ETC, Electronic Theatre Controls, as always has plenty to show. Up front in the booth they were showing the new Magic Sheet features of the Eos console family software. Magic Sheets enable the easy creation of full-featured touch screen (or mouse clickable) fixture layouts. This means that rather than having to remember what channel controls the key light for a particular chair on a set, the board operator can select the visual representation of the fixture on the screen making it “live” for adjustment. Magic Sheets can be further customized with macro enabled buttons for common features such as raising or lowering intensity. When fully implemented, turning the lights on and even adjusting them for different talent becomes as easy as using an app on your phone or tablet. They also showed Nomad, ETC’s long awaited entry into the lighting console software on a laptop space.
For fixtures ETC showed their Desire LED wash fixtures, mostly in their Studio HD configuration. This populates the fixture with LEDs for variable white plus a good range of color adjustment, going beyond the usual “plus/ minus green”. The Desire fixtures are now available in three sizes, named for the number of LEDs in the fixture, D60, D40, and the new D22 which we expect will find use in smaller studios and as a back light fixture. In profile fixtures, ETC showed their Source Four LED in both the Studio HD configuration and the new Series 2 Lustr which has brighter white light output than the original Lustr through the use of Philips new “lime green” LED which while maintaining the ability to create traditional theatrical gel colors. In the Source Four range, they also showed the LED Cyc barrel which is used with the Source Four LED of your choice and adapts it to use as a cyc wash fixture with smooth color mixing. The final fixture on display was the new (and much anticipated) Source Four LED Mini. Drawing a maximum of 14W the LED Mini puts out more beam lumens at greater efficiency (lumens per watt) than the original 50W MR16 based Mini. The LED Mini is available in a standard configuration with a CRI of 80+ and a Gallery version of a CRI of 90+ (I got 93 in a spot test onsite), both at 3000k.
For the lighting side of the house they were showing a new version of the 96-circuit Sensor Touring rack. Equipped with the CEM3 control module this rack dispenses with the patch panel found in earlier racks, allowing 96 dimmers to fit in the footprint of 48. All outputs are 19-pin VSC connectors, inputs are camlock with pass-through and a main circuit breaker. The use of the CEM3 also enables the rack to be equipped with the Thru Power module, which incorporates two discrete circuit paths for dimming and switched power control to facilitate use with both conventional fixtures as well as LED or HMI sources that should not be dimmed.
ETC also showed an example of their Prodigy rigging line of products, which combine easy to understand controls with installer and engineer friendly features such as an extruded aluminum compression tube to eliminate resultant loads on the structure.