PLASA REPORT: BACK TO NORMAL
2003 will be remembered as the year that PLASA management re-arranged all the booths. For years, the floor plan of the show at Earl's Court, the show's longtime venue, has remained largely unchanged. (This was especially helpful if you were looking to down a pint of the dark stuff from Guinness at the Bandit Lites booth.) Nevertheless, the redesign was positively received; the decision to move the new technology gallery downstairs, near the main entrance, added impact for visitors.
In other ways, the show, which was held September 7-10, made a welcome return to normalcy two years after the events of 9/11/2001. (Last year's show seemed to exist in the shadow of those terrible events). Even though Europe is still struggling economically, the exhibitors and the estimated 13,000-plus attendees were able to focus on the matter at hand: seeing, buying, and selling the latest in entertainment technology. This year saw the unveiling of an impressive range of new gear, particularly in the lighting and staging sector (though there were also some promising products from the audio sector, as well).
In fact, by the end, PLASA reported having had one of the best shows in its history, lending credence to the buzz, on the trade show floor, that the industry is finally beginning to turn a corner, and may even be entering a new growth cycle.
This year's PLASA awards featured 70 nominated products in five categories. At PLASA, companies must pay a fee to enter their products, with the money going to charity. The association raised £12,000 for Light Relief, PSA Welfare and Benevolent Fund, and the Golden Lion Children's Trust. The winning products were:
Audio-Visual Award/Design Excellence: High End Systems' Catalyst DL1 video projector.
Audio-Visual Award/Technical Innovation: Korg's Kaoss Entrancer VJ mixer.
Lighting Award/Design Excellence: Element Labs' Versa Tile LED system.
Lighting Award/Technical Innovation: Power Gems' HF575P ballast.
Software Award/Design Excellence: Stage Technologies' Visual Creator 3D flying system.
Software Award/Technical Innovation: No award presented.
Sound Award/Design Excellence: AKG's WMS wireless microphone
Sound Award/Technical Innovation: Clear-Com's CellCom wireless intercom.
Staging Award/Design Excellence: PCM's Unibar flying system
Staging Award/Technical Innovation: Total Fabrications' new wave truss
Environmental Award: Le Mark's Gaf-fire tape.
Lighting, control, and effects
ADB's (www.adblighting.com) Axis fixture, which was the object of much attention at last year's PLASA show, is now called the Warp; it is an 800W axial cool-beam zoom-profile spotlight with finger-tip control of all shutters, gobos, zoom and focus settings, and iris from any position around the spotlight. Warp is available in 15-30Þ and 25-50Þ models; an automated version should be available by April 2004 (the product is waiting for UL certification before broaching the American market). ADB's new console, the Mentor, is available in 120, 240 or 360 control channels and is patchable to 1,024 DMX output addresses (two universes).
Apollo Design Technology (www.internetapollo.com) showed its new Smart Move™ gobo rotator. In addition to bi-directional rotation, the unit offers various individual movements without the need for a controller. Effects are built-in and pre-programmed; just use the onboard rotary switches and speed-control dial for setting the desired effect and speed. It includes 18 built-in effects.
Artistic Licence (www.artisticlicence.com) introduced Colour-Tramp, a lighting control system designed for complex two and three-dimensional lighting arrays. It combines the concept of lighting control with a graphic editor. The lighting array is entered using a graphic user interface; Colour-Tramp's editing tools allow selection and coloring of geometric shapes of lamps. Further editing controls provide the ability to shift, wipe, move, rotate, and more. Show programming is then performed using color palettes and visual editing tools. Colour-Tramp provides a full implementation of V1.0 Remote Device Management (RDM.) This allows the product to communicate with the lighting fixtures. It features include diagnostics, output, playback, and show authoring; it also provides a selection of triggering options. The full version of the product is available in increments of 1,024-channel output. Colour-Tramp uses the concept of Stacks to control overall show program and sequence; these can be synchronized to real time, MIDI Time Code, or free run. They can also be loaded automatically on program start allowing fully unattended operation.
Avolites (www.avolites.com) launched three new products: The ART3000 stand-alone dimmer module, with features that include dual DMX input for dual lighting-console control, and low-noise chokes and fans, making it ideal for stage or studio use; the new E-DMX radio DMX system, and the Avolites D4 Pilot, a small console designed to run with Avolites' time-saving programming software, Simulator. Highlighted products include the recently launched Diamond 4 Elite and Diamond 4 Vision consoles. The new D4 Elite console is fully featured and cased in a smaller, lighter chassis, complete with 14 submasters and 96 assigned playbacks, with direct access to 96 fixtures or cues via the re-assignable preset playbacks.
The Swedish company Beacon AB (www.projectedimage.uk.com) now has Gobo Group members across some 18 countries. Beacon AB jointly exhibited at PLASA with UK member Projected Image UK Ltd. Beacon use its patented gobo manufacturing process that offers unique technical advantages to produce ultra-thin gobos. The new Blackline range incorporates a special coating that eliminates ghost reflections in the projector. Also on display was the Beacon Gobo Catalog, with over 350 new gobo designs; coming soon is a new range of digital content Digi Gobos.
Chauvet (www.chauvetlighting.com) showed off its new LED products in addition to its line of luminaires and effects. Especially cool is the new Colortube™, which includes RGB color-mixing for patterns and graphics and is DMX-controllable and linkable. Each 40" tube contains 144 high-intensity LEDs and comes with a milky white optical diffuser. The tubes are weather-resistant to IP44 and are available in 12V and 110V.
City Theatrical (www.citytheatrical.com) showed its award-winning WDS Wireless Dimming System and the latest version of Lightwright, now available n Version 4 for the PC and MAC platforms. Also on the stand was ACT Enterprises' line of clever lighting hardware solutions.
