National Firers Register Launched
Wednesday, 26 September 2001

The Guild of Firework and Pyrotechnic Operators (GFPO), has announced that a National Firers Register is available that aims to register all firework and pyrotechnic firers in order to create a central database of personnel operating within the industry and provide a framework for recording skills and proving competency.

The register is Internet-based, with registered persons receiving a personalized ID card that includes name, ID number and expiry date. Details of the registered person are included on the GFPO website which also has a skills and services search facility. Information, a code of practice, links and news articles will be available on the website for those registered. The launch is set for the beginning of October and any interested persons should visit the GFPO website where they will find further details on how to sign up.

Vari-Lite Celebrates 20th Anniversary
Wednesday, 26 September 2001

Twenty years ago, Vari-Lite Inc revolutionized the entertainment lighting industry. On Sept. 25,1981, in a dusty bullring in Spain during the first night of the Genesis Abacab tour, Vari-Lite debuted the world’s first automated lighting system. "We couldn’t have known back then what kind of impact we would have on the lighting industry," said Rusty Brutsché, chairman and chief executive officer of Vari-Lite. "But we’ve continued to change with the times, creating innovative new luminaires and control consoles, moving into new markets and always trying to provide excellent, versatile lighting products to lighting designers in all segments of the lighting industry. As we move into the next 20 years, we will continue developing new products for the lighting and production industry."

Vari-Lite’s humble beginnings trace back to a "eureka moment" in 1980 at a Dallas barbecue restaurant. Employees from Showco, originally the parent company of Vari-Lite, came up with the idea of developing an automated lighting system that used a computer to control the movement, colour, dimming and beam shape of each luminaire. Within a year, Vari-Lite was formed as engineers developed and tested the first automated lighting system. "We wouldn’t have made it this far without the people who put their hard work and genuine love into everything we do," Brutsché said. "That includes the people working for Vari-Lite who have created, developed, manufactured and used some of the most advanced lighting systems in the world, th

Ampekko & Blucat Agreement
Tuesday, 25 September 2001

West London-based Ampekko, the sole UK distributor for German loudspeaker manufacturer WHD, has signed an exclusive arrangement with Uckfield-based installers Blucat at the recent PLASA show, Earls Court, 9-12 September. Blucat, a specialist in supplying and installing independent breweries, leisure and retail units with sophisticated 47-channel satellite music systems, has ordered an initial consignment of WHD MX40s and WHD MX50s, along with specialist amplification from Commax. The company has plans for their imminent use across a variety of integrated systems designs this Autumn.

As Jennifer Linstead, Blucat’s sales director explained: "We are tremendously impressed with the range from WHD. It offers huge potential, particularly as its standard build quality and clarity are well represented in the MX 40 and MX 50. They both offer value through high performance, they’re compact and look good. We’re looking forward to building them into our systems designs."

Not only compact and offering enhanced performance, the WHD MX40 and MX50 offer high standard two-way technology. The former benefits from a 130mm woofer and a 26mm dome tweeter. The MX40 also has an impressive linear frequency response. This coupled with its bass reflex technology, enables excellent low-frequency reproduction. In addition, its wide radiation characteristics allow for a large area with even sound dispersion, minimizing the number of cabinets required and making them ideal in applications where low ceilings and medium noise levels are required. Similarly, the MX 50 is an

Crest Launch XR-20 Rack-Mount Mixer
Tuesday, 25 September 2001

Designed for demanding applications, the XR-20 is the first in a line of professional Crest Audio X series rack mount mixers which address a wide range of applications. The XR-20 meets the varying needs of project studios, houses of worship, broadcasters, musicians and all facets of live sound reinforcement where it can be used as the primary mixer or as a highly flexible submixer.

AES-suggested grounding procedures are followed, resulting in excellent rejection of RF interference and ground-related noise. X-Rack mixers exhibit less than ±30° of input-to-output phase shift. XLR connectors are used on all primary inputs and outputs, while 1/4in TRS connectors are used for inserts, making it easy to interface with most professional audio gear. As with all of Crest Audio's mixing consoles, top quality components and advanced manufacturing techniques are used throughout, and the product carries a five-year warranty.

