Audio News

Soundcraft Gets Intimate
Wednesday, 27 June 2001

The 12 Bar Club, famously voted the Best Live Music Venue in London by Time Out magazine, has taken delivery of a new 16-channel Soundcraft Spirit LX7. The intimate venue has recently played host to Nigel Kennedy, Lambchop, Mark Eitzel, Billy Bragg and the Jesus & Mary Chain’s William Reid, and with four acts a night, seven nights a week, the new console is already being put through its paces.

Paul Gilbert, engineer and on-line TV webcaster for the 12 Bar Club, knows how well the LX7 is coping with the demands placed upon it. "We’d been using a Spirit Live 3 for years. The longest anyone’s been working here is seven years and the desk was here before he started, so we figured it was time to get a new console. The Club is extremely small and the control room is tiny, so we knew we needed a really small console with plenty of features and outputs. And, as about 40% of artists playing here are singer/songwriters with acoustic guitars, it’s vital to have a really clean signal.

"I visited the Soundcraft website and picked the desk I felt was most applicable to our needs. It’s really compact; its six auxes and four sub-groups are really important as we broadcast every night live on our website. The two sweepable mids give us the EQ control we need, plus it has plenty of outputs. We run outs to the main bar and restaurant, one to the front of house, one to the camera, another one to a minidisc player if the bands want their show recorded and one to the monitors. Soon we’ll be installing AV screens throughout the club, so people in

Hayden Launches Rane DA 26 Amp
Wednesday, 27 June 2001

Hayden Laboratories Ltd, exclusive UK distributor for Rane products, has launched the Rane DA 26 distribution amplifier - a neat 1U splitter/mixer device providing a one-box solution for all installers of paging and background music systems.

The Rane DA 26 provides a paging preamplifier, dynamics processor, crossover, distribution amplifier and remote-level-control in one unit. It can serve up to six zones, routing a mono Program Source and a Priority Page Source. The program source is processed by an Automatic Gain Control (AGC) circuit with adjustable target level, ratio and attack/decay. The Priority/Page Input features automatic signal detection and remote zone assignment. Automatic program attenuation with a range of 0dB to -80dB allows mic/line mixing, talk-over or Priority-Replaces-Program operation.

Each of the six outputs can distribute full range, high pass or low pass programme music - ideal for situations where one zone might need mid/high and bass frequencies only, while others require the full range of the speakers to be active. The DA 26 is particularly suited to applications utilizing smaller speakers - which often require bass enhancement - achieved either by adding bass to the full range response or by using a true bi-amp system. The amp has an inbuilt 24dB per octave Linkwitz-Riley crossover that supports both of these bass enhancement schemes, allowing each of its outputs to route full-range, high-pass or low-pass program material as required. Hard-wired remote level controls allow independent control of music amplitude in each zone, with automatic l

Jon Stanley Joins beyerdynamic Team
Wednesday, 27 June 2001

Jon Stanley has joined beyerdynamic as product manager for XTA and biamp systems. He will be the technical contact for XTA and biamp, responsible for systems integration, customer support and as a feedback portal for product development. He will also assist with technical support for beyerdynamic's conference products with particular emphasis on specialist software applications to configure systems to specific applications. With an impressive history within the broadcasting industry, Jon's first position was as a presenter and sales executive for a local radio station in Shaftsbury. Following this, a position of IT product manager for the radio automation system Enco DAD with The Audio Connection supporting over 80 UK radio stations, as well as facilities in Europe and the Middle East.

Celestion Confirms New Sales and Marketing Director
Tuesday, 26 June 2001

Michael Tuck has been appointed sales and marketing director of Celestion International. Tuck’s arrival at Celestion is his first entry into the audio industry, but he brings with him a high level of managerial experience from the consumer goods and light industrial sectors.

For the last two years, he has been Group marketing director of Avocet Hardware plc, one of Europe’s leading ironmongery and electronic security companies, with sales in excess of £100 million to the home improvement and building market. Prior to that, he was director of the Trade Division at Williams Holdings, owners of the most famous names in the lock industry, Chubb and Yale. As a Director of Plasplugs, his remit took him all overEurope, including a stint based in the USA, and he also has a solid sales foundation, notably seven years as national sales manager for Gillette UK.

