Color Kinetics, a pioneer of full spectrum digital lighting, has achieved a breakthrough with an LED-based white light technology that uses a non-RGB method of producing high quality white light which can be intelligently controlled over a range of colour temperatures from warm to cool shades of light. This patent-pending technology couples a unique optical design with Color Kinetics’ patented Chromacore technology, achieving an LED-based high-quality white light solution for the general illumination market. Chromacore uses microprocessor-controlled multi-coloured LEDs to generate millions of colours and a variety of dynamic lighting effects.
President and CEO of Color Kinetics, George Mueller, envisions Color Kinetics' intelligent white light technology leveraging the advanced control capabilities of Chromacore to give users an entirely new level of flexibility with white light. The intelligent white light technology can produce a high colour rendering index (CRI - for example, users would have the ability to select any shade (colour temperature) of white light they desire, whether it is cooler tones that make the most of certain retail displays, or warmer tones for more comfortable home lighting.
Shed 7 are the first of Yorkshire Audio’s clients to benefit from the Midas Heritage 1000. Bought from the Leeds branch of LMC Audio Systems, Yorkshire Audio seized the opportunity to front their EAW KF850 system with the flagship console. Yorkshire Audio proprietor Bob Collinson explains his decision: "Midas was the brand on virtually every gig-review; the compact H1000 is practical for the medium-sized touring venues but has the desired Heritage sound to front the largest gigs." The UK tour has been a sell-out return for Shed 7 before releasing their long-awaited album this autumn. Originating from York, Shed 7’s last gig of the tour was appropriately in Yorkshire at The Foundry, Sheffield Hallam University.
At the recent Showlight 2001 conference in Edinburgh, the new logo for the Light Relief benevolent fund was launched by Tony Gottelier and Rick Fisher. Light Relief is the industry-sponsored benevolent fund, supported by PLASA and the ALD, to assist people in the industry when they are affected by catastrophic personal events. "The lot of the freelancer is not always a happy one, just look at the state of Rick!" joked Gottelier, pointing at ALD chairman and lighting designer, Rick Fisher. The duo were attending the Showlight reception, sponsored by Fourth Phase, on the serious matter of launching the newly-designed Light Relief logo and its attendant leaflet, and to raise the profile of the industry’s benevolent fund. "Actually, it’s no laughing matter," Gottelier went on: "We all know that not all lighting designers are as successful as a Rick Fisher or a David Hersey or even a John Watt, and often they do not have the protection to shield them from life’s catastrophes which will happen to most of us at one time or another."
Rick Fisher told his audience: "There have been many cases recently that you will have read of in the professional press of some pretty ghastly examples of the kind of tragedies that can befall people. Light Relief sets out to bring some comfort to those in our business when they find themselves in such circumstances." The new logo reflects the aspirations of the fund by illustrating an image of letting in some sunshine, with the Light Relief name focused below.
Tony Gottelier then stated th
PCM took its award-winning Motor School roadshow to one of Europe’s top staging companies. StageCo, in Belgium, recently. PCM’s Tony Dickson presented the Motor School which was attended by 15 StageCo crew, plus four technicians from VLPS Belgium. PCM were asked to do the school by StageCo’s safety advisor Louis Claes. StageCo’s stage and roof systems - rated as some of the best in the world - work exclusively with Lodestar motors. "So we called in the masters to show us all about the hoists," explains Claes enthusiastically. PCM’s Motor School is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the CM Lodestar hoist, and to familiarise owners, users and specifiers of Lodestar motors with the operational theory, design philosophy, safety aspects, internal workings and trouble-shooting methods of the product.
