Clay Paky A.leda B-EYE K10’s travel to Northwest
Posted on Tuesday, July 26th, 2016
The B-EYE K10 is a highly versatile light with three operating modes: wash, beam and effects. Its zoom ranges from 4° to 60° and is therefore suitable both for spaces with low ceilings where large angles are extremely useful and for larger environments or arena shows. The fixture’s front lens can also be rotated to create countless vortex effects, for aerial or ‘kaleidoscopic’ projection use.
“We use our A.leda B-EYE K10’s for a variety of events and looks, as they are so multifunctional” said Matt Morrisey, head of production at the church. “They are a powerful washlight, with a nice narrow spot beam, if turned to wide zoom, it is perfect to create massive blinding effects. The shape function gave additional effects to the stage in combination with the rotation lens system.
“Sometimes we use them to add ambient light in the auditorium; most auditoriums have those dark little spots people can find themselves in and so we use them to throw ambient light against the wall.”
Matt reports that the ShowPro HEX18 LED PARs have been really good and are their ‘skeleton’ light, pretty much always on to deliver a solid base of light.
The Star shines bright with Clay Paky SuperSharpys
Posted on Monday, July 11th, 2016
Every year for the past seven years, Sydney’s streets and skyline have come alight with the beautiful, inspiring, interactive festival that is Vivid Sydney. The lights and installations of Vivid Sydney illuminate some of Sydney’s most iconic landmarks, including the Sydney Opera House, Customs House, Maritime Museum and The Star casino.
In fact during Vivid Sydney 2016 The Star never shone so bright.
For Vivid Sydney 2015, The Star temporarily installed forty-four Clay Paky Sharpys and ten Mythos fixtures onto their roof as part of an installation entitled Mission Control. The resulting light display was so stunning and popular, the venue realized there was potential beyond Vivid Sydney.
To celebrate VIVID 2016 a total of thirty-six Clay Paky Supersharpys were chosen for their enhanced optical design. Famous for its powerful beam, the Supersharpy produces clearly defined mid-air effects even at long distances. The Supersharpy’s beam angle may be reduced to almost zero degrees by means of a perforated grid which provides a perfectly parallel beam, similar to a laser beam.
“We chose Clay Paky due to past positive experiences with the brand,” commented Bruce Dwyer, Head of Lighting at The Star. “We did look at using Mythos but decided we would be paying for a lot of amazing features that we just wouldn’t use in this application.”
To protect the Supersharpys from Sydney’s temperamental weather, each fixture is housed within a Clay Paky Igloo, a tough, sturdy enclosure that offers complete protection against rain and humidity, and maintains a perfect working temperature (between 0°C and 35°C) for fixtures even in hot or sub-zero conditions.
Thirty-six IP-rated ShowPro LED Flood EX36 are positioned between the Supersharpys for colour wash, thus adding another dimension to the design. Bruce commented that they actually looked at many other IP-rated wash lights but the EX36 really did work for what they needed at the correct price point.
The 2015 display was interactive so that the public were in control, happily bashing a touch screen which resulted in some fairly erratic beam movement. During Vivid Sydney 2016, the lights are tightly programmed and choreographed with little fast paced movement. Beam angles are carefully controlled so as not to hit apartment blocks, the Harbour Bridge or possibly interfere with air traffic.
Show Technology supplied a full turnkey solution for this project, with Technical Manager Mike Gearin working closely with Bruce Dwyer to put the system together.
“Essentially its thirty-six lights managed from two MA onPC computers, main and backup, with MA 4port nodes,” commented Mike Gearin. “The PC’s were custom made by James Moore at Show Technology. We’ve designed it so that you can program a show from down on the pier where it’s easiest to see the full effect of the lighting. The entire show is run from Agenda on the MA with Time Code taking over every hour; we spent a lot of time changing Agenda to be different every day so it’s not the same show triggered at 8pm every night.”
RDM has been utilized so every fixture is performing two-way communication back to the computer. Every day the software exports a performance report telling if there is an error in any of the fixtures. The Igloos are not just domes with extraction fans, if the fixture overheats or the unit stops air intake or outtake, the fixture won’t start. Supersharpys also have inbuilt safety system so if it loses data, or is on and stops panning, the fixture just fades out. If the Igloo loses power or data, the fixture returns home and lamps off.
PCC Event Services supplied a wireless networking link that allows a MA Gigabit link 400 metres away down at the pier. The project sees the inaugural use of air fibre for lighting networking in Australia: two point to point networking 24 GHz at 1GB a second, 400 metres away.
