Europe: – XLNT Advanced Technologies’ brand new CyberHoist II™ made its touring debut with US nu-metal mega-stars Linkin Park when the band returned to head-banging basics on their sold out European tour, The Hunting Party.
Talented show designer Michael Fullman worked with event technology supplier, Black Box Music to transfer the show from the USA to Europe. As the show transitioned from the US specified automation system to XLNT’s CyberHoist II for Europe, Fullman says he was keen to reinvigorate elements of the original design.
Black Box Music’s Moritz Stockschläder worked closely with the production and says: “It was great to be the first company to supply a full CyberHoist II system in Europe and on such a dynamic and exciting tour. For many reasons CyberHoist II, with its silent, smooth, unrivalled accuracy, proved to be the ideal solution.”
Fullman concurs: “We rehearsed in Germany and as soon as we started using the CyberHoist II system I realised I could do much more with my design than I’d originally planned. The system offered considerable artistic freedom and rather than hindering the creative process it actually pushed it forward. There seemed to be no limit to where I could position the screens or how quietly and fast they could travel.”
The epitome of arena rock, Linkin Park’s set comprised a number of sharply angled semi-transparent video screens, which delivered layer upon layer of dynamic content. The screens also moved up and down above the stage action, sometimes at speed, sometimes more slowly, revealing or masking band members positioned on plinths.
Fullman says that the CyberHoist II brought a surprising new dynamic show: “I wanted to add elements that would echo and complement the huge energy of the band and convey that energy to the audience. CyberHoist enabled us to create entirely new scenic looks and atmospheres, often with phenomenal speed.”
Working closely with Fullman and in charge of programming and operation was experienced CyberHoist II operator Ingo Koenzen: “The new CyberHoist II is ideal for touring, primarily because it’s pretty much plug and play. Every element is inside the hoist. Best of all we don’t have to worry about where to put controller boxes, all I need is power and a data cable for each hoist and we’re ready to go.”
However for Koenzen the big advantage is also in the fast programming as he explains: “It’s really simple, the console surface is so intuitive to use. The whole system is built around object orientated programmingusing CyberMotion’s MotionCue3D operating console, which means I just have to tell the console the height and angle that the object should fly at and when. I don’t have to worry about the number of hoists required to move an object or what each is doing, I just have to worry about the object itself.”
Of course if you want more detail you have it: “I can have full control of everything that happens, continues Koenzen. “I can read every load and with one click I can see every actuator and what’s happened with it.”
Fullman was impressed: “As Ingo says it’s very fast to program – no sooner had I expressed what I wanted Ingo had done it! We could plot moves in real time and watch the transitions back quickly. In the end I had so many new ideas that we went from the five original automation cues to 20!”
In charge of rigging and automation for the tour was Chris Wilson: “The CyberHoist II system fitted very well into our tour and certainly delivered above and beyond what we were expecting. What stood out for me was that there was no jogging of the screens when the hoists stopped moving; it was super-smooth and accurate. Critically this minimised the dynamic load on the rigging to next to nothing. Secondly the built in SIL3 safety compliance that CyberHoist II offers gave myself and tour director Jim Digby absolute confidence that when the screens were moving the artists and crew below were safe.”
Fullman concludes that he’s now an advocate of the CyberHoist II system; “I was delighted with all the options it gave us from both a practical and a creative perspective, it was a fantastic experience all round.”