The world at large may be talking about the Millennium, but the world of entertainment technology is all abuzz over LDI99, being held November 19-21 in Orlando. Aside from the comprehensive array of seminars, and the chance to meet up with colleagues, LDI has traditionally been the place to view the annual introduction of new products. Based on information provided by a sampling of manufacturers exhibiting at LDI, the following is a brief summary of what to expect from the over 300 exhibitors on the show floor.
Power is one of the key building blocks of entertainment technology. The Advanced Devices CL series CAM-type connector design incorporates one strain relief for gauges #6-4/0, is built with copper contacts, and assembles easily with hand tools. Airstar, in collaboration with Hardware Xenon, will show the Internal Projection sphere, a large (9'-15') air-filled balloon that projects up to 200 images on the outside of the surface from either the 5K or 7K xenon projector, with excellent quality. Working in TV studios should be cooler when the lighting is provided by the Altman CDM-TV, a 150W studio luminaire. Altman's architectural product line includes ellipsoidals, fresnels, PARs, and special-effects luminaires, all utilizing highly efficient and long-life metal halide lamps.
Lighting designers will find many uses for the Apollo Design Technology family of Color Scenic and SuperResolution glass gobos that have 10,000dpi and allow for the full resolution of color or black-and-white images to be reproduced as a glass gobo. The Windows 95/98- and NT-compatible Arabesque Rental and Production Manager software provides order tracking and inventory for rentals, sales, and in-house production services. The Flexible Entry Module allows for easily configured orders, reconfiguring the variables of labor, rental, and sales items, as circumstances require; this results in these components being tracked as packages or separately.
The ASA Touring Line Speaker Systems are full-range loudspeaker systems with features such as a three-way system tuned to 55-18kHz, capable of 133dB@2,500W, contained within heavy-duty, 1" Finland birch cabinets with ATM hardware for easily constructed arrays and safe rigging. The Automatic Devices FD02, Triple E Friction Drive FD02 is a motorized master carrier capable of pulling approximately 150lbs of attached curtains, doors, or scenery on straight or curved tracks and can be operated in wireless mode or direct-wired.
AVAB will show the Pronto!/Pronto Plus, intuitive, easily operated lighting consoles featuring 1,024 outputs, multipurpose faders, sophisticated moving-light control, direct operating mode, multifunction mode, multifunction wheels, and is available in 40- and 80-fader versions. Expanding on the features of the Azure 2000 console, Avolites' Azure 2000 Shadow offers powerful and useful live playback buttons, called "Shadow," which build on this console's usefulness for clubs and timecode control environments. Azden's 311DRH is a true diversity VHF receiver, incorporating the features of the widely used 311DR, adding an On/Off switch and an RF/Audio/TD display to the front panel, plus squelch control, in a half-rack enclosure.
BGW's TMC-2 Signal Processing Card is already incorporated into the company's Millennium 2TMC-2 and 3TMC-2 bi-amplifiers, providing users with switchable crossover frequencies, delay times, and equalization parameters. The TMC-2 card has a 500Hz and 800Hz switch-selectable crossover-fourth order Linkwitz Riley 24dB per octave, and selectable (for large and small horns) power response equalization. Dusting of precision glass such as dichroics, first-surface mirrors, and lenses will be easier and faster with the Bishop & Bishop Magic Cleaning Cloths, made from scratchless microfibers and more effective than frequently used standard cotton cloths and wipes. The CITC Ring Rocket creates rings of smoke, adding a new dimension to fog machines. CITC has added DMX control to its line of Hi-Lo DigiFogger haze machines and the Little Blizzard SP snow machine has been modified to be quieter, smaller, and less expensive.
The introduction of the City Theatrical AutoYoke combines popular ellipsoidal lighting instruments and a DMX-controlled moving yoke to create a fully featured automated luminaire. Currently, the AutoYoke is available with ETC or Strand ellipsoidals. Clear-Com will show the two-channel KB-211 and KB-211GM speaker stations with VOX circuitry and a gooseneck mic jack. The MR-202 two-channel and the MR-204 four-channel wall/console-mount headset stations offer additional flexibility backstage.
