Business News Headlines
Britannia Row Productions Training Ltd Receives Lifeline Grant from Government’s £1.57BN Culture Recovery Fund
From new kid on the block to top industry player: Elation Europe marks a decade of lighting achievement
A.C. Sister Companies Support MBSE Global Technical Teams with Major Luminex Delivery
UK & USA – Leading lighting rental house, MBSE, has made a significant investment in over 500 Luminex network and lighting distribution devices. This substantial acquisition was supplied by sister companies A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET) and A.C. Lighting Inc, to the MBSE technical teams on both sides of the Atlantic.
Created specifically for the entertainment industry, Luminex products are becoming increasingly responsible for managing the data behind many of today’s fixture heavy productions. Extremely capable and simple to use, Luminex systems provide the cutting edge solutions necessary to handle complex lighting data distribution. This blend of power and simplicity allows crews to manage even the largest network set-ups, without the need to call on a separate IT expert.
AC-ET’s brand development manager, Neil Vann comments: “In my opinion, Luminex has established itself as arguably one of the industry’s leading standards for data distribution. The attention to detail and ability to make sure that everything on set reacts as it is supposed to, exactly when it is supposed to, makes these products an incredibly important part of an installation. When it comes to reliability and simplicity, in the studio or on location, Luminex really are a leader in this field. We are delighted to be supporting MBSE, both in the UK and the US with this industry leading hardware.”
Speaking about the recent investment, MBSE UK technical director, Steve Howard says: “MBSE has been consistently supporting crews the world over, on some of the most important productions of the last few years. With the advent of ever more creative technology being used on set, the need for robust data management has become an essential ingredient. Through A.C. sister companies, these Luminex units provide us with exactly what’s needed to handle even the most complex lighting designs.”
The Gigacore switches and Luminode Ethernet/DMX processing units included in the MBSE delivery are incredibly powerful lighting tools. Capable of handling up to 300 universes, with reliable, simultaneous control over multiple fixtures, they are helping cinematographers and crews stay in control, leaving them free to focus on their art.
Neil adds: “The increasing appetite for ‘in-set’ LED and in camera effects which we are seeing, has led to a growing demand for data and communication protocol systems. Luminex are driving forward the creative application of such technology. It really is fantastic for A.C. sister companies to be providing equipment which helps production teams achieve some truly stunning results.”
22nd January 2021
APEX has appointed Audires BV as its sales agent for Europe, the Middle East and Africa
Belgium – The two Belgium-based companies have partnered to ensure world class support for APEX’s newly launched CloudPower series of installation amplifiers.
“Strengthening our distribution partnerships is a key element of our growth plans for 2021 and beyond,” comments APEX managing director, Paul Van Hees. “The response to CloudPower from the market has been exceptionally enthusiastic. Working with Audires, we will make sure that the quality of the product is matched by excellent pre-sales and after-sales support.”
“At Audires, we are focused on representing the best brands in the industry and helping them form strong, lasting partnerships,” says founder and owner, Alain Boone. “We are working closely with APEX to secure the right connections to build on the success of CloudPower in the EMEA region, and to prepare the ground for further exciting products in the R&D pipeline.”
In picture: Alain Boone and Paul Van Hees.
21st January 2021
ChamSys Expands into Germany
Germany – Chauvet Germany GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of ChamSys’ parent company, is now exclusively responsible for selling and servicing the complete line of ChamSys products in the German market. In conjunction with this move, which reflects ChamSys’ commitment to building on its success in Germany, Frank Alofs has been appointed the German business development, training and support manager.
Highly regarded throughout the industry, Alofs brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to his new position. “We’re very excited to be direct in Germany and to welcome Frank to our team,” said Henning Oeker, operations manager for Chauvet Germany. In his new role, Alof will be responsible for conducting training sessions and tutorials that cover the full range of ChamSys consoles in German. Information on these can be found on ChamSys’ new German language website: www.chamsyslighting.de and social media support page: www.facebook.com/chamsysgermany
“Going direct gives us greater resources to meet the demands created by our rapid growth in Germany,” said Chris Kennedy, managing director of ChamSys. This, combined with the deep understanding of the market that Frank brings to ChamSys, puts us in an ideal position to build on the success we’ve already achieved, so we can grow even more in 2021.”
Frank Alofs is equally optimistic as he assumes his new position. “I have always been a big believer in ChamSys products,” he said. “They offer a practical, realistic and user-friendly solution to programmers and designers. The sky is truly the limit.”
ChamSys products will be more readily available than ever in Germany. Poised as it is for growth in the year ahead, this is a welcome development for its expanding base of customers in the German market.
19th January 2021
Audient Launches New Look and New Products for the New Year
UK – As the world of audio continues to evolve, audio tech company Audient does the same, marking the next chapter of its journey with a brand new look and website, alongside the launch of three new products.
“This represents a significant step in Audient’s evolution. Designing products that balance audio excellence and innovation continues to drive everything we do.
Redefining our visual identity underlines our dedication to these ideals and helps to lay the foundations for what we hope will be a very bright future,” says marketing director, Andy Allen, leading the charge.
To honour Audient’s brand transformation, the next generation (mark II) of two iD audio interfaces iD4 (MKII) , iD14 (MKII) have been released, along with the brand new EVO Start Recording Bundle.
In order to continue providing the best product proposition to its customers, Audient has taken this opportunity to make significant upgrades to the audio performance and feature sets of both iD4 and iD14, making sure they are now comparable with its most powerful interface, the iD44.
Both iD4 MKII and iD14 MKII now provide 126dB and 121dB of dynamic range on the DAC’s and ADC’s respectively, representing a huge step up in audio performance.
As well as the improvements to the audio specs, new features have also been added.
iD14 (MKII) is now completely bus powered via USB3.0 and benefits from the addition of dual headphones outputs, two extra line outputs and a USB-C connection, making collaboration, connectivity and portability that bit easier. Whilst iD4 (MKII) is now USB3.0 bus powered with a USB-C connection, both models now sport a modern gun-metal finish.
Andy says: “Our customers can now enjoy improved audio performance, additional features and a stunning new aesthetic design. The best part is that both iD4 (MKII) and iD14 (MKII) come in at the same price as their predecessors, so they also get better value for money.”
