Audio News

Crown improves IQCrown improves IQ
Tuesday, 7 May 2002

Crown International announces that IQ for Windows software version 5.1 is now currently available for free download. The new application is an upgrade from version 5.0 released last fall and offers two key improvements over its predecessor. First and foremost, IQ for Windows v5.1 fully supports Crown’s six new CTs Series amplifiers, including the four-channel CTs 4200 and eight-channel CTs 8200, all of which debuted at the NSCA Expo in Denver.

Secondly, and very importantly, the new software now implements a drag-and-drop methodology for the creation of custom user control panels. For example, by simply clicking on a desired control, such as a fader, on the standard control panel and dragging it onto the control surface, v5.1 automatically links the component into the signal chain. To group faders together, all one needs to do is take another fader from a different control panel and drop it on top of the first fader and the program will link them together as a master control.

"With previous versions of IQ for Windows, linking controls required many more mouse clicks and consumed a greater amount of time, especially in large installations," says Jim Stembel, Crown International marketing director for IQ and networking. "However, our new drag-and-drop approach vastly reduces both programming time and labor making it much faster and easier for contractors to set up and implement IQ Systems."

The software is available for download from the website address below:

(Lee Baldock)

New Easyflex boundary mic from Shure
Tuesday, 7 May 2002

UK Distributor HW International has announced that the final two models in the Shure Easyflex Range are now in stock. The Easyflex family of high-quality cardioid and omnidirectional condenser microphones is designed for budget-minded installations.

The new Easyflex Boundary microphones, suitable for low profile applications, complete the family of eight miniature microphones, including both gooseneck and overhead versions. Both new boundary models are offering a choice of cardiod (EZB/C) or omni-directional (EZB/O) condenser cartridges. All with a charcoal grey finish, with attached 12’ cable, in-line preamplifier and recessed mounting holes for quick installation. The Shure EZB/C retails at £120.00 ex VAT with the EZB/O retailing at £110.00 ex VAT.

Whilst the Shure Easyflex Gooseneck (EZG) versions, make an ideal miking solution for podium and lecterns, are available in either 12 or 18-inch cardioid configurations with a charcoal-grey finish. Outfitted with 10-ft., side-exit cables and in-line preamplifiers, the first pair is equipped with threaded mounting flanges. Sporting locking flange mounts, the second pair is fitted with integrated preamplifiers and XLR connectors. All four come standard with a charcoal grey slip-on foam windscreen and a single flexible gooseneck section.

Ideally suited for choirs and ensembles, the Shure Easyflex Overhead (EZO) microphones come in either white or charcoal with cardioid pickup patterns. Adjustable wire frames are found on each for positioning, along with in-line preamplifiers and XLR termination. A matching charcoal

Orbital and The National pool expertise for advanced training
Friday, 3 May 2002

Orbital Sound combined forces with The Royal National Theatre to deliver its second annual advanced training course for students wishing to pursue a career in theatre sound. Building on the success of the first course initiated jointly last year by Orbital’s Simon Whitehorn and The National’s Rob Barnard, the second edition expanded on its successful formula to be co-produced and staged at The National Theatre and at Orbital’s Brixton-based facility.

This year the creative and conceptual workshops were staged at ‘the National’, whilst in-depth technical sessions were held at Orbital’s headquarters in mid April. The importance of sound in theatre continues to grow at a rapid rate thanks to advances in technology and the changing expectations of audiences, producers and directors. As audio technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, both Orbital and The National are concerned that there is a skills shortfall, and that young people entering the industry have little experience of the latest technology.

