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Archive by David Steinberg

Full Spectrum Chooses Alcorn McBride Equipment for Refurbished Shark Ray Bay Theater at Newport Aquarium

Full Spectrum, LCC of Stone Mountain, GA has selected Alcorn McBride’s video and control products for the newly refurbished Shark Ray Bay Theater at Newport Aquarium. The aquarium is located outside Cincinnati in Newport, Kentucky.

The Shark Ray Bay Theater is a visitor favorite serving as the venue for a variety of underwater dive-based shows. Its central focal point is one of the aquarium’s largest water tanks with a visible viewing area of approximately 17×9 feet. It formerly had a pirate-themed décor. The retooling by Full Spectrum transformed the theater into a clean, streamlined space that’s adaptable and versatile, adding value to the aquarium’s private special event capabilities.

A lightweight fabric mesh was hung, in a stylized crashing wave design, as a new visual backdrop (“splash curtain”) for the tank and installed color-changing LED fixtures and moving lights. Two 60-inch LG LED displays now flank the tank. A 47-inch LG LED display serves as a marquee at the front of the theater.

Full Spectrum overhauled the theater’s audio system, installing smaller speaker cabinets and new speakers above the splash curtain. All the audio processing is now done through a central touchscreen control system, which permits the creation of separate zones within the space and controls the volume for the program audio and individual microphones.

“Alcorn McBride’s V4 Pro controller essentially runs the whole theater. It’s in charge of lighting, audio, video – it’s the heart of the whole system,” says Chad Kuney, VP of Operations at Full Spectrum. “We chose the V4 Pro simply because the aquarium is open seven days a week, nine hours a day. We needed a controller that was robust and would operate without a glitch. The V4 Pro has proven to be that type of gear.”

He notes that the presenter of the dive shows is able to control the V4 Pro with an iPad using Alcorn McBride’s ShowTouch for iOS. “The presenter can walk around with an iPad and control videos, lighting cues, adjust the volume of audio – all on the fly,” Kuney explains. “If they see an animal float by in the tank they can run a video on the fly about that animal. And the divers can speak from within the tank with some mic equipment. It’s very cool!”

Alcorn McBride’s DVM8400 runs all the video elements. “It works perfectly,” Kuney says. “It’s solid state, which is great. And it’s easy to change out videos, too.”

The flexibility of the Alcorn McBride equipment is key to the new theater’s usage. “The aquarium wanted a space that was very versatile so that in addition to the dive shows they could host parties, corporate events, dinners, proms. It’s really a multi-purpose facility now. What’s great about the Alcorn gear is that we can program it to adapt to so many situations – it enables us to completely transform the space. It also allows us to put muscle into the creativity and make sure our creative touch is on top of the situation.”

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HRS Control Adds Schedule Management and Mass Updater Features to Popular Raptor Server

HRS Control has announced a new Schedule Management feature for UDC Pro ECS-Raptor, a UDC Pro Embedded Control Server for permanent AV installs. Schedule Management enables users to schedule control and macros using the familiar Google calendar interface. A second new feature, Raptor Mass Updater, is also in the works.

A Linux-embedded server that significantly lowers costs to users over full-blown Windows servers, the popular Raptor began shipping in February. Raptor comes with an Ethernet connection to the device network, optional WiFi and one USB port while supporting a wide variety of third party network interface products for legacy control such as Serial, IR, Contact Closure, Relay, Sensor, DMX, MIDI, LTC, MTC, time code and more. It occupies 1RU in height and one-half of a rack in width and ships with an optional rack shelf for space-saving rack mounting.

Raptor supports the same user interfaces as UDC software: iPad touch control with the HRS Control Pro iOS app available in Apple’s App Store; the HRS Control Pro app for any Windows tablet available in the Windows Store; in-wall mount touch screen and button solutions; Android tablets; and web browsers. Any device with a browser can act as a controller.

“We always intended to introduce Schedule Management but when one of Raptor’s first clients asked for it, we gave it priority,” says programmer Daniel Renne. Users simply access the list of macros on their web browser, drag-and- drop macros into the calendar view and set the times to trigger them.

“Once the configuration is built the user can manage rooms and schedule control events quickly and easily. This feature is designed to give the end user a simple drag and drop interface for managing scheduled automation and control in a variety of markets,” says Drew Taylor at HRS Control.

