Audio News

Sounds of Frankfurt
Sunday, 22 April 2001

Lee Baldock and Steve Moles report from Germany on the latest audio developments from the Pro Light & Sound exhibition . . .

This year’s Pro Light & Sound exhibition seemed even busier than usual, perhaps partly due to the PL&S halls being rearranged to spread virtually the length of the site, so that what once took 2 or 3 minutes now takes 5 or 10. There were probably many who missed the relative ease of the previous layout, but the point, of course, is that the visitors turned out in force and went home satisfied - albeit in more pain than usual. So to business . . .

Acoustic Line, part of Seeburg Professional PA Systems, presented the TSMSat+ to augment the TS series. This is a highly compact ‘fill’ speaker built to go with the TS Mini Sub+ and is based around a 10" mid driver with a 1" compression onto a very compact horn flare, making for a small cabinet capable of delivering 300W rms from each component. The horn is the same as that used in the TSM10, with a 60° by 90° coverage pattern that can easily be rotated through 90°. Too small for a disco, this could be a nice little unit in a jazz club.

A couple of innovations from Adam Hall: their successful Rack Lamp launched at last year’s PLASA (LED source combined with 10mm side-emitting fibre optic), has been taken a step further. The idea of using a simple LED powered light source for low level rack lighting has been extended by the addition of a gooseneck device for use over control surfaces. Supplied with built-in spring-clip for easy mounting, and battery holder, th

Matrix Launch Zoning Amplifier
Friday, 20 April 2001

Matrix Audio Developments, the pro sound audio amplifier specialist, has launched its brand new MZA1 modular zoning amplifier. Ideal for shopping centres, restaurants, airports and large domestic installations, the MZA1 is fitted with a number of innovative features. Contained within a 4U 19" master main frame, the MZA1 features slots for up to eight amplifier zone modules, each rated at 50W rms per channel at 4 ohms. There is a music source and microphone selection on each zone module, as well as two microphone and four stereo music inputs. The MZA1’s versatility is exemplified in its ability to be used with the F1 compact loudspeaker system.

PLASA Set for 2001 AGM
Friday, 20 April 2001

The 2001 PLASA AGM, along with the popular AGM Dinner, will take place on Thursday 14 June in the historic setting of Coombe Abbey, near Coventry. Set in 500 acres of parkland and dating back to 1150, this former Cistercian Abbey is now a thriving hotel and conference centre. In a slightly revised format for 2001, the day will include an opportunity for members to meet with key representatives of PLASA’s various operations in a number of small, hour-long ‘break-out sessions’. These will be organised as follows:

- PLASA Show - members of the Clarion Events show management team and members of the PLASA Exhibitor Forum will be on hand to discuss PLASA Show-related issues.
- Membership Services - PLASA’s head office staff dealing with membership services will be joined by consultants from certain of our service providers and members of the PLASA Executive Committee.
- PLASA Standards - PLASA’s Technical Standards Officer Tim Cox will be joined by consultants and other of PLASA’s standards representatives to discuss Standards-related topics.

As part of PLASA’s aim of increasing the opportunities for useful communication with its members, these sessions are intended to provide an informal environment for discussion, feedback and questions. PLASA’s managing director Matthew Griffiths comments: "We hope these sessions will prove a valuable use of the time between the AGM and the start of the evening’s entertainment. By offering the chance of an informal meeting with key representatives of the Association, we h

X-treme Sound and Vision in Qatar
Friday, 20 April 2001

Creating a thunder and lightning special effect was just one of the tasks facing D J Willrich Ltd (DJW), the AV and multi media specialist, at X-treme World in Doha, Qatar this month. Situated on the third floor of a large shopping mall in the centre of Doha, X-treme World incorporates a go-kart track, rock climbing, a real snow ski slope, fairground rides and other extreme sporting activities. DJWs 10-day remit included sound, video and the rumbling special effects. DJW’s 16-screen videowall placed at the entrance offers both film footage of professional and extreme sports as well as links with the complex’s eight CCTV cameras set up to capture all the action at the attractions. The wall, which features16 Pioneer 40" rear-projection video cubes, has a 4-channel MPEG2 server plus control and switching hardware.

