Leading UK lighting rental company Lite Alternative has invested in a new Kinesys K2 automation control system which has gone out on Depeche Mode's "Touring The Universe" world tour and the stadium leg of the Coldplay "Viva La Vida" world tour - both with lighting designs by Paul Normandale.
This reflects the growing trend for designers to incorporate movement as another visual dynamic into their shows, requiring accurate and often subtle control to change the nature and feel of the performance space - for which the Kinesys system is a market leader.
Paul Normandale says he likes the flexibility of changing the show with movement, By bringing trusses in and confining the space, the environment can become more clubby and intimate. It enables the focus to "evolve" and the designer to really maximise an expedient number of lights, giving the illusion of more with movement. "Then there's the added drama of seeing the lights move," he concludes.
Lite Alternative's Jon Greaves explains that in practical terms, they spent several months evaluating the available options - it was a big decision, and they wanted to be sure they were making the right one.
The first Lite Alt Kinesys purchase was a fixed speed Elevation system with a Smart 8 8-channel hoist controller and Vector PC based automation control. This was utilised for Keane's autumn 2008 tour, to facilitate Rob Sinclair's design.
It then went straight out on the Kings of Leon, a co-design between Ali Bale and Paul Normandale.
When Depeche Mode appeared on the event horizon earlier this year with Normandale designing the lighting in close collaboration with set designer/creative director Anton Corbijn, vari-speed control became an essential requirement. At this point the company started looking at upgraded motors with Kinesys Elevation 1+ controllers and adding K2 control - which provides a hugely flexible millimetre-precise complete 3D programming and visualisation environment.
This was a "serious commitment" for Lite Alt's rigging department, but they went ahead and purchased Kinesys Liftket motors, an Elevation 1+ variable speed hoist controllers plus the K2 software and playback wing. As Greaves puts it, this provided the "icing on the cake" in terms of embracing the Kinesys platform.
The thing that swung it Kinesys' way - apart from the prior investment - was its ability to work with a whole range of different motor types, weights and speeds. Normandale also reckons Kinesys has "the greatest market opportunities, specially for tours crossing over between the UK and US".
For the current stadium section of the ongoing Coldplay tour, Lite Alternative is supplying a 30-way variable speed Kinesys K2 system for the show.