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derekleffew

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Starting the ball rolling...
There are a total of nine short videos in this series, I think. See the YouTube channel of Disc Jockey News for others.

So to those who attended, what was the "must have" at this year's show? Most impressive booth? Best class/presentation?
 

ruinexplorer

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Due to regular life commitments and some challenges at work, I spent just over 90 minutes there. It will be good to hear what I missed.
 

porkchop

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Feb 19, 2008
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I love me some Clay Paky's but the A.leda line didn't really excite me until I saw the new B-Eye K20. Bright enough and with a large enough zoom range to actually have a nice beam, and the pixel mapping gives a lot of nice creative options that aren't really available otherwise (Showpix has similar abilities but in my opinion is only usable when pointed directly at the audience). Then the lens assembly rotates... this creates a kaleidoscope like effect that I've never seen before. The best video I could find is:
Of course the demo was much more impressive in person (you get 10 nerd points if you get the bee reference towards the end). I was particularly impressed with how well, at narrow beam angles, the pixel mapping was still visible even after an ~50ft throw. They are of course rather expensive. That's why I would want the light to be a serviceable fixture when I turn the eye candy off, and I haven't seen a pixel mapping LED fixture do that better than this one.

Past that, in the more practical realm I really like the possibilities presented by Light Tape. Simple, easy, and lots of options in shape and size. Durability seems like it could be a concern for long term or touring applications, but for anything else it seems like it'd be a nice thing to have in the ole' bag of tricks.

The show at Lasernet was pretty cool as well. Best video I could find:
Seemed to be a laser based MIDI controller at heart, but very cool none the less.
 
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gafftaper

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This was a great show. It was fun to see many CB friends. I really noticed that nearly everyone I talked to said, "Oh Controlbooth... yeah you have a great website." Two years ago I had to always explain what CB was, last year about half the people I talked to knew CB, these days it seems everyone is checking us out. So Hurrah for CB!

There were not a lot of "have you seen the latest thing from..." products but never the less there were a lot of good things along the way. I think the new product that impressed me most as something CB members could really use were two new ladders from the "Little Giant" people. First off they have a really nice fiberglass step ladder with a platform on top. The platform has a gate behind it so that you are essentially in a "bucket". As you would expect they are very adjustable for working in weird locations. It comes in two heights the small one is in the 5-9 foot range and the big one goes up to something like 18'... can't remember for sure and can't find it on their website. It has wheels built in so it can be easily rolled around while up... but not while working on it. Nice built in outriggers for safety. It's a great ladder for many applications. The second one they have is a fiberglass extension ladder which grips and locks into place around a horizontal bar at the top, with a built in lifeline/ascender. I would have loved to have had one of these in my previous theater's black box. Just lock it in to your catwalks or grid and get to work without fear of sliding sideways or falling off. Fantastic. I don't see either listed on their website so I think it's a very new product, but something to look forward to. If you need a new ladder for your theater wait a bit and check these out. 9' ladder is going for somewhere around $1500, the taller one for $2k.

Our old buddy Rob Junk at stage junk has an awesome new widget out. How many times have you had an XLR plug (audio or DMX) that gets stepped on or run over and is now oval instead of round. Wouldn't it be great if there was a way to quickly press it back into shape rather than replace the plug? Well Rob's come up with a way to do that. His new tool is a tapered shaft of solid steel about 7" long. Slide the shaft into the end of the XLR plug and gently pound it back into shape. It's so new he only had a prototype and it wasn't up on his website yet, but it will be soon. His price at the show was $40, which seems a bit high until you think about the cost of replacing a plug. It will only take replacing a few plugs to make it worth while. If you have a rental shop... this thing could be gold! Rob has also redone my favorite product the flat focus tool slightly. It's now made from a hardened steel. Still only $20.

I liked the new ETC Cyc light. The one thing I didn't realize at first is that it's not actually a new fixture. You simply take a LED S4, pop it in half at the gate and attach the new cyc wash "lens unit" (my words not theirs). It appears to essentially be a mirror at a 45 degree angle to shine the light upward into a plastic diffusion lens, with a mirror to help aim it all in just the right direction. Nice and simple. I was told that they tried a lot of different approaches cyc lights and none of them made them happy. Finally Fred said, why don't we just take the existing fixture and build an adapter which nicely spreads the light out on a cyc. Done. It really does look good. They said it's designed for a max height for a curtain height of about 16-20 feet. You need a fixture about every 4 feet along your cyc, closer than that is definitely better, but 4' will give you a good wash. The other cool thing is that they have an iPhone app to help you calculate the ideal beam angle for the light to hit the cyc just right for a given distance. You literally can hold the phone up the top of the lamp housing and it will show you a digital plumb bob and will beep when you get the angle just right.

