Flying Squad with Fiat & Ford
Thursday, 1 November 2001

Central London-based Flying Squad Aerial Rigging were recently contracted by London-based Acrobat Productions to project manage the stunning centrepiece aerial show at the Indian launch of Fiat's new Palio, staged in Goa on 20-21 September. The Fiat Palio is heralded as India's 'hot' new hatchback and the product on which Fiat India will base a complete revamp of its manufacturing performance, dealer network and brand image. With this in mind, its launch party was a stunning showcase, set in a purpose-built geodesic structure on a Helipad above a palm-fringed beach.

Flying Squad's director Jon Gee worked closely with Acrobat Productions, the Delhi-based production team and each of the artists to ensure that, after only one day of final rehearsals, it would be completely safe for them to perform. Rigorous checks were made to the design of the rig itself as well as to the specialist equipment used to fly the performers. With many years of experience spent as a Trapeze artist (with Zippo's Circus amongst others), he easily overcame implicit challenges including extremely humid working conditions with temperatures soaring above 40 degrees. He was also invited to abseil into the finale and, taking centre stage, made a dramatic impression!

Roger Robinson, director of Acrobat Productions, explained: "We asked Jon to fly out and join our performers as we have a long working relationship with him and the Flying Squad team. Their professional approach, coupled with Jon's own experience as an Artist, puts them in a unique position. Jon understands that to perform there must b

RSC Outlines Plans for New Theatre
Thursday, 1 November 2001

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is set to create a new waterfront theatre village, redeveloping its historic home in Stratford-upon-Avon. The £100 million proposals include plans to rebuild a landmark modern Shakespeare playhouse on the riverside site of the current Royal Shakespeare Theatre. The Arts Council has already earmarked a total of £50 million for the project - a matching £50 million is being raised by the RSC.

The rebuilt flagship Royal Shakespeare Theatre will be the most significant new theatre building of the new century. Dutch architect Erick van Egeraat and theatre consultant Iain Mackintosh will play a key role in moving these proposals through to the design stage. It is anticipated that initial design ideas will be completed by the early summer of 2002. The key elements of the new theatre village include the construction of a completely new 1,050-seat Royal Shakespeare Theatre, featuring an adaptable auditorium allowing large-scale thrust and proscenium stage performance. This will be supported by improved audience facilities and by modern backstage, rehearsal and administration accommodation. Also key to the proposals is the construction of a new and highly adaptable auditorium as an extension to the existing The Other Place theatre on its current site. This space will provide the RSC's permanent new third auditorium, capable of accommodating variable forms of theatre staging and experimental work, as well as film and video recording.

Since it was built in 1932, the existing Royal Shakespeare Theatre has been regarded as fundamentally flawed;

Corruption Investigation at Frankfurt Messe
Thursday, 1 November 2001

German media is reporting a large-scale investigation into corruption at the Frankfurt Messehalle, home of the Frankfurt MusikMesse and ProLight & Sound exhibitions. According to Die Welt, 25 people have already been arrested on charges of corruption. In one example quoted, an employee of the Messe allegedly received almost £60,000 in one cash payment. Die Welt reports that seven employees of the Messe and as many as 90 entrepreneurs from 20 companies based in the Frankfurt-am-Main region are being investigated as part of the ongoing case. It is thought that the scale of the corruption could equate to many millions of Deutschmarks.

PLASA Elections
Thursday, 1 November 2001

The nominations for this year’s PLASA Executive Committee Elections are currently being collected, and voting forms will be distributed to PLASA members in mid-November.

PLASA Members were informed of the start of the nomination process in mid-October. Following the cut-off date for nominations on 15 November, members will have two weeks to submit their votes to PLASA. This year there are three vacancies for three-year seats, due to Diane Grant (DHA Lighting), Paul Hinkly (LMC Audio) and David Hopkins OBE (Audio Design Services) all reaching the end of their elected terms. There is also an additional one-year vacancy due to Paul Adams’ decision to stand down at the end of 2001. The final results will be announced on 3 December.

