Jands Vista


Victorian College of the Arts Looks to the Future

Victoria College of the Arts

Joseph Mercurio, Lecturer in Performance Technology at the Victorian College of the Arts, is on a mission to ensure that his students have access to the latest in lighting technology and so it’s no surprise that he insisted on having a Jands Vista console.

Part of my purpose here is to teach people how to learn and Vista offers a very different way of approaching lighting control,” began Joseph. “With most consoles you type in numbers on a keyboard but Vista has a totally different mentality with which younger people are familiar. They are used to a visual, touch screen, interactive method. Older people have learnt to be digital natives but our students were born and raised this way. You don’t need to know numbers; you’re talking holistically around the design and getting lights to work.

Vista offers a totally different paradigm and breaks new ground. It certainly shows the future of lighting control.

The VCA purchased the Vista I3, a mid-range lighting console that provides all the features of the full-size T2/L5 consoles in a smaller, more economical package. Featuring the software, processor, and control elements of the standalone consoles, users can connect a pen-tablet, touch screen, or standard monitor, keyboard, and mouse to the console, and it becomes a fully operational Vista. According to Joseph, it has performed as expected without any problem.

As well as learning current technologies, I try to ensure that the students are pushing the boundaries as to where new technology is going,” stated Joseph. “The Vista shows so many exciting ways of going forward that no other console is showing at the moment.

The students have found the Vista I3 very easy to use due to the hands on graphic interface which they are accustomed to from using other software.

Chris Payne, a second year student at the VCA, recently used the Vista I3 for some dance performances all lit very differently.

It’s a very different console but I really loved using it,” he said. “It was great for the three different dance performances that I operated. The lay out was really helpful because it meant that I could keep all the specials for each piece organised and that in turn meant I could manage each show as if I had three different consoles.

The visual aspect really helped with programming and operating. I particularly liked having the flexibility of using the command line; I found the command line functions very simply laid out. It was a lot of fun to use and it certainly made my life easier.

Scene Change add to their Vista family

Scene Change AV

Australia’s Scene Change, ‘the #2 AV Company’, has purchased a Jands Vista S1 console to accompany their existing Jands Vista I3 console.

We’ve been more than happy with our Vista I3 and it made sense to purchase another console that was already in line with what we were using,” commented Jordan Renouf from Scene Change. “By adding the Vista S1 we’ve gained more functionality and because it is the same software as the Vista I3, the ease of usability for the guys has been very simple.

Jordan states that the surface of the Vista S1 is particularly good with a good number of playback handles for such a small surface.

Again, it has a similar surface to the Vista I3,” he added. “The Vista is such an intuitive console – easy to use and quick. Because of this intuitive design it’s very quick to patch and program and have a show up and running quickly. Also, as it’s designed locally, it’s really easy to get someone on the phone or to answer your email quickly if you have a query.

The Vista S1 delivers five playbacks, including faders and flash buttons, a complete programming section with three encoder wheels, a rotary master fader, two LCD displays and lots more to make controlling your show a breeze.

Wild Gravity adds an I3 to their Vista inventory

Townsville based production company Wild Gravity caters to a wide variety of clients with events ranging considerably in size. Consequently managing director Noel Anthony decided to invest in a ‘family’ of lighting control consoles and with its ease of use and visual interface the Vista was the ideal choice.

The company already owned a Vista M1 Control Surface and an S1 Control Surface when Noel decided to purchase a Vista I3 Console late last year. The Vista I3 is a mid-range console with two video outputs suitable for pen-tablets, touchscreens, or standard monitors.

It’s the same platform for us whether we’re taking out our little M1 with five faders on it or a larger one – you only have to learn one system to do small or large jobs,” commented Noel. “We just love the whole time line aspect of the Vista consoles and the fact that they are very visual. I sold one to a mate a couple of years ago and it has never broken down on him so I thought that’s good enough for me! He’s travelled all around the world with it and it has been rock solid.

Noel particularly likes the Vista’s fixture editor which lets him create and add new fixtures to the library especially as he recently purchased some fixtures from a new supplier. “In fact I made a library for a fixture before it even arrived and the minute I plugged it in it worked perfectly,” he said. “I was very impressed by that. All its attributes were as they should be and it’s very easy to edit your own fixture.

Noel also says that his operators are usually very keen to learn about Vista especially as they “don’t have to choke on a manual to get some basics done on it’!

Hot Ice at Pleasure Beach Blackpool

The award winning Hot Ice Show at top UK amusement park, Pleasure Beach Blackpool is one of the many shows around the world taking advantage of the powerful, simple, and visual Jands Vista lighting and media control system to run their lighting during their ice skating spectacular.

Hot Ice has been running for over 70 years, with the 2011 show, ‘Aura’, performed twice daily, six days a week, to entertain and enthral nearly 20,000 visitors a week. This makes it one of the UK’s most popular attractions.

