Jands Vista

History

Vista v2 is a Festival Favourite

Deaf Havana

The Jands Vista range once again proved its flexibility and power when lighting designer and programmer Steve Heywood chose to put Vista consoles, running the next generation Vista v2 software, in control at two recent UK music festivals.

For Meadowlands 2012, a diverse and vibrant event staged at Glynde Place in the picturesque village of Glynde in East Sussex, Steve and Dan Williams, the lighting designer for the event’s main stage, shared operating duties on a Vista T2.

An eclectic line-up included acclaimed LTJ Bukem, who closed the festival with an entrancing four hour DJ set, as well as Lamb, Fink, Speech Debelle, Portico Quartet and many others.

With the usual limited programming available for a festival rig, which included moving lights, conventionals and the latest LED fixtures, Steve and Dan needed to be able to work extremely fast and “busk” accurately – one of the main reasons that Steve specified the T2.

To further maximise their limited time, he pre-programmed some elements using the Vista v2 software on his laptop to make the most of their programming time on stage and help give the refined show that he was looking for.

Steve put his own Jands Vista S3, also running the Vista v2 software, in control at Meadowlands’ Soundharvest stage. The Vista family’s consistent software interface made it seamless to swap between consoles.

A few weeks later, Steve once again used a Vista T2 as the house console for lighting the main stage at the Redfest event held at Robins Cook Farm near Redhill, Surrey.

Headliners included Modestep, Kids in Glass Houses and Foreign Beggars.

Steve loves the visual interface of the Vista v2 software, which makes it simple, quick and logical to programme, easy to busk, and most importantly, always lets him get precisely what he wants out of the rig. “It means that I can create exactly what I want when necessary….rather than following what the console thinks I want” he explains.”

Dan Williams comments, “Having everything right there onscreen in front of you is great and makes real sense.…it’s an extremely intuitive operating system.”

Steve concludes “The power and simplicity of using Vista v2 enables you to build a lightshow extremely quickly, but still lets you control the details. It’s a great desk for improvisational and ‘on-the-fly’ operation, which is always an exciting way to work.”

Lighting equipment for both events was supplied by Oxford-based Robert Nisbet Event Production Services.

Click images to enlarge

WWF’s Year of the Forest

A Jands Vista I3 console, running the next generation Vista v2 software, was specified by renowned installation artist and lighting designer Fred Pommerehn to control the lighting for a specially commissioned work on display as part of the World Wildlife Fund’s “Deutschland wird Wald Meister 2011” (Year of the Forest) campaign in Berlin, Germany.

The Year of the Forest initiative is supported by prominent German celebrities, and the launch featured a media conference the day after the installation went live. The lit work became a local and international talking point, as well as a popular attraction enjoyed by press, public and passers by alike.

The temporary installation – which was in place on the steps of the famous Konzerthaus in Berlin’s Gendarmenmarkt square – featured 26 fabulous tree sculptures measuring up to six metres in height, each carefully crafted by Fred using recycled cardboard materials, and diligently lit for the darkness hours.

Fred’s inventive set design, sculptural and installation work embraces many disciplines and frequently involves lighting as an integral element.

For the WWF event, Lichtblick Bühnentechnik supplied all the technical production – and also constructed the trees, project managed by Frederik Wehlmann.

Fred Pommerehn has worked with the Berlin based lighting rental company, Lichtblick Bühnentechnik GmbH for several years and always specifies Jands Vista to control any lighting on his projects. He explains that there are many reasons for this, including the flexibility of the system and the speed at which he can achieve his aims, as he is often working on projects where the timeframe is a significant factor.

It was the first event on which Lichtblick Bühnentechnik had used the I3 running on the Vista v2 software.

Using the Jands Vista allowed us to work very fast” says Fred, “Especially running with Vista v2. It really takes the complexity out of the process, and allows you to concentrate on getting creative visual results fast.” He reckons that within 45 minutes, they had a polished and refined lightshow that added the exquisite twist of magic that Fred wanted. The lightshow was run in 15 minute loops to a soundtrack throughout the evening.

