Yamaha Launchs New ProVisionaire and DME7 Processor

Yamaha has launched its redeveloped ProVisionaire suite of system design, control and management software, which allows fully customisable configuration and operation of complex audio systems, alongside the new, exceptionally powerful DME7 Digital Signal Processor.

Yamaha PV DME7

Already renowned for its flexibility, the ProVisionaire platform has been redeveloped with three core applications which support the user’s entire workflow: ProVisionaire Design for system design, ProVisionaire Control for system operation and ProVisionaire Cloud for system management. DME7 is an open architecture-type digital signal processor, which offers state-of-the-art performance and connectivity, 96 kHz sound quality and support for up to 256 input/output channels.

ProVisionaire Suite

Equally suitable for both the entertainment and ProAV markets, Yamaha’s fully-customisable ProVisionaire software lets users create complex, fully-scalable audio systems – from the smallest to the largest – using just one software suite. What’s more, it delivers the ability for them to be operated very easily by anyone – from the most knowledgeable audio engineer to the most inexperienced user – using a tablet, laptop or desktop computer.

Yamaha PV tasks

This remarkable flexibility has been radically improved by ProVisionaire’s reincarnation as an integrated suite of software products for the design, operation and management of entire Yamaha and NEXO audio systems, comprising mixers, I/O, amplifiers, processors and more, meaning the ProVisionaire platform supports the customer’s entire workflow. Furthermore, setup and control of a range of third party products is supported.

For the entertainment sector, its high customizability makes it ideal for applications like theatre and live music. It delivers flexible design and operation for audio productions, including customized control with freely assignable parameters to control mixes, DSP and much more. An offline simulation for logic control and probe component also provides verification of system setup and operation, reducing on site setup and checking time.

For ProAV applications, system design can be precisely tailored for permanent installations, for example in corporate, educational, hospitality and retail facilities, sports and theatre infrastructure, plus much more. Bespoke control panels can be easily created to satisfy customer needs, while flexible components like acoustic echo cancelling (AEC) and Dan Dugan automixing are included, meaning entire systems can be controlled by staff with no audio experience.Again, the offline simulation function lets users check system operation offline and probe component at any point in the DSP chain to shorten the time needed for on-site installation.

ProVisionaire Design is a Windows-based system design application and supports a wide range of Yamaha products, including the DME7, MTX5-D and MTX3 processors*, PC-D series and XMV series amplifiers, DZR series loudspeakers, R-series, Tio and EXio I/O units, as well as Unified Communications products like the RM-CG and RM-TT microphones. It supports logic control, allowing control sequences to be assembled.


The parameters of systems created in ProVisionaire Design are assigned to the ProVisionaire Control application, which provides unified remote control and monitoring through custom-designed panels. Design time for these can be reduced by using stylish user interface templates, available for download from the Yamaha web site.

A broad range of devices is supported by the control application, including DME7, MTX and MRX processors*, CL, QL and TF digital mixers, R-series I/O units, XMV, PC-D and NEXO power amplifiers. It also supports Unified Communications products like the RM-CR, RM-CG, and RM-TT microphones, MusicCast devices and Disklavier player pianos. This enormous range of product and application support makes ProVisionaire Control truly unique. Panels created with ProVisionaire Control can be output to the ProVisionaire Control Kiosk (Windows) and ProVisionaire Touch Kiosk (iPad) applications for dedicated operation. This prevents users from making unintentional changes to control panels.

System management is provided by Yamaha’s new cloud service, ProVisionaire Cloud. Initially, this will manage additional functionality licenses for Yamaha audio equipment, such as the DME7, with activation and deactivation of licenses allowing for efficient management of assets. Further services using the ProVisionaire Cloud infrastructure are in development.**

DME7 Digital Signal Processor

Processeur Yamaha DME7

Yamaha’s new hardware DME7 digital signal processor is fully-compatible with the ProVisionaire platform and features 96 kHz audio quality plus up to 256 channels of input/output.The DME7 provides 64 channels of Dante I/O and matrix mixer as standard, with further channels added via three additional 64-channel licences, activated through ProVisionaire Cloud. These offer the ability for 128×128, 192×192 or 256×256 channels of Dante I/O and matrix mixer to be handled by a single DME7. Additional licences can be activated on a permanent or temporary basis.

Le nouveau processeur de signal numérique Yamaha DME7 est entièrement compatible avec la plateforme ProVisionaire et offre une qualité audio de 96 kHz et jusqu'à 256 canaux d'entrée/sortie. Le DME7 dispose de 64 canaux d'E/S Dante et d’un mélangeur matriciel en standard, avec des canaux supplémentaires optionnels disponibles via trois licences supplémentaires de 64 canaux activées via ProVisionaire Cloud. Celles-ci offrent la possibilité de gérer 128x128, 192x192 ou 256x256 canaux d'E/S Dante et de mélangeur matriciel avec un seul DME7. Des licences supplémentaires peuvent être activées sur une base permanente ou temporaire.

A wide range of DSP components is included as standard. These can be freely selected, connected and configured for extremely flexible system construction. These, along with 96kHz audio quality, support for GPI input/output, Logic control, OSC and other protocols, as well as ProVisionaire Design/Control and optional controllers, the DME7 is suitable for the widest range of installed and temporary audio systems, from entertainment applications and sports facilities to retail complexes, office buildings and education.

“For many years, Yamaha has been an industry leader in the development of audio processors, mixers and a variety of other hardware products which harness its expertise in sound and music. More recently, our software products have made setup and control of compatible products much easier, allowing complex systems to be operated very simply,” says Thomas Hemery, General Manager of Marketing & Sales, Pro Audio Division.

“With the redeveloped ProVisionaire software family and advanced DME7 Digital Signal Processor, we are taking audio system design and control to a new level. Now we can offer setup and control solutions for much bigger, more versatile projects, where things like voice lift for audio conferencing, multi-zoned BGM, live entertainment and other non-permanent event systems can all be part of the same network, with every element working to its maximum flexibility, but all with simple, straightforward control.”

The revamped ProVisionaire software suite and DME7 Digital Signal Processor will be available from Spring 2023.

* The MRX7-D matrix processor will be supported in a future update.

** ProVisionaire Cloud is being introduced in stages  Please contact your local Yamaha subsidiary to confirm if it is available in your region

More info on this double announcement please click here


Sanak Pandit joins Generation AV and adds support for Martin Audio

Generation AV, a Singapore-based start-up who represent Martin Audio in the APAC countries, announces the arrival of the experienced Sanak Pandit, who joins the team as Applications Engineer.

Sanak Pandit

Based in Bangalore, India, Sanak has been working in audio since he was 14, having completed his studies in the Bangalore School of Audio under the training of Vishnu Pandit, one of the most respected technical experts in the Touring & Rental market in India.
In addition to working with his family companies of V&P Sound and SD Audio, Sanak also served as a freelance sound engineer for a number of Indian artists.

Trained and certified in most of the industry leading advanced networking platforms, in recent years Sanak has led many training courses from the Basics of Audio through to System Design, Measurement and Optimisation for many rental companies and engineers in India.

Said Generation AV founder David McKinney, “I am very excited to have Sanak in the team; he has the technical abilities to support all the brands in Generation AV and I believe will be a great asset to our business in Asia. With his strong background in the touring market he is able to hit the ground running.”

And Martin Audio MD, Dom Harter, added, “Following the appointment of Generation AV, it is reassuring to know that Martin Audio sales support in the APAC territories is in such safe hands with the appointment of Sanak. This is a developing region for us and it is vital that our customers know they have such an advanced level of on-the-ground backup.”

For more information, visit Martin Audio website


17 – 19 September 2017

Ayrton launch Ghibli and MiniPanel-FX at PLASA 2017

Ayrton will launch of exciting new products, Ghibli and MiniPanel-FX at the 40th PLASA London show where it will exhibit alongside its exclusive UK distributor, Ambersphere Solutions.

Ayrton Ghibli


Ayrton is delighted to reveal Ghibli™, Ayrton’s first LED Spotlight. Compact, elegant and lightweight, Ghibli delivers an impressive 23,000 lumen output which makes it powerful enough for large scale arenas, and features a 7:1 zoom with a 8.5° – 57° beam spread.
An optional High CRI Mode can be implemented for situations demanding even higher quality light output.
Ghibli also features CMY colour mixing, variable CTO, and a complete effect section including two gobo wheels, a prism, an animation wheel, two frosts, and a rotating framing system that allows a full wipe, all in a most competitively priced package.

Ayrton MiniPanel-FXMiniPanel-FX

MiniPanel-FX is a fabulous new addition to Ayrton’s FX-Zoom range. Small in dimensions but mighty in output, with a zoom spread of 3.6° to 53°, MiniPanel-FX houses four of Ayrton’s unique square lenses in a neat 2 x 2 configuration to form an extremely powerful beam and wash light with immense creative possibilities.
With characteristic endless double rotation, MiniPanel-FX is the perfect tiny complement to its hugely successful siblings, MagicPanel-FX and MagicBlade-FX.

