Following a request from TV Nova, a private commercial station, Prague-based Elvia-Pro has taken on the distribution of German fibre network specialists BroaMan in the Czech Republic.
Formed in 1993, Elvia-Pro specialises in management, engineering and project work within the broadcast sector, and manufactures and installs equipment for OB and DSNG trucks, specialising in main broadcast organisations such as Czech TV, TV Nova, TV Prima, TV Barrandov and production houses. In fact it was TV Nova who were largely responsible for the new distribution arrangement. “They came to us with a request for BroaMan devices,” recalls Tomáš Kocáb, Elvia-Pro’s Sales Product Specialist.
BroaMan Technical Sales Manager Maciek Janiszewski made a professional presentation at TV Nova, leading to the new distribution deal, which was formalised on the BroaMan stand at the IBC Show in Amsterdam. “Aside from TV Nova, we had also received further BroaMan inquiries from TV Prima, while a film school requested a Repeat48,” Tomáš continued.
The company will now embark on an aggressive marketing campaign, as Tomáš Kocáb explained. “We have shown our Mux22 demo units to all the main broadcasters, and we also have Repeat48 in our professional ProfiCam Centrum showroom in Prague. We also present all BroaMan products on our professional web page (e-shop).” Tomáš is clear why Elvia-Pro’s customers are turning increasingly to BroaMan. “The opportunity to develop an elegant and efficient solution for multi-signal transportation is exactly the reason for taking this band on,” he says.
Dawid Somló, BroaMan’s Sales Distribution Manager, responded, “There is no better reference than the customer’s recommendation, and it was the engineers from TV Nova themselves who said that they would be most willing to cooperate with Elvia-Pro in the Czech Republic. After the first projects developed together with Elvia-Pro I had the same impression. I can definitely vouch for their professionalism and knowledge of the market.
“However, a lot of hard work awaits us. I expect a strong and aggressive commercial policy from their team so that the BroaMan brand becomes a natural choice in the field of video and related signal fiber transmission in the Czech broadcasting market.”
Claypaky at LDI is going to present its New Sales and Technical Team based in the United States: Dennis Knopf (Senior Business Development Manager), George Masek (Senior Product Specialist), Ray Whitton (North American Business Development Manager), Julie Smith (Product Support). The booth staff will include also the Claypaky CEO Marcus Graser, Head of Global Marketing, Alena Turiakova, Francesco Romagnoli, Marco Zucchinali, Giovanni Zucchinali and of course the whole Technical Team.
Claypaky Sharpy Plus Aqua
Xtylos will be presented for the first time in America. Every hour, a ten-minute Presentation and a five-minute Light Show will be devoted to all new products. Every day, George Masek will take a special in-depth look at the Xtylos three times a day. Visitors will also have a good time with a special game dedicated to “Xtylos” at the booth!
Designed in the spirit of the Sharpy Plus platform, the Sharpy Plus Aqua luminaire is an IP65-rated moving head fixture dedicated to outdoor events, touring, permanent installations, cruise ships, and much more.
A large moving mirror is also coming in the Claypaky range, named ReflectXion, offering 540° pan and continuous tilt movement at adjustable speeds. Mirror is the same on both sides, giving you two highly reflective surfaces with which to direct light beams.
HY-B-Eye, Sharpy Plus, Axcor Wash 600, Mini-B, CloudIO will also be presented for the first time in United States.
Protones’ owner Florian Buhr, left, with Martin Kühlechner head of audio Protones.
The first SD7 Quantum DiGiCo console sold in Germany is to Protones Veranstaltungstechnik, a newly appointed DiGiCo and well established rental and installation supplier in northern Germany. Protones is a rental company with many German pop and rock bands on its client list, as well as servicing and audio refurbishment contracts with several worldwide cruise lines, theatres and other key installations.
Martin Kuehlechner, with his new and powerful DiGiCo desk
“Working in both rental and installation markets, we employ a lot of DiGiCo consoles and are completely won over by the sound and build quality. It was a logical step to become an official supplier,” explains Martin Kuehlechner, head of audio Protones. The new SD7 Quantum will complement Protones’ existing fleet of DiGiCo consoles comprising the SD12, S31 and S21, and boost the company’s offering in its new role as the main DiGiCo rental supplier in the region.
“The SD7 Quantum offers everything a sound guy could ever aspire to have at their fingertips,” continues Kuehlechner. “The nodal processing gives so much power and problem-solving solutions, there was no question that this is the desk we wanted to provide for our engineers and clients. We had the first Quantum to ship to Germany, and now everyone wants to work with it, and we’re receiving plenty of dry hire requests.”
