Jands Vista

History

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

tobyMac Winter Wonder Slam tour

tobyMac ©Jeff Culmer

tobyMac ©Jeff Culmer

Lighting and video designer Nick West specified a Jands Vista T2 console to provide lighting, IMAG and video control for the recent tobyMac annual Winter Wonder Slam tour. The American Grammy award-winning gospel rapper’s explosive show featured Diverse City, his 8-member touring band, and played a series of US Arena dates throughout November and December. The touring schedule re-commences in March to promote the launch of tobyMac’s latest studio album, Tonight.

Tour lighting was provided by Axxis Inc., with lighting design, direction and programming by Nick West. Video was provided by Big Picture.

When it came to specifying lighting control for the tour, the Jands Vista was Nick’s desk of choice. Nick is an experienced user of the Vista range, switching between a rented full size T2 console for tours and his own S1 control surface for fly dates or using as a wing, which he takes on every show.

He commented: “When I saw the Vista, the timeline and ability to swap fixtures were major selling points. Often I fly to a show that morning and I may only have 30 minutes with the rig before we play, which gives me just enough time to focus. With the Jands Vista’s Mac or PC based offline editor, one quick advance call to get the fixture types and addresses from the local company and I can have the console ready to go before I even show up on site.”

The tour rig centered around a Barco Slite LED video wall upstage for IMAG and a low resolution Barco MiStrips LED wall in front of a 40 foot wide by 5 foot high riser.

120 Par Cans arranged in a 30 by four configuration were also flown in and out during the show, providing a major set piece used to spell out words. Nick was originally going to pixel map the Par Cans, but after starting to pre-program them on the Vista he found the console’s graphical based approach to programming made it very easy.

He commented: “The show starts off with ‘TOBY MAC’ spelled out in the Par Cans. After a couple of shows, Toby asked if I could do something specific with them, such as having them come on as if someone was writing it. I was able to instantly grab the fixtures, work with them in the timeline and have the effect within 30 seconds of him asking for it.

The rig also included 22 Martin Mac 700 profiles, ten 26 degree Source Four Lekos, three ETC Sensor racks and two Motion Labs 220V Distros. Video came from a Catalyst HD media server. The lighting, video and live camera feeds were all triggered from the Vista T2 console.

Summarizing his experience of the Vista, Nick commented: “I use the Vista for anything and everything I do. It’s great having on-board visualization of your fixtures and the flexibility to layout the console to your specific needs. The Vista is great for controlling lights, IMAG and video. Technical support for anything is very quick. Jands listen to their users and continually make requests and ideas happen.”

Other production staff on the tour included Tour Manager Ryan Lampa, Stage Manager Sam Shifley, Lighting Crew Chief / FOH Cam Anthony Morgan, Lighting 2nd John “2Tone” Sumitra, LED Tech / Robotic Cams Jeff Culmer, and Shoulder Cam / Video Tech Nick Bush.