As part of its strategic expansion plans, Tomcat has recruited four new European distributors giving it further representation throughout Europe. The new distributors are Arlecchino in Moscow, Russia; MITECH 2000 in Budapest, Hungary; ASL in Zurich, Switzerland and on home ground White Light (Electrics) of Fulham, West London. Arlecchino BSC is a well-established rental, sales and installation company; MITECH 2000 is built on the industry experience of owner Mihaly Borbas whilst ASL Electronic AG of Switzerland is headed up by David Schertz. Some of Tomcat's most innovative trussing products have been inspired by their association with White Light, and this relationship has now been formalised as the company has become a UK distributor of Tomcat products.
beyerdynamic has launched a new range of headphones designed for use in high-noise environments. The DT300 range combines full circumnaural noise excluding ear shells developed originally for avionics applications with beyerdynamic's legendary DT150 ear-drivers resulting in a high quality-monitoring headphone with an ambient noise exclusion of almost 30dB. The DT300 has a frequency response from 5 to 30kHz and excludes surrounding ambient noise by up to 30dB making it a natural candidate for use in live performance situations giving sound engineers the possibility of accurate monitoring at much lower and safer audio levels.
At the recent Live! Awards, PCM's John Jones presented the PSA (Production Services Association) with a third cheque in support of its Welfare and Benevolent Fund. The cheque, for £2,190, was presented by PCM's John Jones to Fund trustee, Mike Lethby. This third instalment refers to PCM's 'sponsorship' of the PSA's Welfare and Benevolent Fund launched in February 1999. The total donated by PCM now tops £7,000. The deal is linked directly to PCM's sale of Columbus McKinnon Lodestar hoists: for every Lodestar purchased in the UK through PCM, £10 is donated to the Welfare Fund. PSA chairman Keith Ferguson commented: "We thank PCM for their hugely motivating gesture, and hope that it will encourage others to support the Fund and ensure its future."
The 2000 Live! Awards saw companies including Avolites, Klark Teknik, Pulsar & Clay Paky, PCM, PSL, RG Jones and Sennheiser joining forces to produce a highly successful night. The entertainment for the evening featured the customary reception and three-course dinner, followed by a short set from singer Sam Brown and Deep Purple keyboard maestro Jon Lord. The Awards were presented by legendary artist Ian Dury in fine form, who displayed his well-known flair and humour to full effect and was rewarded with a standing ovation at the end of the ceremony.
XTA are set to release a powerful new software revision for their Speaker Management System product group including the DP200; DP202; DP226 and the recently introduced DP224. The new software is the result of an engineering collaboration between XTA and SIA, the designers of SMAART audio analysis software. This will enable control of the XTA devices from within the SMAART programme itself, greatly simplifying the set up of sound systems when utilising SMAART as a room analysis tools and allowing total software control considerably reducing set-up time and allowing settings to be saved for use when a venue is revisited.
Caribiner International contracted Essential Lighting to manage the lighting design for the recent Allied Dunbar Sales Convention. The brief from Caribiner's producer, Andrew Price was, as always, to make the event better, bigger and faster than ever. The set designs and drawings were distributed electronically by the beginning of December. Working in Essential's new WYSIWYG suite, lighting designer Tony Hall then turned these into a full blown drawing, complete with the attendant lighting of 190 moving fixtures (170 Martin MAC fixtures, 14 moving mirror units, 3 CityColors, a 7Kw Xenon searchlight) and some 60 generic fittings. Five days of intensive lighting programming followed, using Whole Hog II lighting desks for the moving elements of the show, and a Pearl 2000 for the Generic aspects. Two Wholehog II desks were used for show control, linked together as a master desk and a tracking back-up desk. One of the outputs of the Hog was overdriven to obtain the required five strings of DMX for the moving lights. The Pearl 2000 was backed up by an ARRI Reflections unit with an overdrive box, to cater for the two strings of DMX being sent from this desk.
Britannia Row Productions, one of the largest PA companies in Europe, has invested in a selection of Midas consoles from the London branch of LMC Audio Systems, including five Midas Heritage 3000 consoles and one Midas XL4, as part of their continued investment in new equipment. Bryan Grant of Brit Row commented: "We've had a very solid last 18 months and felt that the time was right to update our console stock. The Midas product and LMC service were a great combination for us." PA Company GPA Hire has also recently purchased a Midas Heritage 3000 from the London branch of LMC. The console has already been out with ex-Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown and is currently on a European tour Apollo 440. The Heritage 3000 was used in the monitor position during Apollo 440's sell-out London gig at Scala, Kings Cross.
