Audio News

Toxic8, Cambridge
Thursday, 9 November 2000

A major sound, lighting and video installation has just been completed at the new Toxic8 club in Cambridge. With interior design by Steve Howie of Howie Designs, the club’s visual inspiration drew on the imagery of Fritz Lang’s 1927 masterpiece movie Metropolis. But Toxic8 is anything but silent!

CP Sound won the technical design and installation contract amidst stiff competition: audio throughout was designed by CP’s Colin Pattenden with lighting by CP’s Russ Evans.

A ground-floor bar acts as a feeder area for the 500-capacity club, and features music and visuals controlled from behind the bar via a six-way switch and volume control installed by CP Sound, together with three Sony K5 televisions and six JBL Control 28 speakers. Additionally, a mobile DJ set-up is available for special events. This consists of a Denon 2000 Mk 3 twin CD player and a Citronic 10/4 mixer and mic. The first and second floors have been fused into one area: the audio spec here includes another Citronic 10/4 mixer and Denon CD player, two Technics 1210 decks in the DJ box and a customised CP 10/1050 DJ monitor. Dancefloor speakers are two twin 15" 1200W JBL i-746 cabinets, and for the mid-range, JBL 300W MS112 tops, hung in the corners of the void area.

Dancefloor lighting includes three Solar 250 projectors with red infused oil wheels and eight MADScan 411 APs in the void, pointing up and down. Control is from a Pulsar Masterpiece 216. On the second floor, fixtures include two 1500W Anytronics Megastrobes, four additional MADScans, two ITM 250 MADScans and four

Peavey Supports Westminster College
Wednesday, 8 November 2000

Peavey Electronics UK has agreed to renew and extend its support of the University of Westminster’s Commercial music and audio production degree programmes. Peavey has replaced all the backline amplification across the Westminster music department with top line guitar and bass rigs from its Transfex Pro 212, Firebass 700 and TNT115BW ranges, continuing and extending its role as live music sponsor for the BA (Hons) Commercial Music Degree.

The Lyric, Hammersmith
Tuesday, 7 November 2000

The famous Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith has taken a further step towards a digital future, thanks to a Lottery grant.

In addition to new sound equipment in both performance spaces, The Lyric has also purchased a GeniusPro Strand 520i desk - for use in the Main House, and also replaced the dimmers in the Studio Theatre with digital LD90s. The former was supplied by Stage Electrics and the latter ordered through White Light.

Although Strand’s 500 Series desks had been in the Lyric’s focus for around the past three years, the purchase was still made slightly earlier than expected. "We mounted a production outside, literally, in Lyric Square, with Mac moving lights running alongside conventionals," explained chief LX Clare Tattersall (inset). "It was impractical to move our existing Galaxy outside - and plotting moving lights on a Galaxy is a tedious process - so rather than hire in a board we brought forward the delivery date."

The 520i was supplied with two monitors - one displaying the cue sheets and the other the channel levels. "It’s a 350-channel desk but we expect to expand on that in the future. As we have not been able to afford to replace the Main House dimmers we have had to convert our STM dimmers for digital, but hopefully at some stage in the future we will be able to make the full changeover."

The 120-capacity Studio Theatre has complemented its new seating and sound reinforcement system with five racks of Strand LD90s (one of which contains a block of non-dims), providing 104 channels of theatrical dimming

Celestion Appoints New Spanish Distributor
Tuesday, 7 November 2000

Ipswich-based loudspeaker manufacturer Celestion has announced the agreement of a new distribution channel in Spain, with the appointment of Lexon as its distributor for the country. Based in Barcelona, Lexon has an impressive portfolio of pro audio products, including Soundcraft, Crest, BSS Audio, Turbosound and Amek. Celestion commented that the appointment had been based on Celestion’s increasing focus on high-performance products for the Spanish install market, and the appointment of Lexon allowed them to address both their traditional MI market and provide exposure to permanent install opportunities.

Hayden Launches Latest Denon Twin CD Player
Monday, 6 November 2000

Hayden Laboratories, UK distributor of Denon products, has launched the latest new twin CD player from Denon. The DN-2100F twin CD player expands the comprehensive Denon range with an affordable, mid-range model, which sits neatly between the recently launched DN-2600F and DN-1800F twin CD players. Its standard features include Digi-Scratch, Key Adjust, Brake/Platter-S, Seamless Loop and Hot Start/Stutter, alongside unique features such as Power On Play, Repeat Play and Pitch Lock. The machine features two audio channels (stereo), a sampling frequency of 44.1kHz (normal pitch) and a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz. The DN-2100 is guaranteed to satisfy the wish-list of any contemporary DJ, offering maximum flexibility in the most cost-effective package.

