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Archive by David Steinberg

Electrosonic Promotes Bryan Hinckley to Entertainment Solutions Director

Bryan-Hinckley-headshotElectrosonic has promoted Bryan Hinckley to head of the worldwide Entertainment business, which includes the museum, theme park, visitor center and retail markets. The post was previously held by Chris Conte, who was recently named head of the new U.S. Business Development team.

Hinckley has been managing Electrosonic’s themed environments and attractions business in the U.S., where he was responsible for maintaining and growing the business as well as managing and supporting its U.S.-based sales team.

“Bryan’s promotion to lead the Entertainment business comes at a very exciting time for Electrosonic and for the AV market as a whole,” says Jim Bowie, President of Electrosonic Group. “As one of our key talents, Bryan is assuming new responsibilities at which I believe he will excel and help move the company forward.”

Hinckley says, “As Chris Conte moves to lead the Business Development team, he leaves big shoes to fill. I’m looking forward to taking on an expanded role at Electrosonic where I get to work with one of the most talented teams in the industry. I also look forward to bringing my 15 years of Electrosonic experience to our new and existing customers located throughout the world.”

Hinckley joined Electrosonic in 1999 as a project engineer.  He later served as a project manager for Electrosonic projects in Taiwan, Japan, New York City and other locations throughout North America.  Prior to his recent position leading the themed entertainment business in North America, Hinckley’s roles at Electrosonic have included managing the Electrosonic Products Division in the U.S., and managing the Electrosonic Design Consulting team.

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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New Clay Paky Stormy Fixtures and grandMA2 Join Slipknot Tour

A67G0465Masked rockers Slipknot are making headlines with a fifth album release, the addition of new band members, their Knotfest concert series and the launch of the “Prepare for Hell” tour – and Clay Paky Stormys and a grandMA2 console are along for the wild ride. A.C.T Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of Clay Paky and MA products in North America.

The band just marked the debut of their fifth studio album, “.5: The Gray Chapter,” which was quickly followed by performances October 25 and 26 at their own Knotfest in San Bernardino, California. They began headlining the “Prepare for Hell” North American tour afterwards.

Trevor Ahlstrand, lighting designer/production designer for Slipknot, is using a package of 30 Stormys, obtained from Christie Lights, on the shows. The new Stormy uses the latest LED technology while retaining all the charm of the classic strobe. He has positioned a few on each piece truss and several in a row on the floor.

“The show is very asymmetrical with random sticks of different heights jutting out in random places and set elements of a carnival theme,” he says. “The thing with this group is that they have nine members, three of whom are drummers, so they’re very percussive. I use strobes to accent a lot of the underlying drum parts in their music; trying constantly to be creative in how I would use the strobes keeping it interesting and different from song to song.”

But Ahlstrand confesses that he’s “always had a problem with using scrollers on strobes. I don’t like to blast on lights all the time, and I don’t want to abuse the audience all night. So I try to use scrollers to get a different feel but could never seem to get them all working right.”

He looked at several LED fixtures then discovered that “Stormy had the feel of an old-school Atomic 3000 with a scroller on it. But it was way more intense. I could get any color you can think of, and when you hit it full blast it was so bright – you didn’t see anything else. I get all the benefits of a classic strobe with all the control of an LED.”

Reached during rehearsals with the band Ahlstrand reports the Stormys were performing “amazing so far – no technical issues. My fear with LEDs is balance with color, but the Stormys are all dead on with each other. They’re extremely bright and fast – I hit whatever color I want at any time. And I program them the same way I would anything else.”

Ahlstrand chose the grandMA2 for the show for “its reliability and worldwide availability.” It’s been his console of choice for several years during which time he’s seen it “become the standard at most festivals around the world. That makes it very easy to walk in and clone your show then just add their NPUs and everything is good to go.”

He says the grandMA2′s “speed and precision with individual parameter timing and effects are great and so easy to use. It also has such a flexible layout giving me different options and preferences with multiple user profiles, such as for the show’s lighting director Greg ‘Little G’ Kocurek.”

