To an already-bustling spring trade show season came a new entrant: ExpoLatina, a co-production of Intertec Exhibitions, Intertec entertainment industry publications including Lighting Dimensions and Entertainment Design, and the US-based Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA). The twist is in the title: The trade show and conference program, held May 5-7 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, was dedicated to the needs of the Latin American market. While in appearance a sort of mini-LDI, with 200 booths, its accent was distinctly Latin--the conference program was presented entirely in Spanish and Portuguese, and approximately 832 of the show's 2,488 registrants hailed from south of the United States.
A highlight of the show was the Music Producers Forum, presented by the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and featuring Emilio Estefan Jr., Rudy Perez, and Bebu Silvetti. Audio production professionals made up the bulk of the attendees, at 36%, with lighting-related visitors not far behind at 34%. With product introductions largely in siesta mode after the NAB, NSCA, and PLASA Shanghai shows, ExpoLatina was an opportunity for a cross-borders exchange of industry happenings, gear appraisals, and distributor meetings in sunny surroundings across a range of industry disciplines.
AC Lighting showed the entire range of Chroma-Q M1 and M-2 color changers, including the new Broadway line, designed for the ETC Source Four. Catering to attendees, American DJ Supply published a Spanish-language edition of its catalog. On the audio side, the company spotlighted its DCD-Pro400 dual CD player featuring Fader "Q" start and seamless loop. American Harlequin touted its sprung-panel system, made up of pre-manufactured panels joined together by a pivot joint, with shock-damping elastomer blocks at regular centers on the underside. Apogee showed several speaker lines, including the MTO-30. Originally designed for the fountain outside the Bellagio in Las Vegas, it is comprised of three 8" cone drivers and three 90-degree by 45-degree HF horns, all mounted on a trio of baffle board splayed horizontally at 60-degree angles.
Showgoers got a lift--and stage roof systems, dimmers, and other gear besides--from the Applied Electronics booth. ATM Fly-Ware featured its Aluminum Yoke truss, which can be used with any size enclosure with pivot mounting points and can be trimmed to size onsite. The company conducts Riggermeister Rigging Seminars to address the practice and theory of loudspeaker rigging and other issues involving the overhead suspension industry.
Atlas Specialty Lighting was also on hand to acquaint visitors with its custom design business. The news at the Avolites booth was that the Sapphire console, seen in prototype at LDI, is now in production; the company also showed its new Borealis luminaire. Audio & Video Solutions showed several JBL products, from the Eon 1500 portable speakers to the Control 25 compact indoor/outdoor background/foreground speaker.
Fresh from NAB, a number of companies, including Arri, Barbizon, Bogen-Cine (with its Avenger lighting grips), Lee Filters, Matthews Studio Group/ESS Media Lighting, and NSI Colortran, highlighted their overseas distributors and rebroadcast their goods and services at ExpoLatina; other companies, like Kino Flo and DeSisti, shared booth space to test the waters for future expansion at the show.
B&H Photo-Video-Pro Audio-Lighting, known for its telephone book-sized catalogs, has reconfigured its city block-sized showroom in New York to include a used equipment department on the second floor. Bravo Group Industries, a Camden, NJ-based manufacturer, importer, and exporter of pro sound and lighting, featured the Power Voice Systems line of audio products, lighting from Strong Fresnel SA Tecnologia, and the Amate/Master Audio Design Dynamic Power Series. Bulbman showed off its range of replacement bulbs for fixtures ranging from Altman and ETC to Fiberstars and Wildfire.
Caribbean Electronics featured Sound Barrier professional compression drivers and flares, and woofers, too. Chauvet featured a number of new club moving lights, including the Mensa full-function, nine-channel DMX luminaire, the Navigator DMX512 scanner, and the Z-1000 Fog FX generator. Miami-based distributor Cinevideotech touted film and TV lighting gear from companies including Arri, Hydroflex, and Kino Flo. CIS Group, another Miami-based distributor, was on hand to promote the Avid Xpress desktop editing system, an affordable option for in-house editing geared to corporate and educational markets in Latin America. Columbus McKinnon displayed its range of hoists, chains, and fall protection equipment. Coast Wire & Plastic Technology showed its UL/CSA-approved electronic wire and cable for the entertainment industry.
LightWright 3, the EFX Plus3, and the complete range of accessories for the ETC Source Four were on display at the City Theatrical booth. Coherent products on display included the Star II Entertainment Ion Laser System, which is water-cooled and available in different wattages, including a 3.5W Argon model. Cerwin Vega showed its standard line of speakers, while Crest Audio was touting two of its consoles, the X-Eight and the X-Monitor, plus the CK Series of amplifiers.
