Disney Concert

New audio dimension to Berlin Waldbühne thanks to L-Acoustic’s L-ISA

On Saturday 2nd July, L-ISA live was deployed by Soundhouse at Berlin Waldbühne for Disney in Concert, a show featuring the most famous Disney film melodies performed by the German Symphony Orchestra Berlin.
L-ISA live is the latest technology from L-Acoustics founder Christian Heil, a breakthrough in sound reinforcement technology that offers an immersive experience of ultra-realistic localizations and provides a true connection between the seen and the heard, ultimately suppressing the sense of loudspeakers and delivering natural sound.
Acoustical events are perceived as if they were emerging from the source, thus completely focusing the listener’s attention on the show.

The stage featuring an hybrid configuration of L-ISA Live Kara arrays and ARCS Focus speakers and a more conventional L/R K1 system.

The stage featuring an hybrid configuration of L-ISA Live Kara arrays and ARCS Focus speakers and a more conventional L/R K1 system.

L-ISA live requires the placement of a frontal speaker system, consisting of at least 5 arrays/loudspeakers, along with an L-ISA Processor that provides an intuitive object-oriented mixing approach through dedicated software: the L-ISA Controller. “To achieve optimum results, loudspeakers need to be installed in suitable spots to provide the desired localization effect,” explains Sherif El Barbari, head of application at L-ISA.

“Because humans have the capability of localizing sources horizontally in a much higher resolution, we need to respect a maximum distance between loudspeakers, which allows us to experience a perfectly localized event connected to what we can see. Vertically this is less critical, which allows for more flexibility in positioning the arrays higher than the actual sound source.”

The five Kara arrays, one of the Live L-ISA configurations

The five Kara arrays, one of the Live L-ISA configurations

The Berlin Waldbühne is one of the most beautiful open-air stages in Europe. As usual the considerably strict sightline rules have to be respected and it was not possible to use loudspeaker arrays above the stage that were tall enough to cover the entire venue’s capacity of 20,000 pax. “Because of this, we designed a ‘mixed’ solution combining a frontal L-ISA system with a conventional L/R system,” says Sherif.
“We had five arrays of eight Kara above stage to provide optimum experience to the closer audience, who usually suffer from an indirect sound and poor localization when a L/R system is in place. The far field was addressed by a hang of eight K1 per side to cover the further audience areas with satisfying results due to the distance.”

From left to right Holger Schwark, Disney in Concert FOH, Sherif El Barbari, Head of application at L-ISA and Jürgen Erhard, Soundhouse’s systems Tech.

From left to right Holger Schwark, Disney in Concert FOH, Sherif El Barbari, Head of application at L-ISA and Jürgen Erhard, Soundhouse’s systems Tech.

Holger Schwark, a savvy and experienced mixing engineer in this venue for the past 14 years and in charge of FOH sound for this event for the second year: “When I first heard about the development of the L-ISA system, it didn’t take me long to know that it should be tried at the Waldbühne,” says Holger Schwark, Front of House engineer for “Disney in Concert” and mixing engineer for 14 years at the Waldbüne.
“This year’s “Disney in Concert” show was the perfect opportunity to give it a try. The promoter had enough confidence in me and PA company Soundhouse’s team, which meant we were able to come up with a new system design.

“I’m very happy to say that using L-ISA is a big step towards more people in the audience experiencing more of the sonic detail connected with what one can see on stage. This imaging clarity is usually only available in full quality to those seated near the middle. “Mixing on the L-ISA system was a very enjoyable and rewarding experience, and the number of people who complimented the sound this year was a good indication that it was recognized by many.”

In Johannesburg and Pretoria

Denis Hutchinson uses Robert Juliat Dalis as footlight on the Sophiatown musical

Lighting designer and consultant, Denis Hutchinson, was loaned six Robert Juliat Dalis 300W LED Cyclights by DWR Distribution to ‘test drive’ on the musical Sophiatown which played at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg and at the State Theatre in Pretoria.

The cast of Sophiatown beautifully front-lit by Dennis Hutchinson with Robert Juliat Dalis LED cyclights rigged at ground level. © Neo Ntsoma

The cast of Sophiatown beautifully front-lit by Dennis Hutchinson with Robert Juliat Dalis LED cyclights rigged at ground level. © Neo Ntsoma

In South African history, Sophiatown, aside from violence and poverty, was Johannesburg’s renowned ‘mixed suburb’ in the days of Apartheid, affectionately remembered for the lively politics, music, jazz and blues.

Photo © Neo Ntsoma

Photo © Neo Ntsoma

It was where people lived together, undivided by colour, before the authorities tore it apart. Sophiatown, the musical production, played tribute to this society and also formed part of the Market Theatre’s 40th birthday celebrations.
“Initially I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to use the Dalis units on the show because they’re cyc lights and I didn’t have a cyc,” commented Denis. “But I was not going to let that stop me! I ended up using three units for footlights, which saved my bacon, as Sophiatown is set in is a period where people often wore hats.
Although people didn’t necessarily wear them indoors, the director wanted the cast to wear the hats all the way through. A lot of actors don’t know how to wear hats and you end up struggling to see their eyes. Having a set of footlights solves a whole bunch of problems.”

Photo © Neo Ntsoma

Photo © Neo Ntsoma

A fan of footlights at the best of times, Denis adds that although the Dalis is beautifully compact as a ground row, it sits about 150mm off the deck which is a little big for a footlight. “In the case of Sophiatown, it didn’t matter because the stage was raised so I was able to go below stage level anyway and it worked really well.”

The Dalis has been thoughtfully put together.
“It’s an 8-colour system and I’m really impressed with the coverage,” he said. “It’s a genuine asymmetric cyc unit which can be used either on the ground or hung overhead. Unlike some of the other LED models on the market, the coverage is quite tight on the horizontal axis, which means that you can literally light vertical stripes on the cyc if you wanted to. Due to the way the unit is built, the stripes can be butted up against each other without any gaps.”

Photo © Neo Ntsoma

Photo © Neo Ntsoma

The design features also impressed. “The way the plugs are arranged on the unit is very clever. They come standard with the combined DMX power cables, which I love. I found them really interesting units to use, they are bright, and if anyone has a permanent cyc and requires a permanent cyc light, I think Dalis would be a very good investment,” he said.
“The Dalis is competitively priced, perhaps slightly more expensive than some of the other units out there, but not so much that it’s an issue. I would imagine that television studios are going to love them both as ground rows and overheads because they’re compact, low power and you’re going to get an absolutely even coverage. So I think they re going to make a killing in the TV market.”

In South Africa, there are a very few theatres that have the luxury of exclusive cyc lights other than the larger ones such as the State Theatre in Pretoria and the Artscape in Cape Town, as Denis explains: “I can quite see the bigger theatres going this route. When I think of Artscape, as an example, where the flying space around the flood bar is really tight, this unit could solve a whole bunch of problems for them because it’s more compact and brighter than what they have at the moment.”

“I think Robert Juliat are going to do very well out of this unit, I really do, and I certainly enjoyed using it,” ended Denis. “I’m looking forward to using them again; Duncan Riley of DWR promised them to me for Saturday Night Fever which runs in September, and I’m going to use them to light the backdrop which is what they are actually designed for.”

More information on The web site www.robertjuliat.com and on SoundLightUp Robert Juliat Dalis 860

 

Video demonstration

Ayrton brings far-reaching power with the new MagicDot™-XT

Developed specifically to answer the demands of today’s massive live music, television and entertainment environments, the new Ayrton MagicDot™-XT is an amplified version of the MagicDot™-R much more powerful punch that suits long throw applications.
Optimised for use in large venues, MagicDot™-XT is equipped with Ayrton’s new proprietary 126 mm diameter collimator that distinguishes the ‘XT’ product line.

AYRTON – MagicDot-XT – Hundred and Forty-four Unit Demo from Ayrton on Vimeo.

Weighing in at 550g, this new high-efficiency lens is the world’s largest collimator which, when coupled with an ultra-powerful RGBW emitter, enables MagicDot™-XT to project a 2° beam with centre beam efficiency of 580 candelas per lumen. This output makes it perfect for larger venues.

Ayrton MagicDot-XT

Ayrton MagicDot-XT

MagicDot™-XT sports all same features as MagicDot-™-R, including ultra-rapid movement and continuous, unlimited, rotation on pan and tilt.
The compact footprint permits multiple MagicDot™-XT fixtures to be installed with a minimum amount of space between them, while its ultra-tight, fat beam is impressive over distances and can generate the sharpest of light curtain effects.

MagicDot-XT is cooled by an active phase-change liquid cooling system that employs advanced heat pipe technology.
This ensures MagicDot-XT can be used continuously without significant loss of output.
In addition to standard DMX-RDM connectors, MagicDot™-XT can be controlled via wireless CRMX TiMo RDM from LumenRadio™.

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

 

For the second year in a row

Ayrton wins Live Design Award with MagicDot-R

Ayrton’s MagicDot™-R has been awarded the Live Design™ Product of the Year 2016 in the Effects Category at the 9th annual Live Design Awards ceremony. This marks the second year running that Ayrton’s product designers were so honoured, having won Product of the Year 2015 for MagicBlade™-R.
A member of Ayrton’s Radical product line, the patented MagicDot™-R is the first professional moving head LED luminaire with a single optical collimator. Using a new 60W RGBW multi-chip LED paired with a 94mm high-efficiency collimator, in a unique and distinctive form factor, MagicDot™-R delivers an intense uniform 4.5° beam with a high CRI and a palette of rich saturated and pastel colours.

Paul Weller and Keith Bennett from Ayrton’s exclusive US distributor, Morpheus Lights, with the 2016 Live Design Award for Innovation: Effects for Ayrton’s MagicDot™R © Paul Fronc, Courtesy of Live Design

Paul Weller and Keith Bennett from Ayrton’s exclusive US distributor, Morpheus Lights, with the 2016 Live Design Award for Innovation: Effects for Ayrton’s MagicDot™R © Paul Fronc, Courtesy of Live Design

The judges said MagicDot-R was ‘fun and unique’ and chose it for a Product of the Year Award because of its power and agility, stating:
“The MagicDot-R puts a refreshing effect fixture into the designer’s palette. Its lightning fast movement, repeatable positioning, and full 360-degree rotation make this one of the most unique fixtures to have been brought to market in years. It opens the door to many great design ideas.”