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 stock, sell and support their inventory. The company provides superior customer service and value for money to all of its clients.

For more information call 818-707-0884.

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Three Byte Intermedia Supports James Turrell Retrospective at National Gallery of Australia with Advanced Lighting Control Systems

2014-12-03 16.19.56American artist James Turrell’s new retrospective at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra includes projections, holograms, drawings, prints and photographs as well as 10 light installations, two featuring advanced lighting control systems created by Three Bye Intermedia, Inc, a studio focusing on interactive AV solutions.

“James Turrell: A Retrospective,” which runs from December 13-June 8, 2015, follows three retrospectives in Houston, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Guggenheim in New York. Acclaimed as a leader in global contemporary light art, Turrell has told visitors to his shows, “I put you in a situation where you feel the physicality of light.”

That’s certainly true of the installations, “Bindu Shards,” part of Turrell’s Perceptual Cells series, and “Virtuality Squared,” from his Ganzfeld series. “Bindu Shards” has been acquired by the National Gallery of Australia, along with five other major Turrell works.

“Bindu Shards” is designed to induce the drifting off state of mind that occurs in the early stages of meditation. A one-person sensory experience, it requires the viewer to ride a roller bed into a sphere-shaped structure, 12 feet in diameter, reminiscent of an MRI machine. The viewer wears headphones and looks up into a white hemisphere. The sphere is then illuminated with color- changing, pulsating LED lights.

“Three Byte software executes a program of binaural audio streams that induce beating between the left and right sides of the stereo headphones,” says Olaaf Rossi, Three Byte’s project manager. “It is absolutely critical that the lights and sound be generated from the same timing source – a feature that no existing system could support. We spent months developing the software to ensure that the lights are precisely timed to strobe synchronously with the audio beats, which are extremely important to the intensity of the perceived experience.”

Different programs, lasting between 11 and 37 minutes, alternate frequencies that emulate the neural oscillations occurring during different periods of the human sleep cycle. Although the experience is unique to each viewer and can be unsettling to some, most report it as being meditative allowing them to lose their sense of time and space.

“Virtuality Squared” replicates a whiteout phenomenon in which viewers experience a complete loss of depth perception. It features an inclined floor, precisely-constructed apertures and LED lights. What appears at first to be a flat projection is, in fact, a big room that engulfs viewers in a seemingly unending expanse of color. As the color shifts, perception compensates and static light is suddenly not static at all.

“Three Byte’s special-purpose lighting control software was developed specifically for James to allow him and his studio to easily experiment with new effects and experiences in every installation, each of which is unique to the location,” explains Rossi. “Our software supports timeline-based, 16-bit DMX control for up to 8 universes with particular attention to insert/edit capability along with increased low-light level precision controls and a custom tactile lighting control board.”

About Three Bye Intermedia

Three Byte Intermedia (www.3-byte.com) specializes in the design and implementation of innovative software solutions for interactive installations. It offers custom software development, show control systems design and development, architectural design support, and systems engineering. For more information, visit http://3-byte.com/.

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Lightware Unveils 4K Compatible TPS Wallplate Extenders with Remote Powering

wp_umx_tps_extendersLightware USA has announced the next stage of the development of the Lightware HDBaseT product line: the wallplate version of the UMX-TPS series, which will launch early 2015. They are the ideal solution for many small meeting and classroom applications or as part of a larger multi-room system when paired with a Lightware MX series Modular Matrix.

The Lightware UMX-TPS products are designed to transmit multiple video formats at resolutions up to 4K. Video, audio and control can be sent up to 170 meters at 1080p over a single CATx cable with these extenders. The WP-UMX-TPS-TX120-US model supports VGA and HDMI while the WP-UMX-TPS-TX130-US adds DisplayPort to the list of formats it supports.

The TX120 extender is designed to handle digital and analog video and audio signals, e.g. VGA, YPrPb and HDMI1.4 with analog stereo audio from local inputs or embedded 7.1 HBR audio. The TX130 model adds DP 1.1 signal support to the roster.

