Book Now for Theatrical London!
Friday, 10 August 2001

Bookings are now being taken for this year's Theatrical London tour (12-14 September), which follows on directly from the PLASA Show. The event will feature visits to the world-renowned Royal Albert Hall for a night at the Proms; the Apollo Theatre to see the upgraded Starlight Express; Tussaud's Group Studios for an exclusive technical tour, and the Donmar Warehouse for a 'Divas at the Donmar' performance. The cost is just £250 per person for the whole programme! For full details and booking information, visit the website below.

Akusta Intercom System From Federal Signal
Friday, 10 August 2001

Akusta Echo is the new digital intercom and alarm system from Federal Signal. Echo is ideal for fast, reliable and cost-effective hard-wired communication/alarm requirements on off-shore installations, as well as petrochemical, refineries and power plants. It offers individual station-to-station communications, conference calling, page party and emergency alarm broadcast facilities.

User friendly on-site programming from either the central digital exchange or a master station enables quick system installation and commissioning. Common features can be programmed simultaneously, with specific features added to the individual field stations separately. PC software is provided for commissioning assistance, system set up and operational monitoring. The standard central equipment can be connected to a maximum of 48 field stations. This can be further expanded to 96 through system duplication. A second modular system can be easily added when station quantities between 96 and 9,072 are required. A choice of field stations are available for different applications. These include desktop master with membrane or tactile keypad, recessed or surface mount pre-programmed call buttons, security station, heavy industrial, Zone 1, Zone 2 Cenelec certified and UL variants.

Philips CSI Launches Plena
Friday, 10 August 2001

Philips Communication, Security & Imaging (Philips CSI) has expanded its Plena public address system to include a full range of mixer amplifiers, universal and system pre-amplifiers, booster amplifiers, call stations and a matching CD player/tuner source unit. This modular system is ideal for a wide range of applications from simple PA announcement installations to complete 6-zone call and emergency evacuation systems. Superseding the successful Philips SQ 20 public address system, Plena offers top of the range performance with low cost-of-ownership and greater versatility.

Plena can meet a wide range of PA needs including shops and showrooms, office and factory premises, small hotels, bars and restaurants, churches through to large shopping malls, public buildings, theme parks, entertainment complexes, universities and schools, workshops or warehouses, playing fields, sports and leisure facilities, bus and railway stations and so on.

Plena’s major advantages are its ease of installation and versatility without compromising performance. Most units can be connected together using just a single cable to simplify and speed up installation. Its modular design allows a wide range of optional facilities including up to 8 call stations, zoning, mixing, background music, recorded messages etc to meet almost any requirements.

The Plena family includes mixer amplifiers offering a choice of 30, 60 or 120 W rated output power. A dual-zone 120 W model allows routing of announcements to two separate zones. A universal pre-amplifier offers a choice of mixing, blocking (first i

AC Lighting Completes Move to New Premises
Thursday, 9 August 2001

AC Lighting - well-known provider of many and varied items of lighting equipment and accessories to the entertainment industry - recently moved its entire operation to a custom-fitted headquarters just one mile from its previous home on the Western Side of High Wycombe. L&SI was invited to celebrate the official opening of the new premises with members of the AC Lighting team.

The move has been a welcome step forward for the company’s 50+ staff which, after 10 years of steady growth, had found themselves bursting out the seams of three separate premises across two industrial areas - with all the inevitable inefficiencies that the situation gave rise to. The meticulously-planned move to the new premises has now given AC Lighting the infrastructure it needs to both operate efficiently at its current size, and to cater for its certain future growth.

Extensive refurbishment of the new premises has increased the available floorspace by over 40% to 37,000sq.ft (3,437sq.m). The construction project, which lasted five months, added two floors of office accommodation, dedicated manufacturing facilities for the production of cables and colour scrolls, a new service centre and substantial warehousing. The building also includes a new demonstration facility with a 6m ceiling height, adjacent training rooms and a reception area.

The extensive warehouse facilities have been fitted with high bay and pallet racking to maximize storage capacity and to offer greater efficiency in handling of materials. Cable drum storage racking has been installed, with capacity for up to 60 larg

Dansk PA Center Offers DPAC at PLASA
Thursday, 9 August 2001

After operating as a wholesaler and manufacturer for 17 years, Dansk PA Center A/S has decided to market their domestically well-known loudspeakers internationally. For the first time, Dansk PA Center will exhibit at the PLASA exhibition on stand S7 (Top Deck) with their DPAC Audio line of active powered loudspeakers. The first system in a new line of self-powered loudspeakers consists of the AS2 (one dual 18" subwoofer with built-in 4800W class D amplifier), the AM152 (one 15" plus 2" mid/high loudspeaker with DPAC Easy Fly system and class D amp). The low-cost system boasts easy transport and set-up, easy flying, high sound quality, low power consumption and excellent reliability.

