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Wybron Closing Its Doors After 35 Years of Business

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Wybron, the company that invented the Color Scroller back in 1980, is closing its doors for the last time at the end of June 2013, according to a company email sent to its dealer network last night.  From the email, sent to JOL from a source not authorized to comment – bolding is mine:

Dear Dealers,

After a long and pleasant relationship with you, Wybron is ceasing business at the end of June. A press release will go out on Friday to the public announcing  the same.

The text of the press release follows:
Wybron Closes Doors After 35 Years of Innovation in Stage Lighting Industry

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – June 6, 2013 – Wybron, a leading stage lighting supplier announced today that the company will close its doors on June 30, 2013.

The company is best known for transforming entertainment, church and architectural industries with its innovation of cutting-edge lighting products.

For years, the stage lighting industry has been led by companies with three-letter names,” said President and CEO Keny Whitright.  “PRG, ETC, ELS, TMB, and BMI are just a few of these. For 35 years Wybron struggled through with the burden of a six-letter name,” Whitright said laughing, “We finally realized we have too many letters in the company name.  It was time to close the doors.

Whitright said that closing the Wybron manufacturing plant is bittersweet.  “I will miss the business that I know and love.  But, I am looking forward to scaling back and becoming an FTD man.  Fishing, Traveling and Driving my cars will fill most of my days,” said Whitright. “Notice that I am planning to carry the three letter theme into my retirement.”

Wybron will host an online garage sale starting June 14, 2013, in order to liquidate its remaining new and used products and spare parts.  It will offer amazing deals and extraordinary closeout pricing. Visit the Wybron website at www.wybron.com beginning June 14 to learn more about the garage sale offers.

Any pending orders are  being filled, but if you have registered a job past June, we will be unable to supply that gear.

Service on existing equipment is uncertain at this time. We are looking for a company to do service, but don’t have anything in place now.

Best Regards,

Keny Whitright
President, Wybron, Inc.

Keny, I’m sorry to see Wybron close.  Some of my most enjoyable work was designed the right way because of your product.  From a grateful industry, JimOnLight.com says thank you for all you’ve contributed to the Industry.  I hope that you fill out your days with the happiness that you deserve, and that your roads are always clear and sunny.

Thanks to JimOnLight.com Sponsors – January 2010

Folks, the readers of JimOnLight.com have been called a lot of wonderful things – “the most dedicated readership in the lighting industry,” “a very engaged group,” and my personal favorite, “the most supportive group of readers that a website could be fortunate enough to have.”

Yeah, that’s right, you guys rock.

Advertisements on JimOnLight.com are hand-picked.  I keep reputable companies on the site because you all deserve to have relevant ads supporting JimOnLight.com.  If it weren’t for the great companies that advertise on JimOnLight.com, I wouldn’t be able to write every day for all of you.

If your company is interested in being a part of this awesome community, check out the advertising page.

January Sponsors:



Electronic Theatre Controls – you might know them as ETC – is a great company that is known for their Source Four line of luminaires and their outstanding lines of lighting control consoles.  ETC has also entered the rigging market with their Prodigy line of hoists, and the LED market with the Selador line of fixtures.  Check them out if you haven’t – it’s worth your while!

Genielux is the new rental and sales locator for lighting, audio, video, staging, and entertainment production gear.  Using your iPhone, you can find out who has 300 star strobes in Stickney, Illinois when you’re in a pinch or find out who’s got your Meyer cabinets in Tookus, Nebraska.  For suppliers, it costs you a couple of bucks a month to get your information into Genielux and help people in a pinch.  Oh yeah – and for users, the Genielux iPhone app is completely free!  How much better does it get to help out the industry?

I gotta believe that everybody knows Mike Zinman and Zinman Software – he started out rocking AutoCAD with AutoBlock back in the day – now he rocks the iPhone software market with great software like ML Finder PRO, PocketLD, GelCalc, iSwitch DMX, and Portfolio.  Check out his stuff – it’s a time saver!

