As we reported on 19 September, the police are in the throes of a major investigation into fraud allegations at the Millennium Dome. At the time it was made clear that these centred around 'irregularities' in connection with the procurement of contracts. As a result of these investigations, four people have now been arrested. A 30-year old man and 20-year old woman have been arrested in Liverpool and taken to a London police station, whilst a woman in her sixties has been arrested in West Yorkshire. The final arrest was of a man in his thirties at a business address in south-east London. All four have been bailed until February next year to allow for further enquiries to take place. PLASA Publishing has learnt that the police investigation involves the awarding of a lighting contract.
Jai Auguste has joined the sales department at TMB's UK operation in Brentford. With his many years of experience as operations manager at The Spot Co and more recently as head of sales, design and installation at HFM Lighting, Auguste will become an integral part of TMB's sales operations in Europe and worldwide. TMB recently moved its European operations to a larger facility in Brentford's docklands and significantly increased the amount and variety of on-hand inventory, in addition to increasing the number of support and assembly personnel.
Next Two, manufacturer and supplier of public address and voice alarm loudspeakers to industry and commerce, has recently been acquired by MEDC Ltd, specialists in the design, manufacture and application of field devices for potentially explosive atmospheres. Managing Director, Chris Simms told PLASA Publishing: "The Next Two product range will complement and extend the existing MEDC range. It is our intention to develop the product line by improvement of existing products as well as the ongoing introduction of new products." Next Two will continue its sales operations from its base at Uckfield, East Sussex, with the same team.
Coco Jungle, a club/restaurant venue, is being billed as one of the first themed clubs in Egypt. Located just outside of Cairo on the shores of the Nile River, Coco Jungle is one of the country's most popular nightspots. Coco Jungle, and accompanying boat restaurant Le Pacha 1901, have installed a number of Martin Professional luminaires designed to create different moods and atmospheres. In keeping with the jungle theme, trees, bamboo and water play a major role in the interior design. Coco Jungle is equipped with four MAC 300 wash lights, four MAC 250 profile spots, two Voyagers, and a Jem TechnoFog for added effect, all controlled from a Martin LightJockey controller. Le Pacha 1901, meanwhile, features a glass-covered dance floor over a pool of water. Four RoboColor IIs and one RoboColor IIX, placed in protective glass casings in the water beneath the dance floor, provide colour changes. Outside, four Exterior 600s - again controlled via a Martin LightJockey controller - illuminate the boat's façade, which can be seen from the opposite shore of the Nile. All Martin equipment for the two venues was supplied by Media International Trading of Egypt through Martin's Middle Eastern agent, AMAC.
Mackie Designs has announced that PD (a.k.a 'Phy Deaux'), the company's corporate Chihuahua, passed away on 28th September. PD's image as Mackie's Corporate Chihuahua rose to prominence in Mackie collateral material, advertisements, websites, marketing videos and product manuals. So well-known was PD to Mackie employees, distributors, reps and customers, that in 1995 a bronze cast of PD was produced as the highest award that could be bestowed upon a Mackie Designs sales rep. Ron Koliha, Mackie's Marketing Deity and PD's owner, told us: "PD was the one who I could turn to for honest critiques of all of my marketing concepts. If she didn't like it, she would simply piddle on it . . . literally. PD will surely be missed."
In a move which reflects their continuing commitment to providing the highest possible quality service to their customers, London-based rental company, Dobson Sound Productions Ltd. is pleased to welcome Nicholas Hughes to the role of technical manager. In addition to being a graduate of the prestigious Tonmeister course at the University of Surrey, Nick also comes with extensive experience in the service and repair of high end professional audio equipment, most recently with Boffin Island, the service company for Funky Junk. He is thus ideally suited to take on the mantle of building a full service department for Dobsons.
