New Face at RS Pro Audio
Wednesday, 14 March 2001

RS Pro Audio has announce the appointment of Tony Rimkus as retail sales director. Managing director Roddy Stewart said: "Tony will add substantial experience to our expanding operations, include the organization of our forthcoming move to our new custom-built superstore which is due to open April 2001.

Lightfactor Sales team Expands
Wednesday, 14 March 2001

Lightfactor is capitalising on an excellent start to 2001 by expanding the sales force with the addition of Brian Henshall, who will be working as Northern Area Sales Representative with the dynamic team led by Bill Jones. Brian has enjoyed a varied career in the pro lighting and sound production and entertainment industries. Prior to this he has worked in the related areas of electrical wholesale and communications, all of which has contributed to his broad base of experience. Just before the move to Lightfactor, Brian worked with a well known UK entertainment and leisure sales and installation company. Brian’s move to Lightfactor will further his career as well as offering the opportunity for him to work in a flexible, creative and initiative-led sales environment Henshall comments: "It’s great to be onboard with Lightfactor, a company with an impressive track-record as a premier league UK sales operation."

AC Lighting Supplies to EssentialAC Lighting Supplies to Essential
Wednesday, 14 March 2001

When Tony Hall of Essential Lighting took the brief for a recent annual sales convention at the Wembley Conference Centre, he was challenged with a large and complex ‘gyroscopic’ revolve that was to be a centrepiece of the show. Whilst a mains feed could be run through the various slip rings, Tony needed to incorporate a minimum of 36 ways of generic control and three ways of dimmed neon in the revolve to dramatically enhance the main reveal sequence and create a variety of looks for the show. Aware of the existence of radio DMX technology but unable to find it anywhere in the UK rental market, Tony called A.C. Lighting to help source the product. The recommendation was to utilise a state-of-the-art RadioDMX system manufactured in the USA. AC Lighting’s Glyn O’Donoghue stated: "Using a RadioDMX system provides a ‘cableless’ transmission that permits the control of lighting and other DMX controlled devices in locations that it would be impractical to run cables to in the traditional manner."

Strand Lights Eastbourne Theatres
Wednesday, 14 March 2001

Eastbourne Council has embarked on a general lighting upgrade effective across the town’s three main theatres, The Congress, Devonshire Park, and The Winter Gardens. Knowing from the outset that Strand was the brand of choice to suit their requirements, the theatres’ technical team approached a number of suppliers before opting for London-based White Light - one of Strand Lighting’s trading partners in the UK. The complete order comprised a total of 80 Cantata fresnels and 16 Alto fresnels, all complete with barndoors and other associated accessories, as well as 18 SL15/32 zoom coolbeam spotlights. The fittings were supplied ready to go by White light which, combined with the company’s service policy, was an important factor in securing the sale.

Douglas Morgan, of the Eastbourne Theatres’ technical team, commented: "We had made an informed decision that Strand Lighting was the only route to take for Eastbourne’s Theatres. Most of the existing lighting is Strand and as well as the want for overall conformity, the quality of the Strand ranges is second to none - the fittings are robust and user-friendly. Additionally, the experience of the theatres, as receiving houses, is that most productions companies prefer designing their lighting arrangements through CAD packages, and therefore with Strand Lighting. Thus we find that our theatres greatly facilitate their production needs."

CT Score Best Picture at the BAFTAs
Tuesday, 13 March 2001

BAFTA, the British Academy of Film & Television Arts, specified a high level of video production for the Orange British Academy Awards, which was staged before an audience of 1700 people at the Odeon, Leicester Square recently. For the second year running, they turned to Creative Technology, who fielded the latest 3-chip DLP projection and a state-of-the-art modular LED display. Television viewers saw image magnification projected onto an 8 x 8 modular Lighthouse Technologies LVP-102D (10mm pixel pitch) screen to produce picture reinforcement on a 5.12m high and 3.84m wide canvass. Working through production company Initial, Creative Technology was also responsible for the flanking projections onto the walls, situated either side of the main screen. From its hire fleet, the company designated Christie Digital projectors - a pair of 3-chip DLP X6 Roadsters, offering digitally perfect projection and 5000 ANSI lumens output, plus the utility 7K Roadie, also with the 3-chip DLP engine, and the company’s first purpose-built rental staging projector. The units took their feed from BskyB’s roving cameras.

