Korn lighting designer, Thomas ‘Church’ Christmann is no stranger to the world of Ayrton. “On my first outing with Ayrton fixtures I was really impressed with the style, the output, the versatility and the beam options they offered me. I was very happy with what I could achieve with my last design so when the next generation of Ayrton fixtures were launched I jumped at the chance to make my new tour design even bigger, even more flexible and even more exciting.”

Two-time Grammy award-winning, Alt-Metal band Korn was busy crossing and re-crossing the Atlantic this summer, firstly headlining the 17-date Serenity of Summer tour in North America, before crossing over to Europe for a festival run and then back to the US for further leg on home territory. Church elaborates on the details: “There were a huge number of Ayrton DreamPanel™-Twin fixtures on this design, along with a supporting number of Ayrton NandoBeam™-S9 and NandoBeam™-S3 units, 15 MagicBlade™-FX and half a dozen MagicRing™-R9 fixtures. As this outing was split, design-wise, into three distinctly different sections, it was important to pick fixtures that were versatile and could adapt to our differing stage settings without losing any of their dynamic performance. For example, after the SOS tour in North America, the European festival leg featured a new version of the central stair riser MagicPanel™-R design we did last year, and I’ve just finished the last US run where we reinstated the SOS ‘pods’ but this time sitting on stage framed by Nandobeam™-S3 and MagicBlade™-FX.

“With this summer’s dates we wanted to go a step further in both design and look,” continues Church. “The introduction of the DreamPanel™-Twin allowed us to combine two different types of stage effects: lighting fixtures and video. The hybrid nature of the fixture gave me a lot of options to create my show moods.”

Church arrayed 64 DreamPanel-Twin fixtures in four 4×4 ‘pods’ which he rigged as an upstage wall above the band. “Mounting the DreamPanel-Twins in the pods made transport, installation and handling very easy and effective,” he says. “In addition, we got a really imposing look. We also combined the video screen of the DreamPanel-Twin fixtures with video projection onto our white cabinets we stacked up behind the band. The old school touch of Mesa cabs and modern fixtures suited the band’s profile exactly, as well as supporting the versatility of the band’s performance.”

Church also located 20 NandoBeam-S3 upstage of the band at floor level, and added a row of 15 MagicBlade-FX fixtures along the top of the cabinets, using both sets of fixtures as support for the main stage design in all spaces. Six MagicRing™-R9 units were rigged on the upstage truss which was flown relatively low between the cabinets and the pods that are such a central element to the look of the stage. Finally, the Nandobeam™-S9 fixtures were hung on the downstage truss and provided a solid front wash, proving that Ayrton units can provide that quality of vital base lighting as well as all the dynamic icing on the top.

“I inserted video and light partly just as a backlight to give the pods another dimension,” adds Church, “but the video enabled us to underscore the moods of the songs excellently. I used the pixel mapper on my console to work with the LED side of the DreamPanel™-Twins, and the arrangement of the DreamPanel™-Twins gave me a lot of position possibilities. By mounting them at the back – facing out – I could use all the moving options (endless pan & tilt) generously. The DreamPanel configuration and the angle of the pods allowed me to let the pods look ‘confused’ at times, or even round. The facility to split DMX universes internally is just genius. This can save lots of universes!”

Church remains a committed Ayrton aficionado and his enthusiasm for DreamPanel™-Twin especially is very clear, “The processing and versatility of the DreamPanel™-Twin make it a really exciting choice in a design; it offers so many possibilities for a designer’s toolkit. The hybrid of light and video is revolutionary and I am sure there is still more for me to discover about its potential. Add to that Ayrton’s quality of build, consistency of beam and light intensity and you have a very good weapon guaranteed to achieve a great design result.”

©2017 Todd Kaplan

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