HEY!  Whatcha doing between 11am and 4pm today at any point?  Avolites is here at the Heart of Omnia, and we’re doing a fun open house and Titan Effects Workshop with the awesome AVOLITES training team!!!

JimOnLight and THE Brad White are gonna be there, but that’s nothing — Rosie Haigh and Annalisa Terranova, Avolites programmers and trainers extraordinaire, along with JB Toby (the brain of Avolites), Oliver Waits (code master and awesome dude), Koy Neminathan (Sales Director), Aziz Adilkhodjaev (Sales Engineer Extraordinaire), Steve Warren (come on, everyone knows Steve Warren), and Elson Lucas Gallardo, Javier Moreno, and our team of awesomeness!!!

Come by any time between 11am and 4pm today and learn how easy it is to rock and roll on Titan… we’ve got some Arena consoles, the Quartz, Ai EX8 media servers, the venerable Sapphire Touch and some of our signaling gear — the Titan Net Processor, the Titan Network Switch, and we are ready for you to learn about Avo for LIFE!


It’s dropping at PLASA in London in just a few short weeks, but we here at JimOnLight got the skinny on some masked detail photos of the upcoming Avolites Quartz from a secret source deep inside Team Avolites that we refer to as DEEPFADER, in an attempt to sound less like a porno than it already would have.

Check this out, I have to get my hands on this or I might just wilt into a crying ball of ridiculous:


From my source…

The Quartz is the most cost-effective fully featured console in the Avolites Titan range. Offering all the power of Titan in a super-portable package. A bright built-in touchscreen, the latest on-board processing and all the flexibility of Titan Net connectivity mean the Quartz punches above its weight.

More details:
12.1” high brightness touchscreen (similar performance to that in TTII) 1 x Gigabit ethercon port
4 x 5-pin DMX connectors
ArtNet and S-ACN support
Compatible with Titan Net backup, multi-user and DMX expansion
Up to 16 universes from console alone
10 playback faders
3 optical encoder wheels
Front and rear-mounted USB ports
5-band sound to light support (implementation from v9 onwards) Expand control surface with Titan Mobile Fader Wing

…and from LSi Online:

UK – Avolites is going down the ‘size matters’ route at this year’s PLASA London, showcasing new wings to enlarge its industry-leading consoles, and unveiling a brand new, compact console aimed at the touring market.

The Avolites team will be on stands M10 and M20 at London’s ExCel for PLASA, which runs from 5-8 October 2014. First up, they will be offering hands-on demos of the new Quartz console.

“Quartz is the newest addition to the Titan Mobile family, complete with on-board processing and a bright, vibrant 12.1″ screen,” says Avolites sales manager, Stephen Baird Smith. “Super compact, measuring only 42.5cm wide, the Quartz is positioned as the ideal companion for lighting projects ranging from touring and festivals to clubs and one-offs. It is Avolites’ smallest fully-featured console.

“Featuring the same high quality faders and hardware you’ve come to expect from Avolites, the Quartz can go anywhere you can, ideal for life on the road.

“Offering full compatibility with Multi user, the Quartz is also perfect for use as a back-up or extra programming surface, cutting your programming time. Quartz is ready to benefit from multi band Sound to Light Triggering functionality, offered in Titan version 9.”

Also on stand will be the Avolites Tiger Touch Fader Wing, which has the same profile as the Tiger Touch II and features 30 playback faders all electronically labelled with an LCD screen.

Avolites will also be exhibiting its ‘ultimate in live control’ Sapphire Touch and new Wing, offering an additional 30 motorised faders and a third hi res touch screen.

The full Titan range is also available for demo and hands-on experience, running the amazing software features of the new Titan Version 8, packed full of the latest features to enhance the Titan experience and take your shows to the next level!

As well as the entire Titan range, Avolites will be showcasing the Ai S2 media server, which offers all the benefits of Avolites’ powerful hardware in a server drastically reduced in size and cost. Also on the stand will be latest Ai Infinity EX servers, and the Sapphire Media.

The team has spent 12 months listening carefully to what users felt they needed from the next installment of Ai. The results of this user led development process are illustrated in an impressive version 8 feature set and a more unified workspace that delivers ‘everything you always wanted’ in a media server. It’s truly a game changer.

Too.  Freaking.  Cool.


High End Systems has released a series of training videos for the new Hog 4!



From a press release at High End Systems:

Following the extremely successful HOG4 launch and due to incredibly high demand, High End Systems is today releasing a series of Hog4 training videos.

