Tannoy Professional has named sister company, TGI/Tannoy North America Inc, as Distributor of the Year for 2001. Based on technical ability, customer service and support levels, as well as growth in turnover, the award was presented to TGI following outstanding performances in all three areas. Tannoy's sales and marketing director, Derek West, told PLASA Media: "Tannoy Professional saw excellent growth in worldwide sales during the last financial year, increasing turnover almost 50%. We have an unwritten rule that sister companies cannot win the Distributor of the Year Award but when we judged the results, one market clearly stood out as the major contributor to that growth. Combine this with their dealer and product support, which has always been second to none, and we had to tear up the rulebook and present TGI with the Distributor of the Year 2001 award."
Tannoy has also presented its Best New Distributor Award to Avix Tech, based in Seoul, South Korea. Sean Martin, Tannoy's international sales manager, explained: "Avix's business this last year has been nothing short of outstanding for a new distributor. We usually allow a couple of years for distributors to settle in, but Avix hit the ground running and has achieved tremendous results in the last 18 months, which is why they have been given this award." Founded in 1992, Avix began by importing and installing professional audio equipment in the public broadcasting, video and audio engineering markets. By 1993, the company also began to design major concert halls, art galleries, museums and churches
Making its UK debut at PLASA is Griven Italy’s new exterior gobo projector, the Goboclip. Sister product to the Kolorclip exterior colour changer and sharing Kolorclip’s compact IP55 rated main housing and 9000 hour 150W metal halide lamp, Goboclip has selectable 19 or 30 degree projection angles and uses ‘D’ size gobos with static image or three rotation speeds.
Griven can be found on Stand G42
For those of you not ornithologically minded, the Audubon Society describes eagles as ‘magnificent predators of the air, one of the most exciting birds to witness in action’ - but frankly, this particular Californian sub-species was rather dull to witness in action.
Have you ever seen a crocodile in a zoo? It sits there - an armoured monster so highly developed it hasn’t evolved for 60 million years - and doesn’t move. Something similar was going on in Manchester in late June. The performance, in terms of execution, was without imperfection, apart that is, from the interminable changes. Every time the show approached anything like the critical velocity so essential for momentum, they threw it away with a trip to make-up. The singing was crystal, even if Joe Walsh did look like a man recovering from a severe stroke when he sang, and the playing was note perfect. But it was lifeless. Tough job for the production then?
As video director Kate Ferris said, "this is strictly I’mag presentation." Kate is a veteran of concert video, though her work is infrequently seen in the UK. She regularly directs for Michael Jackson, Gloria Estefan and Cher to name but three, and it was apparent that in terms of demand, this was fairly low key for her. The two screens (four when they play in-the-round), and all other video kit comes from Nocturne in the US. The projectors are probably of most interest, being DLP 10kWs from Digital Projection in Atlanta, which I’m assured are the brightest for their rating, and very straightforward and reliable.
AKG is launching the new Emotion Series Microphone C 900 at PLASA 2001. This is a high quality condenser microphone for vocalists, and provides many unique features at an excellent price/performance ratio. Features include a 24-carat gold-plated transducer case for optimum protection from corrosion and humidity (the entire transducer element is shock-mounted in a special elastic ring). The microphone is also extremely insensitive to handling noise. The supplied Presence Boost Adapter can be installed to boost the 5 - 9kHz range by 2 to 4dB for improved high-frequency sound and better intelligibility.
AKG has also added to its best-selling WMS 40 system, a series of miniature devices that offer perfect solutions to various wireless miking problems. The new products are small enough to fit in a shirt pocket and have been named ‘microtools’. Microtools provide maximum flexibility for a number of sound reinforcement situations. The microtools Series currently comprises the following products: SO 40 snapon - a miniature plug-on transmitter, GB 40 guitar bug - a miniature transmitter; MP 40 micropen - a miniature bodypack transmitter; CU 40 - a universal charger for all microtools.
