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Archive for January, 2017

Avolites delivers integrated control system for Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2016

31st January, 2017

The Junior Eurovision Song Contest (JESC), the youth version of the international televised music competition, took place at the end of 2016, with lighting designer Anton Borg Olivier designing a fully networked Avolites control and dimming system to power broadcast-ready stage and green room lighting.


Hosted by Malta in the capital city of Valetta, JESC ’16 reported a total live average audience of 3.9 million viewers across 14 markets; the biggest audience for four years. With viewing figures this size, Anton relied on Avolites’ advanced Timecode functionality to ensure creative director Ismael Portelli’s multi-layered show went off without a hitch.

“Avolites Titan version 10 software makes running a timecoded show very easy,” he explains. “Since all songs are given a different start time, all I had to do was choose the page of required playback faders and the desk did the rest. I could also turn Timecode off when necessary by simply hitting a button. The software is highly intuitive for ease of programming and offers a wealth of powerful features, which I have quickly become familiar with. I particularly like Pixel Mapper and Key Frame Shapes to create complex and effective looks.”


Anton’s impressive networked Avolites system for the main stage included 2 x Sapphire Touch consoles (one as backup), 2 x Sapphire Touch Wing, 2 x Titan Network Processors and 2 x Titan Network Switches supplied by Nexos Lighting and Vision of Malta (through UK-based HSL Group).


“We were able to effectively network the Avolites equipment for an integrated control set up,” continues Anton. “This gave us the redundancy we needed and the ability to run the desks in multiuser modes, which allowed both myself and Ismael to operate. The Sapphire Touch was chosen as the main control surface as it offers motorized faders and a large workspace area meaning we could lay everything out for easy access.”


Also in the mix were 5 x ART2000 T4 48 dimmer packs and Avolites Rack Mounted DMX splitters, supplied by Italy-based AGORA as part of the main stage lighting package.


“Avolites dimmer packs are my preferred dimming system – they set the industry standard and are robust yet versatile,” Anton explains.


To power the lighting in the glamorous ‘green room’ area, which featured a main catwalk with islands for each artist and their delegations, Anton selected an Avolites Arena console plus backup Tiger Touch II, Titan Network Processor, an ART2000 T4 48 dimmer pack and DMX Splitters.


“Like the Sapphire Touch, the Arena is fast, intuitive and offers seamless multi-user functionality and a larger control surface; I really like the extra playback faders,” says Anton. “Avolites not only offers great products but fantastic support – Pete Budd flew down to provide technical assistance and was an invaluable member of the JESC’16 lighting team.”


The 14th edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest took place in November 2016. Seventeen countries took part, with Mariam Mamadashvili of Georgia coming out on top with her song Mzeo. The victory set a record, with Georgia having now won Junior Eurovision more times than any other country.

Avolites powers complex visuals for Ras Al Khaimah’s National Celebration Day

26th January, 2017

An impressive 18 million pixels of custom video and graphics content was powered by three Avolites Ai T Series media servers during Emirati star-studded stage event ‘FakhrakYaWatan’ (‘The Pride of the Nation’) as part of Emirate Ras Al Khaimah’s ‘National Celebration Day’ festivities.


The show was the result of three years of meticulous planning between Ras Al Khaimah’s national government and prominent Dubai-based production specialist Lighthouse Productions (LHP), that enlisted the power of 2 x Avolites Ai T4 media servers and 1 x Avolites Ai T8 media server to deliver the show’s substantial video element.


“Lighting and digital content now drives the majority of live events,” says Terry Miranda, Founder and Managing Director of LHP. “It was crucial for us as a production company working on such an event to have access to a reliable video control manufacturing brand. A show of this size needed high-end media equipment powerful enough to handle heavy-duty video files and playback which is why we went with Avolites.”


The Ai T Series media servers provided LHP with a total of 16 x 1080p HD outputs as well as smooth playback of multiplayer 4k and 8k media using the AiM Codec. LHP dedicated one HD output per screen including the stage’s video mapped floor.


