- February 2017 -- For over 25 years, Mobile, Alabama-based Dorsett Productions Unlimited LLC has offered its clients the latest in sound, lighting, video, staging and special effects for their productions. With the increasing proliferation of concerts, TV specials and corporate events the company is doing, DPU owner Mike Dorsett recognized that he needed the latest technology to meet today’s customer demands. With that in mind, his company recently purchased three Avolites lighting control consoles: a flagship Sapphire Touch, and two of the new compact Quartz.
“Our goal is to deliver unsurpassed service with our knowledgeable production crew and provide the latest and greatest equipment on the market,” Dorsett says, noting that the Avolites purchase is a big part of that mission.
Dorsett chose the Sapphire Touch, after seeing it at a recent trade show, for its price point and functionality, he says. “The main goal is that we’re trying to integrate the control of all the different types of elements we’re doing, the multiple mediums—video, moving lights, LEDs, media server content management with Art-Net—into one console.”
The Titan software on the Sapphire Touch gives Dorsett and his team all the functionality they needs. He quickly learned that when Avolites‘ Brad White traveled to Mobile to teach them on the new consoles.
“Brad is one of the best trainers you can have,” Dorsett says. “I’ve known him many years, and he’s always patient and willing to start from square one. Two of my guys are very advanced, so they know more than the rest of us, but they were also able to ask questions about more sophisticated things like video mapping.”
Dorsett says the learning curve of the consoles makes them easy to get into. “Even those of us who are not particularly going to be doing the lighting wanted to get involved, because it looks cool, and that’s why we all do this, right? One of the comments by one of our newest lighting technicians in training was, ‘I could probably learn how to do this.’
“For example, what may seem a complex task, the software does for you in the Shape Generator. Also, the 3D Visualizer is very impressive. You can lay out your stage where your trusses and lights are and get a view of what the show will look like without the lights even being on. That feature will be helpful for us.”
Avolites’ Sapphire Touch has two touchscreens, offering a large workspace area, which is expandable further with the Sapphire Touch and Sapphire Media Wings. “The Sapphire is very high quality,” he says, noting that he already has it booked for use on a crowded schedule of upcoming events.
“Mardi Gras actually originated here in Mobile, although everyone associates it with New Orleans,” he says, pointing out his packed season of Mardi Gras balls and parties between February 10 and 28.
DPU is also providing production for the Distinguished Young Woman of the Year Pageant, formerly called America’s Junior Miss. “We’re in our fourth year now of doing that show and it gets bigger and better every year. The Sapphire Touch console will be an integral part of that show as well.”
Dorsett also cites a list of large corporate events, such as the recent Senior Bowl.
The company owner appreciates the fact that the same Titan v10 software works on all of Avolites’ platforms, including his two new Quartz consoles, which just arrived.
The Quartz, the newest addition to the Titan Mobile family, provides all the power of the Titan software but in a smaller compact package at just 16.7 inches (42.5 cm) wide. Equipped with onboard processing, a 12.1-inch screen and the same familiar Avo faders and hardware, it can also serve as a backup or extra programming surface. With its Sound to Light Triggering functionality (in the Titan v9 and v10 software), the Quartz desks will easily add extra charm to Dorsett’s club and corporate gigs.
Other Avolites products fill his inventory, the oldest being a 2004 Pearl console and the more advanced Pearl Expert. Brad White carved out some time to update the Expert while in his shop for the training class, he adds.
Dorsett’s own history goes way back with the Pearl console. “It’s like an old trustworthy Volkswagen. It’s still working fine,” he notes.
That comparison to a car that keeps running is how Dorsett thinks of Avolites products. “They work. You have little downtime with repairs, coming in and out of trucks, traveling across country. That is what it comes down to,” he emphasizes. “It has to work and it does.”
Should any product issues ever arise, he knows he will get great support. “A lot of people sell products, but after-sales service is what you need,” Dorsett says, citing trust and satisfaction with White and the entire Group One/Avolites team.
For info on Dorsett Productions Unlimited, visit www.dorsettproductionsunlimited.com.