The team behind Starlight Express, now in its 17th year at London's Apollo Victoria Theatre, have decided to update the show’s lighting rig. After adding High End Intellabeams back in 1993, lighting designer David Hersey and the show's original production electrician, Howard Eaton, returned this year to update the lighting rig once again. This time they opted to replace the Intellabeams with equipment from Martin Professional.
The Moving Light Company were called upon to supply the production with 24 Martin MAC 500s and three of the new MAC 2000 units. In addition, they supplied two DHA Pitching Digital Light Curtains, which provide a dramatic new way of lighting the spectacular bridge which forms the centrepiece of John Napier's set design. The changes to the lighting rig were made in a tight 10-day period when the production closed temporarily to allow the auditorium to be re-carpeted and re-seated, during which time Eaton and his team also took the opportunity to upgrade the dimmers and lighting control system, with the rig now controlled by the Rosco-ET Horizon lighting controller.
Horizon programming was in the hands of Robert Bell, one of the creators of the WYSIWYG lighting visualisation software and now Horizon's product manager, who worked with David Hersey and Howard Eaton to relight the show using the new equipment in a very hectic final three days.
The arrival of the new WORKS line at Fuzion (see today’s Product News) coincides entirely by design with the appointment of Linton Smeeton, former sales director of RCF. Smeeton was specifically recruited to take on the position of brand manager for the WORKS line and will be responsible for specifying the new brand into jobs. Smeeton commented: "I am delighted to be working in an area of the market I know very well, although the WORKS brand is new to me. However, I'm pleased to say that as well as the listening tests conducted here, Fuzion took the precaution of testing the products extensively in real world sites and found that the range acquitted itself extremely well. The range looks good and sounds good, so I'm looking forward to getting out there and selling it."
Fuzion director Paul Ward commented: "Linton will be doing what he does best, and that is getting out in front of customers with the product. He's dealing with a product type he knows inside out and respect for him in the industry is enormous, so we couldn't be better placed to give the brand a flying start."
UK distributor Fuzion has announced the addition of a new brand to its portfolio. WORKS is a brand of loudspeakers and signal processing equipment from Spanish company Equipson, based in Valencia, specifically aimed at the pub/club and bar/restaurant market. According to Fuzion sales director Paul Ward, Fuzion has been looking for a product to address this area of the market for some time. "We are recognised for supplying high quality, high end equipment and for being a company that provides solutions for its customers, but we are aware of certain gaps in our product portfolio which have inhibited us from being able to supply complete systems to certain market areas. In loudspeaker terms we have not been able to offer customers anything below a Nexo PS-8, even though we have a thriving amplifier business in the bar/pub/club sector with certain ranges from Crown. Having WORKS on board means that we can at last offer customers a cost-effective, aesthetically pleasing and, most importantly, reliable solution for the mid-range market as part of a complete package."
Fuzion has also announced the appointment of Linton Smeeton, well-known from his previous role at RCF UK, to head up sales of the WORKS line (see today’s People News).
The Berkeley Repertory Theater in Berkeley, California, has chosen a Level Control Systems (LCS) CueConsole at front-of-house to control three remotely-located LCS Matrix3 LX-300 audio engines in its new, state-of-the-art ‘Theater Next Door’. This 600-seat proscenium theatre complements the existing 400-seat thrust stage. Theatrical consultants Auerbach + Associates managed the overall design. The theater purchased a 40-by-32 CueConsole with a Transporter module, an Editor Module, two Faders modules, and three Meters+ modules. The Transporter module features cue list control and master faders, the Editor module provides instant access to each channel's processing, automation, and assignments, each Faders module adds 16 motorized re-mappable faders, and each Meters+ module contributes 16 assignable meters and a variety of control over important functions.