DAS, the Spanish-based loudspeaker manufacturer, showed its new K-10 and Nd-10 compression drivers, the P-18 bass loudspeaker, the E line of power amplifiers, and the Soundtracs line of mixing consoles. Dazian showed off its French Lame line of reversible fabrics, which come in several colors, as well as several extra-wide fabrics, which are flame-retardant, making them useful for cycs, exhibits, and club applications. Digidesign, the digital audio workstation manufacturer, touted its Pro Tools 24 Mix and Mixplus for Windows NT, and the Tool Box for Windows. Pro Tools 24 Mix features a new PCI card and provides up to three times more DSP power than Pro Tools 24.
Fresh from NSCA, EAW showed the MQ Series of loudspeakers, which feature complementary dimensions and trapezoid angles that are designed to facilitate the creation of optimized coverage arrays. Euphonix showed its brand-new R-1 multitrack disk-based recorder, a modular, random-access, 24-bit/96kHz recorder with a tape machine-like remote control and operational feel. Also on hand was the popular CS3000 audio mixing system, which combines digital control with analog audio. Electronics Diversified displayed its Bijou console, with DMX512, 1,024 dimmer control, and 288 submasters.
ESTA was on hand with members of its sibling organization PLASA. News from ESTA includes the development of the Electrical Power Working Group, co-chaired by Bob Luther of Lex Products and Ken Vannice of NSI Colortran. The group's first meeting will be held this month, and they are looking for participants. Contact Luther (203/363-3738; RobertLuther01@snet.net) or Vannice (503/404-550; KenV@nsicorp.com) for more information.
ETC put the spotlight on its Source Four 750 luminaire and Express console, and its ownership of Irideon. Expo Night-Life promoted its trade show geared to the club market in Latin America. Scheduled to take place February 23-25, 2000, in Guadalajara, Mexico, Expo Night will host exhibitors showing audio, video, lighting, and a range of club products and services.
F.A.L. of Italy's new products for 1999 include the Promo 4 promotional projector. Custom water walls and water columns enhanced by neon lighting were the attraction at the booth of Hallandale, FL-based Fiero Tri-Star. The company primarily markets to department stores, casinos, clubs, and restaurants. Foglite from Buenos Aires brought in its range of fog fluids.
GAM Products rolled out its GAM Floor, self-adhering vinyl flooring in multiple colors, including Chromakey Green and Blue. Brooklyn-based GLI showed the Lineartech Audio LCD-25, a 19" rackmountable dual CD player with track searching, frame searching, auto cue, and pitch blend. A vogue act from a nearly nude, silver-painted gentleman and similar spectacles at the Gemini Sound Products booth, home to the Lytequest, Ness, and Showpro brands, reminded trade show veterans of LDIs past.
Hermes Music International, a Miami-based dealer of audio and lighting equipment, showed a wide range of audio gear, including Crown D-45/D75-A amplifiers, the Soundcraft Series Five front-of-house console, and Eminence loudspeakers. New from High End Systems is the Studio Spot(R) 250 and its new range of club lighting equipment, the Powerline(TM).
Intermark Industries is a Miami-based wholesale distributor of audio and lighting equipment, serving world markets, including Central and South America. The company featured the Millennium BKE line of speakers and represented other products from Electro-Voice, AKG, Telex, Motorola, MTX, Eden, Gemini, and Ness. Jeamar Winches showed a number of new hand winches for theatre applications, while JR Clancy brought along its catalog of theatrical rigging gear. Kabuki made a fiesta of the show floor with its streamer and confetti systems.
Italian lighting manufacturer La Novalight distributed English- and Spanish-language catalogs of its featured products, which included Next, its latest line of lighting gear. Laser Production Network's website, www.lasernetwork.com, has material printed in English and Spanish. Leprecon showed its new VX and MX series touring racks, incorporating a patchbay accessible from the top and power distribution at the rear, including 220V for moving lights.
Lightronics showed its new AR-1202 architectural series, which consists of a processor and 12 dimmer channel circuits of 2,400W each, as well as a prototype of the DB 612 dimmer. Lycian Stage Lighting showed its standard line of followspots, including the short-range quartz ClubSpots, the Midgets with exclusive spread lenses, and 1290XLT 2k, 3k, and 4k xenons, the company's newest units.
Aside from the news that Martin Professional had been bought by the Danish firm Schouw & Co., the company focused attention on its MX-1, MAC 300, Acrobat, and Juggler moving lights, and hosted a typically wild party at the local nightclub Club Cristal. MDG, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, showed its Ice Fog Low Fog Generator, which features a very dense, ultra-slow dissipating fog. UK-based MGC Lamps touted its worldwide distribution of lamps to dealers and manufacturers.
Meyer showed off its new compact UPM-1P speaker, a self-powered version of the UPM-1 designed for under-balcony, front-fill, and small PA applications. The UPM-1P is a bi-amped system comprising two 5" low-frequency cone drivers in a vented enclosure and a 1" titanium dome on a symmetric horn. Miami-based Miami Parts Imports featured its Sound Barrier line of expanded wireless mics and preamps. The company imports and exports audio and video equipment, electronic goods, and musical accessories from manufacturers including Commax, Proskits, and COP.
