Video and AV News

CT's Kraft at MTV AwardsCT's Kraft at MTV Awards
Friday, 28 November 2003

UK - For the 10th annual MTV Europe Music Awards, staged recently in Edinburgh, a massive big top was erected in the Leith area of the city. Featuring live performances by Beyoncé, Pink, The White Stripes, the Black Eyed Peas, Sean Paul, Dido, The Darkness, Missy Elliott and Kraftwerk, the show was watched by an estimated one billion people in 162 territories worldwide.

Working for MTV Networks Europe production manager Sophie Huda and production company Blackout, Creative Technology overcame some complex logistics to provide a large 15mm LED display for the Kraftwerk set. CT sales director Mike Walker, explained: "The particular and unique challenge was to rig three screens with 3x3 modules and attach them to rolling risers. These screens had to be manoeuvred from backstage in between other artist performances, in order to create a single big screen measuring 8.640m wide by 2.160m high."CT worked closely alongside content specialist Richard Shipman, as the playback was specific to the artist - and to the aspect ratio of the screen.

Walker summarized: "It was great to get a chance to work on the MTV Europe Music Awards . . . and particularly with such an iconic act as Kraftwerk, who have always been technology pioneers both in musical and visual terms. The production team were a pleasure to work with and everything went really smoothly for us . . . which, as a latecomer to such a huge event, you don't necessarily expect."

(Lee Baldock)

LDI reinforces optimism for industry
Friday, 28 November 2003

USA - Following the success of the PLASA Show in London in September, it began to appear that business was looking up after a tough couple of years; now, with the successful completion of LDI in Orlando, Florida at the weekend, the current of optimism continues to strengthen.

The majority of LDI exhibitors that PLASA Media spoke to at the show expressed their satisfaction with both the quality of visitors and the level of business being done. Exhibitor Michael Bridgman of British Optical, a manufacturer of high quality optical components for the entertainment industry, commented: "It's been very good for us this year - I would say back to the level of business of three years ago."

The 2003 ETS-LDI showcased a number of innovative new products. This year the show's awards were split into two categories - Product of the Year and Debuting Product/Promising Prototype. The Product of the Year award for Entertainment Lighting went to Martin Professional's Maxxyz Console and the Architectural Lighting prize went to iLight Technologies' Plexineon new Linear LED lighting system. The best Lighting Accessory was Tent Tec's ML Bracket, designed for mounting lighting fixtures to ten poles or any ground supported column. The Lighting Tools and Software Award went to John McKernon and City Theatrical's Lightwright 4 with the award for Projection going to Barco MiPIX Modular Intelligent Pixelblock. The best Sound product was the Yamaha DM1000 Digital Production Console. The Scenic, Staging & Effects Product of the Year was Martin Professional's Jem ZR 24/7 Hazer, while

 
 
Avesco takes AIM for future development
Wednesday, 26 November 2003

UK - Avesco plc has announced that it will be applying for admission to the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and cancelling its listing on the UKLA Official List. The Company will also be considering the demerger of its Core Services from its two investments, the 49% holding in Complete Communications and 23.7% holding in Medal Entertainment and Media plc (itself an AIM-listed company). The move to AIM will simplify the ongoing administration and reporting requirements for Avesco as a public company. The lower compliance costs of AIM should enable Avesco to develop its business by acquisition at a substantial saving to the costs it would have incurred as a fully-listed group.

The reason for considering the demerger is that it may enable the Core Services and Investment businesses to develop better their opportunities as separate entities rather than in the single structure, as they would each be able to focus on their quite different activities. If the demerger proceeds, it would be intended that both new entities would be separately-listed AIM companies.

David Nicholson, Avesco's Chief Executive commented: "This is great news for both companies. We have so many opportunities ahead of us to develop our audio-visual and broadcast hire businesses, which we would be able to do so much more effectively if separated from our investment holdings. Complete has been very good for Avesco but we have never been dependent on the cash received from Complete, and it is perhaps time for us to consider developing Core Services separately from that investment.

