When instrumental band STS9 (Sound Tribe Sector 9) began its US fall tour lighting designer Saxton Waller decided to add Clay Paky A.leda B-EYE K20s to the B-EYE K10 rig he deployed for the band's 2014 tour and sold-out concerts at the famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre. A.C.T Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of Clay Paky lighting products in North America.
STS9, which plays self-described post-rock dance music, is one of the nation's top-grossing tour acts with a heavy presence on the festival circuit. Waller obtained the Clay Paky B-EYES and a full-size grandMA2 console from Brown Note Productions, Inc., in Thornton, Colorado, which has been working with STS9 for the last 10 years. A.C.T Lighting is also the North American distributor for grandMA.
"This was our first tour with the K20s," says Waller. "I was already using a different downstage wash light, so I figured if I replaced them with K20s I'd get two lights in one. I use six of them on downstage truss primarily as wash fixtures on the band then engage their pixel mode during jams to add another layer of chases and effects."
Waller has 18 K10s in the rig: six on the upstage floor, six on upstage truss and six more on midstage truss. "I use them exclusively in pixel mode even in their wash application," he reports. "The B-EYEs are all cells so you can get extremely creative with them. The K10s and K20s are deep fixtures; the more you dive into them, the more you're able to do."
Since the K10s and K20s are versatile fixtures out of the box Waller believes some lighting designers have only scratched the surface of their capabilities. "People take a lot of short cuts and don't get all they can out of their lighting fixtures," he says. "I take the B-EYEs' concepts and expand on them. For this new fall tour I built 120 custom chases in two, three and four colors with gobo effects - they're unique to our show. I must have put a thousand programming hours into the lights before the tour started."
Waller also "dug into the beam shaper" to "open up flower beam shaper effects at any speed and attach them to faders for control." He teamed with Chris Ruppel, head programmer at Brown Note Productions, to brainstorm ideas.
Waller migrated to the grandMA2 last year with a new show file. "We were able to clone the main portion of fixtures then the guys at A.C.T built a entirely new profile in 24 hours. They were great!" he says. "Over the past 12-16 months [the show file] has really grown with lots of cue stacks. We're past 3,000 sequences.
"The grandMA2 is the only console I work on," Waller declares. "There's nothing else in the world quite like it."
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