Color Kinetics (www.colorkinetics.com) introduced iColor® Tile FX and iColor® Flex SL — the first generation of systems based on its cool Chromasic™technology. This integrates digital LED control and communication technology in a single silicon chip, powering a highly controllable point of light that can generate 64 billion color combinations and form the basis for complex designs. The first Chromasic-based systems combine advanced LED technology, intelligent control, and intuitive authoring software. The advanced hardware/software and control platform that supports these systems will be introduced later this year. Also shown: iColor Tile FX creates a canvas in the form of a tile-like system. Each 2' by 2' panel conceals 144 individually addressable, tri-color nodes (432 LEDs total) that are powered by Chromasic, enabling fine-grained control to create images with light — from morphing color waves to animated objects to logos and emblems. iColor Flex SL is an LED-based strand that generates effects and accommodates installations without the constraints of fixture size, shape, or space. Each strand of iColor Flex SL is comprised of 50 individually addressable, tri-color nodes (150 LEDs total), powered by Chromasic and spaced in 2", 4", or custom-sized increments up to 12".
DHA Lighting (www.dhalighting.co.uk) showed the Gobo Carousel, which can serve as a gobo changer, color changer, effects unit, or any combination of the above. The unit contains two interchangeable discs, each with the capacity to hold six B-size metal gobos, six 70mm glass gobos, six color dichroic filters, or a range of effects wheels. Designed to fit into the focal plane of the ETC Source Four range, the Gobo Carousel requires no physical modifications to the lantern — it simply replaces the gate assembly of any of ETC's fixed-angle units. DHA's extensive gobo library has been expanded with 50 new standard glass gobo designs, reflecting the increasing popularity of glass gobos.
Electronic Theatre Controls (www.etcconnect.com) finally unveiled its new Source Four Revolution, an automated ellipsoidal luminaire for the theatre. It is designed with performance, modularity, and quietness as its main features. The creators sacrificed speed for quietness, which, in a demo room, proved very quiet indeed. It uses a 750W HPLX lamp, which is bright and comes with a quick-change mount at the rear of the unit. It features an onboard dimmer that accepts worldwide voltage, so there is one filament design for the world — the output will be the same here as in the UK, Asia, and elsewhere. The unit is meant to compete with the VL1000 and a Source Four in a City Theatrical AutoYoke with many accessories. It comes with a color scroller with up to 24 plastic colors. It has two module bays and, currently, there are four modules available: a shutter; a static gobo wheel; a rotating gobo; and an iris. The gobo module comes with three positions and clear, which holds M-size metal or glass patterns as well as glass dichroic colors. Also on display was the new version of the SmartPack dimmer system that now allows for wall mounting and for touring of this smart dimmer pack.
Nils Thorjussen, formerly of Flying Pig Systems, High End Systems, and Pixeon, has a new company, Element Labs, which won top honors with its new product: Versa TILE, invented by Matt Ward, is an edge-lit LED tile with RGB color-mixing that creates a broad spectrum of rich, saturated colors, as well as flesh tones, browns, grays. The tiles can be used to create a color-changing wall, in permanent installations or portable staging blocks of 25 tiles each.
G-LEC (www.g-lec.com), from Germany, again showed its G-LEC Curtain, which integrates pictures, animated graphics, and video, all of which can be controlled from an ordinary DMX console. With two controllable datastreams, combining video and animation, striking effects are created. The Curtain is lightweight and can be set up by a couple of technicians in hours without the stage needing structural re-enforcement.
Hardware for Xenon introduced what was clearly the longest lighting fixture at the show, the 7,000W Xenon followspot. The prototype was tested on concerts featuring French pop star Johnny Halladay; this long-throw unit also has an optional moving mirror to get light where other spots cannot reach. The fixture breaks down into modules for transport. Also introduced: a weatherproof box for the company's 7,000W large-format projector, for use in harsh weather.
High End Systems (www.highend.com) showed the latest software for the Wholehog III, a console that is finally ready for prime time. Also on display were a variety of new products including: Catalyst DL1, ColorCommand, and ColorMerge. The latter two are aimed athe theatre market, as they are color-changing products with no fixture movement. ColorMerge is a dichroic color mixing system that fits any standard-sized ETC Source Four ellipsoidal fixture, at a cost comparable to a color-mixing scroller. Positioned as an alternative to gel scrollers, ColorMerge uses dichroic glass as its color media. ColorCommand is a color-changing PAR/wash light that uses a patented, color-mixing system that incorporates automated changing of color and beam angle at a cost comparable to a PAR and scroller. The dichroic color-mixing system uses a patented design that incorporates two lenses and three-color wheels. The first lens splits the light into 25 separate beams, which pass through CMY color-mixing glass. The second lens rejoins and projects the light into a fully saturated, evenly colored beam. The CMY color wheels can perform almost instantaneous color-changes. Catalyst DL1 is the second-generation offering in the Catalyst family, which enhances the technology by housing a digital engine in a ruggedized package that has the look and feel of a moving light and the versatility of a moving projector. Also on display was the newly released Catalyst Version 3 software for the increasingly popular Catalyst product range.
IES BV (www.ies.nl) showed the latest series of developments of its award-winning Matrix sinewave dimming system. The company has led the charge of sine-wave dimming, and Strand and ETC are, just now, jumping on this bandwagon. The Matrix system's popularity is due not just to its ability to offer sinewave technology — thyristor and triac dimmers may also be hot-plugged where the silent, low-harmonics features of sinewave are not specifically demanded. Now venues on tight budgets may also install Matrix with low-cost triac modules and be confident that the system can be upgraded, when required, to the latest dimming technology by simply replacing plug-in modules.
