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Jands Vista Grooves the Moo

Ian Lyles Jands Vista S1

Indie pop duo/couple Matt & Kim who hail from Brooklyn, New York, have just toured Australia as part of the Groovin’ The Moo festival. Lighting designer Ian Lyles uses a Jands Vista L5 console for the arena, club and theatre shows that the band play in America and so when he found out that he would be visiting Australia, Ian made calling into Jands HQ a priority. Ian was particularly keen to see the Vista M1 and S1 consoles.

“We were interested in trying out the Vista S1 as we’re thinking of buying an M1 or S1 for our small Catalyst rig in the US,” said Ian. “We run bullet security cameras as iMag along with content running on Resolume from our playbacks rack. I was also intrigued to see if I could run a larger show, such as an arena show, on a smaller console like the Vista S1.”

Jands kindly lent Ian a Vista S1 console for the Groovin’ The Moo tour and Ian also had the opportunity to use it on a couple of theatre-size shows to see just how versatile it could be.

“I loved it!” he declared. “I can take the show from the Vista L5 and rearrange it to fit comfortably onto the Vista S1. The work flow is the same in fact you can bounce around between all of the Vista consoles very easily. It’s compact size means it is portable and I could carry it onto a plane which is rather convenient for summer fly dates.”

Ian believes the wide range of Vista hardware options a great benefit offering a very flexible, powerful and customisable solution, all running the same reliable software.

“The Vista consoles are intuitive, easy to set up and quick to program,” he added. “You can have a show up and running very fast if need be. As for adapting larger shows day to day, I really like the ease of use for cloning and cue editing. It’s unpretentious and straightforward.”

The Vista S1 delivers five playbacks, including faders and flash buttons, a complete programming section with three encoder wheels, a rotary master fader, two LCD displays and lots more to make controlling your show a breeze.

Vista Consoles come home with Sir Cliff Richard

Cliff Richard 2

Sir Cliff Richard OBE returned to Australia earlier this year with his hit-packed Still Reelin’ and A-Rockin’ tour and with him was his long-time lighting designer Derek Jones who was touring an impressive rig that held close to ninety moving lights.

Derek has been a champion of Jands Vista consoles for many years and so it was no surprise to see him travel here with his own Vista S3 and Vista M1, part of a larger family of Vista consoles that he owns.

One word comes to Derek’s mind when asked what it is about the Jands Vista consoles that he likes and that’s ‘easy’. “The Vista consoles are easy to operate and easy to programme,” he said. “I also like the support that you get from Jands as they will actually listen to your ideas and feedback, coming up with real solutions to help achieve what you need.

Derek also favours the ‘mix and match’ ability offered by owning a few Vista consoles as well as their portability.

The surface is flexible, small and highly portable,” he declared. “Depending on the size of the job, I can package a kit to suit. For example I have just finished a job for a TV station with just an S1 which I could pop in my bag along with a laptop. The S3 is larger but I’ve packaged it into a roadcase so it weighs less than 32 kilograms and I can check it in at an airport. Stick your laptop in your rucksack and off you go.

Features of the Vista that impress Derek include snapshots which makes playing back a show simple and also the effects engine.

I like the way that everything is assignable,” he added. “The Vista consoles are very reliable and haven’t let me down yet despite being taken all around the world.

Derek is running the current release of Vista v2 software which he describes as brilliant.

Vista L5 for Deftones Tour

Deftones

Lighting Designer, Robb Jibson of So, Midwest Inc. is currently using a Jands Vista L5 to control lighting for Grammy award-winning alternative rock band, Deftones‘ latest tour.

Having only tried Vista for the first time one year ago, Robb immediately fell in love with its simple, visual interface and has been specifying Vista consoles exclusively for his many tours and productions ever since.

Initially struck by the power and simplicity of Vista‘s v2 software, Robb comments that “Vista makes it so easy to set up and program a show”, adding that “Unlike other lighting control platforms, Vista doesn‘t require any complex programming or number crunching, which is very appealing.

Travelling with their own custom grid package, the Jands Vista L5 is controlling over 150 lighting fixtures on the Deftones tour, including a number of LED battens, moving heads, spotlights and strobes.

With extremely limited truck space, Robb requires a control system that can facilitate media server type effects, without the use of a dedicated media server. By utilizing Vista‘s powerful Smart Effects engine in combination with the sophisticated Matrix feature, Robb is able to achieve “stunning” pixelmapping effects using the Vista‘s onboard features alone – saving space, time and money.

