Pan-european AV equipment rental company Heuvelman Ltd, has opened its first UK branch, situated in London. The company is a specialist in the supply of AV equipment to a range of clients including hotels, broadcasters, corporate clients, conference and event venues and can supply anything from a single projector to a full state-of-the-art installation. Voting systems, teleconferencing and IT rental are also supplied by the company.
Dublin-based Sound Communications & Electrical Ltd have installed a full TOA public address and background music system in the new luxury, 259-room Four Seasons Hotel Dublin. Although no paging system was required, Sound Communications supplied electrical contractors, Patrick Lynch Ltd, with three, fully-loaded 42U TOA glass-doored racks. These contain CD/cassette/microphones and processing, and are respectively sited in the lounge, café/restaurant and fitness/aerobics areas, to connect up to the general wiring and interfacewith the fire alarm system. The design was based on the option of centralised CD/cassette-based background system and independent sources, with localised volume control and CD selector at the rack.
The two main function rooms can each be divided into four separate areas, with their own mic inputs, each of which may select either the central CD or a rack-based CD specific to that area, and the four meeting rooms can also choose from the central CDs or local mic/auxiliary inputs. This sophisticated network was accomplished using a range of TOA equipment, including a V1000 preamplifier for the central control and a combination of TOA VM1060 and VM1120 mixer amplifiers. The racks are charged with three VP1240 240W power amplifiers and BA-800 twin-deck cassette players are used to source the taped-based material. A pair of TOA WTA30 diversity radio mic systems have been provided for use in the function suites, lounge and aerobics areas. The loudspeakers are likewise sourced exclusively from the TOA catalogue. TOA PC10VI loudspeakers provide high-quality so
The Institute of Sound and Communications Engineers has announced a programme of technical seminars for 2001. These include a tutorial on AFILS on 1 May, a two-day course on 'Basic Acoustic for Sound System Professionals' on 15 and 22 May and a one-day practical seminar on 'Measuring Loudspeakers' on 5 June. These courses are open to all, and full details with relevant fees are available from Cathy Mackenzie.
B&H Production Services has completed a sound system upgrade in the 150-year old St Saviours Parish Church in Sidcup, Kent - using Turbosound loudspeakers for the main PA. Four TCS-59 cabinets - two flown at the front of the knave and two flown at the mid-point - to provide the time-aligned delay. The installation replaces an old column system. B&H won the tender for the contract with a shoot-out against other loudspeaker manufacturers, and won due to the quality of the Turbosound boxes, which managed to contain the church’s internal reverberation problems to the greatest degree. John Ellis, who designed the system on behalf of B&H, commented: "The requirements were for a sound reinforcement system that would handle both speech and music. The church has held several large events since the installation was completed, and they’re over the moon with the results."
Laser Magic has opened an office in Bahrain, offering a full rental package which includes a wide range of laser systems, water screens, xenon projection and other special effects. The company has also invested in lighting from Martin Professional (MAC 500), Coemar (1200W washlights) as well as a range of smaller 250W and 300W intelligent fixtures from Coef. The company has also purchased new Sanyo XF10 projectors, the latest NEC plasma screens and high-quality active sound systems, making Laser Magic one of the best-stocked hire companies in the area. As one of the first projects undertaken from the new office, Laser Magic supplied equipment for the Amir's special concert in Bahrain on the 22 March.
Live video production specialists Nocturne Europe are changing their trading name to XL Video with immediate effect. The move will offer a more consolidated approach to international markets and associate the company directly with XL Video in Belgium, the USA & Japan - outdoor screen suppliers with extensive stocks of Barco, Delite, Saco & Lighthouse LED screens.
In California, an even closer association is taking place with the opening of a new XL Video office in LA, also specializing in live video production. The US operation is headed up by Bob Higgins and Barbara Riedling, both of whom have a long-standing history in, and vast knowledge of, the US concert touring market. This name-change and US office launch follows a successful 12 months for the St Albans-based company. Over the past year it has worked with artists such as Oasis, Madonna, Eric Clapton, Craig David, the Corrs, Robbie Williams, Steps, Leftfield, David Gray, Westlife and on the just-commencing U2 Elevation world tour.
