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LDI Followup

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Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since LDI, so I guess that makes me a little tardy on my follow up notes – but better late than never, right?? (I know – lame, sorry).The show… what show – OH LDI… yeah – kinda boring if you ask me. But I guess I was expected to say that. I am not sure how much of it was a result of me not exhibiting for the first time since the VERY early days at Martin – 1991. Since then, I’ve been an exhibitor at every show. Kinda strange getting there and not having to man a booth – but I gotta admit… I could get used to it.The show? Well – to me it sure seemed small. As Mr. Darren Daverna mentioned to me a few times – “The walls are moving in on this show” as he motioned that the walls were getting closer. His point was well taken. I am sure that in past days, the show floor was MUCH larger. At this particular show, much could be attributed to a couple of missing monsters, namely Martin, High End and (there – but smallllll) Varilite. If you also missed the show, and I didn’t name you – sorry… But besides those, I dunno. I didn’t see a lotta exhibitors. Seems like sound companies are forming a bit of an About Face on this show. They were coming in a fairly big way – not they’re not. I am sure it’s another fiscal decision. Too many shows, so choices to make.All that aside, the show itself didn’t have a lot of the excitement of prior shows. I remember the one where CK showed those first color changing, battery powered LED fixtures. I’ll never forget tapping Bruno DeDoro on his shoulder and saying “That’s gonna change the world”… for once I guess I was right. This show didn’t have a single product that had everyone talking. I’ll give you my top 10 though, in no particular order. I have not researched any of the product names or anything, you’ll have to figure those out on your own. I am not saying these are the greatest products in the world – only that they were the most “memorable” in my mind.1) ClayPaky 300 series Wash / Hybrid. This thing was a MONSTER. It appeared to be a hard edge fixture with a couple of gobos, but more useful as a wash. The way claypaky showed the light – it looked like a 1200. They would iris it right down to a tight spot – then put it on a wall 300ft away. Wow! Very impressive output indeed. I loved this light. Reminded me of a mini-showgun actually – minus the ring of LED’s. The only downside on this beast was the “rumored” pricetag. I heard it’s around $3500 dealer – for a 300w light… ouch. That’ll be tough. I know the real diehard techie types like sir Richard B (Belliveau – not branson) will say “It’s got nothing to do with wattage”… however – engineers have never tried to sell a 300 watt light at a 575 price. The pre-conceived market price on a 300 is probably at or under $2000. Otherwise, I think this light shows real promise – as did the other new lights in the Clay Paky range. I think that getting themselves dug out from under Group One has really breathed life into Clay Paky. They also seem to have returned to their roots of designing top notch products as they did in the 80s.2) Elation Impression. If you haven’t seen the impression, be sure to check it out. It’s the first “Usable” moving LED wash light. Sure, you could use others – including the iWash LED, Robe whatchamacallit, and others – but this one can TRULY replace a 575 wash light. In fact, that’s what Elation keep comparing it to. The thing is definitely bright, and cool as hell. The photos that show it on a floor mount don’t really do it justice. The thing is cool (and did I mention bright??). It hangs sorta like the ol VL5’s – directly from the yoke, with virtually no base. All of the electronics and motors are built into the yoke. The only thing from a functional standpoint that bugs me is that it has no white LED’s. I see this as a point where competition will come in and make this light obsolete. Otherwise, I think it’s a very bold attempt by the guys in Germany, and by Eric and his team at Elation. It’s a step forward… where manufacturers have not been so successful thus far. The only other negative might be the price. It’s less than a 575 – like a MAC600, but more than one would expect from an LED fixture. One other cool thing to mention is the “6 pack” idea being marketed by Elation. It’s a flight case about the size of a double Studio Color case -but holds 6 Impression fixtures. If you’re looking for an alternative to the standard wash lights of the world, the Impression is MOST DEFINITELY worth a look.3) Chamsys Consoles…. the big deal here is that PRG seem to have taken a HUGE leap into this previously unheard of console manufacturer. I cannot tell you a whole lot about the product, other than everyone who I spoke to about them spoke very highly of the consoles. PRG are committing in a pretty large way from what I hear, so look for Chamsys to become a household name in a pretty big hurry.4) Chauvet Moving Head – sorry, no idea what the little bugger was called, but as I recall, it was under $400 if that helps. Chauvet showed an entire wall full of these things. From what I know, it’s a color-changing, LED Wash or Spot (they had both). Looks smaller than a Minimac – and bright enough for something like a VIP room – but maybe not the main dancefloor. Again – definitely worth a look.5) Studio Due Caterpillar thing… once again, sorry – but I don’t know what it was called. It’s an LED head on a yoke with a very odd “bit” between the base and head. It looks like the old Claypaky pinspots on a caterpillar – but is quite a bright moving head. Once again – no idea what it was called, nor what it cost, but to me – it was damn cool.Sure, there were a TON of other cool products. Just none that stuck in my mind like the ones I’ve mentioned. It must be mentioned too that with both Martin and High End absent, Robe took the opportunity in a BIG way and showed well. They claim to have had the largest booth on the floor, which I cannot deny (although Chauvet’s surprisingly appeared larger). Robe was busy at pretty much all times, and appears to be working to give martin a run for their money. I am sure Martin will not sleep forever, and like I’ve said before, I totally understand why they’d skip this show – HOWEVER… it didn’t do them a lot of good. Every time I ran into one of Martin’s sales people, they appeared almost lost. I think it was strange for them to not be at this show. Lets see what they do next year. As for High End, oddly, most of their people were not even at the show. I called Craig Burross to meet for coffee, or a drink after the show – and he said “I can’t – I’m in NY”. Ouch.From a Networking standpoint, I have to take back an earlier comment where I was bashing the Orlando LDI shows. The Peabody at this show was GREAT. I ended up there a couple of nights, and was very impressed by the quality AND quantity of Lighting people. I think this is due in part to Peabody’s wise decision to renovate and expand their lobby bar. Nice move.All in all, the show was only “Okay” for me. I will reserve further judgement on the future of LDI until Vegas next year.

Author: Marcel Fairbairn

Our expert sales team, collectively, have over 50 years experience in the sound, lighting, production and music industry.

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