Tech Topics

Tech Topic: Theater Builders of Tomorrow – Listen Up!

Posted on Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

by Chris Lose

While touring the world, I have spent far too many hours sitting at FOH, wondering who in the world designs some of these venues. I decided that I should put my two cents in writing instead of stewing in my own disgust of poor forethought. Here are a few remarks that I would like to make to anyone who is considering designing an entertainment venue.

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Tech Topic: Build Your Own Fixture Library

Posted on Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

By Brad Schiller

Automated lighting consoles are extremely powerful tools with very complex software. No matter how many features a console provides, one of the most essential elements is its fixture library. The library contains unique profile information about fixtures used within our industry. This information becomes the interface between the programmer and the instructions for the light (or other devices). Without proper libraries, most desks will not communicate with fixtures and devices. In some cases, it is important for a programmer to understand the process to create new or modify existing libraries. The method of creating or editing fixture libraries differs greatly between console systems, but all require a basic understanding of how a fixture library functions.

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Tech Topic: Ten Top Priorities when Building a Punt Show

Posted on Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

punt fadersBy Chris Lose

Having completed years as a house lighting designer and working at several festivals around the globe, I have become streamlined when building punt shows. Rock ‘n’ Roll rarely sticks to a cue stack, so I decided to put together my 10 top priorities for a punt show.

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Tech Topic: Lighting Console and Media Server Convergence

Posted on Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

0-USE THIS ONE ChamSys Pixel Map Image 1By Vickie Claiborne

As media servers continue to develop features geared toward working with LED fixtures, lighting consoles are beginning to add in tools that address the unique challenges that programmers encounter while programming both lighting and video. As this convergence of lighting and video continues to evolve, the toolsets continue to evolve as well. Here’s a look at some of those tools……

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Tech Topic: The Matrix is Now: Four Tips to Help Wash Down That Red Pill

Posted on Friday, July 22nd, 2016

By Chris Lose

In science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke’s famed “Three Laws,” written in Profiles of the Future, a book-length collection of essays that was first published in 1962, the third law stated: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

He must have foreseen today’s dizzying array of live event gear advancements, because the lighting rigs that I have been working on as of late have been reinforcing this law on a daily basis. We have entered the days of fully immersive lighting environments, 200-plus universe rigs, wireless DMX, instant downloads and truss spots that aren’t on the truss. We have clearly taken the red pill and fallen down the rabbit hole of technology. Like Neo, we need to embrace this world and prepare for the next level.

Here are four tips to making yourself at home in today’s lighting design matrix.

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Tech Topic: Spinning in Circles

Posted on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

By Brad Schiller

The automated lighting industry has seen a new trend in lighting products over the last few years. We now have many creative LED products that are making use of continuous rotation of pan and tilt. This type of movement opens up some exciting new possibilities and designers are placing the fixtures all over their plots. The technology to endlessly rotate fixtures is not new, and in fact was used quite some time ago with standard discharge fixtures. However, the concept never really took off until it was applied to an LED panel. Now programmers and designers have many different tools that take advantage of continuously rotating pan and tilt.

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“Dear Mr. LD:” A Spotlight Operator Pens an Open Memo to Lighting Designers

Posted on Friday, June 10th, 2016

1-That's me in the cornerby Bob Ursdevenicz

To: All Lighting Designers
From: Your local spotlight operator
Re: Calling the spotlights at a large arena show

Hi, I’m your local spotlight operator. You might not know my name, but I’d like to request that you please don’t use profane language if things don’t go exactly as planned during your performance. We try our best, honest. We want to make your act shine. So I’d like to take a minute to explain a few things from our side of the intercom line if you got a sec.

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