“It’s amazing, we are getting 1GB per second 400m away in an area that is jammed packed full of Wifi,” remarked Mike Gearin. “It’s super easy to configure the system and now its just plug and play. We roll out the grandMA light for programming and we have an MA session running in seconds with fast connection speeds and no latency. We have one air fibre mounted on the top of The Star permanently and one that we mount on a speaker stand on the wharf. We line it up with the line up tool on a laptop and we are away!”
Infrastructure included custom made power distribution from Indu-Electric in Germany, designed to fit the requirements of the project. Essentially, it’s a 12 channel Socapex IP55 Rated Distro with extra 16amp CeeForm auxiliary outputs for Igloos, fans, software which means they can be left on. The entire system is cabled with 16AMP IP65 CeeForm connectors so its water tight and all data connections are in Junction Boxes rather than XLR to keep it water tight.
“Mike Gearin has been shoulder to shoulder with us from concept proposal all the way to completion,” he added. “He has been a shining example of Show Technology’s ‘can do’ attitude. Our proposal had an extremely short lead time and a very tight time table. The support we received from Show Technology ranged from sourcing equipment, designing power and data systems to installing the gear side by side with our own technicians. Time tables were adjusted almost daily due to all manner of obstacles yet Mike and Show Technology just rolled with the waves and kept the ball steadily on course to the goal. Nothing has been a problem. The ongoing response we have received to technical queries post the install, has again has been immediate and succinct.
“In summation, Mike Gearin and Show Technology have been an invaluable partner across the whole project and we are very grateful for their involvement.”
The Star now has such a remarkable and reliable infrastructure, they have incredible scope for future projects and installations that will assist them in their vision of becoming Australia’s best integrated resort.
Client: The Star
Project Manager: Bruce Dwyer
Technical Manager: Mike Gearin
Programmer and Creative: Benjamin Ronczka
NIDA adds Robe Fixtures for Foyer Installation
Posted on Friday, July 1st, 2016
To light the foyer at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), based near Sydney, Adrian Wight and Marcus Kelson from the institute’s lighting department augmented the existing Anolis architectural lighting fixtures used for the space with 16 Robe DLX Spots. NIDA’s assistant technical manager Bryte Cameron credited the Robe fixtures for energy efficiency, low maintenance and their ability to highlight specific areas and elements of any exhibition or artwork.
The National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) is based in the Sydney suburb of Kensington adjacent to the University of South Wales (Australia) and is a high profile self-accrediting training institute for students of the performing arts. It has a great reputation and an interesting alumnae of talent who have made their names in the worlds of theatre, stage, film and TV.
Five years ago, the foyer – a huge, airy glass-fronted space that’s also used for art and other exhibitions, public displays and meetings – was architecturally lit with an Anolis ArcSource 48 MC LED installation, supplied via the ULA Group, Robe and Anolis distributor for Australia. This transformed the atmosphere and increased the flexibility of the space.
It was followed by an investment in 16 x Robe DLX Spots, a bright LED spot luminaire that outputs similar to a 1200W discharge light-source, but with an eco-friendly power consumption of 250 Watts!
These – specified by Adrian Wight and Marcus Kelson from the lighting department after careful consideration – are also installed in the foyer on a truss for full flexibility, and have further dramatically increased the functionality of the space. All areas in the environment can be fully used as it’s possible to light them meaningfully.
Energy efficiency was a key to choosing these fixtures explained NIDA’s assistant technical manager Bryte Cameron. So was the low maintenance and low on-going running costs of quality engineered LED products.
“The DLXs have really opened up the space,” says Bryte. “They are perfect for highlighting specific areas and elements of any exhibition or artwork. It has also made the foyer more attractive and accessible and a commercial and event space which can be hired out.”
Bryte comments on the good working relationship that has developed between NIDA and Robe’s Australian distributor, the ULA Group.
NIDA has five principal venues of which the Parade is the largest with a capacity of 706, and the smallest is the Studio with 96 seats. They run both graduate and undergraduate courses which encompass a wide range of topics from prop making to cultural leadership including a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Technical Theatre and Stage Management.
In addition to the success of its acting students, many of those graduating from NIDA’s technical courses have also been high achievers and respected practitioners in the Australian and international production industry.
Lighting control upgrade brings flexibility and reliability to Brisbane Powerhouse
Posted on Monday, June 27th, 2016
In August last year the Brisbane Powerhouse upgraded their lighting data distribution system with the installation of a Cat-6 network with Pathport nodes and Pathport manager software. Nine Pathport C-series nodes were installed around the venue where they convert lighting data that has been distributed over the Cat-6 network to DMX.
Previously the venue had two cabled universes of DMX and if they were required to expand beyond that, extra cables and infrastructure had to be installed which very time was consuming.
