Audio News

Rockingham Oval Keeps a VIGILRockingham Oval Keeps a VIGIL
Wednesday, 8 August 2001

A Baldwin Boxall VIGIL voice alarm system has been installed into the first purpose-built racetrack in Britain for over 50 years. Following the phenomenon of Champ Car in the USA, the Rockingham Oval was designed and built so British crowds can flock to see these powerful cars race around a banked track at speeds of up to 240mph. This all-seater circuit required a state of the art voice alarm (VA) system, and ARB Audio & Visual Hire installed Baldwin Boxall’s VIGIL VA equipment. The system, installed prior to the official opening for the FedEx Championship’s visit to the circuit for the Rockingham 500, comprises two 43U racks, housing over 3.5kW of amplification and is controlled by Baldwin Boxall’s market-leading BVR20 ‘Microdrive’. The VIGIL equipment provides VA and Public Address facilities to eight zones, including the Pit area, VIP Boxes, all seating, concourses and fencing seating on the turns.

Following this installation, Rockingham decided to expand the seating so two further zones comprising BV333 amplifiers were added to the system to provide this extra zoning. The equipment is fully BS5839 pt8 / EN60849 compliant due to the whole system being monitored, battery-backed (24 hours in quiescent state then 30 minutes on full power) and has automatic change over of amplifiers. Unlike many Baldwin Boxall VA systems, this project does not require any emergency messages. Qualified personnel carry out all emergency announcements via the BFM08 Emergency Fire Microphone. It is also possible for the commentators or the pit area to make announ

Guidance Notes for PLASA MembersGuidance Notes for PLASA Members
Wednesday, 8 August 2001

The PLASA Standards Office has prepared a series of Guidance Notes for PLASA Members. Each provides useful information on current topics of interest and will be updated on an ongoing basis in line with developments. Further documents are planned in response to the needs of PLASA members. The following guidance documents are currently available. These documents are in PDF (Portable Document Format) and may be read with Adobe Acrobat Reader (version 3 or later) which is available free from

Guide to Australian EMC Framework: contains advice on the EMC and C-Tick labelling requirements for equipment destined for the Australian market.

Basic Guide to the FCC Rules: contains advice on application of the USA Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules on EMC for entertainment equipment.

Standards for Dimmers: contains advice on the applicable safety and EMC standards for professional dimming equipment in Europe. Now revised - version 2.

EN 61000-3-2: details the current status and activity on EN 61000-3-2, the EMC standard for harmonic current limits. Now revised - version 2.

Electrical Safety for the USA Market: contains advice on the electrical safety requirements for the USA market.

CE Marking for Trade Shows: contains advice on the CE Marking requirements for equipment displayed at trade fairs and exhibitions in Europe, including the PLASA Show.

The C.D.M. Regulations - A Summary of the Regulations for PLASA Members: contains advice on the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations. Now rev

10W Ceiling Speakers from Next Two
Wednesday, 8 August 2001

Next Two, the leading provider of loudspeakers for background music, public address and voice alarm systems has launched two new ceiling speakers, the MC 4FT and MC 6 Coaxial. This new range of loudspeakers complements the existing Next Two MC-5 and MC-6 range and share the same heritage of acoustic engineering for high quality music production, aesthetic appeal and user friendly fixing mechanism. The new loudspeakers represent a high quality and cost effective solution for personal address, voice evacuation and background music systems. The Next Two Range of loudspeakers including the new MC-4 FT and MC-6 Coaxial will be on display at PLASA, 9-12 September 2001, Earl’s Court, London, UK, Stand S26.

Lighthouse Stages Nikken World ConventionLighthouse Stages Nikken World Convention
Wednesday, 8 August 2001

Lighthouse Visual Communications were responsible for staging the 5th Nikken Annual European and World Convention in Dusseldorf, Germany for an audience of 5,000 delegates from 25 countries, with translation required for 17 languages. Nikken is an industry leader in network marketing and offer their clients a range of innovative products many of which are based on the latest in magnetic technology. Lighthouse have been involved with this client for over five years and 2001 represented the biggest challenge to date for the team.