Turbosound United Play at Chelsea FC
Monday, 6 November 2000

As a prelude to the recent PLASA 2000 show, Turbosound held its annual convention at Chelsea Village - home of Chelsea FC.

The day-long event was attended by a number of Turbosound’s international and UK distributors, as well as main installers. Following initial addresses by chairman Mike O’Flynn and managing director Alan Wick, sales appraisal and strategy reports were given by Gary Smith and Bill Woods respectively.

Distributors were honoured with awards for outstanding sales activity within given categories, and the day’s formal activities concluded with a briefing about new Turbosound products in the marketplace.

(Reports that Chelsea only allowed in one UK distributor are untrue.)

Plug and Play Speaker System from Chameleon
Monday, 6 November 2000

Chameleon Audio, of Cinderford, Gloucestershire, has launched a new, compact sub-bass system with an output of 2000W (rms) for major events and pro-concert performances. It allows instant ‘plug and play’ sub-bass reinforcement from a balanced mono input, with very low noise (<-100 dBA) and distortion levels (<0.01%), to give output at up to 2000W. Designed for a frequency range of 20 to 150Hz, the SB 2000’s built-in amplifier includes large reservoir capacitors, 2500W mains transformers, bipolar output stages and class A pre-amplifier stages.

ARX Releases New CD-ROM
Friday, 3 November 2000

ARX Releases New CD-ROMARX Systems, the Australia-based manufacturer of Professional Audio Products announces the release of the new updated ARX CD-ROM V4.0. Included are full details of new ARX products including the SPL range of powered loudspeakers, the e-Pre, climate weatherproof loudspeakers, ZA multi-channel amplifiers, Mix 8 stereo line mixer, Level 8 audio balancer, updated technical information and new product reviews. To obtain a copy, register online at or send your mailing address to us at email:, fax: +61 3 9555 6747.

Is Time Running out for 28% of the Sound Systems Industry?
Friday, 3 November 2000

Over a quarter of all UK sound systems companies will not see out 2001 in their present shape, according to Plimsoll Publishing. Identified in their new First Edition 2001, Plimsoll Portfolio Analysis they are predicting in 2001 these companies will disappear, be taken over or be forced to change to stay in the market.

The analysis, which included 1019 companies in total, predicts that the Winners and the Chancers, who are capturing market and profits with a combined sales growth average of over 15.2% are pushing the Losers out of the market. As they try to maintain sales and profit targets, acquisition activity could intensify in 2001.

The First Edition 2001 describes four types of company strategy. The Winners have low borrowings (debt) as a % of sales and have high sales growth. The Chancers have high borrowings and high sales growth. The Sleepers have low borrowings and low sales growth, whilst The Losers have high borrowings and are growing below average.

For these 131 Losers, time is running out. Their level of debt is high at 38% of sales on average. These companies have lost market share and sales growth average for the latest period is showing an average decline of 11.5%. Their margins are showing a loss of 2.0% on average and almost 60% of them are loss-making. They have borrowed to stay in the market, but how long can this strategy be maintained?

The publication contains an up-to-date analysis of 1019 UK sound systems companies covering their last four years of trading. To order a copy call Jennifer Ovington on +44 1642 257800, or for a full version of th

Northern Star
Thursday, 2 November 2000

Pete Barnes, assuming the triple role of LD, set designer and production manager, explained that he had been carrying the idea for the design for Mel C’s Northern Star tour in his head for some time.

"I went to the Pompidou Centre in Paris four years ago, and one of the works was a cave by Bernard Buffet, called Jardin d’Hivers. It was very simple - just a white landscape but with heavy black contour lines like you would find on a 3D map. Ever since seeing it I’ve wanted to do something in that style."

Barnes applied the concept to a design that had to be practical for small-scale touring - Melanie C’s first major tour plays to civic halls rather than the arena circuit tramped by the Spiceys. The floor and cyc are decorated with seemingly random lines, and a trio of stylistic trees adorns the stage, marked out in black and white. The trees themselves, which were fabricated from aluminium section and covered with velcroed fabric, provide suitable mounts for a dozen MiniMACs, which add a further vertical dimension to the two-truss main rig.

