Jands Stage


John Lewis’s Content Production Studio

John Lewis Studio 1

A.C. Special Projects Ltd. (AC-SP) have recently specified, supplied and installed premium performance lighting fixtures, complete with a truss ground-mounted structure, for John Lewis’s new content production studio in London.

This modern, purpose-built facility is used for photoshoots and filming, to generate content for the websites, mobile apps and magazines of what is one of the UK’s leading retailers.

John Lewis Studio 3Underwood Carpenter Ltd., who project managed the setup of the new facility, approached AC-SP, requesting an installed lighting rig to suit the wide variety of applications the space would need to cater for.

AC-SP proposed a full turnkey solution to meet the requirements for a flexible system, which would allow the operator to create high quality lighting scenes for numerous subject types, quickly and easily.

AC-SP Senior Project Manager, Andy Holmes commented, “During initial discussions with the John Lewis content production team, it became clear that they required a very flexible lighting system that would work for both still photography and moving images. The Chroma-Q Space Force softlight was ideal for this application, as its flat field of light helps illuminate the wide range of subjects with an ‘all-encompassing’ high quality light.

He continued, “The high CRI of the Space Force ensures that colours are accurately reproduced on camera. The added flexibility of variable colour temperature control means that cooler colour temperatures can be used to capture imagery of products like white goods, whereas warmer tones can be used when photographing clothes and models. The Chroma-Q Space Force and Studio Force Phosphor fixtures also have the ability to change the refresh frequency of their LED sources, which means that the lights can be tuned to work with video cameras running at varying frame rates, including high speed ‘slow-mo’ videos.

John Lewis Studio 2AC-SP installed the award-winning Chroma-Q LED softlight products – the majority of which were mounted on over 140m of Litec truss also provided as part of the installation. One of the innovative features of the Chroma-Q Space Force is its ability to be mounted on a floor stand, something that has previously not been possible with traditional space lights.

The lighting system is controlled by a Jands Vista M1 console, allowing users to change the lighting scenes from the ground – thereby reducing the requirement for staff to work at height. The intensity, colour temperature and other functions can be controlled from the M1 console.

LumenRadio transmitters and receivers were added to increase the flexibility of the M1 console, meaning the control system can be positioned anywhere within the space to suit requirements.

AC-SP provided on-site systems training for John Lewis’s Content Production team.

Lewis Rhodes, Studio Assistant, commented “AC-SP have been extremely helpful and thorough in their training, which was simple and easy to understand for a team possessing a wide range of different ability and skill levels. The team are excited to start using the lighting rig!

Contact AC-SP now to see how they can help you to achieve your aspirations, on
+44 (0)1494 838392

Jands Vista at Reading and Leeds for Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy 2016 1

© Marcus Maschwitz

A Jands Vista console was at the heart of Fall Out Boy’s headline performances at the recent Reading and Leeds Festival main stages. The Chicago band have spent the past decade working their way up the festivals’ bill, and their strikingly visual performances on the consecutive nights, created by production designer Robb Jibson, garnered rave reviews in the media.

Robb, who also helms Chicago-based So Midwest Inc which provided the Vista control package, has been touring extensively with the band, and the Leeds and Reading shows were the culmination of the 18-month American Beauty/American Psycho album cycle. The custom setup, which has accompanied him throughout, consists of a Vista S3 control surface run on OSX via two Mac Minis with stacking dongles, providing an active/backup system with the footprint of just one desk and a total of 16 cores of i7 processing. Robb also used a pair of Jands D1 processors on the network, which helped distribute the load – a parameter count of just over 17,000.

Fall Out Boy 2016 2

© Marcus Maschwitz

The Vista was in total control of every single visual for the shows, handling all lighting and media output. “Controlling output masters from PRG’s Mbox media server, each output surface can be cued individually and overridden for output control,” explains Robb. “This then meshes SACN with the PRG Director app to supply timecode to the video clips.

I use Vista’s Matrix features extensively, having given a little forethought to the programming for the tour at the outset. I use these features for the majority of my movement, colour and intensity FX. Working this way, I can then simply rearrange the layout to suit the touring system to any festival show, even adding and subtracting fixtures that were never in the cues before, and keeping the elements of the cueing intact with regards to timing and size. This really speeds things along because you can add fresh fixtures and get them into the show. Combined with events and rates that actually respect real-world units, you can set events to songs once and lock them in.

