Michael Buble tours Australia with HES DL.2s

Posted on Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

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He’s got “The World on a String” and DL.2s in his rig. “That’s Life” on the road for Michael Buble, who is selling out venues with his repertoire of Rat Pack-styled song standards.

LD Kurt Wagner chose 14 High End Systems DL.2 digital light fixtures as the visual centerpiece of his show design. Christie Lites’ Ian Gordon first recommended that he take a look at the digital light fixtures. After seeing them on The Tragically Hip tour, Wagner was sold. “LD Brent Clark’s approach was a bit different in how he used them, but I was impressed with what I saw,” Wagner says.

With DL.2s, supplied by Christie Lites, Wagner is easily customizing each Michael Buble show to the cities they’re playing by featuring video footage of local landmarks. So it’s not just the songs — “Mack the Knife,” “Call Me Irresponsible” and “The Best is Yet to Come” — that are making audiences stand up and cheer.

The DL.2 is an automated luminaire with an onboard media server, which allows for still or video projections through this one fixture. It’s controlled like a regular moving lighting using a DMX console.

“I get my video director Kevin Carswell to go out and shoot local footage every day,” Wagner explains. “We have a basic formula of shots that I’m looking for. It has worked out well. I’ve never done this before with other video equipment, so I have no comparison.”

The DL.2s are positioned on the third truss line, roughly 10 feet from the downstage edge. “I wasn’t planning for the DL.2s to be the centerpiece, but as I found my feet with them and pushed them more they became a strong part of the show. My goal was also to use them as a lighting instrument as well as a video unit,” Wagner says.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with the DL.2s. it has been a large learning curve with the fact that the fixtures can do so much. I’m always finding new things I can do with them. The best way to sum them up for myself is that I approach the DL.2s as a moving light that does video. Not the other way around. My lighting rig is not huge and I try to get the most out of every fixture I have.”

Joining him on the lighting crew is Dan Cassar, programmer and board op.

Tthe rig also includes extensive soft LED (4 custom lighting borders and 7 panels 24′ x 8′ on the upstage spinner truss), plus 50 moving lights (Martin 2Ks + Mac Performances). There is also a mixture of analog with the main light being a smaller blinder called a 20 lite. Consoles are grandMA’s and operating system for all the LED is a system called Vixen. The truss system is a custom swing wing truss.

Kurt will be conductinfg an ALIA tour of the lighting in Perth on June 15th.