BSS Audio has released the Soundweb 9008 Networked Signal Processor - the latest device in the Soundweb family. Identical in functionality to a standard 9088ii device in terms of networking and DSP processing, the 9008 only has eight analogue outputs, and no inputs. This makes it a highly cost-effective way of designing systems that require a much larger ratio of outputs to inputs. A system now will typically use 9088ii's devices to provide the basic input and output capacity, with 9008 modules being added to provide further outputs. The release of the 9008 is accompanied by Soundweb Designer V1.22, which includes a number of new facilities and features. Auto On Line automatically loads a designated design file into Designer when the program is started, and then goes on-line to the network and loads data to the devices. Security facilities may be enabled to prevent unauthorized access. Secure Login/Logout allows users to log out and then into a design as a different user without closing and re-opening the design file. The Full Screen mode allows a map window to be enlarged to full screen, enabling the construction of larger control panels, with all the normal Designer menu items hidden from view. When used with the Auto On Line function above, designers can create secure systems that will automatically load control panels, which can be safely used on touch-screens, for example. A new DSP object, the Modulator, has been added, which has two inputs and a single output (the output being the product of the two inputs).
Since purchase at the Playlight London Auction, two fully working flightcased Clay Paky Golden Scan 3's have been stolen. They were removed from the Playlight London Warehouse between Thursday 31st May and Wednesday 6 June. One case has a distinctive splattering of magnolia paint and may still have auction lot stickers attached. It is likely that these will sold on at a low price. If anyone is offered these items for sale, or has any information regarding their whereabouts, please contact Chris Hatton on +44 07887 933 357.
PLASA has completed the first phase of its major industry research project, which will provide PLASA members with an invaluable insight into their industry. As well as being able to estimate the global market size for professional lighting, sound, staging and AV products and services, the research also gives a very detailed picture of the market in the UK. For the first time, PLASA has information about the value of the product sectors, how fast they are growing and the size and growth of the various vertical sectors into which its members sell. The findings enable the Association to say some very precise things about its members collectively and the nature of the industry as a whole.
PLASA plans to repeat the exercise every 12 months, enabling it to build up ever-more accurate trend information. A quick flick through the 119-page report reveals that it estimates the respective size by revenue of PLASA’s four main product sectors: light, sound, AV and staging; gives growth figures for this year and next across the four product sectors; breaks the sectors down into sales and rental; includes information on revenue from the provision of services such as installation, design and servicing; sizes the target market sectors and indicates which are the healthiest and the fastest growing; includes information on average company size by staff, investment in training, R&D and marketing.
Members who took part in the survey will shortly receive a free 22-page copy of the overview, together with the opportunity to buy the detailed sections. Members who didn’t take part w
The Bishop of Matabeleland, The Rt. Revd. Wilson Sitshebo in Zimbabwe, took part in a special service at St Asaph Cathedral in Wales, via a live telephone link provided by Apple Sound. The service on 20 May was led by the Bishop of St Asaph, The Rt. Revd. John Stewart Davies, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of The United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. The Revd. Bethan Scotford, USPG Mission Adviser for the Church in Wales said: "Apple Sound understood our requirements and the precise timing within the celebratory service. As a total technophobe, my dream of having a live link with Africa was well and truly in the hands of Apple Sound. The end result delighted everybody in the Cathedral . . . It created a unique and unforgettable event for us in our celebrations of a World-wide agency. We are very grateful to Apple Sound for their sterling work in this instance and we look forward to future collaboration with them."
The live linkup was made possible using Gentner Audio Perfect teleconferencing equipment, which was integrated into the existing Cathedral sound system by Apple Sound.