Claes commented: "The feedback we’ve had from everyone on the course was very positive. Those who were new to Lodestars found the tuition intelligible and easy to follow. The more experienced people found that it certainly added to their understanding of the machine." He adds that he was also impressed by PCM’s willingness to make the visit, to fit into StageCo’s hectic schedules and to bring all the necessary School equipment with them - making no demands on StageCo themselves apart from provision of the teaching space. StageCo are planning another PCM Motor School in the autumn for the benefit of their crew members who were unable to make this one due to working in the US on tours with N’Sync a
Hayden Laboratories, exclusive UK distributors for Rane Corporation products, has supplied a Rane ECS-Engineered Conferencing System, with automatic mic mixers, to the Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS) HQ boardroom in Manchester. The installation was undertaken by locally-based Akwil Projects. The site is on the 13th floor of a 1960s tower block in Corporation Street, downtown Manchester, overlooking the MEN Arena, Granada TV Studios and Boddingtons Brewery. The boardroom is an interesting space consisting of a square boardroom with listed internal décor and ceiling. The room’s major acoustic challenge was presented by the listed ceiling which has multiple early reflections. Eddie Akka of Akwil Projects, who also installed the original SR system in the same boardroom 20 years ago, was called in to specify a 21st century system. Eddie consulted various suppliers and asked them to assist in producing the definitive design for a new SR System, which had to be simple and automatic in use. Ian Downs of Hayden Laboratories produced a practical system design and specification that not only fulfilled all CWS’s requirements but also left plenty of headroom for the development of future technologies, as CWS were keen to harness the potential of Video Conferencing – as well as high quality audio - via the new SR system.
To improve the system’s intelligibility and gain, ceiling-mounted speaker coverage was divided into six zones using a Rane SRM66 matrix mixer, Rane GE215 Graphic equalisers and a Rane MA6s six-channel amplifier. The heart of the system is
Color Kinetics Incorporated (CKI), the manufacturer of full spectrum digital lighting, has achieved a major breakthrough with an LED-based white light technology that uses a non-RGB method of producing high quality white light which can be intelligently controlled over a range of colour temperatures from warm to cool shades of light. This patent-pending technology couples a unique optical design with Color Kinetics' patented Chromacore technology, achieving an LED-based high-quality white light solution for the general illumination market. Chromacore uses microprocessor-controlled multi-coloured LEDs to generate millions of colors and a variety of dynamic lighting effects. In addition to its Chromacore patents, Color Kinetics holds several intellectual property filings covering the use of multiple coloured LEDs to generate fully controllable white light. Color Kinetics' is referring to these technologies as 'intelligent white light'.
Worcester-based PA Company Intasound blasted open the new multi-million-pound Oxtalls Indoor Tennis Centre in Gloucester, with a new Crown powered Martin W8 system, purchased from the Birmingham branch of LMC Audio Systems. Sponsored by Audi and part of the ‘Sport For All’ initiative, this new 20-court complex is designed to bring tennis training and coaching within the reach of everybody. As well as the indoor system for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Intasound provided a fully integrated son et lumiere system for the inaugural firework display. A specially commissioned synchronised soundtrack, featuring sampled match-commentary and struck balls, was played back through the Martin W8C/WSX combination. Pictured left to right are Francis Dale (Intasound), Paul Collis (Intasound) and Sean Hames (LMC).
Harrogate-based sales and installation specialists Funtime Music has recently installed a number of Camco's Vortex amplifiers supplied by Camco's UK distributor Fuzion plc, into two new Po Na Na venues in Lincoln and Salisbury. Funtime Music, nominated as Installer of the Year at the upcoming BEDA Awards later this year, has the contract for all new Po Na Na venues and plans to install Vortex amplifiers throughout. Funtime's Jonathan Reece explained his choice: "It really wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that Vortex has revolutionised what we do in amplifier terms. We weren't particularly happy with the amps we were using, especially on the bottom end, but Vortex is just leagues apart. They sound superb right across all frequencies, but particularly on the bass. They run extremely cool so operation is trouble-free, and they also look very stylish, which for installations can actually be quite important. The lightweight aspect, although ostensibly more attractive for touring applications, is an added bonus as far as I'm concerned. But what is even more amazing is the price. It's hard to believe that you can get such a reliable, high quality product for the price I'm definitely sold!"