He conti

 
Electric Storm Launched
Tuesday, 25 November 2003

UK - Large format projection specialists, E//T//C UK, covered the 323ft high Shell Centre on London's South Bank with a projection for the launch of Electric Storm, an innovative light, sound and mist installation staged along the South Bank - between Jubilee Gardens and the Oxo Tower - powered by Shell UK's new 45 metre high wind turbine. It runs until February and is designed to raise public awareness of the advantages of renewable energy.

The launch-night projection featured moving clouds artwork and the text strap-line "Wind Energy - renewable energy". E//T//C was working for media and production company The Bank, who are producing Electric Storm for Shell UK. The 26-storey Shell Centre was covered by eight 6kW PIGI projectors sited 100m away on the edge of Queen's Walkway (the corresponding riverside path), housed in a curtain-sider truck. Six of the projectors complete with double scrollers running vertically, produced the clouds, three targeted at the top half of the tower and three at the bottom. The images were overlaid to maximize brightness and impact. The other two projectors were used to produce the text, and the projection was clearly visible from anywhere along the south bank with clear sightlines to the building.

Artwork was created by E//T//C UK's Ross Ashton. The projections were site and production managed for E//T//C UK by Roger Oakley, and the hardware was tech'd and programmed by Andy Murrell assisted by Bob Kronman and Michael Barry. PIGI OnlyCue software was utilized for control. The installation process was completed in two days

 
 
XL Video gets 'Sexie' with Eddie IzzardXL Video gets 'Sexie' with Eddie Izzard
Monday, 24 November 2003

UK - XL Video UK recently supplied projection hardware for Eddie Izzard's 'Sexie' DVD shoot, filmed over three nights of performances at the Congress Theatre in Eastbourne. The 'Sexie' DVD is part of the ongoing world tour, which kicked off in Australasia in July before storming the US. He tours UK arenas in December.

Izzard, who spent a memorable chunk of his schooldays at two different establishments in Eastbourne, wanted to return to his roots for the DVD recording. XL supplied a 26.5ft wide by 15ft high projection screen - 16:9 ratio - that was fed by a flown pair of doubled Barco R18 projectors. Projections were effectively 'the set', with the space dressed with camouflage netting, so video and lighting were essential for creating mood.

XL's project manager Malcolm Mellows was approached by the show's producer Mick Perrin of Perrin Productions, having been recommended by the DVD shoot's lighting director Steve Nolan, to supply the kit. Perrin, lighting designer Alex Saad, sound designer George Glossop and Izzard himself all collaborated closely to create the show. Saad produced all the video footage using a High End Catalyst digital media server. There were no strong narrative or literal images, it was subtle, abstract and at times - a surreal videoscape of patterns and suggestions running throughout the show, punctuated by dramatic, up-tempo entrance and exit scenes.

The Catalyst was operated by Saad via his Wholehog II lighting console which also controlled over 60 Vari*Lites. Nolan controlled all the additional audience, ambient and room lighting from a

 
DPI in Taiwan
Monday, 24 November 2003

Taiwan - Digital Projection International (DPI), an Emmy Award-winning manufacturer of high-performance projection systems recently announced the world's first commercial installation of its new DC2K digital cinema projector - the cS25 - at the Ambassador Theatre in Taipei, Taiwan.

The installation follows a number of previous installations in Japan by Digital Projection International. However this is the first deployment in Taiwan of Digital Cinema, in the shape of the newly designed DC2K unit. The cS25 is the first commercial projector to utilize the new higher resolution Texas Instruments DC2K DMD, delivering over two million pixels.

The film Master and Commander: the Far Side of the World, by Peter Weir, starring Russell Crowe, will be premiered on 28 November, as the first digital feature ever to be shown in Taiwan. The Press Day at the theatre was scheduled for 21 November, and special guests included governors, film distributors, cinema representatives and, of course, the Press.

