Stage Electrics Bristol Relocates
Wednesday, 7 March 2001

As from March 5, Stage Electrics Bristol has moved its operation to Third Way, Avonmouth, Bristol, BS11 9YL. The move has been made to unify the company’s existing six Bristol premises under one roof. The 100 staff at Bristol now benefit from a staff canteen, on-site parking and air-conditioned workstations, while clients will benefit from a streamlined hire operation. The company’s contact numbers are listed below.

Purchasing Enquiries: +44 (0)1179379580
General Administration: +44 (0)117 982 7282
Customer Enquiries: +44 (0)117 938 4000

RCF Vision for Anima Club
Wednesday, 7 March 2001

The Anima nightclub in Fife, Scotland has a new sound system from RCF, installed by Images of Livingston. After an initial visit to the site, Billy-Ross Sheridan, Images managing director, asked RCF UK if they would travel to Fife and give a system demonstration for the club’s owners. RCF's Steve Coxon made the trip north and presented the Vision PA range of speakers. This did the trick and Images specified a complete RCF sound system, designed with the help of the RCF team. Taking into account the shape of the room and the mezzanine level, achieving the correct sound coverage was a complex process. Images Billy-Ross explains: "We were very impressed by the on-site help we received from the RCF team. With a job like this you need this kind of positive input to ensure the right result." Amplification is from a combination of QSC PLX1202 and PLX 3402 units.

The aim was to produce a 'big club' without losing the intimacy of the room. To achieve this, Images used four RCF Vision 152s with four RCF Vision 180SW subs for the main dance area. They then utilised the Vision PA121s in the VIP area on the mezzanine level, with Vision 281s as reinforcement/under balcony fills. The DJ booth includes two Technics SL1210 Mk11 turntables, a Pioneer CMX -500 twin CD system, and an RCF ART 300A (active) for monitoring.

 
 
Z-Systems Appoints HHB
Wednesday, 7 March 2001

Z-Systems has appointed HHB as exclusive UK distributor of its full range of professional audio products. In recent years, Z-Systems has established an enviable reputation for its ‘Detangler’ digital audio patchbays which it manufactures, alongside a comprehensive range of sample rate convertors and multi-channel mastering processors.

 
Constella Expands Sales Team
Wednesday, 7 March 2001

Constella, the established lighting effect design and manufacturing company, has appointed Mark Webb as its sales representative. Webb, formerly with near-neighbour Abstract, will be liaising with the company’s existing dealer network, whilst also looking to recruit new dealers for the company.

 
 
Witches Go West
Tuesday, 6 March 2001

On February 24th, The Witches of Eastwick closed at London’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Less than a month later, on 23rd March, the show is to be re-born in a new, more intimate production at the Prince of Wales Theatre. The lighting equipment for Howard Harrison’s Olivier-award nominated lighting design will once again be supplied by White Light, with The Moving Light Company again supplying automated lighting equipment.When The Witches of Eastwick opened at its original home last summer, it contained one of the most complex automated rigs seen in the West End. The new production will feature a scaled-down lighting rig, again featuring ETC Source Fours, Rainbow scrollers, VSFX projection and with the automated rig again including Pirouettes, Digital Light Curtains, Technobeams and Martin MAC300s. Portions of the rig will be supplied anew from White Light, allowing the fit-up to commence while the show is still running at Drury Lane; the remainder will be moved between the theatres now the original production has closed. Control will once again be from a Strand 500-series consoles, with control partitioned between two operators for the technical rehearsal period and then left under the control of one operator for the run of the show.

 
Martin USA Moves to New FacilityMartin USA Moves to New Facility
Tuesday, 6 March 2001

Martin USA has recently moved to new modern headquarters in Sunrise, Florida. The new facility is located in the Sawgrass International Corporate Park - a large, master-planned business park with retail, hotel and recreational facilities. Constructed around an ‘open’ design with plenty of room, the new building is ideal for a staff with a solid teamwork philosophy. At 45,000sq.ft, Martin US’s new office is effectively twice as big as its previous facility and houses a large, dedicated showroom in which to showcase Martin products and conduct Martin University classes.

