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Show preview – PLASA London 2013

From Eurovision to the National Theatre: free educational sessions and the latest products bring architects to PLASA London 2013. TFA gives you a sneak preview of what's on show.

From Eurovision to the National Theatre: free educational sessions and the latest products bring architects to PLASA London 2013. TFA gives you a sneak preview of what’s on show. PLASA London 2013, which takes place at ExCeL London from 6-9 October 2013, mixes a hotly-anticipated Professional Development Programme with the latest technology on show from suppliers.
 The packed education programme offers four days of free sessions that give visitors a glimpse of the technology behind the world’s most spectacular live shows and most talked about events and venues. All sessions in these streams are presented by leading experts in entertainment technology, with two new theatres dealing exclusively in entertainment lighting and stage technologies, a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Theatre, and an inside look at the extravaganza that is Eurovision. 

In a tribute to the National Theatre, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, PLASA London is devoting two sessions to commemorate this extraordinary institution. Theatre Versus Architecture and Technology promises to be a fascinating after-hours discussion between Richard Eyre, the NT’s former artistic director, and theatre consultant Richard Pilbrow, looking at the design process behind the three stages and the innovative technical installations. Changing Theatres 1963-2013 (In Loving Memory Of Mark Fisher) features a group of colleagues, led by Richard Pilbrow, discussing the ‘revolutionary times’ that they have lived through at the NT, and speculating on what is to come.
With 1243 lighting fixtures, 800 moving lights, 3500 metres of truss, 64 km of cable, 12 lighting consoles and over 6000 hotel nights, Eurovision 2013: We Are Done is a panel discussion like no other. Find out how the world’s largest music show was tamed, and how the set designers’ brief to make the stage a ‘pixel-free zone’ pushed the boundaries for the creative team. This session is moderated by LSi’s Lee Baldock, with technical director Ola Melzig, lighting designer Fredrik Jönsson and video designer Mikki Kunttu.
The ALD will lead what promises to be a lively discussion on The Role of the Lighting Programmer. What do lighting designers of all kinds expect their programmers to be able to do for them? What is the difference between a programmer and an operator? These issues and more will be debated by a highly experienced panel including Nick Moran, chair of the ALD; Anne Valentino, controls product manager for ETC; and Victoria Brennan, top lighting programmer for theatre, including Top Hat and King Kong.@page_break@
PLASA London 2013 will host a plethora of global, European and UK product launches for the pro-audio and entertainment lighting industries. Many of the new products on show are also candidates for the 2013 PLASA Awards for Innovation. Here is just a selection of the new products that will be on show at PLASA London 2013. Avolites (STAND M10) will launch a range of wings to extend the capabilities of all of its Titan consoles – the Sapphire Touch Wing, Sapphire Media Wing and the Titan Mobile Wing. The Titan Mobile Wing gives direct access to items that are always needed, such as Shape Overlay Cues blinders, house lights, smoke machines or performer key lights for TV productions. AC-ET (STAND P40) will unveil the new lighting product range from Vision, alongside the latest offerings from Chroma-Q, PixelRange, Spotlight, SGM, Philips Selecon and Mole Richardson. ArKaos (STAND E56) is promising to give customers tantalizing hints of the ‘magic yet to come’ with sneak peeks at the new Studio Server and Video Optimiser. The Studio Server is a 4-output media server with all the ease of full MediaMaster Pro features on board. It has been designed to deliver optimal images for the high-end demands of studio, concert tour, television and corporate applications. ArKaos new Video Optimizer allows you to convert video files to optimal format with just a couple of clicks. Artistic Licence (STAND L50) brings three innovative new products to PLASA London. nanoScope is a pocket-sized, battery-powered tester for DMX512 and RDM; eSense promises to unlock the potential of RDM for smart monitoring applications – currently a hugely under-used resource; and Art-Osc is a new protocol that allows remote interfacing of lighting control data via smartphones or tablets.
 Chromlech (STAND F39) will present Elidy software version 2.0 for the first time in the UK. Elidy, the world’s first LED matrix fixture capable of projecting volumetric graphics (left), was launched at PLASA 2012; this free upgrade introduces ‘Animation Maker’, an integral powerful GIF sequencer which controls Elidy like a moving light using the minimum number of DMX channels. Also new for PLASA, Chromlech completes its Elidy range with the introduction of the Elidy striplight, an LED strip projector composed of either 5 or 15 LEDs that incorporates all the technology and functionality of the Elidy panels and also brings a new addressing technology to the market. Miltec (STAND F10) will introduce the production versions of its British-made Mini-Map miniature LED screen that measures 155mm x 155mm with 36 pixels and is controlled via DMX512. Two versions are available, one for touring and one for installation. The idea behind the product is to allow small and medium sized companies to produce effective pixel effects on a budget and using standard cabling.@page_break@
Robert Juliat (STAND T76) will exhibit for the first time with its new UK partner, Ambersphere Solutions, and will introduce a new motorised yoke as an accessory for its range of Fresnel lanterns (left). This option will be of great assistance to operas, theatres and all venues requiring automated fixtures. AC Audio (STAND P40) offers hands-on demos including Soundcraft, Yamaha and Allen & Heath alongside RCF active line array system and loudspeaker products from Nexo. Norton Audio (STAND R50) will highlight its LS3 line source array and club sound system P1 in the show’s exciting new AudioLab Arena sponsored by Medialease. Pioneer (STAND E80) is set to enter the professional audio market with the launch of its flagship club sound system. TC Group (STAND D80) will return to PLASA London to showcase its recent product launches. Lab.gruppen will provide this year’s main focus, with the new affordable amp range. On top of that, the flagship PLM 20000Q – which comes incorporated with Lake Processing, will also be on the stand. Tannoy’s appearance will be spearheaded by its successful passive column range VLS Series, the first Tannoy product to incorporate FAST (Focussed Asymmetrical Shaping Technology), which helps deliver “unique acoustic performance benefits not previously seen across a full range of passive column loudspeakers”.