Analog audio and video signals are converted to digital formats in the extenders, which can transmit the audio and the video signal separately from each other. Units offer bidirectional and transparent RS-232 and Ethernet transmission and unidirectional and transparent IR transmission. The IR and RS-232 connections also support command injection from the MX series Modular Matrix. Remote powering is available through the single CAT 5e/CAT 7 cable, but a local power supply can also be used.

“The two new extenders are compatible with any of the currently available TPS receiver products and can be incorporated into the MX series modular matrices which size up to 80×80,” says Lightware USA Director of Sales, Drew Taylor. “They will ship early in 2015.”

Lightware USA has also unveiled the TPS-PI-1P1, a new remote powering solution supporting the PoE standard and providing power to a remote TPS transmitter or receiver.

Based on this new PoE technology, every TX and RX unit will be power receivers or can be fed locally by a power supply. Remote powering can be achieved by using the TPS-PI-1P1 single-port power injector unit, which is optimized for HDBaseT transmission.
The TPS-PI-1P1 can be placed anywhere in the TPS transmission chain. The incoming data stays untouched, and the signal quality is unaffected. But a 48V DC remote power is added to the signal by the device.

The unit provides unidirectional remote power only, but thanks to a 12V local output option, the other device can also be powered by the TPS-PI-1P1 if they are placed close to each other. No power supplies for the TX or RX are needed. Power for the injector itself is provided by its own power adapter, which is included. The unit has four front panel LED indicators for monitoring operations and troubleshooting.

About Lightware USA

Lightware USA is the US distributor of professional AV products manufactured by Lightware Visual Engineering in Budapest, Hungary. With the flexibility of the Lightware product line, the Lightware USA team is able to assist with the design for some of the highest performance systems in the world. Router sizes ranging from the robust UMX4x4-Pro up to the impressive 160×160 25G Hybrid give Lightware USA the edge over the competition when it comes to routing multiple video sources to the ever changing variety of displays in the industry. Their array of solutions for extending the highest resolution video formats including 4K and 3D over Cat or Fiber put Lightware USA on the forefront of cutting edge technology.

For more information on these products, visit www.LightwareUSA.com.

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Electrosonic Provides AV Support to New “Scotland’s Time Lords” Exhibit at Edinburgh’s Our Dynamic Earth Attraction

timelords05-1Fifteen years after providing the complete audio-visual system for the Our Dynamic Earth attraction, Electrosonic returned to help the science center bring “Scotland’s Time Lords” to life. Electrosonic was charged with the design and systems integration of the AV elements, under subcontract to Studio MB, engineering the new exhibition with reliable components within a simple system architecture.

“Scotland’s Time Lords” introduces visitors to the Scottish scientists who laid the foundation for the modern paradigm of plate tectonics. Three new interlinked galleries take visitors from an 18th century themed classroom with magic blackboards and talking portraits back through Deep Time to the Big Bang and beyond. Visitors learn the impact of James Hutton and Arthur Holmes on the evolution of earth science, and celebrate the fact that scientific discovery is at the heart of Scottish culture.

The journey begins when the visitor passes through oak paneled doors and steps into a 19th century styled lecture room. Eminent geologist and ‘first Time Lord’ James Hutton demonstrates his theories on how the Earth was formed while large blackboards with animated imagery and text stand on either side. Hutton appears to be in the room through an application of the Pepper’s Ghost technique; his image is actually presented on a horizontally-mounted 63-inch Samsung LCD screen. He’s flanked by blackboard-style projection screens, fed by Optoma projectors, illustrating his talk. Portraits of later geologists, all with Scottish ties, are actually 55-inch Samsung LCDs, which come to life to comment on the importance of Hutton’s insights.

The second section looks at the contributions of Arthur Holmes, a professor of geology at Edinburgh University in 1942, whose studies led to the concept of plate tectonics. Visitors view a suspended globe presenting animations explaining plate tectonics and their relevance to earthquake and volcano zones. The globe is a Puffersphere, which uses a ceiling-mounted projectiondesign F32 video projector with a custom lens to project onto the internal surface of the sphere; a computer plays out source images and provides the geometric corrections required to deliver distortion-free images on the globe’s surface.