Since its release last year at Prolight + Sound, Frankfurt, MagicDot-R has been put to spectacular use by some of the best lighting designers in the world today, including Cory Fitzgerald, Mike Swinford, LeRoy Bennett, Mark Butts and Dan Hadley, for artists including Bruno Mars, Jason Aldean, The Weeknd, Little Big Town, and of course for the famous ‘Grohl Throne’ for the Foo Fighters.

“We are delighted to be awarded a Live Design Product of the Year for a second year in a row,” says Ayrton’s Valère Huart-Gyors. “I think it is a wonderful acknowledgment of Ayrton’s dedication to innovation. Knowing that the jury is composed of experienced designers and programmers, we can be only really proud. Let’s continue the story next year!”
Keith Bennett of Morpheus Lights, Ayrton’s exclusive US distributor, accepted the award on behalf of Ayrton.

For more informations, visit www.ayrton.eu

 

ETC launches new Mosaic Show Controller X

ETC has announced its Unison Mosaic® Show Controller X (MSCX) has a new-and-improved version. It is now smaller, housed in a one-unit, 19-inch rack-mount enclosure.
The updated Show Controller X is offered with capacities from 5,120 channels (10 universes) up to 50,000 channels of DMX-over-Ethernet. It is compatible with all existing and new Mosaic control systems that utilise Mosaic Designer 2 software.

ETC Mosaic Show Controller X 2

ETC Mosaic Show Controller X 2 Front

Mosaic Show Controller X was created for larger lighting and LED installations that demand synchronised control and extensive capabilities,” explains ETC Architectural Product Manager Lowell Olcott,
“which is why the MSCX offers an extensive range of external triggering interfaces, including Ethernet, RS232 Serial, and more.” It also provides astronomical, real-time and lunar-time time-based control as well as video output for multiple pixel matrices simultaneously.

ETC Mosaic Show Controller X 2 Back

ETC Mosaic Show Controller X 2 Back

To learn more, please visit www.etcconnect.com

 

In Las Vegas to the Louxor hotel

Blue Man Group Switches to Robe

Award-winning, critically-acclaimed and highly successful performance art company Blue Man Group has recently started incorporating Robe moving lights into their show at the Luxor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Blue Man Group is a heady mega-mix of music, technology, art and excitement which immerses and delights audiences by wrapping them in its infectious beats and vibes. Lighting plays a crucial role with a dynamic and energetic maelstrom of color, movement and emotion.

Photo : Lindsey Best

Photo : Lindsey Best

When Blue Man Group’s Las Vegas show moved back to the Luxor at the end of 2015, it was an ideal opportunity to upgrade and change certain aspects of the lighting rig to optimize the more intimate venue. The space ideally lent itself to more compact fixtures to fulfill Tony award-winning lighting designer’ visual concept, which had been developed in 2013 when the Blue Men had moved a new show into the Monte Carlo Hotel.
“I wanted fixtures that were very specific and would work well within the space limitations but that also had the brightness and impact to hold their own alongside the video elements,” explained Tabitha Rodman, Blue Man Group’s associate lighting designer. The back wall, the set legs plus other scenic features are all constructed from LED panels, so they needed bright and powerful luminaires and the set pieces also contain lighting, adding a further layer of depth.
Rodman first looked at the potential solutions offered by Robe after consulting with Brent Hageman, head of lighting for the Las Vegas show who joined Blue Man Group in 2014. Based in Las Vegas since 1998, Hageman has had plenty of opportunities to see demos and lights in action, and to compare the different and current lighting trends and technologies. With the move to the Luxor now imminent, they both discussed the idea with Adams.

Photo : Lindsey Best

Photo : Lindsey Best

The show specification in the Luxor now includes over 120 Robe fixtures.
There are 38 x MMX Spots, 25 x MMX Blades, 30 x LEDWash 300s, 13 x LEDWash 800s, four PARFect 100 LED PARs, and 10 x Cyclones (fans with an integral LED ring).
The MMXs are the backbone of the rig and are used for all the specials and key lighting, as well as bringing the general brightness and impact needed to work with the multiple LED surfaces.
The LED Washes add another layer of luminescence to the show, with the tidy LEDWash 300s framing the pros arch and radiating energy out into the audience. “I was thrilled with the color range and effects of the Robe fixtures” observed Adams, “they can create a dark blue that is really special and that I haven’t yet found in any other LED fixtures.”
Set, lighting and video are all designed as a visual collage of contrasting media helping provide the all-encompassing Blue Man Group ‘experience’. Robe’s Cyclone – a fan integrated into a moving LED head – was a project developed with LD Scott Warner, and the way Blue Man Group uses these is a great example of their versatility. Two of the 10 Cyclones in the show are being used for the standard function of coloring fog. The other 8 are fitted with a removable sleeve – in collaboration with the prop department –that contains a colored silk fabric ‘dancer’ … which creates amazing effects for the finale when combined with the pixel mapped Cyclone LED ring.

Photo : Lindsey Best

Photo : Lindsey Best

Rodman oversees implementation of all the creative lighting elements including all installations and getting-in, tech’ing and programming of the various shows which currently includes residencies in five US cities – Las Vegas, New York, Chicago, Orlando and Boston plus a U.S. tour; a long run in Berlin and a new world tour that just opened in Singapore.
Once a show has opened, she works alongside with the various head electricians and their teams to ensure the integrity and continuity of the lighting design is maintained in all cases. As a result of the success of using the Robes in Las Vegas, Blue Man Group is now upgrading some of its gear in the Orlando show to include Robe’s MMX series. The world tour also features 37 x Robe ColorStrobes a mega-bright product utilizing 120 high powered LED multi-chips and 10 x Pointes.

At the Luxor, there is a ring of small 3-color LED units around the pro arch that can create special and graphic effects, and for the tour, Adams wanted a similar effects but something with a lot more impact for some of the larger arena venues they will be playing. The new Robe ColorStrobes are perfect!
Twenty-seven ColorStrobes are hung around the proscenium truss pointing at the audience! “They can strobe in multiple colors and glow in different configurations to make a variety of different light frames around the stage,” explained Adams who is delighted with these aesthetics. “They make a spectacle and can also act as quick-change scenery” he said, adding that they also use them as wash devices to light the band. “I absolutely love these Robe ColorStrobes, they are so bright and dynamic … and can’t imagine this tour going out without them,” stated Adams.

Photo : Lindsey Best

Photo : Lindsey Best

Rodman also “really enjoyed” working with the ColorStrobes creating eye-catching color and graphic effects.
Likewise, she’s been struck with the adaptability of the Pointes which are used for many tasks on the new touring production, from dramatic in-air effects to more straightforward key lighting.
They use lasers on the Vegas show and were looking for a lighting unit that could replace them, for which Pointes have proved “ideal” said Adams. In addition to authentically simulating the thin lines, flared beams and stretched cones of the lasers using the prisms, the Pointes are also used as wash units and specials in the show.
Adams appreciates their very fast movement, intensity and rugged build, “I look forward to using them on Broadway more often,” he concluded.
The biggest task for lighting a Blue Man Group show, Rodman elucidates, is finding a perfect balance between lighting and video while maintaining the principal character and his story, all the time sweeping the audience along. She enjoys many things about the shows including the uniqueness of the Blue Man Group performance environment and how it’s always evolving into something new, challenging and different.

On the operational front, Hageman states that the reliability of Robe was another big factor. In Las Vegas in particular, the show runs 7 days a week, two shows a day with three performances a day during peak time stretches of one or two weeks … so it’s absolutely essential that the kit is rock solid.
The service and support from Robe North America is “exceptional” even though he’s not actually needed much ‘support’ as such, but “when I do have to reach out, even if it’s out of office hours … the response is pretty much immediate.”

More informations son the site Robe and with the video on the cyclone Robe

 

Clay Paky Scenius Light Up “One Drop Moment” from Cirque du Soleil’s 45Degrees

Clay Paky Scenius Cirque du Soleil

Bal en Blanc, Canada’s oldest EMD festival and one of the first in the world, featured an exclusive attraction by 45DEGREES, Cirque du Soleil’s events and special projects company.
Five Cirque acts performing during the Sultan+Shepard set were lit by an array of Clay Paky fixtures provided by 4U2C.

Clay Paky Scenius Cirque du Soleil

Held on Easter weekend at the Palais du congres, the Bal en Blanc was produced by Produkt with One Drop as its official cause partner.
One Drop is a Montreal-based non-profit, created by Cirque founder Guy Laliberte, whose mission is to provide safe water to communities worldwide. 45DEGREES staged its “One Drop Moment” to showcase this collaboration and provide a taste of what’s to come as the partnership continues with Bal en Blanc 2017.

Clay Paky Scenius Cirque du Soleil

“The challenge was to create a unique Cirque moment during a big EDM show with a live VJ and video artist keying,” says 4U2C’s Karl Gaudreau who served as lighting designer for the attraction. “We made a special design with six Clay Paky Scenius spots and eight Mythos on a 16×16-foot riser in the middle of the space. The dance floor was covered with 90 Sharpys.”

The event marked the first time 4U2C deployed the new Scenius fixtures. “With Scenius we have finally found the best light!” Gaudreau declares. “The color mix and optics are perfect. It’s the best unit for rock ’n roll and theater combinations.”
45DEGREES’ Frank Helpin directed “One Drop Moment.” Barry Russell was the video director and Remi Dubois the VJ.

Clay Paky Scenius Cirque du Soleil

Plus d’infos sur les sites : Dimatec, Clay Paky, One Drop, Cirque du soleil, 45 Degrees, 4U2C.

As Sales-Rep in France

Thierry Philippe joins Adam Hall Group

Thierry Philippe

Thierry Philippe joins Adam Hall Group as the New Sales Representative of brands LD Systems®, Cameo®, Gravity®, Defender®, Palmer®, Adam Hall® Hardware and Adam Hall® Stage Equipment & Cables overseeing the areas of Paris and Northern France.

As a senior technician and passionate musician, Philippe began his career in a distribution company of prestigious Pro Audio brands. He has also worked as product manager for other well-known Pro Audio (PA) and Music Instrument (MI) brands and finally as country manager reaching unprecedented numbers. In his different positions, Philippe has acquired a strong experience in the PA/MI industry.

Gabriel Medrano, International Sales Manager Southern Europe/South America:
“We are very excited to have Thierry in our sales team for France. With 21 years of experience in the Music Instrument (MI) and Pro Audio (PA) markets with a proven track record of success, I’m sure that Thierry’s deep technical knowledge and his customer orientation will ensure that we can be a stronger partner for our customers in France.”