The course is designed as a ‘top up’ for final year Stage Management and Technical Theatre Students. Fifteen candidates were nominated from London Drama Schools to participate in carefully structured classes. Rob Barnard, head of sound at The National, commented: "We’re delighted that the second edition was another huge success. By combining resources and expertise we are ideally positioned to offer this intensive training course for students interested in pursuing a career in theatre sound. Our aim is to add more

Changes at Tannoy as West departs
Friday, 3 May 2002

Simon Sinclair, who for the past five years has been heading up the TC sales operation in the USA, is joining Tannoy as sales director. He replaces Derek West who is leaving the company after 10 years. West’s decision to leave coincides with the TC Group's commitment to Tannoy, which requires all senior management personnel to be based within easy reach of company headquarters in Scotland. "After 10 years, the commute between Oxford and Glasgow has begun to lose its appeal," says West. "I've been thinking seriously about a change in career path, so, as I wasn't keen on re-location, it seemed the right time to make the change. However, after such a long association, I shall be sad to leave my colleagues at Tannoy, but I know the success we've enjoyed will continue in Simon's capable hands."

(Ruth Rossington)

Turbosound - the sound jewel in Pensacola's CrowneTurbosound - the sound jewel in Pensacola's Crowne
Friday, 3 May 2002

Pensacola Christian College has recently completed a top-level facility at its Florida location. Designed and installed by All Pro Sound, a design/build contractor located in Pensacola, the facility comprises a comprehensive array of sound reinforcement, recording and broadcast systems, which were installed in the College's Crowne Centre over an 11-month period, and include over 160 Turbosound loudspeakers.

Conceived as a multi-purpose state-of-the-art facility, the Crowne Centre is the College's newest development and contains a large, 6,035-seat auditorium, with a flexible below-balcony area that can be divided into three separate 600-seat seminar areas. The auditorium's 33-metre two-storey stage includes a rotatable section, and has a frontal area that can be configured in four different formats. The Centre also houses two 200-seat wedding chapels, hospitality areas and classrooms, plus orchestra and choir rehearsal areas.

Sound quality and flexibility were the key requirements for the Crowne Centre, with the auditorium used for a wide cross-section of functions. John Fuqua, of All Pro Sound, commented on the stringent system design requirements involved: "The primary system specification was for vocal quality - clarity and intelligibility for speech, and musicality for vocal group and solo performances. Supporting this overriding requirement for quality was the need to re-configure the system, depending on the day-to-day usage of the auditorium itself and the Centre's other areas. To arrive at our final loudspeaker specification, we visited a number of similar

Soundcraft promotes Ian Staddon
Friday, 3 May 2002

Soundcraft’s worldwide headquarters in the UK has promoted Ian Staddon to the position of product development director, a newly-created role at the head of a team of experienced product managers. Staddon assumes responsibility for Soundcraft’s strategic product development activities, including market research, new product definitions and specifications, project management and new product introductions.

Staddon, who has been with Soundcraft for more than 10 years, has worked in purchasing, project management, production and sales, where his most recent role had been regional sales manager for Asia and South America. Prior to joining Soundcraft, he started his pro audio career at Bandive over 16 years ago, where he moved up to production manager for the last SECK range of mixers.

"This job calls for someone with knowledge of product and market application, as well as an understanding of manufacturing, in order to bring together all the different departments within Soundcraft," explains Staddon. "I have a broad knowledge of both the live sound and broadcast industries and, after many years in the field, working internationally, am very aware of the exacting demands of our customers and the technical issues they face. I will do my best to give them what they are asking for - high-performance audio products with all of the functionality they require."

(Lee Baldock)

Mackie launches high-spec ceiling 'monitor'
Thursday, 2 May 2002

At the recent NSCA exhibition in Denver, Colorado, Mackie Designs introduced a high performance, flush-mounted ceiling speaker for the fixed installation market. The new SP400C achieves superior dispersion and pattern control over conventional coaxial designs thanks to a unique high-frequency, exponential wave-guide originally developed for Mackie’s award winning studio monitors. The wave-guide combines with a 6.5-inch driver that has been optimized for smooth frequency response and seamless transition through the crossover point to redefine the price/performance ratio for commercial ceiling speakers.

"This is a very exciting new product for Mackie," stated Costa Lakoumentas, corporate director for global installed product and market development for Mackie Designs Inc. "The SP400C has been designed to be extremely contractor-friendly and easy to install while benefiting from Mackie’s experience in low-cost, high-quality acoustic design."

