Jands Vista

History

L5 Controls Lighting & Media for Incubus

Incubus photo by Steve Jennings

Photo © Steve Jennings

A Jands Vista L5 console was chosen by Chicago based Lighting Designer, Robb Jibson of So, Midwest Inc. to control lighting and media for multi-platinum selling rockers, Incubus. Sharing the headline of the North American 2012 Honda Civic Tour were Grammy award winning rap-rock outfit, Linkin Park.

Robb was first introduced to the Jands Vista platform earlier in the year when he was supplied a Vista L5 on the Australian leg of Incubus’ tour. Although initially cautious, he was immediately impressed by Jands’ flagship console with its powerful Vista v2 software, and after using it chose to make the swap to the platform at the first opportunity.

Initially using a Vista T2 for Incubus’ spring run, then a Vista L5 for the high profile Honda Civic Tour, Robb explains that as a designer he likes his consoles “to be as intuitive and easy as possible to operate”, stating that “the Vista absolutely delivers on all levels.

With complex timing changes, intricate programming, an extensive lighting system and multiple video content and input layers, Robb’s design required a fast workflow, which the Vista’s simple, powerful interface helped him achieve.

Timing is central to Robb’s designs, and he really appreciates the ability to fine tune each detail quickly and accurately using the Vista’s timeline.

The Vista makes it so easy to add complex timing and build intricate programming very quickly. With all the power you need and virtually unlimited possibilities – what more do you need?” Robb enthuses.

The L5’s design is dominated by its 21 inch High-Definition TFT screen. This comfortable work-surface allows everything to be accessed quickly and clearly on the rig. Ergonomically, “It’s a great desk” says Robb, commenting that he likes the feel and positioning of the faders plus the ‘clicky-ness’ of the flash buttons.

The L5 ran the system via ArtNet on the Honda Civic tour, which proved to be rock solid.

Following such positive experiences using the Vista control platform, Robb decided to invest in his own Jands Vista S3 console, which he used as a tracking backup on the Honda Civic Tour.

Opening for Incubus and Linkin Park were prog-rockers MUTEMATH, whose LD, Darien Koop, is also a dedicated Jands Vista fan.

Vista L5 Controls Multi-Media Experience

5Lynx 1

A Jands Vista L5 media and lighting control console, running the latest Vista v2 software, was used by designer Geoffrey Platt to help deliver US telecoms company 5LINX Enterprises’ corporate vision to over 8,000 sales delegates.

Geoff, of Atlanta based Production People Inc. (PPi), used the Vista L5 with another of the family, a Vista T2, running in full tracking back-up to deliver a stunning stage production featuring video, lighting and LED.

Geoff has worked for PPi for the last five years as a creative and concept designer for scenic, video and lighting. Although he has been an enthusiastic user of the Vista family for a number of years, this was his first chance to use the new flagship Vista L5.

Despite the scale and stature of the event, and not to mention the fast pace of the show, Geoff was completely confident that the L5 was the right tool to deliver the precise look and feel he wanted for the presentations.

The L5 was controlling over 100 moving lights – a mix of VARI*LITE V*L3000 spots, V*L3500 washes, Martin Professional MAC 250 washes and Clay Paky Sharpys – as well as conventional lightsources and 140 LED fixtures including Chroma-Q™ Color Block™, Philips CK ColorBlast and ColorBlaze, Chauvet Colorado TriPAR and Alkalite Opto Strips. All lighting equipment was supplied by rental company 4Wall’s Las Vegas facility.

Two Catalyst media servers were controlled by the Vista L5 to supply video throughout the event’s presentations.

Geoff absolutely loved the L5 – especially its striking 21 inch, high-definition screen, which made accessing all the elements of the rig both fast and easy. This really assisted with the fast, intense programming the show demanded of Geoff and co-programmer, Greg Haygood.

Geoff continues to be hugely impressed with the performance of Jands’ next generation Vista v2 control platform, commenting that its Effects Engine is “fantastic”.

