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

Vista v2 Shines on Third Day

Alabama based Lighting designer Taylor Price used a Jands Vista S3 console, running the next generation Vista v2 software, to control lighting for the recent US tour of Grammy Award winning rockers, Third Day.

Taylor made the switch to the Jands Vista platform while lighting another Grammy award winner, Switchfoot. Their punishing touring schedule meant Taylor was looking for a powerful yet portable control system that could easily travel on a plane. His solution was to join the growing international family of lighting designers who have bought their own Vista system. He’s not looked back, and has been an enthusiastic Jands Vista user ever since.

Third Day play a wide variety of venues using a mix of their own touring rig and locally supplied production. On arena shows the Vista S3 was controlling the full touring rig of VARI*LITE 3000 profiles, VARI*LITE 3500 washes, Martin MAC 101’s, Martin MAC 301’s, Atomic strobes and conventionals, all supplied by Theatrical Media Services (TMS) from Omaha, Nebraska.

For some of the smaller shows, the rig was reduced and integrated with the house system. Taylor was able to simply change fixture types in the patch, giving him the flexibility to run his show on whatever fixture types he had to work with.

The final backdrop of Taylor’s high energy, classic ‘rock and roll’ design was a light bulb wall containing 300 standard 60Watt incandescent household bulbs. Vista v2 gave Taylor the tools to effortlessly get the most from this dynamic scenic element with minimal programming time.

Click images to enlarge

Vista v2 at Westover Church

Westover Church in North Carolina, USA recently upgraded its Jands Vista T4 console to the new Vista v2 software, providing even greater lighting control for its busy 3,000 capacity main auditorium.

Part of the non-denominational Church’s 300,000 square foot facility, the main auditorium hosts a diverse range of events. In addition to regular congregation services and at least two major events per month, the Church hosts its own internal events and concerts featuring a choir, worship band and orchestra. The auditorium is also home to the Greensboro Symphony Pops Orchestra.

The Jands Vista T4 console was specified and purchased six years ago for Westover Church by Production Director Jeff Neubauer, and supplied by Barbizon Lighting via exclusive North American distributor, A.C. Lighting Inc. Jeff was an early adopter of the Jands Vista and all the power and flexibility this brings to his events. Since then, Jeff has not looked back in terms of lighting control – he simply loves the Vista!

The Church also has two Vista PC systems – used as a backup to the Vista T4 and for running timed lighting events in the Church’s atrium area. Says Jeff, “Vista v2 has been an amazing upgrade. It’s added a lot of new functionality and made programming even easier and quicker.” The ability to add external touch screens is “fabulous” he comments – and immediately made the most of it. Jeff does the majority of the show programming himself, working with a team of regular operators, and so has plenty of hands on experience and knowledge of exactly what is needed.

He is very impressed with the freedom that Vista v2 brings to customise the user interface and lay it out exactly as users wish, “I can organise myself better, and customise icons to precisely match the way I work. I like to be able to jump around the Cue Lists and the way that the Time Line works now, along with other aspects, it is all even more convenient with v2” he enthuses.

He is also thinks the fact that he could upgrade his existing console to get even more value from his investment, and allow him all the latest programming tools is very cool.

Another excellent feature, he thinks, is being able to see thumbnail displays of the media server clips, which is ideal for fast and intuitive access to video content played out through the desk. This becomes even more important as he incorporates more video into all his events.

The lighting fixtures and visual elements currently being controlled by the Vista T4 in the main auditorium include VARI*LITE VL3000 and VL3500 Spots, Martin Professional MAC 250 Spots, High End DL1 moving head projectors and a Catalyst media server. In addition, there are over 300 Source Fours, 55 Nexera colour changers and a selection of fresnels and PARs for general lighting.

The majority of the lighting stays in the main room, with some rigged in the atrium, where it is controlled by the second Jands Vista PC.

Jeff’s technical team at Westover Church – which includes four full time and two part time employees, along with about 40 volunteers – has a core group of lighting operators, all of whom also really like Vista v2. “The jump from v1 to v2 has been incredibly smooth and straightforward for all of us” confirms Jeff.

