Capture lighting design software: new 2019 version

Le stand Capture aux couleurs de la version 2019.

The Swedish software wizard has done it again this year! Present on a lot of Prolight+Sound stands this spring (ADB, Avolites, ETC, WholeHog…), Capture was THE lighting visualizer this year.
We met Vasilis Ziogas there, who recently joined this company, and he introduced to us the 2019 version of Capture, available since end of March. This new a très récemment rejoint la société nordique et nous a présenté la version 2019 de Capture, sortie le 26 mars. Cette new iteration is the culmination of a year of development.

A second display organisation for the 4 basic windows plus 6 independant ones.

The beginnings of the new rendering core engine appeared in the 2018 version. We then went from open GL on all OS to Direct X on Windows and Metal on Max OS. Along the various updates being made, improvements were put in place until one last big change in the 2019 release, allowing the operator to work faster. The interface shows a new organization of the main workspace with 6 independent windows.

The GUI interface is compatible with OSX’ Dark Mode.

For a quick and permanent access to the essential, they keep the tabs Selected Item, Layers, Filters, Materials, Fixtures and Universes. All elements of the interface are now memorized when they are closed in order to be reopened in the exact same configuration.

The management interface of the projectors in the Live window has been completely overhauled. Fixtures control without console, nicely simplified, is now more visual, much more practical and suitable for projectors using a large number of parameters.

The new interface to control the selected fixtures.

The Fixture Controllers in the Live view is simpler and faster, thanks to the new tools.

One will visualize much better each element of each parameter (color weel, gobo wheel…) and the Pan/Tilt control using two distinct faders.
Very practical tools such as partial or total reset of the projectors or the transparency level of the interface have been added.

More colors and more details to make the presentation clearer.

The elements import from the library has been improved. You can directly visualize in the windows in wireframe mode the what you insert into the drawing, and you can directly link together the truss elements or hang the projectors to the truss, without having to lay down the object into the drawing first.

You can now visualize all the elements when you insert them into the drawing.

The Mapping part has not been left behind. You visualize the truss height and you can change the color of the text for each layer. The measurement tools have been improved as well as the Report window.

To end up this not restricted list of new features, let’s notice that the visualisation part also has a say in the general picture. To start with, the speed of use has been multiplied by 2 to 3, depending on the hardwares’ configurations. A white balance has been added, too, and the deactivation of one or more layers improves the rendering. The visualisation of the Strobe functions has been reworked and the colors and intensity of incandescent sources have been corrected.

You can adjust the white balance of each camera.

Capture carries on surely and without skipping any step. Many major brands are not mistaken and good news for the Swedish brand should be formalized soon. 2019 should be, for Lars Wernlund (technical director, creator of Capture) and his team, an important year.

More information on the Capture Website.

 

The Empire Strips Back in America

Hugely successful Australian burlesque Star Wars parody “The Empire Strips Back” has just completed its most extensive North American tour to date, also visiting Canada for the first time, complete with a suitably boisterous lightshow designed by Peter Rubie, featuring 30 x Robe Spiider LED wash beams as the core moving light fixtures.

Photo Peter Rubie

The show has stormed its way into intergalactic reviews and delighted audiences since it launched at the Vanguard Theatre in Sydney in 2011. A colourful, highly visual action-packed performance offering up an array of elaborate body costumes including alien creatures, a fully robotic remote controlled R2-D2 and a life-size Jabba the Hutt operated by four puppeteers.
Peter has been involved with the show for the last four years, taking over from original lighting designer Ross Graham. Since then, it has evolved into the performance spectacle it is today including brand new acts and songs, and in 2018, a complete refresh of the lighting rig!

Photo Peter Rubie

It was at this stage that Peter decided to use Robe’s latest generation Spiider – a fixture known for its power, smooth colour mixing and fantastic range of hues.
Peter wanted Spiiders in the rig to help add some of the theatrical detail needed – in addition to all the big beamy rock ‘n’ roll style colour and movement cues. They are positioned on a 5 high by 6 wide staggered grid above the stage which also has a wall effect from the front, a powerful look that Ross created when the show first started touring.

“The Spiider has a beautiful quality of light at the right brightness” he commented, adding that while they can do all the rich bold saturates that are fundamental to the primary style and vibe of the show, they can also produce all the pastel shades and subtleties needed. The Spiiders also opened up a range of other possibilities whilst still being able to reproduce the original looks “minus the LED ‘smarties’” by turning off the outer ring of LEDs and zooming right down to a tight 4 degree beam.

This is great for the rock and pop numbers, with the advantage that the fixtures can also cover the entire stage for more scenic moments. Flashy-trashy-fun moments abound explained Peter, including a mash-up dance-off between Han Solo and Chewbacca, a scene where the Spiiders excel themselves and he maximises the front lens pixel macros to create multiple fun looks. Talking about the Spiider’s flower effect, Peter feels it’s essentially like having another light in the rig.

Photo Peter Rubie

He’s built a custom profile for the Spiider in his grandMA2 console which enables him to treat the flower as if it is an individual fixture. “At its simplest this is like someone had added a classic shimmer effect light inside the central chip, given it some steroids plus colour mixing and control for the rotational direction, speed and focus!”

When combined with other LEDs on the rig, this can be used for a gentle breakup coming from overhead whilst also bathing the scene in colour. This looks especially good in haze. The point where that audience sees C-3PO for the first time and and the flower effects flick on and glisten through the highly reflective gold suit worn by the dancer is met with audible ‘OOOHs’ from the crowd every night! Those moments are always a joy for any lighting designer!
“The individual chips also have a good hard-edged focus” he elucidates, “you can use the centre chip in standard mode focused tight for a profile-style edge”. He adds that on more than one occasion lighting professionals have sworn they saw moving spots in the rig, which really appeals to Peter who likes to try and be different and think out of the box when creating exactly the right ambience for the scene.

