Jands Stage


Reach Academy Feltham UK

Reach Academy

A.C. Special Projects Ltd. (ACSP) has supplied and installed a bespoke entertainment technology system to Reach Academy Feltham – a pioneering, all-through free school for pupils aged four to 18 in Hounslow, west London.

The school approached ACSP with a brief for a fully flexible lighting, video and sound system for its main hall – which is used for a wide array of events, including plays, dance shows, presentations, social functions and workshops. The system had to be user-friendly and intuitive, so that teaching staff and pupils could work it with ease.

The school approached ACSP to tender for the project, due to the company’s extensive track record providing entertainment technology systems to the education, drama and performing arts sectors. Through the supply of detailed drawings of tailor-made specifications and practical demonstrations of key products, ACSP clearly outlined how its highly skilled team would meet all the brief’s particular requirements and challenges – thereby winning the contract.

In practice, ACSP managed the entire project. As well as devising a bespoke technical solution, the company supplied and installed it – subsequently providing training for school staff and ongoing technical support.

ACSP Director, Lance Bromhead felt that the high-performance ProLights lighting range would offer the best results within the school’s budget. For the main stage area, he installed four Diamond 7 LED washers, the smallest luminaire in the Diamond range. They feature the latest WBFX technology – offering unparalleled flexibility and creative possibilities thanks to three operating modes: high performance wash light, with advanced colour calibration; punchy beam light; and amazing FX graphic generation. These washers are complemented by two bigger, more powerful Diamond 19 LED washers.

The rig also includes six ProLights Crystal spot moving-heads and a highly efficient EVO190ETU LED profiler which is capable of replacing traditional profilers equipped with 750W HPL lamps.

This state-of-the-art lighting system is controlled by an ultra-portable Jands Vista S1 console. Vista’s award-winning intuitive, graphical user interface allows students and teachers to concentrate on the creativity and design of their show lighting, rather than deal with complicated lighting programming. The highly intuitive Vista software handles the technical details. Connection from the console to the ProLights lighting fixtures is made wirelessly via a LumenRadio CRMX Nova range DMX transmitter and receiver.

Other equipment supplied included a Christie DHD600 6,400 lumens projector with a choice of HDMI, VGA and video inputs – so media content can be projected during performances, presentations and other events. Sennheiser Evolution 100 Series handheld, lapel and head-band wireless radio mics mean speakers, singers or performers can benefit from flawless audio enhancement at all times.

Ed Vainker, Headmaster for Reach Academy, says that ACSP provided: “amazing service and communication from start to finish. Lance Bromhead was attentive and committed throughout, offering honest practical advice – which, on comparison, was extremely competitive. The installation process was thorough and professional with a very high-end finish. The equipment is high spec. and the after sales training, first class. I have recommended A.C. Special Projects to other schools and will definitely be using them again!

Contact the company now to see how they can help you to achieve your aspirations:
+44 (0)1494 838392

Buckinghamshire New University’s High Wycombe Campus.

Bucks Uni Drama Studio 1

A.C. Special Projects Ltd. (ACSP) have specified, supplied and installed cutting-edge performance lighting systems for two separate drama studios at Buckinghamshire New University’s High Wycombe Campus.

Having previously supplied lighting systems for several other performance areas on the Campus, the University approached ACSP to deliver solutions to meet their latest studio technical needs.

For the campus’s main Drama Studio 1, which is utilised by a variety of Performing Arts courses, the brief was to enhance the existing conventional tungsten lighting system with a range of the very latest LED solutions, as well as upgrading the existing lighting console to cope with the new rig.

Bucks Uni Drama Studio 1The University were keen to invest in LED technology, to help improve the campus’s overall lighting and heating energy efficiency rating, and thus reduce their carbon footprint. In addition, they wanted to minimise the requirement for students or technical staff to work at height in order to change fixtures’ coloured gels or lamps.

Another consideration was to provide the students that would be operating the equipment, with the opportunity to get hands-on experience using brands whose products were widely adopted in the Performing Arts industry.

