Beyerdynamic Links to MIPRO
Monday, 5 February 2001

Beyerdynamic Germany has made an exclusive distribution agreement with ISO 9001-certified manufacturer, MIPRO Electronics, for its product line including wireless microphone systems, portable wireless PA systems and wired vocal condenser microphones in Germany. MIPRO designs, manufactures and markets VHF and UHF wireless systems and has worldwide distribution to over 50 countries. Its product ranges include entry level to sophisticated PC-interface monitor and control wireless systems. Beyerdynamic's international marketing and sales director, Hartmut Reichert stated: "In combining the technical experience of beyerdynamic in audio developments and MIPRO in wireless technologies, we clearly see an international alliance that will allow us to offer the best products in features, quality and technology to our customers."

Hayden’s Raper & Wayman Deal
Monday, 5 February 2001

Hayden Laboratories Ltd, UK distributor for Rane products manufactured in the US, has appointed Raper & Wayman as a reseller/distributor for the Rane Inc range of ECS (Engineered Conference Systems) audio products. The move is part of a campaign spearheaded by Hayden to highlight the potential of this range of conferencing equipment. Ian Downs from Hayden’s Pro Audio Division, comments: "We chose Raper & Wayman because of their well-established presence, knowledge and considerable expertise in this market." Raper & Wayman will handle Rane ECS products supplied via Hayden in a consultative capacity to other dealers as well as in their role of installation subcontractors. In conjunction with Hayden, Raper & Wayman will also supply a comprehensive UK-based service and support facility for this product. At the heart of the Rane ECS is an 8-input automatic microphone mixer, the ECM 82/82A, which integrates sound reinforcement within a room. Various plug-ins can then be added as required. The latest addition to the range is the new ECM 64 four-input conferencing mixer.

 
 
Buy Now, Pay Later
Sunday, 4 February 2001

According to new research just published, half of all the companies in the sound equipment industry increased their level of debt last year, suggesting that companies are more confident than before. The findings come from the latest Plimsoll Portfolio Analysis.

The research on 230 companies, who range from loudspeaker manufacturers through audio consultants to distributors and contractors, also revealed that most companies are using their debt in their day-to-day business. 86% of those surveyed had some form of debt last year. Only 17 showed no debt at all. Adding debt takes confidence, not only in the future ability of the company to pay the debt back, but also to generate extra profits to justify the risk.Why would almost 50% of the industry add debt last year? Two key reasons seem to be increasing their formal lending. 1) Companies are financing losses in a bold attempt to keep afloat and stay in the marketplace. For 25 companies borrowing money is a means of staying in business. In fact, these are located and named in the analysis as having taken on more debt last year whilst funding losses.

2) Companies are investing to become more competitive, believing that extra investment in assets will ultimately deliver more profit. Only 25 out of 62 companies or 40% of those adding extra debts increased profits last year.

Obviously too much debt is a bad thing, yet it needn’t be. The research suggests that a typical sound equipment company finances on average 30% of their assets. This statistic, however, hides the reality that almost 28% of companies have a debt leve

 
A Modern Approach to a Classic . . .
Saturday, 3 February 2001

The lighting for the new season of Classical Spectacular shows was recently pre-programmed at Stage Electrics’ new Virtual Lighting Studio in London’s Waterloo. The show, which performed at arenas around Britain and at the Royal Albert Hall, involved over 200 performers playing 20 popular classical pieces, complete with cannons, muskets and an indoor firework finale.

The show set up on the morning of each performance and had to be technically ready by 2.30pm for an orchestral rehearsal. Promoter Raymond Gubbay has long championed the use of large intelligent lighting systems to accompany the Classical Spectacular experience and expected this system to be used to its full potential with some 500 lighting cues throughout the show.

LD Durham Marenghi, who has been lighting the show for the last decade, utilised over 100 intelligent Martin Professional luminaires with 2,000 control channels as part of his new design. Illuminating the production are 16 MAC 2000s, Martin’s most powerful automated moving head, along with 16 MAC 500s, 72 MAC 600s, 12 Pro 400 colour-changers and 22 conventional lights, all supplied by Stage Electrics of Bristol.

