Business News Headlines
Transom Capital Acquires Brands, including Mackie, Ampeg, EAW and Martin Audio from LOUD Technologies, Inc.
SONOSAX Joins Sennheiser’s “AMBEO for VR” Partnership Programme
USA – At the 143rd AES Convention, Sennheiser announced that Switzerland-based mixer and recorder manufacturer SONOSAX will join the audio specialist’s “AMBEO for VR” partnership programme. Officially launched at IBC last month, the programme has been created to ensure seamless production workflows and interoperability for VR and AR productions. It encompasses collaborations with acclaimed manufacturers of field recorders, VR live cameras and live streaming software, mixing plug-ins and VR platforms.
A leading manufacturer of professional audio mixers and recorders for 40 years, SONOSAX has joined the “AMBEO for VR” partnership programme with its SX-R4+ 16-track recorder. As well as including the Sennheiser A-to-B converter to enable simultaneous recording of the A and B formats or B Format only from the Sennheiser AMBEO VR Mic, the recorder is also available with an optional, dedicated 12-pin socket for connecting the microphone. This eliminates the need for the split 4 x XLR audio cable – a significant step to make the lives of VR content creators easier.
3D audio capture in the field has just got easier: The SONOSAX SX-R4+ includes the A-to-B converter for the AMBEO VR Mic and provides a dedicated 12-pin socket for direct connection of the microphone.
19th October 2017
Saville raises standards with early ISO accreditations
UK – Creating a sustainable, safe and secure way of working are key requirements for all businesses in today’s modern world. Organisations and businesses need to address international pressures to comply with environmental legislation, raised obligations for health and safety and the need for an audited methodology.
Leading global audio visual solutions and services provider Saville Audio Visual have further committed to the company’s continuing programme of investment in setting new standards with the successful attainment and recertification to the new ISO 9001:2015, 14001:2015 and ISO 18001:2007 standards. Together, these certifications demonstrate the company’s ethical and responsible approach towards its employees, the environment and its business operations.
“The safety of staff, clients, suppliers and the general public is of paramount importance to us,” explains Nicola Matchett, health, safety, environment and quality officer at Saville. “Achieving this independently assessed, globally recognised certification in addition to our other industry accreditations showcases the importance we place on providing high quality of service whilst maintaining our commitment to health & safety and the environment.”
Saville approached certification body NQA to transition to the new ISO standards one year sooner than required. A thorough internal gap analysis was performed across the business where each process was audited and assessed against the new standards criteria and these were addressed as a part of a management review.
“Leadership commitment was evident from an early stage and helped drive all the necessary changes to our processes and practices resulting in us being amongst the first to complete the transition in our sector,” explained Shaun Hodgson, HSEQ manager at Saville. “Ensuring compliance to the standards through awareness for staff and contractors can be an ongoing challenge but our learning management system has been an integral part of the process. The HSEQ team can make sure that everyone has access to the appropriate resources and materials and has complete visibility over user engagement and understanding.”
Commenting on the achievement, Andy Dyson, joint managing director at Saville said: “Our HSEQ team work extremely hard to ensure all our internal and external processes and systems are maintained to the highest level and maintaining our certification is a large and complex undertaking but it’s a commitment we take willingly. It’s vital that our processes, systems and procedures are validated by an external auditor of the stature of NQA, this assures our UK and global customers and suppliers that Saville are committed to HSEQ to protect them.”
18th October 2017
USITT Announces 2017 Innovation Research Grants Winners
USITT has announced the winners of the USITT Innovation Grants for 2017: Ian Garrett and Jonathan Allender-Zivic.
The Innovation Grants are a commitment from USITT to invest in research that will move the industry forward. Each cycle offers up to $110,000 of research funding to explore ideas that will adapt current technology for entertainment use or will create new technology for our industry. These new and innovative proposals will address technology challenges faced by the entertainment industry.
The focus of Ian Garrett’s research will be: Emerging Immersive Technology to Time-Shift Live Performance with Augmented and Virtual Reality. The project proposes that these technologies are more aligned with theatre-making than other artistic disciplines and that theatre makers are readily equipped to lead innovation using them in storytelling.
Garrett is an assistant professor of ecological design for performance at York University, director of the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, and a trustee for DanceUSA. He is a designer, producer, and researcher and the resident designer for the Indy Convergence, an international arts accelerator and pop-up residency based in Indianapolis.
For his study, Jonathan Allender-Zivic will research: 1/2” Scale Previsualization Model Box for Media, Lighting and Scenery. The project is designed to bring projection and digital technologies together in a lab-type environment, to provide educators with a cost-efficient means of training for students in these technologies.
Allender-Zivic is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at the University of South Dakota, teaching lighting design, sound design, and stage management. Jonathan has been working both academically and professionally for over 15 years.
With these grants, the board of directors hopes to see greater impact for the industry than ever before.