From color scrollers to LED fixtures, dichroic color-changing fixtures to feedback control, Wybron has been around for a long time.  Wybron’s Coloram scrollers have been in thousands of shows across the globe; their InfoTrace system has gotten tons of press for its feedback prowess; and the Nexera and Cygnus lines of fixtures are making their mark in the industry.
Thank you to our sponsors, and thank you to every JimOnLight.com reader on the planet!

Wybron Updates The Moire Gobo Library

Wybron has added 1,500 Goboland, InLight Grayscale and GAM Halftone gobos to their great Moiré Gobo Library™ application for the iPhone.  If you’ve never played with this application, it’s probably one of the cooler apps I have on my phone – the ability to take two gobos and experiment with spin speed and direction is pretty outstanding.  From the press release at Wybron:

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Wybron is pleased to announce the addition of Goboland, InLight Grayscale and GAM Halftone gobos to our popular Moiré Gobo Library™ application for the iPhone. This increases the number of available gobos by 1,500—to over 5,000 A-size gobos which users can search, browse and experiment with, making Moiré the most comprehensive gobo library app on the market.

Features:

  • Adjust the focus of the gobo to create a blur effect.
  • Spin the gobo in either direction at different speeds.
  • Use the “TwinSpin” (trademarked by GAM) feature to overlap and spin any two gobos, at any speed and in any direction (both gobos spinning in the same direction or each gobo spinning in a different direction).
  • View gobos on a white or black background, simulating the look of the gobo itself or the image it produces on a dark stage, or with a background color taken from our Gel Swatch Library app.
  • Search gobos by name and number
  • Sort gobos by name and number in ascending and descending order
  • Flip a single gobo by swiping horizontally
  • Flip the two gobos in a TwinSpin by swiping horizontally for Gobo A and swiping vertically for Gobo B
  • Maintain a list of 12 most recently viewed gobos
  • Send comments directly to the developer with the feedback button
  • The updated application will be available for download during the week of September 7, 2009. Users who have already purchased Moiré Gobo Library will find that their libraries will update automatically through the Apple App Store.
  • The Moiré Gobo Library runs on the iPhone or iPod touch and can be purchased through Apple’s App Store. Just click on the App Store icon from the main screen of each device, or access the App Store through iTunes.

Wybron’s Nexera – CMY Mixing Spot and Wash Fixtures

Have you seen or used any of Wybron’s NexeraLX luminaires?  Nexeras have dichroic CMY mixing, are DMX addressable, and come in spot and wash configurations.  Nexera is convection cooled, and can be fitted with a ceramic gas discharge metal halide lamp, mechanical dimmer, and ballast for install situations.

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Aaron at Wybron sent me a press release for Houston’s Lakewood Church; they’re using 48 Nexeras:

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There are churches, there are megachurches, and then there are megachurches.

Houston’s Lakewood, the country’s largest church and the home of Joel Osteen, falls firmly in the latter category. With a weekly attendance of approximately 43,000 people, they make their home in the former Compaq Center, previously home to the Houston Rockets. And the job of lighting services in the 16,000-plus-seat arena, many of which have to perform the double duty of being recorded for broadcast and providing an intimate experience for worshipers? That falls to Chuck Pryor and his team.

“My production background is mainly in audio,” Pryor says, “So my team has a lot of fun making all the standard lighting/audio jokes to keep things light and fun. I was actually hired in audio but was invited to manage the Lighting Department when Tom Stanziano, the previous Lighting Director, left. Tom was the one who originally specified theses fixtures to accomplish the goals, and he obviously made a great call. I still split my time between lighting and audio, so having Josh Beard and Ryan Johanningmeier here to do all of the maintenance and programming makes it all come together pretty nicely. These guys are both really talented and we are fortunate to have them.”

Juggling sound and lighting in such a large venue certainly poses challenges. For the not-inconsiderable task of lighting the Lakewood stage-a lighting system that uses, all told, over 700 individual fixtures and must light dozens of performers-Pryor relies in part on 48 Wybron Nexeras, a move that Pryor calls a “perfect solution.”

“The Nexeras have one very important role at Lakewood,” Pryor says. “These are used to light the curtain that millions of people see each week on the broadcast. The Lakewood blue curtain that hangs behind the globe is lit exclusively by the Nexera fixtures. We also use eight of these fixtures as band front wash when color is needed.”