Mackie developed the SP400C to deliver sound which is more comparable to a studio monitor than a ceiling speakers - making it the ideal choice for contractors looking to produce a high-quality listening environment in restaurants, bars, retail stores, hotels, convention centers, or airports. The SP400C is supplied fully assembled, complete with a sealed zinc-coated steel backcan and cam-style installation clamps. The metal enclosure includes a recessed Euroblock input connector with detachable mating plug. Both are concealed behind a hinged metal cover plate. A welded tab is provided for seismic restraint

Beverley Knight gets up with ShureBeverley Knight gets up with Shure
Thursday, 2 May 2002

Beverley Knight, the UK’s premier soul/R&B solo artist, is currently touring Europe and recently appeared as a special guest to Jamiroquai on his UK arena tour. Beverley is enjoying high chart positions with her two recent hit singles ‘Get Up!’ and ‘Shoulda Woulda Coulda’ and after a break of two years the multi award-winning artist returns with a long awaited new album, which has just gone Gold.

A gospel singer since the tender age of three, Beverley has a voice which will send a tingle down the spine of the most cynical sound professionals. Beverley is an avid Shure user and her front-of-house engineer Matt Napier commented: "Shure mics were used exclusively for Beverley’s band and included Shure Beta 52s on kick drums and bass with a Beta 56 on snare drum, an SM81 on hi-hat plus two Beta 98s on the toms. The three backing singers used Beta 58A radio mics and PSM 700 personal monitors, whilst Beverley used a Beta 58A radio mic and conventional floor monitors. Shure M44-7 carts were used on DJ Pogo’s decks."

(Lee Baldock)

D.A.S. Audio announces Autopol extension
Thursday, 2 May 2002

D.A.S. Audio created its Autopol directivity measurement and post-processing platform in 1994 to provide high resolution polar measurements. A key element of the system was a large group of in-house developed algorithms that took care of the numerous computations. This included the PolArray module for performing array simulations with an accuracy unknown to commercial software. Due to the ‘in-house’ nature and the cryptic user interface of PolArray, the challenge became turning the overwhelming amount of information generated into a meaningful tool for the end-user when designing arrays.

Joe Brusi, Autopol director, explains: "People frequently ask us about what the coverage of such and such array would be for a given speaker model. Really, there is no quick answer, since it involves calculating the interference between the different boxes in the array. Even though, there had to be something that I could do for them. PolArray is a somewhat time consuming to program even for just for one cluster. I figured it would take about two months of uninterrupted measurement work to provide multiple cluster combinations for each product."

"Large arrays mean large measurement distances which meant good-bye to our anechoic chamber", states Brusi. "There aren’t many rainy days in Valencia but still, the prospect was not very appealing, even without considering the logistics complexities, so I sat down and wrote some elaborate code. Essentially, the new software works out all the array geometries, and then feeds our existing PolArray base alg

ARX appoints KEM as distributor for Greece
Thursday, 2 May 2002

ARX Systems, the Australian manufacturer of professional audio products, has appointed KEM Electronics Ltd as the company’s new exclusive distributor for Greece. ARX managing director Colin Park told PLASA Media: "ARX is delighted to have Thimios Koliokotsis and his experienced team at KEM on board as our new exclusive distributor. KEM were established in 1983 and are viewed as a pioneer in the Greek professional audio and video market."

(Lee Baldock)

Mach launches new M-Flex Series of speakers
Thursday, 2 May 2002

Mach’s new M-Flex series offers a unique solution to high quality audio reproduction, whether the application is smaller musical productions, AV work, stage monitoring or spoken word performances. Comprehensive rigging and mounting options combine with intelligent digital bi-amplification technology to create what Mach say is a truly flexible system.

The drive units in the M-Flex series have been custom designed to address key issues such as ultra-wide dispersion, linear frequency response, ultimate speech intelligibility and all fitted in a compact, lightweight and easy to handle cabinet. A unique customized 12" full-range coaxial drive unit has been designed for the M-Flex 12, which offers unsurpassed speech intelligibility, wide dispersion and impressive sound pressure. The 12" unit features a strong die-cast chassis and a 3" edge-wound voice coil. The 1" compression driver features a special Mylar diaphragm material with linear response up to 19kHz.

