Jands Vista

History

Vista v2 for Pulp Summer Festival Shows

Lighting designer Rob Sinclair is using a Jands Vista system running the new Vista v2 software for the current highly acclaimed Pulp reunion tour, which sees the darlings of Britpop return in their glorious original “Different Class” line up from 1995.

So far, the European leg of the tour has seen the band play a string of high profile festival slots including the Isle of Wight Festival and headlining Sunday at the Wireless Festival in Hyde Park, London – with future UK summer dates including T in The Park and Reading / Leeds Festival – as well as a host of other European dates.

Pulp has always retained an art-house cult following, but there’s been an incredible reaction and real buzz about the band’s reunion. The shows are all packed and it’s become a “must see” event as fans old and new clamour to enjoy their stylish poppy mix of everyday life, art, dreams, subversion and phobias.

Rob is a long term fan of the Vista platform. He purchased his first Vista S1 control surface in 2008 shortly after the model’s launch, and now owns three identical systems – comprising of a laptop running the Vista software, with a Vista S1 and two Vista M1 wings – to service his own shows. Currently the other two are busy touring the US with chart topping Adele (operated by Jon Barker) and the legendary Peter Gabriel (operated by Steve Kellaway).

For Pulp, there was never really a question of Rob using any other console. The band are touring their own video system and a small lighting rig, then each day hooking in to the locally provided rigs – all of which is controlled by the Vista. For the festivals, a small floor based ‘specials package’ is added and run through the desk.

On the new Vista v2 software – launched at Prolight+Sound, Frankfurt – he comments, “It’s a leap forwards. Jands has done a great job and with Vista v2 they have a strong basis for plenty of long term development.”

He thinks that Vista v2 has made great improvements in the way the control system interacts and deals with media servers, which is becoming more important as video is an integral element to his visual designs.
One of the many things he likes about the Vista operating system generally is the fact that it makes achieving straightforward things very easy, without taking away the ability to also engage in complex programming. The interface makes it intuitive to see what you are doing during programming, so editing is very quick.

Rob also comments that Jands are very helpful, quick and responsive to his needs and requests, really listening to what he and other users are trying to achieve.

Pulp Visuals

Pulp’s video set up consists of 15 two metre square Pixled F40 LED panels supplied by XL Video. These are arranged in five columns / three rows, set at different depths to avoid the clichéd ‘back wall’ scenario and introduce a bit of dimension to the stage space. The band and Rob were keen that the audience didn’t feel like they were looking at a TV!

Special video content – an eclectic mix of archives, vintage footage and completely new material created by three video artists – for the show is stored on a Catalyst media server which also takes in a couple of IMAG camera inputs.

The local lighting system and the Catalyst are triggered by the Vista, which also runs the touring lighting system – supplied by Neg Earth – plus a fabulous classic Pulp ‘neon’ LED sign made by Specialz and the set, a 1970s style Dimplex electric fire with false flames.

Rob’s objective was to make it as easy as possible to deal with the diversity of shows, venues and lighting rigs that he would have to contend with and to replicate their show as closely as possible each time with whatever was thrown at him. He loves the adaptability offered by the Vista’s generic fixture model, which allows fast, accurate changing of fixture types without affecting the contents of the show. As more types of technology get used, the ability to deal with them becomes more important.

Using a console as small, portable and freight-able as the Vista S1 ensures that Rob can use his own desk on every show, wherever he is in the world.

Vista v2 was designed from the ground up to allow all levels of user get the most from whatever mix of technology they have available, whether dimmers, moving lights, LED, or media. With the simplicity to work fast, and the power to control the finest details, Vista v2 lets the user focus on creating a great looking show rather than on programming a desk.

It’s powerful, flexible, highly practical and enables me to create the moods and feel that I want onstage – which is what is most important to me,” he concludes.

