Nearly 19 years after they vowed never to play live again, Roxy Music ended years of seemingly endless speculation with the announcement that they would be back on the road this year with their original line-up. Also back is producer Rhett Davies, who has been drafted in as sound director for the tour. Rhett has worked with an impressive and varied roster of artists over the years, including Dire Straits, Brian Eno, Talking Heads and the B52s.
Rhett and Levi Tecofski (FOH mixer) will be using three Mackie HDR24/96 recorders to record the entire Roxy tour. All the concerts will have every feed sent to the HDRs, which in turn will provide a full 72 tracks of new recordings at every stop. The band will be performing songs from an impressive portfolio that includes such hits as Avalon, More Than This, Jealous Guy, Angel Eyes, Dance Away, Love is the Drug, and of course, the seminal Virginia Plain.
The tour kicked off in the UK on June 11th in Glasgow. Additional stops include Newcastle, Nottingham, Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester and three nights at Wembley Arena beginning tomorrow night. On July 17th, the tour moves to North America where stops include Boston, New York, Atlanta, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The third leg includes three nights in Tokyo beginning September 7th returning for more European dates and a final gig in Dortmund, Germany, on September 21st.
Direct marketing company Smart Sound Direct, has introduced the latest in its line of ancillary equipment. The Chameleon CF8 mains distribution unit/high frequency filter is designed to sit quietly within any sound system fending off those inherent mains born nasties such as high frequency ‘spikes’ and ‘saw tooth wave’ beasties living within the power supplies. Using Chameleon evolved precision winding techniques, far more mains filtration is now possible than previously achieved for a unit of this size and weight. The compact close coupled design allows 1U rack models to be fitted with Neutrik 15 amp Powercon sockets feeding up to eight appliances, or alternatively a 2U design featuring six 13 amp outlets.
Neil Finn, of Crowded House and Split Enz fame, has been busy touring an entertaining live show with some semi-legendary muso mates and a very flexible format. L&SI caught up with him in New Zealand and the UK, courtesy of Catriona Strom and Steve Moles . . .
Auckland’s St James Theatre was the setting for the start of the Neil Finn & Friends shows, which featured a line-up including Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien and Phil Selway, Johnny Marr and Sebastian Steinberg on electric and double bass, and Lisa Germano doing vocals and a number of instruments.
Oceania Audio supplied sound, with the company’s Paul Jeffery acting as both technical manager and monitor engineer. "The concert was certainly a challenge," said Jeffery, "but having worked, off and on, for Split Enz and Crowded House for many years, I’m quite familiar with the way Neil operates."
To complicate matters, three guest performers, could be on stage at any one time. For flexibility, Jeffery chose a Midas Heritage monitor console, along with XTA graphic EQ, Lexicon MPX1 reverbs, and Drawmer gates. "We ran 12 sends of monitors with proprietary cabinets housing 12" and 2" JBL drivers," said Paul. "It was a very unpredictable time in monitor world - people were constantly being brought on and off the stage with guitars being swapped around. It was an exciting show."
The male vocalists were all on Shure Beta 58A microphones. A Turbosound Flash/Flood system was spec’d: the theatre’s upper level feat
CP Sound has just completed the installation of an innovative new lighting rig, plus a re-invention and design of the sound system incorporating several new elements at The Core in Yeovil, Somerset. The club - formerly known as Duke’s - is owned by locally-based independent operator Terry Clare. Steve Howie from Howie Design was commissioned to produce the interior design, basing his themeing on ideas triggered from the complex and world of the cult 1999 Warchowski Brothers movie, The Matrix.
Audio-wise at the Core, CP Sound’s Colin Pattenden utilised as much as possible of the existing installation, whilst also addressing the previous system’s serious lack of bass. He added four JBL MS125S cabinets to the room, complete with new RSE PFX 1200 clip control amplifiers. CP Sound also added a DJ monitor where previously there was none - plus two JBL top cabinets for infill, and another two RSE amps, plus a Formula Sound AVC2 limiter.