ECA2 at Expo 2001, Japan
Tuesday, 26 June 2001

After the success of the multimedia waterscreen shows during the world expos in both Osaka (1990) and Tottori (1996), Yves Pépin and his team at ECA2 have been asked to produce the multi-media watershow for the Yamaguchi Expo in Japan, which runs from the 14th of July through to the 30th of September 2001. For the last two years, ECA2 and its technicians have been working alongside the Japanese Expo team to ensure the success of this night-time spectacular. The show will feature images projected onto four monumental spheres, as well as onto a giant water screen; pyrotechnic and fire effects will complete the impressive show.

To Russia with Celestion
Monday, 25 June 2001

Celestion’s new Cxi sound reinforcement cabinets have been chosen for a sizeable concert hall installation in Taganrog in Russia. Located in the city of Taganrog on the coast of the Azov Sea, the venue, which is sponsored by the large Tagmet mining company, has capacity for 850 people and will host a variety of musical events.

The new sound reinforcement system comprises 20 Celestion Cxi 1022P, a 2 x 10" mid-range cabinet with a 2" driver, and 10 CXi1812 bass bins. Amplification is from Yorkville AP4040s, with ART equalisation, and an Allen & Heath GL3300 front-of-house console. Elsewhere in the Russian industrial heartland, another mining company, Yakutugol, has financed a similar venue. In Nerungri, a town in the Yakutia Republic, an all-purpose music and conference hall has also installed a Celestion system. This time, the system is QX Series, mixed with KR2 background music speakers. Celestion products for both venues, and for the Church of John Kronshtadtskiy in Moscow, have been supplied by PAXT to Slami & Co, the distributor for the region.

Sarner Makes History
Monday, 25 June 2001

Sarner, in collaboration with the Natural History Museum, is breaking new ground in conference technology and the use of video streaming in an educational environment. Following a competitive seven-way pitch, Sarner has been appointed to handle the design and technical installation for the Natural History Museum's innovative new Darwin Gallery.

The museum chose Sarner for this unique project, due for completion in Autumn this year, having previously worked with them on other projects. Sarner's brief was to conceive, design and install leading-edge technology which would enable academics and businesses who are giving lectures or presentations in the Darwin Gallery to be able to simultaneously transmit these lectures to specific recipients around the world and have an interactive discussion with those not present at the Gallery. Video conferencing, which will include digital audio and visual formats, will be sent across the world using the internet as a medium to broadcast the information.

The live presentation will be sent via data lines linked between the Natural History Museum and other sites. Video has to be streamed onto the museum's network, rather than using a conventional coaxial line transmission, and this is proving quite a challenge as there are over 20 sources, some at MPEG 2 resolution, and no one product existing which can fulfil all the requirements. Ross Magri, technical director of Sarner, explains: "We have overcome the problem, by proposing a system which will preview the 20 sources whilst MPEG 2 streams are picked up by the video projectors. To d

Artacoustic Appoints MilTec
Monday, 25 June 2001

Artcoustic, a manufacturer of flat, full-range speakers for the install and leisure markets, has appointed MilTec (UK) Ltd as its commercial distributor. Kim Donvig, director of Artcoustic told PLASA Media: "We have been looking for a distributor who has good relationships with installers within the bar and hotel business and we have now found that company in MilTec (UK) Ltd."

Launch of ADS Worldwide ChinaLaunch of ADS Worldwide China
Monday, 25 June 2001

In an agreement signed in Shen Zhen, China, last week, ADSworldwide will have access to the largest domestic loudspeaker market in the world. David Hopkins OBE, chairman and managing director of holding company Audio Design Services Ltd, has been working on this project for a number of years, being a frequent visitor to the Far East. The company has appointed 40 Chinese distributors throughout China and plans for that figure to be 400 within the next four years.