The venue chosen was the Messe Congress Halls in Dusseldorf where six halls were booked to cover the main events, the Gala dinner and an exhibition centre. Hall 9 was the main convention site and covered 11,000sq.m. The set was 65m wide and contained two 20ft x 15ft screens. The principal feature of the conference was to reward delegates for sales throughout the year and this entailed up to 500 people on stage at one time. Day two of the conference featured two performances by international group Barrage, and culminated with the award for Distributor of the Year. Day Three was dedicated to the World event and the featured 40 members of the Dusseldorf Symphony Orchestra and a chorus of 10 singers. The total crew tally was 60 headed up by technical director Andy Peat, event producer Steve Penticost of Lighthouse, head of lighting Pete Edwards, head of sound Derrick Zieba, head of vision Paul Volker and stage manager Stephen Richter.

Lighting was supplied by Essential with rigging holding over 300 lamps, including one of their first uses of MAC 2000

Meyer Installed at Radlett Centre
Wednesday, 8 August 2001

Marquee Audio has fitted a Meyer UPA-1P powered reinforcement system into a multi-purpose theatre in Radlett, Hertfordshire. Owned by Aldenham Parish Council, the five-year-old Radlett Centre is administered under a trust. The venue’s technical manager, Dave Glover, says that while the old PA system had been adequate for playback it simply wasn’t up to reinforcing the vast range of shows and events that the Centre stages, in a variety of configurations. A spec had been drawn up by previous manager, Miles Marchment, in the event of funding for a new PA becoming available. But in the end it was a private donation of £10,000 that provided the green light for the system. Dave Glover tested a powered Meyer system against another leading brand, and when the Meyer rig won the shoot out Marquee Audio were the preferred supplier and installer. "It was the fact that the UPA-1P was an all-powered system that I liked," Dave continued. "With our lack of space it seemed a lot easier, and it sounded good straight out of the box."

The system is mounted left and right on the on the proscenium wall, with a pair of UMS-1P subs ground stacked on either side of the stage. These are removed for lecture presentations and reinstated for shows. Marquee also provided two additional UPM-1P three-way powered speakers as fills, giving them the option of a satellite system, and a further three UPMs, flown off an existing lighting bar on drop arms, to provide the delay sound."The installation was very straightforward, and was carried out in a single day" says

Federal Signal Appoints Dutch Distributor
Tuesday, 7 August 2001

Federal Signal has moved to strengthen its position as one of Europe's leading suppliers of public address/voice alarm (PA/VA) systems with the appointment of a new distributor for The Netherlands. Prof Sound Systems, based in Veldhoven, replaces Federal Signal's previous distributor and will provide a regional marketing and sales base for the company's range of commercial products, including Ultima and Talisman PA amplifiers. It is anticipated that Prof Sound Systems will eventually handle the distribution of Federal Signal's system products, notably the new JustiFire single-channel, four-zone PA-VA system.

New Appointments as Philips CSI RestructuresNew Appointments as Philips CSI Restructures
Tuesday, 7 August 2001

The continuing expansion of Philips CSI’s range of communications products has resulted in a major restructuring and strengthening of the UK sales team with two new appointments in a move which focuses all communications sales activity into a single new Communications group responsible for the company’s fast growing range of Sound and Public Address, Paging, Intercom and Congress equipment.

Alfred van Wyk has been appointed national sales manager and Paul Ward is now southern regional sales manager. van Wyk takes overall responsibility for all UK sales of PA, intercom, paging and congress systems. He was previously sales manager for Philips PA and Congress products for the North and already has extensive experience with Philips products and markets. He will also continue to focus his personal efforts in the North whilst managing the overall sales activity based in Sunbury. Ward joins Philips from Direct Communications, a well-established PA/VA installer and system designer. He will focus on supporting dealers in the south as well as consultants and specifiers especially for public address and voice alarms - both areas where Philips is currently introducing major new products. He brings with him a broad experience of the communications market place at specifier, end user and installer level and has a good knowledge of the market.