He says the powerful, simple, visual Vista v2 software is invaluable for designing and operating quickly and efficiently on large and complex shows like 5LINX Enterprises, and features such as Vista v2’s Matrix effects quickly bring extra dynamics and dimensions to the show.

I think it’s the fastest console currently on the market for programming – the timeline interface makes all the difference in the world” he enthuses, concluding “Jands have done a fantastic job on the L5, building a product with ‘the future’ in mind. I am very excited to see how things will develop from here.

Vista L5 for Queen and Adam Lambert

Queen and Adam Lambert

A Jands Vista L5 was chosen by leading Lighting and Visuals Designer, Rob Sinclair, to control lighting and media for British rock legends, ‘Queen’. Their recent string of high profile shows featured American Idol star Adam Lambert as lead singer.

The first highly anticipated show truly tested everyone’s technical and creative skills. Performed in front of enormous crowds (estimated at up to 500,000 people) in Independence Square, Kiev, Ukraine – the concert was televised live as part of the Euro 2012 Football Championships, as well as being streamed online.

Although Rob has been a keen Vista user for a number of years, this was his first experience using the new flagship L5 console. Choosing to do so on a show of such stature and visibility was a real testament to his confidence in the reliability and flexibility of the Vista family.

Rob’s design concept began with the classic look of the massive Queen PAR can rigs of the 1970s and 80s. It was then evolved into a stunning contemporary version by taking advantage of the latest LED, automation and control technologies.

The touring rig featured over 200 moving lights arranged on six moving pods over the stage that were able to shift into different positions throughout the show.

Custom video – co-ordinated by Rob – was played back from a Catalyst media server that was also under control of the Vista L5.

Rob was extremely impressed with his experience, “The L5 has definitely been designed to make controlling even large and complex shows like this extremely easy” he comments. He found the console’s 21 inch high-definition screen made it “very easy to find everything quickly.

Rob took full advantage of Vista’s Matrix Effects to quickly get some great looks out of the rig’s 180 Mac 101s when they were configured as a big par wall. He concludes that Vista gives the tools to “Achieve straightforward tasks very easily, whilst retaining the ability to engage in complex programming. You don’t have to do any maths to write a cue.

Given the choice, Rob has specified Vista control extensively on his shows for the past few years. As well as Queen, these include Peter Gabriel, Adele, Pulp, Pet Shop Boys, Keane, and Will Young.

All photos courtesy of ©Rob Sinclair. Click to enlarge.

Vista v2 controls innovative Mutemath visuals show

Mutemath 1

A Jands Vista T2 console, running the next generation Vista v2 software, has been controlling lighting and visuals for progressive rockers Mutemath on their recent US tour.

The tour’s production design was a creative collaboration between the band themselves and Jeff Lava & Darien Koop of Nashville based 44 Designs.

44 Designs are a full service visual design practice, specialising in creating lighting, video and staging concepts for all types of performance and live shows. The company now owns five Jands Vista consoles after purchasing their first when 44 Designs was formed in 2008. They continue to be firm advocates of the brand, citing that with Vista v2 software it really is the ultimate designer’s tool.

The touring system features a lighting floor package including a selection of moving lights and generics, as well as a 24 foot wide aluminium screen-like structure which is supported from a rear truss. The structure is fed with mapped video stored on a Pandora’s Box media server.

In addition to their own touring equipment, Mutemath plugged in to the house lighting rig at each venue. The Vista’s ability to quickly and accurately swap and clone programming between different fixture types, even using different colour systems, offered quick and easy integration of the available venue lighting into their show each day.

Darien, who programmed the T2 and ran visuals on the tour, remains hugely impressed with the performance of the Vista v2 software.

He thinks the Timeline editing on Vista v2 is “fantastic”, allowing the operator to drill down to far greater depths and much faster than before. “They have really nailed the timeline now, it’s very simple and offers possibilities that I’ve not found on other consoles” he says.

