One of the most famous nightclubs in the world, Le Lido in Paris, selected Medialon Manager for show control when renovating the revue show for its 26th season. This year’s spectacular Bonheur runs twice a day and is the story of a young "bird-lady" looking for happiness. The show has four scenes and uses twenty-three sets, including an airplane, an ice skating rink, a fountain, a swimming pool, and an Indian temple. Four Manager show controllers are used to partition, control, and synchronize all show elements (including audio, video, lighting, and effects) while supporting live interaction with onstage talent.
The audio department has its own Manager license, which starts and monitors the time code generator, to which all four licenses are synchronized. The audio controller monitors the audio playback sources and the time code, with contingency plans and backup equipment for a variety of progressive signal dropouts. This layering of contingencies greatly reduces the chance of a show mishap, and is essential in an international show of this caliber. Two MX2424 HD recorders, a Yamaha console, and a Peavey MediaMatrix house processor are controlled in this way.
The lighting and video department also has a dedicated Manager license, which fires cues to a WholeHog® III lighting console and the video players. "A primary advantage of using a show controller to control the lighting desk is the ability to bypass some cues live or to offset some part of the show, especially when talent behaves differently than expected," says Medialon’s Alex Carru. "These ‘wild’ adjustments are written as short, self-contained cues, and are fired from a Medialon Remote Desk, which provides much faster selection and actuation than keyboard or mouse." The lighting Manager also acts as a backup for the lighting console, every console cue is contained as a DMX file in the show controller.
A third Medialon Manager is used to control the water show and some rigging elements, which have various backups. "Water effects are notoriously hard to program, and in this case, the water Manager was programmed using Medialon’s ‘TimeX’ function," explains Carru. "Using TimeX, a series of untimed (but technically complete) cues are tapped into rhythm with the audio tracks. The tapped cues are then micro-timed using the other features of Manager, to provide a sinuous and metrical water show without a lot of coding."
A fourth license of Manager acts as a supervisory and reporting system, monitoring the departmental licenses and extracting variables from each for display on backstage monitors. For example, heads up displays at stage wings indicate the cue currently in progress plus a countdown to the next cue. "This makes life a lot easier when, at the Lido, up to four productions may be mounted simultaneously. And, of course, every controller is loaded with all three craft programs in case of a switchover," Carru continues.
All equipment is controlled via TCP/IP, except for time code, which is piped directly to an Adrienne RG1 time code card in each Manager computer. The total roster of equipment under control: 12 DMX universes, 20 MIDI channels, 13 RS-232 serial ports (over IP), 2 Tascam MX 2424’s,an Evertz time code generator, a MiniDisc Player, aMedia Matrix DSP assembly, aYamaha Audio console, a Video Player, a Doremi hard disk recorder, a Wholehog III, a Videoprojector, a Video scaler and selector, a DVD Player and 36 I/O contacts for the water show and scenes.