TMB's celebrated annual outing, which took place over the weekend of October 1st, drew a diverse industry group from the US and overseas. The weekend trip, to Ensenada, Mexico, drew attendees from companies as far afield as Mexico (Toma Cinco, Guadalajara) and Japan (Ken Production Services Inc, Yokohama). Also represented were: Acey Decy, Barbizon, Cinelease, Cinema Services, Delicate Productions, Hollywood Rentals, Location Lighting, Light & Sound Design, Oasis Stage Werks, San Diego Stage, Starlite Global, TM Motion Pictures and Versales. LSD's Chris 'Tiny' Ward entertained a visitor from even further afield. Much fun was had, fish were caught, and many hallowed traditions, including the exploding of Elvis, were upheld.
London-based theatre sound specialist Orbital Sound has acquired three Allen & Heath ML5000 mixing consoles from the London branch of LMC Audio Systems. Specified in advance by Orbital for their forthcoming Winter season, the console will be employed on Christmas Pantomime productions, as well as Bill Kenwright's production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The nature of the Christmas shows means tight production deadlines and limited budgets. Orbital has a long association with Pantomime productions, and Orbital's hire department, headed by Jane Finlay and Dan Parton, who specified the desks, offers practical advice gained from years of experience in this most traditional of theatre.The addition of the cost-effective Allen & Heath ML5000 complements Orbital's extensive inventory of high-specification equipment. The ML5000 is ideal for any production working within limited budgetary constraints and enables Orbital to provide a cost effective, reliable solution for these shows.
AV specialists Blitz Communications picked up two Silver Awards at the Marketing Event Awards 2000, held at the London Hilton recently. Nominated twice in the 'Best Supplier - On Site' category, Blitz won Silver for both. The first nomination was for its work with HP:ICM on the Opel Agila and Astra Coupe European Dealer launch - an event which itself won the Gold Award for 'Best Product Launch'. The second was for the launch of a new pharmaceutical firm, Aventis, for which Blitz's three divisions - Blitz Vision, Blitz Interactive and TP Sound Services - put together a highly complex system.
ARX Systems has introduced a series of multi-channel power amplifiers with built-in zoning features. Comprising three models, the ZA Series is designed for any multi-channel application including paging systems, foreground and background music, AV systems, loudspeaker multi-zoning, etc. The ZA Series features AutoLink function which automatically links channel inputs as required, eliminating the extra expense of an external zoner/splitter. The models are the ZA400 (4-channel, 250W pc into 4 ohms); ZA600 (6-channel, 125W pc into 4 ohms); ZA800 (8-channel, 125W pc into 4 ohms). Initial installations of the ZA Series include the CSIRO Science Centre in Canberra, Australia and the Ing-Ge Ceramics Museum in Taipei, Taiwan.
Contestants on Carlton Television's 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?' Will now talk to compere Chris Tarrant through Trantec's multi award-winning synthesised UHF S5000 radio mic system - thanks to the initiative of a consortium of six freelance sound engineers. The newly-formed Elstree Sound Associates was set up specifically to provide audio services to Celador Productions, makers of 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?' at Elstree Studios - giving them the opportunity to break free from some of the products generally used in TV production.One of the supervisors, Chris Thorpe - who sound mixes alongside fellow Elstree Sound Associates engineer, Kevin Duff - was happy to recommend Trantec, having used the system at the OB/derig facility Roll to Record and Fountain Studios in Wembley. Thorpe ordered 16 personals (fitted with Sony ECM 77 clip-on mics) and two hand-held systems, along with a couple of distribution units and computer monitoring.The other four members of Elstree Sound Associates are Robert Wahl, John Galbraith, Barry Mizen and Vernon Cooper.
The Klark Teknik Group has appointed ART Studio to distribute Midas products in Belarus. This is the first time that Midas has been represented in White Russia and the company has already got off to a flying start with the sale of a Heritage 2000 to the Belarussian State Orchestra in Minsk. Finberg, the State Orchestra's own rental company, is one of the largest in Belarus and caters for many prestigious events throughout the country. One of the first events for the new console was a concert by the award-winning French singer, Patricia Kaas. Since the sale of the Heritage 2000, ART Studio has also purchased a Heritage 1000 for its own rental department. Its first outing will be for Deep Purple, playing the Sports Palace in Minsk in early November as part of a European tour.
