Pan-european AV equipment rental company Heuvelman Ltd, has opened a London office. Using the latest equipment, Heuvelman supply a wide range of businesses including hotels, broadcasters, corporate clients, conference and event venues with technical equipment ranging from a single projector to full state-of-the-art installations. Voting systems, teleconferencing and IT rental are also supplied by the company.
In the final stages of a major revamp of its distributor network, Celestion has appointed Lyd-Systemer as its representative in Norway. Lyd-Systemer is one of Norway’s leading pro-audio distribution companies, and carries Amek, DPA Microphones, EAW and TC Electronics in its portfolio. Managing director Terje Engedahl anticipates that "Celestion will be attractive to the large number of Norwegian end-users looking for cost-effective background and foreground music solutions. This will include the entertainment venues, bars, clubs and restaurants, but also the installation customers, especially in the retail sector."
Edwin Shirley Staging, the international concert staging company, has won the contract to provide staging for Tom Jones, Sting, The Beach Boys and other high profile, international pop stars as part of a UK tour this summer. The concerts will be held at Warwick Castle and Cardiff Castle towards the end of July. ESS is set to build an 18m by 18m stage in the grounds of Warwick Castle for three concerts which will feature performances from The Beach Boys and Status Quo (20 July), Van Morrison (21 July) and Tom Jones (22 July). All three concerts are already sold out and will attract audiences of more than 30,000. The staging will then be dismantled and re-assembled in time for a series of concerts the following week-end inside the grounds of Cardiff Castle, where Sting and Tom Jones will be performing in front of an audience of 10,000. The BBC will be broadcasting Tom Jones’s performance live in Wales.
At the 10th annual British Entertainment & Discotheque Association Awards, held in Birmingham, the Mackie Fussion System walked off with the top award of the evening when it was voted Product of the Year 2001.
The BEDA/Miller awards are voted upon by members of the association and a panel of judges. The judges had the following to say about the system. "Mackie's high-output active speaker system has made a major impact in late night venues across the UK. Combining high precision transducers with application specific amplifier technology, the system is capable of generating extreme output levels with incredibly low distortion levels. Its in-built amplification allows for ease of installation and minimal signal loss."
When the Science Museum decided to replace the Steel House exhibit with a capsule identical to the ones currently in use on The London Eye on the Thames, it called on the services of Unusual Rigging. The work involved entailed lowering the house, dismantling and removing it, bringing in the capsule, building it and hanging it. Directly below the space where the steel house was hanging was a large beam engine, which could not be moved and also had to remain visible as an active exhibit during the install. The Unusual team had to carry out all the work during nights as any impact on the normal running of the museum was unacceptable.
A large truss table was constructed above the beam engine. Once this was built, the Steel House was lowered onto the working platform and then dismantled. The component parts were lowered over the side of the platform using a chain hoist, suspended from the roof of the building. The capsule arrived in two parts. The first consisted of the side pieces and the second was a flatbed, with the top and bottom of the capsule.
The upper and lower sections of the capsule were delivered in individual L-shaped steel frames. These were too high for the access doors of the museum, so Unusual devised a way of getting the units in by extending the lower edge of the frame and rotating the shell 45 degrees, hence reducing the overall height. Once in the building, this rotation process was reversed, because there was sufficient height in the museum to get the exhibit to its destination, but insufficient gangway width. Four riggers were used to install suspensi
A redesign of the playing area at the Royal Shakespeare Company's Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon for the 2001 season meant that a completely new repertoire lighting rig was required. And, when designing that rig, the RSC's head of lighting Vince Herbert and lighting designer Peter Mumford saw the potential for some new lighting opportunities, they turned to The Moving Light Company for advice.
Their plan was to move beyond the increasingly-standard use of automated lighting: as well as having the lights pointing themselves in different directions from fixed positions, they wanted the lights themselves to move! The tracking system for the lights was to be created by the RSC, with the drives and control provided by automation specialists Stage Technologies. Dave Isherwood from The Moving Light Company was able to show the RSC the wide range of equipment held in MLCo's stock. After careful examination, they opted for the High End Studio Color washlight, settling on a system of 12 Studio Color Ms with magnetic power supply, and six Studio Color Ss with electronic power supply and the position correction system. The Studio Colors are arranged over both horizontal and vertical tracks, allowing the widest possible range of lighting angles from a relatively minimal rig. Controlled from the theatre's Strand 500-series control system, installed in 1998 by White Light and The Service Company, the new rig has already been put to use by a wide range of lighting designers, including Peter Mumford, Pat Collins and Ben Ormerod.
