Audio News

TOA Calls the Tuna
Monday, 14 May 2001

Hull-based public address specialists, Galloway Electronics, proved the power of an effective website this month when they completed a contract for Indian Ocean Tuna - a subsidiary of Heinz - in the Seychelles. "I turned on the computer one morning and there was the enquiry posted on our website," confesses finance director Brian Galloway. "We had just started to export, and a job right in the middle of the Indian Ocean couldn’t have provided us with a better start." The family-owned business has been operating for 20 years, and for much of that time the company has been dealing with TOA Electronics, and fitting their public address, voice evacuation and CCTV systems as approved installers. Thus when the canning factory stated that they needed a factory-wide public address system, Galloway didn't have to look further than the TOA catalogue.

Indian Ocean Tuna faxed through drawings and Galloway Electronics put together a design based around a TOA drive rack, for final installation by local contractors. The six-zone system - some featuring music, some voice only - will provide total coverage into all the food preparation, store room, staff room and administration blocks, the TOA direct horn speakers powered from a single TOA V Series amp rack situated in the administration block. The paging includes a 10-zone individual mic system, with an all-call and music restoration facility throughout.

LT Series from Crest
Monday, 14 May 2001

Crest Audio’s new LT Series amplifiers, introduced into the UK by exclusive distributor, Sound Department, has been designed from the ground up, for use in fixed installations, club and mobile DJ work, AV rentals and MI/pro audio. The LT Series features Crest’s next generation Linear Power Supply combined with a Class D amplifier to deliver high output in an extremely compact package. The linear-toroid transformers are not as large or as heavy as traditional linear supplies since they are coupled with a new Class D output stage which is 93% efficient. The LT Series performs consistently during the most demanding situations, delivering immense power without sonic compromise. All LT Series amplifiers have a frequency response of 10 Hz-20 kHz with THD less than 0.05% at rated power. The full line up includes: LT1000 (500 w/ch @ 4 ohms); LT1500 (750 w/ch @ 4 ohms); LT2000 (1000 w/ch @ 4 ohms).

Adam Hall to Distribute Racklight in EuropeAdam Hall to Distribute Racklight in Europe
Monday, 14 May 2001

The Adam Hall group has announced its agreement with California-based RPM Optoelectronics to distribute RPM’s innovative new Racklight throughout Europe. Racklight represents a new dimension in glare-free directional focused lighting for rack cabinets. Technical advances incorporated in the ‘Racklight’ provide visually uniform, brilliant illumination unavailable in other products. The unique design of the UV-resistant acrylic light guide provides heat-free, concentrated light with no hot bulbs to handle or change, and is guaranteed for five years. Racklight illuminates one metre of rack space with cool, even light. Built with high quality materials around dependable solid state lighting, ‘Racklight’ is a safe and durable addition to any rack equipment, and is available in a variety of light source colours.

Celestion’s Permanent Mooring in Denmark
Friday, 11 May 2001

A Celestion CX system has been specified for one of Copenhagen’s most popular venues for private functions, the ‘Sealand’, an old ferry permanently moored in the heart of the city. This large vessel, capable of seating 700-800 people for dinner, is in demand for all kinds of private rentals, parties, concerts and fashion shows. Its proprietor Skanlines is jointly owned by the Danish and German governments. Musiktronic, the Copenhagen-based audio supplier, has recently kitted out the huge interior space of the ship with a new front-of-house PAsystem, featuring proprietary Musiktronic cabinets (all using Celestion drivers), and four delay channels, each using a pair of Celestion CX1220s. The system is controlled by a Yamaha 01V mixing console. The Sealand system has an unusual feature; the levels of both the front-of-house and the delay positions can be controlled from anywhere in the room, using wireless remote control.


Thompson Leaves
Friday, 11 May 2001

Frances Thompson has announced that she is leaving the US-based production industry web venture, Launched last year, offers ‘e-business for show business’ with production resources including online inventory tracking and project management, product and manufacturer listings and crew resources. Thompson, who previously worked for US truss manufacturer Tomcat, was responsible for marketing at She told PLASA Media that was in the process of downsizing in order to concentrate heavily on product development. The company’s Kansas City staff will now handle marketing as well as continuing to provide the level of service already established.