“Two Ai T4 servers ran all the visuals across the mainstage’s five bitmapped and LED screens and drove the content for the projection-mapped stage floor,” says Miranda. “An Ai T8 media server was then networked to a direct feed from an outside broadcasting van and powered the live visuals on the stage’s two outer screens.”


FakhrakYaWatan saw a total of 800 singers, dancers and actors perform 15 different acts on a large 88 x 12 metre stage. Seven screens hosted the dynamic backdrop of LED and video mapped projection that complemented the diverse range of performances.


“With such a lot to prepare before the show and during the performance we needed our video equipment to be intuitive during live use and in the pre-programming set-up,” says Miranda. “The Ai T series’ Timeline and Timecode sequencers meant that we could load in all the content master files in chronological show order. This meant we could have ‘virtual rehearsals’ before the actual live rehearsals which saved a huge amount of time.”


FakhrakYaWatan was performed in a temporary purpose-built site on the capital city’s Corniche Waterfront. LHP was responsible for the build of the 1,250,000m2 site as well as the entire media production of the show that drew audiences of 10,000 from across the globe.


“We have been working with Avolites for a number of years,” says Miranda. “They have always understood the direction the live production industry is taking as well as the individual direction of our company. We are very happy with our Ai T Series media servers and as such are currently looking to upgrade our Avolites systems by adding the Ai Infinity Rx8 media server in 2017.”


FakhrakYaWatan took place on the 1st December 2016 as part of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) wider 45th ‘National Celebration Weekend’. This weekend saw several large scale celebrations across the UAE to mark its formation 45 years ago. FakhrakYaWatan included appearances from top Emirati artists and singers including Sameera Ahmed, Habib Ghuloom, Ahmed Al Jasmi, Eida Al Menhali, Oraib and Fouad Abdul Wahid. The overall show was managed by Director Mohammad Al Amri, Ali Al Khawar, and Obaid.



25th January, 2017

During his time working as Hire Manager at a small local rental company, founder of Illuminate Lighting Ltd Jonathan Pask saw an opportunity. Unable to easily get hold of additional desks and other lighting control equipment, the entrepreneur was driven to create a hire company with a difference; one that offered the latest generation of lighting consoles exclusively to rental houses.


According to Pask, at the core of his business’ concept is the promise to deliver the very best equipment, provide excellent technical support and offer the ability to hire only the specific equipment a client requires.


“It’s very important that when a customer hires kit it’s clean of previous show files and configured for use,” says Pask. “We send each console out with the latest software installed (or another version if preferred) and make sure it’s physically clean so it feels like a brand new desk each time. If something unexpected happens during a tour, then we are there to support them. That’s the standard of service we strive to deliver.”


Since forming in 2014 and taking up residence at Production Park, Wakefield, the company has gone from strength to strength, supporting the rental operations of such recent tours as All Time Low, Chris Stapleton, The Cribs and Pierce the Veil to name but a few.


“One of my proudest moments was when a client enquired as to my next investment as they were keen to rent the product as soon as it was in, simply because of the high rental standard and great support they receive,” says Pask. “This demonstrated that they trusted me and my company to deliver exactly what we promise to deliver.”


Pask ensures this happens by stocking highly advanced, well-maintained control equipment from some of the industry’s most well-respected brands, including Avolites. Indeed, Illuminate Lighting Ltd’s first ever purchase was an Avolites Quartz with Titan Mobile Wing with Pask citing “Avolites is what I know best.”


“I knew the Quartz was going to be very successful so ordered one as soon as it was released,” he continues. “It’s a fantastic console for its size and is easily my favourite desk to use on a daily basis.”


As well as the Quartz, Illuminate Lighting Ltd stocks an Avolites Sapphire Touch console, with Pask recently investing in a second to meet high demand.