At the same time, Audient’s sub-brand EVO by Audient launches the EVO Start Recording Bundle. This comprises the EVO 4 audio interface, the SR1 large diaphragm condenser mic plus shockmount and the SR2000, monitoring grade headphones.
“EVO 4 was designed for beginners and pros alike. This bundle is simply an extension of that. Here you have absolutely everything you need to get started, right down to the cables, in one easy package ready to just plug and play,” explains Andy. “Using the Smartgain to set your levels and controlling your session via the free EVO Control App on your computer, producing music or content couldn’t be simpler.”
19th January 2021
ABTT Celebrates 60 Years
UK – 2021 sees the Association of British Theatre Technicians celebrate the diamond jubilee of its foundation. The Association will be marking this milestone with a year of online activities, and a resumption of the popular face-to-face in-person events when restrictions allow. It will also take the opportunity to dip into the rich depths of the ABTT archive in order to share videos and interviews. There will also be more seminars, new awards, and innovative events throughout the year.
“It is a privilege to be part of the ABTT in its 60th year and to participate in its diamond jubilee. It is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the role it has played throughout its existence in supporting those engaged in the design and construction of places of entertainment as well as those delivering technical and production support to live performance. It is a significant milestone and must be seen as a tribute to the Association’s membership, volunteers, trustees, supporters and officers, all of whom have served the ABTT, and consequently their industry so willingly and well over the last 60 years. It is an institution which with its experience and resilience is fundamental to sustaining the technical and production disciplines within live performance. By so doing it will enable them to continue with confidence despite the huge challenges presented by the current pandemic,” said Robin Townley, CEO of the ABTT.
The ABTT continues to provide technical advice, consultations, training, publications and vital resources while providing members with networking opportunities through events, seminars and exhibitions. Its aim is to keep its industry, especially in the current challenging circumstances, up to date, informed and safe through supporting best practice.
Since 1961, the ABTT has been collecting, creating and sharing information with members, which it continues to do to this day. During the 2020 pandemic, the ABTT quickly altered its approach and embraced working online. The Association curated and produced ten seminars which ran over Wednesday 10th – Thursday 11th June 2020 in the absence of the postponed 2020 ABTT Theatre Show. The popularity of these initial conversations prompted follow on seminars through 2020 covering topics including reopening theatres, sustainability, diversity, live streaming and more.
Over the years the ABTT has evolved to meet the needs of its members and its industry. This continues today and a new Apprenticeship Network was recently founded by ABTT Young Associate Representative Tamykha Patterson to help build a community around these individuals who have been particularly impacted by the recent lockdowns.
Tamykha Patterson added: “As young professionals, we are the future of our industry, so it is extremely important that there is a platform that provides a high standard of industry recognised training, courses and events, offers safety and technical advice and is always improving technical standards to support better working environments. That platform is the ABTT.”
The ABTT Safety Committee has been an important feature of the Association since the early 1960s and throughout 2020 the group more than doubled in size to represent a much broader group serving the needs of theatre and the wider regulated entertainment industry. Covid-safe guidance and resources have been made available for free and work continues with other organisations to help develop health and safety regulations to allow theatres to reopen. The ‘incredible leadership and collaboration’ provided was recognised in a shortlisting for Most Influential Team in the 2020 Safety & Health Practitioner Awards.
ABTT Safety Committee chairman, Michael Anderson responded to this nomination by saying: “We at the ABTT are really proud to have been shortlisted. Bringing so many theatre specialists together to develop practical guidance for all to use has been so important to ensure a collective set of information, in a ready to use format. Being recognised as an influential team among these finalists is really important for our industry which has been completely devastated by the required control measures due to COVID-19. We make theatre: if we can’t make theatre, we make a plan to make theatre!”
The Association has built an outstanding reputation for its commitment to developing and validating technical skills within the Industry. Technical training is delivered throughout the UK and as far afield as Kuala Lumpar and Hong Kong. Last year, with the help of partner venues the ABTT worked quickly to find a safe way of continuing to provide their practical and theoretical courses, managing to run over ten training courses throughout the year, passing on vital technical skills to its candidates despite the ongoing pandemic.
Current ABTT chairman Richard Bunn celebrated the vision and dedication of everyone involved, adding: “For 60 years the ABTT has been an important part of the theatre community and has always striven to be a vibrant hub for training, advice, safety information and mutual support. I am immensely grateful to my predecessors for creating, building, and sustaining our organisation. I thank all our trustees, members and supporters who give up their time freely to enable the ABTT to continue to support and promote technical excellence. The current times are challenging our industry and people like never before and I am proud that our Association has been able to continue to support the sector with vitality and relevance.”
12th January 2021
Ayrton appoints Sky Corporation doo as exclusive distributor for Serbia
Serbia – Ayrton has announced the appointment of Sky Corporation as its new, exclusive distributor for Serbia with immediate effect.
Established in 1999, Sky Corporation doo is a first-class company specialising in distribution, retail and systems integration, and a regional leader in event and production technologies and services.
“At Sky Corporation we believe that high quality products and top performance are paramount in numerous applications and projects, and that's where Ayrton steps in,” says Sky Corporation director, Milan Cvetinovic. “In the entertainment industry Ayrton products are high-end and we are happy to have the opportunity to introduce the Ayrton quality to our market. We have used all kinds of top-quality products in our production company but Ayrton is way above all of them.
“We firmly believe that Ayrton will help us to build more value into the company and to our clients.”
“We are delighted to have Sky Corporation on board as distributor for Serbia,” says Ayrton’s director of strategic development, Jonas Stenvinkel. “The team there has an excellent reputation, are always demonstrably forward-thinking and great to work with!”
“As exclusive distributor, Sky Corporation will offer the whole range and full service for Ayrton products across the Serbian market. We have many clients who have need of quality products in television, theatre, production and rental companies and many more, and we can’t wait to show them the Ayrton fixtures in action. We plan many roadshows and demos at client facilities and concert venues as it really is the best way of promoting the beauties of Ayrton. I'm very excited to have the power of Ayrton quality in our company's portfolio.”
In picture: Filip Milenkovic product specialist, Milan Cvetinovic director and Nenad Radic director.
photo: Milos Subotić, designer/photographer
12th January 2021
ETC launches new programme to help industry recovery
UK – A selection of the latest ETC and High End Systems lighting equipment is now available through ETC rental partners with a newly launched programme: ETC Rent.