Funtime has installed six Vortex amplifiers in Po Na Na in Salisbury using Vortex 4s to drive the top boxes and Vortex 6s on the bass bins. A further three Vortexes have been installed in Lincoln.
The Golders Green Hippodrome has been the official home of the BBC Concert Orchestra since the early 1970s. The most recent, and probably the most extensive technical refit in recent years was completed at the end of April 2001 and included significant building works as well as a complete studio overhaul. The Oxford Sound Company was chosen to install a new 72-input SSL console, the SL9000J Series, and to integrate it into the existing infrastructure, as well as adding new cabling for the additional inputs. Much of the studio equipment was also replaced, including talkback system and effects units. Main monitoring is via an impressive PMC BB5/XPD system, with Excel-201s for near-field and surround monitoring. The existing 24-track Studer A800 is used as the standard recording machine and additional cabling was installed for ‘guest’ recording equipment to provide 48-track facilities when required. "Working in old buildings not designed for this level of technical equipment always brings problems," said Stuart Edmiston, Oxford Sound's project manager. "This is quite a unique venue with sophisticated levels of recording and live performance equipment working side by side."
The auditorium sound system was also upgraded during the shutdown period with the existing Meyer UPA-1 speakers being refurbished by Autograph Sound. A new 32-channel Soundcraft K3 mixer for controlling the audience sound balance was supplied and installed by the Oxford Sound Company, with microphone feeds shared between the SSL and the Soundcraft via a microphone splitter s
Audace Ltd, the audio control specialists have been experiencing great domestic success with their intelligent Wall Plate system since launching it on the Allen & Heath stand at the PLASA Show last year. Installations include the Red Cube Bar and Grill in Leicester Square, Springbok Bars in Wigan and Cardiff and Bar Censsa in Preston. Managing director Bryan Waters told PLASA Media: "We are absolutely delighted with the response to this system. When we took the decision to commit to this project, we knew that there was a gap in the market between VCA pots and touch screens and it is encouraging to see that we are not the only ones with this conviction!" The Audace intelligent wall plate system provides inexpensive digital control of DSP-based audio processors via Cat 5 cable and configuration is carried out using a free Windows GUI available from the Audace website.
On the 25th April, Golden Princess left the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone and sailed to Southampton, the home of P&O, from where she later set sail on her maiden voyage to Barcelona. She will be based in Europe throughout the summer, before sailing the Eastern Caribbean in the autumn. The main lounge stage on board the Grand class vessel features a four deck high flytower, orchestra pit, large side stage areas and substage area with stage elevators. Many land-based theatres would be lucky to have the facilities provided. A major feature of the new ship is much improved personnel access in the flytower for maintenance of the rigging systems and the large amount of lighting equipment installed in the space. As part of the design process, Stage Technologies developed TanJent (patent pending), an innovative solution to guiding the flybars throughout the full travel of the bar. The flying system uses a variation of Stage Technologies’ proven BigTow winches with patented zero-fleet technology.
In addition to the flying system the main lounge on board Golden Princess includes two stage elevators, with infill covers, a series of cross stage tracks with rigid chain drive for moving stage wagons, a safety curtain, lighting trusses, curtain tracks, rain curtain and Austrian curtain. The automation system uses the latest version of Stage Technologies’ Acrobat console, together with Maxis processing power. The recently introduced Solo is also provided to provide portable handheld control of any axis. The aft lounge features a Juggler console controlling an assortment
Royal Caribbean International has recently introduced the first of its Radiance class of ships - Radiance of the Seas. This stunning vessel is the largest ship ever to have been built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, and the first joint venture between a German shipyard and an American cruise line.
RCI has a tradition of delivering high quality onboard entertainment and Radiance is no exception. The Viking Crown is the trademark destination on-board Royal Caribbean ships, a spectacular space surrounded by a sweep of glazing, that wraps itself around the funnel at the highest point, providing panoramic views for the passengers. In the evening, the Viking Crown takes on a completely new persona and turns into a major entertainment complex and, in the case of the Radiance of the Seas, this includes a disco, a black-box theatre and bars of various hues.