Anyone interested in seeing the next development in the us
Caroline Travis has been recruited by the SNP Group as marketing support executive. She joins from internet content delivery company Akamai Technologies where she gained valuable marketing experience. SNP Group is at the forefront of data/videowall technology in Europe and is currently undergoing a considerable expansion programme. Caroline will be assisting Emily Mardon-Taylor in all areas of the marketing portfolio, in particular with the development and maintenance of the website.
The new CCS 800 compact discussion system from Philips CSI provides an easy and affordable way to improve the management of meetings and conferences. It also comes with an extra incentive - a free delegate unit for every 10 delegate/chairman units purchased.
The CCS 800 is suited to small to medium-sized applications for up to 100 delegates. Each delegate unit comes complete with built-in microphone, loudspeaker and two headphone sockets with volume control. Optional units have an additional priority override button which cuts off all other speakers when pressed, allowing meetings to be managed more effectively. Other optional features include simultaneous translation facilities, remote participation by telephone and linking to a PA system for broadcasting proceedings to a larger audience. The CCS 800 interfaces easily with external equipment to extend its capabilities. For instance, a graphic equaliser can be added to match ambient acoustics, and a public address system used to broadcast proceedings to a larger audience. Additional microphones (wired or wireless) can be allocated to guest speakers or for audience participation, and proceedings can be recorded and played-back via a tape recorder. Remote delegates can also participate by telephone (or video conference) via a telephone coupler, and a background music source can be connected to create an atmosphere or fill in gaps. Interpretation and language distribution facilities can also be added when required.
Music with walls? Music without instruments? is the title of an international conference attended by 100 delegates and speakers from Europe and the US. The conference opens today at the De Montfort University (DMU) in Leicester and runs until Saturday.
"This is a high-level conference where we will be looking at the future of how music is composed and technological and music innovations," said Professor Andrew Hugill. He is one of the conference organisers, along with Professor Leigh Landy who heads the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Group at DMU. The conference will feature musical installations, listening posts, an internet station for interactive music-making, and musical performances at Phoenix Arts, Leicester. There will be four concerts and six installations throughout the conference, including ‘Time Drops’ by Akemi Ishijima - a continuously running soundscape. Highlights of the programme at Phoenix Arts include Barry Truax who is curating an eight-channel sound concert with channels being used to create a sense of motion around the room and Paul Rudy who performs with a cactus wired for sound which is projected around the auditorium. One of the issues explored at the conference will be the concept of composing music via the internet.
For the fifteenth year DHA Lighting will be exhibiting at PLASA.
PLASA will see the launch of DHA’s new YoYo+, ideal for revealing images and for creating effects such as sun rises, opening doors and windows, bouncing balls and floating balloons. Available in single and double versions, with the option of a gobo-changer on the double design, the YoYo+ was initially designed for the current production of My Fair Lady, in which it has been used to create a window effect on stage. Using ETC Source Fours, each with a distortion corrected glass window gobo with a net curtain, the YoYo+ gobo has a heavy curtain profile - when Higgins pulls a rope all four curtains 'open' to reveal the window patterns and the room floods with light.
Continuing on from last year’s success, DHA Lighting will be conducting lighting effects workshops in the Kensington Room on Wednesday 12 September. Also building on the success of last year’s event, DHA will also be hosting a PLASA party (invitation only) to celebrate its 30th birthday.
DHA Lighting - Stand F14
The long-awaited new movie from acclaimed director Robert Altman - Gosford Park - has just completed shooting using very complex audio multi-track recording. Set in the thirties, with an all-star cast including Alan Bates, Stephen Fry, Sir Michael Gambon, Richard E. Grant, Sir Derek Jacobi, Helen Mirren, Dame Maggie Smith, Charles Dance and many more, this film seems certain to be a box office winner.