Jeremy Roberts, regional sales manager for the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa comments: “To help the creative industries get back on their feet, we have introduced ETC Rent in the UK: a programme that will give your local venues, hire companies, creative designers and more, access to the very latest ETC and High End Systems lighting equipment via our rental partners.”
ETC Rent includes the new fos/4 Panel lights, designed specifically for the studio and film industry. They deliver intense light output and the highest colour quality with the addition of deep red LEDs. ETC’s fos/4 Panels come in a Lustr X8 array and Daylight HDR array with different sizes also accessible via ETC rental partners.
A range of the newest High End Systems’ gear is available on the ETC Rent programme, including SolaPix, SolaFrame and SolaHyBeam fixtures. These powerful LED automated luminaires offer a diverse range of effects and a variety of features that are suitable for every application or budget.
Darren Beckley, sales manager – ETC Ltd adds: “ETC Rent is here to assist the recovery of our industry with the support of our rental partners. As ETC expands its product range, we plan to offer even more with ETC Rent, continue building customer relationships and push the industry to get back on its feet.”
New and upcoming products will continue to be added to the ETC Rent platform which is available through ETC rental partners: Black Light, SLX, TSL and White Light.
7th January 2021
Martin Audio Set to Celebrate Half a Century as Sound Pioneers
UK - Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Martin Audio is intent on turning 2021 into a year-long celebration of its 50th anniversary.
The company, founded by Australian Dave Martin (pictured) in London’s Covent Garden back in 1971, has consistently flourished despite the twists and turns of the last five decades.
The Martin Audio story is a triumph for British manufacturing, innovation and sustainability with an engineering development path dating back to the very foundations of the touring industry.
Dom Harter, managing director, remarked: “While we are forever mindful that COVID restrictions are still firmly in place, this is a landmark that should be celebrated in style.”
To commemorate the auspicious occasion, Martin Audio has produced a new coffee table book, detailing its illustrious history and filled with eye-catching photography. This is available online now and in print from February onwards. A celebratory video is also available online to enjoy.
2021 is also expected to be a prolific year for the company, with many product and software developments in the pipeline to continue the company’s legacy. Dom Harter added: “There have been so many manufacturing milestones at Martin Audio and we want to keep that momentum going. We fervently hope that it won’t be long before we are able to celebrate all of these, face to face with our many partners, customers and friends around the globe.”
Subject to restrictions, provisional plans will be to host a grand party in September to tie in with the company’s series of Open Days to which all international partners will be invited.
7th January 2021
Adamson Boosts Presence in Russia Adding ARIS as Distributor
Russia – Adamson Systems Engineering is reinforcing its presence in Russia thanks to a partnership with ARIS. The Moscow-based distributor has served the Russian pro audio market since 1990, offering support to an array of rental partners and boasting a renowned in-house installation division that has provided solutions for the Bolshoi Theatre, Patriot Park, Moscow State University, the Zaryadye concert hall, and many other high-profile venues. The agreement, sparked by conversations at ISE 2020, makes Adamson a crown jewel in ARIS’s professional sound offering.
“We have 15 brands in our portfolio, but we realized we need Adamson because their technology and performance bring ARIS to the next level,” says Katerina Pogodina, ARIS’s general manager. “Adamson is a technologically advanced manufacturer and they’ve always led with innovation. That’s important to us and to our clients and partners; we’re all looking to build toward the future and Adamson will help us get there.”
Pogodina adds that ARIS showcased Adamson’s powered, intelligent CS-Series at the Forum of Multimedia and Show Technologies in September of 2020 and, with the help of Adamson’s education and applications team, held demonstrations of the new loudspeaker family throughout November, always receiving “a very positive response from our customers.”
Jasper Ravesteijn, Adamson’s sales director for Europe, the Middle East and Asia, says Adamson is constantly looking for ways to reach new markets and expand its ability to serve end-users.
“We want to be able to supply our fast-growing international user network with the best possible installation, education, service and sales support, all in their own language with local knowledge,” he notes. “That’s why we want to work with experienced sales partners like ARIS, a company with a real understanding of, and passion for, the professional audio market.”
Pogodina says the partnership between Adamson Systems Engineering and ARIS will help her company and their partners stay ahead of the market: “We have a wide range of activities from live sound demonstrations to education events planned for 2021. These are crazy, difficult times but we see the bright future ahead.”
4th January 2021
L-Acoustics Announces Support Initiatives for Industry and Partners
France – Closing out a year that will surely be remembered as the most disruptive for the live sound industry, L-Acoustics announces three new initiatives to help industry colleagues, partners and clients. Recognising the impact the COVID crisis had on live event production companies and venues which remained idle most of the year, L-Acoustics announces a one year extension of its five year product warranty. The warranty extension is automatic and applicable to all products still covered under the manufacturer’s warranty as of 1st January, 2020.
In addition, following a global survey and roundtable with certified providers conducted in the autumn, L-Acoustics notified its network of amendments to the company’s commercial terms for 2021. Adapting its discount structure to reflect the network partners’ lower expected turnover, L-Acoustics strives to help them regain their footing more rapidly in the coming year and maintain competitive access to product and support from the manufacturer.
Finally, launched in July of this year, the L-Acoustics eStore offers the Archipel range of sound systems by L-Acoustics Creations, Contour XO in-ear monitors powered by JH Audio, as well as branded merchandise. To support the struggling live sound community, L-Acoustics announced that 100% of net profits generated on the eStore from launch through 31st December 2020 will be donated to the Musicares, Backup and Fondation Hopitaux de France charities.
“Throughout the crisis, inspired by the resilience and courage of our employees and partners, L-Acoustics has supported industry initiatives like #wemakeevents, #saveourstages, #crewnation and #saveliveeventsnow,” explains Laurent Vaissié, chief executive officer of L-Acoustics. “Now, as the industry faces a long and difficult winter before an anticipated recovery, launching these three initiatives is our way of showing solidarity with our extended family as well as the talented and dedicated individuals who create outstanding live events for audiences the world over. We look to 2021 with hope and anticipation of our industry coming back strong to thrill audiences once again.”