M-Flex 15 is the big brother of the M-Flex family and offers true full-range high SPL sound reproduction. The 15" unit is a unique construction that features a lightweight chassis. The 1" compression driver, mounted behind a 90° x 40° constant directivity horn, incorporates a very lightweight diaphragm and, with 107dB sensitivity, the unit is more efficient than many 2" drivers, but still boasts a wide frequency response and runs flat to 19kHz.

For reproduction of frequencies from 150Hz and below, the M-Flex S is capable of delivering the punchy kick from a bass drum, a hard l

South African roadies heading for US tour
Wednesday, 1 May 2002

A strategic contingent of 27 South African roadies has embarked on a 20-city US tour which will cover coast-to-coast principal venues, in an initiative engineered with UniverSoul Circus, Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The seven-month outing with Platinum Soul 2002 carves out the global collaborative stage that enhances technical exchange projects between the Republic of South Africa and the USA.

This initiative extends the five-year European projects, which cover Ireland, Holland, Denmark, France and Norway. In July 2001, while on a world tour through South Africa, Cedric Walker met with the president of SARA (South African Roadies Association), Freddie Nyathela, in Johannesburg and discussed ways and means of establishing joint-projects that could foster technical transfer initiatives. Within a year of that historic meeting, the scheme has come to fruition, falling in line with the objectives stated for SARA's 10th anniversary agenda (1992-2002).

The Emmy-nominated, globally recognized UniverSoul Circus, a vision of Cedric Walker and Cal Dupree, was created in 1994 to provide educational and inspiring entertainment to urban families. President and founder Cedric Walker is a veteran of the entertainment business, who has worked with the legendary Commodores and the Jackson Five. He also created the nation’s first rap tour, called FreshFest.

(Lee Baldock)

London’s prime showcase venue switches to FBT
Wednesday, 1 May 2002

With song-based music currently poised to make a major comeback, the recent growth of London’s Bayswater showcase venue, Tall Poppy Presents, has seen the venue become one of the hottest spots in town for A&R people and unsigned artists. Faced with a demanding, critical audience and international performers whose potential careers depend on the best possible sound quality, Tall Poppy has chosen FBT MaxX4a active PA speakers, supplied by UK distributor Proel (International).

The venue, situated at Henry’s Bar/Restaurant in the Henry VIIIth Hotel, Bayswater, is hosted each week by Canadian singer-songwriter Lee Lindsey, who performs her own material as well as introducing performances from a string of artists. The music is often demanding and the audience is fussy. Responsible for getting the sound right is guest engineer, record producer, Jack Guy. Jack (whose recording credits include INXS, All Saints and Gun) says: "We’d been looking for ages for a better standard and the FBT MaxX active speakers are very, very true - very natural at the top end and they don’t lie. When you play a CD back through the FBTs it sounds like a CD - sometimes with PA speakers a CD sounds terrible, but these are great. I’m actually going to be using them in the studio soon, to beef-up the sound of a room - that’s how good they are."

The FBT MaxX4a is a two-way system fitted with renowned B&C drivers: a single die-cast aluminium framed 12" speaker fitted with a neodymium magnet and a custom 1" compression driver. The MaxX 4a delivers 300

Extreme measures from Proel
Wednesday, 1 May 2002

Proel’s new Extreme PA package offers a plug-and-play solution for bands, artists and DJs looking for an easy to use, reliable and affordable PA. The Extreme EXKIT1210 is a self-powered 250W RMS twin enclosure system comprising a 12" subwoofer with 2" voice coil, 10" woofer with 1.4" voice coil, plus tweeter unit with spherical horn. The system is simple to set-up and operate, coming with all necessary components for a plug and play operation. The Extreme system features carpet-covered, 18mm wood cabinets fitted with kick-proof steel grilles, yet is easily transportable. The subwoofer weighs just 47lbs (21.5Kg), the full-range enclosure just 20lbs (9kg).