Show Presentation Services (SPS), one of the largest AV companies in Europe, and Earls Court Olympia (ECO) have entered into a five year contract to offer the complete range of SPS audio-visual and staging services based in house at both ECO's London venues. SPS @ ECO as the new venture will be known, will have a large AV equipment stockholding and personnel at both venues.
Tannoy has provided two individual speaker systems for installation into the Metaforum auditorium at Holland's 'The School of the Future' - a state-of-the-art college used for showcasing new technologies in education. The Metaforum auditorium is equipped for either stereo or Dolby Surround playback of audio-visual material. Netherlands-based MCM carried out the installation, which comprised two individual speaker systems - a Dolby Surround system for film presentations, and a central cluster and distributed speaker grid system for speech reinforcement. The Dolby Surround system consists of three pairs of i12 speakers with a TX2 controller for each pair and two B950 sub bass speakers mounted behind the screen. 10 CPA5 compact speakers are mounted at the rear of the auditorium to provide surround effects. The central cluster and distributed speaker grid uses eight Tannoy CMS65 ICT 6.5" ceiling monitor speakers for vocal reinforcement towards the rear of the auditorium, with the speech system comprising a cluster of two i12 speakers flown centrally above the screen.
The Lighting Division of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers and the Institution of Lighting Engineers has launched the programme for a millennium lighting conference to be held in York from 9-11 July 2000. The conference will include sessions and case studies on remote source lighting, quality in lighting and light pollution.
TFE Concerts, aligned to The Full Effect, has appointed a new events and marketing manager responsible for concerts, roadshows and other outdoor music events. Clare Sugars, formerly of the Royal Festival Hall, has been brought in to manage all Year 2000 Music Events staged by TFE.
The launch of new nightclub 'bed' has been rescheduled for Saturday 11th March 2000. The move is a result of a routine inspection of drainage revealing two collapsed drains underneath the former 'Music Factory' club at a depth of 3.5 metres. Though not a major structural problem, interior refurbishment work will be slowed down at the 1,270 capacity venue whilst the situation is rectified to correspond with health and safety requirements. "It's a shame we're not going to open on time, but these things are sent to try us," explained Russell Pate, bed promoter. After being closed for almost 12 months, the venue will welcome a much needed interior and exterior refit, its new name and a redefined music policy.
PLASA EXCLUSIVE: PLASA electronic news can now reveal that Electronic Theatre Controls has appointed Mike Lowe as managing director of ETC Europe. Previously of Teatro, Lowe's appointment re-affirms the company's position as a truly pan-European player, with its growing team of employees from both the UK and continental Europe. Lowe formed Teatro Srl, Italy, 13 years ago and prior to this was with Rank Strand, where he was managing director of the company outside of the US, helping turn the company round into profit after continued trading losses. His international management experience makes him ideal for ETC Europe, which has been growing at an annual rate of 45% since its formation in 1995. Lowe is looking forward to the opportunities that the role will offer: "The management style and culture within ETC is so right for our industry. An important factor for me is that ETC Europe has its own identity and culture - it isn't simply an extension of the American operation. The world is an interesting place at the moment: there are tremendous opportunities for the company with the right resources and the right attitude and I believe that ETC is that company."Welcoming Lowe, who joins the company in March, Fred Foster (CEO of ETC International) told PLASA: "I am pleased to have Mike join the ETC team. He will bring a new dimension to the leadership of ETC Europe and will add a strong European voice to the global management team of ETC International."
John Adams, formerly international sales and operations director with Texas-based lighting manufacturer High End Systems, has joined the California-based loudspeaker system manufacturer Apogee Sound as director of international sales.
In order to offer a more competitive service, Nottingham-based NJD has spent the last year organising a new manufacturing facility in India. The result is a range of products identical to their UK equivalents, carrying the same design and engineering, as well as guarantees, but with improved packaging and user guides. The first four products from the range - Chaos, Chaos 2000, Blitzer and Datamoon - are now available.
Andy Trevett has left Selecon UK to join Prolyte. The company, which has its headquarters in The Netherlands, with sales offices in Germany and the UK, manufactures a range of aluminium trussing systems.