One function that has helped him out is the ability to customise and build new fixture profiles. on the console. This feature was used to write a personality for the brand new Pandora’s Box v5 before it was generally available, creating exactly the profile they wanted, and even tailored to the way the media server is specifically being used on their tour.

Darien feels that Jands really listen to user feedback in their quest for continual improvement of all their products.

He concludes “If you are a designer and haven’t taken a proper look at Vista v2 yet, you really need to…

On top of that, he notes the superlative service, support and backup through Jands’ US distributors, AC Lighting Incc.

Click images to enlarge

Vista at the Sydney Theatre Company

Never Did Me Any Harm is a new dance theatre work by award-winning director and choreographer Kate Champion (Not in a Million Years, The Age I’m In), exploring the complexities of contemporary family life. It is a co-production between Sydney Theatre Company and Force Majeure.

Force Majeure is known for making work that transforms the familiar and domestic into the poetic. Drawing inspiration from Christos Tsiolkas’ bestselling novel The Slap, Champion and her company interviewed people of all ages and backgrounds for their opinions on what makes a good parent.

Using a distinctive language of dance and text, Force Majeure and Sydney Theatre Company give full dramatic voice to these real life stories. In an unsettling yet familiar Aussie backyard, the fears of parents are danced, voiced and unraveled.

Set and lighting designer Geoff Cobham collaborated with Chris Petridis, video designer and assistant lighting designer, on the project. A PC running Jands Vista v2 software with a Vista M1 wingboard was used to operate the show.

Essentially I built the video system which included a Catalyst media server running ArtNet so that was an exciting factor in using the Vista for control,” Chris commented. “I find that the Vista is very compatible with ArtNet and networking.

The production utilised five standard projectors plus a Robe Spot 3000DT digital moving head projector so Chris was running two complete media server systems as well as a normal lighting rig.

Geoff and I are similar in our artistic approach to lighting and consequently we really favour the Vista because it’s very intuitive in creating the desired stage looks,” explained Chris. “Other consoles can be all about numbers. With the Vista, instead of having to think about what you’re trying to create in a mathematical manner you can think about it in an artistic way. That’s the greatest thing about Vista and that comes across in the programming of it using features like the colour picker and having all the gobos visible when you’re loading and programming them.

Like modern video and audio software, the Vista displays your designs as a series of ‘events’ laid out across the screen over time. This ‘timeline’ approach means that you can see everything that’s happening in relation to time: when lights come on, when they go off, when they change colour, when they move. Chris is partial to Vista’s timeline particularly as it uses the same shortcut keyboard commands as a PC or Mac.

It makes it so simple to move attributes between cues,” he added. “Rather than having to constantly think about tracking and how to pull attributes out of certain cues to move them, you can just click on the attribute and cut and paste as you would with any other software. Just the other day I showed this feature to another lighting designer and he was blown away by it. Being able to scrub the timeline is handy – you can move to the point where you want a new attribute to start fading and just drag the attribute to that point. That’s fantastic.

The Vista’s interface makes patching a breeze. You just pick the light you want from a list, type the quantity you want, then drag it over to the DMX universe screen. All done! The Vista also includes an extensive fixture library including profiles for the world’s most popular and less well-known lights.

I find the patching on a Vista to be incredibly simple and I like having the visual 512 channel universe and being able to move stuff around that way is really great,” added Chris. “I like that you can have all the windows pop out and put them on a second monitor, it’s so nice having a large visual display of what you’re using.

Never Did Me Any Harm will be playing at the Melbourne Festival later in the year.

The Hellbillies

Norwegian Lighting designer Roy Arne Wold is using a Jands Vista T2 console, with the next generation Vista v2 software, to control lighting and video on the current “Hellbillies” tour.

The Hellbillies are a country rock band – with slightly more emphasis on the rock than the country – and among Norway’s most popular recording artists, with 12 albums under their belts and a large and loyal live following.

