Technical set up
As we got nearer to our first performance on the September 14th we had to lock down the technical aspect of the show. I knew that I wanted to stick with the multi screen set up we had developed in our previous shows, APB - All Points Between and The Z-Axis.
These performances used multiple projection onto a large gauze screen at the front of the stage and a screen at the back. Originally I was planning on back projecting two side by side video projections at the back of the stage and front projecting one over the gauze as we had done things with the Z-Axis performance. EMPAC had arranged for us to use a small rehearsal space for three days before the show which proved to be invaluable.
After these rehearsals I noticed that some of the narrative elements were getting lost in the layering of the projections. I decided to flip the projection layout back round to how we did the APB show, two video projections onto the gauze screen and one at the back. As the Troy premier was in a huge sports hall we had plenty of space behind the stage to back project this screen.
(don't try this at home)
The complicated bit was working out the play back of our material. We wanted to mix material that was edited across all three screens and in sync with the audio with improvised cuts and scratches from a set of Pioneer DVJ turntables. In this way we could get a balance between edited sequences and live improvisation. This required us to scan-convert the three outputs from Tim's laptop that was running Vidvox VDMX 5 and a Matrox Tripplehead VGA card.
Each of these synced outputs where then passed through a Edirol V4 mixer which had some other sources connected to it, a DVJ, another laptop running VDMX and some live camera feeds. The V4 was then midi controlled from a Pioneer DJM800 mixer so that we could cut audio visual samples in over the three screen backing track.
We had three people operating the sub mixes on each screen and decided to use Appleton Live to run the audio and used a midi controller to trigger the three screen compositions in VDMX. This allowed us to compensate of any lost frames that would occur with the scan conversion and long video cable runs to the projectors.
In addition to the video projections we had two side projections that had a sequence of slide that followed the narrative themes in the show. They were back projected through the gauze screen and controlled with a rather old school dissolve system which we modified to fade to black after each set of two.
The artists performing the Troy Premier were:
Christopher Thomas Allen - AV
Robert Pyecroft-Rainbow - AV
Ben Allen - AV
Tim Cowie - AV
Jo Williamson - Vocals & Rob's Guitar
We had a great technical support guy, Burle Avant the video engineer at EMPAC, who was super helpful and we had a great time working with him.
For anyone thats a real geek, here's the tech rider for this show:
1 x Stage - 5m L x 3m D x 0.5m H approx
3 x Steel Deck Table - 3m L x 1m D x 1m H
2 x Steel Deck projector Stands – 1m L x 1m D x 2m H
1 x 10m Truss
5 x Profile spots
1 x 16 Channel Line mixer
2 x Mic Stands
3 x Mic's
5 x Audio monitor wedges
3 x DLP Video Projectors
1 x Rear Projection Screen
1 x Hanging Video cradle
3 x 9” Preview Monitor
3 x 13" Preview Monitors
1 x Rack of 4 TFT Preview Monitors
2 x Zenonon Slide Projectors + Lens
2 x Datatron Slide Control + G3 Laptop
2 x Adjustable Projector Stands
6 x LED Spots
1 x DMX Lighting Control
3 x Roland V4 Video Mixers
3 x DVJ-1000 DVD Decks
2 x DJM800 mixer
3 x External Hard Drives
1 x Matrox 3way splitter
3 x VGA>Video Scan Convertors
3 x Midi Control
3 x Apple Laptop running VD-MX 5
1 x Guitar & Delay Box
Cables & Power
Technical Crew & Riggers
Tea & Cutters Choice