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Archive for April, 2015

RES brings technical solutions for Siemens at World Expo Milan

29th April, 2015

Italy – Creative technology expert Realtime Environment Systems Ltd (RES) has completed an 18-month project, working in collaboration with media agency Innovision and content creators Immersive, to design, install and pixel map 1000s of LEDs for two of four giant metal LED sculptures created for Expo Milano 2015.

Situated in the heart of the Expo, in the Piazza Italia sponsored by Siemens, the four 10 metre-high shimmering tree-like sculptures anchor the four corners of the central square.

Conceived by Polish-American artist and architect Daniel Libeskind, each structure’s dynamic form spirals out of the ground and spreads into two branches spanning 10 metres above the square. Crafted from brushed aluminium and fitted with a grid of innovative LED technology, the sculptures’ ‘Wings’ animate the public space with a constant flow of pulsating patterns and imagery that relate to the theme of the Expo: health, energy, sustainability and technology.

Visually stunning, these pieces demanded some considerable technological and creative expertise to deliver. RES worked alongside London content company Immersive and its end client Innovision to ensure that the content for the LED display could be technically delivered to the surfaces without issue and there were a number of factors they had to consider.

“Together with Innovision and PAI Group we researched a plethora of architectural plans to determine how high we could push the resolution of each surface before we ran into heat and cabling issue. In the end we achieved a very fine balance between ensuring the images could be seen, at the distances we wanted, but also that the installation would not overheat in the hot Italian sun,” explains Mark Calvert, managing director of RES.

With an agreed resolution of 40mm the next challenge was to find a powerful media server that would fit in the small base of each sculpture: “It was key for us to create a system that was small enough to fit into a cabinet at the foot of each sculpture. In the end we worked in close collaboration with JB Toby from Avolites in London and based on combined R&D we developed a system called the ‘M2’,” Calvert explains. “The M2 is actually so small that a powerful 2 HDMI Output media server system can fit in the palm of my hand!”

Not only is the M2 the best possible interface between the creative content and the LED product but Ai is also ideal for a number of other reasons: “One of the key motives for choosing Avolites Ai for this project, and indeed many others, is because of its capacity for 3D pre-visualisation. It basically allows us to show clients and our creative partners how the content will look in the context of its environment before that environment even exists. For Siemens this was ideal, as they could see how the content would work in the Libeskind sculptures without having to make expensive 3D renders of them.”

RES also created media templates for each of the two sculptures, which gave Immersive’s animators a shape foundation for all the content. “We then pixel mapped the 1000s of LEDs from the Ai server with the content produced, which will now play back a 5-minute AV content loop. The result is stunning animated digital graphics that welcome visitors to the Expo day and night.”

Phil Mayer was Lead Ai Technician for the project, with support from Ben Stern and Annalisa Terranova working for RES Ltd. Phil recalls: “We used the Ai Server’s flexible built-in timecode functionality to provide frame-accurate synchronised playback of media across the servers in each sculpture. We were then able to remotely adjust the playback schedule throughout the six-month duration of the installation, to take into account changing lighting conditions on site.”

John Munro, Creative Director at Immersive, comments: “Immersive always chooses Ai, when working in permanent or temporary installations. Its flexibility and rock solid stability is second to none. On this particular project it excelled at client pre-visualisations all the way to last minute, on-site timeline edits.”

Twenty-million people are expected to visit Expo 2015 in Milan, which takes place between 1 May and 31 October 2015.

Tom Campbell upgrades his Avolites Tiger Touch II to V9 for Karnivool

27th April, 2015

UK – Lighting designer Tom Campbell is using an Avolites Tiger Touch II for the entire run of Australian progressive rock band Karnivool’s European tour – and has recently upgraded to the new operating system Titan V9.

Karnivool has played dates in countries across Europe, including France, The Netherlands, Germany and the UK. Campbell has been controlling a large rig for much of the tour. At one of the major UK shows at London’s Roundhouse, this included a mixture of Robe MMX spots, Robe 600LED wash and 100LED beams, Showline NITRO 510 strobes.

