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LDI 2013 in Photos

A fun show happened this year in Las Vegas — lots of beams, lots of friends, and I met my goal to share hug karma with 20 new people!

I’ve heard a few people now call LDI something like “LED-I.”  After making me giggle like a dumbass like I’m known to do, it’s not like it’s far off the mark — the industry is dominated with LED wash fixtures, LED pixel mappers, LED moving head spot AND wash fixtures, and all kinds of other diode-powered light makers.  Strobes, too — LED strobes are intensely appropriate, but they deliver a different kind of stab than a Xenon strobe.  They’re not better or worse, just different!  The industry still has the gamut of discharge, incandescent, and other non-LED sources as well, but there is less push generally on these types of fixtures.

I find that such an interesting paradigm at the LDI show – lots of companies have non-LED stuff and they show it, but there is  definitely a large LED offering in our industry (as is the case in most industries of light right now).  Sometimes I wonder if there are less non-LED beams bouncing around because that’s what the industry wants or if it’s because of the cost savings of NOT having those non-LED sources en masse.  Power is expensive stuff at these shows, and so is drayage on all of the heavy gack that goes along with larger draw 208 gear and dimming.  Most LEDs anymore allow you greater flexibility with 208V power too, making the power linking possibilities even better.  I only had one 48-way PD for the CHAUVET Professional booth, and that powered everything I had designed into the rig, video panels and all.

I programmed the booth I designed on the Avolites Sapphire Touch, which has become my new favorite desk.  I finally found an interface that was designed the way that my brain wants to program.  This has been a joyous time in my programmer life!  It’s nothing like the old Avolites way, they’ve made the flow so unbelievably amazing that it is literally a joy to program.  I just had it again on the Concert Lighting Master Classes this last week, but I’ll be writing a separate post about that this week.

Check out some photos from the show, and I was glad to see you if I saw you at this year’s show!  If I didn’t see you, I’m sorry — we’ll see each other next go round or soon, you know how this business goes!  I was bummed that I didn’t get to see the Fox family.  This show kept me busy, I barely made it out of the booth except for about an hour to walk the floor.

Click on any photo below for the larger images in an *awesome* light box!

 

Loz Upton is In Your Face with The Crystal Method

I just read a press release from Barco about Loz Upton’s design work on The Crystal Method’s latest tour – he’s using a ton of High End gear, and the images with the release are awe-some.

crystal method

I love those ShowBeam 2.5’s!  What a freaking bright beam – I have been dying to get my hands on one.  Or twenty!

From the press release:

Barco lights the nights for The Crystal Method tour

Famed rock band uses the newest creative digital lighting products from Barco to provide layers of looks to match their layers of sound.

Sacramento, CA – 1 July 2009 – Digital and automated lighting pioneer Barco announced today that The Crystal Method has selected an arsenal of creative lighting products to launch a “visual assault” on their current “Divided By Night” tour. The tour could easily be named “United By Light.” The two DJs or “electro-pioneers” making up the group envisioned a virtual visual assault, or as lighting designer Lawrence “Loz” Upton calls it, an “in your face” production. Effectively, the band wanted layers of light to match their layers of sound, so Upton looked to Barco’s lighting product line to achieve his goal. The result is a road show that exemplifies the industry’s newest lighting and control technology.

Upton selected a full complement of Barco products, including 12 StudioPix LED pixilation luminaires, six SHOWGUN automated luminaires, four Studio Beams, two F-100 fog machines, and the new SHOWBEAM 2.5 automated wash luminaire – notable for its Twin BeamTM technology. Two Barco CLM R10+ projectors and two Axon media servers provide the video, and control is provided by a Wholehog 3 console using the Wholehog DMX 8000 Processor.

“People still need entertainment in this economy,” said Upton. “The show is very much in your face, and very effects-driven, so we basically wanted a lot of ‘gas.’ This music is all about layering, which is why we chose the SHOWBEAM 2.5, the SHOWGUNs and the StudioPix, as well as the regular moving lights – giving us layers of looks to match the layers of sound.”

Because video images play a large part in the layering, the band hired a group of artists to create custom content for the Axon media servers. Using the two CLM R10+ projectors, the content is projected onto screens mounted on two circular trusses. “We were able to easily download content into the Axon media server and then run it as a lighting cue. It’s so easy to do, it’s awesome,” noted Upton.

For additional content, images also originate from the StudioPix, which is not only an LED washlight but a hybrid graphics display device. “With StudioPix, you have many lights in one,” said Upton. “You have an effects-driven look, the effects generator, many colors, and on top of that, you can use it as a regular wash fixture or as an audience lighting fixture. In many ways, it’s more effective than an LED audience blinder,” explained Upton. “I’m really impressed with the way that I can manipulate the StudioPix to achieve many different aims.”

When Upton first saw the SHOWGUN luminaire in a video, he wasn’t sure what to do with the LED ring. But after seeing it in a live demo, the ideas began to flow. In this design, Upton matches the SHOWGUN LED ring with the outer LED rings of the StudioPix and the SHOWBEAM 2.5 – letting the rings play off each other in space.
For The Crystal Method tour, Upton also selected Camarillo, California-based Delicate Productions as the lighting contractor. “Everything we needed, they made happen,” said Upton. “There were many design meetings, and it came together really well. They really put a lot of effort and time into working with us.”