Photo Peter Rubie

He likes the glossy finish to the Spiider lens: “It has a certain lustre to the eye, but not the massive glare you get from other wash lights of similar brightness. So, the disc of the LEDs is not constantly catching your eye from the truss or side stage, and your focus can properly stay on the actors and the action”. When the new rig was initiated, he added some moving LED bars which formed a continuation of the Spiiders over the stage.

The biggest challenge with lighting the show was covering the diversity and dynamics of the performance and getting the sheer amount of looks required to light and the different characters and scenes in a rapidly moving show that goes “from the sublime to the ridiculous” in a high energy romp of singing, dancing and fun!
Princess Leia performs a delicate ballet style number to a Lana Del Rey number one minute and then launches into a no-holds-barred rock-out Christina Aguilera rock track.
Some acts have minimal settings and rely entirely on lighting to set the ambience and convey the mood, whilst others are crammed with set pieces and props.

In the US, the lighting equipment was supplied by Felix Lighting. “They have been a dream to deal with” states Peter, “from helping us choose the right supporting power systems and cabling in unfamiliar territories to running to our aid whenever we had a problem and having consistency and support on the tour across all of the states has been very comforting”.
In Australia, the lighting vendor was Chameleon, who pulled out all the stops to purchase the Spiiders in time for the most recent tour there … which were delivered by Robe’s distributor Jands.

More on the Robe website

Lunatec Sp. Z o.o. appointed as exclusive distributor Ayrton for Poland

Ayrton announce a further expansion of its international distribution network with the appointment of Lunatec Sp. z o.o. as its new exclusive distributor for Poland, which takes place with immediate effect.

Headed by CEO Michał Bisikiewicz and sales manager Adrian Gediga, Lunatec is a newly formed company with a wealth of industry experience. Bisikiewicz has over 20 years of experience in the sales and rental of high-end professional lighting equipment to the Polish market in television and broadcast.
While Gediga brings an equal pedigree from twenty years experience in Germany, including his time at VisionStage, the erstwhile Ayrton distributor for Germany. They have worked together many times over the years so when Ayrton approached them with the view of changing its distributorship in Poland, they found the proposition very interesting.

Michał Bisikiewicz, CEO of Lunatec, and Linnea Ljungmark, international sales for Ayrton.

“Ayrton has always been a stand-out company and its presence at Prolight+Sound, Frankfurt showed it has the full spectrum of products with a beautiful homogeneity across them all,” says Bisikiewicz. “But when Ayrton released its Ghibli profile spot, followed by Khamsin, our decision was made.
Here was a product that could do everything and showed Ayrton was moving in a good direction; it caught the attention of all the big companies in Poland. We were approached by Michael Althaus, Ayrton’s global sales director, who explained Ayrton’s road map for the future, and we are convinced that Ayrton is the No1 for products, without equal.”

Lunatec Sp. z o.o. was formed with the sole purpose of distributing the full range of Ayrton products across the whole of the Polish market, including theatre, broadcast, entertainment, festivals and Poland’s many rental houses.

“It is lighting designers who create the market, and Polish rental houses are keen to keep up with the latest equipment of the highest quality to service their ever-changing needs,” continues Bisikiewicz. “We are now in a position to service those customers with the best products and after-sales service and are excited at the prospect of the busy time we have ahead.”
“I think the fact that Lunatec was founded to distribute Ayrton says it all,” says Linnea Ljungmark, international sales for Ayrton. “We have the moving lights and they have the local network and energy to strongly move forward – a perfect match!”

– Lunatec Sp. Z.o.o. can be contacted at: ul Puławska 38 – 05-500 Piaseczno – Poland

Tel: +48 501 607 318 – Email: kontakt@lunatec.pl – Website: Lunatec

For more information on Ayrton, visit their website here

X-Vision Series by Theatrix: video converters for live applications

The very first presentation in France of the X-Vision range of video converters happened on the SATIS show, kind of equivalent to IBC exhibition, but aimed at Europe’s French speaking AV industry, with a vast majority of French attendees, and some more from Belgium and Switzerland.

A nice collection of smart and compact X-Vision video converters by Theatrixx.

As Erik Guertin, Theatrixx’Sales Representative for Europe, speaks a perfectly fluent French (with a slight Quebec accent though, always a pleasure for French ears !), it was easy for him to fully support his new French sole distributor, Dream Team Services.

This 100 % manufactured in Canada range was actually launched 3 years ago with a great success elsewhere in the world, even winning a Best Debuting Product Award at LDI’2016, but didn’t get any French debut until recently.
Theatrixx, founded in 1999, has been well-known for many years in North America for his own custom designed and manufactured Power Distributors, and distributor for Ayrton, High End Systems, JB Lighting, RGB Link, Analog Way, and more.

Right, convincing Prolight+Sound 2019 visitors: Erik Guertin, Sales Manager for Theatrixx.

Theatrixx Technologies designs custom equipment that offers solutions to the video, lighting, audio, power and cabling challenges.

Their in-house designers have extensive experience and understanding of the specific needs of the event business.
They create innovative devices and systems to meet the highest standards, built to withstand the daily hazards of life on the road and demanding installations. All products meet or exceed UL and CSA standards, and now CE to target the European markets.

The French Satis exhibition, specialized in Broadcast, installation and 360° VR.

Satis in Paris was therefore an important step, before ISE Amsterdam and Prolight+Sound in Francfort, with booths each time bigger and bigger, and attracting a larger number of visitors on each leg of this European campaign, if we may call it that way.