“The new features of V9 are great – Key Frame Shapes is an extremely powerful new addition to Titan,” says Campbell. “It adds a new dimension to the show, even the band noticed and mentioned how it looked cool in soundcheck. I used this to run some original looking dimmer effects over 42 asymmetrically rigged 60-watt squirrel cages and 1k oversized light bulbs, and achieved a really cool ‘radar’ effect. I’m also loving the updated cue stacking/tracking features.”

Key Frame Shapes allows the designer to create spectacular effects from scratch. Using palettes or the programmer to define the frames, and powerful tools such as transition curves, phase and spatial direction, it is possible to create radically different looks for each channel in seconds.

Avolites’ new Titan V9 also features Align, to effortlessly copy values from existing fixtures to new fixture groups, either in a recurring pattern or a smooth fade. RGBW and ARGB colour mixing and Pixel Mapping has been added to get maximum punch and more accurate colours from your LED fixtures, thanks to new, four-channel pixel mapping and colour mixing. New Theatrical Functions in Titan now support MIDI Show Control, with many more useful options.

Campbell owns his own Tiger Touch II, and uses it on the majority of his shows, only upgrading to an Avolites Sapphire Touch for bigger venues.

“I love the Tiger Touch II for its quick transition from patching fixtures to having a finished show,” he adds.

The tour is an amalgamation of Karnivool’s first three albums and the lighting concept follows this, with big strong white/tungsten rock looks for album one, ‘Themata’; darker looks with the only movement coming from Key Frame shapes around prism rotation speed palettes for album two, ‘Sound Awake’; and to close the show big asymmetrical looks for the band’s latest album, ‘Asymmetry’.

Karnivool’s tour moves into Australia during May.

Catfish & the Bottlemen land a great show with Avolites’ Tiger Touch II

20th April, 2015

UK – Welsh Indie rock band Catfish & The Bottlemen recently played two sold out shows at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire to finish a successful run of shows around the UK. LD Scott Galloway provided the sparkle for the tour using an Avolites Tiger Touch II.

Galloway created a “compact but punchy” show using a package from Nitelites, including 6 Chauvet Slimpar Pro’s, 4 Martin Atomics, 8 2-cell blinders, and 8 Clay Paky Sharpys.

Though he has toured with Avolites consoles since 2012, this was Galloway’s first show using the Tiger Touch II. He had to be creative with his show design as he was limited on colours. “When I came onboard the band requested I only use red as a stage wash, which can make it difficult creating separate looks for every song,” he explains.

“It can be really interesting to see what you can do when you’re limited to using just one colour,” Galloway continues. “The band have a massive sound and are so energetic on stage that I just wanted to be able to mimic that with the show. The crowd love to sing along at these shows and the band love to hear them, so there’s a lot of crowd blinder moments.”

Describing his experience with the console, Galloway commented: “The Tiger Touch II is great. With 4 DMX outputs & 20 playback faders, it takes up so little room at FOH and in the trailer. Everything is where I need it during the gig as this show is split 50/50 pre-programmed and live busking.”

Galloway used Titan V8 for the show, and was impressed at the usability of the interface: “When you are pushed for time and adding house rigs into your show every day, things can get messy quickly. I had no such issues with Titan – I just love how fast and simple the interface is. Avolites was always going to be my choice.”

Catfish & The Bottlemen will be back in the UK for a busy summer festival run before closing out the year with two nights at O2 Academy Brixton in November.

Showline delivers punchy looks on The Stranglers

10th April, 2015

Lighting designer James Reed has chosen to use an array of the latest addition to the Showline eSERIES, the SL eSTRIP 10, for punk rock legends The Stranglers’ ‘March On’ UK tour.

Reed has been show designer for the band’s previous two tours, which were centered on video. For this run, he went for a more light-based show, specifying 14 of the SL eSTRIP 10 units from leading Bristol-based rental operation Enlightened Lighting.

“The overall concept was to take a very modern approach to the lighting, whilst maintaining the requisite menace and quirks that span the punk, new romantic and even pop genres,” says Reed. “When it came to choosing fixtures Andrew Bartlett at Enlightened invited me to check out the SL eSTRIP 10 and I was sold just from looking at one unit washing a white wall in daylight.”

