AC Lighting Inc has announced a complete redesign and restructuring of its website and web policy. By taking the site under their own direct and local control, the website will become more responsive and able to more easily reflect changes in products and services. "By analyzing exactly what our customers wanted the website to achieve, we have radically changed how information is accessed on line with regards to the products that we handle," said Bob Gordon, president and CEO of AC Lighting Inc. Goprdon continued: "People want potentially three things from our website: they want information on a product that we sell, information about us, or they want to quickly and easily download something. Click on a manufacturer’s logo on our home page and you find information on everything that manufacturer sells as well as being able to access manuals, prices, and software about the product you are currently looking at. Anywhere in the site you can with one click find out who to talk to, where we are and how to contact us as well as being able to view everything that is available for download. If you know exactly what you are looking for, whether it be a piece of software, a manual or a spec sheet just click on the quick download button and everything is there in front of you."
This is the first phase in a four-phase plan of improvements to the company’s web presence. WhiteHorse Enterprises, an internet/intranet development company based in Malibu, designed the site under the direction of AC’s Mike Falconer, who commented: "The whole site h
Screenco has met a production requirement from leading communications agency, Skybridge, for a large, bright mobile screen, to service a series of Channel 4 parties around the UK to celebrate their association with test cricket. Called C4 Summer Tour, the curtain raiser to the England v Australia series took place on July 6 with a beach party in Brighton featuring Fatboy Slim and Groove Armada, and project-managed by Skybridge technical director Lee Eld. In Brighton, the Fatboy Slim set was filmed for a Channel 4 special, transmitted the following week. Screenco provided a trailer-mounted 40sq.m Jumbotron JTS35 CRT daylight video display - the largest of their mobile systems. Lee Eld explained that this year’s tour was the result of a similar series of successful events they carried out for Channel 4 last year. "Working with artistic director and producer, Alex Poots, we have come up with the infrastructure and staging. There are two V-dosc PA towers and a little 8m x 4m stage for the DJ - but the whole event is really based around the big screen."
Production for each event builds up on the day before the five-day tests, which start on a Thursday. The programming incorporates a free-to-air screening of the cricket during the hours of play on each day, followed by a dance party on the Friday evening and a Film 4 film show on the Saturday. The Jumbotron takes VT feeds from live camera relay, satellite transmission of the cricket action and Beta playback of the films and the graphics.Commented Lee Eld: "I have a strong relationship with Screenco; they ar
The 26th Sound Broadcasting Equipment Show (SBES) will take place at the NEC in Birmingham from 14-15 November 2001. The way that audio systems within broadcast environments has changed can be described as nothing less than radical: audio networking is the key to how radio stations and studios will see their future and the expansion of products in this sector is likely to witness rapid growth. Companies such as IBM/Jutel, Klotz Digital, and The Oxford Sound Company have been pivotal in the implementation of substantial installations for the BBC and GWR during the course of 2001. "We can set up a studio without having to be concerned about exactly what it is going to do," commented Tim Donaldson, GWR's Technical Director. GWR have recently completed a move to a new studio that is fully networked using Klotz Digital equipment and dining out on the fact that "this is the largest radio only facility that has been built since BH," (BBC Broadcasting House) his commitment to radio reflects the optimism within the radio broadcast industry.
IBM/Jutel have also chosen SBES to show their network solutions. IBM being no stranger to computer networks, their partnership with Jutel of Finland providing the audio expertise has been rewarded by a substantial contract being awarded by the BBC for the English Regions project totalling 26 local radio stations. The Oxford Sound Company is midway through the installation project for these and a resolute Andrew Riley commented: "This is the way that broadcasting can be made to be efficient, reliable and really taking ad
Nu-Light Systems of Warrington have been awarded with the Warrington & Cheshire Research and Innovation Award for their work on the newly-released laser animator system and its potential markets in signage and the Airoamer, for improving environments. They then went on to receive the overall Award for Warrington & Cheshire Business of the Year 2001. Debbie Clayton, managing director, comments: "We were delighted to receive the Awards, due to the calibre of businesses we were up against, from telecommunications companies to national retail outlets. It is important to us as a team for our work to be recognised outside of the industry. It has further confirmed we are moving in the right direction."
