PLASA EXCLUSIVE: PLASA Publishing has learnt that Technotronics, the West-Yorkshire-based manufacturing company who specialised in lighting effects and control equipment, were declared insolvent at the close of last year. Insolvency practitioners are now dealing with the company's affairs and a meeting of creditors is to be called shortly. Earlier in 1999, the directors of the company established a new company - TTL Distribution Ltd - to help promote and sell its lighting range, but also to distribute complementary products to the trade - principally those of Ultrak UK and Chauvet. TTL Distribution Ltd continues to trade from Technotronics' premises.
PLASA EXCLUSIVE: PLASA Publishing has learnt that Philip Norfolk is to leave Lighting Technology after 12 years with the company. He is relocating to Chicago to take up a position with Tech Lighting, who manufacture low voltage and display lighting. Norfolk will join a team of 120 people and will run their national specification sales and special products.
PA and voice alarm specialist Baldwin Boxall has expanded its sales team. John Spurling has joined the company as a country-wide systems sales executive, and will be responsible for raising awareness of voice alarm systems and all aspects of the company's Vigil systems. Spurling joins Baldwin Boxall from Millbank, where he spent five years as southern region sales manager.
Giant-screen rental company Screenco, and its sister companies around the world, provided screens for a number of high profile Millennium projects. On the big night in the USA, Screenworks, based in LA and Dallas, provided video screens for the 'In Sync' event on Hawaii, shows by both Bette Midler and Barbara Streisand in Las Vegas, the New Year celebrations at the Pasadena Rose Bowl in Los Angeles, a major Christian convention in Houston, Texas and LED screens for Eddie Grant's concert on the island of Tobago. Five screens were used for the celebrations in Berlin, while Screenco Australia provided two 46sq.m CRT screens floating on barges on the Brisbane River, another on the banks of Melbourne's Yarra River, three LED screens for Sydney and one for Cooberpedy Town Square. In the UK, three Screenco mobiles were used at the Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh, while three modular JumboTrons featured in central London.
At last, Chris Mounsor has announced his future intentions in the business after his departure from Audio Visual hire company PSL. Mounsor is to head up a new video rental company, specialising in the field of Camera & Video design and support to the concert touring and music industries. Mounsor has teamed up with industry legend Pat Morrow of Nocturne Inc and Rene De Keyser of XL Video to create Nocturne (Europe) Ltd. The company is currently in negotiations to purchase a 6500sq.ft warehouse in St Albans, and hope to be ensconced by Feb 1st.
Lord Lloyd Webber is to take control of 10 of the West End's leading theatres in a deal said to be worth £85million. The purchase of the Stoll Moss group of theatres, which includes the Garrick, the London Palladium and the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, was carried out by Lloyd Webber and a City financiers NatWest Equity Partners, in order to prevent the venues from falling into the hands of 'money men'.
Danmarks Radio, the national radio and TV broadcaster of Denmark, has bought a complete 10-channel Sony WL-800 series wireless microphone system for use on large-scale musical events across the country, in conjunction with Moto, one of Denmark's leading PA rental companies. Danmarks engineers have reported that the sound quality of the WL-800 UHF technology is so good they have occasionally forgotten they were recording a wireless source, say Sony.
In a bid to attract top name DJs to his club Infinity, on the island of Jersey, owner Gary Dobson, already the owner of three clubs on the island, recently invested in a new sound system. He awarded the contract to London-based installation company, Tarsin Ltd. Dobson visited a number of Tarsin's previous installations on mainland UK, including the recently re-opened Hammersmith Palais with its Nexo Alpha E system, supplied by UK distributor Fuzion. The 1,000-capacity Infinity is split over two levels, plus a mezzanine level on either side. Eight Alpha E B1-18 bass cabs and four E-M mid/hi packs cover the ground floor while a further four B1-18s and a pair of E-Ms cater for the top level. Two more E-Ms fire onto the mezzanine levels, while the DJ, situated at mezzanine level, uses two PS-15s as DJ monitors. Three Crown MA-5000VZ amplifiers power the bottom end and four MA-3600VZs run the mid-highs while an MA-2400 looks after the DJ monitors. Protection, level monitoring and EQ is provided by a Sabine GRQ-3101S Graphi-Q, also supplied by Fuzion.