“The Innovation Grants program not only raises the amount of funding available for distribution and ultimately for greater impact, but we hope it will also increase the stream of research projects over multiple years,” said USITT president Mark Shanda. “These grants will allow for larger strides to be made in areas like safety, or sustainability and energy savings, and could even lead to new partnerships for the industry.”
This new funding initiative is a yet another return on the investments made by the Institute’s membership and by generous donors. Continued support from members and donors will help USITT to support and expand its mission, ensuring the positive impact of the organisation for practitioners, educators, and students in the theatre and entertainment industry well into the future.
17th October 2017
Three month spotlight on MILOS Roofs
From now until 31 December, MILOS is focusing on its range of roofs and how their features, coverage and loading capabilities provide everything required.
Two videos will be produced during this spotlight period. The first video is about MILOS roofs for small to medium events and can be viewed here.
The second video will be released next month and will lead you into the higher range of MILOS roofs for large events that require more extreme loading capabilities and extended coverage.
When second video is available, it will be announced here.
17th October 2017
Transom Capital Acquires Brands, including Mackie, Ampeg, EAW and Martin Audio from LOUD Technologies, Inc.
USA – Transom Capital Group today announced it has acquired all brands from LOUD Technologies, Inc., including the iconic Mackie, Ampeg, EAW, and Martin Audio brands. The new company will be called LOUD Audio, LLC ("LOUD") and be led by the executives of LOUD Technologies, ensuring continuity with product development, distribution and the supply chain but with new capital to enable growth across all brands.
"This transaction presents a great opportunity to work with the LOUD team to achieve the next stage of growth for these iconic brands," said Ty Schultz, managing partner of Transom Capital. "These brands are positioned well with major retailers, installers and production companies and bring with them an outstanding legacy of innovation and category-defining product introductions. We have been working closely with LOUD's leadership to ensure continuity of the supply chain, channel relationships and LOUD's employee base. We look forward to realising the compelling growth opportunities for these brands both in the retail and professional audio spaces."
With operations in the US, UK, Canada and China, LOUD engineers, markets and distributes a wide range of professional audio and musical instrument products worldwide. Its product lines include sound reinforcement systems, analogue and digital mixers, studio products and guitar and bass amplifiers. The transaction will enable LOUD to invest in innovative product development and expand into adjacent markets.
"This transaction is the first step in a broader strategic plan to enable and grow each of our iconic brands. Our brand and product strategies are greatly enhanced going forward as each will be working from a vastly improved financial structure and with access to growth capital," said LOUD CEO Mark Graham. "Transom is an exciting partner as they have experience in our industry and a great track record of building brands. Further, they share a commitment to our core values of customer focus and product innovation, and we are looking forward to working together to make our brands even more valuable to our partners and customers."
17th October 2017
L-Acoustics joins the Puy du Fou Partner’s Club
France – L-Acoustics and Puy du Fou announce they have signed a privileged partnership agreement. By joining the Puy du Fou Club of Partners, the French manufacturer, world leader in sound reinforcement systems, and the famous theme park, which has used L-Acoustics sound systems for more than a decade, strengthen their collaboration.
Since 2014, Puy du Fou has grown to become France’s second-most-visited theme park with 2.2 million visitors per year. The park’s most recent attraction, Le Dernier Panache, took the industry-recognised Thea Award for Outstanding achievement just this year.
Puy du Fou is a unique concept created by Philippe de Villiers 40 years ago. Nestled in the countryside, the theme park offers visitors the chance to travel through time via incredible spectacles. It cultivates innovation and a desire to surprise by creating new shows or original themed accommodations every year.
It is also a unique economic model. Without an external shareholder or public funding, Puy du Fou is 100% self-financed, successfully combining the entrepreneurial spirit and a team of enthusiastic volunteers called Cinéscénie, with profits being reinvested in new creation. Since its inception in 2004, the Puy du Fou Club of Partners has contributed each year to the park’s development.
L-Acoustics, founded in 1984 by Dr. Christian Heil, has distinguished itself by its innovative approach, supported by strong scientific foundations.
Sustaining two-digit annual growth over the past 15 years, L-Acoustics has branched out from the manufacture of professional speakers, adding expertise in power electronics, signal processing, software development, engineering, and materials to its teams.
The first L-Acoustics system at the Puy du Fou was installed in 2000 for the Gallo-roman Stadium. Today, the manufacturer’s sound systems are in use throughout the park, most notably in Le Dernier Panache, which featured the first permanent installation of the new L-ISA hyperrealistic immersive sound technology by L-Acoustics.
The partnership between L-Acoustics and the Puy du Fou represents the culmination of more than ten years of collaboration between the two organisations and reflects their shared values: a commitment to technology, creativity, innovation and dynamism. It will enable the two enterprises to share creative ideas from the very early stages of future projects.
“Being a member of Puy du Fou circle of partners gives us a unique terrain to expand our creativity,” said Christian Heil, president at L-Acoustics. “It will allow us exclusive development opportunities to continue to apply our most cutting-edge technologies to the most elaborate stage shows in the world.”
