The Gearhouse Group plc and a large number of its subsidiary operations have been placed in administrative receivership. A legal notice posted on the company’s website states that AR Bloom & AJR Wollaston (Ernst & Young) were appointed joint administrative receivers on 23rd February 2001. Over recent years, the Group, a supplier of professional presentation and event production equipment, for both rental and sale, to the corporate presentation, TV, film and live entertainment industries worldwide, had followed an ambitious programme of growth, acquiring a number of complementary companies and rebranding them under the Group banner. It appears from the notice that most of the companies within the Group are now in receivership - these include all the Gearhouse subsidiaries across the UK, Gearhouse LED Screens, Gearhouse Lighting, Gearhouse Special Projects, Gearhouse Structures, Gearhouse XTC, Impact Rentals, PPL Event Services, Presentation Services, Proquip Gearhouse, Sceneset and Set 'N' Stage.
PRG company Fourth Phase supplied equipment, design engineering, project management and installation supervision for the entertainment lighting system in the newly constructed Potter’s House worship center, home of one of the fastest growing churches in the United States. This 26,000 member nondenominational church in Dallas, TX, led by Pentecostalist minister, author and entrepreneur T.D. Jakes, set out to build the country’s most technologically innovative church facility yet, dubbed a ‘Smart Church’. The new $32 million, 300 feet x 300 feet, 8,200 seat sanctuary creates a footprint larger than two football fields. Power and data terminals installed at 200 seats allow attendees to download sermon notes and power point presentations onto laptop computers. Altar attendants are equipped with handheld PDAs to allow immediate input of new member data and ‘prayer needs’. An associated language translation center features translation rooms with the capacity to simultaneously input and output up to six language translations. Dallas-based consultants Acoustic Dimensions designed state-of-the-art sound, lighting and MATV systems, whilst PRG company SPL installed the audio and video systems. The $600,000 entertainment lighting package is based around ETC Sensor and Unison dimming, an Expression 3 control console and a range of ETC, Altman, DeSisti and Lycian lighting fixtures.
BSS Audio has announced two new appointments. Tim McCall (pictured left), previously of Marquee Audio, has moved to BSS to look after Middle East and Asia sales, and will be responsible for the management of the BSS distributor network in these territories. The role of UK sales engineer has been taken up by Dave McKinney (pictured right), formerly from Gearhouse. His job will involve client and dealer liaison and support in the UK. The move initiates an expansion for BSS Sales, and complements the newly formed Systems Group headed by Davey Smalley.
NXT flat panel loudspeakers were recently specified as part of the new speech reinforcement system installed in Eton College Chapel by Cambridge Architectural Research Ltd (CAR), in conjunction with Mission. Using panels from Mission's award-winning FS2-AV Home Theatre system, Tim Lewers, chief acoustician of CAR, worked with other suppliers to install a computer-controlled sound reinforcement system using Peavey Media Matrix software, complete with touch screen display controls. The Mission FS2 satellites are located along the pews and mounted into bronze housings to match the lights and music stands and maintain the existing decor. They are placed in a spaced array of five panels down either side of the chapel to provide complete coverage of all seated areas. Further panels are wall mounted in the ante-chapel and chancel. Each NXT satellite is driven by its own amplifier and time-aligned for distance to the selected microphone, of which there are ten, located throughout the chapel. Thus the direct sound of voices arrives at the listener at the same time as the sound from the Mission FS2 speakers.
The Strategic alliance between Dynaudio, Munro Associates and TC Electronic in June 1999 has been expanded, widening TC Electronic's responsibility for worldwide distribution and marketing of Dynaudio Acoustics to include all larger systems developed by Munro Associates. These include the ultra high-end MA1 Mastering Monitor, the well-known M4 main-monitor systems and the THX approved M3F system. As a result of the alliance, several joint development projects are already in consideration.
