London-based sound and lighting production company, Wise Productions, has just invested in eight Nexo PS-8 loudspeakers, complete with PS-8 controller, supplied by ShowCom of Birmingham, with a view to purchasing a further eight cabinets plus controller in December. The first job for the system is this weekend at the recently-opened Wellcome wing of the Science Museum, for the Sterling Prize 2000 presentation of the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Building of the Year. Some 800 people will be attending the event, which is to be filmed by Channel 4. Paul Gaskell, technical manager for Wise Productions said: “We invariably end up working in places where the acoustics are difficult . . . and we have the burden of a huge weight of health and safety restrictions to adhere to, so top quality, reliable and easy to set-up equipment is of paramount importance."As well as several events coming up in the capital’s three main museums, the system also has a seven-week run booked in December and January for Cirque du Soleil’s production in a giant temporary structure at Battersea Power Station.
Sennheiser RF systems have been used on the recent Channel 5 prison breakout gameshow ‘Jailbreak’. SK50 radio beltpacks and clip mics were used to provide audio for the programme, but also as a means of tracking the 10 contestants as they tried to evade state-of-the-art scanners and infra-red beams in escaping from the purpose-built high-security facility. Technical sound supervisor Steve Williams, whose Sound Moves digital production trailer provided digital recording facilities, specified the RF systems from Cine Video Audio Hire. He explained that the environment was a difficult one for RF operation: The prison was constructed out of galvanised corrugated steel, with the compound’s buildings surrounded by a six-metre-high steel fence. We used Cine Video’s own Triax remote antennae system, which enables the RF aerials to cover a vast area, and between that and the usual Sennheiser reliability, the quality of the RF was excellent.
At LDI in Las Vegas last month, for the second year running, Artistic Licence received a Cease and Desist order from Color Kinetics Inc (CKI), relating to Artistic’s LED lighting systems.
CKI holds a patent in the USA for the control of colour-changing LED lighting systems, and claims that Artistic’s LED-based Digital Lighting Product range infringes their intellectual property rights. CKI’s Kathy Pattison told L&SI: "We very much respect what Artistic has done in the DMX community, but where LED systems are concerned, we will defend our intellectual property rights."
Artistic’s Wayne Howell told L&SI: "They turned up with their solicitor at the busiest time of the show, when the booth was full of customers. It really amounts to little more than a childish attempt at harassment." Howell continued: "We have made a number of approaches to this company to try to find out what it is they are upset about. To date we have not received any coherent repsonse. With regard to their claims, there is simply no substance . . . I find it rather insulting to be accused of copying another company’s design. We’re proud of our reputation for innovation."
Pattison, however, told us that CKI has held "multiple discussions, both internally and through counsel" with Artistic Licence.
Community Professional Loudspeakers, based in Chester, Pennsylvania, has announced the appointment of two new dealers. SK MacDonald, headed by Perry D’Angelo, handles the Middle Atlantic states, with offices in Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia. V-Com, headed by Vinnie Macri will cover the New York metro area and northern New Jersey. Doug Wilkens, Community’s sales and marketing director, said of the appointment: Both firms have a track-record of integrity and targeted sales efforts, backed by a high level of expertise, all of which definitley benefit both our customers and Community.
A major sound, lighting and video installation has just been completed at the new Toxic8 club in Cambridge. With interior design by Steve Howie of Howie Designs, the club’s visual inspiration drew on the imagery of Fritz Lang’s 1927 masterpiece movie Metropolis. But Toxic8 is anything but silent!
CP Sound won the technical design and installation contract amidst stiff competition: audio throughout was designed by CP’s Colin Pattenden with lighting by CP’s Russ Evans.
A ground-floor bar acts as a feeder area for the 500-capacity club, and features music and visuals controlled from behind the bar via a six-way switch and volume control installed by CP Sound, together with three Sony K5 televisions and six JBL Control 28 speakers. Additionally, a mobile DJ set-up is available for special events. This consists of a Denon 2000 Mk 3 twin CD player and a Citronic 10/4 mixer and mic. The first and second floors have been fused into one area: the audio spec here includes another Citronic 10/4 mixer and Denon CD player, two Technics 1210 decks in the DJ box and a customised CP 10/1050 DJ monitor. Dancefloor speakers are two twin 15" 1200W JBL i-746 cabinets, and for the mid-range, JBL 300W MS112 tops, hung in the corners of the void area.