DJW, through Simon Rice-Oxley, supplied four video films for the wall, using a programme that runs the films in sync with the CCTV cameras which follow the action around the attraction being switched into the wall at certain points during the show. For this, DJW used a video matrix switcher controlled by a Stinger show control unit.The sound system has been designed to cover the entire 70m x 70m area for music playback. Here, DJW encountered a couple of challenges as the client requested a sound system that gave good volume and clarity within a fairly limited budget. Added to this, the speakers had to be hung from a roof 15m high. John Doe, DJW’s project manager at X-treme, said: "To overcome these problems we used 10 Bose Panaray LT spe

Expansion and Relocation for HGA
Thursday, 19 April 2001

Harris, Grant Associates (HGA), the leading acoustical consultancy, has recently moved its UK headquarters from Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire to larger premises in Guildford, Surrey. This move, which necessitated the complete refurbishment of the 18th century headquarters, enables the company to expand in new directions as current and future projects demand. HGA now has three principals: Neil Grant (managing director), Carolyn Hayter (finance director) and Sheen Uchida (who runs the Tokyo office). In addition, the design group has expanded to include Gavin Sargent, an architect who has worked with the company for 15 years.

Since the company was established in 1984, HGA has been involved with the design of many of the world’s most successful TV, film and recording studios. The company has also diversified into areas such as home theatre/cinema projects varying enormously in size, content and complexity, as well as the superyacht industry where it continues to be responsible for a succession of state-of-the-art installations aboard new-build and refitted yachts. Current major projects on land and at sea include the acoustic and technical design of an art, music and film facility in Central London; the largest and most sophisticated video and audio post-production facilities in northern Europe for Valkieser; and three superyacht acoustic and design projects.

US Distributor for Formula Sound
Thursday, 19 April 2001

Following a meeting at the Frankfurt Musikmesse in March, Formula Sound has appointed Network Pro Marketing as its distributor in the US. "We have been looking for the right company to represent us in the States for some time. We believe that we have found a company who appreciate our position in the market place and have the commitment to promote our products to our mutual advantage," says Sandra Cockell of Formula Sound.Marty Druckman, CEO of Network Pro Marketing adds: "We are very excited about working with Formula Sound. After 27 years in the business they have a great reputation and an interesting range of products that we are looking forward to introducing to our customers."

BigSound is Big on Midas
Thursday, 19 April 2001

Since the conception of The Big Sound Corporation (BigSound) at the beginning of this year, the company has come to own more Midas consoles than any other company in Wales. BigSound has invested in a total of four Midas consoles - two Heritage 1000s and two Heritage 3000s - from the Birmingham branch of LMC Audio Systems, in order to make Midas consoles available to local bands in Wales. Their Heritage 1000s make regular appearances at Sam’s Bar in Cardiff, a must-play venue whose walls have been shaken by Welsh idols such as the Manics and Catatonia. BigSound find the Heritage 1000 perfect for such a venue, as Duncan Wild from BigSound explains: "The Heritage 1000 has the headroom and sound of a Midas console but put in a compact frame. Delivering this kind of sound outside a 1500-plus venue is a dream."

Proprietor David Davies said: "Like most PA company owners, I played in a band and I would have loved to have had the opportunity to use a Midas. It feels great to know I’ve played a key part in making such equipment available in Wales. Every engineer wants to use them and that’s why we’ve invested in four consoles."

The Midas consoles add to BigSound’s inventory of a wide array of high end PA equipment, which includes an Allen & Heath ML5000 and an Allen & Heath MixWizard, 36 BSS FCS966 OPAL graphics plus Omnidrive Compacts and BSS Minidrives, Drawmer DS201s, Behringer Multigate Pros and a selection of Shure and AKG mics - all purchased from LMC. BigSound services both concert touring and corporate clients throughout t

New Mixers From Denon & RaneNew Mixers From Denon & Rane
Wednesday, 18 April 2001

Hayden Laboratories has announced the addition of two new mixer products to its UK distribution portfolio. The new Denon DN-X800 mixer, a versatile, highly affordable DJ mixer, containing all the features you’d expect from a pro mixer, plus additional X-Effect functionality designed to maximise the effects capabilities of Denon’s twin CD player range. The DN-X800 is the first DJ mixer to feature four digital inputs and two digital outputs. One of the possibilities offered here is the easy conversion of vinyl to a digital media, e.g. DAT, CD, minidisk, etc. When combined with the range of new Denon CD players, the X800 offers new features for the DJ. Operating the CD Player and X800’s Cross Fader now becomes a single-handed operation. The X-Effect can be used in both single and dual Drive Operation with the CD decks and is ideal for spontaneous and performing and re-mixing on the fly. It is simple and intuitive to operate and enables a plethora of live effects. In Cross Fader Start mode (channels 1, 2, 3, 4), single-handed operation is possible to Start or Stop Sound and Cut In and Out simultaneously.

