At SIB, the only approval anyone seeks is the CE mark for product distribution in Europe. Otherwise, the show continues to be the most unbuttoned of the annual trade fairs. Eccentrically dressed (or undressed) showgoers pay constant homage to the late Federico Fellini, favorite son and patron saint of the Italian resort town of Rimini, where what is more long-windedly known as the International Exhibition of Equipment and Technology for Discotheques, Dancehalls, and Rental Firms takes place.

SIB veterans say the show has grown more reserved over the years, as it moves farther and farther away from its roots as a modeling industry exhibition. But for a first-time visitor to the Rimini Trade Fair, SIB seems like any other 15-year-old: loud and unpredictable. Amusing, too, and right at the center of the finest cooking in Europe, for a post-show, pre-disco splurge at day's end. That is, if you hadn't succumbed to the many libations doled out for the price of a product demo by a fair amount of the show's 600 attending companies, or were too shellshocked by the local color to digest properly. The highlight may have been the giant drag queen dressed as Cruella De Vil, celebrating the impending Italian release of 101 Dalmatians, with four leather-clad women leashed to "her." Though not the kind Walt Disney would approve of, that's entertainment.

Entertainment technology was spread out all over the 40,000-sq.-m (131,200-sq.-ft.) show floor, with the brightest lights and splashiest sound products for clubs and other venues in full roar in Hall F. Products generally were making their first local appearance at the show; PLASA and LDI, in the fall, are the preferred world launch pads for new gear. Which is not to say that SIB, the pretty people's trade show, is in danger of becoming unfashionable: This year's, held March 23-28, attracted 37,106 attendees, about 3% more than last year's. More significant is that there were about 13% more overseas visitors, including a delegation from China, than last year, indicating that "SIB fever" continues unabated.

What follows is a selective look behind the booths at what some of this year's exhibitors were offering. With apologies to the folks at Giglio Moroder Production, who again made waves at SIB with their contemporary twist to the bubble bath--good clean fun indeed.

A.C. Lighting

New to SIB: The Starlite Mk5 automated robotic spotlight, a DMX-controlled moving-yoke profile luminaire with features including full CMY (cyan, magenta, yellow) color mixing, a six-position gobo wheel, and two sets of five fully indexing, variable speed, rotating prisms/effects, and variable frost. Uses 1,200W HMI lamp.

Arri Lighting

New to SIB: The Arri Daylight Compact Theatre, for use in theatrical applications. Features include a spherical cold-light reflector for optimized temperature balance and longer life of color diffusion filters, reflection-free housing in theatre gray, and improved lamphead balance for combined use of the louver shutter, color changer, and barndoor. ETC Europe offered its product catalog at this booth, which also showcased the Arrisun, and the Arri Studio and Softlight luminaires.

Avolites

New to SIB: Its distributor, Audiolink, showcased the Diamond III, a control console with 3,072 channels (and six isolated DMX outputs), 2,000 memories or chases, eight optical encoders, 24 faders, a full-size keyboard, and a MIDI/MIDI time-code input; SMPTE is optional.

CCS Lightcontrollers

First time anywhere: The company's Colibri Lightcontrollers, this year joined by the Cameleon line, are light show programming units that organize shows like a book with pages, with a cover, contents page, and fonts all part of the programming "environment." In these environments users can specify all scans, spots, background lights, and others, and how they will all be used. Many different environments can be stored in memory for easy recall. The Cameleon has preprogrammed scan figures stored in its FigureBox(TM), eliminating trial-and-error with a controller's fader knobs when programming scans.

Company news: J.C. Factory will be distributing the firm's products in France, as CCS seeks further international distribution. The company will gradually expand to the US market.

Celco/Electrosonic

New to SIB: The Celco Ventura 1000, offering 1,000 channels of control, which can incorporate up to 100 automated luminaires with fader control for 240 dimmer channels. Electrosonic displayed its Picbloc(TM) creative videowall systems.

