs feature covered barrier strip connectors for safety agency compliance, and for added versatility, a DataPort V2 (Version 2) terminated with an HD-15 connector is provided for use with DPV2-compatible signal processing accessories such as the XC-3 Crossover, SF-3 Subwoofer Filter, and the LF-3 Low Frequency Filter. Selectable high-pass filters are included to protect speakers and prevent speaker transformer saturation with minimal effect on program material. The ISA Series provide additional protection circuitry including DC, infras
Shuttlesound has welcomed two new recruits to its team in a move that will strengthen the sales department in the areas of marketing and permanent installations. David Howe, an experienced industry professional, takes on the mantle of Permanent Installation consultant, while Yann Carbonnet, formerly of Shuttlesound’s parent company Telex EVI in Germany, has recently joined as marketing manager where his responsibilities include both brand and company profile.
Howe’s has varied experience in the permanent installation market, ranging from low impedance to 100 volt line to voice alarm systems which, according to Shuttlesound’s senior sales manager, Sean Maxwell, makes him an ideal candidate for the company. "We identified a niche in the market where we really wanted to make more impact with the many new products coming into the market from ElectroVoice and Dynacord, and David provides us with the necessary expertise to be effective in that area."
Carbonnet joins Shuttlesound after three years with parent company Telex EVI at their European headquarters in Germany, and as well as his considerable creative talents in graphic design, brings with him valuable experience and market knowledge of the Telex EVI brands, in particular Dynacord.
For the fourth consecutive year, Audio-Technica microphones were the microphone of choice for the Grammy Awards, staged at the Staples Center in Los Angeles last month. Audio-Technica supplied over 370 microphones for one of the most widely-watched music events of the year. On-hand was New York City-based Effanel Music's all-digital mobile remote truck with John Harris at the helm to mix the broadcast sound as well as ATK/Audiotek from Burbank, California, who supplied the sound system at the event with front-of-house engineer Rob ‘Cubby’ Colby. Audio-Technica's market manager for live sound, Joel Singer, spent the week in LA during the Grammy rehearsals to offer technical assistance. Singer worked closely with both Effanel and ATK/Audiotek, providing his extensive knowledge on microphone selection.
A wide-selection of Audio-Technica microphones was employed, including: AT4033a (hi-hat, percussion overheads, bass cabinets), AT4050/CM5 (drum overheads, celli and bass acoustic strings), AT4047/SV (guitar cabinets), AT4041 (percussion overheads), ATM25 (rack and floor toms), ATM23HE (snare, congas, timbales), ATM35 (strings), AT4054 and AT4055 (brass) and AT4071a (audience). In addition, the ATW-7373x handheld condenser wireless system was used for lead vocals by Destiny's Child, U2's Bono and Sheryl Crow.
The biggest gaming venue in the world, Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, has taken delivery of a Midas Heritage 2000 in time to celebrate the casino’s 9th birthday. Having started life in 1992 as a 250,000sq.ft facility with a 46,000sq.ft casino, Foxwoods has now grown to nearly 20 times that size. The complex occupies an impressive 4.7m sq.ft and contains five main casinos under one roof with 320,000sq.ft of gaming space, 28 places to dine, shops, meeting rooms, nightclubs and spas. While Foxwoods houses six performance venues ranging in size from 100 to 4,500 seats, the premier venue, now home to a new Heritage 2000, is the Fox Theatre in the heart of the ‘Theatre District’. This 1,450-seat showroom opened on Nov. 17, 1993, with a concert series by Frank Sinatra. Since then, the Fox Theatre has hosted hundreds of other entertainers including Tony Bennett, Celine Dion and Joe Cocker.
Foxwoods’ audio supervisor, Dave Albro, explained his choice of a Heritage 2000 for the resort’s busiest venue. "I was looking to upgrade our 7-year old PM4000, and once I started shopping, it became clear after looking at several brands and models, that Midas was really the only choice. I ruled out digital consoles because I wanted a console that visiting engineers would be familiar with and happy to use. While there is nothing wrong with our existing board, whenever a road act brought in a Midas, we could all hear the improvement. After that it was just a question of which one. After researching the various options we decided on a 56-c
Wembley Loudspeaker has launched a new 15 - 400 Pro Cabinet to coincide with this year’s Frankfurt Music Exhibition. These two-way speaker enclosures have been developed for the professional audio user, and are suitable for mobile applications or installations, as parts of larger sound systems or as stand-alone units. The cabinets are rated at 400W RMS continuous and their performance has hugely impressed listeners, surpassing the output and quality of many more expensive makes. The 15 - 400 Pro contains a PTP 15-190 15" driver and a TP 300 flare, along with a proprietary European compression driver and adjustable crossover, with all the necessary protection built in. The cabinet is rigidly constructed covered in black carpet as standard and weighing in a 30kg they are easily portable. Fittings include protecting corners, top hats, metal grab handles and a full metal grill. Connection is via twin speakons.
