Business News Headlines
Annual Report 2016: Sennheiser Sees Reduced Turnover but Increased Profitability
Germany – In the fiscal year 2016, the Sennheiser Group generated a turnover of €658.4 million. This corresponds to a decline of 3.8 percent, primarily due to placing greater focus on the core business. During the reporting year, the audio specialist exited the aviation segment and also ended relationships with third-party brands in the Professional Systems Division. In addition, the termination of governmental subsidies in Japan affected the turnover. The Group's profit before taxes rose by 15.2 percent to €34.9 million compared to the same period in the previous year. Research and development were further strengthened: Sennheiser invested €54.5 million, which is a total of 16 percent more than in 2015.
"Coming from a very strong year in 2015, we were unable to build on the previous turnover growth in the reporting year. This was mainly due to placing strategic focus on core business in our Professional Systems Division," explains Dr. Andreas Sennheiser, Co-CEO of Sennheiser. "At the same time, in 2016 we did a lot of groundwork to ensure our future success by delivering even greater innovation and value to our customers," adds Co-CEO Daniel Sennheiser. “As a family-owned company, we focus on the long term and pursue a clear goal: shaping the future of audio.”
Despite the decrease in turnover, the Sennheiser Group was able to significantly increase its profitability. In fiscal year 2016, profit before taxes increased by €4.6 million to €34.9 million, which was mainly due to reduction in material, personnel and other operating expenses.
€358.2 million of the total sales of the Sennheiser Group were accounted for by the EMEA region, which showed a slight turnover growth of 0.3 percent compared to the previous year. In the Americas region, the group achieved €168.8 million, 6.1 percent less than in 2015.
In the APAC region, Sennheiser realised €131.4 million, a decrease of 10.8 percent compared to the previous year. The decline in turnover is in particular due to the phasing-out of a special situation: As planned, the Japanese government stopped subsidising wireless microphone systems at the end of the first quarter. These subsidies had a positive effect on turnover especially in reporting year 2015.
The turnover of the Professional Systems Division amounted to €316.3 million, a decrease of €31.7 million or 9.1 percent compared to the previous year. This can mainly be attributed to the withdrawal from the aviation business, the separation of selected third-party brands and the end of the governmental subsidies in Japan. In contrast, the Consumer Electronic Division continued its growth, generating turnover of €342.1 million. Compared to the previous year, growth was slightly more modest, at €5.8 million and 1.7 percent, respectively.
"Last year, we set up our product portfolio in both divisions to be well prepared for the future: For example, wired solutions will hardly be in demand a few years from now – a continuous development that we are reflecting in our products," says Dr. Andreas Sennheiser.
During fiscal year 2016, the Professional Systems Division launched wireless solutions such as the SpeechLine Digital Wireless microphone series, the TeamConnect Wireless conference system and the EK 6042 two-channel camera receiver for professional video coverage. In addition, Sennheiser presented a new digital wireless microphone system – Digital 6000, which entered the market in early 2017.
"In the Consumer Electronics Division, we put an emphasis on expanding our wireless headphone portfolio," says Daniel Sennheiser. "With the PXC 550 Wireless we have been able to once again demonstrate our leadership claim in the area of noise cancelling travel headsets."
On an annual average, the Sennheiser Group had 2,725 employees – an increase of 1.8 percent compared to the previous year. At the end of the year 2016, Sennheiser employed approximately 2,830 people worldwide. The share of the employees working in Germany (51 percent) and abroad (49 percent) was more or less equal. The number of trainees remained on a high level of 69.
The Sennheiser Group once again increased its investment in research and development activities by 16 percent to €54.5 million compared to the previous year. Research and development expenses thus amounted to 8.3 percent of turnover. In total, 385 employees worked in four research and development centers.
"The strategic lighthouse project of our research and development work is AMBEO. 3D audio formats will be a significant driver for innovation in the field of audio in the future – whether it's recording, processing or reproduction. AMBEO is a framework for us to develop various hardware and software products as well as workflows," explains Daniel Sennheiser. "We have already introduced some products under the AMBEO trademark. With the AMBEO Smart Headset, which will enter the market soon, 3D audio will now also become available to end consumers," adds Dr. Andreas Sennheiser. "It’s all about creating audio experiences that are so realistic that the listener cannot determine the difference between reality and reproduction any more."
23rd June 2017
EM Acoustics announces distribution deal with Contact Distribution, Canada
Canada – Following the inauguration last year of EM Acoustics North America, the British loudspeaker manufacturer has announced the appointment of Canadian pro audio distribution specialists, Contact Distribution. Based in Toronto, Ontario, Contact covers the whole of Canada and also works closely with a number of trusted contacts in the US.
EM Acoustics’ operations director, Mike Wheeler, is delighted with the new partnership. “Contact Distribution is a leading pro audio distributor in Canada with nearly 30 years of specialist pro audio knowledge and experience,” he said. “They only work with the best and have developed their product portfolio based on quality – that is both quality of the products and the quality of the relationships with the people behind the products. Our partnership is a testament both to the quality of EM Acoustics products and Contact’s continued desire to strive for something more than others are delivering. We feel that our two companies complement each other perfectly and look forward to building our business together in Canada.”
Bill Coons, director of Contact Distribution is in full agreement. “Let’s be honest, there are far too many speaker manufacturers out there in the market that regrettably are mediocre in performance, unprofitable and involve passionless individuals that lack the commitment that professional speaker manufacturing mandates. Ed [Kinsella] and Mike [Wheeler] are the ‘real deal’ and you can tell that the minute you hear their products and even more so when you meet or talk to them. In the top echelon of the performance speaker market EM has already carved themselves out a foundation of significant iconic venue installs as well as the support of equally iconic consultants and sound designers.” He added: “EM in a number of countries are now considered one of the top four high-performance loudspeaker brands and we see it quickly being accepted to the same degree throughout North America. EM Acoustics will be a beneficial addition to our portfolio.”