Marquee Appointed Crestron Dealer
Tuesday, 25 September 2001

Marquee Audio has been appointed a dealer by Crestron UK, manufacturers of touch-screen automation and e-control networking systems. Already a market leader in the corporate boardroom, video-conferencing and home automation markets, where their processors form the hub of sophisticated networking systems, they see the move into entertainment as a logical progression - and Marquee Audio as the ideal company to partner with.Marquee’s sales director Andy Huffer, told us: "Increasingly, we have been asked to integrate DSP matrix systems such as BSS Soundweb into overall control systems - whether in boardroom, theatre or conference facilities - so Crestron seemed to be the natural choice."

Crestron UK’s technical sales manager, Andy Butler, said: "Each component that forms part of a modern audio system comes complete with its own control facility. Whilst relatively good control, it does not provide flexibility and total control over the whole system. Crestron control systems offer seamless integration between each component and therefore provides a practical and easy to use solution."

Vari-Lite Inc Expands Sales Team
Tuesday, 25 September 2001

Vari-Lite Inc has announced the appointment of three lighting industry veterans to fill vital positions as regional sales managers. Craig Burross, Sean Hoey and John McDowell will play key roles as Vari-Lite increases sales and creates new dealer relationships. "The sales experience and extensive background in entertainment production and design that Craig, Sean and John have is going to make a major impact as we move forward with our sales and establish our dealer base," said Bob Schacherl, Vari-Lite's vice-president of sales and marketing. "Each one has already been a top sales rep in this industry and been instrumental in developing new sales strategies and programs. Getting these lighting industry pros to Vari-Lite is a major coup for our company."

An 18-year veteran of entertainment production and design, Burross was key in helping get automated lighting systems for major TV networks NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox Television. He got his start in the industry when he founded a sound reinforcement business in the 1980s. Burross gained his film and television production experience working as a sales specialist and applications engineer for Victor Duncan Inc. Later, as a national sales manager of the architectural division at another lighting manufacturer, Burross established regionaldevelopment for automated lighting throughout the United States and Europe.

Before joining Vari-Lite, Hoey spent more than 10 years in the lighting industry as a regional manager for various territories, most recently as sales manager for North and South America. He was instrume

ACE2.200 Launched by Hacousto
Tuesday, 25 September 2001

Hacousto International has expanded its Accent on Audio Solutions Range with the introduction a new 200W amplifier, the ACE2.200. The ACE2.200 features two powerful and highly efficient Class-T independent audio amplifiers, housed in a compact and lightweight 2U 19" rack mountable unit. The power efficient design and switched mode power supply offer Hacousto’s customers an addition to the Accent 8x8 digital mixer-router system launched at PLASA last year.

Suitable for 50, 70 or 100 volt line distribution systems, the ACE2.200 amplifier offers two individual channels with a 200W RMS output capability. Powered by either 115/230V AC mains or 24VDC supplies, the ACE2.200 is ideally suited for voice supported evacuation systems. Each amplifier channel features two individual inputs with switchable sensitivity and priority functions. Standard features include an extensive overload, short-circuit and high temperature protection displayed on the front panel display. Readily available optional features include a line monitoring module offering 20kHz impedance or DC-based line detection, ground fault and impedance guarding capabilities with an adjustable measurement window compliant to BS5839: Part8 and NEN2575 standards. The amplifier unit ensures that monitoring errors are not only available on both the front panel display and open collector outputs, but also through a RS485 data-link connection bus, presented via the BRS-windows based remote diagnostic software.

ESTA: Draft Rigging Standards for Review
Tuesday, 25 September 2001

ESTA has announced that two draft American National Standards are now available for public review via the ESTA website. BSR E1.6, Entertainment Technology - Powered Rigging Systems is available for public review until 18 December 2001. This draft American National Standard establishes safety requirements for the design, manufacture, installation, and use of motorized rigging systems in theaters, theme parks, studios, and other places of public assembly and performance. This document does not address manually powered systems or lifting equipment used in the construction of these spaces.

The second draft standard - BSR E1.4, Entertainment Technology - Manual Rigging Systems is also available for public review until 18 December. This draft American National Standard describes the design, construction, installation and use of manually-powered rigging systems to enhance the safety of these systems. These systems are used in theatres to raise and lower scenery, props, lighting equipment and similar loads over the stage. The standard does not apply to raising and lowering people, or to motorized systems.