(Lee Baldock)

Trantec & Unique Systems introduce Active Audio
Wednesday, 1 May 2002

Trantec has launched the PT1 ‘Personal trainer’ system, in conjunction with major UK fitness centre specialist, Unique Systems, who will market the system under the Active Audio banner. The system provides each fitness centre member with a choice of multiple audio channels on the move. Up to 14 channels of digital audio can be transmitted from a bank of Trantec PT1 transmitters: any number of users can switch at will between any of the channels within a range of 100m, using their low-profile, personal beltpack receivers. Apart from the obvious benefits to the membership, the system also offers advantages to the club’s owners, as no ceilings have to be pulled down, no walls have to be channelled out and no floors need to be lifted to accomodate the Active Audio system. In fact, Unique Systems are quoting a fourhour installation with no down-time

"For many years now Health & Fitness clubs have been getting to grips with the ongoing issue of delivering maximum hassle-free audio performance to their members with the minimum of interruption to the workout, now it is possible with the Trantec personal trainer," says Unique Systems’ managing director Alan Vickery. "Unique Systems are currently in the middle of a massive countrywide marketing campaign to bring this revolutionary audio system to the attention of every fitness centre serious about its audio and I’m sure it won’t be long before every committed gym realizes the huge potential of cable-free audio."

Trantec marketing manager Tim Riley takes up the story: "T

Flash feature for Rane
Wednesday, 1 May 2002

Grandmaster Flash, founder of modern hip hop, is touring Europe using a specially customised Rane TTM 54i mixer. Flash’s set is a combination of retrospective sounds from his block party roots in the 1970s, presented in a contemporary style and atmosphere using the latest technology from Rane. His set sounds every bit as fresh and original as ever, creating positive energies and vibes plus a distinctive 21 century sound via the art of scratch mixing.

Flash has always customised his gear, right from the start. Originally, he explained, this was because the equipment simply wasn’t designed for the creative style of mixing he pioneered. He has now used Rane equipment for a couple of years: the first time he heard a Rane mixer - whilst playing at the New York club Life - he fell in love with it’s clear sound. "Rane is simply the cleanest mixer I’ve found," he says.

Flash is also impressed with Rane, as a manufacturer, for listening and taking onboard his creative and practical suggestions for their future product development. Rane and Flash are currently working on a joint project - rumoured to be a major landmark contribution to mix culture - due for introduction at the end of the year.

(Lee Baldock)

Drawmer launch a new line with Tube Stations
Tuesday, 30 April 2002

Drawmer has announced the launch of a new product range, incorporating the Tube Station 1 stereo mic pre/tube compressor (TS1) and the Tube Station 2 Dual Tube Compressor (TS2). The TS1 offers a wide dynamic range Class A mic/instrument pre-amp with high-pass filter and HF contour control followed by a stereo soft-knee compressor with independent variable ‘Tube Drive’ control. An optional digital output module (DC1) with SPDIF, Word Clock and AES/EBU connections enables high quality 24 bit/96K digital conversion. The TS2 is a dual mono or stereo linkable soft knee compressor with each channel equipped with a variable ‘Tube Drive’ control which can be switched out of the signal path for instant A/B comparison. An optional digital output module (DC1) with SPDIF, Word Clock and AES/EBU connections enables high quality 24 bit/96K digital conversion.

Marketing director Luke Giles comments: "The Tube Station range is a clear sign of Drawmer’s further advance into the digital market which began with the success of our Masterflow products and now sees us providing software plug-ins for the Mackie, Digidesign and Soundscape platforms. Until now Drawmer’s tube processing has been evident only in the well established 1960’s range, however, the TS1 and TS2’s digital option and new price level brings the recognised Drawmer tube sound to a much larger audience."

(Lee Baldock)

Ivor Green opts for TOA digital processing
Tuesday, 30 April 2002

Complex, competing and constantly upgraded software packages to drive DSP engines are providing a scourge to installers, according to Ivor Green & Associates. "We have tried most of the proprietary devices in our time - but we desperately need to reduce the time it’s taking our technical staff to get their heads around so many software versions, which they then have to carry to site because they are often not retro-compatible."