Wembley Loudspeaker MD Paul MacCallum has built a reputation for producing high performance audio products, and he is delighted with the new enclosure: "We have looked at the design and components very carefully and tested various connotations to create the optimum performance for this niche of loudspeaker cabinet," said MacCallum.
Level Control Systems (LCS) has showcased the newest component of their dynamic mixing/processing platform - CueConsole. In the past, sound designs for live productions used a standard large format console as the front end - with group outputs feeding the LCS system for matrixing and cue control. Technically, all of it could be done in LCS - just not with real faders and knobs. CueConsole is LCS's proprietary control interface that allows the LCS system to replace the traditional front-of-house mixer. CueConsole's new approach to digital control surfaces is its uniquely adaptable modularity. Four types of control modules interface with the core of the system: the SuperNova audio engine or the new Matrix3 audio engine. The modules are flexible in that they can be configured in whatever way is most convenient for the sound designer/engineer. Because CueConsole is just a control surface without any audio passing through, the interface back to the audio engine is standard network interface cable. As a result, the modules can be set up in the conventional front-of-house position or different modules can be located in different locations. In addition, the modules can be in use at the same time, ultimately optimizing rehearsal time. If sound quality needs to be improved in the balcony, one can move an editor module to the balcony and solve the problem there. If close communication between the director and sound designer is a priority, the rehearsal mix position can be set up right next to the director and the lighting programmer. There is no down time waiting for someone to comple
Production Resource Group (PRG) has announced that it has established new credit totaling $125 million with GMAC Business Credit, to support its strategic plans. This refinancing was coupled with the sale of PRG's Systems Group consisting of Signal Perfection Ltd and the Ancha and SPL-Integrated Solutions divisions, to a newly-formed entity controlled by shareholders of PRG and Systems Group management. "With such rapid expansion, there have been obstacles and growing pains. None the less, the hard work of the talented people that make up PRG and the new management we've implemented has significantly reduced our debt from $190 million to $110 million," says Jere Harris, chairman and CEO. "I attribute these achievements to the continual efforts of our employees. It's their diligence, dedication and teamwork that has directly resulted in improved performance."
PRG anticipates continued growth as the management changes and investments made in the past year take full effect.
The Mach SlingShot series was in use for the closing concert of the14th Macau International Music Festival. The Venue was Forum I, Macau - a 2000-capacity, indoor venue for multi-purpose activities including sport events and music concerts. Shalom AV Technology Limited (Hong Kong & Macau’s sole agency) and Master Piece Light & Audio Engineering Co (one of Macau’s largest rental companies) provided all lighting, sound equipment and rigging for the show. Master Piece is the first rental company in Macau to introduce the Mach SlingShot for daily use.
A total of eight Mach SlingShot MS1262 three-way top boxes were used as the main reinforcement system. Flown clusters of two MS1262s per side served the front seats and an MS1262 served the side seats, while four MS118 bass cabinets were placed in front of the stage. An EV Dx38 was used as the system crossover for the front SlingShot top boxes and subwoofers to form the four-way system, Mach MS-3s crossover/controllers looked after the side-fills. The show featured a combination of classical and pop music which included the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and a host of singers from Hong Kong, Macau, China and Europe including CoCo Lee, Eason Chan and Warron Mok. Chan Wai Man, chief sound engineer of Master Piece, Macau said: “The Mach loudspeaker provided good clarity, dynamic sound and the high sound pressure level needed for both classical and pop music. Also the dispersion angle was precise and easy to aim. Even a small amount of cabinets could provide enough sound level and clarity."