In picture: Bill Coons director Contact Distribution, Ed Kinsella technical director EM Acoustics and Jim Shearing president EM Acoustics North America.
23rd June 2017
JHS to distribute On-Stage
JHS, has announced that it is now the exclusive distributor for On-Stage stands and accessories in the UK, ROI and Benelux.
Founded on a promise of affordability, durability and innovation, On-Stage products are used in studios, showrooms, and on stages everywhere. Over the years, the brand has grown and now includes eight different categories: guitar, microphone, keyboard, workstation, rack/amp/mixer, speaker, lighting, and band and orchestra. In each category On-Stage has become a leader, changing the way musicians display, support, and protect their prized instruments and equipment.
“We are delighted to add On-Stage to our roster of well-respected, distributed brands,” says JHS Managing Director Dennis Drumm, “and are confident our dealers will love this superb range of fast-selling, profitable, must-have products.”
"Managing growth, particularly across borders, is an exciting but complex challenge," said On-Stage's Tammo Hinzmann. "So partnering with JHS was an opportunity not to be missed. Their stellar track record for market access, logistical expertise and customer service allows us to focus on producing and marketing the best possible product, and, frankly, enhances our reputation as well."
In picture: On-Stage executive chairman James Hennessey, vice president of sales and business development Tom Tedesco, international/national accounts manager Tammo Hinzman, JHS managing director Dennis Drumm, JHS operations director Paul Smith and Hap Kuffner.
22nd June 2017
Nitelites becomes L-Acoustics K1 partner
UK – Newcastle-based Nitelites is the latest UK rental company to become a certified L-Acoustics K1 partner, having recently taken delivery of a full K1 system.
Nitelites plans, designs and delivers events both in the UK and around Europe. It was founded in 1983 and is one of the most well-known and respected rental companies in the North of England. Nitelites’ dedication to providing a first-class service and the latest equipment has ensured steady expansion. Its investment in K1 underlines this continued commitment.
“Everyone who works for Nitelites has a passion for the technical side of audio,” says the company’s Andy Magee. “This means that we want the best equipment we can get and for a large-scale line array, that means K1.”
“The K1 network in the United Kingdom is already top flight,” affirms Paul McMullan, regional sales manager at L-Acoustics. “The fact that Nitelites is creating business opportunities in unique new areas warrants the addition of a new partner to the K1 roster.”
Nitelites’ K1 system, which comprises 48 K1, 24 K1-SB and 24 x KS28, compliments its existing stock of K2, KARA, SB28 and ARCS II cabinets and LA12X amplified controllers with LA-RAK II.
Jochen Frohn, director for business development at L-Acoustics explains: “The Nitelites team have already shown their expertise and success, deploying L-Acoustics K2 systems for prestigious events. As their expertise and client base grew, they were getting requests for a stadium sized PA. Nitelites has consistently impressed us with their technical proficiency and commercial strategy, and we are happy to have Nitelites as part of our K1 network of partners.”
“We’re very well known for our concert touring business,” Andy adds. “But we also work on sporting events such as the Great North Run, where, overnight, we fly a mile of line array into the centre of Newcastle. Likewise, we provide sound to big art installations and an increasing number of bespoke touring solutions, such as a 6.1 system for 10,000 people we supplied for the Lumier Festival in Durham. Increasing our offering of L-Acoustics with K1 means we are able to expand all areas our business further and we’re looking forward to working with the K1 network in the UK.”
In fact, Nitelites K1 has already made a difference at We Are FSTVL, where the company has upped the number of stages it is supplying from three to eight for this year’s May bank holiday weekend in Upminster, London.
21st June 2017
Renkus-Heinz Appoints promedias AG for Switzerland
Switzerland – Renkus-Heinz has announced promedias AG as its new exclusive distributor for Switzerland, delivering new product support, after sales care and training opportunities to Swiss customers. "We were seeking a distribution partner capable not just of meeting rising demand, but of providing an unequalled customer experience," explained Renkus-Heinz technical sales manager for Europe, Michal Poplawski.
The appointment follows a period of growing success for Renkus-Heinz in Switzerland, with a number of challenging projects having already drawn on the beam steering excellence of the Iconyx range, as well as the new C Series and built-to-order T Series loudspeakers for installation. The agreement also sees popular Vaud-based supplier Studio Equipment – an Iconyx-certified company – continue as a key dealer, particularly for French speaking Swiss customers.
Founded in 2008, promedias AG is located near to the city of Zurich, and has rapidly acquired a well-earned reputation for expertise and after sales care. The company is most active within the AV installation market, where its reach encompasses corporate and commercial infrastructure projects, the education sector, the house of worship community and more.
"With strong technical sales abilities, promedias AG will quickly introduce excellent product support and sales into Switzerland," continued Poplawski. "promedias AG has been a leading voice within the Swiss industry for some time now, and the company has rapidly built an impressive portfolio of products. Renkus-Heinz fits perfectly into the company's growth and I believe this partnership will propel both companies to become even more respected within the installation and rental markets."
"promedias stands for Professional Media Systems, and that reflects our philosophy of working with innovative and high quality brands such as Renkus-Heinz," commented promedias AG CEO, Chris Steiger. "Renkus-Heinz is the perfect addition to our catalogue, bringing true expertise in beam-steering to our customers. We are planning to promote the Renkus-Heinz product range and technology through all available channels including open days and special presentations of the technology."