Neutrik has launched the NYS225-S commercial quarter-inch phone plug for the live sound industry. The latest in the two-pole mono plug series designed with a larger shell to accommodate wider diameter speaker cable, the 225-S features a silent switch that eliminates the popping distortion when inserted into a jack. "The NYS 225-S was created in response to the needs of musicians, technicians and engineers in the live sound marketplace," says James Cowan, vice-president of Neutrik USA. "The silent switch automatically depresses upon insertion and acts like a ground lift to eliminate the pop when a cable is plugged into an instrument or amplifier."
With a rugged and durable design, the NYS 225-S is built to take the wear and tear of the road with a machined brass shell and a product life of 5,000 insertions. The plug also features a larger cable clamp and large metal handle for speaker cables with a diameter of 0.335-inches (up to 12 AWG).
The countdown to the PLASA Show 2001 has begun! The entertainment technology industry’s leading event will run from 9-12 September at Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London.
With over 89% of the available stand space already sold and all the leading manufacturers booked into the show, PLASA 2001 promises to live up to its reputation as the showcase event that launches the entertainment technology year. Venue improvements have continued, with over £500,000 invested in the last 12 months to improve comfort cooling at the Show. Furthermore, an overall investment of £6million will ensure that Earls Court is a fully air-conditioned exhibition centre by 2002.
Over 400 exhibitors and 14,000 UK and international visitors are expected to attend. Manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of professional lighting, sound and AV equipment will descend upon Earls Court to unveil their latest products and technical developments for the vibrant and hugely diverse entertainment and leisure industry.
Almost 13,000 visitors, including a record 25% from overseas, attended the PLASA Show last year. Specifiers, consultants, attraction managers, recording technicians, disc and light jockeys, technicians, architects, installers and other professionals from the world of entertainment technology travelled from all corners of the globe to see the very latest products, innovations and designs showcased.
The PLASA Show 2001 will feature many of the attractions that contributed to last year’s success including the PLASA Technology Gallery, a display of the product developments enter
I’m not going to write much about Craig David; not that there isn’t much to write about, but because I expect to be writing much more in the future.
While Westlife are a well-voiced, but ultimately plastic facsimile of pop stardom (see feature this issue), Craig David has it all. Last time I made such an assertion was for Baby Bird, who promptly migrated South, so I’ll temper my predictions for David. He is a skilled songwriter - consecutive hits have established that - and he has a rich, round voice, but it was seeing him live that convinced me. He prowls the stage with the leonine grace of a caged animal. He’s compelling, urging the crowd like a Gladiator holding his sword to the neck of his vanquished foe: Thumbs up? Thumbs down? Who cares, this man is dangerous. He may not be playing as many arena shows as Westlife, but they’re sell-outs, and get this - the audience he attracts is, at a rough guess, two years older than theirs, and they scream at 116dB A weighted, according to sound engineer Carl ‘Snake’ Newton - 6dB over Westlife . . . that’s 200% more powerful.
Newton uses a V-dosc system supplied by Wigwam, which is 15 cabinets per side, with three of the near-fill dV-dosc below. As with Westlife, this is the biggest hang of this type I’ve heard. In light of the supersonic screaming of both bands’ audiences, it would be wrong to draw comparisons: there again, the comparison is perfectly made. Walking the room, there’s nothing to choose between them, though I still prefer the low end of the d&b to t
The first meeting of PLASA’s newly established Education and Training Steering Group took place in March.
Chaired by Dave Ward of the Gateway School of Recording, members of the Group include some of the key training providers in the industry, together with representatives of the trade press and the PLASA head office team.
The intention is that the Group will make recommendations to the PLASA committee on the way forward for training and education initiatives for this industry. Part of its remit will be to review ways in which PLASA can create a coherent and sustainable training structure which addresses not only those coming into the industry, but also those already in it. Issues such as accreditation, new technologies, health & safety and good training practice will all be addressed as part of PLASA’s training strategy.
