Project News

Iconic Ministry of Sound debuts at ivy

Posted on Thursday, July 27th, 2017

 London’s iconic Ministry of Sound Club has made its Australian debut taking up a weekly residence at Sydney’s ivy nightclub.

The venue has undergone some serious renovations to deliver a totally revitalised clubbing experience, including sound-proof and all-weather roof, extra lighting rigs, a brand new staging set up and an overall entire venue transformation from a brand new entry, right up to the main stage.

Creative production company Alfred did the production design for the fit-out including rigging, custom stage, DJ booth, lighting and video design, including video content to suit Alfred’s lighting brief. Merivale production team, specifically Bailey Holloway, tendered out the lighting system and awarded it to Chameleon Touring Systems.

Alfred engaged lighting designer Peter Rubie to design a new lighting installation as the previous install delivered a fair amount of light pollution.

“Sometimes the atmosphere was slightly uncomfortable and not the kind of vibe you’d want for a Ministry of Sound event,” said Peter. “The venue has a lot of white space so anytime you throw wash lights around the room it bounces everywhere. The giant LED screens they had also threw a lot of ambient light around the venue. It just didn’t have that dark, clubby vibe the Ministry of Sound guys were hoping to achieve.”

Whilst there are still LED screens, the content is now much darker and the lighting has been redesigned to be tightly controlled. The room has also been flipped around with the stage now at the opposite end of the venue.

The new stage structure consists of nine uprights that form a large curved panel at the back behind the DJ. The structure has eight screen hangs, staggered in length getting shorter towards the outside of the curve. It all wraps around the large internal stairwell. From the top are nine fingers that stretch out; each finger holds two or three Ayrton MagicDot-SX with the centre five tipped with a Claypaky Stormy CC.

“It means we ended up with twenty-one MagicDot-SX above the stage and they’re our workhorse in terms of looks that we can build into,” explained Peter. “We do a lot of work with them in terms of different positions and crosses, plus we do a lot of effects in the MA2 running across them. When we do our movement effects we put a lot of work into working with their groupings and offsets to make interesting patterns.”

Peter commented that he very much likes the Ayrton MagicDot-SX for their single optical collimator beam and although he has the zoom version, he hasn’t used this functionality very much.

“For Ministry of Sound we really want narrow, crisp beams to avoid light pollution plus we want the dynamics of razor beams that we can run effects across,” he said. “However the zoom function does give the venue the ability to flood them out and wash the room during the week on non-Ministry of Sound events.”

The tiny build of the MagicDot-SX is with its combined yoke, head and base is something Peter really likes as it means that you can’t always tell where the light beam is coming from, consequently they don’t dominate the fingers of truss. He also says that you can’t beat them on speed and that they get cranked up very fast for some of the dance tempos.

Two panorama bars, holding sixteen more MagicDot-SX, are attached to the bulkheads either side of the venue. They tend to follow the same programming as the stage MagicDot-SX making the venue feel all encompassing.

“Rather than have everything coming from the DJ end, we wanted to involve the crowds during the bigger moments,” added Peter. “The Stormys are used for their strobe effect rather than a colour wash as we don’t like to flood the area with colour for long periods of time. There are occasional moments where there will be a big bump and we’ll accent it, but they won’t stay turned on for more than a second or two. If we want to wash the crowd with a blinder effect we have eight tungsten Sunstrips installed between the LED panels which you just can’t go past. Having an all LED rig is great but having that one tungsten element is really nice and warms everything up. It’s just a great blinder effect, we run lots of different chases through them over the night which like everything else, are synced to tempo faders.”

Six Claypaky B-EYE K10 mirror the shape of the curved backdrop, one sitting beneath each of the three outer LED panels.

“I’ve seen so many LED wash lights enter the market but you can’t go past the B-EYE in terms of effects,” commented Peter. “The definition you get between the rays when running the B-EYE effect is much crisper and as a result they end up looking great not only to the eye but in all of the promo photos. We only have six units but it looks like we have hundreds of rays coming out from behind the DJ.”