AETTI-Loughborough Theatre Courses held at PLASA
Tuesday, 25 September 2001

The Arts & Entertainment Technical Training Initiative (AETTI) has announced that 12 more candidates undertook the AETTI - Loughborough College Intermediate BTEC Award (General Theatre Technician) during the recent PLASA Exhibition at Earls Court (9-12 September).

Thanks are owed to PLASA for making the space available and to White Light, Blackout-Triple E and Rope Assemblies Ltd for providing teaching materials. Many other companies supplied useful product information for the candidates to take back to their theatres. The course held at PLASA followed previous courses and was one of several in the pipeline at various locations. The General Theatre Technician course, which is divided into three modules, was held across the first three days of the PLASA Show. Attendees could either choose to complete all three modules at the Show, or begin with one or two modules and complete the course at a later date.

Joe Aveline, secretary of AETTI, commented: "It is reassuring that most of those on the course are working and were given the three days off to attend. They have been financially supported by their employers, who realise the value of a nationally-recognized certificate. In addition, the feedback from those doing courses has been enormously positive and supportive."

Matthew Griffiths (PLASA CEO and chairman of AETTI) added: "PLASA recognizes the value of and need for properly certified training. By combining this with the support of the PLASA Show and the initiative of the AETTI and Loughborough College, we have been able to help provide a valuable trainin

ProSound Range from Maplin
Monday, 24 September 2001

Maplin Electronics has launched a new premium range of disco and PA equipment, designed to appeal to DJs, venue managers, event organizers and managers of small theatres looking for value for money equipment. The new ProSound range includes speakers, lighting effects, fog and bubble machines and a wide selection of mixers. The new range of speaker cabinets and monitors has been designed and manufactured in the UK specifically for ProSound, and includes the ‘ProSound Blue’ speaker cabinets which feature Celestion drive units. The range of ProSound equipment will be expanded over the next few months to include everything from decks and audio leads to piezo tweeters and amplifiers.

Vari-Lite’s Major Sale Via EML
Monday, 24 September 2001

EML Productions, based in Holland and Belgium, has confirmed the purchase of two substantial Vari-Litecontrol console and Series 2000 luminaire systems from Vari-Lite Europe in London. The systems are destined for two major new European productions: Joop van den Ende Theatre Productions have purchased one for Disney’s production of Aida in Holland, with Stage Holding Germany spec’ing one for Disney’s The Lion King in Hamburg.

In total, EML Productions has purchased four of the new Vari-Lite Virtuoso DX compact control consoles, along with 92 VL2202 spot luminaires and 61 VL2402 wash luminaires. Disney’s production of Aida at Schedenend in Holland marks the first time this production, which opens in October, has been seen in Europe. To light it, EML Productions in Belgium is supplying Joop van den Ende with two Virtuoso DX consoles, 59 VL2202 spot luminaires and 27 VL2402 wash luminaires. The show’s lighting designer, Natasha Katz, along with associate LD Daniel Walker and associate automated lighting designer Aland Henderson worked closely with Vari-Lite, to take care of some of the specific artistic needs that are unique to this production. It’s the first time that the Series 2000 range of luminaires have been used on an Aida production, and will also be one of the biggest Vari-Lite rigs ever seen in Holland.

The new production of Disney’s The Lion King in Hamburg is also the first time this internationally-acclaimed show has employed Series 2000 luminaires and Virtuoso DX control consoles. For this production, lighting design

Scott Callis to Coe-tech
Monday, 24 September 2001

Coe-tech’s active sales team continues to expand with the addition of Scott Callis. Scott has worked proactively in the moving light business for the past six years, including as a founding member of one of the UK’s leading manufacturers - MAD Lighting. At Coe-tech he’ll be working with the Studio Due and Coemar product ranges, for which Coe-tech is a leading distributor. Coe-tech managing director Ian Brown said: "It’s great to have Scott on the team, and it’s a great opportunity to amalgamate his commercial experience with Coe-tech’s history and track record in this area of production technology."

Scott will be targeting selected rental companies, theatres, AV specialists, architectural installers and venues covering a broad cross-section of the leisure and entertainment industry.

