In yet another scenario of a band’s lighting designer choosing the i-Pix lines of LED fixtures, The Killers are out in Europe now with a whole bunch of BB4 and BB7 gear. Lighting designer Steven Douglas chose 15 BB7 spot fixtures and 27 BB4 washes – along with a Chroma-Q ColorWeb LED mesh, Douglas has created an LED spectacular for the Day and Age tour.
From an article at TPI:
The 15 BB7’s – added for the Euro leg “Day & Age” following the start of the tour in the US – are positioned in a long line, upstage of a massive ColorWeb grid used as a back wall. They shoot straight through the ColorWeb when it’s not in use, throwing a series of deeply coloured, intense washes onto the stage. They also emphasise the careful combination of linearity and spherical shapes that define the stage architecture.
Fifteen of the BB4s are positioned on the front of three 17ft diameter circular over-stage trusses, and used for awesome audience blinding effects – for which their extreme punch is perfect.
The other 12 are positioned on the deck in 8-lite formats, attached to 6 vertical truss towers, also just upstage of the ColorWeb. These are used highly effectively for low level blinding and blasting fat slices of light through the band and backline from behind.
Photos below courtesy of Louise Stickland
I have reported a few stories on the i-Pix BB4 and BB7 LED fixtures that have been making the news as of the last four months or so, and in my research and planning posts I wanted to get a lighting designer/director’s perspective on these fixtures. A lighting designer/director/programmer, Mark Wynn-Edwards was kind enough to write about these for the site – Mark’s got a ton of work under his belt, and has used the BB4 and the i-Pix Satellite in his work. Mark’s been quoted in LEDs Magazine and LSI Online, and others.
From an email from Mark:
I have used the Ipix rage of fixtures in many of my designs for TV and touring band work over the past few years even using them as the only fixtures toured and used on stage 100 % LED rig.
I love the durability of the fixture and the fact you can daisy chain the power so you can have quite a number running off one 16A supply – this on quite a few occasions has been a saving grace. The lights have quite a punch, on numerous occasions I have used them with bands as the only source of lighting or to add a sudden extra dynamic to a stage .
To control the beam they have caps that will fit over the front with various levels of frost – I tend to go with a light frost so there is only a slight amount of control on the beam but you still get a bit of colour mixing in the air .
The Satellite is quite a small fixture so as a result you can hide them in the truss or my favorite use for them is hide them in and around the back line makes a great effect and great dynamic to use for subtle moments and with the right timing and an extra edge on the more upbeat moments .
BB Wash (BB4)
I was lucky enough to use the first version of the BB wash and use the beta Version on the Klaxons May Tour. The fixture looks almost like a molefay – its has four battens with three LED lamps in each batten. Lets just say its not a small fixture, not what you would expect for an LED.
The first time I fired the beast up I was silly enough to be quite close to it and have it pointing straight at me ….it was painful …even bright through my eye lids. It is a great fixture for lighting up set or as a rock LD I use it as an alternative form of back light and again a good device for hiding around the stage.
Every date of the tour the beta version was used on I would get comments from the local techs who were stunned by the fixture , I was also very impressed with the fixture couldn’t believe how bright the fixture was.
Ipix then developed the BB4 each batten of the fixture is removable this was a great idea as you can hide the base then have each batten spread around the truss or where ever.
The most recent edition to the Ipix range is the BB7 is a cluster of seven LED super bright lamps in a hexagon shaped body. Yet another great fixture for Ipix and a great look and very different.
I love the Ipix range and love working with the people at Ipix – they pay a lot of attention to what the LD wants and needs and most importantly provide a fantastic support system.
Thanks for commenting on these, Mark! Check out Mark Wynn-Edwards’ portfolio and leave him a comment!
The i-Pix BB-4 is getting a lot of play lately – this time, at the Brit Awards at Earl’s Court.
Lighting designer Al Gurdon and programmer Ross WIlliams used 24 of the BB-4 wash units (they’re 4-lites) on custom brackets that allowed two of the units to be hung together, according to Lighting and Sound America. Al and his crew used these for typical audience abuser-type effects in the Earls Court.
From the article:
“They are absolutely super-bright,” comments lighting supplier PRG’s crew chief Richard Gorrod, adding that they are far brighter than a conventional eight-lite and the tech time involved with BB4s is considerably less than with Molefays and scrollers.
Read the original article here at Lighting and Sound America.
I’ve written a few articles about the i-Pix LED wash and spot fixtures in the last several months – I got an email response to an inquiry made to i-Pix recently with some great photographs of the fixtures in action. Check them out!
Bloc Party and i-Pix BB-7:
Radiohead and the i-Pix BB-4 (as well as the BB-7):
You have to check out these fixtures. The output is amazing.
On Coldplay’s recent Viva La Vida tour, LD Paul Normandale has chosen to replace the typical audience blinders with i-Pix’s BB4 fixtures. From the article:
“The BB4 is the first unit I’ve found that offers real output, and is good enough to dispense with the often troublesome 8-Lite/scroller combination used for this application”.
The tour is contracted by Lite Alternative for the UK and European legs, and Upstaging in Chicago for the USA.
Check out these absolutely beautiful shots:
source from the i-Pix site
A while ago I posted a story about Radiohead’s current rig, and how it was chock full of i-Pix BB4 and BB7 fixtures – I just read that their BB4 fixture won an award for Technical Innovation at the 2008 SIEL show in Paris.
From the article at LEDs Mag:
The BB4 was entered into the ‘Stage & Studio’ category by i-Pix French distributor, Paris-based JC Lampes.
The Awards were judged by a panel of 12 industry experts, including Julien Pavillard, artistic director for Lyon’s famous festival of Light. They closely examined each nominated product, before conferring and making their final decisions.
The BB4 was selected as the winner for its intensity, color mixing capabilities and its homogenized light source – all three qualities greatly impressed the judges and make it an ideal fixture for both stage and studio applications of all types.
The homogenization means that the LED point sources are not visible, and the unit offers a completely smooth, super high quality, flat field of light similar to a tungsten source.
Check out the products specs for the BB4 at the i-Pix BB4 page. This is one hell of a fixture.
Radiohead lighting and visuals designer Andi Watson is using 48 of the BB7 10 degree spot LED fixtures around his rig – with 25 of the units in five custom 5-way frames produced by Specialz. Watson is also using 48 of the new BB4 wash luminaire models on his FOH truss. 25 i-Pix Satellite units with a holographic film are mounted on the floor in and around the backline to light Radiohead at close quarters.
Check out the offerings by i-Pix. I certainly hope I have a chance in the near future to spec a few of each of the BB-4 and BB-7 fixtures! The output is amazing.
Check out a more in-depth review of the Radiohead design and Andi Watson’s work in the i-Pix website’s article – great story!