A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Archive by David Steinberg

Vista System Spyders Create State-of-the-Art Experience at The Mirage Hotel & Casino’s Race & Sports Book

There are Spyders inside the Race & Sports Book at The Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and guests couldn’t be happier. Vista Systems’ Spyder video processors are part of one of the most sophisticated technology installations in Nevada created by Technology West Group.

“We had very old systems that had to be fixed everyday, so when we decided to upgrade we knew it would take more then changing the projector: We had to change the sources as well,” says Chris Kratochwill, manager of audio visual systems for guest technology at MGM Resorts International. “We wanted to create a huge feature for the guests to enjoy – something that was a little more interactive. We wanted to go with 4K to maintain 1080P on all sources.”

Kratochwill also wanted windowing capabilities and shadows and thematic backgrounds for different sports and horseracing. He also wanted moving transitions so the image configuration could change from layout to layout. The system was up and running in six weeks – just in time for March Madness basketball.

Technology West Group (TWG) is an industry leader in customized audio, visual, control and software systems for entertainment, retail, gaming, themed and commercial markets. The company, experienced in large-scale system design and installation, rose to the challenge of upgrading The Mirage Race & Sports Book.

“We selected three Sony SRXT420 4K projectors to utilize the total resolution of the 85 x 16-foot screen,” says TWG principal Brad Cornish. “We needed to edge blend, to create single and multiple images, and we needed HD and HDCP compatibility with all our sources. We looked at various options, and for edge blending, compatibility, windowing and backgrounds. Nothing could beat Spyder.”

A Crestron DM switcher feeds two Spyder X20 systems; 12 outputs run to the projectors (four 2K outputs to each projector) and two to operation control via fiber. “We took two preview outputs to create the main program output,” Cornish explains. “That way we can see in realtime the layout and window configuration on preview monitors in the control room. With the new large screen they can now show a number of sports at once plus one or two very large images. With the presets, they can display anywhere from two to 12 different sports simultaneously.”

Cornish notes that “Vista had all the products available and was able to accommodate us quickly. We had a very tight time frame to get everything up and running.”

Technicians from Vista Systems set up the installation at the Race & Sports Book remaining “until the wee hours of the morning configuring and testing,” says Kratochwill.

Kratochwill adds, “Spyder is working great. The guests just love our new Race & Sports Book!”

About Vista Systems
Vista Systems’ switchers have become the industry standard for live multiple-destination video and data mixed signal switching with real-time windowing and composition. For more information on Vista Systems, visit their website at www.vistasystems.net.

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Clay Paky Rocks for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in LA

Clay Paky lighting fixtures were out in force at the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which honored inductees such as Aerosmith, The Doors, James Taylor, Albert King, Donna Summer, Rush and Quincy Jones at a gala event at LA’s Nokia Theatre.

The celebrity-filled ceremony, which was taped for broadcast on HBO, featured 40 Clay Paky Sharpy Wash lights, 28 Sharpys and seven Alpha Profile 700s controlled by two grandMA2 lights and one grandMA2 full system, all supplied by Atomic Lighting of Lititz, Pennsylvania.

“The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame usually focuses on six or seven performances in the multi-camera show, and the tone was very vibey, not overly glammy,” says Kevin Lawson who programmed the lighting with Felix Peralta. Lawson handled the key lights and audience lights for lighting designer Allen Branton while Peralta programmed the scenic lighting, lighting effects and band lighting.

“The ceremony used to originate in a ballroom, then they moved to Madison Square Garden for the 25th anniversary,” Lawson recalls. “They liked including more people in the larger venue but wanted to keep an intimate vibe. So now they try to maintain a balance between an intimate music party and a gigantic rock show – they even pull out the first rows of the theater so they can still have tables for the honorees and VIPs.”