Modular and rack-mountable in design, the Creative Stage Lighting line of Flexible Power Distribution Systems allow for easily configured design and setup and design and offers a choice of Cam-type, Straight Blade (Edison), twist-lock, multipin, and stage-pin type connectors. The Crescit Software Light Shop 5.0 user interface provides detailed lighting instrument spec sheet printouts and a 3D preview utilizing VRML technology for Internet-ready presentations. Dazian is now offering Trapeze, a 120"-wide, fire-retardant, two-way stretch fabric similar to diffusion material that can be used directly in front of lighting instruments. Design & Drafting has added a wire and cable feature to its widely used LD Assistant. Designs are done in 2D and viewing is done in 3D; in addition, various cable characteristics, like length, weight, load, AWG size, and circuit hardware, can be tracked and costs can be calculated. The Diversitronics 1,800W DMX strobe with Hyperflash is capable of delivering 10kW peak performance in the lightning mode. From Doug Fleenor Design, the DMX Rotor-Router is an electronic patchbay for DMX512 signals, consisting of an Input Module with 10 inputs, and up to 20 Output Modules with 10 outputs each, provides patches of any input to any output using front-panel switches. The DMX Porta Patch receives a DMX512 control signal and re-transmits it in a different channel order.
EAW will show the MQ Series of mid/high and low frequency array modules, which incorporate the company's new VA technology developed for the KF700 Series single-enclosure array systems. The LS Series of Column Array loudspeaker systems with special vertical dispersion pattern relies on a proprietary method to consistently provide a 140-degreeH x 20-degreeV cone of coverage.
Lighting designers' imaginations will last longer with the ETC Source Four HID Ellipsoidal Spotlight providing the same performance features of a 2,000-hour 575W Source Four, with the added durability of a 9,000-hour lamp for extended life. This 150W ellipsoidal spotlight delivers crisp pattern projection and a bright even field. The ETCNet2 DMX Node allows for the operation of four universes of DMX and remote focus and ETCLink through one ethernet cable. Each DMX universe may be configured as either input or output and may be assigned to any of up to 32,767 ethernet DMX (EDMX) addresses. Also making its debut--and considered so revolutionary it's being patented--is the ETC Source Four Parnel. This luminaire combines the unique qualities of a PAR and a fresnel, based on the lighting characteristics of the Source Four.
At the EVI booth, Electro-Voice will show the Force Speaker System and Midas will show the Heritage 2000 mixing console. Created for event setup in hotel and multipurpose, the Future Light AirWall Hanger Kit is designed to facilitate a safe method of attachment of speakers, lighting, truss, and slide/video projectors to the track supporting the portable walls.
GAMproducts plans to unveil a cornucopia of products for LDI. The Gamtorch is a self-extinguishing torch that produces 16" of real flame from solid pellets. The automatic safety release latch will instantly snuff out the flame when the handheld grip is released. The GamSuperchase is a 12-channel chase controller. Gambox is a unique balanced light source, and 24 new designs in three sizes will be added to the already extensive collection of Great American Patterns.
The different divisions of Gemini Sound Products--Lytequest Pro, Ness, and Showpro Lighting--will all feature new products at LDI99, including Motorhead152, which has a 360-degree pan with 274-degree tilt with complete DMX512 control. DMX-controlled foggers will be on exhibit, too. The Goddard Design Lil'DMXter is an updated version of the company's MiniDMXter, and incorporates a design feature that facilitates direct "plug-in" into A/C power receptacles, without the need for a wall transformer, while maintaining CE marking; and includes a rechargeable battery. New modules expand and enhance the Goddard Design DMX-NET distribution system and Light 'Em Ups are battery-operated stage marking lights. Another approach to DMX troubleshooting is Gray Interfaces' DMXPC, a new way to connect and monitor DMX with a computer. The DMXDart, also from Gray Interfaces, is a handheld remote control interface with a preprogrammed library of commonly used luminaires for the testing and setup of moving lights. Italian-based Griven will debut the Kaleido MSD 575W, a CMY-type color changer that is an exterior-suitable, compactly styled luminaire with a weatherproof body, and DMX control or automatic function operation.
