SFX 6, the new version of Stage Research, Inc.’s leading live entertainment sound playback software, is the show control software of choice for the WaterDance Plaza fountain at Westgate City Center in Glendale, Arizona.
Anchored by the University of Phoenix Stadium, the complex boasts 6.5 million square feet of shops, restaurants, offices, theaters and residential units. Its WaterDance Plaza features a $6 million Bellagio-inspired dancing water attraction, which combines water effects with songs and video imagery in two shows every half-hour.
“With its scripting information, SFX 6 is flexible enough to customize the shows for the day,” explains Carlton Guc who is partnered with Brad Rembielak in Stage Research.
Eric Howell, production engineer with Stranger Production, who produces the music and video content for the WaterDance Plaza fountain, calls SFX 6 “the brains behind the fountain system. As a show controller, it allows me to control DMX components for the fountain. I can trigger and coordinate which shows will play, and I can also control the sound system, video board and dancing waters. SFX used to be known as a DMX audio system but now it’s a show controller serving audio for the system and coordinating all the other external devices.”
Howell uses LightFactory
to program the DMX component, which he loads into Enttec e-streamer. Then SFX triggers the proper DMX stream to coordinate music and water effects. Howell also loads pre-produced video content on DoReMi Nugget hard drives and triggers them to feed a 50×80-foot LED video screen integrated into the system. “I can now program the water feature to video as well as an audio source using an HD broadcast video source over fiber,” he notes.
The prime location of the WaterDance Plaza fountain attracted a lot of attention in the lead up to Super Bowl XLII. “It was right in the middle of the NFL Experience exhibition outside the stadium,” Howell reports. “So it was visited by an amazing crowd during Super Bowl week.”
Crystal Fountains performed the original WaterDance Plaza fountain installation.