(Sarah Rushton-Read)

 
 
CT commitment to 'single brand' and further investment
Thursday, 20 November 2003

UK - Creative Technology has marked the relocation to its new 54,000sq.ft facility in Crawley by announcing a 'single brand' service operation, in which the staging services of MCL London, currently operating from within CT's premises, will now be amalgamated and operate under the CT London brand. At the same time the company has committed to a heavy investment in new inventory and technology. The strategic decision to operate as a single entity, addressing the broad span of market sectors covered by the two companies, was confirmed this month by managing director Mark Elliott.

"Being able to centralize all our resources into a single building has enabled us to further develop full service capability to provide a wide range of resources. This includes video, lighting, audio, and staging equipment, together with our ever-increasing range of indoor and outdoor LED screens." Elliot said.At the same time, a substantial upgrade to Creative Technology's hire fleet will see heavy investment in cutting-edge equipment, with the company intensifying its already strong international partnerships with both Vista Systems and Barco. New investment includes three state-of-the-art Vista Montage processors, allowing CT to expand on its already advanced multi-image capability, as well as 200m of Barco Dlite, seven LED daylight displays and MiPIX modular intelligent LED pixel blocks. Alongside its sister company, JVR in Holland, the company is also developing two new mobile LED trailers - with rotating masts - which will be commissioned in time for the 2004 summer season.

 
Catalyst Version 3 Media Server DebutsCatalyst Version 3 Media Server Debuts
Wednesday, 19 November 2003

USA - Catalyst Version 3 Media Server and the DL1 digital lighting fixture are products that combine the functions of automated lighting with digital effects. The new Catalyst Version 3 Media Server and Version 3 software is a substantial upgrade for an existing Catalyst Media Server system. It has been re-written to take advantage of the Apple MAC OS-X.3 Panther and the developments in Open-GL based video cards. The most obvious enhancement is the twin outputs - allowing two, completely independent Catalyst video feeds from one Media Server.

The software has the capability to cross fade between all four layers using the intensity channel. The preview feature allows complete, independent preview of content on a local monitor before sending it to the output device. Video Montage using the four layers allows the programmer to use scaling and positioning functions to create virtual scenery or montages. Masking offers comprehensive masking and keying functions for overlay effects, both alpha channel and black and white key effects are available. 3D Effects allow the programmer to wrap content onto different shaped 3D objects such as spheres or cubes. These objects are then fully controllable in 3D space for size, position and rotation. Spectrograph enables input of audio into the media server. The audio input creates visual waveforms that can be sent to video output devices such as the DL1 fixture, allowing the user to "see the sound."

Recently the Catalyst solved the following dilemma. With Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Avril Lavigne, Jewel, Michelle Br

 
 
SEOS reports strong year-end results for 2002/3
Tuesday, 18 November 2003

UK/USA - SEOS Limited has recently reported its financial results for the twelve months ending 30 June 2003. Despite the continuing general uncertainty in the global economy and continued turbulence in the airline industry, SEOS experienced an improvement in overall performance. Revenues were ahead of expectations at £23.4 million and gross margins improved by 2%. Retained earnings for the year were £0.5 million, after absorbing an exceptional exchange loss of £0.6 million.

Darren Cosshall, financial director, SEOS, said: "Continued emphasis was placed during the past year on improving gross margins, reducing operating costs and increasing profitability. Significant efforts were also made to improve liquidity and working capital. Considerable progress was made in the period and due to the actions already taken we feel well placed for another strong performance in fiscal 2003/4."

(Sarah Rushton-Read)

 
Revolutionary DVJ-X1 from Pioneer
Monday, 17 November 2003

UK - Pioneer has introduced the DVJ-X1, which combines the proven Pioneer CD Jog Dial technology with the flexibility and capacity of DVD. With this new system, Pioneer says it is now leading the way towards the creation of a completely original leisure activity and the emergence of a new breed of performer - the DVJ - combining the skills of a DJ and VJ.