The “blue curtain” that Pryor mentions is a sort of visual trademark of Lakewood, a backdrop to the ever-present bronze globe and the activity that takes place on the stage-and which is a recognized symbol of the church to the millions of viewers who tune in to broadcasts of Lakewood’s services.

“The main technical difficulty we had was lighting our curtain evenly and having the ability to color mix smoothly. The fact that the Nexeras can throw 60 feet allows us to do this and light the entire curtain evenly.”

The vibrant color and smooth mixing provided by Nexera’s dichroic glass filters translates to a dynamic and reliable platform for Lakewood’s ultimate raison d’etre: the dissemination of their ministry’s message to the thousands of people in their congregation and the millions who tune into their broadcasts. “Obviously they have to work in harmony to have the most impact, and lighting can really help set the mood in the congregation,” says Pryor.

Although Lakewood is by any measure a large organization, with the trappings attendant to one, it’s the message that counts; the hundreds of lights, the pro-quality sound, the music, the technical accoutrements and flash are there simply to support it. And to do this, like so many other churches across the continent, Lakewood turned to Wybron.

I’m interested in hearing more about the Nexera – any hands on experience with the fixture?

JimOnLight.com Sticker Pics – The Good Folks at Wybron

I’m starting to get JimOnLight.com sticker pics in from folks who I’ve sent stickers to – if I’ve sent you some stickers, would you take a few pictures of where you stuck them so I can post them for all to see?  Think of somewhere creative to put them – your forehead, a roadcase, your friend’s head, a cheeseburger – okay, maybe not a cheeseburger…

The great folks at Wybron sent me some pics of their stickers – check them out!  They look like they’re having a blast!  Thanks for sending these, Aaron!

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Wybron’s CXI IT Scrollers at Le Poisson Rouge

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I just got a press release from Jennifer at Wybron – check out this article about the old famous Village Gate Club, now called Le Poisson Rouge:

WYBRON CXI SCROLLERS COLOR NYC CLUB

Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison – some of the world’s most legendary artists performed at The Village Gate during its nearly 40-year run in New York City’s Greenwich Village.

The Bleecker Street venue closed in 1993, but today it’s alive again in the form of an eclectic club called Le Poisson Rouge (in English, “Red Fish”). As a “multimedia art cabaret,” according to club’s Web site, LPR strives to highlight a variety of musical and artistic styles.

And to create the perfect atmosphere on stage, LPR Head Lighting Designer Ethan Kaplan brought Wybron along for the ride.

Eighteen Wybron CXI IT color-mixing scrollers provide vibrant hues for the intimate stage that’s hosted Paul Simon, Mos Def, Andrew WK, Salman Rushdie, and many more (and the eclectic calendar continues).

Fixed on Source 4 PARS, the CXIs feature two overlapping gelstrings with frames of cyan, magenta, and yellow, which mix together to create an almost limitless color palette.  Kaplan likes having the flexibility to tweak colors on the fly.

“The CXI’s color mixing allows me to make subtle live color changes during the show without upstaging the performers,” he said. Ten downlights and eight frontlights ensure the performers never wander into the dark.  Kaplan especially likes the CXI’s blues and magentas.

“As far as durability goes, these units get scrolled back and forth seven days a week,” Kaplan said.  “They have been exposed to dust (they were installed while the venue was still under construction), severe vibrations (nightly DJ parties on the weekends), and showers of fake blood (Mini-Gene Simmons, don’t ask). In the last 10 months since the venue opened, only one out of our 18 scrollers has required maintenance.”

And in this color-rich environment, creativity reigns night after night.

Check out Wybron’s website for more info on the CXI scrollers – I’ve used them, I would vouch for them.

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Wybron’s Transition and Autopilot in Amarillo, TX

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Wybron put out a press release that I just now got – darn them internets!  They just helped a church in Amarillo, TX make some magic in a very unconventional worship hall setup – arena seating!