Protones stock list now includes a SD7 Quantum, SD5, 2 SD12s, 1 S31, 1 S21, 5 SD-Racks with 32Bit In- and Out-Cards, 1 D-Rack, 1 D2-Rack, a Little Red Box and a Little Blue Box. The new SD7 Quantum was supplied by DiGiCo’s German distributor, United Brands Germany, with whom Protones will collaborate with to fulfill future installation projects, as well as regional sales, service and training for the DiGiCo brand.
When you love a brand, show it ;0)
One of its first tasks as the new DiGiCo partner was upgrading the sound system in a cruise ship theatre to a SD12, along with stage boxes and redundant ProTools set up, in collaboration with the cruise ship’s sound designer, resulting in improved sound quality, better workflow for the engineers and equipment reliability.
“Protones is a fantastic addition to the DiGiCo network, bringing a wealth of expertise and experience covering the pro audio spectrum,” comments Jens Bubbes Steffan from United Brands. “We’re in daily contact with the Protones team answering questions and fulfilling requests to keep customers satisfied.” “We are more than happy with our investment,” concludes Kuehlechner. “Bringing together the installation and live rental markets through DiGiCo demonstrates our wide potential to the customers. Everyone loves the sound, the workflow and the way DiGiCo ticks.”
RCF spa has appointed RCF LATAM as its distributor for Central America, Colombia and the Caribbean, a newly-created company that has strong roots in the professional audio industry, boasting more than 20 years’ experience.
Stated RCF LATAM director, Jose M. Gonzalez, “Our company is fully committed to the distribution and positioning of RCF as a leading brand within the designated markets. “The owners of RCF LATAM have successfully distributed the RCF brand for several years, and their aim is to develop the brand in the weakest markets and support its presence generally in Latin America.”
This was backed up by RCF Export Sales Manager, Luca Agazzi. “We wanted a new company focused 100% on RCF, that comprised experienced audio industry professionals.” He confirmed the enduring relationship with RCF LATAM’s Frank Peruyera (via Tropical Music and All Music) and Jannios Jiminez (via Italian based Art Music Group). Jose Manuel Gonzalez has also been in the business for many years, he said, representing both RCF (during his time at All Music) and other premium audio brands. “This move makes the business neater and more systematic,” continued Mr. Agazzi. “Colombia has always been influenced by trade coming from the US, so gathering the business in one company will ensure improved control and stability in the area.”
The new company marked its debut at InfoComm Colombia (October 23-25) in Bogotá, receiving a positive response to the new initiative. Stated Mr. Gonzalez, “We were welcomed with great enthusiasm by RCF’s customers, as they had been waiting for a change in the brand’s distribution in Colombia. Customers are now showing considerable interest in the new lines that have been developed.” These include, in particular, the HDL, HD and NX series as well as the transducers.
Although RCF LATAM’s main office is located in Miami, collaboration with new commercial partners in Colombia will now ensure full availability of inventory.
After the launch of its followspot system driving projectors in 3D, Follow-Me push further the limits of its concept with total automation without any operator.
Used as first exclusive at the Efteling theme park in The Netherlands, the TraXYZ system makes the follow-spots use on the Caro show automatic and easy.
Each artist wears a tag to be identified and followed by all or part of the light kit in complete autonomy. As an extension to the Follow-Me software, this TraXYZ module allows you to get an accurate view of all events happening on the stage directly on the screen and to recover full control manually if necessary.
At work on the last Rammstein tour, a Follow-Me system allows the use of about fifty projectors as a basis for automated follow-spots aiming at the 6 musicians of the German group, on a “kolossal” stage.
The main difference with other 3D tracking systems is the screen representation. Where the majority of competitors only shows the result of computer computing targets in the environment, Follow-Me receives accurate information from its sensors and constantly monitors their movements on stage in real time, aided by a true camera vision.
An optimal configuration of the Follow-Me includes a server, an RJ45 connection strip, two 3D mouse or trackball devices and a mini-console.
The TraXYZ kit includes a dedicated server, several tags called ‘Trackers’ and 3D receivers or ‘Anchors’ hanging around the stage. The high-precision sensors allow “Anchors” receivers to know the character coordinates using the tags and to communicate them to the Follow-Me software. Thanks to this information, the movements of the automatic projectors and their zooms’ data are corrected in real time to always keep the artists inside their beam.
The TraXYZ Module is an extension to the Follow-Me system, which can operate autonomously with an operator, a specific computer server, and manual tracking modules such as a 3D mouse and mini-light control consoles. The tag is about the size of a car remote, fits in a pocket or attaches with the belt clip. To ensure maximum accuracy when the person is moving, it is recommended to wear two tags at different places, such as the sides of the hips.
The ‘Tag’ and ‘Anchor’ units displayed here at Prolight + Sound show the compactness of TraXYX tags and receivers.
