Philips CSI has launched a new generation of amplifier - the Plena PA amplifier. The new product combines many different functions such as PA messaging, emergency messaging with priority over-ride and optional background music with simple installation and configuration. Up to four different microphones can be connected, with priority provided for emergency announcements over background music. The range features three single-zone mixer amplifiers rated at 30W, 60W and 120W and a two-zone 120W mixer, whilst two additional booster amplifiers, rated at 120W and 240W, extend the reach of the system to cover larger areas.
The new Soho Theatre and Writers Centre is the West End's first ever purpose-built theatre for new works. Following a £10.6 million National Lottery-funded development, Soho Theatre Company will be launching its first season of plays in its permanent new home on March 14. The main 200-seat auditorium features Strand lantern, control and dimming systems provided by London-based trading partners White Light. The Theatre is also the first English home for Strand's newly-launched 300 Series control desk, the company's fully-featured control surface, supporting Genius Pro operating software. The lighting specification was prepared by Jason Taylor, the consultant who designed the system.
OPTI has appointed David Naylor as regional sales manager for the sales and marketing of OPTI Kinetics effects lighting equipment and OPTI Trilite structural systems. Naylor will have responsibility for UK North and the retail sector of business throughout the UK. Naylor has for the past 17 years worked in the sign industry, specialising in the retail and corporate identity markets, liaising with designers, specifiers and end-users for both UK and Pan-European contracts.
Celestion has launched two additions to its CXi Series. The CXi 1531 is a three-way full-range loudspeaker, the largest in the CXi range, designed for sound reinforcement applications where high-power performance from a single enclosure is required. Ideal for use in small to medium sized music venues and as a full-range club box, the CXi 1531 has controlled dispersion, is easy to array and simple to fly. At the other end of the spectrum is the new CXi 521. This two-way passive loudspeaker is an ultra compact trapezoidal loudspeaker offering full-range high-definition performance. Designed for space-critical applications, the CXi521 is high performance yet ultra compact and can be easily installed in both horizontal and vertical formats. The CXi Series has been further extended with the upgrade of the CXi 1022HP, a dedicated mid-high cabinet using 2 x 10" and a 2" compression driver, and the CXi1812 double 18" bass bin.
TMB Associates has been appointed as exclusive North American distributors of DHA Lighting's Digital Light Curtain luminaires. TMB's Tommy Stephenson told PLASA Publishing: "We're very excited to be involved in the marketing of these unique fixtures. We plan to sell them through our dealers around the country and believe they have a great future in the American market. In addition to developing new sales, we intend to fully support the existing US inventory with a comprehensive stock of spare parts." The Digital Light Curtain's credits to date include Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, Cats, Oliver, Tommy, EFX and others.
Dubai-based Production Technology LLC, has increased its rental stock of Strong International followspots, with purchases of two Super Trouper II 2kW Xenon units and two Truss Trouper 1.2kW HMI units from High Wycombe-based AC Lighting. The company already owns a number of Strong International Gladiator 3kW Xenon followspots and this latest order reinforces its belief in the Strong International product range. Adrian Bell, general manager of production Technology, said: "Our decision to continue with Strong was underlined by a virtually faultless performance with the Gladiators. The Gulf is one of the harshest environments these products can be exposed to, and our Strong products have come through with impeccable reliability."
London-based Decibel Audio has been working on a series of audio upgrades for Regent Inns plc. In Bar Logic, next to the London Palladium, Decibel has installed 20 JBL enclosures across the bar's two floors, with amplification from C Audio GB402s. Three GB402s drive the 12 loudspeakers in the upstairs bar, while the remainder downstairs are powered by a further two 402s. At Gordon Bennett's in Tooting, Decibel has again used three GB402s to drive JBL wall-mounted cabinets, along with a GB602 for Decibel's own bass bins.
Lloyd Thomas has joined the team at Zero 88 Lighting, as product development manager. Thomas was previously involved with electronics and software development in the automotive industry.
For the prestigious Grammy Awards, which took place last night at The Staples Center, Los Angeles, lighting designer Bob Dickinson and console programmer Andy O'Reilly used a Vari-Lite Virtuoso lighting control console to 'mix on the fly' - literally creating the lighting looks for each performer just minutes before they took to the stage. As it was impossible for the pair to know the colour and style of each artist's wardrobe, O'Reilly received cues from backstage as each artist appeared, and then used the Virtuoso's facility for instant creation and editing of cues to create the right colour scheme.