Director Altman is well known in movie sound circles as the man who ‘invented’ multi-track dialogue recording in feature films. In its basic form, each actor wears a radio microphone and is recorded separately on a multi-track system. During more complex scenes, many different conversations can take place simultaneously, and are filmed by two or more moving cameras. The audio is then reconstructed in post-production from the radio mic tracks and booms. Peter Glossop was in charge of the audio and recording on Gosford Park, which was shot on location in north London and Shepperton. Glossop has perfected the technique of multi-track recording and received the coveted MPSE Golden Reel award for his work on Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet. He was later nominated for an Oscar for Shakespeare in Love and since then he has used multi track techniques continually including on his latest film, the blockbuster The Mummy Returns.
Glossop’s complex recording technique makes enormous demands on the microphones. At times during Gosford Park, we were using 16 Audio Ltd radio mics - 8 channel 69, 4 channel 36 and 4 VHF," he recalls. "One of the main problems wa
Nearly 19 years after they vowed never to play live again, Roxy Music ended years of seemingly endless speculation with the announcement that they would be back on the road this year with their original line-up. Also back is producer Rhett Davies, who has been drafted in as sound director for the tour. Rhett has worked with an impressive and varied roster of artists over the years, including Dire Straits, Brian Eno, Talking Heads and the B52s.
Rhett and Levi Tecofski (FOH mixer) will be using three Mackie HDR24/96 recorders to record the entire Roxy tour. All the concerts will have every feed sent to the HDRs, which in turn will provide a full 72 tracks of new recordings at every stop. The band will be performing songs from an impressive portfolio that includes such hits as Avalon, More Than This, Jealous Guy, Angel Eyes, Dance Away, Love is the Drug, and of course, the seminal Virginia Plain.
The tour kicked off in the UK on June 11th in Glasgow. Additional stops include Newcastle, Nottingham, Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester and three nights at Wembley Arena beginning tomorrow night. On July 17th, the tour moves to North America where stops include Boston, New York, Atlanta, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The third leg includes three nights in Tokyo beginning September 7th returning for more European dates and a final gig in Dortmund, Germany, on September 21st.
Direct marketing company Smart Sound Direct, has introduced the latest in its line of ancillary equipment. The Chameleon CF8 mains distribution unit/high frequency filter is designed to sit quietly within any sound system fending off those inherent mains born nasties such as high frequency ‘spikes’ and ‘saw tooth wave’ beasties living within the power supplies. Using Chameleon evolved precision winding techniques, far more mains filtration is now possible than previously achieved for a unit of this size and weight. The compact close coupled design allows 1U rack models to be fitted with Neutrik 15 amp Powercon sockets feeding up to eight appliances, or alternatively a 2U design featuring six 13 amp outlets.
Neil Finn, of Crowded House and Split Enz fame, has been busy touring an entertaining live show with some semi-legendary muso mates and a very flexible format. L&SI caught up with him in New Zealand and the UK, courtesy of Catriona Strom and Steve Moles . . .
Auckland’s St James Theatre was the setting for the start of the Neil Finn & Friends shows, which featured a line-up including Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien and Phil Selway, Johnny Marr and Sebastian Steinberg on electric and double bass, and Lisa Germano doing vocals and a number of instruments.
Oceania Audio supplied sound, with the company’s Paul Jeffery acting as both technical manager and monitor engineer. "The concert was certainly a challenge," said Jeffery, "but having worked, off and on, for Split Enz and Crowded House for many years, I’m quite familiar with the way Neil operates."
To complicate matters, three guest performers, could be on stage at any one time. For flexibility, Jeffery chose a Midas Heritage monitor console, along with XTA graphic EQ, Lexicon MPX1 reverbs, and Drawmer gates. "We ran 12 sends of monitors with proprietary cabinets housing 12" and 2" JBL drivers," said Paul. "It was a very unpredictable time in monitor world - people were constantly being brought on and off the stage with guitars being swapped around. It was an exciting show."
The male vocalists were all on Shure Beta 58A microphones. A Turbosound Flash/Flood system was spec’d: the theatre’s upper level feat
CP Sound has just completed the installation of an innovative new lighting rig, plus a re-invention and design of the sound system incorporating several new elements at The Core in Yeovil, Somerset. The club - formerly known as Duke’s - is owned by locally-based independent operator Terry Clare. Steve Howie from Howie Design was commissioned to produce the interior design, basing his themeing on ideas triggered from the complex and world of the cult 1999 Warchowski Brothers movie, The Matrix.
