Audio News

Theatre Vision for Sound & Vision
Friday, 14 September 2001

Cardiff-based Theatre Vision (a Stage Electrics Group company) has kick-started its busy corporate season by providing production lighting services for the recent WHAT HI-FI? Sound & Vision Awards 2001. Hosted by the irrepressible Clive Anderson at the Hilton in Park Lane, the show is produced by Head to Head Communications on behalf of Haymarket Publishing. Theatre Vision was called upon by busy awards lighting designer Matthew Evered to provide dynamic lighting for the event. A mixture of Strand SL cool-beam profiles, parcans and Martin Mac 300 moving lights were used to help jazz up the event, now in its 25th year, and all controlled and programmed by Tim Routledge on an Avolites Pearl. Also provided were a number of low voltage lighting kits for various branding and reception areas. Truss and rigging was provided by RoadRunner while sound was sourced from Tone Ferne from Dobsons.

Tripath and Alesis Appoint Profusion
Thursday, 13 September 2001

Tripath Technology Inc and Alesis Semiconductor, both from the West Coast of the United States, met at this year’s PLASA Show to finalise their new distribution agreement with European audio component distributor Profusion plc. Keith Persin, managing director of Profusion told PLASA Media: "Tripath have excellent patents covering the class T switching amplifier technology, which produces true hi fi quality." With big names such as Sony using these parts and receiving awards, many companies are now looking at the class T designs. Steve Tomlinson (MD of Tripath Europe) continued: "Our parts often require application support as the technology is so different from traditional amplifier designs. Appointing Profusion was a logical choice as they have applications engineers and the facilities to offer good technical support."

AES Postpones New York Convention
Thursday, 13 September 2001

The Audio Engineering Society has announced the postponement of next week's 111th AES Convention at the Javits Convention Center, New York, until early December. The Javits is being used as an emergency services co-ordination centre in the aftermath of the recent events in New York. The organizers have issued the following statement. "We have just returned from the Javits Center where we had a meeting with their top management. We learned that the New York City Mayor's Office of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have taken over large portions of the Javits Center for use in coordinating emergency services. We also learned that FEMA will have complete control of these spaces and any others that they need, for an undetermined period. This obviously makes holding the event as planned impossible. However, we have been able to reschedule the convention, rather than just cancel it. The new dates will be Friday November 30 to Monday, December 3 2001, with the same exhibit, demo and conference space as would have been used next week."

Thursday, 13 September 2001

Hear’Say are currently part way through their highly successful UK arena tour. The set and lighting was designed by Pete Barnes, with the lighting operated on tour by Graham Feast. In an unusual move, all the lighting gear was supplied by French Company Cote Scene. The audio elements of the tour were provided by Wigwam with rigging by OTT.

The tour’s live video requirements are supplied by XL Video. The 32 square metre central screens - which open like curtains at the start of the show to allow the band to enter - are constructed from Barco DeLite 7 LED systems. Two left and right screens are fed by Barco ELM G10 projectors mounted on the truss, and are predominantly used for the live relay images. PCM was commissioned by Mark Wade from OTT Rigging to build the customised movement system for the video screens. The resulting system, an amalgamation of a Gis tracking system, Beta electric wire winches and a motion control system, is a combination of PCM’s industrial expertise brought into a more theatrical context. The wall is hung on the PCM track, controlled by the Beta Winch that’s rigged through a series of pulleys - allowing the videowall to be opened and closed at a controlled rate. The system is designed with in-built encoders so the PLC (programmable logic controller) can detect the position of each portion of screen. A frequency inverter ensures that the speed, ‘soft start’ and ‘soft stop’ functions can also be closely controlled. A ‘Teach Me’ button enables the settling of the screen in the correct posi

Freytag Joins Chameleon
Thursday, 13 September 2001

After six years' absence from the pro audio sector, Hans Freytag, former co-owner of C Audio, is joining high-end touring and installation manufacturer Chameleon Audio on a freelance basis as European distribution development manager, with a brief to expand the company’s continental distribution network. Chameleon is no stranger to Freytag - it used to make transformers for C Audio - and he is relishing his new role: "I'm looking forward immensely to working with Paul Houlden and raising further the profile of the company's products on the continent."

