ETC to premiere new products and software at PLASA
PLASA Show returns to Olympia London later this month and visitors to the ETC stand – J30 – are in for a treat. PLASA Show 2017 will mark the global tradeshow debut of the recently launched Ion® Xe lighting desks and the soon-to-be released ColorSource® Cyc fixture. Also to be unveiled is the eagerly anticipated Cobalt® software version 8.0. Additionally, Source Four® turns 25 this year and ETC will be honouring the occasion on stand J30.
With compact footprints and full-featured Eos® software, the new Ion Xe and Ion Xe 20 consoles bring award-winning programming power to smaller venues. Since the new consoles feature the same backlit keyboard layout as their larger Eos family siblings, workflow can transfer seamlessly from desk to desk. Accompanying the consoles are the new Eos Fader Wings which provide 20 or 40 standard faders in handy, USB-connectable modules that match – and are compatible with – all the latest Eos family hardware.
PLASA visitors can get a sneak preview of the upcoming ColorSource Cyc fixture. Slated for release later this year, this purpose-built cyclorama light is bright, compact and affordable. It’s also the first ColorSource fixture to add a fifth colour to its LED array, incorporating indigo with the RGB-L mix to achieve rich, theatrical hues. The Cyc will be joining fellow family members on stand J30, including ColorSource Spot and PAR fixtures, ColorSource AV control desk, and ColorSource Relay wireless power control solution.
Cobalt version 8.0 software
Engineered for lighting on-the-fly, the Cobalt line of control was designed to rid the lighting process of unnecessary keystrokes and complicated syntax. Debuting at PLASA, Cobalt software version 8.0 introduces several key features and improvements, including a new multi-console network structure; a redesigned graphic interface; a clone feature to copy show data from a single channel to other channels; and a completely new Magic Sheet engine, giving users quicker and more manageable control of their rig.
Source Four turns 25
ETC will be commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Source Four fixture. The product has played a significant role in the company’s history, has made an enduring impact on the industry, and almost 3.8 million Source Four fixtures have been shipped since its launch, which gives ETC plenty of reasons to celebrate.
More from ETC
Available for demonstrations, there will be a Gio @5® lighting control desk, which brings the acclaimed control of the Eos Ti® and Gio® consoles within reach of users with smaller spaces and tighter budgets. There will also be opportunities to see Source Four LED Series 2 fixtures in action and to speak to the rigging specialists about the Prodigy® P2 hoist system and QuickTouch® rigging controllers.
For more information on ETC and its products, visit etcconnect.com.
Lighting the 200-year-old rock star
Strange to say, but until this year there had never been a museum dedicated to the Revolutionary War. That all changed this past April when The Museum of the American Revolution opened in Philadelphia And the “rock star” of the museum, according to The New York Times, is George Washington’s field tent. Yes, that George Washington. The actual, more-than-200-years-old tent that General Washington ate in, slept in, and plotted in (it was called the original Oval Office) is on display at the museum. Making sure it can be seen, though, was a tough battle in itself. The museum had to satisfy the requirements of the conservators—making sure the centuries-old fabric was preserved—yet create an engaging show that would be compelling to modern audiences. To balance these competing directives, they turned to Ted Mather and Rachel Gibney from New York City’s Available Light. And they, in turn, chose ETC ColorSource fixtures.
Mather has extensive experience in museum lighting. “I started getting pulled into this in 1999, when exhibit designers were realizing they had to up their game,” says Mather. Museums realized that simply presenting a wall of information and artifacts behind dusty glass wasn’t connecting with modern audiences, and they were losing the battle for attention with the new generation. “What they started to do was create immersive environments that felt like science labs or operating rooms. When the environment around you changes based on your actions, you feel engaged and there’s a reason for you being there, as opposed to just sitting there,” adds Mather. “Visceral experiences stick with you afterwards.”
And while Mather and Available Light’s experience in the theatre realm gives them a keen understanding of the dynamic ways to use light to tell a story (color, contrast, texture, movement, angle, focus), their experience on the exhibit side means they know how to do it simply. “There’s no run crew in a museum,” explains Mather. “Available light has learned to use a theatrical lighting language without requiring the maintenance and support a show does. We are attuned to doing design work that can withstand the architectural environment.”