This also makes it possible to calculate the motion predictions by analyzing the orientation of the equipped artists in 3D. These sensors, equipped with a long-lasting battery rechargeable thru their micro-USB connector, will then give an accuracy of a few centimeters back to the software.
Just like the Follow-Me software, the TraXYZ extension uses the PSN protocol to exchange 3D positioning information in X, Y and Z values. The power of the software makes it possible to process up to 50 tags at the same time, depending on the receivers’ mesh size. and to match stage of different heights.
The proprietary sensors, designed to work outdoor, have to be positioned in a spider web figure around the stage. Ideally, they will be hung underneath the mother grid, below the spotlights and at the ends of the stage. Wired in RJ45, a specific POE switch will be needed to power them.
The basic TraXYZ kit…
…with its charging suitcase holding some black tags and one of the white receivers to be positioned around the stage.
The Follow-Me software has been updated to be used with these new tags in its future Follow-Me 3D version. Beam calculations now include height for tracking artists in all situations, including different levels stages. Thanks to the increase in the number of possible calibration points, a more targeted 3D mesh is possible.
This increased accuracy and the use of corrected libraries allow the zoom, intensity and iris values of each projector to adapt to the aimed target, just as a true follow-spot techie would do. The prediction algorithms have also been refined, supported by a much finer 3D representation. Thus, to calibrate the 3D mesh more quickly, the system automatically calculates the surfaces from a few reference calibration points set by an operator.
Coupled with the Follow-Me software, the operator can control the automation and control the projectors himself at any time.
The Follow-Me server is inserted into the lighting control circuit. Depending on the parameters to be controlled, the lighting console takes in charge most of the projectors’ channels, leaving the intensity, pan tilt or zoom to the tracking software, which decides to take control back or to affect directly this or that moving head to a specific target. It can also impose thresholds of intensity or X & Y data differences not to be exceeded.
Officially launched in November at the LDI, Follow-Me 3D and TraXYZ will soon be available from worldwide distributors. The complete TraXYZ pack will come with 20 tags (Tags) and 16 sensors (Anchor), plus one POE switch, ready to connect to the Follow-Me server.
Sixty82 has appointed Unusual Rigging & Engineering LLC as its exclusive distributor in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Saudi Arabia, for its full product range : trussing and staging. Since 1983, Unusual Rigging has been providing rigging and stage engineering solutions for the entertainment, special event, exhibition industries worldwide.
Denis Bramhall, Managing Partner of Unusual Rigging LLC, Fokko Smeding CEO of Sixty82, Rainier Smeding, Sixty82 and Cyd Acanto, Unusual Rigging.
In 2009 the team bringing to Dubai a wealth of experience and expertise. The team of Unusual Rigging has spent their working lives on the production side of the entertainment industry: their specialist teams boast a wide range of disciplines, and all are passionate about what they do.
“At Sixty82, we share this passion for the industry,” says Fokko Smeding, CEO of Sixty82. “We therefore we believe that Unusual Rigging & Engineering is a perfect fit to meet the needs of our ever-expanding customer base.”
Rainier Smeding, Sixty82’s sales and marketing manager, adds: “We are extremely excited to be working with a team that has this kind of knowledge and expertise. With these dynamic and experienced people, we can focus on next-generation structures, based on the highest knowledge and working skills, as well as safety regulations.”
Denis Bramhall, managing partner at Unusual Rigging LLC, commented: “We are delighted to take on the role of distributor for Sixty82 in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. By adding their products to our portfolio, we are offering our customers in the region something new and something which complements our current range.”
Presented at Prolight+Sound 2019, where it was very well received by lighting designers (it was like a honey pot in the middle of a bunch of hungry bear cubs), the Xtylos heralds itself as a revolution in the world of motorized Beam fixtures. An evolution of the Sharpy, it is based on a brand new technology using three RGB LASER sources. Let’s have a look at this unit!
A trade show is not always the most appropriate place to assess the quality of a beam, so we asked to borrow this innovative fixture to test it at the Impact Evénement studios, but also at night in Dimatec’s parking lot, alongside the Sharpy, of course, and the Sharpy Plus. We also asked our colleague Jean-Pierre Landragin, a laser specialist, to provide more details on the source technology on board (see the box at the end of this article).
The Xtylos features a design that is reminiscent of the aesthetic styling of the Axcor range, with a rounded head, a kind of smooth, matte egg, decorated with pretty golden stripes on its sides and topped with an enormous 15 cm output lens, a yoke with rounded arms and a small, thin and compact base. This unit is beautiful!
The beam aperture, from the smallest reducer to the largest “wide focus”.
In terms of safety, although it is equipped with very powerful laser sources normally corresponding to Class 4 (prohibited for use indoors and highly regulated outdoors), thanks to its optical system, Xtylos is classified as a Class 1 laser source device, in other words safe for use, including direct viewing into the beam over extended periods of time. Everyone can rest assured!