To help prepare them for a wide variety of careers in theatre, film, television, exhibition and coporate event markets, third-year students taking Lighting Design, Directing and Stage Management degrees at Rose Bruford College put together various productions of a non-theatre nature. This year, these have included 'Club Night', 'Audio-Visual', 'Sone et Lumiere' and 'Dance' productions. Performed at the College's Barn Theatre on the Sidcup campus, just outside London, these productions will enable students to show an audience of technical theatre professionals just what they can do. The College receives much help in this in the form of the loan of equipment from leading companies within the lighting industry, with around £200,000 worth of equipment being loaned this year for the duration of the productions. Help has been received from Martin Professional, Lightfactor, Avolites, Flying Pig Systems, Vari-Lite and White Light.
Worcestershire-based rental company RMPA has just invested in ElectroVoice's latest microphone launch, PolarChoice, purchased from EV's UK distributor, Shuttlesound. PolarChoice podium microphones offer the option of four different pickup patterns, allowing the selection of the best pattern for the application. The ability to select from omnidirectional, cardioid, supercardioid or hypercardioid assures the maximum protection against system feedback and ambient background noise. RMPA's Rick Bailey commented: "They really are excellent microphones in every way . . . The gain they offer before feedback is impressive, and the sound quality is superb. And it's just as well because the very first event they went out on was the MOD's World Symposium on speech intelligibility and speech coding at the DERA headquarters in Farnborough! However, the client was as impressed with the mics' performance as I was."
PLASA Publishing has learned that the directors of Ocean State Rigging Systems Ltd have decided to commence liquidation proceedings. The Hertfordshire-based company is a subsidiary of Ocean State Rigging Systems Inc, which was established in the United States in 1978 to service the film, corporate and touring industries, and has offices in Rhode Island and Florida.
With the appointment of Gareth Collyer and Gerry Frost as shareholding directors, Lamba plc chairman Frank Irish, has set out a strategic blueprint for the company's future. Collyer and Frost have been on the company's main board of directors for over 18 months, and will maintain their active roles as technical director and sales director, respectively. Irish commented: "With recent product acquisitions creating a new dynamic in the company, we believe the timing is right to devolve more responsibility to Gareth and Gerry, to ensure continued development over the next decade." Lamba has recently secured two new exclusive UK distribution accounts - for Nady Systems and Cerwin Vega! Hi-Fi, as well as consolidating the UK representation of an expanded Stanton Magnetics range. To accommodate this growth, Irish has simultaneously announced the imminent relocation of Lamba plc to larger, purpose-built premises in St Albans, including a warehouse and distribution centre.
The UK's phenomenally successful television production, Big Brother, which was screened through July and August, relied heavily on Sennheiser RF systems to relay seamless sound transmission, not only for the nightly Channel 4 broadcast, but also for the 24-hour Internet broadcast. Each contestant on the show was fitted with a clip mic and Sennheiser SK50 miniature body-pack transmitter, supplied by Cine Video Audio Hire Division. These were to be worn at all times, except when showering or sleeping. The Sennheiser EM1046-UHF receiver rack was used in conjunction with Cine Video's own Triax remote antennae system, enabling the RF aerials to cover a vast area.
The Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith was the stage for a recent pro audio open day for two of Marquee Audio's main suppliers - Yamaha and Turbosound. Yamaha demonstrated its latest digital family, the PM1D, DME32 and AW4416 desks, which are now being shipped, while Turbosound's new family of TQ Series loudspeakers - the TQ440/TQ425, TQ259, TQ220, TQ225 and TQ330 lined up alongside the TCS35, also heavily specified by Marquee Audio. The event attracted some of the UK's leading audio consultants. Marquee's Andy Huffer commented: "This was a superb chance for both end-users and manufacturers to experience new products in a realistic environment. The Yamaha PM1D and DME32 ran the show, switching between the Turbosound speakers which were suspended around the stage."