The Deep Time Machine comprises the third and final portion of the new exhibits. Styled as a large elevator operated by an AMX controller, the gallery transports visitors back in time to the Big Bang, showcasing giant images on 55-inch Samsung LCDs. In a collaboration between Our Dynamic Earth and ISO, new footage offers visitors the chance to witness the development of the universe and the early days of Earth.

When the “elevator doors” open at the conclusion of the journey, visitors exit to the science center’s existing spaceship-themed “How It All Started” show which features a new film produced by National Space Centre Creative (NSC Creative).

Audio equipment for the “Scotland’s Time Lords” exhibit includes Tannoy loudspeakers, Cloud and RSF amps and AMX Precis signal processing.

Most source and control equipment is housed in the existing AV racks in the central control room. HD players for the Time Machine are adjacent to the displays they serve.

The new exhibition was designed by award winning Edinburgh-based exhibition and interpretive design team Studio MB, and the fit-out contractor was Paragon Creative. Show content was conceived by Studio MB and produced by ISO Design of Glasgow. Project management and contract administration was also by Studio MB. Electrosonic supported the project through its local Edinburgh office.

About Electrosonic
Electrosonic, celebrating its 50th anniversary, 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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Justin Lang Joins A.C.T Lighting As Director of Marketing

JustinLangContinuing A.C.T Lighting’s commitment to excellence, the company announces the appointment of Justin Lang as Director of Marketing. Lang will be working directly with Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Brian Dowd, to increase market awareness of A.C.T Lighting and its partner brands. A.C.T Lighting is currently the exclusive North American distributor for MA Lighting, Clay Paky, Robert Juliat, MDG, Wireless Solutions and Chain Master.

Justin Lang has worked in all aspects of the lighting industry for 17 years, from sales to production design and most recently journalism. He began his professional career working in sales at Barbizon Lighting Company in Washington, DC. Lang later created the industry blog, iSquint.net, a successful technology and news website. In 2011, he was recruited by PLSN to take over as Editor.

“I am excited to join the A.C.T Lighting family and to be working with their partners,” says Lang. “They have been on the forefront of providing exceptional products and services in the North American market with truly unique product partners and a dedicated sales and support staff.”

Brian Dowd, A.C.T Lighting Vice President of Sales and Marketing, added, “We are very excited to have Justin as a member of our growing team. He brings a wealth of knowledge and energy to our marketing efforts.”

Lang can be reached at 201-996-0884 or via email at Justin@actlighting.com.

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 stock, sell and support their inventory. The company provides superior customer service and value for money to all of its clients.

For more information call 818-707-0884.

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Clay Paky Fixtures Join The Eli Young Band for Concert Tour and House Party Shows

268The Eli Young Band has hit the road on its North American tour and recently hosted it’s 2nd Annual Eli Young Band House Party featuring Clay Paky Sharpy and A.leda B-EYE K-20 fixtures playing supporting roles.

An American country music band from Texas, The Eli Young Band released its “10,000 Towns” album earlier this year. During its career the band has had three singles reach number one on the Billboard country charts. The band is currently on a North American concert tour and just finished hosting its popular yearly House Party concerts on back-to-back weekends at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas and Minute Maid Park in Houston.

“The overall design of the tour is high-impact versatility,” says lighting designer David Carr. “We deliver a lot of speed with fast moving lights and design.”

Carr uses eight Clay Paky Sharpys as floor lights for the concerts. “I used them on a corporate show before, but this is my first time in a touring situation,” he notes. “I love the brightness of the beam; it punches through just about everything.” Morris Light and Sound, a full-service production and integration company in Nashville, TN is providing the lighting package for the tour.

For the Eli Young Band House Party in Houston Carr added a dozen Clay Paky A.leda B-EYE K-20 fixtures from LD Systems, the systems integration and production company headquartered in Houston. “The punch and zoom range they have for an LED is amazing, and the effects package is great,” Carr declares. “We plan to add B-EYE K-10s to our touring package next year.”