Both Ghibli and MiniPanel-FX will be ready to ship in the autumn.

Ayrton Merak


Launched at Prolight+Sound 2017, Ayrton’s Merak 250W RGBW LED wash light will be making its first appearance at Olympia. This little powerhouse of technology features a proprietary 10:1 optical zoom system, with a 7° to 70° zoom and a new Fresnel lens design to ensure perfectly homogenous colour mixing regardless of beam angle. With its single-source transmitting lens, Merak™ casts wonderfully crisp light and just one shadow.

Finally, Ayrton is proud to support the Knight of Illumination Awards – itself celebrating its 10th anniversary – for the fourth year in succession. This event is a must for everyone in the lighting industry, in an evening dedicated to the creativeness of the lighting designers who put the inventiveness of fixture designers and manufacturers into practise.

More information on Ayrton’s full portfolio of LED lighting products can be found at http://www.ayrton.eu

Or visit stand K32 at Olympia Exhibition Centre, 17 – 19 September 2017.


Preview Prolight+Sound 2017

Ayrton MagicBlade™FX – Elegant Versatility

Ayrton expands its Creative Solutions line of graphic beam projectors with the new MagicBlade™FX. This automated in-line luminaire is fitted with the distinctive squared output lenses found on MagicPanel™FX and shares the same quality of colour mixing and versatile effects: 3D volumetric projections, variation between the colour-rich luminescent face or separated points of light… with ultra-tight beam projection or wide angle wash from a unique zoom system with no visible moving parts. More magic from Ayrton!

Le mixage des couleurs effectué dans les guides de lumière associés au leds RGBW est parfait.

MagicBlade™FX presents an elegant rotating baton of seven squared outputs placed shoulder to shoulder. Each emitter combines an ultra-powerful RGBW multichip LED source with a light pipe zoom system that homogenizes the colour mix and an aspherical transmitting lens, which is optimized to project a tight 3.6º beam.

The quick, internal zoom system delivers a 15:1 zoom ratio, with a range of 3.6° to 53°.
This optical system allows designers to create an exceptional colour mix with visually sophisticated results through direct control of the RGBW chips of each emitter. Multiple colour effects can be achieved point by point.

Here is the demo video designed by Stéphane Migné and programmed by Arnaud Pierrel :
99 machines!

AYRTON – MagicBlade-FX – 99 Unit Demo from Ayrton on Vimeo.

The versatility of the MagicBlade™FX makes it an indispensable tool for any lighting designer. Used for back lighting, it can create a lens moiré effect. With its volumetric beams in unlimited continuous rotation on the pan/tilt axes, this luminaire helps highlight a performing artist from the side or front. MagicBlade™FX has the same form factor as its brother, the award-winning MagicBlade™R, and can be integrated into a rig just as easily.
MagicBlade™FX uses the identical control protocols as MagicBlade™R: DMX-512 w/RDM, ArtNet™ and wireless DMX via an on-board LumenRadio receiver with external antenna. Driven by three-phase hybrid stepper motors, it is a solid and reliable performer, capable of crisp positional movement and glorious sweeps in continuous rotation.

Le système optique permet aussi d’obtenir des points lumineux de grande intensité.

La démo conçue par Stéphane Migné, avec 99 MagicBlade-FX qui offrent une belle polyvalence d’effets.

MagicBlade™FX is to be launched officially at Prolight+ Sound 2017 and will be available for immediate delivery. The stunning demonstration video for MagicBlade™FX was released in early March and the fixture is already a dazzling success – Ayrton has received hundreds of pre-show orders!

More informations on Ayrton Website


Using All Access Design’s interactive concept

The Avener has all the visuals at his fingertips

As deep house and electro music producer The Avener pursues his stellar career performing at ADM concert festivals, we thought it would be worthwhile to go back and have a look at his Flash Deep Tour, from late 2015, to focus on the interactive concept developed by All Access Design (AAD). The concept is that the artist can maintain manual control over part of the lighting rig – live and in real time.

The Avener-All Access Design

A superb display of Hardellet’s showmanship, with pixel-mapped LED emitters all following the artist via motion control (four moving triangles and the MagicBlade-R units rotating on truss totems); the vertical shapes are accentuated by light shafts projected from the Mythos units hung above the stage and the (laser-like) Sharpy beams, also mounted on the totems.

Leveraging the latest technology on the market, Alex Hardellet, lighting and video designer for The Avener, applied this interactive concept in his stage design using multiple planes with forced perspective.

The Avener-All Access Design

It was no mean feat for AAD and Moving Load to automate the four embedded arrays of LED fixtures for both horizontal and vertical movement, with each weighing about 150 kg. The four components form the DJ cage. © Baptiste Herment

Generously mixing tungsten-based fixtures, LED luminaires and video equipment (and even some video game components), he created a rig of connected objects all under a man-machine interface to permit the show to be controlled from the stage.
In addition to selecting his music, beats-per-minute, and transitions, the DJ controlled the visual ambiance, acting as a virtual orchestra conductor of the stage design. To get the desired perspective, Hardellet and All Access Design’s engineers integrated LEDs directly in stage components made up of four triangular parts, which were fully mobile.
Any interactive and ultra high-tech design concept should include one of today’s most versatile luminaires, Ayrton’s DreamPanel™ Twin. In a matrix installation, the hybrid fixtures, moving HD video displays, backed with brilliant LED graphic beam projectors, were combined with other multifunctional fixtures like the Clay Paky Mythos, Ayrton MagicBlade™R, and other standards like Clay Paky’s Sharpy and the Martin’s Atomic 3000 strobe.

We sat down with the AAD team members and Alex Hardellet, the atypical young lighting designer who’s in charge of this wild project.

The crew from left to right: Leon Van Empel (S-Group), Alex Hardellet (Lighting Designer), Gabriel Gratineau (Video and Pixel Supervisor), Romain Villard (Moving fixture Supervisor), Charles Édouard Brun (Technical Supervisor), Samuel Chatain (Stage Manager), “Captain” (Chief Rigger) and Greg Gouraud (Moving Load - Stage Movement Creator)

The crew from left to right: Leon Van Empel (S-Group), Alex Hardellet (Lighting Designer), Gabriel Gratineau (Video and Pixel Supervisor), Romain Villard (Moving fixture Supervisor), Charles Édouard Brun (Technical Supervisor), Samuel Chatain (Stage Manager), “Captain” (Chief Rigger) and Greg Gouraud (Moving Load – Stage Movement Creator)

SLU : The Flash Deep Tour is a collaboration of four artists. Did you do the lighting for the entire show or just for the star – The Avener?

Alex Hardellet : On this tour, AAD only handles The Avener – even though we proposed an overall killer plan that is used along with some additions for our set. We share the lighting desk with other lighting designers, which is not easy when it comes to timing. With such a huge setup for a one-shot deal, it’s hard to set aside the time for rehearsals and sound checks for everybody. So, obviously, we programmed as much as we could ahead of time.–It was really tight!

SLU : And with all that lighting gear?

Alex Hardellet : I’ve seen bigger rigs, but for us, this is a major deal having a rig like this for a DJ in France! It’s a really ambitious project, totally involving the equipment supplier (S-Group), the production company (Miala) and All Access Design.

As the four moving triangles pull away, Ayrton DreamPanel™Twin luminaires appear in the air under the Clay Paky Mythos beams in an exquisite tableau.

As the four moving triangles pull away, Ayrton DreamPanel™Twin luminaires appear in the air under the Clay Paky Mythos beams in an exquisite tableau.

The magnificent Ayrton hybrids

Talk about a vendor being involved! Léon Van Empel and his company S-Group went so far as to buy the new DreamPanel™Twin fixtures especially for this tour – showing incredible confidence in the designer!

Under the overhead truss loaded with Mythos fixtures is the Ayrton DreamPanel™Twin array, flanked by the double truss totems.

Under the overhead truss loaded with Mythos fixtures is the Ayrton DreamPanel™Twin array, flanked by the double truss totems. © Baptiste Herment

SLU : Were you able to get the production company to supply the luminaires you wanted?

Alex Hardellet : Yes, we managed to get the DreamPanel-Twin luminaires and all the LED units, as well as the Mythos fixtures and most of the other gear.
That’s mostly thanks to the equipment supplier who had no qualms about investing in the gear. They have always been very loyal to us when it comes to customized orders and integration.

The video projector right behind the DreamPanel-Twin array.

The video projector right behind the DreamPanel-Twin array. © Baptiste Herment

SLU : Tell me about the Ayrton DreamPanel and MagicBlade-R luminaires. Were they an obvious choice for you?