“Puy du Fou and L-Acoustics are both pioneers in our respective industries,” affirms Nicolas de Villiers, president at Puy du Fou. “Formalising our partnership will multiply our opportunities for creativity and, as with L-ISA and Le Dernier Panache, enable us to continue offering never before seen or imagined attractions to our visitors.”
In picture: Hervé Guillaume managing director at L-Acoustics, Christian Heil, founder and president at L-Acoustics and Laurent Albert, managing director at Puy du Fou.
16th October 2017
J&C Joel partners with Luxillag in Belgium
Belgium – Leading manufacturer of flame retardant fabrics, drapery and stage engineering solutions, J&C Joel, has appointed of Luxillag as its new bronze dealer in Belgium.
Luxillag was established in 1986 and supplies lighting equipment and tailor-made installation solutions to stage, cinema, television, photography and architainment professionals.
Over the last 20 years, the company’s primary focus has been in theatre and broadcast with an expansion into architainment and entertainment. The business has been involved in major projects including lighting design and full installations for the theatre and photographic and broadcast Industry as well as stage and studio scenery.
Luxillag’s owner and managing director, Gianfranco Galli (pictured), said: “We are very pleased with this new partnership. J&C Joel’s extensive range of products and impressive achievements set the bar very high. When you look around Belgium, the market lacks innovation; Luxillag has always embraced innovation and therefore wants to set a new pace together with J&C Joel. We dedicate ourselves to provide the best customer experience and J&C Joel’s extensive knowledge and competencies have improved our quickness and reactivity. By combining efforts, drive and passion we will make it a great success.”
Roland Rizk, J&C Joel’s Europe and Russia regional manager, said: "We are very delighted to partner with Luxillag, they have great solution range and most of all have an outstanding reputation within our industry in the Belgian market, we are looking forward to support Luxillag and its clients in Belgium and to extend J&C Joel products and expertise in the region."
16th October 2017
The ALD’s 2018 Sponsored Student Scheme ‘Open for Applications’
UK – The Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) has announced its 2018 Sponsored Student Scheme is open for applications. The scheme offers students, who have not previously been members of the ALD, the opportunity to enjoy free ALD membership until the end of March 2019.
Student members benefit from the increased opportunity to network with lighting and video production professionals at insightful events organised by the ALD, such as its monthly members’ socials and visits to shows and theatres. Membership provides vital interaction and connection between established figures in professional lighting and video design, and the next generation of talented designers, programmers and technicians.
Member benefits for students also include complimentary copies of the ALD magazine, Focus, as well as full access to the ALD website and the members’ own micro-site. Members also receive a 25% discount on the monthly or annual premium subscription fee for Mandy.com (formerly Stage Jobs Pro).
Jai Morjaria, of the ALD student and equality sub-committees asserts: “ALD student membership gives an excellent introduction to those entering or considering a career in the lighting and video areas of the live performance arts. It allows you to plug directly into a network, and through the experiences and literature offered by the association, exposes the breadth of jobs and career paths available within the in the UK and around the world.”
To qualify for Sponsored Student membership, applicants will not have previously been a member of the ALD, and will be studying full time on a UK course and have an interest in the process of live performance lighting and/or video and projection. The scheme is funded by Corporate Members of the ALD.
Free Student Membership applications must be received by Christmas 2017 but should be submitted immediately. The earlier applications are received, the longer free membership will run for. Head over to www.ald.org.uk/join to submit an application today.
photo: Nick Moran
13th October 2017
Sanecore Appointed for China Distribution
China – Proel has announced that it has partnered with Sanecore Limited for distribution of its Axiom professional loudspeaker brand in the People's Republic of China. Founded in Hong Kong in 1987, Sanecore was one of the first members of the IAG Group of companies which is the region's largest producer of consumer and professional audio products.
Since that time Sanecore has imported and distributed some of the most notable professional loudspeaker and electronics brands. The company has developed into a large scale group in the professional audio market, serving customers with a widely based dealer network, service support, and marketing back up.
The appointment was marked by a two-day seminar and product demonstration presented by Axiom sales engineer Daniele Massaccesi. Some 60 companies from many industry sectors: consultants, dealers, rental companies and installers were invited and were able to experience at first hand the features and performance of AX2010A powered line arrays, AX800A compact powered line arrays, and the new AX12C column array.
"We feel very grateful and confident about this new cooperation with such an important and well recognised company," commented Axiom export area manager Gabriella Di Giminiani. "China is a strategic and relevant market and we are sure that thanks to our new partners the Axiom brand is gaining the appreciation and success it deserves.”
13th October 2017
Adamson Welcomes SONOS LIBRA as New Distributor for Thailand
Thailand – Adamson Systems Engineering has strengthened its foothold in South East Asia with the addition of SONOS LIBRA as its new Thai distributor.