He concluded: "This agreement is very important to us, now we can offer integral solutions with these very high-quality loudspeakers."
19th June 2017
Dynamic Projection Institute Appoint Polestar Productions as UK Partner
Thomas Kühne, MD of the Dynamic Projection Institute from Vienna, designers, and manufacturers of the Dynamic Projection system have appointed Polestar Productions as their UK partner.
The Dynamic Projection Institute High tech Mirror Head system enables a projector's output to be dynamically moved anywhere within a 180 by 90/162 degree arc under the control of DMX / Art-Net or the comprehensive software package provided as part of the systems’ MDC-X Media Servers.
The software's features include show automation, time scheduling, media manipulation, geometric corrections, seamless transformations, image alignment with soft-edge and show pre-sets. System control is via the MDC-Touch remote control, a web-based app or DMX / Art-Net control.
The Mirror Head system’s versatile design means that multi-projector installations can be implemented using larger media servers to provide video output whilst the mirror position is controlled using DMX / Art-Net control protocols.
A constantly expanding range of mirror heads is available for projectors with outputs from 3000 to 30 000 Lumens.
Tony Gill, MD of Polestar Productions said: "We are really excited to be working with Thomas and his team and we are looking forward to showing the UK entertainment and events industry what this amazing system can do." Polestar Productions will provide sales, technical and creative support for the system in the UK.
For further information contact Tony Gill: email@example.com 07505 942164.
19th June 2017
ETC continues to grow
USA – ETC recently broke ground on the latest expansion to its headquarters building in southern Wisconsin. In 2004 ETC moved into its current headquarters building which, at the time, was nearly 250,000 sq ft. In 2007 the company ran out of room and added an additional 78,000 sq ft of manufacturing space. By 2013 ETC had once again outgrown its building. The company purchased a 355,000 sq ft building 16 miles west of the headquarters building in southern Wisconsin to provide additional manufacturing capacity.
Now, looking to expand again, ETC is adding a multi-storey, 75,000 sq ft addition. While the last two building expansions increased manufacturing space, this addition brings offices, lounge space, and meeting rooms primarily for research and development. The company currently employs just over 1,000 staff in ten offices around the globe. This expansion will allow the addition of another 250 employees across many departments as the company continues to grow in the future.
The inside of the addition will include conventional work spaces as well as office and meeting spaces uniquely crafted from salvaged shipping containers stacked on multiple levels. “We’ve been playing around with shipping container office designs for a few years and it’s great that we’ll have a way to use them on such a large scale,” says Fred Foster, ETC CEO. “This unique recycled design gives our employees not only the individual room they need to work, but also a creative space that encourages collaboration and open communication through a wider range of departments.”
The new addition is scheduled to be fully operational by spring of 2018.
15th June 2017
15 Million Feet of Ethernet Cable
USA - TMB’s ProPlex Cat5e portable cable reached a significant milestone last month when total sales of the flagship product in the ProPlex data cable range, since its introduction at the turn of the century, reached 15 million feet. Enough cable to stretch from Los Angeles to New York and beyond!
TMB’s ProPlex data cables had their birth 30 years ago when TMB introduced the world’s first DMX cable specifically designed for the entertainment staging and production markets. Road-worthy, dependable, and data verified, ProPlex DMX portable cable continues to be trusted by lighting professionals worldwide.
Fifteen years later, TMB introduced ProPlex Cat5e, the world’s very first durable Ethernet cable developed specifically for portable use. The cable has the ideal combination of Ethernet performance, noise rejection, low skew, durability, resistance to harsh conditions, and optimum handling characteristics.
“We’ve used ProPlex Ethernet cables for many years, on countless gigs,” says Tony Thompson, project manager for Upstaging. “They’ve held up under rigorous use where other cables have failed us, because of inadequate noise resistance, poor data transmission, or flat-out breakage. They have maintained their excellent transmission properties even after many years of stresses, sometimes extreme, plus endless uncoiling, usage, coiling, and transport. We would not consider using anything else for our critical show data.”
TMB sales manager, Stephanie Kilburg asserts: “ProPlex Ethernet portable cables are available in CAT5e, and now CAT6a versions, in single and various snake formats. They are recommended by leading sound console manufacturers, including Digico and Yamaha, and they are the Ethernet cables of choice for the majority of leading industry rental companies. To name just a few, Lighting: 4Wall, Bandit, Lite Alt, LMG, Neg Earth, NMR, Premier Global, Solotech, Upstaging, VER, White Light, WorldStage. Scenic: All Access, Hudson, Scenic Technologies, Tait. Sound: LMG, Masque, NMR, Solotech, Sound Associates, VER. Video: LMG, NEP Screenworks, NMR, Pete’s Big TV, PRG Nocturne XL, Solotech, VER, WorldStage.”
“All cables are not the same,” adds Kilburg. “Beware of ‘me too’ products. ProPlex is the standard to which all others should be compared.”
9th June 2017
AC-ET Appointed Exclusive Irish Distributor for Luminex
Ireland – A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ltd. (AC-ET) has been appointed as the exclusive distributor in Ireland for the Luminex range of high performance networking solutions, following a very successful partnership with the brand since being appointed as their exclusive UK distributor in 2014.
Over the past three years, AC-ET has employed its extensive industry knowledge and experience to grow the adoption of Luminex products to its large customer base of entertainment technology dealers and end users.
With the entertainment and AV industries increasingly reliant on networking solutions, the Luminex range is designed to offer a user-friendly platform for transporting large amounts of data with the speed and reliability that today's entertainment technology systems demand. Features include extra robust housings and connections, as well as temperature management for demanding touring applications, full redundancy, quick and simple 'plug & play' operation and support for popular, industry standard lighting, audio and video protocols.
