Audio News

Digital Processor from QSCDigital Processor from QSC
Thursday, 8 November 2001

QSC Audio Products Inc has introduced the DSP-30 digital processor. Building on the power and success of the DSP-3 signal processing module, the DSP-30 is a cost-effective, highly customizable, single rack unit, 2-channel signal processor featuring a high degree of functionality that can improve the performance of any sound system, say QSC Audio. The DSP-30's powerful processor facilitates a wide range of signal processing functions, including screen channel crossovers, multiple parametric EQ and time delay for surround channels, or subsonic filters for subwoofers. Compound these functions with compression/limiting, precision attenuation, mixing, plus tone or noise generation, and the DSP-30 is as flexible as your system's needs - easily capable of performing the most complex speaker processing tasks.

Featuring an intuitive front panel layout for easy program selection coupled with a computer interface via a front panel RS-232 port, the DSP-30 combines ease-of-use with a high degree of customization. Using the supplied PC-based Signal Manager software featuring 'drag and drop' processing blocks, simple drawing tools, and real-time control, any combination of signal processing functions may be configured until the total capacity is used. DSP resources are graphically displayed at the bottom of the screen and configurations can be easily downloaded directly to the DSP-30's eight user configurable presets for easy recall plus set-and-forget convenience.

The DSP-30 features 24-bit converters and operates at a 48kHz sampling frequency. The unit features balanced Neutrik Comb

Reading Revitalized
Wednesday, 7 November 2001

The final phase of the restoration of Reading Town Hall’s concert venue - with the renovated Father Willis organ providing a magisterial backdrop - has been completed this month under the guidance of English Heritage.

Marquee Audio was responsible for supplying and fitting all the audio, working to a specification from audio consultant Peter Mapp, who had been introduced to the project by former technical manager, Paul Kennedy. By completion, the whole project will have cost around £5 million. Given the constraints of the protected architecture the installation had been no easy feat, as the venue’s chief electrician Tim Liddle emphasized. "We got a grant from English Heritage who wanted the hall restored to its original 120-year-old grandeur. The Borough Council have been restoring the building over a 15-year period and when I came here 10 years ago, there were pigeons living in the concert hall."

Sound is based around a d&b system of four C I-6s and a pair of CI-7 tops, reinforced by a left/right C7 ground-stacked system and powered by d&b E-PACs. This fulfils the venue’s multi-purpose requirement for staging conference work, as well as drama, comedy and concerts. Visiting productions can bring a mono or stereo multicore feed and plug straight into the BSS 9088 Soundweb, through which the whole system is digitally controlled. d&b E3s provide the musicians’ stage fills and Martin Audio LE400Cs the floor wedge foldback, with amplification from QSC PLX 1602s.

Up on the balcony, a 32U effects processing rack is resident at the FOH mixin

MPG Elects New Chairman
Friday, 2 November 2001

The Music Producers Guild (MPG) has elected Andy East as its new chairman, replacing Phil Harding who has now completed his one-year tenure as chairman but will remain on the MPG board. The appointment was announced at the MPG’s recent AGM. Steve Parr also joins the board as vice-chairman and, as part of the MPG’s rotational chair and directorships, a number of other board members were announced. These include Jim Barrett, Meg Nicholl and Roger Askew.

SSE Hire Busy Over Winter
Thursday, 1 November 2001

SSE Hire's work schedule for Christmas and the New Year period is looking busy, with a number of tours and special events in the pipeline for the audio hire company. Tours being serviced by the company include the forthcoming tours of the UK and Europe during November and December by Travis and UB40. Front-of-house engineer for Travis is Giles Woodhead, who will be using the SSE-supplied Midas XL4 desk and the Nexo Alpha system, while Chris Leckie has a Midas XL3 looking after monitors. Front-of-house for UB40 will be Jerry Parchment and Steve 'Gonzo' Smith with an XL4, and SSE's Betamax speaker system. Monitor engineer Graham Blake will be using an XL3. For Faithless' UK and Ireland tour, FOH engineer Mark Kennedy will be using a Midas Heritage 3000 (also with a Nexo Alpha system), while monitor engineer Tim Pattison will be taking advantage of the facilities offered by the Innova Son Grand Live console. For Tori Amos, whose tour of Europe kicks off in December, both FOH engineer Mark Hawley and monitor engineer Marcel van Limbeek will be using XL3s, again with a Nexo Alpha system.