Commenting on the new appointments, Philips CSI’s UK general manager Kevin Diss told PLASA Media: "We are very pleased that our newly formed Communications sales team is being headed by two experienced managers such as Alf

Midas Heritage Theatre Control Software at PLASA
Tuesday, 7 August 2001

PLASA 2001 sees yet another important launch for Midas, this time in the form of theatre control software for the Heritage range of consoles. The first console to benefit is the compact, theatre-friendly Heritage 1000, and a large portion of the Midas stand will be dedicated to the demonstration of the new software. Introduced in two phases, the PLASA launch represents the first step in dynamic control for Heritage consoles from a PC, enabling the user to make global on-line changes to scene set-ups from a PC. A last-minute change which previously could have caused chaos, can now be made on the PC in seconds and simply cut-and-pasted into all the scenes as required, rather than having to adjust each scene on the console manually. It also enables engineers to get a head-start on rehearsals by being able to start their programming off-line at home, instead of the bulk of the work beginning with rehearsals.

Indeed, this is the first step of the software development, and the one that will be demonstrated at PLASA - the ability to edit off-line. The second phase, which is due for release in the New Year, is the development of dynamic control in the way that already exists for Klark Teknik products such as the DN9848. The Heritage theatre control software runs under the same Stardraw shell as all PC-controlled products from the Klark Teknik Group, hence taking the user one step closer to just one piece of software for overall system control.

Klark Teknik can be found on Stand B10.

Virtual Tour Now Online
Tuesday, 7 August 2001

For those visitors new to PLASA or simply keen to remind themselves how impressive last year’s event was, the Show website now features a virtual tour of last year’s PLASA Show. The tour takes in various elements of the exhibition with views from both the lower and top decks. By clicking on any of the green circles featured, visitors can look at the show floor in 3D and also explore other facilities at Earls Court 1.

beyerdynamic’s Audio Line Up
Tuesday, 7 August 2001

The focus for beyerdynamic at this year’s PLASA Show will be on conference products and sound contracting audio systems, as well as the wide range of products that the company has exclusive UK distribution agreements for. Currently representing seven major US and European manufacturers, beyerdynamic offers an integrated range of premium products for the theatre, sound contracting, sound reinforcement, recording & post studios and the broadcast industries.

The range of new and existing products on display includes wireless and cabled conference and voting systems, simultaneous translation systems from beyerdynamic, including the MCS 1038 Chairman's conference station (pictured). Also featured on stand will be the Audia Digital Audio Platform, Cobranet audio network solutions, automatic microphone mixers, teleconferencing products and echo cancellers from Biamp; active and passive speaker systems, radio microphones and In-ear monitoring systems from dB Technologies; Active monitor, 5.1 and 7.1 speaker systems from Klein+Hummel; signal processing and microphone distribution systems from XTA and acoustic measurement and analysis devices from AudioControlIndustrial.

Beyerdynamic can be found on Stand H42.

Digital Talkback is Launched
Tuesday, 7 August 2001

A new company - Digital Talkback - has been formed to manufacture a new range of wireless communication products. The company has been set up by Mike Weaver of Mike Weaver Communications, and already has Andy Lillywhite (also of Mike Weaver Communications) and Richard Barman - formerly a director of Autograph Sales - onboard. Lillywhite and Barman are undertaking technical and marketing/sales roles respectively.

The first product launched by Digital talkback is the DTB-2001 wireless beltpack system which has been developed over the last 12 months by radio communications specialist Weaver. The product debuts at IBC (in September - and will be previewed the preceding week at PLASA in Earls Court on the Autograph Sales stand (B4). The DTB-2001 beltpack/base station system is based on DECT technology and is licence exempt in the UK, as well as the rest of the EU and many other territories. The system avoids competing with the already clogged radio frequency networks, and over 100 users can use the system in a single location, with no frequency management or time-consuming and complex set-up necessary.

Digital audio transmission also enables all packs to be full duplex, and ensures that audio quality is always crystal clear. Each beltpack has its own dedicated base station, and each base station can be integrated with either 4-wire systems, standard two-wire ‘party line’ intercom systems or even both at the same time.

Digital Talkback can be contacted at Unit 6, Fullwood Close, Coventry, CV2 2SS, UK. Tel: +44 (0)2476 617743.

