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Archive by David Steinberg

HRS Control Launches HRS KP Automation App to Simplify Control of Multiple AJA Ki Pro Units in Production Environments

HRS Control has introduced two new software products for automated control of AJA’s popular Ki Pro family of file-based recorder/players including Ki Pro, Ki Pro Mini, Ki Pro Rack and Ki Pro Quad. HRS KP Automation and the next-level HRS KP Automation PRO are dedicated Mac OSX applications that provide simple, easy control of multiple Ki Pro units.

“HRS KP Automation has been designed from the ground up to enhance the out-of-the-box experience of Ki Pro customers,” says Drew Taylor with HRS Control. “We saw a lot of interest from AJA customers who wanted gang control capabilities for their Ki Pros. They were looking for a simplified, cost-effective solution for Ki Pro only control; they didn’t need to build customized solutions with our UDC (Universal Device Control) product. So we devised a completely new application to control multiple Ki Pros from one location.”

“Our Ki Pro products have been incredibly popular for live event, professional AV and on-set broadcast and film productions. Many customers use multiple Ki Pro’s and we’re pleased that the smart engineers at HRS Control have provided a plug-and-play solution for automating gang configuration, record and playback for AJA’s Ki Pro customers,” said Nick Rashby, president, AJA Video Systems.

Developed for Mac desktop computers, HRS KP Automation is HRS Control’s first Apple desktop based app. “It’s groundbreaking for us,” Taylor says. “All of our other products are Windows-based, but a large majority of Ki Pro users have Apple computers because of the strong ties between AJA and Apple.

“The new app can be downloaded and used right away,” he reports. “There’s no learning curve, and no training is required. You put HRS KP Automation to action immediately.”

HRS KP Automation is a base-level product offering all the features and functionality that most Ki Pro users require and supports Ki Pro, Ki Pro Rack, Ki Pro Quad and Ki Pro Mini. With Ki Pro Automation “you can execute gang playback and record, download clips and do file transfers to your local Mac or network hard drive for back up,” Taylor explains.

Major features of HRS KP Automation include:
* Configuration of unlimited Ki Pros
* Downloading multiple Ki Pro clips to local and network storage
* Gang playback
* Gang stop
* Gang recording
* Gang loading of matching clips
* Loading individual clips, including stop or play after load

The app also displays current time code, current clip name and shows the progress of clip downloads as well as proving users a range of additional status information for each Ki Pro. It also permits scheduling of recording, playback and downloads.

HRS KP Automation PRO includes all the features of HRS KP Automation and more. The PRO version adds RS422 control (supported by Ki Pro, Ki Pro Mini and Ki Pro Rack, but not by Ki Pro Quad) for the ability to load a clip and jump to a specific point in the time code. It also gives you the ability to upload clips from a network or local computer and to transfer clips from Ki Pro to Ki Pro. In addition, it enables users to store hot keys on the fly for any Ki Pro product that load a clip and jump to time code – a playback utility that people with more demanding live productions, such as sports replays, are looking for,” explained Taylor.

The apps’ clean and clear interface design looks and feels familiar to users of AJA Ki Pro products. The layout features two columns. The left-hand column features buttons for transport commands and a download button for each Ki Pro unit. The right-hand column always shows clips on the selected Ki Pro; downloading is tracked with a progress bar. Selecting more than one Ki Pro unit for control triggers gang control with easy one-button execution.

HRS Control will be taking orders for HRS KP Automation at IBC in mid-September and shipping the app after the show. The company is accepting pre-orders for HRS KP Automation PRO, which is expected to release later this year.

“No dongles are required, and customers can sign up for a 30-day free trial before purchasing and downloading the app,” Taylor points out. “HRS KP Automation users can upgrade at any time to the PRO version.

“Ki Pros are great products – their users are really happy with them. We’re proud to provide an automated tool to make multiple Ki Pro systems even easier to use in production environments.”