Terminal Studios, based in London Bridge, has made a significant investment in Turbosound stock with the purchase of 24 TFM-330 floor monitors, supplied by Marquee Audio. The TFM-330 incorporates a custom designed 4" voice coil, 15" low frequency driver and a high power 2" high frequency compression driver on a custom waveguide in a compact vented enclosure. The studio bought its first Turbosound loudspeakers in 1985 in the form of a pair of TMS-4s and has continually added to and upgraded the stock since that time. The studioshave worked with a host of pop icons since their establishment in 1979 such as David Bowie, Duran Duran and more recently Take That, Robbie Williams and The Chemical Brothers, the quality and sound of the monitors was the prime consideration in the choice, for managing director Charlie Barrett.
Mackie/RCF UK has announced that Linton Smeeton has left the company to pursue other interests within the pro audio Industry. Smeeton, who had been with the company for over 10 years and was one of the founding directors of RCF UK, held the position of sales director. Mackie/RCF MD, Phil Price commented on the move: "I would like to put on record that in the 'early' years of the company Linton was pivotal to the growth and successes particularly within the public address markets in the UK." Since the acquisition of RCF by Mackie Designs, Linton had been active in introduction of Mackie products to the market place.
Hayden Laboratories Ltd, UK distributor for Rane products, has introduced the latest Rane TTM 54i and TTM 52i professional mixers to the UK market. Both units include a host of innovative features plus fast and intuitive control. The TTM 54i mixer includes a hard-wearing Lexan face plate, improved Transform (Phono/Line) switches, A precision Active Crossfader with continuously adjustable Contour and ‘Hamster’ control. Other features include Reversal controls, Switchable Contour Controls and high performance Accelerated-Slope, band-split 24dB per octave tone controls allow 40dB Bass and Treble cut without affecting the vocal mid-range. In addition, a proprietary, assignable Effects Loop allows a stereo effect to be inserted in Pre-Fader Program 1, Pre-Fader Program 2, or Master at the press of a switch.
The TTM 52i, part of the Rane Mojo Series, offers the same quality, reliability, performance and core elements as the TTM 54i, but is aimed at tighter budgets. The Mojo Series offers all Rane’s sonic and construction qualities - not normally associated with machines in this price range. It is quick and easy to operate and is designed for busy, sonically imaginative working artists and performers.
DPA Microphones is to unveil a new large-diaphragm stereo kit for professional A-B stereo applications. The new 3532 is a complete A-B Stereo Kit consisting of two carefully factory-matched omnidirectional Large Diaphragm Microphones with 130V preamplifiers in a discrete class A design. The specially selected and hand paired microphones are matched within 1dB on frequency response, sensitivity and self-noise. The maximum phase response difference from 50Hz to 20kHz is 10°. With low self-noise and high SPL capability, the stereo kit delivers a huge dynamic range of distortion-free, clean detailed sound.
In 1996 the second edition of British Theatrical Patents 1801-1900 was published in demand to the runaway success of the first edition. Such was the interest and fascination with the subject, the authors Terence Rees and David Wilmore, embarked upon the mammoth task of consulting several million more patents to compile a database of theatrical patents for the first half of the twentieth century. As a result of some five years work the first release of the database is now available covering 1901-1950 and includes many fascinating technological developments relating to moving lights, projection, dimming and control as well as staging, illusions, and a myriad of other technical theatre subjects. The database is now available for purchase (£957+ Vat) and there are currently almost 1,000 patentee entries on the database. Purchasers will receive free updates as new entries are discovered - but beware - as the entries increase so does the price! - the earlier you buy it the cheaper it is! Further information can be obtained from Theatresearch on Tel:+44 (0) 1423 780497
TMB announced today that Warren Mays, the company’s long-serving technical sales manager, has left the company to join Moodie, Pincu & Associates. Colin Waters, TMB’s CEO told PLASA Media: “Warren has been a great asset to TMB over the years and he will be missed. Because of his understanding of the cooperative relationship between TMB and Moodie-Pincu, we believe this move will lead to many new opportunities for both companies. Moodie-Pincu & Associates is a manufacturer’s representatives in the greater Los Angeles area for Electronic Theatre Controls and other entertainment-based manufacturers of theatrical support equipment.