Navigator Hamper
Friday, 11 May 2001

Navigator Systems recently presented Pascale Lecomte of Britannia Row with a Harrods food hamper for taking part in a research and development project linked to the company’s Hire Track Eclipse rental management software. Britannia Row, which has been using Eclipse since 1999, was chosen at random from a number of companies who participated. Navigator will use the results from the findings to further develop the software.

Federal Signal’s PA/VA Roadshow
Friday, 11 May 2001

Federal Signal, the leading supplier of public address and voice alarm (PA/VA) systems, is hosting a new summer roadshow to highlight the significance of British Standards for PA/VA systems. The initiative is aimed at consultants and specifiers from across the PA/VA and fire protection industry who need to know more about the issue of operating standards and why it is important to use systems with BS5839 compliance.

The guest speaker will be Doug Edworthy, formerly of Millbank Electronics and a leading expert in systems engineering, marketing and quality management. He has been running his own consultancy since 1994. Jason Hatswell, commerial sales manager at Federal Signal, said: "The road show will explain why British Standards are so important to those responsible for product specification, design and installation. We will also show Federal Signal’s equipment and explain how it complies with the standards."

The dates for the road show are as follows: 14 June, Federal Signal House, Macclesfield; 21 June, Birmingham Metropole Hotel; 26 June, London Swallow Hotel; 5 July, Newcastle Malmaison Hotel. For more information, telephone +44 (0)1625 666600.

Supersonic Class
Thursday, 10 May 2001

The established relationship with British Airways, enjoyed by both the TOA Corporation and Unitek Displays, reached a pinnacle last month when the new Concorde Lounge opened at Heathrow’s Terminal 4.

Designed by Sir Terence Conran, in preparation for a resumption of supersonic services later this spring, the airline’s ambition is clear to see. In addition to employing top designers - including FutureBrand for the simultaneous development of their new First Class Lounge - they also invited spa specialists Molton Brown to create a shower room, steam room and massage area.

In the Molton Brown spa, a discrete TOA PC-5WL speaker can be found in each shower cubicle as well as the massage room, with local volume control independent of the overall level setting. The area is also serviced by a single TOA HB1 sub-bass unit.

However, the scheme in the new Executive Lounges has not been realised without some acoustic compromises. Since the architect requirement was for a completely flat ceiling, the 25 soft-dome, process-controlled TOA PC-121Cs have been utilised without their suspended spheres, designed to allow wide-dispersion soundwaves to be distributed coherently, and panned via TOA’s bespoke Sound Space Design spatializer. Although the sphere has been removed to facilitate total recess-mounting, using TOA’s AC-120 to provide dedicated system control, there is little evidence of cancellation or dead spots. This circular ceiling speaker is run in combination with TOA F-101 full-range speakers, which, like the 121s, house a 4" driver.

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DAS Audio Expands Reference Series
Thursday, 10 May 2001

Valencia-based loudspeaker manufacturer DAS Audio has added to its Reference Series of fixed installation SR cabinets with the R-214. A two-way, vented, full-range cabinet, rated at over 1000W, the R-214 is ideally suited to live music production, club sound, or general purpose speech and programme reproduction. Equipped with two high-efficiency 15" speakers with 3" voice coils; an efficient cooling system provides high power handling and low power compression. The HF unit comprises a 1" exit compression driver with 2" titanium diaphragm, coupled to a constant directivity horn. The passive filter network incorporates a non-intrusive Active Safety Circuit (ASC) that limits overloading and protects the drivers.

Programme power handling is rated at 1400W, with a peak power capability of 2800W and RMS rating of 700W. The cabinet’s high-efficiency design is reflected in the 102dB sensitivity rating (at 1m) and a rated peak SPL at full power of 136dB. DAS Audio is distributed in the UK by Sennheiser UK.