With the well-known Pioneer Jog Dial at its centre, the DVJ-X1 looks just like the company's CDJ-1000MK2 CD player, but with the added capacity to playback DVDs as well as CDs. Because it imitates the form and functionality of the CDJ-1000MK2, the DVJ-X1 will be familiar to digital DJs who have used this unit and will allow them to use Pioneer's new unit to manipulate DVD visuals in exactly the same way as they would with music: real-time digital video scratches, loops and instant cues are all possible with the DVJ-X1, while the video and audio streams always stay in sync, even when they're being reversed and pitched.

To add a further dimension to the concept, Pioneer envisages a near-future scenario where two DVJ-X1s are linked together via a fully integrated audio and visual mixer. This set-up will allow the digital sound and vision from the two separate sources to be mixed and scratched on the fly - in the same way as DJs create audio mixes in their live sets today.

The DVJ-X1 offers even greater flexibility in performance by including on-board memory capacity as well as a SD Card slot - just like the CDJ-1000MK2. On the DVJ-X1, this allows for AV loops and cue points to be stored, either on-board or on a

 
 
PAI creates MegaMedia Wall
Friday, 14 November 2003

UK - The PAI Group has recently installed a MegaMedia Wall at Virgin's flagship Oxford Street Megastore, to a design brief from Keane Design's Concept Designer, Tim Merrifield. The brief called for a cost-effective, but innovative audio-visual vehicle for presenting dynamic promotional material to customers entering the store.

PAI manufactured and installed a bespoke 5500mm x 5000mm steel frame onto which nine screens, comprising 42" plasma and 30" high definition LCD units, were incorporated. The whole assembly is designed to automatically rotate towards to the store interior during daylight hours, to avoid light intrusion, and then traverse back to face Oxford Street in the evening to broadcast promotional material to the public outside of normal opening hours.

Divided into four video zones, the nine screens broadcast the same material, but have been designed to operate out of synchronization with each other by five minutes. This ensures customers are not left waiting for a media loop to complete before they can access information of interest. Additionally, the 'new' screens have been integrated with the 'Games' plasma screens on level one and the giant 'Megascreen' situated between the escalators in the store's atrium. Both these screens were installed by PAI during 2001, and coordinate with the 'Megascreen Show' at 15-minute intervals.

To enhance the effect of the screens and reinforce the brand message, Keane Design's concept includes a large Virgin logo emblazoned across the wall immediately to the rear of the MegaMedia Wall, which PAI have illu

 
Age-Sex-Location to be staged at Riverside Studios
Thursday, 13 November 2003

UK - Age-Sex-Location, Marcus Markou's darkly comic play set in cyberspace, will be staged at the Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, prior to transferring to the West End. Producers Titus Media recently announced that Age-Sex-Location will be staged at the Riverside Studios from 9-28 February, 2004, prior to transferring to the West End - in a theatre will be confirmed nearer the time.

Age-Sex-Location sees internet and virtual reality come alive on stage in a play that for the first time fully realizes the potential of integrating theatre and technology. The production combines, writer Marcus Markou's, entertaining, ingenious and dramatic script with Sven Ortel's state-of-the-art video projection and lighting design, under the direction of award-winning young director Pip Pickering.

Age-Sex-Location has video projection and lighting design by Sven Ortel, who together with Dick Straker of Mesmer has been responsible for video design realization for a string of National Theatre productions - The Coast of Utopia,Jerry Springer - the Opera, The Powerbook, Jumpers - and the Royal Court's West End hit Hitchcock Blonde. Mesmer will collaborate with XL Video to realize the production's full potential.