The fixtures, which are between 2.5m and 3m from the stage floor, are positioned upstage of the six-piece band and under Barnes’ expert direction provide an ideal match for the larger luminaires in the trusses. The total equipment count (sourced from Lite Alternative) includes 12 Martin MAC 500s, 22 VL5s, five 6-way bars and a half dozen 4-light Molefays with colour-changers for cyc lighting. A Wholehog II provided control, with a pair of Deathstar strobes and DF50 crackers for additional eff

DT390 Headsets Take the Stage
Thursday, 2 November 2000

At the end of a busy Summer Season for Dobson Sound, one of the more practical new products taken into its hire stock was beyerdynamic's new DT390 headsets. Martin Reed, Dobson's Sound engineer was enthusiastic about the headsets: ’We used the DT394s [Motorola Comms Version] and the DT390s for a mixture of comms, duplex talkback and IEM systems fed with PFL and Motorola links. The 27dB isolation the headsets gave us was a great advantage especially with the levels we had had to face at some of the rock events.’ The DT390 series of headphones have been designed as noise defending monitoring headsets. The headsets have been applauded by television camera crews that have to work on sound stages and a special version of the DT390 will be available in the next few months that has a low-profile ear-shell so that the headset does not interfere with the camera when it is being used on the operators shoulder.

Vari-Lite Sells Showco to Clair Bros
Wednesday, 1 November 2000

Two of the USA's largest sound reinforcement companies are to join forces, following the news that Vari-Lite International has entered into a letter of intent to sell Showco - its sound reinforcement business - to an affiliate of Clair Brothers Audio, Inc. 'The combination of Showco and Clair Brothers will create the most impressive sound reinforcement company in the world,' said Rusty Brutsch√©, chairman and CEO of Vari-Lite. 'The decision to sell Showco to Clair Brothers was based upon the long-term benefits to Showco's customers and employees as Vari-Lite concentrates its efforts on the development, manufacture and sale of its automated lighting systems and continued operation of our lighting rental and production services offices in North America, Asia and London.'Showco, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, was formed in Dallas, Texas by Rusty Brutsch√© and Jack Maxson and from the early days of providing touring rigs for such bands as Led Zeppelin, Three Dog Night and James Taylor has evolved into one of the world’s premiere audio production companies with a product portfolio that includes the Prism sound system, digital controller, stage reference monitors, Prism L3 compact loudspeaker system and the Showconsole which was launched last year.Based in Lititz, PA, Clair Brothers has expanded enormously over the last 10 years and has manufacturing and affiliate offices in the US, Switzerland, Australia, England, Mexico, Singapore and Japan. Formed in the late 1960s by Roy and Gene Clair, the company has a client list that includes Garth Brooks, Mariah Carey,

Atomic Chooses Arrayable Logic
Wednesday, 1 November 2000

Logic System Pro Audio has announced the first sale of their new CS1296 arrayable touring system, to Atomic Sound Systems of Newark, Notts. The system, launched at PLASA 2000, consists of three boxes - a fully arrayable mid-top box with optional flying hardware, a twin 15inch cabinet and a single 18inch cabinet (although a twin 18inch enclosure will be added to the range in the near future). Delivery of the 30-box system took place in early October, in time for the busy run-up to Christmas.

Baffle-Only Speakers from Scar Audio
Monday, 30 October 2000

Scar Audio - part of Audio Industries Research - has introduced a range of baffle-only speakers available direct from the factory, which enable the user to create state-of-the-art sound systems at a fraction of the normal cost. These 'ready to play' baffles range from 2-way 12" systems, to 2 x 18" sub-bass bins, surround speakers and studio monitors, are fully wired and tested with drivers, horns, crossovers and tuning ports. All that is needed is a simple box (or flightcase). Alternatively, they can be built into the room/stage structure, under stage or seating for even better performance. The range is aimed at contractors, system installers, hire companies or overseas customers wishing to reduce the cost of UK products.

Signing up for Autograph
Monday, 30 October 2000

Autograph Sound Recording has announced the promotion of Andy Brown to operations manager, a role that will engage him in leading the company's established sound rental business into a new era. His new role will involve liaising with the in-house sound designers, production sound engineers and hire department. Further to Brown's appointment, two new production sound engineers - Alex Apthorpe and Ken Hampton - will be joining the Autograph team. Apthorpe has spent three years working in the sound department at the National Theatre and will look after Autograph's audio software library and installations whilst Hampton will be bringing with him excellent sound engineering skills particularly in the specialist field of large-scale theatrical touring production. Chairman Andrew Bruce has also signalled Autograph's intention next year to strengthen the team further with additional engineering personnel.

Rolec Hard Drives in Action
Thursday, 26 October 2000

Hayden Laboratories Ltd, UK distributors for Rolec hard drive background and foreground music systems continue to supply these machines for a massive variety of venues and installations. Le Petit Blanc in Oxford, a lively restaurant now has a Rolec DHD-200C onboard, supplied by Installation Technology. Recent retail environments with Rolec systems include Boots stores in Milton Keynes and Kensington, both via Reflex Systems and fashion store Envy at the Bluewater shopping experience in Kent, via Music Marketing Services. Birmingham-based Hocken Sound and London-based Music Marketing Services are installing Rolec hard drives into Litten Tree pub venues for Surrey Free Inns. Jim Thompson's Oriental Bar, Restaurant Bazaar is a Chinese restaurant roll-out, expanding rapidly in the Greater London area, owned by Taipan Taverns. All sites are benefiting from Rolec hard drives for music, installed by HTL from Blackpool.