Color Kinetics Opens Japan Office
Tuesday, 13 March 2001

US manufacturer Color Kinetics has launched Color Kinetics Japan. The new company is the product of a thriving distribution partnership between Color Kinetics and ALS Inc. In the past year as a Color Kinetics distribution partner, ALS has successfully introduced the Color Kinetics range of digital colour-changing lighting to the Japanese market. The new company will market the full product line throughout Japan whilst also contributing to the development of market-specific technologies. Kiyoshi Otsuki, president of ALS Inc, will become president of Color Kinetics Japan, and the office will officially open on April 1 in Tokyo.

Superscreen for XFLSuperscreen for XFL
Tuesday, 13 March 2001

XFL, the new spring football league from the creators of the WWF (World Wrestling Federation) celebrated a successful launch on February 3rd that saw a Lighthouse Technologies LVP502 LED SuperScreen begin a unique tour of US stadiums. XFL, a combination of Football and live entertainment, is co-owned by broadcaster NBC and the WWF in a joint venture. For the benefit of watching fans, video screen specialists Screenworks were hired to supply giant LED video screens for the ten-week season, with one game a week, followed by two weekends of play-off games. The screen measures 25 feet high by 50 feet wide, using a total of 96 modules - the largest LED video screen ever to be toured in the United States. This creates an aspect ratio of 2:1, reflecting the WWF’s standard wrestling broadcast format, and the screen is colour corrected for television, with the signal source provided by NBC. A Screenworks crew tours with the screen, rigging it from a staging structure at each venue using chain motors. Screenworks, a division of Live Media Group, has been in the daylight video screen business for 12 years, and this recent purchase of Lighthouse LVP502 modules makes it the largest owner of 20mm screen modules in the US.

Allen & Heath Adds to PR Team
Tuesday, 13 March 2001

Allen & Heath has welcomed a new PR co-ordinator, Alexandra Pratt. Alexandra has spent much of her career working as a freelance journalist and author, producing material for a variety of specialist markets. Her most recent project is a travel book to be published later this year by HarperCollins, based on the canoe expedition she led to Labrador, Canada in 2000 ( When not shooting rapids or exploring the world’s wild places, Alexandra has also worked as an editor, lecturer and researcher. "I’m looking forward to using my fairly broad experience in the media to help develop and promote Allen and Heath’s profile as a leading manufacturer in the pro audio sector. It is a very innovative and energetic company, which appeals to me greatly." A beneficiary of Allen & Heath’s astonishing growth during the past year, Alexandra will be working alongside Debbie Maxted and David Kirk (who is returning to the company at the end of March) at the company’s new premises in Penryn, Cornwall.

Pooh on Tour With Clay PakyPooh on Tour With Clay Paky
Tuesday, 13 March 2001

Italian rock veterans of over 30 years, Pooh have spent the past two months on an arena tour of 19 Italian cities, promoting their new triple-platinum album ‘Cento di queste vite’ (A hundred of these lives). Pooh, one of the few acts which manage to stay on stage for three whole hours, are renowned for the quality of their technical and musical presentation. Staging and lighting for the current tour is looked after by service company Xenon, owned by Renato Neri, who is using a wide array of Clay Paky lighting fixtures for the show, including the new Astroscan projector, launched at PLASA 2000. Neri says: "Astroscan is a spectacular effect that can create soft and relaxing atmospheres or powerful flashes of light. It can be positioned on the stage or up on the trusses, and covers the entire intermediate area thanks to pyramid head which oscillates at the speed and angle desired and creates a diffusion of the light beam on several axes at 360°. As well as providing an effect that blends in perfectly with the rest of the lights, Astroscan gave us the opportunity to light up the audience in a creative way, encircling it completely and making it an active part of the show."

Lighting designer Giancarlo Tosani, who has been lighting for the band since 1980, said: "I must say that Xenon provided me with everything I wanted and also Renato Neri and I are absolutely convinced that Clay Paky projectors outshine all their competitors. I installed the Super Scan Zooms on the central truss above the stage together with the Stage Color 1200 for basic lighting

Washburn is HES Architectural Manager
Tuesday, 13 March 2001

High End Systems sales representative Jeff Washburn is now overseeing the architectural market for the Austin, Texas-based automated lighting manufacturer. Washburn will continue his duties as regional sales manager for the Central USA, while adding the responsibilities as the new architectural manager for High End's architectural line of luminaires.