 
 
Battle for Dome Hots Up
Tuesday, 6 March 2001

Since the Government made the decision to remove preferred bidder status from Legacy plc, the battle for who gets to do what with the Dome has intensified. The Experience consortium, which includes promoter Harvey Goldsmith, has joined forces with the four-company consortium of Quintain, Lend Lease, Stanhope and Grosvenor. The latter has already been in talks with the BBC and the Tussauds Group, which may spur the revival of a 10-year-old plan for a giant theme park at Greenwich, first put forward by Tussauds long before the notion of a Millennium Dome was conceived. Any BBC involvement in the bid could involve turning the Dome into a theme park inspired by classic programmes such as EastEnders and Walking with Dinosaurs. This now places the consortium in a strong position to challenge the rival bid from the Dome’s former chief exec Pierre-Yves Gerbeau, whose bid is centred around retaining the Dome as a visitor attraction.

 
David Aldington
Tuesday, 6 March 2001

Stockport-based PA specialist Audio Design Services recently announced the death of its chief engineer, David Aldington. Aldington, who died of cancer at the start of February in his mid-50s, was well known to most people in the public address sector because of his professionalism and his commitment to quality, said David Hopkins OBE, chairman and managing director of ADS. Hopkins continued: "David was also well known for his sense of humour, even at times when his failing health could have excused him for being different. To his work colleagues he will be remembered for his courage and determination that was an inspiration to us all . . . a family man first and last, David and his wife May had Angela as their only child and I know that David was totally devoted to his young grandson Jamie, especially as they did so much together. David and I spent time swapping grandchildren stories . . . I know that Jamie will miss him a great deal, as will all of us who came to know and respect him."

 
 
Rosco Colour Plus
Tuesday, 6 March 2001

Rosco has added 24 new colours to its redesigned e-colour+ range, which has been considerably enhanced with a new design swatchbook, colour guide and poster. The swatchbook includes full SED curves, transmission values, and cross references to filters in other Rosco ranges.

 
OPTI Expands US OperationsOPTI Expands US Operations
Monday, 5 March 2001

Following an impressive year’s trading, the US operation of OPTI has announced its move to larger premises. Based in Virginia, the business has set up home in a new building which will combine office and storage space and provide scope for future expansion. The new facility will continue to stock the full range of UK-manufactured OPTI Kinetics lighting products, as well as OPTI Trilite for the rental market produced at the company’s plant in Carp, Ontario, Canada. With responsibility for sales, marketing and distribution throughout North, Central and South America, turnover for the year is set to grow by 20 per cent.

 
 
City’s Range of New Releases
Monday, 5 March 2001

City Theatrical, which won praise last year for its AutoYoke system, has released a number of new products. These include the AutoYoke for PARnel - an automated variable beam spread washlight for use with ETC’s Source Four PARnel. Users can control the width of the beam and drive colour scrollers using remote DMX. A second new product, the Event PAR, is aimed squarely at the trade show market. A 575W MSD or MSR cold restrike lamp is incorporated into a Source Four Par, the result being a bright, high output washlight with a colour temperature of around 5600 degrees K. The third key new product is the Image Multiplexer - a multiprism device that turns any ellipsoidal with a six inch colour frame slot into a multi-image projection device. Also new from the company is the range of SlipWay taping cables and other theatrical accessories.

 
Avesco Buys Gearhouse Divisions
Monday, 5 March 2001

Following the news last week that the Gearhouse Group and a large number of its subsidiary operations have been placed in administrative receivership, Avesco PLC has acquired the Midlands and North divisions of Gearhouse Group PLC for £4 million. We understand that the business and assets acquired include the operations in Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow and at the NEC.

