Total Production

LDI '07

January 2008

(Orlando) - Sonya Bell reports from sunny Orlando as the LDI show marks its 20th Anniversary.

LDI celebrated its 20th anniversary at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando on November 16-18. The show has expanded significantly since it began in 1988 with 100 companies exhibiting in Dallas, to its latest line-up of over 400.

Patricia MacKay, who launched LDI, received a ‘Life In Light Award’ at the LDI 2007 Awards ceremony, in honour of her vision and dedication to the industry. Products from LDI’s 20-year history were on display as part of a showcase to commemorate the anniversary.

Global trussing, staging and lighting manufacturer Tomcat also celebrated 20 years in the industry during LDI. It was a busy show for Tomcat who announced on the first day of the show that Cyberhoist USA (part of Tomcat Global) will exclusively distribute the triple award-winning Cyberhoist/InMotion 3D motion control system in North America. CyberHoist USA will provide a comprehensive sales, service, training and rental customer support operation for the USA and Canada from its base in Las Vegas.

Mitch Clark, Tomcat Global’s president, said: “The future is looking incredibly exciting for the CyberHoist marque in North America. CyberHoist meets what our clients in the touring, theatre and corporate show markets have been asking for.”

Tensioned wire grid specialist Slingco exhibited at LDI for the first time this year, showcasing CABLEnet — a custom tensioned wire grid system, designed and engineered to fit the exact space and specifications required by a venue. Slingco opened its first US office in Atlanta in July 2006.

Kinesys was at LDI in conjunction with its US distributor, TMB, whose team kept up tradition with their usual bustling bar area. They demonstrated their K2 motion control system with Unusual Rigging’s award winning Revolution winch, showing the capabilities of these two products working together. K2 offers a real-time 3D programming view, so the operator can move the objects on the screen via a graphical interface, while the computer does the calculations. All of these graphical items/objects can be created in industry standard CAD packages and imported directly into K2.

Cues can be simulated and rehearsed in full 3D before being run for real, complete with multiple viewing angles and user controlled camera views, allowing the operator to be sure that no aspect of the movement or its interaction with other elements is hidden.

LDI 2007 could well have been renamed LED-I, as the energy-efficient diodes replicated their dramatic influx into the marketplace this year with a substantial presence on the show floor.

LEDs were particularly prominent on the Chauvet booth, which featured LED products exclusively in an effort to demonstrate how colourful going ‘green’ could be. As a result of its efforts, Chauvet won the Best in Show ‘Big Booth Award’. Highlights of the booth included a ceiling illuminated in an ever-changing array of colours by Chauvet COLORado 3, COLORado 6, and COLORado 1 units, a lounge setting complete with baby grand piano and plush seating, and a symmetrically split DV wall.

In addition, Chauvet highlighted many new products on interactive pedestals located around the perimeter of the booth, allowing passers-by to familiarise themselves with new products in a hands-on environment.

Robe also enjoyed recognition for the effort put into its stand, its largest ever for LDI, which won the award for Best Creative Use of Light. Robe UK’s Nathan Wan and Peter Watts put together the lively concept. Robe’s ColorSpot and ColorWash 2500E ATs, ColorSpot and ColorWash 700E ATs, ColorWash 750AT Tungsten and the StageQubes were all on show, and there was a well designed space for Anolis’ full range of architectural LED products in the centre of the booth.

The newly re-branded Color Kinetics exhibited both RGB and white LED lighting choices as Philips Solid State Lighting Solutions, the entity formed by Philips’ acquisition of Color Kinetics. The PSSLS stand featured a number of established products and the latest addition addition to the range — the iW Blast 12 TR, which projects variable colour temperatures of white light from a rugged, tour-friendly housing. The booth also incorporated a low-resolution video wall comprised of iColor Accent Powercore, a linear direct-view fixture that is controllable in 1.2” increments. The fixture is PSSLS’ response to growing demand for solutions that can merge video and light in entertainment and architectural settings.