About High Resolution Systems

High Resolution Systems, known as HRS Control, is a company with a strong systems engineering and applications background. Its founders have decades of experience in the audiovisual rental and staging industry, broadcast applications, A/V installations and system design. This combined experience allows them to provide the highest possible quality solutions to its customers in the most efficient manner. For more information, visit www.HRScontrol.com.

Clay Paky Sharpys Rock with Rush as Band Wraps Clockwork Angels Tour

Photo: Steve Jennings

Rock band Rush just wrapped its Clockwork Angels Tour in the US in support of its eponymous album, and Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures went along for the ride.

Rush began its US tour last September on the heels of a successful European leg. Dates in Phoenix and Dallas were recorded for a DVD release later this year.

“We had 55 Sharpys on the tour for the duration,” says Howard Ungerleider, lighting designer for Rush. “Sharpys are one of the most versatile and exciting lighting fixtures I’ve used in a while. I can really get a lot of looks out of them. I definitely work them without over-using them.”

Ungerleider positioned the Sharpys, which were provided by Premier Global and Production Design International, on moving parts of the truss so they could descend at any time for automated moves. He maximized their application, deploying them to different effect for various songs in the set.

He used Sharpys with gobos for a laser simulation for “Red Sector A” where he also had the fixtures simulate laser effects. He tapped them as accent points for “Body Electric.”

Ungerleider used very three-dimensional theatrical effects for “The Wreckers” in which a video showed a storm at sea and the Sharpys emulated rain with their atmospherics. The lights also created a Jacob’s Ladder effect and a barricade for “The Pass.”

The lighting designer believes Sharpys are “a superior light” whose “performance is amazing. I love the beam and the ability to use gobos. The Sharpys’ size and weight are incredible, too. The light source and what it produced filled the bill for what I was trying to accomplish for Rush on tour.”

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, adds, “It’s great to be part of this imaginatively designed tour and great to collaborate with Mr. Ungerleider who is a great talent.”

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

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Alcorn McBride’s A/V Binloop Delivers Multimedia Content for Kent State University’s New May 4 Visitors Center

Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, marked the 43rd commemoration of the tragic events of May 4, 1970, with the dedication of the May 4 Visitors Center. This center includes multimedia exhibits that inform guests about what led to the confrontation between students and the National Guard during the Vietnam War. This historical event left four students dead and nine wounded. The university selected Alcorn McBride’s A/V Binloop to playback the audio and video in the exhibit.

The dedication ceremony featured film director/producer Oliver Stone and PBS news anchor Gwen Ifill; Ifill moderated a panel discussion on the “Historical Significance of May 4 and the Visitors Center” and Stone shared his thoughts on “History and Memory in Film.”

Bryan Molnar, electronics technician supervisor with Kent State who oversaw the integration of the technology for the May 4 Visitors Center, chose the A/V Binloop for Gallery 1: The Context. This space delivers background information on the Vietnam War: A Nation Divided; the Generation Gap between students and their elders; and the Struggle for Social Justice.

“There are three CRT TVs,” Molnar explains, “each one playing a nine-minute video loop about the war, generation gap and social justice. Visitors can see all three TVs at once. But the audio changes to a different TV every three minutes, so the programs loop with two three-minute videos with audio and one three-minute video without audio.”

The A/V Binloop’s four video cards accommodate these requirements with the first three slots in the Binloop playing back the video feeds to the TVs and the fourth slot the audio. “Thinking about getting all that synched was crazy,” Molnar recalls. “That’s why the A/V Binloop was perfect – it’s designed to do exactly that. Most players don’t have this type of synchronization, but the Binloop could handle all the displays at once. And it can be adjusted any way I need.”

Alcorn McBride’s A/V Binloop is the ultimate frame-accurate synchronized audio and video player. With no moving parts, it provides up to 16 channels of ultra reliable playback that outlasts any other.

“Alcorn McBride was great working with us,” says Molnar, to ensure the equipment delivered the functionality that Gallery 1 demanded. “The system is working beautifully. The A/V Binloop comes on every morning and goes to sleep every night. I’ve never had a problem with it.”