Prior to launching SONOS LIBRA, managing partners Alfonso Martin and Vanessa Chompoo had helped to establish several premier pro audio brands in the South East Asian market in various professional roles. That experience offered them unique insights into ideal brand partners for their new firm.
“When we founded our own company, we thought very carefully about which brands to represent and found a very special partner in Adamson. These products have a truly pristine sonic signature that I’ve never heard in another premium loudspeaker brand,” says Martin, who has a background in audio and acoustical engineering and a Master’s Degree in psychoacoustics.
But while audio quality and premium performance were key criteria in SONOS LIBRA’s decision to adopt Adamson, Martin notes that they were far from the only considerations, emphasising the importance of education, strong customer support, and personal relationships in the South East Asian marketplace.
“In addition to being technology-driven, we’ve found the team at Adamson to be very passionate, transparent, and trustworthy,” Martin continues. “They recognize the importance of support and education with all of their partners and users, and we know we can confidently service our market and customers with Adamson in our corner.”
Martin and Chompoo founded SONOS LIBRA with a mission of delivering cutting-edge and professional acoustic, electro-acoustic, and visual solutions specifically tailored to premium applications.
The company has wasted little time in creating an impact with Adamson in their territory, having already secured the contract to outfit one of Thailand’s premier private ballrooms with an Adamson system.
“We’re very happy to have SONOS LIBRA join the Adamson Network as our new distributor for Thailand,” comments James Ritter, Adamson’s Sales Manager for the Asia-Pacific territory. “Vanessa and Alfonso are highly respected in the pro audio community in Southeast Asia and we look forward to supporting them and their customers as we continue to develop this important and growing market.”
In picture: SONOS LIBRA's Alfonso Martin with Adamson E219 subwoofers.
12th October 2017
Artistic Licence partners with The Lir Academy
Ireland – Lighting controls expert, Artistic Licence, has been appointed official technical partner of The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity College Dublin. The Lir Academy was established in 2011 to provide students with the highest standards of training for careers in the theatre, TV and film industries.
The Lir's director of technical training, Barry Conway, identified networking in lighting as an area of focus for the Academy's new Bachelor in Stage Management and Technical Theatre degree course. Artistic Licence and its CEO, Wayne Howell – inventor of the Art-Net lighting protocol and recent Gottelier award winner – were the obvious choice of industry partner.
As Conway explains: "I have been very excited about expanding our technical offering in our three year programme (I am from a lighting background originally). Network control is now such a fundamental component of lighting that Ireland needs to be able to train this to the next generation of techs."
The Lir therefore approached Artistic Licence with a proposal for a mutually beneficial arrangement that would enable students access to some of the latest technology on the market. Following a significant gift of equipment to turbocharge the new course, students will benefit from hands-on training with Artistic's brand new artLynx gateways, along with premium DMX distribution products from the company's versaSplit range.
Wayne Howell comments: "As a company, we have always promoted education and training, so I am delighted with this arrangement. Understanding best practice in the implementation of lighting networks and control distribution is a crucial skill in the modern industry. And of course, it is great for Artistic Licence if people are trained using our gear!"
As Barry Conway concludes: "Having a company like Artistic licence be on board at the creation of this training module is a really exciting prospect."
12th October 2017
Harlequin Floors announce expansion in Europe
Europe – Harlequin has announced a considerable expansion in sales and technical support in Berlin and Brussels.
In Germany, the company welcomes Claudia Frohlich, Britta Fleck-Zink and Sanela Iseken. Claudia joins the established customer service team in Berlin from a strong customer relations background. Britta and Sanela will be heading up the new Harlequin Deutschland-am-Rhein office based in Bochum and will be focused on bringing world-class technical support to clients in Niedersachsen, Nordrhein Westfalen, Hessen and Rheinland Pfalz. Sanela’s extensive experience includes 15 years in stage engineering at ASM, and respected long service within the DTHG.
In Belgium, Nicolas Coolen joins Harlequin as regional sales manager for Benelux and Scandinavia. Nicolas brings wide experience in sales management having worked for a number of international manufacturers in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Astrid Klubert, Harlequin senior sales manager for Benelux and Scandinavia, states: "We are delighted that Nicolas has joined the Harlequin Europe team, he will support and enhance our customer service throughout Benelux and the Scandinavian countries."
The continued growth of technical teams across Europe will help ensure that Harlequin can continue to deliver unparalleled customer service and product innovation.
In picture: Team Harlequin Deutschland
12th October 2017
Artistic Licence invites users' input on DMX splitter design
Lighting controls expert, Artistic Licence, has drawn up a survey to investigate what the marketplace thinks about DMX splitters. The answers will influence the design of the company's next product offering.
9th October 2017
Robe Deutschland HQ Inaugurated
Germany – Robe Deutschland officially celebrated the opening of its new HQ in Ismaning near Munich last week in an event which also showcased Robe’s brand new, just launched MegaPointe moving light to assembled guests and media.
