TMB's celebrated annual outing, which took place over the weekend of October 1st, drew a diverse industry group from the US and overseas. The weekend trip, to Ensenada, Mexico, drew attendees from companies as far afield as Mexico (Toma Cinco, Guadalajara) and Japan (Ken Production Services Inc, Yokohama). Also represented were: Acey Decy, Barbizon, Cinelease, Cinema Services, Delicate Productions, Hollywood Rentals, Location Lighting, Light & Sound Design, Oasis Stage Werks, San Diego Stage, Starlite Global, TM Motion Pictures and Versales. LSD's Chris 'Tiny' Ward entertained a visitor from even further afield. Much fun was had, fish were caught, and many hallowed traditions, including the exploding of Elvis, were upheld.
London-based theatre sound specialist Orbital Sound has acquired three Allen & Heath ML5000 mixing consoles from the London branch of LMC Audio Systems. Specified in advance by Orbital for their forthcoming Winter season, the console will be employed on Christmas Pantomime productions, as well as Bill Kenwright's production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The nature of the Christmas shows means tight production deadlines and limited budgets. Orbital has a long association with Pantomime productions, and Orbital's hire department, headed by Jane Finlay and Dan Parton, who specified the desks, offers practical advice gained from years of experience in this most traditional of theatre.The addition of the cost-effective Allen & Heath ML5000 complements Orbital's extensive inventory of high-specification equipment. The ML5000 is ideal for any production working within limited budgetary constraints and enables Orbital to provide a cost effective, reliable solution for these shows.
AV specialists Blitz Communications picked up two Silver Awards at the Marketing Event Awards 2000, held at the London Hilton recently. Nominated twice in the 'Best Supplier - On Site' category, Blitz won Silver for both. The first nomination was for its work with HP:ICM on the Opel Agila and Astra Coupe European Dealer launch - an event which itself won the Gold Award for 'Best Product Launch'. The second was for the launch of a new pharmaceutical firm, Aventis, for which Blitz's three divisions - Blitz Vision, Blitz Interactive and TP Sound Services - put together a highly complex system.
ARX Systems has introduced a series of multi-channel power amplifiers with built-in zoning features. Comprising three models, the ZA Series is designed for any multi-channel application including paging systems, foreground and background music, AV systems, loudspeaker multi-zoning, etc. The ZA Series features AutoLink function which automatically links channel inputs as required, eliminating the extra expense of an external zoner/splitter. The models are the ZA400 (4-channel, 250W pc into 4 ohms); ZA600 (6-channel, 125W pc into 4 ohms); ZA800 (8-channel, 125W pc into 4 ohms). Initial installations of the ZA Series include the CSIRO Science Centre in Canberra, Australia and the Ing-Ge Ceramics Museum in Taipei, Taiwan.
Contestants on Carlton Television's 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?' Will now talk to compere Chris Tarrant through Trantec's multi award-winning synthesised UHF S5000 radio mic system - thanks to the initiative of a consortium of six freelance sound engineers. The newly-formed Elstree Sound Associates was set up specifically to provide audio services to Celador Productions, makers of 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?' at Elstree Studios - giving them the opportunity to break free from some of the products generally used in TV production.One of the supervisors, Chris Thorpe - who sound mixes alongside fellow Elstree Sound Associates engineer, Kevin Duff - was happy to recommend Trantec, having used the system at the OB/derig facility Roll to Record and Fountain Studios in Wembley. Thorpe ordered 16 personals (fitted with Sony ECM 77 clip-on mics) and two hand-held systems, along with a couple of distribution units and computer monitoring.The other four members of Elstree Sound Associates are Robert Wahl, John Galbraith, Barry Mizen and Vernon Cooper.
The Klark Teknik Group has appointed ART Studio to distribute Midas products in Belarus. This is the first time that Midas has been represented in White Russia and the company has already got off to a flying start with the sale of a Heritage 2000 to the Belarussian State Orchestra in Minsk. Finberg, the State Orchestra's own rental company, is one of the largest in Belarus and caters for many prestigious events throughout the country. One of the first events for the new console was a concert by the award-winning French singer, Patricia Kaas. Since the sale of the Heritage 2000, ART Studio has also purchased a Heritage 1000 for its own rental department. Its first outing will be for Deep Purple, playing the Sports Palace in Minsk in early November as part of a European tour.
