AEI Music have announced that its latest hard-disc music storage system will be launched on February 1st 2001. The new system, says AEI, combines the benefits of hard-disc storage with the 'Human Touch' of experienced music programmers, without relying on computer modelling to choose the music, thereby ensuring that repetition is avoided, and tracks 'sound good together'. ProFusion is a closed format system that can be scheduled up to the minute, hour, day, month and year, allowing for promotional items and messages to be stored alongside the music.
At the NAMM Show (Anaheim, California, 18-21 January 2001) Sennheiser will be launching the RS30, 40, 60 and 80 wireless headphones. As the showcase model in the series, the RS60 uses SRS Labs' headphone enhancement technology to include switchable surround sound, delivering a realistic and spacious listening experience through stereo headphones. SRS processing is based on the same psycho-acoustic principles which allow us to hear sounds in three dimensions, and is unique because it achieves without the use of special recording techniques. Frequency response is a full 20Hz to 20kHz, with up to 100dB of sound output.
UK pro audio rental company Dreamhire has extended its influence in Europe by entering into a joint venture with Funky Junk in Sweden and Italy. Funky Junk's branches in Stockholm and Milan now carry a range of Dreamhire rental equipment from manufacturers such as Neve, Neumann and Urei, as well as acting as a point of reference to anyone wanting to access Dreamhire's entire equipment list.
PLASA has announced that Neil Darracott (pictured right), design engineer at Total Fabrications Ltd, has been elected to the Executive Committee of the Association following the elections which closed on 1 st December. The elections attracted 123 membership votes in total, compared with 104 last year. Mick Hannaford (Light Processor), the serving PLASA chairman, has been re-elected for his second three-year term, while PLASA Treasurer Sammy DeHavilland of Dare Pro Audio/Deco Leisure, has been re-elected for a three-year term. Newcomer Neil Darracott fills the other three-year term, while Paul Hinkly of LMC Audio, who was co-opted onto the PLASA committee last year, was elected for a further one-year term.Peter Walker of NSR, who was not re-elected, has served on the PLASA Committee for the past six years, and was for much of that time involved with membership issues, particularly related to new applications to the Association. At the December meeting of the executive committee, chairman Mick Hannaford thanked Peter for his time and hard work over the years he has served with PLASA.The remaining members of the committee are Paul Adams (PAI Group), Paul De Ville (Lightfactor Sales), Nikki Scott (Stage Technologies), David Hopkins OBE (Audio Design Services) and Diane Grant (DHA Lighting).
Lighting students at Rose Bruford College recently completed a project that allowed them to apply their design skills to a wide range of performance genres. Known as the ‘Related Fields’ project, third year students of the BA (Hons) Lighting Design degree course collaborated with Stage Management and Directing students to create a nightclub environment, an audio-visual performance, a son et lumière and a contemporary dance work.Each team of four lighting designers, two directors and a stage manager was responsible for taking their production from initial concept to full performance over a period of four weeks. With the first two years of the course focused on theatre, this project represented the students’ main opportunity to tackle other types of performance. The work was supervised by visiting tutor Nick Moran, highly experienced in both theatre and corporate events.
The first production turned the college’s Barn Theatre into a nightclub. To the rear, a gauze served as a projection screen on which High End Technobeams created rippling, swirling gobo patterns, while VL5s washed the space with congo blues to supplement the UV paint. As the music swelled, the focus shifted more strongly to the gauze, which dissolved to reveal dancers behind, backlit by sweeping DHA Light Curtains at floor level. The second production also led the audience onto the stage via the auditorium, but this time the atmosphere was very different. Two actors dressed as pantomime-style children (think Jack and Jill) greeted the audience in the foyer, and divided them into gro
PLASA Publishing has welcomed a new production manager to the team. Sonja Walker, who joined the company in November following the departure of Nikki Evenden, will be involved with all PLASA Publications.
PLASA’s Executive Committee has a new face following the recent elections to decide on the line-up for 2001. Neil Darracott (pictured right), design engineer at Total Fabrications Ltd, now joins the committee, following a closely run contest which saw the final votes cast on December 1st. The elections attracted 123 membership votes in total, compared with 104 last year.
