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44 l September 2014


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SOUNDBITES 


Royal Caribbean International has announced details of its latest ship, Quantum of the Seas. The vessel will use L-S-B’s Virtual Studio Manager as the overall on-board broadcast control system, which has been installed by the Finnish company TV Tools Oy. The on-board media systems feature HD technology in both video and audio signalling. The system is driven by a Riedel MediorNet signal routing system with a 30-node specification. Having an on-board broadcast centre means that all of the vessel’s broadcast systems can be controlled from one place, allowing operators to work on two different productions simultaneously. www.l-s-b.de


Danish distributor MAVT DK recently installed K-array’s Italian designed and created audio set-up at Norway’s popular open-air family show Herliland in Kristiansand Dyreparken. The performance positioned next to the Dyreparken lake is watched by 1,500 spectators and features acrobatic performances, singing and dancing. Performers combine the use of the stage and the water to create an engaging fantasy show of drama and comedy. K-array speakers were the Herliland organisers’ first choice down to their weatherproof, slim and unobtrusive design which creates a greater focus on the show itself. www.k-array.com


Peavey Electronics is to close its UK distribution facility in Corby in an exercise that will reduce costs and restructure international operations in order to make the brand more competitive. The move comes as the company approaches its 50th anniversary. Peavey’s European marketing manager Andy Rust told PSNEurope that distribution partners and the Peavey Italia manufacturing and design centre remain “untouched at present”. Peavey will be announcing more details of the restructure over the coming months – including arrangements for ongoing product support.


peaveycommercialaudio.com installation


For the latest studio news www.psneurope.com/installation


WORLD They’ve got the power!


This year sees power conditioning and signal processing specialist Furman celebrating its 40th anniversary. As David Davies discovers, it’s been a long, strange trip since founder Jim Furman decided to turn his ad hoc design work for bands like the Grateful Dead into a fully-fledged business…


“WE ARE A funny little animal,” laughs latterday director of power and accessories, John Benz, when reflecting upon Furman’s complex manufacturing history. Diverse it might be, but in its gradual zeroing-in on one fundamental building block – power and the improvement in quality thereof – the company has skilfully ensured its continued prosperity in a sector that is hardly lacking in burn- outs or might-have-beens. Seven years after its


acquisition by Panamax and subsequent integration into Core Brands, Furman maintains a busy product release schedule that, in 2014, has so far included the M-8S and PS-8R E III Power Conditioner and Sequencer models, and the F 1500-UPS E Uninterruptible Power Supply, Battery Backup and Power Conditioner for 230V regions. Celebratory events at trade shows such as ISE and InfoComm aside, the


anniversary year has prompted “a certain amount of internal reflection about how we got to this point – and, of course, about where we might be going in the future.”


More of which anon, but first let’s set a course for San Francisco in the early 1970s and the earliest stirrings of a manufacturing enterprise that had the humblest of origins.


SAN FRANCISCO BAY BLUES


As the cradle of creation for bands including Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Big Brother and the Holding Company – the last- named group the first to give full flight to a promising young singer named Janis Joplin – San Francisco’s rock credentials


Core Brands’ HQ in Petaluma, California, where Furman is now based


were already well-established by the early 1970s. But for many locally, and certainly those on a global level, the scene was identified with one band above all others: the Grateful Dead. Media coverage of the Dead has tended to fixate on their penchant for chemical experimentation, but they were every bit as enthusiastic about pushing the sonic envelope. Their so-called Wall of Sound PA – created chiefly by audio engineer Owsley ‘Bear’ Stanley – was genuinely groundbreaking in its day, while another member of their sound team was frequently inspired to knock together his own bespoke outboard gear. “Jim Furman was a gearhead to the nth degree, and if he couldn’t find a reverb or signal processor to do the job he would build it himself, bring it to the band, and they would add it to their racks,” says Benz. “And that is how Furman started: as Furman Sound Service, a garage enterprise providing repairs, modifications and bits of


John Benz, Furman


“A lot of people come to us after something bad happens and they realise that they have to do more to protect their equipment.” John Benz,


Furman (Core Brands)


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