Brit Row Makes Major Minidrive Order
Tuesday, 7 August 2001

As a key part of their re-equipment programme, major PA production company Britannia Row is switching exclusively to DSP by making a further heavy investment in the new BSS Minidrive. The initial 36 two-input/four-output FDS-334s will run the company’s new floor monitors, powered by C Audio Pulse switched-mode amplifiers. Brit Row’s equipment manager, Jerry Wing, confirmed that the first eight-unit system is already in use with Depeche Mode on their US arena tour and has been performing flawlessly. "I believe that we are the first rental company to make this level of commitment in digital stage monitoring equipment," stated Wing. "We aim to lead the way not only in audience but also in stage coverage. To that end we have developed new wedges, drumfills and amplification packages over the past year with advice from our client engineers - and the Minidrives are the final, vital, part of our update. Minidrive provides the functionality required by many applications, but by not including all the high-end functions of the Omndrive, is made more affordable to a wider section of the market.

Available in two models - the FDS-334 and FDS-336 - the former’s two-input/four-output configuration is purpose-designed for the monitor rack. Crossover filters are completely user-adjustable, with selectable filter topologies of Bessel, Butterworth and Linkwitz-Riley. Minidrive has the usual DSP crossover additional facilities such as delay on inputs and outputs, assignable equalisers (up to 60 bands), and mid-filter limiters. Input and output level meters ar

MiPro to Launch ACT 707
Monday, 6 August 2001

At PLASA 2001, Mipro is launching the ACT 707 wireless microphone system aimed at theatres, houses of worship, touring and A/V rental applications. Featuring revolutionary new colour LCD display panel and ACT (automatic channel targeting) operating frequency selection, this is a standard 1U, 19" EIA design metal case. Each 1U main frame is capable of housing up to four separate, quick hot-swap diversity receiver modules and built-in mixer, antenna divider and detachable universal switching power supply. 16 base main frames with a total of 64 wireless channels can be interfaced with only one Mipro DV with remote control up to 1000 metres. Each receiver module is preset with 100 user select frequencies and access to 960 computer select frequencies in each 24MHz band.

Barn Studio
Monday, 6 August 2001

Lynx Digital has completely refurbished a derelict 16th century barn and other farm buildings in Denham Village and converted them into a unique sound recording and comprehensive editing facility. The easily accessed complex in the West of London combines rustic character with 21st century technology to create the perfect creative environment.

The facilities comprise 12 separate, fully-equipped on and off-line sound and video editing suites, an orchestral sound recording studio, comprehensive DVD authoring and mastering facilities, plus impressive graphics and web design departments. Barn Studio also boasts a fully licensed exclusive Bistro, as well as meeting and private viewing facilities. The facilities are equipped with the latest technology including Symphony Smoke & Flame, digital editing for complex multi-layering, two Avids, two AMS Neve Logic suites, plus a host of other hardware and software packages. Because the complex has been custom designed and built, all suites are completely interlinked with full 'plug-and-play' cabling.

TiMax ImageMaker in UseTiMax ImageMaker in Use
Monday, 6 August 2001

Out Board Electronics’ new TiMax ImageMaker 16, the audio localisation and virtual surround matrix, has been used on recent high profile corporate event shows with two leading audio design/production companies.

Dimension Audio’s Mark Boden used the system’s multi-dimensional effects capability for the first time during a walk-in for 200 BT delegates at the Sofitel in Paris. The event, called BT Ignite, was staged by production company Catalysm, and the TiMax showcontrol PlayList was used to trigger two CD players, running for half an hour on a continuous loop. While the main audio track came from the screen, the TiMax ‘image definitions’ created an array of voice sound effects which appeared to be emanating from different areas of the room.

"We used TiMax again to create a surround sound effect during various points of the video," said Boden, adding that the level/delay matrix was so successful that it would now form an intrinsic part of the sound at the repeat event, which will be held at London’s Metropole Hotel. Boden was joined by James Eade on engineering duties, and in addition to TiMax Dimension Audio featured Trantec’s S5000 UHF wireless system (10 lavaliers and two handhelds) and a d&b sound system, mixed through a DDA CS8.