HRS Control plans to integrate the new feature into UDC for Windows to gain the same functionality across the board.

A second new feature, Raptor Mass Updater, is expected to be part of the next release at the end of August. Raptor Mass Updater will enable users to push the same configuration out to multiple Raptor units simultaneously for distributed configuration uploading.

“Currently, users have to upload a configuration to one Raptor at a time, so facilities with multiple rooms of Raptors with the same configuration will be able to do a multi-Raptor upload,” Taylor explains. “For educational customers with many classrooms or businesses with conference and meeting rooms that are alike, Raptor Mass Updater will make it easier and faster to do facility-wide updates to the control systems.”

grandMA2 Supports Boston Strong Benefit Concert for ECLPS

A packed house raised the roof at TD Garden – and raised substantial funds for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing – at the Boston Strong concert May 30. The five-and-a-half hour show, headlined by top performers in music and comedy, utilized a lighting rig and grandMA2 consoles supplied by East Coast Lighting & Production Services (ECLPS). A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of MA Lighting in North America.

Proceeds from the benefit concert went to One Fund Boston, the compensation fund established to help bombing victims by Gov. Deval Patrick and Mayor Thomas Menino.

ECLPS’ Robert Morrissey worked with lighting designer Butch Allen to build a rig around the company’s inventory of fixtures. He also quickly worked out a deal with Brian Dowd of A.C.T Lighting to take speedy delivery of additional grandMA2 full-size and grandMA2 light consoles, boosting the ECLPS roster.

“Programmer extraordinaire Rob Koenig flew in and worked tirelessly to have the rig all programmed and ready to go and ran a grandMA2 for comedians Lenny Clarke, Steven Wright and Steve Sweeney,” Morrissey reports. The grandMA2 was also used by Jesse Blevins, who lit New Kids on the Block; Greg Maltby, who lit the band Boston; Aaron Swetland for country star Jason Aldean; Ephraim Sosna for J. Geils Band; and Martin Favorite for Extreme. Lighting designer Cosmo Wilson tapped the grandMA for Aerosmith; lighting designer Tom Wagstaff programmed for performances by James Taylor, Carole King and Jimmy Buffett.

“The concert went off without a hitch, thanks to all of the great people who participated in the event,” says Morrissey.

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Robert Juliat Cyrano Followspots Help Light Up “Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular” on the Fourth of July

It wouldn’t be the Fourth of July without the “Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular,” and Robert Juliat Cyrano followspots helped light up the annual event, which was televised live from the Charles River Esplanade.

The free outdoor concert marked its fortieth anniversary. The event draws over 500,000 people each year to the Boston and Cambridge sides of the Charles River. Audiences wait with anticipation to hear the Boston Pops’ now classic rendition of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” with real cannons, church bells and fireworks; “The Stars and Stripes Forever” with ceremonial American flag drop and confetti shot; and watch a final explosive fireworks array. This year musical guests included Susan Tedeschi, Ellis Hall, Howie Day, Ayla Brown, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. Keith Lockhart conducted the Boston Pops Orchestra.

“The event was a lot of fun to be part of,” says lighting designer Christopher Landy of Vibrant Design LLC. “Summer shows like this one can be challenging because they start in the daylight and end at night, so you need to use spots that are able to compete with the sun.”

Landy utilized two Cyranos obtained from Capron. “The talent looked great,” Landy says. “The spots fields are perfectly even and consistent and they’re very easy to operate – Which is more important than you think. It makes it easy to balance and easy for the operator and myself to subtly tweek levels.”

Cyrano is a compact and efficient 2500-watt HMI followspot with a high-performance quartz condenser optical system. It features a 100% closing iris in a removable cassette; 100% closing dimmer; B-size gobo holder ; and 6-way boomerang color changer with removable filter frames.

Landy reports that he uses Robert Juliat lighting exclusively these days – even on less spectacular shows. “When I am lighting A-List talent, I need an A-List fixture Juliat provides that,” he says. “The camera sees every imperfection and flutter, an inconsistent field is not an option. In fact, on a recent comedy shoot, I had to swap out three competitors’ spots after the first day of taping. They just weren’t cutting it. With the Juliat spots it was like a new show. Shows with Juliats equal happy clients”.