To help prepare them for a wide variety of careers in theatre, film, television, exhibition and coporate event markets, third-year students taking Lighting Design, Directing and Stage Management degrees at Rose Bruford College put together various productions of a non-theatre nature. This year, these have included 'Club Night', 'Audio-Visual', 'Sone et Lumiere' and 'Dance' productions. Performed at the College's Barn Theatre on the Sidcup campus, just outside London, these productions will enable students to show an audience of technical theatre professionals just what they can do. The College receives much help in this in the form of the loan of equipment from leading companies within the lighting industry, with around £200,000 worth of equipment being loaned this year for the duration of the productions. Help has been received from Martin Professional, Lightfactor, Avolites, Flying Pig Systems, Vari-Lite and White Light.
Worcestershire-based rental company RMPA has just invested in ElectroVoice's latest microphone launch, PolarChoice, purchased from EV's UK distributor, Shuttlesound. PolarChoice podium microphones offer the option of four different pickup patterns, allowing the selection of the best pattern for the application. The ability to select from omnidirectional, cardioid, supercardioid or hypercardioid assures the maximum protection against system feedback and ambient background noise. RMPA's Rick Bailey commented: "They really are excellent microphones in every way . . . The gain they offer before feedback is impressive, and the sound quality is superb. And it's just as well because the very first event they went out on was the MOD's World Symposium on speech intelligibility and speech coding at the DERA headquarters in Farnborough! However, the client was as impressed with the mics' performance as I was."
PLASA Publishing has learned that the directors of Ocean State Rigging Systems Ltd have decided to commence liquidation proceedings. The Hertfordshire-based company is a subsidiary of Ocean State Rigging Systems Inc, which was established in the United States in 1978 to service the film, corporate and touring industries, and has offices in Rhode Island and Florida.
With the appointment of Gareth Collyer and Gerry Frost as shareholding directors, Lamba plc chairman Frank Irish, has set out a strategic blueprint for the company's future. Collyer and Frost have been on the company's main board of directors for over 18 months, and will maintain their active roles as technical director and sales director, respectively. Irish commented: "With recent product acquisitions creating a new dynamic in the company, we believe the timing is right to devolve more responsibility to Gareth and Gerry, to ensure continued development over the next decade." Lamba has recently secured two new exclusive UK distribution accounts - for Nady Systems and Cerwin Vega! Hi-Fi, as well as consolidating the UK representation of an expanded Stanton Magnetics range. To accommodate this growth, Irish has simultaneously announced the imminent relocation of Lamba plc to larger, purpose-built premises in St Albans, including a warehouse and distribution centre.
The UK's phenomenally successful television production, Big Brother, which was screened through July and August, relied heavily on Sennheiser RF systems to relay seamless sound transmission, not only for the nightly Channel 4 broadcast, but also for the 24-hour Internet broadcast. Each contestant on the show was fitted with a clip mic and Sennheiser SK50 miniature body-pack transmitter, supplied by Cine Video Audio Hire Division. These were to be worn at all times, except when showering or sleeping. The Sennheiser EM1046-UHF receiver rack was used in conjunction with Cine Video's own Triax remote antennae system, enabling the RF aerials to cover a vast area.
The Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith was the stage for a recent pro audio open day for two of Marquee Audio's main suppliers - Yamaha and Turbosound. Yamaha demonstrated its latest digital family, the PM1D, DME32 and AW4416 desks, which are now being shipped, while Turbosound's new family of TQ Series loudspeakers - the TQ440/TQ425, TQ259, TQ220, TQ225 and TQ330 lined up alongside the TCS35, also heavily specified by Marquee Audio. The event attracted some of the UK's leading audio consultants. Marquee's Andy Huffer commented: "This was a superb chance for both end-users and manufacturers to experience new products in a realistic environment. The Yamaha PM1D and DME32 ran the show, switching between the Turbosound speakers which were suspended around the stage."
