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SOLOTECH EXPANDS UK OPERATION

London, 04 March 2020 – Solotech has expanded its global operation, extending its well established video department into the UK and has opened new offices in Central London.

Video from Solotech in the UK

Solotech is a global leader in audiovisual and entertainment technologies and acquired SSE Audio Group, the UK’s largest pro audio services provider in 2018. Now as part of Solotech’s expansion strategy in the UK they have appointed Ian Woodall as Director of Video and Paul McCauley as Video Business Development Manager in the UK and European markets.

Ian Woodall, or Woody as he prefers, has a CV that includes working at XL Video where he was Sales Director and in recent years has spent much of his time as a freelancer, designing and building AV systems in European venues and as a touring video engineer on projects including Nile Rodgers and Chic who have been with Cher for the past year.

Keeping up the preference for nicknames, Paul ‘Macca’ McCauley has extensive experience in the both the Live Events and integration industries. Macca moved from audio to video when he worked as Senior Project Manager with Woody at XL Video over 10 years ago.

Woody commented, “We decided that it was important to build on the huge reputation of Solotech for video in Canada and the US and therefore necessary to start organically, building it from a clean slate so that we can maintain the same Solotech service across the UK and Europe.”

“Initially there are three key facets to our business that require equal attention. Firstly leveraging the contacts and expanding the scope of the UK Sales and Integration divisions within SSE Audio and Wigwam. We will bring our new offering of video services to the project delivery teams and existing customer base, alongside the development of new business that Macca and myself can introduce under the banner of the new Solotech UK Video department.”

Macca continued, “Then there’s Solotech’s huge video touring business. As a global company we need to locally support our customers. As our clients visit us from the US and Canada, we can provide the necessary technical assistance to support each tour. Having this infrastructure within the same organisation on both sides of the Atlantic is a not only rare in today’s market, but a necessity. ”

“Finally, we have our own local touring clients. While this is no less of a priority, we are planning for structured growth as we want to ensure that we increase capacity at the right pace, providing every client with the same expected premium level of service. We have the worldwide backing of Solotech, which enables us to make significant capital investments on equipment so that no project is too big or too small.”

Mickey Curbishley, President Live Productions Division at Solotech is delighted about the company’s latest offering in the UK: “Projects across the board now increasingly call for a 360° service, where a single vendor supplies sound, lights and video. This is equally applicable in both live production touring and the sales and integration markets. Our ultimate aim is to become the preferred 360 vendor in the UK. Delivering the right equipment, with the right people at the right price will enable us to achieve that goal.”

 

Covent Garden Offices

The expansion of Solotech’s video department coincides with the opening of a new Central London office. Situated close to Covent Garden tube station, 100 yards down the road from the Royal Opera House, the new location comprises of open plan offices and meeting rooms.

Alongside several permanent staff, including the video team, there are a number of hot desks available to clients and visitors from other offices to use when in central London. The meeting rooms feature state of the art video conferencing facilities that can support virtually any video conference client such as Skype, Zoom, Facetime etc.

Manager Director, UK Sales and Systems Integration, Alex Penn explained, “The central location is perfect for meeting with clients, whether from the UK or further afield. There are four airports all with good links into the capital and Kings Cross International is three stops away on the tube.  We hope that making our team more accessible in the city will help us to develop our contacts and open new doors to us.”

“We’ve invested in the technology infrastructure providing exceptionally fast internet and custom built desks with built in wireless charging for mobile phones so everyone can work seamlessly here, when away from their regular office. Video conferencing means we can reduce unnecessary travel, increasing productivity, whilst remaining environmentally conscientious, and also provides a show case of what we can deliver to the corporate market as an integrator.”

Philip Giffard, President for Sales and Systems Integration at Solotech explained the company’s approach to the UK operation: “The new offices and the video department are key to us delivering the Solotech offering in the UK, alongside growing and developing the businesses of our UK brands.”

“Solotech first took a foothold in the UK pro audio market with the acquisition of SSE Audio Group including SSE Audio, Wigwam and Capital Sound in November 2018. Since then we have taken a measured approach in the UK, taking time to learn the synergies and differences of the businesses on each side of the Atlantic before making any alterations to the operation.”