About Robert Juliat

Robert Juliat is a three-generation, independent, family-run company dedicated to stage lighting. The current chairman’s grandfather was, at the end of the 19th century, one of the pioneers in creating special effects for the fledgling motion picture industry in France. Robert Juliat lights are used worldwide by customers who include the Cirque du Soleil, Celine Dion in Las Vegas, Disney World, The Royal Shakespeare Company, the Comedie Francaise, the Holiday On Ice tour, the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games and football’s World Cup in Japan and Germany.

R&D, production and the company headquarters are based in the village of Fresnoy-en-Thelle, 50 km north of Paris. Robert Juliat USA is located in Wallingford, Connecticut. For more information visit www.robertjuliat.com.

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WorldStage Projects the Plight of Refugees on Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine for World Refugee Day

Photo: Brad Penner

The plight of refugees may not be a high-profile topic on a given day, but WorldStage teamed with ART WORKS Projects to ensure that the problem had a larger-than-life platform during World Refugee Day, June 20. WorldStage was the media projection provider and sponsor for a public event at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City whose south bell tower façade served as the display surface for the projection portion of a multimedia installation addressing “Sanctuary & Sustenance: The Story of Many Journeys.”

“The cathedral is a huge, extremely ornate building so it was really important that we did something really spectacular,” says Tess Landon, director of education and outreach at ART WORKS Projects. “We had worked with Scharff Weisberg seven years ago and returned to them, now under their WorldStage branding, after we were invited to do this project at St. John the Divine. We made sure WorldStage was involved the whole time to make the most of a very minimal budget and help us deliver on our mission of using design and the arts to raise awareness.”

“It was gratifying to use the skills and tools we’ve honed over the past twenty years for a good and important cause. The Cathedral is a significant icon for the refugee support movement and was a fitting canvas for the poignant images we projected,” says WorldStage president Joshua Weisberg.

WorldStage provided Christie Digital HD18K projectors and a Dataton WATCHOUT system to display the custom-made video on the bell tower. In addition, the company furnished a façade lighting system and a sound system for the show’s musical accompaniment.

“WorldStage did a great job; we rely on companies like them for projects like this,” says Landon. “WorldStage has a combination of artistic vision and technical knowledge that make for the perfect collaborator.”

WorldStage Inc., the company created by the merger of Scharff Weisberg Inc and Video Applications Inc, continues a thirty-year legacy of providing clients the widest variety of entertainment technology coupled with conscientious and imaginative engineering services. WorldStage provides audio, video and lighting equipment and services to the event, theatrical, broadcast and brand experience markets nationally and internationally.

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CARBON 4K Video Player Debuts from Alcorn McBride

Alcorn McBride demonstrated that it’s on the leading edge of 4K technology with the introduction of CARBON 4K at InfoComm13.

The new High Frame Rate (60 fps) UltraHD 4K player delivers the ultimate viewer experience to large video and LED walls; museum exhibits; theme park attractions; corporate centers; 4D theater; and digital signage. It joins the single channel model, CARBON 1080p 60 player, in Alcorn McBride’s CARBON product line.

CARBON 4K taps growing interest in emerging 4K technology by offering true image playback at resolutions up to 3840 x 2160 in a rock-solid package synonymous with the Alcorn McBride brand. Designed for applications where smooth high-resolution playback is a must, CARBON’s ability to natively play 60 fps content means jitter-free video playback in a rugged, maintenance-free package.

True to Alcorn McBride engineering, CARBON is a solid-state player with no hard drives. Simple, removable CompactFlash media stores hours of HD content. Content can be uploaded remotely via Ethernet.

CARBON supports many of the easy-to-use, flexible control features that come standard with Alcorn McBride products, such as Playlisting, Ethernet, Serial and GPIO. Features include frame-accurate video synchronization, quad 3G HD-SDI and Quad HDMI output, and genlock input.

The new player occupies 3RUs and weighs 25 lbs (11 kg).

About Alcorn McBride:
Founded in 1986, Alcorn McBride is the leading manufacturer of show control, audio and video equipment for the themed entertainment industry, and a rapidly growing provider of audio and video systems for retail environments and transportation applications. Staffed by some of the industry’s best engineers and backed by outstanding customer support, the company has demonstrated great agility in bringing new designs to market. A hallmark of Alcorn McBride products is their durable, zero maintenance design. The company’s products provide consistent, reliable operation for audio and video playback applications worldwide. For more information, visit www.alcorn.com.

