Vari-Lite International is embarking on what it describes as "an inventory consolidation strategy". According to a recent statement issued by the company, the Dallas and Atlanta offices are to close and product and personnel from these is to be relocated to other offices within the VLPS regional network. The statement doesn't give any indication of timing, but it is anticipated that the offices will close shortly.
St. George's, Brandon Hill, is a well-established Chamber Concert hall, created in the shell of a disused church. In recent months it has undergone substantial renovation in a phased programme, of which Phase I is now complete, and has involved primarily the securing of the external fabric. Stagetec were awarded the sub-contract to design, supply and install new stage lighting, sound and communications systems in association with theatre consultants Carr & Angier. The luminaires utilised to fulfil the specification were the Selecon Pacific cool beam profile spots (Acclaim PCs and Profiles) and the ETC Source Four MCM PAR. The Pacifics and Acclaims provided the front light and the Source Fours the down light over the stage area. The Source Fours were controlled from individual CCT Freedom dimmers and the remaining luminaires from Light Processor Paradime hardwired dimmer packs. A Compulite Photon lighting desk provides the main control system complete with riggers control and DMX splitter. The existing Lightolier houselight control system was refurbished and integrated into the new installation. The contract also included a PA system which had to be discrete and not interfere with the architecture of the building - to this end RCF column speakers were distributed around the building.
The Athlone Stadium in South Africa's Western Cape province has been chosen to be the regional home of soccer, and will receive a 49m Rand (£4.85m) upgrade. The first phase of the project (12m Rand - £1.18m) will see the replacement of the stadium's floodlighting system. The second phase will involve the upgrading of the existing west stand and the construction of an open east stand. The new west stand will have 14 private boxes, VIP seating, adjoining recreational space and players' facilities to meet FIFA standards. Construction of the first phase is due to be completed by April or May 2000.
Contact: Mr Saleem Mowzer, Cape Town City Council, Exco Committee Chairperson, PO Box 298, Cape Town, South Africa 8000. T: +27 21 400 1111 F: +27 21 418 6036
AC Lighting has appointed Lisa Young to join the busy export administration department at the company's headquarters in High Wycombe. Young is new to the lighting industry, but brings with her a wealth of experience from her previous work. She will work alongside Jo Young, assisting the export sales staff with the processing and despatch of orders.
Liverpool-based sales and hire company Adlib Audio has purchased nearly 40 Crown MA Series amplifiers from Crown's UK distributor, Fuzion plc, more than doubling their Crown rental stock. Adlib's Andy Dockerty commented: "We had to replace some units which we'd sold recently, but really the crux of the matter was that we needed to significantly increase our stock to cope with the amount of work we've got coming up on the hire side between now and Christmas. We looked at various alternatives in the marketplace but came to the conclusion that our original investment in Crown was still the right decision for us." The purchase comprised mainly MA-3600VZs, but also includes amps from across the MA range, from MA-1200s through to the heavyweight MA-5000VZs. Tours contributing to Adlib's busy autumn season include Texas, Gomez and the Longpigs, plus work for the Radio One Sound City gigs in Liverpool.
Nashville's new Outer Limit club is something of a hybrid venue. Within the complex, situated on the outskirts of Music City, are four different club venues: Coconuts has a South Pacific feel complete with Adirondack chairs, palm trees, tiki huts and a waterfall on stage, Hysteria has a Kiss-style multi-level stage with a large lighting rig, outfitted in diamond plating with a neon dance floor, Lava Lair has a gothic feel to it, including cast iron gates and a 30-foot long plaster dragon and erupting volcano, whilst Neptunes, as one might expect, comes complete with pirate ship and open seas. The one thing these venues have in common is that each of their unique sounds are heard thanks to Electro-Voice speaker systems. Dan (Tracey) Castonguay, the Outer Limit's sound designer spec'd the system which includes 22 Electro-Voice Sx80 compact fill speakers. Coconuts has two T55 top boxes, two Sb180 subs, one PSX2000 mixer and one R Series wireless system. Hysteria includes four MTL-1 Dual 18-inch subs, four MTH-1 top boxes, four Sx500 dance fill speakers, and one R Series wireless system. Lava Lair" hosts six MTL-1 Dual 18-inch subs, six Sx500 top boxes and one R Series wireless system. Neptunes has four MTL-1 Dual 18-inch subs, four Sx500 top boxes, and one R Series wireless system.
Canford has successfully tendered for the supply of event communications to London's Millennium Dome. In co-operation with Telex UK, Telex's RTS TW intercom equipment will be provided to meet a demanding specification requiring modification for operation over a fibre optic network. The Dome is divided into several zones, each dealing with specific aspects of modern life and utilising 'state of the art' audio visual systems to deliver a wide variety of presentations. Providing the platform upon which all this is based and linking the zones is an extensive AV framework using a fibre backbone at its core. The communications specification was outlined by the Dome's head of sound Roland Hemming. Working in conjunction with a development team from Telex, Canford (exclusive UK distributors for the RTS TW intercom range) has overseen the customisation of the RTS equipment. The modification has enabled the high frequency signalling tones used in the intercom to be translated for transmission over the 20KHz audio channels provided in the Dome's fibre optic infrastructure. Canford and Telex believe that this is the largest RTS TW system anywhere being used over a fibre optic network and expect this technology to be increasingly employed in future large-scale communication systems.
