Tiësto puts ArKaos and Martin LC panels to the test

Posted on Friday, March 26th, 2010


One of one of the worlds most important electronic music acts, Hollands DJ/producer Tiësto bought his Kaleidoscope production to Australia in January and February taking in concert shows in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.

The Kaleidoscope World Tour is produced by Unlimited Productions BV, a young company based in Tiësto’s native Netherlands, with the visual content designed by Moment Factory, Montreal.
Phaseshift Productions supplied the lighting and crew for the Australian tour with the largest production held at Melbourne’s Hisense Arena. A massive fifty-eight Martin LC Panels, totaling 116m², were the main visual element in the show. Comprising of a main screen and some side hangs, the LC Panels displayed visuals that had been specifically designed for them by Tiësto’s lighting designer. Whilst Phaseshift supplied the majority if the LC Panels extra Panels were sourced from Careillie, Entertainment Installations, and Resolution X.

”The LD actually had three different renders of all the visuals to use depending on what size venue they were playing,” explained Simon Aitken. Phaseshift’s Lighting Production Manager on the tour. “It was important that visuals didn’t get squashed and kept their aspect ratio. The images were all custom images with many controlled by Tiësto on stage so that he was mixing visuals as well as audio.”

ArKaos MediaMaster was chosen as the show’s media server because, as a DJ, Tiësto has no set list: every show is therefore different and may contain a number of new songs which he has never played before. MediaMaster proved to be the perfect solution as it can run pre-programmed content while still allowing live interaction with the music and the songs when needed.
Koen De Puysseleir, Light and Set Designer for Unlimited Productions explains: “We had several challenges for this Kaleidoscope Tour; of course we needed a media server system that is 100% reliable and really interactive, but it also had to be compact enough in order for us to bring it with us on any commercial flight as the distances between most of the shows are too big for shipping equipment with trucks.

”The entire video control setup for the tour fits in my hand luggage in the plane. Not bad for two professional and reliable media servers plus controlling!”
All cuts and mapping of the visuals were done within the content itself. One MacBook Pro, running MediaMaster, plays the content in its native resolution as one single image which is sized to the 6m-high screens through a Folsom ImagePRO scan converter.

The second MacBook Pro triggers visuals on the DJ booth, making extensive use of MediaMaster’s built-in ability to scale and rotate visual layers, to add even more interactivity to the show.

“We’ve been pushing MediaMaster almost to its boundaries by running HD content on different layers while using ActionScript3 audio-generated content through a plug-in we wrote and some custom effects for use with the software’s live camera input,” continues Koen.

“Working with Alpha Channels and the impressive audio-generated content that reacts exactly with the music is a real improvement to our show. The real-time effects give some very dynamic and exciting new ways to play back live cameras on the screens.”

“But most important, MediaMaster is rock stable; at this point we have done many shows and it has never failed on us.”

Martin MACs supplied the main bulk of the lighting with twenty Martin MAC700 washes on a main circular truss, twenty-six MAC700 spots were over the audience with a further thirty-eight MAC700 spots rigged on the back truss on the floor symmetrically. Sixteen MAC250 washes with beam kits were used on the quarter-circle trusses with twenty-four Martin Atomics with scrollers on vertical pipes between the screen sections.

”They mixed the lighting with the visuals amazingly,” said Simon. “It was great to see a dance party where the lights didn’t move! It was all about intensity not movement.”

Crew in Melbourne – Simon Aitken, Jeremy Nolan, Matt Downs, Andrew Killengray, Lachlan Sinclair, Rohan Wilson, Michael Corbett.