It was clear that the lighting programme could not be created in one morning on site, so pre-programming was vital. In the past, large, expensive rehearsal spaces such as the Docklands Arena have been used, along with all the necessary equipment and crew, for one week. The show would then be worked through with the orchestra and choir layout marked with tape on the arena floor - a far from ideal method of envisaging

 
 
Lamba Rewards Dealers at NAMMLamba Rewards Dealers at NAMM
Friday, 2 February 2001

Lamba, the Hertfrodshire-based distributor for KAM, Nady, Stanton and Cerwin Vega! products in the UK, paid for 12 of their UK dealers to preview their suppliers’ new products on a three-day trip to the recent NAMM show in Los Angeles. Gerry Frost, director of Lamba, said: "We extended the invitation not necessarily to our highest-spending dealers, but as a loyalty reward to those prepared to stock the widest range of products."

 
Martin MACs on Ireland’s Millionaire
Friday, 2 February 2001

Martin MAC fixtures are being used in Ireland’s RTE studios for the Irish edition of Who Wants to be a Millionaire - the 77th version of the show to go on air worldwide. Hosting the Irish show is Irish Late Late Show presenter, Gay Byrne. In the Millionaire studio, 22 MAC 600, 10 MAC 250 and 4 MAC 500 moving heads create a stunning lightshow on the set. The ingenuity of lighting designers, Joseph Canavan and Luis Poveda, given the strict guidelines for lighting the show, is highly praiseworthy, says Lisa Mitchell of Tyrone Productions, adding: "Millionaire in Ireland has turned out to be a phenomenon! The Irish public expected a scaled-down version of the British Millionaire Show, but everyone is really pleased. There are over 1.2 million viewers, which tops Gay Byrne’s Late, Late Show figures - That’s phenomenal!"

 
 
JBL Launch New Generation
Friday, 2 February 2001

JBL Professional has recently released the EON G2 ‘Generation 2’ line of powered speakers. Among these is the EON10 G2 compact powered speaker with 10" woofer, increased power and a three input mini-mixer. This is ideal for AV applications, smaller musical and spoken word performances and, when combined with the new EONSUB G2 powered subwoofer, provides a full range sound system with full range power for more demanding performance and playback applications. The EON10 G2 features increased power over the first generation EON 10, with 125W for low frequencies and 50W for the highs. The 10" Differential Drive low frequency driver uses a neodymium magnet for light weight and reduced distortion. As with other EON G2 speakers, the EON10 G2 is kept cool, not by heatsinks or fans, but by JBL's Thermomaster Total Thermal Management System.

 
Hollywood’s Biggest Party
Friday, 2 February 2001

Hollywood recently celebrated its biggest party - the Golden Globes - held in the International Ballroom at the Beverly Hilton. Production Resource Group companies Fourth Phase, ProMix and LSD/Fourth Phase were on hand to help. ProMix Burbank provided all of the audio equipment for the event, which included the press audio and video feeds to the worldwide press audience. All presenters and award recipients were heard through the propriety ProMix ‘pop-up mic’, a robotic system. Front-of-house console was a Yamaha PM4000, driving Apogee speakers and Crest amplifiers. Sound designer for the event was Gary Hardesty with his team consisting of audio supervisor Bruce Burns, system engineer Andrew Fletcher, press liaison engineer Steve Cohen, with Mark King on broadcast audio mix and Randy Faustino on house audio mix.

The interior lighting was designed by Lee Rose of Design Partners, and LSD/Fourth Phase provided the rigging and conventional lighting package for the 11th consecutive year. LSD crew chief Ken Delvo and LSD technician Jeremy Schilling oversaw the installation and operation of the kit, which included ETC Source Fours and Par 64s, controlled by an Expression 2X and Sensor Rack. The exterior lighting, also designed by Lee Rose, was handled by Fourth Phase Burbank. The equipment included a selection of 300 and 650W ARRI fresnels, 125W HMI ARRI pocket pars, 1.2kW HMI Sunrays, 2.5/4K HMI ARRI pars, MR16 Xray strips and 1K Mickey Moles.