Planning for the Future
Thursday, 1 November 2001

PLASA Members can gain a competitive edge if they take advantage of PLASA’s pioneering industry research. The findings into the entertainment technology industry were launched by the Association at the recent PLASA Show, providing Members with the first available opportunity to gain in-depth market knowledge. At a time when the industry is facing an uncertain future, the research could prove vital to any company’s strategic planning.The first report, entitled ‘Establishing a Baseline’ is only available to PLASA Members and provides long-awaited reference material. The 147-page research report includes an overview of the global and UK markets and market-specific sections for the AV, lighting, pro audio and stage engineering markets. Each market is broken down into identifiable sectors with a definition of products and services within that area.

PLASA Members who contributed to the research have already received a 22-page overview. In addition, each sector within the report can be purchased separately to ensure that only relevant information is obtained. Globally, the report values the industry’s international market at £11 billion with the UK representing a strong share of just under 13%, at £1.4 billion. The UK’s exports also look healthy with over a third of revenue derived from overseas.Among the issues raised by the report is a widespread concern over skills shortages in key areas, specifically technical and business skills. As part of its ongoing effort to reverse this skills shortage, PLASA has recently sponsored various initiati

SSE Hire Busy Over Winter
Thursday, 1 November 2001

SSE Hire's work schedule for Christmas and the New Year period is looking busy, with a number of tours and special events in the pipeline for the audio hire company. Tours being serviced by the company include the forthcoming tours of the UK and Europe during November and December by Travis and UB40. Front-of-house engineer for Travis is Giles Woodhead, who will be using the SSE-supplied Midas XL4 desk and the Nexo Alpha system, while Chris Leckie has a Midas XL3 looking after monitors. Front-of-house for UB40 will be Jerry Parchment and Steve 'Gonzo' Smith with an XL4, and SSE's Betamax speaker system. Monitor engineer Graham Blake will be using an XL3. For Faithless' UK and Ireland tour, FOH engineer Mark Kennedy will be using a Midas Heritage 3000 (also with a Nexo Alpha system), while monitor engineer Tim Pattison will be taking advantage of the facilities offered by the Innova Son Grand Live console. For Tori Amos, whose tour of Europe kicks off in December, both FOH engineer Mark Hawley and monitor engineer Marcel van Limbeek will be using XL3s, again with a Nexo Alpha system.

Other projects lined up for SSE include the Sussex Music Awards in Brighton on 6 December, the JNF Dinner at Alexandra Palace on 11 December the Smash Hits tour (Nov/Dec) and the Smash Hits Party on 16 December, Birmingham City's New Year celebrations and Autosports 2002 at the NEC in January.

SIB 2002
Thursday, 1 November 2001

PLASA will be sponsoring a UK exhibitor group to the SIB 2002 exhibition, which will run from 24-27 March in Rimini, Italy.

The DTI’s SESA (Support for Exhibitions and Seminars Abroad) funding programme will cover 60% of proven stand and construction costs, up to a ceiling of £2,300. In addition, PLASA will provide shared telephone and fax facilities and full on-site support for members of the Exhibitor Group. PLASA Members benefit from a reduced management fee for this service.

For more information, e-mail, or visit the PLASA Website at

Brown Joins Milos
Wednesday, 31 October 2001

Glen Brown has joined Milos Structural Systems as sales and marketing director to lead its new UK design and distribution facilities. Brown has over 10 years’ experience of modular systems in exhibition and entertainment sectors and will be responsible for developing the domestic market.

SurfaceSound for PredatorsSurfaceSound for Predators
Wednesday, 31 October 2001

NXT's SurfaceSound flat panel loudspeakers have found their latest application in the new Predators exhibition at London's Natural History Museum. Open to visitors until May 2002, this new family-oriented showcase features a range of audio-visual effects enhanced by the use of bespoke acoustic panels made by NXT licensee, Amina Technologies Ltd.