Alex Hardellet : We fell in love – both with Ayrton products and with Yvan Péard when we saw the video demos – maybe even before that! We just had to include DreamPanel Twin to support the multi-perspective design idea. We often do front projection planes with a video projector, then we add more to create depth. But here I wanted that depth to come from far off, not from the front.
So we installed the VP upstage, behind the DJ cage, between the DreamPanel-Twin units, so that it could project volumetric light together with the DJ/LED matrix plane and the back of the Panel. Our idea was to establish the foreground and background with LEDs in the same perspective – connected through the VP’s volumetric light and obtain a mixture of several textures of light.

Pixel-mapping applied to the video projector, the LED emitters of the DJ cage, and the video display side of the DreamPanel™Twin array.

Pixel-mapping applied to the video projector, the LED emitters of the DJ cage, and the video display side of the DreamPanel™Twin array.

Uniform, but multiform, gear

One of the four double truss totems that Alex Hardellet added to The Avener’s set, mounted with MagicBlade™R and Clay Paky Sharpy units.

One of the four double truss totems that Alex Hardellet added to The Avener’s set, mounted with MagicBlade™R and Clay Paky Sharpy units. © Baptiste Herment

SLU : And how are you using Ayrton MagicBlade-R luminaires in the design?

Alex Hardellet : It made great sense to use them. We were in a LED universe and I needed a fixture that could produce a lot of light and work in continuous rotation while doing LED-to-LED to extend the pixel-mapping.
The MagicBlades are really beautiful in the installation and they jump right out at you. The rest of the gear follows the same style: rectilinear, conventional and uniform.

SLU : You also have other fixtures besides LEDs… like the Clay Paky Mythos?

Alex Hardellet : I didn’t want to have too many different types of fixtures in the rig – which we wanted to keep consistent – but, that said, the Mythos can be a beam, a wash and a spot all at once!
The array of Mythos fixtures gave me a block effect that was simple, regular and very identifiable at start-up – so it had strong impact. We had to pick new and innovative fixtures to keep up with the rest of the gear, while trying to avoid having too many different units because of colour incompatibility and maintenance issues.

The Avener appears as the heroic focus of this tableau, with the three-dimensional perspective endowing him with virtual omnipotence. The video projector, DreamPanel™Twin array, and LED emitters, which illuminate the DJ cage, blend together with the video projector used principally as a backlight.

The Avener appears as the heroic focus of this tableau, with the three-dimensional perspective endowing him with virtual omnipotence. The video projector, DreamPanel™Twin array, and LED emitters, which illuminate the DJ cage, blend together with the video projector used principally as a backlight.

SLU : But the Martin Atomic 3000 strobes, which are all over, are not exactly something new, and the MAC Auras, to a lesser extent, aren’t either. Am I right?

Alex Hardellet : Yes, but we really have a soft spot for the Atomic. We’re fans… the sound, the power, the effectiveness. It’s hard to pass up on. It’s kind of our favourite childhood memory. The MAC Auras are used as sidelights on tripods: three on each side.

SLU : You have Sharpys on truss totems. Was that kind of a consensus?

Alex Hardellet : We use the Sharpys wherever we needed a beam effect. They are also pixel-mapped, and we enjoyed creating volumetric light from the truss totems.

The DJ impeccably presented as a musical variety artist par excellence, highlighted not only by the surrounding LED units but also by his lighting designer’s sense of drama, using Martin Mac Aura and VP fixtures to cut a silhouette of The Avener.

The DJ impeccably presented as a musical variety artist par excellence, highlighted not only by the surrounding LED units but also by his lighting designer’s sense of drama, using Martin Mac Aura and VP fixtures to cut a silhouette of The Avener.

SLU : On the other hand, the moving components around the DJ use LEDs…

Alex Hardellet : They were custom-made for the show and the sides are motorised. It was quite a challenge trying to make these 150-kg-components move up and down and left to right. The three sections are controlled, and transverse movements were developed by our friends at Moving Load, who made it all possible on a tight deadline and budget. We were the ones who created the vertical movements with winches.

One of the four sides that form the DJ “cage”, created by All Access Design, and embedded with LEDs...

One of the four sides that form the DJ “cage”, created by All Access Design, and embedded with LEDs… © Baptiste Herment

...with moving sidelights.

…with moving sidelights. © Baptiste Herment

But the little something extra that really made a difference in Miala’s bid was the interactive systems and customized products that are a signature of the lighting designer.
Inspired by The Avener’s album cover, Hardellet conceived a creation that is graphic, with multiple planes of perspective, full of square elements but also very mobile and open to the audience and the artist, with the interactivity of the accessories at the disposal of the DJ.

Visually connected and immersive stage design

A god? No, The Avener making his entrance under a halo of mystical light generated from the Christie WU20K video projector used as backlight.

A god? No, The Avener making his entrance under a halo of mystical light generated from the Christie WU20K video projector used as backlight.

SLU : How do you combine light and interactivity in your stage design?

Alex Hardellet : We have a Kinect 2 for XBOX interface that can interpolate body positions and use the internal player like a mask of the person moving in real time – who in this case is The Avener. It’s managed by computers that were specially developed for the show. The idea is to mix the various perspective planes of the lighting design.
So, at the beginning of the show the VP shows the DJ in perspective under a halo like some kind of god. As he plays the game and does his show, the Kinect box follows his slightest movements perfectly. The Kinect interfaces to a computer, which sends a video signal in SDI to a PCI card in the media server. The video output can then be routed either into the VP or into the multiple DreamPanel-Twin array.

Les outils interactifs détournés pour permettre à The Avener de contrôler les projecteurs de son set, avec les bracelets MIO...

A repurposed interactive tool that The Avener uses to control the fixtures for his set: MIO wristbands… © Baptiste Herment

... Leap Motion controllers...

… Leap Motion controllers…

SLU : And you just use the Kinect to control the fixtures interactively?

...and the Kinect 2 for Xbox interface.

…and the Kinect 2 for Xbox interface. © Baptiste Herment

Alex Hardellet : We also have Leap Motion controllers, which are sensors placed on the fingers – very precise (up to a 10th of a millimetre) – for converting the movements into signals. Then, that signal is assigned to whatever we want…
in this case, to the Ayrton MagicBlade-R fixtures to follow the movements. In fact, we repurpose all these tools used for controlling a computer without a mouse to enable the artist to act like an orchestra conductor for the automated luminaires.
It’s the same idea with the MIO wristbands that we also use for controlling light. They are a little less reliable, because they’re newer – but they have enormous potential… able to capture the positions of muscles, and therefore hand gestures in space, like making a circle move, or moving spots and triggering strobes with the simple movement of the hand.

And suddenly, everything opens up – the background, the stage – enhanced by the volumetric light of the VP as well as the Sharpys, playing their role impeccably.

And suddenly, everything opens up – the background, the stage – enhanced by the volumetric light of the VP as well as the Sharpys, playing their role impeccably.

Again, we’re converting information using protocols that can be processed by the lighting consoles – especially with the grandMA, which has a 3D “spacializer” to interface the MIO trackers. This can be used to set a position that is then tracked by all the fixtures in the rig. We really like this plug-and-play feature… total immersion.

The DJ booth seen from behind: mobile, embedded with LEDs, and containing The Avener’s entire workspace, turntables, touch screen for selecting songs, and the Leap Motion, Kinect and MIO interactive devices.

The DJ booth seen from behind: mobile, embedded with LEDs, and containing The Avener’s entire workspace, turntables, touch screen for selecting songs, and the Leap Motion, Kinect and MIO interactive devices. © Baptiste Herment

The Avener’s workspace. On the left, a touch screen specially designed to communicate selected songs live to the visual designer/operator, Alex Hardellet.

The Avener’s workspace. On the left, a touch screen specially designed to communicate selected songs live to the visual designer/operator, Alex Hardellet.

SLU : So the DJ has all this equipment on him?

Alex Hardellet : Yes, he has MIO wristbands on. The Leap Motion sensors are mounted directly on his desk and the Kinect device is behind him. I keep total track of everything from the lighting console, using a monitor that watches the system so that I can intervene in case there’s a problem. The whole system runs on about 15 DMX universes, but we also have MA-Net Art-Net, OCS (Open Sound Control) and MIDI.

Protocols required? AAD has everything you’d ever need: MA-net, Art-Net MIDI, etc...

Protocols required? AAD has everything you’d ever need: MA-net, Art-Net MIDI, etc… © Baptiste Herment

SLU : Is your desire to constantly develop and deliver concepts for innovative, interactive or connected solutions a response to today’s lighting needs in France, or is it just because you enjoy it?

Alex Hardellet : No one ever asked us to develop this sort of concept – so we developed these interactive features, ourselves, just for the fun. I think, however, that even if all this isn’t necessarily going to contribute an astonishingly new solution in the race for higher-performance entertainment lighting, we are still meeting a technological challenge… using interactive functions that bring the audience closer to the artist – and that’s what people are really looking for. The real motivator is passion! We are all passionate about light, and when you get excited about something you want to share that feeling.

