Product Pick of the Month:
Wet Electrics Production Designer Studio

Production Designer from Wet Electrics is a software solution that shifts the assembly, management, and output of audio and video content and device control to an open, digital platform. By bringing the elements of a multimedia presentation or production together into one controlled environment, it is a cost-effective and time-saving solution to the challenge of synchronizing and orchestrating multimedia.

The Production Designer workflow starts with media creation. You create digital content with your favorite tools, which for digital video can include Apple Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer, Media 100, Adobe Premiere, or Edit DV, and for digital audio can include ProTools, Peak, Spark XL, Sound Forge, Vegas, or Cool Edit. You then export the content as a QuickTime formatted file. Then you can use Production Designer to compose and edit the content. The program allows you to orchestrate and synchronize your digital media with MIDI and serial commands for output devices in your production.

Now, Wet Electrics has released Production Designer Studio software, the first-ever completely downloadable multimedia coordination software. The software incorporates the core power and functionality of Production Designer Multimedia Systems, offering a suite of benefits to media designers and producers. By allowing multimedia designers to arrange media on a timeline, Studio facilitates the effortless playback of video and audio clips and MIDI and serial devices such as lighting consoles and projectors; its interactive capabilities allow the presenter to dynamically orchestrate the order of events within a controlled environment. Furthermore, the software's flexibility lends itself to an assortment of applications, including but not limited to business presentations, live performances, dynamic retail displays, and museum and educational installations.

The software lowers costs by reducing the time, expense, and risk of managing and deploying media. The process of designing and assembling complex presentations is greatly simplified, as the need for many external devices is reduced and often eliminated. The software also allows for content updates and changes. Consequently, design and technical preparations become more productive.

The software can be downloaded from the Wet Electrics website. Production Designer Studio retails for $995 and is available for Macintosh systems only. There is also a trial download, free of charge.

Arena Rigging, by Harry M. Donovan
ISBN 0-9723381-0-1, 710 pages, $97.50

Almost every production requires the hanging of sound, lights, scenery, and other equipment. Rigging this equipment safely and efficiently requires relatively rare knowledge. Although arena rigging is done daily in thousands of venues, there has never been a book on it. Well, Harry Donovan has solved that problem. Donovan, who has spent 22 years on the road as a rigger and has been teaching arena rigging in seminars for a number of years, has authored a very good guide. With over 700 pages, Arena Rigging is a comprehensive and complete description of theoretical and practical elements. It makes use of simple descriptions of principles, dozens of formulas, and hundreds of drawings, pictures, and tables. It also contains many rules of thumb which enable safe rigging without calculations. This is one reference that we highly recommend you own if you are in any way involved with rigging.

Altman Spectra LED Luminaires
Altman jumps into the LED fray with a new division, Software Lighting, and an initial range of LED luminaires including Spectra-PAR, a 540-LED color-mixing PAR fixture; Spectra-Strip, a color-mixing LED striplight; Spectra-Splash, a 540-LED color-mixing outdoor PAR; and Uni-LED, a 252-LED monochrome PAR. The Altman units also include several proprietary patent-pending features, including Spectra-Burst, an intelligent LED management system which can optimize LED light output regardless of the environment; Spectra-Sync, an LED color system that enables true color rendition; and Spectra-Drive, an LED drive system that includes a flicker-free television mode.

Advanced Optical AOT White 96
AOT White 96 from Advanced Optical Technology offers exceptional reflectivity and the ability to withstand high temperatures. It is the first sprayable diffuse coating formulated specifically for lighting applications that combines exceptional high reflectivity (96%+), which will improve any fixture's performance by between 5% and 25% depending on the optic and fixture efficiency, and the ability to withstand ultra-high operating temperatures (700°C). Therefore, in any point-source-type application, at virtually any wattage, the paint will remain stable and highly reflective. It is UV-stable and dries to an extremely abrasion-resistant finish. It is a water-based formulation that can be applied using standard wet painting techniques to any aluminum or steel surface. It will not adhere well to plastic. One designer suggested it as a good option for high-end lightboxes. Sample kits are available.

Beacon Black Line Gobo Series
Beacon has unveiled the Black Line Gobo Series, glass gobos with one side coated black. This eliminates halos and reflections of the image when projecting. It comes mounted in a black anodized aluminum ring which will cover the align marks and also protect from mechanical stress. The gobos are manufactured in eight basic glass sizes, adding flexibility with 19 sizes of black rings to mount the gobo into. Beacon Black Line gobos are currently available from Beacon Gobo Group members; the Gobo Group ( is a network of independent gobo producers around the world, using Beacon gobo technology.