The lighting installation was also designed by Colin Pattenden working with Ian McLaughlan. Over the bars are a series of fibreglass armadillos (for those Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas moments) and between each is a fibreglass pod - six in total. Each pod has an Opti Solar 250 projector with oil wheel behind it, shining through the centre section of the pod - with the effect of making the pod appear to be moving and ‘growing’ inside. Opposite the bar are two more pods, with a further four over the dancefloor - each pod with its own Solar 250. Solar 250s are again used with oil wheels over the stairwell and behind
Drawmer has introduced the six-pack - a 3U, six channel multi-dynamics processor which features comprehensive universal linking technology designed specifically for surround-sound application. The unit can be configured so that any combination of channels can be linked to track each other's levels preventing image shift. For example, front left/right and rear left/right can be configured as two stereo pairs with individual channel control over both centre and sub-bass (LFE). Channel six offers the option of a switchable 120Hz low-pass filter in order that a sub-bass (LFE) channel may be derived from a five channel surround mix. Each channel comprises a soft knee compressor with switchable Auto or Manual Attack and Release, a variable threshold limiter and a 'Programme Adaptive' Expander/Gate with a variable release time of up to five seconds to retain reverberation tails where necessary. LEDs show link status and comprehensive bargraph metering displays all dynamic functions.
Dutch HK Audio distributor Wils Muziekimport sponsored a seminar on the topic of On-Stage Monitoring. The seminar, which was held in ‘013’ in Tilburg, Holland, was led by guest speaker Rob Hodgkinson and was attended by over 50 participants eager to pick up some practical tips from the Deep Purple monitor engineer. Hodgkinson’s presentation, which focused on all the important aspects of preparation that make effective stage monitoring possible, was followed by a virtual factory tour and additional background information about the entire HK Audio touring and rental line, presented by product specialist Christian Stumpp. After the theoretical part of the presentation came the practical segment, for which a seven-piece band was ready to perform a live soundcheck.
In contrast to standard product demos that use music from CDs, here each member of the audience was given the opportunity to work the monitor console or FOH desk and carry out a thorough soundcheck of any instrument they wanted or of the entire band. Several competitors’ monitors were also available for comparison. A great deal of attention was given to the new HK Audio VT 115 X. This is a two-way full-range loudspeaker system, which can be used for both monitor and FOH applications. Further seminars are planned - for details visit the company’s website.
EVID is a brand new range of loudspeakers from Electro-Voice, designed specifically for installations such as bars, restaurants, hotels, leisure and retail complexes. Designed with versatility in mind, these ellipsoid cabinets offer over 100º of swing and 45º of rotation, which combined with the flexible Strong-Arm-Mount (SAM) system, enables installers to cope with even the most challenging of spaces. EVID is available in three models, plus a subwoofer, and is also designed to integrate with the EP Series ceiling speakers should further choice be required. The baby of the range is the compact 3.2 full range followed by the 4.2 compact full-range loudspeaker system. The largest and most powerful EVID enclosure is the 6.2 extended range high output loudspeaker system, although at only 16.5" high it is still amazingly compact for what it can produce. With dual 6" woofers and a 1" titanium tweeter, the 6.2 is best suited for larger areas that demand higher SPL levels such as shopping malls, airports and stadia etc. Any of the three models may be combined with the 12.1 dual input sub for system enhancement. The systems are available in the UK from Shuttlesound from July onwards.
The Cloud One Group Ltd, located in Birmingham, have appointed Bill Jones as business development manager. Well known within the industry, and most recently with Lightfactor Sales, his background in sales, aligned with his vast knowledge of sound and lighting equipment, will strengthen the group’s long established position within the areas of equipment hire and event production. Installations, flight-case manufacturing and the sale of pro audio products are other areas covered by Cloud One, Stratford Acoustics - the rental arm - and Midland Custom Cases.
The PSA launched its latest initiative for those working within the Entertainment & Events industry. The aim of the Register - called Skill Base - is to provide all operatives with the opportunity to obtain recognition of their skills and qualifications, and to provide evidence to a contractor or employer of their ability to do a job competently and safely.