Dancefloor lighting includes three Solar 250 projectors with red infused oil wheels and eight MADScan 411 APs in the void, pointing up and down. Control is from a Pulsar Masterpiece 216. On the second floor, fixtures include two 1500W Anytronics Megastrobes, four additional MADScans, two ITM 250 MADScans and four
Stray Theatre, a small theatre company which tours the length and breadth of Britain, has recently enhanced its performance possibilities with the addition of a Metrodeck staging system from Maltbury. As an independent organisation relying partly on its grant for support, Stray Theatre was delighted to find that it would be cheaper to buy their own Metrodeck system than to hire one. The highly-flexible staging system can be packed down in around 10 minutes, and has proved an ideal tool for the company’s varying production requirements. Stray Theatre’s David Lightbody said: “The feedback has been incredibly positive in terms of the quality added to the production.”
Between 7.30pm on Monday 6th November and 8.00am on Tuesday 7th November, Essex-based lighting and production company Knight International had one of their 7.5 tonne Iveco Trucks stolen, containing an entire ground support system and two covered PA wings. Amongst other things, the truck contained eight pieces of Penn Fabrications 2.4m pre rig loaded with Par 64, three pieces unloaded, 10 pieces of heavy duty ladder box truss at 3m, four at 2m, ninety degree bends, four rolling cages, four winches, six pieces of triangle truss at 3 and 4m and four three-way triangular bends. The 7.5 tonne truck was an S plate with Knight International written on the front, the doors and with the company logo on the driver’s side.If anyone has any information on this crime, or is offered large amounts of truss for very little money, please contact Knight International on 01245 362133.
Acoustic Arrangements has launched a new online shopping site – e-av – offering a wide range of professional AV products, sound equipment and home cinema gear. According to MD Glyn Chapman, the site will be updated on an almost daily basis and will feature a range of special offers and end of line discounts.
Visitors from the lighting and creative media worlds were given a unique preview of the kinetic future when Screenco fronted a two-day Illuminated Video Workshop at Three Mills Island Studios recently.
In association with a prime team of concert service providers, including Vari-Lite Production Services, Avolites, Stage One Creative Services, Creative Technology, Aerial Camera Systems, SSE Hire, ShowSec and Vertigo Rigging, the experimental two-day interactive workshop graphically highlighted how the boundaries between the rapidly-converging disciplines of automated lighting and video displays are being pushed back. The workshop was the brainchild of Screenco’s Mike Walker, whose vision for the event was born out of a desire to bring the creative skills of video and lighting together. Production manager for the event was Adam Wildi at Hothouse, assisted by Mary Jefferson from Tiger Productions.
Two leading show lighting designers - Vince Foster and Nick Jevons - were asked by Screenco to blend their visual techniques, with each pursuing a completely different path in two large studios, back to back. For Foster, and VL Virtuoso board operator Theo Cox, it was a conventional live concert stage with a widescreen video display, and for Jevons it was a fast-changing club/dance environment, working in conjunction with DJ Callum Wordsworth to deliver spectacular colour-changing set elements, interacting with live video graphics.
In Studio 8 Vince Foster had produced the 3D visualisation for the band show and presented Theo Cox with the CAD drawings to carry out his o
Peavey Electronics UK has agreed to renew and extend its support of the University of Westminster’s Commercial music and audio production degree programmes. Peavey has replaced all the backline amplification across the Westminster music department with top line guitar and bass rigs from its Transfex Pro 212, Firebass 700 and TNT115BW ranges, continuing and extending its role as live music sponsor for the BA (Hons) Commercial Music Degree.
The famous Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith has taken a further step towards a digital future, thanks to a Lottery grant.
In addition to new sound equipment in both performance spaces, The Lyric has also purchased a GeniusPro Strand 520i desk - for use in the Main House, and also replaced the dimmers in the Studio Theatre with digital LD90s. The former was supplied by Stage Electrics and the latter ordered through White Light.
Although Strand’s 500 Series desks had been in the Lyric’s focus for around the past three years, the purchase was still made slightly earlier than expected. "We mounted a production outside, literally, in Lyric Square, with Mac moving lights running alongside conventionals," explained chief LX Clare Tattersall (inset). "It was impractical to move our existing Galaxy outside - and plotting moving lights on a Galaxy is a tedious process - so rather than hire in a board we brought forward the delivery date."
The 520i was supplied with two monitors - one displaying the cue sheets and the other the channel levels. "It’s a 350-channel desk but we expect to expand on that in the future. As we have not been able to afford to replace the Main House dimmers we have had to convert our STM dimmers for digital, but hopefully at some stage in the future we will be able to make the full changeover."
