The Works Theater at Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, US, has upgraded its aging, proprietary automation system with Alcorn McBride’s V16 Pro top-of-the-line controller.
Carnegie Science Center is dedicated to educating, entertaining and inspiring through programmes in science, sports and technology. The Works Theater showcases dazzling demonstrations in a one-of-a-kind industrial setting.
“The theater has been a multimedia space for cutting-edge technologies for more than 20 years, but when its automation equipment started dying and was no longer supported by the manufacturer we began to look for a replacement,” commented Doug DeHaven, AV specialist/robotics at Carnegie Science Center.
After researching the options availble to them, Carnegie Science Centre selected a Alcorn McBride V16 Pro show controller for the theatre.
DeHaven decided to pair the V16 Pro with QLab software as the multimedia cueing platform. “Our theater has a lot of hardware,” he explained. “We have a 100-year old 10ft tall, 1.2 million volt Tesla Coil that we need to control. We also have a liquid nitrogen fog machine that takes a lot of control to make it work right. Plus two pan-tilt-zoom cameras and eight video projectors for the screens that ring the theater. We need to run their content and turn the projectors on and off.”
DeHaven designed the system so the V16 Pro acts as the back end for QLab and allows it to work dynamically with both commercial and AV equipment. “Alcorn and QLab make a perfect combination,” he continued. “We use the V16 Pro to interface with our original controls, which are based on MIDI commands. For example, if the fire alarm goes off, it tells the V16, which will shut everything down. We did a touch interface. The display output is very helpful as it keeps track of all commands. The system is also set up so we can just use the V16 on its own as a live room console.”
“We not only wanted the reliability and interfacing capability of Alcorn equipment but also the ability to make realtime show control changes for live events – we have multiple different shows in one space throughout the day. So I found a way to marry Alcorn and QLab products to accomplish this,” said DeHaven.