All of which is exactly why they were called in for George Washington’s tent. The museum knew they needed to produce a show that would get audiences emotionally invested, and had hired a video production team to create a film-like experience around the tent. The experience would show what the tent meant to George Washington and the success of the American Revolution, all while changing the times of day and locale, evoking a sense of the travels of Washington, depicting different locations of fields, foliage, frozen streams, snow and winter.
“Basically the video is different locations and times of year,” says Mather. “Our lighting needed to track those times of day, where the sun was coming from and going to, then light the scenery around the tent as if it were in that setting—gobos for patchy clouds, some dappled green for foliage.”
But now that the museum had a video exhibit, they had two competing directives — and a lot of restrictions.
Directive One: Docent viewing. The museum still needed a traditional “isolated jewel” look for the tent, showing it off under white light. “Whatever was lighting it had to reveal it as an artifact, a piece of historical material. The fixture had to do white very well,” says Mather.
Directive Two: Show looks. For the video show, the light needed to be able to show a variety of colors as well as have a variety of texture to wash the tent as if it was outside, in the actual environment being displayed on the video. “The whole point here was to show it ‘outside,’ out there with the men in the middle of winter, the middle of summer.” In this mode the light had to be carefully controlled so that it wouldn’t spill on the video projection surfaces, or out into the house.
In addition to these artistic guidelines, there were numerous technical demands that had to be adhered to. The light had to be UV and infrared free. And finally: There was a hard limit on how much light could hit the tent. The tent could handle no more than 50,000 lux hours per annum. “Whatever the brightness was, we had to meter all of that and add it all up – brightness, length of show, number of shows per day, week and year — at the end of the year it all had to stay below 50,000 lux hours per annum.”
The competing demands for viewing, combined with the hard restrictions on lighting output led to a museum staff that was skeptical the exhibit could happen without damaging the tent.
“The fact that I have a show background immediately raised red flags to some people on the museum’s staff. ‘Will they know anything about conservation?’ ‘Will they be responsible with the artifact?’ We had to build trust,” says Mather.
They did that by conscientiously listening to conservator’s requirements on UV, infrared, and ozone, and using in-depth measurements during thorough test runs. The hard cap of 50,000 lux hours per annum the tent could be exposed to annually? Mather brought in a color spectrophotometer to measure and record the output of lights. That hurdle crossed, the conservators demanded the lights had to be placed at least eight feet away from the tent. Why? “Fibers in the tent will expand and contract from heat,” says Mather. This requirement is a holdover from the days of halogen and has become irrelevant in the age of LED sources—but the conservators didn’t know that. “I had to leave a light on for a few minutes and then ask them to feel the fixture, to see how not warm it was. I took the time to educate the conservators about the lights, because it’s such a big responsibility for them.”
Mather and his crew also built a full-scale mock-up of the exhibit in Orlando. They used it to test several different fixtures, measure output and judge the quality of the light. “We tested several different fixtures: ETC’s LED Source Four Series 2 with the Lustr and Tungsten arrays, ETC’s ColorSource fixture and a few others,” says Mather. “We needed a fixture with a high quality white and good color. We wanted pick a fixture that would make the historians happy.” They chose the ColorSource line of ellipsoidals and PARs thanks to the quality of their light and their beam shaping capabilities. And the historians were happy—so happy, in fact, that they asked Available Light to design the light for the rest of the museum, too.
The result is a show – and museum – that preserves the historical artifacts of our nation, and also creates an excitement around it.
“I’m delighted to have been able to work with such a creative team dedicated to making the tent a meaningful part of our nation’s story,” adds Mather. “I’m thrilled with how it turned out! Rather than an embalmed artifact, it really breathes life into our relationship with George Washington.”
Not bad for a 200-year-old tent and the latest in lighting.
This article is originally from www.etcconnect.com
ETC’s Ion gets an upgrade: introducing Ion Xe consoles
For nearly a decade, ETC’s Ion® consoles have brought powerful control to theatres, concert venues, studios and events around the world. Now, with the release of two Ion Xe consoles and two new fader wings, the small but mighty workhorse of the Eos® family gets an upgrade.