In the first instance, PLASA is looking to identify the training needs of each sector, and as part of that is looking to add to its existing register of training courses. If you run a course, whether you be an academic institution or company/individual within the industry, please e-mail a brief description of the course, together with details of who it is aimed at to -email@example.com
The ABTT Show is proving to be one of the best networking events for the theatre industry. L&SI was at London’s Horticultural Halls . . .
The show consolidated its core theatre roots, firstly by changing its name to the ABTT Theatre Show 2001, and secondly by widening its appeal to complementary sectors and actively targeting architects, consultants and specifiers of front-of-house services. This inevitably led to a broader range of products on the show floor and alongside the lighting, audio, AV and staging equipment, came front of house goods and services - principally seating, but also training, recruitment and licensing. This, in turn, led to more visitors and first indications are that the visitor figure was up a massive 72% over last year’s registered numbers . . .
The talk on the AC stand was of the company’s new HQ, the finishing touches to which, are being applied as we write and since we’re heading to High Wycombe in the next few weeks, you can read all the statistics in the next issue of L&SI.
Flightcases remain ADDA’s mainstay, but it has found a growing market in the range of all-weather protection systems that it distributes on behalf of OXO. The latest - Upside’Dome - has been modified since we saw it at PLASA and 34 were employed to protect the Vari-Lites at the Christmas illuminations of the London Eye.
Garwood’s range of in-ear systems were on the Amber Promotions stand. Garwood has recently introduced a new wireless microphone system to its range, as well as the new Airstream custom earpiece/microphone.
PLASA Media has just learnt that Decoupe, the Tottenham-based distributor of theatrical products, has gone into voluntary liquidation. The company, founded in 1993 by Tom Mannings, specialised in supplying high performance lighting equipment to the entertainment industry, and was until recently the distributor for the range of followspots, luminaires and digital products from Robert Juliat. The company was also the UK agent for the MDG updated range of fog generators and the Sajem Copernik dichroic Par cans. The UK distribution of Robert Juliat product has now been taken over by White Light.
The liquidators are The Thompson Partnership, based in Halsall.
More details in the April issue of L&SI.
PLASA Media has learned that Home nightclub in Leicester Square, London, has been closed after an undercover police investigation showed there was open and serious Class A drug dealing and usage at the venue. Westminster Council made the decision to revoke the club’s entertainment licence with immediate effect, at an emergency meeting following police advice. Chief Inspector Chris Bradford, of the Metropolitan Police Clubs and Vice Unit, said: "We felt it was necessary to take the unusual course of action in a bid to try and eradicate this serious and open problem from the premises.
"A full investigation has been carried out by my officers and we have explored many other courses of action to avoid having to make this application. Our actions in this case should act as a warning to other premises where there is a serious drug problem that we are prepared to take every step in our power to solve the problem."
It is believed to be the first time that a club of this size has had its licence revoked, police said.
Italian spotlight manufacturer LDR will be launching two completely new ranges at ABTT in London on 4th April. LDR’s popular budget-priced 650W Tempo and 1000W Aria ranges have been completely redesigned to create the new style ‘Tempo plus’ and ‘Aria plus’ to improve performance, quality, availability, and compatibility with other manufacturers’ accessories. Tempo plus - simple 500/650W Fresnel and PC spotlights for smaller venues - are now fitted with a quality glass reflector to improve the light output, an improved focus mechanism, 150mm DIN standards accessories and added safety attachment points for barndoors and other colour wheels. The higher-power 1kW Aria plus range has a new body to accommodate 185mm DIN accessories and other detail upgrades. The new products will replace their predecessors immediately, and will be on show at the Lightfactor stand at ABTT.
Italian loudspeaker manufacturer B&C has appointed London-based Proel as its official UK distributor. B&C speakers can be found inside many ‘big name’ manufacturers’ enclosures, but this is the first time the company will have had an active distributor and stockist in the UK. The appointment of Proel coincides with two new high-power woofers being added to B&C’s main speaker series, plus the launch of a completely new range of lightweight drivers. The two newcomers are the 18 TBX 46 and 15 TBX 40. The 18" driver will handle 1,000W AES and features a ventilated magnet assembly for higher power handling and lower power compression. The 15" TBX 40 will also handle 1000W AES and shares a similar design approach. The new B&C range is the company’s HPL (High Power Lightweight) series, which features neodymium magnets and high pressure aluminium chassis with solid heat sinks, allowing higher power handling and lower power compression.
