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12 Tips for Christmas – Week 6

Familiarise yourself with new equipment

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

If you have bought or intend to buy new equipment (or are going to rent it in) familiarise yourself with how it operates and interacts with your console well in advance. Taking this important step ensures that you won’t have any unexpected surprises closer to show time.

Sometimes what looks and feels like a problem with a console not controlling a piece of equipment is actually a misunderstanding of how the two items interact.

What if you don’t have access to the equipment prior to programming and show time?

  • Check out the Jands Lighting forum .
    The Jands Lighting forum is comprised of people who have vast experience of all aspects of the lighting industry. They are very willing to provide advice or offer up suggestions to help make your show great!
  • See if anyone on the industry forums can help you. The most popular ones are:
    The Lightnetwork
    Blue Room
    Control Booth

Properly familiarising yourself with new equipment, prior to programming for a show and the actual show time, will reduce the chance of unexpected problems arising.

Video Tip 6 – Learn Timing

Video Tip 6
Understand the uses of Vista’s unique feature, the Learn Timing function, which allows the console to adjust your cue start times by recording the intervals between your button presses.

Watch on Youtube >



12 Tips for Christmas – Week 5

New Fixture Files

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

In the lead up to any event, make sure you have all the fixture files you will need, pre-loaded into your console. If you find you do not have a specific file, we suggest you try the following:

  • Check that your software is up to date. Software updates generally include an expanded fixture library.
  • Check our online catalogue of fixture files made for other customers. You can find these on our v2 Fixture Files page.
  • Generic fixtures. If your light is a LED fixture, look in the Generic folder. Most LED fixtures have a RGB (Red, Green, Blue) or RGBAW (Red, Green, Blue, Amber, White) or other common mode. The Vista library includes a large selection of generic files.
  • Check to see if your fixture has the same DMX properties as a fixture profile that is already in the library. Moving lights and LEDs are often rebadged by different suppliers.
  • Try creating the fixture file yourself. Vista v2 has a built-in fixture editor that is easy to use. Instructions for creating and editing fixtures can be found in the user manual which is available from our Download page (http://jands.com/support-vista-v2/download/). Additionally, Video 11 in our training series talks about creating a fixture yourself.
  • Request a fixture file be made by using our online form.

As we all know, this is an exceptionally busy time of the year and like everyone Jands receives a lot of urgent support requests. If you need a fixture file made it helps us enormously if you supply us with full user manuals for the fixture, tell us which mode you require and indicate the date you need the file so you can commence programming.

We will always try to get files to you by the date you have specified, but unforeseen problems, that prevent us from fulfilling your request, can always occur. If this does happen, we will notify you as soon as possible to give you the time needed to adjust accordingly.

Video Tip 5 – Navigate the Cuelist

Video tip 3
Learn how to navigate a cuelist using the text fields, below the cue tiles, in the Chooser or Timeline window..

Watch on Youtube >



Celebration Church, Florida

Celebration Church 1

Florida’s fast-growing Celebration Church is utilising Jands’ flagship Vista L5 console to control state of the art lighting and video productions during worship services for its 12,000-strong congregation.

The services held at the Jacksonville-based Church’s newly constructed worship Arena are often broadcast internationally via web stream. They are renowned for being an energetic, immersive next generation praise and worship experience that infuses diverse genres and styles.

Celebration Church’s Lead Lighting Designer and AVL Technician, Trey Smith, specified the Jands Vista L5.

The Jands Vista L5 is so user-friendly and easy to grasp that it’s a hit not only with us tech guys, but also with the church’s volunteers, who often operate the lighting and media during shows,” says Trey. “The L5’s Timeline feature was a key factor in us specifying it, making it easy to control media via timecode, and to make changes on the fly.

In the Arena alone, around 700 fixtures are controlled by the Vista L5. For the entire building, there are 2,200 fixtures, including 93 Chroma-Q® Inspire™ LED house lights. Only 140 of these 2,200 are not LED, and all the fixtures are controlled by the L5 via Pathway’s Pathport Connectivity system, which we use to link together the lighting throughout our building.