The disco is called Starquest, and Wynne Willson Gottelier (WWG) has designed a spectacular lighting, sound and video system in the area to get the holidaymakers on their toes. One of the main features is a WWG-conceived Beamlight which has been used to create a cage of 78 sequencing, vertical beams around the dance area. Other effects contained in the feature dome above the dancefloor are Martin MAC 250+s, Roboscan Pro 918s and Acrobats, Clay Paky Miniscan HPEs, Diversitronics strobes and a bunch of neon controlled via Mode Digitrans inverters. All the automated lights listed are fitted with custom gobos. The overall lighting control is provided by a ShowCAD system linked to a Lynx button panel. Two Le Mai
It is rare that a state-of-the-art digital lighting desk should find itself on a school's shopping list, but when Design Technology teacher, Kevin Dutton, from Ninestiles School (a leading technology college in Birmingham), attended last year's PLASA Show there was only one thing on his mind.
By the time he left Earls Court he had placed an order for a 48-channel Strand Lighting 300 Series desk through AC Lighting. With a background in theatre, Dutton has been a regular visitor to PLASA over the past five years. He operates as part of a team that includes Jo Falk and Eddie Halliday from the English faculty, that seeks to promote and educate students about lighting and sound. Ninestiles, which offers its 1400+ students a broad spectrum of GCSE, GNVQ and A Level subjects, has already earned a top accolade from Ofsted, as the school with the highest teaching standards in the country. Dutton says: "Our ambition over the next three to four years is to ensure that every student is assigned their own laptop, as we are working towards ‘anytime anywhere’ learning."
The school has two auditoriums - a drama studio and the school hall, the latter generally configured in the round for school productions. "In the last five years there has been a positive attitude towards developing the school’s technical facilities for performing arts and drama, and this has culminated in the purchase of the 300 desk," Dutton continued. Funding was provided by the PTA, ‘Friends of Ninestiles School’ and Birmingham City Council’s local initiative
The Board of Standards Review of the American National Standards Institute has approved ESTA's "Entertainment Technology - Recommendations for Inclusions in Fog Equipment Manuals." This standard now becomes ANSI E1.14-2001, and is the third ESTA standard approved by ANSI this year. The ANSI E1.14 project was started by a group of fog equipment dealers who were unhappy with the amount and quality of the information found in the manuals of some of the equipment they handle. The equipment manual is the primary document for telling the end-user how to use the equipment safely and effectively, but some of the fog machine manuals said very little beyond ‘Fill with fluid. Plug in. Make fog.’ The proposed standard lists the information that should be included in fog equipment manuals to ensure that the user has enough information to use the equipment properly. ANSI E1.14-2001 is available at no cost on the ESTA website as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file. Go to the web address below for the link to the download page.
The newly-formed London-based PA rental company Blitz Sound (formerly TP Sound), has given a significant boost to its hire inventory with the purchase of 10 Crest X4 consoles from exclusive UK distributor The Sound Department - through dealers, Marquee Audio. The desks are intended for use as Blitz Sound’s standard consoles for small- to medium-sized shows within the corporate and conference markets and also for small musical and theatrical events. They replace existing stock in an ever-expanding hire facility. To date, the desks have been in operation on such events as the Opel Vivaro car launch in Germany and a Millennium Dance Company Show staged in London. Crest’s X4 consoles occupy a privileged position in the marketplace. As Blitz director Dave Perry illustrates, "The X4’s are really the only desk of that size, with the number of inputs and outputs that we need - with the requisite build quality that we require, and at a price that suits."