Sven Ortel said: "Having worked on a number of plays helping realize Bill Dudley's Olivier-award winning vision of how technology can make theatre work, I'm thrilled to be involved in a play where technology is firmly at the centre of a richly comic and dramatic story. Age-Sex-Location enables Mesme

 
 
Coca-Cola makes its mark with LighthouseCoca-Cola makes its mark with Lighthouse
Wednesday, 12 November 2003

UK - Coca-Cola Great Britain has been flying high in London's Piccadilly Circus for almost 50 years, but the company recently brought its brands to life in a new way with Lighthouse's new LVP1650 LED screen. Measuring 32m wide by 6.6m high at its highest point, the screen comprises 88 standard LVP1650 panels, along with approximately 170 bespoke LVP1650 panels to allow for the curvature of the screen and front access for maintenance.

Coca-Cola used a hand-picked team of British designers and technical experts, who spent over a year working to create one of the biggest and most intelligent signs of its kind and allows The Coca-Cola Company to deliver cutting-edge entertainment to transform the face of the world's most famous billboard. Lighthouse's Simon Taylor explains the strict brief: "There could only be a gap of a 1mm (maximum) between panels ensuring it was completely seamless. We have also down-angled the LEDs by 15°, so that the cone of maximum brightness is directed towards street level where people are viewing from, rather than straight ahead which would waste energy and not have such a dramatic effect."

As the giant covers screening the site were finally removed, Londoners were able to see Britain's biggest permanent LED display. It's an 'intelligent sign', with state-of-the-art computer technology, built-in cameras and even an on-board, heat sensitive weather station.

Processing is via three Lighthouse LIP KX (Lighthouse Interface Processor), that take analogue RGB input signal and output a high-speed serial digital signal for display on t

 
Top-gun Cowboy to call the shots in Palme DJ Showdown
Wednesday, 12 November 2003

Dubai - Dubai-based superstar-of-the-turntables 'Cowboy' is generating more heat in the run-up to the biggest DJ showdown the Middle East has seen - and he's not even competing. Reigning champion Cowboy, who hails from Lebanon, has agreed to sit on the judging panel at the forthcoming PALME 2004 DJ of the Year Competition in Dubai. The DJ promises tough times for contestants, at this stage likely to number more than 200 from all over the world. It was revealed this week that prizes will be worth $40,000 and organizers are spending $100,000 staging the event..

The DJ contest runs in conjunction with the massive PALME expo, the region's first professional sound, light, audio-visual and systems integration exhibition. It was held for the first time earlier this year and organizers say the coming expo, to be held 17-19 February 2004 at Dubai International Exhibition Centre, will be 'a sell-out'.

"Exhibitors from around the world - particularly, Germany, China, UK and Australia - are keen to introduce their products to this dynamic part of the world," says Darren Brechin, PALME's marketing chief. "The DJ contest runs side-by-side. It's great fun. We wanted to provide some entertainment and launch DJ'ing careers as well, so we created the DJ competition. We haven't even officially advertised yet and the applications are pouring in. The judging panel is not yet finalized, but we are likely to have two big-name experts from Britain flying in. The main thing was to secure Cowboy. He won it last time and he brings a big regional name to the table."

(S

 
 
New dealers for Hippotizer
Wednesday, 12 November 2003

UK / International - Digital projection specialist Scene Change has appointed seven new international dealers for its acclaimed Hippotizer digital media server range, following the attention the product attracted at this year's PLASA Show. The new dealers are Stonex (Spain), Wide Angle (Lebanon & UAE), Clearlight Shows (Australia), TMB (UK), TMB (US), Technical Supply (Japan) and Halo Lighting (UK).

All will be offering Hippotizer in all of its versions: Hippotizer Lite (media playback and effects with keyboard control), Hippotizer Pro (playback and effects controlled by a touchscreen), Hippotizer DMX Club (DMX controlled playback emulating an automated light) and Hippotizer DMX Stage (full control of media playback and effects using DMX).