Thierry Philippe, Sales Representative Northern France:
“Adam Hall Group is an innovative company, which is always in tune with its customers and employees. I am very pleased and motivated to join Adam Hall Group with its strong teams of passionate people. I could not have found a more exciting challenge, having been long-since impressed by the continued steady growth of the company. I am proud to be on board and to help continue this success.”

Thierry Philippe Contact : Téléphone : +33 (0)7 77 39 65 14 and email: [email protected]

Information about Adam Hall Group : www.adamhall.com et sur blog.adamhall.com

 

BMFLS for Simple Minds Big Music Tour

Robe BMFL Spot moving lights created a huge impact for the arena section of Simple Minds’ “Big Music” tour for which lighting designer Stephen Pollard expanded and scaled up the stage set and lighting rig he used in theatre venues last year.
Leading UK lighting and visuals rental company HSL invested in 50 x new Robe BMFL Spots just before the tour went out, 24 of which were used by Steve.

Photo : Edward Fielding

Photo : Edward Fielding

While Simple Minds won worldwide fame, recognition and built a resolute fan base with their massive rock anthems and maverick stadium performances of the 1980s and early 1990s, the roots of their music is altogether moodier, darker and more sinister. The underlining vibe of Big Music unites this rawness with some of the more traditional largeness that might be expected from the band’s 17th studio album … which was also their first in 5 years.

Photo : Edward Fielding

Photo : Edward Fielding

The tour was a great success. Fans loved the new material and enjoyed the ‘greats’ on the set list. Especially on the arena dates, WOW factors were important to accentuate the confidence of this musical approach, and this is why Steve chose BMFL Spots.
“I basically needed a bright, big, bad-ASS light that would cut thought everything – including video – and BMFL was it!”
Much of the show was about beam-work so the BMFL Spots were ideal for creating beam ‘structures’ and frameworks as well as for those all-encompassing gobo sweeps, for which they were fitted with custom gobos tailored to Steve’s design.
“The saturated colours are amazing,” commented Steve. “Saturated reds, greens and all those hues that are hard to get a properly bright look from … are just incredible on the BMFL!”
The rig comprised three curved trusses. 20 x BMFLs were positioned on the main truss which also had 8 video ‘drops’. This main truss also supported six vertical sub-hung trusses fitted with various scaffolding and accessories that enabled Steve to hang the fixtures at different levels.

Six BMFLs were out rigged from the top of the main truss, another 12 were positioned on the sub hung trusses between the video drops with four BMFL Spots upstage of the stage set on the floor. Positioned like this, they enabled Steve to create symmetrical layers of light which could change into random lighting chaos at the press of a button, which fitted the edgy, visually deconstructed aesthetic that worked well with the video product positioned between the lighting drops.

Photo : Edward Fielding

Photo : Edward Fielding

A strong curved element ran through the set and lighting design making it suggestively feminine to celebrate the “two extremely strong women” – Sarah Brown and Catharine A.D. – in the band line up, which also gave the latest Simple Minds live sound something new, fresh and different.

Photo : Edward Fielding

Photo : Edward Fielding

“I wanted the whole design to have a feminine aura,” explained Steve, “BUT with attitude … not fluffy or clichéd,” he added quickly!
Aside from the creative flair that the intense beams and gobo patterns of the BMFL Spots brought to the equation, the units were extremely reliable as well as great fun to use and to programme confirms Steve, who ran a show from a grandMA full size.

Simon Stuart from HSL is also delighted with the BMFL Spot purchase, something he’d been contemplating for a while. “BMFLs are getting requested more frequently and are now being specified on riders constantly” he says, “so the time was right for us as a rental company… and in addition to that, they helped Steve create a fantastic and very exciting looking show”.

More informations on www.robe.cz

 

“Rester Vivant Tour” at the AccorHotels Arena

Johnny Hallyday on tour, with lighting by Dimitri Vassiliu: back to the roots of rock

Dimitri Vassiliu, lighting designer (LD) for French rock superstar Johnny Hallyday, invited us backstage at the AccorHotels Arena during the on-going “Rester Vivant” marathon tour to talk lighting, video, and rock & roll.

A magnificent tableau, lean and very graphic. The risers are marked with Arcaline 2 LED battens. BFML spots define the space to the side and behind, and the screens provide a red light source in harmony with the B-Eye K20s.

A magnificent tableau, lean and very graphic. The risers are marked with Arcaline 2 LED battens. BFML spots define the space to the side and behind, and the screens provide a red light source in harmony with the B-Eye K20s.

This was a new experience for the talented LD, who had already worked on some of the biggest music tours in France. Now, to helm not only the lighting but also the scenic and video design for over a hundred concerts by France’s rock icon was an exciting new challenge.

The fantastic skull opens, lit by MAC Auras...

The fantastic skull opens, lit by MAC Auras…

Johnny Hallyday was back on the French concert stage, prepared to go all out in the true spirit of rock & roll.
Lead guitarist, Yarol Poupaud, has forsaken his six-string for this tour to act as the band’s musical director, joining the LD, the promoter, and Johnny himself in this rock revival production. The team opted for a lean and uncluttered vintage stage that nevertheless boasts cutting-edge technology in both projectors and screens: B-Eye, BMFL, Mythos, and Sharpy profiles and wash lights.


... revealing France’s national rock star under the Sharpy beams, in front of the MagicPanel™ array that artfully evokes stars in the night sky.

… revealing France’s national rock star under the Sharpy beams, in front of the MagicPanel™ array that artfully evokes stars in the night sky.

The set consists of 834 video modules that pepper the Arena stage along with an impressive array of 192 Ayrton MagicPanel™602 luminaires suspended upstage – no doubt, the biggest rig of this type ever used in France.
As expected, it’s a big rig, and Johnny makes his spectacular, surprise entrance from out of a fantastic giant skull that cracks open in a nebula of smoke, under a wash of blinding white light. Johnny wouldn’t have it any other way.
Vassiliu takes some bold risks with his decisions on a new lighting scheme that blends old-school lamps with ultra modern video. The point was not just to break all the rules but also to give the rock star a new lighting and graphic concept. We met with the LD himself, who also mans the console on this tour, assisted by Philippe Marty and Stéphane Chiron in the booth.

Team photo of the marvellous lighting crew. From left to right, kneeling: Stéphane Chiron, Martial Blond, Dimitri Vassiliu, Christian “Lou” Carlichi and Aurelien. Standing: Pierre Yves Orieux, David Bergue, Jean Philippe Willocq, Philippe Marty, Thomas, Sylvain and Enrique Elixander.

Team photo of the marvellous lighting crew. From left to right, kneeling: Stéphane Chiron, Martial Blond, Dimitri Vassiliu, Christian “Lou” Carlichi and Aurelien. Standing: Pierre Yves Orieux, David Bergue, Jean Philippe Willocq, Philippe Marty, Thomas, Sylvain and Enrique Elixander.

We also spoke with Peggy M., Vassiliu’s video content producer, who adds her own personal touch to Johnny’s show with some remarkable playback material.

Custom design: a mix of vintage rock and modernity

[private]

Upon arrival, we saw the immense stage, prepared by Vassiliu for Decibels Production, in the concert hall of the AccorHôtel Arena.

The big stage (over 15 metres from front to back) framed by Robe BMFL beams. Vassiliu added 20 more BMFL units for the shows at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris.

The big stage (over 15 metres from front to back) framed by Robe BMFL beams. Vassiliu added 20 more BMFL units for the shows at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris.

A perfect mise en scène for the French rock god: A giant motorised skull lowers like a lift onto the stage that measures 15 metres from front to back with an additional 12 metre B-stage, and out comes Johnny. Vassiliu installed six specially designed moving SMD LED black video screens and some beautiful luminaires positioned on trusses all around the room on totems, both to the sides and behind the stage.
What really impressed us was the wall of 192 Ayrton MagicPanel™ fixtures, framed in a matrix, all waiting to be switched on, suggesting an army of Star Wars droids poised to draw their weapons when Johnny gives the cue. Even on standby, switched off in the empty concert hall, Vassiliu’s lighting and video rig is an impressive display.

192 MagicPanel™ luminaires set the stage. Totally rock & roll – powerful, in white, and always moving.

192 MagicPanel™ luminaires set the stage. Totally rock & roll – powerful, in white, and always moving.

Forget the vast panoply of some 460 projectors in the rig and consider the stage picture itself: massive but sober, conjuring images of the old days of rock & roll; of PAR cans and ACLs shooting tight white beams; of spacious stages with drums on risers and musicians jumping and gyrating as they grooved and soloed to the beat.

SLU : Dimitri, tell us how you got involved with the “Rester Vivant Tour”?

Dimitri Vassiliu : It’s the first time I’ve done lighting for Johnny. I’m excited because I really wanted to do this project. An offer I just couldn’t refuse! And I especially wanted to do it this way – with a back-to-the roots rock theme. Since that’s exactly what Johnny wanted too, it all worked out. His idea was always to do a tour that focuses on the band, and the whole atmosphere that goes along with it. So the lighting had to follow along those lines.

SLU : Working for Johnny Hallyday must be a lot of pressure, I would imagine ?

Dimitri Vassiliu : Sure, but I’ve been given a lot of freedom. I get all the information I need from the manager, from Johnny, Yarol, and even Laetitia [Johnny’s wife]. I’ve been provided with all the elements I need to do my design in total freedom. We listened to each other out and discussed which direction to go in. And that’s the direction I took. I really lucked out with the right band, the right tour, the right concert producer, the right year. And, I was able to choose my own team.

A fine example of Dimitri Vassiliu’s talent: His eclectic rig integrating multiple sources, media, and brands, produces a monochrome red, harmoniously bringing together video screens, moving head LED arrays, and wash lights.

A fine example of Dimitri Vassiliu’s talent: His eclectic rig integrating multiple sources, media, and brands, produces a monochrome red, harmoniously bringing together video screens, moving head LED arrays, and wash lights.

The best compliment I’ve had was from a director friend of mine who came to see the concert yesterday. He asked me if everything had been synced up [to time code], because the show was really tight and spot on. To which I responded, there was no syncing of the images or lighting. Everything is done manually, all done live!

SLU : You were talking about wanting to keep to the rock & roll image. Any other specific requirements?