“We added Hampshire based BCS Audio in September 2019 and then came the biggest change to date, that of restructuring the senior management of the UK Group in January 2020. This is testimony to Solotech’s desire to build on the UK business and expand into new markets.”

 

About Solotech

Founded over 40 years ago, Solotech is a world leader in audiovisual and entertainment technology with 15 strategic locations in Canada, the United States and in the United Kingdom. Thanks to an inventory encompassing over 300 renowned manufacturers, Solotech is the single source for audio, video, lighting, rigging, soft goods, control and collaboration solutions & services. The company is internationally recognized for its expertise in Live Productions and Systems Integration in various markets, namely music, sports, business, culture and education. Solotech employs 1,550 professionals in its offices located in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Nashville, Chicago, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City and Saguenay.

 

Contact: Solotech PR (Canada)

Christine Latour

Vice President, Marketing and Communications

514-370-5225

[email protected]

 

Contact : Solotech PR (UK)

Lisa Santos-Hannan

07973 234194

[email protected]

 

Contact : Solotech Video (UK)

Ian ‘Woody’ Woodall

[email protected]

 

Paul ‘Macca’ McCauley

[email protected]

 

 

Photos: http://bit.ly/Solotech-UK-Video

 

For further information

www.solotech.com

www.sseaudio.com

www.wigwam.co.uk

www.capital-sound.co.uk

www.bcsaudio.com

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Solotech announces new UK organizational structure and leadership

Montreal, November 26, 2019 – Solotech is pleased to announce a new unified UK organizational structure aligned with Solotech’ s global structure. As of January 1, 2020, SSE Audio, Wigwam, Capital Sound and BCS Audio, all owned by Solotech, will be collectively referred to as the Solotech UK group and operate under the joint leadership of Managing Directors Alex Penn and Spencer Beard.

Alex Penn, SSE Audio’s former Sales Director, and Spencer Beard, formerly Managing Director of Manchester-based Wigwam, will respectively lead the Sales and Systems Integration (Sales and Installations) and the Live Productions (Hire) operations for the Solotech UK group. Both Penn and Beard will thereby become part of Solotech’s global senior management team and will be working under the direction of Philip Giffard, President of the Sales and Systems Integration Division and Mickey Curbishley, President of the Live Productions Division USA & UK.

SSE Audio’s founder, and previously SSE Audio Group Managing Director, John Penn remains within the new Solotech UK group structure as Strategic Advisor, helping to deliver Solotech’s global and local vision.

“To round out this unified approach, we have aligned all our UK brand identities to the Solotech brand image, with more integrated logos that incorporate features of each brand combined with the inclusion of “A Solotech Company” statement, fully establishing Solotech’s footprint in the UK”, notes Martin Tremblay, President and CEO of Solotech. “However, there is still a clear commitment to retain the brands of SSE Audio, Wigwam, Capital Sound and the recently acquired BCS Audio, in their various markets as we believe that our distinctive UK brands should continue to deliver to their respective client bases.”

The Solotech UK group will enable greater support to each of the UK brands, at a global level being fully integrated in the Solotech structure; at the national level by sharing resources and services between the UK brands; and at the local level by continuing to exceed the UK clients’ expectations daily.

“This structural evolution, while aligned with our strategic corporate goals, once again confirms that our clients are at the heart of our focus. I look forward to what’s to come for Solotech worldwide as we continue to evolve,” concludes Tremblay.

 New logos of the Solotech UK brands

 

About Solotech

Founded over 40 years ago, Solotech is a world leader in audiovisual and entertainment technology with 12 strategic locations in Canada, the United States and in the United Kingdom. Thanks to an inventory encompassing over 300 renowned manufacturers, Solotech is the single source for audio, video, lighting, rigging, soft goods, control and collaboration solutions & services. The company is internationally recognized for its expertise in Live Productions and Systems Integration in various markets, namely music, sports, business, culture and education. Solotech employs 1,400 professionals in its offices located in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Nashville, Chicago, London, Birmingham, Manchester,  Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City and Saguenay.