To summarize, the X-Vision range of converters now comprises 13 models since ISE, with several strong points common to all models:

  • Ruggedness and thickness of the chassis plates (6.35 mm !)
  • Hence strong an easy thermal dissipation, with noiseless operation
  • Magnetic plate to stick them up rapidly on a metal rack or elsewhere
  • Extensive LED indicators, showing all types of very useful status of Data and of the box itself
  • Hanging point for hook, and slits for Velcro strop attachment
  • Packed and de livered in strong and compact Nanuk® case

This 12+ converters’ range is split into three Series, each one is clearly identified by a color stripe on top of one face of the unit:

SDI Series Series (each with twin parallel output)

  • SDI > HDMI
  • HDMI > SDI
  • HDMI > SDI, bi-directional
  • SDI Embedder (Audio + HDMI)
  • SDI De-Embedder (Audio + HDMI)
  • SDI 1:4 Distribution amplifier (with re-clocking)
  • SDI Repeater

Fibre Series

  • SDI > Fibre (single or multi-mode fiber)
  • Fibre > SDI (single or multi-mode fiber)

HDBT Series

  • HDMI > HDBT (up to 4k / 2160p)
  • HDBT > HDMI (up to 4k / 2160p)

To end up this general overview, here are the 2019 new models:

  • Distribution amplifier HDMI 1:4 (with re-clocking)
  • Streaming server H264 for live Internet Broadcast (Direct Streaming on the Web)

The in/out mains connectors are waterproof Neutrik type True1, for outdoor use, certainly not for IP65 underwater or thorough extreme conditions, but enough for an several days outdoor festival, sport event, or else…
They still can, thanks to their thick casing and design, undergo certain extreme conditions. For instance, during 2017 World Ski Championship in Norway, some of these nifty but strong boxes stayed on during several days and nights, at negative Celsius temperatures, without any failure (nor sneezing!).

The Motherboard Rack and the “Slide-In” versions of the X-Vision modules for fixed installations.

For permanent installations in OB vans busses or technical rooms, the same housings exist in a slightly slimmer format, with external DC power supply, and slip into a 19″ Motherboard Rack, set in place their place quickly and firmly thanks to magnetic guides and quick connectors, to guarantee signal conversion without any alteration.

The warranty for all modules described above is 5 years, just make sure to register your product at Theatrixx or at your agreed local distributor.

More information on the Theatrixx Website..

 

Filipe Dos Santos chose a combination of Robert Juliat Dalis for RTL TVI

Les Dalis de Robert Juliat, une solution verte pour le studio virtuel de RLT-TVI

Belgian television station, RTL-TVI, owned by the RTL Group, is the most popular television channel within French-speaking Belgium. Amongst its highlights is its coverage of Champions League football which it delivers from an, versatile virtual studio in Brussels, filmed against a green screen background created by Zero Density (www.zerodensity.tv).

For the creation of this virtual studio, Filipe dos Santos, director of photography at RTL Belgium, searched for a high quality, low energy lighting solution which would allow him to create a green screen environment suitable for the high standards of broadcast and the exacting demands of a highly technical augmented reality system.

After extensive research, Dos Santos chose a combination of Robert Juliat Dalis 860 Cyclights, Dalis 861 Washlights and Dalis 862 Footlights due to their control and light quality, quietness and low running costs. The Dalis units were supplied by AED Distribution, Robert Juliat’s exclusive distributor for the Benelux countries.

Seventeen Dalis 860 Cyclights are rigged in the grid and used to light the backdrop green screen and the presenters who are situated 1m-1.50m in front. The Dalis 860 fixtures successfully deliver a seamless wall of light with no unsightly overspill.

Le Wash 861 comme toute la gamme Dalis bénéficie de sources à 6 couleurs de leds et 2 blancs (2200K et 6500K).

Four Dalis 861 Washlights are used to maintain uniformity at the angles to cover this critical area with even light. Finally, seven Dalis 862 Footlights are sited at the front of the studio space at floor level to light the presenter at the front section of the green screen area who moves around freely within the augmented reality environment.
A solution from Zero Density is used to embed images for the augmented reality environment. It is very demanding when it comes to the quality of the green screen, so the lighting system needed to be very high quality and with the ability to accurately adjust the white balance and re-saturate the green as necessary.

Dalis proved ideal for this because of its ability to fine tune the balance between cool and warm whites, allowing Dos Santos to match the backdrop and front lighting precisely. “This studio is visited by many people, and all of them have been inspired by the way Dalis 862 helps us to erase the green shadows under the chin,” he says. “The Dalis CRI is already at 97, and I can get an even better white light by mixing the colours rather than using a source of pure white lights.”

La rampe bain de pieds Dalis 862

The degree of control was also a vital factor in achieving perfect consistency and uniformity of light across the background screen. “The 4-group control mode is a real benefit in the Dalis 860 because it gives a better accuracy and control over the adjustments to complement the front lights,” he says, “and to enhance that all-important green backdrop.

An LED solution was preferred, not only for reasons of environmental sensitivity, but also for the almost silent nature of the Dalis units: “The air conditioning system allowed only for a limited level of heat emission, so an LED solution with lower heat emissions was preferable to a conventional tungsten cyclight,” says Dos Santos. “But Dalis is also silent compared to other equivalent solutions on the market, so we had no need to add sound absorption equipment in the studio.”
With its low power consumption, reduced costs in materials and air conditioning running costs, and ability to produce the finest whites and colours with great accuracy, Robert Juliat Dalis has provided RTL TVI with a truly green solution in every respect.

More information on the Dalis range of fixtures can be found on the Robert Juliat website

Theatre Cravey equipped with Chauvet Professional by Concept Group

© Mairie de La Teste-de-Buch

Over one million visitors a year journey to Dune du Pilat (South West France) this 110 meters high sand dune (Europe’s tallest) and gazed out onto the Atlantic or the majestic Arcachon Basin.
Not long ago, Jean-Jacques Eroles mayor of La Teste-de-Buch, a small community that borders the famous site had an inspired idea. His dream was to give his city a cultural center that would be in keeping with its position as home to one of France’s most popular tourist destinations.

