Audio News

London Astoria Refits Under New Management
Tuesday, 19 September 2000

One of London's most famous live music venues, The Astoria, is currently undergoing an extensive technical refit, having been acquired by The Mean Fiddler Organisation, a dominant force in the British entertainment scene. In addition to raising the specification for visiting sound crews, the objective was to make the Astoria's infrastructure more broadcast and TV-friendly, including the addition of a new 48-way patchbay, according to long-time resident technician Erik Sanderson-Evans. Tarsin Entertainments was awarded the contract after a competitive tender, with the new inventory of kit mostly supplied by Marquee Audio. LA 1, the main performance venue which has a capacity of nearly 2,500, takes delivery of a Soundcraft Series FIVE (48 channel plus 4 stereo groups) plus a Soundcraft 324 digital mixer for returning the effects, an ASS loudspeaker system, as well as a substantial batch of BSS proprietary processing equipment. A new 44:24 Soundcraft Series FIVE Monitor console is added to the stage monitoring system.

Police Launch Fraud Inquiry at Dome
Tuesday, 19 September 2000

The fuel crisis must have come as a blessed relief to the Dome, but it hasn't taken the attraction long to be back in the media spotlight. Just a week after Nomura withdrew from its bid, the police are currently carrying out an investigation into fraud allegations. Apparently these centre around "irregularities" in connection with the procurement of contracts, and media reports are suggesting that the firm under investigation was one of the contractors working for the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC). Nomura of course pulled out on the basis that they had been misled over the Dome's finances.

Caribiner International Announces New Brand
Monday, 18 September 2000

Caribiner International has launched a new name and identity. The company will be known as Jack Morton Worldwide after merging with its American counterpart of the same name. The company has an impressive client list and was responsible for the public arena installations in the Millennium Dome and at the Hanover World Expo 2000. Recent projects include the Special Olympics World Games Opening Ceremonies, The Royal Military Tattoo and the Queen Mother Celebrations on Horse Guards Parade. The new combined company represents a worldwide community of over 1200 people in more than 30 locations in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. William Morton is chairman and chief executive, located in New York, whilst Josh McCall, located in Boston, has been named president and chief operating officer. Lois Jacobs, based in London, becomes executive vice president, regional director, Europe and Asia-Pacific, responsible for the growth and profitability of the company's operations in the UK, Germany, The Netherlands, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. She joins the executive committee having previously served as chairman of Caribiner Europe, and remains as executive chairman of the London Operation.

C Change at Cranborne House
Friday, 15 September 2000

C Audio has reinforced its senior management structure to enable them to sustain and maximise the early sales potential in the wake of last year's successful worldwide launch of the new Pulse switched-mode amplification series. The key change sees David Neal take up the role of sales and marketing director, in parallel to his duties with BSS Audio. At the same time, Dominic Harter has been appointed as sales engineer for C Audio, covering all sales to European markets. Ruth Buchanan becomes sales office manager with responsibility for both BSS and C Audio, and Paul Bass becomes C Audio marketing co-ordinator. Lee Basham (product support manager) and Melissa Bednarski (sales co-ordinator) continue in their present roles.

C Audio Expands Distribution Network
Friday, 15 September 2000

C Audio has embarked upon a new worldwide distribution initiative, resulting in them making several strategic changes in key territories. In Canada, newly-appointed Erikson Pro Audio placed an immediate order for Pulse and GB series products. The company supplies equipment to all major music and PA stores, production companies and installers across Canada. Erikson's first sizeable order for C Audio was from Montreal-based Audio Services. In Sweden, Septon Electronic AB has taken over the distribution, forefronting C Audio with exclusive representation. The company's primary markets cover touring sound, cinema, MI, recording and broadcasting, installation as well as consumer. Septon's initial commitment to the Hertfordshire company comprises both GB series and Pulse amplification. The most southerly on the C Audio global map is FZ Audio, based in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The company, which supplies to contractors and PA hire companies, have already sold the majority of their first shipment - which consisted mainly of Pulse 2 x 1100W amplifiers - to a Sao Paulo PA rental company, with the remainder destined for a nightclub in Rio. Finally, C Audio have also made changes in Greece, where they have appointed Lyric Audio to handle their range.

Martin Audio's C516s Taken to TASC
Thursday, 14 September 2000

Audio installer TASC Ltd has completed the latest in a line of Parisa Café Bars using Martin Audio's Contractor Series ceiling speakers. The development of the Newcastle Quayside venue for Nader Haghighi's Warrington-based Parisa Group follows an audio conception and design instigated by Arron Smith's company 14 venues earlier. "In the majority we have used Martin C516s, fed by our GAGA hard-drive music system," Arron explained. The design brief was for the sound source to be invisible, and so once again Arron opted for 38 of the flush-mount C516 ceiling speakers, arranged in a five zone system (across four separate feature areas), using two Cloud CX133s to route the sound, powered by Crown and QSC amplifiers. The highest profile area in the ground-floor venue is around the bar and dining area, where the low-end is reinforced with three of Martin compact CS265 twin 6.5" subs (each clustered by four C516s), also recessed back into the ceiling and painted cream to match the decor. Elsewhere in the Café Bar, the ceiling speakers operate full-range.