Halo Lighting in the UK has added the Hippotizer range to its hire and sales stocks, and will be offering Hippotizer Pro, Hippotizer DMX Club and Hippotizer DMX Stage for hire. To help introduce users to the potential for video playback, manipulation and effects that the Hippotizer range offers, Halo will be holding an open house week from Wednesday 12 November to Saturday 15 November. All are welcome to visit Halo's new offices at The Canvas Building close to Kings Cross in North London to play with the Hippotizer range; further directions can be found at www.halo.co.uk.

"We are delighted to announce these new dealers for Hippotizer," said Scene Change's Nigel Sadler. "That Hippotizer has attracted dealers of such a high calibre is a clear demonstration of the powe

 
Martin Magnum Hazer sets new standards
Wednesday, 12 November 2003

USA - Using the same design principles as the already successful ZR 24/7 Hazer from Jem, the Martin Magnum Hazer is a true club hazer giving light shows refraction with ease. The Magnum Hazer incorporates some of the most complex technology behind a simple interface, making it one of the most effective, mid-sized haze solutions available today, say Martin.

With DMX as standard (optional digital remote available soon), the Magnum Hazer comes with an elementary analogue control panel. It also features new technology in the digital calibration of its electronic system - leaving technical adjustments to its on-board software. To ensure an even haze dispersal every time and in any environment, the Magnum Hazer uses a VGA system (variable geometry airflow), adjusting the airflow inclination between 0° and 60°. An Auto-fan mode also adjusts the radial fan's output to achieve a consistent vertical distribution of the effect, guaranteeing a uniform canopy of haze.

A very short heat-up time of less than two minutes means the time it takes the effect to reach full dance floor coverage is minimal. The Hazer is fitted with an on board fluid container that holds 2.5 liters of Jem Pro Haze Fluid. It is capable of operating continuously and has an electronic low fluid detection system ensures safety at all times.

(Sarah Rushton-Read)

 
 
Gaf-Fire finds favour in Japan
Friday, 7 November 2003

UK / Japan - Le Mark's new flame-retardant natural gaffer tape, which won the PLASA Show's 2003 Environmental Impact Award, continues to expand into new export markets. Following its September launch, Gaf-Fire was sampled to one of Japan's most respected lighting distribution companies, Tokyo-based H. Ito, and Le Mark was thrilled to see H. Ito place its first order for the new product in October.

Gaf-Fire has seen seen as a breakthrough tap and an important addition to the company's consumable accessory range. Gaf-Fire not only meets the stringent requirements of BS 5867 Part 2 Type B, but also, as the PLASA award reflects, is manufactured using natural elements and environmentally clean processes. Gaf-Fire was seen as the first matt-black non-burn tape with a clean adhesive to be offered to the arts and entertainment industry.

(Lee Baldock)

 
Events company stages its own expansionEvents company stages its own expansion
Friday, 7 November 2003

UK - One of the North-East's leading audio-visual and event production company, The R&B Group, has announced a string of new contract wins on the strength of its commitment to make Newcastle and Gateshead the events capital of Europe.

Newcastle Quayside-based The R&B Group has a staff of 15 and offers a complete technical solution for presentations, events or shows using the most progressive technical equipment available in the industry. Its work takes them across the country and abroad and is synonymous with many household names such the Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal College of Nursing, Newcastle Chronicle & Journal Ltd, Northern Arts and the eye-catching launch of Gateshead's Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.

The company's marketing team has just returned from a successful city conference with the Newcastle Gateshead Initiative, aimed at attracting London buyers into hosting their events and conferences in the North East, or to use the expertise base in the region for their events anywhere in the world. Antony Crerar, a director at The R&B Group said: "We are currently working on jobs such as the Chartered Institute of Housing's annual conference in Harrogate, and exporting our technical expertise down south to host an Orange business managers' team meeting event in London. Whether major business names want an event staged in the surroundings of Newcastle/Gateshead and our other north east cities, or need our technical experts to come to them anywhere in the world, we are fast becoming one of the biggest UK based technical back-up team for events held

 
 
Electrosonic at the 2003 UK AV Awards
Thursday, 6 November 2003

UK - Electrosonic was awarded two top accolades at the recent 2003 UK AV Awards, held in Newport Wales. The company collected both Systems Company of the Year and Service Company of the Year. Electrosonic's submission for Systems Company of the Year included projects ranging in value from £400,000 to £2,000,000, covering applications from visitor centres to meeting facilities, with customers including production designers, consultants, and design and build clients. Developments within the solutions division of Electrosonic included use of distribution systems for communications content, remote monitoring of AV devices and events, and the programming of complex multiple media control systems.

