At this year's AES in New York, AKG launched the new CK77WR, improving on the original design of the CK77 - the smallest dual-diaphragm microphone in the world, the WR version is now Perspiration proof and water resistant. The original design of the CK77 had a tiny hole in the diaphragm which provided the necessary pressure compensation. This however posed a potential risk that liquids might penetrate into the capsule and cause a short circuit. Now the Barometric pressure is compensated by a capillary tube that is connected to a compensation cavity sealed with a soft, flexible diaphragm. The patent pending new technology ensures pressure compensation, although the capsule is absolutely tight.
PCM is expanding its popular two-day Motor School training courses designed to offer attendees a comprehensive, hands-on overview of CM Lodestar motors. The company has traditionally run its annual Motor Schools in the week following the PLASA Show in September, but demand is now so high that training will be available all year round. Four Motor Schools per year will now be run at PCM's facility in Prenton, Wirral, commencing in January. PCM's drive to promote training is further enhanced by their five-day Rigging School, the first UK venture to be run on a no-profit basis. Following the first Rigging School, attended by 58 people, in July this year, bi-annual Rigging Schools are planned for 2000, with the first one scheduled for February.
One of the latest additions to Selecon's European distribution team is Lumeko, led by Vladimir Lukasevich and based in St Petersburg, Russia. This is a collaboration which is already showing impressive results - the first major sale of 90 Pacifics along with Arena PCs and Aurora Cyc lights have been installed in the Academie Pushkin. Selecon luminaires also now feature in other major St Petersburg venues - the Maliy Drama Theatre, the Academic Comedy Theatre and the Mariinsky Academic Opera and Ballet House.
In association with CAST Lighting of Canada, AC Lighting have begun establishing a network of WYSIWYG service providers around the world. Each is equipped with the full range of WYSIWYG products and accessories and offers a dedicated facility with fully trained personnel available for hire. A full list can be found on the WYSIWYG product section of AC's website.
It's barely a month since the announcement, yet LSD's acquisition of Midnight Design and Spotco is already bearing fruit. While Midnight has been busy with the launch show for Sega's eagerly awaited Dream Cast games package, Spotco has been gearing up for the World premiere of Sir Paul McCartney's latest Opus, Working Classics. As part of an ongoing programme of restructuring, a design department has been established at Spotco's warehouse in Northfields, bringing in some of the talent from Midnight in Croydon.
Organised by the National Aids Trust for those directly affected by HIV and Aids, the Celebration of Life concert takes place on Wednesday December 1 (World Aids Day) at Covent Garden Market on the West Piazza. The Trust have contacted PLASA in the hope that companies within our industry might support the event by providing technical equipment. If you would like to help, contact the National Aids Trust in London on 0171-814 6748.
Autograph Sales has recently supplied over 50 Lab Gruppen amplifiers to hire company Orbital, via the London Branch of LMC Audio Systems. The sale includes 46 LAB1200C and 10 LAB1300C models, and brings Orbital's total stock of Lab Gruppen amplifiers to 109.Recent Orbital projects for the Lab units include West End musicals such as Spend, Spend, Spend and Chicago, and a series of high-profile European motorshow projects for Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar and Volvo.Orbital: www.orbitalsound.co.ukLMC Audio: www.lmcaudio.co.uk
AV and multi-media specialist, Blitz Communications, has launched Suite P - its new broadcast quality presentation system. Two-and-a-half years in development, the Suite P integrates PowerPoint business graphics software and state-of-the-art digital video hardware, producing images which combine graphics, text and digital or live video footage. Images can be projected onto 1, 2 or 3 screens which are linked seamlessly together giving the appearance of one continuous screen.Suite P is now available for hire from Blitz at both its London and Manchester offices.
Cardiff-based Theatre Vision are busy supplying equipment to a number of key projects surrounding the Rugby World Cup in October and November. The largest of these has been the World Cup supporters Village in Bute Park, a 2,500 capacity venue with a large Megascreen LED screen, a music stage and a 100ft bar. Theatre Vision supplied all mains distribution to the massive site for catering, show, site LX, heating and many other elements. The main stage lighting, designed by Tim Routledge, is suspended on a Slick ground support tower system comprising three large goal posts wrapped in drapes, with the screen providing the focus on the event. The rig consists mainly of Martin's Mac 600 and 500 luminaires, with some generics. As a special feature, a number of Mac 'chandeliers' were constructed, with Mac 250 and 300 moving lights mounted on Trilite truss shapes.
Mackie Designs has introduced the new S500 loudspeaker to add to its ever-broadening series of sound reinforcement products. The S500 is ideal for gigging musicians, PA Hire companies and other mobile sound specialists and employs several new proprietary technologies. RCF precision components include a 15-inch woofer with inside/outside high temperature coil technology and a 17.5-inch high frequency compression driver mounted to Mackie's super-wide dispersion horn.