“Buying another Sapphire was an easy choice,” says Pask. “It’s a great console with great hardware features such as the motorised faders and two large screens.


“I find the Sapphire Touches are definitely the most sought after consoles in my stock and I’m certain I will be investing in further units as this demand increases.”

Pask praises the intuitive nature of all Avolites products. “What I like most about Avolites and the Titan software is the intuitive but powerful software,” he explains, “I’ve had clients who are not familiar with it at all who very quickly pick up how it works. Everything is where you would expect it to be on the interface and it’s very easy to get a show up and running quickly.”

Looking to the future of his business, Pask has big plans: “I would like to build on Illuminate Lighting’s success by investing in more Avolites equipment to meet the demand of my client base, as well as increasing the range of ancillary products and show control infrastructure in stock such as Titan Net Processors and Titan Network Switches. I’m also about to add another person to my team – 2017 is going to be a great year!”

Philips Lighting is good ‘company’ for Justin Bieber Purpose tour 2017

19th January, 2017

Eindhoven – Philips Lighting (Euronext Amsterdam ticker: LIGHT), a global leader in lighting, today announced that its stage lighting will be used in the next leg of Justin Bieber’s rapturously received ‘Purpose’ 2016 world tour. Lighting designer Cory FitzGerald has declared the multi-functional Philips Vari-Lite VL4000 BeamWash luminaire as essential for the redesigned 2017 leg.

“There’s going to be a few changes when the tour continues next year as we will be heading to outdoor venues and stadiums,” said lighting director Nick van Nostrand, who is in charge of realising FitzGerald’s design out on the road. “The show is going to be reworked and we are currently making decisions on what’s going to come with us. Cory has stated that the Philips VL4000 BeamWashes are high up on the list. There’s not anything else out there that’s a good substitute for all the roles it performs in the show.”

“The VL4000 BeamWash is so powerful it can break through the different bright, video-heavy moments during the set and manage to deliver some really neat features, whilst maintaining that intensity. We’ve got lots of wide gobo looks in this show, with a number of them pointing straight out. Even at full width they still punch through the video wall and stage washes and give us some very dramatic looks.”

Lighting designer Cory FitzGerald positioned the VL4000 BeamWash luminaires upstage, on the articulated mid-stage truss to deliver dynamic gobo work, seven underneath the deck to deliver beams of light and texture through the raked video floor, and four on the suspended trampoline, which Bieber and his dancers frolic on during the song ‘Company,’ for audience lighting and gobo washes.  A single fixture has also been built into the center of an octagonal cage of V-Thru LED screen, where it works as a single down light for Bieber’s drum solo.

Colin Kavanagh, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Philips Entertainment Lighting, said: “Since launching the modern automated light more than 30 years ago, Philips Vari-Lite has become synonymous with rock and roll and large-scale event lighting. We are committed to continuing to meet the needs of the entertainment industry with leading edge products, as evident with the recent launch of the brand new Philips Vari-Lite VL6000 Beam and the planned new Philips Vari-Lite launches throughout 2017.” 

FitzGerald finalized the concept for the 2016 globetrotting tour before it embarked on its journey of 115 shows in numerous international arenas. His design sees a constantly morphing canopy of light in varying pop-tastic colors, featuring beat-perfect attention-to-detail and multifaceted dynamic effects, which work in sync with the stunning video content created by Possible and set designed by Chris Gratton and Nick DeMoura.

“I’ve always been a fan of Cory’s designs [FitzGerald has worked with the likes of Bruno Mars and Beyoncé] so when I heard he was brought on board I was excited to work with him,” says van Nostrand “His design is incredibly intricate and richly layered. I really like the way the lights have been integrated into the rig and the overall design of the show.” 

Justin Bieber’s Purpose tour follows his studio album of the same name, which debuted at #1 in more than 100 countries in 2015 and has sold more than 8 million copies worldwide. The tour continues to stadiums in Australia, New Zealand and South America in 2017.


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