The brand new CyberHoist II™ motion control chain hoist and its MotionCue3D operating console will be presented at ProLight+Sound 2015.
XLNT Advanced Technologies' CyberHoist II™ is th...
Star Events Group, the first UK purchaser of the new CyberMotion™ C-Trolley & C-Track system from XLNT’s UK sales partner Lift Turn Move, Ltd (LTM), has successfully débuted the system on three weeks of BT London Live shows in Hyde Park during the Olympic Games 2012.
The systems were bought by Star Events Group, leading UK supplier of stages, support structures, rigging and design services.
51 meters of CyberMotion™ C-Track, along with four active and two passive C-Trolleys, were used to safely lift and split a giant 16 x 9 meter video screen of 5200 kg, 144m², at Hyde Park from between 28th July and 11th August 2012.
The versatile C-Track and C-Trolley wide beam track systems are part of XLNT’s new CyberMotion™ integrated motion control system, with automated variable speed chain hoist, winch and trolley/track systems. The CyberMotion™ systems meet the international safety standard SIL3 and can achieve speeds up to 240 mtr/min. with loads of 1 tons per trolley. It can also be used on the ground, for example as camera track.
The screen in Hyde Park showed Olympic sporting events and splitted into two halves to reveal the stage for live performances included artists such as Will Young, McFly, Amy Macdonald, Rebecca Ferguson, The Feeling, Alexandra Burke, Kenny Thomas, Blur and many more.
Star Events Group had been asked by Locog 2012 (London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games), in cooperation with concert organizers Live Nation, to supply their services for the BT London Live Hyde Park events.
Neil McDonald who was the production manager for BT London Live shows in Hyde Park stated: “The smooth and stealth like opening and closing of the giant screen never failed to raise a reaction of surprise and delight from the audience and crew alike.”
Dan Holme, director of entertainment at Lift Turn Move Ltd, said: "We were given the brief of creating a pretty adventurous giant split screen system, using XL Video's latest lightweight LED panels, to very precisely track a pair of 8x8m screens along a 51m run across the stage width, so that they merged into a single 16x8m videowall for the shows and created a reveal for bands coming onto stage. "We used two powered and one slave trolley per video wall, each running along the specialised, ultra compact C-Track system. With each trolley having a load capacity of 1000kg, and a maximum running speed of 60m per minute or 1m per second, with precision alignment, we were able to achieve the designers' vision for this spectacular effect." He adds: "As they are also rated to handle 500kg with a running speed of up to 240m/min, they open up opportunities to use them as a unique type of camera track, whether hung from a stage roof or used on the floor."
Star Events Group head of rigging, Rick Waterworth, commented: "CyberMotion is incredibly special - it's designed specifically for use in the entertainment industry with the trolley wheels 100 per cent captive inside an extruded track, which is another unique safety feature. It achieves SIL3 status, and in combination with the dedicated C-Controller control desk, it's like nothing else on the market; it's 100 per cent specifically designed for our industry."
XLNT Advanced Technologies has announced the opening of a new, dedicated CyberHoist sales, training and customer support office for North America. A West Coast branch will be announced shortly.
The CyberHoist office, based in Manheim, PA, will be handled by PJ Visser, while a further expansion of the team will be announced shortly. The office will handle sales activities, product support and training to rental and install clients, and will also provide equipment support services for CyberHoist rental network members based in Canada and the USA.
XLNT commercial director Marc van der Wel said: "The new North America CyberHoist office will allow our clients in the USA to receive the same high level of technical support as they get from our headquarters in the Netherlands, and all member countries of the worldwide CyberHoist network, and will also be our focus for driving the brand forward in the USA sales market. It also allows us to prepare in advance for our developing product line.” CyberHoist North America will at LDI 2010 on XLNT Advanced Technologies booth #600."
The award-winning CyberHoist series of high precision, ultra low noise, intelligent chain hoists and dedicated control systems sets the world standard at the high end of the motion control market. The system continues to be specified by international top designers for productions like Madonna, Britney Spears, Rammstein, Mamma Mia!, We Will Rock You, Tokio Hotel, Sensation, Pur, Rihanna, James Taylor and Carole King, Volkswagen, Smart and DJ Tiësto
XLNT Advanced Technologies announces its expansion in South America with the confirmation that Andres Chamorro Iluminacion of Bogota, Colombia, is to take a significant delivery of a complete rental-ready CyberHoist system package including 10 CyberHoist CH 1000 1 ton, 4 ultrafast CyberHoist CH 250 ¼ ton (37 mtr/ min!) and 2 InMotion3D CyberHoist control systems for rental clients in the entertainment and broadcast industries.
Marcel Albers, Director of Communications and Marketing at XLNT parent company, the Ampco Flashlight Group, says the move is a key milestone in strengthening the brand’s presence in South America.