© Mairie de La Teste-de-Buch

Earlier this year. Mayor Eroles’ vision was turned into reality when his city’s old and fading Pierre Cravey Ballroom was reborn as the modern Le Theatre Cravey.
Contributing to this transformation was a new lighting system designed by the Bordeaux-based Concept Group that features CHAUVET Professional Ovation and COLORado LED fixtures.

“We had to rethink the entire technological core of the building,” said Stéphane Pouydesseau of the Concept Group, which also was responsible for installing an all new audio system at Le Theatre Cravey. “Our team worked very closely with the facility’s stage manager Frédéric Nadeau to define the audio and lighting products that were most appropriate for the building’s needs.

The list of essential lighting products included 10 Ovation E-930VW ellipsoidal fixtures and 10 COLORado 2-Quad Zoom wash units. “The ellipsoidal and washes are an important part of our lighting package,” said Stéphane. “They are used from different positions depending on the show being performed.”
Indeed, a wide variety of shows are now being performed at Le Theatre Cravey, which is more flexible, thanks to its expanded stage and seating arrangements. The stage in the old ballroom measured 12 x 8 meters, compared to the new theatre’s 21 x 10 meters stage. While the former ballroom had a capacity of 700, the new theatre can be configured to accommodate audiences ranging from 480 to 1,000 people.

Ovation E-930VW

COLORado 2-Quad Zoom


Given the flexibility of the new theatre, the versatility of the Chauvet Professional fixtures is very appreciated. For example, the Ovation E-930VW fixture projects light in nearly any temperature of white with high CRI and CQS, and for times when a splash of color is called for, it can also provide full control of each color LED.
The COLORado fixture’s 14° to 44° zoom range allows it to cover a wide variety of different sized spaces. For added flexibility, the Concept Group included 20 different sized lenses for the Ovation ellipsoidal in the specification for Le Theatre Cravey.

© Mairie de La Teste-de-Buch

“Flexibility was a key reason why we choose the Chauvet fixtures,” said Stéphane. “As far as the Ovation ellipsoidal fixtures were concerned, the range of white temperatures and the fluidity of the setting we critically important. For the COLORado pars, the aperture of the Zoom and the quality of the colors made the big difference.”
For the Concept Group, helping Le Theatre Cravey move to the new era of LED technology was extremely gratifying. “We were happy to bring the building to a new age” said Pouydesseau.

More information on the Chauvet Professional website

House of Blues: Santana intimate with multitude of Elation extra gear

Michael Ledesma is one of our industry’s most renowned and longest serving lighting designers. He has been lighting the most enduring and beloved Carlos Santana, for the last six years on the guitar legend’s House of Blues residency in Las Vegas.
For the latest run of House of Blues dates in May, Ledesma supplemented the house lighting system with a multitude of gear, including Elation Professional SEVEN Batten™ color-changing LED battens, Arena Par Zoom™ LED Par lights, and Protron Eclypse™ hybrid LED luminaires, with upstage Elation EVHD™ panels LED video screens. Innovative Concert Lighting supplies the gear for Santana’s shows at the House of Blues.

Carlos Santana’s House of Blues.

“An Intimate Evening with Santana: Greatest Hits Live” plays at the House of Blues in Vegas for eight weeks each year and is booked through 2020. Ledesma, who has been lighting shows for over 40 years for legends such as Paul Simon, Kenny Loggins and Gloria Estefan, complements the guitarist’s impressive playlist of Latin rock and blues hits through his signature use of vivid color and layers.

Much of that color comes from 16 linear SEVEN Battens that the LD uses as floor uplights to throw low front light on the band, as well as color onto patterns covering the drum and percussion risers. “It provides a good frontlight but isn’t overwhelming,” LD Michael Ledesma says of the linear lighting effect that houses 25W 7-color multi-chip LEDs. “The colors are good and the video guy has enough output from those to get a nice picture.”

Michael Ledesma, LD for Santana.

Providing more color and trimmed at about 24 feet are 16 Arena PAR Zoom RGBW wash lights with 10 to 60-degree zoom, used as overhead wash to cover the 40 ft wide by 30 ft deep stage.
“The Arena Pars are awesome,” Ledesma says. “The best thing about them is their zoom. I can zoom them out really wide and they will wash all the way to the audience or I can run them narrow and they are great beams. They do double duty.”
Also in the rig are a pair of Protron Eclypse, Elation’s new hybrid LED luminaire that Ledesma uses as a wash and strobe effect and 22 of which will see service on Santana’s upcoming tour.

Video strips left and right of a center screen are made up of high-definition EVHD3™ LED video panels, two strips of four panels on each side. The backdrop panels are 3.9mm pixel pitch, black-face LED display panels with a modular front maintenance construction that makes them easy to service.

Santana plays the Blues, and Elation has all the hues needed, indeed.

Besides the Elation gear, the HOB house rig of LED washes and 700W moving heads is also augmented with discharge and LED moving heads.
Furthermore, as behind-the-scenes lighting tools help a show run smoother but often get little credit, Ledesma commends Elation eNode 8 Pro™ and eNode 4™ Ethernet to DMX routers, which he uses for DMX distribution and are ideal for large pixel-mapped DMX systems.

The ten-time Grammy-Award, three-time Latin Grammy-Award-winning rock icon and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is also a top touring act, spreading his infectious brand of music on both U.S. and international tours. In June, Santana kicks off his “Supernatural Now” U.S. tour with a rig that also includes Elation lights so watch this space!
The tour celebrates two important anniversaries in the band’s history: the 20th anniversary of their blockbuster Supernatural album and the 50th anniversary of their legendary performance at Woodstock.

Getting reddish for the show.

