Somerset House, London used an Avolites Diamond 4 Elite console for their summer season concerts. With headliners like The Doves, Super Furry Animals, Sigur Ros and Bloc Party, Somerset House’s head of lighting Nick Read designed a generic lighting rig for the venue’s first series of summer concerts. Read’s main objective was to design a rig that was dynamic and flexible enough to satisfy the diversity of the featured LDs and bands.
Most band LDs used the Diamond 4 reports Read, who specified the console, "Because it’s a great festival desk and this is essentially a festival-style set up. It’s highly ‘buskable’ and perfect for the job." All Diamond 4s are supplied with an Avolites Visualizer simulation programmer, which Read notes was very useful during programming sessions.
The Diamond 4 controlled a wide selection of lights: 16 SGM Giotto 400 CYMs moving lights–10 in the air and six on the floor–and 18 Martin MAC 600s–12 in the air and six on the floor, 10 Atomic Strobes, ETC Source Four® profiles, ACLs, and bars of six PARs.
During the concert season, 24 PixelLine battens and a PixelDrive computer were also available, with the PixelDrive hooked into the D4. Bloc Party’s LD, Craig Allnutt, brought the units for the Bloc Party set, he also brought in his own Pearl 2004 to run the PixelDrive, which was already pre-programmed with funky effects from their touring show. Allnutt also added two carbon dioxide confetti cannons and four Dominator searchlights as special effects. The Somerset House show was only the second time Allnutt had used a Diamond 4, but he appreciated its ability to customize the desk’s surface to his precise operational requirements. "It’s great," he says, "very powerful, and the software has been written extremely well."
The Diamond 4 Elite features 14 submasters and 96 assigned playbacks, with direct access to 96 fixtures or cues via its re-assignable Preset Playbacks.
Other members of Read’s team were Diamond 4 programmer Dom Smith and Petter Skramstad. Read’s company, Studio 23, also supplied all the site mains distro, cabling, and power. Rental company Siyan supplied the Diamond 4 console, along with the rest of the lighting gear.
The Somerset House summer concert series will be followed by another series run by UK promoters Metropolis.