The designers of the May 4 Visitors Center are Cybelle Jones and Carl Rhodes of Gallagher & Associates. For more information about Kent State’s May 4 Visitors Center, visit www.kent.edu/may4.

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.

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grandMA2 and MA VPU plusHelps Create Dazzling Fourth of July Pixel-Mapped Light Show on the Empire State Building

The city that never sleeps put on a Fourth of July show that extended well beyond the 37th Annual Macy’s Fireworks Spectacular to the Empire State Building (ESB) where a grandMA2 console and an MA VPU plus video processing unit controlled a dazzling pixel-mapped lighting display on the landmark. A.C.T Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of MA Lighting in North America.

The ESB and Macy’s partnered on the 37th? annual fireworks show. As part of the celebration the ESB tower light show was created by world-famous lighting design artist Marc Brickman and choreographed to music curated by Usher for the finale of the fireworks. Last year the ESB unveiled its one-of-a-kind new LED tower lights with a show Brickman designed. The pixel-mapped LED lighting system features four types of Philips Color Kinetics RGB and white fixtures located on the ESB’s top four tiers.

For the Independence Day spectacular the light show competed for attention with the fireworks by displaying dramatic and fun bursts of color, ripples, sweeps and chases on the top tiers and spire of the ESB. More than 3.900 LED fixtures rapidly flashed solid colors and washed the tiers with breathtaking multi-color displays; some lighting effects swirled around all four sides of the structure like a rotating beacon.

“We were synched to the Macy’s [fireworks] show,” says Marc Brickman. “We were given a pre-visualization of what they were going to do to inspire our design.”

Key to meeting the complex pixel-mapping challenge – with over 17,000 parameters of lighting and video control – was an MA VPU plus, a video processing unit for displaying video in full HD, ensuring the highest frame and DMX synchronicity, scaling video and creating myriad effects.

Brickman, who used a grandMA2 last year for the ESB’s pixel-mapping debut, reteamed with A.C.T Lighting for the Fourth of July celebration. He tapped a grandMA2, with 80 universes, as his primary controller and had a grandMA2 light on hand for back up.

The grandMA2 was set up to send KiNET to more than 3,900 Color Kinetics LED fixtures. The VPU’s pixel map was configured to control all the LED lights on the building and output 76 universes of Art-Net to the grandMA2 desk; the Art-Net universes were merged with the grandMA2 patch and subsequently converted to KiNET in order to control the Color Kinetics fixtures. The pixel map was patched to the same DMX channels as the patch in the grandMA2 desk.

This process enabled Brickman to quickly choose between video pixel map effects or direct lighting control from the grandMA2, all controllable by the grandMA2 software. He could send video pixel map data and standard lighting control effects simultaneously allowing for seamless cross-fades between desired looks.

Thanks to pre-visualization and rendering software, all the programming and rehearsals were done prior to the event, first in Los Angeles and then from the 72nd floor of the ESB. “Most of the work was done at A.C.T’s Agoura Hills, California office,” says Brickman. “The team worked with programmer Dietrich Juengling to create an easier, more efficient system that was smaller and more compact than previously used at ESB. We also put ESP Vision in line, which helped us do the pre-visualization.”

The Fourth of July show was the first time anyone saw the programmed show live on the sides of the landmark. “It all worked great – it was incredible!” Brickman declares.

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High Resolution Engineering Adds Lightware FR33L Routers to Rental Inventory

High Resolution Engineering (HRE) has completed the upgrade of its Lightware rental inventory with the addition of FR33L modular Lightware routers with HDCP boards. The complement of FR33Ls marks the culmination of the rental upgrade, which has seen the previous inventory of DVI routers replaced by Lightware 8×8, 17×17, 80×80 and now 33×33 modular frames. At the same time, the rental inventory has been upgraded with five Vista Spyder X20 image processors with kit options.

