XFL, the new spring football league from the creators of the WWF (World Wrestling Federation) celebrated a successful launch on February 3rd that saw a Lighthouse Technologies LVP502 LED SuperScreen begin a unique tour of US stadiums. XFL, a combination of Football and live entertainment, is co-owned by broadcaster NBC and the WWF in a joint venture. For the benefit of watching fans, video screen specialists Screenworks were hired to supply giant LED video screens for the ten-week season, with one game a week, followed by two weekends of play-off games. The screen measures 25 feet high by 50 feet wide, using a total of 96 modules - the largest LED video screen ever to be toured in the United States. This creates an aspect ratio of 2:1, reflecting the WWF’s standard wrestling broadcast format, and the screen is colour corrected for television, with the signal source provided by NBC. A Screenworks crew tours with the screen, rigging it from a staging structure at each venue using chain motors. Screenworks, a division of Live Media Group, has been in the daylight video screen business for 12 years, and this recent purchase of Lighthouse LVP502 modules makes it the largest owner of 20mm screen modules in the US.
Allen & Heath has welcomed a new PR co-ordinator, Alexandra Pratt. Alexandra has spent much of her career working as a freelance journalist and author, producing material for a variety of specialist markets. Her most recent project is a travel book to be published later this year by HarperCollins, based on the canoe expedition she led to Labrador, Canada in 2000 (www.labrador2000.co.uk). When not shooting rapids or exploring the world’s wild places, Alexandra has also worked as an editor, lecturer and researcher. "I’m looking forward to using my fairly broad experience in the media to help develop and promote Allen and Heath’s profile as a leading manufacturer in the pro audio sector. It is a very innovative and energetic company, which appeals to me greatly." A beneficiary of Allen & Heath’s astonishing growth during the past year, Alexandra will be working alongside Debbie Maxted and David Kirk (who is returning to the company at the end of March) at the company’s new premises in Penryn, Cornwall.
Italian rock veterans of over 30 years, Pooh have spent the past two months on an arena tour of 19 Italian cities, promoting their new triple-platinum album ‘Cento di queste vite’ (A hundred of these lives). Pooh, one of the few acts which manage to stay on stage for three whole hours, are renowned for the quality of their technical and musical presentation. Staging and lighting for the current tour is looked after by service company Xenon, owned by Renato Neri, who is using a wide array of Clay Paky lighting fixtures for the show, including the new Astroscan projector, launched at PLASA 2000. Neri says: "Astroscan is a spectacular effect that can create soft and relaxing atmospheres or powerful flashes of light. It can be positioned on the stage or up on the trusses, and covers the entire intermediate area thanks to pyramid head which oscillates at the speed and angle desired and creates a diffusion of the light beam on several axes at 360°. As well as providing an effect that blends in perfectly with the rest of the lights, Astroscan gave us the opportunity to light up the audience in a creative way, encircling it completely and making it an active part of the show."
Lighting designer Giancarlo Tosani, who has been lighting for the band since 1980, said: "I must say that Xenon provided me with everything I wanted and also Renato Neri and I are absolutely convinced that Clay Paky projectors outshine all their competitors. I installed the Super Scan Zooms on the central truss above the stage together with the Stage Color 1200 for basic lighting
High End Systems sales representative Jeff Washburn is now overseeing the architectural market for the Austin, Texas-based automated lighting manufacturer. Washburn will continue his duties as regional sales manager for the Central USA, while adding the responsibilities as the new architectural manager for High End's architectural line of luminaires.
Production Resource Group (PRG) has announced today that industry veteran Don Stern has moved into the role of chairman emeritus of Fourth Phase. Stern is the former owner of Bash Theatrical Lighting, which was acquired by PRG in 1997, and has remained instrumental in the operation of the lighting group. He will remain active with Fourth Phase in his new role, and will work closely with CEO Jere Harris on various initiatives, but will be free to pursue some additional interests after a lifetime in the theatre.
Show Presentation Services (SPS), the audio-visual equipment rental and technical staging specialist, is to install a Barco ‘DLite-7’ LED Daylight Display in the heart of London’s Oxford Street. The venture comes hot on the heels of a further major investment by SPS in 30sq.m of leading LED manufacturer Barco’s DLite-7 daylight display. The venture also heralds the first of a number of scheduled outdoor advertising pilot sites between SPS and London-based Trash Media Plc, the ambient media and outdoor advertising specialist, with whom SPS have formed a strategic alliance. The site, re-booked for a further 12 months, is located at the Cromwell Road/North End Road junction, on the main commuter route into London, and is live 24 hours a day.