 
 
Cerwin’s Double Blast
Monday, 5 March 2001

Cerwin-Vega! has made two significant additions to its Pro series of installation speaker systems. Following the success of the V-152, the Californian-based company has now released the V-252 - a dual 15" two-way, full-range system. It has also revisited those two little digits - 36; drawing on the heritage of the renowned L-36PE and SL-36B, the company has now reinvented its legendary ‘earthquake’ sound in the form of a ‘compact tremor’ - an 18" folded horn known as the LR-36. The V-252’s twin 15" woofers share space with a bi-morph HF driver mounted on a proprietary spherical waveguide horn. Designed as a stand-alone, and producing tremendous bass response, the V-252 does not require bi-amping with a subwoofer. In order to attain a smooth response at high SPLs, Cerwin-Vega! has developed a proprietary spherical waveguide tweeter horn flare. The LR-36 utilises a newly-designed 18" woofer, with clean output at 35Hz, and a bias control system for improved linearity and accurate punch. Other innovative features include a newly-designed 18" high-excursion woofer, with die-cast aluminium frame and reverse loading of the woofer, to utilise inherent compression between the cone and the frame.

 
Ian Brown Joins High End Europe
Monday, 5 March 2001

Ian Brown has recently joined the High End Systems Europe sales team in London as the regional sales manager for the UK and Ireland. Brown moves to High End after 10 months' internet experience at G.E.T.com. Prior to that he was the UK sales representative at Martin UK with specific responsibility for the professional market, dealing with rental companies and major users. After a period of induction, he will assume responsibilities for UK sales operating from High End's London office.

 
 
Momo Gives Thumbs up to BSS
Sunday, 4 March 2001

In a drive to match its highly-rated North African cuisine with high quality audio, fashionable restaurant Momo, in London's West End, has carried out a major upgrade to the audio system across both its two floors. Proprietor Mourad Mazouz, enlisted the Sound Division Group to replace the entire system. As a result, a pair of BSS Soundweb 9088 Mk2 devices offers routing and processing capabilities throughout the premises. The Kemia bar downstairs plays host to many up-and-coming bands as well as featuring DJs playing a very wide variety of musical styles. The front end mixing is taken care of by an Allen & Heath Xone 464 with the two Soundwebs’ processing power being used as a combined resource, the bulk of it assigned to running the upstairs dining area (used mainly as a background system although instantly reconfigurable as a foreground system for private parties).

 
Showlight Pulls in Top Names
Sunday, 4 March 2001

Paula J. Dinkel, Peggy Eisenhauer and John Rayment will be the keynote speakers heading a formidable array of 21 top-class speakers at Showlight 2001.

Paula J. Dinkel, principal lighting designer for Walt Disney Imagineering, is currently leading the lighting design teams at Walt Disney Studios in Paris. Her paper ‘Theatre to Theme Parks’ owes much to her 20 years’ experience with Disney theme parks and retail projects, amongst them DisneyQuest in both Orlando and Chicago, the Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore and Club Disney.

John Rayment, the man responsible for the exciting lighting design of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, will discuss this experience in his paper ‘Olympics’. Beginning his career in seventies London, Rayment went on to become associated with the Sydney Dance Company, and was also one of Australia’s first lighting designers to go freelance and get an agent, allowing him the freedom to work on projects which have included drama, opera, musicals and events such as World Expo 88.

Peggy Eisenhauer, the only lighting designer to receive two double-nominations for lighting design, is talking about ‘Design Philosophy’. With partner Jules Fisher, she runs the successful Third Eye studio, a provider of innovative lighting design for some of America’s top shows, the most recent being the musical production of Jane Eyre which opened on Broadway in December. Her partnership with Fisher began some 15 years ago and they have gone on to collect many desig

 
 
High Definition at the Hermitage Rooms
Saturday, 3 March 2001

A magnificent exhibition of Treasures of Catherine the Great has been staged to inaugurate the new Hermitage Rooms at Somerset House. The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg has loaned more than 500 works of art and paintings, which will be on view to the public until 23rd September 2001.