PSL Concert Touring and PSL Lighting were both contracted to supply site video and lighting for Ministry of Sound at Knebworth 01. Over 15 large screen projectors, 300 lights and several miles of cable went into producing one of the largest dance events of the year, comprising not only the main stage featuring headline act Jamiroquai, but also 12 dance arenas and a cinema tent. The two teams, headed by Scott Russell and Stephanie Jefcoate at PSL Concert Touring and Mick Scullion at PSL Lighting, worked together to bring stunning visual effects using some of the latest equipment recently purchased by both companies. One of the largest portable production units ever used in a festival setting and supplied by PSL controlled the video and five cameras for the main stage and allowed the two 4 x 4 LED screens to each display different effects at the same time, while the recently purchased Barco ELM R12s projectors featured in the Renaissance tent, projecting onto a 7m round inflatable screen last used at the Brit Awards. A 30ft wide screen was also supplied for the cinema tent.
PSL Lighting designed a rig using 6 x 50ft trusses and over 50 moving and generic lights in the Renaissance tent alone, and were involved in the design of all the dance arenas using a WYSIWYG system and most of the lighting equipment in their warehouse! PSL Concert Touring is also providing technical support for the upcoming European tours for Radiohead and Orbital. They will also be touring with Lord of the Dance in Japan and Russia.
Straight out of Edinburgh, into the West End and on tour around the UK, August and September are proving busy months for Stage Electrics. Nine 45ft trailers were on the road heading for the Edinburgh Fringe in early August, providing lighting and power distribution to over 33 of the venues, including the Assembly Theatre, Komedia @ Southside and venues for Guilded Balloon. In fact, the company is the largest technical supplier to this annual three-week event. The company has also provided Martin Professional MACs, generic lanterns and control to the Fame transfer from Victoria Palace to the Cambridge Theatre in the West End, as well as generic lanterns and a Wholehog II to the Shaftesbury Theatre for Peggy Sue Got Married. SE’s special projects department installed and commissioned a four-axis automated flying system for Peggy Sue Got Married which opened on 20 August. The system drives the four components of the down stage iris ensuring that all movement cues are synchronised. Stage Electrics only received the order to commence the work a week before beginning installation work at the Shaftesbury Theatre, giving an extremely tight deadline to this custom automation project.
The company is also providing MACs, generic lanterns, Strand control, Avolites Art 2000 dimmers and five DHA 9-lamp Digital Light curtains for Dr Doolittle’s second year of UK touring, in addition to 40 Wybrom Colour Ram 4" scrollers and 16 x 17.1/2 scrollers for the Manchester opening of Chicago in September.
New developments are all set to keep The Showman’s Show as one of Europe’s leading outdoor events exhibitions. The show organisers have announced several changes to the Show’s format for the 2001 event, which takes place on 17 and 18 October at Newbury Showground. The changes have been implemented to ensure the show reflects the changes within the events industry and meets the requirements of modern day exhibitors and visitors.
The most striking change is the new format for the Arena in the centre of the exhibition. For the first time in the history of the event, the ring will take on one theme that will appeal to a wide range of event organisers. In the past the Arena has hosted a range of entertainment aimed predominantly at the traditional show and gala market, but organiser Stephen Lance believes that even that marketplace, like the Showman’s Show, is evolving dramatically. "Country Shows have been widening the entertainment offered for some time, but this year’s foot and mouth crisis has focused organisers on being able to offer their visitors with a wider range of attractions," said Lance. "Similarly, other public, sporting and corporate events are including diverse forms of entertainment in their programmes.
"Members of the National Association of Re-Enactment Societies will be setting up camp in the ring and entertaining visitors throughout the exhibition with mock battles and displays of pageantry. Other changes include alterations to the layout of the exhibition on Newbury Showground. The Showman’s Show D
Vertigo Rigging continues its association with the fast-moving world of automobiles. The two-show Vauxhall Vivaro event, staged to mark the launch of a new Transit-sized van, took place at the National Agricultural Centre in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire. The biggest challenge for Vertigo, according to project manager Paddy Burnside, was the rigging of the massive amount of weight involved within the venue’s point loading constraints of 75kg per-point-loading. All trussing had to be raised on Superlifts, transferred and deaded off with steel wire rope. Thirty-six steel wire rope bridle lengths were needed to secure the lighting trusses in the correct places above each display van, and these were calculated in advance using CAD facilities, and made up in Vertigo’s yard.