The Sharpy Washes were primarily used to light all of the stage drapery, but Peralta also “found some additional targets of opportunity and had them play out to the audience and become more of a musical accent piece,” he explains. The Sharpys were peppered throughout the rig and “served double duty” as effects lights and lights which gave “Sharpy Dappling” to the drapery. The Alpha Profile 700s were deployed as key lights and back lights on stage for several of the support musicians.

Peralta says the Sharpy Washes were chosen for “the brightness of the lamp, their color mixing options and the low-profile look of the light sitting in the rig.” Brightness and a low-profile look were also factors in the Sharpys selection, along with “their proven track record, speed and variety of options.” The Alpha Profile 700s were picked for their brightness in a compact, hard-edge fixture and their shaping capabilities.

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, adds, “It nice to see so many of our lights working together on this high profile project. Allen, Felix and Kevin are a great team and we’re thrilled to support them.”

“Everything performed great, very solid with no failures recorded,” Peralta reports. “We were very happy with the new Sharpy Washes – they’re going to give the big wash lights a run for their money!”

Lawson gives kudos to A.C.T Lighting for its “great support”; Peralta thanks Brad Hafer and the Atomic Lighting team for “always supplying a solid, robust system right out of the box.” He also cited Tad Inferrera, Kevin Harvey and the crew at the Nokia Theatre for their help and support throughout the production.

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Clay Paky Lights Up Coachella for Red Hot Chili Peppers

When the annual Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival got underway, with its 24/7 schedule and desert location, Clay Paky lighting took center stage for the Main Stage performances of California rockers Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Lighting designer Scott Holthaus had 70 Clay Paky Sharpys and 23 Clay Paky Alpha Beam 1500s in his inventory for the Chili Peppers’ nighttime shows on both festival weekends. “The Sharpys were on moving pods on the stage while the 1500s were on top of my vertical towers, on the floors and screamers; eight 1500s were front of house,” he explains.

Holthaus recounts how “one show was nearly cancelled due to a sandstorm. There were sand dunes on the stage. Our video portion and many of the fixtures were disabled. All I had was Sharpys and Alphas.” With so many particulates in the air Holthaus wanted fixtures “that throw a beam as far as possible. The 1500 throws telephone poles way deep into the crowd – huge telescopic beams that are good to the last seat. No one I know had seen beams like that before – they looked like Star Wars light sabers!”

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, adds, “This is the third year Scott has been using our Sharpys and it sounds like they were the star of the show. It’s great to support his work and we’re thrilled that he keeps coming back to our fixtures.”

Despite the adverse environmental conditions the first weekend, “the lights held up well, and everything worked flawlessly,” Holthaus concludes. “They also did great the second weekend. The lights really cut through – that’s why we choose those kind of tools.” Premier Global supplied Holthaus with the fixtures.

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Clay Paky Lighting Joins the Dave Matthews Band For Summer Tour

The Dave Matthews Band hits the road for an extensive national tour with Clay Paky lighting along for the ride.

The band commences its 45-date cross-country swing in mid-May and wraps after Labor Day. They will be supporting last year’s hit LP, “Away From The World.”

Theatrical Media Services is providing the lighting gear and consoles for design company and video vendor Filiment Productions. Fenton Williams is the production designer and lighting designer for the tour; Aaron Stinebrink is the lighting programmer and designer.

“The overall concept is to continually augment the look of the show as the evening progresses,” says Stinebrink. “Everything is mounted on automated curved trusses that can move around during the show. We also have a large curved LED videowall upstage.”

Twelve Clay Paky Sharpy Wash lights hang from the sub grid and shine through all the trusses. A dozen Sharpys are positioned above the videowall and 12 more act as floor lights. Fourteen Alpha Spot HPE 1500s are integrated throughout the five automated trusses.

“We chose the Sharpys for the same reason everybody does: They have fantastic light output, speed, great colors and effects. It’s a versatile light that everyone uses,” Stinebrink explains. “The Sharpy Washes also offer a small footprint, speed and brightness, and they provide a great zoom and the ability to go from a nice tight beam to a wide wash.”