The second Pulsar Student Lighting Designers Competition is to commence shortly with the first heat taking place in Melton Mowbray Colleges' technical studio. Contestants will able to use the latest technology recently installed by Pulsar Light which includes two Clay Paky Stage Color 300s and two Stage Light 300s, controlled by Pulsar's Masterpiece 216. Students from the performing arts department of De Montfort University, based at Melton Mowbray, are already queuing up to participate in the competition. Training will be offered by Pulsar at its Cambridge headquarters and the brief for the designers will be to come up with a design that complements a short piece of contemporary music. Two heats per month will see a number of students battling it out and the winners will then be invited to the finals in July where they will be asked to light a short piece of theatre specifically commissioned for the contest. Further heats will take place over the next few months when it is hoped that degree students from Loughborough University and Nottingham Trent University will also participate.
Readers of L&SI will recall that in 1998 nva organisation presented the landmark 'Secret Sign' event in a deep river gorge near Loch Lomond. The sell-out show was nominated as Production of the Year by The Herald newspaper and led to the single largest award by the Millennium Festival Company to create a new project to mark the year 2000. Setting their sights high, nva spent a year searching the highlands of Scotland for the perfect location and eventually settled on Glen Lyon. From May 19th - June 4th, 300 people per night (and that includes an intrepid pair from PLASA Publishing) will travel from every part of Britain to experience a journey into the heart of the glen. Over a two hour night-time walk they will encounter a beautifully animated environment, lighting and sound installations and performance revealing key natural features varying from waterfalls to standing stones. With an international creative team led by Angus Farquhar, this is the first time an event of this scale and ambition has been developed in Britain. Full story in February L&SI.
Loren Haas has left Vari-Lite Inc. Haas has been with the company many years, most recently as executive vice-president working out of the Dallas office. His departure comes at a time of restructuring for the company, which recently announced that it was, for the first time in its history, manufacturing products specifically for sale.
Demospec, the specialist French manufacturer of cinema screens and other projection surfaces, has been acquired by the Harkness Hall Group. The acquisition creates a company with operations in the UK, USA and continental Europe, giving the Group an increased ability to meet the needs of customers worldwide. The two companies will share products, manufacturing and technology. Andrew Robinson, managing director of Harkness Hall Group, said: "The enlarged group has the capability of serving the cinema, theatre, exhibition, conference and special venue markets with the specialised products needed. The Harkness Hall Group is even better placed to serve a market which has become increasingly international in recent years."
Following its recent acquisition of equipment servicing company Cimple Solutions, FX has established a new division to provide a pro audio equipment servicing facility to its customers. The move has been made in order, say the company, to address many of the complaints that are currently levelled at service companies - including reporting job progress, time taken over repairs and the cost and speed of collection and deliveries. FX Cimple Solutions is headed by Cliff Whitehead.
White Light has released a new, safe and fully rated solution to a standard lighting problem: rigging sidelighting on a lighting ladder. Until now, adjustable lighting ladders have generally been adjustable frameworks constructed from scaffolding. However, the advent of the new Lifting Of Loads and Equipment Regulations (LOLER), which came into force during 1998, means that this solution is no longer acceptable. Under the guidance of Richard Wilson, the company has designed a new adjustable ladder system, christened the LOLER Ladder. It consists of 2m vertical tube sections with spigots to accept cross-pieces at spacings suitable for commonly used conventional and moving lights. Cross pieces are fitted onto and then bolted to these spigots to form ladders with the desired rung spacing and, since standard diameter pipe is used throughout, lanterns can then be hung on the ladder using their standard hook clamps. The uprights are fitted with rated hanging points, allowing the ladder to be flown safely.
Tannoy's new B225 15" direct-radiating bass speaker is aimed at installations where live sound reinforcement requires extended bass response from a compact cabinet. Making an ideal companion to Tannoy's successful i/T series speakers, the B225's power handling is rated at 400-800W/8 ohms, and integrated M8 flying points make for easy installation.
Leading pro audio retailer The M Corporation has recently supplied equipment for a new studio for U-Nite, a group based in the Nottingham and Derbyshire area, which aims to offer local people access to opportunities and facilities that they may find difficult to attain otherwise. U-Nite found the premises for the studio in Princes Trust rooms in a recently-converted textile mill in a village outside Mansfield. With the site settled, U-Nite turned to the M Corporation's Nottingham branch. Chosen equipment includes an Allen & Heath 32-channel GS3000 mixing desk with meter bridge, Lexicon, Digitech and Behringer effects units, Alesis ADATs and a variety of microphones. Initial projects are underway and U-Nite are involved in negotiations with a local radio station to provide programming that will focus on music in the local area.