Hot Ice is created, produced and directed by Amanda Thompson and presented by Stageworks Worldwide Productions at the Pleasure Beach’s ice skating theatre, The Arena. Stageworks Head of Production, Management & Events, Scott Hope, specified the Jands Vista T2 in consultation with his team, when the time came to upgrade and replace the show’s lighting control desk.

They researched extensively before making any commitment to a new console or brand, and after considering all the available options Scott decided that he and his team should take a look at the Vista for themselves. When it came down to it, he reveals, “It was actually a very easy choice to make.

Key to his decision, says Scott, was that Vista “Is as easy or as sophisticated as you want to make it, which is really helpful to get the most out of short programming windows.” He especially likes the way it is quick and easy to manipulate any fixture and any cue, “This is hugely powerful and saves masses of programming time” he qualifies, adding that the whole Vista concept is excellent.

Once they had decided that Vista was the way to go, they looked at the hardware range to find the console that best fitted their needs and budget, finally settling on a Vista T2.

Paul Lee’s spectacular lighting design for ‘Hot Ice’ combines spectacle, drama and contrasts, as well as integrating multiple lighting effects for the show.
The Vista T2 controls a wide mix of lighting fixtures including 40 Martin Professional MAC 2K profiles and 12 x GLP Impression moving lights, along with 60 x Chroma-Q™ colour changers and over 200 generics, plus 20 banks of ACL’s, 23 x Showtec Sunstrips, two Starcloths, MDG Atmosphere and Compack smoke machines, as well as numerous strobe and in-house effects.
It also controls a special bespoke ‘Prometheus’ flame jet fire effect that was developed in house, comprising of four effects heads.
Stageworks were so impressed with their T2 that they decided to invest in a further two Vista I3′s and three Vista PC ‘dongles’ for various other shows and events onsite. They find the ‘dongles’ to be a handy ‘quick fix’ solution for corporate events, presentations and press launches.

Scott finds that the Vista substantially accelerates the time taken to complete the process, “being Head of Production, for me this equates to saving money”, he explains.

The next generation Vista v2 software 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. 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 said “Scott and his team have to be able to create precise structured shows like Hot Ice, but also have to be able to deliver a variety of events to a high specification in very short time frames. The Vista family offers the right balance between powerful functionality, and ease of use, that allows them to get the most from all of their shows. If you haven’t taken a look at Vista v2 yet, you really should before you choose to use anything else…

Vista control for Alban Arena

The busy multi-purpose Alban Arena in St Albans, Hertfordshire, UK, has taken delivery of a Jands Vista I3 lighting console, running the next generation Vista v2 software, to complement a new rig of GLP Volkslicht LED moving lights all ready for the kick off of its action-packed autumn/winter season.

The 1200 seat venue is a truly multi-purpose facility, acting as both a busy receiving house and also featuring a wide array of live entertainment including all types of music, comedy acts, circus, dance, drama, awards shows, exhibitions and competitions.

The venue’s technical manager, Steve Brookes, instigated the new purchases to encourage visiting productions to take advantage of the time and cost savings of having the latest technologies available in-house. These included the Jands Vista I3 console, complemented by a Vista S3 wing for additional playbacks, with Steve and his team choosing a touchscreen option to access the Vista v2 software. This flexible package fitted their requirements exactly, and replaced their existing lighting desk which had been in service for over 10 years.

The Vista I3 was integral to the venue’s new lighting package, allowing themselves and visiting productions to get the most from their new, dynamic, energy conscious solution, while achieving the high quality end result that their audiences have come to expect.

Steve had not used a Jands Vista before, and was not especially familiar with the brand. Whilst investigating all the available options – an extensive and in-depth process that involved looking at many manufacturers’ offerings – he became intrigued with Vista, and more specifically the new Vista v2 operating system. He felt that the software offered the right balance of powerful control, with the simplicity to use it quickly, that was crucial to a venue like theirs. Once he had decided that the Vista v2 software was the way forward, it was simply a matter of finding the hardware option that best fitted his budget and requirements.

He was immediately impressed with the console’s intuitive visual interface, and with the speed and ease of programming. “I really like the simplicity of the interface and it’s great intuitively. It’s obvious how to do most things without having to consult the manual.

Steve, along with Deputy Nick Clarke and some of their other regular operators, undertook training with Jands’ exclusive UK dealer, A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ltd. (AC-ET) – who supplied the Vista system and GLP Volkslichts to the Arena. Before even doing this their introduction was so successful that they programmed and ran their first show on the console the next day – a real testament to just how easy that the Vista platform is to learn.

A number of the venue’s incoming shows are theatre based with lighting run from cue stacks, so having a console with powerful timing control was essential. It also fulfilled the requirement of offering a straightforward desk for incoming shows bringing their own operators who might not be familiar with Jands Vista.