EAW System for Dodgers Stadium
Thursday, 10 May 2001

The LA Dodgers are enjoying a new sound system for the 2001 season, which opened with 53,154 Dodger fans witnessing a 1 - 0 win over Milwaukee Brewers. The new sound system enhanced the event from the first note of Barry Manilow’s national anthem to the last call by public address announcer Mike Carlucci. Acoustic Dimensions, project led by Steve Shull, spent the end of the 2000 season going through fan surveys and conducting interviews with team members and management to research the challenges of the original system, then fast-tracked the solution during the off-season. The new design includes replacement of the old central cluster with an EAW KF900-based system. New Meyer MSL 4s make up the left and right field effects clusters, which allow ping-pong and panning of sound effects or organ music across the stadium. Additional loudspeakers provide coverage to the outfield bleacher seating, and delay speakers cover certain areas that are shadowed by the cluster.

The audio contractor was Pro Sound of Las Vegas with project manager Larry Spurgeon and project engineer Scott Marcellus coordinating. Shull, Spurgeon and Marcellus have a history of working together which made for smooth planning and execution between consultant and contractor. "This project involved some very complex engineering and processing. It was a real pleasure to work with guys that have been to the rodeo," Shull said. The new system is unbelievably clear with incredible low frequency energy. "The system exceeded even our expectations for reproducing low-end frequencies as well as bein

New Engine for Harrison LPC
Wednesday, 9 May 2001

The award-winning LPC (Live Performance Console) is now available with Harrison’s advanced 40-bit digital processing engine. The LPC-digital has a compact, ergonomically designed control surface with 40 multi-layered, motorized channel faders and 16 motorized remote faders. Unique to the Harrison LPC, all rotary controls are automated via motorized pots - an industry first. The Harrison IKIS software provides complete storage and recall capability for up to 10,000 ‘scene stores’ so that only one console is required for multiple performing acts. The remote audio processing rack results in significant space savings. Multiple control surfaces can work with one Harrison digital engine, which is capable of up to 176 busses in varying configurations, coupled with a large-capacity digital router. I/O is available in individual rack or bulk rack-mounted packages. The digital engine utilizes 40-bit processing, 24-bit I/O, remote control mic preamplifiers, remote AES and analogue I/O subsystems, and an optional fibre optic control link.

Harrison will be showing the all-digital LPC at the forthcoming AES exhibition in Amsterdam (12-15 May).

MassAV Debuts EAW KF760 in Boston
Wednesday, 9 May 2001

On May 3rd, Mass Audio Visual of Burlington, Massachusetts, unveiled the new EAW KF760 Line Array sound system. The first in the world to own this product, massAV entertained 125 industry guests at the renowned concert facility on Boston's Waterfront, The Fleet Boston Pavilion. Jason Geshelin, senior audio engineer for massAV, designed the new system for even coverage in the 5,000-seat tented-facility. The system comprised 12 KF 760 cabinets, four KF 761 downfill modules and eight SB 1000 bass units. 100,000 watts of power was provided from Crest 9001 and 8002 amplifiers, with processing from DBX 480 and 480R units. Front-of-house mixing duties were carroed out on a Crest GTX console, with a Ramsa 840 used for monitors.

The afternoon featured entertainment from the Berklee "Tower of Power" Ensemble and singer/songwriter Brian Alex. Brad Berger, FOH engineer for the ensemble commented: "The imaging and coverage was fantastic," he continued: "The coverage was smooth throughout the facility. I was really impressed by the quick drop-off and lack of sound coming off the back of the box. Working with massAV was a complete pleasure."

Jason Geshelin explained: "The Pavilion is an acoustically challenging facility to cover and mix in. The KF760 solved many problems inherent to the venue, including eliminating delay speakers."

Brian Alex, whose credits include Entrain & Missing Person's commented after performing: "This product is superior to anything out there. The clarity and throw is incredible."

Launch for Ground Zero
Wednesday, 9 May 2001

Three European entertainment industry veterans have announced the formation of Ground Zero BV, which they claim to be ‘the first system integrator and show control specialist company in Holland’. The founders of Ground Zero are Sierk Janszen, Rutger van Dijk and Reind Brackman, all well known figures in the worldwide entertainment industry. The company’s main working area will be North-Western Europe and Spain.