Just before embarking on the tour, Roy decided to upgrade to the new Vista v2 software, which he says “takes the entire Vista control system into a whole new league”.

On this year’s tour, they are carrying a ‘specials’ package of lighting and video, which is supplemented with each days locally provided house rig.

The touring rig consists of eight Robe ColorSpot 700E ATs, twelve Robe ColorWash 575AT Zooms, four Martin Atomic strobes, eight Active Sunstrips and eight panels of 30mm pitch LED screen, together with 48 dimmer channels.

At each venue, they connect the house rig into the T2 and use Vista v2’s second generation generic fixture model to automatically swap the show programming to fit that days fixture types, saving time and ensuring that they are able to consistently deliver the same high quality show.

The T2 is also triggering the touring Hippo Critter media server which stores and plays back all the content for the video panels.

One of the many features that Roy particularly likes about Vista v2 is the way the console interfaces seamlessly with media servers, with all the media clips displayed as easily viewable thumbnails on the desk. “It’s great to be able to see and do everything on the desk, and not have to refer to the server at all” he says.

Other v2 highlights for Roy are the ease at which you can add split timings to a cue, and the powerful search functions, whereby you just type in the first digits of what you are looking for and it will be found instantly.

I love the layout” he says, referring generally to the v2 interface. “I can see so much information simultaneously and can create my show so fast”.

Roy and his company Raw Light’s investment in the T2 has proved to be an excellent commercial move for an independent LD, and guarantees that he can have his desk of choice on all his shows!

Roy comments that he has always experienced excellent, knowledgeable and helpful service from both Jands and their Norwegian distributors Norsk Sceneteknikk As.

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 quickly, 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 “Shows of all sizes and styles really benefit from using Vista v2. It has the right balance of power and simplicity to ensure that it is fast to use, while allowing the user to create exactly what is demanded on stage. Take a look for yourself and see what this exciting next generation of control can offer you.

Yusuf Islam World Tour

All photos ©Derek Jones

Lighting designer Derek Jones recently finished the European leg of the current Yusuf Islam (formerly known as Cat Stevens) world tour, finding it the perfect opportunity to try out the new Jands Vista v2 software running on his own Vista S3 lighting console.

Regarded as one of the world’s greatest singer-songwriters, this tour marked Yusuf’s high profile return to performing in Europe for the first time in 36 years.

Derek invested in his Vista S3 desk for a Cliff Richard & The Shadows tour about 18 months ago and it hasn’t stopped working since.

“Vista v2 has definitely taken the platform to another level,” enthused Derek, who is impressed with the new software’s power and simplicity. He added “v2 makes it even faster to get a basic show up and running. It’s so quick to create your cues, yet allows you the power to control the details.”

The tour rig featured Martin Professional MAC 700 Profile moving lights in the roof and MAC 2K and 250 Washes on the floor. A Catalyst media server was also triggered from the Vista S3, which fed content to a 60ft wide by 30 high projection surface upstage. The original show design was by Marc Brickman.

Equipment for the European leg of the tour was supplied by leading UK rental company, Lite Alternative.

Recommended to Derek by other lighting design colleagues, he admits to “Falling In love” with the Vista console after finally taking the plunge to look at it, adding “There’s absolutely no going back now.”

“The surface is flexible, small and highly portable,” he declares, explaining that his Vista S3 has been flightcased so it can travel as standard baggage on a plane, weighing less than 32 Kgs, while the laptops (main and backup) that run it travel with him as cabin baggage. This makes it practical and affordable to take his own console to one-offs both in Europe and further afield, so he always has his desk of choice to deliver the best looking shows to his clients.

Derek has found the worldwide support and general responsiveness of the Jands team really good, “They will actually listen to your ideas and feed back and come up with real solutions to help achieve what you need,” he confirms.

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 adds: “Derek’s shows always look fantastic, and this tour is no exception. We are proud to be able to give him a way to help realise both his and his clients’ creative ideas.”

All photos ©Derek Jones