4th January 2021
Claypaky presents “Shine a Light” – a song celebrating the entertainment industry
Italy – The year 2020 will be remembered as one of the most difficult years for everyone working in the entertainment and events sector. In the effort to focus on keeping up the spirit of the people affected by the current crisis and to close this terrible year with a positive hope, Claypaky created “Shine a Light.” A song dedicated to everyone in the entertainment industry. It is written by Claypaky product specialist and musician, Manuel Hahn, together with US-based Claypaky product specialist George Masek.
“Shine a Light” is a rock ballad celebrating everyone working in the entertainment industry. It is meant to raise awareness of the difficulties the people in our industry are living due to the COVID crisis. Music has a way of lifting people at a time when everything else feels dark.
It is not a promotional song or a “product centred” marketing activity. It is a project created by people from Claypaky and made for all its colleagues in the entertainment industry, without borders and limits.
Manuel Hahn, who wrote and sang the song notes: “The idea of a song dedicated to this very particular moment for the entertainment industry came very naturally while talking together with some colleagues. From then, it has been very natural and smooth to start the process. The words and music came very easy, almost spontaneously. It has been a privilege to work on this project and I have to say that Claypaky management enthusiastically approved this idea and supported the production of the song and the video.”
Marcus Graser, CEO of Claypaky says: “The whole entertainment industry is now living a never before seen crisis and we are fully aware that everybody working in this industry is now affected by the COVID situation: from manufacturers, to designers, to rental companies to freelancers. When the team presented this project to the management board, we immediately decided to support the idea and to enhance it. We hope that with this initiative we will be able to support at least some of our industry colleagues in need.”
Together with the song, Claypaky decided to produce a limited “Shine a Light” merchandise collection which will be available on www.claypakymerch.com.
All the revenues from the sales of this limited-edition merchandise, including the production costs covered by Claypaky, will be donated to support the entertainment and live events industry members impacted by the pandemic. Claypaky will donate 100% of the revenues equally shared to the following funds: Behind the Scenes (USA), #handforahand (Germany) and Scena Unita (Italy).
The “Shine a Light” song and video are online here. They are also published from 16 December on social media and on the Claypaky website.
17th December 2020
Alcons Audio Appoints Taub Sales as Mid-Atlantic Area Representative
USA – Alcons Audio has appointed Taub Sales as its North American representative in the mid-Atlantic territory, which encompasses Virginia, the District of Columbia (Washington, DC), Maryland, Delaware, the southern half of New Jersey and the eastern half of Pennsylvania. And it’s clear that company head Steven Taub is relishing raising the profile of Alcons’ industry-leading pro-ribbon audio systems in this significant region of the US.
Based in Silver Spring, a few miles north of Washington, DC, Taub Sales was founded by Morton Taub in 1974. Although starting out primarily in the consumer audio business, the company has always had a presence in the professional audio market, switching its full focus to that sector around a decade later. Since the early 1990s, it has sold speciality loudspeakers for the professional live and installed audio markets, making Alcons Audio the perfect brand for the company.
“Alcons Audio pro-ribbon technology is ideal for Taub Sales in two respects,” says Steven, Morton’s son who now heads the business. “The first is that it’s a uniquely high-quality solution that is ideal for much of my customer base, including houses of worship, performance spaces and the live concert market. Alcons systems are also ideal for dealers and consultants who work with the corporate theatre market.
“Secondly, Alcons is an excellent fit with how I sell. I specialise in ‘tech-to-English translation’, working best with products where I can clearly explain why a product is the best solution for the needs of a particular application.”
He continues: “Alcons solutions are uniquely helpful, they feature unusually accurate performance at low levels with undistorted sound at high levels, excellent horizontal off-axis performance, tight vertical dispersion where needed with remarkably low loss of both, level over distance and system damping factor over long cable runs.
David Rahn, Alcons Audio North American sales manager adds: “We are pleased to appoint Taub Sales as an Alcons representative. Steven clearly understands and is enthused by the advantages that our pro-ribbon technology brings to a wide range of sound reinforcement applications. We look forward to working with him and improving the sound for audiences and congregations throughout the mid-Atlantic territory.”
Steven adds: “As you might gather, I’m pretty excited about the prospect of selling Alcons systems. What’s not to like?”
9th December 2020
MA Lighting and Lightpower support #handforahand: Targeted help
#handforahand is an initiative that collects donations for a private solidarity fund to support freelance lighting, sound, video and AV technicians, stage hands, production and event workers. These professions are the most affected by the current crisis. Several of them are falling through the federal government aid programmes finding themselves dependent on basic social security through no fault of their own.
The funds of #handforahand are distributed monthly according to the instructions of an independent allocation committee, and quickly and directly reach the people from these professional groups who are most urgently in need of financial aid.
Lightpower and MA Lighting have now joined forces to support #handforahand.
Herbert Marx, managing director of Lightpower, explained the commitment: "We want to help those faced with a crisis that came almost from nowhere. While in other places state aid and reserves have helped people and companies to survive the first months of the crisis, it was these freelancers who immediately lost all their income. In #handforahand we see an initiative that specifically supports these same people and ensures that the help gets rapidly to where it is needed most.”
MA Lighting managing director Stephan Saremba added: "From MA Lighting's point of view the support of #handforahand also has international scope as the current situation is a global problem. Our support sends a clear signal that we are aware of the situation facing our industry, and will do our part to improve things as much as possible for the many people affected."
Dorian Steinhoff, initiator of #handforahand commented on the cooperation with Lightpower and MA Lighting: "We are very pleased to have strong supporters on our side with Lightpower and MA Lighting, who appreciate the needs and hardships of the industry, and have been committed to assisting these for years. On behalf of the whole association I would like to thank Lightpower and MA Lighting for this great commitment in difficult times. Without companies that take responsibility in this way, #handforahand would not have the resources at our disposal to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic for those who are economically and existentially affected.”
2nd December 2020
AMX by Harman Appoints POLAR as Distributor for UK and Ireland
UK – POLAR, established supplier of key industry brands to the AV Integration, MI and professional audio markets has been appointed as the UK and Ireland distributor for AMX, a part of Harman Professional Solutions, global leader in audio, video, lighting and control systems, including networked AV.
AMX is dedicated to integrating AV solutions for an IT World, solving the complexity of managing technology with reliable, consistent and scaleable systems comprising control and automation, system-wide switching and AV signal distribution, digital signage and technology management. AMX systems are deployed worldwide in conference rooms, homes, classrooms, network operation/command centres, hotels, entertainment venues and broadcast facilities, among many others.