Neil Vann, AC-ET’s brand manager for Luminex commented: “Luminex have built a great reputation and client base here in the UK, with their high quality products and fantastic customer service. Their products are innovative and user friendly. We were delighted when the deal was confirmed for us to be their exclusive distributor for Ireland as well.”
Since establishing themselves within the lighting industry, Luminex has begun to create a name for itself within the audio and video markets as well. AC-ET's position as a leading one-stop supplier of integrated systems across these complementary product areas provides a lot of growth opportunities as these technologies continue to converge.
Sales manager at Luminex, Dimitri Jannis, said: “Here at Luminex we want to bring high performance products with high reliability, excellent service and 24/7 support. AC-ET's vast experience covering all entertainment technology fields makes them a natural fit to achieve our growth plans. We are looking forward to working with them.”
For Luminex and other leading brands available from AC-ET in Ireland, customers should contact Aaron Cripps, regional sales representative for the region.
8th June 2017
PSCo and Epson join forces on laser installation projection range
UK – PSCo, the specialist distribution and trade rental division of the Midwich Group and Epson have agreed an exclusive UK territory agreement for the distribution of its laser installation projectors. As a result of the partnership, PSCo will be making a substantial capital investment in Epson’s laser projection range allowing the company to provide a free evaluation programme as well as offering professional rental packages to its trade customers.
Stuart Holmes, director of PSCo, commented: “We see the Epson laser projection range as a key strategic addition to our hire fleet which will complement our existing portfolio of display technologies. The decision to choose Epson as our projection partner was taken after a thorough evaluation of the marketplace. We felt their range of projectors and the associated lens options was simply unbeatable from a brightness (up to 25,000 lumens), quality and cost perspective which makes the range suitable for both fixed installation and rental applications. In order to allow our customers to assess the wide-ranging capabilities of laser projection we are offering a free evaluation scheme during June and July whereby customers can trial a range of projectors and lens options in almost any environment for which the solution is being considered.”
Neil Colquhoun, executive director, professional displays for Epson Europe, explained: “We have a wide range of professional installation projectors and a diverse portfolio for the installation, rental and staging markets. Midwich is already an important partner for Epson and PSCo is able to provide specialist technical support to the channel whilst providing a rental proposition to satisfy trade hire customers. PSCo’s experience in the live events and fixed install market makes them an ideal partner for Epson.”
Epson’s laser installation projectors are a showcase of Epson’s technological capabilities. The new 25,000lm laser light source product is the culmination of extensive research, development and testing. The results are a range of products packed with advanced engineering, innovative technologies and flexible features to provide a number of potential applications within the installation market.
7th June 2017
multiCAM Systems Opens North American Office
USA – multiCAM Systems, a supplier of integrated video production systems serving the broadcast and professional AV markets, has established a US office in the Detroit region to bring the company closer to its American customer base. Paul Stewart joins the company effective immediately as director of business development to lead all sales, service and support efforts in North and Latin America. Paul reports directly to CEO Stan Walbert.
Paul joins the company from ENCO Systems, among the leading broadcast automation suppliers for radio and television. Paul spent three years at ENCO as a broadcast automation specialist, where he led customer support initiatives and was actively involved in standards and interoperability development, including third-party interfaces for metadata and archival platforms.
Paul also has nearly a decade of experience specifying and installing live sound and video systems in commercial buildings and school districts, and has a strong comprehension of how automation effectively reduces the technical burden and operational expense in professional AV environments.
Paul’s first public event with multiCAM Systems is InfoComm 2017 in Orlando (14th - 16th June, Orange County Convention Center), which will also serve as the company’s Pro AV event debut at the Americas. multiCAM Systems will exhibit at Booth 6089.
“Paul brings a wealth of experience with automated workflows and systems integration to multiCAM Systems, which sets him up for success with our broadcast and Pro AV customers,” said Walbert. “Combined with his personal approach to customer relations, Paul is the ideal business development leader at a time when our clientele is rapidly expanding throughout the Americas.”
multiCAM Systems enjoys a large client base in Europe, Africa and the Middle East particularly, and has seen its market share in the US grow based on emerging trends that align with its full product line. In broadcast, the rapid growth of Visual Radio has sparked interest from radio stations and houses or worship seeking automated workflows for the production of video feeds alongside audio streams. Multicam Radio’s convergence of server and switching hardware and software-defined tools across artificial intelligence, speaker detection and automated graphics gives broadcasters a far more efficient platform for live stream and podcast delivery.
These same operational benefits also apply to a range of fully and semi-automated systems built to enhance live production of presentations, speaking engagements and other events common on corporate campuses and in schools and universities.
Paul looks forward to developing strategies with broadcasters that will accelerate return on investment with Visual Radio, while also helping his pro AV customers reduce the learning curve and technical burden of delivering live presentations and events.
“Visual Radio is more than simply offering another channel for the audience; it’s also a way to monetise streaming platforms using less obtrusive means than working with pre-rolls and mid-rolls,” said Stewart. “multiCAM Systems gives broadcasters a viable option to invest in a system that is more reliable and less cumbersome than home-grown systems with USB webcams and GPI- or manual-based switching. Along with streamlining production workflows, the placement of banners, vertical ads and other dynamic content can quickly deliver an ROI without diluting the consumer experience.”
Stewart continued: “For our Pro AV customers, we’ll communicate how quickly a professor, student, or guest speaker can learn our systems. While our broadcast customers have highly-trained technical staff, many schools, universities, houses of worship and corporate campuses might not. The user should be able to quickly put a microphone on the speaker and provide a 30-second overview before the presenter is off and running, instead of taking the time to conduct advanced training and read manuals. This will be our main focus at InfoComm as we talk to systems integrators and end users serving these verticals.”