The exhibition uses a series of interactive robotic models, including a 5 metre-long great white shark, a 3 metre chameleon and a 2.5 metre funnel web spider. Using the SurfaceSound technology, clear tri-wall polycarbonate flat panel speakers sited above the models provide the realistic surround-sound effects for each of the animal exhibits.

Slick Truss for Excel
Wednesday, 31 October 2001

Truss manufacturer Slick UK Ltd has announced the sale of 114 lengths of 2.4 meter Minibeam truss and 38 lengths of 1.2 meter Minibeam truss to the Excel exhibition centre in London's Docklands. The contract was to supply truss to allow more points to be hung in the roof of the centre and to give greater flexibility to exhibitions held there. Slick's Ian Hall told PLASA Media: "The order was worth in excess of 50k and was clinched by the new regime of good customer service and on-time delivery of product operating at Slick."

Vigil CommuniCare from Baldwin Boxall
Wednesday, 31 October 2001

The recently developed VIGIL CommuniCare from Baldwin Boxall Communications is unique within the emergency communication sector, having been especially designed for use within a completely new market - Disabled Refuge Areas. Market leaders, Baldwin Boxall took the initiative to develop VIGIL CommuniCare, a sophisticated emergency communication system that meets the requirements for public buildings containing Refuge Areas, such as: Cinema Complexes, Hotels, Theatres and Office Blocks.

The main Control Panel allows Fire Officers or Building Managers to keep in contact with wheelchair bound personnel who, in an emergency, are kept from danger within Refuge Areas. The control panel is supplied as a 64 way unit which can be divided into 16-way blocks, is wall mountable and battery backed to meet EN60849, BS5839 part 8 and BS5588. The Remote Unit is housed within the Refuge Area and, once triggered, allows disabled personnel to keep in contact with Fire Officers and enables the Fire Officer to reassure the disabled person or give further instructions. The unit also houses a relay switch, which can control external apparatus such as an over door light or mute local Voice Alarm loudspeakers. Designed to be wired in a loop configuration with a 200m cable run between each unit, the Remote Units are extremely simple to install by using three-core fire-rated cable. It is, however, possible to increase this cable run by adding a 'dummy' remote unit to boost the signal to the next unit.

CommuniCare has been designed for future growth and Baldwin Boxall is already developing a Fire T

JBL at Genesis, Dunfermline
Tuesday, 30 October 2001

Arbiter Pro Audio has supplied Edinburgh-based SI Sound & Light with a large quantity of JBL loudspeaker systems for an exciting new sound installation at Genesis nightclub in Dunfermline. The independently-owned 800-capacity club is split into two sections - a large bar/walk-in space, and the main dancefloor area. A good budget had been allocated to allow for a sound system to cater for a diverse selection of musical genres from mainstream pop to hardcore dance. It was also essential not to alienate those wanting to drink rather than dance. SI Sound & Light’s Pete Simpson undertook the sound design - his latest of several using JBL.

Genesis' dancefloor speakers are four SP222s from JBL's Sound Power Series - 1500W each with 12" drivers. For bass, Simpson chose two JBL VS125HS speakers, combined with two SP128 subs. For maximum impact, he has sub-divided the low frequencies: the VS125HSs are used for around 100Hz, while the SB128s add an extra octave to the bottom range, launching the 50Hz frequencies that kick deep into the pit of the stomach. These all circle the outside of the dancefloor pointing inwards, so the room sound is evenly focused into the centre of the dancefloor.