SkyTronic & Adastra
Tuesday, 11 September 2001

The PLASA Exhibition marks an exciting period for SkyTronic and Adastra as they launch their third catalogue in as many years. The 300-page catalogue contains over 4,000 products including 650 which are new for 2002, covering the entire consumer electronics spectrum.

SkyTronic prides itself on bringing new and exciting products to the marketplace backed up with a sales and customer care policy of which they are equally proud. The rapid growth that SkyTronic has achieved and continuing customer loyalty are testimony to this. Adastra Electronics Limited offers a comprehensive range of commercial audio Public Address products. Incorporated in 1949, Adastra has a long history of quality, performance and reliability.

Sennheiser Chips In With £15K
Tuesday, 11 September 2001

Sennheiser's annual 'Industry' Golf Challenge Trophy competition, at Mill Ride Golf Club near Ascot, proved more successful than ever before, this year raising more than £25,000 for Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital in London. Held on 6 July, a good turnout of keen, though not exclusively proficient, golfers entered into the spirit of things. This year's winner was once again Ashok Patel of ASK, just pipping Richard Bleakley from Diamond Stylus for the Stableford competition. In third place was Praful Patel of ASK who took consolation as winner of Nearest The Pin.

The day's longest drive came from LMC's John Ridley and The Texas Scramble was won by Mark Austin of Wycombe Wanderers, Andy Streets and John Hine of Synergy for the front nine, with Charles Smith, Chris Cress and Sennheiser managing director Paul Whiting on the back nine. Martin Sheehan represented Great Ormond Street Hospital and Autograph Advertising's Paul Hodsman was responsible for the Golf Invitations and Score Cards.

The £10,000 record sum raised on the night, along with the £15,000 proceeds from other Sennheiser fund raising activities, meant that a final overall total of £25,000 was achieved. As in previous years, all the money will go to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.Commenting on the success of the day, Paul Whiting said, "I want to thank everyone who took part, both on the fairway and during the evenings activities. Congratulations to the winners, and we look forward to seeing everyone again for next years trophy in July 2002."

New from Formula Sound
Monday, 10 September 2001

Formula Sound has unveiled its latest modular mixer- the PM-100 - at PLASA 2001. This mixer replaces the award winning PM-90 and is proving to be as popular. One important feature of the PM-100 is the single universal input module which can be configured to accept virtually any type of input source. Also featuring VCA controlled crossfade with punch; contour control and inserts at either end for connecting external signal processing equipment. With its many other facilities and its combination of sizes, layout etc. the PM-100 is the most versatile small production mixer around.

The full range or products for mixing and noise control is on show on stand E26.

Scratch-Mo Wins DJ Competition!
Monday, 10 September 2001

Young, talented DJ Scratch-Mo astounded music industry judges and the crowds to win the Extreme V DJ Competition yesterday at the PLASA Show 2001, Earls Court. The annual competition, sponsored by Gemini Sound Products attracted queues of young hopefuls from across the country to its stand for a chance to audition at the UK’s biggest entertainment technology show of the year.

22-year-old DJ Scratch-Mo (real name Angelo Tun) from Derby performed two superb sets to beat off stiff competition in his heat and the final winning £500 worth of Gemini DJ equipment. The music mad Media Technology graduate who has been DJing for seven years was thrilled to win and hopes that it will lead to a career in DJing.

The competition took place on the opening day of PLASA, DJ Sunday and is just part of a programme of events which included a guest appearance from super star DJ, Roger Sanchez at the cutting-edge Pioneer stand.

A panel of judges from the music industry included one of last year’s runners up, Miss Behavin’ who is now enjoying great success with residency at London’s Camden Palais and Ibiza’s Es Paradis. Contestants were judged on technical skill and ability as well as performance.