2nd June 2017
Dynamic Projection Institute Appoints Polestar Productions as UK Partner
UK – Thomas Kühne, MD of the Dynamic Projection Institute from Vienna, designer and manufacturer of the Dynamic Projection system has announced that it has appointed Polestar Productions as its UK partner.
The Dynamic Projection Institute high-tech mirror head system enables a projector's output to be moved dynamically anywhere within an 180 by 90/162 degree arc under the control of DMX / Art-NetTM or the comprehensive software package provided as part of the system's MDC-X Media Servers.
The software's features include show automation, time scheduling, media manipulation, geometric corrections, seamless transformations, image alignment with soft-edge and show presets. System control is via the MDC-Touch remote control, a web-based app, or DMX / Art-NetTM control.
The mirror head system's versatile design means that multi-projector installations can be implemented using larger media servers to provide video output whilst the mirror position is controlled using DMX / Art-NetTM control protocols.
A constantly expanding range of mirror heads is available for projectors with outputs from 3,000 to 30,000 Lumens.
Tony Gill, MD of Polestar Productions said: " We are really excited to be working with Thomas and his team and we are looking forward to showing the UK entertainment and events industry what this amazing system can do." Polestar Productions will provide sales, technical and creative support for the system in the UK.
2nd June 2017
Mennegat Trading to Represent Community for The Netherlands
The Netherlands – Community Professional Loudspeakers has announced the appointment of Mennegat Trading BV as its distributor for The Netherlands from 1st June 2017.
Mennegat Trading is a leading distributor and independent sales agent for professional audio. With 20 years’ experience, Mennegat Trading supplies more than 150 of the top system integrators and contractors, as well as 1,100 AV rental companies via its wholesale division. The company has a proven reputation for its technical product support, training, logistics, marketing and after sales service.
Community’s EMEA sales manager, Jamie Ward, commented: “Mennegat Trading provides Community with an outstanding network of integrators and installers, focused on our key market sectors. Well established and delivering an outstanding level of support, they are an ideal choice for Community in this major European market and we look forward to working closely with them to bring our unique range of products and solutions to a wide range of applications.”
Herjan Mennegat, Mennegat Trading’s managing director, added: “We have been looking for a long time for a brand to complete our product range and Community Professional is the right brand at the right time for us. They have a long heritage in the Dutch market and offer us the perfect products to target vertical markets, including sports and leisure facilities, visitor attractions, houses of worship, retail stores and corporate facilities. Mennegat Trading is now offering a winning combination of a strong partner network, a complete range of superb audio solutions and powerful sales and marketing tools to achieve further growth in one of the largest AV markets in Europe.”
1st June 2017
Ayrton Welcomes Vari Internacional S.A. as New Distributor for Mexico
Mexico – Ayrton has announced the appointment of Vari Internacional, S.A. as its new exclusive distributor for Mexico.
The agreement was formalised at the recent sound:check Xpo show in Mexico City and takes place with immediate effect.
Established in 1985 by its current president, Hugo Patiño V, and vice-president, Francisco Canales Lomelí, Vari Internacional provides professional products for video, sound and lighting. It offers services for installation, maintenance and technical training to the end user, as well as specialised technical support and professional advice pre-sale and post sale.
Vari Internacional’s defining principle is to provide top quality products and service to its customers at every stage of the process. “Our goal is not just to make sales of top quality product in the short term, but to have satisfied customers in the long term,” says Vari’s general director, Juan Francisco Alvarez.
The Vari Internacional team is led by general director, Juan Francisco Alvarez, sales director, Bruno Carranza, and sales manager for live sound and lighting, Allan Fernandez. They are supported by a team of lighting designers, engineers and technicians, many of whom already have an in depth knowledge of Ayrton products.
At sound:check Xpo, Vari Internacional introduced a wide range of Ayrton products, for the first time in Mexico, in a stunning display designed by its own lighting designers Carlos Zamudio, Chicho Guliano and Fulvio Camacho. “The most popular fixtures proved to be MagicDot, MagicPanel, MagicBlade, Cosmopix and Alienpix,” says Allan Fernàndez. “After the show we received a lot of good comments about the Ayrton products and in particular, special comments about MagicPanel and MagicDot.”
“I was truly impressed with the quality of the sound:check exhibition and the participating companies,” says Ayrton’s regional sales manager, Simon Gasch who attended the show to support Vari Internacional. “Every supplier had an acoustically and visually separated area which provided an ambient atmosphere to test and learn about the different brands and products, with hourly workshops and experts of every international company available to chat and answer questions.
“Vari International especially impressed me, as the clients and visitors were at very high creative and technical levels. All the attending lighting designers clearly stated their special interest in including Ayrton in their TV and live shows. The interest was so massive that the scheduled hourly light demonstration had to be repeated instantly to meet the interest of the audience attending.
“So we can truly say that the Mexican lighting industry places a lot of trust in Vari and is 100% excited about the Ayrton creativity being offered to everyone from now on. This is a true milestone for Ayrton and Vari.”
The Vari team will continue to promote the full range of Ayrton products at major trade shows in Mexico, and with its own road shows, training sessions and open houses.
“Each brand that we represent becomes a part of our family,” says Fernàndez. “When we believe in a brand, we give the best of ourselves at all times to achieve our sales goals using our resources of trained sales people and specialists, our service department, showroom and free training sessions to our clients. We conduct deep research with our customers as to which brands they are interested in, and which brands are most popular in riders. We discovered that Ayrton has prestige around the world with its excellent products and designs and, as Vari Internacional likes to represent just one brand for one application, Ayrton proved an excellent option to offer to our customers who look for products that they can propose in any rider, national or international.”
