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Avolites install on the Belfast's Waterfront

14 July 2008

Belfast's Waterfront Hall venue - an award-winning, purpose-built conference, arts and entertainment centre - has just taken delivery of a new Avolites Diamond 4 Vision lighting console.

This has replaced the original Diamond 3 which had been in residence since the Waterfront opened in 1997. It was part of an upgrade instigated by stage electrician Oscar Kane and was supplied by Belfast-based Production Services Ireland (PSI).

The console is used to control the house lighting systems in the Main 2000 capacity auditorium, and is also moved around the building and sometimes used in the Studio Theatre.

“It was a completely logical move to go on to the D4 after the D3” says Kane, “It’s a console that can be used at very basic or highly complex levels – as required.

In the main auditorium, the D4 is controlling a moving light rig of 10 Martin Professional MAC 2Ks and 12 MAC 250 Kryptons, plus about 250 generic lightsources – a mix of assorted theatre fixtures and PARs.

Shows staged in the Waterfront include conferences and touring productions, rock ‘n’ roll concerts, opera, musicals, awards ceremonies and dinners, plus corporate and sporting events of all types – from car launches to boxing.

Kane likes the power, flexibility and many features of the D4, in particular the Palette pages and the Shortcut keys which enable users to customise the working surface exactly as they wish. He also thinks Fixture Overlap is excellent, along with time-saving functions like Unpatch and Repatch which make it very quick and easy to  move things around.

He says the Cue Stacks are great for running shows and Attribute Times are ideal for optimizing the fluidity and smoothness of cues. The USB key backup is also very handy for anyone using the console.

PSI’s Sean Pagel arranged the sale of the D4 to Waterfront. He worked at the flagship venue for 9 years (as a technician, stage LX and production manager) before joining PSI, Northern Ireland’s leading lighting sales and rental company. Whilst at Waterfront he used the D3 extensively and became an enthusiastic Avolites fan.

Before the Waterfront made their D4 purchase, PSI hosted a demo day, followed by a training day for different Avolites desks, for which Avo’s training manager Lindsey Markham ran the D4. This was attended by Kane and his three regular operators - Nathan Phillips, Kieran Hamill and Chris Workman – and helped convince them that the D4 was definitely the console for them.

Kane adds that his team at Waterfront has a very close working relationship with PSI and that their service and technical support is, “Absolutely brilliant”.  

This summer, while the Waterfront is ‘dark’ in terms of visiting shows allowing for essential maintenance work to be undertaken, the D4 is being used for The Coca Cola Urban Arts Academy, part of trans Belfast, an annual summer programme of creative arts and music events open to young people 15 and over, including: gigs, seminars, courses, exhibitions and its own radio station.

This year, the initiative offers a course in Technical Production, covering sound, lighting and video being co-ordinated by Kane and his colleagues. Other courses include DJ’ing, Rock Music, Music Production, Aerosol Art, Film for Music, Game Design, Comic Book Art, Street Theatre, Free Running, Fashion Design, Street Art, Radio Production, Photography, Journalism, Graphic Design, Gig Promotion, trans tv, Documentary Film Making, Urban Dance, 3D Animation, Urban Sports (Skateboarding and BMX) and Beatworks - Live Drumming for Dance Music.





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