After being so impressed with the platform, Robb took the plunge and purchased his own Vista S3, which he uses for pre-production and as a live tracking backup on the road.

With timing central to Robb‘s design, he really maximizes Vista‘s powerful Timeline environment, which allows him to get in at the smallest of details “quickly and accurately”.

For a band with seven full length albums to date, it‘s not uncommon for them to play songs outside of their set list. For this, Robb programs the show ‘on the fly‘ – heavily utilizing Vista‘s ability to split playbacks – resulting in a show that “looks cued moment to moment, no matter what the circumstances.

Concluding, Robb explains that “Until Vista, I hadn‘t found a console that could do everything I want it to… Jands and their exclusive North American distributor, A.C. Lighting Inc. are both incredibly receptive to my feedback, and provide great service and support.

The Vista L5 was supplied by Chicago based rental company, Windy City Lighting.

Vista v2 for Andrea Bocelli tour

Andrea Bocelli 4

Italian based lighting designer, Aldo Visentin is using his own Jands Vista S1 lighting console running the next generation Vista v2 software, plus two Vista M1 Wings, to control lighting for Italy‘s most beloved tenor, Andrea Bocelli.

Aldo‘s creative relationship with Bocelli started in 2006 and this tour‘s natural innovative design contains lots of subtleties, with slow colour changes and no visible movement. It is operated completely ’live‘ every night using the Vista‘s powerful visual interface and just a few pre-programmed presets. This allows Aldo the creative freedom to reflect the spirit of the evening in the lighting, and flow organically with the mood of the set.

Rather non-conventionally, a typical Bocelli tour will feature two or three shows a week over a three week period – often on different continents. Instead of touring a production lighting system, lighting equipment is normally hired locally for each concert.

At each show, Aldo has around 105 different moving lights to incorporate in to the design. Vista‘s powerful fixture swapping allows him to quickly and accurately replace any previously programmed fixtures. He finds this to be incredibly fast and intuitive, and a real time saver.

Aldo needed a system that was both easily travelable and cost-effective, so that he always had the right tools to deliver his shows. He checks the Vista S1 into the plane hold, while the two Vista M1s and laptops come onboard as carry-on luggage. In this way he is able to use his travel time to work on upcoming shows while on the move.

On this tour, he most appreciated Vista‘s livetime functionality. This allows him to set a time and then simply choose what he wants the fixtures to do – whether programmed or completely ad-hoc. “It‘s really nice to have no creative restrictions when you are operating” he confirms, adding that he feels so comfortable with the overall ’visual environment‘ of the console.

He thinks the extensive range of Vista hardware options available is a great benefit, offering an “extremely flexible, powerful and very customisable solution for any application or situation, all running the same reliable software architecture.

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Vista v2 Shines on Third Day

Alabama based Lighting designer Taylor Price used a Jands Vista S3 console, running the next generation Vista v2 software, to control lighting for the recent US tour of Grammy Award winning rockers, Third Day.

Taylor made the switch to the Jands Vista platform while lighting another Grammy award winner, Switchfoot. Their punishing touring schedule meant Taylor was looking for a powerful yet portable control system that could easily travel on a plane. His solution was to join the growing international family of lighting designers who have bought their own Vista system. He‘s not looked back, and has been an enthusiastic Jands Vista user ever since.

Third Day play a wide variety of venues using a mix of their own touring rig and locally supplied production. On arena shows the Vista S3 was controlling the full touring rig of VARI*LITE 3000 profiles, VARI*LITE 3500 washes, Martin MAC 101‘s, Martin MAC 301‘s, Atomic strobes and conventionals, all supplied by Theatrical Media Services (TMS) from Omaha, Nebraska.

For some of the smaller shows, the rig was reduced and integrated with the house system. Taylor was able to simply change fixture types in the patch, giving him the flexibility to run his show on whatever fixture types he had to work with.

The final backdrop of Taylor‘s high energy, classic ‘rock and roll’ design was a light bulb wall containing 300 standard 60Watt incandescent household bulbs. Vista v2 gave Taylor the tools to effortlessly get the most from this dynamic scenic element with minimal programming time.

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British Rock ‘n’ Roll Legends

Busy UK-based lighting designer Derek Jones recently bought a Jands Vista S1 to help service his busy autumn season, including legendary British artist Cliff Richard‘s “Soulicious ” tour and another with equally maverick performers, The Hollies.