Mike Wake, technical director, added: "Receiving the first Award surpassed our expectations, but Business of the Year is amazing, a real team morale booster. It’s the first time in 13 years I have ever known Debbie speechless!"
Tannoy Dual Concentric speakers have been installed into the Cuban-themed restaurant/bar Ipanema in Birmingham to provide a range of sound levels from gentle background music through to foreground reinforcement in the Bar and Restaurant areas. Twelve Tannoy i7 Contour slimline speakers and two CMS 6 TDC ceiling monitors inside the Whitbread-owned restaurant, along with four Tannoy all-weather i5 AW speakers outside, ensured perfect audio coverage for diners. The music-based restaurant featured a natural themed design with cream décor and the Tannoy i7 loudspeakers distributed throughout the bar and main restaurant area were chosen for their discrete and elegant low-profile design, as well as for the high quality music and speech output. Nick Freeman from Birmingham based installers, Total Sound, commented: "We needed a wide, yet controlled coverage to ensure even audio distribution throughout the venue and the Tannoy i7 Contour infinite baffle installation speakers were perfect. The i7’s dispersion characteristics of 70 degrees vertical and 110 degrees horizontal ensured perfect coverage throughout the venue. In addition, the optional white enclosures ensured that the i7s blended in perfectly with the décor."
The smaller raised restaurant seating area posed a slight problem as it featured a low ceiling and wall-mounted speakers would take up much of the limited space. The solution came in the form of two Tannoy Dual Concentric CMS 6 TDC speakers, which operate as a full bandwidth, single point source to provide quality music playback throughout the whole
Stagetec has recently completed the installation of a complete stage management, stage communications, sound and video system into the new, purpose-built DH Lawrence Pavilion Theatre on the campus of Nottingham University - one of the UK’s leading universities. The building is designed as a contemporary 250-seat theatre, an exhibition gallery and performance space, and is named after a former University student - David Herbert Lawrence - who became one of the most controversial and popular exponents of 20th century literature. The equipment installed by Stagetec was specified by ACT Consultant Services. The three-zone paging and show relay system runs throughout the building, including a Sennheiser infra-red hard-of-hearing system for the main auditorium, plus Stage Manager’s desk and full cue light system. Stagetec also supplied and installed a flexible, dynamic video and communication system including a series of video tie-lines, distribution amplifiers and patch bays. Additionally, Stagetec supplied a separate equipment rack to house all the theatre’s outboard audio gear. This was designed to offer a robust and versatile array of machines, including Marantz CD and cassette deck, Sony Mini Disk machine, Yamaha graphic equalisers and the audio patch panel. The theatre’s main speaker system is Electro-Voice SX300s, driven from Crown CE2000 amplifiers via an Electro-Voice XP200a controller - all supplied by Stagetec, together with a Soundcraft LX7 mixer for control. The new Pavilion’s technical installation was commissioned and handed-over on sc
Logic System Pro Audio has announced recent sales of its loudspeaker systems to PA rental companies. London-based Gighire has added eight Logic System units to its existing monitor system. Gighire’s Jon Pickett looked at many options before deciding on the CM20 15" plus 2" co-axial cabinet. Pickett, who joins a rapidly-increasing list of CM20 users, said: "When we weighed up all the options, the CM20 had the performance, was the right size, could be run off our existing control equipment and was also competitively priced. Coupled with our own experiences of Logic System’s excellent build quality and reliability, it was a fairly easy decision to make."
Meanwhile, PA company Acousys Sound Systems of Wokingham has just added another Logic System CS1296 system to its ever-increasing array of hire stock. The system has been purchased in order to fulfil a heavy summer workload which will include the ‘One World’ stage at the famous WOMAD festival in August. Kevin Drain of Acousys Sound commented: "Ever since we invested in the first batch of the three-box, bi-amp touring system late last year, we knew that it was only a matter of time before we added some more. Sonically the system is excellent, whilst the fact that it is incredibly practical and manageable is equally important to a company such as ours." The system went straight out to the Reading University Summer Ball to cover the Dance Arena where artists included Phats & Small, Transglobal Underground and Romina Johnson.
