The ABTT show took place this week, on June 18-19. Sponsored by the Association of British Theatre Technicians, the show provides a showcase for products and people in the theatre side of the UK entertainment technology industry. Here’s a brief look at some of the products that were shown:
Avolites showed its new Diamond 4 Elite lighting console, a stylish, streamlined, board offering maximum power and functionality in the minimum physical space. The company also highlighted its ART2000i installation dimmers, for all types of permanent applications, and the ART 2000 Touring dimmer. Also, a RADlite digital media server, controllable by any DMX desk, in this case, an Azure Shadow, was given a hands-on demonstration. The RADlite digital media server offers a video and digital effects package that can be mixed and output from any DMX lighting desk. It can be run as a video source for any show as independent from the main video IMAG and playback production or it can be fully integrated with other video media as required. RADlite combines any number of images and vector shapes with digital video, color backgrounds, and text. RADlite contains a vast inbuilt selection of graphics and effects, and can also store custom created footage and clips for playback and manipulation as desired.
Large-format projection specialists E\T\C UK Ltd. showed the new Pigi “S” 500 Projector, along with a range of accessories specifically targeted to the theatre market. This new projector utilizes a 2.5k HMI lamp and includes CMY color mixing, an internal dimming shutter, and DMX control of all functions. The accessories now include single and double film scrolling as well as the traditional AMD-32 Slidechanger, a manual slide changer, and dimming control is also available for less complex applications. A wide range of Barco objective lenses are also available offering a much-improved optical performance with all Pigi projectors.
James Thomas Engineering launched Pixeldrive, a new video software-based control system for its Pixel fixtures, further fuelling the control integration between different visual medias. Collaborating with IRAD, developers of the RADlite digital media server, Thomas has developed a control system allowing the synching of video images and Thomas’ revolutionary high-brightness Pixelline 1044 battens. When running, this enables effects to be run across both lighting and video media, encompassing the full onstage visual spectrum. Pixeldrive reduces a process that would normally consume hundreds of hours of complex, high-concentration programming time to minutes. The method imports video images--the same images that are being projected by the RADlite system--into the Pixelline lighting fixtures, which then act like another projection surface. The patterns created by these digital images can be manipulated via the lighting desk--in exactly the same way as the RADlite images.
PCM has designed the Unibar, a new product, in collaboration with Slingco; it’s a winch system that allows the quick and easy raising/lowering of lighting or suspension bars for scenery with a motor-driven unit. Unibar is a flexible, user-friendly unit that can be installed onto any style of fixing or structure, including universal beams, trussing, channels, and barrels. It is initially available in 250 or 500kg models with single- or two-speed options. The entire Unibar unit is self–contained, with the motor unit positioned on the end of the track. Single- or three-phase power options are offered, and other product highlights include simple, logical “plug-and-play” operation. Dual brakes are also available as an option. Unibar supports any number of suspension cables and any length of suspension bar with the ultimate top and bottom limits contained within the unit’s controls. Unibar units can be positioned side by side, and the suspension bars are at 200mm centres. The product’s control panel can either be fixed to the wall or operated by hand held remote.
Robe UK, distributor for Czech Republic-based moving light manufacturer Robe Show Lighting, showed the just-launched ColorSpot 1200 moving head. The ColorSpot 1200 is the latest addition to Robe’s comprehensive AT (Advanced Technology) family of moving-head and color-changing fixtures. The fixture uses a powerful Phillips 1200 short-arc discharge lamp light source, with the brightness further boosted by a high-quality optical system. Major ColorSpot 1200 features include a versatile CMY color-mixing system; variable CTO plus an additional color wheel; 12 rotating, indexable, replaceable dichroic glass gobos on two wheels offering 48 gobo combinations; iris; four rotating prisms and effects; variable frost; a flexible 13-42º linear zoom; remote focus; dimmer, and shutter. The fixture also has a progressive color temperature correction system--from 5600K to 3200K--designed for use in television and film applications.
Stagetec, the UK distributor for Compulite and LSC lighting products, showed the first production model of Compulite’s Vector lighting console. It features an integrated CAD package and enhanced paperwork capabilities and is designed to take the operator from concept to closing night in one user-friendly workstation. Vector integrates the needs of the different application areas of entertainment, television lighting, touring, and club or theatre installations without compromising the specific needs of each environment. Vector’s architecture is built around a unique multi-processor system. One system handles the user-interface, and is optimised for comfort, utilizing a familiar Windows XP front-end that’s user-friendly and simple to upgrade. The second processor, calculating the real-time components of the systems, runs on the robust VX platform, bringing speed, stability, and seamlessly running in the background. Also, shown was LSC’s Minim console. Whether operating in Manual or Memory mode, Minim is designed for straightforward, uncomplicated ease of use. No sub-menus, no hidden button pushes--all functions are presented in a clear, organized layout. The Minim can be used in a theatrical two-preset mode of 12 channels or, by using the Grab Master, a two-preset mode of 24 channels. Programming of scenes and chases is made easy with dedicated Record buttons, and the adjustment of times, levels, and sequences is easily achieved via the Edit and Preview functions. A plethora of special effects can be created and played back simultaneously.
Among the award winners at the show were Peter Kemp (Lifetime Achievement Award) and Fraser Hall (Technician of the Year). Stand of the Year went to Black Light. ADB TTV’s Warp range of luminaries took the Product of the Year Award in lighting. Hall Stage’s Hold-on Clips was cited in the widget category. Orbital Sound’s S6000 radio microphone system by Trantec won in the sound category. Triple E’s Stagemate by Bader Maschinebau took the award in the stage engineering/rigging category.