The heats were interspersed with a popular programme of masterclasses hosted by iDJ magazine on mixing skills, scratching skills, CD mixing and the business of DJing. Throughout the day the inaugural IDJ Talk Zone was full to capacity with young hopefuls eager to pick up tips from seasoned DJs such as DJ Pogo.

A special surprise set was also performed by top chi

Further Expansion for LDPS
Monday, 10 September 2001

Cork-based lighting, technical design and production specialists LDPS has further expanded its team with the addition of two new project consultants - Joe Stockdale and Michael Hurley. Their specialist areas are stage technologies and mixed/multi-media respectively. Stockdale and Hurley join LDPS founder Grant Collie and will be based in the company’s new premises in central Cork. The appointments will strengthen LDPS’s position as a market leader in the field of creating practical technical solutions based on hands-on experience.

Stockdale’s role will include venue technical design, specialising in stage systems, site installation supervision, special projects, client liaison, training and recruitment. His diverse background includes the teaching of theatre studies, set design and construction and event production. For the last nine years, he worked as technical stage Manager at Cork Opera House, a demanding multi-purpose venue. Stockdale is also a master boat builder and a master of lateral thinking!

Michael Hurley will be LDPS’s multi-media project consultant, and his work on venue technical design, specification and installations will include the exacting areas of sound/AV systems and acoustics. His previous experience includes working as chief electrician at the Cork Opera House and running his own successful AV business. Hurley has extensive experience in the fast-moving worlds of computer graphics, video editing and projection systems, making him ideal to oversee this aspect of LDPS.

Collie comments, "I’m delighted that Joe an

Singapore's Newest Nightclub Selects Apogee
Monday, 10 September 2001

TJ Livehouse, one of Singapore's newest and more popular nightclubs, has had an all-Apogee system installed to provide sound in its 20,000sq.ft venue. The nightspot is a disco, but also hosts live entertainment including band performance, DJ and dance competitions, pageants and game shows. TJ Livehouse, which was converted from a movie theatre, needed to project uniform sound to the entire area, which includes a balcony. Before making the choice, the venue’s management had each potential vendor come into the club and set up a live demonstration. An Apogee system, featuring nine ALA-9 linear array loudspeakers, six FH-18 quad-subwoofers, and 28 DA-800 amplifiers, was then selected for permanent installation.

Silas Rabi, owner of Emaginex, the company which installed the system, said: "Apogee's line array speakers provided the sound quality TJ Livehouse was looking for, normal trapezoidal speakers wouldn't work in the space. Apogee provided the needed power at 50,000W. This was our first use of line-array speakers in a club, and I'm sure it won't be our last."

Wembley Celebrates 30th Anniversary at PLASA
Monday, 10 September 2001

Wembley Loudspeaker’s appearance at PLASA marks its 30th year in the industry. The company, which was launched in 1971, supplies a range of equipment to musicians, churches, schools, theatres, clubs and cinemas, and is still creating new products at the fore of the audio marketplace. Wembley also offers Europe’s largest repair refurbishment facility for nearly all makes of professional and studio, units including a comprehensive range of parts for many vintage and rare speakers. On the stand at PLASA is the 15-400 Pro Cabinets launched earlier in the year, along with the range of B-Line 18" 800 and 600 bass drivers which have proven highly popular since their introduction to the market.

Wembley can be found on Stand G36.

Chameleon & Brit Row’s Aural Alliance
Monday, 10 September 2001

Announced today at PLASA, leading live sound company Britannia Row Productions, has purchased a range of power amps from high-end touring and installation manufacturer, Chameleon Audio, which will form part of Britannia Row’s comprehensive touring set-up. Since the beginning of this year, Britannia Row has been reviewing the specifications of amplifiers currently available and decided to put the Chameleons through their paces. They were particularly impressed with the sound quality and size-to-power ratio, and are further assessing them on selected shows over the summer.