The recently-established Crystal Leisure is all set to launch its first major project. The company will unveil plans for a new multi-million pound superclub within the next few months. Summit, as the club will be known, will hold approximately 1500 clubbers and will be situated on Nene Parade in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. The company is currently working with leading sound, lighting and design companies to create the look and feel of the club.
The versatility of Audio-Technica's range of microphones has been demonstrated with the use of A-T ProPoint mics in a purpose-built badger sett at a Welsh country park. Flintshire County Council's Countryside Service has constructed the sett, with its earth-lined tunnels leading out into woodland, at Wepre Park, at Connah's Quay on Deeside. Specialist sound systems suppliers Apple Sound, based nearby at Mold, installed cameras and microphones in the sett to allow people in the visitor centre at the 168-acre combined recreation and conservation site to see and hear inside the badgers' home. A camera and an Audio-Technica PRO42 boundary microphone were installed in the walls of each of the three chambers of the sett, out of reach of the sharp teeth of any inquisitive badger residents.
Once the project - sponsored by Airbus UK, Apple Sound, International Power and Toyota Manufacturing UK Ltd - was completed, Wepre Park's Countryside Rangers invited the BBC to take a look who agreed to run a webcam by taking a feed off the three cameras installed in the sett. The Wepre Park Badger Cam can be viewed at www.bbc.co.uk/nature/animals/webcams.
A cutting-edge club sound and lighting system have been detailed and installed by Marquee Audio into the new 2,300-capacity concert and dance venue, The Academy, in Birmingham. Opened in Dale End by the McKenzie Group - owners of the Brixton Academy and Shepherds Bush Empire - some £600,000 has been spent on converting the former Rank-owned Hummingbird, which had been closed for six years before being sold to the London-based entertainment company, into a premier mid-sized concert venues. The brief was to deliver a quality club system into both the major auditorium and 400-capacity auxiliary room. As a result, Marquee spec’d a computer-controlled Turbosound sound system, driven by a combination of 15 MC2 MC-1259 and three MC-750 amplifiers, and digitally distributed through a pair of BSS 9088LL audio matrix devices, with a Soundweb 9010 ‘Jellyfish’ remote providing local access.
As for lighting, Marquee supplied eight Optikinetics Solar 250 projectors, four Deathstar strobes, four Martin MAC 500, eight Martin Destroyer X250 multi-rotating beam effects, 12 Martin PRO 918s and two MAC 250s on the rig - working with a four-head Martin Techno Haze smoke machine - all run from an Avolites Azure 2000 desk. In the secondary room a further four Opti Solar 250s, eight Martin Destroyer X250s and four Martin MX4 intelligent light projectors form the rig, controlled from from a Light Processor QCommander.
TiLE will be the official European Show of The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). TiLE is aimed at those who have an interest in the future of location-based leisure attractions, whilst TEA is an international alliance of the world's most talented and experienced professionals in the themed attractions industry. The decision coincides perfectly with the 10th anniversaries of both TiLE and TEA and recognises the close relationship that has built up between the two; the European Chapter of TEA (now TEA Europe) was launched at TiLE 1998 in Strasbourg, France, and has become one of the fastest growing chapters of TEA.
French PA system manufacturer L-Acoustics has made a number of important personnel changes: financial manager Hervé Guillaume has been appointed managing director with responsibility for all administrative and financial matters. His new role will allow him to manage all the advanced aspects of L-Acoustics’ established business, while Christian Heil, the company chairman, will focus on the development of a global company strategy. Sandrine Fessard, formerly a sales assistant is now in charge of customer services, working alongside long-established sales manager Michel Brouard. Pascale Danielou joins the sales administration team and will be working in the expanded sales team with Beatrice Mornet. Paul Bauman has been appointed technical support manager, and will be assisted by Stephane Gramondo, who has been in charge of technical support for permanent installations over the last year. Melanie Cerveaux, who joined the team in 1999, is now involved with marketing, advertising, press information, and general media aspects. Although she remains excecutive assistant to the chairman, part of her new role has been the definition of the 2001 marketing strategy and the coordination of the website.