A joint project involving manufacturers Allen& Heath and Audace has provided a UK conference and exhibition venue with a unique paging system.
Bryan Waters, MD and founder of Audace, explained that the HIC system required a larger number of output zones than A&H’s DR128 digital matrix could provide. "The first challenge was the need for a system of 16 zones. We wanted to provide the Centre with a single control system that would work with two of the Allen & Heath units." Waters, who professes a keen enthusiasm for the Cornish pro audio manufacturer’s products, set up Audace specifically to provide one-off solutions and off-the-shelf support products for the blossoming digital market. "When the DR128 was launched, there was nothing like it on the market for anything like the price - and there still isn’t," he enthused. "However, the software supplied with the DR128 is for set-up, rather than an operational programme. Our solution, which is part hardware, part custom software, allows non-technical operators (in this case the HIC’s team of receptionists) to control paging levels and zoning from a simple control panel, while technical staff have full access to the two DR128s for the Centre’s computer network."
The central paging panel, which was commissioned for this project, offers users a pre-selection of multiple paging zones, which combines with a push-to-talk microphone to provide access to the Centre’s nine halls, the foyer, backstage and technical areas. Output level to each of these may be set within
Arbiter and JBL recently took residence at the Hammersmith Apollo, to host the first UK demo of the Vertec Line Array system. The day was designed to give clients an opportunity to view the product up close and allow them some hands-on time with the system.
One of the issues JBL was most keen to emphasize was that of weight, or rather lack of it, for each Vertec VT4889 enclosure weighs only 69kg, including rigging hardware. Each enclosure includes two lightweight 15" low frequency loudspeakers, four powerful 2250H 8" midrange frequency loudspeakers, coupled to RBIs (Radiation Boundary Integrators), and three compact 2435 high frequency drivers fitted to WaveFormers.
The system is already establishing a strong following, both in the US and Europe, where some of the key touring supply companies have systems out with a number of headlining bands.
Cadac will be showing its innovative R-Type lightweight touring console on Stand S22 at the 2001 PLASA Show. The R-Type is already clocking up an impressive list of show credits since it went into production earlier this year: in Italy, appearances include the Pavarotti & Friends Concert in Modena, and the Heineken Jammin' Festival at Imola, and in London, the July Picnic with Pavarotti followed by Route of Kings - both in Hyde Park. Contained within a cost-efficient and easily re-configurable package, the R-Type provides comprehensive facilities for both FOH and monitor mixing. It gives rental companies a highly flexible console - using Cadac’s unique ‘plug-anywhere’ modules for fast installation - at a competitive price.
The R-Type features a new lightweight monocoque design and a slimmer module width - combining touring ruggedness with the respected Cadac audio quality and reliability. Its lightweight frame is designed for a two-man lift, and a single 24-slot frame can be configured to handle a small venue or gig easily - with larger consoles being assembled out of multiples of the 24-way frame, up to any size required. A FOH or monitor console for an awards production or multi-talent show, requiring anything up to or even beyond 180-200 inputs, can be easily accommodated by adding additional frames fitted with the required style of inputs. As the standard frames are less than 1m wide, they can be easily arranged in an ergonomic form around the mix position. A typical configuration with the R-Type’s lightweight 24-slot frame provides 48 mono & 3
The historic Manchester-based BBC Philharmonic Orchestra has taken delivery of a Sony DMX-R1000 digital console, supplied by Total Audio Solutions. The orchestra will use the consoles to record its acclaimed performances at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, as well as for BBC Radio 3 recordings in their Studio Seven Concert Hall. The console will also accompany the orchestra on the regular overseas concert tours and international broadcasts that it undertakes.
Virtually all recitals are recorded to digital stereo and BBC recording and mixing engineer (programme manager) Stephen Rinker was instrumental in deciding to opt for the DMX-R1000. "We carefully evaluated the criteria by which we should select our replacement console," he explains. "This encompassed a move to digital, and it’s fair to say that the DMX-R1000 was the only digital desk that fully matched our specification. It represented very good value for money, as well as having impressive audio and a rugged build quality."