Power in a small package
With compact footprints and full-featured Eos software, Ion Xe consoles bring high-level, award-winning programming power to smaller venues. Since the new consoles feature the same backlit keyboard layout as their larger Eos family siblings, your workflow can transfer seamlessly from desk to desk. Ion Xe desks support up to external two multi-touch monitors, so you can take full hands-on advantage of colour tools, Magic Sheets, Direct Selects and more.
Ion Xe consoles feature full main playback controls, fader controls, level and rate wheels, four rotary parameter encoders and support for up to five USB-connectable wings and devices. Ion Xe consoles are available in two output counts: 2K (base) and 12K (expanded), providing control for a wide variety of rigs. For extra security and flexibility, ETC has also released a new Ion Xe RPU (Remote Processing Unit), which can serve as a backup, remote programming station, or primary controller for your system.
“The Ion brand is much loved for its compact footprint and powerful feature set at a very attractive price,” explains Eos family Product Manager Anne Valentino. “We wanted to ensure its replacement maintained those attributes, while providing a more consistent hardware design with the larger products in the family. Ion Xe is a powerful addition to a product line-up that covers a broad cross-section of the market.”
Customise your faders
The new Eos Fader Wing accessories provide 20 or 40 non-motorised faders in handy, USB-connectable modules that match – and are compatible with – all the latest Eos family hardware. The wings share the profile of the Ion Xe and Eos Motorized Fader Wings, and they can be used with all Eos family products (with the exception of Element).
Fader wings make it easy to customise your Ion Xe to the specific needs of your show; you can connect up to three motorised or non-motorised fader wings to any Ion Xe desk. Want manual playbacks as a permanent feature of your work surface? The Ion Xe 20 model streamlines your control booth setup with a built-in bank of 20 page-able, non-motorised faders.
For more information, visit www.etcconnect.com/Products/Consoles/Eos-Family/Ion-Xe/Features.aspx
ETC’s ColorSource Lights up the Theatre on the Square
This Wednesday, 6 September, ApexPro would like to invite you to the Theatre on the Square at Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton to view a performance of Freud’s Last Session. Lit by award winning lighting designer Denis Hutchinson, the show utilises the latest ColorSource LED technology from ETC as well as the ColorSource 20 Console.
If you would like to come and see LED lighting technology used in a theatrical context, where subtlety of colour and dimming are paramount, then this is definitely the production for you. There will also be a Q and A session after the show hosted by Mathew Lewis, ApexPro’s ETC product specialist, who will be joined by Denis so that they can answer any questions that you may have about the lighting and how to utilise it.
Theatre on the Square has generously offered half price tickets for the night, so if you would like to watch some excellent theatre and find out more about the latest in lighting technology, then book your seats by contacting computicket on 0861 915 8000 or by going to www.computicket.co.za.
If you would like more information about the Q and A session you can email Mathew Lewis at email@example.com.
Electro-Voice X2 Launch & Demo Event
Prosound is excited to invite you to the launch of the new Electro-Voice X2 high-performance compact line-array loudspeaker systems.
The launch will be hosted by Mark Malherbe, Naledi Award winning sound designer and Technical Director for Prosound.
Come and have a listen to the new benchmark for outdoor line-array systems!
Andreas Koestlinger from Electro-Voice Europe (who is responsible for the technical training of Electro-Voice Concert Sound Equipment in EMEA, particularly the X2 system) will be hosting workshops between the X2 demos on:
- Line array theory and the design concept behind the X2
- Houses of Worship system design and application
- Electro-Voice portable sound systems
Dates: 12 & 13 September
- 10:00 / 12:00 / 14:00 for the X2 demo & launch hosted by Mark Malberbe
- Workshops by Andreas will be from 09:00 onwards
ETC embarks on a voyage with Norwegian Cruise Line
This summer, Norwegian Cruise Line welcomed the spectacular Norwegian Joy to its fleet. A custom-built ship for the Chinese cruise market, Joy offers a luxurious experience for up to 3,850 guests. The ship features the first racetrack at sea; multiple bars, restaurants and casinos; a shopping centre; a water park; and a theatre. To help set the right mood for the ship’s many and varied attractions, the vessel is equipped with multiple lighting control desks and an array of lighting fixtures from ETC.