Best known for its high-quality trussing products, James Thomas Engineering (www.jthomaseng.com) is becoming as well-known for its LEDs, such as its Pixelline 1044 battens. For example, the company showed the PixelPAR 90L, a high-output, solid-state color-mixing lighting fixture. It utilizes 30 red, green, and blue Luxeon emitters collimated to provide a 6Þ beam. Also launched was the Barlite, which combines contemporary lighting technology with conventional sign and display materials to produce dramatic visual effects. The PixelDrive is a product of Thomas' R&D department in collaboration with IRAD, developer of the RADlite digital media server, which has resulted in the RADlite control system being applied to Thomas' Pixel Range of LED fixtures. The PixelDrive control system allows the synching of video images and Thomas' Pixelrange. On the truss side, Thomas launched a Minitower Ground support truss, which is small, neat, and strong, and is optimized to work with the company's Superlite and Squarelite truss. Its 2mm wall thickness is strengthened with robust diagonal plates and the tower features the same reliable fork-connecting system as Squarelite and Superlite. The external dimensions are only 19cm, making it extremely expedient in size and ideal for trade shows, exhibition stands, conferences and retail applications where aesthetics and small signature are desirable.
Jands (www.jandsvista.com), on the AC Lighting stand, showed its new Vista control console. It is fundamentally different from most current consoles, especially with its new approach to the user interface and the introduction of a timeline, which gives users the complete picture and control of all lighting events. Along with a generic fixture module that is becoming more of a standard in intelligent lighting consoles, the Vista uses a pen-based system to draw directly on a screen. Also, users can plan actions over a moving timeline, working as one would with computer-based audio- and video-editing tools.
At the Le Maitre (www.lemaitrefx.com) stand, new products included pyrotechnic hardware; the Speedfogger Active smoke machine featuring Rapid Change Technology, and the first UK showing of the revolutionary new Stadium Hazer.
Leprecon (www.leprecon.com) introduced the LP-X48 console, now available in 1,024 DMX channels for both moving lights and dimmers. Features include access of up to 192 conventional control channels via 24 manual faders (up to 48 channels) or through the numeric keypad. Also included are more playbacks and more options — every LP-X48 is touchscreen-capable with a TFT 15" flat-screen interface; standard features include VGA output, manual scene control, and label effects.
Germany's MA Lighting (www.malighting.de) showed the new grandMA Micro console for the size-challenged and the Network Signal Processor (NSP) for the grandMA console range. The grandMA NSP allows for an integrated network solution by bridging the differences between the current multiple de facto standards; with an Ethernet network, it brings more transparency into the signal flow and utilizes standard industry components for an increased level of reliability. For decentralized DMX distribution networks, the NSP converts the incoming Ethernet data stream back into full-speed DMX 512 signals. Four individual DMX ports are available for output, and up to two of them might also be used for DMX input. The NSP can be controlled as DMX node via multiple network protocols. Currently supported are ArtNet, from Artistic Licence, and MA's own protocol, MA-Net. The grandMA micro offers 1,024 individual parameters for control of conventional dimmers, moving lights from the built-in library, or self-created fixtures of any kind. The micro includes all its components in a compact desktop housing with everything built-in; no external power supplies, processor units, or monitors are required. It is based on a reliable industrial computer board.
PLASA has traditionally been the launching pad for the latest products from Martin Professional (www.martin.com) and this year's show was no exception. First off was Maxxyz Version 1.0; Maxxyz is Martin's new professional lighting console that includes a string of original features and intuitive design. The MAC 550 is fully loaded with a host of features; the 400W moving-head unit features multiple graphical options including a gobo animation system, two 8-slot color wheels, motorized 14-30Þ zoom and a multitude of other features all wrapped within the award-winning design of the MAC 2000. Another product, Atomic Colors, is a specially designed, easily attachable head that fits onto the front of the Atomic 3000 DMX. It allows for projection of up to ten brightly colored strobe and blinder effects, adding a further creative dimension.
Chris Giannoulas of Omnsistem Light and Effects in Kent, WA, announced that his company is now the US distributor for Pearl River. At the Pearl River booth, Paul Dodd introduced the new Pilot 1200W and Pilot 575W fixtures; production for both starts in November 2004.
Pulsar (www.pulsarlight.com) has taken to LEDs like a religion. The booth was awash in color from LED fixtures. New products included the ChromaFlood™ with an IP rating of 66; the ChromaScan™, a small moving-body unit in prototype format; the ChromaDeck™ and ChromaPane™ 300 for floor and walls of color-changing LEDs; and the ChromaCube™, a 300mm internally illuminated cube with an IP rating of 66.
Rosco (www.rosco.com) showed the Vortex 360™ Dual Gobo Rotator, which can rotate one or two steel or glass gobos at fixed or variable speed. The speed and direction of rotation can be set through a potentiometer, which is located on the unit or by utilizing a dimmer on the control board. The Vortex 360 does not require any additional power supply — the transformer can be plugged directly into a wall outlet or, using a low cost adapter, a dimmer.
SGM (www.sgm.it) had the new Regia 2048 Opera, Regia 2048 Live and Regia 2048 Pro consoles, a new series intended for a wide range of professional applications. Each of the three models is equipped with different hardware but all share the same operating system, ensuring total compatibility between the consoles. Features include 2,048 DMX channels, four independent DMX lines, onboard CD burner, built-in hard disk and two SVGA outputs for outboard monitors to display the status of each fixture used via a cutting-edge graphic interface. Also new, the Powerlight 1212D, Powerlight 625D, Powerlight 612D digital dimmers designed for permanent and mobile installations, in three models, controllable via DMX and RS232.
