When the City of Manchester Stadium heralds the start of the XVII Commonwealth Games on July 25, public information will be broadcast to the maximum 38,000-capacity seating via a sophisticated new sound system.Built by contractor Laing, Arup’s design of the £77m stadium is based on an eight-mast and cable structure, ensuring that all seats have uninterrupted views of the pitch. Every part of the stadium structure is used to support the 600-ton undulating roof which covers every seat.
Its acoustics have been cleverly tuned to enhance the crowd noise by using the underside of the roof. Arup Acoustics has provided this design service, as well as the building acoustics and overall sound system design, in addition to an environmental noise impact assessment on residences in close proximity to the site.
Blackburn-based Romers successfully tendered for the entire Public Address/Voice Alarm installation contract, drawing on the TOA catalogue to fulfil Arup’s document specification. John Caton, managing director of Romers revealed that this is the largest single project the company has ever undertaken. "The stipulation was that we had to use a branded speaker for the speech reinforcement, and TOA MS1s fully meet the requirements," explained Caton, adding that the enclosure is also in use at Manchester City’s Maine Road facility - and the football club insisted on continuity in the new ground.
The TOA MS1 speaker was designed for sports stadia use and incorporates their touring driver - the twin-magnet sub-woofer (2 x 12" and horn) - with the 2
Yamaha's Commercial Audio Division has announced the shipment of its first DM2000 digital mixing console to 2nd Sense Broadcast Ltd, based at Millennium Studios, Elstree. The console, bearing the serial number 0001, is the world's first professional installation and 2nd Sense managing director Andy Hewitt took the opportunity to host two open days for current and potential new clients to coincide with the DM2000's arrival. The open days also provided an opportunity for other engineers and members of the Institute of Broadcast Sound to see and hear the console at work in the newly completed video edit and production suite.
Hewitt, a former BBC sound engineer, was one of a number of sound engineers approached by Yamaha's R&D department two years ago to help specify the next generation of Yamaha digital audio mixing consoles. The result of those consultations, which took place simultaneously with pro users throughout the world is the noise free 24-bit / 96kHz DM2000 hailed as a complete, multi-platform mixing system for the commercial audio market.
Hewitt has always liked the Yamaha marque: he partly attributes the strong growth of 2nd Sense Broadcast to the three original Yamaha O2R consoles installed six years ago, the desks providing an affordable and professional quality facility to clients at a time when budgets were being trimmed down. 2nd Sense Broadcast now have an ever growing list of high profile clients including Channel 4, all the BBC channels and the ITV network.
A limited number of ISCE (Institute of Sound & Communication Engineers) members is being invited to DNH's beautiful lake-side factory at Kragaro on Wednesday, 26 June. With an early start from Stansted, the full day will include tours of production, test, demonstration and design facilities, possibly resulting in a unique ISCE-branded loudspeaker unit. For further details of the visit, please contact Michael Leaver at the e-mail address below.
Booking details are availabale from the Secretariat on +44 (0)151 639 5211, or from Michael Leaver at the e-mail address below.
Proel S.p.A. has announced an agreement reached between the company’s Sound Reinforcement Division and Laboratorio Musica Vanis Dondi, developers of the L.i.S.A. Linear Source Array system. The agreement between Proel S.p.A and Laboratorio Musica will bring about the development of a completely new line of pro audio products, developed jointly between Proel and Laboratorio Musica, and based on the technical success of the L.i.S.A system - the first high power line array system to be made in Italy.
Recent projects for the L.i.S.A. system include a tour of Italy with Franco Battiato and the recent MTV Independent Day in Imola.
Proel S.p.A. has announced the appointment of Remo Orsoni to its R&D team as sound engineer and pro audio product manager for the company’s Sound Reinforcement division. Orsoni has a rich background in pro audio, having been a musician, technician, sound engineer and technical consultant. He has been involved with a number of live tours, concerts and televised events, and has recently worked as a product manager with responsibility for speaker systems, power amplifiers, analogue and digital mixers and voice systems for Italian-based pro audio manufacturers.
Orsoni was directly involved in the development of the L.i.S.A. Linear Source Array systems developed by the Laboratorio Musica Vanis Dondi, which is marketed by Proel.
Spectra, one of Northern Europe’s leading lighting companies, has been chosen as the official lighting and technical supplier for the Eurovision Song Contest 2002. The Estonian Television broadcaster, ETV has commissioned the event which will take place in the newly-built Saku Suurhall, in Tallinn, Estonia, on May 25. ETV estimates that 120 million viewers will watch worldwide.