John Lethbridge Launches On-Line Auction Service
Thursday, 14 September 2000

John Lethbridge, founder and ex-managing director of Cerebrum Lighting and a former vice-chairman of PLASA, has launched a brand new on-line Internet auction site through his new company, Cereco International Ltd. will specialise in offering new and ex-demonstration audio, lighting, AV and effects equipment - all of which carries a 12-month guarantee.The auctions are free to enter for buyers and sellers and unusually, for an e-commerce operation, buyers do not have to give any credit card details. All sellers will be carefully vetted as Cereco will provide a money back guarantee to any dissatisfied buyers. Instructions on how to take part are available on-line in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Chinese and Japanese and products are offered in six different currencies. New auctions will start every Thursday evening and run for 10 days, finishing on a Sunday evening (UK time).

Open Days and Doors at The M Corporation
Thursday, 14 September 2000

Pro audio retailer The M Corporation has kicked off an autumn season of seminars and workshops on 8 September with a day dedicated to the launch of Steinberg's new version 5 Cubase software. The well-attended event gave everyone the opportunity to see what the new software was capable of, and was quickly followed by a day dedicated to the Lexicon range of processing, including the 960L and Core 2 system at the M Corp's Nottingham office.Open days still to come will offer visitors the chance to see and use the new Roland VM7100 and 7200 digital mixing desks (27 Sept, Nottingham); a couple of evenings looking at the principles of good monitoring led by Dynaudio's UK suppliers Unity Audio (2 Oct, Ringwood & 4 Oct, Nottingham), and a series of workshops which will look at the finer details of Digidesign's Pro Tools (19 Sept & 6 Nov Ringwood, 12 Oct & 14 Dec Nottingham). Attendance at any of these events must be booked in advance. Tel: +44 (0)1425 470007.

Latest Family of Infra Red Systems from Auditel
Friday, 8 September 2000

Auditel has launched a new range of E series infra-red radiators for simultaneous interpretation and tour guide systems. The top of the range EP105E provides radiated power of 24W with 21 channels and commensurate endurance and range coverage. It uses the latest extended frequency diodes previously only found in systems for users requiring 12 to 16 language channels. A single emitter can cover up to 9,500sq.m. There are tow other products in the range - the EP150 and the smaller version EP160.

KAVE to Handle SFX Range
Friday, 8 September 2000

Mid-Sussex based KAVE Theatre Services has recently been appointed the UK distributor for the American SFX range of audio control software. The range consists of five packages offering various levels of control, making them suitable for a wide spectrum of users from schools and colleges to the professional theatre.

David Bruml Joins Funktion One
Thursday, 7 September 2000

David Bruml is joining Funktion One as sales and marketing manager in October. Bruml has been in the audio industry many years and was at one time with Turbosound, where he developed his initial passion for the work of Tony Andrews and his partners at Funktion One. Tony Andrews comments: "We are delighted that David has agreed to join us co-ordinating our marketing and sales strategy. We are looking forward to working with him over the coming years."

Soundcraft in Spain
Tuesday, 5 September 2000

Soundcraft live sound consoles are busy in the Spanish PA rental market this summer, notably through sales of the Series FIVE front-of-house and FIVE Monitor desks. Lexon has provided 40-channel Series FIVE consoles to BTM Sound of Gerona in northern Spain and Rafa Sonido in Las Palmas, which has used the desk for live shows by Lucrezia, Hamlet and the Philharmonic of Gran Canaria. A 44-channel FIVE Monitor has been bought by Tecnosound Lanzarote, and a new 52-channel FIVE Monitor at Madrid-based rental company Espiral Sociedad Cooperativa has been used for flamenco star Rocio Jurado, and Monica Naranjo, a pop performer well-known in Spanish-speaking countries.