EAW has become the official sponsor of a technically ground-breaking club night at The Matrix in Reading, where the company's new Avalon sound system recently made its UK debut. The Extra Dimensional Experience (EDX) is held on the first Friday of every month, and uses state-of-the-art mixing techniques for both audio and video to produce what is described as a homogenous, interactive visual and aural experience. Yes, well we've all had those!
The opening of the recently-refurbished Royal Court Theatre on London's Sloane Square has been postponed because the building is not ready. The Theatre was scheduled to re-open on 7 January 2000, following its £25m lottery-funded refurb. This is by no means the first delay - work was originally scheduled to conclude in May of 1998: this was then put back one whole year to May 1999 and then a further six months, to November 1999. When it does eventually open, Lighting & Sound International magazine will bring its readers a full technical review.
One of the country's leading PA distributors, R.W. Salt Communications, has started off the new Year with the appointment of the man they call, 'Mr PA', Harry Greenaway, with responsibility for the company's key distributor accounts. Bob Salt commented: "For the few who don't know Harry, I guarantee you'll always look forward to his next visit. He is a man who may not know all the answers, but he will certainly know a man who does."At the same time, RW Salt has also announced the appointment of David Holt, formerly of Willow Vale and Philips CSS, to establish and run the company's new southern office, which is due to open within the next few weeks. PLASA Publishing will of course have further details nearer the time.
Stageline, the mobile stage specialist, has formed an agreement with Pitstop Barriers Ltd, in order to offer customers in the UK and Ireland a single source for the companies' combined products and services. The complete Stageline product range is now available through Pitstop Barriers for short-term hire, long-term rental or purchase. Products include the SL and SAM series of staging products, as well as the soon-to-be-launched SL100 'smart' mobile stage - a 24ft by 20ft mobile unit with multiple applications.
In an attempt to cut down on drinkers causing noise as they make their way home from a bar in London, they are being encouraged to suck lollipops. A students' union bar in Bloomsbury has introduced the novel idea of giving lollipops to drinkers leaving the bar, after local residents complained about the noise at closing time. The scheme, which is based on the belief that the drinkers are less likely to be able to talk loudly, shout or cause a disturbance whilst they are sucking the sweets, seems to be working. Since the scheme started, complaints about noise have fallen sharply.
Woking-based B&H Production Services recently designed and installed an Infra-Red system for the Skyscape venue adjacent to the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, which features two 2,500-seat auditoriums. Due to the design of the venues, the location points for the IR radiators were limited, and the units were mounted on top of the main flown loudspeaker stacks. Sky, which sponsors Skyscape, will be using one of the auditoriums as its sound stage for filming the world's top 100 bands during 2000. A total of 60 IR receivers are available for the public to use, with the choice of headphones or neck loops. B&H has had long experience of induction loop systems for clients such as Virgin and UCI, and has recently moved into IR systems, using the US-based Williams system.
The new Jazz Hotel and Casino opened recently in New Orleans, with Lumenyte fibre optics playing a large part in the design. The lighting design for the building is by The Elwyn Gee Group of Novato, California, who specified the 42ft runs of BRB-LEF and LEF510M fibre optics as a safety feature inside the handrails on the steps and escalators. This method of lighting was chosen because downlights would have been too intrusive on the themed environment. In another application, Lumenyte was used to detail three of the four entrances of the Terrazzo stone steps.