Alex Hardellet at his desk, during the show.

Alex Hardellet at his desk, during the show.

SLU : Of course, the artist has to play along…

Alex Hardellet : That’s key! This system requires a serious investment on the part of the user.
The Avener was immediately very receptive to the project. We didn’t have to convince him…
It’s so amazing and surreal that something like this exists – it couldn’t fail to impress – but then again, remember that interactive technology is not what makes the show. It’s just a little something extra we give The Avener and his audience: a cherry on the cake.

SLU : But you are all mainly lighting designers, right?

Alex Hardellet : To be honest, I don’t really think I’m a lighting designer at heart, not in the strict sense of the term. Still, I have a certain facility with lights and I’m able to combine them with more computer-oriented or interactive components. That doesn’t mean that the lighting gear is just an accessory. Everything we’ve developed in terms of interactive controllers, software and stage design is only there to make best use of the gear. Everything here exists for the sake of the fixtures and light!

Hardellet and his colleagues have a talent for creating technology that neither the artist nor the production staff would have ever dreamt of (or known they had a desire for).
On this one-shot tour with just a few dates, the interactive installation and multiple perspectives were a major success, becoming the hit of festivals that rarely see this sort of light and video gear.

The technical professionalism and near-perfect synchronisation – a sine qua non in electronic music – has clearly made the shows a great success.

An exquisite tableau. Regardless of all the interactive equipment, potentially omnipresent video, and technical hurdles...

An exquisite tableau. Regardless of all the interactive equipment, potentially omnipresent video, and technical hurdles…

...the focus of attention was on the light. How could it be any other way with such superb luminaires!

…the focus of attention was on the light. How could it be any other way with such superb luminaires!

Hardellet playfully bewilders us with his vertical columns of beams and surprising perspectives. We can’t tell where the light is coming from – if it’s generated by a video, tungsten, or LED source – but we are captivated by the spacial exploration of the overall setting.

Hardellet playfully bewilders us with his vertical columns of beams and surprising perspectives. We can’t tell where the light is coming from – if it’s generated by a video, tungsten, or LED source – but we are captivated by the spacial exploration of the overall setting.

Mandatory sync as a prerequisite for going live

SLU : How urgent was synchronising part of the light playback?

Alex Hardellet : I think that when the rig starts to get big and the production and creative time window is real tight, is when you get the maximum effect. We worked a lot in previsualisation, but to cover the DJ set, you have to know ahead of time what the artist is going to play down to the BPM, and that’s tricky…

SLU : What percentage of the show would that be?

Alex Hardellet : Three songs… that’s it! The rest is live, from my console. We defined a basic set with the DJ, on which he plays his extra material live. The problem is that Tristan (The Avener) is a real DJ who prefers to mix his set live. But, even with all our modern technology, there’s no way to do synchronisation if his mix is done through USB flash drives and the BPM changes every 10 seconds!
So we had to find a compromise, using sync on the intro to his hit song – then again at the closing… to guarantee the highlights of the show work. For the rest, he gave us a big list of of songs that he might be playing, which I had to learn and code. He originally gave me about 100 – which we boiled down to about 20.

Powerful Ayrton MagicBlade-R luminaires project horizontally. While rich in video, the stage design still shows a sense of restraint and sobriety.

Powerful Ayrton MagicBlade-R luminaires project horizontally. While rich in video, the stage design still shows a sense of restraint and sobriety.

SLU : But during the show, how do you know which number he’s going to do?

Alex Hardellet : We created a personal control interface so that he can use a touch screen to tell me which song he’s going to play and I can lock onto it and prepare the console. And, should he forget to do that (which happens), we also developed a chat interface between his desk and my console – so we can get back on track!
With this video conference screen Alex – who is also the operator of the show – can chat live with the artist. Great idea! It’s the concept of interaction taken to the extreme: between artist and luminaires, audience and artist, and artist and lighting designer.

VLAN, dmx and video

Well-organised racks with MA Lighting Network Processing Units.

Well-organised racks with MA Lighting Network Processing Units. © Baptiste Herment

SLU : Was the grandMA2 required to control and program the show?

Alex Hardellet : Yes, considering the scale of the system, but I’m not really married to any console in particular.
We needed to make sure that the whole system was solid – because we had a total of 120 universes with a lot of NPUs, and network output at 235 MB/sec, which is huge!

SLU : Did you also create the video media content?

Alex Hardellet : Absolutely… and we’re using it all over! In the LED array, in the DreamPanel-Twin and the VP – but, in the end, all the fixtures are only light emitters and are not necessarily equivalent to pure video when you watch the show. So I didn’t have to come up with any super fine or really narrative media content.

Hardellet favours the modernity of monochrome scenes, still adding a bizarre perspective created by the DJ cage and the Christie VP placed upstage.

Hardellet favours the modernity of monochrome scenes, still adding a bizarre perspective created by the DJ cage and the Christie VP placed upstage.

SLU : Transmitting the images must really be complicated?

Alex Hardellet : We need a big interface with a lot of VLAN to dispatch all the networks over two double fibre optic cables including the backup. We have two media servers, including an Arkaos with a Mad Mapper to handle distortion, pixel mapping and interactivity. Then, a computer has been integrated in the DJ booth to send MIDI sequences over the network to sync up all the components: consoles, media servers…
Several computers are used to manage the interactive units, like the Kinect, behind the DJ. It’s true that it’s sometimes hard to mix technology and art, but since we love to develop new things, sometimes we come up with big projects, and then we have to make it all work!

Synoptic Network The Avener

Synoptic Network The Avener

The AAD cooperative has been doing exceptional work, ever since their adventure started four years ago. By pushing their projects to the limits, these young designers – lighting designers, graphic designers, developers – are once again facing a personal challenge with this concept customized for The Avener.
They succeed with total involvement, hard work, and some craziness, blazing new trails in French entertainment lighting with more interactivity and connectivity. Ayrton luminaires are amazing toys in the hands of Alex Hardellet, both the HD video panels (the front side of the DreamPanel™ Twin) and powerful volumetric light units (MagicPanel-style emitters on the back), proving that light and image can be powerfully reconciled in today’s design concepts.

We’re talking rectilinear. Ayrton LED fixtures show their best (and purest) colours – with DreamPanel™Twin and MagicBlade™R producing magnificent light bars.

We’re talking rectilinear. Ayrton LED fixtures show their best (and purest) colours – with DreamPanel™Twin and MagicBlade™R producing magnificent light bars.

Movement is equally as important as perspective in this stage design concept and, with their unlimited, continuous double rotation the DreamPanel-Twin joins in with the fluid movements of the components inside the DJ’s cage. This system was developed by AAD in collaboration with Moving Load (motion control) and S-Group (mechanical engineering and construction), proving that these creative and capable young designers know how to assemble a solid entourage. The end product is a visual experience rich in new technology and ubiquitous light.
Before you know it, movement or body sensors will enable the audience to take part in the stage design itself. Interactivity holds a lot in store for lighting. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!



Tributes to Valère

The Ayrton team has just announced the terrible news – brutal and irrevocable – that Valère has died. Silence… incredulity… an icy chill spread through our veins. First the questions – unanswered – then the memories flow, a stream of images. His voice, his smile… those will be forever with us. Valère was a deep well of kindness and intelligence.
New York, SanSiro, Paris… many are the times that we travelled together for articles, to bring back images of the most beautiful creations using Ayrton fixtures, and to meet passionate designers and technicians. Such good times… We talked about ten thousand subjects.

At the Zenith in Paris with Jason Bullock, lighting designer for Wiz Khalifa, in 2013.

Everything interested him; he had a rare sensitivity, and he knew all the industry gossip: a real pro. He was brilliant, cultured, and as passionate about sound as light, with a clear preference for creative brands.
He was super-attentive, circumspect, always in search of a rational analysis. He was never a source of conflict, but it was ill-advised to bring up the slightest criticism of Ayrton with him, as he was very protective. Ayrton was the apple of his eye. Valère “Corporate”? Nooo!
Writing this tribute, one question arises in the background. Why? Why so young? No one has the answer. We’ve sadly become accustomed to death arriving suddenly to claim his due from those who practice risky lifestyles.
But, here, the rules have changed. He has come without warning for a healthy, active guy with no addictions. The loss of Valère has triggered a massive wave of sorrow at Ayrton and Axente… but also throughout the entire industry, even beyond our borders.

Here are some tributes.

From Ayrton

It is with a heavy heart that we report the heart of Valère stopped beating last Sunday. He was 37 years old.
Valère Huart-Gyors, our collaborator and dear colleague, was responsible for exporting Ayrton throughout the world. Since 2011, from Las Vegas to Sydney, he has spread our values with a rare commitment because Valère was an authentic fan of Ayrton.

In New York in 2013 at the offices of Morpheus.Valère (left) and Yvan (right) present the new Ayrton developments to Paul Weller and Mark Fetto.