Recently merged Blackout Triple E has appointed two well-known industry names to its management team - Eric Porter and Simon Chandler-Honor. Having worked in a freelance capacity in the industry for over 23 years, Porter joins the Blackout Triple E team as project manager, and will be the rigging aspect of the operation. Having been involved in the industry for most of his working life, Simon Chandler-Honor also joins as a project manager and will help the company develop its catalogue of national and international projects. Another new member of staff expanding the sales division, is Jonathan Langlands, who has joined as technical hire and sales manager.
After entering into an agreement to establish a joint company with local Chinese partners late last year, Martin Professional has announced that Raymond Wong will head up its new Hong Kong office. The new operation - Martin Professional Hong Kong Ltd - took over distribution from Martin’s former Chinese distributor and has been fully operational since the beginning of February 2001. Martin holds 20% of the shares in the new company, which has its registered office in Hong Kong. Branch offices will soon be established in Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai. Wong was previously sales director for Sanecore, and during his time there handled all imported products, including Martin Professional lighting and Jem smoke machines.
Audio rental companies SSE Hire of Birmingham, UK, and Melpomen of Nantes, France, have announced a move to merge, with the formation of the SSE Audio Group. The move comes at a significant time for both companies: SSE are celebrating 25 years in the industry, whilst Melpomen has been operating in the French market for almost 20 years, recently adding office and warehouse facilities in Paris and La Rochelle to the main Nantes-based organisation. John Penn, MD of SSE, told PLASA Media: "We have been actively looking for ways to develop the business. The trend for sound companies is to expand purely by buying more and more stock. However, we have seen a steady decline in the amount of work undertaken by UK rental companies in Europe, through a combination of the strength of sterling and the number of strong European rental companies who provide a good service. As a consequence, we have seen an increasing number of tours using mainland European suppliers. With the merger of the two companies into one group, we will extend our service to our clients in the heart of Europe." Future plans for the Group include the development of a new range of products and services aimed specifically at the European market.
Continuing its recruitment campaign, AC Lighting has announced a number of new appointments. The Northern Region sales office, located in Leeds, has been further expanded by the addition of Graham Bassett and Dave Hartley. Bassett, who takes up the position of Northern Region Sales Co-ordinator, is well known in the industry having spent 12 years with Lighting Technology in Manchester and Newcastle playing a lead role in developing business in the North. Hartley joins as Northern Region Sales Representative having progressed his career most recently with Lightfactor Sales and previously with Bose. The marketing department, based at the corporate offices in High Wycombe, has appointed Steve Dean to the newly-created position of marketing manager. Dean joins from an extensive background in senior positions in management, marketing and sales within the data/telecomms industry. Prior to joining AC, he was the international marketing communications manager for Trend Communications Ltd - a world leader in the design and manufacture of test equipment for high-speed digital transmission systems.
Pictured left to right are Graham Bassett, Dave Hartley and Steve Dean.
The management team at Presentation Services Ltd (PSL), has purchased the assets and business of Gearhouse Group PLC’s Southern UK operation, together with the company’s North American operations. These include PSL and PSL Central, Lighting Unlimited, Set & Stage, Proquip, Presentation Graphics, Gearhouse Multimedia, ConferenceCast and Quorom Travel. In the US, both the Los Angeles and Nashville companies have been purchased. The transaction was concluded on Saturday 3 March and equity funding has been secured for the new company through 3i, with Barclays providing debt funding. The new Group is to be called Presentation Services Group Ltd; all of the companies will be relaunched under the PSL name and will continue to focus on the rental, staging, exhibition and concert touring markets. The new management team comprises Gary Davis, Chris Scadding, Darren Glossop, Irene McLean, Janet Smith, Stephen Rhodes and Nasser Abbas.
London superclub Fabric has commissioned loudspeaker manufacturers Martin Audio to supply a new sound reinforcement system to be installed into the club’s two famous dance rooms. The upgrade takes place just a year and a half after the club opened. For the main Room One system, designed by Fabric’s technical manager Dave Parry and Martin Audio’s Richie Rowley - in collaboration with the Fabric sound team - eight Martin Audio W8C compact enclosures were specified, formatted in a quad array around the dancefloor and underpinned by eight of Martin’s WSX monster sub bass units. The sound design for Fabric’s Room Two incorporates the flagship products of Martin’s Blackline range - the H2 and H3s. The H3s are placed in a quad array format around the dancefloor, supplemented by a further four bi-amped H2 cabinets providing satellite fill down the length of the dancefloor. This system will also augment into a multi-channel spatial zoning arrangement with an OutBoard Electronics TiMax system.
