Chosen for their video and pixel-mapping abilities, 130 Chauvet Professional ÉPIX Strip and 16 ÉPIX Bar fixtures complete the vivacious design for country singer Luke Bryan’s Dirt Road Diaries tour. Known for his No. 1 singles “Rain Is a Good Thing,” “I Don’t Want This Night to End,” “Drunk on You,” “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye,” and more, Bryan received the Academy of Country Music award for entertainer of the year for 2013.
“The main design concept as far as the ÉPIX Strip lights were concerned was to have a way to expand our video surfaces throughout the lighting rig,” said Lighting Designer for the tour Justin Kitchenman. “Our lighting trusses cover the width and breath of half the arena. We wanted to create the feeling that the entire space was alive with color and motion.” Kitchenman accomplished this by adding rows of single hung strips throughout the rig and then mapping them into the full screen video. The fixtures were provided by Elite Multimedia Productions with headquarters in Memphis, Tenn.
“We were already utilizing the ArKaos media server, so the addition of the ÉPIX strips was a natural marriage,” Kitchenman said. “By utilizing the Kling-Net network of the media server and on-board pixel mapping capabilities we were able to place and map the strips all over our lighting rig.”
Kitchenman hung vertically single strips on most of the lighting trusses, as well as on the side of I-Mag trusses. More ÉPIX Strip lights were custom-fitted to attach to and completely outline the stage thrust that extends into the audience.
Kitchenman first saw the ÉPIX line at LDI 2012 and was intrigued by the possibilities. “Their design and capabilities fit perfectly into our show design,” he said. “They are lightweight, easily rigged, and have only Ethernet connections to deal with on a daily basis. They are as close to a plug-and-play professional video element that I’ve ever come across. Another aspect not to be overlooked is the ÉPIX Strips are built sturdy and rugged. They have held up to the daily wear and tear of arena touring.”
The ÉPIX fixtures required little extra programming. “In fact, we decided to program them only because the ÉPIX technology gave us more options,” Kitchenman said. For the most part the content was created with the ÉPIX mapping in mind. “The ArKaos server gives you the ability to output to only Kling-Net devices, output to all but Kling-Net devices, or output to both,” he added. “With that feature we were really able to expand on our visuals by running separate content on the strips and breaking away from the contents built in mapping.” LED technician for Elite Multimedia Productions Nick Bush was also involved in the programming of these fixtures.
Kitchenman said he is really impressed with ÉPIX line’s simple design and ease of use. “I can see these fixtures being reused in our designs for years to come,” he added. “They open up a whole new line of creative possibilities that as a show designer I never want to be limited by. Having tested them on the road for the last four months of hard touring on a large scale and seeing them hold up to the test, I would definitely consider ÉPIX to be a ‘road-worthy’ device.”
- 130 x ÉPIX Strip
- 16 x ÉPIX Bar