The creation of the Register is also intended to help counteract some of the problems facing the industry, such as declining employment, skills shortages, lack of training, poor health and safety records, and an unfavourable public image. The Register will set agreed industrial skill standards, based on qualifications and experience, which are being established in co-operation with trade associations and employers across Europe. This will further enhance the new International groups being established by the PSA in Ireland, Holland Germany, France and Switzerland with others to follow. The system will be web-based from the PSA site and is free to members for the first year and is also available to non members for £50pa inc VAT. Companies wishing to list their employees will have to become corporate members at a cost of £450pa + VAT. Once up and running, anyone will be able to check out an individual’s skills by searching on the website by either name, company or skill type. Future developments will include a full blown Continual Professional Development system which the PSA hope will become the international reference point for anyone employed in the industryThe launch date will be August 2001.
The Dickson CyberExpress is a 21st century retail concept, first launched in Hong Kong last autumn. The HK$380m investment by the Dickson Group of Companies has resulted in a 70,000sq.ft, high-tech development at Kowloon Station.
It’s a full-on interactive shopping environment, offering a wide selection of the best known brands in the universe. The ‘cybermall’ functions as a complementary intelligent retail centre to Dickson’s e-commerce venture, DicksonCyberExpress.com.
The idea was to create the ultimate consumer experience for cyber-chic shoppers. The team chosen to pull the project together included UK-based design and production company Media Projects International, retail designer JGA Inc from the US, Hong Kong architects Gensler, UK-based AV systems specialists Electrosonic and various LDs and directors.CyberExpress’s seven ‘zones’ include Entertainment World (CDs, DVDs, videos, books and magazines), E-World (computers, communications, AV and electronic equipment); Fashion World (clothes and accessories); Kiddy World (toys, sweets and learning games); iCosmetic World (cosmetics and health products) and Sports World (sports and fitness products). Two internet cafés - Exploration World and Cyber Sea - offer connected opportunities for shoppers to take a break.
Each zone has a dynamic mix of vibrant and innovative new media installations, interactive stations, virtual games, video programmes and information portals. Media Projects’ creative director, Malcolm Lewis, explains that although screen-delivered infotainmen
Microphone manufacturer Audio-Technica has appointed Ideas Marketing to act as its UK public relations consultants. Established by Nick Powell, former employee of A-T, Ideas Marketing is seen as well equipped to assist Audio-Technica's marketing effort. Rod Geary, Audio-Technica's general sales manager commented on the agreement: "A-T have appointed Ideas Marketing to help us to maximise the impact of several very exciting products which we have in the pipeline." Rod Geary also explained that since Nick's departure in May of this year, the A-Team has streamlined its approach to marketing related issues, with Denise Turner recently appointed to the position of executive assistant. Denise, who has been with the company for four years and has held a number of roles including marketing administrator, becomes the first point of contact for all Audio-Technica marketing activities, which will be co-ordinated in conjunction with Rod Geary.
Karl Winkler, veteran brand manager for Neumann microphones, has been promoted to director, marketing communications, for Sennheiser Electronics Corporation. In his new position, Winkler will oversee all advertising, public relations and field communications for the Sennheiser, Neumann, Innova-Son and D.A.S. Audio brands. In addition, he'll be responsible for new promotional items, all printed materials, and corporate website development and maintenance. Winkler and his team will also initiate ongoing in-house training programs, manage the SEC merchandising calendar and provide the company's monthly sales rep update newsletters on programs and new products. Based at Sennheiser corporate headquarters, Winkler's new team includes literature and trade show coordinator Mary Kenny, database manager Lisa Egner, web developer, Jesse Starks, and marketing coordinator Luke Bean.
Adam Hall is using PLASA to launch a range of new products. These include the Racklight - a brand new concept for illuminating 19" racked products for stage, studio and installation. This product uses innovative technology to produce clear and uniformed light, will not get hot or burn out, is very strong and durable, and does not use conventional bulbs!
Also new is a brand new range of loudspeaker systems for PA stage and installation use. The range of Talon loudspeaker systems comprises a standard series of compact loaded ply wood cabinets available in either black painted or carpet finish and a series of unique high spec cabinets featuring the Fane 'Concept One' primary drive units.
Other new products featured on stand include the latest additions to Amphenol's range of audio connectors, new versions of the 'Astroboard' lightweight material for constructing flightcases, and a range of new hardware components.
Adam Hall - Stand E32
The stars (and the stripes) were out in force for the party to celebrate the West End premiere of the much-talked about film, Pearl Harbor. AD Event Design and Production staged the eye-catching event held at the University of London's Senate House, bringing in Dobson Sound to cater for the audio requirements.