Traditional brewers Fuller, Smith & Turner, have entered the burgeoning London leisure suburb of Shoreditch - the trendiest colony in the capital - with their new brand, Katabatic.
With 3,200sq.ft offering a capacity of 480, and a late license inherited from the previous incumbents (Propoganda), this is prime real estate. The late night venue will eventually have cost £1.2 million to develop - a proportion of which has gone on an inspired sound, lighting and vision scheme across the two floors.
As well as offering views of the DJ practicising his craft inside, the exterior design shows off the encased foyer decor of AVR Colourchanger beams refracted from a cluster of tiny mirrorballs, with the campest of light sculptures providing an artistic backdrop. The colour-changing spots from Abstract and Martin Pro, working with the fibre optics, bring Katabatic (a metereological word meaning the downward flow of air) alive at night.
Marquee Installations’ Mark Brown was given a brief to develop two distinct environments - a high-quality midground sound upstairs and the latest London club spec in the basement that could hold its own alongside the best. To accomplish this, he was given all the freedom he needed.
RCF Monitor 5 loudspeakers, fed from a C-Burn Revolution 100 hard disk player, take care of the upstairs, while a pair of compact, flown EAW JF290Zs for the top end, and matching EAW SB330s for the sub-bass, handle the dance sound, augmented by eight RCF PA281 Vision Series for bar area infill. The audio is all driven by QSC amplification and the sound is digit
Bliss is a highly-sophisticated new bar/restaurant in Bournemouth conceived by experienced leisure entrepreneur, Richard Carr’s Future 2000 plc (the team behind the phenomenally successful Slinky dance nights).
Having owned the art deco building in Bournemouth’s town centre for several years, they contracted local interiors company, Design Mode, to convert the bottom two floors of the former Maples department store into the heavily marbellised Bliss, at a cost of £1.25 million. For the sound reinforcement, Future 3000’s head of technical services, Lee Price, stuck with the Martin Audio catalogue, which dominates the company’s other venues, as well as providing the touring sound for Slinky.
One of his prime considerations was the acoustic isolation necessary from the five storeys above the ground floor and basement, which the landlord has converted for student accommodation. This required an elaborate, acoustically-treated ceiling, with suspended, soundproofed flexi air-conditioning ducting, while the columns were given the same acoustical cladding. Most of the music (funk and soft jazz) is computer-driven, while in the evening a DJ takes over. Price has selected 26 of the EM26s divided into six zones. There are no bass bins and the whole sound is fed through a pair of BSS Soundwebs which routes the CD, DJ and band sources to their respective destinations.
A separate sound system carries 1970s kitsch film themes to a pair of Martin C516 recessed ceiling speakers in each of the Gents and Ladies lavatories. All inputs are separately EQ’d an
Spectators at the recent Norwich Union Indoor Trials/AAA Championships and Grand Prix athletics meetings at Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena were treated to a unique spectacle. Held three weeks apart, the infrastructure for both events was rigged with Unitek’s latest and lightest high-impact LED Megascreen, offering 17mm pixel pitch resolution, designed for indoor and outdoor use. The 6 x 5 (6.7m x 4.2m) modular screen took a feed from six BBC cameras via the mixer in the OB truck, and the magnified action shots not only brought track and field into sharp focus, but formed a vital part of the BBC’s transmission.
Oriel, a designer bar and restaurant, has recently opened in Mere Green, a fashionable suburb of Birmingham. The venue needed to have a sound system that would complement the décor. So owner Ian Sloane contacted 'Lonnie' of 2007 Sound & Light and asked him to design a sound system for Oriel. The brief from the client was simple, says Lonnie: "We don't want to see it."
Once Lonnie had surveyed the venue, he contacted RCF to enquire about their fittings for the Monitor Series speakers. RCF produce a special false ceiling adapter, designed to fit the Monitor 4's, which presents a flush-mounted speaker system. The RCF Monitor speakers deliver a high-quality sound that enhances one of the Midlands’ most stylish venues. The main sound system users a Sony MDS-E11 mini-disc for music. The system in divided into two zones with the rest rooms using 100v line feed to the RCF Spotlight speakers (RCF AM1030 100v line amplifier). Main system amplification is from Crown MA series amplifiers, with processing and control via an XTA DP224 speaker management system, a Cloud CX-233 two-zone mixer and RL-1 remote volume control.