Currently, our L5 is connected via Ethernet and Fiber to our Pathport nodes onstage and in the catwalk – two nodes for onstage, and two for catwalk that run all of the house lighting and wall lights around the seating,” says Trey. “We also have Pathport throughout the rest of the building, to control lobby lighting, kids’ lighting, nursery hallways, and the Loft Cafe.

Everything is on one large network, but data is managed using VLANS so that lighting data doesn’t cross into the Arena. However, we have made it possible for the L5 to control the rest of the building if the situation calls for it.

Trey and his team are currently using more than 30 universes for the entire building.

In addition to the L5, the Church uses 2x Jands Vista M1s in the Kids’ Ministry rooms, 1x Jands Vista S1 at its nearby Orange Park Campus, 1x Jands Vista I3 for tracking backup in the Main Arena, 2x M1s at the Midtown Location, and 2x M1s at its nearby St. Johns Campus.

In the Main Arena, the L5 is used to trigger media content as well as lighting, which is designed in-house and loaded onto a Coolux Pandora’s Box media server. The Vista range is also compatible with other media server solutions.

The L5 is able to send Art-Net data to the Pandora’s Box Media Manager,” says Trey. “Pandora controls our stage 60’ x 20’ projection wall (15x 8,000 lumen Titan Projectors edge blended) as well as our 32x Sony LCD TVs that surround the projection wall.

We set up Jands to be able to control 6 video layers in Pandora through Art-Net. During regular Sunday services, Jands triggers almost all graphics and videos that go up on the projection wall and TVs. During special events and video elements, Pandora runs the visuals and sends LTC Timecode back to Jands Vista to trigger lighting cues.

Trey adds that the Celebration Church had been using their Vista I3, M1 and S1 consoles for four years before upgrading to the L5 for the new Arena. “Vista has always worked well for us, and moving up to the L5 meant more power and features – but without a steep learning curve, as it uses exactly the same v2 software as our other Vista consoles.

The L5 comes with the world-renowned Vista v2 software, a program that has been embraced by its growing number of users for being innovative, intuitive, powerful and easy to use, all at once.

The Church’s show planning is very precise. Songs are often planned a month in advance, with lighting and media programming happening weeks before the service.

Using the L5 to control so many fixtures and demanding media, we are putting a lot of responsibilities on the console, but it works beautifully,” says Trey. “And due to the L5’s integration with Pathport, it’s a seamless operation.

Featuring a massive 21-inch High-Definition TFT screen, the L5 offers a lot of space to add and re-arrange windows, making data easy to view and respond to.

The Jands Vista was supplied to the Celebration Church by design firm WAVE, which was contracted to design, supervise and install the new lighting and sound system.

Gallery – click to enlarge



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 Fall Out Boy, Bloc Party, Deftones, Dierks Bentley and Little Big Town.

To arrange a Jands Vista demo or discuss your requirements contact your nearest distributor.

Or for more information and a list of international Vista users, visit jands.com/vista/users.

Stunning Projection for British Grand Prix Celebration

BRDC_Grand_Prix_Party_1

A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET) Ltd, one of the industry’s leading entertainment technology suppliers, provided spectacular video projection for the British Racing Drivers’ Club’s (BRDC) dazzling annual British Grand Prix party at Silverstone racing circuit.

Staged every year on the eve of the F1™ Santander British Grand Prix, this year a party was held for the first time at the BRDC Farm, which is adjacent to the celebrated race track. The legendary event attracted high-profile members and personalities from the world of motorsport.

AC-ET, which is a Patron of the British Racing Drivers’ Club’s exclusive ‘Rising Stars’ Programme, worked closely with the BRDC events team to deliver the temporary video and lighting installation.

Although AC-ET has a long-standing relationship lighting the event, with the new Farm location this year, AC-ET’s technical manager, James Bawn, decided to bring the façade of the space’s Georgian building to life. For this he used dynamic, high-speed racing footage from the BRDC’s own film archive.

The brief from the British Racing Drivers’ Club was that they wanted a spectacular, jaw-dropping visual event,” explains James. “We decided to utilise cutting-edge video projection technologies, and add in some eye-catching outdoor lighting to set the mood around the grounds. Within ten minutes of my initial site meeting I knew that we had to project onto the Farm building itself – it provided the ideal canvas.

