Iain Elliott has left the Canford Group plc, the company he founded 23 years ago. Under Elliott's direction as chief executive, the Tyne & Wear-based company grew to become one of the UK's leading pro-audio distributors and manufacturers with a range of over 14,000 items. Elliott has not announced what he plans to do next, but has informed PLASA Publishing that he is not departing the pro-audio industry just yet!
The first Sennheiser manufacturing facility in the Western Hemisphere is currently under construction in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This 45,000sq.ft facility will manufacture printed circuit boards for the world market, as well as wireless headphones and wireless microphones for the American market. This is the first Sennheiser manufacturing facility outside Europe, and is modelled after the Wedemark, Germany, facility. Heading the project in New Mexico is Bill Jenner, recently named vice-president and general manager of the Sennheiser New Mexico facility. Initially, the plant is scheduled to operate with forty employees with approximately 10,000 sq.ft earmarked for future expansion.
Dresdner Bank in Frankfurt has a sophisticated new conference system from Brahler ICS. The bank's auditorium, round hall and mirror hall were the three areas which were equipped with microphones and language transmission systems via Brahler's latest digital wired - and wireless infra red - technology. In the auditorium, 168 delegate units were installed, all fitted with new hand-held microphones with luminant ring indicator. These mics switch off automatically and the cable recoils itself, when they are replaced in the holder. Software control is 32-bit. Three CCTV cameras in the auditorium are computer-linked to the microphones, so that delegates can be viewed by the interpreters inside the booths, whilst they are speaking.
PLASA EXCLUSIVE: PLASA Publishing has learnt that Technotronics, the West-Yorkshire-based manufacturing company who specialised in lighting effects and control equipment, were declared insolvent at the close of last year. Insolvency practitioners are now dealing with the company's affairs and a meeting of creditors is to be called shortly. Earlier in 1999, the directors of the company established a new company - TTL Distribution Ltd - to help promote and sell its lighting range, but also to distribute complementary products to the trade - principally those of Ultrak UK and Chauvet. TTL Distribution Ltd continues to trade from Technotronics' premises.
PA and voice alarm specialist Baldwin Boxall has expanded its sales team. John Spurling has joined the company as a country-wide systems sales executive, and will be responsible for raising awareness of voice alarm systems and all aspects of the company's Vigil systems. Spurling joins Baldwin Boxall from Millbank, where he spent five years as southern region sales manager.
Danmarks Radio, the national radio and TV broadcaster of Denmark, has bought a complete 10-channel Sony WL-800 series wireless microphone system for use on large-scale musical events across the country, in conjunction with Moto, one of Denmark's leading PA rental companies. Danmarks engineers have reported that the sound quality of the WL-800 UHF technology is so good they have occasionally forgotten they were recording a wireless source, say Sony.
In a bid to attract top name DJs to his club Infinity, on the island of Jersey, owner Gary Dobson, already the owner of three clubs on the island, recently invested in a new sound system. He awarded the contract to London-based installation company, Tarsin Ltd. Dobson visited a number of Tarsin's previous installations on mainland UK, including the recently re-opened Hammersmith Palais with its Nexo Alpha E system, supplied by UK distributor Fuzion. The 1,000-capacity Infinity is split over two levels, plus a mezzanine level on either side. Eight Alpha E B1-18 bass cabs and four E-M mid/hi packs cover the ground floor while a further four B1-18s and a pair of E-Ms cater for the top level. Two more E-Ms fire onto the mezzanine levels, while the DJ, situated at mezzanine level, uses two PS-15s as DJ monitors. Three Crown MA-5000VZ amplifiers power the bottom end and four MA-3600VZs run the mid-highs while an MA-2400 looks after the DJ monitors. Protection, level monitoring and EQ is provided by a Sabine GRQ-3101S Graphi-Q, also supplied by Fuzion.
EAW has become the official sponsor of a technically ground-breaking club night at The Matrix in Reading, where the company's new Avalon sound system recently made its UK debut. The Extra Dimensional Experience (EDX) is held on the first Friday of every month, and uses state-of-the-art mixing techniques for both audio and video to produce what is described as a homogenous, interactive visual and aural experience. Yes, well we've all had those!
