The Martin Group is introducing two new products for the American market. The MAC 500SP and MAC 600NT will replace two of the products that continue to be affected by the injunction placed on them by Vari-Lite Inc which prevents their sale in the USA. Martin's own engineers have developed a completely new patented colour mixing system for the MAC 600NT and both products lie outside of the American patent, which is the basis of the litigation. The Federal Appeals Court in Washington DC is expected to hear the appeal some time in February. Regardless of the decision in the case, Martin can sell the new products in the American market.
Mackie Designs Inc and Eastern Acoustic Works Inc have announced that they have signed a non-binding letter of intent by which Mackie will purchase all shares of EAW. Mackie is well known as a manufacturer of pro audio systems for a wide range of applications, whilst EAW is recognised as one of the world's leading high-end professional loudspeaker design and manufacturing companies - in 1999 it recorded sales in excess of $40 million. Both sides point out that the majority of each company's day-to-day operations will remain separate, including product distribution channels. EAW will remain based in Whitinsville, its current corporate headquarters and manufacturing site.
Attempting to live up to its name slightly too literally, The Moving Light Company - and its entire stock of moving lights - has moved. But not far - the company can now be found at Unit 8 Parsons Green Depot, just a few metres further along and on the opposite side of the depot from its old base. Formed in 1994 to handle the increasing demand for automated lighting technology, The Moving Light Company has since provided equipment to a huge range of theatrical productions, concerts, trade shows, films and even a performance at Buckingham Palace! The company's growing stock levels necessitated its move to larger premises.
Lighting manufacturer Osram Sylvania and Motorola Inc. have signed a definitive agreement which will see Osram Sylvania acquiring the assets of Motorola Lighting who manufacture electronic ballasts for the lighting industry. The sale, which is expected to be finalised in April, would see the Motorola Lighting business becoming part of Osram Sylvania's Electronic Control Systems business.
The annual Siel show has just completed its run at the Porte de Versailles in Paris and in true French style managed to bring together all that is fascinating about the entertainment industry. Business seemed to be good on the show floor which may have something to do with the show's slightly revised format: having previously mixed both the theatre and nightclub industries together, organisers, Reed-OIP, siphoned everything to do with the nightclub sector into its own separate hall thereby making life a little easier for the visitor. To strengthen its international credits, Siel invited Great Britain to be the Country of Honour and Reed worked with PLASA to co-ordinate a British pavilion, complete with traditional watering-hole, which quickly established itself as a social hub for exhibitors and visitors alike. The UK's Minister for Trade & Industry - Richard Caborn MP - visited the show on Monday and, accompanied by PLASA MD Matthew Griffiths, met with most of the UK companies and PLASA members exhibiting at the show. A full report appears in February's L&SI.
BioAcoustics Ltd has recently installed a new audio description system at the Theatre Royal, Windsor, based around the latest dedicated Sennheiser equipment. The theatre, which was the first in Europe to introduce audio-described performances for the blind and partially-sighted (Bill Kenwright's Stepping Out, in 1988), has also been instrumental in assisting other venues with introducing similar systems. The replacement of the ageing, original Sennheiser system includes six Sennheiser SZI 1025 'radiators' and SI 1015 'modulator' that transmit the sound to the Sennheiser HDI-302 two-channel headsets, as well as a dedicated room for the describers to work in. The £12,000 upgrade was funded with support from local business, with additional funding from bodies including the ADAPT Trust and Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Marquee Audio has added further to its range of state-of-the-art digital audio tools with their appointment as main dealer for the Innova Son Sensory series by UK distributor, Fuzion plc. Marquee celebrated with an open day at their Shepperton HQ, where the Sensory desk was shown to interested visitors such as Chris Beale of SSE Hire and leading live sound engineer, Jim Ebdon. Fuzion's technical director, Gary Ashton, and Marquee's digital specialist, Andy Huffer, were on hand to explain the Grand Live desk, with full on-board automation, and the more basic models, the Essential Live and Digital Live (fully-automated, with digital I/O facility).
Transtechnik has installed an automated lighting control system in two Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation) television studios in Munich. The company used three Voyager systems to control the overhead equipment in the studios, two Focus lighting control systems, around 180 lighting hoists and 40 scenery hoists. In a studio where two production control rooms are shared between four television studios, the new system allows complex cues to be reset at the touch of a button. The network has been designed for redundancy and utilises Ethernet hubs and fibre optic cables, but the conventional method of DMX patching by switching over DMX connections also has its place, making unintentional access to one of the remotely-controlled studios practically impossible.
