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Finding A Diamond in the Outback

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An Avolites Diamond 4 Elite lighting console has been specified and installed in the new “Outback Spectacular” venue at the Warner Brothers Studios’ Theme Park on Australia’s Gold Coast.

The main attraction in this multi-million dollar arena is the “Outback Spectacular”, a live show with performers and real animals, based on the Australian outback and operating weekly Tuesdays through Saturdays for dinner and the show.

Outback Spectacular is a first for Australia – a unique show capturing the essence of the Australian Outback, complete with spectacular visual effects. The giant arena thunders with the hooves of Australian horses as the performance starts, creating an electric atmosphere with state-of-the-art lighting and sound, as leading stunt riders and stockmen playing out the story of two rival cattle stations. On arrival, guests enter a traditional Outback Pub for a cool beverage, receive their own Stockman’s hat which they wear whilst barracking for their cattle station. Alongside this, a traditional Australian BBQ is served while the action unfolds.

Production values are exceptionally high in this attraction. The Outback Spectacular show lighting was designed by John Rayment and is lit with over 300 assorted theatrical fixtures and 40 moving lights, and a PIGI large format projection system throws massive still images onto the backdrop. Audio comprises a 12.1 surround sound system - close to a conventional concert system but strategically split for the special sound effects required.

For lighting control, Warner Brothers selected the Avolites Diamond 4.

Tony Marshall, operations/production manager for the new venue, explains that the current production requires four DMX universes of lighting control, and that planning for future expansion was an all-important consideration. “Many of the consoles we initially looked at were limited to only four universes” he says, “The is D4 has eight – and is also expandable yet further”.

He adds that when they first considered the D4, they were also well aware of Avolites’ strong rock & roll heritage – into which the style and context of the Outback Spectacular show falls in many respects. “As we developed the production further, it became clear that the Diamond 4 was the ideal console.” he concludes.

Local back up and support for the console was also a key requirement. Avolites Australian distributor Universal Lighting & Audio (ULA) is nearby, and so also are a selection of fully qualified technical staff from International Sound & Lighting (ISL) and Venutech Technologies - already under existing service contract arrangements - so the comprehensive support requirements could be met.

The show opened last month. Marshall says “The D4 is has been a pleasure for our operators to programme and operate. During the hectic pre-production period, time-saving features like updating cues made life a real breeze.”

The Outback Spectacular’s Senior lighting technician and chief programmer Clint Dulieu completed the majority of the programming.

The Diamond 4 Elite console is streamlined to offer the maximum power and functionality in the minimum physical space, recognising the ever-growing need in all applications to use FOH and control spaces efficiently.

It features 14 submasters and 96 assigned playbacks, with direct access to 96 fixtures via Legend Cells which are re-assignable preset playbacks. Designed with the lighting programmer in mind, the D4 Elite’s ‘direct access’ control surface offers intuitive and fluid programming, that can realise the full potential of the lighting design. Facilities like electronic legending also came into their own whilst Outback Spectacular was being programmed – speeding the entire process up and allowing the automatic configuration of a huge programming Palette.

Most importantly for an ongoing show like the Outback Spectacular, the massive processing power of the console ensures faster access and response times for all functions. Instant Access features like the live recall of ‘Palettes’ during a show continue to be an enduringly popular Avolites feature with programmers and operators.

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Avolites Ltd
184 Park Avenue
Park Royal
London NW10 7XL
Tel: +44 (0)20 8965 8522
Fax: +44 (0)20 8965 0290

Date of issue :8th August 2006.

For more press info and photos on Avolites, please call Louise Stickland on +44 (0)1865 202679 or +44 (0)7831 329888 or Email ‘louise@loosplat.com’. Contact Avo direct on +44 (0)20 8965 8522.