Another LDI has come and gone. It never ceases to amaze me how in the space of a few hours, a convention floor can go from a dazzling array of brilliant displays to a harshly-lit mess of crates and boxes. All of the beauty and mystery gone; never to return exactly the same way again. While I waited in the Technologies for Worship booth for our crates to arrive, I thought; “Wait I didn’t see everything, just give me a few more hours!”
This show is so packed with fun toys that in three days I couldn’t see them all. What I did see was a lot of old friends and lots of new gear. A new toy that is worth a mention is the DMX coffee Pot from Doug Fleenor Design. The Mark II DMX Coffee Pot features internal termination (there is no feed through), and remote address setting (there is no DMX address switch). Remote address setting is accomplished via RDM making this the first (and only) RDM Coffee Pot. Coffee is quite important to techies, and the addition of DMX just makes it that much more fun.
Before I get into the other products, let me mention all of the classes that were available at the LDInstitute. If you want to get training in advanced equipment, then I would suggest that you check out some of these classes. LDI is geared for professionals in the entertainment industry and offers advanced training in such areas as console programming, rigging, and digital lighting.
This year, in conjunction with Technologies for Worship Magazine, LDI brought a new track of classes, a track specifically designed for the worship market. Nine courses were offered that covered lighting, audio and video. As one of the speakers I was very pleased with the turn out, the classes were well received- proving that more people are recognizing the worship market.
The LDI conference was huge featuring 400 exhibitors and 11,000 attendees. In addition to the show floor, outside the convention hall they had five stages set up, featuring rotating entertainment. The stages were set up to showcase different equipment in live settings so that attendees could experience the possibilities.
Another fun site on the show floor was booth of antique followspots that showcased some of the best from the past.
As the show has grown, it has truly become an entertainment show and not just a lighting show. The audio side of the business was very well represented this year. Now that all of the major concerts feature some form of projection, there was also a host of projectors and display medium on the floor, along with the media servers to provide content.
In the lighting side of the technology, there are several items to mention. The first is the proliferation of LED fixtures. Each year, the number of these fixtures increases; every luminaire manufacturer is jumping on the LED bandwagon. At this time, most of them are designed only for color wash in short throw situations, although I was impressed by the output from the Coemar I wash fixture.
The next item is silent dimming; dimmers that cut lamp noise to a level so low, they become “non-existent”. These new dimmers reduce the electrical noise and harmonic distortion on the neutral wire significantly. They are the new sine wave dimmers. While this is not the first year that they have been available, I mention them here because last year there was only one US company and now there are two, and both are ready to ship. Strand introduced them in 2003 as a new product, and spent the year perfecting them This year ETC has debuted their new dimmer and have acquired the leader in sinewave dimming, a Dutch company called IES.
The last item is the explosion in the media server market. Last year only two companies were actively exhibiting a media server, this year there were four of them at the show.
Along with all of that, you could also get your fill of the simple and fun toys to create effects, from multiple gobo manufacturers to colored flame and confetti. Over the course of the next year I will have showcase articles on selected segments of the lighting industry to help you choose the products.
For a list of the ETS-LDI award winners go to; http://lightingdimensions.com/etsldi/etsldi_award_winners/ and to see more about the show go to; http://entertainmenttech.info/