Strand Lighting (www.strandlight.com) had several new products, including an improved line of Bambino Fresnels from 1-5kW, featuring wire-drive focus, easy-to-rotate barndoors, and a black finish for use in theatres. Also shown was an improved design for the SLD Dimmer Rack with more wiring space and new modules, including a sinewave dimmer module. (Strand, like other manufacturers, will be making lots of noise about the silence of sinewave dimming). More innovations: The LD24 is a variant of the LD90 range of dimmers. The new design is aimed at cost-conscious facilities that need basic DMX control. Finally, Strand unveiled its new USB Key drive with built-in Designer Remote software. With it, designers can plug the new drive into the USB port on a PC or Mac notebook with a wired or wireless Ethernet connection and access displays and controls on any Strand 300 or 500 series console. The aim of this low-cost product is to give designers a better and more convenient way to see console video displays using their notebook computers.
Tryka LED Ltd., a new UK LED fixture manufacturer (founded in December 2002) made its PLASA debut this year with several new products. The Tryka Tile 600, an RGB LED tile is only 8mm thick and comes in two different sizes: 600×600mm and 600×1200mm; it provides light output both front and back (if required). Strip Module Optic comes in a choice of lengths and beam angles, with either RGB or single-color LEDs and allows greater control over the direction of the beam output to suit different application needs. It is also available as an IP68 unit for exterior and underwater use. Module 6 MR16 comprises of six RGB or single color LEDs in an MR16-sized housing. Module 1 is an IP67 in-ground luminaire featuring a high-brightness LED set in a stainless-steel housing. IP68 versions of the Module 12 and 36 Exterior Projectors are designed for outdoor and underwater applications.
VXCO (www.dmx512.ch) was on hand with its clever DMX control options. New products included DMX Creator 512 Basic, which is the world's first direct USB to DMX512 cable. All necessary electronics are built into the XLR plug. It features 512 output channels and three-pin Neutrik XLR output. The DMX interface is connected to the USB plug-and-play port of the computer and uses no external power supply.
Not known for producing luminaires, Wybron (www.wybron.com) does know color and color mixing. At PLASA, Wybron introduced the Nexera wash and ellipsoidal color mixing luminaires. From the creative mind of Robert Mokry, the Nexera is a clever fixture that uses an interesting set of dichroic plates to mix color in the beam. The unit is convection-cooled for quiet operation; it uses a 575W tungsten lamp, three DMX channels and a Wybron Coloram II power supply and cables, and is priced to compete with other color-changing methods.
Xilver (www.xilver.nl) presented the new 4.5" round Sparkle LED fixture in two versions, RGM or mono unit, available in seven solo colors. The fixture is available for recessed, permanent installation or as a spotlight in a small yoke.
Projected Image Digital (www.projectedimage.uk.com), sister company to Projected Image, was formed in December 2002 to offer a one-stop solution for the provision of digital media server hardware and digital content, including training and programming services. On show was a selection of the digital media servers distributed by Projected Image Digital, including IRAD's RADlite and High End System's Catalyst systems, which will be outputting digital content from the growing Projected Image Digital Content Library. Projected Image Digital is the worldwide distributor for D-Tek Industries, and will preview D-Tek's range of brand new products that further address the convergence of video and lighting control.
Scene Change Imaging Ltd. (www.scene-change.com), a sister company of DHA Lighting, was showing off the Hippotizer, a digital media server for the live entertainment industry. It allows immediate access to a pre-loaded library of digital media content, then allows effects to be overlaid onto that content or live video. It can be played on the fly, rather like a musical instrument for video, or pre-programmed, or even left to run itself. At any time it can be told to work with a sound input, integrating visuals with music. And when you exhaust the extensive library you can add your own content.
Columbus McKinnon® Entertainment Division (www.cmrigging.com) introduced the world's first hand chain hoist designed for “inverted and regular” use in the entertainment industry. The CM Hurricane is available in capacities of 1/2 ton, one ton, and two tons. Also introduced was the new Lodestar Direct Control Hoists, which range in capacities from 1/4 to two tons, with lifting speeds up to 64' per minute. Other new products include two additions to the ProStar line — 500lb and 1,000lb models — and the ShowPro Theatrical Electric Chain Hoists and Control System. ShowPro Hoists range in capacity from 1/2 ton to two tons, with lifting speeds up to 16' per minute.
An interesting low-tech staging product at the Hall Stage (www.hallstage.com) booth was the Holdon clip. Designed to grip virtually any material that fits into its jaws, from canvas to cotton to PVC to light polyesters, Holdons can hang backdrops, scenery, cycloramas, and screens. The clips cut out the process of fitting traditional eyelets and often eliminate the need for hemming. They're reusable and moveable, and won't puncture or damage fabric.
Another PLASA award-winner, in the environmental category, was LeMark's (www.lemark.co.uk) Gaf-fire flame-retardant gaffer tape, a waterproof, vinyl coated cloth tape with a natural rubber-based adhesive and with a flame retardant coating.
The UK-based PCM/Pfaff Silberblau (www.askpcm.com), working with Slingco (www.thecablenet.net), unveiled the Unibar, a winch system that allows the quick and easy raising/lowering of lighting or suspension bars for scenery, with a motor driven unit. Unibar can be installed onto any style of fixing or structure, including universal beams, trussing, channels, and barrels. It is initially available in 250 or 400Kg models with single- or two-speed options. Unibar won PLASA's design Excellence Award in the staging category.