Other projects lined up for SSE include the Sussex Music Awards in Brighton on 6 December, the JNF Dinner at Alexandra Palace on 11 December the Smash Hits tour (Nov/Dec) and the Smash Hits Party on 16 December, Birmingham City's New Year celebrations and Autosports 2002 at the NEC in January.

SurfaceSound for PredatorsSurfaceSound for Predators
Wednesday, 31 October 2001

NXT's SurfaceSound flat panel loudspeakers have found their latest application in the new Predators exhibition at London's Natural History Museum. Open to visitors until May 2002, this new family-oriented showcase features a range of audio-visual effects enhanced by the use of bespoke acoustic panels made by NXT licensee, Amina Technologies Ltd.

The exhibition uses a series of interactive robotic models, including a 5 metre-long great white shark, a 3 metre chameleon and a 2.5 metre funnel web spider. Using the SurfaceSound technology, clear tri-wall polycarbonate flat panel speakers sited above the models provide the realistic surround-sound effects for each of the animal exhibits.

Vigil CommuniCare from Baldwin Boxall
Wednesday, 31 October 2001

The recently developed VIGIL CommuniCare from Baldwin Boxall Communications is unique within the emergency communication sector, having been especially designed for use within a completely new market - Disabled Refuge Areas. Market leaders, Baldwin Boxall took the initiative to develop VIGIL CommuniCare, a sophisticated emergency communication system that meets the requirements for public buildings containing Refuge Areas, such as: Cinema Complexes, Hotels, Theatres and Office Blocks.

The main Control Panel allows Fire Officers or Building Managers to keep in contact with wheelchair bound personnel who, in an emergency, are kept from danger within Refuge Areas. The control panel is supplied as a 64 way unit which can be divided into 16-way blocks, is wall mountable and battery backed to meet EN60849, BS5839 part 8 and BS5588. The Remote Unit is housed within the Refuge Area and, once triggered, allows disabled personnel to keep in contact with Fire Officers and enables the Fire Officer to reassure the disabled person or give further instructions. The unit also houses a relay switch, which can control external apparatus such as an over door light or mute local Voice Alarm loudspeakers. Designed to be wired in a loop configuration with a 200m cable run between each unit, the Remote Units are extremely simple to install by using three-core fire-rated cable. It is, however, possible to increase this cable run by adding a 'dummy' remote unit to boost the signal to the next unit.

CommuniCare has been designed for future growth and Baldwin Boxall is already developing a Fire T

JBL at Genesis, Dunfermline
Tuesday, 30 October 2001

Arbiter Pro Audio has supplied Edinburgh-based SI Sound & Light with a large quantity of JBL loudspeaker systems for an exciting new sound installation at Genesis nightclub in Dunfermline. The independently-owned 800-capacity club is split into two sections - a large bar/walk-in space, and the main dancefloor area. A good budget had been allocated to allow for a sound system to cater for a diverse selection of musical genres from mainstream pop to hardcore dance. It was also essential not to alienate those wanting to drink rather than dance. SI Sound & Light’s Pete Simpson undertook the sound design - his latest of several using JBL.

Genesis' dancefloor speakers are four SP222s from JBL's Sound Power Series - 1500W each with 12" drivers. For bass, Simpson chose two JBL VS125HS speakers, combined with two SP128 subs. For maximum impact, he has sub-divided the low frequencies: the VS125HSs are used for around 100Hz, while the SB128s add an extra octave to the bottom range, launching the 50Hz frequencies that kick deep into the pit of the stomach. These all circle the outside of the dancefloor pointing inwards, so the room sound is evenly focused into the centre of the dancefloor.