The joint venture sees the creation of Adsworldwide China, an occasion enhanced by the official opening of the company’s new building in Shen Zhen. Amongst the 70 people present there was a large cross-section of representatives from Chinese television and press, as well as the newly selected distributors. After the official signing ceremony, a celebration cocktail party and dinner was held at a nearby hotel in Shen Zhen. The new enterprise will see ADSworldwide’s commercial product ranges being marketed under the ADS label. In a speech at the opening ceremony, David Hopkins spoke of the need for a balanced relationship between Great Britain and China. "For too long," he said "China has been used as the Blacksmith’s shop of the world, often being exploited by some countries that benefited from the low labour rates. The cost of buying household named products from the West is out of the reach of the majority. In a balanced relationship, it is now going to be possible to address the needs of the family in China by producing high quality products at affordable prices." David Hopk

First Ever Digital Tourguide SystemFirst Ever Digital Tourguide System
Monday, 25 June 2001

GuidePort is a unique 'intelligent' visitor audio guide system from Sennheiser. It employs the very latest multiple-channel, digital wireless transmission technology to provide an almost limitless degree of functionality, in providing a soundtrack to any visitor attraction.

By the use of digital sound transmission techniques and cellular-based computer network control, a virtually unique visitor experience can be provided, incorporating multiple languages, any number of different levels of description - with separate soundtracks for children, adults, locals, tourists, experts or even individual visitor groups - each visitor experiencing a soundtrack specific to their chosen route through the attraction, automatically received as they approach each exhibit or enter an area of the attraction. Thus any number of 'different' tours can occur continuously and simultaneously.

Additionally multi-lingual film or video soundtrack can be effectively incorporated within the visitor tour at the relevant positions en route, as can announcements of relevant special events and presentations. If a personal guided tour is required, a handheld guide transmitter is available, with only those members of the particular tour group able to receive the guide's transmission. The versatility of the GuidePort system is also unique. Rearranging exhibits or assigning new audio to particular areas or exhibits is a simple procedure that can be achieved without either shutting down or altering in any way those parts of the exhibition that do not require to be affected. GuidePort also plays an active pa

Amptown Launch Transflex2
Monday, 25 June 2001

Amptown Cases is celebrating a staggering 10,000 sales worldwide of its versatile Transflex road trunk system by launching Transflex2, offered in a standard range of four lengths and two widths (1/4 and 1/3 truck packs). As part of the launch, Amptown is offering the first 598 customers over 20% discount.

The Transflex2 has been updated to allow even greater flexibility. The movable partition systems have been redesigned to allow them to be positioned at 25mm centres, and are available in two heights, one which fits the full height of the case and a shorter version, designed to fit under any trays that are used. The Transflex2 trays themselves are self-supporting and can now be firmly located anywhere along the length of the case - they can also be fitted in multiples. Existing users of Transflex will be pleased to learn that all components of the new Transflex2 are compatible with the original version.

Hotcakes Wins Award
Friday, 22 June 2001

Brand experience consultancy Hotcakes has won the international award for Best Consumer Products Event at the European IBTM Awards in Geneva (30 May), for its production of Marks & Spencer’s unique ‘Time To Celebrate’ touring show.

‘Time To Celebrate’ has been acknowledged as Europe’s biggest ever touring show undertaken by a retailer and was devised to showcase the retailer’s Christmas/Millennium collections. Taking place in a specially-designed state-of-the-art structure, the show was staged adjacent to M&S’s flagship stores in Bristol, Gateshead, Edinburgh and Camberley. It incorporated a celebrity cooking demonstration, a fashion show and an exhibition of merchandise from the Home & Gifts department, and was seen by 26,000 customers and staff across the UK. The event was managed by a crew of 550, and transported around the country by 25 articulated trucks. Hotcakes collected the award during a ceremony at Geneva’s Inter-Continental Hotel. The Event, which has been incorporated for the first time into the huge European IBTM Exhibition at Palexpo, has been created to recognise the excellence, creativity and planning which helps big brands and multi-nationals reach out to their staff, suppliers and customers. From a shortlist of four, Hotcakes fought off strong competition to win the Award, and received additional acclaim for its production of the Mazda MX-5 Catwalk at Cosmopolitan Show which was Highly Commended.