The new paging system installed by Avalon Communications into the ExCeL as part of the 90,000sq.m world-class, state-of-the-art event space in London’s Docklands, will run on a major BSS Soundweb network. Corporate communications events at ExCeL are hosted in large, reconfigurable halls, enhanced by a sophisticated IT and communication infrastructure. The venue was intent on having a flexible paging system utilising the recently-installed Avalon distributed Jupiter voice evacuation system. Thus Avalon sales engineer Stephen McCay, in conjunction with LMC Audio’s Tom Davis, designed and commissioned the system to meet the venue’s digital networking requirements, based around ten 9088 Soundweb Mk2s and six 9000 hubs. "Whereas the Avalon equipment provides a fully-monitored voice alarm solution via a dedicated digital highway," said McCay, "we cannot match the flexibility or features of the Soundweb system for the public address element of this project."Two simultaneous spaces, with multiple microphone points, form the exhibition areas on either side of the central boulevard, and each mic point can be programmed to broadcast to any of the other exhibition areas or halls, depending on the configurations. McCay and Davis looked at two possible PC-based networking systems but quickly decided on Soundweb. Avalon, in conjunction with LMC, submitted a proposal, together with a picture of what the end-user interface would look like; the building contractors rubber-stamped the proposal, and Soundweb went online at the end of January.
Tom Davis o
Directors of the newly-constituted Sound Department chose the Frankfurt Musikmesse this month to unveil their plans for the future.
Following the demise of the former Sound Dept, the new company will commence trading from an operating base in Banbury, Oxfordshire, at the beginning of April, under the executive management of Steve Smith (MD), Andy Simmons (sales and marketing director) and Peter Nicholls (FD).
The new company has consolidated its position with all the premier brands previously represented, and will act as exclusive UK distributor for Crest Audio, Community Professional Loudspeakers, Sound Advance, Level Control Systems (LCS) and Australian Monitor Industrial (formerly Audio Telex).
Other key members of The Sound Department team are technical support manager, Steve Badham, along with Bruce Francis, who will now run the service department from a self-contained unit in north London, in an endeavour to provide the utmost in customer service and support for the world class brands that the company represents. Steve Smith commented to L&SI: "The past few months have enabled us to fully analyse our business, and in some areas change our operating practice to become a more cohesive and efficient unit. On this basis we have approached all our suppliers with our new blueprint, and without exception it has been met with absolute approval."
Andy Simmons added: "With the full support of our suppliers we are looking forward to an exciting future, sharing in the many new product launches that are in prospect, and once again becoming a leader in audio
UK-based loudspeaker manufacturer Logic System Pro Audio has recently appointed a new dealer to cover the South East Asian market. Following discussions at PLASA 2000, the company has announced that Singapore-based Del Salado Entertainment Pte Ltd has invested in products from Logic’s IS, CM and CS ranges. The company will be developing Logic System’s business throughout Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Louis Teo of Del Salado says he pinpointed Logic System as an important up-and-coming brand name, while Logic believe Del Salado will be the ideal partner for making inroads into this vast market.
X-Line the brand new line array system from Electro-Voice made its UK debut with Richard Ashcroft at the Brixton Academy recently. Robbie McGrath was engineered the nine-piece band on his console of choice a Midas XL4, accompanied by his custom-built front-of-house and effects racks courtesy of ML Executives. The system comprised a J-hang of five XVLS and three XVLT cabinets at a trim height of 25ft, plus five ground-stacked sub units per side. Infills for close audience coverage were provided by EV X-Array Xi-1152 cabinets, and the whole system was driven by EV P3000 amps. Processing was handled by three Klark Teknik DN9848s, while mic splitting was dealt with by five DN1248s.
This was the first time Robbie McGrath had used the new system. He commented: " . . . as with every first show, there were a couple of adjustments to make before it really started to purr the way I knew it would. But the beauty of these systems is the learning curve is so fast . . . For the second night we made a few adjustments to the angle of some of the speakers, ran the house EQ virtually flat and approached the desk EQ from more of a ‘studio’ aspect, and immediately started hearing dimensions with the reverbs that hadn’t been apparent before."
In conclusion, Robbie said: "I have no hesitation in saying that I think the X-Line will be in the top three contenders in the world for at least the next decade. It brings so much to the table that is lacking in other rigs. . . But above all, it’s a truly musical system."
Macclesfield-based Federal Signal, the leading supplier of public address and voice alarm systems, has won a £30,000 contract to provide an emergency alert system at the new offices of the UK Passport Agency in London. The contract has been won in conjunction with Hull-based systems integrator Galloway Electronics, which was recommended to Federal by Millbank master distributor RW Salt. The system will be based on Federal’s new multi-zone alert system, VeriFire, and will enable the Passport Office staff to quickly and safely coordinate the evacuation of the building from two incident rooms, situated on the first and fifth floors. VeriFire was specififed because of its diagnostic and fault-finding capabilities - a pre-requisite of the contract. The systems also features a digital messaging unit for office-wide public address announcements, and single- and multi-zone paging capability.