The trees were lit by about 100 fixtures in total positioned at the sides of the steps for neat low level cross lighting, and a row along the top for backlighting. Three fog machines were also run through the Vista I3, operated manually as and when needed.

Lighting programmer Jonas Pruditsh, a keen Vista user since joining Lichtblick Bühnentechnik two years ago, loves the new v2 software platform. He particularly likes the new selection tools, and the powerful effects. “We had a very short time to programme the show once on site” he explains, echoing Fred’s enthusiasm that by using Vista they were able to achieve all they wanted in under an hour.

Fred and Jörg Schildbach (managing director) from Lichtblick Bühnentechnik first made a plan to collaborate on projects – technically and creatively – about 15 years ago and have developed a very successful and innovative working relationship. “We are constantly discussing which kit to buy, and are delighted that we committed to Jands Vista.”

From a rental perspective, Jands Vista is proving a great investment for Lichtblick Bühnentechnik. They use the Vista I3 on all their larger shows, they also have Vista M1s and various channel DMX dongles in their inventory to cover all the smaller options. Their work covers a broad spectrum, including exhibitions, corporate and special events, theatre productions, museum/heritage shows and public and live art.

Vista v2 was designed from the ground up to give all levels of user the ability to get the most from whatever technology they have available, whether dimmers, moving lights, LEDs or media, so everyone can focus on creating a great looking show – or event – rather than on programming a desk.

Jands Europe’s Neil Vann said “Fred is sure that using Jands Vista makes a difference to his creative process, and ultimately the success of the lighting in his work. It is unusual for a light artist to specify a control platform, often they don’t particularly mind as long as the lights are programmed to their specification, but Fred has realised that this choice can make a huge difference. It is great to see Vista v2 delivering again in yet another environment, and helping a designer get the most out of their design

All photos ©David Biene / WWF.

Vista Survives Immersion

Vivid Sydney is a festival of light, music and ideas that includes large-scale light installations and projections through to music performances and the holding of conferences and seminars on ideas and creativity. First held in 2009, Vivid Sydney has become Sydney’s major winter festival which lights up different parts of the city after 6pm, including the Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay and The Rocks.

From light “graffiti” on the Museum of Contemporary Art to live fire shows, more than 200,000 visitors experienced the festival this year.

One of the most popular of the light sculptures that were part of the Festival was Immersion designed by Martin Bevz and Kathryn Clifton. Consisting of LED tubes in a semi-circle, the sculpture invited the viewer to ‘play’ with them by reflecting their movement through the installation via a live video relay of still and dynamic images. The tubes are pixel mapped to form what is essentially a very low-res 18 x 2m video screen.

Martin used the Jands Vista M1 to control the Catalyst media server for a number of reasons including its size.

Not requiring a full sized console to fit in a 12RU rack for three weeks – three very wet weeks – was a major plus!” he said. “Also, having physical faders allowed for easy programming and playback testing. The Jands Vista M1 works on a Mac alongside the Catalyst software and that reduces hardware requirements. I really like the visual timeline based playback and the easy to use date/time events so an operator was not required to power up and down each day.”

Martin further commented that the Vista was rock solid throughout the duration of the festival and consequently it’s the console that he would always prefer for any semi permanent installations.

It’s visual, easy to use and Jands have a great support network,” he added. “As a final touch to the installation we programmed a start up sequence featuring a countdown timer and static which slotted in with the rest of the programming. It’s important to be able to work visually with media servers as they are inherently visual instruments – you need to be able to ‘see’ what the desk is telling the server in order to enable seamless crossfades and visual effects.”

Unfortunately Martin does not have any photographs of the rack as his phone didn’t survive the rain as well as the Vista did!

Pepper Live 2011

Lighting designer Andy Mahaffey specified a Jands Vista T2 console, running the next generation Vista v2 software, to control nearly 100 moving lights plus a large generic rig for the 2011 Pepper Live event, a glittering week of show-stopping performances staged at the Centenary Theatre, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, UK.