Clay Paky

New to SIB: Italy is home ground for Clay Paky, renowned for its annual dinner, and the firm pitched its biggest tent yet at the show. Introduced were the Stage Scan HMI 1200, similar to the Golden Scan HPE but with automatic focal adjustment from about 25 degrees to 13 degrees in six selectable steps, full color mixing, and an automatic hot-strike ignitor; the Golden Fog fog machine line, which use non-toxic, water-based fluid, are thermal-protected, and come with a multifunctional remote control; and its Display line, including the Versatile Image Projector (VIP), a non-intelligent 300W projector for use in store displays and discos that is a TCI magazine Lighting Product of the Year. Also displayed were an updated version of the Combicolor 575, which uses an HMI 575 metal-halide lamp to provide more than 1,000 hours of use, and a CD-ROM with the firm's relevant product information.

Company news: The firm is preparing a wash light for the fall trade show season, and invites all to visit its website at www.claypaky.it.

Coemar

New to SIB: The Coemar Manual System 6 0/+10V and DMX512, and Coemar DMX Controller 8, are the first electronic controllers designed, developed, and distributed by the company, and can help Coemar users design complex light shows quickly. Coemar says its NAT PC (Pro Colour) Professional Line is the most complete line of professional motorized projectors available, with features that include a CMY color-changing system, an electronic zoom, a motorized focusing system, shutter blades, a proportional frost filter, and a gobo facility. All versions have the 360-degree Coemar head, enabling continuous rotation of a beam of light in every direction; many have the Coemar Moving Images Creation System, which generates at least 36 different moving gobo images. Also displayed were two versions of the Coemar Zenith 300/500, both diecast spotlights (one is a fresnel, the other a PC version), and the diecast Coemar Twister, a robotic centerpiece with more than 2,000 preprogrammed scenes.

Crown

New to SIB: The K2, the first in a new series of 2,500W amplifiers that the firm has been developing for five years. The noiseless units do not have a fan, and feature patent-pending BCA(TM) circuitry, universal power supply, automatic turn-on diagnostics, and modular design and construction. The units are currently on tour with Guns N' Roses.

ETC Audiovisuel

Featured product: The PIGI projection system, for indoor and outdoor events, product launches, conventions, theatre, and concerts was displayed.

F.A.L.

New to SIB: The CE-approved Proscan X, an intelligent lighting system with nine dichroic filters with high chromatic yield plus white, an HMI 1,200W/GS metal-halide discharge lamp with color temperature of 5600K, five interchangeable rotating gobos plus clear, and seven fixed gobos plus clear. Also CE-approved are the freshly redesigned Roulette 1200 projector (with an HMI 1,200W metal-halide discharge lamp) and Roulette 575 projector, with an HMI 575W metal-halide discharge lamp. The 1200 has more easily accessible electronics, a rotating three-facet prism, and a color temperature correction filter.

Fly srl

Featured products: The product line includes the Wave, a halogen wash luminaire with a programmable moving mirror, good for theatrical use; the Flaser, a laser emulator with two outputs of bright light, controlled by four deflection modules driven by the inner microprocessor; the Palette series of wash luminaires with internal trichromatic color changers and dimmers; and Trichroma wash luminaires, used in the US at the Mondrian Hotel in Los Angeles.

Gemini Sound Products/Lytequest

Featured products: Making the European/Asian trade show rounds this spring, the firms brought along their latest catalog, and some of the wares within. Gemini products included the PT2001 turntable, the PS-626 Techno Rack Mixer and a batch of CD players, plus gooseneck lamps and unidirectional microphones, and Dominator series speakers; also, Lytequest Pro and Motorhead(TM) lighting instruments, and foggers.

General Electric

New to SIB: The PAR-64 HX 800 lamp, with fittings designed for theatre and studio lighting. Features include beam performance superior to 1,000W FFN, and 800W power consumption (vs. 1,000W), allowing for three lamps per 2.5kV dimmer.