At 167,725 tons and 326 metres (1,069 feet) long, Joy is one of the largest cruise ships ever built, and was constructed by major German shipbuilder Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany. AV systems integrator Wärtsilä Funa Solutions was appointed to deliver the entertainment systems for the ship’s numerous attractions. The Funa team specified a total of 10 ETC lighting control consoles, positioned in strategic locations throughout the cruise ship. Sarah Wegner, a freelance lighting programmer and event technology specialist, was entrusted with the installation, setup and programming of the desks. Reliability was the overriding factor in determining the choice of consoles. “It’s essential that the consoles function reliably, since it’s not possible to get a replacement when the ship is on the high seas,” explains Wegner. “There is a mobile Ion, which could be exchanged in an emergency, but otherwise you have to wait until you’re back on dry land.”
In the ship’s theatre, which provides an experience to rival venues on the mainland, an ETC Eos® RPU is used for primary lighting control, with a Gio® console as backup. Ion® and Gio consoles are dotted around the ship for lighting control for a wide range of the other on-board attractions. The requirements are quite diverse: the Supper Club restaurant offers an intimate theatre experience; the Spice H2O bar takes inspiration from summer beach parties; there’s an aqua park with waterslides; a small atrium stage; and an outdoor disco. An ETC lighting control desk is also used in the Galaxy Pavilion, which transports visitors into a virtual entertainment world featuring thrilling interactive experiences, including racing simulators and a virtual roller coaster.
“The theatre shows are programmed by the production team,” says Wegner. “For all the other areas I have saved cues and stored them either on a server or in the desk.” Media Tubes installed in the Galaxy Pavilion and Spice H2O for effect lighting take advantage of Eos’ pixel mapping capabilities. To achieve the desired looks, Wegner created the Media Tubes on an Ion control desk in pixel mapping view. “Eos software is ideal for this,” adds Wegner. “I was able to check in the preview how the parameters affected the overall picture. I prepared everything in there and saved some sample cues.”
Additionally, the Galaxy Pavilion, Supper Club and atrium are equipped with a selection of ColorSource® Spot and PAR luminaires. These four-colour LED fixtures are capable of supplying bright, colourful light that can be tailored to suit the distinct needs of the different venues. And, it’s not just the cruise passengers benefitting from ETC technology on Norwegian Joy. Behind the scenes, in the crew disco, Wegner has programmed an Ion console with a selection of different cues, comfortably retrievable by the crew from the server.
Symetrix serves at the Lincoln Presidential Museum
Just as Abraham Lincoln remains one of the most popular U.S. Presidents, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM) is one of America’s most popular presidential libraries. More than 300,000 visitors pass through its Gateway area each year to enjoy 40,000 square feet of immersive exhibits, historical artefacts, interactive exhibits, and dramatic performances. While only a few exhibit areas rely on spoken word, audio is everywhere: mostly music, sound effects, and occasional museum-wide announcements.
After a dozen years, the museum’s analogue audio system began to show its age, and some pieces could no longer be serviced. After research and consultations with systems integrators Video Services of America in Chicago, ALPLM Systems technical director Sam Cooper opted for a Dante-enabled network managed by four Symetrix Prism 16×16 DSPs and a Symetrix Radius 12×8 EX DSP equipped with a Symetrix 4 Channel Analog Output Card.
Music and effects are supplied by TASCAM DA-6400 64-channel digital recorders with Dante I/O cards connecting the recorders directly into the Dante network. An assortment of JBL Control-series ceiling and wall-mount loudspeakers deliver the audio, powered by Crown amplifiers.
Visitors buy their tickets at the Gateway, but you won’t hear networked audio there because, observes Cooper, “that would drive the front entry personnel nuts.” On entering the Plaza, though, guests begin an audio-intensive walking tour through the world of Honest Abe. “You might see and hear Lincoln giving a speech, or hear birds, bugs, chopping wood, and music in the Plaza,” offers VSA Senior Sales Representative Greg Bayer. “The museum uses a vast array of synchronised sound effects and music, and as you move between locations, you transition to new sounds and music. There are speakers everywhere, and getting the timing and flow right requires sophisticated control, which is a strength of Symetrix DSPs.”