With both tours overlapping Derek took his new Vista S1 out on The Hollies, while he called on Lars Kristiansen to operate Cliff Richard and the Shadows on his Vista S3.

Derek bought the Vista S3 some two years ago, and it has been on the road ever since. He has been running the next generation Vista v2 software since its launch and comments, “It‘s brilliant.

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. Available in a wide range of hardware options 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.

Derek has worked with The Hollies for the last six years. The band, known for their fabulous, rich vocal harmonies were among the UK‘s leading groups throughout the 1960s and 1970s, are still hugely popular. They tour twice a year for five weeks each, playing to completely sold out audiences in theatres and concert halls nationwide.

Being in constant demand, Derek brought in Gareth Pritchard to cover the shows when he was unavailable. With each song programmed into a Snapshot, Derek was able to pass the show over, and with the single press of a button – each song was set up, labelled and ready to go.

The lighting rig, supplied by Blackburn based Lite Alternative, consisted of a front and back truss featuring Martin Professional MAC 700s and MAC 250 moving lights, Mole Richardson MoleBeams, Sunstrips, plus a selection of PARs and ACLs.

The band performed an intensive two hour set, encompassing 28 songs, with each number having an individual look.

Next on Derek‘s schedule are flamboyant US disco divas Scissor Sisters in Australia, the Pacific Rim and Asia, where a Vista S1 will be in control and simply toured with the backline.

Jands Europe‘s Neil Vann commented “Vista v2 offers designers like Derek the perfect balance of power and simplicity. It is fast to use, yet allows for detailed control of even the most demanding shows. With a wide range of hardware options, there is a console to fit almost every style, scale and budget of show. Make sure that you take a look at Vista v2 for yourself and see what this exciting next generation of control can offer you.”

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Sara Bareilles Tour

US Lighting designer Tony Fransen continued his long association with the Jands Vista lighting and media control system by recently going on the road with a Vista T2 console to run lighting for the Sara Bareilles US Tour.

On the road since May, the tour is a mix of her own headline performances as well as some opening shows for country duo Sugarland.

Tony‘s neatly designed touring package gives Bareilles her own individual stage aesthetics utilising his distinctive “boutique” style. Taking advantage of whatever extra lighting is available in each venue to supplement his design, Tony uses the Vista‘s powerful Fixture Swap and Cloning to swiftly integrate units into his show.

This ability to further enhance his standard programmed show, ensures that it will always look great, and Tony has the time to tweak and fine-tune as he goes. “It’s extremely powerful, the software is rock solid and it is definitely the best control platform on the market” he enthuses.

Bareilles’ floor package consists of VARI*LITE VL2500s, about 40 Martin Professional MAC 101 LED washes and a selection of other products including JTE PixelLine 1044 battens, Micro W LED ‘bricks’, plus a smattering of generics. The slick, moody low level set contains a further 320 x MR16 ‘birdies’.

The Vista T2 and touring packages are being supplied by rental company TLS Inc. in conjunction with Deluxe Productions. Huntsville, Alabama headquartered TLS has several Jands Vista consoles in its hire inventory, and being based nearby, Tony works closely with their Nashville, Tennessee office.

Tony uses his iPad as a complete remote for the console, making focussing simple and allowing him to run cues to check his show from anywhere in the venue. “It allows me to be really efficient with my time”, he explains.

I love the way the timeline shows me information”, he declares “I can literally just stretch the times out and line them up, all while seeing what I am doing, rather than looking at a bunch of numbers” he explains, adding that you “simply can not beat” that way of working.

Tony is full of praise for Jands‘ North American distributors, A.C. Lighting Inc, “A.C Lighting Inc offer incredible support, they are on hand to help at any time, and are always a good springboard for bouncing new ideas as well as a brilliant team of people” he states.

This leg of the Sara Bareilles tour ran until the end of October, and continued with a series of Festival shows in December, where Tony once again took a Vista T2. Tony‘s individual design style keeps him constantly in demand, and he currently has four other designs on the road, all of which have been programmed on and are using Jands Vista consoles – including Stephen Curtis Chapman and two “Women of Faith” tours.

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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

Vista Tours with Leading Portuguese Artists

Blasted Mechanism Tour. ©Vasco Lopes.

Jands Vista I3 lighting consoles have provided show lighting control for the latest tours of high-profile Portuguese artists Blasted Mechanism and João Pedro Pais.

Portuguese lighting design company, Lamp On! Creative Solutions have three Vista I3 lighting consoles in their rental stock for use by its team of lighting designers; Vitor Azevedo, brother Pedro Azevedo and Rui Rodrigues. The company chose the mid-range Vista I3 model due to its combination of affordability and built-in Linux operating system, providing their ideal touring solution.

