Big Tools– for Big Staging Results

Big Tools– for Big Staging Results

By Executive Editor David Keene

For the June issue of Rental & Staging Systems magazine, I asked lighting industry veteran Robert Mokry to update our readers on lighting control consoles– focusing on the big products from the big players. As Robert points out, “lighting console” is a dated term. We can’t simply say “lighting consoles” any more, because all the upper end products have evolved so much they are now “lighting control systems”. These lighting control systems encompass:

  • The console– the thing that actually sits in front of you at the show
  • Console wings and mini wings
  • Ethernet network processors or nodes that allow nearly infinite expansion of control outputs and distributed processing for the whole system
  • PC based offline editing and control software.
  • Video media servers for cued replay of video content to projectors, LED video walls and digital lighting fixtures.
  • DMX controlled video switchers that allow routing of live IMAG camera feeds to video display devices.

• DMX controlled relays, turntables, foggers, lasers, coffee pots – you name it!

Most of the players in lighting control– Flying Pig Systems, MA Lighting, Jands, ETC, Martin, Compulite, Avolites, Leprecon and PRG have all been producing lighting consoles and control systems in one way or another for a while. What’s changed is that the lighting world and the video world are moving closer. Using DMX controlled digital media servers with video projectors or digital lights is common now, and for example, DMX switching of video can be integrated to switch between live IMAG feeds and media server content.

Speaking of video projection– the big guns really do keep on coming. Alan Brawn takes a look, in his feature article, at the latest trends in the high-lumen arsenals of the big players– and gives a peek at what the manufacturers have in their InfoComm 2012 line-up. And Joel Rollins weighs in also, in his IMAG column, on the trend toward networked high end projectors.