Dimitri Vassiliu : Nothing else in particular – just the main idea, which is to do a rock revival. We started to work on the project a year and a half before the tour. I was in charge of everything from the stage design to the lighting and video.

Three Robert Juliat Lancelot followspots are positioned around the concert hall to track Johnny perfectly.

Three Robert Juliat Lancelot followspots are positioned around the concert hall to track Johnny perfectly.

The front edge of the stage is marked by Martin MAC Aura units.

The front edge of the stage is marked by Martin MAC Aura units.


I called Emmanuelle Fabvre to help out with the scenic design, and both of us decided how to mix the technology and vintage aspects. The concert producer and Johnny really wanted something fairly sober. I liked the idea – an uncluttered stage. And let’s not forget about the audience. At Johnny’s shows, the lights are everywhere.

Indeed, lights everywhere.
From the sides, with Clay Paky B-Eye wash lights, and with Sharpy beam lights on totems in front. The backlights and wash lights are Mythos. For side lighting, on the floor, from the back and the front, and on the trusses framing the whole stage area, we use Robe BMFL spots. And way at the back, a wall of MagicPanel™ fixtures. What we need is a lot of beam power to shine on Johnny Hallyday from the back, and in style!

Ayrton MagicPanel™, the other star of the show

The matrix of 192 Ayrton MagicPanel™ luminaires controlled in Extended mode (160 channels).

The matrix of 192 Ayrton MagicPanel™ luminaires controlled in Extended mode (160 channels).

SLU : So you needed big light sources? How did you choose the projectors for your gear?

Dimitri Vassiliu : I built everything around the MagicPanel™ array. Of all the ideas I floated, they chose that one, my favourite, along with the skull. I had already been thinking about using screens and motorised drum risers, and playing with the shape of the stage.

SLU : Why did you insist on using the MagicPanel™ fixtures upstage?

Dimitri Vassiliu : I really wanted to add them to the rig, test the video with them. What I was looking for was a real rock & roll effect, a lighting unit that, when lit up in white produces a powerful fat beam, but could also project video and special effects.

Pure vintage rock look, setting the whole room ablaze.

Pure vintage rock look, setting the whole room ablaze.

Testing the luminaires at festivals and concerts

SLU : How did you decide on the rest of the fixtures? Any preferences?

Dimitri Vassiliu : We started off the tour doing festivals and we brought in a small rig with about half as many MagicPanels, some Sharpys, and some BMFLs on the floor, so I could test (I hadn’t ever used them before). Philou [note: Operator Philippe Marty, who programmed and ran them at the show] and I found some new ways to program and use the MagicPanel™ fixtures.
We also made use of gear that was already there and checked out some new equipment and installations… and we’d say, for example, “how about trying fewer Sharpys and more wash lights, etc.” So, this period actually turned out to be a test lab for our rig, and we then had a clear-cut idea of what we’d use for the rest of the tour.

Honouring Vassiliu’s original concept, the Mythos fixtures project their beams from behind and above the moving video screens.

Honouring Vassiliu’s original concept, the Mythos fixtures project their beams from behind and above the moving video screens.

SLU : Did you also find out about the Mythos fixtures at a festival?

When the custom video screens start to move, we can see Mythos units on the trusses.

When the custom video screens start to move, we can see Mythos units on the trusses.

Dimitri Vassiliu : No, I’d seen the Mythos units before, and I knew I wanted to use them. I wanted to hang them over the stage and above the automated screens.
We needed beams that could pass between the screens, and the projector had to be narrow because we didn’t have much room once the screens were hung from the ceiling. In addition, we had to place an insulating barrier outside the Mythos units so we wouldn’t burn the screens.

27 Clay Paky B-Eye K20 units on both left and right provide side-light.

27 Clay Paky B-Eye K20 units on both left and right provide side-light.

SLU : You used two rather impressive B-Eye arrays on the sides…

Dimitri Vassiliu : I wanted very powerful sidelight beams that would be enough for the big stage with nothing else. The B-Eyes are big, fat sidelights that really shine.

SLU : Do you use any of the fancier features of these wash lights, any special effects?

Dimitri Vassiliu : No, nothing fancy at all (hey, this is a show for Johnny after all!), except maybe – and this is the exception – the Ayrton MagicPanel™, when we need to be subtle and create a scene with little stars. We want to play with the pixels.

Bringing Johnny up to date while honouring his roots: Colourful images of urban scenes, mixed with pure light from the superb Clay Paky Mythos units, shine through from behind the stage, with B-Eye units providing colour from the sides.

Bringing Johnny up to date while honouring his roots: Colourful images of urban scenes, mixed with pure light from the superb Clay Paky Mythos units, shine through from behind the stage, with B-Eye units providing colour from the sides.

One of the BFML sidelights – the stars of the show when it comes to beam quality and light output.

One of the BFML sidelights – the stars of the show when it comes to beam quality and light output.

SLU : Tell us about using the Robe BMFL.

Dimitri Vassiliu : Yeah, absolutely… It’s really a super fixture, a powerful spot with a very high quality beam. I use them for front lighting – on Johnny and the band – and also for side and back lighting. Here in the arena, I’ve asked for 56 of them – 20 more than we use on the tour.

SLU : Do you think that arc source lamps, especially when used as wash lights, still have a future?

Dimitri Vassiliu : Sure, used as spots, or even as wash lights, arc lamps are far from obsolete! I picked Clay Paky Sharpy wash lights for side lighting, which I think are the ultimate for beam and colour quality. To light somebody… a face… I think nothing works better than an arc source lamp, especially when you don’t have much time to make adjustments.

SLU : How do you light the musicians?

Dimitri Vassiliu : With Sharpy Washes from the side, BMFLs from the side and front, plus the B-Eyes that add some extra light. They are 15 musicians on stage and I wanted them to be comfortable, without having too many fixtures on stage. That explains why I have them on truss hooks and why the big sidelights

This beautiful tableau shows the contrasting elements of the lighting/video rig on a sober, uncluttered stage. Video screens, positioned above to function as a soft source, and the MagicPanel™ luminaires add a touch of class and taste. The powerful BMFLs provide front and back lighting, as the B-Eye units project from the sides.

This beautiful tableau shows the contrasting elements of the lighting/video rig on a sober, uncluttered stage. Video screens, positioned above to function as a soft source, and the MagicPanel™ luminaires add a touch of class and taste. The powerful BMFLs provide front and back lighting, as the B-Eye units project from the sides.

Totally Johnny! But with Dimitri’s touch!

The fabulous video team: Soline Marchand and Christophe Paillet.

The fabulous video team: Soline Marchand and Christophe Paillet.

His carefully selected lighting rig has a modern touch, leaving a lot of open space on the big stage, making it look even bigger. The front line of fixtures include six motorised SMD 6 mm-pitch black Xenon portable screens that can move up and down, or remain suspended as if to defy gravity.

Their revolutionary concept integrates video into the design as a light source in itself. With Dimitri at the helm, no more need for heavy equipment, CO2 projection or pyrotechnics. To create the effect of fire, the screens do all the work with images of flames, plus other fabulous effects in 3D.

When Johnny sings his famous version of “Amour Fou” (Crazy Love) and “Requiem”, the video screens deliver the pyrotechnics, giving the show an ultra modern look.

When Johnny sings his famous version of “Amour Fou” (Crazy Love) and “Requiem”, the video screens deliver the pyrotechnics, giving the show an ultra modern look.

SLU : You’ve really freed up the stage and lightened up the heavy rig that we’re used to seeing at Johnny’s concerts

Dimitri Vassiliu : We still have him appearing from out of the skull that lowers and opens, as the drummer on the risers goes up. But what’s new is that the heavy part of the rig is now the six portable screens. Another reason I’m on this tour is also to redo the whole Johnny show – make some changes, bring in a new dimension, and not just repeat what’s already been done.

Dimitri Vassiliu’s refined lighting design shows originality, using a Mythos fixture as a top backlight on Hallyday and B-Eye LEDs as sidelights.

Dimitri Vassiliu’s refined lighting design shows originality, using a Mythos fixture as a top backlight on Hallyday and B-Eye LEDs as sidelights.

Johnny Hallyday stands alone, amidst his audience, lit only by Robe BMFLs spots.

Johnny Hallyday stands alone, amidst his audience, lit only by Robe BMFLs spots.

It isn’t necessarily better, just different, like the scenes where he starts to sing in the dark, lit by just a single high wash fixture, which I think was hard to do before. It’s another way of showing Johnny. He wants all the lights of course, but considering he how much emotion he puts into his songs, that gives us license to enhance the effect with more dramatic lighting.

In a closer, more intimate setting, the formidable rock star and his band enchant us from the B-stage, lit simply by Robe BFML fixtures and Lancelot followspots, with the screens displaying Peggy M’s media, adding to this intimate moment.

In a closer, more intimate setting, the formidable rock star and his band enchant us from the B-stage, lit simply by Robe BFML fixtures and Lancelot followspots, with the screens displaying Peggy M’s media, adding to this intimate moment.

SLU : So how does Johnny react to this new style of lighting design?

Dimitri Vassiliu : I think we are all on the same wavelength – Johnny, the musicians, the concert producer, and the audio-visual technicians. And Johnny is the ideal subject: he never complains, not about the strobes in his face, or the smoke or the projectors. He’s no wuss, and his audiences aren’t either

SLU : Are you the one controlling the screens?

Dimitri Vassiliu : Yes, and it feels good to be back at the console (a Hog 4) for this tour. I’ve done all the shows from the start. I run the screens. I have two Catalyst media servers to process the images created by Peggy M and Cutback. I’ve been collaborating closely with Peggy for a long time. She created 70% of the images. CutBack did the 3D ones, which are fewer but still essential. Playback video is always oriented to rock & roll… with all the proverbial eagles, skulls, snakes, etc. The idea was to mix the styles to get a modern but vintage effect.

The result: teamwork lighting

Dimitri Vassilu running the show live on his Hog 4. Stéphane Chiron is on the left.

Dimitri Vassilu running the show live on his Hog 4. Stéphane Chiron is on the left.

Dimitri Vassiliu shares the lighting booth with two co-workers:
Philippe Marty is in charge of the technical systems. He programs the Ayrton MagicPanel™ luminaires and much of the light show. Stéphane Chiron, had worked with Vassiliu in 1988 for pop star J. J. Goldman, calling the followspots, and has been assisting him at the console on major tours.