Armin Kloss has taken on the job of building up transtechnik's business in professional lighting equipment in Eastern Europe. He was head of the technical systems department at the Friedrichstadtpalast in Berlin for nine years and was also divisional manager of Studiotechnik GmbH and project sales manager for Strand Lighting GmbH. The move into Eastern Europe is the next stage in transtechnik's worldwide expansion of its sales organisation.
Vari-Lite International is embarking on what it describes as "an inventory consolidation strategy". According to a recent statement issued by the company, the Dallas and Atlanta offices are to close and product and personnel from these is to be relocated to other offices within the VLPS regional network. The statement doesn't give any indication of timing, but it is anticipated that the offices will close shortly.
St. George's, Brandon Hill, is a well-established Chamber Concert hall, created in the shell of a disused church. In recent months it has undergone substantial renovation in a phased programme, of which Phase I is now complete, and has involved primarily the securing of the external fabric. Stagetec were awarded the sub-contract to design, supply and install new stage lighting, sound and communications systems in association with theatre consultants Carr & Angier. The luminaires utilised to fulfil the specification were the Selecon Pacific cool beam profile spots (Acclaim PCs and Profiles) and the ETC Source Four MCM PAR. The Pacifics and Acclaims provided the front light and the Source Fours the down light over the stage area. The Source Fours were controlled from individual CCT Freedom dimmers and the remaining luminaires from Light Processor Paradime hardwired dimmer packs. A Compulite Photon lighting desk provides the main control system complete with riggers control and DMX splitter. The existing Lightolier houselight control system was refurbished and integrated into the new installation. The contract also included a PA system which had to be discrete and not interfere with the architecture of the building - to this end RCF column speakers were distributed around the building.
The Athlone Stadium in South Africa's Western Cape province has been chosen to be the regional home of soccer, and will receive a 49m Rand (£4.85m) upgrade. The first phase of the project (12m Rand - £1.18m) will see the replacement of the stadium's floodlighting system. The second phase will involve the upgrading of the existing west stand and the construction of an open east stand. The new west stand will have 14 private boxes, VIP seating, adjoining recreational space and players' facilities to meet FIFA standards. Construction of the first phase is due to be completed by April or May 2000.
Contact: Mr Saleem Mowzer, Cape Town City Council, Exco Committee Chairperson, PO Box 298, Cape Town, South Africa 8000. T: +27 21 400 1111 F: +27 21 418 6036
AC Lighting has appointed Lisa Young to join the busy export administration department at the company's headquarters in High Wycombe. Young is new to the lighting industry, but brings with her a wealth of experience from her previous work. She will work alongside Jo Young, assisting the export sales staff with the processing and despatch of orders.
Liverpool-based sales and hire company Adlib Audio has purchased nearly 40 Crown MA Series amplifiers from Crown's UK distributor, Fuzion plc, more than doubling their Crown rental stock. Adlib's Andy Dockerty commented: "We had to replace some units which we'd sold recently, but really the crux of the matter was that we needed to significantly increase our stock to cope with the amount of work we've got coming up on the hire side between now and Christmas. We looked at various alternatives in the marketplace but came to the conclusion that our original investment in Crown was still the right decision for us." The purchase comprised mainly MA-3600VZs, but also includes amps from across the MA range, from MA-1200s through to the heavyweight MA-5000VZs. Tours contributing to Adlib's busy autumn season include Texas, Gomez and the Longpigs, plus work for the Radio One Sound City gigs in Liverpool.
Nashville's new Outer Limit club is something of a hybrid venue. Within the complex, situated on the outskirts of Music City, are four different club venues: Coconuts has a South Pacific feel complete with Adirondack chairs, palm trees, tiki huts and a waterfall on stage, Hysteria has a Kiss-style multi-level stage with a large lighting rig, outfitted in diamond plating with a neon dance floor, Lava Lair has a gothic feel to it, including cast iron gates and a 30-foot long plaster dragon and erupting volcano, whilst Neptunes, as one might expect, comes complete with pirate ship and open seas. The one thing these venues have in common is that each of their unique sounds are heard thanks to Electro-Voice speaker systems. Dan (Tracey) Castonguay, the Outer Limit's sound designer spec'd the system which includes 22 Electro-Voice Sx80 compact fill speakers. Coconuts has two T55 top boxes, two Sb180 subs, one PSX2000 mixer and one R Series wireless system. Hysteria includes four MTL-1 Dual 18-inch subs, four MTH-1 top boxes, four Sx500 dance fill speakers, and one R Series wireless system. Lava Lair" hosts six MTL-1 Dual 18-inch subs, six Sx500 top boxes and one R Series wireless system. Neptunes has four MTL-1 Dual 18-inch subs, four Sx500 top boxes, and one R Series wireless system.