Kevin Lyons has joined the team at Vertigo Rigging. Lyons has six years' experience within the live events industry, and has recently spent 14 months as a maintenance engineer specialising in the workings and operation of Lodestar motors and distribution equipment. One of his duties at Vertigo will be the training of the company's apprentices.
For the fourth successive year, Britannia Row Productions has been engaged to carry out the audio production for the BRIT Awards, which moves to Earls Court 2 next week. Brit Row is continuing its association with sound designer Derek Zieba for the event. Chris Coxhead and Bob Lopez will be looking after the front-of-house sound, with Vince Sharpe and Andy Ray on monitors. Sound reinforcement will be drawn exclusively from Brit Row's Turbosound Flashlight inventory - the main system will consist of TFS-780 and 760 L-C-R clusters, with L-C-R delays and various audience and pit fills.
Tascam's new CD-RW700 is a cost-effective model based on the flagship CD-RW5000, and boasting some high quality features. These include 24-bit AD/DA convertor circuits which provide a significant improvement in sound quality, and improved dynamic range and signal-to-noise performance from the 16-bit CDR medium. The 2U rack-mounting unit also features adjustable digital gain control, on-board sample rate convertor, buffer RAM for instant start and sync start/record.
Denon has launched the latest in its Award-winning series of twin CD players for the club, leisure and entertainment markets. The new DN-2600F builds on the success of the DN-2500 player, and has been designed to offer maximum flexibility for DJs. An important new feature of the DN-2600F is its true linear shock-proof memory, by which the disc is spun at twice the normal speed allowing a RAM chip to write to its memory in advance of the reading head, minimising errors due to vibration. Other features include the ability to create two seamless loops per track or disk, copy facility for A-B seamless loop to the sampler, two hot starts per drive and Stutter Play function.
Michael Grade has purchased the famous Pinewood Studios for £62m. The former head of Channel 4 and BBC1 led a consortium of investors backed by investment trust 3i, which is buying the film studio from Rank, the leisure and entertainment group. The consortium is paying £55.5m in cash and £6.5m in a loan note. Rank had been seeking a buyer for Pinewood for some years, and on Monday it also sold its cinema chain, Odeon, for £280m. Rank is using some of the money to buy a DVD processing plant in Los Angeles for £11m.
A free on-line legal check-up for companies in the music trade using the web to sell their services or products has been launched by e-commerce experts, Laytons solicitors. To use the service, businesses simply e-mail their website address to Laytons. who will then carry out an on-line legal diagnostic and advise on what steps that business could be taking to ensure the website is legally watertight. Jonathan Oddy, head of Laytons' e-commerce unit, says: "Businesses must be careful not to infringe the copyright and trademarks belonging to other organisations, as well as the law relating to data protection and privacy, both in the UK and other jurisdictions."In addition, the government is planning to make it unlawful for the website of any UK business not to quote prices inclusive of VAT and any other custom duties before customers agree to buy. This, and many other issues, should be addressed as soon as possible.
Mackie Designs has announced the appointment of John 'Bruno' Wayte as cinema product manager. Wayte has spent the last nine months with the Mackie-owned loudspeaker manufacturer RCF, where he worked on the development of cinema sound systems, successfully obtaining THX approval for two of RCF's CSS range of loudspeakers. Prior to RCF, Wayte was head of sound reinforcement at Arbiter plc. He commented: "I'm excited by the opportunity of combining the expertise of RCF transducers and Mackie's electronic ingenuity in becoming a force within the cinema and AV market."
Following its recent investment in computer-controlled machinery, Amptown Cases has introduced an innovative new case range designed specifically for Martin Pro's MAC 500 and 600 moving yoke luminaires. The cases include a specially-developed foam and rubber insert which combines a tough rubber outer skin with a softer, shock-absorbing core. Since the introduction of the MAC inserts, Amptown Cases reports that distributor Lane Lighting has taken delivery of similar cases specially designed for its Starlite Mk 5 luminaires.