The décor of the Hermitage Rooms recreates, in miniature, the imperial splendour of the Winter Palace and its various wings which now make up The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. This imperial shell will provide the backdrop for rotating exhibitions from the collections of the Museum in St. Petersburg and other Hermitage-related activities, providing London with a window on Russian art and history.

Although the Hermitage Rooms at Somerset House have been designed to be a palatial backdrop for important works of art, they also feature the latest in high technology display. The technology is discreet: it is used to enhance the visit in a subtle way and most visitors will be unaware that the latest web technology, high definition video, video conferencing technology, flat screen displays, MPEG compression and MP3 audio are all being used.

Electrosonic was appointed to design and build the audio-visual system for the Hermitage Rooms, and the aim throughout was to ensure that the hardware system was completely unobtrusive. The audio visual elements include a film of the interior of the Hermitage, produced by Mosaic Films and presented through a high definition video projection system. There is also a live image of the exterior of the Hermitage, presented on a 40 inch pla

 
Paul Rogers
Saturday, 3 March 2001

"You know you’re in trouble when there’s no music playing, just the bass player talking to the audience, and you’ve got feedback." So says Don ‘Dodge’ Dodger, house engineer for Paul Rogers, explaining why he had to dash out to the console during the set of opening act, Asia.

Frankly, their set was a travesty; not only did their sound engineer need new ears, the band only had one original member, Geoff Downes, and it seems that 20 years later, he still has nothing new to offer musically. It would have been funny if it hadn’t have been so sad, to listen to the bass player, trying to pitch songs written in a key suited to John Wetton, his illustrious forebear, and failing like a bathroom lothario.

Thankfully, Paul Rogers was an altogether more professional presentation. While much of his set harked back to an era that pre-dates even Asia, it was at least firmly rooted in the blues heritage that epitomises rock music. Classics from his time with Free and Bad Company, peppered a set sprinkled with his own more recent output, and the muddiest of obscure swamp blues.

Not surprisingly, LD Steve Finch plundered the Art of Darkness warehouse for every Par and ACL he could find. "It’s what they wanted," he said. "The only other specific request from management was spot calls." Finch has snuck in a few bits of modern technology though: eight Technobeams and four MAC 600s, but otherwise this rig is true to the seventies oeuvre.

While the automated stuff was questionable (I was overwhelmed by the sensation o

 
 
‘Scouser’ Going Live
Saturday, 3 March 2001

Soundcraft has announced a new event in its successful series of Going Live seminars.

The ‘Scouser’ Going Live, which will run in Liverpool at the end of April, will feature a panel of engineers who all started their careers in the city.

The formula of Going Live is a simple and proven one. Soundcraft provides comprehensive and professional PA equipment for the students to work on, including a wide variety of mixing consoles for front-of-house and monitoring. All the course tutors are working engineers who tour with the biggest acts in music today. All the usual topics from how to operate front-of-house and monitor consoles, to microphone placement and outboard electronics, will be covered in the three-day agenda. There will also be a special class on digital mixing in a live situation. PA systems and tech support for the seminar will be provided by Liverpool’s Adlib Audio.
Dates: 27-29 April 2001
Venue: Liverpool

 
The House That Jakes Built
Saturday, 3 March 2001

If proof were needed that entertainment technology crosses all boundaries, then here it comes in the story of the newly constructed Potter’s House worship centre, home to one of the fastest-growing churches in the United States.

This 26,000 member nondenominational church in Dallas, Texas, led by Pentecostalist minister, author and entrepreneur T.D. Jakes, set out to build the country’s most technologically innovative church facility yet. $32 million later they have created a 300ft by 300ft, 8,200 seat venue, dubbed a ‘Smart Church’.

Power and data terminals installed at 200 seats allow attendees to download sermon notes and power point presentations onto laptop computers. Altar attendants are equipped with handheld PDAs to allow immediate input of new member data and ‘prayer needs’. An associated language translation centre features translation rooms with the capacity to simultaneously input and output up to six language translations.