Pointing outwards from the dancefloor are six JBL MS112s from the Marquis Series. Their purpose is to retain the top end and to ensure that people standing around the dancefloor -but not on it - also have a good sound. These are delayed slightly to keep in time with the bass frequencies coming off the dancefloor. Around the bar area, apart from getting the right sound levels, it was al

Adelaide Convention Centre Chooses Turbosound
Tuesday, 30 October 2001

The Adelaide Convention Centre in Australia has recently invested in Turbosound Powered QLight enclosures as part of a venue extension programme that will more than double the size of the facility. The development will offer more than 10,000sq.m of pillarless floor space, (divisible into six sound-proofed halls) for exhibitions, banquets and other events, in addition to existing convention facilities. The combined banqueting capacity will facilitate 6,500 guests, allowing for much larger events and enabling multiple function hosting.

After an extensive evaluation of most major brands in the market place, the ACC chose Turbosound’s new QLight Powered System and 16 TQ-440SP powered three-way enclosures and eight TQ-425SP subwoofers were duly supplied by Australia’s Turbosound distributor Audio Telex.

Audient Introduces ASP520Audient Introduces ASP520
Tuesday, 30 October 2001

Audient has launched a brand new product to augment its Surround Sound range - the ASP520 bass management processor. Launching in November 2001, designer David Dearden describes the ASP520 as "a unique problem solver for bass management in any surround monitoring system." Any surround sound monitoring environment which does not have five full-range loudspeakers in addition to a subwoofer needs some form of bass management in order to reproduce the full bass content of the surround mixes.

The ASP520 is a flexible bass management controller which permits selection of both the bass redirect source and destination. Phase compensation at the crossover point and two bands of parametric equalisation are provided to enable the LF performance of the monitor system to be optimized without resorting to external EQs. The ASP520 can be used alone, or in conjunction with the ASP510 Surround Sound controller to provide a complete management system for surround monitoring.

Stagecraft Rewarded for Turbo' Sales
Monday, 29 October 2001

Expotus-managed distributor Stagecraft, based in the Philippines, were rewarded for their efforts this year, as they received the Turbosound International Distributor of the Year in the Far East Award based on growth in sales throughout financial year 2000/2001. With sales having increased by 156% last year, director of Stagecraft Frankie Zabala (pictured left) commented: "Receiving this commendation was a great surprise and indeed an honour. We hope to do even better for Turbosound next year!" he says. Martin Capp, managing director of Expotus, (pictured right) continues: "Expotus business in the Far East goes back a long way, and we’re proud that Stagecraft has been recognised in this way by Turbosound this year. We’re particularly pleased as the Expotus-managed Chinese distributor Jia Hui won it last year!"

SSA Amps for Digital Cinema Sound
Monday, 29 October 2001

The Stage Accompany SSA amplifier range is specifically designed to meet the very high demands of (digital) cinema sound reproduction: these 'digital-cinema' dedicated amplifiers, have been developed with some unique features, to dramatically enhance the cinema experience, say the company. The SSA amplifiers feature SA’s ‘high speed, high current’ class G design. This high efficiency design, together with the 280 joules capacitor bank, makes the SSA 200 deliver 1380W of fast and sustained power per channel.

An important feature is the Dynamic Damping Control (DDC) system that completely eliminates the influence of (in cinema, often very long) speaker cables. The result is a highly accurate bass and mid response, without the need for using high impedance speakers. Through the tamper-free internally accessible EFN circuit slots, extra signal processing functions can be added to the SSA amplifiers. The EFN-DP modules consist of three functions, all operating at the same time: clip/excursion protection; dedicated filtering; and power optimizing.

With the EFN-DP modules, all SA cinema systems deliver maximum output with optimum sound quality without the risk of mechanical damage. In order to minimize installation time and rack cabling, the SSA amplifiers feature a 15-pin D-connector. With this connection, all signal wiring to and from the monitor is carried out simply by connecting one D-connector cable (standard type) between amp and monitor. This Data-port is completely compatible with existing D-pin connected monitors.

Turbo in Force at Pepsi FestivalTurbo in Force at Pepsi Festival
Monday, 29 October 2001

For the ninth consecutive year, the organizers of the Pepsi Festival (Sziget Kulturalis Szervezoiroda) in Budapest, asked Production 2000 Ltd to provide sound and lighting for the main stage - and the other areas. The company fielded a high specification of equipment from their hire fleet, including a major Turbosound Flashlight and Floodlight rig. 36 Flashlight TFS 780H mid/high packs were flown in 6 x 3 configurations on either side of the stage, with 48 Floodlight TFL-780L bass enclosures configured four wide and six high on each side. 12 Turbosound Floodlight TFL-760H mid/highs were used for near-fill and infill and a further eight TFL-118 low-frequency Floodlights provided centre coverage.