Audio-wise at the Core, CP Sound’s Colin Pattenden utilised as much as possible of the existing installation, whilst also addressing the previous system’s serious lack of bass. He added four JBL MS125S cabinets to the room, complete with new RSE PFX 1200 clip control amplifiers. CP Sound also added a DJ monitor where previously there was none - plus two JBL top cabinets for infill, and another two RSE amps, plus a Formula Sound AVC2 limiter.
The lighting installation was also designed by Colin Pattenden working with Ian McLaughlan. Over the bars are a series of fibreglass armadillos (for those Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas moments) and between each is a fibreglass pod - six in total. Each pod has an Opti Solar 250 projector with oil wheel behind it, shining through the centre section of the pod - with the effect of making the pod appear to be moving and ‘growing’ inside. Opposite the bar are two more pods, with a further four over the dancefloor - each pod with its own Solar 250. Solar 250s are again used with oil wheels over the stairwell and behind
Bytecraft announced recently that whilst earlier this year it had injected much needed capital into UK company Caire Ltd, in order to protect staff and creditors of that company it was now putting Caire into liquidation. "Bytecraft feels that liquidation is the only responsible course of action," said general manager John Rowland in London. "Because of a long-standing relationship with the Caire parent company, and also because we had bid several projects with Caire Ltd, we felt we needed to help the company when it ran short of funds," Rowland added.
Earlier this year, Bytecraft has injected £60,000 into the troubled company and had, in fact, been implementing Stage 5 of its international strategy that called for a permanent presence in the UK. An investment position in Caire Ltd added value to the opening of a UK daughter company Bytecraft Europe with potential to deliver some inter-company business. "When analysing the sales opportunities and current order book, an investment in Caire Ltd appeared sound. We could never have anticipated the recent turn of events," Rowland said. "The largest creditor and debtor to Caire Ltd is Caire SA and the directors were unable to agree on a payment schedule. We therefore had no alternative than to take the onerous, but responsible, decision to close the company."
"Bytecraft Automation has been negotiating several contracts separately from Caire Ltd. These contracts are being put together by our UK staff, but are contracted and funded by Bytecraft HQ in Melbourne, Australia. These unfo
In true Vegas-style, Tomcat unveiled its new Las Vegas office in mid May. The grand opening of the new office in the Western region of the United States lasted the entire afternoon with over 40 representatives from surrounding companies and various media visiting the new facility. The new site will carry over 200 sections of standard truss products in stock at all times, as well as over 50 Columbus McKinnon Lodestar motors and various rigging accessories. The new office comes hot on the heels of the opening of Storm at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino where the Tomcat family of companies manufactured essential parts of the special effects. The new office is located in an industrial section of Las Vegas at 4020 Ali Baba Lane, Bldg D Suite A about two miles off the Southwest end of Las Vegas Boulevard. The office consists of two staff members, Sharon Ozzolek, sales assistant, and Brian Wise, hoist technician.
Lightfactor has recently supplied lighting and control equipment to St Paul’s Church in Hammersmith. The church is a large 1000-capacity building, constructed in 1880 and the current lighting refit is part of the church’s ongoing programme of events, designed to involve and stimulate participation from the local community. The need for dramatic, theatrical-style lighting is a growing one, with services frequently featuring live music and performers. As part of the technical refit, Lightfactor supplied four LightProcessor Paradime rack-mounting dimmers and a LightProcessor Q24 control desk - now utilised to control the concert lighting system. At the same time St Pauls’ have also purchased three Paradime Wall packs and four architectural remote button plates to control the ‘house’ lights for every day services and functions.
The perfect time to show off High End Systems' hottest products is during the hottest time of the year in Texas. During July 11-12, High End Systems is inviting all interested parties to see the latest new offerings at its Lone Star headquarters in Austin. From 3-6 pm on both days, visitors can chill out with the High End team with cold beverages and hors d'oeuvres while watching demos of x.Spot, EC-2, Handshake, Indy 575, Color Pro and Studio Beam. The office is located at 2217 West Braker Lane, Austin, Texas 78758. Anybody wishing to attend should call the special reservations hotline at +1 877-468-1693.