MTFX has added a range of 'silk flame' effects to its hire and sales stock. The effects are available in flame sizes ranging from just 25cm in height, up to the flightcased 5m high effect recently seen on tour with both Boyzone and Steps, and provide a realistic flame effect without the use of combustible materials.
Stephen Phillips has joined Martin Professional UK as the company's new Architectural Segment Manager. Phillips is an experienced marketer in the lighting industry and will bring an invaluable knowledge of architectural lighting to Martin Professional. His new role will be to manage and develop Martin's business for the architectural markets in the UK. Phillips originally trained in lighting design and worked as senior project designer with Lighting Design Partnership before moving into product sales and marketing in the early 1990s. In 1994 he joined the Vari-Lite Group, where he set up European operations for the architectural series of luminaires and helped create the Irideon brand, becoming international marketing manager in 1997. His most recent post was as European architectural manager for ETC Europe.Martin Professional UK has also announced the appointment of David Martin as its new club sales executive. Martin has worked in the technical side of the club industry for five years, working with names such as Zen, Palladium, Stringfellows and Hollywoods.
Following the announcement at the end of 1999 that Trantec's UHF and VHF radio microphones are available to the export market for the first time, the company has announced the appointment of two European distributors. JBK Audio Pro will be representing the company exclusively in France, and Audio International, trading with its sister company Audium SRL, will be responsible for distribution in Italy. The two companies will begin trading immediately, and will be exhibiting at the AES Show in Paris and SIB in Rimini respectively.
After eight years, first as engineering director and latterly as general manager with Mitsubishi Electric's PC Division in Glenrothes, Bill Campbell has left to take up a similar position at Strand Lighting in Kirkcaldy. With a degree in electronics and an MBA from the University of Dundee, he is well-placed to take up his position at the 130,000sq.ft facility on the Mitchelston Trading Estate.Campbell has already identified Strand's priorities as becoming more customer-focused, and to streamline production and assembly lines to enable them to be able to ship all core products from stock. At the same time he is overseeing a vigorous R&D programme in both Strand's digital desk and dimmer products.
Audio Design Services has introduced a Solid State Language Laboratory system that will provide great benefits for teaching, particularly in the field of language learning. After two years of close liaison with schools and colleges, the company has developed an enhanced memory Personal Computer System that enables hundreds of hours of lessons to be stored on the hard disk at the start of term. Any lesson can then be 'dragged' down to any student's workstation by using the mouse, and the student then has all the facilities offered by traditional audio cassettes. As lessons are downloaded individually, a single class can provide as many lessons as there are students, with each having the facility to record answers directly onto the hard disk for the teacher to download at the end of the lesson. The system, which is supplied with headphones and microphones and can be either fixed or portable, considerably reduces the time taken to prepare individual lessons.
Multiform Technology Group has taken on the exclusive UK distribution of three new lighting controllers from US-based Meteor Lighting. The DMX512-compatible PM-4 offers simple real-time beam positioning and followspot control for up to four Meteor Elipscans, Flexiscans or Parscans. Up to 32 fixtures can be controlled via four group selections, configurable at the touch of a button, whilst still enabling each unit's beam position to be preset and held individually. The PMD-6 DMX512 controller also allows independent beam-positioning and followspot control of six fixtures, or 32 grouped units of Meteor 'scans. It features dual analogue joysticks, to which individual fixtures (or groups) can be assigned on-the-fly, enabling simultaneous control. Finally, the USC-4 universal DMX strobe controller gives independent control of four strobes or groups of strobes set for two-channel operation. The unit features a built-in analogue joystick to control the rate and intensity settings, the axes for which can be swapped according to preference of the user.
In a move that marks an increased focus on professional commercial audio markets, Yamaha-Kemble Music UK has formed a separate department, headed up by Alan Johnson as sales and marketing manager. The new department, as part of Yamaha's pro-Music Division, will be separate from the current pro audio department and will concentrate on the areas of live sound, outside broadcast, installed sound systems, touring sound, professional recording, audio post production and broadcast applications. A number of initiatives are already in place, such as a dedicated dealer hotline which will resolve any technical and system enquiries. Also, to coincide with the UK launch of the PM1D digital live mixing console, a PM series support helpline has also been established, active from 9am to 11pm seven days a week.