The audiences have made it happen as well, noted Upton. “From a lighting gig standpoint, people love the show. We’ve gotten nothing but rave reviews everywhere we go. It’s humbling, actually.”

For more details on The Crystal Method tour and upcoming tour dates, visit www.thecrystalmethod.com

crystal method

crystal method

No More Cyberlight, No More Studio Beam

cyber studiobeam

I just read an article at iSquint about two more fatalities in the growth of technology:  the High End Systems Cyberlight and the High End Systems Studio Beam.  ETC stopped taking orders for the Express and Expression lines in the Fall of 2008 – I assume for promote the Congo, Eos, and Ion.  As technology advances, road warrior products like the Express console, Cyberlight and Studio Beam have to take a bow and have a seat.  High End will be continuing support on the fixtures indefinitely.

These products were essential to my proverbial “teeth cutting” into the industry.  Thanks for your service!

Thanks iSquint and High End!

The Elation Impression LED Fixture

impression-left

I’ve obviously mentioned about eleventy times already that I was at the three nights of the band Phish’s reunion concerts at Hampton Coliseum; I also mentioned that I was able to interview the lighting designer for Phish, Chris Kuroda!  That interview transcript and video is coming soon – but one of the things I wanted to talk about specifically were some of the LED sources that have made their way into the Phish lighting rig.

For the Hampton shows, Chris was using 32 Mac III‘s, 14 Mac 2000 XB Wash fixtures, 8 High End ShowPix, 14 Martin Atomic 3K Strobes with scrollers, and 38 Elation Impression LED fixtures.  Chris talked in detail about how he handles the difference between designing with the LED Impression fixtures versus the PAR64 sources he was using with a curve on the fader, and how much he likes the quickness of the LED sources.  He also had great praise for the ShowPix fixtures, which were used throughout very tastefully.

The Elation Impression fixtures were placed throughout the rig and used primarily for a toplight-esque system – but on several occasions they were used in a fan-delay tilt effect, and the brightness of the Impression fixture is amazing!  High output and low energy consumption at 60 lumens per watt through Luxeon K2 LEDs (90 of them) gives the Impression superiority over the 575W sources out there on the market.  Impression comes with a lens carrier and a choice between 10° and 25° – and it’s FAST!  660° pan moves in 2 seconds, 300° tilt in 1 second! Impression is DMX-512 controlled, taking a 3-pin XLR.  If you have a chance to spec some of the Impression LED lumainaires, I highly recommend checking them out!

25c2b0-lens-kit impression-six-pack

HEY! ShowGun 2.5 is Shipping!

Who’s buying me one?  Santa, can I append my list?!

From the press release:

Barco, a global leader in Video Lighting Solutions, announces the release of a new High End Systems automated luminaire.

The new version of SHOWGUN, the SHOWGUN 2.5 automated luminaire, begins shipping today. SHOWGUN 2.5 offers 30 percent more photonic output than its predecessor via a new 2500-watt Philips MSR lamp source producing 130,000 lumens of light. High End Systems co-developed the lamp with Philips.

The SHOWGUN 2.5 automated luminaire is a hybrid spot/wash beam combination which provides entertainment lighting design possibilities in three dimensions: first, in the air with hard or soft-edge beams; second, with images projected on the stage surface; and third, at the SHOWGUN fixture itself by using an innovative LED Tracking System. SHOWGUN 2.5 produces a true focused hard-edge (for projecting LithoPattern images) or brilliant soft-edge, without the need for two fixture types.

The LED Tracking System encircles the lens, allowing the user to either match the color of the main output beam or to project a complementary color. The LED tracking system alone provides 5000 lumens of output.

SHOWGUN is being specified on a number of televised awards shows, game shows, sports events and concert stages around the world. SHOWGUN 2.5 was recently unveiled in a sneak preview to the professional lighting industry at the LDI 2008 show in Las Vegas.

Media contact:
Debi Moen, marketing communications specialist
Media & Entertainment Division, Barco Inc.
+1.512.836.2242 x 1204

Finland Has “Idols,” and Showguns

Did you know about this?  FInland has an “Idol” like show, and they’re using some Showguns and some Showpix in their rig.  From the press release from Barco (thanks, Debi!):

The formula is the same: the wannabe stars sing their hearts out for a chance at being the final winner of the “Idol” title. The TV talent series has its own versions in countries around the world.   Finland’s 2008 “Idols” used 6 High End Systems SHOWGUN automated luminaries throughout the series, adding 10 SHOWPIX pixilation luminaires recently for the final broadcast. Moving Light Oy supplied the HES products.

Lighting operator Mikki Kunttu says, “The SHOWGUN is really the best possible fixture for TV. I love that super high power beam it produces. Also, the strobes (beam and LED) are really amazing on TV. The SHOWGUNs are there for the power they have. They also add an extra dimension to the lighting, giving the stage more depth and more attitude.”

LDI – Omnisistem’s Booth

LDI had a TON of moving light manufacturers and reps this year – while I was surprised a little, I wasn’t shocked.  A good quantity of the moving lighting booths that weren’t Clay Paky, Coemar, Vari*Lite, Martin, High End, PRG, etc, were small-ish companies like Ominsistem out of Washington.  They’ve got a very large selection of fixtures and effects (as well as audio, truss, staging, etc), and their booth was hopping the whole weekend.  Give their selection of products a look-see.