We always have projects on the go - life would be boring without them. At the time of writing the COVID pandemic is killing any chance of supporting live entertainment any time soon, so we are focussing on making our capabilities as good as they can be in readiness "for the off"….

We are fairly happy with our portfolio of stage and studio lighting and the controllers that go with them. We have devised a method of testing fixtures for their suitability for video as this is a necessity at most event work. We test (via an iPhone application) the modulation frequency of a fixture, and if it is either smooth or has a 'flicker frequency' of a multiple of 50Hz then it is suitable for video. Smooth is obviously best, and most of our fixtures meet this criteria. Hired-in fixtures may not be so suitable. Cheap RGBW spotlights, dimmable coloured garden floodlights and (surprisingly) some torches have proven not to be so.

We are also looking at using 12v automotive lighting for outdoor stage work, mainly because they come in a variety of beam angles and are weatherproof. Early tests indicate that many can be dimmed using the same dimmers as would be used for DMX ribbon lights - possibly enhanced with additional DC current drivers for the more powerful ones.

Most programming for shows can simply be done on the computer using QLC+, or by programming one of our lighting desks. This is something we would do on an ad-hoc basis as part of our lighting design for an event. We have already implemented joystick control over moving lights, with the next stage being to get two or more lights to track a single point across a stage. This should be possible but will involve some complex mathematics.

We have developed prototypes for use when recording live performances. The primary purposes are two-fold:
  • To get high quality sound onto the camera(s) for recording, and back via the video links to any monitoring / recording / broadcast equipment in sync with the video.
  • To use a mobile camera on a motorised gimbal with the same high quality recorded sound and return links, but in this case with wireless mobility.
The high quality sound is usually obtained at music events from the mixing desk, however for theatre and studio work an 8in x 8+4out audio matrix has been incorporated into the prototype above to capture multitrack sound from the stage, mix it, then feed it to cameras and recording equipment.

We have an upcoming video project that will involve recording a play with a cast of about ten actors performing in small venues such as a church.

Conference and Broadcast
In essence live video streaming and video conferencing are very similar. They transmit live content to several distant parties in real time. For the most part broadcast is one-way, conferencing is however interactive.

With a single camera this is fairly straightforward, but as soon as more than one camera, screen overlays, presentations, shared media or a host of other real-time requirements are added then some sort of broadcast editing is needed.

We are looking at how programmes like OBS can be used with standard domestic computing to enhance video conferencing. Particular challenges arise for some reason with Apple hardware.

We do not collect, store or share any information about visitors to our website. Any request from this website to a third party will be made anonymously. If you wish to contact us please use the contact form.