Crestron’s Isys touch panel control system is breaking new ground in converging audio-visual and information technologies, thanks to its ability to operate any number of devices, and link to multiple control systems around the world via the internet. Building on this platform, Crestron has now introduced the TPS-4500 Advanced Touchpanel Control system. The TPS-4500 offers a 12" diagonal touch-sensitive active matrix SVGA display (800 x 600 pixels) with an ergonomic Soft-Touch adjustable screen tilt (30°-80°) design. Colour control graphics, including 2D and 3D icons, photos and animations, are easy to read, even at extreme viewing angles. In common with other Isys products, users can upgrade its capabilities simply by installing optional expansion cards. For example, by installing the optional TPS-VID expansion card, the TPS-4500 can display full-motion NTSC or PAL video on the touchpanel with 256,000 colours.
White Light North will be holding a series of Academy Days in March and April, offering theatre lighting professionals a chance to get ‘up close and personal’ with products and personnel from a wide range of manufacturers. The first pair of open days, on March 21st and 22nd, will feature Avolites, Martin Professional, Robert Juliat and Le Mark. Avolites will be showing the Pearl 2000 and Sapphire consoles, the Art touring dimmers, the macro tablet and the Avo Visualiser system, Martin the MAC2000 and the rest of the popular MAC moving light range, and LeMark the GAM range of colour, gobos and effects, including the new FilmFX linear effect for Source Four spotlights. Robert Juliat’s acclaimed range of lanterns and followspots, for which White Light are now the UK distributors, will also be on show. Companies represented at the April open days, on the 10th and 11th of April, will include Strand Lighting, showing the 300 and 500 Series consoles and the new, award-winning SLD dimmer rack; Rainbow showing their current range of colour scrollers, smoke and haze machines from The Smoke Factory and Look Solutions, and the Supergel, E-Colour and gobo ranges from Rosco. E-mail email@example.com to reserve a place.
Bose has been appointed an approved supplier of sound systems to Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts following a two-day Techno Forum in Dubai. The Forum was part of a company conference for Le Meridien’s general managers and aimed at introducing the latest technologies to the Group. Bose were among nine companies invited to make a presentation, and as a result, the company’s Wave Radio/CDs and Acoustic Wave Music Systems are now both featured on Le Meridien’s approved product list.
The Northcott theatre, based in Exeter's university complex, has recently upgraded its sound system. The theatre's sound engineer Jamie Pryke knew that the existing system was past its best and either had the option of short term hire, or start to build a new integrated system. In the end, he opted for a new system and called in Stage Electrics, whose Ian Dixon suggested they listen to the RCF Vision Series. He arranged for RCF to do a demonstration in the theatre and Pryke, with chief electrician Russell Payne, decided they would fit the bill perfectly. Pryke explained: "The RCF people brought the whole of the Vision Range down for us to listen to, once we'd established they could do the job, it was just a matter of planning the way forward. What we have done so far is phase one of the project, which is to have four Vision 121's installed at the stage front. We then plan to add another four around the theatre, plus subs."
Federal Signal has won a £150,000 contract to supply digital Akusta PA equipment for an on-shore oil processing plant in Algeria, operated by Sonatrack Anadarco. The contract, which has been placed by Anadarco’s US engineering contracts Brown and Root, sees Federal providing a range of digital PA equipment for installation at strategic points around the processing plant’s fibre optic-based monitoring network. This latest move follows the recent announcement that the company had won its first contract from Romania’s national oil company Petromar. There the contract was to provide an Akusta-based duplicated PA and general alarm system for an offshore oil facility in the Black Sea.
Carl Rivord, a 20-year veteran of lighting design work and the automated lighting industry returns to TLS Inc as a sales/project manager. Rivord got his start in the lighting industry in the early 1980s doing touring and production work with various companies in the Midwest. He then opened RSM Inc which manufactured, amongst other things, the Beamer - a controllable universal moving mirror attachment for theatrical fixtures - on behalf of Great American Market (GAM) of Hollywood.
Installation and service subcontractor Install recently completed the relocation of its head office. The new premises, situated within three miles of the M6 and located within a newly built business complex, boast an 8,000sq.ft warehouse, an electronics workshop, a purpose-designed training and conference suite, and an extensively equipped office area. The rapid growth of Install over the past year has meant that the premises are not the only part of the company to have expanded. The 12-strong workforce has increased to 22, based both on and off-site. The most recent addition to the team is John Elves who becomes the company’s new general manager.
As from March 5, Stage Electrics Bristol has moved its operation to Third Way, Avonmouth, Bristol, BS11 9YL. The move has been made to unify the company’s existing six Bristol premises under one roof. The 100 staff at Bristol now benefit from a staff canteen, on-site parking and air-conditioned workstations, while clients will benefit from a streamlined hire operation. The company’s contact numbers are listed below.
Purchasing Enquiries: +44 (0)1179379580
General Administration: +44 (0)117 982 7282
Customer Enquiries: +44 (0)117 938 4000