Lightfactor team re-joined by Peter Coles
Monday, 24 September 2001

Peter Coles, well-known in the rental, club and leisure business, has taken the post of field sales manager at Lightfactor and will once again use his extensive sales experience ‘on the road’ for one of the UK’s leading sales companies. Lightfactor’s managing director Paul de Ville comments: "We’re delighted to have Peter back on board. His energy and enthusiasm is a great asset to the company and we are looking forward to a busy autumn after a good PLASA Show."

New Laser Effects from American DJ
Monday, 24 September 2001

American DJ is bringing the excitement of laser to larger venues with two new 4.9mW laser effects - the Emerald Star and Octobeam. Both sound-activated effects, Emerald Star and Octobeam are designed to light up spacious dance floors and night clubs laser effects. The Emerald Star is a green laser that produces 16 geometric patterns. The Octobeam is a red laser with eight moving beams of light that chase to the beat of the music.

"American DJ decided to expand our laser line, because we saw a demand for laser effects geared toward larger establishments," said Scott Davies, general manager of American DJ. "Both the Emerald Star and Octobeam are ideal for more spacious clubs, because they cover a wide area and produce a tremendous amount of excitement and movement for single effects."

Moby Man Drops in on Lamba at PLASA
Monday, 24 September 2001

A former DMC winner and now DJ with Moby, ‘RJ’ visited the PLASA Show to stop by Lamba plc who provide him with his Stanton SK2F mixer and 650L cartridges. During a break from touring RJ, who has been working with Stanton products for the last year or so, explained how he received the phone call from Moby - who had heard a number of RJ’s remixes - and asked him to leave the studio world for a life on the road. "He had another DJ at the time, Spinbad; but he had other commitments and I went straight out to play in front of 70,000 people at Glastonbury, with no soundcheck, before embarking on a world tour."

Three months before everything was confirmed he started putting his rig together. "Equipment wise I had been looking for a pair of turntables with the straight tonearm philosophy since I won the DMC competition back in 1985, while for the mixer I chose the Stanton SK2F." Featuring an all silver body with a blue anodised aluminium Protekt panel, the SK-2F is been fitted with the latest generation Focus Fader, a true digital optical crossfader designed by DJ Focus and the OS2 optical scratch switch. It is the first mixer to utilize this technology.

Lamba plc’s Paul Bierton confirmed that with the likelihood of RJ spending an increasing amount of time Stateside, an agreement has been set up with Stanton Magnetics, who will provide full back-up for the DJ while working in the US. In fact Moby will shortly be heading off for brief touring seasons in New York and Tampa. Our picture shows RJ flanked by Laurent Cohen, Stanton product

Chris Clarke joins Avolites
Monday, 24 September 2001

Avolites has expanded its sales force with the addition of Chris Clarke. Chris graduated from Rose Bruford College with a degree in Lighting Design and has worked on a host of theatrical productions of all types, including as an associate and programmer with top West End lighting designer Chris Ellis. His work with Ellis has included taking the D’oyly Carte Opera production of HMS Pinafore to The Schubert Theatre in Newhaven, New York state. Chris used Avolites kit while at college and his background and hands-on experience is seen as a valuable asset to the Avo team. Avolites’ sales director Steve Warren commented: "It’s great to have Chris on the team. His understanding of the demanding world of theatre production, superb programming and communication skills will strengthen our presence in this exacting area."

Philips REO Security System
Monday, 24 September 2001

Philips CSI has launched its new REO CCTV solution ideal for use by security installers in a host of security applications, including retail, fast food restaurants, convenience stores, schools and small to medium-sized businesses. The system handles up to eight cameras and is designed for fast and easy ‘plug and play’ installation. However, it has sophisticated features such as video motion detection on all cameras, alarm and event handling, ‘picture in picture’ and pre/post alarm ‘event replay’, snapshot event capture, intercom and door entry control.

REO replaces Philips’ well-established Colour POS system but existing monochrome POS observation systems will continue for those customers who prefer monochrome. REO offers colour CCTV operation with a choice of either switcher or multiplexer models. The Switcher model handles up to four cameras with images displayed manually or sequenced in full screen, whilst the Multiplexer allows up to eight cameras to be displayed as full screen, in quad (2x2) or in 3x3 split-screen mode. Both models feature a PIP ‘picture in a picture’ box facility allowing simultaneous viewing of two cameras with one full screen.