This high profile annual event, which is always sold out, raises money for the Pepper Foundation, a charity that funds the Pepper Children’s Nurses managed by the Iain Rennie Hospice at Home Service. They provide professional home care round-the-clock on a call-out basis for seriously ill children throughout the counties of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

This year the theme was a ‘rock ‘n’ roll tribute’ show. The cast – which included two bands, dance troupes, singers and an assortment of backing and guest vocalists – stormed their way through a two hour extravaganza, embracing hits from classic Queen to Take That … and everything in between.

In his day job, Andy is a technical product manager for High Wycombe based A.C Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET LTD), the exclusive UK distributor for Jands, and so is very familiar with both the Jands range and particularly with the power and simplicity the new Vista v2 software offers.

However, with one of the leading UK film and TV lighting rental companies Panalux, providing the lighting equipment for the event, he could have used any console he wanted!

I didn’t even think twice about the console choice” explains Andy, who ran the T2 with a Vista S3 console running as a full tracking backup, “I needed something that was powerful, simple and fast to program, and completely reliable to run. Talking to people using Vista v2 every day, I had complete confidence that this was the right tool for the job and am only too happy to show that I practice what I preach.”

He had to program a detailed show in a short timescale of three overnight sessions. There were 32 different songs pulled from a diversity of rock and pop genres and eras, each of which needed its own individual lighting treatment and style.

He also had to use a console that he knew the show’s two operators – Martin Spence and Laura Whitley – would be able to learn quickly and feel comfortable about being left to use. Once again Vista v2 software was an ideal solution. “It’s easily possible to learn, and operate competently, in a day” he qualifies “meaning I could confidently leave the show in their hands for the run.”

With over 1000 cues in the T2 by the time the show programming was complete – including an impressive 200 alone for the finale of Meat Loaf’s classic Bat Out of Hell – it was essential to be able to programme fast and accurately!

This is one of the beauties of Vista v2, I had the power to control the detail that I – or the rest of the creative team – wanted, with the ease to record it quickly and accurately.” enthuses Andy.

Overall, he finds the v2 programming process “So logical and obvious&rduo; that while the desk deals with the maths, his mind is free to concentrate on the actual creative aspects of building a dramatic and entertaining lightshow.

The moving head count included 22 Martin Professional MAC 2K Washes, 26 MAC 600 Spots, 16 MAC 250 Kryptons, 16 VARI*LITE 3000 Spots and eight High End Cyberlights – the latter a favourite for some vintage rock ‘n’ roll effects! MAC 600s were positioned on the back wall creating for a massive, retina-challenging ‘Queenesque’ effect.

In addition to these fixtures, there were about 70 channels of dimming, some scrollers , 20 Active Sunstrips and 10 Atomic 3000 strobes.

Pepper Live 2011 was directed by Jackie Chambers, the set was designed by Dan Andrews and the show choreographed by Danielle Machin.

It was another massive success as a fundraiser and in entertainment value for the audiences, as well as another real world example of Vista helping a user to deliver a great looking show in a short timeframe.

Jands Europe’s Neil Vann said “Vista v2’s combination of power and simplicity really does give users of all levels the ability to get the most from whatever technology they have on stage, and let everyone concentrate on creating a great looking show rather than on programming a desk. Before choosing to use anything else, take a look at just how far Vista has come, and how much you could be missing out on.”

The 31st Vienne Jazz Festival

A Vista T2 lighting console running the new v2 software was used to control all the moving, conventional and LED lighting on the main stage at the 31st Vienne Jazz Festival in France. A Vista i3 console, also running the v2 software, acted as a tracking backup.

The main stage for the glamorous 31st edition of the legendary two week Jazz festival was located in the magical Le Theatre Roman, a near 8,000 capacity amphitheatre in the centre of the picturesque town, formally one of the largest urban theatres of the Roman Empire.

The eclectic line up featured high-profile international touring stars including Jamie Cullum, Bootsy Collins, Sonny Rollins, Al Jarreau, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, the Brooklyn Funk Essentials and many more.

The lighting equipment was supplied by Lyon based rental company GL Events. The main stage production lighting design was created by Christophe Paillet and Matthieu Aufort, with Christophe acting as the main programmer and operator.