He notes that the Alpha spots were selected “because of their output with a 1500W lamp plus two irises and a fantastic zoom. It’s a very good light – far superior to others on the market.”

A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive North American distributor for Clay Paky.

George Masek, A.C.T Lighting’s Vice President, Automated Lighting, adds, “We’ve known Fenton, Aaron, and the Dave Matthews team for a number of years and they are always a pleasure to work with. It was nice to see that Aaron and the TMS staff appreciate the same things that we do about the Sharpy, Sharpy Wash, and Alpha Spot HPE 1500. We’re very pleased that we were able to offer fixtures that are new and exciting to them.”

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, adds, “Another great designer/musician team who have embraced our new Sharpy Wash units! We’re thrilled that Aaron has incorporate so many of our lights into this tour..”

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Spyders in the Cloud at EMC World 2013 Conference

If cloud computing sounds expansive consider the footprint of the EMC World annual conference and trade show where a massive 400 x 23-foot curved screen took center stage for speaker support and entertainment and Vista Systems’ Spyder X20s switched content for the 10,000 attendees.

EMC World 2013, at the Las Vegas Venetian/Sands Convention Center, offered businesses the chance to get connected on the latest activities, events and buzz in the areas most important to them. Attendees had the opportunity to learn how to take their businesses into the cloud, learn Big Data analytics, secure their data and glimpse the future in virtualized, software-defined data centers. EMC Corporation is a global leader in enabling businesses and service providers to transform their operations and deliver IT as a service.

Invision Communications of Walnut Creek, California produced EMC World 2013 with Production Resource Group, Inc. (PRG) providing the main staging and Freelance Technical Services, Inc. (FTS) supplying technical engineering for the entire video department, Spyder equipment and Spyder operation expertise. The giant screen was housed in the general session room and was composed of 11 stacked, blended white scrim-like screens across a 400-foot surface.

“The general session room was really wide but had lots of columns, so they decided to put a huge screen in there with a center stage area for presentations and a door for speaker entrances,” explains Timothy J. Durr, president of FTS. “To cover 400 feet of screens we had 11 double stacks of Barco HDX18 projectors suspended from the grid.”

Matthew Carson, PRG’s director of global accounts, knew the size of the big screen demanded a move to Spyder for the 2013 conference. “We looked at the number of switchers and felt Spyder would work best,” he says. “Spyder had the flexibility to add more frames to handle all the screens. And its ease of set up and ability to take care of the blend made our front-end load in a lot easier.”

Content, which consisted of graphic speaker support and EMC-supplied interstitial videos, was developed to fit the 400 x 23-foot screen and ran full screen through 22 Dataton WATCHOUT sources. “The interface between WATCHOUT and Spyder was very smooth,” Carson notes. “We had a high confidence level that they would work well together, and Tim is one of the best Spyder guys in the country.”

Durr says that Spyder also showed off its strength in bringing in all the WATCHOUT sources and adding PIPs with live camera shots of presenters. He deployed two Spyder X20 1608 units running in parallel with 32 inputs and 16 outputs, incorporating Gefen DVI and BlackMagic SDI Front End routing; a third system ran sub-switching to insert the PIPs into the parallel systems. “This made it a lot easier to run and control the show,” he reports. A compact UDC Spyder Touch served as the control interface.

Additional sources included four PowerPoint units, four Flash demo units and two Apple iPad demo units with a pair of Playback Pro Media DDR players for playback. “We set up the video village backstage for the equipment,” Durr says. “All the Spyder control and routing gear were in a 6 x 8-foot area – quite a small footprint to control a huge screen.”

The Spyders also came into play for the closing concert by Bruno Mars. “A bigger stage was built for him,” recalls Durr. “A kabuki drop revealed Bruno Mars and a black drape was behind him with live camera PIPs on either side so the audience of 10,000 could better experience his performance.”

Go A/V Rudy Tessmer supplied an additional Spyder X20 for EMC World’s keynote room where it controlled a 185-foot wide curved screen fed by five double stacks of projectors.