These veteran operators never forget that their primary function is to light the musicians, the stage, the audience, and to resist the temptation of technical overindulgence, however trendy or effective – but to simply control the LED units effectively.

SLU : How do you divide up the work for the live playback?

Dimitri Vassiliu : I handle the video screens, and Philippe controls the MagicPanel arrays, Sharpys, Mythos and K20s from a grandMA. Stéphane controls the BMFLs and all the other fixtures from another Hog 4. Honestly there’s more than enough work to go around! I selected grandMA for the programming and playback for the MagicPanel™ luminaires. We have a dedicated Catalyst for all the media.

SLU : Was it difficult to program the MagicPanel™ units?

Dimitri Vassiliu : We did actually spend a lot of time. Considering what we’d been told about the product our expectations were high. So we weren’t going to go halfway and just stay with the macros!

A subtle and tasteful blend of light and video

A subtle and tasteful blend of light and video

SLU : You weren’t tempted to do what a lot of people do and call some computer geek to program them?

Johnny’s world depicted by some truly effective playback video created by Peggy M for the MagicPanel™ array. Here we see three skulls.

Johnny’s world depicted by some truly effective playback video created by Peggy M for the MagicPanel™ array. Here we see three skulls.

Dimitri Vassiliu : Sure we were, because some pretty cool things had already been done with those units! That put the pressure on. I met the group Ez3kiel at a festival and saw the work they did with the MagicPanel™ and also saw what Chanel had done…
Philou and I knew that that was a hard act to follow!
But I don’t really think the two of us work in exactly the same way and want the same thing. But I’ll admit we did think about it…
Finally, we found what worked best for both of us. We didn’t want too much geek factor. There’s a song where three skulls are displayed on the MagicPanels.
Peggy M. produced some video content with the skulls and we transferred it to the panels… Didn’t need a computer guy for that. We do lighting for the main purpose of projecting light, and I don’t want to be out of phase with Johnny Hallyday’s band.

Philippe Marty programs the MagicPanel units

SLU : Did the programming take long?

Philippe Marty : Sure it’s long, mostly because there’s a lot of it. Afterwards, of course, we needed a system that functioned, so we had to program with the MA to directly merge the Catalyst output for the fixture and simplify the network management. That’s why MA beats the competition for this kind of thing.

SLU : Did you work more on abstract textures or images?

Philippe Marty : We worked more on the textures. All the videos were done specially for the format and pitch of the MagicPanel™, with attention to the negative space between the projector faces. I also made some videos myself using After Effects, and the results were impressive.

The famous fire eagle, created by Philippe Marty...

The famous fire eagle, created by Philippe Marty…

... displayed by the MagicPanel™ array, soaring behind Johnny Hallyday!

… displayed by the MagicPanel™ array, soaring behind Johnny Hallyday!


Three lighting consoles control the show: a grandMA2 used by Philippe Marty (seen here, with daughter Aélia looking on) and two Hog 4s used by Stéphane Chiron and Dimitri Vassiliu.

Three lighting consoles control the show: a grandMA2 used by Philippe Marty (seen here, with daughter Aélia looking on) and two Hog 4s used by Stéphane Chiron and Dimitri Vassiliu.

SLU : Do you have the new version of MagicPanel™?

Philippe Marty : No it’s the original version, the 602, and we didn’t use the infinite rotation because it doesn’t return to position with enough precision, especially in a huge rig like this, where we can’t afford even a minute degree of shift.
We control them simply via DMX, since Ethernet would need a network splitter, which is trickier.
I have 12 NPUs [Network Processing Units from MA Lighting] behind the console to handle 89 DMX universes with 40,500 active parameters!
And I have a second console behind and a Catalyst for backup.

SLU : Did the backup console ever come into play?

Philippe Marty : No, fortunately, never during a show. Knock on wood!
We’ve tested it. The MaNet switches over instantly but the ArtNet picks it up with a 5-second delay. Still that’s better than nothing at all.
I’m pretty happy, since we’ve never had a crash, even with the program, and there are a lot of people working the console!

Peggy M.’s playback video tailored to Johnny’s repertory

With about 150 m2 of black SMD video screens, in both 6 and 9-mm pitch, the quality of image playback was bound to be impressive. Vassiliu’s video content producer for the tour, Peggy M, created textures and images to everyone’s liking: Johnny’s, Vassiliu’s and her own (she recently handled the visuals for rock group Indochina on their latest tour).

Peggy M, video content producer and designer.

Peggy M, video content producer and designer.

Peggy M : Work started in November 2014 with a list of 70 possible songs! So I worked with some basic restrictions – powerful elements like nature, animals, fire, water – the sorts of images that fit the character.
I was free to use whatever I wanted either for texture or pure images. My team created all the video playback material for each song, designed for the six screens that were moving every which way, and on the big arch.

SLU : Were you directed by the scenic designer, by Dimitri or by Johnny himself??

Peggy M : I worked a lot with Yarol Poupaud who gave me some guidelines, using hues and creating an atmosphere. He helped a lot with the choice of stock images by referring us to some old festivals like the Big Mama event.

SLU : Tell us about your collaboration with Dimitri Vassiliu.

Peggy M : I’ve been working with Dimitri for so long I can’t really even describe it. He always proposes a set of images per song title and that gives me the direction to take when I create the videos. We know each other really well and have good synergy.

As Johnny sings “Tennessee”, Vassiliu calls on Peggy M’s imagery – to create a magical, intimate and emotional moment.

As Johnny sings “Tennessee”, Vassiliu calls on Peggy M’s imagery – to create a magical, intimate and emotional moment.

With the moving screens at the back of the stage displaying Peggy M’s media, a beautiful colour wash from the B-Eye fixtures at the sides, sets the décor.

With the moving screens at the back of the stage displaying Peggy M’s media, a beautiful colour wash from the B-Eye fixtures at the sides, sets the décor.

SLU : What do you think of the screens that are being used on the tour?

Peggy M : They’re magnificent and they have great resolution. Even though I prefer to work by projection – because LEDs have a tendency to lose some subtle image nuances – we’ve still managed to achieve a certain warmth. I see the screens as light sources unto themselves. There are songs that use only the screens for lighting
The more Dimitri and I get into it, the more I try to work on content, like the light, and less on narration. It’s hard work for a videographer but it’s exciting.

It’s sometimes hard to tell whether it’s the video generating the light or vice-versa, blended with the light from the arc lamps sources. The entire design project by Dimitri Vassiliu and his team integrates lighting, scenic design, and video. Bravo!

It’s sometimes hard to tell whether it’s the video generating the light or vice-versa, blended with the light from the arc lamps sources. The entire design project by Dimitri Vassiliu and his team integrates lighting, scenic design, and video. Bravo!

The idea is that the light and screen come together, and that especially applies in this case because the screens move like projectors.

SLU : How did you design your images? And in what format?

Peggy M : On the arch, we go beyond 3000 pixels
We’ve created visuals using a template for the six flat screens and the arch, and then we cut them up again for the Catalyst, which repositions them.
This can take a long time, sometimes all night!

Big and heavy, it’s only old rock & roll… but we love it.

It’s all because of Johnny (who’s always in perfect form) and his handpicked band that are focused more than ever on achieving a real gritty roots rock & roll sound. Under the watchful eye of the giant skull (keeping the faith in the true Johnny tradition!) the brilliant stage and video design is geared to preserve the timeless authenticity of rock and blues.
Really spectacular lighting – often in pure white. The stage looked out over the concert hall and on a B-stage that jutted out into the audience, Johnny and his band treated us to an awesome jam.

MagicPanel™ units become wash lights. BMFL spots deliver moving beams in colour – all for the glory of rock & roll.

MagicPanel™ units become wash lights. BMFL spots deliver moving beams in colour – all for the glory of rock & roll.

Vassiliu’s direction cast a spell on us!

  • The big B-Eye sidelights washed the stage in white and colour, sometimes used exclusively for certain tableaus.
  • BMFLs carefully highlighted the musicians from the front.
  • Just like some big ACLs, MagicPanel™ luminaires delivered powerful white light from upstage – for a classic rock & roll effect – then subtly projecting only single pixels with unexpectedly elegance.
  • Light from the Clay Paky Mythos units cut across the screens to project an intense beam on Johnny.
  • Video takes over where the bulky old rig left off.
  • The entire visual show was a “Live” event, under the magical control of the console operators.

Dimitri Vassiliu has revolutionised Johnny’s lighting and yet remained faithful: deftly balancing the authentic vintage and the modern.
Johnny Hallyday, the real deal, appeared that night, lit by Ayrton MagicPanel™ luminaires, black SMD screens and other fixtures in this 21st century rig, sometimes in a blaze of colour, sometimes with just the smallest bit of illumination, but always radiating charisma and sincerity.
This could be the theme of the Rester Vivant tour: To bring Johnny Hallyday up to date while honouring his rock roots.

Block diagram of light and video network

Synoptique du réseau lumière et vidéo

3D view fire plan

Plan de feu vue 3D

Symboles

Symboles

Vue de dessus

Vue de dessus


Profil gauche

Profil gauche

Vue de face

Vue de face


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ETC helps future proof Malmö Live event venue

When the technical managers for the concert hall at the new build Malmö Live venue in Sweden were planning the lighting for the venue, they knew they needed to future proof it, while also keeping costs down.
So ETC’s Danish dealer Atendi – previously known as Bico Professionel – supplied a full ETC Sensor3 power control system with triple-function dim/relay/constant current ThruPower modules. They also supplied 100 ETC Selador® Desire® D40 Studio Tungsten LED fixtures, to be installed in place of the halogen lights with dimmers that were originally specified in the tender.

The 100 ETC Desire D40 Studio Tungsten LED are able to achieve some 2,000 lux output across the stage. Photo : Carl-Jonsson

The 100 ETC Desire D40 Studio Tungsten LED are able to achieve some 2,000 lux output across the stage. Photo : Carl-Jonsson

The 100 LED fixtures are located above the orchestra stage in the main 1,600 seat hall, providing bright yet low energy white light – they were able to achieve some 2,000 lux output across the stage despite total power consumption being just 3kW.
An ETC Unison Paradigm® system means that the house and worklight system, along with rehearsal lights, would be fully integrated, so that all the fixtures can be operated both from the lighting control consoles and the existing Creston AV control panels.