With the stellar musical line up, the pressure of daily live TV broadcasts from the festival, and many season ticketholders attending multiple shows, the lighting design had to be versatile and variable enough for each artist to have a distinctive look and feel to their set.

It was the first time that GL Events had used the Jands Vista platform, having only recently taken delivery of six new consoles from Jands’ French distributor – Montpelier based ESL. After a little training, they were confident that the time was right to use the speed and flexibility of the Jands Vista v2 software on this high profile event.

Says Christophe, “Each day Vista v2 helped us in our creative process. The effects in particular that are available with Vista enabled us to effectively have a new lighting rig each day.” He adds that even after two weeks of solid re-programming, he and his team were not running out of either ideas or options, and the Vista kept delivering precisely what they were looking for.

GL Events were ready to place an order for new consoles with another manufacturer until ESL suggested that they should take a look at Vista v2. After they had a demo, and then conducted some in depth tests with the Vista, they were so impressed that they ordered two Vista T2 consoles and four Vista I3s. They are delighted with their choice. “It is very powerful and is intuitive, quick and easy to set up and programme” says Christophe of the version 2 software.

Christophe further comments that the service from ESL and also from Jands themselves has been excellent. ESL were “super-active” in ensuring that GL Events received their consoles in time for the Vienne Jazz Festival – for which they also supplied lighting to several other stages and venues.

The lighting rig for the Le Theatre Roman stage was a mix of moving heads from Clay Paky, Martin Professional, Robe and VARI*LITE – about 70 in total. There were 20 Starway MiniKolor LED units and 12 LED PARs, plus a wide selection of generics including 2Kw fresnels, assorted profiles and 20 Sunstrips – all controlled from the Vista T2.

Christophe really enjoyed working on the Vista consoles and comments, “The v2 software really gives the Vista range the potential to become one of the most specified and successful consoles, especially if Jands keeps developing its software along this same trajectory. It is so quick and easy to programme.”

Olivier Torres from ESL adds, “Vista v2 is indeed a huge jump forward. You can now control moving heads, conventionals, LED and digital sources, and all types of video and media inputs in the same style and with the same functionality – very quickly and straightforwardly!

Jands Europe’s Neil Vann says “The guys at GL Events are so pleased that they took a look at Vista v2 before buying anything else, and we are not surprised that they were so impressed with what they saw. Vista v2 offers the power found in top level consoles, but the simplicity to make it accessible. This gives companies the freedom to get the most utilisation from their consoles on a wide range of style and scale of show with multiple levels of operator.”

GL Events is delighted with its Vista purchase. After the success of the Vienne festival they are already specified on upcoming high profile events including EQUITA, a huge equestrian and agricultural show in October, and the world famous Lyon Fêtes des Lumières (City of Light) festival taking place in December.

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.

Spydeberg Rock Festival


Lighting designer Ronny Starheim specified a Jands Vista T2 console to control all lighting at the 2011 Spydeberg Rock Festival, a brand new event set in the picturesque environs of Spydeberg, Norway, south east of Oslo.

The one day event was attended by 2,500 people – far exceeding expectations considering the local population is only around 4,000. An action packed line-up included The Backstreet Girls from Norway, Swedish girlband Cocktail Slippers and many others who rocked the day away in great style!

The stage was a 12 metre wide by 10 deep ground supported roof, under which a series of production trusses were hung. “My main objective was to provide an overall design that was diverse enough to give all the bands – and a Battle of the Bands competition – something unique and different for their sets” explains Ronny. This was a major reason he specified the Jands T2 console – running the new v2 software – for its powerful, quick and simple programming abilities.

It’s flexible, powerful, easy to use and gives plenty of scope for creativity, so I know I can put a show together accurately, quickly and efficiently”” he confirms, adding that it’s also one of the best desks he knows for working on-the-fly.

Talking generally on the new v2 software – launched at Prolight+Sound, Frankfurt to great excitement – he says “It’s absolutely brilliant! I already liked version 1, yet this is even better – even more intuitive, much more powerful and definitely takes things to a different level.”