Find out more at www.solotech.com

 

 

Contact

Emilie Gentes

Manager, Corporate Communications

514-526-7721

[email protected]

Wigwam Acoustics Wins WFX Solomon Award

For the full article, visit: https://www.sseaudiogroup.com/wigwam-news/wigwam-acoustics-wins-wfx-solomon-award

Montreal, September 26, 2019 – The largest annual House of Worship Conference and Expo in the USA, WFX was held this year from September 17-19, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. A highlight of the three-day event, which gathers systems integrators showcasing innovative audiovisual solutions and services for the house of worship market, is the WFX Solomon Awards that recognize excellence in church facility design, renovation, construction and audio, video and lighting installation.

(York Minster – Photo Credit: d&b audiotechnik)

This year, Wigwam Acoustics received the WFX Solomon Award in Design and Installation of Audio System or Sound Reinforcement (2,001-plus seats) for the major audio upgrade carried out at York Minster Cathedral, England. As one of the UK’s most important cultural and religious landmarks, the 500-year-old Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter in York is rightfully considered a national treasure. In 2019, as part of an ongoing maintenance and refurbishment project, the church leaders relied upon Wigwam to install a comprehensive new audio system, in which audio quality and clarity was paramount, both for speech and music.

The designed solution was an installation featuring over 50 d&b audiotechnik xC column speakers running on a QSC Q-Sys digital audio platform with simple touch screen controls for operation.

(York Minster – Photo Credit: Wigwam Acoustics)

Wigwam Co-founder Mick Spratt commented, “We’re absolutely delighted to have received this award, as it recognizes the experience and outstanding talent the Wigwam team has in the church installation sector. The judges have recognized that the system absolutely met the brief – quality, low impact and ease of use.”

“It’s great that our work has been recognized in the US, a market where our installation work is relatively unknown. In association with our parent company Solotech, we exhibited at WFX for the first time this year. We’re looking forward to combining our experience in this market along with Solotech’s presence in North America to work on projects together.”

“The interest and feedback we’ve had from just this one three-day exhibition has been incredible.”

(York Minster – Photo Credit: Wigwam Acoustics)

Read the full case study with video here.

From left to right: Michael Palmer, Director of US Business Development Solotech US; Jason Spence, Director of Sales and Systems Integration Solotech US; Guillaume Gervais, Used Equipment Sales Specialist Solotech; Mick Spratt, Co-Founder Wigwam Acoustics; Aaron Beck, Business Development Sales Rep Solotech US.

 

About Wigwam

Wigwam Acoustics is one of the world’s leading companies for the rental, sales and installation of professional audio equipment. Established in 1979, Wigwam is based in Heywood, near Manchester, UK. In 2013, Wigwam became part of SSE Audio Group, acquired in 2018 by Solotech.

 

About Solotech

Founded over 40 years ago, Solotech is a world leader in audiovisual and entertainment technology with 12 strategic locations in Canada, the United States and Europe. Thanks to an inventory encompassing over 300 renowned manufacturers, Solotech is the single source for audio, video, lighting, rigging, soft goods, control and collaboration solutions and services. The company is internationally recognized for its expertise in Live Productions and Systems Integration in various markets, namely music, sports, business, culture and education. Solotech employs over 1,300 professionals in its offices located in Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, Saguenay, Toronto, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Birmingham, London and Manchester.

Find out more at www.solotech.com

 

Contact

Christine Latour

Vice-President, Marketing and Communications

514-370-5225

[email protected]

York Minster

New audio system for the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe

As one of the UK’s most important cultural and religious landmarks, the Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter in York, commonly known as York Minster, is considered a national treasure. In 2019, as part of an ongoing maintenance and refurbishment project, the church leaders commissioned the installation of a new audio system, in which audio quality and clarity was paramount, both for speech and music.