“Lightware’s FR33L is the number-one most requested router by AV technicians,” reports HRE’s Mike Taylor. “It’s by far the best router on the market. With the addition of the very powerful FR33Ls our entire inventory of Lightware routers is now cutting edge. Our rental inventory can take care of all of our customers’ needs.”

Equipped with HDCP Input/Output cards, the complete rental inventory of Lightware routers is fully compatible with up to 4K HDMI. The routers still offer DVI and HD-SDI compatibility for the maximum in format flexibility.

Multiple I/O cards offer fiber optic, CAT5 and 6 and HDBaseT connectivity. Pixel-accurate reclocking on inputs ensures signals that had been lost in the past can now be recovered.

A frame detector (waveform monitor) is built in on every input and output so users can see the signal in the router software. “That’s a powerful diagnostic tool that only Lightware offers,” says Taylor. “All of these features are available across our Lightware rental inventory.”

HRE’s five Spyder X20 image processors now boast kit options, which include routers, controllers, EDID Managers, DA2s and CAT6 send and receive units. “It’s a powerful ‘show-in-a-box’ solution that meets all customer requirements,” Taylor says. The kit components comprise three Pelican cases for easy transport.

About High Resolution Engineering
High Resolution Engineering, a member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers is a company with a strong systems engineering and applications background. Its founders have decades of experience in the audio visual rental and staging industry, broadcast applications, A/V installations and system design. This combined experience allows them to provide the highest possible quality solutions to its customers in the most efficient manner. For more information, visit www.highresolution.tv.

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grandMA2 and Clay Paky Sharpys Work Packed Houses at the 2013 ESSENCE Festivalä in New Orleans

Crowds turned out in record numbers for the 19th annual ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans. A-list artists including Beyoncé, LL Cool J, Jill Scott, Tamia, Janelle Monáe, and others packed venues throughout The Big Easy. The festival was staged by ESSENCE Communications and produced by Solomon Group, a New Orleans-based entertainment production company which supplied various equipment including grandMA2 consoles and Clay Paky Sharpy lighting fixtures to eight stages across town. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of MA Lighting and Clay Paky products in North America.

“With great some support from VER, Solomon Group supplied gear to several stages, including five in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, two in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and one in Woldenberg Park,” says Matt Foucheaux, Senior Production Manager at Solomon Group. “We used a total of four grandMA2s. The Main Stage at the Superdome had two grandMA2 full-size units accompanied with two fader wings. Both the Center Stage and the Empowerment Experience Stage in the Convention Center had grandMA2 Lights.”

Foucheaux, who also served as the lighting designer for the Main Stage, selected the grandMA2 for its popularity among designers and directors working the festival. “It’s the console of choice for most people in the industry,” he says. “We know it well, which meant we could help our guest designers program their show. We were also able to send plots and patches to the designers ahead of time so they could pre-program. That was very helpful since their time on-site was extremely limited. We hope to utilize an off-site grandMA2 3D suite in the future. Given the limited time designers have to program their show, I feel like adding this piece will enhance their shows, and take some stress away from the time crunch that these festivals bring”

Foucheaux and festival programmer, Ryan Stumpp, built many presets that would help the guest designers. Since there was such limited time to program, it helped for these designers to come in and have a good amount of presets in their back pocket” “All of our NPUs and networking for the main stage was behind the stage which was around 350′, so we utilized a fiber network to carry all 22 universes of data”

Foucheaux deployed 65 chrome Clay Paky Sharpys for the Main Stage at the Superdome, which he says looked striking against the black truss that Solomon Group utilized onstage. “We built vertical columns between the LED screens and hung Sharpys inside of them to create the ability to show some really powerful aerial beam looks,” he says. “We also hung some above the IMAG screens, which were programmed at times to rake would go out into the audience.”

About A.C.T Lighting

A leading importer and distributor of lighting products, A.C.T Lighting, Inc. strives to identify future trends and cutting-edge products, and stocks, sells and supports their inventory, and . The company provides superior customer service and value for money to a diverse client base.all of its clients.

