Audio Design Services has introduced a Solid State Language Laboratory system that will provide great benefits for teaching, particularly in the field of language learning. After two years of close liaison with schools and colleges, the company has developed an enhanced memory Personal Computer System that enables hundreds of hours of lessons to be stored on the hard disk at the start of term. Any lesson can then be 'dragged' down to any student's workstation by using the mouse, and the student then has all the facilities offered by traditional audio cassettes. As lessons are downloaded individually, a single class can provide as many lessons as there are students, with each having the facility to record answers directly onto the hard disk for the teacher to download at the end of the lesson. The system, which is supplied with headphones and microphones and can be either fixed or portable, considerably reduces the time taken to prepare individual lessons.
In a move that marks an increased focus on professional commercial audio markets, Yamaha-Kemble Music UK has formed a separate department, headed up by Alan Johnson as sales and marketing manager. The new department, as part of Yamaha's pro-Music Division, will be separate from the current pro audio department and will concentrate on the areas of live sound, outside broadcast, installed sound systems, touring sound, professional recording, audio post production and broadcast applications. A number of initiatives are already in place, such as a dedicated dealer hotline which will resolve any technical and system enquiries. Also, to coincide with the UK launch of the PM1D digital live mixing console, a PM series support helpline has also been established, active from 9am to 11pm seven days a week.
As a result of Trantec's revision of its sales and marketing strategy worldwide (see today's Business News), Steve Bickford has been appointed to the newly-created role of export manager. These appointments mark a considerable milestone for Trantec, whose products have hitherto been confined to the UK only as a result of an exclusive licensing agreement overseas.
The Institute of Sound and Communications Engineers is organising a two-day course covering Basic Acoustics for Sound System Professionals. This will take place on consecutive Saturdays - 18th and 25th March - in Manchester and will cover such diverse areas as how sound behaves, direct and reverberant sound fields, sound in large and small spaces and use of physical and computer models. The course fee (ISCE Members - £100, Non members - £130) includes the cost of written materials and attendance certificates.
Starlite Systems Technology (London) has announced its acquisition of data and intellectual property rights previously branded under the ShuttleCAD banner. The acquisition has spawned two new products into its family of industry-specific drawing software; Stardraw Audio and Stardraw AV. The data takes the form of thousands (approx. 12,000) high quality symbols of products by manufacturers active in the professional audio and A/V sectors. Starlite's Director of Software David Snipp explains: "In the past Starlite has provided the software engines that drove Stardraw and ShuttleCAD products, but the symbols we used were generally produced out of house. By bringing the manufacture of software and symbols under our control we can concentrate on development and let our distributors deal with the selling."
Paris-based loudspeaker manufacturer L-Acoustics has restructured its UK sales and rental activities. V-Dosc Rentals UK has been renamed L-Acoustics UK and will continue renting the V-Dosc and dV-Dosc systems. The major change is the incorporation into L-Acoustics UK of the sales and technical support for all L-Acoustics products, thereby focusing the two distinct business activities under one roof. All sales products will supplied direct from Paris, including the purchase of V-Dosc and dV-Dosc for permanent installations. L-Acoustics UK will be managed by Paul Nicholson, with responsibility for both sales and rental activities.
Marquee Audio has supplied a Soundcraft Series Five 56/32 monitor desk to accompany 'Riverdance - The Show' through its European tour. The sale came via Mikam Sound, the production's official sound contractors. The console was specified by Mick O'Gorman, the show's sound designer, to fulfil the company's growing needs, following a complete changeover to in-ear monitoring. He observed: "To pull off the change we had no choice but to get a bigger desk; there simply were not enough channels previously to satisfy the demand. We'd used the Series Five on the US tour and as it would accommodate our need entirely, there was no question of what we would opt for."
The Opera House in Bournemouth, Britain's largest independent nightclub and home to the infamous club-night 'Slinky', now boasts a complete Martin Audio Wavefront system which serves the whole venue. The club, awarded the South West Region's 'Club of the Year' title in the 1999 BEDA Awards, purchased units through London-based LMC Audio, to create a left and right flown array either side of the DJ booth in the main dance area. Each flown array consists of five W8S hybrid bass units, a full-range W8 and two W8C Wavefront compacts. The new house system is controlled via two BSS Soundweb DSP networking systems, one of which is tasked with limiting and compressing the main audio input and running the W8Cs, while the other is used to provide a mono sub/bass signal to the W8S and W8.