BRDC’s Stuart Pringle was delighted: “It was fantastic to see the BRDC Farm transformed into a dynamic, visually vibrant space full of light and video,” he says. “Video projection brought a new dimension to the site and the idea of projecting archive racing footage was inspired. Not only that, it looked stunning and genuinely set the mood for the evening.

To achieve the overall look James specified a Green Hippo GrassHopper controlling Barco HD20K Projectors and TV One signal transmission for the projection.

To bring the surrounding site to life and further complement the projection he specified various cutting-edge lighting including eight Chroma-Q™ Color Force Compact™ fixtures, three A&O Falcon Beam 3K and six Robe Robin 300E Spots. All lighting was programmed and controlled on a Jands Vista S1 control surface connected to a PC laptop running the Vista v2 software.

The Green Hippo GrassHopper was used to full effect – we blended 2 x 20k projectors and used archive racing footage from the BRDC,” explains James. “The effects were stunning. Although the content was relatively straight forward, the ease and speed in which the GrassHopper was programmed on site made it a very easy set up for us.

The site itself is pitch black at night, so James had to deal with various health and safety challenges: &ldquoHowever as there were so many trees in the gardens it gave me a fantastic opportunity to light them with a number of slow rainbow chases,” he explains. “With the Vista S1’s FX engine I quickly created the look I wanted, yet still managed to provide sufficient illumination to make safe walkways around the site.

Images – Click to enlarge

Vista v2 for Pulp Summer Festival Shows

Lighting designer Rob Sinclair is using a Jands Vista system running the new Vista v2 software for the current highly acclaimed Pulp reunion tour, which sees the darlings of Britpop return in their glorious original “Different Class” line up from 1995.

So far, the European leg of the tour has seen the band play a string of high profile festival slots including the Isle of Wight Festival and headlining Sunday at the Wireless Festival in Hyde Park, London – with future UK summer dates including T in The Park and Reading / Leeds Festival – as well as a host of other European dates.

Pulp has always retained an art-house cult following, but there’s been an incredible reaction and real buzz about the band’s reunion. The shows are all packed and it’s become a “must see” event as fans old and new clamour to enjoy their stylish poppy mix of everyday life, art, dreams, subversion and phobias.

Rob is a long term fan of the Vista platform. He purchased his first Vista S1 control surface in 2008 shortly after the model‘s launch, and now owns three identical systems – comprising of a laptop running the Vista software, with a Vista S1 and two Vista M1 wings – to service his own shows. Currently the other two are busy touring the US with chart topping Adele (operated by Jon Barker) and the legendary Peter Gabriel (operated by Steve Kellaway).

For Pulp, there was never really a question of Rob using any other console. The band are touring their own video system and a small lighting rig, then each day hooking in to the locally provided rigs – all of which is controlled by the Vista. For the festivals, a small floor based ‘specials package’ is added and run through the desk.

On the new Vista v2 software – launched at Prolight+Sound, Frankfurt – he comments, “It’s a leap forwards. Jands has done a great job and with Vista v2 they have a strong basis for plenty of long term development.”

He thinks that Vista v2 has made great improvements in the way the control system interacts and deals with media servers, which is becoming more important as video is an integral element to his visual designs.
One of the many things he likes about the Vista operating system generally is the fact that it makes achieving straightforward things very easy, without taking away the ability to also engage in complex programming. The interface makes it intuitive to see what you are doing during programming, so editing is very quick.

Rob also comments that Jands are very helpful, quick and responsive to his needs and requests, really listening to what he and other users are trying to achieve.

Pulp Visuals

Pulp’s video set up consists of 15 two metre square Pixled F40 LED panels supplied by XL Video. These are arranged in five columns / three rows, set at different depths to avoid the clichéd ‘back wall’ scenario and introduce a bit of dimension to the stage space. The band and Rob were keen that the audience didn’t feel like they were looking at a TV!

Special video content – an eclectic mix of archives, vintage footage and completely new material created by three video artists – for the show is stored on a Catalyst media server which also takes in a couple of IMAG camera inputs.

The local lighting system and the Catalyst are triggered by the Vista, which also runs the touring lighting system – supplied by Neg Earth – plus a fabulous classic Pulp ‘neon’ LED sign made by Specialz and the set, a 1970s style Dimplex electric fire with false flames.

