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Bradford is #LiT

Bradford is #LiT

Pro Audio Systems (PAS) worked alongside Tapestry Arts, a multi-disciplinary arts complex based just off of the south west ring road in Bradford.

As part of LIT, a winter programme of light in unusual places across the Bradford District, and Bradford's City of Culture 2025 bid, PAS was tasked with bringing some light to the dark winter nights.

Tapestry Arts is based in an old mill site, and hosts not only a live music venue, but a recording studio, rehearsal rooms and a cafe.

The iconic chimney that towers over the adjacent buildings can be seen from the ring road and surrounding areas. It was the perfect location for the installation.

PAS installed 8 x OXO Pixyline 150 battens and 4 x Chauvet Rogue 1 Outcast Beamwash moving lights around the base of the upper chimney, with a pre-programmed show file to bring a changing pallet of colour and movement to the red brick monument.

Pro Audio Systems Appoints Chris Beardwell

Bradford-based Pro Audio Systems is pleased to announce the recruitment of Chris Beardwell to the post of Video and Lighting Sales. For more than thirty years, Pro Audio Systems has supplied professional audio for sales, hire and installation, offering bespoke system design and comprehensive technical support to a wide variety of clients. In a response to consistent customer demand, the company recently began to expand its operations in the direction of the video and lighting sectors - Chris joins to oversee this development. 

His role will be to develop existing and new relationships with manufacturers, to enable Pro Audio Systems to supply video and lighting products alongside its extensive audio inventory. Chris will also look to drive sales and deliver turnkey audio/visual solutions for a variety of different customer applications.

Having taken an early interest in technical lighting and AV, Chris worked alongside school and amateur dramatics groups before deciding to pursue a professional path in the industry. Having graduated with a BA (Hons) in Media Production from Lincoln University, he joined Luminar Leisure (now Rekom U.K.) as a Lighting Technician at ‘Liquid’, ‘Envy’ and ‘Trinity’ nightclubs. Chris gained valuable experience utilising moving light technology and control systems from Robe and Martin Professional, before moving to become Head Lighting Technician/Operator at Wolverhampton super-club ‘Faces’. As well as broadening his scope using products from SGM and Madrix, Chris also assimilated valuable audio skills, maintaining the venue’s sound system and associated DJ equipment.

In 2014, in search of a fresh challenge, Chris joined AC Entertainment Technologies as a Technical Video Sales Executive, using his technical knowledge and experience from the ‘shop floor’ to develop and grow the company’s Video department. During his seven years at the company, Chris developed strong relationships with suppliers and customers, providing sales, technical and after-sales support - including product demonstrations and technical training sessions - and was involved at every stage in the sales process from specifying to shipping. His in-depth knowledge and experience of video projection, LED screens, media servers and control systems, will be invaluable to Pro Audio Systems as the company broadens its offering in this area.

Pro Audio Systems MD Brian Lumb comments:

“Chris’s extensive experience in the video and lighting sector, both in hands-on roles and as part of a successful sales team, qualifies him as the ideal candidate for this position. He has established many strong relationships within the industry and shares our commitment to offering the highest standards of customer service.”

Chris Beardwell adds:

“Lighting and video systems continue to push the boundaries of what is possible within live, corporate and installation spaces, so I’m really excited to be joining Pro Audio Systems to help build and develop their offering in this area. I look forward to working closely with our customers and helping them to achieve their creative visions through the use of cutting-edge lighting and video technologies.”

Pro Audio Systems Appoints Peter Butler and Callum Hall

Bradford-based Pro Audio Systems is pleased to announce the recruitment of Peter Butler and Callum Hall to the posts of Business Development Director and Audio Sales respectively. For more than thirty years, Pro Audio Systems has supplied professional audio for sales, hire and installation, offering bespoke system design and comprehensive technical support to a wide variety of clients. As the company emerges from the turbulence of the Coronavirus pandemic, demand for its services remains stronger than ever.

Peter Butler joins as Business Development Director in a role dedicated to improving efficiency and profitability, identifying new opportunities in the marketplace, and addressing potentially beneficial additions to the company’s portfolio. Peter is a vastly experienced industry professional who began his career in a retail position at JSG music in Bingley. Moving into audio sales and hire at The Music Company (TMC), he enjoyed fifteen successful years, latterly as a Director, before joining AC Entertainment Technologies (formerly AC Lighting) as Audio Sales Executive. Peter established the AC Audio division, quickly progressing to the role of Audio Divisional Manager and eventually taking up a Director’s position. In the course of his career he has experienced every facet of the audio and wider entertainment technology industry, something that makes him an invaluable asset.

Pro Audio Systems MD Brian Lumb comments:

“Peter and I go back a long way, having worked together at JSG Music in the mid ‘80s. He is a well-liked, highly respected professional, whose technical knowledge, combined with an in-depth understanding of the industry, fits the profile of Pro Audio Systems to a tee.”

Audio Sales recruit Callum Hall graduated from Birmingham City University in 2015 with a BSc in Sound Engineering and Production, after which he worked as a freelance engineer on a variety of small theatre tours, including stints at the Edinburgh Festival. Between engagements, Callum gained valuable experience working for a large national retailer whilst continuing to work part-time as resident engineer at a popular local music venue. His role at Pro Audio Systems perfectly integrates his technical appreciation of audio with the sales processes learned during his time on the shop floor. Callum’s role as a first point of contact for customers will see him deal with the full remit of Pro Audio’s sales operation, from quoting to purchasing and shipping. 