Tests were initially undertaken in June and July at indoor and outdoor venues with capacities spanning 2,500 to 25,000 respectively. The trials culminated in the Route of Kings concerts in Hyde Park with the Beach Boys, Status Quo, Andrea Bocelli, Tom Jones and Michael Flatley's Lord of The Dance. Of the 40 amps purchased, Britannia Row employed Class A Series II 2000 and Class A Series II 3500 DP models, and a selection of Chameleon-powered systems were also utilized for David Gilmour’s concert at the Royal Festival Hall in June, plus a Bob Dylan stadium show at Nowlan Park, Kilkenny, in July. Britannia Row are also planning to employ the Chameleons on louder acts playing to audiences of 50,000-plus.

Britannia Row Productions’ director Mike Lowe told PLASA Media: “At our annual engineers and technicians meeting in January, it was decided that new amplifiers would be purchased this year for our front of house speaker systems. We went through the same exercise last year, upgrading

PLASA Awards Nominees On DisplayPLASA Awards Nominees On Display
Sunday, 9 September 2001

The 56 products nominated for this year’s PLASA Awards for Product Excellence are currently available for visitors to view on the Top Deck of Earls Court, in the Lighting&Sound International-sponsored New Technology Gallery (pictured). The Gallery allows a one-stop view of all the latest product innovations in the categories of Lighitng, Sound, Stage Engineering and Audio-Visual. Judging for the Awards will take place during the show, by a panel of experts from each respective field. The winners will be announced at a special ceremony at 9.30 on Wednesday morning, at which time PLASA will also present the money raised from the Awards entries to a number of charities.

To view the complete list of products entered for the PLASA Awards for product Excellence, visit the web address below:

Sennheiser's New Additions
Sunday, 9 September 2001

Sennheiser today announced to the industry press the introduction of a number of new products at PLASA 2001. New to the evolution range of products is the ew550 live touring receiver, a completely new design comprising two independent UHF true diversity receivers in a 1U 19" rack-mount unit, designed specifically for multi-channel operation. Each receiver offers 16 channel memories and 1280 programmable frequencies within a 32MHz switching bandwidth. Other enhanced features include an advanced RF input stage for optimum multi-channel systems operation in hostile sound touring environments.

Also new to the evolution range, the e664 adds to the company’s dedicated instrument microphones. Designed for applications such as drum kit overheads, or highly accurate acoustic instrument miking, the e664 features low noise electronics, high output and a highly sensitive capsule that draws on Sennheiser’s heritage in market leading electret mic design.

Sennheiser also announced the official launch of the latest addition to the DAS Audio range of loudspeakers. Compact One is in keeping with the trend towards self-powered loudspeakers and incorporates 1000W of class D amplifier technology. It is configured with 15" and 6" speakers and a 1" compression driver. Additional features include protection against under voltage, soft clipping, soft start up, mute/unmute functions, birch ply construction and Ancra track flying hardware. Applications include pro mobile systems and high-end fixed installations - in fact, any sound reinforcement application where m

Welcome to PLASA 2001!
Sunday, 9 September 2001

The doors have opened at Earls Court for Day 1 of the 24th PLASA Show, and the first visitors are now filling the show floor, where over 370 exhibitors are displaying their latest innovations to the industry. Over 400 products are making their first appearance at a PLASA Show, with the cream of the crop entered into the PLASA Awards for Product Excellence, and displayed in the New Technology Gallery on the Top Deck of Earls Court, which is this year sponsored by Lighting&Sound International magazine.

Throughout today, and for the duration of the show, the team from PLASA Media will be bringing you all the latest news and pictures from the show floor. To follow events as they unfold at PLASA 2001, visit our dedicated news section at the address below:

AKG Adds to Emotion
Sunday, 9 September 2001

This morning, AKG unveiled its latest Emotion Series Microphone C 900. This is a high quality condenser microphone for vocalists, and provides many unique features at an excellent price/performance ratio. Features include a 24-carat gold-plated transducer case for optimum protection from corrosion and humidity (the entire transducer element is shock-mounted in a special elastic ring). The microphone is also extremely insensitive to handling noise. The supplied Presence Boost Adapter can be installed to boost the 5 - 9kHz range by 2 to 4dB for improved high-frequency sound and better intelligibility.