Reed focused the design on a black camo net backdrop to reflect the band’s signature color as well as the military ‘March On’ tour concept. Fixture placement was also as regimented and even as possible with eight of the Showline luminaires on sub truss behind the net, and six under the three risers backlighting the front edge.

“We wanted big symmetrical looks that could be broken down into constituent parts either by rigging position or lamp type,” continues Reed. “I ran the SL eSTRIP 10s in 1-pixel mode and at 8-bit. For four channels per unit that’s a lot of punch! There’s also great color consistency across the units.

“In fact, one feature I particularly enjoyed for this type of show (where I programmed by fixture attributes and Roger Butler the Operating LD busked intensity and cueing live) is they seemed to recall the last color value they were given, which was a real advantage in a hectic live environment. Not to mention they’re easy to rig and cable and are fast to program.”

The Stranglers are set to have a busy festival season this summer before embarking on a European tour in the autumn.

Philips launches plethora of new products at Prolight + Sound 2015

10th April, 2015

Philips’ entertainment lighting brands Vari-Lite, Selecon and Strand, alongside product range Showline, will be unveiling a broad portfolio of exciting new creative tools for lighting designers at Prolight + Sound this month.

Following the success of the award-winning Vari-Lite VL4000 Spot comes the brand new VL4000 BeamWash, a luminaire that combines stunning wash capabilities with intense beam functionality and the ability to produce a powerful column of light.

Visitors will be able to see the VL4000 BeamWash in glorious action at the dedicated Vari-Lite booth, in Hall 11, Stand D71, situated close to and operated by valued Philips distributor Lightpower.

“We’re very much looking forward to showing off the brand new VL4000 BeamWash and the proven VL4000 Spot. These products are two of the highlights at the Lightpower village during this year’s Prolight + Sound,” says Lightpower Sales Director Herbert Marx. “Vari-Lite is a brand known for its reliability and excellent quality products. We’re certain that this legacy will continue with both the VL4000 Spot and the brand new VL4000 BeamWash and we’re looking forward to supplying our customers with another Vari-Lite masterpiece.”

The Philips team will also be supporting partner companies Feiner Lichttechnik and Cast, both of which will be exhibiting in Hall 9 on stand numbers D38 and E71 respectively.

Cast will host the launch of three brand new Showline products: the SL PUNCHLITE 200, the SL STRIP 10IP and the SL BEAM 300fx.

The IP65 rated, decidedly flexible, high output SL PUNCHLITE 200 delivers a powerful, blended beam and features an impressive motorized zoom range of 8°-47°enabling designers to pinpoint performers with a narrow shaft of light or flood a wide area with a powerful color wash.

The SL STRIP 10IP – also rated for outdoor entertainment applications – delivers strong, blended washes of color that emulate the traditional halogen strip light effects.

Both the SL PUNCHLITE 200 and the SL BEAM 300fx work as a beam or a wash luminaire, however the SL BEAM 300 FX’s dual rotating front lens and effects wheel offers designers a myriad of different looks.

Last but not least both Cast and Feiner Licttechnik will demonstrate the brand new Philips Strand Lighting 500ML Lighting Control Console. “We’re delighted to have Philips’ entertainment brands and product lines on our stand,” comments Gerhard Feiner, managing director of Feiner Licttechnik.  “We’ve been partners for Showline since the beginning of 2015 and are expecting huge customer interest in the whole Philips entertainment range. We’re proud to be presenting a proven range of Showline products as well as the brand new Strand Lighting 500ML, an intuitive to use console that is tailored for use on small to medium sized shows.”

“We’re extremely excited to have such a wide reach at this year’s Frankfurt Prolight + Sound,” continues Philips General Manager Grant Bales-Smith. “There’s a real buzz around all of Philips’ entertainment brands’ new products and we’re very much looking forward to joining our partners in showing off their best features to our customers and end users.”

Prolight + Sound 2015 takes place at the Messe in Frankfurt between the 15 and 18 of April.

XLNT launches brand new CyberHoist II system at ProLight+Sound

10th April, 2015

XLNT Advanced Technologies is launching the brand new CyberHoist II™ system at ProLight+Sound, Frankfurt in Hall 9.0, booth E88.