Coming from a rigging and trussing background, Darracott MEng AMIMechE will bring a new perspective to the committee. He joined Total Fabrications at the start of 2000, heading up the design team responsible for the company’s award-winning T2 trussing system; prior to this he worked in a number of fields including broadcasting, lighting, stage machinery, rigging, special projects and demountable structures.
Mick Hannaford (LightProcessor), the serving PLASA chairman, has been re-elected for his second three-year term, while PLASA Treasurer Sammy DeHavilland of Dare Pro Audio/Deco Leisure, has also been voted back to serve a three-year term. Newcomer Darracott fills the other three-year term, whilst Paul Hinkly of LMC Audio, who was co-opted onto the committee last year, was elected for a further one-year term.
The vote means that long-serving committee member Peter Walker of NSR Communications, will now step down. He has served PLASA for the past six years, and for much of that time, was involved with membership issues, particularly related to new applications to the Association. At the December meeting of the executive committee, chairman Mick Hannaford thanked Peter for his time and hard
Mackie Designs has announced that its chief operating officer, Jamie Engen, has been appointed chief executive officer and president by the company’s board of directors. Engen has also been appointed to the company’s board of directors. Greg Mackie, the company’s founder and chairman commented: "The Mackie board of directors strongly supports the effort and progress that Jamie has made on behalf of our company as our chief operating officer over the last year. As COO, Jamie has proved himself capable of managing the day to day activities of the growing Mackie organization, at the same time proving himself capable of providing the leadership and strategic guidance that we require of a CEO." Mackie has also appointed Ivan Schwartz as director of corporate communications for all of the Mackie companies. Schwartz comes to Mackie from his previous position as director of marketing at Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW), which was acquired by Mackie Designs in April 2000. Prior to EAW, Schwartz was with Mark IV Audio for nine years, where as general manager, he oversaw the US sales, service, marketing and distribution for Midas, Klark Teknik and DDA products, and the sales and marketing of Electro-Voice concert sound products to the touring industry.
Australian-based lighting control manufacturer, LSC Lighting Systems (Aust) Pty Ltd, has appointed three new distributors for its lighting control product range. Socel Ltd in Santiago, Chile, has been operating in the lighting market since 1987. They have already placed their first stock order of LSC desks and dimmers. Tectronics of the United Arab Emirates has been trading since 1978 with offices in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi with one shortly to open in Egypt. An order has been placed for an Atom lighting desk and patch panel for a hotel project in Dubai. Stagetec Distribution Ltd, based in Slough, UK (see earlier news), has been created to import LSC and other international brands into the UK market. Their initial stocking order for Atom and Axiom desks, along with samples of LSC’s new dimmer range, has been delivered with further orders to be fulfilled prior to Christmas.
London-based AV company, Montage Presentation Services, has recently purchased four Nexo PS-8¹s, an LS-400 sub bass and the PS-8 TD controller to add to its inventory of Nexo loudspeakers. The first outing for the PS-8 system was for two private presentations given by Nelson Mandela on behalf of BP, including the inaugural BP Annual Lecture at the new BP Lecture Theatre at the British Museum. Under the general theme of ‘World Civilisation’, the lecture will be given each year by an internationally renowned figure. Sir David Attenborough introduced the series’ very first speaker, Nelson Mandela.The other presentation took place in the atrium at BP's Finsbury Circus headquarters. Rising through seven storeys of glass and marble, the atrium presented a significant acoustic challenge. As Louis Backer, MD of Montage explains: "Despite the cavernous proportions of the venue, our most pressing concern was space, as indeed with the British Museum. Our watchwords are neat and discreet - we go to great lengths to make our installations as invisible as possible, yet without compromising sonic quality. Generally, the only element of the installation that is visible are the loudspeakers themselves, and then only if we haven't managed to hide them somewhere!"