A simple grid above the dance floor holds twenty Martin MAC Quantum Profiles that Peter favours for their bright punchiness and crisp gobos.

“In following the concepts of the original Ministry of Sound Club, we wanted the lighting above the dance floor to be quite simple to contrast with the stage set up, with the console and programming being the workhorse,” he elaborated. “We very much rely on chases or interesting MAtricks configurations. We definitely didn’t want to see stock-standard ballyhoos going on in this rig, rather we wanted it to be constantly evolving over the night and kept interesting.”

Eight Martin MAC Auras line the lengths of the grid although these are mainly used for the venue’s day to day operations and not so much the Ministry of Sound nights. For other events, the venue offers the side MagicDot-SX plus the grid of Quantums and Auras but none of the special stage gear. The MAC Auras and MagicDot’s deliver plenty of colour wash for those nights. A further two MAC Auras are positioned above the stage from where they can light the DJ.

Control is by an MA Lighting MA2 light and a fader wing + touchscreen combination, with another running as backup. Peter, along with one of the Ministry of Sound operators Darcy Cook, spent a lot of time programming in the wee small hours.

“The venue doesn’t shut until 3am so we didn’t get any programming time until then,” he remarked. “I did the first few nights programming on my own and then Darcy came in to assist me adding a bit more layering and some of the MAtricks that we needed to make the MagicDot-SX and Quantum Profiles do interesting patterns and formations. Dan Morgan is our other operator for the Ministry of Sound nights.

“We have very little programming in terms of looks; we have a walk in look but the rest is just lots of layers.  Loads of temp faders, layered buttons for things like stacks of position moves, stacks of intensity effects and strobe buttons, then we add colours and positions on top of that manually through the programmer. A lot of the work is done in the effects engine of the MA.”

Ministry of Sound Club Australia lights up ivy each and every Saturday night, featuring four rooms of music, and a carefully crafted lineup of killer acts.

Photos: Ministry of Sound, Peter Rubie


Pulsar lights St Kilda Sea Baths in all weather conditions

Posted on Friday, July 14th, 2017

Melbourne’s iconic St Kilda Sea Baths has been given a facelift in the form of beautiful coloured lighting, the perfect way to bring the heritage listed turrets and historic building on St Kilda Beach, to life.

Travis Atkins, Centre Marketing for Sea Baths was tasked with looking into a variety of ways to maximize the building’s appeal to passing clientele and enhance the building generally from Jacka Boulevard and the Upper Esplanade.

“You can’t see into the building so we wanted to make the most of that frontage onto Jacka Boulevard,” said Travis. “We decided that lighting would be the best option especially as we can change the colour of the façade to suit key events, both local and international. So now the building can turn pink for Breast Cancer Awareness, or red for World Aids Day or even our beloved St Kilda football club colours!”

Due to the marine environment, Travis required the absolute best product for the job; lighting fixtures that could stand up to the challenging wind and salt water. Marine grade is a critical requirement in this beachside location.

“It’s a very demanding environment and hence, with the help of our lighting architect, John Ford and production team RTR, we selected Pulsar products” he said. “The lights have certainly given more life to a very high profile iconic destination.”

RTR Productions assisted with the design, performed the installation and will supply long term technical support and maintenance for the client.

“The most difficult part of the installation was working within the client budget and expectations,” Cris Cochis of RTR. “The Pulsar products are well made and with extra options for harsh environments, we knew that they were the best product for this project. Also, as always, great support from the distributor makes the job easier.”

Sixteen Pulsar ChromaPixelStrip 25 TriColour 1200mm polycarbonate tube linear fixtures are installed above the window arches to reflect the building’s architectural design and curves. Eight Pulsar ChromaFlood100 TriColour are situated all around the historic turrets, where they deliver even coverage and light distribution to these impressive structures.

A couple of Pulsar ChromaFlood200 TriColour with 25?lenses are situated inside the turrets to give a full wash of the inside. Two more are located on the fascia facing each other to give an even coverage of the fascia’s long front.

Cris commented that the ChromaFloods are really good having stainless steel casing and extra coating on all electronic parts to resist harsh environments such as St Kilda’s seaside.