Effects with gobos, prisms and pastel colors.
The Xtylos’ beam is indeed that of a beam fixture (and not that of a laser), very tight at 1.1° of divergence, and it cuts through the air like a fine and precise blade. The light is extremely bright and intense, as if it were covered with glittering colored dust.
From a purely optical point of view, the focal length extends far beyond the head of the fixture. The focal point can be several tens of centimeters from the output lens, forming a converging and then diverging radius. This is how, in the absence of a zoom, the widest beam can be obtained: about 8°.
Prisms and frost at the widest aperture.
The very coherence of the beam is completely new and its uniformity over its length is much more significant than that of a Beam from a lamp. It remains highly concentrated with little alteration over long distances. The dimmer of Xtylos is electronic. The curve we have plotted is quite impressive. Claypaky has mastered the independent management of the three sources.
Lend me your Xtylos 3 colors!
Also in terms of colors, the Xtylos offers completely new possibilities. The sum of the three RGB sources yields a white that can be regarded as a “full-color”. It will be up to you to calibrate your own reference white in your color presets. Indeed, the Xtylos is controlled like any other automated fixture, with a very conventional CMY library that provides access to all the power of the sources.
Some hues with both pure and mixed colors.
If the pure colors – Red, Blue or Green – are really effective, the mixes can be surprising. The color can be slightly varied depending on the length of the beam, and how it is focused. For example, it may be that with an orange mixture, a brighter and more vivid beam is obtained before the focal point than after it. It produces an almost yellow beam, which becomes more orange beyond the focal point, becoming deep gold in the projected field a few meters down. Be aware that this is not a matter of color mixing but of a property inherent to its technology. The sources don’t necessarily have the same focusing properties.
But let’s go back to the three basic RGB colors to underline their exceptional intensity. Never has a red been so intense on a beam fixture, with a flux that corresponds to nearly 36% of the total white flux. That’s something we’ve never seen before! The same goes for green, and as for the blue, no need to talk about it… The colors are really intense.
New since its launch, the Xtylos offers a variable white from 8000K to 2500K that, logically, must be an electronic emulation of the three laser sources . This is good news that should reassure lighting technicians disappointed at Prolight + Sound by the white.
Video tests of beams, gobos, colors and prisms
Xtylos features two gobo wheels. One of them includes 14 fixed gobos, directly (and precisely) cut from sheet metal with aperture reducers and a few gobos – that are already well known from the Sharpy – which can sculpt the beam. The second wheel includes seven interchangeable, indexable rotating gobos: a bar, a cone, a “colander” and a few others, all very impressive in terms of aerial effects, which can truly be used on the wide open beam (which was not the case with the Sharpy) and multiplied by the prisms. The two wheels are mixable and, by playing with the focus, you can create nice effects.
Some of the fixed gobos. We start with the beam reducers.
The rotating gobos, in “wide focus” mode.
Several optical effects can be used to animate and shape the beam. First of all, a prism with 16 facets arranged in a “flower”, rotating and indexable, allows the beam to be scattered: it diverges at an angle of nearly 12°. It is independent and can be mixed with the effects wheel, which has a 6-facet radial prism, a prism to spread the beam in a linear plane and a 6-facet linear prism, all of which can be rotated and indexed. A frost filter is also located on this wheel.
The prisms and the frost.
The movements of the head.
Xtylos, like Sharpy, is extremely quick. Even though the head is more massive than that of its elder, it is quite comparable in speed. The slow movements are excellent and the movements are precise and smooth.
The construction of the fixture
The inside of the unit.
The housing of the head can be dismantled into three parts. Two cowlings that cover the effects section, i.e. two thirds of the way forward towards the lens. Each cowling is opened by turning two discreet screws, hidden in the ventilation grill, a quarter turn.
The front part is held by a tab that is fixed under the plastic housing of the head. It is secured by a small safety cable. The entire rear is enclosed by a large hood, which can also be removed by removing four quarter-turn screws and is likewise held in place by a small safety cable.
The back of the unit features a complex assembly that houses the laser sources and their cooling system. It is a sealed module that allows the heat pipe radiators to protrude. The technology in question is highly confidential.
The micrometric precision it requires for the adjustment of its sensitive semiconductors and their optical path requires that any internal intervention on the source be performed only by Claypaky’s technical services. The service life of the sources is declared to be 10,000 hours.
The module containing the laser sources.
After passing through a cylindrical light guide about ten centimeters long, the light is emitted through a small window a few centimeters wide, from which the beam emerges in the direction of the effects.
The light guide at the exit of the source, with its output window, once the modules have been removed.
The large focus lens.