CyberHoist II is the 2nd generation of world’s first intelligent, variable speed chain hoist specifically designed for heavy-duty, worldwide touring and large-scale events. The system has already proven to be an instant hit with safety conscious professionals across the world.

Designed and manufactured by entertainment motion control systems expert XLNT, CyberHoist II has – right after its release – been ordered by customers in Europe (Germany, Belgium, Finland, Georgia and The Netherlands) and Asia (Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Israel and Kazakhstan), with first performances on projects varying from Linkin Park’s critically acclaimed dynamic set for the band’s European tour to the recent KinKi Kids arena shows in Japan, to name but a few.

Designed with safety as a priority, CyberHoist II embraces SIL 3 (Safety Integrity Level 3) compliant technology, controlled by CyberMotion’s MotionCue3D™ Performance Console and is compliant with applicable international safety standards and codes of practice (EN61508 – Sil3, DIN56950, BS, FEM). It includes all top-notch options, such as dual channel load cell and bi-channel high-speed communication including actual load and status information from hoists and programmed objects to the operator.

“We believe this is the first premium quality performing SIL 3 compliant chain hoist to be manufactured in the world, and is even competitively priced,” says Marc van der Wel, XLNT’s Director of Sales and Marketing.

“We specifically developed it to meet the unique needs of the entertainment industry, where quiet, smooth, fast and safe functionality is a top priority. In addition, a CyberHoist II system is very fast and intuitive to program. It has a particularly short set-up and tear-down time making it both time and cost efficient on a busy and demanding touring production.”

The CyberHoist II compact, all-in-one design fully incorporates the drive and motion controller and facilitates absolute positioning (with 0.1 mm accuracy), which enables everything from basic repetitive positioning through to complex 2D and 3D movements.

“Busy touring professionals will be delighted to know that CyberHoist II is also multi-voltage for global use (200-440V – 50/60 Hz),” continues Marc. “It features an elevated duty cycle (60%!!), which expedites easy fast lifting of medium to heavy loads and the system includes a network controlled E-stop and Dead Man’s Handle.”

Absolute positioning and unique object-oriented programming, using multiple actuators and objects, can be achieved with the MotionCue3D™ operating consoles. Furthermore, the dedicated C-Power™ power distribution and e-stop units add to the system.

“We’re really looking forward to demonstrating the CyberHoist II to the touring and installation professionals visiting Frankfurt for ProLight+Sound 2015,” says Marc. “We think they will be impressed with its impeccable safety credentials and super quiet precision operation that our team will show them, which will allow them to get on with creating no compromise, dynamic designs.”

XLNT Advanced Technologies and CyberHoist Germany will be on booth E88 in Hall 9.0 at ProLight+Sound, Frankfurt, from 15 to 18 April 2015.


Ai “can’t be beat” for Quince Imaging on Market America World Conference

10th April, 2015

Market America touched down in Miami’s American Airlines Arena for their World Conference, with Quince Imaging specifying Avolites’ Ai media server for the event’s video needs.

For this show Eric Gazzillo, Display Designer for Quince Imaging, used two Ai Miami software licences, running version 8 on custom built hardware. As Gazzillo recalls: “I’ve had my eye on Avolites for some time, and having done this particular event several times in the past, I knew it would be a perfect fit right away.

“This show, produced by Ashley Events, is not your typical corporate event. There are just so many different needs for the show that we’ve had to use just about every playback technology under the sun. The technical complexity of the screen layout really calls for a media server, but because the constant flexibility of this show we’ve had trouble in the past just finding the programming time to incorporate them. That’s were Ai came in. The GUI is just so fast and intuitive, I was never slowed down by the lighting console or timeline based programming.”

This was the first show that Gazzillo had used Ai on, and was astounded at the speed at which he was able to get to grips with the software. “The learning curve is much more manageable than other servers I’ve used,” he says. “Because my schedule was so compressed, I never was able to find the time for formal training. Without training, I had some reservations going into the show, but programming and performance ended up being flawless.”

