XL Video supplied hardware and crew for the recent high-profile DJ Shadow tour, which utilized a massive projected set as the show’s visual centerpiece.
A US-based team of visual artists led by Ben Coles produced the groundbreaking collection of provocative atmospheric images. They are stored on DVDs and replayed live by Shadow via two Pioneer DVJX1s DVD decks, output to screen via an Edirol v 4 mixer.
XL supplied nine Barco RLM G5i projectors complete with Barco 0.8:1 wide-angle lenses to rear project onto the 24-ft. wide set/projection area, consisting of a top and a bottom screen, the top measuring 6 ft. high and the bottom 12 ft. The set and the screen surfaces are custom built and sourced via Litestructures.
Three projectors are positioned on the floor, and the other six are each rigged in threes on the top and bottom rails of a truss upstage of the screen area.
XL brought technician Richard Stembridge onboard. He’s been working with Shadow since the summer, when the release of his album The Outsider brought the live production up several gears. The tour is project managed for XL Video UK by Jo Beirne and Phil Mercer, who comments, “We’ve worked on Shadow’s previous tours and it’s always an exciting and challenging project. We are very lucky to get Richie to step in.”
With visuals being a major production element, the projectors were chosen because of their cost effectiveness, their wide range of front-end features, and overall power-to-value ratio. “They were perfect for the job,” says Stembridge.
One of many features is an internal scan converter that allows very precise editing and scaling of the source material. This greatly aided the line-up in this case, where all nine projectors were used to create a single high-impact image covering the whole screen area.
XL also supplied a Folsom Image Pro scan converter for scaling the images before they went into the projectors.
The biggest daily challenge is the line-up and the color balancing of all the projectors within their daily timescale, “With visuals so crucial to the show, there was plenty of pressure,” notes Stembridge. “The support and service from XL Video was excellent, as always.”