Emeritus Role for Stern at PRG
Tuesday, 13 March 2001

Production Resource Group (PRG) has announced today that industry veteran Don Stern has moved into the role of chairman emeritus of Fourth Phase. Stern is the former owner of Bash Theatrical Lighting, which was acquired by PRG in 1997, and has remained instrumental in the operation of the lighting group. He will remain active with Fourth Phase in his new role, and will work closely with CEO Jere Harris on various initiatives, but will be free to pursue some additional interests after a lifetime in the theatre.

Oxford Street ‘Super Site’ Announced
Tuesday, 13 March 2001

Show Presentation Services (SPS), the audio-visual equipment rental and technical staging specialist, is to install a Barco ‘DLite-7’ LED Daylight Display in the heart of London’s Oxford Street. The venture comes hot on the heels of a further major investment by SPS in 30sq.m of leading LED manufacturer Barco’s DLite-7 daylight display. The venture also heralds the first of a number of scheduled outdoor advertising pilot sites between SPS and London-based Trash Media Plc, the ambient media and outdoor advertising specialist, with whom SPS have formed a strategic alliance. The site, re-booked for a further 12 months, is located at the Cromwell Road/North End Road junction, on the main commuter route into London, and is live 24 hours a day.

Management Appointments at Blackout Triple E
Monday, 12 March 2001

Recently merged Blackout Triple E has appointed two well-known industry names to its management team - Eric Porter and Simon Chandler-Honor. Having worked in a freelance capacity in the industry for over 23 years, Porter joins the Blackout Triple E team as project manager, and will be the rigging aspect of the operation. Having been involved in the industry for most of his working life, Simon Chandler-Honor also joins as a project manager and will help the company develop its catalogue of national and international projects. Another new member of staff expanding the sales division, is Jonathan Langlands, who has joined as technical hire and sales manager.

Wong Heads Up Martin Pro Hong Kong
Monday, 12 March 2001

After entering into an agreement to establish a joint company with local Chinese partners late last year, Martin Professional has announced that Raymond Wong will head up its new Hong Kong office. The new operation - Martin Professional Hong Kong Ltd - took over distribution from Martin’s former Chinese distributor and has been fully operational since the beginning of February 2001. Martin holds 20% of the shares in the new company, which has its registered office in Hong Kong. Branch offices will soon be established in Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai. Wong was previously sales director for Sanecore, and during his time there handled all imported products, including Martin Professional lighting and Jem smoke machines.

SSE Audio Group Launched
Monday, 12 March 2001

Audio rental companies SSE Hire of Birmingham, UK, and Melpomen of Nantes, France, have announced a move to merge, with the formation of the SSE Audio Group. The move comes at a significant time for both companies: SSE are celebrating 25 years in the industry, whilst Melpomen has been operating in the French market for almost 20 years, recently adding office and warehouse facilities in Paris and La Rochelle to the main Nantes-based organisation. John Penn, MD of SSE, told PLASA Media: "We have been actively looking for ways to develop the business. The trend for sound companies is to expand purely by buying more and more stock. However, we have seen a steady decline in the amount of work undertaken by UK rental companies in Europe, through a combination of the strength of sterling and the number of strong European rental companies who provide a good service. As a consequence, we have seen an increasing number of tours using mainland European suppliers. With the merger of the two companies into one group, we will extend our service to our clients in the heart of Europe." Future plans for the Group include the development of a new range of products and services aimed specifically at the European market.

AC Lighting Strengthens TeamAC Lighting Strengthens Team
Monday, 12 March 2001

Continuing its recruitment campaign, AC Lighting has announced a number of new appointments. The Northern Region sales office, located in Leeds, has been further expanded by the addition of Graham Bassett and Dave Hartley. Bassett, who takes up the position of Northern Region Sales Co-ordinator, is well known in the industry having spent 12 years with Lighting Technology in Manchester and Newcastle playing a lead role in developing business in the North. Hartley joins as Northern Region Sales Representative having progressed his career most recently with Lightfactor Sales and previously with Bose. The marketing department, based at the corporate offices in High Wycombe, has appointed Steve Dean to the newly-created position of marketing manager. Dean joins from an extensive background in senior positions in management, marketing and sales within the data/telecomms industry. Prior to joining AC, he was the international marketing communications manager for Trend Communications Ltd - a world leader in the design and manufacture of test equipment for high-speed digital transmission systems.