A slick and streamlined event enabled guests to tour the new office, warehouse and Light Lab facilities, then experience a specular light show designed, programmed and operated by top Swiss LD Ronald Huber, illustrating the many features and functionality of the new MegaPointe, together with other versatile fixtures from Robe’s current ranges.
The show was staged in a nearby venue hired to ensure there was enough space to optimise and properly show off the intensity and power of the MegaPointe.
The exciting high-energy light show was enjoyed by many individuals including lighting and visual designers and other creatives, programmers, technicians, and those from a diversity of organisations such as venues, TV studios, theatres, rental companies, most of whom stayed for several hours and enjoyed the networking and lively, stimulating environment.
In addition to enjoying the spectacle, guests could see products close-up and engage in a number of full demonstrations including the DL Series, the VIVA CMY and the RoboSpot series of followspotting products.
Robe Deutschland GmbH is a wholly-owned Robe subsidiary launched in April at the Prolight+Sound exhibition in Frankfurt.
It enables Robe and sister architectural LED brand Anolis to work more directly with its clients, end-users and advocates throughout the key European market of Germany and deliver the superlative service for which it is known.
The German team includes CEO Dieter Gross and CFO Martin Lönner, working with four leading area sales managers, Olaf Nehrenheim located in the west, Martin Opitz based in the east of the country plus Stephanie Walloner and Michael Herrmann who are covering the south.
The substantial HQ, back office and administration operation is being managed by Natascha Christophersen.
Robe DE’s Ismaning HQ is near to the major transport hub of Munich for a wealth of connection options nationally and internationally via road and air. It is also placed for efficient physical access to Robe’s manufacturing base in the Czech Republic and the company will be ideally placed to collaborate with other European distributors in Robe’s global network.
A full service department is operational in Ismaning to ensure any maintenance and support business is dealt with quickly and efficiently.
In less than six months, Robe DE’s HQ and sales operation has been set up and energised from scratch.
The first exhibition for the new company was Stage | Set | Scenery in Berlin which was a great success. The inauguration of the office and the MegaPointe launch are both landmark events that have attracted intense interest and raised the profile further.
“We are extremely happy that all our German customers have direct access to our brand via this highly talented, experienced, well-connected and enthusiastic team,” stated Robe CEO Josef Valchar, who led a contingent from the international sales and project team attending the office inauguration and MegaPointe launch event.
Robe’s sales director Harry von den Stemmen added: “This event was a great success, the office and the MegaPointe were extremely well received and we look forward to a positive and proactive future in Germany with plenty of business opportunities.”
photo: Michael Herrmann
6th October 2017
Adamson & Benum Establish Strategic Distribution Structure for Sweden
Sweden – Adamson Systems Engineering and Benum Sweden have announced a strategic new distribution agreement for the Swedish market, which finds the two companies working in tandem with previous distributor Stonehouse Show Technologies AB to build the premium loudspeaker brand’s sales and profile in Scandinavia’s largest economy.
In the new arrangement, Benum will oversee Swedish distribution while Stonehouse will maintain its strong focus on AV installations as an Adamson integration partner. As well, Stonehouse’s sister production rental company, Soundforce Scandinavian AB, will remain a key Adamson rental account and provide senior consultancy and demo support across the country, especially for larger and higher-profile projects.
“Our partnership with Adamson is built on a shared set of values and has been very successful in Norway,” begins Peter Engström, CEO of Benum Sweden. “We’re looking forward to working with them and their key partners in Sweden, Stonehouse and Soundforce, on a unified wavefront that will ensure shared growth and success in two complementary national markets.”
Benum Sweden’s sister company, Benum Norway, has been a member of the Adamson network since 2015 and has spurred significant growth for the Canadian loudspeaker manufacturer in the Norwegian pro audio market. The company has completed several high-profile permanent installation projects with Adamson throughout Norway and added numerous top-tier rental partners.
Benum Sweden (est. 2006) is an affiliate to Siv. Ing. Benum (est. 1971). Together, they’ve grown into two of the leading suppliers of sound production and music equipment in Scandinavia, boasting an impressive distribution portfolio of strong and competitive brands while also offering system integration services and first-class customer support.
“We are very excited to improve our sales and support capabilities in the Swedish market so significantly with this collaborative arrangement that includes our new exclusive distributor, Benum, as well as Soundforce as an esteemed rental provider and Stonehouse as a key integration partner,” says Jochen Sommer, director of European operations for Adamson. “We’ve been very pleased with Benum’s progress in Norway to date and now, working together with a synergistic network of partners, see plenty of potential for growth and new opportunities with Benum Sweden as well.”
In picture: Benum Sweden's Mats Mattsson, Peter Engström and Johan Eriksson.
5th October 2017
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5th October 2017
A.C. Entertainment Technologies Distributes PLASA Innovation Award-Winning StageSmarts smartPDU
UK – A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ltd. (AC-ET) was recently appointed as the UK-exclusive distributor for Swedish-based StageSmarts AB's smartPDU intelligent power distribution system, which received a PLASA Award for Innovation at this year's show in Olympia, London.