“With Vari Internacional we are very happy and proud to present our new distributor for the Mexican market,” says Ayrton’s global sales director, Michael Althaus. “Vari’s team is very experienced in the market and has gained a great reputation for its reliability and support. Our company philosophies, in terms of dedication to providing great product and fantastic service are closely matched. We are looking forward to having such a strong and focused partner to represent Ayrton in Mexico.”
In picture: The Ayrton and Vari Internacional teams on the Ayrton stand at Prolight+Sound 2017, Ayrton Sales global sales director Michael Althaus, Juan Francisco Alvarez general director, Ing. Hugo A. Patiño Valdez president, Ing. and Bruno Carranza Rogerio sales director.
30th May 2017
JHS Pro-Audio Team to handle all HK Audio sales
UK - JHS has announced that HK Audio sales will now be handled exclusively by its Pro-Audio ASMs.
Previously both the JHS MI and Pro Audio ASMs were advising and selling HK Audio to the dealer network, now all HK Audio business will be conducted via the Pro-Audio team, Neville Raine and Matt Flavell.
JHS executive director of sales and marketing Alan Smith said: “The change has been made to provide all JHS HK Audio customers with a dedicated, highly technically trained and experienced ASM able to make recommendations on stocking and practical application advice, right through to technical site consultancy and large scale installation and concert system specification. The MI ASMs have always done a great job with HK Audio but have a huge number of brands to cover, and we believe the change will increase levels of customer service even further.”
30th May 2017
Scandec Takes on Optocore Distribution for Norway
Norwegian pro audio specialist, Scandec Systemer, has been appointed by Optocore, world leader in fibre optic systems, as the manufacturer’s new exclusive territorial distributor.
Scandec set up as a distribution company back in 1984 and today has 37 employees representing a number of premium brands. The market segments in which it specialises include touring and concert sound, broadcast AV and permanent installation.
To develop the broadcast market further in Norway the company has also taken on a dealership for Optocore partner company, BroaMan, with Andreas Bergum charged with overseeing this market.
Scandec sales manager for pro audio and MI, Frode Øygard sees other primary markets for Optocore fibre solutions as being large concert halls and theatres, concert and touring sound and the company is already working on touring systems combined with DiGiCo SD consoles.
In fact, although the new arrangement is effective immediately this is not Scandec’s first experience of Optocore, as they have previously sold a system comprising X6R-FX-16MI and V3R-TP-8LO interfaces, along with a DD4MR-FX as part of a DiGiCo mixing desk package to Hålogaland Theatre. Scandec also recently purchased an Optocore demo system.
“We are a knowledge-based company offering extensive training, workshops and seminars, combined with roadshows (including a recent presentation at Hålogaland Theatre),” states Øygard. Scandec will also be active via social media and conventional website and trade press promotion.
Summing up the new relationship, he adds: “Optocore will enable Scandec to offer turnkey solutions to the pro audio market in combination with our existing distributed brands, in particular DiGiCo, L-Acoustics, Biamp and Calrec.
“The reliability and reputation Optocore has built over the years will definitely be a door opener in our upcoming projects and we look forward to introducing the Optocore range to markets such as broadcast, touring and permanent install.”
Supporting the sales initiative will be John Idar Bakke and Marius Lindaas (concert sound/ touring and high-end installations) and Håvard Hanserud (theatre). Scandec technical representatives will also attend full Optocore training in Munich.
In picture: Scandec Systemer co-founder Håkon Rønning, Optocore director Tine Helmle and Scandec sales manager pro audio Frode Øygard.
26th May 2017
Dual leadership at AV Stumpfl
Austria – Fabian Stumpfl joins his brother Tobias Stumpfl in his new position as CEO at the Austrian AV technology manufacturer AV Stumpfl.
Prior to his new role in the family owned company, Fabian Stumpfl was responsible for HR and Strategic Planning.
AV Stumpfl CEO Tobias Stumpfl explains their work relationship: “We work really well as a team, not only when it comes to company business, but also when flying gliders, which is a passion we both share. During some of our glider trips we spend more than 12 hours together. Whether in the sky or in the office, in order to reach our goals we have to constantly take decisions and adjust our strategy to new developments. That kind of joint decision making only works when you can completely trust one another.”
Towards the end of 2016, AV Stumpfl founder Reinhold Stumpfl handed over the management of the family owned company to his eldest son Tobias. The Austrian company is an internationally successful AV technology manufacturer, with an export quota of more than 90%.
The newly appointed AV Stumpfl CEO Fabian Stumpfl highlights the company’s strategic outlook: “Together with our team, we will continue to push the boundaries of what is technologically possible. Growing our international distributor network is another high priority for us.”
25th May 2017
Moving Pictures – Outline’s ‘Newton’ Processor Gets The Hollywood Treatment
Outline has announced the release of its first product launch video, produced in-house at Flero, which discusses the underlying concepts, development and final design realisation of their extraordinary new flagship system processor, ‘Newton’.
Presented by Outline’s Vincent ‘Vinnie’ Perreux and Giulio Gandini, this accessible and fun short film takes just eight and half minutes to give the viewer an overview of Newton, its vast capabilities, intended applications and unique topology. Click Here to see it.
A follow-up video will be posted soon in which the many operational possibilities of Newton will be explored in depth. Given the number of contemporary products that would be required to provide the same facilities, this format provides the fastest and easiest method of understanding the new standard in digital signal processing for audio systems.