Pointing outwards from the dancefloor are six JBL MS112s from the Marquis Series. Their purpose is to retain the top end and to ensure that people standing around the dancefloor -but not on it - also have a good sound. These are delayed slightly to keep in time with the bass frequencies coming off the dancefloor. Around the bar area, apart from getting the right sound levels, it was al

Adelaide Convention Centre Chooses Turbosound
Tuesday, 30 October 2001

The Adelaide Convention Centre in Australia has recently invested in Turbosound Powered QLight enclosures as part of a venue extension programme that will more than double the size of the facility. The development will offer more than 10,000sq.m of pillarless floor space, (divisible into six sound-proofed halls) for exhibitions, banquets and other events, in addition to existing convention facilities. The combined banqueting capacity will facilitate 6,500 guests, allowing for much larger events and enabling multiple function hosting.

After an extensive evaluation of most major brands in the market place, the ACC chose Turbosound’s new QLight Powered System and 16 TQ-440SP powered three-way enclosures and eight TQ-425SP subwoofers were duly supplied by Australia’s Turbosound distributor Audio Telex.

QuickTruss Arrives in the UK
Tuesday, 30 October 2001

Milos Structural Systems recently expanded its European operations with the opening of a new UK design and distribution centre in Luton, Bedfordshire. Milos specializes in modular aluminium trussing systems for entertainment, theatrical, exhibition and display applications.

The new UK centre comes 18 months after the launch of Milos America in Ashland, Virginia, and is timed to coincide with the increase in its semi-automated production facilities to almost 90,000sq.ft. The latest range of QuickTruss systems feature quick-connect pins and solid connectors, creating one the fastest assembling truss systems available today whilst maintaining structural integrity. A comprehensive range of system formats and configurations are available to suit specific project and loading criteria. Also available from Milos are MT1 Rigging Towers, MR1 and MR2 Roofs for special events, and the latest range of cell aluminium clamps and couplers.

Mokry Returns to High End SystemsMokry Returns to High End Systems
Tuesday, 30 October 2001

Robert Mokry, a 13-year veteran of High End Systems, has returned to the company to take on new roles associated with the company's restructuring and renewed growth. Mokry will wear several hats: as High End Systems University director, as a liaison with customer relations, as instigator of special projects and as a general vibe master, say High End. John Wiseman, VP of worldwide sales, comments: "It's a real pleasure to have Robert back at High End. We're excited that he's going to direct High End University as well as to help foster our customer relations. His depth of knowledge of the industry builds upon the foundation that he helped make solid when he was at High End up until the past few years."

High End chairman Lowell Fowler said: "Robert was always the most in-tune of our sales staff. We think he will bring harmony to the sales team and our customer base. And we needed another guitar player."

Mokry will be based at the automated lighting manufacturer's headquarters in Austin, Texas.

Audient Introduces ASP520Audient Introduces ASP520
Tuesday, 30 October 2001

Audient has launched a brand new product to augment its Surround Sound range - the ASP520 bass management processor. Launching in November 2001, designer David Dearden describes the ASP520 as "a unique problem solver for bass management in any surround monitoring system." Any surround sound monitoring environment which does not have five full-range loudspeakers in addition to a subwoofer needs some form of bass management in order to reproduce the full bass content of the surround mixes.

The ASP520 is a flexible bass management controller which permits selection of both the bass redirect source and destination. Phase compensation at the crossover point and two bands of parametric equalisation are provided to enable the LF performance of the monitor system to be optimized without resorting to external EQs. The ASP520 can be used alone, or in conjunction with the ASP510 Surround Sound controller to provide a complete management system for surround monitoring.

Stagecraft Rewarded for Turbo' Sales
Monday, 29 October 2001

Expotus-managed distributor Stagecraft, based in the Philippines, were rewarded for their efforts this year, as they received the Turbosound International Distributor of the Year in the Far East Award based on growth in sales throughout financial year 2000/2001. With sales having increased by 156% last year, director of Stagecraft Frankie Zabala (pictured left) commented: "Receiving this commendation was a great surprise and indeed an honour. We hope to do even better for Turbosound next year!" he says. Martin Capp, managing director of Expotus, (pictured right) continues: "Expotus business in the Far East goes back a long way, and we’re proud that Stagecraft has been recognised in this way by Turbosound this year. We’re particularly pleased as the Expotus-managed Chinese distributor Jia Hui won it last year!"