The Hammersmith Palais has undergone a major refurbishment - the 2,300-capacity venue has reopened after two years of disuse, thanks to a £1 million refurbishment which has given the famous 80-year old dancehall a new lease of life. Part of the upgrade includes a new sound system spec, the contract for which fell to Tarsin Ltd who in turn worked with Marquee Audio to supply the complete order. The new-look Palais boasts six bars and a VIP area. The main club system is based around a Nexo Alpha E loudspeaker system, driven by Crown MA amplification, and mixed through an Allen & Heath GL-3300. The outboard rack is plugged with industry standard Yamaha SPX-1000s and Roland SDE-330s. The front-end club and other source equipment also meets a high specification, and includes Tascam DA30 DAT player, Tascam 202 cassette player, Sony MDS-E55 and DRE1 minidisc recorders, three Technics SL1210 turntables, two Pioneer CDJ500 CD players and a Rane MP24 DJ mixer.
Marquee Audio has added three key new recruits to its staff in Shepperton, to deal with the expanding nature of its business. Andy Morrell, rejoins the company after 15 months with Canford Audio and will be specialising in AV and blue chip business. He was previously with Marquee for three years. Jimmy Potter joins as sales co-ordinator, based permanently at head office in Shepperton, and will be responsible for all incoming sales. He spent five years as sales manager for Sensible Music, but his different activities also include 10 years as studio manager at Nomis. Finally David Brian Homewood will provide technical support for Marquee Audio's growing lighting business. 'Woody', as he is known, has the right pedigree, having previously worked for Danish lighting giants Martin Professional at their UK base in Maidstone.
PLASA (the Professional Lighting and Sound Association) has introduced two valuable new Membership Services. The first new service, a Business Support Helpline, offers PLASA's UK members useful and relevant advice on a range of topics (including tax and PAYE, VAT, Employment Law, Company and Contract Law, Copyright and Patents, Debt and Debt Recovery) by advisors who are all widely experienced in their respective fields. This helpline will initially be completely free to members of the association, who will have unlimited access to the service.Also new is PLASA's Business Reporting Service: PLASA has negotiated an extremely competitive rate for business risk evaluation reports through Dun & Bradstreet, a company with 150 years of experience in analysing and assessing credit risks. This service is available to all PLASA members.
A trio of popular Welsh theatres have all completed new lighting installations, courtesy of Cardiff-based Theatre Vision, who specified a wide range of Strand products in each case. Theatr y Werin in Aberystwyth were happy to replace their old Strand kit with a new stateof the art system. Their entire complement of lanterns now comprises a combination of both fixed and zoom Strand SL luminaires and 34 Cantata Fresnels, alongside a new 530i desk loaded with Tracker, Networker and CommuniquePro and driven from 108 channels of Strand EC90 dimmer packs. Presently Theatre Vision are on site at Theatr Elli in Llanelli in a contract worth around £64,000, which is being supported by an Arts Council National Lottery grant. Again the company is providing an assortment of lanterns including 12 Alto Profile 14/32s, as well as a 520i control console and five LD90s. Further recent sales of Strand control desks by Theatre Vision include a 520i to the Dept of Theatre & Media Studies at Aberystwyth University, a 55i to St. David's Hall, Cardiff, and a 530i to the Taliesin Arts Centre in Swansea (along with six LD90 dimmers).
BSS Audio hase completed a successful year by strengthening their support team. Joining the company at their new Cranborne House HQ in Hertfordshire are Matthew James Bate and Ben Wilmot. BSS will benefit from the addition of Matt Bate to the sales engineering team; the experience gained in both engineering and club installation, first with AdLib Audio in Liverpool and later with CVA, will be a huge benefit to the company. Wilmot has been promoted from software test and support in the company's R&D department to a technical sales support role. He will now be involved in client liaison in a post-sales support capacity right across the product range, but primarily with Soundweb.
Expansion has forced amplification specialist, C Audio, to vacate its Potters Bar premises at Linkside House in favour of larger capacity at Cranborne House situated opposite on the Cranborne Industrial Estate. While production has been taking place at the larger building for some time, C Audio will now streamline its R&D, sales, marketing and administration departments in the one building with immediate effect. The new address for C Audio is: Cranborne House, Cranborne Road, Cranborne Industrial Estate, Potters Bar, Herts EN6 3JN. Tel: (01707) 643643.
Lighting director Victor Fable used a new Virtuoso lighting control console from Vari-Lite for September's MTV Video Music Awards, which took place in New York. Using a Virtuoso for just the second time, Fable worked closely with lighting designer Allen Branton and lighting directors Tom Beck and Michael Goodwin for the live broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera House. With a rig of moving lights including VL4, VL7, VL7B, VL5B, VL6 and VL6B luminaires, Fable found that the Virtuoso made his job easier. "It actually made doing a large show much easier than if I had used an Artisan console. I would have had to put the show on two separate Artisan desks and run them both, whereas Virtuoso handled 440 channels easily and managed it all quite well."He continued: "Virtuoso allowed me to load up many more chases and break up the show much more effectively and quickly. The ability to have more than the Artisan console's four submaster capacity was a lifesaver. On this show I used 16 submasters and broke it up into four areas and effects. I used a lot of macros to load in effects and I used a lot of snapshots, whether I was programming or playing back."