Stage Technologies (www.stagetech.com) launched the Saxis, a complete, single-axis automation control system, that has been specifically designed with the smaller production in mind. Compact in size, the Saxis can be plugged directly into a three-phase mains power supply and incorporates all the advantages of servo-motor control; small, precise, and near silent operation. Six preset positions and dead-man's handle also ensure that the productions automation requirements are executed seamlessly, accurately, and safely time after time.Visual Creator software is a motion-design tool that can be fully integrated with the company's Nomad or Acrobat control systems and allows three types of movement (paths, maps and profiles) to be plotted. A path through 2D or 3D space can be created while passing through a number of known points. A path can be a single journey or continuous loop. A map defines, through the use of software, the position relationship between a number of axes. And, using profiles the position of an axis can be plotted against time. Visual Creator won PLASA's first ever software award for design excellence.
Total Fabrication (www.totalfabs.com) displayed its award-winning NewWave truss. Also on hand was its T2 System (www.t2-systems.com), which Prolyte signed on to license for its trussing products. T2 is a new and advanced demountable structural system with integral protection for personnel against falls from a height. It is designed for typical truss applications; it offers safer methods of climbing and working at height; it can sustain the loads arising during an arrested fall, and facilitates safe rescue. Key components include modular truss, energy-absorbing lanyard with twin mobile anchor points, t-clamp, rigging hardware, and accessories.
One of the great things about PLASA is that it's a true entertainment technology show, unlike in the States, where lighting, sound, staging, and projection tend not to be seen under one roof (though LDI is trying to change that). There has always been a strong contingent of audio types at the show, and this year was no exception.
The AKG Acoustics (www.akgacoustics.com) WMS 4000 UHF wireless system won the design excellence award for audio. It's a versatile wideband UHF system with a true-diversity receiver, software-control capability, 1,200 frequencies in each of six bands (different bands available for different countries), a battery charging system, and a full line of accessories.
Clear-Com's (www.clearcom.com) new CellCom was presented with the sound award for technical innovation. This system, still in prototype, combines license-free digital transmission with an intelligent base station that interconnects with wired communications, going beyond the typical wireless party-line, or even two-channel, capability, with one-to-one and group conversations initiated from a beltpack.
EAW's (www.eaw.com) new KF730 SLAM packs a six-driver, horn-loaded KF Series design into a compact enclosure. The full-sized mid/high horn fills the entire face of the enclosure, ensuring broadband 110∞ horizontal pattern control. The Phase Aligned™ LF design extends horizontal pattern control into the LF and a bi-amplified powering configuration reduces total system cost and complexity.
The French company InnovaSON (www.innovason.com) showed off its new Sy80 console, which can be used for front of house (FOH), monitor mix, theatre, or live broadcast, and features 80 faders, 48 mix buses, 80 inputs and up to 80 outputs. The console is designed to reduce outboard gear, which simplifies mixing and saves valuable space.
At the Autograph Sound booth, Meyer (www.meyersound.com) showed the new UPJ-1P compact VariO loudspeaker, the first Meyer product to feature a rotatable horn for. In just a few minutes, the 80° × 50° UPJ-1P VariO horn can be rotated — in the shop or in the field — to provide optimum coverage, whether the cabinet is placed horizontally or vertically. The UPJ-1P is ideal for use as a main FOH loudspeaker in small-to-medium room applications, or as a delay, fill, or distributed system loudspeaker in larger room applications.
Midas (www.midasconsoles.com) unveiled the Heritage 4000 console, which has the features of the popular 3000 series but boasts 40 auxiliary sends. The first 24 are designed to be flexible mixes, so each pair can be configured as either two audio subgroups, or as stereo mix for in-ears, or as two mono sends. The other eight pairs are dedicated stereo mixes, with level and pan.
Next year's PLASA show will be held slightly later, running September 12-15, again at Earl's Court. For more information, go to www.plasa.org
THE STANTON GROUP NAMES DAVE FROKER AS NEW CEO
The Stanton Group has announced that audio industry veteran Dave Froker will become the company's new CEO. Froker will oversee each of the company's four brands: Stanton Magnetics, KRK Systems, Cerwin-Vega and Coemar.
Recently the general manager of Digidesign, Froker tripled that company's revenue while its flagship product, ProTools, became the industry's standard audio workstation. “The opportunities at Stanton attract me,” Froker remarked. “This is a company with a diverse product offering, innovative engineers, and an aggressive attitude towards marketing. I look forward to being a part of the company's future, and see potential for rapid growth.”
Froker started at Digidesign nearly ten years ago as vice president of business development. After a promotion to vice president of product marketing and a buyout by Avid, a manufacturer of digital video editing products, he became Digidesign's general manager. At the time, the company had annual revenues of $45 million and was losing money. Over the next six years, Froker guided Digidesign as it grew to a profitable $135 million pro audio workstation manufacturer with 400 employees.
The Stanton Group is currently divided into four brands: Stanton Magnetics, KRK Systems, Cerwin-Vega and Coemar. Founded in 1946, Stanton Magnetics is one of the largest manufacturers of professional DJ gear-including turntables, cartridges, CD players, mixers and the company's innovative Final Scratch system. KRK Systems designs and manufactures high-quality studio monitors, while the Cerwin-Vega brand designs and manufactures loudspeakers for home, mobile and professional audio markets, distributing their products in more than 75 countries since 1954. Coemar is a manufacturer and distributor of high-end lighting systems for nightclubs, mobile DJs and commercial applications.