Also new is the Rane MP44 mixer, a fully-featured, high-end professional mixer for serious DJs and performers. Features include FlexFX loop assignment, emergency paging and optional level controls. The FlexFX facility allows the assignment of a single effects loop to any or all of the MP44’s four channels - simultaneously if required. The Page Input auto-senses the presence of audio and attenuates the house and DJ booth outputs by 40 dB thus allowing f

Dobson Sound at London Fashion Week
Wednesday, 18 April 2001

Dobson Sound has been mixing with the stars at the recent London Fashion Week. Their first show was for former British Fashion Awards New Generation Designers Suzanne Clements and Brazilian-born Inacio Ribeiro, whose current Spring 2001 collection is for French label, Cacharel. Held in a specially-constructed marquee on the upper level of the Natural History Museum, it was a fairly informal show with guest DJ Rob da Bank providing the tunes on Dobson's two Technics 1210s through a d&b C7/E9 combination, and eight flown E3s.

Two days later, Dobsons was involved in the startling transformation of Asprey's and Garrard on New Bond Street to launch Jade Jagger’s new collection of jewellery. The private party was hosted by Ms Jagger herself who was reported to be delighted with the transformation wrought upon the premises in such a short space of time. Engineer Mark Smith, who also looked after the Clements-Ribeiro show, explained that although the store did not close to the general public until 6pm, by 7.30pm all of the counters had been removed and replaced with a fully functional 'club' on the mezzanine level. "We went for the twin Technics system with two C7 stacks for this room (Max wedge for DJ monitor) and a further eight E3s for relay in the main body of the shop," said Smith. "DJ's included the 'party-master', Jeremy Healey, who had originally requested Technics decks and a JBL system. However, I think he was fairly impressed with the d&b along with all the other DJs and no doubt most of Mayfair's residents!! In fact, even the host’s father w

Arena Club Upgrade
Wednesday, 18 April 2001

The Arena Club in Exeter has recently undergone a major refurbishment, which included the installation of completely new audio and lighting systems. Installation company PSD specified and installed two Mach M128 and eight M126 top box units, along with sub bass units from Martin Audio. Two BSS Omnidrives provide processing while amplification is provided by Ecler PAM 2600, PAM 2000 and PAM 560 with mixing from an Ecler Mac 901. On the lighting side, PSD specified a large amount of Martin Professional gear including MAC 500s and 600s, Pro 518 and 918 scanners, MX-4 scanners RoboColor IIIs and Destroyers. Two Martin Pro 2000 foggers provide atmospheric smoke effects. Control is from a Martin Windows-based LightJockey DMX controller.

Envo-Tech’s New London HQEnvo-Tech’s New London HQ
Tuesday, 17 April 2001

Leading sound contractor Envo-Tech, well known for its safety and security systems integration, recently unveiled an impressive new showroom at its HQ in Central London. The showroom is expressly designed to reflect the two sides of Envo-Tech's business, and to demonstrate the increasing synergy between them. One end of the large, naturally-lit room showcases Envo-Tech's advanced alarm, PA, CCTV and access control systems, for which the company has gained an enviable reputation among clients such as The Royal Mail, Crown Properties and The National Maritime Museum. The other end displays the comprehensive loudspeaker and signal processing solutions available from Envo-Tech for the entertainment markets, encompassing all of the brands now under the world-famous Mackie umbrella: Mackie, Mackie Industrial, Mackie-RCF and EAW.Founder and managing director of Envo-Tech Brian Puckey commented to PLASA Media: "Buildings today need both industrial and pro audio elements, and thanks to the digital technology now available we are in the perfect position to offer simultaneous expertise in both."