Neil Vann, Jands product manager at A.C. Entertainment Technologies, says “Rob’s comments prove just how important the key philosophy behind Vista v2 is in the real world. Having to deliver the same high quality headline show with different rigs that incorporate different technologies, Vista lets users like Rob avoid getting caught up in the mechanics of programming. Vista‘s powerful second generation generic fixture model makes the process of dealing with daily rigs simple, and allows Rob to focus on his main goal of delivering a fantastic looking show every time.

Jands Vista v2 now shipping

Jands has announced that its entire range of Vista consoles are now shipping with version 2 of the software.

After three years of intense development, extensive testing and finally, use on several major shows and events by beta-testers worldwide – including the opening ceremony of Turku, Finland as joint European Capital of Culture in 2011; the Fifth Gear Live Action Arena at the Autosport International 2011 show in Birmingham, UK; and the BURDA event at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE – the software is now factory-standard with new Vista consoles and available as a free upgrade to existing users.

Jands recently demonstrated the Vista v2 (code named ‘Byron’) at the 2010 PLASA and LDI trade shows, generating a huge amount of interest in the new capabilities the software brings to the revolutionary Vista console. The Vista v2 will receive its official launch at the Prolight & Sound 2011 trade show, Frankfurt this week (6th-9th April).

The Vista was a huge hit with its basic principle of ‘think visually, work visually’”, said Paul Mulholland, Managing Director of Jands, “and version 2 takes that to a whole new level. We’ve re-designed the whole user interface around this concept and it’s already revolutionised the way a lot of our Vista customers work.

As well as a revamped visual interface, Vista v2 introduces a host of features, including:

  • tracking backup – instantly switches control to a synchronised second console or PC if the main console fails for any reason
  • integrated media server control – including automatic thumbnail import of content from most industry standard mediaservers
  • matrix and video effects – runs intensity, colour, movement, even video files across LEDs or other fixture types arranged in columns and rows
  • default and split fade times – provides a quick and easy way to set and edit cue timing, including separate up and down times for intensity.

And just in case you want to stick with version 1 while you get used to version 2, the Vista 2 consoles also offer a dual-boot function.

We took everything we learned from our customers’ experiences with version 1 and completely overhauled the platform from the ground up,” said Paul Mulholland.
The new version provides simpler and faster ways to do existing functions, and at the same time introduces a host of powerful new features all presented in an intuitive visual interface.

Find out more about the Vista v2 or visit the A.C. Entertainment Technologies stand (Location 9.0, E63) at Prolight & Sound 2011, Frankfurt for a demonstration.

Lighthouse Productions – United Arab Emirates


The first Jands Vista T2 lighting desk and Jands Vista M1 control console with the Vista v2 ‘Byron’ operating system to be sold in the Middle East by the new IBS Group division, IBS Solutions, are already proving to be a great purchase for Lighthouse Productions, according to its MD.

Terry Miranda, managing director and chief lighting designer at Lighthouse Productions visited the IBS Solutions stand at CABSAT in February, and said he found exactly what he was looking for in the Jands Vista with the new Vista v2 software.

“In the past two years I have had my eye on the latest developments in lighting consoles in order to purchase something that fit my idea of what a lighting desk should be. Having seen the first demo of the Vista v2 Byron operating system at PALME 2010, it had piqued my interest till it hit the sweet spot in 2011. The system allows a designer/ programmer to dictate terms to the programming aspect and to decide how simple or powerful it should be,” said Miranda.

“I would say the new Jands Vista is one of the finest, most intelligent lighting desks the industry has seen.”
Gavin Coxon from IBS Solutions, the official UAE distributor for Jands, added: “”With the new Vista v2 Byron, Jands has an even stronger product range to compete with the other top lighting consoles available on the market, we expect big things from the range in the UAE.”

Lighthouse Productions created the design for the BURDA event held on February 15 at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, where the new console took centre stage. Using the mosque as backdrop to the main stage Lighthouse used a Watchout system and bitmapping to project the images onto the entrance of the mosque, using the Jands for all the lighting cues preprogrammed via wysywig.