ACSP chose options from the ProLights lighting range, to deliver outstanding results from the available budget. These included ProLights StudioCob full colour LED Pars, offering an extremely bright, consistent and wide 60° beam; ProLights Evo 160F Fresnels and Evo 190E Profiles to deliver tungsten-style theatrical performance from an LED source, both featuring excellent optics and smooth dimming; and finally, ProLights Reflex moving washlights, for adding the flexibility of its extensive zoom and vibrant colour range.

In the Studio’s control room, the University needed a lighting console that was easy to use but still capable of controlling the latest lighting technologies, along with being flexible enough to suit the individual show performance needs of students.

ACSP specified the award-winning Jands Vista v2 control solution due to its intuitive, graphical user interface, and the versatility of programming and playback methods it offers. Vista allows students and teachers to concentrate on the creativity and design of their show lighting, rather than complicated lighting programming, by letting the Vista v2 software handle the technical details and simply deliver the target stage look they require.

With limited space to accommodate a large lighting console, ACSP recommended the compact Vista S1 wing. All Vista products run the exact same software and offer the full feature set as found in the range’s largest consoles, therefore the S1 connected to a Mac mini provided this small footprint solution without compromising on power, features or performance.

For the campus’s Drama Studio 2, which is utilised as a rehearsal space for dance performances and other drama-related applications, ACSP provided a whole new lighting system – also featuring ProLights StudioCob full colour Pars and Evo 160F Fresnels fitted with barndoors.

Bucks Uni Drama Studio 2This second studio is also controlled by Jands Vista combined with an even smaller, ultra-portable M1 wing connected to a laptop. With both studios running the same control software, and taking advantage of Vista’s modular wings, this allows students and teachers to freely transition between the two spaces without having to learn differences between two products. Show files can also be seamlessly transferred from one studio to the other, and in addition, the S1 and M1 can be combined to offer a physically larger console for those one-off productions which may require more hands-on control.

In both studios, Jands Vista provides flexible lighting control to suit a variety of Drama productions, ranging from simple Plays to highly animated Dance Shows featuring lighting choreographed to musical numbers.

ACSP provided comprehensive Jands Vista training for the University’s technical staff at their office in High Wycombe.

Frazer Mackenzie, Head of School – Media Production & Performance at the University, commented:

We are very pleased with the tailored solutions that ACSP delivered. The systems are state of the art and yet very simple to operate by both our Performing Arts staff and their students – some of whom may be considering a technical production role within the industry in future. As has been our experience working with ACSP, they again provided a high level of service, and no job was too big or small for them.

More information:



12 Tips for Christmas – Week 9

Rehearsals aren’t just for the talent

Missed the previous topics? You can catch up on all of them on this page.

Rehearsals, as we know them, are all about getting to know the show and making sure that everything you’ve worked for is indeed the spectacular event you envision it to be.

But sometimes things don’t go as planned. Before your big event, think about what could go wrong and make plans to deal with that scenario and rehearse your recovery plan! Just like a fire drill, a well-rehearsed plan will help alleviate any problems that may arise.

For example, did you know that Jands Vista can be operated with tracking back up? This is great insurance, but you should still rehearse what you would do on the off chance your master console fail and you need to move quickly to a slave console. Plan it out in advance, so that you are not scrambling to recover from an error during show time.

Video Tip 9 – Insert a Cue at the Playhead position

Video Tip 9Vista’s timeline allows you to be more accurate with your cue points. By using insert cue at playhead you can insert a new cue at exactly the right place.

Watch on Youtube >

12 Tips for Christmas – Week 7

Do regular maintenance on your rig

Missed the previous topics? You can catch up on all of them on this page.

At Jands we sometimes receive support requests from customers who believe their console isn’t working correctly. However, after some investigation, we often discover that the problem lies elsewhere in the rig. Most of the time, these problems can be prevented by performing regular maintenance on your lighting equipment.