“Callum has exactly the right attributes for the position,” says Brian. “His audio production training and experience as a working engineer give him clear insights into the needs of our clients, whilst his friendly and customer-focused outlook transfers readily to our business. We’re very pleased to have added Peter and Callum to the team. Both of them share our love of audio and dedication to the highest standards of customer service.”

Peter Butler and Callum Hall
Pictured L to R - Peter Butler and Callum Hall

Venue Cymru completes major system upgrade

  • Venue Cymru – Pro Audio Systems
  • Venue Cymru – Pro Audio Systems
  • Venue Cymru – Pro Audio Systems
  • Venue Cymru – Pro Audio Systems
  • Venue Cymru – Pro Audio Systems
  • Venue Cymru – Pro Audio Systems

Occupying an enviable location on the promenade in Llandudno, North Wales, Venue Cymru is the region’s leading entertainment venue. Boasting a 1,450-seat proscenium arch theatre with one of the largest stages in the UK, a conference and events centre, an arena, and an atrium hall as well as bars and restaurants, Venue Cymru is a versatile space capable of receiving virtually any touring production, plus exhibitions, events and conferences. Sales and integration specialists, Pro Audio Systems, have recently completed a major system upgrade for the theatre based on EM Acoustics’ HALO-C compact line array system to bring the PA system into line with current-day expectations.

Venue Cymru’s head of sound, Bryn Rosenwould, explained that the existing sound system, which dated from the theatre’s inauguration in 1994, was starting to fall short of the increasingly high expectations of both visiting productions and audiences. It was clearly time for a change, and so Rosenwould and his team, after extensive research including several listening tests, narrowed the choices down to five potential systems from different manufacturers including EM Acoustics. The project went out to tender and was won by Bradford-based Pro Audio Systems. Project manager Lee Unsworth takes up the story:

“The venue required a fuller spectrum of sound than the existing system could provide, with high end clarity, speech intelligibility and low-end punch being identified as key requirements. We know and love EM Acoustics products, so given the requirements of this project, of all the options on the tender, EM was our first choice. Top of the priority list was, of course, sound quality; EM Acoustics boxes all sound very musical and incredibly natural. With correct system design and speaker placement, we had no problem in meeting all the audio requirements. The central array of eight HALO-C cabinets flown in front of the proscenium arch meant that, for the first time, the venue had full coverage of both stalls and balcony enabling a true LCR mix.”

“Secondly, we needed to stay within a fairly tight budget which meant utilising the existing infrastructure,” continued Unsworth. “The passive crossover design of the EMS Series that we used for all the delays meant we could re-use the existing cable infrastructure without compromising on quality but keeping installation costs to a minimum. Key to this project was the ability to accurately predict the system’s coverage pattern to ensure full coverage of all audience areas - something that had been lacking in the past. We measured up the space and produced an EASE model to interrogate the system design. The results led to some changes being made to the initial specification, but we were able to make the changes and still stay within budget.”

Venue Cymru’s Bryn Rosenwould concurred: “It’s true that as a council-run theatre, budget was an issue, which meant that from the outset, EM Acoustics was well placed relative to other brands,” he said. “However, we have an excellent L’Acoustics system in our arena, so as a venue we are very familiar with high quality PA systems and how a decent PA should perform in our auditorium. I wasn’t familiar with EM Acoustics, and when Dave Kelland came to demo the HALO-C and several EMS Series models, it was a revelation for me. The sound quality surpassed what I was expecting and left me in no doubt that this was the right choice for us and not just the “cheaper option”. On the contrary, this was a very high quality system.”

“HALO-C sounded amazing,” he continued. “It’s excellent throw and crystal-clear intelligibility were just what we were looking for, and it has a certain warmth and punch that I like very much.” Rosenwould was also impressed by the voicing of the cabinets which sound the same regardless of the product range; it’s just the application that differs. “The EMS-126s and EMS-129s do an excellent job,” he stated. “I was concerned that budget considerations meant that we wouldn’t be able to have enough speakers to adequately handle the L/R mix, but I needn’t have worried – their coverage and signal dispersion is fantastic.”

Once the system was installed, Unsworth and his team spent a full day measuring system response to verify system performance, adjusting splay angles on the array and the direction/tilt of the EMS Series delay cabinets to ensure that every seat in the house benefited from a similar sonic experience. “Working with the EM product was really easy as it all sounds great straight out of the box. The EQs we applied were simply to compensate for HF losses through the air and low-mid build-up in the room – we weren’t fighting the system to make it linear. Also, it was our first time working properly with EM’s DQ10D Dante-enabled amplifiers. Their excellent DSP capacity gave us everything we needed to optimise the system in no time, and the Dante connectivity means that the system is future-proofed for years to come.”

Rosenwould was delighted with both the system and the service he received from PA Systems. “Nothing was too much trouble for them and I was very impressed with Brian [Lumb]’s attention to detail. I know that if ever I have a problem, they’ll be back in a flash to rectify it – but they did such an excellent job with the installation and commissioning that there won’t be any problems! I’m delighted with the new PA system and will be recommending both EM Acoustics and Pro Audio Systems to all our visiting companies and touring shows.”

Unsworth and Lumb were equally pleased with the outcome: “On final listening to the system, Bryn was over the moon with the results. It actually brought a tear to his eye, and we can’t ask for more than that!”