Also included in the sale were custom-built flight-cases for each console, manufactured and supplied by IBS Flightcase, another IBS GROUP company.

Lighthouse Productions used the new equipment again at the Zayed International Prize for the Environment on March 14 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The JANDS Vista was utilised to the maximum with all the lighting cues as well as a Wi-Fi link with an iPad for focusing and fine tuning while walking around Rashid Hall.

Mcgriff Mascarenhas, assistant lighting designer at Lighthouse Productions is also very happy with the new equipment: “JANDS Vista is one of the simplest operating desks that I have ever used that allows me to think visually and work visually.”

Vista V2 ‘Byron’ at the Sydney Festival 2011

Photo ©Peter Rubie

For four nights only, the Sydney Festival transformed Sydney Town Hall into swing-dancing heaven featuring a huge dance floor, a fabulous floorshow and sizzling swing music played by Sydney’s spectacular all-girl Sirens Big Band, just as it did in its halcyon days – but with plenty of 2011 edge.

Sydney’s original Trocadero had its heyday in the 1940s and 50s with lindy-hoppers, swingsters, rockabillies and cha cha cha-ers dancing the nights away in all their finery. It was demolished in the 70s but its spirit jives on in the gloriously re-imagined new night club named the Trocadero Dance Palace.
The lighting in the venue, designed by Matthew Marshall and including around fifty moving lights and a collection of LED fixtures along with generic theatrical lights, was programmed and operated by Peter Rubie who opted to use a Vista T4 running a beta version of the Vista V2 ‘Byron’ software.

“After beta testing Vista V2 in it’s early stages I was impressed by its feature set and vast improvements on Vista 1,” remarked Peter. “A lot of the things that were missing or not quite there yet in V1 have been added in the new version – Jands have really listened to the user feedback.”

As both plotted cues for the structured show and on the fly operating was required for the Troc Party Nights after the show, Peter was keen to use the V2 beta over V1 with its improvements in the theatre elements as well as the busking ability. As the show was also very flashy with a lot of cues and effects, he was eager to use the new improved effects engine.

“I was a little nervous using the beta software, but did some extensive testing and trials before moving in to the venue which went successfully,” said Peter. “Once the plotting stage came around, we experienced a few bugs but these were met with great support from Jands who were able to solve the show critical ones very swiftly. We were also running a secondary Vista with a backup of the show which I would always recommend when using any newly released software / consoles.”

Peter comments that the Vista V2 beta retains all of the great V1 features and that the intuitive patch system has been made even faster with an instant search function for fixture profiles.
“The timeline which is one of the main areas where Vista differs from other consoles has received various improvements too,” he added. “The speed at which I can look at multiple cues at once and clearly see tracked values and all parameter info supersedes other consoles where I find myself having to retrace my steps and think harder about what I am editing and how it will affect other cues in a tracking environment. All the cue timing properties are much improved in V2 so they now much more closely follow the same structure expected in theatre consoles such as split up and down timing and follows.”

Peter particularly favours the flexibility of having separate live timing for each different parameter and the speed in which this can now be changed on the fly.
“That is one of the many improved busking features,” he said. “The major overhaul of the look and appearance of the GUI has resulted in a much more professional looking console and is very user-customisable including personalised user colour themes. The visual representation of everything down to a mimic of gobo and colour wheels with gobos that actually animate is fantastic. I particularly like the button that reverses the direction a gobo is rotating whilst retaining the speed.

Peter reports that the shows went off really well and he was glad to get the chance to test the V2 beta in a show environment.

Turku European Capital of Culture Opening Ceremony

Despite the bitter cold, thousands of people attended the European Capital of Culture opening ceremony

Lighting designer Stephen Page from UK-based DBN used Jands Vista T4 and T2 consoles, running with the new v2 software, for the high profile Opening Ceremony of Turku 2011, celebrating the Finnish city’s year as joint European Capital of Culture.