“We looked at a few options but the Pathport hardware allowed us to easily output any combination of two universes at any node, for example Universe 1 and 2 on node A and Universe 8 and 15 on node B and so on,” explained Simon Cook, Head of Lighting at the Brisbane Powerhouse. “You can use Pathport manager to configure everything to suit the particulars of your show.”
Due to the Cat-6 network that Pathport runs over, it is simple to scale your system up with additional nodes as required making it very flexible.
“We also have a Pathport Quattro which we can use anywhere we require additional universes, added Simon. “It’s great if you need to build a pixel mapped LED wall on stage or something similar.”
“We can go from two universe shows to sixteen universe shows with multiple protocols very easily,” commented Simon. “What’s also great is that any node can be an input or an output. Before we installed Pathport nodes, if you wanted to run the lighting console side of stage you had to run DMX cables back to the control booth. Now we can just plug a network cable in if we require more than two universes or make a node an input rather than an output if that suits, using the system management.”
The new system was invaluable when the Brisbane Powerhouse recently hosted the Australian Performing Arts Market where artists and producers presented excerpts of their shows. Several theatre companies brought their own lighting consoles, which would usually require DMX input merging or cabling swaps between shows, but thanks to the Pathport system this was not a problem.
“We could have multiple inputs into the system at the same time and with a little pre-planning have no worries about playback clashing or anything like that” remarked Simon. “You could leave your house console plugged in, they could patch their consoles in and playback their shows really easily.”
Simon commented that since its installation the Pathport system has been completely reliable.
“When a touring console comes in we change the IP address on the console and everything talks – it’s that simple. In addition, when the show bumps out we can re-load our standard input/output configuration from the control booth with no need to visit each node and reconfigure individually.”
Robe learns lessons at Academy
Posted on Tuesday, June 21st, 2016
Academy, Canberra is the city’s leading nightclub destination, ensconced in a subterranean shell below the Canberra Centre retail experience, its lively programme of commercial house and EDM is a big hit with both locals and the student population from two major university campuses.
As the 600 capacity venue has been a big success for its independent owners, they have always been keen to keep the production values high, and around four years ago a technical upgrade involved the installation of Robe moving lights for the first time.
This was undertaken by rental and production specialist, Elite Sound & Lighting. The arrangement was based around supplying a flexible quota of kit which could be adapted and moved around the space to accommodate different club nights and the requirements of the Friday night live performances.
More recently, the lighting rig was refreshed again to keep moving-and-grooving with the times, and this time Elite supplied Robe LEDWash 600s and DLS LED profiles.
It was originally a movie cinema – what is now the VIP bar used to be the cinema’s tiered seating – so the large void behind what was once the screen had new columns of LED screen panels added together with other lights and some LED effects panels over the main dancefloor.
The LED sources have been also pixel mapped so video clips can be played through all of them if desired.
Lighting and visuals are operated by Atley Jones using a ChamSys control system and he also co-ordinates all the technical production elements for the venue.
He had used Robe a few times before working at Academy, but since then has really had the opportunity to get the know the fixtures and the brand, which he’s found “Extremely reliable” … especially considering the lights are worked extremely hard for the three nights a week that the club is open!
He particularly likes the Robe DLSs which, apart from helping to create stunning looks that really enhance the atmosphere in the room, have also helped towards the overall power saving together with the LEDWash 600s.
Academy’s lighting installation will again be transformed in the coming months, with Elite intending to install Robe’s brand new Spikie and Linee products, both also LED based and launched at Prolight+Sound, Frankfurt last month.
“The agreement with Academy means we can consistently showcase new and exciting products which ensures that the environment stays visually dynamic in a highly competitive marketplace,” says Elite’s MD Darren Russell, “This is especially important for regular guests, and it keeps Academy right up with the latest technologies”.
Photo Credit: Louise Stickland
NW Group Positively Hog Wellington Venues
Posted on Thursday, June 9th, 2016
NW Group, the trans-Tasman live production specialists with offices across Australia and New Zealand, have won a ten-year contract as full-service technical providers to PWV (Positively Wellington Venues), a business unit of the Wellington City Council that manages seven major venues.
“We’re providing, lighting, AV, sound, crewing, production management, IT support, and rigging,” said Paul O’Brien, Technical Operations Director and Head of Lighting for NW Group in Wellington. “We’re setting up a new office in the city. For the NW Group this is a start-up venture. We’re building a new team to service the contract. As head of lighting, I’m also overseeing all the new lighting installations.”