“Spyder performed just great during the conference,” says PRG’s Carson. “It was definitely the right choice.”

About Vista Systems
Vista Systems’ switchers have become the industry standard for live multiple-destination video and data mixed signal switching with real-time windowing and composition. For more information on Vista Systems, visit their website at www.vistasystems.net.

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Clay Paky and grandMA2 Rock for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in LA

Clay Paky lighting fixtures and grandMA2 consoles were out in force at the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which honored inductees such as Aerosmith, The Doors, James Taylor, Albert King, Donna Summer, Rush and Quincy Jones at a gala event at LA’s Nokia Theatre. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of Clay Paky and MA products in North America.

The celebrity-filled ceremony, which was taped for broadcast on HBO, featured 40 Clay Paky Sharpy Wash lights, 28 Sharpys and seven Alpha Profile 700s controlled by two grandMA2 lights and one grandMA2 full system, all supplied by Atomic Lighting of Lititz, Pennsylvania.

“The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame usually focuses on six or seven performances in the multi-camera show, and the tone was very vibey, not overly glammy,” says Kevin Lawson who programmed the lighting with Felix Peralta. Lawson handled the key lights and audience lights for lighting designer Allen Branton while Peralta programmed the scenic lighting, lighting effects and band lighting.

“The ceremony used to originate in a ballroom, then they moved to Madison Square Garden for the 25th anniversary,” Lawson recalls. “They liked including more people in the larger venue but wanted to keep an intimate vibe. So now they try to maintain a balance between an intimate music party and a gigantic rock show – they even pull out the first rows of the theater so they can still have tables for the honorees and VIPs.”

The Sharpy Washes were primarily used to light all of the stage drapery, but Peralta also “found some additional targets of opportunity and had them play out to the audience and become more of a musical accent piece,” he explains. The Sharpys were peppered throughout the rig and “served double duty” as effects lights and lights which gave “Sharpy Dappling” to the drapery. The Alpha Profile 700s were deployed as key lights and back lights on stage for several of the support musicians.

Peralta says the Sharpy Washes were chosen for “the brightness of the lamp, their color mixing options and the low-profile look of the light sitting in the rig.” Brightness and a low-profile look were also factors in the Sharpys selection, along with “their proven track record, speed and variety of options.” The Alpha Profile 700s were picked for their brightness in a compact, hard-edge fixture and their shaping capabilities.

“Everything performed great, very solid with no failures recorded,” Peralta reports. “We were very happy with the new Sharpy Washes – they’re going to give the big wash lights a run for their money!”

Peralta says the grandMA2 consoles have “long been the preferred lighting control for all our television productions.” Lawson concurs. “grandMA2 is the desk of choice,” he echoes. “Multi-user operation is so easy with grandMA2; we don’t even need to divide the system into worlds. We work out etiquette amongst ourselves. It’s so easy for us to manipulate anything and everything we want – it has really gotten so seamless. And software revisions come often; they constantly add features.”

Peralta notes that “this broadcast in particular is rehearsed at such a fast pace and there’s so much material to cover that I couldn’t imagine trying to program and run the show on another lighting desk. grandMA2′s hardware and software really excel at the fast-and-furious types of productions.”

Lawson gives kudos to A.C.T Lighting for its “great support”; Peralta thanks Brad Hafer and the Atomic Lighting team for “always supplying a solid, robust system right out of the box.” He also cited Tad Inferrera, Kevin Harvey and the crew at the Nokia Theatre for their help and support throughout the production.

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Electrosonic Streamlines New Display System for UK’s Bristol Water

When the UK’s Bristol Water decided to completely upgrade its operational control room, it tasked Electrosonic with engineering a streamlined new display system, which includes a video wall and processing equipment, a big-screen display, workstation monitors and consoles.

Bristol Water is responsible for the water supply in the Bristol area for nearly 1.2 million people, covering a 926 square-mile region. The facility’s monitoring and associated technology were developed piecemeal over the last two decades, resulting in more than 20 display monitors and a cluttered, ineffective workspace for the monitoring staff.