White Sound’s Josh White’s latest project was a sound upgrade for a new bar/restaurant in the heart of Soho from the owners of the ubiquitous Alphabet bar, for which he turned to the Turbosound TCS range of loudspeakers. White Sound was responsible for the sound system design and install for the Alphabet bar in 1996, and Josh was the obvious choice for Amber’s general manager, Spike Marchant. Amber is a modern styled bar/restaurant set over two floors. The ground floor restaurant features booth seating and required low level and discreet sound reinforcement. For this area, Josh mounted four TCS-20 cabinets on a dropped ceiling raft that runs through the centre of the room. This method ensured the speakers would not be seen - the sound is reflected off the walls into the seating areas.
Downstairs in the basement bar area - which again sports the booth seating, but this time around the edges of the walls, four wall-mounted TCS-35s create the sound atmosphere - with one covering the bar itself and the remainder serving the seating and dance spaces. One TCS-118 1x18" subwoofer underpins the mid-high boxes. The system will mainly cater for CD-playback and DJs.
RS Pro Audio has announce the appointment of Tony Rimkus as retail sales director. Managing director Roddy Stewart said: "Tony will add substantial experience to our expanding operations, include the organization of our forthcoming move to our new custom-built superstore which is due to open April 2001.
Allen & Heath has welcomed a new PR co-ordinator, Alexandra Pratt. Alexandra has spent much of her career working as a freelance journalist and author, producing material for a variety of specialist markets. Her most recent project is a travel book to be published later this year by HarperCollins, based on the canoe expedition she led to Labrador, Canada in 2000 (www.labrador2000.co.uk). When not shooting rapids or exploring the world’s wild places, Alexandra has also worked as an editor, lecturer and researcher. "I’m looking forward to using my fairly broad experience in the media to help develop and promote Allen and Heath’s profile as a leading manufacturer in the pro audio sector. It is a very innovative and energetic company, which appeals to me greatly." A beneficiary of Allen & Heath’s astonishing growth during the past year, Alexandra will be working alongside Debbie Maxted and David Kirk (who is returning to the company at the end of March) at the company’s new premises in Penryn, Cornwall.
Audio rental companies SSE Hire of Birmingham, UK, and Melpomen of Nantes, France, have announced a move to merge, with the formation of the SSE Audio Group. The move comes at a significant time for both companies: SSE are celebrating 25 years in the industry, whilst Melpomen has been operating in the French market for almost 20 years, recently adding office and warehouse facilities in Paris and La Rochelle to the main Nantes-based organisation. John Penn, MD of SSE, told PLASA Media: "We have been actively looking for ways to develop the business. The trend for sound companies is to expand purely by buying more and more stock. However, we have seen a steady decline in the amount of work undertaken by UK rental companies in Europe, through a combination of the strength of sterling and the number of strong European rental companies who provide a good service. As a consequence, we have seen an increasing number of tours using mainland European suppliers. With the merger of the two companies into one group, we will extend our service to our clients in the heart of Europe." Future plans for the Group include the development of a new range of products and services aimed specifically at the European market.
London superclub Fabric has commissioned loudspeaker manufacturers Martin Audio to supply a new sound reinforcement system to be installed into the club’s two famous dance rooms. The upgrade takes place just a year and a half after the club opened. For the main Room One system, designed by Fabric’s technical manager Dave Parry and Martin Audio’s Richie Rowley - in collaboration with the Fabric sound team - eight Martin Audio W8C compact enclosures were specified, formatted in a quad array around the dancefloor and underpinned by eight of Martin’s WSX monster sub bass units. The sound design for Fabric’s Room Two incorporates the flagship products of Martin’s Blackline range - the H2 and H3s. The H3s are placed in a quad array format around the dancefloor, supplemented by a further four bi-amped H2 cabinets providing satellite fill down the length of the dancefloor. This system will also augment into a multi-channel spatial zoning arrangement with an OutBoard Electronics TiMax system.
Traditional brewers Fuller, Smith & Turner, have entered the burgeoning London leisure suburb of Shoreditch - the trendiest colony in the capital - with their new brand, Katabatic.
With 3,200sq.ft offering a capacity of 480, and a late license inherited from the previous incumbents (Propoganda), this is prime real estate. The late night venue will eventually have cost £1.2 million to develop - a proportion of which has gone on an inspired sound, lighting and vision scheme across the two floors.