The event, produced by Manchester-based Walk The Plank, was staged in the fabulous Wärtsilä Shipyard on the River Aura, Turku, in temperatures of up to minus 26! An audience of 50,000 people braved the cold and enjoyed the action, which was also broadcast live on Finnish TV.

The Vista T4 was the main console, controlling over 400 lighting fixtures – including Clay Paky Alpha Beam 700s and 1500s, Robe ColorWash 2500E ATs, Martin Professional MAC 2K & 700 Profiles, Studio Due CityColors and a host of LEDs and generics including conventional PARs, LED PARs, 500W floods, 4-lites and i-Pix BB4 LED wash lights – totalling seven DMX universes of control.

A Vista T2 was running in full tracking backup, and with an in-line Visualiser system.

Comments Stephen Page, “I found the v2 software to be very reliable. I like the new Effects Engine, and the timing control is straightforward to use whilst allowing lots of complexities to be programmed into the cues.”

Most of the equipment was supplied by RMC Sound & Light OY from Helsinki, including the Jands consoles – Stephen’s desk of choice – with the Clay Paky fixtures coming from DBN, also based in Manchester, UK.

DBN has a stock of Jands consoles which have been supplied via UK distributor, A.C Entertainment Technologies.

Vista V2 ‘Byron’ beta now available

Vista V2 'Byron'

When the original Vista arrived it was a total revolution in lighting consoles. Version 2.0, now available as a public beta, takes this innovative approach to a new stage, introducing a true second generation of software, completely re-written from scratch and full of the features you’ve asked for.

You can download the beta version for your console or Windows PC from the ‘Downloads page. Here’s just a few of the V2.0 highlights:

Really-simple-storing

Store Look

Store Look (click to open

On top of the usual recording method, Jands have added a far simpler method called ‘Store Look’ for users who need to work fast and don’t need all the options available in the regular store window. ‘Store Look’ does exactly what it says: you press a button to store whatever ‘look’ is on the stage. This is perfect for situations where the ‘lighting guy’ isn’t around, or if you’ve built a look from a combination of playbacks and the editor and want it to play back exactly as you see it.

Fast cue-list navigation
Cuelist navigation bar

In V2 there’s a cuelist scroll bar and mini cue icons in both the Fixture chooser and the Timeline window so it’s easy to move from one end of the cue-list to the other no matter how big your cuelist is. To edit a cue, you just click the selector tile representing the cue you want.

Super-search

Search field

Search field (click to open)

Vista now includes Search boxes in the Fixture Library, Lee Colour picker, Groups, Presets, Extracts, Cue-list and Effects windows. You can trawl the hundreds of items in these windows just by typing the first few letters.

As you type, the list filters down to the items matching the letters or numbers you enter. This narrows down potentially massive lists so you can find what you need in seconds.

More powerful, less complicated, perfectly-synchronised effect

Swing effects

Swing effects (click to open)

One of Vista’s most popular features is the ‘swing’ effect, in which fixtures crossfade between two presets, colours, positions or other settings. In V2 you can make swing effects pass through two, three or any number of easily editable points along the way.
With Vista’s patented Effects Synchronisation feature, you can create waveform based effects on one feature, such as colour, and then add a second feature, for example position and the two features can be kept fully synchronised. What’s more you can manipulate the waveforms graphically to refine the effects.

Effects templates

Matrix effects

Matrix effects (click to open)

Byron includes an extensive library of pre-programmed effects ‘templates’ that you can just select and use immediately. Amongst these are a number of Matrix effects designed to let you create impressive effects, on banks of LEDs (or other fixtures) quickly and easily.
 
 
 
 

Split fade times

Split fade (in / out) times

Split fade times (click to open)

A traditional theatre technique, is to have the lights that are getting brighter fade in over a shorter time than the lights that are getting darker, fade out. Byron supports split fade times for intensity and let’s you see both times in the Chooser and Timeline windows. Each cue also has a set of ‘default’ times so that you can change the fade times for the whole cue or event by event.