Clay Paky and grandMA2 Celebrate The Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary

Photo: Todd Kaplan

The Rolling Stones have wrapped the U.S. leg of their 50 and Counting world tour with Clay Paky lighting fixtures and grandMA2 consoles along for the still-wild ride. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of Clay Paky and MA Lighting products in North America.

The Stones sell-out 50th anniversary tour is their first in six years. They opened the U.S. leg May 3 in LA and concluded their 18 dates June 24 in Washington, D.C. The legendary band performed on a stage set featuring a giant set of psychedelic lips and a tongue-shaped walkway that riffed on their iconic logo. Upstaging supplied the lighting equipment for the tour.

Lighting Designer Patrick Woodroffe chose Clay Paky Alpha Wash 1500s for the gigs. Co-Lighting Director Ethan Weber comments, “They’re a very impressive, bright, good-looking light.”

They also scattered a complement of Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures around the trusses. “You see Sharpys on every show now,” Weber points out. “It’s a turnaround from a few years ago when we were all using large format lights as our 3rd source. They add a nice texture to most any look.”

Weber and Programmer/Co-Lighting Director Dave Hill manned two grandMA2 full-size consoles, networked together, for the tour. “We love them, ” says Weber. “I handled the key lighting on one console and Dave ran the bulk of the system off the other.” Both men are veteran Stones lighting directors with Hill having programmed every tour since Steel Wheels. And both are veteran MA users.

“We both spent a few years on the grandMA,” Weber says. “I switched over to the grandMA2 last year for Green Day, and found it a very fluid changeover. The grandMA2 has a good feel and look to it-a mature version of the 1. I very much like the way it programs and operates-the bigger screens make for quicker access, the effects engine is much improved, more functional macros, etc. And I’m very appreciative that the command syntax is close to that of the 1. It seems like it can be hit or miss with updated/re-designed consoles, but think MA got it right with the 2

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Expanded HRS Control Website Makes Its Debut

High Resolution Systems has launched a new website for HRS Control (www.HRScontrol.com) with increased features and improved functionality.

“It was time to upgrade. HRS Control’s old website didn’t even list all of our products,” says HRS’s Drew Taylor. “The new, improved website is a better example of who we are now. It’s a digital storefront that represents all that HRS Control has to offer, and we designed it for easy customer navigation.”

The new home page presents a bold, graphical slideshow that demonstrates the company’s dedication to “control systems made easy” for applications ranging from live events to executive boardrooms. Below the slideshow, a simple three-step process reveals how to configure UDC software, load it to the new Raptor server and connect with iPads and popular tablets. Just click on any step to learn more about the procedures.

Section heads direct customers to comprehensive information about the company, its equipment and users. “Products” provides details about more than a dozen categories of gear. “Markets” spotlights customers in rental and staging, broadcast, live events, corporate boardrooms, military and government, trade shows and houses of worship. “Media” relates customer stories and shares recent press releases; videos offer info on product demos, HRS Control’s presence at trade shows, and training. And “About Us” tells the HRS story from its founding.

In addition, customers can sign up for an account and, once approved, log in to the website to download UDC and other software to test and use. They can also log in and download all of HRS Control’s revamped manuals and Quickstart guides. A new section gives resellers worldwide increased support with access to downloads of logos and marketing and press materials to aid their sales efforts.

Customers and prospects are also encouraged to sign up for a newsletter providing the latest updates on UDC software and what’s happening at HRS Control.

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Vincent Lighting Systems’ New Clay Paky Sharpy Beams, Sharpy Wash and GlowUps Meet Needs of a Variety of Projects

Vincent Lighting Systems has invested in a large inventory of Clay Paky fixtures and has begun deploying them on an array of projects, including a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame gala benefit concert. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of Clay Paky lighting in North America.

Headquartered in Solon, Ohio with offices in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Detroit, 35-year old Vincent Lighting Systems offers a wide selection of stage and theater lighting for performing arts centers, educational and religious organizations, corporations, special events and more.