There was a cool alternative to EL Tape on display from a company called Light Tape. http://www.lighttape.com It's really nice looking stuff and made in Virginia.
 
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gafftaper

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Here are a bunch of random pictures...

This is a pretty cool system from Parasol. The round structures are designed so that they can spin indefinitely. The lights on the track in the center have fully independent control on the track. Very cool stuff. DSC07211.JPG

X Laser booth... the laser which is safe to shine in the audience eyes.
DSC07214.JPG

I love these semi trailers that transform into a stage at the push of a button.
DSC07216.JPG

Apollo, sadly our pal @Kelite had already gone home when I took this one.
DSC07219.JPG

Video Equipment Rentals DSC07227.JPG

ETC
DSC07233.JPG DSC07234.JPG The Chauvet Mother ship. Jim of "Jim on Light" who works for Chauvet, did the lighting design.
DSC07220.JPG DSC07221.JPG

The Philips/Vari Lite/Strand booth.
DSC07235.JPG
 

dvsDave

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First of all, many thanks to @gafftaper for helping me stay sane during what was easily the busiest show I've ever attended, as well as finding an incredible BBQ shack. Another thanks to @derekleffew for his usual excellent work as our on the ground local expert and Vegas historian. (seriously, we tried to stump him on Vegas live entertainment trivia, it's impossible :) )

The show was a blast. There were some really interesting products including three new products from Darklight Sytem , a 10° tiny LED fixture that shot a surprisingly bright beam, given the housing was less than 2 inches in diameter and less than 5 inches long, a new nano light that runs only $10 (very small on a plastic ball mount, (I'm totally going to be getting some of these for my desk), and a drop ceiling mount adaptor for their standard lights. (I also talked to them about a modification for this, gonna keep quiet about that for now :twisted: )

I got to sit down with Ryan Hisey of Synthe-FX for him to show off the latest version of the Luminair app (version 2.5). There are way more features that I can possibly remember, but you will definitely want to be on iOS 7 for this app to take advantage of some of the coolest features. It's no longer split between an iPhone version and an iPad version, it's all one app now. One of the coolest features, at least to me, was the ability to control the new Philips HUE LED lamp. Very neat.
Here's a much more detailed press release and a video showing off the new features.

Osram had an awesome tribute/salute to Tungsten fixtures at their booth that was really well done, created by none other than @DELO72 . It's a statement, a commitment from Osram saying that Tungsten isn't going anywhere. Very well done! Of course, on the other side of the wall, we got to see the long awaited FLx LED worklight. Really bright and an easy to install/use gel frame as well. It's a non-dimming fixture just like the FL.

FUEL Lighting had a seriously beefed up version of their first fixture, throwing an impressive beam, on an articulated arm mated to a hefty battery and a do-not-handle-if-you-have-a-pacemaker magnet. VERY cool.

In other news, ControlBooth is also going to be working with the Event Safety Alliance, a not-for-profit organization committed to advancing the cause (and science) of event/venue safety within the entertainment industry.
 

techieman33

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topeka, ks
What no pictures of "China." My roommate was there and was telling me about all of crap they were spewing out with the weird dmx values. Things like R and G working normally from 0 to 100, but B was opposite with full really being 0, and 0 being full. And all the other attributes being all over the map as far as dmx values went. He said they were very cavalier about the whole issue just telling him that it didn't matter since it could be accounted for in the fixtures profile. And the total lack of caring that one batch's profile would be completely different from another batch, just telling him to use multiple profiles. It really makes you stop and think about the quality of the rest of the fixture if they don't even care to get something that simple right.
 

gafftaper

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What no pictures of "China."
You can see Apollo's border with China on the left edge of the shot above and in the background of the second ETC picture you can see the Chinese invading with the wall of white booths with colored circles. They had a lot of crap available. I love how you walk past and they are firing followspots, movers, and even lasers in your eyes.
 

gafftaper

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Video Equipment Rentals had this demonstration of their Revolution: Transparent Video Display. I think this technology has been around a bit but it was the first time I saw it and I was REALLY impressed.

CooLux had a great demonstration setup in their booth, below are a few seconds of it I shot on my phone. Dave and I had a long talk with their president just about the company and the technology. What a great guy.
 

porkchop

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Feb 19, 2008
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Vegas
FUEL Lighting had a seriously beefed up version of their first fixture, throwing an impressive beam, on an articulated arm mated to a hefty battery and a do-not-handle-if-you-have-a-pacemaker magnet. VERY cool.
It felt a bit like selling out so I didn't mention FUEL in my first post, but I did really like their products. Very nice stuff, hopefully DMX control rolls out soon. The current wireless control seems to work well via remote, but once DMX control happens their equipment could really become a great option for practical lighting. Regardless the product on the floor sounds like a great idea for the wedding/conference market.