Froker's appointment is only one of many changes affecting Stanton. In particular, the company is redefining its relationship with Coemar's home office in Italy. Interim CEO John Magee, who Froker repaced, recently said, “One opportunity for improvement with Coemar in the US has been its distribution and relationship to the factory [in Italy]. This is being addressed head-on. Coemar's service, over the last several months, is much better than it had been. Our parts fulfillment, for example, has been improved immeasurably. It is now a much better-run organization.” The bottom line, he adds, is “For the US market, the distribution will less independent and more integrated with the factory. It will have a better ability to meet orders and provide product on a timely basis.”
In other developments, Coemar recently entered into a joint venture in China. The factory, based in Shenzen will soon be making Coemar products.
INDIAN DISTRIBUTOR JAGMAG MAKES DEALS WITH AVOLITES, ROBE
Avolites has appointed Mumbai-based Jagmag Electric Co,as its exclusive, Indian distributor. In addition, Robe Show Lighting has made a distribution deal for India with the Mumbai-based Jagmag. Both deals were announced at the PALA show in Singapore.
Jagmag is an event production and lighting sales company headed by Atul Sonpal, with whom Avolites has worked since 1995. During this time, Sonpal has been instrumental in establishing Avo consoles in the Indian professional lighting industry.
Avo sales director Steve Warren, says, “Jagmag will be the exclusive Avolites supplier for India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Mauritius. Atul's integrity, commitment and passion for lighting make him 100% right for the task ahead. I love working with him!”
Robe's MD Josef Valchar and international sales manager Harry von den Stemmen traveled to PALA with a pre-prepared document in their briefcases, which was signed during the exhibition. Valchar is delighted to see Robe expand into India. “Jagmag and Atul came highly recommended as leading industry practitioners in India's pro lighting field. The agreement gives us a chance to make a big move in India,” he says.
Harry von den Stemmen says, “With 1.4 billion people in India, the market potential is awesome, and we can position ourselves to capitalize on the lively live music, arts and cultural events scene there.”
CLAY PAKY OPENS US OFFICE
Clay Paky, S.p.A., the Italian manufacturer of professional entertainment lighting, has announced the formation of Clay Paky America, Inc. The US office will open in Valencia, CA. Paul J. (P.J.) Turpin is CEO of the new corporation.
“The idea was in the air for some time,” says Pasquale Quadri, president of Clay Paky. “We carried out a detailed study of the American market, knowing that it is the driving force of a large part of the world economy. We carefully analyzed market conditions, the types and quality of products being specified, the types of distribution channels needed, and the technical support expectations of the market. On the basis of this survey, we moved on to the realization stage, which resulted in the formation of an operational office in the US.”
Turpin says, “This move sends a clear signal that Clay Paky is committed to doing what is necessary to guarantee the success of its products in the US. Our mission is two-fold: The first is to offer top-quality products backed by first-class service and support. The second is to ensure that the current product line and product development both meet the needs and expectations of the market. The creation of a direct link between the US market and the factory in Italy assures this.”
The new Clay Paky US office will open in January, contact details will be announced soon.
PROJECTED IMAGE DIGITAL IN DEAL WITH VERSA TILE
UK-based digital media solutions specialists Projected Image Digital (PID) has announced a preferred dealer agreement with Element Labs for the company's Versa TILE product. Versa TILE, a color-mixing light tile that utilizes video inputs, was launched at PLASA 2003, where it won an award for design excellence in lighting. Versa TILE joins Catalyst, RADlite, and D-Tek in PID's product line.
Negotiations started at PLASA in September. PID's David March and Rob Fowler have known Element Labs' Nils Thorjussen and Claas Ernst for several years; all four have previously worked together at High End Systems.
“Versa TILE is an innovative and exciting product, and both companies recognize the synergy of ideas that's emerging, combining lighting and digital media effects in all areas” says David March. “It was a natural step forward for us to combine forces and energies with Element Labs, following an enormously successful PLASA for both companies. Having an output device onboard will fit our ‘solutions’ package perfectly, along with the control systems and the content.”
Claas Ernst, managing director Element Labs Europe, came to PID's Three Mills Island base in East London to tie up the deal and to demonstrate the product. He says, “Projected Image are perfect partners, as suppliers of integrated digital solutions packages. With PID being a full systems integrator that works close with designers and architects we also want to offer them the opportunity to evolve and develop projects with Versa TILE outside the UK if this is of benefit to the end-user.”
City Theatrical Inc.
Invent, manufacture, and customize — that's what City Theatrical has always done. As winners of more than 20 product or business awards in the last eight years, CTI has specialized in listening to and understanding the needs of the lighting world and creating unique lighting accessories.
CTI manufactures and distributes over 300 products, including the award winning WDS Wireless Dimming System™, the AutoYoke®, Lightwright 4™, the Aquafog 3300™ and SS6000™ Dry Ice Foggers, EFX Plus 2™, and the world's most complete line of lighting accessories for popular lighting fixtures such as the ETC Source Four™ and Strand SL™.
CTI's focus is on the professional entertainment lighting market worldwide, and our distribution network covers the globe. See our website for the name and number of a dealer near you.
CTI invites designers, consultants and electricians to call when they have projects requiring customization. Our application engineers will design or customize to suit your needs, and our fast turnaround manufacturing team will produce them.
The world's premier dance floor company, American Harlequin Corporation manufactures vinyl dance and display flooring and specializes in the production of sprung floor systems for the performing arts. Three subfloor systems are offered:
Harlequin's Activity® Sprung Floor System is a revolutionary, triple “sandwich” construction that can be installed on almost any surface, without preparation. This permanent floor is shock-damped to avoid “trampoline” effect.
Harlequin's Liberty™ Sprung Panels feature pre-manufactured panels joined by a pivot joint, with elastomer blocks at regular centers on the underside to give uniform and consistent shock damping. There are permanent and stage models.