Marquee Audio has joined a select band of companies entrusted with marketing Sony professional products with its appointment as approved pro audio dealer for the brand. The portfolio of Sony sound reinforcement products handled by Marquee will range from the popular radio mic series to more esoteric items such as feedback exterminators, and will include the DMX R-100 digital desk. The appointment was confirmed by Sony’s recently-recruited pro audio sales and marketing manager, Alan Johnson.
Pro Audio Systems have launched their new web site, www.pasystems.co.uk. It includes lots of useful industry links, an on line pro audio store and a members' area. Membership allows access to special deals and free used equipment ads. The site is a good information centre, provides a service to existing and new customers as well as being a comprehensive on line store for a full range of pro audio equipment.
DPA Microphones has appointed its first distributor in Ireland, Big Bear Sound of Dublin. Founded seven years ago by Julian Douglas, Big Bear has become one of Ireland's leading pro audio equipment resellers, representing DigiDesign, Apple and HHB, as well as supplying top-end brands such as Focusrite, TC Electronic and Tube Tech. Strengthened by products like Pro Tools, Big Bear takes most of its business from the recording sector, and the company also designs and builds studios. According to sales director Michael Browne: "We have a substantial client base in recording, including a lot of clients doing classical work, and DPA Microphones has a world-class selection of mics which we can recommend to them . . . The DPA range fits in extremely well with our portfolio profile at the high end of professional audio. I'm particularly confident about the compact and miniature mics, and I can see these taking over the market within a year or two."
Following the announcement of the new administration and management set-up of the PSA, a substantial package of new benefits for members has been unveiled. A new membership pack has been produced which includes a personal membership identity card, pre-paid subscriptions to appropriate magazines, training information and course dates, training booking forms, a diary section, book list and contacts, plus a new, truly interactive web site which is updated daily. Birmingham-based Business Media Services Ltd (BMS) recently took over the role of administrative and membership operations of the PSA office. Bob Fox, the head of BSM, told PLASA Media: "It is our aim to ensure that members of the PSA get the maximum possible from their association with us. We have put together this new package to increase the benefits that membership brings."
Elissa Getto has joined Theatre Projects Consultants as senior theatre consultant in the Norwalk, Connecticut office. She will be a principal member of the team conducting performing arts feasibility studies and advising on a wide range of administration issues. Currently she is working on major studies for the Lincoln Centers in both New York and Dallas. Prior to joining TPC, Getto served as CEO and President of the Westport Country Playhouse, Connecticut and was also president of the Cincinnati Arts Association and an executive director of PACT Inc.
International Leisure Industry Week (LIW - 2-4 October 2001, NEC, Birmingham) has appointed Neil Felton as show director. Felton, previously manager for fitness, health and sport at LIW, is now responsible for overseeing the entire exhibition, as well as dealing with the show’s sponsorships and liaising closely with trade associations.
A new company has been formed that will continue to manufacture the Reflekta and Spektra brands, previously manufactured by Acoustic Sound Systems. Universal Audio will add its own range of cinema speakers, whilst also offering an OEM facility to other manufacturers. A brand new touring system is going through development at the moment and should be in production by mid-summer.
Stuart Fenwick has joined the audio facilities company Envo-Tech to head up its expanding leisure division. Envo-Tech’s MD Brian Puckey commented on the appointment: "With our business in the leisure sector growing and the opening of our new dedicated professional audio showrooms based in London, it became obvious that we needed someone with Stuart’s industry experience". Fenwick, formerly with Martin Professional, joins Envo-Tech after a spell with G-E-T.com.