25th May 2017
Atlona Expands New York Area Sales Presence with Metro Tech Reps
USA – Atlona has bolstered its sales network in one of the United States’ largest commercial AV markets. Effectively immediately, Metro Tech Reps will serve as a manufacturer’s representative for the Metropolitan New York area.
The latest member of Atlona’s rapidly expanding global line-up of expert channel partners, Metro Tech Reps will work closely with AV systems integrators and consultants to bring the benefits of Atlona AV solutions to customers in territories including the five boroughs of New York City, Long Island, Westchester, and central and northern New Jersey.
Focused on the pro AV and integrated systems design market, Metro Tech Reps is committed to empowering integrators, consultants and resellers with the products and support they need to ensure success in even the most complex projects. Founded by 28-year audiovisual industry veteran Toby Daschbach (pictured), the company leverages extensive experience to be their clients’ go-to resource for the latest industry-leading technologies, products, training and service.
Metro Tech Reps was drawn to Atlona by the manufacturer’s award-winning products and its superior customer and sales channel support. “Atlona continues to develop new innovations that consistently meet the evolving requirements and trends in the audiovisual integration space, while going beyond point-to-point products to offering total end-to-end solutions,” said Daschbach. “Meanwhile, Atlona’s exceptional integration programmes and warranty will give our integrator clients confidence that they can deliver reliable systems while driving their business success.”
Daschbach highlights recent Atlona introductions as aligning perfectly with market needs. “The HDVS-300 soft codec switching product is a great fit for today’s tremendous demand for small-room conferencing solutions, while the ability of OmniStream to deliver great content over a standard network at low latency stands out in the often-confusing AV over IP marketplace,” he said. “Tying it all together, the new Velocity system gives Metro Tech Reps the ability to deliver not only comprehensive signal distribution but also a fantastic cloud-based control platform to integrators and end users in our territory.”
Amelia Vrabel, national sales manager, commercial for Atlona, notes that Daschbach’s deep integrated systems experience, extensive connections and client-first approach make Metro Tech Reps well-suited to bringing Atlona’s growing solutions portfolio to an expanding array of customers.
“Toby is well-known in the industry for his passion towards supporting his clients and the products that he represents,” said Vrabel. “He shares our commitment to delivering leading-edge solutions that address the latest AV trends while optimally meeting customers’ needs. We look forward to working with Metro Tech Reps to bring our benefits to systems integrators and end users in the Metropolitan New York region.”
25th May 2017
We need to start a revolution – PSA and PLASA collaborate on mental health in the live entertainment industry
UK – Mental Health has become a topical subject and has been launched into the limelight with the Royals’ ‘Heads Together’ campaign, promoting conversation to shatter the stigma surrounding the subject. PLASA Focus Leeds 2017 coincided with Mental Health Awareness Week and prompted a collaboration between the Production Services Association (PSA) and the Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA) supported by Back-up Charity.
The live entertainment industry is a fast-paced, high pressured industry pushing creativity and technology to the limits with long periods of time away from home, and post-tour depression is just one example of how mental health affects many people in the industry.
The Talk2Me seminar session introduced by Steve Banks chairman at PSA and hosting Robert Heath music therapist, Chris Madden student welfare officer at Backstage Academy, Peter Heath MD at PLASA and Andy Lenthall GM at PSA, focused on highlighting the emotional and psychological issues faced by so many in the entertainment and creative industries as part of their working lives.
Panellist Chris Madden was the counsellor sent by Production Park to support the Avenged Sevenfold crew earlier this year.
The session referred to the Mental Health Foundation survey quoting only 13% of people report living with high levels of good mental health so therefore most people are suffering or have suffered from a mental health issue at least once in their lifetime.
Robert who has a particular interest in the use of creative songwriting as therapy and has developed an approach to this work which is currently being taught in several Universities in Britain and Europe mused: “We need to start a revolution to get people talking and to normalise mental health issues.”
Andy Lenthall added: “As an industry we need to train people how to recognise the signs when colleagues are beginning to struggle with their mental health and how to encourage that person to get the professional help they need. We need to make it more OK to talk about mental health issues such as anxiety and depression and seed the industry with people who are trained to talk to about it.
“Mental health first aid training can help us achieve this and it is important that we encourage employers to train staff and additionally, train individuals in production and tour management positions who can add mental health first aid to their management skillset, with a view to being a support for those who are self-employed.”
All of the panellists agreed that it is vital that to get people back to ‘acting like human beings’ to talk to one another, to act with compassion to colleagues, friends and family. The industry needs to normalise mental health conditions, not pathologise them. Many people will suffer from mental health issues at some point in their lives and 'medicalising' the conditions just creates stigma around them. It is normal to suffer from depression and anxiety and people should feel normal and free to talk about these problems.
Peter Heath concluded: “Mental Health issues should be discussed and need to be more visible in the industry. We need to encourage companies to be aware of their duty of care and figure out a way to encourage people to talk about their issues and remove the supposed stigma. We will have a follow-up session at PLASA Show in London, 17th - 19th September, and launching some initiatives which companies can get involved and the industry can start to feel the benefit.”
23rd May 2017
Spotlight on Milos LED Screen Support Structures second video released
Milos has released its second video for it's three-month spotlight on Milos LED Screen Support Structures (1st April – 30th June). This video gives an overview of the complete range of Milos LED Screen Support Structures with their main technical specifications. Click on the link below to discover how Milos LED screen support structures are suited for any screen support needs.
18th May 2017
AV Stumpfl announces Theatrixx as its new Canadian distributor
Canada – AV Stumpfl recently announced the Canadian company Theatrixx as its exclusive media server and show control distributor for Canada.