Musicland Digital represents Korg, Roland, Zoom, Fostex, Vestax, and Kawai. New products included the Fostex VMO4 four-channel digital mixer with DSP effects, the DE-1 dual multi-effect processor, the D-108 professional eight-track digital recorder, and the D-160 v2 software for the 16-track digital recorder.
Numark brought along members of its family of professional audio equipment, including mixers, such as the PRO-SM-1 professional scratch mixer, which includes a newly developed long-life crossfader.
Osram Sylvania reps distributed a special bilingual catalog and met with attendees to answer questions regarding lamps and application-type questions. Las Vegas-based Protech Theatrical Services, a manufacturer and installer of motorized rigging, featured two LDI Award-winning products, the SmartMotion rigging control system, and new Nysteel Sheaves. Both products were used at the newly constructed Aguada Municipal Theatre in Aguada, Puerto Rico.
Rocketerias, based in Mexico, and Fort Lauderdale, FL-based Abba Trading Corp. introduced themselves to visitors as distributors of products from a number of audio and lighting companies. Rosco featured its whole line of products, with special attention paid to the Horizon lighting console system. Rose Brand introduced a 120" Spandex fabric and promoted its Encore Synthetic Velour, available in 15oz and 22oz weights. The company is an ongoing supplier for the Conservatory at the Bellagio Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
Sao Paulo-based Sabra-Som makes and distributes universal shockmounts and pop filters for microphones. Space Cannon featured its Millennium 4000, an all-environment, economically priced searchlight with a 4,000W xenon lamp. Skytronics, also known as Tropical Music & Pro Audio, a Miami-based distributor, showed a wide variety of products from Sennheiser, Peavey, QSC, Neumann, and Mackie. Of note was the Peavey DTH 4215 speaker, featuring a 44XT compression driver and 80-degree by 40-degree constant-directivity horn.
Stageline, the Canadian manufacturer of mobile staging units, was at ExpoLatina to further acquaint attendees with its products, the Stageline SL and the Stageline Sam. Professional DJ equipment by Omnitronic was on display at the booth of Germany-based Steinegke Showtechnic. The company also manufactures Futurelight moving lights for the European market and is looking for distributors in the US and South America.
Strand Lighting unveiled for Latin American audiences its Quartzcolor range of studio lighting, and its new SL series of stage luminaires. Super Vision focused on its Side Glow and End Glow fiber-optic products.
Soundbridge Acoustic Labs drove straight from NSCA in Nashville to Miami, literally: the company's booth was its touring truck/demo room. Products on hand included the Series 2000 and Series 5000 line of speakers. Connecticut-based Sound Stage Systems was touting is line of recent nightclub projects in Miami, Cancun, and California.
Lighting manufacturer and distributor TEI Electronics featured the MiniDMX, a small, portable DMX console; the Flashtron DMX-addressable matrix strobe; and the Stagescan DMX-controllable intelligent light fixture. Also sharing the booth was TEI's export division Telexport, which distributes TEI products and equipment from numerous companies.
TechniCaribe and the US company Pook Diemont & Ohl shared a booth (the two companies are associated); recent projects include supplying the rigging, lighting, and sound for the San Juan Museum of Art, renovation of the theatre at University of Puerto Rico, and the rigging for Teatro Barceloneta, also in Puerto Rico. Orlando, FL-based Techni-Lux featured a range of Techni-Scan intelligent lights and promoted their use in various club installations throughout the world.
Miami-based Theatre and Video Products provides sales, installation, and service to theatres and cinemas throughout Latin America. TMB Associates showed its range of production supplies and services, while James Thomas Engineering showed its truss products. Tracoman, the distributor based in nearby Hollywood, FL, showed off several DJ-oriented products, including the Red Sound Systems Voyager 1 beat extractor and the Next! DJS-24 24-bit digital sampler. VJ Rendano, an importer/exporter of musical instruments and accessories from Youngstown, OH, brought a different beat to the show floor.
It's a small world, but it needs employees: Walt Disney World scouted ExpoLatina for production personnel for its many international ventures. Wenger showed its Vision line of platform-type stages, designed with a special truss system that enables clear, column-free spans of up to 12'. Wybron centered on the new CX-1 Color Fusion. Xenotech-Strong International featured the Truss Trouper followspot with a new head-mounted power supply. Currently in use on the Aerosmith tour, the spotlight also features a 1.2kW HMI source with fixed optics and multiple lens options. And XTA showed the new DP226 speaker management system, which features two inputs, each with an eight-band parametric equalizer, base delay and gain control, and six outputs, all of which feature crossover filters and a five-band parametric equalizer.
Encouraged by the response to ExpoLatina, show organizers have scheduled a second edition, for May 23-25, 2000, again in hospitable Miami Beach.