GAM Products has extended the GamTube line to include as standards the new T-5s and T-8s as well as T-12 bi-axial lamps. GamTube is a colour sleeve that fits over fluorescents of almost any size and comes in 40 off-the-shelf colours.
Martin Professional has appointed Claus Rothmann as director of logistics, with effect from the start of the new year. Rothmann holds a degree in Manufacturing & Systems Engineering, as well as Business Administration & Organization. He comes to Martin from a position as vice-president of Dandy Company's corporate supply chain development. Rothmann will form part of Martin's management team alongside sales and marketing director Pio Nahum and R&D director Stig Poulsen. The management board remains unchanged and consists of CEO and president Kristian Kolding, who relinquishes the logistics responsibility, Lars Dige (finance) and Torben Johansen (production).
Airstar, famous for its illuminated lighting balloon, has extended its special events range with Totem, a lighted column that should add a new dimension to exhibitions and corporate events. Totem’s outer envelope is mounted on a base and the balloon is automatically inflated by an internal fan. The Totem comes in three models – the Totem 200, a 2m column, the Totem 500, 5m column and the Arche – an arch-shaped version.
Sony has introduced a new large size video screen to its line-up of public display solutions to provide a high impact visual medium for indoor advertising, digital signage and retail applications. In a plug and play format, the new 126” (diagonal measurement) JJTron utilises LED technology with an 8mm pixel pitch and partial 12-bit processing. Screen control is through a remote commander, not unlike a typical television remote control unit.
Fourth Phase Production Arts were at the centre of a dramatic and highly successful campaign by West Midlands Police which involved projecting giant images onto their Lloyd House HQ in the Hockley area of central Birmingham. The images were of their three Most Wanted criminals, and the event was part of an ongoing anti-robbery initiative called Operation Safer Streets. Production Arts provided a Pani BP6 Gold projector to locally-based production company Stagepoint Technical Services, who were asked to undertake this off-beat visual challenge after West Midlands police saw their website. The project was handled for Stagepoint by Andy Carleton and for Production Arts by Emma Hutchison.
Nocturne Europe was an integral part of the video production for the super-hyped, high profile Madonna gig at Brixton Academy. The show was netstreamed live by Microsoft to an audience estimated at over 200 million - the world’s largest webcast to date. Nocturne Europe became involved in the show via their US counterpart Nocturne Inc, who have serviced previous Madonna productions and also worked with their European partner XL Video from Belgium in a unique triumvirate collaboration.XL Video provided their new indoor Lighthouse Screen, fed from Nocturne Europe’s control system. This was based around a 4-input vision mixer fed from three Doremi hard drives, used to store all the pre-recorded video footage. The video control was automated via an ARTI system from Nocturne Inc, which converted SMPTE timecode from the band’s MD to trigger the hard drives. Nocturne Europe also provided a Barco ELM projector, fed from the CT OB truck parked outside. The high-pressure job - Madonna is well known for being a complete perfectionist - was co-ordinated from the Nocturne Europe office in St Albans by director Des Fallon. The show’s production manager was Chris Lamb, production lighting was supplied by Fourth Phase LSD and sound by Clair Brothers.
Stagetec has appointed Chris Campbell as project engineer to assist with its rapidly expanding projects department. Campbell, originally from Toronto, Canada, has extensive experience of sound and lighting installations, most recently on cruise ships with Celebrity Cruises.
High End Systems has announced the software development of a new feature for its line of automated lighting products. Called Internal Effects, the feature allows an endless selection of pan and tilt movements to be accomplished with even simple control systems. The present Macro channel is used to support and control the selection of Internal Effects. The feature may also be used with lighting desks such as the Wholehog II, which contains an on-board Internal Effects Engine. The software is available for download through the High End Systems website. Once the software is loaded into the fixture, the existing Macro channel becomes converted into the new Internal Effects feature.
