Last fall, I got a call from the fine folks from Chauvet Professional to take a look at a new light that they were introducing. We had the Legend 230SR Beam shipped up to Bandit Lites in Nashville and did a side-by-side comparison with a similar beam light from another manufacturer.
We set up the “shoot out” and started to go through the parameters one by one. The first thing that I noticed was how great the optics were. The output is incredible and carries the beam for amazing distances all the while holding the beam intensity and shape. I found that the 14 options on the color wheel to include a great variety of great colors, and they were not so saturated so as to cut down very much on light output. The colors are laid out in a way that they split very nicely as well.
There are a total of 17 really good static gobos to choose from on this fixture, and by playing with the eight facet prism function, you get the ability to create some great beam effects. This fixture also includes a prism zoom that allows for another great added dynamic for beam shaping. Another great optic feature is the variable frost. Speed-wise, the fixture seemed to be as fast as the competitor’s fixture, and the movement itself is very smooth. All of this, combined with the price point, and the decision to use these on the Miranda Lambert Locked and Reloaded Tour was a no-brainer for us.
I ended up using a total of 26 of these actively on the tour. Twenty of them are broken into four columns of five each to create a wall of light (along with other fixtures) behind the band. The remaining six are used as floor lights on either side of the downstage edge (three each side) to create a variety of aerial looks. We save bringing in the “wall of light” until several songs into the show, and it is definitely a big moment. These fixtures easily punch through everything else that we have going on (including video) to give us some really big rock looks.
The only disadvantage I saw with this light was the shutter speed for strobing, particularly for a random effect. For a steady style strobe, the lag isn't bad, but I just could not get a random strobe that I was totally happy with. I also would love to see a beam fixture like this come out in a CMY version, though I know that adds space and weight issues.
All in all, I found this to be a well thought out and well built fixture that definitely gives the user a lot of bang for the buck. I will include this fixture on many more of my designs to come.
Chris Lisle is a Nashville, TN based production designer, who works with such acts as Miranda Lambert, Robert Plant, OneRepublic, Chris Young, Billy Currington, and others. In his spare time, he enjoys getting free stuff from Chauvet. See his work here.