To rectify the situation, Electrosonic worked with the Bristol Water project staff to install a new overview display comprised of a video wall and big-screen display; provide new workstation furniture, including operator displays; and engineer and install a central control rack, including image processing equipment. The new display system helps provide improved monitoring of the Bristol Water network and gives monitoring staff much more efficient working conditions.

The overview display consists of six 55-inch NEC LCDs with narrow mullions configured in a 3×2 video wall, plus a separate 65-inch NEC LCD. The video wall is supported by a free-standing structure from Thinking Space, which eliminates the need for the room’s wall to provide structural support.

Designed with operator ergonomics and welfare in mind, the new workstations, subcontracted by Electrosonic from SBFI, are tailored for two people, each of whom is outfitted with three 23-inch, edge-lit NEC LCDs on fully-adjustable mounts.

A factory-wired central rack contains support equipment, including a Dexon video wall image processor, an Adder KVM switch, a Freeview satellite receiver, a Crestron room controller and an Extron audio amplifier. It also has space for eight PCs, which were installed by Bristol Water staff, and serve as the main image sources for the overview display.

Electrosonic also supplied a Crestron TPS-6 touchscreen controller and remote KVM controls, which are installed on the main operators’ console. This touchscreen controller enables the selection of a number of preset video wall configurations. In addition to this normal mode of display, an operator can, if necessary, take full control of the video wall by accessing the image processor through the KVM switch. Numerous image sources available in the control room are typical of this kind of installation.

An alarm monitoring system is the single most important display. Permanently connected to the 65-inch display, its content is also available in greater detail on the video wall. It is supported by dual computers that receive data through a SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) system, and monitors all of Bristol Water’s pumps, water levels, flow rates and more.

A GIS (Geographical Information System) maps the precise location of all the Bristol Water assets and provides map data for the location of incidents and personnel.

An SMS (Short Message Service) Board handles much of the staff communications. All messages are logged as they are sent, and the board displays all the latest messages; the board can also scroll to show earlier messages.

The entire Bristol Water system is covered by security monitoring. Principal status information and related images are available on a security display in the control room; if an incident is detected, the camera nearest to the incident is automatically selected for display.

For safety and practical reasons, a lone worker display pinpoints the location of each worker engaged with routine inspections or investigating minor incidents. This source does not impose any additional tasks on the lone worker since it is implemented by automatically tracking the worker’s cell phone or handheld radio position.

Finally, a TV news channel display often offers the quickest way of receiving meteorological, incident and relevant news information, which might affect the operation. The default channel at Bristol Water is BBC News 24, but any Freeview channel can be selected.

The video wall has a default configuration, which places the various image sources at preferred positions. The display can be instantly reconfigured via the touchpanel when particular tasks need to be carried out or if an incident occurs. The image processor allows any source image to appear at any size anywhere on the display.

The Bristol Water installation is a prime example of how Electrosonic works closely with customers to deliver systems that meet user requirements in an economical and practical way.

About Electrosonic
Electrosonic is an international audio-visual company that creates tailored, state-of-the-art solutions for a wide range of markets including theme parks, museums, control rooms, and corporate meeting rooms. Since its founding in 1964, Electrosonic has built a strong reputation for working on complex projects, both large and small, and has developed lasting partnerships with customers and suppliers. Beyond complete integrated systems, Electrosonic provides a comprehensive scope of services including technical design, projector lamp sales, maintenance and operational support.

Learn more about Electrosonic. Visit http://www.electrosonic.com

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Clay Paky Sharpys Accompany Tim McGraw’s Two Lanes of Freedom Tour

Clay Paky Sharpys are heading out on the road with Tim McGraw as the country superstar kicks off his Two Lanes of Freedom 2013 Tour in support of his new namesake album.