As well as delivering a range of hits on the consecutive nights, the Chicago band created a new show for the festivals, based around their ‘Bloom’ art project, which included a short film. 

Working in conjunction with LA-based streetwear designer Bobby Kim of The Hundreds, we developed an all-encompassing design directive, unifying stage wardrobe, scenic elements and show merchandise,” explains Robb. “This was a unique expression for Reading and Leeds, as well as for shows in Belfast, Glasgow and Del Mar (CA), and required a reimagining of a few songs and a short intro to tie it all together.

Fall Out Boy 2016 3

© Marcus Maschwitz

The Jands Vista morphed the FOB tour’s existing programming across a massive lighting system supplied by London’s Neg Earth for the festival dates, mutually agreed upon to suit both the headliners and the festivals. This comprised more than 250 fixtures of Clay Paky Sharpy, Martin MAC Aura XBs and Vipers, Vari*Lite 3500 WFX, SGM Q-7 and Moles. The lighting was tied in with the show’s media content, which included live camera feeds and striking visuals designed by Robb and his creative team of animators.

Also touring with the band was a custom-built scenic wall with one 12m x 2.6m side consisting of ROE Vanish 25mm LED panels, and the other of flower walls to match the Bloom project’s design. This extended the video raster down low behind the band, starting in a downstage position and flipping on cue to reveal the floral side, before moving upstage behind the band to mix with the show’s video canvas.

Fall Out Boy 2016 4

© Marcus Maschwitz

The time line interface and unique cloning and morphing abilities of the Jands software allowed me to handle the detailed festival programming quicker than any other console type I have used,” concludes Robb. “This meant that during the limited programming slot, I could focus on getting things adjusted while others would still have been setting their broadcast outputs…

Get your personal demonstration of the Jands Vista range at LDI 2016 on the booth of exclusive North American distributor, A.C. Lighting Inc. (#2252).

Alternatively, to arrange a demo or for details of the nearest Jands open house events, contact:
(North American Sales)
A.C. Lighting Inc.
Tel: +1 416 255 9494

(Europe, the Middle East and Africa)
A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ltd.
Tel: +44 (0)1494 446000

Gallery – click images to enlarge

All Photo © Marcus Maschwitz

Lighting & Media Display at Al Burda Islamic Art Awards

Al Burda Art Awards 3

© Lighthouse Productions

Middle East – Celebrated lighting designer, Terry Miranda used a Jands Vista L5 console to seamlessly synchronise his elegant lighting design with media content at the recent Al Burda Islamic Arts Awards, held at the Abu Dhabi National Theatre in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Open to artists specialising in calligraphy, poetry and music from across the Middle East, the prestigious awards are held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Abdulla Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and organised by the UAE’s Federal Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development.

For the twelfth consecutive year, Terry – at the helm of his Dubai-based company Lighthouse Productions – was responsible for designing and supplying the awards’ set and lighting design.

This year the starting point for Terry’s design was Islamic architecture – with its geometric curves, arches, complex symmetries and domed structures. The intricate calligraphy associated with individual domes was blended with a modern aesthetic. This was created by using multiple dome shapes on the set as projection surfaces, which were outlined in LED and fully mapped to receive detailed custom content. The patterning theme was also continued on the black gloss floor, so the design united all elements of the environment.

Terry chose the Jands Vista L5 as his control console, so he could deftly and easily synchronise his sophisticated lighting design and the awards’ video content. Designed to cope with the complex demands of modern shows, the powerful Vista system makes controlling a mix of lighting, LED and media server technology fast and incredibly simple.

Al Burda Art Awards 2

© Lighthouse Productions

As a lighting designer who also programs, I wanted a desk built for a lighting designer rather than a programmer,” explains Terry, who is both managing director and creative principal at Lighthouse Productions.

I saw the first demo of a Jands Vista console back in 2011 – and realised that the design and programming format was created in a way that inspired creativity in the quickest way possible.
I like a desk that allows you to be creative, as opposed to spending the first hour programming and patching. The ease of access to everything across the physical console and the Wacom screen has made my lighting designs come together more quickly on site, allowing us to be more creative in the process.

The lighting rig was kept minimal, because low weight loading in the 30-year old Abu Dhabi National Theatre is a major challenge. A selection of small, lightweight and bright Robe fixtures were selected. Nearly 100 graced the rig, including Robin 300 Beams, ColorWash 575 ATs, MMX Spots, PARFect 100s, Pointes and CycFX 8s.