Harlequin's Woodspring™ basketweave floor starts with a triple layer of wooden bearers laid at right angles to one another onto shock-absorbent elastomer pads, then covered with marine grade plywood. For permanent installation.
Each subfloor must be covered with one of Harlequin's slip resistant vinyl surfaces. They are tailored for the entire spectrum of performing arts from barefoot to Irish Step dancing, and reflect Harlequin's years of flooring research.
The world dances on Harlequin floors©.
American Harlequin Corporation
1531 Glen Ave • Moorestown, NJ 08057 • USA: 800-642-6440 • 856-234-5505 • Fax: 856-231-4403
British Harlequin plc
Festival House, Chapman Way, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 3EF, Ph: (+44) 1892 514 888 Fax: (+44) 1892 514 222
Harlequin International sarl
29 rue Notre-Dame, L-2240, Luxembourg Ph: (+352) 46 44 22, Fax: (+352) 46 44 40
With over 50 years of professional experience, Barbizon is a leading worldwide distributor of professional lighting systems and supplies to the entertainment and architecture industries. With offices in Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Miami, New York, Orlando, Phoenix, and Washington, DC, Barbizon is the one-stop source for sales, service, installation, and integration of lighting equipment and accessories for the performing arts, themed environments, live productions, film, television, and architecture.
Barbizon has always done a significant amount of international business. Now comes Barbizon Europe, based in London. International sales director Mike Lieberman leads a staff that includes general manager Phil Bullock, operations manager Wendy Pearson, and consultant Garry Nelsson. The new European office will focus on fulfilling the requests of international customers as well as establishing new business.
No matter where you or your project is located, Barbizon can help. The company keeps over 20,000 products in stock, including lamps, gels, patterns, paints, and fabrics. With its many offices, it can meet the tightest deadlines. In addition, the Barbizon staff includes is a highly experienced team dedicated to helping clients with production supplies, systems integration, project management, technical services, and turnkey installations of lighting and rigging systems.
Barbizon Lighting Company, 456 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019, Phone: 212-586-1620
Barbizon Europe, The Saracen Industrial Estate, Unit 9, Mark Road, Hemel Hempstead, HP2 7BJ, United Kingdom, phone: 44-14-42-26-06-00, fax: 44-14-42-26-16-11, Phil Bullock, General Manager
Martin is a producer and distributor of computer-controlled “intelligent” lighting, Mach loudspeaker systems, and Jem smoke machines, allowing the company to offer complete entertainment packages. Other important areas of application include the growing market for indoor and outdoor architectural and promotional lighting, as well as dedicated exterior luminaires and specialized lights for retail settings.
Martin's cutting-edge automated luminaires play a starring role on Broadway in such hit productions as Thoroughly Modern Millie, where lighting designer Donald Holder uses 23 MAC 2000 profiles to help paint the various scenic elements of the show in a generous helping of reds, violets, blues, and greens, from the opening scene to the final curtain, and Hairspray, with 14 new MAC 2000 Performance framing and animation spots and 24 MAC 2000 profiles the workhorses of Ken Posner's rig. Martin fixtures are also on the road again, starring in concerts by Paul McCartney, Alanis Morissette, Eminem, David Bowie, Creed, Jewel, and Incubus. On the Las Vegas club scene, Martin fixtures and Jem smoke machines are creating the ambiance at three new clubs, Rain in the Desert, Skin, and the Ghost Bar, all at the Palms Casino Resort.
From its elegant range of architectural fixtures to its high-profile automated luminaires, Martin is pushing the envelope of lighting in exciting new directions.
Martin, Olof Palmes Alle 18, DK-8200 Arhus N, Denmark, Phone: 45-87-40-00-00 • Fax: 45-87-40-00-10
Martin Professional, Inc., 700 Sawgrass Corporate Parkway, Sunrise, FL 33325
Phone: 954-858-1800 • Fax: 954-858-1811 • E-mail: email@example.com • Web: www.martinpro.com
AUTOGRAPH A2D FORMED TO PUSH DIGITAL AUDIO FOR THEATRE
Big news on the theatre sound front: Autograph Sound has incorporated a new company n the international theatre capitals of London and New York to develop and promote the sales of selected digital products specifically aimed at the theatre market. Named Autograph A2D, it aims to advance the acceptance of digital mixers and infrastructure in the predominantly analog world of theatre.
In the UK, the company will draw on the combined experience of Andrew Bruce and Duncan Bell of Autograph and Nigel Olliff, co-founder of BSS Audio. The US company will be led by Lew Mead, former owner of ProMix, a New York-based rental house whose association with Bruce and Autograph spans 15 years.
It has secured the exclusive distribution rights for the DiGiCo D5T, the theatre version of the D5 Live, in the United States, and will be working closely with DiGiCo to promote the D5T in the UK and the rest of the world. The software package comprises a two-part enhancement consisting of dedicated “theatre” software running on the console as well as an external data-entry program to assist and shortcut the programming of cues.
Autograph has been active in the field of mixer-control software since 1989 when it commissioned its own designer and software writer, Matt McKenzie, to produce alternative software for the Cadac E-Type. Subsequent collaborations with both Soundcraft and Cadac, building on the practical experience of its in-house designers, have uniquely established Autograph as a specialist on the theatre console user interface.
At the D5 Live's launch at last year's PLASA show, Autograph director and sound designer Andrew Bruce saw its potential in the theatre, and was keen to channel Autograph's previous development work. It transpired that DiGiCo was equally keen to move on to the next stage in the expansion of the D5 family.