 
 
PLASA Website's Major Re-Launch
Friday, 2 February 2001

On 1st February 2001, PLASA went online with its brand new website at www.plasa.org. The new site is the latest development in the six-year history of PLASA’s online presence, and continues the organisation’s aim to provide the premier online resource for the entertainment, presentation and event technology industry worldwide.

The new site further develops the extensive and freely-available information resources offered to the industry by PLASA. Now available are fully-searchable databases allowing fast, easy and flexible access to the full listing of 450+ PLASA members; 1,500 industry news items in the online news archive; a comprehensive calendar of industry events, and over 100 titles in PLASA’s Technical Book Service.

PLASA’s Managing Director Matthew Griffiths comments: "Aside from the great new look of the site, I’m especially pleased with the new keyword-search facilities. We provide the opportunity - for free, and within a matter of seconds - to find every news item that a particular company has appeared in on the PLASA News website over the past 18 months. The same applies for searching the membership database for companies, products and services, or for finding details of worldwide industry events. This is what the industry has been demanding from a website like ours, and we’re pleased to be offering such a truly beneficial service."

In addition to providing a valuable resource to the global industry, the new site has been designed to represent all the diverse aspects of PLASA as an organisation - including the A

 
The Pop Factory
Friday, 2 February 2001

Avanti Television, one of the largest-growing independent production companies in Wales, has recently launched an all-digital facility - The Pop Factory.

The new operation, located in Porth near Cardiff, is sited in the former Corona Pop Works and will become home to a weekly live music programme that will be seen on the digital platform BBC Choice Wales. It also houses A3 Records and a brand new 48 track recording studio and rehearsal complex, complete with on-line and off-line editing facilities, called The Welsh Hills Works.

The multi-purpose broadcast centre is, according to Avanti’s founder and MD Emyr Afan, the most important development in Welsh broadcasting this decade. "There is a new confidence in Wales. More and more high-tech companies are locating here. With The Pop Factory, we are proud to be bringing London-quality facilities to South Wales and creating a focus for media businesses in the region."

The centrepiece of the audio system is the new Sony DMX-R100 which was chosen to fulfil a busy and varied schedule in the Pop Factory’s hectic programme, which includes the production of a music magazine series for BBC2 as well as ‘Sesiwn Hwyr’ (the ‘Late Session’) - a live welsh-language programme for S4C. Programming was already underway when the building was officially opened by Welsh music icons Tom Jones, Cerys Matthews and Kelly Jones of the Stereophonics in the latter part of last year. "In fact, the moment the console power was switched on, we were editing on it!" recalled Owen Thomas, head of sou

 
 
Help for Companies Missing out in the ‘Grants Gap’
Thursday, 1 February 2001

Britain’s first free database of business grants has gone on-line - with the aim of putting the country’s businesses in touch with more than £100 million going begging because of lack of awareness and red tape.

The cash is part of a potential annual multi-million pound grants’ pot, designed to help Britain’s 3.7 million companies flourish. But many businesses which could benefit from the money simply don’t know they can claim it, or are put off by the confusion, complexity and time involved in finding out what is available.

The new website offers a free grant search service that gives results in seconds. Sophisticated technology means a search takes just seconds to complete and searchers can link immediately through to grants providers with applications.

The site contains information on around 5,000 capital (‘hard cash’) grants. These range from Regional Selective Assistance grants, which can run to several million pounds, to small, localised grants. Once searchers have found a grant for which they would like to apply, the website directs them to their most convenient grant administrator. Registered users of the site will also be entitled to receive a free grants alert service giving tailored updates on new developments.