Consultant Søren Nylin says: “Originally the system design was 80 per cent dimmers and 20 per cent non-dim circuits. By changing to the ThruPower system, we could skip all the non-dim circuits, saving on dimmer racks, processors and modules along with all the cable and power installation. This kept the system within the budget, and made it even more future proof – it gave us a win-win situation.”

Malmö Live is lit with an ETC Sensor3 power control system with ThruPower modules, and 100 ETC Desire D40 Studio Tungsten LED fixtures. Photo : Carl-Jonsson

Malmö Live is lit with an ETC Sensor3 power control system with ThruPower modules, and 100 ETC Desire D40 Studio Tungsten LED fixtures. Photo : Carl-Jonsson

The concert hall, plus the smaller flexible venue space, known as The Cube, are both controlled using a complete ACN network infrastructure, including ETC Concert PC software, which will be used to administer the settings for ThruPower, any of the 24 DMX/RDM Gateways, and the RDM-enabled fixtures. This is paired with a wireless DMX system, consisting of 30 receivers and transmitters, from a third party. Using the ACN protocol means it is easy to unplug any piece of kit and connect it anywhere else, while still keeping track of it.
Michael Derving, Malmö Live’s building and logistics manager, says: “We are pleased that it was possible to change the design to a ThruPower system, and we feel that we have a fully flexible system, ready for the challenges we will face in the future. The combined wireless-DMX and wired ACN DMX/RDM Gateway control design makes it easy to adapt to any situations in the venue.”

The Malmö Live complex, which also encompasses a five star hotel, a conference centre, two restaurants and a bar, is fast becoming a cultural landmark in the city. As the new home for the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, and with a series of events every Saturday especially for younger visitors, the venue has received plaudits from visitors and technicians alike even in the few months that it has been open.

For more information visit www.etcconnect.com

 

Madness Fall Tour

Weeknd… 650 Ayrton fixtures involved in the lighting design of Leroy Bennett

The sold-out Madness Fall Tour by Canadian singer, songwriter and record producer, The Weeknd, in support of his third studio album, Beauty Behind the Madness, was a spectacular production, with set and lighting design by LeRoy Bennett of Seven Design Works. It incorporated over 650 lighting fixtures from Ayrton – including ‘every available IntelliPix™-R fixture on the planet’ – to help realise a design concept that delivered a multiplicity of looks from the subtly atmospheric to a totally engulfing spectacle.

Photos : ©ToddKaplan

Photos : ©ToddKaplan

The music of Abel Tesfaye, the musician known as The Weeknd, is very dark and cinematic. Bennett reflected this by creating a mutable set with lots of transparency, depth and changing personalities. Ayrton fixtures featured heavily in its creation with a grid of 270 MagicPanel™ 602 fixtures forming a back wall that hid two rows of washlights, and which itself was concealed behind a transparent V-Thru screen.
Tesfaye’s band was elevated on a high band riser fronted by 140 MagicDot™-R units, with the band members individually lit by Ayrton MADesign™ architectural fixtures. Above the stage hung a massive arrangement of 264 IntelliPix™-R panels, rigged in five pods that broke apart to shape, texture and illuminate the stage. The result was the formation of layers upon layers of imagery and light, set against a deep black background, in support of a compelling, dramatic performance.

Magic Panel 602

Magic Panel 602

Bennett placed the MagicPanel™-602 units in a 30-wide x 9-high matrix far upstage and ran video content and abstract images through them to act as a backdrop to the band: “The wall made a big rectangular rig with the 6×6 configuration of each MagicPanel delivering a total of 9,270 LED emitters,” says programmer, Jason Baeri. “It was a dream to pixel map, which we did using a Hippotizer media server to create really clear images and run the video content.” Baeri, who Bennett refers to as his ‘Master of Programming’, is one of the most experienced users of Ayrton products. “We have been using these MagicPanel models for a number of years and they continue to be rock solid,” he confirms.

Madesign

Madesign

Ayrton’s unique MADesign™ fixture was originally designed for use as an interior architectural light, but Bennett found them ‘perfect for lighting a band’. The stand-alone MADesign has five independently controlled, RGBW LED emitters on a long ‘boom’ arm which Bennett used to create an isolated lighting system around each band member. Two fixtures were used to light the drummer and one each for the guitarist and base player, proving an ideal solution that melded beautifully with the carefully crafted atmosphere around the performances.
“The MADesign is a really low profile key light that produces a lot of light out of a tiny little strip,” says Baeri. “It’s ideal for subtly side and back lighting the band without putting too much light in from the front. It was easy to use, with handy lenses that pop out and focus individually, so we could focus tight on each musician yet keep the lighting low profile.”

Ayrton MagicDot-R

MagicDot-R

The Ayrton MagicDot™-R fixtures were wrapped around the front of the band riser in a 28 wide x 5 high grid. “We used them primarily to create a brick of light behind Abel and to add a little extra punch to the musical accents,” says Baeri.
“MagicDots are the quickest thing on the market right now, and their tight beam makes them a great effect light, especially when we use them en masse.”

Photos : ©ToddKaplan

Photos : ©ToddKaplan

Having first used Ayrton IntelliPix™-R on a small scale for Korean K-pop band, Big Bang, Bennett was determined to use these modular beam projection panels to build a structure for a large-scale application. The Weeknd tour was his first opportunity to put this into practice.
Bennett created five overhead pods that form irregular, three-dimensional ‘chevrons’ with IntelliPix-R panels on all horizontal and vertical surfaces. The central structure, made of three interlocking clusters, spanned the upstage and downstage areas and could break apart into sections to constantly change the shape of the performance space. Two outer pods situated over the VIP areas left and right could be raised and lowered independently and orientated in all directions, using a TAIT Navigator control system.

“My original intent was to have individual moving cubes, but there are only so many IntelliPix panels on the planet!” Bennett says. “So I modified the design to the bounds of reality while maintaining the concept of the vibe. As it is, we set out on the road with every available IntelliPix fixture in the world.” Ayrton’s US distributor, Las Vegas-based Morpheus Lights, assembled the ‘all-in’ IntelliPix package for the tour’s lighting contractor, Upstaging Inc. of Sycamore, Illinois with the cooperation of VisionStage of Detmold, Germany and Impact Evènement of Paris, France.
All contributed their total stock of IntelliPix-R fixtures, with Ayrton manufacturing the remainder to meet Bennett’s design specification. “Morpheus is fantastic at responding to my requests and procuring whatever I want from all over the world!” says Bennett.

Photos : ©ToddKaplan

Photos : ©ToddKaplan

“It was quite the logistical exercise to achieve the ‘critical mass’ of IntelliPix-R units to meet Roy’s vision,” says Morpheus’ Managing Partner, Paul Weller. “We are deeply indebted to Ayrton’s other distributors and dealers who helped Morpheus pull out the stops to enable this incredible rig to be realized.” Bennett used the overhead structures to change the shape of the stage and create a different configuration for every song, compressing the show to a small intimate space one moment and expanding it outwards at others in a range of dynamic stage effects, with the units being used both as light sources and to display graphical images.
His use of the semi-transparent IntelliPix-R was subtle and immensely varied, with lighting fixtures across the whole rig deliberately kept barely visible until the moment they were brought into action.

Intellipix-R

Intellipix-R

“Able is not a pop star,” Bennett explains. “His music is darker, like Michael Jackson meets Nine Inch Nails. He likes to be lit with a high degree of contrast and little front light, so there were no front spots and only two side spots in my design. Instead, I used the IntelliPix to create little ‘rooms’ of light around him from above: the units are so punchy and bright that, even from a height of 30/40ft, we were able to key him out in any colour, using only 30/40 emitters, and really isolate him from his surroundings.”
Baeri agrees: “IntelliPix-R is a subdued fixture which we can keep hidden until we need it, then we can suddenly unleash its giant beams of light.”
Yet he also enjoys the creativity the fixtures allow: “IntelliPix-R produces the tightest beam of all Ayrton fixtures so patterns read like video content.
For example, we made a fire effect using the individually controllable emitters to ‘paint’ an image and found the panels were able to project images of the fire into the sky adding another layer of depth above and beyond just a normal low-res video panel. “We were able to do this because we chose to control the IntelliPix manually, without any pixel mapping. We made a conscious decision to work this way because I wanted to be able to drill right down to the individual emitters and use them as pixels to paint a picture. We took each emitter, set up groups, took hundreds of selections and re-orientating the images manually. It was time consuming but I’d hate to have a fixture as intricate as the IntelliPix-R and not use it to its full potential.”

With a total of 16,480 points of light emanating from the Ayrton fixtures, which made up almost 90% of the lighting rig, Bennett and Baeri had a lot of potential to play with: “We don’t do a lot of simple!” says Baeri. “We used 140 DMX universes and maxed out the Grand MA2 console so ran the show off two desks – one controlling the video content and MagicPanel 602 fixtures, and the other controlling the IntelliPix-R units and the rest of the lighting rig. Upstaging did a great job of putting it together – the network was very taxing but they built a very sturdy system.”
“The array of different Ayrton fixtures gave us a lot of versatility which was perfect for the job,” concludes Bennett. “Ayrton lights are like different individuals within a family, each with their own personalities, which all work really well together as a team. They are really fun to work with – well made and very reliable.

“I am a great advocate of the company because of their ambition, and the level of support they give. We have a good dialogue with the people at Ayrton who are open to modifying their products to give the result we want. They have been very supportive on this show, as they have been on all the shows we have done with them over the past few years.”

More information on Ayrton’s full portfolio of LED lighting products can be found at Website Ayrton

 

Double LED Matrix Moving head

Ayrton DreamPanel Twin Combines Light and Video

With an 8 x 8 beam projection array on one side and a video display on the other, both mounted on a continuous rotation yoke, the innovative Ayrton DreamPanel Twin made its US début in November 2015 as a central component of LeRoy Bennett’s design for The Game Awards, the international video game award ceremony.

The double-sided LED projector: 64 x 15 W RGBW LEDs on one side

The double-sided LED projector: 64 x 15 W RGBW LEDs on one side

4096 x 0.25 W RGB LEDs on the other side

4096 x 0.25 W RGB LEDs on the other side


DreamPanel Twin is a hybrid luminaire made up of two LED matrix assemblies. The imaging display side of the fixture is a video tile with a 64 x 64 grid of 0.25 W RGB multi-chip LEDS mounted in a new, flat black matte housing that provides superior contrast while minimizing stray reflections from other lights in the rig.
This display solution was developed entirely by Ayrton, with 4096 RGB emitters at a 6 mm pitch. On the flip side, we have a MagicPanel style Beam Projector, fitted with 15 W RGBW Ostar Stage LEDs coupled with 6º, 45mm diameter collimators, which achieve an astounding optical efficiency of 85%! The luminaire side is a powerful projection matrix and its resolution is sufficient to display effects, whether independently programmed by the operator or pixel-mapped.