"XLNT Advanced Technologies, in its current and forthcoming products ranges" said Albers,"has a great deal to offer the South America entertainment and installation technology markets, from 'high end' touring and special events and installations, right through to regional and local theatres, multi-purpose venues and smaller-scale tours."
Andres Chamorro, Director of Andres Chamorro Iluminacion commented: "We are very excited to introduce these superlative products to our customers. XNLT's CyberHoist products are designed to have an excellent and distinguished performance over anything else on the market."
"We work with our lighting and rigging specialists to put together shows of all shapes and sizes, and we're excited that we can now offer motion control products that are both technological and value-for-money world-beaters."
Albers concludes: "Having the strength of Andres Chamorro in our CyberHoist rental network for Colombia is another great step forward for XLNT and we're very upbeat about the prospects."
Michael Reed, President and founder of Reed Rigging, said: “I recognized the potential of XLNT CyberHoist as a unique product on its US tour debut, on Phil Collins’ Last Final Farewell World Tour. As motion control has become an increasingly important tool in creating major productions, I and our Head of Automation, Neil C. Montour, have compared XLNT CyberHoist with other motion control brands and concluded that nothing matches its combination of accuracy, intuitive operation, reliability and quietness. We also appreciate that the XLNT CyberHoist product family is continuing to grow and will be applicable in even more market sectors in future. XLNT’s commitment is unquestionable and we want to grow our motion control business with them.”
Reed Rigging Inc. is uniquely qualified to design, engineer, and install lifting and support equipment overhead. The company’s Equipment Rentals division maintains the largest inventory of stage rigging equipment in the Midwest, backed by the expertise of an ETCP certified production staff. Its Production division provides engineered designs, equipment and staff for every rigging job. Each production staff member is ETCP Certified and has years of industry experience. Reed Rigging also has the engineering and installation expertise to safely install permanent rigging systems in theaters, schools, museums, and houses of worship.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be able to offer this outstanding technology to our clients,” said Reed Rigging CEO Steve Johns. “We have spent the past two years evaluating motion control systems on tour, which gave us a real insight into the real-world requirements of the motion control rental market. But when XLNT demonstrated an XLNT CyberHoist system in our warehouse we were so impressed by its positional accuracy, robustness, quiet operation and simple, flexible programming, that we made an immediate decision to invest in it.”
He added: “With the backup of XLNT Advanced Technologies’ North America offices and the company’s global reach and presence in every continent, we are able to offer this service to tours and events of every size.”
The agreement follows the opening of the first XLNT CyberHoist East Coast office in October 2010, providing sales, training and customer support office for North America based in Manheim, PA. A West Coast support point in Los Angeles will be confirmed shortly.
Marc van der Wel, Commercial Director at XLNT Advanced Technologies in the Netherlands, said: “We are delighted to sign an agreement with a company as well respected as Reed Rigging. Their endorsement and presence in the market will add to our other rental partners in making XLNT CyberHoist the leading motion control brand in North America.”
Photo caption: Reed Rigging’s Russ Dusek (standing, left) and Neil Montour at the controls of the XLNT CyberHoist and InMotion 3D motion control system.
What to do when one of the hottest arena bands of the moment demands a set with no moving lights or LED? Get creative, Andi Watson tells Mike Lethby.
The Arctic Monkeys ended the European leg of a frenetic touring year at the O2 in Dublin, where TPi caught up with an elated production crew. A recent report revealed the Sheffield outfit was the sixth hottest concert ticket seller of 2009, on a list topped by stadium gold-miners U2.
With a completely non-moving, conventional fixture lighting rig that was radically re-arranged by a CyberHoist motion control system, and the new L-Acoustics K1 line array, there was much to discuss.
Our conversations began with lighting designer Andi Watson, among whose other recent credits is the extraordinary retina- and convention-challenging 3D LED tube design for Radiohead’s recent tour. He explained the rationale behind the Arctic Monkeys’ arena design.
“The design for this tour is a sort of progression of how I’ve been working for them in the past,” he said. “The first thing to say is that the band hate moving lights and LED fixtures, essentially because of their current ubiquity. That gave us a great challenge: move back a generation in lighting equipment terms, but keep the show really dynamic.
“You have 16 or 17 year old kids who’ve never seen PAR cans and love some of our old looks, because to them it’s all been moving lights, LEDs, strobes and video. Ours is a very different look for that generation: Neg Earth have supplied PAR cans, Source Fours, ACLs and 8-lites with scrollers, as well as two rows of ADB Svoboda battens, which are wonderful things — so different from anything else out there.