The first show to take advantage of the complete new lighting system was a performance by The Animals & Friends, featuring John Steel and Mick Gallagher, original members of the 1960s rock/blues legends The Animals, plus John E Williamson (Titanic), Peter Barton (Mindbenders, Boomtown Rats) and acclaimed US blues guitarist Steve Cropper. The band are touring the UK until November delighting audiences around with a set including Animals classics like House of the Rising Sun and We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place.

The I3 was operated by Nick Clarke, who was duty manager on the day. For this show, the console was set up for busking – another task at which the Vista, and the Vista v2 software, excels. Its speed of use and accuracy make it ideal for creating a great looking show live, and reacting to any last minute requests by the band.

Apart from all the technical and practical requirements being met by the Vista I3, Steve underlines that he was confident in “The excellent levels of service and after-sales support that could be expected.

Summing up, he reckons that the Vista I3 is a“ perfect control scenario“ for the venue, “The Vista I3 enables us to offer all the functionality that any show might need“ he confirms.

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. Available in a wide range of hardware options 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 said “Vista v2 really does offer the right balance between powerful functionality, and ease of use, that allows everyone to get the most from their show. Steve and his team have a busy schedule, and need to be able to cope with a wide range of different clients, styles and size of show both quickly and accurately. If you haven’t taken a look at Vista v2 yet, you really should before you miss out.

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.

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.

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.

Vista Tours with Leading Portuguese Artists

Blasted Mechanism Tour. ©Vasco Lopes.

Jands Vista I3 lighting consoles have provided show lighting control for the latest tours of high-profile Portuguese artists Blasted Mechanism and João Pedro Pais.

Portuguese lighting design company, Lamp On! Creative Solutions have three Vista I3 lighting consoles in their rental stock for use by its team of lighting designers; Vitor Azevedo, brother Pedro Azevedo and Rui Rodrigues. The company chose the mid-range Vista I3 model due to its combination of affordability and built-in Linux operating system, providing their ideal touring solution.

LD Vitor Azevedo used one of the Vista consoles on the recent João Pedro Pais Portuguese tour to launch their latest album, A Palma E A Mão. The wide variety of venue sizes, ranging from small clubs to large outdoor arenas, necessitated using different local suppliers and rigs on a daily basis. As with his previous tours using the Vista, Vitor found that the console’s generic fixture model allowed him to easily change fixture types as the rig changed from venue to venue.

Joao Pedro Pais Tour. ©Paulo Maria

He commented: “Touring means a lot of different things. We have to swap between different lighting equipment suppliers, different festival rigs with a lot more fixtures and theatre shows that involve a different patch every night. The Vista gives us the ability to cope with these daily changes and still maintain the same high quality stage looks. The console’s generic fixture model enables our shows to grow and be easily adapted.”

Lamp On! LD Pedro Azevedo has been impressed by the Vista’s visually-based user interface, which has enabled him to build his shows more effectively.

Pedro commented: “I have found the Vista much faster for creating the stage looks and effects I want than on previous consoles I have used. In commercial terms, this means I can give the customer a more rapid and efficient show, and as a result exceed their demands for the final production.”

Other Lamp On! clients whose shows have recently been controlled by the Vista include Buraka Som Sistema, TeraTron and the Anjos.

The company introduced freelance lighting designer, Cristóvão Veríssimo, to the Vista for the current international tour of electro-rock band Blasted Mechanism. After the introduction, Cristóvão received training and technical support for his first Vista tour from Portuguese dealer, Garrett Audiovisuals.

Blasted Mechanism have a reputation for their highly theatrical live shows, which involve elaborate
alien-themed costumes, visuals and unique musical instruments built for them. The Vista’s timeline has proved the perfect tool for the band’s vision, which requires perfect synchronisation between sound, image and light.

Featuring a main lighting rig supplied by Coimbra-based production company, Stageland, the show is timecoded, with a separate cuelist for each of the 27 songs and about 700 steps.

Cristóvão commented: “With the Vista’s timeline I can modify all parameters of fixtures and times of cues in a way that takes much less time than on other consoles I have used. I have finally found a lighting desk that really shares my visual way of thinking. Now I can do more sophisticated shows.”

Silpada Designs National Convention

Lighting designer Dave Boser of Image Technologies Corporation specified a pair of Jands Vista I3 consoles to provide lighting control for the Silpada Designs 2009 National Convention in Missouri. Silpada is one of the nation’s largest sterling silver jewelry home party companies, with over 28,000 independent representatives. This year’s three-day annual conference at the Kansas City Convention Center attracted nearly 6,000 sales representatives and featured presentations, an awards night and an entertainment night.

The live event was produced by Doug Flory and production managed by Bob Casey, with technical direction by Mark Scanlon. Lighting design / direction / programming was by Dave Boser, and master electricians Nick Wisdom and Michelle Morin assisted with the rig install and strike. Image Technologies Corporation provided all lighting and rigging equipment for the event.
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