Well known industry figure, Linton Smeeton, one of the founders of RCF UK, has been appointed commercial sales manager of Paso UK Ltd, the corporate office of Paso Spa (Italy). Linton joins up with fellow industry stalwart, Bill Mackie, to strengthen Paso's rapidly developing presence in the public address, voice evacuation and conference markets in the UK and Ireland.
The Gilbert Collection is an outstanding collection of decorative art bequeathed to the British nation by Sir Arthur Gilbert and currently on display in the new Museum of Decorative Art in central London’s Somerset House. A major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund has financed the museum as part of the restoration of Somerset House, an 18th century architectural masterpiece by Sir William Chambers. Asked by the director of the Gilbert Collection to resolve the design problems faced with the lighting in the main galleries Rupert Little, technical director of LVS took on the job and specified the new Aureol Beam Shaper from Selecon. Poor positioning of tracks in the original installation were overcome by the flexibility and adaptability of the Aureols, allowing often difficult ‘shots’ to be achieved. From a design point of view, the performance of the fixtures, coupled with a clean design and minimal light spill made the fitting an ideal choice.
From opposite corners of the globe, two well-known companies have joined together to meet the growing needs of the entertainment industry. GE Lighting, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio and Koto Electric Co Ltd, based in Tokyo, Japan, will collaborate to distribute and develop new products in entertainment metal halide discharge lamps. Under the terms of the agreement, GE will distribute metal halide discharge lamps manufactured by Koto Electric. The lamps - built to GE Lighting’s specifications and branded with the GE name - will be distributed by GE Lighting worldwide, except in Japan and the People’s Republic of China. In addition, both companies have committed to expand their discharge product offerings in the future. "We are constantly looking for ways to improve not only our distribution capabilities, but also our commitment to our customers," said Gerry Schuh, product manager for GE Lighting. "Our collaboration with Koto Electric will provide new outlets to sell and service GE Lighting and Koto Electric customers, and allow us to expand our presence in the entertainment lighting industry."
If you’re planning to be in Shanghai next week for PLASA 2001 at the Intex Exhibition Centre, take some time out from the show to attend the DTI-funded seminar by DHA Lighting on the use of theatrical lighting effects in architectural environments on Wednesday 4th April. As a DTI-sponsored activity, the seminar will deal with only UK-manufactured products, and PLASA stipulates that it is a seminar rather than a product briefing. DHA Lighting will be represented by Julie Harper, sales manager for Asia, who will address a wide audience through a translator. She will be using DHA products and a number of recent Asian projects - the installation of a silver DHA Gecko Image Projector in a high-tech show apartment and number of white DHA animation effects in a Hong Kong shopping mall - to illustrate how theatrical lighting effects can be translated seamlessly into an architectural context.
L-Acoustics and CATT-Acoustic have been working in close collaboration to develop a DLL Directivity Interface (DDI) for modelling V-DOSC and dV-DOSC. This WST DDI allows for directivity modeling of L-Acoustics’ Wavefront Sculpture Technology (WST-based) line source arrays and represents a significant advancement in addressing the needs of acoustic consultants and sound designers. Generally, acoustical prediction software programs describe the directivity of a sound reinforcement system with a balloon representing the magnitude of the sound pressure as a function of site and azimuth radiation angles. This type of balloon works for a single source, but is not sufficient to simulate the behaviour of large line source arrays that have both an extended near-field and distance-dependent directivity. Developed using proprietary theoretical modeling, the WST DDI allows the user to make accurate SPL predictions of L-Acoustics’ WST-based line source arrays in either a venue (including the effects of room acoustics) or in open air situations. CATT-Acoustic also allows for SPL mapping, calculation of room acoustics parameters (such as STI) and auralization in order to evaluate system performance prior to actual installation. L-Acoustics is currently working with EASE to develop the same type of modelling capability for this industry-standard program in order to make modeling of WST-based line source arrays even more accessible.