Sierk Janszen has worked as applications manager at Avenger Systems in Belgium for the last six years after he had worked as a sound-engineer for several theatre-companies in Holland. Rutger van Dijk has been the manager of Vari-Lite Production Services Amsterdam since it establishment, before which he worked as technical production manager on many musical productions, Cirque du Soleil Europe and Focus Showequipment. Finally, Reind Brackman is the owner and founder of Beo (the Dutch Compulite dealer) and Trekwerk, a company specializing in automatic flying systems and their controls.

Brähler Mic System for Patent Office
Tuesday, 8 May 2001

Cambridge-based Brähler ICS has provided a new microphone system for the courtrooms of the Patent Office in London, as part of a sound system overhaul. Two main areas had to be addressed: firstly, a modern microphone management system was required to make proceedings run more smoothly; secondly, it was vital that this system was integrated with an element that made it highly versatile. Both these needs were met by the supply and installation of Brähler’s Automic system and their Congress Data System Virtual Audio Network, CDS-VAN for short. The former provides the overall infrastructure. The latter endows it with great flexibility and eliminates much of the peripheral hardware normally associated with such projects. Installation also included replacing the existing PA system.

A carefully concealed and fixed cabling network was put into each courtroom for the microphones. And Brähler’s technology meant that cabling was minimal. However, a high degree of portability was conferred by the integrated CDS-VAN system which is software based. Therefore, moving from room to room along with the sound processing is no problem. (Simply loading whatever file is appropriate to a particular courtroom means that rapid set-up and take-down are possible. Very handy, not least because room layouts are frequently changed to suit different requirements.)

Yates's Leicester Square with Nexo & CrownYates's Leicester Square with Nexo & Crown
Friday, 4 May 2001

Yates's Wine Lodges flagship branch has just opened in London's Leicester Square on the site originally occupied by Capital Radio's Capital Café. Leicester Square represents a radical departure from the traditional Yates look and feel which, over time, will gradually be phased out in the other sites across the country in favour of the new design. The same goes for the audio requirements which have also changed dramatically since the original Yates's concept was rolled out. Audio specialists Perfect Acoustics were called in to manage the project.Perfect Acoustics' Anthony Leonard explained that above all the system had to be versatile in order to handle several different types of musical requirements ranging from quiet background music during the day to DJs and live bands at night. "That's why we went for a Crown-driven Nexo system," he said. "We knew it would be able to handle all of Yates's requirements with no compromise in sound quality."

The stage system comprises two Nexo PS-15s and two LS-1200 sub bass units driven by a couple of Crown MA-3600VZs which provides a completely plug-and-play set-up for visiting bands, whether they are working from mini-disc with live vocals or completely live (in which case they would need to bring in a mixing console). The rest of the bar area utilises the ultra-compact PS-8s ­ thirteen in total ­ and two of the dedicated LS-400 subs driven by five Crown CE 1000s. There is also a Crown IQ USM-810 DSP engine. The Nexo and Crown equipment was sourced from UK distributor Fuzion plc.

Bose Channel Sound for P&OBose Channel Sound for P&O
Friday, 4 May 2001

P&O Stena Line (P&OSL) have installed an integrated sound and entertainment system, incorporating Bose speakers, on board their ships on the route between Dover and Calais. The installation is part of a £10.5 million refurbishment of the P&OSL fleet; the sound system installed in all the Silverstone’s sports bars incorporates a Sound Leisure state-of-the-art video touch-screen juke box which links through to Thomson plasma screens and monitors, and Bose 32SE and 302A loudspeakers strategically positioned around the bars. All seven ships on the P&OSL Dover Calais route will be equipped with the new technology by the end of May. An additional feature on the P&OSL Provence is a back-projection videowall which is also integrated with the entertainment and sound system.

Rock ‘n Rolling with EST
Friday, 4 May 2001

Those masters of rock industry logistics, EST, are once more in the thick of the action over the summer season. Touring with a list of bands that reads like a roll-call of the top aristocracy of the rock music industry, the range of locations and number of vehicles involved is staggering. The tours are all major Arena and Stadium scale and are forecast to be the biggest gross-earning acts of the summer season. 16 of the familiar yellow and purple trucks will provide logistic support to Madonna’s European tour running from the 5 June until 12 July. A further eight trucks will provide transport for the Eagles, starting in Moscow on 29 May and finishing in Glasgow on 28 July. Another 16 EST trucks will accompany Bon Jovi’s European Tour which starts in Stockholm on 31 May with 16 more shows in locations as diverse as Huddersfield, Hamburg and Zurich before ending in Munich on 30 June.