SPS Wins AV Rental Company Award
Monday, 29 October 2001

Show Presentation Services, the leading equipment rental and staging specialists, won the prestigious award for Rental Company of the Year in the 2001 AV Industry Awards. The winners of the awards, designed to celebrate the best audio-visual companies, projects, users and applications and held by AV Magazine in association with Sharp and a raft of sponsors, were announced at a ceremony at the Grand Hotel, Brighton, on 18 October. SPS beat off competition from Saville's and XL Video to win the award, which was given to the rental company which had shown the most marketing, technological or applicational innovation and which had demonstrated business development and both turnover and profit performance.

Robin Coles, managing director of SPS, commented: "We are delighted that the judges recognized our genuine commitment to innovation and excellence, demonstrated by a 70% increase in turnover over the last year. Staggering business growth rates were achieved by our scenic construction and lighting rental departments in particular, of 241% and 148% respectively. 2000 also saw us launching our LED rental business following our investment in a Barco D-Lite7 Modular LED screen, and Event IT, a new department dedicated to supporting the use of all types of IT requirements in the conference, exhibition and live event arenas. We also commenced a five year AV contract for Earls Court and Olympia."

Coles continued: "To win the AV rental company of the year award means a lot to SPS. Therecognition by a panel of judges selected from our industry that we have excelled a

SSA Amps for Digital Cinema Sound
Monday, 29 October 2001

The Stage Accompany SSA amplifier range is specifically designed to meet the very high demands of (digital) cinema sound reproduction: these 'digital-cinema' dedicated amplifiers, have been developed with some unique features, to dramatically enhance the cinema experience, say the company. The SSA amplifiers feature SA’s ‘high speed, high current’ class G design. This high efficiency design, together with the 280 joules capacitor bank, makes the SSA 200 deliver 1380W of fast and sustained power per channel.

An important feature is the Dynamic Damping Control (DDC) system that completely eliminates the influence of (in cinema, often very long) speaker cables. The result is a highly accurate bass and mid response, without the need for using high impedance speakers. Through the tamper-free internally accessible EFN circuit slots, extra signal processing functions can be added to the SSA amplifiers. The EFN-DP modules consist of three functions, all operating at the same time: clip/excursion protection; dedicated filtering; and power optimizing.

With the EFN-DP modules, all SA cinema systems deliver maximum output with optimum sound quality without the risk of mechanical damage. In order to minimize installation time and rack cabling, the SSA amplifiers feature a 15-pin D-connector. With this connection, all signal wiring to and from the monitor is carried out simply by connecting one D-connector cable (standard type) between amp and monitor. This Data-port is completely compatible with existing D-pin connected monitors.

Turbo in Force at Pepsi FestivalTurbo in Force at Pepsi Festival
Monday, 29 October 2001

For the ninth consecutive year, the organizers of the Pepsi Festival (Sziget Kulturalis Szervezoiroda) in Budapest, asked Production 2000 Ltd to provide sound and lighting for the main stage - and the other areas. The company fielded a high specification of equipment from their hire fleet, including a major Turbosound Flashlight and Floodlight rig. 36 Flashlight TFS 780H mid/high packs were flown in 6 x 3 configurations on either side of the stage, with 48 Floodlight TFL-780L bass enclosures configured four wide and six high on each side. 12 Turbosound Floodlight TFL-760H mid/highs were used for near-fill and infill and a further eight TFL-118 low-frequency Floodlights provided centre coverage.

The sections of the sound system were driven from three amp racks housing configurations of MC2 MC750 and MC2 1250 amplifiers. In addition, Production 2000 supplied all Turbosound stage monitoring in the form of 12 TFM-330 floor wedges and eight TFM-302s - again driven from MC2 amplification and controlled through three Turbosound LMS D6s. Pepsi Sziget is part of a giant, seven-day multi-cultural expo, offering more than 1,000 programmes in 50 venues.