The exhibits are organized into two major “Journeys.” Journey 1 presents the Railsplitter’s pre-Presidential years, while Journey 2 is about his presidency. “The cool thing about the Journeys is the 27 separate areas we call Scenes,” Cooper details. “For example, Scene 1 is outside the log cabin, and Scene 2 is inside the log cabin. As you wander through, the music changes from one scene to another-but at the doorways, the music is blended so you don’t notice that it changed. The composer wrote the music to keep the same feel throughout transition areas yet immerse you into the scene.”
This complex audio network covers the museum exhibit areas and the Plaza only, although plans are to extend coverage to the gift shop. It could eventually also cover the library if desired. The two theatres, both still on the older analogue audio system, will also be added to the Symetrix network eventually.
From the Plaza, you can enter “Journey 1,” which uses 28 channels of audio, while “Journey 2” has 56 input channels where every input is used, including XLR analogue inputs. “The Plaza has its own music,” notes Cooper. “The ‘Ask Mr Lincoln’ exhibit has separate dialogue. ‘Mrs. Lincoln’s Attic’ has its own music, as does the ‘Illinois Gallery,’ which changes with each exhibit. We didn’t use much EQ, but level control was very important, and the Symetrix DSPs made a big difference there.”
In fact, says Cooper, level setting was the most challenging part of programming the system. “We’d take it down 3 dB in one room, then realise that’s too much, so we’d adjust it again,” he recalls. “But because of that change, we’d have to go to the next room and make a little change. We spent a lot of time going back and forth and adjusting. We walked the Journeys with the VSA team over and over until we got it right – and they did a great job. Once we got the levels right, we generally haven’t had to change them.”
Symetrix’ products proved to be the right solution. “We chose Symetrix DSPs because they have the capabilities we need, including Dante, while also fitting our budget,” reveals Cooper. “They’re not hard to program in general, but neither VSA nor I had done something quite like this before. In addition to level control in the Plaza, we wanted two Symetrix ARC-3 controllers, mounted inside our operator control panels that mirrored each other to control the Plaza system. We have four zones in one scene that use multiple audio streams, depending on section, and those need to be controlled independently on a dedicated mixer in the DSP. Sometimes we mute individual scenes, which adds complexity. We have interactive exhibits on the network, each with audio. We also wanted the ability to expand the system. It was a lot to program. So VSA called Symetrix on the phone, and the Symetrix people were great about explaining how to do what we wanted.”
Beyond the Plaza, with its two ARC-3 panels, each Journey-except the two theaters- has a separate Symetrix ARC-series wall panel for control. That includes a Symetrix ARC-K1e rotary encoder mounted in “Ask Mr Lincoln’s” electronic control room, and three ARC-SW4e push-button wall panels remotely controlling audio functions for the Journeys.
Sam Cooper is thrilled with his new audio tools, and with life at the ALPLM. “I have a dream job, and I have a great staff that backs me up,” he enthuses. “We worked on all of this together and made a point of including the entire staff in the install as much as we possibly could. VSA did a great job making the system work the way we wanted it to. The Symetrix network has been bulletproof. I am very, very pleased.”
This article is originally from www.pro-systems.co.za
Please contact us for more information on Symetrix products.
Eos iRFR and aRFR mobile apps get an update
New versions of the iRFR and aRFR remote apps for Eos will be available for purchase on the App Store and Amazon Marketplace starting this week. The overhauled mobile applications feature fully redesigned user interfaces, more intuitive connectivity, and expanded feature sets that include a full-featured keyboard and Direct Selects.
Software v2.6 or higher must be installed on the host Eos device for the apps to function.
The new line-up of remote apps is as follows:
- iRFR-BTS/aRFR-BTS (sales benefit US-based charity Behind the Scenes)
- iRFR-Backup/aRFR-Backup (sales benefit UK-based charity Backup)
- iRFR Classic/aRFR Classic (previous iRFR and aRFR apps, renamed and available as free downloads)
- iRFR Preview (unchanged; available as a free download)
Customers who previously purchased the iRFR and aRFR apps may upgrade to the new versions free of charge with a simple update.