ESS Superstructure has secured a major contract to build a vast 2,500sq.m superstructure building for a high profile, blue chip corporate event. The contract is the first for ESS Superstructure following the recent formation of a joint venture between ESS Ltd and The Pure Group. An ESS Superstructure building will be used initially by HP:ICM, one of Europe's leading live communication companies, for a client event involving a global brand. Two thousand delegates are expected to attend a one-day management conference, which will be followed by an elaborate gala dinner to be hosted in the superstructure building. The huge aluminium transparent structure, which is 100m long by 25m wide and 11m high, is based in the grounds of Syon Park in west London. Managed by The Pure Group, the Superstructure will be available for hire as a conference and corporate hospitality venue, in conjunction with a second structure, also commissioned for the site. ESS Superstructure and The Pure Group are in discussion with other sites in London to provide fully-serviced building structures ranging from 900 to 3,000sq.m for conference and corporate hospitality events. Both businesses have been approached about numerous event activities during 2001, particularly between September and December. Tim Norman, director of ESS Superstructure Ltd, said: "This contract win underlines our capability to handle major events. London is suffering from a dearth of large-scale venues. ESS Superstructure is well placed to meet this current demand by providing high quality, fully serviced, custom built venues. T
This month sees the launch of a new promotions company specialising in the UK audio industry, simply titled ‘Ideas Marketing’. The new company, which will offer a wide range of marketing services, including public relations, graphic design, corporate hospitality, presentations, media liaison and exhibition co-ordination, is the brainchild of Nick Powell, known to many in the industry from his previous role as marketing manager for Audio-Technica. Powell brings a wealth of pro audio and music industry contacts to Ideas, and is experienced in promoting audio products to both end-user and business clients alike. He is joined in the new company by his wife Stacey, who has a more general marketing background, having gained experience of working with national media through her role as PR Officer for the Environment Agency. Of the new venture, Nick said "Our understanding of the marketplace is just one benefit of Ideas - knowing that promoting the client's product or brand does not stop at PR is another. Ideas will actively seek promotional opportunities for its clients, and will identify and deliver customers to their sales team." Ideas is seeking a small, but complementary portfolio of clients, and would be delighted to hear from companies who would like to learn more about the marketing services on offer.
Coe-tech Ltd has appointed FPD Savills to hold a two-day public auction/stock clearance sale to make way for the latest range of new Coe-tech products. The auction will take place at Coe-tech’s premises in Northampton on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 July 2001. It will feature over 3000 lots of all types of professional sound, lighting, AV and special effects equipment. Viewing day is Tuesday 24 July 2001 from between 9am to 4pm. The diverse array of equipment for sale will include intelligent lighting; moving head luminaires; discothèque lighting; architectural colour changers; theatre lighting including followspots, profiles and fresnels; trussing; video equipment - cameras, switchers and video walls; sound processing equipment; loudspeakers; power distribution and cables. For Further Information and catalogues, please contact: FPD Savills, 4 St. Peter’s Gate, Nottingham, NG1 2JG, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 115 934 8100 Fax: +44 (0) 115 934 8003.
As part of an extensive fire alarm and evacuation system for the Eden Project in Cornwall, a Baldwin Boxall decentralised Vigil voice alarm system has been installed within the entire site, which includes the Central Control House and Biomes. This first phase voice alarm system which is installed in the Visitor Centre, now the Central Control House, contains over 600W of amplification and provides all aspects of a voice alarm system - as well as creating a cost-effective public address system. The 21U high rack contains the BVR20 ‘Microdrive’ routing mixer, which also links up all the other racks (phase two) within the 14 hectare site by a data highway. The phase two VA system was installed prior to the whole site being opened to the public in Spring 2001 and comprises two 47U racks, which contain over 6,500W of amplification and a BVR20 routing mixer. The system provides all aspects associated with VA, paging and background sound effects. Now fully commissioned both phases will work in conjunction with each other and control over 14 zones including all biomes, Central Control House and the link between biomes.
Spector Lumenex Ltd, a privately-owned safety communications company, has been acquired by Tyco and will be integrated into its Fire & Security’s Engineering Services Group of its Wormald Ansul (UK) division. Spector Lumenex, with reported revenues of £6 million in 2000, is a leader in voice alarm, public address and intercom systems. The company specialises in the field of hazardous area products, particularly for clients in the oil and gas, petrochemical and marine industries. "The customers of Spector Lumenex are identical to those served by Tyco Fire & Security and their products very complementary to the ‘Avalon’ name, a well-known brand already in our portfolio," said Mark Clegg, director and general Manager of the Tyco Fire & Security’s Engineering Services group. "Spector Lumenex not only brings additional UK coverage, but will allow us to increase the scope of products and services we can supply to our customers."