Company news: GE has new Italian distribution.

Geni Electronics

New to SIB: The Ultima-2(TM), which projects gobos and slides. Features include a rotating gobo/slide two-in-one wheel, a scanner-like head that makes projections run in DMX-programmable sequences, an HSD-200W lamp for daylight use, and modular construction. Also the Stratus-5X(TM), a mid-sized intelligent projector with new, brighter HMI 575W lamps, five rotating replaceable gobos and nine dichroic colors plus white; and the DMX-controlled Giga Strobe D, which comes in an extruded aluminum case for heat dissipation and offers 3,000W per flash.

Griven

First time anywhere: The Spada, which produces a single narrow beam with random dancing movement, sound activated via built-in microphone, available in 575W HMI and 24V/250W halogen versions; the Jump, a lighting effect with central lamp and 12 motorized mirrors (six dichroic) to provide reflected or refracted colors, in 575W or 1,200W HMI versions; and the DMX-controlled Colorway color changer, which uses CMY dichroics, comes with a frost filter, and outputs colors through a graduated zoom fresnel lens.

High End Systems

Featured products: Its range of automated luminaires, including the Studio Color(TM), Cyberlight(R), and Trackspot(R), was at the show, courtesy of distributor Ianiro Lighting Equipment.

JEM Smoke Machines

New to SIB: The JEM Hydrosonic 2000, which through a process called "HOT technology" creates its translucent, optically reflective haze without heat, temperature controls, jets, nozzles, or compressed air. The products are being produced in northern Denmark, part of JEM's arrangement with new owner Martin Professional. Lamba

First time anywhere: The Win Commander, a Windows 95-based lighting control system demoed with COEF products (including the Performance 1200 Disco) at its booth. The DMX512 lighting controller, developed by the British software company HSL, uses the PC format for the flexibility it offers LDs and lighting operators, such as 32,000 simultaneous 64-step chases. Features include simple access controls and a database. The UK-based firm, which is now COEF's exclusive UK distributor, is seeking a US distributor for the Win Commander.

Lampo

New to SIB: The Mover, a scanner-like unit without a mirror. Features include an HMI 575W lamp and seven rotating gobos, plus two fixed gobos.

Laser Creations International

New to SIB: The PM22 Laser Controller, designed for use with Cambridge Technology's 6800 series scanners. It can produce straight beams, flat scans, tunnels, and other effects commonly found on more expensive equipment. The unit is supplied with four text fonts (script, block, italic, and line) which can be produced in any color or size. Rotation encoders allow varied effects manipulations.

Laser Innovations Ltd

New to SIB: The NATScan, which uses Coemar technology, is a 360-degree by 360-degree continuous movement laser head controlled via DMX through Laser Innovations' systems. Also displayed was the company's PanScan effects head, which offers maximum club area coverage from a single unit, giving total laser output mobility. The company also has a website, at www.laserinn.demon.co.uk.

Lee Filters

New to SIB: A total of 27 new lighting filters, plus new gobo patterns and an updated comparative poster.

Lighting Technology

New to SIB: Lite-Dim, an electronic dimmer/blackout unit that can be attached to the front of a fixture. It can be remote-controlled from a standard lighting control console with either a DMX512 or analog 0-10V signal, and comes in three sizes: the 1200 for projectors with a lens up to 140mm in diameter, 1200/A for units up to 220mm, and 2101 for up to 400mm. Applications are film, TV, and photography studios.

Lite-Puter

New to SIB: The DX-1221, a CE-approved upgrade of its DX-1220 dimmer pack, and a prototype of its CX-5, an intelligent lighting controller with chase times from 0.1-600 seconds, 1MB of super memory, and the ability to control 12 intelligent lights (maximum 14 channels each) at the same time.

Litestructures

Featured product: The Lite Deck aluminum staging system, which uses an all-aluminum frame, making the system lighter and more portable. The firm's Italian representative is Spotlight srl.