Cereco Opens New Auction Sites
Tuesday, 17 April 2001

Cereco International, the on-line equipment auction facility run by John Lethbridge, believes it has found a way to protect both buyers and sellers from fraud, without the need to use a credit card. The solution, the company believes, is to be found on their two new sites.

Cereco Used Trade Auctions is again for goods supplied by manufacturers and distributors but will now include VAT registered rental companies, installers and VAT registered sole traders. All of the equipment will be ex-rental, ex-installation or part-exchanged audio, lighting, video or special effects. All of the sellers on this site are known to Cereco International, and have to enter into a written agreement to fulfil certain conditions including replacing any goods not received in the condition described. Buyers deal directly with the seller. This service is completely free to sellers if no sale is achieved.

Gearmarket UK is for goods supplied by private individuals and small businesses who are not VAT-registered. All the sellers on this site have to agree in writing to Gearmarket UK collecting payment for their goods, which is then held for 72 hours while the buyer checks the goods and either authorizes payment to the seller or ask for the goods to be collected and returned, in which case, the buyer received a 100% refund. This service is completely free to sellers for sales less than £250. For sales over £250, Gearmarket UK take a 10% commission.

Cerwin Vega Upgrades E Series
Monday, 16 April 2001

Cerwin-Vega! has introduced a second generation version of its popular E-Series hi-fi loudspeakers, which cover floor-standing, bookshelf and centre channel models. These are now available through the Californian loudspeaker giants’ exclusive UK distributors, Lamba plc. Four models form the floor-standing range - namely the E-715, E-712, E-710 and E-708. Features common to all models include diecast aluminum woofer; immense power handling, and greater output with less applied power. Thanks to the Acoustic Contour Controls, the E-Series promises optimum sound in any listening environment, while the Multi Density Cabinet has been designed to help reduce distortion and improve tonal accuracy. The E-Series is loaded with a balanced dome tweeter, offering high sensitivity, with protection from thermal overload, plus a lightweight 5.25in midrange, producing smooth, clean vocals from the low mass cone - while the tuned bass-reflex design promises a full 3dB boost at the tuning frequency.

DAS Do it in Style
Saturday, 14 April 2001

Spanish loudspeaker manufacturer DAS Audio recently hosted a dealer and press visit to its premises in Valencia, during the final days of the city’s world-famous Fallas Festival.

The Festival provided the perfect backdrop for a visit to the company’s manufacturing facilities in both Valencia and Barcelona, where dealers got the opportunity to take a closer look at a number of new speakers recently launched by the company, and first seen just a few weeks earlier at the Frankfurt MusikMesse.

Key amongst these is the Compact 1. Self-powered, it is a three-way, bi-amplified system that can be used as a full-range stand-alone unit or as a mid-high cabinet with bass reinforcement. It features a 1000W ‘Class D’ switching amplifier, which delivers 500W to the low frequency transducer and 300W to the mid/high section. The low frequency section has a G-354, 15" low frequency speaker with 4" voice coil, whilst mid-range frequencies are reproduced by a horn loaded B-6, 6" cone loudspeaker. An M-5, 1" exit compression driver with 2" titanium diaphragm handles the high frequency reproduction.

The second new product is an addition to the popular Reference Series. The R-214 is configured as a passive two-way system designed for fixed installation applications. Providing powerful bass response, it features two high efficiency 15" low frequency speakers with 3" voice coils and a carefully engineered cooling scheme. The high end makes use of a 1" exit compression driver with 2" titanium diaphragm, coupled to a constant

Holy Smoke
Friday, 13 April 2001

An Italian manufacturer is doing its bit for 21st century religion with the invention of a smoke machine for priests, which will allow them to deliver clouds of incense smoke at the touch of a button. The company, Belltron, says the machine will put an end to the difficult job of lighting incense during Mass. They say the battery-powered machine is very easy to use, and is environmentally friendly because it uses less incense. Belltron specialises in high-tech solutions for the church: among its other products are loudspeakers and microphones, as well as solid-state digital storage units which can faithfully reproduce organ music (with speed control) and church bells (software complete with Ecclesiastical Almanac of Holy Days).