Meanwhile, Delta Sound Inc was asked by Jack Morton Worldwide to provide the audio at the National Agricultural Centre for the dealership launch of the new Vauxhall Vivaro van. A specially-commissioned music and effects score and video were provided and a TiMax ImageMaker 16 was used to e

Sony’s Show of Strength
Monday, 6 August 2001

Sony Professional Audio is showing several products for the very first time at PLASA, not only in Europe but worldwide.

Brand new products intended for professional AV installation applications include two multi-media matrix switcher/control units offering high quality video and surround-sound audio processing. The SRP-X700P, being unveiled in prototype form, is a Digital AV switcher/mixer that combines a 5.1 channel surround sound digital audio mixer with digital EQ and active feedback rejection control, power amplification (stereo), dual channel wireless receiver rack (optional WRU-806B), and RGB/video switcher - all in a single integrated, 3U high, rackmount unit. Designed to integrate with the most up to date presentation systems, the SRP-X700P can process and switch multi-media sources, including presenter microphones and programme material from audio, video, DVD and PC sources.

The PVS-R102 Multi-Media matrix switcher is a simple to operate, compact and integrated 10 into 2 AV matrix switcher, providing for the management and control of multi-media programme sources. The unit enables switching and format conversion across a wide range of graphics and video standards. It is equipped with both stereo and 5.1 surround sound audio I/Os. Both parallel and serial (RS-232) control ports are included, while an additional serial port enables the control of several Sony video projectors and PDP models, with ‘one-touch’ source switching.

Sony is also showing a new improved range of its radio microphone systems designed for AV, conferencing, small to medium sca

Studiomaster Go Into Receivership
Sunday, 5 August 2001

L&SI has received official notification that Studiomaster is in administrative receivership. The Milton Keynes-based company, which was officially registered as Studiomaster Diamond, had recently been experiencing problems with the chain of supplies from its Indian manufacturing plant and had been forced to contact customers advising them that the dispute had left them with no option but to put the company into administrative receivership.

Studiomaster was well known in the industry as a designer and manufacturer of professional audio equipment, a role it had been performing for over two decades, although the current company wasn’t incorporated until 1991.

Its first ever products were power amplifiers followed quickly by mixing consoles for live sound. Around this time the first affordable multitrack machines appeared and Studiomaster designed a studio quality desk to meet the needs of amateur recording enthusiasts. In the years since it has pioneered console development, from the Series II, the first mixing console to incorporate MIDI automation, through to the first professional standard compact console, the 6-2-1.

It’s not clear what will happen next - calls to the company are continually met by an engaged signal. However, in January this year, the company set up a new company simply called Studiomaster and we understand that it may well resupply products under the Studiomaster brand name sourced from an alternative manufacturer.

Baker Tilly has been appointed administrative receiver - at this stage they are unable to give any information regarding th

Lumière de Bourges
Saturday, 4 August 2001

The Augustin Cloisters are one of the highlights of Les Nuits Lumière de Bourges - a season of lighting and sound shows run in the historic French town of Bourges during the summer months.

It’s a multi-site Son et Lumière show - the audience sees the 90-minute spectacular on foot and stroll about 2km during the show, being guided by a blue line of light. At each of six main buildings or sites, they see and hear a show with dramatic lighting and projected images. The show was designed by Philippe Noir and Christine de Vichet. Lighting design by Pierre Boudeau and Vladimir Lyszczynski, sound by Daniel Deshays and images by Serge Fouillet. The main technical contractor for the event was AEB, with Cyclope providing the large format filmstrip projectors. Electrosonic France was responsible for overall show control and slide projection.

TOA Intelligent VM-2000 Amplifiers
Friday, 3 August 2001

TOA’s VM-2000 Series amplifiers are designed to allow for expansion as requirements increase. For example, if the standard five loudspeaker zones are not enough, the unit can be linked to another unit for servicing an additional five zones and doubling the power output. Optional accessories and related equipment are available to meet specific requirements and enhance a unit's operational scope. The VM-2000 Series conforms to most international emergency sound system standards and requirements such as IEC60849.