Lobo Electronic

New to SIB: Lobo's 1,000-sq.-m (3,280-sq.-ft.) booth housed hourly showings of Dreams of Light, a Star Wars-type presentation emanating from a giant curved projection screen. Enabling the show was the firm's new RGB-AO5 color-mixing units and its AMP-5 graphics scanners; using them together, complex graphics can be displayed up to twice as fast as before, without flickering. Its new Digital Data Link was the optical transmission system for the signals between the controlling computer, RGB-AO5, and AMP-5. Lobo's ERU-3 recording station allows owners of LACON computers to convert beam and animation shows into the format of Lobo's new low-priced Economy Line player units.

MA Lighting

New to SIB: A new version of the MA Scancommander, with software that allows control of up to 30 channels for intelligent luminaires.

Mad Lighting

New to SIB: Attendees were mad about the Madscan--the world's first injection-molded scanner--and its plastic-cased companions, the Madstar and the Madcolour color changer. The products were displayed in different UV-reactive lids around the firm's booth, creating a colorful spectacle. Using customized VLSI technology, Scanner features include microstepping motors for all movements, full DMX512 addressability, and a variable strobe; the Star range has similar functionality, and is used for covering large areas with fill-in effects. Its website is www.madlighting.co.uk.

Mark IV

Featured products: Fresh from Frankfurt Musikmesse, the firm displayed products including the Altec-Lansing 7120A US/7140A Europe amplifier, Dynacord's ACUS series speakers for concert halls, and the Electro-Voice High-Audio Rifle, a high-frequency driver and horn unit that can be used with speakers so users on the stage can hear a noticeable improvement in sound quality in the back of a room.

Martin Professional

New to SIB: What didn't Martin have at its massive 1,472-sq.-m (4,828-sq.-ft.) booth, which hosted no less than three light shows targeted at the rock-and-roll, theatre, and disco segments, enjoyed by more than 10,000 visitors? A few highlights: the smooth-running MAC 600(TM) color changer, with a precision-driven yoke-mounted projector offering 440 degrees of pan and 306 degrees of tilt. The unit uses the MSR 575W lamp and has a fresnel optical system to create a bright but soft light, good for stage and theatre applications. Also the Martin Lighting Director(R), a performer-controlled followspot system that can interface with an existing DMX controller and allow control of up to 64 lighting fixtures that will react to four performers simultaneously and automatically. The package includes an ISA card for a PC computer, a DMX card, four ultrasonic speakers, up to four wireless trackers with radio receivers, and the Lighting Director software. The Martin ShowDesigner, a refinement of Lighthouse Holland bv's Highlight Control and Highlight Design software (which Martin distributes), has new features including a gobo library; users can create set and lighting designs in 3D computer graphics.

Company news: In part because of its automated profiling system, the PAL 1200 won the Best Product award from the Association of British Theatre Technicians at the 23rd Annual ABTT Awards earlier this year.

M.G.C. Lamps

New to SIB: This UK-based distributor of lamps from companies including Osram Sylvania, Philips, and General Electric was a first-time exhibitor at the show, and reports great success there.

Moonlight

New to SIB: From this Taipei, Taiwan-based company comes the Supermoon, a disco light with a bright moonflower effect in its gobo, and built-in control.

Nu-Light Systems Ltd

New to SIB: Lasertechnique lasers, available in MIDI/Mini Scan and Pro Scan configurations. The former has as its laser source a diode laser, with 5mW maximum optical power and 635nm red wavelength; the latter, an HeNe laser tube (argon) with maximum optical power of 60mW/250mW and wavelengths of 632.8nm red and 457-514nm green-blue. Both models, which are CE-approved, offer 16 preprogrammed spatial effects aimed at the midrange laser market, from mobile to large venues.

Optical Deposition Laboratory

Featured products: ODL's Dichropatterns of various kinds--logotype, multicolor, single color, and photo--for use in clubs, discos, advertising and photography.