WYBRON’S TRANSITION, AUTOPILOT ILLUMINE TEXAS CHURCH

When Trinity Fellowship Church of Amarillo, Texas, set out to design a new 4,000-seat sanctuary, it chose a stage in the round – a unique feature for a house of worship.

“We wanted to keep it more intimate. We didn’t just want to expand like a proscenium stage where you have people several hundred yards away,” said Russell Kollaja, Trinity’s lighting designer.

This creative space called for creative lighting, and Wybron played a part with its Autopilot II performer tracking system and Transition fiber-optic illuminator.

As the focal point of the nearly $40 million dollar facility, the 46-foot stage needed to be exceptionally well lit. During the music portion of a service, four lights needed to follow each of the two worship leaders standing on either side of the stage.

In an ordinary building, that might have required eight followspots, but that wasn’t practical for Trinity, said Paul Braile of Top Dog Spotlighting. In this circular room where audience members face each other, the followspots would have been visually distracting to worshippers, blocking views of the room’s several video screens.

“You would need to install truss spots, and that would be downright ugly,” Braile said. “Autopilot was absolutely the perfect call for this church.”

With Autopilot, the two worship leaders remain perfectly lit as they move around the stage. And when the music’s done, Autopilot tracks the pastor as he addresses his message to the 360-degree room.

With the area above the stage more open and visible to the audience, designers decided on something breathtaking: a twinkling fiber-optic starfield created by six Transition fiber-optic illuminators.  With fiber-optic cable inserting through a draped dark cloth, it almost feels like looking up at a night sky, Russell Kollaja said.

“It’s calming and soothing. You don’t look up and see the air ducts, you don’t see cables,” he said.

The entire lighting rig includes about 200 moving lights, with about 20 of them connected to Autopilot, said Niel Galen of Lighting Design Group.

Galen’s firm has worked with the church for several years, ever since the firm helped light the sanctuary for some television specials on marriage. The new rig can also be modified for TV use, Galen said.

“I think it turned out great. The people at Trinity are very happy; they have a killer system that has incredible flexibility for any number of different things they could do down the road,” Galen said.

The church also utilizes Wybron’s Nexera color-mixing luminaires in the children’s area of the campus as well as its west sanctuary. The Nexera combines CMY dichroic color mixing with a powerful light fixture available in profile and wash models.

For more information about Wybron, call (719) 548-9774, e-mail info@wybron.com, or visit www.wybron.com.

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Wybron’s iPhone Gobo Library

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COOL!  Wybron has released a gobo library application for the iPhone and iPod Touch featuring more than 1500 gobos from Great American Market (GAM) and Lee Filters.  You can spin them at different rates and directions, overlap gobos as if you’re looking at a TwinSpin, and adjust focus.  Way to go, Wybron!

Here’s a link to go get it right now – it’s $9.99 through iTunes.  The link opens iTunes if you have it installed.

The press release from Jennifer at Wybron:

WYBRON RELEASES GOBO LIBRARY FOR IPHONE

A new iPhone application by Wybron packs more than 1,500 gobos into a sleek device that fits in the user’s pocket.
The Moiré Gobo Library lets users browse, search, and experiment with A-size gobos from GAM and Lee, with more to come.

Adjust the focus of the gobo to simulate a blur effect, spin the gobo at different speeds and in different directions, and use the “TwinSpin” feature to overlap and spin any two gobos at variable speeds and in any direction.
The Moiré Gobo Library, which also works on the iPod touch, lets the user:

  • View gobos on a white or black background, simulating the look of the gobo itself or the image it produces on a dark stage
  • Search gobos by name and number
  • Sort gobos by name and number in ascending and descending order
  • Maintain a list of 12 most recently viewed gobos
  • Send comments directly to the developer with a feedback button

The idea for the Moiré Gobo Library came, in part, from the suggestions of customers using Wybron’s Gel Swatch Library, which features nearly 1,000 gel colors. The Gel Swatch Library was recently named one of Live Design magazine’s Products of the Year for 2008-09. It took home an ESTA Member’s Choice Award from LDI in October 2008.

