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  •   A.C. Lighting Supply Jands Vista For Keane International Tour

A.C. Lighting Supply Jands Vista For Keane International Tour

9th May 2005

A.C. Lighting has supplied a Jands Vista lighting console to Lite Alternative for rock band Keane's 2005 European & US tour.

Following a successful 2004 UK tour and the critical and commercial success of the band's debut album - Hopes and Fears won a BRIT award for Best Album and went on to become the 2 nd biggest selling album in 2004 - Keane decided to extend the tour with a series of European and US dates throughout 2005.

With extra production budget being available for US shows, which were taking place in venues up to twice the capacity of the European dates, show Lighting Designer Paul Normandale decided after last year's UK tour to review the lighting rig with a view to stepping up the production values for the US leg.

A major drawback of using different size rigs was the need to completely re-plot the show for the larger US rig after the European dates, as well as re-plotting on the road for selected venues where only the in-house lighting rig could be used.

Having read about the Jands Vista lighting console's innovative Generic Fixture Model, Paul was keen to see if the feature could provide a real solution to the lengthy process of re-plotting shows. After receiving a demo by exclusive European and North American distributor A.C. Lighting, Paul was immediately impressed by the Vista's visually based programming interface and what he saw as several really key time-saving features not available in the desk he had used on the UK tour.

Paul and show Programmer Rob Sinclair were most impressed though by the power of the Generic Fixture Model, finding that it enabled them to copy information for the entire show from one existing fixture and paste this into new fixtures. This meant that they always got their show, regardless of changes to the rig size and fixtures from one night to the next.

Having decided to replace their current console with a Vista for the 2005 tour, show Programmer Rob Sinclair visited A.C.'s offices for some hands-on training. After spending only half a day on the Vista with the assistance of A.C. console specialist Neil Vann, Rob was ready to use the desk for the tour. He knew, of course, that round the clock telephone technical support was available before and during the shows themselves, should he require assistance.

So far the desk has successfully completed the European leg of the tour, which saw the band play shows in Portugal, Italy, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

Lite Alternative also supplied all production lighting for the European leg, which consisted of 10 Martin MAC 500 Profiles, 2 MAC 2000 Profiles, 7 MAC 2000 Washes and 4 Atomic 3000 Strobes with scrollers. The Martin fixtures were chosen due to their reliability and worldwide availability. Rob was particularly impressed with the Atomic 3000 Strobes, as they're the only fixture right now to add an ultra bright, explosive energy pulse to tour lighting.

This Vista was also recently used at the Royal Albert Hall - who themselves invested in a Vista console to operate their in-house lighting rig - when the band briefly returned to the UK to headline a Teenage Cancer Trust benefit concert on 7 th April.

Having had the chance to properly try out the desk for himself during the European leg of the tour, Show Lighting Designer Paul Normandale commented: "I was immediately impressed with the Vista's programming interface. As any programmer will tell you, the worst aspect of any tour is constantly re-programming the desk to suit every house rig. The Vista's generic fixture model was very impressive - it just took our fixture data and adapted it to each rig. The amount of time we saved was significant. The Vista also has the potential to make a real contribution to the convergence of video, media serving and lighting on a single console in a coherent manner."

Show Programmer Rob Sinclair commented: "Adding and removing lights to suit each venue was a breeze; the copy, paste and extract features alone make it worth switching to the Vista. But quite apart from its unique features, the desk performed faultlessly throughout the tour and was a true pleasure to use.

We were looking for cutting edge technology and the Vista is the only desk we have seen to offer something really new. The user interface is so radically different - the new approach to programming has already enabled us to do things we would not have attempted on conventional desks due to the complexity of number crunching that would have been required. Even after just a few hours of use, already I didn't relish the thought of going back to remembering series of numbers - working with the Vista just seems the right way to do things. From a practical point of view the benefit of the built in generic fixture modelling meant we were be able to use many of the venues' own lighting rigs without having to re-plot the entire show, and this is a big plus for the console. As well as being more powerful, I was also able to programme more complex cues quicker than on other desks we have tried."

Keane embarked on a US tour at the end of April which is followed by appearances at various international festivals throughout the summer months.