Rob’s objective was to make it as easy as possible to deal with the diversity of shows, venues and lighting rigs that he would have to contend with and to replicate their show as closely as possible each time with whatever was thrown at him. He loves the adaptability offered by the Vista‘s generic fixture model, which allows fast, accurate changing of fixture types without affecting the contents of the show. As more types of technology get used, the ability to deal with them becomes more important.

Using a console as small, portable and freight-able as the Vista S1 ensures that Rob can use his own desk on every show, wherever he is in the world.

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. With the simplicity to work fast, and the power to control the finest details, Vista v2 lets the user focus on creating a great looking show rather than on programming a desk.

It‘s powerful, flexible, highly practical and enables me to create the moods and feel that I want onstage – which is what is most important to me,” he concludes.

Neil Vann, Jands product manager at A.C. Entertainment Technologies, says “Rob‘s comments prove just how important the key philosophy behind Vista v2 is in the real world. Having to deliver the same high quality headline show with different rigs that incorporate different technologies, Vista lets users like Rob avoid getting caught up in the mechanics of programming. Vista’s powerful second generation generic fixture model makes the process of dealing with daily rigs simple, and allows Rob to focus on his main goal of delivering a fantastic looking show every time.

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

tobyMac Winter Wonder Slam tour

tobyMac ©Jeff Culmer

tobyMac ©Jeff Culmer

Lighting and video designer Nick West specified a Jands Vista T2 console to provide lighting, IMAG and video control for the recent tobyMac annual Winter Wonder Slam tour. The American Grammy award-winning gospel rapper’s explosive show featured Diverse City, his 8-member touring band, and played a series of US Arena dates throughout November and December. The touring schedule re-commences in March to promote the launch of tobyMac’s latest studio album, Tonight.

Tour lighting was provided by Axxis Inc., with lighting design, direction and programming by Nick West. Video was provided by Big Picture.

When it came to specifying lighting control for the tour, the Jands Vista was Nick’s desk of choice. Nick is an experienced user of the Vista range, switching between a rented full size T2 console for tours and his own S1 control surface for fly dates or using as a wing, which he takes on every show.

He commented: “When I saw the Vista, the timeline and ability to swap fixtures were major selling points. Often I fly to a show that morning and I may only have 30 minutes with the rig before we play, which gives me just enough time to focus. With the Jands Vista’s Mac or PC based offline editor, one quick advance call to get the fixture types and addresses from the local company and I can have the console ready to go before I even show up on site.”

The tour rig centered around a Barco Slite LED video wall upstage for IMAG and a low resolution Barco MiStrips LED wall in front of a 40 foot wide by 5 foot high riser.

120 Par Cans arranged in a 30 by four configuration were also flown in and out during the show, providing a major set piece used to spell out words. Nick was originally going to pixel map the Par Cans, but after starting to pre-program them on the Vista he found the console’s graphical based approach to programming made it very easy.

He commented: “The show starts off with ‘TOBY MAC’ spelled out in the Par Cans. After a couple of shows, Toby asked if I could do something specific with them, such as having them come on as if someone was writing it. I was able to instantly grab the fixtures, work with them in the timeline and have the effect within 30 seconds of him asking for it.

The rig also included 22 Martin Mac 700 profiles, ten 26 degree Source Four Lekos, three ETC Sensor racks and two Motion Labs 220V Distros. Video came from a Catalyst HD media server. The lighting, video and live camera feeds were all triggered from the Vista T2 console.

Summarizing his experience of the Vista, Nick commented: “I use the Vista for anything and everything I do. It’s great having on-board visualization of your fixtures and the flexibility to layout the console to your specific needs. The Vista is great for controlling lights, IMAG and video. Technical support for anything is very quick. Jands listen to their users and continually make requests and ideas happen.”

Other production staff on the tour included Tour Manager Ryan Lampa, Stage Manager Sam Shifley, Lighting Crew Chief / FOH Cam Anthony Morgan, Lighting 2nd John “2Tone” Sumitra, LED Tech / Robotic Cams Jeff Culmer, and Shoulder Cam / Video Tech Nick Bush.