In tandem with the large number of worldwide training classes undertaken both by High End Systems and it’s extensive distributor network, the initial 12 videos will allow everyone to learn how to use a Hog.

The videos have been split into easy to watch segments meaning that beginners as well as experienced users will benefit from them. They are also in a logical order allowing for the user to move from one element of the Hog software to another with ease. The 12 videos means that users who only need to look at a specific area of the console may do this with ease.

“The addition of these videos to our already extensive training program is testament to our commitment to offer education at multiple levels” says Jeff Pelzl, VP, Technical and Marketing Services “and we are committed to ensuring that everyone has access to Hog training.”

“We realized that not everyone is able to attend training classes and also that users want the ability to brush up on certain areas of the platform’ says Chris Ferrante, Director of Product Management “so we partnered with Colin Wood of Pre Production Services and now have a brilliant suite of training videos”

These videos can be seen at the following location:

As well as launching this suite of videos, High End Systems has recently launched version 1.2 for the Hog4 platform adding a host of new features including Command Keys, which continues the aggressive release schedule embarked upon on the platform’s launch.


The videos:

Lesson 1:  Starting a New Show

Lesson 2: Default Layout of a New Show

Lesson 3: An Introduction to Patching

Lesson 4: Basic Programming

Lesson 5: Cue Playback

Lesson 6: Using Palettes

Lesson 7: Basic Cue Timing and Editing

Lesson 8: Tracking

Lesson 9: User Kinds

Lesson 10: Command Keys

Lesson 11: Multi-Console Setup

Lesson 12: Configuring Art-Net

I hope to see more of these from MORE console manufacturers in the near future!!!

Philips, Strand, and Vari*Lite at LDI 2012

Philips/Strand/Vari*Lite (so many names!) always has some serious presence over the last five or six trade shows I’ve done, from LDI to ProLight + Sound in Frankfurt. Their booth always looks wicked cool, and I’m always happy to post pictures of what my buddy Brad Schiller is coming up with nowadays. It’s amazing to see where the industry is heading, and it’s always formatted by the guys out there like Brad.

Check out some awesome shots from Philips at LDI 2012!

You can also check out all of the images via the Gallery Method!

High End Systems at LDI 2012 – AND HOG 4!

psst… here’s a little secret: click on a photo and it opens up enormous.

the High End Systems booth at LDI 2012

I love High End Systems, this is always going to be true.  I am a Hog man through and through, no matter how many other desks I “become intimately familiar with,” my good ol’ Hog knows I always spec it at the end of the day.  I cannot wait to get my hands on the Hog 4, it’s like having freshly fried bacon in your hands — you know you’re going to be satisfied!  HES fixtures are always lots of fun too, I’ve seen lots of rock over my lifetime that had Studio Spots and Studio Colors driving it.

The boys from High End were pretty busy at LDI 2012 with the release of Hog 4 — I couldn’t even get a demo at LDI, nor did I get to hug the Richard.  Oh well I guess, sometimes people get too busy.

Hog 4 is pretty cool — first and foremost, did you see those big touchscreens?!

GAH!  Sexy!  I need to get myself down to the factory to see these things in action, I did not get the opportunity to get my hands on one at the show.  Big, beautiful screens, encoders with tactile design, and screen shortcut buttons for days.  From the Hog 4 product website at High End:

The Hog 4 is the flagship in our newest range of consoles. Replacing the much loved Wholehog III, it embraces the latest technology, while retaining the Hog’s familiar control surface. Users will be able to walk up to the Hog 4 and start programming without having to learn a whole new interface. The new encoders, jog shuttle wheel, lcd keys, motorized faders and integrated keyboard all serve to enhance this experience, making the Hog 4 completely customizable. You can now have virtually all the most important attributes to hand at any time.

Retaining the sleek look of generations past, the Hog 4 offers the user an advanced programming experience in an established environment. The Hog 4 console, at the top of the Hog line, is designed to handle the largest shows.

The console provides three monitor outputs, MIDI input and output ports, 8 USB ports, 2 Fast Ethernet ports on a rugged Neutrik Ethercon connector allowing you total flexibility. You’re prepared for everything from the smallest industrial job requiring a single console to the largest stadium show, theme park installation or Broadway spectacular requiring a multi console setup with full network backups!

Preserve show data on a solid state hard disk drive as well as with USB drives and CD/DVD-ROM’s, or alternatively connect directly to a network drive to store your show files remotely.