Green believes this to be the inherent weakness of the new generation digital processing. But now he thinks he has found the solution in TOA’s DP-0206 modular digital signal processor. And if the first flurry of installations proves successful, he aims to standardise on it. Ivor Green & Associates have already installed a DP-0206 in the new Life in Leeds for Luminar Leisure, and will shortly be fitting out half a dozen Midlands-based Litton Tree pubs for Surrey Free Inns - again using the digital processor. "The beauty with the DP-0206 is that it is a pre-configured unit, with elegant software, and seems to be a lot more straightforward," he said. "A further attraction is that it is very intuitive and extremely flexible."

For instance it can be configured as 6-in/6-out, 4-in/8-out or 2-in/10-out, making it ideal for a multi-zone set up. In Leeds it has been configured to control ten zones of loudspeakers, including main dancefloor coverage - handling limiting, EQ and stereo loudspeaker outputs as well as mono and stereo feeds, with system dynamics, EQ and time alignment. "We’re more than happy

Blackpool Odeon Refurbs for Funny GirlsBlackpool Odeon Refurbs for Funny Girls
Tuesday, 30 April 2002

Audio Sound Advice of Blackpool have supplied a complete audio system for the new production of Funny Girls, which re-opened recently at its new home in the old Odeon Cinema in Blackpool. The Funny Girls concept is to entertain the audience with famous show songs and arrangements, all performed by men in drag.

The refurbishment of the art deco theatre - complete with gilt adornments and deep carpets - included work in the private members club, nightclub, restaurant, main bar and feeder bars.

Audio Sound Advice’s Peter Bawden designed the theatre audio system and he and business partner Kevin Jones spent three months working closely with Phillip Holmes, project manager for venue owners In The Pink Leisure to ensure that it met all the venue’s needs. (ITPL was founded over 20 years ago by Basil Newby and now operates many of Blackpool’s most colourful venues.)

The new audio system is built around Martin Audio speakers, an Allen & Heath 12-channel mixing console and EV amplification. Martin’s EM system has been installed in the bar and restaurant areas, whilst a Wavefront WT3 theatre system features within the main auditorium, with four of the arrayable 3-way compact enclosures at FOH, along with four WT UB compact under balcony enclosures and two WS2A dedicated ultra-low frequency sub bass systems. The WT3s, painted bright gold to match the architecture, have been installed in two pairs on each side of the main stage - one pair to cover the stalls and a pair to cover the balcony area. The WT UBs cover the lower circle and have been painted white

New Shermann products hit the right note
Tuesday, 30 April 2002

Professional audio systems specialist Shermann UK is reporting excellent orders for two powerful PA products launched in November last year. Shermann's MRL-3, a compact multi-role loudspeaker and the powerful R118-B single 18" VLF system, have already seen success on busy tour schedules by Steeleye Span and Maddy Prior. More orders are now being received from across Wales and the UK. The sound system for the recent Maddy Prior tour was provided by Woking-based Kinetic, one of the network of rental companies who use Shermann equipment. The Shermann R118-B and MRL-3 were also used by Kinetic for Premier Radio's Christmas Party at Westminster Hall where Sir Cliff Richard played a major part in the celebrations.

Kinetic auditioned the prototype R118-B single 18" VLF system on several gigs last September and was delighted with the smooth, powerful LF response and system flexibility. It is now being used on a wide variety of tours and gigs along with the Shermann CA3 models. Shermann UK first introduced the new model to a local audience last November when it was put to the test at the annual fireworks display in the company's home town of Newtown, where just eight of these compact cabinets managed to rattle windows over a mile away.

"Early sales of the Shermann R118-B and MRL-3 have been excellent and our order book for the coming months is very healthy," said Shermann UK managing director Ken Hughes. With a network of professional users, installers and dealerships across the country, Shermann's widely respected loudspeaker systems are in widespread use at

Wavefront pops the cork at Club OneWavefront pops the cork at Club One
Monday, 29 April 2002

Martin Audio has supplied a large club sound system through its Irish distributor Rea Sound, to fulfil the exacting remit of club owner Peter Collins at his new venue, Club One in Cork. Collins and partner Denis O’Mullane have spared no expense in converting a former lap-dancing venue into an 800-capacity House/Garage dance club. They reckon to have spent around €1 million euros (£750,000) on the work - without the cost of the building - having brought in interior designer John Duffy, and Cork-based audio consultant Chris Tyler to ensure the venue achieved both aesthetic and acoustic perfection.