Group One, the US distributor for Clay Paky, Elektralite, and Pulsar, will show a variety of new products at their booth, including the Elektralite Turbo Fog and Turbo Fog & Fog machines. At 1kW and 1.5kW, respectively, features include, ETL certification, remote control, "Mega-Blast" instantaneous high volume fog output, variable output, DMX and analog 0-10V control, and an electronic thermal sensor. The Pulsar Masterpiece 216 lighting console features 216 PMX dimmable output channels (Pulsar multiplex), 12 DMX-capable and dimmable slots for patching, 216 scenes, and 54 scenic chasers.
DMX/Flex, designed by Interactive Technologies, is a family of DMX interface modules combined in various configurations to produce customized DMX distribution equipment. For instance, opto-splitters can be created and adding merge, backup, and playback function provides for more flexibility and standalone show control. The Interesting Products Dry Fogger has been improved through the use of re-engineered level and liquid nitrogen (LN2) flow controls, and the addition of more precise fog volume controls and level sensors is designed to provide improved reliability.
No license is required to drive the JLG 20VP self-propelled vertical lift at its fully extended platform height of nearly 20'. JLG will also showcase other self-propelled and push-around personnel units at the show. Older installed dimming system retrofits are viable options with products from Johnson Systems. The JSI CD-2000 is a fully featured DMX retrofit for any vintage-style Strand CD80 rack. The JSI Envy is a direct DMX replacement for older Environ architectural dimming racks.
Lectrosonics has developed the PT3 Protocol Translator, which converts MIDI commands to the LecNet protocol used with Lectrosonics audio equipment. This facilitates the interfacing of automation systems with audio signal processing equipment for larger and/or more complex systems and shows. Lehigh Electric Products upgraded its Millennium lighting console by adding a moving-lights module option that will include a fixture library, 16-bit and LTP channels and 512 moving light channels with provisions for the control of preset palettes and other important show information. Also, the control channel capacity options have been expanded to include 500 channels from the current 125 or 250 channels, plus the 500 virtual lights channels. More choice is also the theme at Lee Filters, as 70 new patterns and 22 vibrant new colors will be introduced at LDI99. The new swatchbook includes these additions.
The Le Maitre Bubble Master 2000 high output bubble machine will have new features, including DMX control, timer remote, and show control for control over the bubble size and output volume. Fluid management options are available as well. LE Nelson Sales will show the addition of the HX 604/GLC and the HX605/GLA to the Thorn "HX" family. Both lamps are special compact filament versions, designed for optimum light output in the newly developed Altman and Strand ellipsoidals.
Level Control Systems will be touting its new Variable Room Acoustics System for the electroacoustic enhancement of architectural spaces. It can be used to change the acoustics of a space. Leviton will be expanding its wide variety of single-pin, cam-type connectors receptacles by adding a panel-mount GFCI. Luna Tech will display a completely solid-state Pyropak II patchable control system, both 24-shot and nine-shot slaves. Also available at LDI will be the Encrypted Infrared Wireless Control System Pyropak IV.
Lowel-Light's MultiNeon Division developed the PCDesigner for the remote creation and demonstration of Color Creator programs without the use of neon hardware. The MultiNeon ColorCreator allows creation of a rainbow of colors with one fixed set of standard neon tubes. DMX protocol allows for dimming and chase sequence timing of colors.