More information on Elation lighting products.

 

Flexible RCF loudspeakers for High-End Asia Restaurant IZAKAYA in Amsterdam

Offering an exquisite gastronomic experience combined with various events IZAKAYA is a true hotspot in Amsterdam. At the beginning of 2019, IZAKAYA renewed its audio system and installed 12 C3108-96 modules in Custom White. The Dutch audio specialist 24/7 Amsterdam was responsible for the technical implementation.

12 RCF C3108-96 modules in Custom White at IZAKAYA Amsterdam.

This place is part of an exclusive restaurant chain named IZAKAYA, which maintains several locations in Europe, offers a high-class and sophisticated Asian cuisine and combines it with a bar concept setting new standards continuously.

The C3108 is an extremely versatile, unobtrusive, full-range 2-way loudspeaker system that integrates perfectly into the atmosphere of the IZAKAYA. With its wide dispersion angle, remarkable performance and efficiency, it offers a wide range of professional applications and is perfectly suited for the mixed use of the location.
Due to its compact size, it is predestined for unobtrusive wall mounting or ceiling installation. The system delivers perfect sound and high performance without acting in the foreground within the location – just the way it should be. The mixed use of the IZAKAYA location in Amsterdam as a restaurant, bar, enriched with many events, including live music, demands a lot of flexibility talking about the sound system.

Detail of one of the twelve RCF C3108-96 modules in Custom White installed in IZAKAYA Amsterdam.

“That’s exactly why we chose the C3108 from RCF”, says Mike Ho from 24/7 Amsterdam about the location IZAKAYA and choosing RCF. “The Custom White modules integrate perfectly into the stylish ambience of the IZAKAYA location in Amsterdam.
Their comprehensibility and assertiveness make RCF’s C3018 the perfect choice for the IZAKAYA. They also provide the necessary adaptability for that kind of top notch installation.”

The high-frequency section is a constant directivity horn loaded to a 1.4” compression driver with a 1.5” diaphragm assembly for smooth, wide dispersion. The low-frequency transducer is an 8” woofer with a 2” voice coil.

The IZAKAYA is part of the Entourage Group and is present in Amsterdam, Hamburg, Munich and Ibiza and has extraordinary competence in the Asian gastronomy. The concept combines the traditional Japanese dining experience with extravagant Japanese cuisine and ads a South American touch and high-quality cocktails to take it to a new level.

More information about the RCF C3108-96 speakers and about Asian Kitchen available at IZAKAYA.

 

Lumen Radio MoonLite: small is beautiful – and very useful

If you’re used to work with wireless DMX, especially in events or filming, many of you swear by LumenRadio. These typical jet black casings, are extended by an antenna containing the codes of their industrial shell.
Tx transmitters operate with CRMX modules inserted directly into the projectors of many manufacturers, such as Arri, Robe or Ayrton among others, but also with Rx “boxed” receivers. The most recent developments, such as Nova FleX, know how to change mode, alternately transmitter or receiver, and understand the DMX-Ethernet protocols.

The MoonLite, in real size, fits in the palm of a hand. It supports the USITT DMX512 and Bluetooth 5.0 and RF protocols from 2402 to 2480 MHz.

Since May 2019, a new Lumen Radio module is available. Smaller, less expensive and Bluetooth compatible, the TimoTwo announces the next step of wireless DMX HF transmission. Embedded in a wonder of miniaturization, the MoonLite is described as a transmitter / receiver with integrated battery and Bluetooth configuration from the free CRMX Toolbox application.

With your iPhone or Android smartphone, a new era is offered to you, simpler, faster and especially more accurate. At a distance of ten to fifteen meters, the application detects in Bluetooth all MoonLite already turned on, shows them on your phone screen and sort them out by their signal strength and allows them to be identified one by one. Once spotted, just connect them to read their information and possibly change their settings.

Perfectly integrated, the MoonLite can be used in all situations (club, theater, convention, cinema or TV set) in case of DMX needs on battery.

Among these settings, besides the name, you can also access the wireless mode of the MoonLite (transmitter or receiver) and the identifier of the DMX universe used.
With a simple color code, visible on all the LEDs, it becomes clear to see which transmitter communicates with which receivers, and on which channel. Above all, no need for tedious pairing between transmitter and receiver, the reconfigurations will take only a few seconds.
Other settings allow to change the emission level from 0 to 100 mW, 40 mW being the typical level of use for 150 meters range in free field. At maximum level, the battery will wear out faster but the emission distance will be around 300 meters.

The CRMX Toolbox app makes it easy to configure LumenRadio devices.

The MoonLite can be powered directly by its micro-B USB port, for example from a Skypanel on a TV set, or thanks to its internal battery, providing 10 to 12 hours of working time in reception mode, and 8 to 10 hours as a transmitter. Last option, each MoonLite can be protected with a PIN code, to avoid mishandling.

With its clever hardware, this LumenRadio newbie breathes stability. Built to last, it has the same manufacturing quality as other CRMX products, in a reduced format with 2 flexible XLR connectors, male and female 5 points, Velcro type hook and various informative lights.
The antenna is embedded in the black plastic coating, pierced by the single operation button and the status LEDs of charge, emission and mode. Even more stable with its disturbance detection technology, MoonLite also knows how to reduce its radio frequency footprint thanks to its dynamic transmission.

In the near future, LumenRadio plans to develop the CRMX Toolbox app to turn the MoonLite into a multifunctional toolbox. Thus, thanks to an update via Bluetooth, micro-USB or DMX, it will be RDM compatible, ideal for setting remote RDM projectors. Later in the year, a DMX menu will be incorporated to directly test his light kit from his smartphone.

In production, once the certifications CE & amp; FCC obtained, it should be available now at a list price below 400 € excl. VAT.

More information on the Lumen Radio Website.