Spectra will supply a full range of lighting and video equipment, together with technical coordination and crew. The company will have 26 people working on site in the month running up to the event. This is not the first time that Spectra has handled such a major technical project. Swedish television company, SVT, chose Spectra as the official lighting supplier and technical coordinator for the 2000 Eurovision Song Contest which took place at the Stockholm Globe.
The spec will include some 800 lanterns, of which about 300 will be intelligent moving fixtures, mounted for the stage lighting alone. In what will mark it out as a unique event, 15 High End Catalyst systems will be employed in the production, the largest Catalyst production ever. Three operaters on seven lighting control desks will control everything. The lighting will be pre-programmed in Spectra’s new WYSIWYG studio.
BBE Sound Inc has introduced BBE ViVa, a new virtual 3D surround technology that has been integrated with the company’s BBE High Definition Sound. The result, according to the company, is authentic three-dimensional surround sound. Whereas ordinary 3D surround effects often tear the stereo image down the middle, resulting in centrally staged audio material such as dialogue becoming fuzzy or even disappearing, ViVa has the ability to maintain proper sound stage imaging, and provide crystal clear solo vocals and movie dialogue throughout the process.
ViVa will be available in both analogue and digital formats, while ViVa+ sees the addition of the proprietary BBE Mach3Bass enhancement system. Other suitable applications for ViVa include personal stereos (with or without headphones), domestic sound systems and in-car audio. ViVa will be offered to BBE licensees in the consumer electronics industry and companies already featuring the BBE High Definition Sound circuit in their products include Sony, Panasonic, Aiwa, Sanyo, JVC, Sharp, Pioneer, Alpine, Hitachi, and over 150 other manufacturers.
Audio-Technica (UK) Ltd has recently completed a major staff restructure involving both internal and external departments. As we reported last week, Stuart Russell has joined the team from Soundcraft, taking on the role of area sales manager for central UK, and Tony Cooper is promoted to the position of market manager, UK.
Further to these appointments, A-T have announced the completion of a wider restructuring process. Changes to the team based in the Leeds office see Denise Turner appointed executive assistant, Nassra Saeed as financial controller and Chris Todd in a combined export sales/technical support role. Joanne Harding is promoted to order processing supervisor, with Catherine Hartshorn and Kirsten Oakes joining the company as order processors. A-T has also implemented a young persons trainee scheme (YPTS) in conjunction with Starfish, an organisation that receives government funding to train young people to national vocational qualification (NVQ) standards. The scheme, designed to give youngsters a working environment in which to train, is also expected to provide A-T with the staff of the future. The first three trainees to benefit from the scheme are Katie Harte, Ryan Thomas and Steven Winters.
A portable sound level meter from Hampshire firm Testo has provided a simple solution to PA volume problems at Reading FC's home ground - the Madejski Stadium. At the start of the 2001/2002 football season, Reading FC received complaints from supporters regarding the PA system in certain parts of the ground. While some supporters commented on the excessive volume, others complained that it could not be heard.
The Club decided to acquire a reliable and accurate sound meter so that operations manager Jeff Adams could measure the volume in specific areas of the stadium and balance the sound levels uniformly. Portability, accuracy and ease of use were essential requirements, all met by the testo 815.This is a compact hand-held sound level meter, weighing just 170g. It features an attachable microphone to avoid measurement errors, digital noise suppression to ensure accuracy and easy calibration via buttons. Jeff Adams comments: "Since adjusting the volumes in concert with the sound meter we have received no further complaints."
DIVAS is a new company, specializing in the design, project management and installation of visual and audio systems to all areas of the professional entertainment business. The DIVAS team consists of four individuals - Tony Day, Damian Brunetti, Darrin South and Steve Nicholls - who have all worked together on various projects in the past.
The company will design, specify and install lighting sound and AV schemes, either working directly with end users or working under the umbrella of large sound, lighting and AV companies. DIVAS has already been working in a miscellany of environments including clubs, bars, shops, cinemas, ice arenas, leisure centres, stadiums, hotels, churches, museums, ballrooms and live music venues. One recently completed project was the sound and lighting systems spec and installation at Flicks club in Sleaford, Lincs. The club is housed in a former cinema retaining many original features. Working directly for owner Phil Broughton, DIVAS designed and installed a Logic Systems sound system, a Coemar, TAS and MAD moving light system and kitted out the DJ booth with Denon and Technics gear. They also specified the first ever new ShowCAD Artist control system in a club environment.
Full story in April's issue of Lighting&Sound International.