The panel of independent judges included users, industry authorities, producers and market researchers. Judges commented: "Electrosonic's commitment to staff, process and engineering quality singled it out this year. Its long experience of leisure installations and program replay is being used to cope with complex networks running a mix of data, video and audio."

Engineers throughout the UK, Germany and at its Kent headquarters support the Electrosonic Service Business. Recent developments include an expansion of the business's outsourcing contracts work, achievement of ISO9000 on site, client site Intranet links, and provision of remote site monitoring software. Customer satisfaction is tracked by four methods including card-based feedback and contract renewal. The business is now expanding into other territories including Hong Kong, Germany and Finland.

(Sarah

 
KPMG appointed receivers to McMillan UK Ltd
Thursday, 6 November 2003

UK - Leading AV supplier McMillan UK Ltd has gone into receivership. At the request of the company's directors, Blair Nimmo and Neil Armour of KPMG Corporate Recovery have been appointed joint receivers. Headquartered in Arbroath, the business has 10 offices supplying audio, video, and visual communications equipment to the broadcast, post-production and presentation markets across the UK and Ireland.

Established in 1982, the business employs approximately 140 staff, with an annual turnover of £20 million to the year ended 30 June 2003. Blair Nimmo, KPMG Corporate Recovery Partner said: "The business has experienced trading difficulties due to the general economic downturn which has continued to affect the advertising and related industries. Fortunatel, McMillan enjoys a good reputation within its marketplace and has a portfolio of high profile customers; therefore we are confident that we can continue to trade the business as a going concern while looking for a buyer."

(Sarah Rushton-Read)

 
 
XL on tour with Placebo
Wednesday, 5 November 2003

UK - Lighting designer Max Conwell has designed a very different video aesthetic into his show for the current European leg of Placebo's Sleeping With Ghosts tour. Conwell's multi-layered approach seamlessly binds the visual mediums of lighting and video into Placebo's powerful, hard-hitting performance. Conwell and production manager Derek McVay again turned to XL Video's Des Fallon to supply production hardware for the tour, in this Placebo's most comprehensive video-based production to date.

XL has supplied three upstage 10m square Barco D7 LED screens. These are hung low, and upstage of a heavy, plastic industrial freezer curtain, slit into several sections. There are also four Barco G10 projectors providing front projection onto the plastic. Conwell took the double-images of the album artwork as a starting point for his video content. He wanted two layers of video - strong and provocative images that were in the face on one hand, and a more subliminal after-effect to work on the subconscious. This psychological parameter prompted his decision to use the high resolution LED blocks upstage, diffused and treated by the refractions of the curtain, juxtaposed with the more subtle projections onto the front of the surface.

Backdrop/scenic specialists Hangman sourced the plastic. Originally clear, Conwell wanted it distressed for additional texture, so after experimenting with a variety of methods, they belt-sanded it to get an opaque and almost shimmery appearance. As it's in strips, the natural drafts of any venue, add gentle undulation and movement. The c

 
SACD achieves large-scale demo with Alcons AudioSACD achieves large-scale demo with Alcons Audio
Monday, 3 November 2003

Germany - The recent IFA (International Funk Ausstellung) in Berlin, an exhibition of audio-visual technologies, saw the first co-operation between Super Audio CD (SACD) and Alcons Audio, with the high-resolution Compact Disc being demonstrated via Alcons audio systems on both the SACD stand and the official SACD press event.