Amanda Davis is known for creating visually spectacular and innovative events, and this was no exception. The whole event was themed as a US wartime party with several extras in 1940s US Army uniforms lounging around the balconies of the main hall, drinking beer and whistling at the guests in typical army fashion as they came in. Perhaps the most spectacular visual feast was the front of the building which was lit from top to bottom with stars and stripes while search lights played into the sky. However, no event would be complete without audio, and that is where Dobson Sound came in. Dobsons provided a distributed and delayed system of 34 d&b E3 cabinets which extended from the Cloisters through into the galleried ‘Crush Hall’ and the bar area beyond. This was effectively a DJ system for big-band music playback, with the DJ himself on a pair of Technics SL1210 turntables and a Denon DN2000 twin CD player. The Beveridge Hall was the main performance area with the Jump Jive band (aka national Youth jazz Orchestra) and the dancers, for which Dobsons provided four d&b C7 systems with d&b MAX wedges and lots of microphones running from a Yamaha PM3500. The final system was for the VIP area in Chancellors Hall where guests were serenaded from the luxury of th
Federal Signal has announced a new scheduled maintenance package for its Millbank and Akusta customers. As a result of the move, the company is one of the first major PA/VA manufacturers to provide customers with maintenance service contracts, which are supported entirely from within its own resources.
The move comes in response to growing demand from the market place for PA/VA equipment manufacturers to provide around-the-clock maintenance back-up and support for equipment they have supplied to either fire safety systems integrators or end-users. The service applies to Millbank public address and voice alarm systems, and Akusta on-shore general alarm and page party systems. The company has already won its first batch of maintenance contracts from Siemens Building Technologies, which manufacture, supply and install life safety systems. These cover installations at City Bank and HSBC buildings at London's Canary Wharf, the House of Fraser store at the Bluewater Shopping Centre and the Sadler's Wells Theatre.
The most modern build materials and manufacturing techniques have been employed by Georg Neumann to create the M 150 Tube, a microphone that uniquely exploits the heritage of a revered classic design, while exhibiting a performance capability at the very limits of modern acoustic and electronic engineering. The instantly recognisable head-grille recalls the famous M 50 from which the M 150 derives its distinctive acoustic characteristics and operating principle. First introduced some 50 years ago, the M 50's clarity and realism earned it a repuation as an orchestral microphone of choice, most notably in the DECCA tree configuration.
The omnidirectional, pressure gradient transducer provides excellent transient response and low frequency reproduction. By mounting the surface of the diaphragm flush to a small (40mm) sphere, the capsule acts as a pure omnipressure transducer at the lowest frequencies, delivering a perfectly circular polar pattern. This pattern narrows increasingly through the mid and upper frequency ranges, forming a unique directional characteristic, ideal for natural stereo recording, or indeed, 5.1 and 7.1 multi-channel techniques.
This same operating principle is retained in the M 150, but Neumann's engineers have undertaken ground-breaking work on the use of high grade titanium in capsule design which has resulted in the development of a very thin 12mm diameter diaphragm, producing greatly improved response characteristics. The M 150 employs the same sophisticated power supply and transformerless output circuitry as the award-winning M 149 Tube, impr
A progressive independent church in South Wales has enlisted Marquee Audio to help upgrade its audio system. Darran Clements, head of sound at the Kings Church in Newport, Gwent, wanted to increase the audio front-end and called in freelance engineer, Matt Creed, who has an extensive background in live sound. "The old mixing desk was eight years old; it was no longer big enough and had reached the end of its life. I was asked to find the most appropriate replacement," said Matt, "and so I called Jimmy Potter at Marquee Audio and he recommended the Allen & Heath ML4000-48."
The church needed greater number of inputs to accommodate its expansion and to ensure some future-proofing. "We wanted a large number of channels on a small footprint, and there was nothing that could touch this for quality, price and features - it’s one of he most transparent desks I have used," stated Matt. "With theatrical productions and different band setups requiring a lot of channels - as well as six stage mixes - 50 inputs was the minimum requirement."
The church went on Marquee’s recommendation for the ML4000, which is configured 48 mono, 2 stereo, sending mixes to the pre-existing 15k Nexo PS15/PS10/LS2000 PA rig. New QSC amplification was also ordered from Marquee to drive the stage monitors.