The APRS will act as a sponsor of the Joint Venture with British Trade International for the 108th AES Convention (19-22 February 2000) in Paris. UK exhibitors receive 60% of their space and construction expenses up to a ceiling of £2,300 and are eligible to exhibit with Government funding at AES Europe events twice within any given ten-year period, irrespective of where the exhibition is held. In addition to the Government funding, companies that have never exhibited previously on a UK delegation will receive a complimentary research package from British Trade International giving special pointers as to where to find export-related help, advice and information which should assist with their exporting efforts to the whole of Europe.
Martin Professional's loudspeaker division, Mach Speakers, has appointed a new R&D engineer to work at the company's Danish headquarters. Soren Viinberg has an extensive background in the pro audio industry, having spent 12 years at JBL Pro in Denmark, eight of them in the role of project manager for JBL's professional products in Europe. Viinberg will work closely with Mach's R&D engineer Michael Holmbo.
Wandsworth-based Dimension Audio has recently purchased 10 Audient ASP231 graphic equalisers from Marquee Audio for their corporate events department. Dimension Audio has used Audient EQs at IBM Shows in Cannes and also at the launch of the new Nissan in Sunderland. The ASP231s have been in Munich more recently at the beginning of October for the Disney Channel launch in a fairy-tale castle.
Royal Festival Hall, London's famous South Bank complex, has recently added to its existing range of Jem products. The world famous live venue has just purchased a Jem Heavy Fog 2500 complete with a full range of ducting accessories. RFH has also purchased a special customised version of the Jem Club Smoke System modified for the theatre environment. The new Jem products are the latest purchases in are re-equipment programme that also included a comprehensive Martin Professional lighting package. On a separate note, Jem also announced the sale of two Roadie smoke machines to London's newest landmark the Millennium Dome.
The autumn season is proving busy for Stage Light Design, the exhibition and conference creative lighting design specialists. The company is providing equipment, crew and lighting design services for no less than four stands at the massive Geneva Telecom quadrennial at the PalExpo. All stands have creative lighting designed by a collaboration between John Rinaldi and Alastair Crooks. In Geneva, Stage Light Design lit two shows for Intel, one in Paris and the other in Milan. These were re-runs of their highly successful imaginative lighting for Intel stands at the Networks show in Birmingham earlier in the year.
Cyril Griffiths died after a short illness on September 30th. He will be known to many in the industry having spent 42 years in the business, starting in 1948 at the Phoenix Theatre, later going on to work as group engineer and subsequently technical director for 13 Stoll Moss Theatres. He also established TSL - one of the key suppliers of lighting and sound equipment to the West End which was bought by the White Light Group in 1991. The funeral takes place on Friday 8th October at Putney Vale Crematorium, London.
DJ equipment manufacturer Entertainment Technology, part of the Leaf Group, is moving to new premises. By 1st December the company's offices, warehousing and R&D will be situated under one roof at Unit 21, Warner Drive, Springwood Industrial Estate, Braintree, Essex, CM7 2YW, UK.
Following a record sales year for BSS Audio, the company is moving from their Linkside House premises in Potters Bar to the neigbouring Cranborne House. While the company's production facilities are already located at Cranborne House, the R&D sales, marketing and administration departments are relocating to the more spacious premises with immediate effect.The company's new address is Cranborne House, Cranborne Road, Cranborne Industrial Estate, Potters Bar, Herts EN6 3JN, UK.
In response to demand from sound contracting and conference system installers, beyerdynamic has designed an 'intelligent' 10-channel mixer for integration into computer-controlled sound systems. Supporting up to six microphones and four stereo line inputs, the Mix 10 can be interfaced to a PC or third party control system via an RS232 connection, giving access to input and output selection with status reply and volume settings. Housed in a single rack unit, the Mix 10 includes a wide range of facilities including a mix-bus connection point, microphone ducking function as well as several different output options for connection to external destinations and recording equipment. Phantom power is available on all of the microphone inputs which also have insert points for using external dynamics control systems.
At the end of a busy touring and festival season, sales of XTA processing equipment remain strong. XTA's UK distributor, beyerdynamic, report a growing level of sales across the range, including the popular DP226 loudspeaker processor. Recent buyers of the DP226 include ML Executive and Skan PA Hire, as well as many units being taken by The Music Company in Bradford for their numerous installation contracts around the UK. Recent sales of the new DS800 microphone distribution systems include John Henry Group, which has taken a 40-channel system, now in regular use on Top of the Pops. Wigwam, meanwhile, have invested in a further 48 channels of DS800 microphone distribution system for integration with their d&b loudspeaker systems, as well as adding more XTA GQ600 graphic equalisers.