AKG has also added to its best-selling WMS 40 system, a series of miniature devices that offer perfect solutions to various wireless miking problems. The new products are small enough to fit in a shirt pocket and have been named ‘microtools’. Microtools provide maximum flexibility for a number of sound reinforcement situations. The microtools Series currently comprises the following products: SO 40 snap-on - a miniature plug-on transmitter, GB 40 guitar bug - a miniature transmitter; MP 40 micropen - a miniature bodypack transmitter; CU 40 - a universal charger for all microtools.

Roger Sanchez With Pioneer
Sunday, 9 September 2001

DJ equipment manufacturer Pioneer caused a stir on the show floor today, when they presented their special guest, top DJ Roger Sanchez. As you can see from our pictures, the presence of Sanchez did not go unnoticed by one or two of the show’s DJ visitors . . .

Pioneer were busy highlighting the introduction of new products including the CMX-3000 next generation twin-CD player and the CDJ-1000 digital deck.

Audio Spotlight
Saturday, 8 September 2001

In mid-July, Showsound hosted a demonstration of a new sound technology known as the Audio Spotlight. The device, which was demonstrated by inventor F. Joseph Pompei, represents what the company believes to be the first successful development of a truly directional loudspeaker. Whereas a traditional loudspeaker produces a large field of sound, the Audio Spotlight emits a narrow beam of sound - as little as just 3° at 3m.

In practice, the Audio Spotlight generates a beam of sound that can be accurately pointed at specific locations. People within the field of the beam will hear clear audible sound, whilst others standing just outside will not. The sound can be aimed directly at targets or reflected off almost any surface in a method known as Projected Audio.

Joseph Pompei has developed this innovative new system at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Laboratory. A significant number of the devices have already been built, and new manufacturing techniques are about to see the production scale increase to meet the anticipated demand. Showsound will distribute, install and operate the patents-pending Audio Spotlight in the UK and Europe.

How it Works
The Audio Spotlight uses ultrasound generated by specially developed transducers that are fired into the air. The natural non-linear properties of air interfere with the ultrasound, breaking down the very short sound waves into different ultrasound patterns along with outputs within the audible sound range. The effect of the air on the projected narrow beam of ultrasound is not random and can

Soundcraft Going Live!
Saturday, 8 September 2001

"I thought that after eight years it was time I turned up and had a look," and this from a man who hardly needs instruction in the use of consoles. Graham Blyth, along with Phil Dudderidge, is the creator of all things Soundcraft, having founded the company 28 years ago.

Nevertheless he was there, attended all sessions, and was indeed attentive. While Blyth might not need the ministrations of Andy Dockerty, Chrys Lindop, Dave Kay and Andy May, he was not alone; there were four engineers from the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS), and plenty of others with more than a passing knowledge of what all those thousands of knobs are for.

‘Going Live’ is in its ninth year - Blyth was just slightly off - and continues to be heavily subscribed. "We’ve always been over-subscribed," said Elizabeth Gates. "There’s over 100 this year. We’ve had to turn people away."

For a two or three-day packaged event (depending on your level of knowledge) it is very, very affordable, which is surely why I found so many freelancers here who’d paid their own way. "There’s nothing else like it around," said one. Chrys Lindop, as the inventor of in-ear monitoring and the founder of Garwood, arguably need never work again, yet he’s here giving his time and knowledge - why? "It’s important. Where else can people go to get this type of information?"

