ETC has completed the installation of three separate ETC Unison Paradigm Control systems at the new Helsinki Music Centre, Finland.
There are six performance spaces at the centre, seating up to 1700 people. The first Paradigm system controls the main concert hall; a second controls three of the rehearsal halls (Rehearsal Hall, Organo and Camerata); and a third controls the Sonore, Black Box and restaurant stage halls. All were supplied, installed and programmed by Studiotec Oy of Finland.
Project manager for Studiotec, Oskar Krogell explains: “Paradigm was chosen by the music centre for its integration with lighting control desks, dimmers and DMX. They also wanted non-technical personnel – including orchestra organisers, stage managers and even music students – to be able to use the show lighting in the halls for rehearsals and concerts. The Music Centre has seven stages but only a few lighting staff.”
Although the Paradigm touchscreens and 10-button wall-mounted stations at Helsinki Music Centre are normally used with a simplified user interface – turning on dimmers and relays is done in the background – a more detailed control of houselights, individual relays and recording of presets is available to technicians when needed. In addition, for bigger or more demanding shows, a full lighting control desk can still be used.
“Even for these shows,” says Krogell, “Paradigm plays a central but discreet role, since it is used to turn on relays powering moving lights and dimmer rack power; can block houselight button panels from being accidentally used; and can change the control source between the control desk and Paradigm.
“These functions are controlled solely by Paradigm, so relays cannot be accidentally affected by using or patching of the lighting console – making the complete lighting system safe from user errors.”
ETC Net3 Gateways receive DMX from the lighting desks and output it to the dimmers and fixtures, so that lighting looks can be programmed with the desk and stored in Paradigm’s presets. This makes it easy for the staff to program and change the preset looks with the minimum of fuss.
“In addition to Paradigm,” concludes Krogell, “there are about 50 ETC Source Four PARNels in the Concert Hall for smoothly dimmable houselights (in addition to not-so-smoothly dimmable fluorescents) and a number of ETC Source Four PARs and Source Four Profiles across the building in different halls.”
The Helsinki Music Centre is a venue for all types of music and art, offering a range of different events. The Music Centre is the home for two eminent orchestras – the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra ¬– and the Sibelius Academy, the only music university in Finland.