AYRTON – DreamPanel Series Mix – Seventy Seven Unit Demo from Ayrton on Vimeo.

A visit to dreamland

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DreamPanel Twin was conceived to display video images in full HD (1920 x 1080) by assembling these luminaires in a 30 x 16 configuration. To facilitate this, Ayrton engineered the yoke arms to be as thin as possible in order to minimize the space between the tiles and ensure the best possible rendering of the overall image. The base enclosure has a colour LCD User Interface with six navigation buttons, along with handles on both sides.
Despite the unconventional shape of this luminaire, the pan and tilt locks and the relatively light weight (@24 kg) make it easy to carry. The fixture ventilation system and foam anti-dust filters are built into the side of the fixture’s base. Connectors are on the rear of the base: mains power with pass through via PowerCON TRUE1 connectors, two Ethercon RJ45s for ArtNet & sACN control. RDM and DMX 512 are supported via ArtNet. Two Neutrik® HDMI 1.3a connectors are for input and pass through of the modified processed HDMI signal

On the back of the unit, there is an IN/OUT for each type of connector

On the back of the unit, there is an IN/OUT for each type of connector

Behind the handle, the ventilation and the filter

Behind the handle, the ventilation and the filter


The base also houses the specially designed power supply units as well as the video circuit board, developed by Ayrton to interpret and display the correct segment of the complete video signal to the tile’s 4096 RGB LEDs (1 LED = 1 pixel). Ayrton’s chief software development engineer, Cyril Union, tells us that this board is actually capable of driving 128 x 128 pixels. It is underused by a factor of 4 to prevent the signal from slowing down or images from jumping.
The yoke has a continuous rotating connector on the pan axis, with over 40 circuits transmitting the video and data signals and the power. The French manufacturer’s design team continues to use a dual-axis gear assembly, a drive belt, and a tried-and-true three-phase hybrid stepper motor. The circuit board that controls pan and tilt drives is in one of the yoke arms.

The screen controller card and buttons on the front panel, part of the video card and the other power supply.

The screen controller card and buttons on the front panel, part of the video card and the other power supply.

The base showing the connectors, the back of the video card and one of the power supply units

The base showing the connectors, the back of the video card and one of the power supply units


The head contains two power supply connectors: one for the beam projector LEDs and the other for the video LEDs. Another circuit board controls the eight fans in the head: four above and four below. The fans are installed on the top in alternating pairs, with one side providing intake and the other outtake, and at the bottom they are reversed. This creates two cross-ventilation paths.

The head is fully loaded

The head is fully loaded

Half of the ventilation system in the head

Half of the ventilation system in the head

The custom heat sinks are found behind the 15 W LED chips: one per emitter. They were specially developed for this fixture and manufactured using an extrusion process. The 64 LED emitters on the beam projection side are mounted on two separate circuits cards each with a separate control board. Four “registration” holes surrounding each LED position the collimator with precision to optimise the colour mix.

An extruded heat sink for each LED

An extruded heat sink for each LED

Two circuit cards for the 64 15 W LEDs and their two control boards

Two circuit cards for the 64 15 W LEDs and their two control boards

A 45 mm collimator that achieves 85% LED efficiency

A 45 mm collimator that achieves 85% LED efficiency

The video side also has two circuits, each controlling 64 x 32 RGB LEDs. Two power and two data connectors are mounted directly on the base. For simpler mounting, these plates are assembled on a frame that is attached to the head by screws. The DreamPanel HD-Box, running Ayrton’s proprietary HMDI Software Manager™ program, processes the video signal that is sent to the individual fixtures.
Both DreamPanel Twin and its cousin, the DreamPanel Shift, (which simply has the video display side) can be controlled in a mixed array, with the first fixture positioned up to 10 meters from the rack. A full 1920 x 1080 pixel image can be sent over the network, with each video tile rendering the pixels assigned to it.

Under the DREAMPANEL™TWIN

Under the DREAMPANEL™TWIN

The back of the video display side

The back of the video display side


DreamPanel HD-Box has a touch screen User Interface on the front for configuring the video inputs, outputs and other menu functions. The rear panel has two DVI and two HDMI inputs, each with a pass-through. Four HDMI “Custom” outputs are available to send the processed video signal to either type of DreamPanel fixture. A standard HDMI output connector supports a standard (full screen) monitor.
Ethernet and USB ports are provided for using the control software, which runs on a separate Windows-based computer. Two 5-pin XLR connectors enable DMX pass through. DMX is used to control internal macros and certain parameters, such as brightness, or to select the video source (These functions are also soon to be supported via ArtNet protocol).

The front panel of the DreamPanel ™HD-Box with the touch screen

The front panel of the DreamPanel ™HD-Box with the touch screen

Rear panel: Well connected!

Rear panel: Well connected!

Because Ayrton has chosen to send the data for the video tile settings over only one pair in the HDMI connector, it’s not possible to use a standard video repeater. As a result, if the distance between the controller and the fixture is greater than 10 meters an HDMI/2 x RJ45 adapter must be used to extend control up to a maximum of 50 meters (from the rack to the first fixture).
You can daisy-chain as many DreamPanel Twin or DreamPanel Shift fixtures to a controller as you choose – the limit is the image size, which cannot exceed 1920 x 1080 pixels. If, however, the same image is being displayed twice, e.g. on each side of the stage, a single DreamPanel HD-Box will cover it.

From dream to reality

When we visited Ayrton’s office to try out the DreamPanel Twin, we were fortunate to have chief software development engineer, Cyril Union, present to answer questions and help us to install and connect the video system. One of the more surprising aspects of this fixture is that, except for a few common parameters (e.g. Pan and Tilt), each side is independently driven, one side with a standard console and the other with a video source (e.g. a media server). So on one side there’s the graphic beam projector, with the pan/tilt and LED array, and on the other, the video tile.

Typical system configuration: An example of wiring path from the lighting console and media server to the DreamPanel ™HD-Box, DreamPanel Shift and DreamPanel Twin units

Typical system configuration: An example of wiring path from the lighting console and media server to the DreamPanel ™HD-Box, DreamPanel Shift and DreamPanel Twin units

The beam projector side has three DMX control modes: Basic (18 channels), Standard (20 channels), and Extended (272 channels). We can almost hear you cry out, “272 channels! But then you can’t even control two fixtures on one DMX universe! There would be control gaps everywhere. No way!” The good news is that, in the options menu, it’s possible to split the Extended mode into two and assign control to separate DMX addresses: one for the fixture base and the other for the LED emitters.

So, you wind up with two blocks of DMX channels, one with 16 and the other with 256, to which we can patch one or two fixtures (1, 1+101 or 1.1+1.2). More importantly, we can group sets of 64 LEDs by twos into one universe (2 x 256) and up to 32 bases on another universe. This is the configuration that we used for our testing.

For the video side with a single tile there was nothing complicated. The media server source was connected into one of the DreamPanel ™HD-Box input jacks. A green LED indicator light tells us that the HD-BOX is receiving a strong signal from the media server. Then we connected one of the four HDMI output jacks to the HDMI video input of the DreamPanel Twin.

We used Ayrton’s HMDI Software Manager program to configure the system, which includes the controller(s) and video tiles, and to keep it simple, we connected a Windows PC to the DreamPanel HD-Box via USB.
We accessed the software by clicking on the first icon on the top left part of the screen. Once the controller and the fixtures are connected, the icon turns blue. We could click on the search icon for the DreamPanel ™HD-Box and the fixtures on the network or load a configuration using the yellow arrow icon.

Software interface

Software interface

We could also prepare configurations in advance by adding or removing a “fixture” (tile) manually or group of fixtures in the Add Tiles Tool. We selected the type and then used the Add (+ green) and Delete (x red) keys or Add tile(s) to configure the fixtures. Then, we distributed the tiles over the “scene” that represents the 1920 x 1080-pixel array.
We could connect the “fixtures” virtually to assign them an output channel and adjust the various parameters. We tested the adjustments using the “Apply Volatile” and then downloaded the configuration to the fixtures through the “Download configuration to VPUs” (green arrow).
This software is very intuitive, and therefore easy enough to use. Since it’s one of the early versions, some items are lacking such as a tool for doing a circle configuration or a solution to create templates for standard spacing between fixtures. Ayrton is responsive when it comes to meeting most customer demands.

It’s that simple. Now we could control all the parameters. The 64 emitters on the projector side hardly pass unnoticed, and when the projector shines on you in RGBW, it could burn your eyes! In terms of movement, the tilt was slower (1.72 sec) than on the MagicPanel™602 (1 sec) over 180°, whilst the pan was improved from 2.24 to 1.72 seconds.
Movements were perfectly executed. In rapid transition, no jerky movement was visible to the naked eye on a full range of motion or when viewing the video. Like with most Ayrton products, the pan and tilt can be indexed or used in continuous rotation mode. Indexing is at 540° or 630° in pan, and 240° or 540° in tilt; the indexing amplitude can be selected in the menus.

Seasoned programmers find that in order to obtain a clean transition between continuous motion and fixed position, it’s advisable to transition through black. The dimmer and strobe parameters worked perfectly. As for the colour, the 45 mm collimators gave us uniform mixtures in volumetric light or in surface lighting no matter what the hues.

Twin couleurs EN

Colour management is entirely satisfactory. In addition to RGBW, seven standard colour temperature presets (2700 K, 3200, 4200, 5600, 6500 et 8000 K) are pre-programmed, + 14 of colour, three rainbow effects and a dimmer for the colour pre-sets. I loved the function that lets you play with an RGBW colour preset to change the shade! We also discovered macros for transitioning between two hues, which seem especially suited for colour temperature correction.

