UK lighting rental company Neg Earth Lights invested in five new Kinesys DigiHoist controllers and two remote handsets which went directly out on Muse’s "The 2nd Law" world tour, together with a Kinesys K2 control and Elevation 1+ automation system that they already owned.
The Kinesys system on Muse – currently touring the US - was specified by the band’s stage and visual Designer, Oli Metcalfe, and automation guru Gareth Williams – who has been an advocate of Kinesys innovations for many years. Williams is operating the K2 on the tour.
They needed the K2 control package due to the complexity and accuracy of the automation cues, and also because these had to be linked to the Catalyst media server feeding video content to the moving LED screens. This allows the video images to be mapped and sized / re-sized in real time as the video surfaces are moving.
A major part of Metcalfe’s visual concept for the tour are five concentric square video screens, all made up from Pixled Linx12 product each being 1.2 metres in depth. These are attached to square trusses incrementing in size and all fit inside one another forming a pyramid shape that can also be inverted.
The two larger video squares are flown from four 1 tonne Liftket electric chain hoists and the three smaller ones each from four half tonne Liftkets. All 20 motors are fitted with Kinesys Elevation 1+ vari-speed controllers and driven by one of the new standalone K2 control consoles.
The screens receive playback video content and IMAG footage, with both sources output to screen via the Catalyst, triggered from Metcalfe’s Hog 4 lighting console.
Positional information from the five concentric screens is sent via K2 to the Catalyst, which calculates the image sizing required to fit in on to wherever the screen surface happens to be at the time.
One image can be fitted over all four sides of all five screens or images can be split and fragmented across the five surfaces producing stunning contrasts and the high-impact, edgy visuality for which Muse’s live performances are renowned.
“There is no other automation system available that could have done this as easily as K2,” confirmed Williams.
Each of the 20 video screen points is fitted with a Kinesys LibraCELL load monitoring shackle, so Williams can easily and clearly monitor the dynamic loading of all the points onscreen as they change positions.
The LibraCELL system checks for overload and underloads. This is particularly important as there is some serious cable management involved feeding the screens and the lighting fixtures rigged on the trusses, resulting in substantial amounts of cabling and motor chains compacted in the same limited area.
The five new Neg Earth DigiHoist controllers are being used to control motors for all the lighting points – 16 of them on the main grid and 15 on the sub-hung lighting trusses.
Another 12 Kinesys LibraCELLs are utilised to monitor the 2 tonne Lodestars used to lift the grid trussing.
The DigiHoists are proving a big hit with the crew. They are compact, multiple units that can be easily daisy-chained together, and the display offers useful feedback for each of the eight individual channels.
On the decision to purchase the system Dave Ridgway, Managing Director at Neg Earth says, ‘We wanted to invest in a system that coupled safety with efficiency and this is what we have with the DigiHoist system. It is a great hit with the Muse lighting team as it is compact and multiple units can be easily daisy chained together.
“We see a great future for this system and welcome the forward thinking upgradeable options. Kinesys are helpful and client focused and we look forward to continuing an already very successful working relationship with them.”
Kinesys’ MD, Dave Weatherhead, commented, “Neg Earth has always been a great customer and a keen early-adopter of automation technology, in turn offering their clients an exciting, new potential creative dimension for their work.”