Road Tests

Vari-Lite VL4000 Spot

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VL4000 LuminairePhilips Vari-Lite, an American company based in Dallas, TX, has brought us the well-known VL3000 series, LED VLX Wash and now offers the VL4000 Spot. Combining Profile (spot) and Performance (spot with framing shutters) fixtures into one, Vari-Lite’s VL4000 Spot is positioned to serve as a multi-purpose and feature-packed luminaire. 

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Video Digerati

Busking with a Media Server

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The author notes that this screen shot is an example of how she typically structures a free form show. The playback faders for effects ands chases are set up to be easily overlaid on top of a main cue stack that consists of basic positions, colors and patterns.As lighting programmers, we are frequently put into situations where we have little to no time to program for a show that’s happening the same day, so we’ve learned to improvise. Whether you call this “busking,” “punting,” or maybe even just “operating on the fly,” we all have a few techniques that help us get through the “no time to program” one-off. But what about one-off shows with a media server? What things do programmers need to be ready for a show when they have little to no idea what’s coming up next? Luckily, many of the same steps for working with automated lighting can also be applied to punting with media servers. Here are some suggestions so you can be ready to roll with the punches.

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Feeding the Machines

Obscure Fixture Features

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Automated lighting fixtures are very complex robotic devices filled with mechanical and electrical features commanded by comprehensive software. The manufacturers of these fixtures fill them with many useful features, some of which are lesser known or understood. A good automated lighting programmer will take the time to learn the capabilities of his/her luminaires by reading the user manuals and DMX protocols/maps. Furthermore, some features are simple menu settings or DMX values that may not be included in the console’s fixture library. The following obscure fixture features can be found in many common lighting fixtures and are useful tools for creating original and dynamic lighting programming.

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Designer Watch

Holiday Tours in Full Swing; Black Jacket Symphony's Thriller; Quick Cues and More

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Trans Siberian Orchestra's latest tour, The Christmas AtticHoliday tours are spreading multimedia magic across the country. Production designer Bryan Hartley has reimagined a new look for the annual Trans-Siberian Orchestra tour, which again runs an identical East and West Coast leg Nov. 13-Jan 4, 2015. Hartley could hardly contain his excitement, telling PLSN, “My new design and concept for this year show and story is probably the best thing I’ve done. It really is a masterpiece! It is my favorite design.”

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LD at Large

Back to Front

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LD at LargeEver since grade school, I’ve been one of those people who preferred to ride in the back of the bus. Even when I was on tour, I always seemed to get my sanctuary hanging in the back of the bus, working or reading. Of course spending hours on the road, solving the problems of the world over a couple of beers with the rest of the road crew often required time in the back lounge. Likewise, I spent the last eight years feeling quite at home occupying the back page of PLSN. You had to look all the way in the rear to find me.

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