“With our new app, you don’t have to buy dozens of different gobos and load them into a fixture to see how they’ll look,” said Scott Longberry, Wybron engineer and developer of the application. “Just turn on your iPhone or iPod touch, and you can play with hundreds of different gobos to see what happens if you overlap them, blur them, spin them – or whatever effect you want.”

The app should be useful for a wide variety of lighting venues, including nightclubs, concerts, theatres, churches, cruise ships, and more, Longberry said.

To buy the Moiré Gobo Library for $9.99, visit Apple’s App Store through the icon on the iPhone or iPod touch, or go through iTunes. To buy an iPhone or iPod touch, visit store.apple.com.

ABOUT WYBRON
Wybron designs and manufactures innovative, practical, and high-quality lighting
equipment for some of the biggest entertainment productions in the world. Wybron
remains committed to standardized two-way communication protocols that help users
more easily manage their lighting rigs – sending valuable feedback from your lighting
equipment to your laptop or iPhone.

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Institute for Feedback Excellence

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I just got this, and I think it’s great!

A few companies have banded together in the pursuit to make protocols like Remote Device Management (RDM) adhere to a standard that goes industry-wide – and hopefully at some point ALL lighting industries-wide.  The Institute for Feedback Excellence is going to try to accomplish this feat; Enttec, Martin Professional, and Wybron are heading this effort.  More details below in the press release:

INSTITUTE FOR FEEDBACK EXCELLENCE LAUNCHED

A new nonprofit organization wants to ensure every piece of lighting equipment
using industry-wide feedback protocols performs at the highest standard possible.

The Institute for Feedback Excellence, www.fbexcellence.org, will enable lighting
manufacturers to test their feedback-enabled products – for now, those using Remote
Device Management – to make sure they’re compatible with other feedback devices.

The organization’s three founders are Enttec Pty. Ltd. of Australia, Martin Professional
A/S of Denmark, and Wybron, Inc. of the U.S. All three manufacturers have strongly
embraced the RDM industry feedback standard.

“Our goal here is not to break trail for new protocols. That is being handled very capably
by ESTA and PLASA and the committee members who work diligently to advance the
technical standards used in lighting control,” said Jeremy Kumin, Enttec’s U.S. Sales
Manager. “What we are trying to do is help the customer feel secure that when they rent
or buy something using this new technology, it’s going to play as well as it should with
other equipment.”

Enttec and Wybron have been integrating industry-standard feedback protocols into their
products for several years. While coming to the issue more recently, Martin is an
enthusiastic partner whose gear is recognized and used all over the world, making
compatibility with their products a desirable goal for any other manufacturer.

The organization’s initial focus will be RDM, the ESTA-approved feedback protocol also
known as E1.20. At labs located around the world, companies can test their RDM-enabled
gear against open-source standard tests that, when passed, yield the product the
“IFE Verified” seal of approval.

Companies can also choose to perform the tests at their own facilities by using one of
IFE’s portable labs. This will ensure complete confidentiality for manufacturers
concerned about protecting proprietary information.

A list of approved devices and their manufacturers will be posted on the IFE Web site,
and manufacturers of these approved devices will automatically become Sustaining
Members of the organization.

“It’s really all about the customers – making sure that when they buy RDM equipment,
it’ll work like they want it to, and it’ll be compatible with RDM equipment made by
different manufacturers,” said Wybron President Keny Whitright.

For more information, e-mail info@fbexcellence.org or visit www.fbexcellence.org.

Thanks, Jen!

Wybron Is Releasing Something Awesome for iPhone

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Okay, I’m in Seattle.  I land on the tarmac at SeaTac, I fire up my iPhone, and I get an email from someone telling me about a cool new iPhone app from Wybron that *could possibly be* released this next coming week.  Maybe.  Perhaps.  Or so I heard…

So instead of getting a nap like my adorable snoring wife who’s asleep here next to me – we went to bed at 2:30am and got up at 4am to fly to Seattle – I am more interested in sharing the news of this new iPhone bit of coolness.  This new application from Wybron appears as if it’s going to be a visual reference for gobos – variable spin and focus parameters is all I know of right now, but as soon as I get more info, you can guarantee I’ll share it with you!

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