After a little time to familiarise himself with the complexities of the Ai software, Gazzillo notes: “I’m still getting into the system as a whole, but the more I test, the more I love the ease of programming. I’ve programmed quite a few different servers, but I’ve never been able to fall right into using the advanced features quite so quickly.”

Quince used Ai, alongside 10x Barco HD20 projectors, to project onto a 4K canvas which served as motion backgrounds throughout the 3-day show. In addition to this 130′ x 38′ projection surface, there were a number of 42″ scenic monitors, and flexible LED products embedded into the upstage scenic elements.

Having worked with Ashely Events and this client before, the team at Quince were aware going into the job that the scenery would need to be very video centric. “In the past, we’ve run all these elements individually just to help keep the media server programming time more manageable,” notes Gazzillo.

“This time around we were able to run everything off of a single Ai with ease. Not only did this help with the technical aspects, but it also helped with aesthetics. There are a number of musical performances to help break up the business aspects of the show, and having all graphic content linked to a single device helped create a more unified look.”

In completing this particular job, Gazzillo was especially impressed by the preview functionalities of the system. “Having the ability not only to preview the entire show in 3D space, but also have the ability to use the system patch to create separate preview windows was a big help. Not only was it useful, it functioned better than I would have imagined. I’ve been testing the system with up to 8K content, and the 3D preview renders flawlessly, while still being responsive as I pan/tilt around the model.”

Gazzillo’s choice of media server was made after careful consideration of capabilities, practicality and accessibility. “I’ve really appreciated the ability to purchase software only licenses,” he says. “Not only does this give us more options when configuring the system, but it also gives us a lot of bang for our buck.

“As media servers become more and more critical to shows, the prices only seem to skyrocket faster and faster,” Gazzillo continues. “As a mid-sized engineering firm, I’ve been really crunching the numbers, and as a price-per output, the Ai Miami license can’t be beat!”


Avolites’ Sapphire Touch delivers hands-on control for Frank Turner

10th April, 2015

This month, the Teenage Cancer Trust marked the 15th anniversary of their annual concert series at London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall, where the world’s biggest names in music and comedy come together to raise money to help young people facing cancer. Closing out this year’s event, Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls headlined at the venue, with LD Shaun Moore trusting the Avolites Sapphire Touch for the occasion.

Moore, of North-East based rental company Nitelites, has been working with Turner for five years. He designed a lively and dynamic show reminiscent of the band’s recent UK tour. He used the full house rig, plus additional PRG provided floor cans for drums and keys, which provided some stunning low level key light, matching the front line.

Having operated their consoles since he started lighting, Moore has used Avolites for his entire career to date. “I followed in my family’s footsteps as a young lad,” he says, “and I’ve never looked back!”

Moore chose the Sapphire Touch for this show due to the mix of fixture types and because the show was being filmed. “I needed to have a lot of hands-on control, and my fixture group masters on the console,” he notes. The console was running the latest Titan Version 9.

“It’s very different from V8,” he notes, “but it has a lot more. I found it great! Titan is much more powerful than the Pearl 2000 I first programmed, but it retains the same feel, and the interface is familiar.”

Moore also had a second Sapphire Touch networked via Multiuser, a feature he considers “great, easy to set up and flip flop between.”

Nitelites is rich in Avolites gear, stocking a range of lighting, dimming and networking products, which they use on a range of shows, including Ben Howard and Catfish and the Bottlemen. “Hopefully very soon we’ll add the Arena to our collection,” says Moore.

“I will continue to use Avo day to day and on every show I am LD for,” he continues. “Avo’s support has always been first class, it feels like I’m part of the family!”


Avolites soon to appear on How2Media’s ‘World’s Greatest!…” on US TV!

10th April, 2015

Avolites Ltd. will appear on the popular US TV series “World’s Greatest!…” next week after having been recently selected and filmed to appear on the show by its creators, How2Media.

Avolites, which works with New York-based Group One as its exclusive US distribution partner for lighting, was chosen for she show thanks to its innovative Titan and Ai range of lighting and video control products, enabling their users to create stunning displays in a range of applications, such as concerts & touring, theatre, temporary & permanent installations, nightclubs, and houses of worship. With Avolites, lighting and video professionals can be assured that they have the latest and greatest technology, along with unmatched support.