For more information, call 818-707-0884.

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Electrosonic Continues Southeast Expansion with Appointment of Senior Systems Consultant Les Hill to Orlando Office

Electrosonic has appointed Senior Systems Consultant, Les Hill, to its Orlando office to reinforce the company’s commitment to audio-visual service and systems engineering support for Florida’s large theme park and tourist industry.

Electrosonic is a leading national and global AV systems integrator. Its portfolio includes many of the highest profile theme park attractions, museums and visitor centers in the world. The company has worked closely with the leading theme park developers in Florida since it opened its first US office in 1972.

Les will be responsible for expanding new business opportunities and building on existing partnerships. He joined Electrosonic in 2005 at the company’s Burbank, California, headquarters and is responsible for many of Electrosonic’s West Coast and Asia entertainment projects in the museum, theme park and live entertainment markets.

“I’m thrilled with the opportunity to support Electrosonic’s business in the Southeast,” says Les. “I’m looking forward to bringing my many years of experience in the Entertainment market to further enhance our support for our clients.”

“The Entertainment market in the Southeast is a key business area for Electrosonic,” added Bryan Hinckley, Electrosonic’s Business Development Manager of Themed Entertainment. “Les brings an unmatched experience in the theme park and museum markets that will help us develop new business as well as support our existing clients and ongoing projects.”

Les has spent over 25 years in the themed entertainment market. Prior to joining Electrosonic, Les worked for Universal Studios as Area Director and Technical Manager during the construction of Universal Studios Japan. He was also the Show/Ride Manager for the Indiana Jones Ride at Disneyland and for the Splash Mountain Ride at Walt Disney World. He also spent several years as Project Director for SimEx-Iwerks where he participated in the development of the company’s extremely popular Turbo Tour motion based systems and 4D seat products, and managed dozens of special venue theaters around the world.

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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grandMA2 Rocks Bon Jovi’s Because We Can: The Tour

Because We Can is Bon Jovi’s 15th tour, and grandMA2 is playing a key role as the Jersey rockers play 92 dates around the world during an almost year-long gig. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of MA Lighting in North America.

Because We Can supports Bon Jovi’s studio album, “What About Now,” whose lead single gave the tour its name. Uniquely, the band’s arena and stadium shows are completely different although four grandMA2s work front of house: Two grandMA2 full-size units are dedicated to lighting, two grandMA2 lights are devoted to video and there are 8 NPUs. All exist on the same Art-Net network.

Performance Environment Design Group’s Doug “Spike” Brant conceived the arena show design as a kinetic sculpture with a lot of movement. By contrast, the stadium show design transforms the entire stage into the front end of a 1959 Buick Electra with the band playing in the 130-foot wide grille flanked by four headlights each 10 feet in diameter. The headlights are made of Chromlech Elidy-S panels. TAIT engineered and built the muscle car set, complete with New Jersey license plate.

The 60-foot multi-level stage section where the band performs is the only common element in both the arena and stadium shows; it provides familiarity to the rockers at both venue types and is easily set up from date to date.

Eric Marchwinski, the tour’s lighting programmer, previsualized and programmed the lighting for both the arena and stadium tours. Control Freak Systems’ Kirk Miller, the tour’s video programmer and operator, did the same for the video elements. “Eric and I tied ourselves together via Art-Net,” Miller explains. “We shared a lot of control over things like the automated columns for the projection during the arena tour. Faced with the challenges of automation, it was great that we could control our own motion presets.”

According to Marchwinski, “there was an incredible time crunch for the arena tour. grandMA 3D proved to be an integral part of programming offline. We were able to do everything with an extreme degree of accuracy. We used 16-bit motion channels that were embedded into the content, which gave us thousands of DMX values. The fact that grandMA 3D let us put in physical values meant we could look at it in a number of ways.”

“The grandMA2 is a very comprehensive system that we stretched to its full potential,” he reports. “No other console would have allowed us such direct control and amazing data management. In fact, the grandMA2′s flexibility made it a show control console instead of just a lighting console.”