The appointment extends AC-ET's portfolio of innovative and leading power, distro and dimming brands for all entertainment applications, including touring, theatre, education, and TV / Studio.
AC-ET's UK sales and purchasing director, Jonathan Walters, commented: “We are delighted to add StageSmarts to our portfolio. As a company always looking for the next true innovation in entertainment technology, the smartPDU really stands out as a game-changer in its product category, something which both the PLASA Awards judging panel and visitors to our stand seemed to agree with.”
The PLASA Awards for Innovation aim to recognise and reward new product ideas and are independently, impartially judged by an invited team of industry experts. They commented on the smartPDU: “It's a simple time and space-saving power distribution solution that will be welcomed by many rental companies.”
StageSmarts AB was founded in 2015 by Erik Davidson and Mats Karlsson, who between them have over 50 years of experience of using and developing entertainment technologies. Mats Karlsson commented: “We developed the smartPDU because we believe that given the size, complexity and value of today's show entertainment technology systems, a 'fuse-box in a flightcase' just doesn’t cut it any more. There's been an overwhelmingly positive response to the smartPDU from customers, who like its mix of easy to change connectors, real-time data monitoring and other safety features. To receive the PLASA award is a bonus to an already excellent show.”
With AC power distribution being at the heart of any modern event, StageSmarts developed the smartPDU to provide a new level of exceptional functionality, intelligence, quality, reliability and safety. It helps users to keep track of the load situation at any moment, protecting their connected equipment and crew and, when needed, assisting them in quickly diagnosing and sorting out problems.
For complete clarity and peace of mind, the load status can be monitored next to each channel's circuit breaker, as well as remotely via any device with a web browser, even for multiple smartPDUs.
Industrial grade magnetic circuit breakers throughout ensure correct and reliable operation even in the harshest conditions. In addition, the smartPDU features fully distributed RCD functionality for maximum electrical safety and minimum disruption in case of a fault. The units are easy to set up and use, output connectors can be changed quickly and all the main types of connector, including Socapex, Harting and Powercon are accommodated. The smartPDU meets or exceeds the requirements in EN 61439-1.
In picture: Erik Davidson and Mats Karlsson.
4th October 2017
PSAV Acquires Hawthorn
UK – PSAV, a leading global provider of event technology services, and Hawthorn Theatrical, Ltd. (“Hawthorn” or “Company”), one of the largest live technical event production companies in the United Kingdom, announce the acquisition of Hawthorn by PSAV. The joining of companies delivers on PSAV’s vision to connect and inspire people around the globe with impactful meeting and event experiences.
Founded more than 30 years ago by its managing director, Martin Hawthorn, Hawthorn is an award-winning creative technical event production company, recently recognised as ‘Production, Rental and Staging Company of the Year’ at the prestigious AV Awards. Hawthorn offers a comprehensive suite of services, including creative design, production, lighting, audio, video, staging, power distribution and rigging services in the UK. Working with long-term clients, Hawthorn is known for producing impressive events in a wide range of venues that connect technology with creativity. Hawthorn also has a strong and growing presence in the theatre and concert touring market within the UK.
Hawthorn strengthens PSAV’s presence in the UK with the addition of its highly talented creative team, technical resources and customer-focused delivery model. “Martin and his team have built a remarkable business, and I’m excited to welcome them all into the PSAV family.” said Mike McIlwain, president and CEO for PSAV. “I look forward to the opportunity to introduce their customers to the global reach of PSAV.”
The Company, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of PSAV, will continue to operate under the highly respected Hawthorn brand name. Martin Hawthorn and his senior team will remain in place and continue to execute on their growth plans. "Hawthorn and PSAV have very similar innovative and passionate cultures focused on delivering truly exceptional experiences for our customers,” commented Martin Hawthorn. “We are thrilled to be joining forces with the industry leader to be able to offer our clients more services in more places.”
In picture: Martin Hawthorn and Mike McIlwain.
3rd October 2017
HedgeHog Consoles Return to High End Systems
Effective from 1st October, 2017, High End Systems will resume exclusive distribution for HOG4 HedgeHog console products. Customers can now purchase HedgeHog 4 products directly from authorised High End Systems dealers and distributors, and the company retains the single point of initial distribution for the entire console line.
HedgeHog consoles are small but pack a serious punch! Built for travel (even on a plane), HedgeHogs are compact and lightweight, perfect for new users and smaller venues. School theatres, nightclubs, corporate events, medium-scale rental events and houses of worship are the HedgeHog 4's natural habitat. HedgeHog 4 consoles share the same programming layout and capability as their larger brothers, and can happily load show files from any console in the range.
In the coming months, High End Systems will be introducing a new series of console training videos. Click here to review upcoming console training classes and plan to visit the company's stand at LDI 2017 in Las Vegas.
3rd October 2017
POLAR takes on WORK...