Vertigo were on site seven days from get in to de-rig, supplying and rigging all the trussing needed for over-stage and the overhead series of exhibition vans in the venue’s main Hall 2 event room. They also rigged a ground supported truss for a Gala dinner in Hall 2, plus various breakout areas and LX trussing for a large workshop area in Hall 1.
The impressive rigging statistics included the utilization of 2.5km of steel wire rope, 665m of truss - both 30.5cm and 52cm Thomas SuperTruss and Thomas SuperLite, 600m of black drapes . . . and no chain hoists whatsoever! Vertigo also raised and tilted back a large projection screen using a steel wire rope winch, and decorated the entire space with an assortment of banners, logos and signage.
When the BT Cellnet Conference was held in July, organisers Colebrand Design commissioned Indigo Design & Build to handle part of the venue preparation, including the staging. Because the BT Cellnet conference consists of a number of smaller events, the staging needed to be versatile enough to be constructed in different shapes depending on the size of the event. The natural choice for this element of the project was staging expert Maltbury and so Indigo purchased13 modules of Maltbury Metrodeck to complete the job, each varying in shape and size, ranging from 0.5 x 1m to 1 x 2m blocks. Metrodeck is Maltbury's own mid-weight staging system and has proven especially popular in venues where manpower and storage space is limited.
Edwin Shirley Staging provided two identical stages for this year’s V2001, the national summer music festival that takes place in two separate locations in Essex and Staffordshire. This year’s festival featured a host of acts, including the world-famous bands Texas and Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
The two V stages, constructed using ESS's Lite tower system, boasted an impressive 52m wide façade and were assembled in just four days. The 14m high, 10-towered structure with an ESS inflatable roof was specially designed to provide support for the massive sound system and the two 32sq.m Screenco video screens which flanked each stage. Texas and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers also required their own rigging, and ESS had therefore to ensure that the roof grid was configured for the demanding set changes, including the addition of an extra video screen.
The festival hosted 48 artists over two days over the 18 and 19 August. The acts appeared at both locations - Chelmsford, Essex and Weston Park, Staffordshire - over the course of the weekend. ESS also provided essential additional infrastructure, including two Front of House mixing towers, camera platforms, PA delay towers, followspot positions and disabled viewing platforms.
Among the new product releases at this year’s PLASA event will be the range of maXim lighting desks from Australian lighting control systems manufacturer LSC Lighting Systems. Available in five model sizes, the maXim boasts extensive memory capacity, easy-to-use functionality, live sub-masters and a plug-in moving light (PATPAD) module on the larger consoles. The range extends from 24 to 120 channel faders, 108-810 sub-masters, up to 1024 DMX channels, with a well-appointed mastering section. Also on stand is the improved e24 dimming system. The e24 provides 24 channels of 13 amps with full integral hot-patching, with a choice of input power connectors and output load connectors to suit most configurations.
Visit LSC at PLASA on Stand D2
The transtechnik group has been commissioned by SZM Studios GmbH (Munich broadcasting centre) to install a whole new lighting system as well as Voyager automatic positioning systems in their Munich-based SZM Studio 6. This overhaul of the 350sq.m studio (a project worth EUR 1.43 million) is scheduled to be completed by August 2001.
The project involves fitting 114 monopole hoists including 2kW Fresnel lens spotlights (Arri Studio) to the studio's 19m x 14m grid ceiling. A Voyager system will control the vertical positioning of the monopoles, which will be supplied via 2.5kW channels. Due to the large number of monopoles, there will be no need for any horizontal positioning. However, since the studio ceiling is currently too low for a standard monopole installation, a special structure has had to be designed to hold the monopoles. This allows for a height gain of 1m. For lighting the studio cyclorama, a two-rail system (Helm 100) will also be provided, which uses a special lowering mechanism developed by transtechnik.