Colours can be controlled remotely from a laptop or iPhone running Martin software through a USB to DMX dongle that then controls Smartshow DMX recorder.


Perth Concert Hall shines bright with Jands

Posted on Sunday, July 9th, 2017

Perth Concert Hall, renowned for having among the finest acoustics in the southern hemisphere, serves as the primary performance venue for the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, as well the venue hosts many diverse performances and events all year round from classical concerts through to contemporary music.

For their largest lighting update since the venue opened in 1973, Perth Concert Hall considered options for upgrading their ageing generic lighting rig. Alex Spartalis, head of lighting at the venue, was in charge of this process and said, “We wanted to replace a large number of our profiles with LED units and so shot some units out against each other. The Source 4 Series 2 Lustr from ETC couldn’t be beaten when the combined factors of brightness, colour & dimming quality, fan noise and reliability were taken into consideration.”

The venue took delivery of 66 Source 4 LED Series 2 Lustr units in October last year. Since then the units have performed flawlessly. “We only had 1 single unit fail out of 66 and that was replaced by our WA dealer Evolution 512 and Jands promptly” Alex says. Evolution 512 also supplied a number of Jands DD8-II DMX splitters to help distribute data around to all the fixtures and Jands PDS12 Power Distribution racks to power the new system.

36 of the units were fitted with 19 degree lenses to replace the orchestral downlights, a job which was previously done with Lekos. After the swap over was complete Alex said the toughest crowd, the orchestra, were happy with both the colour quality of light and brightness. “We were able to achieve a much flatter field and even wash with the new units than before, and were even able to reduce the amount of fixtures required. Having individual control rather than pairs of orchestrals which previously covered large areas has opened up a lot of flexibility and control in isolating small parts of the stage”. Alex further commented that the flexibility in terms of being able to instantly colour the overhead wash which was previously not able to be gelled due to the awkward location of the lamps has opened up so many more possibilities. “We can do contemporary performances without the need to add trusses of moving colour wash lights. When we have hire budgets for our bigger shows we can now spend all that money on units such as beam / profile movers that enhance the performance rather than blowing half of it on trusses of colour washes.”

The lighting towers attached to the auditorium walls loaded with 110v pars were also replaced. “What was previously a small selection of standard rock and roll colours now has the option to give us a whole host of pastel colours for our more classical shows thanks to 22 more Lustr’s fitted with 26 degree lenses.” Alex and the PCH team found in this location that they again required less units than before, so a few of these profiles became a dedicated colour wash on the 3000 pipe organ in the hall, which now looks rather impressive.

The final 8 units are fitted with 15-30 zoom lenses as variable focus and variable purpose fixtures in a few different locations. Since the main bulk of the standard rig is now covered by the new Lustr’s Alex says, “We have even lit a show or two solely with the LED fixtures. We now have a product that we can present to our clients and say, ‘Here is a complete package,’ without putting a lot of extra gear and labour in”. The entire project was made possible through the State Government’s Department of Culture and the Arts Infrastructure Improvement Program.


ShowPro LED House Lights ‘work perfectly’ in School Theatre

Posted on Friday, June 23rd, 2017

Stuart Feldt from Camberwell Grammar School’s technical services department, had been looking to replace the house lights in the school’s theatre for quite some time.

“We had 500 watt tungsten lamps in physically large fixtures, similar to warehouse lights,” he explained.  “They used a lot of power and lamps were blowing regularly.”

The specification for the new lights was that they had to have smooth dimming to zero, silent operation with no fan, and the look and feel of a tungsten light so regular patrons wouldn’t notice the fixtures had changed.

The existing fixtures had a visible filament and this, combined with the fitting, threw shadows onto the brick walls of the theatre. Stuart remarked that they wanted to retain that look so that the building didn’t look stark and flat.

System Design and Integration was done by Michael Zagarn who recommended the ShowPro LED House Light with consistent warm white output suitable for live and broadcast applications.