The new iRFR and aRFR apps are NOT compatible with Cobalt devices. Any users who inadvertently update can revert to the old software by downloading one of the Classic apps.
Join ETC’s video celebration of Source Four
This November marks the 25th anniversary of the birth of the Source Four® fixture at ETC. Between now and this year’s LDI tradeshow, we’re taking a look back at this product that has become such a major part of ETC’s story, the fixture that has made a long-lasting impact on our industry, and the product that has inspired many additional ETC fixtures.
When asked what he remembers about the first time he saw the Source Four, ETC CEO Fred Foster says “When I first saw the Source Four it was just a HPL lamp, glass reflector, and a lens on an optical rail in Dave Cunningham’s lab. But it was 40% brighter than a 1000W FEL and used only 575W of power. I was awestruck. It was even more fun to watch the looks on the faces of the LDI attendees when we launched the product a year later.”
Ellen White, outreach and training specialist at ETC, was working in ETC’s booth in 1992 when Source Four was first revealed. “We launched three products at that tradeshow and we really thought the talk was going to focus on the Sensor dimmers and the Obsession console. But Source Four started a small buzz that morning and became the topic of conversation at many dinners that evening.”
Since launching at LDI in 1992, ETC has shipped nearly 3.8 million Source Four fixtures. That gives us plenty of reasons to celebrate this milestone.
As part of the anniversary celebration, we’re creating a video showcasing the longevity of the Source Four fixture. We want to see as many of those millions of Source Four and Source Four LED fixtures as possible. As part of this crowd-sourced video project, we are asking you to send photos of your Source Four and Source Four LED fixtures hanging in your theatres, your churches, your schools, and your community centres.
You’ll find specific instructions and photo submission procedures here: www.etcconnect.com/sourcefouris25.
Between now and 1 October, please submit photos through this online form in exchange for a limited edition Source Four 25th Anniversary t-shirt (while supplies last) and the chance to win one of ten Source Four Mini LEDs.
The last 25 years with Source Four have been an inspiration. Here’s to the next 25!
Latest Eos family software unlocks output upgrades and empowers Element
When Eos® family console users install software v2.6, they may find that their systems get a serious boost. As announced at CUE, ETC’s professional development conference, Eos v2.6 brings major upgrades for Element consoles, and improvements to Snapshots and other programming features. The release also marks a change in the way the console family handles output upgrades for both new and existing users.
Eos v2.6 dispenses with the notion of incremental upgrades, by which customers could purchase consoles and output upgrades at a number of different levels. From now on, any upgraded console is a fully-upgraded console. Moving forward, each Eos family controller will be sold in two formats: base and unlocked. A base level Gio @5®, for example, will have 4,096 (4K) outputs, while an unlocked Gio @5 will have 24,576 (24K) outputs.
If a user wishes to increase a base-level console’s control potential, a one-time, very cost-effective upgrade may now be purchased to expand the desk to its full capacity. What does this mean for users who have already purchased incremental upgrades, or who have purchased a console above its base-level output capacity? Upon installation of v2.6, all existing upgraded desks above the new baseline – even those that have only been upgraded to partial capacity – will be automatically expanded.
Eos v2.6 brings massive upgrades to Element consoles, enabling a whole host of features previously reserved for the larger Eos family platforms. For entry-level Element users, day-to-day operation will not change. More advanced users, however, can now take advantage of multi-user control, partitioned control, virtual media server functions, full display controls, new timing options, filters, presets, highlight functions and more. Touring productions and receiving houses will also find the changes beneficial; a show programmed on an Ion® or larger desk can now more seamlessly transfer to a venue with an Element console.
More features for all
The software update also adds new display and playback features for all Eos family consoles. With the push of a button, users working in the live table view can now bring up part structures, output level, playback sources, or the DMX map. Manual timing masters enhance live playback options, and the ability to assign Macros to playback buttons unlocks a new layer of playback flexibility.
To download Eos v2.6, visit www.etcconnect.com/Products/Consoles/Eos-Family/Eos-Ti/Software.aspx
For a full rundown of Eos v2.6 features, download the release notes at www.etcconnect.com/Products/Consoles/Eos-Family/Eos-Ti/Documentation/