The internal disassembly is all done with two removable effects modules, each with a set of captive quarter-turn screws, and by unplugging a few plastic connectors from a control PCB, and two large Sub-D connectors, which are also held in place by two small, captive flat screws. It is necessary to remove two small plates that seem designed to avoid any light leakage towards the ventilation grills. These are also fixed with two captive screws. It takes a little meticulousness but everything can be disassembled quite well. The first module holds the gobo wheels. On the underside of the second module is the effect wheel with the 6-facet and linear prisms plus the frost, while on the other side is the mechanism that inserts the large 16-facet prism into the beam.
The effects module (prisms and frost).
The gobo module.
Both of the yoke arms are traversed by the routing of the wiring to the head. Only one of them is equipped with the tilt drive – with the motor in the base of the arm transmitting its movement via a belt to the pulley – while the other is fitted with the pan motor, the electronics that appear to manage the pan and tilt drive, and the tilt lock of the head. It should be noted that the tilt belt seems difficult to remove without completely dismantling the entire unit… The alignment of all these cowlings is impeccable. Very nice construction.
The connection panel.
The power supply is connected through True1 input and output sockets. The output allows you to daisy-chain up to three Xtylos units on the same mains line. DMX input and output on XLR5, plus an RJ45 port receive the control signals. The base is flanked by two large handles that integrate into the extremely refined design of the entire unit.
The bottom of the base is equipped with the usual receptacles to accommodate the quarter-turn cam-lock fasteners of the two omega brackets (supplied with the unit, of course!) and the safety cable. These models of omega brackets are common to all Claypaky units and allow an “offset” clamping position.
I would like to take a few lines to express my heartfelt thanks to the person who designed and conceived this feature, which allows the fixture to be fixed anywhere on a truss without being hindered by a junction or a crossbeam. I can’t count the number of times this system has saved me. Anyway…
The menu and options
The display for configuring the fixture.
The Xtylos has more or less the same interface as the latest Claypaky models: a small bright display and five keys arranged in a circle. This system works pretty well. The menu provides access to the usual addressing functions, operating mode (in this case, there are two: a Standard mode and a “Vector” mode), the control options, the run-time information of the unit and the sources, and so on.
We start by measuring the derating in full-color white, that is to say with the three RGB laser sources running at full power. The illuminance in the center stabilizes in five minutes with an attenuation of 11%, which will have a negligible impact on the performance of the beam. This is an excellent result for an effects projector.
This is the perfect opportunity for us to debut the filter that we had produced specially for us in Japan, by Minolta, and which, combined with our CL 500 A spectrometer (normally limited to 100,000 lux), now allows us to measure up to 10 million lux of illuminance. To obtain a higher number of measurement points, this time we place the fixture 10 meters from the target, which compared to the usual 5 meters of distance, multiplies the diameter of the projection by a factor of 2.
Thus, at 10 m the projected field of the beam extends to 19 cm in diameter, which corresponds to an angle of 1.1°. The illuminance at the center before derating reaches 137,900 lumens (122,300 lm after derating) which translates into a flux of 3,250 lumens (2,880 lm after derating).
Using the Xtylos
The Xtylos is an amazing machine. The light it emits is extremely powerful, very concentrated, yet at the same time it can appear very soft in some respects. One of the characteristics that caught our attention was that the beam heats very little, for example, compared to lamp-based beams that could almost melt materials nearby. The temperature of the Xtylos beam is lower, but at 10 meters, pointing at a light surface, it burns your eyes! The light density is astounding. The fixture itself responds admirably well. The functions are simple and straightforward. It will take a little time to fully grasp all that can be done with it, and to familiarize yourself with the hues and effects that can be obtained. The ventilation is somewhat audible, but it remains within reasonable limits and, quite unusually, the sound emitted at the back of the head is very directional. From the front, the noise is much less noticeable.
Night-time outdoor tests
We wanted to assess the benefits of this new source over long distances compared to the lamp-based beams we are familiar with today from Claypaky. We meet at Dimatec with Antony Cals, Claypaky Product Manager, and Stéphane Samama, from Sales, who were delighted to be able to spend the night with us. Antony has prepared the three fixtures we requested in the company’s parking lot: a Sharpy, a Sharpy Plus and, of course, the Xtylos.
We use the Sharpy because it is the reference that everyone has in mind (or in their eyes, if you will). The Sharpy Plus, a hybrid Beam fixture with a more powerful lamp, is also capable of a multipurpose spot-type beam, but it is its Beam that interests us here.
Now it’s dark. Come on, let’s fire up the lights!
Tests in “white”
The first test, with the beams aligned, in white for the two lamp-based fixtures, and in “full-color” for the Xtylos. As mentioned above, in full-color the beam is not exactly white. It emits a slightly purplish light, but we have chosen to push the fixtures to their maximum.