At Spydeberg, the Jands Vista T2 was controlling a Robe moving light rig consisting of seven ROBIN 300 Beams, seven ROBIN 600 Beams and seven ColorSpot 700E ATs, all of which were hung upstage and used to produce classic ‘big rock show’ looks and intense beam work.

Upstage of the band’s backlines were eight Chroma-Q™ Color Force™ 48 LED battens mounted in four banks of two, which were used as blinder effects. These were chosen for their intense output and rich array of colours. Ronny thinks they are among the best blinder units currently available.

Ten Chroma-Q Color Block™ 2 LED fixtures were used for striking architectural illumination of the roof and its structural support towers. These are among Ronny’s favourite fixtures and worked brilliantly as truss warmers on this show. “They are hugely versatile, bright, easy to fit in to any space and have an excellent dimming curve” he expands.

Far upstage was a ShowLED animation curtain, used as a changeable and funky backdrop, and on this same truss were seven Robe ROBIN 600 LEDWashes, a fixture that Ronny thinks is fantastic. The lighting rig was completed with eight strobes.

Content for the ShowLED curtain was stored and played back via a Green Hippo Hippotizer media server.

Lighting for the event was run by experienced Norwegian lighting programmer Lars-Erik Braatlie. “He did a fantastic job” says Ronny, explaining that programming time was limited, but using Vista v2 really helped produce a great looking show in a tight timeframe.

Vista v2 was designed from the ground up to allow all levels of user to get the most from whatever mix of technology they have available, whether lighting, LED, or media. Available in a wide range of hardware, Vista v2 offers both the simplicity to work fast, with the power to control the finest details, so everyone can focus on creating a great looking show rather than on programming a desk.

Jands Europe’s Neil Vann comments “On this style of event, where things are constantly changing, the flexibility and accuracy of Vista v2 really comes into its own. Just because you don’t know what the next act sounds like doesn’t mean you should have to compromise on how good the show looks – and Lars-Erik and Ronny are part of the ever growing worldwide family who prove each day that with Vista you don’t have to.”

The inaugural Spydeberg Rock Festival proved such a massive success that next year’s event is already being planned, complete with an extra day, increased capacity, and a Jands Vista console at front of house.

Jands Vista at the 35th Port Fairy Folk Festival


The Port Fairy Folk Festival is held in early March each year over the Labour Day long weekend on the beautiful south-west coast of Victoria in the historic sea-side village of Port Fairy. Australia’s “world famous” independent music festival presents major international and national folk, trad and roots music artists during a four day festival of folk, country, Celtic, blues, jazz, bluegrass, traditions, contemporary, singers, songwriters, acoustic rock and world roots music.

Geelong-based Total Events provided lighting, staging, transport, rigging and AV requirements for the festival across six venues. 2011 was the 35th year of Port Fairy Folk Festival and Total Events managing director Scott Parker has provided various levels of production to the event for over fifteen years.

Lighting consisting of approximately one hundred LED fixtures, fifty moving head fixtures and a hundred dimmer channels plus operators, was supplied for four of the venues which were all controlled by Jands Vista with combinations of I3, S3, S1 and M1 consoles.

Having the same control platform across all venues meant easy transitions for relief operators who had to fill in on all four venues,” commented Scott. “It also meant easy file management for creating and distributing show files and backups. Use of Vista meant controlling the different types and brands of fixtures was simple.”

According to Scott, all systems performed flawlessly over the seven days onsite, with temperatures and conditions fluctuating significantly, as often happens in seaside towns.

We’ve been a long time user of Vista and when it came to a choice of console to put into every venue, there was no discussion to be held,” stated Scott. “Operators that were new to Vista had no issues becoming comfortable within a few hours of programming, resulting in lightshows that were always fitting to the diverse range of music presented at the festival.”

All dimming was Jands, using HP and the new HPC ‘Air Gap’ dimmers running in both dimmer and 240v distribution modes for the moving lights.

The HPC dimmers are new to our hire stock but will soon be the only dimmer and 240v distribution we stock due to their versatility,” added Scott.