Spirit by Soundcraft is launching a 40-input version of its popular LX7 mixing desks. Housed in a 32-mono channel frame, the LX7-40 features a maximum of 40 inputs, including stereo inputs and returns. Like its siblings, the new model features seven separate bus outputs, including Mix Left and Right, four Groups and a dedicated Mono bus for centre speaker clusters, side or rear fills. With the inclusion of six auxiliary busses and Direct Outs on 24 of the mono channels, the output count rises to 37.Spirit has also announced a major update for the Digital 328 console, adding many new and improved features. The 328's dynamic automation is now compatible with a wider range of sequencers, while changes and additions to the user interface make for even easier operation.
Audio Design Systems, under its trading name of ADSworldwide, has entered into a special joint venture with a Chinese company to sell a range of home theatre equipment under a UK label. ADS will see its new range being sold under the Mistral label in all of China's seven major cities. It is envisaged that the Mistral, which comprises a range of home theatre speakers together with an amplifier and DVD player, will also be marketed within the UK and Europe. The televised launch of the product was recently staged in Shenzhen on China's south-eastern coast. David Hopkins OBE, managing director of ADS, was there as a special guest, and admitted that the event had been far more high-profile than he could have thought possible. He added: "There can be no doubt that the venture will succeed if the initial launch is anything to go by."
PCM has announced its end-of-year CM Lodestar Motor Schools for the 28th and 29th November, to be held at PCM's HQ in Prenton, Wirral, wrapping up a busy training year for PCM. The two-day Motor School course has been modified to include an operational session on the use of the Lodestar Motor, in addition to the usual hands-on assembly, disassembly and troubleshooting. Once again, the event is broadened by trussing and ground support specialists James Thomas Engineering, who will present a half-day course on truss usage and its interaction with motors. The two-day course is free of charge to all participants - all they need to do is travel to The Wirral and cover their hotel costs.PCM's Motor School is fully compliant with the new LOLER regulations, and on completion, attendees are issued with a certificate to prove that they have been properly trained on the equipment. PCM has now trained over 900 owners, specifiers and users of Lodestar Motors, and courses are always in heavy demand, so early booking is advisable. PCM expanded its Motor School programme in 2000 and also took it to Europe. The company's fully-comprehensive, intensive five-day Rigging School, launched in 1999, is next scheduled to run in February 2001. For further details on all PCM Training initiatives please contact John Jones or Claire Williams at PCM on +44 151 609 0101 or check out the PCM website.
AC Lighting North, based in Leeds, completed a move to new, purpose designed, larger premises mid way through July. The new 6,300sq.ft premises feature custom-built offices, showroom with full flying height and extensive warehouse facilities. AC Lighting North's sales manager, Jonathan Walters commented: "The need for these new premises has been brought about by our continued increase in sales since the office was established in 1996."AC Lighting North's new address is: Hawksworth Commercial Centre, Elder Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS13 4AT. The company's telephone and fax numbers remain the same, as 0113 255 7666 and 0113 255 7676 respectively.
Tannoy Professional, in conjunction with Funktion One Research, has launched the Focus 10 PowerDual - a high-quality music and speech reinforcement loudspeaker with complementary Focus 18B bass unit. Designed specifically for use in medium-sized venues and distributed systems in stadia, the PowerDual combines Tannoy's Dual Concentric technology with Funktion One's patented Axhead technology, which provides a controlled 60° horizontal x 40° vertical dispersion, never before achieved with a Dual Concentric fully horn-loaded unit. Tannoy's Focus 10 is a weatherproof skeletal design suitable for internal and external use and is compact and lightweight for ease of mounting. Both speakers have been designed for use with the Tannoy TDX2 Digital System Controller, which includes two input and six output channels to provide up to five crossover modes for both stereo and mono operation. Output channels feature independent control for gain, delay, high and low pass filters, five-band parametric EQ, limiting and polarity and the TDX2 also comes with a number of pre-programmed presets for use with all current Tannoy speakers.
Vari-Lite International has announced today the extension of the letter of intent to sell its Belgian, Dutch, French and Swedish operations to First Events BV. Under the terms of the revised letter of intent, the sale is subject to various conditions but is scheduled to be completed by the end of this month.