On top of that, EST will also provide transport for Jethro Tull’s European Tour, centred mainly in Germany, plus trucking equipment to a major Conference of the World’s Ophthalmologists in Istanbul for Face to Face Productions. Last but not least, EST is providing transport for the Barcelona Motor Show in early May which will entail 35 trucking movements each way.

Orbital Adds PM1D to Hire Stock
Thursday, 3 May 2001

London-based Orbital Sound has now added Yamaha's PM1D mixing console into its extensive hire stock, making it available for tours, conferences and one-night events alike. Complementing their existing portfolio of high-spec equipment, the PM1D is available for hire following its recent ground-breaking debut at Sadlers Wells for the RSC production of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. As a theatre specialist, Orbital has worked closely with the Yamaha R&D teams both in the UK and Japan to initiate certain software developments to enhance the PM1D's performance as front-of-house workhorse, making it even faster to programme and providing greater control from its up-graded version 1.2 software.

As Mike Case, head of Yamaha Commercial Audio, explained: "We are delighted that Orbital are utilising the latest version of PM1D software for the system used in the production of FACE. Following the experience gained in the recent RSC's The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe many of the suggestions made by both sound designer, Scott Myers, and Orbital have been incorporated in this latest up-grade of software which includes parameter recall safe mode (allowing isolation of channel functions from scene automation). It is a credit to everybody involved, especially to the software engineers, that we have delivered exactly what our customer required, in a matter of months."

Sennheiser for Film Sound
Thursday, 3 May 2001

Television Film Services (TFS), the location audio equipment supply company, recently founded by film sound recordist Keith Silver, has chosen Sennheiser wireless microphone and in-ear monitoring systems to equip its inventory. Having already purchased a large number of SK 50 transmitter and EM 1046 modular receiver-based, 5000 Series systems, the company recently supplemented this with a further 16 channels of rackmount 3000 series systems, bringing the total number of channels to 45. The company further purchased six channels of Sennheiser evolution 300 Series wireless IEM. Founded just 10 months ago, TFS has already supplied equipment to BBC and Channel 4 productions, as well as to a growing number of corporate and feature film clients. Recent productions include The Human Body, Last of the Summer Wine'and The Gentleman Thief, along with a host of documentary titles.

Brähler Combines Technologies
Thursday, 3 May 2001

Brähler ICS AG of Germany, with UK offices in Cambridge and Edinburgh, has announced two new digital audio products. Both have been designed and developed by Brähler and both are designed as components for the company’s Congress Data System - Virtual Audio Network or CDS-VAN for short. The first is the B8, a new feature-rich AD/DA interface unit. The second is the smaller OE16 interface converter. With the B8, it is possible to connect up to eight analogue audio sources to the digital CDS-VAN system via rear-panel electronically-balanced inputs and outputs (XLR-plug, XLR-socket or jack-plug). The unit also has three optical ADAT connections (in, out, and thru), two MIDI connectors (in and out), a wordclock BNC and 2 RJ45 ADAT sockets to power digital language selectors.

Brähler claims that the new B8, designed also as a standalone device, brings much more flexibility and versatility to established systems. Furthermore, it can be combined with other products - or techniques such as hard-disk recording and digital signal distribution, etc. In addition, Brähler points out that when linked with a DSP card from the Brähler CDS-VAN range, the B8 can eliminate the need for all peripheral devices such as graphic or parametric equalisers, delays, gates, compressors, routers and limiters.

Brähler’s second new hardware unit is an interface converter, the OE16, which is equipped with two ADAT optical input/outputs. The externally-powered OE16 converts the audio on both the ADAT 8 channels into ADAT RJ45 interfaces. (The conversion works bi-directionally and drive

Switchcraft Announces New Distributors
Thursday, 3 May 2001

Switchcraft Inc, the US manufacturer of audio connectors, patch bays and cable assemblies, has strengthened its international distributor base by appointing Electronics & Cables and Technosound to distribute its products in Italy and Lebanon respectively. Stephen Waldron, Switchcraft's director of international sales, told us: "Both companies are well established in their respective markets and will provide our customers with high quality service and support."