No sooner had Vincent Lighting Systems acquired their complement of Clay Paky Sharpy Beams, Sharpy Washes and GlowUps than the fixtures began going out on jobs. “We have had these fixtures out on so many productions, and they have been receiving rave reviews,” reports marketing director Kim Craigie.

The Sharpy line came to Vincent’s attention last fall when some of the company’s production managers attended LDI. “They thought the fixtures were impressive and powerful,” she says. “Then A.C.T came out and did a demo for us. They are super bright, super fast and super quiet. They have the output of 1000-watt lamp and consume only 330 watts, so they can save a lot of power.”

The Vincent team was also drawn to the portable, battery-operated GlowUp LED floodlight because “we don’t have to run cable with them,” Craigie says. “We can get up to 20 hours life on one battery. They have a nice adjustable zoom, and we’re very pleased with them.”

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, adds, “It’s great to see another lighting house join our family. It sounds like Vincent Lighting has some great applications for our fixtures.”

So far the highest profile project for the new fixtures was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 10th annual “It’s Only Rock and Roll Spring Benefit” at Public Hall in the Cleveland Convention Center, which included performances by Tower of Power and War. Thirty-six GlowUps were used for the “side show” acts performing on mini stages throughout the main floor party.

“They were ideal for this application because we didn’t need to run cable across main walkways in order to power or control them,” Craigie explains. “They also provided nice lighting for the tented seating areas.”

Additionally, a complement of Sharpy Beams and Washes delivered “a great look” for the main stage concert acts. “The Beams projected really powerful beams,” she reports.

The Grand Opening of Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati and the University of Kentucky Athletics’ 11th annual CATSPY Awards both got the Sharpy treatment, with Vincent Lighting Systems furnishing fixtures for the first casino in the Ohio river town and for the university’s awards ceremony recognizing athletic and academic performance.

Vincent also supplied Sharpy Beams for Faith Family Church’s annual ‘Love is Red’ conference. Drawing several thousand high-school and college-aged students to the North Canton, Ohio facility, the event ran three full days, where Sharpys’ beams and effects lent a rockstar aura to the bands that led worship.

George Masek, A.C.T Vice President of Automated Lighting commented, “I was born in Cleveland, so I’ve always had a fondness for Vincent Lighting, and of course, the Rock Hall of Fame. A.C.T lighting and Clay Paky are honored to be associated with Paul Vincent and his great team. We look forward to a long partnership.”

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Chris Patton Joins A.C.T Lighting Sales Team

A.C.T Lighting, a leading importer and distributor of lighting products, has announced that Chris Patton has joined the company’s sales team, and will concentrate in permanent installations and system sales.

“We forged a strong partnership with Chris in his role as international sales manager for GDS,” says A.C.T President, Ben Saltzman. “We look forward to all of our partners benefitting from Chris’s boundless energy, enthusiasm and 14-plus years in the entertainment technology industry.”

“Having worked very closely with A.C.T Lighting for almost two years, I have first-hand experience of how the company has consistently exceeded customer expectations by providing and supporting the finest products in the industry,” says Patton. “I am looking forward to applying my knowledge of the GDS range to the rest of the A.C.T Lighting product portfolio and being a part of the great team of people here.”

Prior to joining GDS in 2011, Patton had a 12 year career with Stage Electrics, a major UK systems integrator, rental house and production services company, where he was actively involved with many areas of the business at management level. In his last position there he was responsible for the development and implementation of a strategic international development plan to expand the company by taking an already successful business model into new territories. He also oversaw the company’s theatrical productions rental division, dealing with the development and project management of equipment and crew to large format theater shows in the UK and overseas.

Patton has worked on many major international projects throughout his career, including supplying moving lights for a number of the FIFA fan parks at the 2010 soccer World Cup finals in South Africa; provision and logistical project management of an entire production lighting system for the Royal Opera House in Muscat (Oman); and the project management of Stage Electrics’ Edinburgh Festival operations during which the company supplied equipment, crew and a 24/7 support service to over 50 individual venues at the International and Fringe festivals, the largest arts festivals in the world.

Most recently, Patton was a lead follow spot operator for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic games in London.

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Stay up to date on the latest technology news. Select press representatives post company news several times a day. Check back often to get the latest news on product releases, mergers and acquisitions, and product applications. To be included in this virtual press conference, please contact The Wire.

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