A vast palette of uniform colours

Ayrton DreamPanel Twin

Ayrton DreamPanel Twin

Ayrton DreamPanel Twin

Ayrton DreamPanel Twin

Ayrton DreamPanel Twin

Ayrton DreamPanel Twin


Last but not least, the internal features: 113 chases are controllable with one channel for speed and another for transition – so they run on three DMX channels. These features can’t do everything but they are very useful if you don’t have a sophisticated console to control the fixture or a media server, or if you simply don’t have a lot of time to program (and it’s frustrating to have great fixtures that you can’t fully take advantage of).
Simply do a 180° rotation on the tilt axis to find the video side! Obviously, it is less bright than the projector side — almost by a factor of 10 — but the transition between the two is pretty remarkable. The 6 mm pitch is perfect. Even on a single tile, and from close up, we could see the image clearly. There was some colour correction to be done, but we found the right adjustments fairly easily with this new generation of LED. The blacks were good as well.
We didn’t have too much surface space for the test but we detected no latency or image jump. The only problem (which is apparent on the promotional video) is the appearance of persistent pixel lines of varying lengths. This was caused by a change of video drivers just before the product was launched – so there are still some firmware adjustments to be made before this issue is resolved.

A final evaluation

Twin dimmer EN

The luminaire in itself is rather simple, and measuring the light was quick, and the results were impressive. We started with the dimmer curve, and knowing the Ayrton team, our expectations were high, but you never know… Anyway, we saw no problems during testing. The values came out perfect !

We were curious about the derating because the developers didn’t skimp on the cooling system. Ayrton is no novice at this. We took a look at the MagicPanel™602 bench test in SLU to refresh our memory. With those 36 LEDs fully lit, we measured a derating of 35%.
So, what about 64 LEDs? The two curves start off almost the same, with the DreamPanel Twin curve a little more uniform, but both drop off rapidly. Both products reached the lowest value in 15 minutes. Then came the surprise: With more LEDs on the DreamPanel Twin, its light output dropped less – only 31%, almost a 5% gain. This demonstrates the strides that the Ayrton team has made in cooling LEDs.
Then, when a single LED was tested in white (heavily used for effects), output dropped less than 1%.

Twin-derating-RGBW-EN

Twin-derating-W-EN

photometric measurements

RGBW measures at full power

Twin-Flux-RGBW-EN

Twin-CI-EN

Illumination at centre at 5 meters was 25,740 lux cold. After derating (31%!) we measured 18,000 lux. Total flux reached 15,210 lumens cold and 10,600 lumens after derating (Under similar conditions with the MagicPanel™602, we had measured 10,600 lumens after switching it on and 6,800 lumens after derating). The beam angle at I/2 was 7.2° and 14.48° at I/10. The power and beam angle were very impressive, not only for rendering special effects but also for lighting musicians or set pieces.

The only white to full power

Twin-Flux-Blanc-EN

When lighting the white LED alone, we measured an illumination of 11,400 lux cold at centre and 11,340 lux after derating, which is almost nil (> 1%). The flux reached 7,650 lumens cold and 7,600 lumens after derating: an amazing result when compared to the 70% full white in RGBW after derating!

Conclusion

With the DreamPanel Twin, Ayrton has invented a hybrid between light and video, offering lighting designers a high-performance product with new possibilities for creating a wide variety of scenes that will fascinate audiences. The beam projector side performs much better than the MagicPanel™602, and the video side has superb contrast. Both sides work together with precision.
This exciting fixture, used by the talented LeRoy Bennett to magically light the stage for one of the world’s big media events, has earned our congratulations. The future of the DreamPanel Twin looks brilliant!

Ayrton DreamPanel Twin General

Ayrton DreamPanel Twin DMX

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Brian Gale: Narrating with light from ETC

The Los Angeles Theatre on Broadway and Sixth Street in downtown Los Angeles is especially hot, sweaty and crowded. Today this sumptuous art deco palace built by Charlie Chaplin in 1931 is the location for an episode of TV show Scandal and rehearsals for the camp musical Carrie – The Killer Musical Experience. Chaplin, whose photograph with Albert Einstein adorns the gilded lobby, would be proud that, despite the lack of air conditioning and the crumbling plaster walls, his dream is still alive.
A week before opening night, lighting designer Brian Gale is on stage setting trim heights and focusing lights. He works with the confidence and calm that comes with a CV that would leave anyone slack-jawed. While officially ‘retired’ after 24 years as a fulltime designer with the Walt Disney Company, he is currently engaged as a consultant on six Disney projects, including in Tokyo and Shanghai. “With Disney, I left through one door and came back through another,” laughs Gale.

La comédie musicale Carrie – The Killer Musical Experience, éclairée par des Source Four LED Série 1 et 2 Lustr, Selador Desire et Classics

La comédie musicale Carrie – The Killer Musical Experience, éclairée par des Source Four LED Série 1 et 2 Lustr, Selador Desire et Classics

With his work on the Stagecraft Institute in Las Vegas, lighting major productions at the Pasadena Playhouse, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts and the Mark Taper Forum, Gale has a breathless schedule. At least he has the luxury of choosing his theatrical projects, allowing him to work with favourite directors and designers. He explains: “The best directors are also good editors. I always give directors a lot of choices and let them make the decision.”
His links with ETC reach back into corporate prehistory. “I first worked with Fred Foster while he was contracted to build products for Berkey Colortran, designing a control system for Epcot on Parade,” says Gale, “and I was one of the first to use the ETC Concept desks designed for Disneyland in 1982.”

Brian Gale aux commandes des deux consoles Eos Ti

Brian Gale aux commandes des deux consoles Eos Ti

After ETC acquired LMI and got into the dimmer business, Gale was one of the company’s early corporate clients. “I ordered 10 or 12 dimmer racks for the Pleasure Island attraction in Florida, and Fred was my install technician,” chuckles Gale. In a great slice of ETC history, he is proud that he convinced Fred to write a Macintosh interface, so that a club DJ could run his cues on HyperCard. “I am not sure Fred has forgiven me for that,” he jokes.

His current project, Carrie – The Killer Musical Experience, looks like an ETC fixture catalogue. “I have equal numbers of Source Four® LED Series 1 and 2 Lustrs, Selador® Desires and Classics – my keylight is 60 tungsten Source Fours with a lot of 26-degree lenses. The LED Series 2 Lustr makes a perfect downlight, and of course the whole rig runs on Eos Ti,” says Gale.
Like many theatrical designers, he was disappointed with first-generation LED fixtures. For a man who can recite gel swatch-books by number, colour rendition is everything: “Theatre designers really deserve the new colour technology – it has great resonance and is nuanced and subtle.”

Gale gets excited about the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas, which he describes as a ‘total immersion experience’ for students. The Institute, backed by manufacturers’ donated equipment, gives students the chance to program and run massive lighting systems in simulated show conditions. “We teach everything you can’t learn in college or theatre school,” describes Gale.
“It’s all hands on. They get straight into rigging, patching, focusing and running a complex console.” The students – in between college and professional theatre – learn on multiple platforms, using Eos Ti® and GrandMA consoles to run a 300-instrument lighting rig with Selador Desire Lustr® and Vivid, and assorted moving lights.
Gale explains his desk philosophy: “There are programmers’ consoles and operators’ consoles. The Eos series works best for creating traditional theatre cue sheets in the precognitive Western tradition.”
The students get to explore the strengths and weaknesses of other consoles, giving them a broader skill set to use in real-world programming. The teaching philosophy is simple, according to Gale: “We don’t teach how to use the desk. We teach programming, although I have to say that increasingly we find Eos to be the superior all-around tool, because the user interface and effects engine are so improved.”

ETC Brian Gale Theatre Los Angeles

Gale remembers the introduction of the Source Four as a ‘game changer.’ Ever the innovator, he has hopes and suggestions for the next generation of fixtures. “There was an English fixture I came across that had both hard and soft shutters. I would love to see a Source Four like that,” says Gale, whose ideas often filter up to the top levels of ETC’s development team. As an Eos Ti power user, he would also welcome a ‘fixture profile by cue’ feature, allowing the user to alter the curve of a fixture for each cue.

It would be easy to characterise Gale as a technophile, but that would entirely miss the point. He freely shares his design philosophy: “My students worry about keeping up with technology, and I tell them to concentrate on bringing narrative and storytelling to their work and to use technology that matches that vision.” He also advocates a minimalist approach in contrast to an increasing overuse of video and effects in what he calls the ‘uncurated’ lighting design style: “I encourage them to look at shows with a critical eye and let me know if they see a design that doesn’t give it all away in the first 10 minutes.” Now that’s a challenge we should all take up!

More information on ETC and its products : www.etcconnect.com

Clay Paky Sharpy is ‘driving force’ behind Lexus x will.i.am stunt

Clay Paky Sharpys have one again played an integral role in an epic stunt by trailblazing light artists Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF) and lighting designer Matthew Button, who have combined their creative genius to pull off a sensory spectacular for Lexus Europe and international megastar will.i.am.

photo © Marshmallow Laser Feast

photo © Marshmallow Laser Feast

The amazing technological feat, which is part of Lexus’s campaign for the Lexus NX SUV, sees will.i.am create a choreographed laser light show in time to his smash hit #thatPOWER, using a trio of Lexus NXs on a disused Spanish runway lined with 350 motion-sensitive lasers and Sharpys. The number-one artist was challenged with directing the three cars to hit the beams at the right cadence to synchronise with his track.

lexus master 0729 1445 v4audio from matthew button on Vimeo.

“ The fantastic beam quality was the driving force behind the choosing the Sharpy, ” explains Button. “ Having used them previously on a project for Castrol where they race supercars, we knew their speed and output would be perfect for this similar concept. ”
The 160 Sharpys, supplied by PRG, were rigged from 8 x 40 ton cranes with spreader bars to enable each crane to take the weight of the truss and keep it in a straight line. The stunt was performed and filmed over the course of one night and has had over 7 million views on Vimeo to date.

photo © Marshmallow Laser Feast

photo © Marshmallow Laser Feast

“ The Sharpys were put through their paces, but worked very well, ” says Button. “ We only had to make small adjustments with the positioning. ” Button and the MLF team, led by creative producer Mark Logue and light artist and director Barney Steel, also relied on the Sharpys to perform as artnet nodes for each universe. They ran Ethernet into the units, with the Sharpys then retransmitting the universe.

photo : © Marshmallow Laser Feast

photo : © Marshmallow Laser Feast

photo : © Marshmallow Laser Feast

photo : © Marshmallow Laser Feast


“ The whole system was backed up by Wi-Fi, which we never had to use,” says Button. “The Sharpys proved very reliable regardless of going through a freak storm with winds of 50mph and being cooked in the Spanish sun during set up. Everyone was extremely pleased with the end result. ”
More informations on site Clay Paky