Hong Kong's Largest Club Chooses Nexo
Tuesday, 5 September 2000

The largest nightclub ever to open in Hong Kong will feature a powerful Nexo sound system. The 348 Discotheque opens in Kowloon at the end of August, complete with a Nexo Alpha E rig and the first Nexo PS8 compact cabinets to be installed in the territory. Built in the former Tai Wah movie house, the 3000-capacity club has the advantage of a theatre's high ceilings. Much of the million-dollar audio budget has been spent on the Alpha E speakers, with 10 Alpha E-F cabinets used around the dancefloor; four of the full-range boxes flown left and right of the DJ console, and another two boxes mounted facing the club entrance to provide maximum impact as people walk in. A total of 14 Alpha B1-18 folded horn high-power bass enclosures are being installed.Sound designer Benny Cheng of Creative Engineering Company is the first installer in China to buy NEXO's E Series: "I hadn't even heard these boxes, but I was so impressed by the NEXO Alpha touring system that I ordered them anyway! Including the PS Series, I have now installed NEXO in 10 clubs in mainland China and Hong Kong, and they are a company that we trust, with products that are always reliable." Cheng has also installed an Alpha E system at Taiping's most successful nightclub, Sing Ho.

Marine Hall Fleetwood
Monday, 4 September 2000

A major sound installation has just been completed at the Marine Hall in Fleetwood, Lancashire. The Hall was first opened in 1935 and provides a range of arts and entertainment for locals and visitors to the area from live music to dance and drama, comedy workshops, festivals and pantomimes. After extensive system evaluation, technical manager Tony Mitchell chose a Turbosound system supplied and installed by Stagetec consisting of a pair of TQ440 mid/high speakers flown either side of the stage, a pair of TQ440s as delay fills and four THL818.2 single 18" sub-bass speakers ground stacked either side of the stage.

Trantec Further Extends Sales Force
Thursday, 31 August 2000

Following the appointment of Allan Gallacher as its regional sales manager in the North, Trantec Systems has further boosted its sales force with the appointment of Gary Waywell to a similar role in the South. Waywell has spent the last two years with Stagetec UK and was previously with CCT Lighting, where he was involved with the launch of the Freedom range. He will join Tranetc in time for the PLASA launch of a new range of products.

Active Autumn for Autograph
Wednesday, 30 August 2000

Autograph Sound Recording is experiencing a very busy month in preparation for a flood of theatrical events premiering around the county this coming autumn. Autograph will be supplying, installing and, in some cases, designing, the complete sound and communication systems for an eclectic mix of forthcoming premieres including Napoleon - a new musical opening in October at the Shaftesbury Theatre; The Beautiful Game - the latest offering from Andrew Lloyd Webber; The Caretaker - directed by Patrick Marber and sound designed by Simon Baker; Henry V - a timeless classic from the RSC, sound designed by Matt McKenzie; The Secret Garden - a musical version following Henry V also from the RSC and Divas at the Donmar - returning for a third season at the end of August, sponsored by Autograph and sound designed by Andy Brown. The company has spent the last six months investing in new technology and personnel, as well as making some structural improvements to its premises in North West London.

Commonwealth Pool Contract for Federal Signal
Tuesday, 29 August 2000

Federal Signal has completed a major £100,000 contract to supply the prestigious Commonwealth Pool in Manchester. The company was contracted to supply and install a combined public address and voice alarm system on behalf of electrical contractors NG Bailey at the complex which, alongside the athletics stadium, will take centre stage in 2002 when Manchester hosts the Commonwealth Games. The contract included products from its Millbank public address brand and elements of data communications from its Akusta range. The facility features an Olympic-size swimming pool, a diving and training pool and a leisure area.

Improved COS-11s Lavalier Mics from Sanken
Friday, 25 August 2000

The Sanken COS-11 miniature lavalier microphone has proved extremely popular for theatre and film applications where superior sound quality and concealment are demanded. Now Sanken have introduced an improved version - the COS.11s. The new COS-11s features a thicker cable with a 0.5mm jacket - twice as thick as previously. The new cable smoothly matches the entry connector, preventing snags when pulled through hair or clothing. Developed in conjunction with leading sound design companies, the new cable remains soft, pliable and adheres comfortably to the skin, even after extended use. The COS-11s is extremely rugged and impervious to the body humidity associated with rigorous stage film and TV production. Superior sealing between cable and microphone body eliminates ingress of water that can lead to corrosion in inferior lavelier microphones. Ideal for live broadcasting and location recording as well as theatre applications, the COS-11s provides top levels of transient response, extended frequency range and extremely low sensitivity to mechanical noise.

L-Acoustics in Center Parcs
Friday, 25 August 2000

L-Acoustics, distributor for The Netherlands Ogip Audio & Lights, has provided leading European leisure park operator CenterParcs with an SMPTE-controlled audio and light show. Ogip Audio & Lights BV has provided the complete technical package for the spectacular Market Dome entertainment show. Michiel Illy, head of Center Parcs' special products and development department, commented: "The overall idea of the new show is to create a theatrical show programme throughout the whole area, with the audience becoming part of the show."L-Acoustics EX-112 processor-controlled 12" coaxial full-range loudspeakers are installed with L-Acoustics SB-115 bass extensions. The recently launched L-A17 power amplifier powers the total sound system. Ashly's new Protea equaliser is used for tonal balance adjustments and time alignment. The complete system is controlled by a Akai 4-track hard-disk recorder generating L-R stereo signals, as well as the SMPTE code connected to a Yamaha 01V for the sound and a MA-scancommander for the Martin Roboscans and Robocolors, as well as DMX strobes and theatre profiles.