  • Robust Hog 4 Operating Software
  • Unlimited number of simultaneous crossfades
  • Two internal 17-inch wide screen touchscreens with 10 point multi-touch
  • Three external monitors or touchscreens supported
  • Five encoders for an expanded wheelset
  • Twelve LCD User Keys
  • Tri Axis backlit trackball, with rotary encoder for the third axis and four configurable buttons for cursor and position control
  • Ten motorized playback faders
  • One motorized Grand Master
  • Dedicated Intensity and Rate wheels
  • User assignable Jog Shuttle encoder
  • 48 Soft-Keys for quick toolbar selections
  • Built in DMX Processor 8000
  • Hog-Net Ethernet connector
  • Fixture-Net Ethernet connector
  • Integrated keyboard
  • Internal Hard disk drive
  • Internal CD/DVD drive
  • Eight USB ports for Wholehog wings and external touchscreens
  • Storage space beneath arm rest
  • Desklights, feedback LEDs, and integrated worklight all dimmable
  • Auto-ranging mains input (90-250VAC)
  • Light Converse Visualizer dongle included
  • Dust cover included
  • Custom Road Case included


  • Unlimited number of DMX channels via Ethernet DPs
  • Unlimited number of Art-Net and E1.3.1 (sACN) universes via Ethernet DPs
  • Onboard MIDI Input and Output, MIDI Show Control and MIDI Time Code and LTC Input
  • Multiple LTC inputs via optional multiple SMPTE/ LTC USB Widget
  • Connectivity with many visualizers via Ethernet
  • Wired and wireless networking ability with multiple Wholehog console systems
  • Remote Focus capabilities when networked with a tablet PC running Hog 4PC software
  • Supports USB Playback and Expansion Wings


  • With the Screen down – 40.5” (1028.7mm) wide by 28.49” (723.7mm) deep by 6.49” (164.75mm) high
  • With the Screen up – 40.5” (1028.7mm) wide by 28.49” (723.7mm) deep by 16.43” (417.39mm) high
  • Weight- 75 lbs (34 kg)

Yes.  I cannot wait to drive the Hog 4.  More photos!

Nano Hog 4:

Augh!  I love it!  It’s like the shape of a Whole Hog II with the pizazz of color touchscreens!

…and a beautiful booth design with DLVs, Intellaspots, and TrackSpot Bolts.  Nice work!



MA Lighting’s USB onPC Command Wing for grandMA2

This was something that is just too perfectly timed not to catch my attention – I’m looking into using my wysiwyg Perform into a pre-visualization studio for myself (and perhaps others), and the two consoles I wanna run are the Road Hog Full Boar and the grandMA.

Translation from Jim to English:  the two consoles I wanna play with all day long on my own side projects and goofy 4am programming ruminations are the Road Hog and the grandMA.

The grand plan is to save up and get a USB programming and playback wing(s) for the Hog, and another console interface.  Not necessarily the grandMA2 stuff quite yet, I’m still a pretty basic grandMA programmer, and everything Jeff Waful (et al) has ever shown me on the grandMA that they use is just stellar.  I’ve been a Hog programmer since Kris Jones and Benny Kirkham showed me how to drive the Hog II back in 2002.  Marcus Wuebker was also pretty instrumental in turning me into a better Hog programmer, but I think pretty much anything those folks programs turns into a piece of art.

Then MA Lighting releases this – the onPC Command Wing for grandMA2:

So it’s a USB playback and programming surface for the grandMA2 software on the PC based lighting application grandMA2 onPC.  Specs from the brochure that got in my hands:

  • Perfect solution for flexible and mobile programming
  • Look and feel as known from grandMA2 consoles
  • 2,048 parameters on-board
  • Expendable by an MA 2Port Node onPC/onPC PRO
  • Light, handy & rock solid: extra small housing and just 6kg
  • Plug and play via USB: simply connect to your notebook
  • Fully integrated into the grandMA2 system

The brand new MA onPC command wing is the perfect solution
if you are working as a lighting professional all over the world, running a small club or theatre, want to join the huge grandMA2 family or simply look for a smart backup or preprogramming solution. 

Pretty cool.  I definitely wanna check this out.

POLL: What’s Your Lighting Control Surface of Choice?

A conversation I had about programming “ambidexterity” and console choice the other day has been sticking in my mind like white on rice, a glass of milk, and a paper plate in a snowstorm.  I’m curious as to what the Community as a whole considers its favorite console or consoles.