The awards’ programmer and console operator was Adrian De Guzman, also of Lighthouse Productions. As video and lighting were so interwoven, he found the Jands Vista L5 proved itself adept at connecting easily to the media server without triggering latency issues.

Al Burda Art Awards 1

© Lighthouse Productions

The fact that our AV department also now uses Jands Vista consoles to trigger media tells you everything you need to know about the ease of learning the desk for people without a lighting background. The layout of the large screen and how reliable the product has been for us over the last five years speak volumes about its build quality,” says Adrian.

The quick programming capability of the Jands Vista, as well its reliability on operating multiple cues flawlessly, has helped maintain Lighthouse Productions’ reputation as one of the best and most consistent entertainment production design companies in the Middle East.

Lighthouse Productions originally purchased their inventory of Jands Vista consoles from dealer, A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ltd.

Vista with a Surface Pro 3 Tablet

Vista with Surface Pro


This video by Spreading Flames Media shows how a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet can be used, with an M1 control surface, to provide an ultra compact Vista control solution.


Writing in Church Production magazine, lighting designer and programmer Greg Persinger, tests a Vista / Surface 3 combo and says:

…a solid lighting control system providing an excellent balance of cost, computer power, lighting control, compact size, and ease of use… definitely worth some serious consideration.

12 Tips for Christmas – Week 12

Have fun! Send us your photos

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

It’s been a lot of work getting to show day, so don’t forget to have fun! Send in your photos, or tag us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Jands Lighting team would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year!

Please note that the support team will be operating with reduced staff from Friday 19th December 2014 until Monday, 5th January 2015.

If you experience an emergency during that period please contact the following people in your region:

  • UK, Europe & Middle East – Jack Moorhouse – +44 7833 498036
  • North America – James Feenstra – +1 518 832 3465
  • Australia & Rest of World – Jands Service Department – +61 2 9582 0909

If your request is not urgent then please contact us via our support form and we will contact you in the New Year.

Video Tip 12 – Your questions answered.

Video tip 11In Week 3 we asked everyone to submit questions they had about the Jands Vista and Stage CL consoles. This week we have answered them for you, citing many specific examples to address your problems! We hope you enjoy!

Watch on Youtube >

12 Tips for Christmas – Week 11

Don’t panic – common problems

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

When you have two thousand pairs of eyes staring at you because the stage has gone dark, it’s quite easy to forget how to approach a problem. Here are a few common issues and solutions which you might come up against when preparing for your show:

My console is not outputing DMX

  • Check that the Grandmaster is up
  • Check that the universes are connected and assigned in Vista
  • Check the intensity fader in the super playback section is up

My console goes to sleep

  • Make sure the host computer has all power saving functions switched off

How do I update my console firmware?

My console won’t read my USB drive

The rig blacks out periodically

My system was working, but now it isn’t

  • Ask yourself what has changed?
  • Did someone add a new device, change some cables over, or do something else?
  • If you can revert the change, do so and then test your system. If it works, great!

Video Tip 11 – Your questions answered.

Video tip 11In Week 3 we asked everyone to submit questions they had about the Jands Vista and Stage CL consoles. This week we have answered them for you, citing many specific examples to address your problems! We hope you enjoy!

Watch on Youtube >

12 Tips for Christmas – Week 10


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

One thing we cannot emphasise enough is to back up your show files! While this point might seem obvious, we often receive support calls regarding show files which have been inadvertently modified or lost. By backing up your show files after every session, you ensure the ability to always have a way of recovering lost or damaged work. Just think how devastated you would be if you lost all the programming done for a show.

Thankfully, Jands consoles have a built in an auto-save function on both the Vista and Stage CL, which is a great tool to use while you are programming. Simply set the auto-save interval you require and the console will do the rest. These files are all stored on your console or host computer.

But what happens to your show files if your console or host computer fails? If you haven’t done back-ups, you can’t access them quickly—if at all. This is why Jands recommends backing up your files to an alternative storage device such as a USB stick. Some users also back up show data to cloud storage services such as iCloud, Skydrive and Google Docs for added security.

Backing up your files to an external device in Vista requires you to export your show files and user data. Instructions for doing this can be found in section 2-5 of the Vista user manual.

With the Stage CL, simply select the USB option and save the show as normal. Instructions for saving shows to USB can be found on page 12-1 of the Stage CL user manual.
Always remember to back up regularly and to put the USB back up in a safe place.