Omicron

New to SIB: An update of the Laserage DMX-Nova, which allows lighting designers to create light and laser shows simultaneously. In emulation mode, the unit simulates the function of a 12-channel moving light; laser-effects control is similar to the control of the moving light. Users can also implement the Laserage (LA) Mode, which can handle 16 eight-bit channels and be extended to a range of 36 channels, for selection of different laser effects. The firm is looking for US distribution.

Osram Sylvania

Featured products: The firm showcased lamps from its Photo Optics division, for use in film, theatre, and a range of applications, plus its catalog.

Philips Lighting srl

First time anywhere: The MSD 200 Flash 2/MSD 250, a long-life MSR that Mad Lighting, for one, is using in its new equipment. A 1,200W unit, the MSR SA, has a shorter lifespan. The company also featured lamps for fiber-optic applications, plus a miniature lamp, the Blue Pinch.

PLASA

Company news: Gearing up for its 1997 edition, to be held September 7-10 at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London, following a record-breaking PLASA 96. For more information, phone 44/171/370-8179, fax 44/171/370-8143, or e-mail etech@eco.co.uk.

Pulsar

New to SIB: Besides its new Pulsar interactive CD-ROM, the firm displayed (at the Clay Paky booth) the Masterpiece 108 and Replay Cueing System, which allows users to cue the Masterpiece range of controllers via PC. Sound, video, and lighting cues can be combined and cued from a mouse click or by touching the screen.

Programmi e Sistemi Luce

New to SIB: Products including the FollowSpot, in 1,000W and 500W versions, both with color changers, for theatre, mobile, and stage use. The 575 offers seven colors plus blackout; the 1000, six colors plus blackout. Both are compact HMI units. The LiquidLight has an oil effect with optional mirror for beam deflection, and is suited for clubs and discos. The Rotoscan DMX multi-scanner and controller has a new design, and features include 16 programmed scenes, audio input with adjustable sensitivity, manual control, and a joystick for pan movement and cylinder rotation in both directions, with speed control.

Rosco Laboratories

New to SIB: The Horizon, a lighting control console that can be run off a PC, using a mouse, keyboard, and Windows 95. It can also run moving lights, fog machines, turntables, and additional DMX devices.

Featured products: The Rosco gobo catalog, including its custom photo gobos, and its CalColor(TM) calibrated color, for the film/TV markets.

Ryger

First time anywhere: Ryger's Defender DMX range has been completely reconfigured. The line has switched over to DMX512 serial control, their aluminum color has been replaced by black, and options for 250 ELC or M33/REF 250W 300-hour halogen lamps have been added. Also at SIB was the firm's M2L PRO, a 19" x 1 rack unit MIDI-to-Light interface including an 8x5A-per-channel dimmer pack.

Company news: Ryger's website, at www.capethorn.co.uk/ryger/, has been redone as well.

Sagitter

New to SIB: The Infinity Live Zoom 1200, a moving-mirror luminaire for live performances that Sagitter says can reproduce any effect from any luminaire. Features include 5600K color temperature, double-coated combined lenses, a programmable remote focusing system, and a zoom system that performs apertures from 16 to 28 degrees. The Infinity MSZ, or Multi Step Zoom, represents the evolution of Sagitter's Infinity Scan Light 100 to a projector with a high-speed strobe effect, a faster color changer, and variable beam apertures controllable through a desk. Other equipment includes the Super Prince 575, with more functionality (including an increased color range and indexable rotating gobos) for TV, theatre, and touring, and the Mask Color Zoom 1200 color changer which uses RGB color mixing and has a fast, motorized iris, and a linear mechanical dimmer that controls light output.

Seleco

In prototype: The SRP41C, a "cubewall," as opposed to a videowall, system. The compact cube shape, which houses a projector, makes it easier to use, the firm says. Applications include business presentations, industrials, and concert tours. It is likely to be available this summer.