Andrew Loadman, head of video, Harman EMEA comments: “POLAR is the ideal AMX distribution partner for the UK and Ireland. A well-respected distributor in the AV market, POLAR brings a depth of technical and commercial knowledge that has perfect synergy with the AMX portfolio. POLAR will maintain close relationships with our resellers and consultants, to offer the most advanced and highly competitive AV solutions.”
John Midgley, managing director of POLAR adds: “We are very pleased to be partnering with AMX. In recent years we have broadened our product offering beyond our traditional audio background, and have established strong credentials in the area of AVoIP, control and video distribution. This makes AMX a perfect addition to our brand portfolio, I have no doubt that we can forge a strong partnership combining AMX’s exceptional products with our team’s knowledge and expertise.”
2nd December 2020
Creative Technology Northern Europe AB becomes L-Acoustics Certified Provider
Sweden – With over 30 years in the industry, Creative Technology (CT) has grown to become one of the largest audio-visual technology companies in Europe. Part of the NEP Group, the world’s premier provider of outsourced technology, staging and production services to event organisers and content creators, CT Northern Europe has offices across Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Recently, CT Northern Europe has once again proven its commitment to superior customer service and focus on technical innovation by becoming an L-Acoustics certified provider for the event market.
“I have been working with the L-Acoustics brand since 1995 and have seen the advantage of dealing with such a reputable company,” says CT’s business unit manager, Ola Bigélius (pictured). “I have always believed in developing a close connection with our suppliers. Becoming an official L-Acoustics certified provider corresponds perfectly with this objective.”
A long-term benefit of being an L-Acoustics partner is the training program offered by L-Acoustics. CT’s new technicians will benefit from the technical knowledge of the manufacturer, allowing CT Northern Europe to maintain high service standards within the team.
“Adding Ola and the Creative Technology team in Scandinavia to the network of L-Acoustics partners allows us to create and build closer relationships with our clients in the region,” says Scott Wakelin, regional sales manager at L-Acoustics. “The combination of their local expertise and our technical expertise means we’ll be able to offer better and more personal service.”
L-Acoustics products have been used on almost every event and show CT Northern Europe worked on prior to lockdown, and Bigélius cannot wait for safe return of the events, so they can make full use of this partnership.
“This partnership, together with our growing inventory of L-Acoustics products and increased technical knowledge gives us all the right tools to hit the ground running when the world regains a certain degree of normalcy,” Bigélius concludes. “We’re proud to partner with L-Acoustics as a new certified provider. This is a great development for our customers and for us as a company. We look forward to 2021!”
1st December 2020
Renkus-Heinz’ Strategic Supply Chain Management Means No Delays, No Halt in Product
USA – Renkus-Heinz is reassuring partners who rely on the company’s professional loudspeaker solutions that there will be no shortage of product, nor delay in delivery, as a result of the recent fire at Asahi Kasei Microdevices (AKM).
While Renkus-Heinz does utilize AKM semiconductors in many of its professional loudspeaker offerings, strategic supply chain management decisions made over the past year means all product – including the company’s digital beam-steering solutions – remain available and ready to ship, and to be custom fabricated, at the company’s Foothill Ranch manufacturing facility.
“We have well over a year’s worth of the AKM components we need to meet our ambitious production expectations,” said Graham Hendry, vice president of strategic development at Renkus-Heinz. “Even as we look at increasing sales numbers, we are in a position where we can confidently continue to deliver on product. We will also be able to comfortably continue innovating and introducing new products on our road map.”
Renkus-Heinz made a number of decisions over the course of 2020 to ensure its partners’ continued success both in the short-term and long-term. Key among these decisions was ensuring security in the manufacturing supply chain and introducing new loudspeaker offerings for additional job sizes and installation locations.
“We’ve made every effort we could to ensure our consultant, distributor and integrator partners could continue to depend on the powerful solutions we create,” Hendry said. “That means getting them the right solution and getting it to them on time. We take their business very seriously, and we’re very happy we can reassure everyone we will still be fulfilling their orders.”
26th November 2020
POLAR Appointed UK Distributor for AtlasIED
UK – POLAR, established supplier of key industry brands to the AV Integration, MI and professional audio markets, has announced the addition of AtlasIED to its portfolio. Based in the USA, AtlasIED is a highly respected global electronics manufacturer, providing comprehensive audio solutions for commercial business environments. The company manufactures industry-leading mass notification, life safety, VoIP and speech privacy systems which interface with, and seamlessly integrate into, existing and future analogue and IT-based infrastructures. AtlasIED offers around 2000 specialist products for every application in commercial premises, education, public transport hubs, sports arenas, hospitals, hotels and retail settings.
Stuart Leader, director of POLAR’s integrated services division comments: “AtlasIED offer an incredibly wide range of innovative, high-quality products, to which our customers will have full access. Their recently launched, award-winning Atmosphere signal processing platform, is a fine example of the seamless use of components to deliver streamlined, user-friendly solutions for a wide range of applications. The company’s IPX range of IP Enabled speakers, as well as a variety of sound masking solutions are just a couple more examples of the cutting edge products on offer. We’re pleased to be adding such a comprehensive and highly regarded brand to our portfolio.”
Dean Standing, international sales manager for AtlasIED notes: “I have followed and admired POLAR for many years, and am pleased that we are able to work with them to build the market for our products. The combination of AtlasIED’s portfolio of products and POLAR’s expertise in installed sound will greatly benefit the system integration market in the UK.”
24th November 2020
Powersoft strengthens after-sales offering
Italian audio innovator, Powersoft, has introduced a new care plan for its rack amplifier customers, which will be available via the company’s MyPowersoft portal as of 20th November 2020.
The plan, which has been introduced so Powersoft customers can have increased certainty over their investments in these uncertain times, includes two distinct services: warranty extension and service shield, both of which can be purchased separately.
Powersoft has always ensured that it builds products to the highest quality standards, and this no-compromise approach is what has consolidated the company’s reputation as a manufacturer of reliable, durable, and dependable machines, used by the world’s top live sound crews and system integrators.
Despite this strength, the company has come to acknowledge that, in certain cases, products might be subject to strenuous conditions that could result in the customer requiring assistance or a replacement product. With this in mind, Powersoft’s new warranty extension and service shield plans have been designed to bolster the company’s already celebrated after-sales offering.