Each rig is unique and for that reason all items within the rig should have routine maintenance schedules. We recommend consulting the product user manuals for the major items in your rig. However, we also have a few helpful tips, found below:

  • Tidy up cable runs to ensure that cables are easy to trace and access should you need to in a hurry.
  • Make sure cables are correctly labelled. Correct labelling ensures that they can be easily identified in an emergency.
  • Inspect and test cables. Make sure that there are no small nicks in the outer casings and connectors are not loose. Make sure that the sockets they connect with are clear of debris and are not loose.
  • Check lamp life hours where applicable and make any changes as necessary.
  • Check all nuts and bolts on any trusses and lighting bars are secure and not showing signs of wear.
  • Clean your consoles and external screens as per instructions in the user manual and check all connections.

Video Tip 7 – Editing the Home Preset

Video Tip 7
By editing the Home preset you can set new default position, colour, beam or other feature values for individual or groups of fixtures. Learn how in this video.

Watch on Youtube >

Frostburg State University

Frostburg ballroom

The Lane University Center at Maryland’s Frostburg State University has invested in Jands’ feature-rich Vista T2 lighting and media console to provide intuitive and powerful control for its rapidly expanding schedule of events.

The Center – which prides itself on offering ‘state of the art event spaces to the students, staff, and the local community’ – is utilising the all-in-one Vista T2 to control an increasing inventory of LED and moving head fixtures.

We required a console that was effortless to set up, offered a simple-to-master interface with easily accessible controls, and which excelled at live control,” says Austin Huot, Lane University Center’s Assistant Director. “We were sold from the moment we saw the Vista T2 console and were able to have multiple fixtures patched with effects executed in seconds.

In addition to weddings, live music, and other events, a major party at the University is the monthly ‘Late @ Lane’, when the entire Center is transformed into a nightclub-style venue. For these events, the Vista T2 controls all of the lighting technology for the public lobby and lounge spaces.

The Vista T2 is our go-to console for our rig, which currently includes Martin and Robe moving lights, as well as Chroma-Q® and Color Kinetics LED fixtures,” says Austin. “Vista is the console of choice amongst our student technical services team and has excelled in one of the core roles that initiated this investment.

At the heart of the T2 is Vista’s intuitive and visual Vista v2 software interface. Jands designed the Vista’s v2 software to cope with the ever changing demands of lighting, LED, and media server use in a way that makes it simple for all levels of lighting designer – including lighting students. The accuracy and simplicity of the information makes sense of even the most complex shows, so lighting designers can concentrate on lighting rather than on programming.

One of the most impressive apects of the Vista T2 is how intuitive it is to use,” says Austin. “Our operation relies on student employees who often embark on their career as a member of our technical services team with limited knowledge and context of lighting technology. The patch, fixture chooser, timeline, color picker, and Smart FX features of the Vista software have helped the team here pick up the skills they need fast.

The University saw the Vista T2 as an easy to learn, powerful, yet simplistic lighting and media control console able to be used by volunteer and student staff, but that would also impress an established lighting designer.

Staff at Lane University Center agree: “The Vista T2 has one of the easiest user interfaces of any console on the market, allowing even our less experienced personnel to be able to develop fantastic light shows with ease,” says Andy Krehbiel, Lighting Designer, LUC Technical Services. Stephen Kuhn, Student Tech Manager, comments: “Almost anyone can be placed at the reins of the T2 and with minimal guidance have complex looks and various cues created.

Austin concludes: “The Vista T2 has surpassed our expectations by eliminating the learning barriers that previously delayed the development of students, helping them to feel confident in their role as a lighting designer or console operator for our events.
The Vista T2 was supplied to the University by Matt Williams of BMI Supply of Queensbury, NY who worked closely with Jands North American distributor, A.C. Lighting Inc.

Gallery – click to enlarge

The Vista range includes a choice of portable, flexible control surfaces which connect to the Vista v2 software running natively on a Mac or on a PC, and which are customisable with a variety of DMX channel options. In addition, there’s a choice of consoles running the same v2 software in a convenient self contained hardware package.

Jands’ award-winning Vista lighting & media control system has been embraced by leading designers, companies and venues all over the world on a wide range of shows. Covering entertainment, education & drama, installations, corporate, events and worship, there’s a Vista system to suit all levels of user and almost any scale of show.