SGM Electronic Light

First time anywhere: Now in its 20th year, SGM celebrated SIB by launching a new line of electronic ballasts for its scanners, whose lamps should now have a longer lifespan, without flicker. Fixture weight has also been reduced. Its Galileo scanners and Colorlab color changers are now available as High Performance units with electronic ballasts.

Company news: The firm is redesigning or updating all its products for CE approvals. Products that will be introduced this year and next will include the ColorDynamic effects projector; two DMX-controlled strobes, one dimmable and one with color-changing capability; a DMX-controlled Varismoke unit; and a new series of updated Regia control desks, called Fenice. Also in the works is Halley, an automated projector that will use different lenses for various beam widths, and its companion, Giotto, an automated color changer powered by a halogen lamp that will use RGB technology.

Space Cannon

New to SIB: If you walked over to the Rimini Grand Hotel in the evening after a day at the show, you could see 20 of this firm's SET 4,000W xenon fixed-type searchlights illuminating the hotel's facade in a blaze of changing colors. Also available in 2,000, 7,000 and 10,000W versions, the products (showcased similarly at Frankfurt Musikmesse) are for architectural lighting and film production. Technical specifications for the SET 4000 include 180,000 lumen output, 50/60Hz frequency, 6500K color temperature, and a lamp life of 1,000 hours.

Strand Lighting

Featured products: The Strand booth showcased a number of products, including its Lightpalette control console and 1542 Shownet Ethernet Communicator.

Studio Due

New to SIB: Shown in prototype, but scheduled to be available now, was the Live Pro 1200, a motorized spotlight for MSR 1200 SA (short arc) or HTI 1200 lamps, with prism and frost, wash frost, and CMY color mixing. Features of this product, which took two years to develop, include an automatic circuit to regulate the air flux, new opto-isolated DMX with display, a DMX reset that can be operated manually, and 35% electronic dimming of the lamp. It should be in production now. Also, the small-sized Giant, which uses a 150W discharge lamp or 250W halogen lamp, installed in a dichroic reflector, that produces a bright white beam. Features include one wheel with five dichroic colors, one wheel with five gobos, and one shutter with strobe effect.

Superstar Lighting

New to SIB: The Superlaser, a portable 4.9mW red laser, with 16 preset geometric patterns and three modes of operation: auto speed, music mode, and manual control. It comes with a UL 120V adapter/CE 230V adapter and has an adjustable mounting bracket.

Tarm Showlaser

New to SIB: The Key-Desk 2, a manual graphic controller, and, in prototype, the T2 manual controller, a beam and color controller compatible with DMX and MIDI. Highlighting its standard Vario Lasersystems line are its high-end 3D graphic display models.

Tecnitron

New to SIB: The Centerpiece Laser Simulator, which has eight mirrors and a 0-10V controller. It comes in versions with 575W and 1,200W HMI lamps.

In prototype: The Trapeze projector, a 2.5kW skylight and searchlight.

Total Fabrications

First time anywhere: This long-time attendee but first-time exhibitor launched its One Touch Clamp, billed as an alternative to the standard C-clamp. This lighting clamp is rated to 500kg (1,100lb) and uses a lever lock to attach to truss cord, flybar, or pipe, and is for rigging large HMIs and large-bodied automated lighting instruments. Also launched was the TF Safety PAR, for TV studio environments. Features include a completely domed rear assembly, external alignment of 110V linear filament hotspots through a lockable, insulated knob on the rear of the dome, and a Dzus-type fastener that auto-locks the dome shut; it can only be released with a special key. An easily fitted retro kit, to bring other TF PAR lamps in line with this one's CE approval, is available. The booth was constructed from the firm's compact, lightweight, and flexible XO truss.

Company news: The firm has opened a new operation in Singapore.

Zero 88

New to SIB: The Sirius 250 control panel, with 256 channels. It can handle up to 48 luminaires, half of which can be moving lights. Features include 4 Wheel Drive(TM), an ergonomically designed layout of control wheels for easier fingertip control.