Celestion Appoint Lyd-Systemer
Friday, 22 June 2001

In the final stages of a major revamp of its distributor network, Celestion has appointed Lyd-Systemer as its representative in Norway. Lyd-Systemer is one of Norway’s leading pro-audio distribution companies, and carries Amek, DPA Microphones, EAW and TC Electronics in its portfolio. Managing director Terje Engedahl anticipates that "Celestion will be attractive to the large number of Norwegian end-users looking for cost-effective background and foreground music solutions. This will include the entertainment venues, bars, clubs and restaurants, but also the installation customers, especially in the retail sector."

Mackie Fussion Wins UK Nightclub Award
Friday, 22 June 2001

At the 10th annual British Entertainment & Discotheque Association Awards, held in Birmingham, the Mackie Fussion System walked off with the top award of the evening when it was voted Product of the Year 2001.

The BEDA/Miller awards are voted upon by members of the association and a panel of judges. The judges had the following to say about the system. "Mackie's high-output active speaker system has made a major impact in late night venues across the UK. Combining high precision transducers with application specific amplifier technology, the system is capable of generating extreme output levels with incredibly low distortion levels. Its in-built amplification allows for ease of installation and minimal signal loss."

Philips Compact Discussion System
Thursday, 21 June 2001

The new CCS 800 compact discussion system from Philips CSI provides an easy and affordable way to improve the management of meetings and conferences. It also comes with an extra incentive - a free delegate unit for every 10 delegate/chairman units purchased.

The CCS 800 is suited to small to medium-sized applications for up to 100 delegates. Each delegate unit comes complete with built-in microphone, loudspeaker and two headphone sockets with volume control. Optional units have an additional priority override button which cuts off all other speakers when pressed, allowing meetings to be managed more effectively. Other optional features include simultaneous translation facilities, remote participation by telephone and linking to a PA system for broadcasting proceedings to a larger audience. The CCS 800 interfaces easily with external equipment to extend its capabilities. For instance, a graphic equaliser can be added to match ambient acoustics, and a public address system used to broadcast proceedings to a larger audience. Additional microphones (wired or wireless) can be allocated to guest speakers or for audience participation, and proceedings can be recorded and played-back via a tape recorder. Remote delegates can also participate by telephone (or video conference) via a telephone coupler, and a background music source can be connected to create an atmosphere or fill in gaps. Interpretation and language distribution facilities can also be added when required.

Conference Examines Music Technology
Thursday, 21 June 2001

Music with walls? Music without instruments? is the title of an international conference attended by 100 delegates and speakers from Europe and the US. The conference opens today at the De Montfort University (DMU) in Leicester and runs until Saturday.

"This is a high-level conference where we will be looking at the future of how music is composed and technological and music innovations," said Professor Andrew Hugill. He is one of the conference organisers, along with Professor Leigh Landy who heads the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Group at DMU. The conference will feature musical installations, listening posts, an internet station for interactive music-making, and musical performances at Phoenix Arts, Leicester. There will be four concerts and six installations throughout the conference, including ‘Time Drops’ by Akemi Ishijima - a continuously running soundscape. Highlights of the programme at Phoenix Arts include Barry Truax who is curating an eight-channel sound concert with channels being used to create a sense of motion around the room and Paul Rudy who performs with a cactus wired for sound which is projected around the auditorium. One of the issues explored at the conference will be the concept of composing music via the internet.

Gosford Park Gets Audio Treatment
Thursday, 21 June 2001

The long-awaited new movie from acclaimed director Robert Altman - Gosford Park - has just completed shooting using very complex audio multi-track recording. Set in the thirties, with an all-star cast including Alan Bates, Stephen Fry, Sir Michael Gambon, Richard E. Grant, Sir Derek Jacobi, Helen Mirren, Dame Maggie Smith, Charles Dance and many more, this film seems certain to be a box office winner.

Director Altman is well known in movie sound circles as the man who ‘invented’ multi-track dialogue recording in feature films. In its basic form, each actor wears a radio microphone and is recorded separately on a multi-track system. During more complex scenes, many different conversations can take place simultaneously, and are filmed by two or more moving cameras. The audio is then reconstructed in post-production from the radio mic tracks and booms. Peter Glossop was in charge of the audio and recording on Gosford Park, which was shot on location in north London and Shepperton. Glossop has perfected the technique of multi-track recording and received the coveted MPSE Golden Reel award for his work on Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet. He was later nominated for an Oscar for Shakespeare in Love and since then he has used multi track techniques continually including on his latest film, the blockbuster The Mummy Returns.

