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Barco and High End Systems Fuel Excitement in Drake's Summer Sixteen Tour with Lighting and Projection

Photo: Naftali Wayne and Alison Maxson

Barco and High End Systems, a Barco company, are providing their AV solutions to help create a mind-blowing visual spectacular for rap artist and songwriter Drake's current North America concert tour. The company is part of team led by lighting designer Guy Pavelo and tour director Steve Kidd of GP-SK Design & Production.

Now traveling across the United States, the Drake Summer Sixteen Tour represents a massive undertaking in audiovisual theatrics, with the design and programming directed by Pavelo and GP-SK. The artist came to the table with some highly imaginative show elements in mind, requiring a mammoth production effort: an expansive stage and set design, an 86' curved video wall, and a Kinetic system comprising hundreds of custom LED spheres.

Pavelo specified a significant amount of Barco and High End Systems gear to augment the extensive automated lighting package supplied by PRG: six MMS-100 moving mirror systems mounted on Barco HDF-W30 projectors, 66 SolaSpot Pro 2000s, 77 SolaWash 37s, and 62 SolaWash 19s.

"The SolaRange fixtures are proving to be incredibly bright and efficient effects lighting workhorses on the show," says Pavelo. "I really like the LED engine in the SolaSpots, and am truly amazed by how white the light is. They have enough horsepower to compete with lights that I've used previously, but are a much better option when comparing the cost, weight, and power consumption of alternatives -- ditto for the SolaWash 19s and 37s!"

Pavelo says he is also highly impressed with the Barco MMS moving mirror system and Barco HDF-W30 projectors. "When Steve and I first saw the MMS on top of the 30K projector, we thought it looked fantastic. It's providing a plethora of stunning, previously unachievable laser effects on Drake. Initially, we planned to use the system to highlight a couple of numbers, but decided to make it a core element of the show due to its versatility and incredible effects-generating capabilities. We were able to push it even further with the integrated media server function, manipulating aspects independently on different layers of the same content, for an even bigger bonus. The color is so vivid, and I think our lens choice helped out a lot. We were able to achieve looks that Drake has been after for a long time."

Barco and High End Systems are contributing a wide array of gear for the Drake Tour, featuring:

The SolaSpot Pro 2000 -- packed full of features to empower the designer with complete creative freedom, providing specially designed long-throw optics which enable sharp focus throughout the entirety of the 8° to 45° zoom range, making them a perfect choice for large scale stadium shows, the company says.

The SolaWash 19 and SolaWash 37 -- fast, compact, and versatile moving wash lights powered by 15W RGBW LEDs, delivering high brightness with deep hues provided by Indigo Highlighter. The Moving Mirror System (MMS) -- delivers sharp, bright, and detailed HD images anywhere the designer wants when combined with Barco's high brightness large venue projectors, the company says, such as the HDF-W30. Featuring 3-chip DLP technology, single Xenon lamp illumination, and a high-contrast optical engine, the HDF-W30 provides ultra-high brightness, color accuracy, and stability. It is also equipped with Barco's ImagePRO technology for scaling power.

The Integrated Media Server technology -- provides valuable creative horsepower, manipulating various aspects independently on different layers of the same content. A single output media server, it can deliver up to four layers of simultaneous HD playback and up to 10 layers of content and masks. Collage Generator and Curved Surface Support are also included as well as the largest library of stock content available in the market.

The design team wholeheartedly agrees that the Barco and High End Systems equipment has empowered the realization of new visions by one of today's top artists, with the bonus of offering never-before-seen reliability. "In fact, this is the only equipment on the tour that hasn't required any repairs!" says Pavelo. "We're very interested to see how they stand the test of time, as they're really getting a beating throughout this timetable. I believe they could become a new standard based on how they've come out of the box and held up so well."

The Barco and High End Systems team is overjoyed to contribute to the tour. "We are ecstatic to offer our latest technologies in support of this dynamic, high-profile tour and appreciate the opportunity to partner with such top-notch team AV designers and producers," says Scott Stremple, vice president Entertainment Sales for Barco.


(14 September 2016)

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