Yamaha All in One
Thursday, 26 October 2000

Yamaha has introduced the UW500 'Personal Studio System' - an all-in-one solution for audio and MIDI recording. The UW500 system provides everything for the computer musician including comprehensive analogue inputs, digital in/outs and multi-port MIDI capability. A comprehensive software package for sequencing, editing and tone generation is also included. Connecting via a single high-speed USB cable, the UW500 system will transform a computer into a fully equipped, easy to use home recording and music production studio.

Signing up for Autograph
Wednesday, 25 October 2000

Autograph Sound Recording has announced the promotion of Andy Brown to operations manager, a role that will engage him in leading the company's established sound rental business into a new era. His new role will involve liaising with the in-house sound designers, production sound engineers and hire department. Further to Brown's appointment, two new production sound engineers - Alex Apthorpe and Ken Hampton - will be joining the Autograph team. Apthorpe has spent three years working in the sound department at the National Theatre and will look after Autograph's audio software library and installations whilst Hampton will be bringing with him excellent sound engineering skills particularly in the specialist field of large-scale theatrical touring production. Chairman Andrew Bruce has also signalled Autograph’s intention next year to strengthen the team further with additional engineering personnel.

LCS Unveil the Cue Console
Tuesday, 24 October 2000

LCS will introduce, through its newly-appointed UK distributors Sound Dept, the CueConsole - a modular control surface which replaces the conventional front-of-house sound mixer. CueConsole's new approach to digital control surfaces is its adaptable modularity. Four types of control modules interface with the core of the system - the SuperNova or new Matrix3 audio engines. (The foundation of Matrix3 is the 3U LX-300 frame. Up to 32 of these frames can be linked in a fault-tolerant network, supporting a maximum of 400 audio inputs and 512 audio outputs.) The modules are flexible in that they can be configured in whatever way is most convenient for the sound designer/engineer. Because CueConsole is merely a control surface, with no audio passing through it, 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 alternatively different modules can be sited in different locations.

Federal Signal in Capital Move
Tuesday, 24 October 2000

Cheshire-based Federal Signal has opened its first London office. Based in Tapping Street in Docklands, the new office provides a regional marketing and sales base to support Federal Signal's strategy of designing and developing voice alarm systems based on its Millbank range. The company, which works for London customers such as the London Underground, has recently launched a range of new products under the Millbank brand. These include the multi-zone broadcast voice alarm system Verifire, Talisman III dynamic audio induction amplifiers and Ultima II integrated PA amplifiers. Area sales manager Darren Morgan will head up the London operation.

Manchester's Zion
Monday, 23 October 2000

After several months of negotiations, Stagetec (UK) Ltd has been awarded the entire technical equipment supply and installation contract for the Zion Arts Centre in Manchester. The installation includes a lighting system with Compulite Micron 4D console, the new CompuDIM 2000 digital dimmer racks, Robert Juliat and Selecon luminaires fitted with Compulite colour scrollers, a sound system with Nexo speakers, Crown amplifiers and Allen & Heath mixing consoles, a full AV system with projection screens, digital projectors and monitoring equipment, curtain tracks and a communication and paging system. The project is funded by the Arts Council and is due to open towards the end of November. The project specification has been drawn up and will be overseen by technical consultant Steve Curtis from the Green Room in Manchester.

CEI Relocates
Friday, 20 October 2000

Current Events International, a technical production company offering lighting, audio and production management services, equipment rentals, and systems integration, has relocated and expanded its San Francisco facility. The company has moved to a larger facility in Oakland, occupying over 17,000sq.ft of office and warehouse space. Headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, Current Events International is an award-winning technical production company with full service facilities in San Francisco and Washington, DC.

LIPA Upgrade with DAS Audio
Friday, 20 October 2000

The world-famous Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) has re-equipped its five-studio recording complex with DAS Monitor 6 close field monitors throughout. The order for 13 units includes the upgrading of studio 2 to full 5.1 surround sound production capability. The new Monitor series from DAS Audio marks the company's return to the studio market after almost 30 years of exclusively designing and manufacturing sound reinforcement systems.

Paul Smith Joins ET
Wednesday, 18 October 2000

DJ equipment manufacturer Entertainment Technology, part of the Leaf Group, has announced a new appointment to its team, with Paul Smith joining as product/sales manager for the Titan DJ brand. Smith previously worked with Sapphires Retail.


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