Hayden Laboratories, the exclusive UK distributor for Rane products, has supplied Rane NM84 network mic preamps to London-based specialist classical recording company Floating Earth. The preamps - part of the CobraNET range of audio products - were specified by Mark Harrison, technical engineer for Floating Earth’s new OB truck. It’s Floating Earth’s first mobile, so they consulted broadcast and high end equipment suppliers HHB about the project, asking them to supply the equipment and systems utilised and after-sales support. Floating Earth then undertook the physical install themselves. The four Rane NM84s were supplied by Hayden to HHB, for whom the project was managed by Steve Angel. The mic preamps go into the venue and sit at the front end of the location recording - each offers eight line inputs. They are linked to QSC CobraNET digital decoders in the truck by a single fibre optic cable. Mark Harrison has followed the development of CobraNET with interest over the last two years. He chose the NM84s because 'they were the right boxes at exactly the right time. They are studio-quality preamps, they have a remote control facility and mate perfectly with the QSC decoders.' He adds that the preamp’s return outputs facility has also proved very useful for talk-back and playback.
Harrison has long been a fan of Rane equipment and remarks on its proven reliability and quality. He’s so impressed with the Rane NM84s that he’s just ordered another two - to give him a total of 48 channels to the truck, and 16 return outputs. The Floating Ear
Following the recent appointment of Tone Ferne, Dobson Sound continues to expand its team of project co-ordinators to keep pace with the company's increasing workload. Richard Mortimer is the newest recruit to take his place. He will be working closely with David Lewis looking after the museum and conference market. A graduate in Music and Technology from Kingston University, Mortimer has spent the last three-and-a-half years working for Dobson Sound on a freelance basis so he is already very familiar with the client base. "As project co-ordinator it is my job to attend meetings with the client, ascertain their needs, specify the system, organise the crew and basically make sure the whole thing runs smoothly from start to finish."
Lighting Technology Group announced today that due to a serious family illness Managing Director Alan Hewitt has chosen to take early retirement. Lighting Technology's Founder David Morgan will resume the role of MD, supported by the well-established Executive Team of Garry Nelsson, Bruce Kirk, and Steve Pembury as Sales, Operations and Finance Directors respectively. David Morgan commented: "Alan came on board to bring in new systems and facilities for LTG including Group-Wide Management Information Systems and the new 22,000 square foot National Distribution Centre in Corby. It is regrettable he has had to depart without being able to manage these exciting projects through to completion. Nevertheless, the structure and management he has put in place leaves the company in a very strong position to capitalise on the opportunities our market has to offer in the future."
Co-lighting designers Fenton Williams and Heath Marrinan specified 12 of High End Systems' newest luminaire, the xSpot, for their ‘Everyday 2001’ shed/stadium tour, which is currently touring North America. Lighting contractor Theatrical Media Services (TMS) of Omaha is supplying an all High End Systems rig which also features 30 Studio Beam, 34 Studio Spot 575, 12 Studio Color 575 and 10 Cyberlight automated luminaires, along with 47 Dataflash AF1000 xenon strobes for the shed tour. The stadium rig is pumped up with an extra 20 Studio Beams and an extra 20 Studio Spot 575s. Two Wholehog II consoles control all the lights along with more than 400 PARs.
Marrinan comments. "The x.Spots work really well on our set. The zoom feature allows us to really do a nice job covering the set from top to bottom without losing a lot of intensity. The color mixing is very nice and all the lights match up color-wise very evenly. It also has some very nice lithos. You can make the light do just about anything you want. It's fast, bright, forgiving, and gives the designer a very nice tool to use in any production."
ETC has announced the appointment of Jeremy Roberts to the new role of field project manager. Jeremy will be working from Nottingham, concentrating on promoting ETC's range of products to end users, consultants and dealers in the north of England. A familiar industry figure, Jeremy has been with ETC for the past two years. Throughout this period he has been responsible for a wide variety of installations including the Millenium Dome, Barbican and the Royal Danish Theatre. Prior to joining ETC, Jeremy spent 15 years in professional theatre, working first as a lighting and sound designer and later as head of lighting and sound at the Nottingham Playhouse.