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, added, “It’s great to see our Sharpy and B-EYE fixtures work so well together. They are the perfect one-two punch for any show or event.”

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

About Clay Paky
Headquartered in Seriate (Bergamo), Italy, Clay Paky SPA has a history of designing and manufacturing innovative professional show lighting. The company was founded in 1976 by entrepreneur Pasquale Quadri who anticipated the enormous impact the evolution of technology would have on the show and entertainment worlds.

For more information on Clay Paky products, please contact:
Francesco Romagnoli francesco@claypaky.it
Davide Barbetta webmaster@claypaky.it

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Clay Paky Fixtures and grandMA2 light Console Help Coheed and Cambria Tell Their Story on Tour

CoheedNYC0072Coheed and Cambria, the American progressive rock band whose innovative concept albums tell the sci-fi story of The Amory Wars, has wrapped a concert tour that included a complement of Clay Paky A.leda B-EYE K20s and Sharpys plus a grandMA2 light console. A.C.T Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of Clay Paky and MA Lighting brands in North America.

Coheed and Cambria recently toured with the band Thank You Scientist, playing 25 dates across the US and in Toronto. Coheed and Cambria’s setlist followed “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3,” their 11-year old second album, which has recently been remastered and rereleased. Clearwing Productions supplied the lighting package for the tour, which included Clay Paky fixtures.

“The album tells the story of Claudio Kilgannon and his journey of self-discovery in a science fiction universe. Each song moves the characters along, and the lighting needed to be able to follow the quick changes to their emotional states,” explains Clearwing’s Michael “Greek” Hionis, the show’s lighting designer/director/programmer. “The focal point in the rig was the custom Keywork set piece, a visual representation of the energy that binds the planets together in the universe. In addition to the Keywork, the lighting was designed to transport the audience to the various locations, including a landslide battle, a dark city full of secrets, a space ship and an ominous castle of evil.”

Hionis was tasked with blending the Keywork with the rest of the design on the stage. “We lit the Keywork with 60 meters of LED strips with the help of Kevin Opatz. It hung above the drummer, with a two-meter circle truss behind it. The front edge of the truss was wrapped in sharks-tooth to emphasize the glow coming off of the Keywork,” he says. Four truss towers were mixed within a row of guitar cabinets flanking the drummer. “Each tower had two B-EYE K20s at varying symmetrical heights – six, eight and ten feet – with half the fixtures mounted above and half hanging below fixed pipes so I could make sure I hit every inch of the room,” he reports. “The B-EYEs’ circular design and macros could look like anything, including more planets within the Keywork.”

Six Sharpys were positioned on the stage floor in front of the towers and drum risers. “I wanted the beams to look as tall as possible,” Hionis says. “I needed a fixture that could punch through the B-EYEs when necessary but because much of the show was dark and moody, it was less about full stage washes and more about dark and sinister beams spread sparsely across the stage. That’s why the tight beams worked perfectly. Larger fixtures wouldn’t have looked as good irised down and certainly wouldn’t have been as fast.” The Sharpys also intrigued front-row fans, who tried to reach out and touch the beams during some songs.

“When placing fixtures on the floor, their footprint also becomes a factor,” he adds. The Sharpys’ compact footprint supported the notion that, “Bang for you buck is less important than bang per square foot,” he says.

“From a design perspective, the Keywork was purely a visual piece, the Sharpys were purely a lighting effect, and the B-EYEs had the ability to be either and merge everything so that each look [became] one cohesive idea,” Hionis explains. “B-EYEs are absolutely my new favorite fixture!”

For control of the tour lighting package as well as the house lighting systems Hionis chose a grandMA2 light and a complete grandMA OnPC system.

“For me, there was only one choice: grandMA2,” he says. “The surface alone is without question the most versatile. The way the executor buttons are laid out in conjunction with the faders makes organizing on-the-fly effects and cues super easy. I’ve also really become fond of the FX engine. I specifically love the new template effects and how they are the building blocks for all future effects palettes – similar to the grandMA1 but with more flexibility and less duplication.”