The first three new products from Multiform’s new manufacturing facility in South East China were revealed on the booth of Meteor S & L Inc. The Multispot, Multiwash and Multiflood high brightness luminaires provide a range of beamwidths for different applications, but sharing common electronics to ensure an extremely cost effective light source. In DMX mix mode, four channels are used to control R, G, B and brightness, whilst in DMX preset mode, fixed colours, chases and strobing can be selected.

PRG showcased the new v6.0 software upgrade for the Virtuoso lighting control console; the ChamSys MagicQ MQ100 console; the Series 400 Power and Data Distribution System; and a new Modular Deck Track from PRG Scenic Technologies.

There was also unveiling of PRG's much-anticipated Mbox Extreme2 media server. New features in this media server include dual outputs (independent or panoramic); pixel mapping for direct control of DMX LED fixtures; cross-fading 3D objects and media on the same layer; tiling and edge blending across multiple servers; SDI, HD-SDI output; multiple live camera inputs; and a hardware dimmer module that controls the stage output.

ETC debuted its Ion lighting control desk. Visitors to ETC’s stand got the first look at this latest addition to the Complete Control line and follow-up to its award-winning Eos desk.

Like Eos, Ion is designed for multimedia lighting rigs, delivering control over conventionals, moving lights and LEDs. Ion shared display space with the rest of ETC’s Complete Control line-up, including the portable SmartFade ML console, as well as the triple-crown-winning Eos, Congo and Congo Jr.

The grandMA Video media server was at the heart of the MA Lighting stand. Visitors to the booth had the opportunity to see how this software tool meets the demands of lighting designers and programmers to bridge the gap between the realms of lighting and video.

Wybron announced its new Net-IT PS600 — a 600 watt 24V power supply for Wybron products and other popular lighting accessories. The Net-IT PS600 receives DMX via DMX over Ethernet protocols and also acts as an Infotrace Gateway, providing all the benefits of RDM to the devices powered from it.

ET Live gave visitors to the expo the opportunity to soak up some Florida sunshine whilst listening to pro loudspeaker systems in ‘real’ conditions so they could assess their performance. Six line arrays from Europe and US-based companies were put through their paces in the large outdoor space.

Italian manufacturer Outline took part in ET Live with two of its line arrays, the Butterfly and the new compact Mini-COM.P.A.S.S., which offers adjustable horizontal directivity with 16 different combinations. The Mini-COM.P.A.S.S is self-powered and fitted with on-board DSP. The Butterfly rig appeared with Outline Subtech 218 subwoofers, and the new T7 power amplifiers powered the whole set-up.

d&b audiotechnik and EAW also took part in ET Live. d&b demonstrated its J-Series high power line array and Q-Series loudspeakers. Chris Carlton of Carlton Audio, d&b’s Florida sales partner, said he thought advances in controlling the directivity of low frequencies were long overdue for concert sound.

“For so long it has been a struggle between FOH and monitors to get the low frequency energy needed in the house without compromising the stage sound and vice-versa,” explained Carlton. “The J Sub adds a whole dimension of clarity and punch and keeps everyone happy. We invited people to walk around during our demonstrations and listen for themselves. Everyone that took the time heard good, even coverage, phenomenal bass presence across a full bandwidth 32Hz to 100Hz, and great area containment. Clarity and balance on every note, not just moving air.”

Like last year, the d&b stage shared honours with Digidesign, whose marketing manager, Robert Scovill, demonstrated the efficacy of the Pro Tools on the Venue range of consoles.
The regular half-hour musical demonstrations featured a live band performance, followed by a ‘live playback’ out of the Venue console.

Meyer Sound used LDI to launch its new MM-4XP miniature loudspeaker. The self-powered MM-4XP is compact (the faceplate is a 4" square) but offers a 113dB SPL peak, making it suitable for stage lip frontfill, fill and spot coverage, installation in steps and other hidden locations, as well as small portable systems.

Off the show floor, Meyer Sound products could be heard first hand in a number of entertainment venues around Orlando, such as Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba at Walt Disney World.

LDI returns to the bright lights capital of Las Vegas on October 24-26 2008.