Video Tip 10 – Insert a Cue at the Playhead position

Merge Cues videoBy merging cues you can add multiple events of the same type to a cue.

Watch on Youtube >

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 8

Report problems early

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

How have the previous seven weeks been working out for you? Have you found anything of use in preparation for big shows in the next months?

If after trying the seven aforementioned suggestions you find yourself continuing to have issues, report the problems to us as early as possible. Reporting problems in advance allows Jands adequate time to work through the problem with you as we try to find you a resolution. As always, we will try to find a work around, or if it is a severe problem and time allows, we will provide a software update.

Our support team is here to help you, but we do need some specific information from you in order to solve your issues quickly and efficiently. You can help us enormously by providing the following information:

  1. Tell us the software version you are using. Please be specific and give us all the numbers.
  2. Tell us which console you are using and, for Vista users, which software platform.
  3. Tell us what you were doing.
  4. Tell us what you expected to happen.
  5. Tell us what actually happened.
  6. If you are using a Vista Linux console export any of your crash logs that have been generated. PC and OSX users should export the Byron.log files.[ST] There can be up to 6 files and we need them all.

While it may not seem like it, all of these items are important to us when assisting you with your problem as we need to be able to recreate the problem you are experiencing ourselves before we can fix it. Upon finding a solution for your problem, we test our fix using the same method you provided to ensure the problem has been fixed. Videos and photos of the problem you are experiencing are also a great help to us. This helps us see exactly what you are doing so we can mimic your actions in order to recreate the problem on your end.

Jands reminds everyone to please be patient though. When you are busy with many shows we are usually quite busy helping people sort out problems as they come up. Additionally, as we may not immediately know the answer to your problem, we may ask you some further questions to better understand the problem, so please answer the specific questions we have asked as quickly as possible.

Video Tip 8 – Changing the default fade time for cues

Video tip 8You can change the default fade time for new cues. Vista lets you do this in two ways, learn how in this video.

Watch on Youtube >

Ultimate Fireworks Spectacular at Alton Towers Resort

Alton Towers fireworks

The Jands Vista lighting and media control console again proved its flexibility and power when it provided control for this year’s ‘Ultimate Fireworks Spectacular’ event at popular UK Theme Park, Alton Towers Resort.

Celebrating the end of the Theme Park season, the annual closing event is no ordinary show – telling a unique story with an amazing amount of fireworks, lasers, ear-popping music and special effects.

Alton Towers Resort specified the Jands Vista system to provide lighting and media control for the event, for the 4th consecutive year running.

Simon Horsley, Alton Towers Resort’s Technical Manager, based his lighting design for the show around this year’s storyline, which took guests through a battle between dreams and nightmares, featuring the thrills and fear of the Resort’s most famous and iconic rides.

Simon’s dramatic lighting for the event utilised a Jands Vista console to control the rig, which featured over 150 fixtures from leading brands including Martin, Clay Paky and Robe.

In addition to the lighting, the show featured an impressive video element projected onto a water screen. The video playback system utilised a Green Hippo media server, which was controlled via a laptop PC running the same Vista v2 software as the main control desk. This element of the show was programmed by Alton Towers Resort’s Assistant Technical Manager, Dave Reynolds.

In order to synchronise the show’s lighting, video and audio elements, Simon utilised MIDI time code.

He commented: “One of the reasons we chose the Vista is because for a time-coded show, it’s so easy to set up.

He continues: “Also, it’s effortless to create a physical layout on-screen of all the fixtures in your show. With Vista’s visual interface, I was able to pre-plot the entire show using the offline editor – leaving only the position elements needing to be programmed on-site. This saved a massive amount of time!”

Summarising the experience, Simon comments: “After using the Vista for several of our previous fireworks shows, and for our ‘The Smiler’ rollercoaster launch event last year, it was the obvious choice for this event. Once again, the technical team at Alton Towers Resort are really delighted with the outcome of the show using Vista – which helped to make it another huge success.

Equally at home on tour or as a venue’s house console, the Vista is ideal for shows and special events, arena touring, lighting companies, AV companies, venues and rental, not to mention a fantastic investment for a designer.

The Vista range includes a choice of portable, flexible control surfaces and self-contained consoles all running the same Vista v2 software.

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 international concert tours by Kylie Minogue, Queen + Adam Lambert, Peter Gabriel, Dierks Bentley, Fall Out Boy, Bloc Party, Deftones and Little Big Town.