Glossop’s complex recording technique makes enormous demands on the microphones. At times during Gosford Park, we were using 16 Audio Ltd radio mics - 8 channel 69, 4 channel 36 and 4 VHF," he recalls. "One of the main problems wa

Roxy Music Back on the Road
Thursday, 21 June 2001

Nearly 19 years after they vowed never to play live again, Roxy Music ended years of seemingly endless speculation with the announcement that they would be back on the road this year with their original line-up. Also back is producer Rhett Davies, who has been drafted in as sound director for the tour. Rhett has worked with an impressive and varied roster of artists over the years, including Dire Straits, Brian Eno, Talking Heads and the B52s.

Rhett and Levi Tecofski (FOH mixer) will be using three Mackie HDR24/96 recorders to record the entire Roxy tour. All the concerts will have every feed sent to the HDRs, which in turn will provide a full 72 tracks of new recordings at every stop. The band will be performing songs from an impressive portfolio that includes such hits as Avalon, More Than This, Jealous Guy, Angel Eyes, Dance Away, Love is the Drug, and of course, the seminal Virginia Plain.

The tour kicked off in the UK on June 11th in Glasgow. Additional stops include Newcastle, Nottingham, Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester and three nights at Wembley Arena beginning tomorrow night. On July 17th, the tour moves to North America where stops include Boston, New York, Atlanta, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The third leg includes three nights in Tokyo beginning September 7th returning for more European dates and a final gig in Dortmund, Germany, on September 21st.

Smart Audio
Wednesday, 20 June 2001

Direct marketing company Smart Sound Direct, has introduced the latest in its line of ancillary equipment. The Chameleon CF8 mains distribution unit/high frequency filter is designed to sit quietly within any sound system fending off those inherent mains born nasties such as high frequency ‘spikes’ and ‘saw tooth wave’ beasties living within the power supplies. Using Chameleon evolved precision winding techniques, far more mains filtration is now possible than previously achieved for a unit of this size and weight. The compact close coupled design allows 1U rack models to be fitted with Neutrik 15 amp Powercon sockets feeding up to eight appliances, or alternatively a 2U design featuring six 13 amp outlets.

Neil Finn & Friends
Wednesday, 20 June 2001

Neil Finn, of Crowded House and Split Enz fame, has been busy touring an entertaining live show with some semi-legendary muso mates and a very flexible format. L&SI caught up with him in New Zealand and the UK, courtesy of Catriona Strom and Steve Moles . . .

Auckland’s St James Theatre was the setting for the start of the Neil Finn & Friends shows, which featured a line-up including Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien and Phil Selway, Johnny Marr and Sebastian Steinberg on electric and double bass, and Lisa Germano doing vocals and a number of instruments.

Oceania Audio supplied sound, with the company’s Paul Jeffery acting as both technical manager and monitor engineer. "The concert was certainly a challenge," said Jeffery, "but having worked, off and on, for Split Enz and Crowded House for many years, I’m quite familiar with the way Neil operates."

To complicate matters, three guest performers, could be on stage at any one time. For flexibility, Jeffery chose a Midas Heritage monitor console, along with XTA graphic EQ, Lexicon MPX1 reverbs, and Drawmer gates. "We ran 12 sends of monitors with proprietary cabinets housing 12" and 2" JBL drivers," said Paul. "It was a very unpredictable time in monitor world - people were constantly being brought on and off the stage with guitars being swapped around. It was an exciting show."

The male vocalists were all on Shure Beta 58A microphones. A Turbosound Flash/Flood system was spec’d: the theatre’s upper level feat

CP Sound Find Armadillo Heaven
Wednesday, 20 June 2001

CP Sound has just completed the installation of an innovative new lighting rig, plus a re-invention and design of the sound system incorporating several new elements at The Core in Yeovil, Somerset. The club - formerly known as Duke’s - is owned by locally-based independent operator Terry Clare. Steve Howie from Howie Design was commissioned to produce the interior design, basing his themeing on ideas triggered from the complex and world of the cult 1999 Warchowski Brothers movie, The Matrix.

