ADJ Fixtures Used To Create Unique Lighting Project: ‘The Tunnel’

As a way of flexing their creative muscles during the COVID-19 restrictions on live events, two German production companies have joined forces to create a unique lighting project called 'The Tunnel’. Featuring 40 of ADJ’s Vizi Beam RXONE moving heads as well as 16 Pixie Strip 120 linear LED fixtures, the space has been used to film impressive programmed lightshows and also as a performance area that DJs and promotors have hired to film their own video content.

 

The Tunnel was a collaboration between LaserFrame, based in Cologne, and Creative Sounds, from nearby Düsseldorf. The two companies had worked together on many events prior to the coronavirus pandemic, so it made sense for them to pool their talents for this project.

“We (LaserFrame) and Creative Sounds both see ourselves as complete service providers for event technology,” says Guido Schütz, owner of LaserFrame, “and we often work together on larger events. We don’t do a lot of dry hire, but specialize in providing the full lighting, sound and staging production for events. From site fences to power generators, to emergency lighting, to classic stages with light, sound, laser, pyro, video and SFX we supply the full package. We also offer the advantage that we are a team that works together. This means that we never need any external people to help us with light programming, operating and sound mixing.”

Constructed in a long but narrow space within LaserFrame’s warehouse, located in the Deutz district of Cologne, The Tunnel was exactly as its name suggests: a long dark tunnel. It was created from two lengths of black DuraTruss hung from the roof, which supported side and roof drapes to create a completely enclosed pitch-black space. This was then filled completely with lighting fixtures to provide a blank canvas for creative lighting design.

“The idea behind The Tunnel was really just to stop our team getting bored during the downtime caused by the coronavirus and to allow us to build something and use our creativity,” explains Guido. “Of course, it’s also meant for self-promotion, we are still active and want to show that to our customers and partners. As well as using it to create our lightshow videos, it has also been used by some of our clients to film their own video content. Brands such as Toxicator and Sunburn Festival, and DJs like Paytric, Simon Phinixx, Timbo and Moses Techno, have all used it.”

ADJ’s extremely popular Vizi Beam RXONE served as the primary lighting instrument within The Tunnel. An extremely compact and quick moving head beam fixture, the RXONE harnesses the power of an Osram® Sirius HRI 1R long life discharge lamp, focussed through precision-engineered optics, to create a piercingly sharp 3-degree beam. In The Tunnel, eight of these fixtures were hung from each of the two flown trusses, while additional sets of eight were positioned directly below, sitting on the floor. This allowed the dark tunnel to be transformed into a tunnel of light, with each fixture projecting a beam of light to the neighboring unit.

“We have had the RXONE for over three years now,” enthuses Guido. “We first saw it when we visited ADJ’s European headquarters in Kerkrade, The Netherlands, and initially took four to test. We soon realized that the lamp can do much more than you would expect from its power rating. We then quickly expanded to 40 devices and some partners also bought additional fixtures through us. In total we bought more than 90 devices. And, so far, this lamp has not let us down on any production, whether large or small. This is the main reason why they had to be present at The Tunnel!”

To add to the creative potential of the lightshows that could be created inside The Tunnel, the floor and ceiling of the space were both filled with ADJ’s Pixie Strip 120 pixel-mappable linear LED fixtures, arranged in a zig-zag pattern. Each measuring 2-meters in length, these fixtures feature 120 tri-color RGB SMD LEDs with a 16.5mm pixel pitch. Each pixel strip is contained in a lightweight aluminum housing that features an integrated adjustable mounting bracket and magnetic end caps, which allow seamless end-to-end pixel spacing. Also available in 1-meter (Pixie Strip 60) and 0.5-meter (Pixie Strip 30) models, these versatile fixtures are supplied as standard with both square and rounded frosted lens attachments in both white and dark grey colors. Power and data are supplied to the strips via proprietary 4-pin combo cables, with the input and output sockets positioned at opposite ends of the bar to make setup/installation easier and quicker. Easy and versatile control options are handled by the dedicated Pixie Driver 2000, which provides simple on-board manual dimming and strobe control as well as full pixel mapping using either the Kling-Net, Art-Net or sACN (streaming ACN) protocol.

It is no surprise that ADJ lighting equipment featured so heavily in The Tunnel, as LaserFrame has invested heavily in the brand over recent years. “We chose ADJ”, explains Guido, “because the products perfectly fit to our needs, offer good value for the money and never disappoint us, even when we have used specific fixtures on many events over an extended period of time. The really good and helpful service we receive makes working with ADJ super smooth and our Sales Rep [Holger Hensel] never lets us down. This overall package moves us again and again to look through the ADJ catalogue and to invest, sometimes even during these tough times while coronavirus effects our business.”

Patrick Hirt from Creative Sounds worked together with LaserFrame’s full-time employees Christian Sudhop, Marius Walbaum and Heinz Cremer to design and build The Tunnel. They then collaborated with Yannik Richarz, a freelance video technician whose company is called Lux Vident, to capture the lightshow on video [which can be seen below]. Marius created the soundtrack for the video while Laserframe’s intern, Jonas Rehrmann, programmed the time-coded lighting display as a project for his internship. Following the creation of their own lightshow videos, the team then setup the far end of the tunnel as a performance space and offered it out to DJs and promotors looking to film their own content. With the unique lighting rig positioned in front of the DJ booth, this allowed for the creation of videos that are distinctly different from what most DJs are posting on social media.

Following the success of The Tunnel, the team are already working on putting together their next project: The Cube!

 

Production Companies
LaserFrame | www.laserframe.net
Creative Sounds | www.creative-sounds.net

Creative Team
Guido Schütz, Patrick Hirt, Christian Sudhop, Marius Walbaum, Jonas Rehrmann, Yannik Richarz and Heinz Cremer

Photography
Steinsohn Images

Gear List
40 x ADJ Vizi Beam RXONE
16 x ADJ Pixie Strip 120
1 x Magmatic Therma Tour 600