UK – In line with its increased commitment and growth in both the pro-audio and installation markets, POLAR has announced that it has been appointed as the exclusive UK distributor for Valencia-based WORK Pro Audio products. WORK Pro Audio offers a comprehensive range that encompasses loudspeakers, amplifiers, audio over IP, control solutions and DSP digital matrix products, meeting every requirement for fixed installation and touring applications across all budgets.
Every type and scale of installation is catered for in the WORK range, from commercial centres such as shopping malls and sports facilities to entertainment venues and educational institutions, where IP-based products for networking are an essential part of the landscape. From well-priced line arrays and Bluetooth connectible speakers to multi-zone digital mixers and WORK Pro's own BlueLine Digital distributed audio system, the range adds further significant choice for POLAR customers. POLAR will also be responsible for providing technical support across the entire spectrum of products.
Juan José Vila, CSO at WORK Pro Audio commented: "We are very excited to be working with POLAR in the UK market, where WORK Pro Audio enjoys a strong reputation and is present in many installations. We offer a unique variety of products for audio and control solutions, ideal for system integrators and the vision and real passion of the POLAR team convinced us that this agreement will be the start of a very successful partnership."
Stuart Leader, director of POLAR Integrated Solutions Division was equally upbeat: "WORK Pro Audio has a large and versatile product range that covers every base across the widest possible spectrum of application and budget, adding yet another high quality brand to our portfolio. We are looking forward to introducing POLAR customers to WORK Pro Audio and anticipate high demand for these excellent products."
3rd October 2017
dB Technologies free extended warranty and prize draw from CUK Audio
If investing in a dB Technologies system has ever been considered, then now might just be the perfect time to do it. CUK Audio, the long-standing UK and Eire distributor for dB Technologies, is launching an initiative to promote the extended five-year warranty that is offered for free on all dB Technologies products purchased from an authorised dealer. In short, CUK is running three prize draws that will take place at the end of October, November and December. The winner of each draw will be reimbursed in full for the cost of their dB Technologies purchase, however large or small.
CUK Audio MD, Stuart Thomson explains: “We’ve actually been offering the free extended warranty for around three years now. Our aim was both to support the brand itself and to support UK retailers on the ground who offer a real added value compared to the online giants. It’s a clear demonstration of the confidence that we have in the quality and reliability of dB Technologies products, and we’d really like to underline this for our customers – that goes for our retailers, and of course the end users – hence the fantastic prize draws to promote this significant benefit.”
Previously, the end user was required to fill in a warranty card and return it to CUK Audio along with a copy of the proof of purchase for the warranty extension to be logged onto the system. With the advent of the new website, CUK has simplified the process with an online form that allows users to log all of the details of the system and even upload a copy of the proof of purchase, so there is no need to put anything in the post.
“It is now much easier for the end user to apply for the warranty extension,” continued Thomson, “so to promote this new feature and to continue to demonstrate the absolute confidence we have in dB Technologies, we’re running the three prize draws. All you need to do is register any dB Technologies products bought from 1st October onwards, and all entries will be included in all draws. That means that anything purchased in October will have potentially three chances of winning! In addition to the grand prize of winning back the full cost of the dB Technologies purchase, five other winners will be awarded a selection of dB Technologies swag.
For warranty registration, please visit http://www.cuk-audio.com/mi-retail/warranty-registration/
In picture: Steve Barton, retail channel sales manager with dB Technologies range.
2nd October 2017
Optoma celebrates 20th birthday and opens new HQ
UK – The official opening of Optoma Europe’s new headquarters near Hemel Hempstead, UK took place recently. The leading international projector and audio brand, turned 20 years old on 1st September and moved to a larger HQ the following week. The UK’s Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, David Gauke MP, joined staff at Optoma to officially open the new building.
Since it opened in 1997, Optoma EMEA has grown market share and outgrown its premises in Watford. It moved to the new site on 8th September, creating job opportunities for people across Hemel Hempstead and the wider area.
Now with almost 14% market share, Optoma is one of the top three projector brands across EMEA. In the last two decades the company has introduced numerous pioneering products, including the revolutionary DVD all-in-one projector in 2005 (DV10) and the world’s first Pico projector, PK101, which won Time Magazine’s product of the year in 2008. Optoma has expanded its business into audio with the acquisition of the acclaimed Californian consumer audio company, NuForce, in 2014.
More recently, the company introduced the first affordable 4K UHD projectors and the first projectors to feature DARBEE Visual Presence technology. Optoma also recently launched its first ProScene laser projector range with DuraCore and MultiColor features for professional installations.
Optoma products have consistently improved the projection experience and needs of consumers and professionals while forging partnerships that keep the company at the forefront of industry trends.
“We have always prided ourselves on our ability to develop products that are future-focused. For 20 years, we’ve been listening to our customers and creating the solutions they need.” said Thierry Millet, managing director of Optoma EMEA. “These purpose-built facilities reflect our confidence in the future. With our core values of reliability, innovation and customer focus, we will maintain this momentum to offer even better products and solutions into the next two decades.”