As well as offering views of the DJ practicising his craft inside, the exterior design shows off the encased foyer decor of AVR Colourchanger beams refracted from a cluster of tiny mirrorballs, with the campest of light sculptures providing an artistic backdrop. The colour-changing spots from Abstract and Martin Pro, working with the fibre optics, bring Katabatic (a metereological word meaning the downward flow of air) alive at night.
Marquee Installations’ Mark Brown was given a brief to develop two distinct environments - a high-quality midground sound upstairs and the latest London club spec in the basement that could hold its own alongside the best. To accomplish this, he was given all the freedom he needed.
RCF Monitor 5 loudspeakers, fed from a C-Burn Revolution 100 hard disk player, take care of the upstairs, while a pair of compact, flown EAW JF290Zs for the top end, and matching EAW SB330s for the sub-bass, handle the dance sound, augmented by eight RCF PA281 Vision Series for bar area infill. The audio is all driven by QSC amplification and the sound is digit
Bliss is a highly-sophisticated new bar/restaurant in Bournemouth conceived by experienced leisure entrepreneur, Richard Carr’s Future 2000 plc (the team behind the phenomenally successful Slinky dance nights).
Having owned the art deco building in Bournemouth’s town centre for several years, they contracted local interiors company, Design Mode, to convert the bottom two floors of the former Maples department store into the heavily marbellised Bliss, at a cost of £1.25 million. For the sound reinforcement, Future 3000’s head of technical services, Lee Price, stuck with the Martin Audio catalogue, which dominates the company’s other venues, as well as providing the touring sound for Slinky.
One of his prime considerations was the acoustic isolation necessary from the five storeys above the ground floor and basement, which the landlord has converted for student accommodation. This required an elaborate, acoustically-treated ceiling, with suspended, soundproofed flexi air-conditioning ducting, while the columns were given the same acoustical cladding. Most of the music (funk and soft jazz) is computer-driven, while in the evening a DJ takes over. Price has selected 26 of the EM26s divided into six zones. There are no bass bins and the whole sound is fed through a pair of BSS Soundwebs which routes the CD, DJ and band sources to their respective destinations.
A separate sound system carries 1970s kitsch film themes to a pair of Martin C516 recessed ceiling speakers in each of the Gents and Ladies lavatories. All inputs are separately EQ’d an
Oriel, a designer bar and restaurant, has recently opened in Mere Green, a fashionable suburb of Birmingham. The venue needed to have a sound system that would complement the décor. So owner Ian Sloane contacted 'Lonnie' of 2007 Sound & Light and asked him to design a sound system for Oriel. The brief from the client was simple, says Lonnie: "We don't want to see it."
Once Lonnie had surveyed the venue, he contacted RCF to enquire about their fittings for the Monitor Series speakers. RCF produce a special false ceiling adapter, designed to fit the Monitor 4's, which presents a flush-mounted speaker system. The RCF Monitor speakers deliver a high-quality sound that enhances one of the Midlands’ most stylish venues. The main sound system users a Sony MDS-E11 mini-disc for music. The system in divided into two zones with the rest rooms using 100v line feed to the RCF Spotlight speakers (RCF AM1030 100v line amplifier). Main system amplification is from Crown MA series amplifiers, with processing and control via an XTA DP224 speaker management system, a Cloud CX-233 two-zone mixer and RL-1 remote volume control.
Bose has been appointed an approved supplier of sound systems to Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts following a two-day Techno Forum in Dubai. The Forum was part of a company conference for Le Meridien’s general managers and aimed at introducing the latest technologies to the Group. Bose were among nine companies invited to make a presentation, and as a result, the company’s Wave Radio/CDs and Acoustic Wave Music Systems are now both featured on Le Meridien’s approved product list.
The Northcott theatre, based in Exeter's university complex, has recently upgraded its sound system. The theatre's sound engineer Jamie Pryke knew that the existing system was past its best and either had the option of short term hire, or start to build a new integrated system. In the end, he opted for a new system and called in Stage Electrics, whose Ian Dixon suggested they listen to the RCF Vision Series. He arranged for RCF to do a demonstration in the theatre and Pryke, with chief electrician Russell Payne, decided they would fit the bill perfectly. Pryke explained: "The RCF people brought the whole of the Vision Range down for us to listen to, once we'd established they could do the job, it was just a matter of planning the way forward. What we have done so far is phase one of the project, which is to have four Vision 121's installed at the stage front. We then plan to add another four around the theatre, plus subs."