The 120-capacity Studio Theatre has complemented its new seating and sound reinforcement system with five racks of Strand LD90s (one of which contains a block of non-dims), providing 104 channels of theatrical dimming
The new Wizard from Martin Professional is a DMX-controllable effect light which uses a high-output 250W discharge source (2000 hour life). The Wizard houses two independent color/gobo wheels offering seven colors plus two white and six gobo patterns, as well as a separate shutter for fast strobing. Taking the effect of the popular Acrobat a stage further, the Wizard produces a unique flower-effect which is projected onto a pan and tilt adjustable mirror drum, delivering more than 80 light beams with continuously changing colors and gobo patterns.
Ipswich-based loudspeaker manufacturer Celestion has announced the agreement of a new distribution channel in Spain, with the appointment of Lexon as its distributor for the country. Based in Barcelona, Lexon has an impressive portfolio of pro audio products, including Soundcraft, Crest, BSS Audio, Turbosound and Amek. Celestion commented that the appointment had been based on Celestion’s increasing focus on high-performance products for the Spanish install market, and the appointment of Lexon allowed them to address both their traditional MI market and provide exposure to permanent install opportunities.
Hayden Laboratories, UK distributor of Denon products, has launched the latest new twin CD player from Denon. The DN-2100F twin CD player expands the comprehensive Denon range with an affordable, mid-range model, which sits neatly between the recently launched DN-2600F and DN-1800F twin CD players. Its standard features include Digi-Scratch, Key Adjust, Brake/Platter-S, Seamless Loop and Hot Start/Stutter, alongside unique features such as Power On Play, Repeat Play and Pitch Lock. The machine features two audio channels (stereo), a sampling frequency of 44.1kHz (normal pitch) and a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz. The DN-2100 is guaranteed to satisfy the wish-list of any contemporary DJ, offering maximum flexibility in the most cost-effective package.
As a prelude to the recent PLASA 2000 show, Turbosound held its annual convention at Chelsea Village - home of Chelsea FC.
The day-long event was attended by a number of Turbosound’s international and UK distributors, as well as main installers. Following initial addresses by chairman Mike O’Flynn and managing director Alan Wick, sales appraisal and strategy reports were given by Gary Smith and Bill Woods respectively.
Distributors were honoured with awards for outstanding sales activity within given categories, and the day’s formal activities concluded with a briefing about new Turbosound products in the marketplace.
(Reports that Chelsea only allowed in one UK distributor are untrue.)
London Associates and Strand Lighting have won the prestigious industrial product design award at the recent DBA Design Effectiveness Awards, with Strand Lighting's SL Series of spotlights. Strand’s product development manager, Ian Thomson, and senior design engineer, Martin Freeborn, both attended the awards presentation dinner, held at the Hilton Hotel in Mayfair. Thomson explained that Strand's had been working with London Associates for 14 years and the objective had been to create a new product for the world market, that was smaller, lighter in weight and consumed less electricity than conventional models. The SL Series met all of these requirements with significant results. Within three months of its launch, the SL Series has easily become the best-selling product in Strand Lighting's portfolio. It has also enabled the company to increase its European rental market share from 3% to 15% within one year.
Chameleon Audio, of Cinderford, Gloucestershire, has launched a new, compact sub-bass system with an output of 2000W (rms) for major events and pro-concert performances. It allows instant ‘plug and play’ sub-bass reinforcement from a balanced mono input, with very low noise (<-100 dBA) and distortion levels (<0.01%), to give output at up to 2000W. Designed for a frequency range of 20 to 150Hz, the SB 2000’s built-in amplifier includes large reservoir capacitors, 2500W mains transformers, bipolar output stages and class A pre-amplifier stages.
In May 2000, we reported that Stageline had launched legal proceedings aginst Five Corners seeking a number of injunctions to prevent Five Corners from trading.
We also reported that as a result of Stageline’s claim being rejected by the Quebec courts, Stageline was ordered to pay $22,500 to Five Corners.
However our further investigation into these matters has demonstrated that legal action was not taken against Five Corners but against its owner Carl Richard, who counter-claimed in the same proceedings. We apologise to Stageline for any innaccuracies in our news item. As we now understand it, relief was granted to each party in relation to their claims and counter-claims.
PLASA Members Baldwin Boxall took advantage of the one storm-free day in October to invite a host of clients, colleagues and friends to join them on Sussex’s equivalent to the Orient Express.