Glen Beckley has joined Stage Electrics heading up the Audio Design Services department. Beckley recently returned from two months touring the arenas of the USA with southern gospel group the Gaither Vocal Band, following this with designs for pantomimes in Bath, Blackpool, Stoke and Sheffield last Christmas. 2001 will also see him designing systems for national tours of Anything Goes and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, as well as contributing to various installation projects in the UK and Europe. Last year also saw him design a groundbreaking digital audio system for the national tour of ‘Carousel’ starring Darren Day and Sam Kane, the first of its kind seen in the UK, which impressed audiences and critics alike all over the country, as well as a system for the national tour of 42nd Street starring Ruth Madoc.
Stage Electrics has also announced that Peter Western will be joining the company in early June. Western has firm roots in the entertainment industry including 10 years at Donmar and two years at Lighting Technology. Joining Stage Electrics as a business development manager for projects, Western will be working with architects and lighting designers on a range of projects including theatres and permanent visitor attractions as well as architectural installations.
Finally, Ben Cole joined Stage Electrics in May as business development manager for production services. He brings with him experience from Aztec Communications and more recently OnStage Events, the production division of The Sound Division Group, where he was instrumen
An XTA Electronics SiDD (Seriously Intelligent Digital Dynamics) processor has become, in the space of one tour, a vital component in conveying Gary Moore’s vocal power on stage. Moore’s front-of-house engineer, Andy May, decided to experiment with the multi-dynamics device after trying "virtually every compressor on the planet, from all the familiar units to the most esoteric American kit." Capital Sound is providing the tour’s audio production, with a Martin Wavefront 8 system, itself controlled by XTA DP226 digital loudspeaker processors. Both the DP226 and SiDD are based on XTA’s proprietary AudioCore DSP engine. The Gary Moore band is a straight-ahead four-piece line-up. The rig includes a Midas Heritage 3000 desk, Martin LE700 wedges, and Crown Macrotech amplification. Graham Lilley is production manager and Danny Stead mixes monitors.
May explains the challenge: "Gary sings and plays with a lot of passion and adrenalin, which works the vocal audio chain to the limits. He also likes a high guitar level on stage, so when he walks away from the microphone, the guitar sound floods into the mic, which means a lot of riding the faders for me. I’ve tried every kind of compressor on his vocal and none has ever really done the job of managing the dynamics without compromising the energy of his performance or the sound quality. SiDD goes a long way to solving that problem; it’s simply a brilliant product."
From a situation where an almost unknown client would purchase the occasional lamp, Lighting Technology has found itself supplying equipment for space equipment testing, with lighting units from Arri key to the project. With help from Mike Perry of Arri, Lighting Technology’s Jonathan Price and Andy Dodd demonstrated the Arrisun 60 6kW HMI fixtures to TS Space Systems of Marlow, who have since ordered the units for one of their test programmes. The company designs and builds test equipment for acceptance of materials and sub-assemblies for spacecraft, with space simulation chambers, ion thruster chambers and testing of solar cells and panels.
TS Space Systems’ Bill Williams said: "As part of the tests for UV ageing of materials, most tests have up to now used DC xenon or mercury arc lamps. However, HMI lamps have come on in leaps and bounds, are lower in cost, involve no water cooling, and provide roughly twice the light output. For the tests involved we run a twin 6kW system, whereby should a lamp fail, a motor-driven unit automatically moves the failed unit away and brings the other unit into play."
He continued: "We are delighted with all the help and technical support received from Lighting Technology. The tests are now successfully under way and the units are providing an excellent spectrum and level of intensity."
UK band Toploader have set themselves up with a travelling demo studio using a Tascam 788 8-track Digital Portastudio. Guitarist Julian Deane was the first to convert to the unit: "We’ve been using a live sampler set-up for the last five years," he explained. "It’s had a fair bit of wear and tear on the road, being thrown into the backs of trucks and what have you. We’ve decided to switch over to an MDM format and the Tascam is renowned for its quality and endurance. It also interfaces with the Spirit digital desk. All of the outputs will be going into my desk and I will be dubbing it up as ususal."