Christine and the Queens pull off a coup de théâtre!

Christine and the Queens returned to the stage under a new androgynous and animalistic identity called Chris, accompanied by the excellent dancers of the young La Horde collective. She imagined a scenography that would emphasize bodies and their relationship to space, nature and simplicity.
It was a great artistic and technical feat for the set and lighting design team, because it was necessary to build a show that has all the characteristics of an opera and to adapt it to the timing constraints of a touring production.

At the AccorHotels Arena, one of the dates of Chris’ return to Paris, (from left to right) Camille Duchemin scenographer, Nicolas Olivier, lighting designer, Philippe Ducouret (alias l’Écu of MecaOctet) and Manu Mouton, production manager, tell us the story of the birth of this offbeat concert.

[private]


Before we even ask a question, Manu Mouton, the production manager, takes the initiative.

Manu Mouton: “The first person to mention regarding the creation of the show is Christine. When I look at my notes from the very beginning of the project, I find all the themes of the final show. She’s the one with the ideas. We supported her because she didn’t necessarily know how to communicate it technically, but she knew exactly what she wanted.

SLU: How did all of you get into this project?

Manu Mouton: I was the technical director of the Justice project more than a year ago. It’s the same production. When Christine decided to set out again in a completely different direction from her previous one, Corida Production asked me to put together a team around her. The artist had a very particular brief: white light, no colors, no visible beams, no visible sources.

How about starting from the end: Chris and her whole audience under the snow!

She talked about bodies, seeing the muscles, seeing the sweat. She suggested painted backdrops and natural effects such as smoke, snow, sand, nothing harsh, nothing technological, nothing digital. I started the project with Philippe Ducouret, known as l’Écu, my accomplice on all these creations Justice and many others who, with his French company MécaOctet, builds computer-controlled machines.

From the beginning, we talked with Christine about natural elements including snow, and I remember seeing the most beautiful of these effects in a show, “Neige”, by choreographer Michèle Anne De Mey. We approached Nicolas Olivier who built these machines; he speaks the same language as Christine, and has extensive experience with snow and smoke for the theater.

From left to right: set designer Camille Duchemin, lighting designer Nicolas Olivier, Philippe Ducouret – aka l’Écu – of MecaOctet and Manu Mouton, production manager.

As a side-note, Christine arrived at the next briefing with some photos of dance shows she wanted to approach and we discovered that Nicolas was the one who had done the lighting for three quarters of them. He therefore created the light with layers, which corresponded perfectly to Christine’s universe.

I also worked with Thibault Richard, my collaborator in charge of technical coordination, who specializes in network management. Later, I called on the set designer Camille Duchemin. She picked up the snippets we had thrown about and began to assist Christine in writing the project and creating the canvases, choosing the images, and the printing work.

In terms of sound, Julien Decarne (FoH) and Vladimir Coulibre (sound designer and system engineer) proposed the L-ISA project. That’s a whole other story, but we worked on it a lot because it complicates the rigging. To make it possible, L-ISA needed to be integrated very early in the project.”

The backdrops, printed and painted

The first tight space, very forward on the stage, associated with the first scene. The performers’ bodies are very close to one another.

The mountain creates a more ominous atmosphere by the mere levels of light that reveal it. The eye is drawn to Chris.


SLU: Camille, how did you work with Christine on the project?

Camille Duchemin, scénographe: “Christine had a pretty good idea of the scenes she wanted, from the era of the Hudson River School. We divided the chronology into three parts. An initial terrestrial segment takes place in a small vignette, tightened around the edge of the stage to force the bodies into a first restricted space, with a look that is very much in line with this image.

The work of the profiles shows the path and the wings that will carry Chris into the next season of history.

An earthquake allows this first backdrop to disappear. The second part of the space opens up to a more tempestuous image: a raging sea, a more expansive and cinematographic image. The light fills the space differently and the choreography takes up more room.

The second space is deeper, more open and with liquid elements that, depending on the color temperature of the sources used….

… sends a different message.


We worked a lot on the methods of printing on the cotton canvases. They have been repainted to enhance the contours and volumes and to increase their depth. When you enlarge a 40 cm by 60 cm painting 100 times, you lose the quality of the brush stroke, you lose the excitement, which you then have to restore.
The first canvas is rigid, the second is more flexible, subject to the storm, and it gets swallowed to make way for the third non-physical space. This empty space is defined by sand, snow, smoke and light.

The sand, lit only by a PAR CP 60, a magnificent scene full of poetry.

Unrestricted space, shrouded in smoke…

… the snow.


And it finishes with a final image in which she goes into the audience. She aims to push out the walls, to expand the possibilities, that’s what her texts tell us. We worked on the relationship between the bodies and the space. It is the light that reveals the qualities of the skin and gives it a grain, a substance that is very strong. ”

Writing in light

SLU: Nicolas, what were the challenges in the lighting?

Nicolas Olivier, Lighting designer: “These were to provide a refined lighting in comparison to what is usually done in a show of this size, to avoid video, undesirable smoke effects and, above all, to avoid designing moving beams in color.
What I find so beautiful about the show is that the bodies and the artist are at the centre of the image, as opposed to a completely overwhelming and blinding scene, where the subject is sometimes lost. Here, the subject is the singing, the dancing, the bodies, the volume of the spaces created by the scenography, the different levels, the depth.
As we learned to speak this shared language, the light that brings out materials, tones, skins, shapes and volumes was done quite naturally and quite quickly.”

Camille Duchemin: “Cutting out the sky or the ground, bringing the images to life to see them differently. The canvas with the seascape is shown in several different ways, according to the scenes. Sometimes it is integrated into the bodies, sometimes we just see the wave and Christine’s back. There are also all the profiles within the canvases that are part of lighting composition.”

A striking contrast of textures and light.