White beams. In the image on the left, seen from behind, the Sharpy Plus is to the left, Xtylos in the centre and Sharpy on the right. Viewed from the front, the Sharpy is on the left and the Sharpy Plus is on the right.
The Xtylos projects an infinitely sharper and more precise beam than the other two. We can hardly say that it is more powerful, because we have observed in the measurements that in terms of center illuminance and flux, it is the Sharpy that wins. The perfect edges of Xtylos’ beam give it a certain advantage. It is as “striking” to the eye, if not more so, than its neighbor. The good old Sharpy is not doing so badly but is clearly behind the other two, both in terms of brilliance and in terms of “visibility”.
Tests in blue
Blue beams, same disposition as above.
The same results. The Xtylos shows a remarkable ability to amaze us with a beam so narrow and sharp that, even though it is less luminous than the Sharpy Plus, we are noticing it more. It has a much more visual “presence”.
Tests in green
Green beams, same disposition as above. In the picture on the left, seen from behind, the Sharpy Plus is on the left, Xtylos in the center and Sharpy on the right. Viewed from the front, the Sharpy is on the left and the Sharpy Plus on the right.
This is a textbook case, because we arrive in a color domain where the laser is inevitably the winner. Green filtering is always delicate with lamp-based fixtures, whereas for a laser, especially with fairly acidic and “hot” greens (a bit over 500 nm), we are in the most sensitive range of the human eye. This is why entertainment lasers, with powers that are sometimes quite low in green, have always proved to be extremely brilliant (especially with 532 nm DPSS sources, which have been successful for years, since the arrival of semiconductor-based lasers). Unsurprisingly, the Xtylos crushes the others in green.
Tests in red
The two lamp fixtures are in the zone where they have the most difficulty emitting light. Filtering their very cool source allows very little flux to pass through. Here, only the Xtylos beam is present, its red laser source showing its superiority hands down.
In short, after this very interesting test, it appears that the Xtylos has many advantages, which are not necessarily tied to a notion of raw luminous output. In the areas where the Sharpy Plus is superior, the Xtylos takes the game to the next level with another technology. The beam is so sharp and defined that it is much easier to distinguish and catches the eye more than any other Beam in some colors.
Xtylos represents a real breakthrough in the world of automated lighting. No one knows today whether or not this technology will be the standard in the near future or whether it is a clever solution for a unique product, but in any case, it is truly interesting. It is the only one that produces colors (such as red, blue or green) with this level of intensity. I can’t wait to see what lighting designers will do with this one.
Lasers in show lighting
Xtylos uses an RGB laser source. Unlike some fleeting attempts, this is not a laser+phosphor system (in which the primary source is a set of blue laser diodes and the rest or even the entire spectrum is created by phosphors arranged on a rotating disc, re-emitting lights of different wavelengths under the excitation of blue radiation), but a set of laser diodes emitting in red, green and blue, which are blended to achieve the whole spectrum of colors by additive synthesis.
It is therefore a “true laser” source that is emitted directly without any conversion, and the beam therefore maintains some of the very specific characteristics of laser light that have surprised our testers. The manufacturer is rather evasive about the exact characteristics of the sources, which are presumably the result of recent research by Osram… We know, however, that these are three sets of laser diodes mounted in arrays, with an electrical power of less than 100 W per color. Everything is in a sealed optical module, and the secret remains intact.
The essential characteristic of laser light is its coherence. This means that all photons are emitted in phase or, in other words, that all seem to come from the same sinusoidal wave. But since nothing is perfect, this aspect is characterized by the coherence length, which corresponds to the beam length over which the light can be considered to come from a single wave.
This characteristic has two ramifications:
– A laser source is very monochromatic and this is all the more true when the coherence length is long (indeed, the spectral width and the coherence length are linked by the relation Lc = c/Δγ, where Lc is the coherence length[in m], c is the speed of light [c = 3.108 m/s] and Δγ is the spectral width of the emission[in Hz]). There is nothing here comparable to an LED source. As a result, an RGB laser source is able to reproduce a large color space, which is very well suited for video projection but may not be sufficient in lighting – we will see why later on.
– Interference occurs inside the beam, especially when the light is very coherent. This causes the beams of laboratory lasers and the images they produce to have a granular, glittering or scintillating appearance. This is why we always have the impression that the space through which the beam passes is very dusty, the visible grains are not the effect of dust, but the effect of these interferences (called speckles). With three laser sources in the same beam, the interference of each color does not occur in the same place, so the beam is adorned with “grains” of different colors. It goes without saying that this effect could cause significant inconvenience in some applications.
Without any smoke, one gets the impression of dust particles in the beam.