“Since it can simultaneously display any 24 of its input channels in three banks of eight, it is entirely intuitive for any engineer brought up on analog to grasp,” says Bruce. “As a consequence it goes a long way toward allaying the fears of operators for whom, hitherto, the predictable criticism of all assignable consoles has been that 99% of the console is always hidden. Frankly it's a wonder nobody came up with it before. What's more, it incorporates several features from previous projects that we'd been hoping would see the light of day again. We have been working with DiGiCo to merge in some of the more esoteric features that we have come to rely on in a theatre console.”
“We all share a sense of real excitement at making a significant contribution to the digital mainstream in the theatre,” Bruce concludes.
EAW PREMIERES SPANISH-LANGUAGE WEB SITE
Eastern Acoustic Works has established a Spanish version of the EAW website located at www.eaw.com/sp/. The new website is designed to make it even easier for Spanish-speaking EAW customers to locat detailed product information at technical data in their native language.
The new Spanish web site includes much of the same information that can be found on the EAW main site, including product specifications, 2-D and 3-D cabinet drawings, and processor configurations, as well as contact information for dealers and EAW's popular Application Support Group (ASG).
“Since its founding 25 years ago, EAW has established a solid reputation for making key technical information accessible to our customers — it's one of the things that makes us unique amongst our competition and truly the best way for us to assist contractors and system designers to specify EAW speakers into their installations,” says Karen Anderson, director of marketing communications at EAW. “The new website takes this approach to the next level and allows us to better serve our Spanish-speaking international markets.”
A galaxy of fashion and music stars commandereed London's Royal Albert Hall on October 15th for Fashion Rocks for the Prince's Trust, a fundraising event. Blue, Grace Jones, Sheryl Crow, Bryan Ferry, Bjork, Duran Duran, Robbie Williams and Beyoncé Knowles performed, while Naomi Campbell, Jodie Kidd, Sophie Dahl, and Helena Christensen did the supermodel thing, wearing clothes by Armani, Dior, Prada, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Versace, and Yves St. Laurent. LD Mark Cunliffe's rig included 38 Vari-Lite VL3000™ spot uints, two VL1000™ units, 26 VL1000™ AS units, and 81 VL2416™ wash units, along with 25 James Thomas Pixellines, all supplied by VLPS Lighting Services Ltd. Mike “Oz” Own controlled the lighting from a Virtuoso™ control console. The show concluded with a music video produced by David Bowie (above). The event was broadcast on 70 TV stations worldwide.
An new exhibit, Observe and Show: The Theatre Art of Michael Annals, opens November 27 at the Theatre Museum in London. Annals became famous in 1964, with his scenery and costumes for Peter Hall's production of The Royal Hunt of the Sun. He designed opera for Glyndebourne, Covent Garden, and New York City Opera. His stage credits included Noises Off. And his only film, Joseph Andrews (left, starring Ann-Margret as the notorious Lady Booby), earned him a British Academy Award nomination. The exhibit includes 40 original drawings and models, as well as the original masks, constructed by John Gunter. It was organized by Arnold Wengrow, who also wrote a 72-page, full-color catalog; it features recollections of Annals by Michael Blakemore, Peter Shaffer, John Cox, and Ian McKellan. The exhibit runs until October 2004.
Entec Sound & Light supplied lighting and audio equipment to Skin's Trashed tour (right). LD Chris Oldfield's rig consisted of six Clay Paky Stage Scans and eight Martin Mac 300s, four ETC Source Fours, eight Molefays, all run by an Avolites Pearl console. For the tour, the LD adopted a less-is-more philosophy; keeping his primary looks to a minimum, the show consisted of hues and color-temperature variations, blended into a series of reflective and mood-enhancing moments. Sound designer Paul Ramsey used the house stacks and racks at each venue, taking along a DiGiCo D5 console, mics, cables, and two d&b B2 subs to augment the bottom end. Ramsey is an early proponent of the D5; he keeps his outboard rack expedient and tidy with a TC 2290 delay, an SPX 990 for distortions and radio vocal effects and an Avalon 737 valve preamp/compressor/EQ on Skin's vocal. Having completed its club tour, Skin is out until Christmas, first with Placebo, then with Robbie Williams.
Melrose Arch, a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa was in need of a new look for the tower in its town square (right). The solution came from Bruce Schwartz of Electrosonic, who came up with an exterior lighting treatment using Martin Exterior 200 units. Once the project got the green light, the luminaires were delivered from Denmark in ten days; Robert Izzett of Electronic installed the fixtures and cabling in a day and Schwartz completed the programming over two nights. Control is provided by Martin's Lightcoder, a calendar-based DMX playback unit. The result is constantly changing: No setting is static for longer than three minutes and a full color sequence takes and hour and 20 minutes to play itself across the frosted glass plates.
City of Light 2003, a sound-and-light spectacular held in Liverpool, England, last summer, featured a 40m wide by 20m high water screen (above). Two 5W green DPSS lasers were supplied by I-vision, with the lasers operated via a Pangolin system. Lighting was supplied by Reflex. Eight Clay Paky Golden Scan HPEs were were used to beam patterns onto the center of the screen. Eight Martin Mac 600s and five Studio Due City Colors were also in the rig, along with two Dominator searchlights, all controlled by an Avolites Pearl console. For projection,coordinated by Creative Technology, a Pani BP6 Gold unit with a PIGI scroller handled static images, wihle a Christie X10 DLP projector ran the video. The show was run on a Dataton control system. Tour Tech handled the audio, with a VDOSC system. Powered with LA48a amps and processed via XTA DP226s, the time-coded audio feed was supplied off the video track. An Allen & Heath GL2 desk provided control. The waterscreen was supplied by LCI; over a ton of water was in the air at any one time. The designer was Lee Forde.