Methodical, organized and precise, he advanced quickly and well, exercising a detailed knowledge of his market. Societies and their politics, people and their past, excited him in addition to his many interests such as history, politics, music … Valère was both brilliant and cultivated. His humor, sharp and often caustic, made us laugh. He was also a rascal, and Norman…
It was with the enthusiasm of a young graduate of higher education that he arrived in Paris at the age of 22, first as a salesman at AVLS, then as purchasing manager for La BS, before joining Ayrton to develop international sales.

Valère with the Lumen Radio team in 2015.

“It’s Ayrton’s second life,” he said humorously when he arrived in 2011, and success, which first struck in the US, spread throughout the globe.
Now, sadly, Valère will no longer get angry at how societies have broken creativity, he will no longer organize parties with his friends, death has stolen half of his life.
He was infinitely kind to the whole team, whose dismay is matched only by the sadness of having lost a friend.
We are already missing him.

Morpheus Team
In Memoriam: Valère Huart-Gyors

Morpheus Lights’ relationship with Valère began with a brief conversation at the Ayrton display at Showtec 2011. Later that year, Valère came to Las Vegas and demonstrated Ayrton’s remarkable WildSun™500C for us.

In front of the stage of the Electric Zoo Festival in New York, 2013. Valère is on the left, with Yvan, Matt Shimamoto (associate designer for Star Light Visual), and Mark Fetto and Paul Weller from Morpheus Light

Eventually, over 100 of those fixtures were purchased for a world tour – which marked the beginning of Ayrton’s stunning success in the U.S. Afterwards, we used to joke with Valère that he’d had “a pretty good demo, n’est pas?” Such was the auspicious beginning of our successful partnership and our friendship.

In Bercy, with the Morpheus technical team on the Bruce Springsteen tour in 2012.

Valère was an enormous fan of Ayrton, and of our craft. His honest passion was infectious, and was a large part of what made him so successful. He traveled tirelessly around the globe, promoting the always-evolving world of Ayrton to the entertainment production industry.
His humor and energy seemed inexhaustible, no matter how long the days were, or how long the flights were. He was always eminently personable and approachable, and cheerfully professional.

At the San Siro Stadium (Milan) in 2016, for a date on the tour of Bruce Springsteen, with Brad Brown, crew chief of the Morpheus team, and with console operator Todd Ricci.

It was our privilege to know Valère and our pleasure to work with him, especially at industry events; to see him engage with his fellow professionals and to witness their respect for his enthusiasm and knowledge and wit.

And at the end of the day…there was Champagne.

We all miss him enormously.

From Karel de Piere – Face

With Karel de Piere, CEO of Face, in 2015

We can not imagine Ayrton without Valère, we can not imagine a show or demonstration without him.
Nor can we imagine being without the honor of sharing his friendship, his manner and his intelligence. He was a man with moral values that he applied in his personal life and in business.
But no matter what, we will miss him. The worst is that Valère has left us too soon – he gave too much without having had the opportunity to receive, in return, the joys he deserved.
I’m overwhelmed with sadness; thank you Valère for sharing with us a part of your life, unfortunately it was far too short.

A first recollection will take place at the Clamart Funeral parlour at 10 am Tuesday, February 28

Funeral will take place on Friday, March 3
The religious ceremony will be held in the Church of Saint-Clair at 3 pm.
The burial will take place in the cemetery of Herouville adjoining the Church

Flowers may be sent on friday 3 March until 3 pm to the Church of Saint-Clair – rue de la Fontaine – 14200 Herouville Saint-Clair


Zurich Openair sparkles to the design of Leo Hermann

The Zurich Openair Festival, which has existed since 2010, attracted more than 60,000 visitors this year to the festival grounds on the outskirts of Zurich. The musical spectrum included indie, electro and rock music, and included a mixture of internationally known musicians, bands and newcomers. This year, Chemical Brothers, Massive Attack, Sigur Rós and Editors were among the most prominent.

© Marcus Hartmann (http://www.photo-hartmann.de)

© Marcus Hartmann (http://www.photo-hartmann.de)

Leo Herrmann was responsible for the lighting design of the ‘Dance Circus stage with his design company Lumenlabor. The lighting designer had 20 X4 Bars in use.
In the Dance Circus, a six-masted tent, the festival presented famous acts from the EDM scene. This year included Boyznoise, Booka Shade, Digitalism and Lexy & K-Paul.

© Marcus Hartmann

© Marcus Hartmann

“I did not change the basis of the design theme from 2015,” stated Leo Herrmann. “And yet I wanted to go a step further and take the whole thing to the outside.
The design, itself, is based on a ‘light tunnel’, which works from a front to rear perspective on the LED wall at the back of the stage. Here I was looking for a device which offered me the possibility to drive all the LEDs individually, in order to incorporate the set border into the existing pixel mapping.
I found it within GLP’s X4 series. I had first seen the X4 Bar at a Milky Chance show and I knew right away that it was what I was looking for. So I specified 20 fixtures,” continued the lighting designer.

“12 of the X4 Bar 20’s were vertically integrated into the suspended ladder brackets to the left and right of the stage. These formed the lateral end. The advantage here was that I had the tilt function to pull the entire picture across the width, making the stage look enormous in size.

© Marcus Hartmann

© Marcus Hartmann

The remaining eight X4 Bars were placed on the front edge of the stage, forming the lower end, or more precisely the bottom of the tunnel. So I had the possibility to fold the beam off the floor and side walls of the tunnel! In this way I had the possibility to put a light curtain onto the stage, which together with the individual pixels made a wonderful effect. Thanks to the zoom and tilt functions, there were quite new possibilities for programming. Together with pixel mapping this became the ultimate tool for EDM! ”

© Marcus Hartmann

© Marcus Hartmann

© Marcus Hartmann

© Marcus Hartmann

© Marcus Hartmann

© Marcus Hartmann

In conclusion, Leo Herrmann confirmed, “The X4 Bars will certainly have a permanent place in the design of the next edition of the Zurich Open Air!”
Feedback Show Systems & Service GmbH from Stolberg served as the technical service provider.

More informations on the GLP Website


Alabama Shakes Up the Paléo Festival with Absen X5

With six days and nights of musical and artistic performances on six different stages, and 4,700 volunteers on duty to welcome 230,000 people, the Paléo Festival de Nyon is one of the most prominent and successful festivals in Europe.
For this “40th+1” edition, the organisers offered a superb line-up of artists, including Iron Maiden, The Chemical Brothers, Muse, Francis Cabrel and The Lumineers. The engineers from French company Alabama Média were on hand day and night to make sure the punters experienced the best audio and visual experience possible.

Crédit photo © Boris Soula

Crédit photo © Boris Soula

Alabama has been an integral part of the success that the festival is enjoying today. The Lyon based staging company has been involved in the festival for 20 years and is not only responsible for the two main stages – les Arches and la Grande Scene – but they also deal with the content management: Indeed, the Alabama team is responsible for broadcasting all images on the giant screens, they manage video recording of Les Arches stage, and ensure that local and national TV gets all the images they need by distributing the audio and video signals from their dedicated control centre.

L'équipe d'Alabama Media avec Joël May à droite

L’équipe d’Alabama Media avec Joël May à droite

“We’ve been using video at the Paléo for 15 years now” remembers Alabama’s technical director Joël May. “Back in the day, people were worried that video would override the music show; we were working with massive pixel pitches and the video walls required a crane to be installed.”
Fast forward to 2016, and Alabama now uses state of the art X5 LED panels from Absen.
“These are really amazing,” enthuses May, who has already been using the 5.2mm pitch panels at the Paléo Festival for two years. “I truly believe these LED panels are the best in the market, the brightness is excellent and the image is fantastic, even for those standing ten metres away from the stage.”

Alabama deployed two screens on both sides of the main stage, each measuring 7m x 4m for a total resolution of 1344×756 pixels. With 98 panels (14×7) in total, it only took two hours to build each screen, according to May. Alabama developed bespoke ladders in house in order to make the structure easier to service and also more robust to withstand harsh winds – system they now offer in their portfolio.
“Building the screens is the easy part,” admits May. The X5 is lightweight and the locking system is easy to use, so in four hours’ time the main stage video is all set. The products are real workhorses; they are robust and reliable, which is a massive advantage as it gives us peace of mind. We can then worry about something else.”

Alabama Le Paleo

Another 6mm LED screen was on hand for bands requiring an extra screen, like Bastille this year. The Absen screens also took pride of place on both sides of the Arches stage, with two 11×6 screens (1056×648). Constantly searching for new ideas and challenges, Alabama is looking at new screen configurations for future editions of the festival.
The Paléo organisers are always keen to get interesting content on the screens, so the festival doesn’t look like a big TV advert. “They’ve always been careful to separate the show from sponsorship,” insists May. Although a number of videos are screened on the Absen LED panels before the gigs, only a small amount is sponsor-related. “Most are animation movies made by HES, the local engineering school; they are both fun and offbeat. Every effort is made for punters to get the best experience: The festival is regularly praised by all for the politeness of its staff, the high quality of food and a discreet security.”