For the arena shows Marchwinski also programmed control of 32 winches with lights on them plus 10 lighting towers in the back. “We have feedback coming from the [TAIT/FTSI] Navigator control software for the winches,” he says. “We can control things in feet and degrees.”

Working together, TAIT and Control Freak Systems created a program that allowed the grandMA2 to send control commands to the Navigator software. Miller explains, “We could program automation like lighting – the grandMA2 made it unbelievably easy to manage that data just like you would a moving light. Only it was a 2,000 pound video column instead.”

Miller, who has been using the grandMA2 for close to three years, agrees with Marchwinski that the platform is more than a lighting console. “We don’t look at grandMA2 as a lighting or video desk but as a show control desk – one control surface firing off everything,” he says. “For this show, there was no debate-that was the control system we were going to use.”

On the arena tour the grandMA2s are controlling four media servers, three Encores via CFS Encore Bridge, and Navigator. The use of the grandMA2 in the complex control system has proven to be a distinct plus for Miller and Marchwinski. For the stadium system, either the lighting or video grandMA2s can control the LED tiles as well as the Elidy-S panels. Marchwinski creates numerous color tricks by taking control of the 120 LED tiles in the center grille of the stage.

“The support we get from A.C.T and MA has been great,” Miller says. “They help us solve problems and push the limits of the desk and make things happen. grandMA 3D is amazing – no other product on the market offers such a feature. It gave us the power to do the show well in advance of getting the video columns – we relied heavily on grandMA 3D for this.”

Sooner Routhier is the lighting director of the Bon Jovi tour.

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Electrosonic Helps Launch Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit, Newest Attraction at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex near Orlando just unveiled its latest blockbuster space exploration attraction, Space Shuttle AtlantisSM, at what is now the new home of the historic spacecraft. Working in concert with the operators Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts as well as with the designer firm PGAV Destinations, Electrosonic participated in the four-phase design consulting process, after which they completed the AV integration and installation of the headline attraction.

The 90,000-square foot exhibit tells the story of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program with multimedia presentations that feature more than 60 interactive exhibits and AV simulators. These give visitors a look at the 33 missions of Atlantis, including the maintenance of the Hubble Space Telescope and the building of the International Space Station.

Earlier this year Electrosonic provided AV support for the reconfigured entry area into the park. Now the company has led the way in using leading-edge technology to give visitors an unparalleled up-close-and-personal experience with the mammoth orbiter.

Just as with the park’s entry area, Electrosonic’s Design Consulting team got the Atlantis project off the ground, serving as AV consultant to architects PGAV Destinations. Electrosonic’s Yiannis Cabolis was the designer of record. Gary Barnes was Electrosonic’s project manager and Toni Losier and Andrew Kidd the account executives.

“From the outset we wanted to combine the architecture of Space Shuttle Atlantis with technology in a way that had never been done before. The fact that Electrosonic already had a track record of delivering audio/visual systems to some of the biggest and most complicated attractions in Orlando was a big factor in our selecting them for the initial consulting,” says Emily Howard, AIA, project architect at PGAV Destinations.

After that consulting phase was completed Electrosonic was brought on board by Delaware North Companies, which manages the operation of the venue. “Throughout the installation process, the design consulting group within Electrosonic remained engaged, representing our interests as architects and exhibit designers and ensuring that the design intent and functionality were maintained and protected throughout the design-and-build process,” Howard notes.

After passing by the entrance with its full-scale vertical replica of Atlantis’s 18-story tall external tank and two solid rocket boosters, visitors enter the building containing the Atlantis attraction itself. Designed by PGAV Destinations in the form of two sweeping “wings” representing the Space Shuttle’s launch and return, the building’s outer layer is iridescent hues of orange and gold representing the fiery glow of re-entry while the shimmering gray tiles represent the underside of the orbiter.