SLU: Camille, you are talking a lot about lighting and you, Nicolas, about material… so who is doing what, exactly?

Camille Duchemin: “It’s hard to say who does what. When the team works well, everyone at any given time does the scenery, the lighting. Each of us comes in with his or her own culture and very quickly everyone gets immersed in the thoughts of the other. Nicolas also did research on scenography and materials, while I did research on light.”

Nicolas Olivier: “And also the organization of the work process. We’ve all pushed our comfort zones.”

Camille Duchemin: “On this creation, two different cultures converge: the concert tour culture, which is not accustomed to long periods of rehearsals, and the theatre culture, in which it is normal to rehearse for several weeks. Here, we’ve reached a kind of operatic form, and each change of scenery and lighting needs to be thoroughly rehearsed to ensure that it enters the bodies of the singer and the dancers. These working cultures are different, so everyone was a little shaken up.”

A nice line of Robert Juliat Dalis 860s on the lip of the stage to illuminate the first canvas and capture the dancers.

SLU: What sources are you using?

Nicolas Olivier: “There is a little bit of everything. I use arc sources, PARs, and LEDs. I chose to use some Robert Juliat Dalis units on booms to light the second canvas and I used them as footlights for the first canvas and also to bring out the dancers when they are in the foreground.
We have bars of PARs because we immediately recognized the need for filaments to illuminate the bodies, to feel them, to feel the sweat, the muscles in a natural way. I come from the theater, so it’s a tool I know very well.

The BMFL WashBeams, chosen for their power and wide coverage, coexist with the lines of CP61, a dozen, in total, to illuminate the dancers. On the left, a line of Dalis 860s provides the lighting for the raging seascape.

Where I stepped out of my usual work a little bit is that we had to put in a kit that could be installed in a day and that meets all these requirements for lighting. To avoid visible beams while, at the same time, having a sufficiently large and powerful wash and a motorized profile fixture, we then turned to the Robe BMFL Blade and WashBeam.

The Elidys sort of happened by chance. I wanted a lateral effect powerful enough to break up the surrounding light at times and the Elidy was perfect for this purpose. And so there is a technological source that appears in the show, and I think it works. It has a very beautiful color, very close to a halogen source.

The wall of Elidys is in two sections, positioned by Gis motors with servo drives developed by MecaOctet One is on the floor, concealed by the scenery, while the other is suspended.

On the left of the image, it sends a high-power side lighting on stage during the third immaterial part of the show.

The two BMFL Blades and their RoboSpot Motion Camera of Robe’s semi-automated tracking system…

… and their back-stage remote controls, renamed “mopeds” by all the lighting crew.

We also have two “mopeds” (RoboSpots) that saved our skins, because I couldn’t use a traditional followspot in the room to do the job. I hung the backdrops, the first one in particular, really very close to Christine. I decided to place the BMFL Blades on the front truss and I got a very nice angle of attack where she just comes out highlighted.”

SLU: Do you resort to using progressive CTOs, ambers?

Nicolas Olivier: Yes, and to the minus green. I also resort to using the progressive frosts and the nature of the sources themselves as well: the arc lamp, the PAR, the warm LED of the Elidy. These whites create enough different color temperatures to satisfy our needs. The color exists in reference to what’s beside it or what you’ve seen before. Working with the whites gives the feeling that you don’t see the same song all the time by the gradation and nuances of white, the white that suddenly becomes a little grey. It was really this job that interested me and it has come about very naturally.

SLU: And what beam angles are you using?

Nicolas Olivier: The PARs are CP 61, but there are so many that we don’t consider them 60 sources. They act as one source. If I want a very directional backlight, a lateral one for example, I open the zooms of the BMFLs all the way, I put the frost on all the way and I use six of them, but it gives the feeling of a single fixture in terms of light, because we don’t use any haze at all so the beams are not visible.

SLU: Have you had color rendering problems with the discharge or LED sources?

Nicolas Olivier: With the Dalis, not at all. The lamp of the Robe BMFLs, on the other hand, tends to be a little green, but there is a minus green filter in the fixture that saves me and I always use it. ”

The natural element effects

The third section of the show puts the performers in a very poetic non-material space animated by snow, clouds of smoke on stage and in the room, and lines of sand that disintegrate. Some of the machines are rented from FX3 and others have been developed by MecaOctet, but all of them are controlled live by l’Ecu.

The buckets of aerated snow, suspended and hidden by border curtains. There are also about ten more of these around the room for a surprising and very successful immersive final effect. To the right is a truss with three BMFL Blades, then you can see the output lens of the BMFL WashBeams on two trusses, which cover the snow buckets and the first canvas. To the left in the picture, another truss of BMFL WashBeams is positioned in front of the second canvas.

SLU: How does this famous snow machine – that brought you into contact with Nicolas – work?

Manu Mouton: “This effect required stretching nets 12 meters long and on three levels, shaken by motors, and since it would have dripped a little before the effect, it would have been necessary to provide motorized shutters.
The snow is a very important effect in the show, but lasts only 20 seconds. Investing that much budget in it wasn’t worthwhile. I finally went with a system of aerated buckets that spew snow – easier to implement and, above all, less expensive.”

SLU: How is the second backdrop made to disappear?

Manu Mouton: “We have two canvases for the raging sea backdrop. It was impossible in the specifications to have a canvas with good color and depth that was thin enough to be rolled up and that could then become tight and smooth the next day, so we doubled it. We drop the first one in the dark. It’s a second, lighter canvas that flutters in the storm and that, at the end, is rolled up in one second into a machine developed by l’Ecu.”

The more pliable version of the second canvas, less detailed and lighter, just before it gets “sucked up”.

SLU: How do you manage to maintain a cloud within the set?