In order to manage the screen content on both stages, Alabama set up a technical room with a media server backstage. From there, they can manage all video feed, including artists welcoming, broadcast signals as well as security messages to keep the visitors up to date. A generator is on hand in case of power failure, so there’s always at least one screen in operation to display critical messages.

Alabama Le Paleo

Alabama Le Paleo

Alabama Le Paleo

Alabama became an official Absen distributor for the French market in early 2016. The decision came from the need to have an organised cross rental network in France. “A lot of service providers have ten or twenty square meters in their stock, but when a big LED screen is required for a larger event, it is really hard to find a harmonized offer. We decided to fill this strategic gap in with the help of Absen and provide a complementary range of high quality products to the market,” explains Joël May.

Alabama is now acting as an Absen Gold VAP (Value Added Partner), and service and repair centre for Absen LED products. “This way when a big project lands on the table, they are ready to answer any requirements. We knew Absen would be the perfect fit for the market and ourselves, and both the A3Pro and X5 prove extremely popular in our rental fleet.”
Today, there is an estimated total surface of 500 A3Pro square metres available to rent in Europe, and in France only over 400sqm of X5 panels are already available to rent. A majority of these were sold by Alabama, who also hold an impressive 200sqm of X5.
“For me the X5 is the only outdoor LED product with this level of image quality while providing high brightness in such a light package. It’s almost crazy to think that we’re using 5.2mm pixel pitch for outdoor events,” enthuses May. “We always wanted to be in the forefront of LED technology and having Absen by our side makes a big difference. We are lucky enough to have a great relationship with the Paléo, and this is the perfect place to try our new products and technologies.

Alabama Le Paleo

According to May, the wide opening of the screens provides amazing image even to people who are standing on the very far end and sides of the stage. “Not just horizontally, but also vertically,” he emphasizes. “The field leading to the main stage is fairly steep. And on top of the hill, there’s a VIP terrace where people are watching the show maybe 50 metres above the front stage. Despite these constraints, the screens perform flawlessly, even when the setting sun is directly hitting the screens.”
Making sure that the screens are always operating during the six days of the festival is critical for Alabama, “and these are really withstanding the most challenging weather conditions,” insists May. “It’s not rare to get temperatures over 35 degrees, and the next minute you can get torrential rain. We decided to feed the screens with two redundant signals in case of failure. This way we are immune to a cable cut, a bad connection, rain, wind, anything. The dual power redundancy in the Absen LED screens also gives us extra peace of mind.”

Alabama Le Paleo

For Alabama, who are behind some of the biggest music festivals in France, including Download in Paris, Mainsquare in Arras, the Francofolies in La Rochelle, Musilac and Guitare en Scène to name a few, the Paléo continues to hold a special place in their summer calendar.

More informations on websites Absen, Alabama Media, Paleo Festival


In Prague, Czech Republic

Robe at the Epicenter of Signal Festival

Robe was a proud sponsor of the 2016 Signal Festival of Light, staged over four days in and around the beautiful and magical city of Prague in the Czech Republic. Twenty-three original and innovative pieces of light art drew estimated crowds of up to 400,000 into the city to enjoy the event which started in 2013, and is now recognised as one of the biggest as well as one of Europe’s foremost festivals of light.

Crédit photo Alexander Dobrovodsky

Crédit photo Alexander Dobrovodsky

Robe provided 80 of their Pointe multi-functional moving lights and 40 ColorStrobes for an installation by Russian based collective Tundra.

Crédit photo Marek Kijevsky Milvus

Crédit photo Marek Kijevsky Milvus

“Epicenter v2” was staged at the Palac Narodni, a retail and residential development which is currently still under construction and features with a large cylindrical two storey void right in the centre.
The work was designed especially to fit this space and create an extreme psychological experience with pulsating, flashing and exploding hotspots of light accompanied by disorientating and unnerving sounds, drawing viewers into an entirely unknown and mysterious environment.
In this surreal installation, light plays the main role, revealing all that it hides within. From a swirl of fireflies to a futuristic landscape formed from a tight cone of light or a flickering flame blossoming forth … all reaching a crescendo in a thunderous dance of lightning.

Crédit photo Filip Obr

Crédit photo Filip Obr

The idea was that participants gain access “like uninvited witnesses” to the epicentre of a rare natural or even supernatural ritual … being performed with light. This interventionist concept was to challenge and surprise those who might be expecting a more standard ’light show’.

The Pointes were positioned on the ground floor and shot multiple beams and effects up and on to the 7 metre high ceiling of the space which was two floors above. They were selected as a good fixture to give a wide range of turbulent effects and arbitrary patterns.
The white Robe Strobes, covered with a special diffuser, were positioned around the inside of the first floor balcony – and the audience – limited to 200 per show – also stood at this level a few metres back.

Tundra has worked with Robe products for some time. “The technical specifications of the Pointe gave us the simplicity and purity we needed in the light source as well as total freedom to achieve multiple effects,” said Alexander Lezius from Tundra. Random algorithms and noises were applied to the different parameters of the Pointes to create a more organic feel to the movement, it was important that this didn’t seem robotic or predictable.
The venue was the biggest challenge for the Tundra team comprising Klim Sukhanov, Semyon Perevoschikov and Alexander Lezius with their producer Juliette Bibasse plus the onsite support of Pavel Zmunchila who assisted with the custom diffusers. The fact that Palac Narodni is still an active construction site meant they had to adapt the initial setup, which was a productive exercise in itself as it allowed them to create a completely new iteration of Epicenter.

Crédit photo Jan Tichy Milvus

Crédit photo Jan Tichy Milvus

Jiri Baros, Marketing Manager for Robe s.r.o commented, “We were delighted to support Tundra in creating another amazing and interesting work that enthralled so many people. In broader terms, the Signal Festival is now the largest cultural event in the Czech Republic and an excellent opportunity to showcase some of our best fixtures being used in new, different and very exciting ways”.

Tundra is an arts collective based in St. Petersburg, Russia. The team encompasses musicians, sound engineers, programmers and artists who unite to create exceptional audiovisual performances and interactive installations. TUNDRA focuses primarily on creating special spaces to generate emotional viewer experiences using the mediums of light and sound.

For more product and general info, check Robe website


Rio Olympic Games

Clay Paky Fixtures Illuminate Opening and Closing Ceremonies

World acclaimed lighting designer Durham Marenghi used over 850 automated fixtures from leading Italian entertainment lighting brand Clay Paky in his theatrical lighting design for this year’s Opening and Closing Ceremonies at the Rio Olympics, Brazil.
Working to a very tight budget with limited weight loading for the roof Marenghi needed fixtures that were highly versatile and compact and that could produce a high output beam on minimal power consumption.
Turning to Clay Paky Marenghi selected 850 of the industry’s top performers selecting 152 x Clay Paky Mythos, 120 x Sharpy Wash, 260 x Sharpy, 194 x Alpha Profile 1500’s and 130 x Alpha Beam 1500’s for his Olympic design.

Photos Dave Crump CT

Photos Dave Crump CT

“We needed workhorse fixtures with extremely good optics,” says Marenghi. “The fixtures needed to be extremely high output, with a lightweight build and whose focus was bright and tight enough to cut through the projection and be picked up by the shows cameras. For this detailed work we selected the Clay Paky Sharpy, Alpha Beam and the Mythos. These fixtures produce a fantastic optical train that gives superbly bright pin spots of light.”
The Sharpy, an industry stalwart known for its powerfully bright 189W moving beam worked alongside the incredibly versatile Clay Paky Mythos – an advanced hybrid fixture that is both a spotlight with a 4°- 50° electronic zoom and a beam light with a 160 mm-diameter. Together the pair won the race to light the opening and closing ceremonies illuminating the world-famous Olympic torch to estimated worldwide audiences of 3.5billion.
“The Olympic torch this year gave us a unique opportunity,” says Marenghi. “Normally the torch produces a huge amount of light but this time it had a small low energy flame bowl which sat in front of a large mirrored sculpture. I decided to make every moving light into a pin spot of white and gold that reflected the mirror effects and amplified the firelight. The laser like beams of the Clay Paky Mythos and Sharpy assisted us in lighting the whole stadium in this way – a cauldron effect that has never been seen before on the Olympic stage!”
Not short of challenges, the renowned designer also had to compete with Brazil’s wintertime weather which came to a peak in a rainy deluge during the Olympics closing ceremony. Luckily there was another Clay Paky fixture on hand which was more than capable of competing with the elements. “We used the Alpha Profile 1500 as our main key light says Marenghi.

