LOS ANGELES –Puerto Rican stars Wisin y Yandel wanted their La RevoluciÃ³n tour to have a “big look” when they hit the road in the U.S. to promote the album of the same name. Not surprising -- this reggaeton duo, which records and performs only in Spanish, is used to racking up super-big accomplishments. They're one of a handful of non-English-speaking artists to make it to the top of the general-audience Billboard chart, where La RevoluciÃ³n debuted at No. 7. They're also among a very select group of Spanish-speaking performers who've won a mainstream Grammy award, in addition to numerous Latin Grammy awards and nominations. Their high-octane shows routinely sell out major U.S arenas like Madison Square Garden.
In keeping with the tour's name, the La RevoluciÃ³n set was designed around a war-like theme. “The idea behind the theme was that this was a revolution in music,” said lighting/scenic/video designer Todd Roberts of Visions Lighting LLC (Placenta, CA), who worked with Wisin y Yandel's personal lighting designer/programmer David Ayala, video director Alfredo Cifredo and production manager Eggie Allende to design and create the set. “They wanted to the look of the stage to be real industrial. We used a lot of large oversized chain, and a lot of metals.” As far as the lighting went, “they wanted it to look as big as possible,” said Roberts, “with a small budget.”
To meet the challenge of filling up the large venues where the tour would be playing with big bright lights, Roberts created an ensemble built around 24 Design Spot 300 CMY 300-watt DMX moving heads from Elation Professional. The Design Spot 300 delivers an impressively brilliant output for its size and offers a full range of professional features and effects often associated with bigger fixtures. It features CMY color mixing; a color wheel with 7 interchangeable dichroic filters; 2 gobo wheels with a total of 13 interchangeable gobos (10 metal/3 glass, 6 indexable rotating/7 static); and a prism effects wheel with a 3-facet rotating/indexing prism and 3D glass prism. The full-featured unit also includes an Iris, Motor-Driven Focus, Shutter/Dimmer and Variable Frost, which softens its hard-edge beam and allows it to do double-duty as a hybrid spot/wash.
Roberts had worked with Elation products in the past and had recently used 16 Design Spot 300s in a Las Vegas club installation. “They held up really well there, and I really liked the light. It puts out a lot of power for its size,” he said.
On the Wisin y Yandel set, the Design Spot 300s were positioned on truss behind the stage, 12 units on one side of a center screen and 12 on the other side. “The trusses were lower in the back, so the lights appeared to be coming right at the audience from the back wall.” In addition to being extremely bright, the Design Spot 300, which can pan 630° in 2 seconds and tilt 265° in 1.5 seconds, “is a really fast fixture,” said Roberts. “And they can pop color very, very fast.” They also have “a really cool gobo palette for a fixture in that price range, with some especially impressive glass gobos.”
From a practical standpoint, the compact units are easy to transport and install. “They're so lightweight and easy to handle that one person can hang the light – you don't need two” – another way the Design Spot 300s save time and money, noted Roberts.
In keeping with the La RevoluciÃ³n theme, the Elation units proved to be “industrial” in strength, performing unflinchingly through the rigors of a major concert tour. Wisin y Yandel's designer/programmer Ayala used hybrid unit primarily as a spot fixture, but “he was using the color chases a lot and really putting them through their paces,” said Roberts, “and there weren't any issues. When we first made the decision to use Elation lights, I guaranteed (Wisin y Yandel's production crew) that they would be rock solid – and they were rock solid. ”
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Visions Lighting LLC can be reached at 714-223-3956 or visit www.visionslighting.com