Multiform Electronics has added the DMX 424 - a 24-channel DMX decoder - to its range of control products. The mains-powered decoder is designed to provide the 10V DC analogue control signals essential for dimmer packs, colour-changers, effects lighting, smoke machines and special effects in systems using the DMX 512 control protocol. The 24 output channels can be set to provide control signals of 0 to +10 volts, or from 0 to -10 volts DC.The unit will decode a block of consecutively numbered channels and the BCD switches select the number of the first DMX channel. Other features include Watchdog and Rx data monitors, test programme and user back-up memory.
Strand Lighting has appointed Phil O'Donnell to the new position of group sales and marketing director. O'Donnell has spent 25 years in the industry, 20 of them with Strand, and has recently been responsible for Strand's operations in the Americas and Asia. The development is aimed at improving co-ordination across all Strand companies globally, and to provide a closer liaison with R&D in the creation of new product.
Jands Electronics has launched the new Hog 500 lighting console, a lower-budget version of the Echelon 1K, which was first shown at Entech 1998 in Sydney and has since been selling well worldwide. Features such as auto-menus and palettes for beam, colour, position and groups make initial programming of the Hog 500 fast and easy, while user-definable fixture libraries and auto-menus make patching and set-up very simple. Any cue can quickly be called from memory. 512 control channels are available, and a MIDI interface allows allows reception of MIDI show control, notes, timecode and command strings. A standard 3.5" floppy disk is available for show storage.
Netherlands-based companies Focus Showequipment BV and Jansen & Jansen have combined forces, and will now operate under the sole name of Focus Showequipment BV. The move has been made in order to combine the areas of expertise in lighting, sound and studio facilities developed by the two companies over the past 25 years. In addition, the company will alter the way it deals with projects to provide a segmented approach, fully utilising its various fields of expertise.
Cerwin Vega! has introduced the SUB-15, a compact, direct-radiating 15" sub-woofer which, the company claims, matches the performance of products usually twice the size and price. The high-powered enclosure (500W programme, 1000W peak) offers an attractive advantage to installers, say Cerwin. The SUB-15 is available exclusively in the UK through its distributor Lamba plc.
Barry Seiden has joined New York-based Gem Sound as director of sales and marketing. Seiden has spent over 20 years in the pro lighting and sound industry, having worked as a DJ, retailer, manufacturer and sales representative. He has worked for companies such as Denon, Numark, Ness and Gemini Sound Products.
Penn Fabrication Inc was responsible for the 20ft diameter Christmas wreath which was installed on The White House in Washington DC. Designer Robert Isabel used Penn's 10 inch box truss system to construct a strong, rigid structure that would withstand the elements but also be relatively lightweight and easy to work with. Sapsis Rigging of Philadelphia, PA were responsible for the installation using cranes to lift the massive wreath onto the second storey portico of The White House.
Marquee Audio has informed PLASA Publishing of a new deal with Digidesign distributor Mediaspec UK, which will see the company offering a sales and support operation for Digidesign's fifth generation ProTools product in London and the South of England. Mediaspec's Pete Eaglesfield said of the deal: "From this vantage point, both companies benefit from an extended product portfolio and client base but most importantly, by working together, we are able to offer a highly skilled structure of support." Marquee's new training suite forms the focus of Mediaspec's southern operation. The facility features the new ProTools system, state-of-the-art digital consoles from Mackie, Soundcraft and Yamaha, a JBL 5.1 surround system and a host of other high end pro audio equipment. 'Marquee's Spencer Brooks (left) and Mediaspec's Peter Eaglesfield at Marquee's demo facility')
Neutrik USA, Inc and parent company, Neutrik AG, have filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Switchcraft, Inc over the Neutrik Speakon product line. The federal suit, filed in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, seeks a remedy for Switchcraft's infringement of Neutrik US Patent No. 5205749 directed specifically to an electric plug-in socket that covers the company's Speakon connector line. The litigation seeks to enjoin Switchcraft from selling its HPC (High Power Connector) line, leading to a permanent injunction and possible financial compensation. Neutrik also claims that Switchcraft has made trademark infringements on the promotion of its HPC line.