One of the country's leading PA distributors, R.W. Salt Communications, has started off the new Year with the appointment of the man they call, 'Mr PA', Harry Greenaway, with responsibility for the company's key distributor accounts. Bob Salt commented: "For the few who don't know Harry, I guarantee you'll always look forward to his next visit. He is a man who may not know all the answers, but he will certainly know a man who does."At the same time, RW Salt has also announced the appointment of David Holt, formerly of Willow Vale and Philips CSS, to establish and run the company's new southern office, which is due to open within the next few weeks. PLASA Publishing will of course have further details nearer the time.
Woking-based B&H Production Services recently designed and installed an Infra-Red system for the Skyscape venue adjacent to the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, which features two 2,500-seat auditoriums. Due to the design of the venues, the location points for the IR radiators were limited, and the units were mounted on top of the main flown loudspeaker stacks. Sky, which sponsors Skyscape, will be using one of the auditoriums as its sound stage for filming the world's top 100 bands during 2000. A total of 60 IR receivers are available for the public to use, with the choice of headphones or neck loops. B&H has had long experience of induction loop systems for clients such as Virgin and UCI, and has recently moved into IR systems, using the US-based Williams system.
Cerwin Vega! has introduced the SUB-15, a compact, direct-radiating 15" sub-woofer which, the company claims, matches the performance of products usually twice the size and price. The high-powered enclosure (500W programme, 1000W peak) offers an attractive advantage to installers, say Cerwin. The SUB-15 is available exclusively in the UK through its distributor Lamba plc.
Barry Seiden has joined New York-based Gem Sound as director of sales and marketing. Seiden has spent over 20 years in the pro lighting and sound industry, having worked as a DJ, retailer, manufacturer and sales representative. He has worked for companies such as Denon, Numark, Ness and Gemini Sound Products.
Marquee Audio has informed PLASA Publishing of a new deal with Digidesign distributor Mediaspec UK, which will see the company offering a sales and support operation for Digidesign's fifth generation ProTools product in London and the South of England. Mediaspec's Pete Eaglesfield said of the deal: "From this vantage point, both companies benefit from an extended product portfolio and client base but most importantly, by working together, we are able to offer a highly skilled structure of support." Marquee's new training suite forms the focus of Mediaspec's southern operation. The facility features the new ProTools system, state-of-the-art digital consoles from Mackie, Soundcraft and Yamaha, a JBL 5.1 surround system and a host of other high end pro audio equipment. 'Marquee's Spencer Brooks (left) and Mediaspec's Peter Eaglesfield at Marquee's demo facility')
In a move that is certain to be of interest to the live sound marketplace, Sennheiser has informed PLASA Publishing that it is to distribute Innova-Son digital mixing consoles and related products in the US. Innova-Son was the first to the European market with a wide range of digital mixing consoles and is poised to do the same in the US. Sennheiser is therefore in the enviable position of becoming the first in the US to have a digital mixing console ready for delivery. The new Innova-Son Sensory console was used during the summer on the 12-week Audio Denver Gipsy Kings tour and has been widely used elsewhere by the BBC, Radio France, in several national performing arts centres and by Jean Michel Jarre for the Y2K concert at the Egyptian Pyramids. In addition to its own range, Sennheiser currently distributes Neumann microphones, D.A.S. Audio Loudspeakers and Chevin Research Amplifiers. Sennheiser's Jeff Alexander will manage the Innova-Son brand.
Audio Toys Inc, a subsidiary of the ATI Group has released the Mini Paragon, a mixing console with all of the attributes of the now established Paragon II less 24 input channels. Like the Paragon II, the Mini Paragon is an automation-ready console: each input featuresan ATI patented compressor, a gate, and four bands of parametric EQ. Each channel has a variable direct out switchable between stereo or dual mono. Half of the 16 groups are stereo, with the remaining eight switchable between stereo or dual mono. The desk saw its first use on Canadian rocker Brian Adams' 34-date swing through Europe.