Trantec Systems has announced several high-profile orders for the S5000 Series. Wigwam Acoustics has purchased 22 S5000 units (beltpacks and levaliers) for use on the forthcoming Carousel tour, currently in production rehearsal. Wigwam has also supplied 12 Trantec S5000 in-ear monitoring systems for the upcoming Feet of Flames tour. Other sales in January, include IEM and handheld units to BBC Manchester and BBC Newcastle, along with further sales to Orbital and Delta Sound.
The German University town Kaiserslautern recently added another attraction - the Riverside entertainment complex. MHB, an installation company located in Bexbach, supplied and installed the complete sound system for the complex, relying solely on HK Audio components. 16 LP118 subwoofers (1x18" direct loaded), most of them flown above the dance floor, six VT 212 II (2x12"/2"), two VT 108 (8"/1") and four VT 112 II, all powered by VX 2400 power amplifiers, are installed in the main discotheque 'Fantasy Dancing'.VT108 cabinets provide all the background music in the numerous bistros, restaurants and outdoor terraces. The dance café Hollywood's features a combination of VT112 II and LP118 subs. All systems are driven by HK Audio Digital Field Controllers, which incorporate complete phase and frequency correction.
Bristol-based Stage Electrics has invested in further stocks of EAW loudspeakers and Crest amplification, purchased from UK distributor Sound Dept. The purchase includes four EAW JF100Es, eight JF260Zs and a pair of SB250R subs, while the Crest amplification purchase includes six PA3301s, two PA4601s, four PA8001s and a PA9001. The new investment is attributed by the company to increasing workload in the corporate and conference markets.
Specialist commercial sound supply and installation company Willow Vale has been acquired by Connect Distribution Services Ltd, a £20M turnover company based in Birmingham. All operations will be conducted from Birmingham, and the company will continue to use the name Willow Vale.
NXT has appointed David Pearson as chief executive of the Group. He will join the board on March 1. Pearson is an Oxford law graduate and began his career with Proctor & Gamble, subsequently holding senior management positions at Mars and more recently at Sony UK Ltd. He joins the company at a pivotal time as many of NXT's licensees are entering production with the new SurfaceSound technology.
beyerdynamic has launched a new range of headphones designed for use in high-noise environments. The DT300 range combines full circumnaural noise excluding ear shells developed originally for avionics applications with beyerdynamic's legendary DT150 ear-drivers resulting in a high quality-monitoring headphone with an ambient noise exclusion of almost 30dB. The DT300 has a frequency response from 5 to 30kHz and excludes surrounding ambient noise by up to 30dB making it a natural candidate for use in live performance situations giving sound engineers the possibility of accurate monitoring at much lower and safer audio levels.
XTA are set to release a powerful new software revision for their Speaker Management System product group including the DP200; DP202; DP226 and the recently introduced DP224. The new software is the result of an engineering collaboration between XTA and SIA, the designers of SMAART audio analysis software. This will enable control of the XTA devices from within the SMAART programme itself, greatly simplifying the set up of sound systems when utilising SMAART as a room analysis tools and allowing total software control considerably reducing set-up time and allowing settings to be saved for use when a venue is revisited.
Britannia Row Productions, one of the largest PA companies in Europe, has invested in a selection of Midas consoles from the London branch of LMC Audio Systems, including five Midas Heritage 3000 consoles and one Midas XL4, as part of their continued investment in new equipment. Bryan Grant of Brit Row commented: "We've had a very solid last 18 months and felt that the time was right to update our console stock. The Midas product and LMC service were a great combination for us." PA Company GPA Hire has also recently purchased a Midas Heritage 3000 from the London branch of LMC. The console has already been out with ex-Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown and is currently on a European tour Apollo 440. The Heritage 3000 was used in the monitor position during Apollo 440's sell-out London gig at Scala, Kings Cross.