“The ShowPro LED House Lights work perfectly, and the DMX dimming allowed us to integrate control from Dynalite and our ArtNET theatre lighting system,” remarked Stuart. “Power consumption has been cut by 80%, with heat load savings as well.”

The ShowPro LED House Light also offers silent operation due to its’ advanced convection-cooled design. An adjustable PWM frequency ensures flicker-free, camera-safe performance. A removable yoke and permanent cable anchor allow for pendant suspension mounting. There are three interchangeable lenses to match beam angle to mounted height as well as an optical egg crate diffuser and top hat accessories.

“Our forty-six ShowPro LED House Lights have been performing better than expected,” said Stuart. “We are extremely happy with them. The small point source creates the interesting shadows we wanted to retain. Dimming is smooth. The light output is at least 30% brighter across the space, and the choice of lenses provides us with a narrower beam option which we used in the fittings around the edge of the theatre thus keeping the light intensity even right to the edges.”

Michael Zagarn also supplied a Martin M2PC Console and a Martin Ether2DMX8.


Panthers Penrith upgrade Evan Theatre with Show Technology

Posted on Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

The Evan Theatre at Panthers Penrith is a premium, purpose built entertainment venue, available for private hire and public shows. It features a permanent theatrical stage, fully licensed bar, seating for up to 850 patrons and the services you would expect from a full-production theatre.

Over the years, the venue has hosted an array of leading entertainers including John Farnham, Boys II Men, The Wiggles and David Strassman. Fifteen years ago, the venue purchased some Martin MAC500 and MAC600 fixtures which have managed well over this time – as have their Claypaky Golden Scan 3 fixtures! However, it was definitely time for an upgrade to a more state of the art rig and the decision was made to purchase eight Claypaky A.leda B-EYE K10 high performance wash lights, ten Martin MAC Quantum Profiles and for control, an MA Lighting grandMA2 light. Finally, to complete the awesome package, a Robert Juliat Super Korrigan 1200w followspot was also added to the purchase.

“One of the first conversations with Wayne was to look at what types of acts were coming through the venue and what was required of them from a lighting rig point of view,” explained Stephen Dallimore, Show Technology’s Business Development Manager. “Venues such as Panthers are having more and more high profile touring acts coming through, so the need to have equipment that is rider spec’d and matches the major city venues, is very important.”

In fact, it is quite common now for venues throughout the country to offer leading fixtures from Martin, Claypaky, Robert Juliat and MA Lighting and it has become the bench level for any new venue.

“The club was updating the room in terms of furniture and décor so we decided to also buy new lighting equipment,” commented Wayne Campbell, Production Manager at Panthers. “We conducted a shootout with a few moving head profiles and the Quantums really stood out, which was great as I’ve always been a Martin user and saw no reason to change.”

Wayne noted that the choice of gobos with the Quantum Profiles is fantastic and that their punch is incredible. Darcy Cook, a regular audiovisual contractor employed at Evans Theatre added that the Quantums have a really nice colour-rendering index. “The red is actually a red and the green is green, whereas with the old MAC600’s the greens were too dim to use,” he added.

Wayne particularly took a likely to the zoom capability of the MAC Quantum Profile, which allows him to fill the venue’s cyc with light and colour using only two fixtures. Another highlight is using the Claypaky A.leda B-EYE K10 not only as a wash but also as eye candy, delving into using the dual colour wheels and also the beam libraries. Darcy has also had fun using them, most recently on a dance festival. “I’ve been using the kaleidoscope effect rotating the front lens for some really cool looks,” said Darcy. “If you throw a gobo in the Quantums and then put the kaleidoscope effect through it, it creates a dispersed, beamy look. It creates a lot of nice beams throughout the whole stage and you can get away without having a lot of front wash as there’s still a lot of light around the stage. It’s great for dance, no front light just overhead and side lighting.”

The Robert Juliat Super Korrigan followspot has certainly impressed Wayne, who says it throws a beautiful punchy beam from 30 metres away. “It’s a great followspot – very smooth and the intensity of the fixtures is spot on,” he commented. “It probably has twice as much light output as our previous followspot!”