Visitors ascend the entry ramp where 26 speakers, including ceiling and surface-mounted box types, are installed and fed by a multi-channel server in the Electrical Equipment Room (EER). They arrive at a batching area and begin learning about the history of the space program while an LED countdown clock shows the time remaining before the start of the next multimedia pre-show. The pre-show gives historical context to the upcoming exhibits, the role that Atlantis played in the Space Shuttle Program and how the program has paved the way for NASA’s next generation of manned space flight.

In the pre-show theater four Projection Design F35 2560×1600 video projectors are edge blended in a 2×2 configuration for the main screen’s immersive experience. Sixteen Projection Design F32 1400 x 1050 video projectors edge blended in groups of four add video content to four arches.

“This is a very high-resolution video mapping application not commonly associated with visitor attractions and the display of ‘museum-like’ artifacts,” Cabolis notes. The Projection Design units were chosen for their extreme reliability, color accuracy and the “bespoke installation options you need when you are designing for a project like Space Shuttle Atlantis,” he says. The show is controlled and synchronized using Medialon show control.

Eighteen speakers, including four subwoofers, deliver audio sourced from a 16-channel player/processor linked to the video servers through time code.

An 110×20 foot, 8mm LED wall acts as a backdrop to the orbiter. During the pre-show presentation it displays the earth as the Atlantis is revealed. The display is bolted onto a sub frame provided by Electrosonic and anchored from the back to the adjacent wall.

Electrosonic selected individual multi-head 7thSense custom-configured Delta media servers for the batching area, preshow and LED backdrop. “These servers are typically found in digital planetariums or as play-out media services in high-demand multimedia interactives and high-value attractions worldwide,” says Cabolis. “The servers are physically locked to each other so independent timelines can be frame-accurately triggered giving visitors a perfect continuous show as they progress from the batching area to the excitement of the orbiter Atlantis reveal.” Electrosonic also worked closely with Mousetrappe who created the spectacular content for the show.

Once out of the pre-show, visitors find themselves in the main exhibit space with the massive Atlantis itself. The orbiter is supported by numerous artifacts, interactive and simulation exhibits as well as two additional theaters.

The Hubble Close-up Movie Wall highlights the famed space telescope whose stunning images are displayed via two Projection Design F35 video projectors; eight speakers supply audio. A life-size model of the telescope is also on view.

The International Space Station Micro Gravity Theater gives a realistic view of astronauts aboard the ISS. It features a large TransScreen, a translucent membrane that acts as the projection surface for a pair of 10,000-lumen projectors installed behind, and at an angle to, the transparent material. Audio is fed to eight speakers, and a 26-inch touchscreen offers visitor interaction.

Interactive stations populate the entire Atlantis attraction. Three of the most interesting directly relate to the orbiter. The Crew Module AR consists of three multi-axis movable pods, which Electrosonic has outfitted with 26-inch touchscreens, small USB-powered line array speakers and webcams. Electrosonic also supplied four rotary encoders for each pod, which feed position information in USB form to a PC.

The Aft Fuselage AR is similar to the Crew Module with its three multi-axis movable pods and equipment complement. The Cockpit 360 interactive offers an encompassing view from the driver’s seat and features a 26-inch touchscreen with USB-powered line array speaker and four rotary encoders.

The STS Timeline presents visitors with six 55-inch LCD multi-touch displays installed in portrait mode at a slight angle to horizontal in a table configuration. They are fed by a PC and have dedicated line array speakers powered by local amps.

The International Space Station Media Wall is another bold display featuring seven 55-inch LCD multi-touch displays in vertical portrait mode. They are also fed by a PC and have custom low-profile speakers and amps.

Electrosonic designed the EVA, or space walk, interactive with three identical systems, each operating independently. A 65-inch LCD screen is installed at each exhibit along with a 3D depth-sensing system that allows the visitor’s actions to trigger the media application. A source PC, located at the exhibit, received data from the sensing system and triggers the media app. Audio is fed from the local PC to a passive micro line array speaker.