The Corrs
Thursday, 3 May 2001

There’s an orange-haired clown from the USA who 30 years ago perfected a presentational strategy that’s seen his products grow to become a global monster. The recipe for success is to satisfy the appetite with something that’s unlikely to offend even the most delicate palette.

While the three girls and brother Jim can hardly be likened to a hamburger and fries, they do present an inoffensive brand of pop that while delightful, is unlikely to become a healthy diet if taken in excess. It was March ‘98 when I last saw the Corrs, in a sub-2,000-seat theatre on that occasion. Their early singles had begun what’s become the band’s long flirtation with the charts. Have three years been a long enough break? In short, yes. The band’s live performance is much improved in that there is now an edge to them, and, dare I say it, I prefer the songs performed live to their more anodyne recordings.

Lighting & Video
In the words of production manager Ian Caulder, "Willie Williams was brought in to liven things up." That’s no reflection on Liam McCarthy, the group’s original LD from the outset. He and Icon programmer Frank Shields have melded an excellent, well-punctuated light show. But it’s what must lurk in William’s imagination that delights and excites.

Modules of a Screenco LED screen are hung, checkerboard-fashion, behind a white scrim. All images presented upon it are abstracts, computer graphics, flames, the glittering surface of a swimming pool, etc. Why this is a stroke of genius on Williams

Dobson Sound for Farm Aid
Thursday, 3 May 2001

A glittering array of stars and a sell-out audience of 5,000 joined Prince Charles at the Daily Mail Farm Aid concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall earlier this month, which raised more than £350,000 for farmers affected by the Foot and Mouth crisis. The concert was the brainchild of classical music patron Jackie Rosenfeld OBE, who - with the help of experienced fund-raiser Maggie Heath and publicist Aurelia Stephenson - organised the evening in just four weeks. Dobson Sound was brought in by production team Unusual Services to design and operate the sound system for the gala event, which was based around the 96-piece London Philharmonic Orchestra accompanying virtuoso performances from the Royal Ballet, opera singer Kim Cresswell, humorous singer Dillie Keane, and comedy duo Kit and the Widow. The evening was hosted by Angela Rippon and Robert Powell and featured contributions from Selina Scott and Frederick Forsyth among others. Paul Dobson from Dobson Sound commented: "I was very pleased to be working with the Unusual team again. The combination of Alan Jacobi producing, Dougie Squires directing, and John del Nero looking after sound with us is a tried and tested formula, especially in the Royal Albert Hall. Even though we only had three weeks to put everything together, it went pretty smoothly."

The system put together by Dobsons and freelance designer and engineer Ali Viles comprised a central cluster of d&b C4 cabinets with C7 underhangs. More C7s were flown for choir stall infills while a number of E3s across the front of the stage acted as stagefi

Marine Hall Opts For ML5000
Wednesday, 2 May 2001

The Marine Hall in Fleetwood has chosen an Allen & Heath ML5000 as part of a sound system re-fit at the theatre, with a brief for no compromise on quality. Tony Mitchell, sound engineer at the hall, explains: "We needed a really advanced feature set and were gobsmacked to find it all on the ML5000 at such a competitive price - and with a great EQ, as well."

The dual function FOH/monitor mixer is ideal for the varied demands of the Marine Hall, with its 16 auxes, 8 audio groups and 8 VCA groups. The console's extended VCA capability includes 128 mute/VCA snapshot memories and intelligent P/AFL switching. Equally crucial to the decision was the full three-speaker balance provided through the LCRPlus panning system, ideal for providing even coverage throughout the auditorium and compensating for the effects of the central dome.

Andy Huffer of Marquee Audio, the company that supplied the mixer, said: "I think it was the abundance of features that sold it. Marine snapped it up after a single demonstration." Since Marine Hall acquired the console, the ML5000 has faced a broad range of challenges, including a folk festival, rock gigs and musical theatre productions, all of which it handled with ease. Tony describes working with the mixer: "We can do anything we want on it. It's a really musical desk."


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