Another result is that the emitted light does not contain any infrared (except, of course, if it is an infrared laser!), so the beam is “cool”. But, make no mistake, it is a concentrated energy that can be formidable when the illuminated object absorbs the radiation received (such as in medical applications). As such, it is normally necessary to take all necessary precautions to avoid receiving this type of beam in the eyes. In the case of Xtylos, the optics developed for the Beam application eliminate this risk.
Finally, laser sources generally emit parallel or very slightly divergent beams (hence the possibility of projecting laser beams onto the moon without scattering along the path) and their light distribution is very uniform. In the case of Xtylos, the light guide through which the beam exits the source probably acts as an integrating tube, allowing the beams from the diode arrays to be homogenized. This yields a luminous distribution curve across the diameter of the beam that has very steeply ascending sides and a flat top, thus giving this solid and compact aspect to the beam, which is unrivaled by other types of sources. This particular characteristic also justifies the absence of any zoom, which is not necessary to change the width of the beam, as its edges are naturally perfectly defined.
From the point of view of colorimetry, each diode array is controlled using pulse width modulation (PWM), with the software adjusting the duration of the pulses applied to each to ensure the brightness (dimmer) and balance (color) of the mixture by emulating the more traditional controls. This is the only way to fine-tune the characteristics of the light emitted. However, when it comes to producing white, it is necessary to be able to precisely and independently adjust the power and color temperature.
With LEDs, it’s easy: you just need to have white LEDs, and you can fine-tune the balance with the other LEDs, and it’s even easier when you have a set of amber LEDs. This possibility does not exist with lasers because there is no such thing as a white laser (“white laser” is, in itself, an oxymoron), and the manufacturer did not choose to include a group of white LEDs (which would probably also have been technical and industrial nonsense).
For this reason, the RGB white is undoubtedly difficult to adjust, its fineness is limited by the resolution (i.e. the bit depth) of the PWM controls, and the software must “do its best” to achieve the desired “white” and try to maintain it over the entire dimming range. Paradoxically, having only three source colors is less of a problem for the range of colors than it is for the refinement of the whites. That being said, one could certainly call into question the use of this fixture in trying to create sophisticated white lighting, rather than using it to produce brightly colored beams in the air!
For further details, please refer to the articles in the SoundLightUp series on video projection regarding laser sources.
Following the launch of the MICRO cable protector series at this year’s Prolight + Sound show in Frankfurt, Defender® is now doubling the stakes: The new MICRO 2 series provides space for two cable runs and ensures even greater protection for people and cables with its newly developed 3-D LaserGrip® surface.
Produced from over 90% recyclable materials, the MICRO 2 Cable protectors don’t only stand out thanks to their environmentally sustainability but feature a reengineered, ergonomic design.
MICRO 2 Features
The larger and more spacious an area, the higher the safety requirements are for both people and materials. Nowhere else is this truer than at trade fairs, exhibitions, malls, and other public indoor and outdoor facilities, where there are lots of pedestrians walking around, as well as many smaller vehicles, trolleys, scooters, and wheelchairs out and about.
That’s why Defender has developed the compact MICRO 2 cable protectors for use in these areas. Built to withstand up to two tons per 7.8 × 7.8 inches, their two 1.4 × 1.2-inch cable runs protect power cables and water hoses from external influences.
A maximum level of grip and slip resistance is guaranteed by the innovative LaserGrip® surface, which features a special ergonomic design and surface structure to reduce the risk of an entire cable protector line accidentally moving out of place.
From shredding to granulation, 90% of Defender materials are recycled in-house, and the same goes for the new MICRO 2 series too! Since the whole process is monitored in-house, the type and origin of the individual materials can be traced at all times, which allows for exclusive proof to be provided that everything has been sourced from certified companies in Germany. Defender is therefore the official recycler of materials from Bayer®, BASF®, and DOW® Chemical and as such plays an important role in the sustainable reuse of granulate. Defender cable protectors and ramps are DEKRA certified (DIN 31000, EN 61537), comply with fire protection class B2 (DIN 4102, B1 also available), and meet the requirements of the Low Voltage Directive.
Video presentation of the product in situations.
New Brand Website : The Defender website underwent a complete overhaul and was launched at the same time as the rollout of the MICRO 2 cable protector series. In line with the new Defender brand slogan “Protect Your World”, the website provides users and prospective customers with all the key facts about products from Adam Hall’s prestigious private line.
New National Theatre, Tokyo is Japan’s foremost national theatre dedicated to the contemporary performing arts of ballet, opera, dance and drama. The NNTT comprises 3 performance venues, Opera Palace, Playhouse, The Pit, and hosts over 300 performances a year to around 200,000 spectators.
Four of Robert Juliat’s Oz 7°-14° LED Top Control followspots were supplied by Sogo Butai, RJ distributor, initially chosen to be use in the small Pit Theatre, but also with the intention of relocating them to the Playhouse and Opera Palace as needed. This demonstrates the versatility of this zoom fixture whose 600W cool white LED engine generates an output equal to 1200W discharge fixtures.