The venues now under NW Group’s technical management include two proscenium arch theatres (The St James Theatre and The Opera House), a concert hall (The Michael Fowler Centre), a combined arena, auditorium and convention centre (The TSB Bank Arena & Convention Centre) and the Wellington Town Hall. Tasked with fitting-out such a diverse range of venues, Paul and the team have turned to the High End Systems Hog family for the ultimate in flexibility and power.
“It was natural fit for us to go the Hog route,” explained Paul. “It’s our standard lighting control format. I’m very happy with the arsenal provided by High End Systems, and it represents an upgrade compared to equipment installed in the PWV venues previously. For us, it’s about giving the lighting department more focus on programming than rigging, and give the operators more time behind the consoles to be more creative. We also appreciate the flexibility of being able to network consoles. That’s why we’ve chosen to invest in four Hog 4 and four Road Hog 4 consoles, which we’ll deploy across the theatres, stadium and concert hall.”
With the theatres and halls hosting a mix of concert, corporate and theatrical events, the flexibility of the consoles is key. “It’s the Hog’s ability to crossover applications that really works for us,” Paul continued. “You can sit down and dial up a simple orchestral wash without having to be a brain surgeon, but if, on the next day, you have a touring rock show with 100 moving heads, you can use the same console. We also have crew with varying levels of lighting experience. Those who are still learning are still pretty comfortable. For those that see themselves as programmers, there’s a huge amount of depth and capability.”
For the smaller breakout rooms across venues, NW Group have chosen the compact yet powerful HedgeHog 4. “We’ve already got three units, looking to go up to eight,” Paul expanded, “and I’ve been thrashing them! It’s a really useful little corporate lighting package. One of our focuses for this project is energy efficiency. We have a mandate from the city council to be 100% energy efficient by year five of the contract. I’ve been looking at embedding moving head LED fixtures into the corporate spaces. Having a console like the HedgeHog 4 to go into those smaller spaces is a no-brainier.”
All of NW Group’s Hog investments are backed up by Australia/New Zealand High End Systems distributor Lexair Entertainment. “Lexair are surprising,” observed Paul “They’re the team you can phone on the weekend. They’re on the phone and making things happen. It comes down to personnel, and the camaraderie you get you from people who understand the situation you’re in.”
Hamer Hall chooses Robe
Posted on Tuesday, May 24th, 2016
Hamer Hall is a premium concert hall venue, home to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) and one of the five main performance spaces at Arts Centre Melbourne, Australia, of which it is the largest indoor space with a seated capacity of 2464. It features a diverse variation of live entertainment, staging over 300 shows a year featuring local, national and international artists encompassing a multiplicity of genres and styles including pop, rock, jazz, classical, chamber, world, multi-cultural – classic and contemporary.
Built in 1982, Hamer Hall was fully refurbished in 2013 which included a full technical upgrade and updating of the lighting rig, a project specified and overseen in part by Bernie Manchee, head of lighting. The whole rig was automated for the first time as they purchased 22 X Robe MMX spots and 10 LEDWash 600s among other fixtures.
These were the first moving lights to be installed across the Arts Centre Melbourne complex. The Robes were delivered by Australian distributor, the ULA Group, and helped replace a large rig of conventionals and 5Ks … with a considerably greener and more cost efficient solution.
Robe’s news team recently visited to get an update about what a difference it had made having the Robes in the house!
Bernie and his team chose the Robe fixtures after following a tender process and undertaking a fixture shoot-out. Due to the variety of the performance schedule – from orchestra to rock ‘n’ roll – flexibility was at the essence of the decision explains Bernie.
The lights are installed and programmed to provide additional support to a standard orchestral white light ‘shell’ for MSO rehearsals and performances plus those by guest orchestras, or they can be used for other artists as a full show and effects rig.
Supervisor Matt King and lighting specialist Trent Barclay undertake around 70% of the lighting design work for the shows staged there, with the other 30% bringing their own creatives. Some artists and companies will also bring their own complete lighting rig, and another variation is a specials package carried on the tour which is combined with the house ‘top’ rig.
“The Robes are very punchy and efficient, they do everything we ask of them and having them available has also substantially increased the show turnaround times”. Often with two or three shows a day and a split shift of two working crews, this can make a serious difference!
They opted to have the wireless cards fitted into the LEDWash 600s , which are also frequently used as a ‘house’ floor package – it can be extremely quickly deployed which can add dynamics to any show.
The fixtures have also been extremely reliable.
Bernie had used Robe products before the Hamer Hall purchase and had also seen them in action and appearing more frequently with visiting productions. He also cites their excellent relationship with ULA Group which ensures that they are always kept up to speed with new and emerging technologies.