The VM-2000 Series also offers intelligent self-diagnosis capability. When a VM-2000 Series unit is fitted with the optional SV-200M Surveillance Board, the unit gains the ability to conduct automatic system-wide checks for open or shorted speaker lines and ground leakage as well as other malfunctions, simplifying maintenance and other routine system tasks as well as instantly alerting operators when a fault occurs. And of course, the VM-2000 Series is ready for failsafe operation with backup 24V battery power to ensure uninterrupted operation.

The Soundcraft Dozen
Friday, 3 August 2001

From one of the widest ranges of sound reinforcement mixers in the industry, Soundcraft will be showing no less than 12 models, starting with the top-of-the-range touring consoles, the Series Five and SM20 monitor desk. With smaller footprints, but equally high specifications, the VCA-equipped Series Four and Series Two are equally at home on tour or in fixed installations. Soundcraft’s digital programme is represented by the 324 Live, and there is an impressive array of high-quality compact consoles, including the new M Series. For PLASA visitors feeling the heat, the stand also features the Soundcraft Juice Bar, serving non-alcoholic cocktails . . . or should that be mixers?

Soundcraft can be found on stand G22

Allen & Heath Launch New Consoles
Friday, 3 August 2001

Allen & Heath will be introducing several new products on stand H30, including significant developments for the live sound, DJ and installation markets. Visitors will be able to get their hands on the new ML3000, a 15-buss live sound VCA console designed to make high quality VCA automation affordable for mid-range PA / AV rental and installation work. Allen & Heath will also be displaying Xone:02, its first dedicated DJ performance mixer. This console is the result of the company’s quest to marry broadcast quality audio and construction with the creative performance features and layout demanded by the serious turntablist. The company will also be inviting feedback on some important new software and hardware advances in the pipeline for its digital installation range.

New Speakers from Celestion at PLASANew Speakers from Celestion at PLASA
Friday, 3 August 2001

Celestion will be exhibiting a comprehensive selection of loudspeakers. Ranging from the high power CXi Series to the compact KR series for background sound, Celestion has a product to suit every venue. New products on display include the white Celestion CXi 521, ideal for modern architectural spaces, and the new CXi 822 horn loaded mid-hi loudspeaker. Also on display will be a selection from Celestion’s comprehensive component range, including a revolutionary new high power neodymium PA drive unit.

Celestion can be found on stand G34.

Music Factory Celebrates 15 Years
Thursday, 2 August 2001

Music Factory Mastermix is celebrating 15 years of success at PLASA this year. Alongside its vast array of original artist mixes, boxed sets and DJ-friendly compilations, the company is also showing an additional range of hardware, merchandise and the revolutionary introduction of the CD+Graphics player. The launch of the Karaoke CD+Graphics player, say Music Factory Mastermix, is a major step in the DJ industry, meaning that DJ's can provide a Karaoke night without having to spend extra pounds on expensive hardware. With an increasing range of CD+Graphic DJ-friendly collections put together by the company’s Mastermix producers such as Party Animal Karaoke and Ultimate Karaoke, Music Factory Mastermix can provide for all Karaoke needs. To celebrate 15 successful years in the industry, Music Factory Mastermix has formed a selection of the very best mixes from the company’s inception in 1986 to the present day, featuring a variety of musical genres.

Music Factory Mastermix can be found on stand J42.

Sennheiser Promotes Alexander
Wednesday, 1 August 2001

Sennheiser Electronics Corporation (SEC) has promoted Jeff Alexander to director of distributed brands. In the newly created position, Alexander adds Neumann and True Systems to the Sennheiser brands he is already managing: DAS, Chevin, and Innova-Son. By picking up the former two brands, Alexander fills a void left by the recent promotion of Karl Winkler, who is now director of marketing communications.

Alexander began his career at SEC nearly 10 years ago as the product manager for Neumann. After five years in this position, he left the company to work as the touring sound sales manager and marketing manager for Crest Audio in New Jersey. Upon his return to Sennheiser, Alexander focused on DAS, Chevin, and Innova-Son, in an effort to pioneer these lines into the US. He now has the responsibility of developing a complete organizational structure that plays to the strengths of Sennheiser's personnel in particular and industry positioning in general. During the course of the structuring, he will fill several positions from a pool of candidates both inside and outside the company.


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