Seeing Things

Seeing Things
  • Las Vegas, NV-Design/build firm John Lyons Systems recently announced the completion of a custom sound and lighting installation at the newly opened JET Nightclub at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. Conceived and installed by John Lyons, president of John Lyons Systems and owner of the Avalon clubs in Boston and New York as well as the Avalon and Spider Club in Los Angeles, JET's AV system joins an impressive Vegas install roster that also includes Light and Caramel at the Bellagio, TAO at the Venetian, and Body English at the Hard Rock Hotel.

In the Mirage, JET's DJ booth has a bird's eye view of the LED ceiling that came into being thanks to a collaboration of John Lyons Systems and Traxon
Within a modest 15,000 square-foot space, JET features state-of-the-art entertainment technology in each of its three distinct rooms that play hip hop, rock, and house music. JET's crown jewel is the video ceiling comprised of 120 LED panels installed over the main dance floor. The 2-foot by 2-foot square tile panels manufactured by Traxon Technologies feature 64 nodes of RGB for a total of 192 nodes per panel. The ceiling works in conjunction with the Martin-heavy lighting design that includes two Martin Mac 250 Krypton Luminaires, eight Martin Mac 550 spots, 16 Martin Atomic 3000 strobes, and 36 American DJ Accuscan 250 scanners.

At first, it seemed as though JET's low 15-foot ceiling meant eliminating some options like moving structures and long-throw fixtures; however, Lyons was inspired to fabricate his own LED ceiling panels. "I had envisioned what is currently installed at JET, but my panels couldn't quite do everything I wanted," he explained. Richard Worboys, head lighting designer for all Avalon clubs and two-time winner of the UK Light Jockey competition, attended the PLASA tradeshow in London and stumbled upon the Traxon booth. Worboys, who collaborated with Lyons on the lighting design, connected Lyons with Traxon.

JET also features the Avalon DCX loudspeaker, a hybrid custom product built to Lyons's specification by loudspeaker manufacturer EAW. Lyons worked with EAW's engineering and product development teams to produce the DCX, a box that incorporates EAW's AX series CSA technology as well as sonic elements from the Avalon series DC1 and DC2 loudspeakers. The DCX also features a new enclosure shape and grill design made specifically for Lyons and JET.

Other custom product includes the EAW JL12 12-inch coax ceiling speaker, also co-developed by Lyons and EAW. A total of six DCX boxes run alongside the dance floor complemented by a total of eight EAW Avalon DCS2 subwoofers built into soffits, each arranged in banks of four on each side of the dance floor. Off the dance floor, 36 JL12 custom 12-inch coax ceiling speakers are installed over the two bar areas in the main room and used as the main PA in both side rooms. The main room's DJ booth uses two Avalon DC4s and an EAW SB250 subwoofer for the monitor system, as well as the new Mackie d.2 DJ mixer.

For the LED ceiling, Lyons designed custom rigging for each panel so it could hang on the installed pipe rails at JET. With the panels in place, the next challenge was to develop and install a system that could control the ceiling as one entity. Lyons needed 60 universes of DMX which really pushes the limit of most control products available today. Traxon connected him with e:cue in Paderborn, Germany who manufactures a rack-mount CS-1 server that runs on its e:cue programmer and an Microsoft Windows XP operating system. Coupled with show control software ShowCAD Artist, the CS-1 server comprises a powerful control system.

Using two Hippotizer media servers, the ceiling can also function as a giant projector with video switching handled by a Kramer 8 x 8 matrix switcher. Lyons also installed six High End Systems DL1 digital lighting projectors that add another layer into the lighting design. Using the DL1s, images or video can be projected onto the ceiling or the walls for added effect. The DL1 can also project laser-like aerial effects.


High End

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