Zero 88's newly appointed Dutch dealers, Rolight Theatertechnik have hosted the first in a series of Zero 88 open days in Holland. The theme of the two-day event was of partnership, with a renewed emphasis on servicing the needs of the Dutch lighting market. On the first day, Tim Burt Zero 88's product manager, met with representatives from Rolight Theatertechnik and the six main Zero 88 trading partners in Holland. The meeting gave the customers a good opportunity to see the latest developments in the product range and also to discuss future requirements. The second day was very much a hands-on experience where a large number of visitors from all sectors of the industry were given the chance to see and use the wide range of products that Zero 88 now produces. Rolight and the main Zero 88 trading partners, will be running further open days around Holland where the product range will be on display.
MA Lighting has extended its product range with another innovative new console, the grandMA ultra-light, which neatly plugs gap between grandMA light and the well-known Scancommander.
The compact desk offers 1024 control channnels (two DMX lines) and most of the software and programming features of the grandMA light. It uses the same future-oriented grandMA software and is therefore compatible with other show files. The console features a full-color TFT touchscreen, 10 manual executor faders, 10 executor buttons, four encoders and a single multi-functional trackball (for mouse and wheel-operation). It has Ethernet, MIDI and timecode, together with a floppy and a built-in hard-disk. Two control desks (also in combination with other grandMA range controllers) can be linked for full tracking back-up or playback tracking in order to increase the channel count. In comparison to grandMA light, the ultra-light version comes without a UPS (uninterruptable power supply) and cannot be upgraded to more control channels.
MA Lighting - Stand J12
Drawmer has introduced the six-pack - a 3U, six channel multi-dynamics processor which features comprehensive universal linking technology designed specifically for surround-sound application. The unit can be configured so that any combination of channels can be linked to track each other's levels preventing image shift. For example, front left/right and rear left/right can be configured as two stereo pairs with individual channel control over both centre and sub-bass (LFE). Channel six offers the option of a switchable 120Hz low-pass filter in order that a sub-bass (LFE) channel may be derived from a five channel surround mix. Each channel comprises a soft knee compressor with switchable Auto or Manual Attack and Release, a variable threshold limiter and a 'Programme Adaptive' Expander/Gate with a variable release time of up to five seconds to retain reverberation tails where necessary. LEDs show link status and comprehensive bargraph metering displays all dynamic functions.
Late May saw the 45th anniversary of the inception of the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme commemorated at the Royal Albert Hall, an event which also formed the only official public recognition of Prince Philip's 80th birthday, televised as ‘80 Years a Royal Celebration’. Following a long-standing working relationship, Visage Television commissioned Blackout Triple E to supply a 40m x12m rental starcloth, as well as rigging from which to suspend a 1.6 ton LVP110 LED screen supplied by Creative Technology. Dominic Peissel, MD of Blackout France handled the production management of the event.
PLASA held its most successful AGM to date on Thursday 14 June in the stunning setting of Coombe Abbey, near Coventry. Just under 70 Members attended, including for the first time, a number of Associate Members.
During the AGM, both PLASA Chairman Mick Hannaford and Treasurer Sammy de Havilland reported a successful year for the Association, covering the range of initiatives that had been introduced in the past 12 months. In his keynote speech Chairman Mick Hannaford reflected on the changes taking place within the industry and the need for companies to equip themselves to cope with a rapidly changing world. He emphasized the role that PLASA had to play in this and also stressed the need for more training, an ambition that the Association has given a further boost to with the recent establishment of its training and education steering group. In a reference to the increasing concern about copyright infringement, he also told Members of the Association’s plans to introduce a low cost design registration scheme next year. Following the AGM, members were given a presentation on the future strategy of the Association by managing director Matthew Griffiths. He made reference to the recently completed Industry Research, commissioned by PLASA to give its members immediate facts and figures about the size and potential growth of the industry, which had suggested that the entertainment and venue technology industry was worth £10billion worldwide.
Following the AGM, Members decamped to a number of break-out sessions covering the PLASA Show, Standards and Member Services, wh