Even more visual

Gobo palette detailed

Gobo palette (click to open)

‘Think visually, work visually’ is the Vista’s core idea, and the V2 takes this to the next level, providing ‘detail view’ windows that match the features of the devices they represent. For instance, the detailed gobo palette depicts the gobo wheel(s) exactly as they are, with a central view showing the actual visual effect the gobo (or gobos) will generate.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Other new features
The release also includes many more features including:

  • an easy-to-use Fixture Editor so you can build your own library files
  • a command-line interface so you can enter fixtures, levels cue timing and more through the keyboard or a keypad
  • media server control with thumbnail import via CITP.

‘Downloads page

Byron preview screenshots

Byron programmer

Click on the image to see more preview screenshots from the current beta version.

Zero-configuration networking

Zero configuration networking
Most of us have tried to connect two computers and make them talk to each other; and most of us have ended up calling our IT specialist in despair to get it to work.

No one can afford to waste hours getting basic technology working, which is why Byron features ‘zero-configuration networking’: connect a Byron to another console or PC running Vista 2.0 software and they will automatically find each other and connect.

Byron uses Apple’s proven Bonjour™ networking technology to do this, a ‘no IT guy’ solution that makes backup and more advanced networking operations easy. With Byron you’ll never have to enter an IP address or configure a DNS server again.

Bonjour is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

Command line interface

Zero configuration networking

The thing that makes the Vista so special is its visual interface, but we understand that sometimes the traditional ways have their uses. This is why in Byron we’ve included a command-line interface.

The Byron command line is completely synchronized with the interface, showing the clip or step you’re editing at any time. When you type a command you see the equivalent action happen on the fixture icons and control palettes: all pen-driven commands are interpreted into plain language on the command line in real time. Of course, the command line supports all well-known numeric keypad syntax (for example, typing ‘1/26*55’ would set fixtures 1 to 26 at 55% intensity).

If you’re used to selecting lights and setting levels by numbers, you can use the command line in combination with the Vista’s visual interface to give yourself even greater control than before.

Vista 2 ‘Byron’ software to preview at Plasa

Vista 2 Byron
Jands will show a major software upgrade for their revolutionary Vista lighting console, at Plasa in September.

Originally released in 2004, the Vista introduced a whole new approach to constructing light shows, with ‘think visually, work visually’ as the core concept. The Byron release of the application takes this innovative approach to a new stage, introducing a true second generation of software, completely re-written from the ground up.

The Byron release reflects the attention Jands have paid to user feedback about the Vista, as well as the fresh vision Jands have brought to the whole concept of how a console works. The update provides easier and faster ways to do existing functions, and introduces a host of new features.

The Byron software will be free-of-charge to current users. Some of the key aspects of the new software include:

  • genuine, zero-configuration, ‘no I.T. guy needed’, automatic networking
  • tracking backup that synchronises a second console or PC to take over seamlessly in the case of a failure
  • a second-generation timeline providing visual split fade times, a per-step timing structure that lets you instantly set fade and delay times for some or all the events in a step, and new filters that make it easier to see what’s going on with big rigs
  • an extended generic fixture model that doesn’t limit the use of non-standard or overlapping features and adapts to all types of new and unusual fixtures
  • a completely overhauled user interface reflecting user feedback, with search functions built in throughout
  • a brand new visual method of controlling media servers
  • new Matrix layouts and effects for use with LEDs and other fixtures
  • a Command Line window that accepts keypad input for fixture selection, levels, timing, store and other frequently used commands

Faster and easier to use, the Byron release is a lot more than just an upgrade of the existing Vista. It provides an unrestricted, reliable software platform for building an ever more sophisticated and powerful console in the years to come.

Jands will preview Vista 2 ‘Byron’ on the AC Entertainment stand (1-E10) at the PLASA trade show in London, 13-16 September 2009.