Pictured left to right are Graham Bassett, Dave Hartley and Steve Dean.

PSL Stages Management Buyout
Monday, 12 March 2001

The management team at Presentation Services Ltd (PSL), has purchased the assets and business of Gearhouse Group PLC’s Southern UK operation, together with the company’s North American operations. These include PSL and PSL Central, Lighting Unlimited, Set & Stage, Proquip, Presentation Graphics, Gearhouse Multimedia, ConferenceCast and Quorom Travel. In the US, both the Los Angeles and Nashville companies have been purchased. The transaction was concluded on Saturday 3 March and equity funding has been secured for the new company through 3i, with Barclays providing debt funding. The new Group is to be called Presentation Services Group Ltd; all of the companies will be relaunched under the PSL name and will continue to focus on the rental, staging, exhibition and concert touring markets. The new management team comprises Gary Davis, Chris Scadding, Darren Glossop, Irene McLean, Janet Smith, Stephen Rhodes and Nasser Abbas.

Fabric Sound System Revamp
Monday, 12 March 2001

London superclub Fabric has commissioned loudspeaker manufacturers Martin Audio to supply a new sound reinforcement system to be installed into the club’s two famous dance rooms. The upgrade takes place just a year and a half after the club opened. For the main Room One system, designed by Fabric’s technical manager Dave Parry and Martin Audio’s Richie Rowley - in collaboration with the Fabric sound team - eight Martin Audio W8C compact enclosures were specified, formatted in a quad array around the dancefloor and underpinned by eight of Martin’s WSX monster sub bass units. The sound design for Fabric’s Room Two incorporates the flagship products of Martin’s Blackline range - the H2 and H3s. The H3s are placed in a quad array format around the dancefloor, supplemented by a further four bi-amped H2 cabinets providing satellite fill down the length of the dancefloor. This system will also augment into a multi-channel spatial zoning arrangement with an OutBoard Electronics TiMax system.

Sunday, 11 March 2001

Traditional brewers Fuller, Smith & Turner, have entered the burgeoning London leisure suburb of Shoreditch - the trendiest colony in the capital - with their new brand, Katabatic.

With 3,200sq.ft offering a capacity of 480, and a late license inherited from the previous incumbents (Propoganda), this is prime real estate. The late night venue will eventually have cost £1.2 million to develop - a proportion of which has gone on an inspired sound, lighting and vision scheme across the two floors.

As well as offering views of the DJ practicising his craft inside, the exterior design shows off the encased foyer decor of AVR Colourchanger beams refracted from a cluster of tiny mirrorballs, with the campest of light sculptures providing an artistic backdrop. The colour-changing spots from Abstract and Martin Pro, working with the fibre optics, bring Katabatic (a metereological word meaning the downward flow of air) alive at night.

Marquee Installations’ Mark Brown was given a brief to develop two distinct environments - a high-quality midground sound upstairs and the latest London club spec in the basement that could hold its own alongside the best. To accomplish this, he was given all the freedom he needed.

RCF Monitor 5 loudspeakers, fed from a C-Burn Revolution 100 hard disk player, take care of the upstairs, while a pair of compact, flown EAW JF290Zs for the top end, and matching EAW SB330s for the sub-bass, handle the dance sound, augmented by eight RCF PA281 Vision Series for bar area infill. The audio is all driven by QSC amplification and the sound is digit

Sheer Bliss
Saturday, 10 March 2001

Bliss is a highly-sophisticated new bar/restaurant in Bournemouth conceived by experienced leisure entrepreneur, Richard Carr’s Future 2000 plc (the team behind the phenomenally successful Slinky dance nights).

Having owned the art deco building in Bournemouth’s town centre for several years, they contracted local interiors company, Design Mode, to convert the bottom two floors of the former Maples department store into the heavily marbellised Bliss, at a cost of £1.25 million. For the sound reinforcement, Future 3000’s head of technical services, Lee Price, stuck with the Martin Audio catalogue, which dominates the company’s other venues, as well as providing the touring sound for Slinky.