Canford has successfully tendered for the supply of event communications to London's Millennium Dome. In co-operation with Telex UK, Telex's RTS TW intercom equipment will be provided to meet a demanding specification requiring modification for operation over a fibre optic network. The Dome is divided into several zones, each dealing with specific aspects of modern life and utilising 'state of the art' audio visual systems to deliver a wide variety of presentations. Providing the platform upon which all this is based and linking the zones is an extensive AV framework using a fibre backbone at its core. The communications specification was outlined by the Dome's head of sound Roland Hemming. Working in conjunction with a development team from Telex, Canford (exclusive UK distributors for the RTS TW intercom range) has overseen the customisation of the RTS equipment. The modification has enabled the high frequency signalling tones used in the intercom to be translated for transmission over the 20KHz audio channels provided in the Dome's fibre optic infrastructure. Canford and Telex believe that this is the largest RTS TW system anywhere being used over a fibre optic network and expect this technology to be increasingly employed in future large-scale communication systems.
The Hammersmith Palais has undergone a major refurbishment - the 2,300-capacity venue has reopened after two years of disuse, thanks to a £1 million refurbishment which has given the famous 80-year old dancehall a new lease of life. Part of the upgrade includes a new sound system spec, the contract for which fell to Tarsin Ltd who in turn worked with Marquee Audio to supply the complete order. The new-look Palais boasts six bars and a VIP area. The main club system is based around a Nexo Alpha E loudspeaker system, driven by Crown MA amplification, and mixed through an Allen & Heath GL-3300. The outboard rack is plugged with industry standard Yamaha SPX-1000s and Roland SDE-330s. The front-end club and other source equipment also meets a high specification, and includes Tascam DA30 DAT player, Tascam 202 cassette player, Sony MDS-E55 and DRE1 minidisc recorders, three Technics SL1210 turntables, two Pioneer CDJ500 CD players and a Rane MP24 DJ mixer.
Marquee Audio has added three key new recruits to its staff in Shepperton, to deal with the expanding nature of its business. Andy Morrell, rejoins the company after 15 months with Canford Audio and will be specialising in AV and blue chip business. He was previously with Marquee for three years. Jimmy Potter joins as sales co-ordinator, based permanently at head office in Shepperton, and will be responsible for all incoming sales. He spent five years as sales manager for Sensible Music, but his different activities also include 10 years as studio manager at Nomis. Finally David Brian Homewood will provide technical support for Marquee Audio's growing lighting business. 'Woody', as he is known, has the right pedigree, having previously worked for Danish lighting giants Martin Professional at their UK base in Maidstone.
PLASA (the Professional Lighting and Sound Association) has introduced two valuable new Membership Services. The first new service, a Business Support Helpline, offers PLASA's UK members useful and relevant advice on a range of topics (including tax and PAYE, VAT, Employment Law, Company and Contract Law, Copyright and Patents, Debt and Debt Recovery) by advisors who are all widely experienced in their respective fields. This helpline will initially be completely free to members of the association, who will have unlimited access to the service.Also new is PLASA's Business Reporting Service: PLASA has negotiated an extremely competitive rate for business risk evaluation reports through Dun & Bradstreet, a company with 150 years of experience in analysing and assessing credit risks. This service is available to all PLASA members.
A trio of popular Welsh theatres have all completed new lighting installations, courtesy of Cardiff-based Theatre Vision, who specified a wide range of Strand products in each case. Theatr y Werin in Aberystwyth were happy to replace their old Strand kit with a new stateof the art system. Their entire complement of lanterns now comprises a combination of both fixed and zoom Strand SL luminaires and 34 Cantata Fresnels, alongside a new 530i desk loaded with Tracker, Networker and CommuniquePro and driven from 108 channels of Strand EC90 dimmer packs. Presently Theatre Vision are on site at Theatr Elli in Llanelli in a contract worth around £64,000, which is being supported by an Arts Council National Lottery grant. Again the company is providing an assortment of lanterns including 12 Alto Profile 14/32s, as well as a 520i control console and five LD90s. Further recent sales of Strand control desks by Theatre Vision include a 520i to the Dept of Theatre & Media Studies at Aberystwyth University, a 55i to St. David's Hall, Cardiff, and a 530i to the Taliesin Arts Centre in Swansea (along with six LD90 dimmers).
BSS Audio hase completed a successful year by strengthening their support team. Joining the company at their new Cranborne House HQ in Hertfordshire are Matthew James Bate and Ben Wilmot. BSS will benefit from the addition of Matt Bate to the sales engineering team; the experience gained in both engineering and club installation, first with AdLib Audio in Liverpool and later with CVA, will be a huge benefit to the company. Wilmot has been promoted from software test and support in the company's R&D department to a technical sales support role. He will now be involved in client liaison in a post-sales support capacity right across the product range, but primarily with Soundweb.
Expansion has forced amplification specialist, C Audio, to vacate its Potters Bar premises at Linkside House in favour of larger capacity at Cranborne House situated opposite on the Cranborne Industrial Estate. While production has been taking place at the larger building for some time, C Audio will now streamline its R&D, sales, marketing and administration departments in the one building with immediate effect. The new address for C Audio is: Cranborne House, Cranborne Road, Cranborne Industrial Estate, Potters Bar, Herts EN6 3JN. Tel: (01707) 643643.