Creative Technology is Official Exhibitions Supplier
Friday, 21 September 2001

The recently expanded Creative Technology has quickly gained official IT and AV supplier status on a number of high profile exhibitions, including the recent Total Publishing 2001 show at Olympia in London. Contracted by organizers Quantum Business Media, Creative Technology supplied a semi-permanent network of PC hardware and iMacs for the Technology Theatre, which was used by numerous exhibitors for training workshops aimed at visitors to the show. Extensive use of sound equipment and IT data presentations were also incorporated for assisted product demonstrations.

Additionally, Creative Technology has gained official show status for numerous ongoing events, spearheaded by CT’s Exhibition Organiser’s account manager Beth Hathaway, recruited earlier this year. Based at CT’s NEC office, Beth covers the whole country and since joining has secured a number of exhibition contracts with preferred supplier status including BBC Good Food 2001, Interbuild 2002, Hotelympia and Sports Industry 2002, Trident Exhibitions, Dive Show, Sound Broadcasting Equipment and Speciality and Fine Food amongst others. Also secured with official status - by the CT London office - is TMA Ventures 2001, which takes place in Brighton on October 29-31. TMA Ventures is the commercial subsidiary of the CMA (Communications Management Association) - the business user association for communications professionals. TMAV provides a range of leading media and information services within the Telecoms and IT arena.

WE Audio Takes QLight on Major Theatre Tour
Friday, 21 September 2001

Specialists in the concert and corporate event markets, sound production company WE Audio, has broken into the theatre world with a new touring soul musical production, headlining Ruby Turner. Called Hold On, the show was written by Kwame Kwei-Armah, directed by Andy Hay and is promoted by Paddy Wilson’s Hold On UK. The sound system has been designed by WE Audio’s Wayne Barker, who has extended his inventory of Turbosound equipment with a major purchase from Shepperton-based Marquee Audio.

Barker, who has systematically built up his Floodlight stock from Marquee, realized that a different approach was needed to crack the intricacies of raucous ensemble sound, which requires speech intelligibility and even coverage, delayed into the rear stalls and upper balcony, with under-balcony infills. And so after deliberation, he invested heavily in Turbosound’s QLight series. He acquired 14 three-way TQ-440s (two powered and 12 unpowered) and eight TQ-425 bass systems (two powered and six unpowered). The powered enclosures are used for stage fills and the remainder form the FOH rig, with the 440’s flown over the ground-stacked TQ-425s. WE Audio also purchased 12 TFM-230 two-way floor monitors, which double up with eight TFM-330s from his existing inventory.

The bi-amped TQ-440 and TQ-425 are designed to be used with the LMS-D6 digital system controller, 10 of which formed part of Wayne Barker’s order with Marquee Audio. The remit was completed with the acquisition of five racks of Turbosound-badged MC2 TMC-750/1250 amplifiers. Also used on the show

Audient Gets On at Grand Central
Friday, 21 September 2001

Grand Central Recording Studios has recently purchased an Audient ASP510 surround sound management system to augment the post production facility based in Soho, London. Clients of this well-known studio consist of major advertising agencies and television production companies. The ASP510 interfaces with a Digidesign Protools and Procontrol system in Studio 3a, the music production suite catering for both stereo and 5.1.

Technical and financial director Ivor Taylor comments: "The ASP510 offers a solution for the problem of surround monitoring for a mixed stereo, surround and 5.1 set up. It is straightforward, easy to understand and well engineered with good back-up from the manufacturer."

Installing the ASP510 into this prestigious studio was also hassle free. "It came straight out of the box and it was all there, no hunting for any other parts or interfaces," Taylor addded. The ASP510 and other products in the Audient range are available from the Expotus distributor network.