Dansk PA Center can be found on stand S7.

Vari-Lite Lights Radiohead Summer Tour
Thursday, 9 August 2001

Vari-Lite Inc is providing the lighting for the 2001 summer tour of British, post-rock band, Radiohead. The band began the North American leg of the tour in Houston on June 18 and have been playing to sold-out arenas and amphitheaters where fans are ‘Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box’ - the new album’s first song. Lighting designer Andi Watson, who has worked on previous Radiohead tours, is lighting the show with 69 Vari*Lite luminaires, often washing the band in deeply saturated blues and reds, highlighting the moving and experimental songs from the band’s newest albums Kid A and Amnesiac and accentuating hits from previous albums. Watson’s rig includes 14 VL2416 wash luminaires, 26 VL2402 wash luminaires and 29 VL6C spot luminaires.

Recently hailed by many rock critics as the ‘saviors of music’, the band hasn’t toured widely since 1997 after the release of its groundbreaking album, OK Computer. Following the North American portion of the tour, which finishes in Los Angeles on Aug. 20, Radiohead travels to Europe and Japan, playing a handful of shows through the beginning of October.

New Prism from Par Opti
Thursday, 9 August 2001

Par Opti is introducing yet another original product to the already extensive catalogue of fibre optic lighting components manufactured by the company. The PP8 prism changes the light emission by 90 degrees, creating new uses for fibre optics employed in confined spaces, for example behind narrow skirting in bars and other displays. A bezelled version suitable for ceilings and walls creates a dramatic effect in the minimum space.

Audio Tools from ApexAudio Tools from Apex
Thursday, 9 August 2001

Developed for the stringent sound level monitoring laws in Europe, the 'Argos' Sound Leveller and 'Hera' recorder/controller from Apex, Belgium, combine to make an affordable, dedicated limiting system. As well as keeping audio levels under control, the system also monitors and records events over a 14-day period, time-stamping and saving data to PC to create a log for local inspectors. The Argos leveller features speed selection, built-in Pink Noise Generator, inline test button and three connection/detection sources - mic (supplied), line or speaker (up to1800W / 8ohm). A mode selector switches between normal (automatic) and 'hold' which sustains threshold level between quiet pauses, or song breaks during live performances. Ins and outs are all balanced XLR and unbalanced phono. Setting switches for 'Argos' are located behind a removable plate, and when linked, the 'Hera' will record any removal or tampering. 'Argos' will also operate as an independent stand-alone limiter.The 'Hera' calculates and controls level over a set period of time (up to 14 days). Mic level input is set using the offset placement feature. The front panel also has a large LCD level and data display with dimmer and rotary encoder. Access to dealer settings is via pin code entry. As a stand-alone unit the 'Hera' can be used as a very accurate dB meter and recorder with cut-off device featuring level warning and power cut-off via relays. Also available from Apex are the high-end PE Series Paragraphics and GX Series Graphic equalisers.

Pat Bradley Joins Ampekko
Thursday, 9 August 2001

West London based Ampekko continues to grow from strength to strength and, as part of their expansion into new premises, have recruited Pat Bradley to head their national sales division. With 25 years’ industry experience in the sales of complex integrated systems, Pat Bradley is well positioned to take on his new role and handle the UK sales of pro audio brands including SLS, from the United States, WHD from Germany and Commax from Korea. As Pat Bradley explained: "I’m so pleased to have joined Ampekko. As a young and forward-thinking organisation, we are committed to introducing these product ranges and expanding their market share. I’m looking forward to playing an active role in the company’s growth and establishing a strong dealer and distribution network across the UK. All of the product lines offer enormous potential across a wide range of systems designs. The SLS range of hand-crafted cabinets provides high performance solutions into studios, installations and live production markets. Whereas, WHD, offers innovative asymmetrical speaker designs for use across a variety of industrial, commercial and architectural installations. A selection of products, including the value added alternatives offered from Commax, will all be on display at PLASA 2001 on stand S4."

AVW with Safety in Mind
Thursday, 9 August 2001

Few people understand the full complexities of health and safety regulations inherent in the design and installation of motion control systems, even less so when EU legislation is surpassed by a country’s own. The DIN standards, imposed by the TÜV, are known for being the toughest, most stringent safety regulations in the world and govern installations from railways and airlines to nuclear power stations. It was within such DIN regulations that AVW Controls designed, manufactured and installed the automation systems for the newly-built 1,450-seat Concert Hall in Thessalonika, Greece.