The scenery hoist system installed by transtechnik with 24 hoists (Gerriets P250JR) will also be controlled by a Voyager system. The scenery hoists will include a pipe for flying audio, video and special effects equipment. To suit the studio's Ethernet cabling, transtechnik will also supply two Focus NT lighting consoles equipped with Ethernet interfaces. Signals will be converted from Ethernet to classic DMX format in the dimmer room.
Originally, SZM Studio 6 was split into two smaller studios (6A and 6B) by means of a dividing wall. One of these was use
Barrie Fraser, formerly of Federal Signal, has joined Next Two (part of MEDC Ltd) as export sales manager. Next Two was taken over by MEDC Ltd in August 2000. The company, an ISO 9001 certified manufacturer of manual, visual and audible alarms and loudspeakers for potentially explosive atmospheres and harsh industrial and marine environments, has invested in the business to secure future success in the market for loudspeakers to be used in industrial, commercial and leisure applications.
New York City-based City Theatrical Inc recently received a $47,700 state grant for employee training and professional development. The grant, awarded by the New York State Workforce Investment Board, is specifically for training workers in manufacturing industries. City Theatrical will use it to pay for training that will increase its manufacturing efficiency and improve its sales and marketing. The company is using the grant funds for training in every department - engineering, manufacturing, sales and financial - so it will affect all aspects of the company. The grant covers the cost of the training, books and other materials, and salaries for staff who take classes during business hours. All training will be completed in the next year. City Theatrical's application was one of 145 the New York State Department of Labor received from manufacturing companies.
August 2001 sees the launch of the new XtraMusic service from AEI Music. The new satellite service offers instant access to 47 channels of professionally programmed music for every genre, without the need for complex and expensive hardware or software. XtraMusic offers 47 channels of programmed music of every genre, from current chart hits and dance music to jazz, blues and the independent scene. Special events present no problem for XtraMusic with a range of channels, such as Salsa, 70s, 80s etc, perfect for theme nights. Using the latest digital technology XtraMusic is broadcast via satellite 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With no adverts and no CDs or tapes to change or replace the music is completely uninterrupted. No complex hardware or software is needed just a 60cm satellite dish, an XtraMusic listening card and a satellite receiver - all easily connected to an existing sound system. An unlimited number of zones can be run off just one satellite dish.
Salisbury-based Stagecraft unveiled its new Prolyte Arc Roof at this year's Salisbury Festival. Stagecraft is the first company within the UK to offer this unique staging system for hire. The Arc Roof can be adapted to suit individual events and will be seen in action throughout the summer at The Big Chill festivals, West Green House and Brockstock, a fundraising event for local charities. Stagecraft's involvement in this year's Salisbury Festival ranged from the hiring of stage equipment to the full installation and supervision of projects such as Prolyte Arc Roof's use in both the opening ceremony and fireworks finale in the Cathedral Close. Stagecraft also constructed a giant outdoor cinema screen in front of The Cathedral School to show silent movies, supported by the French band, Art Zoyd, as well as constructing a two storey front-of-house position, split level stages and PA wings, all fully weather proofed.
Marquee Audio has supplied one of London’s longest-established audio-visual companies with a full audio inventory based around Martin Audio sound reinforcement. Owned by Eric Bastin, Projection & Display Services are shortly to change their name to Avcom, to bring it into line with their other companies. And they will celebrate by being able to match the capability of their full motion picture and video size presentations, with a comparable sound spec. "Our sound inventory was in need of replacement so we decided to do something about it," stated account manager, Robert Morrison. With an eminent pedigree in concert touring in his native New Zealand, Morrison remembers picking up part of Delicate Productions’ Martin ‘Philishave’ system, when the legendary Supertramp tour in the 1970s ground to a halt in LA. Prior to that he had relocated to London for the first time in the early 1970s where he would hang out at the Marquee Club. The two names have left an indelible mark 30 years on, he says.