The new warranty extension will cover the relevant amplifier platform with up to three-year extension on Powersoft’s standard warranty. This service is available from MyPowersoft and can be activated during the first year of the product’s life.
The service shield includes an option to protect a purchaser’s investment from accidental damage during the first year of its life. This grants users swift assistance from customer care services for one repair (or substitution in specific cases) of the amplifier. This service is also available from MyPowersoft and can be activated during the first 30 days of the product’s life.
“We are really proud and excited to announce new added value services aimed to strengthen Powersoft’s after sales services overall,” said Iacopo Vannucchi, Powersoft’s customer care manager. “Powersoft has always paid attention to product reliability and we want to build on the excellence of our products so our customers benefit from this confidence. The Powersoft Care Plan demonstrates the our willingness to provide excellent customer-focused programme that matches the enviable reputation of our products in terms of quality and reliability, and to offer this exceptional user experience even longer.”
20th November 2020
Rosco Appoints 3LR Lighting
UK – 3LR Lighting Ltd has confirmed that it is now the sole UK and Ireland manufacturer’s representative for the Rosco range of architectural lighting. 3LR has been in discussions with Rosco about taking on the role since mid-2019, and recent events presented the ideal opportunity to finalise these arrangements.
In a move that will ensure service continuity and increase exposure for both businesses moving forward, Sean O’Callaghan, formerly Rosco architectural manager EMEA, has joined 3LR Lighting as business development manager for architectural lighting and control. 3LR represent a number of international brands, including ETC, whose market presence will also be developed by Sean and the 3LR team.
Sean’s career has seen him occupy a variety of sales and marketing roles for several global lighting manufacturers, during which time he has acquired a thorough grasp of the architectural lighting market. Sean’s background in street, amenity and area lighting, naturally steered him into architectural, commercial, decorative and bespoke projects on every scale.
3LR managing director Matthew Lloyd adds: “We’re very excited to be adding Rosco to our portfolio and welcoming Sean to the team. His industry expertise and vast experience will be invaluable in helping to develop new and existing customer relationships, further enhancing 3LR’s visibility in the market.”
17th November 2020
BroaMan appoints Contact Distribution as official Canadian distributor
Canada – BroaMan, the industry leader in high bandwidth fibre networks for professional, broadcast quality video, audio and data has appointed Contact Distribution as its exclusive Canadian distributor. Contact Distribution specialises in sales and support for the most discerning and technical brands in the professional audio visual industry, working with the country’s top consultants, designers and integrators to achieve world-class experiences with flawless execution.
Contact was first introduced to BroaMan’s sister company Optocore in 2005. Since then both companies have enjoyed a successful working relationship and participated together on many large projects ranging from installations in performing art centres such as Massey Hall, Roy Thomson Hall and the National Arts Centre; sports venues including Rogers Arena, The Scotiabank Centre and Place Bell, and both special events and installations for Broadcast including the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
“When we started with Optocore, many in the industry hadn’t taken those first steps into digital networking,” says Bill Coons, director of Contact Distribution. “We are now at a point where not only system designers and operators are more accepting of fibre solutions but fibre is a sheer necessity due to increasing channel counts, numerous different mediums and formats and the expanding production needs of events and shows to draw in and captivate audiences. BroaMan products are the next evolution of technology and people are ready to make that jump.”
This extensive knowledge base and relationship puts Contact in excellent position to bring BroaMan’s unique and flexible fibre based solutions to the Canadian broadcast and installation markets. BroaMan products are specially designed to convert broadcast quality video to fibre, including 3G, 4K and now 12G-SDI. Multiplexing and matrixing are also possible in different formats and channel counts. Multiplexed Broaman streams can carry a 2GB Optocore network capable of 1024 audio inputs and unlimited outputs that support analogue audio, AES, and MADI as well as IP and serial data transmission. For over 25 years Optocore products have proved the reliability of fibre transport by building rock-solid equipment, and BroaMan builds on that very platform bringing the same experience and dependability.
BroaMan sales distribution manager, Dawid Somló, assisted with the transition. “Contact Distribution is a well-known and highly-respected company in Canada,” he stated. “They have distributed Optocore products successfully for many years, developing a vast knowledge base in the field of fibre optics. Due to the close co-operation it was entirely logical to also hand over the distribution of our video and data fibre solutions, represented by the BroaMan brand. The fact that it is in the hands of a team who can be trusted, will provide great benefit to customers from the broadcast, installation, sports and other markets, which will be reinstated after COVID.”
In picture: Contact Distribution’s Brandon and Bill Coons.
17th November 2020
Britannia Row Productions Training Ltd Receives Lifeline Grant from Government’s £1.57BN Culture Recovery Fund
UK – Britannia Row Productions Training (BRPT) has been awarded £152,000 as part of the Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) announced by the Culture Secretary to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure it has a sustainable future.
Britannia Row Productions Training is one of 2,049 cultural and creative organisations across the country to have been awarded £409m of urgently needed support (up to 24th October 2020). The Culture Recovery Fund grants programme is being administered by the Arts Council England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.
BRPT was founded in 2012 to provide holistic training for those wanting to enter the live events industry as live audio technicians. Courses available from colleges and universities are not targeted enough for this niche sector, making it hard for graduates to enter the workplace as invariably a certain amount of re-training is required. Furthermore, these institutions tend to lag behind with teaching the latest technologies, equipment and working practices.
All BRPT training courses are written, kept up-to-date and delivered by tutors who are industry practitioners working at the top tier of the industry. BRPT has developed and offered a range of courses which have allowed for part-time study through to intensive full-time courses and a 3-year BSc Hons degree.
BRPT students book onto its courses for a variety of reasons. Some already make a living from live audio and simply want to increase their knowledge in certain areas. The motivation for most students is to be enabled to enter the industry. BRPT has seen hundreds of its graduates secure their first jobs in the industry, with many more rising quickly to senior roles.
In March 2020, the company’s training activities were – and have remained – suspended due to the restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Being awarded a Culture Recovery Grant, BRPT now has the ability to offer all potential students to study with BRPT at a distance, online. The grant is a lifeline for the company. Over the next five months, most of the grant will go to audio and video professionals who will be working on producing the online training - and provide them with much-needed income. Marketing of the online courses will begin in late November with the first courses scheduled to be available in January 2021.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden comments: “This is more vital funding to protect cultural gems across the country, save jobs and prepare the arts to bounce back. Through Arts Council England we are delivering the biggest ever investment in the arts in record time. Hundreds of millions of pounds are already making their way to thousands of organisations.