A series of simulators involve visitors even further in the space shuttle’s routines. Landing the Orbiter simulators comprise nine kiosks fitted with 26-inch displays, each connected to their own PC and small USB-powered speaker. Robotic Arm and Docking Station simulators consist of twelve separate kiosks each with four 19-inch displays; they are connected to their own PC and small USB-powered speaker. Electrosonic provided interfaces for one joystick and up to eight buttons for each of the simulator kiosks.

Finally, the Beanie Cap Floor Interactive, named for the “beanie caps” that covered the tops of the Space Shuttles on the launch pad, features an SXGA+ resolution projector, which Electrosonic custom-mounted to throw the image through a 45-degree mirror down to the floor. A sensing device connects to a server in the EER; four speakers deliver two channels of audio.

In specifying the audio components for the attraction Electrosonic opted for QSC’s Q-Sys Layer 3 hardware-independent IP WAN networked audio delivery technology for its scalability, low latency and flexibility. “Q-Sys monitors the QSC amplifiers via data port connectivity, which provides remote standby control, device status/monitoring and DSP processing,” Cabolis explains.

“This type of technology is typically used in themed entertainment. Because of its size, the attraction benefits from the Q-Sys technology, topology and monitoring features,” he notes.

According to Cabolis, the entire Space Shuttle Atlantis attraction “required very intense concept creation by PGAV Destinations, which, in turn, inspired the rest of the design teams and consultants. Throughout the various project phases we got to experience the NASA hospitality and were allowed to view, up-close-and-personal, various artifacts that for some of us – like myself – had a very special meaning. It was the desire to give visitors that same kind of emotional connection with the NASA program that drove us. I feel very privileged to have been part of this team. We couldn’t be happier with the results.”

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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WorldStage Adds Lightware FR33 Routers to Its Inventory

WorldStage has invested in two Lightware MX-FR33 frames for its equipment inventory to accommodate staging larger shows, including those at New York City’s Metropolitan Opera where WorldStage is the provider of a number of sophisticated video systems. The Lightware MX-FR33 is a 33×33 digital crosspoint router frame with redundant power supplies, built-in control panel and CPU2 processor board. Lightware U.S.A. is the US distributor for Budapest-based Lightware Visual Engineering products.

“We’ve added a pair of MX-FR33 matrix frames to increase our Lightware inventory, which includes two FR65 frames, 32x, 17x and 16x routers, as well as an 80x, which we purchased a couple of years ago” says Barry Grossman, Chief Engineer, at WorldStage. “The driving force in purchasing the FR80 was our long-term commitment to the Met Opera and its expanded use of video as part of their productions.” Adding the FR33 will enable WorldStage to service larger shows with a single router, he points out. “This coming season we will use an FR33 instead of two 16x or 17x frames.”

With multiple productions, each requiring it’s own video origination system happening within the same season, WorldStage wanted to provide the production team with a easy and reliable way to switch from one system to another. Building a transmission/routing rack designed around the 80x was the perfect solution. “This year, with ten shows featuring video, we will provide the house crew with up to ten presets to recall the complex routing configuration,” says Grossman.

At the Metropolitan Opera each video show has its own Lightware router in either 16x or 32x configurations. The outputs of those routers feed the 80x transmission rack to allow the operators to easily switch from one video system to another. The output of the 80x matrix feeds the show projectors, back of house monitors, as well as the multi-viewers that allow operators to see all server feeds in a few monitors. The 80x effectively serves as the master router for the whole house.

Grossman notes that, “the Metropolitan Opera team has grown so comfortable with the easy to use Lightware routers and EDID management they provide that they have purchased an 8x frame for their own media server system. The opera house has come a very long way from the days of large format slide projection (which was the former method of provide imagery to the state) and the Lightware products have smoothed the path considerably.”

About Lightware U.S.A.

Lightware U.S.A. is the US distributor of professional AV products manufactured by Lightware Visual Engineering in Budapest, Hungary. For more information on these products, visit www.lightwareUSA.com.

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