The Montreal-based company distributes and manufactures technical equipment for the performing arts industry. Theatrixx Technologies also designs custom equipment that offers solutions for video, lighting, audio, power and cabling challenges.
AV Stumpfl CEO Fabian Stumpfl explains the context of the new partnership: “Coming from a country with a lot of mountains ourselves, we have always had a soft spot for Canada and its majestic landscapes. However, it was obviously not just the beauty of this country that made us look for a direct distribution partner, it was the vibrancy of the Canadian creative scene. Canadian companies are among the best in the whole world when it comes to finding innovative ways for using media server and show control solutions to create unique experiences.
“Theatrixx has a dedicated team of experienced and highly enthusiastic individuals with a deep understanding of AV technology solutions. We are confident that our media servers and related products will soon become much more well known in Canada, thanks to Jacques and his team.”
Theatrixx president Jacques Tessier comments on his company‘s decision to distribute AV Stumpfl media servers in Canada: “AV Stumpfl is a staple of quality and innovation. From the projection screens to the media server line, each of their products breathes passion and forward thinking. My team and I were impressed by their new product range, going from small media players to the incredible RAW Engine, but more importantly we saw partners as dedicated as us to empower creators and operators around the world. Furthermore, the road map for new products, recent investments and wonderful new talent joining the ranks, convinced us that AV Stumpfl represents definitely the future of media servers, picture sequence players and show control.”
In picture: Gabriel Duschinsky (Theatrixx), Philippe Laframboise (Theatrixx), Horst Damoser (AV Stumpfl), Jacques Tessier (Theatrixx) and Helmut Protte (AV Stumpfl).
16th May 2017
Face to Distribute SSL Live and Broadcast Products
Belgium – FACE – the Foundation for Audiovisual Commerce & Engineering – has taken on distribution of Solid State Logic Broadcast consoles for Benelux (The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxemburg), and Live consoles in Belgium and Luxemburg. These will include Live L200, L300, and L500 digital consoles, the System T networked broadcast production environment, and the SSL range of Network I/O products.
To support this new partnership, FACE will be running various launch events for both Live and Broadcast markets at its Boom, Belgium headquarters, starting with a series of broadcast technology sessions on the 7th and 8th of June.
FACE already represents a wide portfolio of manufacturers and products, with multiple aspects, including dedicated Professional AV sales and project and integration divisions. This breadth of interest fits well with SSL's recent announcements on integrated AoIP networking and control across its broadcast and live product ranges.
“We’re convinced of the synergy between live and broadcast for large TV entertainment shows, for example," says Glenn Willems, audio specialist at FACE. "Shared resources and Dante networking is definitely a winning point.
"Both the Live as well as the Broadcast consoles fit in a network and into a stand-alone environment, and the user interface is great for stressful situations, which occur on a regular basis in Broadcast and Live.”
The CCO of FACE, Sam De Pauw, comments: “The secret of SSL’s success is its dedication to great sound and its innovative approach to creating outstanding products with absolute power and ultimate flexibility. This entrepreneurship fits perfectly with FACE, so we’re very excited to add SSL Broadcast and SSL Live to our portfolio.”
Jim Motley, SSL's senior vice president, international sales, adds: "We have been very impressed by Face’s reach in to the Broadcast and Installed markets and think that they are in a great position to support SSL’s AoIP products. The FACE team have been fast learners and I look forward to supporting them at training events and end user demonstrations in the coming weeks."
In pictuure: Tim Harrison (SSL sales manager), Richard Wand (SSL service engineer), Glenn Willems (FACE account manager audio) and Hugues Rogie, (FACE account manager audio).
16th May 2017
NEXT-proaudio has a new Standard for Quality Control
Portugal – A new quality control programme was implemented on the NEXT-proaudio's factory last month.
This new quality control philosophy implied great changes done on the factory, with the implementation of inspection and structured testing on each stage of entire production line, reducing the common fails on the final test at the end of the production line in more than 97%.
It starts with incoming materials and parts, which are subjected to thorough batteries of tests and evaluations to check the components before they are embedded in the product.
To monitor and control this new process, NEXT-proaudio has designed a custom software that 'follows' each unit since the first stage of the production. The constant comparison with the standard, and an associated feedback loop confers a trustworthy error prevention for the future.
At the end of the line, each finished product passes through rigorous functionality, reliability and safety tests procedures. All mechanical and aesthetic details are rechecked (enclosure, paint, metal parts, etc) by a trained quality inspector. Automatic frequency response, polarity, Rubb & Buzz and distortion tests are performed through custom software scripts running on specialised quality control equipment. Finally, a conclusive listening test is performed by a skilled audio technician.
After being packed, and before closing the carton box, the quality inspection manager checks one last time for any damage on the carton box and confirming that all the labels and accessories are present.
If the product successfully passes all these meticulously designed testing and inspection procedures, it becomes a quality assured product and can thus be delivered to the customers.
12th May 2017
Britannia Row Productions Goes Global
UK – Following a successful strategic alliance which has been in place since the beginning of the year, Britannia Row Productions has announced its acquisition by Clair Global, Inc.
Clair Global has a long-established history and is one of the most respected entertainment industry suppliers with several international operations.
Britannia Row Productions is one of the leading UK audio companies with links throughout the world. “Both companies see this as the perfect way to expand and strengthen their worldwide client base, allowing them to offer consistent service in all major territories,” said Britannia Row directors Bryan Grant and Mike Lowe in a joint statement.
“The synergies we’ve experienced with the entire Britannia Row team have been overwhelmingly positive. Culturally and professionally, we are on the same page. We are excited to bring this new level of global support to our clients and better serve their passions to advance this industry.” Troy Clair, president/CEO, Clair Global.