McGraw’s Two Lanes of Freedom Tour will play 30 cities across the country. It follows his incredibly successful joint Brothers of the Sun tour with Kenny Chesney, last year’s highest-ranking country tour in Billboard’s list of the top treks of 2012.

For McGraw’s latest show Premiere Global, which has been a vendor for the artist for the last decade, supplied 30 Sharpys. “The Sharpys are being used on the floor, on the rig and in the air for fanouts. They give a really big look,” says Steven (Creech) Anderson with Premier Global.

“The shape of the production is a big spider with arms coming down and pods at the end of each,” he continues. “There are lots of LEDs and video, and the Sharpys really enhance things. They’re great lights – everyone is trying to copy them right now, but there are no fixtures out there that compare to them.”

Lighting designer Pat Brannon went with “the ACL old-school look” by clustering four groups of four Sharpys on the rig and positioning 14 more on the floor. “I’ve used them before, but this is the first time I’ve had Sharpys on a tour,” he says. “I’m really happy with them. I like their narrow beam, the quickness and brightness of the lamp, and the great color choices. They’re small and lightweight but make a huge impact.”

John Zajonc is production manager for the tour and Troy Eckerman was the programmer. Jeff Bertuch assisted on the video programming. Drew Finley is the content creator.

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, adds, “Premier Global has been a great ally to us and Pat is a great designer. The design on this show sounds great and we’re glad to be a part of it.”

A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive North American distributor for Clay Paky.

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WorldStage & Good Sense & Company Support YouTube’s Expansive Vision at Brandcast 2013

For the second consecutive year WorldStage provided video and lighting support – and a new surprise reveal – to Good Sense & Company’s production of the YouTube Brandcast, which gives marketers and agencies a peek at YouTube’s new original programming and insights into the world’s biggest audience. The upfront-style event held at New York City’s Pier 36 Basketball City featured everyone from Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, to Jeffrey Katzenberg, co-founder of DreamWorks SKG, with performances by Snoop Lion, Lindsey Stirling, CDZA and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

YouTube is unlike any other purveyor of media. It attracts billions of viewers a month who tune in to see 72 hours of new contents uploaded every minute, including original programming and commissioned projects. Condensing the unique brand that is YouTube into a coherent message for potential advertisers was no simple feat.

“Although last year’s Brandcast was a success, this year they wanted something different; they wanted Brandcast reinvented with new tech and theatrical ‘wow!’ moments that would make the show feel fresh,” says Jared Siegel, co-founder and production director at Good Sense & Company. “We brought in WorldStage for preliminary meetings with the creative team last fall to talk about different ideas with the new set designer, an LA-based TV designer. We came up with a community theme since YouTube users are also YouTube creators. And with content paramount, we planned a big reveal moment.”

Anton Goss of Consortium Studios devised a wraparound design for the venue, Pier 36 Basketball City, which is very wide but relatively shallow. “The space was a challenge because, for this event, it had to be configured along the long dimension,” Siegel admits. To reflect YouTube’s extraordinary reach, WorldStage integrated hundreds of feed of LED and projection display screens into the 450′ wide stage and presentation structure that nearly surrounded the large audience.

Just when the audience thought they had seen everything they were going to see during the impressive show, the huge video display split apart to reveal the headline entertainer performing on a video display-covered stage that rose from the floor.

“No one expected the main LED wall to split down the middle to reveal the final performer, Macklemore – a big YouTube star, who performed two of his hits,” says Siegel. “It was a big surprise moment – no one had any idea that it would open up. We threw an additional cast of 225 extras on stage for a fun, live, high-energy moment that helped symbolize the YouTube community.”

“For a production this size, the set up went really well thanks to the planning of Good Sense, the capabilities of the Local 1 crew and our experience supporting big-venue shows,” says WorldStage event manager Josh Perlman, who also served as the project manager in charge of all video and lighting. “The Brandcast was big, very big, and it was pulled it off without a hitch.”