Photos Dave Crump CT

Photos Dave Crump CT

“We had them in weather domes initially, but took the domes off whenever possible due to the shallow angle of projection which meant shadows of the domes were falling onto our stage. All the key lighting had to be carefully controlled and the Alpha’s ability to return accurately from focus to focus in terms of position and shuttering saved a lot of focus time for our programmers.”
The Alpha Profile 1500 is a cutting-edge professional beam shaper that combines the high output power of a 1500 watt lamp with an exclusive, patented framing system that is capable of creating any shape. Marenghi used 194 of the fixtures alongside 130 of its sister fixture the Alpha Beam 1500 known for its super concentrated, long throw parallel beam from its 1500W Lok-it discharge lamp.
“The Sharpys provided their usual unique blend of tight high contrast beam and fast movement speed and the Sharpy washes were used for back lighting the audience and up lighting the roof structure and again their high output and light weight alleviated some of the roof load concerns.”

Originally from Lancashire, England, Marenghi is a veteran when it comes to lighting and the Olympics. He designed the lighting for all of the Turin Winter Olympics Ceremonies in 2006, the London 2012 handover at the Beijing Olympics closing ceremony in 2008 and the Sochi Winter Paralympic Games opening and closing ceremonies in 2014. His describes his experience in Rio as “fantastic”, maintaining that he and his team created “helped to prove that you don’t have to be a mega power, super rich country to produce a theatrical and beautiful Ceremony”
His team included programmers Andy Voller, Ross Williams and Paulinho Lebrão, associate LD Joyce Drummond, spot captain Chris Henry, TV lighting director Nick Collier and lighting team manager Jennie Marenghi. The equipment was supplied by Italian rental company Agora and was managed by Nicola Manuel-Tallino and Giulio Rovelli.

More informations on Clay Paky website


MDG’s Touring Commitments

Following a successful two-year run in London’s West End, The Commitments, directed by Caroline Jay Ranger, has taken to the road for the first time, carrying with it an MDG AtmosphereAPS haze generator. The 8-month tour will take in 26 venues across the UK and, for the first time ever, travel to its ‘home’ town of Dublin.

Crédit photo : Maidwell Marketing

Crédit photo : Maidwell Marketing

Based on the BAFTA award-winning film and featuring 20 soul classics, The Commitments is a feel good celebration which follows Roddy Doyle’s story of a mismatched bunch of young musicians who come together to become ‘the finest soul band Dublin has ever produced.’


Helping to conjure up the smoke-laden party atmosphere of 1980’s Dublin clubs and pubs in which they play is a single MDG AtmosphereAPS haze generator, specified by lighting designer, Jon Clark, who is a great advocate of MDG. A second AtmosphereAPS is toured as a contingency.
“I’ve always used MDG machines on my shows as no other machine on the market produces that quality of haze,” says Clark. “We used an MDG AtmosphereAPS on the West End show and, as the scale of the tour is equal to the original West End production, we were determined to maintain our standards by keeping this industry-standard workhorse on the tour.”
One AtmosphereAPS is sufficient to provide the perfect balance of haze for whole stage during this busy show, and is controlled directly, via DMX, from the ETC Eos desk.

Crédit photo : Maidwell Marketing

Crédit photo : Maidwell Marketing

MDG designs it machines to be reliable, economical on fluid and quiet – not that noise levels were a particular requirement on this upbeat, energetic show! The Atmosphere’s durability has not gone unnoticed by the tour’s chief electrician, Callum Humphries, who is very happy with Clark’s choice: “When you have the challenges of a winter/spring tour, the last thing you need is equipment that demands constant attention,” he says.
“I’m also a lover of MDG product and it’s great to know our haze requirements are provided by a generator that, you can be confident, will perform happily for the duration of the tour, wherever we take it. We are three months into the tour and the machines are still in great condition!

Crédit photo : Maidwell Marketing

Crédit photo : Maidwell Marketing

“For our CO2 requirements we have worked closely with Gassed Up (on recommendation from MDG UK’s Matt Wiseman) who supplied us with the ideal sized bottles at all the dates and locations on our tour schedule. People have the impression that touring with compressed CO2 is difficult, but I’ve worked extensively with MDG products on tour and, once I’d cleared it with the trucking company and venues, it simply wasn’t a problem.
And the advantages of using a reliable, quality product like MDG on a heavy production like this far out-weigh the perceived disadvantages.”

Crédit photo : Maidwell Marketing

Crédit photo : Maidwell Marketing

The Commitments tour started in October at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley and will continue to spread its haze of happiness the length and breadth of Britain before finishing in the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford in May 2017. The MDG AtmosphereAPS and fluids were supplied by the tour’s lighting supplier, White Light.

More information on MDG products can be found on the MDG website

SGM lighting on RAGNAROCK Museum nominated for Danish Lighting Award

Ragnarock, the Danish museum for pop, rock and youth culture, opened its doors to the public in April 2016. The museum’s gold-studded facade, the red carpet runway and the lobby are exclusively equipped with SGM lighting fixtures and these installations have just been nominated for the prestigious Danish Lighting Award 2016 (Link here).

SGM Ragnarock

From the very beginning, lighting was meant to be an essential part of the architecture and the visual expression for the Ragnarock Museum. Ragnarock wanted to use lighting as a medium and as a means of communication to support the activities and the overall purpose of the museum.
Lena Bruun, Chief of Development at Ragnarock, explained: “We wanted lighting to almost speak for itself and to send a signal of life, openness and transparency. We envisioned that it would connect by-passers with the museum and give them an experience – even after opening hours.”

SGM Ragnarock

In the initial stages, the plan was to implement a media facade but when Lighting Designer Jesper Kongshaug became part of the project, he presented an alternative to covering up the beautiful facade and instead enhance it with lighting.
The facade is made up of a shell of golden studs – almost resembling pyramids, which to a lighting designer offers many creative options. Kongshaug explained:
“It makes a lot of sense to utilize the structures in the facade and to play with the lighting to create different textures and ambiences to suit different occasions. The building itself is very expressive and changes appearance with the changes in daylight, and with the right lighting, you can create dramatic effects.”

The team tried out different lights from various manufacturers and ended up choosing P-5s and P-2s to light up the facade. Kasper Stouenborg. Programmer and AV Consultant, said: “To us, it was all-important to work with a manufacturer with a portfolio of powerful fixtures that would also be able to sustain throughout all four seasons of the Danish weather. This, and the fact that we liked SGM’s attitude and visions, led us to form a collaboration with them on this project. As an added bonus, we have not experienced a single break-down of the fixtures, which is a pleasant and welcome surprise.”

SGM Ragnarock

The angles in which the P-2s and P-5s have been placed all around the building, contribute to emphasising the pyramid-shapes that cover the entire facade. Stouenborg elaborated: “Because of the metallic surface of the facade, with lighting you can make the building appear as if it was made by silver, gold, bronze and other metals.”
On the square in front of the building, the red carpet starts and works its way into the lobby of the museum. The square is lit up by eight G-Spots to give visitors a true red carpet experience and welcome them to the museum as if they were rockstars. Furthermore, the G-Spots also enhance the elements surrounding the square and the red carpet, such as park benches, flower beds and interactive installations.

SGM Ragnarock

Moving inside to the lobby via the red carpet runway, 24 G-1 Washes ensure a bright welcome to visitors. The lobby space serves multiple purposes, both as a gift shop, a concert hall and and event space, so a flexible and easy programmable lighting solution was needed. Kongshaug was given a chance to test SGM’s G-1 Wash fixtures, before they had even been released, and thought they were great fixtures:
“We needed fixtures that would serve both as retail lights and as show lights for events and special occasions. We found that in the G-1 Wash and to me it was extra special to specify a light, which hadn’t hit the market yet.”

The museum is situated in the Danish city of Roskilde, also known for its acclaimed annual festival, and is part of an area called Musicon. The municipality of Roskilde has a bigger plan for lighting in the area, and Ragnarock’s exterior lighting is physically connected to the lighting system of the entire area, so that potentially the lighting for the whole area could be designed and controlled as a whole.
Bruun concluded: “We couldn’t have dreamed of a better lighting solution. The fact that lighting was part of the plan all the way through has contributed to a very coherent result, where all the elements come together to support Ragnarock’s activities and purpose.”

The Committee on the Danish Lighting Award said about the project: “With moving heads, gobo projections and flashy colors, the lighting communicates the content and theme of the place in a wild and yet poetic manner.“ The winner will be announced in January 2017.

  • SGM Equipment : 24 G-1 Wash, 8 G-Spot, 8 P-5, 8 P-2
  • Architects : Cobe, MVDRV
  • Lighting : Jesper Kongshaug, Lighting Designer – Kasper Stouenborg, Programmer and AV consultant

More informations on :


Ayrton Video Demo

Ayrton conjures up the new MagicPanel-FX

Beautiful to look at and brilliant in what it can do, MagicPanel™-FX is an exciting new multi-function, multi-use luminaire with 25 new squared lenses which marks another step in the evolution of the MagicPanel family.
It can be seen in action in this 52 units demo designed by Thomas Dechandon.

