Following David Pacy's recent return to Clever Group, and the company's change of name back to Metro Group, further changes have been announced by the company. Pacy commented: "Metro Tyrell's business is extremely specialised. Therefore, I believe that Metro Tyrell will operate more successfully working alongside the Metro brands as a sister company and part of WPP Group plc, as opposed to being part of the Metro Group. All parties are in agreement and with the full support of WPP, we look forward to an extremely successful 2000." The company name will be changed by the end of January.
Alain Bardouil from White Butterflies Productions took delivery in December of the first Compulite SparkTop system. White Butterflies has owned a Spark system for several years primarily for controlling Hardware for Xenon projectors. The system had its first outing to St Brieuc in the North of Brittany for a Millennium night show controlling Hardware double image scroller projectors.
In a move that is certain to be of interest to the live sound marketplace, Sennheiser has informed PLASA Publishing that it is to distribute Innova-Son digital mixing consoles and related products in the US. Innova-Son was the first to the European market with a wide range of digital mixing consoles and is poised to do the same in the US. Sennheiser is therefore in the enviable position of becoming the first in the US to have a digital mixing console ready for delivery. The new Innova-Son Sensory console was used during the summer on the 12-week Audio Denver Gipsy Kings tour and has been widely used elsewhere by the BBC, Radio France, in several national performing arts centres and by Jean Michel Jarre for the Y2K concert at the Egyptian Pyramids. In addition to its own range, Sennheiser currently distributes Neumann microphones, D.A.S. Audio Loudspeakers and Chevin Research Amplifiers. Sennheiser's Jeff Alexander will manage the Innova-Son brand.
Audio Toys Inc, a subsidiary of the ATI Group has released the Mini Paragon, a mixing console with all of the attributes of the now established Paragon II less 24 input channels. Like the Paragon II, the Mini Paragon is an automation-ready console: each input featuresan ATI patented compressor, a gate, and four bands of parametric EQ. Each channel has a variable direct out switchable between stereo or dual mono. Half of the 16 groups are stereo, with the remaining eight switchable between stereo or dual mono. The desk saw its first use on Canadian rocker Brian Adams' 34-date swing through Europe.
Black Box AV has recently installed a new digital video concept at the new Virgin Megastore in Piccadilly. The problem posed to the store designers was how to make people aware that another trading floor existed below and what products were stocked on that floor. Black Box AV proposed and eventually installed an all new Video Signage system. In simple terms, the signage is provided by a six screen LCD 'Video Ribbon' which is suspended above the stairwell. The ribbon is linked to a fast computer with a multi output graphics card that addresses each screen individually. In addition to the video signage system, the company also installed 38 of its Bar Code Listening Posts in the Piccadilly store, a product which has now become a standard in new build and refurbished Virgin Megastores throughout the UK.
In an intensely contested international design competition, beyerdynamic has been selected to receive the prestigious Hannover Design Forum 2000 award for their S600 Handheld Wireless Microphone. The judges were impressed by the ergonomic design, attractive finish and the simple interchange between microphone heads to condenser, dynamic and shotgun lavalier microphones. Introduced in February '99, the S600 completes a range of products and accessories available for the U600 UHF wireless system which includes base stations, bodypack transmitters, bodypack receivers, antenna distribution systems as well as a computer interface and software for programming and monitoring of the radio frequency and audio frequency functions of the system.
Norwegian sales and hire company AVAB-CAC has taken delivery of the very first Klark Teknik DN1248 Active Microphone Splitters, which were launched at PLASA in September. The units were purchased for NRK Broadcasting, Norway's biggest national radio and television broadcasting company. So far the company has ordered two DN1248s for their music recording department with the intention of increasing the stock significantly after an initial trial period.
A new system to enable lighting and electrical crew to gain access to overhead rigs in theatres is being manufactured by Tomcat UK. The system, called CES Trolley Truss, was designed by Colin Smith, the head of lighting for Opera North, based at the Grand Theatre in Leeds. Smith developed the system as an alternative to other methods of access, such as Tallescopes, which are the subject of further safety restrictions as well as to be a cheaper option to existing forms of flown bridge. Opera North itself changed its entire rig to the system over a year ago, and Smith says the time-saving has been remarkable. Another recent convert to the system has been Scottish Opera, who have been very pleased with the results.
Two major Amsterdam live music venues - the Paradiso Club and Melkweg (Milky Way) - have extended their existing Martin Audio sound systems with further orders from pro audio specialist Ampco. The Paradiso has redeployed its existing Martin F2 system for use in its new basement facility which will open in the New Year, while upgrading the main venue to Martin's Wavefront 8C system. The Melkweg, meanwhile, has extended its own W8C system to three stacks per side, following a recent extension.
MTFX has expanded its range of smoke and aroma machines. It now stocks three Jem Heavy Fog 6500 smoke machines and has recently invested in The Effects Company's new Aroma-Tech machines, capable of producing a variety of aromas. MTFX used them to good effect recently when they produced an orange aroma for the Tango Conference at the ICC in Birmingham.
Manchester-based Power Gems has grown over the last eight years to become the world's largest independent designer and manufacturer of electronic power supplies for the motion picture lighting industry. PLASA Publishing has learnt that the company has entered into a strategic alliance with US-based Warner Power LLC, and as a result, is now expanding its technology into industrial and medical markets. Power Gems investment has secured a 49.9% shareholding in Warner Power, a management buy-out of WPI Electronics Inc and WPI Power Conversions Inc, with a combined $20million turnover.
Strand's SL theatre luminaire range, which recently raced to 15,000 units sold inside six months of production, has expanded with the announcement of a new series dedicated to the architectural market. The new spotlights house metal halide 150W CDM lamps available in two colour temperatures - 3000 degrees for a warm, tungsten look and 4000 degrees for a cool, daylight appearance. There are six fixed angle fixtures in the range., as well as two zooms.