Tyco International Ltd is the world's largest manufacturer and installer of fire and safety systems and the largest provider of electronic security services in North America and the UK. The company operates in more than 100 countries and employs over 200,000 people. Wormald Ansul (UK) has annual revenues in excess of £200 million and employs 2,190 people around the UK and is owned by Tyco International Ltd.
Star Hire (Event Services) Ltd supplied its SS 15 12 mobile stage to the BBC for the Russell Watson at BBC Music Live concert, with highlights shown on BBC1 on Bank Holiday Monday to 3.7 million viewers. A sell-out audience of over 2,000 fans enjoyed the concert. The event took place in Leeds’ Millennium Square on Friday 25 May, and was the first seated concert to be hosted there. Leeds Council has invested in the region of £13million in the city centre event site, with facilities that include artists’ dressing rooms and hospitality area located beneath the stage area of the square.
The SS 15 12 stage supplied is the largest of Star Hire’s mobile fleet of stages, with over 175sq.m floor area, standing 12m high; it was flanked by its own PA wings, which supported a Wigwam PA system on this show. The time-frame for the event saw Star Hire’s staff, under newly appointed SS 15 12 crew boss Graham Drew, install the stage on the Thursday in just six hours, and more impressively, have it down and clear of the Millennium Square a mere 12 hours after the end of the show.
Telford-based broadcast sound equipment supplier Soundsense received the vote of UK broadcasters covering the General Election. The firm's rental department supplied over 30 ISDN outside broadcast kits to radio stations around the country, including BBC Radio 5 Live who were supplied with over 20 units for their election night coverage. Soundsense supplied a combination of AEQ and Glensound codecs; the AEQ units being flown in from the factory in Madrid especially for use on the election campaign. "We're deeply indebted to our colleagues at AEQ who moved heaven and earth to ensure we had adequate units in the right place at the right time," said Soundsense spokesman Derek Tallent. "It allowed us to prove to our customers that once again Soundsense is a key supplier to the broadcast industry."
In addition to supplying units directly to broadcasters, Soundsense is also establishing a trade hire department to accommodate the growing number of requests it is receiving from other hire companies for its ISDN Codecs and Telephone Hybrids. "With the growing number of requests we were getting, it made sense to try and accommodate the requirements of our colleagues in the hire industry," said Tallent.
Mass Audio Visual, of Burlington, Massachusetts, has appointed Skip Bensley as a new account executive. ‘Skip’ brings over 15 years of audio-visual industry sales experience to massAV. His background includes positions with COMSYS, Harvard University, MatchPoint Systems, and Projection Presentation Technology, where he managed numerous national AV accounts during his tenure. He has experience with a large corporate client base, including Key3 Media, Staples, Computer Associates, and DCI Incorporated. His knowledge of managing large-scale production events and general sessions will extend to current and future massAV clients.
QSC Audio will debut its new eight-channel CX-168 power amplifier at INFOCOMM in Las Vegas, June 13-15. The new CX-168 features eight channels rated at 90W per channel at 8 ohms and 130W per channel at 4 ohms in a compact 2U chassis. For added flexibility, each pair of channels may be bridged to deliver up to 260W at 8 ohms. The CX-168 includes contractor-specific features that are standard among QSC’s entire CX Series, including detachable Phoenix-style input connectors that enable the system to be pre-wired prior to rack mounting. Other features include 1-dB recessed and detented gain controls and a custom security cover for tamper-proof installations, user-selectable high-pass filters to reduce transformer saturation and protect speakers, and proportional response clip limiters that are independently defeatable. The CX-168 also features DataPort connectors, allowing each channel pair to be governed by QSControl, QSC’s audio networking system. This enables the system operator to control amplifier gain levels, check clipping and thermal status and monitor numerous additional system parameters.