In an intensely contested international design competition, beyerdynamic has been selected to receive the prestigious Hannover Design Forum 2000 award for their S600 Handheld Wireless Microphone. The judges were impressed by the ergonomic design, attractive finish and the simple interchange between microphone heads to condenser, dynamic and shotgun lavalier microphones. Introduced in February '99, the S600 completes a range of products and accessories available for the U600 UHF wireless system which includes base stations, bodypack transmitters, bodypack receivers, antenna distribution systems as well as a computer interface and software for programming and monitoring of the radio frequency and audio frequency functions of the system.
Norwegian sales and hire company AVAB-CAC has taken delivery of the very first Klark Teknik DN1248 Active Microphone Splitters, which were launched at PLASA in September. The units were purchased for NRK Broadcasting, Norway's biggest national radio and television broadcasting company. So far the company has ordered two DN1248s for their music recording department with the intention of increasing the stock significantly after an initial trial period.
Two major Amsterdam live music venues - the Paradiso Club and Melkweg (Milky Way) - have extended their existing Martin Audio sound systems with further orders from pro audio specialist Ampco. The Paradiso has redeployed its existing Martin F2 system for use in its new basement facility which will open in the New Year, while upgrading the main venue to Martin's Wavefront 8C system. The Melkweg, meanwhile, has extended its own W8C system to three stacks per side, following a recent extension.
Le Mark has appointed NDC as its dealer in Switzerland. The company, run by Nicholas de Courten, will handle the full range of Le Mark products. It already has strong ties with the major TV studios, theatre and production companies across Switzerland and is looking to expand into the conference and exhibition markets. NDC's appointment follows a series of new appointments by Le Mark including that of Strong In Spain.
Roy Wemyss, the chief executive officer and president of US-based Mackie Designs, resigned from the company in November. Mackie say that Wemyss will remain on the board of directors and continue to play a part in the ongoing strategy and development of the company.
Since its introduction in 1995, the Shure SCM810E has been widely specified in a range of applications. Shure has now released a smaller version - the SCM410E - a half-rack (single rack height) automatic mixer which boasts features such as four input channels with balanced XLR mic level inputs, a balanced XLR mic/line output, an unbalanced RCA aux level output, a +16 dBu peak output limiter and 12v phantom power. The unit is further enhanced by its link facility which enables SCM410, SCM810 and FP410 mixers to be linked together in any combination up to 400 channels.
Sony has launched a cost-effective loudspeaker management system that enables live, theatrical and studio sound engineers to 'set and forget' crossover and level settings for PA/sound reinforcement systems. Ideal for use on stage and AV presentation systems, as well as studio-based monitor speakers, the new SRP-F300 is a true 24-bit 96kHz all-digital design that provides sophisticated control over complex multi-speaker set-ups via a familiar PC interface.
The new Levi's Centre in London's Regent Street has an all-JBL sound system that would not be out of place in many of the capital's top dance clubs. A worldwide re-branding operation, which kicked-off in San Francisco at a cost of £2.5million, means that all Levi's Centres will adopt a lifestyle approach to retail merchandising. A major part of this refurbishment programme is the provision of DJ-driven high quality background music, Chill Out Areas with Sega Dreamcast consoles and video entertainment. Models from JBL's Marquis Series form the mainstay of the system with MS28s also being used as DJ monitors. Some 32 JBL Control 23s are arranged strategically throughout the store, with eight SB2 subwoofers providing low frequency reinforcement. The chill-out area uses four JBL 48923s from the Array Series and a JBL Sound Power SP128S sub woofer underpins the system. The whole system is zoned via a SoundWeb controller.
Professor Dr. Jorg Sennheiser, chairman of the Board of Sennheiser Electronic GmbH & Co, recently visited The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, where he delivered a lecture on the principles of transducer design and future microphone development to students studying the Sound Technology Degree course. He marked his visit by presenting a Sennheiser Student Achievement Award scheme to Mark Featherstone-Witty, principal and chief executive of LIPA. The new Awards are intended to recognise personal achievement and innovation in the field of sound and performance arts-related technology, and are open to all students enrolled on the BA Hons Sound Technology Programme, the Diploma in Pop Music and Sound Technology and the Diploma HE in Theatre and Performance Technology.