“These awards build on our commitment to be here for culture in every part of the country.”
Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, says: “Culture is an essential part of life across the country, helping to support people’s well-being through creativity and self-expression, bringing communities together, and fuelling our world class creative industries.
“This latest set of awards from the Culture Recovery Fund builds on those announced recently and will help hundreds of organisations to survive the next few months, ensuring that the cultural sector can bounce back after the crisis. We will continue doing everything we can to support artists and cultural and creative organisations, with further funding to be announced in the coming weeks.”
BRPT’s managing director, Mike Lowe, furthers: “I see the Culture Recovery Grant as not only being a lifeline for our training efforts and for those involved in the project over the coming months, but for the whole industry. In normal times, sound engineers and technicians retire; others move on to a whole variety of different roles such as production, technical support or in development for audio equipment manufacturers. This shrinkage in the talent / labour pool at the top end is fed by the pipeline of young people, equipped with the required knowledge and skills, entering the workplace at the beginning of their careers. This pipeline has already been broken by a year. The prognosis is such that it will be broken by at least two years. The natural rate at which sound engineers and technicians move on is accelerating due to the current crisis. Some with family responsibilities are re-training to work in other industries which can provide more immediate and reliable income at this time. Others, who planned to retire in the next two to three years are taking retirement early.
“When our industry is in a position to return to normal levels of activity, the activity will be big. All artists, promoters and venues want to and need to get back to work. Live events industry workers are needed to allow them to do so. Being able to offer COVID-safe distance learning should help enormously with this oncoming problem. By moving from largely ‘physical’ training to largely ‘virtual’ training, we will reduce our cost of delivery and hence reduce costs for students. This reduction applies not only to course fees but to travel, accommodation and sustenance costs. In turn, we hope to see opportunities for a more diverse range of students than ever before.
“In the live events industry’s darkest hour, the Culture Recovery Grants and Loans offer some very welcome light and some very exciting opportunities.”
13th November 2020
From new kid on the block to top industry player: Elation Europe marks a decade of lighting achievement
Europe – Elation Professional B.V., better known as Elation Europe, has come a long way since opening its European headquarter office in Kerkrade, The Netherlands, in 2010. The once fledgling newcomer to the European lighting market has grown to become one of the most influential brands on the market, a decade of development in Europe that can only be described as a genuine success story.
How did the company go from a little known brand in 2010 to one of the top players in the European entertainment lighting market just ten years later? Part of the answer lies in a passion that has driven Elation’s European office since day one.
“It’s really incredible to think how much has changed in these ten years,” comments Frederik Afif, international sales manager for Elation Europe and one of a handful of employees who helped to start up Elation Europe in 2010. “We started in a small office with just two sales people and some back-office support, a coffee machine and not much more! I was on the phone constantly, driving to customers all over Europe in a small van, doing demos every day and introducing the Elation brand. We literally called every phone number we could find from production companies, distribution firms, rental companies, anyone who would listen. We worked from early morning until late in the evening driven by a real passion for what we were doing. It was challenging but we were laying the groundwork for relationships that I still have today.”
It’s a passion that still permeates the company.
“Going the extra mile, in the office, on the road, on the plane, always giving a little bit more. That has been one of our keys to success,” Afif says. “It’s a passion you feel when you walk through our offices and still today people who visit us often remark about it.”
Leading the European office is sales and marketing manager Marc Librecht, a lifelong lighting industry pro who came onboard in 2011. “From day one, we’ve made an effort to create a leading brand by offering value and taking care of customers,” he said. “We’ve always been about people, about how we can make a better solution together or solve a problem for a client. That’s what drives us.”
Librecht says that caring attitude starts with the Elation European team. “The fact that we’ve kept our core team together over the years says a lot about who we are. We’re a team that genuinely cares about each other and supports and relies on one another. That’s a big reason behind our success.”
Another employee who has been with the company since its earliest days in Europe is head of R&D and QA Roger Hamers. “My goal from the beginning was to produce really top quality, high end products that would fit into the professional market here in Europe,” he states. “The challenge was to have the right products for the European market. There was a lot of competition in that area of the market at the time but we were confident we could break into that with quality products that had more features while keeping the size down. We put a lot of energy into it so that we could compete here and I think we’ve reached our goal.”
In 2010, Elation had been enjoying success in the US but the Elation brand was new in Europe and finding success there took a different approach. “The European market is a different market than the US,” says Afif, “and we knew we would have to create new products to satisfy our clientele. In the US it was often about bigger and brighter but we had a different requirement, more compact fixtures with a lighter weight.”
A big change came in 2011 when Elation began to cooperate with Netherlands-based Philips Lighting to develop the now industry-standard Platinum lamp. “We were the first company to use their Platinum lamps and it allowed us to produce more compact units but still with a lot of output,” states Hamers, who says that the smaller lamp size and the bright, homogenised beam it created opened up a lot of possibilities. “We were actually the first to come out with a dedicated Beam fixture using the MSD Platinum 5R lamp, the Platinum Beam 5R. It is the original beam fixture and soon after other companies followed our lead.” A successful range of products using Platinum lamps followed like the Platinum FLX. “We also worked closely with Philips to lengthen the lamp life by creating more sophisticated cooling systems, systems that we’ve patented. In the end, we got some excellent products out of it and we’re still enjoying the fruits of that cooperation today.”
Elation has showed its innovative nature often over the years and Elation’s European office has been key in the development. In 2011, the company was one of the first in Europe to launch an LED moving head panel and there have been many other milestones like premixed colour, quad-colour, six-colour and Chip on Board (COB) LED technology.
Innovation and hard work helped fuel consistent development in Elation Europe’s early years but growth also came in greater leaps like when Elation launched the Proteus line of IP65 luminaires in 2017, helping to raise the company in Europe to new levels. “The Proteus line opened a lot of doors for us into the top end of the market,” Librecht states of the IP-rated range of luminaires that has become synonymous with weatherproof lighting. “And the development continues,” adds head of R&D Hamers, who notes that Elation started with 30W LED engines just a few years ago and now launches products with LED engines over 900W. The focus on cutting-edge technology has led to a string of industry accolades for innovation with Elation’s Proteus, Artiste and Fuze lines all multiple award winners.