The Covenant Life Church in Glasgow is about to embark on phase two of a significant Crown-driven Nexo installation. The 800-capacity venue, which has sister churches across Scotland and as far afield as southern Germany, has been in residence at this site for over a year and is delighted with the new audio installation, which has so far has been completed by Sound Control in Glasgow with equipment supplied by Fuzion plc. Currently it comprises a pair of Nexo PS-15s and an LS-1200 at the front of the church with a pair of PS-10 delays driven by a Crown MA-2402 and an MA3600VZ. Phase two, which is due to start shortly plans for up to four PS-15s to be sunk into the stage behind grilles so that they do not disturb sight-lines for TV cameras or indeed the congregation, a PS-15 to act as a monitor for the drummer and keyboard player, and up to four PS-8s to be flown either side of the stage area as infills for the singers. A further four PS-8s are destined for the balcony area which is under construction at the back of the church.
The Church's head of sound Barry Nicholson, explained: "We've been hankering after a Nexo system ever since we first heard one with friends down in a church in Wales, so as soon as we moved into our new building, we set the wheels in motion. Despite hearing demos from other manufacturers, we found that nothing came close to the Nexo. The power and clarity produced from such compact boxes, especially the PS-8, is truly amazing. And I must say the team at Sound Control and Mick Butler from Fuzion have both been marvellous throughout, always ready
To meet the increasing demand on the Special Projects Division of AC Lighting to design, supply and install complete lighting schemes, the company has formed a new alliance with Reggiani Lighting, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reggiani Spa (Milan, Italy). Reggiani, formed 40 years ago, is a family-driven business with a strong philosophy for ideas, innovation and quality. Today, Reggiani is a renowned market leader in the field of architectural lighting and manufactures a wide range of luminaires for interior and exterior applications. The Company has subsidiary operations in France and the UK and 47 distributors around the world. Commenting on the new partnership, Peter Keiderling, special projects manager at AC Lighting, stated: "Our projects-driven business continues to expand and diversify and it became vital for us to have access to a broad range of architectural fittings. We are delighted to be working with such a respected name and believe a combination of Reggiani and AC Lighting will be a powerful alliance."
Crest Audio has announced the latest introduction to its ‘Crest Performance’ products - the new CPX Series power amplifiers, available from exclusive UK distributors, Sound Department. Designed for mobile sound systems, fixed installations and a wide variety of audio applications, the CPX Series power amplifiers deliver superlative performance with Crest’s legendary reliability and sound quality. The CPX Series includes three models - the CPX900, CPX1500 and CPX2600. The CPX Series offers a comprehensive feature set that includes: built-in defeatable GCL clip limiting, low pass filters (18dB per octave at 80 Hz), and electronic crossovers with direct outputs. In addition, all CPX Series amplifiers feature extensive protection circuitry not previously found in amplifiers at this price point. These features include: GCL gain comparator (monitors input/output gain), thermal protection, DC Triac Crowbar (prevents DC in/out), and turn on/off muting. In addition, all CPX Series products utilise a unique (patent applied for) heatsink configuration which greatly enhances the cooling capabilities of these amplifiers. The CPX900 produces 450W per channel (20Hz to 20kHz) at 2 ohms (900 watts at 4 ohms, bridged mono), the CPX1500 produces 750W per channel (20Hz to 20kHz) at 2 ohms (1500 watts at 4 ohms, bridged mono), and the CPX2600 produces 1300W per channel (20Hz to 20kHz) at 2 ohms (2600 watts at 4 ohms, bridged mono). THD is less than 0.1% at rated power for all models.
The CPX Series amplifiers feature a built-in crossover (150 Hz, 24dB per octave tuned for su
Jack O’Donnell, president and owner of Numark Industries, has announced that he has received final court approval to acquire all assets of Alesis Studio Electronics and its affiliates. Alesis, the well-known manufacturer of ground-breaking products such as the ADAT, had been in the process of reorganization over the past several months, and had begun talking with outside interested parties this spring. While the two companies will function as separate business units, O’Donnell and a newly-appointed transition team headed by Paul Antrop, CEO of Numark, will begin immediately looking for areas where the two companies can benefit from each other’s strengths. O’Donnell commented: "I recognized a few years ago that in order to stay in front of this fast-paced market, Numark needed to bolster its engineering and product development efforts. While we’ve seen the fruits of these efforts in recent years with the introduction of numerous new products with break-through technology, I’m looking forward to the kinds of products and technologies we’ll be able to provide the market with Alesis’ stellar engineering team."