Spirit by Soundcraft is launching a 40-input version of its popular LX7 mixing desks. Housed in a 32-mono channel frame, the LX7-40 features a maximum of 40 inputs, including stereo inputs and returns. Like its siblings, the new model features seven separate bus outputs, including Mix Left and Right, four Groups and a dedicated Mono bus for centre speaker clusters, side or rear fills. With the inclusion of six auxiliary busses and Direct Outs on 24 of the mono channels, the output count rises to 37.Spirit has also announced a major update for the Digital 328 console, adding many new and improved features. The 328's dynamic automation is now compatible with a wider range of sequencers, while changes and additions to the user interface make for even easier operation.
Audio Design Systems, under its trading name of ADSworldwide, has entered into a special joint venture with a Chinese company to sell a range of home theatre equipment under a UK label. ADS will see its new range being sold under the Mistral label in all of China's seven major cities. It is envisaged that the Mistral, which comprises a range of home theatre speakers together with an amplifier and DVD player, will also be marketed within the UK and Europe. The televised launch of the product was recently staged in Shenzhen on China's south-eastern coast. David Hopkins OBE, managing director of ADS, was there as a special guest, and admitted that the event had been far more high-profile than he could have thought possible. He added: "There can be no doubt that the venture will succeed if the initial launch is anything to go by."
PCM has announced its end-of-year CM Lodestar Motor Schools for the 28th and 29th November, to be held at PCM's HQ in Prenton, Wirral, wrapping up a busy training year for PCM. The two-day Motor School course has been modified to include an operational session on the use of the Lodestar Motor, in addition to the usual hands-on assembly, disassembly and troubleshooting. Once again, the event is broadened by trussing and ground support specialists James Thomas Engineering, who will present a half-day course on truss usage and its interaction with motors. The two-day course is free of charge to all participants - all they need to do is travel to The Wirral and cover their hotel costs.PCM's Motor School is fully compliant with the new LOLER regulations, and on completion, attendees are issued with a certificate to prove that they have been properly trained on the equipment. PCM has now trained over 900 owners, specifiers and users of Lodestar Motors, and courses are always in heavy demand, so early booking is advisable. PCM expanded its Motor School programme in 2000 and also took it to Europe. The company's fully-comprehensive, intensive five-day Rigging School, launched in 1999, is next scheduled to run in February 2001. For further details on all PCM Training initiatives please contact John Jones or Claire Williams at PCM on +44 151 609 0101 or check out the PCM website.
AC Lighting North, based in Leeds, completed a move to new, purpose designed, larger premises mid way through July. The new 6,300sq.ft premises feature custom-built offices, showroom with full flying height and extensive warehouse facilities. AC Lighting North's sales manager, Jonathan Walters commented: "The need for these new premises has been brought about by our continued increase in sales since the office was established in 1996."AC Lighting North's new address is: Hawksworth Commercial Centre, Elder Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS13 4AT. The company's telephone and fax numbers remain the same, as 0113 255 7666 and 0113 255 7676 respectively.
Tannoy Professional, in conjunction with Funktion One Research, has launched the Focus 10 PowerDual - a high-quality music and speech reinforcement loudspeaker with complementary Focus 18B bass unit. Designed specifically for use in medium-sized venues and distributed systems in stadia, the PowerDual combines Tannoy's Dual Concentric technology with Funktion One's patented Axhead technology, which provides a controlled 60° horizontal x 40° vertical dispersion, never before achieved with a Dual Concentric fully horn-loaded unit. Tannoy's Focus 10 is a weatherproof skeletal design suitable for internal and external use and is compact and lightweight for ease of mounting. Both speakers have been designed for use with the Tannoy TDX2 Digital System Controller, which includes two input and six output channels to provide up to five crossover modes for both stereo and mono operation. Output channels feature independent control for gain, delay, high and low pass filters, five-band parametric EQ, limiting and polarity and the TDX2 also comes with a number of pre-programmed presets for use with all current Tannoy speakers.
Vari-Lite International has announced today the extension of the letter of intent to sell its Belgian, Dutch, French and Swedish operations to First Events BV. Under the terms of the revised letter of intent, the sale is subject to various conditions but is scheduled to be completed by the end of this month.