The Roundhouse is a well-known and curious live performance space, located near London's trendy Camden Lock and less than a mile away from Autograph Sound Recording, the sound design and audio equipment hire specialists. The site became legendary for punk and glam rock in the 1960s and 70s, where The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd made their names and The Doors played their only UK gig. This North West London venue is once again becoming an established home to quality live presentations and Autograph are proud to be taking part in its revival.
Throughout the company's 29 year history, Autograph has been associated with The Roundhouse on many occasions, supplying varying size systems for some of it's momentous shows and more recently Bounce, the highly successful modern street dance extravaganza. For its first ten years Autograph was a neighbour to this historic venue, their office and warehouse space was located in The Stables, 500 metres along the Chalk Farm Road, now habitat to one of London's liveliest weekend markets. This spring, The Roundhouse, an old steam engine repair shed, will be home to another notable event. The Royal Shakespeare Company are returning to the venue for the first time in 33 years, to embark on a four month residency, performing three of Shakespeare's late plays, The Winter's Tale, The Tempest and Pericles.
Autograph has supplied an extensive sound and communications system, Designed by Mic Pool and co-ordinated by Charlie Horne, for this ambitious theatrical season performed in the round. Equipment supplied includes Sennheiser
London-based sound specialist Orbital Sound has recently expanded its accounting division and appointed John Watson to take on the new position of Credit Controller. He will work alongside the head of accounts, Jerry Mangar, and will handle all aspects of customer liaison previously handled out of house.
By bringing this resource in-house it further streamlines operations and allows for a more a personal approach. John who obtained an Acting Diploma from the Birmingham School of Speech and Drama is currently studying for a AAT Diploma (Association of Accounting Technicians) with the aim to further his career in this direction.
UK-based loudspeaker specialists Celestion has announced a series of moves designed to enable the company to better leverage its unique technologies in the global marketplace. The company is exploiting more fully the economies of scale presented by being part of the multinational Gold Peak organization, moving production of its high volume professional loudspeaker products to its own off-shore manufacturing plants.
As part of this process, the company has managed an exhaustive and detailed collaboration exercise to ensure that Celestion’s UK build processes and sonic quality have been fully replicated in its extended off-shore manufacturing facility. Launched at this year’s NAMM show, Celestion’s Inverted Neo speakers are the first of a series of innovative, technology-led professional products that will continue to be built in the UK. The company is also looking to move from its ten-acre site at Foxhall Road to a more specialized facility in the Ipswich area.
Commenting on the reorganization, Celestion sales and marketing director Michael Tuck said: "We are entering an exciting period for the Celestion brand, combining the leading name in professional loudspeakers with continued investment in R&D and some extremely competitive pricing. By remaining focused on the needs of our customers, we are confident of significant growth in the marketplace, maintaining Celestion's position as a leader and innovator in the professional loudspeaker industry."
Sarner is working on a unique multi-million pound travelling exhibition of Russian Yachts, which is set to open in Hamburg at the end of this year. ‘Treasures from the Tsars Imperial Yachts’, depicts the evolution of the Imperial Navy from 1703, when Peter The Great launched his first ship, through to 1918 and the era of Nicholas II - it includes more than 400 original artefacts, jewellery and ships from the palace of Peterhos and the Central Naval Palace in St Petersburg.
Intellectual property management company, Eagle Crown Productions, who have the rights to this stunning collection, first met with Sarner to discuss the venture almost three years ago. As a result, Sarner have been responsible for every element of the exhibition design and concept; visitors enter by walking onto an imposing aft deck of an imperial yacht; once inside there are displays of panoramic archive film; reconstructions of living quarters, scale models and clothing, with audio, lighting and smells employed to make the exhibition as life-like and interactive as possible.
Sarner directors Mike Bennett and Ross Magri, who bought out the company last year, comment: "We have worked on a concept that uses the best techniques of theatre combined with the disciplines of exhibiting artefacts from this unique collection. The ships were literally floating palaces and the exhibition shows all aspects of what life was like on board these amazing vessels for the sailors, working shipman and the Royal family." Plans are currently in place for ‘Treasures from the Tsars Imperial Yac
A new distribution agreement between Le Mark Group and Link srl or Rome was finalized during the recent SIB Exhibition in Rimini. As a result of the agreement, Link will distribute Le Mark's Magtape range of gaffer tape, as well as its award-winning Slipway cable cover tape.
Link is internationally recognized for its range of high quality products, which includes its own Eurocable and LK Connector ranges, both extensively used within the audio, video and lighting sectors. "We are all extremely pleased with the new agreement," said Le Mark's Stuart Gibbons. "Both companies have excellent reputations and have shown sustained growth within the industry."