One of his prime considerations was the acoustic isolation necessary from the five storeys above the ground floor and basement, which the landlord has converted for student accommodation. This required an elaborate, acoustically-treated ceiling, with suspended, soundproofed flexi air-conditioning ducting, while the columns were given the same acoustical cladding. Most of the music (funk and soft jazz) is computer-driven, while in the evening a DJ takes over. Price has selected 26 of the EM26s divided into six zones. There are no bass bins and the whole sound is fed through a pair of BSS Soundwebs which routes the CD, DJ and band sources to their respective destinations.

A separate sound system carries 1970s kitsch film themes to a pair of Martin C516 recessed ceiling speakers in each of the Gents and Ladies lavatories. All inputs are separately EQ’d an

New Megascreen on Right Track
Friday, 9 March 2001

Spectators at the recent Norwich Union Indoor Trials/AAA Championships and Grand Prix athletics meetings at Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena were treated to a unique spectacle. Held three weeks apart, the infrastructure for both events was rigged with Unitek’s latest and lightest high-impact LED Megascreen, offering 17mm pixel pitch resolution, designed for indoor and outdoor use. The 6 x 5 (6.7m x 4.2m) modular screen took a feed from six BBC cameras via the mixer in the OB truck, and the magnified action shots not only brought track and field into sharp focus, but formed a vital part of the BBC’s transmission.

RCF Adds Style to Oriel
Friday, 9 March 2001

Oriel, a designer bar and restaurant, has recently opened in Mere Green, a fashionable suburb of Birmingham. The venue needed to have a sound system that would complement the décor. So owner Ian Sloane contacted 'Lonnie' of 2007 Sound & Light and asked him to design a sound system for Oriel. The brief from the client was simple, says Lonnie: "We don't want to see it."

Once Lonnie had surveyed the venue, he contacted RCF to enquire about their fittings for the Monitor Series speakers. RCF produce a special false ceiling adapter, designed to fit the Monitor 4's, which presents a flush-mounted speaker system. The RCF Monitor speakers deliver a high-quality sound that enhances one of the Midlands’ most stylish venues. The main sound system users a Sony MDS-E11 mini-disc for music. The system in divided into two zones with the rest rooms using 100v line feed to the RCF Spotlight speakers (RCF AM1030 100v line amplifier). Main system amplification is from Crown MA series amplifiers, with processing and control via an XTA DP224 speaker management system, a Cloud CX-233 two-zone mixer and RL-1 remote volume control.

Isys Adds Advanced Touchpanel
Friday, 9 March 2001

Crestron’s Isys touch panel control system is breaking new ground in converging audio-visual and information technologies, thanks to its ability to operate any number of devices, and link to multiple control systems around the world via the internet. Building on this platform, Crestron has now introduced the TPS-4500 Advanced Touchpanel Control system. The TPS-4500 offers a 12" diagonal touch-sensitive active matrix SVGA display (800 x 600 pixels) with an ergonomic Soft-Touch adjustable screen tilt (30°-80°) design. Colour control graphics, including 2D and 3D icons, photos and animations, are easy to read, even at extreme viewing angles. In common with other Isys products, users can upgrade its capabilities simply by installing optional expansion cards. For example, by installing the optional TPS-VID expansion card, the TPS-4500 can display full-motion NTSC or PAL video on the touchpanel with 256,000 colours.

White Light North’s Academy Days
Friday, 9 March 2001

White Light North will be holding a series of Academy Days in March and April, offering theatre lighting professionals a chance to get ‘up close and personal’ with products and personnel from a wide range of manufacturers. The first pair of open days, on March 21st and 22nd, will feature Avolites, Martin Professional, Robert Juliat and Le Mark. Avolites will be showing the Pearl 2000 and Sapphire consoles, the Art touring dimmers, the macro tablet and the Avo Visualiser system, Martin the MAC2000 and the rest of the popular MAC moving light range, and LeMark the GAM range of colour, gobos and effects, including the new FilmFX linear effect for Source Four spotlights. Robert Juliat’s acclaimed range of lanterns and followspots, for which White Light are now the UK distributors, will also be on show. Companies represented at the April open days, on the 10th and 11th of April, will include Strand Lighting, showing the 300 and 500 Series consoles and the new, award-winning SLD dimmer rack; Rainbow showing their current range of colour scrollers, smoke and haze machines from The Smoke Factory and Look Solutions, and the Supergel, E-Colour and gobo ranges from Rosco. E-mail to reserve a place.


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