Tannoy has provided two individual speaker systems for installation into the Metaforum auditorium at Holland's 'The School of the Future' - a state-of-the-art college used for showcasing new technologies in education. The Metaforum auditorium is equipped for either stereo or Dolby Surround playback of audio-visual material. Netherlands-based MCM carried out the installation, which comprised two individual speaker systems - a Dolby Surround system for film presentations, and a central cluster and distributed speaker grid system for speech reinforcement. The Dolby Surround system consists of three pairs of i12 speakers with a TX2 controller for each pair and two B950 sub bass speakers mounted behind the screen. 10 CPA5 compact speakers are mounted at the rear of the auditorium to provide surround effects. The central cluster and distributed speaker grid uses eight Tannoy CMS65 ICT 6.5" ceiling monitor speakers for vocal reinforcement towards the rear of the auditorium, with the speech system comprising a cluster of two i12 speakers flown centrally above the screen.
John Adams, formerly international sales and operations director with Texas-based lighting manufacturer High End Systems, has joined the California-based loudspeaker system manufacturer Apogee Sound as director of international sales.
Following its recent acquisition of equipment servicing company Cimple Solutions, FX has established a new division to provide a pro audio equipment servicing facility to its customers. The move has been made in order, say the company, to address many of the complaints that are currently levelled at service companies - including reporting job progress, time taken over repairs and the cost and speed of collection and deliveries. FX Cimple Solutions is headed by Cliff Whitehead.
Tannoy's new B225 15" direct-radiating bass speaker is aimed at installations where live sound reinforcement requires extended bass response from a compact cabinet. Making an ideal companion to Tannoy's successful i/T series speakers, the B225's power handling is rated at 400-800W/8 ohms, and integrated M8 flying points make for easy installation.
Leading pro audio retailer The M Corporation has recently supplied equipment for a new studio for U-Nite, a group based in the Nottingham and Derbyshire area, which aims to offer local people access to opportunities and facilities that they may find difficult to attain otherwise. U-Nite found the premises for the studio in Princes Trust rooms in a recently-converted textile mill in a village outside Mansfield. With the site settled, U-Nite turned to the M Corporation's Nottingham branch. Chosen equipment includes an Allen & Heath 32-channel GS3000 mixing desk with meter bridge, Lexicon, Digitech and Behringer effects units, Alesis ADATs and a variety of microphones. Initial projects are underway and U-Nite are involved in negotiations with a local radio station to provide programming that will focus on music in the local area.
Mackie Designs Inc and Eastern Acoustic Works Inc have announced that they have signed a non-binding letter of intent by which Mackie will purchase all shares of EAW. Mackie is well known as a manufacturer of pro audio systems for a wide range of applications, whilst EAW is recognised as one of the world's leading high-end professional loudspeaker design and manufacturing companies - in 1999 it recorded sales in excess of $40 million. Both sides point out that the majority of each company's day-to-day operations will remain separate, including product distribution channels. EAW will remain based in Whitinsville, its current corporate headquarters and manufacturing site.
BioAcoustics Ltd has recently installed a new audio description system at the Theatre Royal, Windsor, based around the latest dedicated Sennheiser equipment. The theatre, which was the first in Europe to introduce audio-described performances for the blind and partially-sighted (Bill Kenwright's Stepping Out, in 1988), has also been instrumental in assisting other venues with introducing similar systems. The replacement of the ageing, original Sennheiser system includes six Sennheiser SZI 1025 'radiators' and SI 1015 'modulator' that transmit the sound to the Sennheiser HDI-302 two-channel headsets, as well as a dedicated room for the describers to work in. The £12,000 upgrade was funded with support from local business, with additional funding from bodies including the ADAPT Trust and Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Marquee Audio has added further to its range of state-of-the-art digital audio tools with their appointment as main dealer for the Innova Son Sensory series by UK distributor, Fuzion plc. Marquee celebrated with an open day at their Shepperton HQ, where the Sensory desk was shown to interested visitors such as Chris Beale of SSE Hire and leading live sound engineer, Jim Ebdon. Fuzion's technical director, Gary Ashton, and Marquee's digital specialist, Andy Huffer, were on hand to explain the Grand Live desk, with full on-board automation, and the more basic models, the Essential Live and Digital Live (fully-automated, with digital I/O facility).