The sections of the sound system were driven from three amp racks housing configurations of MC2 MC750 and MC2 1250 amplifiers. In addition, Production 2000 supplied all Turbosound stage monitoring in the form of 12 TFM-330 floor wedges and eight TFM-302s - again driven from MC2 amplification and controlled through three Turbosound LMS D6s. Pepsi Sziget is part of a giant, seven-day multi-cultural expo, offering more than 1,000 programmes in 50 venues.

Since its beginning in 1993, Pepsi Sziget has expanded its audience from 43,000 to over 365,000 this year, when such international acts as Guano Apes, Faithless, Placebo, Run DMC, New Model Army, Leningrad Cowboys, Morcheeba and Eagle-Eye Cherry were included in the line-up.

Tried & Tested: Your Vote Required
Friday, 26 October 2001

PLASA Media is looking for feedback from readers of Lighting&Sound International magazine and PLASA Online News, to find out the products that are making the biggest impact among entertainment technology practitioners - and we want your input.

'Tried & Tested' will take a simple approach: we're not asking for your views on hundreds of different product categories, we're just after your gut reactions to a series of broad-based questions on the equipment you're using, in the fields of lighting, sound, staging and effects.

The aim of this is simply to sniff out what's impressed you, what's made a difference to your working life. There are no awards and no ceremonies - we're just going to stir the pot and see what, if anything, floats to the top. The products you vote for can be new or old, high-tech or low-tech - all are valid.

The products which have the highest profile from among the votes cast will be featured in the December 2001 issue of L&SI, and one lucky entry, picked at random, will receive £100 worth of Technical Book vouchers to spend at the PLASA Technical Bookshop. And if your entry stands out as being particularly noteworthy, then we might think of something for you too . . .

Details of how to vote will also appear in the November issue of L&SI. Voting closes on 20 November 2001.

Massive Turbo Presence for Heritage Festival
Thursday, 25 October 2001

The annual Heritage Gateway Festival took place in North Bay, Ontario, recently, attracting an audience in the region of 30,000 on the first day alone. 3L Productions Inc has been supplying full staging, sound and lighting for several years. This year, production manager Tom Keay recommended a total of 30 stacks of Flashlight/Floodlight for the main PA system with the technical design also incorporating two 10 x 14 video screens, 96k of conventional lights, 24 intelligent lights and a 50ft x 30ft mobile stage.

For the PA configuration itself, Keay opted for a four-wide hang. "The outside two columns comprised three Flashlight boxes, then a column of three Floodlight, with the inside column of two Floodlights incorporating the final Floodlight cabinet dropped down as an infill," he explained.

Under each side were nine Flashlight TSW-721 21" bass enclosures, stacked three high on their sides and splayed around 20°. The sound was completed with six 21" bass across the front of the stage, stacked on their sides to increase vertical dispersion - where it was really needed. Delays consisted of three stacks of Floodlight/TSW-721s - set at 7ft, to get the sound over the crowd. Keay commented: "About 250ft out you could still feel the kick drum - which was awesome! And since there is a lake starting around 400ft out, we had noise complaints from a town 37km away - I verified it with the police."

Crew on duty included project manager Gino Latino, while Luke DeRuiter was the FOH technician, working a Soundcraft Series Five and a Vienna (while Pat

Fujitsu Ten Launches EclipseFujitsu Ten Launches Eclipse
Wednesday, 24 October 2001

Developed by Fujitsu Ten, the Eclipse TD 512 is a new studio monitoring system. Aimed at all sectors of the music recording and mastering market (and the high end audiophile market), several clients, including the major new Sphere Studio complex and Mike Ross-Trevor, chief engineer at Sony Music Studios in London, are evaluating the Eclipse TD 512 for improved accuracy in recording and mixing. Producer, artist and musician Brian Eno (Roxy Music, Talking Heads, U2), already uses Eclipse TD 512s in his own studio.