The entire lighting package was setup and programmed at the Clearwing shop to maximize rehearsal time. On the programming side, he relied heavily on the use of group masters. “They helped me maximize my programming time in the shop by recording everything I had in mind for house rigs at 100% intensity, and then blending them with the tour rig on the fly during the show,” he explains. Fixture Layout Views were also very handy when programming big matrix mole or LED chases. They enabled him to “lay out the matrix moles quickly and start creating unique groups one pixel at a time. I even showed this feature to the lead singer, and he was able to ‘draw’ in a couple of unique groups for effects,” Hionis reports.

In seven weeks on the road the grandMA2 light performed “flawlessly,” he says. “I never had to use my poor lonely back up console.”

Hionis praises the role A.C.T Lighting has played over the last two years. “They’ve been very supportive and extremely helpful in terms of training and email support,” he says. “They have all helped me out so much in so many different ways.”

Key Tour Personnel:
Show Designers: Blaze James & Michael ‘Greek’ Hionis
Tour Manager: Pete Stahl
Production Manager/FOH Engineer: Mike Babcock
Lighting Designer/Director: Michael ‘Greek’ Hionis
Monitor Engineer: Scott ‘Shreddy’ Edwards
Guitar Technicians: Kevin Allen, Jeremy Frost

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 stock, sell and support their inventory. The company provides superior customer service and value for money to all of its clients.

For more information call 818-707-0884.

About Clearwing Productions:
Clearwing Productions is a full service production company with the expertise to support any sized concert, festival, theatrical or corporate event. Multi-stage or multi-city live entertainment events and tours have been Clearwing’s specialty for over 25 years.
www.clearwing.com

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Clay Paky Lights Up Austin City Limits Music Festival

ACL_HondaStageThe Austin City Limits Music Festival returned to Zilker Park for two three-day weekends in October to showcase more than 130 rock, pop and hip hop artists on eight stages, including Outkast, Beck, Eminem, Skrillex, Calvin Harris and Pearl Jam. Clay Paky A.leda B-EYE K20 and Sharpy fixtures were on hand to provide lighting support and control for festival performers.

Eight K20s, supplied by LD Systems, were dedicated to each of two secondary headline stages and positioned in an upstage array across the rear truss.

“Most of the rig was a lot of smaller fixtures, so we wanted something that would give a big, full color wash,” says Seth Jackson, who served as festival lighting designer and lighting coordinator. “There were no backdrops on these stages and, given the power situation, the B-EYEs were the perfect choice to fill the whole back picture. They really blasted through everything else, and the guys who did the overnight programming had time to dig into the features and use the multi-array tricks that come out it.”

In addition to the K20s, “massive amounts” of Sharpy fixtures were deployed on the two primary stages, says Jackson. “They were very prominent. I knew everybody was going to want them, and we put in a lot of fixtures so people didn’t need to bring their own.” Bandit Lites supplied the Sharpy inventory.

He also gives kudos to the K20s. “They worked flawlessly. We just turned them on and they worked long days – maybe 19 hours a day. All the lighting designers really got into them and were very happy with the rig.

“Everybody wants to use Clay Paky lights!” Jackson declares.

George Masek, A.C.T Lighting Vice President – Automated Lighting, commented “”It is a pleasure for to have the chance to work with Seth again. His designs are always innovative and he’s always thinking of ways to get more out of the luminaires. We’re also very proud to work with LD Systems this year providing the fixtures. They have been great partners for us.”

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, added, “Seth has used our B-EYEs on a number of festivals like this servicing scores of musical acts. I think this proves the flexibility and appeal of the fixtures.”