LD Vitor Azevedo used one of the Vista consoles on the recent João Pedro Pais Portuguese tour to launch their latest album, A Palma E A Mão. The wide variety of venue sizes, ranging from small clubs to large outdoor arenas, necessitated using different local suppliers and rigs on a daily basis. As with his previous tours using the Vista, Vitor found that the console‘s generic fixture model allowed him to easily change fixture types as the rig changed from venue to venue.

Joao Pedro Pais Tour. ©Paulo Maria

He commented: “Touring means a lot of different things. We have to swap between different lighting equipment suppliers, different festival rigs with a lot more fixtures and theatre shows that involve a different patch every night. The Vista gives us the ability to cope with these daily changes and still maintain the same high quality stage looks. The console‘s generic fixture model enables our shows to grow and be easily adapted.”

Lamp On! LD Pedro Azevedo has been impressed by the Vista‘s visually-based user interface, which has enabled him to build his shows more effectively.

Pedro commented: “I have found the Vista much faster for creating the stage looks and effects I want than on previous consoles I have used. In commercial terms, this means I can give the customer a more rapid and efficient show, and as a result exceed their demands for the final production.”

Other Lamp On! clients whose shows have recently been controlled by the Vista include Buraka Som Sistema, TeraTron and the Anjos.

The company introduced freelance lighting designer, Cristóvão Veríssimo, to the Vista for the current international tour of electro-rock band Blasted Mechanism. After the introduction, Cristóvão received training and technical support for his first Vista tour from Portuguese dealer, Garrett Audiovisuals.

Blasted Mechanism have a reputation for their highly theatrical live shows, which involve elaborate
alien-themed costumes, visuals and unique musical instruments built for them. The Vista‘s timeline has proved the perfect tool for the band‘s vision, which requires perfect synchronisation between sound, image and light.

Featuring a main lighting rig supplied by Coimbra-based production company, Stageland, the show is timecoded, with a separate cuelist for each of the 27 songs and about 700 steps.

Cristóvão commented: “With the Vista‘s timeline I can modify all parameters of fixtures and times of cues in a way that takes much less time than on other consoles I have used. I have finally found a lighting desk that really shares my visual way of thinking. Now I can do more sophisticated shows.”

Cliff Richard & The Shadows tour with a Vista S3

Cliff Richard and the Shadows 2009 tour

Cliff Richard and the Shadows 2009-2010 tour

Lighting and video designer Derek Jones specified a Jands Vista S3 console to provide lighting, IMAG and video control for the 2009 / 2010 Cliff Richard & The Shadows international tour. The sold-out tour recently completed shows at major UK and European arenas, and re-commences in February for a series of dates in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

When Derek discussed the choice of control console with UK and European tour lighting supplier, Lite Alternative, they suggested the Jands Vista S3. Having jumped between using many other consoles, Derek thought it would be a good opportunity to experience for himself the Vista‘s graphical based approach to programming. On the strength of trying the free Vista demo software and then using the S3 for a one-off corporate show, he purchased a console to use for the tour.

Derek commented: “I felt very comfortable using the console, particularly the timeline editing function, which appealed to me having used timeline based editing for video editing. I was a bit nervous about the idea of using an unfamiliar console on such a major tour for the first time, but after trying the desk with success on a corporate show and a few hours of the tour rehearsals, I felt completely at home with the Vista.

Having worked separately for both Cliff Richard and The Shadows over the past ten years, Derek was keen to design a show which suited both acts‘ visual style, so he incorporated a mixture of traditional and high-tech show elements.

Derek wanted a multi-functional scenic / IMAG backdrop to save on truck space and provide a dynamic above-stage show replay system which would give the audience a central view of the IMAG. He specified a 13.5m wide by 4.5m high PixLED screen, supplied by XL Video UK.

For the lighting, he opted for a goalpost truss surrounding the screen featuring MAC700 spots and MAC2000 washes, 19 ETC Source Four fixtures and additional floor-mounted MAC700 units. Video came from a Catalyst media server. The Lighting, video and live camera feeds were all triggered from the S3 console.

Summarising his experience of the Vista, Derek commented: “The Vista has served its purpose very well. I feel very much at home with it. Because Vista is very software based, I can use any of the hardware options that Jands have to offer and still feel that I‘ve got a full console in front of me.rdquo;