Still touring with the ‘Philishaves’ until 1987, Robert Morrison says "I loved the Martin stuff because of that, and so we went out to their factory for a listen." Seeking the versatility of a system offering different flying accessories, he opted for the arrayable compact Wavefront Theatre WT2 system, with a pair of WT3 three-way boxes, a pair of WS2A 2 x 15 subs and a pair of the DX1 digital controllers. "When you buy the Theatre system you are buying every conceivable configuration," he says. "What we now have is
At PLASA 2001, TMB will be showing a number of new products. The Cam-Lok E2000 series power connectors are high-quality, single-pole locking connectors conforming to 2002 European safety standards and specifications. Available in current ratings to 400 Amps, and cable sizes to 150mm2.
New additions to TMB’s PowerPAR daylight fixture range include a hot restrike version, a remote ballast unit for an even lighter-weight and lower profile; an HID150 unit, using a high-output 10,000 hour lamp for architectural use, and multiple colours for company identification and corporate shows. Additionally, the original best-selling version now has reduced fan noise for quiet operation in Theatre and TV applications and an improved ballast with hot restrike capability.
Other new products inlcude the ProPlex Ethernet Cable - now available with two choices of extremely durable and innovative RJ45 Connectors (RJ-Lnxx or Neutrik EtherCon); RJ Lnxx RJ45 Connectors - standard RJ45 over-moulded in a robust durable housing, with an IP67-rated connection; Neutrik EtherCon RJ45 connectors - standard RJ45 enclosed in an XLR-style die-cast shell; Dataplex cables - for applications where an economical data cable is preferred. ProCable Head to Ballast Cables - a full selection of premium-grade HMI Head to Ballast cables; available assembled with Link or Spacecraft HMI connectors. ProCan - a mains voltage Birdie, now available for use with 240V GZ16 lamp, for 240V mains-voltage applications; Sassonics 19-pin cable tester - the first multi-cable tester that really does it all and the ProXS - TM
NXT, the developer of flat-panel loudspeaker technologies, has launched a new PA speaker system, featuring its SurfaceSound technology, in Europe and Asia. The system will be marketed in Europe by Carlsbro, a leading PA and music instrument amplification manufacturer based in the UK as the 'nlightn' and has been exhibited in prototype in Asia at PALA by Architectural Audio, part of the Singapore-based Swee Lee Group.
The new NXT-based PA speakers represent a departure from existing technology. Features of SurfaceSound include the fact that the dispersion characteristics from each of the PA speakers cover a 180° arc across all frequencies within their bandwidth so that there is no change in clarity, irrespective of the listening angle. Aside from the acoustic qualities of the flat panel speakers, NXT also offers a lightweight and compact design. Free of the heavy magnets of other speakers, NXT PA speakers can be easily transported. Additionally NXT speakers are capable of carrying images and pictures and can be adapted to carry the logo of a performing band in much the same way, for instance, as a drum kit does today.
With the development of CAD drawing packages over recent years, it’s now possible for professional lighting designers to make a living designing in the virtual world.
Using WYSIWYG by Cast Lighting of Canada or the Martin Show Designer from Denmark, designers can create artistic lighting images and present them either as stills or as an animated movie providing an accurate photo-realistic rendition of environmental and show designs. Since he’s been one if its higher profile users, we invited LD Durham Marenghi, to explain why he’s so keen on the virtual route . . .
Over the past month I’ve been commissioned to create virtual designs with WYSIWYG for a temporary exhibition and event environment and a major car launch reveal, the intention in each case to provide a graphic presentation of what will eventually become reality.
Historically, artistic impressions have been used to provide the client with a pictorial representation of a concept, in some cases this led to disappointment or even refusal of payment when they realised the event looked nothing like the art work originally sold. Recent technology has seen CAD draughtsmen using architectural lighting programmes to illuminate their 3D models which provide reasonably realistic lighting treatments, but no knowledge of how to physically achieve them.