 
Torben Johansen Leaves Martin Pro
Thursday, 1 February 2001

Yet more significant news from the Martin Professional camp. Torben Johansen, the company’s production director, has left the company. A brief statement posted on the company’s website says that Johansen has resigned and that until a successor is appointed his role will be taken on by CEO Kristain Kolding. The management thus consists of CEO Kristian Kolding and group director Lars Dige.

 
 
Out of the Boy Zone
Thursday, 1 February 2001

Ronan Keating’s solo material was showcased at the end of last year - and an arena tour has already been announced for this Spring. Mike Mann reports.

Though LD Paul Normandale’s design (based around a couple of 40ft trusses and a 33ft diameter semi-circular Tomcat MD stacking truss) was essentially traditional, the eagle-eyed lamp-spotter would have picked out a quartet of new luminaires in the rig - Normandale was putting the MAC 2000s through their paces for the first time. "This is really an early trial for me," he explained, "and Martin have been very supportive. I never go to tradeshows, and I don’t like trying anything out in the warehouse." Though the 1200W HMI unit is, says Normandale, better suited to arena shows, the more intimate environment of the Keating tour gave him a chance to see more clearly what the MAC 2000 is capable of. "So far, I’m happy - it seems to do everything that other powerful moving heads can do - plus zoom."

The remainder of Normandale’s kit list (sourced from Lite Alternative) included 18 Vari*Lite VL5s, 10 Starlite Mk5s, a dozen or so Par 64s and eight ChromaQ scrollers. A pair of Strong II FOH followspots were augmented by a single rear truss spot. Control (under the direction of Fraser Elisha) was via an Avolites Sapphire 2000 console, with a second unit "to give me something to do during the show," according to Normandale. The set, from Alan Chesters at Hangman and Lite Structures, was largely drape-based, though the addition of plush red velvet riser facings, r

 
Association News - Venue Confirmed for 2001 PLASA AGM
Thursday, 1 February 2001

The venue for the Professional Lighting and Sound Association’s 2001 AGM and Industry Dinner has been confirmed as Coombe Abbey, near Birmingham. This beautiful 12th century Cistercian Abbey, set in 500 acres of parkland, is now a stunning hotel and conference venue which promises to provide ‘no ordinary experience’.

The AGM and Industry Dinner will both take place on Thursday 14th June - allowing members to attend both events without taking two days out of the office - and offer the ideal opportunity to discover more about the Association and to meet with other members. Details of the guest speaker for the dinner will be revealed nearer the time.

This will be the fifth annual Industry Dinner, and the evening has always proved highly popular in the past, with guest speakers including Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Richard Noble and Frances Edmonds. We would like to urge all PLASA members to take an active role in the affairs of the Association by attending the AGM and the Industry Dinner.

 
 
Martin’s Latin America HQ Moves to Buenos Aires
Thursday, 1 February 2001

Martin Professional’s head of Latin American operations, Peter Hald, has moved his headquarters from Miami, Florida to Buenos Aires, Argentina in order to be closer to the main Latin American markets. Hald says: "Miami is the gateway to Latin America, but by establishing a base in one of the most advanced markets in Latin America, we feel confident that we can raise the Martin presence here to a new level."

Martin Professional recently entered into an agreement with the owners of its two Argentinean distributors to establish a joint company in Buenos Aires - Martin Professional Argentina SA, which will handle distribution and service of the group’s products. The move is seen as a natural development in the light of this joint venture. Hald says: "We will be closer to some of the biggest and most important markets in Latin America where the opportunities for development in all segments is enormous - Brazil alone has shown positive progress over the last couple of years and the potential in all mayor segments is great."

 
The Redevelopment of RADA
Thursday, 1 February 2001

The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) saw the five year Centenary Project of redevelopment and refurbishment come to fruition at the end of last year when the new facility was opened by HM The Queen alongside a host of celebrity guests, politicians and past students. Andy Wood talks to head of sound Colin Brown.