Today, Elation offers what is arguably stage lighting’s most complete toolbox and Elation Europe enjoys a position as one of the game changers in the entertainment lighting market in Europe. To mark the company’s decade of achievement in the European entertainment lighting market, Elation Europe will be celebrating the milestone with a variety of special activities in 2021. Like so many other events in 2020, Elation Europe has decided to postpone celebration activities until 2021 when larger groups can again gather safely. “We look forward to the time when we can celebrate our decade of success with our valued partners and friends in the industry,” ends Librecht.
10th November 2020
Fairlight to distribute Absen LED in Benelux
The Netherlands – Leading global LED display brand, Absen, has signed a partnership with Fairlight, a distributor of light, sound, and video equipment for professional users, to welcome the company as its latest Value Added Distributor (VAD).
Headquartered in Bemmel, in the Netherlands, Fairlight will primarily be tasked with bringing Absen’s expanding range of fine pitch LED products to customers across the Benelux region. The new partnership will allow prospective customers in the region to experience Absen LED at Fairlight’s Bemmel showroom, as well as taking part in product-specific training and making use of the company’s on-site maintenance and repair services.
“Our aim has always been to offer our customers a complete package of AV related brands,” said Michel Arntz, general manager at Fairlight. “The introduction of Absen LED displays to our inventory means we are now able to fill the gaps between our existing product groups. The versatility of the Absen portfolio will allow us to cater to our AV and integration-focussed customers just as easily as those interested in rental staging.”
Fairlight’s existing product range consists of leading brands such as Epson, L-Acoustics, Martin Professional, CLF Lighting, Aurora, RGBlink, I3, Avolites, and Luminex. The company offers its services to a variety of customers including theatres, pop venues, TV studios, live events, and architainment.
Fairlight also boasts an extensive team of experienced product specialists on hand to offer training and advice, and a dedicated project department that is able to assist customers from the genesis of a project right through to planning and implementation.
“We expect a lot of growth in commercial displays, TV studios, and our rental offering,” said Arntz. “Together with our light, sound, control, and other video products, we will be able to provide a complete package of solutions. Moving forward, we also expect to see a lot more opportunities in the education, leisure, retail, and experience centre verticals, and have already installed a number of DW3 Series LED screens at an event centre in the north of the Netherlands in December.”
"With Fairlight, we have found a dynamic partner with whom we share a common strategic alignment in the LED market," said Philippe Poppe, business development manager for Absen in Benelux. "Together with the team of experts from Fairlight, we can provide individual advice and personal support for the specialist trade partners. We are looking forward to the co-operation."
6th November 2020
ETC ‘rep agency’ 3LR Lighting adds broadcast to portfolio and appoints two new team members
ETC representative organisation 3LR Lighting has added broadcast, film and TV lighting and control to its portfolio as the exclusive ‘rep agency’ for ETC in the UK and Ireland.
Jeremy Roberts, regional sales manager for the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa comments: “It is great to have 3LR supporting the broadcast sector for ETC and especially well-timed as we have recently released our innovative new studio line of fixtures, fos/4. The new Fresnel and panel lights are designed specifically for the broadcast market with their unique eight colour LED mix and intense brightness.”
The addition of broadcast lighting and control complements 3LR’s work in the growth of ETC’s architectural product lines. 3LR acts as an additional resource to ETC’s dealer network, bringing its expertise in the field to progress the company’s studio and architectural products in the market.
As part of this extension into a bigger market, 3LR Lighting has announced the appointments of experienced industry figures Barry Grubb and Sean O’Callaghan.
Barry Grubb joins 3LR as business development manager for broadcast, television and film lighting. In a 25 year career, Barry has worked with some of the biggest names in the imaging industry both in the UK and overseas, and has forged lasting relationships with stakeholders at all levels. He has contributed to a host of large productions and delivered a wide range of theatre and broadcast solutions with leading brands.
Sean O’Callaghan takes up the post of business development manager for architectural lighting. Sean’s career has seen him occupy a variety of sales and marketing roles for several global lighting manufacturers, during which time he has acquired a thorough grasp of the architectural lighting market. Sean’s background in street, amenity and area lighting, naturally steered him into architectural, commercial, decorative and bespoke projects on every scale.
3LR managing director Matthew Lloyd adds: “We’re very pleased to be adding ETC’s broadcast lighting and control products to our portfolio and welcoming Barry and Sean to the team. With their combined industry expertise and our team’s experience in the sector, we look forward to building further customer relations and enhancing ETC’s market presence.”
3rd November 2020
PMC Opens a New Factory to Cope with Demand for its CI Monitors
UK – Loudspeaker manufacturer PMC has opened a new factory in Bedfordshire to cope with burgeoning demand for its world-beating CI series.
Since launching last September, CI monitors have proved hugely popular with the installation market where they are delivering Hollywood studio audio quality. Incorporating the same proprietary PMC technology as the company’s multi award winning audiophile speakers and studio monitors, these slimline speakers are designed with a shallow depth for on-wall and in-wall custom installations. This design feature also makes them ideally suited to professional studios that are embracing Dolby Atmos immersive audio for music and film mixing and want discreet monitors for their wall and ceiling channels.
“In addition to the flourishing custom installation market, CI monitors also form an integral part of our loudspeaker systems for Dolby Atmos and we anticipate a sharp uptake in demand as more and more professional studios embrace this format for music mixing,” says PMC’s owner Peter Thomas. “Thanks to its the almost limitless headroom, power capabilities, pin-point accuracy and sonic fidelity, PMC’s system goes well beyond Dolby’s own minimum requirements, making it the template for many internationally acclaimed studios such as Universal’s Capitol Studios in Los Angeles and the legendary Dean Street Studios in London.”
Based on an industrial estate in Sandy, just ten minutes from PMC’s head office in Biggleswade, the new factory covers 6,000 square feet and includes additional space for warehousing. Alongside the very latest manufacturing equipment, PMC has invested in facilities for stringent acoustic testing and critical listening, which will be carried out on every monitor before it is despatched.
In addition to the new manufacturing facilities, PMC is also increasing its staff resources to support the expansion.