ChainMaster VarioLift Extension Board
ChainMaster has introduced the VarioLift Extension Board, a new add-on console for the VarioLift. It offers the ability to manually control different chain lifts at different speeds using two analog joysticks. It is possible to link several extension boards and existing programs can run simultaneously, staggered in time. Group assignments make the console suitable for live use. Any number of chain lifts and groups can be freely assigned to the two joysticks in any configuration. It is constructed to withstand day-to-day live use. It comes equipped with a 15" touch screen integrated into the folding lid of the controller. Data input functions are shared between the integrated PC keyboard and the touch screen.

Genie GS-1930
The GS-1930, the first in Genie's line of self-propelled scissor lifts, incorporates built-in self-diagnostics that notify operators of possible fault conditions, disc brakes, and a variable-speed motor for extended battery and motor life to provide maximum uptime. The GS-1930 also features proportional controls for lift and drive functions, large area platforms, and tight space maneuverability. Swing-out battery boxes and power modules that allow easy access to components are designed to make this scissor lift easy to service. Safety features include pothole guards, slip-resistant surface on deck platform, and built-in lanyard attachments. The GS-1930 lifts up to 500lb to a working height of 25'. It also features a 39" easy rollout platform extension.

Jands Event 4 Software
Version 5 software for the Jands Event 4 console is designed to increase the power and functionality of this line of consoles as well as enhance the user interface. Features include 240 virtual playbacks, 40 more groups, color, beam, and position palettes, AutoStack cue lists, and a host of new recording options. This is one of the largest new feature upgrades for the Event 408 and 416 consoles. A new offline editor software package is now also available for the Event 4 line of consoles to help users make edits and set up consoles when a real console is not available, such as on the bus or in a hotel room.

MA Lighting grandMA Version 4 Software
MA Lighting's grandMA version 4 is here. Multi-user programming, MAtricks, wireless PDA remote control, enhanced grandMA 3D interaction, completely new fixture schedule, and patching system are just a few features of this new software release. One of the immediately obvious changes to the console is that the user interface has been simplified to aid navigation around the exponentially more powerful operating system. There is also now a built-in wire-frame visualizer that can be used for preprogramming. But the real meat of this new version is in the networking implementation. Now multiple programmers can work on the same show at the same time with multiple consoles and all data is stored as if it is one console.

Odyssey Viper 160R
Odyssey Innovative Designs introduces the Viper 160R, a gobo-rotating moving-head fixture that can be used in stand-alone mode with built-in programs, sound active, or can be fully controlled with various DMX controllers. Features include separate gobo and color wheels, 11 dichroic colors plus white, seven interchangeable rotating gobos, gobo scrolling effect, strobe, 540° pan and 270° tilt; Philips CDM150/2 lamp with 6,000 hours average rated life, 110V/220V selectable, and hanging brackets included. You can link up to 16 units in master and slave mode with no controller needed.

Spotlight ARC-Hyperspot Video
Spotlight introduces the ARC-Hyperspot Video, which consists of a moving yoke in combination with a conventional video projector. The Automated Remote Control (ARC) brings movement into lighting and multimedia applications. The video projector, combined with your photo and video editing computer software, is designed to expand the boundaries of entertainment and architectural lighting. Any LCD or DLP video projector can be motorized with the ARC system. BNC and VGA connectors are standard. Power supply and cables are hidden inside the ARC. It uses 16-bit resolution and DMX for control and optical encoders are used for smooth starts and stops. The unit needs no reset after a power failure and will return to its original position if manually moved.

Wenger Upper Deck Audience Seating Corner Sections
Wenger Corp. introduces Corner Sections for its Upper Deck Audience Seating system, designed to add seating capacity and flexibility in any application, while improving sightlines. The Upper Deck system is ideal for multiuse venues like black box theatres, arenas, and other facilities where versatility and fast setup are required. The Corner Sections are available in 4" to 24" elevations and either 3' or 4' widths, making them compatible with all standard Upper Deck decks. Two Upper Deck corner sections create a 45° angle; four sections create a 90° angle. To provide easy audience access, a 4' space for a walkway can be formed between two 45° angles. They are available with standard Upper Deck finishes — black phenolic and natural tempered hardboard, as well as optional sound-dampening acoustic decks.