QSC Audio has introduced the new DSP-4 digital signal processor, which offers two channels of independent DSP and attaches to the back of most 2-channel DataPort-equipped QSC amplifiers - without occupying any additional rack space. Capitalizing on the success of the DSP-3, the second-generation DSP-4 provides a number of enhancements as well as incorporating balanced XLR connectors. These improvements include enhanced A/D and D/A converters for superior signal-to-noise performance and upgraded software that significantly increases the unit’s operational characteristics.
With its new A/D and D/A converters, the DSP-4’s boasts an improved noise floor. These new converters provide an unweighted dynamic range of >106dB (20Hz - 20kHz) for a 4V input sensitivity. Software refinements to the DSP-4 (which will also retrofit the DSP-3 and DSP-30) include the addition of a true power limiting feature. Additionally, preset selection is now available via the contact closure.
Each channel handles a wide variety of digital signal processing functions including high- and low-pass crossover filters, high- and low-pass shelf filters, signal delay, compression, peak limiting, parametric filters, two-to-one mixer, signal splitter, signal mute, signal polarity reversal, and more.
DSP configuration is made simple with an advanced ‘click-and-drop’ software graphical user interface. Users can access a DSP toolbox with icons and simple drawing tools to configure processing functions and signal flow. The software package also offers real-time control along with set-an
The past year has seen a close working relationship develop between two leaders in the field of theatre sound design. Aura Sound Design Ltd and Orbital Sound have collaborated on a number of high-profile west-end shows, including Mahler’s Conversion, Private Lives and most recently the highly acclaimed revival of George and Ira Gershwin’s My One And Only, which recently premiered at Chichester Festival Theatre and is now playing to packed houses at The Piccadilly Theatre in London.
Fergus O’Hare, one of Aura’s directors, wanted to incorporate a number of new products into his sound design for the show, and turned to Orbital to provide the solutions. Fergus commented: "By championing new technology, we’re able to offer producers, directors and cast technically advanced solutions which improve a production on several levels. From enhancing sound quality through to augmenting dramatic effect, streamlining on-site communications, improving aesthetics and helping productions to be more profitable, technology can push the creative boundaries of sound design to new limits."
The show’s system centres around the Yamaha PM1D digital assignable console and incorporates some notable firsts such as Sennheiser’s miniature SK5012 wireless transmitters, the RTS Radiocomm BTR700 wireless intercom system, and eight of Meyer Sound’s MM4 loudspeakers. O’Hare explained: "I’d noted the use of the PMID on a number of musical productions and the recent software upgrades, particularly the Recall Safe mode, have fu
Allen & Heath used the recent Musikmesse trade show to showcase an esoteric rotary mixer concept, which goes by the working title of Xone:V6. Although the exact specification of the final design is still not complete, the company has set out a clear mission statement for the product: to provide the best audio quality of any club mixer, past or present.
Xone series designer Andy Rigby-Jones has been researching and testing the very best components available for this project, including thermionic valves and VU meters based on an original 1950s design. The emphasis on quality means that a single rotary fader for the Xone:V6 will cost as much as some complete entry-level mixers. Rigby-Jones commented: "I wanted to give visitors to the Musikmesse a chance to see where the company is going on this project and to tell me what changes they would like to see between the prototype and the finished creation. We did this with the first prototype of the Xone:464 a few years ago, and the feedback we got from DJs and club techs really helped make that product what it has become. I can't say exactly when Xone:V6 will be available. This is all about absolutely pristine audio quality, so it won't go into production until I am 100% confident that it sounds phenomenal."
Audio-Technica has appointed Stuart Russell as area sales manager for central UK. Russell joins the company following a five-year spell with Soundcraft and takes on responsibility for sales and customer support in the midlands and Wales. Managing director Paul Maher officially welcomed Russell to the company during the recent Musikmesse exhibition: "I am extremely pleased to have Stuart on board. His appointment means that we now have one of the strongest field sales teams in this industry and his friendly and efficient style fits in perfectly with the philosophy of the company."
Audio-Technica has also promoted Tony Cooper to the role of market manager, UK, with responsibly for overseeing the UK sales team. Tony will combine his new duties with his previous role and will continue to work in the field servicing A-T’s customers across the north of the UK and Ireland.
The Oxford Street Virgin Megastore has installed a D.A.S. PA system for use on its high profile in-store live stage. Arizona-based Jimmy Eat World was the first band to use the full system, appearing there recently, in the middle of a sell-out UK tour promoting their ‘Self Titled’ studio album and new single ‘The Middle’.