WorldStage provided Dataton WATCHOUT to drive playback on the LED and projection screens, Playback Pros for sizzle reel and pre- and post-show playback, Vista Systems Spyder X20s for image processing and Sony cameras for the live feeds plus extensive signal processing gear.

“There was so much content to deal with – the files were huge!” Siegel recalls. “WorldStage built the largest video village backstage that I’ve ever seen for a temp venue and they really killed it! The YouTube Brandcast got rave reviews, and the client was absolutely thrilled. No one could get over how big it was. And everything worked amazingly well.”

At WorldStage, Mike Alboher was the EIC, Jason Spencer the Spyder technician and Rob Montenegro the lead for the LED signal processing. The WATCHOUT system was programmed by Michael Kohler with Raul Herrara systems tech and Lucy MacKinnon content manager. David Klein operated the Playback Pro; Pete Cerreta managed the cameras and recording systems. Mike Naylor shaded the cameras and was the senior engineer overseeing the camera package. J. Weise managed the entire cable install. Showmotion Inc. provided the staging & automation for the reveal. One Dream provided the audio.

WorldStage’s Erik Perry was the lighting project manager working with lighting designer Chris Dallos and his production electricians.

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.

Good Sense & Company is a creative and production service agency that manages live events for some of the biggest and most enterprising arts & entertainment groups, charities, corporations and private interests around the world.

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Clay Paky Lighting, grandMA2 and MDG Join the Dave Matthews Band For Summer Tour

The Dave Matthews Band hits the road for an extensive national tour with Clay Paky lighting, grandMA2 consoles and MDG foggers along for the ride. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of both product lines in North America.

The band commences its 45-date cross-country swing in mid-May and wraps after Labor Day. They will be supporting last year’s hit LP, “Away From The World.”

Theatrical Media Services is providing the lighting gear and consoles for design company and video vendor Filiment Productions. Fenton Williams is the production designer and lighting designer for the tour; Aaron Stinebrink is the lighting programmer and designer.

“The overall concept is to continually augment the look of the show as the evening progresses,” says Stinebrink. “Everything is mounted on automated curved trusses that can move around during the show. We also have a large curved LED videowall upstage.”

Twelve Clay Paky Sharpy Wash lights hang from the sub grid and shine through all the trusses. A dozen Sharpys are positioned above the videowall and 12 more act as floor lights. Fourteen Alpha Spot HPE 1500s are integrated throughout the five automated trusses.

“We chose the Sharpys for the same reason everybody does: They have fantastic light output, speed, great colors and effects. It’s a versatile light that everyone uses,” Stinebrink explains. “The Sharpy Washes also offer a small footprint, speed and brightness, and they provide a great zoom and the ability to go from a nice tight beam to a wide wash.”

He notes that the Alpha spots were selected “because of their output with a 1500W lamp plus two irises and a fantastic zoom. It’s a very good light – far superior to others on the market.”

Two full-size grandMA2s and one grandMA2 light control the lighting rig as well as the Hippo media servers. “We’re very excited to start using them,” Stinebrink says. “The entire video show is run through the Hippos and controlled by the grandMA2. The grandMA2 is a fantastic platform known for its stability throughout the years. It’s so versatile that I can set up the console any way I see fit, as can anyone who operates the system.”

The production is also using two MDG MAX 3000 and two MAX 5000 foggers. The 5000s are used in festival situations on the downstage corners to help with coverage. “The MDG MAX series has been perfect fit for us for years. They have a fantastic volume of output while still having enough control to use them as a hazer. This series of foggers has been perfect for our amphitheater tours,” concludes Stinebrink.

George Masek, A.C.T Lighting’s Vice President, Automated Lighting, adds, “We’ve known Fenton, Aaron, and the Dave Matthews team for a number of years and they are always a pleasure to work with. It was nice to see that Aaron and the TMS staff appreciate the same things that we do about the Sharpy, Sharpy Wash, and Alpha Spot HPE 1500. We’re very pleased that we were able to offer fixtures that are new and exciting to them.”

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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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