“Oz is extremely suitable for the open space within the smaller Pit Theatre, because of its silent operation,” says Takehito Suzuki, from NNTT’s technical lighting department. “In venues where many theatrical shows and contemporary dance performances are presented, like those of the New National Theatre, we found Oz is the best followspot for lighting the performers at every distance.”
Suzuki also stresses that Oz was chosen because, above all others, its quality met the high standards of the New National Theatre, Tokyo; its Top Control option was a prime example of this, enabling the operators to control both the dimming and iris smoothly and easily from the top of the fixture.
“Amongst many LED followspots, what makes this fixture remarkable is the Top Control,” Suzuki says. “I’m impressed by the minimum size of the iris shutter as well; the accuracy of the iris cassette is really incredible – it is great to see how RJ can make a spot so tiny that it seems like a hole pierced by a needle. We can see the RJ quality in these kinds of details.”
NNTT’s followspot operators agree and have enjoyed using the new arrivals, commenting: “Oz is highly operational with the double function of smooth dimming and iris control with the top controls. The body is well designed with a good balance of functionality, which makes it an extremely operator-friendly fixture.”
NNTT is familiar with Robert Juliat, having invested in Robert Juliat profiles when it first opened its doors in 1997. “Since the beginning we have used Robert Juliat Athos 914SNX and 910SNX profiles,” says Suzuki. “At the time these fixtures with discharge lamps were fully appreciated by every lighting designer who used them. ”
“The majority of New National Theatre profiles are still halogen-based, although most manufacturers are stopping production of these models, and we need to find new fixtures with alternative sources before these become outmoded. So we are now interested in LED sources which are powerful enough to match halogen fixtures, and Robert Juliat is already ahead of the game with LED models that perform as well as discharge fixtures.”
Meyer Sound has announced release of version 4.6 of its Compass® control software package, incorporating new feature sets for full control of Meyer Sound devices, including the Milan™ AVB certified GALAXY processors.
Compass 4.6 is the keystone component of a complete update package that also includes new firmware for the Galileo® GALAXY™ network platform processors, CAL™ beam-steering column array loudspeakers, and the RMServer for remote system monitoring.
“This release marks an important milestone in the long history of Compass control software,” states Meyer Sound Director of Product Management Todd Meier, “as it is the first version to incorporate the new Milan networking protocol. It changes everything, as our goal is to make all of our digital products Milan-certified going forward.”
With the software and firmware upgrades in place, all existing Meyer Sound GALAXY processors will be immediately capable of upgrading to Milan-certified devices. Thousands of GALAXY devices are currently in the field, and all future GALAXY processors will be shipped with the new Milan-certified firmware installed.
The Milan protocol guarantees interoperability of networked devices by standardizing the implementation of AVB technology. Every Milan-certified device will discover and operate with any other certified device. No custom network configuration is necessary and all benefits of AVB networks are retained. In conjunction with the companion update to GALAXY firmware, the Compass 4.6 software release offers other new features. Delay Integration and Starting Points are now accessible in one dialog and available from the Overview and Output Processing tabs.
New Starting Points have been added for LYON™ and LEO®loudspeaker arrays, eliminating the need to start configurations from “square one” and thus offering the quick setup of typical systems already available with Native Mode in LEOPARD™ and LINA™ line arrays.
The new software/firmware updates streamline the integration of LEO Family products with many prior generation products, allowing rental companies to maximize inventory use by, for example, using LEO Family main arrays with legacy fills and delays. New Starting Points also facilitate configuration of cardioid and directional gradient subwoofer arrays, and also include EQ and delay profiles that automatically tune legacy subwoofers to emulate the characteristics of the new LFC family of low frequency control elements.
“This level of seamless integration across product generations used to require time-consuming custom configuration and repeated measurements,” notes Todd Meier. “With this new release, the capability is built into the software.” The new Compass 4.6 software requires a simultaneous firmware update for the controlled hardware devices: GALAXY network platform (v 2.1.0), CAL (2.1.0) and RMServer (2.7.0). An update of the Compass Go app also is required for full functionality of the iPad remote control features.
The proud Galaxy family
The complete software and firmware update package will be available for download at this link https://meyersound.com/product/compass/#software. The download is free for all registered users. Available for Windows and Mac operating systems, Compass control software provides comprehensive and intuitive control of Meyer Sound self-powered loudspeakers systems either via the Galileo GALAXY network platform or by direct communication to CAL column array loudspeakers. Compass provides a graphical user interface that displays detailed information and controls all device settings including GALAXY control pages, parametric and U-Shaping™ EQ, AVB network settings, delay integration, high and low pass filters, and CAL beam control.