The facility is used for opera, theatre and as a convention centre, and as such needs to be totally flexible. The specification, one of the largest AVW has worked on, called for a fully computerised flying system for 34 scenery bars, 10 point hoists and four lighting bars, all with the capability of being controlled from multiple control positions. The control also needed to be easy to use and simple to programme, yet provide the sophistication of traditionally more expensive systems. The result was the AVW Impressario Motion Processor - IMP100, a motion controller with safety and simplicity as priorities. Impressario includes a generous 500 programmable cue capacity, advanced cue following facilities, group control and group synchronisation of scenery bars and even a real-time virtual reality simulator.

As well as the powered flying system, AVW Controls was commissioned to design and manufacture the proscenium control system, consisting of a portal lighting bridge and motorised pro

Learning 300 or 500: Back By Popular Demand
Thursday, 9 August 2001

Sold out smash hits aren't that common in the West End. Shows that have to add extra performances to cope with demand even less so! But an exception returns to London for three weeks from this Friday: The Service Company's popular Strand 500-series training courses. First held earlier in January this year, the half day courses covered a variety of levels of Strand's popular range of lighting consoles, which are found in an ever-increasing number of theatres in the West End and round the country. Demand for the courses was so great that they are to return for three Fridays from this week, 10 August - and are to be repeated in the morning and afternoon of each Friday, allowing twice as many people to participate.

Two courses are being run. The first, on 10 August and 17 August, covers the use of the console for controlling conventional lighting and colour scrollers from the basic level, including console set-up, patching, channel control, recording cues, making changes and as well as examining the use of macros and effects. The second, on 24 August, looks at the use of the consoles for controlling moving lights, including the use reference groups, macros and automod for setting up shows. This course will also introduce the new features being introduced in soon-to-be-released GeniusPro version 2.5.

The courses are being led for The Service Company by programmer Rob Halliday, who has been using the 500-series consoles for around seven years on shows including the current productions of My Fair Lady and The Witches of Eastwick in London. As before, the courses are being held

AC Creates Unique Lighting for Mast
Thursday, 9 August 2001

The skyline of the city of Dublin recently witnessed the arrival of a unique feature when AC Lighting, working on behalf of London-based architects Hunt McGarry, commissioned a unique lighting scheme on a telecommunications mast in the city centre. The revolutionary 30m high mast, known as the Esat Digifone Telecommunications Millennium Landmark Structure is located next to an M50 motorway interchange in Tallaght, Dublin. The mast has the shape of a slender inverted cone and is constructed using laser-cut perforated stainless steel.

Under the direction of AC’s project manager Peter Keiderling, various options were considered from neon to side-emitting fibre optics. Neon was determined to be the most effective and a scheme was devised utilizing custom-manufactured segments of green neon to form double rings round the mast at 17 levels. Over 200 lengths of neon were produced in a variety of radii to complete the project. The neon is connected through special IP66/67-rated converters to enable dimming/switching via an 18-channel Pulsar Datapak lighting power pack. This is controlled from a Pulsar Masterpiece Replay Unit 216 programmed to perform a variety of chase sequences up and down the tower. The project was selected by the RIAI (Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland) for a Regional Award at a ceremony in Dublin on 2 July 2001.

Pani Adds to Projector Range
Thursday, 9 August 2001

Pani is introducing the BP 2.5 ECO - a new development on the PANI ‘T’ (Turbo) generation platform. Economy and effectiveness were the prime aims for the company in the achievement of unprecedented value-for-money in a projector in this category. The BP 2.5 ECO is specially designed for short and medium distances. As a high-quality member of the PANI projection system, it is fully compatible with the complete accessory range including all objectives as well as the new Compact Scroller CS 70.

Another inovation from Pani, the Economic Slide System (ESS), gives users the opportunity to produce their own slides. They only need a PC or Mac. The ESS is a one-stop solution consisting of a state-of-the-art inkjet photoprinter, printer software with template for the output medium, 50 PANI special foils and 15 aluminium slide frames.

Pani can be found on stand R30.

Vivid Launch at PLASA
Thursday, 9 August 2001

Forget three-phase power supplies, water-cooling, unreliable performance and costly maintenance, plug and play lasers are definitely the way ahead according to laser firm VIVID. By plugging into a standard 13amp socket crisp, pin-sharp graphics and animated images can be thrown from the lightweight laser with the bonus of high speed digital blanking. With each image as a separate entity the permutations for all manner of presentations is endless, says Mike Lister, managing director of Vivid.