It is also an excellent learning console and software platform for those seeking to increase their knowledge and understanding of lighting control. Westover Church currently runs an intern programme for students studying Entertainment Technology at the local Guilford Technical Community College, offering a great opportunity for them to get hands-on experience with the latest technology.

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.

A.C. Lighting Inc’s VP of sales & marketing, Fred Mikeska commented “Jeff and his team deliver a wide range of events, always within a short timeframe, and all of which have a consistently high standard. Churches such as Westover are another real world example where the power and simplicity of Vista v2 helps everyone, regardless of their experience level, focus on the main goal of delivering a great looking show that they can be proud of.”

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.

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

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.

Lifechurch.tv, Edmond, Oklahoma.

LifeChurch.tv © Steve Nance

Oklahoma-based LifeChurch.tv has invested in a range of Jands Vista lighting control solutions as part of its ongoing program to expand the reach of its unique message.

LifeChurch.tv is an influential multi-site Church that transcends metropolitan regions and reaches over 30,000 members weekly through its worship services. Utilizing the very latest media technologies to deliver its message, the Church’s innovative approach includes a satellite broadcast that enables all locations to be connected as one during services; an online campus that provides services featuring live interaction; as well as a fully interactive 3D world; and free online resources for other Churches.

When Lighting Designer, C. Andrew Dunning, of Landru Design was approached to specify a lighting system for Studio B on the Edmond campus, the Vista was LifeChurch.tv’s console of choice after proving to be ideally suited to the Church’s partial reliance on volunteers to run its services.

The new installation is a multi purpose space used as a studio to record the services, special announcements, and other video segments broadcast to the Church.

Andrew required a lighting console that would be easy to teach and use by the volunteers. It also needed to be powerful enough for the current lighting setup, yet be upgradeable to cope with the Church’s future needs and provide seamless control of conventional, LED and intelligent fixtures.

In addition to LifeChurch.tv’s preference for the Vista, the console’s reputation for being easy to use and a scalable system appealed to Andrew, so he decided it was time to see a demonstration.

He commented: “I’d already heard good things about the Vista from other users. When I saw a demo and worked with it myself, I was very impressed with the console’s relatively shallow learning curve. I could also really appreciate how quickly a non-lighting professional could easily control even intricate lighting systems.”

The Vista’s graphic based interface lets users work visually and get on with designing better shows, rather than getting distracted by the actual programming process itself.

After being convinced by the Vista demo and the Church’s own experiences with the console, Andrew specified it. Vista dealer and worship market production specialist, Integrity Lighting, supplied the S3 console and other lighting equipment to LifeChurch.tv for the installation.

Although the various LifeChurch.tv campuses are using different Jands Vista models, all consoles share exactly the same graphical interface. As a result, no extra training is needed should any campus upgrade as their system requirements grow.

LifeChurch.tv © Steve Nance

LifeChurch.tv installed a Vista PC system connected to an S3 control surface and Wacom touch screen monitor. The Vista controls a studio and theatrical lighting rig featuring Videssence Power Key 110 and 220 fluorescent lighting, Desisti 1kW and 350W Fresnels, ETC Source 4 Ellipsoidal and PAR fixtures, 2′ L&E Mini-Strip striplights and Martin Stagebar LED luminaires.

Summarising his experience of the Vista, Andrew commented: “I’d venture that most of LifeChurch.tv’s volunteers have little professional lighting experience. The Church should be a place where all are empowered to serve, not just those who are paid production staff. The Vista supports this idea by enabling volunteers to create lighting looks quickly and easily. In addition, members from other disciplines, such as a video director, can easily control the lighting. As a result, dedicated lighting personnel are not needed in Studio B. Vista is an extremely easy-to-understand system for users of all levels, making it perfectly suited for today’s church.”

Integrity Lighting Inc’s Steve Nance commented: “Since 2004 we have used the Vista console on many large tours, such as Jeremy Camp, MercyMe, Third Day, Skillet, John Tesh and several more. With respect to installations, Integrity sells many Jands Vista systems into the House Of Worship market.”

Read more about the technology used at LifeChurch.tv in this Church Production magazine article.