The D.A.S. system, comprising four Compact 1 bi-amplified,1000W, 133dB three-way system cabs and four SUB-118 self-powered 500W 131dB cabinets, was specified by Virgin Megastore events manager Simon Dornan who was impressed by a hired D.A.S. system during an in-store set by UK band Elbow. The Megastore provides a launchpad for UK promotional campaigns for many up and coming and established artists and Dornan is well aware of the quality required: "The Megastore is a major date for a wide range of artists and the success of the events relies on great sound and great performance. The D.A.S. system is clearly capable of delivering really good, smooth sound, with plenty of bottom end - perfectly suited to the excellent Jimmy Eat World acoustic set. We also use the system to augment hired-in systems, but we’re seriously looking into extending the house system with more D.A.S. units to cope with bigger electric sets."
Allen & Heath has introduced a package of new products and options for its flagship ML series of live sound VCA consoles. These include a 24-channel version of the ML4000, the option to order ML5000 consoles with eight dual stereo channels and a Syslink kit for the ML3000, allowing two mixers to be linked in a master/slave system.
Visitors to the Musikmesse were the first to see the new ML4000-24, a 24-channel version of the ML4000. This latest addition to the series was developed in response to frequent requests from customers who needed extensive control and output facilities for conferencing and installation work, but who did not want a large footprint console with lots of inputs. The ML4000-24 can be connected to up to two 24 channel sidecar units, a prospect which has been warmly greeted by PA rental companies looking for maximum flexibility in their hire stock.
Prospective customers for Allen & Heath's top-of-the-range ML5000 mixer were also offered more choice at the show in the shape of the new ML5000-C variant. Instead of the four dual stereo channels offered on standard models, the ML5000-C provides eight dual stereo channels in each frame size, allowing up to 16 stereo sources to be mixed. Each dual stereo channel offers mixable A inputs on TRS jacks and B inputs on XLRs with independent gain, four-band EQ and mono summing. Stereo channels 1-4 are to the right of the master section and are not included in the channel count (so a 48-channel ML5000-48C has 44 mono inputs and eight dual stereo inputs), while stereo channels 5-8 are at the far right of the consol
Marantz Professional has launched the CDR300 - the world’s first CD recording system designed for stand-alone portable recording. The table-top design combines ease of use, typical of traditional analogue recording machines, with the sonic quality, convenience and flexibility of CD-RW multi-session recordings. The CDR300 is ideal for recording live onto blank CD-R (write once) or CDR-RW (rewriteable) discs, using either the internal microphone or external XLR (with 48V phantom power) and 1/4" mic/line inputs for stereo recording. Universal SP/DIF digital inputs and outputs allow direct connection between digital devices (such as DAT, MiniDisc and other CD recorders), while internal speaker and headphone output provide for easy monitoring of input and playback signals.
Switchable automatic record level and limiter features on the CDR300 easily accommodate use in unpredictable recording environments, while programmable recording and playback EQ controls allow optimisation of sound quality without the need for external mixer processing.
The International Audio Group (IAG) has created a new German operation - IAG (Deutschland) GmbH. IAG, which currently has subsidiaries in the UK, Australia, Hong Kong and America, opened the German facility in order to be able to serve the German pro audio market more efficiently. The office - based in Korschenbroich near Dusseldorf - serves as the headquarters for Wharfedale Professional, Wharfedale Systems, Soundtracs Topaz and Solo brands, as well as hi-fi brands also owned by IAG.
Spearheading the development is sales and marketing director Johnny Kluten, who until last year was in charge of the Professional Division at Taiyo (Ramsa by Panasonic). Kluten commented: "With our newly developed Wharfedale-Pro range, it's great to be able to inject something fresh into the deadlocked pro audio market. We are sure that our value/performance ratio will set new standards over the coming years."
Kluten continues: "The development of the MI business in the last year is now steadily defining a whole new value of product. The feedback to our products this year's Winter NAMM in Los Angeles was stunning, and we are looking forward to an equally breathtaking show in Frankfurt."
Yamaha's PM1D large-format digital mixing console and the newly introduced DM2000 took top honours at the recent MIPA (Musikmesse International Press Awards) held at this year’s Frankfurt Music Messe.
Over 300 representatives of manufacturers and distributors of musical instruments and pro audio equipment from around the world gathered at the third annual MIPA awards to see honours awarded in over 40 categories. The awards are designed to acknowledge the best products of the previous year and are nominated by editors representing over 50 music and pro audio magazine titles worldwide. The PM1D was awarded first place in the high end mixing desk for top events category beating off competition from the ATI paragon and the Midas Legend whilst the critically acclaimed new DM2000 took top honours in the mixing desk high end section.