The popular Martin MAC automated luminaire family will debut the Minimac Profile and the Minimac washlight. Other innovative products include the first in the MX series of scanners and the CX series of color changers swell as the new Exterior 600 Compact. Jem Smoke Machines and Mach Speakers Systems will debut new models at LDI as well.
McCauley, a single-source manufacturer of professional loudspeaker systems and components, will display the SM950-2 professional touring monitor. New and improved effects machines from MDG include the MM series; Micro Max, and Mega Max, both glycol-based fog generators that can produce from 1,250 cu. ft. to 3,500 cu.ft. of fog per minute. The Ice Fog Generator and Ice Fog Touring both produces a very dry and dense low-lying fog using special MDG processes.
Motion Laboratories continues to add truss- and rigging-based products. The Digital Signal Remote Hoist Control Stations can be configured for wireless operation or hardwired based on four-pin XLR connectors. The Cellmate Digital Load Monitoring System has been redesigned for easier use.
National Specialty Lighting will offer the Marquee Light, suitable for exterior applications, a field-cuttable, easily installed light string using E-27 bulbs, wired in parallel using 14G wiring components and operating on 110V electrical systems. The company's xenon Cabinet Light features one, two, or three 18W xenon bulbs housed in separate 1.5"-tall high gloss white fixtures, also operating on 110V systems. HireTrack Eclipse Systems, distributed by Navigator Systems, a full 32-bit application for busy rental companies, offers new features specifically for companies that are international in scope. These include multiple currencies, multiple price structures, an improved word processor, and scheduled invoicing. Connector models to be offered by Neutrik include the Super Z+, a series of XLR solderless connectors with gold contacts, a new strain relief, and three-part assembly. The Minirator is a handheld audio signal generator. Neutrik also will demonstrate its line of BNC connectors, Push/Pull version.
Nexo USA will debut the PS8 Loudspeaker System, a NX241 Digital Controller, and the Alpha E series of high performance loudspeaker systems. Mixing audio is on the agenda at Numark Industries: the SM-3 is a three-channel VCA Optical Professional Scratch Mixer; the DM1095 is a four-channel mixer with fader start and auto ducking, and the DM905 is a two-channel mixer with microphone input. Also debuting at LDI: the CDN22S/CDN24S Dual CD players with autostart feature.
The Obie Company, distributor of Coemar products in North America, plans to debut the Coemar Panorama outdoor architectural luminaire, which uses an 1,800W, 4,000-hour lamp, has CMY mixing, and is capable of various beam angles and providing noteworthy color effects. Also engineered for exterior applications is the TM4000 Outdoor, a weatherproof head that does not require a protective enclosure or dome. The CF1200 Outdoor is a complete fixture assembly that is weatherproof and also does not utilize any enclosure or covering. Osram/Sylvania lamps to be introduced at LDI will include the StudioLine 55W/3200 and 55W/5600 Special Fluorescent Lamps that allow easy blending with halogen (55W/3200K) and with metal halide (55W/5,600K), respectively.
PC Lights will show the Turbo, an all-weather automated washlight for outdoor concert and theatrical use. This weatherproof luminaire utilizes the MSR 700/s lamp, and is convection-cooled via 36 fins, which preclude the need for fans. Underwater lighting will be more colorful with the PEM Fountain underwater lighting fixtures, available with a choice of dichroic color lenses or clear. Also available will be a 250W underwater strobe, operating on 120V systems with clear or color dichroic lenses available.
Production Intercom will offer LDI attendees more options on intercom system components with the introduction of the PS-2, a power supply capable of operating on any voltage between 100 and 240VDC at 50 or 60Hz, with a toroidal transformer for no EMF emissions. The HS-IT is a headset station built inside a small sloped enclosure with a larger signal lamp than a conventional beltpack and styled for placement on top of a console or a rack shelf.
DMX and automation will be combined as part of the Dragon, developed by Pyrotek to create a robotic flamethrower capable of generating a fireball or a column of flame (5' to 50') in any direction. The Dragon, via DMX512, also is capable of rotating on an X/Y axis to create sweeping flame effects. Pyrotek's Cryo Jets offer the above effects, using forced liquid CO2 for a white effect.