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

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Clay Paky Mythos Fixtures Make U.S. Debut at “Illumination: The Lights at The Morton Arboretum” Event

IMG_4640BenjaminRoyOnce again suburban Chicago is aglow with the holiday spirit as “Illumination: The Lights at The Morton Arboretum” opens for its annual run, November 21 to January 3. Visitors to The Arboretum follow a magical one-mile paved path lined by trees that shine with LEDs and responds to touch and sound. Clay Paky Sharpys and new Clay Paky Mythos fixtures – the first in the U.S. – housed in Igloo domes and programmed on grandMA2 consoles, provide innovative lighting effects for the one-of-a-kind holiday display. A.C.T Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive North American distributor of Clay Paky lighting and MA lighting.

The Morton Arboretum was founded in 1922 by Morton Salt magnate Joy Morton whose father inaugurated Arbor Day in the U.S. The annual “Illumination” event features stunning lighting effects along a one-mile outdoor path through the trees and offers opportunities for visitors to interact with the trees to change the color and intensity of the lights.

Intelligent Lighting Creations (ILC) in Chicago was already on site testing elements for this year’s “Illumination” display when A.C.T Lighting brought some new Mythos fixtures for ILC and Lightswitch to look at. The versatile Mythos is a highly-advanced hybrid light: It serves as an excellent 470-watt spotlight with an outstanding large beam and zoom optimized for focusing, as well as an extraordinary beam light, which remains parallel for its entire length even at great distances. Mythos is smooth, fast and very quiet and offers a completely redesigned indexed visual effects disc.

“We did a shoot out in The Arboretum for lighting designer John Featherstone of Lightswitch, and he loved the brightness and the zoom of Mythos, as well as the rotating gobos and prisms,” says Matt Pearlman, senior account executive with ILC. “There were a couple of key feature areas where Mythos made a much bigger impact than the Sharpys. So we decided to purchase a handful of Mythos units and use them for this years ‘Illumination’ display.” ILC is already planning on adding more Mythos fixtures to their growing Clay Paky inventory of Sharpys, Sharpy Washes, B-Eye K20s and Alpha Profiles .”

The Arboretum wanted this year’s “Illumination” display to be “bigger and better” than the one staged in 2013, which met with great visitor response. “So we’re growing the experience from last year,” Pearlman says.

The new Mythos fixtures are mounted in Igloo domes and illuminate custom water features in the iconic Meadow Lake. “They have more punch and more functionality for the show, including the ability to zoom in and out and go even bigger with the prism effect,” notes Pearlman.

Forty-eight Sharpys are mounted in a combination of Igloo domes and custom built ILC domes. “They’re lighting the trees and creating aerial patterns for the show,” he reports.

‘The brief from The Morton Arboretum for the project was for guests to ‘see trees in a different light,’” added project lighting designer and creative director John Featherstone. “So we are always looking for new fixtures to support our design in interesting and unexpected ways. The Mythos offered us an unmatched combination of an incredibly bright, pencil tight beam as well as remarkable zoom range and gobo capabilities – we simply had to have them and ILC and A.C.T moved heaven and earth to get the fixtures to us in time, and we added them to LED B-Eye’s for a flexible and versatile palette of fixtures.”

Dennis Conners and Benjamin Roy crafted the lighting programming using three grandMA2 light consoles with pre visualization from MA3D. The show is controlled from multiple grandMA2 onPC’s and MA Nodes, which are scattered around The Arboretum. “All of our consoles are from MA,” Pearlman says. “The grandMA2 has become the console of choice for programmers and lighting designers alike. The reliability and ease of networking has become something we depend on for large scale events, and this show was no exception. Plus, we always get great support from MA and A.C.T Lighting.”

Featherstone added ‘I can’t remember the last time I designed a show that wasn’t on the MA control platform. The combination of cutting edge technology, exemplary support from Will and the rest of the A.C.T team and their willingness to always help us push the boundaries of what is possible makes MA the only real choice for us.’

Joby Benoit is the Lead System’s Technician for “Illumination: The Lights at The Morton Arboretum.” He was joined by a talented crew of over a dozen technicians that spent almost a month loading in this event.

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 stock, sell and support their inventory. The company provides superior customer service and value for money to all of its clients.

For more information call 818-707-0884.

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