PLASA has worked in co-operation with some of London’s leading entertainment venues to offer an exclusive insight into the workings of some of the city’s most famous venues; this exclusive backstage tour immediately follows the close of the PLASA Show in London this September. Theatrical London delegates will visit the world-renowned Royal Albert Hall for a night at the Proms; the Apollo Victoria 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. To top it off, you can step back in time at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre . . .
Wednesday 12th September: The experience begins with A night at The Proms, The Royal Albert Hall, featuring Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring. Pre-show drinks will be served in the foyer. Performance starts at 7.30pm.
Thursday 13th September: This busy day starts with a coach-ride from Earls Court to The Royal Albert Hall for a guided technical tour of this famous venue, before moving on to the Apollo Victoria Theatre for a guided backstage tour of the recently-upgraded Starlight Express. Following lunch, travel by coach to the Tussauds Group Studios for an exclusive to PLASA tour of the facilities behind the Group’s famous visitor attractions, before visiting Madame Tussaud’s in Baker Street, with an option to go on to the London Planetarium. After a short break, delegates meet up at the Donmar Warehouse, with a tour and performance of Divas at The Donmar featuring Sian Philips. Drinks wil
Brazil-based Selenium Loudspeakers has announced the appointment of Overt Light to Sound Ltd as its new exclusive distributor for the UK. Malcolm Burlow, managing director of Overt, has over 20 years’ experience in the pro audio industry, having previously worked for Numark UK. He says: "We are very proud to be associated with a loudspeaker transducer company with Selenium’s worldwide reputation. Few people realise that the company has been manufacturing loudspeaker components for over 50 years, utilized in some of the finest cabinets available. The market is looking for a high quality and competitively-priced alternative, and we are confident that Selenium will be their first choice."
Overt say that a new range of compression drivers and woofers will be available within six to eight months.
The Swiss city of Berne is having the lighting system in its municipal theatre modernized by the Transtechnik Group at a cost of around 425,000 Euros. Due to be completed at the end of this month, the project will bring state-of-the-art lighting technology to this famous theatre. The new system includes two lighting control consoles - a Focus NT and a Prisma NT - each of which is fitted with a moving light controller and connected to the digital auxiliary console via a Transtechnik DMX-Gate protocol converter. The converter converts the DMX signals from the lighting consoles to the Profibus signals for the auxiliary console (and vice versa) to allow the devices to exchange data. The Profibus standard requires only a thin, two-wire cable for transmitting control signals, which means that there is no need for thick bundles of cables to the auxiliary console. Profibus also permits bi-directional communication: for example, a command to switch the foyer lighting is issued in one direction, and a confirmation that the command has been successfully carried out is sent to the auxiliary console in the opposite direction. If the confirmation is not received, the operator can take corrective action immediately. Transtechnik is also providing seven FDX2000 dimmer cabinets and nine HPZ211 convection-cooled Niethammer followspots, mounted on motorized yokes (from Lichttechnik) including colour changers and automatic iris drive.
As part of the modernization, the theatre will also have a remote control facility for the lighting functions and a control position in the auditorium, allowin
The US-based Entertainment Services & Technology Association (ESTA) has announced that BSR E1.8, Entertainment Technology - Loudspeaker Enclosures Intended for Overhead Suspension - Classification, Manufacture and Structural Testing, is now available for public review, and will be until 25 September 2001. Loudspeakers suspended overhead should not pull apart and rain debris on people below, and this draft document is an attempt to offer guidance to a manufacturer to make sure such a mishap does not happen. The document describes the structural requirements for loudspeaker enclosures intended for overhead suspension, which include enclosure construction, component part security, enclosure suspension hardware, manufacturing control systems, structural testing, and product representation. The standard is intended to enhance the safety of speaker rigging at popular music concerts and other performances.
Further details are available from the Technical Standards Program section of ESTA’s website.