Selected for this project was none other than Wigwam, a Solotech brand renowned worldwide for its acoustics expertise in churches and historic buildings. To ensure meeting the exact requirements of the church leadership and to respect the nature of the building’s acoustics, Wigwam Sales Manager Phil Goldsworthy specified d&b audiotechnik column speakers, placed throughout the Minster. The main installation features d&b xC 24C units with a d&b xC 24C-E passive extender on each column. In the end, a total of 60 column speakers were installed, powered by 16 d&b audiotechnik 10D amplifiers, making it one of the largest installations of the xC series ever undertaken.

Q-Sys control, a key feature

While the key element to any audio system is how it sounds, of equal importance in the church sector is the ease of use. To make the system easy to operate, Wigwam developed touch screen interfaces with custom graphics that allow users to access the various audio menus. As the system must be operated by staff, both technical and non-technical, Wigwam opted to have the entire system run using the QSC Q-Sys platform, which controls and distributes the audio over a digital network. “Q-Sys has become our go-to solution for audio installations,” explained Goldsworthy. “We’ve already successfully deployed it at Manchester Cathedral where the requirements were very similar to that of the Minster.”

Challenges met: Grade I system design and implementation

The York Minster is ranked as a Grade I building, that is a “building of exceptional interest” as per the definition of Historic England, the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England. Thus, designing an audio system suited for such a challenging environment was no easy task.

The installation includes a comprehensive cable infrastructure throughout. At the foot of each pillar is a metal plate which can be lifted to reveal ports for audio, video and data. Additional audio devices such as microphones can be patched in via XLR inputs. The video infrastructure is broadcast-compliant for when services are televised. TV companies can install their cameras throughout the York Minster without the need to run unsightly cables around the building.

Goldsworthy is delighted with how the project has turned out. “The sound quality is second to none in a building of this type and the installation is incredibly sympathetic to the Minster. The system provides huge flexibility for a wide range of uses and is simple to operate. It has been a pleasure to work on this project and we look forward to providing support for the system for many years to come.”

Build a relationship of trust with Solotech!

 

Contact us to start your project! >

Danbury Mission Church

Exceptional sound quality and aesthetics

In 2017, Danbury Mission Church called on Wigwam Acoustics, a well-known House of Worship systems integrator, now a Solotech brand, to install a comprehensive audio, video and lighting system.

Working closely with the church, which accommodates a congregation of 450 people in a modern, semi-circle building, Wigwam assessed the audio needs and designed a system to handle the church’s packed events calendar including speeches, live bands, worship and playback. This installation project required a good quality sound reinforcement system to provide coverage in the main church, plus facilities for the overflow rooms and a mix position on the balcony.

The loudspeaker system consists of a d&b audiotechnik PA system, including a range of speakers chosen for their exceptional sound quality and aesthetics; additional d&b 5S speakers are installed as front fills to cover the front rows and d&b 8S speakers allow coverage for the mix engineer on the balcony. To address the need for versatility, the front fill speakers are movable to accommodate various configurations and can be switched on and off depending on how many seats are required for a particular service. Lastly, the audio installation would have been incomplete if it wasn’t for the Roland V-Drums electric drum kit for the church’s live bands.

A simple yet effective video and lighting infrastructure

In terms of lighting, Wigwam installed an infrastructure comprising six lighting pipes along with dimmers, a design that provides good front light coverage. As for the video installation, Wigwam specified a Roland V-800HD video switcher, controlled from the front of house video mix position, which can mix numerous inputs including a Vaddio ClearVIEW HD remote controlled camera. Other sources include a laptop and DVD player. Also, a Digital Projection HIGHlite 660 projector and a four-meter screen have been installed, along with various screens throughout the building to relay the video to the overflow rooms.

The last touch: basic and advanced control

To accommodate the wide range of users, it was crucial that the system could be run in ‘basic’ or ‘advanced’ modes. This was achieved with the selection of an Allen & Heath IDR matrix mixer and an intuitive RTI interface. In the basic mode, just the lectern mics can be switched on and controlled directly from the lectern position. The custom-built lectern also gives speakers the ability to select different sources for the projector and foldback screen. The advanced mode is suited for a full live stage production, controlled from the balcony’s front of house position.

Build a relationship of trust with Solotech!

 

Contact us to start your project! >