Formula Sound Help Belgium’s ‘Big Brother’
Friday, 13 April 2001

Formula Sound has supplied equipment to a Belgium TV channel’s version of Big Brother. VT4 Date café is a TV programme where 12 individuals jointly run a pub/cafe under constant surveillance by cameras. The programme runs on TV for eight weeks every day at 8.30pm and live at 9pm on Monday. For the programme, Formula Sound provided three FSM-600 mixers, three AVC2 automatic volume control units and three SE219 system equalisers - all supplied through its distributor in Belgium, Deltavox BVBA from Bruges.

InspHire Sign Partnership Agreement
Friday, 13 April 2001

InspHire Ltd, providers of hire management systems for hire companies, has signed a Partnership Agreement with Microsoft Great Plains Business Solutions. inspHire will offer Great Plains Dynamics and e-Enterprise solutions as the fully integrated Back Office solution for inspHire’s SQL Edition. With a long history of working together to deliver new business technologies, the two companies are joining forces to provide a package for small and medium companies. Andy Beal, inspHire MD told PLASA Media: "The signing of the Partnership Agreement between the two companies was the culmination of a two-year search for a suitable Back Office partner to integrate into inspHire SQL Edition. Great Plains' purchase by Microsoft, together with the VBA tools available to us in the end, made it an easy choice. Not only will we be able to offer the same level of two-way integration with our hire system, but our customers will have the benefit of using a Microsoft branded accounts system in use in 130,000 businesses in 132 countries worldwide."

72% Visitor Increase for ABTT
Thursday, 12 April 2001

Point Promotions have announced a 72% increase in attendance at last week’s ABTT Theatre Show. The show this year expanded into both of the Royal Horticultural Halls, and had widened its remit to attract 30 new exhibitors. The initial un-audited visitor attendance figures show an increase of 72% over last year’s registered numbers. Point Promotions was appointed by the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) to administer the change from the ABTT Trade Show to the bigger and improved ABTT Theatre Show. The expanded show featured on-stage technology such as lighting, rigging, drapes and sound and also many exhibitors with front-of-house technology including seating and staging.

DPA Introduces Revolutionary Headband
Wednesday, 11 April 2001

DPA Microphones has designed a new headband offering superior sound and functionality for live performance and broadcast. The first model in the current series was the successful 4065, intended for everyday use by the same person: the new 4066 headband offers similar advantages in an environment where there is a different user every day. New adjustment features make it easy and quick to change the placement, from one side of the head to the other, as well as adjusting the length of the microphone boom. As the microphone is omni-directional, it is not necessary to have the microphone stretched out in front of the mouth. The sound quality of the 4065 microphone is consistent in the new 4066, which has a maximum SPL of 144dB - among the best in its class. Morten Stove, CEO of DPA Microphones, explains the background of 4066: "Our objective was to create a more flexible solution to the problem of headset microphones. We tested many different alternatives in conjunction with user input from customers such as Scharf Weisberg in Washington, who has been using the 4065 with the Back Street Boys."

During the development, two factors were highlighted: "The primary issue is the adjustability of the brace behind the neck. Smaller than other models on the market, the 4066 has a 2mm slim tube behind the neck, which is adjustable on both the left and the right side. This feature allows it to fit just about all heads. A flexible boom placement is essential, enabling the visible profile of the microphone to be kept as discreet as possible. Because it is easy to change the

New Audio Products from Gemini SoundNew Audio Products from Gemini Sound
Wednesday, 11 April 2001

Gemini Sound Products has introduced the XPM-3000 three-channel MOSFET professional power amplifier, which incorporates two satellite ‘main’ channels and one subwoofer channel with switchable low frequency boost. The XPM-3000, which can be operated without the subwoofer channel, offers stability of the latter down to a 2ohm load, and post crossover line level outputs for chaining additional subwoofers and satellite speakers. Other features include high-power output to avoid clipping, two-way Linkwitz-Riley crossover, oversized torroidal transformer, comprehensive speaker protection circuitry and signal ground lift switch.

Also new from Gemini is the UX-1600 UHF wireless microphone system. Offering 16 channels, the UX-1600 has both balanced and unbalanced output jacks, an LED indicator for RF located on the front panel, alongside an accessible squelch control. Housed in a half-rackspace mounting unit, the UX-1600 also features auto-mute circuitry to eliminate popping and static when the mic is out of range, plus a frequency-tuned quarter-wavelength antenna. The UX-1600 is available in hand-held, lavalier or headset models. Also new from Gemini are the UX-1610 diversity wireless mic system and the UX-1620 dual-channel UHF system.