Le Mark has appointed NDC as its dealer in Switzerland. The company, run by Nicholas de Courten, will handle the full range of Le Mark products. It already has strong ties with the major TV studios, theatre and production companies across Switzerland and is looking to expand into the conference and exhibition markets. NDC's appointment follows a series of new appointments by Le Mark including that of Strong In Spain.
Pixelite, the video screen sales division of Avesco plc, scooped the most challenging outdoor video screen contract of the year as its very first installation order - with a unique curved design on the front of the recently opened Home nightclub in London's Leicester Square. Owners the Big Beat Group - operators of highly successful venues in Sydney and Scotland - planned Home as the capital's most exclusive leisure venue. The first Pixelite PXT-1204 LED screen - using modules designed by sister company System Technologies in Belgium - displays digital art on the building's facade overlooking the famous square. Uniquely, the 11.52m x 5.76m (portrait format) screen curves through a 93 degrees convex plane, with a 12mm pixel pitch and a total of 960 vertical lines of resolution x 480 horizontal. In all there will be almost two million LEDs in the screen. Because of its sheer size and resolution, the GMI screen at Home can show up to 12 images any one time, recreating the idea of a videowall.
The team of theatre consultants which has been operating as Techplan for the past 15 years has become incorporated and is undertaking new projects as Theatreplan. Charles Wass, Roger Fox, John Whittaker and Richard Brett have been joined by Neil Morton and are trading as Theatre Planning and Technology Ltd. They continue to be contactable through the Stagehouse in Kingston, but the centre of operations will be transferred to Doughty Street in London.
Roy Wemyss, the chief executive officer and president of US-based Mackie Designs, resigned from the company in November. Mackie say that Wemyss will remain on the board of directors and continue to play a part in the ongoing strategy and development of the company.
Two divisions within Philips Electronics UK Ltd will merge as from January 1st 2000. Philips Communication & Security Systems (CSS) and Philips Imaging and Connectivity (I&C) will form Philips Communication, Security & Imaging (CSI). The move is seen as "a logical step which will create new business opportunities and open additional sales channels." The newly formed company will cover the areas of PA, congress, private paging, healthcare, communication and intercom systems and CCTV.
Since its introduction in 1995, the Shure SCM810E has been widely specified in a range of applications. Shure has now released a smaller version - the SCM410E - a half-rack (single rack height) automatic mixer which boasts features such as four input channels with balanced XLR mic level inputs, a balanced XLR mic/line output, an unbalanced RCA aux level output, a +16 dBu peak output limiter and 12v phantom power. The unit is further enhanced by its link facility which enables SCM410, SCM810 and FP410 mixers to be linked together in any combination up to 400 channels.
Sony has launched a cost-effective loudspeaker management system that enables live, theatrical and studio sound engineers to 'set and forget' crossover and level settings for PA/sound reinforcement systems. Ideal for use on stage and AV presentation systems, as well as studio-based monitor speakers, the new SRP-F300 is a true 24-bit 96kHz all-digital design that provides sophisticated control over complex multi-speaker set-ups via a familiar PC interface.
The new Levi's Centre in London's Regent Street has an all-JBL sound system that would not be out of place in many of the capital's top dance clubs. A worldwide re-branding operation, which kicked-off in San Francisco at a cost of £2.5million, means that all Levi's Centres will adopt a lifestyle approach to retail merchandising. A major part of this refurbishment programme is the provision of DJ-driven high quality background music, Chill Out Areas with Sega Dreamcast consoles and video entertainment. Models from JBL's Marquis Series form the mainstay of the system with MS28s also being used as DJ monitors. Some 32 JBL Control 23s are arranged strategically throughout the store, with eight SB2 subwoofers providing low frequency reinforcement. The chill-out area uses four JBL 48923s from the Array Series and a JBL Sound Power SP128S sub woofer underpins the system. The whole system is zoned via a SoundWeb controller.
The Scottish Lighting Exhibition will take place on February 13 and 14 2000 at the BBC Studios in Glasgow. The format will follow that of previous years where an exhibition featuring a range of technical companies will run in tandem with a series of seminars presented by some of the leading names in the industry. A full programme will be available shortly.
Professor Dr. Jorg Sennheiser, chairman of the Board of Sennheiser Electronic GmbH & Co, recently visited The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, where he delivered a lecture on the principles of transducer design and future microphone development to students studying the Sound Technology Degree course. He marked his visit by presenting a Sennheiser Student Achievement Award scheme to Mark Featherstone-Witty, principal and chief executive of LIPA. The new Awards are intended to recognise personal achievement and innovation in the field of sound and performance arts-related technology, and are open to all students enrolled on the BA Hons Sound Technology Programme, the Diploma in Pop Music and Sound Technology and the Diploma HE in Theatre and Performance Technology.
XtraMusic has added four specially-programmed channels of Christmas music to its existing channels through December and the into the New Year. The service will be part of XtraMusic's growing digital audio programming which offers 80 channels of stereo music to business establishments.
White Light has been appointed as the lighting supplier for the London production of the hit Broadway musical Fosse. White Light Group member The Moving Light Company will supply automated lighting equipment to the production. A celebration of the work of legendary Broadway choreographer Bob Fosse, Fosse opened to critical acclaim on Broadway last year - and won lighting designer Andrew Bridge his third Tony Award for Best Lighting. For the London production, which opens at the Prince of Wales Theatre in February, Bridge is re-creating his award-winning design with a rig that includes 19 High End StudioColors, nine Martin MAC500s, five DHA Digital Light Curtains and a conventional rig composed largely of ETC Source Fours, all controlled from a 1500 channel ETC Obsession console.