Reel EFX will release its upgraded Fan II with a 1HP motor and a custom blade configuration. In addition, the Skydancer Fan will be upgraded with a 1HP motor. R & S Solutions has added features to Stardraw Professional, a computer lighting design program, including real time rendering using 3D technology. The company's Stardraw Data Library for Video will provide a symbols library of pro video equipment for simple drag-and-drop design of vied systems. Remote Source Lighting International will demonstrate the new Zero Clearance Light Pump, an illuminator with a 3,200K 175W halogen lamp that is also equipped with fans on both the air intake and exhaust, allowing for usage inside enclosures and display cases.
The Rose Brand booth will be very fashionable as 20 "hot" new Spandex colors and Hologram prints will be on display. Availability includes 120"-wide colors in 60" and 45". Digital Key Red, Blue, and Green in 92" are also offered. Other fabrics to be offered include Eyelash, a cut version of Nulash; glitter stars on organza; and copper and bronze shades in Knit Shimmer and Boucle.
Continuing to develop an innovative approach to theatrical lighting instruments, Selecon of New Zealand plans to debut a wide range of luminaires. The Super Wide provides a beam of 90 degrees with all of the features previously associated with the Pacific line of cool beam instruments. The beam is wider than a fresnel and can be shaped with four shutters or patterns for a "textured" light effect. The Auriol MR 16 Profile offers precise beam shaping and pattern projection across the complete beam angle zoom range 25-50 degrees.
Sound Associates, a developer and installer of assistive listening systems for hearing-impaired technology systems in theatres, will showcase an automated wireless system for translations and a small area and/or personal wireless infrared assistive listening system. Soundcraft is showing the Series Four, a production/event/live-sound audio console, featuring up to 48 mono plus four stereo inputs, 10 aux sends, eight VCA subgroups, and show control automation with virtual dynamic control for every input.
Strand will be demonstrating its SL series compact ellipsoidals with rotating bodies designed for use in performance spaces. The SL fixtures offer a cool beam for extending gel and gobo life and feature GLC 575W lamps, large rear handles for easy and safe luminaire positioning, two balance positions for the yoke assembly, and a common socket assembly with easily interchangeable tubes. Systems Wireless will demonstrate the System 800 UHF wireless intercom, which features two-channel capability, wireless ISO, and stage announce, with a range of 2,000'. UHF frequency-agile wireless microphones and listening devices also will be introduced.
Tomcat USA will be featuring Tomcat CT trussing, which is compatible with plated or spigoted truss and offers greater flexibility in event setup. Arena Deck Modular Staging will make its debut at the Total Structures booth. It is built of lightweight components and features a no-tools-required, fast and easy assembly process, and is rated for a 150lbs/sq. ft. load capacity.
Union Connector is exhibiting a line of aluminum grip carts for location applications. There are different units for cables, crates, C-stands, and heads. Their UC600 is an emergency transfer system for one-, two-, or three-circuit applications, and is UL 1008-listed. Wenger Corporation will feature its Encore Showmobile, an innovative mobile performance center that looks and rides like any conventional cargo trailer. Once at the event site, one operator, via remote control, can deploy the canopy and stage in a few minutes. The Xenon-Strong Ballast in Head xenon light source has an integral power supply, is available in a wide range of wattages, and incorporates the use of lightweight components, making its suitable for portable applications.
That was just a taste of the new products scheduled for introduction at LDI99. In addition to being exhibited at manufacturers' booths, new products will also be introduced at the New Product Breakfasts, held every morning at 8:00AM in Room 110, near Exhibit Hall A, at the Orlando Convention Center. These breakfasts are free to all LDI attendees and feature the latest in Lighting (November 19), Sound (November 20), and Lasers/Special Effects (November 21).