The most immediately obvious difference from conventional speakers is the egg shape of its enclosure, hence no flat surfaces, presenting sound waves internally with an effectively infinite baffle. In a further departure from convention, the driver is decoupled from the cabinet fascia and mounted internally via a massive integrate stand, which provides mechanical 'grounding' of the driver assembly. The enclosure itself is ‘floated’ or isolated from the movement of the driver assembly.

Eclipse TD also eschews the time and phase distortion effects associated with multiple drivers and their crossover electronics. The single high-performance driver smoothly radiates a spherical wavefront, with accurate reproduction of the impulse and phase characteristics of the source signal. It is also supplied with its own 502 pre/power amplifier, creating an electronically-integrated monitoring system requiring only a line-level source.

Smart Move for UniversalSmart Move for Universal
Wednesday, 24 October 2001

Universal Events was called in by Mark Borkowski PR to provide full technical infrastructure for the world launch of the revolutionary smart car (right hand drive versions) from Daimler Chrysler UK. The event took place in the car park at Wembley Stadium, and revealed the vehicle for the first time to UK smart dealers and users, plus the national and motoring press.

Universal supplied everything - from the lighting, sound, video and staging - to the dome-shaped marquee and seating rostra. The company’s brief was to provide a clean, slick, streamlined environment in which to launch one of the most ecologically sound vehicles available. Universal’s Steve Butcher designed the show’s production elements. A flat, empty centre stage at the start of the show was soon filled with the demo smart car, revealed by elevator, clouds of smoke and flashing lights, early on in the proceedings.

Lighting was designed by Chris Doy. Rigging points were provided by two circular Penn trusses - a 4m diameter section over the stage, suspended from the nodes of the dome, and a 15m diameter curving elegantly around the perimeter of the entire space. Doy used 22 Futurelight MH 640s spaced equidistantly around the outside ring, plus two under the stage, and six Futurelight MH 660s on the central truss for gobo work and for whizzing about - all from Universal’s moving head stock. Doy operated using a Celco Ventura console, located in the very handy circular production area, created between the inner and outer skins of the tent.

The audio, covering a variety of sources, w

SB210 from JBL
Tuesday, 23 October 2001

JBL Professional has added the SB210 Compact Subwoofer to its extensive line of Control Contractor products. Just 14" tall, the dual 10" unit has a frequency range of 42Hz - 200Hz to add low frequencies to fixed installation sound systems in virtually any professional application, including restaurants, retail, theme parks, exhibits and displays, even small church and performing spaces. The SB210 has two 10" (254 mm) aluminium/ceramic composite cone woofers, for a total power handling capability of 400W continuous (1600W peak). Intended for use indoor or outdoor, the SB210 features a high-impact polystyrene cabinet and multilayer thermoset composite-covered grille for full weather-proofing, and is available in either black or white.

"The small profile of the SB210 belies its power and its ability to offer warm, punchy low end," explained Rick Kamlet, senior director of installed sound for JBL Professional. "Our customers in many markets have asked for a small, rugged subwoofer to add to their existing Control Contractor systems and the SB210 will fit right in."

JBL has made installation as easy as possible by designing the SB210 to be mounted several ways. Each SB210 is shipped with four feet, for setting on a shelf or floor and four foot receptacles for stacking SB210s. There are also 13 insert points integrated into the speaker’s cabinet for suspending the subwoofer. The optional U Bracket (MTC-210UB) attaches to both ends of the speaker allowing easy installations on walls and ceilings. When used with the optional JBL MTC-210-

Marquee Weaves Magic of MerlinMarquee Weaves Magic of Merlin
Tuesday, 23 October 2001

A National Lottery grant has helped the Merlin Theatre in Frome, Somerset, to purchase a new sound system from Marquee Audio, as part of a major overhaul. The 241-seat venue, which first made contact with the Shepperton-based suppliers at this year’s ABTT Show in London, has replaced its tired former system with a Martin Audio Blackline F12/S15 combination, which technical manager Rick Worringham says has improved the set-up 100%. He explained: "We received £55,000 from the National Lottery plus matched funding from local councils, including Somerset County Council. This enabled us to refurbish practically the entire theatre - including a new stage floor, auditorium seating, dressing rooms and a restructure of the backstage area."The building itself is council-owned - and used as an educational space during the day - although the Merlin Theatre Trust Ltd owns all the accessories. Worringham continued: "I had a lot of help in that my predecessor had applied for a lottery bid previously - so I was able to take into account his own preferences but also drew up my own wish list." However, he admits that his wish list turned out to be fairly unrealistic in view of the budget. "All the sound companies we invited to tender went way over budget, but Marquee came in the closest."

