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
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
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