“This is organised as basic PAR colour washes from the front truss using 8-lites with scrollers for audience lighting, and a five-colour PAR wash for the front. The 10° Source Fours on the mid and upstage lighting trusses provide key lights for each band member, and on those trusses there’s also a number of ACL bars, each individually run, and the 11 Svobodas, in two rows across, which create a big block of light coming down. They’re very powerful, very distinctive, and I love them.
“Something that’s very important to the band is the use of floor lighting to create shadows of them on the white upstage cyc, itself side-lit by 16 more PARs with scrollers. We use a combination of Lowell Omnis and Par64s with scrollers, one for each band member, to do this and frequently the only key lighting on the band is from the front omnis or PARs.
“But to get a lot of variety into the looks, we had to get creative,” he laughed, “and the CyberHoists are very crucial to this design. Matching the audience’s expectations of shows these days, yet without moving lights or LED fixtures, meant that I wanted to introduce a dynamic element that met the band’s likes and dislikes.
“My ‘big trick’ on this is that while I’m not allowed moving lights I designed 10 big circular lighting clusters that, using CyberHoist, we can individually position and point at different band members for different songs.
“The idea was to turn the PAR clusters into effectively big repositionable light sources using a highly accurate control system, that could move very, very slowly and controllably in terms of the acceleration and deceleration as well as just normal motion speed, and which could do some fairly complex moves in terms of relative speed.
“Each cluster contains five CP60 PARs with scrollers, all individually controllable, surrounded by a ring of PAR36 ACLs. So we can texture the beam of each cluster by changing the intensities and colours of the five individual beams. And because CyberHoist is so flexible and repeatable, we could make the same look changes work easily with different trim heights.
“With three CyberHoist pick-ups per cluster, one at top centre and two at the bottom on either side, we can vary the clusters and we can angle it left and right, which gives us a bunch of preset focuses with the positions on each band member, and we pull out of those positions — just as you would with moving lights — at different heights to create big band washes.
“The whole stage is transformed by the changing cluster positions, yet the moving element is only PAR cans, with the CyberHoist making it look different for every song.
“Apart from two live moves they normally reposition in between songs, and it’s very important that they reposition completely accurately and without appearing to move, which meant no jerking, no sudden stops on the motors.
“So CyberHoist does exactly what I need for this show. It can actually do a huge amount more and maybe we’ll move that on a little in later shows. But for the moment it’s an incredibly precise, wonderfully controllable and reliable tool.”
The CyberHoist system was supplied by Flashlight. Programming was performed with CyberHoist operator Sebastian Habrechtsmeier. Watson explained: “Sebastian and I sat in rehearsals for a while programming, just like you would a moving light rig. Sadly, he got ill halfway through the tour and had to go home, and he’s been replaced by quite wonderfully able colleagues.
“We had a couple of shows where we had to reduce the trim heights, so Sebastian generated a lower set of preset focuses. But whilst the original programming was kind of complex, the actual day-to-day running is very simple. It’s easy to change the trim height at load-in and the whole show is set for that day in seconds.”
Also perceptively simple and old-school is the show’s video element – although a world of technology and programming works backstage to make it appear so. Four camera operators, led by camera director Rik Schoutsen, each control two remote pan/tilt/zoom robocams. These and three fixed cameras are fed to Catlayst v4 Pro media servers equipped with multiple Active Silicon capture cards. Controlled from the GrandMA lighting desk, the Catlaysts output separate feeds to the stage right and left 11mm Barco FLED screens, each hung in a vertical 3:1 aspect ratio chosen “to keep the video element close to the band and avoid as much as possible the audience having to choose between watching the band or the screens,” said Watson.
This entails Rik and the team framing each shot precisely as the side-screen images can be anywhere from the whole frame to just a quarter frame. “We’re manipulating video in a relatively straightforward way, but with a lot of attention to composition and colour, using a lot of duotones to keep the video in harmony and in sympathy with the lighting, maybe kind of more ‘Art Mag’ than iMag,” commented Watson. Cameras, control and catalysts were from Scenographic whilst the screens and processing were supplied by XL Video.
Steve Kellaway heads the Monkeys’ lighting crew which included Jim Mills on dimmers (a big task on this tour), Alan McGregor and John Dall, together with XL Video screen techs Pieter Laleman and Benjamin van Deynse.
Digital meets K1
Manning a 48-channel Digidesign console at FOH — complete with custom built ‘beer hood’ following a particularly boisterous gig when a desk got drenched — is Matthew Kettle, while Will Doyle mixes monitors on a Soundcraft Vi6.
Nick Pain is FOH system tech and system designer, in charge of the new L-Acoustics K1 arrays from tour sound supplier SSE, along with PA tech Steve Mottrum and monitor tech Kevin Sparks.
On stage are the core four-piece Arctic Monkeys, augmented by newcomer John Ashton on keys, guitar and BVs, recently elevated from his long-time job as Arctics’ FOH engineer to actual band member.