HW International has announced additions to the Phonic Powerpod range of mixer-amplifiers for small to medium PA applications - the Powerpod 1860 and 1060. The 1860 features eight input channels and insert points for out board processing devices. The built-in two-channel power amp can be configured to any of three different modes: 2 x 300W stereo (FOH), 2 x 300W stereo (FOH/monitors) and 600W bridged mono. Other features include a built-in digital effects device offering 255 effects programs, and two seven-band graphics – one per amp module. The 1060 meanwhile offers eight mic and 10 line inputs, a tape-in and out, a built-in digital effects package and three power amp modules offering a choice of two modes: 2 x 200W stereo FOH plus 200W monitors, or 400W mono (FOH) bridged plus 200W monitors.
Tannoy has introduced the first Active Ceiling Mounted Subwoofer, engineered to render extended, low frequency reinforcement and impact from a concealed position in installations such as retail outlets, theme pubs and clubs. The CMS110B has been designed to fit unobtrusively into a 2ft x 2ft ceiling tile opening and utilises standard air-conditioning covers in place of speaker grilles for additional concealment.Featuring an adjustable low and high frequency filter and EQ boost, the CMS110B also possesses phase and earth lift switching, in addition to gain control. Furthermore, the speaker's long excursion 10" bass transducer is powered by a 110W amplifier with compressor limiting overload protection and fully balanced dual inputs and outputs.
A further day in High Court has been scheduled for March 2000 for the case between Paul Madden (Intimate Studios) and GLW (the manufacturer of Harrison recording consoles). The hearing will address the claim for £400,000 against GLW in regard to the alleged failure of the Series Twelve Music console, which was installed at Intimate Studios in London, to perform acceptably and the termination of an associated marketing contract. It will also consider if it would be best heard in the USA. GLW's contention is that Intimate Studios' Paul Madden obtained the console in the full knowledge that the Series Twelve as configured for music was in development, therefore any terms in regard to 'fit for purpose' did not apply to this sale. Further action is being undertaken by the finance company who purchased the console from GLW in 1995.
Triflite Cases, a division of Trifibre Containers International Ltd, has introduced new lightweight shock mounted 19" rack flight cases to its range. The cases incorporate a new lightweight aluminium floating frame suspended by eight rubber suspension mounts. Vertical rack mounting strips on the front and rear of the units allow standard 19" rackmounted equipment to be fixed in any position.
After years of alternating between being supplier and client to each other, Triple E and Blackout, best known as suppliers of track and drapes respectively, have announced a merger of the two companies. The announcement, by the two managing directors David Edelstein and Steve Tuck, was made from a joint stand at the SIEL exhibition in Paris. Trading as Blackout Triple E with immediate effect, the new company offers a complete in-house design and manufacturing service for custom drapes and hardware, as well as a hire service for track, drapes and rigging. Current investment plans include dramatically expanding the rigging division with the addition of 80 CM Lodestar chain hoists.
AC Lighting has appointed Sebastian Williams to its team of technical support. Williams recently gained a degree in Theatre Design, part of which included his final paper on computerised lighting design, from the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Before joining AC Lighting, he worked on a number of projects, including running a series of trade shows for Virgin Cola.
Cinema specialist Sound Associates has, for the first time, specified an EAW cinema system for installation in a new Odeon multiplex. Asked to specify a system for Odeon's latest £4.5 million 'millennium' eight-screen cinema in Epsom, the Surrey-based company decided to break with tradition and audition EAW's CB series. As a result, Sound Associates has installed three CB523 bi-amplified three way speaker systems into the four large screen cinemas, and CB259 bi-amplified two-way systems into the others - each stacked with SX184C subs. This combination has been found to offer clear left, centre and right sound distribution across the whole room. All the components were supplied by Sound Dept, EAW's exclusive UK distributor. Boasting a capacity of 2,176, the all-format cinema offers Dolby digital and DTS digital sound throughout with two auditoria designated as feature cinemas.
Following a major refurbishment programme in 1998/9, the Grand Theatre, Blackpool, has recently upgraded its technical systems to include over 90 Selecon luminaires. The theatre has taken possession of new lighting equipment for the main house and foyer areas. Lighting Technology Group (Manchester) supplied the Selecon kit comprising 24 special front-of-house profiles in a gold and cream finish to match the decor in the foyer, 30 high performance Fresnels, six 2.5k Arena fresnels, five 4-way cyc lights and 30 Aurora units. In addition to the Selecon kit, Lighting Technology supplied 15 James Thomas Engineering lighting bars, each with six Thomas Par 64 lanterns and an additional 40 colour-changer Par cans. All luminaires were supplied with the new Trigger Clamp from Doughty Engineering. The theatre also purchased an Avolites console and dimming for the venue.