The scheme for the re-development of RADA - one of the premier training establishments for theatre arts and technology - was made possible thanks to a £22.7m grant from the Arts Council Lottery Board, along with £8m of self-generated capital donations. RADA includes a new Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre, George Bernard Shaw (GBS) Theatre, John Gielgud Studio Theatre, a recording studio and three control rooms, all of which are linked by a state-of-the-art sound, video and communications systems which allow complete synergy between the performance spaces.

Education is naturally the major emphasis, however, RADA also doubles up as a public performance venue with 16 full productions a year and as such its infrastructure needs to be flexible. For Colin Brown, head of sound and a RADA technical staff member since 1974, the new work involved co-ordinating with the BBC, Theatre Projects, the Oxford Sound Company, builders Laing and project managers Buro Four Project Services, to create work spaces that would allow both practical production and instruction in the same area. The same criteria applied to head of lighting Neil Fraser. The new Jerwood Vanbrugh theatre therefore is the first space in London to use a high-tension steel wire grid, which both lighting and sound

 
 
Association News - Major Re-Launch for PLASA Website
Thursday, 1 February 2001

February’s complete website re-design ushers in a new phase of PLASA’s online development.

At the start of February 2001, PLASA’s brand new website went online at www.plasa.org. The new site, developed over the past three months, represents the latest phase of PLASA’s online presence and continues the organisation’s aim to provide the premier online resource for the entertainment, presentation, event and installation technology industry worldwide.

The new site has been re-designed and re-built from the ground up, taking into account the changing face of PLASA as a diverse organisation, encompassing the trade association, the leading trade show, a successful publishing division, a busy technical standards office, and a wealth of industry-related information resources.

The greater part of the site remains committed to providing useful information, free of charge, to the industry as a whole - including full and comprehensive details of PLASA members, all the latest industry news, information on a wide range of industry events, forthcoming events and industry-related training courses. What’s more, the new site has taken the provision of these resources a step further with the addition of custom-programmed, fully-searchable databases allowing fast, easy and flexible access to the full listing of 450+ PLASA members, more than 1,500 industry news items in the online news archive, a comprehensive calendar of industry events and over 100 titles in PLASA’s Technical Book Service.

This ability to search by key words makes the new webs

 
Stagetec Product Day
Thursday, 1 February 2001

On March 6th Stagetec Distribution is holding a Product Day on the Compulite and LSC product ranges to be held at The Centre in Slough from 10.00am to 6.00pm. The full range of products from both companies will be on show. This will include pre-release versions of two completely new consoles from LSC which are scheduled to be launched later this year. On show from Compulite will be the new flight cased/touring version of the CompuDIM 2000 digital dimmer, version 2.0 of the CompuCAD 3D lighting design software, the new architectural features for the 4D range and the CompuCAL telephone interface.Anybody interested in attending can register at the website below.

 
 
Girl Dies After Festival Crush
Thursday, 1 February 2001

A 15-year old girl has died in Sydney’s Concorde Hospital, following a crush at the Big Day Out festival in Sydney, Australia, last Friday. The girl is reported to have suffered a cardiac arrest at the time of the crush, and died peacefully in hospital on Wednesday. Friday’s crush occurred when the crowd surged forward during a performance by Limp Bizkit. The band’s lead singer Fred Durst pleaded for calm, and wanted to stop the show altogether, but was later persuaded to continue with the set in the light of police fears of a riot if the show were stopped. Limp Bizkit later pulled out of the touring festival, saying they had no confidence in its organisers. Other acts on the bill included Coldplay, PJ Harvey, At The Drive In and Queens of The Stone Age.

 
Finnish Theatre School
Thursday, 1 February 2001

A disused soap factory formerly owned by Kone Ab lies in the heart of the old city of Helsinki. Not unattractive, the factory building, though squat and angular, is made from softly textured sandstone. It is barely a hundred years old, yet has just recently undergone extensive renovation.