The stage set-up is equally classic (and all wired) with Sennheiser 935s on the vocals, a 945 hypercardioid for Alex Turner (lead vocals & guitar), and a mixture of classic and new Sennheisers for the backline, with 421s and 609s for guitars and drums, a pair of beyerdynamic M201s on the snare, SM81 on hi-hats, 904s on toms and 4050s on overheads.
Sennheiser G2 (soon to be uprated to G3) wireless in-ears serve all the band bar drummer Matt Helder, whose rig is wired, and guitarist Jamie Cook, on wedges.
Onstage levels are high, said Kettle, with ARCS and dV-SUB sidefills delivering high levels while maintaining a low profile for arena shows with seats sold around the stage sides.
The PA is, he added: “Very exciting for us! The K1 is the new top-of-the-line line array for big shows. We tried it at a festival warm-up show at Brixton Academy and loved it, so we signed on the dotted line to bring it out for this and it’s blown us away really; it sounds incredible.
“We’ve had amazing results and, as you know, a lot of these British arenas aren’t terribly great acoustically. We also have Kudo variable dispersion side hangs, which have also worked exceptionally well. And SSE have been very good to us, very supportive.”
The system is LA8-powered and controlled via L-Acoustics network manager software, with a TC EQ Station for some matrixing and input switching, and a Lake Contour for EQ. “So it leaves the desk digital and stays digital until it gets to the world of L-Acoustics, which is quite nice.”
This includes effects, with both engineers opting for their respective desks’ onboard processing — mostly Waves, Platinum and Classic plug-ins for the Digidesign, many emulating classic reverbs and compressors.
Ironically, Kettle added: “I’m using quite a lot of old vintage compression plug-ins and stuff to try and get that sort of warmer, rich sound, and some harmonic distortion as well to give it a bit of grit, make it sound a little bit less digital.”
A Pro Tools HD system records every show. “It’s so convenient to be able to record and do the virtual soundcheck thing when I need to.” Doyle’s Soundcraft, similarly, provides the requisite processing and EQ.
Production manager Peter van der Velde summed up: “It was a challenge putting this tour together. The band have a very distinctive idea of what they like and don’t like. Andi has been very good at filtering these views into a show for which we used top quality gear delivering a vintage-looking show, which in the current touring climate is unusual and original.
“He knows how to achieve what he likes and specified the CyberHoist system for the show, and it provided what he was looking for, while I was also very pleased with the back up and co-operation from Flashlight.
“I must also say that I’m very impressed with the quality and service provided by SSE. My experience of them dated from the late ’90s and weren’t great ones, but they have turned things around; the equipment is great and above all the crew were fantastic.
“The same goes really for all the crew and companies involved. The F lite screens from XL were a great addition to the show and the XL crew were great team players and assisted other departments when necessary. All in all, I couldn’t be more happy with the way the tour’s turned out.”
This summer’s Sticky and Sweet tour was a dazzling show even by the usual standards of Madonna’s live productions. A large XLNT CyberHoist intelligent motor system was responsible both for animating the opening seconds of the show and a huge variety of complex screen and lighting movements throughout the evening.
The largest screens were controlled by XLNT’s InMotion3D software running on a CyberHoist FPS Full Production System with dual Apple MacPro’s, in the hands of Senior Programmer and Project Manager Martin Hoop or his deputy Erik Gielen. The action began with a giant video cube that opened the show displaying a replica of the giant ornate ‘M’ symbol flanking Madonna’s stage.
The front part, known as the ‘Venetian’ screen, morphed into surreal video imagery that appeared to be slowly shredded into horizontal strips as the front face of the cube was pulled apart vertically by a pair of CyberHoist 1 ton motors at the top edge. Another pair of 1 ton CyberHoist motors at the base of the piece pulled the lower leaves upwards, revealing the star herself.
The show used 11 one ton CyberHoist and 18 half ton CyberHoist motors, with each of three upstage lighting pods moved by a combination of two half ton and one ton CyberHoists under the command of a separate CyberHoist PS Production System.Forming another key visual element were two concentric circles of Element Lab Stealth screens, which moved in conjunction or separately from each other, each flown from four half ton CyberHoists.
The central Venetian Screen was accompanied by two moving Nocturne 20mm LED screens upstage, lifted and lowered on two one ton CyberHoists per screen. The final element was a pair of rear screens, composed of Nocturne V9 9mm pixel pitch LED walls, each flown from a pair of half ton CyberHoists.
Key production credits are Production and Lighting Designer LeRoy Bennet, Tour Production Director Chris Lamb, Tour Production Manager Benny Collins, Stage Manager Jerry ‘Hodge’ Vierna, Lighting Director Mac Mosier and Show Director Jamie King.