Lightfactor Sales, the UK distributor for Wireless Solutions’ WDMX wireless DMX protocol, has supplied a system to the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.
The initial four transmitter/eight receiver purchase was specified by Paul Hornsby, lighting systems technician for the venue and supplied by Lightfactor’s Peter Coles who says, “We’re extremely pleased to be working with such a prestigious venue. It’s a great endorsement of the product.”
They tested the system thoroughly in and around the building before committing to WDMX, he explains, using it on numerous smaller shows and events and a variety of moving lights. Hornsby and his team now have WDMX running two universes of DMX on their main stage. It’s used primarily to control each production’s extras gear–usually scrollers, moving lights, dimmer shutter devices, etc.–that are utilized in addition to the standard house lighting rig, fixed onto the overhead lighting battens.
They also often have to rig additional spot bars for rehearsals taking place on the main stage during the day, which then have to be stripped out in readiness for that evening’s repertory performance. Once again the WDMX is a quick, easy and convenient method of running data to these fixtures.
Producing 35 main stage shows a year, with up to four in rep at any one time, the ROH schedule is extremely hectic. The general aim of the system is to eliminate all DMX cables for the extras of up to four shows running concurrently.
“WDMX is cost effective, and we liked its ‘plug-and-play’ simplicity,” says Hornsby when asked why he chose this system. “The diagnostics are simple, and it’s reliable and easy to use. We’ve not had a single problem with it.” They have just confirmed the purchase of a further four transmitters and eight receivers.
The system has also been used in various other spaces around the ROH and has worked through all sorts of obstacles including iron doors. It’s been used in the two studio theatres for things like inaccessible smoke machines, and also for large exterior systems. The first Linbury production to benefit from WDMX was Orphee. On the main stage, it is currently in use for MacBeth (pictured) and Eugene Onegin.