One day it is PLASA, you blink and it is January 2014, well that is how it seemed to all at Inspired, so with time pressures restricting PR activity in the final quarter of 2013, the New Year is probably a good time for a recap on post PLASA events.

So let's start with PLASA and the new start for the show at ExCel. Well more of the same really, a dwindling Pro Audio participation, a shambles called the Audio Lab and lots and lots of LED and flashing lights, now based in the middle of nowhere. So that is getting the kind bit out of the way first, but in reality that all conspired to play into Inspired and UK distributor LMC's hands. We were the oasis that had both black boxes and digital mixers all in the same place, so what Pro Audio footfall there was at the show we got to see and talk with. So a result, not entirely for the right reasons, but a result is a result!

An outcome from the show was a trip to Cardiff to tie in with Phil, James and Tom from Magnum PA and provide Optima 5 systems for two stages of a local music festival. With around ten small venues spread across the city centre and Magnum providing sound for many of those stages the four day event proved ideal to let Magnum take a look and listen at the ultra-compact array and how it might fit into their lives!

Activity wasn't just restricted to live sound, installation figured on the agenda as well. When leading public school Godstowe based in High Wycombe decided to rebuild a former gym into a cinema and live performance area, they turned to Phil Pearce and the team at AV specialists AVC for inspiration! The result was an Inspired Optima 5 central hang and Axis 8 cabinets to complete the 5.1 configured system. Bass was catered for with a brace of B215 cabinets. System set up on the project was placed in the capable hands of industry stalwart 'Chunk' from Chunk Productions. The sale was handled by JP, sales manager at LMC London.

We all know that December is the grim reaper month in Pro Audio; well actually that was not the case in 2013. December started with the culmination of a system sale to respected hire company Codex Audio, headed up by industry guru David 'Lofty' Lockhart. Codex are a busy company averaging over five gigs per week, many of those shows needing to be shipped in a Sprinter to retain economic sanity. After demonstration gigs with customers such as The Blockheads and Wilko Johnson, Optima 5 fitted the bill perfectly for the Northamptonshire operation. Inspired's Chris Scott commented,

"We had the pleasure of working with Codex on the Cambridge Rock Festival and then had the chance to talk further with Lofty at the Aylesbury listening event in September. Optima 5 delivers the compact size, sonic quality and scalability that ticks the boxes for the gigging hire company, must admit to feeling proud that somebody of Lofty's stature has recognised this and come on board."
Credits to Tim and James from LMC Birmingham for handling the transaction.

One sage at the PLASA show suggested that the foreign contingent was restricted to our friends from eastern European, who swept up behind us as we departed the hall every evening in search of life beyond tumbleweed in London's bleak docklands area! He wasn't far wrong, but fortunately there was some quality contingent from beyond the channel. After a meeting at PLASA, Philip Scheepers of Johannesburg based Epic Sound and Light was impressed enough to return to England in early December for a full product demonstration. Philip was joined on the trip by business partner Daniel Gerhardus Nel. So how do you book a theatre for a demo in December, well the short answer is oh know you don't, it's Panto time. So back to basics was the order of the day and a trip to Ashover Parish Hall nestled in the beautiful Amber valley on the edge of Derbyshire's Peak District. With internal space for demonstrating Axis and smaller products the venue benefits from backing onto the village agricultural grounds, a ten acre space ideal for targeting Optima array into without upsetting the local population. The close proximity of the Old Poet's Corner completed the day bringing much needed log fires and refreshment to the group.

So back to where we started, it is January; Frankfurt is around the corner, so back on your heads lads, you can come up for air in the Fatherland...!

Chris Scott - Head of design: 21/01/2014