Jands Vista

History

Vista Training at LDI

No matter if you are new to the exciting Jands Vista lighting and media control range, or are an existing user, the latest Vista v2 software will enable you to get the most from whatever mix of technology you have available, whether dimmers, moving lights, LEDs or media.

We have set aside two full days to provide both introductory and advanced programming training sessions on the Vista v2 software in partnership with the LDInstitute.

Eddie Welsh of Jands is flying in from Australia to provide top-notch training. Early registration is recommended as space is limited, so why not sign up now:

  • The introductory level training on Wednesday 17th October is now fully booked.
  • To attend the advanced level training on Thursday 18th October click here

The training session will cover all aspects of the new Vista v2 software and is geared to all levels and types of user – including designers, programmers, operators – no matter what your background or knowledge level.

For more information on the Jands Vista, check out our new Vista v2 applications brochure

British Rock ‘n’ Roll Legends

Busy UK-based lighting designer Derek Jones recently bought a Jands Vista S1 to help service his busy autumn season, including legendary British artist Cliff Richard’s “Soulicious ” tour and another with equally maverick performers, The Hollies.

With both tours overlapping Derek took his new Vista S1 out on The Hollies, while he called on Lars Kristiansen to operate Cliff Richard and the Shadows on his Vista S3.

Derek bought the Vista S3 some two years ago, and it has been on the road ever since. He has been running the next generation Vista v2 software since its launch and comments, “It’s brilliant.

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.

Derek has worked with The Hollies for the last six years. The band, known for their fabulous, rich vocal harmonies were among the UK’s leading groups throughout the 1960s and 1970s, are still hugely popular. They tour twice a year for five weeks each, playing to completely sold out audiences in theatres and concert halls nationwide.

Being in constant demand, Derek brought in Gareth Pritchard to cover the shows when he was unavailable. With each song programmed into a Snapshot, Derek was able to pass the show over, and with the single press of a button – each song was set up, labelled and ready to go.

The lighting rig, supplied by Blackburn based Lite Alternative, consisted of a front and back truss featuring Martin Professional MAC 700s and MAC 250 moving lights, Mole Richardson MoleBeams, Sunstrips, plus a selection of PARs and ACLs.

The band performed an intensive two hour set, encompassing 28 songs, with each number having an individual look.

Next on Derek’s schedule are flamboyant US disco divas Scissor Sisters in Australia, the Pacific Rim and Asia, where a Vista S1 will be in control and simply toured with the backline.

Jands Europe’s Neil Vann commented “Vista v2 offers designers like Derek the perfect balance of power and simplicity. It is fast to use, yet allows for detailed control of even the most demanding shows. With a wide range of hardware options, there is a console to fit almost every style, scale and budget of show. Make sure that you take a look at Vista v2 for yourself and see what this exciting next generation of control can offer you.”

Click images to enlarge.

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…

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 v2 now shipping

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lighthouse Productions – United Arab Emirates


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vista V2 ‘Byron’ at the Sydney Festival 2011

Photo ©Peter Rubie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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