Worringham says the Shepperton company were particularly helpful in suggesting how the budget could be maximised. "In the end we were able to cover every area I wanted to."He was delighted to have kept continuity with Martin Audio. "Before this system wa

Proel Launches Installation Cable Range
Monday, 22 October 2001

Proel has announced the latest additions to their cable catalogue, specifically produced for the installation market. The CMP Series are distinguished by their green outer jackets, housing a series of multi-pair fire-resistant cables for fixed applications in recording and television studios as well as cinemas, disco’s theatres and live sound PA applications. Double shielded by aluminium and polyester foil within a flame-resistant PVC jacket, the numbered paired cables are highly resistant to signal loss due to outside interference.

Three models are currently available - the CMP 8, 12 and 20 - each model number representing the number of pairs contained. In addition, a new double-shielded fire-resistant microphone cable has also been introduced. The HPC 210 FR is also contained in a green flexible outer jacket, which is shielded by tinned copper and is light in weight (30g/m).

The HPC 610 FRS is a fire-resistant loudspeaker cable, which contains two copper wires insulated by red and blue jackets within twisted conductors and copper braids, once again within a green outer jacket. Finally, the HPC 610 FR is similar to the HPC 610 FRS cable, but its extra fine wires are not shielded, allowing greater flexibility.

MAVCO Awarded Third Crystal Contract
Monday, 22 October 2001

MAVCO has been awarded the contract to design, supply and install a range of audio, video, lighting and effect systems in over 20 venues on board a third Crystal Cruises ship. Commissioned by ALSTOM Marine Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in St Nazaire, France, MAVCO will be involved with the complete turnkey contract for local entertainment systems.Scheduled for delivery in late June 2003, the as-yet-unnamed 68,000-ton vessel will see an increased number of Crystal Cruises' most successful features, including more entertainment lounges, expanding on the best of Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony. The scope of the project ahead for MAVCO incorporates detailed system design, supply, installation and commissioning, shared between the company's offices in Miami and the UK.

The Galaxy Show Lounge is the main entertainment venue for the line's distinctive award-winning production shows, featuring more intimate seating arrangements, improved sight lines and the latest technology in sound and lighting systems. This includes a fully automated digital mixing console, a 1,500-channel lighting console, extensive video systems and complete show control facilities, all installed by MAVCO.

MAVCO will also be installing equipment in the contemporary renditions of Crystal guests' favourite public rooms, including the airy Palm Court and adjacent Vista Lounge, the Avenue Saloon piano bar and sophisticated Connoisseur Club cigar bar. Plus, MAVCO will be providing video systems in the significantly enlarged Computer University@Sea classroom, as well as audio and video systems for the

Podd Provides Compact 1s for Blue Do
Monday, 22 October 2001

Kingston, London-based hire, sales and installation specialist Podd Sound, supplied the sound systems for the recent Blue Do party in Hampton Court, organized by Exclusive World. The sound for over 2,000 blue-clad clubbers was provided exclusively by Podd’s DAS Audio systems, featuring four of the very latest Compact 1, Class D self-powered three-way cabs - part of the first shipment to arrive in the UK.

The prestigious all-ticket event was the third to use Podd Sound. The extensive DAS rig was part of a high-budget and imaginative design that featured all-blue décor, pyrotechnics and a solid ice bar. Big name DJs Brandon Block and Alex P delivered powerful sets through the DAS array, comprising four 133 dB SPL Compact 1s and eight Sub-118A bass reflex subwoofers; all self-powered with Class D switching amplification. The company’s new DAS rig presented Podd with several advantages in servicing the event, not least of which was convenience.