Alan Law Joins SPS
Tuesday, 10 April 2001

Alan Law has recently been appointed general manager for the SPS group, with responsibility for service delivery, quality assurance and Health & Safety. Alan joins SPS from Earls Court & Olympia where he has spent the last three years as technical services manager and health and safety manager responsible for non-exhibition related events and conferences including The Brit Awards, the Vodafone Gala dinner and numerous pop shows. Law was then asked to take on the role of Halls H&S manager, with the brief to audit and re-evaluate Earls Court’s approach to the ever-increasing H&S legislation. Prior to this Alan worked with Blackout, the drapes and rigging company and was a key player in the rapid expansion they experienced in their early years. SPS managing director Robin Coles comments: "To have a manager of Alan's experience and ability in this new key role adds another dimension to our company."

Medusa Theatre in Bologna
Tuesday, 10 April 2001

The Medusa multi-screen theatre in Bologna, a 31,000sq.ft theatre complex featuring nine separate theatres, has been outfitted with a Mach speaker system and Martin intelligent lighting equipment. Audio is provided by eight Mach Installation series M68 in-fill speakers, four Mach M208 subwoofers and four Mach M62 two-way, nearfield speakers. In the large foyer, eight MAC 600 washlights provide colour wash with eight MAC 250 profile spots adding pattern and logo projections. A Martin ProScenium, a versatile DMX lighting control package for multi-media and architectural applications, is used to syncronize lights, audio and video-trailers for the foyer. Outside the complex two Exterior 600 washlights bathe the building in a colorful mix of yellows and blues while 2 PAL 1200 scanners add gobo and logo projection. Lighting Designer and Systems Integrator for the Medusa project was Roberto Ferrari from Creative Communication Milan.

MAVCO Awarded Contract for Patriot
Tuesday, 10 April 2001

MAVCO has been involved in the recent $21 million renovations onboard United States Lines’ Patriot - now the largest US-flagged cruise ship. MAVCO’s involvement included the design and installation of audio-visual equipment in a number of areas, plus refits of existing facilities. The renovated areas included the Broadway Lounge, Eagle’s Watch, Founders Lounge and Stars and Stripes Show Lounge; which were all fitted with audio systems. The two-tier Stars & Stripes Show Lounge features revues, cultural shows and nostalgia nights from the 70s: here MAVCO has installed an audio system with equipment sourced from Shure, Apogee, Mackie, Sony and EAW. New areas include the Waikiki Lounge and Outrigger Deck - both fitted with audio systems. The flexible lighting systems for the two areas were primarily sourced from Altman, Leprecon, High End/Powerline and Jem Smoke. The Conference Centre, meanwhile, offers everything from Denon CD and cassette players to 3M overhead projectors, Kodak slide and video projectors and a complete portable audio system sourced from JBL, C-Audio, Lexicon and Mackie.

MAVCO’s expertise and long history with cruise ships enabled them to complete the design/build job on schedule and in their usual style. In addition to their work on the above areas Pete Canzonetta was responsible for putting MAVCO’s stamp on the refit of the Broadcast Room, increasing the TV system from 5 to 22 channels, including 10 satellite channels. MAVCO will continue its association with United States Lines with a contract to design, supply and project m

Taky Introduces Microphone RangeTaky Introduces Microphone Range
Monday, 9 April 2001

Taiwanese microphone manufacturer Taky Electronics has introduced a brand new range of microphones aimed at the professional live sound and recording markets. Now on sale throughout Europe, Taky’s JTS range offers professional solutions across a wide range of applications. Manufactured from high-quality components, all of the JTS range include hardened steel grilles and are finished in metallic enamel-painted die-cast metal for durability on the road. The JTS range includes the NX-2 bass instrument microphone (30Hz - 12kHz), the NX-6 supercardioid instrument microphone (60Hz - 16kHz), the multi-purpose NX-7 vocal and instrument microphone (50Hz - 16.5kHz) and the NX-8 cardioid vocal microphone (50Hz - 16.5kHz).


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