MAVCO Installs Audio Equipment for Costa Atlantica
Thursday, 24 August 2000

Costa Cruises' newest and largest ship, the 2,680 passenger Costa Atlantica, became the company's flagship after joining the fleet at the inaugural ceremony in Venice last month. Built at the Kvaerner Masa yard in Helsinki, the Costa Atlantica is as tall as a 20-storey building, with a surface area 20 times the size of the Olympic stadium in Rome. It has seven bars, a two-level restaurant, café, gym, beauty salon, spa, casino, conference room and three swimming pools. The audio equipment for all public areas, including the 1,000 seat Caruso Theatre, was supplied and installed by MAVCO. The main theatre uses a Midas XL4 fully-automated audio mixer, together with a Midas XL3 side-wing mixer. 90 EAW loudspeakers, together with another 60 Renkus-Heinz and Macpherson loudspeakers provide sound to the audience of 1,170 guests, in an auditorium consisting of both stalls and an upper circle. Processing is via a Media matrix digital sound processor and 54 Crest CKS amplifiers are controlled by Crest's NexSys computer control system.

Het MuziekTheater - Final Phase Completed
Thursday, 24 August 2000

Amsterdam's Het Muziektheatre, home of the Dutch National Ballet and the Netherlands Opera, recently completed the final phase of a major new sound system installation. Last summer, a full FOH system was installed using Apogee ALA-3s, FH-2s, SSMs and AE-12s. This summer, a complete refurbishment of the ambient surround system was on the docket. A total of 60 Apogee SSMs and 15 custom-built subwoofers were installed at the rear of the seating areas. The five-channel ambient system is used to reproduce sound effects for opera and ballet, and it doubles as the speaker system for 'LARES,' an artificial reverberation enhancement system. Audio director, Hans-Willem de Haan, says: "The change out to the SSMs radically improved the sound quality and believability of the electronically generated reverberation field. And the wide frequency response and power handling of the SSMs let's us programme any effect we like."

DAS Audio for Revolution Vodka Bars
Wednesday, 23 August 2000

Sennheiser UK is supplying alarge and on-going number of DAS Audio sound systems for installation by Eclipse Lighting & Sound in the rapidly-growing chain of Revolution Vodka Bars openign across the country, operated by Manchester-based Inventive Leisure. Eclipse's John Fearon said that the DAS speakers fitted the bill perfectly: "We essentially use white DAS DS8 and DS12 full-range speakers, with SUB18 bass reflex enclosures and the CT-1 system controller. DAS is perfect for this type of install. The build quality is very good and the sound is exceptional."

DJ Willrich Turns Back the Clock
Wednesday, 23 August 2000

English Heritage has recently employed the services of audio-visual specialist DJ Willrich to recreate the atmosphere of a 17th Century riding school at Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire, through the use of sound. By using a 10-channel sound system and a Maris Stinger to synchronise all the events, including lighting, DJ Willrich has risen to the task, so that visitors to the Castle can now close their eyes and imagine themselves standing in the middle of the riding school as it was more than 300 years ago. A host of sounds, including the horses moving about the school, the voice of the riding instructor, the tack and the onlookers, including Lord and Lady Cavendish themselves, combine to recreate the highly-realistic atmosphere which, according to the Chairman of English Heritage, is "a triumph".

Bang Your Head With HK Audio
Wednesday, 23 August 2000

One of the highlights of the German heavy-metal calendar, the recent 'Bang Your Head' festival in Balingen attracted over 10,000 head-bangers for two days of high culture with bands such as Scorpions, Saxon and Running Wild. Sound was once again supplied by event regulars Prolite and Media Systems, who used 30 horn-loaded HK Audio R-Series RT 112 12" / 2" mid/high enclosures along with 74 horn-loaded RL 118 (1 x 18") subs. Fifteen pairs of each were flown on each side of stage, with the remaining 44 subs were split into groups of four along the stage front. The system was controlled via a notebook computer and a network of HK Audio Digital Field Controllers, operated by engineers Alex Baron and Rob Hodgkinson. Each of the front-of-house engineers, Ernst Seider and Tom Pätsch, had his own Yamaha PM3500 mixing console, enabling them to alternate mixing duties to provide smooth change-overs between the 22 bands at the event.


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