AYRTON – MagicPanel-FX – 52 Unit Demo from Ayrton on Vimeo.

MagicPanel-FX’s front face comprises a 5 x 5 array of new squared lenses with perfectly isolated, high-powered RGBW LED emitters. Together these offer exciting new possibilities for creating 2D graphical effects. Each of the 25 squared 65mm output lenses have an optical surface equivalent to that of an 80mm round lens, which means MagicPanel-FX also produces a powerful beam capable of creating new 3D volumetric effects.

le nouveau MagicPanel™-FX avec ses optiques à fenêtres carrées.

New MagicPanel™-FX

A new optical zoom system with no visible moving parts outside the unit, is formed of a proprietary system with a 15:1 zoom ratio that produces a zoom range of 3.5° to 52°.
The unit is capable of projecting everything from tight shafts of light to a wide wash, which makes it ideal for pixelmapping, or for use as a powerful special effects projector, or as a wash light.

Part of its fascination is the ability of MagicPanel-FX’s zoom optics to project a solid beam that initially appears round, but then squares off as it separates into a stunning patchwork of colours.
At its widest spread, the smooth field of this elegant and highly original luminaire projects as fully round.
The continuous, unlimited, rotation on pan and tilt, first introduced on the legendary MagicPanel™602 in 2013, is standard.
MagicPanel-FX has serial connectivity and can be controlled using DMX-RDM, ArtNet™, sACN or wireless CRMX TiMo RDM by LumenRadio™.

More details and full technical specifications can be downloaded from Ayrton Website

Dimitri Vassiliu takes Ayrton WildSun™K25 on tour with French band LES INSUS

After playing France’s small/medium concert venues and festivals, French rock band LES INSUS, made up of former members of Telephone – Jean-Louis Aubert, Louis Bertignac et Richard Kolinka – completed their 2016 tour on the arena circuit.
Their stage design featured ten Ayrton WildSun™K25 LED washlights, the large-scale white-light fixtures that were developed by the French manufacturer for creating a full daylight effect in stadiums and large venues, as an automated alternative to conventional HMI Fresnels.

Ayrton Dimitri Vassiliu les INSUS

French lighting designer Dimitri Vassiliu (who often flouts conventional uses of lighting equipment…) had other plans when he decided to use WildSun™K25 fixtures on this tour, which has equipment supplied by entertainment lighting vendor, Dushow.
While it may be (really) ideal for lighting concert halls, this attractive marvel is being used here to shower the audience in brilliant white light – without blinding it. WildSun-K25 has 217 LED emitters with a 10° to 60° zoom optics, arranged in nine concentric, individually controllable, rings – all mounted on an automated yoke.

Ayrton Dimitri Vassiliu les INSUS

Dimitri Vassiliu : Since LES INSUS interact and communicate with the audience a lot during their show, I wanted it to be really well lit – so the performers could see the people. But I didn’t want to blind the audience, which would have prevented them from seeing the musicians… so, the K25s were exactly what we needed! What’s more, I was getting tired of using Molefays…!

Hanging conventional white-light units on trusses over the audience can be time consuming and inefficient in terms of lamp replacement, fixture weight and the need to focus the fixtures manually. Why would a lighting designer want to deal with this hassle when a moving head solution exists that’s lighter, has lower power demand (replacing a 6,000-watt HMI with a 2,750-watt LED unit that has a luminous flux of 100,000 lumens), and is far more versatile (and fully controllable from the lighting desk).

Dimitri Vassiliu : I like to play around with the nine rings of LED emitters to create certain effects and modulate the output – being careful not to blind anybody but still lighting them well. The zoom is useful, although, given the confines of the Zenith in Paris, I couldn’t quite cover the entire room. It worked better in arenas.

Ayrton Dimitri Vassiliu les INSUS

The WildSun™K25 luminaires are deftly used to illuminate an audience eager to see and be seen by its cult band, but they don’t actually have the K25s on the stage – since the designer considers that concept a little too “garage”. The near-perfect white of the Ayrton WildSun™K25 (with excellent applications for video), is used splendidly here. This success suggests that we are going to be seeing a lot more of these big LED luminaires on French stages, arenas and stadiums soon.

More informations on the Ayrton website

At the Shizuoka Festival

Robert Juliat Dalis performs for Richard Sandaime

Robert Juliat’s award-winning Dalis 860 cyclorama washlights were chosen by lighting designer Scott Zielinski, to light the backdrops for the inspired theatre production of Richard Sandaime, a co-production between the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre and the Singapore International Festival of Arts, which premiered at the Shizuoka Arts Theatre in Japan as part of its World Theatre Festival 2016.

Robert Juliat Dalis 860 Festival Shizuoka 2016

Crédit photo : ©Jun Ishikawa

Directed by one of Asia’s leading theatre directors, Ong Keng Sen, Richard Sandaime is an international collaboration performed in Japanese, English and Indonesian with Japanese and English subtitles. It uses top actors from Singapore, Indonesia and Japan, and a wonderful Balinese puppeteer. Loosely based on Shakespeare’s Richard III, this innovative and rarely performed production – the first since Japanese playwright and director Noda Hideki’s original 1990 production – is the story of a fictional trial of Shakespeare, who allegedly defamed Richard Sandaime, the Grand Master of Ikebana.

The main scenic element for Richard Sandaime is the cyclorama itself, which Zielinski had intended to light with standard 1250W 4-colour cyclorama lights, mixing them in traditional style. “However, it came as quite a shock to me that Japan typically uses only 300W or 500W cyc lights which were not powerful enough for such an important feature,” he says. “It quickly became obvious I needed to look at other options.”
The highly visual production called for a fixture with an extremely, wide colour spectrum, which could produce intense colour. Zielinski was very keen to get the best product to deliver the effect he needed for the cyclorama and was introduced to the Robert Juliat Dalis 860 by Sogo Butai Co Ltd, an associate company of Robert Juliat’s Japanese distributor, Theater Engineering Co Ltd.

Robert Juliat Dalis 860

Robert Juliat Dalis 860

Dalis 860 has a double row of 24 LEDs (48 in total) and an eight colour mixing system, from which multiple, intense and vivid colours, or delicate, pale washes can be produced. Dalis is also convection cooled so there are no noisy fans to contend with, which makes it ideal for use in theatre and television.

When Zielinski tried the Dalis fixtures he commented, ”I was blown away – I used 12 units to cover the 9m high x 12m wide cyclorama from a floor-mounted position only 2m behind the cloth. They produced an absolutely smooth, beautiful, even wash of incredible intensity.” The effects achieved for this production were absolutely perfect, with the strong colours evoking the very stylistic design and use of colour, seen in many paintings and Japanese art.
The smoothness and depth of colour was achieved with each LED working in conjunction with Dalis’s unique optical system. The system incorporates the use of a mini asymmetric reflector or ‘spoon’ with each LED which helps create the wide beam spread and the huge variety of pastel and saturated colours.

“No other manufacturer has created something with such a native wide beam spread,” continued Zielinski. “This is key to the unit – it is just what you need when you are trying to light a cyc and why I chose Dalis. “The optical system works much more efficiently than the interchangeable lenses used by other LED cyclorama fixtures, and results in a much wider, smoother coverage. And because Dalis’ LED technology does not filter out any light, I didn’t lose intensity, even with the deep colours.”
Many of the scenes in the production are very bright with the courtroom scenes, for example, depicted with a deep purple backdrop and full stage lighting in the foreground. “With Dalis, we were able to achieve a perfect, vibrant, deep purple sheet of cyclorama behind a full stage of light – it was super-punchy!” says Zielinski. “You could never get that intensity of colour and light with filters and conventional lighting. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Crédits photo : ©Jun Ishikawa

Crédit photo : ©Jun Ishikawa

Zielinski was also able to make use of the individual control over sections of the Dalis units: “This feature enabled me to create some amazing, unique moving effects, such as a rainbow effect scrolling from left to right across the cyclorama in one of the more comic moments.
I wouldn’t be able to do that with anything else.” Zielinski summed up his experience with Dalis, “For me the most fantastic thing was the ability to have those pure, vibrant sheets of colour – this is the only equipment that allows me to do this. I am already planning on using them in some future projects.”

Following its Japanese premiere, Richard Sandaime moved to the Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall, Singapore in September where it played for two weeks as part of the annual Singapore International Festival of Arts. The production then moved to Tokyo, from where it embarks on a small tour of four more Japanese cities in November. A co-production between Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre and Singapore International Festival of Arts, Hideki Noda’s Richard Sandaime was directed by Ong Keng Sen. The lighting was designed by Scott Zielinski, with set design by Kato Chika, costume by Yanaihara Mitsushi, video design by Takahashi Keisuke and music by Yamanaka Toru.

For more informations or contacts visit :