Multiple DAS loudspeaker systems have been installed in a refit of 'Bar Ice' in Bexley Heath, south London. Recently acquired by new owners, the venue has received a considerable upgrade to its in-house sound system. Installed by experienced sound and lighting systems company Compa Lighting, the new system replaces the exiting speakers with four DAS Sub-18 sub-bass units and six DAS DS-12 two-way cabinets. Managing director of Compa Lighting, Andrew Matthews, commented: "The 18 inch bass bins deliver superb bottom end that perfectly complements the existing system and are able to cover the entire dance floor area."
The two-way, passive crossover DS-12 cabinets were used to balance the sound in areas beyond the main dance floor and as such they were required to be powerful but compact. The 12" bass and 1" compression drivers of the DS-12s proved perfect for Compa's requirements: "We had to add some reinforcement to one of the bar areas," explains Matthews. "The DS-12s are compact and unobtrusive, but still able to generate high quality sound at very loud listening levels."
Although the results of the combined system were impressive, the performance of the D.A.S. components was so good that it was later decided to go ahead and replace the four remaining cabs from the old system. Compa therefore ordered and installed four additional DS-12 cabs, bringing the entire system up to DAS quality.
When brewer Old Monk required a sound, light and video supplier for their latest Springbok site in Newquay - a former swimming pool which has been converted into a state-of-the-art late license venue - they turned to Nottingham based company TTL. With a design brief demanding a system capable of nightclub sound in the evenings yet with an unobtrusive presence for the daytime trade, TTL project manager Andy Hague specified Logic System loudspeakers throughout. Hague explained: "The main area has a 30ft ceiling height and full length windows along one side, therefore to achieve the necessary SPL, whilst minimising overspill, I needed a very accurate and directional cabinet. The Logic System CS1296 proved ideal. The cabinets are flown 25ft in the air, effectively out of sight, yet still control coverage to 150Hz whilst avoiding overspill in the bar areas. With the bass units being built into dance podiums, we’ve created a stunning dance floor system that is virtually invisible and does not detract from the interior design of the venue."
To complete the system, Logic System IS6 and IS8s are run full-range with the support of IS26 bass cabinets in the bar areas, and are again hidden within the fabric of the design. An Allen & Heath DR128 controls the system and offers the ultimate flexibility of changing the system configuration for daytime and evening use, while an Audace hub was specified to provide localised volume control and source selection behind each bar. TTL account manager Mark Harding summed up the project, commenting: "The whole concept works e
Sennheiser has announced that it is to undertake the distribution and marketing in the UK of the MindPrint range of signal processors, with immediate effect.
The German based company specializes in manufacturing state-of-the-art input signal processing devices, which offer high-end professional standards of construction and performance for commercial studio, home recording and desktop audio-based applications alike. The range is specified to offer first class input processing in the recording studio environment, or to enable the upgrade of computer-based audio workstations and hard disk recording systems to fully professional audio standards, unobtainable with on-board sound cards and standard computer audio interface devices. Performance features within the range include Class-A pre-amp circuitry, 24 bit, 96kHz analogue to digital conversion, balanced XLR and line level jack inputs, switchable 48V phantom power, AES and SPDIF digital outputs, selectable sync options, and professional signal metering.
The current product range includes the EN-Voice Class-A mic/line pre-amp and tube compressor with optional digital 24 bit I/O, the AN/DI Pro 24/ 96, Class-A, stereo analogue-to-digital convertor, the T-Comp stereo tube Adaptive compressor with optional digital 24 bit I/O, and the DI-Port entry level 24-bit, Class A mic/ line pre-amp and stereo analogue-to-digital convertor. Commenting on the new product line, Sennheiser UK’s director of marketing, John Steven, told PLASA Media: "A range of high quality, competitively-priced products like MindPrint is clearly com
Pioneer GB Ltd is set to chnage both the art and technique of mixing with the introduction of the CDJ-1000.