The Oxford Sound Company recently completed the installation of two BBC studios designed for Voice Captioning, based around AMS-Neve Libra digital mixing consoles and AMS-Neve Audiofile digital editing workstations. The two identical studios will be used for making trailers for programmes and adding soundtracks to pictures for the introduction and conclusion of television programmes. The project, designed by BBC Resources Consulting and Projects under the management of BBC's Peter Newbury, took 16 weeks to complete. It was designed around the AMS control surfaces with an impressive line up of outboard processing from Calrec, Focusright, Yamaha, AMS, TC Electronic and Drawmer, with loudspeaker monitors from ATC. The apparatus room was designed to service the two control studios with VCR and routing facilities being set up via touch-screen monitors from this point. The studios are fully digital for both sound and vision. All of the studio furniture was designed and supplied by the Oxford Sound Company with wiring schedules and time planning being designed at their Kingham HQ.
Motor chain bags has been put to many good uses over the years, but it was deposits of a different kind that poured into the chain bag hung out on the joint Tomcat/Brilliant Stages stand at this year's PLASA exhibition. Visitors drawn to the stand by the stunning 'Whirly-Gig' spinning truss effect were asked to make a contribution to the fund in return for a Tomcat lanyard. The sister companies raised £175 on behalf of the PSA Welfare and Benevolent Fund. On the final day of the show Tomcat UK general manager, Adrian Forbes-Black, handed over the collection to Brian Croft of VLPS, chairman of the fund's Trustees. Forbes-Black commented: "Each year we give away thousands of lanyards on the trade show circuit. By asking for donations on this occasion, I hope we have helped to raise the profile of the Welfare and Benevolent fund. We certainly raised a few quid, not to mention a few eyebrows along the way!"
During this year's PLASA Show, the third consecutive UK Midas Dinner was held at the exclusive Teatro Club & Restaurant in Soho. Organised by LMC Audio Systems Limited, the UK's exclusive Midas dealer, the dinner was as usual an extravagant affair with all UK Midas owners invited, and attendance exceeded any other year. Teatro is owned by celebrity couple Lee Chapman and Lesley Ash and was chosen as the venue for the dinner due to it's discreet service and outstanding food along with a modern 'gentleman's club' atmosphere. This year special attention was given to the many New Midas Owners, which included The Lemon Tree, Orbital, Rambert Dance Company and Dicker Sound.
Stage Electrics, the Bristol-based supplier of lighting, sound and technical equipment, officially unveiled its new London office during PLASA. The new branch, at 284-302 Waterloo Road, offers a trade counter selling consumables and also hosts a Virtual Lighting Studio housing a full WYSIWYG software programme and other WYSIWYG facilities. Also available at the new branch is a demonstration suite, displaying lighting and special effects from major industry manufacturers, giving clients and designers the opportunity to review all the latest technology. Finally to complete the facility, there is a cafe area suitable for informal meetings.
Tomcat UK won the contract to supply over 300 sections of aluminium trussing to the NEC Rigging Department, which will be used initially for the Motor Show. With a very demanding schedule, the company was required to supply over 100 Medium Duty truss sections each week for the first three weeks of August. To meet the requirements, two teams of welders worked in a US-style shift pattern - ideal for processing volume orders - at the company's Wirral base, under the guidance of production manager Trevor Abbott. Tomcat UK's general manager Adrian Forbes-Black visited the NEC in June, when he was shown modifications underway to expand the capacity of the rigging department workshops, which included the construction of a mezzanine floor to accommodate the Tomcat products. However, the equipment is unlikely to gather dust, as aside from its own busy schedule, the NEC also operates a dry hire service, which has seen their equipment taken as far afield as Dubai and Jordan.
LMC Audio Systems has announced that the company's head of sales & marketing for London, Graham Allen, has now been appointed to head of sales and marketing for LMC company wide. Graham has 10 years' industry experience and has worked for several major players including Behringer, Shuttlesound and more recently with Sysco (The Systems Company). Only recently appointed, Graham has already proved himself a great team player, and is now responsible for sales and marketing at LMC's London, Birmingham and Leeds branches.