Intertec, organizers of the annual LDI exhibition in the United States, have announced that this year’s show (2-4 November, Orlando, Florida) will incorporate Expolatina 2001, the exhibition aimed at the Latin-American marketplace. The move, say Intertec, has been made to accommodate Latin American visitors who want to be able to attend both events. Nine workshops at LDI will be presented in Spanish-only, and will include presentations by Sarah Sidman on lighting and the use of colour, Meyer Sound on line array systems, Andres Mayo of Mr. Master in Buenos Aires with a detailed look at DVD authoring, and a panel of international lighting experts moderated by Sergio Alvarado of Strand Lighting. In addition there will be an entire programme offered in English.
Show Presentation Services (SPS), the leading equipment rental and staging specialist, has announced that it increased its turnover from £8m to £13m over 2000, and achieved a 58% increase in pre-tax profits for the same period, as a direct result of its integrated event services strategy. The results reinforce SPS’s position as a leading independent AV rental and staging business. High business growth rates were achieved by the scenic construction and lighting rental departments in particular, of 241% and 148% respectively. SPS’s investment in a Barco D-Lite7 Modular LED screen was validated by the turnover generated with the successful launch of its LED rental business. A part-year contribution from the Earls Court and Olympia AV contract that commenced its five-year term also boosted SPS’s increase.
"This year has seen more challenging business conditions," acknowledges Robin Coles, managing director of SPS. "The first half of 2001 has been flatter than we anticipated but the launch of our new Event IT division in February, is adding positively to our already comprehensive service offering. We are seeking booking levels increase for the second half of the year, and an impending strategic acquisition will consolidate our position as the leading independent AV rental and staging business in the UK."
INTEL is the international electronics fair sponsored by ANIE (National Federation of Electrotechnical and Electronic Firms) which stages the World Light Show, an exhibition of lighting technology products. At this year’s event, Clay Paky displayed a full range of products for the architectural lighting sector. INTEL also held ‘Experiencing Light’, organised by Assi (National Association of Lighting Manufacturers), where lighting designers, architects, art historians and philosophers tackled the theme ‘light’ in general, with a focus on architectural lighting. During this show, prizes were awarded to the Lighting Designers who took part in the competition ‘Illuminated Monuments’.
This competition involved the lighting of some of Milan’s most well-known monuments. The event had a number of aims: to enhance frequently-overlooked monuments, to further the knowledge of light among the city dwellers, and to promote design and creativity among young lighting designers. A jury of experts examined the designs and later awarded the monument prize to Cristiana Donzelli, for lighting the monument to Camillo Benso in Piazza Cavour. An important creativity prize was awarded for the lighting of the monument to Vittorio Emanuele in Piazza Duomo, designed by Guido Bianchi and Jacopo Acciaro: the statue was illuminated in such a way that it projected a silhouette on the facing buildings – not a normal shadow, but a coloured one! This highly original effect was achieved by another spotlight at the feet of the statue, which projected a c
Last November Selecon dealer Stage Electrics added 50 1200 High Performance Fresnels to its hire stock. To date the staff have been overwhelmed with the response to these popular luminaires which provide high light output, excellent beam control and are the perfect principal luminaire for the medium to large stage. The constant high demand for the units has prompted the decision to further boost the hire stocks by adding another 100 units this summer. Adding further spice to its hire stocks Stage Electrics has also introduced 40 new Selecon Acclaim Axial 18/34 Profile luminaires. Having been designed for applications requiring precise beam control, this versatile luminaire delivers for short or longer throws, pattern projection or accurate area illumination - fantastic for use within both the corporate and education markets.
Vari-Lite Inc has announced that Bob Schacherl has joined the company as vice-president of sales and marketing. Schacherl will lead Vari-Lite's worldwide sales and marketing efforts for the new line of Vari*Lite luminaires and consoles. "We're excited to have Bob as part of the Vari-Lite team," said Clay Powers, president and chief operating officer at Vari-Lite. “Bob's knowledge and experience will be instrumental in helping us to achieve our goal of making Vari*Lite the preferred brand in automated lighting technology."
Schacherl joins Vari-Lite with over 20 years’ experience in the automated lighting and entertainment marketplace, and a successful track record in building effective worldwide sales organizations. He is a founder and former president of High End Systems, from which he resigned at the start of this year.