SA CD is the new multi-channel Compact Disc standard developed by Sony and Philips: its Direct Stream Digital (DSD) Encoding offers multi-channel, high-resolution sound, with a frequency response five times greater than other audio CDs. SACD is supported by the majority of the industry.

The Super Audio CD stand was a new promotion initiative of the joint industry supporters of SACD, aiming to acquaint a large audience with the unique benefits of SACD. On the stand, a large six-channel Alcons system was installed, consisting of five VR12 loudspeakers (12" with RBN601 6" ribbon driver) and one BF302 subwoofer (double 15" woofer), all powered by three Alcons ALC2 controller-amps.

Prior to the show's opening, Philips, Sony and Universal Media organized a press event to inform more than 350 journalists from around the world on the progress of SACD. For this event, a large Alcons 6-channel system was utilized, consisting of five VR12 and five BF302 subwoofers; one of each per channel. For the sub channel, a deep-tuned double 8" subwoofer system was applied. The system was powered by five Alcons ALC2 controller-amps, with a total output power of 10,000W.

Hein Dekker, technical coordinator of SACD demos at Philips, commented:

 
 
Stage Electrics at Pantene Pro-V Style AwardsStage Electrics at Pantene Pro-V Style Awards
Friday, 31 October 2003

UK - 'Celebrating the spirit of beauty' was the theme at this year's Pantene Pro-V Style Awards, held at the Royal Albert Hall. Stage Electrics was contracted by Big Chief Productions to design and project manage the technical elements of the show, which included lighting, sound, set and staging.

The set design for the event comprised a backdrop of white sails, stretched in a variety of shapes framing a central entrance through which guest presenters would appear. The design required an extension to be built in front of the existing Albert Hall stage, as the client wanted to use the stage as a dance floor for the after-show party. Over 100 pieces of Maltbury Metrodeck, three pallets of chipboard and 200m of white vinyl flooring later, the Stage Electrics team had built a custom stage extension that followed the curve of the arena and met all of the venue's Health and Safety requirements.

Stage Electrics' lighting designer Tim Routledge's brief was to provide a flexible rig that could deal with the requirements of both the main awards ceremony and the after-show party. As the set was white, covered a large area of the stage and had no graphics or branding, the use of lighting was a key element of the show. Routledge's design utilized over 100 fixtures, which included the MAC range of moving lights, Citycolors and a pair of PixelLine LED battens for the custom built DJ booth.

The show also gave Routledge the opportunity to use the Grand MA lighting desk in a working situation for the first time. Routledge has recently undertaken an intensive training course for a

 
Integrated Circles improves Digital SoundStoresIntegrated Circles improves Digital SoundStores
Thursday, 30 October 2003

UK - Audio-visual specialist Integrated Circles has launched a new addition to its range of solid-state audio and video players - the SoundStore MP3 - offering solid-state audio playback and 10-year warranty for constant daily operation. Integrated Circles' latest product boasts high quality stereo playback as standard, vastly extended programme duration, built-in audio amplification and the option to interact with lighting and other special effects. Its ability to store up to 127 discrete audio passages makes it an ideal tool for Oral History playback, amongst many anticipated uses.

"Over the past 25 years we have dealt with a lot of different clients and their individual requirements," says Integrated Circles founder and technical director, Simon Beer. "With the SoundStore MP3 we aim to meet as many of these needs as possible. This latest addition to our product range is a technological leap from our first Digital SoundStore, built in 1979, with a playtime of only 4 seconds and a bandwidth close to telephone quality."

With SoundStore MP3, audio can be replayed repeatedly, triggered using a passive infra-red detector (PIR) or other types of switches and push buttons. Adding to its versatility, control of volume bass and treble are available on the front panel and audio tracks and control instructions can be loaded into the SoundStore MP3 either in house by Integrated Circles, or by the clients themselves.

Like Integrated Circles' complementary products such as ShowStores, VideoStores, lighting and show control systems, the SoundStore MP3 h

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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