“Avolites was a true pioneer in the field of portable lighting control systems, founded in 1978 and soon providing to the likes of the Rolling Stones, Rush, and Queen. The Avolites ‘Titan’ operating system is now the world’s favourite lighting control interface with more than 300,000 specialist users, and Avolites ‘Ai’ video control interface produced the world’s largest landscape video surface at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and the world’s largest hologram effect in Madison Square Garden in 2014,” says Gordon Freeman, Executive Producer of the show. “That’s what leaders do: they innovate, they grow, and they lead. Avolites has a wonderful and interesting history, and we think their story will be meaningful to our viewers.”

As part of the show, How2Media sent a film crew to spend time at Avolites’ facilities in London, England, to discover the story behind this great and growing company, and to show the “World’s Greatest!…” viewers why Avolites Ltd. was selected as the best in their category, and feature on the show.

“It’s a pleasure and an honour to be selected by World’s Greatest!…” says Steve Warren, Managing Director of Avolites. “We see Avolites as innovating and leading the way with powerful and accessible solutions for lighting, dimming and media control.

“Avolites has evolved to offer cutting edge technologies in the swift and intuitive Titan and Ai software packages, within a diverse range of equipment of the very best quality and design. We’re excited to share our illustrious story and our innovations with the show’s diverse audience.”

Please check your local listings for ‘World’s Greatest!…’ or visit How2Media’s schedule page ( to see upcoming episode information.

About “World’s Greatest!…

“World’s Greatest!…” is a thirty minute show dedicated to highlighting the world’s greatest companies, products, places, and people. Each show is a fast paced tour around the world featuring behind the scenes footage, informative interviews, and exciting visuals.

How2Media is a 21st Century television production company. Their award winning programming can be seen on national cable channels and local network affiliates across the country. For more information on How2Media and their show line-up, visit

Avolites consoles and Fader Wing are a Titan solution for Gary Numan

10th April, 2015

Gary Numan recently returned to London for an emphatic show at London’s Royal Festival Hall, with lighting designer Luke Edwards running lights from a Tiger Touch II and Wing, and using a Quartz networked in Multiuser for backup.

New Wave legend Numan, formerly of Tubeway Army, played in front of a crowded hall of loyal devotees, with Edwards contributing to the electric atmosphere with an industrial themed lighting show that perfectly matched Numan’s catalogue of hits.

The show used a Robe lighting rig, supplied by TSL, which included five of their new BMFL fixtures, as well as twelve Pointes and eight 600 LED washes.

For this show, Edwards decided to extend the control surface of his Tiger Touch II with Multiuser, utilising a Tiger Touch Fader Wing and Quartz for the first time. “I was really impressed by something so small offering so much as it runs the complete Titan software,” he says of the Quartz.

Edwards is a lighting designer of 10 years, having made his first steps into the industry via a warehouse job as a teenager. Having now used Avolites for almost two years, he is also known for his work with acts such as Crystal Fighters, which he also operates on his very own Tiger Touch II. He cites Titan’s ability to “let me do really complicated stuff, but also to create a hugely impressive show in a short time, when I’m on a deadline,” as one of the reasons he consistently uses Avolites.

“It’s a lot about the ease of use of Titan, combined with its great functionality,” says Edwards. “People mistakenly think you can’t do things like linking chases to cues on Titan. It actually has lots excellent features that put it right up there.

“To have a console the size of the Tiger Touch II offer 20 faders, 10 buttons and a big screen, and still be small enough to fly as regular luggage is fantastic. It’s always nice to take a console rather than a PC based solution on tour.”

Edwards was pleased to have access to more faders for added control over the show. “Multiuser was awesome,” he explains, “and I was able to use the Quartz as a fader wing as well. I can definitely see myself buying a Quartz – I’m considering the possibilities of having a completely cue stacked show. I’d never need any other desk!”

Edwards adds that the amazing show would not have been possible without his hard working crew: Ryan Nixon and Iain Wood and the ongoing support from Avolites.

Gary Numan commented that Luke’s lighting “looked amazing, a great design” and praised him for his “hard work and attitude throughout the day,” stressing that he ‘killed it’.


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