Now you don’t come out of this course with a qualification, there’s no testing, but does that make it invalid? For those of you ba

Get Yourself to the PLASA Show
Friday, 7 September 2001

PLASA is now just two days away and it looks like this year’s event will be the best ever. PLASA is where you get to find out what over 400 of the industry’s leading players have been doing in the past few months. It’s got to be better than leafing through hundreds of product brochures or trawling the internet for information. Aside from the exhibition, there are plenty of things to catch the eye, including the DJ Competition on the Sunday, the newly-introduced iDJ Talk Zone offering advice to DJs, a comprehensive seminar and workshop programme, the PLASA Awards for Product Excellence, the various Feature Areas, and the many events, press launches and on-stand receptions organized by exhibitors. If you still haven’t registered for the event, don’t worry, you can register on the day. All you need to do is turn up at Earls Court 1 and register on the door. See you there.

Sound Advance in Mean Fiddler’s New Venture
Friday, 7 September 2001

Continuing their long relationship with the Mean Fiddler Group, sound specialists Encore were asked to specify an audio playback system for the leisure group’s latest Central London development, eponymously dedicated to the Irish celebrity chef, Conrad Gallagher. Owned by Vince Power’s company, the luxurious 170-seat Conrad Gallagher restaurant opened last month at 179 Shaftesbury Avenue in London’s West End, serving modern Irish food, with a bar/lounge situated above. It is open seven days a week. Some 30 Sound Advance CT10 recessed ceiling speakers, purchased from their exclusive UK distributors, Sound Department, have been fitted on each floor, including the toilets and the private dining room.

Encore’s Mick Martin explained: "We have worked extensively for the Mean Fiddler Group over the years - and we have also fitted CT10s into a number of other high profile restaurants, including Oliver Peyton’s Mash. The requirements at Conrad Gallagher were to deliver an evenly-distributed sound system across the entire restaurant, and we chose Sound Advance firstly because architects and designers love the fact that they can be painted to complement the decor (in this case blue), secondly because we can gain an even 180° dispersion, and thirdly because they sound good."

The CT10s are also ideal when ceiling height is restricted, as was the case here. This provides the reinforcement end of a system which has been split into four sound zones, each with their own independent sound sources, which are fed from five-disk CD players racked in

RSC Technical Staff to Strike
Friday, 7 September 2001

Members of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s technical teams in Stratford-upon-Avon will go on strike on 15 September in protest over planned redundancies. Almost 90% of 200 members of the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) have agreed to the action. BECTU had previously attempted to negotiate on behalf of its members, but without success. BECTU assistant general secretary Gerry Morrissey said performances would be affected from 15 September because of the walkout by lighting staff, stage crews, wardrobe employees and technical workers.

A production of Julius Caesar is listed for that night in the midst of a season which includes performances of Twelfth Night and Hamlet. BECTU has also said that industrial action will continue after 15 September. The union says about two-thirds of technical staff at the company could lose their jobs if plans to abandon the fixed Shakespeare season at Stratford-upon-Avon go ahead. Chris Foy, managing director of the RSC, is reported by the BBC as saying: "Industrial action by BECTU members in Stratford is extremely regrettable. "Our priority is not to disappoint audiences and to continue performing in Stratford. If shows are affected, we will tell ticketholders as soon as possible." Foy said voluntary redundancy had meant it had been able to reduce the number of people affected by cuts by more than half. "We want the RSC to remain fresh and relevant to a new generation of theatre-goers," he said. The RSC plans to concentrate on its Stratford base and on tou

New Appointment at QSC Audio
Friday, 7 September 2001

QSC Audio Products has named Derek Covin as its new manager of inside sales. A 13-year veteran of the pro audio industry, Covin will oversee the daily activities of sales associates based at QSC world headquarters in Southern California, and assist with the implementation of various sales and marketing programs such as special promotions and trade show preparation. "It's my goal to have this department function as an indispensable resource for both internal management and independent representatives in the field," Covin said. "As a vital link in the customer service chain, we'll constantly remain at hand to enhance and maintain our existing business relationships, as well as build new ones."

Covin comes to QSC from Alesis Studio Electronics, where he held a number of positions ranging from manager of global sales administration to western regional sales manager. While with Alesis, Covin was a recipient of the manufacturer's Blue Blood Award, which recognizes exemplary employees for their outstanding attitude and dedication to the company and its customers.


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