Dallas-based consultants Acoustic Dimensions designed state-of-the-art sound, lighting and MATV systems. They worked with PRG company SPL on the installation of the audio and video systems, the centrepiece of which is a sound reinforcement system similar to the one recently installed at the Tennessee Titans football stadium in Nashville.

With a footprint on the main floor the size of two football fields, no one on the design team wanted the space to feel like a sports arena. A number of acoustic and audio strategies were utilised to make the 8,000+ seat venue feel like a smaller church. Not only di

 
 
Lightfactor Host UK Launch of Apogee Sound ALA-9
Saturday, 3 March 2001

Lightfactor Sales, UK distributor for Apogee Sound products, hired Bovingdon Airfield in Hertfordshire for the UK debut of the Apogee Sound ALA-9 Line Array touring system.

Despite freezing temperatures and high winds, a steady stream of audio professionals made the trip to the once thriving World War II USAAF base. As well as offering the facility to crank the system up to high volumes, the Bovingdon site was also ideal to demonstrate the quick rigging and de-rigging capabilities of the ALA-9.

Judging by the number of line array launches at the recent Frankfurt MusikMesse, one could be forgiven for thinking that this is an emerging technology, but line array is nothing new. In fact, examples are common from as far back as the 1950s and The Grateful Dead were using the principles of line array in their ‘wall of sound’ in the seventies. However, advancements in electronics and transducer technology, coupled with the use of processors to effectively crossover, equalise and align various types of processor-based speaker systems, has allowed line array to exploit its full potential. Through its ALA-3 and ALA-5, Apogee was one of the first companies to develop processor-based line array systems. The ALA-9 is the natural successor to these and the largest line array system yet produced by the company. During the development of the system, Apogee’s R&D team focused on the needs and wish-lists of the touring industry.

As a result, the ALA-9 features a smooth, clear sound quality, immense power and a robust construction, which should guarantee it holding its

 
Touring Toys for Backstreet Boys
Saturday, 3 March 2001

The Backstreet Boys are the biggest boy band out there. So it’s fitting that their Black and Blue world tour, which kicked off January 22, is likely to be the biggest show on the road right now - with a lighting package of more than 250 moving lights and a stage overflowing past 100 feet, rumbling across the country in 27 trucks. The equipment list, supplied by lighting contractor Premier Global Productions of Nashville, includes 144 High End Systems products and includes Studio Beams, Studio Colors and Cyberlights all controlled through a pair of Wholehog II consoles. Veteran lighting designer Peter Morse has specified High End gear on a variety of top-name tours including Barbra Streisand, Christina Aguilera, Reba McEntire, Mariah Carey and more.

 
 
Interactive Club Experience for Students
Friday, 2 March 2001

Mobile phone company Orange has kicked off its largest ever Student Union club tour: ‘Enjoy Music on Campus’ is a high tech clubbing production that transforms student unions into impressive clubbing venues. Orange is employing expertise gained through its extensive music sponsorship portfolio to take leading DJs and the latest technology to universities across the UK. The first event took place in February at the De Montfort Student Union in Leicester and throughout the coming months will visit universities from Belfast to Plymouth, to allow as many students as possible to Enjoy Music on Campus. The line up for the events include the Freestylers, Jon Carter and talent from Grand Central Records. The club nights are designed to support the launch of ‘Orange on campus’, a mobile phone package specially designed for students.

 
TOA Hit the Stadium Market
Friday, 2 March 2001

TOA France has installed a new sound system in the Stade de la Meinau, a 30,000 capacity soccer stadium in Strasbourg, and the home ground of FC Strasbourg. The new system not only provides general public address announcements, but also emergency warning broadcasts, interlocked with the fire alarm system. To meet European technical criteria for voice evacuation systems, the SX-1000M Smart Matrix Unit was selected as the nucleus for the system, and features emergency audio signal channels as well as speaker line failure detection circuitry. A total of 56 ES-0871 general use speakers and 20 F-160 Fashion speakers are sited both inside and outside the stadium, driven by 18 2kW power amplifiers. This project was realised with the co-operation of Spie Trindel and CGV France.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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