David Gauke said: “Successful international companies, like Optoma, are important to the UK for driving growth, creating jobs and contributing to our economy. The success of the economy relies on innovation and innovative companies, like Optoma.
“We need to trade with the rest of the world and show the UK is open for international business, and I am delighted to welcome Optoma to my constituency.”
Originally established in Taiwan, Optoma EMEA headquarters opened in the UK in 1997. The company now has regional offices throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa.
2nd October 2017
AMBISONIC AB takes over Kling & Freitag sales in Sweden
Sweden – The well-known AV partner AMBISONIC AB provides comprehensive and professional consulting, sales and personnel contracting services for tour productions, broadcasts and post-production. The company also focuses on the sale of professional audio equipment.
Joseph Persson, CEO of AMBISONIC AB says the following about the new premium loudspeaker brand at his company: "Ambisonic is always striving to find products that we know can help our customers achieve a result that surpasses their expectations. We are convinced that Kling & Freitag will help us do exactly that. Now having the privilege to offer customers Kling & Freitag products and solutions feels truly amazing. Kling & Freitag SystemAmp integration with Lab.gruppen and Lake processing also gives us a platform built-to-last whether it is touring or installation."
Persson continues: "After listening and testing the products and meeting the people behind Kling & Freitag, we know that there really is passion built in. These are not empty words – and we are convinced our customers will see this to.”
Jürgen Freitag, CEO of K&F, is enthusiastic about the new cooperation with Ambisonic. “Ambisonic is a young and energetic company that has exactly the right balance between empathy and professionalism in the AV market in Sweden. This is exactly what it needs in order to raise a good deal more awareness of a brand like Kling & Freitag.”
In picture: David Gunnardo, sales support and Joseph Persson, CEO.
2nd October 2017
HD Pro Audio Supports MIDAS Move to Ten-Year Warranty
HD Pro Audio has advised that MIDAS is now offering a ten-year warranty on all its products, including M32.
Effective immediately, MIDAS is extending its existing manufacturer’s warranty duration to ten years and products purchased since the 1st of September 2014 will be covered by this warranty timing extension. No other changes have been made to the terms and conditions.
HD Pro sales director, Andy Huffer, commented: “This is a major industry move that will be a substantial consideration for anyone looking to purchase a console of this calibre, particularly as the warranty includes faders. It provides users with a notable element of financial surety for a significant period of time.”
Huffer added: “As a long-standing MIDAS dealer we are very excited with this announcement and look forward to supporting the move with the benefit that our in-depth knowledge and experience provides for purchasers.”
29th September 2017
Penn Elcom Expands Chinese Operation
China – Multinational flightcase hardware and 19 inch racking manufacturer Penn Elcom announces the launch of a new 2,000 square metre distribution centre close to Beijing, which will run in conjunction with its busy manufacturing operation in Guangdong.
Holding a large amount of stock for immediate dispatch in a major commercial hub like Beijing will further boost the speed and delivery of products across mainland China and to Penn’s Asia-wide operation.
The new facility will be headed by Huang Xue Lin (Linda Hwang), a multi-skilled manager and customer relations specialist who has worked for Penn Elcom for the last 15 years, most recently, running the company’s Malaysian facility.
Linda attends all the primary trade fairs and expos in the region, handles key client accounts and is very much a public face of Penn Elcom in Asia. Initially working with a team of six, from the new Beijing facility, Linda will help maintain the super-fast and efficient delivery for which Penn is renowned.
“Around 50% (and rising) of Penn’s overall Asian business is currently due to activity in China itself, and this move helps stay ahead of an ever-growing demand.
Keeping ahead of the trends, Penn has already been manufacturing flightcase elements in China for several years, resulting in becoming well-established in Asian markets and a go-to reference brand for reliable and innovative premium flight case hardware.
More recently, sales of Penn’s 19 inch racking product have started to rise. The first full UK-manufactured range of these has been launched in China, and has been extremely well received.
“We needed to invest to fuel further growth” explained Roger, “and to capitalise on those flightcase users in all sectors who are requesting that their case makers – our clients – utilise Penn hardware by default.”
While China is a principal market with massive growth potential and a “super exciting place to be” enthuses Roger, all markets are important to Penn Elcom, including Europe, North and South America and India.
These are also all essential manufacturing bases for Penn’s global operation which enjoys annual sales of around $77 million.
The dynamics of the manufacturing across four different continents incorporating different business cultures and styles has enabled all Penn’s facilities to learn, benefit and become empowered though sharing collective knowledge and working practices.
The brand aims to implement exactly the same procedures everywhere where possible, and apply a recognised Penn Elcom standard of excellence worldwide at all levels, from human capital to equipment collateral and, naturally, output and end results.
The latest Penn Elcom news from China follows major investments in the two UK manufacturing bases and a brand new facility which is coming online in India.