X-Matrix Expands X-VCA Capabilities
Friday, 21 September 2001

Crest Audio’s X-Matrix is a 12 x 2 matrix mixer, whose primary application is to add additional matrix mixes to the X-VCA console. It can also be used as a stand-alone matrix mixer. As a companion piece to the X-VCA console, it provides the facilities to create additional mixes from the eight sub groups and the Left, Right and Mono mix buses. In both applications, multiple units can be daisy-chained, offering almost unlimited expansion capabilities. Each X-Matrix can accept 12 line inputs (via multi-pin connector) from the X-VCA or from 1/4in TRS line input jacks, and generates two outputs which include insets, level adjustment and muting capabilities. The outputs appear on balanced XLR's mounted on the rear panel.

Expansion, applications and quality X-Matrix may be expanded both horizontally and vertically, turning X-Matrix on its own into a very versatile mixing system for specialized applications, or where additional matrixes or auxiliary mixes need to be added to any console. While it is intended to be used as an add-on accessory to the X-VCA console, its flexibility allows it to be used in a wide variety of applications such as submixing, recording, broadcast and monitor mixing.

Powering for the X-Matrix is derived directly from the console for up to four units. This configuration enables a basic X-VCA to generate 12 x 12 matrix outputs. The X- VCA console acts as the power supply, talkback, and solo and headphone system for the added-on X-Matrix units. With the addition of an optional power supply, virtually unlimited matrixes may be added to the X-VCA.

Digital Speaker Array from Hacousto
Friday, 21 September 2001

PLASA saw the launch of the Messenger XL - a new fully digital sidelobe-free speaker array by Hacousto International of Holland. Featuring the latest technology based on a patented algorithmic technique, the Messenger XL is ideal for background music and high quality speech applications, especially in reverberant acoustic environments where it is difficult to meet contractual speech intelligibility requirements.

The Messenger XL is completely software controlled allowing the lobe to be easily fine-tuned for specific types of application. Its tightly controlled beam can be shaped to meet application and environment requirements offering a precisely controlled listening field and high intelligibility with a minimum S/N ratio. Featuring a Q factor of 36, (140 by 1400) it compares very favourably with good horn loudspeakers, which are renowned for high Q factors of around 32 and noted for their directional characteristics. Not only is this new speaker array from Hacousto capable of producing consistently high sound quality across the coverage area, but it also offers an architectural advantage in that the unit can be mounted vertically making it easier to meet architectural and aesthetic requirements.

New Appointments at Marquee Audio
Friday, 21 September 2001

Marquee Audio has announced two new directorships within the company. The company’s popular and long serving Andy Huffer (pictured) has been promoted to the role of sales director. The move takes into account the broader sales platform that he has helped stimulate since starting at Marquee in 1995, notably increasing the Shepperton company’s penetration into the theatre, studio and AV conference markets.

A new arrival at the Shepperton-based company will be Glen Smith, who joins Marquee Audio as marketing director, with effect from October 1. With 26 years’ experience in the pro audio industry - including stints with Britannia Row, Tasco and TFA - for the past eight years Glen has been running secondhand audio sales company, ISE. At Marquee, he will be targeting the company’s Concert Division. Focusing on sound reinforcement companies, he will be devising a part-exchange programme for customers wishing to upgrade rental stock. The exchanged equipment will then be refurbished, enabling Marquee Audio to be able to offer customers quality used equipment at affordable prices.

LDI 2001 to Continue as Planned
Thursday, 20 September 2001

The LDI Show will go ahead as planned from November 2-4 in Orlando. In response to a number of enquiries following the events in New York and Washington, the organizers are keen to reassure people, through a statement posted on their website, that the exhibition will go ahead as usual. "We at LDI would like to express our deepest sympathy to all who are affected by the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Our thoughts are with you. We cannot let terrorists bring world business to a halt and we at LDI and Primedia Business Exhibitions feel it is very important that all businesses show their resilience. At this time, we do not foresee major disruptions for a smooth and successful show floor opening on Friday, November 2, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. LDInstitute is still scheduled to open on Monday, October 29."

If any exhibitors or visitors have any questions or concerns about the Show, they should contact any of the following people: Paul Stratton, LDI Show Director Tel: + 1 720-489-3118

Ellen Lampert-Gréaux, LDI Conference Director Tel: +1 212-229-2965 x 830

Jacqueline Tien, Publisher, Lighting Dimensions, Entertainment Design Tel: +1 212-229-2965 x 815

You can also look at PLASA Media’s LDI Factsheet at www


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