Coe-tech is moving into a new, expanded HQ in Northampton. The company has bought the new, larger, premises in a move designed to locate and integrate the sales team with the general administration and financial divisions. The new building also features new demonstration facilities and showrooms.Coe-tech’s sales operation has expanded so rapidly in the last two years that the company outgrew the previous site it occupied for eight years. This is just the first stage in Coe-tech’s comprehensive expansion plans for the new century which are scheduled to unfold over the next five years. The Millennial year has seen the completion of many major projects for Coe-tech, all of which have contributed to the need to move. In addition to the Coemar, Studio Due, TAS and Futurelight lighting fixtures now established by Coe-tech in a range of pro lighting applications, the poly optics, fibre and flow neon side of Coe-tech’s business is fast expanding.(5 December)
The first ever cross-industry conference for British theatre to address the challenges and opportunities for its future will take place in London between February 28 and March 3, 2001. Organised by the Society of London Theatre, the Theatrical Management Association and the Independent Theatre Council, key topics of Theatre 2001 will include new ways of working, developing new leadership, new audiences and ways of financing theatre. Speakers include Melvyn Bragg who will open the conference and Richard Eyre whose BBC2 series Changing Stages is currently being shown. There will also be a speech from culture secretary Chris Smith and David Puttnam is scheduled to debate the contrast between the popularity of cinema and the challenges that face theatre. The conference which includes a range of talks, surgery sessions and social events takes place at 1 Great George Street, off Parliament Square.
TMB Associates has introduced the PowerPAR 575 fixture. With an MSR575 or MSD575 lamp in a modified Source Four PAR body, the PowerPAR575 offers very bright, daylight-balanced output with the excellent field quality of the Source Four PAR. The attached electronic ballast includes an auto-sensing worldwide power supply and auto restrike. The PowerPAR 575 dimensions are the same as a standard Source Four PAR except for the longer yoke with the ballast. The unit weighs only 8kgs (18lbs) and draws only 3 amps at 230VAC (6 amps at 120VAC). These features make it an ideal fixture for exhibition and display applications as well as architectural installations.
Park Avenue, one of the world's leading brand communications companies, has announced the appointment of its new managing director, Hugh Carswell. He has been at Park Avenue for the last four years during which time he has managed a huge variety of communications projects including the launch of British Airways' new corporate identity - which involved the largest global satellite link-up ever at the time, the British Airways London Eye launch on Millennium Eve, and the Euro-American announcement of the merger of Deutsche Bank and Bankers' Trust. Carswell takes over from Tony Cadman who is leaving to start his own venture consultancy after six successful years at Park Avenue.
The government of Tahiti, at the behest of their president Gaston Flosse, has invested in a $1.5m state-of-the-art modular sound system for all state functions, parades and cultural events, including concerts in the island’s 5000-capacity To’ata Stadium. Based on a 40-box EAW KF750 rig, the package also includes no less than 24 special 25th anniversary edition Klark Teknik DN360 graphic equalisers. APEX Audio of Huntingdon Beach, California, designed and specified the system, in conjunction with Tahiti-based audio speciailist Karl Brinckfieldt.
The recent news of a third accident involving a rigger at Earls Court & Olympia has provided yet another reminder of the need for the industry to demonstrate that it is not complacent, and establish a set of standards by which it can be judged.
This latest accident happened in late September at Olympia, when David Upton of Unusual Rigging caught his foot whilst fitting a banner to the entrance of the Grand Hall and fell 18ft. Fortunately, it didn’t cost him his life, but it has left him paralysed, and an investigation is now underway by Hammersmith and Fulham Council.
This latest incident has refocused attention on the two earlier fatalies at Earls Court - the death of Kevin O’Brien, a freelance lighting designer working for the SpotCo, in December 1999 and the subsequent death of David Mott, a contractor working for Unusual Rigging, in June this year. L&SI has contacted both the Environmental Services Department of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, the authority responsible for investigating the December fatality, and the Health and Safety Executive, the enforcing authority for the June fatality.
The investigation concerning O’Brien is now complete and the results are currently in the hands of Kensington and Chelsea Borough’s legal department who will decide what action to take next. What that conclusion will be is anybody’s guess, but the inquest on O’Brien, who wasn’t actually an experienced rigger, found that not only was he not on the approved list and somehow gained unauthorised access to the roof of the venu