Since its beginning in 1993, Pepsi Sziget has expanded its audience from 43,000 to over 365,000 this year, when such international acts as Guano Apes, Faithless, Placebo, Run DMC, New Model Army, Leningrad Cowboys, Morcheeba and Eagle-Eye Cherry were included in the line-up.

UV/FX Design Day to Night for Clint Black's Tour
Monday, 29 October 2001

Los Angles-based scenic design and painting company UV/FX recently completed a 28ft x 50ft backdrop for Clint Black's tour. The art was painted in UV/FX signature Day to Night style which allows for an ambient lit scene to go to sunrise or sunset by adding colored light and then with the introduction of UV lighting to make a dramatic change to the night look.Working with Nashville/Los Angeles-based lighting designer Drew Boca, UV/FX designed and painted the drop to go with Clint's vision of the country road on which he travels. UV/FX president Richard Green said: "We worked very directly with Clint on this one and with him being such a gentleman and so interested in what we do it couldn't help being a huge success for the tour and a big personal design success for both UV/FX and Mr Black. We're looking forward to working with their team again very soon."

UV/FX also supplied eight Wildfire 400W UV fixtures for the tour. The company, in addition to their work in themed entertainment venues and nightclubs, has also recently completed tour drops for Patti Labelle, Usher, The Village People and The Offspring.

Ian Myhill Joins AVM
Friday, 26 October 2001

Ian Myhill has joined Audio Visual Material Ltd (AVM) as the company's new sales manager. After 13 years successfully heading up the Communications Division at Vivitar (Europe) Ltd, Ian has decided to take up a new challenge with the Farnborough-based company, who provide exclusive UK distribution of numerous international manufacturers. He will be responsible for the sales of AVM's full product range of professional AV solutions, including famous names such as Draper Screens, Communications Specialities, Altinex interface and distribution products, Gentec, Kramer signal management solutions, Avialec, Euvision videowalls and videowall controllers and Albiral video and data monitors.

OPTI Offers Christmas Display Solutions
Friday, 26 October 2001

OPTI has just released its 2001 Christmas brochure, aimed at giving retailers, bar operators and exhibition organizers access to a range of display options for the Christmas period. The OPTI Kinetics range of 6" rotating effects wheels has been strengthened with the new Christmas-themed versions featuring stained glass windows and Father Christmas scenes, to add to the snowflakes, stars, snowmen, bells and Nativity scenes which make up the range. All of these effects wheels can be used in conjunction with any of the OPTI Kinetics range of high quality effects projectors. Clear, concise and helpful advice on lighting effects, projection and installation is available free from OPTI staff, plus information on how individual requirements can be tailored to provide customized effects for any environment.

Tried & Tested: Your Vote Required
Friday, 26 October 2001

PLASA Media is looking for feedback from readers of Lighting&Sound International magazine and PLASA Online News, to find out the products that are making the biggest impact among entertainment technology practitioners - and we want your input.

'Tried & Tested' will take a simple approach: we're not asking for your views on hundreds of different product categories, we're just after your gut reactions to a series of broad-based questions on the equipment you're using, in the fields of lighting, sound, staging and effects.

The aim of this is simply to sniff out what's impressed you, what's made a difference to your working life. There are no awards and no ceremonies - we're just going to stir the pot and see what, if anything, floats to the top. The products you vote for can be new or old, high-tech or low-tech - all are valid.

The products which have the highest profile from among the votes cast will be featured in the December 2001 issue of L&SI, and one lucky entry, picked at random, will receive £100 worth of Technical Book vouchers to spend at the PLASA Technical Bookshop. And if your entry stands out as being particularly noteworthy, then we might think of something for you too . . .

Details of how to vote will also appear in the November issue of L&SI. Voting closes on 20 November 2001.


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