Lister has teamed up with Clive Davies, the technical mind behind Laser Electronics, to form Vivid, which is based in brand new 12,000sq.ft high-tech headquarters in Wakefield. Vivid manufactures a rotor moulded, stylish lightweight case which can be colour-matched to any interior. Each unit weighs less than 15 kilos and can be daisy-chained like any intelligent lighting rig. Vivid claims it's the only company in the UK to have designed its own electronic hardware and software, including the actual laser diode, which enables technical specifications to be written around the specific requirements of the entertainment industry. Together with the laser head, the company has produced its own PC-based control system, which makes the usual daunting task of laser programming child’s play. Each highly portable unit can be remotely programmed over the internet for punching out advertising messages. Free software upgrades will be available with each PC-based control system as and when new features come on line.

The company is already hinting that it may launch a 3D version and multiple

Three New Products from Constella
Thursday, 9 August 2001

Constella is adding three new products to its DMX512 lighting range at PLASA this year. Following the success of the Chameleon 5 at PLASA 2000, the company has made the unit intelligent, and now presents the Chameleon 5 DMX. Other additions include the Astra Moon Scan and Astra Moon Star effects, combining the crystal sharp images and responsive movement of the Chameleon 4 with a choice of two light delivery systems – the scan head or the rotating barrel.

Constella can be found on stand L5.

Carlsbro Makes PLASA Debut
Thursday, 9 August 2001

This year, Carlsbro Electronics will be exhibiting at the PLASA show for the first time. This famous British manufacturer started making quality sound equipment 40 years ago, from their factories near Mansfield, Notts. The company has a new 32-page catalogue and some innovative products on demo, including the revolutionary ‘NlightN’ sound panels, featuring ‘NXT’ technology. The Company’s new owner, Andrew Bishop, will be on the stand, together with R&D manager, Garry Brookes, and area sales manager, Mal Ward.

Kelly’s Eye
Thursday, 9 August 2001

Industry veteran Bob Kelly is about to launch a used live sound equipment website. One of the many features of the new website will be a series of ‘Character Assassination Pages’ which will feature many industry veterans who have been caught out on the Kelly box brownie over the years. Kelly explains: "I managed to accumulate quite a large back catalogue of photos which I feel should be put on public display for the sake of prosperity. New photos will be posted onto the website on a weekly basis." Kelly, who is now operating under the banner of Bob Kelly & Co - Worldwide Livesound Brokers, will operate from offices in London and the US.

Coleraine FC Gets New PA
Thursday, 9 August 2001

Coleraine-based Light & Sound FX has installed a new PA system at Coleraine Football Club. The system, commissioned by Mackie Designs’ technical manager Mick Williams, is based around RCF’s new RX 3000, a programmable matrix for sound system management and control. Light & Sound FX’s Darren Gardener explains the background to the install: "Initially, we were dubious about using a 100V line system. We were concerned about both the quality and clarity of such a system. During consultations with Mackie/RCF in the early stages of the project, both Andy Austin Brown and myself spent a lot of time going over the pros and cons for a low impedance system or a 100V line system. In the end, we felt that Andy had a stronger case and we went with the HD 550/HFT horn speakers and the RX3000 matrix system. On the day that Mick Williams came to commission and test the system, I have to say that we all held our breath. But there was no need to worry, when we heard the system for the first time, we immediately knew that we had made the right decision."

Working from the initial brief from Darren Gardener of L&S FX Williams worked on the RX 3000 system basic programming and configuration. The work was carried out during system build and test at Mackie's Wickford technical workshop. Williams explains: "The system design called for dual amplifiers for each of the three stands, with alternate A/B speaker wiring. This was to ensure 50% system operation in the event of amp or line failure. When I arrived at the ground, I was delighted to find that the job had bee

L&SI Sponsors New Technology Gallery
Wednesday, 8 August 2001

Lighting&Sound International, PLASA Media’s leading entertainment technology journal, is sponsoring the New Technology Gallery at PLASA 2001. This is the showcase of all products nominated for the prestigious PLASA Awards for Product Excellence. Situated on the Top Deck of the PLASA Show, near to the main bar area, the showcase offers visitors a chance to check out the features and capabilities of all of the major product innovations at PLASA 2001, in one place.

L&SI will be based on the Lower Deck (stand K19), where we will be offering free readerships to qualifying UK industry personnel, plus special offers on international subscriptions only available at PLASA 2001 - plus PLASA Media freebies to all new subscribers!

