"Look Mum! No Hands!"
LightFactory Gets Disco Fever

When Chris Thornton of Rollercoaster Productions was deciding what controller to use for lighting dance show ‘Disco Fever’, he had two important criteria. The first was the need to program the show away from the final venue and second to run the entire show synchronized to a canned audio soundtrack.

LightFactory, part of the Stage Research family of products, proved to be the perfect solution providing the functionality normally reserved for far more expensive consoles in a PC-based solution. Using LightFactory’s “Channel Groups” Chris was able to build lighting looks and positions information that could be used in many cues. This allowed shifting the show from warehouse to stage to be a simple process of updating a few positions for the new space and no changes were required to the actual cue list.

To program the show to the music provided, WINAMP™ was used to play the music and the direct integration with LightFactory allowed the software to read the timecode of each track. Operation of the show was almost hands-free as LightFactory triggered each cue automatically as the music played.
"In his own words..."
Chris Thorton and Lightfactory.

The final show used 25 different cue lists (one for each song), hundreds of cues and many different effects incorporated into each cue. Running to timecode meant the two night show ran exactly the same down to 1/25th of a second and gave us the accuracy that a dance show requires. The ability to use Winamp with LightFactory also meant that the show only needed one operator. The rig included 8x Martin Mac 250 and 90 conventional channels of dimmers together with some DMX triggered special effects.

LightFactory’s
versatility and accuracy undoubtedly allowed us to include more complex looks and effects as we were able to perfect these before the get-in. The Channel groups facility enables you quickly create looks using stock groups but more importantly, you can trim for different venues without having to re-write.



Some of the amazing effects for Disco Fever created by Chris
and triggered by LightFactory.



Chris Thornton prepares to run another show with Lightfactory.

The ability to edit live cue lists quickly during the limited rehearsal time available meant that fine adjustments to the lighting balance could be made without re-running numbers – 116 dancers quickly get irritated when repeatedly asked to ‘do it again and see what that looks like’!

Thanks to Lightfactory, the show ran beautifully and dozens of attendees enjoyed a wonderful trip back to the height of the Disco Era!