So here it is, our “hit-parade” of the most important innovations in the field of lighting controllers, analysing both the technical side and the market trends that have emerged from this year’s Prlight & Sound.
The previous edition of the Prolight + Sound is definitely remembered for the launch of MA Lighting‘s dot.2, which for many has been a clear focus of the German company in the medium to small market, with a high-quality console, extremely simple to use and at a price far lower than the GrandMa series. MA seems to have created a trend that has been followed by many other companies during this year’s edition of the show, with a series of consoles dedicated to the market of small events with affordable prices. One example is from Italy with Quiver, the preview of which was released at the show by Sagitter. It is a compact, modular console that provides an intuitive graphical interface, also designed for less experienced users who need greater operational flexibility, thanks to a 7-inch LCD touch-screen colour display. This, combined with 4 comfortable latest generation touch-faders, allows immediate and simultaneous control of 2 or more parameters using only 2 or more fingers of one hand. This feature shortens programming time offering the possibility of instant intervention in the manual management of a show.
Returning to the dot 2, MA Lighting introduced version 1.2, with many new features and even more intuitive control. These changes include the ability to customise the various views, a multi-patch function, the ability to alter the assignment of the DMX ports, automatic backup, the addition of the Italian language, new effects and more.
ETC also presented a solution for this section of the market with the ColourSource series, designed for small theatres. The console is presented in four versions: ColourSource 20 with 1 universe, ColourSource 40 with 2 universes and A /V versions for each respectively, which combine video, lighting and sound control with the addition of I / O Audio, HDMI, and effects generator dedicated to small to medium users.
When speaking about the forerunners of ”ease of use” its hard not to mention ChamSys, who confirmed the success of MQ80, released at last year’s show, with further software upgrades. These allow allow extended professional use with more and more complex functions, while maintaining a user-friendly interface that allows a simple and intuitive user experience.
Avolites has presented Titan version 10, which includes many important functions such as the ability to select multiple fixtures simultaneously and assign a parameter to them with a single step. The ability to resize any window has been added, as has an undo function with the ability to select from the history window the step to which you want to return to. Also included is the 3D Capture viewer, and the Key Frame Shapes function, already introduced in version 9, which now gives the user the ability to manage the direction of the effect, as well as an intensity view which allows you to view and edit the intensity of various fixtures in one window .
High End Systems has introduced a new version of Hog OS, 3.4, as a result of feedback from numerous players worldwide. Among the most important new features is a superior colour management system, enabling the user to easily and quickly identify the various functions, and manage the brightness, contrast, gamma and transparency when pixel mapping, self-patch performance with ArKaos Media Server systems and an increase in software performance in terms of processing speed and accuracy.
Zero 88 introduced the new FLX8 console within the FLX family, which can handle 8 universes, along with the new release of version 7.9 of the ZerOS software. Also we have the new app for control and remote monitoring, Alphapack 3. The FLX series was nominated for a Pipa Award for innovative console, featuring a colour touchscreen that simplifies and speeds up the programming process.
What we’ve seen from this show is not a big offering of innovation, but rather a series of evolutions in software in order to make the programming and execution of light shows simple, fast and intuitive. However, it seems to be the aim of more and more companies to turn to the small and medium event and installation markets, with more and more compact and easy to use consoles.
Let’s hope that these choices do not lead to a decline in professionalism with regards to companies and professionals, and to a drop in quality from the organisers.
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