Recent shows featuring lighting or media control by Vista include ‘The Smiler’ Rollercoaster launch at Alton Towers (UK) Resort, and international concert tours by Peter Gabriel, Fall Out Boy, Bloc Party, Deftones, Dierks Bentley and Little Big Town.

To arrange a Jands Vista demo or discuss your requirements, call your nearest distributor or for more information and a list of international Vista users, visit www.jands.com/vista/users.

Victorian College of the Arts Looks to the Future

Victoria College of the Arts

Joseph Mercurio, Lecturer in Performance Technology at the Victorian College of the Arts, is on a mission to ensure that his students have access to the latest in lighting technology and so it‘s no surprise that he insisted on having a Jands Vista console.

Part of my purpose here is to teach people how to learn and Vista offers a very different way of approaching lighting control,” began Joseph. “With most consoles you type in numbers on a keyboard but Vista has a totally different mentality with which younger people are familiar. They are used to a visual, touch screen, interactive method. Older people have learnt to be digital natives but our students were born and raised this way. You don‘t need to know numbers; you‘re talking holistically around the design and getting lights to work.

Vista offers a totally different paradigm and breaks new ground. It certainly shows the future of lighting control.

The VCA purchased the Vista I3, a mid-range lighting console that provides all the features of the full-size T2/L5 consoles in a smaller, more economical package. Featuring the software, processor, and control elements of the standalone consoles, users can connect a pen-tablet, touch screen, or standard monitor, keyboard, and mouse to the console, and it becomes a fully operational Vista. According to Joseph, it has performed as expected without any problem.

As well as learning current technologies, I try to ensure that the students are pushing the boundaries as to where new technology is going,” stated Joseph. “The Vista shows so many exciting ways of going forward that no other console is showing at the moment.

The students have found the Vista I3 very easy to use due to the hands on graphic interface which they are accustomed to from using other software.

Chris Payne, a second year student at the VCA, recently used the Vista I3 for some dance performances all lit very differently.

It‘s a very different console but I really loved using it,” he said. “It was great for the three different dance performances that I operated. The lay out was really helpful because it meant that I could keep all the specials for each piece organised and that in turn meant I could manage each show as if I had three different consoles.

The visual aspect really helped with programming and operating. I particularly liked having the flexibility of using the command line; I found the command line functions very simply laid out. It was a lot of fun to use and it certainly made my life easier.

Vista at the University of Lincoln

Lincoln University‘s Media Broadcast Production Centre

Jands Vista consoles, running the new Vista v2 software, have been installed in the two TV studios at Lincoln University‘s Media Broadcast Production Centre, a purpose built production environment which includes radio studios, video editing, audio editing, digital imaging, and multimedia suites as well as a brand new sound theatre.

The studios have been newly upgraded to include some of the latest lighting and camera technologies, bringing the facilities up to full multi-camera and HD spec.

The University offers qualifications with some of the UK‘s leading media orientated courses, and the studios are used for full programme making and a variety of other associated functions. They are run by the University‘s Media,
Humanities & Technology Faculty, and overseen day-to-day by studio engineer and technical specialist, Steve Judge. Steve also teaches the practical and technical elements of courses to students using the facilities.

The Jands Vista consoles, a T2 and an I3, were supplied to the University by Jands exclusive UK dealer A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ltd (AC-ET).

The T2 console is located in the larger of the studios with the I3 in the smaller, both controlling a mix of generics, and the new LED fixtures.

Steve had not used Jands before, and was glad he listened to the recommendation to take a look at it for himself before choosing to buy anything else. He says that AC-ET were very helpful and informative in providing information and responding to his queries.

He downloaded the Vista software and gave it a thorough test himself, commenting, “I found that, particularly with Vista v2, people were really embracing Vista and enthusing about how much it moved it into a different league. I was confident we were investing in the right technology.

Programming the console via its logical and intuitive interface is ideal for his students, he explains, as they are already familiar with technology and communications devices working in the same style.

He believes that having their new LED fixtures, and the freedom to get the most out of them with the Vista control system both quickly and simply will energise students and stimulate their interest in lighting generally. The studios are regularly used for the production of current affairs style programmes, and one of the briefs is that student teams should come up with fresh and innovative ways of lighting and presenting these.