Trantec’s award-winning S5000 radio mic system was used by Sprout, the event-production division of Marcom Presentations at Disneyland Paris recently to assist the communications of 200 delegates at a major conference. Marcom’s Jason Adams revealed that a selection of lapel and handheld mics were used over the course of the week-long event for new employees. Adams confirmed that the inventory included 10 channels of S5000: "We favour the Trantec system because it offers great reception and it’s easy to set up and use."
The Community AirForce system made an impact on its UK debut when it supported two back-to-back shows by Status Quo in the Channel Islands recently. The kit was supplied from the rental stock of Lancashire-based HSL, who have enjoyed a long relationship with the promoter, Paul Couser, from Onstage Events. The two venues were the 2000-capacity Beau Sejour Centre in St. Peter Port, Guernsey, and the 2,500-capacity Fort Regent in St. Helier.
HSL produced a special ‘mini-rig’ for sound engineer Andy Taylor, providing two AF3 short-throw and four AF10 bass per side (configured as two rows of three enclosures). This was underpinned by eight VLF218s. HSL production manager, Will Soden, said: "We are still assessing the system. However, this configuration proved more than adequate to provide full coverage at the levels required." AirForce was run completely flat, using only the system processor settings, to the satisfaction of Quo’s front-of-house engineer.
Couser commented: "I was very impressed with the Community system - particularly in Jersey where we were able to fly it - and will be using it again with the SAS All Star Band, which includes Midge Ure, Leo Sayer, Fish and Chris Thompson."
A whole range of Sennheiser audio equipment helped ensure the success of Planet 24’s recent production for ITV, Survivor, throughout seven weeks of filming on the remote desert island of Pulau Tiga in the South China Sea. Of particular note was the performance of Sennheiser’s new MKE-2 Gold lavalier clip mic, which successfully provided the principal means of recording broadcast quality sound in the extremely hostile and humid tropical environment.
The new mic is designed specifically for ‘high moisture’ resistance but provides the same acoustic performance as its industry standard counterpart design. "The conditions the microphones faced were very much a worse case scenario - humidity and salt water," explains Planet 24’s technical director Peter Johnston. 16 of the MKE-2 Golds were used, along with their associated UHF SK50 miniature belt pack transmitters and EK 3041 miniature diversity camera-mount receivers. The radio system saw extensive use throughout filming, with remote feeds to the camera crews as they tracked contestants and filmed impromptu links. Sound supervisor Steve Blincoe explains: "The freedom the transmitters gave sound and camera guys and producers was very useful operationally, as it allowed the beach and jungle scenes to be monitored and captured without the limitation of trailing cables. This became essential when we were filming in the surf as we had mixers on our shoulders and water up to our waists! Thankfully we had relatively comfortable accommodation a boat ride away, although we were surviving the
Out Board Electronics’ new Ibex programmable hoist controller has made an auspicious debut on two frontline tours with Vari-Lite Europe Ltd. Both the Roxy Music and Robbie Williams shows - currently out on tour - have had their lighting designed by Liz Berry, who has given the new hoist controller the thumbs up. The purchase of a single unit (and rental of a second) had been authorised by VLPS’ Matt Croft, who admitted that he had not heard of the Ibex until he started to prep both tours. "I looked at both jobs and each show had moving truss systems. In the past we would have used hoist commanders - but they involve a lot of hardware and personnel, so we were starting to look around. At the same time Out Board’s Lawrence Heron had contacted our rigging department independently to see if they were interested."
An advantage of the Ibex system, says Matt, is that it is economical - just a rack-mountable 4" deep black box. "You used to have three and a half racks, costing tens of thousands of pounds, but this is just a simple box, with a control cable in and control cable out, which plugs into the back of a motor control. This simplification cuts out a lot of the paraphernalia. It’s small, cheap, light, simple and self-contained - you hit the button, cues move and it works. Furthermore, as all our motor distro is from Out Board, we knew it was compatible."
He says that once Vari-Lite were happy about the safety aspects they asked Out Board about renting one. "But Liz Berry got interested in it and so we purchased one for