Tech Topics

Tech Topic: Perfect Patching

Posted on Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

By Brad Schiller

Automated lighting consoles are full of features, many of which rarely get used. However there is one feature that is required for every single show: patching. A patch is a set of instructions that assign specific controls on the desk to fixtures and their attributes in the real world. Without a patch, no communication between the console and devices can take place. It is vital for lighting programmers to understand how to patch their console and how to use the various options within the patch window. While some of the terminology may change from desk to desk, the basic procedures remain the same regardless of the console.

Read the full article at: http://www.plsn.com/current-issue/42-feeding-the-machines/16599-perfect-patching.html

 

Tech Topic: The Art of Lighting Chrome and Brushed Metal

Posted on Monday, June 1st, 2015

Written by Mike Mahoney

I am blessed to work with some of the greatest scenic designers on the planet. They seem to have endless veins of creativity and come from all sorts of backgrounds and educations. However, it never ceases to amaze me how often they design with the most impractical scenic elements. Well, at least from this lighting designer’s point of view.

One example of this is the design team for Titleist Golf. I have been designing their trade show booths for a decade. I have come to learn that they want a certain look and they will stick with it, come hell or high water. Titleist is the largest manufacturer of golf balls worldwide. As an avid golfer, I jumped at the chance when approached to light their booth.

Read the full article at: http://www.plsn.com/current-issue/35-ld-at-large/16366-the-art-of-lighting-chrome-and-brushed-metal.html

 

Tech Topic: Lighting Network Basics

Posted on Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Written by: Brad Schiller

Automated lighting programmers are constantly using new equipment and setup configurations. It is very important for programmers to understand how networking has become an integral part of many systems. While a full understanding of computer networking concepts, equipment, and topographies is not required, there are some basic networking principles that you need to be familiar with. The number of lighting devices connected together with wired or wireless networking equipment is growing on a daily basis, but the general purposes can be broken down into three unique situations. However, before exploring these categories, you must understand some basics of networking.

Read the full article at: http://www.plsn.com/current-issue/42-feeding-the-machines/16036-lighting-network-basics.html

 

Crossfading Industry Scenes

Posted on Friday, March 20th, 2015

Written by: Jess Baker

Whether you’re staring at the same walls deciding if you are going to leave that full time job to go on tour, or sitting in the back lounge of a bus trying to figure out how to “come off the road” and still support your family, making the decision to take that huge leap of faith can leave even the most confident person full of conflict.

In the late 1990s, I was an industry fledgling, working in a lighting shop. Some of the best “road-crew” of that time would prep their tours there. With their ability to load 12 trucks into a venue in a single day and their stories of adventure in exotic lands, I thought they had the coolest job in the world. Going on tour became my first clear career goal. When the higher-ups finally gave in to my nagging and sent me on my first tour, I was barely old enough to drink, had recently finished college, and was ready to see the world.

Read the full article at: http://www.plsn.com/current-issue/35-ld-at-large/15764-crossfading-industry-scenes.html

 

Tech Topic: Blinded By the Light

Posted on Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Written by: Brad Schiller

Programming automated lighting requires much more than just pressing buttons on a console. A good understanding of the lighting fixtures and their capabilities is equally as important. In addition, the consideration of the effects of the lighting programming must be considered and evaluated during the programming sessions. The positions of the lights, the actions of the fixture parameters, and environmental conditions all can have an effect on your programming.

Read the full article at: http://www.plsn.com/current-issue/42-feeding-the-machines/15185-blinded-by-the-light.html

 

Tech Topic: The Good Ol’ Disco Days

Posted on Friday, October 17th, 2014

By Brad Schiller

I have been programming automated lighting since the late 1980s and have seen many things change and grow. However, most of today’s programming has its roots in a time even before I started programming. The disco era of the 1970s and 1980s was filled with many different types of fixtures and control. Automated lighting desks did not exist, yet complex lighting sequences had to be produced and recalled. Lighting designer Marsha Stern was lucky enough to have been a pioneer at the time, controlling lighting in some of the New York City’s most iconic discos. I sat down with her to better understand the tools available at the time and their influences on today’s automated lighting concepts.

Read the full article here: http://www.plsn.com/current-issue/42-feeding-the-machines/14451-the-good-ol-disco-days.html

 

Which Luminaire Are You?

Posted on Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Have you ever wondered if you were suddenly converted into a luminaire, which one would you be? Would you be a Robe? Chauvet Professional? Maybe you’re a Harman’s Martin Professional or Elation Professional. Come to think of it, perhaps a GLP or Philips Vari-Lite? Still no? Then you must be either a High End Systems or a Clay Paky.

Take the quiz to find out! Don’t forget to share with your friends, family, and, of course, fellow industry professionals! From lighting designers to technical directors to riggers, all manner of entertainment professionals can appreciate this quiz with a little laugh. Have fun!

http://livedesignonline.com/lighting/which-luminaire-are-you

Have you ever wondered if you were suddenly converted into a luminaire, which one would you be? Would you be a Robe? Chauvet Professional? Maybe you’re a Harman’s Martin Professional or Elation Professional. Come to think of it, perhaps a GLP or Philips Vari-Lite? Still no? Then you must be either a High End Systems or a Clay Paky.
Take the quiz to find out! Don’t forget to share with your friends, family, and, of course, fellow industry professionals! From lighting designers to technical directors to riggers, all manner of entertainment professionals can appreciate this quiz with a little laugh. Have fun!