The futuristically designed CDJ-1000 is based on Pioneer’s groundbreaking CDJ footprint and defines a new generation of professional DJs looking to push their mixing skills to the limit and harness the freedom and flexibility of digital technology. The CDJ-1000 is packed with a range of innovative new features such as - Vinyl Emulation, WAVE Display, MMC and Loop In and Out Adjust. With its design rooted in CD and sampling technology, the CDJ-1000 is modelled on a traditional Vinyl Deck. A touch-sensitive Jog Dial, designed to emulate the characteristics of a turntable, allows DJs to treat CDs exactly the same way as they would a vinyl record: cueing, pitch-bending, back-spinning and even scratching.
The CDJ-1000 has an ingenious WAVE display, which reads every track on the CD and displays the corresponding sound level in a graphical format. There is also a Zoom facility, that allows the DJ to scroll along the Wave display to obtain even greater information. Uniquely, the CDJ-1000 incorporates removable memory technology - MMC (MultiMediaCard) - allowing the DJ to store favourite cue and loop points, as well as all the track WAVE data from the CD.
Other features include an instant reverse activated by the flick of a switch with no loss of tempo or pitch. Three Hot Cue buttons that can be used to memorise cue points on different CD tracks and then instantly recalled at any time during a mix - this can also be used like a sampler to jump to vocals, stabs or
NXT has announced that Amina technologies, a licensee of NXT's award-winning SurfaceSound flat panel speaker technology, has supplied speaker systems to the UK’s Houses of Parliament. NXT speakers have been installed in the refurbished Grand Committee Room and as narrow panels along the edge of the windowsills in St Mary's Chapel. A further eight panels are situated in the Public Lobby where they have been painted to look like the supporting stonework. Amina Technologies' NXT flat panel speakers were installed by Sound & Visual Limited and chosen over conventional technology because of their superior sound characteristics when used in open spaces. Unlike conventional speakers, NXT's SurfaceSound flat panel speakers disperse sound evenly across all frequencies. Aside from the acoustic qualities of flat panel speakers, NXT has also been chosen because of the ability to blend flat panel speakers in with their surroundings. NXT speakers can, for example, be disguised as pictures, ceiling tiles or even as part of the fabric of the building. NXT flat panel speakers have achieved wide levels of acceptability in the commercial arena and are now found in buildings across Europe and the United States. Installations include several investment banks in the City of London including ABN AMRO, Goldman Sachs and Chase Fleming; Eton College Chapel; Edinburgh University; Gleneagles Hotel; The Cheesecake Café Bar, Brussels, Belgium; the Hotel Kuunpaikka, Finland; Disco Paradiso, Rimini, Italy; several lecture theatres within Barcelona University and, more recently, London's most high-t
Expotus continues its current expansion programme with the appointment of Luke Baldry in the role of sales manager. With his first experience with the company at the AES in Amsterdam, Luke has hit the ground running. He brings to the company a wealth of experience to complement the current Expotus Team, ranging from running his own recording studio, to more recently representing Apogee in the UK and selected European markets.
Richard Willis of Showcom Audio has recently completed a significant installation in top West Midlands live venue ‘The Shed’ with a Nexo Alpha E loudspeaker system, Vortex amplifiers from Camco, Klark Teknik signal processing throughout and cabling from Kelsey Acoustics, plus a GL4000 mixing console from Allen & Heath. The owner was looking for a complete upgrade to increase capacity and improve the facilities of the venue, so Willis was effectively given carte blanche to specify whatever he chose. He specified a total of six stacks of Alpha E driven by Camco Vortex amplifiers with a Nexo NX241 digital processor for the main system. Eight Nexo PS-15 cabinets with the requisite TD controllers serve as monitors driven by Camco DX Series amplifiers. Willis describes the combination as both powerful and efficient. "The Alpha E is ideal for venue in terms of its dispersion characteristics, its versatility, and the fact that it is so ergonomic in combination with the Vortex amplifiers. We're driving six stacks of Alpha E with just two Vortex 6s with headroom to spare, giving a total system capacity of 12.8K. In my book that's pretty impressive. In fact I think the Nexo/Camco combination is pretty well unbeatable in terms of price, power and performance." The console is an Allen & Heath GL4000 which Willis described as a "sensible board for sensible money and lots of facilities."
For signal processing, Willis opted for Klark Teknik throughout, choosing a DN3600 on main system EQ with a DN514 quad gate and a DN504 compressor/limiter. Monitor EQ is