The recently-expanded sound hire company Orbital has announced three further appointments at its London headquarters. Chris Briggs has left Arbiter pro Audio to join Orbital's technical support department, working alongside Tim Sherratt and John Shemming. At the same time, Kelly Sim joins the accounts department from the John Lewis Partnership, and Tania Archibald adds to the administration and logistics support team.
Triple E supplied and installed its track systems for the Christmas and New Year window display schemes at Harrods in London. Designed for theatre and television applications, the tracks have found a new use in retail display, courtesy of Harrods' design team. For the display, 24 S-shaped curtains of Swarovski crystal - each with a 3m drop and weighing 25kg - were hung from the tracks to create a sparkling screen around dresses from designer Julien Macdonald. The team from Nigel Morgan Lighting used ETC Source Four Pars (50 degree) and Mad Lighting's IMPs (Image Marketing Projectors) with colour-changers and custom gobos. Further items from the Swarovski crystal range were also displayed on fibre optic 'atom tables' made and installed by Dan Tippetts and Nick Farmer of Farmer Studios. The latest display, which uses aluminium frames constructed from the UniCyc system, runs until 26 February.
Publisher Highbury House has made moves to purchase rival Nexus, publishers of Live!, DJ magazine and Disco International. The Nexus titles will add to an already substantial Highbury portfolio of around 40 magazines ranging from technical publications such as Camcorder User through to home interest titles such as Women's Health. The Group also publishes a further 50 under contract. The acquisition of Nexus will be the latest in a string of investments for Highbury: in March 99 it formed a joint venture with Internet Advertising to publish magazines on the internet, three months later it bought Wyvern Crest, a database marketing company, for £3.7m and in September 99 it acquired WV, publisher of consumer magazines, for £7m.
Following the recent appointments of Tim Harrison and Natasha Dawson to the sales department, Fuzion has further increased its sales force with the addition of Mick Butler. Butler will be responsible for sales in the north of England and Scotland, with a view to expanding into the southern territories in the near future. With many years' experience in live pro audio, most recently running the PA sales department at a leading MI retailer, Butler is well placed to take on Fuzion's MI accounts, as well as helping to develop both new and existing contracting business.
Screenco supplied a 5x15 module wide-screen format digital LED screen to presentation services company Motivforce for the J. Rothschild Assurance annual company meeting at London's Barbican Theatre in January. Special guest of honour at the event was actor Christopher Reeve. This was the first time that the client had used an LED screen for a keynote presentation. In order to accommodate the 14.5m wide screen, the Barbican Theatre's ceiling was modified by Unusual Rigging. Video cameras were supplied by Screenco's sister Avesco company, Creative Technology, and Screenco supplied the video production hardware. Giles Conte was Screenco's project manager, working with vision mixer Chris Keating and screen technicians Bill Dixon, Andy Joyse and Tim Parry.
Turbosound has appointed Altrincham-based Concert Systems as its exclusive distributor for the North of England, basing the choice on the company's professional facilities and approach to pro audio sales. Concert Systems has made a considerable investment in Turbosound product, which will be featured in their warehouse demonstration area, as well as being available for on-site appraisal. This includes the new TCS Contractor Series and self-powered QLight TQ-440SP, for which Concert Systems' MD Paul Tandy sees enormous potential in the AV industry.
Six of BSS Audio's new FDS-366 Omnidrive Compact Plus system controllers are running the new Thunder Ridge sound system at The End in London. The five-way X2000 - a custom-designed replacement for the original system installed four years ago - required precision tuning to cater for the venue's acoustics. The four units will each control one five-way stack in the main Vaults system, while active monitor systems will be run from the remaining channels. All will be data linked via RS 485 multi-drop, allowing BSS Soundbench set-up and monitoring anywhere within the venue. The Lounge system, which will again be run five-way, will be controlled by two more Compact Plus units (one per stack), plus active monitoring on spare channels. This system, along with the adjoining AKA rig, will be linked via RS 485.
Gearhouse LED Screens was recently contracted to supply the main display screen for the London Boat Show at Earls Court. The company supplied a 5m by 5m OptiScreen system to the show for the second year running, which was used to display sponsors' messages and advertising. Gearhouse has now built over 600sq.m of OptiScreen panels since the system was launched in the autumn of 1998.