The 42nd edition of the Festival Internacional de la Canción de Viña del Mar, Latin America’s longest-running music festival, was staged in February next to the botanical garden and ‘Palacio de Bellas Artes’. Joaquín Cortés opened the festival, which also included performances by the Vengaboys, Ricardo Arjona, Lucero, La Ley and Miguel Bosé. Pat Henry, owner of the Mexico City-based lighting hire company of the same name, supplied and installed the entire lighting rig for Viña del Mar for the eighth consecutive year, and designed the lighting set together with lighting director of broadcaster Canal 13, Jaime Sato. Pat Henry supplied a large amount of Italian-made SGM scanners and moving heads for the event - 50 Galileo IV 1200s, 64 Giotto Spot 1200s and 24 Giotto Wash 1200s. Scanners were mostly installed in backlighting to liven up the stage and to illuminate the artists, while the Giotto washlights were used to surround the large LED display behind the stage.
Stagetec (UK) Ltd has been awarded the contract to supply a sound and lighting system for the 'Pride of Rotterdam' - the first of P&O North Sea Ferries' two new cruise ferries. The new vessels will have accommodation including luxury suites and all cabins will have their own private facilities. They will also offer an à la carte restaurant, a two-tiered show lounge, wine bar, business centre and even a cyber zone, where passengers can surf the web. The system, being supplied through Ellie Jay Cruising Entertainment, consists of a Compulite Spark 4D lighting control desk, Allen & Heath GL3300 32-channel mixer, Sennheiser Evolution radio mic systems and a complement of signal processing and effects equipment. The ship sails on 12th April and will sail daily from Hull to Rotterdam.
With Legoland California now open and the fourth park under construction in Germany, Lego are ready to take their theatrical productions to the next level. By asking Edwards Technologies Inc to install matching AV and show-control systems at similar theatres in all its sites, it is now proving economically favourable for Lego to produce shows with far higher production values, and stage them at all locations simultaneously. In Billund, Denmark, ETI is installing a complete bespoke AV and show-control system to the brand new 450-seat XTREME Theatre, in the original Legoland. This will be the park’s first purpose-built theatre (and the largest in Jutland). The theatre opens in April with a hybrid live/multimedia show ‘Life On Mars’. In California, ETI is expanding its existing AV and show-control system in the Imagination Theatre. This was part of the park-wide installation competed by ETI in 1999. Life On Mars opens there in May.
At Legoland in the UK, ETI is upgrading the facilities of the existing 'Circus Tent' venue. The system will include a complete video and show-control installation, but at Lego's request will integrate with much of the existing audio and lighting equipment. 'Life On Mars' opens in the UK in June. Finally, in Gunzburg in Germany, ETI is engineering a similar state-of-the-art AV and show-control system as part of their park-wide design for the park. The fourth Legoland opens in summer 2002.image – Lego.jpg
Avolites has recently supplied the UK‘s two major film, video and television lighting rental houses - AFM Lighting and Lee Lighting – with ART dimming systems, which will run at a guaranteed 100 % duty cycle with very low levels of filament and choke noise. When AFM Lighting approached Avolites about their need to selectively disable the RCB functions for individual dimmer modules, the Avolites design team was happy to accommodate.The resulting facility is now offered as an option to all Avo customers, whereby the RCB function of each dimmer module may be individually disabled via a push-button key-switch. This is a common requirement during live TV recording and film shoots, where lights must be guaranteed working, without the risk of a minor earth fault (e.g. dampness on lamps) tripping the RCB protection devices.
For maximum flexibility, the Avolites ART-2000 dimmers can have the RCB-disable option applied in groups of 12 channels - unlike other dimmers where the whole rack has to be switched into similar mode. AFM’s Chris Millard worked closely with Avolites’ R&D team, headed by JB Toby, to produce this feature. Immediately after delivery to AFM, the dimmers went to Leavesden Studios in Hertfordshire, and into action on the set of a high profile Warner Bros movie, due for release in the Autumn.
Continuing in the film and television vein, for Lee Lighting North, Avolites has supplied eight modules of ART-4000 dimming to add to their rental inventory. For Lee Lighting in London, a further supply of 11 ART-2000 48-way racks has just been complet