The reason? It’s been taken over as the new home for the State Theatre School. A major project, the fifth floor of the North Wing is home to 11 large dance studios, while downstairs, surrounding two sides of a roofed courtyard, are five separate, though admittedly small, theatres. Other facilities include lecture halls, a gym, make-up room - just about every possible theatrical discipline is catered for - as well as admin functions being contained within the factory’s ample interior. The funding is all from the government, as is the full digital TV studio just installed at the Helsinki University of Technology.

Although these facilities are decidedly state-of-the-art, they don’t appear profligate; the equipment is there, but not in excessive quantities. On the day of my visit, 300 new students were enrolling at the State Theatre School. These will swell the ranks of an existing 600 second and third year students who were previously trained at various locations around the city and further afield. The department of Lighting and Sound Design, for example, was housed at Tampere, 200km away.

For that reason alone, this new central unitary facility will save the school immense amounts of money. And what do the students have to contribute towards all this? "Just 400 F

 
 
20,000 Celebrate 2001
Wednesday, 31 January 2001

Over 20,000 people celebrated the New Year in Nottingham’s market square. The centre of attention was the Nottingham Council House, an imposing town hall, which provided the canvas for a stunning lightshow by NJD. Images of Robin Hood (Nottingham’s millennium symbol) were projected onto the building using NJD’s Predator HX scanners, whilst eight Datamoons were positioned on columns down the centre of the town square, providing sound activated light beams whose movement and colour was synchronised to the music played through NJD’s 20,000W sound system.

 
Beyer to Distribute AudioControlBeyer to Distribute AudioControl
Wednesday, 31 January 2001

beyerdynamic has been appointed exclusive UK distributor for the full line manufactured by AudioControl Industrial - a US-based specialist in audio measurement and analysis systems. The company’s key products include the SA-3052 Real Time Spectrum Analyser; a one-third octave Spectrum Analyser that includes a pink noise generator, six memory snap-shots configured in a ‘Point and Shoot’ characteristic that requires no PC, parameter setting or complex menu commands making it simple, practical and easy to use. A printer can be used and the display is a high brightness 9 x 31 LED matrix that can display measurement results in a variety of formats at selectable decay times. Supplied with a measurement grade calibrated microphone the SA-3052 is a rugged device packaged in a practical and easy to handle steel enclosure. Available for immediate delivery, the SA-3052 is the first of the Audio Industrial products that beyerdynamic will stock, with more new products due to be announced over the next few months.

 
 
Dome Auction Could be Postponed
Wednesday, 31 January 2001

The planned auction of the Dome’s contents may possibly die before it even gets going if Legacy plc’s bid for the site is not concluded on 14 February as intended. It appears that the Government and Legacy cannot agree terms, and, as a result, the New Millennium Experience Company has reviewed plans to postpone indefinitely the £10m auction, which is scheduled to start at the end of February. We understand that they may, however, proceed with the sale of some of the site’s assets. If the Legacy bid does fall through, it will mean that other potential bidders, including the Dome's chief executive, Pierre-Yves Gerbeau, who has struck an alliance with James Palumbo, property firm Pilton Group and the pop impresario Harvey Goldsmith, may have their wish to keep the venue entertainment-based rather than the business park proposal that was at the heart of the Legacy plan.

 
ESS & Australia DayESS & Australia Day
Wednesday, 31 January 2001

For the third consecutive year ESS Australia was chosen by Accolade Events to provide structures for the Australian Day Celebrations on 26th January. The 30-minute performance was watched by an estimated audience of 240,000 people. This continues to build on ESS' success. Last year ESS Australia was appointed to provide staging for the opening and closing ceremonies at the Sydney Olympics and Paralympics. This year's Australia Day concept involved four 12m x 8m screens positioned on a barge in the centre of Darling Harbour. In addition, Accolade Events asked ESS to come up with a solution that enabled them to place the PA system on the outside of the structure, rather than hanging it from a central position. The versatility of the ESS Lite truss meant that ESS were able to provide a solution. After running an engineering check, the ESS team was able to bolt on some more LT tower truss so that the PA system could be attached to the outside.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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