Please participate in this quick little poll below – if you’re a RSS feed reader, come on over to the website and participate in the poll!  Choose one of the answers from the list below.

If you happen to program on something or really like programming on something NOT on this list, would you leave a comment and let us know what that console might be?

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

PRG at LDI 2010

I had a chance to get up-close and personal with the Bad Boy CMY at LDI 2010 this year, having the demo from Chris Conti with PRG.  I’m a big fan of the Bad Boy fixture, and I have been for quite some time – I posted about it from the last LDI, in Orlando in 2009.  They’ve added the element of CMY mixing to the Bad Boy – I’m a fan of the quantum color mixing, but CMY is also very important to have available for a moving head for the obvious reasons.

Check out some images, I’ve got video coming soon!

The actual PRG booth – a replica of the 438 grid panels they installed into the National Convention Center in Qatar.

Big beautiful beams from the Bad Boy luminaire.

One of my favorite gobos, InLight Gobos‘ “Rubber Band Ball,” that comes standard with the Bad Boy!

Check out a gallery of PRG/Bad Boy images – click on one image and a viewer will open up for your convenience!

Luminair 2.0 for iPad – Video Demo!

This is what happens when you have over 150 tabs open in Chrome – you skip over things unintentionally!

Check this out – Synthe FX’s Luminair app for iPad and iPhone, demoed in video:

Luminair for iPad – multi-touch DMX lighting control – A Quick Preview from Synthe FX on Vimeo.

I’ve done some interesting stuff with Ryan Hisey’s apps – what I find incredibly cool about this video (and the one below) is that they were featured on one of my favorite blogs that deals with video jockeying and live visual art, Create Digital Motion.  Now THAT is what I’m talking about – when we work together across industries of light and art, all kinds of cool stuff happens!

Check out another video, this time of Luminair for iPhone:

Luminair 2.0 – wireless DMX lighting control for iPhone + iPod touch from Synthe FX on Vimeo.

Five Decades of Lighting – USITT 2010 Lighting Commission Special Exhibit – Consoles Edition

One of the more awesome things I saw this year at USITT was the Lighting Commission’s exhibit on lighting equipment history – “Five Decades of Lighting.”  Todd Proffitt (@tm204) and Josh Williamson (@joshwilliamson) were involved with this exhibit, and I think they did an outstanding freaking job of putting it together.  I’m sure I’m not including many people who worked to make the thing happen, but nice exhibit!  I broke this up into two posts:  one on consoles, and another post tomorrow on fixtures and other equipment.

You might notice that these images of lighting control surfaces is not in any kind of chronological order – this is actually intentional.  Take a look and see if you can identify some of the characteristics of the various consoles over the course of the years.

The “Five Decades of Lighting” exhibit had fixtures, dimming, and consoles from the last five decades.  It was pretty great to actually get my hands on an old Light Palette Two – what nice wood detail work!  Can I order a Hog III with the cherry and maple inlay?

Also, it was awesome meeting Fred Foster from ETC and hearing him tell stories about the first consoles he designed, and the funny little tidbits he was sharing.  You’re pretty cool, Fred Foster!

Check out a quick video I made of the console section, followed by a ton of images.  Literally.

USITT’s 2010 Lighting Commission Special Exhibit – 5 Decades of Lighting – Consoles from Jim Hutchison on Vimeo.

The Strand 300 Series lighting console (I’m a big fan of the Strand 520i from back in the day):

the Obsession I (before it became the Obsession II):

a Luxtrol autotransformer unit.  Come on, you’ve seen these, yeah?  We always had one in undergrad powering the tech table lighting:

“That’s not a lighting desk.  THIS is a lighting desk!”  (the Light Palette Two).  I mean, literally a desk.  You can also fly the Starship Enterprise with that console:

Light Palette Two built-in keyboard:

The Light Palette Two, front side:

Lighting Methods, Inc’s little two-scene preset:

The Kliegl Performer – yes, that’s a cassette tape:

an old Kliegl Bros 2-scene preset, and a Century Lighting Edkotron controller:

Everybody knows the Express series – here’s a 250:

The ETC Vision – also see the Microvision FX, which wasn’t at the show, but you could hear the jubilant cries of “MICROVISION FX!” from the conventiongoers:

The ETC Idea – another of the early ETC desks that people came to know and love:

The ETC Eos – so sleek!

This thing – this is amazing.  This is the ETC ELC (Entertainment Lighting Control)