The Bluebell Line was the UK’s first preserved standard gauge passenger railway, re-opening part of the Lewes to East Grinstead line of the old London Brighton & South Coast Railway in 1960. Since then it has developed into one of the largest tourist attractions in Sussex, yet it still remains true to its objectives of the preservation of a country branch line and its steam locomotives.
Over 50 people joined Baldwin Boxall on the day thanks in no small part to its growing reputation as a generous host. Terry Baldwin and David Boxall welcomed guests to the picturesque Sheffield Park station before inviting them to take lunch on board one of the Railway’s steam locomotives as it journeyed part-way up the beautiful Bluebell Line. Lobster Bisque, Roasted Quail, Beef Wellington and Chocolate and Almond Torte were washed down with some particularly fine wines - with stops en route to try out the special beers at Horsted Keynes station and allow some members of the party to ride on the footplate of the train before reboarding for yet further refreshments (was it our imagination or did the countryside become more blurred the longer we stayed on the train?).
Those in attendance came from across the industry and included guests from ADT, Next Two, BBC Fire, DNH Loudspeakers, Romers Electronics (from Blackburn), Sound Productions, Dublin (in fact, Gerry McGlinn flew in fr
The Strand Board has appointed Phil O'Donnell as CEO of Strand Lighting. O’Donnell has been with the company for 22 years and during this time has held several positions, including managing director of Strand Asia and President of Strand Lighting Inc. For the past two years he has been running global sales and has been a member of the main board. As part of his executive team, he has appointed Peter Rogers to the position of global sales and marketing director and Bill Campbell to the position of managing director for all European operations. This executive team will take over the day to day running of the company and Jim Ryan will remain on the Strand board as a major shareholder.
Recognising the importance of operational competence and compliance with Health & Safety Executive guidelines in event production, i-mag specialists Screenco recently held intensive back-to-back four-day training programmes in Holland and the UK for its staff and freelance crews. Overseeing the workshops at Screenco's mainland European base, just outside Rotterdam, were general manager Jeroen Jongenelen, Graham Filmer and Avesco plc's in-house Health & Safety Officer, Phil Roberts (with managing director Dave Crump replacing Jongenelen in the UK organising team). In Holland 20 freelancers and ten staff took the opportunity to increase their knowledge while in the UK some 30 freelancers and 15 staff attended.
Richard Eyre is to present a six-part weekly television series looking at the history of 20th century theatre. The programme Changing Stages: 100 Years Of Theatre will explore the influences and creative people that have shaped the course of the theatre throughout the last century. The programme will show archive footage of some of the key productions from the last century and talk with the writers, directors and actors which made them possible. The first programme runs on BBC 2 at 7.30pm, Sunday 5 November 2000.
ARX Releases New CD-ROMARX Systems, the Australia-based manufacturer of Professional Audio Products announces the release of the new updated ARX CD-ROM V4.0. Included are full details of new ARX products including the SPL range of powered loudspeakers, the e-Pre, climate weatherproof loudspeakers, ZA multi-channel amplifiers, Mix 8 stereo line mixer, Level 8 audio balancer, updated technical information and new product reviews. To obtain a copy, register online at www.arx.com.au/CD_ROM_form.htm or send your mailing address to us at email: email@example.com, fax: +61 3 9555 6747.
Over a quarter of all UK sound systems companies will not see out 2001 in their present shape, according to Plimsoll Publishing. Identified in their new First Edition 2001, Plimsoll Portfolio Analysis they are predicting in 2001 these companies will disappear, be taken over or be forced to change to stay in the market.
The analysis, which included 1019 companies in total, predicts that the Winners and the Chancers, who are capturing market and profits with a combined sales growth average of over 15.2% are pushing the Losers out of the market. As they try to maintain sales and profit targets, acquisition activity could intensify in 2001.
The First Edition 2001 describes four types of company strategy. The Winners have low borrowings (debt) as a % of sales and have high sales growth. The Chancers have high borrowings and high sales growth. The Sleepers have low borrowings and low sales growth, whilst The Losers have high borrowings and are growing below average.
For these 131 Losers, time is running out. Their level of debt is high at 38% of sales on average. These companies have lost market share and sales growth average for the latest period is showing an average decline of 11.5%. Their margins are showing a loss of 2.0% on average and almost 60% of them are loss-making. They have borrowed to stay in the market, but how long can this strategy be maintained?
The publication contains an up-to-date analysis of 1019 UK sound systems companies covering their last four years of trading. To order a copy call Jennifer Ovington on +44 1642 257800, or for a full version of th