Audio-wise at the Core, CP Sound’s Colin Pattenden utilised as much as possible of the existing installation, whilst also addressing the previous system’s serious lack of bass. He added four JBL MS125S cabinets to the room, complete with new RSE PFX 1200 clip control amplifiers. CP Sound also added a DJ monitor where previously there was none - plus two JBL top cabinets for infill, and another two RSE amps, plus a Formula Sound AVC2 limiter.

The lighting installation was also designed by Colin Pattenden working with Ian McLaughlan. Over the bars are a series of fibreglass armadillos (for those Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas moments) and between each is a fibreglass pod - six in total. Each pod has an Opti Solar 250 projector with oil wheel behind it, shining through the centre section of the pod - with the effect of making the pod appear to be moving and ‘growing’ inside. Opposite the bar are two more pods, with a further four over the dancefloor - each pod with its own Solar 250. Solar 250s are again used with oil wheels over the stairwell and behind

Drawmer Shows-off New Six-Pack
Tuesday, 19 June 2001

Drawmer has introduced the six-pack - a 3U, six channel multi-dynamics processor which features comprehensive universal linking technology designed specifically for surround-sound application. The unit can be configured so that any combination of channels can be linked to track each other's levels preventing image shift. For example, front left/right and rear left/right can be configured as two stereo pairs with individual channel control over both centre and sub-bass (LFE). Channel six offers the option of a switchable 120Hz low-pass filter in order that a sub-bass (LFE) channel may be derived from a five channel surround mix. Each channel comprises a soft knee compressor with switchable Auto or Manual Attack and Release, a variable threshold limiter and a 'Programme Adaptive' Expander/Gate with a variable release time of up to five seconds to retain reverberation tails where necessary. LEDs show link status and comprehensive bargraph metering displays all dynamic functions.

Doing The Monitors
Tuesday, 19 June 2001

Dutch HK Audio distributor Wils Muziekimport sponsored a seminar on the topic of On-Stage Monitoring. The seminar, which was held in ‘013’ in Tilburg, Holland, was led by guest speaker Rob Hodgkinson and was attended by over 50 participants eager to pick up some practical tips from the Deep Purple monitor engineer. Hodgkinson’s presentation, which focused on all the important aspects of preparation that make effective stage monitoring possible, was followed by a virtual factory tour and additional background information about the entire HK Audio touring and rental line, presented by product specialist Christian Stumpp. After the theoretical part of the presentation came the practical segment, for which a seven-piece band was ready to perform a live soundcheck.

In contrast to standard product demos that use music from CDs, here each member of the audience was given the opportunity to work the monitor console or FOH desk and carry out a thorough soundcheck of any instrument they wanted or of the entire band. Several competitors’ monitors were also available for comparison. A great deal of attention was given to the new HK Audio VT 115 X. This is a two-way full-range loudspeaker system, which can be used for both monitor and FOH applications. Further seminars are planned - for details visit the company’s website.

Innovative Design from Electro-VoiceInnovative Design from Electro-Voice
Monday, 18 June 2001

EVID is a brand new range of loudspeakers from Electro-Voice, designed specifically for installations such as bars, restaurants, hotels, leisure and retail complexes. Designed with versatility in mind, these ellipsoid cabinets offer over 100º of swing and 45º of rotation, which combined with the flexible Strong-Arm-Mount (SAM) system, enables installers to cope with even the most challenging of spaces. EVID is available in three models, plus a subwoofer, and is also designed to integrate with the EP Series ceiling speakers should further choice be required. The baby of the range is the compact 3.2 full range followed by the 4.2 compact full-range loudspeaker system. The largest and most powerful EVID enclosure is the 6.2 extended range high output loudspeaker system, although at only 16.5" high it is still amazingly compact for what it can produce. With dual 6" woofers and a 1" titanium tweeter, the 6.2 is best suited for larger areas that demand higher SPL levels such as shopping malls, airports and stadia etc. Any of the three models may be combined with the 12.1 dual input sub for system enhancement. The systems are available in the UK from Shuttlesound from July onwards.


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