Wayne describes the MA2 light as more user friendly and versatile than the venue’s previous console plus of course, it’s on most riders. “The MA console is pretty much industry standard and is spec’d by most LD’s,” he said. “I had to learn it over the past three months but it’s quite easy to pick up. Darcy has been teaching me a whole bunch of stuff I didn’t know it could do but I certainly got the basics of it with no problem at all.”

The guys at Evan Theatre at Panthers Penrith certainly sound impressed with their latest purchases, looks like the venue has made a great upgrade.

Photos: Darcy Cook


Marquee Nightclub goes Rogue with CHAUVET Professional

Posted on Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

In April 2012, The Star reinforced its status as the premiere entertainment venue in Australia by opening the world-renowned Marquee nightclub in Sydney. The award-winning nightclub has built an undisputed reputation as the venue of choice for music lovers and celebrities alike, with an unbeaten line up of local and international artists which have included Calvin Harris, Drake, Avicii, Tiesto, Hardwell, Diplo and Armin Van Buuren. These artists have kept Marquee at the forefront of international dance music.

In addition to live acts and music, lighting has become an essential part of the Marquee attraction with their lighting system helping to create the ultimate nightclub experience. To continue to provide the state-of-the-art nightclub atmosphere, Marquee searched for the right fixtures which would offer a significant upgrade to fill the airspace that was required in the venue, which was low to the ceiling and needed to be punchy and fast. The Rogue R1 FX-B by CHAUVET Professional fixture ticked all the boxes and complemented the existing rig as well as give the venue a unique look.

Contracted to change the look was Full Throttle Entertainments Aidan Esmond, who after searching the market and seeing the Rogue FX-B’s being used on tours, festivals and major headlining night clubs across the globe decided to acquire 12 new Rogue R1 FX-B’s to its lighting rig supplied by Showtools International.

The CHAUVET FX-B fixtures has become a critical part of the nightclubs lighting rig,    installed in the Main Room which is the heartbeat and focal point of the Sydney Premiere  Nightclub. The FX-B is a unique fixture that enables Marquee several looks that add depth and texture without taking up a lot of space. The five independently controlled heads are a powerful tool for varying movements that facilitates many creative options in that in turn permit the beams of light to cover the stage with mesmerizing multi-dimensional looks.

The FX-B’s have performed flawlessly since being installed with weekly events on the schedule using the fixtures. The acquisition of the Rogue R1 FX-B’s to the Marquee lighting rig has helped create a vibrant atmosphere for all party enthusiasts across all shows and events.
Australian distributor: Showtools


Martin and MA On The Point

Posted on Monday, May 29th, 2017

Perth’s exciting On the Point development includes the Beaumonde Fraser Point Function Centre, one of the finest venues the city has to offer, with picturesque surroundings and state of the art facilities.

Specialising in corporate events, celebrations and weddings, the venue offers different room configurations and also boasts a sophisticated Sky Lounge Bar.

PAV designed the AV systems from the ground up, installing the equipment and managing it in-house, working closely with PAV installations manager Carl Blewett and suppliers to ensure the best possible outcome.

A highlight of the design are the 52 x Martin RUSH MH6 wash light used as table spots and for effects. The RUSH MH 6 Wash offers a fully pre-mixed colour system from 12 x 10 W RGBW LEDs with a spectacular 10°–60° zoom. It also offers full electronic dimming, strobe effects and temperature-controlled fan cooling for quiet operation.

Being able to offer table spots for a function has traditionally been the preserve of large, well-resourced ballrooms, and has been a real point of difference for the casinos and exhibition centres. But Martin’s well-priced MH6 brings professional looking individual table spots into the realms of the financially possible.

“The Martin MH6’s paired with the MA onPC control system, give us the ultimate flexibility in the function centre,” said Mike Bird, PAV Business and Technical Manager. “From being able to colour-wash the room, spot individual tables, or light the stage with a lectern, the MH6’s zoom range and brilliant colour rendition make these units perfect for any event in our venue.

“Having the MA onPC in control of these fixtures allows us to get creative with our colour sequences over the three different rooms to create spectacular looks for each event.”