L&SI can be found on stand K19.

Wednesday, 8 August 2001

Lighting design company MAD Manufacturing will be providing lighting design support for John Hornby Skewes’ stand at this year's PLASA Show. At the recent JHS Event 2001, held on-site at the music trade distributor's Garforth head office, MAD provided an impressive full lighting rig as visual support in the HK Audio pro audio demo theatre, in addition to being a guest exhibitor at the JHS Event. With a well-deserved reputation for innovation in what is a highly competitive industry, MAD were impressed by the level of reaction they received during the JHS Event 2001 from the many music trade visitors, and are delighted to be involved with JHS again for the PLASA Show.

JHS can be found on Stand E46.

QSC at Mann’s Chinese Theatre
Wednesday, 8 August 2001

The famous Mann's Chinese Theatre, situated on Hollywood Boulevard, is presently undergoing a restoration which, among other things, will bring new, state-of-the-art audio to the structure using DCA Series amplifiers from QSC Audio Products. The largest supplier of power amplifiers to the cinema industry worldwide, QSC, along with other manufacturers including Dolby Labs and JBL, helped develop the theatre's new sonic blueprint. Implemented by Media Technology Source (MTS) West, the design incorporates 35 of the California-based manufacturer's DCA Series amplifiers. Delivering a combined total of over 100,000W to JBL loudspeaker components, the amplifiers include five DCA 3422 models operating in bridged mono at the system's low-end, and five stereo DCA 3022s powering custom mid/high and mid/low arrays. Three DCA 2422 units are used for the high frequency transducers within the system, while nine more DCA 3422s fuel the subwoofers, and 13 additional DCA 2422s were selected for use with over 40 surround sound speakers.

Having long specified the use of QSC amplifiers in its theatres (as have Loews, General Cinema, AMC, and United Artists), the Mann's theatre chain remains loyal to the brand based upon its reputation for both reliability and superior audio performance. Open to the public throughout its restoration, Mann's Chinese Theatre will be one of the central structures within a corridor of new development and refurbishment work underway along the legendary Walk of Fame at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue.

ESTA Launches New Standards Projects
Wednesday, 8 August 2001

The Entertainment Services and Technology Association has launched projects to draft three new American National Standards:

BSR E1.18, Recommended practice for the selection, installation, use, and maintenance of single-conductor portable power feeder cable in the entertainment industry. The standard is intended to offer guidance on how to select, install, use and maintain single-conductor portable power feeder cables. The project will promote safety and compatibility in the equipment and practices used in live performance and in film and video production in North America.

BSR E1.19, Recommendations for the use of ground fault devices in the entertainment industry. The standard is intended to offer guidance on how to select, install, use and maintain ground fault protection devices in the entertainment industry. The project is intended to promote the use of these devices to protect people and property from hazards associated with using electrical equipment in wet locations, such as when pools of water are used on stage or a location video-shoot is conducted in the rain, and to promote reliability and avoid nuisance tripping.

BSR E1.20, Remote device management over USITT DMX512. The project is intended to develop a method of bi-directional communication over a USITT DMX512/1990 data link between an entertainment lighting controller and a remotely-controlled dimmer, moving light, or other device. The protocol for this communication is also intended to work with the BSR E1.11 lighting control protocol being developed by the same working group.Int

SIEL 2002
Wednesday, 8 August 2001

Running from 3-6 February 2002 at the Paris Expo Centre, Porte de Versailles, the 2002 SIEL event celebrates its 20th anniversary and looks set to continue its successful run. Last year the event received close to 24,000 visitors in attendance to meet some 280 exhibitors. Now uniting three major entertainment markets - SIEL Entertainment, SIEL Night & Show and SIEL Event, SIEL offers visitors access to a diverse and complementary range of products. Reed Expositions France, organisers of SIEL, can be contacted at: 70, rue Rivay - 92532 Levallois Perret, Cedex, France.

ADDA’s PLASA Catalogue Launch
Wednesday, 8 August 2001

ADDA will launch its new catalogue at the PLASA Show. The new full-colour catalogue features 12 pages of information about the company’s large range of high quality cases and services, highlighting the wide choice of materials and finishes as well as fittings and colour options. For the first time, the catalogue will embrace the OXO product range of architectural lighting protection - Con'Dome, Flight'Dome and the new Upside'Dome. The latter received an honorable mention at ABTT earlier this year and finally solves the problem of bad weather versus intelligent lighting. Also covered in detail are the range of options for sizes and rigging kits for the Domes. The complete catalogue will go online in September 2001.

ADDA can be found on Stand G37.


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