Screenco, well experienced at fielding their giant daylight displays on Formula 1’s Grand Prix circuit, made its first appearance at the famous Monaco Grand Prix recently. Monaco-based Action International rigged two Screenco set-ups - supplied by Screenco Holland BV - in different locations. These include, for the first time, a 4x4 15mm LED display, sited at the end of the first straight in front of the Hermès boutique on the Avenue de Monte Carlo. Here, 1000 VIP guests observed the race from a terrace owned by the Société des Bains de Mer, part of the famous Hotel de Paris. "Although this is a major terrace, until this year guests have not really been able to see the race," said Action’s project manager, Vincent Alloing. Further round the track a 28sq.m Jumbotron JTS-17 midi-mobile will again fulfil a specific need, according to Alloing. The truck-mounted Jumbotron will replace the traditional fixed screen in front of the Mirabeau Hotel - on both the qualifying and race days. The portable set-up is essential, says Alloing, due to the necessity for derigging after the Saturday practice session. "Because the screen is located in front of the hotel, on a road open to the public, the truck has to be parked overnight in a tunnel 800m away. At 6am on the Sunday morning it will move back into position in time for the first race at 9am."
Screenco MD, Dave Crump said: "Monaco has long eluded us as the jewel in the Formula 1 crown and we were naturally very pleased to have finally supplied equipment to every one of the European Grand Prixs
Lightfactor Sales, UK distributor for Apogee Sound products, held a successful Open Day to inaugurate its new demonstration facility and to specifically focus on showing off Apogee products. The very diverse Apogee range of high end pro audio products is now installed permanently in the new demo room. The Open day provided visitors with a chance to hear the equipment and to examine the product in detail. The Apogee Open Day featured hands-on and working demonstrations of most Apogee products, including their ALA line array series loudspeakers, F-series amplifiers, ACS Contractor speakers and the incredibly popular, flagship AE range of cabinets. Apogee manufacture products suitable for all professional audio applications - from bars, pubs and restaurant installations to those in stadiums, theatres and opera houses, as well as for concert touring, festivals and events of all types, plus industrial and corporate shows.
Brand new at the demo was Apogee’s new APL series of self-powered loudspeaker products which were making their UK-debut and attracted plenty of interest from visitors. Each speaker in the APL range contains its own intelligent signal processing and internal amplification appropriate to the model, and each model is designed to replicate the same incredible clarity and unique audio properties as its un-powered Apogee counterpart. The APL-500 provides similar sonic quality and performance to the original AE-5. For those needing more power and greater directivity, there’s the APL-220, and the APL-110 provides exceptionally high power in a compact encl
The new 270-cover Indi Tapas Bar in Birmingham Chinatown’s trendy Arcadian Centre has been opened by Eastern Leisure. With a late licence, the venue - which will specialise in a fusion of Asian/Spanish cuisine - wanted a high-octane sound system in its minimalist surroundings that could be pumped up by its DJs during the later stages of the evening. Seeking the optimum solution they turned to Martin Audio, which resulted in Middlesex Sound & Light - whose experience of specifying Martin Audio systems includes the Spearmint Rhino table dancing chain - winning the contract on the basis of their projected loudspeaker design and ease of control. For the delivery, they selected white-finish versions of the EM architectural range.
Situated on a single floor, Middlesex’s Lance Bromhead designed the Indi Tapas Bar into three separate zones, using a Cloud Z4 zoner to route source material generated from a Denon twin CD player or a pair of Technics decks. This included a raised food area around the periphery, an area for casual dining and a sunken floor area. In the inner field of sound four EM26s are flown, with the sound ramped up by a Wavefront WS2A (2 x 15) sub. Deployed in the second zone is a further pair of EM26s, reinforced by an EM150 subwoofer, while the raised area is serviced by a pair of tiny EM15s.
A Behringer mixer, a QSC amp rack and Seleco projection complete the array of technology. Bromhead commented: "This operates as a thoroughbred club, and the combination of loudspeakers works very well and sounds good. We have used Martin Audio’s de