It was the latter who introduced Rea Sound to the contract, as the quest began for a system that could reproduce the hard R&B-flavoured music favoured by the clientele. Visits were arranged to Fabric in London - as well as premium Martin Audio sites in Northern Ireland - by Rea Sound’s Sean Gallagher, and Peter Collins also paid a visit to the PLASA Show in September before making his commitment. Collins confirmed: "It was the experience of Fabric that led me to Martin. That was the benchmark sound, and suddenly it all just fell into place.

Club One is situated on a single floor, with two rooms linked by a tunnel. "Due to the design of the tunnel, there’s practically no sound seepage between the two rooms," records Sean Gallagher. On the main dancefloor Rea Sound have provided a four-way active system, comprising a Wavefront W8C flown in each of the four corners, with three WSX sub bass ground-stacked on either side of the dancefloor (after the

Miss Saigon - reveals all to LIPA students
Monday, 29 April 2002

Autograph Sound Recording has just completed its third theatre sound workshop for LIPA's sound technology degree students. This year the workshop took place at the Manchester Palace Theatre, where Miss Saigon has been playing to a full house for the past six months, its first stop on a two year UK tour.

Prior to seeing the show, the students were invited to meet two of Autograph's leading sound designers, Terry Jardine, the company's managing director and Nick Lidster, sound designer for the UK touring production of Miss Saigon. Terry talked them through the roles of a theatrical sound team, from designer to production crew, while Nick explained his design for the touring version and its development from the original West End production, which premiered just over 12 years ago at London's Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

The workshop then moved into the auditorium, were the students met Miss Saigon's sound operator, Jonnie Asher, who showed them around the installation and demonstrated the surround sound effects and the 5.1 Dolby licensed TCS S6000 processor. This unit, often found in film and DVD mastering suites, is one of the new design developments on the Miss Saigon UK tour. The TCS S6000 allowed Nick to create a fully integrated sound system as well as prompting a first in UK live theatre - a 5.1 Dolby surround certification.

John Thornton - LIPA's head of sound technology, comments: "Autograph's continued commitment allows the students to work with the real tools of the trade and learn from the actual theatre sound designers and crew. This in turn introduces the s

Diamonds are foreverDiamonds are forever
Monday, 29 April 2002

Adam Hall Ltd, one of Europe’s largest suppliers of flight-case fittings, has just announced the release of an addition to its ‘Astroboard’ range of panel materials. ‘Astrodiamondboard’ has been the result of ongoing research and development work on modern lightweight flightcase panel materials. The research is proving to be a major benefit to the flightcase industry, allowing it to expand into many other areas where it has been essential that protection cases must be of the lightest materials possible. 7mm brown ‘Astrodiamondboard’ is now available off the shelf.

(Ruth Rossington)

Hawthorn Theatrical supplies for Chemical BrothersHawthorn Theatrical supplies for Chemical Brothers
Friday, 26 April 2002

Lighting and sound specialist Hawthorn Theatrical has recently supplied lighting, trussing, rigging and drapes for the UK and European leg of the current Chemical Brothers tour. Lighting designer for the tour is Andy Liddle, who has been working with Hawthorn Theatrical since last April. He has specified High End Studio Beams, Martin MAC 300s and Atomic strobes, Clay Paky Stage Scans, Avolites dimmers and a Wholehog 2 control desk.

Hawthorn Theatrical's main challenge was to produce a circular revolving structure which could be used as a projection screen and then flip over to its reflective side at the end of the show to form the centrepiece of a breath-taking finale. In addition, the screen had to be lightweight and modular as it was to travel with the band for the whole of the World tour. As an approved Prolyte dealer, Hawthorn Theatrical provided 4.5m circular truss from the H30V range, along with Stagemaker motor hoists and a variety of specialist fabrics to achieve the stunning space age effects shown in the accompanying photograph.

(Lee Baldock)


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