It is now possible for lighting professionals to illuminate these CAD models with accurate ‘virtual’ luminaires which behave realistically in terms of photometrics, colour and shadow. Aside from the realism of images rendered using thi
The audio production for this summer’s Homelands England Dance Festival provided several opportunities for collaboration, reports Mike Mann.
Audio suppliers SSE Hire of Birmingham provided Nexo front-of-house and monitor systems for seven out of the nine stages at this year’s Homelands, which took place in Mattersley Bowl, near Winchester. However, the company sub-contracted the system design, supply and management of the Space Tent and VIP area to Sussex-based GPA Hire and Forefront Audio. GPA, which acts as the UK rental arm of speaker manufacturer Funktion One, provided the festival’s Space Tent and VIP enclosure with Resolution 5 systems, driven by QSC and processed using XTA controllers. "It’s been great working with SSE," enthused Forefront’s Jim Alexander, "Chris Beale knows our reputation in the dance scene and it’s nice not to be involved in a PA war." Beale had also had the opportunity to hear the Funktion One system in action at a New Year dance event in London, while the GPA rig had also seen service at this year’s Oxford May Ball.
GPA’s Jason Bacon spoke of the synergy between his company and its main supplier. "When you have the manufacturer of a system behind you, it’s a big plus. Our gigs are their gigs, and both Tony [Andrews] and John [Newsham] take a real interest in what our clients want from a system."
Jim Alexander of Forefront Audio was responsible for the link between GPA and event organisers Home, and emphasized the company’s established track record with
David Atkinson Lighting Design has just completed an extensive design for the National Football Museum in Preston on behalf of Land Design Studio.
The museum was split into two areas, the first being ‘Finney’ - an area which covered the invention of the game, its development over the last 150 years, and what the future is likely to hold for both players and supporters.
Finney was designed with a high proportion of complex graphic panels which were either flat or multi-layered. Atkinson spec’d a light from Commercial Lighting Systems, which utilized twin 36W compact fluorescent lamps. To this he added barndoors and a filter holder to wash the various graphic panels. To add definition and depth to some of the multi-layered panels, he fitted T5 encapsulite tubes to the reverse of the panels. The exhibits were lit with low voltage profiles, floods and fibre optic sources.
The contrasting second area of the exhibition , ‘Shankley’ is much more of an interactive space. Ross Hopcraft the designer wanted to create a strong aesthetical lighting feature to the exhibition, which Atkinson achieved using the Targetti F1 system. From this, strong ambient washes of green filtered light were projected with accent lighting to the various interactive features. In addition to the F1, Atkinson also added Strand SL architectural (HID) fixtures to project gobo images of netting across the floor and graphics.
The first Broadway show to use the grandMA console from MA Lighting will be the upcoming production of Thoroughly Modern Millie which opens at the Marriott Marquis theatre early next year. Warren Flynn will be programming the grandMA for lighting designer Don Holder, who is expecting to use almost 60 moving instruments, all controlled by the grandMA. Flynn chose the grandMA console due to the variety of new and powerful features which he would normally not have access to, such as full tracking backup via a network. Flynn, who is a relative newcomer to the grandMA, was philosophical on the subject of learning a new console: "Making a transition to a new console is never easy. However, with the help of AC Lighting it has been as painless as possible."
Bob Gordon of AC Lighting considers this a landmark in the evolution of the grandMA's popularity. He comented: "It's funny, but it has taken, almost to the month, the same amount of time to get the grandMA on to a Broadway show as it took us to get the Wholehog II onto a Broadway show a few years back. I guess it says a lot about the maturity of a product and its feature set."
UK distributor HW International has appointed Saffron Wynn-Jones to head its marketing department. Based at HW’s North London headquarters, Saffron will be responsible for all aspects of the marketing and work closely with world leading brands such as Shure, QSC, Phonic and PreSonus. Wynn Jones was formerly employed by pro audio reseller LMC Audio Systems as marketing manager.