Nicolas Olivier: “For the third part of the show, we use a black backdrop and 1.5 m farther downstage, there is a tulle, a clear screen. In this space, which we call “the jar”, the smoke remains stagnant because we manage to create a microclimate because of the difference in temperatures and we avoid air currents within it. The cloud doesn’t dissipate immediately, which produces an effect of depth. This system is the result of a research I had done for a previous project.

To the left of the BMFL Blade and WashBeam pair, you can also see the discreet presence of one of the sand tubes attached to its control unit.

On stage in front of the “jar”, we blow large jets of smoke with very rapid dissipation and in the room we use smoke machines to create clouds.
It is a Le Maitre system that produces the trail of green smoke. The advantage with pyrotechnics is that the colors are very dense.”

SLU: What machine are you using to create lines of sand on “La Marcheuse”?

Manu Mouton: “I have about ten sand machines that were created by l’Ecu. It is a tube about 50 cm high and 8 cm in diameter. It has a duration of about 13 minutes of the effect. We use it for 3 minutes, so it’s practically a big handful of sand per machine.”

A beautiful little theatre set up in only an hour and a half

Manu is very enthusiastic and rightly so. The hanging of the 15 trusses needed for the backdrops, the border drapes, snow machines, PAR bars, fixtures etc. takes, all in all, no more than an hour and a half.

Manu Mouton: “We were in Saint-Omer (in France) at the Pas-de-Calais, the venue where we did all our rehearsals. At 3 m from the edge of the stage, with l’Ecu, we looked at the ceiling and said to ourselves that we would never be able to hang a traditional rigging system on tour, and we started to think about a system of trusses in a front-to-back configuration, a sort of mother grid, to hold the trusses. We don’t have such a high load, but we need 15 trusses because all the sources are behind border drapes, and that adds a lot of booms.

At the top level, three of the four 500 square trusses, which are equipped with the hoists for the many technical trusses.

On that day, Philippe Coudyser, the owner of Sonoss, and Frédo, from Régie Lumière (B Live Group), came to lunch with us. Philippe is in Lille, therefore nearby. And the story unfolded in a few hours between Sonoss, who manufactures, Régie Lu, who buys and me, who rents.

We started with a Eurotruss 500 square-section truss, completely open on the bottom, with a rail to which are attached 250 kg D8+ (double brake) hoists, which allows us to avoid the safety slings, so these remain available. This is important, since we have snow machines to refill, sand machines to refill, canvas releases, etc. We have developed a system of four square-section 500 trusses, 15 meters long and configured back-to-front. Each one of them is fitted with four 2-ton motors with load cells. So I only use 16 rigging points to attach to the ceiling at Bercy.
In each truss are integrated 16 hoists, so 64 in total, ready to handle my 16 rigging points. It was Eurotruss, via Sonoss, that manufactured the 500 open truss with a central rail and 250 kg D8+ motors by Gis. Gis is a Swiss brand that manufactures small, light and manageable hoists.

The 500 square Eurotruss trusses open underneath to allow the end of the motors attached to the internal rail to pass through…

SLU: How are the 64 motors controlled?

Manu Mouton: Sonoss optimized the system by installing a control box at each end of the trusses. And so it’s all concentrated up above. I mounted a 32 A triphase and a mini Socapex to supply and control each box, therefore eight motors. So, in the end, I have eight power cables and eight control cables for the 64 hoists. As far as cabling is concerned, it’s nothing.
I then converge my eight cables into my 60-motor remote control, and I have my theatre at my fingertips. Setup time: 1 hour and 30 minutes on the stopwatch! I also avoid a thicket of cables, the cost of 64 rigging points on the ceiling of the room, and a whole night of rigging.

The analog remote control for the 64 Gis hoists, built by Sonoss.

Today we have external load cells that communicate via wi-fi with a computer for load control. With the new digital remote that Sonoss has just developed, I can see the load applied to each motor.
It’s a project that interests me for more conventional productions with higher loads, so I’m continuing its development.

In the long term, we plan to enlarge the rail integrated in the beam to allow the use of 500 kg servo motors and even 500 kg pulleys if we need 1 ton. Just like we do lighting prep, we will be able to do rigging prep, write presets and recall them. And then simply hang it up, with load monitoring, which is mandatory for me. It is essential to work with load cells, if only at festivals.

I would like to sincerely commend Philippe from Sonoss, who developed the system, and Frédo from Régie Lumière, who invested in it, because for me, on the budget side of the technical aspect, it is very complicated to allocate funds just for the sake of rapid set-up. It’s impossible to sell it to the artist, and it doesn’t mean much to the producer. They have been following us for a long time and Frédo, at the time, said “Okay, I’ll buy and rent it to you for nine dates!” This goes beyond the economic logic of a business.”

Conclusion

Breaking with all the shows we’ve seen, breaking with what she had done before, Chris certainly surprises and finally reassures. She asserts her will to get out of a framework that was suffocating her, she also accepts the storm that results from it and is blowing a real breeze of freedom, supported by her producer Corida, and her show design team. They have bent over backwards to satisfy her wishes. The lighting does not represent a support for the musical score, it bends to the needs of a scenography situated somewhere between opera and musical comedy.

We are not talking about lighting design, we are talking about the use of illumination and Manu Mouton has recruited experts in the art of illusion with Camille Duchemin and Nicolas Olivier. The entire focus is on the bodies that express themselves with ferocious sensuality in a scenery or an absence of scenery that conveys 1,000 different moods through the magical interplay of light and natural effects. “We realized that simplicity can follow winding paths,” Camille Duchemin told me, and this team of technicians obviously likes extreme hikes.

Producing an Opera on tour is a technical challenge that they have overcome with their experience, their research skills and the investment of the entire team. Proposing an Opera in a large venue like the AccorHotels Arena for 18,000 spectators was, on the other hand, a really bold gamble….

Plan de feu 3D

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