The latest self-powered systems expand an already extensive DAS range: "I’ve come to rely on the sonic quality of D.A.S. products but now the switch mode power supplies mean that the new cabs weigh almost the same as the passives and are much easier to install. This time the get out was halved to about an hour and the reliability, control and ease of handling makes the Compact 1s a very useful addition to our inventory. This was the first time I’d used them on a full system and I can guarantee I’ll be making the most of them in future."

Probably the Best Festival . . .
Saturday, 20 October 2001

The summer is about Festivals and this year was no exception: in late August, L&SI mingled with the crowds at the Reading Festival, part of the Carling Festival Weekend, which also plays in Leeds and Glasgow.

Sound for Reading (and Leeds too) was supplied by SSE. Chris Beale explained that the company had adopted a slightly different approach for the main stages this year, using BSS systems to split the Nexo systems into six separate zones and thereby optimize performance and controllability.

SSE used SIA SmartPro computer-based analysis software to give them precise system control. This ensured both systems behaved in exactly the same way in terms of SPL, EQ, dynamic performance and other general characteristics, allowing bands to have as near the same sound as possible at both sites - notwithstanding the natural variants of wind and atmosphere. True to form, the elements remained as stoically unpredictable as ever, and weather conditions changed dramatically at Reading and Leeds across all three days of the festival.

The noise control factor at Reading was crucial, with difficult limits to meet and the site located just 600 metres away from leafy Caversham - a wealthy suburb inhabited by non-festival sympathisers! With the wind blowing in the wrong direction - as it was on the Sunday - containing the noise turned into a nightmare.

Overall, however, the noise complaints stayed encouragingly low. Friday night provoked a few, but by Saturday preventative measures were well in place. "By far the worst sound whinges were caused by content," stated Beale. S

Unique Audio for Rigoletto
Friday, 19 October 2001

A unique production of ‘Rigoletto’ has been staged by Dutch opera specialists, the Companions production company, on a specially-built stage on the waters of Rotterdam harbour. The elaborate production involved a 56-strong chorus and 11 internationally renowned principals performing on two large pontoons and a boat moored in the water beside Wilhelmina Pier in Rotterdam. A 70-piece orchestra was housed on a third pontoon, playing to an audience of 7,000.

But, for sound engineers struggling to contend with open-air environmental extremes that included winds of Gale Force 4, the key to success was a tiny miniature microphone from DPA Microphones. Sound designer and front-of-house engineer Cees Wagenaar from BV Oorzaak, supervised the critical matter of miking the artists. Wagenaar specified 114 of them in all, making it one of the biggest shows to standardise on a DPA type. All three models (4060, 4061 and 4065) were used with Sennheiser radio electronics, and, in order to meet such an unusually large specification, the production drew on two PA suppliers: Wim de Gelder at WG Theatertechniek purchased 50 DPA 4061s, bringing his rental stock of DPA miniatures to more than 80; Stage Pro, the principal rental company for the production, also topped up their inventory of DPA 4061s. Both sound companies had to make a substantial investment in windscreens and windjammers.

The worst effects of the gales were beaten by a customised windjammer developed by recording expert Onno Scholze and Tom van der Hoff (of Transtec, distributor of DPA Microphones in the Netherlan

JBL Subwoofer Powered by Crown
Friday, 19 October 2001

The new MPro Series MP418SP from JBL Professional is an 18" subwoofer with its own Crown two-channel integrated power amplifier. Designed for use with other MPro Speakers or powered speakers such as EON G2 models, the Mpro 418SP is a versatile solution for low frequencies for live music and DJ applications.

The MP418SP is a powerful, single 18-inch (457mm) subwoofer in a compact bass reflex enclosure with a frequency range of 30-150 Hz. It features an integral dual channel amplifier/ signal processing module designed and built by Crown Audio specifically for it. This provides two channels of power with 660W at 4 ohms. The second amplifier channel can be used to power a full range speaker or a second subwoofer (such as the companion MP418S non-amplified version of the MP418SP). The amplifier module also passes through line level signals for powered satellite speakers.

Roadworthiness is assured through the use of heavy-duty steel handles, 16 gauge-steel hexagonally-perforated grilles, Duraflex finish and four heavy duty casters. The MP418SP also has a pole-mount receptacle for mounting satellite speakers on top.


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