Altar Boyz at the Bristol Riverside Theatre

Altar Boyz, The Bristol Riverside Theatre, Bristol PA.

Altar Boyz, The Bristol Riverside Theatre, Bristol PA.

Lighting designer David Pedemonti specified a Jands Vista S3 console, his desk of choice, to provide lighting control for a regional production of the hit US Off Broadway show, Altar Boyz.

David was particularly impressed with the Vista’s ability to combine big bold looks with the show’s precise comic timing, and how quick and easy the show was to programme using the console’s unique visually based lighting plot.

Summarizing his experience of the Vista, David commented: “As a theatrical lighting designer, I am always searching for a console that handles well the conventional fixtures along with the moving heads and LEDs. The Jands Vista, for me, has addressed the entire process of cueing a show for all types of fixtures. The Vista’s interface and timeline make the concept of lighting much more user friendly, particularly when working with video and audio in a multimedia production.”

Cliff Richard & The Shadows tour with a Vista S3

Cliff Richard and the Shadows 2009 tour

Cliff Richard and the Shadows 2009-2010 tour

Lighting and video designer Derek Jones specified a Jands Vista S3 console to provide lighting, IMAG and video control for the 2009 / 2010 Cliff Richard & The Shadows international tour. The sold-out tour recently completed shows at major UK and European arenas, and re-commences in February for a series of dates in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

When Derek discussed the choice of control console with UK and European tour lighting supplier, Lite Alternative, they suggested the Jands Vista S3. Having jumped between using many other consoles, Derek thought it would be a good opportunity to experience for himself the Vista’s graphical based approach to programming. On the strength of trying the free Vista demo software and then using the S3 for a one-off corporate show, he purchased a console to use for the tour.

Derek commented: “I felt very comfortable using the console, particularly the timeline editing function, which appealed to me having used timeline based editing for video editing. I was a bit nervous about the idea of using an unfamiliar console on such a major tour for the first time, but after trying the desk with success on a corporate show and a few hours of the tour rehearsals, I felt completely at home with the Vista.

Having worked separately for both Cliff Richard and The Shadows over the past ten years, Derek was keen to design a show which suited both acts’ visual style, so he incorporated a mixture of traditional and high-tech show elements.

Derek wanted a multi-functional scenic / IMAG backdrop to save on truck space and provide a dynamic above-stage show replay system which would give the audience a central view of the IMAG. He specified a 13.5m wide by 4.5m high PixLED screen, supplied by XL Video UK.

For the lighting, he opted for a goalpost truss surrounding the screen featuring MAC700 spots and MAC2000 washes, 19 ETC Source Four fixtures and additional floor-mounted MAC700 units. Video came from a Catalyst media server. The Lighting, video and live camera feeds were all triggered from the S3 console.

Summarising his experience of the Vista, Derek commented: “The Vista has served its purpose very well. I feel very much at home with it. Because Vista is very software based, I can use any of the hardware options that Jands have to offer and still feel that I’ve got a full console in front of me.rdquo;

New York Musical Theatre Festival

The Good Fight 1

Vista S3 and WYSIWYG join LD Glen Hunter for The Good
Fight in New York.

The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) is one of the
most prestigious theatre schools in the country, and was recently selected to
tour The Good Fight at the 2007 New York Musical Theatre Festival. Written
by Nick Enright (best known for “The Boy from Oz”), with music composed by
David King, The Good Fight is set in Australia during the first World War. It’s
based on themes such as mateship and centers around the tale of a
legendary boxer, Les Darcy, and his rise from blacksmith to the world’s most
famous boxer. Performed for the first time in the United States, the New
York Musical Theater Festival showcases new musicals from Australia,
Canada, South Korea the United Kingdom and the United States.

Lighting Designer Glen Hunter is a 3rd year lighting design student at WAAPA
and chose the Jands Vista and Cast Software’s WYSIWYG as his weapons of
choice for the tour. Glen commented: “One of the great challenges of the
show was that we opened the day following a 30 hour flight to New York,
which gave us a day to load in the set, lighting, plot, tech run and then open
that evening. I made a decision early on to completely pre-plot the show in
Perth with the Vista and WYSIWYG”.
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